Category Archives: Vegan

Stickin’ to

Offal Vinegar Veggies

sour_vegetables

There’s one thing for certain: /52weeksofcooking challenges certainly force me to think outside the box.  This week the challenge was “offal”, aka the parts of the animal that even the craziest of meat eaters tend to avoid.  While I have indulged in a few of them, mostly while overseas and always while a guest, I knew that I was going to have to be creative when it came time to find a way to vegetarianize this challenge.  Thankfully the mods are very flexible and open and extended the definition to includes parts of the vegetable that aren’t typically used.  While I generally save my scraps for vegetable soup, I had a lot of cabbage pieces and so decided to toss a bunch of scraps and peels in a pot with vinegar.  To make it a bit more substantial, I added some cannellini beans but these veggies would be fine sans beans along with some bbq tofu.

 

Stickin’ to

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 red onion, dced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup beets, shredded
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, presoaked and well rinsed.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook for 5 minutes before adding the remaining vegetables.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes and then stir in the vinegar. Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes before stirring in the beans. Mix well and then cook for a final 3 minutes, or until the beans are warm.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2015/01/stickin-to.html

Certainly not your typical offal dish, but a great way for using up ingredients that might otherwise have been tossed.  It’s not often that we have leftover cabbage in the house but this was a great way to use those last few leafs – and the beets scraps turned everything a fantastic shade!

What it Wants

Red Curry Thai Soup

thai_green_curry

First Secret Recipe Club post of 2015!!!!  About a month ago, there was a request for someone to take over for a blogger in Group D that was no longer able to participate.  While it turns out she was partnered with me for the cookie exchange, I was able to adopt her “normal” blog: Life on Food.  I quickly identified three recipes that looked fantastic: Cream of Broccoli Soup, Skillet Lasagna, and Red Curry Soup.  In the end, the curry won out as it was so different than anything else I had tried out and with all the winter weather we’ve been having I needed something on the spicy side.  While Emily’s version features beef, I simply doubled all the other ingredients and used a thicker rice noodle.

 

What it Wants

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb rice noodles
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15oz can coconut milk
  • 4 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tsp lemongrass
  • Basil

Instructions

  1. In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes and then add the sweet potatoes, cooking until just soft.
  2. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth, coconut milk, red curry paste, and lemon grass to pan simmering until the sweet potato is tender, around 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and then stir in noodles and top with the fresh basil.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2015/01/what-it-wants.html

Emily was right on in saying that this is “a hot meal that warms you from the inside out” – and I’ve already made it again!  The trick with the noodles is to add them at the very last moment in order to keep them from soaking up all the broth.  However the broth is one that can’t be wasted so nothing really wrong with that happening.  Needless to say this was a fantastic dish and I can’t wait to pick up some more curry and make another batch.  The only hard part of this recipe was finding a curry paste that was free of shrimp – but in end was able to find some at Whole Foods.


Wash Out

Butternut Squash Dressing

squash_stuffing

I’ve always found that it’s hardest to be a vegetarian around the holidays – so much of the celebration revolves around food and so much of that food involves meat.  From turkey to brisket to ham to venison, the traditional feasts revolve around a core protein of the animal variety.  When I first went vegetarian I had to accept that my holiday meal would consists of sides and for the first few years that was rather rough though there was always one exception: the dressing.  More often then not, the dressing would feature breadcrumbs of some form with vegetables and even tho it was normally on the dry side since no gravy – most of them were rather amazing.   For the past few years my contribution to the holidays have been my sweet potatoes but this year I wanted to try and completely veganize a stuffing that would be moist and amazing regardless of gravy.   So I set out to search the internet and various grocery stores to see what all was out there for me to mess with.  In the end I came up with this (in my opinion) awesome dressing that could work for more than just the BIG holiday meals.  In fact, I think it would be the perfect stuffing for an acorn squash!

 

Wash Out

Serves: Serves 8-10 as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Bag of plain vegan stuffing (Wegmans brand, Pepperidge Farm, etc)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cranberries

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, add spices and cook for 1 minute while stirring frequently. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, or until onion is golden.
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. Add the butternut squash and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes, stirring as needed.
  4. Once the squash is soft, add the stuffing mix along with the stock, water, and cranberries and mix well.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until stuffing is warm throughout.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2015/01/wash-out.html

 I was surprised how many stuffing mixes were vegan as I was expecting most of them to feature whey, eggs, and/or turkey.  Most of the “plain” and “original” varieties turned out to be vegan while most of the ones featuring spices or seasoning were generally vegetarian – featuring whey.  The stuffing was fantastic and moist tho most of us did enjoy it with some vegan mushroom gravy from Whole Foods (seriously, that stuff is insanely good).  All in all an awesome side dish that can be enjoyed by vegans and turkey-eaters alike!

As of now I’m not really that much of a fan on 2015 – the year has just started and so far it’s been rather annoying.  Our first attempt at DIVF was a bust, our FET has been put on hold, my car is on the verge of dying as is our oven, while my cell phone had an accident this morning so it’s basically busted.  I know that most of these things, okay all but the cell phone, are out of our control but at the same time – this is just insane!!!  I thought bad things happened in groups of three and so beyond three at this point.

Lips are Moving

Beet Dip

beet_dip

I don’t believe in diets – the word alone makes me cringe.   So when I saw that the first challenge for /52weeksofcooking 2015 was diet themed, I wasn’t exactly thrilled.  To me a diet is something where you deprive yourself for a set amount of time from eating a certain type of (delicious) food – only to fail after a certain amount of time because deprivation is never a good thing.  I fully get, and support, eating healthy foods but why not call it “healthy eating” instead of the “d” word.  I’m sure there’s some sort of psychology behind all of it, but it doesn’t change the fact that I associate diet food with bland, boring, and beige dishes.  Which is why I went as far as possible in the opposite direction with this healthy dip.  With the Super Bowl fast approaching (go Ravens!), many people will be sitting down and enjoying feasts of chips, dips, wings, and pizza – with maybe a few vegetable trays.  This dip goes great with chips, crackers, or bread to include being a fantastic addition to an otherwise boring sandwich.   Plus it only involves 4 ingredients, and can be made it advance which adds to the awesome factor.

Lips are Moving

Serves: Yields 2 cups of dip

Ingredients

  • 1 lb beetroot, peeled and halved
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil (can also use 1/2 tbsp tahini)

Instructions

  1. Turn off to 425 and lightly oil a roasting pan. Place the beets cut side down on the pan and cook for 30 minutes, then flip and cook for a final 20 minutes.
  2. Allow the beets to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then place beets and oil in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until almost pureed. If needed, add more olive oil but add in small amounts to keep it from becoming liquefied.
  3. Pour in to a bowl and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2015/01/lips-are-moving.html

I reserved the leaves for another dish, and brought this dip as an precursor to one of the many holiday meals we enjoyed this season.  I found the beanitos chips a friend had brought over for game day went fantastically while others preferred a firmer wheat cracker but as with many things there is no right answer.

Note: Beanitos has no idea who I am, and while I didn’t pay for them my friend did and they were insanely good! 

Where are you

Acorn Squash Quinoaacorn_squash_quinoa

Happy Holidays!  A bit late but things have been a little insane around here. In non-food news, we had our first donor IVF cycle a week ago and will be finding out the results later this week/early next.  It’s amazing how in some ways time has flown since then but yet in other ways time has stopped – or in the very least is dragging on. I’ve spent a lot of time relaxing, and working on new recipes, but very little time in the kitchen. It hasn’t helped that my oven broke, but figuring out ways around it.   Primarily that means lots of stove top cooking and very few baked treats but that’s okay!  If anything it gives me a jump start on my New Years Resolution to cut back on sweets, but we’ll see how long that lasts.   Today’s recipe is actually one I made right before my transfer,  and one that I started working with at the start of fall.  Since my house is mostly a nut free zone, I have to find other ways of recreating nutty flavors, usually  in the form of sesame seeds.   However I’ve become slightly addicted to acorn squash – nutty and sweet and meaty all in one awesomely healthy gourd.  I’ve started adding it to everything to see what it does, and does not go with, and so far everything has worked!  This dish was one of those cabinet/fridge clearing exercises where a bunch of stuff had to go before it was too late – so into the pan it went!

Where are you

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 mayan onion, diced
  • 1 acorn squash, cubed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup tri-color quinoa
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat, add the spices and cook for one minute stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the garlic and onion and toss well in the spices, then cook for 8 minutes, until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the squash and cook for 5 minutes, or until the squash starts to brown. Add the quinoa, toss in the oils and spices then pour in the vegetable stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, then cover, and turn heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, then stir and fluff the quinoa and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/12/where-are-you.html

This dish was a creamy curry success – the acorn squash goes fantastically with the spices and the heat without becoming a mushy mess.   I served these with some sesame greens, as some habits are hard to break.