Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bulgur and Chickpea Salad with Carrot-Pistachio Pesto

Here's another one from Whole Living Magazine!  I love that magazine!  They always have the best recipes.  We served this with the roasted sweet potatoes and basil pesto.  Everything just went together so well and we were very pleased with this gourmet dinner!


  • 1/2 cup cracked bulgur
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit, such as currants, golden raisins, or chopped apricots
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon wedge


  1. Place bulgur in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water. Season with a pinch of salt and cover with a plate until water is absorbed and bulgur is tender, about 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in chickpeas, scallion, dried fruit, and mint.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse carrots, garlic, and pistachios in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Drizzle in oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir pesto into bulgur mixture. Squeeze with lemon and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Basil, Lemon, and Walnut Pesto

This is inspired from a Whole Living Magazine recipe.  It was actually supposed to be parsley pesto, but I didn't have enough, so I just made regular basil pesto.  The rest of the recipe is the same.  It was amazing on top of the roasted sweet potatoes.  Yum.


  • 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, toasted
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until golden and tender, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse parsley, garlic, walnuts, zest, and lemon juice in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Drizzle remaining 6 tablespoons oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Top roasted sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons pesto.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moroccan Potato Salad

Potato salad is a classic.  There are a million ways to make it; it's never the same, but always delicious right?

Here's another great recipe from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.  I served it with Moroccan Fresh Tomato salad.  Both call for parsley and lots of garlic.  Those two flavors go very well together.  Take this to your next picnic and enjoy!

1 pound new potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 small red onion (about 4 ounces), finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place the potatoes in salted water to cover in a medium stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until fork tender but not mushy, 10-18 minutes, depending on size.  Drain and set aside to cool until slightly warm.

In a medium bowl, combine the parsley, onion, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Peel and coarsely chop the potatoes.  While still slightly warm, add to the parsley mixture, tossing gently yet thoroughly to combine.  Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend.  Serve at room temperature.  Or cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve chilled. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper and Zucchini Salad

I followed this recipe straight from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook.  It is delicious on top of quinoa and with a side of green beans, Spanish style -- also a recipe from this cookbook.  I love cooking from this book because it always reminds me of my time in Spain.  The Mediterranean spans several countries, but I will always know it from Spain.  I spent hours on the sands of that Spanish sea, and some of my favorite foods today are throw-backs my year abroad.


Here is the recipe.  The flavors of this salad when all mixed together are amazing.  I have never loved zucchinis as much as in this! 

2 large red bell peppers
4 small zucchini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil (optional)

Adjust the oven rack to 4 inches from the heating element and preheat the oven to broil.

Trim the top and bottom off each pepper and cut in half lengthwise.  Remove the seeds and inner white membranes.  Slice each half lengthwise into 3 even strips.  Arrange the pepper strips, skin side up, on an ungreased baking sheet.  Broil until partially charred, about 5 minutes.  Place in a paper bag, twist tightly to close, and leave for 20 minutes.  Peel off the skins with our fingers or a small paring knife.  Slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide strips.  Place in a large shallow serving bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium stockpot or saucepan large enough to accommodate a 9-inch steaming basket, put 1 inch of water.  Place the steaming basket in the pot and add the whole zucchini.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover tightly, reduce the heat to medium, and steam until barely tender, 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove the zucchini with tongs and let cool to room temperature.  Trim the ends of each zucchini and slice in half lengthwise.  Slice each half lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips.  Add to the bowl with the red pepper strips.

In a small bowl or pitcher, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.  Pour the dressing over the peppers and zucchini, tossing well to combine.  Season with additional salt and pepper as necessary.  Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to blend.  Toss again.

Sprinkle with the parsley or basil, if using, and serve at room temperature.  Or cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve chilled.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Loving Hut

I love this place!  Everything on the menu is vegan.  Need I say more?

Loving Hut is a world-wide franchise of vegan cuisine.  The first one I went to was in Australia, and ever since, I've been so anxious to try the ones we have right here in San Diego!

Fellow veggie-lovers, Lena and Jared joined us for lunch today and we all chowed down.  We had so much amazing food, and it was all so good!

This is what we ordered:
Fresh Summer Rolls
Golden Wontons
Cheese Bread
Eggplant Tofu Clay Pot
Hawaiian Fried Rice
Royal Noodle Soup
Tom Yam Soup
BBQ Vegetable and Tofu
Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheese Bread -- Amazing!

Eggplant Tofu Clay Pot.  So good.

Cinco de Mayo

To celebrate Mexico's victory over France in 1862, we made a feast of two kinds of tacos, yellow rice, beans, and guacamole!  Que viva!

To make the yellow rice add the following spices to the rice cooker:
Gorilla Salt
Olive oil

This is what I did to make the guacamole:
2 avocados, pitted and scooped
1 tomato, finely chopped
3-5 canned jalapeno slices, finely chopped
cilantro, fresh lime, salt, and pepper to taste
Blend everything together and keep the pit of one avocado in the bowl for freshness

Pizza -- A Favorite Classic

One thing we love in this household is our veggie-pizzas.  We probably make these at least once a month, if not more. 

I get these great personal-sized pizza crusts from Sprouts and then we just load them up with garlic, marinara, and tons of veggies; topped with Daiya Mozzarella.

Example of our pizza crusts and toppings
The latest pizza creation:  onions, green olives, BBQ "chicken" and cilantro.

Mmm, Mmm good.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Camping Food

After many months of renovating our newly inherited camper-trailer, our first camping adventure was finally upon us! 

We had a Coleman propane grill, a Bayou Classic grilling set, and, of course, the campfire for cooking purposes.

This is what I made throughout the weekend:

(Pictured below)
Chilli and tofu-dogs
Pillsbury crescent-rolls-on-a-stick
Taco Salad
Grilled corn
Baked potatoes
Baked onion

(Not pictured below)
Baked apples 
Rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly

Barley Bliss Casserole and Mashed Potatoes

I can't believe I forgot to post this!  A couple weeks ago I made this amazing casserole from Chloe's Kitchen Cookbook.

It was a perfect remedy for this huge container of barley I've had sitting in my pantry not knowing what to do with for who knows how long.  We mashed up some red potatoes and called it a meal!

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
8 ounces baby bella or crimini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 1/2 cups soy, almond, or rice milk
2 cups water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, green peppers, and mushrooms until soft and lightly browned.  Add garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper and let cook a few more minutes.

Transfer vegetables to a 9 x 13-inch pan.  Gently stir in tomatoes, beans, barley, nutritional yeast, nondairy milk, and water.  The pan will be very full.

Cover pan with foil and carefully place in the oven.  Let cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and then remove the foil.  Let bake, uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 20-30 minutes more, or until barley is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

--"There's nothing like a good casserole!"--  Will

Thai Curry and Tofu with Steamed Chard

This is as good as any Thai food you'll find in a restaurant and as Will said, "It took you only fifteen minutes to make!"

First of all, I didn't have time to make any meal plans for this week.  I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and wandered around aimlessly grabbing whatever looked good.  Usually I do not like to grocery shop like this.  It drives me nuts to not have meals in mind already!

Needless to say, I had no idea what was going to be for dinner tonight until I got home and assessed the contents of my kitchen.  I decided on Thai food.  The Panang Curry was a Trader Joes find and the tofu was made with a sauce I came up with.  I also had a TON of chard from my garden that needed to be consumed, so I steamed that and served everything up with some Jasmine rice!

Here's the meal:

1.  Trader Joe's Vegetable Panang Curry

2.  Tofu squares in a Spicy, chili, garlic, Tamari sauce
Whisk together 2 tablespoons each of Tamari and sesame oil with 1 tablespoon of chili-garlic sauce, with three cloves of crushed garlic.  Cut half a block of tofu into one-inch squares, about 1/4 inch thick.  Dry-fry the tofu for about five minutes on each side and when they are firm and slightly browned, pour the sauce over the tofu.  Stir until all tofu is covered and let simmer.

3.  Make jasmine rice.

4.  Steam fresh chard.

5.  Serve and enjoy with chopsticks!