Sunday, October 21, 2012

Curried Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Stew

There are so many things to do with butternut squash, I couldn't decide how I wanted to make it!  Finally I decided on this recipe from Chloe's Kitchen.  She makes it with apples, which I replaced with brussel sprouts.  I also didn't used the spinach and added navy beans instead.

Here is the recipe, and it is wonderful for this time of year!  (By the way, "this time of year" should normally mean cool and chilly and stuff like that, but it's still about 90 degrees for us, so I like to pretend.)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup dried lentils (I used red lentils from Trader Joes)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups peeled butternut squash, 1/2 inch cubes
1 large unpeeled apple, diced (I used about 6 fresh brussul sprouts, halved and roasted)
5 ounces baby spinach (1/2 can of navy beans in my case)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and saute onions and carrots until almost soft.  Add garlic, ginger, curry, and salt, and cook a few more minutes until fragrant.  Stir in lentils, broth, and tomato paste.  Bring to boil, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.  Add squash [and apples,] cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender.  [Uncover and stir in spinach until wilted.]  Add salt to taste and serve. 

*copied straight from Chloe's Kitchen Cookbook

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kale-Stuffed Mushrooms

I almost hate to say that I found my old South Beach Diet book from 2003, and actually marked some of the recipes to try.  Believe me, the recipe section of that book is the only thing I read, and some of them are actually pretty good.  Like this one for instance.  The recipe calls for spinach, but I updated it with Kale.  Spinach is sooo last decade. 

To be honest, I didn't really follow the recipe at all.  I used it more as an inspiration.

This is what I did:

Sauteed the kale with crushed garlic and olive oil.
Stuffed the kale into six baby bellas.
Placed the stuffed mushrooms on a layer of stewed tomatoes on the bottom of a baking dish.
Sprinkled Daiya vegan cheese and smoked paprika on top of mushrooms.
Baked for 30 minutes.

Vegans and Paleo's alike can delight in this meal, served with fresh cabbage salad. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stuffed Shells Again

We haven't had "Pasta Sundays" in a long time, so when a special request was made by The Husband for my one-of-a-kind stuffed shells, I was more than happy to oblige.  Click here for my original recipe, modified every time, but still always better than before and always delicious. 

This time, I used frozen kale instead of spinach.  I also halved the recipe, which was the perfect amount for just the two of us.  That's pretty much it!  Everything else stayed true to my recipe. 

This is a classic, and one of our household favorites.

Kale, Cabbage, and Mushroom Soup

It was kind of a coolish fall day and I wanted soup.  It actually doesn't have to be a cold day for me to want soup though.  I love soup any time of the year.  Anyway, I had mushrooms, cabbage, and frozen kale so that's what kind of soup I decided to make.  Mmmm, it was yummy and hot and delicious.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 1/5 cup green cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup frozen kale
2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons McKay's Vegan Chicken Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat the coconut oil in a large pan on medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir, cooking for another minute.  Add the mushrooms, lower heat to medium and cook until mushrooms are soft.  Add cabbage and cook until softened.  Add kale, water, chicken seasoning and spices.  Bring to a simmer, lower heat and cook for about 7-10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, add some sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 

Enjoy on a cold fall's eve.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Anniversary Dinner

 This past Wednesday was our second wedding anniversary!  10-10-10! 

Since the restaurant where we went on our first date is no longer there, we decided to go to our other favorite little Italian place -- Trattoria i Trulli.  This place never fails.  It is classic, romantic and cozy.  Perfect! 

i Trulli has amazing, authentic Italian food.  We love their fresh tomato-garlic sauce that they serve with fresh bread as an appetizer.  They have good vegetarian options for pasta too.  Everything is made fresh and to-order. 

Tonight I kept coming back to the beet gnocchi on their daily specials menu.  Beet gnocchi?  What in the world is that?  I love beets, and I love gnocchi, so I had to order it.  I requested the goat cheese sauce to be replaced with arrabiata sauce and it was delicious! 

This picture doesn't do it justice.  I know it just looks like a big blob of red.  But there is the red beet gnocchi under that sauce, along with toasted walnuts and kale.  I swear the chef must have known I would be coming in that night, because this meal was created specifically for me!  So good! 

We love you i Trulli! 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Camping Weekend

 Fall is here, which means camping season in Southern California!  We hit South Carlsbad State Beach this weekend and enjoyed our camper, the beautiful weather and the beach.  And of course some yummy camping food!

Here is just some of the veggie-goodness we made over the weekend:

Low country boil -- which includes corn on the cob, potatoes, and carrots; all seasoned with Old Bay

Pumpkin breakfast bars

Chilli mixed with leftover grits
Spinach and tomato salad

Tofurky Kielbasa

Red cabbage

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Potatoes

 This meal is filling, satisfying, delicious and comprised of only vegetables!  What?!  Yes.  A lot of the meals I write about consist of only veggies.  This is all about veggie goodness after all.

2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
1 onion, halved and quartered
4 red potatoes, halved and quartered
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking pan with tin foil.  In a large bowl, mix the brussel sprouts, potatoes, and onions together with olive oil, balsamic, and herbs.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Spread the veggies onto the tray so that none are overlapping. 

Roast in oven for about 35 minutes or until potatoes are soft and onions and brussel sprouts are browned.

We served ours with freshly made polenta. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Veggie Stir-Fry and Hot and Sour Soup

For an easy weeknight meal, take some vegetables or your choice, saute them in peanut oil and a little bit of soy sauce and serve over sticky rice!  Yum!

I used the following vegetables:
Baby bok choy
Red bell pepper
Snow peas
Shitake mushrooms

This is one of my all-time favorite meals.  So good and so easy to make!

For tonight, I also made a hot and sour soup from the Vegan Yum Yum blog.  I've made this recipe before and it is super delicious.  I always loved Hot and Sour Soup at Chinese restaurants, but this one is just as good and totally vegan!  (I halved the following recipe, didn't use tofu, added oyster mushrooms, and used fresh tomatoes instead of canned.)

Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup
Serves six?

1 Tbs Oil
1 Small Onion, minced
1 Small Cabbage, about the size of a grapefruit
2 Large Carrots, chopped
1 15oz Can Tomatoes, blended smooth
6 Cups Water
1 Cup Cubed Pressed, Baked Tofu (like wildwood baked)
1/4 Cup Tamari, low sodium
1/3 Cup Seasoned Rice Vinegar (see note on substituting above)
1 tsp Hot Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp Salt
Black Pepper, to taste (a lot!)

Heat a large 5 qt soup pot that has a heavy lid over medium heat. Add oil and onion, and saute until golden. Meanwhile, quarter your cabbage, remove the core, and shred the cabbage with a large chef’s knife. Add carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and water to the pot and stir well. Add the tofu, tamari, vinegar, chili flakes and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn heat down to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes or until cabbage and carrots are the desired tenderness.
Grind a lot of fresh black pepper over the top and serve.