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Category Archives: Entrees

Vegan Taco Salad

This is another one I can’t take credit for. I know he won’t like me calling him out like this on ye ole’ blog (sowwy), but Brian thought this one up, and surprisingly (!) was okay with replacing real meat with meatless crumbles. The result was a really, really ridiculously good looking taco salad that tasted just as good. Not gonna lie – best part was the Fritos. WHO DOESN’T LIKE FRITOS?!?

What You Need:

1 package of meatless crumbles (I used Trader Joes’ version. )

1 package taco seasoning (or make your own!)

3/4 can black beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups romaine lettuce

1 cup cherry tomatoes – halved

1 cup Fritos (or, again, Trader Joe’s version.)

1/2 avocado, cubed

What You Do:

First part is preparing the “meat” + bean concoction. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add one tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Let heat for a few minutes and add in the entire package of crumbles. Using a spatula, break the crumbles up, stirring and letting heat through. Add in the taco seasoning and sautee everything, mixing often – about five minutes. Add in the beans, continue stirring, and add more seasoning if necessary. At this point, add in another tbps of olive oil and continue sauteeing for one more minute.

In a separate bowl, combine the lettuce, tomatoes, Fritos and avocado. Remove the beans and crumbles from the heat, and add them to the remaining ingredients. Stir well and dig in!

Other add-ins that would work in here:

  • Chopped red onion
  • Black olives
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (vegan or non)
  • Sour cream (vegan or non)

Any other ideas!?

Miso Soup with Soba Noodles and Tofu

But not just ANY miso soup. HOMEMADE. As in “I bought Miso paste and didn’t know what to do with it so I added some boiling water to it, and who knew? That’s all you need to create Miso Soup.” So, YEAH, miso soup! To the broth, I added buckwheat soba noodles, tofu, spinach, scallions and red pepper flakes. The result was restaurant quality if not better. No lie.

I can’t wait to make this again. Next time I’m thinking of adding shitaake mushrooms, perhaps even some kombucha squash? The base is great alone, but you can pretty much add any combination of vegetables into this and it’ll come out great.

Another thing to note is that the intensity of the miso soup can be adjusted to your taste/liking. Miso pastes are NOT all created equal, and the saltiness of them varies. I added about 3.5 tablespoons of miso paste into my boiling water, but definitely feel free to add more or less miso paste as you go.

Okay! Onto the recipe:

What You Need – Makes 3 servings

2-4 tablespoons of miso paste

4 cups water

3 ounces soba noodles

2 scallions, sliced thinly

handful of spinach

2 handfuls of firm/extra firm tofu – cubed

few shakes of red pepper flakes

What You Do:

Cook the soba noodles according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Next – bring the 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Lower the heat and let the water simmer. Add one tablespoon of miso paste into the pot, and using a fork, mix the paste well in the water, making sure all the clumps are completely dissolved. Add in a second and third tablespoon of paste, dissolving between each addition to the water. Taste. Decide on whether or not you want to add in more miso paste. I ended up adding in a bit more and it was perfect.

Place the spinach, tofu and scallions into bowls (2 or 3), and pour the miso soup over everything. Add the red pepper flakes to taste, and you’re done! Sit back, relax, sip on your soup, and revel in this accomplishment.

Note: do not judge me on the quality of these photos. My regular camera battery died, so you’re looking at iPhone shots. Sowwy!

Macro Plate + Miso/Tahini Dressing

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I have had, roughly estimating, around 150 million variations of tahini dressings. Whenever I go out to eat at a Veg restaurant, my standard order is some version of a macro plate (steamed veggies, brown rice, beans) and some version of a tahini dressing to smother it in. I think the reason I keep on ordering it when I’m out, is that I haven’t been able to master the tahini dressing on my own at home. The steamed veggies? Easy. Putting together the plate isn’t hard, I just never knew how to make the dressing. WELL. That is in the past, friends, because today I did it. I created my very own, original and totally authentic, tahini dressing.

First I put together my veggies, beans and grain: 1/4 of a steamed acorn squash,  3/4 cup of chickpeas, two huge handfuls of steamed kale and about a cup of cooked brown rice. I then drizzled the dressing (recipe below) all over it, and voila — a home made macro plate!

What You Need:

  • 3/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 tbsp white miso*
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/2 cup water

What You Do:

Place everything into a food processor and blend until well combined (about 10 seconds.)  The above made about 3-4 servings, so I stored it in an old small glass jar and popped it in the fridge for later (see: tomorrow) use.

*This was my first time ever cooking with miso paste. It took me a while to find it — I kept looking in the Asian aisles at my local grocery stores. WRONG! It’s kept in the refrigerated section, and this time, I found it at Whole Foods. I’m sure you could find it at any asian grocery store too.

Mom’s 16 Bean Soup

I can’t take credit for this one. It’s 100% my ole’ Mom’s creation. She made it last week when I was home, and I ate it for (no joke) three meals in a row. It’s completely vegan, but you wouldn’t know it. It tastes like there are gobs of butter and oil in it. Really rich and hearty and (per usual) VERY easy to whip up.

What You Need:

One bag of Goya 16 Bean Mix (not entirely sure where to find this in NY/the States. I stocked up while I was home. I know Whole Foods sells something similar in the bulk section, but for reference, the bag looks like this.) Soak the beans overnight.

2 large carrots diced

3 stalks of celery diced

1 medium yellow onion diced

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cubed and soaked in bowl of water

8 cups veg (or chicken) bouillon plus 1 cup on reserve

Olive Oil

1 tbsp oregano

Two cloves garlic minced or grated

What You Do:

In a large pot, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and sautee the onions, carrots, celery and garlic until soft. Add oregano.

Add the beans (already soaked overnight), into the pot as well as the 8 cups of bouillon. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour. After the hour, add the sweet potato pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste, re-cover and continue simmering for an additional hour. At this point, make sure the sweet potatoes are cooked (easy to pierce with a fork), and you’re done!

Savory Breakfast Oats

Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m addicted to oatmeal. I’ve addressed this before on this here blog, but like, guys – I don’t know what my morning, no, DAY would be like without them. They’ve had a consistent presence in my life for the past 26 years. If that isn’t dedication, I just don’t know what is.

While I enjoy them in many forms (overnight, peanut butter, bananas, etc) I’ve never really understood the whole savory oats thing. Salt? In OATMEAL? Gasp. So, as you can imagine, I surprised myself by falling really, deeply, truly in love with this rendition of savory oats, inspired by an article in this month’s Women’s Health Magazine (trust me, I didn’t concoct this one entirely on my own. Oats are meant to be SWEET, people!) Blame it on the sunny side up eggs and swiss cheese combo, but my taste buds aren’t lying — this recipe is a keeper. Best part is it takes five (yes, five) minutes to make and requires only a handful of ingredients — spinach, oats, eggs, slice of cheese, salt and pepper – most of which you probably already have! Perfect for a weekend brunch or in my case, a Tuesday night dinner.

What You Need:

1/2 cup rolled, old fashioned oats

1 cup of water

dash of salt for water

2 eggs

handful of chopped baby spinach

slice of swiss cheese

salt and pepper to taste

What You Do:

Bring the water to a boil, add the dash of salt, and pour in the oats. Lower the heat to medium, and let cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the oats are cooking, spray a pan with cooking spray and make your sunny side up eggs! Once the oats are done, stir in the spinach, swiss cheese, top with the two eggs and season with salt and pepper. DONE!

 

Grilled Vegetable Panini

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A few months ago, I got a package in the mail from my grandma. In it? A panini maker. What I would MAKE with this panini maker was a total mystery to me. Had I ever told her I even liked paninis? I couldn’t even remember the last time I HAD a panini. Well, a few months later (and a bunch of sandwiches later) I can confidently say I LOVE MY PANINI MAKER. 

This one was pretty simple – roasted vegetables, avocado, pesto, bread.

I used mushrooms, red pepper, asparagus, sliced them up and roasted them in the oven with salt, pepper and olive oil. Put the sandwich together with slices of avocado, spread of pesto, put it on the panini maker for about 5 minutes, and voila. The best part about the panini maker is that it flattens the sandwich keeping it neat (you know what I’m talking about — no veggies spilling out from the backend every time you take a bite). Thanks Grams! You (apparently) know me better than I know myself.

Homemade Dumplings

So – why bother making your own dumplings? I  mean, you can order them in, or even buy them frozen — so much easier than taking the time to make them, right? WRONG! Only recently did I realize that a little extra time in the kitchen is. so. worth. it. Enter my new snazzy steamer and with it: HOMEMADE DUMPLINGS!

I googled a few recipes, and found one that looked easy. A few tweaks here and there (remove the egg, add a few more spices) voila — delicious, fresh dumplings! I didn’t realize how great these were until a few weeks later when we picked up frozen dumplings at TJ’s and made them. Bleh. Mushy inside and tasted, well…pre frozen.

Preface: Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients below. The truth is dumplings require just a few things: steamer and boiling water, wonton wrappers and filler. You can improvise with the below and add things (mushrooms, spinach) or remove things and they’re sure to still taste great. I would recommend the sauces listed below, though, and then get creative with the different veggies you add in.

Also — this recipe makes a lot of dumplings! But don’t worry…they’re so e tiny that you’ll probably eat all of them in one sitting…(or was that just me?)

What You Need:

  • 1/2 pound firm tofu (drained and cut into small cubes, or even crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
  • 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
  • few dashes of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Bowl of water, plus additional water for steamer
  • 35 to 40 small wonton wrappers
  • Non-stick vegetable spray, for the steamer

What You Do:

Combine all of the ingredients listed above (up to the black pepper) in a mixing bowl. Gently mix to cover everything well.

Fill a large pot with 1/2 an inch of water and bring to a boil. Place the steamer on top.

While the water is boiling, prepare your dumplings. Brush the edges of each wonton wrapper with water (I used my finger), then place about a tablespoon’s worth of the filling into the middle of the wrapper. Shape the dumpling as you’d like, pressing the edges together so that the dumpling is completely closed on all sides.

Once the water is boiling, spray the steamer with the non stick spray and place as many dumplings as will fit (without them overlapping each other). Cover, and let steam for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the steamer, place in a warm oven (200 degrees is fine), and steam the next round of dumplings.

That’s it! So easy.

Enjoy!