Easy Greens and Grains Bowl

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

This is a bit of a cheat post. I haven’t really got a new recipe for you, just a template for making a filling, healthy greens ‘n grains bowl. Mine featured steamed kale from the garden (hoorah for cold-weather produce!), lots of quinoa, five-spice toasted tamari almonds, and a miso-maple sauce to pull everything together.

Greens & Grains Bowl // govegga.com

This pretty, colorful bowl was delicious, and it took me 50 minutes to eat because I’m the world’s slowest chomper. (I know it was 50 minutes because I watched an entire episode of The Fall while eating dinner. Normally I’m not a fan of eating in front of the screen (iPad, in my case), but Steven’s out of town and hey, you gotta live it up when you’ve got the house to yourself.)

I don’t eat bowls like this often enough. I do love simple meals, like a giant plate of roasted veggies and baked tofu, but bowls haven’t made it onto my dinner rotation — and that’s a shame. They’re endlessly versatile and eminently healthful, and I’d love to hear your favorite combinations. This template provides the perfect balance of greens, grains, and a crunchy topping.

Greens & Grains Bowl Template

Serves 1; easily doubled

  • Large handful hearty greens, like kale or chard
  • ~1/2 cup uncooked grains, like quinoa, bulgur wheat, or millet
  • 1/3 cup your favorite sauce, like maple-miso
  • 1/3 cup toasted nuts, like tamari almonds

Method

Start cooking grains according to package (or internet!) instructions. While they cook, make toasted nuts according to the recipe you’re using.

Wash and tear the greens into bite-sized pieces. When your grains are about 10 minutes away from being cooked, put a pot of water on to boil. Steam greens for about 5 minutes or until desired level of tenderness. Whisk together the sauce while the greens are steaming.

To serve, layer the greens at the bottom of a large bowl and scoop in the grains. Pour on sauce, top with nuts, and enjoy.

PIN IT

Greens & Grains Bowl // govegga.com

Hearty, Protein-Rich Veggie Stew

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

A coworker recently asked for suggestions of bulk lunch ideas — things she could make and freeze and have ready. I’ll admit I was stumped for a minute. What do I even eat for lunch!?  Sure, I have a few sandwich recipes, but my typical workday lunches are much simpler, usually a cobbled-together assortment of snacks or leftovers. But then my brain jump-started itself and I realized that most of my lunches are exactly what she was looking for: recipes made in bulk(ish), often for dinner, then saved and eaten as leftovers for lunch. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Hearty, protein-rich vegan veggie stew // govegga.com

Take, for example, this hearty veggie stew (that just happens to be bright red — perfect for rainbow week). I grabbed a few fridge and pantry items and combined them to make a super-filling, protein-rich stew that keeps you surprisingly satiated, thanks in part to bulgur wheat and TVP. It’s a versatile recipe you can adjust based on what’s in the house, though I highly recommend adding the whole cherry tomatoes if you have them — they add a beautiful pop of acidic flavor. (My tomato plants soldiered on well into this unusually warm fall, and I’ve still got some sitting on my counter!) It’s a disarmingly simple stew, but the addition of sharp paprika gives it a nice little kick.

This is one of those simple meals that I tend to overlook when planning dinner (and its resultant leftover lunches).  After all, it’s “just” a vegetable stew. But it’s also incredibly nutritious and immensely flavorful. Just the ticket as we move in to the winter and start craving warmth.

Hearty Veggie Stew

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced roughly
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Half a cabbage, sliced into ribbons about 2″ long
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, sliced or chopped into chunks (optional)
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into half-moon rounds
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup TVP
  • 1/2 cup bulgur wheat (or additional TVP)
  • 1 cup veg broth (I use Better Than Bouillon Reduced-Sodium Vegetable Base)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (depending on the saltiness of your veg broth)

Method

Heat oil in a large stock pot over low-medium heat, then add the garlic. Sauté for a minute but do not let burn. Add the spices and stir to coat the garlic, then add the cabbage and carrots. Turn the heat up to medium and sauté for another 5 minutes before adding the crushed tomatoes and white beans. Cook for another 3 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Simmer the stew for at least 15 minutes, but ideally longer, until all ingredients are soft. Salt and pepper to taste, then eat.

Notes

  • Feel free to sub other veggies for the carrots and cabbage — this is just what I had on hand. You could also add some leafy greens at the end if you’d like.
  • For a spicier stew, add a dash of cayenne pepper.
  • To stretch this recipe and bulk it up even further, add 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked small pasta to the finished stew. Ditalini works great!

PIN IT

Hearty, protein-rich vegan veggie stew // govegga.com

A Frittata for Friends

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

Quick post on this Wednesday morning! Our magazine goes to press today, so the team is bringing in snacks to tide us over as we work to finalize photo credits, tweak titles, and double-triple-quadruple-check literally everything.

Vegan frittata

I opted for a hearty breakfast item, since I know we’ll have a table chock-full of chips, chocolate, and lots of snack-y things. Enter this bright-yellow frittata! I followed this recipe; it’s your standard tofu frittata with the addition of roasted potatoes and onions. (Side note: I burnt some of those onions and, who knew, but crispy, slightly burnt onions are kinda delicious!)

What’s your go-to breakfast for a crowd?

Sweet Potato Pie in a Pecan-Date Crust (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

A few years back, the phrase “sweet potato pie” would’ve made me pull a face and retch theatrically. I became a sweet potato fan in my early to mid twenties, after side-eying them dubiously for much of my life. (That ol’ sweet-when-it-should-be-savory distaste again.) But after going vegan and encouraging myself to try foods I thought I didn’t care for, I found that with the proper preparation, even previously off-limits ingredients like squash and sweet potatoes could be quite enjoyable.

So today I’m bringing a beautiful toasty orange color into rainbow week with a creamy sweet potato pie ensconced in a nutty pecan crust. Sweetened by dates and maple syrup, this pie elevates the humble sweet potato to Thanksgiving dessert status. If time isn’t on your side or you’ve got someone with a nut allergy at the table, feel free to substitute your favorite regular ol’ pie crust. (And pardon my cake tin in the photos below — I don’t have a “real” pie pan!)

Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Pie with a Pecan-Date Crust // govegga.com

This pie comes together surprisingly easily after you’ve measured out the ingredients and pitted the dates. You actually won’t need any mixing bowls: the crust ingredients are whizzed up in the food processor, while the pie filling gets combined right in your blender. The hardest part is probably waiting for it to cool! But make sure you do; you want it to solidify so it cuts well and doesn’t melt onto your plate.

Bonus: Assuming your oats and cornstarch are certified gluten-free, you’re on your way towards making a beautiful vegan, gluten-free sweet potato pie sure to please everyone.

Serve with your favorite vegan whipped cream (coconut, aquafaba, Soyatoo) for a decadent treat. <3

Sweet Potato Pie in a Pecan-Date Crust

For the crust
  • 1 cup pitted medjool dates (about 16 dates)
  • 2/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 T coconut oil (solid)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the pie
  • 2 cups sweet potato, baked and mashed (measure after baking)
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp ginger (depending on how much of a kick you like)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Dash cloves

Method

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

First, make the crust. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until crumbly. The mixture should hold together if you scoop it into a ball and press it between your hands. Prepare a pie pan by spraying liberally with oil, then use your hands to press the crust into the pan, pushing it up the sides by 1/2″ to 3/4″.

Next, prepare the filling by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender. (A regular one will likely work, but I’d recommend soaking the dates first.) Pour into the crust and use a spatula to spread evenly, then bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is set. Chill for at least three hours before serving.

Notes

  • If maple syrup breaks the budget, feel free to substitute agave nectar instead. Brown sugar would also likely work, though I haven’t tried it.
  • I recommend baking the potatoes a day in advance to save time. Just put them in the oven alongside anything else you’re cooking, then on the day you make the pie, they’ll be cool and easy to pop out of the skins.
  • I got the idea to use aquafaba from another blogger who made a pumpkin pie using it, but I can’t recall who it is. Thanks for the tip!

PIN IT

Gluten-Free Vegan Sweet Potato Pie with a Pecan-Date Crust // govegga.com

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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Week Three: Rainbow Week

Welcome to rainbow week, where the focus is on colorful foods that span the spectrum! Though today’s recipe would be equally at home during international week: tender roasted poblano peppers stuffed with a Thai curry-inspired quinoa filling. But once I assembled these little beauties and saw how vibrant and colorful they were, I knew they’d fit perfectly during Rainbow Week. Just look at them, pre-oven:

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Gorgeous, no? And not so difficult to make, either. You’ll cook up some quinoa in a mix of water and coconut milk, adding more coconut milk towards the end to keep the filling nice and creamy — and to help it stay together. Think of it as more of a risotto than your traditional light and fluffy quinoa preparation. Mix in some sauteed ginger, garlic, and jewel-bright orange peppers, stuff everything into halved poblanos, and roast to perfection.

In the meantime, you’ll whip up a dead-easy sauce with just three ingredients: coconut milk, peanut buttery, and Thai curry paste (plus salt if you’d like). Drizzle it on just before serving and call it a day.

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Peanut-Coconut Sauce

Serves 2-3 as a main

For the peppers
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1 C + 1/2 C coconut milk, separated
  • 1 T Thai red curry paste (more if you like extra heat)
  • 1/2 T coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T ginger, grated
  • 1 orange or red pepper, diced
  • 4 poblano peppers
For the sauce
  • Scant 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 T Thai red curry paste
  • Dash salt (to taste)

First, start preparing the quinoa. Add the quinoa, water, 1 cup coconut milk, and Thai curry paste to a medium saucepot and heat on medium-high. Stir to incorporate the paste. Heat until boiling, cover, then turn down to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes or until all liquid is soaked in, stirring occasionally.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the coconut oil in a small pan on low and add the garlic. Sauté for a minute, watching closely so it doesn’t burn, then add the ginger. Stir to combine and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the diced pepper and turn the heat up to medium-low. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pepper is soft. Turn off stove and remove from heat.

When all the liquid is soaked in to the quinoa, remove cover, turn heat to low, and stir in the extra 1/2 cup coconut milk, adding a few tablespoons at a time and stirring when you add it, until just absorbed. Turn off heat.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚F, grab a 9″ x 9″ baking pan,  and prepare the poblanos for stuffing. Slice them in half, shake out seeds, and remove any pith.

To stuff the peppers, it’s easiest to squeeze them in one hand while using your other hand to spoon in the filling. Press down with the spoon to spread it throughout the pepper. Fill just to the top. (Reserve any extra quinoa for spooning over the cooked poblanos later.)

Place stuffed poblanos in a baking dish (see photo), cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.

While baking, make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small bowl, salting to taste, and set aside.

When the peppers are tender, remove from the oven and let sit for a minute or two. Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Notes
  • For a less spicy version, use four green bell peppers instead. Slice the tops off, remove seeds and pith, and stuff.
  • Feel free to add additional veggies to the quinoa mixture; just be sure to chop them small.

PIN IT!

Vegan Thai Curry Stuffed Poblano Peppers // govegga.com

Italian Pepper Biscuits

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Week Two: International Week

According to the 2000 census, little old Rhode Island is the US state with the largest population of Italian-Americans (measured by percentage, not raw numbers): fully 19% of Rhode Islanders have Italian ancestry. Although I am 0% Italian on either side, I benefited from my Italian neighbors in a big way: the food. Yeah, yeah, sounds cliche and reductive, but it’s true; RI is chock-full of Italian bakeries and restaurants. From zeppoles on St. Joseph’s Day to iced anise cookies on Easter, even my decidedly non-Italian family enjoys — and bakes — Italian treats on the regular.

For the last day of international week, I’m departing from my British Isles theme and sharing a simple Italian treat: pepper biscuits, or biscotti di pepe. These savory treats pack a little kick thanks to black pepper, and they’re a lovely snack alongside a glass of wine or with your antipasto platter. Funnily, I can’t recall a single exact instance of eating these guys, but they’re familiar to me nonetheless; I think they’re sort of ubiquitous at Italian bakeries and on biscuit trays. And they’re naturally vegan (except for a pesky occasional egg wash).

Italian pepper biscuits

For my biscuits, I used the recipe here, because why reinvent the wheel with a time-honored classic? I did have a spectacular fail when adding the liquid to the flour mixture: I followed the ingredients, which had me mix everything on the countertop rather than in a bowl, but I didn’t make a large enough well for the yeast/water mixture and it went spilling all over the place. I also did not find this to be a particular stiff dough as the recipe suggests; in fact, it was remarkably wet and pliant. I added a little extra flour to compensate, but I’m not sure what happened there — I think it calls for too much oil. I also forgot to give them a second rise. So really, I massacred this recipe. But they still came out nice and peppery, with a soft chew and a lovely crumb.

Next time, I think I’d add fennel seeds for a little more complex flavor; many other recipes call for them. I might also try a non-yeasted recipe — they were breadier than I remember, without much crunch. And next time, I think I’ll make them alongside a batch of Italian wine biscuits, a slightly sweet, lightly purple hued biscuit that’s a joy to eat.

Easy Vegan Lunch: Spicy Noodle Bowl

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Week Two: International Week

Happy Saturday, friends. We’ve got houseguests this weekend, and I’m still not really in the mood for complicated cooking, so today I made a super-simple lunch that hit the spot: spicy noodles. I followed this recipe for the sauce, though I used sambal oelek instead of chili powder and served it with wheat noodles and sauteed peppers. Fiery, filling deliciousness. Next time I’ll reduce the sugar, but otherwise it was the perfect easy weekend lunch.

Quick noodle-y lunch.

A post shared by Kelly (@kelmishka) on

What’s your go-to lunch or meal when you don’t feel like cooking?

Chai Hot Toddy

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Week Two: International Week

It’s Friday, and I’m still bummed (understatement of the month) about the election. Given that last Friday I featured an alcoholic drink, I decided that I’d do the same thing this Friday. New MoFo tradition! And a way to salve my aching soul! So today I bring you a vegan chai hot toddy: the perfect beverage to sip on a cold night as you wonder what the hell went wrong and/or make plans to enact your vagenda of manocide.

How does this relate to international week, you ask? According to my sources (read: things I found on the internet), the hot toddy is a drink of British extraction by way of India. (Apparently there is an actual “toddy” palm tree, and the sap featured in the earliest of these drinks.) Today’s hot toddy differs quite a bit from its earliest form, and not just because we omit the toddy palm sap these days: the original British toddy was not hot at all, and was in fact served cold.

Vegan chai hot toddy // govegga.com

I think we can all agree that chilly November nights call for something warm, however, and you’d better believe that my hot toddy is gonna be piping hot. I typically make them with black tea, but today I decided to make it with chai as a nod to the toddy’s Indian heritage, and the warming spices are a perfect addition. I used a pre-made chai blend — this Bhakti Fiery Masala Chai is my current favorite. If you prefer a DIY version, try this chai masala blend. Feel free to adjust the sweetener to taste; depending on how fiery your chai is, you might want a little more agave.

Chai Hot Toddy

Serves 1

  • 8 oz hot water
  • 1 serving chai (tea bag or loose-leaf blend)
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • Dash vanilla extract (about 1/8 tsp; optional)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 oz. blended whiskey (don’t use your fancy single-malt here!)

Method

Pour the hot water over the tea bag and stir in the agave nectar and vanilla extract, if using. Steep to your preferred strength, then add remaining ingredients, stir, and enjoy.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

Haggis Goes Vegan

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Week Two: International Week

If this post is brief, please forgive me. I’m heartsick about the election results here in the USA. Yesterday’s post was pre-scheduled, but I’m writing this on Wednesday night and still feeling pretty raw.

On Tuesday night — election night, before the results came in — I made the final stop on my British Isles food tour. Of course it had to be from Scotland, the only country I hadn’t yet covered. And of course it had to be haggis.

Vegan Haggis // govegga.com // recipe from Maple Spice

I’ve never had “real” haggis, but during our trip to Scotland a few years ago, Steven and I loved the veggie haggis at the Baked Potato Shop in Edinburgh. I recreated that meal tonight by loading up a baked potato with Maple Spice’s fantastic vegan haggis recipe, which came together surprisingly quickly and with little fuss. Topped with an easy vegan gravy, it was toothsome, wonderfully spiced, and a great meal to fill me up before I became too nauseated to eat anything else for the rest of the night and much of today.

Some tweaks:

  • I used steel-cut oats instead of pinhead oats, but it looks like they might be the same thing.
  • I soaked my steel-cut oats a bit before adding them, but I would soak them for longer in the future. Their texture was a little too crunchy.
  • Lacking veg suet, I added some shortening. Not the same thing, but the fat helped all the ingredients come together.

What’s your take on vegan haggis? Ever tried it?

Welsh Cakes — Vegan Welsh Griddle Cakes

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Week Two: International Week

After featuring an Irish recipe on Monday and an English recipe on Tuesday, I figured it was incumbent upon me to hit all the nations of the British Isles. Today we go to Wales for a disarmingly simple treat: Welsh cakes. Traditionally baked on a cast-iron griddle over a fire, these subtly sweet biscuits typically feature currants. Given my lack of an open flame (well, other than my living room fireplace!) and dislike for raisins, I opted for dried apricot-filled cakes baked on the stove in a cast-iron pan. Close enough? Close enough.

Vegan Traditional Welsh Cakes // govegga.com

Many traditional recipes also use a smidge of mixed spice, a spice blend not too common in the United States. Since the amount of spice in these recipes is so small (1/4 – 1/2 tsp), I opted instead to use a dash of a few spices. If you’re the type of person who panics when you see “a dash” or “a pinch” in a recipe, use a 1/8 teaspoon and fill it about halfway. If you don’t have all of these spices, again, no worries. Just use what you’ve got.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to Wales — it’s my last UK nation to visit, and trust me, it’s on my list! (Hello, have you seen how beautiful this country is?!) I’ll have to find some vegan Welsh cakes once I get there. In the meantime, here’s how to make vegan Welsh cakes at home.

Vegan Welsh Cakes

Makes 14-16 cakes

  • 1 2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (measured loosely)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Scant 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch each of ground ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and mace
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3 T vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I used dried apricots, chopped small)
  • 1 Ener-G egg made according to package instructions, then whisked  with scant 1/4 C almond milk

Method

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your clean fingers, rub in the vegan butter and shortening to make a crumbly mixture.

Next, stir in the sugar and dried fruit, then add the egg and milk mixture. Combine to form a stiff dough, kneading with your hands if necessary. Tip onto a clean, floured surface and roll until about 1/4″ thick. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut out cakes that are about 3″ across.

Preheat a cast-iron pan on medium-low and add a small pat of butter. When melted, add 5-7 cakes (depending on the size of your pan) and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes, until golden-brown. Flip and cook for the same amount of time on the other side. Make sure that your cast-iron pan doesn’t get too hot and be sure to adjust the temperature between batches. If the cakes cook too fast on the outside, the middle will still be doughy.

Best eaten piping hot off the pan, with butter and a little sugar drizzled on top.

Notes

  • I opted for a commercial egg replacer (Ener-G) in this recipe because it seemed like a flax egg would be too obtrusive. Feel free to give it a try, though!
  • I used a vegan butter and shortening blend because some Welsh cake recipes require both butter and lard, and I wanted to provide a few different types of fat. (I like Spectrum Naturals shortening.) You can use vegan butter only, if you’d like.
  • Don’t let my personal issue with raisins/currents prevent you from trying the more traditional dried fruit!

PIN IT

Vegan Traditional Welsh Cakes // govegga.com

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through my link, it costs nothing extra for you, but I get a few pennies. I’m not looking to make a fortune, just to cover hosting costs. :)

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