Lazy Sunday I: Iron-Rich Recipes You Should Totally Make

LVV MoFo 2014 main

In my exploration of iron-rich foods this week, I’ve come to two conclusions: 1.) Iron is freaking everywhere, and 2.) Blackstrap molasses is a rock star. I honestly could’ve spent the entire week sharing molasses-based recipes, and I had to exercise some restraint to prevent myself from doing so. Rest assured that it’ll show up again this week, because guess what? Not only is blackstrap molasses loaded with iron, but it’s also full of calcium. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Today, let’s check out a few recipes that will help you reach your daily iron needs.

Not a bad selection, eh? I just love the variety of foods that are iron-rich. You could basically have an entire day’s worth of meals just from this list!

Now I’m off to make some spinach-mushroom mini quiches, shower, and prepare for a wine-tasting fundraiser tonight. Ooh, so fancy. :P

What are your favorite iron-rich recipes?

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Friday Favorite: Creamy Avocado Pasta

White MoFo fist logo on an orange background with the text "Friday Favorite: Creamy Avocado Pasta."

White MoFo fist logo on an orange background with the text "Vegan Staples: Noodles!"

This post is a twofer – it’s a Friday Favorite (one of my favorite recipes) and a Vegan Staple (an example of how to spice up a fallback vegan food item). This recipe is doing double duty!

S and I share a document on Google Docs (‘scuse me, Google Drive) titled “Yummy Things We’ve Cooked.” Its contents are exactly what you’d imagine – a list of dishes we’ve prepared, eaten, and enjoyed. It’s our go-to source when we’re strained, stressed, or just plain stumped at dinnertime. The dishes in the document range from complex (see: vegan pho) to ridiculously easy (see: colcannon). On the “ridiculously easy” end of the spectrum is one of our top choices for a quick, simple, and satisfying meal – the 15-Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta from the wonderful Angela at Oh She Glows. (Or, as S titled this dish in our document, “Creamy noodles of some kind… what was it?”)

The concept is simple – you just blend a ripe avocado with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, basil, and salt and toss the resulting sauce with your favorite noodles. Avocado blends like a dream, creating a luscious sauce that perfectly clings to your noodles. The result is a creamy, rich, and incredibly satisfying dish.

Top-down view of a small white plate with a pile of white noodles coated in a creamy, light green sauce. The noodles are topped with black pepper and a single whole basil leaf.

Noodly perfection.

The beauty of this dish is that it’s incredibly versatile – don’t like lots of garlic? Use a single clove! Don’t have fresh basil? Omit it! And you can use any type of  noodles – on this occasion, S picked up some locally made black olive and garlic fettuccini, which lent the dish a little extra flavor. Spaghetti or even soba noodles are fine choices, too.

Although we usually eat this dish alone – it’s deceptively filling! – it’d be fantastic with a slice of fresh crusty bread or a simple side salad. If you’re looking for a low-effort, high-rewards dish to add to your meal rotation, try this one – you can thank me later.

What’s your quick weeknight meal of choice? Which OhSheGlows recipes are your favorites?

Christmas: Savory Edition

After S and I spent five glorious days tooling around Maryland and eating delicious foodz, I took a super-cheap, super-fast Southwest flight up to Rhode Island to spend Christmas proper with my family. I had three pre-Christmas days to spend with my family and friends, and I spent a healthy amount of that time helping to plan Christmas dinner (and dessert, duh). I’m always grateful that my parents usually host holidays at their house, because it means that we can limit the amount of meat that’s served. Of course, this doesn’t always work out as expected – last year, due to some miscommunications and mis…understandings… we only had one vegan main dish instead of the smorgasbord of vegan delights I’d imagined. Live and learn.

This year, our vegan options were plentiful. In fact, except for a giant pot o’ meat my grandmother brought, all of our main dinner was vegan. Hellz yeah. Mom decided to serve a casual three-course dinner – we served the salad and soup courses while the family was socializing, so they could eat and chat wherever they were most comfortable. We then all sat down at the table[s] for the main course. I liked this approach – it was comfortable and casual, yet structured. And it allowed the fish-eaters to munch sushi as a sort of pre-salad first course without the vegheads in the mix feeling left out; we were busy preparing the salad and soup bowls.

Anyway, enough backstory – to the food!

The kale domination continues!

Instead of serving a regular ol’ lettuce-based salad, Mum decided we should serve kale salad. I was a little dubious – I didn’t want our omni guests to roll their eyes and comment on “that weird stuff vegans eat,” but I wasn’t giving the kale (and Mom!) enough credit. Mom bought a package of baby kale, something I’d never seen before, and I made a simple salad – kale, carrots, and tomatoes tossed in a double batch of Angela’s amazing Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing. So good! And everyone seemed to enjoy it. My uncle was particularly vocal about it, praising the kale’s crisp crunchiness. Success!

Butternut love.

Next, we served a Spiced Squash Bisque, made by mi madre. As you can see, it was still a little chunky, and not pureed into a true bisque. She used a hot curry powder instead of the milder recommended spices, rendering our soup a bit spicy and very tasty. While I enjoyed the gentle kick of heat, I know Grammy wasn’t so fond of it!

Ze main meal.

Mum also prepared most of our main meal. She put together a really tasty Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Saute, along with a scrumptious Wild Rice Pilaf with Butternut Squash and Dried Cranberries. The pilaf had a bit of curry in it, making it a great companion piece to the soup. Both of these dishes were delicious, and we almost didn’t need the meat analogue Mom had picked up for the vegetarians among us – Gardein Savory Stuffed Turk’y.

A plate of yum.

I’d never tried this particular Gardein variety, but I had high hopes – I’m a big fan of Gardein; their products are great in a time crunch. The turk’y was no exception. Each piece was small, but filling, and stuffed with a yummy cranberry-based stuffing. I was glad I shared my piece with my brother, because I was already so full from the soup and salad courses that I could barely finish my plate o’ real food! But finish it I did, and of course I also left room for dessert. More about that in another post. ;)

How was your holiday? Did you enjoy a mostly-vegan meal?