Yesterday was the last day of VeganMoFo 2014! This past “mofo” was definitely one of my more successful ones over the past few years. I don’t know how other bloggers with kids are able to keep up with their blogs. Its not easy for me. Maybe now that my son is older and starting preschool any day now is what helped me have more time to blog this past month. Lets hope to keeping it easier for me to blog because I’ve really grown to love it again.
Today I’m going to tell you about a super simple Lentil Salad I made over the weekend. No cooking involved at all! Thanks to the help of packaged precooked lentils!
When we have family functions..etc..to attend I have to pack food. For me, for my kids and usually for my husband. Him being vegetarian means there is usually something for him to eat. My kids are also vegetarian but are picky children so if we are going to be out all day I pack snacks and sandwiches for them. Me..well as you know I’m vegan. There isn’t going to be much if at all anything for me to eat.
I usually just go the route of making some type of wrap for my husband and I. Its easy, it’s small, I’m not pulling out a full cooked for me at a restaurant or a someones house and they fit in my cooler backpack. Yes, a cooler backpack. A cooler you wear on your back! Its the best thing I’ve purchased for us in years because it can also hold all of my personal belongings and it just looks like a backpack. I’m in love.
Wanting something different then a hummus wrap or a seitan wrap, but still an easy to eat wrap, I grabbed a package of precooked lentil that I purchased at Trader Joe’s. I kept it real simple. The lemon and basil combination was just perfect with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper. Throw in some finely diced onions and quartered cherry tomatoes and you are good to go. This took me less then 10 minutes to prep and as it sat in my cooler the flavors developed even more making it taste amazing when I finally ate it hours later. I tucked some spinach leaves in the wrap for more healthy goodness. When I make this again to eat at home I would want to just eat is as is or add a big scoop of it on top of some raw greens for a nice salad. Either way is great.
Lentil Salad with Lemon and Basil
Using pre-packaged already cooked Lentils is a huge time saver in this recipe. Feel free to cook your own though! You might have to adjust the seasoning on it though since the Trader Joes's lentils are slightly seasoned.
- 1 package Trader Joe's cooked lentils (equals just over 1 pound if cooking yourself)
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced basil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Real easy!
- Combine all ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Eat as is. Use is a wrap with some spinach or enjoy a big scoop of the salad on top of raw greens.
good good things http://good-good-things.com/
I don’t often get that many chances to eat at the Cinnamon Snail. They mostly spend their days in NYC. For us in NJ they are at the Red Bank Farmers Market on Sundays which we won’t go to in the summer because the traffic home is an absolute nightmare! On Thursdays they are in Jersey City at the Grove Street Farmers Market. We are close to J.C., my sister lives down the street from the market, but it’s still rare that I can go.
I usually try to go when my sister is teaching a craft class at her friends shop called Kanibal Home. The keyword in that sentence is “try”. Even when I’m in town on the right night I usually still miss it because parking takes forever, the lines are crazy long and then I’ll miss the class I’m taking. Last night though everything went perfectly! We found 2 parking spots right away. (One picking up my sis and one in front of our friends shop). Since we were early from not circling for 1 hour looking for parking I left everyone at the store and speed walked to the market. The market wasn’t there but the Cinnamon Snail still showed up! Thank goodness because I was starving!
The line also wasn’t as long as other lines I’ve encountered there. I’ve waited 30 minutes to order and just as long or longer to get my food. Its worth it though!
For dinner I chose an old favorite of mine the Lemongrass 5-Spice Seitan. It has curried cashews and wasabi mayo among other things. Its incredible!
I really wanted to pick up some donuts, especially a creme brule donut, but by the time I got there all the donuts I wanted were sold out. Most of the pastry case was empty. It was quite a sad sight. I decided to try 3 new pastries that I haven’t ordered from them before.
First up for the pastries was a berry and cheese danish. I had it as a late night snack when I came home from the class with ink stained hands. It was really good! I never was a fan of Danishes in my pre-vegan day’s. I love them now though!
Breakfast today was a Pear Turnover with Lavender. This was even better then the danish above. I was wondering what they did to get the lavender flavor that was so prominent, in a good way, so I opened the danish up and saw actual lavender flowers mixed in with the pear filling. I’ll definitely be buying this again.
The one pastry I haven’t eaten yet is a Chocolate Raspberry Danish. I’m sure it’s just as great as the other pastries I’ve eaten in the last 12 hours. :) I might even share it with my husband tonight after the kids are in bed.
For anyone visiting NYC or NJ if you have a chance to eat from The Cinnamon Snail please do. You will not regret it. They are amazing! You also need to visit my friends Kristen’s shop in JC called Kanibal Home. She stocks it with amazing refurbished vintage furniture, clothes and curiosities among other things.
My dream of making a perfect homemade Pad See Ew is getting closer and closer! After finding Pad See Ew noodles for sale at Whole Foods I’ve had 2 goes at it so far. The first attempt was ok. Didn’t remind me of what I get at the many local Thai places near us. Plus the noodles overcooked even though I followed package directions. boo. The second try was much more successful! I cooked the noodles for a much shorter time and changed the sweetener in my sauce ingredients.
The problem with making Pad See Ew at home, besides finding Pad See Ew Noodles, is finding the dark sweet soy sauce they use. So I’m trying to fake it so the home cook can make it too.
I can’t wait for take 3 of the Pad See Ew to happen the next time I pick up a few packs of the noodles!
We are big pasta eaters. I would like to eat less but with the kids and all their activities sometimes it’s the easy way out when I haven’t preplanned our weekly menu or we don’t get home from Musical Theater class until 7:30 at night. (They are teaching my daughter songs from the movie Hairspray…I’m so excited!)
The quickest pasta recipe I have is for Aglio E Olio which is Garlic and Oil. I alway’s have these ingredients on hand. If I don’t then I deem it impossible to make anything for dinner and we get Thai take out that night. I use garlic, oil and red pepper flakes in almost everything I make.
What was fun when making my lastest Aglio E Olio dinner is that I used Elephant Garlic. Have you ever seen the cloves of Elephant Garlic? They are humungous! The clove pictured above would easily equal 6 regular sized garlic cloves. I had to quarter the clove before thinly slicing it. I used another clove last night for a different dinner and could actually small dice it like an onion! Crazy!
I hope you enjoy my recipe!
Spaghetti Aglio E Olio
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- lemon zest (optional)
- Cook spaghetti according to the directions on the package.
- Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic. Stir semi-constantly making sure not to burn the garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the red pepper flakes.
- Lower the heat to a lowest flame and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and slightly browned.
- Add the cooked pasta to the saute pan and combine with the oil and garlic.
- Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving dish and zest a lemon over the top.
- Serve immediately!
- I sometimes like to sprinkle some Nutritional Yeast on top to give the dish a cheesy element. My kids always add the Nooch to theirs!
good good things http://good-good-things.com/
I love Falafel and I love Curly Fries. Did I love this version of the two? EHH. It filled the void and I’d eat it again if I was at the same restaurant since there weren’t many options for me. Homemade is always better!
Homemade Pad See Ew. This was the reverse of above. It was good…kinda EHH. Its much better to just order this at a restaurant. I’m not giving up though and will figure out a perfect homemade version of my favorite Thai dish. Especially since I can get pad see ew noodles at Whole Foods now.
My take on Cashew Chicken that you can order at Chinese Restaurants. I loved how this came out. I’m still missing my recipe notebook. EEP! It’s terrible not being able to find it. I have so many recipes in there that I want to share and some that need to be worked on. Hopefully it will show up soon. I have a sneaky suspicion it’s in my daughters bedroom!