My post yesterday reminded of this one day, a weekday no less, that I went crazy and made 3 side sides for our weekly Rice and Beans meal. I’m not sure what got into me that day. It took crazy long and made a complete mess but it was worth it. Here is what I made:
Rice and Beans with hidden zucchini and carrots.
Sauteed Kale with Apricots and Almonds, this was amazing!
Sweet Potato Fries.
Sauteed Mushrooms and Kale
Now that I’m feeding a family of four I’ve realized how important side dishes are. It used to be that a pound of pasta would be enough for us. That’s not the case anymore. Reno and Miles can easily eat more then 1/2 a pound combined, especially if there is pesto involved! My husband is also a big eater so the 1 pound isn’t cutting it anymore. There have been many nights where I haven’t made enough food!
I’ve never been a side dish maker. My dinners are generally a one pot meal type of thing. Its easier that way and less to clean up. But now I have to make more food for my always hungry family. One of my favorite, recent, side dishes was a Mushroom and Kale saute. It was a last minute type of thing and it was perfect. Garlic and red pepper flakes sauteed with mixed wild mushrooms and kale. That’s it. I even used pre cut and washed kale which saved time and even more dishes.
It went perfectly with some brown rice pasta covered in homemade pesto. I never want to eat pesto pasta again without some kale and mushrooms on the side.
What are some of your favorite side dishes to make?
Roasted Butternut and Kale Saute
Happy VeganMoFo!!! I’m excited that ‘MoFo is here and also completely overwhelmed by it already. I had planned on getting at least 1/3 of my post done over the past 2 weeks but wonderful and crazy things got in the way so I’m just going to wing it. Hopefully things will calm down this week and I can prepare some things in advanced.
I’ve decided to run with a theme this year. The whole month of VeganMoFo for me will be all about Pumpkins and Winter Squash. Everything I post will contain either/or. Its a lot of pressure to come up with that many pumpkin recipes but I think I can pull it off. I have a bunch of ideas and I bought every type of pumpkin and winter squash I saw at Whole Foods yesterday.
I’m starting off VeganMoFo Day 1 with a recipe I made the other day for a butternut and kale saute. I made this earlier in the day and ended up nibbling on it for the rest of the day. We were lucky that there was some left for our actual dinner which it was intended for!
Roasted Butternut and Kale Saute
6-8 cups of medium diced butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 400˚. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Spread onto a parchment covered baking sheet tray and roast 25-30 minutes or until butternut squash is easily pierced with a fork or knife.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch of kale, stems removed torn into bite sized pieces
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons tamari
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and saute for 1 minutes. Toss in the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Add the already roasted butternut squash to the pan along with the pecans. Saute for 2 minutes to combine all the ingredients then add the tamari and cook 3-5 minutes more. Serve!
BBQ Seitan Ribs and Garlicky Kale Platter
I realize Easter was weeks ago but I still want to share my dinner with you all. I’ve always wanted to spend a holiday home alone with just Peter and Reno and this year we got a chance but not for good reasons since a family member was really ill and I’ll spare you the rest of the details. It wasn’t my ideal holiday home alone but I was able to eat my ideal holiday meal.
Reno and I had made some seitan a few days before Easter so I sliced them up into “ribs” and marinated them in Annies Smokey Maple BBQ Sauce…gosh that stuff is delicious. I seriously never want to be without a jar of it in my pantry. After it marinated for an hour or two I heated up a grill pan with some olive oil and simply grilled the pieces of seitan a few minutes on each side. While that was happening I sauteed some kale with a ton of garlic. That was it for me as far as cooking. Luckily though my Maa, who lives below us, was cooking some food to take over to a family friends house that they were spending Easter with and she offered up some of the goods which happen to be my all time favorite side dishes of hers.
My Maa’s Stuffed Mushrooms and Potato Gratin
These mushrooms taste like little bites of magic. I love them so. Her Potato Gratin is so comforting and homey. They are absolutely the perfect side dishes to any holiday meal and are both easily veganized by using some Earth Balance instead of regular dairy butter.
My plate full of Easter goodness
I’m happy to report that Reno, now 3 1/2, ate a ton of the seitan and kale but refused the mushrooms and potatoes. At least she ate the kale which she claims to love. Peter and I ate more then our fair share of the meal and was happy and sad that there were no leftovers what-so-ever.
Writing this post makes me wish I was eating this for dinner tonight. But that won’t be happening since I am now 40 weeks plus 3 days pregnant! I’m happy enough to serve us Rice and Beans for dinner these days. :) Please send me go into labor vibes! I want this baby out! As you can see in the pic below my belly is beyond stretched to it’s limit.
Cheezy Kale Chips
A few months ago I FINALLY purchased a Excalibur Dehydrator! I’ve been wanting one for years ever since I worked at a raw foods restaurant in NYC. I was missing all the treats I use to eat and make while I was there and saw that Excalibur was having a special sale so I quickly snapped one up. I purchased a black 9 tray model that also comes with a timer. Please choose one with a timer if you decide to buy one. Its so useful, especially if something is done “cooking” while I’m sleeping or out of the house, it can just turn itself off.
One of the first things I made was a recipe that my friend Donna gave me for Cheezy Kale Chips. It is a cashew and red bell pepper based sauce which is well blended and then massaged onto kale and dehydrated for hours and hours. The hours and hours and hours it takes to make these is well worth it. They are so crunchy and cheezy tasting. Peter has become a big fan of these chips so I have too make sure to make a few batches each time. Its really easy to gobble these up in one day. Reno has yet to want to try them although she did eat some sauteed kale for dinner the other night!
Kale from my garden
I made sure I grew a lot of kale in my garden this year so that I can make as many batch of kale chips that I wanted. I’ll most likely be making more today and again at the end of the week to take on vacation with us.
I’m going to have lots of Raw Vegan posts coming your way over the next few weeks to show you what I’ve been making as well as all the usual cooked food I make. :)