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/
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/
(Sneaky) Sloppy Lentil Joe’s
I was feeling sneaky the other day. I know there are foods that I like to eat that my husband will turn his nose up at just by the name. Sloppy Joe’s are one of them. I really wanted them though. I haven’t had them in years. I set about making them without telling my family what I was making. They were already excited because I had make homemade ciabatta rolls for dinner so why ruin that excitement?
As my husband wandered in and out of the kitchen he kept remarking how good it smelled as I lied about what I was making. I was making “lentil stew” which I guess is kinda true. Finally I had to confess about what I was making because my smile was giving me away that I was being sneaky. I didn’t confess though until after I had him try it. Thankfully he loved it!
I sliced opened our homemade rolls and piled on the Sloppy Lentil’s for my husband and I while I put a small amount on my kids rolls. If they don’t see it they will eat it and that turned out to work in a way. R liked it at first then decided she didn’t. M just thought he was eating a roll. He had no idea that the roll had lentils and some veggies hidden on it. It was a successful dinner in my eyes.
Sloppy Lentil Joe’s
(depending on how you fill the sandwiches)
1 pound cooked lentils
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium sized onion, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 16oz can of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon agave
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large 12 inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and red bell pepper for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking until the onions and peppers are soft. 10-15 minutes total.
Add the chili powder and saute 1 minute.
Stir in the lentils, tomato sauce, whole grain mustard, molasses, agave and apple cider vinegar and cook for 10-15 minutes so all of the flavors can combine.
Season with salt and pepper and serve on toasted ciabatta rolls!
I made some roasted potatoes and a nice side salad to go along with this recipe.
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!
A few weeks ago my friend VeggieGirl posted a recipe for Baked Ratatouille. I knew right away that I needed to make this recipe for myself. The recipe calls for cannellini beans, eggplant, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini. I’ll admit in the past I have not been too fond of eggplant. My husband loves it so I’ve been giving it a shot this summer and even growing it in my garden. I thought this would be the perfect recipe to “hide” the eggplant in. I didn’t get to use the eggplant I grew myself but I fortunately received some Sicilian Eggplant from the food co-op I belong to.
I made a few very minor changes to VeggieGirl’s recipe. First I used regular potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes because I had some that needed to be used. I also didn’t have the herbs de provence the recipe calls for. I subbed it with dried thyme and basil. I also used a bit more broth then called for but that’s just something I tend to do. It will work perfectly with the amount of broth called for in the recipe.
Baked Ratatouille with Tomato and Garlic Crouton Salad
The dish was very easy to put together after slicing up all the vegetables. I sliced them all by hand but next time I will dig out my mandolin to make it easier and much quicker.
I invited my parents up for dinner since the recipe didn’t contain any “weird fake stuff”. They enjoyed it immensely as did my husband. My father said it was “a keeper” which means he thought it was awesome. I really liked the eggplant cooked in something like this and I look forward to making this recipe again. I think it would be a nice main dish or even a side dish for a holiday meal with possibly more seasonally appropriate vegetables added to it. I made my Tomato and Garlic Crouton Salad as a side dish. We received so many tomatoes from the co-op plus what has been growing in the garden I just had to use them up!
You lovely readers can also find good good things on facebook. I post some extra’s on there and it’s a fun way to connect. Please “like” my page over there. :)