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/
Spinach Basil Pesto
Pesto is one of the only green in color foods I can get my kids to eat. So I especially like to hide a leafy green veggie in it! I’ll use anything from Arugula to Mizuna to a touch of baby Kale and Spinach. They have no clue. They love it and ask for it all the time. I typically make it once a week so we have it for pasta one night and on a homemade pizza another night.
Rolled out dough, topped with halved cherry tomatoes and baked. We then throw on some raw cashew cheese on top as soon as it comes out of the oven. Its great.
Pesto and Roasted Vegetable Sandwich
I personally like to to save some for Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches. I could eat these sandwiches all summer long.
There is also sometimes pesto eating before a pesto dinner. I get hungry while I’m cooking.
I generally always made our pesto in a food processor but, sadly, part of it broke and I still haven’t ordered the replacement part. All of our pesto is now made in our Vita Mix. The processor makes it chunky, which I prefer. The Vita Mix makes the pesto smooth, which is also ok. It just depends on what you like or which appliance is working and which isn’t!
Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts. I’ve given up on pine nuts since having a good ol’ case of pine mouth a few years back. It was terrible. My mouth tasted like metal for days. Right not my favorite nuts and seeds to use are: almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Seeds being my favorite since I like to keep my daughters school lunches nut free. Feel free to experiment with any nut or seed you like.
What’s also traditional in pesto which is a concern for vegans or those that are just dairy free is cheese. I found the best way to replace the cheese in this recipe was to use miso paste! We think it’s a perfect substitution and it’s quite healthy for you also. A good Mellow Miso is easy to find in well stocked supermarkets.
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 cups basil
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 1/2 tablespoons mellow miso paste
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, may need more
- 1 tablespoon agave syrup (optional)
- salt to taste
- Add all ingredients and blend until combined. Salt to taste. If it's thicker then you would like then drizzle in some more olive oil.
- Pulse seeds and garlic until finely chopped. Add basil, spinach, mellow miso paste, agave syrup and blend. While the machine is running slowly pour in the oil. Blend until combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Season to taste with salt.
- Experiment! Try different nuts and seeds! Try different leafy greens but always use basil! Enjoy!
good good things http://good-good-things.com/
Mediterranean Pesto Seitan Wrap
Cashews are hands down one of my top 5 favorite foods. Not just favorite nut but favorite FOOD’S! I love eating them raw, roasted and salted. I add them to stuffings, chili’s and stir-frys. Forget tofu ricotta I make cashew ricotta. My favorite morning cereal is a store bought granola with cashews in it. The big container of mixed nuts we buy is all out of cashews long before we reached the halfway mark of the container to the annoyance of many. I’m surprised I don’t make my own or even buy already made cashew milk. I might have to try that!
Whenever I feel a meal needs a creamy condiment I whip up a fast Cashew Cream. Since I use a Vita Mix I don’t need to soak my cashews first so this is often a last minute type of thing for me. The table is usually set with the dinner on it and by the time I get the other 3 people in my family at the table and ready to eat I can hop back into the kitchen and have this ready in less then 1 minute.
Seared Mushroom, Black Bean and Rice Burrito w. Cashew Cream
I use this Cashew Cream on wraps, sandwiches, soups, stews and chili’s. I even make a batch of it the night before we leave for our annual summer beach vacation to use while in our rented beach house. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Simple Cashew Cream
makes about 1 1/4 cups
1 cup raw cashews
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add more water a teaspoon at a time if needed.
VeganMoFo: Day 11
I miserably failed at MoFo’ing last week. At least it was due to a good thing. Which I can’t share right now. I want to wait until VeganMoFo is over to share my good news. All I’ll say is that it involves cooking and I’m very happy! :)
While I was missing from MoFo-land I was busy thinking up pumpkin recipes. One that popped into my head was Pumpkin Butter. I’ve never made any sort of “butter” before and was excited to give it a shot. I knew the general idea of how to go about making it and I’m happy that it worked out so well. My taste tester for this recipe said “Yes, definitely post this recipe!” I can’t wait to start spreading it onto everything I make over the next few days. I even have some ideas on how to work it into other recipes.
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
3/4 cup apple juice or cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 3 in (approx.) cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of ground clove
pince of allspice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium saucepan add all of the ingredients except the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the lemon juice. Once it’s cool store it in a glass container in your fridge for up to a week (maybe longer!)