Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Rainbow Superfood Tempeh Bowl

You know what makes me so sad? When people brutally rip off the greens that grow on top of beets and throw them away. Seriously, it should be some sort of grocery store crime. Beets with greens are amazing because you’re actually getting TWO delicious veggies for the price of one. And who am I to turn down delicious and free food? Eat those greens, people.

This rainbow-colored bowl beautifully incorporates both the beets and their greens, along with other very tasty superfoods, including smoky baked tempeh, avocado, and microgreens. This bowl is not only pleasing to the eye, it’s pleasing to the palate and your overall health. An extra bonus is that it’s vegan, and makes you practically glow with healthy good feelings when you eat it.

Ingredients:

Tempeh/marinade:

1 8 oz. package of tempeh, cut in long, thin strips

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. lemon juice 

1 tsp. liquid smoke

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. cayenne

Salt and pepper

Bowl:

2 c. cooked rice

1 c. roasted beets

One bunch of beet greens

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 avocado, sliced

½ c. microgreens

2 Tbsp. green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper

Soy sauce and sriracha, for topping

About an hour before cooking, combine the tempeh and all of the ingredients in the marinade. Mix together thoroughly with your hands, being careful not to rip apart the tempeh strips.  Let it sit at room temperature. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tempeh strips on a lined baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Flip over, and cook for 6 more minutes, or until the tempeh is firm but not burned. When you take it out the oven, taste and season with additional salt and pepper if you’d like. 

Before assembling the bowls, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the beet greens until they are wilted. Season with salt and pepper. 

To assemble the bowls, divide the rice into two bowls. Top with tempeh, beets, beet greens, avocado, microgreens, and green onions. Serve with soy sauce and sriracha.

Categories
Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Rotkohl (German Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage)

Rotkohl is a very popular and really delicious German side dish made with red cabbage, apples, and onions or shallots. It’s healthy, and goes together well with pork, beef, sausages, and chicken. Rotkohl is the perfect balance of sweet and sour, and tender and crunchy.  It’s also very pleasing to the eye. But rotkohl ain’t just beautiful, it tastes awesome too. Double threat side dish.

Ingredients:

1 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. butter

1 green apple, thinly sliced

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

¼ c apple cider vinegar

1 c. apple cider

2 bay leaves

½ tsp. ground cloves (optional, but recommended)

PInch of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

To cook the cabbage, heat the butter over medium high heat in a large skillet. Cook the shallots and apples for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage, vinegar, apple cider, bay leaves , sugar, and cloves (if you are including them). Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and cook the cabbage for 30 minutes or until it is tender (but not mushy). Season with salt and pepper. 

Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Spicy Tofu Fajitas

Fajitas are so versatile. You can make them loaded with virtually any type of meat, seafood, or veggies. In this version, even tofu gets in on the fajita game, and the results are muy sabroso! Personally, I find straight-up veggie fajitas lacking in flavor and texture, and therefore, satisfaction. The addition of tofu really gives this vegan version of fajitas the extra love they need. 

The thing about fajitas is that they are so amazing because of all of the glorious toppings you can add to them, am I right? These tofu fajitas are much healthier than their meaty counterparts and you still get the giddy feeling of loading them up with all of the good toppings. In fact, because they are healthier, you can definitely justify adding even more of the good stuff on top!

Ingredients:

1 block of extra firm tofu

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. cayenne, if desired

Juice from one lime

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 small onion, sliced

Salt and pepper

Serve with:

Flour tortillas

Avocado

Cilantro

Jalapenos

Queso fresco or vegan cheese

Sour cream or vegan sour cream

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

Slice the tofu into long, thin slices. Cover a lined baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil. Place the tofu slices on top of the oil and rub olive oil on the top of each piece. Use a total of 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil for the top and bottom of the tofu slices. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne on top of the slices. Squeeze on the lime juice and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Bake the tofu for about 15 minutes, turn over carefully and bake for 15 more minutes, or until the tofu is lightly browned and slightly crispy.

When the tofu is about 10 minutes from being finished, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until soft and slightly charred. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the tofu and pepper and onion mixture with warmed flour tortillas and all of your favorite fajita toppings. Enjoy!

Categories
Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Wasabi Smashed Peas

One of my favorite snacks is a few handfuls of wasabi peas. The sweet peas combined with the nasal-clearing, spicy wasabi is such a delicious combination. Earlier this week, I spotted some peas in the freezer and I wondered if I could make a cooked version of wasabi peas to pair with an Asian-inspired salmon I was planning on making. 

The verdict: it totally works, and reminded me a lot of a great sushi meal. These smashed wasabi peas taste so much like dried wasabi peas and were super tasty served with my Maple-Soy Salmon and a side of white rice. Try this quick weeknight side item the next time you cook fish!

Ingredients:

2 c. frozen peas

½ c. chicken or vegetable broth

1 tsp. To 1 Tbsp. wasabi paste (adjust to your heat preference) 

2 tsp. olive oil

Salt to taste

Bring the peas and chicken broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until peas are tender. Remove from heat and using a potato masher, smash the peas, leaving some intact. Add the olive oil, wasabi paste and salt. Mix to combine and serve.

Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Sweet Chili Garlic Tofu with Green Beans

Have you ever wondered why the fried tofu at restaurants tastes so much better than when you try to replicate it at home? I used to think that I could only get the crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside, wonderfully saucy tofu at a restaurant. While I was always adept at cooking tofu in many different and tasty ways, I never quite believed I could make fried tofu as perfectly at home as the caramelized little bites of love from my local Thai restaurant. 

After lots of experimenting, I learned that I definitely CAN make those lovely little squares of joy at home. This tofu is every bit as delicious as restaurant tofu and super easy to make. So next time you’re craving restaurant tofu, make this at home and save your money for something cooler than eating out. Beach vacation, anyone?

Ingredients: 

Tofu/Green Beans

1 block extra firm tofu

1 Tbsp. corn starch

Pinch of salt

2 c. green beans, cut into 2 inch sections

2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

Sauce:

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. corn starch

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

1 Tbsp. sambal oelek

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Mix together all of the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

 Steam the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until tender but bright green. 

In a bowl, toss together the tofu, pinch of salt and 1 Tbsp. corn starch. 

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Cook the tofu until it is crispy on all sides. Move the tofu over to one side of the skillet and add the green beans to the other side. Cook the green beans for about 2 minutes, or until lightly charred. Then, add the sauce, toss and heat through. Serve immediately!

Categories
Soups Vegan Vegetarian

Classic French Lentil Soup

This classic French lentil soup is one of those meals that is so nostalgic and comforting. Eating this just-like-Grandma-used to make soup makes you feel warm and safe, and almost takes you back to a simpler time as you eat it. 

French lentil soup is never fancy or full of exotic ingredients. It’s just real food that tastes wonderful, is good for you, and is clean and pure. Sometimes I wonder if cooking has gotten too showy and complicated, and this soup reminds me every time I make it that yes, often less really is more when it comes to food. 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 c. chicken or vegetable broth

1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 ¼ c. French or green lentils, rinsed 

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly brown. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute, stirring. Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, and bay leaves and allow it to boi Reduce the heat to medium low and cook covered for 30-40 minutes until lentils are tender.

Remove from the heat and, using an immersion blender, puree some of the soup while leaving the rest a bit chunky. The amount you puree is totally up to you, as it boils down to texture preference. Puree to your desire. I usually puree about 70 percent and leave the rest chunky. Season with salt and pepper and top with fresh parsley.

Serve with a baguette, salad, or all by itself!

Categories
Sandwiches Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

If you like tuna salad or egg salad sandwiches, you will love this vegan version. This protein-packed chickpea salad sandwich is so creamy, filling and delicious. Nothing fancy here. Just simple, tasty ingredients that are super healthy and delicious. 

This chickpea salad transforms ingredients you likely already have into a satisfying sandwich in less than 5 minutes. Save yourself from an impulse visit to a fast food restaurant, and make this instead. Your tastebuds, waistline, and wallet will all thank you.

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can of chickpeas

4 Tbsp. mayo or vegan mayo

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 green onions, sliced

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

¼ c. dill pickle relish

Juice from ½ lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Sandwich bread and toppings of your choice

Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them in a bowl. Mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until they are mashed, but still a bit chunky. Add the mayo, lemon juice, and Dijon and mix together. Then, add the green onions, parsley, and dill relish. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve on a sandwich, salad, or simply enjoy it alone!

Categories
Sauces/Dressings/Broth Soups Vegan Vegetarian

Traditional New Mexican Hatch Green Chile

As a Coloradan, I may be creating a major controversy here . . . but I love Hatch green chiles above all others. There’s been a long standing green chile superiority war between Colorado and New Mexico for years and years, and although I really enjoy Colorado-grown Pueblo green chiles, my heart belongs to the Hatch variety. 

Hatch green chiles are so tender and smoky,and somehow both delicate and bold at the same time. They are, in other words, in a class of their own. For this reason, I always use them when I make green chile at home. I do, however, add a bit of a Colorado green chile spin by adding a bit of tomato to the mix just because I like it. If you’re a green chile purist, you could just leave the tomatoes out. Either way, you’re gonna want to slather this on everything. 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. butter

½ c. onion, finely chopped

1 c. chopped Hatch green chiles, heat level up to you!

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 roma tomatoes, diced

1 ½ c. vegetable, chicken or pork stock

2 Tbsp. flour

3 bay leaves

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. oregano 

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Whisk in the flour, cumin, oregano, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the stock and add the bay leaves. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the stock has thickened. Add the chiles and tomatoes and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes so that the flavors infuse. 

Categories
Soups Vegan Vegetarian

Thai Lentil Soup with Red Curry and Coconut Milk

This 30-minute Thai red lentil soup is so flavorful, comforting, and both body and soul warming. It’s also vegan, super healthy, and so filling.Thai red curry, coconut milk, carrots, and fresh lime come together seamlessly to create a palate-pleasing soup that everyone in your family will crave.

Because of the complex and perfectly-blended flavor profile of this soup, this meal tastes like it has been cooking for hours . . . but the truth is that it takes less than half an hour from start to finish. You can, of course, pretend that it took you all day to make. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

¼-½ c. Thai red curry paste (use more if you like more heat or strong curry flavor)

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 c. red lentils, uncooked

4 c. vegetable or chicken broth

1 can full-fat coconut milk

Juice from 1 fresh lime

Salt to taste

Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the curry paste and tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute. Then, add the lentils and broth. Turn the heat down to low and let the lentils simmer for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft.

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Add salt to taste (do not add salt before tasting — both curry paste and broth are naturally salty). Top with parsley or cilantro and serve hot.

Categories
Salads Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Nutty Roasted Beet Salad with Sambal Oelek

For a couple of decades, beets were relegated to the almost-universally disliked vegetable pile, along with cauliflower and brussels sprouts. It seems all three of these lovely veggies are getting a second chance, and people are loving all of the new iterations of these now-popular foods. 

I’m sure Dwight Schrute would like to take credit for the increased popularity of beets, but I believe the real truth is that people started learning how to cook beets instead of buying them pickled in cans. As it turns out, ruby-colored beets are pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds, especially when they are roasted. This recipe combines roasted beets with salty and sweet, and tangy and spicy ingredients; and the result is a delicious, well-balanced beet salad that is perfect for a light lunch or side dish. 

Ingredients:

1.5 lb. beets

1.5 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. Sambal Oelek (Asian chili paste)

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small shallot, finely chopped

½ c. walnuts or pecans

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the beets and cut off the tops and bottoms. Cut the beets in half. Place the halved beets on a baking sheet and mix them with plenty of olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake them for about an hour, or until tender. When the beets are finished baking, let them cool and then remove the skins. They should slide right off. Cut the beets into long, thin sticks or small bite-sized pieces. 

In a small bowl, combine the rice wine vinegar, Sambal Oelek, honey, shallots and nuts. Add to the beets and taste as your pour to make sure you have added the amount of dressing you like. Season with salt and pepper. Add the nuts and stir to combine. Serve cold or at room temperature.