Posts Tagged ‘ Vegan ’

Slow Cooked Barley Lentil Soup

I seem to be easily falling into a habit of using my new crock pot to prepare Monday night dinner.  I assemble most of it the night before, add a few last-minute items and plug it in right before leaving the house.  Sunday evening prep was simple because I was already chopping veggies for dinner, I just chopped some into a separate bowl.  I had the barley and lentils measured out in a bowl ready to add in just before cooking.  My only job on Monday morning was to scrub and dice the potato.  Does anyone know if it would have gone bad overnight with the broth while refrigerated?  I decided not to risk it.

A couple of people have asked about my new job.  This week is better than last.  It’s all starting to come together for me.  I was told that they have a term “Lightbulb Tuesday” which is apparently when most people have their “Aha” moment.   It was true for me.  Now I just have a couple of exams to pass Thursday and Friday.  Next Monday I go live.  I’m pretty excited about that!  I’m working with an incredible group of people who are intelligent and interesting to hang out with.  It’s all good.

Anyway, try the soup, it’s souper (haha) easy and makes a hearty fall meal.  I can easily see adding some other veggies or beans but really it doesn’t need it.  The spices really gave it a unique flavor but if you don’t have all of them just wing it and use something else that will provide a similar richness.

Vegan Persian Barley Soup in a Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

1 cup of lentils (rinsed)

1 cup of pearled barley (rinsed)

1 medium onion, finely diced

1  large or 2 small potatoes, diced

1 cup sliced carrots

2 garlic cloves, grated or in small pieces

1 teaspoon  each turmeric, cumin, garam masala

6 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)

1+ cup water (I added more before serving because it was so thick)

8-12 oz can tomato sauce (or a can of petite diced tomatoes)

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh chopped herbs of choice for topping if desired

Directions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients into a large slow cooker (mine is a 5 1/2 quart beast). Stir thoroughly.  I combined all ingredients except the lentils, potato and barley the night before and refrigerated, then put them in the pot just before cooking.

2. Cover and cook for a minimum of 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.  Check seasoning before serving and top with choice of herbs

~Lin~

Butternut Squash Chili in a Crock Pot

I love when I find a recipe that my husband enjoys without commenting on the lack of meat protein.  I was surprised to find out that this was one of them.  As far as I know he’s not a big fan of squash but he happily ate this meal including a second helping as well as leftovers later in the week.  That makes it a hit in my book!  Another great thing is that this is a vegan and gluten-free dish.

I wish I had taken a picture of this because it’s actually a very pretty chili.  It’s quite colorful with the dark red sauce, bright orange squash, and the assortment of beans and peppers.  However, having assembled it one day and completing it the next I totally forgot.  It’s been a crazy week for me.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned that I’m starting a new job.  I’m in the process of becoming an insurance claims adjuster.  A few weeks ago I had to go through a course to get my state license.  That was tough enough.  Now I’m in training to learn how to actually do my job.  For the first time in my life I feel at a disadvantage and I’m trying to figure out if it’s age related.  It definitely feels like those in their 20s and 30s are catching on quicker than us older 40 somethings.  I am enjoying the process I just wish it would come to me a little quicker.

With that said, I don’t remember the last time I was so grateful for the weekend!  I’m considering a trip to the beach while my husband is thinking about chores around the house!  Perhaps we’ll barter for a day of each.  In the meantime I’ll be looking for something new to make using some of the 2 bags of barely I have.  Another sign of aging, I  bought 1 bag this week and realized that I already purchased barley last week.  If you have a great barley recipe for me, please share!

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed into 1/2 pieces

1 28 oz can tomato sauce

1 28 oz can Bush’s Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce

1 28 oz can Black Beans rinsed

1 large onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

½ to 1 whole jalapeno finely chopped (depending on personal taste)

1 red or green pepper chopped

A few shakes of Tabasco Chipotle flavor

Pepper, Chili powder, and cumin to personal taste

Vegetable or Canola oil just a few teaspoons

Optional grated cheddar or vegan cheese to top

Directions

The night  before, or early in the  morning:

In a large pan saute the butternut squash in oil for a few minutes  on medium high and then add the onion and jalapeno and pepper

Saute 2 until onion becomes translucent and add the garlic, saute 1 more minute

Turn heat off and add sauce, beans and seasoning, stir well

Add a little water, tomato juice, or broth to bring to your desired consistency, I like it thick so I use very little

Transfer mixture to your crock pot.  Refrigerate over night if needed

Place in crock pot on either low heat for the entire day or if possible high heat for several hours and then more to low once heated through and the squash is tender.  We had it on high for about 4 hours and low for 2 hours before serving

Season to your own taste, and serve with cheese if desired

If cooking on a traditional stove use the same steps but simmer until the squash is tender

Enjoy!

Vegan Pumpkin Cookies

The best thing about vegan baking is that you can eat raw batter to your hearts content!  No worries about salmonella here.  Another bonus with these particular cookies is that your house smells delicious. The cookies themselves are quite tasty too!  This is a win-win situation in my opinion.

I’m not sure if canned pumpkin is in the stores yet.  I actually stocked up last year and have a couple of cans left.  During the winter I like to use the cans to make Pumpkin Black Bean Soup which is another family favorite.  It’s a rich hearty soup that takes no time to make and is a meal in itself.

As for my cookies, well they simply taste like autumn.  I gave into my chocolate addiction and added some chcolate chips with the cranberries.  I omitted the nuts because my niece doesn’t care for them.  However, this is another base recipe that you can change the spices and add-ins to your personal taste easily enough.

Ingredients

1.5 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon each – cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
1 cup oatmeal
2 cups of add ins such as raisins, cranberries, chopped nuts, chocolate chips (optional)
3 cup all-purpose flour (or a mixture 1 cup whole wheat, 2 cups white)

Directions

Beat the oil, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl, add in oatmeal and blend

Add in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda a little at a time until well blended

By hand incorporate the add-ins

Bake at 350 for approximately 12 minutes

Enjoy!

Tangy Vegan Salad Dressing

I’m turning over a new leaf. This one will be a green vegetable leaf.  I’m going to get myself back to super healthy eating and start working on weight loss.  My goal is to follow the basic premise of Michael Pollan’s Food Rules and just eat as healthily and naturally as possible.  Other than that I have no intention of following any diet gimmick.

I’m going to start this by attempting a variety of different salad dressings.  I’ve not liked store-bought dressings for a long time but have pretty much stuck to oil and vinegar.  I love a simply dressed salad and have a large variety of different vinegar but after a while that gets old.  Then I stop eating so much salad and next whatever weight I’ve lost starts to creep back on.

I’m starting today with this Tangy Vegan Dressing which is similar to a French dressing but not quite the same.  This one the main ingredients are organic ketchup and organic dijon mustard which provide the tangy taste.  This dressing will definitely work well with a basic salad topped with some sliced veg chick patties or crumbled burger.  It will also go well with just a simple salad.  This recipe is so simple it took about 5 minutes total and is both vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

1/2 cup ketchup (organic if possible)
1/4 cup dijon mustard (again organic if possible)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large clove garlic
1/2 a small onion
1 teaspoon agave nectar (more if you prefer sweeter)
1 teaspoon dried basil and some fresh ground pepper

Directions

Toss all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until well mixed, chill and serve!

Cold Sesame Noodles

Yesterday I was good and planned ahead.  I made this recipe for cold sesame noodles in preparation for my work day lunches this week.  This is the first time I’ve made this dish in ages and I’m not sure why.  Sometimes we simply forget out old time favorites.  Today’s recipe is both gluten-free and vegan.  While I’ve given up the G-free diet I’m still trying to cut down on my consumption of gluten.  Much easier said than done.  Today I used rice noodles which is appropriate for a dish like this.  If you have regular semolina pasta go for it, it’s fine.  One of the best things about this besides the taste is that it’s served cold so I don’t have to waste time standing around the microwave waiting for it to cook.

My Sunday work day is 9:30am-8pm which pretty much covers breakfast lunch and dinner.  The cafeteria is closed on Sunday’s which isn’t much of an issue for me.  I rarely purchase anything there, although one day next week they’re going to serve rice with black beans and plantains.  That sounds pretty tempting.  Of course the true main dish is some kind of pork sandwich.  I really can’t fathom why anyone would want that when the side dish is so much healthier than the main dish.  I’m grateful that for the simple fact that there is a small salad bar that I can always take advantage of if need be.  For the most part I prefer to pack my lunch bag and know exactly what I’m eating.  What is your typical work or school day lunch?  Are cafeteria’s getting any better with their selections?

  • 1/2 pound rice pasta cooked according to directions
  • 1/4 cup Tamari dark soy, perhaps a little more to thin sauce
  • 1/4 rounded cup smooth peanut butter, soften it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (cider vinegar if you don’t have rice)
  • 1-2  tablespoon dark sesame oil, more or less depending on consistency
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Sriracha)
  • 2 cups shredded veggies such as carrots and cabbage
  • 3 scallions, chopped on an angle
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts or cashews for topping (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions or personal taste and drain well

Whisk together soy, warm peanut butter, vinegar, oil, sesame oil,pepper flakes, and hot sauce in a large bowl

Add noodles and veggies and toss well to combine and coat them evenly with sauce

Allow to cool for awhile and sprinkle scallions and sesame seeds throughout the salad saving a little of the scallion greens to top the dish

Peace, love, & greens, Lin
Vegetarilin on Facebook

Grilled Acorn Squash

It’s a sunny day and I can use my grill!  All  is good!  Yesterday I used the butternut squash that’s been sitting on my counter and today I’m grilling the acorn squash.  I love produce that can sit on the counter for some time without spoiling.  I have the tendency to purchase beautiful produce and not use it quickly enough.  It’s a bad habit I’m working on.

This morning I had a dentist appointment.  The kind where I had to open wide for over an hour while they started a crown.  My dentist is amazing but 1 hour of that with even a mildly arthritic jaw is just too much.  For the rest of the day I’m sticking to a soft  food diet.  I’m not loving the fact that I’m slowly morphing into an old decrepit version of myself.

Dinner tonight is an old favorite Fettucini Alfredo paired with the grilled squash.  While the alfredo is anything but vegan the squash recipe is easily adaptable.  It’s also gluten-free.  The one thing I don’t like about squash is cutting into it so I pierced it a few times and microwaved it for 3 minutes to soften it before slicing for the grill.  That made the whole thing super easy.

Before I get to the recipe I have to mention baby Alyssa who I got to meet today.  She belong’s to my friend Kathy and is just the cutest sweetest baby I’ve seen in ages.  Alyssa let me hold her and feed her and she slept on my shoulder for a bit.  My babies are now adults so I’ve been missing out on the enjoyment of a newborn for quite awhile!  Isn’t she a cutie!

Ingredients

1 medium sized acorn squash

2 tablespoons vegan margarine or butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon of rum (brandy or bourbon will do, even OJ will work)

Just a smidge (scientific term) of cinnamon nutmeg, & cardamon

Salt to taste (optional)

Directions

Pierce the squash with a knife in a few places going with the ridges and microwave for 3 minutes, cool, slice into 1-2 inch slices

Let margarine or butter get to room temperature and whisk in other ingredients

Rub mixture over each slice of squash

Place on medium high grill and cook on each side about 5-7 minutes per side or until you see nice grill marks, after turning the first time brush the remaining sugar butter mixture on top

Since it was just us with no company we ended up picking it up with our hands and eating it right out of the skin.  It was really sweet, tender and delicious.  The dogs very happily inhaled the leftovers that I placed in their bowls.

Have a peaceful day,

Vegetarilin on Facebook

Cool Cantaloupe Soup

Aren’t these demitasse cups adorable?  They were my grandmother’s and I just love them.  Being I’m not a coffee drinker I usually don’t have any use for them.  I’m also a bit afraid of damaging them so usually they’re just on display behind glass.  While making today’s cool soup I thought the cups would be a great way to serve a tiny taste of the soup.  In reality I prefer larger portions but this was fun.

I had about a half a leftover melon from a couple of days ago and plan on buying another when I go shopping in awhile.  A cool breakfast soup just sounded like a great way to start the day.  In reality I’m not sure what makes this a soup versus a smoothie, but call it what you want it tastes great.

This soup would make a lovely starter to a meal with several courses or would pair well with a simple salad or veggie sandwich for a meal itself.  As a breakfast it was fine by itself but I’m guessing I’ll be hungry again in a couple of hours.

Once again, I have another toss it together meal.  In this instance it’s more of a blend it all together experience.  I literally threw everything into the blender, grated the zest and ginger right into it, covered it and turned it on.  Nothing could be easier.  This is obviously gluten-free and is easily made vegan with a quick change of yogurt.

Ingredients

3 cups melon cubed in small pieces
1/4 cup plain or vegan yogurt (I used fat free)
A tiny bit fresh grated ginger (powdered if you don’t have)
Zest of one lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp agave nectar  (honey if you don’t have)
2-3 lemon balm or mint leaves
2-3 basil leaves
2-3 Tbsp water if needed (use melon juice if possible)
Optional: a couple of small drops chipotle sauce
Directions
Toss all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth!