Dinner · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Uncategorized · Vegan · Vegetarian

Purple Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus

This was an improvised dinner, and one that turned out fantastic! We are moving in about 5 weeks, and I’m trying to think of ways to use what we already have in our pantry so we don’t have a ton of food to move.  The solution: grab anything that’s half open and start getting creative!

Also, a very exciting note: my new kitchen is absolutely amazing!  Its big, spacious, has great appliances, and even has an island.  Can’t wait to get in there!  Back to the recipe

I found half open bags of arborio and forbidden rice… and since they were both short grain rices that take a lot of water (and I didn’t have enough arborio for a full pot of risotto), I thought why not combine them! And I’m glad I did because when cooked risotto-style the forbidden rice turns this amazing deep purple color which was neat with the asparagus!

Also, for the past week I’ve been using a “stock bag” in the freezer – which is where I throw my leftover bits of carrots/onions/peels that I don’t use while cooking. So that’s why carrots ended up in the stock pot but not the recipe.

 

Purple Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup arborio rice and 1 cup forbidden black rice (or 1.5 cups arborio)
1/2 lb asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 vidalia onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 cup white wine

For the broth/stock pot
6 cups water
1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
asparagus stems
2 bay leaves
2 Rapunzel veggie bullion cubes
carrot stalks/peels
onion skins

Directions

Chop the asparagus and mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Set aside in a bowl for now. Add the stems of the asparagus and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan. This will be for the stock.
Dice the onion and garlic finely. Peel one or two layers of the onion off first, and add to the stock pot. Add the bay leaves, carrots, bullion, and white wine to the stock pot and bring to a boil.

Wash and rinse rice thoroughly.  Set aside for now.

In a large sauce pan, sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the rice, and sautee on low for 2-3 minutes. Once done, add the 1/8 cup of white wine to the pan to de-glaze.

IMG_20170714_180438

Begin by adding 1/2 ladle fulls of the stock to the rice, gently stirring every minute. When rice absorbs the liquid, add another ladleful. Repeat about 20 minutes, until the rice begins to plump. Add the asparagus and mushroom pieces, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the rice is perfectly cooked.

I ended up having about 2 cups of leftover stock after cooking, but that’s always a great thing to have leftover!  And, as the #1 rule when cooking with white wine: a little for the recipe, a little for the chef 🙂

 

Dinner · Favorite · Gluten Free · Hot · Lunch · Recipe · Sides · Soup · Vegan · Vegetarian

Amazing Vegan Stuffed Pepper Soup!

Stuffed peppers always feel like such a treat to me!  Traditionally they are laborious, difficult to bake, and include so many ingredients that we never made them too much growing up.  That being said, this soup takes all the best parts of stuffed peppers, and delivers into a quick and equally amazing dinner!  This has got to be one of the easiest, and mind-blowingly delicious soups I have ever made.  There is very little prep time, very little cook time, and is a super easy weeknight meal.  The ingredient list is simple, yer the final product is so flavorful and comforting, it tastes like it has been cooking all day.

My mom originally sent a similar recipe to me, which I quickly veganized.  I tested it a few different times, but the below recipe is hands-down the best!  I used the okra because I was trying to clean out the freezer a bit and we had it… but it actually works really well in this soup.  It thickens a bit, and also adds some good color and texture.  Definitely worth keeping it on.  The recipe is also gluten free.  It also keeps well in the fridge, and is great for a lunch soup.  Serve with  crusty bread, and enjoy!

Amazing Vegan Stuffed Pepper Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

3 bell peppers (I used orange and green)
1 vidalia onion
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup frozen okra
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with basil
1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 package of meatless ground ‘beef’
1 cup rice (can make with white or brown)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups water
A few shakes of Red Pepper Flakes for some heat
Salt and Pepper for taste

Directions

Peel the onion and garlic, and chop finely.  Also cut the peppers into small bite-sized pieces and set aside.

In a large soup pot, sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil over medium heat, for 5 minutes until they are soft.  Season with salt and pepper for taste.  Add the peppers and okra to the pot, and sautee for 5 minutes more.   Add in the crushed and diced tomatoes (juice and all!) and add two cups of water to the pot, and being to a boil.  Once boiling, recuse the head to low, and add in the meatless ground beef to the pot.  Stir in the red pepper flakes and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile…
In a rice cooker (or separate pot) cook 1 cup of rice, and 1 cup of water.  Once it is ready, set aside.  Do not add to the soup until the end, as the rice will absorb all the liquid and will thicken too quickly.

Dinner · Favorite · Gluten Free · Holiday · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Soup · Vegan · Vegetarian

Creamy Vegan Wild Rice Soup

More than anything I love when a recipe turns out so insanely good that I can’t wait to have it again.  This soup is rich, creamy, and packed with so many vitamins from the veggies!  And it is vegan/gluten-free too, so it can be enjoyed by all.  The leftovers didn’t even last more than a day, it was that delicious.

I started making this soup from what we had in our pantry, namely the wild rice.  Outside of soups, I don’t use wild rice all that much in everyday cooking, but it is a very hearty grain.  Also I used the ingredients we had on hand… purple carrots?  Sure!  They did turn the soup pink for a while in the beginning, but it all turned out a normal color in the end 🙂

FullSizeRender(3)

Creamy Vegan Wild Rice Soup
Time to Cook: 1 hour

Ingredients
1 cup wild rice
4 purple carrots
4 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
2 cups mushrooms (I used enoki)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 package sprouted tofu, cubed
1/4  cashew cream/vegan sour cream (or cup heavy cream for a vegetarian option)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 cup fresh spinach
6 cups water

Directions
In a medium sized pot, measure out 1 cup of wild rice.  Add water to the pot and rinse the rice until the water turns clear and drain.  Add 4 cups of water, and bring to a boil on the stove.  Once boiling, turn the heat to low, cover, and let cook for 45 minutes.  Wild rice needs a long time!

FullSizeRender(2)
Meanwhile…
Slice the carrots and chop the mushrooms and celery into bite sized pieces.  Add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms to a large soup pot, along with the olive oil, and press the garlic into the pot.  Sauté for 8-10 minutes until the veggies are soft.  Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Once at a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the soup for 30 minutes.  The rice should be done around then.

Once rice has finished cooking, drain ay water, and add to the soup pot.  Stir in the parsley, cubed tofu, cashew cream or vegan sour cream, and the spinach.  Cook for 15 minutes longer on medium heat, and enjoy!

Cold · Dip · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Recipe · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Easy 5-Ingredient Baba Ganoush

I first made this recipe for a Mediterranean potluck my roommates and I threw.  For this adaptation of the recipe I added way more garlic because we looove garlic over here.  So good with pita or veggies, on a falafel, or just by itself.

Easy 5-Ingredient Baba Ganoush
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
2 medium eggplants
2 lemons, juiced
5 cloves fresh garlic
4 tbsp tahini
1 tsp salt
(Olive Oil, for roasting)

Directions
Cut the eggplant into thin slices (1/4 inch) each and try to keep consistent.  Once both eggplants have been cut, salt each piece, and place in a kitchen strainer in the sink for 15 minutes to drain.

Once drained, pat the eggplant slices dry and place into a a sheet pan with a thin layer of olive oil.  Salt the eggplant, and cook the veggie slices for 20 minutes.  Once the eggplants are soft and brown, take them out of the over, and wrap the slices in tin foil for 10 minutes so the steam stays in the eggplant.

Once cooled, peel the eggplant, and place in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients.  Puree all ingredients together and serve the baba ganoush with pita bread, crackers, or vegetables.

Cold · Dressing · Family Recipes · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Salad

Family Recipe: Aunt Ruth’s Salad Dressing

Probably my favorite of our Family Recipes! My grandparents used to own a restaurant/‘Supper Club’ outside of Chicago during the 60s and 70s- and this recipe always gets passed around in our family cookbooks.  This dressing gets made for every holiday, special occasion, or for when we want to class up a salad.  It is perfectly tangy, sweet, and works with any kind of lettuce, really!  To me, its one of the only things that makes iceberg lettuce worth eating.

Growing up I always though of this recipe as a ‘special occasion’ dressing, as we didn’t make it too often.  Probably because safflower oil was traditionally a bit hard to find in a regular supermarket.  Nowadays its pretty easy to find (even organic!) so thankfully this dressing will be made more and more often!

Aunt Ruth’s Salad Dressing
Time To Prepare: 5 mins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic (minced or through a garlic press)

1/2 cup extra vigrin olive oil

1/2 cup safflower oil

Add all the ingredients to a quart sized major jar, and shake before serving!  Thats it 🙂
Dressing should last up to 1 week in the fridge.

Cold · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Perfect 3 Bean Salad

I have tried soooo many recipes for 3 Bean Salad, and this one is my absolute favorite hands-down!  I have actually been known to eat this for breakfast it is that good (and then again for lunch… and then again for dinner ha).  This wonderfully tangy and and sweet bean salad is great for a quick lunch or snack, and goes great with a vegan burger, veggie dog, or anything from the BBQ.  And like most marinated salads, the beauty of this is that the longer it sits, the yummier it gets!

I have made a single batch of this and it doesn’t last long, so below is a doubled recipe!  Or rather… the recipe I make on the weekends so I can have it everyday of the week.

IMG_2369

Perfect 3 Bean Salad

Time:

Servings: 10

Ingredients For the Salad:

  • 2 14oz cans of Chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 14oz cans of dark red kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 cups of fresh chopped green beans
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

 

For the Dressing:

  • 3 lemons, juiced (about a 1/3 cup)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard (I like the Trader Joes version!)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

FullSizeRender (1)

Wash the fresh green beans and place them in a medium pot with 3/4 cups of water.  Place a lid on the brans and steam them for about 6-8 minutes, until they are a bit softer but still have a bit of crunch to them.  Once cooled, cut them into bite sized pieces, I’ve found that 3/4 pieces per bean is perfect!

In a large mixing bowl (See *TIP below) combine the green beans with the chickpeas and kidney beans, drained and rinsed.  Chop the yellow bell pepper into small bite sized pieces, and add.  Finely chop the parsley, cilantro, and green onion and add to the bowl as well.

(TIP: Use your biggest mixing bowl.  No really, the BIGGEST one you have because there are a lot of things going in here, and it needs to be properly mixed!)

In a pint sized mason jar: juice the lemons, and combine with the rest of the dressing ingredients.  Shake, shake, shake until the dressing is a smooth consistency and pour over the bean salad.  Cover the salad and place in the fridge overnight so the dressing soaks into the beans, and everything is perfect.  In the morning, I like to transfer the bean salad in to single-serving sized 8oz or pint sized mason jars I can just throw into my bag and have at work!  For larger storage, quart jars will work too!

FullSizeRender (2)

Cold · Dinner · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Tabbouleh Tabbouli Tabouli, Oh My! Salad

I could probably (…OK definitely) eat tabbouli every single day.  This is the perfect salad for anytime of the year, for lunch or for dinner, served warm or cold.  This recipe is super easy and makes a ton of tabbouli so there are always leftovers which get better the longer it sits in the fridge.

For the grain I’ve used cous cous and bulgher wheat, but I’ve found that I like using white quinoa the best because the texture comes out great and its so easy to find.

IMG_1943

Ingredients

For the Salad:

3 large bunches of fresh parsley

2 cups of diced fresh tomatoes

1 green onion

1 1/2 cup dry white quinoa

1/4 cup of mint

For the Dressing:

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (Juice of 2 lemons)

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper

(Optional) 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes

IMG_1348

For the Quinoa

Pour the quinoa into a medium saucepan, and wash/drain quinoa in the sink.  Add 3 cups of water to the pot (and a little splash of olive oil), and bring the quinoa to a boil.  Once boiling, cover the pot with a lid, and slowly simmer until quinoa absorbs all water… usually about 15 minutes.  Fluff with fork, and set aside.  Alternatively for a lower-maintenance method you can use a rice cooker, and use the same 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water for that as well.

For the Salad

Meanwhile, wash the parsley, and dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a towel.  Chop each bunch of parsley super finely, use both the leaves and stems.  Repeat with the mint, and add the greens to a large mixing bowl.

Finely dice the tomatoes (usually 3 large, or 1 pint of cherry).  I prefer to use cherry/grape tomatoes because they are a bit sweeter during the winter, but large roma or beefsteak tomatoes will work just fine anytime, especially in season!

Once finished slice up the green onion and add to the bowl along with the greens and tomatoes.

For the Dressing

This is probably one of the easiest parts of the recipe!  Juice 2 large lemons and put into a small mixing bowl, remove seeds if there are any.  This should yield about 1/4 cup of juice.  What you want is equal parts lemon juice and olive oil, so add in 1/4 cup of olive oil as well.  Then using the garlic press (my preferred method!) press 2 large cloves of garlic into the dressing.  Add a lil salt, add a lil pepper, and whisk together!  Thats it, so easy 🙂

If you want to spice it up, add a few red pepper flakes to the dressing too!

IMG_1317