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.

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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 · Gluten Free · Hot · Recipe · Vegan · Vegetarian

Vegan Pad Thai

This is such an easy and yummy meal to make on a weeknight!  The saucy is rich and super flavorful, and all the cooked veggies give each bite a super crunch.  I remember making up this recipe because we had a ton of extra rice noodles and I was (and usually always) want Pad Thai.  We had this with a big bowl of miso soup, and the flavors together worked so well!

Vegan Pad Thai
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

For The Noodles

1 package rice noodles

3 cups green cabbage (1/2 head, or alternatively 1 package cole slaw mix)

6 oz (1/2 package) sprouted tofu

1 cup bean sprouts

3 carrots

2 green onions

2 tbsp sunflower oil

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp soy sauce / tamari

1/8 cup crushed peanuts

1 lime

For the Sauce

1/2 cup peanuts

1 tbsp sriracha (add more for a spicier sauce)

1/4 cup sunflower oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp soy sauce / tamari

1 tbsp honey

A pinch of turmeric

Directions

Veg Prep! Take the cabbage head, and remove the topmost 3-4 large leafs and compost.  These are very tough and thick.  Cut half of the cabbage into long thin strips.  Cut the carrots similarly.  Roughly chop the peanuts and set aside for garnish.  Slice the green onion into small thin strips, starting 3 inches up the onion.  Save the bottom white root section + 3 inches, and place into a clear jar of water and they will regrow!  Set aside onion for now.  Cube the tofu into small bite sized pieces

For the Sauce:

In a Vitamix, add all ingredients and puree!  It’s that simple!

For the Pad Thai:

Boil a large pot of water, and add the rice noodles.  These cook super quickly, so after the noodles are cooked for 4-6 minutes, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile…

In a large wok, heat the sunflower oil and add the cabbage, carrots, 1/2 of the bean sprouts.  Cook about 6-8 minutes until the veggies are soft, and add in the soy sauce and sesame oil.  When the noodles are finished, add them into the wok with the green onions, remainder of the bean sprouts, and tofu.  Add the sauce to the wok, toss all the ingredients together, and plate!

Quarter the lime, and squeeze fresh lime juice over the pad thai, garnish with peanuts, and serve!

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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.

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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

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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!

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Cold · Dinner · Dressing · Gluten Free · Lunch · Recipe · Salad · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Soba Noodle Salad with Lime Tamari Dressing

I love when I go out to eat somewhere and have something so yummy I think I need to make this myself! This was one of those cases.  I ordered this on a whim from the vegan bakery Wildflour, and started brainstorming immediately on how to translate it to a homemade version I can have anytime.  While I made the below recipe on a rainy spring day, this would be so refreshing in the summer, or perfect for a potluck/picnic.

This should make about 4 servings.  That being said, I didn’t have many leftovers… but I would imagine they only get better a few days later!  Note to self: Next time make a double batch!

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For the Salad:

1 8oz package of soba noodles

1 cup arugula

1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage

1/2 cup thinly sliced red cabbage

2 large carrots

1 green onion

1/2 Chopped Parsley (or Cilantro)

For the Dressing

2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp sriracha (or more/less to taste)

3 cloves garlic

1 lime, juiced

Zest of 1 lime

A few shakes of red pepper flakes

For the Salad

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In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.  Once that gets going, place the soba noodles in to cook.  Read the instructions on the package, but I’ve found that cooking 6 or 7 minutes was perfect.  Not too al dente, not too soft.  Once cooked, drain the noodles into a colander in the sink.  Rinse the noodles thoroughly under cold water so they stop cooking.  Once cooled off, set the noodles aside in the fridge and get chopping!

For the cabbage and carrots, I like to cut them into long thin strips so they have the same length as the noodles.  I tried something a lil fancy for the carrots: I use a peeler and sliced them into long flat ribbons.  I then cut them 3-4 time each the long way to make smaller thinner strips of carrot.  While yummy, this was pretty labor intensive, and next time I will probably just use a spiralizer instead.

Finely chop the parsley (stems and all!) and mix in half with the veggies.  I garnished with the other half later.  This would also be amazing with cilantro… unfortunately we are not growing that right now, so parsley it was!

For the Dressing

I found mixing this in a major jar was actually perfect for shaking and mixing, so it stays!  In a pint sized major jar, combine all dressing ingredients.  For the garlic I like to use a garlic press… but it can be minced/diced instead.  When all ingredients are in the jar: shake, rattle, and roll.

Combine veggies, soba noodles, arugula into a large bowl and cover with dressing.  Chill and serve cold (or warm?).

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

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

This is my absolute favorite recipe!  Since the first time I made this cabbage, I knew this recipe was a keeper.  I believe there was even a time we made it 3 times in one week!  Its sweet and tangy, warm and comforting, and not to mention so full of antioxidants from almost every ingredient.

I first came across this recipe in the Fire + Ice cookbook, and adapted it so there was fresh fruit instead of dry.  While the original recipe calls for dried apricots and peaches, I’ve actually found that the fresh fruit adds so much extra sweetness and a better texture to the finished product.  Plus apple + cabbage is a perfect combination.

2 apples

2 peaches

2 pears

1 large head of red cabbage

1/8 cup oil

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp sugar (or honey)

1 cup unsweetened black currant juice *(See Note Below!)

6 tbsp black or red currant jelly

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

*Note: 100% Unsweetened Black Currant Juice is very hard to find!  the only place we’ve been able to find it is the juice aisle of the Whole Foods in Dedham, MA… we’ve checked other Whole Foods, other grocery stores in other states, and no luck!

READ THE LABEL! I have found ‘black currant juice’ in the fresh section of Whole Foods, and the first ingredient is pear juice… its very sweet, and not worth buying.  The 100% unsweetened version is the way to go, the tartness is the perfect balance in the recipe.

For the Cabbage:

Start with the fresh fruit: apples, pears, and peaches.  Roughly chop these so they fit into the food processor, cut each fruit into 6-8 small pieces.  Pulse the fruit for 10-20 seconds until it is finely chopped.  Scoop the fruit into a large pot, and begin to sauté the fruit on low heat with the 1/8 cup of oil.

While the fruit is sautéing, begin on the red cabbage:  cut long thin ribbons of the cabbage and add to the pot with the fruit.  Add the vinegars, sugar/honey, and currant juice to the pot and begin to simmer.  Add salt and pepper at this time too.  Cover and let cook on low-medium for 30 minutes or so, until cabbage is soft and tender.  Once the mixture is ready to serve, fold in the currant jelly and serve warm.

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

Vegan Lentil Bolognese Pasta Sauce

This recipe was one of those ‘make it up as I go along’ dinners 🙂

I originally was planning to have some zucchini and lentils, and it turned into the great creation below.  I chose the name ‘bolognese’ because the lentils make this super filling and the texture is almost ‘meaty’ as the lentils break down in the sauce when its stirred.  And adding the soup makes the sauce super creamy, a little sweet, and everything works so perfectly together!

I usually like to limit my cooking to 1 or 2 burners/pots for easy clean up, but I did have 3 burners going to simultaneously cook everything below.  All in all, it didn’t take too long (by the time the lentils are done cooking, the recipe is almost over) and I could each pot as I was done using it.

Ingredients:

1 cup green lentils

1 14oz can of petite diced tomatoes

1 zucchini

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup kale

1 cup tomato/roasted red pepper soup

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Fresh parsley to garnish

8 oz whole wheat pasta (about 1/2 box) Sub gluten free and you won’t miss a thing!

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Cooking Directions:

Start with the thing that takes the longest: Lentils!  Measure out 1 cup of green lentils into a medium sized pot, and wash/sort the lentils into the sink.  Drain the liquid, and add 2 cups of water (2:1) water to lentil ratio.  Bring the lentils to a boil over high heat, then cover and simmer on low for about 20 minutes until the lentils are soft and have absorbed all the water.

Meanwhile…

Start by heating the extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Chop the zucchini into small bite-sized pieces, and add to a sauté pan with the garlic, and cook on low for 5 minutes.  Once the zucchini gets soft, add the can of diced tomatoes with the juice.  Add the kale, oregano, and basil, and simmer the sauce on low.

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Meanwhile…

In a medium pot, boil some salted water and cook the pasta until it is al dente (depends on what shape you’re using, I did a whole wheat rotini and it was about 8-10 minutes).

Once the lentils are finished cooking, add them to the saucepan with the zucchini and tomatoes.  Add in 1 cup of tomato or roasted red pepper soup, and continue to simmer on low for 5 minutes.  The soup will make the veggies extra creamy and turn it into more of a ‘sauce’ which is amazing.  Add in the cooked pasta to the pan, and combine all ingredients together, until the pasta is covered in the sauce.

This made about 4 servings of sauce, and 2 servings of pasta… but I am trying this again tonight!  Would also be great with spinach instead of kale 🙂  Also mushrooms would be yummy sauteed in with the zucchini, might try that tonight.

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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.

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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

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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!

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