Back from my two-week hiatus! It was good to take a break but now it’s time to get back to sharing these recipes, my writing and plant-based wellness journey. Saturday night, Jeff and I went to a friend’s house for our second vegan potluck. Our group consisted of two other couples and their combined 8 children. Since we don’t have kids, it’s lovely to visit a home filled with the warmth of laughing, playing children.
We had our first vegan potluck in December and it was such a hit, we decided to do it again. It was comforting to be around other plant-based people, share new recipes and just have some fun!
This time around, we brought shepherd’s pie and salted chocolate chip cookies made with quinoa flour (delicious!). There was also mac and cheese, Watergate salad (a marshmallow dessert), veggie kebabs, cupcakes with chocolate frosting and hummus and tortilla chips.
As with all gatherings of friends, the best part was the company. Three different couples sharing their lives, a meal and and hopefully more of a future.
I was out of town, specifically in Charlotte this past weekend visiting family. We knew we would be leaving in the afternoon and wanted to stop by a raw vegan restaurant I found online: Luna’s Living Kitchen.
Since we are just getting home, I knew I would be in no mood to cook a meal and eat late so I thought I would share our meal at Luna’s Living Kitchen located in the South Bend of Charlotte. Even though I prefer to cook these meals, it’s good to know there are options everywhere to eat plant-based and even raw vegan!
We started off by sharing a sweet potato sushi roll. I decide to get a cacao smoothie and Jeff chose a Mango Tango. It had a kick of cayenne which we both enjoyed!
Jeff had been eager to try the raw manicotti made with zucchini and cashew cream and tomato sauce. He added the lentil soup for warmth. The coolness of the manicotti threw him a little even though he was warned about it but neither of us could deny how tasty the cashew cream was and how well it mimicked the taste of ricotta cheese. I chose one of the warmer entree options: BBQ sliders. That was our favorite dish! The oyster mushrooms was such an amazing filler compared to mock meats like tofu, tempeh or jackfruit. When we come back to Charlotte, we are definitely coming back!
Tonight, hubby found the recipe on a website for No Meat Athlete. He and I are considering following their meal plans for a week to accelerate the process on our wellness journey. Plus, the site is full of whole foods plant-based recipes which I would like to cook regularly. It’s so easy to fall into the vegan junk food or takeout trap. It’s delicious but ultimately costly and more calorie laden than cooking at home. Here is the recipe:
1-2 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Celery Ribs, diced
4 cloves Garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon Dry Rosemary
1 cup any Tomato Sauce
6 cups Vegetable Stock
1 can (15 ounces) or 1.5 cups cooked Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch Kale (about 8 leaves), preferably Lacinato (Dinosaur), torn into bite-size pieces, coarse stems removed
4 ounces Whole Wheat or Alternative-Grain Linguine, broken into 1 to 2 inch lengths (or choose a bite-size pasta)
Sea salt, to taste
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Heat the oil, if using, in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the rosemary and cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. If not using oil, add a few splashes of water as needed to keep ingredients from drying and burning.
Add the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil.
Add the kale and after about 5 minutes, add the pasta and stir occasionally. (This assumes your pasta will take 7 to 8 minutes to cook. If you’re using pasta that takes 12 to 15 minutes, add the pasta when you add the kale.)
When the pasta is al dente, remove the soup from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
Garnish with the remaining teaspoon of fresh rosemary and optionally, a drizzle of olive oil.
We loved it.. not oily and filling for sure! So glad we chose to sign up for these recipes!