Meatless Mondays: Sweet Potato Quinoa & Enchilada Bake

Meatless Mondays: Sweet Potato Quinoa & Enchilada Bake

I have been holding onto this recipe from shelikesfood.com for a few weeks. I have never cooked with enchilada sauce so I was excited to try. I also have been a little rice and potato heavy so getting back to eating more quinoa seemed like a good idea. I definitely took longer than the prep time indicated but I dice vegetables slowly.

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Diced veggies: red and green peppers, onions and zucchini
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-28,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Sweet potatoes ready to bake with a little salt, pepper and olive oil
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All veggies with salt, pepper and olive oil ready to bake together
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-28,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
All veggies with quinoa, black bean, corn and spices sprinkled with vegan cheese

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dried quinoa
  • 4 cup cubed sweet potato, about 2 large ones
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup grated cheese, divided (I used vegan cheese)
  • 2 1/2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Black pepper
  • Optional garnishes: cilantro, red onion, tomato, avocado, jalapeno

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse quinoa and place it in a small pot with 1 cup of water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.  On a large baking sheet, toss together the cubed sweet potato with 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Bake sweet potato for 20 minutes.
  3. While sweet potato is baking, add all the diced bell peppers, zucchini and onion to a bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Add the vegetables to the sweet potatoes, stir and make sure they’re in an even layer.  Place back into the oven 10 minutes.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.  Place the sweet potatoes and veggies into a large baking dish and stir in the cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, 3/4 cup of the cheese, enchilada sauce, spices, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.  Top with the remaining 1/4 of the cheese and place back in the oven until heated through and cheese is melted, 10-15 minutes.
Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-28,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
All done! I let it bake for 15 minutes instead of 10 minutes.

Hubby and I loved it! We chose to garnish it with avocado. It blended together well and it came out light.  While we were eating it, I thought it would be interesting to add mushrooms, too. I definitely look forward to making it again.

Meatless Mondays: Ninth Street Bakery

Meatless Mondays: Ninth Street Bakery

Today, we were on the road back home from seeing family and we decided to stop at Ninth Street Bakery for lunch. It was a few blocks from Duke University. We almost tried the Luna Living Kitchen Chapel Hill location but then we both said it was best to try something new. I was intrigued by a bakery offering several plant-based options. As soon as we walked in, we knew we were in for a feast. The smell alone was enough to buy out the store. Trying to be gluten-free saved me in this bakery. I could have walked out with a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread under each arm. Anyway, on to what we ate.

I ordered the Thai curry bowl, the savory hand pie (don’t think the flour was wheat) and a side salad. Jeff had the dal lentil soup and the savory hand pie. We loved every bit of it. The freshness and the flavor impressed us both. We left feeling satisfied and didn’t think of eating for hours afterwards. It has been incredibly encouraging to find healthy, plant-based options out on the road. It totally dispels the idea that you can’t be responsible for your health even if you travel frequently.

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Thai curry bowl for me.

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Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-28,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y
Dal lentil soup for him.

 

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Savory hand pies for both of us!

We would definitely come back again. As for next Monday, I already have a recipe in mind that I am excited to try!

 

Meatless Mondays: No Chicken (Vegan) Pot Pie

Meatless Mondays: No Chicken (Vegan) Pot Pie

Today, hubby took over and cooked a no chicken vegetarian (we made it vegan) pot pie. The recipe came from genius kitchen.

READY IN:

55mins

SERVES:

4

UNITS:

US

INGREDIENTSNutrition

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Ready to be baked!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Saute onion, celery, carrots and potatoes in butter for 10 minutes.
  3. Add flour to sauteed mixture, stirring well Cook one minute stirring constantly.
  4. Combine broth and half and half.
  5. Gradually stir into vegetable mixture.
  6. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly.
  7. Stir in salt and pepper and tyme; add tofu and stir well.
  8. Pour into shallow 2 quart casserole dish and top with pie shells.
  9. Cut slits to allow steam to escape.
  10. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly and cooked through.
 He added broccoli, mushrooms and cilantro, replaced the onion broth with vegetable broth and the half and half with almond milk (to make it vegan) but forgot to add carrots. We are trying to stay away from soy so tofu didn’t make it into our veggie pot pie. It didn’t matter. It was tasty..we probably should have let it sit a while longer before cutting into it but the flavor was all there. Definitely would try again!

Meatless Mondays: Luna’s Living Kitchen

Meatless Mondays: Luna’s Living Kitchen

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!

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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!

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The cashew cream was incredible!
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Our favorite dish topped with jalapeno slaw!

Meatless Mondays: Hearty Chickpea Pasta Soup

Meatless Mondays: Hearty Chickpea Pasta Soup

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:

Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil, if using, in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil.
  4. 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.)
  5. When the pasta is al dente, remove the soup from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  6. 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!

 

Meatless Mondays: Black Bean Soup

Meatless Mondays: Black Bean Soup

I know I didn’t post a recipe last week but for some reason it felt like a lot longer. I have been working feverishly on a project that is coming to a close and it felt amazing to get back to Meatless Mondays by trying this recipe from allrecpies.com.

Here is the link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/25333/vegan-black-bean-soup/

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion-chopped

4 cloves garlic-chopped

2 carrots

1 stalk of celery

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 pinch black pepper

4 cups vegetable broth

4 15 oz. cans of black beans

1 15oz can of whole kernel corn

1 14.5 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

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Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic for 5 minutes. Season with chili powder, cumin, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in vegetable broth, 2 cans of beans, and corn. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, process remaining 2 cans beans and tomatoes until smooth. Stir into boiling soup mixture, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes.

I was unsure how much I would like it without salt but the pepper, chili powder and cumin, onions and garlic provided more than enough flavor. It was relatively easy to make it and we both loved it!

 

Meatless Mondays: Walnut Meat Tacos

Meatless Mondays: Walnut Meat Tacos

Tonight, I am working on another writing project so I opted to make something quick and easy for Meatless Mondays: Walnut Meat Tacos. I have made walnut meat tacos in Romaine lettuce leaves but I opted for blue corn taco shells tonight. It’s not only quick and easy but tasty! Ever since being plant-based, I value spices more than ever and I realize all I have ever been interested in–with meat or vegetables–was the taste. No one likes a bland plate of either! I added a corn and bean salsa and sliced some avocado on the side and substituted liquid aminos for soy sauce. This recipe came from genius kitchen.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    1 teaspoon paprika
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Spiced walnut “meat” after being pulsed in the food processor.

Directions:

  1. Put ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until course and crumbly. Don’t pulse for too long, or else you’ll end up with butter!

Enjoy! I know we will tonight!

Meatless Mondays: African Peanut Stew (vegan)

Meatless Mondays: African Peanut Stew (vegan)

Today, I decided to try something new: a vegan version of African Peanut Stew! I found several recipes online but decided I to go with the one on budgetbytes.com. I have actually never eaten it but I hope the recipe did the stew justice.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • inch fresh ginger
  • 1 medium sweet potato 
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup natural style chunky peanut butter
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 bunch 2-3 cups chopped collard greens
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro garnish (optional)

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Peel and grate the ginger using a small holed cheese grater. Mince the garlic. Sauté the ginger and garlic in vegetable oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic becomes soft and fragrant.
  2. Dice the onion, add it to the pot, and continue to sauté. Dice the sweet potato (1/2 inch cubes), add it to the pot, and continue to sauté a few minutes more, or until the onion is soft and the sweet potato takes on a darker, slightly translucent appearance. Season with cumin and red pepper flakes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and peanut butter, and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Add the vegetable broth and stir to dissolve the thick tomato paste-peanut butter mixture. Place a lid on the pot and turn the heat up to high.
  4. While the soup is coming up to a boil, prepare the collard greens. Rinse the greens well, then use a sharp knife to remove each stem (cut along the side of each stem). Stack the leaves, then cut them into thin strips. Add the collard strips to the soup pot.
  5. Once the soup reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow it to simmer without a lid for about 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very soft. Once soft, smash about half of the sweet potatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to help thicken the soup. Taste the soup and add salt if needed (will depend on the brand of broth used).
  6. Serve the stew hot with a few cilantro leaves if desired.

RECIPE NOTES

Mustard greens or lacinato kale can be used in place of the collard greens.

The verdict: We loved it! Approved! Hubby just told me that the stew will definitely be gone tomorrow. I will put this in the rotation. It went really well with brown rice and we loved the crunch of the peanuts with the stew. One of the best yet!

 

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Today we were supposed to be celebrating New Year’s at my brother-in-law’s and bringing a dish. I didn’t buy everything I needed for soup joumou for Haitian Independence Day so we stuck with Vegan Shepherd’s pie from the minimalistbaker.com. I will definitely do a vegan soup joumou in the near future. It came out well, I might have let it bake a little long but I love how crisp the potato crust gets on top. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
FILLING
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (DIYor store-bought)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
MASHED POTATOES
  • 3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, thoroughly washed
  • 3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Instructions

  1. Slice any large potatoes in half, place in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
  2. Once cooked, drain, add back to the pot to evaporate any remaining water, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Use a masher, pastry cutter or large fork to mash until smooth. Add add desired amount of vegan butter (2-4 Tbsp), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
  3. While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish (or comparable sized dish, such as 9×13 pan. An 8×8 won’t fit it all but close!).
  4. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized – about 5 minutes.
  5. Add a pinch each salt and pepper. Then add lentils, stock, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (35-40 minutes).
  6. In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavors together.
  7. OPTIONAL: To thicken the mixture, add 2-3 Tbsp mashed potatoes and stir. Alternatively, scoop out 1/2 of the mixture and whisk in 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder and whisk. Return to the pan and whisk to thicken.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then transfer to your prepared oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt.
  9. Place on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the mashers are lightly browned on top.
  10. Let cool briefly before serving. The longer it sits, the more it will thicken. Let cool completely before covering, and then store in the fridge for up to a few days. Reheats well in the microwave.

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Meatless Mondays: Roasted Carrot, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

Meatless Mondays: Roasted Carrot, Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup

This week, especially after a couple of days of snow, I decided to make a soup as part of our dinner tonight. Hubby found this recipe from choosingchia.com:

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 liter vegetable broth
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt & pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a pan with parchment paper.
  2. Chop your sweet potatoes and carrots into medium sized cubes and place spread out of your pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until tender.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large pot on medium heat. Chop your onion and garlic and and add to the pot, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add grated ginger, sweet potato, carrots and a pinch of cayenne and stir together.
  4. Next add your vegetable broth and bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Transfer soup to a blender (or use a hand blender) and blend soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
It turned out  to be amazing. Because of the onions and garlic clove, I barely had to salt and pepper to taste. I also did not have veggie broth so I mixed water with Goya salad and vegetable seasoning and added that to the onions, garlic, ginger and cayenne. I also used 1 tablespoon of ginger instead of 2–it’s all we had left. Hubby told me we already had everything we needed to make this soup so the improvisation was clearly not planned. But that’s ok. Sometimes, that’s how it is and it did not disappoint.
Already excited for next Monday!