This past weekend, Hubby and I went to another vegan potluck at a friend’s home. This time, it was a cookout complete with barbecued seitan ribs, corn on the cob, garden burgers, potato salad, pesto pasta salad, fresh cantaloupe slices and ice cream. Hubby even baked his chocolate chip cookies again.
My friend’s husband at the grill focusing on his seitan ribs
Pesto pasta salad
Since it was basically the same group, we had an amazing time yet again. I was pretty wiped out from attending 3 events and cooking before we even got there but we looked forward to seeing everyone and of course, it was all worth it. I also realized I had never been to an all-vegan cookout, either. We were all outside, talking, laughing, eating at picnic tables and watching the children run and swing. There’s really not much of a difference.
There’ s comfort in going to a place where you don’t have to explain why you eat what you do but by far, the comfort is always because of the people.
And the connections.
As I’ve written here many times before, it never stops being about the people and the connections.
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.
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
Optional garnishes: cilantro, red onion, tomato, avocado, jalapeno
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.
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.
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.
Add the vegetables to the sweet potatoes, stir and make sure they’re in an even layer. Place back into the oven 10 minutes.
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.
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.