Chili Verde con Jackfruit

I put it on nachos. Because, duh.

Green Chili is a big deal in the Southwest, specifically in New Mexico and Colorado.  I recently went on a road trip that lead me to New Mexico for the first time, and I was inspired to try making my own green chili for the first time.  I know that my version isn’t particularly traditional, which is why I hesitate to associate it with the New Mexico style stuff.

This is a dish I’ve been desperately wanting to make, but the trip was the final spark.  And wow, I am sure glad I did.  I want to eat this always.  Every day.  On everything.  Forever.

Ingredients

  • 3-3.5 pounds of tomatillo
  • 3 hatch green chilies
  • 3 jalapeños (or less, I mean, whatever)
  • 1 pasillo pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 bunches of spring onions, with the thin green tops and stringy bottoms trimmed off
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 head (yeah) of garlic
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 14oz can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 14 oz cans (or ~24oz pre-drained) young jackfruit in water, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 sprigs of cilantro

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Slow Cooker
  • Immersion blender, or other blender to transfer into

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º.  Peel the tomatillos and wash them, all of the peppers, and green onions.  Pat dry and lay out on lightly oiled baking sheets.  Cover the peppers and green onions.  Place the sheets into the oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, I  turned down the oven to 350º, flipped everything over, and left it all uncovered.  30 more minutes in the oven, and everything was soft and browned.
  2. While all of that roasting is happening, chop up the half yellow onion and peel the head (yeah) of garlic.  Toss them into the slow cooker on low.
  3. Once everything is out of the oven, pull the tops off of the peppers and give them a rough cut or two.  Ultimately, I used an immersion blender (you could chop everything up really small and then roast it, adjusting times accordingly, or use other methods of blending), so everything was a pretty rough chop.  I tossed all of the roasted goodies into the slow cooker, and blended it up.
  4. Next, I added the drained tomatoes, salt, and cumin.  I let this sit on low in the slow cooker for about 6 hours, but that was just because I still had to run out and get jackfruit.
    1. You could easily just let it sit on high for a few with the jackfruit and cilantro in it so it’s done sooner!
  5. Once I added the jackfruit and cilantro, I turned the slow cooker on high, and let the chunks hang out for about 2 hours.
  6. Finally, shred the jackfruit into bits and stir.  Check for seasonings, and put on top of everything.

Tortilla Soup… Kinda.

Serves 8!

IMG_3967

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup/185g dry pinto beans
  • 1 cup/185g dry black beans

(soak the beans overnight in water; should be 3-4 inches above beans while soaking)

  • 1 cup/180g quinoa
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 medium-large zucchini
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 cup/180g corn kernels
  • 1 14oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 14oz can no salt added tomato sauce (+1 full can of water)
  • 1 4oz can diced green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon: cumin, coriander, smoked paprika
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, diced or grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make sure you soak the beans overnight!
  2. Put the beans into a slow cooker covered by an inch or two of water.  Set on high, and beans should be cooked in about 3 hours.  Once they’re done, set the slow cooker to low.
  3. Roast the onion, zucchini, carrots, and jalapeño until slightly browned.
  4. Once beans are cooked, add quinoa, tomatoes + water, and chilies.  Add spices and garlic.
  5. Allow quinoa to cook (30-40 minutes, if you turn down to low), and add the roasted vegetables.  Add the corn last.
  6. Soup should be done, but you can allow it to hang out on low for a while in the slow cooker.

Optional toppings (kind of, I mean, you should put them on top):

  • avocado
  • lime juice
  • vegan cheese shreds
  • cilantro
  • dairy free quesadilla!

Warm Lentil Salad with Tempeh Bacon and Mustard Vinaigrette

Serves 2

IMG_3875Ingredients:

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or 2 servings of vegetable bullion, which is what I used)
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 portobello mushroom cap, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 2 servings tempeh bacon
  • Baby mixed greens
  • Dressing:
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
    • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
    • 1/2 tablespoon of tahini

 

Directions:

  1. Boil the lentils in the veggie stock for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and tender.  Set aside, but keep warm!
  2. Broil the tempeh bacon until it becomes crispy, flipping once.
  3. Sauté carrot, mushroom, shallot, and garlic until the carrots become soft.
  4. Add the herbs/spices and sauté an additional 5 minutes.  Add the lentils to mix.
  5. To make the dressing, put all ingredients into a container (if you find it a little tart, you can add some agave or other sweetener, but I wouldn’t add much!).

To serve:

  • Plate baby greens.  Top with vegetable mix and lentils.  Pour 1/2 the dressing over each serving.  Top with 1/2 of the tempeh bacon each.

Bahn Mi Bowl-o-rama

It’s kind of funny. I cook all the time, but I fail to ever really think I’m creating new recipes or anything worth sharing, so I don’t post here.

I am hoping to change that this year.  Really.

 

I got pretty bored the other day and decided that I had some carrots, cucumber, and radishes that needed pickling, so I figured out how to do that.  Then, I thought, oh man, I could make something like a Bahn Mi with this.  And, the bowl was born.

img_3541

Here’s the basic info on pickling that I used.

Note: I used apple cider vinegar and agave, and added a crushed garlic clove, used whole peppercorns, and played around with the herbs/spices.  And I doubled this recipe.  I love spicy food, but they aren’t kidding about the heat, here!

The Bowl

Ingredients (for 1):

  • short grain brown rice (cook however much, but about 1/2 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • pickled veggies
  • fresh cucumber (about 1/4 should be good)
  • fresh carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 package of tofu, pressed, dried, and cut into cubes
  • avocado
  • vegan mayo of choice
  • sriracha
  • lime juice

Really, aside from the pickles, this is a very easy recipe.

Directions:

  1. Make the pickles beforehand, so that they are cooled and pickley!  Also, preheat your oven to 425!
  2. Cook your rice!
  3. While rice is cooking, season your tofu cubes with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until a little browned and crispy!
  4. Slice your carrot and cucumber up and set aside.  Wash and destem kale, then chop into ribbons.  I like to steam my kale quickly, but it will be just fine totally raw, if you chop it up small.
  5. Assemble!  Start with the rice, then kale, veggies (fresh and pickled), tofu, avocado, and mayo.  Drizzle (or pour, no judgement) sriracha and lime juice over the top.

That’s it!

You’ve Lost Your Noodle! Lasagna

When I was on my weight loss journey a few years ago, I was looking for ways to enjoy delicious foods, but maybe cut back on the carbohydrates a little bit (mostly in the pasta and bread-y forms).  That was when I found a recipe for eggplant and zucchini lasagna, using those two plants instead of noodles.  Now, back then, I wasn’t vegan, so the original recipe was full of cheese and egg and the like.  I have since learned how to adapt it to make a simple, healthy, and delicious vegan recipe.

One thing that I should let you know is that this is a recipe that pretty much requires a special kitchen tool – a mandoline slicer.  The ability to make slices all the same thickness is pretty important to the success of this recipe.

Most of the time, I make it very, very simple, but under the ingredients list, I’ve added a few possible (and delicious) add ins!

Topped with a little red pepper flake and additional nooch, for extra love.

Topped with a little red pepper flake and additional nooch, for extra love.

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 1/2 of a small eggplant, sliced thinly length wise (use the thin blade on a mandoline)
  • 1 medium/large zucchini (you may not use all of it), sliced thinly length wise
  • 1 package of firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup dairy free cheese alternative (this time, I used Daiya, but I usually use the Follow Your Heart shreds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 can unsalted tomato sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh, chopped basil
  • 2 diced up cloves of garlic
  • Options (including, but not limited to):
    • mushrooms!
    • kale!
    • spinach!
    • add crushed red pepper to the sauce to make it spicy!
    • ground meat substitute! (Beyond Meat’s Beefy grounds would be my recommendation!)
    • you could also sub the tomato sauce with my vegan alfredo sauce, if you’re into that kind of thing!

Directions (this is a recipe big enough to share!  It’s technically 4 servings, but you or a guest may end up eating half of it, it’s so good!):

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and spritz a little oil on the base of a 9×9 glass baking dish.
  2. In a bowl, combine the tomato products, fresh herbs, and chopped garlic.  Place a small amount on the bottom of the dish, just enough to give a little coating.
  3. In another bowl, combine the pressed tofu, nooch, salt, pepper, dried basil, granulated garlic, and 1/4 a cup of the cheese alternative.  This should look and taste kind of similar to ricotta cheese.  The addition of the cheese alternative is to help it be a little sticky, so the lasagna holds more shape.
  4. Place a layer of zucchini/eggplant on top of the bottom layer of sauce.  You can do this several ways – you can alternate layers of zucchini and eggplant, or you can mix them.  Although the image I have included shows the eggplant cut into rounds, I recommend lengthwise for either application (I was just using left over eggplant from the other day – you can also use all zucchini or all eggplant, if you’d like!)
  5. Layer the tofu ricotta mixture, followed by about another 1/4 cup of cheese, and top with sauce.
  6. Repeat this process until you run out of tofu mixture and sauce.  Then, top with one more layer of zucchini/eggplant, and the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted.  Let sit for 15 minutes, and enjoy!
The whole shabang, right out of the oven.

The whole shabang, right out of the oven.

Penne Alfredo with Kale and Mushrooms

While I was at the grocery store yesterday, someone mentioned they wanted pasta, and I came to the conclusion that I, too, wanted pasta.  I felt like a mushroomy, creamy, sauce was just what I was in the mood for, so I stocked up on crimini mushrooms and headed home.

Mushrooms are one of my favorite things to base dishes around, since I have found them to be very versatile, as well as totally delicious.  Before I stopped paying for cable, I used to watch a lot of Food Network TV shows.  A lot.  I actually attribute this to my ability to cook, since I really never did it beforehand.  Alton Brown’s show, Good Eats, was always a favorite, and one year I remember him making my favorite holiday dish from scratch – green bean casserole.  Since then, I have always made it with fresh ingredients, and it’s been super simple to adapt to my veganism.  I’ve made the mushroom cream sauce and mixed it with pasta before, but I recently decided to play around with it and try to get the flavor of an alfredo sauce with the mushrooms in it.  I feel like I nailed it, and was in the mood for this delicious sauce again last night.

Something about pasta with a cream sauce was just begging for greenery, however, so I added about half a bunch of lacitano kale. Really the only reason I used this kind of kale was because it’s so much easier to cut up into strips than curly varieties of kale, and I was going for that abundance of kale that only thinly shredded bits would be able to give me. Served with a side salad, this was a delicious, hearty, and vitamin filled vegan meal worthy of writing about.

kale mushroom alfredo

Without further ado, here is the recipe for my Penne Alfredo with Kale and Mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of the vegan alfredo sauce (recipe here)
  • 1 serving penne (or other pasta of your choice, but the sauce will stick really well to penne)
  • about 150g, or 1-1.5 cups, sliced mushrooms (I used crimini, but you could cut up portobello mushrooms or use white button.  Nothing with too strong of a flavor, though)
  • 1/2 of one large bunch of kale (I used lacitano, but any kind will work, and you can also adjust the amounts for your taste)
  • oil to saute the mushrooms and kale in
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • optional: some kind of vegan protein source (I used smokey tempeh strips, because I thought the smokey flavor would lend well to the sauce)

Directions (makes one serving):

  1. Cook your pasta according to the package.
  2. Follow the directions included for the vegan alfredo to make the sauce, but add the dried rosemary as well.  It works beautifully with the mushrooms and kale, and although optional, it shouldn’t be!
  3. In a large saute pan, cook your mushrooms until they’re browned and have expelled liquid.  Add the kale on top and cover, allowing it to steam for a while.  ***If using a protein, cook during this time.
  4. When the pasta, sauce, and vegetables are done, test for seasoning and combine ingredients.
  5. Enjoy!!

Portobello Steak with Mixed Green Spaghetti Squash

I’ve had a George Foreman grill for years.  When I ate meat, I probably used it… twice ever.  Just in the last 4 months, I’ve used it close to 10 times.  Why?  I discovered the joy of cooking portobello mushroom caps on it.  After they’ve been marinated and grilled, they’re easily one of the tastiest things I can make at home.

A word about spaghetti squash – it doesn’t taste like spaghetti, so don’t get your hopes up, if you haven’t had it.  That’s usually the first question people ask me when I tell them I had some of it for dinner.  It’s a squash, and it tastes like one.

Anyway, I hadn’t been on a serious grocery shopping trip in close to two months.  I went out of town for Thanksgiving, then for work, then Christmas showed up pretty quickly, and I went out of town again for New Years.  So, yesterday, I did the first half of my grocery shopping.  I decided to make something new with my spaghetti squash, and that lead to this!

ingredients

Ingredients: spaghetti squash, portobello mushroom, beet greens, kale, Beyond Meat chicken-free strips, lemon, garlic, an array of spices, and not pictured: balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cooked spaghetti squash (I boil mine, but you can bake them or even microwave them!  Just make sure they’re cut in half first)
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap
  • 4-5 beet green leaves
  • 3-4 kale leaves
  • 1 serving Beyond Meat chicken-free strips
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • however many cloves of garlic your heart desires
  • assorted herbs and spices (I used basil, parsley, rosemary, lemon pepper, and crushed red pepper)
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:
1. Boil a large pot of water (large enough for your spaghetti squash. I always just cook the whole thing). If you don’t have a grill, preheat your oven to 450 (for your mushroom)
2. Zest your lemon (set half aside) and squeeze half of the juice into a container that will fit your portobello mushroom. Add salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mix together, and add your cap, gills down. I always do this in a sealed tupperware so I can flip it around and get the whole thing coated. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes in the marinade. If you’re putting the mushroom in the oven, go ahead and do that right after the 10 minutes is up.
3. Take your leaves, then pile and roll them up to chiffonade (this is a fancy word for “cut into strips”). Here’s a picture:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca8/64879055/files/2015/01/img_0065.jpg
4. Sauté your greens with olive oil and garlic. They’re going to need a little time to soften.
5. When the spaghetti squash is done, remove it from the water. I like to place it in a bowl and use my fork to scrape it out. Here’s another picture:

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca8/64879055/files/2015/01/img_0066.jpg
6. Right about now, I would put my mushroom on the grill. It only needs about 5 minutes on the GF, closer to 15 if you’re baking.
7. Take the scraped squash and drop it in with your greens, and add the Beyond Meat chicken-free strips. Mix them together, and remove from heat. Add the rest of your zest and lemon juice, as well as any spices you want.
8. When your mushroom is done, remove it from the grill or oven, and slice as desired. Plate, and enjoy!

(note: unlike meat, you can use your marinade without heating it and pour it on top of your mushroom.  It’s delicious!  I showed a friend this, and she totally thought I was eating a steak.)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/ca8/64879055/files/2015/01/img_0068.jpg