Category Archives: vegan

Vegan Chili

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I’ve never been a big chili person at all, but my recent love affair with the slow cooker made me more adventurous.

There was no big secret to this recipe. I bought a variety of beans (black, kidney, garbanzo, white, and lima), added some carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and spices and cooked it all over night. It was actually really good, especially when served with some fresh cilantro. My favorite were the lima beans.

Good to know that I can make meat-less chili with almost no effort and eat the leftovers for several days!

 

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For the Sweet Tooth

I am currently obsessed with this quick dessert:

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Plain Greek yogurt, frozen organic berries, and honey.

For our Thanksgiving road trip to Wisconsin, I made this banana pumpkin bread:

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It was vegan, using chia seeds and water as an egg substitute, and super moist and delicious. I think Dave and I each had three pieces during our 13-hour drive. Other snacks included organic raspberries, kombucha, cashews, kale chips, potato cakes, and more fruit.

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This may be my favorite banana pumpkin bread recipe ever. I think the reason it was so good is that I used brown sugar and white flour. Usually, I use maple syrup instead of sugar and almond flour, but I was worried that the “chia egg” would be enough gamble. I may have to try combining all three next time.

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Filed under deserts, Uncategorized, vegan

Leftover Lentils

What do you know? It’s crock pot time!

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When I planned my meals for the week, I knew I would have a lot of leftover veggies, so I knew a lentil stew would be the perfect way not to let it go to waste….

So, all I did was put lentils in the crock pot with some vegetable broth, added two left-over vegan sausages, carrots, celery, and green peppers, plus some spices, and let it do its thing overnight.

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The result: a delicious hearty stew that lasted us for days. During stormy and chilly fall days, this is pretty close to the ideal office lunch. Leftovers made from leftovers — winning.

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, leftovers, low carb, lunch-prep, vegan

Vegan Quesadillas

 

Ohhhh my. Talk about a perfect vegan comfort meal. Potato and pumpkin quesadillas!

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So basically, this is the easiest recipe ever. Just mix hot brown rice, spinach, and potatoes together in a bowl based on the proportions you like, add spices, and place it on a tortilla while it’s heating up in a frying pan. Then add a second tortilla on top, flip the quesadilla, and cook it on that side. Each side should heat up for about three minutes.

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After my first quesadilla, I remembered a half-used can of pumpkin I still had in the fridge and decided to mix it in to the filling. Yum!

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I also realized I should use plain Greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute. So goodbye “vegan,” hello dairy.

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This wasn’t even all of it. I made three quesadillas total, and we ate about half of the slices right then. The rest lasted for snacks through the next two days. Victory!

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Creamy Avocado Spaghetti Squash

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After tackling my first squash in the slow cooker last week, I was ready to take it one step further: spaghetti squash.

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After slicing it in half and scooping out the seeds, I brushed the halves with oil and sprinkled them with sea salt and pepper before roasting them in the oven face down for 40 minutes.

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While they were roasting, I made the creamy avocado sauce (two avo halves, 3 cloves of garlic, juice of half a lemon, 2 tbsp olive oil, fresh basil) in the blender. A food processor would have worked better, but who owns such extravagancy?

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Once they finished roasting, the fun could begin. I took a fork and carved out the strings, which was really easy and gave me much more flesh than I expected.

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And here it is: the perfect alternative to pasta – vegan, gluten-free, and amazingly nutritious and tasty. Between the squash and the avocado, the nutritional profile of this dish is out of control awesome.

I really needed a nutritious boost too after my workout class tonight. I am still following my fitness plan pretty much perfectly. Friday, I was supposed to run 3 miles, but I had more dental work, which left me in pain, so I switched out Friday for my planned rest day on Sunday and made up for it then.

The goal for the month of November is to be able to run 3 10-minute miles comfortably.

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Filed under gluten-free, low carb, vegan

Butternut Squash Success

Remember the other day when I decided to put butternut squash and almond milk in the slow cooker?

I just had to take a moment out of this pretty slow workday to tell you how amazingly delicious the result is (although it doesn’t look the part)

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This is one of my favorite vegan dishes I’ve ever made. It’s a nutty and cheesy pasta bake that is perfect for a cold day and lunch at the office (although I fully plan to dig in again for dinner as well).

“Cheesy” Butternut Squash Pasta

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup almond flower
1 can chickpeas
1.5 cups wholewheat pasta of any kind
salt

Directions:
Put the cubed squash and the almond milk in the slow cooker for four hours. I did this on Tuesday night and then stored the cooked mix in the fridge to be continued the next night. When you’re ready to continue, put the mix back in the slow cooker, adding the chickpeas, almond flour, salt, and pasta. Let this cook for at least two more hours. The alternative would be to do the second part in the oven by using a casserole dish, which would take less time.

Omg. This is so, so good. The squash and almond milk and flour make for an amazing cheese and nuts flavor, and the pasta absorbed so much flavor in the slow cooker. I am at my desk now, full and happy.

My fitness plan is going well, by the way. I ran 3 miles on Tuesday night. Last night, Dave and I were going to go to Kinetik for a fitness class, but then his class ended late, so we switched out yesterday’s plan with today’s. We both went for a run, but Dave was crazy enough to do it outside in 35 degree weather, while I stuck to the treadmill. Tonight is fitness class time, and I am pretty sure this lunch just gave me tons of energy for it!

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Obsessed.

I’m surprised I found time this weekend to help a friend develop a marketing strategy for her new business, go on a hike with Dave, and grocery shop and prep meals for the week considering we’ve been absolutely OBSESSED with this game:

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It’s Settlers of Catan mania at our house. Just to illustrate – we played three games on Friday night with some friends, which made us stay up wayyyy past our bedtime. We enjoyed decadent snacks during this, such as baguette with brie and smoked salmon and dark chocolate covered almonds (no pics though). The others had beer, too, but I stuck to my home-brewed Kombucha with pride.

Then, yesterday, Dave discovered a version you can play with two people, which only made us more addicted. We spent our Saturday night hovered over the game board, then all of Sunday morning, and we’re about to play more.

Despite this craziness, I have some food pics to share 🙂

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These are two-ingredient muffins a la hungryhungryhippie.com. It’s so genius – all it takes are four eggs and 3 cups of shredded zucchini plus a pinch of salt.

I’m excited to try these for breakfast tomorrow along with this other goodness inspired by Elise:

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Aside from making the two cutest loaves of banana bread ever, this recipe is so insanely delicious that I doubled it and made two this time (I subbed maple syrup for the stevia in her recipe only because that’s what I had here). It’s so moist and flavorful and will make for the perfect start to my week. Seriously, knowing I have a delicious breakfast waiting for me will make getting up at 6 a.m. on a Monday so much easier.

The rest of my food prep was focused on lunch-making and assembling some salads for dinner, which contained a lot of left-overs, such as salmon, avocado, goat cheese, and roasted pine nuts.

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I also started my second batch of kombucha. I’m making twice as much this time because the stuff is perfection and let’s be real, I want to drink it every day.

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As I’m waiting for it to ferment, I will have to rely on the expensive bottled stuff, but I would rather not go without it for a week. Making twice the amount should help avoid this in the future, though.

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Almond milk for organic berries and Green Superfood smoothies in the a.m., kombucha for an energy-boost in the afternoons. Bring on the new week!

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Filed under Breakfast, dairy-free, lunch-prep, salads, smoothies, vegan