Vegan Quesadillas

 

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

20131118-202334.jpg

 

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.

20131118-202352.jpg

 

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!

20131118-202403.jpg

 

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

20131118-202429.jpg

 

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!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under vegan

Creamy Avocado Spaghetti Squash

20131118-201855.jpg

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

20131118-201912.jpg

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.

20131118-201924.jpg

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?

20131118-201949.jpg

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.

20131118-202036.jpg

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under gluten-free, low carb, vegan

Best Snack Plate

20131115-191411.jpg

Amazing Thursday night dinner companion: honey drizzled goat cheese on whole wheat crackers plus dark chocolate covered almonds. I’ve wanted more of this pretty much constantly since we finished it!

Leave a comment

Filed under deserts, Uncategorized

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)

20131114-123524.jpg

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!

Leave a comment

Filed under vegan

Racing the Clock

Tonight was all about cooking multiple meals at once. I’m not sure why I was so motivated to stock the fridge with prepped meals. Now that I’m back to my cooking routine, I find that I can’t wait to get into the kitchen after work. It’s somehow relaxing to chop vegetables and assemble new recipes after long days of meetings and desk time.

The reason I had to race the clock even more than if I was just making a bunch of meals was that I also want to get in a 3-mile run (which I still have to do after writing this). So, without further ado, here are tonight’s meal creations:

Image

This is a super easy and quick pasta dish. I layered the pan with uncooked whole wheat pasta, marinara sauce/water, frozen peas, cottage cheese, goat cheese, and salt and pepper and baked it at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Leftovers for tomorrow’s lunches included!

Image

Then, I made a pumpkin curry with a quinoa and brown rice mix base. For the curry, I used half an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1.5 cans of pumpkin, 2 heaping teaspoons of curry powder, salt & pepper, as well as some chopped walnuts and sunflower seeds for garnish. This is a good sauce! Awesome vegan alternative to cream-based curry, and way less heavy on the stomach. Again, this gave me some good leftovers for meals later this week.

Image

This is an awesome dessert – I mixed a frozen banana, 1/3 cup of almond milk, 2 table spoons chia seeds, 2 graham crackers, and 5 Trader Joe’s dark chocolate crisps and put them in the blender. Then I used additional graham crackers for dipping.

Image

So dinner was a bit unusual, since I served two entrees plus dessert. Dave had just been watching a competitive cooking show while cleaning up our camping gear, so he joked that he felt like he was being asked to sample and rate each dish. He liked them all. We were both especially impressed with the pumpkin curry sauce.

After dinner, I decided to make one more dish. For this purpose, I peeled and chopped my first ever butternut squash.

Image

Thank God for Youtube, but it still took me about 15 minutes.

Image

The cubes are now in the slow cooker, submerged in almond milk. I’m planning to end up with a vegan cheesy sauce for a pasta casserole, so stayed tuned for the results.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Camping at Black Moshannon State Park

This past Saturday, Dave and I took our first couple’s camping trip since moving to PA. This is a little surprising considering Dave used to camp on the regular during his years with Boy Scouts. His Eagle Scout skills definitely go under-used these days, but we’re hoping to change that. He has a lot to teach me, from setting up a tent in a reasonable time-frame to building a fire to packing the right gear.

 Image

We got to the camp site around 3 p.m., went for a hike, and got back just in time to get the fire going before it got dark.

It was in the low 40s even during the day (I don’t know how low the temps dropped at night), so the fire was necessary. I don’t know if it’s Dave’s Oregon-ness, but he didn’t really feel that it was very cold, while I was freezing the entire time. Sitting by the fire was my favorite part. Once it gave off enough heat, we could star thinking about dinner.

Image

The first course was Jewish Cinnamon Maple Whiskey Challah. Our friend brought it to a party we went to on Friday night and gave us some of it to take camping. It was absolutely delicious. He has since sent me the recipe and I hope to try making it sometime soon.

Image

 

The second course was a quinoa/potato salad with dried cranberries and roasted pine nuts. Not your typical camping fare, but a good idea since it didn’t need to be refrigerated and was hearty and filling.

For dessert, we had some dark chocolate before getting to my favorite part:

 ImageImage

 

Spiced apple cider made by holding a kettle directly over the fire from a piece of wood. 

Image

 

We enjoyed the cider while I read out loud from a book we’ve been reading together since April. It was so nice. This sounds lame and cliche, but I really never feel like I am unplugged from technology anymore and there is rarely space in my head to do some good old reading from an actual book. Being in nature with nobody but Dave and away from phones and laptops made me so much more receptive to the story. 

I was cold during the night despite about 5,000 layers and a mummy bag. This was mostly due to my lack of an inflatable pad. Overall, I really liked the experience though, and we’re kind of thinking of a two-day backpacking trip for the spring to see if that’s something we would enjoy doing together. Until then, I will stick to my heated apartment and soft mattress!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Breakfast and a Fitness Plan

I went to the grocery store yesterday and was all excited to get some more diversity in my breakfasts. But this morning, all I wanted was my usual avo and egg on toast. That’s because the combination is just too good for competition.

 20131108-113327.jpg

Just look at this yolky perfection.

20131108-113414.jpg

This + coffee + CNN New Day = my daily morning routine. Too bad it’s freezing outside now, so it’s getting harder to get off the couch and ready to head out to work.

I don’t think there is much hope for me switching out the breakfast menu anytime soon, but I added a little bit of diversity today.

20131108-113427.jpg

Grapefruits are so great, I’m not sure why I’ve dispelled them from my grocery lists in recent times. Maybe because I used to eat oats with blueberries and half a grapefruit every morning and that’s the only combination I associate it with. Or maybe because Dave hates grapefruit, which is pretty damn close to being a deal breaker, if you ask me.

20131108-132209.jpg

Also, yesterday, I made a fitness and meal plan. November has to be all about sweating and eating right and sticking to a routine before Thanksgiving, an international conference trip, and the holidays throw it all off again.

The next week will hopefully look like this:

Friday: Kinetik Class
Saturday: Hike
Sunday: 3 x 10-minute miles
Monday: Kinetik Class
Tuesday:  3 x 10-minute miles
Wednesday: Kinetik Class
Thursday:  3 x 10-minute miles
Friday: 3 x 10-minute miles

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast