Tag Archives: plant-based

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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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:

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salmon Cakes Vol. 2

Dave had class tonight, so I got a little over an hour for some full-power mid-week cooking and cleaning. I danced in the kitchen to a strange mix of music on Spotify – from 90s to high school classics to German pop.

I gave these salmon sweet potato & quinoa cakes another attempt – this time, I remembered to put the eggs into the mix instead of having to put them on top fried.

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After cooking a medium sweet potato and half a cup of quinoa, I mixed them with 6 oz. of wild Pacific salmon, half a chopped onion, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of cornmeal.

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Then I seared them in olive oil for about 4 minutes per side.

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They held together a little less well than last time, despite the eggs! I think that’s because I didn’t cook the sweet potato for long enough. It was less doughy and sticky than last time.

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Deliciousness. If you make this, make sure to add enough salt and pepper. Also, I think it would be even better with green onion than just with regular onion. Yes, now that I think of it, definitely use green onions or scallions.

Six cakes meant we have leftovers for lunch. Yay!

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Filed under dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch-prep, recipes, seafood