Tag Archives: vegetarian

Two Grainy Lunches

Quinoa and Couscous are currently tied for my favorite grains, and they recently made bases for two veggie-packed lunches.

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Couscous with roasted pumpkin, zucchini, roasted pine nuts, and olive oil. Easy, filling, vegan and nutritious.

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Quinoa Quiche. This had quinoa, eggs, green peppers, tomato, and a cheesy sauce based on nutritional yeast. If I re-make this, I’m going to go with spinach instead of green peppers – I was just out at the time.

I like eating grains for lunch if I’m going to exercise after work, which has been the case pretty much every day recently. Six days of exercising in a row gets pretty exhausting, so the least I can do is feed myself a filling lunch.

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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

Goat Cheese Basil Pizza

What’s the best part of having had a restaurant cooking job during my early college years? My mad pizza dough making skills.

Not that it’s very hard. But everything is so much easier when it’s something we’re used to…

So, I decided to try out a new topping combo last weekend: goat cheese and basil. Deliciousness to the max.

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For the dough, I used

  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4.5 cups flour

I kneaded it until my arms hurt and it was solid and doughy. Then, I covered the bowl with saran wrap and let it sit out and rise for two hours. After that, I kneaded it again before covering it back up and putting it in the fridge overnight.

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The next day, all I had to do was roll it out into two pizzas in a greased baking pan with corn meal, cover them with marinara, and add the toppings of basil and goat cheese.

Gluten and carbo-loading. No better excuse than working out 6 times a week!

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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

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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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