June 21, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

...the easiest way! Red beans and rice is pretty easy to begin with but I made it even easier using boxed and canned products. This can be prepared in 25 minutes with no worries about measuring or chopping or pre-soaking anything.

  • 1 box of Zatarain's Reduced Sodium Red Beans and Rice (because the regular stuff is full of MSG)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilis
  • 1/4 cup of dried TVP (optional)
  • a bit of salt and pepper if needed
  • 3 1/4 cups of water (as directed on rice box)
  • 1 tbsp butter or margarine
  • Just follow the directions on the Zatarain's box but add the TVP in with the rice mixture.
  • when about 3 - 5 minutes remain in cooking time stir in the can of tomatoes.
That's it! If you eat meat, this is good with ground beef or turkey, andouille sausage or even shrimp. If you don't, the TVP adds enough texture to fake it and add some extra protein. Serves 2 as a main entree.

June 14, 2011

Frozen Banana Cream

I've seen this idea going around the internet quite a bit lately so I gave it a try. It's kinda like ice cream but it's dairy free. It's yet another great way to use up over ripe bananas. And if you're like me, bananas are only perfect for eating for about a day and a half so they go "bad" quickly and often. So once they've passed their prime, peel, cut up into inch-long pieces and freeze them. If you're going to use them right away you can just freeze them on a cookie sheet, otherwise just pop them into a ziplock freezer bag and have them on hand for smoothies or banana ice cream!

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • about 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (optional)
  • Put the bananas into your food processor or blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Add the peanut butter and blend until it's mixed in. You may have to scrape down the sides once or twice. 
  • If it seems too thick you can add a little milk (soy, almond, rice, whatever kind you like). 
  • If it's too thin you can pop it into the freezer for a bit to let it set. 
  • It will set up firmer than regular ice cream but if you let it sit on the counter for a few minutes it will soften.
  • It's super delicious drizzled with a little chocolate syrup :)
There are lots of things you could add to this (instead of or in addition to peanut butter) to make it extra awesome: other frozen fruit, other nut butters, chocolate syrup or cocoa powder, honey, crumbled cookies or graham crackers...

June 8, 2011

Tuna Salad Wraps

Yea, this is a bit of a departure from vegetarian but I think I'll look into a vegetarian alternative in the future. I ate this for lunch pretty much every day last week. I made up a batch of the tuna salad at the beginning of the week and assembled the wrap in a matter of minutes each day. This is, of course, a very basic and easily customizable idea. I would normally put a chopped pickle or celery in my tuna salad for crunch but the "toppings" here take care of that.

  • 2 pouches or cans of tuna (1 can of mashed chickpeas may be a good vegetarian alternative, I'll get back to you on that)
  • a few tablespoons of hummus
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chilled
  • a bit of mayo or plain yogurt (just enough to reach desired consistency)
  • a handful of chopped cilantro (or your fresh herb of choice)
  • a small handful of chopped pecans or walnuts or sunflower seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • various toppings for sandwich assembly, I like sliced black olives, sliced red peppers, baby spinach, feta cheese
  • flat bread or big tortillas (I used Flat Out Bread)

  • peel and dice the eggs and mix together with tuna, hummus, mayo, cilantro, nuts, salt and pepper.
  • Chill (it will keep in the fridge for a few days)
  • Assemble your sandwich by placing your favorite toppings and the tuna salad in the middle of the wrap and roll it up. 

Lindy Loo has a well received vegan "mock tuna salad" recipe that seems worth trying if you don't do tuna :)

June 2, 2011

Frozen No-Bake Cookies

So these may not actually have any veggies in them but they are easy and vegetarian (and possibly vegan if you use the right chocolate.) They are surprisingly healthy though and everyone needs a chocolate fix now and then. I found the recipe at Oh She Glows and tweaked just a few details. I recommend checking out her blog thoroughly, she has tons of great vegan recipes!
I had some friends over for drinks and a movie this weekend and I whipped up a batch of these in about 5 minutes before they got to my house. I popped them in the freezer and they were ready to eat in an hour (well, we might have had to "test" them after 30 minutes.)

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • a small handful of sunflower seeds (but use any nuts or seeds you like)
  • Melt the chocolate and peanut butter chips in the microwave. Takes about 1.5 minutes but check every 30 seconds and stir to make sure you don't burn them.
  • Stir in the vanilla, cocoa and mash the bananas into the chocolate.
  • Stir in the oats and seeds.
  • Drop onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper or (what I did) line a muffin tin with paper liners and fill each cup 1/4 to 1/3 full.
  • Freeze for at least an hour and store them in the freezer for a frosty dessert.
This is a double batch so you should end up with 12 muffin cups worth.

June 1, 2011

Curry Tempeh Stir-Fry

This recipe involves some short cuts that make it very easy. I got the recipe from the back of a Coconut Curry Tempeh box, made a few alterations and also used a prepared curry sauce. This is sort of a landmark recipe for me because I typically hate mushrooms and onions but this recipe has both and I loved it!

  • Steam asparagus in the microwave for 2.5 minutes, chop into 2 inch pieces and set aside
  • Prepare tempeh according to box directions. Essentially heat some olive oil in a pan, brown the tempeh slices by sauteing for 2 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
  • In the same pan, heat some more oil and saute the carrots, onion and mushrooms for 8 minutes or until soft. Add asparagus and saute for another minute or so.
  • Pour sauce over veggies, add a little water and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens a bit.
  • Stir together with the tempeh and serve over rice or asian noodles.
  • Oh and I may have added a little salt, pepper and Major Grey mango chutney
Serves 2