Tuesday, March 8, 2016

20 New Recipes

Well, well, well.  Here we are. Almost 2 years after the site became a resource only and I still have people looking at recipes and liking the facebook page (both of which delight and surprise me!).  I am so thankful the blog is being used and hopefully helping families eat a little more plant based. 

I haven't added recipes like I said I may, but I'm changing that.  I'm adding about 20 recipes that we love.  These recipes are ones I've either stumbled upon (and tweaked) or created over the last two years that we keep coming back to.  I hope you enjoy them.  They are all without pictures -- I'm sorry, but I figured you all would rather have solid go-to recipes rather than none.

And who knows, maybe this Spring I'll upload some of the favorite summer salads we make all. the. time.   There's a challenge for me, huh?

So without further adieu, here's the list of new recipes with their links.  Recipes have also been added to the Recipe Index. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sweet & Sour Lentils

This is a very easy weeknight meal to throw together.  I have even served it to guests, believe it or not! My boys love this dinner.  Both may or may not have anything to do with the "sweet" part of the dish, considering it is just lentils and veggies and rice -- but the 5-Chineese spice really is what sets this dish apart from being just hum-drum!

Sweet & Sour Lentils 
serves 6
  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils, picked over and rinsed + 3 cups water -- cook
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups each: chopped carrots, red bell pepper, cauliflower (can sub celery for cauliflower)
  • 1 can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
  • 3-4 TBLS each: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup or brown sugar (depending on how "saucy" you want it -- easy to start with 3, taste, and add more if desired)
  • 1 TBLS fresh grated ginger or 1/4 tsp dry
  • 2 tsp minced garlic or 1/2 tsp powdered
  • 1/4 tsp 5-chinese spice
  • cilantro, to taste, for topping
  • 3 cups cooked grain
-- Combine sauce ingredients and add to cooked lentils. 
-- Stir in all the chopped veggies and serve (warmed or room temp) over rice with cilantro on top. 

Can also top with chopped mushrooms, or serve over a bed of spinach or lettuce.  :D

Summer Bean Salad

Here's an insanely easy weeknight meal.  We eat this a ton in the summer, but I've been known to serve it with a side of pureed vegetable soup, too, in the cooler months.  This salad is best if it's had all day to sit.  We eat this in pitas or wraps, or over rice.

Summer Bean Salad makes 12 cups.
  • 1 can each: black, kidney, great northen beans, rinse and drain
  • 4 cups corn, thawed if using frozen
  • 2 colored bell peppers, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • Dressing: 1 small red onion
  • 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBLS lemon or lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • cilantro to taste
-- Combine chopped ingredients in a large bowl.  Puree dressing ingredients together and pour over.  Best after sitting a few hours. 

3 Bean Pantry Chili

This is one of my favorite go-to pantry meal.  I always have everything for this chili on hand.  It's so simple, but we love it.  I will often times throw in some zucchini if I have it laying around, or put an extra can of diced tomatoes in it with 3-4 cups cubed sweet potatoes. It's a very versatile recipe.  In the summer, I omit the liquids and drain the tomatoes and use it as a burrito filling, or serve it over baked sweet potatoes or rice! I was hesitant to put it on the blog, but a friend told me you can't ever have too many chili recipes, so...here you go!

3 Bean Pantry Chili
serves 6
  • 1 can each: black, kidney, great northen beans, rinse and drain
  • 2 cans fire roasted tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2-3 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 TBLS brown sugar or molasses
  • 1 TBLS dried cilantro or oregano
  • 1/2-1 cup broth
  • Opt: 2 cups frozen bell pepper or zucchini
  • 1 TBLS red wine vinegar at end
-- Combine all and heat through. 

Lemon Lentil Soups

There are 2 recipes here to suit different fancies.  I like both of these, my husband dearest isn't a huge lemon fan (much to my chagrin!) so he likes the curry version more, but if you're looking for a nice spring-time, lemon-infused soup, you may have found what you're looking for!

Lemon Lentil Soup
serves 6-8

  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS garlic
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 cup red lentils (can use brown, too)
  • 2 cans great northern beans, rinse and drain
  • 4 cups broth + 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
-- Saute onion, celery, garlic and zucchini 10 minutes.
-- Add the rest, minus the lemon juice, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked. 
-- Rough puree and add lemon juice
-- Season with salt and pepper to taste

Crockpot: Dump, high for 3-4 hrs.

Curried Lemon Soup 
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS garlic
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils (You can play with the lentils and beans, keeping them as is, or omitting the beans and upping the lentils to 2 cups dry -- suggest using brown lentils here)
  • 2 cans great northern beans, rinse and drain
  • 4 cups broth + 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 TBLS lemon juice

Method is the exact same, just don't puree. 

Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup

If there was one soup that was perfectly fitted for spring, this would be it.  There is just something about it that I love.  I actually love it so much, I served it for Easter last year and everyone loved it.  The way the flavors meld together is lovely and I find that people can't get enough of it.  We serve this with some fabulous rosemary infused bread, which really enhances the rosemary in the soup itself -- I highly recommend it!

Tuscan White Bean Vegetable Soup
serves 4-6
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini or yellow squash
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups broth + 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (opt)
  • 2 cups packed chopped kale
  • 1 TBLS white wine vinegar
-- Saute onion, zucchini, carrots, celery and garlic 10 minutes until soft.
-- Add remaining, bring to a boil, reduce and cover.  Simmer 30 minutes. 
-- Add vinegar at end and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make it more "soupy" just up the broth to 6 cups, or add another can of diced tomatoes
Crockpot: Dump, high for 3 hrs.

Moroccan Bean Stew

The warm spices of this soup make it perfect choice for a cool night.  The guys in my sweet family really enjoy the flavors from Morocco, so this soup is a good fit for us.  I have made this for non-vegans who have left asking for the recipe.  (For guests, you can serve roasted figs on top -- or plain chopped)

Moroccan Bean Stew
serves 6-8
  • 1 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 3-4 cups cubed sweet potato (1 lb)
  • 1 can black beans, rinse and drain
  • 1 can white beans (great northern, cannellini, chickpea), rinse and drain
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 3 cups broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 TBLS grated ginger
  • 2 cups packed finely chopped kale
-- With a little water or broth, saute spices 1-2 minutes until really fragrant
-- Add chopped onion and garlic and saute 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning
-- Add potatoes, beans, lentils and broth/water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.
-- Add ginger and kale and heat until wilted

Crockpot: Dump all.  High for 3 hrs.