main dish, vegan, vegetarian

Polenta Primavera from Local Bounty

One of my most treasured cook books is Local Bounty by Devra Gartenstein. This book showcases seasonal dishes that are simple yet hearty and beautiful. I made Polenta Primavera tonight, tweaking it as I went along based on the on-hand veggies I had. I might add that tonight was the very fist time I cooked with white wine. I used a delicious chardonnay and the fruity tangents mixed with the flavorful veggies was an amazing pair. I will be cooking with this wine more often.
One vegetable that was showcased was my lovely chard that has been growing the past few months.

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It was tender, mild and such a treat. Of course I under estimated the amount of shrinkage so next time I will be cutting double the amount.

Polenta Primavera from Local Bounty

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Ingredients – 2 servings

  • 4 – 1/2 inch slices of pre-cooked polenta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 sweet yellow onion, sliced into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, sliced into small strips
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh of frozen peas
  • a few handfuls of fresh green beans, washed and cut into 3 inch pieces
  • a large amount of chard (depending on the size of leaves – it will shrink down 50% or more)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • salt and pepper

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Directions

Pan sear or bake the polenta. If baking, preheat oven to 375 and lay polenta slices on a baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes on each side, or until crispy on the outside. If searing, place a few tablespoons of EVOO in a skillet and sear each side of the polenta until crispy.

Add 2 tablespoons of EVOO to a large pan on medium. Add onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Sautee for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, peas, chard, beans, parsley, pepper and another pinch of salt. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add white wine, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until wine is mostly cooked out.

Serve vegetables over the polenta.

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tashasig

main dish, recipe, soup, vegan

Curried Lentil Soup

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I may have mentioned this before but if I had to choose my favorite meal it would include curry. I was craving soup, in the middle of summer mind you, and curry one night so I made a filling batch of Curry Lentil Soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lentils, I used French – rinsed
  • 7 cups fluid – I used 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth + 2 cups water
  • 1 can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste*
  • 2 tablespoon turmeric*
  • 1 tablespoon each of dried basil + dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add onion, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook for a minute or so. Be careful not to let the garlic burn!
Add liquid, coconut milk, rinsed lentils, spices and bay leaves. Let come to a boil. reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for a good 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Check to see if soup needs more salt, pepper or spice.
Serve hot.

Serves – 4-6

* I like my curry HOT so I kept adding more to achieve the taste I wanted. You can cut back or add more depending on how you like your spice.

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ztashaz_thumb[1]

main dish, vegan

Mediterranean Vegan Pasta

Say good by to pasta drowning in red sauce, and say hello to hearty vegetables, healthy Olive Oil, garlic and basil.  DSC06121

Ingredients

  • 1 serving of whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 chopped red bell pepper
  • 6 sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few pinches of dried basil and oregano

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Cook pasta according to the directions.

Add olive oil to a skillet on medium, then add onion, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 8-10 minutes on medium low. Serve over pasta. 
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ztashaz_thumb[1]

main dish, vegan, vegetarian

Mediterranean Vegan Pasta

Say good by to pasta drowning in red sauce, and say hello to hearty vegetables, healthy Olive Oil, garlic and basil. 

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Ingredients

  • 1 serving of whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 chopped red bell pepper
  • 6 sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a few pinches of dried basil and oregano

Cook pasta according to the directions.

Add olive oil to a skillet on medium, then add onion, mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 8-10 minutes on medium low. Serve over pasta.

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tashasig

main dish, recipe, vegan

Yellow Curry

If I had to choose a favorite food, it would have to be Thai. Especially curry. The sweet and rich coconut milk intertwined with crunchy vegetables, then layered with flavors of curry and spice… amazing. I have been wanting to make my own pot of curry for a while now and I finally tested myself. This recipe is adapted from Super Natural Cooking and is nothing short of authentic spice and flavor. Let’s just say I have no need for Thai take-out any longer!
yellow curry (2)
Ingredients
Printable recipe here

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 12 ounces of extra firm tofu, drained and cut into thumb-sized slices
  • 1 14 ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon red curry paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons shoyu sauce
  • 2 tablespoon natural cane sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine or brown rice

Directions
Cook rice. Set aside.
Heat oil in large pot on medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, red curry paste and a pinch of salt. Mash paste around on the bottom of pan until evenly distributed. Cook for 2 minutes, making sure mixture does not burn.
Add tofu and stir gently until it is coated with curry paste. Stir in coconut milk,1 cup of water, turmeric, shoyu and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cover for and hour. Add carrots, bell pepper and basil the last 20 minutes of cooking time. If mixture is too thick, add a little more water. Taste to see if needs any more salt or seasoning.
Serve over rice and top with chopped peanuts, fresh Thai basil and lime if desired.
yellow curry (4)
 ztashaz_thumb[1]

chili, main dish, vegan, vegetarian

Vegetarian Chili

This chili is simple yet hearty, and packed full of flavor! Meat eaters will not miss the meat one bit! Perfect for weekends or get-togethers as people can serve themselves as they please.

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Ingredients – serves 6-8

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small
  • 1 package of plain Tempeh, cubed into small pieces (optional)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced (optional – I like it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 4-5 cups of beans – ready to use or canned (3 cans). I use kidney, pinto and black beans but you can use whatever kind you choose
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup chili powder – I LOVE Spices Inc Hill Country Chili Powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups of water, or more
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Place EVOO in a large skillet on medium heat. If using tempeh, add tempeh and brown for a few minutes. (I normally do not add tempeh but the option is there) Add onion, peppers, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook until very soft – about 10 minutes.

In a 6 quart pot, add all of the ingredients, including the onion mixture. Set on high and cover. Once it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes. Taste to see if it needs salt or pepper and/or more water if it is too thick.

You can also use a crock pot using the same method, except place on high until ready to serve.

Garnish with avocado, cilantro and green onion.

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ztashaz

main dish, mexican, recipe, tempeh, vegan, vegetarian

T… T… Tempeh Tacos!

The blog-o-sphere never ceases to disappoint me. Whenever I need an idea for a meal I start browsing through my blog roll knowing that I will find what I am looking for.

The other night I needed an idea of Tempeh. I had an an 8 oz block that needed to be eaten but I just didn’t know what exactly to do with it. Inspired by Kath’s post, I was excited to make Tempeh Tacos!

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Ingredients

  • 8oz Tempeh
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped finely (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped finely (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 2-3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning or your favorite taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • salt and pepper to taste
    Taco Toppings:
  • lettuce, avocado, cilantro, tomato, radish, green onion, salsa…

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Put a medium skillet on medium heat. Add EVOO, onion, red bell pepper and a pinch of salt. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Chop Tempeh into small pieces then add to pan. Let cook for about 5 minutes.

Add taco seasoning and water. Stir well and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to medium-low and let cook, stirring occasionally.  If mixture becomes to thick you can add a few splashes of water. Cook until Tempeh is hot and well coated with seasoning. Taste to see if mixture needs salt and/or pepper.

Use the Tempeh mixture as meat in your favorite Mexican dish: tacos, burritos, salads…

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ztashaz

gluten free, main dish, mushroom, pasta, recipe, squash, vegan

“Spaghetti” with Portobello Ragu

I officially love mushrooms! I cannot believe I am saying these words as I wouldn’t come NEAR a mushroom my ENTIRE life! But they are such a delicate yet hearty addition to vegan and vegetarian meals – a great meat alternative! The “spaghetti” is spaghetti squash which adds even more vegetables to this wonderful meal – vegan, gluten free and 100% nutritious and delicious!

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Ingredients – Serves 2-4

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, 2-3 pounds
  • 2-3 portabella mushrooms
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 jar of Organic pasta sauce of your choice, or your favorite pasta sauce recipe
  • fresh chopped basil, 4 tablespoons
  • salt and pepper

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Directions

Prepare squash: there are a few ways you can do this. I prefer to always bake my squash but you must plan for at least an hour of cook time. If you don’t have that much time, you can cook in the microwave. Here are directions for microwave.

Squash directions:
Pre-heat oven to 350. Slice squash in half, scraping out the seeds. Place two halves, cut side down, into a large baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes. They will be extremely hot once they are taken out of the oven so let cool for a good 15 minutes before handling. Once cool enough, take a fork and scrape the meat of the squash. It will shred easily making the perfect noodle!

Ragu directions:
Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO, onion, bell pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt. Once it has cooked for 5 minutes add mushroom. Let cook for another 5 minutes. Add sauce and basil. Season to your liking – I usually add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper depending on how the sauce tastes – Let simmer for 15 minutes, adding a dash of water if it becomes too thick.

Serve over top a pile of spaghetti squash. Garnish with fresh basil and serve with a lightly tossed spinach salad.

ztashaz