While I can make a decent vinaigrette and a passable tahini dressing, I haven’t strayed far from the standards as far as gussy-ing up salads. This, it turns out, has been an error of omission. We eat some form of salad nearly every night, so branching out to new tastes was long overdue.
This dressing comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Thug Kitchen. And, as usual with the Thugs, it is simple, plant-based and is entertaining. It also is really quite tasty – who knew roasted carrots made such a great dressing?!
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar (also suggested: rice wine vinegar)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 TBSP orange juice
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- Heat up your oven to 357 degrees F. Chop up your carrots into chunks no bigger than 1/2 inch. Toss them together with the oil, cumin, and salt. Roast them in a small pan, covered until the carrots are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Let the carrots cool for a minute then add them to a food processor with the rest of your $***. Blend it until it’s smooth. This could take as long as 3 minutes.
Last week I was reading a NY Times food article on the subject of vegetarian and vegan cooking (The Hippies Have Won). In the middle of the article, was a reference to a blog and cookbook series, Thug Kitchen. No kidding, this was one of the most fun cookbooks I ever browsed through and since all the recipes were plant-based, well… it was a win for me. If profanity is a hang-up, you might want to just follow the sanitized version below, but if you want some real kitchen coaching, buy the damn book, cook from it and learn to eat healthier.
Here’s the recipe for a strawberry version which was posted on Thug’s website. My version was based solely on what I had in the house to use up. I’m pretty sure the Thugs would be okay with that.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1/4 cup uncooked millet
- 1-1/4 cups chopped mixed nuts or seeds (I used all almonds)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or similar dried fruit (I used half dates and half ginger – not the sugary stuff)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (the real stuff, not corn syrup with maple flavoring)
- 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter (I used Sunbutter)
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil or olive oil
- 2 tbsp white or brown sugar (I used brownish – Florida crystals)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grab a 9×13 inch baking dish and line with with parchment so some of the paper goes over the edge of the pan. (Seriously, my mother reads this, so I’m leaving out the “good parts”).
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-low heat and add the oats, quinoa, and millet. Stir them all around until they start to smell toasted, about 3 minutes. While that is happening, combine the nuts and cranberries in a large bow. Pour in the all the toasted oat mix and the salt and mix together.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, peanut butter, oil, sugar and vanilla and warm until everything is melted. Make sure that the peanut butter is all mixed, and then remove from the heat. Pour this all over the dry mix and stir until everything is coated.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and press it down with a spoon (or a hand!) to even it out and make sure it is really in there. Throw it in the oven until it all looks toasted, 25-30 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature in the pan then throw it into the fridge. When it’s all nice and cold, cut into bars. They keep best in the fridge.
Now, go and buy the Official Cookbook and enjoy the ride and some great advice on plant-based.
Adapted from Glowing Fridge Green Goddess Glow Bowl.
I recently discovered a great resource for vegan and plant-based eating, The Glowing Fridge. Shannon, the author of this site, has lots of great ideas – including recipes – for anyone making the change to a plant-based diet. One of the series of recipes Shannon has developed, the Glow Bowls, are variations on bowls of grains and veggies that can lead to endless variations. After trying the Green Goddess Glow Bowl, I know I’m inspired to include more plant-based cooking in the coming year.
Since I usually have the Kripalu House Dressing (or variation thereof) on hand in my fridge, next time around I’ll probably use that in place of the dressing recipe* cited. This is just my personal preference for a bit of cayenne and chile powder.
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or 1 TBSP coconut oil – which is what I used)
- 1/3 of an onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 cup edamame, frozen (take out of the pod if you bought edamame pods)
- 1 zucchini, chopped (true confession: I walked out of the food store without the zucchini so I used more kale here)
- 2 cups kale, de-stemmed
- salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing*:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 TBSP maple syrup or agave nectar
- sea salt, to taste
- In a medium sized pot, add quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- In a separate pan, heat the vegetable broth (here I used coconut oil instead) and saute the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the frozen edamame and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the kale last and cook about 1 minute or until softened (this took longer for me – and I needed to cover the pan). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat.
- Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by adding all of the ingredients and whisking until smooth. I found I needed to add a small amount of water to loosen the tahini.
- Scoop the quinoa into a bowl, top with the vegetable mixture and drizzle on the dressing.
posted by Plant-Based Cooking. Copyright 2011-2015 by Diane Smith and plantbasedcooking.com. All Rights Reserved.
Moroccan Stew With Kale
You would have to be living in a vacuum to have missed out on the popularity of kale over the last several years. This stew from Diane Cook takes advantage of kale but also a spice melange from Morocco. Listed separately, the spice mixture makes the ingredient list seem large, so I’ve lumped these together. The rest of the ingredients went together very quickly making this stew a candidate for a busy week night. This recipe serves 6; as we are a two-person household, I cut everything in half and still had plenty of leftovers.
- Spice Mixture: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground tumeric, 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt (I generally cook without adding salt, saving that addition for a final adjustment)
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 2 cups rough chopped kale
- 1 qt vegetable stock (more if you want this to be more soup-like)
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 TBSP honey
- 4 large carrots, chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 large potatoes (used Yukon gold), peeled and diced
- 1 15-oz. garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
- 1 tsp ground black pepper to taste
- 1 TBSP cornstarch (optional)
- 1 TBSP water (optional)
- Cook onions on medium high heat in a little water or broth until soft and just beginning to brown (5 to 10 minutes). Stir in the spices and cook until they are fragrant.
- Pour the vegetable broth into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, honey, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans, apricots, and lentils. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
- Stir in the shredded kale.
- Simmer stew for 30 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender. Season with salt and black pepper. If desired, combine cornstarch and water and stir into stew. Simmer until stew has thickened, about 5 minutes
Recipe created by The Purple Carrot.
Not too long ago, a good friend of ours made a more authentic paella for us and it was, of course, unbelievable. I would venture to say that my Spanish eating and cooking friends would most definitely assert that this is NOT paella. Paella should have meat or seafood (or both!); however, for the plant-eaters among us, this veggie and brown rice version is delicious.
Saffron Scented Vegetable Paella
The Purple Carrot
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 5 cloves of garlic peeled
- 1 onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 oz crimini mushrooms
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1/8 tsp saffron
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 can artichoke hearts
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse and dry all produce. Thinly slice the pepper, discarding the top, inner membrane and seeds. Thinly slice garlic. Halve the mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Cut lemon into wedges and set aside. Roughly chop parsley leaves, discarding the stems.
- In a large saute pan or paella pan over medium high heat, add olive oil, onions and peppers. Saute until softened, about 3 minutes, then add garlic and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3 more minutes.
- Add saffron and rice, stirring constantly to coat the rice with the flavors of the pan. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then add white wine. Next, add vegetable stock and cover with a lid.
- Allow covered rice mixture to cook for 25 minutes over medium heat. Remove lid and place artichoke hearts in center of pan, followed by tomatoes.
- Cover for 2 more minutes to allow vegetables to heat through.
- Top with chopped parsley and squeeze lemon wedges over the dish. Serve hot and enjoy!
We received our second Purple Carrot order this week, and everything looks as fresh as the last time. Outside of cooking the quinoa and blanching the asparagus, there was no cooking involved. A traditional Bibimbap (meaning: mixed rice) involves warm rice topped with seasoned, sauteed vegetables and topped with a hot or salty sauce. In this version from Purple Carrot, the sauce is a wonderfully hot chile sauce.
created by The Purple Carrot
- 1/2 c edamame (pre-cooked/steamed)
- 1 c quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 green onions
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 lb. asparagus
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 c fava beans (pre-cooked)
- 1 c mung bean sprouts
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 2 TBSP guchujang chili paste
- 2 TBSP rice vinegar, 2 tsp tamari, 2 tsp sesame oil
- Prep: wash & dry produce. Roughly chop the spinach. Trim asparagus and chop into 1 inch pieces. Thinly slice green onions (discard bulbs). Rise quinoa over a fine mesh strainer.
- Add quinoa and 2 cups water to small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, then cover, and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with fork and set aside.
- Blanch the asparagus. Remove from pot into a bowl and run under cold water to stop cooking.
- Make the dressing: whisk together the sauce mix (rice vinegar, tamari, and sesame oil) in a small bowl. Add the gochujang chili paste and whisk until a smooth consistency is formed, about 1 minute.
- To serve, assemble each bowl with quinoa, spinach, fava beans, asparagus, edamame, green onions, carrots, and mung bean sprouts. Top with sesame seeds and gochujang sauce.
By Sarah Copeland (March 2011). Downloaded from Real Simple on the WWW, 8/15/2015.
Chickpeas with Chard and Pan Roasted Tomatoes
In our effort to be more plant-based and vegan with our eating, I’ve been doing a lot of web-searching. Fortunately, plant-based eating is a hot topic (see Forks over Knives) and there are many creative cooks offering recipes. This one comes from the magazine, Real Simple and was a perfect fit for a busy night – total time from prep to table: 50 minutes.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 4 small plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 small bunch of Swiss chard, thick stems & ribs removed & leaves torn (about 8 cups)
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Salt & pepper
- 1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, rinsed
- 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- Cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Twenty minutes before the rice is done, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, cut-side down, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned and starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes; turn and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the chard, raisins, garlic, 2 TBSP water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper to the skillet. Cook, tossing, until the chard wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Return the tomatoes to the skillet, add the chickpeas and lemon juice, and toss until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.