Square Meals

BEAN SALAD

Serves 4

Bean salads are one of my favorite square meals. Fresh, filling, and no cooking required! This formula is also very easy to double, cut in half, or adjust to your preferences. Maybe you want four cups of beans and only one cup of veggies, for example. Try to power through with the raw onion – it’s great for your skin – and there’s only a little bit in this formula. Allergies to seeds or nuts? Just eliminate them. I love the texture, flavor, and of course, protein, so I include them in almost all of my bean salads if I have them on hand.

  • 2 cups cooked beans, no added salt
  • 2 cups chopped raw veggies
  • ¼ finely chopped raw onion
  • ¼-½ cup raw seeds and/or chopped raw nuts
  • Citrus juice (size matters…start small)
  • Spices, herbs, salt, and pepper to taste

Before anything else, chop your onion and get it soaking in some citrus juice. The citrus helps to break down the abrasive flavor of the onions. Drain and rinse your beans. Combine all ingredients and mix. I like to add a quick splash of sesame oil (SUPER flavorful) to the citrus juice to create a dressing of sorts, but it isn’t necessary if you want to keep the dish lower in fat.

_____________________________________________________

BURRITO BOWL

Serves 4-6

It is my belief that the burrito bowl just may be the perfect vegan meal.  Why?  The BB is a welcome opportunity to combine all of the essentials of healthy, plant-based living:  whole grains, protein, and fresh produce.  This BB formula, inspired by Chipotle’s buffet-style setup, packs all of flavor without the guilt that comes with meat, cheese, and sour cream.  Eat a bowl–or two or three–for your health!

  • 2 cups whole grains (e.g. brown rice, farro, wheat berries, quinoa, etc.)
  • 2 cups protein (e.g. beans, lentils tofu, tempeh, etc.)
  • 2 cups raw fruit/vegetables
  • 1 cup “crunch” (e.g. tortilla chips, nuts, seeds, etc.)
  • ½ cup garnish (e.g. fresh herbs, green onions, etc.)
  • Spices, herbs, salt, and pepper to taste

First, get your grains cooking in homemade veggie stock or water. Add all of your seasonings directly to the cooking liquid so that the grains absorb the flavor as they cook.

Next, prepare your protein. If you’re using canned beans, they are already cooked and simply need to be drained and rinsed. If you’re using dried beans, soak them in water overnight and then boil on the stovetop while your grains cook, until tender. Tofu and tempeh are also precooked, but I like to doctor up the tofu so that it more so resembles the texture of ground meat.

After opening a package of tofu, drain the water and wrap the block in a clean towel to absorb even more water. Then, crumble into a medium-hot pan and season. After about 5 minutes, turn the heat down to medium low and stir occasionally. The tofu crumbles will reduce in size as they lose moisture, giving them a more meat-like consistency (if that’s what you’re going for).

While your grains and protein are cooking and/or hanging out, chop all of your produce and prepare your crunch and garnish. When all components are ready, layer them in a bowl in this order:

  1. Grains
  2. Protein
  3. Produce
  4. Crunch
  5. Garnish

Then, eat! I would store leftover components separately in the fridge…although I doubt there will be any. 🙂 This formula would be easy to make in large quantities and set up buffet-style for a family dinner or party.

_____________________________________________________

CHILI

Serves 6

My totally vegan chili is similar to my bean salad formula (see above), but it is cooked.  While my bean salads share the stage with raw veggies, my chili puts beans/lentils front and center.  I turn to this formula when I’m low on veggies and craving something warm.  I always have on hand the necessary spices and beans and lentils of many varieties in my pantry.

You’ll notice that the last two ingredients are optional; decide if you want your chili sweet, spicy, or both.  Hold the cheese and sour cream when it comes time to garnish.  🙂  You’ll love this protein-packed crock pot comfort food!

  • 6 cups cooked beans and/or lentils
  • 1-1 ¼ lbs tomatoes
  • Approximately 4-4 ½ cups vegetables
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp dried minced onions
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • Sweetener to taste (optional)
  • Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

Set your crock pot to low. Coarsely chunk your tomatoes and place in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth and pour into crock pot. It will look orange/pinkish and frothy right now, but will cook down and deepen in color with time and spices.

Dice and add all veggies. Mince and add garlic. Add all spices, seasonings, and sweeteners, if using.  Drain and rinse beans/lentils (if necessary) and add to the crock pot.

Fill any remaining space in the crock pot with water to your thickness preference*. I fill my crock pot almost to the top, knowing that it will reduce a bit.

I keep the crock pot lid slightly ajar to allow for slow evaporation and ultimately, a thicker chili, but keep the crock pot completely covered for a soupier dish. Simmer for 8-10 hours, depending on the power of your crock pot.

*ALTERNATIVE IDEA: Add only enough additional water to cook your veggies through and create a super thick warm bean dip rather than a chili. A new party favorite with tortilla chips!

________________________________________________________________________________

GREEN SALAD

Serves 2

While spinach and arugula are softer and more palatable, greens like kale and collards are tougher to consume raw. I have found that this formula makes eating just about any greens tolerable and even enjoyable. Since many greens are high in iron, tryptophan, and other nutrients that I may once have turned to meat for, I don’t typically like to add any other fruits or veggies to my green salad so that I can focus on getting a whole lot of the greens themselves, with a little bit of texture from nuts or seeds. Let your tougher greens sit dressed for an hour or two before eating.

  • 4 cups fresh greens
  • ¼ cup raw seeds and/or chopped raw nuts
  • 2 tbsp dressing of choice

Combine and enjoy! Tougher greens can sit dressed in the fridge for a day or two, but softer greens consumed immediately after dressing (soggy salad = no bueno).

_________________________________________________________________________________

LETTUCE WRAPS

Makes approximately 10 wraps/cups/boats

A snack, appetizer, or full-scale dinner, these lettuce wraps are easily one of the most delicious dishes I’ve ever prepared.  They are my first reader request and I’m super proud of how they turned out.  The marinade really makes them.  WARNING:  You will not have leftovers.  🙂

For the marinade/sauce:

  • ½ cup room temperature seed or nut butter (seeds/nuts only)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or liquid amino acids
  • ¼ cup acid (citrus juice, vinegar, mustard, etc.)
  • ¼ cup liquid sweetener (agave syrup, maple syrup, etc.)
  • 1 clove minced raw garlic
  • 1 tbsp herbs and/or spices (optional)
  • 2+ dashes of hot sauce (optional)

For the filling:

  • 4-5 cups finely chopped protein (beans, lentils, mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, etc.)
  • 2 cups finely chopped raw vegetables
  • ½ cup finely chopped “crunch” (raw seeds, nuts, etc.)

Make your marinade by mixing all ingredients with a small whisk.  Set aside.

Precook your protein if necessary (beans/lentils).  Finely chop your protein and mix with approximately ½ of your marinade.  Cover and place in the fridge for an hour.

During the hour that your protein is marinating, prepare your wraps/cups/boats, vegetables, and crunch element.  When the hour is nearly up, heat a sauté pan over medium high heat, if you are planning to cook or heat your protein source.

If you are not cooking your protein, assemble your wraps according to taste preferences and add additional sauce if necessary.  If you are cooking your protein, sauté it over medium high heat just long enough to reduce/thicken the marinade.  Stir often to prevent sticking.

Let your protein cool for a few minutes in order to prevent wilting the lettuce.  Assemble wraps accordingly.  Save any leftover sauce to marinade other vegetables or use as a flavorful salad dressing.

______________________________________________________________________________

MULTI-GRAIN SALAD

Serves 6-8

Remember, I’m not a dietician or nutritionist, but in research I’ve done, those who eat whole grains tend to weigh less. Weight isn’t everything when it comes to health, but it sure is important. Grains contain, most notably, fiber, and a whole slew of other nutrients. This multi-grain salad formula can incorporate any grain, plus any fruits and veggies, to achieve a flavor combination you enjoy. The greater variety of grains you use, the more varying textures you’ll experience. Make sure to research the cook times on each of your grains before you dive in.

  • 4 cups water or veggie stock
  • 2 cups dry grains
  • 2 cups chopped fruits and/or veggies
  • Dressing of choice or a combination of herbs/spices and salt and pepper to taste

Rinse your grains before cooking in order to remove any possible dirt or dust.

Because different grains have different cooking times, you may approach this in two ways: cook them all in the same pot, in stages, or cook them separately and combine them later. If you’re not sure about the grains you are using, research their cook times and even better, experiment in your kitchen. Or, make this salad with just one grain to start. Baby steps are a-ok.

I use a rice cooker because I find that it reduces sticking to the bottom of the pan with just a few occasional stirs, but you can certainly cook your grains in a pot on the stove top, stirring more regularly. First, add your veggie stock and longest-cooking grain to kick off the cooking process.

While your grains are cooking, chop your fruits/veggies and prepare your dressing and/or seasonings.

Cook your grains to completion and chill in your fridge, uncovered and stirring occasionally to allow heat to escape more easily, until at least room temperature (about 30 minutes). If the grains are hot, they will par-cook your produce, which we want to keep raw. When cool, combine the grains with your other ingredients. Consume cold and store in the fridge for 3-5 days, depending on the shelf life of the produce used.

__________________________________________________________________________________

PANZANELLA

Serves 2

Panzanella is traditionally a bread and tomato salad, but I find that it is delicious with other fruits and veggies, too. Different breads call for different accompanying produce, herbs, and spices – be creative! Whenever possible, make your own bread. I have a formula for that, too (see Basics). You will absolutely LOVE this hearty, filling, and flavorful salad.

  • 2 cups cubed bread
  • 2 cups chopped raw fruits and/or veggies
  • ¼ chopped fresh herbs (you can used 1/8 cup dried, but fresh tastes better in this)
  • Citrus juice (size matters…start small)
  • Spices, additional dried herbs, salt, and pepper to taste

As with the bean salad, if you plant to use onion, chop it and let it soak in your citrus juice to break down. Then, cube and toast your bread. You can toast the cubes in a sauté pan on the stovetop, with or without a little bit of vegan butter or oil. While not to the point of being burnt, I thoroughly toast the cubes, as I want their texture holding up when combined with wet fruits and veggies and a dressing. Soggy bread is one of my least favorite textures on Earth. J Stir the toasting cubes occasionally as you chop your fruits/veggies. When they’re crisped to your liking, combine with veggies and juice, season, and stir. Consume immediately.

Want to take your panzanella to a dinner party (because it IS that good)? Keep your raw veggies, juice, and seasonings in a separate container from your toasted bread and combine at the last minute.

__________________________________________________________________________________

PIZZA

Serves 6-8 

Your prayers have been answered:  vegan pizza is here!  If you’re like me, you hate turning down one of America’s favorites just because it is smothered in unhealthy meats and cheeses.  Now, you can eat all the pizza you want without the grease and cholesterol.  No matter how you top this pizza, you will be deriving a plentitude of nutrients that are not overshadowed by fat and sat.  Enjoy!

For the dough:

  • 3-4 cups of flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 ¾ cups very warm water (hot, but touchable)
  • 1 tbsp sweetener (optional)
  • Spices or herbs to taste (optional)
  • Cornmeal and additional flour for dusting your workspace

For the sauce:

See my pesto, curry, or alfredo formulas for unique inspiration, or use your own recipe for BBQ or marinara sauce. If you’re concerned about biting off more than you can chew your first time making pizza, use a high quality premade jarred or bottle sauce (just this once!) or ask Mom to make a little extra of her secret recipe for you to take home in a food storage container. 🙂 No matter your decision, you’ll need about 2 cups.

For the toppings:

  • 1 tbsp oil (for rubbing on the crust)
  • 2 cups chopped/sliced raw or cooked protein and/or produce
  • Approximately 1-2 tbsps nutritional yeast (nooch)
  • Homemade vegan cheese (optional)
  • Spices, herbs*, salt, and pepper to taste (optional)

*If you want to use fresh herbs, use these to garnish the pizza after it is cooked.

If you are making a sauce from scratch, get that started first.  If you’re not making sauce from scratch, have it on standby to top your dough when it’s ready.

Next, attach a dough hook to your stand mixer. Thoroughly clean and dry your countertop and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Lightly oil a large bowl.

Combine 3 cups of flour, salt, and yeast in the mixer on low. Add the sugar and any additional spices or herbs, if using. Add the water and oil to the dry ingredients and scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl before starting the mixer. Start on low speed and increase the speed as the dry ingredients become incorporated into the wet.

Add additional flour gradually until your dough forms a minimally sticky ball on high speed. I can tell that the dough is ready for kneading if it is still somewhat sticky to the touch, but does not stick to the mixing bowl itself when whipping around on a high speed.  (See my bread post for pictures.)  Flour your hands, remove the dough, and place the dough onto your dusted countertop.

Knead the dough, adding small amounts of flour as necessary, until it makes a smooth ball.  Knead for 5-7 minutes total and then place the ball into your oiled bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let it rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, punch down the dough, and separate into two smaller balls of dough.  Leave sitting uncovered on your workspace for about 15 minutes.  About 10 minutes into this second rise, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. In the time that it takes the oven to preheat, you will roll out and top your dough.

Just to keep the pizzas simple, albeit not the prettiest, we roll each of our dough balls into oval-ish shapes that fit perfectly on the BACK side of a cookie sheet (don’t want the lip of the sheet interfering with sliding the pizza off later).  After you roll out each ball, make sure that the bottom has been freshly dusted with cornmeal and place the cornmealed side down on the back of your cookie sheet. Brush the crust with oil to keep some of the moisture in, sprinkle the entire middle with nutritional yeast, and top with sauce, etc. as you see fit.

One at a time, your pizzas go into the oven atop the cookie sheet for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes, gently slide the pizza onto a pizza stone for an additional 6.  The stone assists you in achieving a crunch to the bottom of the pizza, even if you are going for chewy inside.  If you don’t have a pizza stone, bake the pizza atop the cookie sheet for approximately 15 minutes total.  Either way, when the pizza is cooked, slide onto a large cutting board and slice.  This shape won’t give you typical pie-shaped pieces, but it doesn’t matter how they look as long as they taste fantastic!

Store in the fridge for 2-3 days, keeping in mind that without a thick layer of cheese on top to lock in moisture that the pizza will slowly dry out the longer that it sits.

_________________________________________________________________________________

POTATO SALAD

Serves 4-6

Say farewell to mayo-based potato salad that often becomes oily and unappealing the longer that it sits.  Since potato salad does tend to sit (although I doubt this one will!) for hours at the family cookout, it’s important that the flavors and textures hold up to keep the salad fresh and appealing.  Cashew cream allows for the consistency we enjoy in a newly-prepared potato salad without the animal products.  Tastes even better the second day!

  • 2 pounds potatoes
  • 2 cups diced raw vegetables
  • A double batch of my creamy salad dressing (see below)
  • ¼ cup crunch (raw seeds, nuts, etc.) (optional)

For the dressing (NOTE: Creamy dressing formula doubled below.):

  • ½ cup seed or nut butter
  • 5 tbsps acid (citrus juice, vinegar, mustard, or a combination)
  • Thinning liquid as needed (ideas: veggie stock, water, or more acid)
  • Up to 4 tbsps raw garlic and/or fresh/dried herbs and/or spices (optional)
  • 1-2 tsps sweetener (optional)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste

Thoroughly wash your potatoes so that you can keep the skin on. Chop into bite size pieces and steam, boil, or roast (I’m boiling). While your potatoes are cooking, make your dressing. Cover and place in the fridge for the flavors to come together.When your potatoes are done cooking, drain (if necessary) and place in a glass bowl to chill in the fridge, at least to room temperature. While the potatoes are cooling, chop your veggies and crunch element, if using.After the potatoes have cooled sufficiently, pour your dressing on top and stir gently to combine. Enjoy for several days (if you have any leftovers!).

__________________________________________________________________________________

RISOTTO

Serves 4 (as a meal)

Risotto is so creamy and decadent you would swear it contains dairy, but this dish is naturally vegan.  When cooked slowly on the stovetop, adding liquid gradually, risotto develops a rich texture that pairs nicely with just about any vegetable.  A little bit of seasoning and you have a dish that’s sure to please every type of eater in your group…and it’s fancy, too, if you’re going for that.  🙂

  • 8 cups homemade vegetable stock (or water)*
  • 2 cups Arborio rice**
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables (optional)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 small onion
  • Several cloves garlic (go with what you like)
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • Fresh herbs, spices, salt, and pepper to taste

*You may not use it all, but it’ll be close. Have it handy on your stovetop in a pot on low heat, ladle-ready.

**Unlike other grains, do not rinse your Arborio rice before use.

Start by chopping your onion and garlic and sauté in a touch of oil over medium-high heat until they are almost cooked through, but not quite. Then, transfer them to a bowl, return the pan to the stovetop, add a touch more oil, and sauté your vegetables, if using, until almost cooked. Transfer them to a separate bowl and return the pan to the stovetop, this time over medium heat.

Add more oil (about 1 tbsp) to the pan to toast your dry rice. Stir the rice constantly to prevent sticking, toasting it until it has deepened in color slightly, about 5 minutes. Add in half of the cooked onions and garlic, as well as your seasoning of choice, and deglaze your pan with the white wine. After the wine cooks down, add a ladle of your veggie stock and stir fairly regularly over the course of the time it takes for that ladle to absorb completely. You can expect 3-5 minutes between ladles.

You will repeat this process—ladle and stir—many times over the course of 40-45 minutes. When the rice is almost finished, add in the remaining onion and garlic, as well as your veggies (if any), to the pan to finish cooking. From start to finish, this dish will take you 60-75 minutes (depending on how fast you prep and such) and a lot of attention. As soon as the rice is tender, you’re done, so taste as you go.

Garnish with fresh herbs or thinly-sliced green onion. Makes for yummy, comforting leftovers for 3-5 days.

___________________________________________________________________________________

SALAD SANDWICH

Makes 4 sandwiches

Love the creamy consistency of the classic chicken, tuna, or egg salad sandwich, but turned off by the cholesterol, grease, and animal fat?  I’ve developed a salad sandwich formula that satisfies the craving for creamy and filling while maintaining a fresh flavor profile and appealing texture.  And also, no soggy bread here.  🙂

  • 1 ½ cups cooked protein (beans or lentils, or chopped, dehydrated extra firm tofu)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ¼ cup mayo substitute (seed/nut butter, vegan pesto, pureed avocado, etc.)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ¼ cup “crunch” (chopped raw nuts/seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, etc.)(optional)
  • Spices, fresh/dried herbs, salt, and pepper to taste (optional)
  • Additional raw fruits/vegetables to mix in or for garnishing

Coarsely smash your beans/lentils, if using. Combine all ingredients. Assemble with additional produce on bread or in a wrap, if desired.

___________________________________________________________________________________

TOFU DIVAN

Serves 6-8

I’ve found a way to reinvent the classic comfort food, Chicken Divan.  My tofu-based version, is packed with protein, low in fat, and cholesterol-free.  Best of all, my two-year-old loves it.  🙂  This tofu divan is a decadent comfort food that makes for delicious leftovers.

  • 5-6 cups homemade veggie stock
  • 3 cups uncooked grains
  • 2 cups finely chopped vegetables
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 block silken tofu
  • ½ block of extra firm tofu
  • ½ cup liquid to blend with silken tofu (more veggie stock, water, plant milk, etc.)
  • ½ of a small onion
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried minced onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Thoroughly rinse your grains before cooking. Add to a rice cooker or stovetop pot with veggie stock. If you’re using a variety of different grains, stagger their addition to the cooker/pot based on cook times. Wheat berries, for instance, need much longer to cook than quinoa.

While the grains are cooking, put the silken tofu in a blender with your liquid of choice and puree until smooth. Put in a small sauce pan on medium low heat with all spices, the bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Leave the sauce to simmer, stirring occasionally. If it gets too thick (should be thicker than milk, but thinner than a milkshake), thin out with water, plant milk, or veggie stock.

Heat up a sauté pan on medium high heat with ½ tbsp of the oil. Dice your onion, mince your garlic, crumble your extra firm tofu, and sauté until the onions are almost translucent and the tofu is slightly browned. If you have a starchy vegetable, such as carrots, throw them into the sauté pan, too. Otherwise, finely chopping and adding to the casserole mix before it goes into the often should suffice.

Finally, pulse your bread, crackers, etc. in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.

The grains should have absorbed all of the liquid by the time they are cooked, but drain them if they haven’t. In a large mixing bowl, combine grains, onion, garlic, tofu, vegetables, and silken tofu sauce, sans bay leaf. I am strategic about how I do this. The veggies go on the bottom if they have not been precooked, topped next by the hot grains, which will par-cook the vegetables for me, finishing them off in the oven.

Mix your breadcrumbs with nutritional yeast and the other ½ tbsp oil. Once the other ingredients are combined and spread in a 9 X 13 baking dish, top with breadcrumbs. Put under the broiler on low for 4-5 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

_____________________________________________________________________________

VEGGIE BURGERS

Yields 6 patties (or a varying number of bites)

You won’t miss meat burgers (or balls) with this formula!  You can shape your dough into traditional patties, “meat” balls, or other shapes.  Great for a backyard barbeque, party appetizer, or picky toddler!  These veggie burgers incorporate a ton of super foods including vegetables, whole grains, beans, and seeds.  Yum!

  • 2 cups finely chopped or shredded raw vegetables
  • 1 cup cooked whole grains
  • 2 cups cooked beans or lentils
  • ¼ cup+ liquid for pureeing beans/lentils (i.e. homemade veggie stock, citrus juice, water, unsweetened and unflavored plant milk, oil, etc.)
  • 1 “egg” (1 tbsp chia or flax seeds + 3 tbsps hot water)
  • 2-4 cloves of raw garlic
  • 2 tsps herbs and spices
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

*What’s this?  See my super food smoothie formula.

If you need to, cook your grains, beans, and/or lentils first.  Once they are finished, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Puree the cooked beans/lentils with the garlic until smooth.  Finely chop or shred your vegetables (peel first if necessary) and use a wooden spoon to combine all ingredients except the egg.  Massage the egg in with your hands.  A thick dough will form.  It should be sticky enough that all ingredients remain together, but not so sticky that your hands are pulling it apart in trying to form shapes.

Lightly grease a baking sheet and assemble patties and/or bites.  Cook times will vary depending on shape and thickness.  It takes me, for example, typically about 40-45 minutes for patties or shapes of comparable thickness, flipping halfway through.  Set a timer for twenty minutes to start, check back often, and flip as necessary until your burgers or bites are of a cooked and palatable consistency.

These burgers are so dense and filling that I eat them bun-less, but you can certainly serve them with your bread of choice.  Top with my creamy salad dressing, pesto, or hummus and fresh vegetables.  Travis particularly loves these with my refrigerator pickles on top.  🙂  If you’re serving bites, use one of these sauces as a flavorful dipper and spear with toothpicks.

___________________________________________________________________________

VEGGIE CURRY

Serves 6

Warm, creamy, and hearty, curry is a true comfort food that is delicious, nutritious, and flavorful.  Some like is spicy, others sweet.  Some like beans and nuts, others like just vegetables.  As always, you will be able to adapt this formula to your preferences.  When I want something that tastes like it should be bad for me (a la, rich and creamy), I go for my curry formula.  Enjoy!

  • 2 cups grains + 4 cups cooking liquid (consider my homemade veggie stock)
  • 2 cups cooked beans
  • 1 cup raw nuts
  • 5-6 cups chopped vegetables
  • 2 cups plant milk
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp curry powder (or your own blend of spices)
  • ½ tbsp agave syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp oil (to prevent cooking vegetables from sticking to the pan)

Rinse your grains and place in a rice cooker or stove top pot with their cooking liquid. Set to medium low heat and cover, stirring occasionally. The grains are done when all of the liquid has been absorbed. Cooking times will vary.

Dry toast the nuts in a large sauté pan over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until lightly golden, tossing frequently. The nuts will darken in color throughout the entire cooking process. While you’re waiting for the nuts to brown, chop up your longest-cooking veggie(s).

When the nuts have browned slightly, add your oil to the pan, along with your longest-cooking veggie(s). Sauté for about 5 minutes before adding your milk, garlic, agave syrup, and spices. Turn the heat down to medium to reduce the milk for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, continue to chop all of your veggies. After the 15 minutes, add them–and your beans–to the mix from longest cook time to shortest. Stir your vegetables often to ensure they aren’t sticking to the bottom of your sauté pan, but are still being exposed to the heat.

Cook times will vary depending on the vegetables selected.  When your veggies are all cooked through or to your liking (I prefer them al dente), serve the curry over your grains. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days, keeping in mind that the sauce will continue to thicken.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

VEGGIE WRAP

Makes 1 wrap

If you’re anything like me, you’re over the grilled veggie wrap.  Greasy, mushy vegetables are sooo last year.  🙂  For a whole new veggie wrap experience, use raw vegetables (and fruit, too!) and a homemade dressing for a most pleasant textural experience and higher nutritional content.  If you’ve got a cereal bowl and a tortilla, you can make this happen in a snap!

  • 1 12-inch tortilla
  • Enough raw chopped/diced/sliced fruit/veggies to fill ¾ of a cereal bowl
  • 1-2 tablespoons homemade dressing of choice
  • 1 tablespoon “crunch” (e.g. raw nuts, seeds, etc.) or unsweetened dried fruit (optional, for additional texture)

Peel (if necessary) and chop, dice, or slice your fruit/veggies. Combine with dressing in cereal bowl. Assemble wrap and consume immediately.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Square Meals

Thoughts or questions welcome!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s