Category Archives: vegan friendly

Baked Chickpeas with Lemon and Rosemary

This recipe was inspired by a blog post I read over a year ago, I’m honestly not sure which one, and now I can’t seem to find it. Oh well, such are the ways of the internet. Anyway, since then this has been my go-to pot-luck recipe, and my friends often request that I bring some when they throw a soiree.

Total time to prepare: about 50 minutes + soaking overnight if using dried chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Salt (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Prepare chickpeas. If using dried chickpeas use this method to cook them (note that it requires soaking overnight and about one hour of cook time). If using canned chickpeas, just rinse the them.
  3. In a bowl, toss chickpeas in olive oil, rosemary, lemon, and salt. Note that canned chickpeas are already salted so they will require very little, if any, extra salt. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with foil (optional, but makes cleanup waaaaay easier).
  5. Spread chickpeas evenly over the baking sheet in A SINGLE LAYER. If all of the chickpeas do not fit in a single layer, use another baking sheet. I recommend that the chickpeas touch each other, as this will make it easier to tell when they are done.
  6. Place baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake. After about 20 minutes, toss the chickpeas. When the chickpeas have shrunk and are no longer touching (about 45 minutes), they should be done.
  7. Allow to cool before serving.

Note: like the quick chickpea dinner recipe, these chickpeas can be seasoned however you like. There are lots of creative options on in the blogosphere, I encourage you to do a quick google search for inspiration.

Okay, so maybe I was having a little fun with the reflection here

Okay, so maybe I was having a little fun with the reflection here

Hot ‘n Raw Lentil-Spinach Casserole

Nommy, nommy lentils

Nommy, nommy lentils

Spinach is one of my favorite greens. I will eat it in pretty much any form, but I really love it raw. This particular dish was inspired by my dining hall days– I would try to eat healthy by using spinach as base for my tomato sauce rather than pasta. The heat from the tomato sauce actually cooks the spinach slightly, so the spinach is “al-dante.” Now that I am a big girl or whatever I decided to make my old stand-by-side a meal by adding protein and fiber packed lentils. I’ve found that the best way to cook red lentils is to follow the instructions on the back of  the bag from Trader Joe’s.

Time to Prepare: about 30-45 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • Spinach

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a pan with tall sides.
  2. Add lentils, toast for 2-3 min
  3. Add broth and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 min or until the lentils are tender but not soup-y.
  4. When the lentils are almost done (after about 8 min) add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes
  5. Cook tomato sauce on the stove for about 5 min., or until it’s hot
  6. Divide Spinach onto two serving dishes
  7. Top with lentils and then tomato sauce

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Cran-apple oatmeal

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This picture looks just like what you’d find a cereal box. Enlarged to show texture, as they say.

I came back from a 3-day folk music and dance festival last night. It was really great, but dancing for 5-6 hours/day can really work up an appetite. During my return carpool, my fellow travelers and I started to talk about oatmeal. And this morning, surprise surprise, I was really craving a nice hot bowl. However, my fridge is missing several important items, like fresh/frozen berries and almond milk (my milk-like beverage of choice this month), that I usually use to make my oatmeal taste less like, well, just plain oats. So I scrounged a little and turned up a jar of applesauce and a bag of craisins (both items I try to keep in my pantry). I thought, well, if cran-apple juice is delicious, maybe cran-apple oatmeal won’t be so bad. I made a good decision, cran-apple oatmeal might be a new favorite.

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Tee-he-he, the craisins are on top of the apple sauce. Silly craisins.

Time to prepare (if oatmeal is already cooked): 5 minutes

Time to prepare if you have to cook the oatmeal: about 30 minutes

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (I prefer steal-cut oats because they have a firmer texture, but any type will probably work)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/8 cup craisins (dried cranberries)

Instructions:

  1. Put oatmeal in a bowl
  2. Add brown sugar. I find that adding the sugar before the other ingredients helps the sugar to spread more evenly over the oatmeal.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir mixture.
  5. Eat.
  6. Adjust cran/apple/sugar ratio to desired taste.

A note on oatmeal: Believe it or not, cooked steel-cut oatmeal reheats really nicely in the microwave. I like to make a big pot on the weekends (about 2 cups of uncooked oats) and then store the oatmeal in a Tupperware in the fridge. On a Wednesday morning when I’m already feeling pretty down about the day, I scoop some oatmeal into a microwave safe bowl, heat it for 2 minutes, add some milk-like beverage, sugar, and fruit, and voilà, instant satisfaction. You’ll (probably) never go back to instant.

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Quick Chickpea Dinner

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Chickpeas (also known as garbanzos) are a killer combo of healthy, versatile, and delicious. This quick ‘n easy weeknight dinner will liven up any plate with the wonderful, classic combination of lemon and rosemary. You can easily adapt it to any combination of spices you have lying around (one of my favorites is paprika and garlic).

Serves: 2

Time to Prepare: about 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (about 2 wedges) + more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • salt (to taste)

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Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse chickpeas until the foamy stuff at the top is all gone. This serves 2 purposes: it helps remove excess sodium and it helps you fart less. I could be wrong about this, but my mom always told me that the foamy stuff on the beans is what makes you fart. It seems to work for me, in any case.
  2. Heat oil in a medium to large skillet.
  3. Add chickpeas
  4. Add lemon and rosemary
  5. Cook until the chickpeas are hot, about 7-10 minutes. Then remove a chickpea for tasting and add lemon, rosemary and salt as needed. I recommend waiting to this point to add salt because the flavors can change slightly during the cooking process.
  6. Eat. I recommend removing the chickpeas from the pan first, but I understand this is not always a possibility. I take no responsibility if you burn yourself by eating them directly of of the pan.

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Marmaladin’ it

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So last week I bought a 5lb bag of clementines from Trader Joe’s. Normally, I love Trader Joe’s clementines, but this batch just wasn’t good. I can’t stand to waste food, but I didn’t want to eat these clementines raw, so I decided to make marmalade.

IMG_2528I found an absolutely excellent recipe online. I sterilized my motley crew of glass jars using the instructions on this website.

I made a few alterations to the recipe from Binny cooks. First, instead of using a tea bag for my lemon seeds, I put them in a coffee filter and tied the filter with a piece of thread.

Cute little packet of peptin rich lemon seeds.

Cute little packet of peptin rich lemon seeds.

I also didn’t have quite enough clementines (and they were the small ones from TJ’s), and they were too sweet for my taste, so I added about half a lemon extra.

Not enough clemies?

Not enough clemies?

I also didn’t have enough white sugar, so I used about 3/5 white sugar, 2/5 brown sugar. I don’t think it changed the taste much, but it gave the marmalade a dark caramel color.

Other than that, I just boiled the marmalade for about a million years, jarred it, and left it on the window sill to cool.

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Before

During

During

After

After

The only change I would make next time is I would chop up all of the peel and dump it in to add a little more bitterness.

Marmalading is pretty simple! And here I was thinking all these years that it was next to impossible.

Frozen Banana Men

Aren't they just so cute? His little smile just makes me so happy.

Isn’t he  just cute? His little smile makes me so happy.

Frozen banana men are perfect for satisfying an ice cream craving, and their small size great for portion control. This dessert was inspired by my friend E and by a gingerbread-men mold that I found on clearance at K-mart after the holidays. It’s rubbery so it is easy to pop the little men out and maintain their shapes. Note that the dish can be made just as well in an ice-cube tray. Did I mention it’s ridiculously easy?

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Ingredients:

  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 2 Tbsp nutella
  • Note: this dish can be made vegan by using a vegan chocolate alternative for nutella, such as vegan chocolate chips. You can also substitute chocolate soy milk for plain, or omit the chocolate all together

Instructions

  • peel bananas into a bowl and mash them until they have a smooth and creamy texture and most of the lumps are gone.
  • Add soy milk.
  • Mix in nutella or vegan substitute. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more soy milk.
  • Pour mixture into mold or ice-cube tray, filling the compartments a little more than 3/4.
  • Freeze for 4+ hours

Told you it was easy.

To store the men more space-efficiently (or your ice-cube tray for something else), simply place men in a freezer proof Tupperware in layers, separating each layer with a piece of plastic wrap.

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