Hummus, tabbouleh, and golden beets. 6/27/20

To finish off our vegetarian/vegan week I made a great dinner for a hot night, hummus with tabbouleh and golden beets.  I bought prepared hummus, roasted the golden beets in the morning, and made a Lebanese tabbouleh which is heavy on the parsley and mint and light on the bulgur. I put everything on a bed of spinach and included some small pieces of pita and pepperoncini.

Hummus, tabbouleh, and roasted golden beets

Lebanese Tabbouleh

1/4 cup fine bulgur wheat
1 small garlic clove, minced (optional)
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup chopped tomato
4 scallions, finely chopped
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

Note: I used a food processor to chop up the parsley, mint, garlic, and scallions. Make sure the herbs are dry before processing.

Place the bulgur in a bowl, and cover with water by 1/2 inch. Soak for 20 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain through a sieve ,and press the bulgur against the strainer to squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the garlic, lemon juice, parsley, mint, tomatoes, scallions and salt. Leave at room temperature or in the refrigerator for two to three hours, so that the bulgur can continue to absorb liquid and swell.

Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasoning.

Roasted golden beets

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Remove beet leaves, wash the beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast beets for 45 minutes or until a knife cuts through easily. Remove the skin while still warm with paper towels.

Posted in Grains, Kitchen tips, Legumes, Middle Eastern, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Khaki soup. 6/27/20

Here is a little soup I basically made out of nothing. It is not much of a looker but it tastes pretty good. In fact, John took a spatula and ate the last drops out of the food processor!

Saute a half medium chopped onion and a garlic clove. When the onion is translucent add 3-4 cups of vegetable odds and ends, one medium waxy potato, and 2 cups veg stock. For the vegetable odds and ends I used broccoli stems, a piece of leftover fennel, some green onion, two celery stalks, and the stems of two bunches of parsley. Cook until the potato pieces are done and it is ready to go in the food processor or in a blender, if you want a more puréed soup.

I served mine with a swirl of yogurt but if you want a vegan experience, leave it out. The potato makes the soup creamy and your vegetables dictate the color. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold.

Khaki soup

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Chana dal. 6/25 and 6/26/2020

My all vegetarian/vegan week is turning into a mostly dal week. First John and I made too much Afghani dal On Tuesday and since we love it, we ate it again the next night. Then we made Chana dal on Thursday which is super yummy and since the recipe serves 4-6 we ate it again on Friday!

Chana dal is easy to make in the Instant Pot. I used this recipe. Instead of cutting up tomatoes, I used a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies and cut down on the water a little. We served this with some leftover couscous and spinach but it is great with rice too.

Chana dal with couscous and spinach

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Afghani dal, white rice, grilled cauliflower! 6/23/20

Make some white rice and cook Afghani dal. Sprinkle with an herb and add a dollop of yogurt. (Note: I use only .5 tablespoon of minced ginger, and cooking spray instead of olive oil.)

Afghani dal (red lentils) and rice

Add a side of grilled cauliflower. (This is our first time cutting a cauliflower into “steaks” and grilling it. I sprayed it with olive oil spray, drizzled a little lemon juice on it, and seasoned with salt and pepper. About 5 minutes per side.)

Grilled cauliflower

Result? Spectacular dinner!!!!

Afghani dal with white rice and grilled cauliflower

Posted in Afghan, Easy, Grilling, Legumes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Orecchiette with broccoli and mushrooms. 6/22/20

Monday’s vegan dinner is a take on a Puglian dish we ate in Alberobello, Italy. There they serve the orecchiette with bitter greens but we decide to have ours with broccoli and add some mushrooms as well. The sauce is some of the pasta water and a drizzle of olive oil.

Orecchiette with broccoli and mushroom

Posted in Easy, Italian, Pasta, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Scrambled eggs with veggie sausage and spinach. 6/21/20

Here it is the first day of my all vegetarian/vegan week and I am starting off with my usual Sunday, BFD. Breakfast for dinner gives me a break from cooking each week. It is a meal where I am responsible only for myself and can make my eggs any way I like. Today I opt for a scramble of onions, veggie patty, spinach, and two eggs. To round out my meal I have a salad and very thin bagel.

I am very excited about this week. I wrote down probably thirty potential meals for this first week and John ticked off some of his favorites. I suggested that we center our meals around a vegetable protein but John wanted to go for different ethnic meals. I think we have come up with a good balance of various vegetable proteins and Italian, American, Mexican, and Indian dishes.

Scrambled eggs with spinach and veggie sausage, mixed green salad, and skinny bagel

Posted in American, Easy, Eggs, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged | Leave a comment

All vegetarian/vegan weekly menu! 6/21-27/2020

I am really excited about this week! I asked John if he would be up for an all vegetarian week and he said yes so I wrote down about thirty things that we can have and I cannot wait to start!

I really like vegetarian dishes for lots of reasons both personal and ethical. They are good for my losing weight diet because they are generally lower in calories so I can have bigger portions! And I know that vegetarian dishes are good for me. I just had blood work done and my A1C went from 7.4 to 5.6! More vegetarian dishes will keep that number in the normal range. Plus it is good for global warming and water usage and we know that animals are not treated humanely in factory farming. So win, win, win, win, win!

Posted in Vegan, Vegetarian, Weekly menu | Leave a comment

Instant Pot Toor dal. 6/20/20

I got the recipe for toor dal from PippingPotCurry. This site takes Indian food and makes it quick and easy using an Instant Pot. Here is where you can find the recipe. (The recipe is at the bottom of the page.) I thought this tasted a lot like Chana dal except with dried pigeon peas and much soupier. Maybe I shall look at pigeon peas as a substitute for lentils or red lentils with a slightly different flavor. Chana dal with dried chickpeas is still my favorite of the dals I have made so far. But this is still good and especially good when you have it for lunch the next day. I strongly recommend having rice with it since you need something to sop up all the yummy broth.

Toor dal with rice and snow peas

Posted in Easy, Indian, Instant Pot, Legumes, Recipes, rice, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Weeknight chicken. 6/18/20

We had to slightly alter our dinner plans for Thursday because it was quite hot (93F) and we did not want to heat the kitchen up too much. John sous vide a chicken breast and made a pot of couscous while I chopped up some broccoli and made a sauce that was part leftover oyster sauce from our bok choy earlier in the week and part barbecue sauce.

Sous vide chicken breast with barbecue oyster sauce, couscous, and broccoli

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White beans with tuna and juniper berries. 6/17/20

Tonight we mashed together two exceptional experiences we  have had with white beans. One was a side dish of cannellini beans and juniper berries in Siena, Italy and the other was a side of white beans with tuna that we ate in Ashland, Oregon. For our dinner we sautéed onions and garlic and added cracked juniper berries and minced rosemary. Then we put in a can of cannellini beans with its juice. When it was almost time to serve we added a can of drained tuna and some chopped celery and let that gently heat through. We served the beans on bed of spinach with a drizzle of olive oil.

Our dinner was really tasty, easy to make, and just used a few pantry items. The beans on their own with the juniper berries and rosemary would make a delicious side dish. We are thinking of elevating the beans a bit with a piece of salmon instead of the tuna next time!

White beans with tuna and juniper berries


Posted in American, Easy, Fish, Legumes, pescatarian, Vegetables | Tagged , | Leave a comment