Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

Continuing on this journey of veganism..... I needed something that was going to fill me up. I find the one big problem with the whole vegan thing is that no matter how much I eat I am always hungry an hour later. Like last night I made Tofu and Bean Sprout Lettuce Wraps and ate about 6 of them. It was a lot of food. But and hour later it was like I never ate! TJ would tell you this has to do with my "hollow leg". Apparently this leg is why I can eat 14 cookies in one sitting.

Anyways I wanted something hearty, but still good for me (aka not a huge plate of pasta) and what is more filling than potatoes and beans? This dish is so flavorful and works really well on its own or over rice. It is also an excuse for me to eat raw cilantro....

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

2 small sweet potatoes
1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
Green onion, sliced

In a large pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Dice onions and add to pot, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften.

While onions are cooking peel potatoes and dice into small cubes, and set aside. 

Once onions are soft add curry paste, minced garlic and ginger. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until fragrant. Add broth, potatoes, lentils, salt and pepper, and cumin and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. 

Remove lid and add zucchini. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, until zucchini is barely tender. Top with green onions and cilantro and serve over warm basmati rice or by itself!


Baby Greens and Roasted Beet Salad

This might be my new all time favorite salad. I had it 3 times in Summerland, with all ingredients fresh from my husbands parents garden and it was to die for. It is sooooo simple too. 

You can easily jazz this up with your choice of dressing, bacon, nuts. 

You could also question my judgement because I just used the phrase "jazz this up."

And you can also tell by this recipe that I occasionally falter on this vegan diet . But goat cheese and beets are made for each other. So I had to. 

2-3 cups washed baby greens
1 cup arugula 
1 large beet
1/4 small red onion
1/2 cup parley or dill (or both)
1/3 cup of goat cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and Pepper

First you will need to roast your beets. Pretty Simple. Cut off the greens and the bottom and place on a sheet of foil. Top with a little olive oil, wrap up and put in the oven for 45 minutes on 400 degrees. Once roasted, allow to cool and the skin will peel right off. Then chop into wedges or slices and set aside.

Next place all of your washed greens and arugula in a large bowl. Chop herbs and slice onion and place in the bowl, along with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to coat. 

Plate greens on a nice dish and top with beets and chunks of goat cheese! 
That is it! So simple and so tasty. 

Red Curry and Ginger Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

I have decided that the only way I can really enjoy tofu is when it is deep fried (surprise) or if it is cut into tiny pieces. If it is soft, or too large then it is gross. Thats what she said. Sorry, I had to! 

So since I don't own a deep fryer and don't ever plan on getting one I have to stick to cutting tofu into tiny pieces then dry frying it. Still just as delicious and so much better for you! Mixed with mushrooms this tofu dish is filling, healthy, and exotic. I had 4 in one sitting that is how much I enjoyed them. Next time I think they would go nicely with some sort of sesame vinaigrette sauce or Sirracha sauce. 

Red Curry and Ginger Tofu and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
1 cup extra firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
1 cup mushrooms, halved and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece ginger, minced
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1/2 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh mint
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3-4 large green lettuce leaves

In a medium pan add tofu. Dry fry over medium heat for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally until all pieces are golden brown

Remove from pan and set aside. Add oil to pan and add mushrooms, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and curry paste. Cook until mushroom begin to release their juices, then return tofu along with lime juice to pan and stir to combine. Set aside.

Rinse and dry lettuce leaves. Chiffonade basil and mint. To each lettuce leaf add a few tablespoons of carrots, a large spoonful of tofu/mushroom mixture, and top with fresh herbs. 


Mashed Cauliflower and White Beans

Have you ever had a brilliant idea only to find that weren't the one who thought of it? Well that just happened to me dammit. I have had mashed cauliflower before but I was thinking or ways to get some protein in my diet and I thought, "HEY! I will add some white beans because they are pretty neutral tasting and the same color and will add a little texture as well." So I write up a neat little recipe, and right before I post it I google "mashed cauliflower and white beans". Only to see that it is some recipe from the biggest loser Thanksgiving show? What in the hell is going on? So I still post it (obvi) and add some leeks like the recipe I saw online. Pretty good and I guarantee it will fool most people into thinking it is regular mashed potatoes. What is the moral of the story? Biggest Loser stole my idea before I even had it. 

Mashed Cauliflower and White Beans

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 leek, sliced into rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Place cauliflower in a large pot with 2 inches of water. Cover and cook on high heat until water begins to boil and then let boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and add cauliflower to a large food processor along with white beans. Pulse until smooth. 

In a large pan add olive oil on medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook until soft. You can either add these to the food processor and pulse to combine, or serve over the top. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you wanted to de-vegan-fy this adding some shredded romano or parmesan cheese would be delicious!


Tabouli Quinoa Salad

I just watched 20 minutes of Kristin Wiig video clips so I am in a fantastic mood. I also fell asleep for 20 minutes while in corpse pose at the end of yoga. So if my math is right I am 20 minutes away from the best hour in the history of man kind. Booya.

Starting Vegan week #1 off right is my take on tabouli salad.  I think bulgar wheat is sorta gross and chalky tasting so I added quinoa instead for a great vegan + gluten free side dish. You also better be sure you like tabouli salad, because i think it is a bit of an acquired taste. There are so many fresh herbs that it can be overwhelming. My husband said it tasted too much like nature. <--- whatever that means. Be sure to have lots of fresh parsley and mint on hand! 

Tabouli Quinoa Salad
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
1 cup flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons mint
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Finely chop parsley and mint and add to a large bowl. Slice cherry tomatoes and mince garlic and add to the bowl along with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into bowl. Stir until all ingredients and combined. Add quinoa and toss to coat.


The long lost blog.....

This just in.... I am not dead. Just back from the worlds longest vacation! I was about to write a bunch of awesome post with recipes made from fresh summer vegetables, then Oscar ate a soccer ball so I have been busy with that for a while (which made and appearance today, I leave you to guess how). But now here I am!

Summer has been great and we have been all over the place! Hawaii, Pennsylvania, British Columbia....nothing like flying through 7 different time zones in less than a week. And by flying I mean eating. Delicious fresh fish in Maui, $2.50 breakfast plates in Lehighton, and fresh Okanagan Valley peaches. The point is I haven't cooked in a looooooong time. And now that I am back even making a sandwich seems like work.

With summer dwindling down though.....I must take advantage of all these delicious fresh veggies! And what's a better way then doing a 3 week vegan challenge. Let's get real, anything is better than a vegan challenge. Like cheese. But I have heard so many amazing stories about people feeling and looking great after going vegan that it is worth a try. And I figure I am already half way there considering I don't eat most meat or drink cows milk. I just have to get rid of cheese.... and eggs.... and greek yogurt..... and butter.... and chocolate. On second thought maybe I don't do it.

Vegan diet restrictions:
Anything that contains anything having to do with animals. Ever.
So even though it is a natural thing for a chicken to lay an egg..... No.
Jello, gummies, or anything with pectin (aka ground up hooves or something)..... No.
Yummy, delicious, magical cheese...... No.
Wendy's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger..... Hell to the No.

But whatever. It's worth a try.... and the worst thing that could happen is I fail miserably and T.J. finds me in the corner of the bedroom surrounded by chocolate and slices of swiss cheese, while I dip hard boiled eggs in a peanut butter milkshake. 
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