Category Archives: Lunch

Crock Pot Vegan: Sweet Potato, Kale, and Chickpea Soup

And….we’re back! After a few weeks off for bad behavior and a new ACL, I’m glad to be back. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a few weeks now. It is sweet, savory, smooth and lumpy (in the best chickpea way). It’s sure to keep you full and warm when battling the winter chills. The original recipe calls for farro from Cookie + Kate but since I didn’t have any handy, I grabbed some wheat berries instead which I cooked first on the stove and added toward the end. 

 

Ingredients
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small to medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (or butternut squash)-I used a mix of both as I had some cubes frozen from fall.
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2-3 T red Thai curry paste (available in the Asian section at most grocery stores-check to be sure no anchovies or shrimp were sacrificed for your paste)
  • 1 C uncooked farro, rinsed (or 2 C cooked whole grains, like wheat berries, spelt berries or kamut)
  • 6 C vegetable broth (or water flavored with vegetarian bouillon cubes)
  • 1 C coconut milk (from a can-okay to use light)
  • 2 C cooked chickpeas (or one can of cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch of crinkly purple kale or green kale, finely chopped
  • Sriracha to taste, I dropped in 1T
Instructions for crock pot:
Chop and dump. Simple as that. Omit the cooked wheat berries and chickpeas until about an hour before you are going to serve then pop them in the cooker to warm up with the rest of the items. My soup took 6.5 hours in a large crock pot. I used the last hour to add the wheatberries and chickpeas.
Instructions for stove top from Cookie + Kate:
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in the onions, raw sweet red pepper, and sweet potato and a big pinch of salt. Sauté for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to soften.
  3. Add the curry paste and stir until the onions and sweet potatoes are coated and the curry is fragrant (about a minute).
  4. Add the farro, if that’s your grain of choice, and six cups of veggie broth or water and bouillon cubes and the coconut milk.
  5. Bring to a boil, then set the timer for thirty minutes, cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  6. After thirty minutes, uncover the pot and add the chickpeas. Taste and season with more salt as needed (if it tastes flat, add more). If you chose to use cooked whole grains, add them now. Cover and simmer for another twenty minutes.
  7. Uncover, stir in the kale, add cayenne pepper if desired, and serve.
Notes

The sandwich so fresh & juicy you eat it over the kitchen sink

Growing up my family didn’t do a tremendous amount of gardening unless it was in the form of flowers, which my mother has always been extremely fond of. The landscaping of our home was meticulous. My grandma however, had a pretty good size garden which was kinda like a neighborhood garden before community gardens were all the rage. She and her neighbors would plant their favorite veggies between the sticky cherry tree and big tire swing, in front of the pine layer separating her home from the IGA, and just beyond the sandbox so that none of us would “go messin’ with it.” The garden made for two things: 1) the most amazing go-cart racing track was formed from its perimeter, and 2) the amount of tomatoes that came from it in August/September was something of the stuff legends are made.

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This is the “grown up” vegan version of the tomato sandwich that we would eat nearly every day in the summer at the peak of tomato season which was comprised of gooey Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, heavy with salt, and layered with iceberg lettuce and fresh, juicy tomatoes. So messy and heavy that you would have to eat the sandwich over the sink or end up changing your shirt after lunch.

Tomato Sandwich

  • 2 pieces soft vegan bread, toasted lightly
  • 1 medium sized ripe tomato of your choice
  • 2 big knifefuls of Vegenaise, use BBQ flavor if you want it to really make it sing
  • 1 handful, fresh picked greens of your choice, pictured here, arugula

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To assemble: spread Vegenaise on bread, layer tomato slices with arugula, smash and enjoy over the kitchen sink.

Curried Chard Vegan Frittata

Swiss chard is one of those greens I’m not wild about unless it is IN something else or heavily, heavily seasoned. This recipe is modified from Vegan Brunch in the spirit of curried scramble and can be customized with herbs and seasonings in just about any combination. It keeps well and tastes amazing tossed into a pita with arugula and garlic vegenaise for lunch the next day.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, rough stems removed, chopped well (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 pound firm or extra firm tofu
  • 1 T tamari or soy sauce (use tamari if gluten free)
  • 1/4 C chives, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp sweet curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • several dashes fresh black pepper
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over low-medium heat. Add the oil and the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. What you’re doing here is “blonding” the garlic, it’s ready when it’s turned a light amber color.

Add the chard, oregano, all spices, chives, and and turn the heat up to medium high. Saute for about 5 minutes, until chard is completely wilted/ Add splashes of water if needed to get the chard to cook down. Turn the heat off.

While the chard is cooking, prepare your frittata base. Give the tofu a squeeze over the sink to remove a little of the water. Use your hands to crumble and squeeze it in a large mixing bowl, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese (about 3 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients to the tofu and mix well. When your chard is ready, incorporate it into the tofu. Be sure to get all of the garlic, but if there is any moisture in the pan try to avoid adding it to the tofu. Taste for salt.

Lightly grease an 8 inch pie plate and firmly press in your frittata mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm lightly browned on top. Let cool for about 3 minutes, then invert onto a plate and serve.

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Wheat Berry Spring Salad

A recipe doesn’t have to be very complex. Sometimes I just grab stuff that is either: 1) about to go bad in my fridge, 2) really fresh in my fridge, or 3) stuff that sounds good and hope it all tastes good together. This was #3 for a quick dinner and several more lunches.

Not rocket science, hell sometimes I don’t even measure…

Ingredients:

  • Everything in my fridge cut up (asparagus raw, tomato raw, english cucumber, dried cranberries, red grapes halved, a little romano cheese cut in chunks-0mit for vegans)
  • 2 c cooked wheat berries

Dressing :

  • 1/2 C apricot balsamic vinegar (or any other flavor really)
  • 1/8 C evoo
  • salt and pepper to taste

Tossed the dressing with the wheat berries and severed over microgreens. Tasted amazing the next day in a pita.

Wheatberry Salad

Wanted: Vegan Sandwiches

In a recent poll of the Wonderful residence…we miss sandwiches. Two recipes to fix that situation follow for bread spreads. These taste equally as good on crackers or straight from the bowl around midnight. I mean if you say had a hunger pang in the night.

From Happy Herbivore (pictured):

“Tuna Salad”

  • 15 oz chickpeas (canned or from dry) rinsed and drained
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and diced
  • 1 – 2 T pickle relish or sliced pickles
  • 1 tsp onion flakes or powder
  • 2 T nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 T low sodium soy sauce or Tamari
  • 3 T vegan mayo (I used half and still had great consistency)
  • 1/2 tsp kelp powder (this is the “fishy” salty flavoring)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice 
  • pepper and salt to taste

I deviated  a little from the original instructions provided as I like a specific texture of spread. Mash chickpeas in a large mixing bowl OR pulse 3-4 times in a food processor-do not puree, or make hummus instead, you can’t really go wrong here I guess. Dice celery into bite sized pieces. Chop up pickles into small dice too. Add all ingredients to the large bowl, stir, stir, stir. Add more mayo or kelp as needed to taste.

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“Tuna” Salad

Courtesy of Jon Dunn at VeganGR:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2-3 T Vegenaise
  • 1-2 T sweet pickle relish or pickle chopped
  • salt pepper to taste
  • 1/2 t dulse or kelp granules or other “fishy” seasoning (optional)

Send chickpeas through a couple of pulses in food processor (can be done by hand by the less lazy). Mix blended peas with the Vegenaise, sweet pickle and seasonings. EAT ON ANYTHING.

**note – all of the following ingredients are really to personal taste. Some people like green onion, mustard, or all sorts of other stuff in their tuna salad. Basically, you’re following whatever recipe you would with tuna, but using chickpeas instead.

Roasted Beet Sandwich on Naan

I love naan.  I love it a little less now that I’ve investigated what it is that I am actually eating.  It’s not exactly health food.  I have been buying these delicious commercial naan bread that I typically see at my deli counter and now they are available at Costco, double whammy.  After I made this sandwich, I started researching recipes online for a healthier, more importantly vegan naan and I came up with a few that I will be trying for my next foray into sandwich-making.

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Sometimes not eating meat poses problems in the sandwich area-going to a deli can be less than successful most times.  Instead, you have to make up for it in your own kitchen.  Pictured is a toss together sandwich made from Tin Foil Beets and various other items found in the fridge.  These items would also make a great salad with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice for the dressing.  Contents of the sandwich on naan bread are:  smear of hummus, fresh baby spinach, avocado with lemon juice and roasted beets.  I serve this in a pocket sometimes with sprouts, arugula and carrots.  A Mr. Wonderful fave and perfect beach food as they travel well.

Radish Sammich

My previous post discussed the ever important Village of Manchester Chicken Broil in all of its glory.  Something I remember more than the chicken dinner, were the leftovers from the dinners and what my Grandma Helen used to make from them (we always ate Chicken Broil at Grandma’s house).  In case you neglected to read the links provided in that post, let me briefly recap:  the dinner is comprised of a half chicken, roll with butter, fresh made cole slaw with secret local recipe, radishes, chips and beverage.  What was always leftover besides chicken (which was made into chicken salad)?  Rolls and radishes.  No one EVER ate the radishes until my Grandma made them into ‘sammiches’ with the neglected butter pat.

So just what in the hell am I getting at here, talking about chicken for the last 2 posts?  Well my point is….in my CSA  share bag for the last few weeks, I’ve had radish overload, so I grabbed some slider buns and made a delish lunch of radish sammich and Parmesan cheese, pictured below.  Don’t knock it ’till you’ve tried it.  Besides, what the heck else are you going to do with those radishes?  You can thank me later.

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