Cajun Cakes & Dijon Broccoli Rice

Oh, Happy Herbivore. Just when I thought you couldn’t get more awesome, you decided to invent chickpea cakes. Well, maybe not invent, but certainly publish and share them.

These. were. sensational. Sort of like eating fried chicken, in that they were spicy and crunchy, but mostly like eating a really great falafel. I can imagine that the next time I make these, I’ll make them nugget-size and there will be BBQ sauce dunking. Oh, the dunking! I think I’ll actually try the chickpea tenders recipe, too, for a less spicy taste.

The dijon rice and broccoli was really good. I found the mustard flavor to be a little behind the scenes, so next time I’ll probably punch that up a bit. Or use some really great sweet and hot mustard I have, that I almost never get to use on anything.

Totally awesome (and really simple) dinner, provided by the Everyday Happy Herbivore.

Sweet, Sour & Spicy Meatballs

Isn’t it funny when you make something as an afterthought, and it ends up being the best part of the meal? I’d planned on making Orange Scented Broccoli and Scallion Potato Pancakes from Appetite for Reduction, but I couldn’t think of a third item for the plate. Our meal needed a little more protein, but I was stumped. I didn’t feel like tofu, seitan, or beans. What was I to do?

On our weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I purchased both chickenless chicken nuggets and meatless meatballs. When I got home, I realized the nuggets had egg in them (bummer!) but the meatless meatballs were indeed vegan. I’d been thinking of making orange “chicken” as the missing piece of this meal. But–no dice. So, sweet, sour, spicy and altogether wonderful meatballs to the rescue! I literally threw this sauce together in 5 minutes, shoved the meatballs in the toaster oven, and that’s about it. And they were awesome. Amazing. Almost indescribably perfect. Really! I suppose that sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but for all the effort I put into these, I think this recipe came from Divine Providence instead of my own brain.

Does God give out awesome meatball recipes? I guess so!

Sweet, Sour & Spicy Meatballs (makes enough sauce for 12-15 meatballs):

  • 12-15 vegan meatballs (you can cook the Trader Joe’s ones from frozen, check your recipe or other brand for different info)
  • 3 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)
  • 2 T dark brown sugar (maple syrup would also work)
  • 1 T sweet chili sauce
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp habanero hot sauce (or any sweet hot sauce will work)
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • sesame seeds for garnish

Mix all the ingredients except the meatballs in a small mixing bowl. Add the meatballs and stir to coat. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pick up individual meatballs on a fork and place on a sheet of foil on top of a cooking sheet. You want them to be coated, but not dripping, with sauce. Save the rest of the sauce in the bowl and set aside.

Bake meatballs for 10 to 12 minutes, then return to the bowl. This time, you can pour out the sauce and meatballs together back on the same piece of foil, and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes. This gives the sugar a chance to get really gooey, and make a nice thick coating on the outside of the meatballs. Garnish with some pretty little sesame seeds.

If you want to make a ton more, I’m pretty sure this recipe will expand out make as many meatballs as you want. However, I’d caution about adding a lot more liquid aminos/soy sauce. That can get pretty sodium-filled pretty fast. You can always use water or veggie broth if you need the sauce to stretch a bit further. Just use common sense, because too much water could make it bland.

If you were wondering about the other parts of dinner–they were great! I made the broccoli completely incorrectly (I added basically everything at the wrong time) and it seemed pretty fool-proof. The scallion cakes should have probably been thinner, but I’m hoping that they toast up nicely for lunch tomorrow.

Broccoli & Linguine

Arrrgh! This dinner is so good! It makes me sort of angry to look at the picture and not be eating it. Also, it makes me a little mad at myself that I haven’t made it for so long. This is, of course, Pasta con Broccoli from Appetite for Reduction. I’m really glad I saved it for tonight’s dinner, since I was feeling a little tired and run down today.

I have a few handy tips about making this dish–first, use linguine. I don’t know why it makes such a big difference, but you should for sure use it. I think I made this with regular spaghetti in the past and it isn’t nearly as good. Second, I like to cook the broccoli way, way down. So it’s really mushy and creamy and I even break it up a little bit with the spatula before I mix in the pasta. Last, don’t be afraid of the garlic. If anything, you can put in even more than the roughly 1/4 cup the recipe calls for. I would say this is one time to purchase that pre-peeled garlic, though. It’ll help you get the nice slices without losing your mind.

And by all means, sprinkle with nutritional yeast. You need more of that stuff in your life, you really, really do.



Broccoli Pesto

Can the Happy Herbivore cookbook do no wrong?

I’ve never made anything from it that wasn’t totally easy, healthy, and delicious. This dish tastes almost EXACTLY like one I used to make all the time. But that recipe wasn’t vegan, featured (sigh) goat cheese, and was tough to make. Well, probably because my food processor at that time was as small as a baby’s fist.

But Broccoli Pesto! It’s vegan! It’s magical! It somehow tastes like it has goat cheese in it, when it doesn’t! It’s also a little spicy, probably because of the raw garlic and basil. Also, I totally roasted the broccoli, since I like that little flavor boost from the browning.

Did I mention that it’s also packed with protein? And that the recipe says it serves two, but it actually made four servings for us? The only downside is that it doesn’t reheat easily the next day, but I’ll find a solution for that. Because I should not be denied left-overs!

Mac & Trees & Peas!

Ooh, baby.

I needed some vegan happiness today after I realized that I ate an egg & dairy tainted black bean burger sample at Costco. I was so visibly upset by it that my 2 year-old had to calmly tell me, “It’s okay, Mama. It’s okay.” That really did help. Also, black bean burger industry, can you just take out the casein and egg whites already? I know they aren’t necessary. You just do it to piss off vegans.

So, yes. Mac & Trees from Appetite for Reduction. Is this not the ultimate comfort food? The creamy sauce, the tender veggies, the wheaty pasta? And I threw in some peas, since our broccoli stash was running a little low. I love the garlic and onion flavors in this sauce, plus the fact that it is so much better for you (and animals, and the planet) than *real* mac & cheese. Also, I don’t get the nausea and stomachache afterwards. Thanks for making my life so much better, lactose intolerance!

Also, did I mention that I love to put Dan’s Prime Texas Dew Drops on this? That is the best hot sauce in the world, ever. We make everyone we know try it, and EVERYONE loves it, even people who aren’t that into hot sauce. It pains me that it’s so hard to find. You know what else happened during dinner? Tornado.

We’re fine. And tonight, I’m a happy happy vegan.

Super Bowl Week!…the soba bowl

Today’s photo ain’t pretty, but it tasted really great!
So there she is, in all her green glory. Steamed broccoli & zucchini, tossed with soba noodles, black beans, and miso dressing. Also, I applied the first bite directly to my eye, so I spent the entirety of this meal crying. Nice!

Want to know something strange? The amount of green onion in the dressing actually makes it taste spicy. Want to know something else? I still put hot sauce on it. So good. Also, this would have been totally awesome with some peanuts or cashews thrown into it as well. I’m going to do that next time for sure. Also, I probably used about half the miso that the recipe calls for, since I was worried about the sodium. It made the dressing a little watery, so watch out if you do the same!

Recipe from Appetite for Reduction.