Moroccan Stew

I’ve been terrified to make this.

I get a little scared to cook with mint. Yes, I know I love mint in other dishes. But hot mint? In a stew? With cinnamon? I’m just not used to thinking outside the box like this. My tastes have always run a little, well, predictable. Not strictly “American” food, but certainly with very tame spice combinations. I’d hoped this wouldn’t be like all my curry experiments gone awry.

But guess what? It was really, really good. Really.

We all liked it–even my picky 2-year-old. Which is amazing, if you know 2-year-olds. My husband likes anything with ginger in it, so I knew he’d be happy. But this whole dinner was really comforting, filling, and easy to make. Couscous is amazing, too. I don’t know why I didn’t start cooking with it earlier. The whole deal gets a definite thumbs up!

Recipe from Appetite for Reduction.

 

Shepherd’s Pie

This is the very altered version of the Upside Down Lentil Shepherd’s Pie from Appetite for Reduction. I changed it so much, I sorta think it’s my recipe, but I’d like to give credit for what inspired it. Needless to say, this was totally tasty, and I think the outstanding part was the horseradish mashed potatoes.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie (makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on your hunger level):

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms (button or baby bella)
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3/4 cup TVP, not rehydrated
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 3 yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 T earth balance (or another vegan margarine)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup unmilk
  • 3 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • salt to taste

Good grief, that seems like a lot of ingredients! But this really isn’t difficult at all. First, start your water  boiling for the potatoes, and plop those in. If you want it to go faster, chop them up a little first. When the water begins to boil, start prepping the body of the pie.

Heat up a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with a little oil in it. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, carrots, zucchini and mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the spices, salt and pepper to taste, and the broth, liquid aminos, TVP and water. Cover and let cook for 30 minutes, until most (if not all) of the liquid has been absorbed. Throw in the peas and turn off the heat.

In the meantime, your potatoes should be fork tender. Drain the water from the pot, and add in your margarine, horseradish, 1 T of nutritional yeast, and salt. Mash the potatoes with a large fork or with a potato masher. Add the unmilk until you have very nice, creamy mashed potatoes.

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Pour the veggies & TVP into a casserole dish (mine is about 9×6, it fit perfectly). Top with the mashed potatoes. Put in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes have set and have a slightly golden color. Remove from the oven and top with the remaining nutritional yeast.

 

Eggplant & Spicy Sausage

Have I told you how much I love the Spicy Sausage recipe from Happy Herbivore? LOVE IT. So insanely good. And somehow, it manages to taste better every time I make it. This time the texture was amazing–so soft and squishy, but a little crusty on the outside…aaah. And I made it a touch less spicy by adding only half of the cayenne it called for–I discovered the last few times I made this sausage, it was uncomfortably spicy.

For this dinner I just cooked some rotini pasta, and tossed in the marinated eggplant and zucchini from the Trader Joe’s freezer section. Since it comes pre-marinated, it already has it’s own sauce. Just toss with the pasta and you’re good to go. Of course I sprinkled on a little nutritional yeast, and a touch of balsamic vinegar doesn’t hurt, either.

Add in a little crusty bread and this dinner is done! And super easy.

 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

I think this recipe must be like those ones invented to fool children. Sure, it looks like brownies, it may smell like brownies, but it’s full of…VEGETABLES. *Muwahahahahaha!* Then your kid either eats it and looks at you like you are crazy, or spits it in your hand.

This recipe, however, does not require a spit-take. I really enjoyed it, much like I love Zucchini Spelt bread. And while this isn’t quite as good, I think it is rather amazing just for the mere fact that it combines chocolate and vegetables so successfully. I made the less-sweet version in the cookbook, I think if I were making this as a dessert, I would include chocolate chips and slightly more sweetness.

It also doesn’t suffer from the dreadful stickiness of fat-free baking, so that’s another plus. And it also doesn’t feel like you are making a fat-free sacrifice for eating it, like, for example, applesauce cookies do. I don’t think I would make this again for myself, but I would definitely make it for a party, or to share.

Recipe from the Happy Herbivore.

 

Spelt! Where have you been all my life?

This is my love song to spelt.

“Oh spelty, you came and you gave me some bre-ad,
on my bre-ak-fast plate you were tasty, oh spelty!”

How have I never had spelt before? SPELT! I will bake with you forever. How I love you, oh, how I love you. Also, this zucchini bread was awesome. The original recipe was for muffins, but I just put it in my bread pan and turned down the oven to 350 degrees. I believe it needed at least 10 minutes longer to bake than muffins, but I usually check stuff like this by using a cake tester rather than depending on the timer.

Want to know the best part? It freezes perfectly. Hooray!

Recipe from Vegan Brunch.

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.