Anyone else needing some serious comfort food about now? Good, me too.
I’ve been pretty surprised at my taste mood recently. I would have thought that being stuck inside so much with so much time would have me craving sweet things, but I’ve been in such a savory mood. I must say the internet jokes and memes about all the quarantine snacking are cracking up but for once they’re not that relatable to me. If anything, I’ve been less into food from being home so much. I guess it’s different for everyone but I’m probably playing with food more than eating it, haha.
But anyways, this recipe was something I made recently for me and the roomies that I had to share. It’s way simpler than you might think and it comes together so quickly, especially if you cook the rice ahead. You can use any type of rice is for some reason you’re not a fan of wild rice but I feel like wild rice is just the best for this.
If you’ve never made a cream sauce with cashews, um, what are you DOING with your life? It’s a must try if I do say so myself. Honestly, the sauce for this is so good you can put it on anything. I’ll probably be making pasta with it next, ooooh, or maybe pour it over potatoes! You can do so much with it.
Okay, before you make this just note that the cashews need to be soaked for at least 8 hours so make sure to cover them with water ahead of time. Also, as the other main ingredient in the sauce I used spaghetti squash. It might sound unusual but you won’t even taste it. You can replace it with any type of squash like zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, or if you don’t mind an orange color, butternut squash or pumpkin.
I’m sure I’ll get hit with a sweet mood sometime soon, but I’m taking advantage of the current mood and going with it. Let me know if you try this. I love hearing your experiences!
Creamy Cashew Wild Rice with Mushrooms (Vegan+GF)
Simplistic, savory, and just so good! Cashews are the perfect mild flavor to give this sauce such a creamy consistency!Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 30 minutesServings 6 - 8 servings
- 4 cups dry wild rice you can replace with white or brown if you prefer
- 1 pint fresh portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups frozen baby peas
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
Cashew Cream Sauce
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight
- 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash flesh *see note
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (I used oat)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
Drain the cashews and place them in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients for the sauce and bland until smooth.
Cook the rice according to package instructions until al dente. In a large non-stick, deep-sided skillet, cook the garlic with 1 teaspoon olive oil until beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms and peas and reduce heat to lowest settings. Cover and allow peas to thaw and mushrooms to cook. It should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Once the mushrooms have cooked, add in the rice and cashew sauce and stir over medium-low heat until the rice is hot throughout. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!
You can replace the spaghetti squash with any type of cooked squash like zucchini, yellow squash, acorn squash, or if you don't mind an orange color, butternut squash or pumpkin.
It’s been a very grey week so far and I’m feeling like a warm comforting soup is in order today.
Well, if the recent state of grocery shelves are any indication, there are a lot of people with a lot of beans right now. Hey, I’m not complaining about it, I think it’s pretty awesome actually. Beans are an extremely healthy staple food that seem to get ignored under most circumstances. Let’s just count it as one of the positive side-effects from this crazy time, beans finally getting the appreciation they deserve.
Another positive side-effect is that way more people are in their kitchens cooking instead of eating out all week. I’d say that’s a huge plus for everyone’s health. I don’t think it’s news to any of us that, with a few exceptions, fast food and restaurants aren’t the most nutritious choices.
On a personal level, I’m loving this opportunity to force myself to use what I’ve had in my kitchen forever instead of getting more ingredients. I’ve been sort of treating it like a challenge to see how long I can go without buying groceries. Of course, it’s a little more of a challenge because I’m one of those weirdos that loves grocery shopping. I’m doing pretty well so far. It’s been over a week since I’ve bought anything from the store.
So this soup is really simple to make and you can trade out any of these veggies for what you have on hand. I wasn’t sure what flavor to call this because it’s honestly so basic. You can also get fancy and switch up the herbs and spices from what I used. Think of this soup like a guideline more than a recipe and create your own version. Let me know what you’re cooking up this week, I’m genuinely curious!
Easy White Bean Herb & Vegetable Soup (Vegan+GF)
Looking for some new ideas to use pantry staples? This soup is perfect for using whatever basic ingredients you've already got on hand.Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 45 minutesServings 4 -6 servings
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 medium carrots peeled & diced
- 1 small stalk of celery diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 15 oz can white cannellini beans drained & rinsed
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets roughly chopped
- 1 cup sweet kernal corn
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
In a non-stick skillet, add the carrots, onion, celery, broccoli, and garlic. Cook with enough water to keep them from sticking, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes or until onions are translucent.
Add the herbs, broth, beans, corn, and nutritional yeast and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened to your preference. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
Remove the thyme stem and turn off heat.
I hope you’re all in the mood for a little excursion with your tastebuds!
Hey, it’s the no-passport-required way to travel, don’t you love that? So this is me updating an old recipe from quite a few years ago. I remember the first time making this a friend of mine offered to share some of his awesome cooking with me and my family. He said he was going to bring over some Persian food (with extra saffron) for dinner to go with whatever sides I wanted to make. I’ve always been thrilled with those kinds of arrangements. I got to be in charge of the sides for that dinner. In fact, since I’m such a sucker for a theme I remember I got all into this Persian thing and went digging through different recipes on the internet to decide what to make.
I made flatbread and hummus and then this basmati rice that I’m sharing. If it’s any indication of whether or not this was good, you should know that literally everyone in my family tried and liked it, even the pickiest of my younger siblings. Of course, this was when they were little so I had to embellish a little and name this dish “Aladdin Rice” to get them to try it. Lol
Typically you’d add saffron along with the other spices but I didn’t have any on hand so I skipped it and the rice was still layered with flavor. I’ve listed it as optional. Also, pomegranates are another thing that a lot of recipes use but, wouldn’t you know it, the one time recently I’ve wanted to use them they didn’t have them at the store and I had just run out. That’s pretty lame considering how they’re in season here and I’ve had them on hand many times for the last few months except now, but anyway, pom arils are great to garnish the top and add that fun sparkly effect to the dish.
And finally, one of the best parts about this rice is what happens in the last few minutes. See, you let the rice on the bottom of the pan get all golden brown and crispy, while watching carefully not to burn it, then you flip it onto the top right before serving and that toasted texture and flavor is so good. Of course, after that you have to top it all off with plenty of extra “jewels” to garnish which makes it look all vibrant and inviting when you plate it. Alright, so I’m going to continue humming Arabian Nights to myself and let you guys go make this!
Persian (Iranian) Jeweled Basmati Rice Pilaf
Spice up your rice tonight and try this flavor filled recipe with all kinds of textures and tastes going on.Prep Time 25 minutesCook Time 45 minutesTotal Time 1 hour 10 minutesServings 10 - 12 servings
- 3 cups long-grain white basmati rice
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 1 large sweet onion diced
- 2 large oranges
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron soaked in 3 tablespoons hot water optional
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup dried barberries or dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup dried apricots roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
- 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
- additional salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer under cool water then pour into a medium bowl and cover with about 2 inches of water. Soak the rice for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to 24 hours (the longer you can let it soak the better). Drain and rinse the rice and set aside.
Bring the a small to medium pot of water to a bowl and add the rice. Cook for 6 - 7 minutes until just tender then drain and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking. Pour the rice into a bowl and gently fluff with a fork to loosen then set bowl aside.
Add the nuts to a small skillet over low heat and stir constantly until nicely toasted, being careful not to burn. Season with salt and set aside for the moment.
Wash oranges and use a box grater to grate the orange skins and remove as much zest as possible, stopping at the white. Slice oranges in half and use a lemon juicer to squeeze out juices. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add the onions and your zest shreds. Cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring until onions are getting translucent. Pour in chicken broth, orange juice, and spices, then stir over heat for 3-4 minutes until part of the liquid has evaporated. Add the sugar and most of the dried fruit (save back a little to sprinkle on top) and cook for another 3-4 minutes until fruit is softened and more liquid has cooked off.
Reduce heat to low then add the rice and gently stir with a blunt tool (such as a rubber spatula or spoon) to avoid breaking your grains. Add most of the toasted nuts (save some of these for the top too) and stir to combine, then season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Cover pan and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Remove cover and allow the rice to cook for about 5 minutes more without stirring to get a nice brown on the bottom. You should smell when it's toasted but not burned. Remove pan from heat as soon as you think it's there and cover with lid then allow it to sit untouched for 8-10 minutes.
Loosen rice from pan and scoop into a large serving bowl or platter, placing the crispy parts on the top. Sprinkle your reserved dried fruit and nuts over the top and serve immediately.
Garbanzo beans and pomegranate arils make a great addition to this dish. Also, the dried fruits can be substituted with preferred types such as regular raisins or dried cherries.
Can I just say that it’s really cold out, and I don’t like it! I’m so ready for Spring, and yeah, I know it’s only January………ugh!!!!
My strategy for staying warm usually involves running around the kitchen and standing near hot surfaces to avoid turning into a human Popsicle. I really love baking sweet things to eat with hot drinks like cocoa and coffee too, that’s always a solid option. But we’re actually not talking about sweets today (I know, kinda sad right?)
So you know I love to make things from scratch, but every now and then taking a short-cut to make something faster is such a welcome convenience. I recently got a bunch of sauces from Lucky Foods to try and I’ve been loving them. By the way, they’re not paying me to say this, I just genuinely love their products and that they’re plant-based, mostly gluten free, and non-gmo.
One of the most interesting ones to me was the bulgogi sauce. I’ve made homemade bulgogi sauce in the past but it was a very different from this sauce. Also, if you’re not familiar with what bulgogi is you might have some questions. First of all, it’s pronounced “buul-GOH-ghee”. Bulgogi comes from bul (“fire”) and gogi (“meat”). Now in case you missed it, there’s definitely not going to be meat in this recipe but the bulgogi sauce I used is essentially a Korean BBQ sauce. If you can’t get your hands on a bulgogi sauce it’s totally fine, you can simply replace in with a stir-fry sauce that you like.
Okay, I also just wanted to note the way I cooked this stir-fry. I realize most people are accustomed to cooking with oil, and I totally understand. However, recently I’ve been trying to cook without oils and that’s how I’ve written this recipe. Feel free to cook the vegetables with oil if that’s your preference. It’ll be delicious either way.
Okay, now go and make this and please stay warm!
Spicy Sweet Vegetable Stir-fry (Vegan+GF)It's been a long day and all you want is something healthy, quick, and easy, right? I got you babe. This stir-fry takes very little effort and comes together so fast.Prep Time 15 minutesCook Time 1 hour 15 minutesServings 4 servings
Lucky Foods Bulgogi Sauce
or any stir-fry sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 pound portabella mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup water chestnuts
- 1 cup zucchini sliced
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- steamed rice for serving
- black sesame seeds for topping optional
In a large bowl whisk together the bulgogi sauce, rice vinegar, chili garlic paste, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil. Add the cornstarch and vegetable stock to the sauce and stir until smooth.
Heat a large wok or skillet over medium high heat and add the broccoli, onion, and peppers along with about a half inch of water. Cook for 5-6 minutes until starting to soften then add the rest of the vegetables and cook for an additional few minutes until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until it begins to thicken.
Serve with rice and a sprinkle of sesame seeds if desired.
- 1/3 cup Lucky Foods Bulgogi Sauce
Time for a cozy veggie curry, sound good?
So one of my favorite questions that I get asked since going plant-based is if my family is also plant-based. Lol, now that’s a funny joke. (JK, I lied. My favorite question will forever be “where do you get your protein” ;P ) In case you missed the sarcasm, no they’re not at ALL plant-based. In fact, I get a lot of crap from each of them on a regular basis. I mean, it’s all good fun but they definitely like to tease me and you know what, I have no problem teasing right back. Besides, the way I see it -> more for me. 😉
But seriously, the way a person chooses to eat is entirely up to them and I would never judge. For me though, I adore my mixtures of different vegetables and flavors. To me, eating the way I do is anything but boring and this curry is a perfect example of how versatile you can get.
I chose to be super millennial and serve it with some quinoa but rice is always a delicious base as well. Also, you can mix and match all the veggies based on what you like and, more importantly, what’s in your fridge. Let’s see, I threw in some carrots, sweet potatoes, peas, onions, garlic, spinach, peppers, oh and brussels sprouts. Guys, can we have a moment of silence for the unfair prejudice against brussels sprouts. Again, no judgement but come on, they’re actually really good.
Alright, enough rambling from me today. Let’s get to the recipe!
Easy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry (Vegan+GF)
Pumpkin may be traditionally served is pies and cakes this time of year, but have you ever put it in your dinner??? You gotta try it!Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 30 minutesServings 6 - 8 servings
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper (or any color)
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and died
- 2 brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt (or other plant-based yogurt) plus additional for topping (optional)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped optional
- cooked quinoa, basmati rice, or jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons red curry paste check that it doesn't have fish
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- sea salt to taste
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add onion, peppers, sprouts, carrots, garlic, ginger, and potatoes then cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to brown slightly. Add the ingredients for the sauce and stir until fragrant.
Add the peas and spinach, then add coconut water to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 15 - 25 minutes until thickened. Season to taste with salt.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of yogurt. If desired, serve with quinoa or rice, additional yogurt, and a sprinkle of cilantro.
I think there will always be something a little bit comical about Mexican food to me.
Years ago when I first started blogging I was still living in the southern part of Chile with my family. I’ll never forget my assumptions of what it would be like before I’d ever been there. You see, me being a naive North American I just assumed everything south of Texas would be the land of great Mexican food. Well, news flash to me, it’s not.
In fact, the area we were living in had way more European style cuisine than just about anything else. However the Chileans, of course, have their own style of cooking. It’s simple and uses a lot of local ingredients which is something I always appreciated. That being said, my own family really loves Mexican food and that meant it was something I learned to make really well. Okay, maybe I should say “my own takes on classic Mexican food”. I’m sure many abuelas would be turning over in their graves if I tried to pass of this cheater version of a tamale as authentic so we won’t even go there.
Haha, well you know how much I love an easy meal and that’s why this has become a really great go-to for a last minute meal. Everyone loves the simple ingredients and it makes for a cozy dinner anytime of year. I’m definitely thinking Fall right now though, and this is perfect for chilly weather.
As I always do with my recipes, I really encourage you to put your own spin on it and make it your own. Let me know how you like it and tag me in a photo if you want, I love seeing them!
"Cheesy" Polenta Covered Mexican Tamale Pie (Vegan+GF)
Looking for a quicker way to enjoy this classic Latin dish? This tamale pie comes together quickly and easily and is a tested crowd-pleaserPrep Time 15 minutesCook Time 35 minutesServings 6 - 8 servings
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 (4 oz) can green chiles
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 (18 oz) package pre-cooked polenta I used Trader Joe's
- 1 cup unflavored plant-based milk I used almond
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- additional cilantro
- non-dairy yogurt or "sour cream"
Cut the polenta into pieces and set aside. Pour the broth and milk into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring frequently, until the polenta is soft and thick, about 15 to 20 minutes. (At first the pieces will hold their shape but after a few minutes they should start to loosen up). Stir in the nutritional yeast then season with salt and pepper. If the polenta seems a little thick you can add extra milk.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium non-stick pan, cook garlic and onion in just enough water to keep them from sticking. Stir occasionally until translucent. Combine the remaining ingredients for the filling in the pan and stir to mix evenly.
Once the polenta and filling are done you can choose to either bake the pie in individual serving ramekins (pictured), in a large cast iron skillet, or in a casserole dish. Pour the filling into your chosen dish(es) and smooth out polenta into a single layer on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the pie is bubbling and the polenta is browning. Allow to sit 5 to 10 minutes and then serve with fresh cilantro and any desired sauces or toppings. Enjoy!
What time is it? Sushi Time!
To be honest, I never acquired a taste for sushi until I was in my teens. I didn’t like the fishy taste of the seaweed and I especially didn’t like idea of raw fish, which I like even less now. Yeah, you won’t find any raw fish recipes here on the blog but the good news is that you can still make some delicious varieties of sushi with just some good old vegetables.
In the past I’ve done all kinds of sushi with things like sweet potato or avocado but today I wanted to keep it really simple. As for the rice, I happened to have some cooked black rice in my fridge and I’ve never tried adding to sushi so I thought it was about time.
Personally, I really enjoy black rice over any other variety. It tastes very much like brown rice but with the added bonus of lots of antioxidants. I also just love the look of it. Once it’s cooked it gets this lovely almost purple color. So pretty.
Funny story, the last time I bought black rice the bag apparently had a little hole in it. When some of the dry rice spilled on the pantry floor my family saw it and thought we had mice around because the small pieces look a little too much like pest droppings. Haha, I had a good laugh when I informed them I was the pest to blame.
Anyway, I’m so looking forward to Spring and I thing my craving for fresh veggies is a huge symptom of that. I hope you decide to try this combination or at least let it inspire you to make some homemade sushi with everything you like.
Black Rice Vegetable Sushi Rolls (Vegan+GF)A quick and easy veggie filled sushi recipe that you can make whenever the need for sushi arises. Mix and match the fillings with whatever veggies you like.Prep Time 25 minutesCook Time 40 minutesTotal Time 1 hour 5 minutesServings 4 servings
- 1 cup uncooked black rice
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sushi seasoning *see note
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 1 cup red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini julienned or cucumber if you prefer
- 1 bunch fresh radishes thinly sliced
- 8 sheets roasted nori sushi seaweed
- tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos for serving
Cook the rice according to package instructions until al dente. (If using pre-cooked rice you may skip this step.) Add about 1 cup of water and the salt to the already cooked rice and place over low heat, covered. Stir every few minutes until the water is absorbed and the rice is a bit sticky. Remove from heat and stir in the sushi seasoning (if using) and allow it to cool completely before making sushi. (Cold rice is the best to work with.)
Spread a Sushi Mat out on your counter or work surface (You can also use a towel or a place mat.) Take 2 sheets of nori and lay them so they overlap for about 2 inches. Wet your hands and spread about 1/2 cup of the rice onto the top sheet of nori. Cut and layer your veggies to form a line from side to side.
Now slowly start rolling up the end with the rice and applying pressure as you roll. Continue until completely rolled. Use a very sharp knife to slice through the nori and make sushi pieces.
Serve with any of your favorite sushi condiments.
*The sushi seasoning is a great addition if you'd like a completely traditional sushi flavor but it's not necessary. (I usually skip it actually) Same for the sugar and vinegar.