Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lemon Garlic Kale


Glorious green kale! Simply sauteed with just olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Spritzed with lemon before serving.  One tip: don't cook the hell out of it since we want to preserve some of those wonderful nutrients kale has to offer.  Just a few minutes until it lightly wilted is all it needs!


Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients

Olive oil
1 bunch of curly kale, large rib removed, torn into pieces
3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced or chopped
Water
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of about half a lemon

Method

Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the a large skillet or sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute about 3 minutes.

Add kale and 2-3 tablespoons of water, cover and allow to steam just 2 minutes.  Remove lid and toss kale around to cook evenly.  If needed, return lid and let steam additional minute.

Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a dish and toss with lemon juice and also a drizzle of olive oil if desired.






Monday, February 24, 2014

Zesty Italian Vegan Meatballs


No these don't taste like regular meatballs, but these bad boys are pretty tasty.  I used some vegan Italian sausage that I had so it gives them a nice zesty flavor and then you don't have to worry so much about adding a bunch of seasoning.  I had a Field Roast link that I cut up and threw in the food processor until it was crumbly.  Uptons Naturals also makes a great Italian sausage and there's isn't a link but instead more "ground" texture.  I highly recommend either of those.  Some other brands out there just don't taste good.  If you don't feel like cooking lentils, black beans will probably do.


Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Italian vegan sausage (chop or use food processor if needed)
3/4 cup cooked green or brown lentils
1 Tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2 Tbsp water)
Salt and pepper to taste, if needed

Method

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet and add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat about 3 minutes.

Add onions, garlic, sausage, and lentils to a food processor.  Pulse several times until mixture starts to come together, drizzle in the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Pulse and once combined (not pureed) add to a mixing bowl.  Add bread crumbs and flax egg.  Mix to combine.

Roll mixture into tablespoon size balls and lay onto a parchment line baking sheet or dish.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Pan-fry
Add enough oil to coat the bottom of a cast iron or nonstick skillet.  Heat over medium high.  Lightly dust each meatball with flour and add to skillet.  Add to skillet (should be hot enough to sizzle) and cook about minutes or until golden brown (turning half way through).

Bake
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  With meatballs on a parchment line baking sheet, spray or brush with olive oil.  Bake 20-25 minutes.






Monday, February 3, 2014

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup



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Serves 3-4

Ingredients

1 heaping cup of grape tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

2 Tbsp live oil
1/2 large onion, diced
Pinch of salt
3 large garlic cloves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 28oz can whole plum tomatoes
2-3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup fresh basil leaves (or about a handful)
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Toss grapes tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add to parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

While tomatoes are in the oven, add olive oil to saucepan and heat over medium-low.  Add onion and pinch of salt and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and thyme; cook 2 minutes.  

Add whole can of tomatoes with juice, 2 cups of the broth and basil. Break up the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.  

Let cool slightly and add to a blender along with roasted tomatoes.  Puree, add more broth if you like a thinner consistency.  Transfer back to pot and season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.




Sunday, January 26, 2014

Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup


This is seriously one of the best things I've ever made.  It's one of those "wow this is so good I can't believe I made this" moments.  It's crazy flavorful and it's easy to make.  Proof that amazingly delicious good food doesn't have to be complicated with fancy schmancy ingredients and techniques.  One of my secrets to this is a good vegetable broth.  Some have zero flavor.  I happen to love Edward & Son's Not-Chick'n bullion cubes that I get at Whole Foods.  I use one cube dissolved in three cups of water for this recipe (package says one cube in two cups water but that would be too salty).


Serves 3-4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
5-6 baby carrots diced (that's what I always have on hand or use 1 carrot)
3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
1 Tbsp tomato paste 
3/4 cups red lentils
3 cups vegetable broth (see note)
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)

Method

Add olive oil to saucepan and heat over medium-low.  Add onion and carrots with a dash of salt and cook 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and cook 2 minutes.  

Stir in the tomato paste and the lentils, then add the broth and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.  

Season with salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper to taste.

Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Note: recommend using a quality, flavorful broth such as Edward & Son's Not-Chick'n bullion cubes. Dissolve one cube in three cups hot water for this recipe.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Grilled Avocado Sandwich


Tomato soup has a new BFF and doesn't have cheese.  Glorious avocado steals the show in the tasty grilled sandwich.  Yea, yea grilled cheese sandwiches are awesome but this isn't trying to replace it.  It is its own kind of awesome and it also pairs exceptionally well with tomato soup.  Of course you could add other things to the sandwich but I like to keep it simple, just a little S+P, maybe a dash of garlic powder, and all that rich, buttery avocado. Pair with some of this yummy tomato soup and enjoy!


Makes one sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread
3-4 Tbsp mashed avocado (about 1/4 of an avocado)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of garlic powder (optional)
Earth Balance vegan butter spread, room temp

Method

Heat skillet over medium heat (I use a cast iron skillet). Mix your mashed avocado with salt, pepper and garlic powder if using.  Spread butter on a slice of bread, on the other side spread on your avocado.  Place the other slice on top and spread with butter.  Cook in skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.