Meatless Monday – Comfort Food Lightened Up

photo-48

Today was rainy and chilly. I love a warm meal on a cold evening. But it doesn’t have to be loaded down with things that aren’t good for you. I took a variety of cubed squashes and golden beets tossed them with greens and some homemade dressing and had a great dinner that was satisfying.

Ingredients

  • Mix of your favorite root veggies – I used butternut, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot and golden beet
  • Olive Oil mister (
  • Fresh spices your choice (I used sage and thyme)
  • Salt & fresh black pepper
  • Salad greens- (use the beet greens too! )

Salad Dressing

  • This is my basic salad dressing recipe and I love it.
  • Olive oil
  • Quality balsamic
  • Dash of honey
  • Dollop of dijon mustard
  • Garlic**
  • Splash of soy sauce (this is the secret umami ingredient)
  • Blend or whisk everything*

* To save time I make my salad dressing in my wooden salad bowl and then toss with everything. I also cuts down on having to wash one more thing. I know. Lazy yogi.

** Rub a clove of garlic around the wooden salad bowl a few times for some flavor. (I learned this from a now cancelled cooking show Master Chef)

Happy Meatless Monday!!

Namaste y’all.

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Vegan Diaries – Green Bean and Mushroom Stir Fry

 

green bean stir fry

A good stir fry is an easy meal. Grab what’s in the fridge and toss it in a pan! Green beans are great in a stir fry. The trick is to make sure they are steamed for a few minutes before they hit the pan. They stay crisp and soak up flavor.

 

 

Ingredients

  • green beans 1/2 lb
  • onion roughly chopped
  • shitake mushrooms 1 c sliced
  • fresh garlic minced 2 cloves
  • fresh ginger 1 T
  • scallions chopped 3 stalks
  • sesame oil 2 T
  • soy sauce (or Tamari) 2 T
  • veggie stock 1/4 c
  • water 2 T
  • juice from one lemon

Preparation 

  1. Steam green beans for 2 minutes (you can also blanch them if steaming isn’t for you).
  2. Set green beans aside.
  3. Begin to saute the onions and garlic in a pan with the oil stir for two minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, ginger and saute for three more minutes.
  5. Add the stock and soy sauce. Cook for three minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
  6. Add the green beans and scallions.
  7. Add water (if necessary).
  8. Add lemon juice.
  9. Cook for two more minutes and serve!
I had mine with a salad and carrot ginger dressing (my all time fave dressing, seriously. If I were 6 years old, I’d marry it)
That said, serving this over brown rice or quinoa would be tasty too.
Try a veggie stir-fry for friday instead of ordering take-out. It’s cheaper, tastier and better for you!

What’s in your favorite stir fry? 

Namaste y’all!!!

 

Meatless Monday- Meatless Meatballs!!!!

 

 

 

meatless meatballs

Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I must confess when I first thought about doing tofu meatballs I was skeptical. I’m not big on foods that try to be meat. You can’t call a carrot a burger, I won’t be duped. But always one to try anything once I plunged ahead and made these.

Yummalicious. Seriously. What they need is a publicist. Tofu meatballs just doesn’t work and Seasoned Tofu balls is just as absurd, but I digress. The Book of Yum had a recipe that was easy to prepare. The Book of Yum is a great blog dedicated to gluten-free vegetarian cooking.

  • 2 lbs firm tofu, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 whole green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • one egg or egg substitute
  • generous amounts of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated vegan or regular cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup soy or regular yogurt whisked well
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, made in a food processor (I used panko)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • more freshly ground pepper
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Slice tofu horizontally and wrap in kitchen towels and put a cutting board on top of the wrapped tofu. Put something on top of the cutting board, like a pot, for additional weight. Leave it to drain for 20 minutes. Then wrap it in a clean thin cotton dishtowel, knead it and squeeze as much water out of it as possible.
  3. Knead the tofu in a large bowl for five minutes and then add the garlic, green onions,  salt, pepper, and cheese. Knead it for another few minutes. Whisk the egg and work it into the tofu dough.
  4. Combine the ground bread crumbs, spices and pepper in a large flat bowl or pie pan. Make small, walnut-sized balls out of the tofu dough and roll each ball in the dough.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan or well-seasoned cast-iron pan on medium and fry your tofu meatballs on each side until golden brown.
  6. Top the tofu with some cheese and cook in the oven for abut 3 minutes

You could serve with a marinara and have a hero or hoagie because I’m from NJ and that’s what they are. I mean that’s what they should be called everywhere, because I’m from NJ and that’s how we roll.

I had mine on a salad.  I also roasted a slice of red onion and orange bell pepper drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy!

Namaste y’all.

Food Yoga- Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup

roasted tomatos

“Only the pure in heart can make soup.”

– Ludwig Van Beethoven

This soup looks creamy and it has a creamy flavor without adding milk. I think if you wanted an even heartier flavor you could add orecchiette pasta. Those pasta cups would gently cradle this roasted flavor goodness.

Go for it!! Make soup!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste, for seasoning tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup freshly chopped basil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes.
2. In a large stockpot, heat the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, fresh basil, and vegetable broth. Stir in the oven roasted tomatoes. Cook for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat.

3. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the stockpot, or transfer soup to a food processor or blender to blend. The soup should be smooth, with a few tomato chunks. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.

Note-be careful when transferring the soup to a blender or food processor. You may want to wait until it is at room temperature to blend. Blend the soup until it’s more smooth than it is, but not to a silky purée (You want to keep some of the chunky tomato flavor).

 Soup. Soup. Soup.
Namaste y’all.
Felicity's perfect tomato soup

Meatless Monday – Grits with Sautéed Vegetables

photo-39

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

 

If you have a case of the Mondays, breakfast for dinner can help. It’s like ending the day from the beginning except better because it’s over in a matter of hours and you are at home. Boom.

 

One of my favorite things for breakfast is grits.

 

What are grits? You’ll have to excuse me as my gaze hazily travels off in the distance… I love grits. They remind me of my mom cooking weekend mornings, Sunday brunch, cold weather and jazz. If you’ve never had them, this probably gets you no closer to knowing what they are. About Food gives a more substantial definition:

Grits are confusing to both the Southerner and non-Southerner alike, so let me break it down for you. According to The Food Lover’s Companion, the word “grits” is really a shortened way of saying what it really means, “hominy grits.” Grits are derived from hominy. The Food Lover’s Companion further cites hominy as being one of the first foods that American Indians gifted to the colonists. Hominy is dried corn kernels with the hull and germ removed. When this dried hominy is ground, it turns into what we know as grits.

 

 

Fun Facts About Grits

  • The annual World Grits Festival is held in April at St. George, South Carolina. The town claims to be the ‘Grits Capital of the World’, eating more pounds of grits per capita than anyplace else in the world. Via Food Reference 
  • Three-quarters of grits sold in the U.S. are sold in the South, throughout an area stretching from Texas to Virginia, sometimes referred to as the “grits belt”.[3] The state of Georgia declared grits its official prepared food in 2002.[4] Similar bills have been introduced in South Carolina, with one declaring: Whereas, throughout its history, the South has relished its grits, making them a symbol of its diet, its customs, its humor, and its hospitality, and whereas, every community in the State of South Carolina used to be the site of a grits mill and every local economy in the State used to be dependent on its product; and whereas, grits has been a part of the life of every South Carolinian of whatever race, background, gender, and income; and whereas, grits could very well play a vital role in the future of not only this State, but also the world, if as Charleston’s The Post and Courierproclaimed in 1952, “An inexpensive, simple, and thoroughly digestible food, [grits] should be made popular throughout the world. Given enough of it, the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace.”[5]

 

 

People who love grits take them very seriously. Trust. I grew up eating grits for breakfast. For most of my life I was a grits purist and would only eat them with a dollop of butter, salt and if I was feeling jazzy some pepper. When my mom added cheese to the mix I definitely changed my tune. I have heard that there are people out there who eat grits with milk and sugar like cream of wheat. I do not understand these people.

That’s cool, they get to live here too. (side-eye)

mondays

 

This recipe is fast and delicious.

 

Ingredients

You should use whatever veggies move n’ groove you and your family. When I was grocery shopping I grabbed a few things that were on sale:

  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Onion
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Italian spice blend
  • Shredded cheese (1/4 c)
  • Pat butter (optional)
  • Olive oil

 

Directions

For the grits

Prepare according to package.

For a extra blast of flavor you could:

  • substitute veggie broth for water and…
  • after the grits are done toss in 1/4 c of shredded cheddar cheese
  • go the extra mile and sprinkle crushed red hot pepper and a dash of smoked paprika

If you like your grits super creamy stir, stir, stir while they cook. For thicker grits use a little less liquid.

 

Keep it vegan and leave out the cheese… there are always choices. See your case of the Mondays is fading away.

 

For the veggies

  1. I halved the baby tomatoes and roasted them with olive oil and italian seasoning- roasted them in a 375° oven. I roasted the veggies while I cooked everything else. You could easily sauté the tomatoes- I am just a fan of roasted tomatoes.
  2. I put the brussels sprouts in the food processor and pulsed a few times
  3. Sliced the peppers and onions into strips
  4. Minced fresh garlic
  5. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a pan or skillet
  6. Sauté veggies starting with the onions and garlic
  7. Add the peppers and spices
  8. Add the brussels sprouts
  9. Add enough liquid to steam the sprouts (maybe 1/8 c. I used a splash of broth and lemon juice)

Scoop veggies on grits and dig in!!!

 

Happy Meatless Monday!!

 

Namaste y’all

Meatless Monday – Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup with Roasted Pepper Sandwich

Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Soup

 

 

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I love eggplant. I once someone who hated eggplant. We broke up. Not because of the eggplant. But it definitely should have been a warning sign.

Eggplant is delicious and versatile! It can be roasted, baked, grilled, sautéed, stuffed and in honor of this Meatless Monday- it can be blended into a delicious soup. I’ve paired the soup with an open-faced sandwich. The soup is substantial enough to have as a meal but dunking things into soup is a fun pastime.

Let’s stop the chit-chat and get down to business.

This soup does require a little more work than many soups which you can throw into a pot and simmer. The layers of flavor will make you glad you took the time to roast the veggies first. I’d never steer you wrong when it comes to soup. My soup game is pretty serious.

 

Ingredients

  • One whole eggplant peeled and cubed
  • One pound of tomatoes (of your choice) quartered
  • Two red potatoes cubed
  • One large onion- roughly chopped
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • Four cups of stock or water (but stock is yummier- for real)
  • One tablespoon flour
  • Italian seasoning – 2 heaping tablespoons
  • Crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Olive oil

 

For the sandwich

  • Roasted red peppers (I used the kind in a jar)
  • Sautéed onions
  • Lettuce (your choice I had Boston on hand)
  • Lemon garlic aoili
  • Cucumbers
  • Feta
  • Bread – baguette (or your favorite sandwich bread)

 

Directions

  1. Coat veggies with olive oil and spices.
  2. Roast all veggies in a pre-heated 375° oven.
  3. Transfer veggies to a large soup pot that has been heated with one tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Add stock bring to boil add flour, stir and reduce to very low heat
  5. Cook for another 45 minutes.
  6. Transfer to blender in small batches and blend until creamy.
  7. Return to pot and reheat for five minutes.

 

Sandwich directions

  • Use whatever ingredients move you.
  • I’ve had people say that they miss protein on a sandwich- add a bit of feta or mushrooms.
  • A dollop of hummus or pesto also adds depth.

 

Happy Meatless Monday!

 

Namaste y’all.

Meatless Monday – Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Soup with Tricolor Carrot Salad

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Soup
Happy Meatless Monday! Soup, salad and bread. Yum.


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I love summer. The sun on my face and heat on my skin make me feel alive. It’s a time of year when ice clinking in tall glasses of water and taking big bites of fresh tomatoes off the vine is an acceptable dinner.

May-August is my time.

September is beautiful but makes me sad because cold weather is rolling in. You can’t see it but it’s there, hovering in the background.

But, I must admit there is something vaguely sexy about the fall. Turtlenecks and flip-flops are standard uniforms. It’s still warm enough to grab a drink outside, but you can rock a hat. The heat of summer still lingers in the air like perfume at the end of the day…

And while I miss summer, soup season makes it bearable. I am nothing if not a lover of soups.

This roasted cauliflower and carrot soup  I found in the New York Times is a perfect blend of summer and fall flavors. The lemon keeps it light as the rooted flavors of carrot and cumin keep it grounded. It’s yoga, for your mouth. The miso adds umami. Its a soup that makes you want to lay down on your back and exhale… I took the liberty and added (and subtracted) a few things to suit my palate. Not that the Times doesn’t know their stuff but hey, I like things the way I like them.

All jokes aside, this is a great meal for after a long yoga practice or any kind of workout. The soup is filling without being heavy and the carrot salad has crunch with layers of sweet and savory because of the dressing. I had mine with bread because I’m a girl who likes to sop things up.

Don’t judge. Sometimes a dish is so good you want every drop. And the truth is, it’s much classier than me licking the bowl. I’ll let my dog keep that party trick.

 

Enjoy. Happy Meatless Monday.

Namaste y’all.

 

Ingredients

  • cauliflower- one head choped
  • carrots – one pound chopped
  • onion- one large chopped in chunks
  • garlic – one head unpeeled
  • celery- one stalk – roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cups stock or water
  • corriander seeds- one tablespoon
  • cumin- one tablespoon
  • smoked paprika
  • salt pepper
  • juice from one lemon
  • lemon zest
  • cilantro (dried) – one tablespoon
  • olive oil
  • miso- 1 tablespoon

 

Ingredients for Salad

  • tri-color carrots
  • scallions
  • cucumbers

 

Dressing

  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey- one teaspoon
  • dijon mustard- one teaspoon
  • soy sauce
  • garlic- minced one teaspoon

 

 

Directions

  1. Place veggies in a pan and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Makes sure to coat the garlic bulb with oil so it doesn’t burn.
  2. Roast veggies and garlic bulb in 425° oven for 35-45 minutes (check frequently- I like veggies roasted but not mushy)
  3. Transfer veggies to a large heated soup pot that has 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. Add spices and sauté veggies for six minutes
  5. Add miso and broth
  6. Bring to a simmer and then lower heat
  7. Cook for 10 minutes
  8. Blend until smooth in very small batches
  9. Serve immediately

 

For the salad 

  1. I spiralized the carrots and cucumbers.
  2. To make the dressing put all of the ingredients into a blender (or whisk in a bowl if you are looking for a forearm workout)
  3. I cut the scallions into the thin slices and and tossed with the dressing.

 

Food Yoga! Meatless Monday – Mushroom Tagliatelle

Mushroom Tagliatelle

Happy Meatless Monday!!


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I know it may be hard for you to give up meat completely. Like everything else we learn, it takes practice. I have had my own struggles with going meatless. The reasons that we may or may not choose to eat meat is person. But I do think it should be a choice that we make. Being informed about what we are putting in our mouths is our responsibility. My practice has led me to examine my decisions about my carbon footprint.

By actively choosing to cut out meat one day a week, you are taking a step to help the planet. That small act of kindness may not seem like a big deal, but it is. So, try it. Cut out the meat one day a week. I’m hear to help!

Before I dive into the recipe, check out this interesting video from MeatlessMonday.com

Mushroom Tagliatelle

Ingredients

  • mushrooms of your choice- I used shitake and baby bella (about 2 cups)
  •  onions – chopped
  • garlic- three cloves minced
  • mushroom broth- one cup
  • juice from one lemon
  • splash white wine (optional)
  • olive oil- one tablespoons
  • flour- one teaspoon
  • Italian seasoning- one tablespoon
  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • salt and fresh black pepper
  • Tagliatelle enough for 4 people (or any wide flat pasta)

Directions

  1.  Get salted pasta water going in a large pot
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat
  3. Add garlic and onions. Sauté until onions are translucent
  4. Stir in flour and spices until it becomes ‘roux-like’ (smooth and pasty)
  5. Add mushrooms and broth- stir. Add optional splash of wine
  6. Add lemon juice and three tablespoons of parsley
  7. Stir once more and turn off heat
  8. Cook tagliatelle
  9. Drain pasta (reserve a few tablespoons of liquid if your sauce is too thick)
  10. Toss pasta in skillet with sauce
  11. Serve!!

I gobbled this immediately and can’t wait for leftovers…

Namaste y’all

Cucumber Gazpacho

cucumber gazpacho

 


Official Meatless Monday Blogger

Summer weather.

It’s my favorite time of year. Not just because I can zip around on my bike without a balaclava but because summer veggies make dinner easy and delicious. Gazpacho is refreshing dinner that can double as lunch the next day. Though traditionally made with tomatoes I decided to green it up a bit with tomatillos and cucumbers.

Whaaaaat? So good. So healthy.

Ingredients

  • Cucumbers- 3 roughly chopped
  • Green bell pepper- 1 roughly chopped
  • Green chiles- 2 chopped
  • Tomatillos – 4 medium
  • Garlic- 2 cloves
  • Shallots- 2
  • Lime- 2 juiced
  • Mint- one bunch
  • Broth- 1/2 (I used veggie)
  • Balsamic vinegar (use a higher quality if you’ve got it- definitely can taste the difference)- 2 tablespoons
  • Cilantro- one bunch
  • Black pepper
  • Coarse sea salt- Maldon is my fave

*Optional 1/2 cup of white wine in place of 1/2 cup of broth

 

 

Directions

  1. In a food processor or vitamix blend the veggies, mint, cilantro, balsamic, lime juice. (You’ll have to do this in batches as it won’t all fit.)
  2. Once one batch is done pour into a large soup serving bowl- if the soup is more smoothie like- add more liquid…
  3. Refrigerate for 45 minutes
  4. Stir before serving- I garnished with mango and cilantro- but whatever floats your boat will do just fine!
  5. Serve with salad!

What are some of your favorite cold soup recipes? I’m always looking for new ones!!

 

Namaste y’all.