Tahini meatball freezer casserole

September 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Previously published on No Sweat, York

If your life is like mine right now, you barely remember to eat dinner after getting home from work.

We go from unearthing fall and winter clothes during an Indian summer day to everything orange, yellow and red and Halloween costumes and decorations.

Then, in a blink of an eye, we are finagling road trips for Thanksgiving feasts and/or stocking the pantry for the big day.

Then, we will be bundling under large jackets, furiously shopping for holiday gifts, and grumbling about how cold it is and we can’t wait for summer.

Wait, what about dinner?

I’ve learned a new trick to help out my limited budget and schedule: freezer meals. I recently found two, new-to-me blogs: Budget Bytes and Vegan in the Freezer. These gave me a ton of inspiration for what I can do when I get a few hours, in order to free up the time between getting home and my head hitting the pillow. I can even get my significant other to cook it in the oven, so dinner is hot and ready as soon as I step in the door.

This recipe was actually inspired by a Food.com blogger Christine who make a creamy chickpea and tahini casserole. I substituted a few ingredients for what I had on hand: pasta, fresh tomatoes and Gardein meatballs (on sale at Target!), and eliminated a few spices I did not have.

This is such a versatile dish that you can create a variety of sauces and mix and match grains, protein and veggies. Let me know what inspiration you get from this recipe.
Tahini meatball freezer casserole
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 5 to 6 Gardein meatless meatballs
  • 1 box of trio noodles or other small noodles
  • 5 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Boil a large pot of water, and follow directions to cook pasta until al dente. Drain and cool.
  2. Heat up meatballs in a microwave-proof bowl until able to mush the balls. Break up until consistency of ground beef.
  3. Chop veggies.
  4. Mix tahini, water and spices until well mixed. Set aside.
  5. Spray 9×13 pan with olive oil.
  6. Dump all ingredients into pan, first placing some noodles in the pan, adding tomatoes and meatballs and then half of the tahini mixture. Add remaining noodles and sauce.
  7. Stir until all the noodles are coated.
  8. Let the pan completely cool, then place lid on and put it in the freezer.
  9. When ready to cook, place pan in the refrigerator for about 7 to 8 hours. An hour before cooking, take it out and place on the counter.
  10. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Take off lid and place foil over pan. Cook for about 45 to 50 minutes or until center is warm.

Throwback Thursday: Mushroom cheesesteaks

September 12, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in Throwback Thursday, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Originally posted on No Sweat, York

Hearty and juicy aren’t words most people would say about a vegan dish that tries to mimic meat. However, well-cooked mushrooms can play a convincing role in dishes such as Philly cheesesteaks.

There have been times in the past where I asked my fiance if a piece of mushroom was actually meat, because the texture and structure of mushrooms can resemble chicken or even beef strips, especially when they are marinated and pressed between two slices of bread.

160x220_g3I love using my crock pot as it frees up my evenings. All I need to do is cook it overnight or during the day, and I come home to a healthy dinner with minimal dishes.

This dish is super easy, too, and dinner will be ready by the time you get home. Or make it overnight, put it in the fridge and reheat what you need. Pair it with a chilled salad or refreshing fruit while sitting by the pool.

Vegan mushroom cheesesteaks
Adapted from “The Vegan Slow Cooker”
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, any color, sliced
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan bouillon
  • A dash of liquid smoke
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 rolls, hoagie style preferred
  • Shredded vegan cheddar cheese

Recipe

  1. Cut up onion, peppers and mushrooms. Make sure to remove mushroom stems.
  2. Oil crock in slow cooker with a little olive oil on a paper towel, rubbing down the sides and bottom.
  3. Place vegetables in crock, pour water and break up or add bouillon on top. Add liquid smoke, salt and pepper. Stir.
  4. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  5. At about 20 minutes left, stir in cornstarch to make gravy, and mix well. Cook for the remaining 20 minutes.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon cheesesteak mixture onto each bun and top with vegan cheddar cheese.

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso

June 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The heat might have us feeling like we are really residents of Texas rather than Pennsylvania.

I know, Texas probably has a dry heat, unlike our latest humidity bubble, but Texas is where I drew inspiration from to make chile con queso.

I chose Texas for my next culinary experiment for 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes because I have spicy food on the brain. After Cinco de Mayo and the Mission burritos, I realized I have grown to love spicy, Mexican food. This is funny to me, as I never experimented with these flavors before I went vegan and my struggles with IBS prevented my culinary explorations.

But now, bring on the spice!

Chile con queso is popular at Tex-Mex restaurants as an appetizer or side dish, served with tortilla chips. It is usually just spicy, melted cheese, but you can add black beans to the cheese and serve a bowl of guacamole on the side.

I found this super simple recipe by The Food Network and substituted vegan ingredients. I also went with canned chilies and jalapenos because I figured that was the safest bet for me, though fresh can be subbed instead. I also took a tip from the comments and sauteed the veggies before creating the cheese masterpiece.

Wanting to take it to another level of spicy, I used Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti. This blows the dish away. And even though it seems like this dip would be bad for you, one serving is 80 calories.

Get ready for some fondue fun!

Continue Reading 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: Texas vegan chile con queso…

50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes: California vegan Mission burritos

May 25, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in 50 States 50 Vegan Dishes | 2 Comments
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Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

(This recipe was first featured for Meatout Mondays on the No Sweat, York, blog.)

I love burritos.

With Roburrito’sChipotle and Qdoba in the community, you can’t go wrong finding a burrito that is both vegan and hearty.

I eat Roburrito’s so often, some of the workers probably know me by name or by my order (“A vegan potato meal with ginger ale, please.”) I mix it up by going to different locations, so my addiction isn’t pronounced. (Though my favorite to-go is the East Market Street location, and my favorite sit-down place is the one in the New Eastern Market.)

Both places offer a style of burrito called a Mission burrito or San Francisco burrito — so named because it first became popular in the 1960s in the Mission district of San Francisco.

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

My square burrito. Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

The greatest part of this burrito? It is customizable. A few items are considered staples: a large, flour tortilla, rice, beans and salsa. There also can be a filling, such as a meat, fish, soy meat or potato, and then other add-ins such as sour cream, cheese, avocado or guacamole. Obviously, because I am vegan, there is no animal products or by-products. The burrito is still yummy and filling.

Traditionally it is wrapped in tinfoil and eaten right from there, peeling the layer back as you eat. However, since the homemade burritos are fresh, cut the foil and begin the feast! Plus, I seriously can’t fold a burrito correctly, so I just scarfed these up quickly.

A can of black beans and a cup of brown rice can probably make up to 5 Mission burritos.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of boil-in-a-bag brown rice
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 container of guacamole
  • 1 jar of salsa, mild
  • 1 package of Daiya cheese, cheddar or mozzarella
  • 1 package of large, burrito-style white tortillas

Recipe

  1. Cook the rice according to the package. It took me 10 minutes to boil the water, and 10 minutes to cook the rice.
  2. Drain and rinse black beans. Place them in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  3. Set up your station: Rice in one bowl, beans in another; guacamole, cheese and salsa opened and ready.
  4. Put one tortilla on a plate and place in the microwave for 15 seconds. It makes the tortilla softer and easier to work with. If you have a tortilla steamer, use that instead.
  5. Place close to 1/3 cup of rice in the middle of the tortilla. Place 1/4 cup of beans on top, then 1 heaping tablespoon of guacamole and salsa. Add about 1/8 cup of cheese.
  6. Roll: Fold one side over the center until the filling is two-thirds covered. Tuck in the left and right sides. Roll the covered filling toward the last open side until the burrito is completely covered and rolled.
  7. Enjoy! It might be a little messy, but worth it.

Check out these other 50 States, 50 Vegan Dishes posts. 

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