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.

Hydrating cucumber salad

September 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | Leave a comment
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wpid-IMAG0784.jpgI know summer is unofficially gone, and here in York the weather has gotten cooler each night.

Yet, I made this hydrating cucumber salad from Oh She Glows, featured in my Wordless Wednesday.

I have been going to the chiropractor and she emphasizes that being properly hydrated is important for not just spinal care but overall health.

This salad is great for hydration. I ate it for lunch and it was super easy to make and take.

I made some differences from this recipe:

  • I added only half a red pepper and used a full green pepper.
  • I deleted the cilantro, since Batman hates it.
  • I used sliced almonds instead of peanuts.
  • I did not roast my chickpeas, but added them directly to the salad after they were drained and rinsed from the can.
  • For my dressing, I used apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sugar and some pink Himalayan salt.

160x220_g3I would post the recipe, but it isn’t that much different than Oh She Glow’s recipe and it is her creation. Enjoy her yummy ideas!

Sweet Sunday: Dreamy vegan orange creamsicle

September 1, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in recipe, VeganMoFo | 1 Comment
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160x220_g3I am sorry I have been MIA for about a month or so.

This is my 100th post.

I meant to have a contest and I got really excited, but then the gifts didn’t pan out, then I got disappointed, and then I got busy.

I found my wedding dress and have been helping my bridesmaids find theirs. I have been working my butt off with freelance work, in order to save more for the wedding, and I started going to a chiropractor three times a week for my horrible back issues.

But today is a new day: It is the beginning of Vegan MoFo (Month of Food)!!!

To kick it off, I am giving you this quick vegan orange creamsicle recipe, which are dreamy to eat, low on calories and don’t use additional sweeteners. It is a bit tart and a bit sweet, everything a good ice pop should be.

Enjoy!

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Dreamy vegan orange creamsicles
Serves 4 (Can be doubled or more)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural orange juice (I used Simply Orange)
  • 1 cup Silk creamer, French vanilla flavor
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Recipe

  1. Place orange juice, creamer and raspberry extract into a Magic Bullet blender cup or in a medium bowl. Zest orange skin and add to the mixture.
  2. Either blend for 5 seconds or whisk briskly in the bowl with a wire whisk.
  3. Pour your mixture into the molds and add a lid or stick.
  4. Chill for a few hours, anywhere from 5 to 7 hours or more.
  5. Take ice pop out of mold and enjoy!

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…

Everything But Kitchen Sink Stir-fry

March 16, 2011 at 1:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So, I am not one to post recipes on here, because quite frankly, I am just not creative enough! And I hesitate to add it here, because some of the recipes I have used from the very beginning could have been someone else’s that I just tweaked to my tastes over time. (But not enough to merit my own.)

Yummmm.

But stir-fry, especially the everything but the kitchen sink stir-fry, is in everyone’s back-up recipe books. It is so simple, uses up vegetables sitting in your fridge & is totally personal to each individual.

There are four categories when creating your kitchen sink stir-fry that you must consider: vegetables, spices and liquids, protein and grain.

Vegetables:

onion (almost a must)
garlic
celery
carrots
daikon
broccoli
greens (spinach, kale, arugula)
asparagus
any frozen variety
Also fruits! Pinapple, orange or any dried fruits could taste awesome!

Spices & liquids:

Garlic
basil
ginger
sesame oil
shoyu/tamari (soy sauce)
red pepper flakes
salt
pepper
apple cider vinegar
a touch of sugar
*This list is pretty much endless!*

Protein

tofu
seitan
fake meats
beans — my fav is chickpeas
tempeh

Grains

rice
pasta
wheat berries
quinoa
millet
barley

Here is the general way that I create my stir-fry masterpiece:

I start with some oil in a skillet and add an onion.

After the onion starts to get clear and glisten, I add all my vegetables. I then sometimes add about 1/4 cup water, so carrots and other hard vegetables could boil. I usually let this cook for about 10-15 minutes.

I then usually add spices, but this would be a good time to add protein and/or grain. If you want to not saturate your grain in the spices and liquids, wait until almost 5 minutes from being done.

If you add a protein that needs some serious cook time, such as tofu or tempeh, I would let it cook an additional 10 minutes, being careful the food doesn’t stick/burn. If it is something that just needs to be heated through, it should only take 5 minutes or so.

And like I said, add the grains last. If you want your grains and protein to hold the full taste of the spice, add the spice at the very last instead, but make sure to cook for a bit, to get them to release their flavor.

Presto! And now it’s time to eat some stir-fry!

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