Meal in a Minute… Well, 4…

IMG_9334I barely have enough time to shower or take a poo by myself, so making a healthy lunch or dinner with fresh veggies sounds utterly exhausting… Like, I didn't know it was possible to operate on so little sleep and I have a nugget, who for all intents and purposes, sleeps really well for an almost 5 month old. Like seriously. Whoa. WHOA. So my darling love, Chelsea [she is so gonna be famous one day] introduced me to these amazing Lotus Foods ramen packets! Completely clean, fat free, oil free, gluten free, and vegan! For a buck seventy-nine these suckers are a pantry staple in my new normal. To jazz these puppies up I like to add various roasted veggies, baked tofu, a handful of greens, or all of the above! IMG_9336IMG_9337IMG_9335IMG_9338 [Step 1] Follow package instructions. Basically boil 2 cups of water. Add spice packet and noodles. Cook for 4 minutes. Boom. Done.

[Step 2: Optional] Add a splash of tamari which adds a great depth of flavor. Easy peasy.

[Step 3: Optional] Add your desired flare.

[I love baked tofu. You can make your own or buy it pre-baked. To make your own, cut super firm tofu and press to remove all water. Mix tamari, honey, lemon juice. Coat Tofu and bake at 375 until firm about 25 minutes.]

 

[A handful of spinach or kale on the days that's all you've got in you. Just toss it in the water for the last minute of cooking.]

 

[I like to make a huge batch of roasted veggies at the beginning of the week and use them for ramen or tacos, etc. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, roast bell peppers, red onions, zucchini, mushrooms.]

 

[Toss in snow peas, broccoli, or zucchini the boiling water to give them a quick cook.]

 

[Top with jalapeños, scallions, sambal oelek, sesame seeds, chopped cashews, I could go on and on]

 

[Stuff your face.]

Vegan Manicotti

photo 4photo 7I love CARBS!! Pasta is seriously my weakness in life and during pregnancy I have never wanted it more! I few weeks ago manicotti was literally the only thing that I thought about… Luckily I have a super healthy, super vegan recipe that makes my soul dance!! Like for reals, I'm dancing right now just thinking about eating this meal!! Yum, yum, YUMMMM! On top of actually tasting really good, it has zero added oil, no added sugar! Now, I know there is the ongoing great soy debate, but my research tells me that non-gmo soy in it's whole form[tofu, miso, tempeh] is a great addition to your diet 2-3 times a week. Tofu is a great sauce of protein, calcium, and iron, all super important for your health, but even more so when you are carrying a little one!! Enjoy!!
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Serves 2 (doubles easily)
8 manicotti noodles
“Ricotta” Filling
1 package organic[ALWAYS] super firm tofu, pressed*
2 cups frozen kale, defrosted and strained
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of dried basil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the noodles until they are mostly cooked, but still have a more crunch than al dente about 8 minutes. They will finish cooking in the oven, you don’t want soggy noodles. Heat the kale up and strain out all the extra water. In a food processor or blender mix all of the ricotta ingredients until it’s a smooth paste resembling cheese. Stuff cooled noodles with the filling. I like to use a spoon to push the filling all the way through. No one wants a bite without filling, boo. Cover with sauce and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with a salad and extra sauce!
*Pressing the tofu is important for this dish, you don’t want any moisture from the tofu to ruin the consistency of the “ricotta” filling. So I wrap the tofu in a few layers of paper towels then a kitchen towel. I place a heavy pan on top of the tofu with a few heavy cans and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Presto!photo 6

Holiday Delights

Blissful Happenings  2 - 31

My holiday table | Photo via Kelsey Erin Photography

Holiday food is the bombdiggity!!! It's warming and delicious and perfect and fabulous. Being vegan, I've had to make some considerable changes to the classics, but I assure you they are tasty and just as satisfying. I find inspiration everywhere! I love reading vegan and non-vegan cookbooks and blogs. I love turning a recipe into a veggie delight! It brings me such joy! Such joy!! And when it tastes so freaking good,  I'm so happy I wanna run into the streets screaming good tidings and kiss a good looking stranger right in the face. Here are 3 recipes, one created from my mind hole, one exactly as it was written, and one adapted to my plant based lifestyle! All of them are magical holiday dishes!! Enjoy!

imageGreen Beans with Shallots and Almonds Serves 4 as a side

1 pound trimmed green beans

1/4 cup sliced almonds

4-5 large shallots sliced into rings

a sprinkle or 2 of whole wheat pastry flour (any will work)

1 tablespoon olive oil for the beans and 1/2 cup or so sunflower oil to fry the shallots

a splash of veggie stock (I like to add some stock to help the beans steam)

salt and pepper

So this is super easy. I've made it twice already and I'm sharing the more naughty version. After light dredging the shallots in flour, I shallow fried them in a frying pan until golden and crispy! Once out of the pan lay them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. YUM! You might need to make more because you WILL eat them as they cook up. Then start the green beans, get a tablespoon of oil heating in the pan. Toss in the green beans with the oil and add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill. Toss in a splash, roughly a tablespoon, of stock and put on the lid. Check every 2-3 minutes, you want them to be soft, but still have a bit of a crunch! You definitely want them to keep their brilliant color!! Once they hit the sweet spot toss in the almonds, shallots, and another pinch of salt. Sauté for a min or so and serve!! Soooooo good!!! If you want to make the healthy version, omit the oil and sauté beans with only veggie stock and instead of frying your shallots place them on a cookie sheet in a 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes!! Fat free masterpiece! image_2

"Christina Hendricks's Rub All Over Your Body Stuffing" Sorta...

Serves two thousand people

day old cornbread (I use this whole recipe minus the green chilies)

day old biscuits (I use this whole recipe from The Kind Diet, but switch the oil for apple sauce)

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons salt

4-6 cups veggie stock

1 tablespoon dried sage

1 teaspoon parsley flakes

1/2 cup melted Earth Balance (I use the sticks for this)

optional: Field Roast's Smoked Apple Sage "sausage" crumbled

This is so easy. I make the biscuits and cornbread the day before and try not to eat them. I actually like to chop my veggies and measure out my herbs too. Then the day of I just crumble up the biscuits and cornbread and dump everything else into a huge baking dish! Preheat the oven to 350. I pour over the earth balance and start with 4 cups of veggie stock. Bake for an hour, adding stock if it begins to dry out.

image_1This was a hit. Creamed Kale is where it's at!!! I found this recipe at Food to Glow and holy bananas!! MIND. BLOWN. I can't even believe how delicious this dish tasted. So simple. I can't wait to make it again!!! Can a person be in love with Kale? Like truly, deeply in love?? Because I am. I definitely am. Check out the recipe here and make the vegan version, DUH. Enjoy these delicious recipes!!!!!!!