I started my veggie friendly lifestyle over 2 months ago, March 27th to be exact and I am still super content with my decision. My kitchen continues to be one of my new favorite places to hang out…which is good because the summer TV lineup isn’t looking good!
It’s been a while since I have posted so I there are quite a few new recipes and concoctions to write about, starting with some assistance from Trader Joe’s delicious Butternut Squash Ravioli Triangles. TJ’s BNS raviolis are by far one of my favorite items. My favorite way to serve them is with caramelized onions, walnuts, and spinach. After I sauteed the onions, I added the walnuts with a little bit of light brown sugar. I save adding the spinach for the very end since it wilts pretty quickly. This meal is not only super quick (the ravioli only take a few minutes to boil) but it’s delicious. I top off the dish with some blue cheese (or goat cheese would be great, too) and with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Moving onto a recipe my wonderful sister forwarded me, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars. Rather than using chocolate chips, though, I minced dried cranberries in my food processor (although – next time I make this, I am DEFINITELY using chocolate chips). I really enjoyed this bread – and so did Brae Brae – although, he pretty much eats anything these days!
Alright, next I made Asparagus Tabbouleh. This was one of my favorite dishes so far, it was super filling but light and refreshing at the same time. In fact, one of my co-workers has already made it twice! It was also relatively quick and easy to make – Brae had some fun in the kitchen with bowls and spatulas while I was busy at work. I hate to admit it but this was the first time I have ever blanched veggies and I had to google how to do it. But alas, it was super easy – phew!! Also, I couldn’t find bulgur wheat so I ended up using quinoa which I liked anyways because I’m a huge proponent for this super food. I also ended up using an extra tomato and topped the dish off with feta cheese because, well, everything is better with some cheese.
Don’t you think I’m done just yet, like I said, it’s been a while so I have quite a few recipes I need to post. Next, I made Brae Brae Green Veggie Pancakes. I like to make items like this because the recipes usually make a lot so I can freeze them which makes for a quick and easy lunch option for day care. And especially since this kid loves to eat (very messily) with his hands – things like this work great. I just used fresh organic broccoli for the pancakes rather than the cauliflower and zucchini. My pancakes didn’t turn out as well as the ones pictured on the recipe site but I blame it on my skillet. Word to the wise: stainless steel cookware may look pretty but it’s worthless, let’s just say our smoke alarm was going off for 5-10 minutes before I found the alarm code to turn it off! Brae LOVED these. Matt wasn’t sure if he would and I believe he even said, “Why do you make me feed him the gross stuff and you get to feed him the tasty stuff…” Turns out, Brae did not think they were “gross” at all!
I hope I’m not boring you – this is a super long post and I still have 3 dishes left to write about! One of Matt’s favorite dishes I have made so far was the super easy Cold Sesame Noodles which is funny because I thought it was going to be one of my favorites but I was underwhelmed. Then again, Matt doused it in extra soy sauce and Sriracha! I used whole wheat pasta and I topped it off with unsalted roasted peanuts because I’m a huge fan of having a crunch while they also give the dish some extra protein! Just a heads up: this recipe makes A LOT so it would be a good item to bring to a BBQ or a friends house (or if you have a hungry family). Perhaps that’s why I am underwhelmed, I was eating it for 3 days ha
I’m almost done, I promise!! The next dish is more of a side than an entree, Mac and Cheese Style Cauliflower. This item is definitely not for someone who doesn’t like cheese – it was super cheesy but really delicious. Matt says that he really enjoys my casseroles! I feel like this is an ongoing trend but this dish was also super quick and easy – I suppose when I look for recipes, one of the things I try to aim for are recipes that are low maintenance and that don’t contain too many ingredients because ‘aint nobody got time for that!’ The recipe only called for one large head of cauliflower but I really think it could have used 2. Maybe it’s because I bought mine organic and it was smaller than the cauliflower heads that are genetically modified. So in an attempt to make the dish have move substance than just cheese, I added in fresh spinach. I also topped it off with scallions because I had some extra. Next time I make this (and there will be a next time) I will definitely get an extra head of cauliflower or maybe do one head of cauliflower and one head of broccoli. Matt grilled himself a hamburger patty and me a veggie burger to make the dinner complete.
And FINALLY, my last dish – Warm Quinoa Salad with 3 Herb Green Sauce. This is probably one of my favorite dishes thus far! It was super refreshing and again, super easy to make. The recipe calls for fresh corn on the cob shucked but come one, who has time for that so I took the easy way out and ended up just using a can of corn I bought from Whole Foods which I probably paid way too much for (oh the price of convenience). Also, I didn’t have chives so I omitted those but the Green Sauce was still really tasty. Mine was not as green as the picture in the recipe because I used a red tomato, not a yellow but I’m sure the taste was pretty similar! This is definitely a good go-to dish, for sure! The gal who made this recipe used the tomato as an oil replacement for the green sauce rather than having to use a bunch of oil to thin it out which is a great idea. I’m going to have to remember that technique for future dishes to come.
And just a note – I almost always use organic ingredients. After doing too much research on GMOs/pesticides and looking into the future – my thoughts are that the long term cost of not using organic ingredients are even more costly. Thanks for reading my blog! Happy cooking!