Painless Polenta

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Many, many a night, my only wish is for a hearty, healthy, delicious meal to materialize on my table in under 20 minutes. I’ve been hunting down recipes that make that happen and stockpiling them. This one just made the pile. Check out these no-sweat polenta cakes topped with black beans, spinach & peppers, over at Nava Atlas’s VegKitchen (thanks Michael for turning me on to her!).

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“This Actually Tastes Like Clam Chowder!”

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Exclaimed a skeptical Mike when he was served this veganized version of the New England classic. Some may have been offended by his shock, implying his doubt, but I took it as the highest compliment. Out of all the traditional meat based meals I’ve tried to make animal free over the years, mimicking a fishy flavor & texture is tough. This combo of oyster mushrooms, artichoke hearts and a slew of other flavor enhancers comes damn close.

Check out the surprisingly simple recipe here at: Meettheshannons.net

Alien life forms? Nah, just pretty oyster mushrooms.

Alien life forms? Nah, just pretty oyster mushrooms.

Apparently, it takes a village to capture the essence of the sea.

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PB & SP Sitting In A Tree

 

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Peanut butter and sweet potato, what an epic pairing. I can’t think of a way you could put these two together that could go wrong. I tried two tasty variations recently. Check them out here.

Thai Sweet Potato Stacks with Peanut Sauce at the minimalistbaker.com.

I went fancy-pants and choose to stack, while Mikey went all nacho style on it.

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With & w/out Sriracha

With & w/out Sriracha

Next up this soul warming Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque at eatingwell.com. I topped mine with cashews for an extra crunch. Decadently delectable.

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Mouthwatering Mediterrean

Falafel Stuffed Eggplant with a Tahini Sauce & Tomato Onion Relish

Falafel Stuffed eggplant with a tahini sauce & onion tomato relish

I made this falafel stuffed eggplant just about a month ago and it was divine. Now looking back over the photos it’s divineness has gripped my brain. Eggplants & chickpeas going on the grocery list in 3, 2, 1….

Check out the recipe at Joanna-eatswellwithothers.com. (To veganize sub in flax eggs for the eggs & agave for the honey).

Into the processor we go.

Into the processor we go

Ravishing relish and tasty tahini sauce

Ravishing relish and tasty tahini sauce

Falafel Stuffed Eggplant with Roasted Asparagus

Falafel stuffed eggplant with roasted asparagus

 

Simple Scene Stealing Sides

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For me, sides dishes are often the superman of the vegetarian/vegan world, always there to save the day. I’ve eaten out at a steakhouse before, to appease friends of course, and have been able to have a completely satisfying meal just picking from the sides menu. Bonus, my portion of the check.

Sides also come to the rescue when I’m having a lazy cooking day (or week). When I don’t feel up to a complicated entrée requiring four pots & 30 minutes of prep I always fall back on marinating a tempeh, tofu or portabello and just tossing it in the oven to bake. To keep the meal somewhat interesting though, I’ll have more fun with the sides. So I was one happy lady when Cooking Light offered up 28 Short Order Sides.

For this meal, I went with an orange maple marinade for the tempeh and felt the Gingered Sweet Potatoes & the Teriyaki Glazed Brussels Sprouts would go nicely. I was correct, yum.

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Once, Twice, Three Times A Loafy

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Atomic Pecan Loaf

Whenever I have a hankering for a good ol meat & taters, stick to the bones, make me all warm and cozy meal, I go with a ‘meat’ loaf. There are just so many tasty veggie variations to play with. Here are three winners:

Atomic Pecan Tofu Loaf – did you know you can make loaves in your slow cooker? You do now! From The Vegan Slow Cooker. Paired with green beans, vegan mashed potatoes & Mike’s home brewed Oktoberfest beer.

Atomic Pecan Loaf

Atomic Pecan Loaf

Quinoa Loaf – via Whole Foods’ Recipe. I decided to try out chard & turnip fries with this. Side note – I do not like turnip fries.

Quinoa Loaf

Quinoa Loaf

Those not so bueno turnip fries.

Those not so bueno turnip fries.

Quinoa Loaf with the turnips turned into a mash, still no bueno.

Quinoa Loaf with the turnips turned into a mash, still no bueno.

Lentil Walnut Loaf over at Eatliverun.com. With sauteed kale and sliced potatoes.

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Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf

Lentil Loaf

Happy loafing!!

That’s A Spicy Mock Meat-a-Ball!

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Okay, these aren’t really that spicy. I just wanted to say meat-a-ball. They are beyond delicious though. I think this will be my new in-your-face meal. Anytime I encounter a vegan naysayer, I’ll just go, “Bam! Try these meat-a-balls!”, argument over. Maybe I’ll just carry a few in my purse at all times. You know, for vegan emergencies.

Kidney beans, oats, carrots & walnuts make up the bulk of the Italian Bean Spheres, check out the recipe over here at Oh She Glows. Note, I had all intentions of making this with spaghetti squash but as the store was out, we had to settle for real spaghetti, Mike was devastated I tell you, devastated! 🙂

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Fyi – sprinkled with nutritional yeast in lieu of parm.

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It’s Just Another Mango Monday

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It’s mango season! Let’s all take a moment to applaud their deliciousness while secretly grimacing at their annoyingness to chop. Let’s call it grimaling. Anyway, in homage to this wondrous fruit I bring you two mango recipes. Both come from cookbooks my très fab fam gifted me for Xmas (thanks très fab fam).

Above are the mmmmm-inducing Carribbean Mango Black Beans from the Vegan Slow Cooker. Served over sautéed kale with some super easy vegan cornbread on the side.

Next up, we have the divine Mango Ginger Tofu, served with some lemon broccoli & asparagus, from Vegan With A Vengeance. Seriously, this marinade is good enough to bathe in.

Enjoy your Mango Monday!

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Caliente Cabbage!

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Even though it’s not vegan, or even a little vegetarian, I’ve still been unable to cancel my Cooking Light subscription. There is always some tip, trick or veggie recipe that justifies it’s place in my mailbox. Their monthly “Four Speedy Sides” is one of these things. It’s where they take a veggie or grain and give you four simple, under 20 minute ways, to prepare them. It’s so dang useful, I cut this page out every month and put it in my little recipe folder.

February’s ingredient was cabbage. This excited me! Excited by cabbage? you say. Considering I have zero idea of how to actually cook with cabbage, yes, I was enthused. I choose their Chile-Garlic version because I reckoned it would be easier to get Mike on the cabbage train if I told him it was spicy. I figured correctly, we have a cabbage convert. (Fyi,  I subbed in soy for fish sauce & added in some broccoli too)

Now that I had my side (really, I used it more as a base) I needed the heft of the meal. Tempeh came right to mind. I decided to do a  sweet citrusy marinade that would balance the flavor of the zingy cabbage. First, I cut an 8oz package of tempeh into 10 strips (I like Lightlife’s Flax version). Then, though not necessary, I like to simmer my tempeh in water for about 10 minutes before using. I feel it softens it and allows it to soak up flavors better. For the marinade, I mixed: 1 cup orange juice, 2TB soy sauce, 1TB Mirin, 1TB of maple syrup, 1tsp ginger powder & 1tsp coriander in a shallow dish. Then just add the temp and let it soak in all the goodness, the longer the better. I then baked at 350 for about 25 minutes, flipping once. Just serve right on top of the cabbage. Delicioso.

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