Vegan Comfort Foods

Sometimes you just want those good ol’ comfort foods. Well, I found a recipe for lentil sloppy joes from Chocolate Covered Katie that looked pretty good. I don’t know that I’ve really ever eaten lentils before. If so it’s only been a couple of times. Anyway, I had some lentils that I bough at Whole Foods a couple months ago and decided this would be a great time to use those. They were an Autumn Blend and included a colorful mix of different types of lentils.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I mixed up the recipe kind of like the directions said…haven’t I mentioned before that I don’t follow recipes very well? I didn’t really measure the spices, just dumped them in. I’d say I erred on the side of not as much instead of too much. I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of cumin so I only did a shake or so of that. It tasted pretty good, but I doctored a bit more by adding some barbeque sauce and a little yellow mustard. I also wondered if it would appeal to me even more if I made it like I would normally make my sloppy joes. I also wondered if my family would be willing to give it a taste if that were the case.

Since the lentils were a mix, I think that some of them were cooked more than others. Some were a bit more firm, but I kind of liked that.

Since I was having sloppy joes I thought I “needed” some kind of taters. So, I dug out the french fry cutter that my grandma gave to me and tried that out. I cooked the potatoes in the microwave for a few minutes (I love my Pampered Chef Micro-cookers). Then put them in a pan and broiled them for a bit. They could have stood to stay in a bit longer and get a little more crispy, but I was getting impatient.

I was very pleased with this meal. When I first started mixing it up I was a little unsure. And kept thinking that was a lot of lentils to waste if  I didn’t end up liking it. I will be adding this to my mental list of meals to make again. Although, it may not taste exactly the same the next time.

What vegan comfort foods do you love? I’d love to hear some more ideas. Especially if they are something my non-planted based, rather picky family might eat!

Advertisements

Quinoa Patties

Well, tonight was pizza night. And if you remember my previous post about pizza, you might guess I needed a different choice for supper tonight.

I’ve seen some recipes around Pinterest for quinoa patties. Many times these include eggs (as a binder). I saw one that was a vegan recipe and it used quinoa and mashed potato.

This led to some playing around. Instead of mashed white potato I used a sweet potato. I cut this into small chunks and cooked it in the microwave until it was soft. Then, I mashed it with a fork.

100_5280

I chopped up some mushrooms pretty small and cooked those a bit. I also chopped up some kale and cooked that down. I could have saved some dishes by doing this in the same pan, but I wasn’t sure I would use all the kale (and I didn’t).

100_5275

Meanwhile, there was a pot of quinoa cooking on the stove.

100_5278

I stirred the sweet potatoes, mushrooms,some quinoa and some kale together. Sprinkled in some salt, a little parsley and a bit of rosemary seasoning. And stirred it all together.

100_5282

Then I grabbed a handful and pressed it into a ball and then flattened into a patty. Obviously there are no pictures of this messy step…hehe! Then I dropped them into a hot skillet coated in a bit of olive oil.

100_5284

I fried for a bit on each side and then carefully flipped them over. Most of my ingredients were already hot, so this was mostly to brown up the outside. I was pleasantly surprised that they held together quite well when I flipped them. Especially considering there isn’t much of a binder in them. Well, I guess the sweet potatoes did a good job there.

100_5285

I made myself a little sandwich. I used a sandwich thin, a few slices of avocado and some brown mustard. A nice crunchy piece of lettuce or even some cucumber slices would have been good too, but I didn’t have all that tonight.

100_5287

It was pretty tasty. These were just a tad on the “smooshy” side. I’m trying to decide what I could add to firm them up a bit. Maybe some oatmeal or breadcrumbs? Or maybe I should have put a bit more quinoa?

I’d be willing to try these again…and of course they will probably turn out completely different. My problem is that I don’t tend to use a recipe and I didn’t measure anything, just eye-balled it.

Rice Mix Copycat

You know the ones…they come in a box. Chicken flavored or whatever. My family loooooves them. I’ve never been a huge fan, but now that I’m starting to eat better, I can hardly stand them because they are sooooooo salty. Well, besides the fact that they contain animal products.

Every time I open one of those boxes I comment about how they can’t be that hard to make at home. It’s just rice and tiny pieces of pasta with some seasonings. Soooo, today, I made my own.

100_5226

Still looks pretty bland, but that’s about normal. I had all 3 of my boys try it and they all liked it! Yay! I’m interested to see what my husband thinks of it.

Here’s the “recipe”. Sorry, I’m not one to use recipes very much.

No Box Rice Mix

1/2 cup white rice
approx. 1/4 cup broken vermicelli pieces
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp. veggie bouillon
sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder and parsley

Lightly spray pan with cooking oil (or use a bit of oil or butter). Saute rice and noodles until noodles are browned. Add remaining ingredients, cover and reduce heat til all liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Enjoy!

Pizza

First, my apologies. I haven’t gotten used to taking pictures of my food or other things I want to blog about. I will try to do better…

Ok, now, on to the PIZZA!!! I LOVE pizza! I don’t know too many people who don’t like pizza. I was excited to eat some pizza tonight. I make homemade pizza. The dough is from scratch and everything. Well, I do use canned sauce. I was even willing to eat a little bit of cheese. Not much, but every now I then I figured I can eat some cheese (maybe I should re-read that post about my cholesterol).

I made a small pizza for my mother-in-law and I to share. She is also eating plant-based and is the one that introduced me to it. Our pizza had sauce, lots of mushrooms, black olives, a few yellow peppers and that tiny bit of cheese. Mmmmm!

And, are you ready for this? It really didn’t hit the spot like it used to! It was fine, I ate it, but EH! I guess it’s another good reminder that my tastes are really changing. I think it was good to eat it. Why? Well, in my mind I think I really miss eating pizza. Now my brain knows that it really doesn’t taste that great anymore. I think I would have enjoyed just eating all those veggies more than eating the pizza. I know, I know, I’m crazy. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to be crazy.

I suppose I will have to find something else to make when we have pizza night….

Colorful Food

I know in my head that plant-based meals are usually much more colorful than the Standard American Diet (SAD).  This became more obvious while looking at my boards on Pinterest the other night. I started a new board for plant-based recipe ideas and was moving things from one board to another. It was easy to find the plant-based recipes because they were so colorful.

I mean, really, look at that beautiful bunch of veggies. I ate these with a little bit of spaghetti and marinara sauce. They were DELICIOUS!!!!

100_5041

I also made some bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking I love this cookbook. Just mix it up and when you’re ready to bake it you only have to spend a few minutes prepping it! Also…no kneading. They also have a healthier cookbook. Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients. I made the dough into more of a focaccia-type bread. I figured it wouldn’t take as long to bake that way.

100_5045

Several of those pictures (plant-based) on Pinterest would have looked completely unappetizing several years ago. Now, however, they look so delicious. Much more so than the boring, bland looking pictures of the other board. Why would we not want to eat all these beautifully colored fruits and vegetables? I am so glad that I have learned to like a wide variety of new foods the last couple of years.