Weeknight Meals

May is a busy month for me this year – I’m going out of the state twice, once for fun and once for work, my birthday falls in between those trips, and there’s the usual baseball games and other stuff going on.  So I haven’t had a lot of energy to focus on my cooking.  I still eat well I suppose, but it’s been more of a matter of just getting decently healthy food in my belly.

I’m calling this Cheater’s Channa Palak Masala.  Method:  Steam-fry or saute a diced onion, add minced fresh garlic and ginger, add chickpeas and a can of diced tomatoes, put in a whole lot of whatever seasoning you find appropriate (I used curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, dry mustard and cayenne), and add spinach to wilt at the end.  Delicious, quick, easy, and nutritious.  I was going to serve this over rice but was too hungry to wait the hour for brown rice, so I used whole wheat orzo, which didn’t really go with the masala that well.  On the side are roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with coriander.  The coriander is a tip I picked up from Vegan With A Vengeance’s sweet potato fries, and I will probably never roast sweet potatoes without coriander now because it’s so good.

I had a laugh when I saw that Lindsay from Happy Herbivore made Channa Masala just a few days after I did using about the same recipe, with an option to add spinach.  This was even funnier because as I was making mine I decided to steam-fry the dish with water rather than using oil and this made me think of her.  Great minds think alike!

One of my favorite ways to use up random veggies, tofu scramble!  I don’t follow a recipe, nor do I write one down, but my scrambles usually involve turmeric, about a ton of nutritional yeast, yellow mustard, a splash of soy milk and maybe some soy sauce.  This one also had zucchini, carrots, yellow bell pepper, mushrooms and fresh basil.  Yum yum.

I had planned to also make strawberry corn pancakes (a la VCON blueberry corn pancakes) and have full on breakfast-for-dinner, but by the time I got home I had neither the energy nor the patience to actually cook two things.  So I threw together this fruit salad, which made me realize that I don’t eat fruit salad enough.  I always have singular fruits and rarely put them together.  I liked adding the orange sections because the juice acted like a dressing and kept the bananas from turning brown.

I found myself with a lot of fresh herbs in the fridge threatening to go bad, so I had decided to make some pesto pasta.  But then that day I got a MAD craving for tomato sauce, so I spent most of the day trying to figure out how to have both marinara and pesto, and whether that was even a good idea.  Turns out it is!

I made this meal completely from what I just happened to have at home.  The pesto was made with a little bit of mint, thyme and oregano, a lot of parsley, pine nuts, and no basil whatsoever.  The crumbly stuff on top is supposed to be tofu ricotta but I used frozen and thawed tofu, which I knew wasn’t a great idea from the beginning.  I wanted tofu ricotta though, and the frozen tofu was the only tofu I had.  So the tofu stayed crumbly and spongy and didn’t get creamy like normal, but bf said that he actually liked it that way, so go figure.  (On a side note, bf ate what I ate for dinner TWICE last week.  I think it was a freak coincidence, or that he was just feeling lazy and cheap.  Fine with me!)

Anyway, I mixed cooked whole wheat spaghetti with organic jarred sauce, layered it in a casserole dish with the pesto and ricotta, and baked it for 20 minutes.  I’m calling it spaghetti casserole.  I wasn’t sure how this would turn out – I knew it would be edible, but didn’t know how great it would be.  It was great!  The pesto really did the trick.  Parsley pesto is good.  Oh, and this dish totally reminded me of the spaghetti pie my mom used to make with leftover spaghetti when I was young.  Vegan spaghetti pie?  Hmmm…..

With the bisketti, I had a side salad from whatever-I-could-find-in-the-fridge:  lettuce, carrots, radishes, corn kernels, clover sprouts that surprisingly had lasted a long time, and goddess dressing.  A fine side salad, indeed.

Here’s a weeknight meal made out of necessity, but then actually remade and written down cause it was so good.

This is  Salad Stirfry, and I’ll write more about it soon.  I love how colorful it is!

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9 Comments »

  1. Nora said

    if you ever want a quick pasta dinner again, and can’t decide between tomato sauce and pesto, this is like the best thing EVER:

    http://veganyumyum.com/2008/08/super-quick-tomato-basil-cream-pasta/

    It’s seriously delicious and creamy and perfect. all your food looks great!

  2. Carrie said

    All of those meals look great! I never add soymilk to my tofu scrambles, I should try that out. Also I agree, I don’t eat fruit salad enough either.

    Best wishes for your busy month!

  3. Oh my god, I’m so glad you mentioned the strawberry corn pancake idea. I’ve been getting a ton of fresh berries from my farmer friend’s pick-your-own and that sounds wonderful. I love those pancakes with blueberries, but I know strawberries would also be amazing!

  4. Sophie said

    awesome chickpea dish! and i love your salad. all delicious.

  5. Melisser said

    Dang, I always forget about fruit salad as well!

  6. Cyn said

    Everything looks so delicious! I love tofu scramble, I haven’t made it in forever. Your spaghetti casserole sounds genius, too.

  7. Macie said

    I rarely drool over salads, but that one looks really good! And I’d love to see a vegan spaghetti pie 😀

  8. Jodye said

    Your salads both look delicious, and I totally agree with you on the tofu scramble, definitely a great way to use up ends and pieces!

  9. […] mentioned my Salad Stir-fry a few posts ago.  I first came up with it because I had about a ton of baby greens from my CSA that I realized […]

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