It’s been a while since I wrote anything here about my regular, every day eats. I have been cooking (and of course eating) but I’ve also been extremely busy, so my meals have had to be more of the simple and quick variety.
My current project is that I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon with Team ASPCA. The ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States, a mission close to my heart. I’m really happy to be a part of Team ASPCA and honored to be raising both awareness and funding to support the ASPCA’s programs!
As part of my fundraising, I’m hosting a raffle! Head on over to the Raffle Page and check it out! The list of prizes is really awesome, if I do say so myself, with an estimated value of over $1,100. There are over 30 great prizes to be won, and you can enter for as little as a $5 donation! To entice you, here’s a pile of some of the prizes, just waiting to be shipped. The bottom right box might be of particular interest to some people…
Please check out the Raffle Page on The Vegan Weight Watcher and consider donating to The ASPCA! The deadline to enter for the first drawing is this Friday, September 14th, at 12PM noon PDT.
I started running around July of last year, and have been training for one race or another ever since. Between working full time, training, and other obligations, I don’t have much time to cook, but on the other hand, I need healthy meals to fuel my training. So, I’ve turned to a few particular cookbooks and fast meals to get by.
First up, Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I posted a review here and more photos here, and this continues to be my go-to for flavorful and balanced meals that don’t take a long time. The book has an index of recipes that are ready in under 30 minutes, which makes it even easier to pick out quick meals.
This is Goddess Nicoise Salad. I don’t normally love olives but liked them in this, and the cooked green beans and potatoes made it feel hearty enough to be a full meal.
Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry is the perfect way to use fall CSA produce.
Pasta con Broccoli may look a little dry, but it’s actually quite flavorful and moist. I added chickpeas to round out the meal, as the author suggests.
With only about 20 minutes active cooking time involved, Kidney Bean & Butternut Jamba Stew is a delicious, spicy meal in a bowl.
Forty-Clove Broccoli & Chickpeas and Colipots was really intensely delicious, but not as filling as I had hoped.
Fusilli Roasted Vegetable Primavera teaches you a great way to make a flavorful summer pasta without too much effort. I added mushrooms and chickpeas, and wouldn’t make it again without.
Quick Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson is a cookbook which is geared specifically toward speedy vegan meals. Luckily, most of the recipes are relatively healthy too, with plenty of veggies. Looking through the index, there are plenty more recipes from this book that I want to try!
The Roasted Asparagus Soup gets its creaminess from potato and non-dairy milk. The soup was delicious, but I thought it missed some of the asparagus flavor by adding the other ingredients. On the side, I made a quick potato, corn, and black bean hash.
Barbecue Pinto and Portobello is like a souped up version of baked beans, with a fast homemade barbecue sauce. It’s intended to be a sandwich filling, but in an effort to keep it a little more light, I had the beans on their own with a side of coleslaw pasta salad.
This Indonesian Vegetable and Tofu Scramble was a great way to use up all the bok choy I receive from the CSA. Adding hoisin sauce and ground coriander made it really different from other scrambles. On the side is chili-lime roasted sweet potatoes.
Tropical Quinoa and Black Beans develops the flavor of the islands in a short amount of time. I served it over steamed kale, topped by pumpkin seeds, which were nice textural contrasts.
Since I’m also watching my budget, I turn to Vegan on the Cheap by Robin Robertson as well. The recipes tend to rely on fresh vegetables a little less than I like, which is understandable based on the title, but I have found a few good ones so far and plan to try out more.
The mix of sweet and spicy in this Moroccan-Inspired Lentil Soup was great. I served the thick soup over grits.
I added some chipotle chili powder to this Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Chowder, rendering it spicier than expected, but it was still quite delicious topped with avocado and served with sprouted blue corn tortilla chips and steamed broccoli.
I really like raw foods during the summer months, both for their speed and simplicity. One book I’ve really been enjoying is Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley. Some of the recipes require time or dehydrating, yes, but many of them are really quick and accessible.
The Deconstructed Sushi Bowl was a really fun way to enjoy sushi without cooking rice and bothering to roll anything. Since the meal was mostly vegetables, I bulked it up by adding edamame and a quick spicy sauce. I’ll write a full review of Practically Raw once I’ve had the chance to try more recipe!
These Gingery Sunflower Seed, Cabbage, and Red Apple Rolls from Choosing Raw were simple and delicious! I wrapped mine in collard leaves instead of the nori sheets, just because that’s what I had, and the sweet apples were a great contrast to the bitter greens.
One obvious time saver is the slow cooker, which I don’t utilize nearly often enough. Maybe once the weather turns cool again I’ll yearn for more stew-like, comforting dishes.
Here’s a non-soup recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester, Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole. You layer corn tortillas and sweet potatoes with canned enchlada sauce and beans. The recipe called for one can of beans and vegan chorizo, but I used two cans of beans instead to try to keep it a little more whole-foods oriented. I topped the casserole with a little slaw and salsa verde that we happened to have in the fridge, and served roasted brussels sprouts on the side.
Slow cooker minestrone, adapted from this recipe, with leeks, yelllow squash, zucchini, lima beans, green beans, swiss chard, and quinoa pasta.
I LOVE salads for summertime meals. I’ve been known to use an entire head of lettuce for an entree-sized salad!
Kale salad with avocado, blood orange and chipotle-ginger tempeh. Since the tempeh was the only cooked component, this one came together quickly.
Black bean, zucchini and corn fajita salad with salsa and Daiya Jack style wedges. I really like the new Daiya wedges!
Reuben-ish salad with lettuce, carrot, celery, dill pickle, roasted chickpeas, sauerkraut, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, and Healthy Thousand Island Dressing from Eat to Live.
Blackened seitan salad with cusabi dressing. The seitan was broiled with the blackened seasoning mix from Appetite for Reduction, and the cusabi dressing was a first stab at veganizing the cucumber-wasabi dressing that turned out okay, but not great.
Kale salad with red cabbage, carrot, edamame, tahini dressing, and sesame seeds. Shredded red cabbage in kale salad is my favorite!
And, of course, the easiest way to make quick meals is to have some cooking knowledge and experience up your sleeve so that you can throw something together from what’s in the fridge that turns out edible!
Sesame-tangerine soy curls with bok choy, bean sprouts and brown rice.
Red curry lentil stew with wild rice, brown rice and spinach.
Clean-out-the-fridge tofu scramble with shallot, mushrooms, tomato, broccoli, shredded carrot, alfalfa sprouts and leftover grilled potatoes.
Socca with herbed white beans, Daiya mozzarella, and balsamic roasted carrots and raddichio. Socca is the best, you just mix equal parts chickpea flour and water, a pinch of salt, and a little olive oil if you want, then cook it like crepes!
Broiled tofu and roasted cabbage over brown rice with dulse flakes and sesame seeds.
And lastly, the SUPER simple. I can’t tell you how many times over the past year I’ve come home from a workout and warmed up a veggie burger because it’s all I could muster!
Tofurky and hummus, my very favorite sandwich!
Grits, canned refried beans, salsa and pickled jalapeno.
Grilled Daiya mozzarella sandwich with tomato-miso-leek soup.