Friday, August 31, 2012

Seasonal Veggies with Garbanzo Beans and Couscous

Today I went to the farmer's market in Freeport for the first time. Despite the fact that it rained for a while, it was still a very enjoyable experience. I am so upset with myself because, even though I remembered to bring my camera, I somehow forget its battery at home, so I couldn't take any photos. All of the veggies were beautiful though, in so many different colors. The market itself had a really good variety - a perfect mixture of food and non-food products. I also bought some Lucy's Granola* to snack on, which was crunchy and delicious. When I got home, I made this for dinner, using the veggies I had just bought. It's very flavorful, which is almost surprising, considering it's such a quick and easy meal to make. It's also very good with some locally made bread served on the side!

Seasonal Veggies with Garbanzo Beans and Couscous
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 14.5 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • approximately four servings of couscous (or rice, quinoa, etc. for a gluten-free version)

1) Prepare couscous or other grain according to package directions. Set aside.

2) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. 

3) Once the oil is warm, place potatoes in pan and cook until tender (which will take a while!), adding more oil if needed.  

4) Transfer cooked potatoes to a bowl and set aside.

5) Heat remaining tablespoon oil in the pan over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and basil, and cook until the onion is soft and slightly transparent.

6) Add tomato, pepper, and beans to pan, and cook until all ingredients are soft.

7) Stir in potatoes and sprinkle with as much salt and pepper as you want.

8) Serve over the finished couscous.

Serves 4

view more photos here

 *contains honey

Monday, August 27, 2012

Veggie & Tofu Stir-Fry in Spicy Peanut Sauce

There's a music festival I go to every summer that has a a vegan food stand with a meal very similar to this one. I didn't go the festival this year and especially missed going to lunch there, so I recreated the recipe.

Veggie & Tofu Stir-Fry in Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 cup snap peas, cut in half
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 package of tofu, drained and pressed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • several tbsp olive oil

    sauce ingredients:
  • 1 cup chunky or smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

1) Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium pot. Add quinoa and let simmer for 12-14 minutes.

2) In a small bowl, mix together sauce ingredients until smooth.

3) Heat one or two tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. 

4) Add tofu and cook for several minutes on each side, adding more oil if necessary. Don't be afraid to cook the tofu for a long time; just don't let it burn. Set aside when done.

5) Heat one more tablespoon of oil in an 8 quart pot over medium heat.

6) Add all veggies except spinach and cook until soft. Add spinach and cook for one minute, or until wilted.

7) Add peanut sauce, quinoa, and tofu to veggies and stir well. Keep on stove for several minutes, until hot. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

View more photos here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Greek Stuffed Peppers & Tomatoes with Tomato Cream Sauce

Last month, I attended a three week-long trip to Italy and Greece with People to People Student Ambassador Program. It was an incredible trip and such an amazing opportunity. However, before I went, I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough for me to eat, as a vegan. I definitely had no reason to worry though! My lovely delegation manager (the leader/guide from the area who was basically in charge of the entire trip) always made sure to talk with the restaurants to guarantee that the two vegetarians and I had something to eat. The three of us ended up having the best variety of food! Every day was something different - risotto, veggie medley dishes, traditional salads, stuffed vegetables, roasted veggies, pasta, and more. Meanwhile, the incredibly jealous omnivores were served a mystery meat and fried potatoes for every single meal.

One of my favorite foods we were given was the stuffed tomatoes and peppers from Greece. I am not Greek and will not claim that this is a traditional Greek recipe, considering I made it up, but it tastes almost identical to the meal we had in Greece. The sauce is entirely optional, as the meal still tastes delicious without it.

Greek Stuffed Peppers & Tomatoes
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 cup uncooked brown or wild rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

    1) Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

    2) Cook rice according to package directions.

    3) Mix cooked rice with herbs, oil, salt, and pepper.

    4) Cut off the tops of the peppers and tomatoes and carefully scoop out the insides.

    5) Stuff the peppers and tomatoes with the rice mixture.

    6) Place peppers on prepared baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

    7) Add tomatoes to baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, or until veggies are soft.

    8) Allow veggies to cool for several minutes before transferring to plates.

    Serves 3 or 6, depending on how hungry everyone is

    Tomato Cream Sauce 

    (I tagged this recipe as "soy-free" since the stuffed tomatoes are, but be warned, the sauce is not)
    • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
    • 1/4 package silken tofu (about 4 ounces)
    • Handful of fresh basil

    1) Blend all ingredients together.

    2) Heat on stove top over med-low heat.

    3) Serve drizzled on top of baked tomatoes and peppers.

    View more photos here