Tag Archives: eat drink be vegan

Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Dreena Burton is the master–er, mistress–of vegan soups. You might not know it because she’s more commonly known for her hummus, which occupies an entire chapter of her newest book, Eat, Drink & Be Vegan; but believe me, she is. In fact, the three best soups I’ve ever had have come from that very book.

The first two–Puréed Spicy Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew with Chickpeas and White Bean Rosemary Soup–have made frequent appearances in my kitchen, especially during my cold winter abroad in Scotland! If you know anything about me, the first one really should not come as a surprise given that it’s basically my three favorite foods having a party.

My new Dreena favorite is a little humbler, but no less delicious: Lemon Chickpea Lentil Soup. It has a base of chickpeas, red lentils, zucchini, celery, and onions, all of which is puréed before additional chickpeas and fresh lemon juice are added. Garnished with additional lemon juice (I couldn’t get enough!) and parsley, you have yourself a little bowl of Mediterranean-inspired heaven.

This soup is hearty while still being light, thanks to the vibrant lemon and hidden vegetables. However, in 112° Arizona, it’s still a little hot for soup, no matter how light it is. I solved that problem by enjoying my mug of soup with a little bit of unsweetened Wildwood Probiotic Soyogurt. The cool tangy bite of the yogurt tempered the warmth of the soup just enough to make it refreshing after a long day of photography errands.

If you don’t own any of Dreena’s books, what are you waiting for? Insane vegan soup is just a click or two away (on Amazon, that is!). Or, check out some of the recipes she’s posted on her blog.


Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna

There’s been some Mexi-love going down in my house lately, first in the form of the Bean and Corn Tortilla Lasagna with Avocado from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

This is another recipe I’ve wanted to make as long as I can remember, so I’m glad I finally got around to it. Alternating layers of spicy beans and tomatoes, avocado, corn tortillas, and Daiya cheese make this dish a veritable fiesta!

Cooked avocado is different, but I’m always pleasantly surprised by how good it is.

My dad commented on how light and fresh it was, especially considering that lasagna is usually pretty heavy. I think that lightness is attributable not only to the fact that this lasagna is vegan and loaded with veggies, but to the lime (squeezed on between layers and on top) and cilantro.

More lime please!

We still had a lot of Daiya hanging around the next day, so nachos it was! These were even better than my Teese-y nachos from over the summer! Actually, MUCH better.

The great thing about living in Arizona is that you can eat al fresco in the middle of the winter:

TJ’s Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips, Refried Black Beans (I made my own using the recipe in Yellow Rose Recipes!), Cheddar and Italian Daiya “cheese,” guacamole (also made from scratch, but just off the top of my head), and lotsa salsa. My dad and I devoured this lunch.

On an entirely different note, I’m running my 2nd half marathon tomorrow morning: the P.F. Chang’s Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2.

I got 2:10:47 in my first half last September, so I’m going for under 2:00 this time. Wish me luck! I’m gonna get started on my carbo-loading dinner from the Vegan Yum Yum cookbook!

Sweet Potato Lentil Chili

What better way to ring in the new year than a giant pot of chili? It may seem random, but if you think about it, chili is hearty, warming, and perfect for sharing communally with all your friends and family.

That was my thinking when I made a triple recipe of Dreena’s Sweet Potato Lentil Chili from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan last Friday for our family’s all-day New Year’s open house.

This recipe’s been on my “to-make” list for ages, so I was glad that when I could finally make it, I could make it for 100 people!

Naturally, we have an insane amount of leftovers (even when I thought I’d finished them, my mom informed me that there’s more in the freezer…). As you can see, I’ve been enjoying them with TJ’s tortilla chips. This chili is chunky and perfect for dipping.

Sweet Potato and Tempeh, Together Again + Broccoli Quiche!

Sweet potatoes and tempeh have always been two of my favorite foods, but recently (starting with my Sesame Scrambled Tempeh and Kale with Sweet Potatoes), I’ve begun to realize that the only thing better than tempeh or sweet potatoes are tempeh and sweet potatoes together. So, to continue the trend, of course I had to make the Sweet & Sour Chipotle Tempeh with Sweet Potatoes from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan! This guy’s been bookmarked forever, so it’s about time!

This dish is absolutely loaded with good stuff in addition to the tempeh and sweet taters, like pineapple and bell peppers! Also, be warned, the recipe title does not lie – the sauce really is sweet (among its many ingredients are 1/4 cup unrefined sugar, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/2 cup ketchup, and 1 tsp molasses, and that’s coupled with pineapple and sweet potatoes). My dad and I thought it was great, but it was a little too much for my mom. I think next time I might knock the sugar down a tiny bit, but only a tiny bit – it is supposed to be “sweet and sour” after all!

I served it, as Dreena suggests, alongside some Coconut-Lime Basmati Rice, also from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. Sprinkled with cashew bits:

The rice is great – simple enough to yield to the bolder flavors of the entrée, but the coconut milk and lime juice/zest give it just enough character to give it a presence as a side dish.

Next up, my first eggless quiche (or maybe my first quiche, for that matter)! I made the Classic Broccoli Quiche from Vegan Brunch to serve as my family’s breakfast–or lunch, or dinner, or midmorning snack–throughout the week. I followed the recipe to a tee, except for adding a little extra turmeric for maximum egg color-replication power! Bow chicka bow bow! I used a Wholly Wholesome whole-wheat pie crust instead of making my own (the same crust I used for my Peanut Butter-Carob-Cookie Dough Pie, actually!) Oh, and I did add a significant amount of salt to taste, in case you give this quiche a go! Since Isa told me to, I decorated it with cherry tomatoes like a good girl.

Mmm, so delicious. I’ve definitely been quiche-deprived since going vegan. As it was in the oven, I wondered why Isa didn’t call for the same “eggy”-tasting black salt here that she calls for in her omelets. Don’t get me wrong – the quiche ended up being awesome as it was, and maybe black salt wouldn’t work well. But that said, I’d like to try it next time with some black salt and see if the addition would make it even more quiche-like. Gotta love experiments.

Look, the little tomato on top is as shriveled as the colons of all the omnivores who are eating nasty, egg-laden quiches.

Oh, did I mention that my sister and I whipped up Dreena’s Maple Banana Loaf a couple days ago? Oops! Because we definitely did!

Banana bread is probably my favorite–and most nostalgic because I always loved my mom’s growing up–baked good, so I’m always on the lookout for new recipes so I can someday proclaim one of them to be the ultimate banana bread. The Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon has always been my go-to, but this one was probably just as good (and had less fat: only 1 Tbs of oil!). Next time, I might make it without chocolate chips though so the maple flavor could really shine through because I didn’t think the bread actually tasted like maple. It was more like banana bread that happened to be sweetened with maple syrup, ya know? Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the very small portion that I allowed myself to have since I’m still trying to avoid gluten for the most part.

It’s Summer! Smoothie, Salads, No-Bake Cookies, and Watermelon

First, I’m glad so many of you have entered the giveaway from my last post, and you have a few more days to enter if you haven’t yet! I know you want some fruit & nut bars…

I’m not fully back to normal yet, but my mom suggested I go back to eating more or less the way I normally do, so that’s what I’ve been doing!

For breakfast yesterday following a short 3-mile run, I had a Triple Blueberry Smoothie! A cup of frozen blueberries blended with a bottle of Wildwood Probiotic Blueberry Soymilk and some psyllium husk, topped with cinnamon and some dried blueberries. Obviously hoping to rev my digestion with the probiotics and psyllium!

Getting sick of this bowl yet? The probiotic soymilk was good–a slightly strong and funky soy taste, but most of Wildwood’s products are like that, and blended with the blueberries, it was perfect.

For lunch I had my first large mostly raw salad in a couple weeks! (I’d been eating a lot of steamed veggies and whole grains). It included mixed greens, romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, and some Hickory Baked Tofu (from Whole Foods). I topped it with Creamy Miso Salad Dressing from The Vegan Table and some sesame seeds!

The dressing recipe is super simple with four ingredients–just miso, rice vinegar, olive/sesame oil, and water if I remember correctly. I thought it was a bit salty, so I added 1/3 block of silken tofu, some extra water for blendability, and a squirt of agave because I thought it needed something special. I liked it a lot better after that (I’ve done the silken tofu dressing trick before–it decreases the calories per serving and makes dressings decadently, lusciously creamy).

I also made Swallow-It-All Banana Balls from The Everyday Vegan. Okay, I love Dreena, but I can’t believe she named them that! There are so many sexual innuendos in the name of this recipe, it’s ridiculous! I bet my blog will come up for naughty Google searches now.

Anyways, regardless of their unfortunate title, these no-bake cookies are as tasty as they are wholesome, and the perfect treat for summer. With no added sugar or salt, these balls simply contain bananas, minced apple, dates, peanut butter, coconut, oats, cereal (I used Flax Plus), and flax meal. They’re then rolled in carob powder and more coconut. I love poppin’ a couple of these before I run. They’re just sweet enough from the dates and definitely nutritionally dense enough to be a pre (or post) -workout snack. Nice and chewy too! You’ll swallow them all! Haha.

This morning I ran 7 miles! I know it’s not that much, but it’s the longest run I‘ve ever done. Plus, it was 90 degrees! My friend told me that you can generally run double the distance you’re currently running, so I can stop training now, right? 7 x 2 = 14 > 13.1. Amen.

Anyways, when I got back (and jumped in the pool, obviously!), all I wanted was a huge a** chunk of ice cold, refreshing watermelon:

I had my last couple pieces with cracked black pepper because, if people can put salt on watermelon, then I can put pepper! It was a nice contrast with the intense sweetness of the watermelon.

Lunch today was simple, yet wonderful. I had roasted sweet potato wedges and hickory baked tofu over a fluffy bed of kamut grain and baby spinach. I topped it with some dried cranberries and a couple tablespoons of some leftover Balsamic Maple Sauce from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan I had sitting in the fridge (this is maybe the best sauce in the world, by the way. Tangy, sweet, and salty all at once without being overpowering–GREAT with roasted veggies and autumn flavors).

The sweet taters are just lightly sprayed with olive oil, drizzled with maple syrup, and coated in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt, and black pepper, and roasted for 30 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through. I could eat this all day, everyday! Next time I’m adding some onions and maybe some toasted pecans!

Detox for Me, Pancakes for Family

I’m not complaining though–I’ve actually been really enjoying my detox bowls! Moving on from my attempted raw food week (BAD IDEA for the way I was feeling), my friend who’s had similar stomach issues recommended this 10-day detox cleanse. I know it’s Martha Stewart, so shoot me. Dr. Weil used to be featured in Body + Soul, so I think that gives it some credibility. :)

The detox basically consists of waking up to a cup of hot lemon water, exercise (for me, my 1/2 marathon training), a fruit smoothie or oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, a legume/whole grain/veggie bowl for lunch, a veggie/whole grain bowl for dinner, and another cup of lemon water before an early 10 pm bedtime. Ginger tea is also recommended after lunch and dinner, and snacks are options too: apples/pears + almonds (I’d use almond butter) and carrots/celery with hummus. Yes, it’s kind of restrictive (the hard part is cutting salt), but it has been making me feel better and hopefully it will hold me over until I can see a doctor!

After my 4-mile run and jump in the pool this morning, I had a raspberry-cinnamon almond milk smoothie. For lunch I had a brown basmati rice bowl with made-from-scratch chickpeas (I’ve never done that before, with the soaking and everything! except for lentils, that is…), steamed kale, and a cucumber soy yogurt sauce I concocted.

I didn’t miss the salt. I loaded my rice with turmeric, garam masala, dill, cumin, ginger, black pepper, and lemon juice. It had an incredible freshness that salty food often doesn’t have. The yogurt sauce was soy yogurt, cucumbers, cilantro, silken tofu, coriander, paprika, cumin, and lime juice. Again, it was nice and light without the salt, and all together, it was a very satisfying lunch bowl.

For dinner, I used the same rice and sauce, but had steamed white sweet potatoes and beet greens instead of the kale and chickpeas (the cleanse calls for no protein at dinner for some reason). I’ve never steamed sweet potatoes before–I was surprised how quickly they cooked!

Sure, The Love Bowl, with its salty sauce and baked tofu, was “tastier,” but I’m still thoroughly enjoying these more grounded, macrobiotic bowls, especially because I know they’re what my body needs right now!

My family however, is not on detox. Not that the Banana Cream Pancakes from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan are unhealthy–on the contrary, there’s no added sugar or fat besides the sweetness of ripe banana and the richness of coconut milk. But still, they have three things I don’t wanna eat right now: salt, sugar (the maple syrup), and gluten. However, I have made these before and can attest to the fact that they’re delicious! They fluff up beautifully and don’t leave you feeling heavy afterwards, like some carby breakfasts do.

Maple syrup waterfall. Pancake love.

A Produce-ful Day and Silken Secrets

Hello everyone! Je suis retourneé from Europe! I had a great time and will post about it soon, but the important thing for now is that I’m home with a kitchen, 20+ vegan cookbooks, and two parents who are footin’ the grocery bill. In summary, let the games begin! I’ll be posting a lot more often now, obviously.

The first thing I did when I got home was make a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s as soon as I possibly could. I got a ton of produce (hence this post’s title), but a lot of fun stuff too, including buckwheat groats, kamut puffs, barley flour, vital wheat gluten, chocolate AND carob chips, frozen cherries and papaya, baby sweet potatoes, Annie’s Smoky Maple Barbecue Sauce, a GIANT bag of rolled oats (my dad kept saying, “Is this enough?” and I would respond, “Well, I’m just going to keep buying them continuously all summer,” so he said we might as well fill our plastic bag until it was the size of a bowling ball–okay, he didn’t say that, but that’s how big it was…), and silken tofu (the other focus of this post).

For breakfast I had a cinnamon-chocolate-cherry-banana smoothie. I think I could tweak it more, so I won’t give a recipe, but it basically consisted of frozen banana slices and frozen cherries, soy milk, some ice, cinnamon, dutch-processed cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, a little stevia for sweetness, and some dried cherries for texture.

I know It’s really weird, but I like to pour my smoothies into bowls and eat them with a spoon! It makes them last longer (I don’t like to just gulp them down), and, I donno, it’s just cuter! The ironic thing is that the spoon you see is a “smoothie spoon” that is really long so that you can use it in a tall smoothie glass. I’m just one big contradiction. I figure if I’m not eating the standard American diet that is in contradiction with the basic tenets of compassion, ethics, and health, I have to do something contradictory. ;)

For lunch I had a salad with bell peppers, sugar plum tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers, baby spinach, and arugula with the “Honey” Mustard Dressing from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. For the dressing, I omitted the oil, substituting half a block of silken tofu (Dreena suggests to use tofu and vegenaise, but I didn’t have any vegenaise that wasn’t past the expiration date). So that’s silken secret #1 I guess…

I wanted a light dinner (my appetite gets all wonky when I travel), so I made Asparagus and Cilantro Soup from The Real Food Daily Cookbook. This recipe was soup-er easy to make, and in addition to some other veggies, included TWO POUNDS of asparagus. Hollerrrrrr. I followed the recipe exactly, besides my final ingredient; because my soup didn’t seem quite thick enough, I pureed in the remaining half block of silken tofu that I had. Not only did this make the soup thicker, creamier, and richer in protein, but it tasted decidedly better. I should call RFD and tell them…or I could just keep it our little secret.

Please note the asparagus bowl.

Okay, well I’m gonna try to get some stuff done (like photo uploads–ugh). Good night! I’ll be back with more loverly food tomorrow!