I just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know what’s been happening around here of late, as it has been (just a little) busy juggling work & family & blogging & Not So Fast all at once, and it is all so worth it. Continue reading →
It’s definitely here. As winter creeps upon us and chills our insides, it is important to stay warm from the inside out. This is the time of year that I reach for thick leggings versus pants, as I need extra layers of warmth like I need extra heat in my belly. This borscht recipe is one of my all time favorite ways to seek comfort, and I’ve been making it for the family ever since I’ve been lucky enough to have one (it’s been a few years). Continue reading →
You’ll have to forgive me, or rather, let me re-phrase that, I hope you’ll all forgive me. I am having a salad moment (or three or seven).
Ask my kids at any given moment what mom eats, the answer is always the same. Salad. But don’t you worry, because that is where the sameness ends, because when it comes to salads, the chances for finding new and satisfying combos are as limited as your (or my) imagination.
Green Salad. Greek Salad. Bean Salad. Wheat Salad. There are endless grain, bean, nut, veggie, and dressing combos out there and honestly, I do live on salads pretty much 365 days of the year. Today’s salad can (like my last post) be served warm, cold or room temperature, and tastes great days after preparation.
Here, wild rice is cooked and tossed with roasted cubes of butternut squash & more of those wonderful white cannellini beans to make a nutritious and filling meal. Toss it all up with a few herbs & flavoring and you are set.
Less every day grains means a new food to discover. Fewer bread-based lunch ideas means more heart for less heft. Less boring, basic salad dishes means less boredom in your tupperware, so packing a flavor-filled lunch or meal-on-the-go is a joy.
More tasty alternative grains means more variety and spice in your diet (and life). More plant-based hearty proteins means more easy & affordable flavor. More clean simple cooking means more energy to focus elsewhere, so your fuel is ready to fill you as needed.
Start by combining the rice and water in a small- medium saucepan. Put the rice up to boil with the lid on and once boiling, turn the heat down and cook, covered for 45-50 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. If you are using a large butternut squash, you might get the right amount of squash simply from the top part (I call it the snout). Simply chop the top piece off the squash and peel it with a veggie peeler. Cube the squash with a sharp knife into 1-1.5 inch cubes.
Toss the squash in a bowl with the salt and oil for roasting, and lay it flat on a rimmed cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, scraping and turning with a flipper at about the 20 minute mark.
While the rice and squash do their magic thing, prepare the beans and chopped herbs and set aside. Once the rice is cooked, drain it in a colander and let sit for a minute or two to cool and drain (it’s okay if the water isn’t all absorbed, the rice should be chewy but cooked). Once the squash is nicely browned and soft-ish remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Combine the rice with the herbs and beans. Add the squash once it cools for 10 minutes or so and toss with the oil, salt & vinegar. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy!
This salad will keep well in the fridge for well up to a week and also heats up beautifully. I enjoyed it served over chopped romaine hearts with an avocado lovingly piled on top.
It was all my co-workers could do to not attack my lunch bowl, but I did promise I would post the recipe soon.Just in case anyone ever doubts my word
I know folks all over the US are celebrating Thanksgiving today, and judging by the posts I have seen from those whose blogs I follow, it feels good to read the words of gratitude, love & thanks from all of you who are part of this lovely community of bloggers.
Wishing all of my south of the border friends & readers a wonderful holiday weekend!
Holla Bloggers! Welcome to this stop on the Virtual Vegan Potluck! For occasions like this, sometimes you’ve got to whip up something special. Enter one of my all time favorite special occasion recipes. There are many amazing versions of vegan loaf recipes out there, but this one is well, special.
This is a recipe I’ve been serving up in my house for years, and whether for Thanksgiving, Easter, or just an anytime awesome vegan meal, it always gets rave reviews. After all, what’s not to love when yummy ground cashews & hearty brown rice are mixed with herbs and spices and baked to perfection? Not a whole lot, I can tell you that for sure!
I must point out that I rarely use cashews this heavily, as they can get pricey, and while a vegan’s dream ingredient for those missing the creaminess of dairy, can still be heavy-ish on the pocketbook and tummy if not used in (relative) moderation.
But with today being a special occasion, what better time could there be to make something (just a little) less ordinary, and perhaps (just a little) more delicious than usual?
Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
~ Mother Teresa
Less meat-based main courses means more veggie heaven for all. Fewer fats, lower cost, and better value means more nutrition for less output. Fewer steps in a recipe means anyone can do it, and when dinner tastes this good, really, everyone should.
More tasty filling dinner ideas means you can safely (and deliciously) feed anyone. More nuts and whole grains means more plant-based satisfaction. More simple to make sauces and healthy flavor add-ins means healthy food that is flavorful, so serving up plant-based becomes ritual.
Cashew Rice Loaf & Red Pepper Cheese Sauce:
~ Adapted From the Silver Hills Cookbook
(1/3) cup short grain brown rice
(1) cup water for cooking the rice
(1) tbsp olive oil
(1) small onion, finely chopped
(1) cup finely ground raw cashews
(1) cup breadcrumbs
(1) cup soy or nut milk
(2) tbsp fresh or dried parsley
(1) tbsp soy sauce or Bragg’s
(1/2) tsp salt, or to taste
Olive oil for oiling the loaf pan
Start by combining the rice and cold water together in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, and turn down to simmer with the lid on for 35-40 minutes while you prepare all the other ingredients.
While the rice cooks, chop the onion finely and heat (1) tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Saute the onion for 6-8 minutes until brown and fragrant. Once the onion is cooked, add it to a large mixing bowl that is ready and waiting to go.
In the mixing bowl, combine the cooling cooked onion with the remaining loaf ingredients. Once the rice is cooked, add it to the mixture while still warm, this will help it all to mix beautifully together. Mix everything well, and get in there with your hands to ensure it is all even.
After mixing, the mixture should be nice and moist, but not too dry. Feel free to add a few extra breadcrumbs if the mixture feels too wet, but in my experience the ratios here are perfect.
If you are subbing in gluten-free breadcrumbs, you may want to add a little more.
At this point once your loaf mixture is all mingling together, you can set the mixture aside for later and bake it when convenient.
To bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the cashew mixture to a well oiled standard loaf pan (or two smaller pans) and bake for 40 minutes, until the house is smelling wonderful and the loaf has browned on top.
Red Pepper Cheese Sauce:
(2) medium red bell peppers, seeded & chopped coarsely (you could use yellow or orange too for different color)
(1) cup cashews or cashew pieces (slightly more affordable)
(1.5) cups water
(1/4) cup olive oil
(1-1.5) tsp salt
(1) tbsp nutritional yeast
(1/4) tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic
(1/4) tsp black or white pepper
Combine all ingredients in your blender, and blend on high for at least a full minute, even longer (up to 2 minutes is good). This recipe is so easy and simple and doesn’t require any pre-soaking of nuts or roasting of peppers!
Once your mixture is well blended, transfer to a medium sauce pan and heat very gently on the stove. Cook this mixture over medium-low heat for 15 -20 minutes until heated throughout, and thick and bubbly. Make sure to stir frequently to keep the sauce from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Cooking the cashews gently thickens them while cooking the pepper and spices together. Of course, you could pre-roast the peppers, but I love the beauty and ease of this sauce – it can be whipped up in minutes spur of the moment!
Serve this for a special meal. Or serve it everyday. Turn it out onto a serving dish (wait for it to cool a minute) and garnish with fresh herbs and cooked greens.
It’s not only fabulous fresh out of the oven and smothered in gravy, but equally delicious thrown in the fridge to be enjoyed later. Crumble leftovers over green salads with tahini dressing, or add it to a vegetable saute with garlic & kale.
This dish is easy to make and always a hit for vegans and omnivores alike. Feel free to use different bread crumbs and play around with the herbs and vegetables too.
My favorite part about this recipe is it doesn’t need anything added, it’s perfect just the way it is!
It just needs good people around to eat it.
I think that could be arranged right?
Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right .
~ Henry Ford.
I think it’s safe to say that we all, at the end of the day, desire (and need) the same basic things.
Good food and good friends are just about the two best things in the world when put together, and I’m happy to have you all here to share all of this amazing food love with me!
Have you got a great vegan loaf recipe to share?
What’s your favorite special occasion meal?
Thanks for joining in today and do let us know…I am off to count the Halloween candy haul between two rain-soaked & excited eight year olds
Looking forward to perusing the fabulous offerings at the Potluck, and have a wickedly wonderful weekend everyone!
You know, those crisp fresh vegetables full of hydrating water and loaded with vitamins & enzymes?
I don’t know about you guys (I have my suspicions though) but I am always pretty thrilled to have a homemade salad dressing hanging out in the fridge that makes it easy to wash a few raw vegetables and dress them to perfection.
This recipe is made in honor of a very popular bottled salad dressing. Anyone out there familiar with a store-bought version of the ever popular Goddess dressing?
I’ve never been a fan of bottled anything – so one day a few weeks back I decided to make my own version of a popular favorite. Here is the result! I’ve got a secret…it’s better (IMO) than anything you can buy in a bottle!
Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Utilizing tahini in salad dressings has always been a popular trick with vegans. This paste made of hulled sesame seeds is satisfying and filling, not to mention full of calcium and protein – two things vegans (and all folks really) need.
Here I added soy sauce, dried parsley, oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and granulated garlic – all easy things you probably have in your pantry already. It keeps well, eats well, and can easily be tailored to your tastes and preferences.
Thick & satisfying, this dressing is just as home on top of hot brown rice & steamed broccoli as it is on crunchy romaine leaves or as a dip for whole raw carrots.
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Less bottled and packaged shelf stable groceries means more tasty, waste-free staples. More control over ingredients means fewer extras added so food can sit longer. Less sugar and sweets at dinner means you can add those later in the day, so spreading the love is still tasty and makes sense.
More high calcium sesame means more satisfaction in flavor and texture. More heft in your dressing means more freshness to go under it. More use for those pantry staples adds more depth to your kitchen, so whipping this one up year round is a snap.
Luscious Homemade Tahini Goddess Dressing:
1/2 cup roasted sesame tahini (you can use raw but the end result will be different)
(1/2-1 cup) water (depending on desired thickness)
1/2) cup good olive oil
(5-6) tbsp fresh lemon juice (can substitute bottled lemon juice too)
(2-3) tbsp apple cider vinegar (to taste based on the lemon juice)
(2) tbsp Braggs or soy sauce
(2) tbsp dried or fresh parsley
(1/4) tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender (or in a bowl for use with a hand blender) and blend until creamy and emulsified.
Taste to correct seasonings (use the lesser amount of water, lemon, and vinegar and add as desired).
Transfer dressing to a clean jar and refrigerate. This should keep well for up to a week, and perhaps longer if you use bottled lemon juice. It will thicken in the fridge a little and makes fabulous dip.
A little goes a long way and this dressing is jam-packed with flavor!
Veggie salads are a great way to load up on fiber and roughage, not to mention a fabulous vehicle for a great dressing like this!
Enjoy poured on hot cooked grains, and steamed vegetables of all kinds. This would also make a great dip for roasted potato wedges and even as a mayo substitute in veggie sandwiches or on burgers.
Use it to you heart’s content!
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.
~ Ferdinand Foch
Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength.
Wishing you all a super swell weekend – we’ve got a typical weekend planned packed with soccer games & a special get together with good friends. For those of you curious, Not So Fast will kick off our first sponsored cooking class on November 13th…cooking up the good stuff and sending kids home with warm home cooked food.
We’re getting there with our website and taking time to do things right. I’m hoping you will all be pleased with the results!
Until then, stay tuned for more great food and stories. I sure enjoy yours.
Are you a fan of Goddess dressing?
Got a favorite tahini-based dressing to share with us?
The last time I asked for recipes I got tipped to a fabulous chickpea farinata recipe – I’m happy to report I’ve made it more than once (it’s amazing) and I’ll be sharing it soon with a little something extra tasty and special.
Until then, wishing you all the very best, and be well. Me and my armpit are going to be just fine (story in my next post).
Welcome! What is In Pursuit Of More? The blog about living with (just a little) less. By going without, we can gain - by giving to those who have less. Want to make a change in your eating habits for the better? Imagine how you can turn that into something positive for those who would otherwise go hungry. Go without so others don't have to. That's living with (just a little) less.