Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Latest Favorite Vegetarian Entrées

It's back to being gray and rainy here, so I'm indoors again. Today I'm offering a foodie post.

I adore Pinterest. It is the source of many of my new, favorite recipes over the past couple years. It has breathed new passion into my cooking, and I now have a whole binder of recipes from Pinterest alone. (I organize my recipes by putting them in plastic sheet protectors in binders.) I've noticed lots of recipes lately that feature quinoa, kale, and cauliflower, which are among my favorite ingredients. In honor of my dad hopefully being discharged from the hospital later this week after he has a defibrillator implanted, I thought I'd share some healthful vegetarian recipes that are a big hit in my home. When you mix together the ingredients in these recipes, what happens is downright magical; the whole transcends the sum of the parts! Click on the recipe name (in bold) to go to the recipe link.

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

This first recipe is my current favorite vegetarian burger. It is flavorful and smoky, holds together well, and has an excellent texture. I make a batch or two and freeze the leftovers for easy lunches. These burgers taste incredible on a bun with a bed of arugula or a mix of baby spinach and arugula. The yogurt sauce is perfect for tempering the spiciness, and if you want, you could add a teaspoon of canned minced chipotle in adobo sauce plus 1/2 teaspoon of the adobo sauce to the yogurt mixture for a smoky kick.

Cauliflower Alfredo

When I asked my son what his favorite new meal is, he chose this one. I prefer it served over whole grain pasta. The vegan sauce is a smooth, creamy blend that features cooked cauliflower, white beans, and almond milk. I steam extra sun-dried tomatoes and kale to complete the meal.

Neat Loaf ("No-fu Love Loaf" from Let Them Eat Vegan)

This is a meatless, tofu-free creation that is held together with lentils, bulgur, and oats and seasoned with all kinds of goodness. It is delicious stuff! You can serve it like a meatloaf or on a bun like a burger.

Kale Pesto

Traditional basil pesto is all well and good, but there are other forms of pesto that I like even better: garlic greens pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, spinach pesto, and now this. I'm pretty picky about pesto and always end up modifying recipes by reducing the amount of oil and cheese and increasing the ingredient after which it is named. I adapted the original kale pesto recipe to such a degree that it became a new entity, so here's my version, along with the original one I found online.

  • 1 bunch kale (about 5 cups chopped)
  •  1 teaspoon olive oil, plus 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Toast the walnuts in a saucepan with 1 tsp. olive oil, stirring frequently, until fragrant. (Don't let them burn!)
  2. Lightly steam the kale.
  3. Place the cooked kale, toasted walnuts, cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic, and lemon juice into a food processor, and purée. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the food processor while continuing to purée until smooth and creamy. Add pepper to season, and pulse until combined.
  4. Serve as you would any pesto - on pasta, crackers, pizza, omelets, etc. 

Cauliflower and Corn au Gratin

This is creamy deliciousness along the lines of a comforting, bubbling macaroni and cheese, but without the pasta or the cheese; it is vegan! The original recipe doesn't include corn, but I thought it would make a nice addition - and it definitely does. I substitute frozen corn for a portion of the cauliflower. I also use almond milk instead of soy milk and substitute black pepper for the white pepper. This is really good!

This is another vegan delight. The creamy sauce is spiced with chili powder and red pepper flakes. (You can reduce the amount of red pepper flakes if you don't like it so hot.) I stir in extra kale  - and prefer to steam it rather than sauté. 

The sauce gets it consistency from blending cashews and non-dairy milk. Here's what the sauce looks like on its own: 

Well, I suppose that's enough for now! I hope you'll find something here to try and enjoy!

© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss (www.riverblissed.blogspot.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1 comment:

RiverJack Z said...

I love this stuff...everything on the page... I'm very fortunate that I get to eat these pictures...for real!!!!!!

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