Saturday, April 27, 2013

Vegan Pesto

Being allergic to milk I mostly miss italian food, goat cheese, and kraft mac n cheese (oh and cheetos!) oh dear this is getting depressing haha. but another food I found myself missing was pesto. which is suprising because I never remember liking pesto that much but I've been craving it so the other night I was on my own for dinner and decided to experiment with making a vegan pesto that still had that cheesy flavor. After a couple attempts I got something that I was pretty happy with. I cooked some rice penne pasta and poured the pesto on top and it turned out really good. Quick tip for rice pasta which can often turn out slimy, cook it al dente then rinse it in cold water. It helps SO MUCH. Surprisingly, it was even better the next day as the garlic had mellowed a bit.  The recipe below makes enough for two servings of pasta. I took a picture but my boyfriend accidentally deleted the pictures on my camera :( This recipe also uses nutritional yeast which sounds disgusting but is actually really good and helps provide that "cheesy" flavor. If you're vegan or dairy-free I highly suggest you keep this as a pantry staple.

  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c of pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • handful of basil
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a food processor. The end!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coconut Curry Shrimp

So last night at 5:30 I was informed that our previous dinner plans were falling through and we had nothing to feed our guest that was coming over in an hour, so after work I stopped by the grocery store and thought "hmm shrimp sounds good" then "hmmm coconut milk sounds good" and what resulted was actually good and almost 100% original! There aren't that many ingredients and some of the additional flavorings are optional. Before you start any of this you make want to start making your rice unless your rice is instant. I served mine over brown rice with a side spinach salad and it was delicious! However, I did not get a picture of it :(

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)
  • 1/2 lb of peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 of a 13 oz can of coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
  • 1 clove of garlic (or a little garlic powder)
  • 1 tsp curry powder 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a pinch of fresh grated ginger (if you have it but not necessary)
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh cilantro (OPTIONAL)
  1. Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan and let it melt. dump shrimp into pan and cook both sides until they're slightly pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Add additional tablespoon of coconut oil. Saute onions and red pepper for 5 minutes.  
  3. Add curry, salt, pepper, ginger, and garlic. Let cook for another minute.
  4. Pour in half the can of coconut milk and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to let flavors mix.
  5. Add shrimp and cilantro. Cover pan and cook on low for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve over rice

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Stuffed Acorn Squash (Vegan and gluten-free)

     So I'd been planning on trying this recipe for a while but hadn't found time so I had an acorn squash just sitting in our cupboard and I was worried it would be spoiled...but it wasn't! they last forever. Anyways, getting to the point, these are delicious and cheap (especially if you have the ingredients in bulk which at our house quinoa, kale, and dried beans are staples). So after a quick search through our pantry I found some dry white beans, a package of red quinoa and realized it was a perfect night to try out this recipe. Also if you decide to go on the cleanse that I blogged about in January this is something that you can eat!! I almost didn't believe that because it tasted so good! And even though it's a vegan recipe, my carnivorous boyfriend was very full at the end of the meal. The only downside to this recipe is that it takes a little planning (but not much) and plan on it taking about an hour to make including prep.

Here is the link to the original recipe: Stuffed Acorn Squash

And here is a guide on buying acorn squash. I got mine at the market here but I know Kroger has them sometimes How to buy acorn squash

My tips
  • Earlier in the afternoon, soak dried beans in cold water. Let soak for at least 3 hours then dispose of water and rinse beans again.
  • While oven is preheating for squash, cook quinoa on the stove according to package instructions and use another burner on your stove to start simmering your beans (I cover mine with an inch of water, then once it gets to a boil I let it boil for 2 minutes, then turn it down to low heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes or until they're soft)
  • Hopefully by the time you're done cooking the squash the first time and chopping up all your vegetables, and cleaning any prep dishes you can, the beans and quinoa will be ready and you can continue to follow your recipe
  • I had extra "stuffing" so I put it in a Tupperware and took it to work the next day for lunch :)
  • I didn't have any toasted hazelnuts so I just sprinkled some crushed up almonds on the top. It was still delicious
  • I served mine with steamed asparagus but any kind of green veggie or side salad would be great with it. 
"Stuffing" cooking on the stove:

 Delicious Squash after Roasting:

Finished Squash!