Recipe: Moussaka

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Alright people, this is definitely one of those if-you’ve-got-the-wine-I’ve-got-the-time recipes. It takes a couple of hours but is nice to throw into the dinner mix for variety.

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Ingredients

1 eggplant, thinly sliced
3 T olive oil
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 onion (white or yellow), thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T white vinegar
1/2 28.5oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1/2 c lentils
1 1/2 c water
1 t dried oregano
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 c feta cheese
1 1/2 T Earth Balance butter
2 T flour
1 1/4 c milk
pinch of ground nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

The thin slices can be done by hand but a food processor is immensely helpful.

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  1. Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and set aside for thirty minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
  2. Combine lentils and water in small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover for twenty minutes. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1 T oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle eggplant and zucchini with sea salt and cook in hot oil until lightly browned, about four minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel-lined plate, reserving as much oil as possible in the skillet.
  4. Add more oil to skillet as needed and let it get hot. Sprinkle potato slices with sea salt and cook until browned, 3-5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on a second paper towel-lined plate, again reserving as much oil as possible in the skillet.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Sauté onion and garlic until lightly browned, about five minutes. Add vinegar, tomatoes, lentils, oregano, and parsley. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer fifteen minutes.
  7. In a 13″ x 9″ baking dish layer 1/3 of the eggplant and zucchini mix, 1/2 of the potatoes, and 1/2 of the feta. Pour in tomato mixture then repeat layering, finishing with a layer of eggplant and zucchini.
  8. Cover and bake in oven for 25 minutes.
  9. About five minutes before the timer goes off, stir butter, flour, and milk together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thick and smooth. Stir in pepper and nutmeg. Remove from heat, cool for five minutes, and stir in the beaten egg.
  10. Pour sauce over vegetables and top with the parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for another 25-30 minutes.

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This recipe serves 6-8 people and makes great leftovers for lunch.

Recipe adapted from Vegetarian Moussaka.

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Recipe: Bean and Mushroom “Meatballs”

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While this recipe doesn’t exactly trick Rick the meat eater, he likes these “meatballs” so much he requests them.

Ingredients

3 T olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
1 1/2 t sea salt, divided
1 t oregano
1/2 t black pepper plus a pinch
1 t chili flakes, divided plus extra for serving
1 can of white beans, drained, rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
3 T fresh parsley, chopped and divided plus extra for serving
1 1/4 c bread crumbs, split into 1 cup and 1/4 cup
5 stalks kale, removed from ribs, chopped
1 25 oz jar of marinara sauce
sub rolls or buns

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  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 T olive oil and onion and cook for four minutes.
  3. Add 2/3 garlic and mushrooms, cook for another two minutes.
  4. Stir in oregano, pepper, 1/2 t chili flakes, and 1 t sea salt.
  5. Add white beans and lemon juice and stir. Let mixture cook for one more minute.
  6. Add the bean / mushroom mixture to a food processor, pulsing a few times until the mixture comes together.
  7. Pour in the 2 T parsley and 1 cup of bread crumbs and pulse a few more times until the mixture is well combined. Let the mixture sit for five minutes so the bread crumbs absorb some of the bean / mushroom mixture.
  8. Meanwhile, add 1/4 c bread crumbs, 1/2 t sea salt, 1/2 t chili flakes, 1 T parsley, and a pinch of pepper to a bowl.
  9. Scoop out “meatball” mixture with a melon baller and roll around in bread crumb mixture until coated. Place breaded “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet, repeating until no mixture remains.
  10. Bake the “meatballs” for 50 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
  11. While the “meatballs” are in the oven, prepare the kale.
  12. Heat remaining  2 T of olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet you cooked the “meatball” mixture. Add remaining garlic and salt and cook for one minute. Pour garlic oil over the chopped kale and stir until evenly coated. Set aside.
  13.  In the same skillet you cooked the garlic in , heat marinara sauce over low. When the “meatballs” are done, place them in the warm marinara sauce.
  14. Place kale in toasted buns and top with “meatballs”, fresh parsley, and chili flakes.

These “meatballs” make great leftovers and can also be served over pasta.

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Serves four.

Adapted from WHITE BEAN + MUSHROOM ‘MEATBALL’ SUBS (VEGAN).

Recipe: Thai Curry Vegetables

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Once the vegetables are chopped and ready to roll this Thai curry comes together in a flash.

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Ingredients

2 c Thai jasmine rice
3 c water
1/2 t sea salt
1 can of coconut milk (do not shake)
1/2 c vegetable stock
4 t soy sauce*
4 t brown sugar*
6 tablespoons fish-free Thai green curry paste, like Thai Kitchen
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
asparagus bunch, cut into 2″ pieces
1/2 eggplant, diced
1 lime
handful of basil leaves, cut into thin chiffonade

*Tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos can be used in lieu of soy sauce and sugar can be left out if you prefer to avoid it.

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There’s a lot of vegetable flexibility here. Some other delicious options are green beans, mushrooms, baby sweet corn, and broccoli. I encourage you to use what you have on hand.

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  1. Combine rice, water, and sea salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, stir once, lower to simmer, and cover for 18 minutes. Do not lift lid.
  2. Spoon 6 T of coconut cream from the top of the can of coconut milk into a deep skillet. Pour remaining contents into a bowl, mix well, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine vegetable stock, soy sauce, and sugar until sugar is dissolved, set aside.
  4. Heat skillet containing coconut cream on medium-high until it bubbles. Add curry paste and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring constantly until fragrant, about three minutes.
  5. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, sweet potato, asparagus, and eggplant. Stir until warm, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add remaining coconut milk and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about ten minutes.
  7. Stir in soy sauce mixture and juice from one lime.
  8. Serve curry over the rice and top with basil.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Vegan Thai Curry Vegetables.

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Recipe: Black Bean and Potato Enchiladas

On Cinco de Mayo, I made Rick’s favorite enchilada recipe in celebration of Mexico and the incredible contributions Mexican people have made to the United States.

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Enchiladas are my all time favorite food, so naturally I’ve collected recipes for several iterations. A great enchilada is hard to find, and, as a Texan, I’m an especially tough crowd.

This recipe is a crowd pleaser.

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Ingredients

1 sweet potato, diced into 1/2″pieces
1 russet potato, diced into 1/2″pieces
1/4 c plus 2 T olive oil
1 1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalepeño, seeded and diced
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 t paprika
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t cane sugar
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 c shredded cheese*

*Can be replaced with vegan cheese. I recommend Daiya.

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  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Toss the potatoes in 1/4 c olive oil, 1 t of sea salt, and a few turns of black pepper. Distribute evenly on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 50 minutes.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 T of olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and translucent, about six minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, sugar, remaining sea salt, and pepper, stirring for one minute.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and remove from heat.
  6. Blend tomato mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return mixture to heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Place tortillas on a heat-safe plate and then place the plate on the stove. The heat rising up from the oven will make the tortillas more malleable for enchilada construction.
  8. In a large bowl, combine the roasted potatoes, beans, one cup of sauce, and one cup of shredded cheese.
  9. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
  10. Dip each side of tortilla into the enchilada sauce. Using a 1/2 c measuring cup, scoop the potato mixture onto each tortilla. Roll tortilla up and line up in the baking dish, seam down. Repeat until baking dish is filled.
  11. On top of the enchiladas, spread remaining sauce and then sprinkle 1/2 c of cheese.
  12. Bake uncovered 20 minutes, until enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted.
  13. Serve warm with optional toppings: sour cream (can be replaced with vegan option, I recommend Tofutti), cilantro, jalapeños, lime wedges, avocado, or green onions.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Bean and Potato Vegan Enchiladas.

Recipe: Korma

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Ingredients

1 1/2 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 russet potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, sliced**
1 jalepeño, seeded and sliced
3 T ground cashews
1/2 c (4 oz) tomato sauce**
2 t sea salt
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 c green peas
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 c coconut milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro

The oil in this recipe can be coconut, olive, canola, or vegetable, the onion can be white or yellow, the potatoes can be almost any type, the bell peppers can be any combo of colors, and the milk can also be any kind, including canned coconut milk for a full-bodied flavor.

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**I used leftover red enchilada sauce in lieu of straight tomato sauce because it’s what I had on hand, and it turned out great! For the same reason, I used baby carrots instead of four full carrots. I hate to waste food (and money), so I try to be resourceful and use up what I have around before opening or buying something new.

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I used a coffee grinder for the cashews but you can also use a blender or food processor.

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Stir in the onion, cooking until tender.
  3. Mix in ginger and garlic and continue cooking for one minute.
  4. Mix in potatoes, carrots, jalapeño, cashews, tomato sauce, sea salt, and curry powder. Cook about ten minutes until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir peas, bell pepper, and milk into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer ten minutes.
  6. Garnish with cilantro to serve.
  7. Optional: serve with naan or over basmati rice.

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Simple, flavorful, delicious.

Serves four.

This recipe was adapted from Vegetarian Korma.