Even More Buddha Bowls!

You already know I’ve been very enthusiastic about Buddha bowls lately, right? Exhibit A; Exhibit B. Well, here’s Exhibit C, just to give you more inspiration to concoct your own. The toppings are incredibly easy to make:

Beets: I steam them in the Instant Pot for eight minutes and then cut into bite-sized pieces.

Carrots and Brussels Sprouts: This time I halved the sprouts, cut the carrots into matchsticks, and rubbed both vegetables with a little bit of mojo de ajo that I had lying around from having made Mexican food earlier in the week. I then placed them on a silpat mat on a baking sheet and sent them into the oven, at 350 degrees, for about 25 minutes.

Zucchini in Tomato Sauce: I had a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce lying around from a nice ravioli dinner yesterday. I thinly sliced up two large zucchini and sauteed them in the sauce until tender.

Chickpeas: I could’ve gotten fancy with this and baked them with spices, but this time I simply spooned cooked chickpeas with some fresh ground black pepper.

In the center I have a few spoonfuls of kimchi.

And the whole thing sits atop a layer of quinoa cooked in vegetable broth.

Which is another illustration of the principle: if there’s an abundance of colorful, wholesome ingredients, you don’t have to be particularly fancy with the preparation of each topping – just place them nicely in the bowl and you’ll have a fabulous lunch.

Grilled Vegetable Casserole

The answer to the question “what do vegans eat on the 4th of July?” is obvious: grilled vegetables of all kinds! But what do vegans eat on the 5th of July?

We had a bunch of grilled vegetables from yesterday in the fridge, and today, with the help of some fresh tomato sauce and some herbs, they turned into a nice, filling casserole. Feel free to improvise with whatever you have in your fridge.

1/2 cup grilled corn kernels
1/2 cup grilled potato
1/2 cup grilled cauliflower
4 grilled mushrooms
2 large grilled onion slices
6 grilled Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup tomato sauce
oregano, marjoram, rosemary, garlic to taste

Cut up vegetables into small cubes, and in a baking dish, toss with tomato sauce. Sprinkle herbs. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 mins or until the top begins to be golden.

More Buddha Bowls!

Here’s another variation on the Buddha Bowl theme! This one has, as its base, some leftover brown rice, stir-fried with spinach and mushroom. On top is a romanesco broccoli, accompanied by beets, sweet potato, cucumbers, radishes, two types of kimchi, and some sliced Sproutofu (a very easy way to eat tofu when you don’t have energy to marinate and bake anything.)

I really encourage you to experiment–really, all it takes is to use cooked, raw, and fermented vegetables, with a starch and a source of protein in a creative and colorful way.

White Bean and Hemp Herbed Burgers

This post doesn’t have a photo, and not because the food was ugly; it was really pretty. But it got eaten so fast that I didn’t make it with the camera!

I had about a cup and a half of white beans in the fridge, and with some herbs and other delicious things the whole thing was transformed into beautiful green burgers, reminiscent of falafel, which were delicious with hummus and vegetables. Here goes:

1 1/2 cup white beans
2 tbsp each: dill, parsley, cilantro
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp Mrs. Dash
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp polenta
4 tbsp hemp seeds

Heat up oven to 375. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined. If too wet, add polenta and hemp seeds. Form four burgers and place on a baking sheet with a silpat mat or waxed paper. Bake for about 20 minutes and serve hot.

Butternut Squash with Beans and Leeks

It’s always a special day when we get a big delivery from Rancho Gordo, purveyors of delicious and unique heirloom beans. Sure, you can open a can of beans (I do that sometimes, too!), but cooking your own beans from scratch yields a much more flavorful and textured batch. So every week we cook a pound of beans–different beans every time–to use in that week’s cooking.

This week we cooked Domingo Rojo beans, which were delicious, but I’m sure this recipe would work with any red or black bean. The combination of creamy, baked squash with the beans is comforting and satisfying.

1 small butternut squash
1 cup cooked black or red beans
1/2 cup chopped leek, white and green parts
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
1 tbsp ras-el-hanout

Cut the squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and stringy innards, and place in a 375 degree oven, face down, for 45 minutes or until the squash is soft and creamy throughout. At this point it should be easy to peel. Cut the peeled squash into 3/4-inch cubes.

While the squash is cooking, saute leeks and garlic in a little bit of vegetable broth. After about 3 minutes, lower the heat and add the beans and the ras-el-hanout. Cook for about 10-15 minutes.

Gently mix in the squash cubes.

Vegetable-Based Mac ‘n’ Cheese

This vegan “cheese” sauce is very easy to make and absolutely delicious. And the surprising part is – no soy or cashew is involved!

The recipe comes verbatim from Brand New Vegan, where you can find many such delights. I simplified it a bit for you and upped the carrot content at the expense of the potatoes. This will have a fair amount of protein on account of the nutritional yeast, but if you’d like more protein you can make lentil pasta to go with it.

2 medium-sized potatoes
5-6 medium-sized carrots
1/2 water from cooking the potatoes and carrots
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp quince vinegar (the original recipe called for apple cider vinegar, but we ran out
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cloves garlic 
1/2 tsp brown mustard
1/4 tsp turmeric

Cut potatoes and carrots into cubes and boil in water for 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer potatoes and carrots to blender and add 1/2 cup water from the pot, and pulse to mix. Then, add all other ingredients and blend until smooth.

Cook pasta (I like lentil pasta for this – nutritious and yummy) and drain; return pasta to pot. Pour sauce over pasta and mix well.

Yuba Stir-Fry with Peppers, Sprouts, and Mushrooms

I love all soy products, but yuba is my recent favorite! The delicate skin that forms on soymilk has a special texture and tastes wonderful. Fortunately for us, Chinatown’s own Hodo Soy, whose tofu and ganmodoki are delicious,  also sell fresh yuba. Try it – it’s terrific!

In this recipe, the yuba is cut into narrow strips, like delicate noodles. Take the time to fluff it up – it takes just a few moments and is really worth it.

1/2 package yuba
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cups sprouts (I use mung bean sprouts)
6 large white or crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves
1-inch chunk ginger
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 tsp hot sauce–sriracha or other variety

Open yuba package and cut half (return the rest to the fridge for a future meal.) With kitchen shears or a sharp knife, slice the yuba into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Then, with gentle finger motions, fluff out each strip to break it into a thin ribbon.

Slice or mince the garlic and ginger. Place them in a hot wok and add some water, yeast, soy sauce, and sriracha. Cook together for 2-3 moments. Then, add pepper, mushrooms, yuba, and sprouts. Stir-fry for about 3-4 more minutes or until ready. Enjoy!