Archive | Lunch RSS feed for this section

Restaurant Review: Spoon Revolution Vegan Bistro ****

30 Aug

Today I finally made it to Spoon Revolution in Concord! Their dishes are 100% vegan and gluten-free. Their menu is very limited so don’t expect a lot of choices if you visit. Today, they had 1 soup (Vegetable Bean), 2 salads (Hummus salad and a garden salad), 3 entrees, and 1 dessert. Each day, they offer a 3 course meal for $8.99, which is what I opted for: Soup or salad, entree, and a dessert, plus iced tea. If you choose something outside of the designated 3 courses, you pay an “a la carte” price. Check out their site for more information.

Mixed greens salad with fresh hummus

Courgette and quinoa cold casserole (Grated young zucchini, quinoa lightly cooked in house vegetable stock and seasoned with walnut oil, fresh oregano and lemon juice, blended with uncooked fresh organic tomato and basil sauce.)

Iced Tea

Mango Madness Mango, banana and apricot with coconut milk, oats and brown rice syrup.

I will definitely go back to Spoon Revolution! Three things stood out to me, though, that prevented me from giving them 5 stars: the limited menu, the sluggish atmosphere and the lack of organic ingredients. Sorry, Spoon Revolution… you just can’t compete with Susty’s!

Advertisements

Frizzled Cabbage and Smashed Bean Club

29 Aug

I recently received a massage head of cabbage in my CSA and wanted to make something interesting with it. After requesting help from my facebook friends, I decided on the following recipe. Unfortunately, I got nervous with using 8 tablespoons of butter, so I tweaked it a bit. Still delicious, but not quite “frizzled.” If you would like to try the true frizzled version, click the link below. Otherwise, try out this sauteed “frizzled” cabbage alternative:

Frizzled Cabbage

(Adapted from Food.com)

1 head of cabbage

2 tablespoons of vegan butter

Salt

Pepper

1.Core and very thinly slice the cabbage.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet (I use non-stick) over medium heat.

3. When it is bubbling, add the cabbage.

4. Salt and pepper the cabbage.

5. Stir occasionally and cook until mostly wilted, about 10 minutes.

6. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let cook, stirring frequently, until cabbage is starting to caramelize (brown), about 10 minutes.

7. Do not let burn.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/frizzled-cabbage-83524?oc=linkback

For lunch today, I followed another one of the Happy Herbivore’s meal plan recipes: Smashed White Bean and Avocado Club. Definitely one of my favorites!

~Kate

Lentil Soup, lots and lots of lentil soup

28 Aug

I’ve been wanting to cook lentils for a while now. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten the before this year. They always looked weird and un appetizing to me. Some lovely Indian dal changed me mind. I’m still too intimidated to cook Indian food at home, so i made lentil soup. This recipe is simple and tastes great! It came out more like a stew, perfect with a piece of toast. It tastes way better than it looks, trust me 🙂 

Simple Lentil Soup:

1 lb green lentils

1 large potato

1 large tomato

3 large carrots

1 med onion

6 leaves of kale

5 cloves of garlic

2 tbs oil

1 quart vegetable stock

2 cups water

salt and pepper

 

In a blender, pulse garlic, onion, carrots, and kale. This cuts down on the chop time.

 

Heat oil in large soup pot.

Add vegetables from blender to pot.

 

Add salt and pepper. (A good large pinch)

Chop potato into small pieces and add to pot, stir occasionally, cook for 5 minutes.

Rinse lentils with cold water.

Add Vegetable stock to pot. (I poured the stock into the blender and then into the pot so I could get every last little piece of the green vegetable mix out of the blender.

Add extra water (I added 2 cups and it came out pretty much like stew, add more water of veg. stock for a thin broth)

Cover pot and let cook for 30 minutes.

taste test lentils, continue to cook until lentils are soft but not mushy.

Serve with toasted crusty bread.

Enjoy. Makes enough for sharing and the freezer 🙂 

The Sweet Simple Pleasures of Late Summer

24 Aug

My neighbors started a small but amazing garden this year. They generously gave me some of their tomatoes the other day.

These tomatoes are the most flavorful tomatoes I can ever remember tasting. They are far and above, way better than the tomatoes in my CSA.

I ate these tomatoes by themselves and they were awesome, but what really hit the spot was my open faced tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich.

I have a sweet memory of my first tomato and mayonnaise sandwich. I was probably 11 when I went through a pretty severe Harriet the Spy phase. Harriet love tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches, so of corse I needed to try one.

My Nanna lived with us, and she saw me making the sandwich in the kitchen and got all excited. Seeing the tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich stirred up memories of her past and childhood when she used to make them all the time. She said that she had not seen one in years and years and decided to join me and have a sandwich of her own.

Now tomato and  mayonnaise sandwiches are like comfort food. It always brings me back to that day with my Nanna in the kitchen and Harriet the Spy on my mind.

I made my tomato and  mayonnaise sandwich open faced this time because the tomatoes were so beautiful I thought it would be a shame to cover them with a piece of bread.

I toasted scali bread in the toaster oven (an italian style bread covered with sesame seeds), and topped the toast with vegan  mayonnaise and large slices of tomato.

I could eat this everyday for the rest of my life.

-Kerri

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

21 Aug

I’m always looking for things to make for lunch at work. This cold cucumber and rice salad is the perfect thing because I can make it ahead of time, and the flavors blend beautifully by the time my lunch break rolls around. I made a batch of this and ate it two days in a row, and it was even better the second day.

I thought of this dish because i wanted something with a light flavor, that would stick my your ribs. I had a lot of cucumbers but i didn’t think my Cool Cookout Cucumber Salad would fill my up enough, and I didn’t want anything with a slot of dressing. This salad has just the right balance of flavors and texture. I’m really happy with the way it tuned out.

Cold Cucumber Rice Salad

1 cup plain rice (measured uncooked rice)

2 cucumbers

1 lime

1 teaspoon white vinegar

vegan mayo

I use extra long grain white rice. I make it like sushi rice because I love it slightly sticky. I make sticky rice by rinsing the uncooked rice with really cold water. I swish the water around and scrunch the damp rice in my fists so the grains rub against each other polishing the outside of the rice. Rinse several times until the water is pretty much clear. Drain rinsing water and add fresh water to the pot. Bring water and rice to a boil. Then turn the heat down and cover the pot to steam the rice. Simmer (watch out for boiling over) for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking cut cucumbers into bite sized pieces.

When rice is cooked remove from heat and place in mixing bowl, add white vinegar and fold into the rice.

Add Cucumbers to the bowl.

Add the juice from one lime.

Add a small amount of vegan mayo. Just enough to bring the mixture together. Taste test the salad until you get the right amount. People are very picky about how much mayo to use. Remember you can always add more if you want, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.

You want to fold the ingredients together while the rice is warm and then place the batch in the refrigerator. I suggest making this at least 20 minutes before serving, but you can do it a day in advance. The flavor is better when its had time to blend.

Enjoy!

I’d love a comment if you try this recipe.

-Kerri

Vegan Caesar Salad

7 Aug

Generally, when I want a salad, I want it to be filled with veggies. Every now and then, though, it’s nice to enjoy a simple Caesar salad… well, unless you are a vegan, right? WRONG! Thanks to Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction cookbook. Check out her website to see some of her delicious recipes, at Post Punk Kitchen.

I will admit that when I first tasted this dressing, I found it a little too salty. Once I put it into the salad, though, the lettuce and croutons really balanced out the flavor. I also added a dash of Galaxy soy Parmesan. A perfect side for my leftover meatballs and pasta from last night.

A word of advice: When buying croutons, look for all-natural or organic. All the regular brands had milk in them. The ones in the picture are by Olivia’s Croutons. VERY delicious!

~Kate

So much delicious-ness!

5 Aug

I found this great recipe on Pinterest, but tweaked it to make it a little healthier and give it a little more flavor. I put the changes in red 🙂

Black Bean, Corn, and Edamame Salad with Lime-Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil (I used a few tablespoons of vegetable broth)
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
  • 2 cobs of corn, cooked, cooled, and corn cut from cob (about 2 cups) (I used frozen corn)
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked and cooled
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, oils, broth, garlic, and agave or sugar. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Add the corn, edamame, black beans, onion, and cilantro to a medium/large bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over the mixture and gently toss.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight, to allow flavors to blend.

For dinner, I made a delicious stir-fry with string beans from my CSA, broccoli, carrots, snap peas, onions, peppers, and edamame. The night before, while making pesto tofu sandwiches, I set aside some extra dry-fried tofu to marinate. The marinade consisted of an vegetarian stir-fry sauce I purchased at the local Asian market, vegetable broth, granulated garlic, and ground ginger. Why the veggie broth? I saw the sodium content in the sauce and decided to dilute it. It was still tasted great! The only other item I included was Asian rice cakes that Kerri was kind enough to bring me last week. I love the texture and how they taste mixed in with the vegetables and sauce.

Regardless of how delicious my food tastes, I need a little something sweet to end the day. I lost a lot of cooking energy making these meals so I settled for some delicious vanilla cake with vanilla frosting from my favorite restaurant, Susty’s Vegan Cafe. A perfect end to the day!

~Kate

If Vegan Food is Scary, Try This Bruschetta

5 Aug

For someone transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, one of the scariest things is the idea that you can’t eat any familiar favorites. For friends and family of vegans, sometimes the word vegan is scary, not to mention how terrifying the idea of actually eating a vegan dish might be. Maybe terrifying is too harsh of a term, but there is a lot of intimidation that surrounds a vegan lifestyle.

People say, “Oh my God. You don’t eat meat? What do you eat?” or “Hmm, I’ve never had a vegan meal before”. Chances are, almost all vegans thought this way before switching. An easy reply to “I’ve never had a vegan meal.” Is “sure you have, what about spaghetti and marinara sauce, or peanut butter and jelly.”

A slow introduction to vegan dishes can be a lot easier than suddenly showing up to a party with kale chips, or seaweed salad.

Here’s a familiar crowd pleaser to bring next time you’re invited to bring food to a party or a meeting. Serve this oil free bruschetta you friends and family of all ages, it’s that good! It’s to full of flavor they wont miss the cheese, and they won’t believe it’s oil free! I came up with this the other day and it was gobbled up in no time. All the ingredients were from my CSA!

Kerri’s Oil Free, Tomato and Eggplant Bruschetta:

Serves 3

1 Eggplant – I used one of the light colored, long and skinny varieties.

1 hand full of salt (trust me)

2 Large Garlic Cloves, or 3 small ones

2 Cups of Chopped Tomatoes – I used plum tomatoes, whatever’s handy

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Large Slices of Crusty Bread – I used Panera Bread’s County Loaf.

Balsamic Vinegar to taste

Slice the eggplant into pieces about a ¼ inch thick.

To get rid of excess moisture and to avoid mushy cooked eggplant, place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a colander or on a paper towel. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with a hand full of salt. Let the eggplant slices sit for 10 minutes with the salt. You will see the water bead up as it’s drawn out of the eggplant by the salt.

While the eggplant is sitting chop your tomatoes. I cut my plumb tomatoes into 3 or four pieces each, no uniform shapes. If you cut the veggies into non-uniform shapes, it will give your dish a rustic look and varieties of texture.

Place a garlic clove on the cutting board. With a broad knife over the garlic pound down with the palm of your hand to squish the garlic, therefore releasing it’s fragrant oils and flavor, and freeing the clove from it’s paper prison. Again, I love my food rustic so I use the garlic in this smooshed state, but if you want you can cut it up a bit too. Continue with remaining cloves.

Put tomatoes and garlic in a bowl, add salt and pepper, and mix with your hand until evenly blended.

Place tomatoes and garlic in a single layer on a baking pan and bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes until juicy and colored on the edges.

Remove from oven and place tomatoes and garlic back in the bowl.

Wash the salt off of your eggplant and pat dry. Cut sliced eggplant into ¼ inch chunks. Place eggplant in a single layer on baking pan and bake in 350-degree oven for 15 minutes until lightly brown, may flip once mid way through.

Cut slices of crusty bread in half and toast in toaster oven. Do this while the eggplant cooks.

Add cooked eggplant into the bowl with the tomatoes and garlic. Mix well.

Serve with toasted bread.

My mom suggested dressing bruschetta bites with balsamic vinegar. I put it out so people could serve themselves, and the balsamic vinegar was a big hit.

Pan-Fried Pesto Tofu Sandwich

4 Aug

This was heavenly!  Unfortunately, I have a nasty habit of never measuring when I cook so bear with me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate’s Pesto Tofu Sandwich

  • 2 slices of dry fried tofu (Learn about it here)
  • 2 slices of panini-type bread
  • 2 tablespoons of vegan pesto (see below)
  • 2-3 tablespoons pasta sauce of your choice
  • Vegan Parmesan
  • Non-dairy butter (I used Earth Balance)

Spread a thin layer of Earth Balance on one side of each piece of bread. On the other sides, spread a layer of pesto. Place dry fried tofu on top with pasta sauce. Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan. Pan fry both sides until tofu is hot. Enjoy!

Kate’s Vegan Pesto

  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 small handful of walnuts
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of olive oil (add slowly until you get the right texture… should be thick)

Puree together in a food processor.

Summertime Lunch

3 Aug

Today’s lunch:

Meredith Farms Vegan Veggie Burger with ketchup, mustard and pickles on a light wheat bun

Olivia’s Organics baby romaine

Organic red bell pepper

Local, organic cucumber I received in my CSA pick-up yesterday

Organic salad dressing

I need to find some good, organic hamburger buns. Any suggestions?

~Kate