Tag Archives: Vegan

Mexican Black Beans and Quinoa

Mexican Black Beans and Quinoa

I love this dish. The idea came to me on the walk home from the gym when I needed a quick, protein-packed dish that could cook on its own while I took a shower! I had less than an hour to eat, shower, and head back off to class, so those were the rules my lunch had to live by. Black beans and quinoa seemed like the perfect combination.

There was some trial and error the first few times I made it. I cooked the quinoa separately and added it to the bean mixture at the last minute, but that left the quinoa too flavorless, and the beans too dried up. Next, I tried cooking the quinoa with the beans, but left the lid on like you normally do with quinoa. It puffed up just fine, but there was too much liquid leftover that had to cook off in additional time. I’ve also added bacon to it before. Crisped up the bacon, then crumbled it and cooked the veggies in the bacon fat. You can add the bacon on top for a salty, delicious crunch. But, the bacon is also extra time (and money!), and I’ve found that it’s perfectly fine without.
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Spinach Avocado Pasta

Spinach Avocado Pasta

It almost feels like I’m cheating when I make something so simple, yet so good. Like… it shouldn’t be this easy. Have you ever gotten an assignment or an exam that was so easy that you thought it must be a joke? Like the teacher was going to snatch it back with a malicious laugh and pass out an absurdly challenging assignment? I usually think I’m doing something wrong if something seems that simple…

This spinach avocado pasta? It IS that simple. You can’t mess it up. Okay, maybe you could, but then I might have to reconsider our friendship. Just kidding, I will cook it for you.

The most time-consuming step of spinach avocado pasta is cooking the pasta. I kid you not.
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Coconut Curry Risotto

Coconut Curry Risotto

Well, I made another risotto. I couldn’t get tender, creamy rice off my mind after I cooked Parmesan risotto earlier this week. There’s something special about Arborio rice that sets it apart from every other Italian rice and pasta. What’s even better is that it lends itself to so many international flavors, like this Thai Coconut Curry Risotto here. I imagine you could incorporate Mexican, African, Indian, or other Asian flavors very easily as well.

Speaking of Asia… I am going to Asia in less than a month! My mom and I are taking a trip to celebrate my early graduation from college. We also just like traveling together. We’re going to see Japan, a tidbit of South Korea, and China. The part I’m most excited about? THE FOOD! If you’ve ever been to Asia, PLEASE let me know what foods you’d recommend. Apparently I’ve promised to eat a bug. So… we’ll see how that goes.

Back to the curry risotto. Can I keep telling you how awesome it is? Do you need more proof? Well, it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, and it’s vegetarian/vegan if you swap out the chicken broth for veggie. So all you special diet peeps, this is the one for you.

Coconut Curry Risotto

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Banana Bread Oatmeal

I tried to write a post about breaking the status quo when I got entranced by Andrew Bird and watching the snow lightly whisper to the ground outside my window. As I attempted to describe paying more attention to the beauty in the world around us, I stared off into a distant, peaceful place and couldn’t think of the worlds I wanted to say. I was doing, not writing, which was exactly what I wanted to write about.

Breaking the status quo. On a normal day I wake up, fix a cup of coffee, and shuffle off to class. I stare at the sidewalk to make sure I don’t slip on ice. But I’m also inadvertently ignoring the world around me.

Two winters ago, I complained about the lack of color in winter. Then slowly, I started noticing all of colors around me. Reds and purples in tree bark, the icy blue of Lake Michigan, the occasional evergreen fighting off the winter with its hearty needles. It may sound stupid, but looking is the only way to see anything differently. Focusing your attention on focusing around you.

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Black Bean, Tomatillo and Poblano Soup

Black Bean, Tomatillo and Poblano Soup

Some people pair food with wine. Others pair it with a perfectly complementary table setting. I pair food with music. I’m constantly seeking out new flavors in food, and I’m on a parallel journey to discover new sounds in music.

I’ve decided to share music pairings with each recipe. A song whose spirit captures the spirit of the dish. This song by Cayucas is sunny, etherial, bright, and poppy. It feels like lazy days in the beachy sunshine, eating tacos from a street vendor. This hearty Mexican soup is like a winter remedy for missing that moment of summertime.

Black Bean, Tomatillo and Poblano Soup

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