Monthly Archives

March 2012

bowls, recipes, salad


Tabouleh is the answer to “What the hell do I do with that giant-ass bag of parsley languishing in my fridge?”

I’ve embellished the original version of Tabouleh by adding some kidney beans and avocado (kind of like the parsley-free tabouleh I made a while back) to make this grain and herb salad meal-sized, since oftentimes I’m only in the mood to make one big bowl of goodness, as opposed to a whole bunch of dishes, which then creates a whole bunch of dishes in my sink.  One-bowl meals all the way!

Serves 4


1 1/4 cup dried bulgur
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 generous cup diced cucumber
1 cup minced fresh parsley
3 medium tomatoes, chopped (canned and drained work fine)
Flesh from 1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4-1 teaspoon salt, or to taste


1.  In a medium saucepan, bring the bulgur and water to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender.  Set aside to cool.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the cooked bulgur with all of the other ingredients and stir well to combine.  The Tabouleh will taste really good right after it’s made, but it’ll get even better once the flavors have time to get to know each other for an hour or more.  This makes a light meal all unto itself, but can be enjoyed with hummus, fresh veggies and bread or pita for maximum awesome.  Nom.

If you’re not going to be eating the entire recipe in a day, don’t add the avocado until you serve it.  Brown avocado is sad.

Oh!  You guys should check out my new and awesome banner, made by Logan.  Isn’t it ridiculously adorable?  Cuteness overload!

mains, recipes

Vegan Rice Casserole with Veggies and Cheesy Sauce

So here’s a cheesy vegan rice casserole that is super cheap to make (as I mentioned in a previous post, I don’t have tons of funds for grocery splurging) and doesn’t use any weird ingredients, unless you count tahini as a weird ingredient, which you should reevaluate because tahini is magical.  And by saying there are no weird ingredients, what I mean is there’s no nutritional yeast/nooch.  Not that I have anything against nooch, but sometimes it’s nice to make a cheesy vegan sauce that doesn’t rely on it.

Instead, the sauce gets its cheesy flavor from tahini, mustard and garlic powder, and its creamy texture from a minimal amount of sunflower seeds and … cooked vegetables.  Oh yeah.  A veggie casserole with a sauce made from veggies.  This sauce is also low(ish) in fat.  Now I feel like I’m bragging.

Vegan Rice Casserole
Makes 6 large servings


5 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked kidney beans (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
2 cups small-chopped broccoli
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup diced zucchini
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (optional)

1/4 – 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, for serving
Salsa and hot sauce, for serving

For the Cheese Sauce (Nutritional Yeast Free):

1 cup water
1 medium potato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup soaked and drained sunflower seeds (see note)
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Note: Soaking sunflower seeds makes them softer and easier to blend into creamy goodness.  Just set ’em in a bowl of water for an hour or two and you’re good to go.


1. For the cheese sauce: In a small saucepan, combne the water, potato, onion, carrot and garlic and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

2.  Place the cooked vegetables in a blender along with all the other cheese sauce ingredients.  Blend, adding as much of the reserved cooking liquid as necessary to get the blender moving along.  Set aside.

3.  Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a very large bowl, combine all casserole ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) and all of the cheese sauce and stir well.  Pour the mixture into a 9×13 glass baking dish and press down with the back of a spoon to give your casserole a flat surface.  Sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

4.  Remove from oven.  Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.  Enjoy this casserole the old-school way with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, or top it with some prepared salsa and hot sauce (the yummiest way!).  It’d be great with some avocado slices, too.

This casserole is nice and creamy and homey, and since it isn’t strongly flavored, many condiments would pair well with it aside from salsa and hot sauce – saurkraut?  Olives?  Pickled onions?  It’s all good here!

Logan and I made this casserole several times, preparing it with and without tomatoes, and I’ve come to the conclusion that adding them is completely optional.  Since we added salsa to the casserole afterward, adding tomato beforehand didn’t feel necessary but it certainly still tasted great.

Well I hope you guys are having a great weekend – I’ll be spending my Sunday enjoying the double-digit temperatures (10 degrees!), eating amazing food and playing a show with my band.  Pretty much the epitome of an awesome day.  🙂

dessert, recipes

Baked Sweet Plantains


In the last post, I mentioned that I would drop in over the weekend to share with you a simple new dessert that Logan and I highly enjoyed.  A dessert of plantains!  Ever since I fell in love with sweet plantains a few weeks ago, we’ve been buying them regularly, letting them get all hideous-looking atop the fridge in unison with the far more aesthetic bananas and avocados.

But they’re not hideous on the inside.  Wait – I know this one – don’t judge a book by it’s cover.  See?  Plantains are so awesome they can teach us life lessons.

Biding by Erin‘s advice to roast plantains, I decided to sprinkle them with a little sugar and cinnamon to make them nice and dessert-y.  We also found that they were heavenly eaten with non-dairy cream – I bet they’d be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too.

Ripe plantains are plenty sweet on their own, so I used a minimal amount of sugar.  I’m sure you could eliminate it entirely and it would still taste awesome.

Baked Sweet Plantains
Serves 2


2 yellow-black plantains, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds (cutting on the diagonal makes for pretty slices)
1 1/2 teaspoons oil or melted margarine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Non-dairy cream, for serving


1.  Preheat the oven to 400 F and lightly oil a baking sheet.  Place the plantains on the baking sheet, drizzle on the oil and sprinkle on the sugar and cinnamon.  Toss gently to coat all the plantain slices.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the bottom of the slices are golden brown, then flip ’em around and bake for another 10 minutes or so.  Remove from the oven, divide between two plates and serve with non-dairy cream.

Have a fabulous Sunday, all!