Spicy Bulgur Chili

I’ll start by saying that this is not ideally something that you would cook up like I did on a weeknight after work.  It’s best done on the weekend, in big batches, and reheated throughout the week for a super delicious, hearty, vegan chili.  I say this because the cooking time is a little long, and the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.  So squeeze it into your weekend plans instead, k?
The second thing I must tell you about this chili is that it is most definitely the best vegan chili I’ve had.  My husband was skeptical, kind of bored of the idea of beans, but the addition of bulgur gives the chili a fabulous texture.  This recipe was created because we all needed a little bit of warming.  With temperatures close to -35ºC in Montreal, we needed some heat!  And heat we got!  My son is used to spicy food, so he enjoyed this, but you can always use less jalapeño to satisfy the whole family if they’re not used to the heat.

Spicy Vegan Bulgur Chili

Spicy Bulgur Chili Recipe
Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 10 fresh plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and jalapeño and sauté, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the bulgur, chili powder, and cumin and stir until well combined.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. If you find it too thick, add a splash of water.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro.
  • Enjoy!

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

IMG_1431-2-2

Although we are nearing the holidays and I’d normally be dreaming up all kinds of chocolatey desserts, I have decided to take control of my sugar cravings and nip them in the butt before Christmas rolls in and the indulgences would start.  It really is unbelievable how little time it takes to kick the sugar habit, usually within 2-3 days I no longer crave it.  On this day though, I was trying to stick to my goal, but I wanted a little something sweet.  I decided rather than caving, I’d smother some squash in maple syrup and not beat myself up over it!  My husband said it was the best way he’s ever had butternut squash. I’d love to know what you think!

This meal went over well with my preschooler.  I’m always trying to sneak kale into his meals, and if you’re curious, I find the easiest most enjoyable way is to add it into soups.  That’s another blog post, though.  Back to the rice bowl.

The only pain in the butt about preparing this meal is peeling the squash.  I find the quickest way to do it is by cutting off the stem and bottom of squash, slicing the squash in half then placing it so a flat end is on the cutting board.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel in a downward motion.  Perhaps a tutorial would be helpful!  The rest of the process is very simple and fairly quick.

I also want to remind you all that there are five days left to enter my holiday giveaway.  Here is the link if you haven’t checked it out yet.  If you want your Vegan Bible, then I encourage you to enter!

IMG_1438-2-2

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash + Kale Rice Bowl

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup cashews, lightly toasted
  • 1 cup brown rice (I used a mix of brown/wild rice)

IMG_1433-2

Directions:

  • Boil rice according to packaging directions.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Place the cubed squash in a large bowl.  Add maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and cayenne.  Using your hands or a silicone spatula, mix all the ingredients making sure the squash is well covered in the maple syrup and seasoning.
  • Spread out the cubes on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until fork tender.  Turn on the broiler and place baking sheet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to really caramelize the squash.  Careful not to burn them!  Lower the heat back to 425°F and toast your cashews for approximately 5 minutes.
  • Steam your kale and top with onion flakes.
  • To assemble, scoop rice into bowl, top with kale, squash and toasted cashews.
  • Enjoy!

IMG_1426-2-2

Cauliflower Steaks With Mushroom Gravy

IMG_1201-3

This is one of the most satisfying vegan meals we make.  It’s a great option for non-veg friends as well.  We are always left very happily full.  I’ve been craving these for days, but at $3.99 per head of cauliflower, it was hard to justify.  Finally, I found some a little cheaper today.  These ‘steaks’ can be served on their own, but they jump very high on the taste scale when you top them with mushroom gravy.  You can find my recipe for the gravy here.

As for the rest of the meal, I steamed kale and topped it with onion flakes and some sriracha sauce.  This has been my go-to way of having a quick kale dish, and it’s all thanks to Lindsay from Happy Herbivore who posted a picture of her bowl of kale on Instagram about a month ago.  It’s to die for, you must try it!

Tonight was the first time I used my new 430EX II Speedlite Flash, which was a necessity for me since the sun has been setting before I even get home from work!  I am really satisfied with its results, and having a lot of fun shooting with it.  I’m sure you all know the result of a photo taken without natural sunlight (see last post 🙂 ), and this flash is a fabulous substitute for natural light.  There’s still so much to learn, but in the meanwhile, I think it’s hard to tell whether my photos were taken in the day or evening.  I highly recommend it if you are in the market for an external flash!

Back to the food…

IMG_1202-2

Cauliflower Steaks Recipe

Makes 2-3 ‘steaks’

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and leave the core intact.
  • Starting in the center, cut the cauliflower horizontally into 3/4″ thick steaks.  You should be able to get 3 intact steaks.  As for the rest of the cauliflower florets, we’ll roast these as well.
  • Season the cauliflower steaks with salt and pepper.
  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the steaks and sear on each side for about 3 minutes.
  • Drizzle remaining oil onto a baking sheet.  Transfer the steaks to the baking sheet and place the florets on the sheet as well.
  • Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and top the steaks with mushroom gravy.
  • Serve the florets as a side, or save for another day!
  • Enjoy!

Cauliflower Steaks

Moroccan Chickpea Tagine

I think the moment most of us go veg, we master one dish that we serve to our vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore friends alike.  One of those crowd pleasing dishes to have under your belt.  This was that dish for me.  I love warming meals with spices and root vegetables.  This dish was made many, many times in my kitchen, and it’s always been a hit as an exotic stew with our friends and family.  It is the perfect weather in Canada right now to dig into it as well.

Traditionally, a tagine dish is from North Africa and it gets its name from the special earthenware pot in which it is cooked.  The traditional tagine pot is formed entirely of a heavy clay.  Tagines are normally savoury stews or vegetable dishes, with beans used as a thickener.  I really like serving my tagines on a bed of whole grain couscous.

Morrocan Chicpea Tagine

Moroccan Chickpea Tagine
Serves 6
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  2. 2 zucchini, sliced
  3. 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  4. 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1 (15 ounce) can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  7. 1 (14.5 ounce) can organic tomatoes with juice
  8. 1 cup vegetable broth
  9. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  11. 1 teaspoon ground tumeric
  12. 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  13. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  14. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  15. 1/2 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
  16. optional garnish, freshly chopped parsley
  17. 2 cups cooked whole grain couscous
Instructions
  1. Begin by cooking your couscous according to packaging instructions. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  3. Add potato, carrot, tomatoes with juice, vegetable broth, and all the spices. Stir, cover pot, bring it up to a high heat and boil for 20 minutes.
  4. Add chickpeas, zucchini and apricots, and continue to cook covered for another 10 minutes, or until potatoes, carrot, and zucchini are tender.
  5. Spoon couscous onto plate and top with a generous amount of the tagine. You can sprinkle with some fresh parsley.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
IMG_0856-2

Morrocan Chickpea Tagine

 

 

 Untitled-1

 

Mushroom Gravy Over Quinoa and Swiss Chard

There was a time when I didn’t attempt to cook anything outside of a cookbook.  Nowadays, I am still addicted to collecting, flipping through, admiring, and finding inspiration in my many cookbooks.  However, now I usually cook based on my mood, ingredients on hand, and inspiration from all sorts of places. With the weather cooling, I was really in the mood for a hearty gravy sauce to add to my vegetables and grains. This recipe was adapted from Lindsay S. Nixon’s cookbook, The Happy Herbivore, and is so simple and quick to make. My husband was devouring this, and thinking up so many meals we can serve this gravy over.

I served our gravy over quinoa and delicious swiss chard, probably my favourite green.  Here is the recipe for the gravy.  As for the quinoa, I always like to prepare it like I did here, #2 in the directions.  As for the chard, simply place in a skillet with a touch of water, sea salt and pepper.  Cook for a few minutes until slightly wilted.

Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Adapted from The Happy Herbivore

Makes approx. 2cups

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup kamut flour
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package (8 oz.) white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Whisk nutritional yeast and flour together with non-dairy milk and set aside.
  • Using a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil.  When warm, add garlic, onions and mushrooms.  Cook over high heat until mushrooms start to soften and turn brown.
  • Add non-dairy milk mixture, soy sauce, and herbs, stirring to combine.
  • Bring to a boil and continue to cook until thick.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm over quinoa and swiss chard.
  • Enjoy!

IMG_0187-2