Romesco Sauce, White Beans, Roasted Veggies for the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

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Hooray for another Virtual Vegan Potluck! It was such a blast participating in potluck last spring that I couldn’t pass up a chance to do it all again. So many incredible vegan recipes out there brought to you by some equally awesome bloggers and I’m proud to be a part of it!IMG_9171

For my entry, I present to you delicious, spicy Romesco sauce. It’s good with roasted veg, pasta, rice, crepes, pretty much most things. It’s also relatively easy to whip up is great at a party, not only for its mad skillz as a dip, but it’s a pretty great dancer too.

IMG_9191What you need for Romesco:

2 slices of gluten-free bread, pan-toasted in a little olive oil

2 large slicing tomatoes, cut in half and roasted

2 red bell peppers, cut in half and roasted

5-6 cloves of garlic, cut in half and roasted

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup pecans

1 handful italian parsely, chopped

3 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp (or more, in my case more like 1 full tsp) red pepper flakes

Pinch of chili pepper

salt and pepper to tasteIMG_9154IMG_9158Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While heating, slice your tomatoes, peppers, and peel garlic cloves. Lay all on large baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes, until soft, but not mushy.IMG_9156While roasting, toast thy bread to a lovely golden brown! Just make sure it’s in a non-stick skillet and with about 2 Tbsp olive oil. I used Essential Baking whole seed bread, but any non-glutinous (and non-sweet) bread will work. Focaccia would be primo!IMG_9157Gather the rest of your beautiful ingredients, such as lovely pecans. You could also use almonds or cashews here, but there’s something about the earthiness of pecans that I think really works.IMG_9168Put everything in a high speed blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. If you need more moisture, add 1 tbsp of water as needed, but it should be good, thick sauce. It’ll keep about a week in the fridge if you decide to make it beforehand.

Now, for the veg part! I apologize, because these photos were taken at night, which is always kind of a shame. What can you do? Seasons will be seasons after all.IMG_9152IMG_9160What you need:

1-2 shallots

1 bunch kale, chopped

1 handful white mushrooms, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

1/2 cauliflower head, chopped

1-2 potatoes, chopped

2 beets, chopped

1 head romanesco broccoli

2-3 tsp olive oil

3 cups cooked white beans (I used some baby lima lovelies) or 2 cans, drained and rinsed

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 10.32.08 PMWhat to do:

First, soak your beans for at least 6 hours, then cook until tender. The water in the pot with the beans should be about 3 inches above the beans, and cooking will take about 45 minutes. If using cans, just drain and rinse.

While the oven is still nice and hot, toss your chopped potato, cauli, beets, and romanesco with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread evenly on a large cookie sheet.

Place the shallots, zucchini, and mushrooms in a non-stick skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute until brown and tender, then add kale with a handful of water. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove lid of skillet and cook to desired level of tenderness.IMG_9196Once roasted veggies are done, toss with sauteed goodies then pour on your lovely romesco sauce. If you made it ahead of time just be sure to reheat it before putting it all together.IMG_9185 IMG_9172

Enjoy the rest of the potluck and happy cooking!!!!!

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Easy White Bean Soup. It’s everything bean soup should be: Warm, delicious, and full of beans.

IMG_9146Today I bring you another soup, my interweb friends. Our fall here in Seattle has been insanely good until literally November 1st, when one wicked wind storm blew all the leaves off the trees and brought back our rain. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s kind of nice to be all cozy like in the house, wearing the crap out of some sweaters, and simmering a little something on the stove. In fact I’ve got a big pot of chai base bubbling away right now and it smells epic. That, however, is not the recipe I want to share with you today.

Last night was a rainy, bone-chilling kind of night, and heading to the store sounded like pretty much the worst idea ever.  As such, this here soup was born. I don’t have more photos of prep because I honestly didn’t think it would be so good. IMG_9152Sweet baby lima beans are highly underrated (or lowly underrated). They’ve replaced great northern beans as my favorite white beans. WHAT?! YOU’RE SHOCKED! Just imagine how shocked I was when I realized that I actually spend enough time thinking about white beans to EVEN HAVE a displaced favorite. Yeah.

What you need:

2 cups white beans, soaked for at least 6 hours and cooked. (cans also fit in just dandy here)

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 potato, chopped

1 can of whole, peeled tomoatoes (the big can, that is)

4 cloves garlic

1.5 inches of fresh chopped ginger

6 cups of water

3 bay leaves

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 – 1 cup chopped kale per bowl

IMG_9150IMG_9149To make:

If soaking and cooking beans, soak your beans in water, making sure they’re covered by at least 1 inch. Drain and rinse, then place in a pot with enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until tender, making sure not to cook to mush. Ain’t nobody got time for mush.

Place olive oil, onion, carrot, garlic, and ginger in a soup pot and saute until tender and slightly brown. Add potato and saute for another 5 minutes, adding some water to deglaze the pot as necessary.

Once soft, add your can of tomatoes and water and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and add beans, herbs, and bay leaves. Simmer for about 10 minutes (or longer if needed). The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will integrate. Add salt and pepper to taste.IMG_9153When ready to serve, place chopped kale in the bottom of a bowl and ladle on over some of your hot, beany soup. Enjoy and stay warm!IMG_9143

 

 

 

The World’s Best Green Juice, Ever. In the world! (did I mention the world?)

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I’d like to start by saying one thing: Green juice is MAGIC. Yes, it looks weird (although I like pretty much anything that looks like it may have come straight from a rainbow), and like it might taste really bad. Once you make the leap to the green, you’ll be so glad you did. This juice is a nice start to the morning, an afternoon pick me up, or a good post workout recharger. And it’s an excellent gateway juice before you start getting all hardcore with green juices that don’t have anything ungreen in them. Also, it’s amazing. 🙂

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Makes about 16 0z of wonderful, beautiful juice.

3 small apples (or 1 large, ignore the 5 pictured)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

about 3-4 cups baby kale (or 5-7 leaves grown up kale)

1-2 inches of fresh ginger

1 pear

(optional: handful of parsley)

Juice apples, pear, kale, ginger. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon into juice and stir. Drink it up and feel like a juggernaut of rainbow-colored goodness.

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Dream Team: Roasted Beets, Beans, Greens, and Grapefruit Salad.

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Some days, I spend literally half the day thinking about the salad I’m going to eat for dinner. Well, not half the day, but periodically throughout the day.  This particular salad had been in my head for a few days, and I’ve been waiting for a few spare moments to actually make it happen. Well, today was that day, and I’m so glad it was. Beets, green beans, black rice, pear, white beans, kale, romaine, and sweet, sweet meyer lemons all mixed up with a little goat cheese and walnuts to round it out and dressed with meyer lemon vinagrette….it’s a party in a bowl. And you just can’t beet (pardon the pun) eating food that looks like a rainbow. It’s also surprisingly filling and rich, so it works best as a main dish.

So, you also want to have a rainbow party in a bowl? Fortunately this is VERY easy.

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What you need:

1 large beet, cubed

1.5 cups of cooked white beans or 1 can (garbonzo, navy, canellini, great northern, or butter beans would all work)

2 cups of green beans, chopped into 1 inch segments

1 grapefruit, sliced or chopped

1/2 bosc pear, chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

3 Tbsp goat cheese (omit if doing this vegan-style)

1 cup black rice, cooked

2 cups baby kale

zest and juice of 1 meyer lemon

2-3 cups washed and cut romaine

For the dressing:

juice of 1 meyer lemon

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1 tbsp whole grain mustard

1/8 cup chopped red onion

4 Tbsp champagne vinegar

2 Tbsp water

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First, roast them beets! Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, toss the beet in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and the juice of 1 meyer lemon. Spread the beets  on a baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes, until firm, but cooked through.

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While the beets roast, prepare the black rice. Black rice is not only really, really tasty with a slightly nutty flavor and gorgeous dark purple color, but is higher in antioxidants than other rices. Combine 1 cup rice with 1 and 3/4 cup water in a saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, and let simmer for about 30 minutes until done.

Saute the green beans over medium-high heat until they reach a vibrant green color (this is only about 3-4 minutes), but are still nice and crunchy. Remove from heat.

Combine all the vegetables and fruits in a large bowl, toss with the zest and juice of a meyer lemon. Add goat cheese, walnuts, beans, and about 3/4 cup of the black rice .

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients, and blend in a food processor, blender, or magic bullet (that little machine is the best). Dress the salad, toss, salt and pepper to taste, and serve! *Note* The only thing I’d change here, is that I wouldn’t have forgotten to add 1/2 of an avocado! Don’t make my mistake!!!!!

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