October 19, 2014

Asian Garlic Green Beans

I've always loved green beans so I'm continually looking for new ways to make them shine. This recipe definitely fits the bill. It's pretty simple, but we loved it too much not to share. Just a few easy ingredients come together to make a great side pairing for your favorite Asian-inspired meals. Don't forget to scoop up the remaining bits of garlic and shallot at the bottom of the pan when serving - they're tiny, but pack a HUGE explosion of flavor! Husband is a big fan :) Hope you are too!

Vegan, gluten-free (with tamari)
Yields 4-6 side servings

1 pound green beans
2 Tbsp. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot
2 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
Optional: sesame seeds for topping

Trim ends off green beans. Mince garlic, and chop shallot.
Add sesame oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Let heat for a couple minutes until hot.
Add shallot and garlic. Heat for 20-30 seconds.
Add green beans and stir well to coat.
Saute until just tender, about 5-6 minutes, stirring often so garlic doesn't burn.
Add tamari/soy sauce. Toss to combine and cook 1-2 minutes.
When serving, don't forget the garlic/shallot pieces on the bottom of the pan - huge flavor!

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October 12, 2014

Hearty Vegan Chili

Chilly? Chili! The award for ultimate cold-weather comfort food definitely goes to chili. Thick, dense goodness packed with nutrients and protein that warms you from the inside out. Sign. me. up. I love hugging a bowl of this in front of the fire on blustery days. Especially Sundays as we hang around and watch football :) It's super satisfying with hearty beans and veggies in a flavorful, dense tomato sauce. Whether you're vegan or not, this chili will knock your socks off! As written below, it's not spicy (toddler in the house) so add cayenne pepper or chipotle to kick it up if you wish. We love this version, but feel free to do some ad-libbing with other veggies: butternut squash, zucchini, or corn for a little sweetness would be great in here!

Vegan, gluten-free
Serves 4

1 onion
1 red bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
15 oz. can kidney beans
15 oz. can black beans (or pinto, etc.)
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I use petite diced)
6 oz. tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. oregano
Salt to taste
Toppings of choice: green onion, avocado, cilantro, vegan sour cream, etc.
Optional: cayenne pepper or chipotle powder for a kick

Dice onion and bell pepper. Mince garlic.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion and bell pepper for about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.
Add vegetable broth, tomatoes with juice, tomato paste, and seasonings.
Bring to a light boil.
Meanwhile, rinse and drain beans.
Add beans and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
Serve with toppings of choice.

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October 5, 2014

Ultimate Vegetable Soup

A couple weeks ago when my parents were visiting, I felt under the weather for a couple days. My stomach wasn't quite right and there was only one thing that sounded good: vegetable soup. Warm, delicious, colorful, nutrient-packed, vegetable soup. Mom to the rescue! Is there anything better than mom making soup when you're not feeling well? It definitely helped cure whatever was ailing me. I gobbled it up so fast that I needed to make an encore batch a few days later. Luckily I had plenty of veggies hanging out in the fridge. I decided to call it ultimate veggie soup because any and all are welcome - the more the merrier! Change it up with your own favorites or whatever you have on hand (I often take the help of a few frozen veggies as well). Don't feel like you have to measure everything exactly. I prefer the "chop and toss" approach when making soup ;) Adaptions are endless with this versatile recipe. You can even try quinoa, rice, herbs, beans, barley, etc. I'd love to hear what you guys come up with!

Vegan, gluten-free
About 8 servings

1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2-3 carrots
1 zucchini
1 1/2 cups cabbage
2 cups broccoli
2 cups cauliflower
1 1/2 cups mushroom
1 1/2 cups cut green beans (frozen)
1 1/2 cups peas (frozen)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen)
Large handful spinach, or more
15 oz. can diced tomatoes (and/or fresh)
8 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste

Prep veggies: mince garlic and dice onion, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms. Roughly chop cabbage, and cut broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds.
Add broth, tomatoes with juice, and all veggies (except spinach).
Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are desired tenderness.
Stir in spinach, and salt to taste.

Vegetable soup freezes wonderfully!
The frozen veggies work great as "fillers" if you want to quickly and easily add more veggies.

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Try these other veggie-heavy meals too! :)
Quinoa Veggie Stir Fry

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