Tag Archives: food

Vegetable Couscous Salad

22 Jan

It’s only mid-January, and I’m already craving the warm summer months. A quick peak out the window reveals a deceptively cold, yet bright blue sky, covering the city’s snow-crusted streets. It’s slushy, it’s cold, it’s miserable, and the hems of my pants are in danger of being permanently salt-stained. But alas, food comes to the rescue!

Vegetable Couscous Salad

While nasty outside, the kitchen often provides an escape to whichever destination you choose. Inspired by the Great Wall of China? Cook up a tasty stir-fry. Craving spice? Roast some root vegetables in Sriracha. Or perhaps a trip to the Middle East is next on your plate. Well, it can be with this recipe! A package of tri-color pearl couscous got the creative juices flowing for me. With some fresh vegetables, a few spices, and a drizzle of good olive oil, this salad came together in a snap. It’s full of flavor, and the vibrant vegetables will surely cure the winter blues, if only for a while.

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side

  • 1 package tri-color couscous (8.8oz – I used Osem Israeli, as it is completely #unprocessed)
  • 2 C water
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes (or to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp dried sweet basil
  • 1/2 tbsp minced onion
  • crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Cook couscous in water according to package directions in a medium-sized pot.

While that cooks, prepare all vegetables. Add to the pot, along with chickpeas, oil and spices. Mix well and adjust spices as necessary. Serve and top with goat cheese, if using. Enjoy!

This salad may be eaten warm, straight off the stove, or refrigerated to be eaten cold. Both ways are delicious.

Tempeh Veggie Quinoa Stuffing and Butternut Squash Gravy

6 Dec

While “stuffing” is traditionally only served during Thanksgiving, this dish could easily be made and enjoyed any time of the year. It’s full of protein, fiber and complex carbs, and is so flavorful, the only thing that it needs is a drizzle of some butternut squash gravy, recipe below.

The ingredients list on this may scare you at first sight, but everything comes together so quickly, there’s no need to fret. Roast, boil and saute everything up, stir together, bake in a large pan, and you’re good to go.

Tempeh Veggie Quinoa Stuffing and Butternut Squash Gravy

Tempeh Veggie Quinoa Stuffing

Serves 10

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 large tart apple, diced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 C celery, diced
  • 1/2 C carrot, diced
  • 2 blocks tempeh, diced
  • 1 C vegetable stock or beer (I used beer)
  • 1 C dry quinoa
  • 2 C water
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the potatoes, sprouts, apples, and shallots with 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper. Spread the veggies onto the baking sheet and roast 40 minutes before removing from oven.

While that roasts, bring the 2 C water to boil in a small pot. Stir in quinoa, bring back to boil, and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes.

While those are going, heat the other tbsp oil in a large pan. Saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery till translucent (about 5-8 minutes). Add the diced tempeh, and more salt and pepper. Continue to cook this until the tempeh gets a slight sear. This is where the stock or beer comes in handy. At a little at a time to keep things from drying out.

Using that same large mixing bowl from before, combine the roasted vegetables, the sautéed tempeh mixture, and the quinoa, plus the seasonings. Stir to combine.

Transfer to a large greased baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Serve hot, with or without gravy.

Tempeh Veggie Quinoa Stuffing and Butternut Squash Gravy

No stuffing is complete without gravy!  Throw this together while the stuffing is being prepared and have yourself a tasty, completely healthy meal.

Butternut Squash Gravy

Makes a lot

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 torn sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 3 C nondairy milk (I used soy)

First, peel and dice the squash. This may take a bit of time. Or you can buy pre-peeled and pre-cut squash.

Saute onion in the oil in a large pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Add in the squash and continue to saute. It helps to cover with a lid, using the moisture to steam and soften the squash.

Use a potato masher to mash the squash in the pan. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth, but you should be able to mash most of it. Stir in the sage leaves and chili flakes. One cup at a time, stir in the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.

If it’s too thick, add more milk. If too liquidy, add a spoonful of flour.

Serve hot over anything that needs gravy!

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Rice, Peas, Cheese

21 Nov

Perhaps we can start something like “Throw it together Thursday.” Eh? Eh? Because that’s how this recipe came to be. I came home from work yesterday, in hopes of cooking up a delicious spaghetti squash. But upon slicing into it, I found that it had already gone bad! The HORROR! (Began watching the linked clip at 10:15 – comedy gold!)

Quick on my feet, I grabbed an acorn squash and hacked it in two. While that roasted, I cooked up some brown rice, and sauteed onion, garlic and peas in some oil and herbs. What a beautiful flavor explosion this combination created!

Acorn squash has a natural nutty flavor about it, and the herbs and veggies made for the most comforting tastes you could want on a chilly autumn evening. And to top it off, I added a few slices of goat cheese mozzarella, adding a lovely tang and creaminess.

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Rice, Peas, Cheese

What’s even better is that this is so versatile, it can be tweaked to satisfy anyone! Not into rice? Swap in some quinoa. Don’t like peas? Choose another vegetable that you like. Not a fan of cheese (GASP!)? First, check your priorities. You could always use vegan cheese, or just leave it out completely.

Also: because this serves two, that means that you’ll be eating HALF AN ACORN SQUASH. The nutritional profile of any squash is just astounding, and part of the reason I’ve become so obsessed (check out the acorn squash alfredo sauce…oh gosh, so good AND healthy). You really can’t go wrong with any of this. It’s all healthy. All tasty. And all easy!

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Rice, Peas, Cheese

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Rice, Peas, Cheese, inspired by My Whole Food Life

Serves 2

  • 1 acorn squash, sliced in two through the middle
  • 1 C brown rice (I used instant)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 6 small slices melty tangy cheese of choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Fill a glass baking dish with 1/2″ water. Place squash, cut sides down, in the dish and bake for 40 minutes.

Cook rice, or other grain, according to package directions.

Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high and saute onion and garlic for 5-7 minutes. Stir in parsley, rosemary, salt and pepper and cook another 2 minutes, on medium.

Stir in peas, cover with a lid to let steam for 5 minutes. Remove lid and saute another couple minutes. Stir in all the rice and continue to cook on low heat until the squash is done.

Remove squash from oven. Transfer to serving bowls. Scoop out the seeds and the stringy interior – discard this. Scoop the rice-pea mixture into each squash cavity (you will have leftovers). Top with cheese, if using. And dig in!

Eating tips: scrape the cooked squash with your spoon, while dipping into the filling and the cheese. Amazing, right?

P.S. if you’re not yet convinced that peas and cheese should go together, check out Mac & Cheese & Peas. It’s crazy good!

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