falling for meatless monday

In my mind, August is always unbearably hot and so humid you can almost see the water in the air.  Something is definitely different this year.  The mornings and the evenings are cool and crisp, making it seem more like fall than mid-summer.  I even had to forego my Tae-Bo dvd this morning for a walk outside to enjoy the outdoors!  Naturally, my fall taste buds have kicked into high gear.  Good thing we always keep a supply of pumpkin in our pantry!

Kinley actually came up with this recipe – we didn’t even know what we were going to make until tonight and we had all the ingredients to pull this together.  Easy peasy.  Pumpkin in the sauce and pepitas on top.

Gluten Free Chickpea and Pumpkin Pasta

  • 1 can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, just pure pumpkin)
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4t italian seasoning
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1t garlic powder
  • 1t sucanat or organic sugar
  • 1/8t nutmeg
  • 1/4t cinnamon
  • 1/4t cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8oz brown rice pasta
1. Mix together all of the ingredients except for the chickpeas and the pasta.
2. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding the chickpeas for the last few minutes.
3. Boil water and cook pasta according to directions.  Drain and rinse with hot water (helps the gluten free pasta not stick together.
4. Put the pasta back into the pot and add the sauce.  Stir to combine and heat through.
So simple.  So delicious.
I know Fall will be here before I know it and in some ways I’m excited.  Apple orchards, pumpkin fields, beautiful fall colors, and of course my birthday.  But Fall, I’m not quite ready for you yet.  Give me a few more weeks of summer, please.

latin monday

Can you believe it’s yet another Meatless Monday?!  This was the first real ‘weekend‘ after starting my new job so it was even more enjoyable – and even more depressing that it was Monday!  Although knowing there was a delicious dinner in store for tonight helped – except not when I found myself snack-less and hungry this afternoon!  We had a latin-inspired dish tonight that was taken from an idea in Appetite for Reduction, an awesome vegan cookbook.  Changes were made, per usual, and it was delectable.

Latin Lentils

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 small (or one large from the garden!) cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 8 kalamata olives
  • chili powder & cumin, to taste
  • 1/2T lime juice
  • 1/4c salsa verde
  • salt, to taste
  • brown rice tortillas (or your favorite tortilla/wrap)

1. Cook lentils either on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.

2. Saute zucchini in a little olive oil (or on a nonstick pan) over medium-high heat.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through.

Serve on tortillas (like tacos) or serve with tortilla wedges for dipping!

You could add anything else you’d like on top as well – such as tomatoes, lettuce, more salsa… pretty much anything you’d put on a taco you can put on here.  So good.  I loved the bites with the olives ;).  Such a delicious dinner after a hectic Monday!

chickpea reci{peas}

I absolutely love chickpeas.  Or garbanzo beans.  Whatever you’d like to call them.  I have even started eating them straight out of the can – well, after draining at least.  Is that weird?  Even if it is, I don’t care.  If chickpeas are in something, you can guarantee I’m going to love it.  Chickpeas have often popped up here from time to time…

Whether it was a trio of {hummus recipes}…

In a beans grain green recipe {honey-mustard millet & Beans}…

Served on top of Injera at an {Ethiopian restaurant}…

Added to the delicious {Strawberry Pesto Pasta Salad} by Daily Garnish

Let’s not forget how good it is on {gluten-free vegan pizza} either…

And last but certainly not least how awesome chickpeas made Oh She Glow’s {Heat Wave Summer Salad}…

Obviously, we go through a lot of chickpeas, and this recipe makes them go quite fast as well.  It does slow you down from just eating them from the can however ;).

{Spicy* Baked Chickpeas}

  • 1 can chickpeas (sometimes referred to as garbanzo)
  • 1T grapeseed oil (or olive oil)
  • 1/2t paprika
  • 1t cumin
  • 1/8t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4t black pepper
  • 1/2t salt

*The recipe wasn’t actually that spicy, so adjust the spices accordingly.

1. Drain the chickpeas.  Place into a plastic bag.

2. Add the oil into the bag and toss to coat.

3. Sprinkle in the spices and roll around until all the little chickpeas are covered.

4. Bake in a 400* oven for 30-45 minutes, turning occasionally.  Make sure to not burn them.  Mine burnt due to a too high of oven (the temp is adjusted here), but they were still all eaten within a matter of days.

Feel free to play around with the spices to change the flavorings or spicy-ness.  You really can’t go wrong.

Oh my chickpeas.

easy vegan pizza toppings

What’s better than an easy to throw together pizza for dinner on my first day of work?  Nothing that I can think of anyways.  I think I’ll put together a post of my favorite things at work so far tomorrow, but I want to keep tonight’s post relatively nice + simple.  And oh hey, it’s Monday so it’s time for another Meatless Monday idea!  Remember my Veggie Fried Rice or my Meatless Monday on the Grill?  Well, it’s just gotten a whole lot simpler!

Without having gluten in my diet, pizza is one thing that I have missed, especially for busy days where all I feel like is ordering up a delivery pizza.  Luckily, I found Sami’s Bakery.  Their Millet & Flax goodies are absolutely delicious and there is a store nearby that carries a lot of their products, such as bread, bagels, wraps and PIZZA CRUST!  They come frozen so I can have them on hand at any time.  Now, it’s not exactly like regular pizza crust, but it’s not extremely thin either, which I think a lot of gluten free crusts end up being.  And I am not a thin-crust kind of girl, I much prefer the hand-tossed variety.  Well, no matter what crust you end up getting you can still make a delicious vegetarian (and even vegan!) pizza on a busy meatless Monday in your home!  (Or even as a late-night pizza snack if that’s what you’re up for.)

BBQ Chick’n Pizza

1. Prepare your crust accordingly.

2. Drain the chickpeas and toss in some bbq sauce.  Also spread some extra bbq sauce on the crust itself.

3. Top the pizza with the chickpeas + bbq sauce and the rest of your toppings.  Why the random toppings on this pizza?  Well our garden is just flourishing!

4. Feel free to top with any cheese or non-dairy cheese, or even just some nutritional yeast.  I ate it as-is and it was extremely delicious!

5. Bake according to your crust directions until done (pretty exact, I know 😉 ).

Other topping options?

  • pizza sauce (Trader Joe’s)
  • peppers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • olives
  • mushrooms
  • tofu
  • tempeh
  • fried eggs (no, I am not kidding)

You can really have fun with this meal, especially if you have friends or kids around.  Just have a handful of toppings and sauces available for them to be able to choose their own combination!

No matter what topping you decide to go with, it will be delicious and such a nice option for any meatless weeknight meal!

meatless monday on the grill

Around three weeks ago now, I shared with you an easy peasy meatless monday meal with the thought that I would attempt to do a dinner every Monday that highlighted something easy, meat-free and delicious so you can celebrate Meatless Monday as well!  Well, three weeks passed and I never gave a second thought to it – whoops.  Obviously there was the 4th of July that was distracting and who knows what was happening last Monday haha (actually it was the day after Kinley’s 1/2 so I think our minds were both somewhere else!).  Thanks to Kinley for remembering my original plan, I am back at it this Monday!  Well, I should say she is back at it since she made dinner last night after a quick bike ride to the grocery store to pick up a few items.

The best part about this meal?  It only requires a handful of ingredients that are easy to have on hand for any quick weeknight meal.  And not only a few ingredients, but CHEAP ingredients!

Grilled Baked Bean Potatoes

  • baked potatoes
  • vegetarian baked beans
  • nutritional yeast (a cheesy tasting topping found in the health food aisle – it might look scary, but it’s delicious!)
  • salad (or other vegetable)
  • any other baked potato toppings you desire

1. Preheat your grill and wrap the (washed) potatoes in aluminum foil.

2. Bake on the grill for about an hour, moving around occasionally until baked through.  Take off the grill.

3. Heat up the baked beans on the stovetop.

4. Unwrap the baked potatoes and place on a plate.  Cut a slit in the top and fill with nutritional yeast and the baked beans (or you can eat on the side if you wish).  Serve with a salad or any other side vegetable – possibly one from your garden!

You can obviously make a ton of alterations to this idea.  Different beans, vegetables, bbq sauce, ketchup, earth balance, salt, etc.

And since the grill is heated up already, you might as well put on a few Chocolate Marshmallow Stuffed Grilled Bananas for dessert.

Enjoy!

what i ate wednesday #2

It’s that day of the week again!  What I Ate Wednesdays by Peas and Crayons!

Breakfast:

Warm water with lemon right after I woke up.

Oat Bran with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Almond Butter.  Don’t you just love how the chocolate from the almond butter got all melty?

Coffee with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk.

Pre-Run:

1/2T Chia with a small glass of water (turns into a gel, supposedly helps with energy/hydration?).  I’m not sure if this helped or not, I decided to try running a fast 2 miles so it definitely was not easy, but I broke my previous PR (set over 2 years ago I believe?), so something was working for me!

Post-Run:

Gala Apple

Lunch:

Bulgur with a lemon/dill sauce (leftover from a lunch Kinley made this weekend), pecans and strawberries on butter lettuce.  Leftover Vegetable Masala Burger on sprouted wheat bread with organic ketchup.

Pineapple-Mango Smoothie with soy protein powder.

I was super hungry and this definitely filled me up!

Afternoon Snack:

I biked to the UPS store to drop off my last two rented textbooks, as well as mowed the whole lawn so I was ready for an afternoon snack!  I had 2 slices homemade gluten-free banana bread & carrots.  Also not pictured, around 1/2T of peanut butter I added on the banana bread – yum.

Dinner:

Spinach Quinoa with Pineapple, Butternut Squash and Trader Joe’s Baked Beans “Sauce”.  This idea came from Kinley and might sound super weird to you, but I guarantee it is delicious.  Somewhat sweet and sour like but summery at the same time because of the baked beans!