Thanks for joining me here today! Hope you’re having a great Saturday.
I’m excited to share our little dinner party we hosted a few nights ago in honor of Food Revolution Day.
A few things I should tell you before we proceed:
1. Despite how bright and day-time looking my photos are, it was after 7pm (just look at the digital clock on my stove).
2. Don’t let the phrase “Dinner Party” fool you. It was Adam and I, and my mom and dad.
3. Yes, I can cook for more than 4 people, but our small kitchen can become a bit chaotic and very loud when we host larger groups.
4. By the time the food hit the table, we were all starving.
5. I’ve learned that cooking, hosting, and trying to take photos while carrying on conversations with your guests can be extremely distracting and you might burn things.
6. I love my family. I love to nourish them with good, healthy food.
The evening’s menu was healthy, organic and vegan.
One of my favorite things about cooking homemade meals is the handsome company that can be found in my kitchen. Adam and I discovered we really enjoy cooking together.
Not that long ago, the only thing I was interested in whipping up in the kitchen was a bowl-ful of cold cereal. Well, those days are long gone. Over a year ago, I made a major lifestyle change, lost a ton of weight (more on that in a future post), and I’m feeling better than I’ve ever felt in my life.
I have found that cooking for my family makes me feel deeply nourished, both inside and out. I especially love cooking for my mom – she’s really open minded when it comes to food, she’s honest, she loves to eat healthy, and she’s always willing to try different recipes that I make.
I have found that having a strong support system around me, particularly Adam’s support while I’ve been undergoing this lifestyle change, has been paramount to my achieving my goals. And he’s reaping the benefits…a happy, more energetic wife, delicious home cooked meals to come home to every day, and now we’re getting full-time use out of our kitchen we remodeled together.
We were so hungry by the time the food hit the table. I had just a few seconds to snap a few pics before everyone hunkered down to feast…
Perfect Veggie Burger on a whole wheat bun, served with Polenta Casserole…
Weekend Glow Kale Salad
All ingredients were locally sourced, mainly through farmers markets, as well as Whole Foods and Sprouts.
=== The Find ===
I want to share with you my two favorite sources for daily go-to amazing recipes:
* Oh She Glows is a food blog written by Angela Liddon, which is chock-full of amazing healthy, feel good vegan recipes. Angela also has a recipe book coming out soon. I can hardly wait!
* Alicia Silverstone’s book The Kind Diet, is a recipe treasure-trove of deeply nourishing, always satisfying, delicious vegan recipes. Alicia also has a great website.
=== The Recipes ===
* Perfect Veggie Burger *
Crunchy, chewy, with a crispy outer shell, these delicious veggie burgers have all the right elements you want in a veggie burger. Light on the beans, these burgers aren’t mushy in the middle, but have a nice mixture of bread crumbs, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, and seasonings to round them out. They can also be made gluten-free by using gluten-free oats and bread crumbs.
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Yields: 8 burgers
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
Flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mixed in bowl
1 cup oats, processed into flour (I used oat flour)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
Heaping 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or fresh herb of choice)
1/3 cup almonds, chopped (toasted if preferred)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, (toasted if preferred)
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Shoyu (soy sauce) Or Tamari if you prefer wheat-free
1.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F (if baking). In a large skillet, sauté onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax egg together in a small bowl and set aside for at least 10 mins while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. Place all ingredients (except spices and salt) into a large mixing bowl and stir very well. Now, add seasonings and salt to taste.
3. With slightly wet hands, shape dough into patties. Pack dough tightly as this will help it stick together. I made 8 medium patties.
4. Cooking methods: You can fry the burgers in a bit of oil on a skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side. If baking in the oven, bake for 25-30 mins (15-17 minutes on each side) at 350F, until golden and crisp. For the BBQ, pre-bake the burgers for about 15 minutes in oven before placing on a pre-heated grill until golden and crisp on each side. Our preferred method of cooking was frying in the skillet!!
Not your mama’s casserole, this one’s an easy, sure to satisfy dish! Elegant, delicious and satisfying – great for brunch. It reheats beautifully in the pan with a little olive oil. When I cook this dish for just Adam and me, we get several days of leftovers, which we love cause we’re always on the go!
Adapted from The Kind Diet
1 1/2 cups polenta
1 medium-size head cauliflower, cut into large pieces
2 pinches fine sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons roasted sesame tahini
1/3 cup soy milk (you can also use rice milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons shoyu, plus more for sprinkling on top
2 teaspoons ume plum vinegar
Place the polenta in a large heavy pot. Add cauliflower, salt, and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer polenta for 30 minutes. Polenta must be stirred frequently as it cooks to prevent it from sticking or becoming lumpy.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 casserole dish.
Remove the polenta mixture from the heat. Add the tahini, soy or rice milk, shoyu, and ume plum vinegar and mash with a potato masher or fork until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes. Spoon the mashed mixture into the casserole dish and smooth the top. Poke a few small holes in the surface and sprinkle with a little extra shoyu (this makes the top crispy).
Bake for 30 – 40 minutes. Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
Weekend Glow Kale Salad *
This is one of my favorite go-to recipes when I’m craving a delicious, healthy salad with a lot of flavor and crunch. You don’t have to include all the veggies in the ingredients list. Feel free to improvise. I often go with what I already have in the fridge. It takes just minutes to prepare.
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Yield: 4 servings
1/2 large head of kale (about 4-6 cups)
1/4 cup Daiya cheese (vegan)
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2-3/4 cup chopped carrot (2 small carrots)
1 English cucumber (2 cups chopped halves)
1 avocado, chopped
1 & 1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes (or other variety)
1/2 cup mixed raisins and Goji berries
1/4 cup hemp seed
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Dressing: 1 batch of Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing (<—click for recipe)
Your desired fresh or dried herbs
1. Chop vegetables and mix in a large mixing bowl. Reserve hemp seed and walnuts for sprinkling on top.
2. Make your Lightened Up tahini-Lemon Dressing in a food processor and process until smooth.
3. Tear the leaves off of the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry kale leaves.
4. Mix the vegetables, kale leaves, and full batch of dressing (3/4-1 cup) in large bowl until thoroughly combined. Top with Daiya cheese.
I hope this might inspire some of you to get creative in the kitchen this weekend and make something nourishing and delicious.
In fact, I’d love to hear your favorite recipes!
Thanks for your visit. Your company is always welcomed and appreciated : )
Till next time, click and keep up with us on our favorite sites….