Sunday, December 1, 2013

November Favorites

Wow. This year is passing quickly! I can't believe December is already upon us. Classes are done, exams start this week, and Thanksgiving is over. I will discuss below how I planned Thanksgiving and I might even do a post on how to eat with allergies during the holidays. 

1. Sweet Chili Roasted Brussels Sprouts (with Sweet & Sour Tempeh)
I can't stress this enough: you have to make these Brussels sprouts. Just trust me. I've made them at least four times since this time, and one of them was for Thanksgiving. They were a huge hit! Even Mike's 4 year-old niece Abby ate them, which made me very happy! These will fall apart in your mouth and they are so easy to make //bleubirdvintage

2. Sweet Potato + Broccoli Bowl with Miso-Tahini Sauce
I did a lot of experimenting with flavors this month, it seems! I tried a lot of different Asian flavors like miso and sweet chili sauce, and fell in love with Tunisian sauce called harissa (which will be discussed below). This meal is dead simple, wholesome, and delicious. The tahini-miso sauce will become your new best friend, alongside toasted sesame seeds. This would be great for a post-holiday healthy meal! I used purple sweet potatoes and red rice for a splash of color! [note: my sauce is darker because I used a different type of miso] //smitten kitchen

3. Miso Harissa Delicata Squash Salad with Kale
Alright, I have a confession to make. I don't ever say this, but...this could be it. The best thing I've ever cooked. This dish is an umami flavor explosion! Salty miso, cumin laced spicy harissa all tossed with tender fingerling potatoes, soft delicata squash and beautiful kale. All topped with some toasted almonds. This is one salty dish, in the best way possible. I craved this for days after I made it. Each bite incites an auditory "Mmmm" moment and pure bliss. This is my first time using harissa and I think I'm in love with it now //101 cookbooks

4. Italian Lentil Soup
Ah, simplicity. Where have you been? This is the easiest, most wholesome lentil soup ever. The flavors are complex, but with out the lengthy ingredient list. Bake a nice loaf of bread to serve alongside, slathered in plenty of (vegan) butter. This soup is perfect for a cold winter day, which there are plenty of lately in the South //vanilla bean blog

5. Lemony Pasta with Brussels Sprouts + Mushrooms
I realized something this month: I can't eat portobello mushrooms. I just can't do it. The texture is too much for me, but somehow regular mushrooms are fine. This pasta is delicious but I changed a few things from the recipe: at the end of cooking the mushrooms, I added a pat of vegan butter and some white wine to cook until they absorbed the liquids; I pan-fried the Brussels a little longer until golden brown and crispy; I added a lot more lemon juice, zest, and more vegan butter at the end for more flavor. This could be a new favorite //martha stewart

6. Agave-Jalapeno Acorn Squash with Quinoa, Black Beans + Kale
I've been on a weird "trio" kick with food: making one main component, then adding two or three sides. This dinner was simple to pull together, wholesome, and scrumptious. The roasted acorn squash gets brushed with an agave-jalapeno-garlic mixture, then served with black beans and quinoa, then hot sauce/onion flake kale. What could be easier or healthier? Acorn squash is super easy to prepare and delicious[note: for vegan, sub agave nectar for honey]  //naturally ella

7. Pepperkakkor (Swedish Gingersnaps)
I have some very exciting news that I can't elaborate too much on, but: I'm a recipe tester! It's for a project I don't know everything about, but this is the first recipe I've tested. And man, were they just perfect!

 8. Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust
This is the dessert I chose for Thanksgiving. They're portable, easy to make, and can be refrigerated up to 5 days in advance. I used these GF grahams to make my life a little easier, and they were awesome! Everyone raved over these and couldn't grasp that they were vegan and gluten-free, which is a home-run to me! I served them with rice whip, again, to make things easier and travel-friendly. This might be the best pumpkin pie filling I've tasted yet, and I'm definitely making them again [note: I didn't want to buy brown rice syrup, so I used agave nectar instead. They turned out perfect!] //oh she glows

9. Baked Sweet Potato + Spicy Kale Hummus Tofu Scramble
I've discovered that a great way to keep tofu scramble moist and "eggy" is to use hummus! I know, it's strange, but it really really works. I just cooked tofu in a pan (no oil), crumbled it, then added some jalapeno-cilantro hummus (Trader joes) and spices. Then cooked until more "eggy" and added chopped kale, pickled jalapenos, hot sauce and chopped tomato. Served with a baked sweet potato spread with cinnamon/earth balance, and this was an awesome breakfast!

10. Surprise Birthday Dinner!I turned 22 this month, which is a little hard for me to grasp! My wonderful friends and boyfriend surprised me by making me a huge dinner and CAKE! They made all of my favorites: sweet potato fries, applesauce, chocolate zucchini cake (using this mix), and cauliflower pizza crust topped with ALL my favorite vegetables! Pizza crust recipe was this one. I was seriously blown away that they took so much time to plan a special dinner for me, that I had no idea about. It was a very delicious combination!

Thanksgiving Dinner Plan:

  • Vegan lentil Shepherd's pie with potato-parsnip mash //food52 [note: added a head of roasted garlic to the topping; added fresh rosemary, red wine vinegar and tomato paste to the lentil/vegetable mixture]
  • Pumpkin pie bars with graham cracker crust //see above post^
  • Kale salad with roasted kabocha squash, pecans & cranberry vinaigrette //joanne [note: I made a very half-ass version of this salad by using raw pecans, omitting the brie croutons, and keeping everything else the same]
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce //see above post^
  • Rosemary millet biscuits with cornmeal & honey //80twenty [note: I did not post about these because they didn't turn out as planned and were very dry]

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