Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Let's Catch Up: November - January

Hi there! It's been quite a while since I've posted about my weekly eats. As we all know, life happens. Near the middle of last Fall, school became out of control and lots of other things got in the way of me blogging. But because I will never not be cooking, I still kept perfect track of all of the recipes that I tried! I have planned for two catch up posts spanning last November up until the end of this May. I will be sharing 3-4 recipes that were my favorites from each month. I hope that you all are doing well and I can't wait to begin blogging more regularly now that I HAVE GRADUATED! Sorry, still a little excited about that :) 

November
I've had this crazy heirloom bean and acorn squash chili recipe saved for years, but I finally tried it out! I call it crazy because it involves things I would never think to put together like beer, herbes de Provence, jalapeno and acorn squash. The combination is probably the most delicious chili I've ever tasted! I used GF beer and it worked just fine. I also finally made Kara's turmeric chili corn muffins and they went perfectly with the chili. Next time I think I'll use a little less chili flakes, but the vegan butter helped to cut the heat down and also made them extra tasty!

For Thanksgiving last year, I made this grain-free maple bourbon pecan tart. This was also a perfect excuse to finally buy that tart pan with a removable bottom! The tart came out wonderfully and it reminded me a lot of Kentucky bourbon pie, minus the chocolate. It would be perfect with some vegan ice cream on top!

Quesadillas are not a regular meal for me, but when I saw these Italian ones in Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen, I knew I had to make them! Instead of cheese there is a wonderful, cheezy white bean spread alongside avocado, fresh parsley, and lots of sundried tomatoes. These made great dinners but were also quick enough to fry up for lunch in between classes. I'm sure a marinara would also make a great dipping sauce for these!

December
I absolutely love making different types of curries, and this is my first time making a Jamaican style one! This recipe from Bryant Terry's latest book was incredibly flavorful, complex, yet simple to pull together. I loved the addition of mustard greens, which I rarely cook with, but I definitely did after this recipe! They have a slight bitterness to them which really worked in this spicy, peanutty curry. I served mine with jasmine rice and cilantro for a complete meal.

Sometimes there's nothing quite like coming home to a big bowl of pasta. This pasta de Los Angeles definitely hit the spot and I'm still drooling over it months later! It's a simple Mexican twist on pasta but it's packed with nutrition from black beans, spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. Luckily it comes together quickly which makes it perfect for weeknights!

Last Christmas, I finally made homemade gifts for everyone, in addition to a few purchased ones. One of my favorite things that I made was this apple cinnamon bourbon. Sadly, I didn't get to drink much of it since I gifted it to many people, but what I did have was so flavorful, spicy, and perfect for winter! I can only imagine how wonderful this would be in a hot toddy!

January
I've had my eye on these black-eyed pea cakes with collards for quite some time now, so I decided to make them with my mom for a traditional New Year's Eve dinner! These cakes were so delicious and crispy, especially with some Franks on top! I loved using black-eyed peas in a new way for this holiday. The collards were also delicious, but when are they not?

Listen up: here's your new favorite weeknight dinner and it's called tortilla soup. I always shied away from this recipe because I thought it would be boring, but oh how wrong I was. This is a dead simple soup that comes together in a flash and packs a ton of flavor. Do not skip the tortilla chips or cilantro, trust me. I'm also positive that without the tortilla chips, you could also freeze this for later dinners!

I usually just top my morning eggs with kimchi or throw it into ramen, but I love using it in different ways for dinner as well. This warm kimchi sesame rice bowl with broccoli was amazing! The spicy broccoli pairs wonderfully with the umami flavors of the dressed wild rice and probiotic-packed kimchi. As always, I paired this with my go-to sesame baked tofu recipe from Isa's latest book, but you could also use steamed edamame or eggs! I used my favorite Japanese miso horseradish kimchi.

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