Archive for mid week meals

Veganmofo: Selection of Quick meal tips: Frozen Burgers

Being a student sometimes bringing cooking to a back burner, I won’t get into a post about the various levels of terrible junk I consume in the guise of ‘diner’ most evenings (maybe another post). But I found a selection of easy, under 30 minutes to whip up meals which I’ve enjoyed over the past few weeks.

The key to quick and easy meals is timing, multitasking and sometimes convenience food. Ok, so you going to grab that frost bitten veggie burger and pull a sesame seed bun out of the freezer, again. No big deal, take a few extra steps and it can really make the difference.

Tips for burgers from the freezer:

  • Marinade or sauce it. Glaze your frozen patty in a thick, maybe sweet BBQ sauce, or Plum Sauce. Raid your condiment shelf for inspiration.
  • Take the time to pre-heat the cast iron or use a grill. Sure, it’s a frozen burger but it’ll taste better grilled or seared properly.
  • Toppings. Avoid the urge to squirt ketchup and call it a day. Mix it up with salsa, veggies, fruit (grilled pineapple!), chutney or some fancier pickles/sauces from the local market. Even adding lettuces/tomato gives you something fresh and a nice contrast to the chewy burger texture.
  • Onions/Mushrooms. They fry up in minutes and can take the bruger experience to the next level.
  • TOAST YOUR BUNS. If you spend time on nothing else, crisp the inside of that bun.

The little Darling featured  below may appear simple with its no-name ketchup and mustard, but the secret lies in that big meaty chunk of purple heaven. A wide slice of onion, which I baked in the oven (directly on the rack) and then broiled just before the burger finished. Amazing.


Happy Mofo’ing!

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I’m a terrible MOFO’er: Late night student eats

As the end of term draws near and dealines loom my time in the kitchen becomes non-existant… as do my meals. In efforts to rectify that I made time to make diner, which is a shame because it was so easy to throw together I should make time to do it everyday.

Bonus for when times are tight and limited cook a bit extra, or make 3-4 things. You can save a little bit of everything to throw into a lunch container for the next day which is what i did.
First I made a simple stir fry with frozen mixed veggies, soysauce, squirt of plum sauce, lemon juice, chili oil, sesame oil and seeds. Very tasty, super easy way to make sure you get at least a bit of green.

frozen stir fry mix (broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, yellow carrot coins)
-sesame seeds, chili oil, toasted sesame oil, garlic, plum sauce, red chilis, all spice, mustard seeds, lemon juice, soysauce.
fry together, string often

The rest of the meal was less green with some roasted red potatoes and vegan chicken strips from super store. Again, it doesn’t have to be fancy as long as your eating something during the long days.

Roasted potatoes:
diced red potatoes
canjun spice mix, texan spice mix, veggie grill spice mix, paprika, pepper, olive oil.
Bake at 400 shake/stir every 15 you can bake these with the strips to save time. After the 1st 15 minutes push potatoes to one side to add mock-chicken. Continue baking until done.
Salt AFTER they are finished, otherwise potatoes tend to absorb salt.

I topped the strips with some thai sweet chili heat sauce and tucked a small portion of each into my amazing Green-go containers! ❤ they are fantastic.
Be sure to let your leftovers cool before placing the lid, otherwise these suckers will steam up and lose their texture. Place in the fridge and grab on your way out the door to study!

VeganMofo: Simple Diner for a busy week day

Listening to Violent Blue rant about porn and sex censorship, furries, tribbles, steve jobs, masterbation and 4chan raids.

Thinking about sex positive teaching and chowing down on the leftover potato salad mash from Iron Chef and my heartwood Cheezesteak special from the Vegan Anniversary Celebration.

Glorious saucy shot:

Foodporn because that’s all you mofo’ers really care about.


Potato close up with the lovely homemade pickles ❤

Sandwich on kamut bread:

Broke Student Eats: Hummus Pasta

Ok, I know what you are thinking but hear me out! It’s not gross, I promise. What’s in your typical hummus? Chickpeas, tahini, oil, salt, garlic and lemon right? not bad. when you make spinach lasagna don’t you usually make a thickish, creamy sauce, with some garlic, maybe cook the spinach with some tasty lemon juice. Well, you see my point.

My pantry was bear, I had a whole container of hummus that I had just lost interest in (I know I know, I’m a horrible vegan). Plus I picked up a wicked soy-mayo-dip from the farmers market, so it pretty much left the poor hummus out in the cold.

This recipe is supper adaptable, in fact I think I was originally planning to use my eggplants in this as well. Basically, any lasagna/pasta bake style veggies you have and need to use can go in the pot!

So here we go, I made 2 large containers but you may want to cut back a bit as this was over 4lbs of food. :oof:.

ingredients
– Pasta of your choice, I used macaroni because I bought 10lbs of it at costco ages ago. Spirals also work nice or lasagna noodles if you want to be fancy.
-3-4 good sized handfuls of spinach, torn into peices
-1 medium onion (your choice, I had Spanish so I used those), diced into bite sized pieces
-3 TBSP Pureed Garlic (or minced) I would assume this is around 3-4 cloves
-2 lbs button mushrooms (or any other mushroom/veggie combo, celery is good, so are eggplants and peppers), chopped into chunks.
-1 container of store bought hummus (minus less than 1/3 in my case, any amount will do)
-1 jar tomato sauce
-2 TBSP olive oil
-Fresh cracked pepper, nooch, basil and Italian seasoning, soy-sauce/salt opt.
Optional: Vegan cheese, Almond milk

Preheat oven 355

Start by boiling water for the pasta and washing your veggies. Chop everything. Heat oil in a frying pan. Caramelize your onions in a pan with lots of fresh pepper. Once onions start to colour dump in your mushrooms and continue to sauté, add more oil if needed.

As those cook be sure to stir your pasta. After the mushrooms and onions are almost done add the basil, more pepper, soy-sauce and Italian season. Continue to cook until mushrooms take on the rich brown colour and everything is coated in seasoning and fragrant. Add garlic and sauté until it too is done. Leave on heat, but don’t let burn.

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Your pasta should be ready to drain and rinse with cold water. Take your baking dish(s) and fill half way with pasta. Tear up your spinach and add to dish, toss with pasta and cracked pepper. Now grab your hummus contain and scoop out the hummus into the baking dishes. Tossing with the pasta until everything is nice and coated.
Tossed.
Now the hotter your pasta, the easier it’ll spread. So I took turns dumping in hot mushroom/veggie mix onto the hummus globs to aid in spreading. Toss everything until well combined.
Hummus Pasta: Pre-Baked

Take your hummus container and add a splash of almond milk or water, close cover and shake. This will get all the little bits out, poor mixture into pasta. This also helps create a saucier consistency.
Saucy
now that everything is well combined, open your jar of pasta sauce and add it over top of the pasta creating a red layer. Top with nooch, cracked pepper and optional vegan cheese.

Creamy, oozing, goodness.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes covered*, remove cover and bake another 15 at 450 or until browned in spots/’cheese’ melts.

Serve piping hot! Or put it in the fridge for lunches, it gets better as it ages.

* If your container doesn’t have a cover, add a little extra almond milk or add water to the tomato sauce and shake it up to get all the little bits out and pour that over. The added moisture will help everything from drying out. I did one covered and one not, giving a little extra sauce etc to the non-covered dish.

Pre-baked.

For hummus lasagna, I would toss the vegetables separately with the hummus, then layer, veggie/hummus mix, noodles, spinach, tomato sauce and repeat.

Squash and Kale Pasta

I am not kidding when I say this may be the best thing I have ever made. Seriously, I was a cocking son-of-a-bitch for 3 full days after I made this, it was that impressive and good. This is so not my typical dish, flavour or style, but it is amazing! Much more sophisticated then my usual kitchen works. And look! there is even a real honest to goodness recipe!

this is the dish to go to for autumn filling.
This is THE Autumn dish!

Butter smooth squash, with a light creamy sauce coating pasta and veggies. And the crunchy, spicy kick of the roasted seeds (optional, but you’ll be missing out!). A great seasonal dish! That is somehow rich and light at the same time!
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Autumn Delight: Squash Pasta
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1/2 lb. winter squash
1 medium onion diced
1/2 bunch baby kale
2-3 fat cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup veggie stock
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
leftover roux based sauce (optional)
nooch (optional)
1 recipe roasted squash seeds (optional)
1/2 lb. pasta (any short pasta)

Seasoning to taste:
Cumin
Cayanne
Pepper
Paprika
sage
mustard seeds
pinch of nutmeg
salt
thyme
rosemary
serves 1 with leftovers
time 45 minutes

So good! Squash pasta
1 Quarter, peel and de-seed the squash. Cut the squash into small cubes (no larger than 1/2″). chop onion into similarly sized cubes
2 Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat; add the squash, onion, pepper, mustard seeds and sauté, stirring from time to time. Cook until the squash is basically cooked-through, but still relatively firm (about 10ish minutes), seasoning to taste with salt,pepper and other seasonings.
Possibly the best thing I have ever made.
3 Meanwhile, mince the garlic; wash the kale, chop stems and roughly tear up the leaves. When the squash is nearly cooked through, add the garlic and kale. Cook for another couple of minutes, until the kale is wilted and the garlic soft.
4 Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, and continue cooking until the squash has reached a tenderness to your liking . If the mixture starts to dry out, you can add a little bit more stock (or even water). Once the squash is cooked properly, stir in the non-dairy milk and if you have leftover white vegan sauce that is made with a roux add that in chunks. Roux based sauces tend to thicken a lot when chilled and if you add some to your pan it’s kinda like a soft cheese or bits of tofu.
5 Toss squash mixture with nooch, roasted seeds and cooked pasta. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese if desired and top with roasted seeds if using.
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1 Recipe Roasted seeds
1 squash worth of seeds
2 tbs olive oil
Seasoning:
Cayenne
salt
pepper
garlic powder

pre-heat oven to 350 and place a piece of parchment paper onto a tray. Toss the seeds with oil and spices and arranged in a single layer on sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes stirring once or twice. Careful they don’t burn!

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Seriously!! I am not kidding go make this disk right now!

Veganmofo: Student’s best friend, the leftovers

Here is a just quick follow up post because I posted yesterday’s entry today (oops) which has put me a little behind. Anyway, to follow up on the vegan student’s chili I got some handy advice from the ppk on the many applications of leftover chili.

Poor Student's Chilli Noodles

Today I went with the chili spaghetti!Just use your chili in the place of sauce, great for a quick meal and good use of leftover chili (using yesterday’s recipe).
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Heat your chili (I added some extra garlic and basil to mine as it cooked), cook your noddles and if desired add some vegan cheese/nooch.

Voila! chilli noodle bowls.

After some coffee and a few bowls of this your ready to get back to the books for midterms.
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Plus if you are even more strapped for time, and microwave friendly. Zap your noddles in water add your sauce and zap some more until heated through.

Veganmofo: Student’s Chili

Here’s a simple and easy chili recipe. I threw this together last night for supper and it made enough for lunches for the next few days plus more the freezer. The main point of this meal was to make use of the last little bits we had running around. Depending upon what you use it can be fairly budget friendly as well.

Hungry Student's Chili

One thing I like to do with jars of salsa and tomato sauce (or really any kind of sauce, pickles, jams etc) is once the jar is empty to add hot water to the jar and shake to get all the little bits of sauce left. And I normally save these remnants for sauces, soups, stews and other dishes that cook for a while. Not only does this make cleaning the jars for later use a breeze but it also ensures you get every last bit of sauce

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Hungry Student’s chili

1 can kidney beans
3 cups leftover beans
1 pack veggie grounds
1 onion diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
leftover spaghetti sauce, salsa, black strap molasses
asian chili sauce
olive oil
cooking sherry

Spices:
Mustard seeds
cumin
garlic powder
crushed red pepper
paprika
Cayenne pepper
oregano
sage
thyme
dried rosemary
fresh ground pepper
fresh rosemary

Optional: corn starch

In a large pot heat your oil and add your onions mustard seeds and cumin. Sautee until onions are translucent while grinding in pepper. Once the onions begin to turn add your remaining spices and continue to stir, being sure to scrap the bottom. Now add your diced garlic and continue to cook until fragrant, keep scrapping the bottom.

Once your garlic is fragrant add your veggie grounds and cook until browned. De-glaze the pan with cooking sherry, keep the heat high and scrap the bottom. Now add more red pepper flakes, paprika and cumin.

Be sure to drain the beans if using canned. Add beans to pot and stir, cooking for 3 minutes and adding more pepper.

Now add your leftover bits of sauce, salsa and molasses. Stir and adjust for seasonings. Add your tomato paste and canned tomatoes, rinse cans and add liquid. Don’t forget the chili sauce if you have it, a tsp or so should do.

Continue cooking and tasting, adjust seasoning but be careful as your pepper flakes/overall spice will increase with the cooking time. Cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

If your chili seems to thin, remove some of the liquid with your spoon and place into a mug/bowl and create a slurry with a bit of corn starch. But sure to stir until starch is completely dissolved before adding back to the pot. Cook for an additional 20 minutes, repeating as needed.

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Remember chili gets better the longer it cooks. But once you cannot wait any longer dig in! And enjoy

Also this recipe makes leftovers, so freeze some for latter use.

Veganmofo: Easy school lunch

Now, the important thing to remember here is that I have never before made a grain salad. I wasn’t entirely sure how to, so perhaps this dish is really just cold rice and veggies. Having only ever sampled grain salads from grocery delis where every bean/rice salad seems to be flavoured with leftover sweet pickle juice (ew!!!). I was not a fan. I prefer my grains savoury, maybe with a hint of sour.

Grain Salad

Wild Rice and Bean Salad

1 cup wild and brown rice mix
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
dash of salt
1/2 cup frozen white beans (is using caned you will need to rinse, and re-rinse. You may actually want to add more beans, I felt it could have had more)
1/2 medium onion diced
3 tsp minced garlic
1 red pepper diced (or vegetables of your choice. Red was all I had)

Herbs:
1 pinch sage
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
2 dashes of paprika
1 pinch poultry spice
1 pinch basil
1 pinch thyme
salt and pepper

Dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 sherry
1/4 (just under a quarter) balsamic vinegar
Repeat of herb mix with the addition of fresh dill

Optional toppings:
Shredded nori
Sesame seeds
nut of choice

First coat a heavy bottomed pot with oil and cook your onions with pepper and mustard see until fragrant. Add garlic and continue cooking, deglaze pan with sherry is desired. Now add you rice and toast, before adding liquid and your selection of herbs. Bring to boil, boil hard for a minute, before reducing to a low simmer for 55 minutes (or until done).

Wild Rice Salad

Meanwhile dice your pepper and make your dressing, it can be made in the measuring cup and combined by whisking with a fork. Set aside.

Once rice is done allow to cool, if you have extra liquid drain your rice. Once rice is cooled (better yet, use this recipe to use up leftover rice!) add your pepper and dressing. Toss to coat and refrigerate overnight (at least an hour!).

VeganMofo: Taco Dinner

Just a quick write up about a quick and easy favourite. TACOS!

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Back home this was one of the few meals my mother (notoriously picky eater) would eat, so it became somewhat of a staple. Now usually we served these puppies with diced peppers, onions, tomatoes, mixed greens and fancy fixings. But with our limited pantry we keep it pretty simple:

Yves classic ground
Salsa
Garlic
Romain lettuces
And shells

Usually I would dice mushrooms and onions to fry with the garlic but as my roommate hates both those things, we skipped them. First brown your garlic in the pan, then fry your fake meat until heated and crispy. If you have any favourite seasonings feel free to add them in as it cooks, I used paprika and pepper because supplies where limited. Now you add your salsa and continue to cook until it gets all nice and bubbly. The salsa will cook down and flavour your fake meat to make a simple and tasty filling for your crispy shells.

Note: I also like to heat the shells in the oven for 5 minutes so they get extra crispy and a little toasted.

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Serve in shells with lettuces and toppings of choice. Mine was an extra dollop of salsa and hot sauce. MMM.

What are you favourite taco fixings?

Quick and Easy meals

My kitchen is currently non-existent so apologies for the lack of posting. Here is an easy Bechamel sauce from the ppk website served on WW macaroni and steamed broccoli.

When water is boiling place basket with broccoli over water, once boiling move broccoli add pasta and return broccoli to steam.

Meanwhile make this quick and easy sauce. I adjusted the seasoning with extra salt, garlic power, onion powder and paprika with nutmeg like the french do.

Very rewarding and filling.

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