Category Archives: Main Course

Recipe ReDux: Falafel Bowl

This month’s Recipe ReDux is all about plant powered protein bowls, aka what I live on during the week. But, there’s a trick to this kind of bowl, and that trick is called prep.

I love to spend one afternoon or evening prepping lots of pieces of things so that I can put together hearty, healthy meals throughout the week. So what does prep work involve? I usually make about a cup’s worth of a grain (like quinoa, barley, farro, rice, or sometimes pasta), cook or roast beans, tofu, or tempeh, and roast some veggies (literally whichever ones I think look good that week). Then, throughout the week I combine all those things in whatever way I feel like, sometimes throwing in some lettuce and fresh veggies to create a salad, sometimes I throw them together with some greens and sauce for a quick stir fry, and sometimes I just munch on whatever I’ve prepped straight from their containers in the fridge.

For this particular bowl, I prepped by making falafel-spiced roasted chickpeas, roasting beats, cooking up some parsley quinoa, and mixing together the tahini dressing beforehand. The rest of the ingredients get chopped up and added before eating. Between the tahini and the roasted chickpeas, this bowl has a distinctly falafel-y flavor, and you can totally add whatever other falafel ingredients you love to the bowl. Cabbage salad and fried eggplant, my personal favorites, would be excellent options. Or, you can add some green leaf lettuce and make a massive salad for a crowd. Either way, between the chickpeas and the quinoa, this is a protein packed bowl with tons of delicious flavor.

How do you prep for your week?

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Basil Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Happy September! Are you looking for something delicious to make? Still holding onto summer as the school year starts? Well, look no further because this recipe is my new obsession.

This summer I shared my homemade marinara sauce to celebrate the bounty of summer tomatoes. After that I showed you my favorite cashew basil ricotta “cheese” that I put on almost everything. Now we put them together! I took the ricotta and stuffed it into some jumbo pasta shells, topped it with sauce, and baked it until it was perfect.

This is a recipe that tastes just as delicious straight out of the oven as it does three days later, cold from the fridge. Make it for a large meal or for dinner for the week because these leftovers will last.

What are you eating this week?

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The Recipe ReDux: Mushroom Lentil Salad

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The weather might have only cooperated for a few days so far, but summer is definitely on its way! In honor of the (very slowly) changing weather, this month’s Recipe ReDux theme Small Plates for Sunny Days. This immediately made me think of light food, perfect for eating outside on the patio or in the park for a picnic.

I’ve been playing around with the idea of a lentil mushroom salad for a while now, and for some reason it always makes me think of picnics. This salad is a breeze to throw together, tastes great either cold or room temperature, and travels well to the park. The lemony dressing makes it bright while the red pepper flakes give it just a hint of a spice. This is a great starter to a meal, or if you want to make it a little heartier, serve it to fewer people, add some avocado, and call it the main dish.

What small plates are you making for your sunny days?

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Recipe ReDux: Mushroom Lentil Burgers

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This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is all about freezer meals, which is fitting because I was just talking to my friend the other day about freezing foods and how many foods are freezable. Personally, I use my freezer whenever I can get away with it…which usually results in an over stuffed freezer full of random things. Oops.

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You see, I love to make extras of most things and freeze the leftovers to have on hand. This works wonderfully for soups, stews, smoothies (they keep better in the freezer than in the fridge), cookies, and cakes. I love pre-portioning things out into single servings so that if I need dinner or if I need to pack a lunch for the next day, I already have food ready to go, all it needs is a little defrosting time (if it’s going with me for lunch) or a quick zap in the microwave to have a hot meal in minutes. This works especially well for me when I know a busy period of time is coming up soon and I can stock up in preparation.

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Now I’m experimenting with slightly more intentional freezing. I’ve also been experimenting with veggie burger recipes. What I’ve discovered is that making a double batch of veggie burgers is just as time intensive as a single batch, so why not make extra, then freeze the leftovers for quick sandwich meals in my future?

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This burger recipe treats mushrooms a little like ground meat. Throw it together with some lentils (for protein) and oats (for binding power) and a some delicious flavorings, then shape and bake. These burgers feel hearty when you bite into them, but are full of vegetable goodness, and even hold their shape pretty when when eating them.

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What do you use your freezer for?

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Recipe ReDux: Portobello Mushroom Burgers

This past week was finals week for me, and the week before was everything-is-due week, so needless to say, I’ve been a little short on time recently. I’ve learned that I need to meal plan like crazy to avoid spending massive amounts of money each week on what ends up being wholly unsatisfying food. As a result, I’ve been focusing on quick and easy recipes that can be thrown together in minutes (hello peanut butter sandwiches!) and massive casseroles that can feed me for several meals (I made a banging shepherd’s pie for a pie-themed Pi Day dinner and ate the leftovers for 4 whole meals!).

The point is, I’ve been trying to keep things simple lately. Simple, wholesome, easy, and stress-free. So when I heard that the Recipe ReDux’s theme this month was “A Play on Patties” I knew that I would be cooking up my favorite burger substitute – portobello mushrooms!

These “burgers” require minimal prep. In the morning, I pour my marinade ingredients into a plastic bag, add the mushroom caps, swish everything around, and stick it in my fridge until I come home for dinner. Easy peasy, right?. The mushrooms need a quick trip to the grill, grill pan, or if you somehow find yourself with neither of these (like me), as cast iron skillet will do the trick.

A few minutes on each side, a few slices of red onion thrown in the pan, a bit of tomato, and a bun are all you need to put together a juicy, delicious, satisfying sandwich. I like to add avocado to mine because, um, it’s avocado. I also put in some arugula for a little bite. A little fresh mozzarella would also be a lovely addition. I assemble the rest of the sandwich while the mushrooms and onions are in the pan and suddenly I have a great dinner ready in just a few minutes.

What I love about using mushrooms here is that it keeps the ingredients whole and simple and really celebrates the vegetables you use. I’ve made veggie burgers in the past, and they’re great, but they require more time, more effort, more tweaking. This recipe is perfect for someone with minimal prep time available.

What’s your favorite patty?

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