Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yes, Yes, Yes, It's My Autumn Almanac : September Meal Ideas

As mentioned, even amidst my busy weekend I still found time to mess around in my kitchen! :D However by late Sunday morning I still hadn't made my meal plan or looked at my flyers so I was behind and running out of time.  I quickly pursued a blog or two, a cookbook I had left out the weekend before, decided on a few dishes and figured I'd wing the rest!  My theme for this week was/is apparently ORANGE.

Roasted Veg Sandwiches were first up because I have been obsessing over these for the past week or so.  So simple, yet so full of flavour.  You really can't go wrong with roasting veg EVER! ;) This week's blend consisted of:

Roasted Veg Sandwich with Sprouts and Sweet Potato Hummus 

  • Red and Green Peppers
  • Red and Yellow Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Mushrooms *I used button, cremini, and shiitake because that is what I had on hand but you could use any variety.
  • Garlic 
CUT your veg in similar sized pieces and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs of your choice.  I used herb de provence.  
ROAST in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved. 

*I had every intention of fire roasting my peppers but my BBQ was acting up on me :(  
**Fire roasted peppers in the fall totally reminds me of my Grandma's house.  Funny how food gives you flashbacks, huh?!

5 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking gave me enough for 2 lunches and 1 dinner for 2 people!

Next I chose Sweet Potato Hummus because a girlfriend of mine had requested I forward some tasty hummus recipes to her. Hummus is great for a mid morning/afternoon snack, as a spread on sandwiches and wraps, or if your like me, for dinner when you return from a late class at the gym.  There are SO many variations on this that I'm not sure it's even possible to name them all.  Basically, add whatever veg/fruit/nut/seed/superfood/spice to your staple hummus recipe and your got a new taste sensation.  Here is a nice version I stumbled upon over at Your Vegan Girlfriend . Arielle uses no oil and less tahini in her version in an attempt to save some calories. Heck ya!!

Sweet Potato Hummus
  • 1 can of chickpeas rinsed and drained reserving the canning liquid
  • Garlic (I never measure, start low)
  • Curry (I never measure, start low)
  • Cumin (I never measure, start low)
  • Himalayan salt (I never measure, start low)
  • 2 heaping Tbsp of tahini  
  • 1 large sweet potato (I only had two smaller ones on hand so mine isn't super orange but add as much as you'd like.  I've been known to add up to three in some of my other recipes)

Next up: Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Soup. I haven't made much soup yet this year and with the brisk Saturday breeze, it seemed like the perfect meal for the coming week. This came from a cookbook called Great Easy Meals which was given to me as a gift. There aren't a lot of vegetarian or vegan recipes in the book, but I can fit anything to work how I need it to! This recipe was pretty veg friendly to start with.

Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Soup

Carrot-Mushroom-Barley Soup 

  • 2 cups carrot juice 
  • 10 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and set aside, caps sliced (I added other varieties I had in the fridge as well) 
  • 2 Tbsp earth balance
  • 1 cup instant barley (I used pearled)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery with leaves, diced
  • Dried rosemary 
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used baby carrots, approx 1.5-2 cups)
  • 4 cups of kale or mustard greens, stems removed and leaves torn
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and grated ginger

Are you ready?!?!? Vegan Pumpkin Baked Pasta is next. This was chosen because I LOVE pumpkin and try my best to eat it in everything.....even in March ;) This is taken from Veganomicon which might be one of my most favourite cookbooks, vegan or not.

Vegan Pumpkin Baked Pasta with Sage Bread Crumbs

Vegan Pumpkin Baked Pasta with Sage Bread Crumbs 

  • 1 lb pasta, cooked (I didn't measure, just eyeballed)
  • 2 onions, sliced thinly
  • Olive oil
  • 1 recipe cashew ricotta, see below (this quickly became one of my favourites because it is so yummy on its own)
  • 1 Tbsp sucanat
  • 1/4 tbs ground nutmeg
  • White pepper and cayenne (I also added chipotle powder)
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree, not fie filling (I made my own but canned would be fine)
  • 1/4 cup veg stock (I made my own but boxed would be fine)
Cashew Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup cashew pieces
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (don't skip the roasting, it adds amazing flavour)
  • 1 lb firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Sage Bread Crumbs 
  • 2 cups bread crumbs (3-4 slices of bread in your food processor)
  • 1/4 cup earth balance 
  • 2 tsp dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (I used smoked)
  • Salt and pepper

I hope these dishes have inspired you to get in the kitchen and enjoy cooking during this beautiful month!  I'm already working on my next post which will feature my remaining recipes for this week.  Stay tuned for Rosemary and Butternut Squash Risotto, Carrot and Ginger Soup with Curry Tofu, Pumpkin Butter and Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Breakfast Bake.  I can't wait!

Rosemary and Butternut Squash
Interesting citrouille
She is SO boss!
Carrot Ginger Soup with Curry Tofu

As my title would suggest, here is one of my favourite seasonal tunes.  The girls start to ask about it around the beginning of August and are thrilled when I play it in the car again.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Peace and Love,


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