Vegan Superfood Bowl for #SundaySupper

On July 4, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Bowls are a great way to enjoy vegan cooking. They can include anything.  If you have some vegetables leftover from the prior weekend’s Farmer’s Market finds, a bowl is a fantastic way to use your remaining vegetables.  They’re also easy to travel with whether that includes a meal for lunch at work, a day at the beach, or to bring along for long road trip so you can avoid fast food.  Packing a vegan bowl is easy and simple.

This week I wanted to experiment a bit with dressing.  I also wanted to incorporate something known as superfood.

So what are superfoods?

I wondered that too and did a little research to learn more.

In it’s simplest form a superfood is basically any food that is good for your health.  Well that seems pretty broad and inline with most of what I eat. There must be more to it than that, right?  There is more. Foods that are dense in nutritional content are considered superfoods. Examples include ingredients like hemp seeds, chia seeds, seaweed, and many other foods are rich in nutrients in a compact size.

There is no agreed upon definition when it comes to superfoods. That issue has been a key criticism from many who are quick to attack the term superfood as simply a marketing term, chosen be a few savvy companies who use the term to sell products using a small amount of a superfood as a way into questionably better health.

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I’m not a nutritionist nor do I pretend to be one like The Food Babe.  I honestly don’t really care about the use of superfoods as a nutritional edge.  The reality is most of the superfood products use so little of the superfood ingredients that the benefit is likely very small, if there is any real benefit at all.  Even this recipe uses only a small of amount of superfoods like maca powder and hemp seeds.

What I do know is that the recipe here is good for you. It uses only real foods and is loaded with fresh, unprocessed, organic ingredients.  You really can’t go wrong with this dish.  Is it super?  Maybe.  I know it is super in taste and that’s what is most important to me and my family.

 

Vegan SuperFood Bowl
Server 4

2 cups dried farro
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 red beets, 1-inch diced cubes
1 purple bell pepper, cut into strips
2 japanese sweet potatoes, 1-inch diced cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch kale, rough chop
3 carrots, peeled and grated into long strips

For dressing

¼ cup almond butter
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Bring water to a boil and add dried farro and salt. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed by the farro. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork while adding olive oil.

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Meanwhile, place the beat, jicama, and bell pepper on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil and add salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.   Remove from oven and set aside. Should be ready about the same time as the farro.

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Make the dressing by placing all ingredients, except the water, into a VitaMix or blender and blend. Add half the water and blend. Continue to blend and check consistency then add more water as necessary. It should not be watery or paste-like. You want a smooth and creamy dressing.

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Place a generous spoonful of cooked farro in each serving bowl. Add some chopped kale and carrots to each bowl. Then divide the roasted vegetables between bowls and keep ingredients separated. Drizzle the dressing in each bowl then serve with some rustic bread and butter.

Enjoy!

 


 

Want more great food that will travel recipes? Checkout this week’s Sunday Supper posts from some really great food bloggers.

Adventurous Appetizers

Destination Desserts

Mains in Motion

Sightseeing Sides

Traveling Treats

More Tips

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

 

 

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Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Mint

On June 17, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I am always looking for new ways to enjoy pasta. The base combination of olive oil, garlic and parmesan reggiano is the beginnings of a great dish.  The addition of the fava beans and mint give it some sustenance.  Finally, the addition of red pepper flakes kicks it up a notch, just be careful not to add too much of the red pepper as a little goes a long way.

Of course this dish can be made vegan by simply not using cheese or by using a vegan cheese.

Making your own fresh spaghetti is easy if you have the right equipment, if not you can do what I do most weekends and that is pick-up some fresh pasta.  The pasta I usually get is from Domenico’s as they are at many of the farmer’s markets I go to including South Pasadena, Studio City, and others around LA.

Spaghetti with Fava Beans and Mint
Serves 2

12 oz. fresh spaghetti
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup fava beans, peeled and blanched
1 small bunch fresh mint, thinly sliced
dash of red pepper flakes
grated fresh parmesan reggiano

If you did not purchase already peeled and blanched fava beans, prepare the fava beans and set-aside after blanching.

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Heat a pot of water for the spaghetti. Add a dash of salt to the water and add spaghetti when water boils. If using fresh spaghetti heat for only 3 minutes, and for dry spaghetti cook for 10 minutes.

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While spaghetti is boiling, in a sauté pan heat olive oil at medium-high heat and add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook the garlic for 2 minutes and then add the fava beans. Cook the garlic and fava beans for another 2 minutes and then add ¼ cup of water from the pasta. Now add the pasta to the sauté pan and mix with the fresh mint.

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Remove pasta to plate each meal and add the grated parmesan reggiano.

Serve with some garlic bread.

 

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Lentil Salad

On June 9, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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If you are looking for a simple vegan salad to take to the beach or enjoy for lunch, this simple salad is sure to please.  It takes only about 20 minutes to make, most of the time is waiting for the lentils to cook.  It’s easy and full of flavor with the maple syrup that is the hidden secret in the dressing. You can also play with the ingredients if you don’t have cherries or wish to use dried instead.  Don’t worry about it. Just use what you have and enjoy!

Lentil Salad
Serves 2

1 cup green lentils, uncooked
4 cups water

1 bunch purple kale, rough chop
10 cherries, pitted and halved
10 dried apricots, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil

Dressing
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lentils and water together by bringing to a boil and then reducing heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove and drain any excess liquid. You want the lentils to be firm, not soft or hard.

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While the lentils simmer, heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add kale and cook for 2 minutes until soft. Then add the cherries, apricots, and carrots to the pan with the kale and cook for 3 minutes. Set vegetables aside if lentils are still cooking.

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Add cooked lentils and vegetables in a bowl. Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking as you add it so it combines perfectly. Pour the dressing into the lentil and vegetables and stir.

Serve with bread.

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Bean Succotash

On October 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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One of my favorite food shows of recent is PBS’ The Mind of a Chef.  Season Two is now on Netflix and I am working my way through the season which features Southern Chef Sean Brock. It’s been a great second season especially after an amazing Season One staring David Chang.

The first episode shows Brock and another chef making a variation on succotash that uses boiled peanuts and ends with a lemon ricotta the mixture is pilled on top of.  It looked amazing and I figured I’d do a version of it after I found some fresh lima beans at the South Pasadena Farmers Market last week. I had also picked up some bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes and a hatch chili pepper.

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Whole Foods also had some fried shelled peanuts I used instead of boiled.  Overall, I liked how the dish turned out and would definitely make it again.  I even had leftovers and brought just the bean mixture, without the ricotta, to the beach and had it with some crackers for lunch.

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Bean Succotash
Serves 4

2 cups fresh lima beans
1 15 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shelled peanuts, fried or boiled
1 hatch chili or poblano, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 oz. fresh lemon ricotta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the hatch chili, tomatoes and bell pepper along with the olive oil into the oven at 400 degrees and roast for 45 minutes turning occasionally to get char marks around the pepper and chili.  Remove and let cool.

Cook the fresh lima beans in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove and place into a mixing bowl to cool.  Shell the peanuts and drain the white beans. Add the beans to the bowl and add the peanuts, except 1 tablespoon.  Crush the tablespoon of peanuts and add to the bowl.

Dice the roasted tomatoes, bell pepper and chili and add to the mixing bowl.  Add the peanut oil and toss in the bowl to mix adding some salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the dish by spooning out a circle of ricotta cheese and spoon on the bean and vegetable mixture.

NOTE: If not using lemon ricotta, just squeeze the juice of one lemon and mix with the ricotta before platting. You must use fresh ricotta, not the container stuff that has no flavor.

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Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

On June 8, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Lentil soups are very hit or miss in my experience.  They are often too watery, lack flavor, or get too complex where the soup has too much going on to enjoy it.  Fortunately, this evening was a hit or as my wife said “this one’s a keeper.”

I love coconut milk based curry and with this recipe you could go 5 cups vegetable broth to 1 cup coconut milk, just make sure you eliminate the tomatoes.

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The richness of flavor starts early. Using coconut oil the onion, garlic and ginger are cooked for a few minutes to give the soup a strong, flavorful base. Combining the curry powder, tomato paste for some additional time before adding the liquid helps make this soup deep in its flavor profile.  I only added 1 tablespoon of curry powder, the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons. I also used a yellow curry powder that is of medium spice.

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The lentils are added with the carrots.  Everything cooks for only 20 minutes once all is combined. This time is recommended as you do not want the lentils to get too mushy.  Plus the flavors combine plenty in this short simmer.  I added some cilantro near the end and then topped each bowl with bean sprouts and chopped cilantro.

Full Recipe: [Coconut Curry Lentil Soup]

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Abundance Bowl

On April 28, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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We often take a long drive out to Ojai on Sundays to get out of the city and to experience one of our favorite Farmers’ Markets. There is a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables plus some great cheese vendors, but it’s more about the experience.  An experience of driving through the hills to eventually spend an afternoon enjoying the market and park in the center of town.

Our other stop is a great vegan restaurant called Hip Vegan, of course. Dumb name aside it really is a wonderful place to have lunch. One of our favorite options is choosing from some of the abundance bowls they serve.

What’s an abundance bowl?

It’s basically a bowl full of various vegetables along with some grains or beans and a dressing. I had been wanting to try a version at home since we only get out to Ojai maybe once every couple months. Thanks to Pinterest I found a pretty solid Abundance Bowl recipe.

The Garlic-Ginger Pumpkin Seed Sauce in this recipe from the blog My New Roots is a bit of a different take than what we get in Ojai at Hip Vegan.  However, it’s even a better take. You’ll love the dressing here and it does keep for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

Full Recipe: [My New Roots Winter Abundance Bowl]

 

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Vegetable Pearl Couscous

On April 27, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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This is a dish that can be used to clear out your vegetable drawer.  Any vegetable will do fine in this and it is a great way to use some of the vegetables you just didn’t get to or that you found at the Farmers’ Market but didn’t have  a specific plan for.  Here I used a few items I still had left after making a few other dishes during the week.

I also find that pearl couscous has a great texture and better flavor than traditional durum wheat couscous. Pearl Couscous is also known as Israel Couscous. It has a soft, almost spongy feel. What I like most about it is it’s versatility too. It can be used for soups or eaten with just some fried onions and tomatoes as an excellent side dish.

The recipe here is a variation on one I found on the VegKitchen blog.  You can see the original recipe here: Seven-Vegetable Couscous.

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Vegetable Pearl Couscous
Serves 4

1 1/2 cups pearl couscous cooked using package’s directions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 red onion, thick chop
1/2 red cabbage, thick chop
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 zucchini, diced bite-sized
1 medium turnip, diced bite-sized
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup golden raisins

Cook the couscous according to the product packaging’s directions. I used Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Couscous but there are other options too.

For the vegetables, heat a saute pan on medium high heat with the olive oil. Add the onions and turmeric. Saute for a couple minutes until onions soften.  Add the turnip, broccoli, and zucchini and the rest of the spices.  Cook for about 5-8 minutes until the turnip is firm but a fork can puncture it easily.  Finally add the cabbage, chickpeas, and raisins and cook for another couple minutes. If you need more olive oil feel free to add a tablespoon to coat everything.

Plate the couscous first and add some vegetables on top. Drizzle some olive oil to finish. Enjoy.

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Vegan Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potato

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Vegan Tacos with Mashed Sweet Potato
Serves 6

18 corn tortillas
canola oil for frying

1 large Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup almond milk
1 can black beans
2 carrots, cubed
1 green pepper, diced into small chunks
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
cilantro, finely chopped
green onion, cut into 2-inch long pieces

hot sauce, optional

Heat water to a boil and add cubed sweet potato and cook for about eight minutes until soft.  Remove from heat and drain. Add almond milk, salt and pepper to mash to a creamy consistency. Add more almond milk if necessary.

Meanwhile, heat the black beans in a small sauce pan on low heat.  In a separate saute pan on high heat add canola oil using enough oil to barely cover a tortilla.  When hot, add one tortilla at a time for just about 5 seconds turning once using tongs and then placing on paper towel to pat dry of any excess grease. Repeat until all tortillas are softened in oil.

In a small pan, add some olive oil and the cut carrots and green pepper. Add some salt, pepper and the cumin. Mix and heat over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes to soften and let flavors combine. Remove from heat when done.

When everything is done cooking turn off the heat of all burners and assemble tacos.  Serve placing carrot and green onion mixture and then add the black beans.  Place a spoon full of the sweet potato on top and then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and add a couple pieces of green onion on top.  Add your favorite hot sauce if desired.

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Orzo Pasta Salad with Lemon, Cucumber and Feta

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s summer again in Los Angeles.  After a cooling spell of a week in the 60s, we are back to 80 degree weather in April.  So what better time to bring out a recipe my wife found on Pinterest she has wanted to try.  The combination of fresh lemon juice, cucumbers and one of my favorite pastas, Orzo, it was an attractive choice for our lazy Sunday afternoon.

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The best part is this dish is simple to make. There is no cooking, unless you consider boiling water and putting pasta in for 6-8 minutes cooking then I guess it has some minor cooking.

I used a sheep and goat cheese feta I bought at Whole Foods that added a nice creaminess to the dish, yet it was firm enough to not melt into the warm pasta when added to the bowl. Of course, any feta will do.

If you are looking for a great dish to impress at a potluck this dish is sure to meet the need.

Full recipe at Fork Knife Swoon blog: [Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta]

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Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake

On February 15, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a recipe from the kitchen. Sadly 2014 hasn’t been the year of focusing much on my blog as I planned. Perhaps this first post of 2014 will change that and get me back on track as there is so much going on as we are getting ready for the boys to turn 8 next week and I’ve been having fun trying some new dishes out too.

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This was a Pinterest find from my wife’s collection. There’s a wonderful simplicity in this dish and versatility. It could easily be made as a main course, like we did the past week, or used as a chip dip.  With loads of gooey cheese and vegetables mixed with quinoa and an enchilada sauce, the dish can be enjoyed several ways.

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Full Recipe: [Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake]

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