I know, I know, I haven't posted in forever. It's not that I didn't have anything to post, it's just that I fell out of the habit. It's like the gym - I love going, but if I miss a couple of days, it's impossible to hop back on that treadmill/yoga mat. But, I did collect a bunch of fun and easy recipes to post, so you'll be seeing a lot more of me in the next regular while.
I discovered something the other day when making another noodle bowl (with rice - though not a rice bowl, because that's something different...) that helped me along on my path to become the laziest chef EVER. I always think it's so funny when I mention one of my dishes or desserts to a non-vegan and their first comment is almost always "that must be a lot of work." HA! As IF I'd spend more that 10 minutes prep time for anything! Mostly it's true everything in a food processor, push button, voila! Well, the one thing that does tend to take a while, and thus is my least fave part about cooking, is chopping veggies. Sometimes I can convince the boy to do that part of it. But now, with my newest cooking discovery, I can do it too! What's my secret? The different blades on the food processor!!! Which brings us back to the noodle-less bowl (with rice). I put everything through the food processor! Used the grating disc for the carrots, the slicing disc for the cabbage (that was the funnest one) and bok choy, the serrated blade for the ginger. Only thing that really did not work was the snow peas...I kind of knew it wouldn't, but I was feeling optimistic. I hope this little discovery of mine helps you to become a lazier chef too!
(recipes after the jump)
Anyway, tonight I"m making one of my all-time fave dishes. This one is tons of prep time with veggie chopping so I tend to not make it as often as I'd like. I know you can use the serrated blade in the food processor to chop things like peppers and mushrooms, but I'm not ready yet to experiment with that! Other than the like 20-30 min of chopping veggies, this is a super easy and healthy dish and requires no cooking skill. And, it's beautiful!!! You can also make it on one of those veggie trays over the bbq - I prefer it that way, but alas, have no bbq, or if you don't want any oil, you can just spread it on foil on a cooking sheet. My sister and I always make it when we visit my grandparents, much to their horror at the sheer number of veggies, because it's so easy to get the right ingredients and not have to worry about not finishing items. It's a creative dish too, meaning you can use whatever veggies you feel like/are on sale. If you wish for more protein, I sometimes add sauted/oven roasted tofu pieces. You can dress it with a balsamic vinagrette, or with silken tofu pureed with some garlic and lemon juice, or the creamy garlicy dressing posted below.
Just a word of advice. While I thought there was no possible way to err in this recipe, I have been on the receiving end of it gone horribly horribly wrong. So a couple of guidelines to follow:
- think colour - for a dish that's as nice to look at as it is to eat, make sure you have some variety of colour. No one wants a dish that's beige - especially not in their vegetables!!
- easy on the oil - if you choose to use oil, LESS IS MORE. I can not emphasize that enough (well, I guess I could have bolded it as well...). Too much oil will make it soggy and mushy, and will likely hurt the tummies of those eating it - none of these things are good. This dish will cook fine with no oil, so if you do add some, keep it lighthanded.
- don't overcook it - back to the mushy, soggy thing...seriously, you can always cook it more if necessary. And, unlike meat, there is no such thing as an undercooked vegetable (well, maybe potatoes, but most veggies you're ok). Overcooking will also make your veggies gray. No one wants that.
Oven roasted veggies
Cherry tomatoes, whole
brussel sprouts, halved
red onion, wedges, separate pieces
yellow and orange bell peppers, chopped
Toss with a bit of heat-stable oil (or just toss sans oil. I use olive oil, so sketchy I know...)
Put in a baking dish and cook in the oven at 425F 30-40 min (until desired tenderness. This will also vary based on how good your oven is and what temperature it actually gets to), stirring about halfway through.
Garlicy cashew cream sauce
2c cashews, soaked
water to cover the cashews
3-4 cloves garlic, remove the root (otherwise it'll be STRONG. If they're wiener cloves, use more)
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
blend together, add a bit more water to thin out. just a bit, like 1-2 tbsp. blend again.
Serve it over green salad, with pasta or just on its own.