It’s a weird day over here in the Bay Area! It was HOT this afternoon and then raining with thunder and lighting when I got home from work. It’s stormy and gloomy without the cold. All of my windows are open, along with the patio door. The smell of rain is filling my apartment (that, and the smell of a musky candle I have burning too). My lemon tree is happy for the drops of rain. It’s a cozy Monday afternoon. Perfect for experimenting in the kitchen!
Mike and I avoid meat whenever we can. Veg burgers are on regular rotation over here and although there are some good brands out there (Dr. Praegar’s is my favorite!), I love making my own with only a few ingredients. This recipe was super easy with only 2 main ingredients and some spices and condiments. It can easily be a “kitchen sink” recipe by subbing out the Great Northern beans and rice for whatever you have on hand (quinoa and black beans would be great as well).
Plus you make now and freeze them for later. I actually find that they heat up better this way because they are frozen into place before pan-frying.
If you’re doing this, I suggest doubling the batch to get the most of your time. 🙂
I try to incorporate veg into every meal and while it doesn’t always happen for breakfast, or sometimes lunch, you can bet there are making an appearance for dinner. Every night. Without fail, we have something green to eat (or red or purple or orange, you get it).
I’ve found buying organic frozen vegetables is a very sustainable way to do this. I alternate between broccoli, green beans, asparagus, peas (my favorite!), and sometimes corn.
I also love roasted veggies but don’t love all of the oil needed to get them nice and crispy. Happily, I’ve found the ice/water from the frozen vegetable can drastically reduce the amount of oil you need to roast them.
Another reason to stock up and love on frozen vegetables!
All I do is spray my cooking sheet with an organic Spanish olive oil, pour the veggies on, and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 – 30 minutes, depending on how toasty you like them! (I like mine extra charred so they’re in there for a while.)
Sprinkle with some pink Himalayan sea salt and there you go; all of the nom, way less of the oil.
End note: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against some good olive oil however, I typically have a generous amount of it at lunch on my salad so prefer to stay away from more at dinner.
Have you ever made a recipe that made you want to throw a party just to make it again for all of your friends? That’s what happen to me with this smashed pea bruschetta. Seriously nom and so easy.
Each bite was a perfect combination of creamy (I’m looking at you, ricotta) and crunchy (toasted sourdough, whatsup); not to mention those powerhouse peas (so many vitamins and minerals!) and bits of basil really bringing out the flavor.
This recipe is going into the favorites box, y’all! I love that it is versatile too. It can be a simple, light, delicious dinner on a hot summer night or a lovely start to a dinner party with friends. You can also pair it with grilled shrimp or a big, giant salad for a more hearty meal (or soup in the winter). The ingredients are few but the options are plenty. Double win.
Have you cooked with farro before? They sell it at Trader Joe’s and it’s great when you want to mix things up.
Farro has a slightly nutty taste and a chewy consistency, almost like gnocchi. I make it with vegetable broth to add more flavor and learned by trail and error not to follow the instructions on the little blue bag (more on that below).
Basically farro is yummy, cheap, and versatile. I made this dish with peas and a side of roasted vegetables, all that came from my list of 15 ingredients! (If you prep and cut your vegetables before, the prep time for this one is basically non-existent. All about that!)
There were plenty of leftovers which can be paired with toast (also on the list) for another easy meal.
The bag of farro instructs you to cook the grain like rice, covered and simmering in boiling water. I like to use veg broth because it give it more flavor. I still simmer it but leave the pot without a lid so the steam can evaporate. It you don’t want to do this method, feel free to go by the insturctions listed on the package 🙂
When the farro has absorbed all of the broth (~20 minutes), I added my cup of frozen peas and have it a good stir to heat the peas through
Plate and top with parm
Re. a side, while my farro was simmering, I roasted zucchini and mushrooms, which gave us enough farro for leftovers! Refrigerate to reheat and serve with sourdough toast – on the list of 15 ingredients! – for another quick weeknight meal
When I think of lasagna, a few memories rush to mind…
I remember visiting my grandparents on winter breaks and opening their freezer to boxes of Stouffer’s Lasagna. In between breaks from playing Barbies and Briarberry bears (did anyone else play with these?!) I would tear open a red cardboard box and pop that plastic try of noodles, cheese, and marinara sauce in the microwave. A few minutes later, BAM, piping hot lasagna waiting for me to eat before blissfully going back to playing make believe.
I also remember Mike picking me up in the first few months of us dating for dinner in North Beach, the Italian district in San Francisco. We went to a cozy little restaurant and sat at a table for two by the window. I ordered the lasagna and probably broke some dating “rule” by finishing every last bite. Who can resist melty cheese and carbohydrates? Not this girl.
Lastly, I distinctly remember the first time I made my own lasagna and packed it with as many veggies as I could. Carrots in the sauce! Spinach in the ricotta! (Arguably healthier than the Stouffer’s and North Beach variety.) Bless Mike for eating my cooking without complaint!
My point is, I love me some good layered lasagna! But it’s a dish that screams WINTER. I wanted to lighten it up for the warmer months and knew replacing the noddles with lighter zucchini would do the trick!
They are lighter than a normal quesadilla because the cheese isn’t the leading role. The additions of hummus and veggies give this recipe a lot of volume without all of the fat of a fully cheese stuffed quesadilla. The thin layer of hummus make them creamy and adds protein.
Plus, any dish that takes me back to a vacation-mode is a win in my book!
Note: there aren’t any real measurements for this recipe – just pile on as many ingredients as will fit! Also, get creative and sub things you have on hand 🙂
Tacos are one of my favorite things. Who doesn’t love a taco?
The way your head tilts to the side when you’re biting into a taco.
This is all good stuff.
&what’s equally as good? The vegan potato tacos I whipped up the other night. (Sadly I didn’t take pictures of the cooking process but I *promise* the end result was the main attraction anyway. They were so so so good!)