Tag Archives: vegetarian meals

IMG_3538

This Summer, Skip the Veggie Burger and Just Grill the Veggies

Ah, summer. Parties, get-togethers, and family dinners are all a little more fun when you throw grilling into the works. You’re probably familiar with outdoor gathering invitations that state, “We’ll have the grill going, so bring your favorite grillable and a side and we’ll make it a potluck!”

If you’re following a vegetarian diet or simply want to try out meat-free options, don’t be tempted to show up to your next backyard party with a box of frozen veggie patties or a few faux hot dogs. The grill unfortunately does no favors for fake meat. It dries it out and renders it rubbery, and even wonderful homemade veggie patties tend to crumble and fall through the grates into the grill fire. These non-carnivorous options fare better when cooked in a skillet or baked in the oven.

Trendy cauliflower steaks, on the other hand, are delicious and satisfying, and they’re a great canvas for bold, grill-friendly flavors like the recipe below. Unlike veggie patties, a thick cross-section of cauliflower benefits from a good char on the grill.  Bring along a bean salad like this one as a side to work in some extra protein.

IMG_3539

Get ready to create a delicious alternative to run-of-the-mill veggie burgers.

Grilled Chipotle Lime Cauliflower Steaks
Adapted from Faith Durand, The Kitchn

Serves 4 to 6

You may need to cook your cauliflower steaks in two batches to ensure a good char. If you have a grilling basket, you can cut the cauliflower into 2-inch florets and grill those in the basket instead.

2 large heads cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice and finely grated zest of 2 limes
2 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste or finely grated
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
1 tablespoon paprika (unsmoked)
1-2 teaspoons chipotle powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
Lime wedges, to serve

Remove the leaves on each cauliflower head and trim the stem end until you can set the cauliflower flat on the cutting board. Use a large, sharp knife to trim off the sides, then cut the cauliflower into 3 to 4 thick “steaks” about an inch thick.

IMG_3540

You’ll want to slice your cauliflower heads into 1-inch steaks.

Whisk the olive oil, lime juice, garlic and honey or agave syrup in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix the lime zest, paprika, chipotle and salt.

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to high. Brush each cauliflower steak all over with the olive oil mixture and sprinkle the top surfaces generously with the chipotle powder mixture. Place the seasoned sides down on the hot grill.

IMG_3541

Grill the seasoned side of your cauliflower steaks first, then flip.

Cover the grill and cook for 3 to 6 minutes. Remove the lid and carefully flip the cauliflower. Cook covered for an additional 3 minutes or until done to your desired texture.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side.

by Sara Bir

Bloglovin

Cook Up Clean Eating To Warm Your Soul

hot pot in bowl

Choose a warm, healthy and delicious meal with this Japanese-style recipe.

It takes weeks of clean eating to recover from weeks of buttery cookies and fatty slices of prime rib. While there’s no reason to feel guilty for embracing indulgence over the holidays, it’s true that your taste buds and constitution can get fatigued from the festive abundance of rich, starchy food.

That’s why straightforward and nourishing recipes are so welcome early in the year.

On nights when you are chilled to the bones, this will warm your soul without loading your gut. Vegetables and tofu simmer in a sweet-salty broth until they are just tender. Then you serve the whole works right from the cooking vessel. It’s satisfying without being heavy, which is why I also serve it in the summer. And the main effort is in chopping the vegetables—after that, just add the flavorful cooking liquid, throw on the lid, and dinner’s ready about twelve minutes later.

The savory-sweet broth is a big crowd pleaser, too—even my picky young daughter asks for seconds.

ingredients

Here are some of the ingredients you need to make this meal great!

Japanese-style One Pot Simmered Vegetables

Adapted from Ann Gentry’s Vegan Family Meals
Serves 4

Use any combination of seasonal vegetables that are fresh and colorful. Cut longer-cooking vegetables into smaller pieces so everything’s fully cooked at the same time.

The final drizzle of sesame oil adds a hit of fatty richness. It’s essential. Also, if you ever run across smoked tofu, by all means use that. It has less moisture and way more flavor than water-packed fresh tofu, with a pleasant chew and depth of flavor.

½ large yellow onion, peeled, root end left intact
About 2 cups peeled and seeded winter squash, diced into ¾” cubes
2 medium carrots, cut into 3/4” pieces
¼ head green or savoy cabbage, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets
3 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and cut into ½ inch strips
1 small turnip, diced in ¾” pieces
1 5-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
2/3 cup mirin
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 14-ounce container water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ¾-inch cubes
Roasted sesame oil, for drizzling
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

onion in pot

Start off cooking this nutritious meal by placing your sliced onion in a pot.

Place the onion cut side down in the center of a cast-iron skillet (at least 10” across) or Dutch oven.

veggies in pot

Place your vegetables in neat piles around the onion.

Arrange the vegetables around the onion in attractive little piles, keeping each as separate as possible. Add enough water to just barely cover the vegetables, about 1 cup. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes or so.

ginger

Spearing the ginger with a toothpick makes it easier to identify and fish out of the pot later.

Then add the ginger, mirin, and tamari. Scatter the tofu cubes over the onion. Bring back to a boil and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are crisp-tender (check the root vegetables especially). Depending on the vegetables you’re using, this may take 10 to 15 minutes.

cooked hot pot

This tasty hot pot is almost ready to be served and enjoyed!

Taste the broth and adjust the seasoning with a little salt, if necessary. Fish out the ginger and discard. Serve the hot pot with steamed short-grain brown rice or hot or cold soba noodles. Drizzle a little sesame oil on top of each serving. The onion will look sad and mushy and brown, but it’s actually tender and sweet and the best part. This is our little secret.

by Sara Bir

 

Bloglovin