I am a little guilty, because as the holiday season gets into full swing, I feel like I should be posting fancy, gift-worthy recipes on this blog. Alas, that is not possible right now! Daiku and I are dealing with giving and grading finals (him), finishing a chapter of a dissertation with a tight deadline (me), and trying to plan and pack for our upcoming 4 weeks of traveling! As many of you probably know from first-hand experience, this is a recipe for stress. So, as the awesome and fancy recipes I see on everyones' blogs and in all the new cookbooks stack up on our "to-make" pile, Daiku and I have been eating very simply with an eye to a) quickness and ease of preparation and b) finishing up what we have in the house.
So, this blog post will be about some quick and simple recipes that use a lot of normal ingredients, but somehow manage to be marginally healthy as well.
First up, tempeh reubens! This has always been one of my favorite foods, but we only got around to making it at home recently, and it was awesome. We used this recipe from The Vegan Cooking School website, but changed around some ingredients and the sauce a little bit. You would not believe the smells that were wafting through the kitchen as the tempeh baked!
Tempeh Reuben Sandwich
One 8 oz. Package Tempeh, sliced into sandwich sized pieces
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon caraway
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Cup Sauerkraut
1/4 Cup cooked cannelini beans
1 Tablespoons veganaise (vegan mayo)
2 Tablespoons ketchup
3 Tablespoons minced pickles
2 tsp teaspoon lemon juice
thin slices of red onion
Sandwich bread, toasted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl combine water, soy sauce, cumin, caraway, mustard, garlic and oil and whisk together. (I used the Magic Bullet to blend everything together) Place tempeh in a baking dish and pour marinade over it. Bake in oven uncovered for 40 minutes. (It will look like you have a lot of marinade, but the tempeh will absorb most of it during the baking process) When finished cooking tempeh will be dark and should be removed from any excess liquid. Place on a separate dish and set aside.
Place sauerkraut in a small frying pan over a low heat to warm through. You want the sauerkraut to be warm for the sandwich but not burned so keep the flame low!
Make the Russian dressing by combining the cannelini beans, veganaise, ketchup, pickles and lemon juice and mixing thoroughly. (Using the beans gave the dressing plenty of body, but allowed us to cut down the fat quite a bit) Now to assemble this tasty sandwich: Place bread on a plate. Spread a tablespoon of the Russian dressing on and add the tempeh. Add the warmed sauerkraut, sprouts, onion and place the other piece of bread on top.
These sandwiches were wonderful, savory, and filling, and the leftovers made quick lunches to take to school the next day.
The next recipe I have is so easy, that it's a bit ridiculous to post it, really. But I figured when you're hurried (and maybe your kitchen isn't as neat and orderly as you'd like, and you don't want to mess up any more dishes, and you don't have time to bake, and you're running out of ingredients... you get the picture!) you might still want a quick sweet morsel to pop into your mouth and so I bring you...
Bazu's Chocolate Butterscotch Oat Bundlies (beginning to mouth in under 15 minutes!)
Ready for the ridiculous recipe? Here goes:
Take a handful of chocolate chips or chunks of chocolate
Take a handful of butterscotch chips (or peanut butter, white chocolate, or more regular chocolate chips)
Put these in a small deep bowl or mug with a splash of your milk of choice
Microwave for about 20 - 40 seconds until mostly melted, then whisk with a spoon until thoroughly melted, uniform, and mixed.
Now take a couple of fistfuls of quick (important - these won't work as well with old-fashioned) oats and stir into the melted chocolate until well-incorporated.
Now, using a spoon, take little round bundles of this mixture and drop on a plate or small cookie sheet, and stick in the freezer for about 5 - 8 minutes. (Just enough time to brew some tea or coffee, actually)
Take out of freezer, allow to thaw for just a moment or two, and pop into your mouth! This recipe really is greater than the sum of its parts. The chocolate re-solidifies wonderfully and you feel like you're eating something between a cookie and a candy, and the oats let you believe you're being kinda sorta healthy- it's a win-win!
Sometimes, Daiku and I just give up and order pizza. We do this really infrequently, and you know things are overwhelming when we do. I just had to show you this his-n-hers veg-n-notvegan pizza with cheese on one side and no cheese on the other, since it looks pretty funny. We had a coupon, so this large pizza came to $6, not too bad. Oh, and while it's horribly unhealthy, Papa John's garlic sauce is, indeed, vegan, so file that under "desperate times call for desperate food"... moving on!
Finally, we have tea. Specifically, what you see above is "Casablanca Twist" from Adagio Teas, a mixture of green tea and mint leaves. Woah- this stuff is so strong and has such pure flavor! It's a wonderful mixture of energizing and soothing for when you're studying, writing, grading, packing, you know, all the good stuff! Mint tea is also great for digestion, say, for when you eat take-out pizza... The ever-wonderful Celine was kind enough to hook me up with Adagio teas by sending me a gift certificate. Now that I've ordered from the site (after a few weeks of browsing, drooling, and trying to decide what to get!) the site will let me send gift certificates to whoever I want. So, if you want a $5 off coupon for Adagio, just leave me your name and email address in the comments and I will send one to you immediately. I think I want to try the Valentine's Day blend next (it's tea with bits of chocolate-dipped strawberries- how crazy wonderful does that sound??) Thanks, Celine!
I hope you are all getting through this season with your sanity and sense of humor intact!