Gingery Broccoli Stir-Fry [vegan]

Bring on the broccoli! Using minmal ingredients and packed with nutrients this vegan stir-fry is the perfect quick weekday lunch or dinner.

How simple is too simple to call a dish a recipe? Judging from my own experience I’m a lot more likely to try a recipe the simpler it is. Running to the store for two or three ingredients some of which I might not use again soon [don’t tell me you didn’t have those age-old spices sitting around in your cupboard!].

Cravings are good ways to create new recipes. This dish was inspired by a sudden craving for broccoli which I’d actually consider a constant one along with this current obsession. With just a few more basic ingrdients this simple lunch came about. Pre-cooking grains is a serious timesaver, dried spices [while fresh are preferable] are always great to keep on hand and cannd legumes add some vegan protein in no time. The preparation here is almost too simple …

Broccoli stir-fry_bulgur_2

What’s in a recipe, really? In my opinion – and I’m not just saying this to make myself feel better  [you, too ;)] – every time you prepare food at home it’s a potential recipe. Unless you’re just opening a can and heating it up or mixing PB2 with water and selling it as your own original creation – really?! But you get my gist.  The reason I decided to share this particular dish is that while decidedly simpler than some of my other recent lunches it was all the more satisfying.

A grain, a green, a bean – the perfect vegan meal once again. I’m intuitively going for a different take on this basic formula pretty much every day. And why not? It’s covering all the bases and simple enough to stir up with whatever you happen to have on hand. I used bulgur as my side but if you and/or your stomach prefer gluten-free options go for those – this is a dish for everyone.

Broccoli stir-fry_bulgur_1

Gingery Broccoli Stir-Fry

1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced

2 cups of broccoli, chopped into small florets, stalks sliced thinly
1/2 tbsp soy sauce [sub gluten-free kind if necessary]
1/4-1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp chili flakes
Pepper to taste
A handful of mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup of chickpeas

Grain of choice to serve* [I used bulgur cooked with some coconut milk]

  1. Start by sautéing the onion until lightly browned. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
  2. Add the broccoli, stir well to combine, add a few tablespoons of water and cover the pot. Let cook for around five minutes or until desired level of ‘softness’.
  3. Add the ginger, soy sauce, chili flakes and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in the chickpeas and bulgur to heat through.**

*Use your favourite gluten-free side to make this suitable for your diet.

** I did this after taking the pictures.

Broccoli stir-fry_bulgur_4

I’m joining  Meatless Mondays, Savouring Saturdays, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Tasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and Real Food Friday.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Talking to my brother on the phone for the first time in weeks and finding out about all the good news in his life.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

 

 

Advertisements

Quick Cauliflower Chickpea Curry [vegan]

Quick, easy and nutrient-filled this warming and satisfying curry makes the perfect weekday meal. Vegan, naturally gluten-free and packed with nutrients and flavour.

More often than not my recipe posts turn into confessional ones. I figure everybody’s got a way to rid themselves of their sins so if mine’s a way of producing content: two birds with one stone, right? And if it means you’re getting a recipe that way maybe three birds? Oh well, I honestly don’t know where I’m getting here. A little birdy told me to …? Okay, moving onto food. Or: confessions. And delicious curries that don’t require you to stock up on every spice available at the Indian grocery.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry_3

You might remember I’m a produce overbuyer in rehab. Only rehab means trying to stop the habit, it working for some time – and then going downwards again. Once more, a recent grocery store trip ended with me carrying home a monstrous head of cauliflower with no intention on how to use it. I know … Typical. Despite having a million ideas on how to turn cauliflower from bland into absolutely amazing  Plus, it’s a nutritional powerhouse so maybe that’s why it lures me in time and time again?!

close-up_cauliflower chickpea curry

I’m more often than not too overwhelmed to decide on a recipe. Add to the dilemma that I somehow manage to ignore the cauliflower’s existence [as if that was possible with a huge head staring at you every time you open your vegetable drawyer …] until it’s on its last legs. And it was one of those situations when this recipe came about. I was hungry. I had cauliflower to use. Indian food sounded good so Cauliflower Chickpea Curry it was. Though you obviously know I’m not guaranteeing any authenticity with my recipes. Indian-inspired curry.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry_2

Whenever I cook brown rice I immediately think of Lee. Why? Because some time last year she posted a delicious-looking recipe calling for it and I lamented the fact I was unable to locate short-grain brown rice [still living in the middle of nowhere then]. Imagine my delight – heureka! – when I finally found a bag back then. The obsession is back again at the moment and this curry just calls for brown rice as a side. Or your favourite grain, really. But bonus points for brown rice. And coconut chips that I only thought of adding post photo. Blogger fail. Oh well, that’s another confession on my part so we’d better fet onto the recipe now.

 

Quick Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

  • 200 g cauliflower [2 cups, chopped into small florets]
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup chickpeas (125 g)
  • ¼ cup passata/tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4-1 tsp cumin seeds [I always use the larger amount]
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Coconut chips [not shredded coconut!] for topping
  • cooked [short-grain] brown rice to serve

 

  1. Start by sautéing the onion until lightly browned. Add the garlic and fry for another minute.
  2. While it’s cooking mix the spices to keep at hand when ready. Add to the onion mixture and toast the spices for about two minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning them.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets, stir well to combine them with the onions and cover the pot. Let cook for around five minutes.
  4. Mix in the bok choy stems, stir and cover again for a minute. Add the chopped tomato, chickpeas and tomato sauce.
    Just before turning off the heat, stir in the bok choy leaves and let them wilt.
  5. To serve, plate with some the brown rice cooked/reheated with coconut milk/soy creamer and some coconut chips.

Cauliflower Chickpea Curry_4

Because I know everybody appreciates some quick and easy dishes I’m sharing this recipe with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays and Tasty Tuesdays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: An interesting conversation with a ‘colleague’ at the kids’ book club I’m currently assisting at.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Your turn: Share a [kitchen] confession!

What is one vegetable you’re constantly buying too much of? Don’t pretend I was the only one doing it!

 

WIAW: Bring it back!

Oh, how I like me some good themes for What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday. This week? Well, you saw the title already so let’s bring it back! Old favourites or rediscovered food, that is. Because sometimes changing it up just means going back to former favourites or giving dishes a second chance. And for the jive Tupperware is making a return in today’s post, too.

WIAW_new2015

Starting with a recent new discovery, though. Or not completely new but finally successful. See, I’d  tried savoury oatmeal before  but it was … less palatable. I wasn’t going to give them another go but cravings are cravings. And cravings aren’t to be ignored, am I right?! So savoury oats have been on the breakfast menu almost every day for the past week. The key are enough add-ins and toppings to create a perfect bowl. My go-to combination is a base of carrot oats with nutritional yeast, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and mashed chickpeas. The bowl pictured below was my try at changing up the legume with kidney beans but it wasn’t as satisfying as my lovely garbanzos.

savoury oatmeal_breakfast

While my current job search has yet to come to fruition I’ve been giving private lessons to students at an institute in town every now and then. I won’t whine but yesterday was proof I’ll never become a teacher. Not like I had ever intended to, actually, but have you ever tried to get a bunch of seemingly hyperactive nine-year-olds to do simple math when they can’t even sit still for a minute? Let’s just say I have a newfound respect for elementary school teachers. You’re superheroes.

Tupper lunch_wheatberries_stir-fry

What that all had to do with my lunch? Well, since I was helping the kiddos from 12.45 to 4.45 PM I needed to bring some food with me or else I’d have risked eating somebody. I kid, I kid. Either way, I precooked some wheatberries on Monday night and topped a serving with a simple vegetable and chickpea stir-fry. Fun fact and one of those old favourites leading to today’s post title: Prior to eating this I hadn’t [consciously] eaten soy sauce in months. Why? Not for any other reason but the fact I’d bought a one litre bottle of the one and only brand [Kikkoman] but didn’t want to break into it knowing I’d move again rather soon. Why yes, I’m cautious enough – or anxious enough? – to worry about soy sauce spilling in the condiment box packed for the move. I make myself laugh. Anyway, now that we’ve been reunited I see myself eating simple stir-fries on end. Sometimes the simple dishes are really the best.

apple_peanut butter_snack

I’d actually packed an apple as a snack, too, but given it was a struggle to squeeze in eating my lunch I ended up eating it at home. Which was probably better in anyway since that’s where I was able to pair it with the best dip ever: Peanut butter. No, I haven’t abandoned my declared favourite but crunchy salted peanut butter has made its comeback in past weeks. Good for my wallet, too, because dang is my obsession expensive.

Because I came home ravenous after work – I told you it was strenuous 😉 – I snacked pretty much all afternoon while writing a letter. Before we talk about one of those snacks remember what Jenn stresses: WIAW is not about judgement. Okay? Good. Meet my favourites: chickpeas. Yes, you knew that already but did I ever mention I’ve been eating them straight from the can? What can I say: Roasting takes too long if I want food fast and they’re just so satisfying. Go judge – or try it yourself the next time you crave a savoury snack in an instant.

chickpeas_snack

Dinner … once more escaped the camera [as well as about 394948596 more snacks]. I’d tried to remind myself to take a picture for blogging’s sake but in my defense: I got a call shortly before, was distracted and then remembered when I was almost done eating. It was cocoa banana oat bran with almond butter if you were wondering, though. Actually, that’s my go-to  dinner and I’ll probably keep eating it until I’m getting really bored.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Smelling the flowers while being cyling into town. There’s one field that

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

 

Have you recently eaten any foods you had unconsciously neglected for a longer while?

Are you a Tupper fan? If not: how do you transport your food to work?

Savoury oats: yes or no? Share your favourite add-ins!

Pump[kin] up my lunches and cookies

Oh hey, a second What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday in a row!

Not making any promises of posting weekly meals again but I do plan on joining WIAW more regularly again. I’ve fallen into a rut, no, groove [stealing this from Amanda] and I need crave change. WIAW has proven to be a helpful tool of inspiration and positive pressure here before so fingers crossed I’ll be able to shake it off up again. Onto my recent still-in-the-groove meals, though.

WIAW_new2015

 

Let’s face it: office lunches are not glamorous. Unless you a) live in an awesome city with intriguing options [Whole Foods, Panera, Chipotle – none of which exist in Germany and certainly not where I live]. What’s a girl to do? Meal prep, right. I’ve actually gotten rather good at breaking this up over the course of the weekend in batch-cooking a different grain every week plus two stew-like dishes to go along with it. That would be casserole-y-fying for you. And yes, we’ll pretend that’s a word. Thanks.

Pumpkin cheese sauce

That above is the key to one of my favourite go-to dishes: a super simple – does anybody use the abbreviation KISS anymore??? If so: that’s the name of the game. – vegan pumpkin cheese sauce. I’ve had neither Velveeta nor Kraft mac and cheese before but rumor has it they tag along that ‘neon cheese sauce’ image so maybe I can compete here? Only this sauce contains a fraction of the ingredients of boxed kinds and healthy ones at that. It’s in fact not the first time this sauce is making an appearance on here but I somehow never shared the original recipe I used it in.  Given it’s a keeper I might just have to …

Office lunch_casserole_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

This particular dish was a mix of sautéed carrots, cauliflower, red onions and kale with – what’s new? – chickpeas. All served up with short-grain brown rice I cooked separately and sprinkled with a generous amount of nutritional yeast. The non-glamorous way it looked after lugging it along to the office and reheating it …

20150211_office lunch

… and all non-tuppered packed up. I’m not a member of the Tupper club anymore – or at least not at the office. Granted, tuppered up has a nicer ring to it but I’m really fond of my new dishes.  They’re not actually new – but you’d have a very good memory if you remembered where they hail from – but I’ve been using them more than ever before these past months. A dish you can [but I didn’t this time] bake and store a dish in afterwards?! Plus, the vacuum is pretty amazing – that little ‘zipper’ you see peeking out at the left side top of the dish. No  accidentially lifting the dish up and spilling its contents because the lid wasn’t closed well enough …

casserole_dish

And because I like my sweet endings I’ll overlook the fact I did not like the picture and show you my latest tried-and-tested blogger recipe. Amanda’s vegan Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will admit I didn’t care so much for the actual baked cookies but a lot of dough eating quality control was necessary. In fact, I baked another batch shortly afterwards not only because one of my colleagues was really fond of them but because I was craving some dough. We can call it a win-win-situation and still consider it a selfless act on my part, agreed 😉 ?!

Amandas_banana chocolate chip cookies

And now that I’ve talked your ears off about pumpkin cheese, tupper vs. non-tupper dishes and the importance of quality control when baking I’m hungry and we can call it a day. Let’s chat about your recent meals a little below and as always: happy Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Starting the day with a new breakfast. It’s a first step to breaking the groove!

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Have you ever made a pumpkin-based cheese sauce before? Let me know of any amazing recipes worth trying.

What’s your favourite kind of cookie dough? Yes, the dough, not the baked cookie. My favourite baked cookie [shortbread-based] differs from my favourite kind of cookie dough so I dare to say others are similar.

Are you a member of the Tupper club? And can we still be friends now that I’m not fully anymore???

 

 

 

Vegan Red Pepper Cream Rice [gluten-free]

Creamy and cheesy red pepper sauce covering nutritious brown rice and plenty of vegetables makes for a satisfying vegan lunch or dinner.

Remind me to expect good when creating impromptu dishes on a whim or at least keep pen and paper on the kitchen table at ll times? Because that’s when true magic can happen.  That is, if you consider super easy, fast and satisfying meals magic.  I know I do. As much as I like fancy meals sometimes [read: in 90 per cent of the cases] I’m ravenous by the time lunch rolls around and just want to eat. Like, ten minutes ago.

Red pepper cream sauce_2

The creation of this dish started with a mad craving for bell peppers. Actually, that began roaring while I was running errands already. Or else I wouldn’t have found myself with a bag of peppers at hand in the first place – you might remember my sensitivity to them? It seems to be better these days but I’m still very careful in terms of amounts.  Anyway, another characteristic of meals I was longing for – or constantly am – is creaminess. Red pepper cream sauce?  Cheesy? Yes, please.

Red pepper cream sauce_3

While there’s a time and place for actual cream and full-fat cheese-filled dishes it’s not on a regular weeknight for me. This version might not fool a die-hard cheese fan. Nevertheless, cauliflower, almond milk and nutritional yeast team up creating an addictive sauce that will make you wish you’d prepared a double batch. And why not, really? I may or may not have eaten this as a soup at some point.

Red pepper cream sauce

There are two key ingredients to the sauce: coconut oil for just the right amount of richness [don’t omit this!] and nutritional yeast. I’ve been going nuts about nutritional yeast lately.  Oddly enough,  I wasn’t a huge fan when I first tried it years ago but as of late have found I actually prefer its taste to that of real cheese. Strange but really good for me, however, was the impromptu add-in of actual [vegan if desired ] melty cheese. Crazy when there’s the nutritional yeast already?  Trust me on this one. The yeast for flavour, the cheese for that stretchy [is that even a word outside of the world of yoga pants?] cheesiness. More of that, please.

Vegan Red Pepper Cream Rice

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely*
  • 3/4 cup cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp frozen or fresh chopped parsley
  • 1-2 tbsps nutritional yeast  [I will be honest and let you know I didn’t measure but just kept adding it to taste – at least 1 1/2 tbsps, though]
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Coconut oil, about 1/2 tsp

 

  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • 2 small red onions, sliced into rings
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup kale, sliced thinly
  • 5 brown button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice  [I used short-grain]
  • [vegan or regular] shredded cheese** – I used a small handful but the more the merrier
  1. Add the bell peppers and cauliflower to a small sauce pot and add just so much  water so they’re not fully covered.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Let simmer until the vegetables are tender.  There shouldn’t be a lot of water left.
  3. Pour in almond milk and add the seasonings. Blend until smooth.
  4. Sauté the onions until caramelized.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  6. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have realeased most of their liquid. Stir in kale and let it wilt.
  7. Stir in the rice, chickpeas and sauce. Just before serving sprinkle in the cheese, stir and let it melt into the sauce.

Notes:

  • * This tastes even better if you roast the pepper in advance. I just went the very lazy route adding everything to a pot and letting it simmer until tender.
  • ** If using vegan make sure to use a kind that melts well. I like Daiya brand.

Red pepper cream sauce_5

I’m linking up with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Lean Lena’s Tasty Tuesday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.

Happiness-inducing today: Today [January 6th] is the birthday of this fabulous lady and long-time blend right here. Happy Birthday, Emily!

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Do you like nutritional yeast? If so: what are your favourite uses for it?

How do you create recipes: plan them in advance or go with the flow and trust in brilliant results?

Peas over nuts [Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars]

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious: A one-bowl vegan and protein bar reminiscent of  a slice of soft vanilla cake. Free from gluten, refined sugars or weird additives.

Protein Bars 8

Chances are that if you’ve been around the blog world for any time yet you’ll have noticed two trends: 1) a fondness of bars and 2) protein as many bloggers’ favourite macronutrient.  Me, however? That’s where I’m not like your average blogger. I’m not fond of bars in general [at this point I expect some people gasping for breath in shock]. Me and protein bars?  Much less. I’ve always considered these a) exclusive to body builders or b) anybody doing strength training. The way I see it I don’t fall in either category. Unless you’d count lugging around [way too] heavy bags every day weight-lifting. Hmmm …

Protein bar

Which didn’t bug me much because the protein bars available at stores around here are nasty. The only one I ever bought years ago – I can actually recall the time, brand and flavour of the bar – wasn’t awful in terms of taste. But it was a candy bar disguised as a healthy snack.  The ingredient list: Sugar. Sugar.  More sugar. Oh, and some protein. Processed soy-derived. Aren’t you getting hungry reading that?!

Protein Bars 1

These? Are the opposite. Granted, that other bar won the award for appearance – how hard is it with a thick chocolate?! coating – but we already know it’s the inner values that count.  Protein not only from the powder but the peanut flour and even in the chickpeas, too. A funny story or realization about those: I had my mind set on using salted peanuts here. -But-: you haven’t seen my overflowing cupboards yet. No unneccessary purchases for me.

Protein bars 3

So I went for the closest sub and – chickpeas. Before you turn up your nose or click away: Think about it. Chickpeas are legumes – as are peanuts.  There isn’t much of a difference with that in mind. Clearly a case where peas [won] over nuts. And I’m nuts about those peas – my stash is dwindling by the day. If you’re still doubtful just let me tell you about the great texture and crunch they add to these bars …

Protein bars 4_neu

A realization and my only regret about this recipe is my habit of preparing small batches. The one I prepared Saturday was meant to last me for the week. Yet there I was whipping up another pan a day later. I’m officially addicted. But it’s a good one.

Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars [about four generously-sized bars or more smaller ones]

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (20 g) [I used SunWarrior]
  • 1/8 cup peanut flour [15 g]
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour [15 g]
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon + additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1/8 cup NuNaturals oat fibre OR psyllium husks* [15 g] OR oat bran*
  • a pinch of salt [generous for me and any other fans of sweet-and-salty combinations]
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup (could sub agave or honey)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dry-roasted salted chickpeas [20 g]
  • about 1/2 cup non-dairy milk [I used coconut]
  • 1/4 cup dried mulberries
  • Optional [but actually mandatory] raw or 99% dark chocolate, chopped**

 

  1. Combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Stir in milk and syrup to combine.  You’ll want to reach a slightly drier cookie dough texture.
  3. Put the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish and press down firmly.
  4. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the top feels firm but not dried out.
  5. Take out of the oven and dust the top with additional cinnamon inmediately.
  6. Let cool before slicing into bars. These keep best in the fridge.

Notes:

* These are gluten-free if using either psyllium husk or gluten-free oat bran. The texture is most cake-like with the oat fibre but still fine elsewise.

** This will add some sugar so omit if opting to stay all sugar-free.

Protein bars 2

One more note on the Simply Syrup in this recipe: it’s a new product by NuNaturals and this was my first time trying it. There may or may not be a giveaway coming up soon …

Because everybody – now even me – likes protein, bars and protein bars I’m sharing these with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: An e-mail from a friend I hadn’t heard of in a while.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What’s your favourite kind of protein bar?

Chickpeas instead of nuts: Strange or awesome?

Have you made your own protein bars before?