once a week vegan – week 3Posted: January 28, 2012
Today we’re going very basic, because who doesn’t love basic?!
I promise you next week won’t be as basic because I have some ideas in mind, which will then be shared next Saturday!
But, for now, I want to also use the word ‘practical’ because it’s pretty much what I mean when I say ‘basic.’
Basically, anyone can practically make these recipes. So corny, I know.
I’m not going to call them recipes this time, but meals, because they are both super easy meals to prepare!
Meal #1 – Roasted veggies with quinoa
First of all…what the hell is quinoa?!
You’ve probably seen it a million times on other health website, and just to reiterate what everyone else does, here is the correct pronunciation: “keen-waa.”
It is a complete protein, containing all eight amino acids – this is great news in the protein department! Plus, it taste delicious!
Some things you want to know about quinoa before cooking with it:
- You must always rinse it before using it. It comes very bitter, so to rid it of all that bitterness, give it a quick rinse! –> Don’t have a fine sieve (don’t worry, I didn’t for a while either), simply take a coffee filter or even paper towel and line a regular colander. Voila!
- It comes in 2 forms: the one displayed above and red variety – both are equally delicious.
- Always cook quinoa in a 1:2 ratio where if you’re preparing one cup of quinoa, add 2 cups of water or veggie broth.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- a ton of veggies, chopped
My veggies of choice for this were winter-related:
Broccoli, parsnip, carrots, onions, acorn squash and sweet potato.
I preheated the oven to 450F, chopped (and peeled some) veggies, cut and put them in a baking dish. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and place in the oven for between 20 – 40 minutes (depending on the vegetables you use) – 1/2 that time I had them covered in foil, the other 1/2 was uncovered.
Meanwhile, prepare your quinoa by stovetop, in a medium pot over medium-high heat, combine rinsed quinoa and water/veggie broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes. I also add one clove of minced garlic to my quinoa while it simmered, just for some added flavour.
If the quinoa is ready before your veggies, no worries, remove from heat and leave covered until veggies are ready to be served.
Once everything’s ready serve away – and no one’s judging you by how many veggies you take, so make a huge mound!
Meal #2: Homemade pizza
- vegan cheese (or no cheese, which is good – really, it is!)
- assortment of veggies
- prepared pasta sauce or homemade
- prepared pizza dough or homemade OR use pitas
This honestly is SO easy! I chose this because sometimes it’s fun to make homemade pizza!
If you don’t want to use dough, I suggest using pitas; they’re small and so easy to use as a base for pizza. If you are opting to make your own dough, this is the recipe I used.
Also, prepackaged pizza sauce makes it really easy as well, but for homemade ones as long as you have the basics like tomatoes and herbs you can pretty much make your own. Plus, there are a million on the web, if you don’t have your own!
Veggies – you can go veg crazy here. Pick and choose what you like – this is where the pitas would come in handy for individual servings and choices!
The vegan cheese: I know this is the scary part. I’m not going to sugar coat it…it’s not like regular cheese. Having said that, when you do officially give up cheese and haven’t ate that stuff in a long time, this begins to taste like your old friend dairy cheese. It’s not as horrible as it sounds. The husband likes it and he’s part of my peanut gallery. I don’t eat a lot of vegan cheese to begin with, but I do like it on pizza and nachos the odd time.
If you decide to sans cheese, load on the veggies and it tastes just as good – just add a lot of extra sauce ;)
If you do want something else that resembles cheese, I suggest sprinkling on some nutritional yeast. It is a vegan’s best friend (which I will cover in another post – or for now, google it!) and no joke, it seriously is one of my best friends.
And here’s a preview of things in store for next week!