So it’s week 2 and I am going ethnic! I have three new meals that are – wait for it – super easy. They’re also pretty tasty and can be mighty spicy if you wish them to be (let’s just say, we’ve turned the heat up a notch, and I’m not talking about the thermostat…this time).
These ones are particularly great because they can be lunch or dinner options – we’ve used them all for both :).
And if the husband says, “I really loved that,” then I know it’s good and worth sharing.
I think I’m ready to let you in on the ethnicity options…here we go!
Recipe #1: Pasta and Veggies in Peanut Sauce
Don’t think you’ll like this? Jump to recipe #2!
Serves: approx. 3
Lightly adapted from here (mine makes a much more enjoyable sauce – in my opinion!)
Ingredients (for the pasta):
- 1/2 box whole-wheat pasta, any type (I used spaghetti)
- 1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- chopped kale (I used dinosaur)
- 2 carrots, chopped + any other veggies you wish to use
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 nub of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
- Sesame seeds, optional topping once complete
Ingredients (for the sauce):
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 + 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
- 2 tbsp molasses –> great source of iron!
- 1/2 – 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 – 2 (heaping) tbsp of Sriracha
For the sauce:
In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the first 1/4 cup of water and peanut butter. Once combined, add remaining ingredients, leaving water until the end and adding as much or as little for desired thickness.
For pasta and veggies:
- In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Once complete, drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
- In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, once heated add canola oil and then broccoli. Let broccoli cook for a few minutes before adding remaining ingredients (ginger, garlic, fresh veggies and tamari/soy sauce). Cook for as a few minutes if you wish to keep veggies crunchy.
- Add the completed sauce to the frying pan, along with the noodles and toss.
- Once everything is tossed together and coated, add (optional) sesame seeds and serve.
We literally just tried this one out today and it was so flavourful and delicious. I personally liked the adjustments I made to the original sauce, as the original one just lacked in flavour. But, if you’d like to follow the original recipe, totally go for it!
If you are looking for that super easy dinner meal, this would be it! Very little prep time and easy to make with whatever is in your fridge!
Recipe #2: Curried Chickpeas (Channa)
If you’re not a curry lover, jump to recipe #3.
Recipe found here.
- A few tbsp of canola oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced –> no vampires tonight!
- 1/2 chili pepper, seeded and diced (or leave the seeds in like me ;))
- Big section of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 3 tbsp curry powder
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium sweet potato, diced
- 3 cups water (approx.)
- whole-wheat tortillas (I used Ezekiel, but they rip fairly easy)
- Fresh spinach to use in wrap
- In a deep frying pan (one that can be covered with a lid), heat oil over medium heat, add onions and cook until soft. Next, add in the chili pepper, ginger, garlic and cook for another few minutes. Next, add the spices – you will end up with a paste.
- Add the chickpeas and sweet potato, plus enough water to cover everything (about 3 cups), and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 45 – 50 minutes – stirring occasionally.
- Liquid should start evaporating and is done once it thickens.
- Warm a tortilla, place spinach in wrap and top with a scoop of chickpea mixture, and wrap.
If I could remember what the name of the pepper was that I used in this recipe and you loved spice, then perhaps I’d be a little more useful – but holy, was it hot! Thank goodness for the wrap and spinach to calm it down a bit, but even then, not that much!
On the other hand, if you do not like spice or like minimal, then control the amount of spice by just adding red pepper chili flakes at the end, more custom to your spice tolerance.
I really enjoyed this recipe, and actually heated up leftovers the next day to eat over salad, which turned out quite good, too!! Nice combo of flavours and also a nice ethnic change!
Recipe #3: Acorn Squash Soup
Where would I be without one soup?! Especially my own soup recipe!!
Serves: up to 4.
Ingredients: (nice thing is there’s only 7)
- 1 small organic acorn squash (about the size of a small melon), peeled, deseeded and cubed
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut the squash in half, scrape out seeds and do your best to peel that skin off (it has deeper grooves so requires more work, and if you can’t get all the skin, it will be a-okay).
- In a medium-large pot over medium heat, add a splash of olive or canola oil, add the garlic and onion – saute for 5 minutes, until tender.
- Add the cubed squash to the pot, along with the liquids and spices (hold the salt and pepper until it’s time to serve).
- Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approx. 30 minutes.
- Once the squash is tender (test it with a fork pierce!), remove from heat and either leave the soup chunky or use immersion blender to puree.
- Season with salt and pepper.
It really is that simple and – trust me – totally worth it. I don’t know if it made a difference using an organic squash, but the flavour in this soup was spot on.
And there you have it – another week complete. If none of these recipes appeal to you, and you missed out on week one, check out them out here!
Thanks to those supporting this challenge!! I bet there are plenty of once a week vegan’s out there 😉
See you next Saturday!