We love Dreena Burton’s books and in most of them there are tasty and inventive veggie burger recipes. Like these Lentil Walnut Burgers from Let Them Eat Vegan. Dreena has posted the recipe for these wonderful burgers so give them a try. We make veggie burgers fairly regularly because they’re usually quick to make and are something the big kid will generally eat. This was a great way to get some lentils into him!
While American Vegan Kitchen by Tamasin Noyes is not among our most used cookbooks, it does have a lot of great comfort-food recipes. Like this tater tot pie. It’s like a shepherd’s pie but instead of mashed potatoes it’s topped with tater tots. How fun! We don’t often use the texturized vegetable protein called for in the recipe so we used lentils instead and it came out fabulous. We used store-bought tater tots but definitely want to try this again with homemade tots.
Robin Robertson will show up frequently in our 52 cookbooks collection. This Coconut Spinach and Lentil Dal from Vegan Without Borders was a great lunch on a recent cold winter day. It was easily done with staples we usually have on hand – frozen spinach, coconut milk, canned tomatoes and lentils. Plus plenty of spices! We served it with diced and fried tofu. We have yet to make something from Vegan Without Borders that we didn’t like and this was no exception.
Our seven-year-old loves chili so I make some version of it quite often. I love using our Instant Pot for this type of stew but if you don’t have a pressure cooker this can easily be done on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. It’s tomato season and we’re getting lots of fresh tomatoes (along with onions and peppers) from our CSA but you could use a medium can of tomatoes as well. I pureed the tomatoes in a blender before adding them but it’s not necessary.
What you need:
1 Tbs. olive or canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup diced seitan
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. lime juice
1 cup brown rice
1 cup brown lentils
3 cups water
What you do:
Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add onion and bell pepper. Cook for a few minutes then add garlic and cook for another minute. Add remaining ingredients, mix well then cover and bring up to pressure. Cook on high pressure for 22 minutes and allow for a natural release. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simmer over low heat on the stove top, covered, for about an hour. We garnished ours with avocado slices and fresh oregano. Also note that we make these types of meals mild for the kids but feel free to add as much hot sauce as you want either during cooking or when serving.
I finally got myself a proper grill! I had a tiny portable one that I used occasionally in the past but even that I haven’t used in several years. Last month I built a deck off our back door from the kitchen and once that was done I set my mind to getting a grill since I finally had a nice place to put one. Here’s the kid, quite proud of himself after helping me assemble it. It’s nothing fancy, just a basic Weber charcoal grill, but I’m really looking forward to getting some use out of it this summer.
I decided to Christen it with that quintessential American grill fare, the burger. You know, a typical burger with lentils, mushrooms, walnuts and kale. OK, maybe not so typical but still very tasty. I used Scott Jurek’s recipe because I’ve made these burgers in the past and I knew they’d be firm enough to stand up to grilling. (Incidentally, if you haven’t heard, Scott Jurek is in the midst of attempting a speed record on the Appalachian Trail.)
The kale and onions in the burgers were from Bellair Farm CSA and on the side we had roasted potatoes and a slaw with red cabbage and carrots, all from the CSA also. And we topped the burgers with lettuce from our garden so there’s lots of local produce on this plate!
First, apologies for letting this blog languish for five months. We stopped our last blog not long after having our first kid; I’m not sure what made us think we’d have time to keep up with this one after having our second kid. But this one will not come to an end – at least not now. We’re determined to keep this one going and furthermore to make it a resource for busy parents like us who are trying to make healthy meals for their families – healthy meals that just happen to be vegan.
Since today was the winter solstice we wanted to make something to celebrate the gradual return of the sun and the longer days ahead. We settled on “sun cakes”, a.k.a., cornbread baked in a ring mold. And since that’s not a meal by itself we also made chili with lentils and seitan. We’ve been making chili quite a bit lately, in large part because we discovered that the 6-year-old will eat almost anything we put into chili form. It’s also easy to throw into the slow cooker when we have a few spare minutes and then not worry about until dinner time. The chili recipe was mostly from the newest cookbook in our collection, Robin Robertson’s Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker. This was an early Christmas present to ourselves, as was our Instant Pot, which we’ve really been enjoying so far and using a lot. I’m sure we’ll talk more about it in future posts. There’s no shortage of chili recipes out there and you can find any number of vegan cornbread recipes as well but I’ll leave you with our go-to cornbread recipe, which is adapted from Peter Berley.
1 1/4 c. flour (we use either unbleached white flour or a mix of that and white whole wheat)
3/4 c. cornmeal
2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 c. + 2 Tbs. water
1/4 c. canola oil
3 Tbs. maple syrup
What you do:
It’s pretty simple really. Mix together the dry ingredients then gently stir in the water, oil and maple syrup. We typically bake this in a 9 inch cast iron skillet that’s been pre-heated in a 350 degree oven with a little Earth Balance on the bottom. 25 minutes should do it. You could easily bake it in an 8-inch square baking dish too. Tonight I got fancy and baked it in the cast iron skillet inside several ring molds and with the batter that was left I made corn muffins.