Wilted Kale/Spinach and asparagus

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One of the hardest parts of eating vegan is not forgoing ice-cream (there are great substitutes!), missing out on fast-food (it isn’t good for you anyway, and there are veg friendly options!), or even eating at a friend’s house (my friends are awesome!), the hardest part of eating vegan is turning down the nice people at publix when they offer you a sample of the latest concoction.

Thursday was no different. The dish looked amazing, wilted kale (which I love), tomatoes (favorite!), something that looked like onions, chopped asparagus, it was easy to tell that vinegar was involved and it smelled lovely. I saw chicken, which could be picked out easily, but my heart sunk when I noticed that it was sprinkled with parmesan. Living vicariously in dairy adventures through Josh, I watched with jealousy as he devoured the sample dish. My spirits, however, were lifted when he not only proclaimed that the dish was phenomenal, but would have to be cooked by us, really soon.

Soon ended up being dinner that night.

Ingredients:

Olive oil (2 tbs)
Shallots (2, or one package, chopped coarsely)
Tomatoes (one pint!)
“Garlic spice mix” (2 tsps, I mixed together garlic salt, basil, parsley, onion powder)
Kale (chopped 5 oz, kale and spinach mixture)
Asparagus (chopped 1 inch pieces 4 oz)
Mushrooms (as many as you want, not part of the original recipe, but added in place of chicken!)
Sugar (3 tbs)
Red Wine Vinegar (1/4 cup)
Fresh Basil (1/2 cup chopped)

Heat oil in a large frying pan and add shallots, tomatoes, and half of the spice mix. Cook until tomatoes are soft. A mushrooms and sauté for a minute or so as you mix the sugar and vinegar.

Let sit for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add asparagus, wait a minute, add the kale, basil, and the rest of the spice mix. Cook until the green leafy vegetable of choice is wilted.

Remove from heat and serve. Josh added cheese to his…feel free to also indulge in dairy!

While this dish was simple, it was really good! The vinegar and sugar gives an unexpected glaze to the usually savory vegetables. The shallots were surprisingly awesome…given my hatred for onions, I am excited to announce that I ate all of them!

For those of you interested…here is the original recipe

Asparagus pasta…minus asparagus, add mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach…surprise!

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This past week has been insane for both bloggers here, hence the lack of posts. Kristina has finished classes, but will be going home and adventuring over the new year. I am finishing up the calendar school year on the 21st (end of the world!) and then will be returning home to Tallahassee. I am going to try to post throughout the break, but they may be sporadic.

This meal came along when I realized that I had bought asparagus last week, but had not eaten them. Eek! I looked up recipes for asparagus and vegetable stuff, found a great recipe and then completely changed it. Kristina came over to observe/help, and upon looking at the asparagus made the conclusion that I had been dreading “those do not look good, at all”. Darn, I was hoping it was just me who realized that they were slightly yellow/brownish. So the following recipe is an altered version of one I found on Gluten Free Goddess‘s blog. Of course, in true Jenni fashion, I added mushrooms and spinach, leaving out the capers, jalapenos, and sadly the asparagus.
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Ingredients:

two handfuls of fresh spinach
3 crimini mushrooms diced
6 white mushrooms diced
almost a pint of cherry tomatoes whole
6 cloves of garlic chopped
1 leek sliced
handful of golden grapes
4 tsps balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 tbs parsley dried
1 tbs basil
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
pepper to taste
1 box Pasta

Place the ingredients (minus the pasta) in a glass baking dish. Stir to ensure that everything is evenly coated. Place in the oven at 400 degrees.
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Cook pasta according to directions on box (generally open box, pour contents into boiling water, wait).

After about 20 minutes the vegetables should be good (and look like this!)
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Drain the pasta, place veggies on top and enjoy!

This meal is easy, tasty, and vegan!

Chicken Cacciatore

Today is my turn on our Thirty days of blogging, and I apologize for posting so late but I got so wrapped up in watching Once Upon a Time, this show is amazing.  

So, yesterday for dinner I decided to browse the same site Jenni used for her meal, and stumbled upon a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore, now I have never made or actually had this dish before but I had all of the ingredients it required, plus some.  The website called for it to be Vegan and well I didn’t have fake chicken, nor did I want fake chicken.  I have no problem with veggie based vegan food, but fake meats and tofu are not my thing nor will ever be my thing. 

Below is the link for the website I got the recipe from,but I will also transcribe it below. http://www.meettheshannons.net/2010/06/betty-crocker-project-chicken.html

  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Bread Crumbs 
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper (sliced) I used red and orange.
  • 1 Red Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (Italian seasoned)
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce (8 oz)
  • 1/2 Cup Red Wine
  • 1 Cup Sliced White Mushrooms (I used baby bellas and portobello)
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano (dried)
  • 1 Teaspoon Basil (fresh)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 Clove Garlic (minced)

First, heat your oil before placing the chicken in it.  Using 2 shallow dishes put eggs in one and flour and bread crumbs in the other, and dip the chicken in the egg and then the flour mixture until it is well coated. Place the chicken in the pan with the heated oil and cook them on both sides until golden brown. 

When the chicken is finished, place it on a plate with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.  If the oil isn’t super nasty from the chicken use it for the veggies you are going to be cooking down since the oil absorbs flavors. Cook the Onions, Peppers and Mushrooms first since they will take longer to cook down, once they have softened add the rest of the ingredients.  

If you want to make this dish with pasta you can and the original recipe calls for it but I didn’t see the need for carbs with all these fantastic veggies. 

 

It was a fantastic meal and I was glad that I made it.  It made tons of leftovers! Which is fantastic for me. 

Just like Jenni…

Just like Jenni yesterday I had some pantry cleaning to do. I found myself with an excess of half used jars of previous recipes ingredients, so in an act of culinary genius I threw together a meal for myself and my friend Natalie, with some leftover for her boyfriend/my roommate Dale. 

The gist of the dish was this: 

1 can of diced tomatoes

1/2 jar of sundried tomatoes

1/2 jar of sweet pepper

1 tablespoon of Capers

Garlic

Balsamic Vinegar

Red pepper flakes

1 container of mushrooms, chopped

and a box of Penne Pasta

 

so, I started with just mushrooms and the idea that I was going to make mushroom pasta.  It sort of evolved into this conglomeration of ingredients.  I cooked the mushrooms until they were soft, tossed in everything except for the can of diced tomatoes, I had that in a separate little pot heating up and eventually moved it over so the mixture could simmer together.   Boiled the pasta until al dente and tossed it with my “sauce” mixture. 

Like I said simple and easy, but quite tasty.  

 

I hope you stick around and enjoy our 30 days of posting. 😀