Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chana Saag, Brown Basmati Rice and Two Chutneys

Date:  10/28/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Chana Saag (Indian Greens with Chickpeas), Brown Basmati Rice, Green Chutney and Sweet Carrot Chutney

The Vegan Slow Cooker continues to be a great resource. Tonight I made Chana Saag (with kale) and served it with brown rice and two chutneys: a green chutney and a sweet carrot chutney. It was my first time making both-- I'd add some salt to the green chutney next time, and less sugar to the carrot chutney. Heaped in a bowl all together, it was a delicious meal.

I delivered the goods to Jen at one of our local bookstores, where we gathered around Terry Hope Romero, who was swinging by our fair town to talk about baking, pie, Thanksgiving, life and stuff like that. Oh. I have a new book about making pies. Yes. Vegan Pie in the Sky.

There is a Boston creme pie calling my name.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mushroom Hot Pot

Date:  10/24/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Mushroom Hot Pot with Black Pepper Grilled Tofu

Jen cooked up a delicious mushroom hot pot, inspired by today's post on the PPK. It was another instance of me feeling very grateful for meal group since I had a long and unpleasant day, including driving for 6 hours and eating lunch at what some people refer to as the world's worst restaurant (without hyperbole). Living in such a vegan-friendly place, one does get a little accustomed to restauranteurs taking veg*ns into account.

Jen's soupy meal was deliciously flavored and added much needed warmth and flavor to my day. It was eaten so quickly that there is no photographic evidence of it's existence.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mushroom Soup. Scallion and Corn Cornbread.

Date:  10/20/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Mushroom Soup, Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread, Pumpkin Puff Cookies

Every once in a while I enjoy a good mug of mushroom soup. I like the recipe found in La Dolce Vegan although I'm not all that picky. I paired it with the Fresh Corn and Scallion Cornbread from Appetite for Reduction which was tasty though somewhat lacking in loft.

For dessert I made Pumpkin Puff Cookies, also from La Dolce Vegan. We shared them freely and widely and they proved to be very popular with everyone (or else I just know really polite people). I loved them and justified eating a large number of them because they are totally healthy because they have pumpkin in them. I excel in justifying things like that to myself.

Slightly flat but very good cornbread full of scallions and kernels of corn.

Popular pumpkin puff cookies .

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gnocchi Soup

Date:  10/17/2011
Cook:  Jen C.

Jen and I had shared a lunch of leftovers together this afternoon but she still provided us with a soup for dinner (pictured here with a piece of bread from yet another loaf of No Knead Bread). With autumn in full swing, the chilly weather makes soup eating even more important.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Burritos Filled With Potatoes

Now this is an autumnal meal I can appreciate.

Date:  10/20/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Mashed Potato and Edamame Burritos with Quinoa; Tortilla Soup

Mashed Potato and Edamame Burrito Filling from The Vegan Slow Cooker intrigued me and I must was delicious! It was really simple and makes a very tasty eating time experience. I made Tortilla Soup from La Dolce Vegan and it was chock full of black beans and corn and brothy and good. I also cooked up a pot of quinoa to throw into the mix.

I had two regrets about this meal. One was that I left the burrito filling in the slow cooker for waaaaaay too long and the condensation from the process caused the filling to become more watered down than was probably warranted. I hasten to add that it was still delicious. The other concern was that my tortilla chips for the soup were hella stale, dude. Learn from my errors, friends.

Jen C. and I got to have this meal in each other's presence because she came over to make felt flowers as favors for a shower we were planning. Mashed potato burritos and craft night...heavenly.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Burgers! Salad! Pickle!

Date:  10/11/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Raw Sunshine Burger with Raw Sundried Tomato Ketchup and Kale Salad; Homemade Pickle

I adored this meal but for once, we were not all in agreement and I was not in the majority. One person in my house didn't like the burger and one person in my house refused to even try it because it was served, for crying out loud, on bread and not a bun. Heavens to Murgatroyd. Who cares, right? Apparently sometimes kids do.

Jen C. is serving this yummy sunflower seed based burger now over at Go Lightly, and I recommend that you run (don't walk) over to get one as soon as possible. That kale salad is delish, as well. It goes without saying that it is extremely healthy.

Oh, p.s. - I love pickles.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From the Vault: Summertime

Due to a back to school night situation, we will be bringing you our regularly scheduled meal group meal...tomorrow.  In the meantime, please enjoy thinking about back when it was the early days of summer and the Eastern seaboard was experiencing a heatwave.

Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Cold Soup, Rice and Quinoa Salad and Watermelon

The soup was disappointing to me, it was missing a depth of flavor. The grain salad was standard and prosaic. But the watermelon....delish.

Now I'm even MORE nostalgic for summer.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sweet and Sour Tofu, Tomato Basil Salad, Rice and Bread

Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Sweet and Sour Tofu, Tomato Basil Salad, Brown Basmati Rice and A Loaf of Bread

I don't eat raw tomatoes, but a pretty little salad like this one makes me wish that I did. Also, I don't have a great track record with rice preparation but this batch came out well!

The tomato basil salad was fresh from our little garden. The basmati brown rice was fresh from the shelf of a nearby Trader Joe's. The sweet and sour tofu recipe was from The Vegan Slow Cooker. (I slow cooked it a little too long so it was somewhat on the mushy side, but the flavors were still delish). 

One hard working slow cooker. Note that my meal somehow didn't look as nice as the photo in the cookbook. Paging my food stylist...

And the bread....I always love to talk about how much I love the No Knead Bread recipe published a few years ago in the NYT. It is nearly foolproof and I have proven this a few times by seriously mucking up the directions. I heartily and nerdily enjoy coating it with different seed/grain combos each time (um, btw: wheat germ kind of burns in the 450 degree oven). Today I used half whole wheat flour and half white for the dough and chose to coat with some Irish oatmeal mixed with a bit of coarse sea salt and black sesame seeds. Our loaf came out really nicely.

My love for the No Knead Bread knows no bounds.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lasagna, Oh You

Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Lasagne, Curly Kale Salad and Blood Oranges

Jen delivered a fine, veggieriffic lasagne to my porch just when I needed it most. I cannot begin to describe what a relief it was to pop that sucker into the oven and not have to worry a whit about preparing dinner that night because I was really running with other projects, as was the other person capable of meal preparation in our home.

We all really liked it, my kid is a big lasagne fan and loves to deconstruct the layers. I prefer a more tidy approach to my own lasagne ingestion but either way you slice it, it was great. We all loved her idea of tossing some black beans into the mix.  The kale salad was a perfect side.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello, My Friends, Hello

Date: 09/29/11
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup; Amaranth, Roasted Tomato and Basil Terrine; Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes

 I do declare! Our meal group has been back in swing for a few weeks, and here it is already the first full week of Vegan Mofo, and yet this is my first post in a whiiiii-lllllle (say it like Oprah would). In my defense, because not posting this far into Mofo makes me defensive I guess, its been hella busy, and not always in a good way. But then, sometimes in a good way.  

I also have news! First, I have to let you know that Stefanie has had to say goodbye to our meal group due to some dietary changes she is implementing. However, we still get to hang out with her, even if you don't know what she is eating any more. Second, Jen C. has introduced a raw vegan cafe into the mix over at Go Lightly! I'm finding myself partial to her Save the Tuna on raw onion bread. Locals and near-locals, check her out. Yummy smoothies and desserts too.

So lets get to what we all come here for: talking about the food!

I got a copy of The Vegan Slow Cooker and I Literally Walk Around Town With It. For example, today it went on a journey to a school, a Starbucks and a French cafe. It gets around town. And it is good. I am impressed. I'll be doing a full-blown review of it over on Vegbooks after I make a few more things from it to verify it is as solid as I currently think it is, but its a gift that keeps on giving, in a really good way. Take, for example, this Thai Pumpkin Coconut Soup. Very warming and quite simple to prepare. 

I wanted to make something with amaranth and concocted this little terrine using amaranth and ingredients from my teeny tiny garden. I am not sure that it was a hit but it wasn't bad or anything. It also totally didn't match the flavor profile of the soup, but sometimes that works. Sometimes, perhaps even this time, it doesn't.

Finally, those doughnut cupcakes from Veganomicon. My kid calls them muffcakes, a hybrid of muffin and cupcake. We ate a lot of them that day. Isa and Terry tell ya to let the tops get stale for optimal yummyness but they have never lasted long enough for that to occur in our home.

Post-immersion blending, this soup is just waiting for delivery.

Isn't that just a happy scene? Slow cooker burbling away, amaranth awaiting chilling and roasted tomato and basil stuff all mushed up in the food processor.

I just love these sweet delights.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Aztec Salad

I want to lick the screen of my computer.

Date: 05/12/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Aztec Salad: Broiled Marinated BBQ Tempeh Served on a Bed of Greens With a Quinoa Salad, Topped With Roasted Tomato Balsamic Vinaigrette and Pan-Toasted Spiced Pepitas

The recipe for this Aztec Salad is in Crazy Sexy Diet by vegan darling Kris Carr (a book I highly recommend, not just for its fabulous recipes but because it gives great insight and guidance into living a healthier life). 

Ahhh.  Aztec Salad.  This is possibly one of the most delicious things that I have ever eaten.  The combination of all of the different flavors was divine.  I will admit that it took some time in the kitchen -- the tempeh needed was steamed, marinated and THEN broiled, the tomatoes roasted, the quinoa cooked up, the pepitas seasoned...yadda yadda...but it was so very worth it.  I did used a prepared BBQ sauce (such cheatz!) though the recipe gives you ingredients to make your own.  I know you will love this so please give it a try!  And trust me when I say that the dressing is key!  Report back to me on how loudly your taste buds sang with delight when they first met a forkful of this treat.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tofu with Vegetables, Brown Rice and Confetti Slaw

Date: 05/11/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu:  Cubed Tofu with Collards, Asparagus and Mushrooms with Brown Rice, Confetti Coleslaw

With asparagus in season, this meal was delicious!  The tofu was seasoned really nicely and the accompanying veggies were super and made me feel healthy and good.  As if we needed to feel more virtuous about this meal, the confetti coleslaw was a light and delightful complement.

Forty Clove Broccoli and Chickpeas, Rice Salad, Millet

Date: 05/05/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Forty Clove Broccoli and Chickpeas, Rice Salad and Millet

Appetite for Reduction continues to be an awesome resource.  I highly recommend this book-- I've really enjoyed cooking from it! I LOVED the idea of this recipe for a few of my favorite taste sensations (garlic/broccoli/chick peas) all in one dish, and I enjoyed making it as well.  It is definitely very garlicky but in an extremely delicious way.  The cool rice salad and millet provided some nice balance.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spaghetti With Non-Meatballs, Garlic Bread and Salad

Date: 05/04/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: Spaghetti With Non-Meatballs, Garlic Bread and Salad

This simple meal was so tasty!!  Stephanie didn't know that we were celebrating a birthday in our household and that her meal that night was incredibly welcome-- and devoured in a flash.  I loved the Non-Meatballs. I traded my child extra non-meatballs for the garlic bread, which he loved. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One More Month of Hiatus!

Suburban Vegan Meal Group has been on a summertime hiatus for the month of July, and we'll continue our break through the end of August.  In the meantime, check back for posts about some of our spring meals, and enjoy the rest of your summer!  And if you are in the area, stop by for some yummy ice cream at Go Lightly -- I highly recommend the peanut butter fudge!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Super Healthy Burritos and Salad

Date: 05/02/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Burritos with Greens, Beans and Mushroom Filling; Salad

Every Monday evening I feel so fortunate to have a little delivery from Jen of a healthy, delicious, nourishing meal.  This one was no exception.  Merci beaucoup, Jen!

Beans/Veggies with Rice, Curly Kale Salad

Date: 05/10/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Beans and Veggies with Rice, Curly Kale Salad

We  love our beans, rice, veggies and salad in this house!! I wrapped mine in a corn tortilla and topped with some salsa that we had lying around.  Fabulous.  My kid ate a ton of the kale salad, which is always very fun for a mom to see.

Curried Veggie Fritters

Date: 04/27/2011
Cook: Stefanie
Menu:  Curried Vegetable Fritters, Basmati Rice with Mung Beans and Spinach Salad with Sesame Dressing; Banana Chocolate Pudding

Curried Vegetable Fritters.  Rice and sprouted mung beans.  A savory spinach salad. Need I say more? DELICIOUS!!  The whole meal worked so well together and was a treat to eat.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tip Top Tofu Loaf, Wheatberry Rice Salad

Date: 04/28/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Tofu Loaf, Wheatberry Rice Salad

I felt like trying something new, so I cracked open the old standby La Dolce Vegan, closed my eyes and pointed to a recipe.  Almost!  The tofu loaf was new to me but very yummy.  I haven't made a loaf in a while, so this was nice to bake up.  I think next time I might make it with gravy and mashed potatoes, the way a proper loaf slice should be served.  On this particular night, I accompanied it with Wheatberry, Rice and Lentil Salad.  It was very good and healthy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pierogi, Potato Salad and Beans!

Date: 04/25/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Pierogi, Potato Salad, Beans, Steamed Green Beans and Peas and Horseradish and Beets

Jen told us this was mostly leftovers from her Easter weekend.  I loved it!  So did my son-- six months ago, there is no way he would have come within a foot of a pierogi.  Last night, he ate all but two.  Luckily, the rest of the meal was fabulous and filling..."I always love Jen's potato salad!" said one happy eater.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sandwich Night!

The meal awaits being packaged for delivery.

Date: 04/20/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Sandwiches with Lentil Spread, Watercress and Assorted Marinated Vegetables.  Also, Shredded Beet, Carrot and Kale Salad

I love the Red Lentil Dip (which I use as a spread) from La Dolce Vegan because it is both fast and healthy.  I have a thing for tumeric so my spread always comes out bright yellow.  I bought some marinated veggies (olives, artichokes and mushrooms) from Whole Foods, as well as a store-made loaf of bread.  There was a beet calling my name there, too, and I'm glad I answered: pink salad was a perfect complement to our loaded sandwich.

Chickpea-flour Crepes with Greens and Beans Filling

Date: 04/19/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Chickpea-flour Crepes with Greens and Beans Filling, Tahini Dressing and Green Salad

These were so yummy!  The savory crepes were pancake-y and toothsome, especially when piled with the filling of greens and chickpeas and topped with tahini dressing.  Jen packed us a generous amount, which fed three easily.  Our house guest suggests that this meal pairs well with a Blue Moon.

P.S. Our schedule this week is a little wonky-- we miss Stefanie and Jen and I have both taken different days to cook.

Spicy Cauliflower Lentil Soup, Quinoa Salad, Cajun Spiced Greens

Date: 04/14/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Spicy Cauliflower and Red Lentil Soup, Quinoa Salad, and Cajun Spiced Greens with Sausage

This was a delicious meal, if I do say so myself.  I loved the quinoa salad the best-- it is from The Garden of Vegan.  The dressing has a splash of maple syrup in it so it has a nice undercurrent of sweetness.  In my opinion, the greens and sausage were yummy...but a little too oily.  The soup is an older favorite from La Dolce Vegan.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Polenta, Sauce, Slaw

Date: 04/13/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu:  Carrot Polenta with Sausage and Pepper Sauce, Confetti Slaw, Tropical Fruit Cream

I can't say that I have ever had carrot polenta before but it was delicious and I hope to have it again in the near future!  Stefanie appears to have a way with polenta because it was a lovely texture and her servings were generous (and colorful-- think a rich orange hue).  The polenta was perfectly paired with the sauce, which was heavy on peppers and sausage - very very very very good.  We loved the confetti slaw and the tropical fruit cream as well.  Thank you Stefanie!

Indian Burritos, and...Salad!

Date: 04/11/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Indian Burritos with Mango Chutney, Cucumber Salad with Mango Apricot Dressing

This was tasty and filling.  My son is liking putting his own burrito together (despite the fact that most of his filling generally falls out, but such is life when you are young) which surprises me, and everyone really liked the curry and chutney flavors all comingled in our burrito.  The light side salad was a perfect vehicle for the dressing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Roasted Carrot Soup and Fennel Cauliflower Bake

Date: 04/07/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Roasted Coconut Carrot Soup, Cauliflower Fennel Bake, Rice and Spinach Salad with Berry Dressing

The soup was delightful- roast your veggies, add your ingredients in a pot, throw everything together and zizz with your handblender!  I added a sweet potato, and also thinned it with some rice milk after it was zizzed.  

The Cauliflower Fennel Bake was also very easy - chopped veggies and tofu, sprinkled with fennel and served over rice. I liked the flavors together.  My main problem came from the fact that I didn't choose a pan large enough to bake it all together and so I ended up putting 2 different pans in the oven. 
The spinach salad had toasted nuts and onions, the berry dressing was good though a tad oily.

All recipes were from La Dolce Vegan.

Pad Thai!

Date: 04/04/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Pad Thai with Veggies

Holy moly, I just LOVE pad thai.  And it turns out my kid does too.  We chowed this down in a New York minute!  It was rich in delicious ingredients - veggies, nicely flavored tofu etc. Really yummy.

Tamarind BBQ Tempeh and Sweet Potatoes, Polenta, Orange-Scented Broccoli

It had been a while since I had busted out with some tempeh and so on Thursday the time was nigh. The tempeh and sweet potatoes were from Appetite for Reduction, as was the Orange-Scented Broccoli.  The Broccoli Polenta was from Veganomicon.  I made it particularly for my son who loves both polenta and broccoli.  As it turned out, he didn't like them together (but I did!).

We've got our tempeh and sweet potatoes in the foreground, and what is that?  Ah yes, in the back is the orange-scented broccoli. 

Muffin tins make for yummy broccoli polenta cakes.  Here they are getting ready to get broiled.

Spanish Beans and Rice

Date: 03/30/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: Spanish Beans and Rice, Salad and Chocolate Nutty Balls

YUM! I do love a nice bowl full of beans and rice.  This rice was extra super good, full of savory deliciousness.  I especially loved liked the green olives-- a nice, yummy touch.  Such a good meal, thanks Stefanie!

Bean Burritos and Salad

Date: 03/28/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Bean Burritos and Salad

Bean burritos and salad: simple and delightful.  My son chose not to eat the beans.  Or the rice.  He just wanted a salad burrito.  Which, you know...ok.  Last I knew, he didn't like tortillas so lets just say I know when to zip my lip.  I didn't just fall off the parenting turnip wheelbarrow.

Some of us had a salad burrito

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir-fry and Green Salad

The week before last, I was really out of commission and emailed my meal groupers to let them know that I couldn't make my usual Thursday meal.  Flexible as ever, they responded, "no problem!!" and were content to let it go.  However, I wanted to do a make up because it is what felt right to me-- not a huge meal but something light that if they wanted to augment they easily could.  The meals that they delivered that week were really important- and delicious.

I'd thought of doing beans and rice, which I have kind of had a craving for lately, nothing fancy, just plain old black beans and white rice with salsa (a meal I ate almost daily in law school, along with many other of my fellow SALDFers).  I digress.  I ended up making Pineapple Cashew Quinoa Stir-fry from Veganomicon.  Check out the link for some awesome photos not taken by me of the meal coming together.

I made a few changes (more veggies, different pepper, a bit of apple juice in with the pineapple juice while cooking the quinoa) and the few bites I had I thought were really nice albeit a touch bland.  I gave a bowl of it to my kid, who picked out the broccoli, and the rest went to my meal group, along with a simple green salad with vinaigrette.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sloppy Lentils, SUPER Red Soup and Kale Chips

Date: 03/21/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu:  Sloppy Lentils, Six-Shades-of-Red Soup and Kale Chips

Jen dropped this delicious meal by and we eagerly dished it up.  I'd been eying the Six-Shades-of-Red Soup from Color Me Vegan and it was really nice.  I also loved the lentil sloppy joes.......mmmmmm......but I must say-- the most surprising thing was the quantity of kale chips that my kid sucked down.  I've made kale chips before but they were roundly ignored.  Funny how that works.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baked Spicy Orange Ginger Tofu, Mac & Shews and Avocado Salad

Date: 03/17/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Baked Spicy Orange Ginger Tofu, Mac & Shews, Avocado Salad; Chocolate Cake with Mint Frosting

I was craving comfort food and had heard many good things about Mac and Shews, so I decided to try my hand at it.  Not familiar with it?  Its basically mac and cheese in which the creamy sauce is a fabulous combination of soaked cashews, lightly sauteed onions and garlic and a roux.  It was very very good.  It is definitively not sauerkrauty, though making this DID serve as a reminder to me that around minute 7 of making a roux, I generally begin thinking to myself that I might have something better to do with my time than push grease and flour around a pan for 15 minutes of my life.  But I persevered.  I saw later in the comments to the recipe that someone had added truffle oil to theirs and that sounds like it would be delicious.  I added boring old spinach to mine.

I wanted to make some tofu, too, and I chose Orange Ginger Baked Tofu.  The marinade made a lot of sauce and I ended up baking it for WAY more time than it called for--like maybe by an hour.  I also added some chili oil to make it spicier (which definitely occurred!).  I thought that it was really delicious.

I wanted a nice blob of green on everyone's plates -- it WAS St. Patrick's Day after all -- so I crafted an avocado salad very similar to the one found here.  My parents had generously brought us two boxes of gorgeous looking and tasting avocados recently so I was happy to make such a delicious salad.

For dessert, I baked a wacky cake and sent small containers of green mint frosting (the frost-yer-own situation was because the cake hadn't entirely cooled when it was time to deliver).

My son and I hopped on our bikes to deliver this meal and it was really pleasant as it was a very pretty and warm early spring evening.  It felt lovely to be pedaling dinner to people we appreciate.

Root Veggie Dal With Brown Rice, Butternut Squash Soup, Green and Fruit Salads

Stef leaves us a thoughtful, delightful note in our deliveries!

Date: 03/16/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: See note above!

Stefanie is becoming known in my household for some hardcore delicious and really healthy meals.  I loved her dal, and her salads are fabulous. 

I'm not the only one in my family who loves her food.

A young child eats salad voraciously, soon to move on to the rest of the meal.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baked Beans, Cauliflower Millet Mash, Cabbage Rolls

Date: 03/14/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Baked Beans, Cauliflower Millet Mash, Cabbage Rolls Stuffed with Kasha and Dried Cherries- topped with Asian Onion Sauce

Thank you Jen C. for such a filling, nourishing meal.  It was so delicious, and we had leftovers the next day that tasted even better!  I loved that the cabbage rolls were done with purple cabbage.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Nourishing Late Winter Meal

Date: 03/09/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: Mung beans, kasha with mushrooms and peas, sprouted lentil salad and fresh fruit salad

I sprouted mung beans and lentils! The mung beans were sauteed with bok choy, garlic and ginger.

Salad was mixed lettuces, sprouted lentils, chopped sweet red pepper and celery with seasoned asian vinegar and a touch of olive oil.

The grain was kasha with shitake mushrooms and peas and dessert was fresh tropical fruit: pinapple, orange and mango.

Rice and Veggies

Date: 03/07/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Rice With Sausage, Beans and Veggies with Asian Inspired Dressing and Red Cabbage Slaw

Jen whipped up a hearty and delicious meal of rice, beans, sausages and veggies with a simple and tasty dressing from Color Me Vegan.  Side of slaw and we all were happy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tofu Rice Balls with Miso Walnut Sauce, Lentil Soup, Coriander Bread

Date: 03/03/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Tofu Rice Balls with Miso Walnut Sauce, Lentil Soup, Coriander Bread and Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

From Stefanie:

Tonight's dinner was really yummy. I really enjoyed the flavor tones and textures -- the lentil soup had a clean earthiness that is really satisfying. The tasty tofu balls were fun to pick up and dip, and had just the right amount of chewiness, and the miso walnut dipping sauce is soooo good - salty and sweet and savory.  I even put some on the salad. Dessert choc-chip blondies. My son, an avowed meat eater, ate everything with gusto.

Welcome Stefanie!

Date: 03/02/2011
Cook:  Stefanie
Menu: Chickpea Curry with Rice, Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Strawberries and Mango Coconut Fruit Salad

Jen and I extend a very warm welcome to Stefanie, who is giving mealgroup a whirl for the month to see if it is a good fit for her family!  Stefanie thoughtfully took the time to write up some of her thoughts about her initial experiences with us:

I'm happy to have joined this group. Its the end of my first week, and I'm totally psyched about cooking and being cooked for. First meal was Jen C's: spicy burgers, oven fries, succulent edamame succotash and satisfyingly rich choc-chip cookies. All of these treats were different for me, and fun. I especially enjoyed the burgers.  Then it was my turn to cook. Coming from a big family (but living as a twosome now), it felt good to cook for a group again. Preparing food for the group gives me incentive to make a proper meal and try new recipes.

Last week I got a new cookbook entitled Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Yamuna Devi. It inspired me to make a chickpea curry. In the intro to beans, the author states that sprouting beans increases their vitamin, mineral and protein content. So I sprouted the chickpeas for a couple of days before cooking. I also prepared a spinach salad with strawberries and walnuts, topped with poppy seed dressing: 1/4 c each olive oil and Japanese "seasoned" vinegar, 3 teaspoons poppy seeds,  1/4 teaspoon each fresh grated ginger and garlic, pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper. Mix well into salad before serving. Dessert was mango coconut fruit salad: frozen blueberries, mango and cherries dressed in mango coconut milk yogurt with 1/2 c. shredded coconut.

Lentil Pecan Burgers, Oven Fries, Edamame Salad and Cookies

Date: 02/28/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Lentil Pecan Mini-Burgers, Oven Fries, Edamame and Corn Salad and Chocolate Chip Cookies

This was a delicious meal!  Funny that Jen made mini-burgers; I've been reading a lot about sliders and thinking about what a delicious concept they are.  I loved the salad, too, and in the interest of full disclosure, I will mention that no one else in my family ate any of the cookies: I grabbed the container as I ran out the door to a meeting and they were so good that I ate them all myself.

Lentil Quinoa Stew and Chipotle Sweet Potato Biscuits

Date: 02/24/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Quinoa Stew, Chipotle Sweet Potato Biscuits and (perhaps slightly stale) Banana Muffins

I've been wanting to do a little more crockpot cooking and so I found this recipe, which fit my requirements of being a healthy, straightforward and yummy sounding crockpot recipe.  It was all that, and so I really recommend the recipe-- very good, and good for you!  I thought that a savory baked good that had a spicy kick to it sounded good to accompany the stew, so I made the sweet potato biscuits that I made in the early part of 2011 and added a few chipotles and adobo sauce to the batter.  They came out really well, I thought, though apologies to Jen and her family, as well as mine: they were a tad undercooked.  I love these biscuits, though!  If you don't mind sacrificing a few nutrients to the microwave, they are really easy to make if you nuke up the sweet potato while you assemble the dry ingredients-- then mash up the sweet potato, add to the mix and pop them in the oven.

We had a few banana chocolate chip muffins left over from a couple of days earlier that I threw in, as there was no one in my household who was interested in them (sigh).

Stuffed Cabbage

Date: 02/21/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Lentil Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

We were continuing to whirl around in the busyness of our lives and I was coming off a head cold that had really brought me down when Jen appeared at our doorstep with a container full of yummy stuffed cabbage rolls.  Lentils and rice surrounded by cabbage and served with a light tomato sauce-- they were just the thing to send me hurtling back to good health.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Edamame Pesto

Date: 02/17/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Spaghetti with Edamame Pesto, Green Salad and Cupcakes

I really thought I would make split pea soup for last night's dinner, but then the temperature spiked up into the very, very high 50's for us and I didn't have it in me to make a hearty warming soup on such a beautiful warm day.

Instead, I wanted to make a pasta dish.  I was thinking of a red lentil sauce that I sometimes make, but opted instead for an edamame pesto from Appetite for Reduction.  Served not on fancy vegetable-y linguine but plain spaghetti, along with a salad and for dessert--cupcakes from Sweet Avenue.

I enjoyed this meal but I'm extremely partial to pesto, so that goes a long way, right?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

African Peanut Soup, and We're All Busy!

Date: 02/14/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: African Peanut Soup, Coleslaw and Delicious Rolls

We have all been very busy for the last few weeks so our meal sharing has been dialed back a bit.  Rachel is taking some time to focus on some other projects so we'll hopefully be welcoming her back in a few months.  We'll miss her yummy meals in the meantime, though!

On Monday, Jen delivered a superior soup -- an African peanut soup, with coleslaw and these extremely delicious rolls which I later found out were from Trader Joes.  Perfect tasty, light and nourishing dinner.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lima Bean and Edamame Soup, Macaroni and Cheese

 Date: 01/31/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Creamy Lima Bean and Edamame Soup, Whole Wheat Mac and Cheese, Green Salad

Jen C. does it again -- an extremely good meal!  The soup was divine, I wished there were more leftovers!! The mac and cheese was flavorful and somehow Jen magically got the pasta the perfect texture.  I also love a simple green salad on the side.  A lovely meal!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Kale Wraps with Pineapple Salsa, Root Vegetables, Broiled Blackened Tofu

Root veggies, in all of their roasted glory.

Kale rolls- not much to look at but most delicious topped with the non-pictured pineapple salsa.

Kale roll filling- I added tumeric because I love curcuminoids.

 Date: 01/27/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Kale Wraps Stuffed with Chickpeas and Rice, Topped with Pineapple Salsa; Balsamic Roasted Veggies; Broiled Blacked Tofu (and cake)

I read Vegetarian Times and always enjoy the inspiration that comes from a new issue (though not every recipe is vegan, many are...and others very easy to veganize).  I saw a recipe for these kale rolls and wanted to try them out-- it was the pineapple salsa that intrigued me.  I don't even usually care for pineapple but something about these spoke to me!  The salsa is an easy to throw together combo of pineapple, cilantro (the recipe said you could also use mint, which I thought would also be good), hot and bell peppers and lime juice.  This lent a really bright flavor to the plain kale and the straightforward chick pea/rice stuffing. 

The roasted veggies were based on a recipe from The Garden of Vegan, though I added some garlic and next time would throw more balsamic vinegar into the mix.

The Broiled Blackened Tofu was probably the biggest surprise -- fast and really good.  I am not a big broiler so this recipe found me stretching outside of my comfort zone a bit, and with happy results.  The recipe is (surprise) from Appetite for Reduction and I used in large part a pre-mixed, pre-bought Cajun spice mix and added some of the other ingredients for the coating.  Very easy and really tasty.

The night before our meal group night, I had been talking about cake cake cake big yellow cake.  My partner and I had gone to a party the previous weekend and noticed there a very big, very non-vegan multi-layed yellow cake with chocolate favorite.  We decided we'd make a vegan version, but it didn't play out quite as moist and multi-layered as we'd intended.  In fact, he described it as "basically bread, only sweeter."  Undaunted, we frosted the hell out of it and I ate a lot of it, but also included sizeable hunks in the mealgroup bags.  The frosting is what saved the day - if you ever need a fabulous chocolate frosting, I do highly recommend the one found in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

The broiler, IN ACTION!!!!!

I heart a good spice mix for dredging!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Special Treat: Thai Tuesday!

So savory and delicious!

Black sesame seeds and limes make brown rice extra special

I love cooking for Meal Group. Past the usual practicalities - that it saves money and time, it is also a great opportunity to stretch your culinary wings.  My husband isn't terribly adventurous when it comes to food, but every now and again, a girl likes to try something different.  Especially if the girl is South Asian, and big fan of sugar and spice (the "all things nice" is debatable).
I went to an Asian market and got creative, because I know my lovely foodie friends always appreciate my efforts, and aren't afraid to try some of the more exotic offerings.  So I grabbed oyster mushrooms, Thai basil, tofu, limes and baby bok choy and went to town. The dish is very fragrant, and I was able to make it pretty close to the way our local Thai place does, just with a lot less oil.  The key was having the wonderful Thai basil and although I didn't remember to get kaffir lime leaves, substituting a little lime zest did the trick nicely.  I fried the tofu separately in soy sauce, garlic, and a little brown sugar until it was nice and brown and then added it to the oyster mushrooms, red pepper, scallions, ginger, and baby bok choy.  Once they cooked down a little, I added the Thai basil et voila!
I made plain brown basmati, and added some sesame seed oil, lime juice and black sesame seeds (from our trip to Corrado's) to jazz it up a bit.  I had so much fun making this and was really excited to share it with the Meal Group!

Tamale Pie

Date: 01/24/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Tamale Pie

I picked this meal up on the coldest night we have had yet and Jen C. seemed frazzled.  "Sorry," she said as she handed me our bag, "it didn't turn out well."

SAY WHAT?  It was deeeeelicious!!  Even my normally picky kid gobbled it up and asked for seconds.  We put hot salsa on it and served with a salad.  I don't know what kind of crazy high standards Jen C. has, but Jen!  Yum!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Quinoa, Beans, Sauces, Bread

Date: 01/20/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Garbanzo Beans, Quinoa, Broccoli and Cauliflower with Roasted Garlic, Pumpkin Seed Spinach and Sundried Tomato and Olive Sauces; Bread
You know those days when its really cold out and you are running around?  I had one of those on Thursday.  We have been trapping some of our local feral cats to be neutered/spayed, given basic vet care and then returned once its safe for them to placed back outside, so vet visits bookended my own appointments, plus the weather forecast said it was going to snow, so we were trying to get everything ready for the animals.  Before Meal Group that is the kind of day that would send us into a local restaurant to grab a quick meal to be eaten fast, rather than enjoyed, so we could get back into our warm home.
But instead, thanks to Meal Group, dinnner came to us. Jenn G's food was perfect.  A make your own bowl of quinoa, chickpeas and a brocolli/cauliflower mix with three delicious sauces:  Spinach pumpkinseed pesto, olive tapenade and a roasted garlic sauce.  And along with that bounty, she had left us lovely fresh bread and two cute mini muffins. 
The minute we saw it, we tore into it and it was perfect:  a healthy dinner, with lots of protein, almost no fat and a ton of flavor.  What more could anyone want to close the book on a very busy day?  We devoured it happily and settled in to watch TV. 
Thank you Jenn, for saving the day again!

Curry and Brown Rice

Date: 01/19/2011
Cook:  Rachel
Menu: Cauliflower Red Lentil Curry and Brown Rice with Mustard Seeds; Chutney

Rachel has an incredible way with curries.  Each time I eat one of her curry dishes, I think that it is the best one that she has made yet, but this time it might be the truth.  I am extremely partial to cauliflower and lentils, so there was already a predisposition for me to love this...but...YUM!  I'm also not certain how she always ends up with perfect rice all of the time, but she does!


Date: 01/17/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Onion and Lentil Soup with Caramelized Cabbage, Green Salad...but that isn't what is important.  What matters is that this mealgroup night involved ICE CREAM SAMPLE TIME!!!

So good, flavorful and warming!

Never underestimate the deliciousness of a simple green salad with beets and yummy dressing.

The soup was frickin' delicious, I have no idea how Jen pulled that magic off, especially since she spent the day in NYC shopping for a gelato freezer for her newest endeavor, ICE CREAM.  We lucked out in that Jen C.'s vendor just so happened to be bringing her samples that day, so for dessert we chowed down on:


 My favorite was peanut butter fudge, no surprise there.  What was surprising was how much I like the cinnamon raisin.  That was my second favorite.  The blueberry was also delectable. 

That night we had a big ice storm.

My trusty steed

Mango BBQ Beans with Coconut Squash Rice

Packed up and ready to roll!
Date: 01/13/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Mango BBQ Beans with Coconut Squash Rice and Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Super tasty, pretty simple/straightforward -- what else could a girl ask for?  I actually like the rice recipe way more than I thought that I would so it might be a repeat soon, since we just got another butternut squash in our produce share.  Both the Mango BBQ Beans and the Coconut Squash Rice are from Appetite for Reduction.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quinoa, Kale and Bean Stew and Biscuits

Date: 01/12/2011
Cook:  Rachel
Menu: Quinoa, Kale and Bean Stew and Garlic Cheese Biscuits

I cannot thank Rachel enough for dinner tonight!  I was so hungry when I got back from romping in the snow (add air quotes if you please -- I am not really the snow romping type) with my kid.  You know that kind of hungry where you feel like you have just been out in some really cold weather for quite a while and now you want to fill yer pie hole with something warm and comfort-y?  Yeah?  Then I really must recommend this meal to you!  We got home to find our meal awaiting us, and that was such a wonderful moment! The tasty stew was full of vegetables and hearty goodness, and the biscuits complemented it perfectly. 

We worked up an appetite doing wintery things like this...

...and came home to eat this!  YAY! (again, poor photo does not do nom food justice)

Monday, January 10, 2011


Yeah, not the best looking picture, but it was tasty as heck.

Date: 01/10/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Enchiladas with Cabbage-Carrot Slaw

Jen C. gave us the hook up with some really delightful enchiladas this evening.  Even the kid said, "oh, those look GREAT!" when we opened the container.  (He also enthusiastically told his dad upon the latter's arrival home from work, "IT IS A MEALSHARE NIGHT!! AND JEN MADE US ENCHILADAS!!")  The sauce was supergood and a brilliant use of leftovers from a brunch that Rachel and her partner hosted yesterday (Rachel did this awesome thing where she created a make-your-own-ranchero station).

I spent all day and evening working on a project that is due this weekend, and then had a steering committee meeting to go to for a local grassroots environmental group.  It was a joy to not have to worry about providing dinner tonight-- I am grateful for meal group.  Thanks!

Curried Cauliflower Soup with Tamarind Quinoa

Date: 01/06/2011
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu: Curried Cauliflower Soup with Tamarind Quinoa

Jen G. here!  I was so lucky to get two fabulous cookbooks for the holidays, Color Me Vegan and Appetite for Reduction.   In deference to a mealshare member's request to stick more closely to an Eat to Live-style diet, I wanted to make something extra-specially healthy and, well, I cracked the spines of the two books and did some perusing. 

The soup (from Color Me Vegan) was straightforward to prepare and delicious but once pureed according to directions it was quite thin.  The quinoa (from Appetite for Reduction) added a fantastic flavor and excellent mouthfeel. 

The non-Eat to Live-ers got a chunk of seemingly lackluster (I didn't eat it myself) banana bread.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage

Rachel's generous meal fed an extra person at Jen G.'s house - served up with salad, and hummus for the yummy bread
Hi there! Its Rachel here with another wintery missive from Suburban Vegan Meal Group!  I made dinner for my lovely friends on Wednesday night, and since it was a cold evening, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Chickpea Rice Soup with Cabbage. 
The soup is an easy, filling dinner, perfect for a weeknight, especially if paired with salad and bread.  The fresh dill elevated the taste of the more mundane ingredients - chickpeas, cabbage, carrots, brown rice.  The rice made it a very hearty meal, and I used only a tablespoon of oil for enough food to feed 7!
We had an interesting experience with the dish as well, because two of us found it too salty, while the others thought it was perfect.  I tend not to add a lot of salt to my food, so for me, the 1 tsp along with the broth made it saltier than I would like. It was interesting to see how different our perceptions were!  And it highlights another benefit of Meal Group - if something ends up not being the perfect dinner for you, you're not left with a week of leftovers.
I loved the dish, and would absolutely make it again, but will probably use a low sodium broth and omit the salt, and let people salt the soup for themselves.  I've included the recipe here, and am intrigued by some of the variations - I bet this would be delicious with mushrooms.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what Jen G. makes tonight!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thai Veggie Stew

Date: 01/03/2011
Cook:  Jen C.
Menu: Thai vegetable stew with basmati rice

I could regale you with tales of the fun afternoon the three of us (randomly) spent at Corrado's - which is a really bizarre place, and skilled in parting you from your money, because OMG I TOTALLY SHOULD GET BLACK SESAME SEEDS! AND GARLIC OIL! TEA IS ON SALE! HAHA LOOK AT ME, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE CHICKPEA FLOWER WHILE ASKING RACHEL WHERE IT IS! OOOH!...and...and...and... - but instead I will talk to you about Jen C.'s thai veggie stew. 

It was full of cauliflower, broccoli (two favorites in our house), snap peas, peppers...all in a flavorful, coconut milk base.  I am not skilled in the rice department, so I always appreciate people who serve me non-crunchy, tasty rice.  Thank you for another wonderful meal, Jen C.!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello, hello and best wishes for 2011.  As we return from our holiday mealshare hiatus, I have a meal to share with you from last month!

Date: 12/16/2010
Cook:  Jen G.
Menu:  Beans and rice, sweet potato biscuits and pomegranate- enhanced salad

Simple and hearty, the beans and rice recipe was from La Dolce Vegan and the sweet potato biscuit recipe from Appetite for Reduction.

One BIG pot of beans and rice!

Sweet little sweet potato biscuits getting their butts baked off.

Perhaps the oddest salad picture ever taken in the history of taking pictures of salad!