Vegan Carne Asada Taco Bowl

I wanted to make taco bowls without beans, since I’m trying to avoid beans. So I went looking for a seitan recipe that would work well in a taco bowl. I thought this vegan carne asada recipe looked interesting.

I used broth instead of orange juice for the liquid, since I didn’t have any juice on hand and I’m avoiding fruit. I precut the seitan into strips instead of cooking it as whole “steaks” like the recipe calls for. Honestly, the seitan didn’t seem that different than if I had just sauteed it in the pan with some oil. The seitan didn’t absorb the flavors and most of it seemed to end up in the pan. Maybe this issue was not using the orange juice, but somehow I’m skeptical. I think maybe marinating just isn’t a good strategy for seitan that’s going to get cooked in a pan.

I made messy rice from veganomicon, which I’ve made before and liked. But the rice ended up a little undercooked. I think maybe the liquid is off? Next time I’d add a bit more.

I’ve got tons of volunteer tomatillos in my garden this year. So for the sauce I made this avocado and roasted tomatillo salsa from the New York times. It was really convenient that the tomatillos are roasted on the stove instead of in the oven. The salsa was all right, but not as flavorful as a would have hoped. It definitely needed a bit of tweaking. I added some vegan mayo to make it creamier, which helped. And also some extra lemon juice. The flavor still didn’t seem quite right.

To top it all off, I made the cherry tomato salsa from Fresh Food Fast that goes with the black bean tostadas. That’s a simple stand by salsa recipe I love an have used many times.

All in all, this taco bowl was underwhelming. I ate it, but the undercooked rice didn’t get finished and ended up in the trash. The flavors didn’t really work super well together and the textures seemed off as well. Alas, my quest for a great low FODMAP taco bowl continues.

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Cold Noodles with Tomatoes

It’s cherry tomato season in my garden. So when I saw this recipe in the New York times for a cold noodle soup with oodles of cherry tomatoes, I was intrigued. I added marinated Asian tofu from Veganomicon to add some protein.

The soup was very easy to make, but underwhelming. I didn’t like the flavor of the broth, though I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with it. I won’t make this again.

Pan-Seared Summer Squash with Garlic and Mint

It was my turn to make the food for my monthly dinner with my neighbors. I was making Asian marinated tofu from Veganomicon and needed a side to go with it. I had planned to make sesame cucumber salad, but found I didn’t have enough cucumbers in my garden. I’ve got a lot of summer squash and mint in my garden right now and my sister has told me repeatedly that she really likes this recipe from Fresh Food Fast. So even though it really wasn’t on theme with Asian tofu, pan-seared summer squash for the win!

If you’re like me and don’t have a griddle, searing the summer squash in round cast iron pans is a bit time consuming. But other than that, this recipe is really easy and comes together fast. I left out the red pepper flakes since I’m avoiding spicy foods. I cut the olive oil in half and the salt by 3/4, which meant I added 1.5 tbsp olive oil and 3/4 tsp of course salt. I think if I was making this for myself instead of guests I’d just use 1 tbsp of oil. But the result was really tasty and my neighbors loved it. One recipe was the perfect amount for three people (plus a 3-year-old who had 1 bite). Surprisingly, it went really well with the Asian tofu, and my neighbor discovered that is was delicious with the tofu on buttered ciabatta to form a funky bahn mi as he called it. Honestly, the funky bahn mi sandwich was so good I’m already craving it again.

Pan-Seared Summer Squash w/ Garlic & Mint

Zucchini-Scallion Chickpea Flour Pancakes

When I was in Germany visiting my sister and her family, Rose made a vegan version of these pancakes (since my mom is vegan and the original recipe has egg). They were so tasty! And since it’s zucchini season in my garden, I thought I’d try to make them.

I made Rose’s original version from her blog with buckwheat flour and egg. Super easy and yummy. Rose made them with dal for dipping, which was surprisingly tasty. But since I’m currently trying to eat low FODMAP, lentils were off the table. Instead, I made them with a cold east African soup from The Ethnic Vegetarian. The combo worked really well!

I made the batter over the weekend and just cooked up the number of pancakes I wanted to each each day right before I ate. This worked really well and I had no issues with the batter keeping all week.

Ian is nervous about eating buckwheat flour, so next time I’m going to try to make a version without the buckwheat and report back. I really liked the buckwheat flavor but I don’t think it was absolutely necessary for the texture.

Cucumber-Avocado Salad

I bought several avocados for another recipe, since I was going to make dinner for Ian and he eats a lot. But he didn’t end up coming over and I found myself with a bunch of avocado I needed to use up. The cucumbers in my garden have been very prolific this year, so I thought I’d try this New York times salad recipe.

Alas, I really messed this up. So I can’t report on how the salad should be. My score is for my terrible version. But I can report on my mistakes so that you don’t repeat them. I put the lemon juice in first and then added the salt. Then I left the salted lemony cucumbers to sit for hours instead of minutes. The result was somewhat slimy salty cucumbers. If you make this be sure not to leave the cucumbers for more than the maximum 15 minutes allotted and wait to add the lemon juice! I’ve been forcing myself to eat this but it hasn’t been good. I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself to try making it again.

I ate this with Asian marinated tofu from Veganomicon. The two really didn’t go together. Again, just not a win all around.

Corn and Green Bean Salad with Tomatillo Dressing

I didn’t plant tomatillos this year. But two volunteer plants sprouted up and they have been super prolific. So I found myself with more tomatillos than knew what to do with and looking for something other than enchiladas to do with them. I found this recipe for a summer salad with tomatillo dressing on the New York times.

This was super easy to make, and really yummy. Since it uses the broiler, it doesn’t heat up the house too much. I left out the cheese and found I didn’t miss it. Since I’m eating low FODMAP right now, I used half a deseeded jalepeno, which added flavor but not spice. Again, I didn’t find that the lack of spice messed up the recipe at all. This is definitely something I’ll make again. I was eating it as a main course and found their serving sizes were off. I doubled the recipe and I think I got 3 or 4 meals out of it. So next time if I want to eat this all week I’ll make it as a side or triple the recipe. I found adding avocado made it more of a meal and was extra tasty.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014218-corn-and-green-bean-salad-with-tomatillo-dressing?action=click&module=RecipeBox&pgType=recipebox-page&region=tomatillo&rank=0

Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant Parmesan. I usually make my mother’s vegan version of the recipe. But I felt like trying something new, so I tried a recipe I found on the ny times. I used vegan Parmesan, which worked well. But the recipe had issues. The big issue was that there just wasn’t enough sauce. It calls for 1 28 ounce can of tomatoes. I think it probably needs 1.5x or 2x that. The other issue was that the eggplant didn’t get cooked all the way through, but since my oven is broken, I’m not going to blame the recipe for this. I was able to fix it by pouring tomato sauce over the dish, covering it, and cooking it on the stove until it was cooked through. It made a little mess, but was quite yummy. I honestly think I could make eggplant parmesan without using the oven. And since I really try not to use my oven in he summer, that is quite an appealing prospect. I’m going to try it an report back. I also want to experiment with a gluten free replacement for the breadcrumbs. Lots to try.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

It’s the time of year when my garden is overflowing with cucumbers. I made this impromptu salad and brought it to a communal dinner. It was quite a hit and I enjoyed the leftovers the next day as a snack.

1/2 inch piece of ginger, graded

3 cloves garlic, pressed or grated

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp sea salt

3 large shallots

4 medium cucumbers

2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

  1. Combine the ginger, garlic, oil, salt, and vinegar.
  2. Cut the cucumbers into quarters lengthwise, thinly slice
  3. Thinly slice the shallots
  4. Combine and vegetables
  5. Add the sesame seeds.
  6. Let sit for at least an hour before serving.

Green Bean Salad with Spicy Thai Dressing

I made a modified version of this thai green bean salad as a side to tofu larb. I omitted the dried shrimp and used cashews instead of peanuts since I didn’t have peanuts on hand. I enjoyed the salad. It was quick to make and very tasty. The only thing is it really needed to marinate for two days before the flavor fully soaked into the green beans.

https://www.delicious.com.au/recipes/green-bean-salad-spicy-thai-dressing/d8f3d75f-9612-4c0f-883d-046071c93b8b

Stewed Black Eyed Peas

I wanted to make something really simple to enjoy my last black eyed pea harvest of the season. I looked at a recipe for stewed black eyed peas on the New York Times and, using this recipe as my inspiration, made this recipe for stewed black eyed peas:

2 cups Fresh Black Eyed Peas

6 cups water

2 Leek Tops (Green Part Only)

1 onion, cut in quarters

Tsp salt

2 garlic cloves, peeled

I put everything in my small slow cooker and cooked on high for 5 hours. The result was delicious. Flavorful, soothing, and with surprising depth of flavor. This is my favorite black eyed pea recipe I made all summer.

There was enough broth to use in another recipe. I used it in this one, and I suspect that’s the reason that the recipe was so flavorful. https://nimbleveggies.wordpress.com/2021/11/15/farro-with-mushrooms