WIAW 13: 4 Plant-Based Dinners

I started to take photos for this post on Saturday, and by the second meal, I was already boring myself. How many times do you need to see the same bowl of oatmeal that I eat most mornings, or the same giant salad that I make about 5 times a week for lunch? In attempt to switch it up, I’m going to instead focus on what I’ve had for dinner the last four nights. The vegan experiment is still going strong- and I am loving every single meal!

(I also love this t-shirt that Earth Balance sent me last week!)

The only thing I really miss is still eggs… that will probably be the first thing I eat if/when I start adding any animal proteins back into my diet.

Saturday night: Spaghetti and Beanballs

I was really excited about this recipe, I had bookmarked it in my favorite cookbook, Veganomicon a while back, but hadn’t tried it out until now! The beanballs were really easy to make and super filling. I had mine over spaghetti squash mixed with about an ounce of pasta (Greg just had a big bowl of pasta with his) and poured homemade marinara sauce over the top.

The recipe made way more beanballs than what the two of us could eat, so there were lots of leftovers.

I’ve been enjoying these delicious beanballs in my lunch salads all week!

Beanballs (from Veganomicon)

20 oz. (or approx. 3 cups) of cooked kidney beans*
1/4 c. vital wheat gluten
1/2 c. bread crumbs
2 T. olive oil
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. steak sauce or tomato paste (I used tomato paste, but think steak sauce would be awesome)
2 cloves garlic, pressed or grated
1/4 t. lemon zest (I used dried lemon peel)
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. thyme

Preheat oven to 375* and spray rimmed baking sheet with oil (I used a silicon baking mat).

Mash kidney beans using potato masher or food processor- but don’t mash completely (some beans should still be somewhat in tact). (I used a potato masher and it worked well.). Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Knead with your hands for about a minute once combined.

Roll into tablespoon size balls and place on baking sheet. Spray beanballs with a little more oil. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and bake again for 10 minutes.

Make these. You won’t be sorry.

**

Sunday night: Tofu Stir-Fry and Miso Soup

Greg and I were out in DC all day and didn’t get home until after 5:00, so fussing with dinner was the last thing on my mind. We had also eaten a late lunch and didn’t want to make anything super heavy. I had (and still have) a ton of miso left from the container that I bought to make miso-glazed sweet potato salad, so miso soup was an obvious choice.

I’m going to have to get used to having really bad lighting until we “spring forward” again…

I Googled “miso soup recipe” and then put some vegetable broth, tofu, green onions, kale and miso into a pot and let it cook. I completely forgot to add nori (seaweed) to the pot, which probably would have made the soup taste MUCH better. Greg liked it- I wasn’t a huge fan. But, I will definitely try making it again since I have massive amount of miso to use!

The stir-fry was DELICIOUS. I began by marinating some tofu in Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos, until it was completely soaked through. Then, I pan-fried it in a little bit of coconut oil. Oh my goodess… I could have just had that for dinner and would have been completely happy. I still went ahead and added some chopped up (raw) veggies- broccoli, red bell pepper and asparagus and put a lid on the pan for a few minutes to let them steam down. After it was plated, I threw some mung bean sprouts (home grown!) on top, which added a delicious crunch!

I realized after I made this that we still had a ton of snowpeas that needed to be used.. oops.

Monday night:Cauliflower + Chickpea Curry

I train a client until about 6:15/6:30 on Monday nights, so it’s nice to be able to throw something together for dinner quickly. This dinner took no more than 15 minutes to make, from start to finish!

We had a huge head of cauliflower in the fridge, and I had hydrated and boiled some dried chickpeas earlier in the day. A curry was the first thing that came to mind! I chopped up the cauliflower, along with some red bell pepper, carrot and onion and threw it in a pot with some vegetable broth, coconut milk, curry powder and a few other spices. Right before it was done cooking, I added in some frozen peas.

I need to go back and remember exactly which spices I used, because this was so good!

**

Tuesday night: Sweet quinoa stuffed acorn squash

This is the most popular recipe of all time on my blog! And I may be a little biased, but it’s pretty darn tasty. This is one of those dinners that I pretty much always have the ingredients on hand to make (and you could really use any variety of winter squash).

And this photo is recycled from the original post… because it’s much prettier than what I would have taken last night. :)

It was a nice surprise to go back and find this recipe- and notice that it’s vegan!

**

What’s the best thing you’ve made for dinner recently? Is there anything that you can “throw together” in 15 minutes?

 

Comments

  1. Wow your meals look and sound amazing!!! You’ve inspired me to get more creative in the kitchen that’s for sure! I’ve just been throwing together a lot of soups lately but might switch it up now!

  2. Yeah pretty sure I need to come over for dinner one of these nights… ;)

  3. Oh my gosh! Dinners look delicious.
    Last night I made breakfast for dinner. Egg/veggie scrambles. (Sorry to write about eggs!) I tried a new trick that was delicious. I always add a splash of milk to eggs and then whisk them before putting in the pan. Last night I added a scoop of pesto to the eggs, whisked it all together. Oh my gosh. So delicious.

  4. Mmmm, great eats! I’m not vegan, but we eat a lot of vegan meals at my house. I recently tried lentil “meat”balls with spaghetti, but sadly, lentils don’t get along with my belly. I think beanballs would be better.

  5. Stuffed squash? Sign me up! I have a little kabocha that I meant to use that way but haven’t decided on what to stuff it with. Your idea looks good.

  6. Loving all the plant based recipes..plant power all the way!!!

  7. You’ve been coming up with great vegan recipe ideas! Stirfry is the classic throw it together dinner. So easy, so tasty. Otherwise, I usually heat up some beans and throw them on top of a sweet potato with a veggie on the side. And hot sauce. Perfect easy dinner in my eyes. :)

  8. Yumyumyum! I love all of the plant foods goin’ on here! I love to throw together anything Mexican-themed. Beans, rice, salsa, and corn tortillas are so easy!

  9. How can I get on the good side of EarthBalance! You have so many awesome vegan ideas. Beanballs? Who knew! I made a cheeseless pizza, that was so good, I didn’t even notice it didn’t have cheese. Where are you getting your recipes?

  10. Wow, beanballs look super interesting! Will have to test those out! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Bean balls- I’ve never heard of that! What a great idea for mock meatballs… I always struggle to find ways to get protein in if we have pasta. So many delicious ideas here!

  12. Love reading about your vegan cooking!! I’d be curious to try the beanballs.

  13. WOW girl! Those are some nice looking meals! I agree with above–those beanballs are intriguing… and sound hilarious. hahaha; )

  14. Heather @ Better With Veggies says:

    I love the idea of beanballs over spaghetti squash – that sounds awesome!! And can I say again how much I love that shirt?!

  15. Those meals all look (and sound) delicious!!! You go girl.

  16. Yum, yum, yum! The reason I don’t do typical WIAW posts is because I bore myself, too. I often bore myself on IG as well, but I keep posting pictures of oatmeal anyway. :) I’m impressed that you whipped up a different, delicious meal each night. I’m afraid I just stick to the same soup for lunch all week and the same bowl of randomness (what my roommate refers to as ‘cr@& in a bowl’) with a bedtime snack of cereal + peanut butter every night…

  17. The beanballs look great! And so much protein

  18. I love the Veganomicon–and that beanball recipe! Have you made the chickpea cutlets out of there? One of my all-time favorite recipes, and I’ve fed them to super-picky meat eaters who end up loving them (despite making weird faces and asking “where’s the meat?” before the meal begins). I love curries and stir-fries for quick throw-together meals, and they are a great way to use up veggies that may otherwise be going to waste in the fridge!

  19. Yummm, curry is one of my favorite vegan dinners. Or meat dinners. Old Bad steamed shrimp and roast veggies is our current super fast “treat” dinner…so good, so easy.

  20. That stuffed acorn squash looks so good! I love combining sweet and savory things, too – thanks for the idea!

  21. The best dinner I’ve made recently was Roasted Butternut Squash Tortellini. To be honest, I am not good at throwing together a quick dinner; I need a recipe.

  22. All looks so good – i love winter squashes; i wish i could get my hands on spaghetti..it keeps evading me”!

  23. LOL….I hear you on the oatmeal!! I was thinking the same thing about my breakfasts these days. Time to mix it up a bit and you’ve inspired me to be more creative!

    XO

  24. Your balls look awesome. Hee hee.

  25. Your meals look amazing!! I wanna come over for dinner! lol I throw tex mex meals together in 15 all the time!

  26. Gosh those all look so good. And love how filling you mention them all being. Who says veggies can’t be super satisfying!

  27. Wow, these dinners look great….the stuffed squash is beautiful, and I know what you mean about bad lighting. All my pictures seem to be taken in low light now. How do you like your vegan experiment so far? Do you feel any differently?

Comments are welcome (and encouraged)!