As part of my mission to turn old favorites into plant-based recipes, I discovered gluten-free tempeh* is a perfect stand-in for steak in a stir fry. The fermented soy in the tempeh will soak up loads of flavor from the sauce, and sauteeing your tempeh for a few minutes helps bring out the flavor (uncooked tempeh may be a bit weird, flavor-wise, for some people, but once it’s cooked, it is amazing!).
If you saw my recipe for Egg Foo Yung, you’ll recall that one suggestion I made is using the stem of broccoli to make the vegetable filling. This recipe uses broccoli florets, so maybe serve the two dishes in the same week (that’s how I did it!). Also, if you have leftover green onions, they can be put to use here as well.
*: Make sure your tempeh is gluten free as not all brands / flavors are.
I’m not a vegetarian, but I am finding that as I get older, my inclination is increasingly inclined toward less meat, more veggies. My body feels lighter, less overfilled when I reduce my meat intake (particularly red meat). So I challenged myself to make a month of meatless meals. Continue reading “A Meatless Month”
I’ve attempted to go vegetarian twice in my life. Both times were, to put it mildly, abject failures. Mostly because I had no idea what it meant to be a vegetarian. “Just cut out meat!” I thought.
This is reminiscent of the first time I decided gluten was my digestive problem. I simply cut out bread and some pasta — but the truth is, I mostly ate whatever I wanted, with a nod toward being gluten free. Since I didn’t feel better, I decided gluten wasn’t my problem. Continue reading “Considering Meatless Monday (with Gluten-Free Options)”
Last week, for reasons known only to my psyche, I was craving veggie burgers. When I announced that we were celebrating Meatless Monday with Qrunch Quinoa Burgers, the green chile with pinto beans version, my husband gave me one of those looks. Seems he much preferred my faux Philly cheesesteaks from the night before.
I made a great sauce, sliced up some perfectly ripe avocado, added a little cheese, and grilled these burgers to perfection. They were served on Udi’s gluten-free hamburger buns. I love a good bean and quinoa combo, so I’m sorry to say these didn’t taste good. At all.
My husband, who is not gluten free, was happy I made them like a real burger, but both of us felt the quinoa burgers were dry. They fell apart very quickly. I might have forgiven this if the flavor had shown up — it didn’t.
While we probably won’t buy these again, I have two left, and I’m thinking of doing them in the style of a huevos ranchero, with the Qrunch burgers taking the place of the corn tortilla. A fried egg will add moisture, and ranchero sauce will kick up the flavor.
While I joke about the husband not cooking, he does make one dish (granted, he only makes it about once a decade, but still): Chile Rellenos. They are a favorite of his — he judges the quality of Mexican restaurants based on their rellenos — and somehow, someway, he taught himself to make this dish.
He also once won a chile relleno cook-off, but that’s another story for another day.
Making chile rellenos gluten-free is amazingly easy. Making chile rellenos is also pretty easy (though a bit messy). Eating them? Easiest of all.
The recipe below is for what we now know as traditional chile rellenos. The Notes and Meal Suggestions section has ideas for alternate preparations, including an awesome baked relleno.
Another weeknight quickie, especially if you’re using leftover quinoa (or rice). It’s a great vegetarian option that is highly flexible when it comes to ingredients. For example, instead of spinach, I’ve used dandelion greens or kale. In fact, you can mix up the ingredients all sorts of ways…to the point where instead of a bell pepper, maybe you’re stuffing an acorn or butternut squash (note: this may increase cooking time!).
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is suddenly everywhere. This ancient South American grain is tasty and versatile. It cooks up just like rice*. I find that quinoa absorbs flavor really well, and I really love as a stuffing for squash and peppers.
Quinoa also makes a great vegetarian patty or cake, perfect as a base for Huevos Rancheros or an interesting side dish (maybe topped with a creamy mustard sauce?). Quinoa and black bean cakes are a great way to use leftover quinoa, with the added bonus of tasty black beans. Adjust the seasonings in this recipe to suit your palate and goals — there is no wrong way to make these!
* Seriously, just like rice — if you’re cooking on your stovetop, it’s 2 cups water or broth to 1 cup quinoa plus seasonings (salt, pepper, cumin, or whatever you like), bring to boil, let simmer for 15 − 20 minutes; if you’re using your rice cooker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for basic white rice.