Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chipotle Roasted Sweet Potato & Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs chipotle chile powder, divided
2 Tbs cumin
1 cup quinoa
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1 avocado
1 medium jalapeno, seeds removed
1/4 cup cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin

1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, 2 Tbs chipotle chile powder and the cumin. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
2) Meanwhile, toss all the dressing ingredients into a blender. Pulse until a well-mixed, creamy texture is reached. Set aside in refrigerator to chill.
3) Combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water in a large pot, over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
4) Add beans and sweet potatoes to the quinoa mix. Add remaining 1 Tbs chipotle chile powder and the cilantro. Mix well.
5) Serve salad warm, topped with dressing. Salad can be enjoyed cold for leftovers

Review: It's rare that I get to have a creamy dressing!! It originally called for buttermilk, but there's no vegan version of that. After some research, I found some people have made vegan versions by adding lemon or lime juice to non-dairy milks. Noting the lime juice present in this dressing, I thought I'd give it a try. It totally passed for buttermilk (though, keep in mind I haven't had any real buttermilk in a very long time!!). I was so happy to have a creamy, fatty dressing to satiate my hunger. It wasn't as spicy as I feared it would be (I added a BIG jalapeno), so it was a nice balance to the savory, spicy salad. Super yum!!

Adapted from:

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

White Beans & Arborio Rice

3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 cup Arborio Rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs rosemary, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups shredded cabbage
3 bay leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 15.5oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1) Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add rice and saute 6 minutes, or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and rosemary, and cook 2 minutes more.
2) Add broth, cabbage and bay leaves. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes, until most of liquid has been absorbed.
3) Add beans and cook 5 minutes more, or until rice is tender. Remove bay leaves. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts.

Review: This was supposed to be a soup dish. However, I've well established my hatred of soup. Therefore, I reduced the amount of broth and made this more like a ragout. It was phenomenal. The cabbage was cooked down to a flavorful, but not spicy taste. It added a very savory quality to the dish that felt almost meaty.

Adapted from:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Quinoa, Roasted Yam & Pepitas with Cumin-Lime Dressing

1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed and picked over
2 cups quinoa
2 yams, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
4 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 cup roasted pepitas

1) In a small saucepan, combine lentils with 3 cups of water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35-40 minutes.
2) Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray, toss the yams onto the sheet and coat yams with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, until yams are tender.
3) In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes.
4) In a large serving bowl, combine lentils, yams, quinoa and bell pepper.
5) In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, lime juice, cumin and salt until emulsified. Add to the quinoa mixture and stir well.
6) Top each serving with pepitas.

Review: The original recipe included lime marmalade in the dressing. I searched all over for it and came up empty. I could spend $12.50 for a jar on, or I could drive an hour to a British import store, but I didn't like those options. I'll keep my eye out for it and will make this again if I ever find a jar. But, it was really tasty even without it. I think it would add some sweetness, to maybe balance some of the savoriness of this dish. This was incredibly filling and quite yummy in an unexpected way. Of course, yams and cumin are always an amazing combination and everything else just enhanced it. I also had some amazing kitchen mojo, as I had the lentils, quinoa & yams finish cooking at the same time!!

Adapted from: