Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

Vegetarian Thanksgiving is not just sides of green beans and tofurkey. There are so many great recipes out there and so many amazing dishes to get creative with. I love seeing all the posts and mentions all over the web these days about it! Here is one that would make a great dish for the holiday or anytime this fall & winter!

We LOVE pot pies!! I have made many over the years with all kind of filling and all kind of crusts. Here is one I made a few years back. I typically like to make the dough but this one was deelish with just a simple flaky puff pastry topping. Also love how root vegetably deelish this was!

What are you cooking up this Thanksgiving? Please share your Thanksgiving plans & recipes with us! 

Roasted Root Vegetab

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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie
Recipe adapted from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
6 servings

1 large yellow onion, quartered and sliced crosswise into ½- to ¾-inch-thick pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided, plus extra if needed
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
12 large garlic cloves, peeled, plus 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias into ½-inch pieces – chopped
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 fresh thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 tablespoons earth balance, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the uppermost position (about 3 inches from the broiler element) and preheat the broiler to high. On a rimmed baking sheet, add the onion in a single layer. Broil the onions until they are charred, rotating the baking sheet midway through cooking, 6 to 8 minutes (watch the onions closely, as broiler intensities vary). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle the onions with ½ teaspoon of the salt and pour 1 cup of vegetable broth over the onions, then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°. To the baking sheet used for the onions, add the 12 whole garlic cloves, the carrots, rutabaga, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and toss to combine. Place the thyme sprigs on top. Tightly cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast the vegetables until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Use tongs to gather all of the roasted garlic cloves, then use a fork to smash them into a paste.

3. In a small bowl, mash together the earth balance and flour. Heat a large, deep, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the radishes, the 2 cloves chopped garlic and the chopped thyme, and cook until the cabbage is wilted completely and the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

4. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¾ teaspoon of pepper, then pour in the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add the roasted vegetables, mashed roasted garlic and onion-broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the butter-flour mixture, cooking until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.

5. Whisk together the soy or almond milk with a pinch of kosher salt.Place the puff pastry on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to lightly mark the dough with a crosshatch pattern, making sure you don’t slice all the way through the dough. If your skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer the vegetables to a baking dish. Lay the piece of dough on top of the vegetables in the skillet and lightly brush with the milk mixture. Sprinkle with thyme and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the pastry is golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Perfect Fall Soup: Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

Today was that perfect Fall day. Super brisk yet still super sunny highlighting those gorgeous fall colors!! We spent the late afternoon crunching on all the fallen leaves and a messy outdoor art project!! It was a bit chilly and as it got later (and colder) I figured it was the perfect day for a warm & creamy soup. Yum!!

I was thinking Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk. Then I decided to add carrots from the CSA and apples we picked last weekend. I figured this was going to be a winning combination and it was!

I used pre-chopped butternut squash which made this meal a breeze and done within 30 minutes!

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Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

  • medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • bag of carrots/parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups (water & broth)(I used 2 of each) 
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can of coconut milk (all I had was light and it still came out creamy)
  • dash of nutmeg & cinnamon

In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil while peeling and cutting the squash, carrots & apples.
Turn the heat down and add the veggies, stirring until they are all added.
Add liquid and salt &pepper.
Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are soft.
Using an immersion blender puree completely smooth in the same pot.
Add coconut milk, nutmeg & cinnamon, taste and season, stir (I used the blender again) and enjoy!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

I am obsessed with Lettuce Wraps! I think it is the ultimate light fresh meal. Typically the filling is cooked and hot, but it being so warm out I wanted a nice cooling easy no-cook meal.

I have always loved the ones at Gobo and also at Wild Ginger. I thought it was about time I made my own 🙂 I am so happy I did, loved this meal!

What is your favorite lettuce wrap recipe? I want to try out some more variations!!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

2 blocks extra-firm tofu, diced
4 carrots, grated
4 stalks boy choy, shredded
1 sweet onions, grated or diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 cucumbers, peeled and grated
4 tablespoons mint, chopped
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
3 inches ginger, peeled and grated
2 jalapenos, diced
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
24 large boston bib lettuce leaves, washed and patted dried
24 peanuts, chopped

  1. In a bow, combine tofu, carrots, bok choy, onion, pepper, cucumber and mint.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oils, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, ginger, jalapeno, and salt.
  3. Add tofu and veggies to the peanut sauce and toss.
  4. Serve on lettuce leaves garnished with peanuts.

Iron for Vegans & Kale and Lentil Soup!

We all know that Iron is super important in our diets. Iron transports oxygen to the blood, regulates the metabolism, provides energy and stamina, and supports other important functions. Besides hearing “how do you get your protein?” vegans and vegetarians also hear a lot of “where does your iron come from?” I thought this was important topic to cover especially now as I am not only cooking for my husband and me but also my two kiddos 🙂

“Some might expect that since the vegan diet contains a form of iron that is not that well absorbed (non-heme), vegans might be prone to developing iron deficiency anemia. However, surveys of vegans have found that iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population although vegans tend to have lower iron stores.

The reason for the satisfactory iron status of many vegans may be that commonly eaten foods are high in iron. In fact, if the amount of iron in these foods is expressed as milligrams of iron per 100 calories, many foods eaten by vegans are superior to animal-derived foods. For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach.

Another reason for the satisfactory iron status of vegans is that vegan diets are high in vitamin C. Vitamin C acts to markedly increase absorption of non-heme iron. Adding a vitamin C source to a meal increases non-heme iron absorption up to six-fold which makes the absorption of non-heme iron as good or better than that of heme iron” (http://www.vrg.org)

We can eat iron rich foods with vitamin C foods which can increase absorption, ex. rice & beans, hummus & lemon juice, falafel with tomatoes and cucumber, and beans, grains and seeds combined with fruits and veggies. There are also plenty of natural combinations;  leafy greens, broccoli, bok choy and tomato sauce have both iron & vitamin C!

Here is a list of great non-animal sources of Iron.

  • black beans, kidney beans, chick peas, pinto beans, lentils, soy beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas
  • blackstrap molasses
  • tempeh
  • quinoa
  • spinach, turnip greens, swiss chard, kale
  • tofu
  • watermelon, cantaloupe
  • enriched pasta and breads
  • green beans, beets, broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts, peas
  • whole grains; millet, bulgur, oatmeal
  • prunes, raisins, apricots
  • peanut butter, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, other seeds and nuts
  • potatoes that contain the skin
  • tahini
  • veggie burgers & hot dogs

Also:

Don’t drink coffee or tea or eat calcium supplements with iron rich meals.

Cook with a cast iron skillet, especially Vitamin C heavy foods!

Once you get into the swing of eating a balanced vegan or vegetarian diet, iron is not really a concern at all:)

Here is an iron-rich delicious meal!

 Kale & Lentil Soup

Thankfully my kiddos LOVE lentils as much as we do. It has been SUUUPER chilly this winter so that makes me think soup to warm us all up. I made a super tasty soup and added kale which not only increased the iron & nutritious content but also gave such a great bite & texture to the soup. I used a crock-pot, which I have always loved, but really understand now that it can be a busy mama’s best friend!! Since then we have also revisited the Crock-Pot Oatmeal. Just as good as we remembered!

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  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 14 ½ ounce can of diced tomatoes

Super simple 🙂 Put all of the above ingredients in the slow cooker. Set it on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, if you need it cooked quicker.

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When done I like to use my immersion blender and blend it up about half way, this way there is still some good pieces but the soup gets thicker.

Next add and let cook for just 10-15 minutes longer.
3-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
1 bunch of kale, washed and chopped

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Serve and enjoy! Even better the next day!

Carrot Ginger Dressing

For as long as I can remember I have been obssessed with Carrot Ginger Dressings. Here is a quick recipe for one that keeps pretty well in the fridge, so you can make extra and break out whenever you want a quick salad or even as a dip.

This is a quick salad with avocado, romaine and the dressing.

Carrot Ginger Dressing

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sweet white miso
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons water

Pulse chop carrot, shallot and ginger until finely chopped. Add the miso, rice wine vinegar, sesame seed oil, grapeseed oil and water and blend. Enjoy!

Thai Root Veggie Curry with Coconut Milk

I love curries! Since winter is ending (yeah!!!!) I wanted to get one last yummy root veggie dish on the table and this turned out amazing! I also love a big one pot meal, especially if I already have cooked rice in the fridge already like I did this night! Perfection!

Thai Root Veggie Curry with Coconut Milk
Serves 4

2 cups rice, cooked and set aside
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 turnips, trimmed and cubed
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 fingerling potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 1/2 cups hot vegetable broth, or more as needed
1 teaspoon red or yellow Thai curry paste, or more to taste
1 cup low-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and set over medium-high heat. Add ginger, onions and salt and cook 4 to 5 minutes until the onions softens. Reduce the heat to low and add the butternut squash, turnips, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and zucchini and simmer.
  2. In a separate saucepan over medium heat, whisk the hot broth with the curry paste until the paste dissolves. Pour the broth over the vegetables to cover them; simmer over medium heat, covered , for 20 to 25 minutes,until veggies are tender.
  3. In the empty broth saucepan boil coconut milk until it reduces in volume by half. The pour over the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lime juice and serve over rice with lime wedges.

Avocado Kale Salad #3

I recently had a not so great Kale Salad at a restaurant. The menu ingredients sounded fabulous but with Kale you need to massage it a bit with your hands so it “wilts” and this one wasn’t. Here is my take on it, yum!!

We like a lot of kale salad and it keeps really well for a few days. But if you don’t want as much just half the recipe.

Avocado Kale Salad 

  • 3 heads lacanato kale, chopped
  • 1 avocado
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoon Braggs, tamari or nama shoyu
This is just a base…Combine and Massage the avocado, lemon juice and braggs into the kale. Then add whatever is fresh, you have in the house or love in a salad.

The Base - before adding the toppings

I added — raw sunflower seeds, diced raw red onion, shredded carrots and diced red pepper.

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