Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Yumz in my Tumz

What follows is a long post of various delicious weeknight creations! I love doing thematic posts, or product reviews, but sometimes I make a great dinner and it seems silly to just post one picture of a great dinner and that's all. So, lately I keep a little draft blog post going where I can load up any share-worthy culinary experiences... and then I just wait until the post gains some critical mass. Viola, here we are! 

roasted goodness with grains and fresh microgreens and creamy dressing

I love this Orange-Miso Dressing Power Bowl from the Oh She Glows Cookbook, but I hadn't made it for a while. It's orange season again on our orange trees, so I thought of this recipe... and we both loved it as much as ever. Just looking at this picture makes me want to make it again. I really love that Orange-Miso Dressing on its own too. It makes a great dip for raw veggies or dressing to pour over steamed veggies. Sadly for me, Butternut Squash season is winding down, but I have a couple left on my counter so maybe I'll make this one more time.

Roasted Butternut rounds are so delicious, and also they are special to me because they were one of my grandmother's favorite foods. They always remind me of her and make me feel a little closer to her. I like that feeling.

romantic heart salad! 

We usually have a Giant Salad at least two nights a week. Sometimes we have kale salad, and sometimes we have a green salad. They're both great, but also always the same. I made this salad a little fun and special by using my set of heart-shaped cookie cutters. All the non-heart-shaped greens and veggies were hidden under the cute veggies, ha ha.

nom nom nom nom-a-long-a-ding-dong

Speaking of special salads, sometimes we mix it up. This was the Caesar Salad from the new Oh She Glows app (it's also here on her website). Sakes alive, this was good - greens, cashew parm, chickpea croutons... such a delicious combination of flavors and textures. The greens are a mix of kale and romaine lettuce which was something I don't do often. For whatever reason - probably just my own limited salad imagination - I usually either have kale salad or lettuce salad. We both loved this salad.

my regular weeknight cooking scenario
sometimes on weekdays, i cook dinner in the middle of the day, since I often am teaching at night. Then I can come home from teaching and have dinner all ready to go. I love that. 

leftovers combined into a satisfying lunch. I've noticed lately how a good sauce can really tie things together and make it feel like I've eaten a proper meal. Whereas if I just had some steamed greens and some baked tofus separately, it wouldn't be as emotionally satisfying. You know what I mean? 

This was a simple lunch thrown together with odds and ends from the fridge, but it was also a great combo together: steamed curly kale, grilled herb tofu, and some Afghani Cilantro sauce that I had made. I know that not every one appreciates cilantro, but I do. In fact, I think it might be my favorite fresh herb of all. I prefer cilantro pesto to basil pesto, believe it or not. I think my two favorite uses for loads of cilantro are Georgian Cilantro Sauce (which I also made recently) and Afghani Cilantro Sauce. Such strong and delicious flavors!

Deceptively fancy Weeknight Dinner

This glorious spread looks so beautiful and fancy, but actually this was a super quick and easy dinner to throw together. I wasn't in the mood to cook something from a cookbook... so I made a batch of hummus and based dinner around that. The hummus was topped with olive oil, nigella seeds, and some zaatar. Next I cooked up some broccolini and red onions on the stove top, warmed some lavash from the freezer, and chopped up a bunch of fresh herbs and veggies. I think we ate pretty much all of this between the two of us. Ha ha. It felt super fancy and couldn't have taken more than 30 minutes to throw together. I love that!

summer time is on its way!

Now that we're getting more and more sunny days, it's also time to bust out the grill. One of Mr. VE&T's favorite dinners of all is simple grilled veggies. I marinated a bunch of veggies and tofus and then threw it all on the grill. Grilling takes a little bit of time and monitoring, because some areas of our grill cook veggies more quickly than others... but it's super easy and overall it's still pretty quick. Plus, this dinner doesn't take a lot of mental energy, which I appreciate -- and double plus, Mr. VE&T gets all super excited and raves about it the whole time, which is certainly rewarding for me! 

In general, I must say, I feel super lucky that Mr. VE&T loves my cooking so much. He is such an enthusiast and always shows great appreciation when he likes what I've made. It makes it so much more fun to cook for him. Every once in a while it happens that I make a dud, or just that he doesn't care for what I've made. But even on those occasions, he thanks me for being adventurous and always trying new things (and then he goes to the kitchen and gets something else to eat, ha ha!). Mr. VE&T isn't a vegan, or even a vegetarian, but he also happily enjoys vegan food and loves trying all the new things I make. I appreciate it so much! 


  1. I love the title of this post! And all of your simple meal ideas! I just book marked the orange-miso sauce and both cilantro sauces. I bet they'd be great over a bowl of anything!

    1. yes!! all three of those sauces are exactly good on just about anything! so versatile and yummy.

  2. Wowzer that is an impressive variety of bowl dinners! The butternut rounds look super; I have about 3 spare in my kitchen right now so I really need to give that a go :)

    1. dooooo iiiiiit! ha ha. They're so good. I do 'em at 400-425F for about 15 min on one side, flip em to the other side for another 15 min or so. I like them to be good and browned/caramelized. :)

  3. All of these meals look so delicious! I thought I was the only one who was sad to see butternut squash season coming to an end, ha ha, but I am glad to see some berries showing up now. And I agree, that caesar salad from Oh She Glows is so great! I ate that so many times last winter when produce was scarce. Yumm!

    1. yes, I agree, berries are good and probably a fair trade for the berries. Once corn arrives, I definitely won't be looking back. Plus, cherries. So, all in all, I'm okay with the progress of the seasons! ha ha

  4. That Orange Miso Dressing is my favourite dressing of all time. I have made many similar bowls to yours, but not for a while, maybe even months (eep!). Thanks for the reminder - Orange Miso bowls coming up on our dinner menu within the next few day ;)

  5. I love the orange miso dressing, it is so good.
    The little heart shaped veggies in that salad are adorable!
    It is technically most of the way through autumn here, though we are still having warm sunny days. It is getting time to best out my BBQ for some grilling fun time. Because it is so hot and humid here during summer, standing out on the deck with the BBQ is just not a fun idea, so I have to wait for it to cool down a little bit. ;)

  6. Oooo Ahhhh — those bowls! Time to get my Oh She Glows cookbook back into rotation. There's just something special about a bunch of colorful veggies piled in a bowl with a great sauce. And what is it about seeing grill marks that gets me so hungry?

  7. That first salad looks like my idea of a perfect meal.
    I also really love odss and ends meals based around a dip or something. So perfect. I don't have a grill or grill pan but that always makes veggies taste even better.

  8. I love the sound of your husband. Mine is the same - not even vegetarian - but likes to eat all my vegan eats as well. :) Love all the greens and veg in these meals.

  9. That orange miso dressing bowl looks awesome and it reminds me that I shoulg cook more bowls! And it's orange season? Is there a house for rent in your neighbourhood? I wanna move! Oranges are super bad over here at this time of the year and I'll have to wait until November.

  10. "I feel super lucky that Mr. VE&T loves my cooking so much." That's awesome! My non-veg husband is the same. We're also lucky to have such supportive hubbies. Mr. VE&T sounds pretty great =)
    Don't you just love the Oh She Glows Cookbook? I haven't tried the caesar salad yet, so thank you for pointing it out. Have you tried the Life Affirming Nacho Dip? I have dreams about it when I'm not eating it ;)
    Your little heart shaped cutter is so cute! I should get one to entice my hubby to eat more salad with me haha.
    And I bet sweet potato would make a lovely roast veggie now that butternut squash is gone.


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