Planning Thanksgiving Dinner – Dish #1 – Chunky Sweet Potato Bisque

This is going to be my first Thanksgiving as a vegetarian.  I am sure there will be some protest by my family. But hey, if I am doing the cooking, then they will have to eat what I cook or go to someone else’s home for their turkey dinner.  I am going through the process of reading up on different recipe ideas and reviews of these recipes and will share my thoughts on what I will be serving this year.

I really like sweet potatoes so I could either do a creamy or chunky soup, but I think I would prefer a chunky soup this year.  This Chunky Sweet Potato Bisque is what I will be serving as one of my dishes this year for Thanksgiving and I can’t wait to give it a try sooner than that.

The ingredients needed are staples that I always have in my home and I will be using SPIKE seasoning instead of Mrs. Dash and unsweetened coconut milk in place of non-dairy milk. This is going to be delicious.  Can’t wait to give it a try.  Have you started planning your Thanksgiving meal? What are you making for your family/friends?

A satisfying soup that gets its golden-orange color from sweet potatoes and carrots, this will warm you throughout the fall and winter.

Source: Chunky Sweet Potato Bisque

Coconut Curry Pot Pie [Vegan]

I LOVE pot pies, I grew up eating a lot of frozen pot pies and I am always on the lookout for new ways to create a vegetarian/vegan way of making them.  The fluffy pastry crust and the pot pie filling of goodness just makes me so happy when I eat a pot pie.

This recipe caught my attention because it includes coconut cream. I can’t resist anything with coconut in it, so this is a must try recipe if you are a coconut loving person.

I think you can make this a couple of ways, in the small ramekins or in a 9-inch pie dish with a bottom and top crust, both should work well.  If you don’t have time to make a crust, check the refrigerated section at your local grocer for a pre-made crust that you just need to open up, unroll and layer into your baking pan of choice.

I don’t have time to cut out the little ramekin crust tops, so my preference is one large 9-inch pot pie that the family can dig into.  Give this one a try the next time you are in a baking mood and enjoy.

Stuffed with tofu, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, peas, and a creamy coconut curry sauce, these flaky pot pies are the ultimate comfort dinner.

Source: Coconut Curry Pot Pie [Vegan]

Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers | Minimalist Baker Recipes

I stumbled across this recipe online and thought I would give it a try.  I am not a big pepper eating type of person, but you know you have to change things up a bit when you start living the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.  You can’t eat tofu, salads and veggie burgers all the time.

I started by visiting my local supermarket chain, but they did not have any poblano peppers.  So, while I was standing in the produce section trying to figure out a plan B, I decided to Google the peppers they did have.  Of course, I was looking for the least spicy pepper I could stuff because I am a spicy food wimp.  I decided I could make the Anaheim pepper work for me, mildly spicy and from what I read it is the up and coming pepper of choice.  So, hey why not give it a try.

Aside from the type of pepper I used, the only other difference for me was the way the recipe states to cook the rice.  I do not have time to boil brown rice in 12 cups of water for 30 minutes, so I went with my trusty rice cooker and cooked it that way.  This recipes is easy to make, most of the ingredients you will likely already have on hand and the only item you might need to run to the grocery store for are the peppers.  Give this one a try. I served them with my vegetarian taco dinner and they worked well together.  Enjoy!

Easy, 10-ingredient Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers with brown rice, pinto beans, and a simple avocado crema! A healthy, flavorful, plant-based meal.

Source: Vegan Stuffed Poblano Peppers | Minimalist Baker Recipes

Creole Red Beans and Rice

Trying to figure out to eat for Meatless Mondays?  Here’s an idea, quick and easy and nutritious. Feel free to change out some of the ingredients if you are not a fan of chiles and peppers. 

Source: Creole Red Beans and Rice

Stir-fried Tofu Bento Box with Sesame Soba Noodles and Ginger-Carrot Broccoli

I LOVE LOVE LOVE bentos!  One of my challenges in life is I have food ADHD, meaning I must have variety, it must be visually appealing and of course it must taste fabulous. Growing up in Hawaii, a bento box, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is made up of small portions of food that comfort your soul, make you feel loved, and oh so happy to eat.

Even today, although my meals may not come in a cute bento box, when I am dining out with friends we all enjoy ordering 5 – 7 appetizers and creating our own version of a bento box. There is no reason for us to eat huge portions of food, our bodies don’t require it. What is does require is a sensible portion, that fills our stomach and makes us feel satisfied. There is a health science to this and if you wish to learn more about it I suggest watching a few documentaries, such as Forks Over Knives on Netflix.

A vegetarian or vegan bento box can provide a plant-based diet that delivers all of the nutrition we need for our bodies.  The recipe below is just one option, but you can do this with your favorite mini portions and create your own version of a bento box.  It will feel like Christmas has arrived. Enjoy! 🙂

Source: Stir-fried Tofu Bento Box with Sesame Soba Noodles and Ginger-Carrot Broccoli

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh Ragout • Green Evi

This recipe is from a blog that I follow called Green Evi. Her recipes are quite interesting, using various flavors and spices to bring it all together.  I was so inspired by this dish that I hit the local organic grocery store today and picked up my spaghetti squash and tempeh and will be making this dish tonight.  Can’t wait to give it a try.

Savoury, hearty, smokey, and full of amazing flavours and textures, this vegan baked spaghetti squash with tempeh ragout is an awesome autumn meal.

Source: Baked Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh Ragout • Green Evi

Baked Zucchini Fries – Budget Bytes

I have a weakness for “bar food”.  What is “bar food”?  It is everything that is fried that you can find in your local watering hole.  Unfortunately, if you are a vegetarian or vegan because you want to be on the healthy track and not the “we can eat this because it’s not meat” track, then eating all of that fried food is definitely not a good idea.

I know this, so I too must learn to enjoy the foods I like, but in a healthier way.  I think this recipe fits the mold.  It is from budgetbytes.com. It’s a quick, easy, baked version of a personal favorite, zucchini sticks.  No frying involved, so less to clean up and more time to enjoy a healthy appetizer or snack alternative. Try adding some nutritional yeast to the dry mix, to add in that “cheesy” flavor.

These baked zucchini fries have a buttery flavor and are a fun way to get your vegetables. Step by Step Photos.

Source: Baked Zucchini Fries – Budget Bytes

Easy Hummus Recipe

This is truly the best humus I have had and easy to make. I was so excited to give this a try because I just purchased a new food processor.  I was not disappointed. Give it a try for yourself and see how you like it. I will not be buying store hummus anymore.

How to make our easy hummus recipe with canned chickpeas, garlic, tahini and olive oil. With easy to follow recipe video!

Source: Easy Hummus Recipe

Avgolemono Linguine with Chard Ribbons Recipe | Vegetarian Times

Do you love carbonara? So do I, but the hardest part is getting it to taste the way I remember it before becoming a vegetarian.  No more bacon, pancetta, or salty meats allowed.  Well this one is using a flavorful twist that I think will become a family favorite and without the meat. YAY!

It is a creamy but tangy sauce, YUM!   If you have made carbonara before, the steps are similar. Prepare the milky, cheesy sauce. Boil the pasta. Add butter, combine the sauce & pasta, season with S&P and enjoy!

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Source: Avgolemono Linguine with Chard Ribbons Recipe | Vegetarian Times

Top 10 Pantry Staples for Veg Home Cooks | Vegetarian Times

I’ve been on my vegetarian journey now for just about 9 months and I am still learning a lot about common items I should have in my pantry, from what spices are commonly used, the various grains and their nutritional value and making sure I get enough protein in my diet.

Recently I started training for a marathon, thanks to a dear friend, and have really come to realize the importance of adequate calorie intact from protein, carbohydrates and even sugar for energy.  Since I am not taking in meat protein having the levels needed for energy, muscle recovery and development is even more important from a fitness perspective.

This article is from Vegetarian Times, a magazine that I subscribe to and I hope you will find the information useful.

A well-stocked pantry means a nourishing meal is never more than a cupboard (or freezer!) away. Short on shelf space? We asked cookbook authors and nutrition experts 
to help us narrow down our list of the most versatile ingredients for your kitchen.

Source: Top 10 Pantry Staples for Veg Home Cooks | Vegetarian Times