Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Couple of Quick Meals

Here's a couple of quick weeknight meals. First up, the Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times. Back in the day when we had cable and watched the Food Network one of my least favorite shows was the one about semi-homemade cooking. But as I was making this stew it dawned on me that it would fit perfectly in the "semi-homemade" category. Because all you do is cook some vegetables (onion, carrot, bell pepper) with cumin seed and a bay leaf, then add canned chickpeas and prepared butternut squash soup - you know, the kind that comes in a quart-sized carton. It was quick to prepare though, and pretty tasty over couscous. We still have a ton left over too.
Next up, Spaghetti Carbonara - a recipe I found in Vegan Express. Carbonara is typically made with eggs and bacon (or possibly with ham and cheese), but this version with tempeh bacon is most excellent. I tweaked the recipe here and there but I was happy to have found it since I used to make the death-filled version way back in my pre-veg days. I never thought about making a vegan version but now I'm glad I did. I started by making my own tempeh bacon based mostly on the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe. I fried the tempeh in canola oil while the pasta water was coming to a boil, then in the same pan I cooked a few thinly sliced garlic cloves in olive oil. I cooked some whole wheat spaghetti and added some frozen broccoli near the end, then when that was done and drained I mixed it in a bowl with the garlic and oil, tempeh, a little Silk creamer, salt and lots of fresh pepper. Finally a few of the chives that are poking up in the herb garden got diced and sprinkled on top. Can you tell I'm loving the rejuvenation of the herb garden?


pavotrouge said...

wow, I'd never have thought of tempeh bacon for carbonara, must try that!

Wheeler's Frozen Dessert said...

That carbonara recipe is a great idea. I've always been a supporter of the semi-homemade approach (though I agree that show was terrible. But that woman loved her cocktail hour.) Who has time to make a ful gourmet vegan meal everyday?

* said...

Hilarious! I just put the ingredients for the Chik Pea stew on my shopping list for the week. Glad to have gotten a reliable review before making it. Thanks!