While I love today's prompt for "deconstructed" dishes, I didn't want to get too "fancy" with it. I'm all for fancy food, but not when I'm deconstructing something. I like deconstructing dishes into their individual star ingredients and just preparing them differently. I also love to eat food out of bowls, though. I'm not a huge fan of plates because I feel as though I have to work to eat my food off of a plate.
When there are multiple elements to a dish, I find they are best enjoyed layered on top of one another. The only time I like to eat off a plate is when I'm eating a sandwich type food that is already contained. The hummus quinoa I made today would be TERRIBLE on a plate. Especially since quinoa likes to go everywhere. Whenever I make quinoa, I always find little grains on the counter no matter how careful I am while using it. This bowl is my answer. Keep that quinoa on the bottom and pile the stuff on top so it stays put! It also creates a soft little bed for everything to nestle into!
I made the chickpeas the main star of the dish, of course, but I roasted them whole rather than their usual role in hummus as the puree. I love roasted chickpeas because they become nutty and almost "cheesy" if I can say that ("buttery" perhaps is a better description). Although they're the main component, I must say my favorite part is the sauce I made...
Tahini is used in hummus often to create a creamy texture and add flavor. I used tahini here as a drizzling sauce mixed into whipped aquafaba. The resulting sauce is an oil-free (but not fat free, of course) aioli-type sauce. It holds up but isn't too thick. The flavor is delicious and nutty with a hint of mellow sweetness from mirin. Garlic is everywhere in there too, because garlic is one of the best parts of a good hummus. To keep this dish truly oil-free, you can omit wherever it calls for olive oil. It won't change your results too much at all.
Deconstructed Hummus Quinoa Bowls
Yield: about 5 servings
Free from: Gluten, Soy, Nuts
Garnish (optional): dry/fresh herbs, paprika, olive oil, raw cut veggie slices
About a month ago, my boyfriend and I took an amazing trip to Colorado and Utah. We only dabbled in Utah for a short while and mostly stayed in Colorado. Most of our trip consisted of driving which is why my photos are landscapes, landscapes and more landscapes! Since it was my first time exploring the inland part of the Western U.S., I was a bit in awe of the drastic differences in climate that I experienced. I remember experiencing some form of snow at least once a day during the week that we were traveling. Some days would drop 20 degrees and then spike back up again. Rain followed us through the mountains and often turned to snow or sleet. The desert was the most interesting, as it was dry, sunny, and hot with a cold breeze. I loved it!
I also ate some pretty interesting food while on the road. We stayed in a different place for each night, which gave us plenty of opportunity to explore local food options (or, eat Asian fusion for 3 nights in a row because that was the best vegan option in town). Luckily, we found some awesome markets (and the ever-faithful Whole Foods) on the road that supplied us with breakfast, snacks, etc. I'm glad I can highlight some of the food gems that we found on our trip for you. Hopefully this will entice you to visit the area one day...it's amazingly beautiful. It's definitely somewhere I'd love to go again.
Vegan Adventures in Colorado & Utah
The Beet Box Bakery & Cafe
The Beet Box is such an amazing cafe which quite an unassuming appearance. When I first found their menu online, I freaked out. "This is what I would make for my own cafe!" Boy, was I totally right.
The pastries the Beet Box keeps in their case are different from day to day. They always make everything fresh and in house, including their breads. The first thing I got was a sandwich as I was famished from not eating on the plane ride (yes, this was our first stop after getting off the plane!).
Yes, I was quite pleased with my decision. This is a delicious sandwich that I wish I had created. Gluten-free bread, hummus, onion, radish, apple, cucumber and butter lettuce. My God.
Among the other delicious things we ate there (a total of two trips, I promise!) were cinnamon scones, a strawberry fruit tart, roasted beet sandwich, curry cauliflower croissant, and a cashew cheese mushroom panini. Definitely a spot I would hit up any time of day if you're in Denver looking for vegan eats.
Happy Leaf Kombucha
Up next is a small kombucha bar and cafe in Denver called Happy Leaf Kombucha. Their cafe was amazing in its aesthetic. Their bar and tables were all rustic woods. The art on the walls was the most impressive that I've seen for sale locally in a long time. We stopped in here to get a light snack and some kombucha, since I'm a big kombucha fan. I'm used to drinking GT Dave's , which is delicious, but it isn't on tap!
I must say I was a huge fan of Happy Leaf's product. The kombucha was totally clear and very easy to drink. It didn't sting as much as any other bottled kombucha I've had before. The flavor was subtle as well without too much sweetness.
We ate some homemade hummus while we were there, which was delicious and fresh. They had a soup on special that day as well. It was spicy, smooth, and not too overpowering. A great find.
City O' City
One of the most impressive vegetarian restaurants I've ever been to, hands down, is this wonderful place. City O' City had a great vibe. It was hip, casual yet smart, modern yet comfortable, and inventive yet accessible in their food and beverage offerings.
We went here for dinner the very first night we spent in the city after coming in on the plane that morning. We had received a recommendation for this place and we were so hungry that we went over immediately. After dark, the restaurant dims the lights for a very private sensual feel. This place is kind of magical; I just don't know what else to say.
The first time I ate at City O' City, I got a savory waffle for dinner because why not?! Waffles are things that I seldom make for myself, but I really do love them. I was definitely not disappointed. This waffle was insane. It was a dense, almost cornbread-like batter with thinly peeled spring vegetables on top that had been sauteed lightly. To top the whole thing off, they poured a vegan cheese fondue over everything. The cheese was thin in texture so it didn't overwhelm the dish at all. Genius.
The second time (yes, we went here twice as well) we went to City O' City was the very last day on our trip. We stayed in Denver for the entire day because our flight was overnight, so we took our time with breakfast. Always a treat.
I couldn't help myself. I got a waffle again! This waffle was the WoW (waffle of the week!!!). It was a cinnamon raisin waffle topped with granola, vegan cream cheese, and orange peel. Absolutely to die for. Oh, and we also found Sasquatch. This place has everything you could ever want, so just go and enjoy. <3
During our travels through the mountains and desert, we had to eat on the go a lot. I'm sure you all know how tricky this can be for plant based eaters and those with dietary restrictions. We had a surprisingly easy time finding things! There were an abundance of Asian restaurants in every major town we drove through, which always had at least a few vegetarian options. Some places were better than others. These summer rolls were one of the better things we found. ^_^
We also had to make some stops while driving for snacks. We were so lucky to find small and big businesses that offered vegan options for quick food. Oddly enough, we consumed a lot of freshly pressed juices on our trip. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to eat many vegetables while on the road. What a worry wort.
I also grabbed a fair amount of kombucha from the store in addition to those that I got on tap. What can I say? I'm addicted to it.
My boyfriend is kind of a barista (like, kind of). ;)
So, while we traveled, we tried different coffee shops in search of delicious espresso and coffee to keep us energized. Just like with the Asian restaurants, some of the coffee shops were better than others. We found some surprisingly good cups of coffee while on the road, though. It was such an exciting moment to find one that really hit the spot. Some of the notable shops we found were Corvus Coffee and Deja Brew among others.
About a year ago, I visited my very fist Voodoo Doughnuts location in Portland. I am certianly a lucky gal to have the pleasure of visiting another location a year later. The Voodoo in Denver seemed to have a slightly larger selection of vegan doughnuts, although it could have just been the time of day that we dropped by. My boyfriend got a fruit loops doughnut (I mean, genius again) and I got a maple cream filled doughnut. I was a bit overwhelmed so I didn't finish the whole thing, but man did I enjoy it!
Overall, I'd say my first experience in Colorado was a success. I got to eat a lot of amazing food, spend time with an amazing guy, and see some amazing natural sights. I climbed stuff, soaked in a hot spring, met some buffalo and horses, met up with some friends, and generally had one of the greatest trips of my life. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
Here's until the next time that I travel! I won't keep you out of the loop, I promise! In the meantime, go to Denver. It's a rad place. ;D
I feel like Thanksgiving took forever to get here. I thought about what I was going to make during the summer months, pining away for fall foods. Now, I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me. I'm still in my post-pumpkin reverie and eggnog is being forced down my throat.
Don't get me wrong; I love the holidays. But, I wish that our consumer culture would let these holidays speak for themselves instead of using them as a marketing tool. That is, however, a discussion for another post! =)
This post is about Thanksgiving food. It is also about an eclectic selection of finger foods that I just served up at a little potluck party the other night. After my binge-cook-a-thon before Thanksgiving (16 hour stretches of food prep will make you hear things), I decided to take it easy for this potluck. I made hors d'oeuvres and small bite desserts along with some easy kettle corn for munching. I always adore small bite foods because you can eat more of them! I also like to eat a different variety of foods when I'm socializing. It makes the night interesting and gives people something to talk about (with their mouths full)!
Before I get into what I made for the potluck, I'll go over my Thanksgiving menu. Recipes will be posted at a later time. This is due to the lack of photos that I took since I was running around like a maniac trying to prepare everything. Also, I would like to try the recipes a second time =D. You know, to ensure quality and accuracy... I mean, who's going to say "no" to stuffing in December? Not I!
Here is what the menu looked like for the big day:
I also made a loaf each of Pumpkin Nut Bread and Parsnip Spice Bread as gifts for friends. Originally, I also had a salad planned but never got around to making it. Way too much other food! I was a little bummed because I like to have at least one raw dish during Thanksgiving to balance all the other heavily cooked and baked foods. Luckily, I'm making up for it now! One way to get through a holiday food hangover is to eat as many greens as possible!
Moving on to the potluck, I had a more simplified menu with easy-to-eat foods that were lighter yet still flavorful. I made a bunch of dishes that weren't exactly tied to any theme or ethnic background. All the dishes had in common was that i liked to eat them! Like the Thanksgiving recipes, I will shed these out to you over time as well. Today I give you the hummus recipe to hold you over! It's absolutely wonderful. It will alleviate any pizza craving you may have.
I knew I wanted to make a type of hummus or dip for people to try. So often, dips are a vegan's worst nightmare: cream cheese, sour cream, some other type of dairy product, mixed with delicious things that you can eat! Take spinach and artichoke dip for instance; it could so easily be vegan. But, alas, it isn't.
Pizza flavors are synonymous with parties. I figured that infusing hummus with pizza would only lead to approval by omnivorous taste buds. I used white beans instead of chickpeas for a more creamy and mild backdrop. The marinara sauce and garlic really shine this way.
Italian "Pizza" Hummus
Serves: A crowd; About 10 people (You will probably have leftovers. Hide them!)
Take everything except the olive oil and place in blender/food processor. This is much easier if you have a food processor or a high speed blender. I used a Vitamix to puree everything until very smooth. Once the mixture is combined as much as you can get it, steam the olive oil into the machine while processing. Mix with a tamper and/or scrape down the sides often to ensure everything gets incorporated. Once the hummus is smooth and silky to your taste, you can plate it and enjoy. You can use as much or as little oil as you like. This hummus is still delicious without the oil. But, after all, it's the holidays. Treat yourself. ;)
This is my very first food blog! I post revised conventional recipes of foods that I hold near and dear to my heart. My cooking here is all gluten-free and cruelty-free, but full of flavor and comfort.