Archive for ‘Comfort Food’

July 20, 2014

Fajita Bowls with Cauliflower Rice {Vegan}

vegan fajita cauli rice bowl

Because of my constant need to be independent and divergent in some way I almost always choose vegetable fajitas on a standard Mexican restaurant menu. Unless I’m at a fancy taco place. Then I just eat the fancy tacos and shut the hell up.

Anyway, those veggie fajitas usually come with a pan of sizzling spiced bell peppers and onions – plus an entire plate’s worth of add-ons like guac, salsa, iceberg lettuce and a stack of warm tortillas. I’m given lots of freedom to put together my own combinations or just dig in to a pile of vegetables with tons of guacamole. Writing my own rules. Just the way I like it.

And if I find myself at Chipotle…I opt for a burrito bowl and customize the crap out of it.

Here we find ourselves somewhere in the middle with some cauliflower rice thrown in for all those fake rice enthusiasts out there. I love regular rice and especially chewy, nutty brown rice, but sometimes I find myself with a whole head of cauliflower for the fourth week in a row and I’ve gotta mix it up. Plus it’s super light and fluffy and paleo-friendly.

Let’s make cauliflower rice fajita bowls!

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July 1, 2014

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili {Vegan} with slow cooker option

vegan chili

A smokey, hearty chili that lends itself to all kinds of vegetables. Feel free to replace the sweet potato with butternut squash, or add green pepper or zucchini. I like to top it with a grilled corn and cilantro salad or just slices of fresh avocado.

Having a good vegan chili in my arsenal is super important when I’m looking for something warm, bold and comforting. This recipe is a mix of a few recipes I’ve made over the years and what I default to when I have it in my mind to make chili. I like to pack it with at least two types of beans and a combination of vegetables, although I always favor something like sweet potato.

This can also be made in a slow cooker. See below for instructions.

June 24, 2014

Broccoli & Rice Bowl with Peanut Sriracha Sauce {Vegan}

peanut sriracha bowl

A lot of what I eat day-to-day involves some sort of “Bowl”. When I’m looking to get a good hit of vegetables or just use up the bits and pieces in the fridge, a Bowl is the answer.  More than a salad, but with a similar amount of a commitment, Bowls are thrown together easily and often amount to much more than their individual elements.

The most important component of a Bowl is a kickass sauce or dressing. Once you have a good sauce, you’ve got something worth eating.

June 2, 2013

Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Food 2013 056

Food 2013 065

A perfect grilled cheese sandwich is one of my happiest foods. It’s probably one of the first things I learned how to cook, and one of the first things I learned how to cook well.

Grilled cheese is all about nostalgia, comfort, and turning the already amazing components of bread and cheese into a crunchy, toasted, melted, gooey and buttery sandwich.

Today I bring you a breakfast version of one of my most beloved meals. It’s a breakfast version because there’s an egg involved and I ate it for breakfast, but it’s the type of grilled cheese that’s acceptable at any time of the day.

Serve it up on a Sunday morning/early afternoon (girl, you deserve a sleep in!) with a big cup of coffee, some fruit salad and the paper. You won’t regret it.

March 4, 2013

Vegetable Miso Ramen

vegetable miso ramen #voraciousvander

While we’re talking food hugs. Let’s talk about miso broth and noodles.

I mean, if warming and satisfying are what you’re after, a big bowl of flavorsome broth,  full of veggies and noodles is a good way to go.

It’s the perfect sick person food. Or well person food. Or tired and hungry person food.

This, paired with some sassy comments from Maggie Smith, is guaranteed to soothe most troubles away.

I have limited ramen knowledge, but I know that there are a few different types of broth that can be used when fashioning a bowl of the noodle soup.

This is an easy miso-based one that requires little more than stirring miso paste into some simmering stock. It’s a simple way to get your bowl of goodness started pronto.

February 15, 2013

Simple Shakshuka

voraciousvander//tomato eggs
I’ve had a busy two weeks since starting my new job.
At the end of each day, my brain is near exhaustion from just trying to remember names, learn new systems and commuting on crowded trains. Stimulation overload!
By the time I get into the kitchen, even the concept of inspiration is foreign to me. I’ve been falling back on easy and tried and true methods like roasting and sauteing for nearly all of my meals. And when all else fails, there are eggs.
shakshouka
So this is what you could call Shaksuka. Which is pretty much a fancy way of saying eggs poached in a rich tomato and pepper sauce.
A simplified version of just tomatoes, garlic and chili used to be my go-to when I was cooking just for myself after work. And I’m bringing it back! Here, there are a few extras like onion, peppers, paprika and cumin – to add some depth and smokiness.
This dish is a hug made of food.
It’s ease. It’s comfort. It’s perfect for one. Or two, if necessary.
January 25, 2013

Red Lentil Dahl with Kale

voraciousvander -RL dahl

Even in summertime I crave comfort dishes. I’m talking warm, heavily spiced bowls of things that might make you sweat a little when you eat them. I dunno. I’m aware that no one likes to sweat whilst eating, but I’ll take it over eating chilled soup. Gazpacho? I just…can’t. I’m sorry. (Not sorry.)

You know I’m game for a massive minimal-cooking-required salad, but homegirl needs a cooked meal several times a week, regardless of the weather. It’s something about sitting down at night to eat something that has a story. Something that’s been chopped and sautéed and simmered.

I love experimenting with cuisines that I find a little intimidating, it’s like facing your fears in a totally contained and inconsequential way!

Whatta rush.

Since I’ve been cooking, I’ve found Thai and Indian cuisines to be among my favorites to make at home. Mostly because they involve big vats of stew-like concoctions that can be custom-made to involve heaps of vegetables, tons of flavor and spice, and require being mopped up with rice and/or flatbread. (In general, I enjoy mopping my food up with carbs. It’s satisfying and delicious.)

Plus, a good curry paste can’t really let you down.

December 11, 2012

Orange Gingerbread Cake

voracious vander - gingerbread

I know the last thing you want to hear me talk about is how I STILL cannot deal with being in the opposite season of what I’m used to.

But it just doesn’t feel right, you guys.

The symbols of the holiday season are all out of place, for starters. There are no snowmen (or women), disposable pine trees or need for a yule log. And Santa’s apparel makes me sweat just looking at it. Get that man some shorts! Or at least some capri pants.

I started to wonder if the usual heady holiday baking spices were appropriate for the summertime?

I feel like the whole point of using lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves is to warm me up when it’s cold and I’m looking for some comfort wrapped in sugar wrapped in cake.

But really, the point of all of these awesome spices is to make it taste unmistakably like holiday time.

So short answer: they’re totally appropriate.

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