I’m back with a new recipe! Vegan Quinoa Jambalaya

Hello there,

There are lots of new things happening in my life lately. I have lots of new ideas for this blog. I am planning on changing the content I post a bit, to be more informative about food and nutrition, post more of my recipes, and also talk about other vegan, health, and wellness related topics.

Unfortunately my last semester at my community college where I will graduate with my associate’s degree and planning for the next step of working towards my bachelor’s degree has had me quite busy lately. I hope to be able to find more time to write here though soon. By Summer there should definitely be more time.

Today I made a recipe though, and am sitting down to type it up and share it in this post.

Before I was vegan, my mom used to make Jambalaya with a seasoning mix and rice, chicken, shrimp, and sausage. I liked it even though it came from a box. I had been thinking about it lately, and how to veganize it.

I wanted to make it with quinoa because I am not the biggest fan of having rice all the time. Plus quinoa has more protein in it, which I like.

This recipe used store-bought meat substitutes for the vegan chicken and sausages, but you could find recipes to make your own if you desire. For the vegan shrimp, I had a plain batch of leftover shrimp seitan  that I froze and defrosted from when I made the vegan shrimp bao recipe. It is not gluten free because of the shrimp seitan, but there may or may not be other vegan shrimp alternatives that are gluten free that you can find in stores if that is important to you.

I do not know for sure if this is very authentic jambalaya, but since it is inspired by it, that is what I am calling it. It is really yummy though, that is for sure!

Image Recipe for Vegan Quinoa Jambalaya

Makes about 10 1 cup servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Vegan shrimp (either store bought or made from scratch via this recipe)
  • 2 Tofurky Italian Sausages, sliced into rounds
  • 3 pieces Gardein Chick’n Scallopini chopped into chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus a bit more to cook the veggies
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 small-medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 8 oz canned tomato sauce (I used a no-salt added brand)
  • a splash to 1/4 cup of vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe’s Low Sodium broth)
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or more if you like salt)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Before you really start to cook, combine the spices in a bowl or little ziplock bag and set aside. Also cook the quinoa in advance, if you wish. It takes about 10-15 minutes to cook, so either way is fine.
  2. Cook each vegan “meat” in a frying pan on medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil separately, one at a time, until slightly brown or golden. You can use the same pan for each of them, but I think it works best to cook one at a time, and then set it aside on a plate while you cook the next one.
  3. After the “meats” are cooked, heat a little more olive oil into the pan. Add the onions and peppers, and cook until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook for a bit longer, stirring a bit.
  5. Add a splash (or more) of vegetable broth, the spice mix, and tomato sauce. Make sure the spices and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, then fold in the quinoa and the vegan shrimp, sausage, and chick’n. Stir to incorporate everything together.
  7. Allow to heat thoroughly. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Eat! Enjoy!

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Savory Veganloaf Cupcakes

Okay, so I remember meatloaf cupcakes being a trend a few years ago or so, but I did not have a vegan food blog back then. Now that I do, this has been on my mental to-do recipe list for awhile, and I finally did it.

These are definitely to be filed under the kid-friendly category. It kind of made me feel like a kid again! For another vegan kid friendly recipe, see here.

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The cupcakes feature lots of healthy ingredients like carrots and onions, pinto beans, raisins, quinoa, and pinto beans, among other things. To top it off, there is a mashed potato “frosting” with nutritional yeast and garlic powder. I added some ketchup on top instead of a cherry, and vegan bac’uns as sprinkles.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

For the cupcake loaves:

  • Gimme lean ground beef style or other vegan ground faux meat of choice, 14 oz
  • 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Annie’s Organics makes a good vegan version, check your labels because this often contains non vegan ingredients…or you can use a vegan steak sauce if that is easier to find)
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flaxmeal, 6 tbsp water whisked together and let to sit for about 5 minutes)
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup grated carrots

For the mashed potato “frosting”:

  • 6 medium white potatoes
  • 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain almond milk or other vegan milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

For the cupcake loaves:

  1. Cook quinoa before preparing the cupcake loaves. When it’s cooked, let sit to cool while you prepare the rest.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. In a food processor, put the gimme lean faux beef, pinto beans, raisins, chopped onions, almond milk, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, oregano, and salt in pepper and pulse until as combined as possible. If your food processor is like mine, you’ll need a rubber spatula to push it around to get it mixed together well and scraped down the sides.
  4. Add the flax eggs to the mix and pulse until combined.
  5. Transfer this mixture into a large bowl.
  6. Add quinoa and carrots, fold in with a spoon or rubber spatula until dispersed throughout.
  7. Spray cupcake tray with oil and place about 1/2 cup of this loaf mixture into each cup.
  8. Heat in oven for about 15 minutes until lightly browned. While cooking, prepare the mashed potato “frosting.”

For the mashed potato “frosting”:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes.
  2. I steamed the potatoes in a steamer pot, but you could also boil them. I just put water in the bottom pot and the potatoes in the basket, kept on high heat at first and eventually turned down to medium. It took about 20 minutes for them to be ready to be mashed. You know when a fork can easily go through them and they are soft.
  3. Pour the water out of the bottom of the steamer pot, and place the potatoes into it.
  4. Add Earth Balance, Almond milk, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic powder, and mash.

To assemble:

I wanted to pipe the mashed potatoes onto the cupcakes but I was too impatient to wait for the mashed potatoes to cool enough so I could stick it in a large ziploc bag, snip the corner, and make it look pretty with piping it like real cupcakes. So, I just scooped some on with a spoon, and put some ketchup on top, with a little bit of vegan bac’un sprinkled on top–those are definitely recommended if you can find them because they added a really great crunch factor to the dish. These are quite healthy, eat more than one! Probably best to eat with a fork, unfortunately, though…

Busy weekend!

I just finished out this past weekend in an amazing way. I am now fully exhausted, but it was worth it!

I helped to provide the food (as food coordinator) to Girls Rock Rhode Island’s Ladies Rock Camp again!

I wanted to make a quick post about what food I made and share a picture of a surprise I made for the campers…

If you want to know more about Girls Rock Rhode Island check out my post from last time I participated, here.

On the menu:

For breakfasts I made two kinds of muffins, a batch of chocolate chip coffee muffins and some lemon poppy seed muffins.

We also had plenty of donations of bagels, yogurts, pastries, fruit, and other stuff that was delicious!

Oh and coffee! It was provided by a local company called New Harvest.

For lunches-The first day I made an adapted version of the raw pad thai I posted here awhile ago. There were breads, chickpea salad (for sandwiches) and some volunteers made some rice, curry, and pasta salad. We also had a very generous donation of a bunch of snack items that were constantly put out with meals! I also made the Rosemary Chocolate Chip cookies from the book Isa Does It. The second day I made a taco salad and oat chocolate chip cookies. People so generously donated 2 big batches of chili (with some Daiya cheese on the side! I was so excited!), and two quiches! The final day we were so lucky to have The Providence Flatbread Company donate a huge batch of pizza for us! I tried the vegan pizza they made, and it was delicious! The gluten free pizzas went over really well too! Here is their website if you want to check them out! 

Dinners-The first night my friend Andrew made some awesome lentil stew and hummus and we also had some sandwich type salads and stuff. The second night more pizza was ordered, but I was not there so I do not know how that was!

Leftovers were at the final night at the showcase where all the women did an awesome job performing! I hope everyone really enjoyed the food (from what I heard it was great!) and congratulations to everyone who got on stage and did something so brave, inspiring, and empowering for themselves!

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The surprise cupcakes with a special message for campers!