Herbaceous Babe is going to be a little less regular in the days to come as the author gets launched in her professional career. Keep checking back, because there's no telling when a new post will appear!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Creamy Kale

Kale is beautiful. So this week, I really wanted to do something with it that was a little different than my usual cozy mushroom kale. Being slightly envious of my roommate's hunk of Brie, I decided to try out this recipe from Hungry Hungry Hippie.

Honestly, I did everything wrong. First I left the kale wilting too long. Then, after adding the sauce, I figured the dishes weren't going to wash themselves... FYI: I can't multitask. Case in point: the little moisture in my creamy sauce cooked off, and I was left with an almost solid mass of cashew kale.

But here's the good news: It was a very delicious mass - good enough, in fact, that my (non-vegan) sister urged me, "Hang on to this one. It's definitely worth repeating."

When I was little, my aunt told me her kids wouldn't eat broccoli unless she put cheese sauce on it. Cheesy broccoli never sounded persuading enough for me as a child, but I think kids would enjoy this (if they're brave enough to try it).

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wild Rice and Lentil Stew

It sounds like a fairly simple staple food (which it is), but add onion and garlic and enhance with marjoram and garam masala, and you have a lush, cultural dinner in less than 45 minutes. Add other veggies (like grated carrots or diced celery) or spices (paprika, perhaps) to taste, but don't get too carried away. Good ingredients should speak for themselves (says Archestratus, Greek-Silician poet and 'foodie,' 4th century BC).

(That's roasted belgian endives on the side, and butternut squash in the back. Didn't care much for the endive, but maybe I did something wrong - this is my first time after all.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Packed Lunch Ideas

In two short weeks, I'll be heading north for a retreat. Meals are provided - but not for me.

Now, for the last three months, lunch has consisted of peanut butter and jam on gluten-free bread (contains egg whites, so not entirely vegan). Repetition doesn't bother me. But seven meals in a row? That's a bit excessive.

So my brain's been storming, and I have a few ideas that might make my friends jealous. None of them require re-heating, so they're great for road trips or long work days.

Sushi. I made norimaki for the first time this week, and it was so easy, it might become regular fare. Apparently, moisture from the filling can make the nori difficult to chew, so wrap in plastic for optimum freshness and eat as soon as possible.
Tabbouleh. Quinoa is an excellent source of amino acids, calcium, and iron - not to mention the fact that it's delicious! Actually, quinoa served with any assortment of vegetables is a great idea.
Zucchini Noodles. Once cut, these should be eaten within a couple of days, but they're a simple and refreshing choice.
Collard Wraps. These babies can be stuffed with any variety of vegetables and sprouts. The taco wrap at Ecopolitan in Minneapolis is both fabulous and filling! Try other leafy greens too, like a crisp romaine.
Fruit and Nut Bars. More of a breakfast or snack option, but they're fast, healthy, and tame travellers.
Salad. This classic needs no introduction. But it can get boring after a while, especially amidst a cold winter.
Sandwiches. Peanut butter and jam is just the beginning. Pair veggies with your favourite spread, or make a mock-tuna salad from walnuts.
Stuffed Vegetables. Whether it's tomato, mushroom, cucumber, or jalepeƱo, a fresh veggie can go a long way. Slice them ahead of time or pack a knife, then spoon them full of hummus, pesto, guacamole, or cashew cheese according to your fancy.

And if you find yourself a little closer to civilization, check out the Happy Cow directory for raw/vegan/vegetarian restaurants in the area.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Portobello Pizza Bowls

Sometimes, a picture just doesn't do a dish justice.... I wish this photo could communicate how perfectly satisfying this pizza is - and no complicated crust recipe to make it gluten-free! A recipe (and a better picture) are on Oh She Glows!, but honestly, how hard can it be? Tomato paste, cashew cheese, and veggies, baked in the portobello until warmed through.

Okay, I actually like recipes, because it takes the guesswork out of cooking. Still, having the freedom to experiment is a beautiful thing. My cheese (which is not the one included in the recipe) didn't turn out too pretty. It tasted great though - although perhaps a bit less would have been a good idea...