Not at Home Cooking

July 3, 2014 — 5 Comments

On our way back to St. Augustine from our Florida wilderness retreat, we pulled over at the County Line in Hastings, Florida to stop at an acclaimed Farmer’s Market, literally called the County Line. We made out like bandits picking up potatoes, squash, beets, spinach, onions, tomatoes, mango and more for a mere $12. We even got to pick out our own courtesy apples after we had paid as a nice little thank you for stopping by.

CountyLine

Since we returned to St. Augustine with so many veggies in tow, we decided to go three for three on home cooked dinners for two, fully utilizing our findings.

Night 1: Summer Quinoa Bowls (+ Peanut Sauce)

I’ve been on a quinoa bowl spree at home lately, mostly involving some kind of Mexican influence. In this case, a light, summery quinoa bowl seemed like a great way to readily utilize quite a bit of the fresh produce we picked up at the County Line.

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INGREDIENTS

  • quinoa (1 cup dry yielding 2+ cups cooked)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 vegan chipotle sausages (sliced)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 squash (sliced)
  • 1 bunch of spring onions/green onions/scallions (chopped)
  • 1 tomato (sliced)

PROCESS

I first filled a pot on the stove with one cup of quinoa, and two cups of water, allowing it to come to a boil and then simmer for around 15 minutes until completion while I was focusing on the veggies. I grilled the asparagus, squash, spring onions, and tomato together in a pan on the stovetop with some garlic and olive oil. At the last minute, I decided to throw in a couple of chopped up vegan chipotle sausages. I then divided up this heated ensemble to lay across two bowls of cooked quinoa. The bowls were topped off with a homemade peanut sauce similar to the one included with my Thai-Infused Peanut Surprise recipe.

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Night 2: Cheezy Tempeh Quesadillas

I always thought I knew how to make a quesadilla, that is, until night two when my counterpart showed me up. Using flour tortillas left over from our cabin stay, a full-circle quesadilla spectacle was born. At the heart of the evening’s quesadillas was tempeh. Because I was mostly a bystander for this one, there was little measuring happening.

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INGREDIENTS

PROCESS

The tempeh was sliced and browned on the stovetop first, using a bit of olive oil and water. After the tempeh was heated to our liking and removed from the pan, the bottom tortilla was placed flat in the pan, and then loaded with shreds of Daiya and tempeh slices. It was then covered with tortilla number two, pressed, and flipped back and forth until crispy on the outside. It was then plated and cut into six pieces with the assistance of a pizza cutter. Then came time for the toppings: vegan sour cream, chopped spring onions, tomato, spinach and Sriracha. After quesadilla number one was complete, it was time to whip up the second, using the remaining half of our ingredients.

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Night 3: Island-Inspired Bowls 

For night three, we decided to somewhat recreate a dish we recently enjoyed at the nearby Back 40 Urban Cafe. Ultimately we were drawn to the freshness of the Back 40 bowls, and greatly appreciated the fact that they offered Annie’s Goddess Dressing as an alternative to sour cream. Instead of jalapeños, we opted to spice ours up with jalapeño salsa, and Sriracha. We also threw some faux chicken into the mix and used quinoa instead of rice as the base.

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INGREDIENTS

  • quinoa (1 cup dry yielding 2+ cups cooked)
  • ½ container of Beyond Meat Chicken Strips
  • 1 can of black beans (drained)
  • 1 sweet pepper (chopped)
  • 2 avocados (sliced)
  • 2 small tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 handfuls of spinach

PROCESS

To prepare these island bowls for two, we simply cooked up one cup of quinoa (with two cups of water). Alongside the quinoa on the stove, we heated Beyond Meat strips in a lightly oiled pan with the chopped sweet pepper. After these elements were heated, we simply separated the ingredients in two, and arranged the raw layers in our respective bowls. I must admit, we had just as much fun arranging the bowls as we did eating them.

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Were there a few more splurges than the norm included in these meals (i.e. copious amounts of sour cream and faux cheese in the quesadillas)? Yes indeed. That’s the beauty of home cooking when you aren’t at home. You get to splurge a little bit.

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5 responses to Not at Home Cooking

  1. 

    I used to live right behind the back 40 urban cafe 🙂

  2. 

    These look great. Are all vegan cheeses created equal? I’ve never tasted vegan cheese before.

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