It’s big batch tabbouleh day! If you’re unfamiliar, tabbouleh is a fresh and filling middle eastern salad, and it’s a must have in your next batch cooking meal plan. Read on for a cute story about my firstborn and all you need to know about making your own tabbouleh…
When we were still a family of three, I remember sitting down to mediocre Greek takeout one night. I dished up then two-year-old Evan a little bit of tabbouleh, the easy/only star of the meal, with LOADS of lemon juice and parsley. He wasn’t the biggest or most adventurous eater at that point, so when he devoured it by the spoonful and signaled for more, Steve and I half giggled, half gazed in amazement (basically the theme of all toddler eating, right?).
With Zahav on my cookbook shelf, I quickly realized that I can make my Middle Eastern favorites pretty easily at home, exactly to my liking, saving the hassle and expense of unpredictable takeout. So many of my favorites, like this big batch tabbouleh salad, are naturally vegan and fit easily into our plant-based diet. The tabbouleh is fresh and filling all year, but the recipe requires just thirty minutes in the kitchen for at least two dinners’ worth of a hearty main dish salad, making it an absolute essential for the upcoming warm weather.[Read more…]
It’s quick veggie curry 2.0! I stand by my original quick veggie curry recipe, but there were a few things I wanted to change about it, to make it even faster and more delicious. A lot has changed in my life since that first quick veggie curry, like going almost 100% plant based and adding two kids to our family. So this updated batch cooking version has many of the features of its predecessor, plus lots of new perks.
- A creamy coconut curry of chickpeas, veggies, and a pop of fresh ginger.
- It’s officially NO CHOP. If you have a grater for the ginger you won’t need to even lay hands on a knife.
- It makes a ton. Freeze the extra, feed a huge family, or take it for lunch for the week.
- Less oil than the original.
- Infinitely customizable. Use the frozen veggies of your choice, and even sub cooked lentils or frozen shelled edamame for the garbanzo beans. Adjust the spice level depending on the curry blend you use, or add a pinch of cayenne for more heat.
- More balance: I’ve added tomatoes this time around, to balance out that rich and creamy coconut milk.
- Just seven ingredients, and you probably have at least a couple already in your pantry.
The evening I tested out this recipe was CRAZY TIME. Kind of like every night at dinner time. Hangry kids hanging off my legs, screaming, crying, climbing things. Dog barking or urinating indoors. So needless to say, I didn’t get LOADS of great pics. On the upside, I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this curry recipe is excellent for a busy evening. Next time I make it, I’ll do so when my kids are asleep or at school, so keep an eye out for more helpful pics![Read more…]
I had to break my streak of naming recipes “creamy”, but this smooth balsamic dressing is just that. I repeat, we aren’t talking about some light and not really exciting vinaigrette that you grudgingly drizzle over a sad lunch salad. We’re talking about a so-creamy-you-ALMOST-can’t-drizzle-it balsamic with a perfect, magical hint of flavor and sweetness. Let’s run down a list of its many other positive qualities:
- Can be made WAY ahead. We’re not using fresh garlic or citrus, so this dressing keeps for weeks.
- Perfect to make in a huge batch, so when you’re meal prepping lunches, you don’t have to make new dressing every week.
- Totally oil free! Uses tahini to add thickness and balance out the pop of the vinegar and mustard.
- Completely plant-based/vegan
- For its ultra creaminess, is NOT high in calories/fat, because the base is vinegar, NOT oil.
- Pairs with lots of salad combos (not just Italian-ish like I used to assume!)
- No whisk or blender required: I shake mine up right in the mason jar I’ll use to store it.
Honestly, that kind of covers it. I’ve been making this dressing for weeks now, and while I have other delicious vegan sauces sitting in my freezer (chipotle aioli! roasted red pepper tahini!), ALL I want is this balsamic dressing!
You might be asking, so why is tahini any better than oil? Aren’t they both equally fatty and bad? What is all this fuss about oil free? That could be a long conversation, but I choose tahini over oil because it still includes the entire food: the sesame seed. In making tahini, nothing big (or nothing at all, hopefully) gets removed. However, when you think about making olive oil, MOST of the whole food gets left behind.
Back when I had my firstborn (almost four years ago!), a friend noticed from my IG posts that I was dabbling in dairy free eating, seeing if it could help my new, breastfeeding baby with sleep, gas, and eczema. As a first time mom, I was desperate to know what I had to be doing wrong to have a totally abnormal newborn with excruciating gas, the inability to sleep long stretches, and weird skin issues (cue laughter from veteran mamas). Now, 19 months after having my second child, I barely batted an eye at any of these “problems”, I just braced myself with coffee, audiobooks, and Aquaphor.
If I had the knowledge and food options we have now, just a few years later, I think I could have actually stuck to my dairy free living for more than nine days. The options have EXPLODED in just a few years, as is evidenced by my favorite vegan cheese and oat coffee creamer. But even if I wasn’t fully committed, didn’t know (or care) what I was eating, and never did figure out a way to get that child to sleep, gaining this vegan corn chowder recipe was well worth the attempt.
Here’s what I’ve learned about this big batch vegan corn chowder after making it literally dozens of times over years, so you know the recipe is good. It’s:
- So creamy that family and friends are truly surprised it’s dairy free.
- Thick and smooth, thanks to blended potatoes in the chowder base. No gluten here!
- Infused with tons of corn flavor, blended into the base and with plenty of kernels in the soup.
- Got all your macros: carb, veggies (add more if you like!) and vegan protein all in one bowl.
- Made for the freezer, saving you with a homemade meal on the crazy nights.
- Excellent to pack in a lunch thermos, with just a dash of hot sauce and a handful of scallions.
- A great year round soup, using frozen or simple vegetables.
Potatoes on potatoes! You know when we spell cheese with a “z” we’re NOT talking about a heavy, dairy-laden sauce. No, these batch cooking friendly and vegan BBQ baked potato bowls are drizzled with a creamy, rich, but entirely whole food plant-based/vegan cheese sauce…that includes more potatoes. So don’t let that “z” mean “a poor substitute for cheese sauce”: this stuff is the real deal, and it just might leave you questioning the dairy version (or missing it even less if you’re already plant-based).
As with other vegan bowl meals, this one has you prepping a carb, a protein, and a veg, then serving them all up together topped with not one but TWO yummy sauces, plus some fun toppings–the scallions are on the baked potato theme, and the pickles stay with the BBQ theme, adding a nice bright crunch amidst a rich and comforting bowl.
There were way too many adjectives to actually fit into the title of this black bean recipe, and only a few made the final cut. Honorable mentions for the rest of the list:
- Big batch
- Oil free
- Luscious (my husband’s words lol)
- Freezer friendly
- Protein packed
- Whole food plant based
Go make them right now and report back on any others you think should be added to the list!
For years, I’ve been loyal to this other vegan black bean recipe, which is still delicious in its own right, and will definitely stay in my repertoire for its layers of flavor and more complex spices. However, it’s more work, with extra chopping, measuring, ingredients, added oil, and standing over a hot stove attempting to fend off my toddlers. Not something I have a lot of patience for in my life right now. It also requires cooked beans, so you’re either loading up on canned beans or taking the huge extra step and dishes of cooking your own beans from scratch first. With a broken-since-November dishwasher, I honestly might cry if I see another dirty dish.