Week 33: The Perfect Plant Based Summer Meal

Last Friday, Lindsay Nixon (aka The Happy Herbivore) posted a picture on facebook of baked beans from The Happy Herbivore Cookbook with the caption exclaiming they were her parents favorite. This seemed the beginning of an excellent summer meal. As I was flipping through the cookbook for the baked beans recipe I passed a picture of onion rings and I decided to be indulgent this week. I was traveling on business most of the week, which would normally be an excuse to order takeout and not cook at all. Of course, my former self would then return from the trip and have to unpack, do laundry and catch up on things missed while traveling so it would be at least another week before I committed to plan meals and eat clean. Not this time! Last weekend I made the perfect summer meal full of new recipes: 1. Baked Beans (HHC), 2. Onion Rings (HHC) 3. Curry Ketchup (Happy Herbivore Abroad) 4. Pickled Onions (Isa Chandra) and Quick & Easy Black Bean Burgers (Everyday Happy Herbivore, this one I’ve made before).

Growing up my family only ate beans in the form of baked beans, from a can…Heinz to be specific. The Happy Herbivore baked beans are reminiscent of this childhood favorite but with recognizable ingredients and salt/sugar/oil content under your control. They look, taste and smell just liked those yummy canned baked beans and are very easy to prepare.  The recipe is also online!

The onion rings were a bit labor intensive but were a great treat as well. I added some cayenne to mine for a little spice. They bake up nice and crunchy and reheat well in the oven. As for the burgers, I like my burgers like I like my sandwiches – loaded with toppings. This burger is topped with curry ketchup, jalapenos, lettuce, tomato, pickles and pickled red onions.

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The curry ketchup is a nice change from boring plain ketchup. I rarely use ketchup as a condiment because I find it too sweet, but this recipe cuts down on that sweetness and adds a nice warm spice that really elevates the condiment.  I had actually made the pickled red onions for the first time a few weeks back and completely forgot to blog about them. As simple as they sound (and as they are to make) they are worth mentioning and I use them as a topping on sandwiches, burgers, salads and pizza all the time now that I’ve discovered them. I originally made them because the red onion in my much loved quinoa salad became too pungent when leftover and was overpowering all the other flavors. When I saw Isa post this recipe on her instagram I thought this would be a good way to tone down that pungency so gave it a try the next time I made my salad.  I was right and am so glad I made these!

So there you have it, an indulgent summer dinner that’s been revamped to be plant-based and healthier. I had this the weekend before I left on my business trip and plan on heating up the leftovers in the oven for dinner tonight.

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005I didn’t stop there though. Since I was thinking of how to maintain my lifestyle while traveling I tried to come up with some snacks for the road and the hotel. I made Forks Over Knives Basic Baked Granola to take with me. I cut the recipe in half since eight cups of granola seemed a bit excessive for me. This was also a success. The flavors are a bit subtle but recognizable, orange, vanilla and I subbed pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon. I eat this on its own and have added it as a topping to oatmeal for some crunch.

New Recipes Made This Week: 5

New Recipe Tally 2013: 91

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One thought on “Week 33: The Perfect Plant Based Summer Meal

  1. Pingback: Week 47: Happy Herbivore | Dandelion Wishes

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