slow roasted heaven in a pan
To me, nothing is more satisfying than a really simple meal. Don’t get me wrong—I love a complex meal. You know, the kind you labor over for a while and are proud to feed to others. But a simple meal—like a basic grain, protein and veggie combo with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of gomasio—is seriously satisfying to me. Coming home from a long day at work followed by an intense yoga class, I love throwing some veggies in the broiler and some quinoa in my rice cooker before hopping in the shower. When I come out, I have a simple and healthy meal waiting for me that took no effort at all. Life is complicated enough—cooking doesn’t have to be.
Some of my favorite go-to simple staples this season are baked sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of cinnamon, flash sautéed greens, roasted Brussels sprouts with a squeeze of citrus, grains cooked in coconut milk, and squash of any kind broiled and sprinkled with a dash of cayenne and a squeeze of lime.
What do you cook when you’re in the mood to simplify?
I have mentioned previously that one of the best features on the backend of SexyTofu.com is the ability to see what people plugged into Google to stumble across us (and by us, I mean me!). To sample just a few, today I got “women flashing truck drivers,” “vegan nightmares,” “sex pesto” (mmm..?), “fat girl eating chocolate banana” and “crazy sexy dumper.” Funnies aside, I did get one person who was searching for “how to be vegan without tofu.”
This struck a real chord with me. I was a vegetarian for a very long time before I ever developed a taste for tofu, or any soy product really. I was also very young, and perhaps not very smart about how to successfully maintain a plant-based diet. Now that I am vegan (and a full supporter of the soy council!), I was interested in this mystery fan’s (okay fan is a bit much..) query of not only how to be vegan without tofu, but how to be vegan without soy at all.
With a family history of breast cancer, I used to think I should avoid eating soy on a daily basis, and therefore limited consumption of direct soy products (tofu, soy milk, edamame, etc.). However, my doctor recently told me that the avoidance of soy in relation to breast cancer—as it contains high levels of estrogen—is unnecessary. We produce far more estrogen in our bodies than we could possibly get from soy products (says doc!).
This super easy and delicious dinner is something my mom made for me growing up all the time. While her versions weren’t vegan, they were a great and healthy way to use up the leftovers from the previous week. You simply layer grains, veggies, beans, salsa, guacamole and anything else you want between layers of tortillas (I like whole grain) for a mexican fiesta you can impress your friends with. Throw in left-over stir fry, cooked grains, or veggies that are about to go bad. Add vegan sour cream, nutritional yeast, hot peppers or anything else you want. Try drizzling the creation with a batch of Veganomicon‘s Cheezy Sauce. Bake it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes until all the flavors have merged together and everything is heated through. When it comes out, slice it into pieces (like cake) and serve alongside a simple salad. To keep it looking pretty, create your layers in a spring-form pan. Not worried about presentation? Stacking it on a cookie sheet works as a messy alternative.