I was very excited to make a new dish tonight and share it with you! I saw this recipe on another blog a few weeks ago and I’ve been so excited to make it since then! I posted last night about all the spaghetti and spaghetti squash I made the on Tuesday (which I just finished eating for lunch today!) so I didn’t really need to cook last night but my parsley looked like it was going to start wilting soon so I decided to go ahead and use it. Plus I love cooking and I’m always looking for an excuse to make something!
The recipe is for Cranberry Orange Lentil Quinoa Loaf, which is a mouthful to say when your fiancé’s sister asks you what you’re making. It’s got everything I love in a dinner all rolled into one dish! Grain = quinoa, protein = lentils, veggies = carrots, onion, and celery. I know those aren’t super veggies but they are still vegetables and have lots of good vitamins so they definitely count! I started by combining the lentils and quinoa with some orange juice and veggie broth to cook, and then got set chopping the veggies.
Then I mixed together my flax egg replacement – 2.5 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with ½ cup warm water = 3 eggs.
I also got out some pans and starting toasting my sunflower seeds and cooking the veggies. If a recipe ever calls for sunflower seeds, pine nuts, or almonds I ALWAYS toast them first. It gives them a much nuttier, fuller flavor!
Once the veggies were cooked and the nuts were toasted I added in some dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar.
At this point I looked back at the recipe to see how much parsley was needed only to discover that the recipe didn’t call for any parsley. I could have sworn that I bought it for this recipe, and the only reason I made the recipe last night was to keep the parsley from going bad! If I didn’t buy it for this recipe then what did I buy it for? No idea. I decided that parsley would be a good addition to the dish anyway so I chopped up about a ½ a cup and added it to the mix.
Once the lentils and quinoa were done cooking I added them to a bowl with the veggies and the flax eggs. When I read the blog post that contained the original recipe, the blogger said that the loaf didn’t hold up quite the way she wanted but still tasted great. I decided to add some bread crumbs to help out with this, in the hopes that mine would come out more loaf-like (I make my own breadcrumbs by tearing up a slice or two of bread and tossing it in the food processor). I also decided to use muffin tins instead of one big loaf pan so that it would cook faster and it would be easier to portion out.
The last thing I did was take some fire-roasted salsa we had in the fridge and toss it in the food processor with some frozen peaches and mangoes to make a sweet but spicy salsa for the top of the muffin loaves. It was delicious and I may or may not have eaten a couple spoonfuls of the salsa right out of the food processor… Don’t judge me.
I baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, took it out and immediately helped myself.
It held up nicely on the plate but still didn’t have the consistency that I wanted. In my mouth it had more of the feel of a casserole than a loaf. The flavor was absolutely amazing but I still have several ideas for what to do differently next time. Once I have it perfected I’ll post the full recipe for you guys to enjoy! NOTE: I had some leftover for dinner tonight after posting this blog and the consistency was much better once it’d had time to sit. So good!!
After I finished eating my casserole-loaf-muffin (actually, I ate two) I got to cooking another dish. My parents are renewing their vows this weekend in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary and are having a big party afterwards. I am pretty sure I’m going to be the only vegan there so I asked if I could make something to bring to the party. I decided on this spicy blue potato salad from one of my favorite cookbooks, Appetite for Reduction (I actually got to meet the author when I was volunteering at Texas VegFest back in March!). I’ve never made this before but it sounded great! And look at these beautiful potatoes!
I got these at Whole Foods and they’re called Purple Passion potatoes. I’ve never used them before but I will definitely buy them again just because they’re so beautiful! Purple mashed potatoes? Yes, please! They taste just like a normal potato, so all the glamour is just in the color. Anyway, I got these babies all chopped up and steamed, mixed them in with all the other ingredients and scooped some into a bowl for me to try. Big disappointment. The potato salad didn’t taste bad but it was way too spicy for me. I had about 5 bites and was seriously miserable for the next half hour. It called for 1 chipotle pepper with adobo sauce and I think the pepper I used was too big and I may have added in too much of the sauce. Luckily my parents love spicy food to the point of it being kind of ridiculous, so hopefully they like it. I’m taking it over there tonight for them to try and for us all to decide if there’s anything I should change about the recipe before I make it for the party. I know I will definitely try to make it less spicy – I want to actually be able to eat the dish I’m bringing since that’s kind of the point of me bringing it!
Our triathlon is coming up soon – just 3 and half weeks away! Ross and I sat down last night and came up with a more detailed training plan for me to prepare for the race. I’m really not setting a time goal for this race, I’m just kind of using it at as motivation to keep me running and doing my base training. My real goal is the Austin Marathon in February so my training is actually geared more towards getting me ready to run a marathon in 20 weeks than it is for this 10K. I’ll post my training schedule soon. I looked at it just now and realized I planned for 4 full weeks of running between now and the race and there’s only 3 so I need to make some changes to it. Oops!
Tonight is another night off from running because Thursday’s my busy day and 5 days of running is good enough for any training plan. I just have one more moderate run of 60 minutes before I do my 90 minute long run on Saturday. I’m actually looking forward to it :)