Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Bake and Loaf from Vegan on the Cheap

Mexican Rice and Bean Bake with leftover sauteed turnip greens (Josie's pottery pig in the background)
Sunday I was feeling eh, not really sick, but just a tad unmotivated and a slight headache. Rob sweetly took care of breakfast and lunch, then offered to fill in for me on the radio show.  He was meeting a friend downtown for drinks and some sort of sports game so it would be more convenient than waiting for me to get home. This meant he was out for dinner and I was feeling lazy. I flipped through Vegan on the Cheap and found the Mexican Rice and Bean Bake. I'm always skeptical that brown rice will cook well in the oven, but I decided to give it a shot. I did cook it an extra ten minutes so more of the liquid would soak in, but it was simple and a huge hit with the kids. The Cheezee Sauce on top is also from Vegan on the Cheap. Rob had sauteed the last (for real this time) of the greens from our mini-CSA the night before. We had a few turnips leftover so I added them for a complete meal. The kids were exclaiming how delicious everything was and I'm sure to make this more often this winter. It is supposed to be less than $1.00 per serving, the dish used staples we had on hand (we'd cooked up some pinto beans a few days before) and you can make it to your particular tastes. I used medium salsa with black bean and corn and jarred jalapeno peppers for a bit of a kick. The leftovers I made into a wrap for Parker's lunch. He gave the lunch a big thumbs up too.
Comfort Loaf and whole wheat penne with veggies and leftover Cheezee Sauce (Josie's pottery leaf in the background)
I have never been a meat loaf fan so I rarely make any vegan loafs, but this is about to change. Veg loafs are so much better than meat loaf and really have little in common with them except that it is a great way to use up leftovers. The Comfort Loaf in Vegan on the Cheap calls for pinto beans (still had some to use up) and tofu with veggies and the usual suspects of bread crumbs and vital wheat gluten. Walnuts add some nutrition and crunch and next time I'll probably add some nutritional yeast if I think about it. I used the leftover Cheezee Sauce from the Mexican Rice and Bean Bake for a quick pasta with veggies to round out the meal. Parker's lunch today was a Comfort Loaf sandwich with some unsweetened ketchup on a bun. The Comfort Loaf and Cheezee Sauce are both less than $1.00 per serving. Who says eating well has to be expensive or hard? Both meals took minimal time to prepare and the oven did the rest. Even with my wait to the last minute ways, we ate in a timely fashion with leftovers for lunches. Who knows what we could do with some actual planning?!

1 comment:

"Meat-free" Mike said...

Hey Linda - "It's all in the sauce!" I also have been toying with Tahini "cheez" sauces lately -One can get great results with nooch, tahini, miso, sesame seeds, garlic, and dried basil! This has become a weekly choice over pasta and veggies thanks to The Rob man and you! The loaf sounds tasty too. Have been reluctant to make for whatever reason - but veggie "loaves" ARE better than meat ones!