Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quick and Easy Grain Dishes

Music: The Nutcracker Ballet from my iTunes library

People often ask me, so what do you eat? Here's a sampling!

This is my version of Macaroni Salad:

Half a package of pasta (any noodle, about 2 cups dry)
2 carrots, diced or chopped
1 small onion (or you could use scallions/green onions), diced
1 C frozen green peas
Enough Vegenaise to coat
A few drizzles of mustard
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Place peas in colander. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain in colander with peas (voila! they're thawed). Rinse with cold water to stop cooking process and drain well.

In a large bowl, combine with the rest of the ingredients.

Quick Vegetable Rice (from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer--her books are awesome!)
1 tbsp oil (any light oil, canola, olive, almond, etc.)
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala*
1 C basmati rice, rinsed & drained well in a sieve
1 1/2 C water
1 C frozen mixed vegetables (I used peas)

In a medium saucepan on medium heat, saute onions in oil until translucent. Add cumin & garam masala & saute an additional 2 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking. Add rice, water, & vegetables, bring to a boil, the lower to simmer for 10-15 minutes until rice is cooked.

*You can find this pre-mixed in the spice section of the grocery store, but I prefer to make my own using Kramer's recipe. In a grinder or with mortar & pestle, combine 1 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp coriander, 1 tbsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1/4 tsp ground cinammon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, & 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Store in an empty spice jar.

This is a super easy pasta dish that I served with leftover Tofurky Italian-style sausage & Jim's delicious homemade bread.
From Vegan Express by Nava Atlas, I reduced the olive oil by half to 2 tbsp

Pasta Aglia Olio
Saute about 6-8 cloves of chopped garlic in 1/4 C olive oil until golden (be careful not to brown). Serve over cooked spaghetti and add about 1/4 C to 1/2 C chopped fresh parsley.

Grains are my main dishes instead of meat. Try building your meals around grains instead of meat!


  1. Hi Maria,
    I'm curious. Looking at all this pasta I'm curious if you've ever suffered from symptoms of low blood sugar and if so, has the vegan diet helped? I'd love to feel more stability in my blood chemistry (particularly the sugar part) and wondering what you've read/experienced in regard to this and veganism.

  2. Shawn: I do recall suffering from low blood sugar BEFORE going vegan but it was rare. I no longer have that feeling so, yes, I'd say going vegan has helped. Then again, it has helped me in so many other ways as well!

  3. Thanks Maria! I'm going to pull out some of my old yummy vegan recipes and together with all you have so graciously shared, see how I feel.
    Have you ever on this blog described a progression into eating more of a vegan fare or can you recommend a book that does a good job?

  4. Hmmm...I don't know of any transition-type books (I just went whole hog) but a good DVD to watch (which you can get from the library or even rent on Netflix I understand) is Jill Ovnik's Change Your Food, Change Your Life. She takes you to the grocery store, health food store, & restaurants, too, and gives you options. I will tell you that I enjoy quick and easy cookbooks such as Vegan Express by Nava Atlas & Short-Cut Vegan by Lorna Sass as both have delicious, healthy, & fast things to make. Good luck!

  5. Maria, thank you once again;)! I will look into the resources you mentioned.
    Take good care.