Friday, November 19, 2021

Easy Plant-Based Meal Idea: Soup in a Sourdough Bread Bowl


Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks, The Rustik Oven, and Gardein.

I've talked before about how challenging it is to figure out easy meals that every person in my family will actually eat. It's an ongoing battle, and I know from talking to you guys that I'm not the only one. That's why I just had to share one of our favorite meal ideas that is quick, super yummy, perfect for cozy season, and as a major bonus, totally plant-based: Gardein Soups and The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowls. It's not a made from scratch at home recipe, but it tastes like one (without the work), and I love that I can grab all of the ingredients at Meijer and then prepare a truly delicious meal in a few minutes that all four of us love to eat. 

The first time I had soup in a sourdough bread bowl was many, many years ago in Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. I was hooked. The combination of hot, flavorful soup literally inside of a loaf of crusty bread is the definitive comfort food. Being able to be a satisfying plant-based version at home for my family is the best!

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl

I've been a Gardein fan for many years. As a long time vegetarian (I made the switch over 30 years ago!), I was thrilled to discover them and their incredible line of plant-based foods for every meal and every occasion. My vegan and flexitarian friends and family all love Gardein too, and for good reason. They have a huge variety of yummy meatless foods to choose from with really great taste and texture. Their products also contain no artificial flavors, no artificial preservatives, no dairy or egg ingredients, have 0mg of Cholesterol, and are NGP Verified. 

My daughter and I love soup in general, and being Gardein's #1 fans and all, we always have lots of their soups on hand. My daughter's favorite is Gardein Plant-Based Chick'n Noodl' Soup (filled with tender chunks of yummy plant-based chick'n, vegan noodl's, carrots and celery with 13 grams of protein per can!). My son's favorite is Gardein Plant-Based Chick'n & Rice Soup (loaded with tasty chunks of plant-based chick'n, white rice, wild rice, thick-cut carrots and celery with classic spices). My husband loves Gardein Plant-Based Be'f and Country Vegetable Soup (tender plant-based be'f in homestyle broth with carrots, potatoes, and peas). And my top pick is Gardein Plant-Based Saus'ge & Minestrone Soup (thick slices of plant-based Italian saus'ge, vegan noodl's, chickpeas, green beans, tomatoes, kidney beans and more). 

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl

We were already enamored with Gardein Plant-Based Soups, and as soon as I saw The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowls at Meijer, I knew it was going to be, as my daughter describes them together, a match made in plant-based heaven. I'd had bread from The Rustik Oven before and knew how good it was (I love how it has an artisan taste and texture but with long-lasting freshness), and combined with Gardein soups, it genuinely makes the ideal fall/winter meal. The Rustik Oven uses a traditional European baking process, which creates a rich flavor and perfect crusty texture, and it's really apparent in the bread bowls. Breads from the Rustik Oven also contain no artificial colors/flavors and are Non-GMO Project Verified. Their bread is amazing in recipes too!

Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
Plant-Based Soup in a Bread Bowl
 
To create this simple, comforting plant-based meal that the whole family loves, I just have each person choose a Gardein Soup, then heat it up and pour into a The Rustik Oven Sourdough Bread Bowl. My son loves to top his with vegan oyster crackers, and sometimes we'll add chopped scallions or a little parsley. That's it. In minutes, we have an easy lunch or dinner that is customized to each person's tastes. The best.

You can grab all four of these tasty, plant-based Gardein Soups in the soup aside at Meijer, and Bread Bowls from The Rustik Oven in the bread aisle. I know you'll love this easy, comforting meal as much as we do!



ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST

Monday, November 15, 2021

Our 2021 Holiday Cards


Postable Holiday Cards

I distinctly remember sharing our family holiday cards with you guys last year and saying something about how 2020 had been a real a-hole and 2021 was bound to be better. Well, I can confidently say that I have liked 2021 less than 2020. It's been a real crap year, my friends. The silver lining to this, however, is that I really am looking forward to 2022, and that I feel inspired to sprinkle as much love, peace, and good cheer around as possible right now - which means holiday card time is more appreciated than ever. 

Sending holiday cards is one of my absolute favorite seasonal traditions, and one I've been participating in since I was a kid. (Fun fact: I have never gotten rid of a holiday card I've received. I have a huge bag of them in my basement dating back 30 years. Someday I'm going to make something cool out of them, I swear. Or they might just sit there and continue to annoy my husband. The point is that I have a special place in my cold, dark heart for holiday cards.)

And speaking of special places in my heart and holiday cards, seven years ago, I discovered and fell in love with a card company who not only had some of the hippest designs I'd ever seen, they also went above and beyond to make my life easier (more on that in a minute). The name of this brand is Postable. (Pssst. I have a pretty major coupon for you, from Postable, at the bottom of this post.)

Postable Holiday Cards
Postable Holiday Cards

Before I start my annual professing of love for Postable, I want to say that Postable did not (and has never) paid me to review them. We do exchange (they give me cards, I gush about them to everyone I know), but truth be told, I'd gush regardless. They have a huge selection of beautifully designed, fully customizable cards that are all 100% post-consumer recycled and/or tree-free 100% (envelopes too). The cards themselves are highest quality, and they ship quickly too.

Postable Holiday Cards
Postable Holiday Cards

The thing I like best about Postable though, and what sets them apart from other card companies, is that they do all of the damn work. They really do. They give me an extremely user friendly way to design my cards, they print my cards, they stuff the envelopes, they address them, they stamp them, and they mail them to all of my recipients for me. No envelope cuts or carpel tunnel from writing our addresses here! During a time of year that is usually pretty overwhelming for everyone, they are a true saving grace. 

Postable Holiday Cards

The people at Postable are genuinely nice humans too, and that is the holiday cherry (cranberry?) on top. In fact they are giving you 20% off your entire order with code BEAN20. Pretty great right? So get over to their site right now and start designing (and saving 20%!), friends. Happy holidays everybody, and as I said on the back of our cards this year, here's hoping that 2022 plays nice!


This post is in collaboration with Postable



ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST



Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad


This post is in partnership with Barilla® but all opinions are my own.

If you've been reading here for a while, you know that I've been a vegetarian for most of my life. And while simple vegetarian recipes are my cooking love language (key word: simple), I like to take things a step further and create meals that are totally plant-based as well. One of my favorite plant-based recipes that everyone in my house loves is a truly mouth watering (yet still simple!) chickpea pasta salad made with Barilla® Chickpea Rotini.

I love using Barilla® Legume pasta - specifically Barilla® Chickpea Rotini - for this recipe (and for many of favorite pasta dishes) because it is made with one simple ingredient (in this case, chickpea flour) and nothing else. A bonus is that swapping out regular pasta with Barilla® Chickpea Rotini adds fiber and plant-based protein to the dish. Did I mention it tastes exceptionally good too?

I think most people envision summertime when they think of pasta salad, but this particular pasta salad really makes for a delicious fall and holiday side dish. It's perfect for gatherings because so many people can eat it (it's vegan and gluten-free), it pairs well with a wide variety of main dishes, and you can easily make it ahead of time. Did I mention it tastes exceptionally good too?

Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad

Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Serves 4-6

MAIN INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
1 cup canned chickpeas
1/2 cup canned black olives (sliced)
1/2 cucumber (sliced)

DRESSING INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste


Boil Barilla® Chickpea Rotini according to directions on package. While pasta is cooking, cut tomatoes in half, slice black olives, and thinly slice cucumbers. Drain and rinse chickpeas. Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Drain and rinse pasta and allow to cool. Pour cooled pasta into a large bowl, add all ingredients, and stir. Add dressing and toss until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate. Keeps for up to 5 days. (Tip: Double the recipe for larger gatherings.)

Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad
Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is so tasty (and full of plant-based protein!) that we sometimes eat it as a meal rather than a side dish. I always keep several boxes of Barilla® Chickpea Rotini on hand, both to make this and to make other recipes - including traditional Italian meals like spaghetti and (veggie!) meatballs. Barilla has been around for more than 140 years, and it was this long-time experience that ultimately led them to make a delicious pasta with just one simple ingredient - chickpea flour (as seen here) or red lentil flour. (So cool, right?) Each of their Legume pasta varieties is full of flavor, cooks perfectly "al dente," and provides lots of plant-based protein (19g of protein per 3.5oz serving) and fiber. Barilla® Legume pasta is also certified gluten free and non-GMO Project Verified, and gives those of us who love food but also want to be health conscious a versatile, nutritious way to create all sorts of yummy meals. You can find it in the pasta aisle at your local Mariano's or other Kroger owned store. 

Plant-Based Chickpea Pasta Salad

One last thing: My daughter wanted me to tell all of you that she likes this heated up too. And she's not wrong. It tastes delicious warmed as well. Enjoy!


ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans, Corn, and Avocado



We eat a lot of sweet potatoes this time of year, so it just felt right to share an updated version of this old favorite. This recipe really takes sweet potatoes to the next level, and if you like Mexican food like we do, you're especially in for a treat. 


INGREDIENTS
serves 4

4 large sweet potatoes
3 cups black beans, rinsed
2-1/2 cups sweet corn
1 large avocado
chili powder
cumin
black pepper
plain Greek yogurt
salsa
limes

Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dry sweet potatoes and prick each one several times with a fork. Line a baking sheets with foil and bake sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes. While the sweet potatoes are baking, combine the black beans and corn, season with chili powder, cumin, and black pepper, and heat over medium heat. Cut avocado into cubes. When the sweet potatoes are done, cut them in half lengthwise and place each one on a plate. Top with black bean and corn mixture, salsa, avocado, Greek yogurt, and a squeeze of lime. Finish with a sprinkle of chili powder.


My kids love these as much as we do, and they're even great reheated if you don't finish in one sitting.




ALSO FIND US HERE: INSTAGRAM // FACEBOOK // TWITTER // PINTEREST