I will be very honest with you lovely friends. I have not created much of anything in my kitchen as of late (nor have I been blogging as much as I should!). I feel pretty bad about it too. I’ve been so busy with the book and planning the Texas State Veggie Fair. So many moving pieces to a festival of this magnitude and being the co-organizer means you have to pick up the slack for others not doing their job. So a lot of meals have been out or something simple like tacos or a veggie burger. Needless to say I want to get back in the kitchen as soon as possible to work on my second book!
The book tour stuff is SO fun though! I love meeting people face to face and spreading the bliss. I was at the Gluten and Allergy-free Expo all this weekend and I was the only vegan presenter. Gotta share the vegan love! Big thanks to Jen, Cece, Denise, and everyone in the kitchen helping out with the cooking demos. Everyone was great to work with! And it was so lovely to meet Hallie, author of Pure Food Kitchen and the Daily Bites blog, Alta from Tasty Eats at Home, and the beautiful Cybele, author of The Allergy-free Bakers Handbook (this book is all vegan by the way!). Nice running into Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten-free, and Claudia who helps with Hail Merry (one of my favorite raw vegan treats!).
It was also a great opportunity to meet locals who may come to my cooking classes, but more importantly to expose non-vegans to delicious foods. I made my amazing Green Dreamsicle Smoothie and Lentil Sloppy Joes. Hopefully after seeing my glowing face and trying the delicious plant-based foods they will be more apt to try meatless meals at home more often. That’s the hope at least. And that is why I love teaching and giving cooking demos. Once people try the food, they become believers that vegan food is delicious, easy to make, and something they want to try more frequently in their own kitchens!
Everyone loved the sloppy joes and smoothies! When I started to add spinach to the blender I saw many “ewww” faces across the audience. I made them promise to try it and now I have a group of 60 people who will make green smoothies on their own. Yay! Here are the delicious Joes or Janes I made for my demo.
Lentil Sloppy Joes w/ Homemade BBQ sauce
Makes 5 to 7 Joes
I use lentils instead of faux meat or tvp, because I’m not a big fan of those and like to use whole foods in my cooking. I think you will love it this way!
1 cup green lentils, washed
3 cups filtered water
1/3 cup veggie broth
1 cup onion, minced
1 bell pepper, small dice
1 large carrot, small dice
1-2 cups Homemade BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
Pickles, avocado, or favorite toppings
Cook lentils in water until tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat skillet with broth and sauté veggies until tender. Add in BBQ sauce. Drain lentils, but save cooking liquid in case it’s needed. Add in lentils and simmer for another 5 minutes. If it seems dry add some of the lentil cooking liquid or to make it sloppier add more BBQ sauce. Serve on a toasted bun with sliced pickles and avocado.
Homemade BBQ sauce
Makes about 5 cups
1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree or sauce
1/3 cup filtered water, or less, to desired thickness
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, dissolved in vinegars
1 tablespoon tamari
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup barley malt or molasses (if you are gluten-free)
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Whisk together all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat until combined. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Refrigerate up to one week.
What do you love most about sharing vegan food with others? Do you cook for your friends and family often to show them how delicious vegan food is?