Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 3: I Read an Article About Protein-Packed Vegan Foods So You Don’t Have to (But You Probably Will Anyway If That’s Your Thing)

A.K.A. I Am Not A Nutritionist, But I Know How to Google

Listen, if you’re here, you probably already know that getting your protein as a vegan, like, ain’t a problem. That shit’s in everything. It’s B12 you gotta look out for, but let’s not get into that. But I went ahead and looked up some allegedly high-protein ingredients and picked a few to invent a meal out of. It’s like Chopped! But without the egos and arbitrary time limits and referring to dead animal parts as “proteins” (noun)!

  • Tofu – 10g protein / ½ cup
  • Quinoa – 4g protein / ½ cup
  • Spinach – 5g protein / 1 cup cooked
  • Sun-dried tomatoes – 6g protein / 1 cup
  • Lentils – 18g protein / cup
  • Pepitas – 9g protein / 1 oz.

From this, I propose: Baked tofu with a sun-dried tomato and pepita pesto, garlicky sauteed spinach, and a quinoa-lentil pilaf. Oooh. That sounds pretty good. Pantry ingredients include: garlic, onion, lemon, parsley, olive oil. I WILL NOT BE UNDERSEASONED. DON’T BORE NINA. (Wait. That last one is a different show.)


Pesto: Throw all of this in a food processor and make a paste.

  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, patted dry
  • â…” cup pepitas, toasted
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Small handful of parsley, torn
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste

Smear half the pesto in the bottom of a baking dish, spray with olive oil, add tofu slices to fit, then spray with more olive oil and cover with the rest of the pesto. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes on each side (I used my toaster oven).

Pilaf: Saute the onion in olive oil, add bouillon, then add washed lentils and quinoa until a bit toasty. Transfer to multicooker, add 3 cups of water, and cook for about an hour. (I used the brown rice setting on my VitaClay.)

  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • ~1 Tbsp. vegetable bouillon
  • ¾ cup French green lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt to taste

Spinach: Wilt spinach in a big pan with a little olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and minced or microplaned garlic to your heart’s content. Splash with a good vinegar of your choosing. Serve.

  • 2 bags baby spinach (12 oz. total)
  • At least 4 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
  • Olive oil, salt, and your favorite vinegar (I used balsamic)

The result is not the most photogenic dish I’ve made, but it’s pretty tasty. It could use a sauce, though. Why didn’t I make my usual tahini sauce?!

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 9: Most retro recipe


Or…OK, the most retro recipe I can make that doesn’t completely repulse me and/or my boyfriend.

I went with meatloaf because everything about it feels very vintage Home Ec class. Admittedly, it’s not the kind of thing that I have fond memories of eating, but it’s simple enough to put together, and the Oh She Glows recipe pics made it look damn near enticing. Plus, boyfriend’s having a moment over black lentils, so I’d just cooked a huge batch. Seemed like fate.

The loaf I made and cooked about ¾ of the way two days ago–figured I could whip up the glaze and pop it back in the oven to finish while I prepped the sides. What meatloaf-based retro dinner doesn’t have sides? But again, I gotta balance the theme with our actual life/dietary needs and preferences, and I didn’t want to just make mashed potatoes. I went for some things that look beautiful at the market lately: winter squash and green beans.

As a kid, my mom always cooked acorn squash as a side by cutting it in half, scooping out the guts, and baking it with a pat of butter and spoonful of brown sugar. It made me learn to love squash, and while I don’t need to add sugar now, the preparation sounded like a good one to fit the “vintage” theme. I went with a delicata squash, which has flat sides and thinner flesh that lends itself to cooking that way. And, it turns out, this method pops up repeatedly in cookbooks from the early 20th century and beyond! Soooo retro.

Finally, green beans. Not green bean casserole; too processed and gross. But some simple preparation. One of these recipes that calls for half a stick of butter plus some kind of spice or herb. It seems there are a lot of these. Butter is easy enough to sub; I have a lot of herbs just taking up space in my fridge. No-brainer.

How was it?

I hate celery; boyfriend hates raisins. The lentil loaf featured both. But you know what? Pretty good. I also added some big fat slices of tomato with salt – it was in the high 90s today, temperature-wise, and I really needed something cool. The colors are good, and the textural and flavor contrasts work for me. Overall, the plate felt like some kind of weeknight dinner at a home with a decent garden (am I overreaching to say a Victory garden? probably)–homegrown veggies to fill in with a meaty main. And ketchup.