vivid greens

yummy vegetarian meals on the fly

Quinoa Goodness September 12, 2011

Filed under: CSA,Favorite Meals,Meals,Recipes,Speedy — Vivid Greens @ 8:25 pm

This is one of my very favorite summer salads.  It’s quick, easy and tastes great!  A good friend has adopted it as her own favorite meal ever.  Now she makes variations of the original salad for me and I’m always impressed with its versatility.

To start with cook 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water in a pot.  Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Or until the quinoa seeds are translucent.  Drain the quinoa and fluff with a fork.  Then mix in a cup of rinsed beans.  A handful of tomato chunks.  Perhaps some corn.  A little cilantro is nice.  Top off with the juice from 1/2 a lime.  Add a little hot sauce if you’d like.  Really, any favorites that you have on hand will probably go nicely with this one.


Spicy Corn Chowder August 16, 2011

Filed under: CSA,Dinners,Favorite Meals,Meals,Recipes — Vivid Greens @ 7:11 pm

Yum.  This is a seasonal favorite at our house.  It’s a perfect fit for late season vegetables.  Do you have an excess of sweet corn at your house, a few potatoes, a couple of peppers?  If so, that’s pretty much all you need for a fabulous little chowder.  I first found this recipe in the always fabulous Vegan With a Vengeance cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large bell pepper (or a few small ones) chopped
  • 1 cup carrots chopped (but you can skip it if you need to)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • a bit of pepper
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 3 cups water
  • corn from six ears
  • 2 medium russet potatoes
  • 1  bay leaf
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

 Toss the olive oil in a big pot 0ver medium heat, then add the onions, bell peppers, carrots and jalapenos.  Let that cook for about 10 minutes or until everything is soft.  Add your spices and stir.  Then add the water, corn, potatoes and bay leaf.  Cover and bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it cook for another 20 minutes.  The potatoes should be super soft at this point.  Uncover and let the soup simmer and reduce for about 10 more minutes.  Remove the bay leaf (or risk forgetting it completely!)

Next ladle half the soup into your blender and blend until smooth, then combine the two parts back together.  (Or, if you are lucky enough to have an immersion blender you can use that to blend approximately half the soup.)  Add lime juice to taste, soy milk, and maple syrup.  Let it cook for another 5 minutes, then stir it up, and serve it out!  Enjoy.


Vegetable Coconut Curry July 24, 2011

Filed under: CSA,Dinners,Meals,Uncategorized — Vivid Greens @ 2:19 pm

I found this quick little curry recipe in the book, “Fast & Fresh Vegetarian” by Maire Simmons.  It was, as promised, both fast and fresh!  I was drawn to it because I have an over abundance of fresh vegetables in the kitchen this week (thanks to the CSA, my nephew, and my landlord).  I had to alter the amounts of vegetables I added in order to fit everything in my large skillet.  Feel free to do the same, it didn’t seem to hurt the flavor at all.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 cups diced eggplant
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 2-3 teaspoons jalapeno (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon madras curry powder
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup cashews

Heat the oil until shimmering then add cumin seeds and cook until they are a bit darker.  Add eggplant and chickpeas and keep stirring.  I didn’t add all the oil at first (it seemed like so much) but then the eggplant really soaked it up, so I ended up adding more as it cooked.  Cook for about 5 minutes on medium high heat.  Then add all the other vegetables, ginger, curry powder, garlic, salt and turmeric and let it cook for another 5 minutes or so.

Add the coconut milk and bring it up to a boil then cook until the vegetables are tender.  This took a while, I let it cook for about 10 minutes and the vegetables were still a little crisp when I turned off the heat.

Sprinkle the finished curry with cashews and enjoy!  I liked this meal, but the earthy spicy flavors seem like more of an autumn dish.  Then again, Dan loved it.  If you try it out, let me know what you think.


CSA Week Four/Five June 20, 2011

Filed under: CSA,Meals — Vivid Greens @ 6:30 pm

We got a nice assortment of greens in the fourth week of our CSA.  Kale, spring greens, english peas, and these pretty green twirly things that turned out to be garlic scapes.

The blossom part cooks up nicely and I was happily throwing them in omelets, beans and greens last week with no ill effects.  Fortunately a good friend cooked dinner for me on Thursday, and she was making me a veggie bowl with scapes!

Then last week our CSA brought us radishes, cabbage, red lettuce, red onions, and english peas.  I’ve been eating veggies all week.  I’m looking for a good summer cabbage recipe, if any of you have ideas.


Summer CSA – Week Two May 29, 2011

Filed under: CSA — Vivid Greens @ 10:39 am

This week we got a huge box of greens from our CSA.  It was full of kale, bok choy, romaine, and mint.  We also got our first zucchini and summer squash, and some glorious strawberries!

 The strawberries are incredibly sweet and just a little tart.  So flavorful, and just look at how pretty they are.

 This week I plan to make a big pot of lentils and greens and a bok choy salad.  Check back for recipes!


Summer CSA – Week One May 24, 2011

Filed under: CSA — Vivid Greens @ 6:08 pm

This was the first week of our summer CSA!   We got a good sized box full of salad greens, bok choy, green onions, radishes and strawberries.  The last two items were the very first to go.  Yum.

Tonight I made a quick stir fry with the green onions, bok choy and tempeh.  I had forgotten how good bok choy can be!  I added some rice wine vinegar, sesame seeds and soy sauce and the result was lovely.

What spring vegetables have caught your attention?


Taco Salad with creamy avocado lime dressing April 5, 2011

Filed under: Dinners,Green Scene,Meals,Recipes — Vivid Greens @ 6:45 pm

Today was a perfect crisp spring day here in Louisville!   It made me crave a light spring/summer meal.  The kind of meal where there is no need to even turn on the oven.  Luckily I remembered this bright fresh salad full of goodies.

Ingredients: (for 2 salads)

  • greens
  • 1 can of beans
  • salsa
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • olive oil
  • hot sauce
  • corn chips

First drain the can of beans and spritz with a lime wedge.  Then place a good serving of mixed greens on the plates.  Next add a few spoonfuls of beans to each salad (you will have about a 1/2 can of beans leftover).  Top with a few spoonfuls of salsa.  We love this fresh salsa from our local grocery store.  The ingredients are merely tomatoes, peppers, onions, cilantro, salt, garlic, spices, citric acid and a few preservatives.

To make the dressing mix 1/2 an avocado with lime juice and olive oil until you reach a pleasing consistency and flavor.  Then add hot sauce to taste.  The final dressing is a bright and spicy jolt.  Add a few spoonfuls to each salad.

Next slice the other half of the avocado into chunks and add to each plate.  Finally take a handful of corn chips and crumble over the salad to give it a nice crunch.

So often the salads I make at home are the lazy kind that don’t pack much of a punch, but not so with this one.  It’s got a pleasing fancy-restaurant quality to it.  Enjoy!



Lentil Sloppy Joes March 23, 2011

Filed under: Dinners,Favorite Meals,Meals,Speedy — Vivid Greens @ 9:25 pm

This is an easy vegan meal that Dan loves.  It is a very basic recipe that you can dress up anyway you please.  I’ve got a group of friends that have been hosting meatless sloppy joe potlucks once a month for years and each month there is a new ‘secret’ ingredient to discover.  Be brave!  There isn’t anything you can’t throw in a sloppy joe.  Chocolate, pomegranates, okra and more can add a kick to your unique dish.


  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • chili powder & paprika
  • crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • squirt of lemon
  • a little BBQ sauce

Start by making up the lentils, try 4 cups of water to 1 cup lentils.  I like to do 3/4 a cup of brown or green lentils and 1/4 cup of red lentils (to increase the sloppiness).  Heat until boiling then lower the temperature and allow the lentils to simmer until soft, about 30 minutes.  Then drain the lentils and put aside.

While the lentils are cooking you can go ahead and start sauteing the onion and let that cook for about 5 minutes, then add the garlic and heat through.  Toss the lentils in and add the spices (a teaspoon or two depending on your taste).  Then add the tomato sauce, a squirt of lemon and some BBQ sauce.  See if you want to make and adjustments to the flavor.  Let it cook for another 10 minutes or until it smells so good that you just decide to eat.

This dish makes enough for two with lots of leftovers.  Enjoy!


Vegan Quinoa Puttanesca March 15, 2011

Filed under: Dinners,Meals,Speedy — Vivid Greens @ 9:34 pm

This was so spicy and full of olives and good.  Simple too.  All you need is crushed tomatoes, some herbs, olives, and a lemon.  I found this recipe in the book Appetite for Reduction and it is also featured at Isa’s website the Post Punk Kitchen.   I didn’t have any white wine or capers so the recipe below has been adjusted accordingly.


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • pinch of tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of olives chopped
  • 20 ounces of crushed tomatoes

Saute the garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the herbs, water and lemon juice and let that simmer for a minute or two.  Then add the olives and the tomatoes.  Let that cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.  Then either top the quinoa with the sauce or toss the two together and serve.

It makes a nice dinner for two with leftovers for one.  Enjoy!


Baked Falafel Treats March 13, 2011

Filed under: Favorite Meals,Meals — Vivid Greens @ 9:34 pm

These were so good and easy!  My two favorite things in the kitchen.

This recipe comes from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.  I really can’t say enough good things about this cookbook.  Everything in it that I’ve tried has been packed full of flavor and just wonderful.  Not to mention that it’s a vegan cookbook that clearly marks which recipes are gluten-free and which are soy-free.  I’ve talked two people into purchasing this book and I hope to convince more of you that it’s worth the investment!


  • 1 can of chickpeas drained
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

First grind up the chickpeas and garlic, then add the onion, parsley, olive oil and hot sauce.  Blend the mixture into a tacky paste of chickpeas.

I tried to just throw everything in my fancy new blender at it turned out very messy – I recommend chopping up the onion first if you are trying to do this in a blender.  A food processor would probably be a better tool for this purpose.

Next scrape the mixture into a bowl and add the chickpea flour, cumin, coriander, paprika, baking powder, salt and pepper.  It should have the constancy of peanut butter.  Add more flour if it seems too smooshy or more oil if it seems crumbly.

You should be able to get 12 little falafel balls out of this batter.  Rub some olive oil on the baking sheet and lay the falafel out flattening each one a bit.  Then cook for 15 minutes.  Take them out and put a little more olive oil on top of each falafel and then flip them over for the final 10 minutes of baking.

These falafels would be perfect for wraps or salad toppers.  I must admit, they were so good that I ate several plain and unadorned right out of the oven.  Enjoy!