Autumn Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

For the first time this year, we subscribed to a CSA. If you’re not familiar, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically you buy a share of fruits and vegetables from a local farm at the beginning of the summer and for 20 weeks you’re supplied weekly with fresh, local produce. Our day care has an agreement with a nearby farm to have CSA shares dropped off at their facility and we can pick it up there when we get the kids. It saves me the delivery fee!


Combined with what we grew ourselves, we haven’t really had to buy much produce other than fruits that don’t grow locally (bananas!) or things that we go through quickly (you would not believe how fast my kids can go through a pint of berries). And because I don’t do much cooking feom scratch during the week (frozen veggies are a gift from the Gods), I often find myself with a surplus to use up over the weekend.  

Enter this salad!  I had an acorn squash from the CSA, kale from our garden, and I hadn’t yet found a use for some tri-coloured quinoa I bought at Bulk Barn a few weeks ago. 


Pause for confession: I have a slight addiction to bulk food stores. My pantry is overflowing with plastic bags filled with all sorts of goodies: Quinoa, lentils, and dried beans; various types of flours and grains; several kinds of salts and sugars; nuts and seeds. I try to store them in Mason jars, but there’s definitely a back log. The last time I was there I saw some interesting looking pastas that will soon be making their way home with me. 


I bought the tri-coloured quinoa because it was so pretty!  The black beans aren’t necessary but added another punch of protein and fibre. 

And the vinaigrette!  Sweet and tangy with just enough hint of garlic. Yum! It makes a ton, so I gave some to my sister and took the remainder to work to eat during the week. It’s not a dish the rest of my family was interested in 🙂 

dsc_1054

 

Autumn Black Bean and Quinoa Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

Recipe Type: Lunch, Dinner

Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Christina

Prep time:

Cook time:

Total time:

Serves: 6 servings

A hearty and delicious salad that can be served warm or cold

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 acorn squash, diced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup tri-coloured quinoa (or regular if that’s what you have)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth to a boil. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and add to boiling water. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the broth is absorbed.
  3. Put the chopped kale into a bowl and add the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Using your hands, massage the lemon juice and oil into the kale to soften it
  4. At medium-high heat, add remaining oil to a non-stick pan. Add squash and brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash starts to brown and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  5. To make the vinaigrette, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, garlic and salt and pepper and mix well.
  6. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, black beans, squash, kale and pumpkin seeds. Add Maple Dijon dressing and mix.
  7. Enjoy warm or cold

 

Open-Faced Smoked Tofu “BLT”

Vegan Open-Faced Smoked Tofu "BLT" from Mommy Doesn't Share Food.

“I don’t want to-poo!!”

This from Molly, one day a few months back, on the drive home from day care.

I can’t remember exactly what I’d had planned for dinner, but tofu obviously wasn’t what she’d had in mind. Her reaction though, perfectly sums up the attitude most of the general public has about tofu.

Tofu has a bad rep. I suppose it’s the spongy, moist texture and the bland taste that turns people off.

I love it!

When A became vegan, I jumped on the chance to use more tofu in our meals. It’s a good source of protein, calcium and iron and I love how it absorbs the flavours you cook it with. I’ve tried cooking with it several ways and will share my faves with you in the future, but I still haven’t found any way of cooking it that the kids will enjoy.

That is, until smoked tofu. 

Smoked tofu is the answer to the tofu blahs. It has a mild smokey flavour, which gives it a lovely bacon quality without getting Babe involved. Colour me surprised when my kids were not only willing to try it, but were eating slices right out of the package and actually asking for more! I find it to be quite versatile and have used it in a few different ways, but this open faced sandwich is my favourite. It’s my go-to lunch on the days when I’m home with the kids!

20160916_110928

20160916_111032

20160916_111202

20160916_111424

20160916_111532

You can certainly try and make your own smoked tofu, but these days I have an “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality when it comes to some foods, and this would be one of them. Veggie burgers are another. Smoked tofu is readily available in most grocery stores and is quite inexpensive. I like the Soyganic brand, mostly because it’s the only one I see in the stores I go to, but also because they use organic soy.

And can we have a quick chat about English muffins?? I have a slight obsession with them right now. The holes are pockets of flavourful goodness and offer a lovely surprise when you bite into one. A toasted English muffin with just butter?? Bliss. In this case you get a little dollop of tangy vegan mayo and it’s just the best!

I hope you enjoy!

Side Note: Of course the battery in my DSLR was dead when I went to take these pics. Of course. So I used my phone. Not how I wanted to start out my first food post on here, but they aren’t too bad! That’s what Photoshop Elements is for 🙂

Open-faced Smoked Tofu "BLT" Sandwich20160916_112647
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • English muffin or bread of your choice
  • 2 TBSP vegan mayo (I like Veganaise)
  • 4 slices of smoked tofu, about ⅛ inch thick
  • A few pieces of lettuce or other greens (basil is delicious!)
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Break apart the english muffin and place on a baking tray.
  3. Spread 1 TBSP of vegan mayo onto each muffin piece.
  4. Place two slices of smoked tofu on each muffin piece and top with lettuce and a tomato slice.
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Heat up in the oven for 5 minutes or so and enjoy!