All Around the World: Vegan Style

Happy Monday, everyone!

I was recently asked in an interview what type of food my home town area is known for. So for those of you from Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. metro area, what would you say?

If you said global cuisine, then I think you’re spot on. Having grown up in an area so culturally diverse, smack dab in the nation’s capital, I never actually realized how fortunate I am to have this exposure until I moved elsewhere (thanks college!).

With the booming Northern VA population boasting nationalities from quite literally all over the world, you better believe the international cuisine in our area is pretty darn authentic.

I am constantly inspired to incorporate different spices and types of food into my own dishes. Whether it be from dining out at local Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, African, Mediterranean, South American, and so on restaurants, or being hosted at the homes of my friends, I always seem to find something new and exciting to spice up my own life.

Today I have decided to share with you some of my own worldly concoctions. Each dish has a whole food plant-based vegan spin on it of course!

Avocado Pesto Chickpeas, Quinoa & Veggies

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Ingredients: — 2 servings

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Handful of fresh spinach
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 round slice of white onion
  • Fresh basil
  • 3 gloves of garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Black pepper
  • Pine nuts
  • Nooch (nutritional yeast)
  1. Cook quinoa — boil 2 cups of water and quinoa until soft (or to your preference consistency).
  2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Place chickpeas in boiling water for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Chop fresh spinach, tomatoes and onion and set aside.
  4. Avocado Pesto: Blend basil, garlic, lemon juice, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, black pepper and nooch in a high-speed blender. Add water as needed.
  5. Lay all veggies, chickpeas and quinoa out on plate, and place dollop of pesto on top. Mix all elements to best capture all flavors and textures before eating.

Black Bean Quinoa Taco Soup

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Ingredients: — many servings (leftover heaven)!

  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow & red cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 container veggie broth (reduced sodium)
  • 1 tb taco seasoning
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice
  1. Add quinoa and veggie broth to large pot on medium heat and let cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in black beans, garlic, white onion, and taco seasoning and let cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add in cilantro, tomatoes and lime juice, and let cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Tikka Masala (adapted from Women’s Health Mag)

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Ingredients: — 2 servings

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 tb canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 fresh serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 tb curry powder
  • 1 tb tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat remaining oil over medium heat and cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ginger, serrano pepper, curry powder, and tomato paste, and cook 1 minute. Add salt and tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and half the cilantro.
  3. Divide sauce among 4 bowls, top with cauliflower, and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Sweet Curry Zoodles (Fully Raw Kristina)

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Ingredients:

  • 3-5 large zucchini (depending on how hungry you are!)
  • 3-4 small navel oranges (I used clementines)
  • 1-2 cups of red/orange cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tb to 1/2 cup of raw, unhealed sesame seeds
  • Fresh herbs of basil, sage and rosemary
  • 3 gloves of garlic (my special touch!)
  • 1 tb of tumeric
  • 1 tb curry powder
  • A pinch of cumin
  1. Spiralize zucchini into zoodles.
  2. Blend the rest of ingredients in high-speed blender (I used my Ninja!).
  3. Pour sweet curry sauce on top of zoodles, and enjoy!

With all this said, keep in mind that the most important thing to remember no matter what type of cuisine you are eating is to…

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To put this in nicer terms, care about yourself, care about the animals, care about the environment and this world as a whole!

Go vegan, all around the world, for the whole world.

Chow for now 🙂

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