Roasted root vegetables with roasted garlic-lime dipping sauce

Guys, I’m bringing Vegan MoFo back from its monthly end with this post. See, this was to be my last post for Vegan MoFo, but it wasn’t meant to be due to timing. And thus, here we are.

My last round of conquering food fears was three-fold: parsnip, rutabaga and turnip. So autumn it hurts.

I wanted to get a root veggie-heavy recipe to be a part of this challenge because despite the fact that I’ve eaten them in many forms in restaurants (parsnip soup, rutabaga and turnip in pasta dishes, etc.), I’d feared cooking them because they always seemed rough to prep. I also felt that they would not come out as well at home as at a restaurant that was used to seasoning them and cooking them thoroughly, so this trio was the perfect test of all three at once. So much to mess up…or get deliciously right!

I picked up my beloved, well-used copy of Vegan Soul Kitchen prior to heading to the store and immediately gravitated to the Roasted root vegetables with roasted garlic-lime dipping sauce recipe. I mean, can you count all the delicious-sounding foods in that recipe name? There are many, friends.

I’ve never made a recipe by Bryant Terry that I hadn’t absolutely adored, or that hasn’t wowed a group of people, so I knew that this would be a fitting recipe to try and knock out three cooking fears in one go. So I got to work making it, alongside some Roasted Rosemary Tofu (recipe also from Vegan Soul Kitchen).

Turnips education via Super Mario Bros. 2. Image by GameCola.net.

I went to Central Co-Op to grab these veggies for the recipe, and felt like an awful vegan. I literally had to ask the produce lady to help me differentiate between many of these vegetables, and I only knew what turnips looked like due to childhood memories of playing Super Mario Brothers 2, (nerd alert).

Parsnip, rutabaga and turnip, at your service.

I honestly had to look up online how to prep all of these veggies, minus the parsnip, because it basically looked like a bigger, white carrot. Peeling and chopping these took a minute. Once they were chopped, I set them aside and got to work on making the sauce.

Ready for roastin’.

The sauce was composed of fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, olive oil and a whole head of roasted garlic cloves (mmm) among other spices. After roasting the beautiful garlic, my apartment smelled lovely.

Heaven, slightly burnt.

I then threw all the other sauce ingredients together into my trusty Vita-Mix, and it whirred together into this vivid sauce:

After this was complete, I got back to the veggies. I mixed them together with some olive oil and spices before roasting:

Here’s the finished plate, including tofu:

I made this dish a few weeks back, but the flavors are still memorable in my mind. The roasted veggies came out semi-sweet, but still nutty and autumn-inspired. Soft due to roasting and enhanced by the addition of the creamy olive oil/cilantro/lime sauce, this side dish was spectacular. A touch of saltiness in the sauce melded well with the near caramelized roasted veggies, and the roasted rosemary tofu ended up being this dish’s perfect partner. Honestly, these two sides would be perfect additions to your Thanksgiving table if you’re looking to switch things up from the traditional. I promise you won’t regret it.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy parsnips, rutabagas and turnips?

 

Blackened Tofu Slabs with Succotash Salsa

Hello new readers and followers! Thanks for joining me on this wild ride we like to call VeganMoFo!

So here we are at day 3, and I have to admit I had a little help with this post. I take that back -  a lot of help.

My amazing boyfriend surprised me with dinner and photos for this post, as I had another long day Tuesday and our original plan for the night’s post went south. I would’ve figured out some sort of meal/resulting blog post, but he, wonderful dude that he is, thought of a back-up plan.

Enter Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry.


This is a book that the boyfriend bought for me, that I’m always in awe of when I read through and that has proven to be filled with many cooking gems, yet it’s one that I don’t use near enough. The Gumbo Z recipe is one of the best things we’ve ever made, and I’ve cooked a lot of food since going vegan 6 years ago.

I think I imagine in my head that I won’t have the ingredients for most of the recipes and thus write the book off for most weeknight cooking, (which I admittedly do with a few other cookbooks). Looking through it today, that isn’t the case at all, but maybe it was back when I first received it? Regardless, why am I so silly? Thankfully my man knows what’s up, so for Tuesday’s dinner we had the Blackened Tofu Slabs with Succotash Salsa. Here are some photos of the process, courtesy of R (and his much nicer camera):

Spice roundup.

Blackened seasonings, ready for tofu.

Slabs before…

…and after.

Succotash success, (and so much cilantro – apologies, haters).

Our delicious meal, served up with cooked barley.

If you don’t already own Vegan Soul Kitchen, I highly suggest you pick it up. The book oozes with Terry’s passion for healthy and creative spins on traditional African-American cuisine. He also lists the soundtrack (song), sitcom (television show) and book that he was listening/watching/reading at the time of cooking that inspired his creations, which I find oh so endearing. Flipping through last night, I saw a handful of fall-inspired recipes that I may just have to make for MoFo. I can go into a much more detailed and eloquent spiel about all the reasons I love this book, but I’ll save it for another day/a more thorough review. For the time being, just know that if you love flavorful, hearty and inspired food, this book should live on your shelf.