Vegan MoFo: Freaky Friday with Jared of The Laughing Vegan!

Another Freaky Friday blog swap, this time with Jared of The Laughing Vegan!

Hey guys! I'm Jared and I blog over at The Laughing Vegan. I'm excited to be featured on Katie's Freaky Friday MoFo post. Katie and I go way back...Portland, OR in August, 2011 to be exact! We reconvened at VVC 2013 this past May and had a lot of fun. Here's a shot of us at the Galarama!

Katie approached me to be featured on her Freaky Friday. My theme for MoFo follows the idea behind The Barefoot Contessa: a little of Ina Garten's ridiculousness, but the concept that basic dishes can be elevated by GOOD ingredients and simple improvements.

I thought it would be cool if Katie and I both did riffs on the classic rice bowl. Meals served in bowls are ubiquitous in Portland, most especially at The Bye and Bye where Katie and I have enjoyed many good times. Since my last trip, I've found myself making many bowl meals. Start with a grain, throw in some veggies, likely a legume, and top with a GOOD sauce. The perfect formula for a versatile, easy, inexpensive meal.

I started some basmati rice in the rice cooker. Then chopped up some brussels sprouts, a few pieces of broccoli, and put them on a greased sheet pan. Tossed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Roasted at 425 for 12 minutes, flipped, and baked for another 10 minutes until crisp and brown. I cooked some FRESH chickpeas from scratch over the weekend (soaked overnight, then simmered on the stovetop) and heated those up as well. 

Then I put together this sauce: simple with everyday ingredients, and the flavor is fantastic. The whole meal also happens to be gluten-free, adhering to Katie's diet!

Creamy Pesto Sauce (2 servings)
2 cloves garlic
large handful basil
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
splash water
juice of 1/2 lemon
6 oz. silken tofu (half of a tetra-pack)
1/4 c. cashews
1/4 c. pine nuts
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for about half an hour until cool.

Be sure to stop by Jared's blog and give him some love!

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