No clever title, just another vegan, gluten-free Menu Plan Monday

Last week was an awesome week for cooking! I made all kinds of exciting things, new recipes and old favorites. I fed lots of friends and I ate really well.

On Friday night a friend treated me to a massage and a trip to the spa (most awesome friend ever, right??) and when I got home I was all full of restless energy, probably from being so thoroughly relaxed. So at about 11:30 at night I decided to finally make the chile rellenos I’d been putting off for two weeks. Luckily my beautiful Pasilla peppers were still hale and hearty, so, despite the fact that the recipe I was following advised making the dish over several days, I went for it! I followed a Terry Hope-Romero recipe for the general outline of what to do, but I ended up improvising my own filling. I know every week I’m all, “Oh man, this is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!” but these guys were really really insanely good. I’ll try to get the recipe posted later this week.

As delicious as they are unphotogenic!

Another thing I made this week was this “polenta pizza” I’d been wanting to try. It’s not really anything like pizza, but it’s a great dish. We just have to call it something else. Polenta casserole? Polenta pie? Polenta is cooked with fresh corn (my favorite!) and butternut squash, then layered onto a baking sheet, ┬áspread with white bean, tomato, and garlic sauce, and topped with caramelized red onions and dry farmed tomatoes. Then baked. Then scarfed. I actually found it a bit bland, but when I dipped a bite into my salad dressing, inspiration struck, and every slice I had after that was sprinkled with a generous amount of balsamic vinegar. The combination was impeccable.

(Unbaked) polenta pie from last week's menu plan

My kim chee also finished fermenting this week, so I celebrated with a one-pot version of one of my favorite foods, Korean bibimbap. My friend and I went through almost an entire small jar of kim chee, which was a delicious luxury because I still have three more! I bought a big ceramic crock at Rainbow last week, which I am really excited about, because it will allow me to make my sauerkraut and kim chee in big batches that I can just press down with a plate, rather than constantly managing the brine levels of multiple jars, etc.

Kim chee fermenting!

This week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap is hosted by Celiacs in the House with the theme ingredient of brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite foods, but I’m at the mercy of my CSA box this week, so no brussels sprouts for me. I’ll be eagerly gathering up the recipes of my fellow GF menu swappers, though. My favorite brussels sprout dish right now is a gratin they serve at Gracias Madre, a vegan Mexican place here in the city, which I would love to reproduce at home. It has a cashew cheese sauce that is just phenomenal!

For a huge round-up of menu plans from all over the web check out the Menu Plan Monday compendium at OrgJunkie!

Monday
Green chile tamale topped with avocado with napa cabbage, refried beans, and Cheezly

Tuesday
Leftover bibimbap with homemade kim chee

Wednesday
Homemade falafel
GF pita bread (in the freezer)
Baba ganoush
Turnip pickles

Thursday (defrost soup!)
Nicoise salad
Roasted cauliflower soup (from freezer)

Friday
Rice bowl with leeks, collards, chard and avocado

Saturday
Pasta with caramelized fennel and zucchini

Shopping list: red onions