Fortunately for us, vegan restaurants have been popping up all over the place lately. When I am craving something packed with flavor and nutrients, Tendergreens‘ The Happy Vegan is one of my go-to’s. There aren’t too many vegan options on the menu, but in this case, quality wins over quantity. The cool part about this dish is it’s unique ingredients, it features three different types of grains, green hummus (!), dried cranberries, hazelnuts, and a big pile of leafy greens, oh…and garlic bread! What more could you ask for?
Popsugar partnered with Tendergreens to bring us The Happy Vegan recipe. Unfortunately, the recipe is for servings of 8-12. Now, unless you’re prepping for a dinner party or you have a Full House style family situation, 8-12 servings is waayyyy too much. Being the fast-moving Aries that I am, I failed to realize this until my fridge was packed with four huge bowls of this stuff that I can’t possibly finish so I am going to tweak their recipe into smaller serving sizes. The good thing is that most of the tweaks can be made in regards to how much of each grain that you use so it’s not too involved. The photos below for each of the salads are for larger servings than the ones detailed in the recipes. You can tweak the grain amounts for each recipe but the veggies, oils and nut amounts can stay the same.
Disclaimer aside, the recipe is pretty spot on. If you boxed up my version and asked someone to point out the dupe or the real thing, they would be hard pressed to tell the difference. I advise splitting this recipe into two days, meaning make the quinoa, farro, bulgur wheat, and green hummus the night before and store in the fridge. The next day, you will cook your beets and hazelnuts, chop your veggies, and make the green puree to go over the bulgur wheat. Your final mission will be to mix the veggies to their grains, toss together some ‘tender greens’ and toast your bread. This recipe can be an excellent meal prep and if you get bored of it, you can add in some tempeh bacon or roasted plantains, get creative!
Check out the recipe after the jump!
Bulgur wheat is an ancient grain that has been around since 6000 B.C. It is a high-fiber whole grain that cooks in just 15 minutes. Bulgur wheat has been a staple for Eastern Mediterranean countries like Syria, Lebanon, and souther Turkey and is often used in dishes like tabbouleh. It is a great substitute for rice and contains 6 grams of protein per 1/4 cup.
Green Bulgur Wheat Salad
Bulgur wheat expands to about twice its size when cooked. So one cup is more than enough for 4-6 servings. The bag suggested 1 cup bulgur to 2 cups water, but I find that makes the bulgur too sticky/mushy. I would use about a 1: 1 1/2 ratio depending on desired serving size.
- 1/2 -1 cup bulgur wheat
- 1-2 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup mint (about one pack)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup diced onions
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Green Bulgur Puree
- 1 1/2 cup parsley
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup mint
Bring water and bulgur wheat to a rolling boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until tender. Drain any excess liquid. Fluff and toss with olive oil.
Mix green bulgur puree ingredients using a food processor and then mix into cooked bulgur wheat. After mixing, toss in 1/4 cup olive oil and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chop parsley, mint, tomatoes and onions and mix into green bulgur wheat.
Nutty Cranberry Farro Salad
Think of cooking farro wheat like you would pasta. You can use water ratios but a rule of thumb is to just have about an inch and a half of water covering the farro and then drain any excess water once the farro has swelled and softened. I used a 1/2 cup farro to 1 cup water ratio.
- 1 1/2 cup farro wheat
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup baby kale or mixed greens
- 2 tbsp golden balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic works fine)
- 2 tsp golden balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic works fine)
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar (optional)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
Rinse and drain uncooked farro wheat. Bring farro and water to a boil. Boil for 10-12 minutes or until farro is medium soft. Drain farro and rinse in cool water. Transfer to a bowl and let farro cool.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the nuts darken and the skins blister. After cooking, wrap hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and let steam for 1 minute. Rub nuts in towel to remove skins. Some skins will not come off and that is ok. Mix in toasted hazelnuts with farro and set aside.
In a small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and optional rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Mix into farro salad.
Add cranberries, baby kale and mixed greens, to farro salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Quinoa Beet Salad
- 1 cups quinoa
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large golden beet
- 1 large red beet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp thyme
- 6 radishes (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup chopped dill
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 cucumber (finely diced)
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Remove roots and peel beets. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces. In a bowl, toss beets with 1 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp thyme and a dash of salt and pepper. Transfer beets to a baking sheet and cook for 35 minutes. After cooking, place beets in a bowl, set aside and let cool.
Rinse and drain quinoa. Sautee quinoa in a saucepan with olive oil for 5 minutes. Add water and a dash of salt and bring quinoa to a boil for 2 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When most of the water has evaporated, remove from heat and fluff. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside to cool.
Mix together cooled quinoa and cooled beets. Stir in sliced radishes, dill, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil and finely diced cucumber. Add more salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Learned how to properly roast beets thanks to Mrs. Ina Garten herself here.
- 2 1/2 cups chickpeas
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup green onions
- 2 large lemons
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and store in the fridge. This recipe makes a large serving (32 oz). I would half everything for a smaller amount. Also, if the mixture has bitterness, just add more lemon juice to even it out.
By now, you have three beautiful bowls of yummy, nutrient-packed grains, greens, dried fruit, and nuts and all you have to do to finish up is toasted your bread and massage your ‘tender greens.’ I drizzled olive oil and oregano onto my bread and broiled for 10 minutes. For the greens, I used about 3 leaves and massaged them with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar and a dash of pepper.
To plate everything, place a large scoop of each of the salads onto a plate, leaving a hole in the middle for the tender greens. Add a scoop of the green hummus to the plate and your side of toasted bread and you’re done!
Watch the tutorial here: