Sunday, December 30, 2012

Szechuan Cabbage, Spinach and Mushrooms

Delicious szechuan cabbage recipe from The Complete Vegan Kitchen cookbook. Served over brown rice with Sriracha hot sauce drizzled on top.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Soup, Salad, Sandwich and a Coffee Cake.

You guys probably know that I don't go for fancy recipes with too many ingredients or time consuming methods that keep me in the kitchen too long. I really enjoy simple food that's not fussy and requires a minimal amount of time, maybe an hour tops. As long as it's good food, I'm happy. Here are a few things I made this past week.

This is a pureed soup I've been making almost every week. It always includes a base of either red lentils or mung beans, some kind of green vegetable (spinach, kale, broccoli, zucchini), onions, carrots, a tomato, sometimes a sweet potato if I have it, and a vegetable broth, miso paste, and spices, usually hot curry powder and cumin. Boil it all up and then blend the heck out of it. Here it is drizzled with flax oil and lemon juice. So good!

A delicious salad of spinach, dino kale, red peppers, red onion, pecans, almonds, cranberries and dressed with lemon vinaigrette.

Reuben sandwich made with Yves veggie bologna, Daiya cheddar, tomato, wine kraut and homemade russian dressing on whole grain bread.


This is the East Coast Coffee Cake recipe from Vegan Brunch cookbook. I made the version where you mix in jam. I mixed in cranberry sauce.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

My 6th Vegan Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving internet! As you can see, I had a good one. Spent it with my parents, husband, brother and his girlfriend. We ate lots and had very good wine. I was lazy this year and only took a photo of my plate but if you were to look back at my older Thanksgiving posts, there are better pics of pretty much the same foods. On the plate: Tofurky roast with orange herb gravy and cranberry sauce, Susan V's green bean casserole, Brian McCarthy's herb stuffing, mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy, dijon glazed carrots, roasted butternut squash and roasted brussels sprouts.

Giving thanks to my family, friends- old and new, and for everything I have and for everything that I have learned along the way. Looking forward to growing and moving forward in my life, with the support of all the people I love. Have a great holiday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Long time no's a soup recipe.

Trying to get back into blogging. Things have been kind of dull around here. No sweet puppy to come home to anymore. I haven't been motivated to do much more than go to work, come home, shower and make very simple dinners that don't require much effort, ingredients or time. These past couple of weeks I've been focusing on soup because throwing things into one pot and walking away while dinner cooks itself is so appealing right now. I've been inspired by the soups on Fran's Ayurvedic blog. The one I made tonight is just a variation of what I've been doing the past two weeks. Whatever veggies I have on hand goes into the pot. It always turns out tasty.

Pureed Veggie and Lentil Soup With Pumpkin

1/4 to 1/2 cup mung dal (split mung beans)
2-3 cups chopped kale leaves
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp yellow mild curry powder
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 cup pureed pure pumpkin from a can (ingredients should be just: pumpkin)
salt and pepper to taste

Put lentils and vegetables, (except pumpkin) in a pot. Add water to cover about 1" above the vegetables. Bring to a boil. Add spices/seasonings, stir and lower heat to medium and cover. Cook until all vegetables are tender and lentils are mushy. Blend half of the soup and pour back into the pot while simmering on low. Add the pureed pumpkin and stir well to incorporate. This will thicken up the soup. Simmer until heated through. Adjust spices and salt/pepper as needed. Serve with a drizzle of tahini and a squeeze of lemon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I miss you Buster.

A week ago today, my family and I took Buster on his last car ride to the vet and in a small exam room we said goodbye and "I Love You" for perhaps the millionth time to our dear baby. I never talked about it much on my blog, but Buster had been sick for quite some time. The cancer had pretty much spread throughout his body in the past few months and in the past two or three weeks, we had been noticing a decline. The last days of his life, he was definitely not his bouncy and energetic self and we could see that he was just tired of it all. It was then we made the decision to not let him suffer any longer. He still had his dignity in the end. We love him and miss him so much. The photo above was taken on his last day. Still the most beautiful dog I've ever seen!

Rest in Peace Buster Brown. 2001-2012.

PS. It's because of you Buster that I'm vegan.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mushroom Risotto

Made mushroom risotto tonight and it was FAB! Thanks to my cousin Wendy for helping me stir (and stir, and stir and stir....). I used the recipe here. I veganized it of course and changed a few things around. My substitutions:
Veggie broth instead of chicken broth
4-5 TB of olive oil instead of 3
Cremini mushrooms, 1 carton (instead of white mushrooms/portobello combo)
1 small onion, chopped instead of shallots
red wine instead of white
2 TB Earth Balance margarine instead of butter

The risotto was so creamy and rich. I served it with a spinach/arugula salad with cranberries, walnuts and poppyseed dressing.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chinese "Chicken" Salad.

Made with romaine, red/yellow bell pepper, celery, carrots, red onion, cilantro, chow mein noodles and Gardein chipotle lime crispy fingers!

Tossed with creamy sesame dressing.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tonight's dinner.

Came home from work today and threw some mushrooms, onions and red bell peppers on the grill and served it atop couscous with a side of crinkle cut fries and leftover quiche from the weekend. Yum.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Puff Pastry Quiche

Got the recipe here but I used a whole 14oz package of firm tofu and added a bit of garlic powder and about 2 TB of chickpea flour in the filling. You can't tell but there are mushrooms in there too. Came out very tasty!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Baked Pasta with Veggies and Sausage.

This was a "use what you got" recipe where I wanted to use what was in my fridge and pantry. I loosely based this off of the pastitsio recipe from The Olive and The Caper cookbook. Mine has no dairy and no eggs. It's damn good too. It's layered with veggies, vegan sausage, tomato sauce and topped with a creamy vegan bechamel sauce. It is TASTY.


4 TB olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
a small 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped, stems and all
2 Tofurky tomato and basil flavor veggie sausages, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 jar Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara
1 lb. macaroni, penne or ziti pasta
1/2 cup to 1 cup Daiya vegan cheese

For bechamel sauce:
3 TB Earth Balance margarine or other non dairy margarine
3 TB white flour
1 1/2 cups plain almond milk
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of nutmeg

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. I cooked mine for about 10 minutes.
2. While pasta is cooking, saute the veggies in olive oil over medium heat until veggies are almost tender. Add oregano, sausage and continue cooking until veggies are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.
3. Make the bechamel sauce: Heat the margarine in a pot until melted over medium high heat. Add flour and start whisking until it gets smooth and creamy. Slowly add the almond milk and keep whisking. Keep on medium heat and whisk until thick and creamy about 12 minutes. Whisk in salt and nutmeg.
4. While you are making the bechamel sauce, the pasta will be done. Drain the pasta in a colander. Pour a bit of olive oil into the empty pasta pot and then add the drained pasta back in along with the cooked veggies/sausage. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Spread about 1/2 cup of tomato sauce along the bottom of a large greased baking dish. Pour a third of pasta mixture over it and then add more marinara on top. Repeat with a couple more pasta layers and marinara sauce. At the end, whisk the bechamel sauce again and then pour over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with Daiya cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes with foil on top. After 30 minutes, remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 to 20 more minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes prior to serving.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mashed Potato Stuffed Mushrooms

I made mashed potatoes, added sauteed onion and stuffed them into portobello mushrooms, then I added a dollop of Wayfare smoked hickory cheddar vegan cheese spread and vegan bacon bits. Baked them in the oven for 15-20 minutes and 350 F. Really yummy.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

I live for weekend grilling!

This kind of thing makes me very happy. Red and yellow peppers, onions, eggplant, mushrooms, snow peas, pasilla peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes...

Grilled bbq tofu and red potatoes.

BBQ tofu sandwich.

And later in the day, relaxing with tea and a vegan donut from Whole Foods in Venice.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gardein Beefless Burger

Gardein ("garden" + "protein") makes wonderful meat substitutes which you can find in the freezer section at your local grocery store. I was able to find them at Ralph's, Vons, Whole Foods and even Target! I've had several varieties from their line of vegan proteins and this beefless burger is probably one of the best veggie burgers I've ever had. I cooked mine on a charcoal grill and basted it with bbq sauce. The texture is pretty meaty and hamburger- like with a pretty good flavor. Makes a great cheeseburger with a slice of american Tofutti vegan cheese.
Gardein website.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Random Cooking.

Stir fry eggplant and bok choy with szechuan pepper and vegetarian "oyster" sauce.

This was my memorial day food. Portobello sandwich, homemade bbq beans and potatoes.

Panzanella from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Scrambled Tofu Sandwich.

Tofu scrambled with mushrooms, red onions and red peppers served on wheat toast with Vegenaise.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lentil Tacos and Lentil Chilaquiles Casserole.

I made a really good lentil taco filling the other night to which I added chopped veggie sausage and textured vegetable protein. Came out delicious. Here's a good lentil taco recipe.

I had so much lentil filling leftover that I decided to make this chilaquiles casserole. I added scrambled tofu to the filling as well.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

I Love Grilled Food!

Backyard grilling again this weekend. I love it. Vegetables taste so much better when they're grilled over open flame. They get all charred and tender and caramelized and so juicy.

The usual suspects: yellow and red bell pepper, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, tomato and baked potatoes. Tofu not pictured.

Pita sandwich wrap with grilled tofu and veggies with lemon-garlic mayo sauce.

Sandwich, mid bite!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day Off Food.

Got the day off today to babysit my pooch Buster. Buster hasn't been so well lately as he was diagnosed with a hemangiosarcoma lump on his rear area. Vet says he's a good candidate for surgery as the cancer has not spread to any organs yet. He is scheduled for surgery on Thursday. I'm very worried for him as the lump is ulcerated and has been bleeding for days. The worst was on Sunday night and since then my husband and I have been babysitting him in turns. Today I got to spend time with him as well as cooking some good comfort foods. My good friend Cami stopped by to visit Our Buster. While she was here, we cooked!

Comforting curry! I followed a chana masala recipe and added mushrooms and peas. We had corn salad and rice as well as tamarind/ginger/chili chutney and a pickle relish.

For dinner I made this yummy sandwich.

Our Buster.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

More Backyard Grilling.

We enjoyed another day of grilling in the backyard. I can't wait until summer when we get some really good produce. I want to grill some corn on the cob and fresh peaches in butterscotch sauce. Today I used what was available.

Eggplant, marinated tofu, baked potatoes, red onions, red peppers and a tomato! I marinated the tofu overnight in a delicious marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, hot chili flakes and cilantro. For the potatoes, I cooked them in the microwave whole (poke holes in them first) then I split them, brushed with olive oil and grilled til brown and crisp. So delicious.

The ingredients were perfect for this gigantic sandwich!

Now try to sink your teeth into that! It was hard but so worth it.

For dessert I had this idea I got from one of Linda McCartney's books where she splits open a banana, stuffs it with praline, wraps it tightly in foil and cooks it over hot coals. I used chocolate pieces instead. Really yummy.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Serious About Sandwiches.

I've been on a sandwich kick lately. I don't think it'll end anytime soon. The fun part is deciding on ingredients and going shopping for them because there are also a zillion different combinations that make a damn good sandwich.

This one is Yves veggie "ham", vegan american slices, tomato, red onion, sauerkraut, Vegenaise on german sunflower seed rye. I've made this about three times this week.

This one is a special sandwich for the weekend. We don't have a bbq grill anymore so we went out and got one of those tiny ones at CVS that is perfect for the two of us. Fits on our patio table and grills enough hot dogs (for him) and veggies (for me). This sandwich was an inspiration I had on Friday that I finally go to carry out today. Grilled portobello mushroom that was brushed with olive oil and crushed garlic, grilled red onions and grilled red bell pepper with Vegenaise mixed with Dill n' Garlic Miso Mayo on a kaiser roll. This was so damn good, I can't even put it into words. Non-vegan restaurants take note! Vegans would like sandwiches like this on your menu.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Taco Night.

This is what happened when I was desperately hungry while staring at the food in my pantry. Grabbed a can each of black beans, diced tomatoes and a bottle of Tapatio. Combined those ingredients with tofu and potatoes and they made the perfect taco filling.

Recipe Black Bean, Potato and Tofu Taco Filling

2 TB olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 block of firm tofu, cubed
1 can black beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
2 large potatoes cooked in the microwave until soft, cubed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion, garlic in olive oil. Add tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until heated through. Season with salt, pepper and more spices if you prefer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Soup and Sandwich Sunday.

Krautsuppe, a german cabbage soup recipe from Olive Trees and Honey. This is so good and hearty. It's got cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes in a tomato based broth flavored with caraway seeds.

Baked tofu sandwich on Ezekiel sprouted grain bread, Vegenaise, Nathan's coney island mustartd, lettuce and tomato.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Moujadara and Broiled Vegetables

A very good meal to have on weeknights. While the moujadara (lentils and rice) was cooking on the stove, the vegetables went into the broiler and in about 20 minutes, dinner was served.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Broiled Vegetables in Charmoula Marinade and Couscous

I have this really beautiful little book called The Vegetarian Table: North Africa and there a so many exotic dishes that I've been wanting to try. I love broiling vegetables because it only takes 10 minutes or so. The couscous took 5 minutes. Very easy and very delicious. The marinade is Moroccan in origin and has beautiful flavors of olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, ginger, cilantro and marjoram.

This was lunch.

This was dinner. I made a sauce from Vegenaise, lemon juice and Sriracha sauce. Yum!