Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vegan spanish tortilla with kale

I had an excess of gorgeous red potatoes this week and wanted to use up some kale and silken tofu I had lying around, so I decided to make a Spanish tortilla for dinner. Spanish tortillas are not the same as Mexican flour or corn tortillas - they are more like a potato omelet. I googled "vegan spanish tortilla tofu" and adapted the first two recipes I found: one from FatMornings (which is adapted from Vegan with a Vengeance [VwaV]) and one from Hungry Vegan. I think this would probably be fine with either asceptic (boxed) or fresh, water-packed tofu, but I used the water-packed silken variety 'cause that's what I had in the house. The chickpea flour/tofu mixture gave this a nice consistency, the turmeric added a little color, and the black salt added a little egg-like, sulfuric taste. This would make an excellent brunch dish!

Part 1
1/4 c (4 tablespoons) olive oil
8 small red or 4 medium Yukon potatoes, scrubbed and de-eyed, sliced into even 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

Part 2
1 pound silken or soft tofu, drained of any excess water
1 c plain soy milk
3-4 cloves garlic
3 Tbs chickpea flour
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Part 3
1 bunch kale, chopped fine
1/4 c bread crumbs, optional

Part 1: Preheat oven to 375 F (350 F for a convection oven). Pour the oil into the bottom of a 10" x 13" baking pan (or 10" cast-iron skillet). Add the sliced potatoes and onion and toss to coat with the oil. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Part 2: Meanwhile, place all the ingredients listed under Part 2 above into a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. The consistency should be pourable, but not too thin - sort of like the consistency of an egg/milk mixture you'd use for a (nonvegan) quiche back in the days when you didn't know any better.

Part 3: Once your potatoes and onions are soft, add the chopped kale, then pour on the tofu mixture and mix to combine. Top with breadcrumbs, if desired. Bake, uncovered, until set and browned on top. This took about half an hour in my convection oven, but it could take up to an hour according to the Fat Mornings/VwaV recipe. That recipe also calls for letting the dish cool before serving, but I served it straight from the oven and it was delicious! Nice topped with some fresh, diced tomato, or even salsa! Next time I will try it with the red pepper-almond sauce from VwaV.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sarmas (Stuffed Collard Greens)

We got collard greens in our Boston Organics box again this week, so I was looking for a recipe and found this: a Turkish dish called sarma. They looked to be similar to dolmades or stuffed cabbage rolls. I used the same basic approach described in that post, but substituted ground seitan for the bulgur wheat. The seitan was from a recipe I made a few months ago - we made a loaf, then ran it through our food processor to yield a ground meat substitute. I didn't add any salt, because the seitan was pretty salty as is. I also, sadly, didn't have any mint or fresh lemons -- I think those would improve this dish. It was my first time making any kind of stuffed leaf dish, and it turned out great! I served them with some leftover roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and beets from earlier in the week.

A heaping tablespoon of filling on each leaf

Large bunch collard greens, stemmed, quartered

A little oil for sauteeing
1/2 red onion, diced
Bell peppers, chopped (I used about a cup of frozen)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
About 8 oz ground seitan (could substitute Gimme Lean or vegan chorizo or even crumbled firm tofu)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 T tomato paste
2 T lemon juice
2 c water

Sarmas in the pan, before adding water and covering with the plate.

Bring a large pot half filled with water to a boil. Submerge collards and boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain and put in a bowl filled with ice water and set aside. Saute onion, pepper, and garlic in a little oil until the onion is softened. Add seitan and stir to combine. Add cumin, red pepper, lemon juice, tomato paste, and about 1/4 to 1/2 c of the water to help everything come together. Mix well. Remove the seitan mixture to a bowl and rinse out the pan. Take a quarter of a collard green leaf, and with the widest edge facing you, spoon a heaping tablespoon (or whatever amount will fit) onto the leaf. Fold in the sides and roll toward the opposite point. Roll tightly! Place in your pan and repeat until all the collards are filled or you run out of filling. Pour the rest of the water over the sarmas. Place a large plate over them, cover with a lid, and cook on medium for 10 minutes, then on low for another 10-15 minutes.

Makes about 4 servings.

The final product, served alongside roasted veggies.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lima bean & root vegetable stew

Lima beans are delicious and nutritious. This recipe pairs these happy little legumes with turnips, potatoes, kale, and carrots in an aromatic broth. Most of the measurements are estimates and you can use more or less of an ingredient without fear - for example, you can use more broth & make this a soup!. I used some herbs that I harvested from my garden this fall and put in the freezer, but fresh or dried herbs would work fine as well. The fennel root is optional - it was something I had in the freezer and needed to use up.


4 tablespoons tomato paste
16 ounces water or vegetable broth
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 small purple-top turnips, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 small bunch kale (about 4-5 stalks)
1 cup diced potato (about 2 small)
1 cup diced fennel root
1 16 oz bag frozen lima beans
sage - 2 large fresh (frozen) leaves, chopped or teaspoon dried
tarragon - 1 tablespoon fresh (frozen) or 1 teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, then simmer, covered, for about half an hour or until the vegetables are done.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sweet potato-kale burritos

I spent a fair amount of my childhood in Texas eating Tex-Mex, so this recipe feels like "home" to me. I probably make burritos using this method about once a month, on average, and it's always such a quick and delicious meal. I cheated by using a microwave to cook the sweet potatoes, kale, and peppers/onions - it would be better done in a skillet, but I was in a rush!


All hail the sweet potato!
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, diced into about 3/4" pieces
1 small bunch kale, tough stems removed, chopped medium-fine
1 cup chopped bell pepper and onion  (I used frozen from Trader Joe's)
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/2 t salt, or to taste
4 whole wheat wraps/tortillas
1 can Eden Organics refried black beans
about half a jar of Appalachian Naturals Veracruz salsa
About 3/4 cup shredded "cheddar" (Daiya or soy cheese - could also use something like this vegan queso)


Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a microwave-safe bowl, toss your chopped kale, sweet potato, and peppers/onions with about a tablespoon of water and the cumin and steam, covered, in a microwave for 4 minutes. Stir, check for doneness, and cook for another minute or two until your sweet potato is done. Meanwhile, divide the refried black beans among each of the wraps, spreading onto most of the surface of each one with a spatula. When your sweet potato/kale mixture is done, spoon onto each of your wraps. Take each wrap, fold in the sides, roll up into a log, and place into a rectangular baking dish. The dish should be sized so that your burritos are snug against each other and snug against the sides of the dish. Once all the burritos are lined up in your pan, cover them with the salsa and cheese (I like my burritos covered, but not drenched - to each her own) and pop into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Seitan & Root Vegetable Stew

This is a filling, warming, nurturing kind of winter stew. The kind that makes you go "mmmm."

Feel free to use whatever veggies you have hanging around. The combination I used worked well, but it would have been equally good with sweet potatoes, celeriac, a different kind of winter squash, rutabagas, and/or parsnips. Don't be afraid of root vegetables! They are your friends! By the way, if you use regular red beets in this recipe, you will end up with pinkish stew. So go with golden if you can find them, and save the red beets for something else.


a little oil for sauteeing
1 onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
1 T Better than Bouillion vegetable broth concentrate
2 turnips, diced
1 large potato, diced
3 golden beets, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled, seeded, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4-6 slices/hunks chicken-style seitan or veggie sausage
A splash of apple cider vinegar
3-4 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp smoked paprika
Chopped fresh or frozen sage, tarragon, thyme, etc. to taste
1 bay leaf

Warm the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and garlic and cook a couple minutes. Add the broth, increase heat, add the rest of the ingredients. Once soup reaches a low boil, reduce heat to simmer until veggies reach desired tenderness (this was about half an hour for me, but it depends on how small your veggies are diced and how tender you want them.) Serve with croutons, crusty bread, or just a smidgen of freshly ground black pepper.

Number of Servings: 8
Approximate nutritional info per serving: 200 cal, 2g fat, 380mg sodium, 25g carbs, 5g fiber, 23g protein

Monday, January 10, 2011

Making Chinese dumplings

Making dumplings
Mark and I made Chinese dumplings for dinner tonight. The filling consisted of gai lan (Chinese broccoli), chopped and sauteed, along with chopped baked tofu, mixed with a little gyoza sauce from Trader Joe's (which was also the dipping sauce). We steamed the first batch for 5 minutes, which wasn't quite long enough... and we boiled the second batch for 4 minutes, which was a little too long. Both batches were delicious, though!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lentil-Potato-Kale Soup

I love lentils. So easy to use, so delicious & nutritious. This soup is chunky, robust, and flavorful, not to mention wicked easy and quick.

1 t olive or canola oil
1 small red onion, diced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 small to medium potatoes, scrubbed & diced
1.5 to 2 c dry masoor dal (red lentils with skins on) or french green/brown lentils
big bunch of kale, washed, destemmed, torn into small bits
15 oz can diced tomatoes
1-2 carrots, diced
4-5 large button mushrooms, chopped
8 c liquid (veg broth, water, or mixture of both)
Splash of sherry
1 T Bragg's liquid aminos
1 t cumin
1/2 t sage
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t celery seed

Warm the oil in the bottom of a large pot. Add onions & mushrooms and cook over medium heat until softened. Add liquid, then add rest of ingredients. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for half an hour or until lentils and potatoes are done. Enjoy topped with croutons.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Adapted from a Whole Foods recipe. I recommend using golden beets unless you really like pink foods. I wish I had had golden beets on hand, but I’ve been getting all my fresh veg from Boston Organics lately, so I don’t get much choice! This was good and seemed to go over well at the department lunch today. I had to add the maple syrup because mine was a little bitter without it - not sure if that was from the quinoa (which can be bitter sometimes) or perhaps the rutabaga.

3 beets
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
3 carrots, chopped
3 turnips/rutabagas/radishes, chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa
Juice of 1 lemon (I used 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar instead)
2 cups gluten-free vegetable stock or water
A splash of sherry (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (I omitted this)
1-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Rub beets all over with 1 teaspoon of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Wrap in foil, place on a small baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, until beets are tender. Allow beets to cool and then peel and chop them. Meanwhile, toss remaining veggies in remaining 3 teaspoons oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Rinse quinoa well in a strainer. Put quinoa, lemon juice/cider, stock or water and thyme (and sherry, if using) into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and set aside to let cool to room temperature. Put quinoa, roasted carrots and parsnips into a large bowl and toss to combine. Add beets, onions, parsley, walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, mix well and serve.

Serves 6-8

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Six-ingredient easy Sunday supper

 Homemade seitan, curry sauce, cooked brown rice, snap beans from the garden, Chinese broccoli (gai lan) from the farmer's market.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tempeh Aji Amarillo

Tempeh Aji Amarillo from Viva Vegan! With grilled zucchini, portabellas, and corn on the cob. Both the corn and zucchini are local.

Thanks to for the cookbook! We will get a lot of use out of it and will enjoy it greatly.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Easy wrap

Today’s lunch: baked tofu, sundried tomato & basil hummus, lettuce and tomatoes and basil from my garden, on a whole wheat tortilla. The tomato at the bottom of the pic is a “black cherry” variety that is super sweet!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pesto pasta w/ zucchini & peas

This turned out so nicely. Used the pesto recipe from Veganomicon, whole wheat noodles, and zucchini from my garden.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chickpea, Rice & Tabouli Salad

Chickpea, Rice & Tabouli Salad
3/4 c cooked black or brown rice (black rice = more antioxidants!)
3/4 c cooked garbanzo beans
3/4 c tabouli
2 large carrots, peeled, diced
1 c sugar snap peas
1 c green beans, snapped
1/2 c marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped

I steamed the carrots, snap peas, and green beans for about a minute and then ran them under cold water before adding (I like how it releases the sugars, but it’s not really necessary). You may want to chill for a while before serving.
Serves 4-6.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Black bean & kale quesadilla

Truly simple — kinda like making a grilled cheese, just with a few extra ingredients.

2 whole wheat tortillas
6 large kale leaves, de-stemmed and shredded/chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
cumin to taste (I used about 2 tsp)
chili pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp)
diced garlic to taste (I used about 1 tsp)
fat-free refried black beans (you’ll need about 1/4 of a can or so, per quesadilla - about 4 oz or 1/2 cup)
Daiya shredded dairy-free cheddar cheese (optional)
Salsa, cilantro, guacamole — optional but delicious (for topping your quesadilla)

Warm up a flat-bottomed pan over medium heat, then spritz with a little olive or canola oil. Add your onions and saute until transluscent. Add the garlic and stir, then add kale and saute until tender. If you like a lot of cilantro flavor and you have some to spare, you can toss some chopped cilantro in there at the end. Spread a layer of refried black beans on one side of a tortilla. Once your kale & onions are done, scoop them out of the pan into a bowl and set aside. Wipe your pan & spritz with oil again. Place the tortilla without the beans on it into the pan and sprinkle with the Daiya if you’re using it, then top with the kale mixture. Gently place the black-bean tortilla on top. Cook until the bottom tortilla is browned to your liking. Place a plate over the top and hold in place with one hand while flipping the pan upside-down with the other hand. You’ll have the quesadilla on your plate. Spritz the pan with a tiny bit more oil and gently slide the quesadilla back into the pan, uncooked side down. Cook until nicely browned, then serve topped with salsa, guac, cilantro, mole sauce, enchilada sauce, or nothing at all.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Cilantro! I love it. It makes all my stirfries much nicer. I would love to have a constant supply but haven’t had that much luck growing it so far.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Catch-up Blogging

May was a bit of a tough month in terms of travel and general busy-ness, hence the lack of posts.  I don't cook as much when I'm traveling or tired from travel.  I did do some cooking though, so here are some recent-ish highlights:

Deviled Beans

This was a successful attempt to make a good spread for crackers. In fact, Mark liked this recipe so much, he tried to make his own version, without quite so much luck. The basic recipe involves cooking white (soy) or beige (pinto) beans, then blending them with some Bragg liquid aminos, garlic, sundried tomatoes, a dash of liquid smoke, lemon juice +/- apple cider vinegar, and various herbs. I called it "deviled beans" because it reminded me of deviled ham from a can, which my mom used to eat all the time.

Waffles & Sausage

We hosted a waffle party on World Vegan Waffle Day (May 29 this year) and had a total blast. We had Chocolate-pecan waffles (from Veganomicon); Lemon-corn waffles (from; buckwheat-barley waffles (from; a gluten-free waffle from Pam; lots of amazing fruit toppings; tofu scramble; potatoes with herbs; tempeh "bacon" and regular tempeh... it was amazing!

At right are the chocolate-pecan waffle and the buckwheat-barley waffle with strawberries from my garden plus homemade vegan breakfast sausage from this recipe. The sausage was AMAZING. I must admit, it's probably not cost-effective to make your own vegan sausage... but it's fun, and I like knowing there are just healthy real ingredients in there.

And finally, we come to tonight's dinner: Basil Tempeh Noodles. I put this in the category of "better than restaurant" food -- this is the kind of thing that ruins me for going out to eat, because I can so easily make something that's less salty, more healthful, mostly organic, cheaper, and lower in calories in about 20-30 minutes.

Extra-wide Thai-style rice noodles, about 2/3 of a box (300 grams) (more or less is fine, depending on how you like your noodles-to-veggies ratio)
Organic soy tempeh, 8 oz, diced
Canola oil, 1 tbsp
Soy sauce, low sodium, 2 tbsp
Rice Vinegar, 2 tbsp
Minced garlic, about 2 tbsp
Minced ginger, about 1 tbsp
Rooster Sauce, to taste
Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce, about half a jar, with water to fill the other half
365-brand frozen organic Chinese style stir-fry vegetables, 1 bag
Big bunch of basil, cut in thin ribbons

Note: I use a an unconventional way of cooking rice noodles -- you may want to follow the directions on the package instead. First, I put the noodles in a microwave-safe bowl and add hot water to cover, swirling the noodles around to make sure they don't stick. Then I stick the bowl in the microwave for 2 minutes, check & stir, then another 2 minutes. After that, I drain and add to my wok/skillet.

While the noodles are cooking, start the tempeh. Pre-heat the skillet over med-high, add the soy sauce, vinegar, and oil, and stir to mix. Add the diced tempeh and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add the garlic, ginger, and Rooster Sauce and stir. Add the veggies and stir. Add the rice noodles and stir. Add the curry sauce and stir. Add the basil and stir. Lower heat to medium, cover, and cook for a couple of minutes until everything is done! Stir, stir, and stir some more... add water if needed... then serve!

Makes about 4 servings. Each serving is about 312 calories, 12 g fat (3.6 g sat fat), 37 g carb (4 g fiber), and 14 g protein.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vegan Osso Bucco

Annie at Meet the Shannons is veganizing her way through the Betty Crocker cookbook. Kind of a cool project. Since I had some Gardein Beefless Tips in the freezer, I tried out the Osso Bucco recipe the other day. It came out a little salty, but seriously delicious and easy to make. Next time I'll cut back on the boullion. I served the mashed potatoes and beefless tips with side of golden beet and asparagus from my garden (steamed), which was perfect.

Just goes to show that almost any recipe can be veganized with good results.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Walnut-fruit-brownie bites (vegan and gluten-free)

This is a modification of the raw choco-walnut-fruit balls I love so much. I started out trying to make another batch of those, but I was out of dates and apricots, and the mixture didn't do what I expected. So I baked it and ended up with a flourless brownie-type thing. Super delicious, healthy, and rich-tasting. Very dense, so I cut into tiny bite-sized things and try not to eat more than 2 at a sitting! All measurements are approximate.

3 c walnuts
2 c prunes
1 c dried blueberries
1.5 c dried cranberries
2 T flaxseed meal
2 T agave syrup
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 c water or as needed

Pre-heat oven to around 275F to 300F. Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add fruit, flax, agave, and cocoa and process for 30 seconds. Add water and continue processing until you have a thick, sticky, "dough". Line a rectangular baking dish with parchment paper. Press "dough" into pan - ideally, your dough will end up being about an inch thick. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until you feel like they're done.* Cut into 24 bite-sized pieces! Will keep for a while in the fridge.

Nutrition data for 1/24th of above recipe: 197 cal, 10.3 g fat, (1.0 g sat, 7.1 g polyunsat, 1.4 g monounsat), 0 cholesterol, 2.3 mg sodium, 176.7 mg potassium, 24.9 g carb, 3.4 g fiber, 18.3 g sugars, 3.0 g protein

*I must say that one of the things I love about cooking vegan is not having to worry as much about food safety issues. With something like this, there are no eggs or butter or other things that might not be good if you don't cook them well. You can eat the "dough" raw if you like!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Square lunch

Today's lunch was soooo good. On the right is leftover curried red lentil soup with red potatoes, kale, tomatoes, carrots, curry, cumin, and garam masala (modified version of Liz's recipe here).

On the left is a grilled avocado and white-bean spread sandwich. The whole-wheat flatbread (available at Costco) is only 110 calories per piece, each of which makes a fantastic sandwich - a nice way to cut the calories (vs. 2 pieces of regular bread). The white-bean spread is something I made with my new food processor that I got for my birthday this year (which I LOVE). It contains soybeans, Italian herbs, garlic, olive oil, Bragg's liquid aminos, and a little apple cider vinegar. Blended together, the result is sort of like a soft herbed cheese (minus the cruelty, fat and cholesterol, and manure lagoons).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Raw choco-walnut-fruit balls

These are super easy to make (even in a crappy food processor), really delicious, and not bad for you! Quantities are approximate and can be modified to your taste. You might also want to play around with other fruits or nuts.

4 handfuls (about 2 c) of walnuts
4 dates, pitted
6-8 dried apricots
1-2 handfuls (about 1 c) Craisins
2 T flaxseed meal
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T agave syrup

In a food processor, process walnuts for about a minute or two, until they are finely chopped. Add dates, apricots, Craisins, and flaxseed meal and process until nicely blended and finely chopped (another minute or two). Add cocoa powder and agave, and process until well blended (maybe 30 seconds). Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Using your hands or a pair of spoons, take hunks of the mixture, form into golf-ball-sized balls, and place on the cookie sheet. Place in the freezer for an hour or two, then put into a storage container.

Makes about two dozen balls.

According to SparkPeople's recipe calculator, each ball is about 100 cal, 7g fat, 11.7g carb, 1.8g fiber, 8.7g sugars, 2g protein.