Monday, June 13, 2016

National Cucumber Day

Today is National Cucumber Day. I like cucumbers. I find them refreshing and summery. They are a common feature of tea sandwiches. You can find a couple of nice cucumber tea sandwiches here and here. Heck, you can even use them on your face, like this very lovely rinse for the face. My son likes to add cucumber slices to water during the hot summer months.

Some people just can't abide them, though. Makes them gassy. Those poor, unfortunate souls!

If you aren't a fan, but don't hate cucumbers, here's a nice little finger food to enjoy them.

Tortilla Bites with Sesame Soy Sauce


One container vegan cream cheese
One package whole wheat flour tortillas
1-3 c. cold, cooked long grain brown rice
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into strips
1 avocado, thinly sliced
One bunch organic spinach leaves
1 carrot, cut into strips
One can vegan tuna
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 T. sesame oil

Spread the cream cheese over one tortilla. I lightly sprinkled granulated garlic on top of this, but you can leave out if you want. Close to one edge of the tortilla, layer some rice, cucumber, avocado, carrot, spinach, and tuna. Roll up and tightly as possible, then slice the tortilla into one inch or so rounds.

Mix the soy sauce, red pepper, ginger, and sesame oil in a bowl. Serve this alongside the tortilla bites to dip in. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

National Corn on the Cob Day

Today is National Corn on the Cob Day! Seriously, who doesn't love corn on the cob? It is such a summer food, in my mind, but with frozen cobs available year round, it can be enjoyed any time. And there is just something fun about eating it.

Corn on the Cob with Parsley Flavored Butter


Corn on the cob, fresh or frozen, as many ears as you like
Vegan butter
1/4 t. onion powder
1 T. dried parsley or 1/2 c. fresh parsley

Boil the corn in the manner you normally do. I tend to cover the corn with water in a Dutch oven and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until done. Frozen takes longer, but I boil it the same way.

Soften the butter, then mix in the onion powder and parsley, until blended well. Serve the butter alongside the cooked corn.

Serve. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

National Cheese Day

Today is National Cheese Day. I know for many, every day is cheese day. I can't even count how many times I've heard people say how cheese makes everything better! And, I also know all too well how difficult it is to give up cheese when you become vegan. The vegan alternatives do a pretty good job, though, especially when made into sauces or baked into something. This is one of those.

Hot Garlic Cheese Puffs


One package vegan shredded cheddar
1/2 c. vegan butter
1 c. all purpose flour
1 t. chives
1/2 t. garlic powder

Mix cheese into softened butter, and stir in the flour, chives, and garlic powder. Make sure it is mixed well. Shape this mixture into 1" balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. When ready, bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until a light golden brown. Serve. Enjoy!

Here's another cheese recipe, if you want something more than a nibble: Beer and Cheese Potato Chowder. And if you want something more in the casserole category: Cheeseburger Rice (think Hamburger Helper for vegans).

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

National Olive Day

Today is National Olive Day. I just love olives, especially the black ones! If I open a can of them in my house, they disappear quickly, because everyone in my family loves them, too! My oldest will occasionally buy stuffed green olives, and those can be almost as addictive. If you want to try something a little different, but omg-can't-stop-eating, try these:

Baked Olives


6 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 t. dried thyme
1 t. crushed red pepper
1 c. olive oil
2 cans large black olives, drained

Mix everything in a bowl until well coated. Pour into a baking dish and bake at 300 for about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, use a slotted spoon to lift them from the oil and into a serving dish and serve. Trust me, you will enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2016

International Hummus Day

Today in International Hummus Day. Hummus is an ingredient often used in making vegan sandwiches, but I like it best as a dip, especially with pita bread, but vegetables are good, too. My daughter-in-law practically inhales the stuff, she likes it so much. There are many versions, and it is so easy to make. Try this one, but definitely experiment.

Mediterranean Dip


1 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 t. cumin
One can chickpeas, drained
1/2 t. salt
1 T. lemon juice
One container plain vegan yogurt

Saute the garlic in the olive oil until fragrant, and remove from heat. Stir in the cumin and chickpeas, and coat well. Add this mixture, along with the salt and lemon juice to a food processor, and whirl until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and stir in the yogurt. Serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

National Lima Bean Respect Day

Today is Lima Bean Respect Day. I grew up eating lima beans, so I love them, but I know some who felt this was torture to eat as a kid. Honestly, I just really like beans and peas of all kinds, so I eat them almost every day.

Black Eyed Peas and Lima Beans


1 green pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
One package frozen lima beans
2 packages frozen black eyed peas
2 t. red wine vinegar
1 c. vegetable broth
1 c. water
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. black pepper
Vegan bacon grease

Saute the green pepper, celery, and onion in the vegan bacon grease in a Dutch oven until softened. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with vegan bacon bits, serve, enjoy!

If you are so inclined (re: daring!) or just love limas, here are several more lima bean recipes for you to try! And, well, because I like black-eyed peas so much, here are a host of black eyed peas recipes, too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

National Broccoli Day

Today is National Broccoli Day! Sure, there are haters out there, but this stuff is delicious. I like it raw or cooked. Kids have fun with it because it looks like little trees. Since most people will only eat it slathered in cheese sauce, I am accommodating you here. In a good way.

Pan Scalloped Broccoli and Cauliflower


1 head of cauliflower (cut in florets)
1 head of broccoli crowns (cut in florets)
2 T. vegan butter
2 T. flour
1 c. vegetable broth
1 c. non dairy milk
1 c. vegan shredded cheddar
1/8 t. white pepper

Cook the broccoli and cauliflower separately. Bring about 1/2" of water to boil for each, and cook the broccoli about 5 minutes and the cauliflower about 9 minutes. Drain.
Melt the butter in a separate pot. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the broth and milk. Simmer for about 1 minute. Add the cheese and pepper until cheese has melted.
Place the broccoli and cauliflower in a bowl together, and pour the cheese sauce over them. Serve. Enjoy!

You can boil the vegetables ahead of time and put in the refrigerator until ready to use, if you want or need to. Also, if you can find it, add a head of broccoflower cut in florets to the dish. You can cook the broccoflower with the cauliflower.

Oddly, I could not find anything on a National Cauliflower or National Broccoflower Day. If you find one, please let me know. And then celebrate those days, too, with this dish!

By the way, if you've never even heard of a broccoflower, they look like this:


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