Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vegan Tuna Salad Sandwiches

A couple of cans of garbanzo beans have been sitting on my counter for a few weeks now. My daughter had planned to mix up a batch of vegan tuna salad, but never quite got around to it. So, Saturday night rolls around, my youngest son and I are getting hungry, so...

I've made a few different tuna salads and always with great success. But today I came upon this one while looking for something else, and just had to share.

While I normally post the recipe here, this one is already online, so I'm just going to share the link for it here.

I used white onions instead of red, because it is what I had on hand. I pulse everything in my little food processor, mix in the vegan mayo, salt and pepper and serve. We ate it on whole wheat bread, but I'm going to nosh a little later using crackers. Enjoy!

Nothing Medi-Okra About This!

I've been a bit on an okra binge. Fortunately, my family likes okra, so all is well in my household. I saw a quote today about how so few people like okra that it doesn't even make it into the top ten most hated foods list! I think they are missing out!

Creole Peas

One c. diced celery
One c. diced green pepper
One c. diced onion
2 hot peppers, diced
Olive oil
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans black eyed peas
One bag frozen sliced okra
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the celery, green pepper, onion and hot peppers in the olive oil until softened. Add tomatoes, black eyed peas with liquid, okra and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, simmer for about 20 minutes.

This is a really flavorful dish. My family will sometimes season their food individually, but none of us found a need to do so with this. I served it over a lemony-dill rice.

Lemon-Dill Rice

Make your choice of rice according to your preferred method. Once done, melt butter with some fresh dill (dried if you can't get your hands on any fresh) and about a tablespoon of lemon juice. Pour this over and mix into the rice.

Butter Stewed Carrots

I had some carrots sitting in the crisper drawer, so I pulled them out, peeled and sliced them, then sauteed them in butter and maple syrup. They looked quite lovely next to the peas and rice.

Round it all off with some fresh strawberries and some pineapple slices and enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Veggie Biscuit Pie

There are so many ways one can make a potpie. I mean, really, the possibilities are endless. It simply has to be the simplest way ever to use up leftover veggies. I think I found an even simpler version.

Veggie Biscuit Pie

Olive oil
One package of sliced mushrooms
One turnip, cut into chunks
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
One onion, diced
1-1/4 c. non-dairy milk
3 T. flour
One container vegetable broth
One can corn
One small bunch of broccoli, or one package cut up broccoli
Salt and pepper to taste
Biscuits - your choice

Saute the onion, mushrooms, turnips, carrots and celery in the oil until slightly softened. Mix the milk and flour together until there are no clumps, then pour this into the onion mixture. Add the broth, corn with its liquid, broccoli, salt and pepper. Stir well, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, make your biscuits.

To serve, spoon up some of the delectable vegetable mixture into a bowl, and top with a biscuit. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roman Beans and Fried Pecan Okra

I've spent the first half of this year cleaning, organizing and redecorating my home. In doing so, some projects got pushed to the side in favor of more pressing ones, like organizing my craft room and painting my den. One project that has sat on the sidelines for way too long is culling my recipe collection. Four, count them, four boxes of recipes sat in my kitchen, off to the side. I don't even want to mention the four boxes of magazines still to be gone through...

At any rate, I finally tackled the boxes of loose recipes. Sitting beside me was a bag for any I no longer want or can't veganize to be recycled and a file box with labeled hanging folders to file any I want to try. To my satisfaction, more went to the recyling bag than into the folders; proof positive to me that I really can part with unnecessary things!

I decided that I would plan many of my meals around Dr. Neal Barnard's Power Plate idea - dividing a plate into four sections - legumes, vegetables, fruit, grains. It might make for some odd, but interesting, meals, but a bonus is I get to further cull my recipes while also trying out some new ones!

Roman Beans

One onion, chopped
One carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Olive oil
One can diced tomatoes
2 t. basil (I used fresh basil from my garden)
1 t. oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
One can kidney beans, drained

Saute the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper and kidney beans, heat through and let simmer to blend the flavors.  Serve over rice.

Pecan Fried Okra

One c. chopped pecans
Baking mix of choice (I used cornmeal and flour mixed with salt and pepper)
One package of frozen whole okra
Peanut oil

Whir the pecans and baking mix in a food processor to blend well. Thaw the okra. Coat the okra in the pecan mixture and fry in the hot peanut oil in batches.

I thought the beans had a really nice flavor, but the okra could use more seasoning. I will play around with that more next time. To round out the Power Plate, I included fresh blackberries for dessert.

Now back to tackling the boxes of magazines...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mermaid Succotash

My mom used to make succotash when I was a kid. I always thought the name was funny. I don't think hers was like this.

Mermaid Succotash

1/3 c. wakame
Olive oil
One large onion, chopped
Bag of frozen baby lima beans
One can corn (or frozen, if you prefer)
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried thyme
2 t. sea salt

Rinse the wakame and then soak for about 15 minutes. Drain. Depending on the style you bought, chop if you need to. Saute the onion in the olive oil. When it is softened and nicely browned, add the limas, corn, herbs, salt and wakame. Add 1-1/2 c. water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. I let mine simmer long enough to boil noodles.

I served the succotash with buttered and parslied noodles and cut up cantaloupe. It was a delicious take on the power plate!

Succotash comes from the Narragansett word msíckquatash or msikwatash , which means, "boiled corn kernels" or "ear of corn", depending on what you read. It is a dish primarily comprised of corn and lima beans, but some people add bell pepper to it (I don't). It was popular during the Great Depression and is often served at Thanksgiving - it is rumored it was served at the very first Thanksgiving.

You could substitute soybeans for the limas, if you prefer. I'll stick with the limas, thank you. I grew up eating limas and baby limas, so rather like them.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quick and Easy Gyros

Ah! So happy to be back blogging! I've been so busy lately, and have grown weary of throwing together anything and calling it supper! Ugh! Now that I've got more time to do more things, I'm getting back into the groove of cooking! Yay!

My family loves gyros. I've mentioned this before and included a seitan recipe here. That one was made with seitan and while delicious, is more time consuming. Imagine my surprise when flipping through a magazine I find this little gem.

Quick and Easy Gyros

One (or in my case, two) packages of vegan style Boca Burgers
One container vegan sour cream
2-3 cloves garlic
Whole grain tortillas
Roma tomatoes
Lettuce, shredded
Half a cucumber, peeled
Red onion

Chop and mix together the tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Cook Boca burgers according to package directions (we made ours in a skillet). In a food processor, blend the garlic and sour cream together.
To assemble, cut a burger into two halves and place on top of tortilla. Stack on the veggie mix, lay on some lettuce, and smooth on some of the sour cream mixture. Fold in half, eat, enjoy!

This was so very simple to make and remarkably tasty, considering we were using a prepackaged burger instead of making one from scratch. I wanted something simple and quick, but tasty, and this worked out well. I served it with no-salt potato chips and my youngest went back for three of them!

You can certainly used the more typical pita bread to serve your gyros in, but I've always found they fall apart too easily, whereas flour tortillas seem much more manageable.
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