Thursday, October 31, 2013

Herbed Tomatoes and Green Beans

Herbed Tomatoes and Green Beans

3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2# green beans, trimmed
1/4 c. vegetable broth
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 t. oregano
1 t. parsley
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add the green beans and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and seasonings and heat through. Serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jamaican Jerk Tofu

Jamaican Jerk Tofu

4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 small or 1 large jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 limes
1 t. ground allspice
3 T. olive oil
One package super firm tofu, frozen in package, boiled, pressed, sliced

In a gallon sized baggie, add everything but the tofu and squish the bag to mix well. Add the slices of tofu and gently massage to coat all sides of the tofu. Leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Place the marinated tofu on a cookie sheet. Spread remaining marinade over each slice. Broil until tofu browns slightly. Be sure not to burn the marinade. Serve. Enjoy!

The flavors came out very nice and even with the jalapeno was not too spicy. Just make sure you wash your hands after handling the jalapeno! You don't want to accidentally scratch anywhere near your eyes and feel the burn!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sausage and Sauerkraut

Maybe it's because I have German ancestry, but I like sausage and sauerkraut. They kind of go together like ketchup and French fries.

Sausage and Sauerkraut

One green pepper, sliced
One onion, sliced
2 sausage links (I used Tofurky Kielbasa), sliced
One container vegan sour cream
One can Bavarian sauerkraut
1 T. paprika

Saute the green pepper and onion in olive oil until softened. Add the paprika and stir to mix in well. Add the sausage and sauerkraut and stir again to mix well. Cover and reduce heat and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove lid and stir in the sour cream and mix well. Let heat through. Serve. Enjoy!

Serving this with a slice or slab of dark bread completes the meal!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cabbage and Tomato Soup with Sausage

My husband's father used to make a cabbage soup that my son always loved. I think he likes my cruelty-free version much better!

Cabbage and Tomato Soup with Sausage

One onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
One head of cabbage, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/2 T. paprika
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
4 c. vegetable broth
1 c. water
Two links of sausage (I used Tofurky Kielbasa), sliced

In a large Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil until softened. Mix in the paprika and stir to coat well. Add the cabbage, tomatoes, salt, pepper, broth and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir in the sausage and cover. Simmer until sausage is heated. Serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Garlicky Chick'n Breasts and Cauliflower Salad

My daughter hit the quarter century mark this past weekend. How did this happen? Just yesterday she was dancing around this house in flouncy dresses and shoes that clicked when she walked on uncarpeted surfaces. Wasn't that yesterday? In my mommy memory it was.

Ever the adventurer, my once little ballerina all grown up likes to celebrate her birthday anywhere but the usual. This year it was at a park, where we could grill our mains and bring sides to share. It was a gorgeous day! Perfect for being outside. Her fiancé made a seitan brisket the night before that turned out beautifully. They even found a delicious vegan cake from a local baker. Hubby made his popular potato salad that our daughter requested. I made Garlicky Chick'n Breasts in foil with vegetables and Cauliflower Salad. We also had vegan grilled sausage.

Garlicky Chick'n Breasts

Heavy duty aluminum foil 
Carrots, sliced thin
One onion, sliced thin  
1 T. basil  
Vegan mayonnaise  
6   garlic cloves, minced  
1/8 teaspoon pepper  
Two packages Gardein Chick'n Scallopini  

Tear off 8 squares of heavy duty foil and lay one on top of the other. In the middle of each square add some of the carrots and onion. Top with a still frozen piece of the chick'n scallopini. Mix together the mayonnaise (about 2 T.) with the basil, garlic and pepper. Slather a spoonful on the scallopini and fold the foil over the vegetables and scallopini, sealed to prevent dripping but loose enough to allow steaming. Place the packets over hot coals, flipping once, until heated through. Check one to ascertain doneness. Serve. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Salad

One package chopped frozen cauliflower (you can use a fresh head, just steam first)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 of an onion, sliced
1/2 t. oregano
2 T. white wine vinegar (mine ran out, so I substituted balsamic vinegar)
One large avocado, cubed
One can small black olives
2 pepperoncini peppers, chopped

Cook cauliflower according to package directions, or steam if using fresh. Saute in olive oil the onion, garlic and oregano. Place the cooked cauliflower in a large bowl and pour the sautéed vegetables over it. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and chill. Serve. Enjoy!

I think it would have been prettier with just the white wine vinegar, but the taste was still delicious!

My son gifted my daughter with his cleverness. Money folded into shirts. I have to share!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Black Bean and Kale Soup

Two things my youngest never tires of - black beans and kale. I knew making this soup would be a huge hit, and it was.

Black Bean and Kale Soup

Olive oil
One onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c. rice (I used a brown and wild mix)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One can diced tomatoes
1 t. cumin
1 t. thyme
1/2 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
3 handfuls of chopped kale
4 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water

In a Dutch oven, sauté the onion, carrots and garlic until softened. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Seitanic Hash

When I gave birth to my first child years ago, my mom came up to stay with us. She did a lot of cooking for us, and shared many of her recipes. We weren't vegan at the time, but I still have all of those recipes, recorded on cards and filed in my recipe box. The beauty of them all were their simplicity.

One dish she made was hash. Hamburger and diced potatoes and onions, simmered in gravy. I've made similar, but this time around I did things a little differently. This is also a good dish to use up any leftover pot roast, like the one I made here.

Seitanic Hash

Leftover seitan pot roast, diced
Two large potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced
One onion, diced
1/2 t. fennel seed
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper

In a large skillet, sauté the pot roast, potatoes, carrots and onion until vegetables begin to soften. Add the seasonings and stir to mix well. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Check occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking, and add a little water if necessary. Serve with slices of buttered bread. Enjoy!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Seitan Pot Roast in the Crock Pot

I can't even remember the last time I had pot roast. Actually, I can. It was three years ago, when I made this pot roast. I think we were overdue.

I tweaked this recipe a bit, and it was sooo much better. Instead of Braggs Aminos, I used soy sauce. I used 1-1/4 c. vital wheat gluten and 1/4 c. garbanzo bean flour. I changed the measurements to 1/2 t. thyme and 1/4 t. black pepper. I did not sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper, but did sprinkle the minced garlic and another 1/2 t. thyme over all of it.

I also cooked it on high for 5 hours, then turned it to low for one hour.

This was the result:

It was juicy and delicious. My dough seemed wetter than I recall, and that may have been the difference. It did not have the typical wheaty taste one finds in seitan, and I believe that is due to the addition of the garbanzo bean flour.

I had just enough leftovers to keep to make some kind of hash for tomorrow's supper.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Southwestern Soup

Temps got down in the 50s recently, and I wanted to celebrate with soup. If I suggest soup for supper during the summer, I get the *look* from my family. The one suggesting I may be certifiable. So when the temps dip down to something not sweat inducing, I'm gonna make a pot of soup. And I did.

Southwestern Soup

One onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One can diced tomatoes with mild chiles
One can corn
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
4 c. vegetable stock

Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a Dutch oven until softened. Add the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. To serve, spoon the soup into a bowl and crunch tortilla chips on top.

I had no leftovers. Made me sad.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Portobello Fajitas

Any time we go to our neighborhood Mexican restaurant, someone at another table inevitably orders fajitas. You can mistake that sizzling sound as it passes by your table.

I've made fajitas before using Portobello mushrooms (check out that recipe here), but they are so versatile and lend themselves so well to meaty Mexican dishes.

Portobello Fajitas

3-4 large Portobello mushroom caps, sliced into strips
One onion, sliced
One green bell pepper, sliced thin
One jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced thin

Saute the mushrooms, onion, bell pepper and jalapeno in olive oil until softened. Spoon into whole wheat flour tortillas and top with vegan sour cream and vegan shredded cheese. Roll up. Serve. Enjoy!

I served ours with Spanish rice and black beans. You can also top your fajitas with guacamole or avocado slices and salsa, if you like.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Texas Twister Hot Dogs

My daughter moved out recently and while visiting, she wanted to show me the fabulous vegan section she'd discovered at a grocery store near her. I have to admit, I was impressed! There I found, for the first time, the Tofurky Jumbo Hot Dogs as well as the regular Tofurky Hot Dogs that we like. I bought one package of each.

Of course this meant hot dogs would be on the menu, but I didn't want the usual: a simple hot dog with mustard. I do make an excellent Wolf Brand Chili knockoff (you can find it here), if I do say so myself, but I wanted to try something different. I consulted my recipe collection and found one I had cut out from a newspaper years ago. It was different but surprisingly good.

Texas Twister Hot Dogs

One can pinto beans
1/2 of a green bell pepper, chopped
One onion, chopped
1/4 c. ketchup
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. garlic salt
One package of hot dogs

In a pot, combine the undrained beans, green pepper, onion, ketchup and seasonings. Simmer 20 minutes. Cook the hot dogs according to package directions. Put the hot dog in a hot dog bun and top with the bean mixture. Top with vegan shredded cheddar, if you'd like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Samosa Pie

We've bought samosas from the frozen food section a couple of times and found them to be mediocre. My daughter actually got sick after eating some and now refuses to eat them. I wanted to try to make my own at home, but decided to compromise a bit and make it simpler. I also used a lot less curry than conventional recipes call for. To me, a little curry goes a long way.

Samosa Pie

3 large potatoes, baked, cooled and peeled
One can cut green beans, drained
One frozen pie crust
One onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 t. fresh ginger, minced
1 t. curry powder
1/2 t. cilantro (or coriander - they are the same thing)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
One can chickpeas (or garbanzos - they are the same thing), drained
One can tiny green peas, drained

Saute the onion, carrots and ginger in olive oil until softened. Stir in the herbs and spices until mixed well. In a large bowl add the potatoes and chickpeas and mash slightly. To this add the sautéed vegetables, green beans and green peas. Mix well. Spoon this mixture into the pie crust. Bake at 400 for about 45 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

It made enough for two pies, but I chose instead to bake the rest without a crust in a casserole dish. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and thought the curry was just right. If you are a curry fan, you can probably add up to 1 tablespoon of curry, or more if you are so inclined.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Black Bean and Veggie Burger

Cilantro is a common herb used where I live, but I went years before ever tasting it fresh. On a whim I had it added to a salad at a local restaurant known for its wonderful salads, and I've been sold on it ever since.

Black Bean and Veggie Burger

One can black beans, drained and rinsed
One can diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. onion powder
3 green onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 c. fresh cilantro
2 c. quick (not rolled or old fashioned) oats

Into a food processer add the beans, tomatoes, garlic, onion powder, green onions, carrots and cilantro. Whir until well blended. Add the bean mixture to a large bowl and add the oats. Stir well. Make patties and place on an oiled or sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for about 8 minutes, then turn the heat up to broil for about 2 minutes, or until you see the patties starting to brown. Serve on buns with your toppings of choice.

Honestly, I thought the cilantro is what really made these burgers. Someone asked me if those were potato chips on the sandwich in the picture. No, it's iceberg lettuce. However, my daughter and daughter-in-law both like to add potato chips inside sandwiches and swear it is good eating. So maybe you can try that.

Friday, October 11, 2013


There is something definitely homey about meatloaf. It makes such a perfect sit down kind of meal. I always hear how the leftovers make for good sandwiches, but we never manage to have any leftover. Go figure.


Olive oil
One onion, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
One can pinto beans, drained (or cooked from dried if you have the time)
One package extra firm tofu, crumbled (see note)
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. tomato paste
1 T. mustard
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped fine
1/2 c. old fashioned oats (not quick)
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1/2 c. vital wheat gluten
1 T. parsley
1 T. basil
1 T. thyme
1 T. savory
Salt and pepper

Saute in oil the onion, celery, carrots and garlic until softened. In a food processer, add the tofu, soy sauce, tomato paste, mustard and walnuts. Whir until a paste. In a large bowl, add the oats, panko crumbs and vital wheat gluten. Add the herbs and salt and pepper. Now stir in the tofu paste and the sautéed vegetables until mixed well. Pour this into an oiled or sprayed loaf pan, and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool slightly before removing from pan and slicing.

We topped our with a spicy ketchup and served it with mashed sweet potatoes and green beans.

Okay, about the tofu. You may have noticed that when it comes to tofu I typically say to freeze it in the package, boil to thaw and press to remove liquid. This is an excellent process to go through if you are sautéing or frying the tofu. But for this recipe, I do something a little different. I take the tofu out of the package before freezing. I put it in a Ziploc sandwich bag without the liquid from the package and freeze it. It does turn yellow, but that's okay. I don't boil it, just remove it from the freezer and let it thaw. I do squeeze out the excess liquid. I have found that freezing tofu this way makes it ideally crumbly for things like meatloaves or using in place of eggs in egg salad.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crunchy Ramen Salad

I know I have complained and griped and moaned about the heat this past summer, but what I've realized is it affects me in ways I don't understand until it is gone. It makes me lazy and uninspired. I feel like a slug when the temps are high, and just don't want to do anything. So, since we've had a hint of real autumn weather recently, two things have happened: I've started cooking real food once again and even have picked up some of my ufo craft projects and actually completed several. Yay me! Which means I am returning to blogging. Yay me, again!

I remember years ago having discussions about what poor college kids eat, and the one thing that comes up repeatedly is ramen noodles. I've even seen websites in the past dedicated to the multitude of ways these cheap noodles can be turned into something other than what is on the package directions.

I should point out that vegan buyer beware: many brands aren't vegan. I'm not talking about the chicken, beef, shrimp, etc. (duh) seasoning packets, but the Oriental ones. Kind of like how surprised I was to learn I couldn't even eat the steamed mixed vegetables at a local Chinese fast food chain because they weren't vegan. Really? The noodles themselves are often okay, and, like in this recipe, I don't even use the seasoning packet at all.

Crunchy Ramen Salad

1/2 c. sunflower seeds (note: not all of these are vegan, either! Seriously, I'm beginning to think it is a conspiracy.)
2 packages ramen noodles, broken up
3/4 c. slivered almonds
1/2 c. vegan butter
Several leaves romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
One bunch green onions, chopped
One bunch (? Not sure what to call this) broccoli crowns, cut up
3/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c. sugar (make sure it's vegan! Yeah, really, most sugar isn't, either. See above about conspiracy!)
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. salt

Saute the sunflower seeds, noodles and almonds in the butter until lightly browned. In a bowl add the lettuce, green onions and broccoli. Add the sautéed seed mixture. Mix together the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad before serving. Stir to coat everything well. Serve. Enjoy!

I was hoping for some leftovers for the next day. There weren't any. Of course, I did take this to a potluck, but whatever. It was delicious.
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