Friday, April 22, 2016

Grain Free Collard Green Sushi

I am turning 60 in nine days. NINE DAYS! 60! So I've decided in the days leading up to my birthday I'll clean up my act. Eat super clean. Always delicious. Always vegan. Mostly raw. Easy on the grains.
This morning I was banging around the kitchen and trying to figure out what to have for breakfast. I came up with this concoction and I must admit, it's pretty darn good, filling and satisfying.

1) Clean, de-stem and steam some collard greens. Some folks eat collards raw, so feel free to do that.

2) Prepare your filling. I used:
Finely chopped:
Mixed with:
Raw Tahini
Chopped Walnuts
Raw Sunflower Seeds
Pink Salt

3) Add your base spread. I used avocado, but you could use hummus, nut butter or a vegan cheese spread.

4) Top with your prepared filling. I used approximately 2 T per roll.

5) Roll up using even pressure, not too tightly.

6) Slice or eat whole and enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Vegan Malai Kofta - Potato Dumplings in Coconut Tomato Sauce


Kofta (Crispy Potato Veggie Meatball/Dumplings):

  • 2 cups russet potato, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas, frozen
  • 2 Tbsp toasted cashews, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour

    Spiced Tomato Sauce/Gravy:

  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 tsp serrano chili, finely chopped (or pinch of cayenne)
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped or pureed
  • 2 Tbsp cashews, toasted and ground (coffee grinder works well)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 cup water, or as needed
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala (leave out if you don’t have it, or put pinch cinnamon)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add potatoes and carrots, cook for 10-15 minutes until easily mashable with a fork. Add peas and cook 1-2 minutes more, then drain water and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool.

    Meanwhile start sauce in a deep skillet, sauté pan or wok. Heat 1 Tbsp of medium-high heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and cook until they begin to sizzle. Add onion, ginger, and serrano pepper if using. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until onion begins to brown. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a blender (or food processor) and carefully blend until smooth. Return to pan and add remaining ingredients, saving water for the end and adding as much as you need to make a nice gravy consistency (it will continue to thicken as it cooks). Combine ingredients and stir well, let it bubble gently over low heat while you prepare koftas. If too watery, you can add additional cashew powder to thicken it.

   Add remaining ingredients to koftas, stir and a thick dough will form. Oil a metal baking sheet and form koftas into golf ball sized balls, placing a few inches apart on sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until crispy on the bottom and flip over. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until crispy on all sides.

 When koftas are done, drop them in the heated gravy and serve immediately with rice or bread of your choice

Friday, February 26, 2016

Hearty Vegan Split Pea Soup

 Hearty Vegan Split Pea Soup
Serves 6

1 Pound of Green Split Peas - sorted and rinsed well
7 C Water
1 T Olive Oil
1 C Carrots - diced
1 C Celery- diced
2 Bay Leaves 
2 Better than Chicken bouillon cubes
1/4 t Celery Salt
1 to 2 t Smoked Paprika
Sea Salt
Cracked Black Pepper

Combine the peas, water, oil, carrots, celery and bay leaves in a large soup pot. Slowly bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. If the peas and vegetables are soft, add the remaining ingredients and simmer for another half an hour. If the peas are still tough simmer them until they are soft, then add the remaining ingredients. Some people like to puree the soup in a blender when finished. I like to take a large spoon and simply mash some of the peas and veggies against the side of the pot, leaving some chunks of both to give a more complex texture to the soup. Do whichever you prefer and enjoy!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lentil Ragout with Polenta

Lentil Ragout with Polenta

 2 C Green or Brown Lentils (dried)
1 - 14.5 oz. can or box of Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 C each of Celery and Carrots
1/4 C Diced Onion
2 cloves of Garlic , finely chopped
3 C Water 
1 C Red Wine
1 tsp Dried Rosemary
1 Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Maple Syrup
Sea Salt to taste

 Lentil Ragout

Saute the celery, carrots, onions and garlic until soft. Add the lentils, tomatoes, water and wine. Cover and simmer on low temperature until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Test to be sure your lentils are tender, if not add a bit more water (start with 1/2 C) and let them continue to cook. When the lentils are tender add the balsamic vinegar, rosemary and maple syrup and remove from heat. Salt to taste and return the cover. Let the lentils continue to steam in the pan while you make the polenta.


4 C Water 
1 C Cornmeal
1-3 T Vegan Margarine or Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring water to boil. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal and reduce the heat to a fairly rapid simmer. Continue whisking until the polenta is smooth and creamy looking. Whisk in the margarine or olive oil, salt and pepper. Keep whisking until the polenta seems to pull away from the pan. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

To serve spoon a generous serving of polenta on to a plate and ladle some ragout on top. Enjoy!

Left over polenta can be sliced and grilled, broiled or pan fried.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Vegan Summer Rolls

When we do our Brass Lotus workshops, one of the favorite dishes we prepare as a group is Summer Rolls, also called Fresh Rolls. It is fun to work as a group and it also is a great way to learn that working with rice paper is not as daunting as you would expect. Rolling Summer Rolls is also a cool way to make your own appetizer during parties.

6 large Portobello mushrooms, grilled and sliced thin (optional)
Tofu, marinated, grilled or baked and sliced into  thin strips
Romaine Lettuce
Any combination of the following:
Chopped Nappa Cabbage
Spring Mix
Pea Shoots
Thai Basil
Rice Paper
Prepare your veggies. Grill or roast the mushrooms and/or tofu and slice very thinly. Make sure all of the lettuce, greens and herbs are trimmed, cleaned, well drained, chopped if necessary and ready to use.

Making the rolls:  

Begin by dipping one sheet of Rice Paper in warm water. Rice Paper only needs a quick dip in warm water to soften. Do not “soak” the rice paper for too long because it will get too soft and be impossible to work with. Start with a large bowl of warm water, about bath water temperature. Rotate the rice paper in the bowl of water or quickly immerse it in the bowl for about 2 seconds. It may still feel a bit stiff but will soften as you work.

Lay the rice paper on a cutting board and s tart assembling your ingredients. On the end closest to you and about ½’ in lay a piece of romaine. Now lay the other filling ingredients on top of the lettuce – DO NOT OVER STUFF! Slowly roll the rice paper and filling away from you and tuck the filling toward you and roll as you go. After one complete rotation, fold the ends in and continue rolling the rest of the way.
Serve with Soy Ginger Dipping Sauce or Sweet Chili Sauce
Best when served fresh. To store wrap individually in Saran Wrap.


2 T organic sugar
¼ cup soy sauce, tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
¾ cup water
2 tsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tsp water
1 T fresh lime juice
2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)
2 T chopped green onions (optional)

Combine the sugar, soy sauce, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cornstarch/water paste. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the garlic, ginger, lime juice and green onions. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes to blend the flavors. Chill until ready to serve.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Vegan Corned Tempeh Rueben Sandwiches with GF and No Oil options

   It's nearly St. Patrick's Day! Following tradition, I used to make corned beef, cabbage and potatoes for dinner every March 17th. Ever since embracing a more compassionate life we've opt for roasted carrots and cabbage with a side of mashed potatoes. That actually is delicious, I'm getting kind of hungry just thinking about it! I wanted to try to replicate corned beef though. I contemplated - and still may try "corned jackfruit". Inspiration arrived when my daughter and I had a tempeh Rueben sandwich at Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor last week. It was fantastic! It was also (with a small bag of chips) $15. So, naturally, being thrifty and enjoying a challenge I thought I could replicate and perhaps even improve upon that sandwich.

   The resulting sandwich was a hit! I would start the corned tempeh the day before serving to give it a chance to really soak up the "corned" flavor. All in all, this sandwich is a satisfying meal that needs little else to accompany it, except maybe a nice half-sour pickle.

Corned Tempeh Ruebens  Serves 4 generously

In addition to the Corned Tempeh ingredients you will need:

1 loaf of sliced rye or sourdough bread -or- Schar Gluten-Free Deli slices
Thousand Island Dressing (recipe below) or grainy mustard for an oil-free option
Daiya Swiss slices (optional - I didn't use them)
A little Earth Balance or Olive Oil or a good non-stick pan for grilling the sandwiches

Making the Corned Tempeh

2 Packages of tempeh - I used Trader Joe's brand - cut in half (so now you have 4 squares of tempeh)
1 C Red wine
4 T Pickling spices
2 T mild yellow (or any flavor)  miso- I also got this at Trader Joe's
2 C Water
1 Beet - washed and sliced

In a low, wide covered pan pour the wine, add the spices, sliced beet and miso.

Arrange the tempeh squares around the pan.

Add the water. Cover and simmer on low for 30- 45 minutes. Adding more water, if necessary.  Turn occasionally to thoroughly and evenly flavor the tempeh. Also the beet slices add a nice color. You want to end up with about a cup of liquid. Remove pan from heat and transfer the tempeh and broth to a sealed container and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Turn the pieces if you happen to think of it. After 24 hours the liquid will be absorbed into the tempeh.

Making the sandwiches

You can prepare your tempeh one of two ways:
1) Brown the whole square in pan on the stovetop in a non-stick pan or with just a touch of olive oil.
2) Make a paste of brown sugar and mustard. coat the tempeh pieces and brown in a 375 degree oven just until bubbly. This is also acceptable to serve sliced with cabbage and potatoes for a traditional style St. Pat's feast.

Next slice the tempeh slightly thin. I use a serrated knife for this and work slowly and carefully trying not to crumble the tempeh.

Assembling the sandwiches:
Spread a generous amount of Thousand Island Dressing on each slice of bread - for an oil free option use grainy mustard.
Top one slice with some sliced Corned Tempeh and a generous amount of sauerkraut. Put your other slice of bread on top and we are ready to grill this thing!
I used a cast iron skillet over medium low heat. I used a bit of Earth Balance on the outside of the sandwich, too.
Once your pan is heated place the sandwich in the pan - then I like to really squish then down while grilling so, I put another cast iron pan on top. Grill for 3-5 minutes. Flip gingerly - like, oh so gingerly so it doesn't fall apart and grill the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

(optional amazement) for a completely non-traditional treat you can add baby spinach, sliced avocado, grilled onion - the sky's the limit! Or you can just do what I do and add some more Thousand Island Dressing.

Cut that sandwich in half, make it look all pretty on a plate and BOOM! dinner is served.

Sláinte, iterally translates as "health" in Gaelic. For your health. For the health of the planet. I hope you enjoy this delicious, compassionate option this St. Patrick's Day or anytime you get a hankering for a big ol' deli sandwich.

Sláinte, my friends!

Thousand Island Dressing:

1/2 C Ketchup
1/2 C Just Mayo
4 T Sweet pickle relish
1 T Horseradish (optional)
1 T Grated onion (optional) 

Just mix it up and it's ready to go. Use as a sandwich topping or salad dressing.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chickpea Omelet

Mix dry ingredients in a small bowl:
½ C Chickpea flour
¼ t Salt
¼ t Turmeric
¼ t Baking soda
½ t Trader Joe's 21 Salute seasoning

½ unsweetened plant based milk ( I used TJ’s coconut beverage)
Mix well.
Heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. When pan is heated oil lightly and pour batter into pan.
Top with:
A selection of sautéed veggies - mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, asparagus - anything!

When omelet puffs up – flip over and finish cooking until dry in center. (like a puffy pancake)
Remove from pan and place on top of:
1 C baby arugula

Top with:
¼ Avocado – sliced
Red Hot Tahini

Red Hot Tahini – your favorite hot sauce mixed with tahini, water and salt