Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vegan "Full Breakfast"

1 slice Food for Life - Sprouted Wheat Bread - toasted
1/3 C leftover cranberry beans - heated
1 roma tomato sauteed
2 sausage patties made with Lightlife Gimme Lean veggie sausage.

Easy, filling, perfect brunch.

You could add some scrambled tofu to this.
For a more traditional, yet vegan, Full Breakfast you could serve a proper slice of grilled tomato and also use tradition Heinz Beans and buttered grilled bread, instead of toast.

Full disclosure: I hate margarine. I use butter (gasp!). I figure, if you can't make it at home, you shouldn't eat it. And, yeah, super awesome photo of my chipped dinner plate, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Zucchini Noodles

If you are cutting back on pasta this is an easy and delicious substitute. Unless you hate zucchini, in which case this is a nightmare on a plate.
4 zucchini
a vegetable peeler

Wash the zucchini and cut off the stem and the tiniest bit of the end.
Place the zucchini on a cutting board.
Yeah, keep it on the cutting board, don't try to be fast or fancy.
If you try to pick it up and peel it, you will make a mess.
So, just put in back down on the board, already
Run the peeler lengthwise along the zucchini.
Repeat, giving the zucchini a slight turn after each pass.

Repeat until you get to the middle where all of those little seeds are - now you want to concentrate on the ends until all you have left is a seedy core. 
You can discard the cores or save them for soup. Or take photos of them and post them on the internet.

Keep going in this manner until you have enough zucchini ribbons - roughly 1 zucchini per person.

I cook these over medium high heat in a bit of olive oil with some minced garlic - they cook very quickly and you need to keep tossing them as they cook. You don't want them to get too mushy, just bright green and slightly tender. the ribbons in this photo are about 2 minutes away from being done.
Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
Shout out to kitchen goddess Heidi who introduced me to the idea of noodles made from squash.
"Hey, girl, I stole your squash idea and I'm claiming it for my own, Holla!"

Friday, February 11, 2011


It doesn't get much easier than this.
1/4 C Good Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 red pepper - diced
1 zucchini - diced
1 eggplant (you guessed it) diced
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
cracked black pepper
kosher salt

Heat the oilve oil over medium heat in a large heavy pot. Add the garlic, red pepper, zucchini and eggplant. Saute for 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently. Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and the seasonings to taste. Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours - watch to make sure  you don't need to add more liquid, if  you go longer than 30 minutes.
For a heartier meal, serve over couscous (as pictured), rice, over any kind of mild white beans or with some good whole grain bread.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Portobellos & Noodles with Green Beans

4 large portobello mushroom caps
6 cloves of garlic
4 T olive oil
1 T Montreal Steak seasoning
1T tamari
2 T AP flour
2 cups vegetable broth
Braggs Amino seasoning or Tamari
red wine

1 Bag Whole Wheat Noodles - cooked according to package directions

Marinate the portobellos for 1 - 12 hours in 3 minced cloves of garlic, 2 T olive oil, Montreal seasoning and tamari. Drain  before cooking.
In a skillet over med high heat - sear the portobellos on each side. Pour 2 T of the broth over the mushrooms and reduce to low heat. Cover and simmer slowly while you prepare the sauce and noodles.
To make the sauce heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat. Add remaining minced garlic (3 cloves) when garlic is clear, reduce heat to med low and  add flour whisking continually slowly add the vegetable broth, Braggs or Tamari to taste and a splash of red wine let simmer about 10 minutes. Slice the mushrooms (while in the pans - or take them out slice and return them to the pan) Cover the mushrooms with the sauce. Serve over cooked noodles.

Green Beans
1 pound of trimmed, washed green beans
1 clove of minced garlic
3 T olive oil
1/4 fresh lemon

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over med high heat, add garlic and beans. Keep tossing the green beans for 2-3 minutes. Squeeze juice from fresh lemon over green beans. Reduce to low, let cook until bright green, but still crisp (2-3 minutes) Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Heidi's Vegetarian Beet Burgers

My friend Heidi Pratt (no , not THAT Heidi Pratt) is like the goddess of all things delicious. WAIT! She is the goddess of all things vegetarian and delicious and yoga. Heidi is a licensed Bikram instructor (which is no easy task my friends) and an awesome vegetarian cook. She possesses the knack ( and the tool) for making delectable noodles from things like zucchini (regular, green zucchini) and a million other delicious things.
So, yes this recipe is not vegan. Don't get your panties all in a bunch, just enjoy it or move along to the next post. This recipe contains cheese (gasp) and eggs (horrors!) and is SO delicious that I wouldn't want to change a thing.
So on to Heidi's Vegetarian Beet Burgers courtesy of  Sustainable Table

2 cups grated beets (about ¾ pound)
2 cups grated carrots (about ½ pound)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated rBGH-free Cheddar cheese
1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
½ cup sesame seeds, toasted
½ cup grated onion (about 1 medium)
¼ cup oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Ground red pepper (cayenne), to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously grease a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Combine beets, carrots, rice, cheese, sunflower seeds, eggs, sesame seeds, onion, oil, flour, parsley, garlic, soy sauce, and red pepper.
4. Form mixture into patties and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until firm and vegetables are cooked through.
Best thing about beet burgers? They're delicious. 
Second best thing about beet burgers? How cool they look next to my orange counters and red tea kettle.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Orange Sesame Not-Chicken

½ C Cornstarch (plus 2 Tablespoons reserved for sauce)
2 C dried soy chunks  - reconstituted in 4 C seasoned water (instructions follow)
Grapeseed oil
1T Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 inch piece of fresh ginger – peeled, sliced thinly and then cut into fine matchsticks
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t onion powder
1T nutritional yeast (optional)
Pinch of cayenne pepper (more if you like it hot)
4 T brown sugar
4  oranges – juiced - use the juice and some fine pulp only
1 T  finely grated orange zest (from aforementioned oranges)
1 ½ T Honey
1 ½ T light molasses
3 T rice wine vinegar
4 carrots – peeled, thinly sliced and blanched
I head of broccoli – trimmed, cut into large bite-size pieces and blanched
2 t Sesame seeds
Cooked brown or jasmine rice
Step 1 - Prepare the Not-Chicken -Heat ¼ inch grapeseed oil in a large frying pan, over medium high heat. Drain the reconstituted soy chunks really well. Dust liberally using the ½ C cornstarch ( I dip the pieces in the cornstarch) and fry until golden. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.
Step 2 - Prepare the sauce – First, combine the orange juice, zest and the 2T of cornstarch – mix well and set aside. Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium heat (or use the doggone dirty frying pan from making the not-chicken, like I do) add the garlic and stir for a minute. Now add the ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and cayenne – stirring continuously for about 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar – give it a couple of stirs. Next give that orange juice mixture a couple of stirs and then add that to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the honey, molasses and vinegar. The mixture should thicken slowly due to the addition of the cornstarch. (if you have an allergy to cornstarch – you may use kudzu for the sauce and skip the whole frying process in step 1)
Step 3 – Once the sauce has thickened add the not-chicken, carrots and broccoli and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve over rice.
NOTE: you will notice from my photo….. we were out of broccoli. Hey! What are you, anyway? The Food Fashion Police? It was a little monochromatic, but still delicious.

Reconstituting Dried Soy Products
There are a variety of dried soy products (also known as TVP or textured vegetable protein) on the market that are available at health food stores or generally for a much lower price at Asian specialty markets.
The basic method is to cover the dried soy product with boiling water: 1 part TVP to 2 parts water and let it stand for at least a half an hour.

You can add more flavor to your meals by flavoring the water with the appropriate seasonings and simmering for a few minutes prior to letting it sit. For this recipe I added fresh garlic, fresh ginger and soy sauce to the water, simmered for 5 minutes, put the lid on it and let in sit for half an hour.

TVP is similar in texture to meat - it has virtually no flavor, so it is WAY tastier when you take the time to hydrate it in a seasoned broth rather than plain water. Always drain the TVP and gently squeeze out the excess water before using it in your recipe.