Showing posts from February, 2015

French Green Lentil Soup

A delicious lentil soup that Larry's sisters Laurie and Cyndy discovered. It's particularly good with real French Green Lentils, but green lentils from Trader Joes is also delish.


1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 oz crushed or diced tomatos
2 cups dry green lentils
6 cups veggie broth
1-2 cups kale or spinach, chopped
2 T white balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
salt to taste

In large soup pot, cook onion, carrots, and celery in oil until onion is tender. Stir in garlic and spices and cook another 3-5 minutes. Add lentils, broth, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add kale or spinach and simmer another 30 min. When ready to serve, stir in vinegar (important, this is delish!)

Fresh Bruschetta and Toast

An easy appetizer that is delish!

6 tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil
1T olive oil
salt to taste
baguette (french or sourdough)

Dice the tomatoes and garlic, and chop the basil. Toss together with olive oil and a little salt to taste. 

Slice the baguette diagonally, brush with olive oil, and toast.

Assemble together on a nice plate with a spoon so folks can top their own toast!

Creamy Potato Salad with Fresh Herbs

A delicious vegan potato salad. Fools the omnivores! Can make it the day before a summer bbq. Adapted from epicurious recipe, and uses cashew mayo
Ingredients 3 pounds baby red potatoes  3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar 1 cup cashew mayonnaise (see below) 3 medium green onions, thinly sliced 1 celery stalk, chopped 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (important) 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
Cashew mayo 1 cup raw cashews 1 cup water  1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup almond milk (or other vegan milk) 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil salt and pepper to taste 
Instructions To make the cashew mayonnaise: Soak the cashews in the water and vinegar for 1-2 hours.  Drain off water, and put cashews and 1 cup water (or less, if you like thicker mayo) into a blende or food processor. Blend until smooth, then blend in the vegan milk. Drizzle in the olive oil while blending. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Cut p…

Tunisian Eggplant Appetizer

This is a South Mediterranean version of caponata, the famous Italian eggplant salad. I often double the recipe if we make it for a party, so we have leftovers at home.Thanks to Christine for the delicious recipe. Serve with pita bread (whole wheat, lightly toasted if desired) or pita chips or baguette.

1/4 cup olive oil (or more, as needed)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 T tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup small pitted green olives
1 small jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, (drained, each piece cut into 2 or 3 smaller pieces)
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and salt, and saute over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (5 to 8 minutes).
2. Add the eggplant cubes, stir, and cover. Cook until the eggplant is very well done (15 to 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add small amounts of addi…

Nutty Meatless Loaf

Larry's sister Laurie made this yummy dish for us. The chutney, garam masala, and nuts really make it. (Garam masala is a blend of spices such as nutmeg, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, and pepper.) Bake in a glass pie plate; comes out really colorful and pretty. Makes 8 servings.

1/2 cup mango chutney (too sweet if use more)
Cilantro leaves (optional)
1 1/4 cup dry red or yellow lentils
2 medium carrots, shredded
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. garam masala 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T vegetable oil
3 flax eggs (3 T flax meal + 9 T water)
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped red sweet pepper
1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh mango

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring 3 cups water and lentils to boiling; reduce heat. Cover, simmer 10-15 min or until tender. Drain; set aside.
2. In skillet, cook carrots, apricots, onion, celery, garam masala, and garlick in hot oil over m…

Pumpkin Bread

My mom's recipe, with less sugar and whole wheat flour instead of white. Really easy to make, not overly sweet, and hard to stop eating! I like to make mini loafs to give as gifts. (Like for Judi. Her family loves this, yay!)
Ingredients Dry:
3 1/3 cups whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups sugar  1 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon (heaping) 1 tsp nutmeg (heaping) 2 tsp baking soda
1 cup oil (I use canola) 4 flax eggs (1/4 C flax meal + 3/4 C water) 2/3 cup water 1 15oz can cooked pumpkin (2 cups)
Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl by hand. (Don't use a mixer; if you overmix, it will be dense and not rise properly.) Grease and flour 2 large loaf loaf pans, or 1 large loaf pan and 3-4 mini loaf pans. Pour in pans and bake for 1 hour (less for mini loaf pans, more for large loaf pans).

Chipotle Mexican Lasagna

A great recipe from Happy Healthy Long Life that's easy to make. I've made some slight modifications, and

2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced
32 oz salsa (mix of mild & hot, or yummy Tomatillo & Hatch Chile from Costco)
12 oz soyrizo - or even better homemade soyrizo
12 oz package corn tortillas (12 count)
15 oz can black beans
1/2 package roasted frozen corn
Ripe avocado, sliced
Optional: Use kale or chard as middle layer

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Pour 1/4 of the salsa on the bottom of a 9 X 13" baking dish
3. Cover the sauce with a single layer of the tortillas (1/3 of the package); cutting some to get better coverage if desired
4. Top with 1/3 of the chorizo, 1/3 of the sweet potatoes, 1/3 of the roasted corn, & 1/3 of the black beans (and optional greens)
5. Top with 1/4 of the salsa, and repeat the layering, starting with the tortillas. You'll do this two times.
6. Cover the final layer with the rest of the …

Baked Winter Squash Soup

A wonderful squash soup that I like especially with Buttercup squash, a big green squash with a thin skin that you can leave on and puree with everything else! Kabochas are also great. Butternut isn't worth too; too bland. I'll bake a big squash and store it in the fridge for a day or two sometimes; then making the soup from it is quick.

Ingredients 5-6 pounds winter squash (I like a buttercup or kabocha) 6 T vegan margarine (like Earth Balance) 6 tsp brown sugar 1 large onion, diced 2 carrots, diced 5-8 cups vegetable broth (depending how thick you like it) 1 tsp ground ginger pinch of cayanne pepper salt, to taste
Instructions Cut the squash in half or thirds, scoop out the seeds, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. (I bake it on a silicon sheet with a little olive oil on the sheet, squash face down). 
Remove from oven and let cool. You can store it in the refrigerator for a day or two, if desired, and finish making soup later.
In a large soup pot, add the butter, onion, carro…

Carrot and Orange Soup

Super delicious! From the Silver Palate cookbook.
Ingredients 4 T vegan margarine (or butter) 1 large onion, chopped 12 large carrots, 1.5-2 pounds, chopped 4 cups vegetable stock 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is best) 2-3 T grated fresh orange zest (to taste, but critical) salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions Melt the margarine in a soup pot. Add the onions, cover, and cook over low heat until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes, stirring along the way. Add carrots and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 30 minutes.
Puree in place with a hand blender (worth buying!) or transfer to a food processor and process (in batches) until smooth and return puree to the pot. Add the orange juice, orange zest, and salt and pepper to taste.

Gypsy Soup

I first had this in during college, maybe when I was visiting Chicago and Brenda made it from the Molly Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. It quickly became a favorite! I've also adapted it a fair bit over the years. Besides making a much larger batch, I use fresh jalapeno; double and use canned tomato (easier and just as good), and try different greens and beans in the mix. The spices, tomato, and variety really make this special. Ingredients 2 T canola oil 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced 
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 medium yams, peeled and chopped
8 C vegetable broth
1 28 oz can diced tomato
2 C greens: green beans, chard, or kale, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans1 can black beans (or another garbanzo, or other bean) 1 C dry barley or farro (optional)

1 large bay leaf
3 tsp paprika
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp salt
1 T soy sauce
InstructionsSaute hot pepper and onion in oil for a few minutes…

Eggplant & Zucchini Pasta

Well, you don't have to serve this with fettuccine; we serve it over Garofalo whole wheat spaghetti or fusilli with my homemade marinara.  This is recipe adapted from the wonderful cookbook Isa Does It. Isa's recipes are so awesome. Her Post Punk Kitchen blog is another great source of vegan recipes. Anyway, it's very easy to make, and people seem to love it. It's a great dinner meal to serve to non-vegans!

2 T olive oil
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4 thick half melons
2 long green zucchini, sliced into half melons
Marinara (I use homemade)
Pasta (we like Garofalo whole wheat)

Bread crumbs
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt

To make breadcrumbs, toast a piece or two of whole wheat bread in the toaster and let cool. Put the toast, thyme, and salt into a food processor or chopper and process until you have crumbs :)

In a large nonstick pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add eggplant and zucchini, on a single (…


This is a thick, yummy homemade hummus slightly adapted from Judi's hummus. For the two of us, I halve her recipe, don't use as much salt, and don't use any olive oil (it doesn't need it). Serve with pita chips or sourdough baguette. Eat it up in a day or two while it's still fresh!
1 can chickpeas, or fava beans (from dried)
2 T tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic (or 1 tsp minced)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 T olive oil

One of the following flavorings (optional)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers (or half jar TJs)
1/4 shiracha
1/4 cup chipotle sauce (Judi's recipe) YUM
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes

Drain and rinse garbanzo beans (I don't use any of the liquid; it's better thick!). Put beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, olive oil, and an (optional) flavoring in a food processor and blend. Scrape into a bowl to chill, or serve right away. The picture here is with Judi's chipotle sauce.

Kale Salad with Cranberry, Walnuts, & Quinoa

An alternative to the fresh blueberry kale salad that is also amazing––maybe more so, with the candied walnuts. This is adapted from Oh She Glows Best Shredded Kale Salad to use candied walnuts instead of vegan "pecan parmesan" for the nuts, and adding an avocado to the dressing. I called Judi to ask how she made her yummy toasted pecans and used her recipe for the walnuts, because walnuts are even healthier than pecans, with their omega 3's.

When I want something really fast, I skip the quinoa, and walnuts, and instead sprinkle on TJs toasted pine nuts out of the bag.
Ingredients 2 bunches kale (curly or dino; chopping/dressing shrinks 'em) 1 cup lightly candied walnuts (see below) 2/3 cup dried cranberries 2 cups cooked quinoa

Candied Walnuts
1 cup walnut halves
1 T vegan butter
1 T sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Dressing 3 T olive oil 1 lemon Salt
lemon pepper 1 avocado 
Wash the kale leaves and rip them off the stems (to discard). I use a salad spinner to get most all…


A colleague at work (Savitha) brought me a jar of her homemade marinara, and it was so delicious. I asked her how she made it, and talked with Judi about how she makes hers, and it's so easy! And so much better than purchased. You just have to be around for a few hours as it cooks on the stove. But it smells lovely, so that's not hard to do.

Use jarred tomatoes if you want to be sure that you're not getting any BPA or other nasty stuff from the plastic lining. Tomatoes are so acidic that they may be worth paying a bit more for to get them in the jar. Savitha also recommends San Marzano tomatoes if you can get them.

2016 update: Larry's sister Cyndy adds mushrooms and onion, cooking them up first, an adds a couple more spices like marjoram and thyme. The onion and mushroom are nice and make it thicker!

1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion (optional)
2 cups mushrooms (optional)
10+ cloves garlic, smashed/chopped
8 14-oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 T (heaping) dried bas…

Ginger Pear Sauce

Ginger pears are yummy and a great gift. We have a pear tree, so in the fall I make a bunch of it and refrigerate it (up to a couple of weeks). You can also freeze it (canning is too much work :) It's delicious over pancakes, or eat it like you would applesauce.

The original recipe had LOTs of sugar (2 cups granulated, 1 cup brown). It was too sweet. In my experimenting, I halved it, then halved that again, and it still seemed sweet enough. You can even cut the sugar out completely if you like; then it's more like unsweetened applesauce.

4-5 pounds firm, ripe pears, peeled and chopped
1/2-2/3 cup finely chopped crystalized ginger
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Stir together all the ingredients in a large Dutch oven or pot (I use an 8 qt pot). Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, 2 hours (or more). Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirri…

Vegan Pancakes with Strawberries and Bananas

Thanks to Wanda and Judi, who gave me their great recipes, which I merged and played with to get this! Makes about 28 4" pancakes - breakfast for about 5 people, or just store the unused dry mix for later use. I love the light peanut butter taste from the PB2. The flax acts as an egg substitute (helps bind) and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Dry mix, almond milk, banana, toppings

Dry Mix 1 C PB2 or peanut flour 1 C whole wheat flour 1 C spelt flour, oat flour, or buckwheat flour
      (or whole wheat if you can't find these) 1/2 C flax meal (ground flax seeds) 2 t baking powder (heaping) 2 t baking soda (heaping) 1 T cinnamon (heaping) 1/4 C sugar
Topping options
Maple syrup (of course)
Sliced strawberries (the BEST!)
Blueberries (fresh, or frozen cooked a little to make a light syrup)
Peanut butter
Mini chocolate chips (dot a few on top of pancakes when they are cooking)
Ginger pear compote

Mix the dry ingredients (I keep a batch of the dry mi…