Sunday, January 6, 2019

Vegetable Bean Chili

(recipe adapted from May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World by John Robbins)

2 cups cooked kidney beans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, with leaves, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
1 16-oz. can unsweetened tomato sauce
2 medium tomatoes or one 14-oz. can unsweetened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups thawed frozen corn

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and garlic, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes.

Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, and stir for 30 seconds.  Stir in the cooked beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, and vegetable stock.  Cook, partially covered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the corn and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

(recipe adapted from May All Be Fed: Diet For A New World by John Robbins)

1 butternut squash (about 1 3/4 lbs.), peeled, cut into 2-inch cubes
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, to taste
1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

Put the squash and three cups of the vegetable stock in a large pot.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat, cover and cook until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Blanch the almonds in boiling water for 30 seconds.  Drain.

Put the blanched almonds and the remaining 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock into a blender.  Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.  Add the squash and cooking liquid, curry, salt, pepper, parsley and apple and process until smooth.

Pour back into the pot and bring just to a simmer over medium heat.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Greek Eggplant Dip

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet)

2 lbs. eggplant (2 medium)
1/4 cup diced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp. minced fresh oregano leaves (I used 1 tsp. dried oregano)
3 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 baguette or crusty loaf of bread

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Do not peel the eggplants, but pierce them in several places with a fork.  Place the whole eggplants in an ovenproof glass dish.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, until very soft.  The skin may scorch slightly.  Remove the eggplants from the oven and set aside to cool.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and scrape the pulp from the skin.

Place the eggplant pulp in a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop; do not puree.  Drain off any liquid that may separate from the pulp.  Add the onion, garlic, parsley, and oregano and pulse to combine.  With the machine running, add the lemon juice and olive oil.  Don't overprocess - the resulting mixture should be a thick, slightly chunky puree.  Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for several hours.

Serve with sliced or chunked bread (toasted if desired).

(This was a hit at the island Christmas party, 2018.)

Mushroom Tempeh Pâté

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet)

1/4 lb. button mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. tempeh, cubed
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Chop the mushrooms coarsely.  Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the tempeh, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.  The mushroom liquid will evaporate and the mushrooms and onions will brown slightly.  Stir in the sherry, soy sauce, sage, and allspice.  Cook stirring constantly, about 5 minutes, until the liquid is gone.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Puree the mixture in a food processor to a thick, homogenous consistency.  Spoon into a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.  Serve at room temperature with crisp crackers or baguette slices.

(Add salt and pepper to taste - I found it needed more salt!)

Apple Cranberry Relish

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1/8 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cups fresh or frozen and defrosted cranberries
1 sweet apple, cored, peeled, and roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups unsweetened apple juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook garlic and onion until soft, 6-8 minutes.  Add cranberries and apples; cook until cranberries burst and apples are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add apple juice, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is slightly dry, about 45 minutes.  Let cool slightly and transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely ground.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet)

1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat 4 cups water to a simmer over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Crush oregano with a mortar and pestle to a fine consistency, or crush thoroughly with your fingers, then add to the water along with the salt.  Pour in the cornmeal in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer about 20 minutes, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon.  As it cooks, the polenta will thicken.  When it is thick enough to pull away from the sides of the pan, the polenta is done.  Stir in the olive oil.  Pour the hot cooked polenta into a loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap so it does not dry out, and allow it to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Polenta can be sliced and heated as desired.  Serve with sauteed veggies.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Toasted Muesli with Millet, Coconut, Pistachios, and Cranberries

(recipe from Whole Living magazine)

1/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup whole millet
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
3/4 cup shelled pistachios (I used walnuts)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup honey
1 Tbsp. coconut oil (I used olive oil)
1 tsp. fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries (I used frozen cranberries)

In a bowl, pour boiling water over millet, cover with a plate, and let sit until softened, 30 minutes.  Drain.

Heat oven to 325F.  In a large bowl, combine drained millet, oats, pistachios, and coconut flakes.  (I also mixed in the frozen cranberries.)

In a small saucepan, bring honey, oil, and salt to a boil.  Pour over millet mixture and stir until combined.

Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once, until golden, about 20 minutes.  Once cool, stir in dried cranberries.  Muesli keeps, stored in an airtight container, two weeks.

(Even with all of the substitutions I made, this was lovely.)