Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fruitcake Bars

(recipe from David Lebovitz)

6 Tbsp. flour
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. packed, light or dark brown sugar
2 cups walnuts, almonds, or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and coarsely chopped*
1 cup dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped*
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

*Use any combination of dried fruits that strikes your fancy.  The dates really do make the recipe, but I've tossed in a scoop of dried sour cherries or cranberries, or candied ginger as well, with great results.  Just stick with the total quantities listed above.

Line an 8-inch square pan across the bottom and up the sides with two sheets of aluminum foil, making a big criss-cross with the sides overhanging.

Preheat the oven to 325F and position the rack in the center of the oven.

In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the brown sugar, walnuts, dates, and apricots.  Use your fingers to mix the fruit, and separate any pieces sticking together.

Beat the egg and vanilla in a small bowl, then mix it with the fruit and nut mixture until everything's coated with the batter.  Spread the mixture in the baking pan and press gently to even it out.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the bars are golden brown and has pulled away just-slightly from the sides of the pan.  Cool the bars in the pan, then lift out.

To cut the cooled bars, use a heavy sharp knife, such as a bread knife, for ensuring neat, clean slices.

Storage: The bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

(I used 1 cup dates, 1 cup apricots, and 1/2 cup dried cranberries for my fruit combination.  For nuts, half walnuts, half pecans.  I also used coconut sugar instead of the brown sugar.  These bars are so good!  Not too sweet, like a little energy nugget.)

Warm Sweet Potato, Mushroom, and Spinach Salad

(recipe from Deliciously Ella)

1 large sweet potato
a dozen crimini mushrooms
200g fresh baby spinach
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (discard seeds)
a dozen cherry tomatoes
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
olive oil

Slice the sweet potato into bite-sized cubes and place them on a baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, paprika, and cinnamon.  Bake for 40 minutes at 350F, until they're deliciously soft.

Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and gently stir fry them with olive oil, salt,  apple cider vinegar, and jalapenos.  This should take about 7 minutes.  Just before the end add the spinach and allow it to wilt.  This is a very quick process, it will only take two or three minutes to become perfectly soft.

Slice the tomatoes into quarters.

Mix everything together and serve.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Shaker Lemon Pie

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

For the filling:
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 large lemons, zested and thinly sliced, seeds discarded
4 eggs
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 Tbsp. flour

For the crust:
1 3/4 cups flour, plus more
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
2 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (I used coconut oil)
1 tsp. kosher salt
5 Tbsp. ice-cold water

Start the filling:  Toss sugar, salt, and lemon zest and slices in a bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Make the crust:  Pulse flour, butter, shortening, and salt in a food processor into pea-size crumbles.  Add water; pulse until dough forms.  Divide dough in half and flatten into disks; wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

Finish the filling and bake the pie:  Heat oven to 425F.  Whisk eggs in a bowl until frothy.  Whisk in melted butter and 3 Tbsp. flour; stir into reserved lemon mixture.  On a lightly floured surface, roll one disk of dough into a 12" round; fit into a 9" pie plate.  Trim edges using a knife, leaving 1" of dough overhanging the edge of the plate; pour in filling.  Roll remaining disk of dough into a 12" round and place over top of pie.  Pinch top and bottom edges together and fold under; crimp edges and cut 5 steam vents into the top crust.  Bake until crust is golden, about 30 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350F; bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.  Let cool completely before serving.

(I made this for Thanksgiving 2017 in Vermont with Sage and her family.  It's very different, with an intense lemon flavor.  Use a very sharp knife when cutting, as the lemon slices are not as tender as you'd like.)

Dried Cranberry, Apricot, and Fig Stuffing

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 cups chopped onions (about 1 pound)
2 cups chopped celery (4 to 5 stalks)
1 lb. Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram
1 cup (or more) vegetable broth
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup diced stemmed dried figs
6 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old pain rustique or ciabatta bread with crust
6 cups (generous) 1-inch cubes day-old cornbread
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and celery.  Saute until tender, about 12 minutes.  Add apples and all herbs.  Saute until apples just begin to soften, about 3 minutes.  (DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.  Transfer to medium bowl, cover, and chill.)

Mix 1 cup broth and dried fruit in bowl.  Let soak at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Divide bread between 2 rimmed baking sheets.  Bake until bread is crusty but not hard, reversing sheets after 5 minutes, 10 to 12 minutes total.  Transfer to a very large bowl and cool.

Butter a 13x9x2-inch baking dish.  Stir vegetable mixture into bread.  Whisk eggs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to blend; whisk in broth and dried fruit mixture.  Add egg misture to stuffing, tossing to combine evenly and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if dry.  Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish.

Bake stuffing uncovered until cooked through and brown and crusty on top, 50 to 60 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

(I made this for Thanksgiving dinner 2017 in Vermont with Sage and her parents.  It was tasty, and a big hit!  You can make it using regular bread for all 12 cups, but the cornbread adds a bit of character.)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup

(recipe from Pure Ella via Kris Carr)

2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups red split lentils, rinsed
6-8 cups of water
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. sea salt (I used 1 tsp.)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, to taste

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large soup pot.  Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and carrots and cook, stirring for a few minutes.  Add the lentils, water, sweet potatoes, spices and seasoning.  Stir and bring to a boil; reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Stir in the cilantro or parsley just before serving.

Potato, Zucchini, and Olive Stew with Garlic, Jalapenos and Tomatoes

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

4 lbs. fresh tomatoes (about 8 medium) (I used fire-roasted canned diced tomatoes)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
10 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 medium white onion
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/8 tsp. salt
1 1/4 lbs. tiny red potatoes
1 lb. zucchini (about 3 medium)
1 cup whole pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained (I used jalapeno-stuffed green olives)
2 tsp. chopped pickled jalapenos (I omitted this, since my olives were stuffed with jalapenos)

Roast the whole tomatoes under a preheated broiler, turning frequently, until their skins are well charred.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes.  When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, cut out the stem ends, peel away and discard most of the blackened skin, and place the tomates in a blender.  (I just put the canned diced tomatoes in the blender; did not drain.)

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed stockpot.  Add the garlic cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until they begin to turn golden brown.  This will take only a minute or two.  Watch carefully - if the garlic gets too dark, it will taste bitter.  Turn off the heat.  Remove the garlic cloves from the oil with a slotted spoon and add them to the tomatoes in the blender, along with the onion, stock, parsley, and salt.  Puree until smooth.

Pour the tomato puree into the pan in which the garlic was cooked.  Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce heat to very low, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.  The sauce will reduce and thicken considerably.

Meanwhile, scrub the potatoes but do not peel them.  Cook the whole potatoes in plenty of rapidly boiling water until they are barely fork-tender, about 10-15 minutes, depending on their size.  Drain and set aside.  [Alternately, cook the potatoes in the simmering tomato puree - it may take a little longer; just monitor for doneness (the potatoes can be cut to preferable size before cooking).]

Discard the stems and root ends of the succhini and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds.

When the sauce has thickened, cut the potatoes in half and stir them into the sauce, along with the zucchini, olives (I sliced mine), and jalapenos.  Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, 20 minutes.  Serve very hot.

Sweet Red Pepper Strips with Artichoke and Caper Filling

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 can (13 3/4 oz.) water-packed artichoke bottoms
1/3 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp. capers, drained, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. sweet paprika
Several grinds black pepper
2 medium red bell peppers

Drain the artichoke bottoms and mince them finely.  Toss with the onion, capers, and parsley.  Stir together the mustard, olive oil, vinegar, basil, paprika, and black pepper.  Toss with the artichoke mixture until well combined.  Set aside.

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise.  Discard the stems, seeds, and white membranes and cut each half pepper into 3 lengthwise strips, taking care to create strips with a cupped shape that can hold the filling.  Spoon the artichoke mixture along the length of each bell pepper strip.  Arrange the filled pepper strips in a pretty pattern on a serving dish.  Serve at room temperature.

(I made these for Gretchen's Christmas party, and they were a hit - and a healthy alternative to the other appetizers, namely cheese plates and the like.  I cut my strips much smaller than described, but made sure to preserve the cupped shape as best as possible.  With smaller, less cupped strips, just mush the mixture together along the length of the strip with your fingers, much like sushi - the mixture is wet enough that it can be molded in such a way.)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Healthy Apple Crisp

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

8 Macintosh apples, peeled and sliced
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup raisins
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup Goji berries, soaked (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, sprinkle apples with lemon juice & toss.  Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a medium bowl, then combine with the apples and mix thoroughly.  Pour into a 8x11-inch baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Lasagnette with Spicy Greens, Adzuki Beans, and Shiitake Mushrooms

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 cup dried adzuki beans
1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
2 bay leaves
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs. mustard greens (about 2 bunches)
2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 lb. dried lasagnette (or any type chunky pasta)

Soak the beans several hours or overnight.  Drain and cover with fresh water in a large stockpot.  Add the chili flakes and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and cook about 40 minutes, adding water occasionally as needed.  Beans should be tender but not so soft they break apart easily.  Drain the beans, remove the bay leaves, and set aside.

Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for about 30 minutes.  Lift them out of the water, reserving the soaking liquid, and wash carefully under a thin stream of running water to remove any grit in the membranes.  Remove and discard the tough stems and sliver the caps.  Strain the soaking liquid through a paper coffee filter into a bowl, if the liquid is gritty.  You will have about 1 1/2 cups, which you will use in the sauce.  Set aside.

Bring several quarts of water to a boil for the pasta.  Meanwhile, wash the geens carefully, discard the thick part of the stems, and chop coarsely.  In a high-walled skillet or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to get limp.  Add the beans, mushrooms, ginger, and soy sauce, and stir and sauté 5 minutes longer.  Add the greens and the mushroom soaking liquid and increase heat to medium-high.  Toss and stir often as the greens wilt and most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente.  Drain well and gently combine with the sauce in a warm serving bowl.  Pass the pepper grinder and additional soy sauce, if desired.

(I used a combination of kale and napa cabbage in place of the mustard greens, and bowtie shaped pasta.  My beans turned out a bit on the falling-apart side, but were still good.  I also didn't strain my mushroom liquid - the mushrooms were high quality and not gritty.  Nice unexpected Asian flavor combination with the pasta.)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Apple Pie with an Olive Oil Crust

(recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, via Bust magazine)

For the olive oil double crust:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup olive oil, partially frozen (see first step)
4 to 8 Tbsp. ice water
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Wax paper for rolling

For the filling:
6 cups peeled Granny Smith apples, sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 3 lbs.)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Pinch salt

For the topping:
2 Tbsp. plain almond milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Crust directions:
About an hour before starting to bake, place the olive oil in a thin plastic container.  Freeze until it's opaque and congealed, but still soft, like the consistency of slightly melted sorbet.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Quickly add the olive oil by the tablespoonful, cutting it into the flour until the mixture is pebbly.

In a cup, mix 4 Tbsp. of ice water with the apple cider vinegar.  Stir 2 Tbsp. of this mixture into the dough with a wooden spoon, adding more water gradually until you form a soft ball.  Don't over-knead the dough!

Divide the dough into two balls and press them into inch-thick disks, then place each between 14-inch long sheets of waxed paper.  Roll each into a circle about 1/4-inch thick, using a rolling pin.  Fit dough into the pie pan, letting the excess hang over the edge.  Place both crusts in the fridge until ready to use.

Filling directions:
Preheat the oven to 425F.  Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl, tossing to coat the apples.  Add the filling to the prepared pie shell.  Cover with the top crust, pinch edges together, trim excess dough to about an inch, and crimp.

Brush the top of the pie with almond milk, then sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.  Make five slits in the middle of the pie to let steam escape. 

Bake for 25 minutes, then lower heat to 350F and bake for 30 to 35 more minutes, slipping on a pie-crust shield if the edges get too brown.  Place on a cooling rack and wait about 30 minutes before serving.

Grilled Winter Squash with Millet Pilaf and Coconut Chutney Sauce

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup prepared mango chutney
1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
2/3 cup uncooked millet
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 medium acorn or delicata squashes (about 1 lb. each)
4 tsp. coconut oil
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1 small carrot, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. mustard seeds, crushed
1 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
4 cups loosely packed, finely chopped napa cabbage
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne

To make the sauce, combine the coconut milk, chutney, and lime juice in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.  Set aside at room temerature so the flavors can blend.  Preheat a coal or gas grill to medium-high.

Rinse and drain the millet and toast it in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan.  Add the toasted millet to the hot stock.  Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer 25 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit with lid undisturbed until you are ready for the millet.

Meanwhile, cut the squashes in half lengthwise.  Do not peel them.  Scrape out and discard the seeds.  Slice each half into 1-inch wedges.  Use 2 tsp. of the oil to lightly coat both sides of each squash wedge.  Place the squash on the hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side, turning once.  Squash should be quite tender but not falling apart.

Heat the remaining 2 tsp. of oil over medium heat in a sauté pan or skillet.  Add the onion, carrot, and garlic, along with the mustard, cumin, and fennel seeds.  Sauté, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.  Add the cabbage, salt, and cayenne and sauté 5 minutes longer, until cabbage is wilted.  Gently, but thoroughly, combine the sautéed vegetables with the hot cooked millet.

Mound the hot pilaf onto individual serving plates.  Arrange grilled squash wedges alongside each portion of pilaf.  Spoon the sauce generously over the squash and serve immediately.

(I just baked my squash instead of grilling.  I also just mixed everything together to take for lunches - would recommend cutting squash into a smaller dice to serve in this way.  Be careful of the chutney you buy: some are super sugary!  All in all, this had a nice and interesting flavor.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pineapple Papaya Salad with Dried Apricots and Coconut

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay)

1 medium fresh pineapple (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 large papaya (about 1 lb.)
2 medium barely ripe bananas
1 large tart, crisp apple (such as Granny Smith)
12 halves dried apricots (about 3 oz.), chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Slice off both ends of the pineapple, then cut the pineapple in half crosswise.  Holding the flat side of one pineapple half against a cutting board, use a sharp knife to slice off the peel in a downward motion toward the board.  Peel the other half.  Cut each half into lengthwise quarters and slice off and discard the tough core portion.  Cut the quartered pineapple into small, uniform chunks.  Place the pineapple in a large mixing bowl.

Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.  Peel the papaya and chop the fruit into uniform pieces about the same size as the pineapple chunks.  Add the papaya to the pineapple in the bowl.

Peel the bananas and chop them into small uniform pieces.  Core the apple and chop it into bite-size pieces.  Toss the bananas and apple with the pineapple and papaya.  Add the apricots, orange juice, and lime juice to the bowl and toss.  Transfer to a pretty serving bowl.

Place the coconut in a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Toast for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until the coconut is uniformly tan in color.  Immediately remove the coconut from the pan, sprinkle it evenly over the fruit, and serve.

Root Vegetable & Apple Slaw

(recipe from Clean Eating magazine)

1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus additional, to taste
1 golden beet, peeled and grated
3 to 4 multicolored carrots, peeled and grated
2 Granny Smith apples, grated
6 radishes, trimmed and grated
Ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. peeled and grated ginger
1 Tbsp. minced shallot
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. honey
3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus additional to taste

Prepare dressing:  In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients.  Set aside at room temperature.

Prepare slaw:  To a small saucepan, add 1/2 tsp. salt and 2 cups water; bring to a boil.  Add grated beet and blanch for 30 seconds, until water returns to a boil.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Dry; add to a large bowl.  (Note: Blanching the beet helps to mellow its earthy flavor; skip this step if you prefer it raw.)

To bowl with the beet, add the carrots, apples, and radishes.  Add dressing and toss.  Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

(A food processor's grating attachment makes for quick preparation.  I used a raw beet - the gold beets are pretty mild in their earthiness. Eat the slaw over a bed of greens for a nice salad option.)

Monday, October 9, 2017

California Miso, Avocado, and Lima Bean Salad

(recipe from

For the dressing:
1 Tbsp. miso paste
1 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime
4 Tbsp. dairy-free yogurt
sea salt

5 oz. broccoli, stems chopped, florets broken into little heads
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 handfuls of seasonal salad leaves, washed and dried
1 ripe avocado, pitted and halved
One 15-oz. can lima beans (or any white bean), drained [these can be pan-fried and chopped a bit]

First make the dressing.  Mix all dressing ingredients together in a bowl, adding a little salt if needed, depending on how salty your miso is.  Alternately, if the dressing is too salty, add more yogurt.

Next, blanch the broccoi in boiling, salted, water for a minute or so, until it has lost its rawness and is a lovely bright green.  Drain and let cool.

Toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds in a pan until lightly golden, then spread on a plate to cool.

Pile the leaves into a serving bowl, then chop the avocado into chunks, and add them to the bowl along with the beans.  Once the broccoli and seeds are cool, add them too.  Pour over the dressing and toss well. 

(Can be served with steamed bown rice or soba noodles for a more substantial dinner.)

Eggplant Pasta Salad with Kalamata Olives

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

2 small eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
7 green onions
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (I use coconut oil for cooking)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. mirin (or sherry)
1 lb. dried rigatoni
1/2 cup slivered kalamata olives
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley

Peel the eggplants and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick strips about 3 inches in length.  Trim all but about 2 inches of the tops from the green onions.  Cut in half lengthwise, then into 1-inch pieces.  [I just sliced the green onions on a diagonal.]

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the coconut oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and stir to distribute in the oil.  Add the eggplant, green onion and bell pepper; stir.  Sprinkle with the oregano and 1/4 tsp. of the salt.  Stir and saute over medium heat 15-20 minutes, until vegetables are tender and browning nicely.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Whisk together 1 Tbsp. olive oil, the lemon juice, vinegar, mirin, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.  Pour this dressing over the eggplant mixture in the bowl, cover, and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours so the flavors can blend.

Bring several quarts of water to a boil.  Cook the pasta until al dente.  Cool briefly in a bowl of cold water, drain very well, and toss with the eggplant mixture, olives, and parsley.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Potato and Roasted Cauliflower Salad

(recipe adapted from Food & Wine magazine)

1 1/2 lb cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
1/8 cup coconut oil
Kosher salt
3/4 lbs. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick
3/4 lbs. baby red potatoes, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (I love grapeseed oil Vegenaise)
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 cup brined capers, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
1/8 cup finely chopped parsley
Grated horseradish, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400F.  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with the oil and season with salt.  Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once, until just tender and lightly browned; let cool.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the fingerlings and red potatoes until just tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain.  Spread the potatoes on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with the vinegar.  Let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard, capers, and parsley.  Add the cauliflower and potatoes and toss.  Season with salt to taste and garnish with more parsley, if desired.  Serve with horseradish.

Refrigerate; bring to room temperature just before serving.

(I just mixed some horseradish right in when whisking the other sauce ingredients, to taste.  Really delicious potato salad - makes me want to add roasted cauliflower to every potato salad recipe!)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stir Fry of Cauliflower, Tomatoes, Orange, and Fresh Basil

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 medium head)
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1/2 lb. fresh pear tomatoes, diced (about 3 medium)
1 can (13 oz.) water-packed tomatillos, drained and chopped
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add the rice, olive oil, and garlic.  Return to a boil, cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed and rice is tender.  Allow to stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut and sesame oils in a wok or heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion.  Saute 2-3 minutes, until onion becomes opaque.  Add the cauliflower and stir.  Stir in the orange juice, cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes, tomatillos, and basil.  Stir to combine, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is fork-tender.  Combine 2 Tbsp. of water with the arrowroot powder in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  Shake to dissolve, then stir into the cauliflower mixture, cooking for a moment or two to thicken the sauce.  Place equal portions of the cooked rice on warmed serving plates and spoon the cauliflower mixture over top.

Shaved Summer Squash Salad

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

3 Tbsp. whole almonds
1 lb. summer squash, a mix of green and yellow
2 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
Baby arugula
Pecorino, shaved (optional)

Roast the almonds and coarsely crush.

Trim the ends of the squash.  Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to taste.  Pour dressing over squash; let stand for a few minutes, then add a few handfuls of arugula.  Shave a little Pecorino over the squash, if desired, and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with the crushed almonds.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Broccoli, Cucumber & Napa Slaw with Coconut Lemongrass Dressing

(recipe from Clean Eating magazine)

1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded, thinly sliced (or julienned)
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
2 cups broccoli florets, plus stems (trim and quarter florets; peel and cut stems into matchsticks)
1 tsp. coconut oil
4 green onions, sliced, whites and greens divided (reserve greens for slaw)
1/4 cup finely minced lemongrass
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
5 Tbsp. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Prepare dressing:  In a small saute pan on medium-low heat, melt oil.  Add whites of onion and lemongrass and cook until just softened and fragrant, 1 minute.  Add garlic and stir for 1 minute, until fragrant.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a blender.  Add remaining dressing ingredients and puree until smooth.  Refrigerate while preparing vegetables.

Prepare slaw:  To a large bowl, add cucumber, cabbage, and broccoli.  Pour in dressing and toss to combine.  Toss in greens of onions and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Carrot, Kasha, and Caraway Pilaf

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

1 Tbsp. oil
1 medium carrot, diced small
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cup whole roasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. caraway seeds, crushed
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. salt
several grinds black pepper
2 tsp. sweet paprika

Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet that has a tight-fitting lid.  Add the carrot and onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add the kasha, garlic, and caraway and saute 3 minutes.  Stir in the stock, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, cover the pan tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow to stand 10 minutes before removing the lid.  Transfer the kasha to a bowl or platter and toss with the paprika, breaking up large clumps as you do.  Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Asparagus Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms and Ginger

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

5 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 lb. asparagus
6 oz. oyster mushrooms
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. dried red chili flakes
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
3 minced green onions

Heat the stock, soy sauce, and ginger in a saucepan until just steaming, and keep this broth handy near the stove.  Rinse the asparagus, break off and discard the tough stem ends, and cut at a slant into 1-inch pieces.  Rinse the mushrooms, pat dry, and chop coarsely.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat.  Add half of the garlic and the red chili flakes and saute a minute or two, stirring constantly.  Add the bell pepper, asparagus, and salt.  Saute 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the mushrooms, add the sherry, and immediately cover the pan tightly.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside with the lid on.

In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the remaining garlic for 1 minute, then add the rice and stir to coat with the oil and garlic.  Add 1 cup of broth to the rice, and stir gently until the liquid is absorbed.  Add the remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting until the liquid is absorbed before each addition.  When the last addition of broth has been absorbed and the rice is creamy and tender, stir in the asparagus and mushrooms, along with any pan juices.  Heat through for 1 minute.  Transfer to a warmed tureen or individual serving bowls and sprinkle with the green onions.  Serve very hot.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mixed Pepper Slaw

(recipe from Clean Eating magazine)

3 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange, or a combination), sliced into 3-inch-long matchsticks
1 Anaheim chile, seeded and sliced into 3-inch-long matchsticks
1 pasilla chile, seeded and sliced into 3-inch-long matchsticks
1/4 large jicama (about 4 oz.), peeled and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks
One mango, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup loosely packed cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, plus 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. each sea salt and ground black pepper

In a small food processor or blender, puree all dressing ingredients until smooth; refrigerate while preparing vegetables.

In a large mixing bowl, add bell peppers, chiles, jicama, and mango.  Pour dressing over top and toss. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

(Delicious as a salad over greens or used in a taco filling.  I used chiles that I could find at the market, and that were to my preferred level of spice.

Green Salsa

(recipe from Eating Well magazine)

8 oz. tomatillos
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup sliced white onion
1/2 ripe avocado
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well.  Cook the tomatillos in the boiling water until soft, 5 to 8 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Toast garlic cloves, jalapeno, and onion in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, fragrant and soft, 5 to 7 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic.  Remove the jalapeno stem and remove seeds if desired.  Combine the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, onion, and avocado in a bender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Stir in the cilantro, salt, and pepper.

(Creamy and tangy sauce for tacos or whatever!)

Shaved Cabbage Salad with Paprika Vinaigrette

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

1 small shallot, minced
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
One 3/4-lb. head each of green and red cabbage - halved, cored and shredded
1 large apple - peeled, cored and julienned
1 cup chopped parsely
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup snipped chives
1/2 cup julienned baby turnips
1/2 cup salted roasted pepitas
6 red radishes, thinly sliced

In a bowl, whisk the shallot with the mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, honey and the 1 1/2 Tbsp. of paprika.  Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the cabbages with the apple, parsley, cilantro, chives, turnips, pepitas, and radishes.  Add 1/2 cup of the dressing and toss well.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with paprika.  Serve the additional dressing at the table. 

(It is helpful to shred the cabbages, apple, and turnips in a food processer using the shredding attachment.)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup red quinoa
1/2 cup white wine
2 sprigs each tarragon and thyme (I used dried herbs)
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 cup frozen peas
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 radishes, sliced

In a medium saucepan, melt the coconut oil.  Add the quinoa and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until toasted, 2 minutes.  Add 1 1/2 cups water, the wine, and the herbs and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Discard the herb sprigs.  Cool the quinoa to room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the lima beans for 2 minutes.  Add the peas and cook for 1 minute longer.  Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water; drain again.

In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard and honey; season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the quinoa, lima beans, peas and radishes.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Massaged Kale & Wild Rice Salad

(Recipe from Amazing Grass)

2 cups baby kale
3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus a drizzle for massaging
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1 large grapefruit, peeled, segmented and chopped
1 cup cooked wild rice
1/4 cup diced red onion
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tsp. honey
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped raw walnuts
Large pinch fresh lemon zest
Salt and pepper to taste

Using your hands, massage the kale with a drizzle of olive oil in a large bowl.  Add the cucumber, grapefruit, rice and onion.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper; sea salt and pepper to taste; whisk to combine.  Drizzle over the salad mixture and toss to combine.  Top with walnuts and lemon zest and serve.

Roasted Lemon Cauliflower with Walnuts

(recipe from Amazing Grass)

1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
Juice of 1 large lemon
Large pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
3 Tbsp. chopped raw walnuts
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450F.  Toss the cauliflower with the coconut oil, lemon juice, and cayenne and bake on a baking pan for 30 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and onion.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve topped with the walnuts.

Kale Apple Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing

(recipe from Amazing Grass)

2 cups baby kale
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 large apple, diced
2 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. chopped raw almonds
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the kale, quinoa, and apple.  In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, and maple syrup; season to taste with salt & pepper.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.  Garnish with almonds and basil and toss once more before serving.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Spicy Chili Beans with Tempeh and Dried Peaches

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

2 cups dried pinto beans
1 cup dried adzuki beans
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried red chili flakes
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
8 oz. tempeh, crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can (4oz.) chopped green chilies
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 can (28 oz.) chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped dried peaches or apricots
1 Tbsp. molasses

Sort the beans carefully and discard any small stones or discolored beans.  Soak the two types of beans together in plenty of water at room temperature several hours or overnight.  Drain off the soaking water and rinse the beans, then place in a stockpot with 10 cups of water, bay leaves, chili flakes, and half of the chopped garlic.  Simmer over low heat until beans are barely tender - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours - adding more hot water, if necessary, to keep the beans submerged.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, the remaining garlic, oregano, mustard seeds, cumin, chili powder, and tempeh.  Add 1/4 tsp. of the salt and stir and sauté until the onion is becoming limp and the tempeh is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.

When the beans are tender, remove the bay leaves and stir in the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt.  Add the tempeh mixture, orange juice, tomatoes and their juice, green chilies, peaches, and molasses.  Simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes.  Serve hot.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Lime

(recipe from Where Women Cook magazine)

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sour cream (I used canned coconut milk)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo (smoked jalapenos), finely chopped
3 Tbsp. adobo sauce (from the same can)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder (I used a clove of fresh garlic)
2 limes, juiced
pinch of pepper

Place cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot with salted water to cover.  Bring to a boil, and cook until soft or a fork can easily break them.

Drain the sweet potatoes and return them to the pot.  Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency.

Stir in the sour cream, olive oil, chipotles, adobo, chili and garlic powders, and lime juice.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Note:  I boiled the clove of garlic with the sweet potatoes.  I then put the boiled potatoes and garlic into a food processor along with whole chipotles and all other ingredients and blended until whipped to a nice texture.  So easy!  Also, this recipe tastes amazing!  Such a different and delightful treatment of sweet potatoes. Yum.)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Chickpea Vegetable Stew

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

2 Tbsp. olive oil (I used coconut oil)
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed and halved
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. harissa
3 cups broth
One 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. minced cilantro
Toasted bread, for serving

In a large saucepan, heat the oil.  Add the onions and bell pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes.  Add the potatoes, garlic, ginger and harissa and cook, stirring, until the harissa darkens, about 2 minutes.  Add the broth and chickpeas and bring to a boil.  cover and simmer over moderately low heat until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 14 minutes. 

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the stew with cilantro and serve with toasted bread.

(This coconut/ginger/harissa broth is delicious!  I think using any vegetable mix would work well with this stew - the broth is so yummy.)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Potatoes and Artichokes with Mustard Caper Vinaigrette

(my adaption of a recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. capers, drained and minced
6 Tbsp. lemon juice
One 15oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and cut to 1/4"-thick wedges
3/4 lb. tiny red potatoes
1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
mixed salad greens

Stir together the vinegar, mustard, and garlic until well blended, then whisk in the olive oil.  Stir in the capers.  Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables.

Scrub the potatoes; do not peel.  Slice them crosswise into 1/4"-thick pieces.  Pour an inch of water into the bottom of a medium-size saucepan, put in the potato pieces, and cover.  Over medium-high heat, cook the potatoes until fork-tender but not soft, about 6-8 minutes.  Test frequently; the texture is important to the success of the dish.

Drain the potatoes and rinse with cold water.  Drain thoroughly and toss together in a serving bowl with the artichoke hearts and bell pepper.  Toss again with the dressing and set aside to marinate at room temperature for up to several hours. 

When ready to serve, toss the vegetable mixture with the parsley and greens.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Santa Fe Corn Salad

(recipe from Yoga Living magazine)

3 cups fresh corn, cooked (I used frozen corn)
3 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 can kidney beans, drained
1/2 can black beans, drained (I used one can of pinto beans instead of two types of beans)
1/2 cup celery, sliced (I omitted this)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 tsp. chili powder

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients together.  Chill for at least half an hour before serving.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Braised Chard with Tomatoes and Olives

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)
1 1/2 lbs. Swiss chard (about 2 bunches)
1 Tbsp. olive oil (I used coconut oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp. salt
Several grinds black pepper
1/3 cup chopped dry oil-cured black olives

Coarsely chop the chard, removing the stem ends if they are tough. Place chard in colander and rinse - do not dry; water should still cling to the leaves.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pan that has a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium heat and add the garlic.  Sauté for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, but do not brown.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, then add the salt and pepper.  Pile in the chard, stir briefly, and cover.  Cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes.  Stir halfway through the cooking time to bring some of the tomatoes to the top.  Add the olives, stir to incorporate, and serve.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Barley Cannellini Bean Stew with Broccoli and Tomatoes

(recipe from The Vegan Gourmet by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler & Mindy Toomay)

2 Tbsp. canola oil (I used coconut oil)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
One 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried cannellini beans
3/4 cup uncooked barley
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves (I used 1 Tbsp. dried oregano)
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onion for several minutes, then add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, and beans.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. 

Meanwhile, put the barley in a small pan with a tight-fitting lid.  Add 2 cups hot water, cover, and let stand for 20 minutes. 

Add the barley to the soup, along with its soaking liquid, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 20 minutes over medium heat.  Stir in the broccoli, carrots, oregano, salt and pepper, plus 2 cups of hot water, and cook 20-25 minutes longer, until the vegetables and beans are tender.  Serve immediately.

(Makes a lot!  Very tasty.  May want to use canned beans; I found the dried beans took a long time to soften.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Spicy Sweet Potato Stew

(recipe origin unknown)

2 Tbsp. olive oil (I used coconut oil)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (or leave seeds for heat)
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2-3 cups vegetable stock
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Two 14.5 oz. cans stewed tomatoes, chopped if needed
Two 14.5 oz. cans small red beans or white beans, drained
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. orange peel, grated (I omitted this)
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add jalapeno and spices and stir 1 minute.  Add broth and potato.  Cover; reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes with their juices, and beans.  Simmer uncovered until chili thickens and potato is very tender, about 10 minutes.  Mix in cilantro and orange peel  Squeeze in the lime.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Bund Gobhi Aur Aloo Ki Subzi (Spicy Cabbage-and-Potato Curry)

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

3 Tbsp. canola oil (I used coconut oil)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
3 small green Thai chiles or 1 serrano chile, sliced 1/2" thick
2 Indian or regular bay leaves
1 small red onion, quartered and cut into 1/4" wedges
1 1/2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4" thick
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 small head green cabbage, cored and cut into 1" pieces
Kosher salt, to taste

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook cumin seeds until they pop, 1-2 minutes.  Add chile powder, turmeric, chiles, bay leaves, and onion; cook until onion is soft, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and salt; cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Baked Macaroni & "Cheese"

(recipe from VegNews magazine)

4 quarts water
1 Tbsp. sea salt
8 oz. macaroni
4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
2 Tbsp. and 1/3 cup margarine (I used coconut oil)
2 Tbsp. shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika

In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil.  Add macaroni and cook until al dente.  In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water.  Set aside.

In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 Tbsp. margarine to a medium-fine texture.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil.  Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.

In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne.  Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated.  Spread mixture into a 9x12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

(This "cheese" sauce is delicious!  I made this with gluten-free pasta and omitted the breadcrumb topping.  Baking really dried out the dish, so in the future I'd probably just serve after tossing the sauce with the pasta.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Garam Masala

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1/4 cup cardamom seeds
1 1/2 tsp. black cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
4 sticks cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg, cracked into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a spice grinder.  Grind into a powder.  Store in an airtight container up to 3 months.

Ghanta Tarkari (Mixed Vegetable Coconut Curry)

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1/3 cup ghee (I used coconut oil)
6 green cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
5 small green Thai chiles or 2 serranos, halved (I chopped them)
2 Indian or regular bay leaves
1 stick cinnamon, halved
1 lb. kabocha or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1" pieces
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
6 potol (pointed gourds) or 2 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 loofah (ridge gourd) or 1 large cucumber, peeled, and cut into 1" pieces (I omitted this)
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut (I used dried coconut)
1 tsp. sugar (I used honey)

Melt half the ghee in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook cardamom, cloves, chiles, bay leaves, and cinnamon for 1-2 minutes.  Add squash and potatoes; cook until golden, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in gourds and salt; cook until just tender, 4-6 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, until vegetables are very tender, 12-15 minutes.  Stir in remaining ghee, the coconut, and sugar; cook 2 minutes.

(I adjusted cooking times and temps to my liking - did not want to overcook the zucchini.  I also added some water during cooking to keep the potatoes and squash from sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Just pay attention and adjust as needed.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Baked Eggplant with Tomato Chutney

(recipe from Eat Up Slim Down 2010, Prevention Magazine)

1 medium eggplant
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided (I used coconut oil)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried basil
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts (I used walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Coat a 13" x 9" baking dish with cooking spray.  Cut the eggplant into 1/2" slices and brush with 1 tsp. of the oil.  Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper; lay the slices in the baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is tender.

Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, stirring, until softened.  Add the vinegar and basil and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts.  Spoon over the eggplant and bake for 10 minutes.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Chestnuts

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup dried currants
1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
One 7- to 8-oz. jar whole peeled chestnuts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 Tbsp. butter (I used coconut oil)
1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Bring cider to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat.  Add currants; let soak 30 minutes.

Using a food processor fitted with a slicing disk, push Brussels sprouts through feed tube and slice.

Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chestnuts; sauté 2 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.  Add Brussels sprouts to skillet; sauté until beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water and butter; sauté until most of the liquid evaporates and the Brussels sprouts are tender but still bright green, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if mixture is dry, about 7 minutes.  Stir in chestnuts, currant mixture, and vinegar; sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to bowl and serve.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dalma (Lentil Stew with Coconut)

(recipe from Saveur magazine)

1 cup toor dal (yellow pigeon peas), rinsed, soaked (I used split yellow peas)
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 carrot, cut into 1"pieces
1 plum tomato, minced
1 small Japanese eggplant, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 small Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
2 1/2" piece ginger, peeled and mashed into a paste (I minced it)
1/2 small daikon radish, peeled and cut into 1" pieces (I used a watermelon radish)
salt, to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen grated coconut (I used dried unsweetened coconut)
3 Tbsp. sugar (I used less honey)
1 tsp. asafoetida (I used 1/2 tsp. minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. onion powder)
1/4 cup ghee (I used coconut oil)
1 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 small green Thai chile or a Serrano, halved (I chopped finely)

Bring dal and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium; stir in turmeric, carrot, tomato, eggplant, potatoes, ginger, daikon, and salt; cook until dal is mushy, about 45 minutes.  Stir in coconut, sugar, asafoetida; cook 15 minutes.  Melt ghee in a small skillet; cook cumin seeds and chile until seeds pop, 1-2 minutes; stir into stew.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Autumn Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

(recipe from Sprouted Kitchen)

3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts
3/4 lb. cauliflower florets
3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2"cubes
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic (I used regular balsamic vinegar)
3/4-1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
few pinches of cayenne
1 cup cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 packed cups arugula
1 Tbsp. prepared horseradish
1 large clove garlic
1/2 a shallot
1 tsp. honey
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper, to taste
handful of fresh chives and/or parsley
dollop of crème fraiche, optional

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut the Brussels in half lengthwise, and cut the cauliflower into similar size chunks.  Add both of these and the squash to a large rimmed baking tray.  Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a few pinches of cayenne and toss everything together with your hands to coat.  Roast in the upper third of the oven for 35 minutes, until edges are browned.

While the vegetables roast, make your dressing.  In a mini blender or processor, combine the horseradish, garlic, shallot, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs and crème fraiche, if using.  Blend everything together to mix well.  Taste for salt and pepper and set aside.

As soon as the hot tray is out of the oven, add the beans onto the tray and toss everything together.  Allow the vegetables to cool to room temperature.  Add the pomegranate seeds, arugula, and a good drizzle of the dressing and toss everything to coat.  Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Parsnip-Golden Beet Latkes

(recipe from Parade Magazine)

3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
big pinch freshly ground pepper
3/4 lb. golden beets (about 3), peeled and shredded
3/4 lb. parsnips (about 2 large), peeled and shredded
3 eggs, beaten
Olive oil, for cooking

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Squeeze shredded beets dry in a clean kitchen towel.  Toss beets and parsnips together in the bowl with the flour mixture; stir in beaten eggs.

Warm 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Drop 1/4-cupfuls of mixture into skillet and cook, pressing with a spatula to flatten, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side.  Keep warm in a 200F oven until ready to serve.

(Optional:  Stir 2 Tbsp. each grated horseradish and finely chopped parsley into 1/2 cup sour cream and serve on the side.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Good Winter Salad

(recipe from 101 Cookbooks)

1 delicata squash, seeded and sliced into thin crescents
6-8 heads little gem lettuces, leaves separated
2 endives, shredded
2 medium cloves garlic
1/8+ tsp. fine grain sea salt
5 Tbsp. melted butter (I used coconut oil)
big squeeze of lemon juice
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
2 ripe avocados, slivered

Heat the oven to 375F.  Toss the squash crescents with a splash of olive oil, and roast until deeply golden.  Remove from oven and set aside.

Crush the garlic with the salt into a paste with a mortar and pestle.  Work the melted butter into the garlic paste, and finish with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Taste and add more salt if needed.

When you're ready to serve the salad, arrange the little gems and endives in a large bowl.  Drizzle with half of the butter and give a good toss.  Add the pepitas, avocados, and squash, and some dressing, and give another gentle toss.  Taste, and add more salt, and more dressing if needed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lentil and Basmati Salad with Tamarind, Coconut, and Cilantro

(recipe from Food 52)

1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup du Puy lentils (French lentils)
2 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, including stems
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. salt, to taste
1 1/2 tsp. lime juice

1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp. black caraway seeds
1 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste
3 tsp. water
salt, to taste

In a small saucepan, combine rice, lentils and water.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender and water has evaporated, about 25 minutes.  Fluff and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

In a skillet, temper dressing by heating oil over medium heat.  Add black caraway seeds and cook for about 1 minute.  Seeds should sputter a bit.  Remove from heat.  Add tamarind paste and water, stirring to combine.

Pour dressing over rice and fold to mix thoroughly.  Fold in coconut and cilantro.  Add lime juice and salt to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.