Tag Archives: recipes

Stock!

This post is about making stock for soup, mashed potatoes, French Onion soup, gravy, risotto or whatever you would normally use soup stock for and it’s crazy simple. Even if you like to compost (or have bunnies to ‘process’ your leftover veggies) this is a great way to get more out of your veggies before you throw them in your bin. Get yourself a big old freezer safe storage container. Every time you peel the skins off onions or garlic, cut the ends of carrots or celery, stems from parsley and other herbs, stumps from mushrooms or broccoli… really anything. I add lemon peel from time to time for certain recipes like pho and orange peel for zesty soy curls. Dump it into the container (I like to use a freezer bag) and store in your freezer.

When your container is full of veggie scraps, dump the contents into a pan, cover with water and simmer for at least 2 hours. Strain the liquid into a container and freeze for whenever. Now the veggies are extra mushy for composting or your sink disposal.

The stock will have no added fat or sodium and full of flavor. I like to store the stock in zippered freezer baggies too. If the bag is full enough for about 1/2 inch thickness when lying on its side, then you’ll be able to thaw it quickly.

This is Christie, signing off.

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Simple Black Bean Chipotle Burritos!

Brent and I wanted something simple and delicious as we were recovering from our flu and this was it. One of the bigger issues with our love of Texan and Mexican cuisine is the lack of a suitably large soft tortilla to wrap Tex-Mex delights in. Fortunately we recently discovered that gluten-free wraps exist!
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These babies are about the size of your typical wrap and are pliable, unlike their corn counterparts (which often must be fried in order to bend without breaking). You’ll need the following:
6 large soft tortillas
1 tin of black beans, drained
1 tin of diced tomatoes (seasoned with chilis and/or lime works well, I like Muir Glen)
1 package of crumbled tofu (Marjon is great) or 1 cup of reconstituted TVP
1 cup of your favorite chipotle, mole, ranchero or enchilada sauce
1 large onion, sliced
flake red pepper to taste
Daiya (optional)
corn oil
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I sauteed the onion until it was soft. Then I added the tofu crumbles (use seitan if you’ve got a soy allergy), beans tomato and sauce. I stirred it until it was a good burrito consistency, adjusted the seasonings and the let Brent at it.
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We plopped a generous amount of the burrito filling onto our new favorite wraps and then microwaved them (on top of a paper towel so they don’t get soggy) to melt some pepper jack Daiya we sprinkled on top. We added spinach after melting the cheese but we ate them before I could get a picture. Cilantro would have been good too!
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It was spicy, hearty and packed with good nutrients for recovering invalids need. I suspect that’s just an excuse and we’ll do it again soon. YAY!

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Pasta a la Fauxlognese

As a kid, spaghetti bolognese was a favorite. It’s a rich meaty sauce wth lots of tomato and onion served with whatever pasta you tend to fancy. In this case, we’re using shirataki noodles and no meat. Shirataki noodles are great for those who are concerned about gluten and calories. If you use regular noodles, your fauxlognese will be more attractive than ours but just as tasty. You’ll want the following

1 onion, diced

3.4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 16oz tin of diced tomato

1 cup of TVP (reconstituted with water) or soy crumbles (Marion tofu crumbles work well here), chopped mushrooms can be substituted for those sensitive to soy

1 cube of “beef bouillon”

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and flake red pepper to taste

olive oil

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Add a dash of olive oil and the onion and garlic to your pan and saute until the onion starts to carmelize, stirring occasionally. Add the tofu crumbles or TVP and the dry spices.

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When everything is hot and fragrant, add the tomato. Mix it all up, stirring occasionally until hot and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

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Your sauce should look deceptively meaty. Top with some vegan parmesan, shredded basil or Daiya or just serve as is.

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This is a very kid friendly preparation of vegan fare, tasty and healthy to boot. I hope you get to try it!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Weird-Looking Pasta Dish

I mentioned in a recent post that I have been having a gross-looking but tasty week in terms of food. If I were to rank the meals I had that fell into this category, my avocado pasta would have been the clear winner.

I wanted to use the items I had on hand instead of going to the store (the weather was crappy), so I had to get a bit creative.

1 avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1-2 garlic gloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup button mushrooms
3/4 c penne, uncooked
salt, pepper and crush red pepper to taste

I put a pot of water on the stove for the pasta and then prepared the rest of my ingredients while I waited for it to boil and for the pasta to cook.

I stuck the avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic into a food processor and mixed it until smooth. Believe me, I wondered why I even bothered with the food processor since it ended up as un-lumpy guacamole.

I don’t have pictures of the next steps, but I lightly browned the mushrooms with some garlic and then mixed it in with the cooked pasta and the ‘sauce.’

Looks gross… tasted great! I’ll admit that it would have tasted better with some tortilla chips instead and mushrooms and avocado are a bit of a weird mix. Still, it was a hearty meal and I was able to use ingredients that I already had at home. WIN! –Melissa

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Melissa’s Fried Rice

I mention garlicky rice a lot. It’s because I eat a lot of garlicky rice. In my pre-veganese days, I never went hungry as long as I had rice, eggs, and garlic. Breakfast, lunch or dinner: fry up some leftover rice, fry an egg or scramble it in the rice, and then serve with tomatoes if available. I still eat a lot of fried rice, but I leave out the egg. It’s so quick and easy and versatile.

Today was a “Use What You’ve Got and Clean Out Your Fridge Day.” I was about to step out and go to the grocery store when I realized that there was a mess of things in the fridge that I could make into something. I’ll post about my interesting lunch another day. Let’s talk about the fried rice I made for dinner.

The basic recipe never changes:

leftover rice
garlic, minced (as much or as little as you want)

Today, I added minced ginger, a small sliced onion, and leftover broccoli and carrots to leftover rice (brown/white mix).

First, I heated up some olive oil and then threw in the garlic, ginger, carrots and about 3/4 of the onion.

Then, I added the rice.

I then added the broccoli and sprinkled in some salt. When you make fried rice using this method, fry it up at least until it’s heated through, but fry for long as you want beyond that; longer can yield some crunchy rice which a lot of people enjoy.  Once it was fried to my satisfaction, I turned off the heat and added the rest of the onion and some ground black pepper.

I steamed some edamame from the freezer and served it with the rice. I mixed in some Sriracha which gave it a really nice kick.

There’s so much more you can do with basic fried rice: add soy sauce, chilis, curry powder, sugar, coconut flakes, peas, corn, tomato, basil, cilantro, nuts, etc. You can go crazy or you can just fry it up with tons of garlic. Do whatever suits you at the moment you make it.

I’m off to have some green tea coconut milk ice cream for dessert… Melissa

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Tahini Lemon Cauliflower

Simple, easy, delicious. That’s what I strive for. Here’s what you need:

One head cauliflower, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tahini
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp water
salt
olive oil

Put some olive oil in a pan, add the cauliflower and some salt, and brown the cauliflower. You can add a bit of water for a more “steamed” vegetable… I did not. Remove the cauliflower from the pan and set aside.

I didn’t take any photos of this next step, but add some more olive oil to the same pan, and then brown the garlic a bit. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and water. Add a bit more salt if you’d like. Let it simmer for a few minutes, stirring often, and then turn off the heat. Add the cauliflower back to the pan and coat it with the sauce.

Sprinkle some parsley on the cauliflower and serve. I’m betting that mint would be a great garnish for this dish as well. Experiment!

Happy veggie eating… Melissa

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Nacho Mac&Cheese: Not your Ordinary Mac and Cheese.

This was an evening when the man-meat and I just wanted to chill out so we made something super fast. Brent prepared the pasta (as I’ve noted in previous posts, I can’t be trusted with parts of a meal that require patience) and I added a tablespoon of olive oil and about 2 cups of chickpeas (1 cup of dry beans, soaked or 1 can, drained) and fried them lightly with some chili powder.

To this I added a tin of diced tomatoes. I used a tin of “Rotel” mild with diced green chilis.

After this was looking and smelling amazing we shredded some basil (cilantro would have been better but we didn’t have any) into it and then added the cheese. You can also add some nutritional yeast for a flavor boost and nutrients.

This cheese is called “Ste. Martaen” and we used their pepperjack variety. I don’t like this cheese for eating: I find the texture disturbing. It’s great for cooking since the flavors are fabulous and it melts well. It’s made with an agar base (that’s a seaweed based gelatin, very sustainable and low calorie) As you can see, we’ve got a cheesy mass of chickpeas and tomato that’s still very low in calories, cholesterol free and high in nutrients like protein, vitamin C, and fiber and we haven’t even added the quinoa pasta yet!

This is the finished product. We devoured it and vowed to make it again. The creamy sauce was spicy and cheesy and the bite of the peppers was balanced by the smooth chickpeas and mellow tomato.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Stuffed Peppers and Creamy Chipotle Sauce

Stuffed peppers or chiles rellenos are pretty popular here in South Florida but I don’t like what a lot of them are stuffed with so I’m presenting you with a light flavorful version that’s vegan and gluten-free. Recognize!


The other half of my dynamic duo sliced 3 peppers in half and removed the seeds and white ribs carefully with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile I microwaved the following in a microwave safe dish:
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa (rice is fine too but cook the rice and bouillon separately from the rest of the seasonings and combine before stuffing)
5 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stick of celery, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
1/4 onion, diced
1 cube of veggie bouillon
1/2 cup of chopped pecans (walnuts are fine but pecans are more “Southern” and the sweetness will help balance the chipotle cream sauce. Did I mention there’s chipotle cream sauce involved in this recipe? Yeah, awesomesauce. )

Microwave, stirring between 2 minute intervals until all the water is absorbed. Taste it and add salt and pepper to taste. When it’s ready, stuff your peppers with it! Bake in a 350C/180F oven for 35 minutes.

So I really like creamy sauces but don’t like the calories or indigestion that dairy so faithfully delivers so I use silken tofu for a lot of things that should be creamy. I combined the following in my blender for a spicy sauce that compliments the savory peppers perfectly.


1 box silken tofu (I use MoriNu)
juice from 1-2 limes
1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (this makes it REALLY spicy, like sweating while you’re eating it spicy. Most people will like the spice that 2-3 individual peppers plus a spoon of the liquid from the can.)

I blendend it until it was smooth and creamy and then plated it with some fresh cilantro, a dash of hot sauce, some smoked paprika and one of my peppers.

This is one of those really pretty dishes that’s almost too easy to make. It’s also high in protein and low in fat, hey whatcha think about that!?

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Pad Thai, oh my!

Pad Thai is something that I routinely order at Thai restaurants because if you ask them to omit the egg it’s vegan and gluten-free. Tofu or tempeh also makes a nice addition to the meal. If you’re on a budget or want to make this classic a little healthier you should make it at home. Brent and I took some tips from Vegan Black Metal Chef and made this our own with some substitutions. To prepare this dish we assembled the following ingredients.
1 package of brown rice noodles (use 8oz for 3 people)
1 bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 head of cabbage cut into ribbons (we couldn’t find mung bean sprouts)
1 tomato, diced
1 package of Chinese style water packed tofu
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
6 cloves of garlic, minced
ginger, we used a piece about the size of half a big toe
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
3-4oz. tamarind (frozen, soup base, or powdered)
2-4 tbsp molasses
1 lime, sliced for a garnish
olive oil
water
salt to taste

Before you do anything, break the noodles in half and place them in a large bowl of warm water to soak.

Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces. Place the tofu on a paper towel and stack 2 paper towels on top and put a pan or a bowl on top to help drain the moisture from the tofu. This will help keep it from falling apart when you cook it later.

Also cut your veggies into bite sized pieces and set them aside.

Put the peanuts, garlic, ginger, crushed pepper, peanut butter, and most of the cilantro (save some for a garnish) into a bowl and cover with 1-2 cups of water. This next part is tricky because it’s about your taste and type of ingredients. I add 3-4 ounces of frozen tamarind paste.

You can also use 1 tbsp tamarind paste or soup base. This is what gives the dish it’s tartness so add it slowly, tasting it until it’s ‘right’. I add about 2 tablespoons of molasses but I don’t like it particularly sweet. Stir it all together and just keep tasting it until you like the flavor of the sauce.

Put a little olive oil, maybe a teaspoon or two, in a large pan and add the tomato. Heat it for about a minute.

Then add the shredded cabbage or bean sprouts and stir the for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water from and add the noodles, they don’t have to be too dry. A little liquid is fine.

Add the tofu, broccoli, bell pepper and the sauce and stir it all together. Keep stirring on medium high heat for another 6-10 minutes or until the noodles are soft and have absorbed the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts and a lime wedge.

Extra vegetables you can add: 1 bunch scallions cut into 1 inch pieces, broccoli florets, 1 small head of bok choy chopped into ribbons instead of or in addition to bean sprouts or cabbage. I hope you get to try this delicious dish.

Until then, this is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Squash “ribs”, green beans, and cilantro lime quinoa!

People often cite being vegan as being too difficult as a reason for continuing to eat meat, dairy and eggs. I was ruminating on this idea, this afternoon as I was thinking of what I would prepare for dinner this evening. I picked a handful of ingredients: green beans, butternut squash and cilantro. These were left over from other things I’d prepared this past week.

I sliced up the squash, leaving the skin on, sprayed it lightly with olive oil and sprinkled it with sea salt. I put it into the oven on a tinfoil lined baking dish and set the timer for 30 minutes at 350F/175C. I also put the seeds from my squash onto another piece of tinfoil with a light sprinkling of garlic salt and checked every few minutes or so until they were crispy and delicious. You can do this with pumpkin seeds or the seeds from spaghetti squash as well. I snacked on these while I was tending the rest of the meal.

While that was happening I washed my green beans and snapped the ends off each one. I put them in a covered steamer and waited until they were BRIGHT green. This takes 8-12 minutes, because I like mine crispy and green. As soon as they got really bright green, I took the lid off the beans and took them off the heat.

While I was waiting for that to happen I put collected the following:

1/2 cup red quinoa (any sort of quinoa will do)

1 cup of water

1 cube of bouillon

1/2 onion, chopped

3-4 sun dried tomatoes, sliced into strips (optional)

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

juice from 1/2 lime

I put the quinoa and water into a microwave safe bowl and microwaved it for a minute. I stirred it and added the bouillon cube and microwaved for another minute. I stirred it and added the sun dried tomato and microwaved for a minute. I stirred it and added the onion and microwaved it for a minute. I microwaved for another minute and then all of the liquid was absorbed and I stirred in the cilantro. I squeezed some lime over it before serving.

I placed the green beans on the plate and sprinkled some almond slivers over them (omit these if you’ve got a nut allergy and use the baked squash seeds instead). I ended up drizzling some balsamic vinegar on them too but that’s not in the picture. I was starting to check that the squash was tender with a fork at this point and as soon as it was ready, I put the squash on the plate with everything else and because I didn’t take off the skin, I ate them like they were ribs… except there was no hunks of fat or gristle to get in the way of my eating pleasure. As I ate, I thought about how I made something really healthful, beautiful, fragrant and tasty in 40 minutes. As far as I’m concerned, the best food nourishes your mind and your body.

This is Christie, signing off.

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