Saturday, February 1, 2020

Monday, July 9, 2018

Pesto Bean Dip on Sourdough crackers

Rancho Gordo Lima beans
Pine nuts
Olive oil

Sourdough crackers

Saturday, November 25, 2017

After Thanksgiving improv casserole

After Thanksgiving you may still have leftovers, but can’t face yet another full on dinner of mostly white food or leftover sammich.

So look to the fridge to build a different style dish.  Here’s my mexellent-three-sistersish-refrigerator-casserole.

Opened or previously cooked stuff in the fridge to use:
Lima beans
Jar of sofrito
Half cup enchilada sauce (homemade from dried chilies)
Half an onion
Bag of baby carrots
A big jug of broth - mostly prominently leek flavored

From the pantry:
Sweet potato
A cup of cashews
Tin of green chilies (perfectly fine but possibly nearishly past expiration date)
Part of a bag of blue corn chips
Nutritional yeast (nooch)


I sautéed the sweet potato, carrots, and onion in sofrito and some of the broth.  I then blended half of this with the enchilada sauce, more broth, cashews, some of the lima beans and some nooch to make kind of a cheesy sauce.  I want the sauce pretty loose and wetish so that the tortilla chips will soak it up.

Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the sauce.  Layer on tortilla chips, sautéed veggies, green chilies, lima beans, then repeat ending with sauce on top.

Bake 325 for about 45 minutes.

Serve with a side salad and any other mexcellent toppings like avocado, salsa, cashew creme, hot sauce or anything else you like with Mexican food.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Malk - Pecan Milk

Ok folks who don't think protien plant juice should be called's Malk.  I picked up the Maple Pecan Malk.  I've tried a lot of nut based milks, and this one is, well, different.  It's not sweet like pecan pie, but otherwise it's pecan pie in a bottle.  I had it in tea and it was almost bitter, but not really in a bad way.  

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Vegan snacks in the air

When Mercury is headed into retrograde, it helps to have a positive relaxed attitude toward travel.

Thanks Delta for having an all vegan "Tapas" snack box.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year! Taco Cleanse and Marvel actors in a Jane Austin Classic

Happy New Year!

While not exactly traditional blacked eyed peas, these Black Calypso beans from Rancho Gordo will do nicely in a taco.

Here's my New Year's taco inspired by the new Taco Cleanse book.  You can't beat a practical taco cookbook with a humorous take on fad cleanses.  Tacos everyday is a New Year's resolution I can stick to!

Today's bean and sweet potato taco

Mashed baked sweet potato
Cooked Beans 
Nutritional yeast
Vegan Sour Cream

Toaster oven style:   Place tortilla in the toaster oven on 350 for about 3min.  If it's a little stale run some water over it quickly and it will bake off when heating and soften the tortilla.  Check it often, and pop it out when warmed but still pliable.

For a no-frills quick queso, mix some nutritional yeast with a little water then add salsa.  

Layer the sweet potato, beans, salsa queso, avocado, and vegan sour cream on the warmed tortilla.  Enjoy!

Crockpot beans:  Not pre-soaked.  Cover with plenty of water.  Turn on.  After reasonable cooking time, when they're soft, taste several beans for doneness.  These took about 5 hours on high.  If you have lots of time, leave it on low, and test after about 8 hours.  This works well for overnight or while you're at work.  As long as there is plenty of water you can set it and forget it for a really long time (I've forgotten it and left about 24 hours before.) 

Baked Sweet Potato:  It is actually important to prick the skins on potatoes - says one who once didn't believe this was essential and learned the hard way when scraping exploded baked potato off the oven.  

No frills Queso:

Blurry tacos - too hungry to focus...

For a relaxing post new year's afternoon, and if you can't get enough Jane Austin on film or Marvel Universe connections, check out Mansfield Park with both Agent Carter and Mr. Jarvis.  It's streaming on Amazon and free with Prime.  For Dr. Who fans, Billie Piper is the lead.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Rise and shine! Vegan breakfast - MoFo 1 2015

Sometimes simple works best.

Berries in almond milk with a little sugar and tea with almond milk.

Visiting family in Idaho so making a quick and easy breakfast worked well this morning.

Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and apple.  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Vegan Cheese Steak Sandwich at Sweetgrass

I almost missed this on the menu.  Vegan cheese steak?  Done.

The waiter promised to try it, so I'm reposting to their Facebook page.

Perfectly meaty seitan with melted Daiya and mildly spicy sauce.

Sweetgrass has always been veg friendly, and has amped up the vegan dishes on the regular menu.  This one is a keeper.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Too hot to cook? Cold summer vegetable soup.

The secret ingredient is cashew cream, but I'll get to that in a minute.

When my first world complaint is that there's simply too much broccoli in my CSA share,  it's time to make soup.

Soup is always about the ingredients and the fresher the better.  A few simple tricks can make this an almost instant treat.  Advance planning when it's cooler, and you can create a simple base that can be used to create quick soup throughout the week.

This soup had about four big heads of broccoli with the stems.  The addition of carrots and potatoes did lighten the green tint.

Almost Instant:

For instant cold smooth soup, add pretty much any vegetable or bean combination (raw, pre-cooked, frozen, or whatever you have that you like) to the blender or food processor about halfway up and completely cover with water or vegetable broth with about an extra inch above the vegetable line.  Blend this first and you can quickly see if you need it thinner or thicker.  It's a good time to add some salt or vegetable bullion to taste and blend again.  Add more broth or water for thinner.  I don't use raw potatoes because I find them gritty raw, but I usually add some cooked potatoes or dried potato flakes to make it thicker.  I also generally opt for only a small amount of raw garlic, scapes, shallot, scallion, or sweet onion. Too much or a really potent one can totally overpower your soup.  I add a dollop of cashew cream to blend in.  It's a bit tangy and salty and balances out the veggies nicely.

Advance planning version:

If you've got too many veggies that are at risk of going bad in the fridge, making a soup base will help preserve them.  I do prefer them cooked generally so basically add them all to a pot and include some potatoes and more of the onion family.  Carrots and celery are also good bases.

Last week I had carrot, onion, garlic, shallot, celery, both cooked and raw potaoes, some unidentified root vegetables, the aforementioned too-much-broccoli, parsley, and some cooked lentils.  Put it in a large pot, cover plus one inch with broth and water, salt to taste, simmer about an hour and blend it all together.  I store it in the fridge in quart mason jars after it's cooled but not cold.  Not canned, but the mason jars get sort of vacuum sealed and it lasts more than 2 weeks in the fridge.  This is good reheated or cold, but in 95 degree weather, who am I kidding; I'm opting for cold.  If it gets too thick in the fridge I add some cold water to make it less like baby food and top with cashew cream and a dash of seasoned salt.

You can also use the base as the canvas for other more complex soups or add herbs and spices or more diced veggies or beans after blending. It is incredibly diverse and versatile.

I made the cashew cream topping with rejeuvalac, but that requires advance planning so the cheater version is below.

Cashew cream:

1 cup unroasted unsalted cashews
Juice from one fresh lemon
Salt to taste

Soak the cashews in water for about an hour and drain.  Blend together.  Add a little water if it doesn't come together or is too thick.

Really it's all about the cashew cream, but getting more vegetables and soup is always a good thing.

Monday, August 10, 2015

BLT sushi rolls

Here's my iron chef sushi submission.  Weirdly it's the tomato that's the oddball ingredient as the bacon is tempeh, and avocado (swapped for the lettuce) is a fairly normal American sushi roll ingredient.  

Topped with a vegan mayo mixed with some sriracha.  

I brought the rice cooker into the office and made this at work.  I did pretty good with the rolling.  

Mixed verdict with the tasters.  I usually waited until after they tried it to mention "fermented" and "soy" in the same sentence with "it's not really bacon."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Simple summer bean bruschetta

I was recently in London and had the opportunity help a friend with a boutique Italian wine tasting.  We made this easy and delicious bean dip on garlicky toasts that was a big hit with the sippers.  Pair with your favorite white wine.  I'll be having this with a 2012 St. Helena Riesling from my fave Napa Valley winery.

Simple summer bean bruschetta 

4 Tbs olive oil* -divided
8 cloves garlic* - divided - 4 minced and 4 large whole
1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh - leaves chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked white(ish) beans (1 can drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup water or broth
2 Tbs white wine (optional)
Salt (if needed)
4 slices rustic Italian style bread 

*You'll need 2 Tbs of the olive oil to sauté the minced garlic, then 2 Tbs olive oil with the 4 whole garlic cloves for rubbing the bruschetta.

In a small bowl, pour 2 Tbs olive oil and add 4 whole garlic cloves and set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, add 2 Tbs olive oil, 4 minced garlic cloves, and rosemary.  Sauté on low heat about a minute until the garlic and rosemary is fragrant.  Add beans, broth or water and wine if using.  Let simmer about 5 minutes to infuse the flavor or until beans are mashable and the liquid is absorbed or evaporated.  Break up the beans into a rough paste so that it's sticky but some of the beans are still partially bean shaped.  Turn off the heat and let come to room temp.  Give it a taste and add salt as needed.

Toast the bread until crisp, but not brown.  I popped in the toaster oven at 300 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Now take one of the garlic cloves from the set aside bowl in oil and rub the toast hard with the garlic.  It will rub off on the toasts.  Repeat with remaining toasts.  You can leave the toasts whole or cut into halves or quarters for more bite sized options.  Top with bean mixture and remaining oil and additional rosemary if desired.  

I used Rancho Gordo yellow eyed beans which are white with a yellow spot when dry but cook up kind of brownish.  Any solid white bean like great northern or gigantes with a nice meaty creamy texture would work great.  Yum.  Garlicky...

The recipe is easily multiplied and the amounts forgiving, so this is a snap to pull together for a pot luck or unexpected guests.  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fresh Vegetable Tofu Scramble Collard Green Burrito

My CSA has started, yay!  Surveying today's haul: it's kohlrabi, red leaf amaranth, peas, spring onions, collard greens, fruit share is strawberries, and I got crimini and shitake mushrooms as add on extras.

I'm determined to plan better to get the most out of the veggies.  I start by looking at what I won't use and see if I can juice it.  Starting with the peas.  I shelled them -  It took about a half hour while I rewatched the inspiring documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (Watch it for Free!) - and I'm going to juice the pods.  Not sure how it will work out, but there seems to be a good deal of water in them.

I'm trying to think more raw, but sometimes when I'm hungry, raw just sounds not-so-appealing.  So I took a raw trick - collard green wrapper - and stuffed it with my cooked veggie and tofu scramble.

I sautéed a sliced spring onion and one chopped shitake in annato oil, then added a handful of chopped amaranth and about a 1/3 cup of crumbled tofu with some turmeric and taco seasoning.  I put one collard green leaf on top of the scramble in the pan, then topped with a lid and turned off the heat and left it for about a minute.  This softens it up, but it still holds together so the filling doesn't leak through when you roll it up like a burrito and eat it.  I then topped it with a radish pico de gallo (from my Sweet Grass leftovers below) and some homemade cashew cream and hot sauce.   

I also ate at Sweet Grass (yes, again) last night and got amazing vegan roasted garlic soup and a setian quesadilla.  

Roasted Garlic Soup
 Seitan Quesadilla
I'm really excited they have so many vegan options, both on the regular menu and the specials.  I'm especially psyched for all the new seitan dishes they've had recently.  The chipotle sauce was also fantastic (and spicy) but they didn't pack it up with my leftovers, so sadly I'll have to make due with my own.  The radish pico de gallo was also surprisingly refreshing (hence topping my scramble with it) so I'll have to try something like that when we get radish in the CSA.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

More seitan at Sweet Grass

This week the seitan special at Sweet Grass was a steak rather than slices.

Really good, but different.  I once got some gluten cubes from the H Mart (Asian market) that were similar to this.  It's almost bread, but a meaty chewy gluteny savory bread.  Don't get me wrong, it's good but different from the usual wet boil seitan.  I'll have to ask what they did.  I wonder if they baked it.  It's crispy...

Dessert was nut based chocolate mousse.  Delish. I forgot to snap a pic when it came, but here's the menu description.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sweetgrass Seitan and an evening with Rick Springfield

Finally, my local veg friendly restaurant in Tarrytown, NY, Sweetgrass, has a seitan dish.

I was expecting more of a "steak" but this thinly sliced seitan served it up with flavor.     

Sweetgrass has also refined the Vegan Shepherd's pie.  The mashed potato crust is perfectly crisped and the meaty jackfruit gives it authentic texture.  

Just the right amount of veg, potato, and shredded jackfruit in each bite.

And that wasn't even the most exciting thing of the evening.  My neighbor (yes the bird saving neighbor) and I went to see Rick Springfield at the Tarrytown Music Hall.  (You know...Jessie's Girl.)

Here's a nice blurry photo to set the mood.  

I love the storytelling, acoustic format which feels really intimate and personal.  The Music Hall is a really cool venue (like my old favorite the Somerville Theater in Massachusetts).  He was quite genuine and funny and the songs were great.

He even stayed after for  Q&A which was really cool.  In addition to being an actor, songwriter, pop star, and all around hot guy; Rick wrote a novel called Magnificent Vibration that of course I downloaded and started reading last night.

All in all a fun night out in my town. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

My neighbor just saved a bird and I made some vegan reuben bites

I suppose I needed a jump start on a new post, so this mornings "bird rescue" fits in well. 

I was doing laundry in the complex and heard some banging in the gutters.  I peeked into the part where the drain and the gutter meet and thought I heard some movement, then nothing.  So I feared that the little critter must have gone further down the pipes.  

I went back out and found a neighbor's cat totally stalking the same area and then heard the banging again.  Then my neighbor Amy came up to see why I was staring at the sidewalk with a cat, and she pushed in the gutter just enough so the bird came flying out and away!  Yay!  The cat, however, was not as pleased...

So back to some snacks.  The "bird" in these vegan Reuben bites is Beyond Meat Grilled chicken-free strips.  The Beyond Meat strips are kind of stringy so you can pull them apart for more of a shredded protein texture.  They're quite good and absolutely would fool your friends.  

The background runner in the photo is author Tami's pay it forward gift to me.  I love it!  

I made these into bites because the crusty french bread I used always tears the crap out of the roof of my mouth if toasted on the top, so I opted for open faced and bite sized.

For more vegan finger foods, check out Tami and Celene's newest venture Vegan Finger Foods.  Love the instant gratification of the kindle, off to read it now...