Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Oh-so-lazy Tomato Soup

Oh, revel in the laziness of this wonderful soup! Proportions are up to your preference.

Olive oil
Onion, chopped
Garlic, minced
Diced tomatoes in juice
White beans, drained and rinsed
Soy milk (optional, if you want it creamy)

Sweat onion and garlic and herbs in olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add spinach and soy milk. Serve over brown rice or with whole wheat bread.

Friday, September 12, 2008

So Wholesome You Might Never Get Sick Again Soup

This soupish dish is one of our favorites and it's especially great if you're feeling low on health. Make it in bulk and make it often.

So Wholesome You Might Never Get Sick Again Soup

2 onions, diced

a whole bunch-a garlic, minced

3 small sweet potatoes/yams, diced

2 cups of carrots, diced

4 cups lentils

water (enough to submerge) and vegetable Better than Bullion (eyeball it after the water is boiling)

a few bay leaves

some thyme

some rosemary

A few handfuls of spinach

... I think you can figure out what to do with this... Just put it in a big pot (except the spinach), cover, cook until veggies and lentils are soft, remove from heat, stir in spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with brown rice or whole grain bread.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Potato and Broccoli soup

With classes starting, and the hours of the day feeling very finite, our tactic for cooking is revised during the fall and into the winter. Rather than being concerned about how much a kitchen endeavor with heat up our tiny apartment, our focus shifts to how many meals we can get out of one dish. Bulk is our magic word. Giant pots of soups, stews, or chili. We eat something until we're sick of it, then the rest goes in the freezer, while another giant stew goes on the stove. It may sound redundant, but the truth is that I look forward to this time of the year. I'm something of a soup fanatic, and I love how brainless or creative making soup can be. It's also largely hands-off. Anyway, expect a lot of easy soups for the next few months.

olive oil
1 small onion, diced
garlic minced
8 medium potatoes, diced
1 stalk of broccoli, diced
Water (enough to submerge), And Better-than-Bullion vegetable flavor (added later)
black pepper
cumin (a little)
chili powder (a little)
1/2-1 Cup nutritional yeast
3-4 Cups cooked brown rice

Heat olive oil in the bottom of a large stock-pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft. Add garlic, and sauté another minute. Remove from heat and add vegetables, water, herbs and spices (to your tastes). Return to heat and bring water to a boil. Add Better-than-Bullion (just eye-ball it). Cover and cook over medium for 20-25 minutes.
Turn off heat. Add nutritional yeast, mix well, and blend or mash potatoes and other vegetables to your liking. Add rice, stir and serve.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lazy Pasta Tofredo

So, I am a big pasta dish fan, particularly of Alfredo dishes. And last night, for the first time, I tried the Alfredo sauce from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. This is hands down, by far, the BEST Alfredo recipe I've ever had (including from my pre-vegan days). This corrects the problem I've had with most Alfredo recipe where the nutritional yeast is a little too present, all of the "cheesy" flavor depending on it (and sometimes mustard). The Uncheese version, instead, relies on unique flavor combinations that produce a "cheesy" flavor, without any single element standing out.

However, it's not a fast fix recipe (unless you have blanched almonds on hand), so although not the gourmet phenomenon of the Uncheese variation, I give you my Lazy Pasta Tofreda! The lovely thing about this recipe is that the sauce takes less time to prepare than the noodles take to boil. It tastes great too (but you can taste the nutritional yeast in mine, so beware).

1 block soft tofu (drained)

3/4 C rice milk

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. rosemary

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. mustard powder

sea salt


Blend tofu and rice milk until smooth. Heat on stove over medium, stirring often. Add other ingredients, stir, heat until heated through. Serve on top of pasta, salt and pepper to taste, add some vegan parmesan.

For extra fun, add in a can of sliced beets (drained). It turns the sauce a fun pink color!

Here's a picture from where I originally posted it on Path of the Vegan.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blackberry dressing

During the summer, we often eat salad. It's fast, it's easy, and (most importantly) it doesn't require heating up our entire apartment by turning on the oven.

This salad features spinach, tomatoes, grapefruit, and leftover black rice. It was very good, but if I make it again, I think I will use a mellower citrus; the grapefruit was a bit overpowering for me. I topped it with a home made blackberry dressing.

Blackberry dressing

  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (If you would prefer the berry flavor to be more prominent than the sesame, go for plain sesame oil instead of toasted.)

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vegan Tofu Parmesan

Through baked tofu, my chains are broken. The curd shall free me.

The variations on baked tofu are endless: marinades, spice rubs, or breading. Just do what you will to the tofu, arrange on a baking sheet or glass pan, and cook for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F. I haven't found a variation of this basic recipe that doesn't work yet, so it would seem the sky's the limit!

This variation of baked tofu is the one I make the most often. The pine nuts give it an Italian edge, but replacing the pine nuts with an equal measure of breadcrumbs would be a less expensive, and less time consuming variation.

This recipe, I might note, is omnivore approved (by my brother and sister).


1/3 C sherry

2/3 C olive oil

juice from 1/2 a lemon

1 T minced onion

1 T minced garlic

1 T dried basil


1/2 C raw pine nuts

1/2 C bread crumbs

1 T dried basil

1 t garlic powder

Press extra firm tofu, and cut into 8 slices. Combine marinade ingredients in shallow dish, and marinade tofu for 1 hour, flipping half way through.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in just a little bit of olive oil until they just begin to darken. Grind nuts in a coffee grinder or food processor until nuts reach the consistency of parmesan cheese. Combine breading ingredients with a fork, breaking up clumps. Pack breading onto both sides of each tofu slice, and place on a cookie sheet. Cook for 20 min at 400 degrees F. Taddaaa!

We had ours on top of pasta and tomato sauce with Zucchini and spinach.

Asian tofu Salad

I adapted this recipe from one of my (non-vegan) childhood favorites, so this is really a collaborative effort between me and my mom. The dressing is hers but the tofu and seasoning are mine (plus, I use about twice the peanuts to replace the crispy noodles she would use). It's a hit when I bring it to potlucks, or for lunch or dinner on a hot summer day.

Asian tofu salad

  • ~2 tablespoons margarine/oil
  • 1 brick tofu, drained and diced
  • ~1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • ~1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • wok oil for cooking
  • ~2 tablespoons sesame seed
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • ~1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • ~1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
  • ~1 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 medium green onions, sliced
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) coleslaw mix

Combine melted margarine, ginger and garlic powder. coat tofu with mixture and sesame seeds. Heat a small amount of wok oil, add tofu mixture and cook on high until golden brown, stirring often.

Mix sugar, vinegar, oil, and pepper in large bowl. Add tofu mixture and remaining ingredients; toss.