Archive for April, 2011

Another easy and tasty after-work meal.

Chicken with string beans and roasted almonds

1 pound cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 pound string beans or haricots verts

1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan

3 tablespoons margarine

3 tablespoons minced garlic

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Return to the saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the margarine is melted and everything is nicely coated. Makes 4 servings.

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This was my first stab at using tofu noodles, also known as Tofu Shirataki. They were pretty good. Extremely low carb, and a great substitute for pasta. I rinsed them off when I took them out of their package – had a funny smell, but I was told in advance about that.

Chicken with peppers and shirataki (modified from this recipe)

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, sliced very thin

1/2 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons sherry

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon chile paste

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 whole medium yellow onion, sliced

2 whole red bell peppers, sliced into rings

1/4 teaspoon diced fresh jalapeno

cilantro leaves for garnish

Mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and chili paste. Place sliced chicken in the mixture and toss to coat. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove to a separate plate. Return skillet to flame and add bell peppers and jalapeno. Cook for 2 minutes, tossing, until peppers have brown/black flecks but are still a little firm. Remove to a plate.

Return skillet to flame, add remaining tablespoon of oil to skillet and add chicken mixture. Allow to sit for 20 – 30 seconds, then turn with tongs. Cook for another 30 seconds, then remove to separate plate.

Reduce heat to low. Add all the chicken, onions, and peppers to the skillet and toss to combine. Pour in remaining sauce that the chicken marinated in and stir. Allow to simmer. Sauce will thicken.

Throw in our shirataki noodles (that you’ve pre-rinsed) and stir. Add more water if needed to thin, if necessary.

Serve topped with cilantro leaves. Makes 4 servings.

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A fabulous recipe! Really great photography, too. These were wonderful.

Raw veggie spring rolls

For the salad:

1 zucchini, shredded or julienned

1/2 cup mix vegetables, shredded or julienned (carrots, broccoli, green beans, cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, peapods, bell peppers, whatever you like)

For the dressing:

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon basil (fresh or dried)

1/2 teaspoon dill

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

pinch of salt, optional

handful of spinach

one package of rice spring rolls

Prepare the vegetables, then coat and toss with the dressing.

To prepare the spring rolls is quite easy. You’ll need a pie plate large enough to set the roll in, and fill it with hot water. The rolls are packaged as hard discs. As soon as they hit the hot water, they begin to soften. Within 5 – 10 seconds, the starch will give, and you can pull the disc out and place it on a flat surface, spreading out any wrinkles. Do one at a time.

Place several spinach leaves down as the base, then place a large fingerful amount of vegetable salad on top.

Fold the top and bottom edges over the salad, then pull one of the remaining sides over the filling, then roll into a cigar shaped log. Cut on the diagonal. This makes 7 – 8 spring rolls.

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The perfect spring soup, for when it’s not quite warm but it’s definitely greening up outside. Delicious.

Springtime minestrone (modified from Eat, Live, Run blog)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 leek, sliced thin

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1 bulb fennel, chopped

1 cup small pasta (alphabet or orzo is good)

1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed

1 large bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped

1/4 pound sugar snap peas, chopped in half

1 cup frozen green peas

a few slices jarred chile pepper, chopped finely

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

grated soy parmesan for serving

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the leek and cook for 5 minutes, until the leek is bright green and soft.

Add the stock and the pasta and bring to a simmer. Let cook for another 5 minutes and then add the sugar snap peas, chard, beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for only a couple of minutes before adding the chile pepper, peas, and mint. Continue cooking until pasta is just tender.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with the soy parmesan. Makes 4 servings.

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Anything Claudia Roden makes is fabulous. This recipe was adapted from the original by Rosa’s Yummy Yums blog, and I followed her lead.

Not only did it taste good, but it made a very enticing presentation. This Middle-Eastern meatloaf is a winner.

Kibbeh Saniyeh (modified slightly by me)

Ingredients For The “Baked Kibbeh” Base:
2/3 cup fine-ground bulgur
1 medium white onion, cut into quarters
1 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon sea salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (to grease the pan and the top of the kibbeh)

Ingredients For The “Onion & Pine Nut Topping”:
1 pound white onions, sliced (half-moon)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
Sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground allspice
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Method for the “Baked Kibbeh” base:
1. Cover the bulgur with water and let rest 10 minutes. Drain well.
2. In a food processor, purée the onion, then add the meat, salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Blend to a fine paste.
3. Add the drained bulgur and blend again in order to get a smooth, homogenous and soft paste.
4. Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F). Oil a 26cm (10inch) diameter tart pan/dish and then press the paste into the bottom of the pan/dish with your hands.
5. Flatten and smooth the top. Rub with 1 tablespoons oil.
6. With a pointed knife, cut the kibbeh into 6 wedges through the center, and run the knife around the edges of the dish to release them.
7. Bake the kibbeh in the preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes, until browned.

Method for the “Topping”:
8. Meanwhile, fry the onions in the olive oil until they are golden brown, stirring often.
9. Add the pine nuts. Stir-fry until lightly golden.
10. Salt and pepper to taste, then add the cinnamon, allspice and the pomegranate molasses.
11. Continue cooking and stirring for about 1 minute.
12. Spread the onion mixture over the top of the kibbeh and serve.

Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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Another great after-work quick and delicious dinner. Good enough for a buffet or luncheon, too.

Penne with roasted vegetables (adapted from Cafe Fernando blog)

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 eggplant, cubed

12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

10 ounces mushrooms, sliced in half

1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

10 ounces penne pasta

2 ounces grated soy parmesan

Roughly chop the garlic cloves and sprinkle them with salt. Mash them with a fork to create a fine puree.

Toss the vegetables with garlic, black pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl and spread them in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the edges of the eggplants start to caramelize.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. When veggies are nearly done, cook the pasta according to package instructions, til al dente. Drain.

Return the pasta into the pan and toss with the cooked vegetables and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Top with soy parmesan. Makes 2 servings.

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Fabulous meal from Perrys’ Plate blog. Of course, I customized it to be nondairy. And a little less heat. We LOVED it.

Stacked roasted vegetable enchiladas

1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks (I used several slices of jarred chiles)
2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium onion, halved and slivered
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
3 T heat-safe oil like grapeseed or coconut (I used canola – no problem)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups homemade or store bought salsa/pico de gallo
2 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 2 big handfuls)
9-10 corn tortillas, halved
2 cups shredded soy or vegan cheese (I used
Daiya cheddar shreds)
soy sour cream and thinly sliced scallions (green onions) for garnish, if desired

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan or rimmed cookie sheet.

Place red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, onion, and corn kernels onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

Prepare an 8x8x2 or 9x9x2-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. In a small bowl, stir the cilantro and chiles into the salsa. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa. Top with 1/3 of the vegetables, a handful of spinach, and 1/3 of the cheese. Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, vegetables, spinach, and cheese. Top with with a layer of tortillas, salsa, vegetables, and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

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Nothing to me is more comforting than mac and cheese. I’ve tried my hand before at nondairy adaptations (here, here, and here) with much success. When I saw this recipe, I knew I’d be trying it. This was very very good.

Creamy macaroni and “cheese”

8 ounces regular pasta, any shape

3 cups Daiya style shreds

3 tablespoons vegan butter

2 cups unsweetened soy/or rice milk product

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain thoroughly when done. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the cheese sauce while oven is warming. In a small pot melt the butter. When melted, add the pepper and nutritional yeast. Stir in the milk product. Add the cheddar, and cook over low/medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Stir in the macaroni and mix together. Transfer to an 8×8 casserole dish. Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.

Remove from oven and top with the parmesan just before serving. Makes 4 servings.

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A perfectly simply and delicious sauce. I added some grilled chicken and served this over pasta. Super recipe!

Hearty tomato, kale, and mushroom pasta sauce (with grilled chicken) (from Fake Food Free blog)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 medium tomatoes, peeled

3 cloves garlic, minced

5 button mushrooms, chopped

2 cups kale, finely chopped

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 grilled boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

Heat the oil in the skillet, add the garlic. Add the tomatoes and the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add the kale, stir to coat with any oil and the other ingredients. Add the water, place a lid on the skillet. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomato should break down completely and the kale should be tender.

Remove the lid and stir in the sugar, balsamic vinegar, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the chicken. Cook for 1-2 minutes more and serve over pasta.

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A hearty and healthy sandwich. Roasting the veggies deepens the flavors, and the vinaigrette adds just the right zing.

Veggie sandwich with vinaigrette (modified slightly from Ezra Pound Cake blog)


1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, rosemary, or thyme

pinch of ground black pepper


1 eggplant (1/2 pound), peeled and sliced

1 thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

20″ baguette

1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce (or your choice of greens)

4 slices soy mozzarella

2 thinly sliced tomatoes

8 fresh basil leaves, whole or chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, and set aside.

Spread the eggplant rounds on a 9×13 tray. Add the red pepper strips and onions, trying to keep the vegetables in a single layer. Reserving 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, pour the rest over the vegetables. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, until the eggplant is very tender.

When the veggies are done, split the baguette in half lengthwise. Brush the inside of each half with the reserved vinaigrette. Layer the bottom half of the baguette with the lettuce, place the eggplant rounds along the length of the loaf, and cover with the bell pepper strips and onions. Top with the cheese, tomato slices, and basil. Cover with the other baguette half, and slice to make sandwiches. Makes 4 man-sized sandwiches.


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