Thursday, November 27, 2008

Better-Than-Sausage Gravy

(Pulled this recipe for further testing. Sorry guys! It's just not quite right!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cabbage Soup

I love cabbage soup. It's easy to make, and warms you up on a cold day. I wish I'd added a handful of barley or brown rice to this while it was simmering, but it was delicious without. We ate it with buttered whole wheat toast.

Cabbage Soup

2-3 T vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, quartered and sliced
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 head small/medium cabbage, halved, cored and coarsely chopped
1 can chickpeas, including liquid

8 cups vegetable stock -OR- 8 cups water and 2 large vegetable bullion squares

a few pinches of thyme, marjoram, and freshly ground black pepper
season salt to taste

In a large pot, saute onion in oil on medium heat until it just starts to soften. Add garlic and cook another two minutes, until fragrant, then add celery, carrot and pepper. Stir another few minutes until the veggies are bright and fragrant, then dump in the cabbage, chickpeas, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes.

If you want to add brown rice or barley, just throw 1/2 cup in with the cabbage and make sure they're tender before serving.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crispy Tofu "Egg"

I had a block of pressed tofu that was threatening to go bad on me (how can you tell? Just before it starts to turn, it'll smell faintly of corn. *cue "The More You Know" logo*). I wished for an egg sammich but since none was forthcoming I sliced this stuff up and threw in a little bit of whatever sounded good from my cabinets. Oh man. I've never tried this combination of spices before, but I loved it! They turned out so crispy-crunchy and good. I stacked three of them up on half a warm, buttered roll and ate them for breakfast. That's some good noms.

Crispy Tofu "Egg"

1 block extra firm tofu, pressed

1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp turmeric (just a pinch or two for color)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
sesame oil
1 T vegetable oil

Slice tofu brick in half width-wise, then cut each half into 4 thin slices across making 8 thin, flat tofu slices, roughly 2"x3". Put in a large ziploc bag and pour in a few drops of sesame oil and about 1 T. or so of vegetable oil and toss to coat on all sides. Next, mix together a few pinches of each spice. (I listed measurements here but really, it's not rocket surgery. Just use a little of everything!) Toss spices in with the tofu, again making sure all slices are evenly coated. Place in a medium-hot frying pan and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side, or until crispy and browned.

Serve hot with whole-grain rolls and a side of grilled asparagus.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Kiwi Jam

Mom brought me a copy of the Vegetarian Times while I was in the hospital, and it was chock-full of really amazing recipes. I got the idea for this pretty speckled green jam out of that magazine, but scaled it down and skipped the canning process. Because of this, I recommend storing it in the fridge or freezer. I don't know how long it keeps, but since the recipe yields a bit less than two cups, it should go quickly... use it as a topping for ice cream, between cake layers, on toast, pancakes or even on a good ol' PBJ. You can even stir a spoonful into your favorite salsa and eat on tortilla chips. But you don't need me to tell you what to do with jam, do you? Eat it hot right out of the pan, I won't tell.

Kiwi Jam

5-6 ripe kiwifruit, peeled and halved
1 cup sugar
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Mash kiwi until smooth. In a saucepan, stir kiwi, sugar and lemon juice together and bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes or until thickened. (It will set up a bit thicker when chilled.) Pour into a clean container (I like to use an empty margarine tub, gets more mileage out of that plastic!) and stick it in the fridge.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm back!

I had surgery to remove my poor gallbladder, the sickly thing, and now I am heaps better. Hooray! Now that I can really cook (and EAT!) again, I'll be able to post a new recipe soon(ish). Thanks mom, for helping me out when I needed it! <3

Things on my sick food list that I have eaten since I got out of the hospital:

Pizza crust
Chili Mac
Seasoned potato wedges
Tater tots
Buttered toast
Mexican rice

Better get crackin' on the rest of my list. AFK >_>

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sick Food

So I'm sick. Oh, and it's not too nice. It's okay, I have drugs and such, but I'm reduced to eating baby food and lemon-lime soda and clear vegetable broth for the foreseeable future. It's sad-making. I would post a recipe here for something good to eat when you are sick, but there is nothing. At this point I can eat canned green beans and mushrooms and call it a feast, and a cooked noodle is bliss. So! Instead, I'm going to list alllll the yummy things I wish I could eat, but can't.

Peas fresh from the pod
Ripe tomatoes with salt
Pizza crust
Strawberry shortcake
Tofu ricotta
Chocolate-chip cookie
Cucumber sandwich
Chili Mac
Seasoned potato wedges
Tater tots
Buttered toast
Roasted asparagus
Lemony Brussels Sprouts
Cinnamon apples
Mexican rice

... I could keep going. There are so many foods out there and they are so delicious it really only takes a day or two of eating strained bananas and rice to fully appreciate it.


But make it a veggie pizza. Also for me. Because I love you.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chili Mac

This ain't gourmet. This is "we need to go shopping, TOMORROW" food, but it's tasty and you can make it with a few ingredients from your spice cupboard and pantry. We eat this once or twice a month at my house. If you have an onion (I usually do), chop it up and saute it in the margarine before adding the other ingredients.

Chili Mac

1/2 lb dried pasta, cooked
1/4 cup margarine
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chili beans in sauce (plain pinto beans work too)
1 T ground cumin
1 T chili powder (the blend, not straight-up red pepper)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside. In a saucepan, mix margarine, tomatoes, beans and spices and bring to a boil; add nutritional yeast, cooked pasta and stir. Remove from heat and serve.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Banana Cake

Moist, sweet and dense, this cake is easy to make and so tasty... like little spiced banana brownies. It holds up really well and has a creamy, almost custard-like texture on top after a day or so. I want to try making this with cocoa powder sometime and see if it's as good as it sounds!

Banana Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 T pumpkin pie spice
1 cup very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3)
3/4 cup soy milk with 1 T apple cider vinegar mixed in (let sit a minute or two before adding to batter)
2/3 cup vegetable shortening (can reduce to 1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla

Grease and lightly flour a 9x13" baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cut sugar into shortening until fluffy. Add remaining wet ingredients and blend with a mixer or whisk until smooth.
Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer, again, until the batter is smooth. Pour into the floured 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool thoroughly on a rack before serving.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Basil-Tofu Ricotta

Mom got me a copy of Vegan with a Vengeance for Christmas last year, and I've found some real gems in there. This seasoned tofu is so, so good... the author recommends putting it on pizza or stuffing it into pasta shells, but I also like it on crackers, in sandwiches and I've even sort of eaten it right out of the bowl. >_>

Basil-Tofu Ricotta

1 lb firm tofu, pressed
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
dash of freshly-ground black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 c nutritional yeast

In a large bowl, mush the tofu, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and basil thoroughly with your hands until it's about the consistency of ricotta cheese. This may take 2-5 minutes! Next, add the olive oil and nutritional yeast and stir well. Don't use your hands for this part, you'll get all sticky. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

(Note: I've had success using a fork to mash this, if I don't feel like getting my hands dirty. It's a bit more lumpy, which makes it a perfect substitute for egg salad. Do yourself a favor and make a sandwich out of this. I just ate one. It was friggin' good.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Split Pea Soup

Sorry mom. I didn't like split pea soup, even though you made it with love. It was green, grainy mush with creepy ham bits in it. I'm sure it's not really as bad as I remember it being when I was a kid, but gawd I would have eaten grass off the front lawn instead, if I'd had a choice! Recently, I went to the Atlanta farmer's market and saw a bag of dry yellow split peas and decided that for under a buck, I could give 'em another shot. It was totally worth it! This soup is colorful, flavorful and delicious... even Ethan loved it.

Split Pea Soup

1 lb dry yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, grated
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 large vegetable bullion square
1 tsp salt
several dashes freshly-ground black pepper
8 cups water

Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, then add carrot and celery and cook another 5 minutes or so, until soft. Add remaining ingredients (or transfer to a large soup pot, if you're not using the same pan) and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat, simmering for 45 minutes to an hour, until peas are very tender and falling apart. (Some people recommend putting some or all of the soup through a blender, but I like the texture as is.) Serve hot with whole-grain toast or dinner rolls, yum.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Spicy Lemon Marinara

Is it dinnertime already? What's in the kitchen? Half a lemon, ruffly pasta, can of tomatoes. A couple nights ago I was too hungry to care if it would be weird... put enough sugar or salt in something and it'll turn out okay, right? Well, it was tangy, sweet and with just enough spice to warm me up. I bought a whole bag of lemons to keep experimenting. Enjoy!

Spicy Lemon Marinara

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 can petite-dice tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
2-3 tsp dried herbs (any combination of basil, thyme, rosemary, and/or oregano)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Put oil in a large, shallow pan over medium-high heat, add onion and saute until fragrant and just starting to turn translucent (about 3 minutes), then add garlic and mushrooms. Cook another 3-5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft and the mushrooms are cooked through. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, herbs, lemon juice, and pepper flakes. When it bubbles, add salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp), turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes while you cook your pasta. Add water to thin the sauce, if needed. Serve over the hot, cooked pasta of your choice, with steamed asparagus or broccoli and garlic bread.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Antipasti Pasta Salad

My mom buys marinated artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes in huge jars, so every time I visit her I make a big bowl of this tangy pasta salad using generous scoops of each. It's so good! This recipe makes a huge bowl of salad, perfect for a potluck, or just eating for lunch all week long.

Antipasti Pasta Salad

1 lb rotini (or your favorite curly pasta)
2 cups broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
1 cup sundried tomato strips, packed in oil
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (white or red), OR 1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Cook noodles according to directions, using the minimum cooking time listed (your pasta will absorb dressing and soften over time, so you want it to be al dente!). Add your broccoli and carrots in with the noodles for the last 2 minutes of cooking to blanch them (this will save you an extra cooking pot). Drain pasta and veggies in a colander and immediately run cold water over them until they are completely cooled, to prevent overcooking. Leave the colander to drain while you prepare the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Add all remaining ingredients and stir, then add the drained, cold pasta/veggies and mix well. Store in a sealed container in the fridge at least an hour before serving. It will keep for about a week, and the flavor gets even better after a day or two.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Taco Soup

My great-aunt Joanne first made this soup for a family gathering, and mom liked it so much she asked for the recipe and we've been using it ever since. It was really easy to adapt for vegetarians, I just left out the ground beef and added a variety of canned beans. Part of the beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity... you just dump everything in a pot, liquid included. Instant comfort food!

Taco Soup

1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can sliced black olives
2 cans tomatoes (I use petite dice)
1 can green beans
1 cup frozen corn
1-2 packets taco seasoning (adjust to taste!)
1/2 cup dry macaroni

Toppings (optional):
vegan sour cream and/or shredded cheese

In a large soup pot/dutch oven on medium-high heat, dump everything but the macaroni and stir. DON'T DRAIN THE CANNED STUFF. Just dump it all in the pot, liquid and all. (Tip: just add one packet of taco seasoning to start. If it doesn't taste quite spicy/salty enough with one, add more from a second packet until it's just right.) When it comes to a boil, add macaroni, stir, and turn down heat a little so it doesn't boil over. When the noodles are cooked, turn off heat. If the soup is too thick, you may want to add some water to thin it out a little. Serve in bowls with or without toppings.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

I needed something vegetarian to bring to today's 4th of July BBQ, and mom suggested a cold salad made with black-eyed peas. There are a lot of recipes for it online using fresh veggies, canned peas and a vinaigrette-type dressing, but I like my peas home-cooked. They've got a better texture that way, but you could use frozen ones too, with similar results.

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

2 cups dry black-eyed peas
2 medium roasted peppers, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup grated carrot


1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar (red is fine, white just tastes cleaner and brighter)
2 T spicy brown mustard
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp parsley (or 1 T. fresh)
freshly-ground black pepper

Soak the peas for 4 hours, then rinse, cover with fresh water in a pot, add 2 tsp salt, bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender. Rinse cooked beans with cold water and drain while you prep the veggies and dressing. (My dad grilled a red and an orange bell pepper for me on his grill, which turned out awesome! But you can use jarred peppers too, if you aren't so lucky.) Mix peas and vegetables together in a large bowl, taking care not to mash the beans up too much. Whisk dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then toss with the pea mixture till well-mixed. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least an hour before serving.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ginger-Lime Tofu

If you chill and reheat this, the tofu tastes eerily like chicken breast. It is awesome. (PS: Sorry the pic is sucky. I'll replace it when I can =D)

Ginger-Lime Tofu

1 block firm tofu, pressed
2 tsp vegetable oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 broccoli crown, trimmed and cut into small florets
5 baby carrots, sliced
3 large button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 small-medium summer squash, quartered and sliced
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
dash pepper
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 T soy sauce
juice of 1/2 a lime (fresh is best)

Cut tofu into 1/4" slices. Cut slices in half to make squares, then cut the squares diagonally to make triangles. Toss in a large pan on medium-high heat and drizzle with half the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely golden-brown on all sides. It may take a while :) Set tofu aside and cook the vegetables in the remaining oil, starting with onion, adding garlic when the onion becomes translucent. When garlic is fragrant, add broccoli, carrots and mushrooms. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is cooked on the outside but still raw in the middle, then add squash and peppers. When vegetables are tender, add ginger, black pepper, and nutritional yeast, stirring until incorporated, then add soy sauce and lime juice. Remove from heat and stir well. Serve immediately, or chill and reheat.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mock Tuna Salad

Sometimes I get a craving for a tuna sandwich. You know, the kind that's loaded with mayo and pickle relish and chunks of... oh, right. Tuna. WELL! I've found that garbanzo beans make a good substitute in sandwich spreads. The texture is similar and the flavor is close (minus the fishy part... does that even make sense?!), just mash your beans and dress them up the same way you would a can of drained tuna. I like to put mine on toasted grainy bread.

Mock Tuna Salad

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2-3 T. sweet pickle relish
2-3 T. onion, minced
1-2 T. vegan mayonnaise
1-2 tsp. whole-grain mustard (I use Grey Poupon country style)
celery salt
freshly ground black pepper

Dump your garbanzo beans into a medium-sized bowl and mash with a fork until most of the beans are broken up. It's ok if there are a few whole beans left! Add the rest of the ingredients to taste and mix well, then cover and chill until ready to use.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


A lot of people I've known tend to dismiss hummus out-of-hand as a "hippie food", something that only smug, self-satisfied martyrs are willing to put into their undernourished mouths. Oh, and I guess those guys in the middle east somewhere eat it too, right? Sometimes I want to swat these people. Hummus is, in essence, BEAN DIP. An exceptionally awesome bean dip, at that. You can shovel it in using raw vegetables, eat it with chips, crackers or bread, or even slather it on sandwiches. It's just that good. This recipe tastes a lot like the hummus my Jordanian teacher used to bring for school functions, and is really easy to make.


1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed, liquid reserved
1 large clove garlic, pressed
3 T. tahini (ground sesame seeds)
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
salt to taste

In a food processor or blender, blend all ingredients EXCEPT the bean liquid and salt until smooth. EDIT: Turns out the hummus comes out smoother and creamier if you start by blending the tahini with the lemon juice first. This emulsifies the tahini and gives it a really great texture! Next, add the garlic and whip until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients now, using the reserved liquid to thin the mixture as you blend it. You could need anywhere from 3 T. to a half cup of liquid, depending on how thick you like your hummus. Taste before adding salt. Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge until ready to use.

You want to avoid oversalting this! I've done it before. It's pretty tough to enjoy eating overly-salted hummus with salty crackers. Try adding some roasted peppers and/or a teaspoon of cumin powder, or serve with extra olive oil and paprika on top for something different.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Banana Bread

I just kinda whipped this up today because I had a lot of very brown bananas that needed to be used, and it turned out pretty good. It's dense and moist, not too sweet, but sweet enough, and would have been great with walnuts or chocolate chips, or both. (If you want to try it that way, just add a cup of each to the batter!)

Banana Bread

4 large or 5 medium bananas, very ripe
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1 c. turbinado sugar
1/2 c. water
2 T. molasses
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 c. whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl, then add applesauce, sugar, water, molasses, vanilla, and oil and stir. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl, then add to the wet mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated, but avoid over-mixing. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting (I cut the sheet lengthwise in half, then make thick slices across). Makes many servings, tasty plain or spread with a little Earth Balance margarine.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tofu Scramble

When I decided to give up meat, I went to the store and bought a bunch of vegetarian foods to experiment with a whole new genre of cooking. It was exciting! ... but I wasn't sure what to think of the squishy white bricks of bean curd in my fridge until I tried a scramble recipe I found online. I've used a ton of variations on that simple recipe for a year now, and it's always come out delicious. This version is flavored with fenugreek, a potent spice that's really growing on me.

Tofu Scramble

1 block firm tofu
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 lb. button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/2 tsp ground savory (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 T. soy sauce

Crumble the tofu into chunks, squeezing out excess water before tossing into a large frying pan on medium-medium high heat. Drizzle oil over the tofu and stir well. (I almost always add oil to a hot pan AFTER I put in the tofu. Tofu is, well, full of water, and it spatters like crazy if you just drop it into hot oil. Ouch!) Stir often, breaking up big chunks into smaller pieces, until the water really starts to cook off and the tofu starts to turn golden. Add onion and garlic and stir until slightly translucent, then add peppers and mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked through, sprinkle fenugreek, savory and turmeric over all, add soy sauce and stir well. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, if desired and serve with Earth Balance margarine on whole-grain toast.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Black-Eyed Peas with Quinoa

I never had black-eyed peas till I'd lived in the south for over 6 years. A friend made some for our Thanksgiving get-together and made them vegetarian especially for me. After taking home the leftovers and eating them over the next week (there was a lot!) I got hooked. Turns out they're really easy to make, and you can whip up a huge pot of food for under $2.

A second, related story: another friend gifted me with a 25 lb. sack of quinoa that was going unused in her church's foodbank. (This is the south, seems like nobody's even heard of quinoa, much less wants to eat it.) Unfortunately, I am not overly familiar with the seedy little grain-thing myself, so I wasn't really sure what to do with it. It's got an odd flavor that I just couldn't pin down... until I tried those black-eyed peas. It's almost eerie how similar they are.

Yesterday I cooked a huge pot of quinoa so I could have a little with my breakfast, figuring I'd use the rest later to test new recipes. This morning I soaked up a pound of black-eyed peas, cooked them up and served them with a big scoop of quinoa mixed into each bowl. It was great! The flavors complement each other well, and the textures are more interesting than when you use rice as an accompaniment. Makes a really nice, high-protein dish that almost cooks itself.

Black-Eyed Peas with Quinoa

1 lb black-eyed peas, sorted, rinsed, and soaked (they don't take too long to rehydrate, I think mine are usually ready to cook within 4 hours)
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced fine or pressed
2 carrots, shredded
3 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 vegetable bouillon square
water to cover
season salt to taste


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

You can make your quinoa in advance. It's very simple, just put one part quinoa with two parts water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed. I stored mine in the fridge till it was ready to use.

Put your black-eyed peas in a bowl, sort out any rocks or mutant peas and rinse them thoroughly. Cover with cold water and let stand for around 4 hours, till doubled in size. Saute the onion in a teaspoon of vegetable oil until fragrant, add garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft. Add carrots and celery and cook for a couple more minutes. Add peas, bouillon, and just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on low for 45 minutes, or until tender. Add your favorite season salt to taste. (I usually put in several good shakes... serving this over unsalted quinoa can dilute the seasoning quite a bit. Plus I love salt.)

Serve over warmed quinoa with green beans and a little nutritional yeast on top, if you like it. Yum!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

French Bread Pizza

This one is easy and delicious. It also lends itself to the addition of cheese, if you're into that sort of thing.

French Bread Pizza

1 loaf french or italian bread
1/2 can crushed pineapple, juice-packed, drained and lightly squeezed
6 large button mushrooms, sliced
1 small can sliced black olives
1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

Pizza sauce:
1 6oz can tomato paste
1/4 c water
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
dash of powdered rosemary and/or red pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice bread lengthwise into two halves and set on a cookie sheet, cut side up. Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside while you prepare your other toppings. Spread sauce on bread (there should be enough for a nice thick layer on both pieces). Sprinkle pineapple over the sauce (it's important that you squeeze out some of the juice so it doesn't make your pizza soggy. Alternately, you could use tidbits or omit pineapple altogether. We like crushed pineapple because it spreads out well and sort of conceals the lack of cheese), followed by mushrooms, olives and artichoke hearts. Bake for 15-20 minutes. It'll be done when the pizza starts to brown nicely around the edges. Cut into chunks and serve with raw tomato slices on top.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Totally Taco Salad

I hate to put up another salad recipe and perpetuate the myth that vegetarians only ever eat salads, but it was really tasty, used up some of my leftover rice, and my kid ate a big bowl of the stuff. That's gotta be a sign!

Totally Taco Salad

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cooked rice, chilled
1/4 cup salsa
1 T. nutritional yeast (optional)
1 large romaine heart, washed and shredded
1 green onion, thinly sliced
12 tortilla chips, crushed

Cheater Sauce:
2 T. vegan mayonnaise
4 T. taco sauce
dash of garlic powder, onion powder and cumin to taste

Toss the rice, beans, salsa, yeast and sauce together till thoroughly mixed. Stir in lettuce, onion, and crushed chips just before serving. Should feed two adults as a main dish.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ethan's Ribbon Salad

My son has always been pretty picky about what foods he will eat, but I've been wearing him down over the last year or so, trying to get him to try new things by preparing them in different ways. I made a simple salad using my peanut dressing and was happy to find that he would tolerate eating more than just a bite, so I've added it to my regular recipe rotation. The trick is, I think, in shredding the lettuce. It turns it into little green ribbons that have a fun texture and coat well using very little dressing.

Ethan's Ribbon Salad

1 head romaine lettuce (or two romaine hearts)
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/4 c. sliced almonds
2 tsp. flax seeds
1-2 T. Tangy Peanut Dressing (to taste)

Wash the romaine and shake off as much excess water as you can. Blot leaves dry with a clean towel and stack on a cutting board, holding the leaves together in a tight bundle, and slice thinly across. (I like my threads to be about as wide as a linguine noodle, maybe a little smaller... I just eyeball it!) Toss in a medium-large bowl with the green onion. You can refrigerate the salad here, or let it sit for a while to let the onion flavor to come out a bit. When you are ready to serve the salad, top with almonds, flax seeds, and dressing and toss till coated. I use the minimum amount of dressing on this salad, as it's pretty potent and I don't like the other flavors in the salad to be overwhelmed.

You can also add shredded carrot, thinly sliced celery, or peeled and seeded cucumber chunks to your salad and it will be fabulous.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tangy Peanut Sauce & Dressing

This is a great all-purpose sauce to have on hand. Just store it in a reused peanut butter jar like I do, and thin it with water or oil depending on how you use it. I love it on noodles and salads :)

Tangy Peanut Sauce & Dressing

2/3 c. smooth, unsweetened peanut butter (I use Maranatha brand)
1/3 c. seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 c. soy sauce
2 T. olive oil
2 t. ground ginger
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. maple or cane syrup
pinch red pepper

Whisk ingredients till smooth and store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.