Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dry Pan "Fried" Potatoes With Savoy Cabbage

I love reading the McDougall recipe forum because I learn so much. Like how to fry potatoes without oil.

How much more simple can you get. Cube/dice some potatoes and soak them in water overnight. This is supposed to remove the starch and keep the cubes firm when "frying".

Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a couple of tea towels to get rid of the excess surface moisture.

Fry in a non-stick pan along with some diced cabbage (or whatever veggie you like). I used a medium high heat and kept stirring occasionally as the potatoes started to brown. I let the potatoes and cabbage cook for about half an hour (you don't have to stand and watch it every minute). Depending on what vegetable you cook this with, you may have to add a little water if you find the potatoes start to stick.

I seasoned it with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You could use a sprinkle of nutritional yeast as well.

The result. Lovely potatoes cooked all the way through and brown on the outside without losing their shape. And tasty too. And no added fat.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Vegan Sausages (No Added Fat)

I somehow wandered onto Vegan Dad's blog and saw this recipe for homemade sausages. After reading all the positive comments, seeing how simple these were to make and having all the ingredients on hand in my kitchen, I decided to give it a shot. Follow the link for Vegan Dad's recipe. Mine is similar but I cut it in half, mainly because I like to limit my intake of "processed" foods. Hubby and I find that we like these so much that if I made more at a time, we'd eat more. So for us, it's an occasional treat.

The photo above shows what they look like just after steaming. We will be lightly grilling them this afternoon for our hubby's birthday BBQ. We like these with an organic yellow mustard and full sour kosher pickles. Yum.

The original recipe called for a Tbsp of olive oil which I confess I did include the first time I made these. This time I omitted the oil and although I won't be sampling the sans oil version until this afternoon, I'm expecting that there will be no noticeable difference.

1/4 cup beans, rinsed and drained (I used white kidney beans)
1/2 cup cold water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp gluten flour (Vital Wheat Gluten)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp basil
1/4 tsp rosemary
freshly ground black pepper

Before mixing your ingredients, have your steaming equipments ready. Bring water to a full boil. This recipe comes together very quickly.

Have ready 2 or 4 sheets of tin foil, depending on whether you want to make 2 or 4 sausages. In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork until there are no whole ones left. Toss together all the other ingredients in the order listed and mix. Divide dough in (2 or 4) equal parts. Place one part of the dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil (like a tootsie roll). Don't worry too much about shaping it as it will snap into shape while it's steaming.

Place wrapped sausages in a steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

If you want to make more sausages at a time, just double the recipe. Also I think it's very worthwhile to read the comments on Vegan Dad's blog for additional info.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Indian Bean & Dill Casserole with Zucchini & Mushroom

I have typed in my notes that this recipe was adapted from one by Bryanna Clark Grogan. I've had this recipe for a long time and I figure I must have made a few small changes to Bryanna's original recipe as I could not possibly have been so clever as to come up with this wonderful dish.

I love zucchini but hubby doesn't care for it as much as I do. So to make this more palatable for him, I serve this stew with brown rice pasta. Since he loves the pasta, this is how I get away with serving him zucchini.

Also, I think I halved the original recipe as I don't think hubby would go for zucchini leftovers. This recipe can be easily doubled.

1/2 can beans, drained and rinsed (any kind but black beans look good in this recipe)
1/2 large onion, diced
3 - 4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1/2 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
lots of fresh dill or 2 Tbsp dried dill
2 bay leaves
1 medium or large zucchini, diced
2 - 3 large mushrooms (chopped or sliced)
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp curry powder (or garam masala)
salt to taste

Add onion, garlic, cumin, mustard and chile flakes to a heated skillet. Stir fry, adding a little water as necessary to the mixture to keep from sticking and burning, over medium-high heat until the onion softens, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, zucchini, mushrooms, drained beans, dill, paprika and curry powder. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered for 15 minutes or so. Taste for salt and serve basmati rice.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bryanna's Persian Chickpea and Green Bean Stew

This is another simple but wonderful recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan. It's from her cookbook "20 Minutes to Dinner." I got the recipe from a post Bryanna made on the Vegsource New Veggies board. I always serve this with brown rice.

1 onion, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 lb frozen whole small green beans or trimmed fresh green beans (I use 2 and 1/2 cups frozen cut green beans)
28 oz can diced tomatoes and juice
1 can (or 1 and 1/2 cups cooked) chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large nonstick pot, steam fry the onion and garlic until it begins to soften. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until the green beans are tender.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Oil Free Tofu Mayonnaise/Dressing

Homemade tofu based creamy dressings are quite different from commerical dressings. I have to admit that when I first tried this recipe, I wasn't sure. It was OK but I wondered if I should bother posting it. Then the second time I whipped up my salad of mixed greens with this stuff I decided I did like it. The difference was that after I mixed my salad with the dressing, I added a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, freshly ground black pepper and some salt and gave the salad another toss. Perfection (at least according to my taste buds).

So maybe give this one a try and tweek it a bit to suit your own taste.

12.3 oz package Mori-Nu Silken Lite Tofu, firm
3 small garlic cloves
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp onion powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar (or maple syrup)
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
water, if needed to thin

This ended up thick like mayonnaise. When I used it for my salad, I took about 2 tablespoons from the jar and put it in a small bowl and stirred in some water. By doing that, I was able to pour it onto my salad like you would a commerical dressing.

I just know this dressing is going to help get a lot of raw greens into me all summer long.

Bryanna's Homemade Tomato Salsa

This is the excellent tomato salsa recipe I have made over and over again. The credit for this recipe goes to Bryanna Clark Grogan who posted it on the Vegsource New Veggies board a few years ago. Since I found this recipe on a public forum and I am giving credit to Bryanna, I think it's OK for me to post it here. I have received a lot of compliments and requests for this receipe from friends.

8 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 large green pepper, seeded
1/4 cup drained pickled jalapeƱo peppers OR 2 or 3 fresh seeded hot green chilies
OR use 1 Tbsp pureed canned chile chipotles
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, very well drained
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup tomato paste
2 Tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1 - 2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 Tbsp fresh)
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
1 tsp dried red chile flakes (if you like it really hot--but remember that this salsa gets hotter as time goes on)

If you have a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves, then add the onion and green pepper, cut in chunks, and the jalapeƱos and pulse until minced. Add the drained tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and pulse until well mixed.

If you don't have a food processor, then you'll have to chop everything fine by hand.

Keep in tightly closed jars in the refrigerator. It will keep refrigerated for several weeks. Some clear liquid will rise to the top. Pour it off or stir it in, depending on the consistency you like.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marinade and/or Salad Dressing

I used this recipe to marinate some portobello mushrooms for yesterday's BBQ. Well, actually hubby cooked some wrapped baked potatoes and beef burgers on the grill for our guests. For the vegetarians at our little gathering, I baked the portobello's in my little toaster oven. Our portobello burgers were wonderful and the meat eaters were happy with their burgers too.

Here are the ingredients for the marinade:

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, grated

I love the combination of these flavours and often use this as a salad dressing. Tonight for dinner we had steamed vegetables on brown rice and I drizzled some of this dressing over the rice and veggies.

I make this in little batches as I need it. If you start making large batches that you can't use up right away, the red pepper flakes start getting hotter the longer you leave it sitting.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Savoury Lentils

This is a favourite McDougall recipe that I have been making since August 2002, according to the notes in my cooking binder. It's from one of Dr McDougall's books (not sure which one). I have modified it very slightly according to my own taste and that's the version I will post here. This would be excellent over mashed potatoes or over whole wheat toast.

2 cups dried green lentils
4 cups water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
4 - 6 green onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 5.5 oz can tomato paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place the lentils in a large pot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 hour.

Saute the garlic, onion, green onions and celery in 1/3 cup water until soft. Add to the cooked lentils, along with the soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste and mustard. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Continue to simmer for 1 hour more for a souplike consistency, uncovered for a gravylike consistency.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lori M's Sausage Chowder

I got this delicious recipe off the McDougall forum years ago posted by someone named LoriM. It calls for a faux hamburger "meat" and the only type I could find where I live is Yves Ground Round, as pictured below. This product is expensive and too processed for my liking, but it does work well in this recipe.

Next time I will use Bob's Red Mill TVP (textured vegetable protein). I think it's more reasonably priced and it's certainly not as processed, the only ingredient being soy flour.

Here's the recipe:

1 lb faux ground "meat" of your choice
2 onions, chopped fine
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp sage
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can chick peas
2 cans red kidney beans
3 potatoes, diced

Brown sausage and onions in a dutch oven and add all ingredients except the potatoes. Simmer 1 hour. Add potatoes, cook for an additiona 1/2 hour. Easily doubled and freezes well. You can add extra water and tomato sauce to thin it slightly, if you prefer. I like it thick.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Above is a picture of my brownies just out of the oven, uncut, left to cool on the rack.

Dry Ingredients:

1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup vegan chocoloate chips (optional)
1/2 cup nuts of your choice (optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix dry ingredients together very well. Mix wet ingredients. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir just enough to mix. Pour batter (batter will be thick) into an 8"x8" square pan. Bake for about 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Leave in pan for about 10 minutes, then remove and place on cooling rack. Once cool, cut into squares.

Notes: Instead of applesauce, I have used jars of prune baby food in the past.

It's important not to overmix dry and wet ingredients when you don't use animal products (such as eggs) in your baking. The reason for this escapes me at the moment but I learned this rule early on my in vegan baking "career".

You will have to test the baking time in your own oven. I use a toaster oven and it took 45 minutes. It make take less in a regular oven. I don't know. Check after 30 minutes. If it's not done, continue to bake and check for doneness in 5 minute increments.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Green White Bean Dip

The green part of this dip is from Swiss chard leaves and the white is from a can of white kidney beans. You could also use spinach or kale. Bean dips are so easy to make with a food processor. I rarely follow a recipe and just toss in whatever I have on hand. This would be good with raw veggies, tortilla chips, plain crackers or even as a sandwich spread. (I just happened to have a loaf of bread baking in the oven right now).

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Swiss chard leaves (green part, not the veins)
1/2 tsp salt
splash water
few twists freshly ground black pepper

Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse. Add a tiny bit more water if necessary. Blend until all the ingredients are fully mixed and smooth. Add more salt and pepper if required.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Thai Sauce

This recipe is for the Thai Sauce. I guess I didn't really need to post a picture of my stir fry but the colours looked so pretty that I couldn't resist. I won't say anything about the stir fry because you can use whatever veggies strike your fancy. The top photo shows what the sauce looks like before cooking. No photo of the finished dish because my camera battery died.

Here's how I put together the sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green onion, sliced
3 Tbsp lime juice, fresh or bottled
1 tsp sugar of your choice
4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce *
1/8 tsp Tabasco sauce **
2 tsp corn starch

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. After stir frying the veggies, stir in the sauce and stir fry for a couple of minutes, or until thickened and bubbly. Serve over brown rice or noodles.

* I use 2 Tbsp of a regular soy sauce and 2 Tbsp water to cut down on the sodium
** you could use a bit more Tabasco sauce if you prefer more heat

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cream of Celery Soup

Celery, onion and garlic cooking.

Soup pureed.

Our pantry is getting mighty bare and I may not be able to get to the grocery store until the weekend. I still had some celery that was getting just a little limp so we're having Cream of Celery Soup tonight, without the cream, of course. I also baked a fresh loaf of caraway-rye bread to go with it.

I'm thinking this soup may even be better without the garlic so as not to overpower the delicate celery flavour. I have a bad habit of dumping garlic into everything.

I made this up ahead of time and will reheat it tonight. It should thicken up some more for a nice creamy texture.

1 large onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 green onions, diced
1 large potato, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
½ tsp celery seed
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

Steam fry the onion, celery and garlic with a little water in a soup pot for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables soften. Add a little more water to keep from sticking if necessary.

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Puree in batches in a blender, taking care to vent the steam. Add salt to your own taste before consuming.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Yellow Pepper Sauce

Yellow peppers are usually much more expensive than green peppers where I live. I am happy whenever yellow peppers are on sale because it means I get to make this very tasty sauce without breaking my pocketbook. This recipe is based on a McDougall recipe which calls for 4 yellow peppers, but since I only cook for hubby and myself, I half the recipe. The original recipe uses soy sauce which I find spoils the bright yellow colour of the peppers. I use salt instead to retain the lovely colour.

I like to use this as a sauce over steamed vegetables. Sometimes I use it as a pasta sauce mixed with steamed kale and black beans.

2 medium yellow bell peppers
1 medium potato
1/2 medium onion
2 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp white pepper
salt to taste

Clean and chop the peppers and peel and chopped the potatoes and onion. Cover and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Pour ino a blender and blend until smooth.

Return to saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Heat through and allow the flavours to blend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Curried Red Lentil Soup

This is a really simple and cheap soup to make. It's based on a McDougall recipe which I have modified slightly.

2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups red lentils
2 medium potatoes, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Saute the onion and garlic in 1/2 cup of the water in a large pot until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and cook for 1 minute. Add the lentils, potatoes and carrots and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for an hour. Stir in the vinegar and garnish with parsley or cilantro before serving.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Slow Cooked Cabbage

This is a very simple dish to make. It's great if you like cooked cabbage (I do, hubby doesn't).

1 onion, diced
1 tsp paprika
4 cups finely shredded green cabbage (love my trusty food processor for this)
1 tsp salt

In a large pot, steam fry the onions in a little water until they are soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Add more water as necessary to prevent sticking. Add the paprika, cabbage and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover tightly and cook on a very low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally until the cabbage is very soft. Add more water if the cabbage begins to stick to the pot.

I usually leave this on low heat for a couple of hours for a sweet flavour.

This can be a side dish. I make it my main meal with cooked pasta stirred in. I think this would be niced with boiled potatoes too.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Curried Yam Stew

This recipe is from the September 2006 McDougall Newsletter.

I will post the original recipe but I made it today with some modifications due to lack of ingredients. I used regular yams (I don't know what garnet yams are). I used cooked pinto beans and chopped kale instead of chick peas and spinach.

4 cups peeled and diced garnet yams
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked beans)
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
4 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves

Place the yams, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes, until yams are just tender. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach leaves and mix well. Please the spinach leaves on top of the stew, cover and steam for 1 minute or so, then stir the leaves into the stew. Continue to cook, stirring frequently for 4 minutes longer. Serve at once.

Additional note by me: If you substitute kale in this recipe, steam the kale separately until it's tender and then stir into the stew. Kale leaves are a lot tougher than spinach leaves and take longer to cook.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Potato Cauliflower Soup

This delicious soup recipe is from The New McDougall Cookbook. In its original form, the recipe actually calls for double the ingredients listed here. Since I only usually cook for hubby and myself, I make the smaller quantity which requires half of a cauliflower. That leaves me with the other half to use in other dishes.

I am a fan of pureed soups and this one looks at lot like the soups I've already posted on this blog, except for the colour.

1 large onion, chopped
1/2 medium head cauliflower, chopped
2 1/2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
4 cups water
1 tsp dried dill
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp soy sauce
fresh ground pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Place the onion, cauliflower and potatoes in a large pot with the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the dill, cover and cook over medium heat until the potato and cauliflower are tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Return to the soup pot. Add the bay leaf, soy sauce and pepper. Cook over low heat for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to blend. Remove the bay leaf and garnish with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Zucchini Pasta Sauce

I found this simple idea on the Internet and of course I had to modify it, mainly because the original recipe called for 1 to 2 Tbsp of oil. Way too much fat.

This is how I made it for my lunch today - for one person. You can double or triple it for more people. The quantities given below would also serve two as a side dish.

1 medium zucchini, shredded
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup of dried pasta of your choice (I always use brown rice pasta)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, optional

Steam fry the soy sauce, garlic and chili powder for 3 or 4 minutes. Add a splash of water, if necessary, to keep the ingredients from sticking in the pan.

At the same time, boil some water for the pasta. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and let it cook for 10 minutes (that is if you use rice pasta). Other pastas make take less or more time.

Once you start cooking the pasta, add the shredded zucchini to the first pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. The zucchini sauce and the pasta should be finished cooking about the same time.

Drain pasta and mix the zucchini sauce and the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste along with 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast, if using. And if you want to be really wicked like me, add a grated raw garlic clove and mix well.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Split Pea Soup

I got this recipe off the Internet years ago. It wasn't exactly like I've posted below but this is the way I have modified it and like it. You could omit the step to puree the soup and serve it chunky if you prefer. Also the original recipe called for 3 to 4 Tbsp of red wine vinegar, however that's too much vinegar for my taste.

2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, chopped
3 bay leaves
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas
8 cups water
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion, celery, carrots and bay leaves in water until soft. Add marjoram, thyme, split peas and water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-high and cook until the split peas are soft, about 50 to 60 minutes. Add extra water if needed. Add potatoes and parsley and cook another 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat, puree in batches in a blender. Add vinegar, mix well, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cauliflower Dal

This recipe is from the January 2008 McDougall Newsletter.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4-6

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup dried red lentils
15 oz can chopped tomatoes
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 large russet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped

Place the onion, garlic and jalapeno in a large pot with 1-2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth. Cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until onion softens slightly. Stir in the cumin, coriander, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Cook and stir for about 1 minute. Add the remaining broth and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve in a bowl with some pita bread on the side or over brown rice.

Note: Sometimes I use canned diced tomatoes and sometimes crushed tomatoes. Instead of a jalapeno pepper, I used two rings of the pickled jalapeno peppers that you can buy in a jar.

I add salt to taste once the food is on my plate.

I've only recently discovered this wonderful dish. It's tasty and cheap to make. What more could you want?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Patrick's Beans and Greens

My good friend Julia who lives four hours away from me, surprised me with a visit today. I get to spend a few days with her and get caught up face to face (even though we do yak on the phone with each other a couple of times a week).

Julia always brings some food with her every time she visits. This time she brought a few simple ingredients and the two of us whipped up this meal for dinner. Credit for this wonderful recipe goes to her friend Patrick.

We started out by coarsely chopping up 8 garlic cloves. The garlic was added to the cooking pot along with 1 tsp of sesame oil and 2 tsp olive oil. (For a fat free version, the oil could be omitted and the garlic could be steam fried in water or wine). Brown the garlic on medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Add one can of drained chick peas and fry for another couple of minutes. Add an 8 oz package of washed spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted. Do not overcook spinach and serve immediately.

We served this dish with some mashed potatoes. And of course we also had to drink a toast to the creator of this recipe, Patrick, and his wife Jane, whom someday I will meet. :)

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients simmering in the soup pot:

Carrot Ginger Soup Pureed:

Another simple pureed soup but oh so tasty.

3 large carrots, chopped
1 medium potato, chopped
1 medium yam, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth or water
grated fresh ginger - 1"x2"x1" piece
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

Saute the onions in some vegetable broth or water for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except the cilantro or parsley. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and add a bit more seasonings according to your taste, if required. Note that I do not add the salt while cooking. I will add some salt once it's dished out in my bowl.

Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, if using. Serve hot. Also great reheated.

This is so good with some fresh whole wheat bread.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Black Bean Soup

I got this recipe from a message board back in 2002 and have been making it ever since. The reason it's red is because it has tomatoes in it.

vegetable broth or water for sauteeing
1 onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp Sucanat (sugar)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
28 oz can diced, stewed or crushed tomatoes
3 cans black beans (or 4 1/2 cups cooked)
3 to 5 cups vegetable stock or water
lime juice

In a heavy soup pot, saute onion for 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, Sucanat and half of the bunch of cilantro. Saute 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans. Saute 2 - 3 minutes. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Blend 1 or 2 cups in a blender and then return it to the pot. Add a splash of lime juice and the rest of the chopped cilantro.

The above is what the recipe calls for. Here's what I do differently. I puree the whole soup so I don't both mincing the onions and garlic. I chop the onion coarsely and crush the garlic cloves.

I use whatever canned tomatoes I have on hand. If I use the diced or stewed tomatoes, I add less water or broth. If I use the crushed tomatoes, I use a bit more water.

This soup really has a lot of interesting flavours going on from the cilantro to the lime to the cinnamon. I didn't like cilantro the first time I tried it but have since acquired a taste for it and now love it.

Whole Wheat Bread

This is how I bake bread. I don't have a bread machine. I knead my bread the old fashioned way - by hand. And I also don't have a regular oven. Any baking I do is done in my toaster oven.

When we remodelled our kitchen a number of years ago on a very tight budget, it occured to me that I hadn't used my oven in at least a year. To save on space and money (the kitchen is quite small), I decided not to shop for a new stove. I also dislike upper cupboards so we don't have any of those either. Not a conventional kitchen but I can make anything and everything in my kitchen for hubby and myself.

I always thought bread was a very complicated thing to make. Not so. I have not had a failure yet. I have a very simple basic recipe with no oil added whatsover.

Dissolve 1 Tbsp of yeast in one cup of warm water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

Add two cups of whole wheat flour and 1/2 tsp of salt into a bowl. Then mix the yeast and water with the flour and stir until the dough sticks together. I have to help it along with my hands. Then I knead the dough for 10 minutes.

When I'm ready to put the dough into a bowl to rise for 2 hours, I used to have to lightly oil the bowl or otherwise the dough would stick. Well, I found a way around this so that I don't have to use any oil. What I do now is line the bowl with parchment paper and I make sure to coat the ball of dough lightly with flour before setting it into the bowl. I cover the top of the bowl tightly with a tea towel and a large plate.

I leave it to expland/rise for two hours and then I punch down the dough to let the air out. Then I roll it tightly and shape it into a loaf. I sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of cornmeal on a baking dish and place the loaf on top. Then I let it sit inside the unheated toaster oven for another 30 minutes.

After that, I take out the bread and preheat the toaster oven at 400 F for a few minutes. A toaster oven doesn't take long to heat up. I place the bread in the oven and after 30 minutes, out comes a fresh loaf of bread. The house always smells divine.

Hubby and I are going to have some bread later in the evening as a snack with some orange marmalade spread lightly on top. With a cup of herbal tea.

Soup For Julia

This blog was set up for the purpose of sharing my cooking with my good (long distance) friend Julia. Julia is a great cook from whom I have learned many things, the most important being, it's OK not to follow a recipe to the letter. Julia's cooking is mostly vegan while mine is 100% vegan.

This blog is public. You never know who might stumble across here and find something of interest.

For the first post, I thought I'd start with a picture of the soup I made for lunch today. I have no recipe to share because I couldn't tell you everything that went into this soup. I started with about a cup of leftover Cauliflower Dahl (from the January 2008 McDougall Newsletter). To that, I added (approximately):

2 cups water
1/2 carrot very thinly sliced (for fast cooking)
3/4 cup coarsely shredded cabbage
1 small potato, diced
2 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 ring pickled jalapeno, very finely chopped (for some heat)
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes (I like to throw in parsley flakes in almost everything)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 bay leaf (it was already broken)

I also see some peas and corn floating around in here. I must have added those in to the first batch of leftover cauliflower dahl.

I brought the soup to a boil, lowered the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, I think. It's done when the potatoes are done. I salt and pepper my dishes to taste AFTER they are cooked.

Hubby hates anything with cabbage in it so I made this just for myself. Although I have been successful in getting him to eat raw cabbage when shredded with other raw veggies in a salad.