Category Archives: vegan

Coconut and Curried Lentil Dahl

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I modified this recipe VERY little from that of “The Happy Pear” recipe (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1G3J-nvAUI).  It is so easy to make, and very filling. You could use any number of greens in place of the bok choy (i.e., baby spinach, arugula, chard).  Also, if you wanted to speed up the cooking process, you could use yellow lentils as they cook much faster than green lentils.

I started off with a few tablespoons of EVOO in a stockpot, and added one whole chopped purple onion, two medium-sized chopped zucchinis, a grated carrot, and about 2 tsp. sea salt.  I stirred that over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, while I chopped up the sweet potato.  It was organic, so I washed it well, but I did not peel it.  A lot of the nutrients from root vegetables are found in the skin (only use if organic, though).  Then, I added about 2 heaping tbsp. of a high-quality yellow curry, 1 heaping tbsp. each ground cumin, coriander, sweet paprika.  I continued to stir constantly over medium-high heat for another 5 minutes before adding the chopped sweet potato.  I stirred and mixed all ingredients very well so all vegetables were well coated with the spices.  At that point, I added one carton of Pomi strained tomatoes (26 oz.), and one 13 oz. Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk.  Stirred all very well, then added one 16-oz package of dried green lentils that I had washed and drained thoroughly.  I mixed all this together, then added about 1.5 liters of water (enough to make it soup-like because the lentils and the sweet potato need a lot of water to absorb).  I also added a heaping tsp. of organic dried vegetable bouillon for extra flavor since I was going to add a very large bok choy later on after the vegetables and lentils had cooked for about 40 minutes.

After 40 to 45 minutes on simmer, stirring regularly and keeping an eye on the liquid level to be sure it was adequate, I added about a tbsp. of soy sauce, and one whole fresh-squeezed lime.  Then, I added the roughly chopped bok choy.  Stirred and simmer for another 10 minutes, or so before serving with some garnish of fresh cilantro.  On the side, I served couscous, but the dahl was plenty enough on its own.  It made a huge pot of dahl, so I’ll be freezing a lot of it today.

Thanks to “The Happy Pear” for their usual inspiration.  They’re on Instagram and other social media sites (I follow them on Instagram, and then watch their great YouTube videos.).

Hearty Bean and Vegetable Soup

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Well, I received my CSA shipment from Farm Fresh To You (farmfreshtoyou.com) a few days ago, and I’d customized my box to include some fresh dill.  I love fresh dill.  It reminds me of the cabbage borscht my grandfather used to make when I was growing up; there was always lots of dill in his soups, and they were always so savory and delicious.

I also added rainbow carrots, zucchini, spring onions, chard, and sweet potato to my  delivery.  As I customized my box, I had in mind to make a really hearty soup that reminded me of the old days (minus the beef).  If you flavor your dishes, whatever they may be, I doubt you’ll miss beef or chicken.  But, if you want to include those, you can still use this basic recipe, and add the meat of your choice.

So, I’ll just describe how I made this, because I rarely write a recipe down, and it’s often trial and error, tasting as I go to adjust the flavor to my liking.

I prepped 4 sweet potatoes by scrubbing and chopping in equal-sized small pieces (not peeling, because a lot of the nutritional value is in the skin); 2 rainbow carrots, unpeeled, scrubbed and chopped; 1 large chopped zucchini; 4 spring onions, chopped (including stem); small bunch of chard, washed well, stem removed, then finely chopped and reserving about half cup for serving bowl; about 6-7 stems of fresh dill, washed and just torn, including stems; about 2 cups of previously fresh-frozen Brussels sprouts leaves; 1 16-oz can each of black beans and cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained; 1 container of Pomi chopped tomatoes; about 2 cups of V8 juice; about 64 oz. filtered water; vegetized sea salt to taste; pepper to taste; about 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar; a few bay leaves; about 1 tbsp dried basil; about a tsp. each of freshly grated turmeric and ginger; bee pollen to sprinkle over each serving, some extra spring onion bulb chopped for garnish, as well as the extra chopped chard.

Once all the vegetables were prepped, I heated the stockpot with EVOO on medium.  I added the sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, spring onions, chard, dill, Brussels sprouts leaves, bay leaves, basil, turmeric, and ginger.  I stirred it all well and let it cook down for about 20 minutes. Then, I added the Pomi crushed tomatoes, V8, rinsed beans, water, salt and pepper, and apple cider vinegar.  I let it all cook on a simmer with a tilted lid until the vegetables were tender, and the flavor was robust, probably about 40 minutes.  I like to cook soups slowly, so all the flavors marry.  Add more water, salt and pepper to your taste before you serve.

I added the extra chard to the serving bowls, and I topped each bowl with some spring onion (from the bulb), and then sprinkled some bee pollen on each one.

Veggie Patties from Slow-Cooked Beans

I’d made a large batch of my slow-cooked beans (recipe on this site), and I thought it might be interesting to use some of them to make some veggie patties.  I’d just received a new CSA shipment that included some sweet potatoes, and the flavor of the beans mixed with the sweet potatoes seemed like it might be tasty.  It was, and here’s the recipe:

2 cups slow-cooked beans (from my recipe on here), 3 medium-sized baked/skinned/mashed sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp. Tahini, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1 cup each flax/Chia seeds, 1/2 cup #coachsoats 3 cloves crushed garlic, 1 finely chopped sweet onion, 1 tbsp. Westpoint Naturals vegetized sea salt, extra cumin/smoked paprika/pepper to taste (they’re in the slow-cooked beans, but you may want to add more). Mix well, shape into patties. Bake in a 400F oven on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil for about 15 minutes on each side.

I made the guacamole from my recipe on here as well.  The snap peas and strawberries were from my CSA shipment, too, and I had the English cucumber on hand.  I just served all of it platter-style.  The leftovers are great for snacking and/or more meals.
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Curried Cauliflower Soup

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The absolutely most savory and tasty soup ever! It was so simple to make, that I am just going to describe how I made it because I didn’t use a recipe, and it was a taste-as-you-go kind of effort.

I had a whole cauliflower that I washed and broke into small florets. Meanwhile, I sautéed over medium heat in a heavy soup pot about 3 tbsp. EVOO, one large yellow chopped onion, three chopped celery stalks, three finely chopped carrots, a fresh and finely chopped large tomato, about 5 finely chopped garlic cloves. After a few minutes, I added a generous amount of high quality yellow curry (about 3 tbsp), about 1 tbsp each of sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and ground cumin. Stirred, and then grated about 3 tbsp each of fresh turmeric and ginger, and added that to the mix, along with the cauliflower florets. I stirred all ingredients well, and let sauté for a few more minutes before adding about 6 cups of fresh filtered water. Brought it all to a boil, then simmered until the cauliflower was tender (about 25 minutes). Before serving, I added some baby bok choy, chopped, and some chopped cilantro. I garnished each dish with a little whole baby bok choy, and some fresh parsley and cilantro, as well as some freshly-squeezed lime and a little Tamari.

All of this can (and should) be modified to your own taste. The main thing is to use the different ingredients, all organic, and maybe modify the measurements according to what you really like. It’s all about experimentation. This one turned out very well, and I just loved it (and still have leftovers).

Veggie and Tofu Chow Mein

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This was as easy as can be to make, and yet it looks like a dish you’d order at a Chinese or Thai restaurant (in my humble opinion, lol). It was quite delicious, low-fat, healthy, filling, and super easy and quick to make. If you make the tofu ahead of time (which I’d made the day before), it’s nothing to throw this together. The key here (as in the case of making any dish requiring quick and hot cooking) is to have all your ingredients ready before getting that wok or heavy skillet hot with oil.

INGREDIENTS

1 pkg extra-firm organic tofu (cubed and then tossed in a little olive oil and baked in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, turned, and baked another 15 minutes or so)
1/4 pkg. dried linguini, broken in half and cooked per pkg. directions, then drained in cold water and put aside
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced lengthwise
1 onion (sweet or yellow), sliced lengthwise
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, sliced diagonally
1 carrot, sliced diagonally
Vegetable oil (I used a light vegetable oil blend)
Soy sauce
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
Roasted sesame seeds
Cucumber (few diagonal slices to garnish the plate)

METHOD

After preparing all the ingredients above, heat oil in a heavy skillet (or wok) over high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and stir quickly for about 30 seconds before adding the red bell pepper. Stir for about a minute before drizzling about 2-3 tbsp. of soy sauce over the vegetables. They’ll steam up. At that point, I added the minced garlic and the grated ginger, and stirred it well into the mixture before adding the cooked linguini. Add more soy sauce to taste, mix well. Plate onto a platter and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Garnish with the cucumber. Serve immediately.

Pappa al Pomodoro (Tomato and Bread Soup)

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This Tuscan soup is more like a hearty stew than a soup, and it may not look great but it’s so incredibly flavorful and delicious. It only requires a few ingredients and can be made very quickly. In Italy, it’s made year-round with a few modifications; in the summer months when plum tomatoes are aplenty and ripe, they make it with fresh tomatoes. When the tomatoes are not in season, they make it with canned plum tomatoes. If you make it with the canned tomatoes, make sure to buy Italian-made because they will have nothing added (no salt, no preservatives—just tomatoes). And I have never tasted better tomatoes than fresh Italian tomatoes. They are exquisite. I watched about five Italian YouTube videos to see how differently each chef makes this dish, and I made mine based on theirs. There are a few ingredients that you don’t change: lots and lots of fresh basil, vegetable broth, stale crusty bread (I used a white Artisan-style bread), and of course the tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS

1 28-oz can Italian-made (I used Cento) crushed tomatoes (you could use whole)
1 beefsteak tomato (skinned), chopped (I added this because I wanted more chunky tomato)
1 32-oz carton organic vegetable broth (or, you could make your own)
About a half a loaf of stale Artisan-style hard bread, cut into ~2-inch chunks
About 2 cups of fresh basil — I used fresh from my garden
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped (you could use leek bulb, instead)
3 carrots, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, whole but smashed (you’ll remove them once the soup is cooked)
EVOO (high quality)
Salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

Generously swirl olive oil into soup pot and heat on medium. Add the garlic and stir around for a few minutes in the olive oil. Next, add the carrot, celery, and onion. Stir to mix and let cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent, but not brown. Add the canned (and/or fresh chopped) tomatoes, stir well to mix. Tear about a third of the basil into the mixture (never cut or use scissors—always tear it). Mix and let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Add about half of the carton of vegetable broth, stir. Add the bread, mix well and simmer on low. Add some more torn basil leaves, and the rest of the vegetable broth. Add salt and pepper according to your taste. Simmer and let the bread become really soft and mushy. Remove the garlic cloves. Serve in individual soup bowls, garnish with fresh basil, and (optional) drizzle a little olive oil over top.