Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thai Curry with Mango (Sweet Potato & Pumpkin)

This 10 Step Recipe might seem labor intensive but like most of my recipes, it's little more than chopping, microwaving, light frying, blending and combining, then reheating.

Recipes like this I do throughout the day or the day before, as I have time, and refrigerate as I go, then throw it all together at once when I'm ready to "cook" dinner (ex. Microwave sweet potato, set aside, come back later and slip off skin, refrigerate.  Peel mango and refrigerate another time, Chop kale and refrigerate, etc.)

By the time I'm ready to make dinner, the ingredients are all ready to grab and go "into the pot", so to speak.


1 Large Sweet Potato
1 Medium White Potato
1 Mango
1 Tub of Extra Firm Tofu, Drained  and cut into cubes
1/2 Can Pumpkin (or you can use a full can, I just had half left over)
1 Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk (Light or Regular)
2 c. Frozen Asian Stir Fry Mixture (the kind with broccoli, snap peas, baby corn etc.)
1 Yellow or White Onion, Diced
1-2 c. Finely Chopped Kale
2 TBSP Chopped Garlic
1 TBSP Powdered Ginger (or use fresh and grate)
1 TBSP Sweet Curry Powder (or more to taste)
1 TBSP Cumin (or more to taste)
1 TBSP Lime Juice
1 tsp Salt

1.  Microwave 1 Large Sweet Potato - Scrub and wash, pierce several times with sharp knife and microwave on "potato" setting until soft (you may have to turn it once during cooking), it is done when potato pierces through with knife

Set aside, then slip off peel once cooled

2.  Peel and carefully cut mango flesh from the pit (no need to dice), set aside

3.  In a blender combine cooked Sweet Potato, Mango, 1/2 can Pumpkin, 1 can Coconut Milk (Light is fine), Garlic, Ginger, Lime Juice, Spices

Blend and pour into soup pot, set aside

4.  Dice and boil a white potato until tender, about 10 min., Drain and Set aside

5.  Microwave the Stir Fry mixture until hot (5 min.)

6.  Fry the chopped onion in a little oil, set aside

7.  Fry the cubed tofu until browned, set aside

8.  Combine the Mango/Sweet Potato puree in the soup pot with all of the other cooked ingredients, including chopped kale (no need to pre-cook the kale)

9.  Stir and heat through

10.  Serve over Brown Rice or Quinoa (made ahead of time, frozen and just reheated when ready to use) and garnish with sour cream and cashews, if desired.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Produce Box Ingredients - Cucumber Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Strawberry Season!  LOTS of strawberries to use up, so this salad goes perfectly with our pasta tonight.  Serve this over lettuce, if desired.

Makes 2 Servings

1 Cucumber, cut into 1/2 slices
10 Strawberries washed, stems removed and cut into pieces
1/2 Red Onion, diced


In Blender, combine and puree:

10 Strawberries, washed, stems removed
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 TBSP Honey or Brown Sugar
3 TBSP Olive Oil

Pour dressing over chopped cucumber and strawberries, top with red onion

Pasta Primavera with Kale, Lentils and Secret Pumpkin

More "Beans, Greens and Grains"...

Pumpkins are a good source of vitamins and minerals:  Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. It also helps prevent hardening of the arteries, which can lead to strokes and/or heart attacks.

Kale is a super food - Too many good things to name here!, which is why we eat it almost daily
(see below for more info)

Lentils are an obvious source of good fiber, among other things

Primavera Recipe -  

Makes 2-3 Generous Servings or 4 cereal bowl servings

1.  Boil 1/2 box pasta of choice - Preferably whole wheat/whole grain (I used Rotini)
Set aside

2.  In a separate skillet, sautee in 1 TBSP Olive Oil:

1 c. chopped kale

1/2 c. chopped mushrooms
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic (or more to taste)
1 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Set aside.

3.  In a large pot combine:

Cooked pasta with kale mixture
Add in 1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Lentils (drained)
1/2 can of canned Pumpkin
4 TBSP Prepared Bruschetta Mixture (I buy in a large jar at BJ's Warehouse) - it add a nice zesty basil flavor

4.  Stir, heat through and serve with salad and bread

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

White "Chicken" Chili

More "Beans, Greens and Grains", our family motto -

And the go-to combo in our house, done lots of ways - full of nutrients and yumminess and usually pretty easy to throw together, either to save to freeze for later or to use right away (or both)

2 Cans White Beans (Northern Beans), undrained
1 Box Imagine brand, 32 oz. No Chicken Broth (or use Vegetable Broth)
1 White Potato, cubed and boiled about 10 min, until tender, set aside
1 cup cooked Quinoa or Brown Rice (we used quinoa)
1 c. finely chopped kale or spinach
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 tsp. Salt
1 small can Green Chilies
1 Box Trader Joe's Chickenless Strips, finely chopped (I use the Ninja)
1-2 tsp. Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce (optional) - use sparingly, this stuff is HOT

In a large soup pot, combine broth, beans and green chilies
Scoop out about half into a blender and blend until pureed and creamy, add back to soup pot

Add in, but do not puree, quinoa or brown rice, chopped kale or spinach, cooked potato cubes, chopped Chickenless strips and rest of seasonings

Heat through and simmer on medium about 20 min., stirring often to prevent burning

Chili will thicken as it cools

Top with sour cream, green onions and crushed tortilla chips

Freezes well in individual containers for easy lunches or quick dinners!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Strawberry Mango Salsa

I'm making a spicy burrito tonight using chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, so this salsa will add a soothing sweetness to the dish.


1 Mango - peeled and carefully cut from pit and cut into cubes
1 Med. Tomato, diced
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1/2 Cucumber, peeled and diced
5-6 Strawberries, diced

Combine in bowl and dress with this dressing:

1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Lime Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Brown Sugar

Stir and refrigerate until ready to use.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter "Seder" Meal - Matzoh Kale (or Spinach) Pie

Traditionally I believe the Seder meal is on Thursday, but we like to have a symbolic "Last Supper" Easter meal either on the Saturday evening before Easter or on Easter Sunday itself, when the excitement of Easter is fresh - Especially important with impatient toddlers and children!

We can discuss the Easter story as we eat and explain the symbolism of our meal.

This dish combines the unleavened bread and greens (in place of the bitter herbs and green herbs).  


Matzoh, Broken into large squares to fit a Pyrex, soaked quickly in water to soften some
Kale or Spinach, chopped fine
1 block Extra Firm Tofu (uncooked, but drained)
1/2 onion, chopped and sauteed in olive oil
Cheese (regular Mozzarella or Daiya vegan)
Butter or Earth Balance

Grease a Pyrex with butter or Earth Balance
Layer Matzoh over entire bottom of Pyrex
Combine kale or spinach and onion

In a bowl mash block of drained tofu with a fork, roughly crumble, then stir tofu and kale until well combined

Spoon over top of Matzoh
Sprinkle cheese on top of greens
Layer more Matzoh on top of greens/tofu mixture
Top with  more cheese

Bake at 375 until browned (about 25 min., check every 10)

*Leftovers make a yummy Easter breakfast too!

As a side to incorporate more herbs, we serve a taboulli salad.  The Haroseth (apple/raisin mixture) for dessert with yogurt or ice cream.

In place of wine, we use grape juice and since we are vegetarian, we remember Jesus as the "Lamb" and the fact that he took the place of animal sacrifice, so we do no need to consume any lamb flesh with our meal.

For a "Christian Seder", these are the elements we incorporate in our home:

Unleavened bread (Matzoh) called "bread of affliction" because it recalls the unleavened bread prepared for the hasty flight by night from Egypt.

Bitter herbs (Moror) is a reminder of the bitterness of slavery and suffering in Egypt.

Green herbs to be dipped in salt water. Salt water represents tears of sorrow shed during the captivity of the Lord's people.

Haroseth (or 'haroses') represents the mortar used by Jews in building palaces and pyramids of Egypt during their slavery. (It is a mixture of chopped apples, nuts, cinnamon and wine.)


Wine - Blood of Jesus

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mango Coconut Milk Pudding (with Banana)

I just made this up - it turned out pretty well with a nice flavor -

Perfect for after the stir fry I made tonight using the 'Produce Box' Bok Choy.

1 Mango, peeled and carefully cut from the seed
1 Can of full fat Coconut Milk
1 Banana
2 TBSP Cornstarch mixed w/ a little water
Splash of Lime Juice

Combine Mango, Coconut Milk and Banana in blender
(I have Vita-Mix, which is great for fully liquefying anything)

Pour into sauce pan and heat until boiling, whisking constantly to prevent burning
Add in splash of lime juice and cornstarch

Pour into bowl and chill until ready to serve
Top with fruit, if desired

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Penne with Kale Pesto and Lentils

*See previous post for Kale Pesto recipe

(Makes 2 generous servings, using all of the kale pesto from previous post)

1/2 Box Whole Wheat Penne, cooked, drained and set aside
4 Large TBSP Prepared Bruschetta mixture (I buy in a big jar at BJ's) - Adds a nice tomato/basil flavor
1 bowl of Kale Pesto (can be made ahead of time, the day before etc.)
1 TBSP Garlic Powder or 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1 Can Lentils, Drained 

Mix the above ingredients with cooked pasta and heat

How easy is that?!

Serve with side salad and, if you want, some good bread :)

Kale Pesto

 This month's Penzeys spice catalog has several good vegan recipes in it -

This is one of them, except I subbed in kale for the spinach
(it is a Vegan Spinach Pesto featured in the catalog)

(Makes approx. 3 servings)

2-3 cups roughly torn leaves of kale (stripped from stems)
2 TBSP Pine Nuts
1/4 c. Nutritional Yeast
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Granulated Garlic (or use 2 fresh cloves)

Place all in food processor and blend until it is a smooth paste

Don't add any salt - you don't need it - the nutritional yeast adds enough salt

*If I try this again and am prepared, I'd like to add a handful of basil leaves to make it taste more like traditional pesto

I will be serving this over penne pasta

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Salad (with Chickpeas and Apple)

This is an interesting change to traditional potato salad picnic/BBQ food.

I LOVE mayonnaise based white potato salad (and still make it using Vegenaise), but this is a healthier and more filling version, using not only sweet potato, but chickpeas and apple.

(Based on a recipe featured in 'All You' magazine)

1 Large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
*Boil 5-7 min. until just tender, drain, rinse in cold water and set aside to cool

1 Large Stalk Celery finely sliced
1 Apple, diced
1 can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed


1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Cider Vinegar
1 tsp. Honey or Sugar
2-3 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients and pour over chopped ingredients and cooked sweet potato in bowl

Chill at least 1 hour before serving


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chocolate Pudding (Avocado & Banana) - Mostly Raw

A more whole, and unprocessed version of pudding, this chocolate pudding is just as rich and creamy as traditional dairy based chocolate pudding, if not creamier!

(1 serving shown - Recipe makes 2 servings)

The key ingredient is the amazing and wonderful avocado...

Avocados are full of good fats and vitamins and we eat them by the bag full weekly in many ways, but this is a "weekend treat" for after dinner.

A sweet reward for hubby and I after Little B. hits the hay and we have some down time!  :)

In a small food processor (we use the Ninja), Blend:

1 Ripe Avocado
1 Ripe Banana (the sweeter the better)
A little water or soy milk (2 TBSP and add as needed after that)
3 Tsp Cocoa Powder

*Good as is, but tonight we added 1 TBSP brown sugar, and a dash of cayenne pepper for a spicy-sweet chocolate flavor

I layered the pudding in a dish with graham crackers, sliced banana, and topped with slivered almonds and Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips, then refrigerated.

Quick and simple!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sweet Potato 'Mac n Cheese'

We got our first Produce Box today and I tried to use as much of it as I could for dinner.

I used ALL of the lettuce and some of the cucumber and tomato for BIG salads for both of us adults, and I used a sweet potato to create this creamy, sweet and pretty sauce for some penne.  I served it alongside some broccoli we had.

Next time, I think I'll puree in some white beans to up the nutrients, but as is, it's very good.  And quick to whip up in a hurry.  I think it took me 15 min. total to create the pasta part of tonight's dinner!

I didn't measure the ingredients, but these are the basics:

1 Large Sweet Potato, pierced and microwaved until soft, let cool, then remove skin

Cook pasta (we used 1/2 box of Penne, making about 3 adult servings)

In a Vita-Mix or other high powered blender, add:

Sweet Potato (cooked, skin removed)
1/2 c. Nutritional Yeast (or more to taste)
Salt, Pepper
Garlic Powder
1 tsp. Oregano
2 TBSP Earth Balance (or butter)
2 c. PLAIN Soy Milk or other non-sweet milk

Blend, then pour over cooked pasta, stir

You won't fool anyone that this is dairy mac n cheese but it's pretty tasty and when I let Little B. taste some sauce off the spoon he smiled REALLY big and ask for more "tato", so he knew it was sweet potato, but knew it was yummy!

Toddler approved!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chocolate Banana Pudding, using hidden Pumpkin Puree

Makes 2 servings

An all natural mousse/pudding dessert you will feel good about eating!

Fat free and delicious!

Go ahead and have some graham crackers or even a cookie with deserve it!  :)

2 Bananas
4 tbsp. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
(adjust to taste, I like dark chocolate so I used 4 TBSP but it might be too strong for some)
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1 TBSP Cinnamon

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor (I used the Ninja)

Chill until set and enjoy!  (I also topped ours with strawberries)

Apple and Sausage Baked Beans

In my life I've had baked beans with ground sausage mixed in and it is very tasty and adds a richness and substance to an otherwise boring BBQ side dish, but traditionally it's also high fat/cholesterol and of course not kind to the animal it took to make that sausage!

I created this recipe for baked beans with veggie sausage, and also snuck in a finely diced apple to add to the sweetness and nutrients - it is fried up with onion and you can't even tell it's apple in there! 

One more serving of fruit to add to your daily intake without even knowing it!  And it's yummy!  My toddler kept asking for "more beans" at dinner with emphatic pointing, and that's saying a lot!

Depending on what amount of baked beans you are eating, adjust the quantities, but here are the basics
(add more apple, onion or veggie sausage depending on how big/how many cans of baked beans you use):

1 Can Vegetarian Baked Beans
1 Apple, finely diced (I used the Ninja to finely dice, with peel on)
1/2 White or Yellow Onion, finely diced (Ninja)
1/2 c. Veggie Sausage (Morningstar makes a sausage crumble, just microwave it heat)

In a large saucepan sprayed with cooking spray, fry the onion and apple, adding a little water, if necessary to prevent sticking

Add in veggie sausage crumbles and fry a few minutes longer

Pour in a can of vegetarian baked beans and stir

That's it!

Ready to serve at your next BBQ!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Animal Bananimal Pudding (Dairy and Egg Free, Vegan)

Seems like most of us grew up on Banana Pudding made with Nilla Wafers...

Well, if you are lactose intolerant or vegan, this might be a dessert/snack you or your family are missing out on.

Not any more!

Just as yummy as the original, subbing in animal crackers for the Nilla Wafers and a quick and easy mixture to sub in for the pudding, best of all, no "strange" ingredients, just things you probably already have in your pantry!

Kids will also like the use of the animal crackers since they are fun shapes

(Picture shown is an individual serving in a 6 in. bowl 
I made individual bowls vs. one big container of pudding)

1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups soymilk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/2 banana, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla

Vanilla Animal Crackers (We get the big bulk tub at BJ's Warehouse)

Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a medium saucepan.

Stir in the soymilk and begin heating on medium heat.

Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and boils.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Line a bowl or dish with vanilla cookies.

Slice one of the bananas to cover the cookies.

Pour about half of the pudding over the bananas.

Repeat the layers of cookies, bananas, and pudding, reserving some of the cookies and placing them around the edge of the dish.

Refrigerate until completely chilled. Serve and enjoy!

*Adapted from this original recipe from Fat Free Vegan's Blog

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eggplant Mushroom Stroganoff (with secret white beans)

 A twist on traditional Stroganoff, using white beans to add to the creaminess and nutrients of the dish.


1 Eggplant, skin on, cut into cubes
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 c. Imagine Brand Creamy Mushroom Soup
1 can Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. water
1 TBSP Earth Balance


In a high powered blender (Vita-Mix), puree Northern beans with 1/2 c. water, set aside

In a medium saucepan, cook 1/2 box spiral pasta and set aside


Eggplant/Mushroom Sauce

In a large skillet combine eggplant, balsamic and garlic

Fry eggplant 15-20 min. (covered, stirring often and adding a little water to prevent sticking as needed),
until soft

Add mushrooms

Stir in mushroom soup, bean puree, 1 TBSP Earth Balance (vegan butter)

Heat through

Pour over pasta and serve with bread and salad

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sesame Tofu

  4 Servings:

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu, drained (preferably press out extra water) - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • (I use the Tofu Express,, but you could use 2 heavy plates sandwiching the tofu and something heavy on top, dumping out the water as it drains - 30 min. or more, as you prep the rest of the ingredients)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch, for dusting
  • canola oil (for frying)


  • 1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or water (I used OJ) mixed with 1 TBSP corntarch
  • 6 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP grated ginger (or use 3 TBSP ground)
  • 4 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 -2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes 
  • 1/2 c. sesame seeds 

Tofu - 

Place cornstarch in a large ziploc bag, add drained tofu cubes
Shake to coat with cornstarch

Heat frying pan with 1 inch of the oil for frying

Add tofu cubes coated with cornstarch, fry a few minutes on each side until crispy (they don't need to brown)

Drain cooked tofu on paper towels on a plate and set aside


In a saucepan, add all sauce ingredients, except orange juice - stir with a whisk
Once the sauce starts to boil, turn down heat
Add in 1/2 c. orange juice/cornstarch mixture
Stir in sesame seeds
Take off heat

Just before serving, make sure sauce is heated and mix fried tofu with the sauce
Serve over brown rice and with a side of broccoli
Add any other sides you like - Dumplings, egg rolls etc.

*I steamed broccoli in a microwave safe container, 2 cups fresh broccoli with 1 TBSP water, cover and microwave 4 minutes (or use frozen) (and I added some zucchini we had too) - Mix with tofu and sauce before serving.

Recipe adapted from this original recipe:
Read more:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vegan Buffalo Wings with Avocado Ranch Dip

Made up this dip tonight when I realized we were out of Tofutti Sour Cream, which I normally make Ranch Dip with.

Avocados are full of healthy fats and all natural, so why not?  Turns out, they make a GREAT, creamy dip base!  Perfect to go with buffalo wings! (or chips or veggies for that matter!)  I am going to make this dip from now on to go with MANY things!

Buffalo Wing Sauce (Moore's brand is vegan)
1 Avocado
1/4 Packet of Lipton Kosher Ranch Recipe Secrets powder (also vegan)

Baste one side only of the Gardein tenders with buffalo sauce
Place on foil on baking sheet and bake according to directions (430 for 20 min., turning after 10)

For Ranch Dip:

In mini food processor (I use the Ninja), Blend flesh of one avocado with 1/4 packet of ranch powder and a few tablespoons of water at a time until desired consistency.

Ready to serve!  We like ours along with homemade Pizza - which is our "Friday Night" meal

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"Let's Make a Baby, Healthier" Pasta

I adapted this recipe from this month's Glamour magazine, featuring a recipe called "Let's Make a Baby Pasta"

 Grains, Greens and Beans make for healthy Mommy, Baby and Family!

Well, I've already made a baby, which is growing inside me and developing a taste for everything Mommy is eating - healthy eaters begin in the tummy!

So I decided to take the recipe and make it healthier, for me AND for baby (and for the hungry husband and active toddler in the family too!)

But you don't need to be making a baby or even a parent to love this dish!

With the addition of whole grain pasta vs. white, lentils and spinach, I've upped the Fiber, Protein and Folic Acid and made it a heartier dish too!  Good stuff for anyone!

We order lentils in the can in bulk from Amazon and always have diced tomatoes and whole grain pasta on hand from our warehouse club trips, so throwing this together is SUPER easy!

Lentil Penne Pasta

1 Can Lentils, drained
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (not drained)
1 Box Whole Grain Penne Pasta
1/2 Yellow or White Onion, diced
Spinach - Handful of baby spinach or 1/2 bag frozen spinach, thawed
1-2 TBSP chopped Garlic
Olive Oil
Dried or fresh Basil (try to use fresh chopped basil if you can, it makes any pasta dish a literal MILLION times better!)
1 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

Boil pasta according to directions, drain and set aside

In a large soup pot, heat 1 TBSP olive oil
Add garlic, spinach and onion and fry a few minutes
Add in lentils and tomatoes
Stir in spices and vinegar and a little extra olive oil

Mix cooked pasta with sauce

Serve with salad and/or bread

*This dish freezes well in individual containers, just pull out and microwave for quick and easy lunches or dinners!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Roasted Beets with Balsamic/Orange Dressing

A tangy and sweet side dish using fresh roasted beets, a nice alternative to canned pickled beets while beets are in season at the Farmers Market!

Get out:
1 pair rubber gloves
Small Pyrex glass baking dish

6 average sized beets
Olive oil
Salt, Pepper

Heat oven to 425

Put on your gloves and cut ends off beets and peel, then cut each beet into 1/2 inch cubes

In a large bowl, combine beet cubes with a few tablespoons of olive oil - add salt and pepper

Transfer to baking dish and bake 30-40 min., until beets are tender if pierced with fork
(Check and stir beets in 10-20 min. intervals to ensure even cooking)

Dressing for Beets

Dressing for Beets
·  1/4 cup fresh orange juice
·  1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
·  1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
·  1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
·  1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
·  Salt and freshly ground pepper 

Combine all in measuring cup or small bowl and stir with a wire whisk, pour over beets
Transfer beets in dressing to Tupperware and refrigerate a few hours to meld flavors
(shake container now and then as you think of it to evenly cover beets)

Serve cold or at room temperature
*Will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator

Zucchini/Chickpea Pancakes

This is a savory pancake - Much like a potato pancake in taste and texture.

 (1 medium pancake shown)

Makes a delicious side dish, appetizer or main dish, depending on what you serve it with.

Simple ingredients, easy to whip together, then fry.

Zucchini and Chickpea Flour pancakes
Makes 4-5 medium sized pancakes
  • 2 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (Bob's Red Mill brand makes this. We get ours at Whole Foods - but it is readily available at most grocery stores in the natural food section now)
  • Spices to taste:  I use garlic, oregano, salt and pepper
  • Olive oil for cooking
Equipment needed: a non-stick frying pan

Finely shred the zucchini - I use a food processor for this. 

Put all into a large bowl; add the salt, spices and the chickpea flour. 

Mix well with a spoon - the moisture that comes out of the zucchini is enough to turn this into a batter (wait a bit after mixing to let the zucchini shreds "sweat" before adding any water.  You don't want the batter too runny.  You can add a tablespoon of water if it still seems too dry after mixing and stirring and letting it sit a few minutes).

Heat up a small non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add some olive oil and spread around. 

Put in 2 large tablespoons of batter and spread around to form a circle. 
(I use a medium sized ice cream scoop for this, then flatten with the back of a spoon)

Cook for about 3-5 minutes, until you see the edges start to brown slightly, then turn and cook for another few minutes or so, until it’s cooked all the way through - watch carefully so they don't burn!

Add more oil to pan between each pancake cooked to make sure they don't stick.

Drain on paper towel on a plate, salt lightly.

Serve as is or with sour cream (Tofutti makes an excellent vegan sour cream, which we use).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Cheesy" Kale Salad

3-4 cups of torn kale (bite sized pieces), stems removed
2 TBSP Nutritional Yeast
(found in Whole Foods etc. in the vitamin aisle, try to get a brand that is fortified with B12, since that is the reason to use it other than the flavor.  A big tub runs about $15-20ish and last a while)
Garlic powder to taste
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Water

Put all in measuring cup and stir with a whisk to blend together

Take off any rings and put the kale in a BIG bowl, pour on dressing and get ready to get messy...
Massage the kale and dressing for a few minutes until it becomes slightly wilted and the dressing is well combined

Eat as a salad by itself or use as a bed for an entree, like the burrito we had, as shown

Green Pea/Avocado Guacamole

I hesitate to label this "guacamole", considering our usual recipe consists of 4-5 avocados and the guacamole is split between TWO people in my house.  Real guacamole is the only REAL guacamole, let's face it.

But we only had 1 avocado in the house and I remembered seeing this recipe to make a lower fat version, which I will kindly refer to as "dip", since it can not truly be guacamole, no matter how hard it tries.

10 oz bag of FROZEN green peas, cooked and then cooled (do not blend these while hot)
1 avocado

In a small blender (I use a Ninja), blend COLD peas and avocado flesh until smooth
Pour into a bowl and spoon in a few tablespoons of your favorite salsa, 1 TBSP lime juice, garlic powder to taste and some salt

Serve with chips and make a note to buy more avocados the next time you're at the store! 

Refried Bean and "Beef" Burritos with Verde Sauce

Refried Bean and "Beef" Burritos with Verde Sauce
*Served with Green Pea Avocado Guacamole and "Cheesy" Kale Salad (separate recipes to follow)

9x13 Pyrex glass baking dish

12 oz package Veggie Beef Crumbles (Gardenburger, Boca etc.)
15 oz. jar Verde Enchilada Sauce
1/2 Onion, yellow or white, finely chopped
4 Large, Burrito Size Tortillas
1 can Refried Beans
Taco Seasoning (to taste)
Salsa (to taste)


Set oven to 350

Microwave Veggie Beef Crumbles until hot

Heat a frying pan with a little oil
Fry chopped onion until translucent

In hot pan, mix crumbles, onion and taco seasoning and a few tablespoons of water
Fry about 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, until crumbles brown a bit
Take off heat

Microwave can of refried beans, set aside

Divide the beans and veggie crumbles between all 4 tortillas, adding salsa to each filling
Roll up into burritos

Spray Pyrex pan with cooking spray and lay all 4 burritos, seam side down in pan
Cover with Verde enchilada sauce

Bake for 20 minutes

Top with sour cream (Tofutti brand is what we use and it is vegan), green onions etc.

*Burritos freeze well, individually in containers.  Just reheat about 5 min. in your microwave.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Betty Crocker Black Bean Brownies

I didn't make this recipe up, it's floating out there around the internet, but it's REALLY easy.

I'm always looking for ways to sneaks beans into just about anything and you can't tell there are even beans in these!

Since they are egg-free you can lick the batter from the spoon and bowl without any haunting suspicion that you may have just gotten salmonella and because there are beans AND dark chocolate, you can also tell yourself these are healthy - Ok, well, healthy enough.

I baked mine in a 9x13 Pyrex but next time I'd try it in the 8x8 brownie pan to make them thicker.

Top with ice cream and you're all set!

  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 19.5 oz box chocolate brownie mix
Open can of beans, drain and rinse well. Put beans back in the can and fill can with water.
Put beans and water in blender until smooth.
Mix pureed beans with brownie package mix.
DO NOT add eggs or oil. Spray baking dish with Pam.
Cook brownies according to package directions.
Cool and serve.