Archive for February, 2010

A Simple Dinner

Sometimes nothing beats fresh roasted vegetables and greens for dinner.  I saw these golden beets in the produce section with their tops still attached and I started to salivate.  I promptly whisked them home and decided upon a very simple dinner with some warmed tart and tangy apples and Peruvian potatoes to accompany the beets.

Mustardy Apples


2 Fuji apples, cored and cut into chunks

1/2 onion, diced

1 head roasted garlic

1 T  stone-ground mustard [or to taste]

white wine

apple cider vinegar


Sauté the onions and apples in a drizzle of olive oil until edges begin to caramelize.  Add in 1/4 cup wine and cook off the alcohol.  Add in the roasted garlic, mustard and splash in some apple cider vinegar.  Cook for a few minutes to evaporate off the vinegar.

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Carrot and Sage Tagliatelle with Roasted Garlic and Walnuts

I made a fresh homemade carrot tagliatelle pasta for this dish but any wide eggless noodle would do.  This dish was seriously lush.


1 head roasted garlic

1 cup fresh carrot juice

1 -2 cups No-Chicken broth

10 fresh sage leaves

fried sage leaves for garnish


olive oil

1 T AP flour

salt and pepper


Add carrot juice and roasted garlic to a pot.  Toss in the sage leaves and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.  In a separate pot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and an equal amount of AP flour.  Stir with a whisk for a few minutes until the flour has cooked and you have a roux. 

Remove the sage leaves from the first pot and add the contents to the roux while whisking.  Bring to a boil.  Adjust thickness with the No-Chicken broth until you have a sauce that is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.   Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer lightly for about 10 minutes. 

Cook your pasta until nearly done, strain and transfer the pasta into the pot with the sauce.  Add in walnuts and finish cooking the pasta with the sauce.  [Remember, you can always add some pasta water to extend the amount of sauce if more is needed to sauce the pasta].  Garnish with fried sage leaves.

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Vegan French Onion Soup

While it’s Winter and as we all know soups rock when it’s cold out, this soup is also a really nice springtime meal because it’s so light.  I can’t wait for the garlic scapes to spring up from the earth; they would be a really nice addition to this soup.

Vegan French Onion Soup


4 cups vegetable broth

1/2 – 1 cup white wine [depends upon your tastes, you could also use sherry if you prefer]

3 large onions, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

olive oil

8 sprigs fresh thyme [plus some extra for garnish if you wish], tied in a bundle for easy retrieval

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

baguette, cut into inch-thick slices

vegan cheese


Carmelize the onions over medium low heat in a soup pot. [This will take a good 45 minutes to fully carmelize.  You can speed up the process by adding in a bit of sugar but it’s really important for flavor that the onions are caremelized; they’re the star of this soup.]  Add in thyme and garlic and cook for a few minutes until you smell the garlic.  Deglaze the soup pot with the wine and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes to evaporate off the alcohol.  Add in the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Season with salt and pepper.

Toast both sides of the baguette slices prior to melting the vegan cheese under a broiler because you do not want the soup to sop into the bread immediately.  Serve atop the soup immediately.

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Gingered Carrot and Red Beet Soup

If you like the earthiness of beets, this soup is for you.  It’s  nice served either warm or chilled.  Garnish with crystallized ginger for a sweet and spicy surprise.


1 large beet, large dice

3 carrots, large dice

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 green apple, diced

2 inches ginger, peeled and sliced

3 cups vegetable stock

canola oil

salt and pepper to taste


Sauté onion and apple in a drizzle of canola oil until the onions have softened.  Add carrot, apple and ginger and cook for a few minutes.  Add vegetable stock and simmer, covered for about 30 minutes or until the beets and carrots are fork tender.  Transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve warmed or chill to serve later.

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Use as a hearty dip with plantain [pictured above] or corn chips,  fill a pita pocket  to bulging for a satisfying sandwich or roll some up in a tortilla for a burrito.   Whatever way you choose, it makes for a healthy and delicious nosh.


2 avocados

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, diced

vegan caesar dressing [Recipe]


corn kernels [roasted corn would be so good in this, I did not have fresh corn to roast]

fresh lime juice

salt and pepper



Simply smash the avocado in a large bowl and squeeze fresh lime juice over it.  Add a few tablespoons of the caeser dressing and mash into the avocado.  Toss in all the ingredients in the amounts you would fancy; I used about 1/2 cup of each vegetable.  Let it chill out on the counter for about 30 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper and lime juice if needed.
Serve with plantain chips and fresh lime.  Or anyway you choose.  The possibilities are endless.

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Carrot-Spiced Silken Tofu with Vegetables

For the Tofu:

1-2 blocks firm silken tofu, halved length-wise [depending upon how many you wish to serve]

1.5 cups carrot juice

1 cup No-Chicken Broth

2 kaffir lime leaves

zest of half a lemon

1 star anise

10 black peppercorns

Bring all components except the tofu to a simmer and then remove from heat.  Allow to cool then add to a container with the tofu.  Marinate overnight.  Right before the meal, remove the tofu and steam for 10-15 minutes to heat through.  Gently move the tofu to a plate and mound some vegetables on top, finish with a drizzle of the carrot and miso sauce.

Garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro, spring onion slices or carrot tops.

For the Carrot and Miso Sauce:

[I think some fresh ginger would go really nicely flavor-wise with the carrot in this sauce.  I did not add any since H doesn’t like its flavor.]

1/4 cup fresh carrot juice

1/4 cup sake

2 T  rice wine vinegar

1 T canola oil

1 tsp garlic chili sauce [or more/less depending upon your heat preference] 

2 tsp light miso

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

For the Vegetables:

The vegetables you choose to use are entirely up to you.  I used asparagus, cucumber, carrots, bok choy, kale and celery because I had them on hand.  The amount is also up to you.  Stir-fry in a drizzle of canola oil until cooked yet still crisp in texture.   Plate over the tofu or udon noodles [pictured below] and drizzle with the carrot and miso sauce.  Garnish with black or white sesame seeds.

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Playing with My Food, Again.

I love grilled cheese sandwiches but I wanted to do something a little more interesting than that.  I was thinking along the lines of an Insalata Caprese [mozzarella Teese, basil and tomato with olive oil]  but then flashed on the strawberries in the fridge and that then led to a longing for a thick and syrupy balsamic glaze.  Then here is where it got seriously weird.  I spied the peanut butter.  Thing is?  This sandwich was seriously delicious and I fully intend to make it again.  So there ya have it…a decidedly weird and surprisingly delicious open-faced grilled Teese.

Seriously Weird Grilled Teese


Teese Vegan Cheese, mozzarella-flavor

fresh strawberries, sliced

peanut butter

ciabatta bread

balsamic vinegar


olive oil


Add balsamic vinegar to a small pan and bring to a simmer.  Add in a tablespoon of sugar for each 1/4 cup you use.  Reduce until thick and syrupy.

Slice bread and drizzle with a light coating of olive oil.  Place under the broiler and toast.  Remove and spread a thin layer of peanut butter and then sprinkle Teese atop, leaving some room around the edges.  Cover edges of the bread with foil and place under the broiler until the Teese has melted and is bubbly.  [The reason I did this was because I like having the bread fully toasted under my cheese and having to broil it twice would burn the bread.]

Microwave a spoonful of peanut butter for 15 seconds to soften and drizzle over the melted Teese.  Top with strawberries and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

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