Thursday, December 3, 2015

Vegan "Beefy" Mushroom Barley Soup

Once again, here I am apologizing for how long it has been since I posted a recipe.  I am on the computer all day at work and so a lot of times I don't feel like staring at one at home.  As a result, the blog gets neglected.

Some history on this recipe - right out of high school, back in 1989, I bought a Better Homes and Garden cookbook.  I never did use too many recipes out of it, but I still have the book today, sitting in the cupboard being held together with a rubber band. One of the few recipes I did make was for beef barley soup.  Even then I modified it from the original.

This recipe is my vegan version of the one I used to make based on that recipe.  It is such a simple soup to make.  I hope you enjoy.


1 lb Brown Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
1 large Onion, peeled and diced
1 cup Celery, sliced
1 Carrot, sliced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
5 cups Water
1 Bay Leaf
3/4 tsp dried Rosemary, crushed
1 cup frozen Peas or Mixed Veggies
1 large Potato, diced
1/4 cup Pearl Barley
** 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar - optional

1.  In a large soup pot add the mushrooms, onions, and celery, carrot, garlic, and approximately 1/4 cup of water.  Saute 2-3 minutes until soft and the water comes out of the mushrooms.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook for 25-35 minutes until the barley is cooked and the veggies are soft.  Optional - Add 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar at this time for a richer taste.

3.  Serve hot with crusty bread or biscuits.

- Bon Appetit

" There is nothing like soup.  It is by nature eccentric; no two are ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can." - Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking (1988)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Vegan Taco Salad

In my post for Tempeh Taco Crumbles, I promised this post would be a special taco salad recipe, and it is.

Way back in the day when I was in grade 5, I was on a 5-pin bowling team.  One of my friends, who's mom was our teacher, was also in the league.  At the end of the season the league had a potluck banquet and her mom brought this dish.  My mom asked for the recipe and it has been a family favorite ever since. Wherever you are Mrs. Walsh, thank you.

Of course, I have made it vegan which means a few changes, but it is still as good as the original. This recipe makes a large batch and doesn't keep well.  If I am making it for just hubby and I, I will divide the beans, taco crumbles, black olives, etc in half and store half the fridge overnight.  I use the refrigerated half to make a new batch the next night.  The dressing will make everything soggy so you don't want leftovers after it has been mixed.



1 head Iceberg or Romaine Lettuce, coarse chopped
1 batch of Tempeh Taco Crumbles, or 2 cups vegan fiesta flavored burger crumbles of your choice
1 -14 oz can Black Olives, drained and sliced
1 cup Celery, chopped
1 - 14 oz can Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
4-5 Green Onions, sliced including greens
2 C shredded vegan Cheddar (I use 1 pkg Daiya)
1 - 8 oz bottle vegan Catalina or French Dressing (I use Annie's Organic French or Woodstock)
1 pkg Corn Chips such as Fritos Original or Trader Joe's Dippers


**If you are making a full family sized batch use the largest mixing bowl you have.  My mom used to use her water bath canner as a large mixing bowl.  If making a half batch for two people - a large stainless steel mixing bowl works fine. Remember to half everything for the smaller batch.

1.  In the mixing bowl combine everything except for the salad dressing.  If the chips are large crush them a little in your hands.  You don't want the pieces too small though. Reserve a few chips for garnish.  Toss to mix well.

(Ready for dressing and chips)
2.  Drizzle dressing over salad and toss to coat.  Again, just half the bottle if making a half batch.  

3.  Divide into serving bowls or onto plates and garnish with a few whole chips and a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper if desired.  

- Bon Appetit

"Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days." - Doug Larson

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tempeh Taco Crumbles

To quote an English Proverb: "Necessity is the Mother of invention".  When the need for something becomes imperative, you are forced to find ways of getting or achieving it.

That is how this receipt came about.  I was craving a taco salad.  Not any taco salad, but the one from my youth. The recipe for that taco salad will follow in my next post. Before you can have taco salad, you must have taco crumbles.

My intention was to make the "Walnut Tacos" recipe from Chris, Mr. Everyday Tastiness himself, but I had forgotten to soak the walnuts overnight.

Hmmmm. What to do? What to do?

Ah ha, what if I took a package of plain tempeh, grated it, and then added the spices?

Well, I'd get a different bowl of tastiness.  I followed most of his recipe, with a few small changes, and it turned out pretty darn good.  You can find his original recipe by following this LINK. Thank you Chris for the inspiration.

**  for gluten free -substitute gluten free tamari in place of the soy sauce, and make sure you are using a gluten free tempeh



1 - 8 oz pkg plain Organic Tempeh (I use Trader Joes)
1 Tbsp Chili powder
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 tsp ground Coriander
1/2 tsp granulated Garlic
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Water


1.  Grate the tempeh into a medium sized bowl.

(Grated tempeh)
2.  In a small bowl combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic, and Italian seasoning.

(Spice mixture)
3.  Add spices to tempeh.  Stir well to combine.

(Tempeh with spices added)
4.  Drizzle soy sauce and water into tempeh mixture.  Again, stir well to combine.

(tempeh taco crumbles ready to eat)
You can heat the mixture at this point or use it as it is.  I prefer to use it as is in a taco salad.

Here is a teaser photo of the taco salad.

(Taco Salad)

- Bon Appetit

" Don't judge a taco by its price." - Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Grilled Eggplant/Zucchini with Italian Inspired Salsa

I apologize that I didn't even post one recipe in August. With the hot summer we experienced we seemed to eat the same things every week.

Now that the weather has cooled off I have been back to making a few different things and if I remember to take some pictures I'll post the recipes.  

While walking through the grocery store Troubadour spotted a bright eggplant and wondered what we could make of it. I thought of an old recipe I hadn't made in a while for grilled eggplant topped with a yummy Italian inspired salsa.  I don't remember where I found the original recipe years ago, but I tweaked it just a smidge and we enjoy it.

Eggplant is enjoyable but I think the salsa flavors go really well with grilled zucchini too.  Those large ones you get in your garden at the end of summer.  When using zucchini slice them a little thicker as they are softer when grilled than the eggplant.

For this recipe I used double stuffed green olives.  They were stuffed with garlic and jalapeno.  I didn't want the garlic to be overpowering in the recipe so I used granulated.  If the olives weren't stuffed I would have used fresh garlic.


1 large Eggplant or Zucchini
* Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Herbs de Provence for sprinkling
1/2 cup Sweet Onion, minced
1-12 oz container of Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup Celery, chopped small
6 large Green Olives, sliced
1/4 tsp Granulated Garlic (or 1 clove fresh Garlic, minced)
2-3 Tbsp sliced fresh Basil
1/4 tsp red Pepper Flakes
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil or Flax Seed Oil


1.  Slice eggplant in large rounds.  If using zucchini, slice in large rounds or oblong slices depending on shape of the zucchini.  Spray each side with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, granulated garlic, and Herb de Provence.

(Eggplant ready for the grill)
 2.  Place on grill and grill each side for 5-6 minutes depending on grill temperatures.  You want them to be cooked but not too soft.

(Eggplant ready for the plates)
3.  While the eggplant or zucchini is cooking make the salsa.  In a small bowl place the chopped tomatoes, celery, onion, green olives, basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

(Salsa ingredients ready for oil and vinegar)
4.  Stir to combine.  In small prep dish whisk together the red wine vinegar and flax or olive oil.  Drizzle over the mixed veggies and stir to coat.

(Italian inspired salsa ready to serve)
5.  To serve, place a round or two of eggplant or zucchini on your plate and top with salsa and a bit of fresh ground pepper.

I have found this dish pairs well with a loaf of crusty bread or baguette.  You can even grill the bread and top it with the salsa as you would bruschetta.

- Bon Appetit

"It is difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts when eating a homegrown tomato." - Lewis Grizzard

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fatoush for Two

The first time I'd ever had Fatoush was a few years ago at a Mediterranean restaurant in Coos Bay. Since then I've had it a few times locally.  The last time wasn't very good.  The pita pieces were deep fried, there was too much oil in the dressing, and my side order of falafels were also deep fried. For someone who doesn't use very much oil, it was not good.

I thought to myself, I can make a Fatoush better than this.  And I did.  I knew the basic ingredients and from there created my own dressing.  What follows is the result.

I like to use the salad as the main part of a meal with a few falafels on the side.  If I am in a hurry or feeling lazy I use the frozen precooked falafels from Trader Joes as they are vegan. While not very  flavorful, they do in a pinch.  Homemade are always better, but I don't always have the time.  I really should make a batch of homemade and put them in the freezer for later.  


1 head of Romaine Lettuce or 1.5 Hearts of Romaine, chopped
1/2 Long English Cucumber, diced
1 large Tomato, diced
2 thin slices of Red Onion, cut into small pieces
10 Mint leaves, sliced thin
2 large fluffy Pitas
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp ground Sumac
1 clove Garlic, crushed or minced
Salt and Pepper to taste
  ** optional - Falafels for serving on the side


1.  Preheat broiler.  Cut pitas into bite sized pieces and toast under the broiler on each side until crisp. Set aside.  This is a good time to heat some falafels in the oven as well.

2.  To a large mixing bowl add the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion, and mint.  Toss to combine.  Add the pita pieces and toss again.

(Salad ingredients tossed together - ready for dressing)
3.  In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, ground sumac, and a sprinkle of salt.

4.  Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.  Let set for 10 minutes stirring every few minutes  to ensure the pita pieces are coated.

5.  Serve on a plate with falafels on the side

- Bon Appetit

What garlic is to salad, insanity is to art." - Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Oh such fudgy goodness contained in one little square.  I have been developing this recipe over a year or so.  It started out with one of the many I'd seen on the interweb and I've reduced the sugar by at least a third as well as done some other tweaking to make it less cake like and more fudge brownie like.  I really like the fact that they have no added oil and have a healthy dose of protein and fiber from the beans.  If you are going to eat a brownie it might as well be a healthy version.

And no, you cannot tell there are black beans in the mix.  I also try to use organic ingredients when available.

Note the pictures in this post are a little more cake-like.  These were from a batch I'd cooked a little too much.  I forgot to take pics of the last fudgier batch. I'll update the pics the next time I make them (when I remember to buy more cocoa).



1 cup Unbleached White Flour
3/4 cup Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Sugar or Evaporated Cane Juice
1 - 15 oz can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I used soy)


1.  Preheat oven to 350˚ and spray a 8 or 9 inch square glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a medium-large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and sugar.  Whisk together to combine.  Make a well in the center for the wet ingredients.

3.  In a blender or food processor combine the black beans and non dairy milk.  Process until well blended and fairly smooth.

4.  Pour the bean mixture into the dry and stir to combine.  Mix well.  Batter will be fairly thick. 

5.  Pour into glass baking dish and smooth out any high spots.

6.  Bake in 350˚ oven for 25-27 minutes.  You will be able to see the edges set.  You don't want them to dry out while the center is cooking.  If you want a fudgier denser brownie do not over bake.  

7.  Cool pan on wire rack and cut into squares.  They are more fudge like when warm but harder to cut into squares as well.  

**These would pair well with some non-dairy ice cream, although I haven't splurged and tried it.

- Bon Appetit

" Keep calm and eat a brownie." - Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Vegan Strawberry Upside Down Cake

It is strawberry season again.  Well, not in Oregon, but it is in California, which means we get truck loads of fresh ripe strawberries showing up in the stores.

I couldn't resist making this recipe a week or so ago.  It was always my go to upside down cake recipe and I've used it for over 20 years.  I modified it since we went vegan.  If I remember right it is originally from a Betty Crocker cookbook.

I've never been a big fan of cooked pineapple but love upside down cakes.  My favorite is to use fresh sliced peaches, but since they aren't in season and I had a few pints of strawberries in the fridge I thought I'd try them.  They worked out really well.

** Strawberries are on the dirty dozen for pesticide residue, so please only buy organic.



2 Tbsps vegan Margarine, melted
1/3 cup packed Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Water
Fresh fruit such as Strawberries or Peaches

1-1/3 cup Flour
2/3 cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2/3 cup Non-Dairy Milk
1/4 cup vegan Margarine, softened
1 Flax Egg (1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp warm water)
1 tsp Vanilla


1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F (176˚C) and coat an 8 or 9 inch cake tin with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In the cake tin, add the brown sugar and the melted 2 tablespoon of margarine. Use a fork to stir around to combine.  Add in the 1 tbsp of water and stir again.  It should level out on the bottom of the tin.

3.  Place your fruit in a pattern over the sugar mixture and set aside.

(ready to top with the cake batter)
4.  To make the cake batter combine in the bowl of an electric mixture the flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Stir to combine.  Add the softened margarine, flax egg, vanilla, and non-dairy milk and beat until well mixed about 1 minute.  Batter will be fairly thick.

5.  Pour batter over strawberries and bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.  Warning, if you use an 8 inch pan the sugar mixture may bubble out the sides while baking.

(Ready for the oven)
6.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.  Let cool or serve warm with vegan ice cream.

**I find that this recipe is best when served the day it is made or the next day.  It has a tendency to absorb moisture after that and can get quite dense.  It is a fairly heavy cake to begin with to stand up to the fruit topping.

- Bon Appetit

" But how will I eat cake if my head is over there and my hands are over here?" - Marie Antoinette

Monday, April 27, 2015

Salad Roll Noodle Bowls - Vegan & Gluten Free

One of my favorite things to eat are salad rolls. Unlike deep fried spring rolls, salad rolls are wrapped in a rice wrapper and are not fried at all, but filled with noodles, carrot, mint, cilantro, and even tofu.

If you hate to soak and roll the rice wrapper this noodle bowl makes a great substitute and is quite filling on its own without a side dish.  Although it would be nice served with some fresh boiled edamame in the shell.

The dressing is quite thin, but pairs nicely and keeps it a light dish instead of a heavy peanut sauce which most salad rolls are served with. 

The inspiration for this recipe came from Vegetarian Times, but as with most of my recipes I switched up the ingredients and their amounts to suit my taste.  Feel free to do the same. Depending on how many people you are serving you may want to change up the quantities.  This makes two large dinner servings.

You can purchase already baked tofu and cube it, or you can purchase plain extra firm tofu, slice it and broil it for a few minutes on each side basting with a mixture of soy sauce and sweet chili sauce. Depending on my mood and how much time I have decides whether I purchase the pre-fab baked tofu. The pictures in this post contain home baked tofu.


6-8 oz dried Rice Noodles
2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Lime Juice
3 Tbsp Low Sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 tsp granulated Garlic
1 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
1/2 Long English Cucumber, diced
1 cup shredded Green or Red Cabbage
1 large Carrot, grated
1/4 cup fresh Mint, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
8 oz baked Tofu, cubed
1/2 cup Dry Roasted Unsalted Peanuts


1.  Cook rice noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.

2.  For the dressing whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, soy sauce/tamari, garlic, and sweet chili sauce.  Set aside.

3.  Chop and ready all your vegetables, herbs, and tofu.

4.  To assemble place the noodles in individual bowls.  A shallow pasta bowl/plate works well.  You want something with a side on it so the dressing doesn't spill.

5.  Drizzle a few spoons of dressing over the noodles, then top with all of the veggies and herbs.

6.  Top with tofu and peanuts.  Drizzle with remaining dressing and enjoy.

- Bon Appetit

"Don't dig your grave with your own knife and fork." - English Proverb

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Chunky Tomato Veggie Soup

While our weather has been warmer than usual for Spring in Oregon we have still made time for soup.

This is a good recipe to make when you have leftover kale from making a salad.


1 Red or Yellow Onion, peeled and diced
1-1/2 to 2 cups chopped Celery
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 medium-large Carrots, sliced in rounds
1 small Green Pepper, diced
2 - 14.5 oz cans of no-sodium Diced Tomatoes (I use fire-roasted)
1/4 cup no sodium added Tomato Paste
6 cups Water
2 tsp No Beef Bouillon or Vegetable Bouillon
1 - 14 oz can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 large handfuls of chopped Kale
2 cups uncooked Pasta such as shells or Conchiglie (I used the one in the link)
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Ground Black Pepper to taste
     * optional - Sourdough bread for dipping


1.  In a large soup pot add about 1/2 cup of water and the onion, celery, garlic, carrots, and green pepper.  Stir and cook until they have softened a bit.  If the water evaporates, add a little more to prevent sticking.

2.  To the pot add the cans of diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir.

3.  Add the water and bouillon and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.

4.  Add chickpeas, kale, pasta, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.  Bring back to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until pasta is done.  You don't want to overcook the pasta.

5.  Serve in large bowl with bread on the side if desired.

This makes a large batch of soup with enough for leftovers the next day depending on how many people you are serving.  I do find that when I make it I need to add a little water when reheating it the next day as the pasta can absorb quite a bit overnight.

- Bon Appetit

" If soup isn't hot enough to make a grown man wince, it's undrinkable." - Terri Guillemets

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Taste the Rainbow Kale Salad

I like to call this Taste the Rainbow because it is so colorful.  To me, it is just a cheerful salad to eat.

The inspiration from this salad came from a Thai salad on another website, but I can't find the name to link it. I have changed the salad itself as well as the dressing to suit our tastes.  One of the biggest differences was that instead of blending the edamame and cashews to chop them up I left them whole. I'd rather have a chunky salad than a slaw type salad.

Thai Lime and Chili spiced cashews are recommended, but if those aren't available or you are trying to cut out sodium, plain cashews work just as well.

The dressing is quite thin, which keeps the salad from being heavy.  It stores well for leftovers the next day but needs to be shaken before pouring on leftover salad.


1 - large 10oz bag of chopped Kale
3 medium Carrots, sliced ( I used tri-color carrots)
1 Red Pepper, chopped
3/4 cup Cilantro, rough chopped
1/4 cup minced Red Onion or Green Onion
1.5 cups shelled Edamame (out of the shell)
3/4 cup Cashews
   *  ground black pepper and sesame seeds as garnish
2 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
3 Tbsp low sodium Soy Sauce, or gluten free Tamari
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp fresh grated Ginger
3 cloves Garlic, minced


1.  Rinse the kale and pick out and discard any woody stems.  In a large mixing bowl, massage the kale with both hands until it is a shiny green and reduces in bulk a bit.  This will help remove any bitterness.

2.  To the kale add the carrots, red pepper, cilantro, and onion.  Toss to combine.  

(massaged kale with carrots, red pepper, cilantro, and onion)
3.  If using frozen edamame, thaw in hot water in the microwave a few minutes. Rinse and drain.

4.  Blend dressing ingredients:  sesame oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, ginger and garlic.  You can use a blender or whisk.  Set aside.

5.  I like to set aside two bowls of salad for lunch the next day and then plate the remainder on two large dinner plates.  Top all four servings with the edamame and cashews.  You can eat it all now or save some for later depending on how many you are feeding.

6.  Drizzle dressing over plated salads.  If you are saving salads for lunch the next day store the leftover dressing in a small plastic container for portability.  Shake before pouring the next day.

7.  I like to sprinkle the salad with fresh ground black pepper and, when I have them on hand, sesame seeds.

(Edamame added then tossed in dressing before plating)
     * Pictured above - Alternatively you can mix the edamame with the other veggies and toss with dressing.  Then plate the salad and top with cashews and black pepper.  Only do this if you are eating the entire salad.  It will get soggy overnight if it has dressing mixed in.

-Bon Appetit

" No one has ever gotten fat from eating too much kale." Author Unknown

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Vegan - Ginger and Date Scones

Last week we were at Saturday morning coffee at Coffee Culture and when ordering our drinks Troubadour noticed they had ginger/date scones in the pastry case.  None of the pastries they bake and sell are vegan, so I told him I'd make him some for breakfast the next day.  These are my creation. They turned out pretty well.

In the cupboard I happened to have an old bag of un-crystallized candied ginger bought from Trader Joes. I like it because there is no added sugar.  (I have since learned they may contain lead so you might want to use a different brand) I used this ginger chopped in little pieces in combination with some chopped deglet noor dates.

For gluten free - use an all purpose gluten free flour blend.


2 Cups organic unbleached White Flour (you can use 1 cup white and 1 cup whole wheat) 
3 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Turbinado Sugar
1/4 Cup vegan Margarine such as Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1/4 cup chopped Deglet Noor Dates
1/4 cup finely chopped Candied Ginger
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I used soy)
1 tsp Vanilla


1.  Preheat oven to 450˚F and lightly grease a baking sheet.

2.  Put flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar in a bowl and whisk together.  Cut in margarine with pastry blender until it resembles fine crumbles.  Stir in ginger and dates.

3.  Stir in non-dairy milk and vanilla.  If the dough is a little dry turn out onto floured surface and knead to mix. Pat into a round approximately 1 inch thick and 8 inches in diameter.  

4.  Cut the round in half and then each half into 3 pie shapes wedges.

5.  Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and golden brown. Let cool a bit on a wire rack then enjoy.

- Bon Appetit

" I worship scones and danishes. If I never had another meal, I wouldn't care as long as I could eat pastries and jelly doughnuts." - Gene Simmons

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rockin' Moroccan Quinoa Salad

My salad recipes typically have spices mixed in with their dressings for flavor.  With this dish I mixed it up a little bit and cooked the quinoa in the spices to infuse the flavors directly in the quinoa. 

Here is a LINK to an article on Moroccan cuisine which includes a list of spices and herbs grown in Morocco.  Quite a few are used in this recipe and inspired the name. A typical Moroccan dish will use couscous, but I prefer quinoa for the texture and protein content.

This salad is tasty when eaten right after prepared, but after sitting overnight or made ahead several hours, the flavors increase even more.  For this reason it makes a good make-ahead potluck or picnic dish.


2-1/4 cups Water
1-1/2 cups Quinoa
2 tsp No Chicken Bouillon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 Carrot, grated
6-8 Green Onions, sliced
1 Red Pepper, diced
1 - 15oz can Chick Peas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup Thompson Seedless Raisins
8 Deglet Noor Dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
1/4 cup Orange Juice


1.  In medium saucepan combine, water, bouillon and quinoa.  Stir in cayenne, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric.  Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes until water is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes.  Transfer cooked quinoa to a large mixing bowl to cool.  While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.

2.  When quinoa is room temperature add in shredded carrot, green onion, red pepper, chick peas, raisins, dates, and cilantro.  Stir well to combine.

3.  Sprinkle with the orange juice and stir again.

4.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for serving later.

- Bon Appetit

" You can do a lot for your diet by eliminating foods that have mascots." - Ted Spiker

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One Pot Thai Noodle Bowl

Some time ago, a coworker gave me the recipe that was the inspiration for the dish.  I have no idea where she got it, but I looked at it, made a few changes and also made it vegan.

It has become a favorite in our house.  So much so that I will be making it for my carnivorous brother this weekend.

Tamarind paste can be hard to come by if you don't have an Asian or Indian market nearby, but you can substitute an equal amount of balsamic vinegar to mimic the tart taste.

For a gluten free option you could use a gluten-free rice or quinoa noodle, although I have not tried it. You might have to adjust the amount of liquid if they absorb more than a wheat noodle.


4.5 cups Water
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Tamarind Paste (or Balsamic Vinegar)
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Fakes
2 Tbsp Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp minced fresh Ginger Root
5 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
5 Green Onions, sliced
2 large Carrots, sliced in rounds
1 Green or Red Pepper, coarse chopped
1.5 cups shredded Cabbage
12 oz Linguine Noodles (broken in half)
3/4 cup Cilantro, coarse chopped
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
3/4 cup Roasted Unsalted Peanuts (for garnish)


1. In a large soup pot, on high heat, whisk together water, bouillon, soy sauce, tamarind paste/or vinegar, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, peanut butter, ginger root, and garlic.  

2.  Once sauce ingredients are combined add in green onions, carrots, green or red pepper, cabbage, and halved linguine noodles . Stir to combine.  Stirring will be awkward until the noodles soften.  Do not worry if you break a few noodles.

3.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes stirring every few minutes to make sure the noodles don't stick to each other or the bottom of the pot.

4.  When there is about 2 minutes left on the timer, stir in cilantro and lime juice. The dish is done when the noodles are cooked and the sauce has thickened.

5.  Garnish with roasted peanuts.

- Bon Appetit

" Gardening requires a lot of water - most of it in the form of perspiration." - Lou Erickson

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Smothered Roasted Potatoes

Every once in a while I crave chili cheese fries.  I know they aren't healthy so I've devised this recipe as a somewhat healthier alternative.

You can use leftover homemade chili, which is always best, or a canned veggie chili.  In a pinch, or when I want a fairly easy weeknight meal, I use Trader Joe's Organic Vegetarian Chili with Red Beans and Tofu and add fresh sliced mushrooms or green peppers to dress it up a bit.

To avoid using the science oven microwave, I will put the chili in a CorningWare or other ovenproof glass bakeware, cover it and cook it beside the potatoes, stirring once when I stir the potatoes.

Serves 2


2 Russet or 4 Red Potatoes
Olive Oil spray
Granulated Garlic
ground Black Pepper
1.5 to 2 cups Chili
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan Cheddar (I used Daiya Cheddar Shreds)
2 Green Onions, sliced
1/2 Avocado, peeled and diced
    * optional chili add-ons such as Mushroom or Green Pepper


1.  Preheat oven to 425˚F (218˚C).  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil or other non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Wash and then cut potatoes into 1" cubes.  Place the potato cubes on the baking sheet.   Spray the potatoes with olive oil or non-stick spray.  Sprinkle with granulated garlic and fresh ground black pepper.

3.  If you are heating the chili in the oven, place it in an oven proof dish with a cover.  Place both the pan of potatoes and chili in the oven and set your timer for 11 minutes.

4.  After 11 minutes remove chili and stir.  Place back in the oven.  Remove pan of potatoes and turn them using a spatula.  Place both back in the oven for an additional 11 minutes.

5.  When the potatoes are done, remove both the chili and the potatoes.  Divide the potatoes between two serving dishes.

6.  Sprinkle with a little of the cheddar.

7. Divide the chili between the dishes.

8.  Sprinkle with remaining cheddar, green onions, and avocado.  Sprinkle with additional black pepper if desired.

Bon Appetit

"What a strange idea: comfort food.  Isn't every food comforting in its own way!  Why are certain foods disqualified?" - David Tanis  in A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Rustic Cabbage Soup with White Beans

I apologize that it has been a few weeks since I last posted a recipe.  I just haven't found the time or inclination until now to post.  I find that I often make the same recipes over and over so it isn't until I make one I haven't made in a while that I have one to share.

It is still soup season here in the Pacific Northwest.  Our temperatures are quite mild but it has been rainy the last week or so.  Time to make soup.

This recipe is quite simple and also reminds me a little of my Garlic and White Bean soup.  Troubadour enjoys it served over a toasted piece of Italian bread while I like to dip the bread in the soup.



5 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
1 Onion, peeled and diced
2-3 Carrots, sliced
1 sm or 1/2 large head of Cabbage, shredded
3 small Potatoes, diced
6 cups Water
3 heaping tsps No Chicken Bouillon
1/3 cup Tomato Paste (no salt added)
2 Bay Leaves
1 tsp Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning Blend
1 - 15 oz can or 1.5 cups cooked White Beans
Sprinkle of Black Pepper
  *  Crusty Bread for serving or dipping


1. In large soup pot, saute the garlic, onion, and carrots with a little water.  You can use oil, but I prefer water to reduce fat content.

2.  Once the onion mixture has softened add the cabbage and potatoes and saute for another minute or two.

3.  Add the water, no chicken bouillon, tomato paste, bay leaves, and Herbs de Provence.  Stir well to combine.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes until cabbage and potatoes are cooked.

4.  Add beans and cook for another 5 minutes until heated through.

5.  Serve over toasted bread or on its own with bread on the side for dipping.  Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.

- Bon Appetit

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H.L. Mencken