Greek Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:

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  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 big or 5 small carrots, cut in medium slices 
  • 1 box frozen Birds Eye frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 potatoes, cut in medium cubes
  • 1/2 box frozen Birds Eye or other brand pea 
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 Tablespoons no-chicken Better than Bouillon stock
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 4-5 sprigs dill, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions:

Put a large plus sauté pan on high heat.

Add olive oil, onions, garlic, scallions. Stir & sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle some salt.

Add potatoes, carrots, peas, artichoke hearts and sauté for additional 3 minutes, stirring carefully with a spatula.

Add water & bouillon. Cover with a lid.

When it comes to the boil, turn heat to medium-low.

Simmer for 35 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.

Remove the plus sauté pan from the heat.

Pour in the lemon juice and sprinkle with dill and freshly ground pepper.

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Stir gently.

Taste and season again if needed.

Artichoke stew with carrots and potatoes can be served either hot or at room temperature or even cold!

Adapted from: Cookouvagia, Greek Comfort Food 

Silver Medal Shepherd's Pie

This year's annual cook-off was pure joy!

Ingredients

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  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 6 cups potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package of Gardein beefless ground
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 3 Tablespoons flour 
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons vegan no-chicken "Better than Bouillon"
  • 2 cups frozen vegetable medley
  • garlic salt
  • salt & pepper

Directions

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  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Slice off the very top of the garlic head. Place in a piece of foil and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of oil inside the head of garlic until it is completely filled and just starting to run down the side.
  3. Wrap tightly with foil and place on a cookie sheet and bake until tender and fragrant, roughly 35 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool. Peel outside off of bulb of garlic, then gently squeeze each clove out. Save for adding to the mashed potatoes. Lower the oven temperature to 400. 
  5. Chop potatoes into chunks and boil in at least 4 cups of water until soft. Keep the potato water. Mash up the potatoes with a mixer or by hand. Add a little potato water until you're happy with the consistency. Add the roasted garlic, salt & pepper until you like the flavor. 
  6. Gently brown onions in 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the beefless ground. When meat is completely cooked, sprinkle in flour and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, 2 cups of potato water, and no-chicken bouillon. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Turn off the heat & then stir in frozen vegetables.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Pour beefless mixture into a large, oven-proof casserole dish then top with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with garlic salt.
  9. Place casserole dish on a large sheet pan (in case the sauce overflows) then bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!
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The recipe was adapted from Iowa Girl Eats. 

Great Gingerbread Cake

I awoke craving gingerbread. I never made it before, so I was happily surprised at how moist & wonderfully flavorful this one turned out. Both colleagues & family expressed that this one is a winner. 

I altered the recipe on Pamela Salzman's website 

INGREDIENTS

  • ¾ cup molasses 
  • ¾ cup 100% pure maple syrup 
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, the BEST quality one you can find
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoonsground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup hot water
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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square baking dish.
  2. Combine the molasses, maple syrup, applesauce and coconut oil. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and spices.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes for muffins or 35-50 minutes (ovens vary wildly) for an 8-inch cake, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving. Sift powdered sugar over cake, if desired.

Better than Take-Out Noodles

Select & chop an array of vegetables:   In 2 bowls, divide them into 2 groups. Taste as you go so you can learn about cooking times. 

Hard Texture/ Slow Cooking: potatoes, zucchini, onions, leeks (LOVE leeks), shallots, broccoli, cauliflower, string beans, Brussels sprouts

Soft Texture/ Fast Cooking: garlic, mushrooms, quartered cherry tomatoes, herbs

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Saute the slow cooking with 2-3 Tablespoons of oil on medium for 5 minutes. Stir as needed. Add a half cup of water. Cover for a couple minutes. Check. Cook until the hardest of the vegetables in the pan are a little more raw than the texture you prefer. Turn on high. Once the water is cooked off, return to medium and then fry in oil for 1 minute. 

Add the fast cooking vegetables, hand crushed Maldon salt flakes, (a tad less than you normally use,) & freshly ground pepper, (a tad more than you usually use.) Stir and cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle on & then stir in 2 teaspoons of curry powder. When the vegetables caramelize & turn golden, taste. Ready? You decide. Then pour over one can of organic coconut milk. Stir & warm on low. Taste & adjust flavors. You can stir in cooked rice noodles, quinoa, couscous, cooked beans, lentils or whatever you like. You can have on the table: cilantro, fresh lemon juice, avocado, chopped shallots, pickled onion, sliced radishes, cucumbers in vinegar dressing and whatever else you like to eat. 

Flexible, Fabulous Stew

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Improvise!

For each ingredient, add as much as you like depending on how many you will serve and how much of each vegetable you prefer in your stew bowl.              

Chop one or many of the following:

Onions, shallots, leeks, zucchini

Saute in 2 extra tablespoons of oil than you usually use.

Once the vegetables are golden brown, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour on top. Stir until the flour/ oil mixture, the roux, is chestnut brown.

Add a teaspoon of sweet or hot paprika. Stir one minute.

Add 2-3 cups of stock, preferably mushroom. Add chopped mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, & potatoes. Cover and cook on a low flame until the vegetables are tender.

Add salt & pepper, frozen peas and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and/ or beans. You can use rinsed canned legumes or pre-cooked dried ones.

Cook for 10 more minutes.

Taste. Adjust seasonings.

Optional: slice 1 red onion and steep in the juice of 2 limes for at least 20 minutes. Drain and dry with a paper towel. When serving, offer this to sprinkle on top of your stew.

Plum Torte

This tastes like a cross between bread pudding and a torte. It's soft with a crispy top. It lasts for about five minutes once it's cooled a bit from the oven. 

Adapted from The Vegan Word

Plum Torte

Ingredients

 Searching for Plum Torte!

Searching for Plum Torte!

  • 1 cup (200 g) plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (115 g) vegan margarine
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose or plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) non-dairy yogurt, soy blueberry yogurt
  • 8-10 small plums, halved and pitted (I have also used a pint of blueberries with great results)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F / 180 C / gas mark 4, and lightly grease an 8-inch round cake tin.
  2. Cream the margarine and 1 cup of sugar together until combined and fluffy.  Add the flour and baking powder and mix to combine.
  3. Add the yogurt, and mix all ingredients together, then spoon batter into the cake tin.  Smooth the top down and add the pitted, halved plums, skin side up.
  4. Sprinkle lemon juice on the plums to make the surface wet so it will stick, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon on top.
  5. Bake 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (of batter, not plum juice).
  6. Cool on a rack.

Sahadi's Soup

On a windy last week, I couldn't get enough of a super soup at Sahadi's at 187 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. I drank from the cup while walking down the street, the soup blowing over the rim as the gusts blew. I determined to figure out how to make this. That night, I whipped it up after some googling for ideas, and it's now a family favorite. Here's how to make the magic happen:

The Best Soup!

 

 Vegan Chicken Stock

Vegan Chicken Stock

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of red/yellow lentils
  • 8 cups of vegan chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Cooked 1 cup of brown rice
  • chopped 1-2 potatoes
  • pepper

 

Method

  1. Heat oil in a pan and gently fry the chopped onions for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped garlic, turmeric and cumin and continue cooking for a few minutes more.
  3. Stir in the lentils, otato, dd the stock and cook for 35 minutes. Stir several times during cooking, especially towards the end, to prevent lentils from sticking to base of pan.
  4. Toss in pepper, arsley, stir in lemon juic, cooked ric and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  5. No blending is necessary unless you want it really smooth.

    "Buttered Popcorn" Roasted Cabbage

    Cabbage is among the world's healthiest foods. After serving roasted cabbage recently, people said it tasted like buttered popcorn, potato chips and buttery lobster. It takes on a totally different flavor sensation when simply roasted. 

    Slice about a half a cabbage into large chunks. Separate into potato chip-like pieces and spread onto a metal cookie sheet. Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper. 

    Roast at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown. 

    Addictive!!!!

    Multitalented Tahini

    The flavor of tahini sends me soaring. Until recently, I only had it in Middle Eastern restaurants or on felafel. Just found out how easy it is to make. Most recipes suggest using raw garlic. This one has roasted instead of raw garlic. a way superior flavor with the caramelization of the roasting. Tahini is becoming omnipresent on my dinner table. Made from ground sesame seeds, it's a good source of iron, protein, calcium & deliciousness. Tahini sauce can be eaten with roasted vegetables, couscous or any other savory item that would benefit from its pizazz. 

    What's my source for roasted garlic? When I roast vegetables in oil, salt and pepper, I also throw in 3-4 cloves of unpeeled garlic. It subtly flavors the vegetables. I squeeze the roasted garlic out of the peel and into salad dressing or tahini. 

    For a great tahini sauce, mix together:

    3 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed

    juice of one lemon

    salt, pepper, as much as you like

    1/2 cup tahini

    dash of ground cumin (optional)

    Mix with water until it's the consistency of ketchup. Enjoy!!!

    PS, whip this stuff up with chickpeas, & you have hummus. Really whip it until it becomes light like whipped cream. 

    Fellows' Coffee Cake

    This coffee cake is highly adaptable & scrumptious! 

    INGREDIENTS

    • 2½ Cups Flour
    • ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
    • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
    • ½ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
    • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
    • ¾ Cup Canola, Vegetable or Coconut Oil
    • 1 Cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (or non-dairy milk of choice)
    • ¼ Cup Plain Soy Yogurt
    • 1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
    • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
    • ½ Cup Finely Chopped Nuts (optional)
    • ½ Cup Chopped Dried Fruit (optional)
    • ½ Cup blueberries, peaches or any seasonal fruit (optional)

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x11 or 8x8 inch baking dish. Set aside.
    2. Sift flour, sugars, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Add oil and mix well until all oil is absorbed. Mixture will be crumbly. Take out 1 cup of mixture and set aside in a smaller bowl.
    3. In a separate bowl or measuring cup stir together soy milk, yogurt, vinegar, vanilla extract, baking soda and baking powder. Stir until combined. Add this liquid mixture to the large bowl of the flour mixture. Mix well and then pour the batter into the greased pan.
    4. If using chopped nuts add them to the 1 cup of set aside crumble mixture. Sprinkle chopped fruit and then the crumble topping over the batter in the pan. Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes for a 9x11 inch cake. If using a 8x8 inch pan cooking time will be 35-40 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

    Adapted from Vegan Gretchen's great recipe

    Banana Rhubarb Cake

    I did not try rhubarb until I was an adult. Better late than never. That tart blasting rhubarb juice is the taste equivalent of a field of orange and pink tulips. Vibrant, real and transporting.

    I bought rhubarb at the farmers' market. It looks like celery had a rendezvous with some beet juice. Chopped rhubarb combined with sweet bananas and a dash of cinnamon elevates the flavor zones with sweet, tart and earthy flavors. Enjoy!

    Banana Rhubarb Cake

    • 2-3 ripe bananas (the darker the peel, the healthier they are!)

    • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped rhubarb (the redder the stalk, the sweeter)

    • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil

    • 1 cup sugar

    • 1 1/2 cups flour

    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    • 1 egg replacer (1 T. powder, 3 T. water, combined) 

    • 1 teaspoon baking soda

    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Bake in a buttered loaf pan until a toothpick stuck into the bread comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Slice and serve.

     

    Note: A cup of raw rhubarb contains 5.5 grams of carbohydrates, 2.2 grams of fiber, and 1.1 grams of protein. From a micronutrient perspective, rhubarb contains 45% of the recommended daily amount of required vitamin K. Rhubarb also contains good amounts of manganese, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

     

    Can't Stop Eating These Braised Russian Cabbage & Carrots

    I did not try rhubarb until I was an adult. Better late than never. That tart blasting rhubarb juice is the taste equivalent of a field of orange and pink tulips. Vibrant, real and transporting.

    I bought rhubarb at the farmers' market. It looks like celery had a rendezvous with some beet juice. Chopped rhubarb combined with sweet bananas and a dash of cinnamon elevates the flavor zones with sweet, tart and earthy flavors. Enjoy!

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