Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

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This original recipe from Vegetarian Times has become a Fall favorite. I like this cassoulet so much that I convinced my family to have it as the main course in our Thanksgiving meal one year. And the ingredients are EL CHEAPO. I got everything I needed, sans herbs and oil, for less than 10 bucks and the leftovers lasted many moons.  I used to make this on the stove, but I recently bought a slow cooker and enjoyed the benefits of not having to slave over a hot pot for hours. In fact, I ran errands all day long and came home to this perfect, finished stew. Whether you make it on the stove or in the crockpot, this is a very delicious, hearty dish that will comfort and warm you on chilly October nights.

On a personal note, there are a few meals that I gravitate towards for those rare occasions when I have dinner ready with candles and a fancy setting for my sweetie when he comes home. This weekend I made this dish on my day off for that purpose. It’s that good.


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 small shallots, quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  • 3 15.5-oz. cans great Northern beans, preferably organic, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14.5-oz. can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • Half a lemon (optional-really doesn’t need it unless you like your soups to have a background tang.)
  • 2 bay leaves, snapped in half to release flavor
  • 1 ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced fresh parsley for garnish (in the picture I obviously didn’t mince it – but I like fresh herbs to be chunky.)

Directions for Slow Cooker:

  1. Pour oil into slow cooker, and turn it on high. Add shallots and garlic. Cover, and cook to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. (You can hasten this step by browning the garlic in a pan, softening the shallots in the same pan, then transferring shallot/garlic to the slow cooker.)
  2. Add carrots, turnip, parsnip, beans and tomatoes. Stir in broth, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Add a little lemon juice, if you prefer a little zing in your cassoulet.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Cover, and cook until all vegetables are tender, 6 to 8 hours. 
  4. Remove and discard bay leaves. Garnish with minced parsley. Add more lemon, if you like it that way.

STOVETOP METHOD: Heat oil in 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or other large pot over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and carrots. Cover, and cook 5 minutes to soften. Reduce heat to low. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fully cooked, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


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Picked these Empire apples myself in Hood River.


Melted earth balance, evenly distributed.IMG_8804First layer-pack it tight.


 Second layer- just pile it on.

This is from the original French Tarte Tatin recipe,  only with vegan butter.  Don’t be daunted.  This is just an apple pie without seasonings or a top crust, and the only scary part is flipping it over.  But take my word for it, it is not that scary. You peel and cut some apples,  melt the soy butter, dissolve the sugar, pack the apple slices in, add another layer of apples, then cover the skillet with your dough, bake it in the oven and flip.  Easy.  It’s so delicious and simple. You might think that just apples, butter and sugar would be bland, but its rich and delicious.

IMPORTANT: You need a small cast iron pan for this. It’s possible that another type of oven proof skillet would work, but I’ve never tried that myself.

Makes 6 servings


  • 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet or ovenproof pan
  • baking sheet
  • 1 sheet (about 8 ounces) frozen puff pastry OR 2 rolled up pie crusts
  • 8 Tbs earth balance
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (brown sugar is fine to use if you don’t have white, or a combo of white and brown.)
  • About 8 sweet firm apples peeled, cored and quartered
  • If you like, you can add a few squeezes of lemon juice at the end before putting the dough on top.


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees – have your skillet and baking sheet ready

2. Thaw your dough, then roll it out and refrigerate it.

3. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. When it melts, sprinkle the sugar over the butter until it dissolves. Remove from heat.

4. Fit a layer of apples into the skillet, putting the apples into the pan in tight circles. What’s important here is to pack in the apples — because they will shrink as they cook, you want to make sure they are snug in the pan.

5. When you’ve got a tight single layer, cut the remaining apple quarters in half and strew them over the first layer. This layer can be somewhat mounded, which will give the tart some height.

6. Put the pan over medium heat and cook — staying close by — until the sugar turns a deep caramel color. You’ll see it bubbling up the sides of the pan, but if you need a clearer view, you can gently push an apple aside. To get the color you want without burning the sugar, you may have to lower the heat after a while. Count on 15 minutes, more or less, to get the color. Transfer the skillet to the baking sheet.

7. Remove pie crusts or pastry from the fridge and place it over the top of the pan, covering the fruit, loosely tucking in any overhang.

If using two pie crusts, just put one on top of the other.

8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is baked through and, if you used puff pastry, puffed.

9.  Now it’s time to flip it over! Cover the skillet with the large, rimmed serving plate (or pie plate) and, acting quickly and confidently in one smooth flip motion, flip the tart out onto the platter and remove the pan. If any of the apples have stuck to the pan — it happens to the best of us — gently lift them off the pan with an icing spatula and press them gently back onto the tart.

10.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

The caramelized sugar is hot enough to be dangerous. Let the tart sit for at least 10 minutes before serving, preferably on a windowsill with a chilly breeze wafting in.


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This is one of my favorite dishes because it could be breakfast, lunch or dinner.  I’ve had it as all three, sometimes in one day.  It’s a really great cheap Summer meal if you have an oven.  Just heed the main rule of broiling: DON’T LEAVE THE KITCHEN WHILE BROILING THE BREAD!

There’s something really satisfying about bruschetta.  It hits all the little places in your tastebuds that make you happy, and deeply satisfies you at the same time.  It’s also incredibly healthy.  Chow down on this Italian delicacy. Usually, this performs as an appetizer, so feel free to use it that way at your next occasion.

Let it be noted that this is the first dish that taught me to keep a HIGH quality olive oil around at all times.  The greener the better. Don’t be fooled by green glass.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • Crusty white bread (I’ve used good quality whole wheat before, just make sure it has a nice crust and an inside that stands up well to toppings.) Slice it thick.
  • 2-3 cups of the sweetest small tomatoes you can find. cherry tomatoes are great, “Earli Girls” are best, in a pinch you can use Romas. Chop them as small as you can. Remove seeds if you have picky eaters.
  • 2 cloves of garlic – one for the garlic press, one cut in half.
  • 1 cup of finely minced basil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (mozzarella flavor is best)
  • 2 Tbs high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbs high-quality olive oil
  • finely ground salt/pepper to taste


  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine 1/2 cup “cheese”, diced tomato, diced onion, minced basil, one pressed garlic clove, balsamic vinegar,  1 Tbs olive oil and salt/pepper to taste. Toss well, and set aside for about 30 minutes.
  2. Place your thickly sliced bread on a baking sheet and turn your oven to broil on high
  3. Cut one of your garlic cloves in half and rub the cut side it on each slice of bread to transfer the flavor
  4. sprinkle the “cheese” shreds on the bread slices evenly in one layer.
  5. Drizzle olive oil on the bread
  6. Then broil the bread slices until the “cheese” until melted. This happens quickly, so don’t leave the kitchen. Just keep checking. This makes the bread toasty, ingrains the garlic and melts the cheese in one go.
  7. Once the “cheese” is melted, pull the slices from the oven.
  8. Place bread slices on your serving plates and top with the tomato mixture.  Try to drain out the tomato liquid if you have picky eaters. (I don’t mind if my bread gets slightly soggy with the tomato juices.)
  9. The final touch is to drizzle everything with one more pass of olive oil. Then munch.  You’ll be in heaven.

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…or burrito, if you have the patience to fold it up that way.

From left to right, How to make it:

– Strips of portobello, red onion, red and orange bell pepper and broiled, skinned poblano stir fried with fajitas seasoning, olive oil and  and garlic

– Fresh salsa: dice up a fresh seeded jalepeno, red onion, tomatoes and cilantro, add salt, sugar, lime juice and a little vinegar, stir well.

-Heated Uncanny Refried Beans (so convenient and tasty!)

– Pan heated Boca Grounds

– Chunky guacamole: avocado, red onion, a dash of cumin, cilantro, lots of lime juice, salt. Muddle together and stir well.

– Locally made tortilla  that contains no hydrogenated oil or palm oil

– And you have to have Cholula. Other hot sauces are welcome to join, but Cholula is the main squeeze.

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One of the best vegan pizza recipes on the planet. Coincidentally, the original, untweaked  recipe came from the cookbook “Vegan Planet”. How apropos.  The scent of the baking pesto and tomato  intoxicates you, and you’ll never miss the cheese as you bite into this mouth-watering dish. Make your own crust or grab a pre-made fresh pizza dough from the store for a faster process.  Top with soy cheese shreds if you wish, but it’s not necessary. The pesto and tomato mixture on its own is delicious, and meant to be the only topping.

 Serves: Depends on the size of your crust. Most store bought fresh doughs make 8 small pieces. This recipe is for your average sized pizza pan.


  • 1 recipe of your favorite homemade pizza dough ( or fresh pizza dough from the store.) Raised and rolled out to a 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 Tbs Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup raw unsalted pine nuts  (toasted is a nice touch for deeper flavor, if you have time)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (plus more more adding to taste in later stage.)
  • 2 cups packed basil leaves
  • 5 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced small
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • optional:  a generous amount of your favorite soy cheese. (We love Follow Your Heart mozzarella shreds.)


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. Put garlic, pine nuts, 1/2 tsp salt, and basil in food processor and grind until fine

3. Leave processor running and add 1/4 cup olive oil through the feed tube until thoroughly mixed. Get in there with a big spoon and manually stir it so its well combined, then spoon into a big bowl.

4. Place your rolled dough onto a lightly oiled pizza pan, poke holes throughout the dough with a fork.

5. Bake dough for 10 minutes

6. Combine diced tomato with pesto mixture in in your big bowl. Toss gently to combine, then add salt and pepper to taste and mix well. (Do not fail to add more salt at this step, it definitely needs a little extra-1/2 tsp at most.) As you taste, try not to eat it all.

7. Remove dough from oven, spread tomato/pesto mixture evenly onto dough, leaving a 1/2 inch of the edge bare.

8. Return to oven for 15 minutes, or until the crust is lightly golden

9. If you’re using soy cheese shreds, take pizza out and sprinkle those on and bake once again until cheese is melted. (About 5 minutes.)  Allow to cool slightly before serving.

10. If not using cheese shreds, at step #8, bake until crust is fully golden brown.

11. The final step is to drizzle the last 2 Tbs of olive oil on top of the pizza before serving.

Prepare to gluttonize.

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As far as I can tell, you’ve accomplished  the dish known as “Chilie Relleno” as long as you stuff a peeled poblano with cheese and beans, bake it, and eat it whole,cutting it up with knife and fork.  Feel free to wolf down this BIG pepper baked with vegan cheese and salsa/beans inside, or convert it into a breakfast dish by stuffing it with your favorite tofu scramble (plus quinoa maybe!)  Keep some salsa and hot sauce handy!  Poblanos will be your favorite pepper if it isn’t by now.  I enjoy them for their deep flavor and medium spicy factor.

Bottom Line:  Enjoy these in many formats, just be sure to blister and remove their outer skin first!

$ Money-Wise $ : They cost as much as green bell peppers.  So buy em’ up!

Prepare your Poblano:

  1. Rinse, then cut off the stem, keeping the poblano as whole as possible, then hollow out the seeds and veins.
  2. Set oven to broil on high
  3. Rinse the peppers under the tap just prior to placing on a baking sheet – then put under the broiler.
  4. Keep under the broiler (don’t leave the kitchen!) for 10-15 minutes. Watch them. Make sure they don’t smolder. The skin needs to blister up. You can turn them if you like, to make sure they blister all the way around.
  5. Once the skin is blistered up and black, remove from the oven and place the peppers into a paper bag or enclosed Tupperware for 20 minutes.  This will allow the skin to slough off.
  6. Peel the outer skin off by hand, then stuff with your preferred stuffing and bake for 10 minutes, or cut them in half and top with tofu scramble or your preferred topping.
  7. Serve with a knife and fork, especially when serving whole and stuffed.

BONUS: A great way to enjoy these is by removing the skin as instructed, then cutting them into strips, dotting with hot sauce, sprinkling with vegan cheese, and melting the cheese under the broiler.  Then serve the strips with toothpicks as an appetizer.  Yum!

The actual “Chili Relleno” is the poblano stuffed and deep-fried in some sort of batter – which pulverizes the skin.  But there’s no need to deep-fry this pepper, adding calories and plaque to your arteries.  It is so delicious as it is, simply broiled.  If you want the real deal, go to a Mexican place and see how they do it.  If you’re like me, the only time you eat anything deep-fried is on rare occasions, out.

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IMG_8136From the Epicurean Vegan!  A lovely Vegan Party Cheese Ball that incorporates bell peppers and pimentos. 

Price: Kinda spendy because of the nuts and special cheeses. $9-12 depending on where you live. Serves about 5 people if they fill up 3-4 crackers or toasts.

Since I used her recipe exactly, I will link directly to her post.  This is a fantastic, veggie-flavored cheese ball, (think pimentos and bell pepper flavor.)  It’s  perfect for a wine tasting or holiday get-together.  I take no credit whatsoever. Dee-licious! (I only changed the shredded cheese brand to be totally vegan.)

I served this cheese ball with those little “toasts” pictured.  They are so good.  I found them at New Seasons. 🙂 Cheers!


  • 12-oz vegan cream cheese (toffuti or daiya or follow your heart)
  • 2 1/2 C vegan shredded cheese, cheddar flavor
  • 2Tbs pimento, chopped
  • 2 Tbs green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbs onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp Vegan Worcestershire sauce (Wizard brand is vegan)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped

Note: If you’re not a huge fan of walnuts, I recommend rolling this ball in breadcrumbs and/or sage, rosemary and thyme – OR slivered almonds.  The walnuts can be so strong that they detract from the flavor of the cheese ball entirely.  I have to say that I preferred it with a combo of slivered almonds and herbs.


  1. Combine vegan cream cheese and vegan cheddar in food processor, just to blend.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except walnuts and mix well.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and chill overnight.
  4. Shape into a ball and roll in walnuts.
  5. Serve with crackers and wine, and enjoy!!!

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