Tag Archives: vegan

For the love of leftovers

You either love leftovers or you don’t. I happen to. Things just seem to taste better two or three days after you’ve cooked them. I am a huge advocate for clearing out the fridge and getting those almost-forgotten foodstuffs outta there and into my stomach.
This one was simple: homemade mashed potatoes, paired with garlic-sauteed mushrooms and fresh baby asparagus that I’d made a few days before. It looks a little wan here, but it was simply divine, in my eyes.

More chickpea salad!

I can’t stop making this stuff! Here’s another view from this weekend of my Coronation Chickpea salad. I sprinkled a bit of paprika on it for color.



Rice is nice

We have a local eatery in town – which is about as close to a “soup and sandwich’ spot as you’ll find here – and their specialty for the last 25 or so years is their homemade bread made from wild rice.

IMG_4916In fact, Minnesota wild rice figures prominently in many of their lunch dishes, including soups and salads.

I like this place because their menu is pretty innovative with the combination of ingredients, and they will happily veganize something when requested. This yummy and filling Wild Rice salad that I had, for instance, normally comes with hard-boiled eggs. I asked if they could replace they eggs with avocado slices, and I believe that made it even more yummy! Plus, it’s served with a slice of their soft wild rice bread, which is pretty addictive.

I’ve loved wild rice (which is technically a grass) since I was a kid. I think it’s great that it’s being used so creatively at this restaurant, and it’s certainly proved popular as a result – just check out the longish lines at lunch hour!


Coronation street

Have you ever heard of “Coronation chicken’? If you’re one of Her Majesty’s subjects, then most certainly you have.

BeFunky_2010-10-04 04.jpgBeing the Anglophile that I am, I read of Coronation chicken a long while ago whilst reading a book of British recipes. It sounded simple but lovely: the Brit version of our good old all-American cold chicken salad (or a distant cousin of the Waldorf salad). It incorporates chopped chicken, curry powder, raisins (or sultanas, as they say over the pond), celery, onions, and whatnot.

It wasn’t until much later after I became veggie that I found a recipe for Coronation Chickpeas – a meat-free version of the original. Now, I love anything to do with chickpeas and curry – so this was a no-brainer for me. And you know what? It does make a lovely, light lunch on a hot summer day – I sometimes scoop the mixture into butter or red lettuce leaves and make a little wrap. You could also pile it onto some raw baby leafy greens or in a tortilla and call it a wrap. Or, do as I did the first time and just eat it plain with a fork.

Coronation chickpeas – healthful, quick to prepare, and a nice change from your usual sandwich stuffings or salad toppings. I used Vegenaise as my mayo of choice (as ever).

There are loads of recipes for Coronation chickpeas out there – feel free to experiment with any of them.

Tempting tofu

Hey! It’s summer. Officially. I just moved house to a new locale, and the backyard is equipped with a nifty (and huge) gas grill.


Plus, there is an Asian supermarket just a few blocks away.

Super score!

Tofu is plentiful and inexpensive there. Yay! I grilled some tofu slabs on the aforementioned grill this weekend, and voila: crispy on the outside, pliable inside, and with that BBQ taste everyone knows and loves. Oh, and look: grill marks! just like meat!

Here, the leftovers are pulling duty with rice river noodles, scallions (grown by moi, thanks very much), hot chili oil and a splash of sesame oil. Simple. Heavenly.

It’s going to be a good summer.

Buffalo Tempeh

ImageI’d seen recipes online for vegan “Buffalo Wings,” combining all sorts of different ingredients and preparing them in myriad ways. And they always just seemed too complicated – or maybe it was just me?

Seeking a super-healthy and easy version, I ignored all convention and marinated sliced tempeh in Trappey’s Bull Sauce over night, turning the tempeh now and then in order to assure all the pieces soaked up the sauce.

I then heated my oven on 400, rolled the tempeh pieces in panko bread crumbs, and baked the tempeh until the coating looked crispy and brown.

There. Super quick “wings.”

This isn’t the prettiest picture – but the wings were good for a first attempt. I whipped up “ranch” dip with Veganaise, garlic and onion powder, and dried parsley. Coated the wings with more bull sauce for extra dippiness.

Result? A pretty passable “chicken” substitute, definitely a good way to satisfy the spicy, salty, crunchy cravings I get every now and then!

Here I go again.

ImageHave I told you how much I LOVE making homemade veggie stock? I know I’ve expounded on the subject many a time before – and I duly apologize for the repetition.


I. Love. Making. Veggie. Stock.

Full stop.

I have a freezer full of the stuff. Never knowing when it might be needed, it could serve as the base for a really awesome French onion soup, or as an elixir for if and when I come down with a nasty flu bug, God should be so gentle.

And not only that: but I love knowing I’m not just tossing out the inedible bits and bobs that come from my veggies. Just throw them in a freezer bag, and when the bag seems full enough, bingo! Time to make the stock!

If you’d like my uber-easy stock-making secret, just leave a comment!


Huzzah! Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.


Oh, my. It’s a giant mound of semi-chunky, semi-smooth homemade mashed potatoes atop a gravylicious bed of Yves ‘beef’ crumbles and corn, and sprinkled lightly with Daiya.

Gosh, there are days when I want really heavy comfort food. I’ve perfected the vegan Shepherd’s Pie, and the day I made this one was drizzly and grey. How fitting for a dish that originated in drizzly and grey England!

And no, I don’t use that powdery crap (aka potato flakes) that comes in a box. No, only homemade mash for me. And gravy? Easy. Gravy Master is vegan, cheap, and makes up a good deal of beefy gravy when mixed with water and cornstarch (to thicken). Douse the Yves “beef” in gravy, dollop those beautiful potatoes on top, and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes until it all gets nice and hot and melds together.

Don’t forget extra gravy! Pip pip!



The prodigal vegan has returned – with a new friend!

Hi all! I made a new friend recently in one of my condo clients. Not only is she close to my age, loves thrift shopping, photography, and believes in the three Rs  (Reduce, reuse, recycle) – like me – she is vegan!

E lives in the building I manage. Having just moved from Atlanta with three little (vegan) daughters in tow, she works from home and in between phone calls, whips up tasty raw vegan treats. She’s only housesitting for the summer for her dad, but E brought all her vegan cookbooks, juicer and even her dehydrator down to Florida! Talk about a woman on a mission!

And my new BFF has invited me up to her place for two yummy raw lunches so far. What a treat! And now we’re emailing each other photos of our food. (Dorks, haha!)

Here is E’s raw tofu scramble: tofu, turmeric, red
onions, tomatoes, parsley (newly dehydrated), roasted buckwheat, olive oil, nama shoyu, sea salt and pepper.


It’s so nice having a new buddy like E!

Thai on the fly

I’ve been meaning to make the Spicy Thai Soup from my Vegetarian Times cookbook for some time; and it was this weekend that I discovered I had all the ingredients on hand. Yay!


Coming home from a hard day at work, I whipped up this tasty soup in no time. I was really hungry, so I tossed some shelled edamame with chopped garlic, sea salt, sesame oil and red pepper flakes as my side dish (heated briefly). Oh my, pure heaven. Edamame is up there on my list of my food addictions and I think preparing it this way is my new favorite.

I didn’t have kaffir lime leaves on hand but the book did say I could sub lime zest, which I did. The soup turned out spicy, salty, zesty, and so clean-tasting!

I’ll bet this would be a great meal if you were feeling under the weather. Lots of healthiness, here.