Sunday, November 22, 2015


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Another "quickie" recipe this week!  We're eating pretty simply these days.  But, since many of you are preparing for the delights and excesses of American Thanksgiving, I thought it would be good to share this recipe I threw together a couple of nights ago.  You might want something like this in the days leading up to the feast, or afterwards when you, too, are wishing for a little simplicity!

I love one-pot pasta meals-- not much fuss or and very little time, but, with the right mix of ingredients, plenty of flavor and substance!

I have 3 more one-pot pasta recipes on my blog:

One-Pot Cheesey Farfalle (Bowtie Pasta) with Asparagus & Soy Curls  

My version of Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

One-Pot Vegan Pastalaya (Jambalaya's Cousin)

Printable Recipe

Servings: 6

1 Field Roast Chipotle Vegan sausage (or your favorite), sliced and crumbled a bit
4 ounces  dry Soy Curls, reconstituted in 2 cups hot "chicken-y" vegan broth and drained
(or, you can use about 2 cups of any other vegan chicken sub strips)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups good-tasting "chicken-y" vegan broth (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Base)
3 cups dry spiral macaroni (cavatappi) or similar pasta
1 lb. broccoli florets, cut into smallish pieces
2  Tbs lemon juice 
2 Tbs rich nutmilk or unsweetened vegan creamer (such as So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer)
1 ounce (about 1/2 cup) vegan parmesan sub (I like Go Veggie!) 
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the drained Soy Curls, garlic and crumbled sausage together and place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet (rimmed).  Place about 4" under your oven's broiler and broil on high (watching often) until it starts to brown a bit.  Mix and turn and broil again until the mixture is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and scoop into a large pot. (NOTE:  If you prefer, you can saute the ingredients in a tablespoon or two of olive oil right in the pot.  I like to broil ingredients in order to brown without anything but a few sprays of oil.)

Cavatappi pasta
Add the broth to the pot and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta and adjust the heat to a good simmer.  Cover and cook for 9 minutes, stirring now and then.  Add the broccoli, cover and cook for about 3 minutes more, or until the broccoli is cooked to crisp-tender.

Stir in the lemon juice & creamer or nut milk, along with the vegan parmesan sub.  Stir well and taste for salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 377 calories, 52 calories from fat, 5.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 582.6mg sodium, 341.1mg potassium, 54.1g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2.1g sugar, 23.4g protein.


Sunday, November 15, 2015


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I'm sorry for not posting for so long... I've been fighting a bad cold and thanks heavens it's almost gone, because now I'm getting ready for some very welcome house guests!.

I haven't been that interested in cooking while I've been sick, but soup is always good, especially when the weather is dreary.  The day before yesterday I was trying to think of a simple soup to make, perusing the contents of my refrigerator for ideas, when I spied a rather large leek that needed to be used, and a bag of cremini mushrooms that were starting to get a bit sad looking, but still usable. I like both leeks and mushrooms very much, so I thought I would combine them.

I wanted to keep it simple and have a slightly "chunky" soup with some creaminess without making an actually creamed (puréed) soup.  I wanted to add a bit of white bean flour to add a little nutrition as well as to thicken the broth. (Two earlier posts about using white bean flour: here and here.)

This is what I came up with and the results were pretty amazing-- this soup is an explosion of flavor, despite the few ingredients, quick cooking, and ease of preparation.

Printable Recipe
Servings: 4

1 large leek, white and green part, cleaned
14 ounces cremini mushrooms
2 Tbs vegan butter (or olive oil) (here's my homemade palm oil-free vegan "Buttah")
1/4 cup white vermouth (or dry white wine)
4 cups rich-tasting "chickeny" vegan broth (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Paste)
1/4 cup white bean flour
Optional Garnish:
Non-dairy yogurt, whisked
smoked paprika

Cut the leek across in half, then slice the halves lengthwise in half and then in half again.  Thinly slice the lengths of leek across into little slices. Set aside.

Clean and thinly slice the mushrooms and set aside.

Melt the vegan butter in a heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Add the mushroom slices and sauté with the leeks for about 5 minutes more.

Add the vermouth and boil for 1 minute.  Add the broth and simmer for 15 minutes.

Ladle about 2 cups of the soup (broth and solids) into a blender and add the white bean flour.  With the middle cap removed from the blender lid (to prevent the steam from making the hot mixture explode all over the place!), place the lid in place on the blender container and cover the hole loosely with a folded tea towel.  Blend until smooth.

Scrape the blended mixture back into the soup and simmer for 5 minutes more.

Serve the soup plain, or drizzle it with a bit of non-dairy yogurt (whisked to make it pourable) and sprinkle with a bit of smoked paprika.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 133 calories, 61 calories from fat, 6.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 701.3mg sodium, 496.5mg potassium, 13.3g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 4.1g sugar, 5.6g protein.


Sunday, November 1, 2015


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About 3 years ago we discovered that one side of my father's family might have Basque roots in Spain.  That, of course, made me curious about Spanish Basque culture and cuisine.  (UPDATE, 2017-- this has been confirmed by my sister's DNA test.) The cuisine is quite meat-heavy, but many dishes can be made vegan. One category of dishes that Basques are well known for is their delicious bean stews. (I posted one with red beans a few years ago.)

The following vegan version of another common Basque bean stew based on chickpeas is from my book "World Vegan Feast".  Since I always keep a good store of home-cooked beans (including chickpeas) and some Field Roast Chipotle sausages, in my freezer, this satisfying stew is one of my go-to dishes for a quick, easy and delicious dinner.

Printable Recipe

Serves 4
There are many versions of this common Basque bean stew-- this one, thick with vegetables and spicy vegan sausages, is super-simple and super-delicious. The recipe is easily doubled.

**This recipe, slightly altered, is from my book World Vegan Feast.**

8 ounces dried chickpeas, picked over, rinsed and drained and soaked overnight in plenty of water
OR USE 3 1/4 cups drained cooked or canned chickpeas (If you use these, omit the first step in the recipe.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 medium carrot, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
4 to 6 ounces vegan chorizo or spicy vegan sausage (such as Field Roast Chipotle, which is very spicy) coarsely crumbled or sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch thin rounds
1 (14-ounce) can plum tomatoes, with juice
1/2 to 1 cup vegan broth (depending on how "soupy" you prefer the stew)
salt to taste

1.) Drain the soaked chickpeas and put in a medium pot with water to cover, with 2 to 3 inches water above the beans. Simmer for 2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Drain them and set aside.  (Omit this step if you use cooked or canned chickpeas.)

2.) Use the same pot to heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers and carrot and sauté until the onion starts to brown. Add the chorizo or sausage and brown it a bit. Add the tomatoes and juice, crushing the tomatoes a bit. Add the broth and bring the stew to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes. Taste for salt and serve with crusty bread, or, though it's not as authentic, you could substitute steamed rice or cornbread to soak up the juices.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:     
Calories 385.42, Calories From Fat108.82, Total Fat 12.77g, Saturated Fat 1.81g, Cholesterol 0.31mg, Sodium 763.87mg, Potassium 1082.89mg, Carbohydrates 53.91g, Dietary Fiber 14.24g, Sugar 13.58g, Sugar Alcohols 0.00g, Net Carbohydrates 39.67g, Protein 18.62g.