Friday, February 18, 2011

Recipe 40: Jicama Salad

Recipe 40:
Jicama Salad

So this is it, the end of our time together. Ladies and gentlemen, it has been a pleasure serving you and your taste buds for the last 40 days. I hope I have in some way inspired you to augment and transform your cuisines for the better. Remember that just because Lent is over doesn't mean we can't incorporate healthy foods as part of our interesting and exciting diets.

With this I depart.

1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
4 oranges
1 large jicama, peeled and julienned (think skinny french fries)
2 medium sized cucumbers, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 medium sized red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
1-2 fresh jalapeno chiles, finely chopped (try one red, one green to add more color to this piece)

1. Whisk together lime juice, oil, sugar, salt, and hot pepper sauce in large bowl
2. Trim peel and pith from oranges. Cut in half lengthwise, then slice into thin half-moons
3. Add orange slices and remaining ingredients to dressing. Toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 1 hr or overnight.

Serve on a bed of lettuce, garnished with additional orange slices if desired.

Recipe 39: Tropical Sweet Potatoes

Recipe 39:
Tropical Sweet Potatoes

2-3 medium sweet potatoes
1 Tbs corn oil
2 medium bananas
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tbs kuzu
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1/4 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 400F. Pierce each sweet potato with a fork several times, wrap in foil and bake 45 minutes or until tender. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and cool. Leave the oven on. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into thin rounds.

Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with the oil. Layer the sweet potato slices in the baking dish.

Combine the bananas, OJ, maple syrup, salt and kuzu in a blender. Process until smooth.
Drizzle mixture over sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with pecans and cashews. Top with coconut.

Cover the dish and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes to give your sauce a little crisp.

Cool 10 min before serving.


Recipe 38: Peach Salsa

Recipe 38:
Peach Salsa

1 lb very ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
2 peaches, pitted and cut into quarters
1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbs fresh cilantro, diced
3 Tbs fresh parsley, diced
1 tsp fresh dill, diced
hot peppers to taste (diced)
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulse in 1-second intervals for about 20 pulses (or, depending on your preference, simply chop). Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.


Recipe 37: Artichoke Risotto

Recipe 37:
Artichoke Risotto

3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 Tbs chopped fresh dill
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
2 cups cooked white OR brown rice
3/4 cup vegetable broth
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
8 artichoke hearts, thinly sliced

1. Combine oil and onion in a skillet and sauté over medium flame until onions are translucent. stir in dill and parsley, cook another 2 minutes
2. Stir in rice and broth. The mixture should be sticky and wet but not runny. If the rice is too dry, add broth
3. Season with salt and pepper then stir in yeast and artichokes. Heat another 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the artichokes and rice are hot.

Sprinkle with garlic salt before serving.


Recipe 36: Mutabbel

Recipe 36:

A dish that everyone knows and loves, ladies and gentlemen: Mutabbel

1 large eggplant
4 Tbs Tahin
4 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, diced
Chopped parsley for decoration
Olive oil for decoration
Crushed red pepper (powder) for decoration
Seeds of pomegranate ... also for decoration

1. Grill or broil eggplant as accustomed until fully cooked. Scoop out insides
2. Blend with tahin, lemon juice, garlic and salt (to taste). Mix well.
3. Place in a shallow dish and adorn with decorations, one at a time.


Recipe 35: Roasted Eggplant with Cashews

Recipe 35:
Roasted Eggplant with Cashews

2 medium sized eggplants
6 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup brown rice
2 cups raw cashew pieces, coarsely chopped
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 large tomatoes
6 slices rye bread, toasted and crushed into crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp brewer's yeast
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to broil. Brush eggplant slices with 2 Tbs oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Broil 5-7 minutes, turn over and broil 5 minutes more. Set aside and reduce oven to 350F.

2. Cook rice according to package directions, set aside. Meanwhile, heat remaining 4 Tbs oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté cashews, onion and garlic in oil. Chop one tomato, and add to skillet; cook 3 minutes more.

3. Transfer cashew mixture to large bowl. Stir in cooked rice, breadcrumbs, broth, brewer's yeast basil, thyme and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Coat 9x13 in oval baking dish with cooking spray. Line bottom of dish with half of broiled eggplant slices. Spoon in cashew mixture. Top with remaining eggplant slices. Slice remaining 2 tomatoes, and layer down center of casserole to form a broad red stripe.

5. Bake 40- 45 minutes or until top is browned and filling is hot, serve immediately.


Recipe 34: Red Bean Appetizer

Recipe 34:
Red Bean Appetizer

2 cups red beans, boiled and slightly crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbs chopped parsley
olive oil

1. Boil and smash the red beans with a fork

2. Add the garlic, finely chopped onion, walnuts, parsley and lemon juice. Mix well.

3. Spread on a plate. Drizzle olive oil over and decorate with parsely and walnuts.


Recipe 33: Grilled Red Pepper and Eggplant Sandwiches

Recipe 33:
Grilled Red Pepper and Eggplant Sandwiches

2 large eggplants
2 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 2-in wedges
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup olivada (recipe 32)

Light the grill (can also broil). Trim and discard the ends from the eggplants and cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Peel the slices that have skin.

Lay the eggplant and peppers on a large baking sheet or platter. Brush them with the oil and sprinkle lightly with S&P. Grill the vegetables, turning once, until marked with dark stripes (10 minutes) or grilled-looking (broiler). Remove and let cool until just warm or room temperature.

Spread Olivada on both sides of the bread, layer with eggplant and peppers, sandwich and eat.


Recipe 32: Olivada

Recipe 32:

Don’t miss out on this great recipe! I am sure it will become a favorite in your house as it has in mine! Try this spread on crackers, bread or even in sandwiches. (Hint for recipe 33!)

2 Medium garlic cloves
8 large fresh basil leaves
1 Tbs fresh thyme
1.5 cups drained black olives, pitted
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Pulse-blend in a food processor to desired coarseness (chopped-olive-esque size works best over here!)


Recipe 31: Tomato and Bread Soup

Recipe 31:
Tomato and Bread Soup

3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots cut into matchsticks
1 med onion, diced
2 cups corn kernels
5 large tomatoes, diced, with juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaces
1 Tbs powdered galangal (specialty spice, can substitute powdered ginger)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp paprika
1/2 lb loaf of stale bread cut into cubes

Combine oil and carrots in a large stockpot and sauté over a medium flame 3-4 minutes. Add the onion and corn and sauté until onion is soft, about 6 min. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice. Add the basil and galangal and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Add the broth and paprika and increase the temperature to medium-high.

Simmer 10 minutes then stir in the bread and cook another 2 minutes. Cover and remove soup from stove. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.


Recipe 30: Rice Desert with Cherries

Recipe 30:
Rice Desert with Cherries

This takes about 15 minutes to assemble and an hour in the oven.

1.5 cups short-grain white rice
2 cups water
1 cup maple syrup
4 cups vanilla soymilk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 325 F. Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer and set aside to drain.

Combine the water, maple syrup, soymilk, lemon juice, salt, cocoa and cinnamon in a medium ovenproof sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high flame, stirring occasionally. Add the rice and cherries. Remove from heat and cover the saucepan. place saucepan in oven and bake 1 hr.

Serve warm or chilled


Recipe 29: Mediterranean Bean Salad

Recipe 29:
Mediterranean Bean Salad

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
Red or white wine vinegar
2 cups cooked kidney beans (or 16-oz can drained and rinsed)
16 oz jar pickled beets, drained
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Curly red or green leaf lettuce as needed.

Place the onion in a wide, shallow bowl, and pour enough vinegar to cover. Let it stand for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a serving bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the lettuce and toss.

Drain the onion, reserving the vinegar. add the onion to the other vegetables along with about 2 Tbs of the vinegar and toss well.

To serve, arrange 2 or 3 lettuce leaves on each plate and spoon salad over them.


Recipe 28: Broiled Lemon-garlic Mushrooms

Recipe 28:
Broiled Lemon-garlic Mushrooms

1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp light brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
12-16 fresh mushrooms, any
Minced fresh parsley garnish

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar, and garlic in a medium mixing bowl and stir together.
Wipe the mushrooms clean. If using shiitakes, remove and discard the stems. Leave the mushrooms whole (though if you're using large portabellas, slice them 1/4 inch thick).
Combine the mushrooms with the lemon-garlic mixture, and stir together. Arrange the mushrooms in a shallow, foil-lined pan, and pour any excess marinade over them.
Broil under a preheated oven broiler or a toaster over broiler for 4 minutes, then stir. Broil again until the mushrooms begin to turn dark and are touched with charred spots, about 5 minutes. Remove from broiler, and serve with parsley garnish.


Recipe 27: Cold Linguine with Red Pepper, Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

Recipe 27:
Cold Linguine with Red Pepper, Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

10-12 oz linguine (Spinach or Tomato linguine also does well in this)
12 oz jar roasted red peppers with liquid
6 oz jar marinated artichoke hearts with liquid
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil cured) soaked in hot water until soft, then drained
1/2 cup parsley leaves
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium firm, ripe tomatoes, diced
2 Tbs white balsamic or white wine vinegar salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the linguine in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water, then drain well again.

Meanwhile, combine red peppers and artichokes and respective liquids, dried tomatoes, and parsley in a food processor. Pulse on and off until the mixture is coarsely and evenly chopped.

Combine the red pepper artichoke mixture with the linguine in a serving bowl and toss together. Add the carrots, tomatoes, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss again. Serve warm.


Recipe 26: Cold Noodles in Spicy Sesame Sauce

Recipe 26:
Cold Noodles in Spicy Sesame Sauce

1/4 cup tahini
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
2 Tbs sherry or dry wine
2 Tbs natural soy sauce
1 Tbs dark sesame oil
1 Tbs Hoisin sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp hot chili oil or other Asian sauce, or to taste

8 oz Chinese wheat noodles or Udon noodles
Sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallion for garnish

Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor, process until smooth.
Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse until cool, then drain well again. In a large serving bowl, combine the noodles with the sauce and toss well. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and scallion and serve.

Feeds about 4-6


Recipe 25: Curry Butternut Squash

Recipe 25:
Curry Butternut Squash

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 meedium green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp curry powder
2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
1 Tbs minced fresh cilantro

Combine oil, onion and bell peppers in a large skillet and sauté over medium-high flame 3 minutes.
Stir in garlic and curry powder and cook 1 min. Stir in squash, water, salt and cilantro. Cover and cook over a medium-low flame until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. To serve, leave the squash chunky or mash.


Recipe 24: "Berry Good Chili"

Recipe 24:
"Berry Good Chili"

Before the cold days are over... We have for your dining pleasure this tangy, sweet-and-spicy recipe.

1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper, also seeded and diced
1 cup corn kernels
1.5 cups long-grain white rice
1 cup tomato paste
1.5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (they will be cooked anyways)
1/2 cup unsweetened dried cherries
15 oz can of navy (or other white beans) beans
15 oz can of kidney beans
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp yellow mustard powder
6.5 cups vegetable broth

In the spirit of all good chili everywhere, combine all ingredients in a suitable sized stockpot. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 1 hr or until rice is tender and liquid has reduced by about a third.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recipe 23: Roasted Red Pepper and Fresh Chickpea Pasta

Recipe 23:
Roasted Red Pepper and Fresh Chickpea Pasta

If you can find fresh chickpeas, this is a great way to use them. They are green, slightly sweet, and have a hearty texture.

Olive oil
1 large shallot (diced)
3 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 cup white wine
Zest from one lemon
4 sprigs of thyme
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Roma tomatoes (peeled, diced)
2 roasted red peppers (pulsed in the food processor)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Sea salt & crushed black pepper

In a pan over medium heat, sauté the shallot and garlic until shallot is translucent. Mix the wine, zest, thyme, and sugar together; use that mixture to deglaze the pan. Reduce mixture until thick then add tomatoes, red peppers, tomato paste, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat until tomatoes melt into the sauce. Add more olive oil near the end for richness. (Use the pasta water to regulate the consistency.)

To Serve:
2 servings fresh pasta
Roasted red pepper sauce
1/2 cup fresh, shelled chickpeas

Bring a large pot of salted water up to a boil. Blanch the chickpeas for 20-30 seconds or until they start to float. Remove and set aside. Cook pasta then transfer the noodles to the pan containing the red pepper sauce. Toss noodles in the sauce. Divide noodles between two plates and garnish with chickpeas, parsley.


Recipe 22: Susty's Super Tofu Salad

Recipe 22:
Susty's Super Tofu Salad

A great dish, this can be made into sandwich filler or dipped into with crackers or simply enjoyed as a "salad.”

1 lb extra firm tofu
1/3 cup soy mayonnaise (Vegenaise or Nayonaise are two examples)
3 tbs nutritional yeast flakes (available at Whole Foods)
1 large carrot, finely grated
1 small onion, minced
3 Tbs minced fresh parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Finely crumble the tofu in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, mix until egg-salad consistency.
Add chopped bell peppers or Dijon mustard or minced jalapeno for different flavors


Recipe 21: Lenten Cookies

Recipe 21:
Lenten Cookies

Here's a little treat that my mother has been making since before I was born. They are great to eat fresh out of the oven but are also great to store in frozen form and steal when no one is looking.

1/2 cup margarine
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 almonds (blanched/sliced)

Mix margarine and sugar. Add cold water

Mix dry ingredients: (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon). Add to sugar mix.

Add almonds, mixing well. Roll into log and wrap with wax paper.

Chill 2 hrs. Slice into 1/4 inch slices and cook in 400F oven until light brown (8-10 min).


Recipe 20: Hot and Sour Soup

Recipe 20:
Hot and Sour Soup

Back where I am from, this soup is known for its dynamic contrast of flavors.

2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
3 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3/4 cup scallions
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup snow peas, cut lengthwise into strips
1 cup shredded bok choy
2/3 cup extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbs. Arrowroot mixed with 2 tablespoons water
2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro

Combine the broth, water, vinegar and soy sauce in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil over a high flame.
Add the ginger, garlic, pepper flakes and 1/2 cup of scallions. Reduce the flame to low, cover and simmer for 5 min.
Add bell pepper and cook 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, snow peas, bok choy, and tofu. Cook, uncovered, until the snow peas are just tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the arrowroot mixture. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly until the broth thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in sesame oil and remaining scallions.
Garnish with cilantro just before serving.


Recipe 19: Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

Recipe 19:
Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

One of my favorites...if you aren't completely satisfied, let me know and I will give you your money back.

2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tsp. chili powder
1/2 Tsp. dried tyme
1/2 Tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Tsp. paprika
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch wedges (lengthwise)
Coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly oil baking sheet.

In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine all ingredients except sweet potatoes and salt. Add sweet potatoes and toss or shake to coat. Spread the potatoes on the sheet. Season lightly with salt and bake 40 minutes, turning once, until browned and CRISP. Salt to taste, if needed.

* add 1/2 tsp each of cayenne and cumin for a spicier version. Rosemary also goes great in this recipe.


Recipe 18: Peach Cobbler

Recipe 18:
Peach Cobbler

After a request for some dessert ideas, I came across this vegan recipe for peach cobbler. It's got fruit and even oats in it. Not too much sugar or margarine either. Hope you enjoy!

6 cups peeled, chopped peaches
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup all - purpose flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 packed light brown sugar
2 Tbs margarine (or other butter substitute), melted
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cobbler: combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss. Pour mixture into 11x7 baking dish.
3. Topping: mix all ingredients in a small bowl and toss with fork until well blended. Sprinkle topping evenly over peach mixture.
4. Bake 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.


Recipe 17: Asian Noodles with Edamame

Recipe 17:
Asian Noodles with Edamame


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. toasted sesame oil

1 8.8 oz pkg udon noodles
1.5 cups frozen, shelled edamame
2 cups grated carrots
1 small bunch watercress, coarsely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

1. Dressing: whisk soy sauce, vinegar, oil and 2 Tbs water in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Noodles: bring large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook. Add edamame and carrots 5 minutes before the minimum recommended time of cooking for the noodles. When noodles are tender, drain.
3. Return mixture to the pot. Stir in watercress, green onions, sesame seeds and dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature


Recipe 16: Cherry Walnut Chews

Recipe 16:
Cherry Walnut Chews

If you don't like dates, you don't know what you're missing out on. think brown sugar... in fruit form...

6 oz. dates, pitted
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup dried cherries
Place the dates on a cutting board and finely chop them. Transfer the chopped dates to a small bowl. Using your fingers, mash the chopped dates to form a smooth paste. Finely chop, each separately, the walnuts and dried cherries, and add them to the mashed dates. Using your fingers, mash the mixture together to combine, and then roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Store the balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Yield: 12-14 pieces


Recipe 15: Suonomo (Cucumber Salad)

Recipe 15:
Suonomo (Cucumber Salad)

I did the last two and felt inspired to do some Asian-themed meals this week so here is a popular dish that you usually come across as an appetizer of sorts in sushi restaurants.

1 small daikon radish (optional)
1 small cucumber
5 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Peel daikon radish and slice it into thin (very thin) slices. Slice the cucumber to the same thickness (if the cucumber has thick skin, you might want to peel it or peel some of it before slicing). Salt the cucumber and daikon slices and wait about 5-10 mins. Wash off the daikon and cucumber slices and drain the water through a strainer.

Mix the vinegar and sugar in a cup. Pour the vinegar mixture over the cucumber and daikon slices. Set aside at least 15 minutes before serving.


Recipe 14: Hot and Sour Cabbage

Recipe 14:
Hot and Sour Cabbage

This recipe is in a similar style of cooking as the last, involving stir-frying on a hot wok.
1.5 lb white cabbage
10 Sichuan (also Szechwan) peppercorns (have more of a lemony overtone than traditional black peppercorns)
5 small dried red chili peppers
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 tbsp vinegar
1.5 tbsp salt
1.5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame seed oil

Choose a round, pale green cabbage with a firm heart (not loose leaf cabbage). Wash in cold water and cut the leaves into small pieces about 1x1 inches . Cut the chile into small bits.
Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and salt to make the sauce.
Heat the oil in a preheated wok until it starts to smoke. Add the peppercorns and chiles. Shortly after (a couple seconds), add the cabbage. Stir for about 1.5 minutes until it STARTS to go limp. Pour in the prepared sauce and continue stirring for a short while to allow the sauce to blend in. add the sesame seed oil (drizzle) just before serving. This dish works well hot or cold.


Recipe 13: Stir -Fried Asparagus

Recipe 13:
Stir -Fried Asparagus

1 lb fresh asparagus (dark green, slender variety has the most flavor!)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Wash the asparagus in cold water and discard the tough end of the stalk. cut the tender part of the shoots into 1 inch lengths, diagonally, while rotating (you will end up with trapezoidal slices).
Heat the oil in a very hot wok (or frying pan), swirling it to grease the pan well. Add the asparagus when the oil gets hot (slightly smoking but not SMOKING as in burning). Add salt and sugar and continue stirring for 1-1.5 minutes only. resist the temptation to add liquid because it will destroy the delicate balance of simple flavors. This dish can be served hot or cold.


Recipe 12: Portobello-Seitan Hash

Recipe 12:
Portobello-Seitan Hash

2 Tbs olive oil
1.5 cups finely chopped onion (1 large onion)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper (1 small red pepper)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles (if you can’t find tomatoes with chiles, add a seeded, finely chopped jalapeno)
8 oz seitan, cubed (available at whole foods and some Ralph’s nowadays: gluten cubes)
2 medium sized Portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup diced green olives
2 tbs chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and salt to taste. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often—8 minutes or until onion is softened. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin, and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes more. Stir in tomatoes with juice. Increase heat, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.

2. Meanwhile, combine seitan and mushrooms in food processor, and process until coarsely chopped. Add to tomato mixture, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender and mixture is fairly dry.

3. Stir in olives and cilantro, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Remove from heat, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over Roasted Potato Fans (See recipe 11).


Recipe 11: Roasted Potato Fans!

Recipe 11:
Roasted Potato Fans!

4 Medium sized red or white thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed
2 Tbs olive oil
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sweet paprika, preferably smoked

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Working with 1 potato at a time, cut a thin lengthwise sliver off one side so the potato lies flat on cutting board. Place 2 chopsticks parallel to each other on either side of the potato (lengthwise). Holding in place, make 1/8 inch cuts crosswise (the chopsticks prevent you from cutting all the way through.

2. Place potatoes on baking sheet. Pry slices open gently with your fingers, and brush a little oil between each slice.

3. Mix salt and paprika in a small cup. Sprinkle potatoes with mixture, pushing slices gently apart to season between slices.

4. Bake about 1 hour, or until potatoes are tender and crisp. Serve hot.*

* This item works by itself as a kind of fancy-looking home fries, but can also be served topped with Portobello-Seitan Hash. Don’t know how to make that? You're in luck, that is Recipe number 12!


Recipe 10: Red Cabbage Slaw

Recipe 10:
Red Cabbage Slaw

4 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (1/2 head -ish)
1 tsp salt
1 medium sized cucumber, peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh spinach
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 - 2 tsp minced jalapeno pepper
1/4 cube apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp minced fresh ginger

1. Mix cabbage and salt in medium bowl. place plate on top of cabbage and weight with heavy can. Let stand 30 minutes to soften cabbage...
2. Stir in cucumber, spinach, red bell pepper and jalapeno
3. Mix vinegar, maple syrup and ginger in small bowl. Add to cabbage mixture and mix well. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to blend before serving.

Recipe 9: Stuffed Eggplants

Recipe 9:
Stuffed Eggplants

8 Small Eggplants (thin kind)
2 Tbsp peanut oil (vegetable oil will work fine also)
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 fresh red chiles, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
4 oz creamed coconut, chopped
Fresh Basil Leaves (a few)
Small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
4 tbsp Soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put the eggplants in a roasting pan and cook in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until just softened. Cut in half and scoop out the flesh, reserve shells.
Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet, add shallots, garlic, and chiles and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini, eggplant flesh, coconut, herbs, and soy sauce and let simmer, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes.
Divide the mixture between the eggplant shells. Return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until heated through and serve immediately. Goes well with white rice dishes!


Recipe 8: Almond French Toast

Recipe 8:
Almond French Toast

Good work everyone, we've made it through the first week of Lent. Today's recipe is a bit more labor-intensive but the product sounds that much more... glorious. ;) Good luck and have fun.

1/2 cup raw almonds
1 1/3 cups water, divided
2 T. brown rice syrup or maple syrup
2 t. unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
3/4 t. almond extract
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. sea salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
8 slices of whole grain bread or other bread of choice
Safflower oil, for oiling pan

Begin by blanching the almonds. In a small saucepan, place 2 inches of water, and bring to a boil. Add the almonds and cook for 1 minute to blanch them. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside for 3 minutes to cool. Remove the almonds from the water, squeeze each almond between your thumb and forefinger to remove their skins, and set them aside for 5 minutes to dry and cool.

Place the almonds in a blender or food processor and process for 1-2 minutes to finely grind them. Add 1/3 cup of the water and the brown rice syrup and process for 1 minute or until smooth. Add the remaining water, sugar, almond extract, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and process the mixture an additional 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy.

Transfer the mixture to a large casserole dish. Place 4 slices of the bread in the almond mixture, flip them over to coat the other side, and then let the slices of bread soak in the liquid mixture for 2 minutes. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil a large non-stick skillet (or griddle), and place it over medium heat.

Using a fork, carefully remove the slices of bread from the almond mixture, and place them in the hot skillet. Cook the bread slices for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, carefully flip the slices over, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. While cooking the first batch, repeat the soaking procedure for the remaining 4 slices of bread.

Transfer the French toast to a large plate. Lightly oil the skillet again with a little safflower oil and repeat the cooking procedure for the remaining slices of bread.

Serve the French toast with your choice of jams, preserves, syrups, or fresh fruit.


Recipe 7: Mushroom Ragu

Recipe 7:
Mushroom Ragu

2 cups onion, diced
2 cups red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 T. olive oil
2 T. garlic, minced
1 - 10z. pkg. baby bella mushrooms, washed, cut in half, and sliced
1 - 8 oz. pkg. shiitake or button mushrooms, washed, cut in half, and sliced
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and red pepper in olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes. Add both types of mushrooms and sauté for 5 additional minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and stir well to combine. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add the basil and parsley and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve as a sauce for pasta, polenta, grains, or main dishes.
Variation: add a little red wine to the simmering sauce, if desired.


Recipe 6: Roasted Veggies

Recipe 6:
Roasted Veggies

Zucchini, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Onions, Mushrooms, Bell Peppers all find their way into this spectacular dish, as well as any hard-ish vegetable. Basically, cut them up into fork-able-sized chunks and throw them in a casserole tray or a baking dish made of glass or something similar. Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle with garlic salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

This dish is as simple as it is tasty!

Recipe 5: Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Pecans!

Recipe 5:
Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Cranberries and Pecans!

3 lbs. sweet potatoes, unpeeled
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 T. Margarine
2 T. sugar
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 t. ground ginger
Safflower oil, for oiling casserole dish
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

In a medium pot, place the sweet potatoes, cover with water, and cook them over medium-high heat for 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the sweet potatoes from the water and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, place the maple syrup, dried cranberries, margarine, sugar, coconut, and ginger, and cook the mixture over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the sauce pan from the heat. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or spray with a fine mist of oil) a large casserole dish, and set aside. When the sweet potatoes are cool to the touch, peel them, and cut them into large chunks. Place the chunks of sweet potato in the prepared casserole dish, pour the cranberry mixture over them, and then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-8 minutes or until the pecans are lightly toasted and fragrant.

Recipe 4: Spinach Salad with Passionfruit Dressing and Maple-Glazed Almonds

Recipe 4:
Spinach Salad with Passionfruit Dressing and Maple-Glazed Almonds

2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 cup sliced almonds (2 oz ish)
4 blood oranges (navel also works well if you can’t find blood)
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed
16 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried

1/3 cup bottled passion fruit nectar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots (2 medium)
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1. Almonds: preheat oven to 350 F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix oil and maple syrup in small bowl. Add almonds and toss to coat; spread over baking dish and bake 12-18 minutes stirring occasionally or until golden. Let cool completely.

2. Peel oranges then cut into quarters lengthwise then slice crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces

3. Cut fennel lengthwise into quarters then crosswise into thin slices.

4. Dressing: whisk all ingredients in medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Combine spinach, oranges, fennel and dressing in large bowl; toss well. Divide among 8 plates, sprinkle with almonds and enjoy!


Recipe 3: Spicy Peanut Noodles

Recipe 3:
Spicy Peanut Noodles

8 oz. linguine
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (watch for milk, some brands include it to make their product extra creamy!)
2 Tbs. Soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1 to 2 tsp chile paste with garlic
1/2 tsp sugar
1 medium size red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup chopped seeded cucumber
3 green onions, sliced
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
4 lime wedges, optional

1. Cook linguine according to directions
2. Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, 1/4 cup water, soy sauce, vinegar, chile paste and sugar in large bowl; whisk until blended. Add water as necessary to create a cream-like consistency
3. Add linguine, bell pepper, cucumber and green onions and toss well, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges if desired.


Recipe 2: Mushroom Fried Rice

Recipe 2:
Mushroom Fried Rice

1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 3 cups cooked rice)
4 tsp. vegetable oil
12 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems and gills removed, caps thinly sliced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. soy sauce
3 Tbs. mushroom or vegetable broth
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 tsp. dark sesame oil

1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. oil in large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add half of both mushrooms and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until tender and golden. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining mushrooms and 1 tsp. oil. Add mushrooms to plate.
3. Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in same pan over medium heat. Add green onions, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, 30 seconds or until fragrant. Increase heat to medium-high and add rice, soy sauce and broth. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes, then add mushrooms and peas. Cook, stirring often, 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through. Remove pan from ehat and stir in sesame oil. Serve warm.

Recipe 1: "Cream" of Asparagus Soup

Recipe 1:
"Cream" of Asparagus Soup

2 lb. Asparagus
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped (~3 cups)
2/3 cup uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
2 low-sodium vegetable bouillon cubes
2 sprigs thyme

1. Trim ends from asparagus, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces, reserving tips. set aside
2. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in asparagus pieces (not the tips!), rice, bouillon cubes, thyme and 8 cups water. Reduce heat, cover and cook 30-35 minutes, or until rice is very tender. Remove thyme sprigs.
3. Transfer soup to blender or food processor in 2 batches. Puree until smooth. Return soup to pot and add asparagus tips. Simmer 1-2 minutes over low heat or until tips are crisp-tender. Pour and serve while hot!