Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lentils, apples, raisins, cranberry--a nice fall dish

 photo 887be5ee-e29f-42f6-90c1-c8f71de6da65.jpg
a really nice combo of flavors in this.  Not shown is the added cranberry sauce with which you top it!

1 cup dried brown or green lentils
2 and  1/3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic
 2 teaspoons olive oil OR water
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon of Garam Masala or to taste--I forgot to measure it--I sprinkled it over.
1 carrot or a bit more 
1 small apple sliced [chopped without skin and without core]
1 handful of raisins
1cup  or more! cranberry sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice


  1. Pick through and rinse lentils . 
  2. Mince garlic and chop onion. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic, curry powder, and garam masala, stirring once or twice until fragrant. Stir in onion, coating it well with spices. Cut carrot lengthwise and then into half moons 1/2-inch wide. Stir carrot into onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add lentils, water, and salt to pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat so lentils barely bubble, cover, and cook until lentils are very tender but still hold their shape. During the last 5-7 minutes of the cooking add the apple and raisins.
  4. Serve hot over rice or quinoa, topped with cranberry sauce. Keeps refrigerated for up to five days .
  5. [ idea from I changed it a bit.

Pan-seared Brussels sprouts with cranberries and walnuts

 photo 8f057477-4111-455d-a1ec-96295b3e5fc7.jpg

nice fall dish/ cool flavors.

  • 1 package of frozen BABY  Brussels sprouts
  • ⅔ cup fresh cranberries

  • ⅓ cup pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt &and pepper

  1. If using frozen baby Brussels sprouts you can cook according to package directions. Meanwhile cook cranberries 5 -6 minutes in pan with some oil and then add the cooked Brussels sprouts. Cook another 2 minutes or so to blend flavors.
  2. Add balsamic vinegar, honey,  and maple syrup. Stir to coat and remove from heat.
  3. Add walnuts and serve

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pumpkin creamed pasta

 photo c13cfd02-d225-45da-8d7b-715ddbc4b8be.jpg

I so love this dish. It is very creamy and tasty. I only added some fresh basil and garden peas to the recipe. It only takes minutes. Go here for the original and for added recipes!:

  • 1 lb. fettuccine pasta/ I used Gluten free regular rice noodles by Tinkyada
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, I used soy milk
  • 1 tsp. dried sage
  • ¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • (I added some fresh basil and frozen Baby garden peas after mixing the sauce into the noodles.

  1. Bring a lot pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until the way you like them
  2. In a high powered blender or food processor, combine the cashews, lemon juice, non-dairy milk and blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the dried sage, fresh ground nutmeg and canned pumpkin. Blend for another minute, until combined.
  4. JUST before serving, add the pasta to the noodles. Then add fresh basil and frozen garden peas if desired---I use the baby peas and they thaw out as you mix them into the noodles.

Coconut Chana Saag

 photo 3cf6fe13-175c-4915-b410-d8dee855925f.jpg This was excellent and my hubby who does not usually go for curry dishes went back for seconds! I did use the full fat coconut milk ;-)  I got the idea from\ Isa does it cookbook. I did change a few things--but her cookbook is great. Check your library and then buy a copy! I left out a few of her spices so check her book for the original.

1 teaspoon of coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
2 tab of fresh minced ginger (not sure how much I used)
1-2 tab of mild curry powder (I used a bit over 1)
1/2 tspsalt and black pepper (you can add more at end)
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1    24 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1     15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (you can use more if you like)
8    ounces of Kale (can sub spinach but need more, or collards but they take more time)
14   ounces of coconut milk
(2 tab of fresh lime juice--I didn't have any and it turned out great)

basmati rice --serve the curry over some rice

Preheat 4 qt or larger pot---cook onion in oil for 5-7 minutes--light browned.  Add garlic and ginger--till fragrant about 30 secs.  Add the curry, salt, pepper, garam masala, cumin and toss to coat onions--cook a couple minutes.

Add the tomatoes, and chickpeas.  Mix well, cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the Kale and cook it until desired texture----it depends on the Kale.  Some kinds of Kale cook quicker--I had a tougher kind and it took at least 15 minutes and maybe 20.  Remove from heat and add coconut milk.  Stir well and let sit for ten minutes to let the flavors blend and get cool enough to eat!  Serve over rice.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dilly Stew with added dumplings

 photo eee17b27-f3cd-4ab5-8fca-d74e70067cbd.jpg ...  photo 57112737-91d2-437e-9b5d-92afb082e806.jpg Here are some photos if you are not using dumplings--  photo f47822ff-d97b-401f-884c-c6ff455f7fd7.jpg This is such a tasty stew/soup--you don't miss the meat!  photo 0a1fa01b-fd0b-491c-b313-3b9ca2a0e3ff.jpg

If you are making the dumplings you need a tight fitting lid.

Dilly Stew

Coconut oil --        1 Tablespoon (optional)
Mushrooms--        8 ounces fresh sliced
Onion         ----       1 medium , sliced
salt             --           1/2 tsp or to taste
garlic         --            3 cloves sliced
Vegetable broth  -39 ounces if no added dumplings (I like My Essentials at Food Lion) or ADD 2-3 CUPS MORE if  having dumplings
Celery                      2 stalks sliced
Small honey gold   1 and 1/2 pound or a bit more of honey gold potatoes/ these are really small ones/ slice in half
Carrots                   1 cup or a bit more/ sliced (1/2 moon style is nice)
Dill (fresh)              2 tab fresh 
Sweet Paprika       1/2 teaspoon
Black Pepper         several pinches or grinds
Northern Beans     1 can drained and rinsed (or you could use navy beans)

flour or cornstarch or instant potato to thicken


1 and 1/2 cups flour                                                                  
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt                                                              
1 tablespoon dried rosemary, finely chopped                          
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk                                       
 2 Tab Olive oil   


1 and 1/2 cups GF Bisquick Mix
1 Tab crushed dry rosemary
2/3 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
2 tab oil
1 egg (can use a sub if you are vegan)

Prepare the stew

Using oil or a bit of water saute onions and mushrooms for 5-7 minutes until tender .  Add the garlic and celery and cook another 3 minutes.  Add the potatoes and carrots and all of the soup ingredients EXCEPT for the beans.  If using Instant Potatoes to thicken add some during this cooking time Cook covered for 30 minutes or  until the vegetables are tender. Thicken with more instant potatoes OR you can mix some  roux using 1/4 cup flour and a bit of broth or oil and then add it to thicken, cooking for a few minutes more until thickened.(If using cornstarch try using about 1/2 the amount ).  Once thickened add the beans.


Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.  Mix in the rosemary.  Make a well in the center and add the milk and olive oil.  Use a wooden spoon to mix together until a wet dough forms.

NOTE-if doing GF sub GF Bisquick for the flour, powder and salt. Use the amounts above where it says Gluten free ones.

Once stew is ready , after mixing in the beans,  plop spoonfuls of dough on stew.  Make about 14 dumplings. Cover the pot TIGHTLY and cook for about 14 minutes.  The dumplings should be nice and firm.  Use your ladle to dunk them into the stew to coat them when they are done.

Ladel the stew into bowls and top with the dumplings---you can garnish with seasonings (ie dill)

Idea adapted from Isa does it  cookbook.

Here is a photo of the vegetable broth I like
 photo 59df9518-d6ab-44c9-b6c1-c58ae462c8f0.jpg

Butternut Squash and Bean Soup

 photo 0f37ad8d-dad2-4bcd-9c1e-6a74964441bc.jpg and  photo 4898fd1e-c0ca-42a7-82f7-64b00e5c5595.jpg

Only changes to the original recipe is that I added cumin and a tab of peanut butter--recipe is found  The cumin and peanut butter add some nice flavor to this dish!

Butternut Squash and Bean Soup
At this time of year I usually have 1 or 2 butternut squash in my pantry to add to a wide variety of winter soups.  It cooks quite quickly when chopped and adds a delicious flavor to soups. 
Preparation Time:  15 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  4-6

1 onion, chopped
5 cups water
4 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
2  15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1  14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon  basil
4 cups chopped fresh spinach
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
ME--sprinkled some cumin into the soup and added 1 Tab Peanut Butter
Place the onion in a large pot with 2 tablespoons of the water.  Cook, stirring frequently until onion softens.  Add the remaining water, the squash, beans, tomatoes, soy sauce and basil.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until squash is tender.  Add the spinach and cook about 5 minutes longer 

sweet potato lentil soup for the crock pot

 photo b1eda059-f5f6-4670-821a-5b50ddfbb0b6.jpg  The link is where I found this--it is quite tasty. I am placing it here to note changes for myself--
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, diced (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoon each ground coriander, garam masala, and chili powder NOTE: me-use only 1/2 tsp chili
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups uncooked red lentils (masoor dal)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water  Eowyn adds some fresh spinach at end
  1. Place the sweet potatoes, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, and spices in a crockpot. Cook on high for 3 hours, until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the lentils and stir once. Replace the lid and cook on high for an additional 1½ hours.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and as much water as needed to get the right consistency.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sweet Potato Apple Bake / individual size

 photo 86a23f7c-cf88-4efe-a94e-6e90c38a704e.jpg such a good simple dish!!! Woweee!  photo 1af4c11a-bc7a-45e1-8641-e66e8a325c3c.jpg and  photo 06dcc404-e202-46b6-850c-74bd349408f1.jpg This made 6 little dishes


1 very large sweet potato (it was huge)
2 tart apples
pam spray (or whatever)

Preheat oven to 400. Place greased little pyrex dishes on a cookie sheet. Spray with pam.  Thinly slice the potato and the apples and just alternate them in the bake safe dishes.  Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon. Spray with pam.  Bake for about 35 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and drizzle honey over each one. Let cool a bit and serve! NOTE: be very careful not to over cook or under cook!

Mediterranean Sweet Potatoes

 photo 3363ae85-f242-4aff-8bb7-dc9b4f5f83c5.jpg Such a tasty way to have sweet potatoes:  photo 148fcd5d-8759-4519-92d8-fc87af3d1b2f.jpg and  photo ec3e7d0c-260d-4162-ad11-3f5fb11af56a.jpg Here is the link:HTTP://MINIMALISTBAKER.COM/MEDITERRANEAN-BAKED-SWEET-POTATOES/

Note--next time I might try it without the smoked paprika , but it was good that way too. Also it took my Sweet potatoes much longer to cook.  More like 45 minutes or longer.  If the potatoes are larger than small ones, add the chickpeas a bit later!

Pumpkin and black bean curry

 photo 3660eaf2-af84-4ddb-8aa9-c53d5e893761.jpgA quick and tasty dish.  I altered the original recipe since I need milder spices and don't like garbanzo beans with the black beans.I also can't handle quinoa--some GF people have problems with it and I do!  The original recipe is photo 90ce4d90-48a7-4030-af39-6ceb00990be9.jpg

  • Pam spray for pan
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (from the can or homemade)
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes (I used the diced kind)
  • 1 cup  water
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (can omit)
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz, 425 g), rinsed and drained
  • spices--I just used a bit of all- spice, cumin, curry, coriander, and chili powder in PLACE OF THE PASTE . I just did a light sprinkling of all-spice, coriander, and chili powder and a bit more of the cumin and curry powder--(the recipe, however called for 1 or 2 tablespoons red curry paste (use less or more of the paste, depending on how spicy it is, and then add more, to taste)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons honey (or, use agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan version--can omit)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked rice (she used quinoa)
  1. In a large pot or skillet, cook chopped onion and minced garlic using a bit of pam spray in the pan OR  olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat until soft.
  2. Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes (chop them up into smaller chunks if you didn't use diced ones), water, coconut milk (if using), black beans,  ( rinsed and drained). Add  my seasonings to taste OR do the other way with curry paste[ if using the paste use 1 tablespoon of red curry paste, stir everything well, and season with salt and pepper. Taste your curry, season with more salt if needed. Add another tablespoon of red curry paste, if desired. (Note: various brands of red curry paste have different degrees of spiciness. Be careful not to add too much of red curry paste if it is of a spicier variety).]
  3. I didn't use the honey or sweetner . The article states :I find it important that you start adding honey only after you’ve seasoned the curry with salt, because we’re using honey here not to really sweeten the curry but to balance the flavors. Add 1 tablespoon of honey (after seasoning with salt), taste your curry. Add another tablespoon (or 2) of honey if it suits your taste.
  4. Bring to boil, make sure to stir all ingredients well together to combine flavors and spices. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 to 15 minutes on very low simmer (since I don't like a lot of  heat I did it 5 min)
  5. Serve with quinoa (me RICE), garnished with chopped green onion. Ps would be good with a sprinkling of peanuts
Ps a way to use the left over pumpkin --here is a recipe that uses a 1/2 can

Black bean veggie burger

 photo 27e91909-ef0a-45f0-b748-adf5b41b5d82.jpg These are very yummy and easy to make and I love them left over for lunches. It makes 6 nice sized burgers. The original recipe is found here:  .   Because I have to be GF I sometimes have trouble with lots of oats.  I use GF ones but sometimes it can cause bloating.  So sometimes I use less oats, and add a bit of GF bread crumbs and instant potatoes as a replacement. This was from Engine 2 website the blog said. Go to the link for the original.

New York Times Veggie (Vegetarian Burgers)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes (with zesty mild chilies, drained--ME--I just used a bit of picante sauce mild with the can of tomatoes )
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 green onions, chopped 
1 cup chopped carrots (I used cooked ones)
1 cup parsley or cilantro (I used ½ cup loosely packed cilantro)
2 cups quick rolled oats (Or you can use whole ones--but check directions. I use less because of my problems with oats---I sub some GF bread crumbs and instant potatoes at times--nannykim)
8 whole grain buns [or GF ones!]
Fresh veggie toppings and healthy condiments

Preheat oven to 450º. Process the first seven ingredients using an immersion or a regular blender or food processor. Remove contents into a large bowl and stir in the oats. Form into patties (*I made patties flat so they would cook more evenly), place on a sprayed baking sheet, and bake for 8 minutes (**if you did not use Quick Oats, bake for 16 minutes). Turn oven up to broil and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the tops are nicely browned. Toast the buns and pile on your favorite toppings.
Sauté the burgers on medium heat in a sprayed nonstick skillet for 5 minutes on each side, until both sides are browned.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ground Tofu Filling

 photo 74bf9a38-2c80-4afe-90d0-47fd7021755e.jpg

 This was fantastic--really tasted like beef to us!! I found this at

Here is her recipe--check out her blog for more:

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce (I use Frank’s)
16 ounces frozen and then thawed extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix first seven ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
Drain water from tofu block. Wrap tofu in a thin kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels. Place wrapped tofu between two plates. Press gently and evenly with hands to remove water from tofu. (You can also place a weight on top of the top plate and let tofu sit for 20 minutes or so.) Unwrap tofu and crumble into small bits into mixing bowl. Toss with sauce in mixing bowl.
Spread oil on a 12 by 18 inch baking sheet. Sprinkle crumbled tofu on top of oil in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir tofu. Return to oven and cook for about 20 more minutes, until tofu is crispy. [me-I tossed it twice during the 40 minutes}
Use as you would any spicy ground beef filling.

Monday, October 6, 2014

ginger/garlic lentils Indian inspired

 photo 63b71286-8c77-4592-a56e-3d25dadff96b.jpg

 I have tried a lot of lentil recipes, but I really like the flavor in this one! [got most of the recipe from veganomicon -the ultimate vegan cookbook]

1 tab coconut oil (or oil of choice)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 inch cube fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 large onion diced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cumin
tiny pinch of cayenne
1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 cups water
1-2 tablespoons of catsup
1 tablespoon or so of orange juice
a slice of a juice lime squeezed (I just used about an inch slice0
1/2 teaspoon of salt OR to TASTE

In heavy bottomed 3 quart pot melt coconut oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and ginger and let it sizzle for 30 seconds.  Add onion and fry 3 min or so until translucent and soft.  Stir in garam masala, cumin, and cayenne, and stir for 30 sec or so until fragrant.  Add lentils and water and increase heat and bring to boil and then lower the heat to medium low.  Partially cover and simmer 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until lentils have absorbed most of the water and are tender.  They will be thick and you can add a bit of water if you want them thinner.  Add the catsup , OJ, and lime and salt.  blend well.  Cook a few minutes more to blend the taste.  Serve over rice

Friday, October 3, 2014

Spaghetti and Beanballs

 photo d93a4c3b-89f9-43fa-8a21-e558321d63c0.jpg

These Beanballs are gluten free and very tasty!! Good substitute for meatballs!


1 can of kidney beans drained (mine still had a bit of liquid
4 teaspoons of GF soy sauce
4 teaspoons of GF steak sauce or tomato paste [steak sauce adds nice flavor]
2-3 teaspoons of olive oil [more for cooking too]
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup [or a bit more depending on liquid] GF Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg (beaten)
potato flakes [from a package of instant potatoes]

Other ingredients:
prepared marinara sauce of your choice
pasta of choice

Smash the drained kidney beans with a fork or a potato masher--you don't want them completely smooth--still want some small pieces of the bean. Add the soy sauce, steak sauce , oil, garlic, bread crumbs and egg.  If it needs more firming add a bit of potato flakes and or more bread crumbs.  Roll into balls smaller than a golf ball.

To panfry the beanballs:

preheat a non-stick skillet such as a ceramic one with a bit of olive oil.  Cook for 10 minutes or so at medium to medium high heat tossing them often until they are browned nicely.  Add sauce and toss to coat--heating through for about 15 more minutes.

Serve over pasta

Monday, September 29, 2014

Herbaceous Hot Pot/ Chicken in the pot--good cold weather English dish

 photo 3ae846ab-eb31-4b3a-9ae8-fb5bb5d5c159.jpg

This was  very tasty and a good dish for the cooler weather.  I found this at Better Home and Gardens in this months edition.(October 2014)  I forgot to take a picture before scooping out some servings. This serves about 4 people .  I did leave out the mushrooms and it was still great!

 photo 4ca97576-9679-403a-a063-16f321b805f9.jpg

It can also be found at taste of home (link at bottom)

Herbaceous Hot Pot

2 large onions, sliced crosswise 
1 large garlic clove, minced (I actually used 3)
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. Button or Crimini mushrooms, sliced (6 cups)(I didn't have any--still yummy)
1 T. each snipped fresh Thyme and Rosemary or 1 T. each, dried and crushed
3 Large red skin potatoes, sliced (3 cups)(I used regular ones with skins on)
salt and pepper
8 skinless, boneless, chicken thighs or 4 - 1" thick pork chops (about 8 oz. each)
1/4 C dry white wine or chicken broth
1 T. butter, cut into small pieces
Shaved White Cheddar or Lancashire Cheese (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, cook onions and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until onions are golden, about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl. Add mushrooms to same skillet; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain off excess liguid. 

2.In a 3 quart casserole, spread one-half of the onion mixture across the bottom of pot. Sprinkle with half of each of the herbs. Spoon one-half of the mushrooms over top. Layer with one-third of the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

3.Lay the chicken thighs on potatoes. Add white wine. Layer the remaining onion mixture, herbs, mushrooms, additional salt and pepper and the potatoes on top, overlapping if necessary. Dot the potatoes with butter. 

4.Cover and bake for 2 hours. Remove cover; increase oven to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 30 - 40 minutes more, or until potatoes are golden brown. To serve, spoon into large soup bowls. Top with cheese. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

Read more:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

vegetarian pumpkin and bean chili

 photo 11510afa-afad-4ec9-af08-e5dd4ef23ee8.jpg

  This is a quick hearty soup. Vegan or if desired you can do vegetarian and add cheese when you serve.  photo 14644589-6efd-4c37-825a-2d718f4be3ca.jpg

  Here are the brands I used:  photo 29c649a6-1fc2-491d-98d6-53537c9114a6.jpg and  photo e7f1a2fc-b2fc-4745-be61-e8fa4706985c.jpg and  photo 46ea055b-0dcc-4ba6-b56a-1cba3b6381ae.jpg

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • large onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (from the can or homemade) (15 ounce or so)
  • 1 can canned tomatoes (about 2 cups--I like the fire roasted ones)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz, 425 g)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans  or white beans
  • 1 can mixed chili beans (see photo) or substitute your choice (NOTE-these pictured have no chili seasoning--they are just beans to use in chili
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder (start with half the amount--or less, and add more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon up to 2 tablespoons chili powder (start with 1 teaspoon or add more, depending on your tastes and also on how spicy your chili powder is)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika (smoked is different from regular)
  •  salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro,green onions  for topping if desired
makes about  for 4-6 servings or about 2 & 1/2 to 3 quarts
1) In a large pot or skillet, cook chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat until soft.
2) Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes (you can chop them up into smaller chunks), vegetable stock (or water), black beans and garbanzo beans and chili beans. Add  the cumin and the amount of chili powder you desire, stir everything well, and season with salt and pepper. Taste your chili, season some more with salt and pepper if needed.[After cooking you can  add the more cumin or and more chili powder , if desired]. Bring to boil, make sure to stir all ingredients well together to combine flavors and spices. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5-to20 minutes on simmer.  It will get spicier as you heat it--this is why it is better to add the spices as you go if you don't like a lot of heat!
3) Serve in soup bowls, garnished with chopped green onion and or cilantro. Can add cheese or sour cream if you are not vegan

Saturday, September 27, 2014

vegan vodka penne

 photo 03e90c50-f450-4b3a-9400-bf43d2c0fc29.jpg
 This was excellent. The basic recipe is from Veganomicon : the ultimate vegan cookbook. Pictured here is a gluten free pasta.  35 minutes --seves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 PINCH crushed red pepper (recipe called for 1/4 tsp--which would be too much for me)
28 ounce can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (recipe calls for regular crushed                     tomatoes)Muir Glen is good)
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt (recipe called for 1/2 tsp --I used less
a few dashes of fresh black pepper
almond meal-between 1/4 to 1/2 cup ( recipe calls for 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds using                             immersion blender--easier to use the meal)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus a little extra for garnish
1/2 pound penne

Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta.  Preheat a saucepan (I like using my ceramic one) over medium/low heat.  Add the oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to the saucepan and saute for about asute, until fragrant, being careful not to burn (I did it on a low setting for a bit).  Add the crushed tomatoes, vodka, thyme, oregano, salt and black pepper.  Cover and turn the heat up a bit to bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally . Meanwhile , add pasta to the water and cook according to package directions.
    Once the sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, add the almonds.  Use an immersion blender (if not using the almond meal) to blend the almonds into the sauce until creamy and only slightly grainy.  The pasta should be done by now, so drain and set aside.  Add the basil to the sauce, and mix the sauce and pasta togethr .  Serve, garnished with a little extra chopped basil.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

pasta with basil pesto and artichokes

 photo 0d5bbfe6-7afa-4d2f-8425-af7157f79f3a.jpg

 This was very tasty and we made it with spiral type pasta and gluten free spaghetti noodles for the

second dish.  photo 71ba26fa-bb25-4abb-982a-d64dfa10a511.jpg

 and  photo 8531db98-147b-4cc5-8074-46f5fe96815d.jpg

Pasta of your choice
olive oil
1 medium RED onion (must be red--delicious)
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2-5 tab of dry chardonnay
1/2 tsp salt
bit of fresh ground black pepper
Basil Pesto
1 15 ounce can artichoke hearts (the kind that come quartered or sliced in chunks)

Cook Pasta and while it is cooking saute the onion in a medium high skillet for 5-8 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook a minute or two more. Add the wine, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or so turning to low. Throw in the artichokes and add a bit more wine if desired. Stir around and shut off heat. When it is all mixed and warm then toss  the drained pasta with some pesto. Add the artichoke mix. We added some chili cornmeal crusted tofu on the side (

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Chili Cornmeal crusted Tofu

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You can bake or fry this.  I found the basic recipe from a book called Veganomigon The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

I changed it a bit because I can not have really hot spice.

Olive oil
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained 
1 cup soy or almond or rice milk
2 tab cornstarch
1 cup cornmeal (I used Maseca a corn masa flour)
2 tab chili powder (I used only ONE)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I omit)
1 tab grated lime zest (I didn't have)
1 and 1/2 tsp salt (I used way less)

Slice the tufu width wise into eight then cut each of those slices in half diagonally--from t
he upper left corner to the lower right corner---so that you have sixteen long triangles.  Set Aside.

Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl.  Mix vigorously with a fork until the cornstarch is mostly dissolved.

In another bowl combine cornmeal, and seasonings. Dip the tofu slices individually into milk mixture. Then dip each into the cornmeal mixture using , now, your dry hand to coat well. Place each piece on the parchment paper on your prepared sheet--see below.

For baking--preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment Place coated tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Spray with oil lightly coating and flip and spray other side.  Bake 12 minutes on a side flip and 12 more minutes. 

To Fry instead of baking: heat 1/4 inch oil in large cast iron skillet over med. heat.  To test if the oil is ready sprinkle a pinch of batter.  When batter sizzles, and bubbles form rapidly around it you are good to go. Transfer the coated pieces in 2 batches so as not to crowd.  Fry 3 min on one side and use tongs to flip and fry 2 more minutes.  Drain the fried tofu on a clean paper bag or towel.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

wild rice cabbage chickpea pilaf

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We really liked this dish. NOTE--the photo was taken before I added the chickpeas


  • ½ cup wild rice (I used a package that had whole grain rice with some wild rice and mushroom flavoring (a GF package)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced small
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated (I just chopped small)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1½ cups chopped green cabbage (I used red cabbage)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 bunch green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Instructions:
    Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the wild rice and bring the water back to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 55 to 60 minutes. Drain off any excess water and set aside.
    Heat a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and red pepper and sauté the vegetables for 10 minutes. Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the cabbage and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Add the chickpeas, green onions, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper and cook for another minute to heat the chickpeas. Remove from the heat, add the cooked wild rice, and mix well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mediterranean Garbanzo Stir fry

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I found this recipe on a can of Garbanzo beans. It was great--mixed with rice and served on home made tortillas.  Fast--it takes only 15 or 20 minutes to make.

Cooked rice (as much as you desire) White rice is nice
1-2 tab of oil
1 tsp oregano
2-4 cloves of garlic--minced or chopped
1 large zucchini, halved and sliced (or 1 and 1/2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup mushrooms sliced (I used more--a small package)
1 can garbanzo beans
2 tab of FRESH mint--chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Fresh corn tortillas if desired (I made this earlier in the day)

Cook rice according to directions and set aside.  Meanwhile heat oil over medium heat.  Stir in oregano and garlic and saute one minute.  Add zucchini, mushrooms and beans, stirring well to coat with oil and herbs.  Stir fry for ten minutes or until zucchini is crisp and tender.  Add fresh mint and tomatoes and stir to heat about 5 more minutes. Serve over cooked rice and if desired spoon into tortillas with salsa.

note there is a good video here on how to make home made tortillas :  I use a big plastic zip lock bag to press the tortillas using a cereal bowl and then a rolling pin --makes a nice round shape. I cook them about 50 secs on one side and 30 secs or so on the other side. If you flip them several times near the end they get a bit puffy if you desire this.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Eggplant , brown rice, casserole

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I made this in an eight or nine inch square casserole which will make about 4 servings.

1 cup of uncooked brown rice. (cook this according to directions)
hummus (I just made some oil free pureeing chickpeas with lemon, garlic, chili, black pepper and h20)
1 - 28 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
fresh basil
chopped purple onion (1/8th to 1/4th cup)
small eggplant
one red bell pepper
3 cloves of garlic
garlic powder
Mrs. Dash Tomato, Basil, garlic seasoning
Gluten free seasoned bread crumbs are optional
Parchment paper

Cook the brown rice as directed.

 Cook the eggplalnt in a 400 degree oven in the following way --slice the eggplant first very thin leaving skins on. Slice red bell pepper, and garlic cloves.Place parchment paper in a cookie sheet. Place the eggplant on the pan with red bell pepper and garlic cloves. Spray lightly with Pam and then sprinkle with the Mrs. Dash seasoning, and some garlic powder. Sprinkle lightly some gluten free seasoned bread crumbs on the eggplant if desired. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the eggplant is done and almost charred (if it is sliced very thin it will cook this fast)

 Mix the cooked rice with some hummus (I probably used 1/3 cup or so)  and some of the fire roasted tomatoes and some chopped basil and Mrs. Dash seasoning.

Layer in the casserole which has been sprayed with Pam--some of the rice mixture, top with some of the eggplant , red pepper, garlic, purple onion, sliced basil, top with more of the fire roasted tomatoes, rice mixture, then the last layer of eggplant, red pepper, garlic, purple onion, basil, and then top with the rest of the tomatoes.

Cook at 375 uncovered for 15 minutes, then lightly covered with tented foil for 15-20 minutes, and then uncovered for about 15 minutes more or until nice and bubbly.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gluten free apple cider muffin / or doughnuts

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This recipe is from taste of home but I altered it to make muffins since I do not have the doughnut pan.  These are really sweet, but they do taste like doughnuts! The link

10 ServingsPrep: 20 min. + standing Bake: 15 min. + cooling


  • 2 cups gluten-free biscuit/baking mix
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, mix the first eight ingredients. In another bowl,
  • whisk the water, butter, applesauce and vanilla until blended. Add
  • to the dry ingredients; stir until blended. Cover and let rest for
  • 10 minutes.

FOR MUFFINS __ME--If not using a doughnut pan just place in about ten muffin cups and cook at 325 until nice and brown. It will take longer than the doughnut tins.  It will take 14-18 minutes or may be longer--just keep checking until they are nicely browned  Glaze using glaze recipe below.

  • FOR DOUGHNUTS: [Cut a small hole in the corner of a food-safe plastic bag; 
  •  fill with batter. Pipe into a 6-cavity doughnut pan coated with cooking spray, filling cavities three-fourths full. note--you will make more after these are done
  • Bake at 325° for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter.]
  • FOR GLAZE, in a small saucepan, bring apple cider to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to 3 tablespoons. Transfer to a small bowl; stir in butter until melted. Stir in enough confectioners' sugar to reach glaze consistency. Dip each doughnut halfway, allowing excess to drip off. Place on wire rack; let stand until set. Yield: 10 doughnuts.