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Monday, January 31, 2005

Southwestern squash con avocado 


1 Acorn squash
1/2 Cup cooked black beans
1/2 Cup diced onion
1/2 Cup cooked rice
1/2 Cup sliced Portabella Mushrooms
1/2 ripe avocado (diced)
1/3 Cup thin sliced green bell pepper
1/3 Cup soy sausage
1/3 Cup prepared salsa
1/3 Cup vegan white wine (Frey sauvignon Blanc)
2 Tbls canola oil
3 tsp soy spread
1 tsp chopped garlic
pinch Cajun seasoning
hot sauce
salt, black pepper to taste


Halve the acorn squash, scoop out the center seeds and fiber, slice the hollow with the point of a knife to allow quick cooking and spread each with 1 tsps of soy spread. Cover the squash with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

Heat the oil and remaining tsps of soy spread in a medium sauce pan. Add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, garlic, sausage and black beans. Saute uncovered over medium heat until the green pepper is fork soft. Add wine and reduce by half. Add the cooked rice, stir and set aside.

avocado relish

Heat 1 tsp canola oil in a sauce pan, add the diced avocado, wine and hot sauce. Reduce by half.

Fill each half of the squash with stuffing mix, top with avocado relish and salsa, bake covered for 1/2 hour at 350 degrees.

serves two


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Saturday, January 22, 2005

File gumbo 


the 'Trinity'

1/2 medium yellow onion diced
2 stalks celery diced
1/2 green bell pepper diced
1 Tbls vegetable oil


16 ounces vegetable broth
1 Tbls chopped garlic
1 fresh tomato cut in eighth's
1/2 Cup fresh corn kernels
1 zucchini chunked
4 ounces mushrooms chunked
1/3 red bell pepper chunked
2 soy 'smoked' sausages sliced
1/2 cup white rice


6 to 8 fresh okra pods tipped and sliced
2 tsps Cajun seasoning
pinch file (powdered sassafras bark)


Saute the 'Trinity' in vegetable oil over medium heat, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the base ingredients and cover. Reduce heat and cook for 1 hour at very low heat. Add sliced okra and cook for an additional 1/2 hour. Season to taste.

Serve, adding 1 pinch of file (the file never gets cooked) dusted over the gumbo.

serves 2


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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte for 2 

Blackforest cherry cake

Nancy came home with this small, volcano shaped bundt pan the other day and said it was for baking Monkey Bread. Well, here's an alternative use for those who want a portion for 2 of serious dessert, it's volcanic and vegan.



1/2 boxed cake mix (Pillsbury white cake)
1/3 Cup Nestle unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 Cup water
1/3 Cup vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Cup vegan chocolate chips


1/2 Cup fresh pitted cherries, sliced
1/4 Cup light brown sugar
1/4 Cup water
1 ounce Kirchwasser (cherry liquor, or your favored sweet aperitif)
2 Tbls soy spread
pinch sea salt

Chocolate glaze

1/4 Cup Nestle cocoa powder
1/3 Cup turbinado (raw) sugar
1/3 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract


Combine cake mix, cocoa powder and baking soda in a bowl, add water, oil and whisk until smooth. Spoon mixture into pre-oiled "monkey bread" pan (mixture should fill half way, but not above center cone. Top with a layer of chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center may be removed clean. Cool the cake open side down on a rack for 1/2 hour.

Bring to a low boil the cherries and remaining filling mix until reduced by 1/2, set aside.

Prepare the chocolate glaze in a small sauce pan over low heat by adding all the ingredients and stirring until blended at a low simmer.


Turn the cake onto a plate cone side up, fill the hollow with cherries mix. Drizzle chocolate glaze over the cake and garnish the plate with fresh sliced cherries.

serves 2

My Notes

ONLY YOU see your private notes, and they print with the recipe.


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Sunday, January 16, 2005

Southwest Cacerola 

The origins of the casserole are many and differ from culture to culture though the word probably derives from the "old" French casse - break, however, the meaning is usually the same, a meal cooked slowly and long in a single pot.


1/2 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
8 ounces (1/2 can) cooked red beans
8 ounces (1/2 can) refried beans
1 tomato cut in 1/8ths
8 baked taco shells, halved
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded soy cheddar
1/2 cup shredded soy jack
1 cup soy crumbles
2 Tbls vegetable oil
2-3 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Saute onions and mushrooms in a medium pan with 2 Tbls of vegetable oil until soft, season with cumin, chili powder and set aside.

Place 2 halved taco shells in the bottom of an ungreased oven proof baking dish, add about 2 Tbls of refried beans, 1/3 of the onion/mushroom mix, 1/3 soy crumbles and 1/3 of the red beans. Repeat the layer two times and top with tomato slices, last 2 taco shells soy cheese and salsa.

Bake covered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

serves 4


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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Vegetarians take notice, stuffed shells - it's what's for lunch 

My wife who works for a major American corporation, which I won't mention by name, was invited to a conference yesterday along with dozens of other associates from around the country.

The morning's business of meeting and greeting having concluded everyone hungrily gathered for lunch catered by a well known local vendor. Now, Nancy who has traveled extensively for the company was reconciled to the usual 'chicken this' or 'beef that' which is routinely served at these events, and so she made her way toward the buffet hoping to find a combination of vegetable sides that would make a satisfying, healthy lunch.

The first server asked Nancy if she would prefer the chicken barbecue or shredded beef. Nancy replied she would just have the baked beans and some bread. A friend in line overheard her, and quietly intoned, "You're vegetarian? We have something special for you," and promptly led her to a station set to one side: there, stuffed shells with 3 cheese and a rich vegetarian sauce.

I mention this as notably, more and more, large corporations today recognize the growing vegetarian preference among their employees and are catering to it. Kudos then to Nancy's company - they know who they are.


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Friday, January 07, 2005

Baked Stuffed Onions  

"A fragrant big stuffed onion is a most edible object all by itself..." Julia Child's homage to the lowly onion from her 1993 classic The Way to Cook.

Julia Child was a consummate cook. Trained at Cordon Blu her heritage continues to instruct the art and style of great cuisine. Vegetarian cooks would do well to possess this book.


A saucepan of boiling water, for peeling
A large kettle of boiling salted water, for blanching

6 large firm fresh onions at least 3 inches in diameter
Melted butter (substitute soy spread)and or oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups stuffing (see recipe following)
2 Tbls fresh crumbs from homemade style white bread
1/2 cup dry white French vermouth or dry white wine
1/2 to 1 cup beef stock or chicken broth (or vegetable broth)


Peeling, coring, and blanching the onions. One at a time, shave off the pointed and root ends of the onions, being careful to keep the onion layers attached at the root. For easy peeling drop them one of two at a time for exactly 1 minute into the saucepan of boiling water: carefully remove the skin. With a sharp knife, cut a cone-shaped core out of the top (not root) end of the onion, and reserve all cuttings. Then, being careful not to make the sides and bottom too thin - they should be about 3/8 inch thick - use a melon baller to dig circular sections out of the onion to form a cup of the interior. Drop the onion cups into the kettle of boiling salted water and boil slowly 10 to 15 minutes; they should be just tender but they must hold their shape. Drain upside down in a colander.

Stuffing the onions. Butter or oil the outside of the onion cups and arrange cup side up in a heavily buttered flameproof baking dish about 3 inches deep and just large enough to hold them in one layer. Season the inside of the cups lightly with salt and pepper, and fill with the stuffing, heaping it into a 1/2-inch dome. Top with a teaspoon of bread crumbs and a drizzle of melted butter. Pour the wine around the onions and enough broth to come a third of the way up.

Baking - about 1 1/2 hours at 375 degrees F.

Bring to the simmer on top of the stove. Bake uncovered in the lower middle level of the preheated oven, maintaining the liquid at a slow simmer and basting the onions several times with the liquid in the dish. They are done when a knife pierces them easily, but they must keep their shape. (The outside layer will be slightly tough, but the insides deliciously tender.)

An Onion Stuffing

1 cup or so of minced onions
Butter (soy spread) as needed
1 cup of cooked rice
1/4 Cup heavy cream ( 2 Tbls soy sour cream and 2 Tbls soy cream cheese)
3 to 4 Tbls grated Swiss cheese (or soy Swiss)
2 to 4 Tbls fresh crumbs from nonsweet homemade type white bread
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Fresh or dried tarragon, or fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the minced onions slowly in 2 tablespoons of butter in a covered pan until very tender; uncover the pan and stir over moderately high heat to brown very lightly. Blend in the rice, sour cream, cream cheese, Swiss cheese and 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs, adding a few more crumbs if the mixture is too soft for easy stuffing. Stir in the parsley and other herb; season carefully to taste.


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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Son of Broccoflower 

I honestly do not know from whence came this impossibly green hybrid other than to say it appeared one day during a sudden meteor shower...and it said, "feed me", and so I did.


1 head broccoflower
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 ounces soy Swiss cheese
2 ounces soy cheddar cheese
2 ounces herbed feta cheese*


Wash and separate the broccoflower flowerets, place along with garlic and rosemary in steamer for about 25 minutes.

In a small pot melt cheeses until blended over low heat.

Drizzle melted cheese over the steamed broccoflower and serve with a baked potato.

serves 2
vegetarian (substitute vegan feta if desired*)


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Sunday, January 02, 2005

This French toast gets the "nog" 

It seems that every year this seasonal tradition - Holiday "Nog" - ends up the last of the leftovers. The great thing about this drink is that, unlike its egg based counterpart, soy nog stays naturally fresh, refrigerated - and makes this rich French toast breakfast a snap.


1 C soy egg nog
1/4 tsp vanilla
a dash or two of cinnamon
2 1" slices of French bread
1 Tbls vegetable oil
1 tsp soy spread


Heat oil in non-stick pan. Mix soy nog, vanilla and cinnamon. Coat bread slices thoroughly and cook in pan on low heat, about 6 minutes per side.

Serve with your favorite meatless sausage, maple syrup and fresh fruit.

serves two


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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Nancy's First Night Soup 

Born of tradition and improved over time, this meal-in-a-bowl is the perfect start to the New Year - welcome 2005.


2 12 ounce can black eyed peas
1 12 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 12 ounce can vegetable broth
2 vegetarian Italian sausage sliced
2 Cups chopped collard greens
1 Tbls olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 medium onion diced
healthy dash of vegan Worcestershire sauce*


Heat olive oil in a medium sized, heavy sauce pan and add the diced onion, saute for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the vegetable broth, black eyed peas,tomatoes and spices, stir together.

Turn heat to simmer, cover and cook for two hours, stirring occasionally.
15 minutes before serving add the sausage and collard greens. Return to a boil and serve.

Serve with good, rustic bread and vegan spread.

serves 2

*Vegan Worcestershire Sauce (use estimated portions and continue to mix in a small bowl until it tastes right to you - it's not nuclear physics-just Worcestershire without anchovies.) When your have a the blend you like, you're gold. Refrigerate any leftover sauce up to two weeks.

cider vinegar
dark molasses or dark Karo syrup
soy sauce or liquid amino
lemon juice
sea salt
Dijon mustard
ground ginger
ground black pepper
cayenne pepper
ground cinnamon
ground cloves or allspice
rubbed cardamom


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