Archive for the ‘vegetarian’ Category

Curried Red Lentils and Sweet Potatoes (over rice)

I knew I wanted lentils, I knew I had to do something with my sweet potatoes.  So… THIS!!!

I loved it and more importantly, so did Don and Emily (Audrey hates most things, so no, she was not a fan).


3 1/2 cups water

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

2 medium or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into bite-size chunks

1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp curry powder

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 generous Tbsp brown rice syrup or light brown sugar

1 ½ cups red lentils

1/4 – 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly cut

2 cups water

1 cup coconut milk

2 cups jasmine rice


Bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, saute onion, and salt in oil, stirring until onion is soft.

Add sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder, bay leaf and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add boiling water, coconut milk, syrup or sugar, and lentils.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the lentils break down and the sweet potatoes are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in basil.

While the above is cooking, bring  2 cups water and 1 cup coconut milk to boil.  Stir in rice, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for 20 minutes.  Do not remove lid until close to done.

Serve lentils and potatoes over rice.


Yellow Split Pea Soup

It was cool this morning and so my mind went to soup…  This is what I came up with.  With sides of good bread, some sauteed broccoli, and a bowl of cherries, I was sooooo happy.


2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 cups chopped celery

1 cup chopped leeks

2 cups chopped carrots

1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas

1/4 cup chopped celery leaves

4 cups vegetable broth

3 cups water

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

How to:

In soup pot, saute celery, carrots, and leeks in olive oil until just soft.  Add vegetable broth and water, bring to a boil. Add split peas and celery leaves.  Bring to boil again.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until peas and carrots are soft.  Add wine, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  With immersion blender, blend soup to just smooth/a bit chunky consistency.  Serves 8.

Butternut Squash and Other Stuff Gnocchi

This came to be when my family was being boring about what they wanted for dinner so I pulled out leftovers for them and dug around to see what I could come up with…  What I found in my bowl when I was done was like a treasure.


1 8 oz. package prepared gnocchi (or, of course, make your own!!!)

Olive oil

1 lb butternut squash, cleaned and cut into small chunks

3 Tbsp pine nuts

2 cloves garlic

a good handful of shitake mushrooms

2 good handfuls spinach

1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning

Roast squash with 2 Tbsp olive oil at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes, until tender and turning brown.

Meanwhile, boil water for gnocchi and lightly toast pine nuts (in small frying pan, swirling them around so they don’t burn, which can happen really fast!)

When squash is finished, saute garlic in large pan in 2 tbsp olive oil, add mushrooms until soft and hot.  Add squash and Sazon Goya seasoning.

Boil gnocchi for 1-2 minutes, until floating on top.  Drain.

Add gnocchi to squash and mushrooms mixture and mix thoroughly.  Mix in spinach until just wilted. Toss in the pine nuts.


My Tomato Soup

A couple of sickies in my house inspired my need for soup.  This was such a huge surprise.  I never thought it would taste so good.  I made some bread and we dunked and slurped….


1/2 sweet onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 – 28 oz cans really good tomatoes  (I used Wegman’s imported San Marzano – pricey, I know, $3.49 a can)

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 1/2 tsp kosher salt

a few good cranks of fresh ground pepper

1 Tbsp dried basil (I had no fresh available)

In a large pot, lightly saute onions in olive oil until soft, not brown.

Puree the tomatoes in a food processor until just smooth.  Add tomatoes and broth to pot and heat until just boiling, simmer 20 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, and basil.  Let simmer another 10-15 minutes.

I used my immersion blender to puree until smooth.


The Grooviest Vegan Gravy. Seriously.

I would make mashed potatoes just to have this gravy…


1/4 cup olive oil

6 shallots

4 garlic cloves

3 tbsp Earth Balance

1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced

8 oz. mixed wild mushrooms

1 Tbsp chopped, fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)

1 Tbsp chopped, fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

2 tsp chopped fresh sage or (or 3/4 tsp dried)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp Brandy

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine oil with shallots and garlic in small glass oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and bake until shallots and garlic are very soft and pale golden–about an hour.

Meanwhile, melt Earth Balance in large saute pan, add onions and cook on medium-low for 12-15 minutes until onions are lightly browned.  This is an important step.  Take your time.

When shallots and garlic are finished, thinly slice and add them and the oil to the pan with the onions over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and herbs and saute until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in flour and salt and pepper.  Add vegetable broth and stir often until gravy just starts to boil and thicken, about 10 minutes.  Add brandy.  Heat through and stir well.  If desired, add 1 Tbsp soy creamer or milk.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

“Thumbs Up, Mom” Vegan Chili

Like most recipes that I experiment with, I let my kids offer the final verdict.  This vegan chili was enthusiastically eaten and there was a bit of a competition for the leftovers.  Enjoy!


3-4 Tbsp Olive oil, divided

1 medium chopped sweet onion

1 large celery stalk, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

3 small or 2 medium white or red skinned potatoes, scrubbed, not peeled; diced  (This would even be great with a sweet potato instead!)

1 small can tomato paste

1 28 oz. can of good plum tomatoes, given a whirl in a food processor; left slightly chunky (if you don’t have a food processor, use 14 oz of good crushed tomatoes and 14 oz of good diced tomatoes

2 Tbsp. chili powder

1 1/2 cup corn (frozen or fresh, or 1 can drained)

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup hot water

2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt

fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roast potatoes and carrots tossed with about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil for about 35 minutes, until just soft.

Saute onion and celery  in remaining olive oil until onions and celery are tender and fragrant.  Add tomato paste and stir until just liquified and coating vegetables.  Add tomatoes, one teaspoon of salt, chili powder (adjusting amount for taste) and water.  Add roasted vegetables.

Let simmer, covered, about 20 minutes.

Add corn, beans, second teaspoon of salt, and pepper.  Continue to simmer, partially covered, until very hot and slightly thickened, another 20 minutes.

Serve with real or vegan sour cream, real or vegan cheddar cheese and good crusty bread.

Savoy Squash Risotto

This is awesome with a side of homemade applesauce, a good hunk of brown bread, and a glass of white wine.


5 tbsp olive oil

1 delicata squash, thinly sliced

1/4 large head savoy cabbage, shredded

1 large sweet onion, sliced

1 cup arborio rice

3 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 tsp cardamom (or, a really cool alternative:  a packet of Sazon Goya seasoning – thrilling!!!!)

salt and pepper


Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss onion and squash with 2 tbsp olive oil and roast for 20 minutes–until soft and starting to brown/carmelize.

In a medium saucepan, warm broth.

In large, deep frying pan, saute arborio rice in olive oil until fragrant.  Add broth, one ladle at time, stirring after each addition until liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, saute cabbage with 2 tbsp olive oil in another deep frying pan until starting to brown and just soft.

Add squash, onion, salt and pepper to cabbage.

When rice is finished (about 20 minutes), mix in cardamom, squash, onion, cabbage, and additional salt and pepper to taste.

This = Love.