After my long spring bike ride today, I found myself craving noodles. Delicious, spicy warm Asian rice noodles with fragrant basil and lemon zest. I stopped at Star Market, a local ethnic food store with an amazing selection of Asian vegetables, curries and noodles. I wandered the aisles pondering the piles of fresh cucumbers, lettuces and root vegetables, passing up ethnic pastries and grocery sacks of baguettes for 1.79 (the entire bag, that is). A nice choice of eggplant included the common purples, large and small, but also shiny green Thai eggplants with glowing golden stars on their faces. PERFECT! I have that nice bag of fresh radishes to roast at home, so I’m set!
Yellow Curry Noodle Soup with Braised Radish and Eggplant
Simmer on medium for 15 minutes:
2 quarts strong vegetable broth (or 2 quarts water with 2 heaping tbsp vegetable Better than Bullion)
3 slices medium onion
6 Thai eggplants, trimmed and quartered
½ tbsp yellow curry paste (no oil)
Meanwhile, prepare braised radishes:
10 radishes, trimmed and quartered
Pour a ½ cup of broth into your non-stick pan and simmer the radishes for 10 minutes (covered). Remove lid and let liquid boil off and allow radishes to brown just a bit.
Back to the soup pot! To the broth, add:
¼ pkg rice stick noodles (4 oz.) I use Bun Gao brand Rice Sticks, but any thin asian noodle will do nicely!
Simmer for 6-8 minutes. Correct seasoning. Fill your bowl with noodles and some broth. Arrange the eggplant and radishes on top.
Thinly sliced green onions
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
Chopped fresh basil
Posted in Recipes, Soups
Tagged Curry, dinner, eggplant, Esselstyn, food, frugal, low cost, lunch, no fat, noodle, noodles, radish, recipe, soup, spicy, vegan
I love to cook up a giant pot of soup. As a no-fat vegan, I eat a TON of food, and I have to be sure there is always legal food in my frig to avoid a momentary lapse and grab those tortilla chips my husband keeps on his side of the pantry! Big-quantity cooking helps me stay on the straight and narrow.
This is a soup inspired by color! I wanted warm, sweet ruby-orange yams and deep strong green kale to balance the foundation of plump snowy great northern beans. I threw in some green chili and mahogany kidney beans and garnished with orange zest. Beautiful.
Vegan White Bean Chili
6-8 C vegetable broth or water
1 ½ C dry great northern beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 5 oz can chopped green chili
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 sticks of celery, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp oregano or ½ tsp powdered oregano
½ tsp cloves
Salt/pepper to taste
2-3 large leaves kale, chopped
1 large yam, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces
Zest of 1 orange
In a saucepan, cover white beans with water and boil for 2 minutes; cover with a lid and remove from heat. Let sit for 1 hour, then rinse. In large soup pot, add broth, white beans onion. Bring to boil and reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Add celery, garlic, chilies, and spices, simmer for 30 minutes. Correct seasoning for the broth to your taste. Add kale and yam, simmer for another 30 minutes. Just before serving, stir in zest.
No-Fat Vegan Moussaka
A fellow no-fat Vegan recently mentioned that it is a challenge to keep coming up with new flavor combinations when cooking without meat. It is true! When cooking with animal protein, chicken or fish or pork always take care of that challenge with their unique flavors and textures. I like to handle this challenge by building my dishes with ethnic spice combos- for example, Moroccan, Spanish, Lebanese, or Greek. I recently adapted this favorite old Moussaka recipe, previously full of lamb, cheese and eggs and now, thoroughly healthy with no fat and no animal, just rich, delicious eggplant, cinnamon, oregano, basil, and garlic! The sauce is a unique one in texture and flavor; a refreshing change!
You will build a layered casserole with the following elements: Eggplant, onions, tomato sauce, cream sauce.
Slice 2 large eggplants into 1/2 thick slices. Season well with salt/pepper and broil until browned.
Chop one large onion and saute in non-stick pan (add water if necessary) until translucent and brown, about 5 minutes on low heat.
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 Tbsp. oregano or mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of pepper to taste
In food processor, tear 3 slices of your favorite bread (I like Dave’s Good Seed) and 3 cloves of garlic. Process one minute.
3 Tbsp. Wondra flour
2 C. favorite non-dairy milk (I like almond milk for this)
Cook flour in non-stick pan on medium high for a minute or so. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk. Return to heat and cook until thickened. Season to your taste.
Assemble Casserole in a 9 x 12″ baking dish. Place 1/2 the eggplant slices in the dish. Set aside 1 C of crumbs for topping. Stir remaining crumbs into tomato sauce. Spoon tomato sauce onto eggplant. Now spoon on all the sauteed onions. Add another layer of eggplant. Pour the cream sauce over all. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until cream sauce has set and the casserole is bubbling well. Sprinkle remaining crumbs on top and bake for 5 more minutes until they are brown. This is really special when accompanied by a glass of Italian limoncello or Greek retsina – a traditional Greek wine infused with a piney scent.
Posted in Recipes, Vegetable entrees
Tagged dinner, Esselstyn, food, frugal, greece, greek, low cost, lunch, moussaka, no fat, recipe, vegan
- No Fat/Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup with Croutons
It is a snowy Seattle day in March and spring seems to be lost on its way to the Pacific Northwest. I’m yearning for the flavors of summer, but I’m savoring the fireplace and enjoying the winter white. Compromise! How about a warm bowl of creamy soup built on a favorite flavor of summer: tomatoes. Simmer with herbs and blend with sweet oven-roasted onions, garlic, and carrots.
Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup with Croutons
In a large stewpot, simmer for 1 hour:
1 14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt substitute (such as Braggs Liquid Aminos)
Meanwhile, put the following in a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake in oven for 1.5 hour at 350 degrees:
1 carrot- cut into 4 or 5 pieces
2 sliced onions
8 cloves garlic
1 C. vegetable broth (or 1 C. water and 1 Tbsp. Better than Buillion- Vegetable)
Remove bay leaves from soup. Process the vegetables in food processor or with hand processor and add to tomato mixture. If you like it smooth, use your hand processor to process everything in the pot. Add 2 cups of non-dairy milk of your choice (I use almond, but soy works. Just use your favorite non-sweetened milk)
For croutons, cut up several slices of good non-oil based bread (Dave’s Goodseed is my favorite). Toss with 1 tsp. oregano or your favorite Italian spice mix and toast on foil at 325 oven, checking and turning until they are croutons.
Serve soup warm with croutons and chopped parsley.
Posted in Recipes, Soups
Tagged Esselstyn, food, frugal, low cost, lunch, meal, natural, no fat, recipe, soup, tomato, vegan, vegetables