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
Sunshine and warmth have arrived in the Pacific Northwest, and I can hardly wait to fire up the grill. In fact, I did! I wanted to veganize my old recipe for stuffed Poblanos, which I smoke outside on my charcoal chiminea. This is a new no-fat stuffing and I honestly prefer it to the old one, which was full of oil and cheese. Black beans smoked with maple, garlic and onions, accompanied by a fresh salad of sweet corn, red pepper and cilantro and topped with a great vegan queso – fabulous summery flavors, even in April.
Vegan Smoked Stuffed Chiles with Corn Salad and Queso
Set up your outdoor grill or smoker for indirect grilling and preheat to medium. Soak your wood chips for 30 minutes. If using a gas grill, place the chips in a smoker box and preheat on high until you see smoke, then reduce heat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, preheat to medium, stack the coals around the edges, leaving the center free of heat (where you will set your pan of peppers), and toss the chips onto the coals. Have your stuffed peppers ready! If you aren’t up for the outdoor project, you can also simply put them in your oven, covered, on 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.
Black Bean Stuffing
2 cans black beans, 1 can drained
2 cloves minced garlic
1 medium chopped onion
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 c. to 1/2 c good quality pure maple syrup
1/4 c. cooking sherry
Simmer all ingredients together, uncovered, until liquid has boiled off and beans are thick. Slice 4 Poblano peppers in half lengthwise and remove stems and seeds. Fill each 1/2 pepper with beans and smoke outdoors on a medium grill (I place them in a heavy-duty foil pan) until tender (about 30 minutes) or bake in a 350 degree oven, covered, for 30 minutes. Serve dressed with Corn salad and Nacho Mom’s Ultimate Vegan Queso. It’s gonna be good!
About 3 c. frozen or fresh sweet corn
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup cilantro or Italian parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
a few splashes of seasoned rice vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Posted in Recipes, Vegetable entrees
Tagged appetizer, black beans, dinner, Esselstyn, frugal, low cost, lunch, no fat, poblano, recipe, stuffed chilis, 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
Farro Risotto adapted from “The Italian Country Table” by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
When I made the switch to no-fat vegan eating, I grieved for my long-favorite cookbooks filled with the foods that had given me and my family such tasty memories over the years. After just a few weeks, I began to adapt those recipe treasures, and I am happy to say that with the right tools and a little creativity, many if not most things are possible! Here is an adapted version of a delicious recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper out of my all-time favorite Italian cookbook “The Italian Country Table”. Farro is one of many super satisfying, nutty whole grains I’ve come to love. Cook this for a full hour and the flavors of orange, sage, garlic and fennel and wine will carmelize into heavenly sweetness.
Farro Risotto with Garlic, Orange, and Sage
1 1/2 C farro
1 C hot water
2 large onions, chopped
10 large or 20 small fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 4-inch branches fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 undrained can garbanzo beans
8-10 C hot vegetable broth (or same volume H2O with 2 heaping TBSP Better Than Bullion Vegatable)
Zest of 1 orange
4 cloves garlic, pressed or microplaned
1/2 C favorite white wine
Pepper & Salt or salt substitute
Fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
Put dry farro in a 3 cup bowl and cover with very hot water for 15 minutes. “Saute” onion, sage, rosemary and fennel by placing in a large pot or deep saucepan, tossing with 1 or 2 cups broth, and covering with a lid. Simmer until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Remove lid. Add the garbanzo beans w/liquid, garlic, farro, and 1/2 the orange zest. Cook on medium until liquid evaporates and begin adding hot broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid evaporates and your hot broth is gone. The cooking time will take about 50 minutes. Don’t hurry, the carmelization process is so important to the result, and besides, you can drink a glass of wine while you cook! Test to make sure the farro is cooked to your liking. It will have a uniform, chewy texture similar to cooked barley. When all the liquid is absorbed and the farro is done, stir in the remaining orange zest and white wine. Season to your taste with salt substitute or salt & freshly ground pepper. Simmer another few minutes until creamy and rich. Serve with chopped parsley.
Posted in Pasta & Grain, Recipes
Tagged Esselstyn, Farro, frugal, garlic, italian, low cost, lunch, meal, no fat, orange, recipe, rice, Risotto, sage, 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