Tag Archives: vegan

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~

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I belonged to a book club many years ago.  There were about 7 of us and each month one of us would pick the book and host the dinner/discussion.  The club dissolved with my friend Helen’s quick and very unexpected passing.   Without Helen (whose book choices the rest of us always questioned) it was just too hard to regain momentum.  Skip forward several years and one of the original book club members decided to revive it but with a slightly different cast of characters.  After much debate a book (My Brilliant Friend) and a date for the meeting was chosen.

I confess that, as is/was usually the case, I put off reading the book until the last minute.  Three days before the meeting I started reading – and I’m happy to report I finished it with 2 hours to spare.  The dinner was to be at the organizer’s home and then, of the seven reading the book, only 3 of us (host + me + 1 other) made it to the discussion/dinner.

All this is just leading up to the fact that our host had prepared a wonderful dinner including my new favorite-salad-ever.  She found the recipe on a blog

kale and brussel sprout salad from www.onceuponachef.com
I went to the blog only to find that the blogger, Jen Segall, took and altered the recipe from Bon Appetit  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-and-brussels-sprout-salad
The recipes at both sites use Parmesan style cheese which, being paleo, I omitted.   They both make really big batches (Bon Appetit serves 8 to 10 and Once Upon a Chef serves 6 to 8) and I wanted a more normal sized yield (mine serves 4 to 6).  Proportionally, they both used more dressing, but I honestly feel the amount here is PLENTY!  And, I went with the Bon Appetit choice of almonds rather than walnuts.
Here are some of the things that make this my new favorite salad
It’s DELICIOUS!
It’s easy to prepare – I found already shaves Brussels Spouts and washed and chopped kale at Trader Joe’s, making this salad a snap to make.
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It’s versatile –  add cooked chicken for a whole meal salad; add chopped apples and raisins/craisons/currents for a sweeter version; add beans for a heartier vegetarian/vegan salad
It can be prepared in advance – unlike many salads that just get soggy/slimy when dressed too soon, this one gets even better when allowed to stand
Hope this becomes your most favorite new salad too!   Enjoy!

Continue reading Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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My goodness but I miss Noodles in Peanut Sauce – so I did what any food blogger would do…I made a recipe using different ingredients but yielding a sauce just as delicious as the original (maybe even better).

I have a long history with Noodles in Peanut sauce.  I first published a recipe for it in 1992 for my book “Wholesome Harvest” – in it I used a combination of peanut butter and tahini along with soy sauce, vinegar and a few other ingredients.  Next was in “1,000 Vegetarian Recipes” (1996) where I have a recipe for Peanut Noodles as well as one for Sesame Noodles.  Next came “Something for Everyone” (1997) that had Peanut Noodles in it.  But my big breakthrough came when I entered a cooking contest with my friend Valentine.  The contest was for Lawry’s Marinades.  I created, and Valentine filmed preparation of the recipes for several of the products. My favorite was a very simple recipe for Peanut Noodles:   equal parts Lawry’s Sesame Ginger marinade and smooth peanut butter.  Amazing.  I used that recipe from then on and always got high praise from guests.

Now that I’m Paleo, Peanut Noodles are problematic on so many levels:  I don’t eat peanuts, I don’t use soy sauce (or tamari), no sugar (though I am a little loosey goosey on that one), and of course no “normal” noodles.  But the mad scientist in me was determined to make this work.

Let’s start with the noodles.  I’ve made this with noodles made from sweet potato starch, but I’ve also made this using blanched shredded cabbage.

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If you are not Paleo, you could use gluten-free spaghetti or mung bean vermicelli or thin rice noodles.  If you have no dietary restrictions – and you’re only reading this blog because we are friends : ) feel free to use regular thin spaghetti or lo mein noodles.

The other substitutions I have made are coconut aminos instead of the usual soy sauce.  Coconut aminos are similar in flavor to teriyaki sauce and you could use that if you do not have coconut aminos.

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I love Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed butter it’s not as thick as peanut butter but not as thin as tahini.  It has cane sugar in it (as I said earlier I am not too rigid about having some sugar in my diet) so you can use another brand that doesn’t contain sugar but you may want a little extra maple syrup.  You could also use cashew butter instead of the sunflower if that is what you have on hand, but cashew butter tends to be thicker than my sunflower seed butter so you may have to thin the sauce down.

So, enough about the technical stuff; here’s the recipe…it’s really DELICIOUS! Continue reading Noodles with Sunflower Seed Sauce

Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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I’m already into the third week of my CSA (community supported agriculture) so I am knee deep in organic vegetables.  I got lovely little white turnips, and divine basil and very fresh parsley.  I combined that with carrots and cauliflower I had on hand and made this delicious soup.  Besides being delicious an added plus is although it’s a thick, rich soup, there are no starches in it.

Just to let you know, I’m giving my apartment a facelift (restoring my floors and painting) and I’ve been just a crazy woman putting away the tons (and I mean TONS!!!) of junk that I have acquired over the years.  Of course this would have been a great time to purge and, in fact I have given away a fair amount of books, etc. but my theory is “if you have the room to store it, and you might need it in the future, keep it.”  I formed this policy when I first moved into this apartment and did a major clean out/give away only to find I had given away stuff that I needed only a month later  : (

So, I hope you enjoy this soup and that your summer is delightful.
Continue reading Cauliflower, Carrot and Turnip Soup

Acar Kuning (Indonesian Vegetables)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

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Many, many years ago I vacationed in Sint Maarten (the Dutch name) aka Saint-Martin (the French name), an island in the Caribbean that is half French and half Dutch.  While visiting the Dutch side, my friend and I discovered how delicious Indonesian food was, and we ate at several restaurants that served riistafel (Indonesian banquets).  I came home craving more of that delicious food, but alas could not find any Indonesian restaurants in the NYC area (don’t forget, this was eons ago – now there are a few to be found).  If this had been in the memorable past, I would then have gone online and looked up Indonesian recipes, but since this predated the internet I was pretty much out of luck as I don’t think there were even any Indonesian cookbooks on the market.  That’s when I came across a class being offered in Indonesian cooking and I signed up immediately.

The good news was that the instructor (sorry I don’t remember his name) was excellent and I learned a good deal about Indonesian cooking, as well as where to buy Indonesian ingredients (there are 2 stores in Chinatown).  This was one of the recipes I learned in that class, I was a little leery when I first read the recipe as it had never occurred to me to cook cucumbers but after we made it I was completely sold.  The recipe was titled Acar Campur – however after checking out other recipes online, it looks like Acar Campur is actually pickled vegetables and this recipe is more like a stir-fry with some elements of pickling (ie sugar and vinegar).  Whatever you call it, this is a delicious and unusual way to serve vegetables. Continue reading Acar Kuning (Indonesian Vegetables)

Paleo Hummus (Hummos)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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Sometimes I just want a snack or light lunch.  Hummos was a great go-to but now that I don’t eat beans, it’s out or should I say “was out”.  In my quest for a replacement I’ve developed a paleo version of hummos made with potatoes and cauliflower that is just as good as the one made with beans (if you eat beans I have a recipe for Lemony White Bean Hummos here).  To be honest with you, traditional hummos is easier to make – especially if you start with canned beans – because you do have to prep and cook the cauliflower and potatoes for this version.  But if you are longing for a satisfying dip or snack, this hummos will fill the bill.  If you want a paleo dip but don’t want to bother with cooking the cauliflower and potatoes – don’t forget the Tahini I posted last June. Continue reading Paleo Hummus (Hummos)

Roasted Peppers

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

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There’s nothing like homemade roasted peppers for making tasty sauces, dips, for antipasto or toppings for bruschetta, in salads or on sandwiches.  The ones you buy in jars pale in comparison to homemade; and they are so easy to do.   Although you can roast green or purple peppers, it is more common to use red, orange or yellow pepper because they have a lovely sweetness once they are cooked.  You can roast peppers on a grill as well as under the broiler.

The first and very important step is to select fleshy peppers.  Unfortunately these are usually the ones that are the more expensive ones from Holland.  You’ll recognize them by the big green stem and they should be heavy when you pick one up.  The peppers that are not as fleshy don’t roast particularly well and I just skip it if I can’t find the fleshy ones.

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Preheat the broiler.  After you’ve rinsed your peppers, cut them in half through the stem

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Then remove the stem, seeds, and any white pith.

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Cut the halves in half to make quarters and place on a baking sheet lined generously with foil.

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Place under broiler and cook until charred.

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Turn and cook second side until charred.

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Immediately roll up the cooked pepper in the foil that was lining the pan.  This lets the peppers steam as they cool, making it easy to remove the skins.

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When the peppers have cooled, open the foil packet and peel the papery/blistered skin from the fleshy part of the peppers.

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Now you have peppers ready to eat or cook with.

My favorite thing to do them them is chop them up; add plenty of garlic, some fresh or dried herbs, and some extra virgin olive oil, a little salt to taste and you are good to go.

CIMG4320   flaxseed crackers with roasted peppers and scallion

Basic Asparagus Preparation and Hollandaise Sauce

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As Spring approaches (though it’s hard to tell when you’re still wearing your winter down coat) the vegetable that epitomizes Spring for me is asparagus.

I really like asparagus.  I like them even thinner than pencil thin.  My mom always preferred them really fat asparagus – she liked the meatiness.  The great thing about asparagus is that size does not matter (really, I’m not just saying that).  What is important in choosing asparagus is that they be firm, no limpness.

Look for asparagus with tips that are closed – and certainly avoid any that are starting to look wet and dark or slimy.

The bottoms of many asparagus can be tough which is why we snap them off.  Chose ones that are green all the way to the bottom as white on the bottom is definitely going to be tougher and you will be discarding more of the asparagus when you snap it – but that does not affect the flavor or mean the rest of the asparagus will be tough as well.

The proper way to prepare asparagus is to let the plant tell you where the tough part starts.  Do this by holding the asparagus with one hand on the bottom and the other in the middle or slightly towards the top.  Bend the asparagus until it snaps, leaving the bottom part to be discarded and the top to eat.

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My favorite way to prepare asparagus is to roast them.

Preheat your oven to 400F.  Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.  Now remember the Misto olive oil sprayer I recommended some months ago?  Now is the perfect time to use it.  Spray the pan with a light film of olive oil.  Add the asparagus and give a light spray.  Using the Misto prevents the asparagus from getting too greasy.  Bake 15 minutes or until softened (the timing will vary depending on how thick your asparagus are), turning once during baking – and that’s it.

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If you like, you can serve them with Hollandaise sauce.
Continue reading Basic Asparagus Preparation and Hollandaise Sauce

Dukkah-Spiced Chocolate–Covered Matzoh

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It’s 10:42pm and I still haven’t written today’s post – I’m feeling a little uninspired.  It’s not that I haven’t been in the kitchen today – in fact I’ve made my flourless chocolate torte, a not too successful meatloaf, and I’ve been working on Passover mandel brodt (biscotti).  The best biscotti I ever tasted was at a pot luck for an organization I belonged to:  New York Women’s Culinary Alliance.  Imagine about 50 women – all food professionals – bringing dishes to a pot luck.  To sweeten the pot, prizes are awarded for the best recipes.  Can you imagine how great that pot luck is going to be?  To make a long story short (because I’m going to tell the rest of the story when I post the recipe) I loved the Anise Biscotti that Fran Costigan brought…but enough about biscotti.  Tonight I decided to see what Fran’s website was like and BOOM! Her post for today was Dukkah-spiced Chocolate-covered Matzohs.  BRILLIANT!

So, since Friday is kinda my day off (no serious recipe posting), I’m really cheating and just sending you directly to Fran for today’s idea.

I have to tell you that I haven’t tried her recipe.  But as you may remember I did a posting on Dukkah not too long ago.  I would think that the Mulling Dukkah from “A Trio of Dukkahs” would be great for the Matzohs and of course use gluten-free matzohs.  I think these would make a great contribution to bring to a seder.

So Check This Out:  http://francostigan.com/blog/

Jammin’ Collard Greens and Leeks

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

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I never really ate collards until I started working on a cookbook for Sylvia Woods (of Sylvia’s Restaurant fame in Harlem).  She needed a recipe tester for her book “Woods Family Cookbook” (which is really a great book) so I sat with her at her corner table and when she asked about my experience with soul food I confessed I had none.  BUT, I assured her, I was a quick study and once I’ve tasted something I can cook it – and more importantly, create a recipe for it.  So began a great romance – actually two romances…my love of Sylvia, her husband Herbert and their family and my love of soul food.  In her 20’s, Sylvia came up to New York from Hemingway, South Carolina and worked as a waitress in a small diner in Harlem.  Eventually she bought the dinner and started to grow the business to the world famous restaurant and catering business it currently is.

The recipe development process started with me tasting all the dishes Sylvia served at the restaurant – and culminated with one of the greatest weekends of memory.  The theme of the book is recipes from not just Sylvia but also from all her friends and family.  I would test a few in my kitchen and then every Tuesday I would go up to the restaurant and Sylvia would taste them and let me know if they tasted “right” or needed more work.  After about a month, we (Sylvia and her family, the publisher, the public relations person, and I) boarded a plane for South Carolina and we were off for the weekend.  The high point of the weekend was the Sunday lunch at the church where everyone who had submitted a recipe cooked it and brought it with them.  I got to get a real feel for what these recipes were supposed to be and who the people were behind the recipes.  It was  a truly remarkable and memorable experience.  I came back to New York feeling like a real member of the family – and what a wonderful family it is.

We lost Herbert in 2001 and Sylvia in 2012…but just so you get a sense of who they were…in addition to being wonderful people and exceptional hosts, greeting guests making sure everyone was enjoying themselves; every year on the anniversary of the restaurant, Sylvia’s set up a free buffet right outside the restaurant for anyone in the neighborhood who wanted to eat.

Sylvia prepared her collards with smoked turkey wings for seasoning.  I developed this vegetarian recipe which, although different from Sylvia’s is just as good in it’s own way.
Continue reading Jammin’ Collard Greens and Leeks

Palak Shorba (Punjabi/Mughlai Spinach Soup)

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo ~~~~

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There’s a pretty good Indian restaurant just a few blocks from my apartment called Swagat.  They make a spinach soup with chicken that I always order and it occurred to me that I could probably make it at home without too much difficulty.  As I often do, I googled Palak Shorba and checked out a few of the recipes.  The one that sounded best to me was by master chef Sanjeev Kapoor.  His recipe is vegetarian, instead of the chicken soup I get at Swagat, and used lots of whole spices.  I simplified the recipe but used a similar flavor profile.  Traditionally Palak Shorba is finished with a bit of cream; but, since I’m dairy free, I use coconut cream instead.   I make this recipe often.  Frequently, I revert to the Swagat version by adding shredded cooked chicken and eating the soup as a main course.

Today I had lunch with my friend Larry at Swagat.  I ordered the Chicken Palak Shorba and brought my own version of Palak Shorba to do a taste comparison.  NO CONTEST…mine was much better.  I was shocked and pleased…Larry agreed with me.

Enjoy!
Continue reading Palak Shorba (Punjabi/Mughlai Spinach Soup)