Friday, August 31, 2012

Sweet Potato and Cabbage Curry

What can you make with sweet potatoes and cabbage?  I was wondering this exact question when I stumbled upon this recipe at 

I used green cabbage instead purple, garbanzo beans instead of pinto and no peanut butter.  Otherwise, here is the recipe straight from her blog, and it was very, very good!  We ate it for leftovers for the rest of the week and it just got better and better.


1 tablespoon light olive oil or peanut oil

1 1/2 teaspoons hot or mild curry paste, or cumin, to taste
1 medium red onion, peeled, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled, diced
1/2 head purple cabbage, shredded
1 large yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
1 large Anaheim or Cubanelle pepper, seeded, diced
1 14-oz. can white or pinto beans, rinsed, drained
2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup natural peanut butter (or sunflower seed butter) melted in a half cup of boiled water or broth
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
2 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, for heat, to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon raw organic agave nectar, or organic light brown sugar, if it needs it
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For garnish:

Chopped fresh cilantro or chopped peanuts

Fresh lime slices

Heat the olive oil in large soup pot. Add the curry paste and stir for a minute to infuse the oil with spice. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, cabbage, yellow pepper and Anaheim pepper. Stir and cook the veggies for 5 -7 minutes, until softened.

Add the beans, broth, peanut butter, coconut milk, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes and cilantro.

Bring the soup to a high simmer, cover, and lower the heat; keep the soup on simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Stir in the lime juice and taste test for seasoning adjustments. Add a little brown sugar, if needed. Season with sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. Warm through.

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro or peanuts.

Baked Potatoes

I am way behind the times here.  We made these baked potatoes several weeks ago and I'm just now posting them!  

I know we all know how to make baked potatoes, but if anyone is wondering how to switch things up, here is my suggestion:  (See picture above)

Just add a generous helping of:
Tofutti Sour Cream
Steamed broccoli
Daiya vegan cheddar
Vegan "bacon" bits
Salt and pepper

Will added barbecue sauce on his and he said he loved it.

Let's face it -- you can't go wrong with baked potatoes.  A perfect mid-week meal.  

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Penne with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

This is a perfect summer dish.  Easy and light, and with fresh tomatoes from our patio garden!  Yes, our tomatoes have been successful this summer.  Unfortunately I can't say the same about our pepper plants.  We keep noticing that the peppers keep disappearing and one plant has even been completely stripped of stems and leaves.  Today I discovered the culprit.

GROSS!!  I was so mad and disgusted.  Will came to the rescue, extracted the monster with a pair of chopsticks and threw it over the fence.  Later, he told me he had contemplated eating it.  Okay, what.   That is NOT vegan.  At least this thing hasn't destroyed the tomatoes.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand, which is this wonderful summery pasta dish (sans caterpillars).  It was super easy to make, and Will said it's one of my best dishes ever.  I'll take that!

(Inspired from Whole Living Magazine)

2 cups tomatoes, cored and chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup olive oil
Red pepper flakes, to taste

Half a package of penne (I used corn pasta from Trader Joes)
Fresh basil
Chopped almonds
Sea salt

Mix the tomatoes, garlic and olive and let sit for at least an hour.

When ready, cook the pasta according to the package.

Add the tomatoes to the cooked pasta, stir well.

Sprinkle some crushed almonds and top with plenty of basil.

Enjoy!  It's very good.

Kale Chips

Several people have asked me if I have ever had or made kale chips.  No and no.  I've only recently jumped on the kale bandwagon, so I've been experimenting.  Earlier this week, I made a kale salad with carrots, olive oil and balsamic.  That's it.  And it was really good.  Then I thought, what do I do with the rest of this gigantic bunch of kale?

Lots of kale
Olive oil
Sea salt

Wash and dry kale.  Tear kale into small pieces.  Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Massage gently.  Layer kale on baking pans.  Bake at 400 for 8-9 minutes. 

 Verdict:  The Husband, who has formally turned his nose up at anything that even rhymes with kale, absolutely loved these kale chips.  I couldn't keep him away from these things! 

Enough said.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Golden Tofu with Spicy Spinach and Kale

There are many factors lately that could contribute to a lack of cooking time in the kitchen for me.  For one, it's too blazing hot to cook!  Summer comes late to San Diego, and it's finally here with a vengeance.  Even though we live only 7.8 miles away from the ocean, we are still inland enough that it gets to about 95 degrees at out house.  Yikes.

Another reason to not cook is that I have just been too exhausted when I get home from work.  Late nights watching the Olympics combined with 5:00am workouts and nine hour work days equal one tired veggie lover.  One night last week, we just wandered around lazily, grazing from whatever we could find in the fridge or pantry.  That so-called meal consisted of something like pickles, almonds, apples, and some chips and salsa.  And then we ate rice for three days in a row because that's super easy to make and you can eat it with anything. 


I was missing cooking so much that I finally vowed to get some fresh ingredients and just cook this week no matter how hot or tired.

Sunday's are pretty easy and nice because I'm not coming home at 7pm from a long work day.  For this reason, I have decided to move "Pasta Sunday's" to another day of the week because pasta is an easy enough meal that can be created in little time on a busy week night.  And on Sunday's I can spend a little more time fixing a fun new recipe.

Today I made Golden Tofu with Spicy Spinach and Kale.  Trust me, it was still hot while I was cooking, but in the end it was all worth it.

This recipe is inspired from a Whole Living recipe.


12 oz firm tofu block, drained, pressed, and cut into 1/4 -inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
dash red pepper flakes
about 5 ounces fresh spinach
about 5 ounces fresh kale
Salt and Pepper

In an electric or non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola.  Add tofu and cook, turning often, until browned on all sides.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on tofu.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large pot.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened.  Add ginger and spices, stir, and cook for another minute.  Add a splash of water.  Add the kale and let cook for about two minutes until it starts to soften and wilt.  Add spinach, mix, and take off heat.  Let sit while spinach softens and wilts.

When the tofu is done, serve it on top of the spicy spinach and kale.  Add some sliced avocado on the side.  Delicious! 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Panera Black Bean Soup

I catered in Panera for an event with some teachers at one of my schools in San Diego today.  You can never go wrong with Panera, so of course, it was a huge success.  While most of the food had cheese on it, the black bean soup did not.  Thank you.  It also turned out that there was a lot leftover, so I took home two cartons and a French baguette.  Hello, dinner!

I just added some chopped veggies and Daiya vegan cheese and dinner was served.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Polenta with Basil and White Bean Salsa

Thank you, Darcy, for posting this idea on Facebook!  I saw it this morning and knew I had to make it immediately. 

I don't know what Darcy's recipe was, but below I have included what I came up with.  The bean salsa was really amazing, but I made the mistake of getting quinoa-polenta which was not a fan favorite in our household.  Poor Will tried his best to swallow the stuff, but after a few bites just couldn't do it anymore.  He said it was too "grainy" tasting.  (He also called it "placenta," which made me fall over laughing and forgive him for not liking the dinner I had just made him.)  I'll admit, it definitely was not as good as just regular, corn polenta.  Please don't let that deter you from trying this recipe.  Just make sure to use plain polenta.
White Bean Salsa

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon "Gourmet Garden" basil

Put beans, bell pepper, tomatoes and onions in a bowl together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.  Pour mixture over beans and mix well.

Serve over polenta and drizzle with balsamic.  I'm sure this would also be delicious with pita chips or on its own.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spicy Tofu and Refried Black Bean Burritos


This is pretty straightforward. 

Take some flour tortillas and stuff them with the following ingredients:

Spicy Tofu Cubes
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 package tofu, chopped into half-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, ground chipotle pepper, and smoked paprika

In a non-stick pan, heat the oil and cook the tofu with spices in it, turning cubes frequently.

Refried Black Beans
Sauteed onions
Spicy pickled peppers
Green olives
Daiya Vegan Cheddar Cheese
Tapa Tio