Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Breakfast

 Happy Easter!

It's a beautiful sunny day in San Diego; the flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping.

And this is what's for breakfast:

Sauteed potatoes with onions and mushrooms
Scrambled tofu with jalapenos and pinto beans
Sprouted wheat-berry toast
Orange Juice

What a feast.  Just thought I'd share.

Look at the Easter tulips Will surprised me with the other day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Risotto with Oyster Mushrooms, Leeks, and Peas

Another recipe from The Kind Diet.  I followed it exactly and served it with the Sicilian Collard Greens.  YUM!  A great, healthy dinner. 

Warning:  If you've made risotto before, you know this, but it takes a REALLY long time to make.  Ms. Silverstone says that it should only take 25-30 minutes?  I don't think so.  The rice alone took more than an hour to cook to the right consistency.  No wonder the contestants on Top Chef always get super critiqued if they make risotto. 


3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 - 1 cup oyster mushrooms
2 pinches of fine sea salt
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4-1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup mirin

"Bring 5 cups of water just to a boil in a saucepan.  Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet.  Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and stir until the mushrooms soften (this will happen quickly for oyster mushrooms).  Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute or until the leeks soften.  Add some water to the pan, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the vegetables become dry or start to stick to the pan.

If you are using fresh peas, blanch them for 1 minute in a small pot of boiling water, and then add them to the sauteed vegetables.  If using thawed frozen peas, just mix them straight into the sauteed vegetables.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and, when the onion begins to sizzle, add a dash of salt.  Saute until the onions soften, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the rice and toast the grains until they are opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and begin adding the warm water by ladlefuls, stirring it into the risotto, and adding more liquid only when the previous addition has been absorbed  After the rice has cooked for 20 minutes, season to taste with salt.  The total cooking time should be 25-30 minutes.  The risotto will be creamy, but the rice should retain some firmness.

Add the sauteed vegetable mixture to the risotto and stir together until hot.  Serve warm." 

Sicilian Collard Greens

This is from Alicia Silverstone's book The Kind Diet.  Collard greens are almost as hot as kale right now, so this is a great way to serve them. 

The only modification is that I didn't add garlic.  I didn't include it in these ingredients or directions.

1 bunch collard greens
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

"Use a sharp knife to cut out the central rib and stem from each collard leaf.  Rinse the leaves to a sink of coll water, lifting them into a colander to drain a bit (you want some water to remain on the leaves).

Toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes or until golden.  Shake the pan often to keep the pine nuts from burning.  Transfer to a plate, and set aside."

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.

"Add the damp collards and stir, then cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Add the raisins and pine nuts, and stir.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cover, and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Potato Salad

 We weren't having a picnic, barbecue, or potluck -- typical places you might see potato salad -- but we really just wanted potato salad.  I've made this recipe several times before and it never fails.  It's from The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook and you can modify it as much as you want, but this time I followed it exactly.  Well, I did add carrots and cucumbers, but that was even suggested in the book as a helpful hint. 

Here you go.  I recommend you make this easy and delicious salad NOW.  Yummy.

(Courtesy Dr. McDougall)


2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions


1/2 cup fat-free [vegan] mayonnaise
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon rice milk
1 tablespoon parsley flakes (I didn't have these so I used Italian Seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon dill weed (I used fresh)
1/2 teaspoon salt (add more or less to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

"Place the potatoes in a pot wit water to cover.  Bring to a boil, cover and cook over medium heat until just tender, about 20 minutes.  (Don't let them get too soft.)

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the dressing in a bowl.  Set aside

When the potatoes are done, remove from heat and drain.  Add the onion, celery, and green onions.

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix well.  Serve warm or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving."

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mac and Cheese Florentine

I don't know what my deal with Mac and Cheese is, but for the past couple years, I just can't get enough of it.  Maybe it's because I finally figured out dairy-free ways to make this ultimate comfort food, because before the first time I made the vegan version about two years ago, I literally hadn't had Mac and Cheese since I was a kid.

This is actually a recipe from my vegetarian slow cooker book, but I made it in a regular casserole dish and baked it in the oven.

I'll go ahead and just put the original slow cooker recipe and directions in here, but these are my modifications:

I used whole wheat elbow pasta
I used fresh spinach instead of frozen (mainly because Sprouts didn't have ANY frozen spinach?!  I found that a little odd.)
I added four chopped and sauteed mushrooms.
I added 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and 1/2 cup vegan Daiya cheddar

Everything else is the same!

(Courtesy Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson)

8 ounces elbow macaroni
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, cooked according to package, well drained and set aside
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted raw cashews
1 3/4 cups water
One 15.5 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon white miso paste (optional)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1.  Cook the macaroni in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  Add the spinach and toss to combine.  Set aside.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, add the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

3.  Ground the cashews to a powder in a blender or food processor.  Add 1 cup of the water and blend until smooth.  Add the onion, beans, miso paste, if using, the remaining 3/4 cup water, the lemon juice, mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg and season with salt.  (The amount of salt you need depends on whether or not you use the miso paste, which tends to be salty.)  Blend until smooth, then taste to adjust the seasonings.  Pour the sauce over the macaroni and spinach and mix well.

4.  Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled 4-quart slow cooker.  Cove and cook on low for 3 hours.

5.  Close to serving time, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the bread crums, stirring to coat them with the oil.  Cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, 3-4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  When ready to serve, sprinkle the roasted crumbs on top of the casserole.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Potato-Mushroom Enchiladas

I have been telling Will we are having enchiladas almost every single night this week.  Stuff kept coming up and getting in the way, and I thought I'd never get to make my enchiladas.  Finally tonight we made and devoured enchiladas.

This is one of those recipes that's never the same any time you make it, but is always just as delicious.  In case you're interested, this is what I did this time:

(By the way, we were both so hungry for these enchiladas we forgot to take a picture.  See stock internet photo below.)


Olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped mini sweet peppers
1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped
1-5 large white mushrooms, sliced
1 can refried beans
2 tomatillos (canned)
8-10 jalapeno slices (canned)
1 cup spinach

12 corn tortillas
1 can Rosarita's enchilada sauce


Pre-heat over to 400.

Drizzle some oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Cook the onions and peppers until softened. 

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a separate pot for about 5 minutes, just before they get too soft.  Drain and set aside.

When the onions and peppers are soft, add the mushrooms.  Cover and cook for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are soft and exuding juices. 

Add beans, tomatillos and and jalapeno slices to pan and mix everything well.  Lower heat.  When ready to fill tortillas, add the spinach and stir until barely wilted.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds. 

Spread the bean mixture onto each tortilla, add a few chunks of the potato, roll and place into casserole dish. 

When all rolled tortillas are in casserole dish, generously spread the enchilada sauce over them.  Add Daiya Vegan Cheddar if you would like. 

Heat for 15 minutes or until vegan cheese is melted.