Sunday, May 1, 2016

Fried Plantains

Simple, fast and delicious, I like fried plantains for breakfast. Oatmeal is a nice accompaniment to fortify the meal further.

Just unpeel a fresh plantain, slice into quarter-inch-thick slices, and place into a pre-heated pan. I usually spray that pan with 100% canola oil before heating. 
Once the plantains are cooking, don't move them around. Sprinkle with cinnamon and some brown sugar if desired. Cook on medium for about a minute and flip over to cook the other side. Serve hot.

Veggie Sandwiches - Vegan Pesto with Lettuce and Green Tomatoes

This pesto was made vegan by eliminating the parmesan and using some nutritional yeast instead.


small bunch of fresh basil
1/4 cup cashews or pine nuts
1/2 tsp oil
2 tsps lemon juice
1 tblsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves of garlic, or to taste
salt and peper to taste

process all ingredients finely in a food processor or Vitamix

This is for a small batch because I grow the basil and don't usually have pounds of it on hand. The recipe easily scales up.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Pressing Tofu and Vegan Bahn Mi

The secret to making tofu (not the silken kind) is pressing it. I use this:

It's not difficult or very time consuming, you just put in the block of tofu and turn the knobs, then continuing turning the top piece down until it meets a lot of resistance - you really wanna get the water out of there but you don't want to destroy the tofu. I let it sit in the sink on it's side for about 15 minutes. After that, you have many options.

Marinating the tofu can give it great flavor, even in as simple a marinade as soy sauce alone, or balsamic vinegar with a little sugar or agave nectar.

If you want a quicker option, cut the tofu into small blocks, or slice it (about 1/4 inch thick), sprinkle it with salt and pepper and bake it - about ten minutes on each side for slices, or 15 minutes total for diced tofu, or fry it in a nonstick pan (or just add a little nonstick spray) or deep-fry in oil.

It's perfectly fine to eat the tofu at that point - it's actually pretty good just like that with a little ketchup or on a sandwich with some condiments. You can create a delicious bahn mi style sandwich with tofu cooked this way.

This is a simple sandwich with lettuce, vegan mayo, pickled carrots, cucumber and jalapeño slices and some delicious baked tofu slices:

Yet another option is to put the tofu in sauce and then bake it further. This takes a bit more time but really gives the tofu excellent flavor. I like to use barbecue sauce and bake it with some veggies. It's really good like that with carrots, white or sweet potatoes or even broccoli and cauliflower.
Tofu is truly an incredibly versatile ingredient, and when you also include the many things you can do with silken tofu, like adding it to smoothies or making mousse, the choices are endless,

Saturday, August 29, 2015


So easy and quick to make, I love bruschetta. Toast some bread - if you are in a hurry make it plain or brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with a mixture of dried herbs like oregano and/or basil, marjoram and parsley, salt and pepper, then toast.
Saute up your favorite diced veggies - any mixture of stuff like tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, shredded carrots, squash, zucchini, or other summer vegetables with garlic, salt and pepper (add more herbs if desired.) Top the toasty bread with the veggie mix. If you like cheese, vegan or otherwise, you can sprinkle some on top and toast again if you want.

Gingerbread Cupcakes

On the lighter side for gingerbread, one might intensify the flavor with even more ginger. These are tasty with a simple buttercream - made vegan with Earth Balance Margarine or just a dusting of powdered sugar.


3/4 cup of soy milk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tblsp ground flax

Combine in another bowl or large measuring cup

1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient in 3 batches, mixing until just combined after each batch. Pour batter into cupcake liners and bake at 350ºF for 19 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.


1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tblsp soy milk
1 tsp vanilla

Whip the butter in an electric mixture. Add confectioners sugar slowly. Scrape down sides several times, beating about 3 minutes total and scraping about once a minute. Add the liquid ingredients and beat another minute. Double the recipe if you like thick layers of icing!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Dried Chickpeas to Falafel

Soaking beans is easy and economical but requires advance planning. I usually start with dried beans, rinse them well and boil them (1 cup beans to about 3-4 cups water), then leave them sitting overnight.
At this point, the 'skins' on the garbanzo beans/chickpeas will become loose. You can rub them around and get most of the skins off pretty easily. I like to do this before I use the beans in a meal.

It's always good to rinse the beans after you soak them and discard the water. Then use a food processor to chop the beans up. Add the other ingredients:

3 cloves of garlic
1 shallot, diced - can sub chopped onion or dried onion
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fenugreek if available or dash of celery salt
2 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp cornstarch or flour
1/2 cup fresh parsley or 2 tblsp dried
salt and pepper to taste

Form the mixture into balls, and fry the balls after heating about 2 inches of oil or a deep fryer to 350ºF . Don't crowd the balls and fry in batches if necessary. Cooking time is a few minutes, so watch carefully and turn if necessary but don't agitate too much.

Serve over salad with lettuce, tomato and cucumber or on pita or french bread with your favorite toppings like shredded carrot or sliced tomatoes and feta cheese. Falafel also tastes good with plain or minty yogurt and tahini.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Boston Cream Cake Pie from “Vegan Pie in the Sky” by Terry Hope Romero and Isa Chandra Moskowitz

This was a complicated bake, but I thought it was totally worth it. These are my results. I thought the pie looked and tasted delicious. Recipe can be found in their cookbook or at the end of the article here:
NY Daily News with Terry Hope Romero

Ultimately, I liked their Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World book the most in their baking series. I think Pie in the Sky was my second favorite, as I found the recipes to not be quite as consistent as the ones in Cupcakes. All said, they are all worthy additions to any vegan's cookbook set.