Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mexican Eggplant

Like eggplant?  I do!  Over the weekend I made this cheesy casserole and it was quite tasty (well, what I actually got to taste since Jeff ate most of it). 

2 eggplants
olive oil
bunch cilantro
enchilada sauce
tomato sauce
cheese (I like Daiya vegan Mexican)
lime juice

1.  Wash & cut eggplant into 1/4" rounds. 

2.  Place rounds on broiler pan, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper.  Broil 8 minutes on each side, or until slightly golden.

3.  Prepare sauce:  Mix 2 cups tomato sauce with 1 c enchilada sauce.  Add a tsp cumin and 2TB lime juice.  Set aside.

Notice the heart-shaped spoon.  These measuring spoons were given to me as a "just because" gift from my dear friend Sandra.

4.  Spread a layer of sauce at the bottom of a 3 qt casserole.  Layer rounds on top.  Sprinkle cheese & chopped cilantro on top.  Repeat with a second layer.

5.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Martha Stewart Mac & Cheese Veganized

I made this last night and adapted this recipe:

Martha Stewart's Mac & Cheese Recipe

I used Daiya brand mozarella cheese substitute.  It turned out rather nice--but I would make one modification:  don't use the nutmeg.  Sorry Martha, but it doesn't really add anything to the recipe and I think it interferes with the cheese flavor rather than enhance it. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

BBQ Pineapple "Chicken" Casserole

Make this!  It's good & fast--and a husband favorite in our house.  I made my own homemade BBQ sauce because I like to adjust the flavor and make it healthier, but a bottled sauce works too if you're short on time.  This took me 10 minutes to make, even making the sauce.


6 Boca Chicken Style patties
1/2 green pepper, chopped
3/4 can of pineapple
16 oz BBQ sauce
4 potatoes, cut into thin rounds

What You Do:

1.  Grease a casserole dish.
2.  Chop pepper and potatoes.
3.  Place frozen patties in dish.
4.  Spread potatoes, pineapple, and green pepper on top.
5.  Pour BBQ sauce over top and all of the pineapple juice.
6.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 450 for 1hr 20 mins.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Smoked Black Bean & Cilantro Lime Rice Burritos

I ordered this burrito at Chipotle Mexican Grill for the first time a few months ago.  It was delicious!  I have been thinking about that burrito for a while and decided to try to see if I might be able to replicate the flavor in my own kitchen.  I doubted my palate memory from months ago, but I purchased all the ingredients that I remember tasting in that burrito--and I didn't do too bad!

I love really fresh, really simple food.  Each of the components of this burrito had to taste just right--the guacamole, the tortillas, the beans, and the rice.  As always, my dog Comet accompanies me stoveside to wait for any dropped morsel.  Anway, the first thing I had to make was guacamole.


2 avocados
2 limes, juiced
1/4 tsp sea salt
Sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
3-4 TB chopped fresh cilantro

1.  Mash everything in a bowl until combined.

Next, I made the rice.

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 c white rice (you could use brown, but the white is more flavor neutral to let the other flavors shine through)
2 limes, juiced
Sea salt
3 TB chopped cilantro

1.  Cook rice.  Remove from heat.
2.  Toss in other ingredients & stir.
My rice turned out a little sticky, but I found that it kept the grains together for easier burrito assembly.

Smoked Black Beans

3 cans black beans or dried equivalent
Liquid Smoke
Olive oil

1.  Heat olive oil on medium low.  I was happy to do this tonight because I got to try out my new diamond shaped oil cruet:

2.  Add beans.
3.  Start with the liquid smoke and addto taste, little by little until you get the smokiness you like.  I used about 3 tsp.
4.  Add other seasonings to taste.  I probably added 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.


If you've never cooked with these before, you need to soften them up a bit in a pam.  Heat a pan on medium.  Toss one into the pan for 10 seconds and flip for another 10.  I usually prepare all of the tortillas at once and then assemble the burritos together. You don't even need a tortilla though.  The filling tastes great mixed together in a bowl.  Comet, however, LOVES tortillas, and being the spoiled mutt that he is always receives one.  He even manages to catch them when tossed even though his glaucoma has left him mostly blind.

Assembling Your Burrito

1.  Smear one side of a tortilla with guacamole.
2.  Add a stripe of beans.
3.  Add a stripe of rice.

4.  Starting from the top, fold a small flap on one end to create the fold that keeps the filling inside.

5.  Repeat with the other side.

6.  Take the side with the fillings and roll it over.  Keep the fillings tightly inside the roll to seal them in.

7.  Flip the free side over top of the filling side.

Then, you can plate them anyway you like.  I cut one in half so the filling was visible and garnished with cilantro.

I wouldn't cover these with tomato salsa because I think that would overpower the wonderful fresh taste these have.  I love the earthiness of the smoked flavor mingling with the brightness of the fresh cilantro, the creamy spiciness of the guac, and the tartness of the lime juice.  These are so easy! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Linguine With Mushroom Sauce

Linguine With Mushroom Sauce

1.  Prepare 1 lb. linguine.

2.  In a skillet saute mushrooms in vegan butter and season with salt and pepper. 

3.  Add fresh chopped parsley.  Set aside.

4.  In LG pan add 2 c faux beef broth.  Add oregano & a small amount soy sauce to taste and for a bit of color. 
5.  Thicken with 3 TB corn starch dissolved in 1/4 c cold water. 

6.  Add sauce and mushrooms to pasta.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Curried Potatoes & Veggies

Today felt like Fall for the first time this season--cold rain, dropping temperatures, and feeling under the weather prompted me to make this simple, satisfying curry comfort food.  It's amazing how the savory curry aroma brings people into the kitchen.

1 lb potatoes, peeled & sliced into wedges
1 lb cauliflower
2 c frozen peas
2 carrots sliced into diagonal coins
1 small onion or flaked equivalent
2 garlic cloves or granulated equivalent
2.5 TB curry powder
3 TB olive oil
1/2 TB sea salt
2 tsp lemon juice

1.  Boil salted water.  Add potatoes and cook for about 10 mins, or until almost tender.

2.  Add carrots and cauliflower. 

3.  While veggies are cooking preheat a large pan on low medium.  Add oil, onion, garlic, curry.  Keep the pan on low because singed garlic STINKS and your kitchen will hold onto that smell forever (trust me, I've been there!).   

3.  When the carrots are almost tender add peas & remove from heat.  Drain. 

4.  Add veggies to pot.  Add about a cup of water to help the seasonings adhere to your veggies (not too much or it will get soupy, so just add a little at a time).  Season with salt and lemon juice, stir to combine. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cream of Celery Soup & Garlic Crisps

The weather is getting more crisp and Autumn-like already, and nothing is more comforting than a delicious, creamy soup.  Several years ago I started perfecting my recipe for a classic favorite that my mom used to make for me:  Cream of Celery soup.  It's easy, too--the hardest part is chopping the celery because you have to watch your fingers LOL.

The great thing about this soup is that it is great as itself, and also as an ingredient in many casseroles.  You'll never have to eat those nasty canned soups again!  I don't even consider those food.  I always triple this recipe and freeze multiple portions for casseroles.

Cindy's Cream of Celery Soup
8 stalks of celery, chopped
Vegan margarine (Smart Balance Light is great)
8 c water
8 c vegan stock
1 TB dried minced onion or fresh equivalent
3 c soy or almond milk
Salt & pepper to taste

1.  Rinse & chop celery into small cubes. 

2.  Saute celery and onion in 3-4 TB and a few splashes of stock margarine until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside. 

3.  Add water & remainder of stock to a seperate stock pot.

4.  In batches, blend celery mixture in blender with enough of the soymilk to cream the celery.  Add to pot.

5.  Bring soup to a low boil and whisk in flour 2 TB at a time until you reach the desired thickness.  Taste it often and season accordingly.  Reduce heat to a simmer and serve.

Garlic Crisps

I served this soup with basil garlic crisps.  These take 5 minutes to make and 10 to bake.  They are the perfect crunchy accompaniment to any soup (if you can keep your significant other from eating them ALL before soup is served.  Yes, Jeff I am talking about YOU!).

1.  Slice a vegan sub roll.  
2.  Slathered it with vegan margarine & place on cookie sheet. 
3.  Sprinkled it with granulated garlic and basil. 
4.  Baked at 375 until golden (about 12  minutes).