Vegan

It’s Rhubarb Bar Time!

It’s Rhubarb Bar Time!

These crunchy, luscious bars are packed with oats and nuts and rhubarb, making them a very respectable snack or light meal. I like to wrap a few in waxed paper to take along when I’m working or on the go.

Roasted Broccolini with Shallots: a Perfect Side

Roasted Broccolini with Shallots: a Perfect Side

Broccolini, it’s broccoli, but better.There, I said it. Better. Broccoli is wonderful, but when you cross it with Gai Lan, it is even better. I hope broccoli won’t take it personally, but for the moment, I’m smitten with broccoli’s child. Roasted, of course.

Easy Curried Chickpeas and Vegetables

Easy Curried Chickpeas and Vegetables

We’ve all been there, standing in the kitchen after a long day, thinking about ordering pizza. This dish can be whipped up in less time than it takes to have pizza delivered, and will deliver the vegetables and plant-based protein you need. I used romanesco and green beans, but you can use what you have on hand- this would be equally good with cabbage and carrots. Keep canned tomatoes and chickpeas on hand, and you are ready to make a meal.

The Best Vegan French Toast

The Best Vegan French Toast

Like many people, I grew up eating French toast. I think it was one of the first things my mom taught me to make. She liked to sleep in on the weekend, so teaching me a few breakfast dishes was a good way to keep me out of her hair on a Saturday. We had no inkling of how I’d eventually grow up to make eggless French toast, or how truly delicious it would be.

Long Life Lunar New Years Noodles with Tofu

Long Life Lunar New Years Noodles with Tofu

Let’s celebrate the Year of the Tiger! It’s Lunar New Year, celebrated in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia, as well as everywhere people who trace their origins to those places have landed. After two years of pandemic, worries, I think it’s fair to try a few lucky foods from Asian traditions. We can use all the Lunar New Year luck we can get!

Curry that Butternut Squash

Curry that Butternut Squash

The squash is perfect for “currying,” because it is already sweet and nutty. That natural sweetness is a perfect foil for balancing all the spices and a dash of lemon, for a dish that’s a riot of flavor. This is a perfect side for a big pot of Chole (spiced chickpeas) yellow rice or naan, or whatever your fave homemade Indian dish might be. Last week’s Tofu Saag comes to mind. It’s sweet and has just a bit of jalapeno heat, so it’s a good balance for a more chili-hot main course.

My Favorite Tofu Saag “Paneer”

My Favorite Tofu Saag “Paneer”

If you’ve ever had paneer, you may have noticed that the texture of it is pretty similar to tofu. It’s a fresh, non-melting cheese, made by adding and acid to milk so it will curdle, then draining the whey and pressing the cheese into a dense block. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost the same process used to make tofu.

Cauliflower Gratin, a French Classic

Cauliflower Gratin, a French Classic

In this gratin, we channel the wisdom of French chefs since time immemorial and whisk up a rich sauce, then blanket our cauliflower with it and run it under the broiler to give it a toasty browned top.

Spooky Squash Claws and Treats for Halloween! So Scary!

Spooky Squash Claws and Treats for Halloween! So Scary!

Look for the smallest Sweet Dumpling squashes so you can cut them into curved “claw” shapes, then roast to sweet tenderness. Use the black sesame seeds often sold in the sushi section at the store, to get a natural black color.

Thai Seitan-Radish Lettuce Cups, Fast and Tasty

Thai Seitan-Radish Lettuce Cups, Fast and Tasty

Lettuce Cups have it all. I used canned mock duck, but you can use other kinds of seitan, tempeh, tofu or mockmeats. If you’re looking for a lower carb meal, this is all the great Thai flavors you love, in a leaf of lettuce instead of over rice. You can avoid grains, if that is your thing, and shorten the cooking time, too. Thai Seitan Lettuce Cups are also great finger food for kids.

One-Pan Spaghetti with Chickpeas

One-Pan Spaghetti with Chickpeas

When I’m out in the world, teaching and speaking about food, I meet people who say they are too busy to cook. Life gets crazy, things pile up, and the next thing you know, you’re eating chips out of a bag, or picking up take-out. Either of those options will fill you up, but it’s probably not going to nourish you the way you deserve to be nourished. It is also a waste of money to eat take out, when you can make a meal for just a few bucks at home.That’s where this One-Pan Spaghetti with Chickpeas comes in. Grab a big pot and start sautéing half a chopped onion, and while it softens, chop some garlic, grate some lemon zest, halve grape tomatoes, chop a carrot. Don’t bother to put on a pot of water to cook the spaghetti-it’s going to cook in the pot with the veggies!

Make a Pure Plant Smoky TLT Sandwich

Make a Pure Plant Smoky TLT Sandwich

We start with a mushroom, a plant famed for its umami chemicals. Umami, according to this article in Science Direct.com, is the meatiness caused by the presence of sodium salts of glutamic and aspartic amino acids and 5′-nucleotides. What that means is that mushrooms have an extra chemical punch when you eat them, that makes your brain perceive them as more “meaty” and satisfying. Then, we add another umami star, smoke.

Plant Based Smoky “Lox” and “Cream Cheese” Bagels!

Plant Based Smoky “Lox” and “Cream Cheese” Bagels!

The brilliance of carrot “lox” is that it uses the natural color of the carrot and a few simple ingredients to make a silky, smoky bagel topper that really does make you think of lox. The cashew cream cheese helps to support the allusion, giving you that combination of creamy, rich cheesiness under the lox-flavored carrots. It’s really a stunning combination. The capers, red onions and cucumbers also serve to reinforce the feeling that you are really eating a lox and cream cheese bagel at a deli, in the most delightful way.

Make Spicy “Tuna” Maki, Plant Based

Make Spicy “Tuna” Maki, Plant Based

Do You Love Sushi?
If you follow my instagram, you have probably noticed that I have been teaching sushi classes for many years. In fact, sushi is one of my great loves, and I respect the traditions. I also can’t stop myself from occasionally making a completely untraditional riff on sushi. So it’s out of love that I took a popular roll, the Spicy Tuna Roll, and made a plant based version. Instead of fish, I made watermelon tuna.

Veggie and Tofu Skewers with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

Veggie and Tofu Skewers with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

This Minnesota summer has seen a long, hot spell combined with a drought. Every day, we water and cross our fingers that it might rain a little, soon. It’s also way too hot to do any kind of baking. That’s the perfect time to use that grill to your advantage. I embrace the heat, and make grilled vegetables and tofu.
Of course, it is zucchini season, so you might well have an overload of zukes that shouldn’t go to waste. This method is a showy, fun way to put them to use. The first thing you need is a delicious sauce. I stirred up an easy, no-cook peanut-hoisin sauce in a flash. Then The veggies. I did blanch the brussels sprouts for one minute, just to help them cook through on the grill without drying out. The tofu got a sprinkle of tamari and sesame oil for a bit of flavor beneath the sauce. But the fun piece is the weaving of zucchini ribbons onto the skewers. Watch the video, for a quick demo. You’ll need a mandoline or a chop top box to slice the zucchini evenly and thinly.

Tostadas and Salsa-All On the Grill!

Tostadas and Salsa-All On the Grill!

Mealtess Grilling is the Best! In this recipe, I grill the tomatoes, corn and hot peppers, for a bit of charred flavor in the salsa. The heat sweetens the corn, giving it a bit of caramelization as it cooks. My skewered grape tomatoes become soft and juicy, as their skins blister and blacken. Two hot chilies mellow and become friendly, and it is easy to slip the skin away, if you choose to do so.
The real fun starts when you grill fresh chips and tostada shells. Instead of buying a bag of tortillas, serving tacos once or twice, then watching them languish in the fridge, I now make them into grilled chips and shells. No need to heat a pot of oil to deep fry your tortillas, when the grill will make them into crispy chips in a couple of minutes.

Purslane and Glazed Tofu Summer Rolls, Eat Your Weeds

Purslane and Glazed Tofu Summer Rolls, Eat Your Weeds

You’ve probably seen purslane, growing out of cracks in the sidewalk, or filling in between the rows in your garden. I know I’ve yanked out bushels of the stuff, over the years. It took me a while to figure out that the vigorous “weed” was actually very valuable. You see, as vegetarians, we should be farming this stuff, and eating more of it than spinach.

Lighten Up with Cantaloupe Kanten

Lighten Up with Cantaloupe Kanten

I usually steer clear of talking about weight loss. There are plenty of people hyping products and pitching miracle weight loss foods. That’s not my thing at all- I believe in eating a balanced diet of real, whole foods. But yes, sometimes I get out of balance and start adding on a pound or two. That is when I steer toward foods that are filling but lower in calories. This Cantaloupe and Raspberry Kanten is a perfect snack or dessert for those moments.

Creamy Fudgesicles, a Summertime Favorite

Creamy Fudgesicles, a Summertime Favorite

Lately, I’ve been hearing that faraway chime that quickens my heart, although it’s been years since I bought anything from the ice cream truck. The repetitive tune is Proustian, striking a spot in my brain that connects it to lazy summer afternoons of long ago. Those endless, nowhere-to-be and nothing-important-to-do kinds of days were made extra special by the arrival of the “Jingle Skoot” truck, with icy sweet confections for a few pieces of change. Like Fudgesicles.

Moroccan Chickpea B’Stilla-Sweet, Savory and Showy

Moroccan Chickpea B’Stilla-Sweet, Savory and Showy

Moroccan food is a treasure trove of plant based flavors. Their traditional dishes, like tagine, are usually graced with plenty of vegetables, spices, sweet and tart balance, and fresh herbs. When I visit Moroccan restaurants, though, the vegetarian tagine is usually pretty bland, while the meat based dishes get all the attention. That is why I like to make my own versions of Moroccan food, and borrow the combinations from the meaty recipes and use them to make spectacularly tasty plant based dishes.
Like this Moroccan B’Stilla. Based on a pie usually made with poultry, this one is packed with dried fruit, spices, chickpeas, almonds, and a hit of coconut milk and lemon. Instead of the hard-to-find Brik pastry, I used easy to get filo dough, and basted it with refined coconut oil instead of butter. The result is a gorgeous, bronzed ruffle of crisp filo, encasing an intense, sweet-savory filling.

Cheezy Nachos with Raspberry Avocado Salsa

Cheezy Nachos with Raspberry Avocado Salsa

Nachos! Everybody loves them, whether you get them in a Mexican restaurant, at a ball game, or make them in the microwave after a night of drinking. The combination of crunchy chips and creamy melted cheese, with a liberal embellishment of spice and salsa has all the elements that bring us back again and again. Luckily for the plant-based eaters, I’ve got a vegan nacho sauce that hits all the right notes to satisfy your nacho needs. Then we’ll shake it up a little with tangy Raspberry and Avocado Salsa, for a party in your mouth!

Blue Butterfly Pea Rice with Veggies and Satay Sauce

Blue Butterfly Pea Rice with Veggies and Satay Sauce

Don’t adjust your set, yes, the rice is blue. If you are bored with the usual rice alongside your Thai meal, here’s a colorful, healthful way to shake it up. Blue Butterfly Pea flowers are a traditional ingredient in South East Asia, and are used to make a beautiful tea, lemonade, cocktails, and yes, blue tinted rice. There’s nothing artificial about it, just brilliant blue flowers that are full of antioxidants.

Chickpea and Pecan Pesto Calzones

Chickpea and Pecan Pesto Calzones

Everybody loves calzones! These plant based calzones are packed with nutty chickpeas and pecan pesto, and wrapped in whole grain dough. Engineered to be as easy as possible, this recipe gives you a no-knead pizza dough as well as the simple calzones, made with canned chickpeas. Super tasty vegan Italian food!

The Buddha Bowl; A Mindful Meal

The Buddha Bowl; A Mindful Meal

When you make a true Buddha Bowl, you are making nourishing food, above all. But I like to add an element of mindfulness to the assembly and eating of the bowl, too. Take a moment to center yourself and breathe before you start cooking. Take a moment to look at your gorgeous ingredients and think about all the people who grew them, harvested them, and transported them to you. It may seem like a simple beet or bunch of kale, but it’s the result of many hands and hearts. Let yourself feel gratitude for all the people and all the energy that went into your meal. Be grateful to be here, able to have all this, right now.

Craving Creamy? Avocado Ice Cream and Pasta!

Craving Creamy? Avocado Ice Cream and Pasta!

Craving Creamy?Avocados Hit the Spot!
If you’ve been eating a low-fat diet, or have just gone plant-based, you may find yourself craving high-fat foods. Research shows that we are hard-wired to seek out fat. The best way to stay in balance is to eat the kinds of healthy fats that are in avocados and extra virgin olive oil. Even if you aren’t eating low-fat, we all find creamy foods pleasurable and comforting to eat. Why fight it?

Jane Goodall Wants You to Eat Meat Less

Jane Goodall Wants You to Eat Meat Less

For Earth Day, it’s time to take a look at your impact on the Earth. Recycling, driving and flying less, and planting pollinator gardens are all good places to start. But if you want to have a powerful impact on the health of the planet, the lives of animals, and more, you might want to eat more plants. That’s the underlying message of the new book Eat Meat Less, from the Jane Goodall Institute.

Make Jamaican Rundown

Make Jamaican Rundown

Jamaica is home to I-Tal cuisine, the plant-based cooking of the Rastafarian religion. It’s also a Tropical paradise.
After researching the dish we know as rundown, I learned that it is actually a method borrowed from Indonesian sailors who traveled to the “Spice Islands” on their travels. In Indonesian cuisine, a “Rendang” is a dish simmered in coconut milk. The theory is that Jamaicans learned the method and colloquialized the name. So, it’s not about “running down” the vegetables at all. It’s about using the abundant coconuts of the Tropics to make delectable plant-based food.

Sticky Tofu and Noodles, with Cucumber Salad

Sticky Tofu and Noodles, with Cucumber Salad

I’d like to have a round of applause for the cook, long lost to history, who first combined saucy tofu with a nest of tender noodles. There are few things so simple and yet so sophisticated at the same time. These sticky sweet tofu cubes tossed with whole wheat linguine are crushably delectable, and only take minutes to prepare.

Yes, You Can Make Sushi Handrolls

Yes, You Can Make Sushi Handrolls

Are you intimidated by sushi? Maybe you pick up veggie sushi at the deli, where it seems like something way too hard to make at home. The plant based sushi options are limited to a few cucumber rolls at most places, and always white rice. Well, I promise you, you can make these pretty, veggie-packed, whole grain-enriched handrolls, and you don’t need any special equipment. Just a pot, a cutting board, and your hands.

Big.Fat.Burritos.

Big.Fat.Burritos.

Big Fat Burritos Rule. Something about rolling the whole meal into a bundle that you can hold in your hands makes the big burrito an ideal food delivery system. A truly epic burrito layers in complementary flavors and textures, to make each bite exciting. My Big Fat Burrito delivers a riot of flavors in every mouthful.
And you don’t need a fork.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Big burritos are big business, and places like Chipotle crank out millions of them every day. It’s easy to skip the takeout line, and make your own burritos. At home, you can stuff them with tender roasted veggies, quinoa and avocado.