Archive for dinner

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Sesame Noodle Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is so delicious and so fun because it is very versatile. I know lots of people eat it with spaghetti sauce, and I love it steamed just with salt and pepper, but because I like to try new ideas, I saw a version of this and knew it would be good. I love the sesame flavor, but don’t really need the calories of the pasta noodles that usually come along with a sesame dish, so the spaghetti squash is such a fabulous substitute in this recipe. The green onions, edamame, and toasted sesame seeds really add to this. Next time I might experiment with adding more vegetables. If you have spaghetti squash already cooked, this is a super fast and easy dish to put together.

Sesame Noodle Spaghetti Squash

1/2 of a large spaghetti squash, cooked (either sliced and steamed or baked whole and then seeds removed)

2 tsp. grated ginger

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. sesame oil

3 tbsp. tamari (soy sauce will work too)

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

1/2 cup steamed edamame

Optional ingredients

1 tsp. hot chili oil


1 tsp. siriacha sauce

Gather the cooked spaghetti squash into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, tamari, rice vinegar, and the sesame oil. Add the chili oil or siriacha sauce if desired. Pour this over the squash and stir gently until well combined. Top with the green onions, sesame seeds, and edamame. Serve hot!

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

sundried risotto small adjusted

Risotto has been a family favorite for years. We usually make a yummy mushroom risotto, but with all the fresh basil from our garden, we decided to try a new recipe. This recipe calls for parsley, which we did not have and it also calls for cheese on top, which we skipped to make it vegan. We also used less oil. This was delicious and was made by my son. He did a great job and only had a little help from my husband, who is the one that usually makes risotto. This is great with a side of greens.

Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

1 onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. arborio rice

6 c. vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

1/2 c. chopped fresh basil

We use a stainless steel skillet for risotto. Heat up the pan to medium high and add the oil and then the onion. Saute til it is softened and then add the garlic. Stir for one minute and then add the rice. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the rice just barely starts to turn brown.

Then add 1 cup of the broth and the salt and pepper and stir and cook until the broth is mostly absorbed. Then add another cup of the broth, along with the tomatoes and basil. Cook again until the broth is absorbed and then continue on adding broth one cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the broth is absorbed each time, until the rice is cooked. Enjoy this hot!


Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

spinach black bean enchilada small

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients and if you are like me, you can use up food in your refrigerator that is on the verge of going bad. I had made some super yummy cilantro cream (I will post this super easy recipe tomorrow) and my husband had made some fresh salsa for some tacos a few nights ago, and I really wanted to use them again, and I also had some spinach that needed to be used, so I came up this idea to make enchiladas. I have only rarely made enchiladas, but I thought that I would try something different that I knew my kids would love. And it worked. This recipe was a hit. That is why this recipe is really large, so pare it down a little if you are not feeding a herd of teenagers.

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

2 tsp. grapeseed oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 c. sliced mushrooms

2-3 c. brown rice, cooked

3 cans black beans, rinsed

5-6 c. spinach, coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

green enchilada sauce (I used Hatch Green Chili Enchilada Sauce)

tortillas of choice

non-dairy cheese (I used Daiya)

In a large cast iron pan, heat up the grapeseed oil to medium high and add the onion. Cook and stir occasionally til softened and then add the garlic. Cook for one minute and add the cumin and chili powder and stir for one more minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are softened as well. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted and then add the rice and beans and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook just til nice and hot. Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees and pan spray a glass pan. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the glass pan until there is a thin layer in the bottom. Spoon two big helpings of the filling onto a tortilla and fold the ends and wrap up the sides. Place in the glass pan and work through the tortillas until all the filling is gone. Pour more of the enchilada sauce over all the enchiladas and sprinkle grated non-dairy cheese over the top. Cover with foil and place in oven to cook for 40-50 minutes. I served this with the cilantro cream sauce and fresh salsa and these enchiladas disappeared quick. Other great garnishes include, avocados, tomatoes, peppers, olives. Enjoy hot!




Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

barley spinach salad w:o auto small

This is the second time that I have posted this recipe since I lost it the first time. I love this sooo much, I had to write it again for you all. My friend found this recipe, a long time ago, and gave it to me. The original is here. It is not vegan, so I worked on it a little bit and now I am a little addicted to this stuff. The barley could be exchanged with another hearty grain, like brown rice, but I love the chewy texture of barley, so I never mess with that part. The dressing has tofu that I squish with my hand into the tomato mixture and after stirring it into the salad, it looks like feta cheese. This combination is very satisfying and filling, so you don’t have to rely on another dish to supplement your meal. It is delicious!

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

1 c. pearl barley

3 c. vegetable broth

6-8 thyme sprigs

4 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. olive oil

5 c. baby portabella mushrooms, quartered  (the original recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, but baby bellas are my favorite)

4 shallots, thinly sliced

8-10 c. fresh spinach, chopped coarsely

1/3 c. basil leaves, chopped

1/4 c. mint leaves, chopped

1/4 c. sherry vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half

8 oz. firm tofu, drained and crumbled

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add about a 1/4 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low and cover and cook about 25 minutes, or until the barley is tender. I let it sit in the remaining broth, if there is any, covered, while preparing the next part.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of the oil and add the mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste and cook over high heat until lightly browned. I had a lot of juice in the pan, so I drained it just a little, leaving about half. Add the shallots and cook until softened. This all only takes about 5-7 minutes. Now combine the barley and the mushroom shallot combination in a large bowl. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but don’t stir it together yet.

I use the same skillet and add the remaining olive oil, heating up to medium high. Add the leftover garlic and cook until just softened. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are cooked through. Add the crumbled tofu and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until heated through. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator for a cold salad. Yummy either way!

tomato tofu dressing small


Monday, August 12th, 2013

Fresh Herb Zucchini Pizza

zucchini pizza small

I have been away for a few days. Just trying to squeeze in a little more fun before my kids go back to school in less than two weeks. I am not looking forward to the stress. But, I do have a great recipe to share today. I love this time of year, when the garden is ready to harvest and every meal is full of garden fresh ingredients. We have been making this pizza for a long time. It originated from Moosewood years ago. It has evolved of course, but the key ingredients of fresh herbs and garden fresh zucchini on this pizza make it soooo delicious! The preparations involve broiling the zucchini mixture before putting it on the pizza, to avoid a watery mess on your dough. We have tried it without broiling it and it just makes the crust too soggy. So while the pizza dough is rising, prepare the zucchini and it won’t create any waiting to put the whole thing in the oven.

Fresh Herb Zucchini Pizza

Pizza dough for one pizza

2 tsp. olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, minced

1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced

1 tbsp. fresh basil, minced

salt and pepper to taste

5 c. zucchini, sliced thin

While your pizza dough is rising, prepare the following. Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper.  Stir and then add the zucchini and stir until everything is well combined. Place this mixture on a baking sheet and broil for about 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. You will notice that the zucchini will have lost some of its water content, which is what you want. Change the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Now roll out the pizza dough and put it on a baking pan, or pizza pan. Put all the zucchini mixture on the dough. Spread it around evenly and put it in the oven to bake for about 12 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. This is delicious hot, but don’t burn your mouth on the hot zucchini!

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Vegan Panini Sandwiches

panini side 3

Panini sandwiches have always looked so tasty, but also very fattening. Not that the cheese and meat looked good, but the whole idea of grilled sandwiches  just sounds yummy.This last weekend I decided to try to make a vegan panini. They turned out really rich and super delicious, and not low cal, but compared to the cheese and meat alternative, it is more healthy. This is not hard to make. Gathering the ingredients may take some effort, but not too much, and the results are fantastic.

Vegan Panini Sandwich

crusty Bread of your choice

vegan cheese of your choice, I used Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

vegan pesto

roasted red peppers

seitan, chopped and lightly sauteed

tempeh, chopped and lightly sauteed

panini grill or heavy bottom pan, I used cast iron.

Slice two pieces of crusty bread and spread the grated vegan cheese lightly over open faces. Microwave for about 30 sec. just until the cheese starts to melt. Spread vegan pesto over the face of one slice of bread, covering the cheese. Cut the roasted peppers into strips and lay those over the pesto. Take pieces of seitan and tempeh and lay them over the peppers in a single layer. Now put the pieces of bread together. Heat up the panini grill, or use a cast iron pan like I did. Heat it up to medium high and spray it with pan spray. Lay the sandwich in the pan and put another pan on top of it. I used another cast iron pan. Watch the sandwich closely and after about 3-5 minutes, check the bottom and see if it is golden brown. If it is browned, turn it over very gently and cook the other side until it is also golden brown. This is so yummy! Eat it hot!

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Tomato Basil Pizza

tomato basil pizza sm

This is the easiest pizza to make ever! This time of year with fresh tomatoes and basil available, if you don’t have your own from your garden, it is also the tastiest. We look forward to eating this all winter long. The part that takes the most time, is getting the pizza dough ready. The best recipe is the one I posted last. Once that is prepped, you can have Tomato Basil Pizza in just a few minutes.

Tomato Basil Pizza

1 pizza dough shaped and ready for baking on pan of choice

olive oil for brushing on pizza crust before baking, about 1 tsp.

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely

2 large tomatoes cut into slices, or a handful of grape tomatoes cut in half.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush olive oil on the shaped pizza dough and spread the chopped garlic evenly around on top. I sort of push it into the dough so it bakes into the crust. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. As soon as you take this out of the oven, top with the fresh sliced tomatoes and then sprinkle the chopped basil on top of the tomatoes. That is it! Eat it hot out of the oven!


Monday, July 29th, 2013

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

I have tried lots of homemade pizza crust recipes over the years. For a long time I used the Moosewood recipe and then I wanted it to be easier, so I tried a recipe that used a food processor. I wasn’t really satisfied because I wanted the perfect texture of chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. The best pizza crust usually resulted from using a pizza stone, which broke recently. So I have been trying to perfect a recipe with the desired results without the stone. This recipe was inspired by this one. I changed it slightly by using honey instead of sugar and making a larger batch with a little more olive oil. It also uses whole wheat flour with some all-purpose flour. It has worked beautifully. You do have to knead it instead of using the food processor, but it is well worth the result. This recipe makes three medium large pizzas, which is great for my gang of teenagers, or if you want to have leftovers, but you can scale it down for a smaller crowd. Next I will post about some delicious toppings we have loved lately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

3 c. warm water

1 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp. yeast

2 tbsp. olive oil

4 c. whole wheat flour

2 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. all-purpose flour (for kneading)

In a large bowl measure the 3 c. of warm water and mix the honey into it until it is dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast over the water mixture and let stand and get frothy for about 10 minutes. If some of the yeast does not disappear into the water, don’t worry about it. Add the olive oil and mix it gently. Now add the flour a little at a time, mixing it in as you go until it gets too hard for a whisk and then use your hands. Knead the dough, adding the 4 c. whole wheat flour and the 2 c. all-purpose flour. Put the 3/4 c. all-purpose flour on a flat surface and add the dough and knead it for about 10 minutes, absorbing the flour as you go, until it is smooth and elastic. You may not use all the flour, and that is okay. Put about 1 more tsp. olive oil in the bowl and use it to cover the ball of dough  so it won’t stick while rising. Cover the bowl and let it rise until it doubled. Punch down the dough and divide it into three sections and knead it into a ball and let it rise again for about 30 minutes. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 450 degrees. I used pan spray to prepare the cookie sheets that I used. Take one ball of dough and pinch it into shape right onto the pan. The sizes I used were about   9 x 13. Let it rise again for about 10 minutes and then put the toppings on and put the pan in the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Eat hot!

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Cauliflower Barley Red Pepper Salad

cauliflower barley salad small

Its another summer salad recipe! I had never thought of putting cauliflower in my food processor until I saw it done for this recipe. When you put cauliflower in your food processor in small amounts, it turns into something that looks like a mix between feta cheese and couscous. The reason for processing small amounts at a time is to limit the liquid released from the cauliflower. I changed the original recipe a lot, but the cauliflower idea got me thinking of all these great possibilities. The barley in the recipe really hides, but the great nutty flavor and chewy texture are a great match to the rest of the ingredients. That same original recipe also has a great dressing that I only changed slightly by adding a little more pure maple syrup.

Cauliflower Barley Red Pepper Salad

1/2 large cauliflower

2 1/2 c. cooked and cooled pearl barley

3/4 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. red pepper, chopped

3/4 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. toasted sunflower seeds for garnish


1/3 c. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. flax seed oil, or olive oil

1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Start by grating the cauliflower by using a cheese grater attachment on a food processor, or grating it by hand. Put this in a large bowl and add the cooked and cooled barley, celery, red pepper, and cilantro. Mix this well. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Pour this over the cauliflower mixture and stir until well combined. I put this in the refrigerator for about one hour to chill everything before serving.  Scoop a spoonful onto your plate and top with the toasted sunflower seeds. Enjoy!


Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Tempeh with Curried Cashew Sauce

tempeh cashew curry small 2

I have been looking to try something new with tempeh lately. I started to look for inspiration and came across this recipe. This original recipe serves two people, so I made the portions bigger and replaced the dairy products. I served it on a spoonful of short grain brown rice with steamed carrots and sweet potatoes on the side. The garnish of chopped cilantro on top was the perfect finishing touch. It turned out delicious!

Tempeh with Curried Cashew Sauce

4 tbsp. rice vinegar

4 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2  8 oz. pkg. tempeh cut into 1/2 inch cubes  (I used Litelife  Three Grain)


2 tsp. olive oil

1/3 c. raw cashews (I used cashew pieces)

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 tsp. curry powder

3/4 c. almond milk (other nut milks would work fine here)

1/3 c. warm water

1/4 tsp. salt

handful chopped cilantro

Begin by mixing the first five ingredients together in a medium bowl. This is the marinade for the tempeh. Add the tempeh and let it stand for at least five minutes. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and pour in the tempeh, marinade and all. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium and stir and cook until the juice is gone. This does not take long, maybe 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and set aside while you make the cashew sauce. Begin this by heating up the olive oil in a cast iron pan to medium high heat and adding the cashews. Toast them until they are lightly brown. This happens fast, so don’t let them burn! Add the onion and cook until it is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder and garlic and stir while cooking for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the milk. Pour this mixture into a food processor and add the water and salt and puree until it is smooth. Now get a bowl of rice and add the tempeh, sauce and top with the cilantro. It was delicious with steamed sweet potatoes and carrots.