Archive for the ‘Vegan Friendly’ Category

OK, folks, I’m back! I’m going to start out slow and post the simplest recipes I can think of that I keep making each week.

Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon


  • Kale (any kind will do – you can use whatever looks best or whatever comes in your veggie box)
  • Lemon (Meyer is the nicest, but any kind will work)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

As you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare your kale: I tear it off of the stalk as I rinse it, and then place it in a dish pan. Sometimes I rinse it again, depending on how dirty it is.

When the water has come to a rolling boil, add salt (about like you would for a pot of pasta) and then put the kale in. I just bring the water back to a boil and then drain the kale in a colander, so basically I guess that is blanching.

Place the hot kale into a large bowl, and then squeeze lemon and drizzle olive oil over the top. Serve warm or cold. The lemon will discolor the kale, which is unfortunate, but it still tastes good.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower

Until recently, I thought cauliflower was kind of a nothing vegetable that you gave squeamish kids who only eat white food and are afraid of broccoli, but then I learned that it’s actually good for you and it can even be delicious!


  • Cauliflower
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, freshly ground


Preheat oven to 400 and place rack on the bottom.

With stem side up, remove all of the leaves from the cauliflower – I use a paring knife and score them, then break them off. Cut about 1/4 of an inch off of the dried up end of the stem. Following the line of the stem, cut the florets off of each side, and then cut the middle part into three “steaks.”

Place cauliflower in a cast iron skillet or baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. For best results, make sure your pan is large enough to spread out all of the cauliflower along the bottom so that everyone gets equally brown.

Place skillet or pan in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes or so, turning steaks and rotating florets halfway through. Serve warm or eat cold for a healthy snack!


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100_1256I went apricot picking over the weekend, so I decided to use a bunch of them in a black rice salad. I’d had a delicious black rice salad at a cooking group dinner, but could not get a hold of the recipe or the chef, so I figured it out myself.

Black Rice Apricot Salad

1 cup black rice

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1 Tbsp olive oil (or butter)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 cup fresh apricots, pitted and sliced

2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp pine nuts

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

5 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced

5 leaves fresh mint, thinly sliced

1 T fresh parsley, chopped

1 T fresh chives, chopped

  • Place rice in colander and rinse until water runs clear.
  • Transfer rice to pot, and add water, pepper, salt, cumin, and cayenne.
  • Bring contents of pot to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 35 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
  • Add vinegar and oil (or butter) while rice is hot.
  • Cover, and allow to cool (maybe about an hour or so).
  • When rice is cool, transfer to a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and then stir.
  • Refrigerate.
  • This dish is best served cold, and it gets better as it sits, so if you can make it a day ahead, that’s the way to go.

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100_1201My dad always requests these yams when we are “camping” at their construction site. I make them in an electric skillet there, but they could be made in any type of skillet on the stove. The ones pictured here have swiss chard in them, which is not how I usually make them but it was a really good addition.

I use the same method for all pan fried potatoey things, so if you substitute any sort of potato for the yams in this recipe, you are in for yet another delicious.

Pan Fried Yams

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp olive oil

4 cloves of garlic

2 tsp salt (1 to sprinkle over the onions as they brown, and the other to sprinkle over the yams when you put them into the skillet)

3 large yams, peeled and cubed (cubes should be about an inch or so)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp pepper

1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayenne

1 bunch chard, sliced (optional)

  1. Heat oil and add onions, sprinkle 1 tsp salt over the top.
  2. When the onions wilt, add the garlic.
  3. When the onions begin to brown, add the yams.
  4. Sprinkle remaining salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper over yams.
  5. Squeeze lemon over yams.
  6. Stir.
  7. Cover and cook until yams are almost tender, stirring periodically.
  8. Uncover and let the mixture brown over low heat, until the yams and onions are as brown as you like, stirring periodically so nothing burns. Add chard during this part of the process.

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Back in my working days, I used to make a pot of this minestrone each week and eat it for lunch every day. It really is delicious, and it turns out a little bit different each time. This recipe can be made vegetarian- and vegan- friendly as well and still maintain the deliciosness of the original recipe.

2 – 4 Tbsp olive oil

1/3 – 1/4 of a stick of butter (omit for the vegan version)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

Sprinkling of sea salt (maybe about 1 tsp)

—saute for a few minutes, then just add the rest as you chop:

3 red or yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed*

1 lb Green beans, chopped

2-3 large carrots, peeled and chopped

3 -4 small Zucchini, chopped

28-oz can of whole tomatoes with juice, chopped

1 lb bag of fresh baby spinach

2 (32 oz) boxes of chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegan/vegetarian renditions)

1 can each of white and red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 lb browned ground beef (omit for vegan/vegetarian)

red pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and course ground pepper to taste

  1. Select a large pot (about 8 qt), preferably with a thicker bottom.
  2. Saute your bunions, and then turn down the heat and throw the rest of the vegetables into the pot as you chop them, in the order specified above.
  3. After you’ve added the broth, turn up the heat to high, and add your rinsed and drained beans, pre-browned meat, and seasonings.
  4. I usually let it simmer for about an hour, turn off the stove, go to bed, then refrigerate it in the morning.

*If you know you are going to freeze this (it makes a really large pot), you may want to substitute 1/2 cup dry quinoa, which you’ll pour in at the end, after you’ve added your chicken or vegetable broth.

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This salad is obviously very dramatic, as you can tell from the dramatic lighting.

This salad is obviously very dramatic, as you can tell from the dramatic lighting.

This refreshing salad is yummy. That is all.


Lettuce (ideally, a small head of butter lettuce, or 1/2 bag of pre-washed arugula)

2 navel oranges, peeled, sectioned, and sections halved

1/2 large avocado or one whole small avocado

handful of pistachio meats (maybe 1/4 cup)


1/2 tsp salt

1/2 to 1 tsp pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp dill (fresh is best, but dehydrated will do)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil

  1. Wash and dry lettuce, then tear into bite sized pieces and place in large bowl.
  2. Cut oranges and avocado into bite sized pieces and place in bowl with lettuce.
  3. Sprinkle pistachio meats on salad.
  4. If you don’t like to measure your dressing ingredients, just sprinkle/pour/drizzle them directly onto the salad in the bowl. If you do like to measure them, mix them in a separate bowl or jar, and then pour all over the top of the salad.
  5. Toss the salad.
  6. Eat the salad.

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100_1175This recipe originally came from my good friend Anna, another culinary genius who I am lucky to have in my life. We sometimes meet for lunch exchanges since we are frugal and don’t like to pay other people to make our lunches. This is a quick and delicious chili that you can even whip up after you get home from work.


1 batch of bunions (2 – 4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 4 – 6 cloves chopped garlic, 1 tsp salt)

2 – 3 bell peppers, depending on size (yellow/red/orange are yummiest), chopped

2 poblano chiles, chopped

1 lb ground buffalo (extra lean ground beef works too)

28 oz can of chopped tomatoes with juice

6 oz can of tomato paste

8 oz frozen corn

two 15-oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

15-oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp cayenne

3 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup cornmeal

  1. Heat oil, add onions, garlic, salt, stir occasionally as you chop your peppers.
  2. Add chopped peppers to pot and stir occasionally as they cook.
  3. When peppers are tender, add ground meat IF you have the extra lean kind. If you do not have extra lean ground meat, brown it in another pan and drain off fat before adding to the pot of peppers.
  4. Stir pot to break up meat as it is browning. When all meat has cooked, add tomatoes, tomato paste, and corn.
  5. Add spices and then beans (drained and rinsed). Stir.
  6. Add cornmeal to thicken the chili (this was a stroke of pure genius by Anna – to thicken the mixture with cornmeal).
  7. At this point, the chili only needs to be heated through so cook for maybe another 10 – 15 minutes.
  8. Top with chopped cilantro, a nice sharp cheddar, avocados, or sour cream.
  9. The next morning, reheat and top with a fried or poached egg – IT’S DELICIOUS!
  10. Also delicious with cornbread – I’ll post the recipe for this later.

Vegetarians, You’re in Luck!!

Substitute an extra can of rinsed and drained red kidney beans for the meat. The proportions are just right, and it will still be DELICIOUS.

Vegans, You’re in Luck, too!!

Substitute an extra can of rinsed and drained red kidney beans for the meat, and don’t top with cheese. The proportions are just right, and it will still be DELICIOUS.

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I had lots of kale from our CSA box, 1/2 lb of pasta left over from when I made the sausage n mushroom pasta, lemons from our tree, and an open bottle of white wine.

Sorry, I don’t have a picture because I was doing 20 things at once and slightly overcooked the kale, which made the whole dish un-picture-worthy, but it was delicious nonetheless.


1 bunch of kale

1 onion, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, sliced

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 tsp pepper

dash cayenne

juice of one lemon

1 lb shrimp

1/2 lb pasta, cooked al dente

parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

  1. Place onion in pan with oil, butter, and salt over medium heat.
  2. When onion starts to soften, add garlic.
  3. Stir mixture periodically as you chop your kale (I had Red Russian, so that’s what I used, but I think pretty much any of the kales would be good in this recipe).
  4. When bunions (the base of onions and garlic – term coined by Dan) have started to brown, add peppers, wine, and lemon juice.
  5. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring periodically, until the mixture reduces to a nice creamy looking sauce.
  6. Add shrimp and cook for just a few minutes, then add kale, tossing/stirring mixture to make sure everything is nicely coated with the sauce.
  7. Serve over pasta (or rice or risotto if that is your preference), or just as is. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan.

Vegans AND Vegetarians, You’re in Luck!!

This is also delicious without the shrimp or butter. I’ve made it and I know. Trust me – you will not be disappointed. Just the kale in the sauce, with the onions and garlic – that really is a delicious meal.

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