Tag Archives: fresh herbs

Middle Eastern feel

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Summer is almost here. As I signed up for long evening classes this year, I need to come up with practical food ideas for recess so that I don’t resort to buying next door junk. Here is a good idea for a cold salad with Middle Eastern feel. Garbanzo beans, carrots, tahini and cilantro fit well together and make a great curry salad. Soak and cook some more garbanzos to make hummus afterwards. Salad recipe here…

Light blender fare

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I am now a proud participant of the ‘Soup challenge’, challenging my soup repertoire. Pan-raw fare while preparing for a blizzard on the East Coast? I don’t know. In this weather when I am reluctant eating salad and prefer comfy food such as split pea soup. After bean and split pea soup, I’m opting for the recommended Borscht. Other suggestions have ingredients that are hard to get here in winter. Still this one also asks for fresh dill… got frozen one instead. I cooked all the beets added some potato for substance, then sautéed onions, carrot and parsnip and add to the blender with broth, almond milk and spices. It works although the sorbet-like result looks more like a light summer refreshment, I preferred it re-heated. It is also harder than I thought to sell ‘pink sorbet for dinner’ to a ‘real man equipped with real teeth’… see recipe

Taboulistic

TabouDSC_6320RAW cuisine is so immensely creative. Replacing cooked grains or pasta for similar tasting ingredients solves the common sogginess of traditional Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad. No matter what I used to do, my grain tabbouleh was sweating. This new recipe has an unusual twist, can be made as RAW recipe and tastes great. Instead of cracked wheat or couscous pasta, it uses chopped cauliflower… See recipe. 

Variation of a Theme

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Black beans are such a Soul Food. As mushrooms have Umami flavor, black beans, I am sure have something similar. While red bean Chili is an American favorite… ( just read our local fire department’s participates in a chili contest,) there are some like me, who are just not able to survive the day after Red Bean Chili (maybe the beans were not soaked?) however, I have never met anyone who can pass up a velvety Black Bean soup.
My earlier recipe contained butternut squash, this one here is even easier, it is based on tomatoes. I always recommend to go as fresh as possible with ingredients, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, which in winter may be a challenge. This soup is more succulent less sweet and more spicy than the other recipe and it comes close to Dobbs Ferry’s Tomatillo restaurant soup. See here for recipe.

New Twist for a well known theme

DressDSC_5216Burgers again? The real advantage of plant based food is that there are so many different recipes to discover. Even though they might look the same as their carnivore cousins, they’re never the same old recipe. This time I tried a blend with mushrooms, walnuts and oatmeal. Mushrooms add umami and juice and the rest adds texture, if you want, you can also add some leftover black beans to the mix. See recipe
I also posted my variation of easy veg’n carrot ginger dressing that goes very well with a light garden salad, or even baby spinach. See recipe

Happy Colors

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Happiness lies in colorful food. There is rarely a baby that is not a happy eater of sweet and comforting root veggies. Even Smiley face yellow carrots are among the many colors of Heirloom varieties.
Asides from Vitamin A and B, carrots offer many healthy benefits. One of Europe’s oldest used vegetables, carrot seeds were found in Switzerland and Germany as early as to 2000–3000 BC. Continue reading

Quinotto, Millotto, Farotto…

QuinottoDSC_5132We love Risotto. Treated like a delicacy in restaurants, it is fast, tasty and satisfying, we serve it quite often, and surely we will bring risotto to the Thanksgiving table.
Traditional recipes ask for peeled round grain Arborio rice. Great alternatives however, are other seeds and grains. I sometimes blend my ‘risotto’ with millet or quinoa, as they cook very fast. Another great thing to try instead of rice is soaked grains, such as Farro, which may cook a little longer. Brown rice, which needs longer cooking, should be made ahead of time, then blended it in the last stage of the risotto.
Pictured is a version of Quinotto, a variation made with quinoa, asparagus and brussels sprouts. See recipe

What are all those grains?

GrainburgerDSC_5082 Oh, I remember Grünkern. Grünkern Frikadellen were the grain burgers of the early generation Birkenstock Vegetarians in Germany. Now on my eternal quest for the best plant based burgers I find that grains make a very ‘believable’ modern burger. Different than those crumbly tasteless early Generation ones… That reminds me to look up the difference of all those kernels: Continue reading

What to do with eggplant

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Good recipes should be passed on. Our CSA blog suggested an eggplant soup to take care of the orphaned nightshades in our kitchen. The recipe from the NY Times they recommended, looked so nice and tasty, that I had to try it. My soup looked more earthy and not as milky as on their picture, plus I photographed at night, which did not produce such a good picture, but it tasted great. Following is the link to the original recipe. The changes I made might have been due to that I had a only a white eggplant. The roasting in the oven broiler took also double the time,  than indicated, that I would consider roasting over open stove flame next time. My adapted recipe

The mother of all slaw

SurowDSC_4645Ever wondered where Cole Slaw is rooted? It must be from somewhere East… In Poland for example, there is Surówka, which means literally ‘raw’ salad, but then there is the German ‘Rohkost’. It is made in varieties with shredded carrots, apples, raisins and cabbage and likely other raw vegetables, plus fresh herbs, such as dill. You can add some sauerkraut to add some beneficial culture. The dressing can be salty or sweet, with plain lemon and spices. But you can also dress it up creamier, for example, add some cashew cream or tofu and replace the sugar from the recipe with a date or alternative sweetener in the blender. It is so fresh and tasty, much fresher than the usual tired and oily slaw. See recipe

Oh, my Godess…

GreenDSC_4354For Shakespeare, ‘Salad Days’  were not a diet. Likewise with ‘Green days’ he described a youthful inexperience. Sounds good to stay young and green, and eat that salad too!
When making salad dressings, I tend to settle with the tried and true. But it is great to look over the fence sometimes. With summer herbs in abundance, try a creamy herb based ‘Green Godess’ variety, such as the Mexican Creamy Cilantro dressing. If prepared and bottled ahead of time, you have a quick alternative. This vegan version of the dressing goes well with green salads and mexican salads with bean or corn, also works if you have anything but cilantro… See recipe.

The plant based traveller

PierogDSC_3873Last week I was in Poland. With mom, aunt and sister, we went as far as Gdansk in search of our family roots. I must confess, I am a miserable ambassador for vegan food when abroad. I don’t have a vegan food guide or plan ahead for 100% acceptable food. And Poland surely can be a challenge with its hearty old world fare. Noticing a vegetarian chain restaurant on the way, I also liked to discover local possibilities – for example Pirogi. In a good restaurant, there was always a meat free Pirogi version on the menu (this one here for example is with mushrooms and sauerkraut, others come with chanterelles or potatoes). Aside from the accidental bacon bit decor, eat your pirogi, dig into the surowka (raw cabbage salad,) that is complimenting many hot dishes and you have an acceptable meal, wash down with a local Vodka, repeat. Pirogi even come as dessert pastry filled with fruit blends. Definitely worth an experiment at home.

Picnic time

PestoDSC_3913.1Don’t use your stove during the heat. If you cook pasta beforehand, you will have a great base for cold pesto dishes for lunch and dinner that also work well as picnic and party food. This sundried tomato pesto tastes well warm or cold, if you add fresh tomato and basil, you will have a wonderful cold salad. My pesto will always have some wild herbs in it. See recipe

Easter Brunch

CheeseDSC_3228.1No special Easter treats this year, just ‘cheese’. After too many bunnies and sweets, we kept a low profile. Family feasts are so difficult. There are many traditional foods and we are tempted between a healthy vegan lifestyle and alienating family traditions. For example Easter Brunch. I haven’t dared to invite anyone to do a ‘Vegan Brunch’.  Continue reading

Tasty Bites

DalDSC_3203.1Madras Lentils and other Indian Dishes are available as ready-to-eat pouches even at Costco. The popular Punjabi recipe is the Indian answer to Chili, a sure bet in the U.S.; The Indian original, called Dal Markhani, means ‘lentil rich sauce’, it can be prepared with little effort and money at home, with much healthier ingredients and dairy free. See recipe

New York Deli

ThunaDSC_3181New York Delis have fooled many city visitors. Expecting a real ‘Delicatessen’ store, which in Europe is a premium feast for the eye and the palate, visitors enter a Deli in New York, but calling it such is a joke at best. A NY Deli sells coffee and sandwiches in a quality found in gas stations all over the country. One staple in delis, sandwich chains and bagel cafes is the common tuna salad. An often soupy concoction with only two distinguishable ingredients: mayonnaise and celery, other ingredients, hopefully tuna, hidden in the mesh. As tuna taste is addictive and vegans commonly miss it, there is now relief: The very convincing and most healthy vegan un-tuna blend. Just what I had for lunch!

Indian Rice

CurryDSC_3171.1Wild Rice is native in North America and China. The long grain has a dark, chewy outer skin with a delicate inner core and a nutty vegetal taste. It is a cousin to white rice, but is higher in protein than other grains and has recently gained popularity as local gluten free speciality in the US.

Continue reading

Anti-Inflammation foods

VeggiebuDSC_3136Wintertime is body stress. Muscles hurt, (…or was it from snow shoveling?), the skin feels dry and food allergies tax our system more than usual, which manifests as inflammation in different areas of the body. Some foods such as sugar for example, can directly cause inflammation. Continue reading

Re-Inventions

BavDSC_3137What is a German potato salad? If you think it is a potato-mayonnaise salad, (which in South America btw. is referred to as ‘Russian Salad’), you may limit yourself. Finns add frozen green peas to that blend, others add eggs. However, Germans know at least 20 different ways of making a potato salad and as I wrote before, there are complete cook books about potato recipes.
Most potato salads contain animal products such as eggs in mayonnaise, cream or bacon bits, however there are also a healthier kinds with less fat. My winter favorite, Bavarian potato salad for example, has a warm marinade blended into cooked and sliced potatoes.  don’t like too pale potatoes, so I produced something like home fries with dressing, which in winter is the perfect warm side dish with carrots and peas and maybe a field roast sausage or roast. See Recipe

Mardi Gras

There is nothing traditional except color. I must admit, this is a wacky and not very festive combination, but despite the looks it is really tasty. The real recipe of the bake is with white or savoy cabbage, white beans and potatoes. However if you like a stronger taste with more character, try red cabbage and juicy black beans which also won’t discolor. Serve with quinoa burgers and tartar sauce. Cabbage blend recipe
The quinoa burgers or croquettes are quite tasty with tartar sauce. The recipe is adjusted to be non crumbly as the original German recipe was more like granola. Quinoa burger recipe