cinco de mayo chip dip

Besides chip dipping, this salsa also works great as a taco or burrito topper. If you prefer chunkier salsas, substitute 4 chopped tomatoes for the tomato juice (for a total of 6).

12-oz. can tomato juice
4-oz. can pickled jalapenos, drained and diced (save the liquid)
1 Tbs. pickled jalapeno juice (more if you like)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet white or purple onion, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Combine all ingredients. Dip your chips.

summer salsa

What a great way to use up those extra tomatoes from your garden.

4 large, ripe tomatoes
1-2 Tbs. seeded jalapeño peppers
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt

1. Remove skins from tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for less than 1 minute and then plunging them into ice water. Cut tomatoes in half, remove seeds, and chop.

2. Combine chopped tomatoes with remaining ingredients. Add fewer or more jalapeños to taste.

thai soup in an instant

Sue submitted this abbreviated version of a wonderfully flavorful recipe from her cousin Ellen. If you’re really in a hurry, substitute 1 tsp. onion powder for the diced onion. You can also vary the amount of jalapenos to your taste.

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 14-oz. can black beans, pureed
1 14-oz. can vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can pure pumpkin
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2-3 Tbs. jalapenos, diced, or 1-oz canned
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. prepared minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a soup pot; heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

flamin’ garden fajitas

The combination of jalapeño, cayenne, and paprika gives these fajitas a pleasant heat. If you prefer a milder taste, omit the cayenne and reduce the amount of minced jalapeño. You can find flavored baked tofu in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets. (We used a tomato-basil flavored tofu.)

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. baked tofu, sliced
8 tortillas
Vegan sour cream (try Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream)
1 avocado, sliced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 Tbs. cilantro, minced for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Sautè the onion until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add bell peppers and jalapeño; stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup water, and cover skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove cover and add spices, mushrooms, and baked tofu. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the tofu is heated through (about 5 minutes). If desired, begin warming the tortillas (either wrapped in foil in the oven or wrapped in paper towels in the microwave).

3. Transfer fajita mixture to a large bowl. Allow guests to top their tortillas with the fajita mixture, vegan sour cream, sliced avocado, diced tomatoes, and cilantro. Olè!

jamaican jerk tofu

Want to impress your friends with Jamaican fare for your next vegan dinner party, or just spice up your Saturday night supper? Try this full-flavored recipe that bumps up the flavor of tofu to “Irie, Mon!” Hot and spicy (but not too hot), this marinade/sauce can be adapted to the tongue-smoking level by adding Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers instead of the milder jalapeño.

Try serving jerk tofu with baked yams topped with toasted pecans and maybe that Caribbean staple, rice and beans (we’ve posted a recipe for gallo pinto from Costa Rica). Jamaican Red Stripe beer adds a refreshing, authentic touch.

This recipe makes enough marinade to cover two blocks of tofu, which serves four people. Divide in half if using one block of tofu.

6 green onions, sliced thinly (discard top 1/3 of green ends)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
2 jalapeño peppers, minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbs. vegan brown sugar
1-2 blocks extra firm tofu

1. In a large bowl, mix the first nine ingredients, including olive oil. In a smaller bowl, combine spices and brown sugar. Add to liquid mix and stir. If using one block of tofu, spray an 8 x 8 pan with oil. Slice tofu into three slices from its narrow end. Place in pan and pour HALF of marinade over tofu. For two blocks of tofu, use a 9 x 13 pan, and pour ALL the marinade over tofu.

2. Let stand for 15 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

indonesian noodle salad

7-oz. package wide-cut noodles
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. sesame oil
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
8 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced
1-2 jalapenos, veins and seeds removed, minced
Dry roasted peanuts

1. Place noodles in pot of boiling water; cover. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Blend with a whisk and pour sauce over noodles.

3. Mix cilantro with green onions and jalapenos. Combine with noodles and top with a handful of peanuts.

mom’s sweet & sour pepper slaw

1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup jalapeño pepper, minced
6 cups coleslaw

1. Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk and set aside.

2. Combine slaw ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over slaw, tossing to coat.

uncle bill’s fresh spicy salsa

Thanks to Rebecca Valencia for submitting her Uncle Bill’s salsa recipe.

2 yellow chile peppers
1 (or 2) jalapeno peppers
4 or 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
1/2 bunch of green onions, minced
1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt

1. Prepare the chile peppers by removing the seeds and stems and mincing. For a spicier salsa, reserve some seeds and add to the mixture.

2. Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the ingredients and add a pinch of salt. Serve with chips, on vegan tacos, or as a salad dressing!