classic potato salad

This is a vegan variation of my mother’s potato salad recipe, which was always very much in demand.

1 cup vegan mayonnaise (Spectrum makes a tasty one)
2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cane sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup mild onion
5-6 medium Yukon Gold or red potatoes

Slice potatoes in half and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil until potatoes are tender but not mushy. Cool slightly; peel and slice into cubes.

In a large bowl, stir together the first five ingredients. Add celery, onions, and potatoes; stir gently to coat. Chill. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and a parsley sprig.

winter minestrone

winter minestrone
If you’re experiencing post-holiday blues and you’re still facing weeks of winter weather, try focusing on one really good thing about winter: big pots of hot soup. This one incorporates the best of winter’s produce offerings.

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 carrots, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp. thyme
8 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 can cannellini beans, undrained
1 cup small pasta shapes (we used spirals)
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups kale leaves, washed and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a stewpot over medium heat. Sautè the onion 5 minutes or until transparent. Add celery and garlic; stir to combine. Stir in the carrots, turnip, and potatoes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add spices, vegetable broth, and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.

3. Add beans, pasta, and tomato paste. Return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook over medium heat until the pasta is tender.

4. Stir in the chopped kale and cook for about 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

roasted rosemary potatoes

Here’s a fast, easy side dish. We added some leftover bell peppers to provide nice color, but you can omit them and use only potatoes if you prefer. The fresh rosemary smells divine.

4 Tbs. good-quality olive oil
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary
Sea salt crystals (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine olive oil, vegetables, rosemary, and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss until veggies are coated with oil and salt.

2. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread vegetables evenly over foil. Bake for 30 minutes or until potatoes are desired consistency.

south of the border soup

south of the border soup

Make sure you use red and yellow bell peppers for this soup. The colors contrast beautifully with the brilliant green cilantro for a festive dish. If you prefer vegan chowder, stir in 2 cups of your favorite unsweetened non-dairy milk after your soup is ready. Heat through and serve.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth, divided
2 Tbs. flour
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
6 cups water
2 Tbs. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4-5 medium), peeled and diced
2 cups frozen corn
1 4-oz. can diced green chilies, undrained
1 14-oz. can pinto beans, drained
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large stewpot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic in the canola oil until the onion is translucent. Add the bell peppers. Stir in 1/4 cup vegetable broth, flour, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining 2 cups vegetable broth and water. Stir in Worcestershire sauce. Add potatoes and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir in frozen corn, green chilies, pinto beans, and cilantro. Cook for about 5 more minutes until ingredients are heated through.

3. If making chowder, add soy milk and heat through. Serve with warm tortillas, tortilla chips, or a green salad. Optional: Mexican beer with a lime wedge.

creamy potato soup

Cold nights require a great soup recipe. This one fits the bill.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4-5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk or coconut milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. dried sage
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and potatoes for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and vegetable broth and cover pot. Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes).

2. Add soymilk or coconut milk and spices. Cook until heated through. Use your favorite method to puree the soup: blender, immersion blender, or food processor. You can also mash the potatoes with a potato masher for a chunkier soup. Serve with some crusty bread.

mom’s mashed potatoes

Just like Mom used to make, but with a new twist: non-dairy milk.

5 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place potato quarters in cold water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).

2. Drain potatoes and place in electric mixer bowl. On low speed, gradually beat in soy milk and seasonings, scraping the side of the bowl with a spatula as needed until potatoes are fairly smooth.

3. Serve warm topped with vegan margarine or gravy.


There are many versions of minestrone; this is one of our favorites. Feel free to substitute in-season produce.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped,
2 zucchini, sliced
3 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 quarts vegetable broth or water
1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 16-oz can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup cut green beans
salt to taste

1. In large stewpot, heat olive oil. Sauté onion until semitransparent.

2. Add carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, cabbage, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

3. Add remaining ingredients; simmer another 30 minutes.

denver potatoes

The potatoes are baked in the microwave first, then pan-fried in olive oil.

4 medium potatoes, scrubbed
3-4 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped

1. Pierce potatoes with sharp knife a couple times. Cook in microwave on high power for 13 to 14 minutes, depending on your microwave. Cover tightly after cooking; set aside for 10 minutes.

2. Cut potatoes lengthwise in quarters, then slice in 1/2 inch slices. Place in frying pan, sprinkle seasonings on top, then sauté in olive oil for about 10 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.

bettina’s antioxidant vegetable soup

The beets give this low-calorie, energizing soup a deep fuschia color. If you like, add a cup of small pasta shapes to this soup during the last 10 minutes of simmering.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 large green pepper, diced
5-6 cups vegetable stock
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 beets, peeled and diced small
2 large potatoes (white or red), peeled and chopped
1 cup green beans, trimmed and halved
1 14-oz. can kidney beans
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup Bragg’s amino acids
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over low-medium heat. Add onions; cover and cook until onions are soft (about 10 minutes). Add garlic, celery, and green pepper; stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until vegetables are slightly softened.

2. Add stock, carrots, beets, potatoes, and green beans. Increase heat to bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until vegetables are tender. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine and heat through.

indian potato cauliflower curry

We love the complex spice blends of Indian food. This recipe captures the flavors we love so much without requiring long hours in the kitchen. In fact, it’s fast enough for a weeknight meal.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4 cloves
1/2 tsp. cardamom, ground
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. asofoetida
1 Tbs. ginger, minced
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. turmeric

1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed, or fresh

1 Tbs. cilantro, chopped for garnish

1. In a large cookpot, sautè cauliflower and potatoes in oil on low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, adding more oil if necessary. Remove from heat and cover.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan. Sautè all spices over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce and peas, and blend well. Add to cauliflower and potatoes and stir. Remove bay leaves and sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

kofta balls

Ruth and Sue slaved over a hot stove to perfect this labor-intensive recipe. (Yes, it takes a while, but it’s worth it. Even the leftovers are delicious!) Feel free to substitute 1 cup sliced carrots for the yam or the cauliflower. Too much kofta ball batter? You can use the leftover batter for soup, along with the cooking liquid from the vegetables. You’ll find the chickpea (gram) flour, garam masala, and asafetida at an Indian grocery store or well-stocked supermarket.

tomato sauce:
2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. asafetida

Place all ingredients in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir well. Keep warm until kofta balls are ready.

kofta balls:
1 small yam, peeled and chopped
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup cauliflower
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can green peas
1 cup chickpea (gram) flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
Olive oil for frying

1. Place yam, potatoes, and cauliflower in a large cookpot with vegetable broth. Add water to cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

2. Drain vegetables, saving water for tomorrow’s soup. Add peas and mash until well blended. Add flour, baking powder, and spices, and stir to combine.

3. Drop golf-ball size lumps into a few tablespoons of olive oil and fry until brown, about 3 minutes per side. (Partially cover the pan to reduce the mess.) Place cooked kofta balls into tomato sauce; mix gently.

4. Serve over rice or fresh linguini.

taste of provence soup

This soup began as plain ol’ potato soup. It changed along the way, thanks in part to the Herbs de Provence spice blend brought back by a friend from a trip to France.

7-8 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
8 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup broccoli florets
1 can creamed corn
1 lb. chard, washed and chopped
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence spice blend
2 tsp. salt

Peel and chop potatoes, carrots, and onion and place in large soup pot. Add vegetable broth, and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add broccoli and creamed corn, lower heat, and simmer another 10 minutes. Add chard, spices, and salt. Simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. Add additional water or broth if desired.

Serve with a loaf of crusty French bread, sliced diagonally into large chunks, and pretend you’re having dinner on the south coast of France.

mediterranean summer lentil salad

You can never have too many salad recipes in the summertime.

2 cups cooked lentils
2 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and cubed (1/4 inch)
1 cup frozen peas, cooked and drained, or fresh
1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
6 green onions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 Tbs. fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh basil, chopped

2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.

spicy oven fries

These fries are a great accompaniment to portobello mushrooms or veggie burgers from the grill. Add vegetarian baked beans and mom’s sweet and sour pepper slaw for a genuine picnic supper!

4 medium potatoes
5 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°. Thoroughly scrub potatoes. Leaving skins on, cut potatoes lengthwise into a 3/8″ square French-fry shape.

2. Whisk oil and seasonings together in a large mixing bowl. Add sliced potatoes, gently tossing to coat slices evenly (or mix with your fingers). Arrange potatoes on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake 45-50 minutes, until potatoes are crispy and golden brown. Serve hot.

italian vegetable stew

A chickpea is a garbanzo is a …cece bean, if you’re in Italy! Thanks to Sue for this stew recipe.

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 14-oz. can vegetable broth
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 16-oz. package frozen cut Italian green beans (or fresh)
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 15-oz. can cece beans (chickpeas)
Pinch of sugar

Sauté potatoes, onion, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until onion is transparent and soft. Add broth and cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, green beans, seasoning, salt, and pepper, and simmer over low heat. Cook 10 minutes, and then add cece beans and sugar. Simmer another 10 minutes, stir, and serve.

vegetable grain soup

Before you prepare this soup, check your cupboards for tiny leftover amounts of grains, barley, lentils, etc. and feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand for the ingredients listed below.

2 quarts vegetable broth
1 quart water
1 small onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup split peas
1/2 oz. dried mushrooms
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and cubed
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp. basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, bring the broth, water, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the barley, lentils, split peas, and dried mushrooms. Continue to simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

2. Add the potato, zucchini, tomatoes, and spices and simmer for an additional 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are tender. Serve hot with a rustic bread.

roasted root vegetable casserole

This two-for-one recipe yields a second dinner with a minimum of extra time and ingredients. Serve the roasted root vegetable casserole on the first night. On the second night, place the leftovers in a big soup pot, add a couple items, and enjoy a tasty dinner stew.

3 large white potatoes
2 yams
1 large yellow onion
1 large turnip
1 large rutabaga
5 carrots
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel all vegetables (you can scrub potatoes and leave skins on), cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle spices over veggies and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water to roasting pan. Bake for 1 hour uncovered, then cover and bake for an additional hour. Serve with a colorful salad and a crusty loaf of bread; sit back and enjoy the compliments!

Day 2: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

In a large soup pot, put leftover roasted veggies, a 10-oz package frozen cut green beans, and a quart of vegetable broth. Add just enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.