mountain lentil stew

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Here’s a recipe for a cold mountain winter – it’s hearty and filling and delicious! We created this from several other lentil recipes but added a twist – a tomato base. In this recipe, it’s important to make sure the lentils are cooked until tender before salt is added; the salt may prevent the lentils from getting tender. Nothing worse than crunchy lentils. Add jalapenos to taste – one tablespoon gives you a medium spicy bite. And the stew is great the next day! If it’s too cold for a dark beer with this stew, you might want to try a hot spiced cider drink, and try to stay warm until spring!

1-2 Tbs. light olive oil
1 med. yellow onion, chopped fine
½ tsp. minced garlic

Sautée the onion and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes, until onion is transparent.

Add:

1 1/3 cup lentils
6 cups water
1 Tbs. fajita seasoning
1 ½ tsp. dried dill weed

Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer and cook 30 to 40 minutes, until lentils are tender.

DO NOT ADD SALT YET. Salt will prevent the lentils from becoming tender. You may need to add a bit of water to keep the stew from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Stir in 2 peeled russet potatoes (about ½ inch dice). Continue to cook on medium-low for another 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Add:

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1-2 Tbs. diced jalapenos
1 tsp. salt, and pepper to taste

Stir well. Garnish with fresh dill or parsley and a dollop of non-dairy sour cream.

cinco de mayo chip dip

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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.

pico de gallo

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This delightful, fresh Mexican condiment, also called salsa fresca, is simple and delicious. Use it as a taco or burrito topping, or pair it with plantains and black beans and rice for a Latin-inspired dinner. Or just dip your chips in it.

2 large, ripe tomatoes, cored and seeded
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium red or sweet onion, finely diced
1 to 2 finely diced Serrano chiles (or more, depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate briefly before serving. Pico de gallo is best served shortly after preparing it.

ratatouille

Ratatouille is a wonderfully flavorful French vegetable stew; it can be eaten hot or cold, and it’s very filling! Try adding a thick-sliced fresh baguette to complement this tasty vegetable stew. This recipe takes advantage of your summer garden vegetables. Allow some prep time – you’ll be slicing and dicing. We added a teaspoon of Herbs de Provence for an intense country French flavor.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 14-oz. can vegetable stock
1 large eggplant, diced
3 medium zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 tsp. dried Herbs de Provence
3 Roma tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and diced)
5 sprigs Italian parsley, finely chopped
8-10 basil leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and continue to sauté until onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and stir. Pour in vegetable broth and stir until the liquid begins to bubble.

2. Add the diced eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, and dried Herbs de Provence. Stir gently to combine, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. It may look like there is not enough liquid, but do not add liquid – the vegetables will release a lot juice as they cook. Just keep stirring every couple of minutes. The vegetables should be tender but not mushy.

3. Stir in the diced tomatoes. After a minute or two, the tomatoes will be heated through. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting. Stir in the chopped parsley and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste – Sue adds about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Although ratatouille is usually served hot, it is also delicious served at room temperature the next day, which allows the vegetables a chance to reach their optimum flavor.

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.

red beans & rice

Thanks to Corrie for sharing one of her favorite dishes with us. It’s tasty with or without the vegetarian “sausage.”

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 15-oz. cans kidney beans (1 can drained, 2 cans with juices)
1 15-oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 tsp. Creole or Cajun seasoning or 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 bay leaves
3 cups cooked rice
1 package vegetarian “sausage” (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sautè until onion is brown (about 15 minutes).

2. Add kidney beans with their juices, stewed tomatoes, Creole seasoning, and the bay leaves. If you like it spicy, try adding the Cajun/Creole seasoning, a few dashes of cayenne pepper, and about 1/2 tsp. cumin.

3. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until flavors are blended and mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally (about 45 minutes). If using the vegetarian “sausage,” slice and add to mixture about 20 minutes before serving.

4. Divide cooked rice among large, shallow soup bowls. Spoon bean mixture over rice and serve. Serves 6.

pasta sauce with rosemary

If you’re a fan of rosemary, you’ll love this fragrant pasta sauce.

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 quart tomatoes, chopped fine
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp. fresh basil, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stewpot. Sauté onions and garlic until golden. Add remaining ingredients; simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

fajitas with cool avocado sauce

Tofutti’s Better Than Sour Cream is the secret ingredient in this delightfully creamy non-dairy sauce. It’s the perfect complement to the hot and spicy fajita veggies.

Avocado sauce:
1 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
2 Tbs. lime juice
Salt to taste

Fajita veggies:
2 Tbs. olive or canola oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 jalapeno, minced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder
Pinch of cayenne
1 tsp. salt
Black pepper, freshly ground

Tortillas (preferably warm)

1. In food processor or blender, combine avocado, non-dairy sour cream, lime juice, and salt to taste. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in large, non-stick skillet. Sauté onion and peppers until onions are transparent. Add remaining ingredients; stir to combine and simmer until peppers are tender (about 5-7 minutes).

3. Spoon veggie mixture into tortillas; roll and top with avocado sauce or serve open-faced with avocado sauce.

Variation: Add chopped pre-cooked tofu or tempeh to the veggie mixture when you add the vegetable broth.

mexican “chicken” stew

Add your favorite chicken substitute to this tasty tomato-based stew. Olé!

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
16 oz. chicken substitute (thawed if frozen)
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. chili powder
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar

1. In large saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add chicken substitute and cook until heated through.

2. Add cumin, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and chili powder; stir to combine.

3. Add tomatoes, salt, and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

mediterranean stew

This stew has a good blend of flavors and textures. Serve over polenta, rice, or couscous.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained
1 Tbs. rosemary, chopped
1 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

1. Heat oil in a large pan. Sauté onion and pepper until soft, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, and eggplant. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is softened but not mushy, about 15 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, olives, garbanzo beans, and rosemary. Simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Makes

spanish rice

Enjoy this low-fat version of an old favorite.

1 Tbs. canola oil
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1/2 cup onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced or diced
1/2 cup tomato, diced
1 cup vegetable broth (or vegetarian chicken-flavor broth)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper

1. Heat the canola oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add uncooked rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is golden (about 4 minutes). Add the onion and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato.

2. Add the stock and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until rice absorbs the liquid (about 15 minutes). Serve with your favorite main entrée. Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs. Serves 4.

jill’s african vegetable soup

Jill’s mom made this African Vegetable Soup for Jill’s stepfather. Now when Jill makes this soup, the aroma of the spices always makes her think of him.

1 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups water
1 28-oz. can tomatoes, undrained, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 bay leaf
1 small zucchini, diced
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni

1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large stewpot. Add the onions, celery, and sweet potato and cook until onions are translucent.

2. Add remaining ingredients except for zucchini, garbanzo beans, and macaroni. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

3. Stir in remaining three ingredients. Cook, partially covered, over medium heat until the macaroni is tender. Serves 6.

minestrone

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.

better-than-chicken cacciatore

Tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms in a savory oven-baked sauce are perfect on a chilly night. Serve with a green salad, some crusty peasant bread, and perhaps your favorite wine.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
8-oz. package fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 16-oz. package of your favorite chicken substitute (defrosted if frozen)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. tomato paste

rice or pasta

1. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Sauté onions for about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers; continue to sauté until onions and peppers are softened.

2. Add remaining ingredients to skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

3. While cacciatore is simmering, preheat oven to 350°. Transfer cacciatore to an oven-safe baking dish and cover with a lid or foil. Bake until heated through and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Serve over rice or pasta.

24-hour salad

This recipe can be served as a vegetable salad or as a pasta salad. It’s called 24-hour salad because the ingredients can be marinated in an oil-and-vinegar or Italian salad dressing for 24 hours. Or skip the marinade, toss all the ingredients with fresh-cooked pasta, and serve as a pasta salad. Either way, it’s delicious!

12 to 15 fresh mushrooms, halved
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 green pepper, sliced thin
2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 14-oz. can whole pitted black olives, drained
3/4 cup Italian salad dressing

As a vegetable salad: In a large, deep, glass bowl, layer the first seven ingredients in the order given. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to the dressing, pour over veggies, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. Toss and serve.

As a pasta salad: Boil 2 cups of your favorite pasta shapes until done. Drain and add to large bowl with all of the above ingredients. Mix and serve.

tortilla soup

This soup is perfect for a weeknight because it’s ready in about half an hour.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. lime juice

Tortilla chips for topping

1. Heat canola oil in large saucepan. Sauté onion until translucent. Stir in zucchini slices; cook for about 2 minutes. Add garlic, broth, soybeans, and tomatoes. Cook until zucchini is soft.

2. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice. Ladle into soup bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips. Serves 4.

vegan creole sauce

Love the romance (and the fragrance) of Creole flavors but not the meats (sausage and bacon grease) usually included in Creole cooking? We have a solution for you: Vegan Creole! This sauce has a tomato base and uses the “Holy Trinity” of New Orleans cooking: green peppers, onions, and celery. Mix in the chili powder and Tabasco® sauce for spicy heat, and you’ve got a regional Louisiana flavor!

You can change the heat level by adjusting the amount of Tabasco® and chili powder. Serve over rice, add authentic muffaletta bread, and later cool your palate with some pecan praline frozen soy yogurt for dessert.

Note: Check the label on your brand of Worcestershire sauce because some contain anchovies. Vegan versions are available.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes, with juice
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. Tabasco® sauce
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbs. cornstarch

1. Sauté the onion, green pepper, and celery in oil in medium cookpot until onion is transparent. Add garlic and stir. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Mix cornstarch with 2 Tbs. COLD water and stir into cookpot. Let simmer another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Serve over hot cooked rice. Serves at least 6.

black bean enchilada bake

Save this dish for a chilly winter evening—it’s the ideal comfort food. Serve with Spanish rice and a spinach salad.

1 28-oz. can black beans
1 10-oz. bag frozen corn
6 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large or 2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup salsa
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
Olive oil for greasing baking dish
1 15-oz. can enchilada sauce
4 extra-large whole wheat tortillas (or 6-8 regular size)
Vegan cheese (optional)
Vegan sour cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine first seven ingredients. Heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Continue cooking until mixture is heated through.

2. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 13 x 9 (or similar size) baking dish. Pour about ½ cup of the enchilada sauce in the baking dish and spread evenly. Heat tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds until they are soft and pliable.

3. Scoop about a cup of the enchilada filling into the middle of a tortilla. Roll your tortilla, fold ends under, and place seam side down in the baking dish. Continue until the filling is used up. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over rolled up tortillas. Sprinkle with vegan soy cheese if you like. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Serve with vegan sour cream and a side of salsa.

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!

bbq veggie chili

Savor the smoky barbeque taste in this veggie chili. The Portobello mushrooms add a nice “meaty” taste.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs. mustard
2 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (more if you prefer a spicier flavor)
1 Tbs. molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. vegan Worcestershire sauce (we used Annie’s)
1 15-oz. can chili beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 large Portobello mushroom caps, chopped

1. Heat canola oil in a large stewpot over medium heat. Sautè onion, garlic, and celery until onion is translucent. Add vegetable broth and tomatoes, and stir to combine.

2. Add next nine ingredients (mustard through Worcestershire sauce), and stir to combine. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add chili beans, pinto beans, and chopped Portobello mushrooms. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Serving suggestion: Serve with Beer Batter Bread.

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.

caribbean vegetable stew

Colorful and loaded with vitamins, this Caribbean stew reveals its African origins by the addition of yams, okra, and peanuts. It’s a flavorful blend of textures that pleases the palate. Try this dish served with slices of crusty bread and a crunchy salad — and maybe a colorful drink with a little umbrella in it.

1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 cups chopped cabbage
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1 Tbs. fresh ginger root, grated
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth plus 1 can water
3 small or 2 large yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 10-ounce package frozen, sliced okra
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
Chopped peanuts for garnish
Cilantro sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. In a large stewpot, sautè the onions in olive oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the next five ingredients, including yams. Add water if necessary to cover vegetables. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 6-10 minutes, until yams are barely tender.

3. Add salt, tomatoes, okra, and lime juice. Simmer about 15 minutes, and then stir in cilantro.

4. Transfer the stew into a decorative serving dish, if desired. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and a few sprigs of cilantro before serving.

vegan moussaka II

vegan moussaka

vegan moussaka II


There are as many versions of moussaka recipes as there are vegetables to add to this hearty dish (see another version here). Some versions of this dish are made with potatoes instead of eggplant, and some add zucchini. In England, sometimes a layer of mashed potatoes is used on top instead of cheese. This vegan version is filling and delicious, especially when served with a chunk of crusty bread. It’s great for an early fall supper when the nights start getting cooler.

1/2 cup lentils
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bay leaf
Olive oil
1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 14-oz can garbanzo beans
1 14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated non-dairy cheese (optional)
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

1. Place lentils, stock, and bay leaf in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. While lentils are cooking, oil an 8″ x 8″ baking pan; set aside. Drain lentils and set aside.

2. Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Slice the eggplant into 3/8-inch slices. Cook the slices until lightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Set slices aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. In the same saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sautè for about 5 minutes. Add lentils, mushrooms, garbanzos, tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and 1/4 cup water. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper.

4. Place half of the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Spoon half the lentil mixture over the slices. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and lentil mixture. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and dish is bubbling. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

Variation: If you’re not a fan of non-dairy cheese, try the English version of moussaka and add a top layer of mashed potatoes before popping in the oven.

tabbouli salad

Tabbouli, tabbuli, tabouleh: how many ways can you spell the name of this crunchy, nutritious salad? It’s a refreshing yet filling dish that’s especially good in the summer.

Tabbouli salad’s main ingredient is bulgur (cracked) wheat. To prepare bulgur wheat for the salad, measure 1 cup bulgur into a bowl, and then pour 1 cup warm water over it and let stand for 30 minutes. Yields 2 cups.

2 cups presoaked bulgur
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
Salt to taste (try 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper

1. Mix first seven ingredients together (bulgur through salt), and then add fresh lemon juice. Stir to combine.

2. Refrigerate ingredients for about an hour. When ready to serve, add olive oil and black pepper. Mix well.

Notes: Fresh ingredients are absolutely necessary for good tabbouli. A large lemon usually nets 1/4 cup of juice. A large bunch of fresh parsley can yield 1, 2, or 3 cups chopped; use as much as you want. Cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil is best for salads, and although mint leaves add a unique flavor, they can be omitted in a pinch (sometimes it’s hard to find fresh mint). Cooking is an art, not a science, so have fun and experiment!

ceci bean salad

Ceci beans, a.k.a. garbanzo beans or chickpeas, are a great source of protein. More ceci bean trivia: according to Italian rules for vowels following the letter C, “ceci” is pronounced “chay-chee.”

1 14-oz can ceci (garbanzo) beans, drained
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup Vidalia onion, chopped fine
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 Tbs. chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Mix and allow flavors to marry for an hour before serving.

southwestern skillet supper

This fast, hearty supper is a real crowd-pleaser. If you enjoy cooking with meat substitutes, try adding “beef” crumbles. (We added a few chopped Nate’s Meatless Meatballs. Fantastic!)

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbs. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 28-oz. can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 16-oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 10-oz. package frozen corn
2 cups pasta shapes (such as macaroni or gemelli), cooked and drained

1. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sautè the onion, bell pepper, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

2. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, and frozen corn. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta and “beef” crumbles, if using. Serve immediately.

one-pot pasta pronto

Did you know that “pronto” is Italian for “quick”? After a hard day of work (or maybe a weekend shopping spree), this one-pot pasta dish makes a satisfying supper.

2 15-oz cans crushed Italian-flavored tomatoes
1 15-oz can vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 cups rotini pasta
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients into a large stewpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve with a green salad and fresh Italian bread, and maybe a glass of Chianti.

tomato florentine soup

“Florentine” can be roughly translated as “in the style of Florence,” and dishes with this name in the title often contain spinach. Bring the style of Florence to your table with this tasty soup.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2/3 cup chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
5 cups vegetable broth
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2/3 cup uncooked small pasta shapes or orzo
1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh basil, finely chopped

1. Heat oil in a large stewpot over medium heat. Sautè onion and celery until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add pasta shapes. Cook about 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook until pasta is done. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and basil, and stir to combine. Ladle into serving bowls.

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.

“sausage” & lentils

Greg Lawson kindly allowed us to post his version of this classic recipe. If the vegan products aren’t available in your area, you can order them from The Mail Order Catalog, VeganEssentials, or Pangea. You can also use vegan meat substitutes you may have on hand.

2 Tbs. olive oil
4 slices Lightlife brand vegan bacon, diced (or 2 strips Primal Strips brand jerky, hickory flavored)
3 Yves brand vegan sausage links
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced fennel bulb (optional)
1/4 cup diced carrots
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 cup brown lentils
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5-oz bag Stonewall’s Jerky (mild or wild)
1 stick Vegi-Deli brand Quick Stix (any flavor), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces and halved crosswise
3 cups vegetable stock (add more stock or water if you desire, but this should not be a soup)
A shot of wine if needed (for the pan or for the cook)

Heat the olive oil. Place the vegan “bacon” in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes, and remove from the pan. Brown the “sausages” in the hot oil until golden (2 to 3 minutes per batch). Remove from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions, fennel (if desired), and carrots to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaf and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stir for about 1 minute. Return the browned sausages and bacon to the pan; stir in the thyme, hot pepper flakes, tomatoes, Stonewall’s Jerky, Quick Stix pieces, and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook 50 to 55 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and have soaked up most of the liquid. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Serve the lentils and sausage with whole-grain mustard and crusty bread.

tomato and coconut milk rice

Michelle, an excellent vegan cook, submitted this recipe. She’s busy introducing Missourians to exotic vegan dishes via vegetarian cooking demos. Thanks, Michelle!

2 Tbs. peanut oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small hot pepper, such as habanera, seeded and chopped (you may want to wear gloves)
1 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and pepper until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are evenly coated with oil, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, and salt and bring to a simmer.

2. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add more water or coconut milk and increase cooking time by a few minutes if the rice is not quite tender.

3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the crushed pepper. Cover and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

vegan moussaka

Moussaka is a layered eggplant casserole that traditionally contains lamb or beef and a rich dairy-based sauce. Although Greece seems to be the birthplace of moussaka, many other regions of the world claim their own versions, including the Middle East, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe. Our version uses broiled eggplant instead of fried and includes a creamy vegan sauce.

1 large eggplant
2 Tbs. olive oil plus additional for brushing eggplant
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. vegan cream cheese (we used Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese)
1/2 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk

1. Oil an 8 x 8 baking pan; set aside. Heat the broiler. Trim both ends of the eggplant and cut 1/4″ lengthwise slices (peeling the eggplant is optional). Place slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Slide baking sheet under the broiler and bake until slices are nicely browned. Turn slices over, brush with olive oil, and brown the other sides. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. While browning eggplant, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add next 8 ingredients (red wine through black pepper); stir to combine. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine vegan cream cheese with soy milk. Stir occasionally until cream cheese is melted.

4. Place half the eggplant in the baking dish. Spoon half the tomato sauce over the slices. Repeat with remaining slices and sauce. Spoon the cream cheese sauce over the casserole. Place baking dish in oven under broiler until top is nicely browned. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. Serve with a green salad.

Variation: If you like to cook with meat substitutes, add a vegan beef or sausage to the tomato sauce mixture.

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!

raw indian red curry salad

Thanks to Suresh Chandra and Kapil Sharma for this salad recipe. Sharma says that his mother makes a similar salad all the time in India. The flavor combination of ginger, onion, curry, and lemon makes this a tantalizing salad!

Romaine lettuce
1 medium white or red onion
4 Roma tomatoes
1 large piece of fresh ginger
Red Indian curry powder
2 lemons

1. Arrange this salad on a large plate or several small plates instead of mixing in a bowl. Place a layer of lettuce on the plate. Slice the onion in circles (not quarters). Slice the tomatoes in circles. Place a layer of the onion circles on the bed of lettuce. Place a layer of tomatoes on the layer of onions.

2. Cut the fresh ginger in 1/4″ matchsticks. On each tomato, arrange 3 strips of ginger like spokes on a wheel connecting at the center of the tomato. Garnish other strips of ginger creatively on the salad.

3. Cut the lemons in half. Set aside one half to squeeze on the salad. Place the open faces of the other three lemon halves flat on the cutting board. Cut into 1/16 sections, then cut the sections into small pieces. Arrange the lemon pieces on the salad.

4. Sprinkle the red curry powder over the entire salad. Squeeze the fresh lemon half over the top to allow the curry powder to seep into the vegetables. Enjoy!