Monday, September 11, 2017

Easy Refrigerator Pickles

4-5 cucumbers
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or sugar)
~10 peppercorns
Few sprigs of fresh dill

Wash and dry the cucumbers. Slice them thin (or into spears). Spread out onto paper towel, and sprinkle salt on both sides. Allow cucumbers to sit for about 30 minutes, this helps pull the water out of them. After 30 minutes, brush off salt with a paper towel.

Prepare the brine. Bring the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to boil in a small saucepan. Boil for a few minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Place sliced cucumbers in a jar with spices. Pour brine hot over cucumbers. Allow to cool in refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Best eaten after a few days in the refrigerator.

Try with any combination of spices. Other additions/substitutions that might be good: mustard seeds, dill seeds, or sliced onions.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Vegan Not Lox

1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 nori sheet, broken into bits

4 carrots

Serve with (your choice of)
vegan cream cheese
tomato slices
fresh dill
sesame seeds

Combine all marinade ingredients. Use a vegetable peeler to peel carrots into thin strips. Place in bowl with marinade. Marinate carrot slices for at least 30 minutes, or overnight, in refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place carrots on sheet, and fold foil around carrots so they are completely covered. Bake carrot slices for 20 minutes, or until soft.

Allow to cool before serving. Serve carrot lox the same as smoked salmon!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

1 pound tomatillos (about 12 medium), husked and washed
1/2 white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chile peppers, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime's worth of juice)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup water

Heat saucepan to medium. Spray with non-stick spray. Saute diced onions, garlic, and peppers until onions become clear.

While onions are cooking, dice tomatillos very small (think chunky salsa size).

Add tomatillos and water to saucepan mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the tomatillos are soft and water has boiled off, 10 to 15 minutes.

Season with cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Allow to cool before serving.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Red Beet & Cabbage Stew

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 medium red onion, diced
1/2 red cabbage, diced
3 medium red beets, diced very small
5 cups marinara sauce
3 cups water
Vegan sour cream (optional)
Fresh dill (optional)

Add the coconut oil into a large pot. Over medium heat, saute the onion for about 3 to 5 minutes, until clear.

Add the diced cabbage and beets to the large pot. Stir again. Continue sauteing for another few minutes.

Add all of the marinara sauce and the water. Stir to combine. Simmer the soup, covered, over low to medium heat for about 1 hour, until the beets are fork-tender. Cook time will vary greatly depending how small the beets are diced. Make sure to stir every 15 minutes or so, make sure it's not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Taste and season with salt to taste. Ladle into a bowl and serve with a spoonful or swirl of sour cream and chopped dill if desired.

Store leftovers in an airtight container, or freeze in a freezer-safe container.

Adapted From

Slow Cooker Stew

Olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into bite size
2 gold potatoes, cut into bite size
1 sweet potato, cut into bite size
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
5 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup frozen green peas

Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute until golden brown.

While the onions cook, combine the carrot, potato, sweet potato, and diced tomatoes into a slow cooker, set to high heat. Cover. When the onions are cooked, transfer them to the slow cooker.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet, and cook the mushrooms, until they have released their moisture and turned golden brown. Add the tomato paste to the pan, and stir, until it smells fragrant. It will start to stick to the bottom of the pan.

Deglaze the pan with the wine, then stir in 2 cups of the vegetable broth, the nutritional yeast, and soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer about 1/2-3/4 cup of the liquid to a small bowl. Whisk in the flour, until there are no lumps. When the mixture is completely smooth, whisk it back into the liquid in the skillet. Whisk vigorously, to break up any lumps that might form.

Stir the mushrooms, frozen peas, and remaining veggie broth into the slow cooker. Cook on high for about 5 hours or on low for about 8 hours. The stew is done when the vegetables are tender.

Adapted From

Vegan Tofu Scampi

Vegetable oil
Kosher salt
12oz (1 block) extra firm tofu
6oz dry linguine, or other pasta
1 tablespoon earth balance butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 lemon's worth of zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Prepare tofu. Drain and press tofu between paper towels. Set something heavy (like a pot or cutting boards) on top for a few minutes to help press the liquid out of the tofu. Slice pressed tofu into flat bricks.

Prepare pasta. Drizzle some oil in a large pot of boiling salted water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and the linguine, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or according to the directions on the package.

While pasta is cooking, get another pan, and melt the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Saute for a minute or so, careful not to let the garlic burn. Add the tofu slices, some salt and pepper, and saute for a few minutes. Stir tofu a few times to fry all sides. Once tofu is browned on both sides, remove from the heat. Add the parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine.

If you get the timing right, the pasta should be done right around the same time as the tofu. Drain the cooked linguine and then put it back in the pot. Immediately add the tofu and sauce, toss well, and serve.