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David T. Cole

Quick Vegetarian Meals

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I make this on the regular -  Enchilada Casserole. I make it a bit easier on myself by using a can of green enchilada sauce from the grocery store and regular cheddar cheese (non-vegan). It's so good though. Seriously.

I made this for lunch today and it is delicious!  I used a huge jalapeno plus I used hot enchilada sauce, so mine got a little too spicy (I don't know what I was thinking), but the flavor is wonderful.  I used just one big red pepper and I threw in a bag of my fresh-frozen corn instead of using all peppers.  I made a huge batch despite myself, so I'll be eating it all week - not a big hardship since it is really good!

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Oh! I'm glad you liked it RescueMom! The first time I made it I ate half the dish in one sitting! But there's so much fresh vegetables in there I don't mind the little bit of pasta. 

Yay!!

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Hello, hello.  Non-meat eatier (pescetarian, actually, I eat fish once a week :-)  ) here and I have a couple of great recipes for various "meat substitutes" (which is not the same thing as funky tofurkey). , but the best advice I have is to get thee some smoked paprika with a quickness.  Some quartered mushrooms, sauteed in olive oli salt, pepper and sprinkled with smoked paprika (I use Frontier...'cause it's natural and Penzy's is good too) is a great filling for burritos, along with some oven roasted carrots.  

 

Unfortunately I think most of my recipes are a little time consuming.  I have a good one for marinated tofu, but it is one of those "Start it a day before, let marinate overnight" types. I'll include it, since I tweaked the heck out of it, but it's great sliced, for sandwiches and it also tastes good cold.

 1 cup pineapple juice (you can also just use a can of pineapple, pureed in the vitamix) 

1 shallot chopped (not fine and not coarse, just a nice slice on it)
a thumb  of fresh ginger (so about an inch) cut into slivers, but not grated
A splash of soy sauce, about 1 tablespoon
A splash of rice wine vinegar about 1 tablespoon
1 clove garlic, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon of granuated garlic
Optional :  a tablespoon of moderately spicy Thai Chili Rub from Trader Joe's (it's vegan, it's got a mushroom base_

 

Mix everything together well, coat all sides of tofu, fridge while it marinates. 

Marinated 1 inch cubes, or slices of tofu in It for 12 to 24 hours.  Make sure to put the shallot and ginger pieces on the baking sheet with the tofu.

Slices can be lightly fried, about five minutes a side, over medium heat, but I usually slow bake at 325 for an hour. 

 

Also, roasted beets, but it's something to do on a weekend, because it does take hours (wow, I sort of suck at the entire "not time consuming" thing).  

 

Anyway, here we go on both, the cool thing is all of these store nicely and can be used throughout the week:  Oven roasted beets:  

 

I personally peel mine beforehand and halve them.  Drizzle with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt (I use sea salt, but regular salt works just fine)  bake at 350 for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (depending on size of beet, I get ginormous ones) in a foil packet (you can also just use a covered casserole dish lined with parchment, just make sure to oil the parchment paper).  Let cool, serve with shredded carrot and a dressing of half balsamic, half olive oil vinegar.   

 

I mention beets because they are the only thing I've found that reliably kicks the butt of anemia if you've given up meat.  

 

And then here's a good site:  The Chubby Vegetarian:  The recipes are not fattening,that's just the name they went with for this.  Also, the youtube channel:  Raw. Vegan. Not gross has some fun things:  Including this banana ice cream recipe that is perfect for the vitamix...including the a recipe for vegan magic shell to go with it :-)  

 

And don't forget to check out Vitamix's website for their "refurbished" vitamix machines.  I have a 5200 and I love it, but a friend of mine also got one of their refurbished ones (that also came with a warranty)  so that's a good bet if you want a vitamix with a reduced cost :-) 

 

I love mine and use it everyday.  A great smoothie is plain kefir, half a frozen banana, frozen blueberries or cherries (or both) and a teaspoon of matcha (green tea powder) .   The banana sweetens it enough for me, but Kefir is pretty tart, so you can also use frozen pineapple.  Pineapple and banana will sweeten just about anything. 

Edited by stillshimpy
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Also, roasted beets, but it's something to do on a weekend, because it does take hours (wow, I sort of suck at the entire "not time consuming" thing).

 

 

I love roasted beets; I eat tons of them when they are in season up here.  I don't peel mine before roasting.  I cut them into smaller chunks, put them in a foil-lined cake pan, and then also cover it with foil, and they get done in about an hour.  I have found they are easy to peel after they cool.

 

My favorite way to eat them is in a beet/pear/arugula salad - layer the roasted beets, arugula, peeled and sliced fresh pear, and then top with toasted walnuts.  Drizzle with a dressing made out of whisking together some orange juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and coarse ground pepper.  Non-vegans can add a little goat cheese, but it is really delicious without it, and a really healthy and satisfying salad.  I eat this for dinner a lot in the summer.

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That sounds great.  I like to put shredded carrots in with the beets too.  I'm always psyched when it is beet season, because I can get big ones without the greens attached.  I am actually not a fan of the beet green (I feel like I fail at nutrition-for-non-meat eaters on that one).  

 

So I'm including this one because a) I tweaked the bejeebers out of it, but also because I was really stuck for sandwiches when I stopped eating meat (except for fish...which I actually eat sushi, so it's not like that gives me a ton of sandwich opportunities).  Anyway, I adapted this from a recipe in the Vegetarian times for Lentil Walnut spread.  It's a really good base recipe to tweak the heck out of, but it's painfully bland as listed, so experiment on this one:

 

Lentil Walnut Spread, base recipe is here on the VT site: 

 

As it's actually pretty bland and you'd want to at least increase the salt and pepper. I bastardize the hell out of it by doing this and I double it just as a matter of course:

Doubled the amount of walnuts and olive oil.

Doubled the cumin and coriander.
Added a dash of rice vinegar when mashing the garlic, just makes it easier to mash for one thing, but the spread also can use the acidity.
Added the mashed garlic to walnuts and olive oil prior to processing.
Added dash of toasted sesame oil.
Added 1/4 cup toasted pinenuts to walnuts and oil, etc.
Added dash of hot paprika.

processed with three tablespoons vegetable broth * till smooth paste
Added half cup of cooked lentils (lentils cooked in vegetable broth) to paste and processed more.

Absolutely delicious in the final result with chopped spinach and a final dash of smoked paprika. Yummy.

Also, I personally cook the lentils in vegetable stock because you have to open a container of it (I use unsalted) anyway.

 

Super good as a sandwich with cucumbers, diced peppers, more spinach but it works really well as a dip too and if you don't bothering telling people it's vegan they won't guess. It is (however) really a no-no for anyone with nut allergies and you skip everything I added to it to have a good starter base and add your own stuff.

 

Then finally, I have a super easy (and fast, it's a darned miracle) cold chickpea sandwich filling: 

Two cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed.  

Mash or process 1 can and mix with the other

Add 1/2 finely chopped bell pepper of choice (I use red or orange)

Add 1/2 cup of diced cucumber 

Spritz of lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of any vinegar 

2 tablespoons Vegenaise Chipotle  (if you don't do anything processed, you can sub this out with two tablespoons olive oil and either a diced chipotle or 1/2 teaspoon of dried chipotle pepper) 

 

(yay, something easy!) 

 

Also, I have a shameful addiction to this:  Organic Vegetable Base (it is certified Vegan) and they also have a mushroom base.   It's not healthy, but I don't personally have any salt or blood pressure issues, so I don't really sweat the sodium.  

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Oh, one other thing.  In case anyone is interested in trying some meatless meals, just cutting back on meat or going full metal vegan on the situation, here's one thing that people don't really talk about for super obvious reasons.  No one wants to turn themselves into a dirigible or the Hindenburg and become unfit for social interactions (not to mention the extreme stomach discomfort that can come from carpet bombing yourself with beans) so make friends with chewable Papaya enzymes and that issue should clear up.  

 

Yup, that was the most diplomatic way I could think of to mention "How to avoid becoming jet propelled".  

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This recipe for vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows doesn't look quick but I can attest that it produces magnificent cookies (even for those of us who aren't vegan).  A neighbor gave me a batch & I plan to make some myself whenever I have time & am feeling patient enough.  

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@3pwood (Guybrush?) those look good! In the vein of peanut butter and chocolate in cookies, I made these peanut butter / chocolate chip / sea salt cookies a month or so ago and they were delicious, and didn't take as long as it seems like those will. :)

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Now it's getting close to summer, I'm going to start making one of my favorite vegetarian meals, penne with tomatoes and mozzarella. I don't really follow a recipe, I just cut up a lot of plum tomatoes, and put them in a big bowl with cubes of mozzarella cheese,  chopped  garlic, lots of olive oil, a few splashes of red wine vinegar and a little salt.  I let that sit while I boil a pot of penne, then mix it all together and top with shredded basil.   Sometimes I use Cannellini beans instead of mozzarella.  In late summer, when all the different varieties of tomatoes come into season, I make a beautiful multicolored version with red, yellow, green and orange tomatoes.

Edited by ALenore
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I just cut up a lot of plum tomatoes, and put them in a big bowel

Sounds unsanitary. :)

 

Cannellini instead of mozarella sounds interesting – I might have to give that a try....

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Oops, thanks for noticing the typo.  I fixed it.

 

We can be instant friends, ALenore! We are clearly both of Clan Typo! (Caln Tpyo!)  Welcome, long lost typing-family of mine!  It is a rare day indeed when I don't have a glaring typo.  A missing s here, a redundant o there.  Sometimes it appears as if I am inventing my own language.  Probably something related to Norse Myth.  Or the fact that I broke a lot of my left hand years ago and have a weird strike pattern.  

 

But we can form a club where we eat vegetarian foods and (veterinarian foods) and together we will laugh at the grammarians and sticklers for accuracy.  

 

And eat that penne salad, because it sounds good :)  Thank you for the idea! 

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I feel stupid making the typo, but I actually type the word "bowel" a lot more than "bowl" since I work as a medical transcriptionist.  

 

I'm not a vegetarian, but I make vegetarian meals at least once or twice a week.  Tomorrow I'm making grilled pizza. I just made the dough today, it's rising now, and in a couple of hours I'll divide it in half, freeze half for future meals and put the other half in the refrigerator for tomorrow.  I love making grilled pizza, which I usually to make vegetarian.   First I grill whatever vegetables I'll be using, this time it's red pepped, zucchini and onion.  Then you roll out the dough and put it on the grill for just a few minutes, watching carefully so it doesn't burn.  Take it off the grill then turn it over to the cooked side is up and put on the toppings, starting with cheese (so it melts).  I put on the grilled vegetable cut up into small pieces, chopped tomatoes, garlic and basil.  Then put it back on the grill, uncooked side down, and cook for a few more minutes.  This isn't exactly a quick vegetarian meal, but it doesn't take too long, depending on how many vegetables I grill. 

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Oh cool!  So do you need to let the dough rise before or after freezing?  Or rather, if you are going to freeze the dough, should you let it rise before freezing?  I swear, one of my "no regrets" purchases was a pizza peel, very handy thing.  I bought a giant metal one and I love the hell out of that thing.  Plus, I look absolutely ridiculous wielding it around my kitchen, and I'm in favor of all manner of silliness at all times.  

 

Or, at least, at most times.  For instance, silliness and fire?  Not really recommended.  

Edited by stillshimpy

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Now it's getting close to summer, I'm going to start making one of my favorite vegetarian meals, penne with tomatoes and mozzarella. I don't really follow a recipe, I just cut up a lot of plum tomatoes, and put them in a big bowl with cubes of mozzarella cheese,  chopped  garlic, lots of olive oil, a few splashes of red wine vinegar and a little salt.  I let that sit while I boil a pot of penne, then mix it all together and top with shredded basil.   Sometimes I use Cannellini beans instead of mozzarella.  In late summer, when all the different varieties of tomatoes come into season, I make a beautiful multicolored version with red, yellow, green and orange tomatoes.

 

This sounds delicious!!!  I am going to make this when the tomatoes come in to season here!!

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Any recommendations for someone who doesn't like most vegetables? I'm trying to eat vegetarian now, but I don't like beans or anything in the squash family. I joke that I'm really a starchatarian because I eat a lot of pasta and potatoes.

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Stillshimpy, I do let the dough rise before I freeze it, and then again after I thaw it.  I have a pizza peel too, I love it.  

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Any recommendations for someone who doesn't like most vegetables? I'm trying to eat vegetarian now

 

Well, let's see, how do you feel about mushrooms, P2C2E? All beans are off the table, in all preparations, so you're not fond of hummus or lentils, just down on legumes in general?  Can you do tempeh or tofu?  How do you do with nut butters?  How about nuts?  

 

Because realistically, you're going to need protein.  Some grains have it, like Quinoa and farrow , you can supplement by using hemp seeds and chia seeds too.  You can also put some flax seeds in smoothies and get some fiber and Omega 3s that way.  

 

Are you okay with most fruits?  You might want to try different preparations of beans, or try eating them in a salad, maybe?  Do you like falafel? You can usually work around disliking a particular vegetable, even a vegetable group, you just swap in something you do like.   

 

Thanks, ALenore.  I'm pretty good at working with yeast, but I've never tried freezing pizza dough, so I'll have to give that a shot.  

 

P2, check out this guy.  He's the guy who runs The Vegan Zombie and he's got some pretty good recipes that are very straightforward.  It's a fun little gig.  He has a ton of stuff, just run a search for The Vegan Zombie he's got a TON of stuff and he's not really prone to having a ton of "eat a pile of florets!"  Here's a link to his youtube channel, but he's on facebook, twitter and he's got a website.  It just might help give you a few ideas for how to get some protein in that doesn't involve eating a pile of beans :-)  Still more from him.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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Well, let's see, how do you feel about mushrooms, P2C2E? All beans are off the table, in all preparations, so you're not fond of hummus or lentils, just down on legumes in general? Can you do tempeh or tofu? How do you do with nut butters? How about nuts?

Because realistically, you're going to need protein. Some grains have it, like Quinoa and farrow , you can supplement by using hemp seeds and chia seeds too. You can also put some flax seeds in smoothies and get some fiber and Omega 3s that way.

Are you okay with most fruits? You might want to try different preparations of beans, or try eating them in a salad, maybe? Do you like falafel? You can usually work around disliking a particular vegetable, even a vegetable group, you just swap in something you do like.

Not a fan of mushrooms, although I don't mind of they're diced small in a sauce. I love fresh green beans but don't like dried or canned beans. I haven't tried cooking with tofu yet, but I like fried tofu when I eat out at Asian restaurants.

I like most fruits and nuts. I eat a lot of cheese and get fresh duck eggs from my MIL.

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Do you like tomato-based pasta sauce?  I know a lot of people who don't like veggies but still like tomato sauce.  If so, I think that is one of the best places to sneak in extra veggies.  I make mine from scratch - I should post that recipe as it is super easy, I'll dig it out when I have a little more time - but one thing I will often do is to saute up a bunch of extra veggies in olive oil and add them to the sauce.  Things like onion, shredded carrots, mushrooms, zucchini.  I leave my veggies intact because I like them, but it would be really easy to then puree them and add them to the sauce.

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I thought about it, and I realized that I eat a vegetarian meal every Friday.  My husband and I have a meal of wine, cheese, bread and fruit. We also have hummus with vegetables to dip.  I don't really think of it as vegetarian, but it is.  I make my own bread ( from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minute a Day), but the bread is made ahead of time.  All we have to do for dinner is slice up and toast the bread, and cut up some fruit and cheese.  Lately we've been having bruschetta made by rubbing a clove of garlic on a toasted baguette and topping with a drizzle of olive oil, a slice of tomato, a slice of mozzarella cheese and leaf of basil.   The fruits we have vary with the season.

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I'm trying to eat vegetarian now, but I don't like beans or anything in the squash family.

 

I love almost all the squash family, but this gave me a chuckle because the main reason I could never be a vegetarian even if I wanted to be is my intense dislike of every type of bean there is.  Averse to beans, soy, quinoa, and green peas, I'd die of protein deficiency (or explode from trying to eat enough dark, leafy greens and nuts to make up the difference).

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Things like onion, shredded carrots, mushrooms, zucchini.  I leave my veggies intact because I like them, but it would be really easy to then puree them and add them to the sauce.

One of the best sauces I've eaten did that exactly. The veggies were roasted with the rib roast and then drained and pureed with nothing else added. Tasted like it had a ton of calories and like it was lot more work!

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Do you like tomato-based pasta sauce?  I know a lot of people who don't like veggies but still like tomato sauce.  If so, I think that is one of the best places to sneak in extra veggies.  I make mine from scratch - I should post that recipe as it is super easy, I'll dig it out when I have a little more time - but one thing I will often do is to saute up a bunch of extra veggies in olive oil and add them to the sauce.  Things like onion, shredded carrots, mushrooms, zucchini.  I leave my veggies intact because I like them, but it would be really easy to then puree them and add them to the sauce.

I love tomato sauce, but oddly can't stand fresh tomatoes. It might the texture, or acidity. Anyway, that's a great idea about adding extra veggies to the sauce. I think I shall try that sometime. 

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You can also do a little google-fu and find some recipes that might help you sort of disguise the beans a bit.  I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of "Here, eat this bowl of beans.  Yum."  either, but I cook with a ton of beans.  

 

Here's a recipe from a site called Chocolate Covered Katie, it has a ton of sweet recipes, but it also has some savory.  

 

Here's actually what we're having tonight -- I make a batch of this and freeze half, today the frozen half is ready to go, so I'm not cooking -- Lentil Sloppy Joe's.  Now, I actually used dried lentils, cooked in the tomato sauce and and add water, I just find it more flavorful.  I also double the spices and since I'm not a vegan, I use honey as the sweetener.   

 

Also, to sort of break up the lentils a bit, I quarter a pint of white button or baby portabella mushrooms, saute them first in just a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper until they do that "out goes the moisture...and now it's gone..." cooked down thing and I add that to the lentils, etc.  I also use a half a cup corn at the very end (it has to do with the whole 'complete protein' quest).   Then I serve them on Rudi's whole wheat hamburger buns, brushed with a little bit of coconut oil, and ten I top the lentil sloppy joe's with very thinly sliced pieces of avocado....mainly because my husband is a saint about the fact that he ended up a pescetarian also, because I do all the cooking.  

 

Anyway, I swear they are delicious and really not that time consuming.  That's also a fun site just to look around for ideas.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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I love tomato sauce, but oddly can't stand fresh tomatoes.

 

I'm the opposite.  Well, not that I can't stand tomato-based sauces, but I definitely don't get excited about them.  Fresh tomatoes, however ... every summer when the first tomato appears on the vine it's time for the dance of joy.  Like someone above, I love to mix pasta with a colorful variety of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and basil.  I just planted the summer garden this weekend, so let the countdown begin.

 

On that note, this tomato and avocado salad with lime-herb dressing is a nice way to showcase the flavors of all those wonderful varieties of tomato:

 

To make the dressing, combine:

 

1 T chopped mint

1 T chopped marjoram

1/2 C chopped cilantro

4-5 T olive oil

1 jalapeño, finely diced

2-3 T fresh lime juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

 

(Go with the lesser measure of olive oil and lime juice to begin with, then taste for acidity and add more of one or the other as needed; I generally like 4 T oil and 3 T lime juice.)

 

In a salad bowl, combine:

 

1-1/2 pounds of your desired mix of tomatoes (go for a nice variety of color), cut into bite-sized pieces

1 large avocado, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cucumbers (I use persian; if you're using a big English hothouse cuc, just one will do), cut into bite-sized pieces

1 sweet pepper (bell, cubanelle, etc.), cut into bite-sized pieces

3 or 4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups chopped romaine hearts

8 large pimiento-stuffed olives, sliced

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

 

Toss with dressing, salt lightly, and toss again with the olives and feta cheese.

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Hi, stillshimpy.,  I don't mean to butt in, but I want to make sure I've got this, because the Lentil Sloppy Joes sound really good.  Do you cook the dried lentils from the start in the tomato sauce + water so that as they cook they absorb the flavor of the sauce?  If so, do you end up using more than the up to 1 cup of added water, or is that a firm limit? Or do you pre-cook the lentils a bit, then add to the sauce mix?  Many thanks in advance.

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No problem, harrie, I mix the tomato sauce with an equal amount of water and cook the dried lentils right in that.  Takes about about forty-five minutes to get them tender.  Bring to boil, lower to a simmer, add the other spices and I do use the onion.   You can also just make life easier by using the canned lentils, but I like the texture on dried better than on canned.  Just a personal preference.  If you used canned, just follow the recipe times on the link :-) 

 

They're really good. I've fed them to people who aren't vegetarians and they've gone over really well.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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This recipe for vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows doesn't look quick but I can attest that it produces magnificent cookies (even for those of us who aren't vegan). A neighbor gave me a batch & I plan to make some myself whenever I have time & am feeling patient enough.

Those cookies are amazing! I make them sometimes and love them!

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I went to the first Farmers' Market of the season in my town today.  There wasn't much available yet, but I did pick up 1 bunch of kale. It's not much, only about half a pound.   I know kale shrinks down a lot when you cook it.   Does anyone have any recipes using raw kale?

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I went to the first Farmers' Market of the season in my town today.  There wasn't much available yet, but I did pick up 1 bunch of kale. It's not much, only about half a pound.   I know kale shrinks down a lot when you cook it.   Does anyone have any recipes using raw kale?

 

This doesn't keep the kale raw, but since you barely cook the kale it doesn't cook down much.  This is my recipe so it is vegan, but you can swap out dairy milk and butter for the almond milk and margarine if you like.  Also, I sometimes vary the veggies I put in, it kind of depends on my mood and what's in my fridge.  This is a really fast recipe, and is best when you use fresh veggies from the Farmer's Market.

 

Vegan Corn & Kale Chowder

 

4 cobs of corn, shucked, washed, cut from the cob*

6-8 small new red skin potatoes, washed and quartered

6 green onions, chopped (both white and green parts)

 

Put above into large saucepan with just enough water to almost (but not quite) cover veggies.  Season with veggie bouillon, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender but not mushy.

 

Whisk 1-2 T of corn starch into 1 cup of almond milk.  Stir into veggie mixture, along with another 1-2 cups of almond milk and a few T of vegan margarine.  Cook on low until mixture has thickened slightly (about 10-15 minutes), stirring frequently.

 

About 5 minutes before serving, add a couple of cups of fresh chopped curly kale, plus salt and pepper to taste.

 

*You can use canned or frozen corn in a pinch, but it will be significantly better if made with fresh corn

Edited by RescueMom
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RescueMom, thanks for the recipe, it looks good.  I have red potatoes and green onions, I'll have to pick up the corn, (or I might use frozen corn, since I have it on hand.)

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That sounds great, RescueMom, have you ever tried adding some crushed red pepper to that?  I make something vaguely similar that has crushed pepper in it.  It's funny, when you asked about Kale ALenore , the only recipe I have -- outside of putting it in a smoothie -- is also a soup recipe that has a bit of sage and that red pepper in it.  

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I never have before, but I'm going to add some in next time for sure - thanks for the idea!!

 

I mainly use kale for soup or bake it into chips.  Another soup I make is so easy you really don't need a recipe.  I chop up onion, celery, and carrots and put in a pot of water/veg broth (seasoned to taste).  Cook until the veggies are soft, then add a can of rinsed and drained white beans.  A few minutes before serving, stir in your chopped fresh kale.  I usually toss a take-and-bake baguette into the oven while the soup is cooking.  That's one of my favorite fast and easy meals.


stillshimpy, that made me think of one of my current favorite dishes.  It's not really a meal on its own, and it's not really quick, so maybe it doesn't belong in a "quick vegetarian meals" topic.  But it is super tasty and healthy: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/vegetarian-southern-style-collard-greens-recipe.html

 

I skip the butter since I don't eat dairy, and I use canned tomatoes because I am lazy :) 

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I made the enchilada casserole from Oh She Glows that you linked to, RescueMom, I used Monterey Jack (Cabots...microbial rennet, not animal rennet) because I really don't like soy cheese, but wow, that was so good! Thank you for the link 

 

I was actually testing the recipe out so I could make it again in two weeks for some guests and it's great.  Plus, that enchilada sauce recipe was insanely good. 

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I agree the enchilada casserole is delicious, but it was Glory who originally posted the recipe!  I used canned sauce when I made it but will try the homemade recipe next time.  I made it once for myself and then I made it again for a potluck where there were lots of non-vegan people, and it got two thumbs up from everyone!  I just skipped the cheese since I rarely eat the fake cheese, and I threw in some corn because I have an abundance of it in  my freezer.

 

I think that casserole will be my go-to recipe for anytime I am having non-vegans over or need to bring a dish to a potluck and I don't feel like baking.  I bake a lot, and I generally get asked to bring sweet stuff to gatherings because everyone knows that I'll bring homemade goodies instead of stuff from a store.  Which is kind of amazing given that all of my baked stuff is vegan and everyone knows that, but despite popular opinion, it is not that hard to bake really good vegan goodies.  You just need to learn a new repertoire of ingredients. 


Oh, and completely different subject - I am going to try tossing some black-eyed peas into my collard greens next time, which will turn that from a side dish into a main dish.  I don't know why I didn't think of that before!  And maybe I'll try making some vegan baking powder biscuits to eat with them.

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I beg your pardon, Glory! Thank you for linking to that recipe.  That enchilada sauce is super good and super easy, although once again with the "quick" it does take fifteen minutes or so, vs. opening a can or bottle.  Still, I had the time and think it was worth it.  Plus, I was using black beans that I'd done in the slow-cooker (clearly "quick" and I are not born to sing a duet).  

 

So anyway, on that subject, slow-cooker beans.  I know it seems stupid, because it just isn't that complicated, but I had a hard time figuring out a good slow-cooker method.  Too many spices and it just was more like a chili.  Not enough and they were almost punishingly bland.  So anyway, here's what works for me. 

 

Two packages dried black beans (or one of the big ones) , rinsed and soaked overnight (or you can do the quick soak method, but the beans do tend to fall apart more with that), pour off the soaking liquid.  I have a fairly large slow cooker, so if you don't, you could just halve this method.  

Juice of 1 lime. 

1 large carrot, scrubbed -- you don't really need to peel it, since you won't be eating it -- topped and tailed, but otherwise whole.  

2 teaspoons salt or to taste 

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced -- pretty finely about 1/2 cup.  

 

Generously cover beans with water, so that the water level comes up over the beans by an inch and a half to two inches.   Cook on the "slow" setting , which is usually 10 hours.   

 

The first time you do it, you probably want to do it on a weekend day, so that you can check the water level to be sure it's not running dry, but you don't want too much.  Once you get that down, you can soak the beans during the day and then cook overnight.  

 

Discard carrot. I portion them out and freeze them, so that I always have some on-hand.  They just have more flavor and better texture than canned, in my opinion. 

Edited by stillshimpy
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Okay, so for those of you with a vitamix or another high powered blender and a yen to either detox, or beat the stuffing out of anemia (which is sort of the bane of existence for women who don't eat meat, or at least it has been for me), I present a surprisingly delicious smoothie, guaranteed to detox anything in its path and help with building hemoglobin.  

 

I recently got scolded at the doctor's because my iron level was not great.  My own fault, I'd tried to switch to a cheaper iron supplement and found out why that is not the best idea.  Turns out there is a big difference between the one that costs eight bucks and the one that costs twenty-six.  So, this comes under the heading of "you sort of need to be able to tolerate beets as a food and all that implies, because this one goes in raw" .  Everything referenced here is organic and on the beets it's actually supposed to matter.  I swear to you this is yummy. 

 

6 pitted cherries 

1 inch piece of fresh ginger 

1 raw beet, topped and tailed, cut into small pieces, but not peeled (scrub-scrub-scrub beforehand)

Juice of 1 lemon

1 half medium organic cucumber with skin (scrub-scrub...you get the gist) 

1 half medium avocado

1 cup coconut water (here I cheated and used Trader Joe's rather than fresh and you can sub just plain old water)

3 ice cubes

1 teaspoons matcha (green tea powder, optional) 

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil (because you're not a tree-hugging, health pursuing maniac without at least the occasional glance at this stuff) 

 

Blendy-blendy. Drinky-drinky.  

 

It's quick and you'll likely feel insanely good after drinking it.  It's like euphoria in a glass.  It should also be super good for detoxing all vital stuff and all that implies (she says with an attempt at delicacy).  

 

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Finished product.  So good for you, you might get healthier looking at this sucker: 

 

WP_20140521_003_zpsa390be43.jpg

Edited by stillshimpy

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Okay, recipes! Maybe even fast ones! Okay, so not necessarily quick ones, but super good.  I was just getting some stuff ready for some holiday weekend food and that involves roasting peppers and eggplants.  

 

Here's a link on how to roast an eggplant in a gas stove or a regular oven.  Just a note on that, I personally find her grill/stovetop temp a little high and go for just under medium.   I'm using the gas grill method.  As it happens, that's also how I roast bell peppers, but jarred red peppers (or any color) can be used for this, just skip adding any oil, since they are usually packed in oil. If you do roast the peppers yourself, reverse the process on how to get out the flesh -- let cool  (no really) then remove skins first.  The skin is tough and bitter when roasted.  It should pull away from the pepper no problem.  Discard.  Then split the pepper, remove seeds and top stem and discard. Roasted peppers can be frozen (same thing with the eggplant) for up to two months (has to do with flavor retention, not safety). 

 

Roasted eggplant dip: 

 

2 each medium to large eggplants, roasted (they collapse pretty thoroughly when roasted, so the size isn't super important) 

10 oz plain yogurt OR if you veganize this use 1 can white beans, rinse, drained and processed until absolutely smooth 

1 clove chopped garlic

splash of either lemon juice or white vinegar -- about 1 teaspoon 

3-4 tablespoons olive oil 

Salt and pepper to taste  

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika OR 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 

Once eggplant is cooled, cut open and remove seed pods as much as possible.  Some will remain, but the seeds are actually bitter, so try to get most out

 

Scrape the cooked eggplant from skins with a spoon and place in a blender or food processor , discard steams and skins 

 

Using the side of a knife  against a cutting board, sprinkle garlic with salt and either lemon juice or vinegar and mash into a paste (the salt and acid make this easier), add paste to eggplant.   Add yogurt or bean puree to contents of blender or processor and puree.  Gradually add oil until it is the consistency you want.  It should be light and fluffy, not oily.   Remove from blender/Processor and stir in paprika or cayenne.   

 

Great with pitas or as a mayo substitute, makes a great base for a chickpea sandwich spread.  Just add diced avocado and 1 can drained, rinsed chickpeas, very lightly mashed.  

 

Or roast pepper hummus (nice for people who have nut or seed allergies, because it does not contain tahini).  I'm making a large batch, but usually you can just halve this and have plenty of hummus: 

 

1 medium sized roasted pepper (yellow, red, orange works best, green has a funky flavor in the end result, also?  The color is a little unappealing with green) skinned and seeds, stems discarded

2 cans chickpeas, rinse, drained 

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil * if using jarred peppers

2 cloves roasted garlic or 1 clove crushed with the vinegar and salt method 

1 teaspoon lemon or white vinegar of choice (white wine, champagne, etc.  they all work fine) 

salt and pepper to taste 

1-2 tablespoons cold water 

dash of cayenne pepper or Hungarian hot paprika. 

 

in a blender or food processor process the peppers first with either 1 tablespoon of oil, or when using jarred, just by themselves.  Process until smooth.  

Add chickpeas, garlic and 1 tablespoon cold water and process until smooth.  Add additional water if you are looking for a lighter, fluffier hummus, add oil as desired for consistency.  Stir/puse in spices at the end. 

 

To store either in the fridge, go for as close to airtight as you can.  Usually pressing plastic wrap on top works OR light drizzling with oil to keep the air away from the surface.  Sprinkle with regular or smoked paprika.  

 

Either makes a great sandwich with avocado and cucumber slices on your bread of choice.  

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Another soup I make is so easy you really don't need a recipe.  I chop up onion, celery, and carrots and put in a pot of water/veg broth (seasoned to taste).  Cook until the veggies are soft, then add a can of rinsed and drained white beans.  A few minutes before serving, stir in your chopped fresh kale.  I usually toss a take-and-bake baguette into the oven while the soup is cooking.  That's one of my favorite fast and easy meals.

I made this soup tonight, I added some other vegetables I had on hand,  a leek, squash, broccoli and garlic. It made a whole lot of soup, enough to fill my Dutch oven.  I froze most of it to use for future meals.  (I like freezing meals because I have to work the evening shift fairly frequently and this way I just have to heat up the food when I get home.) 

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Yay! I'm glad so many folks liked that casserole recipe! I actually made it this week! But I've never made the enchilada sauce because I am lazy and would rather use canned! ;)

 

Here is another recipe I made quite often when I want some comfort food. Noticing a theme, here? Pasta? Haha. 

 

Anyway, when I first went vegan I was craving mac & cheese and this recipe has been the best one I've tried - although not the healthiest. I halve it, because it makes an insane amount of food if you don't, and I often add in broccoli or peas or spinach and tomatoes to make me feel better about eating it. Vegweb.com has some awesome recipes but you have to wade through a lot of dreck to find the good ones. Trust me on this one, this is a good one. 

 

http://vegweb.com/recipes/flashback-mac-and-cheese

 

FLASHBACK MAC & CHEESE

 

Ingredients

1 pound macaroni

1 cup water

1 cup unsweetened nondairy milk

3 tablespoons mild-tasting oil (such as corn oil)

1/2 cup flour (I use all-purpose)

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

 

Directions

1. Cook macaroni (or other shaped pasta) according to package directions. While your mac is cooking, let's make the special secret "cheese" sauce.

2. In a bowl or large measuring cup, combine the water, milk, and oil and whisk briefly. In another bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients together.

3. Heat a medium saucepan. Add the dry ingredients to the saucepan, and slowly add the wet ingredients, continuously whisking over medium heat. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, turn up the heat until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.

4. Keep whisking as the mixture thickens and bubbles; do this for 1-2 minutes, and then turn the heat down. Keep whisking. After a spell, your "cheese" sauce should be nice and thick. Turn the heat off, and cover your saucepan.

5. Drain pasta well when done, and return noodles to the pot. Add all of your "cheese" sauce to the noodles, and stir well. 

 

Glory's Note: If you do halve it, I tend to keep the garlic/onion powder amounts the same because I like the intense flavor. So if I make a full batch I'll up the amounts to half a tsp each. And I've found that soy milk works best, but I have used light coconut milk in the past and it's insanely creamy if you do that. 

 

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This marinara sauce recipe is fast, simple, and delicious.  It is not much more work than opening a jar of purchased sauce but is not full of added sugar and other crap.  The original recipe called for white wine instead of the veg broth, but I like it better with broth.

 

Chop up an onion and saute in a few tablespoons of olive oil until it is soft.   While that is on the stove, throw the following into a blender or food processor and blend it up:

 

2 - 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes (use seasoned if you like)

1 - 6 oz can tomato paste

4 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced (if you are lazy like me, use the stuff in a jar)

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp coarse ground black  pepper

 

Once the onion is soft and browned, stir in the blended tomato mixture and 1/4 cup veg broth, reduce heat, and simmer for half an hour or so.

 

NOTE: I sometimes just process one can of stewed tomatoes and dump one can of finely diced tomatoes in without processing it, since I like my sauce a little chunkier.  I also often throw in other veggies with the onion - shredded carrots, sliced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, whatever else happens to be in my fridge.

 

I honestly never used canned spaghetti sauce anymore because this is so easy and delicious and way healthier.  And I usually make a double batch and throw half in the freezer.

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Hey guys, I made these tonight: Spinach Crepes with Apple and Chickpea filling.  
 
The crepes have a bit of a learning curve -- I had some Trader Joe's spray coconut oil so I just sprayed the bejeebers out of the pan in between each crepe and that was the key.  The hold up really well once cooled.  I sprinkled a little bit of smoked paprika on the chickpea salad (and frankly, completely spaced putting in the olive oil for it and didn't think it suffered from the loss).  I actually did use oat-milk (this is from a Swedish blog and I think the folks that run it are ovo-vegetarians, but not lacto).  I put spinach, baby kale and basil in the crepes and they were really.  Also, I just used "White Whole Wheat Flour" (which is actually a red wheat). 
 
I also made this watercress and cucumber salad. I used a plain old-fashioned organic cucumber.  Super fast, super easy and the dressing was actually really good too.  
 
I was so excited, because for once, both of those were quick.  Not the crepes necessarily, the filling and the salad were both super fast.  I finally made something I can honestly say is quick (well..except for the crepes, but you could sub in spinach wraps, no problem, if you don't want to make them).

 

ETA: to swap out one watercress and cucumber salad recipe for another.  Turned out Martha Stewart's site had two (of course she had two, good gravy) and one was more complicated than the other.  I had made the super easy one. 

Edited by stillshimpy

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This is barely a recipe and I feel kinda silly even posting it, but I've been messing around with making really simple pizzas using pre-made Naan as the crust, and I think I finally perfected the method tonight. This one was a Pesto & Tomato variety.

 

1 Piece of Naan (I get mine at Costco, and keep them frozen)

2 Tb fresh pesto (again, mine is from Costco, but if you can make fresh, all the better)

1/2 cup/2 oz. shredded fresh mozzarella, or whatever blend you like for pizza

2 sliced Compari tomatoes, seeded (or one medium tomato, or a handful of cherry/grape tomatoes, halved)

Salt and red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place on the middle or lower-middle rack of your oven. Put another rack in upper or upper-middle position. Preheat to 425.

Spread the pesto in a thin layer across the naan, leaving about 3/4 to 1 inch around the edge of the crust. Sprinkle cheese over the pesto (use additional if you like), then place tomato slices evenly over cheese. Sprinkle salt lightly over tomatoes, and red pepper flakes (if using) over whole pizza. Move to the baking sheet.

Bake on the lower rack for 12-14 minutes, then move to the higher rack for an additional two minutes, or until desired doneness. Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing.

 

The thing I've been trying to achieve is a crisper crust without everything slipping off onto the bottom of my oven and filling my house with smoke. The preheated pan and a slightly hotter oven seems to solve that problem. This whole process takes about 30 minutes, from pre-heating through cooking, which is pretty awesome.

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Oh She Glows 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta

 

 

Oh my gosh, @Glory -This sounds phenomenal!  Can't wait to try it!  Many thanks...

Edited by Tunia
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I hate potatoes in any form (yeah, yeah, I've heard it all numerous times), and since I don't have to routinely cook for anyone else, not only do I not eat them, I don't often make them.  But as part of my dad's recent birthday dinner, I made a scallion, potato and herb puree that my potato-loving parents both devoured.  Leftovers are reputed to be delicious browned in olive oil or clarified butter.   It was really easy, so I share it here.

 

This serves probably six, four with leftovers in mind:

 

2 large russet potatoes

4 T unsalted butter

3 cups chopped scallions, including an inch of the greens

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup chopped parsley, chervil or other favorite herb (I used parsely since I had it)

Optional: 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese, for tang, or Gruyere for a richer version (I used Gruyere since my dad likes that better than goat cheese)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks.  Put them in a larege saucepan, cover with cold water, and add 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil and cook until soft, 20-25 minutes.  Set aside a cup of the cooking water, then drain.

 

At the appropriate interval, melt 1 T of the butter in a skillet, add the scallions, and toss to coat.  Season with 1/2 tsp salt, add 1/2 cup water (regular, not the cooking water), and cook gently until softened, about 15 minutes.

 

Combine the scallions and potatoes in a bowl and mash with the remaining butter, the parsley, and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a smooth, light puree (I wound up using 3/4 cup, adding 1/4 cup at a time).  For a richer dish, warm milk or cream can be substituted.  Stir in the cheese if using.  Season to taste and serve.

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I made a quick vegetarian (actually vegan too) recipe last night, it's good for hot summer weather.  

 

Bean Salad with Grilled Corn, Onions and Red Pepper

2 to 3 ears corn on the cob, shucked

1 large Vidalia onion, cut into thick slices

1 large red bell pepper, halved, seeds removed

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1  15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained.

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 avocados, peeled and chopped.

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved, (or regular tomatoes chopped.) 

 

Grill corn on barbecue grill, about 12 minutes.   Grill onion slices and red pepper   Scrape kernels from cobs of corn.  Chop onion and red pepper.  Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.   

 

I actually used 1 large can of black beans instead of using the pinto beans, since that's what I had on hand.   Obviously you can adjust the amount of tomatoes, onions, cilantro to taste.   This still tastes good the next day, but you might add the avocado separately to keep it from getting dark,  

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