Category Archives: Entrees

My favorite Passover vegan main dish

These delicious vegan stuffed mini-peppers are a variation of a dish I sometimes make when it’s not Passover using regular size yellow bell peppers, couscous and vegan pesto. For Passover, I replaced the couscous with quinoa. Happily raw pine nuts aren’t kitniyot, so if you don’t eat kitniyot during Passover, you can use these in the pesto. The rich flavor of the pine nuts replaces the cheese in pesto very nicely!

Prepare the Peppers

First prepare your peppers, about 35 minis for the amount of pesto in the recipe. Wash them, rub the outside lightly with oil and place them on a baking sheet. Roast at 350 degrees until they are softened but still holding their shape.Usually you’ll see a spot or two starting to brown.

Remove them from the oven and allow to cool. With a small, serrated knife, slice each one “from stem to stern” on one side — don’t cut through the back side.  No need to de-seed. Just place back on the tray until you’re ready for them.

Quinoa

Cook quinoa as you usually do. I used about two TB of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cups dried quinoa, 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 4 cups of water and cooked it in a rice cooker until it was done. Set aside.

Vegan Pesto Recipe

Make the vegan pesto according to the recipe here: https://vegetatingwithleslie.org/?p=1428. Mix this entire amount of pesto with the quinoa you cooked and set aside.

Marinara

You have several options for the sauce. You can use my Matboukha recipe (Moroccan salsa), or you can use some reduced leftover tomato and red bell pepper soup (as I think I did for the picture of my regular couscous-stuffed peppers). Because I had a lot to do for Passover, I took the easy path and used some kosher for Passover bottled marinara.

Assembling your peppers

Using a clean pan, spread the marinara thinly across the whole bottom of the pan. Take a pepper, drain any liquid that collected in it, fill it with a teaspoon (a “table” teaspoon). Place in the pan on top of the sauce. Repeat this process until all the peppers are used.

All the parts of this dish are cooked, so you really don’t need to reheat them for use in a meal unless you choose to do that. I’m taking them to a seder tonight where there will be LOTS of people and lots of commotion, so we’ll just serve a couple of big trays of them as they are. They are for the vegans in the crowd, but I’m pretty sure most of the folks there will want to have at least one with their meal, so I made a lot.

And now I’d better get moving with the vegan matzah ball soup before the chag!

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Quinoa & White Bean Soup

This soup, like so many other dishes, began its life with me on Pinterest, where I often go for inspiration. It’s a lovely, brothy soup the first day. The flavor improves with age, and it also thickens, due to the quinoa. By the third day, it is actually more of a light stew. My family loved it that way for a substantial and delicious dinner.

I’m including here the veggies that I used. Any greens are fine, though, and the summer squash and zucchini can be traded out for another high water content veggie.

QUINOA & WHITE BEAN SOUP

INGREDIENTS

  • Beans, Great Northern, 1/2 lb. cooked ’til al dente in water to cover (check water periodically and add if needed)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 3 TB
  • Spanish onion, 1, minced
  • Poblano, 1, minced
  • Garlic, 6 cloves, minced
  • Carrots, 3 med.-large, washed and cut on bias
  • Celery, 2 large stalks
  • Seasonal veggies, 2 cups at least, coarsely chopped (I used zucchini and yellow squash)
  • Greens, 1-2 cups rough chopped
  • Tomatoes, 8 Roma, petite diced or 1 28-oz. can petite diced
  • Quinoa, 1 cup
  • Water, 1 quart
  • Vegeta, 4 tsp.
  • Salt, 1 TB
  • Szeged Hot paprika, 1/2 tsp.
  • Thyme, 1 TB fresh (stripped from stems)
  • Pepper, black, freshly ground

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse beans and cook in pot with lid in water to cover. Check periodically to make certain water doesn’t cook off. When just tender, remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Mince onion and saute in extra virgin olive oil in a soup pot.
  3. Add minced garlic to the pot, and saute a moment longer.
  4. Add carrots and celery cut on bias to the pot and saute until just tender.
  5. Add 1 quart water with Vegeta (soup base) stirred in. If you don’t have a vegan soup base, water is fine — you might just have to use a little more salt.
  6. Add one 32-oz. can petite diced tomatoes (or 8 Roma tomatoes, petite diced)
  7. Add seasonings and 2 cups seasonal vegetables (zucchini and summer squash this time)
  8. Simmer together until flavors well-blended and veggies are all softened.
  9. Add seasonings (salt, hot paprika, thyme).
  10. Add 1 cup quinoa and cook for 15 minutes until done.
  11. Add beans with their liquid (should have cooked down some so it just covers the beans).
  12. At the end of the cooking time, add rough-chopped greens. I used kale in this batch.
  13. Grind in fresh black pepper to taste.

Hope you enjoy this healthy, substantial, delicious veggie soup!

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Lemony Mushrooms, Lentils & Greens

Lemony Lentils, Mushrooms & Greens

LEMONY MUSHROOMS, LENTILS & GREENS
Ingredients

  • Lentils, 2 cups dry
  • Crimini mushrooms (Baby Bella), 1 lb.  sliced
  • Greens, rough chopped (I used kale this time – if using a “softer” green, just add in at the very end)
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Hot paprika, 1/4 tsp.
  • Juice of fresh lemon, 1 TB (or to taste)
  • Salt, 3/4 tsp.
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 2 TB

Instructions

  1. Rinse and cook the lentils until just done, about 25 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Wipe the mushrooms to clean, then slice them.
  3. Wash and chop the greens. Mince the garlic.
  4. Add 1 TB olive oil to a pan, then add the sliced mushrooms and pan roast until browned and liquid is evaporated. I periodically stir and push the mushrooms to the edge of the pan so the liquid moves to the center and evaporates more quickly.
  5. Add the minced garlic to the mushrooms and saute a moment longer.
  6. Add the chopped greens and saute until it softens some. If I use a “softer” green like spinach, I’ll add the lentils to the pan first, then the spinach at the very end.
  7. Add the second TB of olive oil and the lentils, lemon juice and salt and saute until well blended.
  8. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Cauliflower & Quinoa Stew

Cauliflower Quinoa Stew

CAULIFLOWER QUINOA STEW
Ingredients

    • Carrots, 3, bias cut
    • Cauliflower, 1/2 large head, flowerets
    • Celery stalks, 2 large, bias cut
    • Garlic, 4 cloves, minced
    • Ginger root, 1 TB peeled, minced
    • Kale, 3 cups coarsely chopped
    • Red or Yellow bell pepper, 1, chunked
    • Onion, 1/2 large Spanish, petite diced
    • Extra virgin olive oil, 2 TB
    • Water, 6 cups
    • Quinoa, 1 cup dry
    • Curry powder, 1 tsp.
    • Red pepper flakes, 1 lg. pinch
    • Salt, 1 to 1-1/2 tsp.
    • Turmeric, 2 tsp.
    • Cumin, 1 tsp.

Instructions

  1. Wash and prepare all the veggies.
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil to a 4 quart sauce pan or crock pot.
  3. Add the prepared veggies and saute in this order: garlic, ginger root, onion, carrots, celery, pepper.  Withhold the cauliflower and kale for the time being.
  4. Add the quinoa, water and seasonings to the pot. Bring to a simmer and simmer covered for no more than 10 minutes.
  5. Add the cauliflowerets and kale and simmer for another 5 minutes until quinoa is done and cauliflower al dente.

Warning: the cauliflower cooks very quickly. I added mine along with the quinoa — the 15 minutes required for the quinoa was too long for the cauliflower to cook.  It was delicious nonetheless. Just sayin’.

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Things I made with my CSA veggies this week

Oh, I love summer, and I love my CSA! My food tastes so much better when I work in the fields for it and contemplate what I want to do with all those gorgeous veggies! Here are a few items from this week:

Salad ... with my beautiful greens, tomato, cucumber, beets, green onion, avocado ... and always dressed with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and sometimes freshly ground black pepper.
Salad … with my beautiful greens, tomato, cucumber, beets, green onion, avocado … and always dressed with extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and sometimes freshly ground black pepper.
This one was a delicious surprise. I made one of my favorite bean dishes, Navy Pea Beans with chopped red or green onions, lots of fresh dill, extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon, salt and a bit of hot paprika. This time I topped it off with squash – patty pan, zucchini, summer squash, roasted with olive oil, salt and smoked paprika.
Ratatouille Soup with chunks of eggplant, zucchini squash, patty pan squash, summer squash, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, mixed greens, oregano, basil, salt and hot paprika.
Ratatouille Soup with chunks of eggplant, zucchini squash, patty pan squash, summer squash, onion, tomatoes, tomato paste, mixed greens, extra virgin olive oil, oregano, basil, salt and hot paprika.
One of our favorite dinners, varied by available veggies. A stew of tomatoes, onion, patty pan squash, zucchini, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano on a bed of edamame pasta (sometimes I use black bean pasta). I added some chopped greens on top this time but often add a lot of them into the stew.
One of our favorite dinners, varied by available veggies. A stew of tomatoes, onion, patty pan squash, zucchini, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, basil and oregano on a bed of edamame pasta (sometimes I use black bean pasta). I added some chopped greens on top this time but often add a lot of them into the stew.
Cabbage steaks. Yum.
Cabbage steaks with a little sauce. This one was a mustard sauce. Vegan pesto is good. Chipotle Just Mayo is good. Yum.

If you’d like more information about the CSA, please visit Bob’s Fresh and Local (produce) and All Grass Farms (livestock, chickens, milk and cheese).

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

CSA Veggie Yummies This Week

Hummus with radishes, kohlrabi, zucchini & red bell peppers.
Hummus with radishes, kohlrabi, zucchini & red bell peppers.

I had two social occasions last week so took Hummus with CSA veggies to one (greens, radishes, kohlrabi, zucchini and red bell peppers) and pasta salad to the other. This Hummus recipe, btw, is excellent. Be sure to check it out on this site.

For this pasta salad, I used (as always) whole wheat rotini, zucchini, tomatoes, chopped greens, Kalamata olives, capers, green onions, quartered artichoke hearts, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, hot paprika and salt to taste.

Pasta salad with CSA veggies.
Pasta salad with CSA veggies.

And then we enjoyed this wonderful Stir Fry for an at-home meal. I like to make a big bag of chopped greens for Fatoush early in the week when everything is beautifully fresh. I used some each day, and later in the week, I can start using what remains for a quick and easy stir fry. I also use up lots of greens — tops of radishes or kohlrabi in these dishes.

Stir Fry with Kohlrabi greens, Bok choy, green onions, radishes, lots of sliced onion, garlic, a bit of red bell pepper, sauteed tofu squares, brown Basmati rice, salt, hot paprika, extra virgin olive oil, a bit of soy sauce...mmm hmmm, can't beat that.
Stir Fry with Kohlrabi greens, Bok choy, green onions, radishes, lots of sliced onion, garlic, a bit of red bell pepper, sauteed tofu squares, brown Basmati rice, salt, hot paprika, extra virgin olive oil, a bit of soy sauce…mmm hmmm, can’t beat that.

Addendum: Ah – forgot all about this one. At the end of the week, I use up any leftover greens or other veggies in a soup. I used potatoes in this one as well and topped it off with quinoa, making it a nice, substantial dinner. This soup included a large onion, minced and sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with a little fresh minced garlic, about 4 cups of potatoes and 8-10 cups of chopped greens (I’m pretty sure the greens included kohlrabi tops as well as others), 6 cups of water and seasoning to taste. I typically use salt (2 tsp.), hot paprika (1/2 tsp.) and freshly squeezed lemon (1/4-1/2 cup or the juice of 1-2 lemons. And now I know what they mean by “pot liquor.” Mmmm…mmmm…good.

Soup with greens and quinoa.
Soup with greens and quinoa.

If you’d like more information about the CSA, please visit Bob’s Fresh and Local (produce) and All Grass Farms (livestock, chickens, milk and cheese).

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

More CSA treats: Kohlrabi

070716_kohlrabi_stuffed_a

I’ve never done much with kohlrabi before, so it took some experimenting, but I had a couple of good things this week. First, here’s how I made my Stuffed Kohlrabi:

Remove the stems from 3-4 kohlrabi and fully peel away the tough outer layers of them. Set aside the greens.

Using a coring tool, insert into the center of the peeled kohlrabi, but do not pierce through to the base. You will probably not be able to remove the plug. Insert again, slightly out more toward the edge, again careful not to pierce the base. Continue this process, circling around the original central plug. Then, using a small serrated knife, remove the plugs and scrape a little to make the central cavity fairly smooth. Reserve what you remove from the kohlrabi.

Oil and salt the kohlrabis inside and out. Add a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil to the bottom of a Dutch oven, place the kohlrabis cavity side down and saute until slightly browned. Turn the kohlrabis over onto its base, turn down the heat, add a little water (2-4 TB), put the lid on the Dutch oven, turn down the flame, and cook until the kohlrabis are tender. Set aside until ready to assemble.

KOHLRABI FILLING

Ingredients

  • Kohlrabi – inside pulp of 3-4 kohlrabi
  • Bok choy – stems, petite diced; greens, chopped 1/4″ pieces
  • Brown Basmati rice, 1 cup dried
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp.
  • Oregano, 1-1/2 tsp.
  • Lemon Juice, 1/2 squeezed

Instructions

  1. Cook the rice until done.
  2. Chop the kohlrabi pulp, and add to a pan with a little extra virgin olive oil, and saute.
  3. Add the Bok Chop stems, petite diced, and saute briefly.
  4. Add the rice to a food processor, then the sauteed ingredients and seasonings.
  5. Pulse several times until the mixture is evenly mixed and chopped and looks like coarse grains.
  6. Add seasoning to taste (salt, a little hot paprika if desired)
  7. Use this mixture to fill the reserved kohlrabi.
  8. Add marinara to a dish, and place the stuffed kohlrabi on top of it. Add a little more marinara to the top, and a few garlic scapes for garnish.

Note: For a different flavor profile, try using my Matboukha for the sauce, and in the filling, replace oregano with za’atar (available in the Middle Eastern section of some stores).

070716_kohlrabi_stuffed_c

Now what to do with those tough kohlrabi greens? Read on…

(green_smoothie

The Bok choy greens are more tender than kohlrabi, so I used that for the Stuffed Kohlrabi filling, which doesn’t get much processing before it hits my teeth. Here’s what I did with the kohlrabi greens, though: I made my standard Greenie (green smoothie), and it was good! Even my non-green loving husband enjoyed it.

GREENIE (makes 2 16 oz. Greenies or more)

Ingredients

  • Ice cubes, 8-10
  • Apple juice, about 1/2 cup
  • Apple, 1/2 chunked
  • Banana, chunked
  • Pineapple, 6-8 chunks
  • 2-3 cups rough chopped kohlrabi (or any) greens*

Place the ice cubes in a Vitamix (a blender works almost as well). Add apple juice to 1 cup mark. Add apple chunks, banana chunks, pineapple chunks, and chopped greens. Process until smooth and delicious. More ice makes it thicker.

Note: Greens contain a natural toxin to prevent over-grazing and eradication of the plant. Just vary your greens — don’t use the same one all the time. Keep your fruits and other veggies light-colored so you’ll end up with an appetizing, bright green drink.

If you’d like more information about the CSA, please visit Bob’s Fresh and Local (produce) and All Grass Farms (livestock, chickens, milk and cheese).

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on FaceBook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Dutch Oven Dinner 3/30/2016: Persian Eggplant Stew

Persian_EP_Stew02

I found this recipe for Persian Eggplant Stew (Khoresh Bademjan) on Pinterest, from inmybowl.com. I made a couple of changes since I didn’t have some ingredients, and what came out was wonderful! Serve with brown Basmati rice for a delicious and aromatic entrée. I’ll definitely make this one again with the changes, which I incorporated below.

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil, halved, 1/4 cup
  • Eggplant, 1 large, cubed
  • Salt, 2 tsp., halved
  • Spanish onions, 2-3
  • Garlic, 4 large cloves
  • Baby Portobello mushrooms, 1 lb.
  • Black pepper, 1/2 tsp. ground
  • Turmeric, 1-1/2 tsp.
  • Cinnamon, 1 tsp.
  • Plum tomatoes, 8, quartered
  • Golden raisins, 1/2 cup
  • Limes, juice of 1-2
  • Pomegranate molasses, 1 TB
  • Italian parsley, a few sprigs for garnish

lnstructions

  1. Place the cubed eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with tsp. of salt, and allow to sit for 20 minutes. Blot dry.
  2. Pre-heat 2 TB of the coconut oil in a heavy pan (I used the top of my Double Dutch Oven). Add the eggplant and seer, then turn down the heat and saute, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is soft. Turn off the heat and set aside.
  3. Slice the onion, mince the garlic and slice the mushrooms. Quarter the tomatoes.
  4. Heat the remaining 2 TB of oil in the Dutch oven.
  5. Add the onions to the heated oil, and saute until soft, about 6-10 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, mushroom, and spices and saute for an additional few minutes until the spices are fragrant.
  7. Stir in the tomatoes, raisins and lime juice and salt (the remaining tsp. or less) to taste.
  8. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and allow stew to simmer for 30 minutes.
  9. While the stew is simmering, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  10. After 30 minutes, gently stir in the eggplant, and transfer the Dutch oven, uncovered, to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

I had a hot Thai pepper on hand. I minced a tiny bit of that and used it instead of the full amount of black pepper. That made the dish both spicy and sweet (from the Pomegranate molasses and cinnamon) and really delightful.

Serve the stew with rice.

For more, visit my blog, vegetatingwithleslie.org, “Like” me on Facebook/Vegetating with Leslie or follow me on Twitter, @vegwithleslie.

Dutch Oven Dinner 2/3/2016.

no-beef_stew

Got off track for awhile…other tasks. Here is tonight’s dinner, a recipe found on Pinterest from Straight Up Food.  I made a couple of tweaks and think it might be nice with a couple more next time, especially substituting a little red wine for part of the water.

NO-BEEF STEW

Ingredients

  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 3 large ribs celery
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1/2 pound Portobello mushrooms
  • 1-1/2 TB minced fresh garlic
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 pounds white potatoes, peel on
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 TB basil and oregano
  • 1 TB paprika
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1-1/2 cups green peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley (I used chopped green onion)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ground black pepper, to taste

Procedure

Cut all veggies into 3/4″ pieces, keeping in separate piles. Mince the garlic. Chop the parsley or green onion and set aside. Pre-measure other seasonings and set aside in a cup. Defrost the peas if using frozen.

Preheat the Dutch oven. Add 1 TB water to the Dutch oven and the cut up onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring periodically, allowing to brown slightly but not burn. Add water if needed (I didn’t find it necessary with the Dutch oven).

Add another TB water, garlic and mushrooms and stir periodically, cooking for 5 minutes.

Add water, tomato paste, potatoes, remaining seasonings, stir, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Remove 2 cups of liquid and blend. I actually scooped a couple of potato pieces into this to thicken the sauce a bit more. Return the blended gravy to the pot. Add the peas, and simmer for a minute or two more. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley or green onion, and serve.

Note: In the lower right of the picture, I added a large piece of fresh turmeric (which you can see in the lower right of the picture) to see what it would do for the color and for some additional nutritional content. It didn’t seem to change the color or flavor much – I might try adding more next time – but I suspect it probably added some nice phyto-nutrients and antioxidants to the mix.

Dutch Oven Dinner 1/9/2016.

Dutch Oven Quinoa with Veggies.
Dutch Oven Quinoa with Veggies.

Well, talk about easy. This is just my basic quinoa of 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water and 1 tsp. salt, maybe a little extra virgin olive oil for some richness…and a few veggies. Probably about 2 carrots, petite diced, 2 stalks of celery petite diced, half an onion petite diced and 2 cups of kale, cut small. I don’t really chop things much — hate to butcher stuff on the counter top and leave all those good veggie juices behind. I just try to cut things in such a way that they’re fairly small on the first go-’round. Oh, and I added 2 tsp. tumeric here. I use that as much as I can. I think I could have added a whole tablespoon and will next time. That’s it: put on the lid, cook for about 15 minutes, and dinner is on the table.