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from The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah

1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c vegan mayonnaise
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sweet or dill pickle relish
salt and ground black pepper

Put the chickpeas in a food processor. Pulse 6 times, or until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, celery, and relish. Stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 3 servings.

You might remember the saga of the stove, and how it died. Well, for a while we were restricted to microwaved, rice-cooker-cooked, or raw foods. Or takeout. Here’s a recipe that I found for one of the NINE dinners we didn’t have a stove/oven to use…
It’s a little creepy how closely this resembles a tuna salad sandwich. Who would’ve thought? I used a potato masher to smoosh the beans up (who wants to pull out the food processor for beans? You could also use a fork…) That caused our two cats came running over, circling me just like they used to in the height of our tuna eating days. The only way this sandwich differs from the fishy original is the lack of stringiness that the tuna brought, and the need to use a TON of mayo to cover up the fishy taste and dry texture. And not only to beans have protein, they have fiber! This recipe was so amazingly tasty and easy that I am making it again this week!


from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld and George Minot

1 medium spaghetti squash (2 pounds)
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Place the whole squash on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

Halve the squash lengthwise and discard the seeds. Then use a fork to remove the stringy flesh.

Heat the oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes together in a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the garlic begins to color, about 2 minutes. Add the squash flesh and salt and toss together until heated through. Serves 4 to 6.

I have a confession to make: I’d never before used spaghetti squash. I’d never even tasted it. I was tired of living in shame and needed to remedy it, and this looked like a simple recipe to free myself of this baggage I’d been carrying around. And it was! My dear friend sent me this book for Christmas, and though I really wanted to try the crepe recipe that she’d sent the book to me for in the first place, I needed something simpler to work into the kitchen between cookie baking and present making. It really was simple to make; I can’t think of how one could mess it up (ok, I could have burned the garlic. I’m no stranger to that…), but really, this recipe was EASY. And very tasty. Spicy and sweet, and healthy. And baby loved it. Triple win! I can see myself changing up the flavors to work with other dishes, the spaghetti squash no longer a stranger to my shopping cart. Thanks Christie! xoxo!

from Basil & Wine

Here is the recipe!

I have no idea how I stumbled upon this, but I’m so glad that I did! She’s got a lot of really great recipes, and I was really intrigued by this one. And just recently, I saw that our local vegan cupcakery has a similar treat in their case! With chocolate frosting! So really, it’s a fabulous idea. I made a few without chocolate chips for my daughter, and froze them. She loved them! The rest of them tasted mostly of chocolate, with a hint of avocado and banana, but really, they great thing about them is the texture. Dense and chewy and heavy (they taste like they’re a little underdone even!). Totally my style, and apparently my daughter’s as well. Sadly, the recipe didn’t quite make a dozen (it claims to make 10-12). Ten smaller muffins is what I got out of it, but so worth it! And really, for a treat they’re pretty healthy, and beyond easy to make. These will definitely be a staple in our house for snacks for baby, without the chocolate chips. But maybe with chocolate sauce as an option for us older folks.

from Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion (about 6 ounces), chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 c low-sodium vegetable broth
1 (12 oz) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 c quick-cooking barley
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage, or 1 tsp dried ground sage
pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium stockpot, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, adding the garlic the last few minutes of cooking.

Add the broth, roasted peppers, barley, sage, cayenne (if using), salt, and black pepper; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring a few times, until the barley is tender, about 25 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.

I am so glad that I made a double batch of this! Normally I wouldn’t do that with a new recipe, especially from a new cookbook, but I just had a good feeling about this one. You know me, I love to have soup ready for lunches or a quick dinner awaiting me in the freezer, and I now have a batch of this fabulous hearty soup doing just that. I think I used a little extra barley- I bought in bulk and just eyeballed it; maybe that’s why this soup ended up so thick. I love it that way though. And the cayenne pepper! It adds a delightful little kick to the sweetness of the roasted red peppers. We all know it’s a good soup when the 18 month old says “Soup! Yummm! More!” and the husband has eaten so much that she can’t have any more. It’d be a sad story if there weren’t more of it lurking in the freezer.

adapted from Martha Stewart– a recipe card my mom picked up when she bought that fabulous pot for my birthday!

1/4 c olive oil
2 medium red onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14.5 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 head Savoy or green cabbage (1 pound), cored and thinly sliced
2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced

In a large (really large…) pot, heat oil over medium. Add onions, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to turn golden, about 8 minutes.

Add tomatoes; cook until some of the liquid evaporates, 1 to 3 minutes. Add potato, cabbage, cannellini beans, and 3 quarts water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.

Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; stir in garlic. Serves 12.

This recipe makes a HUGE batch! I’d say that it’s more like 14 or even 16 servings… and it’s even better as leftovers. Soooo…. hello freezer! I served this with Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds, which melted beautifully into the soup. It is also really good by itself. The next day, the soup is even better, as the potato thickens up the broth a bit, and the garlic and red-pepper flavors come out very nicely. Our countertops are very tight on space, so this felt like a lot of prep work, until I realized how far this recipe was going to take me. It’s also a recipe that you can change depending on what veggies you have leftover in your fridge or what’s in season… upping the potatoes would make for a heartier soup. More beans? Yes please. Just DO NOT leave out the garlic. Adding it in at the end is brilliant. This is a soup I would love to always have stashed away in my fridge for nights when I’m feeling to lazy to cook. And there are plenty of those…

from Vegetarian Express by Nava Atlas and Lillian Kayte

Prepare the couscous salad:

1 1/2 c couscous
1 small package (2 c) fresh carrot sticks, cut into 1-inch lengths (I just used 3 large peeled carrots)
1 small white turnip, cut into sticks
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium zucchini, cut into quarters and then 1-inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, diced
3 tbsp light olive oil
juice of one large lemon, or more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro, minced (optional)

Cover the couscous with 3 cups of boiling water in a heat-proof dish. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the vegetables as directed. When the couscous has absorbed all the water, fluff it with a fork, then combine it with the vegetables and remaining ingredients in a serving bowl. Toss the salad well to combine.

Prepare the spiced chickpeas:

2 1-pound cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c chopped scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground coriander
dark green lettuce leaves

Combine all of the ingredients except the lettuce in a serving bowl and toss well.

Place each serving on a bed of lettuce. Serves 6.

Seriously, this was one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made! It’s really nice and light, yet still satisfying. I was wary about using all of those raw veggies- uncooked zucchini activates my gag reflex like nothing else, but I’m trying to trust recipes in order to keep out of trouble. I’m so glad that I did! The lemon helps with any bitterness that might have happened with said zucchini, and gave the dish such a great flavor. And can we talk about the spiced chickpeas? So good! They were almost sweet, and it was such a satisfying accompaniment to the salad. The recipe suggested serving it with warm pita breads, and I used this whole wheat naan that I’m in love with. The author suggests sprinkling the leftover salad with some water if it gets clumpy, but it wasn’t necessary. It would be perfect to make ahead and pack in your lunch!

from The Garden of Vegan by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
3 1/2 c cooked or canned chickpeas
1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
5-6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Braggs
2 c vegetable stock
2 tbsp tahini
1/4 c fresh parsley, minced

In a large soup pot on medium heat, saute the onions, garlic, and carrots in oil until the onions are translucent. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, cumin, mustard, cayenne, pepper, vinegar, Braggs, and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until carrots become tender. In a blender or food processor, blend 1/2 of the soup and tahini until smooth (be careful when blending hot liquids); return to pot. Stir in parsley and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Here is a list of reasons that this is my new favorite soup.
1. Sun-dried tomato chunks.
2. Beans!
3. I love the opportunity to use my immersion blender.
4. Perfect balance of sweet and savory. I think the fire-roasted tomatoes really added to that.
5. Thick and stew-like; with just a bit less vegetable stock, it could be a rice topper. (Beans and rice!)
6. The rest of the chunks. Not just of sun-dried tomatoes, but of the carrots and bean too.
7. It’s good for you!

from It Ain’t Meat, Babe, a really awesome vegan blog

This was a yummy excuse to go out and splurge on saffron, the most expensive spice EVER. It brought a buttery flavor to this dish, which was super easy to make. The variations on the dish are endless, with so many beans and greens out there to choose from. I’ve made it a few times since I first tried this dish out late last spring, with different stuff each time.
If you’re new to cooking, this might be a good dish to begin experimenting in the kitchen with. Try different spices and herbs, different veggies, add protein (hello faux beef, I’ve got my eyes on you…)

from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero

1 lb summer squash: zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan, and so on, ends trimmed, but into 1/2-inch slices
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 small onion, sliced into thin slivers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive or peanut oil
1 lb calabaza pumpkin, butternut squash, or any sweet winter squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp dried oregano (I used 1 tbsp fresh)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp lime juice
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c fresh corn kernels (optional)
freshly ground black pepper

Place the summer squash in a bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and let sit for 14 minutes. The squash will release excess water; when ready to use, rinse and drain well. While the squash is draining, saute the onion and garlic with the peanut oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the calabaza pumpkin and 1/4 cup of water. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes, until the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork. Remove the lid and add the drained summer squash, oregano, cumin, lime juice, tomatoes, corn (if using), and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir occasionally until the summer squash reaches your desired tenderness, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve. Serves 4 as a side, 2 as an entree.

My parents gave us a few ears of fresh corn when I stopped by the other day, and instead of pulling out the grill like we normally do for corn on the cob, I decided to hunt down a new recipe. I’m so glad I did! This book is proving to be a complete WIN, which is so not surprising since it comes from one of the authors of the holy Veganomicon. This dish was such a great blend of savory and sweet, cozy and fresh- if that makes any sense. I did make a substitution though- there was no winter squash available in the store, so I opted for 2 10-ounce bags of frozen cubed sweet potatoes. Superfood! What a perfect ingredient list, really. So healthy. I ended up serving it alongside a quesadilla made with Daiya vegan cheese shreds that I fell in love with while visiting my bestie in California. Needless to say, we were stuffed and our plates were clean, and we had leftovers for the next night. Double win! Wait, make that a triple- this dish is soy- and gluten-free!

from the May 2010 issue of InStyle, recipe courtesy of Ginnifer Goodwin & Linda Goodwin-Parkinson

1 medium head organic bok choy, washed, cored and dried
1 bunch organic green onions
2 3-oz packages Nissin Top Ramen Oriental Instant noodles (no need to use flavor packet)
2 1/2 oz organic sesame seeds
1 2-oz package organic sliced almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
garlic powder and salt to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 c organic sugar
1 package Gardein Crispy Tenders vegetarian “chick’n,” prepared as directed on the package

Chop bok choy into 1-inch pieces; add onions, place in bowl, and refrigerate.

Break up uncooked ramen noodles into bite-size chunks.

Saute noodles, sesame seeds, and almonds in oil, about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add garlic powder and salt. Cool and store in covered container.

In a small saucepan, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Boil for 1 minute.

Combine all parts of salad and toss with “chick’n” pieces. For variety, try with chopped pimientos or mandarin orange wedges. Serves 6.

I’m just going to admit this right off the bat. It was the uncooked ramen noodles that caused me to tear this page out of the magazine. Sure, I LOVE everything I’ve tasted from Gardein, and I love a dark leafy green; and yes, the almond is my favorite food, but uncooked carbs will suck this girl in any day. It’s a guilty pleasure. I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of this salad- the flavors go together so well and the crunch paired with the tender of the crispy “chick’n” tender is just heavenly. That dressing though… sticky sweet! I used about half of it. And I’d highly recommend doubling or tripling the amount of bok choy, unless you find yourself unusually large heads of it in your marketplace. You can never get too many greens! My dad enjoyed this salad, and I might have mentioned before that he’s kind of a curmudgeon who is hard to please with salad, if he is even willing to try it. Of course, my favorite part is the crunchy ramen-almond-sesame action, and good thing for this salad, there’s plenty to go around.

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