Tag Archives: vegetarian

Potato Lentil Salad with a Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette

Purple potatoes are pretty.

Purple potatoes are pretty.

I got these beautiful purple potatoes from my winter CSA share and really wanted to share them with someone-why not you? They look so nice next to lentils, which are not known for their good looks. Or taste for that matter. I think of lentils as one of the more blah foods out there even though they’re healthy and full of good stuff for you and all that, I still need to disguise them with other ingredients to reap their benefits. You can buy lentils in a can, which eliminates the overnight soaking or whatever those people who write recipes and don’t have babies will tell you to do (look for them with the Goya canned goods if you have a hard time finding them in your store).

This is a fantastic example of a make-in-stages recipe. The dressing can be made hours ahead of time. Potatoes can be boiled and left to cool at any point. After that, it’s just throwing things together in a serving bowl. Keeps for 3 days refrigerated in an air-tight container.

  • 1 lb potatoes, peeled
  • 1 15 oz can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper


  • 2 large shallots finely diced,
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons capers, rinsed if salted, drained if brined, and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish
  • 1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers, relish and scallions.

In a large pot cover the potatoes with 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer until potatoes a re soft when poked with a sharp knife. Remove and let cool enough to handle. Cut into 1 inch pieces.

Assemble salad:  Place potatoes in a serving bowl. Add lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon of parsley and combine. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley and serve.


Carrot Ginger Soup


Sometime last spring I planted a packet of seeds to grow some rainbow carrots. Most of the seeds sprouted, I got them into the ground in my meager little raised bed and then I kind of ignored them for months. Their greens grew bigger and bigger, my husband implored me to harvest them. I told him it could wait until fall. Finally one day I noticed the top of a big purple carrot poking out of the ground. I got my trowel and dug. Wow! Such beautiful colors. So many carrots. So. Many. Carrots. So many freaky, twisted, mutant looking carrots. So hard to peel. It seems only right that they are paired with another freaky, mutant-looking plant called ginger. Before all the carrots went limp sitting in my produce bin, I put together this lovely carrot ginger soup.

If you are a soup maker, I highly recommend getting a stick blender if you don’t already have one. Its about a million times easier to puree your soups with one. If you put hot soup in a blender to puree, the heat will create a volcano effect. You’ll open up the blender and your nice batch of pureed soup will explode all over your counters, your ceiling and best of all-on you!


  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Heat 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in ginger, carrots, potato and remaining broth and heat to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. If you have a stick blender, use it to puree the soup in the pan. If you don’t have a stick blender, let the mixture cool then, in batches, carefully puree in a blender. Add water or broth if needed to thin to desired consistency. Reheat soup if necessary. Stir in lemon juice.

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

plainWhen I was a kid and I wanted something sweet, my mom would always say “Have a piece of fruit”.  For someone with a sweet tooth, a piece of fruit is a pretty sorry excuse for the treat that I really wanted. If only she knew about homemade banana ice cream. Frozen bananas and a little bit of milk together make something that is almost exactly like ice cream and totally satisfies any desire for a treat.

You’ll need to do a little planning ahead. When the bananas on your counter get overly ripe and mushy to the point where they are too yucky to eat its time to freeze them. The key to the whole thing is to peel the bananas before you freeze them. If you don’t peel them first, it will be very frustrating to remove the peels from frozen bananas. So peel your very ripe bananas, freeze them for several hours and put them in the food processor with the milk of your choice. I’ve tried them with 2% milk, half&half and even with almond milk. Drizzle a little chocolate syrup on top to make it extra special.wchoco

  • 3 overly ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • chocolate syrup (optional)

Peel the bananas and put them on a small tray or plate so they are not touching each other. Once they are completely frozen (at least 6 hours) put them in a food processor with the milk and blend until all chunks are smoothed out. Enjoy immediately. Serves 2-3.

You can do this with any number of bananas that will fit in your food processor. Keep drizzling in more milk until the consistency is where you want it.

Summer Quinoa Salad



Hmmmm…I have some swiss chard, a few stalks of celery, a lemon and half a red onion.  Today was one of those days where I looked in my refrigerator and saw a lot of stray produce that needed some love. Since we will be heading out of town on vacation this Friday, I needed to clean things up in there pronto or be faced with a) plenty of rotting greens upon return or b) throwing stuff out. I hate to throw stuff out. The solution came in the form of a tossed salad of the soon-to-be remains, proof that desperation leads to ingenuity.  I had a veritable kitchen sink of bits and pieces from the bottom drawer that came together to make this nice summer side dish. I served it alongside turkey burgers.

I began thinking about this as a rice salad with herbs and veggies tossed in but when I went to cook some rice, I had only a sad little handful left in the cupboard so I switched the plan to quinoa which cooks faster anyways. I cooked the quinoa, let it cool and tossed in the chopped veggies. I made my own dressing but you might be just as happy with a lemon-y vinaigrette from a bottle.

Summer Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 bunch red Swiss chard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp honey
  • salt & pepper
  • dash of garlic powder

Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut the leafy greens from the stems of the Swiss chard and chop into 1” slices. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and sauté the greens for about 3 minutes, until they are wilted. Remove and let cool on a plate. Once cool, chop the chard a little finer. Combine the celery, red onion and basil and chard in a medium bowl. Add the cooled quinoa and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, toss and serve.

Fresh Salsa

Fresh salsa with blue corn tortilla chips

Does anyone know what happened to spring? Summer is swiftly bringing its hammer of oppressive heat down here on the east coast. Last weekend was a high temp reminder of how hard it can be to cook a meal when the temp is on the 90s with enough humidity to make you loose your will to be in the kitchen. My husband is the Grill Master in our house so I stick to making the sides if we are cooking outdoors. This salsa can be used as a condiment, which goes well served over grilled steak. Or it can just be eaten with chips.

This is not a hot salsa. The lemon and lime juices help break down the red onion to bring out its sweetness. After sitting overnight you may find it to be quite juicy. Feel free to drain off some of the liquid after it has had the chance to do its thing. The corn you use can either be canned, frozen, or if you are really ambitious, sliced off the cob.

Fresh Salsa

  • 1 pint basket cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • ½ a medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed with a garlic press (or minced)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lime

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Pork with tofu & coconut

Looking for a satisfying meal without dairy or wheat? Here it is! Bonus: this can be made (mostly) in one pan. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients, they’re mostly herbs and spices. This meal is easily converted to a vegetarian dish by leaving out the pork and doubling the tofu.

Vermicelli style noodles hold up best here.  They are thicker and work well to carry the heavier coconut milk-based sauce. You can find rice noodles like this in the section of your grocery store that contains the organic and gluten-free packaged products.

pork tofu coconut

Serves 4 and makes for great leftovers

2 oz unsalted cashews

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp hot chilli powder (optional)

1 inch pc fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped/1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp oyster sauce

4 tbsp peanut oil

14 oz coconut milk

6 oz rice noodles-vermicelli style

1 lb pork tenderloin, thinly sliced

1 bunch green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced

3 tomatoes, roughly chopped

3 oz/half a block tofu drained and diced

2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

2 tbsp freshly chopped mint

salt & pepper

MAKE AHEAD: put the cashews, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, ginger and oyster sauce in a food processor or blender until well ground. Heat a wok or large frying pan, add 2 tbsp of peanut oil and stir-fry the nut mixture for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Pour into a small jug and set aside.

Place your rice noodles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes or half the amount of time the package direction for cooking. Stir to make sure none are stuck together. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

Reheat the wok, add 2 tbsp of oil. Add the pork and stir fry for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Add the green onions and stir-fry for 2 more minutes.

Add tomatoes, tofu, noodles, coconut mixture and stir fry for another 2 minutes or until heated through. Be careful not to break up the tofu. Add salt & pepper, top with fresh herbs. Serve.

Black Bean Chili

I love this vegetarian chili because it is so easy to make. If you like it with more spice, add in some extra chili powder. The spiciness will mellow a lot after an overnight stay in the refrigerator.

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small onions chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder (more if you like it spicy)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 15-ounce cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce

Garnish with;
Chopped fresh cilantro
Grated cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, and tomato sauce. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro, grated cheese, green onions