Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

Sorry I've been gone for so long.... lots of stuff going on, BUT I'm so excited to be back. Look for an opportunity to win a copy of Lindsay's Happy Herbivore Cookbook VERY soon.  I actually made this in my absence and just haven't had the opportunity to post it. This was a Weight Watcher Recipe that I turned vegan and the addition of the cauliflower cuts back on all the starch from the potatoes. Enjoy and look for me twice a week again.
  • 2 russet potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, stem removed cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups soy milk
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Toffuti sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Daiya cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (I used Smart Life)

Pierce potatoes with a fork; microwave on high for 5 minutes turn over and microwave another 3 - 5 minutes, until tender. (Your time may vary depending on your microwave oven). Or if you prefer to use your oven, bake at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool. Peel potatoes.

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower with water in a large covered pot until tender. Or use a cool old Tupperware steamer like I have :-)

Drain and add to a pot. On medium heat, add veggie broth, milk, potatoes and bring to a boil.

Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth. Add sour cream, half the chives, salt and pepper and cook on low another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Blogger Interview with the Happy Herbivore

I started following the Happy Herbivore blog soon after we went vegan. Lindsay published her first cookbook recently and it's the first one I bought. She invited blogger to do a "blog book tour" and of course I jumped on the opportunity. Here it is:


Lindsay S. Nixon is a rising star in the culinary world, praised for her ability to use everyday ingredients to create healthy, low fat recipes that taste just as delicious as they are nutritious. Lindsay's recipes have been featured in Vegetarian Times, Women's Health Magazine and on The Huffington Post. Lindsay is also a consulting chef at La Samanna, a luxury resort and four-star restaurant in the French West Indies. You can learn more about Lindsay and sample some of her recipes at

How did you get started with writing recipes?

I started the blog (for which the cookbook is named after) shortly after I went vegan. Back then blogs were still pretty new (it's amazing to see how much the blog community has grown!) and
since there also weren't a lot of vegan cookbooks on the market back then either, it was my way of trying to share recipes, information, connect with others, etc. I figured there had to be other vegans other there like me trying to figure out what to eat.

How did you get started with writing a cookbook?

The cookbook was a lucky-haphazard event in my life. I was trying to grow my blog and had started doing giveaways to get more traffic and readership. I'd been in contact with a few publishing houses to score free books for the giveaways and it just happened that my contact at one house was curious about veganism, so we got to talking via email. A few months later, I casually inquired if she knew anything about cookbooks. Her house didn't publish cookbooks, so I didn't think I'd overstepped my boundaries... turns out her house had wanted to do a cookbook for a long time but was looking for the right author. The publisher himself contacted me the next day and the rest is history. It's a story of being in the right place at the right time with the right experience.

I have some friends who are encouraging me to try my hand at a cookbook.

I think a lot of people romanticize writing cookbooks. It's a lot of  fun, true, but it's also a lot of hard HARD work -- and it's not lucrative (but that's true of publishing in general). I do it because it's what I love (I still have a "day job"). I don't want to discourage people from trying to write a cookbook because if the omni
cookbook world is any indication, there is never enough, and the more vegan recipes and cookbooks the better! However, in the last year or so, there have been a lot (and I mean a LOT!) of vegan cookbooks hitting the bookshelves, so the market is now kind of saturated and really, really competitive.

Most publishers are looking for a "new idea" and someone with a lot of notoriety-- a lot of fan and community support before the book.

How do you write your recipes? I just rip recipes out of mags I subscribe to and make them vegan with substitutions.

If you want to write a cookbook, you'll have to write recipes from scratch. It's great to get inspiration from  others places like magazines -- I certainly have, but you really want to put original (not adapted or tweaked) content out there for people. I think every chef has his or her own "thing" -- a signature. Mine is "no added
fats/fat-free/no oil" and I'm sure in time you'll find yours as well. I noticed a lot of Asian-inspired food posts on gloskitchen, so maybe that is your calling :-)

Quick Queso (makes 1 cup) - It's okay to go at this sauce with a spoon. I won't judge.
1 cup non-dairy milk (such as fat-free soymilk)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp granulated onion powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder or cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
Whisk all ingredients together in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often until thick. Serve immediately.
Note: Gluten-free flours or blends may be substituted, such as chickpea flour. Also, add a 1 10-ounce can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies for a Mexican Queso twist.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vegan Sausage Tortilla Soup

This soup was on An Opera Singer in the Kitchen blog - it looked delicious so I printed it and last night Taylor and I cooked this. Delicious, a make again, yummy were all heard around the table (except from Tay she refused to taste it - she is a very picky eater). I made the Vegan version exactly as it's posted. Here are my pics of this wonderful dish. You really should visit her blog and try it out.

It looks like a lot of ingredients but it's a lot of spices.

Tay helping to cook:

Her picture:

Some pics of the soup cooking:

 Time to stir it all up

Finished product. A yummy bowl of soup.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Coconut Curry Chik'n Soup

Don't let the list of ingredients scare you away, most of it is spices. We are heading out of town for a few days so I wanted to make something for dinner that would be pretty fast and something that I thought would freeze well (leftover?). I had made this soup in it's original format before and decided with the cool air tonight I'd try it again, veganized. So without further ado here's my version.

  • 4  cups  water
  • 5 ounces fresh organic spinach leaves
  • 1/4  pound  snow peas, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
  • 1  (7.1 ounce) package thai rice noodles
  • 1  tablespoon  canola oil
  • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced shallots
  • 2  teaspoons  red curry paste
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  curry powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground turmeric
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 6  cups  Better Than Bouillon, Vegetable Base (made according to package directions)
  • 1  (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (8 ounce package) Chik'n Strips (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1/2  cup  chopped green onions
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  •  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  •   lime wedges

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add spinach and peas to pan; cook for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl.

Add noodles to pan of hot water; cook according to package direction. Drain; add noodles to spinach mixture in bowl.

Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and the next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add broth to pan, and bring to a boil.

Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Add chicken, onions, sugar, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes.

Add noodle mixture to chicken mixture in pan. Stir in chiles.

 Serve with lime wedges.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spicy Stir-Fried Noodles

Spicy foods are one of my favorites, Mexican, Thai, Indian - I love them all. I took a recipe I found online and used spinach in place of bok choy, changed up the sauce some, and used fettucini noodles I had in the cabinet.  I also put a nice skin on my tofu which the recipe did not call for (blah!). This was so flavorful, it's definitely a make again and just look in your frig and add whatever veg looks like  you need to use it. I served this with some Vegan Pot Stickers from the local store.
  • 1  (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1   package linguine
  • 2  tablespoons  dark sesame oil
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package fresh spinach
  • 1  tablespoon  sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  spicy chili and garlic sauce
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 2  tablespoons  hoisin sauce
  • 2  tablespoons Bragg's

Line a plate with a several layers of paper towels; top with tofu. Place a several more layers of paper towels on top of tofu; top with another plate. Let stand 20 minutes. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat a small amount of oil in large nonstick skillet and add cubed tofu.

Cook tofu until nice and brown on all sides.

Cook noodles according to package directions, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid. Drain noodles and set aside.

Using the pan that you cooked the tofu in, add a little oil if needed, then add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add the spinach.

Cook until it begins to wilt, a few minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid; simmer, and cook about 4 minutes.

In a small bowl combine sugar, chili sauce, hoisin and braggs, stirring until combined.

To your skillet add noodles; toss to combine.

Stir in sauce mixture and as much of the leftover pasta water as needed. Cook until heated through.

Add tofu and continue tossing to coat.

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Roasted Garlic Green Beans

I made these to go with the Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes. They are delicious, quick and I think pretty healthy if you go light on the olive oil. This is our favorite way to eat fresh green beans.

  • 1 - 1/2 pounds fresh grean beans
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
Snip off the end of the green bean where it was attached to the plant. Toss bean into colander.

Rinse the beans.

I have an old Tupperware microwave steamer that I love to use, but use whatever steaming device you have.

Microwave (or cook however your steamer works) for 5 minutes on high.

Add olive oil to skillet and heat while beans cook. Toss hot beans into skillet, add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Cook beans until they get a little brown on them. Add garlic about 4-5 minutes before you declare the beans done.

Give them a couple of tosses while they are cooking and serve hot.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes

I love potatoes, any way you fix them, I'll eat 'em. These were really simple to make and delicious to eat. I served them with Roasted Garlic Green Beans and Gardein Chicken Nuggets. Look for the green bean recipe very soon.
  • 1- 1/2 pound small red skinned potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 tablespoons sea salt, or to taste
  • a few grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 3 or 4 cloves thinly sliced garlic 
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped

Wash the potatoes and place into a pot with enough water to cover the potatoes.

Bring to a boil. Cook for about 12-15 minutes or until a knife can be inserted but still meets some resistance. Drain, and return to hot pan. Toss with the garlic olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and chopped rosemary.

Place on a sheet pan and into a preheated 425ºF oven for about 20-25 minutes, tossing them halfway through the baking time.


You can also wrap these in tin-foil and throw them on the barbecue for 20-25 minutes.