Monday, December 31, 2012


cooked on my electric grill


1 white sweet onion
1 red onion
2 - 3 Tbsp. Zatar
1 tsp. smokey paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 Tbsp. oil


Mix all together in a metal pan.  Cover and seal with foil.  Place in the center of the electric grill and cook about 30 minutes.

Zatar onions atop a veggie burger with sweet potato fries

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I purchase mine from Penzeys

Za'atar (zaatar)  OR Zatar, is a mixture of sumac, sesame seed and herbs frequently used in the Middle East and Mediterranean areas.

It is often mixed with olive oil and spread on bread; sometimes this is done at the table, other times the mix is spread on the bread rounds which are then baked. Za'atar also serves as a seasoning to sprinkle on vegetables, salads or kebabs.  Each country has a distinctive style of Za'atar, and each family develops its own special blend.

My neighbor served this with a fresh baked baguette, and 2 dipping bowls, one for the olive oil, the second for the Zatar.  I, in turn, had company and served the same.  Makes a great appetizer!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


thick and crispy
potatoes from my garden

I usually only make butternut squash fries BUT with my new abundance of sweet potatoes, here's my new offering:


3 medium sweet potatoes, do not peel
3 Tbsp. olive oil
coarse pepper
garlic powder
smokey seasoned salt


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

First cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise.  Cut each half into slices and cut those slices into strips, making thick fries.

Put all into a large bowl.  Add the oil and the spices and toss thoroughly together, coating all.

stir to coat all

Spread the fries onto 2 cookie sheets.  The fries should not be touching each other.  Bake at 15 minutes.  Turn all the fries to the other side and continue baking 10 to 15 minutes.

the first 15 minutes

Remove and serve.

golden and crispy

I served mine with veggie burger topped with Zatar grilled onions

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


it became clear the winter tomatoes didn't stand a
chance of turning red

A friend volunteered to turn my GREEN tomatoes into a tasty soup.  This was absolutely delicious.  My camera wasn't around so I lack pictures.  TRUST ME...this soup is delicious; he did a great job!


10-12 green tomatoes
2-3 cups of finely chopped kale
2 cans of northern white beans, drained
1 can of whole corn drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 carrots sliced very thin
2 white onions finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of Agave to taste
3 Bay leaves
3 sprigs of Thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of smokey paprika
1/4 cup of Bragg's Amino Acid or to taste
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan


Blend whole green tomatoes with skins in a blender ( or Vitamix if you own one) with 2-3 cups of water until liquid.

Sauté onions and carrots

Rinse beans after drained

Mix all other ingredients into the green tomato liquid and cook on low for 2-3 hours

Let cool about 8 minutes and enjoy

Friday, December 21, 2012


cooked in a foil covered pan atop an electric grill
deliciously simple

YUM: VEGAN Beer Brats


1 sweet white onion, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 red pepper, cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tsp. smokey paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 to 4 Beer Brats
1/4 cup beer


Mix all ingredients together in a metal pan.  Top with the beer brats.  Top with the beer.

Cover tightly with foil.  Place in center of the electric grill.  Cook about 25 minutes or until onions are cooked and brats are puffed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


makes a great lunch or side dish


3 cups cooked Israeli couscous
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 green onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup Trader Joe's dried fruit mix (golden berry blend)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
2 to 3 limes juiced

golden berry blend consists of golden raisins,
cherries, cranberries and blueberries


In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients with the olive oil and lime juice, to taste.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


thick and chunky sweet potato chili
Thanks to Carol in Jersey for this delicious recipe.  I used my, fresh from the garden, sweet potatoes.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup celery, finely chopped
1 lb. sweet potatoes, washed peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 lg. cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
1 1/4 cup red lentils, dried, rinsed
2 1/2 cups water
1 (28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can of black beans
2 bay leaves
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
In large pot over medium heat, add oil, celery, sweet potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, nutmeg, cumin, cinnamon, and red chili flakes.
vegetables saute for 8 minutes
Cover and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add lentils, water, tomatoes, beans and bay leaves to the pot.  Stir, increase temp. to high and bring to boil.  Then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes and lentils are soft.
Serve with tortilla chips and tofutti sour cream OR fresh hot bread, even better - homemade corn bread.
very hearty

Monday, December 17, 2012


delicious pistachio pesto served on triscuits

also good on:  bruschetta, baked pita chips,
crudites, steamed baby artichokes and poached shrimp


1 cup shelled unsalted roasted pistachios
24 large basil leaves, torn
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup Vegan Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt


In a food processor, grind the garlic until finely minced.  Add the nuts, basil and parsley and pulse several times until finely chopped.

I process all the dry at one time.  Next add
liquids and process.  quick and easy!

Add the Vegan Parmesan and pulse just until combined. 

Add the olive oil, water, lemon juice, and salt.  Process just until the pesto is well combined.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. 

This pesto can be prepared up to 3 days in advance.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving.

The pesto also freezes well; Place in a container with a tight fitting lid and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.

makes a nice rich appetizer for the holidays...
from a lovely little book:  Skinny Dips / Diane Morgan

Thursday, December 6, 2012

96 yr old poster boy for vegetarians

This article is from the Independent via the Drudge Report...

"The world's oldest father has been recruited by activists in India who maintain lifelong vegetarians retain their "vigour" better than others.
Ramajit Raghav, who shot to celebrity two years ago at the age of 94 when he first became a father, features in a new campaign by for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) India.
A photograph of Mr Raghav, who recently fathered his second child, Ranjit, at the age of 96, shows him cradling the baby with the headline "Vegetarians Still Got It at Age 96".

"I have been a vegetarian all my life, and I credit my stamina and virility to my diet," said the elderly father from the state of Haryana. "Being a vegetarian is the secret to my strength and good health."
Peta claims living a vegetarian life makes perfect sense and that India is increasingly seeing problems associated with heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which it says are associated with a meat-eating diet.
"And since each vegetarian saves the lives of more than 100 animals a year, their consciences are lighter, too," it said. "Viagra and other anti-impotence drugs may get you through the night, but a vegetarian diet can get you through your life. Numerous physicians agree that the best way to prevent artery blockage and other conditions that cause impotence is to eat a diet high in fibre, including plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains."

When he was interviewed last month by The Times of India, Mr Raghav revealed he had been a bachelor until meeting his wife, Shakuntala Devi, ten years ago.
He has been a strict vegetarian and has never drank alcohol. Instead, his diet is made up of fresh milk, clarified butter, vegetables and chapattis.
"I wake up at five in the morning and go to bed before 8pm. During the day, I work in the fields and also take an afternoon nap," he said."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


serve on a whole wheat roll


rolls, grilled until lightly brown
vegan hot dogs, cook according to pkg.
sliced vegan cheese
leftover vegan chili OR taco soup (posted previously)
Dijon mustard


If using the round rolls, slice the cooked dog into 4 pieces.

Put one slice of cheese on the hot roll.  Spread the mustard on the other side of the roll. 

Layer on the hot dog pieces and the warmed chili. 

Monday, December 3, 2012


spinach beautiful spinach

soooooooo EARLY in this winter season I planted my spinach.  I used a very reliable seed source, Burpees.  Luckily, I didn't plant all of the seeds and saved the packet.  Who knew I'd have to document my Burpees Garden Mishap. 

So I waited and waited.  Eventually the seeds started to germinate.  I dutifully weeded out every few inches, allowing the strong to survive and thrive.  I kept waiting for this crop to actually look like the spinach I know and love....hmmmmmm, something was just SO wrong.

Finally as this crop really took hold and continued to inch up, it took on a very strange appearance.  I finally recognized the smell...HEY, wait this doesn't smell like spinach.  It did, however, smell like something I had grown once upon a time...

CILANTRO!!!  oops

The bottom line is that yes, folks, even Burpees can make a mistake.  The bad news is, it required me sending a picture of the packet, product and lot numbers, AND a picture of the crop to get my $1.00 initial cost refunded (yes, I can be tenacious).  Gee Burpees, can you afford it???  Guess I'll be driving to the grocery to pick up my spinach this winter.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


bakes in about 45 minutes


non-stick spray, as needed
1 (10 oz.) box frozen spinach
4 large eggs
1 cup almond milk
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup Vegan Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the spinach in a small amount of water, simmer for about 5 minutes.  Drain extremely well.

Spray a pie dish with non-stick spray.  Squeeze the rest of the water out of the spinach and spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish. 

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth.  Add the milk, garlic, parmesan, and the spices.  Whisk to combine.  Pour this mixture into the pie dish over the spinach.

Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top.  Place the pie dish in the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top and the center is solid, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Slice and serve.

slice and enjoy

Friday, November 30, 2012

STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING / a British dessert

the British dessert, Sticky Toffee Pudding
moist, cake-like squares

cake bakes in the oven, then toffee
topping cooks on the cake under the broiler


3/4 cup chopped, pitted dates
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder

3 Tbsp. Earth Balance
5 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. almond milk


Mix the dates, soda, vanilla and boiling water.  Set aside.

Beat the sugar and Earth Balance nil fluffy.  Add the egg.

Sift the flour and baking powder, add to the butter mixture, beating well.  Add the date mixture, beating until smooth..  Turn into a buttered 8 x 6 inch baking dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, remove to a wire rack.  Heat the broiler and prepare the sauce.

Combine the sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan.  Heat and simmer 3 minutes, until thickened.

the before sauce, pale

toffee color developing after only 3 minutes

Pour the sauce slowly over the top of the cake and broil approximately 4-5 inches from the heat for 2-4 minutes, watching carefully.  

Serve warm or room temperature.  Serve plain or with whipped cream.

the dates make this an extra moist dessert

Thursday, November 29, 2012


the French bread slices yield individual portions


2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
3 medium sweet Spanish onions, sliced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup SHREDDED Swiss cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 (5oz.) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. soy sauce
8 slices French bread (cut about 2 to 2 1/2 inch thick)
8 slices Swiss cheese


In a large skillet, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.

the saute process, onions and mushrooms

Saute the onions and mushrooms until tender.  Place these in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.

Lay bread slices on top. 

Combine soup, milk, and soy sauce.  Pour over bread.  Top with cheese slices.  Cover and refrigerate over night.

keep in refrigerator over night

Bake loosely covered at 355 degrees for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer or until heated through.

Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


freshly dug


This has been a totally new experience for me.  The threat of the first frost dictated the digging out of the sweet potatoes.  I had NO idea what to expect, fearing the worse...few IF any potatoes.  Happy to report, pleased beyond all expectations!  This first crop of sweet potatoes was an amazing success.


Now on the details of it all...not till after the sprouting and planting did I learn that sweet potatoes require curing to convert all their starches into sugars.  This curing requires storing the freshly and carefully dug potatoes at 85 degrees and 90 percent humidity for two weeks in the warmest room of one's house.  After picking, what seemed like a gillion, I carefully put these unwashed filthy potatoes into laundry 2 baskets lined with bath towels.  These will spend the next 2 weeks in my laundry closet.

After this curing process, the potatoes then should be stored in a cool location but not the refrigerator. Sweet potatoes stored under good conditions can last for more than six months.


Can't wait to eat the first one and share them with my ever tolerant neighbors.  Will they taste any different than those from the grocery?  Will the curing work before rot sets in?  Will they really last up to 6 months?  What new recipes await me?

freshly dug, drying in the sun

all shapes and all sizes

looking for a place to store the potatoes

Potatoes should not be scrubbed before curing.
Care is necessary to avoid bruising that can lead
to decay.



ready to eat...where's the food?

Our Pesco Vegetarian Dinner was lovely.  Our menu was a two couple effort; and if I do say so, quite successful.  The menu?


shrimp w/cocktail sauce
fried oysters
smoked trout dip w/rosemary crackers

the main meal:

salmon with oven roasted Brussels sprouts
French bread casserole
sweet potato salad


sticky toffee pudding

Suzanne brought the sweet potato salad and it was just soooooooo darn good.  A new experience for all of us!  Try this recipe, it's a great one.  Thank you Suzanne!!!


2 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp. Vegenaise
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped, about 3/4 cup
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 small green onion, thinly sliced (about 2 Tbsp.)
chopped chives for garnish


Using a fork, prick sweet potatoes in several places.  Bake until tender; you can use the microwave.  Cool till you can handle.  Peel off the skin and cut into 3/4 inch chunks.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix vegenaise, mustard, salt, and pepper until blended.

Add sweet potato chunks, celery, red pepper, pineapple, pecans and green onion to vegenaise mixture.  Toss gently until evenly coated.

Sprinkle with chopped chives.

great flavor and texture

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Take a look at my winter crops:

sweet potatoes peeking up
heart healthy kale
newly forming broccoli
green onions, still going strong after the March planting
why ever buy scallions again???
Chinese cabbage in an earth box
winter tomatoes
(very doubtful about this one)