Tuesday, August 28, 2012


roasting eggplant

some of my slight changes but basic recipe from Martha Rose Shulman via the net


1 lb. eggplant (1 large or 2 small)
2 Tbsp. olive oil or I use a small am't of veggie broth
1 small onion, minced
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic and basil, drained
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
salt to taste
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups veggie stock
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup Vegan Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, and oil the foil.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and with the tip of your knife make an incision down the middle of the cut sides that goes just about down to, but not through, the skin.  Lay the eggplants on the baking sheet, cut side down, and place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the skin has shriveled and the eggplants are beginning to collapse.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool until you can handle them, then dice and set aside.

Saute the onion in a small am't of veggie broth.  Cook, stirring often, until it is tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic.  Cook, stirring, until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir in the tomatoes, thyme, diced eggplant and salt to taste.  Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and small fragrant and the eggplant is thoroughly tender, 10 to 15 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Set aside.

the simmering tomatoes and eggplants

Put your stock or broth into a saucepan and bring it to a simmer on the stove, with a ladle nearby or in the pot.  Make sure that it is well seasoned.  Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan.  Pour in the rice and stir just until the grains separate and begin to sizzle.  Add the wine and stir until it is no longer visible.  Stir in the tomato and eggplant mixture and cook, stirring, for about a minute, until the mixture is well combined and sizzling.

sizzling rice awaits the white wine

Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls at a time.  The stock should just cover the rice, and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly.  Stir often, and when you see that the stock has been absorbed by the rice, add another ladleful.  The rice will be cooked through but still chewy after 20 to 25 minutes of adding the stock in increments and stirring.  When the rice is tender all the way through but still chewy, it is done.  Add pepper, taste and adjust salt.

Add the last of the stock.  Stir in the Parmesan and remove from the heat.  The mixture should be creamy.  Serve right away.

I also LOVE this as a leftover!

cooking away

the finished product, melts in your mouth,
thick and creamy

Sunday, August 26, 2012


basil and limes from my garden


3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
small red onion, chopped fine
juice and zest of 2 limes
red pepper flakes, to taste
chopped fresh basil, about 8 - 10 leaves (or use fresh chopped mint)


Mix all together and let flavors meld for at least 30 minutes.

surprisingly simple yet tasty
and no oil!

Friday, August 24, 2012


a very "meaty" dish
thick and rich

This is my version of a recipe that I found on another blog.  I've made a much quicker version for my time restraints.


6 oz. Vegan bacon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 portobello mushrooms, cut in half and each half into fourths
2 sliced carrots
1 sliced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups Burgundy wind
1-2 cups veggie broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp. thyme
crumbled bay leaf


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute the bacon in the casserole, in the 1 Tbsp. of oil, over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly.  Remove to a side dish. 

Add the other Tbsp. of oil, heat up and then add the mushrooms.  Cook until well browned.  Remove from pan.  In the same saucepan cook the carrots and onions.  When starting to get tender add in the bacon and mushrooms. 

Toss all with the salt and pepper, flour, tomato paste, garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  Stir all together.

Stir in the wine and enough veggie broth so that the vegetables are barely covered.

Cover the casserole and set in the lower third of the preheated oven.  This should simmer very slowly, 2 to 3 hrs.  Be sure to add more veggie broth IF necessary. 

You want this dish to be saucy and spoon nicely over brown rice or pasta.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


pickled peppers and okra

What to do with all of these sweet banana peppers?  I decided to us my pickling recipe with the peppers cut in strips and whole okra.  Delish.  See my pickle blog.

next harvest, I roasted pepper strips with 2 Tbsp. oil,
garlic powder and smoky seasoned salt

I also tossed in a few okra slices

Monday, August 20, 2012


molasses mustard glazed tempeh

I doubled the recipe to have lots and lots
                                                   leftover for sandwiches.

2 (8 oz.) packages of tempeh
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
2 Tbsp. molasses
2 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. tamari


Slice tempeh across into 1/2 inch strips and steam 10 minutes.

In shallow baking dish, whisk together oil, garlic, mustard, molasses, lime juice and tamari.  Place steamed tempeh in marinade and flip to coat each side.  Marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place tempeh with marinade in oven and roast 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, flip tempeh and return to roast another 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and serve hot or refrigerate for later use.

Sunday, August 19, 2012



yield:  one nice plateful
(after a few were eaten)  :)


2 ripe bananas, mashed until smooth & creamy
1/3 cup almond butter
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (I blended 2 whole apples, 2 squirts agave nectar, cinnamon &    water and then cooked on high Vitamix setting; let cool and measure out the 2/3 cup)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. butter flavor extract
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup chopped cocoa covered almonds, chopped (or use any other nut)
1/4 cup carob or chocolate chips
2 tsp. chia seeds

the almonds I used


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix mashed banana & almond butter until completely combined then add in the applesauce, the extracts, mix again until all are completely combined. 

Add in the oatmeal, nuts, chips & chia seeds.  Mix well.

mix well

Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet & flatten cookies into rounds.

Bake cookies approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown & finished.  Remove from oven & let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container. 

ready to bake

hot from the oven

Friday, August 17, 2012


a very quick lunch or dinner...
chard and beet tops from my garden


1/2 pkg pasta
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups greens, shredded - I used chard and beet tops
left over nacho sauce, heat this up - prior blog


While pasta is cooking, shred the greens and place them in the serving bowl. 

In the last 4 minutes of the pasta cooking, add the frozen peas to the water.

Drain the pasta and peas and throw them over the greens; mix to wilt the greens.  Pour on the nacho sauce and stir till all is covered with the thick creamy sauce. 

Serve with fresh ground pepper.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


taco salad smothered with nacho sauce
a good quick meal


1 large onion, diced
1 bag soy crumbles
1 envelope taco seasoning
shredded lettuce
tomato, diced
optional:  black olives, green chilies


Saute the onion in a bit of veggie stock.  When tender, add the soy crumbles and cook till a bit browned. 

Publix now carries their own brand of soy crumbles
and they are about one dollar cheaper per bag than
the leading brand.

onion and soy crumbles

Add the seasoning packet and water as per packet directions.  Simmer.

Set up your taco salad bar:  lettuce, seasoned "meat", tomatoes, nacho cheese sauce, etc.  Let everyone build their own taco salad.

my taco salad bar

nacho cheese sauce, see prior blog


so many uses for this magic sauce...
who needs cheese?


2 cups water
1/4 cup raw cashews
4 oz jar pimentos, drained
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin, heaping


Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth.  Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 5 or 6 minutes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


a trio of mushrooms simmer atop the stove

I always just throw this one together so measurements are up to you.  You can't go wrong.  The secret of making this very tasty comfort dish is using 3 different types of mushrooms.  Any three!  Here's what I used on this particular dish:


1 large onion
1 red pepper
veggie broth
2 large portobello mushrooms. cut in half then sliced thin
about 4 very large clusters of oyster mushrooms, sliced
about 10 porcini mushrooms, sliced
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp. tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
Earth Balance
1 tube of polenta


Saute the onion and pepper in a bit of the veggie broth until they start to soften.

Next add the garlic, mushrooms a some veggie stock.  Cook till the mushrooms are finished and a nice broth starts to develop.  Add stock if necessary.  There needs to be some sauce to spoon over the polenta.

Near the end, add the salt, pepper and tarragon and 1 large spoonful of Earth Balance.

While this is cooking the polenta has been softened and veggie stock stirred into it to form it into a creamy mixture.  Cook over low heat while adding the stock until the desired consistency is achieved. 

To serve, spoon the mushroom mixture over the creamy polenta.

the polenta in a tube turns creamy with the addition of veggie stock


Tuesday, August 14, 2012



1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
3 large celery ribs, chopped
3/4 medium-size cabbage, cored and cut into ribbons
28 oz can chopped tomatoes, with their juice
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
6 cups veggie broth
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. agave


Saute the onions, carrots and celery in a saucepan with a bit of veggie broth.

I cut my veggies very fine in the Vitamix but a rough chop is fine.

When the veggies are tender, add them with the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot.  Cook the first hour on high.  Cook an additional 6 hours.

simmered all day in the crock pot

Saturday, August 11, 2012


based on a Vitamix recipe, can easily be adapted

3 cups veggie broth
1 tomato, halved
1 carrot, halved
1 rib celery, halved
1 small onion, cut into fourths
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small bell pepper, cubed
1 small wedge of cabbage
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. taco seasoning
1 cup thawed frozen corn
1 can black beans, drain and rinse
Place all soup ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
Select Variable 1
Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
Blend for 5 - 6 minutes or until heavy steam escapes from the vented lid.
If adding optional ingredients, reduce speed to Variable 2....remove the lid plug.
At this point I add the beans and corn. Blend for an additional 10 seconds.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


fresh organic butter beans atop brown Jasmine rice

The Tomato Shed Cafe, John's Island,  serves the best homegrown butter beans.  They bag and sell these fresh from their farm.  Here's my cooked version:


1 lb. fresh green butter beans
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
veggie broth
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
cooked brown Jasmine rice


Saute the onions, carrots and celery in a small am't of veggie broth.  Cook till slightly tender.

Add veggie broth to barely cover (add more later if necessary) and the Earth Balance.  Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. (fork tender but not falling apart)

When tender, add the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over the cooked brown Jasmine rice.

drain and rinse before cooking

Monday, August 6, 2012


I added the broccoli to the bowties
another great recipe from Summerfest 2012

Finally, a Fettuccine Alfredo (ok ok, I chose to use whole wheat bowties) that is elegant, creamy, rich and easy to make.  The taste is amazing and I'll be making this again very soon.  Definitely good company fare.


1 cup raw cashews
2 Tbsp. raw pine nuts
1 1/2 cup water
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/16 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


In a blender, grind cashews and pine nuts into a fine powder.  Add water, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, and salt.  Blend until completely smooth.

Transfer sauce to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk as you bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes, whisking regularly.  Stir in black pepper.

Serve over hot pasta and garnish with parsley and fresh ground pepper to taste.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

RAW CHEESY PEAS/ raw & vegan

start with thawed but not cooked peas
shown here, thawing on paper towels


1 pound frozen peas, defrosted
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 3 to 4 hours
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup low sodium miso paste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. turmeric


Drain and rinse cashews.  Place all ingredients (except for peas) in a food processor.  Process until smooth.

Pour over peas and mix well.  Chill well before serving.

I served this dish as a side vegetable but also for
lunch as a filler for lettuce wraps.

Again, thanks to Chef AJ...buy her book!

used as a side dish to the carrot dawg

Saturday, August 4, 2012


                                IF not the back yard, then your market selling LOCAL produce:

My trip today to the downtown Charleston market overloaded my senses.  I wanted to buy literally everything but settled for a box and two bags FULL of fresh local harvest.

pictured: figs, corn, mushrooms, okra, tomatoes,
peaches, red & orange peppers, cabbage and kale

beautiful white corn

fresh figs

a combination of mushrooms

view of the market at Marion square

Friday, August 3, 2012


Anyone see Kelly Rippa's morning show featuring Dr. Joel Fuhrman, my guru?  He featured a dark, gooey looking chocolate brownie...I swear NO bad foods in it.

I'll be making a batch this weekend.  Stay tuned to see how they turn out!!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012



Whether you enjoy watching TV or not, this one is a win win.  All 4 previously aired episodes are available via the Internet.  Watch as a variety of presenters teach and show us the epidemic proportions of obesity and its impact in our country.

A good review:


THEN prepare to watch the 4 separate episodes:

Part 1 - Consequences

Part 2 - Choices

Part 3 - Children in Crisis

Part 4 - Challenges

more about this documentary:


at my house the new color for 2012 is GREEN

I've discovered another great way to make use of my garden greens and reap the benefits of great nutrition...the green breakfast drink.

Use fruit but not ALL or even the majority of fruit for your breakfast drink.   Remember 3 servings a day is plenty for that fruit group.  On the other hand, eat as many greens as you want...healthily prepared, of course.  (I'm learning a lot about greens cooked in the south;  many are cooked with pork.  Always ASK)

This morning my drink included:

frozen banana
1 lime, no skin
2 ribs celery
4 kale leaves
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
cup of ice cubes

Process all together in a high speed blender till very smooth.

I personally believe that if you aren't used to drinking greens, a gradual approach is most effective.  Make it palatable.  Over time, decrease the amount of fruits used and go from using milder greens (such as chard, even romaine) to middle intensity then onto eventually the stronger greens (collards, mustard, kale).  But whatever you do...USE GREENS!!!

my new favorite purple shake:

about 6 beet leaves
1 carrot
1 celery rib
about 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1 cup ice cubes
water as needed, 1/2 to 1 cup

Blend all together.