Spring 3-Bean Salad and Update

This is a quick and simple three bean salad. This is not a pickled bean recipe because the vinegar is relatively low-acid. The mustard vinaigrette used in my other recipes can be used here or if you want to sweeten it more you can. I cooked a mess of beans yesterday and have been using them in all sorts of recipes. Enjoy the recipe!

Simple 3-Bean Salad

1 cup black beans
1 cups lentils
1 cup dark red kidney beans
8 asparagus spears, ends trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch segments
3 green onions, chopped
1 small shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 – 1 cup cilantro or parsley, rinsed and chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (brown mustard is OK)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar
salt and pepper to taste

If you are using canned beans, rinse them well through a strainer then proceed with the recipe.

Set harder asparagus pieces in the bottom of a steamer basket or bottom of a shallow bowl with a little bit of water in it in the microwave. Set the softer pieces on top and cover. Steam for 2-3 minutes, just until asparagus is bright green. Pull out immediately and rinse in a strainer under cold water.

In a medium bowl, combine last six ingredients (beginning with garlic). If you wish to add a little oil, olive or safflower would not hurt. Taste and remember that this flavor will be diluted a bit over the beans.

Once you are satisfied with this, add the beans and herbs. You can add thyme or chives, if you wish.

Mix thoroughly and serve at room temp or chill to serve later.


Thanksgiving is Here!

Mushroom and Nut Loaf

This is the first vegan version of the bean and nut loaf that I have made. I must acknowledge Roz Denny’s The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook as my inspiration and starting point. This loaf uses kidney or baked beans, something that Southerners might just have cans of in their pantries. If you do make it with baked beans cut back on the additional BBQ sauce. But if you make it with kidney beans, I recommend making my recipe in advance. It is real spicy.

This loaf will do well the next day if you decide to toast it in the oven or saute a piece or two in the pan. It’s versatility is akin to the meatloaf of my omni days but now cruelty-free.

It is served here on a bed of sauteed kale but you can serve with roasted sweet potatoes and celery root. If you don’t have celery root for the recipe or the side, please feel free to use celery. There is a wonderful herb-onion gravy here also that takes only 15 minutes to make.

Mushroom and Nut Loaf

1 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup pecans halves
1 cup walnut pieces
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion finely chopped
1/2 cup sweet potatoes, cleaned, peeled and cut into tiny dice
1/2 cup celery root, cleaned, peeled and cut into tiny dice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs barbecue sauce
1 cup kale, chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 tbsp flaxseed, ground
1 tsp salt
1/2 tbs black pepper
2 tbs non-dairy butter
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tbs fresh sage, finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Mix water with ground flaxseed in a small bowl and set aside to allow it to gel. This is your “flax-egg”.

3. Toast nuts in dry skillet then place them in a food processor. Process nuts until there are tiny pieces (not butter). Empty processor (place nuts to the side).

4. Add non-dairy butter to skillet until melted. Add diced root vegetables (sweet potatoes and celery root). Saute for 3 minutes on high.

5. Add onion, mushroom and garlic to pan and saute for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Add vegetables to the food processor and include kidney beans. Process for a minute or two and push mixture down along the side walls.

7. Empty mixture out into a medium bowl and gently stir in the nuts, barbecue sauce, raw kale, onion powder, thyme, sage and more salt and pepper to taste.

8. Pour mixture into a prepared bread pan (sprayed with vegetable oil) and smooth the surface.

9. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another hour.

10. Test loaf in center with a toothpick. If any loaf sticks to the toothpick it needs to go back in.

11. Pull loaf out when finished baking and let cool for 15 – 20 minutes on a rack.

12. Place a light cutting board on top of bread pan and holding the sides of the bread pan close to the cutting board flip it over. The loaf should fall loose from the pan onto the cutting board. Slowly lift the bread pan and you should see a clean, firm loaf.

13. Slice pieces and serve with sauteed kale or roasted root vegetables (ideally more celery root and sweet potatoes).

Servings: 6

Herb-Onion Gravy

Herb-Onion Gravy

1 tbsp non-dairy butter
1 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth, heated
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tbs whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

1. Heat non-dairy butter in medium pan.

2. Add chopped onions and garlic and saute on medium-high until lightly brown on the edges.

3. Stir in flour over onion mixture and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

4. Pour vegetable broth slowly over onions and using a wire whisk incorporate the onion mixture throughout. Throw in herbs and continue stirring slowly.

5. Gravy will thicken in about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.



These biscuits remind me of the ones that my mother used to make growing up (with nearly every meal). However, she would place them all together in a cast-iron pan. This practice harkens back to the wood ovens and cast iron utensils that were in use at one time. These are light and savory and are best eaten right away but can be wrapped up individually for later and eaten as a sandwich with tempeh bacon or tofu eggs.


3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup white flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup Olivio coconut oil spread or chilled non-dairy butter
6 ounces non-dairy yogurt (pref So Delicious Greek Style Plain Coconut Milk)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. Using a fork or a pastry dough blender, cut the coconut oil spread into the flour. Push the utensil into the fat downwards into the bottom of the bowl. Repeat procedure until the flour texture has large white peas.

4. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and stir into the dry ingredients. Fold wet ingredients in just until the dough is wet and sticky. Do not overmix!

5. Lightly flour a surface and fold wet dough onto it. Push the dough into a relatively flat piece and using a 2″ round circle cutter cutter cut 6 circles and place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.

6. Place in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Biscuits should be light brown and will continue to cook for a few minutes after they emerge from the oven.

Servings: 6

Cooking Times Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Two on the Side

Hurricane Sandy just rolled through and I managed to throw together two very simple side dishes (before the power went out). The first one is from the oven and the second from the stovetop.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Radishes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Radishes

2 cups sweet potatoes, cleaned and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 cup radishes, tops reserved for another dish and diced into 1-2-inch cubes
2 tbs coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Clean and cut vegetables. If you buy the radish in a bunch with top, reserve it for another dish.

3. Line a baking sheet and spread vegetables out on it evenly.

4. Dot the vegetables with pieces of the coconut oil then put the sheet in the oven for 30 minutes.

5. Watch the vegetables and turn them midway. When the sweet potato pieces are slightly toasty they are ready to come out of the oven.

6. Stir chopped cilantro or parsley at the end.

Servings: 4 Yield: 3 cups

Yellow Patty-in-the-Pan Squash and Sweet Onions

Yellow Patty-in-the-Pan Squash and Sweet Onions

2 yellow pattypan squash, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup sliced sweet onion
1 bunch radish tops, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs canola oil

1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high and add canola oil to the pan.

2. Sear pattypan squash on cut edges for 5 – 10 minutes

3. Add yellow onion slices and saute until browned lightly for 5 minutes.

4. Add chopped radish top and saute again for a few minutes more.

5. Season to taste and serve.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times Preparation Time: 5 minutes, Cooking Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 20 minutes

Spicy Blackberry Tempeh

Spicy Blackberry Tempeh with Collard Greens and New Potato

As promised, here is a recipe using one of summer’s wonderful fruits – the blackberry! In this application I have used seared tempeh but you can also use tofu or other bean cakes of your creation. A note on modifications: You can use red wine instead of red wine vinegar. But keep a close eye on the sauce reduction. Also, to make it spicier, I recommend a small hot pepper added to the shallots when they are added to the pan for the sauce.

Spicy Blackberry Tempeh

8 ounces tempeh
2 cups blackberries, washed
1 1/2 Tbsp shallot, minced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1 tsp thyme leaves, chopped
1 tsp mint, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil for sautéing
mint sprigs, for garnish

1. Cut tempeh into 6 pieces horizontally and place into a steamer. Steam for 5 – 10 minutes.

2. Warm saute pan and add half of the oil. Season tempeh pieces with cayenne, salt and pepper. Sear tempeh pieces on both sides and set aside.

3. Add minced shallot to the pan. When slightly brown add blackberries. Mash half of the blackberries with the back of a fork or potato masher. Stir together shallots and berries. Add red wine vinegar and cover. With burner on high, allow mixture to reduce by half (about 10 minutes). While it is reducing, halfway through turn pieces of tempeh over and allow sauce to cover. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and thyme and cover.

4. Just before plating, add fresh chopped mint. Remove tempeh pieces from pan and dress with sauce.

Servings: 2

Cooking Times Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Apple Corn Stack Cakes

Apple Corn Stacks

The Appalachian wedding cake consisted of a multitude of very thin apple pancakes stacked on top of one another. Sandwiched between each layer were apples cooked in syrup. Hoecakes (called johnnycakes up North) are a simple recipe of cornmeal, hot milk/water and salt. Sometimes they are sweetened. Presented here are a combination of the two purely for economy’s sake. Our CSA has provided us ample corn from late summer to stock up on and fall is nearly here. So, this breakfast makes a great transition for the seasons and these cakes taste delicious too!

Apple Corn Stack Cakes

1 cup fresh corn (or 2 ears)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk, vanilla
2 tbsp apple butter
dash cinnamon
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cornmeal, regular
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1. Place fresh corn and non-dairy milk in food processor and puree until mostly smooth.

2. Add apple butter and process for a few more seconds.

3. Spoon mixture out into a medium-sized mixing bowl.

4. Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and pour into wet mixture. Stir to combine.

5. Add more non-dairy milk if a thinner batter is desired. Wait for a minute or two before cooking cakes.

6. Using a 1/4 cup scoop, drop batter onto non-stick pan and cook on both sides until lightly brown.

7. Dress with maple syrup or more apple butter. Serve immediately.

Servings: 4

Squash Casserole

Squash Casserole

So a rotten cold hits me and my husband at the end of summer and I have been off of this blog/program for more than 10 days now!  And I don’t even know whether my family and friends have been following Meatless Mondays, the Extended Version, or not.  Finally, I am right in my head and able to share the latest recipe using the abundantly available yellow crookneck squash from our CSA. Squash casserole was such a staple at our school cafeteria and so satisfying too. There was no mystery meat, bone shards, fat globs, whatever. If anything, it was the closest thing to vegetables that they served us and I relished it. Like the Seven Layer Salad, there is a way to make this more like the original using vegan substitutes. Instead, I wanted to make something “clean-eating style”. Casseroles are not as popular anymore because no one has time to make them, not because they don’t taste good. This dish you can cut down the cooking time by starting it over the stove top and finishing it in the oven. It is not the most beautiful dish that I have ever cooked but it does taste good and it is clean eating!

Squash Casserole

4 cups yellow squash, diced 1″ thick
1 medium onion, half chopped 1/2″ pieces, other half thinly sliced rings
1 ounces cooked potatoes (with skin)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (reserve 1 tbsp)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 tablespoons sunflower oil, separated

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Saute squash and onions in half of sunflower oil then set aside.

3. To make the sauce, in a food processor combine cooked potato, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, flaxseed meal, toasted sunflower seeds, onion powder, salt and pepper. Pulse ingredients until smooth.

4. Add remaining oil in pan and saute onion slices until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a medium mixing bowl combine the sauteed squash and onions and sauce. Pour mixture into shallow casserole dish.

6. Top mixture with sauteed onions and sprinkle with more nutritional yeast. Top with reserved sunflower seeds, if desired.

7. Bake on top rack for 15 – 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and it is ready to serve.

Tomato Jam and Corn Crackers

Honestly, this recipe was inspired by my penchant for putting ketchup on corn as a child. Many years later, after learning how to make onion confit and making cranberry relish every Thanksgiving, I decided to incorporate that knowledge into a simple snack or appetizer. While, there is a recipe that more aptly suits my inspiration called tomato corn relish, *that* one is for another time.

Tomato Jam and Corn Crackers

Corn Crackers

These crackers taste like the crispiest edges of cornbread (my favorite part). Their quality lies in the freshness of the cornmeal. Obtain the freshest cornmeal that you can find or make your own to enjoy its simplicity.

1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup corn meal, coarse
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sunflower oil
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
7 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Thoroughly mix together all dry ingredients.

3. Add oil to the dry mixture. Then slowly add water while stirring to incorporate. Dough should be a little loose but will mold together.

4. Turn out dough onto cutting board and roll out to 1/8″ thickness. It may take rolling it out in sections and cutting from each rolled out section.

5. Stamp out crackers using a 2″ circle pastry cutter/cookie stamp. It makes approximately 18 – 20 crackers.

6. On a non-stick or lightly oiled baking sheet lay the crackers as you work. Using a fork, pierce each cracker on the top in a cross pattern (to prevent dough from rising too much in the center).

7. Place crackers into upper 1/3 of oven and bake for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove when they are lightly toasted.

8. Remove crackers from baking sheet to a cooling rack.

Yields: 18 – 20 crackers

Tomato Jam

2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small red onion, minced
1/8 – 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and cut into strips
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons raisins + 1/4 cup toasted pecans (if desired)
dash cinnamon
dash salt to taste
1/2 cup water

1. In a medium saucepan heat sunflower oil on medium high.

2. Add minced onions and allow to cook until caramelized (not burned) stirring constantly, approximately 5 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and brown sugar and increase heat to high.

4. Begin to reduce mixture (breaking down tomatoes) and then add lemon juice and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir well and cook for approximately 5 more minutes.

5. Add water, raisins, pecans (if using), cinnamon and salt and stir well. Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes. Stir continually, being careful not to burn it, as it reduces down to jam-like consistency.

6. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes.

7. Jam should be a dark, glossy red dotted with raisins. Sugar can be adjusted for less if necessary.

Sweet and Spicy Turnips and Greens

My brother used to hate turnip greens. He called them “toilet greens” and I think he really thought that was what they were. We would giggle and dig in (at least I would). However, this is a recipe that I think that he would have loved. The entire prep/cook time is about 15 – 20 minutes but lots of love went into making them.

Sweet and Spicy Turnips and Greens

Sweet and Spicy Turnips and Greens

1 bunch turnips and their greens intact
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tablespoon walnut oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoon raisins
2 tablespoons pecans, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1. Brush clean turnip bulbs and thoroughly rinse the greens.

2. Cut bulbs clean from greens.

3. Trim bulbs and julienne (fine).

4. Heat oil in non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

5. Add julienned turnip bulbs to the pan and saute for about 3 – 5 minutes.

6. Season with spices.

7. Finely chop the base of the greens (stem ends) and add to the pan. Saute for another 3 minutes.

8. Finally, chop the greens 1″ pieces and add to the pan. Saute until bright green.

9. Add pecans and raisins and stir for another minute or two.

10. Serve immediately.