Shells and cheeze with broccoli and kale

Again, I turn to the FatFree Vegan Kitchen for the best vegan cheeze sauce around. I altered the proportions enough that I will post my changes. I used whole wheat shells and about 1/4 cup cheeze on top. In the right hand corner, you can see the kale poking through the noodles.

For the Sauce:

1 c. water
1 c. plain rice milk
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon mellow white miso
black pepper to taste

Cook 5-6 oz whole wheat shell pasta until al dente. While pasta boils, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Chop 1 cup of kale and 1 cup broccoli (I used frozen). Prepare a baking dish with a few dollops of Earth Balance. When pasta is done, drain. Layer 1/4 of the sauce at the bottom of the baking dish, then a layer of pasta, then kale, then more sauce. Press down on the layers with your spoon. Add the next layer of pasta, broccoli, sauce. Press again. If you can fit in more pasta, add it on top, then add vegan shredded cheese and the last bit of sauce. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10.

Lentil soup with kale, and baked vegan potato latkes

I should probably have put latkes first in the subject line, since that’s where this evening began. Or technically speaking, Friday evening. Or maybe it began with the Silknog, the terrible weather, the crappy day, in no particular order. Today (Saturday) we had some of the leftover soup (it makes a ton!) and another batch of latkes. Latkes, latkes, latkes.

Vegan latkes

1 onion, grated

1.5 pounds potatoes, grated (I used Yukon Gold)

2 heaping TBL matzah meal

2 Ener-g egg replacers

Generous amounts of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Grate potatoes and onions. Let them sit for a few minutes, and then squeeze out all the extra liquid (into the sink or another bowl, whatever.) Stir in matzah meal, egg replacer, and seasoning. Mix with your hands until well combined. Pour off any remaining extra liquid (hopefully the matzah meal took care of this problem for you.) Form into tight patties and place on the prepared baking sheet. Rub the latkes in the oil a little, then flip over. Bake 15-20 minutes on that side, then flip over and bake another 10-15. The latkes should be nice and brown on both sides. Serve with Tofutti sour cream!

Lentil soup with kale

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1/2 tsp cloves

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 jalapenos, diced

1 28 oz. can tomatoes (chop them before adding)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

5-6 cups bouillon

1 1/2 cups red lentils

1 bunch of kale, chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté celery, onion, and carrots, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, and ginger, cook another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spices, then lentils and bouillon. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Blend with an immersion blender (or a regular blender). Cook another 5 minutes, and serve.

Best, easiest tomato soup (ever), and mushroom kale pizza

From Ezra Pound Cake, this delicious, creamy, amazing tomato soup.

2 TBL olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp hot red pepper flakes

1 bay leaf

2 (28-ounce) cans Italian plum tomatoes in juice

1 tsp turbinado sugar

3 large slices good-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1-inch pieces [**we used a hunk of frozen leftover baguette and a some pizza dough that I accidentally ruined and then stored in the freezer. In other words, use any bread you have in the freezer that approximates 3 slices.)

2 cups vegetable bouillon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp basil (Or if it’s in season, chopped fresh basil)

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large pot over medium-high heat.Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain.Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard. With an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth. (Or use a blender and blend in batches.) Add in additional olive oil, bouillon, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook 5-10 minutes before serving with a delicious homemade pizza!

Pinto bean cutlets, mushroom gravy, kale chips, and mashed potatoes

This was a pretty elaborate meal altogether, and completely worth the effort! On Friday night we made pinto bean cutlets, based on the Veganomicon chickpea cutlets, mushroom gravy, kale chips, and sinfully delicious mashed potatoes.

Mushroom Gravy

1 package white mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 TBL vegan margarine

1 TBL light tamari

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1.5 cups water (or enough to cover mushrooms)

Extra tamari


1-2 TBL cornstarch, with enough water to make a thick, yet runny paste (3-4 TBL water)

In a pot, saute mushrooms in a small amount of Earth balance (or other vegan margarine) until they release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. Add tamari and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes or so. Add water to cover (approximately 1.5 cups), bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste the liquid, if too watery add 1-2 teaspoons of tamari, add cayenne. Taste for seasoning. When the sauce tastes good, add in about half of the cornstarch mixture and stir continuously. It will thicken rapidly. If you like a thicker gravy, add more cornstarch. Continue to stir until it’s your desired thickness. Then turn down the heat, and stir occasionally until you are ready to serve it.

Kale Chips

There are lots of great recipes for kale chips on the internet. We chopped up the kale, tossed it with about 1 TBL olive oil, salt, cayenne, and garlic powder. Then baked it at 325 for 10 minutes. Easy-peasy.

Pinto Bean Cutlets

(This recipe makes only four, so we doubled the recipe below, and froze the leftover cutlets.)

1 cup canned pinto beans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 cup matzah meal

1/4 cup pinto bean liquid

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon rosemary

Preheat oven to 400.

In a mixing bowl, use an immersion blender to mix the pintos together with the oil until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed. (We let the dough sit for 10-15 minutes and this helped with the next stage.)

After the dough rests, divide the cutlet dough into four equal pieces. To form the cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6 x 4-inch rectangular cutlet shape. The easiest way to do this is to first form a rectangular shape in your hands and then place the cutlets on a clean surface to flatten and stretch them.

Add a moderate thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They’re ready when lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Brush both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Flip patties over and bake another 10-15 minutes until firm and brown on both sides.

Mashed Potatoes

We didn’t really measure anything, as per the norm, but these mashed potatoes were perfect. Chop 7-8 small yukon gold potatoes and boil until soft (leave the skins on). While the potatoes cook, grate 1/2-3/4 cup almond (or other non-dairy cheese) into a mixing bowl. Add 3-4 TBL of Earth Balance, approximately 1/3 cup rice milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the cheese. Set aside. After the potatoes are done, drain in a colander and mash with cheese mixture. Top with mushroom gravy……….Enough said.

Coconut milk, bean and vegetable stew

This week, we’re blogging out of order. I’ve been craving our local Ethiopian restaurant all week, so had been on the look out for interesting recipes from all parts of Africa. When I saw this recipe for Maharagwe, a Kenyan style stew with coconut milk and turmeric,  I had to try it immediately.

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped

2 cups kale, chopped

1 TBL olive oil

1 green pepper, chopped

5 habanero peppers, minced

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

1 can of light coconut milk

2 tsp turmeric

3-4 cardamom pods, slightly crushed

4 cloves of garlic, minced

salt and black pepper, to taste

In a pot, fry the onions in olive oil until lightly browned. Add garlic, green pepper, and habanero pepper, fry for another few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients (EXCEPT KALE), to the pot and simmer until everything is tender and the flavors have come together. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt accordingly. Stir in kale and cook about 2-3 minutes, until kale is slightly wilted. Serve with rice.

Egg Noodles with Fancy Cheese and Kale

2 cups (dry) egg noodles, cooked
1.5 c. kale
2 oz ricotta salata
2.5 oz (approximately) unpasteurized Chimay cheese with beer
1/4 c. soy butter
1/2 c. rice milk
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

In a pot on medium-low heat, melt together butter, rice milk and cheeses. Add in salt and pepper to taste.

Cook and drain egg noodles. Chpp kale to slightly larger than bite size.

Mix together noddles, cheese mixture, noodles and kale.

Bake 30-40 minutes until brown on top.