Pumpkin pasta with kale and pintos

With the best of intentions, I started to make Chef Chloe’s awesome sounding Creamy Pumpkin Penne. Something about the nutmeg and sweetness just didn’t appeal to me today, so I made the most delicious gluten free mac and cheese, using pumpkin as the sauce base. Behold!

(sorry, phone photo)

1 box Brown Rice elbow pasta
2-3 cups cooked kale (I used about half a bag of frozen)
olive oil
1 onion diced
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tomato chopped
2 TBL low sugar ketchup
1 TBL sage
1 tsp coriander
1 14 oz can of pumpkin (minus 1/4 cup because I used it for the delicious Microwave Muffin)
1 cup of water
1 veggie bullion cube
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 14 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper

Cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain all water, then add the kale (no need to defrost) and a little olive oil to the noodles. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Saute onion, garlic, and tomato until the vegetables are soft (5-7 minutes). Add ketchup and seasonings. Add pumpkin, bullion cube, and water. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add nutritional yeast and mix well. Add noodle mixture and taste for seasoning. Cook until mixture is warmed through and serve.

Mango salsa, vegan cheesy beans, and baked rice

Mango salsa adapted from Ellie Krieger

1 mango, chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, diced

1 shallot, diced

1/2 c. cilantro, finely chopped

2 TBL jalapeno, diced

1 TBL lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Chop everything up, mix, refrigerate. Our jalapeno was SPICY, deseed yours if you don’t like the heat.

Vegan cheesy beans and baked rice

1 batch easy vegan cheese sauce (We only used 1 tsp or so of tahini)

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

2 cans beans (black and pinto)

1 cup cooked rice

1 cup frozen corn

Blend the sauce with the spices. For the rice, pour the cooked rice into an 8 inch cake pan. Pour sauce over it until it is just barely covered. Add corn on top and bake at 400 for 20 mminutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

For the beans, open the cans of beans. Drain the liquid from one can (we drained the pintos, but do whatever) and bring to a boil in a pot. Season with garlic, salt, and pepper. Add in cheese sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook at least 15 minutes. Stir to prevent the cornstarch from hardening too quickly.

New Year’s Eve Feast

We have a few things that should be written up first, but my sister B requested photos from our mini fiesta, so I am skipping ahead. I promise the other posts are coming soon, possibly even later today, now that I’ve downloaded the photos and basically already written up most of the posts.

For New Year’s we stayed in like respectable adults and cooked up some of our favorite foods, nothing fancy, just very delicious twin beans, red rice, guacamole, baked chips, and fresh tomato salsa. YUM.

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.

Mexicali soup

As a child I loved the book Mexicali Soup, in which the mother of a large family makes a soup, but leaves out the ingredient that each child dislikes. When she serves dinner, everyone gets a big bowl of water. Fortunately, our mexicali soup is stuffed with ingredients and even gets a tasty garnish. Today it turned cold again, so I’m eager to heat and eat!

1 can tomato sauce

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup corn kernels

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 bell pepper (or 4 mini bell peppers)

1 jalapeno, sliced

1 zucchini

2 red potatoes

1 cup mushrooms

1/2 TBL cumin

1/2 TBL oregano

1/s TBL red pepper flakes

4-5 cups water (to cover and a little extra)

2 large handfuls arugula

2 TBL cilantro (fresh or frozen)

2-3 TBL lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: garnish with avocado and vegan cheddar

In a large pot, heat a small amount of olive oil and saute onion, pepper, garlic, zucchini, potatoes, and corn for about 5 minutes, until the onion becomes translucent. Stir in spices and cook another minute, stir to prevent sticking. Add tomato sauce, beans, water; bring to a boil. Add cilantro and arugula. Reduce heat and cook partially covered for 30 minutes, until potatoes are done. Add in chopped mushrooms and lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking on low another 10-15 minutes.

mexicali1Top with avocado and grated vegan cheese.

Serves 3-4

Southwestern Vegetable and Bean Soup

1/2 red onion
1 1/2 red bell pepper
4 pickled jalapeno peppers
2 celery stalks
8 oz frozen corn
1 head broccoli
2 carrots
2 small yukon potatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
28 oz diced tomatoes
4 cups vegatable broth
1/2 tbl. cumin
1 tsp cayenne (or more!)
salt and pepper
1 tsp. olive oil

Chop all vegetables into bite sized pieces.

Saute onion, red bell pepper and garlic until soft and fragrant, in a large stock pot. Add in celery and carrots, stirring frequently. Add corn, jalapenos, spices, salt and pepper, cook for about 5 minutes. Add in canned tomatoes (do not drain). Bring to a boil. Add in vegetable broth, bring to a boil. Add in broccoli and potatoes, and beans, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook covered for about 30 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes are tender. Cook for about 5 minutes uncovered. Serve as soup, or over rice as a stew.

Kale Quesadillas with Vinegar Salsa

1/2 head of kale
1 can pinto beans, drained
1/3 pound feta
dash of lemon juice
salt and pepper

Mix together all ingrediants, then stuff tortillas. Grill in a pan!

1 yellow tomato
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Chop ingrediants, mix and cover. Ideally let salsa sit over night, but at least 1 hour.