Vegan Português kale soup

This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray, and inspired by my friend Heather (check out her photography).

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
* 1/2 cup diced onions
* 2 diced carrots
* 1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
* Chorizo seasoning (see below) or [1-2 store-bought soy chorizo, but omit lentils]
* 1 TBL tamari
* ½ cup red lentils
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 TBL parsley
* ½ tsp thyme
* 2 not-beef bullion cubes
* 8 cups water
* 1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained
* 1 cup diced tomatoes
* 3 red potatoes, diced

**Chorizo seasoning mix: 1 TBL granulated onion, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 TBL dried chili flakes, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp turbinado sugar

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, chorizo spices (or soyrizo), bay leaves, parsley and thyme and mix well. Add the “beef stock”, beans, lentils, potatoes, and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and serve hot.

Mashed potatoes and Mexican red lentils

Saute onion and garlic, add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, and 1 TBL tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of red lentils and 3 cups of water. Cook until lentils are soft and the water is absorbed.

The mashed potatoes are just delicious vegan mashed potatoes with some parsley, topped with pico de gallo and Daiya mozzerella.

Also, with vegan coleslaw.

Julia Child inspired lentil-kidney bourguignon

Neither of us have ever eaten boeuf bourguignon, but it sounds cozy and we love stew and Julie & Julia, and so on.  The Cinnamon Quill came up with an amazing adaptation for boeuf bourguignon, sans boeuf, which I was about to make until I realized how many steps were involved, and now many ingredients I didn’t have (dates, pearl onions, lots of wine). In true Beans, Figs and Katz fashion, I put this LARGE stew together.

1/2 TBL Earth balance

1/2 TBL olive oil

2 onions, sliced thinly

3 carrots, sliced

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite sized piececs

2 bay leaves

1 TBL tomato paste

1/2 TBL molasses

1 TBL balsamic vinegar

1 tsp turbinado sugar

2 bouillion cubes

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp parsley

2 cups red wine (that’s all I had in a leftover container in the fridge. You could add more)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1.5 cups lentils

1 15oz. can kidney beans (with liquid)

1 TBL tamari

water to cover

salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Sauce–to be added later

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

another 1 TBL tamari

additional 3 garlic cloves, minced or garlic powder

1 cup water

Yes, this is a ridiculous number of ingredients. In a stock pot, heat olive oil and Earth Balance, then saute oninions, garlic, and carrots on medium heat until the onions turn slightly mushy, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally, and work on your other prep in the mean time. Add the remaining ingredients, except the mushroom sauce. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally and cook 20 minutes. (Add a little more water if needed.)

Meanwhile, in a small pot, saute mushrooms in a small amount of Earth Balance 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 cup), bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Pour the mushroom sauce into the large pot and stir. Bring to a boil and then cover to simmer again, about 10 minutes.

Pour stew into a dutch oven (or two smaller baking dishes with covers), and bake at 325 for an hour or so. Add more wine or broth if needed.

Black lentil soup

This recipe is actually from Food and Wine (November 2009) magazine. My friend gave me a subscription about six months ago and this is the first recipe I’ve tried. It was a little more labor intensive than I usually go for, particularly for a soup, which in my mind should be the least laborious type of cooking (chopping of vegetables, aside). Next time, I’ll probably try to reduce some of the steps a little. We served this with saffron rice.


1 cup black lentils, picked over and rinsed (seriously, this is a worth while step. those stones are horrible!)

2 cardamom pods (we used black, but i think the green would work well too)

1-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced thinly

2 TBL minced ginger

2 TBL Earth Balance (original called for 5 TBL butter)

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced (original recipe 2)

1 TBL fresh cilantro (original recipe 1/2 tsp coriander)

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (1/4 tsp)

I TBL garam masala (1/4 tsp)

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 cup diced tomatoes (I used fresh grape tomatoes, but the recipe called for canned)

salt to taste

In a large pot, boil lentils, sliced ginger, and cardamom in water covering 1 inch. Cook about 10 minutes, or until lentils begin to soften. Drain lentils, discard cardamom and ginger, set aside in a bowl. Saute onions, grated ginger, and garlic in 2 TBL margarine, about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add spices and fresh cilantro. Add a little water if needed. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, lentils, and stock. Bring to a boil, then cook uncovered on medium heat for an hour or longer.

A belated final VeganMofo post, including lentil surprise

It’s the last day of VeganMofo, and I have a disgusting cold. I don’t often get sick, and I’m not very patient about getting better. Stef got me some orange juice, which ordinarily I would never drink because I really think drinking fruit juice is about the same as drinking a glass of sugar with a some vitamin c and folates (not to be negative or anything), yet when I have a cold I actually crave it.

That has nothing to do with dinner though. Tonight’s menu includes innovations on some of our favorite recipes. I decided to actually write down what I did when I cooked the lentil surprise. It actually has no bearing on the post I wrote up last year…The tomato soup is full of ginger and has an added creamy touch from the raw cashews. And the pumpkin custards are basically pumpkin pie filling with coconut milk and no crust, but they are creamy, special, perfect for tonight.

lentil surpriseLentil Surprise

1 cup red lentils

1 onion, diced

1/2 bell pepper, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup cilantro, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 TBL mustard seeds

2 TBL curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

4 cups veggie stock

Heat oil in pot and add mustard seeds. Cover and wait until the seeds begin to pop, then add onions and garlic. Saute until soft, then add curry, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne. Cook about 5 minutes, add a little water if there is a lot of stickage in the pot. Add coconut, peppers, spinach, and cilantro. Then add stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45-60 minutes until the lentils are soft and all the flavors are well combined. Serve with rice.

Red curry vegetable stirfry with cashews and Nepalese red lentil soup

red curry stir fryWe didn’t eat until late last night, even for us, so I heated up some soup from the freezer. The Nepalese red lentil soup is rich and salty. I thought I had already blogged about it, so I didn’t photograph it last night, only to realize this morning that I actually hadn’t posted about it, nor did I have any pictures of this beautiful soup.

Imagine a bowl filled with thick, creamy soup. The soft lentils are the color of turmeric and flecks of green cilantro and jalapenos provide contrast. This is also one of the best smelling soups, fragrant with ginger and 5-spice.

1  tsp olive oil

1  TBL vegan margarine

2  onions diced

1  TBL  fresh ginger, grated

1  jalapeño diced

6  cups  water

2  cups  dried small red lentils

1 1/2  tsp  salt

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2  tsp  five-spice powder

1/3  cup chopped cilantro (fresh is great, but I had some in the freezer and that was just fine)

Heat oil and margarine in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger, and jalapeño; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Stir in water and remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for  45-50 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.  This was wonderful the first night we ate it, but I really preferred it after it was frozen and thawed.

For the stir fry: Heat 1 tsp of sesame oil in a frying pan, add 2 tsp dark soy sauce and 2 tsp vegan thai red curry paste and stir. Add in 1 onion diced, 2-3 garlic cloves minced, 1 tsp fresh grated ginger. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat, until onions are soft. Add a little water if needed. Next, add broccoli, diced zucchini, jalapenos, mushrooms, and raw cashews. Cook 4-5 minutes until vegetables are your desired crispness, stirring often. Deglaze the pan with 2-3 tsp sherry. Finish cooking 1-2 minutes.

Lentils with roasted potatoes and eggplant with creole seasoning

lentils potatoes eggplant

With still some leftover eggplant and a 5 pound bag of potatoes taking up space in the fridge, I started off thinking about a vegan moussaka. However, the more I thought about nutmeg, the less I was inclined to try it, so I went in a completely different direction. This was tasty and spicy! The salad helped cool it down, and the eggplant muffins made a nice dessert.

1 cups red lentilssalad
3 red potatoes
2 cups eggplant
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbl creole seasoning
1 cup tomatoes, diced
3-4 green onions
salt, pepper

Chop the eggplant and potatoes into small pieces (approx. 1/2 inch squares) and toss with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and some lemon juice. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Stir every 10-15 minutes.

For the lentils: Boil 4 cups of water and cook the lentils about 10-15 minutes. Stop cooking before they turn to mush, the lentils should be a little crunchy still. Drain and add to a mixing bowl. Stir in lemon juice and seasonings.

When the potatoes and eggplant are finished cooking, add to the lentils and mix well. Add tomatoes, jalapeno, and green onions and stir. Serve warm or cold, make ahead and refrigerate overnight for best flavor.

Serves 3-4 (or two people for dinner, and one lunch)