Monday, December 10, 2012

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

These enchiladas are TOTALLY AWESOME! I've never made enchiladas before because I'd never eaten any I was really excited about. I tried these with trepidation, especially since I generally use cumin and cilantro cautiously. I liked these so much I'll definitely be making them often!

To make the sauce, heat over medium heat:
2     tablespoons olive oil

Whisk in:
1/4     cup tomato paste
1/4     cup whole-wheat flour
1        teaspoon cumin
1/4     teaspoon garlic powder
1/4     teaspoon onion powder
1/4     teaspoon chili powder
1/4     teaspoon salt
4        teaspoons McKay's Chicken Style Seasoning

Then whisk in:
3        cups water

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened.

For the enchilada filling, mix in a large bowl:
15      ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
15      ounce can kernel corn, drained (or you could use frozen corn)
6        ounces spinach (I used frozen spinach, but you could easily use fresh--just cook briefly to wilt)
6        green onions, sliced
1/3     cup cilantro, chopped
1/2     teaspoon cumin
1-1/2  cups vegan cheese sauce (try Crackerbarrel Cheese)

Divide filling between:
6        large flour tortillas (10-inch)

Roll tortillas up tightly with ends tucked in. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and ladle a layer of sauce into the bottom of the pan. Place filled tortillas seam side down in the pan. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with:
1/2     cup vegan cheese sauce (whatever you put inside the enchiladas)

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. ENJOY!

Crackerbarrel Cheese

There are many cashew cheese recipes, but not all are created equal! I thought this recipe looked similar to other cashew cheese recipes, but it is one of the best I've had!

Blend very smooth:
1      cup water
3/4   cup cashews
3      tablespoons tahini
1      teaspoon salt
1/4   cup nutritional yeast flakes
2      teaspoons onion powder
1/2   teaspoon garlic powder
1/4   cup roasted red pepper or pimentos
3      tablespoons lemon juice

This is a great topping for haystacks. It's also good to dip chips in. My favorite way to eat it is to spread it thickly on bread and put it under the broiler until it browns and then eat it with lentil soup!

I used to make all my cashew cheeses with sesame seeds instead of tahini and tomato paste instead of pimentos. But tahini and roasted red pepper are what really make this cheese good!

If you can get a good deal on red peppers, you can easily roast your own. Place under the broiler and turn when each side gets very dark until all sides are roasted. Allow to cool. Peel and seed peppers. Use in your favorite recipes or freeze in small portions for later use.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crock Pot Refried Beans

This is a new recipe I tried recently and adjusted to my liking. It is so easy and amazingly good! I used it to make bean dip, and it worked very well. It may seem a little runny at first, so you could cut back on the water by a half a cup or so, but once the refried beans were refrigerated they stiffened up quite a bit.

Place in crock pot:
1-1/2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed 
1/2 onion (no need to chop)
1 Tbsp. fresh jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
4-1/2 cups water

Cook on high overnight.

In the morning, mash everything to the desired consistency. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I have often just made stir-fry by the dump chef method with varying results, often results I don't intend to repeat! My stir-fry always lacked a good sauce to tie it together and flavor it. So I found some recipes to try, adapted them, and came up with this. We love it! (Especially after my previous failed attempts!)

Marinate for 30 minutes or so: 
1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed
2 Tbsp. Braggs (approximate amount)

Fry the above with:
2 Tbsp. olive oil (or your preferred frying oil)
Splash of sesame oil

Set tofu aside. Place in frying pan over medium heat:
1 small onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. olive oil (or your preferred frying oil)

When above vegetables are cooked, add:
4 cups mixed stir-fry vegetables (can use a frozen mix)

Stir-fry until vegetables are just cooked. Mix the following sauce and add to the cooked vegetables along with the fried tofu:
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used actual soy sauce but plan to try it with Braggs)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cook until sauce thickens. Serve over rice.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


I wanted a from-scratch chili recipe that I could make with dry beans and one where I didn't have to buy specialty canned tomatoes with Mexican spices or green chilis, I just wanted to use basic canned tomatoes. While it's not totally from scratch since it does use canned green chilis, it's the amount of scratch versus prepared ingredients that I was looking for. I also didn't want to have to buy vegeburger to put in

This is adapted from a recipe I enjoyed that used more canned ingredients in it.

Place in crock pot:
1/2 cup dry pinto beans
1/4 cup dry kidney beans
1/2 tsp. salt
2-1/4 cups water

Cook on high overnight (depending on your crock pot--on low mine won’t cook beans overnight, but if yours will you can cook on low).

In the morning:

Brown in oil:
1 lb. Frozen tofu, thawed and crumbled
1 medium onion onion

Place in crock pot with:
1 cup kernel corn, frozen or canned
1 quart canned tomatoes (diced or pureed)
1 small can diced green chilies
1/2 can black olives, drained and cut in half
1/4 of a red pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (not the recipe from this blog--needs to be regular taco seasoning with chili powder in it)
1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix

Cook on high for several hours.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Roasted Tomato Soup

Arrange on a baking sheet:
2-1/2   pounds tomatoes, halved, cut side up
12       cloves garlic
2         small onions, halved, cut side up

Drizzle with:
1/4      cup olive oil or enough to coat

Sprinkle generously with  salt. Bake at 300 degrees for about 1 hour or until beginning to brown.  Transfer vegetables and any liquid on pan to a soup pot. Then add:
4         cups water
4         tsp. chicken style seasoning
1/2      tsp. salt
2         bay leaves

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1/2 an hour or until reduced by about 1/3. Remove bay leaves. Puree soup in a blender (or use an immersion blender if you have one). Serve.  

Alfredo Sauce

We like this so much on spaghetti that I almost never make tomato spaghetti sauce anymore!

Wrap in aluminum foil:
4-6 cloves of garlic
Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes or until starting to brown.

Meanwhile, saute:
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil

Then blend the onion and garlic with:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups soy milk (not vanilla flavored!)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound tofu
2 tablespoons corn starch

Bring to a boil and cook until thickened.


Blend smooth:
1/4  cup tahini 
1/4  cup lemon juice 
5     cloves garlic, minced
1/4  tsp salt

Then add and blend smooth:
2     cups cooked garbanzo beans (I don't drain them because I find I usually need all the liquid to get it to blend)

Greek Salad

Press and crumble:
1     pound firm tofu

Mix with:
1     tsp. salt
1     tsp. basil
2     shakes oregano
3     Tbsp. oil
3     Tbsp. lemon juice
3     Tbsp. finely minced onion

Place in serving dish. Layer the following on top:
1/2 to 1 can black olives, halved or whole. Or use Greek olives--yummy!
1     cucumber, diced
2     tomatoes, diced

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fresh salsa

3 cups chopped tomato
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp. minced cilantro
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.

Pad Thai

Unlike the other recipe I posted some time ago, this is intended to be an authentic Pad Thai. We really like it! You'll need to get tamarind and Thai chili powder from an Asian market, but the other ingredients should all be available at a normal grocery store. If your tamarind comes in a different form than concentrate, then please refer to the link at the bottom of this post for instructions on how to prepare various forms of tamarind.

Begin by preparing sauce. Mix the following and heat together:
2 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate diluted in water to 1 cup
1 cup light soy sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. Thai chili flakes (if you use powder, you might need less!)
Adjust to taste, bring to a boil, then remove from heat, and set aside. Prepare the following ingredients as follows:
Tofu: Cube tofu, pour some of the above sauce over, and let it marinate for about 1/2 an hour. Then saute tofu cubes in some oil with some minced garlic. Save marinade sauce to use in the Pad Thai.
Rice noodles: Bring water to a boil. Add noodles and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes and then drain.
Roasted, unsalted peanuts: Coarsely chop.
Green onions: Chop in 1-2 in pieces. To be more authentic, you may want to use garlic chives, also called Chinese chives.
Bean sprouts
Prepare the Pad Thai one serving at a time. Heat about 3 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat in a wok or frying pan. Then add (amounts are approximate):
1/3 pound of tofu
2 cups rice noodles
1/3 cup sauce
1/4 cup water
Stir continuously and keep everything moving to keep the noodles from sticking together. If they want to stick together, add a little more oil. If the sauce evaporates too quickly and the noodle isn’t cooked yet, add some more water. Keep cooking and stirring for a couple minutes until the noodles are done. Taste one to be sure it is cooked.
Then add the following (approximate amounts):
2 Tbsp. peanuts
1/3 cup green onions
1 cup bean sprouts
Continue cooking for a minute or two until the bean sprouts are done. Place on plate and start over with the next serving.

Serve with lime wedges (or have lime juice available) and extra peanuts for garnish.

For more detailed instructions and variations, please refer to this website where I got the original idea from: