Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Abby: Vegans At Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I would post this gem.

DEAR ABBY: Last year for Thanksgiving, I made a special effort to get the entire family together for the traditional meal. All 13 of us met at my mother’s home and everyone was to bring a dish or two to share.

One of my brothers has two college-age daughters. Both are vegan, and he insisted that all the dishes we brought be vegan! I did it, but I resented it because I felt that two out of 13 people should not decide the menu for the rest of us. If they wanted vegan dishes, they should bring something for themselves, while the rest of us brought what we wanted.

My brother and nieces are now asking what we’re doing this year for Thanksgiving. Frankly, I don’t want to go through that again. Am I wrong in thinking everyone should not bend over backward for the vegan meal? I don’t mind some of the menu accommodating them, but I don’t think the whole dinner should be altered. – TURKEY EATER IN TEXAS

DEAR TURKEY EATER: Neither do I. And the response you should give your brother (and his daughters) is that you’ll be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year, so they can either bring something they will enjoy or make other plans.

My response:

Dear Abby: It's nice to know you don't give a damn about vegans or respect their lifestyle, but if you can't accommodate someone, don't invite them, it's rude. Asking for an all vegan meal was pushing it, but telling the vegans to bring their own food to eat or make other plans makes you a rude host and a shitty sibling. I hope the Turkey Eater in Texas didn't take your advice or his relationship with his brother and his family will be strained.

All Vegan Thanksgiving, 2009

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BBQ Chik'n Pizza

Who needs take out pizza when you can make your own in about the same amount of time, for less, and covered in toppings you just won't see at your local pizza shop? This is my absolute favorite pizza recipe, my family has been using it for about 15 years now. The crust recipe came from A pizza stone is a MUST, you can even buy them pretty cheap at grocery stores and other retailers (I purchased a giant one for $15 and it included a rack and pizza cutter). Having a Stand Mixer or Bread Machine will make this recipe 100 times easier.

Serves 2-4


1/2 package active dry yeast (about 1- 1 1/2 tsp)
Sprinkle of sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

1-1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
1 cup Quorn Chik'n Tenders, thawed (or faux chicken of choice)
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese (Daiya is a good vegan version, so I've been told)
1 Tablespoon Cilantro, Chopped
1/8 cup Red Onion, sliced (optional)


1. Stir sugar into warm water, then top with yeast. Allow the mixture to get foamy, about 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.

2. Add flour, salt, and oil. Combine. Kneed for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to). Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

3. Preheat oven at 450 F (Place pizza stone in cold oven, if using). Pat or roll out dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle cornmeal onto the hot pizza stone, carefully transfer dough, poke holes all over (prevents it from puffing up), and bake for about 5 minutes. Pre-baking the crust will insure that the crust cooks all the way through.

4. Remove crust from oven. Cut up thawed chik'n and toss with about 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Add toppings, return to oven, and bake until cheese is melted, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and cool a few minutes before slicing.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Leek & Bean Cassoulet with Biscuits

This is the ULTIMATE comfort food. The only modification I made was changing the cubed carrots to shredded… the cubed have a harder time cooking. Don’t let the huge list of steps scare you, it’s best if you have help, but honestly, it’s not that bad.

From Veganomicon.

Serves 6


2 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 cups vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, washed well and sliced thinly (about 2 cups)
1 small onion, cut into medium-size dice
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping Tbsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish (or 1 tsp dried)
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 (15 oz) can navy beans, drained and rinsed (Or Great Northern)

3/4 cup plain soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegan shortening


1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Place the potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Drain immediately so they do not overcook. While they are boiling, you can prep the rest of the veggies and start preparing the biscuits – the potatoes should definitely be done by the time you are.

2. Now, prepare everything for the biscuits. You’re not going to make them yet, but it’s good to have everything ready when it comes time to top the stew. Add the vinegar to the soy milk in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl.

3. Now leave that alone and start the stew. Mix the cornstarch into the vegetable stock until dissolved.

4. Preheat an oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Saute in the oil the leeks, onions, and carrots until very soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Keep the heat moderate so that they don’t burn.

5. Add the garlic, thyme, freshly ground black pepper and salt, and cook for 1 more minute. Add the cooked potatoes and frozen peas, then pour in the vegetable stock mixture. Raise the heat just a bit; it will take a few minutes but the liquid will start simmering. Once it does, lower the heat again. Let it simmer for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, but no longer than that. If you need more time for the biscuits, then turn off the heat under the stew.

6. Back to the biscuits: Add the shortening to the flour in small slivers and work it into the dough with a fork or with your fingers until large crumbs form. You don’t want to cream it in; there should be clumps. Drizzle in the soy milk and mix with a fork until everything is moistened (some dry parts are okay).

7. Wash and dry your hands, then lightly flour them and get them dirty again. Gently knead the dough about ten times right in the bowl, just so that it is holding together and not very sticky. If it seems sticky, as in sticking to your fingers, then gently work in a little more flour. Set that aside and check on your stew. The stew should be simmering and slightly thickened. Mix in the beans. Now, let’s add the biscuits. Pull off chunks of dough that are about slightly larger than golf balls. Gently roll them into balls and flatten a bit; they do not have to be perfectly round. Add them to the top of the stew, placed an inch or so apart.

8. Transfer to the preheated oven. If you are worried about spillover, place it on a rimmed baking sheet, but we’ve never had that problem. Bake for about 15 minutes. The biscuits should be just slightly browned and firm to the touch.

9. Remove from the oven and use a large serving spoon to place some of the stew and a biscuit in each shallow, individual bowl. Sprinkle with a little chopped, fresh thyme.

Moving My Old Blog Here

I will be moving my vegetarian recipe blog over here soon, one recipe at a time. It's overwhelming to have so many to update.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lentil Loaf

This is one of my favorite meals. Healthy, low in calories, low in fat, and the fiber in the lentils will keep you full. The lentils are loaded with molybdenum, folate, fiber, tryptophan, manganese, iron, protein, phosphorus, copper, B1, and potassium.

Serves 4


2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup lentils
1 small onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup quick-cooking oat
1/2 cup grated regular or soy cheese (cheddar, jack, or mozzarella)
1 egg, beaten (or Ener-G egg replacement)
4 oz spaghetti sauce (or tomato sauce) and BBQ sauce (50/50 mix)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. Add salt to water and boil in a saucepan.

2. Add lentils and simmer covered 25-30 minutes, until lentils are soft and most of the water is evaporated.

3. Meanwhile, saute celery and onion in small pan until softened (I use a non-stick pan and no oil).

4. Remove lentils from fire. Drain and partially mash lentils. Scrape into mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.

5. Stir in onion, celery, oats and cheese until mixed. Add egg, tomato/BBQ sauce, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoning salt and pepper. Mix well.

6. Spoon into loaf pan that has been generously sprayed with Pam (non-stick cooking spray) or well-greased. Smooth top with back of spoon. Top with ketchup.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 45 minutes until top of loaf is dry, firm and golden brown. Cool in pan on rack for about 10 minutes. Serve with ketchup or gravy.