Butternut Squash Muffins

by Acooba Scott

Well, September has turned the corner, and we’re definitely heading into pumpkin season. Although I enjoy everything pumpkin – pie, cake, muffins, coffee, etc. – I like to throw in a little twist now and then. So just to be contrary, here is a recipe for Butternut Squash Muffins. The flavor is a little milder than pumpkin, but it adds moistness and body, is absolutely delicious, and it’s vegan too! Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry EnerG Egg Replacer powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (ok to use 1/2 if concerned about sodium)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree (can be found canned at health food stores)
  • 2/3 cup cold pressed vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, or chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Lightly grease muffin tins, or line them with paper muffin cups. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, Egg Replacer powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Stir well and make a well in the center. Add squash puree, vegetable oil, and water. Stir just until blended. If desired, stir in walnuts and dried fruit or chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full, and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, or until lightly golden brown, and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (except for maybe melted chocolate! :-))

 

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Eggplant Stew

 

 

I don’t use a slow cooker very often.  In fact I had one that quit on me and I replaced it two years but hadn’t used it yet when this recipe caught my eye.  I love eggplant but never really liked ratatouille because usually, to me, the eggplant wasn’t cooked soft enough.  This recipe cooks everything in the slow cooker and comes out perfect!  I adapted it from Haylie Pomroy’s “Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook,” eliminating the exotic ingredients and replacing them with what I had on hand.  It was delicious.  You could serve it over rice but I ate it by itself.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 15 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or more if you like it spicy
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional
  • a few drops of stevia or equivalent amount of sugar, optional (I used the stevia but next time will eliminate it)

Directions

Put all of the ingredients in the ingredients in the slow cooker except for the olive oil.  Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on slow.  These are general times.  I found that I had to cook it on high for 5 hours in order for the Brussels sprouts to be tender.

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Creamy Cauliflower Soup

by Mary Pomerantz

Cauliflower Leek Soup

When September hits, my thoughts turn to soup – my favorite meal.  You can chock a lot of nutrition in one tasty dish!  Chop, put the vegetables in the pot, throw in some herbs and spices, walk away, come back in 20-30 minutes and presto, you have a meal!  This one is one of the best soups that I have made.  It could be because I’ve been eating very low fat meals and this recipe throws caution to the wind and uses three different types of “good” fats.  I find that when I have a little fat in a bowl of soup, one bowl fills me up.  And it stays with me for a longer period of time.  In any case, this one was a definite hit with the family and I will be making it again!  The recipe was inspired by Haylie Pomroy’s cookbook, “The Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook.”

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 3 leeks, the top part with only the tender part of the greens, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  •  15-ounce can of garbanzo beans or 2 cups cooked
  • 1 15-ounce can of pinto beans or 2 cups cooked
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley (or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini

Preparation

Put all of the ingredients except the spinach, olive oil and tahini in a large soup pot.  Place over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat.  Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, olive oil, and tahini.  Let the spinach wilt and serve.

Note: The recipe calls for this to be pureed.  I am not a fan of pureed soup and I left the vegetables whole.  It was a delightful soup!

By the way, do you know how easy it is to make your own vegetable broth?  I don’t like using commercial vegetable broth because it has too much sodium.  What I do is to take all of my onion peels and ends of vegetables and keep a bag going in the freezer.  I also add frozen veggies that have gone beyond their prime.  If I make a soup, I make up a batch before I start the soup.  Just place the veggies in a big pot and fill the pot with water.  If the bag of veggies is full, make a big pot for 2-3 recipes.  If it is only half full, make a smaller pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for an hour.  Strain the veggies from the broth and use in any recipe calling for broth.  Freeze what you can’t use.  I put it in canning jars filled about 2/3 full and keep it in the freezer for those times when I can’t make it from scratch.

 

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Asian Inspired Green Soup

by Mary Pomerantz

Asian Inspired Green Soup

Yep, dieting again.  Ugh!  You’d think I would have learned my lesson and kept eating a healthy diet instead of all of those cookies last winter.  But noooo.  I justified it by saying I was baking them for my husband who has a sweet tooth.  He’s an easy scapegoat!  The good thing about dieting is that I eat a lot of produce and that has to be good, right?  Today’s recipe is chock full of green things – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy.  You could add some carrots for color or any other vegetable that appeals to you.  It is very simple to make and will serve a small army or there will be several servings for lunches for the next few days!

Even though we have been advised to eat at least three servings of leafy dark green vegetables a week, many of fall far short of that recommendation. Why are these superfoods so powerful? They are packed with minerals and vitamins that protect us from disease and age-related problems. One of the vitamins that abounds in greens is Vitamin K. A cup of cooked greens delivers nine times the minimum requirement and many of us do not get enough of it. Here are some of the benefits of Vitamin K:

• Regulates blood clotting
• Helps protect bones from osteoporosis
• May help prevent atherosclerosis
• Helps protect us from inflammatory diseases including arthitis

It’s best to put some oil on your greens as it helps us absorb their nutrients.

Greens are low in carbs and high in fiber making them good for low glycemic diets. So eat them to your heart’s content. Your body will thank you!

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts of vegetable broth (or water with vegetable bullion)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 3 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 stalk of bok choy, chopped
  • 1 package of sprouted tofu, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tamari (no wheat) sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Preparation

Put a large stock pot on medium high heat and add the vegetable broth and onions.  Cook for 7 minutes and add the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms.  Cook for 7 minutes and add the bok choy and broccoli.  Cook for 5 minutes and add remaining ingredients.  Heat through, taste and adjust seasonings.

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Double Oatmeal Cookies

by Acooba Scott

Double Oatmeal Cookies

Do Good Recipe PicThere’s something so virtuous about an oatmeal cookie…it’s chock full of fiber (soluble and insoluble), laced with beneficial spices like cinnamon and ginger, and besides even reportedly helping to remove toxins from the body, oats also help to maintain a happy mood! To me, that makes them the perfect prescription. So take two of these and … (Disclaimer: I’m not a medical doctor).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) – (or 1 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. almond extract (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. EnerG Egg Replacer powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick cooking)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite granola (I used Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Cream butter (or Earth Balance) and sugars until well blended / smooth.
  5. Add vanilla and almond extracts and dry Egg Replacer; mix.
  6. Add water and blend well.
  7. Add flour mixture and blend well. Stir in oats and granola.
  8. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Space about two inches apart.
  9. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are golden. Remove from oven.
  10. Cool slightly on pan (1-2 minutes) then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 45 cookies

 

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Savory Tofu Pate

by Acooba Scott

Confession time: I love (LOVE) tofu!! My family and I enjoy tofu burgers a lot, and I must admit that I eat a lot of the mixture before it ever becomes burger patties. The good news is, that’s a quick, easy and delicious way to eat tofu! So next time you’re in a hurry – maybe it’s Meatless Monday and you only have 5 minutes to get dinner ready – consider giving this recipe a try…you’ll be glad you did!

Tofu-Pate-01

Savory Tofu Pate

Ingredients:

  • 19 oz. package firm tofu, drained & crumbled
  • 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos (may substitute soy sauce to your taste)
  • 1 Edward & Sons Vegan “Not-Beef” Bouillon Cube
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper

Garnishes (optional):

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh or frozen basil, finely crushed (or 1 teaspoon dried, crumbled)
  • smoked paprika
  • kalamata olives
  • freshly ground cracked lemon pepper
  • tahini sauce

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients (except garnishes) in a mixing bowl and knead with fingers until bouillon cube is completely incorporated and mixture forms a soft doughy mass. Shape into a ball, flatten slightly, and top with garnishes as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!!

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Roasted Peach and Quinoa Salad

by Mary Pomerantz

I have been on a cookbook buying frenzy this summer.  After vowing several years ago not to buy any more cookbooks to add to my 100+ collection, I bought seven new books this summer!  Most of them were purchased at Veggie Fest where the prices were unbelievable!  But the recipe that inspired the dish below came from Terry Hope Romero’s new book “Salad Samurai.”  It is a wonderful book filled with mouth watering recipes categorized by season.

This recipe, “Roasted Peach and Quinoa Salad,” was modified to use the leftover chili from the other night.  You can find the recipe here: http://www.sosvegetarianlife.com/black-bean-chili-and-roasted-corn/.  It is a very spicy dish and you will need to modify the spices if your palate cannot abide by heat but it is very tasty and I will definitely be making it again!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups black bean and roasted corn chili (from previous recipe or 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans and 1 1/2 cups roasted corn)
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped (or parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
  • 1/2 cup chiffonaded basil leaves **
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red sweet onion
  • 3 large firm peaches or nectarines
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (if you did NOT use the pre-made chile)
  • 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder (or less if want it less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt to taste
  • Mixed baby greens
  • 1 avocado, sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions

Cook the quinoa with the water in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  When it boils, turn heat down to low and cook for 12 minutes.  Check it at the end of 12 minutes.  If all of the water is absorbed, turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit on the burner for another 10 minutes.  Then, fluff with a fork, transfer to a bowl and put in the refrigerator for an hour before preceding with the recipe.

In an hour, heat a cast iron skillet to medium.  The directions called for grilling but I didn’t want to go through the fuss of heating up a grill for such a small task.  Halve the peaches or nectarines (I used organic nectarines).  When skillet is ready, put the nectarines cut side down in the pan.  Watch them carefully so as to not burn.  When they are brown on the cut side, flip them over for a short time.  Remove from pan to cool.  Don’t be tempted to skip this step as roasting the fruit, really brings out the sugars in the fruit.

Put 2 cups of the cooled quinoa in a big bowl.  Add the chili (or the black beans and separately roasted corn), the cilantro, onions, and chiffonaded basil.

Whisk the next six ingredients for the dressing, adding enough salt for your own taste preference remembering that if you use the pre-cooked chili that it has been seasoned already.  Add the dressing to the salad and toss gently.

Take 2 – 6 individual plates (side or meal portions).  Lay a generous amount of baby greens on each plate.  Divide the salad place on the greens.  Put a peach half on each plate (2 if making meal salads).  Top with avocado slices and serve.

** Chiffonading basil is a fancy term for rolling basil leaves and slicing them thinly.  Separate the leaves according to like sizes and stack them.  Roll them as tight as you can and slice thinly across the the small part of the roll.  I rolled two stacks and then cut the smallest leaves up individually.

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If you live in the Perth Amboy New Jersey area, you might be interested in a retreat at the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center.  You will have the opportunity to explore the qualities of the soul and tools to live a happier life.  In addition, there is a yoga class for kids, a vegetarian cooking class for the whole family, meditation and a vegetarian luncheon.  All ages are welcome.  The talks are English-Spanish with simultaneous translation.

Date:

Saturday August 23rd, 9:30 am – 4:00 pm

Location: 

Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, 15 Market St., Perth Amboy NJ 08861

Directions:

By train: Perth Amboy train station – North Jersey Coast Line from New York Penn Station and Newark

By bus: Bus 116 of New Jersey Transit – New York, Carteret, Port Reading, and Woodbridge Perth Amboy

To Register:

347-840-4948; infotristate@sos.org

www.sos.org/usa/tristate

sos.org

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I recently took a trip to Santa Fe New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.  If you like the desert, and I do, then it is certainly enchanting.  Santa Fe itself has been an art colony since the latter part of the 1800′s when artists, many with tuberculosis, flocked to Santa Fe to recover in the dry climate and to paint the beautiful landscapes and the even more beautiful native peoples.  It was fun to explore the museums and learn a bit about the history of the area.  The highlight of the trip was to visit some pueblo ruins once populated by about 800 people formerly known as Anasazi.  While at the park gift shop, I picked up my kind of souvenir – a cookbook of local cuisine!  Vegetarian Southwest by Lon Walters is a collection of vegetarian recipes from restaurants all over the southwest.  It was a recipe from this book that inspired what I share with you today.

 

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds black beans
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 poblano chili peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Water to cover
  • 4 cups frozen corn (I used white organic)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups spicy vegetable broth (vegetable broth simmered with 1-2 dried ancho chilies)
  • 1 ancho chili, removed from broth and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional for garnish)
  • shredded cheddar of pepper jack cheese (optional for garnish)

Directions

Soak black beans overnight or quick soak in a pressure cooker (put beans and water to cover in a pressure cooker, bring up to pressure, cook 1 minute, and turn off heat and allow pressure to come to bottom on it’s own).

In large heavy bottomed pot, dry saute on low heat the onion until soft.  Watch carefully.  If it starts to stick, add some of the spicy broth.  When soft, add the tomatoes, garlic and the chilies and cook until tender.

Dry roast the cumin seed in a cast iron skillet.  Add it along with the beans and the other spices to the vegetable pot.  Cover about 2 inches with 2 cups or a little more of the spicy broth.  Cook uncovered over medium heat until the beans are tender, adding more broth if needed.

Dry roast the frozen corn over medium high heat, stirring often until the corn is lightly flecked with brown.  When beans are soft, add the corn, the lime juice, the balsamic vinegar and the salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

This recipe makes a large pot of chili and because there are only three of us in the house, it made enough for leftovers and for me to make a salad that I will share with you tomorrow.  The original recipe seemed like it would be very, very spicy and our house guest has a taste for milder foods so I modified how many chilies I used.  It is very tasty and everyone enjoyed it.  While it is a vegan chili, you could add grated cheese and/or sour cream as condiments.  It is a very thick dish and some of us chose to scoop it with corn chips.  You could also serve it with warm tortillas and a nice green salad or Cole Slaw to complete the meal.

Serves 6-8

 

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VeggieFest Chicago 2014

by Tina Willer

Click Image to find our more about VeggieFest Chicago 2014

VeggieFest_banner1-2014
WOW! The numbers are in…and Veggie Fest 2014 was the biggest and best yet! A record-breaking 30,000 people attended our two-day festival with record numbers attending the keynotes with Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj as well as the programs in the Learn to Meditate and Learn to Be Vegetarian tents. We also had a record number of people taking our 14-day Vegetarian Challenge and TRIPLED the amount of food that was donated to People’s Resource Center in our food drive thanks to your generosity!

THANK YOU for making Veggie Fest 2014 such an awesome event!

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