Friday, May 13, 2011

To Tuscantucky for Lunch

Being stuck in "design world" for hours left me famished. The good thing is, I arrived at a final book cover concept that the client likes. Just had to take a break, however, and put my Veganishta hat on for lunch.

Yesterday, I cooked some pinto beans in the crock pot as usual, with some Nori sea vegetable and a little olive oil in the water. Just love those beans! For lunch today I decided to stir-fry a few extra goodies to mix in with some of those great beans. I had some flat-leaf kale that needed to be consumed, so here is what's for lunch today.

Gingered Carrots and Kale with Pintos

10-12 large leaves of Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale); center stems cut out and each leaf cut into two sections
2 carrots sliced
1/4 of a large purple onion sliced thinly
1 very large clove of garlic minced
1-inch nub of fresh ginger; diced or sliced thinly
Tamari sauce (2 tbsp)
Olive oil for sauteing
Sea salt
Brown rice syrup
Cooked pintos

Pour olive oil into wok and saute garlic, red onion, and ginger until clear and tender, and top with sea salt to bring out the flavor (thanks Christina Pirello); next add the sliced carrots and saute just a few minutes longer; then add the kale on top and the Tamari on top of the kale; let set in wok for about 10 seconds and then start mixing everything together for just another last minute or two until the kale is wilted and the color comes out brightly. Place kale mixture on top of pintos; top with a few drizzles of brown rice syrup and enjoy.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatballs--Don't Worry

My sister came to visit last week. She is an excellent cook and entertainer, actually, the Martha Stewart of the family. She and  my daughter wanted to cook Italian dinner for everyone. My daughter made homemade meatballs and spaghetti sauce, and my sister made a lasagna recipe with a white, lemony sauce and sausage. Of course, it had  lots of cheese in it. So what did The Veganishta do? I decided to create a new meatball recipe, and this time I was very pleased. I had tried a couple recipes from two of my vegan cookbooks in the past, but did not like how they turned out. I invented my new "meaty-balls" as I went along throwing in this and that and blending this and the other thing, and this time, everyone was pleased. My other sister was next door helping at my daughter's house and came over to borrow something, and she said, "Oh, no, you're winning! You're house smells so good." So my new meaty-balls made the house smell wonderful, and they were a nice complement to some pasta with marinara sauce, which my daughter made for me. Here's the recipe. Keep in mind, I don't measure while cooking and had to guesstimate on the ingredient amounts, but I think I'm pretty close. Cooking should always leave room for flexibility in adding a little more or taking away a little here and there by the cook. Hope they turn out nicely for you too.

Veganishta Meaty-Balls

1 cup dry brown rice (steam cook to slightly starchy consistency)
1 cup dry, organic rolled oats (cover with water to about 1/4 inch over oats; cook in microwave three minutes)
1/2 block of extra firm tofu ground and softened by hand with fork, or blend in food processor
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 tbsp ground flax seed soaked in 1/2 cup boiling water
1 tbsp vegetable bullion base (add to flax seed mixture)
1 tbsp black strap molasses (add to flax seed mixture)
1 half of very large white onion chopped finely
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp thyme leaves
4-5 tbsp oregano
2-3 tbsp basil
Sea salt to taste


1. Combine chopped onion and garlic and saute in 3-4 counts of poured olive oil on medium heat for three minutes
2. Add all dry seasonings and tofu to onion and garlic mixture (except bread crumbs) and continue to cook on medium heat for another three minutes, stirring and tossing regularly
3. Mix cooked brown rice and cooked oats in large mixing bowl
4. Add bread crumbs and sea salt
5. Add the onion mixture
5. Add flax seed/veggie bullion/molasses mixture
6. Mix all together
7. Add more oregano, basil, sea salt to your liking, if needed
8. Form into balls and place in baking pan spread on bottom with olive oil
9. Bake for 40 minutes