Tag Archives: potatoes

All-Inclusive Thanksgiving Dinner: Stuffed Mushroom Stacks

Stuffed Mushroom Stacks

Every trip to the grocery store is an adventure for me. Even when I have a list in hand, I enjoy perusing the produce aisle looking for something unusual that I’ve never eaten or a seasonal favorite that I’ve waited an entire year to get my hands on once again. Sometimes, when I spot a standard item that looks super fresh I just go overboard and buy more than I need. This was the case when I picked up a three pound box of extra large snow white mushrooms at a mushroom outlet in Pennsylvania. They were beautiful and perfect . . . and I was happy! Since a lot of my thinking is done in the car, I pondered how I was going to prepare those beauties the entire ride home. With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner I thought about a family favorite — stuffed mushrooms. And then I thought about the turkey stuffing we used to make with mushrooms, celery, onions and sage. Why stop there? Why not place dollops of mashed white and sweet potatoes on top? And while I’m at it, I might as well make it festive with creamy mushroom gravy. This is a complicated recipe, but one that is achievable with some planning. First, I placed the sweet potatoes in the oven and baked them until soft. While the sweet potatoes were baking, I boiled the white potatoes on the stove top. I made the stock using onions and the mushroom stems. Next, I made the bread stuffing using one cup of the stock. You can make the gravy at this point or wait until after the stacks are assembled. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, don’t despair. Any or all of these elements can be done ahead of time depending on your time constraints and patience. You can use your own recipe for mashed potatoes. You can even use instant mashed potatoes; just use less liquid to achieve a stiffer consistency. You can also use canned sweet potatoes if you prefer. You can simply place dollops of mashed potatoes on top of the stacks instead of using a pastry bag and decorators tip. You can even assemble the mushroom stacks ahead of time and bake the next day. These Stuffed Mushroom Stacks require some thought and planning but they are worth the effort. It’s like an all-inclusive Thanksgiving dinner in every bite! You can serve them as an appetizer or as part of a buffet. You can plate them with green beans or shaved Brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce to serve as an elegant entree. Any leftovers can be served on a slider bun and rewarmed gravy the next day. On Thanksgiving and on every other day, I thank you for being Vegi-curious.

Stuffed Mushroom Stacks

3 lbs. large white mushrooms, stems removed and set aside

Mushroom Stock & Gravy

½ onion, thinly sliced
Reserved mushroom stems
2 Tablespoons red wine
4 cups of vegetable broth (Better Than Bouillon No Chicken)
2 Tablespoon arrowroot powder or corn starch
Black pepper

Lightly coat a medium saucepan with olive oil and heat over high heat. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until starting to soften and turn brown. Add red wine and cook until evaporated. Add vegetable broth (I use 1 teaspoon bouillon base to 4 cups of water for lower sodium). Reduce to simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Reserve one cup of the liquid to use in the stuffing. Remove from heat and let cool. When ready to thicken, add arrowroot and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until desired thickness is achieved. Remove from heat and let cool. You can puree the gravy in a blender and return to the saucepan until ready to serve. You can alternately use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the gravy right in the saucepan.


1 large onion (thinly slice ½ for gravy and mince ½ for stuffing)
2 celery stalks, minced
8 slices of sliced bread, toasted
1 cup of the reserved mushroom stock
Dried sage, oregano, marjoram to taste
Black pepper to taste

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a few tablespoons of water to skillet then add the onion and celery. Saute until vegetables are soft and golden.
Cut or tear the toasted bread into small pieces, almost as if it’s shredded. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the vegetables, mushroom stock and seasonings. Toss until combined.

Mashed Potatoes

1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 Tablespoons (or more) soy yogurt or non-dairy milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by a few inches. Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain well. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes. Mix in enough yogurt or milk to make the potatoes stiff enough to pipe onto the mushrooms. I don’t recommend using an immersion blender to remove lumps as this can make the potatoes gluey. Set aside.

Sweet Potatoes

1 lb. sweet potatoes, baked until soft
¼ to ½ cup oat flour (optional)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar (optional)

Remove the skin from the baked sweet potatoes. Place in a bowl and mash until smooth. If you want a stiffer consistency, add the oat flour one tablespoon at a time. Likewise, if you like sweeter add the brown sugar. You can use an immersion blender to remove lumps. Set aside.


Preheat oven to 400F.

Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Press the stuffing mixture into the mushroom caps, then pipe on either the mashed potatoes or sweet potato puree. Lightly coat the tops with non-stick spray. Place a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan and place in oven. Bake until mushrooms are tender and browned and potatoes are browned, about 45 minutes. You can turn on the broiler during the last few minutes to brown the tops. You can assemble the mushrooms ahead of time, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


12 Nov 2017

Irish & Italians: Corned Beets & Cabbage Dinner

Corned Beets & Cabbage with Chive Potatoes

St. Patrick’s Day was never one of my favorite holidays, but I did enjoy the corned beef and cabbage dinner my parents would make for the occasion. (Actually, I’d take a St. Joseph’s zeppole over corned beef and cabbage any day, but that’s another story.) I don’t remember them having it any other time of the year, so it was a really special treat for us. I remember one St. Patrick’s Day when Dad had a seizure and spent the day in the emergency room and Mom had to leave the dinner partially cooked on the stove. I think Dad, the trooper that he was, was more upset about the ruined dinner than about being in the hospital. Or the time, shortly after she moved in with us, when Mom passed out and hit her head on the kitchen floor for yet another St. Patrick’s Day emergency room visit. I guess the luck of the Irish doesn’t cover the Italians. So I wanted to pay homage to St. Patrick Day (and my parents), and came up with this Corned Beets & Cabbage Dinner. The cabbage, beets, carrots, onions and garlic are braised with vegetable stock, vinegar and pickling spices. I used red cabbage since I new everything would turn purple from the beets. Even the carrots take on a different color. The potatoes are made in an instant pot, but you can use baked potatoes or your favorite steamed or roasted potato recipe. I struggle to find cabbage recipes that we both really enjoy, but I have to say that this recipe came out very tasty. The aroma of the corning spices bring back memories of the corned beef and cabbage simmering for hours in my parents’ kitchen. Remembering all of the happy St. Patrick’s Days spent with my parents, here’s an Irish toast from an Italian girl:

“To all the days here and after
May they be filled with fond memories, happiness, and laughter.”

Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Corned Beets and Cabbage

Braising Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. mustard seeds
8 whole allspice berries
4 whole cloves
2 small bay leaves
½ tsp. black peppercorns
12 whole juniper berries
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. ground celery seeds
2 whole garlic cloves
¼ cup vinegar
2 cups hearty vegetable broth

1 lb. beets, sliced into ¼” thick x ½” wide strips
8 oz. carrots, sliced into strips ¼” thick x ½” wide strips
1 small head of red cabbage

Place all braising ingredients in a deep saute pan. Bring to a boil. Add beets to liquid and place remaining vegetables on top. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and and cook until vegetables are soft and liquid has evaporated. This could take 30 minutes or longer depending on how soft you like your vegetables.

Herbed Potatoes in an Instant Pot

2 lbs. “creamer” potatoes, cut in half (about 1-1/2” chunks)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Salt to taste (optional)

Place all ingredients in Instant Pot insert. Add ½ cup water. Pressure cook on high for 6 minutes, then quick release pressure.

Variation: omit rosemary and thyme and add 1 tablespoon dried chives

14 Mar 2017

One Potato, Two Potato . . . Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

Sometimes life can be like a Mother Goose hand-clapping game.

One potato: We got a few red bliss potatoes in last week’s CSA share.

Two potato: eastern potatoes were on sale, so I bought a five pound bag.

Three potato: This week’s CSA box had a bunch of Yukon Gold’s in it.

Four: Better do something with all those potatoes.

With so many varieties of potatoes available these days, it’s hard to keep them straight. Some are good for baking, others make fluffy mashed potatoes and others are better suited for salads. Starchy Idaho and Russet potatoes make fluffy mashed potatoes and waxy potatoes like Red Bliss and Yukon Gold are good for salads. I decided to throw caution to the wind and combined starchy and waxy varieties to make this Creamy Potato Salad. Instead of boiling the potatoes I opted for steaming them with skins intact. (I think this is why the Russets didn’t fall apart.) My Aunt Gracie used to make a scrumptious potato salad with mayonnaise and sour cream and I wanted to capture that flavor in this recipe. I’ve been making a Ranch Dressing with cashew cream and almond milk yogurt as the base, so I went with this combination to dress the potatoes.  The dressing is seasoned with chives, parsley and scallions, but you can switch it up with any type of onion and a different herb like dill weed. Any leftover dressing can be used for green salads or as a dip for crudite. If you like the taste of hard-cooked egg you can sprinkle some black salt onto the salad. Be creative and toss in chopped bell peppers, celery or grated carrots. Served the potato salad alongside corn on the cob and marinated grilled vegetables and you have a summer supper worth clapping about. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Creamy Potato Salad

2 pounds of potatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
Ranch dressing

Place whole, unskinned potatoes in steamer and cook until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from steamer, let cool and cut into 2” pieces. Add onions and enough ranch dressing to coat potatoes. Refrigerate.

Ranch Dressing

½ cup thick cashew cream
½ cup plain almond milk (or other non-dairy) yogurt
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced scallions or yellow onions
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
salt and black pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients well. Chill and use within a week.

19 Jul 2016

In Season: Red Potatoes, Asparagus & Mushroom Melange

Red Potatoes, Mushrooms & Asparagus

Red Potatoes, Mushrooms & Asparagus

One of the things I like about belonging to a CSA is that the produce is fresh and in season. This is how we ate long before refrigeration or the food transportation system existed and our species was able to evolve and thrive. Imagine a reality show about a community that ate only food that was in season or preserved after the harvest. For many, including me, that would seem like a harsh reality. The least we can do is buy as much local produce as possible when it’s in season. It’s good for you, good for the local economy and good for the environment.

Here’s a recipe I put together with some of the produce that was in this week’s CSA box. Among other things, we had shallots, red potatoes, asparagus, button mushrooms and rosemary. I steamed the potatoes until they were almost cooked, then browned everything in a non-stick skillet. I topped it off with a creamy cashew cheese sauce, but I bet it would be just as nice served warm with some type of vinaigrette. I can’t wait to see what goodies will be in next week’s box. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Red Potatoes, Asparagus & Mushroom Melange

1-1/4 lbs. small red potatoes
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 lbs. asparagus, tough ends removed and stalks cut into 2” pieces
6 oz. button mushrooms
Herb of choice (rosemary, tarragon, etc.)

Place potatoes in double boiler and steam until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Rinse under cold water and cut into quarters. Set aside

In large non-stick skillet, saute shallots in olive oil or water. Remove to separate bowl. Add garlic and more oil or water and lightly brown. Remove to same bowl. Add mushrooms and saute until softened and browned, about 5 minutes. Remove to same bowl. Add asparagus and saute until browned. Remove to bowl. Add a small amount of oil to skillet, add potatoes and cook over high heat until browned. Add ingredients from bowl to skillet and cook until vegetables soften, about 3 minutes. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cheesy cashew cream.

Cheesy Cashew Cream

½ cup cashews, soaked
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. tahini
1 large garlic clove (raw or roasted)
¼ tsp fine grain sea salt (truffle salt)
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
¼ cup nutritional yeast
6 Tbsp. water, or as needed to thin out

Place all ingredients in high powered blender and process until smooth. Pour into a squeeze bottle for serving.

09 Jun 2016

Odd Couple: Gigante Beans & Potatoes with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

Gigante Beans & Potatoes

Gigante Beans & Potatoes

Prior to adopting a plant-based diet, there were some foods I would NEVER combine in one meal let alone in the same recipe. For instance, I would never have rice and potatoes my plate at the same time. Maybe at a barbeque or buffet I’d have potato salad and macaroni salad together, but that was more an exception than a rule. I would make beans with pasta or rice, but I never thought to pair beans with potatoes. Hmmmm . . . beans and potatoes . . .  they seem like an odd couple. But sometimes necessity is the mother of invention, and I needed to use up some Yukon potatoes and dried lima beans that have been lurking in the pantry. I remembered the Gigante Bean Salad from last year and figured that since I like bean salads and potato salads, this combination might actually work. So I soaked and cooked up large lima beans, steamed the potatoes and roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic for the vinaigarette. I seasoned it with the “tre fratelli” — oregano, marjoram and thyme — but you can use any herbs that tickle your fancy. I bet it would be nice with fava beans or whatever potatoes you have on hand.This dish came out surprisingly tasty and the layer of fresh arugula underneath added a nice contrast to the delicate texture and sweet-tangy flavors of the salad. Since you can serve the salad at room temperature it’s a nice dish to bring to a summer barbeque or for lunch the next day. Just another example of how opposites attract. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Gigante Bean & Potato Salad with Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
½ pound dried Gigante beans (large lima beans)
2 cloves of garlic, left whole
1 bay leaf

1 pound Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” chunks

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
Fresh thyme sprigs
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
Salt (optional) and pepper

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
Oregano, marjoram, black pepper and salt (optional) to taste

Soak beans overnight by placing beans in a large pot and cover with plenty of cold water. Drain and rinse beans, then cover with more water. Add whole garlic cloves and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil then simmer for about 30 minutes until beans are soft, but not mushy. (Depending on the beans and how long you soak them, this could take longer. You could also make them in a pressure cooker.) When done, drain well and set aside.

While beans are cooking, steam potatoes in a double boiler or steamer basket set in a large pot until tender enough to pierce with a fork yet firm enough not to break apart. Rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

In a large, shallow serving bowl, add balsamic and sherry vinegars, oregano and marjoram. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a glass baking dish very lightly with olive oil (you can opt to omit the oil). Place the tomatoes, garlic, thyme and season, salt and pepper in a small baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tomatoes soften up. Remove foil and smash tomatoes so juice comes out. Return to oven and cook, uncovered, until tomatoes and garlic start to caramelize. Remove tomatoes from oven and add to bowl with vinegar. Add beans and potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

23 May 2016

Reawakened: Home Fries

Home Fries

Home Fries

I’ve been looking for something other than my regimen of oatmeal or the occasional bagel that I usually have for breakfast and decided to revive my method of making home fries. My long-time approach went something like this: microwave the potatoes until they were partially cooked, then brown them along with onions in olive oil or . . . gasp . . . keep spraying the potatoes with non-stick spray. My attempts at reducing the fat content left me with what I call “home-dried potatoes” because they were, well, dry. I tried par-boiling them in the past which resulted in mushy potatoes. My last hope was to try steaming the potatoes. I peeled and cubed the potatoes into 3/4″ chunks and pre-cooked them on top of the stove in a vegetable steamer. The surface of the potatoes had a glossy-sticky appearance, but I went ahead with them anyway. I put a light coating of olive oil in a non-stick skillet, lightly browned the onions then added the steamed potato cubes. When the potatoes were browned, I seasoned them with pepper, onion and garlic powders, thyme and smoked paprika. I was pleased with the outcome. The home fries were able to brown on the outside (was it the sticky stuff?) while retaining some moisture on the inside. I served them with a few dashes of hot sauce then moved on to barbeque sauce and ketchup. You can enjoy these home fries on their own for breakfast or alongside a tofu scramble. They can also round out lunch or dinner when paired with lentil loaf, bean burgers, sauteed greens or steamed vegetables. One might wonder why I go to such lengths for something like home fries. It’s been my experience that a small change can breathe new life into a weary recipe. It’s less about the home fries (or any other dish for that matter) and more about the learning process.  So, start your day off in a healthy way with a plate of Reawakened Home Fries. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Reawakened Home Fries

  • olive oil (optional)
  • 2 large russet potatoes, but into 1” cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and thyme to taste

Place potato cubes into a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover pot and steam until almost cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Lightly coat a large non-stick skillet with olive oil and heat on medium-high heat. Saute onions until they begin to soften and turn light brown. (To omit oil, heat two tablespoons of water in skillet and add more as needed to prevent sticking.) Add potatoes and continue to cook, turning occasionally to prevent burning. When potatoes are cooked through, add salt, pepper, garlic powder and thyme and cook for one more minute. Serve with hot sauce, barbeque sauce or ketchup.



04 Apr 2016

Peace & Harmony: Mashed Potatoes 4 Ways in an Instant

Mashed PotatoesI’m living in a blended family, but not blended as our society has come to know it. First we have Mom who is an omnivore. As much as I would like her to, she is not going to change her way of eating. Then there’s Bruce who’s on a mission to reduce his sodium intake and eat less refined foods. And then there’s me, the plant-based girl who just wants to have fun. Without any health issues to contend with I still like to salt my food and have some sugar in my baked goods. At times it’s a challenge to get everyone to agree, especially about food.  Last night I made mashed potatoes in my instant pot. In the four minutes that they were under pressure, I came up with a plan to appeal to everyone’s palate. After the potatoes and onions were mashed with some almond milk, I placed a portion in a separate bowl for Mom and, with a grimace, added some butter. The remaining potatoes were mixed with black pepper and brought to the table. Bruce had his potatoes straight up with a side of steamed vegetables. I divided my share in two and judiciously sprinkled black truffle salt on one half and a generous dusting of The Gentle Chef’s sour cream and cheddar seasoning on the other half. This dinner dilemma was solved with an ounce of ingenuity, a spoonful of diplomacy and a few pounds of potatoes.  Mashed potatoes can stand in as a side to a lentil loaf or bean dish or be the focal point surrounded by a side of steamed vegetables or sauteed greens. You could replace the onion with four large cloves of roasted garlic or add some herbs like rosemary or thyme. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker simply place the potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil, simmer until soft and drain.) However you serve them up, these mashed potatoes are sure to bring some peace and harmony to your table. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Mashed Potatoes 4 Ways in an Instant

Way 1:

  • 2 lbs. white potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup hot non-dairy milk (or more if desired)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Way 2: add Sour Cream & Cheddar Seasoning from The Gentle Chef

Way 3: add truffle salt to taste

Way 4: substitute 4 large gloves of roasted garlic for onion

Place potatoes, onions and water in pressure cooker or instant pot. Set pressure to high, then cook for four minutes. Use quick release to open pressure cooker. Add hot milk, salt & pepper and mash to desired consistency.

25 Feb 2016

Con-fusion Cuisine: Samosa-dillas



What do you get when you cross a Samosa with a Quesadilla? A Samosa-dilla!  Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Asian fusion might combine elements from East, South-East and Southern Asia. Tex-Mex in a fusion of Mexican and Southwestern United States cuisines. Sounds like an identity crisis to me. Perhaps, it should be called Con-fusion Cuisine. The trend has been around since the 1970’s, so I figured I better explore some fusion dishes before the concept is cleared off the table.

Within the past year, I’ve become a fan of Indian food, especially Samosas. A Samosa is a fried pastry that’s filled with a savory filling, usually potatoes and peas. So, there are reasons I haven’t ventured into Samosa production. While the act of making and rolling out dough (and cleaning up the post-frying mess) is a labor of love, it’s still labor. And after three years of striving to follow a whole-food, plant-based diet, my system does not process fried foods very efficiently. I wanted to figure out a way to get around these two obstacles. I remembered that I had a package of frozen Indian Roti bread in the freezer. I buy them in the Indian section of an ethnic produce market. The Roti look like raw flour tortillas and brown up nicely when cooked in a skillet or on an electric griddle. (This is the “-dilla” part of the recipe’s name.) I was optimistic that the Roti would be the time-saving and fat-eliminating solution I was looking for. For the filling, I cooked up some potatoes, onions, peas, jalapeno and Indian spices. After the griddle was up to temperature, I threw on a frozen Roti and grilled it just enough to cook but not brown the one side so that the filling would have a sticky surface to settle into. After I turned it over, I spooned the filling onto one half and folded the other side on top, pressing down with a spatula. When the one side of the Samosa-dilla was browned, I turned it over and browned the other side. A few peas and pieces of potato were able to sneak out, but I was surprised that my Samosa-dilla was a neat little package. And that’s when the wheels kept turning. I wanted to make them just a little neater and decided to wrap the filling into pockets and bake them. To do this, I simply let the Roti defrost just enough to cut them in half, filled them and pinched the edges together to form a triangular bundle. When they came out of the oven, they had a golden-brown color and a crispy texture. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results. And that’s when the wheels started turning again. Now I’m planning a plant-based cocktail party in my head . . . Samosas, knishes, mushroom bundles. When will it end? I hope it never does. Back to reality . . . if you’re pressed for time, just make the Samosa-dillas and serve with your favorite chutney. You can make the filling a day early and fill and grill them the next day. So I wonder . . . since I used an Indian flat bread and not a Mexican tortilla, is this really Fusion Cuisine? Perhaps not, but it sure tastes good! Make yourself a Samosa-dilla and make it a Vegi-curious day!










  •  1-1/2 lbs. white potatoes, peeled & cut into ½” chop
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 jalapeno or other green chile, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  •  Frozen Roti, as needed

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and let cool.

In a non-stick skillet, toast mustard, cumin and coriander seeds until aromatic. Place in spice mill to grind. If you don’t have seeds, use ground mustard, cumin and coriander. Adjust quantity to your taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of water in sauce pot or the same non-stick skillet. Add onions and saute until golden, adding more water to prevent sticking. Add jalapeno, spices and cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in potatoes and peas.

Heat electric griddle or non-stick skillet on high. Place Roti on griddle and grill until the dough “sets” but does not brown. This should take about 1 minute. Turn Roti over and spread some of the potato filling on one half. Fold over and press down with spatula. When brown on one side, turn over and brown the other side. Remove to cutting board and cut into three wedges.

Serve with your choice of chutney.

To make Pocket Samosas:

Let Roti defrost enough to be able to fold. (This takes only a minute or two.) Cut Roti in half and place filling on one half of the semi-circle. Fold the dough over the filling and press edges together to seal. Bake in 450F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, turning over once.

Number of servings: depending on how much filling you use per Samosa-dilla, you will get about 8 to 10. If you’re making the baked pockets, you’ll get about 16 to 20.






23 Sep 2015

Shoulder Season Minestrone

MinestroneIn the tourism industry there is something called the shoulder season, which is an abbreviated season that falls between a high season and a low season. September is a good example of a shoulder season because it marks the end of summer vacation and the return to school and work. I like to think of gardening as having a shoulder season as well. At this time of year, you might be snipping off the last few zucchini, peppers and tomatoes and starting to harvest some potatoes, cabbages and cool-weather greens. This is the perfect time to make minestrone, an Italian soup that contains a wide variety of vegetables. It’s still light enough to enjoy on a warm September evening, yet hearty enough for a satisfying meal. My Shoulder Season Minestrone calls for canned tomatoes, but if you feel ambitious you can dice up about 1-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatoes. The minestrone goes nicely with some crispy Italian bread and good company. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Shoulder Season Minestrone

  •  ½ lb. dry navy beans or 2 cans (15 oz. each) small white beans
  •  1 large onion, ½” dice
  • 1 large carrot, ½” dice
  • 1 celery stalk, ½” dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini, ½ dice
  • ¼ lb. green beans, cut into ½” pieces
  • ¼ lb. boiling potatoes, cut into ¾” pieces
  • 4 cups chopped Savoy or Napa cabbage
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Soup Base (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

If using dry beans, soak overnight and cook according to package directions. Drain and reserve liquid. If using canned beans, drain and reserve liquid.

In large pot, saute onion using a small amount of olive oil or water. When onions are soft, add carrot, celery and garlic and saute until soft. Add zucchini, green beans and potatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add cabbage and kale and continue cooking until wilted. Add in diced tomatoes (including juice), water, soup base and liquid smoke. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Puree half of the beans in blender, then add to soup with the remaining beans and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Continue cooking, uncovered, for another 15 minutes.


11 Sep 2015

Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherds Pie Spring is just around the corner, so now’s the time to turn up the heat in the kitchen while there’s still a chill in the air. Shepherd’s Pie is a casserole that’s traditionally made with mutton or lamb and covered with a potato crust. My version is filled with mushrooms, carrots, celery and parsnips bound together by a thick brown gravy, then baked under a layer of Garlic Mashed Potatoes. If you’ve been following my recent posts, you already know how to make Roasted Garlic and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. All that’s left is to put together the mushroom and vegetable filling, place in the oven and enjoy. Perfect for St. Patty’s Day or any winter day. Thanks for being Vegi-curious.

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mushrooms
Yield: 6 servings
Mashed Potatoes:
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Roasted garlic, to taste
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
Non-dairy milk, as needed

Place potatoes in cold water, bring to boil and cook until soft. Drain off most of the water. Add a few cloves of roasted garlic and nutritional yeast. Mash with potato masher, adding milk to thin out.

Note: You can boil the potatoes in vegetable broth instead of water.
Vegetable-Mushroom Filling:
10 oz. mushrooms, cut in half
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
2 parsnips (or other root vegetable), peeled & cut into chunks
4 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 cup, full sodium vegetable broth (or more as needed)
1/4 cup red wine (or more broth)
2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a 2.5 quart/2.3 litre casserole dish.
Lightly coat non-stick skillet with olive oil (optional) and heat on medium high. Saute mushrooms until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Saute the onions and garlic until lightly browned. Add in the chopped carrots, parsnip, and celery. Saute until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the skillet. Whisk together the flour and broth. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and heat until Stir in
Add this liquid mixture to the vegetables in the skillet and stir well. Add your salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes until thickened. Season to taste.
Scoop vegetable mixture into casserole dish. Spread on the mashed potato mixture and garnish with paprika, ground pepper, and Thyme. Bake at 425F for about 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

08 Mar 2015

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