Aunt Martha’s Bean Salad


So she’s not my aunt, but she is someone’s. Growing up I would never even dare taste a bean salad let alone make one. However, starving while out at the beach one day, I was cornered with this, my only sustenance and can I say that since that moment I was not only a convert but a Beano stock holder.

I adapted that version and have since made it one of my signature BBQ/Potluck/quick in a pinch wow ’em salads.

DRESSING

3/4 Cup Red or Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Extra Fine Fruit Sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to Taste

Method

Combine ingredients in an air tight container and shake well to dissolve the sugar.
Allow to stand for about and hour or at least the time to prepare the salad ingredients, if you are in a hurry.

SALAD

3 Cans of Beans (garbanzo, turtle, romano etc.)
1 Cup Fresh Green Beans (Trimmed and sliced to 1″ inch lengths) ** – measure to get correct number
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
2 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
1 Red Onion (Small)
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley (optional, if you’re feeling decorative)

Method

Rinse the canned beans well and set aside in a large bowl.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Trim and slice green beans to 1″ inch lengths. Clean and trim the remaining vegetables and chop each into about a 1/2″ dice.
Add everything to the beans, including the dressing and toss well to coat.
This salad can be served immediately or made ahead to marinate up to a day ahead for a more thorough flavor.

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup


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VEGAN CREAM OF MUSHROOM SOUP

2 Tbsp oil
1 Onion diced (red if you can)
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 C Dried porcini or shitake mushrooms
4 C Sliced mushrooms – white, porcini, portabello, shitaki approx. 2 medium portabellos and 6 cremini. (the earthier the mushroom the richer the flavor)
3T Cognac (optional)
1 Potato (peeled and cubed)
2T Flour
1 Sprig of fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp Salt
¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
2T Large leaf parsley (finely chopped)
10 C Water
1 C Soy milk
2T Arrowroot powder

Method

In a large bowl cover the dried mushrooms with 6 cups of boiling water. Allow the mushrooms to re-hydrate for at least 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms with cheesecloth or a clean tea towel to reserve the liquid. Set the mushrooms and the liquid aside.

Prepare the onion and garlic and heat the oil in a large stock pot. Sauté the onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent (about 2 minutes), add the cognac and cook the alcohol down for about 1 minute. Add the raw mushrooms and in batches if necessary not to overcrowd the pot for about another 2 minutes. Listen for a persistent sizzle, stirring occasionally to cook evenly.
Add the re-hydrated mushrooms, salt, pepper and rosemary.
Toss the mushrooms with the flour, stir to coat.
Add the reserved liquid from the mushrooms and the remaining 4 cups of water, scraping any “bits” from the bottom of the pan. Add the potatoes and bring the soup to a rolling simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the potato is soft, remove and discard the rosemary sprig and reserve about 1 cup of the mushrooms, stir in chopped parsley and set aside.

Purée the soup using a immersion blender or in batches with a food processor.
Dissolve the arrowroot powder in the cold soy milk and drizzle mixture into the hot soup.
Adjust seasoning.

Serve garnished with reserved mushrooms and brushed garlic crustini.

Vegan Oatmeal Cookies


Ever just need a cookie? The perfect sweet treat or quick snack is here and it’s almost healthy! Oatmeal wins again!

oatmealcookie

VEGAN OATMEAL COOKIES

1/2 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
3/4 Cup Turbinado Sugar
2 Tablespoons Molasses
1 Ripe Banana, mashed
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 Cups Whole Oats (not quick)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon (if you’re adding dried fruit, not chocolate)
1/2 Cup Dried Apricots, finely chopped or Raisins (optional)
1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips (also optional, but delicious)
Maldon Salt, for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Melt the coconut oil and add it to a large bowl along with the sugar, mashed banana and salt. Mix well to cream and dissolve sugar. Add the molasses and the cinnamon/dried fruit, if using.
Fold in the oats, flour, baking soda and baking powder, mixing just to combine and dampen the oats. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using.
Drop the cookie dough by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet with a cookie width space between each dollop, as they will spread slightly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden around the edges.
Cool slightly on baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Granola Bars


Yummy. Can we say waay better than store bought? And the kids like ’em too.

GRANOLA BARS

1/4 Cup Vegan Margarine
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (packed) – Check your source
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 Cups Rolled Oats (regular, not quick)
1 Cup Rice Krispies
1/2 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Banana Chips (crushed), optional
1/2 Cup Hazelnuts (crushed), optional

Method

Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and margarine in a saucepan.
Melt the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for about two minutes.
Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
Combine the oatmeal, rice, banana chips and half of the chocolate pieces (or other dry ingredients) in a large bowl.
Pour over the brown sugar mixture, stirring to coat everything well.

Spread evenly in a 13″ x 9″ dish.

Press remaining chocolate over top to incorporate and flatten the bars.

Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until set.

Cut into bars (or squares).

Alternates to try

Omit the banana chips and chocolate for one cup worth of the following combinations:

Dried cherries (1/4C) and chocolate (1/2C) with slivered almonds (1/4C)

Dried coconut (1/4C), banana chips (1/2C) and sunflower seeds (1/4C)

Dried cranberries and hemp seeds

Just Visiting…


Here’s a blog about food. Good food.
Food without heart.

No longer will you have to be intimidated by your various dinner guests or “accommodating” their eating habits. You won’t have to feel awkward if you eat dairy, eggs or God forbid MEAT!

Dieting, detoxing or cutting back on meat in general?

Or on the other hand, you are VEGAN. How do you feed your visiting guests without showing off the “freak” that you really are and just have a pleasant meal with a nice visit?

The Vegan Visitor Guide will aid you to a relaxed meal that you and your guests will savor. The recipes are perfect for everyday cooking, one dish gatherings, or fancy celebrations.

Dig in and finally feel satisfied.