Sunday, April 15, 2018

Red Lentil Carrot Soup

I was planning the usual red lentil and lemon soup, but my hostess asked me to use a few pounds of carrots. So the lemon is out, and this is what I came up with:

Carrot red lentil soup

3 or 4 lb carrots
2 large onions
5 cloves garlic
oil for sauteeing
Better than Bouillon No Chicken or other mock chicken bouillon
fresh ginger
fresh thyme
black pepper

Cut 3 or 4 lb peeled carrots into 2 or 3 inch pieces, and boil until soft enough to mash. (Keep the boiling water and remove carrots with slotted spoon)

Meanwhile slow sautee to lightly brown 2 large onions, finely chopped, with 5 cloves pressed garlic, a little salt, and 1/2 tsp turmeric, in as little oil as you can manage.

Peel and chop ginger, about 1 tbsp.

When the carrots are out of the water, add red lentils to the water and bring back to boiling. Lentils to water ratio about 1:4. Add the ginger. Add about 1 tbsp Better than Bouillon No Chicken base or other mock chicken flavour.

Coarsely mash the carrots with a potato masher.

When lentils are soft add onions and carrots. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, or more, to taste. Add about 1 tsp fresh thyme. Cook to blend flavours.


Makes a metric ton or so. Lots anyway, Freeze some.

Serve over grain or pasta. Quite nice.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Qoute Gallery II

The moon has no atmosphere so it is scorching hot (+100C) during the day and bitterly cold (-150C) at night. The Earth has an atmosphere made up of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases. Over 150 years ago scientists proved that CO2 traps heat from the sun. We also know without any doubt that burning fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal emits CO2. Measurements, not computer models or theories, measurements show that there is now 46% more CO2 in the atmosphere than 150 years ago before massive use of fossil fuels. That extra CO2 is like putting another blanket on at night even though you are already nice and warm. The Earth is now 1.0 C hotter on average according to the latest measurements. Heat is a form of energy and with so much more energy in our atmosphere our weather system is becoming supercharged resulting in stronger storms, worse heat waves, major changes in when and where rain falls and more. - Stephen Leahy

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Vegan Blackeyed Peas, Sweet Potato and Chard Gumbo


This is sort of Italian and sort of Cajun, dramatically simplified from a recipe I got online. Didn't know if I could find blackeyed peas in Ottawa, but Bulk Barn has 'em.

1 medium onion
4 cups greens, preferably swiss chard, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled & diced, steamed or boiled until soft
1 medium sweet potato, peeled & diced, steamed or boiled until soft
2 cups blackeyed peas, cooked
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt

~ 1 tbsp olive oil
~ 3 tbs Alessi fig vinegar, or other fine vinegar
~ 1/2 tsp dried sage
~ 1 1/2 tsp Italian herb blend or mix basil, thyme & rosemary
~ 1/2 tsp cumin
~ 1/2 tsp coriander
~ 1/4 tsp cayenne

Sautee onion slowly with salt at medium heat in as little oil as you can. When it's starting to be translucent, add chopped chard and garlic, pressed or finely chopped. Continue to cook at moderate heat until yummy. Add backeyed peas carrots and sweet potato, and heat through. Add herbs, spices, vinegar to taste, amounts suggested above. Add about 1 1/2 cups water and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavours.

Original recipe called for maple syrup, but I found sweetener excessive & left it out; carrots & sweet potatoes are sweet enough.

Serve over polenta or grits. <-- IMPORTANT

Monday, August 14, 2017

Pineapple Tofu "Al Pastor"

Based on a Guero's pork al pastor recipe published in "Nuevo Tex-Mex"

Pork al pastor is a richly flavored pork stew. I am sure mexican shepherds didn't have much pineapple, but in my experience in Texas, it is always served with pineapple.

In this recipe, I mixed the pineapple in, and added miso and smoked paprika to move the recipe into a meaty direction.

Warning, steps 1, 2, 3 and 4 are time consuming. I offer workarounds for steps 1 and 2, and you can cut corners on 3, but step 4 is, well, the whole idea really. But actually, if you do it right, you can work on all four of these steps at the same time. I found myself very busy for about an hour with this recipe, but the first time you do it, it may take longer!


1 lb extra firm tofu diced in 1/2" cubes or similar
1/2 pineapple
1 medium to large onion
1 large bell pepper or 2 small
optional: 1 zucchini, halved the long way & sliced thin


3 dried guajillo chiles or 2 extra tbsp ancho chile powder

2 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar or rice vinegar
2 tbsp miso (I used barley miso)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano (pref Mexican oregano)
1 tbsp Better Than Bouillon Mock chicken, or a vegan mock chicken bouillon cube
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp achiote paste (available at Mexican groceries)

1 tsp soy sauce or vegan worcestershire or similar


1) Prepare the dried chiles if using:
    pan roast on high heat for about 1 minute per side until color changes, but not burned
    soak in hot water at least 20 minutes

2) Roast the fresh peppers (if roasting, else see 3 below):
    broil on high for 8 minutes, top up if you can balance them
    rotate, repeat for 8 minutes 2 or 3 more times until skin blisters everywhere
    place in large bowl, cover, let cool

3) sautee onions
   heat 1 tsp oil on medium high
   chop onions fairly fine
   drop an onion bit in oil when it is hot, should sizzle but not splatter
   add onions
   add 1 tbsp ancho chile powder
   stir until red color is evenly distribute
   turn heat to medium low, occasionally
   add peppers chopped if not roasted
   peel and press the garlic and add to the onions
   if you roasted the peppers, when cool enough to handle, peel, seed & chop and add
   if using zucchini add thin sliced zucchini
   slow cook until vegs are soft and a bit sweet

4) grill pineapple
   Take a half pineapple, cut off the rind. Quarter through the core. Remove core.
   Pull out remaining bits of fiber with a potato peeler or a grapefruit spoon.
   If you have a grill, slice the pineapple into thin slices and grill a few minutes on a side.
   If you are pan-grilling, lightly oil a wok, chop pineapple fine
        stir-fry on high heat
  Cook until lightly browned in some spots.

5) make sauce
   in blender, add orange juice, vinegar, miso, achiote, bouillion, spices, and chile powder if using
       blend briefly

   if using dried chiles, rinse, tear open, discard seeds & step, & tear into a few pieces, add to blender
       then puree on high setting about 1 minute. run sauce through fine sieve to catch the dry bits

 6) remove pineapples from wok
   add 1/4 c water & heat pan to deglaze
   when water is boiled off & a little syrup remains, add 1 tsp canola oil
   add tofu, 1 tbsp ancho chile powder, soy sauce & cook on high heat until heated through.
   add all other ingredients & cook sauce down a bit until it thickens

Ideally serve on warmed corn tortillas with chopped red onion & fresh cilantro, but also nice on a toothy whole grain rice.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Green mushrooms


3 zucchini
2 yellow onions
8 roasted, peeled, seeded anaheim peppers
2 dried guajillo peppers
6 cloves garlic
some oil
ancho chili powder to taste
smoked paprika to taste
salt & pepper to taste

pan roast guajillos & soak in hot water 20 minutes
then remove seeds & stems, & scrape pulp from interiors

chop remaining vegetables & sautee
add spices



1 1/2 cups cashews
10 tomatillos

soak cashews at least 1 hour, drain
peel, wash tomatillos, boil until soft about 10 minutes, drain

put all in blender & puree



1 lb mushrooms
1 tbsp soy sauce
some oil

stir fry mushrooms until starting to soften
add soy sauce, sautee a little longer


combine about 1 c mexi-vegs, 1 c sauce base, all mushrooms, adding fresh thyme
heat the whole thing up


Friday, March 24, 2017

Vegan Cauliflower Cabbage Carrot Corn Colcannon

Can of Corn - drained & pureed

some roast garlic
some raw cashew butter
some nutritional yeast
a bit veggie Better Than Bouillon
lots of fresh black pepper

Shred & steam fresh veggies but leave some tooth
microwave creamed corn

stir together, over medium heat

add flavoring ingredients until it tastes good


This idea is vaguely Irish, as if I knew anything about that, inspired by a cauliflower colcannon at Whole Foods around St Patty's day.

I suppose you could add some boiled potato if you were inclined toward authenticity, but it does not start with the letter "C".

The main idea is that the creamed corn substitutes nicely for the traditional dairy cream.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Linda's amazing Fake Bacon

Shredded raw coconut

 2 T liquid smoke
 1 T soy sauce
 1 T maple syrup
 1 T water
 1 tsp smoked paprika

Bake 325 F 20 min, turning frequently

better than bacon!