Friday, August 27, 2010


The real title of this recipe is Stewed Corn and Tomatoes with Okra. I did make it with okra, but I have finally realized that I do not like okra, so I removed it from the dish after it was cooked. I think the okra did not lend anything to the recipe as it was delicious without it. If you like okra, I will add the amount and instruction at the end of the recipe.

Serves 6
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1-1/4 hours

6 scallions, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, finely chopped, with seeds
(I used poblano pepper about the size of what
a jalapeno would be because I had it in the
freezer. Poblano is not as hot as jalapeno)

1 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 tbs of vegetable oil
1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped*
3 cups corn (from 5-6 ears) I used frozen

1/2 pound small fresh okra (if desired), trimmed,
keeping stem end intact

Cook scallions, jalapeno, bell pepper, and oil in a
12" skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally,
until scallions begin to brown, 7-9 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally,
until broken down into a sauce, about 15 minutes.

Add corn (and okra) and cook, stirring occasionally,
until just tender about 15 minutes.

*To prepare tomatoes, put them in boiling water, and
when skin begins to split remove, cool, peel, chop.

Recipe adapted from Stewed Corn and Tomatoes
with Okra, from Gourmet, 2007

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


This recipe called for bacon and shrimp, but I eliminated them both and this dish was still delicious. It is fun to make rice and beans all these different ways. I've been eating only Spanish style r&b forever, so I am enjoying all the unusual mixtures of flavors. Hoppin' John always consists of black-eyed peas and rice and is said to bring good luck if eaten on New Year's Day. This recipe is from the Lowcountry region which stretches from the coastal plains of the Carolinas to the Georgia border.

2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
1 15 oz can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup hot cooked rice
1/2 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (or 1/3 of 1/4 cup dried)
(Dried is always 1/3 of fresh)
1/3 tbs dried parsley or 1 tbs fresh
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 cup of lemon juice
1/4 cup of olive oil

Saute shallots, celery, and bell pepper for 7 mins
or until tender. Stir in black-eyed peas and next
7 ingredients.

Combine lemon juice and oil. Stir into mixture.
Cover and chill or eat warm.

Recipe adapted from Coastal Living, September 2008

Friday, August 20, 2010


I try not to use fake meat in my recipes, but the Gardein Beef is really good in recipes. And, I must admit, adding red wine makes it lucious. This was an easy recipe to prepare and didn't take too long - just a matter of sauteeing the veggies and simmering the stew for a short while. If you prefer a thicker sauce, like I do, just add 2 tbs flour to 1/4 cup cold water (mix well) and add to stew a little at a time, stirring until thickened.

Serves 4

One package of Gardein Beef Chunks
(defrosted and each piece cut in half)

2 tbs of olive oil

2 cups Cajun Trinity (1/2 green bell pepper,
1 celery stalk, 1/2 onion: all chopped. Make
up difference with one or more of the veggies)

1 tbs minced garlic
1 large carrot, diced
6-7 large mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Red Wine
1 tbs tomato paste (buy in tube not can)

2 cups veg broth (Better than Bouillon Veg Base-
a nice dark rich veg broth that I use for dishes
that call for beef broth)

1/2 - 1 tsp of dried thyme

Serve with noodles, mashed potatoes or rice. The
recipe called for egg noodles, but I used large
bow tie macaroni (no eggs) which I thought was
the most similar to the wavy texture of egg
noodles. But rice would have been great also.

Saute 2 cups of Cajun Trinity and minced garlic
until starting to soften.

Add carrots and cook 5 minutes.

Toss in sliced mushrooms.

Add wine, tomato paste, and broth. Stir well to

Add thyme and mix.

While Cajun Trinity is sauteeing, brown beef
chunks in small frying pan with a bit of oil. It
will start to brown, but do not over-cook or the
chunks start to shrink.

Once veggie mix is mixed well, add the browned
Gardein chunks.

Recipe adapted from Cajun TV Cooking
(on the internet)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


August is supposed to be Louisiana, Cajun, Creole, and Southern Cooking month. Well, it isn't easy. Everything is meat or shellfish. Hopefully, by next August, I will have found more recipes - possibly a Soul Food Cookbook is needed. There's a good vegan one that I must get. Anyway, this was kind of southern and was delicious. If you haven't tried parsnips (a new veggie for me) you should. This recipe calls for fresh sage leaves. I made it twice: once with fresh and once with the dried herb, which is kinda fuzzy (I usually use it for sore throats or fever). Needless to say, the fresh is best. Perhaps you can try the spice which is sold in supermarkets. Sprinkle it on to your taste. I bought the plant itself, which grows pretty easily in pots. You can cut the leaves and dry them out. Well worth the $2.99.

Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 1 hour, 10 mins

Serves 8

1-1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into thin strips
1-1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup small fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 375. In a large bowl, toss the parsnips,
carrots, oil, sage, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper

Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring
twice, until the vegetables are golden, 45 - 55 mins.

Recipe from Real Simple, December 2008


I eliminated the meat in this chili and added a bit of rice. I think it might have been better without the rice, as the rice took away from the richness of the chili. Cornbread would go great with this. Or corn on the cob. The recipe even suggested french bread for dipping or topping a baked potato with chili.

Cajun Trinity: bell pepper, onion, celery

2 tbs olive oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 tbs minced garlic
2 tbs Chili Powder (or you could use cumin. I used
chili powder - afterall, it is Chili)
1/2 to 1 tsp of creole or cajun seasoning (see recipe)

2 cans diced tomatoes
(I used one 14 oz can plus 2 plum tomatoes put in food
processor, only because I had only one can. Next time I
make this I will use two cans, but I would put second
can in a little at a time so as not to make too watery.)

1 can pinto beans, drained
Dash of Tabasco sauce

Saute bell pepper, onions, celery in olive oil until soft

Add minced garlic.

Add Chili Powder and Creole Seasoning.

Pour canned tomatoes into blender or food processor
and puree. Add to veggie mix.

Add beans and stir well. Simmer uncovered on medium
to low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to
prevent burning, which it will, so pay attention.

Recipe from Cajun Cooking TV (on the Internet)


While this recipe does contain sugar, it is not super sweet. The veggies add to the sweetness with their own delicious flavors.

2 large sweet potatoes (1-3/4 lbs), peeled and sliced
crosswise 1/2" thick
1 large acorn squash (3 to 3-1/2 lbs), halved lengthwise
seeded, and sliced crosswise 1/2" thick (do not peel)
3 tbs vegetable oil (recipe called for butter, but using
vegetable oil was just fine. The sugar more than makes
up for the butter)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp grated nutmeg (If you use ground nutmet, I would
use 1/3 of a tsp. You can always add more if not enough
nutmeg flavor)

Active time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: approx 40 minutes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss sweet potatoes and squash with oil, 1/2 tsp salt and
1/4 tsp pepper. Place on sided baking sheet or large
casserole dish.

Stir together brown sugar and nutmeg. Turn vegetable
slices and sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture.

Bake until golden and tender. Do not over-cook as the
sugar will tend to make veggies hard and crispy.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine,
November 2009


This mix can be made for Cajun or Creole food.

1 tbs dried basil
1 tbs dried oregano
1-1/2 tbs paprika
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp mace (I eliminated because I didn't have it)
1 bay leaf

Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor.
Grind until well blended.


Dirty rice is a type of rice used in Louisiana (Cajun) cooking which uses cooked liver to give it that "dirty" taste and look. Of course, this rice is vegan and very simple to make. Using brown rice instead of white rice gives it that "dirty" brown color.

Serves 6

1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning *
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley (or 2/3 tbs dried)

Place rice and 2 cups water in saucepan, bring to boil,
then simmer, cover, and cook until done (approx
30 minutes or according to package)

Saute veggies until tender and begin to brown

Add vegetable broth, Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper
and bring to boil

Add veggie mixture to rice. Cook until heated through.

Stir in parsley and serve.

*You can purchase already made Cajun Seasoning mix
but I made my own. See recipe.