Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This is a refreshing and simple salad. According to Chef Phil, "Take this salad on the road-toss the ingredients together and let them marinate on the way. The salad will be ready when you arrive."

Makes about 4 cups.

2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
I used 2 regular cucumbers. English cukes have
less seeds.

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (1-1/4 cups)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Cover and chill 1 hour. Makes 4 cups.

Recipe from Coastal Living, 2005
Submitted by Chef Phil Conde,
Yankee Pier, Larspur, California


Soup, Zuppa, Sopa, Soupe, Potage, Suppe, Caldo - No matter how you say it, it is the most nourishing, satisfying, simple meal to cook. And, yes, it is a one pot meal. What I love the most about soup is the thousands of recipes from all over the world. If we are low on money or high on pounds, soup will help. This recipe is simple and easy - and delicious.

Serves 8
Work Time: 25 minutes Total Time:1 hour

1 onion
1 small bulb fennel
14-1/2 ounce can tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
5 cups vegetable stock
1/4 pound fresh spinach (3 cups)
1 cup cooked white beans

Chop onion. Trim fennel and cut bulb into
thin slices. Drain tomatoes, reserving
juice, and chop.

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat.
Add onion, fennel, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp
pepper, cover and cook until onion is soft.

Add thyme, chopped tomatoes and bay leaf.

To the pot, add juice from tomato and stock,
cover and simmer over low heat until fennel
is very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove bay

Meanwhile, trim stems from spinach. Wash and
cut into shreds. Rinse beans with cold water
and drain.

Just before serving, reheat soup if necessary,
add spinach and beans, heat until spinach has
wilted, about 5 minutes.

Recipe adapted from First 4/15/1991

Thursday, September 23, 2010


In Italian, ribollita means twice boiled or re-boiled and this Tuscan classic would reheat minestrone soup. Why? Perhaps to make it richer. This recipe calls for a regular once cooked method. I think this soup is one of the most delicious vegetable soups I've ever tasted. The roasted tomatoes and the paprika give it a very smoky flavor. The original recipe called for pecorino cheese to be sprinkled on soup, but as with most Italian soups, the cheese is absolutely not necessary. I think sprinkling cheese on everything is just a traditional Italian condiment and should always be ignored as it takes away from the actual taste of the soup.

1/3 cup olive oil
3 large celery ribs, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
2 medium onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika*
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

One 28-0z can chopped fire-roasted
tomatoes and their juices (I seeded, sliced
and broiled a few tomatoes in the toaster oven
until they got dark and crispy around the edges.
Then I chopped them. They stuck to the pan in spots
and I added water to the pan, then scraped the pan
juices into the soup.

3/4 pound (one bunch) Tuscan kale-stems
and center ribs removed and discarded,
leaves coarsely chopped

4 thyme sprigs
1 rosemary sprig
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts vegetable stock**
Two 15-1/2 oz cans of white beans, such
as cannellini, drained (I always try to use fresh
beans cooked in a crock pot)
2 tbs sherry vinegar (try not to eliminate this as
it adds a distinct flavor to the soup)

1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the celery,
carrots, and onions; cook over moderate heat,
stirring occasionally, until softened. 8 minutes.
Stir in garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper
and cook until fragrant. 2 minutes. Add the
tomatoes, kale, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf
and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato
juices have evaporated, 5 mins or until the roasted
tomato has been incorporated into the soup.
Season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the vegetable stock and beans to the pot;
simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30
mins. Discard the rosemay and thyme stems, and
the bay leaf. Stir the vinegar into the soup and
season with salt and black pepper, if necessary.

Serve with Crusy bread.

*I found this paprika in Aroma kosher grocery
store, and I think it can also be found in Middle
Eastern stores. Whole Foods probably carries this
as they have a huge selection of spices.
**There are two types of veggie broth I use. One
is a yellow powder in a container that doesn't need
refrigeration, but the one I use when I want to have
a darker richer base is Better than Bouillon, which
must be kept in the fridge once opened.

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, May 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I have always liked plain veggies, but now I love them with all these added healthy ingredients. This dish is amazing - I didn't even want to share it with my husband. As with most recipes, I cut this one in half.

Total Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8

1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 bunches broccoli (about 3 lbs), cut into
long florets
1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 375. Spread the hazelnuts on a
rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing
occasionally, until fragrant, 5 to 6 minutes;
roughly chop

Meanwhile, fill a large pot with 1" water
and fit with a steamer basket. Bring to a
simmer. Place broccoli in steamer basket,
cover, and steam until tender, 4-5 mins.
Transfer to plate.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, cook the
oil and garlic over low heat until the garlic
is just golden, 4-6 mins. Transfer to a small
bowl and stir in the hazelnuts, lemon juice,
and 1/2 tsp each of salt an pepper. Drizzle
over the broccoli.

Recipe from Real Simple, December 2008

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have been eating salads my whole life, but it always consisted of just lettuce, maybe tomatoes and/or cukes. But now that I am cooking gourmet vegan, I am making lots of interesting salads. This one is yummy and although we ate it with a bean dish, it really is a meal in itself because of the very filling avocados.

This salad is made at Pizzeria Mozza in LA. Marcos, the chef, makes it with agretti, a naturally salty Adriatic green, but watercress is used in this recipe instead. Sure wish we had Pizzerias like this in Florida.

Total: 25 mins
Serves: 4

2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium shallot, minced
3 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup walnut halves
2 firm, rip Hass avocados, each cut into eight
Two 12-oz bunches watercress, stems dis-
carded (Watercress is time-consuming in
cleaning because all stems must be removed
otherwise I find it too bitter. Also, use this
veggie very soon after purchase as it yellows

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl,
combine the lemon juice and minced
shallots and let stand for 10 mins.
Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season
with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie
plate and toast in oven until golden brown
and fragrant, about 6 mins. Cool. Chop.
3. Lightly season the avocado wedges with
salt. Add the avocado, walnuts, and water-
cress to the dressing and toss well. Season
with salt and pepper and serve right away.

Recipe from Food and Wine, March 2009


Italian month is proving to be delicious - even without the pasta, bread, or rice. There are a zillion different beans that are used in Italian cooking and they all go so well with greens. If you don't like to eat just a bowl of greens, this is a great way to get the same benefits.

5 tbs olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
1 large bunch greens (spinach, mustard greens, kale,
or broccoli rabe-about one pound. I used kale)
Remove thick stems, spinach left whole, other greens
cut into 1-inch strips, about 10 cups)
1 cup (or more) vegetable broth
1 15 oz can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed,
drained (I used my crockpot and made fresh-so easy
and no more burnt beans)
1 tsp (or more) Sherry wine vinegar

Hat 4 tbs oil in large nonstick skillet over medium
heat. Add garlic and dried crushed pepper; stir
until garlic is pale golden, about 1 min. Add greens
by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt
before adding more, tossing with tongs to coat with
oil. I cooked my greens a couple of days earlier and
then just added to garlic and red pepper.

Add 1 cup of broth, cover, and simmer until greens
are just tender, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls
if too dry, 1-10 mins, depending on type of greens.
Add beans; simmer uncovered until beans are heated
through and liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 mins.
Stir in 1 tsp vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Drizzle with remaining 1 tbs oil and serve.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, April 2008

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Artichokes and potatoes are my favorite vegetables, so I love this dish. I always use frozen artichokes if I can't find fresh. Jarred artichokes just don't taste like the real thing, but they are good as an appetizer. I rarely eat canned, except when breaded and fried, even then, I prefer the frozen. This recipe is quick and easy and can be eaten as a main meal or a side.

6 cups water
1-1/4 pounds baby red potatoes
20 small baby artichokes (I used two
packages of Bird's Eye frozen. Thaw before
starting to cook)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
8 large cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
3 tbs chopped fresh parsley or 1 tbs dried
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

Heat water and potatoes to boiling. Reduce
to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim artichokes by removing
outer green leaves,stopping at the point where
the leaves are half green and half yellow. Cut each
stem even with base; cut 1/2" off each top.
If you've never tried these fresh baby artichokes,
they are delicious. You can eat the entire artichoke
after removing the outer leaves, etc. You cannot do
the same with frozen as they are too watery and are
not as flavorful, but work well when mixed with
other veggies.

With slotted spoon, remove potatoes to colander;
set aside to cool slightly. Add artichokes and lemon
juice to same water in which potatoes were cooked.
Heat to boiling over high heat; cook 10 minutes.
Drain well and set aside to cool slightly. If using
frozen, just cook for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, cut cooled potatoes lengthwise into
quarters; cut quarters in half crosswise. When
artichokes are cool enough to handle, cut them
lengthwise into quarters. Cut out any interior
leaves that are purple or pink. If you are using frozen,
no need to cut as they are already cut.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the
artichokes, potatoes, oil, garlic, parsley, salt and
pepper. Spread mixture in single layer (or not) in
a baking dish and roast on bottom rack of oven
for 10 minutes. With spatula, turn mixture
until lightly browned - 5 to 10 mins.

Origin of recipe unknown.


This is an old recipe that I learned from my ex mother-in-law decades ago. I didn't cook it this time around, but have eaten it a lot and I wanted to list it in my Italian recipes. It is an unusual pasta dish, that most people have never heard of. Unless, of course, you are Italian, probably Sicilian.

Serves 4

1 15 ounce can of peas
1 large onion, chopped
Enough Ditali macaroni for 4 people*
Olive Oil for cooking onion and a bit extra
Salt and Pepper

Cook macaroni according to directions on box

Cook onions in olive oil until starting to brown.
You don't want to brown every piece, but at least
half, as this will give it lots of flavor.

To the onions, add the entire can of peas, including
water in can. Cook a few minutes until hot. Then
just add to macaroni.

Add salt and pepper to taste. I usually add extra
pepper as it goes well with the peas.

*Ditali macaroni is traditionally used. I usually
eat this dish with a spoon. A larger macaroni
will not go well with the small peas.

Recipe from Grace DiSalvo, a beautiful spirited
Italian woman.


This was one of the best salads I have ever eaten. I loved it and can't wait to have it again. I am so excited because my cooking/eating goal is to eat mainly raw foods. So, for me, finding an exciting, but healthy dressing is key. I served this with Tuscan Bean Soup (see recipe.)

8 Servings

2 tbs yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced shallots
2/3 cup olive oil

2 large bunches watercress, thick stems
1-1/2 pounds celery root (celeriac)*, trimmed,
peeled, coarsely grated in processor or with
box grater
20 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced

Stir mustard seeds in dry skillet over medium
heat until lightly toasted and starting to pop,
about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool.

Add vinegar, mustard, and shallots; whisk to
blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season with salt
and pepper.

Toss watercress in large bowl with enough
dressing to coat lightly. Divide watercress
among plates.

Combine celery root and radishes in same bowl
and toss with enough of remaining dressing to
coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top the
watercress with celery root mixture and serve.

*Celery Root (celeriac) can be found at Fresh
Market grocers.

Recipe from Bon Appeitit, October 2007


This month I will be cooking Italian, but I will be cooking it without pasta, rice, or bread. The reason for the elimination of these main ingredients in Italian food, is that since I started cooking vegan gourmet, I have gained weight. I've been eating too many carbs, so I decided to cook this month with mainly beans, lentils, and veggies. (There is barley in this soup, but barley is a low Glycemic Index carb as it has a slow effect on blood sugar levels.)

I will accompany every dish with a different type of salad or vegetable and the salad I chose with Tuscan Bean Soup is out of this world (Celery Root, Radish, and Watercress Salad with Mustard Seed Dressing.)

Note: Do not cook beans in salted water. It will make
them tough.

Serves 4-6 as main meal; 8 as side soup

1/2 cup each dried cranberry beans, red lentils, green
lentils, green split peas, small white beans, and pearl
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 rib celery, thinly sliced and cut into 3/4" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
Bouquet garni of thyme, bay leaves, sage leaves, and
celery leaves**
3 quarts water
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup fresh parley***

Soak beans in water for about one hour. In a collander,
combine the beans, lentils, and barley. Rinse, drain, and
set aside.

In a large, heavy pot, combine the oil, onion, carrot,
celery, garlic and bouquet garni. Stir to coat with the
oil. Cook over moderate heat until the veggies are soft,
about 5 minutes.

Add the bean mixture, stir to coat with oil and cook for
one minute more.

Add the 3 quarts water and stir. Cover, bring to a
gentle simmer over moderate heat, and cook until the
outer shells of the largest beans are tender, about 45

Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook until
tender, 15 - 30 minutes. Stir from time to time to make
sure beans are not sticking.

Remove bouquet garni, add the parsley and serve.

*I was unable to find cranberry beans so I used
Roman beans (cargamanto.)Red lentils can be found
at health food stores.

**I used dried herbs: 1/2 tsp thyme, 2-3 leaves sage,
and one bay leaf. I did not use celery leaves, but if
I did I would have used about a 2 tbs. I urge you to
buy a sage plant when you see it. You can dry it out
immediately if you cannot grow it. I just cut the leaves,
place on paper towel, and leave on counter for a few
days to dry. I have never seen it as leaves in a jar.
For a bouquet garni, I used a small muslin bag or you
can make your own by using a very small piece of
clean pourous cotton (a new hankie)then tied with a
piece of string after placing herbs inside. In the
case of this soup, I guess you can just add the herbs
to the soup.

***If you do not have fresh parsley, use one third of
1/4 cup of dried parsley.

I do not know where I got this recipe


I made this rice with Pecan Crusted Tofu (see recipe.)Both recipes were given to me by my friend Heather. As in the tofu recipe, I received the recipe without measurements, so mine are to my liking.

1 cup dry Brown Rice
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 green large pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 - 2 tsp dried parsley
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp creole seasoning

Cook all ingredients as if making regular rice.


I got this recipe from my friend Heather and it was very good. Not your typical spicy cajun food, but, along with her other recipe, Cajun Green Rice (see recipe,) this meal was comfort food to me. At first, I thought it was going to be too bland for my liking, but the more I ate it, the more I enjoyed it. I think I added some salt after the tofu cakes were cooked-but not much. I didn't want to take away from the sweetness of the pecans.

The recipe was given to me without measurements, so in this recipe they will be approximates.

1 package of firm Tofu
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
pecans (approx 1/4 cup ground down)
soy milk

Mix the flour, cornmeal, ground pecans, and paprika together.
Cut the tofu into 1/2" slices (remove all water).
Dip tofu into soy milk, then coat with flour mixture.
Bake on well-oiled baking dish. Adding more oil, if
Bake at 400 degrees until brown, flipping once or twice
until desired browness achieved.