Thursday, March 31, 2011

Win Your Very Own Happy Herbivore!

Um, not the Happy Herbivore herself, of course, but her fabulous cookbook that I've been happily using for the past few weeks. BenBella books, the publisher of Happy Herbivore, has graciously offered to supply one of my readers with a free copy. Hooray for free stuff! Double hooray for free vegan stuff!

So here's the contest: In the spirit of the Happy Herbivore, send me a quick, easy, cheap vegan recipe -- something relatively simple that might be your go-to vegan meal. Please, no fancy equipment. (For example: a blender/food processor is okay, dehydrator or spiralizer is not.) Put your recipe in the comments and I'll pick the winner. The cookbook will be sent to you directly from the publisher, without even my chocolate-dusted fingerprints* to mar its new-book shine.

My latest experiment: H.H's black bean brownies. Next time I would add chocolate chips to the batter. But that's just me.

UPDATE 4/4: I'm going to pick the winner on Monday (4/11). If anyone is still thinking about posting a recipe, please post by this Friday (4/8).


  1. This is not so much a recipe as a suggestions. I started making this as baby food for my infant son, but when I took a bite to convince him how tasty it was, I discovered it is, in fact, delicious. The baby still agrees. The pumpkin and tahini combine to create a very pleasant creaminess, and the spices, fruit and nuts steer it in the 'rice pudding' direction. It can be as savory as sweet and as plain or loaded with goodies as you like. Here's the rundown:

    Grain of your choice (quinoa, cous cous, bulgur, brown rice...)
    Canned pumpkin
    Maple syrup (optional)
    Currants or dried cranberries (optional)
    Walnuts or pumpkin seeds (candied, toasted or raw; optional)
    Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cayenne pepper (any or all)

    1. Cook the grain as directed
    2. Add 4 parts pumpkin to 1 part tahini plus the maple syrup and stir into rice until you get the consistency of rice pudding
    3. Stir in dashes of whatever spices you're using
    4. Stir in currants or dried cranberries
    5. Top with walnuts or pumpkin seeds

  2. Now, I'll always argue cake IS a go-to meal, but I'll leave the whens & where's to you. ;-p I'm not a vegan but have many friends who are. I make this regularly for myself, that's how delicious it is.

    *Vegan Chocolate Cake*
    2c whole wheat pastry flour
    2c unbleached flour
    8Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
    4tsp baking soda
    1tsp salt

    1c vegetable oil
    2c honey (or, due to ongoing vegan debate, substitute agave nectar to taste!

    2c cold water
    4Tbsp vinegar
    2Tbsp vanilla (can be substituted for 1Tbsp almond extract for a subtle change in flavor!)

    Vegetable shortening 10" x 3" large springform pan. Heat oven to 325 degrees.

    Whisk together dry ingredients, add additional ingredients one by one, mixing intermittently, in the order listed above.

    Mix thoroughly, pour into pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

    Bake 35-45 min, or until tests done with a toothpick. Allow to cool completely, cut & enjoy!

    Serving suggestion: pairs well with berries or citrus

  3. I made vegan chili recently and won a contest at work. But I added bacon, which is totally optional.

    Piquant Pumpkin & Pepita Potpourri Chili

    Try it, love it.

  4. Our Go-To Vegan Meal:
    Be warned - it does involve a blender - but that's it...and our blender sucks but does the trick. I also hope you appreciate the exact measurements - I freaking love exact measurements.

    So first, you take a handful of salted cashews, and you dump them in your blender along with a couple (or more) cloves of garlic. Then add another half of a handfulof cashews. Blend to powder or close to it - not to cashew butter, though. Pour in 2 or 3 cups of water and blend. It will look milk-ish. Pour it into a skillet over medium heat and stir with a whisk. It will thicken up quickly, and you don't want to end up with a dough ball. If you feel you need to add water, do so. Throw in a handful of fake shredded cheese....(or real parmisagne if nobody is looking and you're one of THOSE vegans). Spoon over whole-wheat pasta. It's a vegan alfredo that takes no time and few ingredients and tastes great!

  5. Amy's Favorite Soup (a.k.a. Kale Red Lentil Soup)

    This is my favorite soup to make and my favorite soup to eat. I especially make it when someone I love is sick; I figure it's got so many vitamins that it's *got* to work.

    A note about the pasta: I like it cooked in a separate pot and added to the soup mere seconds before serving so that it doesn't get mushy. It is, however, totally valid to add it dry to the stew and let it cook there (add it with the green beans). And, it's not even *necessary* to the recipe. If you don't like pasta or are carb-limitd or gluten-intolerant you can skip it or sub in a grain of your choice. This past week, I used a cup of cooked brown rice instead.

    olive oil
    20-30 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large onion, medium dice
    4 medium carrots, medium dice
    2 stalks of celery, medium dice (peeling it de-strings it and makes it more de-licious)
    1 28-oz can of good quality crushed tomatoes
    8 c of the stock of your choice (I use home-made veggie stock made from the scraps of other dinners)
    2c dry red lentils
    2 handfuls of green beans, trimmed and cut in half
    1 bunch of kale, taken off the stem and ripped or chopped
    1 15oz can of canellini or beans of your choice (I sometimes use dark kidney) -- or the equivalent amount of dry beans, pre-cooked before adding
    1c small pasta, cooked (optional)
    1/4 c parsley, chopped
    s&p to taste
    red pepper flakes/cayenne pepper, to taste (I use just the littlest bit)

    1. In a large dutch oven, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Saute the onions, carrots and celery on medium heat until the onions are soft/translucent. Add a pinch of salt to help with veggie softening.

    2. Add garlic and stir until you can smell the garlicky-ness (about 30 seconds)

    3. Add tomatoes, stock and lentils. Bring to a low boil. Add the kale a fistful at a time, submerging it under the surface of the liquid until you can duck it all under the surface. Then, cover and turn heat down and maintain a simmer for about an hour or until lentils have cooked/dissolved into the liquid. Taste and adjust s&p as you go.

    4. Remove lid and simmer for another 1/2-1 hour with the lid off to reduce volume/concentrate flavor. Add more stock if you prefer a thinner soup.

    5. Add the pasta now if you're going to cook it in the stew. Add the green beans, cooked white beans, parsley, and red pepper flakes. And cook until the veggies are tender (about 20 minutes). Taste and adjust s&p as you go.

  6. vegan chocolate chip cookies: follow the standard toll house recipe, in lieu of eggs, use one ripe, mashed banana. in lieu of butter, use a vegan spread. in lieu of white sugar, use organic, vegan cane sugar. they're delicious.

  7. sorry, i meant to mention instead of milk chocolate chips, i use enjoy life's semi sweet chocolate chips, they're vegan and gluten free.

  8. This isn't my recipe but it's my go-to meal. When I was pregnant I ate it every day for months. I just call it chickpea salad to avoid the comparison to tuna. I like it more than I ever liked tuna (but I admit I don't really remember what it tasted like). Other great recipes on the site as well...

  9. Thanks for all the great recipes, everyone! I'm posting this for Laurie P., who emailed me saying she had trouble getting it into the comments section.

    Banana French Toast

    (Serves 2 to 3)

    2 medium bananas
    2/3 cup soymilk
    2 tablespoons maple syrup
    1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    4 slices bread
    Blend bananas, soymilk, maple syrup, and cinnamon until smooth.

    Pour into a flat, shallow dish and soak bread slices 1 minute on each side.

    Transfer carefully to a skillet, which has been oiled or sprayed with a nonstick vegetable spray. Cook first side until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook second side until browned.

    Serve with fresh fruit, fruit preserves, or maple syrup.

  10. Peanut Sesame Noodles

    This is a hit with the entire family. The kids like just the noodles tossed with the dressing but you can toss in firm tofu and whatever veggies (peppers, cucumbers, carrots, scallions) that you have on hand. It works well as a main dish or side. We like them warm or cold.

    For peanut dressing:

    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    1/4 cup soy sauce
    1/3 cup warm water
    1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
    1 medium garlic clove, chopped
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
    2 teaspoons agave nectar
    1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice ( I usually leave this out because the kids don't do spicy, it's easy to spice up my own bowl.)

    Puree the ingredients in a blender, toss with 1 pound of pasta (whole wheat spaghetti, soba, etc.) that has been cooked and rinsed in cool water. Garnish with 3 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds.