Muligatawany soup

I like this soup as it is hearty vegan soup with red lentils (masoor dal), carrot, apple and coconut milk. And it is easily made in the winter since I can get carrots and apples still. I took this base recipe and modified it to be vegan.   I like it so much I'm on my second making of it in the span of 2 weeks!


1 yellow or white onion
2-3 carrots
1 large apple (or 2 smaller apples)
grate 1 TB ginger
grate or mince 3 cloves garlic

Saute the onion and carrot with olive oil until softening.  Add ginger, garlic and the following spices, stir and cook 60 seconds until fragrant:
1 TB garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch cardamom
pinch black pepper

Now add pureed tomatoes (I use my home canned tomatoes, or you can use tomato puree, or tomato paste + water), stir, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add 1/2 C red lentils (masoor dal) and stir. If you need more water to cook the lentils, add it. Cover and cook at a simmer until done, 20-30 minutes.

Blend some of the soup and return to the pan.

Add coconut milk and heat through (but not boiling). Season with salt.

Serve with basmati rice.


Gluten Free shortbread

From "how can it be gluten free" book by America's test kitchen, but the original recipe had more sugar. And it did not use the rice pulp, instead it used 2 C gluten free flour. And since it was flour, it held more butter, so the recipe called for 14 TB butter.


In food processor combine:
1 C rice pulp (from making rice milk), or use another cup of gluten free flour
1 C gluten free flour (I use a mixture of brown rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Now add: 10 TB cold butter cut into chunks
Process until the butter is evenly combined.

Preheat oven to 400 F

Pat the dough into a 9" circular pyrex dish.  Use a small biscuit cutter to remove a circle in the middle.  Pat the extra dough from the circle into the remaining area, and smooth the top.

Lower oven temp to 250 or 300 F
Bake for 20 minutes

Score with a knife and poke holes with fork

Turn off heat, let it remain in oven while turned off for an hour.

Sweet Lemon Salad (vegan)

I fell in love with this salad from the Sweet Lemon vegan bistro restaurant, and I find myself always wanting to eat more than even the large portion size.  I think I'm finally getting close to their delicious salad.

Make cucumber silken tofu dressing.

Marinate 1 - 1.5 C dry soy curls in hot water with 1 TB soy sauce. Let sit and rehydrate for 5-10 minutes. Strain out excess moisture.

Shred carrots

Wash, dry and chop lettuce

Preheat a saute pan on high. Once hot, add 1 TB coconut oil and swirl to coat pan.

Add the soy curls. Let cook on each side until browning a bit.

Add 1-2 TB soy sauce, little bit of rice vinegar and a little bit of brown sugar. Toss to coat.  Use a little hot water on the pan if the soy curls are sticking too much, scrape up the browned bits.  Once warmed through and a little crispy in spots, pour out into a bowl.

Arrange salads with lettuce, carrot shreds, generous globs of dressing and top with the hot soy curls.


Ginger Spice Candied Walnuts

These are just ever so sweet, with a little bit of heat from the cayenne and ginger.  Very tasty and snackable.

Whip 2 egg whites until foamy and soft peaks.

Toss the beaten egg whites with 8 oz walnuts (or pecans) in a large bowl.

Now add:
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB ground ginger powder
1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne powder (depends on how spicy the powder is)
pinch salt

Bake 10 minutes at 350 F. Use a spatula to turn the nuts over, bake another 10 minutes.  Let cool.
Store in an airtight container.


Chris' Grainola Bars

I was inspired by several cookbooks with various recipes for granola bars. It's apparently the "it" thing to do these days.  Needed one without chocolate or nuts (low in nickel), so I combined several ideas, mainly coming from the Kitchn. These are vegan as long as you use brown rice syrup, maple syrup or agave.  Great for roadtrips, keeping in the pantry for snacks, lunch boxes or while running errands.


Mix in a large bowl:
1.5 C oats
1 C crisped rice cereal
1/2 C millet (optional)
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/4 C dried goji berries
1/2 C shredded coconut

Warm in the microwave:
1/2 C brown rice syrup (or use honey or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

Mix wet and dry together.

Press into a 9x9 pyrex pan (I used waxed paper to keep my hands clean).  Really press it together (better chances of cutting into clean squares later). 

Bake at 325 F for 20 minutes.

Let them cool overnight before trying to cut into squares/rectangles. I cut half the pan while warm and they fell apart into crumbs. The other half of the pan, I conquered the next day, and they had hardened so that they could be cut into these nice rectangles!
Store in an airtight container.


Vegan Cucumber Creamy Dressing (like Sweet Lemon restaurant)

I fell in love with the salad at Sweet Lemon. It is greens, grated carrot, sautéed soy curls (in a teriyaki type sauce) and this wonderful vegan creamy dressing that they call "creamy cucumber".

I searched several websites (like this one and that one) and experimented in the kitchen.

Don't worry that this makes such a large quantity, it's the kind of dressing you glob all over the greens so two large salads can easily use up 1 C of dressing.


In food processor with grating disc, grate 1 medium size cucumber.  Toss cucumber shreds with 1/2 tsp salt. After a couple minutes, strain and press out the extra liquid.

In the emptied food processor with the S blade, combine:
1 box silken firm tofu
3 TB lemon juice
0.5TB to 1 TB white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves
1 TB grated white or yellow sweet onion 
2 TB olive oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 TB agave or maple syrup (or more to taste)

Once silky smooth, add approx 1 TB dried or fresh herbs.  I like the Parisien herbs from Penzey's, or you could use marjoram, basil, thyme, dill.

Add the grated drained cucumber. Pulse to combine.

Taste and adjust seasoning.  If it tastes too astringent, you might need more agave.  Surprisingly this dressing needs more sweetness than I am accustomed to adding to dressing, but that's what it took be as craveable as the restaurant's version.

Chill and serve.


Taco/Mexican Red Rice

I can finally make mexican red rice! I love this stuff, it's great in burritos (simply add cooked beans, cheese and wrap up in a tortilla). Or you can put fried eggs on it for breakfast. It's great to have on hand for making up quick meals.  I have made it twice or three times in the past couple weeks-- it's that good.


Saute 1 diced white/yellow onion and 3 crushed garlic cloves in olive oil or coconut oil until starting to brown.

Add spices:
1-2 tsp cayenne or other mild chili pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano

Add 1 C long grain white rice and toast for 60 seconds.

Pour in 2-4 TB tomato paste and enough water for the rice to cook. Stir, cover and set stove to low and let cook. You can add more water if it gets too dry before the rice is fully cooked.

Taste and season with more salt if necessary.