Vegan Recipes

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Tofu Miso Soup Recipe

Tofu Miso Soup

03.17.10 by Jackie

Tofu miso soup is very soothing. My little munchkin caught a bad cold and I thought the simple, clear broth would help with her congestion. To make the soup, I started by preparing a kombu dashi (Japanese stock) with fresh ginger. To make the traditional non-vegetarian version, just add shavings of bonito flakes, or dried and fermented tuna.

Once the stock was ready, I seasoned it with white miso paste. No salt is necessary as the miso paste is already well seasoned. Miso soup can be served with cubed tofu and accompanied with other vegetables such as soybean sprouts, enoki and shiitake mushrooms or baby spinach.

Miso paste is a fermented rice and soybean combination. I chose white miso paste which is fermented for a few weeks as opposed to regular miso (several months). I find the flavor to be less salty with a subtle sweetness. Don't be frightened by the size of miso containers sold in markets. Miso paste stores well in the refrigerator and you can make other dishes with it such as Asian salad dressing, other soup broths and vegetarian gravy.


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Lyonnaise Potatoes Recipe

Lyonnaise Potatoes

03.16.10 by Jackie

Pommes de terre lyonnaises is a crisp, yet tender potato dish. The potatoes are parboiled for faster cooking before being sautéed in butter. Sliced caramelized onions and parsley are added to the dish for color and a mild contrast of flavor. These potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to meat. I recently served them with lamb chops.

Lyonnaise potatoes originated in the city of Lyon which is located in East-central France in the region called Rhône-Alpes. The region is famous for being one of the main centers of French gastronomy. It has produced several beloved French dishes, such as coq au vin and marrons glacés. I haven't made a lot of dishes from Lyon in the past, but that will soon change. Bon appétit, and stay tuned!


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Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Asparagus Recipe

There are few side dishes that are as intensely colorful and beautiful as a platter of roasted red bell peppers and asparagus. The flavors and textures are very distinct and complementary. They don't need much in the way of dressing; I usually only add a little lemon, pickled red onion and sea salt after drizzling them with olive oil and roasting them in the oven.

It's a great party platter because you can prepare it in advance. I usually roast the vegetables several hours before we have guests over, and then dress them right before serving. You could also serve the veggies straight out of the oven if you'd like them warm. Either way, this simple yet elegant dish is a perfect way to begin a dinner party. Enjoy!


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Spicy Garlic Chutney Recipe

Spicy Garlic Chutney

03.12.10 by Jackie

Spicy garlic chutney is meant to knock your socks off. I used Anaheim peppers which are mildly hot; you can decide on the level of spiciness by using hotter peppers such as Serrano peppers. If you're really masochistic, habanero or scotch bonnets would work as well. On the other hand, if you're like me and can't handle spicy food, you could use green bell peppers instead. 

This Indian chutney is a great condiment for subtly flavored dishes such as fish en papillote, meat, Indian potato cutlets, basmati rice and dahl or even a piece of toast. It's also very healthy for you due to the large quantity of fresh garlic. We make this chutney very often, as it stores well in the refrigerator. The only no-no would be to serve it during a romantic dinner !!


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Kali Dal (Indian Black Lentils) Recipe

Kali Dal (Indian Black Lentils)

03.10.10 by Jackie

The flavor combination of kali dal ("black lentils" in Urdu) is simple: black lentils, ginger and a few chiles to enhance the flavors. In this case, simple is beautiful. The dal is finished with a hint of acidity and tartness with dried mango powder. It is both tasty and healthy, especially if you're on a vegetarian diet and need the protein.

Since I'm married to a vegetarian, I have had to educate myself about how to create nutritious meals that are meat-free. What I learned is that the basis of any well-balanced vegetarian meal is a starch and a legume. This isn't too surprising; almost every culture has a combination like this, be it rice and beans, rice and tofu or bread and chickpeas. I've personally come to really enjoy rice and dal, which is the Indian version of this combination. Black dal in particular have a wonderful earthy, complex flavor that is hard to describe and impossible to forget. At the very least, try them the next time you go to an Indian restaurant, or better yet, make them at home. It's definitely worth the effort.


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