Tomatoy Black Bean Soup

I am really big on tomato sauce in soups- it gives them such a nice consistancy.  So thick and creamy... exactly what I want my soup to be.  The one thing I find really ironic is that it's almost 90 degrees here.  Why do I keep making thick, piping hot soups?.. Because I like them, I guess... What will I do when it gets above 100?  I honestly don't know.  I guess that remains to be seen. 
One more thing to say- I am so sick of studying.  My AP exams are just 2 and 3 weeks away, and I am wading through almost 500 pages of text about history.  Which is why I have been neglecting this blog recently... obviously, I AM trying my best, but school comes first.

Tomatoy Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Fat Free Vegan

Serves 8

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 cup dried black beans, soaked
3-4 yukon gold potatoes, cubed
4-5 cups water plus vegetarian chicken bullion
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 tbsp oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
28 oz can tomato sauce
4 cups vegetarian mutton (opt)
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 3 tbsp water
Grated cheese, to serve (opt)

Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat, and add a bit of water with the onion. After 2 minutes of sautéing, add in the garlic. After that is mixed in, add in the bell pepper. Sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add in through the tomato sauce, reduce heat, and cook, covered, for 45 minutes, until the beans are tender. Add the corn starch and mutton, if using, and heat through. Serve, topped with cheese, if desired.


Rice, Broccoli, Peas, and "Chicken" Casserole with Cheese

I'm 99% sure that this recipe would fit under the catagory of "make again as often as possible".  It was amazing.  Like, really, really amazing and fabulous and all the things you want every dish to be but never really happens.  This has got to be total comfort food- the blended tofu lends a rich creamyness, and the rice is a very healthy source of carbs.  The peas add nice little bursts of flavour, while the cheese is rich and bursting with... cheeseyness.  Not to mention the flavour of the chicken and the broccoli's texture.  I think it's obvious why I love this dish.  Seriously.  Actually, I want more... but M and I have already eaten all the leftovers.  I guess that means... I will be making this delicious casserole again soon.

Rice, Cheese, Broccoli, “Chicken”, and Peas Casserole

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Serves 8

1 small onion, diced
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup brown rice, cooked with 1 ½ cups water
1 1/2 - 2 cups diced vegetarian chicken
14 oz tofu, pressed
1 ½ tbsp thyme
1/2 tbsp vegetarian chicken bullion
1 tbsp miso paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated low fat jack cheese
1 cup low fat cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 375.
Heat a frying pan over medium high heat, and add the onion with a bit of water. Sauté for 2 minutes, and then add the broccoli. Continue to sauté for 5 more minutes, until almost tender, and then add the peas and 1 tbsp Italian seasoning. Cook until heated through. Put in a casserole dish, along with the rice and chicken.
Meanwhile, blend the tofu with an immersion blender or something similar until smooth. Add the thyme, bullion, and miso, and blend well. Stir into the rice and veggies with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove, and then top with the two cheeses. Bake for 10 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve hot, hot, hot!

Fancy Bean Burgers

I have not made bean burgers in quite some time, and these caught my eye.  What a great use for beans that does not include soup or hummus... burgers!  I am not such a big fan of bread, so I just omitted the bun part of the recipe.  I suppose these would be good inside a bun too, but I can't say for sure.  All I am certain of is that these little things pack a lot of flavour, what with the multiple spices.  I do, however, highly recommend using the mayo/dijon mustard, because without something like that, these are rather dry and stick in your throat.  Don't shy away from the bacon either, because it just adds that much more!  I have alslo tried these with greek yogurt, and that has been good as well.

Cannellini Burgers

Adapted from Happy Healthy Life

Makes 6

2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp water
½ tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
6 slices vegetarian bacon, warm
Fat free mayo
Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 400.

Mash the beans- I used my immersion blender which worked pretty well. Add through the liquid smoke, and mix well. Shape into patties and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until they start to brown. To serve, spread the bean burgers with mayo and mustard, and top with a piece of bacon.


Here's a dish that is quite different, and takes almost no time at all to put together.  Not to mention that it's pretty cheap to make too, and can make just one serving.  Sound good?  I like this dish because I don't eat this sort of thing a lot.  A scrambled egg on top of a tortilla shell.  Smeared with tangy lemon greek yogurt, and topped with flavour packed capers or sun dried tomatoes.  And a few onions added for additional bulk.  Add a few chopped fresh herbs, and there you have it- something that you have never tasted the likes of before.  Somehow, I know that there are a lot of variaiton that can be made from this dish, I just have to find them...

Serves 1-2

Juice of one small lemon
Large spoonful fat free Greek Yogurt
Salt and pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
1 tortilla, room temperature
Grated cheese
Chopped fresh herbs like parsley
1 generous tbsp capers or sun dried tomatoes

Mix together the lemon juice, yogurt, and salt and pepper, and set aside.
Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat, and either sauté the onion with a bit of water or oil for 7 minutes or so, until tender.
Reheat the small frying pan over medium heat- egg heat. Spray generously with nonstick spray or add a dab of oil, and then pour in the egg. Swirl the egg to coat the bottom of the pan, and let sit for 30 seconds. Put the tortilla on top of the still-runny egg so they stick together, and let sit until the egg is cooked, about another minute. Flip the quesadilla over, and top with onion, cheese, and herbs. Let sit for 30 more seconds, and then remove to a plate. Spread the yogurt and capers/sun dried tomatoes on top.


Apple-Cinnamon Sweet Potato Souffle (Easy)

Easy sure does describe this souffle.  Actually, I don't really know if this would officially qualify as a souffle, because it doesn't have any eggs, but it tastes good enough to have a fancy name, so I suppose it deserves it.  These are really good, rich, creamy, and filling.  Oh, did I say rich?  Well, they taste rich, but, as you can see, there is a lack of high calorie ingredients.  So, it's deceiving.  Which, I think, is totally the way to go.  These do taek a bit of work, but I think I have minimized that, so they are as easy as possible.

Sweet Potato Apple Soufflé

Adapted from Happy Healthy Life

Serves 6

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp corn starch
1/8 tsp salt
8 ounces tofu
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
A few shakes nutmeg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 400
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the sweet potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and remove to another bowl. Mash- I used an immersion blender- until smooth, and then blend in the remaining ingredients except breadcrumbs. Fill the bottom of 6 ramekins with a thin layer of breadcrumbs, and then pile the sweet potatoes in. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are browned in places. Serve.

Soup!! Again. (But it's WHITE this time...)

 More soup, I know.  But they're all different, right?  Sure, whatever.  But, no, really, this one is different because it has milk it it.  Yay milk!  Other than that, this is your pretty standard afair of delicious creaminess with chunks of veggies and potatoes and fake meat.  Just the thing to make you smile.

Potato Vegetable Soup

Adapted from Taste of Home

Serves 6-8

1 lg onion, chopped
1 cup coined carrots
½ small cabbage, shredded
3-4 lg Yukon gold potatoes
1 ½ tsp caraway seeds
1 tbsp Spike seasoning
A few dashes ground coriander
3-4 cups water
1 tbsp vegetarian beef bullion
2 cups almond milk
3 cups vegetarian ham, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 ½ cups peas
Cheese, to top

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat with a bit of water. Add the onion and carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add the potatoes through almond milk, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add in the remaining ingredients except cheese, and heat through for 5 more minutes. Serve topped with cheese.

Uber Healthy Refried Beans

I have always wanted to make refried beans.  But whenever I went hunting for a recipe, they always looked so unhealthy for one reason or another, and not very vegetarian friendly.  But this is different- no oil, no fat, no unhealthy thingys.  So it's all good- better than any other recipe that you will have tasted.  And it's so easy too, not to mention the mild satisfaction that you get when using the immersion blender to grind the beans to a pulp.  What I think I love best, though, about the immersion blender is the lovely squelching noise it makes when you blend something...

Refried Beans

Serves 6

Adapted from I Eat Food

1/2 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup dried pinto beans, cooked
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp vegetarian chicken bullion
1/2 tbsp chili powder
A few shakes chipotle powder
1 tbsp molasses
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot over medium high heat with a bit of water, and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until tender, about 10 minutes, and then add in the remaining ingredients. Remove from heat, and blend the beans with an immersion blender until only a few whole ones remain. Return to heat, and heat through. Serve

Asparagus and Carmelized Red Onions

It's obviously asparagus season- so I just have to take advantage of that!  I was delighted to see this way of preparing it- another simple variation on an asparagus saute.  The thyme adds quite a bit of flavour, and the onions are sooo tasty.  I love carmelized onions- especially when they are cooking, because they give off such a lovely aroma.  And, of course, pine nuts are a great thing to go on top.  But I bet any sort of nut would work- cashews, walnuts, you name it.

Asparagus with Caramelized Red Onions and Pine Nuts

Adapted from Tasting Spoons

Serves 6

1 tsp peanut oil
1 red onion, chopped into ½ rings
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 large bunch asparagus
3 tablespoons pine nuts

Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, and add the onions. Cook over medium high heat for 10 minutes, until the onions begin to smell nice and turn a little brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, snap the tough ends off the asparagus, and then cut into bite-sized pieces. After the onions are done, put the asparagus in the frying pan and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in the balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, and thyme, and stir well. Stir in the onions, and serve topped with pine nuts.


Delish Pasta Salad

This is a fun little pasta salad that I thought stood out from the monotonous crowd of pasta salads.  Yes, it does indeed have mayo.  Yes, it has carrots and bell pepper and pasta (I should hope a pasta salad has pasta).  And, yes, it's really really good.  But, the common things stop there.  Cranberries lend bursts of sweetness, and the broccoli adds a different bit of texture when you get a piece.  I always jump at the chance to use sunflowerseeds in cooking, and here was my chance, so I jumped... And so, I ended up with a very flavourful and colourful pasta salad, that also traveled very well in my lunches.  I killed two... pieces of tofu with one stone!

Snazzy Pasta Salad

Adapted from Melomeals

Serves 6-8

1 cup whole wheat elbow pasta, cooked until al dente
1 cup shredded carrots
½ cup diced bell pepper
1 cup broccoli florets
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup cilantro, chopped

½ cup fat free mayo
4 leaves or so stevia, chopped (sub any sweet thing like sugar, honey, or agave)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp curry Powder
1 tsp garlic powder
A few dashes ginger
Parmesan cheese, to top (opt)

Mix together the pasta through cilantro in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, mix together the mayo through ginger, and whisk well. Pour over the pasta mixture, and then chill until ready to serve. Top with parmesan cheese, if desired. 

Green Flecked Potato Balls- Love 'Em!

These are absolutly amazing and fun to eat, not to mention super cheap and filling.  I'll admit, they do take a bit of work, but it's not all that time-consuming, it's just rather tedious.  What are these litte balls of goodness?  Well, it's potato, kale, and quite a bit of seasoning, all rolled in little balls.  Baked until they have a nice outer layer and become nice and puffy.  Great hot of cold.  What more could you ask for a lunch?  Plus, what I liked, too, was that I got exactly thirty.  It pleased my OCD.  Hehe...

Potato and Kale Puffs

Adapted from Fat Free Vegan
Makes 30

1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut into ½ inch cubes
1 small bunch kale
2 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp soymilk
2 tbsp corn starch

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the potatoes, and boil until tender, about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375.
While the potatoes are cooking, stem the kale. Drain the potatoes, and then reheat your pan to sauté the kale. Cook the kale for 5 minutes, or until almost entirely wilted. Remove the kale with a slotted spoon, and then chop finely. Mash the potatoes, and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Shape the mixture into little balls, and then put on a baking sheet—you should have exactly 30…
Bake for 30 minutes, or when they have developed a nice firm outside, but are still soft inside.
Serve hot or cold.