Thursday, November 30, 2017

Split Pea Soup - Pressure Cooker

This thick pea soup is so easy to make in the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers for more quick, hearty meals.

8 cups water
1 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound dried split peas
1/4 cup uncooked barley or rice

salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Prepare and measure the ingredients before beginning to cook.

Dry saute' onion and mushrooms for 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water, the carrots and celery and cook two more minutes. Add 2 more tablespoons water along with the garlic, bay leaves, parsley, basil, celery seed, paprika and cook one more minute. Stir in remaining water, the split peas and barley. Cook under pressure for 10 minutes. Allow steam to release naturally. Taste the soup, then add any or all of the optional seasonings.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Holiday Pies



Process in a food processor:
1 1/2 cups pecans*
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup dates

Press into 8" x 8" baking dish or 8" round pie plate or springform pan


Blend together in food processor:
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup non dairy milk or water
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Add: 1 cup pecans* and pulse a few times.
Spread filling on top of crust.


 1/2 cup pecans
 2 Tablespoons maple syrup

In a small bowl, mix pecans with maple syrup, decorate top of pie and press nuts in lightly.

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Slice.

*For crust and filling it's okay to substitute pecans with cashews, almonds or walnuts.

*  *  *



Process in a food processor:
1 cup cashews or almonds
1 cup dates
2 teaspoons water

Press into 8" pie pan. Prebake crust at 250 for 10 minutes


Blend in blender or food processor:
1 15 oz. can pure pumpkin
1 cup coconut or other non-dairy milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Pour filling into pie crust. Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes.  Cool. Refrigerate overnight. Slice.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Easy Oven-Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are one of the easiest, cheapest, and most satisfying foods to have on hand for quick meals or snacks.

Bake white, gold or red potatoes, as many as will fit on a baking sheet.

9 large potatoes before baking

Scrub the potatoes.

Prick each potato several times with a fork.

Place the potatoes on a baking sheet.

Bake at approx. 425f for 60 to 90 minutes. Use a timer.

Allow the potatoes to cool. Store in refrigerator.


Pricking the potatoes before baking ensures that they will not burst and make a mess inside the oven. I usually stick each potato a dozen times with a fork before baking.

Half way through the baking time, turn the potatoes over. If they are beginning to get dark on the bottoms, turn the temperature down 25 degrees. When the time is up, test for doneness by sticking a fork into the side of a potato. The fork should go in easily.

Ovens and potatoes vary so it will take a little experimenting to find the perfect temperature and time to bake your potatoes perfectly without burning them. Small potatoes bake faster than bigger ones.

To bake sweet potatoes, first line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Some syrup oozes out of sweet potatoes while baking and the parchment will make clean-up easier for you.

Baked potatoes only take a minute to reheat in a microwave.

Enjoy potatoes plain or topped with sauces, soups or stews. Cut them up and add to sandwiches, burritos or bowls of vegetables and beans.

baked potato with black-eyed peas

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Tomato-Corn-Celery Salad Dressing

Similar to my Corn-Based Thousand Island dressing, this sauce has tomato paste rather than ketchup. Chris likes it as is, but I add about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to the Tomato-Corn-Celery dressing on my salad. That makes it taste more like my favorite dressing, walnut vinaigrette. Since we each eat a big salad every day with homemade dressing, it's simpler for me to just make one dressing for both of us. This recipe makes about one quart and lasts 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 of a 6 oz. can tomato paste (freeze the other half can for next time)
4 small dates without pits
1 tomato
1 celery stick
1/4 cup onion
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons pickle relish (optional)

Put all ingredients except pickle relish  in a blender. Blend for a minute or so. Stir in relish if using.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Spaghetti Pie

This hearty pasta dish is easy to put together. Mix the cooked pasta and sauce together. Layer half of the mixture into a 9" x 13" baking dish. Spread on the tofu ricotta followed by the remaining pasta-and-sauce mixture. Top with nutty parmesan "cheese." Bake at 350f covered for 25 minutes, uncover and bake 5 more minutes.

1 lb. spaghetti or linguini pasta - cook according to package  directions

2  jars spaghetti sauce (24 or 32 oz.)
1 to 2 cups chopped onion
1 to 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

In a large skillet, saute' onion and mushrooms for 10 minutes. Add 2 Tablespoons water along with the garlic and cook another minute. Pour in spaghetti sauce and cook 10 minutes or until onions are tender.

Tofu "Ricotta"

2 blocks firm tofu, drained
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (or 1 T dried flakes)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Stir ricotta ingredients together in a large bowl.

"Parmesan" Topping
1/2 cup cashews or walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Finely chop in a food processor.

Parmesan topping keeps nicely in a baggie in the freezer. If desired, make extra topping to have on hand for other savory dishes.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Cranberry Coconut Balls

Enjoy this easy no-bake snack made with fruit and nuts.

1 cup dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1 Tablespoon water

Finely chop all ingredients in a food processor fitted with the "S" blade.

With hands, form into one-inch balls (about 28).

Chop some additional coconut (about 1/4 cup). Coat the balls with coconut.

Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad is a colorful, crunchy and creamy side dish that goes well with just about anything.


6 cups small broccoli florets
3/4 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup craisens or raisens
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup finely chopped onion


1/2 block tofu or 1 can white beans
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar or other sweetener
1 clove garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Blend the dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Add a small amount of water to thin the dressing enough to easily coat all of the broccoli. Start with 1/4 cup water, add more if necessary. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.

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