Tuesday, February 14, 2006


This is a fairly simple recipe for this sweet, chewy Mediterranean salad. Everyone who makes it has a different variation.


1/4 cup bulgur
1 bunch fresh parsley (preferably flat leaf), finely chopped
1/2 bunch fresh mint. Pick leaves only, finely chopped
1 large diced tomato
1 small chopped onion
1 lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
½ tsp salt, or to taste
½ tsp pepper, or to taste


Place the bulgur in the lemon juice and set aside for 15 minutes.

When the bulgur is soft, mix all the ingredients: bulgur, parsley, mint, tomato, onion. lemon juice, salt and peper. Add olive oil last, and toss well. You may need to add lemon juice if needed.

Notes, tips, and variations

Tabouli is delicious when fresh. The flavor deteriorates if you allow it to sit for some time.

Pancakes (Vegan)

You can serve your vegan pancakes with Syrup, Jam, or Nutella.


1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy milk
Vegetable oil


Mix all dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
Mix soy milk into the dry ingredients.

Heat a griddle until water sprinkled on it quickly evaporates. Spread a thin film of oil on the griddle.

Pour pancake batter on griddle to form 4 to 5 inch circles. Bubbles should start forming.

When the underside is light brown, flip the pancake.

When the other side is light brown, serve.


Banana pancakes: add one well mashed banana to the batter.
Chocolate pancakes: add 1/2 cup chocolate chips to the batter.
Walnut pancakes: add 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts to the batter.
Cranberry pancakes: add 1/2 cup dried cranberries to the batter.
Any of the above ingredients can be mixed together.


Don't overmix. Overmixing will produce gluten which will inhibit rising and make the pancakes rubbery.

Tofu Scramble


1/3 block tofu, soft, drained 15 minutes
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sun dried tomato slice, diced, (usually come in packages sliced)
spinach, flat leaf, a small handful
red pepper
turmeric or curry (for a spicier dish)
Mrs. Dash or some other flavored salt (optional)
olive or vegetable oil (or veggie butter)
salt and pepper
flour tortillas, or vegan bread (1-3, optional)


Add about 1-2 tablespoon oil to sauce pan. Add onion, garlic and sun dried tomato to pan, cook until soft and golden.

While that is cooking, mash tofu until they get an even scrambled texture and add spices. I never measure, so use your own judgment on the spices.

I usually add 2 dashes red pepper, two dashes turmeric, salt the top of my mound twice and pepper it once, and add a pinch of flavored salt. Then mix it all in until evenly distributed.
When onion mix is cooked, add tofu and spinach. Heat through (until spinach is soft and wilted looking)

This makes 1-2 servings. I like it in a flour tortilla, like a breakfast burrito, or in vegan bread, like a breakfast sandwich, but eat as you like. I think it really tastes a lot like eggs.

Serves: 1-2
Preparation time: 15 mins.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rice with Tofu and Nuts

Serves one as a main dish and 2 as a side dish


1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 cup diced firm tofu
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tbsps blanched slivered almonds
2 tbsps chopped cashews
1 tbsp raisins
1 bay leaf
4 peppercorns
1-inch piece cinnamon
2 cloves
2 cups water
Salt to taste


Wash the rice with several changes of cold water. Drain.

Add the water, bay leaf, peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves and salt and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium low and cook covered for about 12 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the rice grains are tender yet separate.

Heat the oil in a pan.

Add the tofu and shallow-fry until for a few minutes on each side.
Scoop out of the oil and set aside.

To the same oil, add the nuts and the raisins and shallow-fry until the nuts are golden brown and the raisins have plumped up.

Remove from heat.
Turn the rice into a serving bowl and fluu gently with a fork.
Fold in the tofu and the nuts gently and mix well.
Serve hot.

Skillet Cornbread

Commonly found in the Southern United States, this delicious and easy to make dish is often served beside a pot of brown beans. It can be made a day or two ahead of time, as long as care is taken to keep it from drying out.


3/4 cup white all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 to 2 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups yellow or white corn meal
1 egg
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup milk or buttermilk.


Preheat the oven to 425°F

Grease the skillet with bacon drippings (ideal) or oil. Butter isn't recommended, since it can burn when you preheat the skillet.

Preheat the skillet until the drippings/oil is smoking. This ensures a good crust on the bottom of the cornbread.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Thoroughly mix the sifted ingredients together and add the corn meal.

In a second bowl, beat the egg well. Add the melted butter (or pan drippings) and the milk and continue to beat until well mixed.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix using fast strokes. Take care not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the skillet and place in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. The cornbread should have a golden brown color when done, and a knitting needle or knife-point will come out "dry" when inserted in the bread.


Hummus is a tasty and nutritious dip.


3 cups raw dried chickpeas (or skip the soaking and cooking steps, and use 7 cups of drained tinned chickpeas)
9 cups water (twice)
1 T cooking oil
3/4 cup (175 g) tahini
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
12 cloves of garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 T salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
approximately 3/4 cup chickpea cooking liquid


Soak the chickpeas in the water overnight, then drain (skip this step if you are using a pressure cooker).

Gently simmer the chickpeas with the next lot of water (generously salted) and the tablespoon of oil until very soft, but still whole (about 3 hours, or 1 1/2 hours if using a pressure cooker).

Drain the chickpeas, and reserve a few cups of the cooking liquid (you will need it later).

Rinse the chickpeas with plenty of cold water, while doing so, gently rub them between your hands to release the skins, they should float away with the rinsing water. After a several changes of water, and removing a majority of the skins, drain the chickpeas again.

Using a food processor (or other means), mix the lemon juce with the tahini.
Process (or mash) the chickpeas in batches, using the lemon juce and tahini mixture, the olive oil, and the cooking liquid as required to maintain the desired consistency (add the garlic to the batch with the olive oil, and process until smooth).

In a large bowl, using a spoon, mix the salt and pepper into the other blended ingredients (add additional cooking liquid, if still too thick).

Notes, tips, and variations

Use a pot that will hold several times the volume of the chickpeas and the water for cooking the chickpeas, because they will foam (the tablespoon of oil minimises that, however).
Use olive oil (or Canola oil, it's cheaper) instead of the reserved cooking liquid to thin the hummus, it's nicer, but not as good for you. Alternatively, mix in a tablespoons of olive oil into a serving before eating.
It's particularly good when eaten with sliced french stick (bread), but is also a nutritionally sound alternative to most other dips.
Hummus freezes really well, so consider making a double batch, and then freezing most of it in containers small enough to hold two servings (they can be defrosted overnight in the refrigerator, as needed).

Southwest Pasta

Pasta tossed with spices and vegetables from the Southwest United States.


12 ounces seashell (or other) pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 (15 ounce)can sweet corn kernels, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup sliced black olives, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot bring 1 quart of lightly salted water to a boil.

Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until pasta is al dente; drain water.

While pasta is cooking, over medium heat, heat olive oil in a large frying pan.

Cook onions and bell pepper in oil until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Stir in corn, beans tomatoes, salsa, olives, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated, about 5 minutes.

Toss heated vegetables into pasta, mix well and serve.

Can be served warm or cold.