January 15, 2014
Vegan Vegetable and Sausage Tofu Scramble by the Bored Vegetarian

When I first moved to New York, brunch was an event, with a lot of thought put into who had the best mimosa deal, breakfast potato option (hello Cameo tater tots) and best chance of getting a table right away. These days I prefer making brunch at home after a quick trip to the grocery store and grabbing coffees from Cafe Grumpy. Chris will throw on some reggae and draw at the table while I get to work in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite times of the week and most weekends I wouldn’t trade it for the hour-long waits and overpriced omelets of the past.

This scramble recipe can be modified to include whichever vegetables you have on hand.

Ingredients

– 1 container Soft Tofu, drained and crumbled into small pieces (I left mine on the bigger side)
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
– 2 Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties, chopped up (I used Gardein)
– 1 cup Kale, chopped, big stems removed
– small handful of Basil, cut into ribbons
– 3-4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

In a large saute pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over low/medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and saute until nearly translucent. Add in the bell pepper and continue to saute. Next add the garlic and the chopped sausage patties. The sausage will take a bit to brown up, but they’ll take on some of the flavor of the other ingredients as you do so. After about 5 minutes of sauteeing the sausage, add the tofu and mix together. The heat will help evaporate some of the liquid in the tofu. Add in kale and basil and season with Nutritional Yeast and salt & pepper. Continue to saute until all ingredients have been incorporated well into the scramble and the tofu has firmed up from the evaporated liquid. Serve hot.


January 8, 2014
vegan cashew cream basil lemon pasta

I learned how to make a rich Alfredo sauce from a chef named Rose while in college at WWU. I was working at Sadighi’s, an outdated “fine dining” restaurant ran by Mr. Sadighi and his 70 year-old chef Rose. If you’ve lived Bellingham, you know which place I’m talking about. I was the hostess/busser/official napkin folder, but we never had more than six tables (total) on a Friday or Saturday night. Evenings were spent in the kitchen with just the three of us, and if I was lucky, Rose would make me dinner. She made the sauce from scratch with just a pan, spatula, fresh cream, garlic and a touch of dijon. The result was heavy, coma-inducing and delicious. When I took the first bite of this vegan version, it immediately took me back to that small kitchen and those weekend nights spent with Rose and Mr. Sadighi. It’s that kind of rich.

Ingredients

– 1 cup Raw Whole Cashews
– Water
– 8 ounces Dry Pasta (I used Bucatini)
– 1 Shallot, minced
– 2 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1 handful Basil, washed and chopped
– 1/2 handful Italian Parsley, washed and chopped
– Juice from 1/2 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

In a bowl, cover cashews with cold water, cover and place in the fridge to soak over night. Drain and rinse the cashews once softened. In a Cuisinart or Vitamix, add cashews and cover with fresh water, about an inch above the cashews. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water until just al dente. Set aside 2 cups of pasta water and drain. In a large saute pan, saute shallot in olive oil over low/medium heat until tender. Add garlic and continue to saute. Add 1 cup of pasta water and stir. Add pasta and add an additional cup of pasta water. Add cashew cream (I used about 1/2 cup and an extra 1 Tbsp, but add more/less based on your taste). Stir the pasta with the cashew cream until coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh basil and parsley, continuing to stir over low/medium heat. Feel free to add more pasta water if the sauce seems too thick for your liking. Once the pasta is well incorporated with the sauce, season again to taste and squeeze lemon juice over the top of the dish. Don’t be too heavy handed – you can always add more lemon to taste. Serve immediately.

You’ll have leftover cashew cream. Explore the different ways you can use it!

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January 3, 2014
vegan vegetable udon soup miso carrots mushrooms edamame bored vegetarian

I am now three days into my Vegan January challenge. As soon as I woke up on New Year’s Day, I realized I hadn’t done much preparation shopping-wise, so after lazing around for most of the morning, Chris and I walked over to the newish Greenpoint outpost of CHAMPS for some diner food. “I hope you realize that going vegan doesn’t mean that you get to only eat french fries all month” Chris said as I shoveled fries into my mouth. Whatever, Chris.

Yesterday was a bit better. I braved the cold during my lunch break to check out the newly opened Whole Foods on the disgusting beautiful Gowanus Canal. Have you visited yet? It reminds me of the sprawling suburban grocery stores of my youth, except four times more expensive and with three times the variety of kale. I was able to pick up some raw cashews to make cashew cream (more on that in another post) and a hearty salad with plenty of quinoa and nuts added for extra oomph.

For dinner, my stomach was craving warm comforting and fit for a snowstorm, so I created this miso soup with plenty of veggies and udon noodles. I didn’t use a vegetable stock, but if you have one, you could replace some or all of the water. You might also adjust the amount of miso and soy sauce in that case. As a rule, always adjust recipes to taste!

I want to mention that resources instruct not to boil miso and that it should be added only at the very end to preserve its health properties. I did not do that, I’m a little new to cooking with miso.

Ingredients

– 5 cups Water
– 4 Tbsp White Miso Paste
– 4-5 Tbsp Soy Sauce (more to taste)
– 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
– 1 cup Mushrooms (I used beech mushrooms)
– 1/3 cup sliced Carrots
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1/4 cup Edamame, shelled
– 1/4 cup Scallions, chopped
– 2-3 ounces dry Udon Noodles
– Sriracha to taste

Directions

Bring water to a boil, add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Add onions and turn down to a simmer until onions are translucent. Add in the miso paste, carrots, mushrooms, edamame and most of the scallions. Once the vegetables are tender, bring to a boil again and add noodles. After the water begins to boil again, turn down to a simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot topped with some fresh scallions and Sriracha to taste.

I’d like to work on my vegetable broth-making skills. Do you have any suggestions?


November 18, 2013
Vegan Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Paprika

It is important to surround yourself with people who eat the same way you do, which is one of the reasons I love going to a restaurant with my friend Corry. After opening restaurants for godknowshowlong, Corry has rightly learned that the best way to get to know a menu is to order it all, an approach that I appreciate. Every time I’m at a restaurant that offers multiple vegetarian options, whether it be appetizers, entrees or sides, I want to sample as much as fiscally possible. Restaurants usually rely on decadent meat dishes, but if they can use kale in a new way or make me crave your quinoa, it shows that they think about every detail of what they’re offering. A prime example was our meal at Hundred Acres on Monday. We ordered nearly every veggie-friendly dish they had, and they did it all well. This dish is inspired by my favorite…

Ingredients

– 2 cups Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half (save the leaves that fall off – they get crispy and delicious!)
– 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 3 Tsp Smoked Paprika
– 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
– Salt to taste
– 2-3 Tbsp Frying Oil (I used Canola)

Preheat oven to 350. Toss brussels sprouts in olive oil in a baking pan and season with salt. Roast on the bottom rack of the oven until al dente (about 15-20 mins depending on your oven). Mix together the paprika, garlic powder and some salt. In a pan, heat up frying oil until about 375 degrees (I just tested a couple of leaves once I thought it was hot enough). Add roasted Brussels Sprouts and begin to fry. Once they begin to brown, sprinkle with paprika mix and turn to get all sides. Once nicely browned, remove sprouts from pan and drain on a paper town or brown paper bag. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot.

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September 21, 2013

Ingredients

– 2 1/2 cups fresh Figs, stems removed, figs quartered
– 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
– 1/8 cup Sugar
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp fresh Thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 325. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic. Add figs and toss together. Spread the figs in a baking pan, and roast for 20-25 minutes. Check on the figs every ten minutes or so to toss in the pan. The figs should be soft with a nice amount of liquid in the dish. Add to a serving bowl. Spread on crostini with goat cheese or use as a filling for a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. 


May 31, 2013

This recipe is adapted from a recipe that Mardi from Sprout & Pea‘s mom gave to her. It can be made vegan if you replace the butter with olive oil!

Ingredients

– 1 cup Cous Cous (I used Moroccan cous cous)1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
– 2 Tbsp Butter (or 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil if vegan)
– 1/3 cup Pistachios, shelled & toasted
– 1/2 cup Scallions, chopped
– 1/2 cup Dried Currants (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes)
– 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
– 3 Tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
– 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Oil
– 2 tsp Cinnamon Salt & Pepper

Directions

Bring vegetable broth and butter (or olive oil) to a boil in a sauce pan. Add in couscous, stir and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 12-15 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add scallions, currants and pistachios and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil and cinnamon together. Toss cous cous with dressing to coat. Season again if needed.


April 30, 2013

Ingredients

– 1 small head of Cauliflower, broken into florets
– 3 cups raw Kale, large stems removes, leaves chopped small
– 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Juice from half of a Lemon
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– Toasted Sesame Seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350. On a baking sheet, toss florets in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is soft and begins to brown (toss about halfway through to brown on different sides). Fill a soup pot or large sauce pan with an inch or two of water and place over medium/high heat. Place a vegetable steamer in the pot and add the kale. Steam the kale until tender. Remove cauliflower from oven and let cool until you can handle it. Chop up cauliflower into very small pieces. In a bowl, toss with steamed kale and season with salt and pepper. Add to a serving bowl and squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Can be served warm or room temperature.


April 27, 2013

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

– 1 cup Quinoa
– 2 cups Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
– 3 cups Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
– 2 cups Dinosaur Kale, stems removed, leaves chopped
– 1 cup Chickpeas (recommend that you use dried and follow cooking directions on the bag)
– 1/8 cup Green Onion, chopped (white/light green only)
– 1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1/3 tsp PaprikaSalt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Season with salt and sprinkle with paprika. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft, tossing halfway through. In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of vegetable stock to a boil. Add quinoa and stir. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked through and the liquid has mostly evaporated. In a saute pan, saute the kale and chickpeas in remaining olive oil. Add quinoa and sweet potato and toss everything together. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with green onion. Serve warm. 


April 6, 2013

Last weekend I threw a dinner party at my apartment for six of my lovely friends. Work has become increasingly busy as we head into wedding & events season (I’ll be helping seven awesome couples get married and four teens get bar/bat mitzvahed over the next three months), so I wanted to get people together for one last hurrah until I have more free time again in July. I made a giant feast of Mediterranean & Middle Eastern inspired meze.

On my search for ingredients, I visited Kalustyan’s in Flatiron. The store is incredible and full of any sort of specialty item you could imagine and I’m in love.

This cous cous dish is a nice balance of savory and sweet and can be tossed together as a nice side, or served layered like I did.

Ingredients

– 2 cups cooked Moroccan Cous Cous (follow instructions on the box or bag. Use olive oil instead of butter if vegan)
– 1 large Red Pepper
– 1/2 cup Dried Apricot
– 1/8 cup Moroccan Olives
– 1/8 cup Pine Nuts
– Cilantro (optional)
– 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt to taste

Directions

Prepare cous cous as you’re prepping the other ingredients (should take about 10 minutes max. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pine nuts on a baking pan until they start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Remove top and seeds from the red pepper and cut into large pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Grill on a stovetop grill until soft and starting to blacken, grilling both sides of the pepper. Remove from heat, chop into small pieces and put into a small bowl. Chop olives (removing pits) and toss with the red pepper. Chop up dried apricots into small pieces. If using cilantro, chop into small pieces. In a bowl toss cous cous with apricots, pine nuts and cilantro. Season with salt. Spoon cous cous onto plate or into a bowl and top with red pepper and olives. You can toss everything together if you’d prefer. Serve warm.


October 25, 2012

Ingredients

– 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
– 3/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
– 2-3 Tbsp Sriracha
– 2 1/2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
– 1 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
– 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds (I used bamboo smoked)
– 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt to taste

Directions

Depending on the size of your Brussels spouts, either cut in half, fourths or leave whole. In a saute pan, heat olive oil. Add Brussels sprouts, toss in olive oil and season with salt. Begin to cook over medium/high heat, turning often to brown evenly. It’s ok if they get a little crisp. In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, Sriracha, sesame oil and sugar. Once Brussels sprout are cooked through, turn down heat to medium/low and pour Sriracha mixture over the sprouts. Toss to coat and turn up heat towards medium/high. The sauce will begin to bubble, so be careful not too burn. Once the sauce starts to reduce and get a little sticky to coat the sprouts, remove from heat. Move to a serving dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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