BREAKFAST FOOD LIQUIDS, JUICE AND TEA
Drink a lot of liquids when you first wake up. See the section in the previous chapter entitled Liquids, Juice and Tea, p. 349.
FRUIT, JUICE, SMOOTHIES, NUTS
These can make a quick, healthy, and tasty breakfast. See the section in the previous chapter entitled Fruit, Juice, and Smoothies, p. 351. According to food combining theory, nuts go with fruit.
NUTS AND FLAX OIL ON RICE WITH GREENS
By midday, you will be ready for more substantial food. Shovel brown rice from your rice cooker into a bowl. Pour on a little soy sauce, a little pepper, and some flax oil. Add walnuts and pumpkin seeds–which are rich in the essential fatty acids. Stir it up and eat it with fresh greens. If it’s off season or if you don’t have a garden, add sprouts or buy organic kale, collards, scallions, and mustard greens, and eat them with your rice. Try cooking with other grains such as wheat, rye, spelt, and kamut. I recommend you sprout grains before cooking them in a rice cooker. All grains except rice will sprout.
Raw food option: Do the same thing using sprouted grain instead of cooked grain.
LAST NIGHT’S LEFTOVERS
Why is it that people associate breakfast with bacon, sausage, and eggs? That’s a very unhealthy, no fiber, high-cholesterol cliche. Instead, eat the cooked grain, steam-stir fry, and soup from the night before.
WALNUT RAISIN PANCAKES
If you want to eat a more conventional breakfast, try my pancake recipe.
Ingredients: 5 tbsp. ground flax seeds, 3 cup of flour (rice flour, buckwheat, garbanzo, oat, barley flour, or a mixture of these), 1/2 cup rolled oats or other rolled grain, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1/4 cup chopped raisins, 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional), 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. baking powder, 3 to 4 cups of plain or vanilla flavored soy milk, 1 tsp. cinnamon. 2 tbsp. canola or olive oil.
Smoothie topping (optional): Whip up a smoothie as described in the desert section. Use frozen fruit or berries, fruit juice, and frozen or fresh bananas. Use it as a health alternative to syrup.
Chop the raisins with a cleaver or food processor. Pour 3 cups of soy milk into a large bowl; add the raisins and the rolled oats or other rolled grain.
Allow the raisins and grain to soften.
In a separate bowl, add the other dry ingredients, including the ground flax, and stir them up. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir the batter the minimum amount needed to mix the ingredients, lest you eliminate the air from the mixture. Add extra soy milk if it is needed to produce a runny batter.
Heat the pan to around 325° F. Lightly oil the pan, preferably with coconut oil, and pour on the batter. Make a large pancake or preferably several small pancakes at one time. When bubble holes form on top of the pancakes, flip them over. Cook another minute, and put them in a covered pan to keep them warm.
Pour the smoothie mix, maple syrup, or rice syrup over the pancakes, and enjoy this traditional breakfast food.
Ingredients: One 16 oz. pkg. of fresh, firm, organic tofu, 2 large potatoes, 1 minced red bell pepper, 1 small onion minced, 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1 stalk minced celery, 2 chopped green onions, 1 tsp. nutritional yeast, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste), 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. dried basil or oregano, 1 tsp. rosemary, salsa.
Get all your ingredients ready in advance, neatly lined up in bowls.
Slice the tofu and spread the slices on a butterfly colander in a big pot. Add an inch of water to the pot. Steam for ten to 20 minutes. The tofu will get firm, even rubbery.
Chop the potatoes into cubes. Chop up the onions. Mix potatoes and onions in olive oil and rosemary, and bake them in the oven at 350° for 20 minutes.
Get the wok or frying pan ready. Add the parsley, celery, and green onions, and cook a few minutes in olive oil and a little water—added to keep the oil from exceeding the boiling point of water and turning into trans-fatty acids.
Next add the yeast, turmeric, salt, cumin, and oregano. Cook the mixture for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
Last add the steamed potato wedges, onions, and tofu and steam-stir-fry for another two minutes.
Serve this delicious meal with toast and perhaps a little salsa on the side. It’s a winner.
If you are in a hurry, buy Tofu Scrambler mix. (Fantastic Foods, www.FantasticFoods.com.) It contains all the spices and dried vegetables. You only need to add the fresh vegetables and tofu.
This beats scrambled eggs—for breakfast, brunch, or anytime.
Soups are good any time of day or night. Cook a lot of soup, and freeze it in plastic containers for eating later. Most of us do not drink enough water, and soup is a good way to get it.
Any soup can be transferred to a blender, blended, and then returned to the soup pot. This helps break down hard ingredients like beans and broccoli stems. It gives soup a creamy texture. Soup, blended if necessary, is great for people whose false teeth are not up to chewing veggies anymore.
Miso is fermented soy paste. (www.Westbrae.com; Miyako Oriental Foods, www.coldmountainmiso.com.) Miso makes an instant soup base. Most cooks think you have to use chicken or beef to make a good soup base. Nope, miso is perfect. Use it to make any kind of soup, including miso soup.
Ingredients: 4 tbsp. miso, 8 cups boiling water, 1/2 pound soft tofu, 2 chopped scallions, 1/2 cup dried wakame or several sheets of nori seaweed, one tbsp. nutritional yeast.
Option: 2 carrots, sliced, 1/2 cup shredded cabbage, kale or spinach.
Many kinds of seaweed are good in miso soup; read the recipes on the seaweed packages, and experiment until you find the seaweeds that you like the most. I like nori.
If you want firm tofu, slice and steam the tofu in advance and set it aside. Place a butterfly colander in a pot with a half inch of water under it and spread the sliced tofu on it. Pre-steamed tofu has a very firm texture, and it will hold together in the soup. When it cools, you can easily slice it into strips, or you can skip this step and just float the tofu slices on top of all the other soup ingredients.
Mash the miso in a little bit of water to dissolve it. Some people find miso to have a very strong flavor, so start with four tablespoons and add miso until it tastes right to you.
Put all the ingredients, except tofu, into boiling water. When the vegetables are tender, add the steamed tofu. The miso itself needs no cooking. Garnish the soup with finely chopped scallions and serve. This is the fastest soup you will ever make.
Pythagoras (569 to 470 B.C.E.) and Simon Peter (The Recognitions of Clement, 7:6, Roberts and Donaldson, ed., Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol 8, p. 158) ate “pot herbs,” cooked vegetables and spices. The probable method was for all family members to cut and dig up whatever edible greens and root crops they came across during their day’s work and then bring them all home, wash them, chop them up and put them in a huge pot for slow cooking, a form of vegetable hunting. I cook up an every-green-thing-you-can-find pot herb soup and commune with these two vegetarian prophets.
Ingredients: 12 cups water, 4 cups chopped greens from out of the garden—collard, mustard, bok choi, kale, broccoli or cauliflower leaves, chickweed, parsley, dandelion flowers, nasturtium, or whatever greens you have available. To this add 2 cloves garlic, 2 medium unions, fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, and/or mint, 1 chopped leek, one large diced potato, 1 cup diced carrots, 3 tbsp. almond butter, peanut butter, or sesame butter, 2 to 20 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste), 1/4 tsp. black pepper (to taste), and sea salt or tamari or soy sauce (to taste). Other vegetables can be added or substituted.
Cook this in a big stock pot, the bigger the better. You can saute the onions and garlic in oil, but you can also skip this step. Get the water boiling. Add garlic, unions, oregano, basil, mint, leek, almond butter, peanut butter, or sesame butter, flax seeds, cayenne pepper black pepper and sea salt.
After these have softened, add the greens, along with the leeks, carrots, beans, and potatoes, filling the pot. After ten minutes of steaming, the greens will wilt and sink, and there will be plenty of room to add more greens. Add enough water to cover everything. And make sure that the ingredients are not wedged against the bottom, where they can burn. Don’t be afraid to make a really watery soup; most of us don’t drink enough water.
Pythagoras and Simon Peter probably knew nothing of tofu or miso, but I think they would add them to pot herbs if they were around today. Steam the tofu separately if you want firm tofu, or let it float on top of the soup where it will get a little firm as it cooks. Add 6 tbsp. of miso near the end.
Simmer this soup slowly for an hour. Eat some and freeze the rest.
Raw food option: After cooking is done, add sprouted sunflower seeds, which are especially tender, or any sprouted grain or legume. You will then be eating a partially raw food meal.
POT HERBS WITH SPROUTED BEANS
Except for fava beans, known as broad beans to the English, there were no beans in the Old World before the Spaniards brought them back from the New World, and some say the Pythagoreans did not eat fava beans. A small percentage of people in the Mediterranean basin had and still have severe allergies to fava beans. (John Gregerson, Vegetarianism: A History, p. 9. Google “Favism.”)
This recipe is similar to the Pot Herbs recipe, but 2 cups of sprouted beans (fava, lentils, garbanzo, adzuki, mung, pinto, or any other) are added. Soak the beans the first day under water, replacing the water several times a day. On the second and third days rinse the beans several times a day, and pour the water off. Use a large stock pot with a lid. Beans will dominate in flavor, so this beany soup has a very different taste than straight pot herbs. Beans sometimes fail to soften enough, so you may want to pour the soup in to a blender, blend it, and return it to the stock pot. Lentils sprout are very tender and need no cooking, so add them at the very end.
PUMPKIN OR SQUASH SOUP
This recipe works equally well with pumpkin or squash. Most people think of pumpkins only as something to make pumpkin pies and jack-o-lanterns out of, but they also make good soup. Pumpkins have a smooth, interesting flavor that serves as a good host to other flavors. When making pumpkin pie, you use such spices as cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Don’t use these spices in making pumpkin soup unless you want a truly weird soup. Don’t pick a big jack-o-lantern pumpkin. They are bred for size only. Pick any other smaller pumpkin variety. Or pick a squash.
Ingredients: 12 cups water, 2 lbs. of pumpkin meat or the equivalent amount of squash, 1 tbs. basil, 1 tbs. oregano, 2 large potatoes (optional), 8 tbs. almond or sesame butter, 20 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 2 large onions, 2 cloves garlic, 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/8 tsp. black pepper (to taste), sea salt (to taste), 8 tbsp. seaweed such as kelp. Early, still-green pumpkins make good soup too.
Prepare your pumpkin out on the back porch. Hose it off. Whack it in half with a big butcher knife. Dig out the seeds with a strong spoon. Save the seeds; spread them out on a Pyrex plate and toast them in the oven under the broiler. Or you can dry them and plant them next summer in the garden. Slice the pumpkin and put the slices into a big stock pot on a butterfly colander with an inch of water at the bottom. Steam them until they begin to soften. Then put the slices in the blender or food processor and blend them until they are smooth. Don’t peel the skin off except for the tough part near the stem; the skin softens nicely and adds texture.
Remove the colander from the stock pot; leave the water, and put the blended pumpkin back in it.
Add all the other ingredients. You can saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a separate pan, but it works just as well to put them in uncooked. The ingredients will have plenty of time to meld. Simmer the soup for at least an hour. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
LENTIL, SPLIT PEA, WHOLE DRIED PEA SOUP
Ingredients: 2 cups sprouted lentils, split peas, or sprouted, whole dried peas, 12 cups water, 1 diced medium onion, 1 tsp. basil leaf, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste), 1/8 tsp. black pepper and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste), one large potato chopped into big pieces, two large carrots chopped into big pieces, 4 tbsp. flax seeds.
Put all the ingredients into a large pot. Cover all the ingredients with water. Cook with the lid on at a boil for ten minutes and then simmer for an hour. Lentils and split peas are rich in flavor, so you can add a lot of water and
make a lot of soup. Lentils and split peas cook more quickly than beans and soften more easily.
If you are making lentil soup, or whole dried pea soup, I recommend you sprout the lentils or whole dried peas for 12 to 72 hours—longer in winter than summer. Split peas have no germ and do not sprout but you can soak them for a few hours.
If you want an even quicker meal, do the same thing with a pressure cooker. The soup will be ready in 10 minutes.
To make lentil soup, use lentils and potato. To make lentil pilaf, use lentils and rice.
SPROUTED BEAN SOUP
Ingredients: 2 cups of soaked or sprouted adzuki, mung, black, or other beans, 12 cups water, 1 diced medium onion, 1 tsp. basil leaf, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste), 1/8 tsp. black pepper and 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste), one large potato or sweet potato chopped into big pieces (optional) and two large carrots chopped into big pieces (optional), 8-20 tbsp. flax seeds.
Soak the beans under water underwater overnight. Better yet, sprout them for 24 to 72 hours: Drain the water and rinse them every 8 to 12 hours. In summer in a warm house beans will grow little leaves and roots in 24 hours; in winter the process may take two or three days. Sprouting increases the vitamin content and reduces the phytates which bind to minerals and make them unavailable. (See the section of this book entitled Sprouting, p. 54.)
The beans go in first with the basil, onion, oregano, miso, salt, and pepper. Boil for ten minutes and simmer for a half hour. Then add the potatoes and carrots, all sliced thick. Simmer for another 20 minutes.
If your beans are sprouted mung beans or adzuki beans, bear in mind that they are soft and do not need much cooking time. Put them in last, after the other veggies are done.
If you want to add cauliflower or broccoli florets, put them in near the end so as not to over cook them. Eat your soup with rice, bread, or toast.
When I am not expecting guests, I sometimes make my soup without following any recipe or plan. I just start throwing whatever I have available into the pot. Sometimes this produces a dynamic new recipe. Sometimes this produces a truly weird soup.
Ingredients: a gallon of water, 2 cups lentils and 1 cup chick-peas well soaked or sprouted, 1 large diced onion, 4 big cloves of chopped garlic, 1 raw diced potato, 1 raw diced sweet potato, 1 raw diced yam, 1 cup of broken up, dried bean curd (Mount Elephant brand, available at oriental grocery stores), 12 cups of greens such as collard, kale, or mustard, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste), 1/4 tsp. black pepper (to taste), 2 tbsp. dried basil leaf, 1 tsp. curry, 1/4 cup of seaweed (a source of trace minerals), 1/4 cup large flake nutritional yeast, 8 tbsp. almond butter, peanut butter, or sesame butter, 1/8 cup whole flax seeds, 3 tbs. untoasted sesame oil.
Add all the ingredients to a stock pot and bring to a boil for about ten minutes, and then simmer for an hour.
Well, that’s a weird soup. It’s a smooth, tasty, healthy soup, but it also is a soup that tries too hard. It has too many conflicting flavors. I have included the recipe for didactic purposes, as a pharmacopeia of ingredients you might choose from, and as a homework project for you. The challenge is to figure out what should be left out. Simplicity is the key to good cooking. I included leafy green vegetables; I find they are really important to balancing a soup. Some kind of nut butter adds smoothness. Experiment.
STIR-FRIED VEGETABLES WITH TOFU
Ingredients: One lb. firm tofu, 2 medium cloves garlic, 1 tsp. dried basil or 1 tsp. dried oregano, 20 tbsp. ground or whole flax seeds, 1 medium onion, 1/4 cup olive oil; 1/2 cup of raw peanuts or raw cashews, 2 cups sprouted lentils; 6 cups of any of the following chopped vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, green beans, kale, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, squash, or cabbage.
Any combination of vegetables, spices, and sauces can be used to make stir fry. I have never had stir-fry come out the same way twice. Experiment. Develop your own favorite way to cook stir-fry.
Any big, thick frying pan will work. However, I suggest you buy an electric wok. Get the biggest one you can find so you can stir with more vigor and less risk of the ingredients spilling out.
If you have a gas stove, you can use a standard wok that sits on a metal base over the flame. However, this kind of wok will not work on an electric stove because the wok sits too far above the element and will just not get hot enough.
Steam the tofu in a separate stock pot. Put a butterfly colander in the bottom of the pot, add a half-inch of water, cut the tofu into slices, and steam it until the tofu is firm and rubbery. Ten minutes will do it.
Get the wok hot and add olive oil and 1/2 cup of water. First add the garlic, basil, oregano, and flax. After five minutes add the hard vegetables: carrots, broccoli stalks, green beans, collards, kale, spinach, cabbage, garlic, flax seeds, and onions. After ten minutes add the medium-hard vegetables: celery, zucchini, squash, asparagus, broccoli flowers, cauliflower.
Then, toss in the veggies that need minimal steaming: herbs, sprouted lentils, raw cashews, raw peanuts. Keep stirring rapidly and constantly for three minutes. Then add the steamed tofu. Keep stirring until all the ingredients have cooked together for a few minutes. Throughout the process, keep adding water as it boils off, however, at the end, allow the last of the water to boil off so that the ingredients will not be damp.
Serve stir fry on rice, kamut, spelt, millet, or quinoa. Top it with soy sauce, lemon-tahini sauce, or spicy peanut sauce.
This recipe will make a big stir-fry. Make as big a stir-fry as you can, the only limitation being the size of your wok. If you are cooking, you might as well cook a lot. It’s the same amount of work. You can eat the left overs the next day for breakfast. Mix the leftover veggies with the leftover rice or grain and put it all together in plastic containers for portable lunches and instant dinners. Freeze some containers.
Tempeh is fermented whole soy beans. There are many different tempehs. Tempeh has a concentrated savory flavor like cheese but different. It has a special zing. You may not want to use a full package each time, especially if you are only cooking for one or two. I recommend you use half the package, a slab about three inches by four, and freeze the rest in a plastic bag. When you want a quick meal, take the bag out and smack it on the counter, breaking the tempeh in pieces. Take out what you need and put the rest back in the freezer.
If you are good at planning ahead, marinate your tempeh over night. Otherwise marinate it for at least a half hour in lemon or lime juice, wine, garlic, sesame oil, and tamari. Brown the tempeh in a little olive oil for five minutes. You can buy tempeh that is already flavored and doesn’t necessarily need to be marinated. I like Seasoned Italiano Tempeh. (Surata Soy Foods Co-Op, Box 652, Eugene, OR 97440.)
Ingredients to be marinated: 6 ounces of tempeh (a slice 3 x 4 inches), 4 tbsp. lemon and/or lime juice, 2 tbsp. white wine, 1 tbsp. olive oil or grape seed oil, 1/2 tsp. in toasted sesame oil (optional), 1 tsp. soy sauce or salt (to taste). Slice the tempeh and marinate it in the above ingredients.
Ingredients to be sauted: 2 cups of celery; 2 cups of broccoli; 4 tbs. raw cashews, peanuts, or sunflower seeds; 1 clove of garlic (optional); 1 small onion, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup water, 2 tbsp. whole flax seeds.
Heat the wok. Add the oil and water, and steam-stir-fry the onions, flax seeds, and garlic. After five minutes, add celery, broccoli, chopped onions, sunflower seeds, cashews or peanuts.
Add the marinated tempeh at the end, stir for another minute. Continue steam-stir-frying until the water is evaporated.
GRAPE LEAF ROLLS, DOLMATHES
Ingredients: One 16 oz. jar of grape leaves, 1 cup of uncooked brown rice or 1 cup of uncooked, sprouted kamut, rye, or spelt, 1 cup of sprouted lentils, 1 bunch of chopped scallions, 4 large garlic cloves, juice of 2 lemons, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup of finely chopped fresh mint leaves from your garden, 2 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 2 tsp. sea salt (to taste), 1/2 tsp. pepper (to taste), 1 cup of tomato juice, 1 cup of vegetable broth or 1 cup of water plus 1 vegetable bullion cube or 1 tbsp. of miso, approximately 1 cup of water.
If you have grapes growing in your back yard, pick large but tender, new leaves. To store them you need to blanch and can them in salt water. If you have no grapes growing (what a shame!) or if it’s winter, then buy grape leaves in a jar. Rinse them because they are stored in brine, and cut off the stem of each leaf. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of the pot and spread it around. Line the bottom of the pot with leaves; if you have broken leaves, use them for this.
Mince the onions and garlic. Mix them uncooked with the uncooked rice, olive oil, mint, flax seeds, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Unfold each grape leaf on a cutting board, putting the stem end towards you. Let’s say for the sake of this illustration that you are facing north and the stem end of the leaf is facing south. Put a heaping tablespoon of the filling a little south of the center of a 5 or 6 inch wide leaf, with the mixture extending about three inches from east to west, depending on the size of each leaf. Add more filling for big leaves and less for small ones. Part of the leaf will extend out to the east and west past the mixture, and fold that excess over the filling. Then roll the leaf up loosely from south to north. The rice will expand, so make loose rolls about the diameter of a quarter. If you roll them too tightly, they will burst while cooking. Place the rolls as you produce them in a large pot, packing them in closely.
Pour the mixture of tomato juice, vegetable broth or dissolved miso, and lemon juice over the rolls, covering them. There is no need to use tooth picks to hold the rolls together. Instead put a plate on top of them to keep them from moving around and unrolling while they are cooking. Add weight by putting a bowl on top of the plate; fill the bowl with water to add more weight. Put the lid on the pot, bring the rolls to a boil, and then simmer them for around an hour on low heat. You will probably need to add more water. When the stuffing is soft, they are done. If there is too much water in the pot, cook the rolls a little longer with the lid off. If they are dry, add a little more water. The secret of successful grape leaf rolls is lots of lemon juice. So add the juice of two more lemons at the end. Eat the rolls hot or refrigerated.
Thanks to Marcie Simon for teaching me how to cook this tasty concoction.
Lebanese call this “um-zhad-dtha-dah.” Egyptians call it “mo-zhidth-ra.”
Ingredients: 2 cups gray-brown lentils, preferably sprouted, 1 cup rice or sprouted grain, 1 medium onion chopped finely, 1 tbsp. basil leaf, 1 tbsp. oregano leaf, 6 cups water, 2 tbs. sea salt (to taste), 1 tsp. black pepper (to taste), 4 to 8 tbsp. whole flax seeds.
Into a pot pour one cup of brown rice, or sprouted grain, and two cups of lentils. Lentils, unlike beans, do not have to be soaked, however, I prefer them soaked and sprouted. Rinse the lentils and rice several times—until the water runs clear. Add the oregano and basil. Add salt, black pepper, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the chopped onions, and simmer the mixture at a very slow boil for up to an hour. You may need to add water. It’s okay to open the pot and test the pilaf from time to time. Your goal is a conglomeration like sticky rice.
You can add twice as much water and turn this into a lentil and rice soup, although I think lentil soup is better with potatoes than with rice. Either way it’s delicious. Leave part of the mixture in the pot and eat it right away and the next day for breakfast. Put the rest into plastic containers. If you refrigerate them immediately, before bacteria can start growing, they will keep for weeks. Freeze them and they will last indefinitely. They reheat well and make great dinners in a hurry.
You can saute the onion, oregano, and basil in olive oil before adding them to the lentils and rice. If you want to avoid frying, then skip the frying. Add the onions, basil, and oregano to the rice and lentils and just boil it all.
You can cook lentil pilaf in a rice cooker. If you are really in a hurry, use a pressure cooker, and you will have dinner on the table in about 15 minutes.
PASTA WITH PUTTANESCA SAUCE
Puttanesca is one meal that Italian restaurants could make strictly vegetarian but usually don’t. Usually they add butter to the sauce, and sometimes they add anchovies. Pasta is sometimes made with eggs. At home it’s quick and easy to make.
Ingredients: 1/4 pound of egg-free pasta, 1 cup chopped onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 4 tbsp. olive oil, 4 large chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano or basil leaf, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper or cayenne pepper or to taste, one 3 1/2 oz. jar of Napoleon capers (or use bulk capers, often sold at coops), 25 pitted calamata olives, 10 sprigs of chopped parsley, 1/4 cup water, 1 chopped red pepper, 4 to 20 tbsp. whole or ground flax seeds.
Put your water on to boil for the pasta.
Cut up the pitted olives.
Into your electric wok (or large frying pan with a lid) put water, olive oil, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, pepper flakes, black pepper, oregano or basil, flax seeds, half your chopped garlic, half your chopped parsley, and half your chopped red pepper. Set the wok on 250° F. Add black pepper to taste.
What we are doing here is steam-stir-frying, and we added the tomatoes from the beginning to put water into the mix. This prevents the temperature of the oil from rising above the boiling point of water, so it can’t burn and break down. (See the Stir-Frying and Steam-Stir Frying section of this book, p. 355.)
If you want to do real stir frying, leave out the water and tomatoes, and fry the other ingredients listed above. Add the tomatoes at the end.
When the onions are soft, after about five minutes of steam-stir-frying, add the capers and olives. Cook for another two minutes, and turn the heat down to simmer. Finally, add the other half of your chopped garlic, parsley, and chopped red pepper and turn off the heat.
Simultaneously, you will be working on the pasta: When the water is at a rolling boil, add the pasta, and keep stirring every minute or so. Cook it at a rolling boil for 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t cook the pasta to the point where it is soft, because it will continue to cook after it is mixed with the sauce. When the pasta is firm and has no taste of flour, pour it into a colander, pour cold water through it. This slows the cooking process. Your pasta will keep cooking when you mix it with the hot sauce.
Next you can pour the sauce onto the pasta or move the cooked pasta into the sauce mix. I have given you a recipe that is very heavy on sauce and skimpy on pasta. This intensifies the taste. You can safely double the amount of pasta in this recipe if you have a lot of hungry kids to feed.
Option: Use sprouted, cooked grain or rice instead of pasta.
Raw food option: Use sprouted, uncooked grain instead of pasta.
PASTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE
Ingredients: 1/4 pound egg-free pasta, 1 cup chopped onions, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 4 tbsp. olive oil, 4 large chopped tomatoes or two 12-ounce cans of chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves or 2 tbsp. basil pesto, 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper (to taste), 10 sprigs of chopped parsley, 1/2 cup TVP (texturized vegetable protein, made of soy), 2-20 tbsp. whole or grated flax seeds, 1 cup diced celery, 2 cups diced broccoli, 1 cup diced carrots, 1/8 cup grape juice. Optional ingredients: 1/2 cup fresh, well chopped, tender grape leaves.
Add all ingredients except celery, broccoli, and carrots to the pan, and cook for 30 minutes at a slowly bubbling boil. Add the celery, broccoli, and carrots, and simmer for another five minutes.
Prepare the pasta as outlined in the puttanesca recipe above, and serve the sauce on the pasta.
Option: Use sprouted, cooked grain or rice instead of pasta.
Raw food option: Use sprouted, uncooked grain instead of pasta.
Ingredients: 6 cups water, 1 small acorn squash diced into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 large potato diced into 1/2 inch cubes, 1 large bok choi sliced, with the stalk separated from the tender leaves, 1 large diced onion, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh ginger root, 2-20 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 1 large red pepper sliced into strips, 1 leek chopped, 2 cups diced broccoli, 2 cups diced cauliflower, 1 bundle asparagus chopped, 1 medium zucchini sliced into 1/2 inch slices, 1 handful of fresh green peas, 1 small can of bamboo shoots, 1 cup of sprouted mung beans, 1 pound package of tofu, sliced into 1 inch cubes, 2 cans coconut milk, 5 stalks of green onions finely chopped, 1 tbsp. yellow curry, 1 tbsp. sea salt to taste, 1 cup fresh, chopped basil. Different combinations of veggies can be used.
First, steam the tofu. Slice it and spread the slices on a butterfly colander opened up in a stock pot. This takes ten to twenty minutes.
Pour the coconut milk into a separate mixing bowl. Add the yellow curry, salt, chopped green onions, and stir. You will add this to the cooking veggies at the end.
Pour the 6 cups of water into a stock pot. Bring it to a gentle boil. Add the veggies that need the most time to cook, first the squash, potatoes, onions, ginger, pepper, and the firm stalk of the bok choi. Cover with lid and steam semi-submerged for five minutes. This will not be a soup, but it will be soupy.
Next add leek, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, green peas, sprouted mung beans, and bamboo shoots. Stir. Cover with lid. Steam three more minutes.
Add the bok choi leaves, and basil leaves, sliced tofu, and the coconut milk mixture. Let it steam and simmer for another three minutes and serve over rice or other cooked grain.
Raw food option: Instead of rice of cooked grain, use sprouted grain.
Falafel is the strictly vegetarian hamburger of the Middle East. It is made of chick-peas, also known as garbanzo, or fava beans (referred to as fool in Arabic), or a combination of the two. Fava beans are hard to find except in Middle Eastern stores and coops. Fava beans impart a special flavor. However, a small percentage of the population gets sick when they eat fava beans. Go easy on fava at first. I love fava. My wife hates it. (www.Favism.org.)
Ingredients: two 15-ounce cans cooked chick-peas, also known as garbanzo beans, or fava beans or a mixture of the two, 1/3 cup of flour, 6 tbsp. or more of ground flax, 1/2 minced onion, 1/4 cup minced parsley, 1/4 cup water, 1 tbs. lemon juice, 1 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. turmeric, 2 tsp. salt, 3 large cloves of garlic.
You can buy precooked, canned garbanzo and fava beans, and they work fine. If you want to cook your own chick-peas or fava beans, soak them overnight or even until they sprout, and pour off the water before cooking. You will need to simmer them for up to two hours until they soften. Pour them into a big colander to drain off the water. Some cooks rub the skins off the chick-peas with the help of a rolling pin. I leave the skins on.
Put all ingredients except the flour into a blender and make a batter. Add the flour and blend again. In restaurants round balls are cooked in deep fat. Instead, make flat patties and fry them on low heat in coconut or palm oil. Or bake them in a 350° oven for 30 minutes in a Pyrex dish or on a baking sheet.
Top the patties with lemon-tahini sauce, which I describe below in the Sauces, Spreads, Dips section, p. 390. Falafel can be served naked or wrapped in pita bread as a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and onions.
After a late night movie on “The Ave” near the University of Washington, we sometimes order a falafel sandwich at the Aladdin. It is their custom to heat the pita bread on the grill, the same grill that is used to fry meat. So if you are a strict vegetarian, tell the cook to heat the bread in the microwave. Falafel cafes are a good place to shop for tasty ingredients such as zater, garbanzo beans, fava beans, and excellent olives. I also buy their hummus (chick peas) or fool (made with fava), which are not fried but boiled.
You can even make falafel from a mix. (Fantastic Foods.) Just add the minimum amount of water to wet the mix.
STRICTLY VEGETARIAN BURGERS MADE FROM MIXES
There are various brands of instant, powdered, strictly vegetarian burger mixes. My favorite is the Loveburger. (Love Natural Foods, 5384 Blair Road, Cohutta, GA 30710.) With all these mixes add several tablespoons of ground flax seeds, which will help the patties hold together better. The Loveburger is made of soy nuggets, sesame seeds, oat flour, wheat bran, potato flour, nutritional yeast, onion powder, basil, garlic, powder, and marjoram. Even a regular beef burger addict will like this burger.
As an option, mash some soft tofu in a large bowl and add the mix to the tofu. Then add the minimum amount of water necessary to wet the mix. Less water is needed when you use tofu, because the tofu is moist. Again, let the mix wait for fifteen minutes and form it into patties. You can add grated beets to your burger mixture to give it color, texture, and more iron.
Another winner is Nature’s Burger (Fantastic Foods, 888-254-3711, www.FantasticFoods.com.). It contains barley, brown rice, oats, onion, potato, tomato, garlic, wheat, yellow peas, dried yeast, rice syrup powder, green peas, salt, spices, and soy sauce. Add ground flax.
Another good instant mix is Seitan Quick Mix. (Arrowhead Mills, 800-434-4246, www.ArrowheadMills.com.) Seitan is made of wheat and has been eaten by the Chinese for centuries.
If you are making a burger from mix, pour the mix into a bowl and add salt before you add water. The mixes come saltless. Add a half teaspoon of salt to each cup of mix—to give the burger the salty taste that meat eaters crave. You can phase out the salt later if you prefer. I also add pepper.
Boil water and add it slowly to the mix. Add the minimum amount of water necessary to form patties; if you add too much water, the patties will fall apart during frying. I like to let the patties sit for ten minutes before I fry them so the ingredients inside the patty can get wet. Adding a little ground flax helps the burgers hold together a lot better during frying.
Fry the patties in coconut or palm oil. The tropical oils can handle high temperatures for a longer period of time without breaking down. Instant falafel is not quite as good as fresh, but instant falafel and instant burgers are still a hundred times better than E. coli beef hamburgers. All these burgers are high in protein, low in fat, and free of cholesterol.
All these burgers can be baked. Put them on a non-stick baking sheet or on a Pyrex dish or on parchment baking paper. You will need about twenty minutes of baking time at 350°. I like the taste better if they are fried.
STRICTLY VEGETARIAN BURGERS READY TO HEAT AND EAT
There are instant refrigerated vegetarian burgers available. They only need to be heated. None of them tastes exactly like a beef hamburger, but they should not be compared with beef hamburgers. They are a new class of fine food in their own right. They have a very wholesome and satisfying taste. Island Spring (www.IslandSpring.com) has several flavors, all of them excellent.
There are frozen burgers too such as Ken & Robert’s Veggie Burger (www.ImagineFoods.com), Superburgers (Turtle Island Foods, 800-508-8100, www.Tofurky.com), and vegan original Boca Burgers (www.BocaBurger.com.)
These burgers come precooked. Heat them briefly in a skillet in a little oil, and they are ready to serve open-faced or in a bun like a beef burger. Or heat them in the microwave, 30 seconds on each side.
Some instant burgers contain cheese; look for the term “vegan” or “vegan original” on the package.
STRICTLY VEGETARIAN PIZZA??
This recipe will make five big pizzas.
Vegetarian pizza parties are an exercise in participatory cooking. Your job as chef is to get the toppings and dough ready and coach your guests.
One easy way to make dough is go to the bakery and buy several pounds of bread dough. If you have a bread baker, this is the time to use it. Put it on the mix setting, and make yourself some dough. Or you can make dough the old fashioned way:
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
In a very big bowl, dissolve 2 tsp. of active dry yeast in 3 cups of 100° F. water. Add two tbsp. of maple syrup, barley sweetener, or rice sweetener and 2 tsp. of salt. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes. Gradually add a total of 9 cups of flour, stirring first with a spoon and then with your hands. Transfer the dough to a cutting board dusted with flour. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Cover it and let it rise for an hour. Kneed it again and let it rise again.
Now for the toppings. As with stir fry, the key to pizza is getting the ingredients ready in advance, all lined up in bowls.
Chop up fifteen or more large onions. You will need a lot of onions. You cannot err on the side of chopping up too many onions. Put the onions in a wok with a half cup olive oil and a cup of water, 2 tablespoons of dried basil and 2 tablespoons of oregano. Steam-stir-fry the mixture on low heat with the lid on until the onions are soft and sweet. I repeat: You need a lot of onions; onions cook down to a relatively small amount. Set them aside, as you will do all the following ingredients.
Mix three 12 oz. cans of tomato sauce with three 12 oz. cans of tomato paste.
Slice up a half-pound of green olives and/or black olives. I favor green olives. Don’t use ripe, canned olives.
Slice two pounds of Vegan Rella cheddar and mozzarella soy cheese into thin slices, or grate it. Read the fine print because all soy cheeses I know of other than Vegan Rella contain milk casein. Add salt.
Open a can of pineapple pieces or crushed pineapple. Drain off the liquid.
Look for the pineapple packaged in its own juice, not in sugar syrup.
Cut up a half-pound of firm, precooked tofu, the jerky-style tofu such as Five-Spice Tofu or Savory Tofu. (The Soy Deli, Quong Hop & Co., www.quonghop.com.) As a good alternative, use a package of tempeh.
Slice thinly and steam two pounds of regular tofu to make it firm and chewy. Spread the slices on a butterfly collander sitting in a half inch of water in a covered pan. Then marinate it in lemon juice or lime juice, garlic, sesame oil, and tamari.
Slice and dice the following vegetables into small pieces: peppers of all kinds, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, squash, mushrooms, and other vegetables—enough to fill a quart container.
Pour into a bowl some chopped almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, cashews, and/or sesame seeds, preferably raw.
Dice 20 cloves of garlic into very small pieces.
Copy up parsley, cilantro, scallions, oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary.
If you have sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted lentils, or sprouted mung beans ready, use them.
Make pepper and sea salt available.
Now you have all your ingredients in bowls, and you are ready to make pizza. Roll out the dough to the thickness you prefer, oil the baking sheets, and spread the dough on them. I prefer to make a lot of small pizzas instead of a few big ones. Prick the dough with a fork in several places so air bubbles will not develop under the pizzas.
Let your guests add the toppings they prefer, starting with the steam-stir-fried onions. Don’t put all your ingredients on each pizza; make pizzas with different ingredients. Bake your pizza for about 25 minutes until the dough turns crusty. Invest in a real pizza cutter, a sharpened wheel on a handle; it makes slicing a lot easier.
CHEWY MEAT SUBSTITUTES
FIRM TOFU SANDWICH
Tofus come in various textures ranging from silken soft to very firm. My favorite very firm tofus are Five-Spice Tofu and Savory Tofu. (The Soy Deli, Quong Hop & Co., www.Quonghop.com.) Also good is Teriyaki Tofu. (Soy Select, Dae Han Inc., Portland, OR 97214.) These firm tofus have the smoked flavor of beef jerky—with none of the cholesterol—, and they are tough and chewy like jerky.
Toast some good bread and put some heart-healthy olive or flax oil on it. Toasted sesame oil adds an exquisite flavor. Add Vegenaise vegan mayonnaise (www.followyourheart.com.) Add lettuce or a layer of mustard or kale leaves from the garden, then a slice of tomato, then a slice of the firm tofu, then more lettuce or greens. Add another piece of toast or eat it open faced. Chomp into this crunchy, chewy sandwich. Share it with your carnivorous friends. Expressions of shock will appear on their faces. As they chew away with their mouths stuffed full, they will say muffled words such as, “Hey man, this is really good!”
People who are new to tofu look at a block of white, raw tofu and wonder what to do with it. They taste the chalky stuff and make “yuck” noises. It’s easy. Get out a big stock pot, and pour in a half-inch of water. Put one of those butterfly colanders that unfolds like a tulip into the bottom of the pot. Slice the tofu into quarter-inch thick slices and spread the slices on the colander. Bring the water to a boil, and steam (parboil) the tofu for ten or 20 minutes. When it cools, it will be very firm, even rubbery, much firmer than it will get if it is fried in oil, because steamed tofu gets well-cooked all the way through. Much of the water is evaporated out, leaving small voids. Steamed tofu marinates well, sucking up liquids like a sponge. Dice the steamed tofu slices and toss them into a stir fry or soup. Or dice and marinate for five minutes in lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and chopped garlic and serve separately or toss the tofu into a salad. Experiment. Note: Some say unfermented tofu is not good for you.
OTHER PLANT-BASED “MEATS”
Try Trim Slice beef, ham, and turkey-flavored seitan, which is wheat gluten and strictly vegetarian. (Legume/A-1 International, Box 609, Monticello, NJ 07045.) They don’t really taste like beef, ham, or turkey, but they do taste good. They go well in school lunches. Use Veganaise vegan mayonnaise and make sandwiches with the sliced seitan.
Strictly vegetarian hot dogs are a lot like meat hot dogs. They boil and barbecue just like meat hot dogs. Or cut them down the middle, and fry them in a little oil. (Meatless Healthy Franks, White Wave Soy Foods, www.WhiteWave.com; Tofu Pups, Lightlife Foods, www.lightlife.com; Veggie Tofu Wieners, Yves Veggie Cuisine, www.YvesVeggie.com.)
These tofu meats are made of clean, wholesome organic soy and spices. You don’t have to be a strict vegetarian to eat a plant-based diet at least some of the time. It has never killed anyone not to have animal-based foods every day.
HERBED PUMPKIN OR SQUASH
Do not select a jack-o-lantern pumpkin; they are bred for size not taste. Pick an “eating” pumpkin or squash. Slice the pumpkin or squash; remove the seeds; put the slices into a big stock pot with a butterfly colander at the bottom, and steam them.
Arrange the slices on a platter. Partially mash them with a potato masher or fork. Add olive, flax, hemp, or sesame oil. Add soy sauce, tamari, sliced scallions, and a sprinkling of zater or nutritional yeast. Mash. Add pepper to taste. The skin is soft enough to eat but still chewy. It has a good flavor and provides that “chewing satisfaction” that meat affords. Bake the seeds in a Pyrex dish in the oven or microwave.
TOAST DIPPED IN OLIVE OR FLAX OIL, ZATER OPTIONAL
Pour extra virgin olive or flax oil and soy sauce (to taste) in a bowl or shallow dish. Break off a piece of chewy sprouted whole grain bread or toast, and dip it into the oil. This is the way Italians eat their bread. This is what to eat instead of margarine, high in harmful trans-fatty acids. B-12 Option: Add nutritional yeast. Option: add zater. Zater is a Middle Eastern delicacy composed of dried thyme, toasted sesame seeds, and a little salt, and it is widely available at Middle Eastern grocery stores.
ZATER PATE ON TOAST WITH OLIVE OIL
Pour five tablespoon of olive or flax oil into a bowl. Add one tablespoon of zater. Add a half teaspoon of soy sauce. Optional: Add a small clove of finely chopped garlic or a tablespoon of finely chopped scallions. Stir well and let the mixture sit for five minutes so the zater can soften. Spread this decadent but heart-friendly pate onto chewy, whole grain toast. It satisfies meat cravings.
FENNEL AND GARLIC WITH TOAST
Go outside and harvest feathery fennel or dill strands from the garden You may chop the fennel or dill strands and mix with olive oil or flax oil and soy sauce. Eat with baked or steamed garlic cloves and chewy whole grain bread or toast. Fennel and dill have a pleasing aroma and taste, and they are surprisingly chewy, something we seem to crave. The husk of garlic cloves is chewy too. I invented this recipe, and it is excellent!
BAKED GARLIC (BAKE OTHER VEGGIES AT THE SAME TIME)
Ingredients: 2 heads of elephant garlic or 4 heads of regular garlic, 4 tsp. olive oil. Optional ingredients: 2 tsp. basil, thyme, or oregano.
Slice the bottom off the garlic head, the better to expose the cloves to the heat and oil. Or you can break the heads of garlic down into cloves. Then hit each clove a whack with the flat side of a heavy knife or cleaver, and remove the husk of the clove. I bake them without removing the husk. It absorbs the steam and softens into a tasty, chewy consistency, especially if it is baked with a little olive oil.
Put the whole heads of garlic or the individual cloves in a garlic baker made of clay pottery. Or use a small Pyrex bowl with a Pyrex lid or plate on top. Bake for around 20 minutes at 350°.
You can bake garlic without adding anything, but I like to add a tablespoon of olive oil for each head of cloves. Pack the cloves together so they can absorb some of the olive oil. Add a half teaspoon of soy sauce for each head of cloves. You can add basil, thyme, or oregano.
Roasted garlic is soft and smooth and adds new dimensions to foods. Spread it on sprouted bread toast or chewy rye bread as an appetizer. Add it to pasta sauce. Add it to mashed potatoes.
Garlic is very important to good health, but don’t eat raw garlic in the morning before going to work. It gets into your blood and comes out your pores. I had been eating chopped garlic on rice for breakfast! My office associates leveled with me and told me that I smelled like a garlic factory, even down the hall. It never occurred to me that any one would notice. That proves my theory that all of us great blind spots in our self awareness. We all need friends to point them out. I switched to baked and steamed garlic and quit eating garlic for breakfast.
I prefer garlic and potatoes baked in the oven and not nuked in the microwave. When you bake garlic, you can bake other food with no added fuel cost: potatoes, yams, parsnips, and corn for example.
EGGPLANT WITH LEMON JUICE
Ingredients: 1 large or 2 long Asian eggplants (I prefer the flavor of Asian eggplant), 1/2 cup olive oil, juice of one large lemon, soy sauce to taste.
Slice the eggplants lengthwise in half. Saute them briefly in olive oil until soft. Flip them and saute. Or microwave the slices for five minutes. Place the slices on a serving platter. Mash them gently with a fork. Sprinkle on lemon juice and soy sauce to taste.
OLIVES WITH BREAD
I lived on olives, bread, fruit, nuts, sprouted lentils, and raw vegetables all through Spain. Spanish fare is heavy on pork, pork, pork. But the bread, although unsprouted, is excellent, and the olives are fabulous. Back in the USA where do you find good olives? Find a Middle Eastern, Greek, or Italian food store. My favorite olives are cracked green olives from Turkey; they come in huge cans, and the price is reasonable. (www.Ziyad.com.)
STEAMED, BROILED, ROASTED CORN ON THE COB
Don’t boil corn on the cob. Boiling shrivels the kernels and sucks the flavor out of them, producing corn that is waterlogged, soft, and overcooked. Steam corn instead. Put a half inch of water in your stock pot, insert the butterfly colander, and lay in the cobs of corn. Keep the cobs out of the water. It takes about ten minutes. You can also steam the corn along with other vegetables you are steaming.
Or broil your corn under the broiler. Check the cobs every few minutes, and turn them when you can see they are browning. Broiled corn has an entirely different texture than steamed or boiled corn, and the flavor seems more concentrated. It has a firm bite and chewiness you will enjoy.
And for a real taste treat, roast your corn, in the husk, out on the barbecue pit.
Most people eat corn on the cob with butter and salt. Try eating it naked. It’s great as-is, with nothing added. If you want to add something, pour olive oil in a dish, and roll the cob in the oil. Sprinkle on sea salt, to taste.
Oh yes. Most corn grown now is genetically modified, GMO. Buy organic corn or grow your own.
RELIABLE VEGGIE DISHES
GREENS STEAM-STIR FRIED
Ingredients: 2 big bunches of mustard, turnip, or collard greens,
1 chopped large onion, 2-20 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp. chopped ginger, 4 tbsp. olive oil, 2 cups water.
Mustard and turnip—unlike collard and kale—are hot and a little bitter, and most people won’t eat them raw. So steam them or steam-stir fry them.
Some greens cannot be eaten raw; people with false teeth or failing teeth cannot eat greens raw. So even the raw foodist must admit there is a place for lightly cooked greens. Steam-stir-fry your greens the minimal amount of time to soften and sweeten them, allowing them to retain a relatively firm texture. You will be eating a semi-raw food diet.
In your wok steam-stir-fry onions, garlic, soy, and ginger in olive oil and water until the onions soften. Then add whatever greens are available either out of your garden or from the grocery store. The greens are full of moisture, and along with the little bit of water you add, they will be boiling in their own juices. Let them steam-stir-fry for ten minutes or so. Yes, some of the vitamins are lost in the heat, but the greens become easier to chew and thus you can eat more of them.
Optional: Add kale, bok choi, or other greens such as chickweed, or dandelion flowers and stems. In the Northwest you can grow greens all through the winter. When you run out of garden greens, buy organic greens at the coop, and then buy frozen, and even canned greens. Or sprout lentils and adzuki beans and steam-stir fry them.
Mustard greens are my favorite. Dip your fork into the wok and blow on the greens to cool them. When you bite into mustard greens, an irresistible grin will come across your face. Mustard is magic. It will become your favorite vegetable. I could eat mustard greens every day for the rest of my life and never get tired of them.
Pythagoras, the greatest physician of his day, raved about the health benefits of mustard greens: “Mustard… [is] judged to be chief of those whose pungent properties reach a high level, since no other penetrates further into the nostrils and brain.” He recommended mustard for stomach troubles, bites, asthma, epilepsy, menstruation, and other conditions. (Pliny, Natural History, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. VI, 20:87, p. 137.)
If you are brave, you can eat mustard greens raw. Take a small bite, and then chew, chew, chew. Your saliva will cool and sweeten them. I sit in front of my computer writing legal documents eating raw mustard greens and parsley. Mustard greens are not at all hard on my stomach, and maybe that is because they are loaded with calcium. You can eat collards straight too; they are not hot, but during the summer they are a little bitter. Chew, chew, chew, and they sweeten.
In winter, the collards that grow in your yard will be sweet enough to eat raw. And this is an advantage of having your own garden: In winter the greens are sweet, while store-bought greens, which come from California where it is always hot, never get sweet. Another advantage is that you can eat the small tender leaves of the greens that never make it to the market.
STEAMED VEGETABLES AND GREENS
Into a big stock pot put a metal butterfly colander—the kind that opens up like a tulip. Add an inch of water. Keep the vegetables on top of the colander and out of the water so they will not lose any of their vitamins and taste.
Start with the hard veggies that need to cook longest: Carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli stalks, frozen peas, onions, or beets, et cetera.
Optional: On top of the hard veggies, spread a layer of sliced tofu.
After ten minutes or so, add the leafy greens: kale, spinach, collard greens, bok choi, broccoli and cauliflower tops.
Steam until tender.
Serve veggies alone or on rice, spelt, or kamut. As a topping add flax oil, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, lemon-tahini sauce, or spicy peanut sauce. See the Sauces, Spreads, Dips section of this book, p. 390.
Or just eat the veggies piece by piece during the day. You can stuff yourself with this kind of food, and you won’t get fat. And it’s all brimming with mysterious enzymes and vitamins that will make you a stronger person.
Stir frying and steam-stir frying are great, but I have come to prefer steaming over a butterfly colander. It’s quicker and easier than frying. It’s easier to clean up afterwards. Light steaming is only a step away from raw food, and just a little easier to eat.
STINGING NETTLE (WARNING: USE GLOVES!) and dandelion
Nettle is just another leafy green, and you cook it the same way you would any other leafy green. Because nettle is so good for your health, so easy to grow, so easy to cook, and so arcane—it merits special mention.
Buy nettle seeds by mail order. (www.mountainroseherbs.com, www.localharvest.org.) Or find a friend who can give you a plant or seeds. It is it’s a unique and useful gift. Or keep your eyes open and you might find nettle growing somewhere by the road. Nettle makes lots of seeds. They are extremely tiny; in the heat of August, when there is a slight wind, the pollen rises from the plant like white smoke. It is easy to collect the seeds in a paper bag in the Fall.
When you work with nettle, wear gloves, a long sleeve shirt, and long pants—just like when you are picking blackberries.
Brush the nettle plant lightly across the back of your hand, and you will feel tiny stings—strong although not painful. The stinging will go away in a couple of hours. I sometimes eat the tiny leaves raw. My fingers and tongue get stung.
Go out to your yard and pick any yellow dandelion flower in sight.
Nettle and dandelion flowers make a great tea. Put them into a pot of boiling water. After you are done drinking the tea, you can eat the well done nettle leaves and flowers.
Or steam stir fry them together in a pan with water, olive oil, dried basil or thyme, maybe some flax seeds, maybe some onions or garlic. Optional extras: sliced new potatoes, sprouted garbanzo beans. Be creative.
GREEN BEANS OR SPINACH
Ingredients: four cups of green beans or Asian long beans chopped into pieces an inch long, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of water, 2 chopped, medium white or yellow onions, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or filberts.
Steam-stir-fry the onions in olive oil and a little water until they begin to soften and sweeten. Add the chopped nuts and mix.
Cut the green beans into pieces an inch long and add them to the onions. Steam stir-fry until the beans are tender.
Devour this luscious mixture hot or at room temperature.
This recipe works with spinach as well as green beans. Use two bunches of chopped, fresh spinach. Spinach needs less cooking that green beans.
Thanks to Mom for this recipe.
GREEN BEANS AND TOMATOES
Ingredients: 2 pounds of fresh Blue Lake green beans or Asian long beans or two 12 ounce cans of beans, 4 large chopped tomatoes or one 16 oz. can of chopped tomatoes, 2-20 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 1 medium onion, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. sea salt (to taste), 1/4 tsp. pepper (to taste).
Steam-stir-fry the onions in olive oil and water, which brings out the flavor and makes them sweet. Cut the green beans into pieces an inch long and add them to the onions.
Fresh beans are preferable, but canned beans work too. If you use canned beans, pour off the water in the can. Canned beans are partially cooked, so shorten cooking time. Add the chopped tomatoes. If you use canned tomatoes, use the liquid because it is tomato juice. You won’t need to add water to this recipe, because the tomatoes are full of moisture. Add salt and pepper to taste and cinnamon.
Cover and bring the mixture to a boil, and then simmer until the beans are al dente, that is, cooked but still firm. Take the lid off and cook until most of the moisture is gone. This concentrates the flavor of the tomatoes. Serve over rice or some other sprouted and cooked grain. Thanks to Mom for this recipe.
POTATOES AND TOMATOES
Ingredients: 2 large baking potatoes, 2 large tomatoes or one 16 ounce can of whole tomato, 1 medium yellow or white onion, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste), 1/8 tsp pepper (to taste), 2 to 20 tbsp. whole flax seeds.
Do not peel the potatoes; just wash them. Slice the potatoes a quarter inch thick. Chop up the onion. In a pan with a lid, steam-stir-fry the potatoes, onion, and flax seeds in olive oil and water until the potatoes begin to soften. Add the chopped or canned tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Don’t add water to this dish, because the tomatoes are full of moisture. Cook the mixture on medium until the potatoes are done. Then take the lid off and cook until the moisture is nearly all absorbed. The potatoes should be well-done, not al dente. Thanks to Mom for this recipe.
Ingredients: 4 large baking potatoes, 1/2 lb. of smooth tofu, 1/2 large well-chopped onion, 1 tbsp. mustard, 1/2 cup grape seed oil Vegenaise (www.followyourheart.com), 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp dill pickle juice or juice of 1 lemon, 1 finely diced stalk of celery, 1 cup diced bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped parsley or one finely chopped clump of dill or fennel from your garden, 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste), 1/4 tsp. Tobasco pepper sauce (to taste).
It’s best to bake the potatoes the night before. Prick the potatoes with a fork so they won’t explode. Bake them for an hour at 350°; let them cool and then refrigerate them. Bake garlic, sweet potatoes, peppers, corn, and yams at the same time to make more efficient use of your oven.
Slice the tofu and spread it on a butterfly colander sitting in a stock pot with a half inch of water at the bottom. Steam it for 10 minutes or more. After the tofu has cooled dice it.
Mix all the ingredients except the potatoes and tofu. Add the diced tofu. Add the potatoes last and stir.
ROASTED PEPPERS AND OTHER VEGETABLES
Peppers are expensive most of the year, and the quality is inconsistent. However, in late summer the local pepper crop comes in. The quality goes up, and the price comes down. It’s pepper time!
Food markets will have a dozen different types of peppers during pepper time, ranging from mild bell peppers to fiery hot jalapeños. Buy some of each variety. Chop them up and put them in baking pans or Pyrex dishes. Add garlic cloves and chopped basil. Add olive oil and stir. Roast the mixture under the broiler, watching it closely. Turn or stir the mixture several times. All broilers are different, so I can’t tell you just how long the vegetables should cook.
Be creative here. Add any other vegetable that you think will roast well, such as green beans, snow peas, egg plant, squash, zucchini, and so on.
Ingredients: 2 cans of bamboo shoot strips, ¼ cup olive oil, 3 tsp. soy sauce, ½ chopped red onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, ½ cup water.
In the olive oil and water, steam-stir fry first the minced garlic and onions. Simmer with lid on for 3 minutes. Add bamboo shoots. Add water. Cover for 5-7 minutes until water is absorbed.
Fresh bamboo shoots are very cheap in the tropics but frightfully expensive in the West. Canned bamboo shoots are almost as good and much less expensive. If you start with whole bamboo shoots, steam them for ten minutes before slicing them into strips. Thanks to my wife Emelyn for this recipe.
LONG BEANS AND SQUASH
Ingredients: 1 big bunch of chopped Asian long string beans, 1 big red onion chopped, 5 cloves smashed and chopped garlic, 2-20 tbsp. whole flax seeds, 1 cup roasted peanuts or cashews, ½ tsp. hot pepper, ¼ tsp. black pepper, 3 tbsp. soy sauce, ¾ cup olive oil, 1 medium size squash (chopped in squares), 2 cups tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, salt to taste, 2 cups water.
Steam stir fry garlic, onions, and flax seeds in olive oil with a little water.
After 3 minutes add tomato sauce. Stir for 3 minutes more. Then add 2 cups of water, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Add chopped squash. Stir and cook until the water gets sticky. Add chopped string beans and stir for 2 minutes, cooking only until the beans are al dente, still firm to the tooth. Don’t overcook the beans. Add the roasted nuts just before serving. Thanks to my wife Emelyn for this recipe.
OKRA & TOMATOES
Ingredients: 10 pieces of okra, 1 large tomato diced well, juice of half a lemon, 3 tbsp. soy sauce (to taste).
Steam the okra whole until it is tender. Cut the stems off and chop the okra into pieces about a quarter inch long. Mix okra with diced tomatoes, soy sauce, and lemon. Thanks to my wife Emelyn for this recipe.
CHINESE BABY BOK CHOI
Ingredients: 10 pieces of small, baby bok choi, 5 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of ginger, 1/8 cup soy sauce, 2 cups of wild chanterelle or shitake mushrooms, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup water, salt to taste, 2-10 tbsp. whole flax seeds, optional.
Dice the ginger and garlic finely or run them through a food processor or coffee grinder. I much prefer wild grown mushrooms instead of those grown in manure, indoors in sheds. Slice the bok choi at a slanting angle.
Steam-stir fry the garlic and flax in olive oil and water for two minutes. Add ginger and stir for a minute. Add mushrooms and stir for three minutes.
Add soy sauce and the heavier pieces of bok choi and stir for three minutes. Finally, add the lighter pieces and stir for two minutes. Add water, put the lid on the pan, and allow the mixture to steam for another three minutes. Serve hot. Thanks to my wife Emelyn for this recipe.
BAKED YAMS, SWEET POTATOES
In most parts of the world yams and sweet potatoes are a staple. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and they are a reasonable source of protein. They are a natural source of progesterone, a plant estrogen which is especially beneficial to postmenopausal women. Progesterone strengthens bone.
Put your yams or sweet potatoes on a baking tin in the oven at 325° F. and bake them for an hour or more. Wrap them in aluminum foil if you want to keep them from drying out. I prefer to bake them naked and to bake them until the skin turns crusty and the insides become hollowed out through loss of moisture. This makes the yams really sweet. The steam is ascending and cooking the upper hemisphere of the yam first, so after the first half hour, turn the yams over.
When you bake yams or sweet potatoes, make use of that hot oven also to bake potatoes, garlic, peppers, and corn.
CARROTS, SWEET POTATOES, AND PARSNIPS
Steam these vegetables together and then puree them in a food processor. They produce a very sweet vegetable dish that kids will love. It could go in the desert section below.
SALADS, RAW FOODS
Raw Food Feast
Ingredients: Sprouted kamut or other grain, sprouted lentils or adzukis or mung or sunflower seeds, flax oil or olive oil, tamari sauce, fresh fennel or dill strands from your yard or lettuce or other leafy green.
Sprout kamut and lentils. Mix them in a bowl. Add flax or olive oil, soy sauce, and some kind of chopped leafy greens, preferably dill or fennel strands.
The healthiest and cheapest food a poor person could eat would be sprouted grain and sprouted lentils or mung beans, plus dandelion and other edible flowers and plants that grow wild. There would be no fuel cost. The longer you sprout your green things, the more they produce. You can easily double their mass, thus cutting your food bill in half.
In all the recipes where I have suggested that you serve something over cooked rice or grain, consider using sprouted grain instead. It’s a little more chewy than cooked grain.
Ingredients: 1 big bunch of minced parsley (which should be growing in your yard), 1 cup bulgur wheat, 3 tbs. minced mint leaves (which also should be growing in your yard), juice of two lemons, 1/4 cup oil, 2 chopped tomatoes, 3 medium cloves garlic, mashed and chopped, 6 minced green onions (also easy to grow), 2 tsp. sea salt (to taste), 1/2 tsp. black pepper (to taste).
Bulgur wheat is cracked wheat that is boiled and then dried. When water is added back to it, it quickly softens. Boil water and pour it into the bulgur. Add water gradually. Don’t drown the bulgur in more water than it can absorb. Remember this bulgur is going to be getting more moisture from the tomatoes and lemons which will be mixed with it, so add a minimal amount of water.
Dried bulgur is one of those foods bedouins have carried across the desert for thousands of years. Dried bulgur, dried hummus, and dried falafel will all survive in heat without spoiling. Dried bulgur and dried hummus can be mixed with water and be made into instant meals. Dried falafel can be mixed with water and then fried in oil.
Chop the parsley, eliminating the big stems. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the bulgur. Mix. Add the softened bulgur last.
Raw food option: Add sprouted sunflower seeds. Use sprouted kamut berries instead of bulgur.
Don your turban, and enjoy a substantial and satisfying salad. Refrigerate the leftovers; it is even better the next day.
Peel the tomatoes and slice them. Add salt and pepper to taste. As an option add olive oil and some lemon juice. Now isn’t that the shortest recipe you have ever seen in a cook book? But it belongs, because people just never seem to think of eating tomatoes as-is, without a lot of lettuce cluttering up the fine flavor. This is the way my mother’s mother served them. Set aside the south facing wall of your house for growing tomatoes.
SAUCES, SPREADS, DIPS—FOR STIR FRY, RICE, OR SALADS
Ingredients: 1 bunch of green onions, 3 stalks of celery, 1 cup of olive oil, 1/8 cup of tamari, 1/2 cup raw sesame tahini, 2 green peppers, juice of 2 lemons.
Into your food processor go all ingredients except the tahini. The celery, bell pepper, and lemon will provide the moisture needed. Add the tahini last. This sauce is great served on falafel, salad, and stir fry. It also goes well on vegetarian burgers. This sauce is divine. It is my favorite non-peppery sauce.
Organic sesame tahini is available from Westbrae Natural Foods (www.westbrae.com), and Arrowhead Mills, (www.ArrowheadMills.com).
SPICY PEANUT SAUCE
Ingredients: 10 tbs. peanut butter, 1 clove of garlic, 3 tbs. white wine vinegar, a large pinch of cayenne pepper, 3 tbs. soy sauce, 1 tbs. molasses, 10 tbs. water.
This is my favorite spicy sauce. It is easy to make. Spicy peanut sauce is great on stir fry.
Use organic peanut butter if you can find it. Use peanut butter that contains no shortening. Smash your garlic with a heavy knife or cleaver turned sideways on a cutting board. “Vitamin G” is high in vitamin C and is good for colds. Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend them. Gradually add more water until it is runny.
Kids get addicted to spicy peanut sauce.
This recipe works with hazel nut butter, raw sesame tahini, and almond butter.
SPICY PEANUT SPREAD
When your jar of organic peanut butter is down to one-quarter full, use it to make a delectable spread. Right into the peanut butter jar add vinegar, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, molasses, and—for the courageous—chopped garlic. The ingredients are the same as for Spicy Peanut Sauce, but the Spicy Peanut Spread has less water in it. Use a heavy knife to stir the mixture up. Spread it on toast or bagels. It stores well in the refrigerator. You can use this recipe with any other nut butter. Umm umm, good!
Ingredients: 1 large eggplant or two long Asian eggplants, 3 tbsp. sesame tahini, 2 garlic cloves, juice of 2 lemons, 2 tbsp. water, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, pecans, or filberts, 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt (to taste), 1/4 tsp. pepper (to taste), 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil.
Pierce the eggplant in several places with a fork to allow the steam to escape. Broil it under the broiler, for 15 minutes, watching it closely and turning it frequently. If you have a barbecue pit, then barbecue the eggplant, turning it frequently. If you have a gas stove, you can skewer the eggplant on a long shishkabob fork and hold it over the flames, turning it rapidly. The skin will burn a little, but that adds a delectable smoky flavor. Or microwave it for five minutes. Pierce it first.
After the eggplant cools, cut it up into large pieces, and put them into the food processor. Hit the garlic a few good licks with the flat side of a heavy knife or cleaver, chop it, and toss it into the processor along with the sesame tahini, sesame oil, lemon juice, water, and salt and pepper. Blend the mixture.
Spread the mix on a platter and garnish it with olive oil, chopped nuts and toasted sesame oil. Dip pita bread or sprouted grain bread into this creamy, rich and healthy concoction.
HUMMUS OR FOOL
Ingredients: 2 cups of sprouted, cooked garbanzo beans (chick peas), 3 tbsp. raw sesame tahini, 3 minced garlic cloves (or more to taste), one-half finely chopped onion, 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil, 3 tbsp. olive oil, 1/8 cup parsley, 4-20 tbsp. flax seed, sea salt to taste.
Soak the garbanzo beans overnight. Or sprout them for several days. Cover the beans and flax with water and boil them. If they have only soaked overnight, they will need to be boiled for an hour. If they are well sprouted and alive, a half hour will do. In either case, they should be cooked until tender. Pour off the water.
Some people take the skins off. This give the hummus a smoother taste and texture. Loosen the skins by mashing the garbanzo beans with a rolling pin or the flat side of a heavy knife. I leave the skins on.
Or use garbanzo beans already cooked from a can. You don’t have to reveal your timesaving secret to your guests.
Chop the onions and garlic finely, and blend in a food processor with sesame tahini and toasted sesame oil. You may omit the sesame tahini and add only sesame oil.
Add the cooked chick-peas to the food processor. Add sea salt to taste. Spread the mix on a plate. Make dimples in the hummus and pour on the olive oil. Garnish with parsley.
Spread it on toast in the morning, or put it in a sandwich with pickles and cucumbers. It is good served on rice. It’s good hot or cold. Enjoy one of the most ancient and delectable foods.
You can also make hummus from a powdered mix. While it is good, it is not as good as hummus made from fresh or canned beans.
To make fool, follow this recipe, but replace the garbanzo beans with fava beans. A small percentage of the population is allergic to fava beans, so go easy on fool the first time you eat it.
Bedouins would cook and then dry all the ingredients into a powder and then carry it across the desert, adding water and stirring to make a quick dinner.
TOFU SOUR CREAM
Ingredients: 1 lb. of organic, silken tofu, 10 tbsp. of olive, sesame, flax, hemp, or pumpkin oil, or a mixture of any of these, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 crushed and diced garlic cloves.
Slice the tofu, put it on a butterfly colander in a pan with a lid with an half inch of water under the colander, and steam the tofu for 10 to 20 minutes. Let it cool, and it will become firm and rubbery. Blend the tofu with all the other ingredients. Add a small amount of water or the juice from Greek olives if needed to make it more liquid. Be creative: Add chopped Greek olives, chopped mint leaves, chopped parsley, chopped scallions, chopped fresh basil leaves, or a combination of some or all of these.
DRIED CHERRY TOMATO PESTO
Cherry tomatoes are my favorite tomatoes because they are sweet and tender. Cherry tomato plants are very productive, and they will produce more tomatoes than you can eat. Here in the Northwest they are the only variety we can count on to produce heavily. Dry them and store them in olive oil as a pesto.
With a sharp knife, cut the tomatoes in half. Use a fruit dryer if you have one. If you don’t, spread the tomatoes on baking pans and put them in the oven at 200° F. for an hour. The flavor will become very concentrated. Pack jars full of them, and pour in enough olive oil to fill in the spaces between the tomato pieces.
You now have a long-lasting pesto to put on pasta, spread on toast, put in sandwiches, or serve on rice.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup of tapioca, 3 cups vanilla rice or soy milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, fruit sugar (Fruit Source, 1803 Mission St., Suite 404, Santa Cruz, CA 95060), rice sweetener, or Sucanat, 6 tsp. of Egg Replacer, 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean extract, 1/4 tsp. salt.
Soak the tapioca for several hours in the rice or soy milk and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the sweetener. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl make the equivalent of two eggs of egg whites using Ener-G Egg Replacer, that is 3 teaspoons of Egg Replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons of water. Beat the mixture until it makes peaks.
In a separate bowl make the equivalent of two egg yolks using Egg Replacer, that is 3 teaspoons of Egg Replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. Mix it thoroughly.
Add the “egg yolk” mix to the simmering tapioca mix, stirring constantly. Bring the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook the mixture for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, let cool for a half hour, and fold in the “egg white” mix and the vanilla. Spoon the mixture into small bowls and refrigerate. As tapioca cools, it becomes firm. As an alternative to egg replacer just add 4 tbsp. or more of ground flax seed. Flax has its own strong flavor, so whether you use flax depends on how much you like it.
Do you like milk shakes? Here’s something much better. Buy overripe bananas; preferably organic. Overripe bananas have more flavor than green ones, and they are cheaper. You can sometimes buy them by the box for ten cents a pound. Peel them and put them in plastic bags and freeze them.
For breakfast or a snack take a frozen banana out of the freezer, and toss it in the blender. Add soy milk, rice milk, orange, raspberry, apple, or grape juice, or a mixture of some or all of these liquids. Throw in some of the frozen blackberries you picked by the bag last Fall. Or add frozen plums. (Cut out the seeds and freeze them in plastic bags.) Add frozen grapes, even seeded grapes. The blender breaks up the seeds. (Just swallow them.) Add vanilla bean syrup and rice milk. Whip it up in your trusty blender.
Optional: Add peanut butter, lecithin, wheat germ, and nutritional yeast.
Umm good! It will taste better than a milk shake—with zero cholesterol.
NONDAIRY ICE CREAM
To make a tasty sherbet that has the richness of cream, make a smoothie as described above. However, use as little liquid ingredients as possible and use a food processor instead of a blender. Use just enough juice to get the banana and frozen fruit to blend. Put the mix in the freezer for a half hour, and it will become very firm. The banana gives it a very sweet and creamy texture and taste.
BANANA COCONUT TOFU PIE
Ingredients for the crust: one package (1/4 lb.) of vegan graham crackers, 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup of wheat germ or “Masa Repa” corn meal which is precooked (Goya Foods, Secaucus, NJ 07096), 1/3 cup of flaked coconut, 1/2 cup of raw, organic, unprocessed sugar or turbinado sugar, 1/3 cup of canned coconut cream, which floats to the top in a can of coconut milk.
Health Valley has a vegan amaranth graham cracker. (www.HealthValley.com.) Allegedly Nabisco Original Graham crackers are vegan. Vegan graham crackers are hard to find. There is a good alternative: Use cereal flakes and crush them just as you would the crackers.
Coconut cream substitutes for butter or shortening. Coconut oil is saturated, but it does not break down into trans-fatty acids at baking temperatures, and it is water soluble.
Crumble the graham crackers or cereal and mix all the dry ingredients for the crust in a food processor, including the flour, corn meal or wheat germ, flaked coconut, and organic sugar. When it is well mixed, stir in the coconut cream in lieu of butter or shortening. The coconut cream will barely wet the dry ingredients; don’t use more than the 1/3 cup called for. This crust recipe will make a really thick crust. Use your hands to mold the crust into the pie dish. Use a bowl or small cup to flatten the crust. Mold the crust up to top of the pie dish.
Use a knife to score the bottom of the crust with several cut lines. This will allow steam to escape as the pie bakes instead of creating bubbles under the crust. Bake the crust for 20 minutes at 325°. Leave peaks on the crust, little thin pieces that stick up. When these turn black, the crust is done. Let the crust cool.
Ingredients for the filling: 3 large bananas sliced and 3 large bananas blended, 1/3 cup of flaked coconut, 1 lb. pkg. of silken organic tofu, 1/2 cup of raspberries or blackberries,
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla bean extract, 1/2 cup of organic sugar, 1/2 tsp. of sea salt.
Slice 3 large bananas in long, irregular strips. Drop them onto the crust in a crisscross, disorganized way. The bananas create a foundation for the other pie ingredients, and help the slices of pie hold together when you cut them and lift them out of the pie tin.
Blend the coconut, tofu, 3 large bananas, vanilla, berries, sugar and salt in a food processor, and pour the mix over the sliced bananas. Refrigerate, slice, and enjoy.
PUMPKIN TOFU PIE
Prepare the same crust as described above for banana coconut tofu pie, but don’t bake it separately. You are going to bake the crust and pumpkin filling altogether.
Ingredients for the filling: 28 oz. of pumpkin, sliced and steamed for 10 minutes, or one 28 oz. can of pumpkin (Natural Value Products, www.naturalvalue.com), 1 lb. package of silken organic tofu, 1 cup of raw, unprocessed bulk organic sugar or turbinado sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp powdered ginger (or less), 1/2 tsp. nutmeg or allspice, 1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla bean extract, 1-1/2 tbsp. molasses. If your ginger is very fresh and pungent, use less of it; err on the side of using less ginger. This filling requires no thickeners such as agar agar, kudzu root, or ground flax seed, but you can add small amounts at your option.
Squeeze as much of the water out of the tofu as you can; this helps the pie filling to “set up,” to coagulate. Blend all the filling ingredients in a food processor. Blend them for up to five minutes or until the filling is creamy smooth. Pour the filling mix into the pie shell. The Natural Value pumpkin is precooked, so you will only need to bake the pie for 17 to 22 minutes at 325°. Use a knife or spoon to create peaks on the filling as a method for fine tuning cooking time: The peaks act as your thermometer, and when they turn brown, the pie is ready. Refrigerate, slice, and enjoy.
We are blessed with four apple trees which make more apples than we can eat. So we juice a lot of them, which means we are left with a lot of pulp. We have learned that apple pulp makes a great pie filling.
The crust: Prepare the same crust as described above for banana coconut tofu pie, but don’t bake it separately. You are going to bake the crust and apple filling all together.
Ingredients for the filling: 3 cups apple pulp, 2 cups coconut milk, 1/2 cup (to taste) maple syrup, 2 -10 tbsp. ground flax, 1 cup soy milk, 2 tbsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup cornstarch.
Mix the ingredients in a blender and pour it all into the crust. Bake for 30 minuets at 350 degrees. Add blackberries as topping.
Ingredients: 10 small apples run through a blender, 1/4 cup organic sugar or maple syrup (to taste), 2 to 10 tbsp. ground flax to taste.
Mix the blended apples, sugar or maple syrup, and ground flax in a sauce pan and let it simmer for 30 minutes or more until it gets sticky.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
The cake ingredients: 1 cup shredded coconut, 3 cups all-purpose flour (or a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour), 1 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. baking powder, 2/3 cups cocoa, 1 cup coconut milk, 2-1/2 cups soy milk, 2-1/2 cups organic sugar, 2 tbsp. vinegar, 6 tsp. ground whole flax seeds, 6 tsp. corn starch. All purpose flower produces a fluffier cake. Whole wheat flour makes a chewier, denser, more brownie like cake, which I prefer.
Grind the flax seeds in a coffee grinder. I suggest you dedicate a coffee grinder to flax grinding and not try to use the same one for both flax and coffee grinding. Your flax will taste like coffee and your coffee will taste like flax.
Sift flour for best results. Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl: cocoa, flour, shredded coconut, ground flax, corn starch, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.
Mix coconut milk, soy milk, and vinegar in a medium pan on low heat, stirring until well mixed.
Add the liquid ingredients to the mixed dry ingredients and stir carefully. Pour the mixture into two cake pans and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes. The cake is done when a sharp knife goes in and comes out dry.
The frosting ingredients: 1-1/2 cups maple syrup, 3/4 cup cocoa, 6 tsp. ground flax seeds, 6 tsp. corn starch, 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup chopped almonds.
Mix all the frosting ingredients except the nuts in a sauce pan on low heat, starting with the maple syrup, and stirring constantly until thick. Let the mixture cool before spreading the frosting on the cake.
Put the first cake layer on a big, round platter and cut it into quarters. Separate the quarters from each other by a quarter of an inch. Add icing, allowing it to flow down between the four quarters. Add the second layer, again cut into quarters, and add icing. Add icing to top and sides. Sprinkle the almonds on last. You’re done.
Some people find flax to have a very dominating flavor. If you choose not to use flax, you should some other thickener such as Egg Replacer, agar-agar, corn starch, arrowroot, kudzu, or tapioka starch.
I made my own vegan chocolate cake for my wedding. It was a big hit.