Happy #NationalPizzaDay! This is my Mushroom-Onion-Basil-Pine Nut-Cheese Pizza

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Happy National Pizza Day! It’s Feb 9th!

I made mine using a pre-made crust that I could bake at home.

I topped it with:

grated mozzarella

sauteed mushrooms and onions

pine nuts

fresh basil

fresh garlic

drizzled with olive oil

sprinkled with grated parmesan and cayenne flakes

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Potato Salad my way

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Summer, picnics and potato salad. So great together, right?

Influenced by what mom used to make? I am. Here’s my long-standing favorite way to make potato salad:

  • small organic potatoes with skin still on, boiled until very soft, chopped
  • while still warm, I add my favorite mayo (I confess, it’s Hellman’s Organic) mixed with sour cream, salt, pepper and a splash of vinegar

Then I stir in:

  • sliced carrots
  • sliced celery
  • chopped onion
  • chopped red or green peppers
  • minced parsley
  • chopped Claussen Hearty Garlic Pickles (dill)
  • whole or halved small black olives
  • fresh or dried dill weed

I love it served right away still warm or at room temperature!

Hope you have a great summer!

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Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce & Raw Veggies

Soba Noodles with Peanut Sauce & Raw Veggies

Terrific lunch. Serves 4

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  • 8 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles

(Buckwheat noodles are gluten-free if you get 100% buckwheat noodles)

Sauce:

  • 4 TB peanut butter
  • 1 TB rice or other vinegar
  • 4 TB tamari soy sauce
  • 4 TB oil (peanut, organic canola or safflower)
  • 1 TB toasted sesame oil
  • 2 TB honey
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes

Veggies:

  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 peeled cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

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Garnish generously with:

  • toasted sesame seeds
  • more dried red pepper flakes
  • optional: roasted peanuts

Cook soba noodles according to directions (8-10 min). Drain and set aside.

Prepare sauce by blending ingredients together (I used a blender.)

Stir sauce into noodles and refrigerate while preparing veggies.

Stir veggies into noodles, garnish generously with toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes to taste, and peanuts if desired.

Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

I’ve made this a couple of times this winter – very satisfying!!

  • mushrooms, sliced (any kind, I use button or portabello)
  • onions, chopped
  • olive oil or butter
  • coarsely ground black pepper, generous
  • salt
  • 1 or 2 cubes of Not-Chick’n Bouillon dissolved in hot water
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  • generous sour cream
  • enough flour to thicken, dissolved in water before stirring in at the end
  • generous chopped parsley

I often don’t write down the amounts. But you can easily succeed at this!

Saute mushrooms and onions in olive oil or butter (or use some of each). Season with black pepper. When softened, add bouillon mashed in some hot water. Bring to simmer, add flour mixed with water while stirring constantly. Remove from heat once it has thickened. Add generous sour cream, season with salt.  Serve over egg noodles, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Easy Holiday Peppermint Candy

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My photo from last December

Easy Holiday Peppermint Candy

A candy so easy to make that is nice for parties! I made it thicker than usual. Looked for the most “natural” hard peppermint candies I could find – got some at Trader Joe’s.

(9 x 13 pan)

  • 12 oz white chocolate chips
  • 12 oz dark or milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed hard peppermint candy

Line a 9 x 13 pan with aluminum foil, with foil hanging over sides. Grease the foil.

Melt the chocolate chips. (I used the oven – 250 degrees for 5 minutes) Spread into bottom of pan. Cool.

Melt white chocolate; stir in extract. Cool just a little and spread onto first layer. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candies. Chill. Lift out of pan and cut into squares.

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Two Holiday Treats: English Toffee w/ Almonds & Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

 I. English Toffee with Almonds

A family tradition:

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  • 1 lb butter
  • 2-1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup almonds, lightly roasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup almonds, lightly roasted, finely chopped
  • 3/4 lb bittersweet or milk chocolate
  • 1 Tb coconut oil

Using a candy thermometer, heat butter and sugar to 245 degrees. Add 1 cup of the almonds. Re-heat to 300 degrees.

Pour into ungreased 10 X 15 pan.

When cool, melt the chocolate and blend with coconut oil. Spread onto cooled toffee. Sprinkle with remaining finely chopped almonds.

II. Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

Easy and melt in your mouth delicious!

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  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1-1/3 cup sugar
  • 1-1/3 cup butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup strawberry jelly

In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Beat in vanilla extract. Add flour gradually until a ball forms. Cover and refrigerate for at least for at least an hour.

Roll into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet (insulated sheet preferred).

Make an indentation in centers and carefully fill with jelly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

When done, while cooling, you can add additional jelly to the centers.

 

 

Mock Mince Pie (vegan)

Memories of holiday parties growing up? Mine include jello molded salads, twice-baked potatoes, deviled eggs, eggnog and mince meat pie.

I wanted to make a vegetarian/vegan mince pie. I loved that pie, and I love this one! So rich and classic!

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Here is the recipe I use. It’s delicious!!

Mock Mince Pie

(One 9″ pie)

  • Vegan pie crust for a double crust pie
  • 1-1/2 cup raisins, chopped
  • 4 medium apples, chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 1 orange (finely grate the peel, then juice)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • (optional 1/2 tsp rum extract)

Simmer together the raisins, apples, peel and juice until apples and very soft. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, cloves.

Pour into the unbaked pie shell while hot. Top with crust or lattice. Bake immediately in preheated 425 degree oven for 40 minutes or until crust is golden.

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Serve warm or at room temperature. Great topped with vanilla ice cream.

Filling can be kept for several days if you want to make it in advance.

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Happy holidays!

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu – & Main Dish Stuffing Recipe

For decades, I’ve been enjoying a vegetarian meal for Thanksgiving. Here is an example from 2014. A “traditional” feel – just without a bird’s body as a centerpiece.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu:

  • Radha’s Main Dish Stuffing (recipe below)* w/ Vegetarian Gravy
  • Mashed Potatoes w/ Vegetarian Gravy
  • Pearl Onions, baked in Cream Sauce
  • Broccolini, steamed, with lemon butter
  • Sauteed Portabello Mushrooms
  • Baked Macaroni & Cheese
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Celery stuffed with Home-Made Pimento Cheese
  • Cucumbers & Cherry Tomatoes with Fresh Dill & vinaigrette
  • Pumpkin Pie & Whipped Cream two ways – traditional crust & gingersnap crumb crust w/ gingersnap streusel topping

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*Radha’s Thanksgiving Main Dish Vegetarian Stuffing Recipe:

serves 10

  • 12 cups fresh whole wheat bread cubes
  • 3 cups mashed canned garbanzos (chick peas) (save liquid)
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups sliced celery
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups sliced green pepper
  • 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 5 TB Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • 5 TB butter or vegan margarine
  • 4 TB Tamari Soy Sauce
  • 2 cup No-Chicken or Mushroom Broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-2 whole sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 TB fresh sage, minced
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 TB fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

Melt butter or vegan margarine in a small saucepan. Add water, nutritional yeast, tamari, sprig of rosemary and bay leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and rosemary.

Put all other ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Pour in broth mixture and mix well. Should be moist – add reserved liquid from chickpeas as needed.

Place in an oiled 9 x 12 baking dish.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in pre-heated 400-degree oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking 20 minutes or until veggies are tender and top is browned.

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Pumpkin Pie Two Ways: Gingersnap Crust w/ Gingersnap Streusel Topping and Traditional Crust – both eggless.

Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

Vegetarian Chik’n Pot Pie

Vegetarian Chik’n Pot Pie – original recipe

~ A family favorite for the fall and winter holiday season ~

I actually took the time to write the recipe and instructions for this one! Enjoy!

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Crust for a 9″ deep dish 2-crust pie

  • 1 pkg vegetarian Chik’N Strips
  • 2 cups vegetarian broth plus 1 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 1-1/4 cup potato cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced small carrots
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 5 Tb extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp each: celery seed, garlic powder, black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cups half-n-half or unsweetened soy creamer
  • 1 Tb flour
  • 1 Tb finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tb chopped fresh sage

Preheat oven to 350. Prep bottom pie crust (I pre-bake a bit before filling.)

Heat 2 Tb oil over med-low heat in medium-sized skillet. Add Chik’N and saute for a few minutes until browned. Set aside.

Heat 3 Tb oil over medium heat in a large heavy-bottom pan. Add potatoes, cook 5 minutes, stirring to avoid sticking. Add onions, carrots, mushrooms, celery and celery seed. Cook 5 more minutes.

Crumble bouillon cube into measured broth. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder and pour over vegetables. Add frozen peas. Cook 5 more minutes. Blend 1 Tb flour into half-n-half or soy creamer. Stir into vegetables along with rosemary and sage, and stir for one minute. Remove from heat. Add Chik’N.

Heap into bottom pie crust. Top with 2nd crust, flute edges and prick with a fork 8 times.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until crust is browned. Cool 10-15 minutes before serving.

I use:

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