Archive for the ‘side dish’ Category

Vegan Shells & Cheese

1/2 box small (about 2 cups dry) pasta shells or macaroni
2 Tablespoons oil or Earth Balance
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of turmeric
salt & pepper
a few grates of whole nutmeg
shake or two of paprika
2 Tablespoons flour
1 can Ro-Tel, drained, reserving liquid
1 12 oz package silken tofu
additional 1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
1 Tablespoon mustard
additional pinch of turmeric
additional salt & pepper to taste
1 cup frozen peas (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook pasta to al dente, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
3. While pasta boils, melt Earth Balance in a skillet on medium heat and add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and spices and saute for ten minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a blender add tofu, reserved Ro-Tel juice, turmeric, mustard and additional garlic and spices (if using) and blend until smooth and free of lumps.
5. Add flour to skillet and cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly
6. Add reserved pasta water and Ro-Tel, mixture will resemble a yellowish gravy.
7. Add tofu mixture to gravy and heat until boiling stirring occasionally.
8. You can then use this as a nacho cheese style dip and serve in a crock pot set on low with tortilla chips.
9. If you’re not using with pasta, replace the pasta water with hot veggie broth or non-dairy, unsweetened milk.
10. You can also add beans or Boca crumbles prepared like in vegan 7 layer dip.
11. Add cooked pasta to cheese, add frozen peas and stir to combine. If using an oven-safe skillet, you can put the entire skillet in pre-heated oven, otherwise, transfer to a casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.
Serves 6-8
• If you want to get fancy, add crushed crackers or potato chips on top and bake an additional 5 minutes.
• This is a great way to sneak in vegetables for kids. You can even puree cooked cauliflower or yellow squash right along with the tofu.


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We love carrots in our family – or at least hubby and I do. I wanted to find something many years ago when the boys were young that they could make for their dad’s birthday. I found this recipe tucked away and they had a ball making them for him (under my supervision, of course). Anway, they were a great hit and I’ve shared the recipe with others who have kids that kinda like carrots, but not enough to eat them cooked and these have made cooked carrot lovers out of several of them (adults too!). So here it is. (smile)


Glazed Carrots

2 pounds carrots
1/2 teaspoon salt, if desired
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon salt

Peel carrots, and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Heat 1 inch water to boiling in the saucepan over high heat. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt if desired. Add carrot slices. Cover and heat to boiling again. Reduce heat just enough so water bubbles gently. Cook covered 12 to 15 mins or until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork.

While carrots are cooking, heat brown sugar, margarine, orange peel and 1/2 teaspoon salt in skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Be careful not to overcook or the mixture will taste scorched. Remove skillet from heat.

Drain carrots in a strainer, then stir into brown sugar mixture. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and gently, until carrots are glazed and hot.

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Oriental Cabbage Slaw

1 sm head of cabbage chopped fine (or 1 bag slaw mix)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 pkgs ramen noodles, crushed (do not need flavor packet)
1/4 c margarine
1/2 c sesame seeds (preferably black)
1 sm bag slivered almonds
Dressing (recipe below)

Combine cabbage and green onions and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Put margarine, crushed noodles, sesame seeds and almonds in skillet and toast until slightly browned.  Add to cabbage and onion mixture.

Just before serving, add dressing and toss.

1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c c sugar or honey
1 T soy sauce
1/4 c rice wine vinegar (or 1/4 c lemon juice + 1 t sesame oil)
salt to taste (can be omitted)

Mix together and refrigerate.  Add to slaw mixture just before serving.

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Asian-style Potato Salad

3 pounds small red potatoes (whole, unpeeled)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1/2 of a large red bell pepper, diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Add salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until fork-tender; drain. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into quarters and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soy sauce, brown sugar, and ginger; mix well. Add the remaining ingredients to the potatoes, stir in the mayonnaise mixture, and mix well. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Mashed Potato Casserole

5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbls minced onion
2 eggs
2 Tbls all-purpose flour
2 Tbls chopped fresh parsley
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can (2.8 ounces) French-fried onions, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 325̊F. Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the potatoes in a soup pot, add just enough water to cover them, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fork-tender; drain.

In a large bowl, with an electric beater on medium speed, beat the potatoes and cream cheese until smooth. Add the onion, eggs, flour, parsley, salt, and pepper, and continue to beat until well blended.

Spoon the potato mixture into the casserole dish. Sprinkle with the French-fried onions and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until heated through and the edges are golden.

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This is a recipe that I remember my great-grandmother fixing when I was just a little bitty girl.  My grannie learned how to make it from her and my mother learned it from my grannie – and yes, I learned it from my mother.  I tried several iterations of it and it never tasted quite the same, so I went back to the old tried and true recipe that my mother taught me.  You can, however, veganize the cornbread by using the egg substitute (I’d use the first one listed on that page) and alternative milk to make this.


Beth’s Family Cornbread Dressing Recipe

  • 1 recipe of cornbread (made WITHOUT sugar) (DO NOT USE A BOX MIX!!!! – it has sugar) (crumbled in chunks)
  • 8 slices toasted bread (crumbled fine)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large jar pimientos, chopped – drained
  • Chicken-style stock
  • 1 stick butter
  • Rubbed sage (ground will work, but doesn’t have quite the same *something* about it)
  • Celery salt
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • Hot water

Prepare several days in advance one recipe of cornbread. DO NOT USE BOX MIX as this contains sugar & you do NOT want sugar in this recipe!!! Crumble into chunks. Toast 8 slices of bread – break in pieces. Place in a large bowl, cover loosely to allow air in so it can dry out. Set aside until the day you need it.

In another bowl, add chopped onion and drained pimientos.  Allow them to dry until needed.  (If you live in a humid climate, do not put the onions and pimientos in the same bowl with the cornbread/bread as the moisture in the veggies will make the breads spoil.  I learned that from firsthand experience. *sigh*)

To prepare: Preheat oven to 325. Now that everything is dried out after several days (I usually do it 4-5 days in advance), crumble toast pieces as finely as you can and crumble cornbread into finer chunks. Mix in the onion & pimiento.

Add chicken stock that you’ve melted one stick of butter in.

Add seasonings. An approximation would be 1-2 T. rubbed sage (use RUBBED sage if you can), 3 to 4 t. celery salt, 1 to 2 t. pepper. Do not add regular salt until you’ve taste-tested later.

Now, the key to keeping this stuff moist (and believe me, I’ve had some nasty dry cornbread dressing I wouldn’t feed to the dog!!) — add enough water to make this into almost like a soup. And I mean really pretty soupy (maybe just a little bit of water separated at the top – kind of like a gruel). You should be able to look at it and see the cornbread crumbles floating in the shallow layer water. But it’s okay. This will cook out, leaving a nice, moist dressing.

Now’s the time to taste. Don’t worry – if you like cornbread, it’ll be okay. If it tastes like it needs more salt (which it most likely will with all the water), this is when you add it. But be careful to add just a little bit at a time, because it can become very salty very quickly. You can also add more of the other seasonings at this time, a little at a time – but be sure to taste test after each addition. You should be able to notice a subtle flavor of sage in the mix.  If you don’t, add a little bit more of that.  I sometimes will add a little bit of onion powder at this point if it doesn’t have quite enough onion flavor for us.

Now, this recipe will make at least a 9×13 and a 9×9 pan of dressing. Be sure to spray well with nonstick coating. Bake at 325 for at least 1-1/2 hours. You know it’s pretty much done whenever the dressing starts pulling away from the sides of the pans and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This is a great stuffing also, of course after it’s cooked.

I will try to add photos of this when it gets closer to Thanksgiving (when I usually make it most often) so you can see what it looks like in the process.

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Dijon Herb-Roasted Potatoes

1/3 c. Dijon mustard
2 T. olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
6 medium red skin potatoes, cut into chunks

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Mix all ingredients except potatoes in small bowl.

Toss potatoes with mustard mixture and place in lightly greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan or on a shallow baking sheet.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

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