Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

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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This is sooooo good.  The wonderful woman who comes every other week to help me keep our little home cleaned told me how to make this salsa.  THANKS, HILDA!!!!!!  I’ve made it a number of times and it is EXCELLENT!!!!  It rivals that that we can get in the Mexican food restaurants in our area.  Each one adds their own special twist to it, so you can make this your own by adding and tweaking some of the ingredients.  So have fun with it!


Fresh Homemade Salsa

Fresh, firm tomatoes (however many you want)  I’ve been finding ones the size of my fist – so fresh and lovely – washed, top cut off

Fresh medium-sized jalapeños (at least 1/2 jalapeño for each tomato if you like medium) – washed, top cut off, and deseeded if you don’t like the heat the seeds add.  BE CAREFUL handling these with bare hands as the oil from them can burn like crazy if you put your fingers somewhere that is likely to be sensitive to it, such as your eyes, nose, etc. (Wear some food handler gloves if you have them)

1 medium onion, cut up into chunks

2 cloves garlic – minced (or I use the jarred minced garlic you can get in the produce section)

salt and ground pepper

dash of cumin (if desired)

Olive oil

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a skillet and warm it up.  Once the oil is warm, place the whole tomatoes and the jalapeños into the oil and cook them until they have a nice char on the outside skins.  Don’t worry if you blacken them; it will be great.  In fact, the more blackened they are, the better the flavor.

Once you have the ingredients at a nice char, remove them from the pan.

Put the tomatoes, jalapeños, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, and cumin (if using)  into a food processor (or blender if you don’t have one) and process until smooth.  Taste test it to see if you need to add more salt and/or pepper.

Pour into a container and refrigerate once you’re finished making it.

This stuff is great for dipping tortilla chips in, over eggs, mixing into guacamole, just about anywhere you can think of that salsa would be great in.

Fast and easy – and so much better than the stuff in the jars!!!!

You can add cilantro to this, whatever other changes you want.  (I don’t use cilantro because I can’t take the flavor of it.)

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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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These are, of course, Americanized.


Easy Vegetarian Empanadas

  • 1 tin of refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits – the large ones (8 biscuits)
  • 1 Tblsp oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 Tblsp minced garlic
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and washed (or your favorite bean – black beans, etc.)
  • 3 Tblsp tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Milk (for sealing & brushing) (optional)

Drain the beans from the can in a colander and wash it under running water.  Mash the beans with a potato masher or a fork.

In a skillet, saute chopped onions until almost clear.  Add minced garlic and continue to saute until garlic aroma is released and onions are clear.  Add the mashed beans, crushed tomatoes, chili powder and oregano.

Continue to saute until all ingredients are well combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl and let cool.  Stir in green onions.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a large baking sheet.

Remove the biscuits from the container and divide each one in half (that’s why you use the flaky ones, so you can make two without having to cut them).

Now flatten the biscuits out do it is a thin circle.

Place about 1 tablespoon filling into the center of each circle.  Brush edges with milk (optional).  Fold the circle in half so you have a half-moon shape.  Seal edges with a fork.

Place filled turnovers 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet, brush tops with milk.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Immediately remove from baking sheet.  Cool slightly on a wire rack.  Serve warm with salsa.

These can be made ahead and frozen. Prepare per above directions.  Let them cool completely on wire racks.  Place in an airtight freezer container or freezer bag; freeze for up to 3 months.  To reheat, transfer frozen turnovers to an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 until heated through (up to 10-12 min).

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This recipe goes very well with my Easy Potato Enchiladas.


Enchilada Sauce Perfecto

•    1/3 c chili powder
•    3 tsp cocoa powder
•    3 tsp oregano
•    1 T cumin powder
•    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
•    3 t paprika
•    1/4 c olive oil
•    3 T minced garlic
•    3/4 c flour
•    2 c beef-style broth (follow McKay’s beef flavored directions for 2 cups)
•    6 c water
•    42 oz tomato sauce

In a small bowl combine first six ingredients.  Set aside.

In large stock pot add olive oil and garlic, brown on med heat and discard garlic.

Turn heat down to med/low and add flour to create a roux, browning the flour to a light caramel color.

Carefully add the 6 cups of water, whisking after each cup is added to create a smooth sauce without lumps.

Add tomato sauce all at once, whisking until smooth.

Add broth, whisking until smooth.

Whisk in the combined spices, keeping heat at med/low, stirring constantly until just beginning to boil.  Remove from heat.

This freezes well if you want to make a larger recipe and then just thaw when you need it.

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We like spicy foods, and this is a good recipe for salsa… you can, of course, adjust the ingredients downward for a milder salsa, if your palate and tongue can’t take the spicier flavors… I think you’ll be pleased with the flavors, however.  This is a good salsa. 🙂  This is great served with crisp, home-made tortilla chips.


Salsa Caliente (Hot Sauce)

6 ripe tomatoes
1/4 tsp ground pepper
8-10 fresh jalapenos or serrano peppers (adjust these down for milder salsa)
1/4 tsp honey (optional)
1/2 cup chopped green onions – or one medium yellow onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped or 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Bring 2 quarts of water to a rapid boil.  Add tomatoes and boil until their skins spit.  Remove promptly and allow to cool 5 minutes.  Peel tomatoes and cut them into large chunks.  Remove seeds and stems from jalapenos. Blend one half of the tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, honey and jalapenos until the mixture is very finely chopped.  Chop remaining tomatoes into small chunks.  Lightly blend the chopped tomatoes, green onions, salt and cilantro.

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Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup vegetable stock
3 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 1/2 cups creamy or chunky peanut butter

In a food processor, puree the vegetable stock, coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, hot sauce, chopped garlic, and ginger. Add the peanut butter and pulse to combine. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

This sauce can be used for many things – including putting it over noodles and tossing in your favorite veggies.

Yield: approximately 2 cups

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