Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pumpkin Biscuits

Recipe from Jenny:

These are a variation on these Nutty Sweet Potato Biscuits. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of sugar--way too much in my opinion; 1/3 cup is still quite sweet! I also incorporated a couple other things that I do differently--like using pumpkin instead of sweet potato.

Pumpkin Biscuits

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 c. chopped nuts
2 c. cooked, pureed pumpkin
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. margarine, melted (1 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and the nuts. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, margarine and vanilla; add to flour mixture and mix well. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead slightly, adding flour until the dough is not too sticky. Pat dough to 1/2 in. thickness. Cut with a 2 1/2 biscuit cutter and place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 1 1/2 to 2 dozen.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Middle Eastern Barley, Lentil and Rice Pilaf

Recipe from Christina:

Middle Eastern Barley, Lentil and Rice Pilaf

I love the dried fruit in this recipe! It is quick, easy and satisfying. I sometimes add nuts for extra flavor and protein.

1 T oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t sugar
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 t dry mint

Heat oil in a medium-large saucepan. When hot, add onions and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and sugar, then add 4 cups water. Add lentils and barley. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Add rice, apricots, raisins, and mint. Stir ingredients together, cover the pot again, and simmer 20 more minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed and it's tender. Season to taste with pepper.

Martha the Librarian smoothie

Recipe from Natalia Hawthorne:

I have a "reverse-engineered" recipe for a smoothie we had at a vegan restaurant in Fort Worth that I liked a lot. It was called "Martha the Librarian smoothie" or something like that. Originally it was, indeed, concocted by someone named Martha, who was a librarian, and she shared the recipe with the vegan guys who ran that restaurant. She said she enjoyed sipping her smoothie while reading a good book.

Anyway, here's Nat's version of "Martha the Librarian":

(The basic ingredients and proportions may vary according to your own taste. This makes 1 tall smoothie glass):

Martha the Librarian smoothie

- 3-4 strawberries
- 1 whole banana (or half a banana)
- 1 teaspoon peanut butter (smooth)
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder (the bitter organic type, NOT the sugary mix)
- 1 cup soy milk (I use "Silk") (use more for a lighter and "thinner" drink).
I think in the restaurant version it was tofutti ice-cream, and that made it more of a dessert type smoothie. My home version is lighter and can be used as a quick yet nutritious and tasty substitute for breakfast or supper.

If you'd like to, you may add:
- a dash of whatever smoothie fruit syrup you might have waiting in the fridge just for an occasion like this one... (I know CostCo sells that stuff and it comes in different berry flavors according to the season. (It can be easily skipped though with no damage to the outcome)
- ice (I skip the ice! )

Blend everything in a blender until smooth.

There you have it! "Martha the Librarian" - a perfectly vegan, delicious, nutritious smoothie! You've got your fruit and fiber, vitamin C (strawberries), potassium (banana), protein (soy), nuts and oils (peanut butter), antioxidant (cocoa).

Try it - it's really good!! :-)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

recipe from Jenny:

My girls LOVE these muffins. The original recipe calls for 2 eggs instead of the flax seed and water, but I really don't taste a difference. It also calls for almost twice the amount of sugar, but we like it like this. I don't obsess overmuch about finding completely vegan chocolate chips; as long as they're not milk chocolate, I figure a bit of milk fat won't break the spirit of the fast.

Chocolate chip pumpkin muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbs ground flax seed
6 tbs water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cups apple sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15oz) pumpkin (or 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree)
1 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 24 regular muffin cups, 48 small, or a combination. Mix flours, spices, and all the other dry stuff together. In a different bowl mix the ground flax seed, water, oil, applesauce and pumpkin. Add the dry stuff to the wet, then stir in the chocolate chips. Bake 20 minutes or until done (it usually takes more than 20 for me).

Makes 24 regular muffins, 48 mini, or a bit more.

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

Recipe from Jenny:

This is the basic bread recipe from my absolute favorite bread cookbook--Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. I make almost all our own bread (and bread products--tortillas, muffins, etc.) and using this book it really does take only a few minutes! The recipe is endlessly adaptive; I think I've only made it exactly as written here once, the first time. I HIGHLY recommend this cookbook!

You'll need a medium pot with a lid or a lidded (but not airtight) plastic food container for the dough (it needs to fit in the fridge). Also, you'll need a stoneware baking sheet and another flat (no sides) baking sheet for rising (or a pizza peel, if you have one, which is what the book calls for).

Basic Bread Recipe

Makes 4 1-lb loaves. Recipe can be doubled or halved.

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbs active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbs coarse salt (or 1 1/4 tbs regular salt)
6 1/2 cups flour
cornmeal for pan

Add the yeast and salt to the water in the pot or bowl in which you'll be storing the dough. Mix in all the flour at once with a wooden spoon or your hands. No kneading is necessary; just mix until all the flour is incorporated and everything is uniformly moist. The dough will be wet and loose. Cover the container and let the dough rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), around 2 hours. At this point you can remove some dough to use, but it will be easier to manage if you refrigerate it first. So, either put the covered container in the fridge, or remove some dough to bake.

When you're ready to make a loaf, sprinkle a handful of cornmeal evenly and fairly thickly on the flat sheet. Then sprinkle some flour over the dough in the container and, for a 1-lb loaf, cut off a grapefruit-sized piece of dough. Hold the mass of dough in your hands, adding a bit of flour if needed, and gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball as you go. Most of the flour will fall off; it's not meant to be incorporated into the dough. The bottom of the loaf will probably be all bunchy and uneven, but will smooth and flatten out as it rests and bakes. The whole shaping should take less than a minute. Place the ball on the cornmeal-covered flat pan (flatten it a bit if you want) and let it rest for 40 minutes (you don't need to cover it). It might or might not rise a lot during this time, depending on how old the dough is. Put the rest of the dough back in the fridge in the covered container.

20 minutes before baking (ie, halfway through the resting period) put the baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and an empty broiler tray below it. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. After the loaf is finished resting, dust it liberally with flour and slash it a few times with a serrated knife. Slide the loaf off of the flat pan onto the stoneware pan in the oven. Pour a cup of hot tap water into the broiler pan and close the oven to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch on all sides (including the bottom). Remove from the stoneware and allow to cool at least 15 minutes on a cooling rack.


You can substitute another kind of flour for up to half of the flour in the recipe--I usually use 1 cup of rye, 2.5 of whole wheat, and 3 of white. I also often add a couple TBS of sugar and/or oil. There are many more variations and ideas in the book--I've only made a few, but they've all been great. You can also make a larger loaf; I usually use about 1/2 of the dough (of course the baking time is longer), and that makes a loaf big enough for us to eat at dinner with perhaps a piece or two left over. It's so simple that it's easy to make fresh bread every morning! I've never left the dough in the fridge more than 4 days or so, but the book says it should be fine for at least a week.

Apple-Cranberry Cake

recipe from Jenny:

This cake is chock-full of fruit and, as cakes go, fairly healthy and not too sweet. And tasty!
Apple-Cranberry Cake
1/2 of a 12-oz pkg of fresh cranberries (or frozen)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 apples, peeled and diced
2/3 cup sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cloves
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit (optional)
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
~1/4 cup liquid (cranberry juice, orange juice, and water all work)
Preheat oven to 325ยบ. In a small pot, bring to a boil ½ cup sugar and 1 cup water. Add cranberries and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Stir together cranberry mixture, apples, and the rest of the sugar and let stand 10 minutes. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl, then add nuts, raisins, oil, and vanilla to the apple-cranberry mixture. Stir fruit mixture into the dry ingredients, adding as much liquid as needed to make a thick batter. Pour into 9x13 inch greased pan and bake 50 minutes.
Variation: To make a plain apple cake (no cranberries), omit the cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Use 4 apples instead of 2 and 3/4 cup of sugar instead of 2/3. Continue as above.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Christ is risen!

recipe from Jenny:

Chapati Bread is an unleavened Indian flatbread. We like it with Indian-flavored dishes, like the Masoor Dal recipe posted previously.


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water

In medium bowl, combine flours, salt, oil, and enough water to form a soft dough. Knead the dough ten times, then cover tightly and let stand for 1 hour.

When ready to cook, form 10 balls from the dough. Roll out the balls on a lightly floured surface into 6" circles.

Heat an ungreased griddle over medium high heat. Two at a time, lay the circles on the hot griddle.

Cook until the dough starts to puff slightly, then turn and cook until light golden brown spots form.

Remove chapati to a kitchen towel and brush with melted butter. Serves 4-6

Red Split Lentils With Cabbage

recipe from Jenny:

We had chapati--Indian flat bread--with this, and it was so good! I didn't use the green chilies, and the next time I make it I will use less salt--the original recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp, and that was too much for us. I also used half a can of diced tomatoes instead of a fresh one. I don't know how much my cabbage weighed, but I used about 2/3 of a small head.

Red Split Lentils With Cabbage (Masoor dal aur band gobi)
adapted from Madhur Jaffrey, Indian Cooking

Serves 4 to 6

200 g (1 ¼ cups) red split lentils (masoor dal), picked over, washed and drained
1.2 liters (5 cups) water
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine slices
225 g (½ pound) cored and finely shredded cabbage
1 to 2 fresh, hot green chilies, finely sliced
1 teaspoons salt
1 medium tomato, peeled and finely chopped
½ teaspoon peeled, finely grated fresh ginger

Put the lentils and water into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Remove any scum that collects at the top. Add the turmeric and stir to mix. Cover, leaving the lid very slightly ajar, turn heat down to low, and simmer gently for 1 ¼ hours. Stir a few times during the last 30 minutes.

When the lentils cook, heat the oil in a 20 to 23 centimeter (8 to 9 inch) frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 3 to 4 seconds. Now put in the garlic. As soon as the garlic pieces begin to brown, put in the onion, cabbage and green chilies. Stir and fry the cabbage mixture for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown and turn slightly crisp. Stir in ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Turn off the heat under the frying pan.

When the lentils have cooked for 1 ¼ hours, add the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, the tomato and ginger to the pot. Stir to mix. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture and any remaining oil in the frying pan. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cabbage is heated through.

found on

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


No fasting recipe today--time to start getting ready for Pascha!!!!

recipe from Jenny:

I've never made "real" cooked Paskha cheese, but we all like this, and it's very quick and easy, so I'm not sure I ever will!

Cream Cheese Paskha
adapted from Food for Paradise

1/2 lb softened butter (2 sticks)
1 1/2 lbs softened cream cheese (3 pkgs)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup sour cream
golden raisins (or regular)
slivered almonds

Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to mix. Add sour cream and desired quantities of raisins and almonds. Spoon into a nice serving bowl, smooth, and decorate the top with additional raisins and almonds. Some ways to decorate: a border, a cross (3-bar or simple), XB (the initials of Christ is risen in Russian), the outline of an egg... Chill, covered, for several hours before eating. This is wonderful on kulich or tsourekia, or any sweet breads!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sweet Potato and Onion Soup

From Cynthia, 1000 Recipes:

Sweet Potato and Onion Soup
Calories: 320 Protein 7g Carbohydrates: 62 g Sugars: 25g Fat 7g
15 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking time
Serves 4

2lb sweet potatoes, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 ½ c vegetable bouillon
1 ¼ c unsweetened orange juice
2t fresh chopped cilantro
salt and pepper
orange rind and cilantro to garnish

Grill or broil vegetables. Add to pot and add liquid ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Strain, blend, or leave whole. Add cilantro and season with salt and pepper. Garnish. Serve hot or cold.

Glazed Tofu with Bok Choy

recipe from Christina:

This is one of our favorite fasting dishes. It makes a hearty meal served over rice. I've found super firm tofu is the key to it turning out well. Original recipe from RealSimple magazine.

Glazed Tofu with Bok Choy

1 14-ounce package firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 heads bok choy, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6
3 garlic cloves (1 thinly sliced, 2 minced)
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 teaspoons fish sauce or tamari
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Drain the tofu on paper towels. Heat half the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bok choy and sliced garlic; cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of the broth; simmer until reduced by half. Meanwhile, combine the minced garlic, ginger, fish and soy sauces, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Heat the remaining canola oil in another skillet over high heat. Add the tofu and brown, about 3 minutes per side. Add the soy mixture and coat the tofu with it. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is syrupy, about 4 minutes. Stir the cornstarch into the reserved broth; add to the bok choy. Stir gently until thickened, about 2 minutes. Divide the bok choy onto 4 plates and layer the glazed tofu on top.

Pomme Du Terre Vinaigrette--French Style Potato Salad

recipe from David Ross-Russo:


(The recipe of the French Style Potato Salad that I take to the church.)

5 lbs of medium to small potatoes un-pealed
1 tablespoon of salt
1 teaspoon of white pepper
3/4 cup of vinegar
1/2 cup of water
1 Tablespoon of powdered mustard
(Or 2 Tablespoons of Dijon mustard)
2/3 cup of Oil (Vegetable or Olive)
One bulb of garlic pealed and chopped fine.
One bunch of Parsley washed and chopped.

Make a FRENCH VINAIGRETTE sauce by combining all above ingredients except Potatoes and Parsley. Put the sauce into a large bowl.

Boil potatoes un-pealed until just done and slightly firm when pierced with a fork but not raw in the middle.

Drain and cover with cold water for a few minutes. When slightly cooled, peal and slice into 1/4 inch slices about 3/4 of an inch square and put into the container with the vinaigrette. (It is important that the potatoes are warm to absorb the oil.) Add the chopped parsley and mix well. Allow to set and marry a few hours or overnight.. Serve at room temperature.

Note: This recipe can be made in smaller quantities by reducing amount of ingredients. Also this authentic French vinaigrette sauce is excellent when poured over many other foods such as cooked or raw vegetables or sliced cold meats or cold fish. This sauce is also the authentic French dressing for salads. (It is very popular and necessary in French cooking.)

To make an excellent Carrot salad, grate raw carrots in the small holes of the grater and cover with the vinaigrette sauce and add chopped parsley.

The vinaigrette sauce is also an excellent marinade for meats or fish before cooking them.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hummus and Pita

recipe from Jenny:

We had this for a picnic dinner at the park last night and it was so good! I've never made pita or humuus before, but both are surprisingly easy, and so much better than store-bought. These are not pocket pitas--more like flatbread. I'm going to try the humuus with no oil for during the week.


2 15oz cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
3 TBS lemon juice (or juice of one lemon)
1 TBS tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
1 TBS olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
few TBS water

In a good blender, blend first five ingredients. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth paste—slightly lumpy is fine. Add salt to taste. Chill. A variety of different seasonings can be added as desired.

Arabian Pita

1 tablespoon yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
6 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups unbleached flour

In a large bowl, mix yeast, water and sugar; set aside for about 5 minutes, until frothy. Add oil and salt. Add flour and mix well to make a softish dough. Add more flour as needed. Knead dough briefly, then divide into 18 egg sized balls. Place on a floured surface, cover and let rest for 15-30 minutes.

Roll balls into 6 inch circles and cook in a skillet on med-high heat until large "bubbles" form and the bottom side is lightly browned. Flip pita over and cook for a few more minutes. Wrap in a towel to keep warm while cooking the rest of the pitas.

To make pita chips, roll thinner and cook slightly longer. Break into pieces when cooled.

Bell Pepper & Chili Soup

recipe from Cynthia:

Bell Pepper & Chili Soup
Calories : 55 Sugars 10g Protein 2g Carbohydrates 11g Fat 0g
10 minutes preparation, 25 minutes to cook
Serves 4

Ingredients :
½ lb bell peppers (any colour or combination), seeded & sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 chile, chopped
1 ¼ c strained tomatoes or tomato sauce
2 ½ c vegetable bouillon
2 T chopped basil plus some for garnish

Put all ingredients in pan except basil. Bring to a boil, stirring well.
Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Alternative 1) strain off the liquid and reserve. Sieve or blend or put
vegetables in food processor.

Alternative 2) leave vegetables as they are.

Add everything back together, add basil and heat soup through. Garnish
with more basil. Serve hot or cold.

from 1000 Recipes

Friday, April 11, 2008

Monkey Bread

Recipe from Jenny:

One of our favorite and easiest fasting treats.

Monkey Bread

4 cans refrigerated biscuits (or 3 large cans)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar

1 cup chopped nuts

Stir sugar and cinnamon together. Cut biscuits into quarters. Roll each in cinnamon sugar. Layer nuts and biscuits in greased bundt pan, beginning with nuts. Top with monkey bread topping.


1 ½ sticks of butter/margarine (3/4 cup)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar

Bring butter, cinnamon and brown sugar to a boil; boil for two minutes. Pour over biscuits in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, till biscuits are done. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, then flip over onto a plate and remove pan. Cool slightly. Can either slice or just pull off chunks.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

recipe from Jenny:

We have really been enjoying Indian-flavored food lately--and this is one of my favorite ways to make cauliflower. It takes a bit more time than some recipes, but it's really worth it.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

1 (1 ¾-lb) head cauliflower, cut into ¾-inch-wide florets
1 ¼ lb potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
¾ teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne
½ cup water

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Makes 4-6 side-dish servings.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Barley, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

Recipe from Christina:

Barley, Black Bean and Avocado Salad

The recipe originally came from Reader's Digest - I know, what an unlikely place to find a recipe - but I am posting it with my adaptations. I always have adaptations and I never measure, so just tweak it to match your taste. This is very light and fresh, perfect on a warm spring day.

Combine the following in a small saucepan:
1 cup V8 juice
1 cup chicken bullion (vegetable to make vegan!)
crushed rosemary
pinch of salt
several dashes of hot sauce (I use Chipotle Tabasco)

Bring the liquid to a boil and add 1/2 a cup of barley. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the barley is tender (how long varies according to what type of barley you have, so keep an eye on it!)

Once the barley is cooked and cooled, add the following:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
chopped tomatoes
chopped avocado
chopped green onions
lots of cilantro
couple tablespoons of lemon juice
drizzle of olive oil

Stir it all together and serve either room-temperature or cold.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Recipe from Jenny:

This is what I made for trapeza this past weekend--the main dish variation at the bottom.

Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes

Active time: 10 min Start to finish: 45 min

Servings: Makes 4 to 6 servings.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds sweet potatoes (or half sweet, half regular)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Coarsely grind coriander, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes in an electric coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Stir together spices and salt.

Cut potatoes lengthwise into 1-inch wedges.

Toss wedges with oil and spices in a large roasting pan and roast in middle of oven 20 minutes. Turn wedges over with a spatula and roast until tender and slightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.

Main Dish Variation:
Roasted Spiced Sweet Potatoes with Red Lentils

Prepare as above, but only roast potatoes until barely tender. If desired, you can chop the potatoes into smaller pieces. While they are roasting, in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over med-low heat, saute 1 minced onion and 2 minced cloves of garlic in 1 tbs oil until nicely golden and soft (around 10 minutes). When the sweet potatoes are done, add 3 cups water, 2 bouillon cubes, and 1 ½ cups red lentils to the pot. Bring to a boil and dump in sweet potatoes. When it returns to a boil, turn down to med-low and cook, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes or till lentils are done and desired state of "mushiness" is achieved. The sweet potatoes will break into smaller pieces and partially dissolve into the lentils. Add salt, if needed, and cilantro, if desired, and serve over rice.

(Adapted from a recipe on

Friday, April 4, 2008

Indonesian Sate

Recipe from Jenny:

Indonesian Sate

Mix well:
2 minced garlic cloves
½ teaspoon vinegar
¼ cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger root (or dried ginger, about ½ teaspoon)
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup soy sauce (or braggs amino acids)
¼ cup boiling water (this will help the peanut butter melt and blend well)
cayenne pepper to taste

I use this sauce in many ways: as a marinade/sauce for tofu (or chicken, though I’ve never done that), as a stir-fry sauce, over rice, over pasta…

To use as a stir-fry sauce: Drain a block of tofu and cut into smallish cubes (less than ½ inch square). In a bit of oil saute the cubes over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, turning as needed. Remove the tofu from the pan, add more oil, and stir-fry your veggies. We usually use some combination of cabbage, onion, carrots, zucchini, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, or whatever I have in the fridge. A frozen stir-fry mix is easier. : ) Stir-fry on med-high to high until crisp-tender, then add the tofu back in. Pour the sauce in, cook and stir for another minute, and serve over rice or spaghetti.

To use as a sauce for tofu: Slice a block of tofu into about ½ inch thick slices. Drain or squeeze the water out. Oil a square pan, spread about a tablespoon of the sauce over the bottom, and arrange the tofu slices about ¼ inch apart in the pan. Spoon about half of the sauce over and between the slices. You can let it sit for a few hours or bake immediately for 20 minutes at 375 degrees. This is good served with rice and the Carrot Sesame Salad.

If you want, you can freeze the tofu and then defrost it first; it gives it a heftier texture. I usually forget. : )

Adapted from a recipe on

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Quick Chickpea Curry

Recipe from Jenny:

I think this is probably our most asked-for recipe! Every time we have it at trapeza, everyone raves, and it's so easy.

Chickpea Curry

1 potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can coconut milk
about 2 TBS Patak’s mild curry paste (available at Central Market and often Kroger--paste, not sauce)

In a large pan, saute the potato and onion in the oil until tender. Add garbanzo beans, tomatoes, coconut milk, and curry paste. Simmer together for about 15 minutes. Serve over rice.

Serves 4?

I've also sometimes added 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped up, to make a one-dish meal. Just add it with the potato and onion, and then after sauteing a few minutes, pour in 1/4 cup or so of water, cover, and steam until barely done. Uncover and let the water boil away, and continue as above.

If you double/triple/etc. the recipe, drain some of the cans of tomatoes, or else it'll be too soupy.

If you have trouble finding the curry paste, here's a link for it on Amazon:

Carrot Sesame Salad

Recipe from Jenny:

Carrot Sesame Salad

1 lb carrots, coarsely grated (5-6 medium)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 Tbs soy sauce or Bragg's Liquid Aminos

2 Tbs rice vinegar (or half rice, half white vinegar)

2 Tbs roasted sesame oil (or half vegetable, half sesame oil)

1 Tbs honey

1/4 tsp sriracha sauce or Asian chili paste

2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

2 Tbs chopped cilantro

Mix together well and chill for 30 minutes.

Slightly adapted from a recipe on


Quite a few of us have recently been looking for good fasting recipes, so we have decided to start a recipe blog for our sisterhood! We'll post our best recipes for easy access. If you have any you'd like to add, please email me and I'll get them up.