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Polish Coleslaw

I had this dish for the first time at a Polish diner in Michigan. Up to this point, I had hated coleslaw. I am not a huge mayo or cabbage fan and found this combination particularly unfortunate. This recipe changed my mind about cabbage and coleslaw (although not about mayo because it is mayo-free). The resultant dish is light, refreshing, and tasty.

1 small cabbage
1 medium onion (optional)
1 small apple
1 - 2 carrots
1 small bell pepper

1/4 to 1/3 c olive oil
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
pinch of sugar
black pepper

1. Shred cabbage, grate apple, carrot, onion, and bell pepper and mix together in a large bowl.
2. Add all seasonsings (adjust olive oil and vinegar to taste).
3. Mix well, and let sit for at least 20 minutes (for richer flavor, refrigerate overnight) before serving.

Thanksgiving (everything but the turkey)

Stuffing (based of a Better Homes and Gardens recipe)
1 load of sourdough bread (makes about 8 cups dry bread cubes)
2-3 large stalks of celery finely diced
1 medium onion finely diced
1/2 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups broth
1 teaspoon poultry herbs
2-5 small to medium sized fresh sage leaves finely diced (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place slices of bread on a cookie sheet the night before and leave out for 12-24hrs. Slice bread into as small cubes as you can. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a medium sized pan. Add onion and celery, saute for 7-8 minutes on medium heat (do not brown). Turn off heat. Add broth, herbs, salt and pepper. Place bread in 13x9 baking dish, drizzle broth mixture over bread. Toss to moisten all the bread. Add more broth if bread appears dry. Bake covered for 30-45 minutes.

Mashed potatoes (based off recipe from NYT)
2 large potatoes (russet, or Yukon gold)
1/2 stick of butter
3-4 tablespoons of whole milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut potatoes into 2 inch pieces. Place in cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer/boil for 20 minutes. Drain. Remove into a bowl and mash. In the pan heat up the butter and milk. Mix butter mixture into boiled potatoes. Salt and pepper.

Cranberry sauce (based off recipe from The Pioneer Woman)
6 oz of cranberries rinsed
1 teaspoon of orange zest
1 small cinnamon stick
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/8 of a cup of sugar (yes I did say that, that's 1/4 a cup and half of 1/4 cup)

Place all ingredients in a heavy bottom pan. Cook for 15 minutes (not simmer for 15 minutes, turn on stove and start timer). Cranberries should have popped by then. Stir occasionally while cooking. Once 15 minutes are up, place in a container to cool and it will solidify on its own.

Pecan pie
1 9'' frozen pie shell
2 cups of pecans coarsely chopped
1 cup (can do slightly less) light karo syrup
3 large eggs lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix syrup, sugar, butter, eggs, salt, vanilla extract. Place pecans into frozen pie crust. Pour liquid into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then tent loosely aluminum foil to avoid burning the crust and cook for another 30-40 minutes. It will have risen up but will settle as it cooks.
Variation: 1/2 cup sugar with 1/2 stick of butter for a more buttery taste.

Other than the pie, all of the above recipes serve 4. The pie is a . . .full sized pie. These recipes are inspired from a number of recipes online with personal variations.

Slow Cooker Banana Nut Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 1/2 cups milk (cow, soy, or almond)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Rub butter over slow cooker pot to minimize sticking. Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl. To this add oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, salt, 1 cup of milk and mix. Pour this into slow cooker pot. Add remaining milk and water. Cook on low for 8hrs.

Serve with walnuts, butter, and brown sugar.

Serves 4-5.
Real Chicken Soup

4 cups chicken broth
1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 medium carrots sliced
2 celery ribs sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Bring broth to a simmer. Add chicken and simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Remove pan from heat cover, then let stand until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Shred chicken. Reserve poaching liquid, uncovered.

In another pot saute bay leaf and onion until soft (not brown) about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, about 1 minute. Add turmeric and saute another minute. Add carrots, celery, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add poaching liquid and chicken, simmer 10 minutes.

Serves 3-4

Fake Chicken Soup

No poaching involved. Find a chicken substitute. I also recommend using "no chicken vegetarian" broth rather than any old vegetable broth as all broths have tomato in them and that affects the flavor of the soup. Such products can be found at Whole Foods.

Follow above recipe, after sauteing turmeric, add the chicken and saute for 4-5 minutes on med-high. Then add vegetables and herbs, cook for 5 minutes. Then add broth and simmer for 20 minutes.


Dairy-Free Quiche

I never thought I would see the day I could eat quiche again!

The recipe is from here: http://dairyfreecooking.about.com/od/eggs/r/onionquiche.htm

The recipe below is for a basic onion quiche and the amount of filling is overwhelming (I actually had to cook some of it in a separate dish without crust, which tasted great as well). If you want to add other vegetables (which I would highly recommend), I would cut the egg filling amount roughly in half (use 3 eggs and roughly half a block of tofu, use the same amount of nutritional yeast/dehydrated hummus and the same amount of salt as listed below, and cut all other ingredients precisely in half). To incorporate the additional veggies, layer half of the veggies on the crust (step 1 below) and fold the other half into the eggs at the same time you add the onions (step 4 below).

- 1 recipe for an oil pastry (as in: http://knownquantities.livejournal.com/18926.html)
- olive oil (to sautee)
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (or skip this, I actually bought parsley and felt like it added nothing to the flavor)
- 1 14-oz block of soft or silken tofu
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1/8 cup nutritional yeast OR dehydrated hummus (optional - but adds a lot of flavor so if you can access either of these, I highly recommend)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Press the oil pastry into a 10" pie pan or other baking dish.

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee garlic, onions, and parsley (if using) until onions are fragarent and translucent but not caramelized, about 5 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, mash the tofu with a fork until crumbly. Mix in the honey, apple cider/white wine vinegar, and 1 tsp of salt until well combined. Add more salt to taste if needed.

4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat 1 egg until pale yellow and forthy, using an electric hand mixer. Add the flour and beat until well combined. Add the reamining eggs one at a time and beat for about 3 minutes or until the mixture has increased in volume by a third and is very light and frothy. Gradualy add the almond milk, nutritional yeast/dehydrated hummus (if using) and remaining 1 tsp salt, beating for 2 minutes more after all has been added. Fold in the onion mixture and the tofu mixture, stirring just until evenly mixed.

5. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 325F and bake for 35-40 minutes more, or until the quiche is firm but slightly jiggly. Allow the quiche to cool on a wire wrack for 15-20 minutes or until set before serving.

Thai Mung Bean Falafel

Got this recipe from here: http://www.tessadomesticdiva.com/2011/08/thai-mung-bean-felafels.html
but I adjusted some of the seasoning becuase I thought it could use more of everything and less ginger.

Note also, it says "falafel" but mung beans aren't garbanzo beans, so this isn't going to get the crunchy exterior of true falafel, no matter how long you cook it; it's going to be soft and goo-ey on the inside but incredibly tasty as well. Also, I love that everything is cooked before you go to fry so if you're feeling lazy (like me) and don't feel up to waiting for everything to cook thoroughly, it's not that big a deal. There's a part of me that's tempted to not sautee these at all because the seasoning would be that much stronger, but I think that wouldn't taste that great, so I do recommend at least a little light sautee.

And, I'm not just saying this from a health stand point, I wouldn't even try deep frying these. They absorb so much oil and never really become crunchy, I don't think it would be worth it.

Serve with: tomatoes, avocado slices, and wrapped in lettuce/napa cabbage leaves or atop shredded raw cabbage. Also would probably be excellent with yogurt/tahini and/or hummus.

Makes ~15 falafels.


  • 3 cups fresh cilantro (I'm eyeballing - when I did this, I used 2 and thought it could use much much more)

  • 1/2 onion (or ~4 green onions)

  • 3 serrano peppers (I actually thought it could use more, but this is what I used and it had a tiny bit of kick)

  • 3 cloves garlic (forgot to add these, but I'm guessing you could probably do more than 3)

  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled (abotu 3/4")

  • zest from 2 limes

  • juice from 1 lime

  • 1 tsp sea salt, to taste

  • 2 cups cooked mung beans, drained well and cooled completely (This would be roughly 1/2 cup of dried mung beans, soaked overnight and simmered with 2 inches of water for ~30 min or until tender)

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled completely (1 cup quinoa, simmered wtih ~1 3/4 cup water for about 15 minutes until all water is abosrbed and quinoa is tender)

1. In a food processor fitted with an "s" blade, blend all ingredients except the beans and quinoa until finely minced.

2. Add the beans and continue to pulse until pasty and slightly smooth, but not necessarily pureed. Add in the quinoa and pulse until well blended.
Note: I don't have a real food processor, so I just minced everything and pureed as much of the beans would fit into the food processer attachment to my immersion blender. After that, I mashed the remaining beans and quinoa into the rest of the mixture by hand with a spoon in a mixing bowl and that worked pretty well.

3. Preheat a stainless steal pan over medium heat. When hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil.

4. Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of the mixture into the pan and flatten into a patty. Cook ~3-4 min per side until golden, adjusting the heat and adding oil as needed.
Note: These are pretty delicate and fall apart easily. They can also be flattened into oblivion which is probably the only way to get a really "crispy" texture (and even then, the crispiness is debatable). 

Mushroom, Chickpea, and Barley Pilaf

Modified this recipe from the side of the bag of Pearl Barley I bought.

2 tsp olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic

1 8-oz pack of mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bella, the recipe called for button, I think any could work)
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (a lot of the flavor comes from the broth so I do recommend using broth and not just water)
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (I used fresh Thyme and that was good)
salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan (optional, I obviously did not add this)

Heat oil in saucepan. Saute garlic until fragarant; add mushrooms and saute until limp. Add barley, broth, onion, beans, herbs, bsalt/pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cooke 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Sprinkle Parmesan over pilaf and serve.

I think this would taste great served with freshly chopped lettuce, but we know I like lettuce :)

Makes 4-6 servings.

Aarti's Apple Crisp


apple filling:
4 apples (any variety), peeled, cored, and cubed
1/4 c white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs butter, chopped small

topping ingredients:
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 rolled oats
1/2 c all purpose flour
3 tbs butter-melted


  • Preheat oven to 350.

  • Mix all apple filling ingredients except for butter in large bowl. Pour into lightly greased baking pan, dotting with chopped butter pieces.

  • Mix all topping ingredients in separate bowl. spread over apples.

  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until bubbly.

Asian-style Clear Soup

The recipe is from here. I have hardly modified it beyond adding tofu and redoing the proportions in a way I can measure (I mean, what is 1 lb of bok choy? I don't even know.). Serving here is for 1 person and proportions are very much to taste. It makes a full size meal.

cooking oil
4-5 medium sized shiitake mushrooms, finely sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
red pepper flakes
1-2 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced

5 baby bok choy heads, bases trimmed off and thoroughly rinsed (they tend to be very gritty) and chopped coarsely

1/3 block of tofu, pressed, and cut into small cubes
2 cups water
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

vermicelli noodles


  • In a sauce pan, heat oil and add mushrooms and cook on medium for 2 minutes.

  • Add garlic, ginger, sun-dried tomato, red pepper flakes, and bok choy. Stir and cook for additional 1 minute.

  • Add tofu water, lemon juice and salt. Bring to boil.

  • Once small bubbles form, add noodles and cook for 3 minutes. Serve hot with a dash of sesame oil on top if you wish.

(Cream of) Broccoli Soup

I was feeling sad about not eating dairy again, so naturally I stumbled on this: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/vegan-broccoli-soup/

I had my doubts, to be honest, especially because there were a few reviews that said the soup was bland, but I did not think so. Probably could use a bit more salt, to be honest, but that's about it. Very easy recipe with little clean up afterwards -- if you have an immersion blender. Also, makes a lot, so think about halving it if you're cooking just for yourself. I would venture so far as to say that it's not too far from the original. Or maybe, as a vegan once said to me, it's just been that long since I had cheese....


  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 2 medium-sized turnips, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (original recipe called for potatoes but I wanted to sub in a healthier root, I think rutabaga would also work well)

  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped

  • 4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli (about 1 med-large head with stalk)

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Blend cashews and almond milk in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Pour the 4 cups vegetable broth into a large pot; add turnips/rutabaga/potato and onion. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in broccoli and basil; return to a simmer. Cover and cook until turnips are tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Stir cashew mixture into soup; add salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and immediately remove from heat. Blend until as smooth as desire (you can make it completely smooth or you can leave some rough chunks as well). Serve immediately. (preferably with a nice crusty bread, which I unfortunately did not have)


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