German Potato Salad

potatoSalad

When many Americans (especially Midwesterners) hear “German Potato Salad”, they frequently think of a warm, vinegary potato salad, sometimes including bacon. In fact, this sort of potato salad can even be found in cans in the supermarket. In my numerous trips to Germany, I can’t recall ever eating potato salad of this sort. Most of the potato salad I ate there was more similar to American potato salad, containing mayonnaise, and sometimes boiled eggs. I definitely had quite a few other variants though, and my favorite one was from my friend, Markus Hofbauer. This one is a bit more similar to the Midwestern vision of potato salad, as it contains vinegar, but is usually served cold or at room temperature. I don’t think that Markus put any dill in his version, but I think it makes a nice addition. And, because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting food poisoning from eating your potato salad that has been sitting out during a hot summer picnic.

Peppernuts

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This recipe comes from my mom’s dad’s mom. It seems that we make more every year around Christmas time, as more and more friends expect their share of the tasty, gingerbread-like cookies that look a lot like dog food. They taste quite a bit like gingerbread, though they have no ginger. The name is also similar to the German Pfeffernüsse, but they do not have anise.

Smoky Three Bean Chili

chili

This recipe is based on one from Almost Vegetarian Entertaining, but over the years I kept tweaking until I got it just how I like it. Depending on my mood, I sometimes use other beans, such as great northern, cannellini, pinto, or adzuki.

Creamy Potato Soup

potato_soup

This is just like my grandma used to make it, except instead of thickening with milk and flour, I use water and cornstarch

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy

biscuits

One of my favorite dishes back when I was a meat eater was biscuits and gravy, and it was one of the last things that I gave up on my journey towards vegetarianism. Recently I decided to try to make a vegan version, and after several attempts, I am quite happy with the results.

Barbecued Tofu

barbecued_tofu

This is another recipe which is mostly my wifes idea. She used to do something similar with chicken, and wanted to try it with tofu. Although the prep is quick on this one, it does take a while to bake. It makes very good leftovers for lunch though. To make good tofu, it is imperative to press it.

Vegan pasta salad

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When many Americans (especially Midwesterners) hear “pasta salad”, they frequently think of some rich, slightly sweet salad with lots of mayonnaise, and maybe some cheese and boiled egg. This pasta salad is quite different. It is much more akin to a regular salad, with pasta instead of lettuce. While optional, I think that the fennel makes a very nice touch. Also, don’t skimp on the olives or the basil. And, because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting food poisoning from eating your pasta salad that has been sitting out during a hot summer picnic.

Cowboy potatoes

cowboy

This is the first recipe I would call all mine. One summer I had a few days at home between travels, and I wanted to use what was on hand. I think I came up with a very tasty combination. Originally it was more of a main dish, but it has evolved into a breakfast dish. It took me several years to discover how to get crispy potatoes. I finally learned that part of the key is to cook the potatoes by themselves. Adding vegetables adds too much water, and the potatoes get soggy.

Cornmeal flapjacks

Cornmeal flapjacks

This recipe comes from the Vegetarian Starter Kit, which convinced me to go vegan. Be sure to use whole wheat pastry flour. Regular whole wheat flour produces a very dense flapjack.