40 spices hummus

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I’ve been making hummus off an on since 1998, with many techniques and recipes. For awhile I got lazy and started buying store bought – I became particularly fond of 40 spice hummus by Tribe, and then they stopped carrying it, which prompted me to start making my own again, and to try to replicate the recipe. I used to use canned chickpeas, but have decided that starting with dried chickpeas is worth the effort to produce really smooth hummus. Another trick is to add a little baking soda while cooking the chickpeas – that seems to make them break down and end up really smooth. This recipe only has about 25 spices if you count the individual spices in the garam masala, but it’s close enough in my book.

Greek lasagna

Finished baking

This dish has many of my favorite things – the tomato sauce and noodles of a traditional lasagna, spinach found in many vegetarian lasagnas, and eggplant found in Greek dishes like moussaka.

Spinach Artichoke Dip (semi-healthy)

Enjoying spinach artichoke dip with a tortilla chip

Spinach artichoke dip is very tasty, but not that healthy, with lots of sour cream and mayonnaise. This recipe is a healthier version. I originally based it off this recipe from the yummy life. I like it with even more spinach and artichokes than they use, but I add a bit of mayonnaise, to make it slightly creamier. This recipe makes a big batch, great for a party. I also recommend trying to find a large container of artichoke hearts. I can get a 4 lb. container at my local store for about $15.

Stuffed squash

stuffedSquash

This recipe is largely inspired by a combination of recipes from the Moosewood New Classics and Very Vegetarian cookbooks. It is a bit time intensive, so it is not the kind of dish I prepare often, but it is fun for dinner parties, and most of the preparation can be done the day before.

Whole wheat vegan pizza

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Pizza is a very common food in the United States, and it is difficult to avoid. Many people find it very tasty, but it is also seen as very practical, in that it can be ordered for delivery, is relatively inexpensive, and usually pleases most. As a vegan, I started experimenting with cheeseless pizza. This may seem like heresy to some — pizza without cheese — but I have learned that if it is made with certain parameters, it can be very tasty. For eating pizza out, it is crucial to have ample sauce and tasty toppings. A no topping, $5 pizza from Hungry Howies will not be good. But a $10 pizza with extra sauce and lots of tasty vegetable toppings from Papa John’s can be very tasty. But if you want truly good vegan pizza, you probably need to make it yourself. This recipe aims to be both tasty and healthy, and is actually not that difficult to make. I took the dough recipe from a recipe for calzone dough I found on the Vegan Chef (Sometimes I do put on some cheese. The top picture does have a little mozzarella and feta cheese on it; the extra pictures at the bottom do not).

German Potato Salad

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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.

Tomato basil salad

tomato basil salad

There’s only two things that money can’t buy, and that’s true love and home grown tomatoes. Don’t even bother making this salad with store bought tomatoes. They have to be home grown or from the farmer’s market. Also make sure that your basil is fresh, not dried. Dried basil is almost flavorless.

Barbecued Tofu

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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.

Red lentil bolognese

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This recipe is based off a recipe from the Vegetarian Cooking, but I have modified it signficantly. It definitely ranks in my top five recipes. The picture pairs the bolognese with carrot apple walnut salad