Broccoslaw

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We have been eating a lot of broccoli in my house lately. It was a welcome addition to carrots, one of the few vegetables Spencer will eat without gagging (I was the same way when I was his age. Hopefully he will grow out of it eventually too). We usually buy fresh broccoli, and were …

Sushi

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The first time I made sushi was in about 2004 at my friend Danny’s apartment. To be honest, I am not sure that I had ever eaten before, or certainly not often. But that was a special time in my life when I was more adventurous than usual, so I decided to give it a …

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

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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).

Macaroni and “Cheese” with Spinach

macaroni and cheese with spinach

This is largely based off of a recipe from Very Vegetarian, but after a couple years of enjoying it, Clare helped me find the missing ingredient — spinach. The downside of mac and cheese is that it is low on the vegetables. I tried broccoli, green beans, and snap peas, but they weren’t that good. Spinach goes very well though. The “cheese” part is actually a nutritional yeast sauce, which doesn’t sound too tasty, but it is. Even my parents liked it!

Note that since I am no longer vegan, I usually use regular milk instead of soymilk, and I sometimes add a little real cheese after mixing the pasta and sauce. I have also found that running the spinach through the food processor is better, especially if you have picky children who don’t want big chunks of spinach. Sometimes I use fresh spinach instead of frozen if I have it, and it is better, though more expensive.

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

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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

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

Thai tofu curry

Thai tofu curry

This one comes from Vegetarian Cooking, though I have made my own modifications. Two key points I have learned about cooking tofu: (1) press the tofu, and (2) fry the tofu. These two steps will give it a very nice texture, which is frequently the complaint of many people who do not like tofu. There’s a good chance they have never had it cooked well.