Sunday, January 08, 2017

Vegetable Soup with Whole Wheat Pasta, Massaged Kale Salad, English Muffin (No Added Fat)

We are having a snowy weekend with cold weather, so soup is in order. I don't usually make a straight up vegetable soup, typically including beans. I decided to make a simple vegetable soup in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It has a "Soup" button that cooks for 30m; I was going to cook just for 20m to have firmer vegetables, but my daughter was helping me cook and wanted softer vegetables, so we stuck with 30m. I've been meaning to make a pasta e fagioli bean and pasta soup sometime; this wasn't a bean soup, but I still used whole wheat pasta in this non-fagioli. Here is what I did.

  • 3 small Yukon Gold potatoes cut into large 1" or so chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato also cut into large 1" or so chunks
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/2" wide discs
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into approx. 1 1/4" x 1/4" half moons
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 2 vegan bouillon cubes (I wanted a strong broth, so used two cubes)
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • (optional) 2t nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 t salt
  • (optional) 1/4 t lemon pepper
  • About 6 cups (more or less depending on how thick you want the soup to be) water
  1. I put all of the ingredients into my Instant Pot and pushed (well, my daughter pushed!) the "Soup" button for 30m of cooking.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then served.
I also served a massaged kale salad and English muffin halves with tomato, pickle, and olive.

By the way, yesterday my daughter asked about fondue and I had the idea to make a simple dessert a bit like fondue. I put some frozen strawberries and mango into my small Saladmaster stock pot and cooked waterlessly (cooked on medium heat, covered, till vapor release started flapping, then reduced heat to stop the flapping noise and cooked for about 15-20m). Toward the end, I quickly opened the cover and put in a few vegan chocolate chips. It was so good that we did the same thing tonight. It tastes like a nice warm fruit compote - my family didn't even want chocolate with the fruit today. This would be really good with my vegan yogurt!

Dinner was great! We all loved it. It's amazing how tasty pressure cooking makes soups.

Ideas for the future

I should definitely make a pasta e fagioli sometime. The soup today was really good; I had considered adding cauliflower or broccoli, but am glad that I didn't. A little red wine would have been good, and even more garlic could have been nice.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Monday, January 02, 2017

Green Lentil Lasagne, Massaged Kale Salad, Waterless Baby Lima Bean and Bell Peppers

I recently bought a nice looking product, organic green lentil lasagne from Explore Cuisine and decided to make lasagne. These noodles are 50% green lentil flour, and otherwise are made of green pea four and brown rice flour. I like Rao's pasta sauces but have only bought them a few times as they are expensive. They were recently on sale, and I purchased their artichoke sauce. Here is what I did.

  • 8 ounce dry uncooked lasagne noodles
  • 2 ounces tempeh cut into thin slices approx. 1/4" x 3" x 3"
  • About 20 ounces marinara or other favorite tomato based sauce
  • Ingredient 2
  • 8 ounces of seitan
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot cut into 3/8" slices (3 small-medium carrots)
  1. In a glass baking dish, I put one noodle down and covered it with ample sauce. I repeated, with less sauce in the middle, and ample sauce again atop. In between two of the top layers I put the tempeh. I reserved three noodles.
  2. I cut the reserved noodles in half and made a version of the lasagne for my daughter, skipping the tempeh, which she doesn't like, and using a bit of Daiya brand vegan cheddar "cheese".
  3. I baked, covered, in an oven preheated to 400°F oven for 40-45 m, and then served.
I also made a massaged kale salad (kale leaves torn from stems and massaged with lime juice and salt) and waterless baby lima bean and bell pepper (beans and pepper started from frozen) side dish.


The sauce has a little oil in it and weighs in at 6g of fat per serving, with 6 servings in the bottle. I used maybe 5/6 of the bottle, but this served three of us, so contributed about 10g of fat per serving, so I won't claim this to be a no added fat dish, but with typical sauces that I use, it would be.

Ideas for the future


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Seitan with Vegetables and Meyer Lemon (No Added Fat)

I made an easy waterless dish with my large Saladmaster stock pot.  I put into the pan some sliced onion, diced garlic, frozen Brussels sprouts, sliced red bell pepper, sliced fennel bulb, seitan, and a cubed whole Meyer lemon, skin and all. I warmed the pan, covered, until the vapor release began to jiggle, then turned the heat down and cooked on low (with the jiggling stopping) for about 20m.


Ideas for the future


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Roasted Chipotle Beans with Brown Rice, Tomato, and Romaine Lettuce (No Added Fat)

There is a line of bean dips from a company called Better Bean that I've recently noticed. I bought their roasted chipotle dip and was going to use it with dinner, but found that it had too much hot pepper heat for my daughter, so I made a tempeh burger for her instead. I made a ring of brown rice with the beans in the middle, and included tomato and crunchy romaine lettuce. It was good!

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 16, 2016

Black-Eyed Peas with Vegetables (No Added Fat)

I came home to find that my wife had made some black-eyed peas in the Instant Pot. I added some kale, carrot, and ginger, and cooked for "zero" minutes (i.e., the pressure cooker just got up to pressure then stopped), then added lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. I also served some Jade Pearl rice (1 part rice to 1 3/4-2 parts water and a vegan bouillon cube, simmered for 20m).

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

O'Connor Sweet Potato with Yukon Gold Potato, Brussels Sprouts, Peas, and Bell Pepper (No Added Fat)

I was excited to try O'Connor sweet potatoes that I found in the store a day or two ago. We love Japanese sweet potatoes, and these, also with white flesh, are supposed to be similar. My daughter and I were heading out to a Nutcracker performance from a troupe from Moscow, so I had to put dinner together quickly. My daughter doesn't like onions and I use them commonly, but decided to put a meal together tonight without onions. Here is what I did.

  • 3 Sweet potatoes
  • 3 Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Brussels sprouts (fresh or frozen; I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper slices (about 1/4" x 3/4"; fresh or frozen as above)
  • 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen as above)
  • Seasoning to taste (see notes)
  1. I put the sweet potatoes (one per person, so three for my family), along with Yukon Gold potatoes (also one per person) and water, in my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure steam for 20m.
  2. I put the rest of the ingredients except the seasoning (i.e., the remaining vegetables) in a small Saladmaster stock pan and cooked waterlessly - i.e., I heated the pan on medium high, covered, until the vapor release valve started jiggling, then reduced the heat to low to mostly stop the jiggling, and let it cook for about 15m.
  3. When the pressure cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then removed the sweet potatoes and potatoes.
    1. I cut out two little triangle indentations 1/3 and 2/3 up the length of the sweet potatoes.
    2. I cut the Yukon Gold potatoes into 3/4" cubes or so.
  4. I put a sweet potato on each plate and surrounded it with the potato cubes.
  5. I mixed in a little salt to the waterlessly cooked vegetables and spread atop the sweet potatoes.
  6. I put a tablespoon or bit more of salsa as part of the seasoning atop the sweet potato and vegetables, and served.

The sweet potato and potato could have been cooked for less time - they were softer than I'd usually serve them. My daughter appreciated having an onion-free meal and enjoyed it. I also liked it; it wasn't very tasty or complex, but was healthy, reasonably tasty, and filling. Unfortunately, my wife, who has a slight aversion to anything like steamed vegetables (and she considered the waterlessly cooked vegetables a bit like steamed, surprisingly), thought that the meal was "okay" but not particularly tasty.

Ideas for the future

I had considered making a sauce, perhaps a "cheesy" one with cashews and nutritional yeast, or maybe a miso-ginger sauce. That would have made the meal, I think, more appealing to my wife. The potatoes and sweet potatoes were normal sized; I have noted in the past that it takes 10-19m for sweet potatoes. I should have gone with maybe 12-15m as these were not large, thick sweet potatoes.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Split Pea Dhal with Greens, Bagel - welcome home dinner

My family returned from their 5-week trip to India this afternoon! I'm delighted to have them back. I had a split pea and greens dish ready in my Instant Pot for them to eat as lunch when we got home, but we ended up eating it for dinner (all except my daughter who had requested vegan macaroni and cheese as her first dinner back home!). All enjoyed dinner!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Tofu with Vegetables (No Added Fat)

I made a simple tofu and vegetable dish, pressure cooked for 2 minutes under low pressure in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I served it with brown rice (rice : water ratio of 1 : 2 1/2, brought to a boil along with a vegan bouillon cube and a pinch of salt, then simmered, covered, for 50m) and the remaining huge radish of the bunch that I bought recently.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Black Beans and Potato, Brown Rice (No Added Fat)

  • 1 cup black beans, rinsed then soaked (overnight or, as I did, for about 5 hours starting with boiling water) and rinsed again
  • Enough water to just cover beans plus 1/4"
  • Medium Yukon Gold (or other type) potato cut into 1/2" or 5/8" cubes (about a cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely (approx. 1/8") chopped
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cups onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 2t lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 t dried oregano
  1. I put the beans, water, potato, garlic, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 30m. Soaked black beans can cook in 25m, but I decided to go with 30m to be sure that they were soft.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the onion, lime juice, salt, and oregano. I intended this dish to have a strong presence with the oregano.
I also made brown rice (long-grained, as usual) by putting 1/2 cup rice and 2 1/2 times (1 1/4 cups) water, plus a pinch of salt and a vegan bouillon cube in a pan, bringing it to a boil then, covered, simmering for 45m.

Dinner was good and an interesting variation from simple classic beans and rice. I like the potato-bean combination, and like the simplicity. Recently, I seem to be favoring less ingredients for a simpler taste. The pronounced oregano flavor was good. I'll have to make this for my family when they return.

Ideas for the future

Adding a bit of greens would be good, but then I will be returning to similar dishes I've made in the past. A little nutritional yeast would be good but also can be skipped in the name of a simple dish.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Kale and Seitan with Marinara, Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

  • Half head of kale, stems excepted, and leaves roughly hand torn into approximately 1 1/2" squares
  • Medium carrot cut into 1/2" slices and then slices quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic finely (approx. 1/8") diced
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 4 ounces of seitan cut into approx. 1/2" x 1" strips
  • 1/2 cups onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1/2 t garlic powder (I actually am experimenting with garlic granules, and used them instead)
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  1. I put the kale, carrot, garlic, marinara sauce, and water into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 2m under low pressure.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then mixed in the seitan, onion, garlic granules, and turmeric.
I served with Madagascar Pink rice (simmered, covered, for 20m with a ratio of 1 part rice, 1 3/4 parts water, plus a vegan bouillon cube).

Dinner was good. I was initially reluctant to mix turmeric and marinara, but it's a subtle and nice combination. The dish could have used some heat, and I ended up adding crushed red pepper to a second serving. I should make this dish for my family when they return from their trip.

Ideas for the future

I like the simplicity of not having too many ingredients and hesitate to add, but a bit of celery would add a nice more or less neutral crunch. I can't think of other improvements, except for including jalapeno or crushed red pepper.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tofu and Hashed Brown Potatoes with Vegetaables (No Added Fat)

I made a simple dinner today. On my cast iron skillet with no added fat (except a trivial amount left after rubbing in a few drops of oil), I made a saute with tofu, hashed brown potatoes, bell pepper, spinach, and onions. I served it with leftover brown rice, as well as radish.

Labels: , ,

Friday, November 04, 2016

Leftover Cauliflower with Seitan, Tomato with Cumin (No Added Fat)

I heated up leftover cauliflower with seitan from a few nights ago, as well as some rice. I used my Instant Pot pressure cooker to heat the food. I put a bit less than 1/4 cup of water in the Instant Pot and inserted the steamer basket. I put the two dishes in bowls, and put the bowls atop the basket in the Instant Pot. I simply pressure steamed for 1 or 2 minutes. I also chopped an heirloom tomato and mixed in a little ground cumin and salt. I had forgotten how good tomato is with cumin and salt and should serve it this way more often!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Adzuki Beans with Potato, Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

I haven't cooked with adzuki beans for a while and decided to soak them today for 5-6 hours. Soaked, they cook in only 10-15 minutes. Here is what I did.

  • 1 cup adzuki beans, rinsed, soaked overnight (I got away with 5-6 hours), and rinsed again
  • Enough water to just cover the beans
  • Medium Yukon Gold potato cut into 3/8" cubes (about a cup)
  • 2T fennel bulb cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1/8 - 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/8 t garlic granules or powder (I recently bought granulated instead of powder to try and see what the difference might be)
  • 1/8 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/4 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1t lime juice
  1. I put the beans, water, potato, fennel, garlic, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 15m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the onion, spices, and lime juice. I served with Madagascar Pink rice (cooked in a 1 part rice to 1 3/4 part water, as well as a vegan bouillon cube and a dash of salt, simmered on low heat, covered, for 20m).


Ideas for the future


Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Black Beans with Potato and Fennel, Jade Pearl Rice (No Added Fat)

Happy Diwali! I miss my family but enjoyed spending the afternoon and evening with a friend, who joined me for dinner. I thought that I'd make a black bean dish, and this is what I did:

  • 1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed, soaked overnight (or in boiling water for 3-4 hours), and rinsed again
  • Enough water to just cover the beans plus 1/4"
  • Medium Yukon Gold (or other) potato cut into 1/2" pieces (about 3/4 -1  cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely (1/8") minced
  • 1T ginger finely (1/8") diced
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/3 cup fennel cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups bell pepper cut into approx. 1 1/4" x 1/4" strips
  • 1 1/4 cups corn kernels (I used frozen, but fresh would be fine)
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 t black sesame seed
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 2 t lime juice
  • 2 t crushed red pepper
  1. I put the beans, potato, garlic, ginger, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 35m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure (well, actually, I went with my friend to see a film so the Instant Pot was immediately ready in "keep warm" mode when I came home), then aded the fennel, bell pepper, and corn, and cooked for another 2 minutes on low pressure this time.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I opened the pot slowly, and mixed in the remaining ingredients (onion, lime juice, and seasoning).

Dinner came out well. The beans were more liquidy than I wanted but I fear cutting water back when cooking black beans as they come out tough if not cooked with enough water.

Ideas for the future

I should make this dish for my family when they return. I might use a little less fennel to give it a more subtle flavor. The potato worked well; adding 50% more potato would not be bad. Diced carrot would go well with this dish.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tofu with Artichoke Hearts, Brown Rice Capellini (No Added Fat)

I made a simple (2-minute, as I recall?) pressure cooked dish with tofu and artichoke hearts, well seasoned when it was done. Some brown rice capellini with marinara and nutritional yeast accompanied the main dish. It was good!

Labels: , , , , ,