Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Anasazi Beans with Vegetables, Short-Grained Brown Rice, Green Cauliflower (No Added Fat)

As I described this past April, Anasazi beans are tasty and seem to cook in under a half hour. I decided to make an Anasazi bean dish with vegetables, but didn't get a chance to soak the beans overnight. They did have about five hours of soaking with, initially, boiling water. I don't know if I've ever cooked short grain brown rice, but bought some a few days ago, and decided to try it. I cooked tonight not just for my family, but also took over a good size serving for a friend and her family. Here is what I did:

  • Approx. 2 1/2 cups Anasazi beans soaked overnight (but see comment above)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • Enough water to just cover beans
  • 3 cups carrots cut into 1/4" slices
  • 2 compressed cups kale cut into approx. 3/4" pieces (about half of a bunch of kale)
  • Kernels from two ears of fire-roasted corn (approximately a cup)
  • Additional 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 t salt (or to taste at the table)
  • 1/4 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • (Optional) 2t chopped basil
  • 1 1/4 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • (Optional) Up to a cup of tomato, cut into 3/8" cubes, or up to 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2T lime (or lemon) juice

  1. I put the beans, bouillon cube, and enough water to just cover the beans into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 25 minutes.
  2. After a few minutes, I slowly let out remaining pressure and added the carrot, kale, corn, additional 1/4 cup water, turmeric, oregano, salt, lemon pepper, and basil.
  3. I cooked on high pressure for another 2 minutes.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I slowly let out remaining pressure, added the onion and lime juice, and served. I had thought of also mixing in some fresh tomato or marinara, but the dish seemed full of flavor and not lacking, so I decided to skip tomato or tomato sauce.
I used the brown rice setting on my rice cooker to make rice; I put in twice as much water as rice, plus a vegan bouillon cube. This short grain brown rice could also be cooked stovetop for 50m. I served some raw green cauliflower.


The beans were very good! My wife and I added some hot sauce at the table to them. I liked the rice - predictably, it was sticky. I have grown up preferring long-grained rice, but think I'll occasionally make short-grained, as well.

Ideas for the future

Were I not also cooking for a spice averse child, I'd add some hot sauce or chili powder, as well as some ginger.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Cauliflower and Lentil Stew with Madagascar Pink Rice (No Added Fat)

It was a cool and rainy day, and the idea of a hot lentil dish sounded appealing. I made a nice brown lentil dhal with kale, corn, and preserved lemon this past July in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. I thought I'd make something similar without the lemon, marinara sauce (my Dad doesn't eat garlic), jalapeno (my daughter doesn't eat spicy food), or corn

  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets (I used a yellow cauliflower and needed almost half of the head)
  • 1 1/2 cups fingerling (or Yukon gold) cut into 3/8" lengths
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/4" slices (about a cup)
  • 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t salt (or to taste at the table)
  • (Optional) 1T fennel root cut into 3/8" cubes
  • (Optional) Up to 10T citrus pulp and juice (I used about 4T fresh squeezed Pixie tangerine and the pulp from squeezing 6 tangerines); if omitted, add 2t lemon or lime juice just before serving
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh chopped spinach
  • 1/2 cup onion cut into 3/8" cubes

  1. I put all of the ingredients except the onion into a large stock pot
  2. I cooked, uncovered, for 25m
  3. I mixed in the onion and served
I also served some Madagascar Pink rice (ratio of 1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water, cooked for 20m)



Ideas for the future


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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Whole Wheat French Couscous with Black Eyed Peas, Kale, and Roasted Corn (No Added Fat)

I made a simple French Couscous dish (using whole wheat couscous) that all three of us enjoyed. It's easy to cook with couscous - let 1 part sit in 1 1/2 parts boiling water for a minute, then let it sit, off heat and covered, for 5 minutes. A little fluff and it's done! I cooked it with a vegan bouillon cube, black eyed peas, kale, and roasted corn, along with a little bit of dried oregano and lime juice. I made a large batch, saving most for a client who doesn't eat onions. Separately, I added a little salt, onion, and, to my wife and my servings, hot chili powder. It was good!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Burmese Tofu and Squash (No Added Fat)

My daughter and I love tofu but it seems to bother my wife's digestion. I was happy to find a few days ago Burmese tofu, soy- and gluten- free, made from split peas and chickpea flour, and not related to Chinese or Japanese soy- based tofu. Apparently, Pacific Foods has a new line of shelf-stable boxed seitan and tofu; I purchased the seitan and Italian Herb tofu.

A few days ago, I opened the box of seitan. I was very hopeful - we all love seitan and it would be good to have another option of buying pre-made seitan that would travel easily, not having to be refrigerated. However, my daughter and I both were disappointed; she disliked the seitan and I found it tolerable but not tasty. It looks congealed in the cube it comes as and has a watery, subdued, and not very appealing flavor.

Today, I decided to make a waterless squash dish with pesto (while making dinner, I made another batch of pesto, as I described recently). Why not add some tofu to it? I broke open the tofu box and used half of the 9.2 ounces, sampling a little piece of it raw. It wasn't bad but wasn't so good, at least raw. Here is what I did for the main course:

  • 10 ounce frozen butternut squash cubes (approx. 3/4" cubes); fresh squash could be used after cooking, perhaps not completely but till still somewhat firm
  • About a quarter of a medium onion cut into 1/4" half moons (between 1/4 and 1/3 cup)
  • About 4 1/2 ounces (I used half of the 9.2 ounce Burmese tofu described above) tofu cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 3 or 4 T pesto sauce
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • (Optional) Hot sauce to taste

  1. I put the squash, onion, and tofu in a small Saladmaster stock pan, covered it, and heated on medium heat until the vapor release started rattling
  2. I then reduced the heat to low to allow waterless cooking for about 20 minutes
  3. When I was ready to serve, I removed the top of the pan, and mixed in the pesto, salt, and lemon pepper; we also added hot sauce at the table
I also served a bagel half with fresh tomato, as well as a carrot.


Dinner was nutritious but not as tasty as we're accustomed to. My wife wasn't crazy about the tofu; I thought it was not bad, but also not particularly tasty. She suggested using some Indian spices to make the dish more peppy. The main dish was somewhat soggy and bland.

Ideas for the future

The squash should have been cooked for less time to maintain more texture. As my wife suggested, some cumin, turmeric, and ginger could have helped. I don't know if I'll try cooking with Burmese tofu again, but would love to add a non-soy tofu to at least occasionally prepare.

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Green Split Pea with Kale and Sweet Potato with a Touch of Orange (No Added Fat)

Yesterday, I delivered meals to a client and included what turned out to be an excellent dish, green split pea dhal with Japanese sweet potato and a touch of Pixie tangerine. Split peas are so easy and tasty to cook with; basically, after being rinsed, they take a 1 part split pea to 3 part water ratio and are cooked for 8-10m. I decided to make this dish for my family, but also to use some greens. I was out of the so-tasty Pixie tangerines (I had used a bit of their juice and their pulp), but used fresh-squeezed Valencia orange juice, instead. Here is what I did:

  • 1 1/3 cup split peas (I had green split peas and used them, but yellow would be fine)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup orange or tangerine juice
  • 1 1/2 compressed cups kale, stems excepted (I used 3 leaves), and roughly hand-torn to approximately 1/2" squares
  • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into approx. 1/2" cubes (I used my favorite, the white-fleshed Japanese sweet potato)
  • 1 T finely (1/8") diced ginger
  • Approx. 3/4 t coarse ground salt (or to taste)

  1. I had meant to start by rinsing the split peas several times, but forgot
  2. I put all the ingredients except the salt into the Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 9 minutes under high pressure.
  3. When the pressure cooker was done, I let it sit for a few minutes, slowly let out the remaining pressure, and carefully opened the pot.
  4. I sprinkled here and there the salt in the plates and served (I wanted coarse salt non-uniformly distributed to get nice salty morsels in most but not necessarily all mouthfuls)
We had also picked up some fresh bagels, which I served.



Ideas for the future


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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Leftover Cauliflower and Seitan, Carrot and Spinach atop Roll (No Added Fat)

I heated and served leftover cauliflower and seitan from this past Friday. We had some rolls and I thought I'd experiment with making a topping in the pressure cooker. I pressure cooked for 2 minutes under low pressure two grated carrots, 1/2 grated onion, 1/2 cup chopped spinach, and 1/4 cup water. I served that atop the roll.

The grated and pressure cooked vegetables were good. I'd like to take this approach and create a layered meal, such as a lasagne.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Waterless Seitan with Squash, Cauliflower, Potato, and Plantain (No Added Fat)

  • 8 ounces butternut squash (I used 1/2 bag of frozen squash)
  • 10 ounces cauliflower florets (I used a full 10 ounce bag of mixed cauliflower)
  • 4 ounces seitan (I used half of an 8 ounce box of seitan strips)
  • Medium Yukon Gold potato, cut into 3/8" cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 small Vidalia (or other) onion cut into 1/4" thick half moons (just under a cup)
  • (Optional) Medium plantain cut into 3/8" slices (about a cup)
  • (Optional) 2T pesto sauce (as I described last week)
  • 1/4 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1/8 t salt (or to taste)

  1. I started heating a large Saladmaster stock pan over low heat as I added the squash, cauliflower, seitan, potato, onion, and plantain.
  2. I covered the pot and increased the heat to medium.
  3. After 2 minutes or so, the steam release vent started clicking; I reduced the heat to low so that the clicking went away and cooked for 20m.
  4. I opened the pan, added the pesto, lemon pepper, and salt, and served.
I also made some Madagascar Pink rice with a bit of basil mixed in.


My daughter doesn't like squash, so I had served her something else for her main course. My wife and I very much enjoyed dinner. I should cook waterlessly more often - it's easy and tasty.

Ideas for the future

Some garlic would have been welcome with this dish. We put hot sauce (which seems to always go so well with plantain) on at the table. The potato was still a little firm and could have cooked more; perhaps a 25m cook time would be better.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza with Artichoke and Roasted Red Bell Pepper; Quinoa with Corn, Carrot, Broccoli, and Soybean (No Added Fat)

I still had pesto leftover from last week and have been thinking of making pesto pizza. I was thinking of putting a little marinara as the base and only putting pesto on for the last few minutes of baking to keep the pesto from drying but, since it was water based, decided just to use pesto as a base.

I had picked up two Engine 2 whole wheat pizza crusts, and made one with a little bit of vegan Daiya cheese for my daughter, and made the second cheeseless for my wife and me. I won't detail the making of the pizza as it was simple; my daughter helped and put a thin layer of pesto down, then artichoke hearts, onion, and roasted bell pepper, plus the optional cheese, and I baked on a pizza stone in my oven.

I can't believe that my daughter is graduating from Kindergarten tomorrow! We're having a potluck lunch, so I made a big batch of quinoa. I used about a pound of quinoa and added another pound of chopped corn, carrot, broccoli, and soybean. I added twice as much by volume water as I had quinoa, added a little salt and turmeric, brought to a boil and let it simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, then turned off the heat and let the pan sit, covered, for about 10 minutes, till the characteristic spiral of the quinoa became evident.

I made it simply to maximize the chances of the children enjoying this, which I'm planning on serving cold tomorrow. We enjoyed it warm with our dinner.

Dinner was good! I am so happy to have this easy and healthful way to make pesto. The pesto pizza was good, especially the second slice that I had with a little bit of vegan cheese. Other than that slice, it was a no added fat meal; even with that slice, the Daiya cheese has 6g per quarter cup, and I had at most a tablespoon or two, so at most a gram of fat.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Grilled Nectarines, Harvest Grain Mix with Green Peas (No Added Fat)

Weaver Street Market, a cooperative that we regularly shop at, has the best nectarines that I've had in my life. They're organic and the white-fleshed ones taste like they have had sugar added :-) - but the yellow-fleshed ones are almost as sweet. We've been going through quite a few of them. My daughter had the excellent idea of making a jam, and I thought I'd follow the strawberry jam recipe, using nectarines instead, from last May. My wife picked up three dozen of the nectarines a few days ago and they're almost gone - so we'll have to get more to make jam!

I used 3 or 4 of the nectarines with tonight's dinner. In the past, I've occasionally grilled peaches briefly to enjoy the enhanced flavor. I decided to do that with the nectarines. I grilled them on a Saladmaster skillet, along with some onion. That's how I served to my daughter; I added a little jerk seasoning to my wife and my portions.

I described in January a "harvest grain" mix; I used that simple mix (just add the right amount of water and simmer for 10m), along with peas, to make another dish. Dinner was very good!


Monday, June 08, 2015

Polenta Rounds with Marinara and Pesto, Navy Beans with Spinach (No Added Fat)

I was thinking of making a pesto pizza today and started making a bean side dish, but then saw a tube of polenta in my cabinets, and decided to try cooking a polenta main dish instead of the pizza. I thought I'd start with a simple experiment of cooking polenta rounds with marinara and onion; surely a minute of high pressure cooking would be enough but I thought I'd try 2 minutes to really embed the tomato flavor into the polenta. Here is what I did:

  • 1 cup navy beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1/2" cubes (one medium potato)
  • Vegan bouillon cube
  • Enough water to just cover the potato and beans (maybe 3/4 cup?)
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach (frozen or fresh; I used frozen)
  • 3T nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2t lime (or lemon) juice
  • 500g (just over a pound) of prepared polenta cut into 3/4" discs (the polenta I used came as an elliptical cylinder maybe 2" on the longer side and maybe 1 3/4" on the shorter side, but any roughly similar dimensions should be fine)
  • 1 cup 3/8" onion cubes (about 1/2 of a medium Vidalia onion that I used)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cob of corn
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce (as I described last week)
  • (Optional) 1/8 t garlic powder

  1. I put the beans, potato, bouillon cube, and water in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, and cooked on high pressure for 35m. I should have soaked the beans but came up with this idea as I was formulating dinner.
  2. I needed the pressure cooker for the polenta (I soon hope to have two pressure cookers), so didn't wait long before I gently let out the pressure and opened the pot.
  3. I mixed in the spinach, nutritional yeast, salt, and lime juice, and set aside, covered, so that the spinach would defrost and heat up by the time I served (5m was really all that was needed for the spinach to heat).
  4. Into the empty Instant Pot, I put the onion, and then the polenta slices and, finally, the marinara sauce.
  5. I cooked for 2 minutes under high pressure.
  6. While the polenta was cooking, I roasted the corn by removing the leaves and silk and flame roasting over my gas range, then using a knife to strip the kernels; I ended up with about a cup.
  7. When the pressure cooker was done, I let it sit for a few minutes, slowly let out the remaining pressure, and carefully opened the pot.
  8. I mixed in the corn kernels, salt, pesto sauce, and garlic powder, and served.


The polenta was excellent! It had a lot of flavor - and was so easy with no worry about sticking to the pot. The pesto was just the right quantity and contributed enough flavor without "taking over" the dish. Adding the corn kernels was a nice touch in both taste and texture. The beans were fine but could have been cooked longer. My wife and daughter seemed to enjoy them, but I was a little disappointed.

Ideas for the future

I am so glad that pressure cooking prepared polenta was so easy and tasty. I need to explore this further - I'll bet artichoke hearts would go great in such a dish, as well as roasted garlic. Capers could add a nice touch. I've made dishes like stacked crispy seitan with polenta rounds, and should try to do a pressure-cooked oil-free version.

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Pesto Vegetables, Chickpea and Cucumber Salad, Vegan Chive Cream Cheese on Poppy Bagel

I have been enjoying more and more getting my Kindergartener daughter involved with planning and sometimes helping to execute dinner. I made pesto last night, and was thinking of serving some vegetables today with the sauce mixed in. My daughter picked out vegetables today from the store that she wanted to have in the meal.

She and I have been thinking of having bagels for a few days now. At Whole Foods today, I picked up some new Kite Hill almond milk-based chive cream cheese, a new product I've heard good things about, and we bought bagels from Bruegger's. While we were out, I called my wife to start some chickpeas soaking, as I figured an Indian-style chickpea salad would be a good side dish tonight. Here is what I did:

  • 1 cup dry chickpeas
  • Ample boiling water (2-3 cups)
  • Enough water to just cover chickpeas
  • Medium cucumber cut into 3/8" cubes (I used half of the heirloom Poona kheera cucumber and half of a standard organic cucumber) - approximately 2 cups
  • 1t fresh lemon sage (or oregano; 1/3 t if dried)
  • 1/2 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/4 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground pepper)
  • 1/2 t ground cumin
  • Small shallot finely (< 1/4") diced - approx. 2 T
  • 2t (or to taste) lime or lemon juice
  • 26 Brussels sprouts (1 pound packet) cut into halves (approximately 3 3/4 cups)
  • 2 medium carrots cut into 1/4" slices (1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 cremini mushrooms cut into thirds (approximately 1/2" thick slices) - about 2 cups
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup snow peas (or 1/2 cup shelled peas)
  • 3/4 cup no-oil pesto (see yesterday's entry for recipe)

  1. I had my wife soak in boiling water the dried chickpeas; they had maybe 2 hours to soak.
  2. I rinsed the chickpeas and put them in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, along with enough water to just cover, and cooked for 32 minutes under high pressure.
  3. When the pressure cooker was done, I let it sit for a few minutes, slowly let out the remaining pressure, and carefully opened the pot.
  4. I ended up with about 2 1/2 cups of chickpeas (which is what a cup of dried should yield); I reserved a cup for the next few days, and mixed the 1 1/2 cups chickpeas with the cucumber, lemon sage, salt, lemon pepper, cumin, shallot, and lime juice.
Here is how I made the main course:
  1. I put the Brussels sprouts, carrot, mushrooms, broccoli, and 1/4 cup water in the Instant Pot and cooked on high pressure for 2 minutes.
  2. When I was ready to serve, I slowly let out the pressure and carefully opened the pressure cooker.
  3. I mixed in the peas and let it sit for a minute just to gently warm the peas and soften them a bit.
  4. I then added the pesto and served.
A poppy seed bagel half with the vegan cream cheese completed the meal.


Dinner was excellent - we all loved it. I'm so happy that I've found a tasty but low fat way to easily make pesto. The cream cheese was very good; I can't claim this is a no added fat meal, as the cream cheese has 6g of fat per ounce, or 1/8 of the tub. My wife had her bagel with pesto, but my daughter and I probably had 4 or 5g of fat from the cream cheese, still fairly low given the context of the rest of the meal. The chickpeas were very good, too.

Ideas for the future

This idea of mixing pesto with vegetables is a good one and I need to make other dishes in a similar style. Maybe one day soon I'll make a simple pesto pizza perhaps with grilled artichoke hearts. The pesto that I made last night came out a bit watery (maybe I should use 3/4 or even 1/2 as much water next time), but I think that brushing just a little on shouldn't make a good pizza crust soggy.

My Mom would serve tamarind (imlee) chutney with chickpea dishes like the one I made, and I wish that I had soaked some tamarind root to include. I wonder if some chickpea miso would go well with the salad.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Split Peas with Purple Potato, Cauliflower, and Carrot, served with Millet-Brown Rice Ramen Noodles and Heirloom Poona Kheera Cucumber (No Added Fat)

My daughter and I enjoyed visiting the farmers' market and brought home two big bunches of basil to make pesto as I did last week, purple potatoes, green tomato, a lovely light yellow cauliflower, peas (my daughter enjoys eating them as soon as we buy them so few made it home), and a heirloom Poona kheera cucumber I've not seen before, originally from India. I thought that I'd make a vegetable and split pea dish; split peas take 8-10 minutes with a 1:3 ratio to water to cook and potatoes take 7-9 minutes when cubed and 10-12 minutes whole (for baby potatoes, and these are small, maybe 1 1/2" in diameter).

I tried something new with the pressure cooker today. To start the water heating, I sometimes add boiling water instead of room temperature water. Instead, I put the water in initially and used the slow cooker button to start the water and subsequent ingredients heating. When all the ingredients were in, I cancelled the slow cook program and went into high pressure cooking, only then putting the top in.

  • 1 cup split peas (I had green split peas and used them, but yellow would be fine)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely (1/8") diced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 3/8" slices (mine yieled a cup)
  • 1 green tomato chopped into 3/8" cubes (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 1/4 cups potato cut into approximately 1" pieces; I used 6 purple potatoes
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t lemon pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
  • 1 cup chopped (1/4") sweet (or other) onion
  • Approx. 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1t lime (or lemon) juice

  1. I rinsed the split peas several times then put then into the Instant Pot pressure cooker, along with water, garlic (I skipped as I was out of garlic, alas), carrot, green tomato, cauliflower, potato, turmeric, and lemon pepper.
  2. I cooked for 9 minutes under high pressure.
  3. When the pressure cooker was done, I let it sit for a few minutes, slowly let out the remaining pressure, and carefully opened the pot.
  4. I mixed in the onion, salt, and lime juice, and served.
I had a packet of millet and brown rice noodles from Lotus Foods; I made these easy gluten-free tasty noodles but didn't use the included packet, opting to mix in some chickpea miso, instead. I served the heirloom cucumber with some hemp seeds, lime juice, and salt.
I was ready to make pesto as before by blending briefly 2 cups tightly packed basil, 3 cloves garlic, a vegan bouillon cube, and 3/4 cup  water then adding 1 1/2 T nutritional yeast and 3/4 t salt and blending very briefly. But I was out of garlic! I refrigerated the basil and hope to make pesto tomorrow.


Dinner was quite good! My wife particularly loved it. My daughter doesn't like potatoes but ate everything reasonably nicely.

Ideas for the future

I would have liked to have added ginger and jalapeno in the main course, but skipped for my daughter; I ended up doing it for my wife and me, and it was a welcome addition. My wife suggested some dried coconut would be good with it. The dish was a little liquidy - I served mostly solids, but used a bowl for seconds for my wife. I like it more solid and may want to explore similar dishes in the future with a ratio of 1 : 2 instead of 1 : 3 of split peas to water.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Black Bean and Vegetable Soup, Rye Bread Toast with Tomato Sauce (No Added Fat)

My daughter makes soup in her Kindergarten class each Tuesday. On the way home from school, we stopped at the store and I suggested an idea that she liked, that of her helping to make a soup. We bought ingredients that she would like in the soup. I hadn't thought of a mixed vegetable black bean soup, but that is what she wanted, and she helped me to make it happen!

  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 vegan bouillon cubes
  • 2 1/2  cups cabbage shredded to 1 1/2" x 1/4" strips
  • 1/2 cup broccoli stalk cut into 1/4" cubes
  • 1 carrot cut into 3/8" slices and then halved
  • 1/2 cup onion cut to a 3/8" dice
  • 1 cup bell pepper cut to approx. 1/4" x 1" slices
  • 1 garlic, finely (1/8" or so) diced
  • 1T ginger, diced to 1/4" or so pieces
  • 5 cups water (I used boiling water to quicken the cooking)
  • 1/8 t each: turmeric, mustard seed
  • 1/4t lemon pepper
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 t salt

  1. I didn't know that we would be cooking black beans today; I would have soaked them but instead just cooked them longer. I put the (unsoaked) black beans in the Instant Pot pressure cooker along with the cup of water and bouillon cube and cooked on high pressure for 40m. I used just one bouillon cube and later decided to include a second one for more flavor - one can just add both at this point.
  2. When I was ready to continue after the 40m of pressure cooking, I gently let out remaining pressure and opened the pot.
  3. I mixed in the second bouillon cube, cabbage, broccoli stalk cubes, carrot, onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger, 5 cups of water, turmeric, mustard seed, lemon pepper, and oregano, and cooked for another 2 minutes.
  4. When I was ready to serve, I gently let out the remaining pressure, and mixed in the spinach and salt.
  5. I let the soup sit for a minute or two to allow the spinach to cook down a bit in the heat, and then served.
I also served some rye bread toast, with tomato sauce, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast.


We all enjoyed dinner! I was so glad that my daughter was okay with the ginger, which she usually isn't.

Ideas for the future

Potato would have been great in this soup, but my daughter didn't want potato.

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Tomatilla with Seitan, Mashed Sweet Potato (No Added Fat)

  • 3 tomatillas cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1 stalk rhubarb cut into 3/8" pieces
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 8 ounce packet of seitan strips or cubes
  • 4T onion cut into 3/8" cubes
  • 1/8 t (or to taste) each of salt, dried oregano, and dried dill weed

  1. I put the tomatillas, rhubarb, and water into my Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  2. I cooked on high pressure for just 1 minute.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I gently let out remaining pressure and mixed in the seitan, onion, and seasonings.
I also made some some mashed sweet potato, at my daughter's suggestion. I peeled two sweet potatoes and roughly cut them into 1 1/2" or so long pieces. I put them in the Instant Pot with a cup of water and cooked on high pressure for 9 minutes. When I was ready to serve, I drained half the water, mashed the sweet potato and water, and, as a treat for my daughter in particular, mixed in a tablespoonful of maple syrup. For her serving (only), I also mixed in a little Earth Balance margarine; for all but my wife, I mixed in a little cinammon.


Dinner was good. My wife and I put some hot sauce in our main course.

Ideas for the future

The sweet potato could have cooked in half the water I believe, and I should try that next time. Some ginger would go well with the sweet potato.

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