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  • Meatless Monday: Chickpea-Veggie Casserole

    The word “casserole” always takes me back. The famous “4 food groups” style of eating was the cuisine of my childhood. Every dinner plate would feature a slab of some sort of meat, potatoes (mashed or boiled) and some sort of veggie, usually canned. But every once in a while, my mother would mix it up and make a casserole. At the time I thought casseroles were the height of sophistication. So many ingredients in one dish! As a person who never liked meat, I also enjoyed the fact that there was usually less of it, or it was, at least, not front and...

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  • Meatless Monday: Chickpea, Rice and Kale Soup

    Soup season is here again! I love making soup. I love how my house fills with the fragrance of long-simmering veggies. It makes my drafty, old house feel warmer. I also love the fact that soup is invariably better the next day. Leftovers make for delicious and very easy weeknight meals. Today’s soup comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s sassy classic, Vegan with a Vengeance. My version of this soup turned out really thick. This could be partly because I added a little extra rice. (I had only 1/4 cup left after measuring out the rice for the recipe, so I just...

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  • Meatless Monday: Yams with Beans and Greens

      If you’re vegan, you may or may not be aware of a vegan cooking site that has took the web by storm a few years ago. (I first read about it in The New York Times.) It’s called Thug Kitchen. The site was founded by a vegan couple who lamented what they thought to be the “preciousness” of many cooking sites. Determined to spice up their site, they peppered it with salty language (so to speak). The site was instantly popular and has spawned three books so far. I received one of them (Thug Kitchen) as a gift and...

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  • Meatless Monday: Smoky Chickpeas with Kale

      Many omnivores harbor the mistaken impression that vegetarian food is boring, that it’s lacking in flavor. I think I understand why. Way back in 1978, when first I stopped eating meat, I do remember craving heavier flavors. My tastebuds were used accustomed to heavier flavors. Back then I made a lot of omelets, ate lots of pizza and in general felt attracted to bolder flavors. The further I drifted from eating heavy meats, my tastebuds became more sensitive to subtler flavors. While most of what I eat these days is simple and subtle, I do enjoy a robust meal from...

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  • Meatless Monday: Kale Salad with Figs

    My garden kale has made a big comeback. July’s oppressive heat was not kind to it. Nor was the aphid infestation. But as it's gotten cooler, my kale is plentiful. As for the aphids, I hired some helpers, a package of ladybugs, to take care of them. Garden-fresh kale, like so many other veggies, is just better when you grow it yourself. It’s naturally tender, so it generally doesn’t need “massaging” with oil when you plan to eat it raw. Of course, if you’re buying kale at a market, massaging it (rubbing it with some oil until it’s soft) tenderizes...

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  • Meatless Monday: Burrito Bowl with Raspberry-Chipotle Salsa

    This week’s Meatless Monday recipe is another example of my current crush: vegan bowls. What attracted me to this one was the sweet potato-black bean combo that I always love. But what really set it apart was the tantalizing idea of raspberry-chipotle salsa. I had to try it. This is one of the most flavorful bowls I’ve made. It’s pretty simple too. I found the recipe at Connoisseurus Veg. All told, it took about 45 minutes from start to finish. The sliced avocado didn’t make it into the photo—oops!—but do add up to half an avocado to each bowl. Meatless...

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  • Meatless Monday: Burrito Bowl

    One of the most fun things about the new bowl craze is the opportunity for creative fun. As I was pondering what to make for dinner last evening, I decided to make a bowl out of stuff I already had in my pantry and fridge. As it turns out, I was able to make a bowl with a coherent theme: Mexican. I've read a few recipes for burrito bowls. The one I made last evening incorporated elements of some of these, but also included my own ideas. I wanted to include a veggies that aren’t typically a part of burrito bowls, so...

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  • Meatless Monday: Refreshing Watermelon-Arugula Salad

    Few things are as refreshing on a hot summer day as watermelon. A slice of juicy watermelon is just the right taste and texture for taking the edge off a sweltering afternoon. The reason might well be that watermelon is 92 percent water. But in addition, has significant amounts of  vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. It’s also very low in sodium and calories. In July I attended an 18-day silent meditation retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition to the glorious 18 days of silence and meditation, the meals are always a treat...

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  • Meatless Monday: Quinoa Roasted Veggie Bowl

    Roasted veggies are just so good. They don’t take a whole lot of time to prepare and cook, and they’re really flavorful. Roasting seems to concentrate their flavors. I made this recipe for my partner and me. As much as I love roasted veggies, they don’t work all that well as leftovers. So I chopped enough veggies for four servings, using the measurements below. Then I tossed all the veggies together and roasted half of them the first day. This made plenty of veggies for both of us. The next day, the bowls took very little time to prepare because my...

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  • Meatless Monday: Herbed Farro with Asparagus

    Everything tastes better when you eat it outdoors. Whether you’re coming back to camp after a day of hiking or gathering with friends at a picnic site, dining in the great outdoors is somehow festive. A few weeks ago, I was invited to a potluck picnic. Picnics can be tricky because food often sits out for a period of time. I like to bring food that tastes good at “room” temperature. As a vegetarian, I never know if others will bring substantial meatless dishes—or any meatless dishes. So I bring a dish that, on its own, will satisfy my nutritional needs in...

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