Butternut Squash Soup



2 tbs olive oil
2 large butternut squashes
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 celery stalks
1 carrot
1 medium onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground allspice
veggie boullion/veggie soup stock
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Place whole squash onto an ungreased baking sheet, or wrap in tin foil. and prick in a few places with a sharp knife. Bake for 75-90 minutes or until tender and easily pierced with a fork. Remove from oven, and allow to cool. After its cool to the touch, scoop out the flesh, discard the skin and seeds.

Steam the cauliflower on the stovetop, until tender. Remove from heat. (You can save the water for the water you will use for the broth.

Dice carrots, celery, onion, and mince the garlic. Heat a large soup pot with olive oil and add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic plus salt and bay leaves. Stir and cook for 6-7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add the thyme and allspice.

Add the butternut squash, cauliflower, and about 6 cups of water/or veggie broth. Bring to a simmer, turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, and use an immersion blender or other blender to puree the soup.

Yum! Easy!

Vegan Lasagna Recipe


Vegan Lagagna

This recipe is built around my mom’s lasagna (which was not vegan) — cooking with her taught me so much about the principles of great home cooking. One thing she taught me about lasagna, she used to say “make each layer delicious enough to eat on its own.” Very important in any dish that involved multiple components.

This recipe is for TWO pans of lasagna! Its a lot of prep work so why not make two while you’re at it. After assembling, I put one in the freezer for later. Prep all of your layers first so that you’re ready to assemble.

2 jars of marinara sauce (or other pre made tomato sauce of your choice)
2 packets of daiya mozzarella shreds (or vegan cheese of your choice)
2 packages of firm tofu
1 1/2 boxes of lasagna noodles
2 bags/2lbs of frozen spinach
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 lemons
1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
1 bunch of basil leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
nutritional yeast
olive oil

Put a large pot of salted water on high and bring to a boil. Meanwhile you can start to prep other layers.

Making the PESTO:
Pluck the basil leaves off the hard stems and wash and pat dry the leaves. Place 3 peeled garlic cloves in the food processor, along with about 1/2 cup of nuts, pulse together. Add the basil leaves, add salt, and drizzle olive oil into the mixture, pulse until blended together. Don’t over process, it will bruise and brown the pesto.

Making the RICOTTA:
Blend together tofu, juice of both lemons, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. I like to do this quickly with an immersion blender. Bingo, “ricotta”!

Heat oil in a pan on the stovetop, add onions and salt. Stir and sauce until the onions are starting to soften and turn translucent. Add spinach and cook until warmed through.

When the pot of water boils, put the lasagna noodles in, stir so they don’t stick together and cook for only 4 minutes or so (they will continue cooking in the oven so they don’t need to be all the way done. Drain the noodles and immediately rinse them thoroughly with cold water — this will prevent the noodles sticking together.

While you are assembling, preheat the oven to 375. drizzle a small amount of tomato sauce in the bottom of each lasagna pan, spread around with a spoon. Place one layer of noodles down in the pans, lightly overlapping so that there’s full coverage. Spread a layer of ricotta down, then a layer of cheese, then a layer of spinach, then coat with tomato sauce. Start over again with the noodles, (here’s where i add a layer of pesto in) then repeat ricotta, cheese, spinach, tomato sauce. Cover with a layer of noodles, coat with tomato sauce - get all the corners so that the noodles don’t dry out on the top - add a sprinkle of cheese and a dusting of nutritional yeast over the top.

Cover one with plastic wrap and foil and put it in the freezer. Cover one of the pans in aluminum foil and cook for 40 minutes covered, then uncover and cook for another 15 minutes or so to give the top a little color.


Vegan Mushroom Pea Risotto

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1 1/2 cups Arborio/Risotto Rice
1 Medium Onion, finely diced
1/2 Cup White Wine
Olive Oil
Dallop of Earth Balance or other vegan butter (optional)
6 cups (1 1/2 quart) Veggie Broth (I really like "Better Than Boullion")
1 lb white or bella mushrooms
1 package of frozen peas
All Optional Garnishes: (use one or two or all to your liking!)
Chives, Parsley, or other green Herb
3 Scallions
Lemon Zest

Bring the broth to a simmer, turn the heat to low and keep the broth on the burner.

In a large saucepan, drizzle olive oil and bring to medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and reduce the temp to medium. Saute the mushrooms and set aside into a separate bowl.

In the same saucepan, heat oil and butter until butter is melted, saute onions until translucent. Turn the heat down to Med/Low. Add the rice, and stir the rice with the onions and oil until evenly coated. Add the white wine, and keep stirring the rice until all the wine has been absorbed or evaporated. Add 1/2-1 cup of the broth at a time to the rice, stir the rice continuously until the broth is absorbed. Continue this process of slowly adding broth as you stir until the rice is cooked through. It may take more or less broth, depending on conditions, so judge by the tender texture of the rice.

When the rice is done, add in the mushrooms and frozen peas and stir to combine. Add herbs and/or lemon zest over the top if desired.