Tag Archives: Vegan

Recipe can be made with only vegetables, without dairy, fish, or animal products, although alternatives may be included in ingredients.

Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup

A butternut squash and green apple soup, sparked with spice and coconut, to warm you in the cool autumn.

Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup
Butternut Squash and Green Apple Soup

Ingredients

For 6 – 8 servings

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons Earth Balance buttery spread (olive oil or other)

1 teaspoon salt

I bay leaf

2 Tablespoons mild curry powder

Pinch (or 2 pinches for quite spicy) cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cup onion, small dice

1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

4 cups fresh butternut squash, 1/2 inch chunks

1 1/2 cups green apple, peeled and cored, medium dice

4 cups organic vegetable or chicken stock

Shredded coconut for garnishing

Chef's hat icon smallerPreparation

  1. Melt the olive oil and Earth Balance in a large saucepan over medium high heat.
  2. Add onion, salt, and bay leaf. Stir and cook until onion is softened, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in curry powder, cayenne, and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add squash and apple, stirring well to coat with seasonings.
  5. Add stock and reduce heat to medium low. 
  6. Simmer for 30 minutes or until squash is very soft, easily smashed against the side of the pan with a spoon.
  7. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove bay leaf.
  9. Purée until silky smooth. Strain, if desired. Taste, and adjust seasoning, as required.
  10. Reheat, if necessary, and serve in soup bowls, garnished with shredded coconut.
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Vegan…or Not

Brown Rice Bread Pudding
Tuscan Vegetables Stew
Sweet Potato Fries

“It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think yours is the only path.” Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Coconut Brown Rice Pudding with Pomegranate Seeds (Vegan)
Coconut Brown Rice Pudding with Pomegranate Seeds (Vegan)

My muse has been running with vegetables…

…ever since I was planning for Jessica’s coming over to dinner last week.  

Vegan, really: no meat, no dairy, no fish, no eggs, just fruits and vegetables and nuts. No animal products.

Vegan Diet Rating

In this year’s  survey by US News and World Reports, the vegan diet ranks high for weigh-loss, diabetes, and heart-healthiness (#7, #4, and #6 respectively out of 38 diets), but not so great (#32) in the  category of Easiest Diets to Follow. Experts evaluated the diets on their eating flexibility and availability of ingredients.

No Imitations (Almost)

Tuscan Vegetables Stew (Vegan)
Tuscan Vegetables Stew (Vegan)

Generally, I’m not keen on processed food or imitation meat products (except that delicious soy chorizo, of course) .

I like to get down to the essence of the whole, fresh vegetable, not making it masquerade for anything. (I don’t mind if anyone else does — for instance, Jessica has recently found some imitation eggs that she says make great omelets.) 

My muse enjoys the challenge of finding a combination of ingredients that are genuinely themselves, within the constraints.

Sweet Potato Fries (vegan) with Pesto Eggplant (not vegan)
Sweet Potato Fries (vegan) with Pesto Eggplant (not vegan)

This week, it’s been vegan guidelines and healthier eating.

So, a dessert without eggs or dairy or simple carbs (Coconut Brown Rice Pudding).

A hearty stew without meat (Tuscan Vegetables Stew).

French fries with more fiber and less fat (Sweet Potato Fries).

Plato’s Pickles?

Years ago, when I was studying Plato, I’m sure I read that the need for political states (and warriors to protect them, guardians to direct them) arose from want of pickles… that itch to have just a little more, just a little spiciness, even one that didn’t grow in one’s own territory. I’ve been never been able to find that reference since, so maybe I dreamed it. But, there is something to it, how a little tweak can change things. 

When I came down to actually serving these perfectly vegan dishes, the muse had one more little whisper or two.

  • “How about a little dollop of Greek yoghurt on that bread pudding?”
  • “Little Italian meatballs or sausages would be great with that stew.”
  • “Those fries would be tasty dipped in a lemon-dill-yoghurt sauce.”

The pudding, the stew, and the fries recipes can be strictly vegan or, with sides and garnishes, more like the Flexitarian Diet

To me, the best “diet”, and easiest to follow, comes from Michael Pollan:

“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Tuscan Vegetables Stew (Vegan)

Using a good, aged Balsamic vinegar from Modena gives this a tangy flavor that marries well with the buttery white beans (cannellini), characteristic of Tuscan food. The eggplant (melanzana to Italians) gives another layer of robustness to this hardy stew.

4 – 6 servings

Tuscan Vegetables Stew (Vegan)
Tuscan Vegetables Stew (Vegan)

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet or yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and deveined, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 1 green bell pepper, deseeded and deveined, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, plus another, if desired
  • 1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar from Modena
  • 1 -28 oz. can organic diced tomatoes, including all juice
  • 1 – 15 oz. can white Tuscan beans (cannellini)
  • 1/2 cup roughly cut parsley, for garnish

Preparation

1 – In a heavy large kettle/Dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat to shimmering i.

2 – Add onions and salt, stirring and cooking for 2 minutes, or until onions are translucent and softened.

3 – Mix in eggplant, plus red and green peppers.  Sauté and stir for 5 minutes.

4 – In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, the fennel seeds, the red pepper flakes, the thyme, and oregano. Sprinkle over the cooking vegetables and mix well to distribute the flour mixture. Sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.

5 – Stir in vinegar. Then, add tomatoes and sauce, mixing well to form a rich sauce. Stir in beans.

7 – Cover, reduce heat, and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes.

8 – Taste the sauce. Add a little more salt and a sprinkle on a little more red pepper flakes, to your liking.

9 – Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com

First seen on www.CulinaryOracle.com in January 2016, as published by Barbara Newton-Holmes

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Sweet Potato Fries (Vegan)

2 generous servings

Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet Potato Fries

Ingredients

  • 1 medium (or 2 small) sweet potato (garnet yams), skin left on, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch sticks
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons coconut oil OR extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules and 1 teaspoon salt OR 1/2 – 1 teaspoon truffle salt OR 1 teaspoon salt plus 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika.
Sweet Potato Fries, Ready for the Oven
Sweet Potato Fries, Ready for the Oven

Preparation

1 – Preheat oven to 425˚F.

2 – In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic granules, and salt OR truffle salt OR salt and paprika. Mix in the sweet potato sticks to coat them evenly.

3 – Arrange the seasoned sweet potato sticks on a baking sheet fitted with parchment paper or silicon baking mat. Leave plenty of room between each stick.

4 – Bake at 425˚F for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the sticks are cooked (test with a fork) and are beginning to brown. Remove baking sheet from the oven and let stand for 1 – 2 minutes to let fries firm up a little. Serve hot.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Ch-Ch-Changes: Chorizo

“…Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time” Changes, by David Bowie

Soy Chorizo with Mushrooms and Peppers
Soy Chorizo with Mushrooms and Peppers

Almost 30 years ago…

Mark and I pulled over for breakfast at a café in Coolidge, Arizona, on our way back from the Grand Canyon. He parked the compact rental car between two large white pick-up trucks and muttered, “I want a truck.” (Hmmm, really? I couldn’t quite picture it outside our small cottage in Wargrave, Berkshire, England.)

The place was bright and buzzing. The waitress was working her way down the counter with the Bunn coffee pot, topping up the mugs of Stetson-wearing patrons. She handed us menus as we slid into the last two free stools. I love breakfast, and I was hungry.

What’s Chorizo?

“What’s chorizo?” I asked the waitress, when she came back with two waters and offered coffee. I heard a quiet chuckle from under the hat to my right, and she said, “Ah, …a kind of Mexican sausage.”

“Oh, OK. I’ll try that, with two eggs over easy and brown toast.”

My plate arrived with a little pile of something cozying up to the eggs – looking like a cross between coffee grounds and ground beef, within a nimbus of slick, shiny red oil. Unknown, unexpected (I’d only ever seen sausage as links or patties), but delicious! Spicy, chewy, not too hot. A memorable taste of the South West.

My Favorite Chorizo Now

Since then, we’ve moved to the States, bought an off-road truck, and have ready access to chorizo. But, when I started reading the ingredients label on commercially produced chorizo (typically: salivary glands, lymph nodes and fat, paprika, soy flour, salt, vinegar, spices, red pepper, garlic, sodium nitrate), I was turned off.

Always read the label!
Always read the label!

I was tempted to make homemade chorizo, using Rick Bayliss’s recipe in Mexico, One Plate at a Time, which I’m sure is delicious. Then, I came across Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. No guts trash, actually no meat at all, and a lot less fat.

Sure, it’s pretty high in sodium (like many commercially produced foods), but, having tasted it once, I was sold. Nice, balanced peppery flavor, not so greasy, easy to digest. I made the mistake once of trying another store’s brand, but so disliked the flavor, I tossed the whole lot out. (Maybe you’d have a different opinion, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.)

A Staple Ingredient

Mushroom Chorizo on Eggplant
Mushroom Chorizo on Eggplant

Now, TJ’s soy chorizo is a staple in my fridge. We are more likely to have it for lunch or dinner instead of breakfast, since we usually start the day with a protein shake.

We have it with eggs, but also as a component of other dishes. Last week, we had it on eggplant, garnished with scallions, alongside a roasted sweet potato.

When my vegan friend Jessica came over the other night for dinner, I was inspired to develop it into more of a main dish: Mushroom Chorizo and Peppers over Sunny Mexican Acorn Squash. Even the omnivores among us helped themselves.

Yes,  how things change over time.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Sunny Mexican Acorn Squash (Vegan)

Sunny Mexican Acorn Squash
Sunny Mexican Acorn Squash

4 – 8 servings.

For four hearty main courses, top the roasted acorn squash with Mushroom Chorizo (Soy) and Peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1 organic acorn squash, cut into quarters and de-seeded
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Jalapeño Olive Oil or other fine extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon Tajin Classic Seasoning (1 star heat) (found in most Mexican markets, like Gonzales Northgate Market or Rancho Fresco) OR ancho chile powder, OR smoked paprika, PLUS juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon onion power
  • 4 – 8 grinds of black pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Preparation (Chef's hat)Preparation

1 – Pre-heat oven to 400˚ F.

2 – Arrange the acorn squash in a baking dish or roasting pan. Brush with olive oil.

3 – Sprinkle on the salt, Tajin (or other pepper and lime), garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and oregano.

4 – Put the dish in the center of a 400˚F oven for 40 minutes.

5 – Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Mushroom Chorizo and Peppers (Vegan)

Soy Chorizo with Mushrooms and Peppers
Soy Chorizo with Mushrooms and Peppers

4 – 6 main course servings.

Mushroom Chorizo (Soy) is a tasty vegan main course dish, but also great as a topping on Grilled Eggplant or Sunny Mexican Acorn Squash.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sweet onion (about 1/2 large onion), small diced
  • 1 /4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 – 12 oz. package soy chorizo (the only one I use is from Trader Joe’s), removed from packaging and casing
  • 1 cup red bell pepper (about 1 large pepper), medium dice (1/2 inch)
  • 4 – 6 Baby Bella (large crimini) mushrooms, sliced 1 red bell pepper, small dice

Preparation

1 – Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium high heat, until shimmering.

2 – Add onions and salt (if using), and sauté for a couple of minutes or until onion starts to become translucent and softened.

3 – Add red bell pepper and cook for another minute.

3 – Add chorizo, crumbling it and stirring to mix well with oil and onions. Cook, with occasional stirring to scrape up brownings from pan, for 5 minutes. Lower heat if chorizo is sticking too much.

4 – Add mushrooms, cooking and stirring for another 3 – 5 minutes. Serve immediately as a side dish or a topping on other vegetables.

 

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Sugar Pumpkin
Sugar Pumpkin

Ingredients

For 6 – 8 servings

1 sugar pumpkin (or butternut squash), rinsed, dried, cut in quarters, de-seeded, and de-stringed (probably not a dictionary word but you get the picture – cleaned out!)

1/2 teaspoon salt

Juice of 2 Valencia orange (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons Earth Balance spread or olive oil

1 large onion, small dice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup organic carrots, small dice

1 cup organic celery, small dice

1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated (about 1 inch of the root)

1 cup cooked sweet potatoes, if available. If not, you can use less stock for a thicker soup

1 pinch to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pinch to 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

24 to 32 oz organic vegetable broth (depending on how thick you want the soup, if you have cooked sweet potatoes, etc.)

For garnish – chopped cilantro

Preparation (Chef's hat)

Preparation

1 – Preheat over to 400˚.

2 – Sprinkle salt on pumpkin (squash) pieces, then place cut-side down on baking sheet. Roast until a paring knife inserts easily through the skin, about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.

2 – Scrape pumpkin (squash) flesh from the skin into a food processor, along with the orange juice. Pulse until smooth — about 15 or 20 seconds.

3 – In a heavy saucepan, heat the spread or oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and salt, stir around and cook a couple of minutes until onions are softened and translucent.

4 – Add carrots and celery, stir and cook for 5 – 10 minutes , until they are softened.

5 – Add ginger, a pinch of cayenne and white pepper, giving it all a good stir to coat vegetables.

6 – Add half the broth. Turn off heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Then,  with a stick blender (or in the bowl of a blender), purée the vegetables until smooth. Turn heat back on to medium high.

7 – Add remaining vegetable broth, cooked sweet potatoes, and pumpkin purée. Stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes. Taste — add more cayenne, white pepper, or salt, as needed. Serve in shallow soup bowls, sprinkled with cilantro.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com

©2015 Barbara Newton-Holmes

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Risotto-Style Brown Rice

This is the basic recipe, based on proportions, so it is easily scaled up, varied with different vegetables. Besides, it makes it easy to cook, even if you can’t find the measuring cups or are out camping. Just use a coffee cup or small bowl for the measure. With enough vegetables, this makes a great vegan one-dish main course, not just a side dish. It takes a little time — first prep, then 50 minutes on the heat, 10 minutes to stand, but it’s easy!

Ingredients (Onion)

Ingredients

1 measure (for example, 1 cup) long grain (long-cooking)  brown rice

2 measures (same unit of volume as the rice, but doubled, for example, 2 cups) water or stock

1 – 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for 1 cup rice, more for larger quantities – enough to coat the bottom of the pan you are cooking in)

1 measure (same as rice volume) onion, small dice

1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste, based on overall quantity of rice and vegetables

1/2 measure carrots, small dice

1/2 measure celery or fennel, small dice

Optional: 1/2 measure other root vegetable(s), such as beets, turnips, rutabaga, etc.

Optional: 1/2 measure red or green or yellow or orange bell peppers

A few grinds of black pepper

Ingredients (Onion)Preparation

1 – Toss the brown rice into a strainer and give it a good rinse under running water. Let it drain while you get the vegetables started.

2 – Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat until shimmering. You’ll need a lid later… I like using one that has a glass cover so I can see what the rice is doing later, but you can still have perfect rice if you measure accurately and follow these instructions.

3 – Add the onions and salt, sautéing and stirring a couple of minutes until translucent.

4 – Add the celery or fennel, carrots, and other root vegetables, sautéing and stirring 3 – 4 minutes until starting to be tender.

5 – Add the rice, stirring well, and sauté for 1 minute.

6 – Add the water or stock. Stir well with the vegetables, and bring to a boil for 1 minute.

7 – Cover, reduce heat to medium low or whatever setting keeps it at a gentle simmer that you can see and hear, but without a heavy boil.

8 – Simmer for 50 minutes — without removing the lid. Have a listen/look every now and then to make sure it is still simmering.

9 – Turn off heat — but don’t remove lid — and let stand for at least 10 minutes so that the rice is really soft, not crunchy.

10 – Remove lid, give the rice a fluff with a fork. If there’s still a little water left in the bottom, you can drain it off using a strainer or by serving it with a slotted spoon.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Tofu for You!

Sesame Tofu with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes
Sesame Tofu with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes

We hadn’t seen Melissa and Matt for ages…

…so it was super to get together and catch up in person. What with training and deployment, travel and house moves, we’d exchanged emails, but no eye-to-eye toasts for over a year. Sometimes last-minute plans work the best.

In our pin-down-the-details email, Melissa mentioned that she was eating more vegetarian, Matt more fish. So, I stopped at Jimbo’s for extra firm tofu on my way home on Thursday and set it to marinating. (Did you know that there’s a San Diego Tofu company?

Early Saturday, I stopped at Catalina Off-Shore just as it opened bought some beautiful white sea bass for poaching. Still ahead of the traffic, but not ahead of the early morning thunderstorms, I went Sprouts on Rosecranz, but the whole mall was shut down for lack of power, like many of the traffic lights, and headed over to my usual store on Park Boulevard for vegetables.

We had a lively evening, as always, catching up on news of photography and cooking and houses and training classes. The steamy downpours from Hurricane Dolores all weekend long couldn’t put a damper on our reunion.

For details, see Sesame Tofu.

Have a beautiful and delicious day! - Barbara
Have a beautiful and delicious day! – Barbara
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Sesame Tofu

Sesame Tofu, with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes
Sesame Tofu, with Asparagus and Grape Tomatoes

Serves 4 for main course on its own or in a stir fry, several as an appetizer

Ingredients

16 oz extra firm tofu, cut into 4 equal blocks

1 cup (or enough to submerge tofu) Bragg’s Aminos OR tamari OR soy sauce

2 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon garlic granules

2 – 3 Tablespoons coconut oil

1 Tablespoon black or white sesame seeds

Preparation

1 – Arrange tofu blocks in a shallow dish or container with lid.

2 – Pour on Bragg’s/tamari/soy sauce, until tofu is well submerged.

3 – Pour on sesame oil.

4 – Sprinkle on red pepper flakes and garlic granules.

5 – Store in refrigerator for several hours, up to two days. At least once, gently turn tofu to ensure equal marination on the top and bottom of the tofu blocks.

6 – Up to 2 hours before serving, remove tofu and discard marinade. Blot on paper towel to remove excess marinade. Slice each of the blocks into 4 pieces, about 1/2 inch thick.

7 – Heat coconut oil in nonstick pan until shimmering. Carefully place each tofu piece in hot oil, leaving at least 1/2 inch between them. Cook until browned (about 1 – 2 minutes), then turn to brown each side.

8 – Remove from hot pan and cool on paper towel. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately, or use in a stir fry, or cold as a snack.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com

©2015 Barbara Newton-Holmes

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Salsa Dancing, Too

“Spring is the time for plans and projects.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karinina

 I knew it would be a busy weekend…

Grilled Corn Mango Salad
Grilled Corn and Mango Salad

… with party menu planning and laundry and meetings and dinners and shopping and looking for paint chips. We even had to decline the invitation from my friend Mary to go to the Salsa Under the Stars at The Headquarters, which sounded like such a fun downtown thing to do.

So, when I was grilling the wahoo on Friday night, I threw on a couple of extra ears of sweet corn, with thoughts of dinner on Saturday. Our friend Ann, who lives north of LA, was coming down to judge a flute competition and stopping by for dinner.

Mangos seem to be on special all over the place this week so I took one I’d been ripening and made a little salad. Could be a salsa, too — maybe with a little more lime juice, a little more jalapeños. For yesterday, I just wanted the jalapeño for depth of flavor, not spice.

Top of today’s projects? Work on my website.

Have a beautiful and delicious day! - Barbara
Have a beautiful and delicious day! – Barbara

See details of the Grilled Corn and Mango Salad recipe.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Grilled Corn and Mango Salad

Ingredients

For 4 – 6 servings

2 ears sweet corn, grilled with some kernels blackened

1 ripe mango, small to medium dice

1/2 – 1 jalapeño deveined and de-seeded, minced

3 – 4 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 – 4 limes)

3 Tablespoons shredded carrots

2 Tablespoons sweet onion, minced

2 – 3 Tablespoons cilantro or mint or a combination, roughly chopped

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt

 Chef's hat icon smaller

Preparation

1 – Cut the corn off the cobs and break up into kernels in a medium-sized salad bowl.

2 – Add all the other ingredients.

3 – Mix well.

4 – Serve immediately or chill for a couple of hours before serving.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Cole Slaw – Vegan

Onion icon smallIngredients

For dressing:

1/4 cup Earth Balance Mindful Mayo (vegan)

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 – 3 Tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

For cole slaw:

1/2 cabbage, shredded (2 – 3 cups)

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

6 oz (1/2 bag) Broccoli Slaw (for example, from Trader Joe’s)

6 oz (1 cup) shredded carrots

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup toasted unsalted sliced almonds

1 cup (about 1/2 onion) sweet onion, small dice. If you don’t have sweet onion, you can use yellow or white onion, but rinse it under cold water after dicing to take the sting out

Chef's hat icon smallerPreparation

  1. Whisk together all cole slaw dressing ingredients.
  2. Combine and toss all cole slaw ingredients.
  3. Pour on dressing, toss in vegetables, and serve.
Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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Fresh Tomato Soup

4 – 6 servings. You could use canned whole tomatoes here to save time and fuss (steps 1 – 3), but then it wouldn’t be “Fresh” Tomato Soup, would it? Fresh brings a different flavor profile.

Onion icon smallIngredients

10 organic Roma tomatoes, ripe and fragrant

1 teaspoon salt (for tomatoes)

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons agave syrup

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large bay leaf

1 cup sweet onion, small dice

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch, up to 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme, de-stemmed

1/2 cup organic celery, small dice

1/2 cup organic carrots, small dice

2 cups organic vegetable broth

1 cup original organic almond milk (unsweetened, no vanilla), or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 – 6 fresh basil leaves, stacked and rolled lengthwise into a cigar, then finely sliced across the cigar for long tendrils, as garnish.

Chef's hat icon smallerPreparation

1 – Rinse the tomatoes. Cut out stem core. Then, on the other end of each tomato, cut an X through the skin, about 1/2 inch long for each diagonal. Put all the tomatoes in a large, deep bowl.

2 – Boil up enough water (probably about 6 or 7 cups) to pour over and submerge all the tomatoes. Let stand for 2 minutes, then pour off the hot water. Let the tomatoes stand 5 minutes or more to cool them enough to handle.

3 – Using a paring knife, and starting with the slit skin end, peel off the skin (which comes off very easily now). Cut each tomato into quarters. Using your fingers, scoop out the seeds and discard them, but keep the fleshy form. That’s your fresh tomato. OK, now — all the rest is simple.

4 – Cut the tomatoes into 1/4 cubes. Add salt, dried basil, and agave syrup. Mix well.  Set aside for a few minutes.

5 – Heat the olive oil in a heavy kettle on medium, them add the onion, bay leaf, and salt. Sauté until onions soften and become translucent, about 1 – 2  minutes.

6 – Add the garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and the fresh thyme. Add the celery and carrots. Stir around to coat, cover, and cook for 3 minutes..

7 – Add the seasoned tomatoes. Mix well with the other vegetables. Add vegetable stock. Bring up to a boil, then cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.

8 – Remove the bay leaf.

9 – Purée soup in a large blender (or with a stick blender) for 20 to 30 seconds, or until smooth, but still with texter.

10 – Return to kettle, on medium heat. Add almond milk. Taste. Add, as needed, more salt, red pepper flakes, agave syrup, and almond milk. Heat for a few minutes, then serve, garnished with black pepper and fresh basil.

Questions? Contact barbara@CulinaryOracle.com
©2017 Barbara Newton-Holmes
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