Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Just a quick post to let everyone know - I am moving!  Finally moving over to http://www.abcvegan.com/, where you will be able to find my blog at http://www.abcvegan.com/blog/.  It's been a great year getting the blog going over here, and I hope you will follow me over to my new home.  I intend to dive back in on Monday with the original intent of the blog - to teach the hows, whys, and whats of this crazy vegan lifestyle.  VeganMoFo starts Monday (!), and my theme will be falling right into line with that intention.  Come join me!  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tzimmes for a Shana Tova 5773

Last year I wrote about my wonderful Rosh Hashanah menu, and gave a rough idea of how to make tzimmes, a quintessential Rosh Hashanah dish.  I don't know what this year's Rosh Hashanah menu will hold since I am on my own with friends for the first time ever, but I do know that I have perfected how to make tzimmes, and I need to share.  I made my mom an early Rosh Hashanah meal this week since we won't be together on the holiday, and happily, this came out exactly as I pictured it in my mind.  Sweet, warm, fall, holiday flavors... yum.

Perfect Rosh Hashanah Tzimmes
(works for Yom Kippur / pre-Kol Nidrei meal too :) )

olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, minced as fine as possible
1 1/2 lb sweet potato (any variety, prefer a non-orange flesh variety just to change up the colors in the dish), cubed
1 lb carrots, sliced into rounds
1 t salt (or to taste)
1/2 t pepper
1 t cinnamon
2 C water
3/8 C sweet red wine (I use our family favorite kiddish wine, Manischewitz Sweet Red Concord)
 +an extra few tablespoons to deglaze the pan
3/8 C lemon juice
1 red apple, cubed
4 figs, cubed

1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium to medium high heat.

2. When oil is hot, add onions.  Saute for approximately 5 minutes, but do not let burn.  After they start softening and turning translucent, reduce heat to a little under medium.  Add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan and keep the onions from sticking.

3. Add minced ginger, salt, and pepper and saute for another 5 minutes.

4. While onions and ginger are sauteeing, chop sweet potato and carrots.  I microwaved my potato for a few minutes to make easier to chop.  I recommend also microwaving the carrots for a few minutes to start softening them.

5. Add another splash of wine to deglaze the pan again.  Add sweet potato and carrots, water, wine, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  Adjust heat to medium low to allow all ingredients to simmer together.  Cover and simmer for at least half an hour.

6. Remove cover, add apple and figs, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, uncovered.  If needed, add additional water, but I like letting the juices thicken a bit, so don't go too heavy with the water.

Serve over couscous, and enjoy!

Shana Tova!

Early festive table at my mom's - been eating on that table at my Grandma's my whole life :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pesto Hummus

Ok this may be my new favorite recipe.  And that's saying a lot, because I love so many others.  But this one is easy, totally whole-foods based, and is full of bright, fresh flavors.  In the past week I have become addicted to hummus and basil for lunch - does anyone else do that?  Great, whole grain bread, toasted, spread with a thick layer of creamy hummus, fresh-picked basil placed on top.  An easy, filling, summer lunch.  So as I picked basil at my CSA I had this light-bulb moment - how about actually combining them?  And a beautiful thing was born.  I want to just eat bowls of this ... but I'll try to restrain myself and actually enjoy it over the course of the next few days.  :)

Pesto Hummus

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
3 T tahini
2 C fresh basil leaves
4 T olive oil
4 T unsweetened coconut milk beverage (The kind that comes in the boxes, not a can of coconut milk.  You could probably use water instead - the liquid is needed, but I used coconut milk just to make it a little creamier.)
1 t sea salt
2 T lemon juice
1/4 C nuts (I used a mix of raw cashews and almonds)
1/2 T sugar

Add all ingredients to a food processor, blend until smoooooth.  Enjoy!  That's it!  :)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Savory Cantaloupe Leek Pizza

The first thing everyone says when I tell them I made cantaloupe pizza the other day is, "Oh, so that's a dessert pizza right?"  Nope.  Not at all.  I tried to convince myself that maybe it was, after so many people asked... but it's not.  It's sweet but it's savory and it's dinner and it's *wonderful*.  The first time I made it when I came up with the recipe last summer I loved it so much that I had to immediately make it again the next week because I just hadn't gotten my fill the first time around.  This time I was gifted a free cantaloupe at my local farmer's market.  Normal people might think nice, now they would have cantaloupe to snack on, or for a healthy dessert ... I immediately thought, "Guess it's cantaloupe pizza time!"  Stopped to pick up some leeks,  picked some sage off my window box garden, and dinner was born. 

Like my Tomatillo-fingerling pizza with thyme, this goes beautifully with a glass of refreshing white wine.  The perfect relaxing summer meal, it created just the right peaceful atmosphere for Shabbat dinner.  I hope it finds you enjoying it at a wonderfully perfect relaxing moment as well.  :)

Worst picture ever, but I promise it tastes amazing!
Cantaloupe Leek Pizza

Pizza dough: I use this recipe

4 leeks, chopped
2/3 cantaloupe, cut in small pieces
3 T chopped fresh sage
1 C Follow Your Heart mozzarella cheese, shredded (You can of course use any vegan cheeze you like, but in this case I really like FYH because it's a little less cheezy, and just melds in with the other ingredients.)

1. Make pizza dough according to the recipe above

2. Preheat oven to 500.

3. Saute leeks in olive oil with a little salt and pepper until soft and caramelized.

4. Spread leeks over flattened pizza dough.

5. Saute cantaloupe in same pan, allow juice to reduce somewhat.  Stir in fresh sage and fresh black pepper.  Remove from pan and spread over the pizza dough. 
(You may want to spoon the cantaloupe and sage out of your pan and leave the juice behind.  This isn't always necessary, but this last time that I made it there was more juice than I wanted on my pizza.  I saved the extra flavorful juice and will make something else interesting with it!) 

6. Sprinkle "cheese" over top of pizza.

7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden.