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Showing posts from 2019

#215 The Case of Caprazy Salad

For whatever reason, I hesitated to substitute tofu for mozzarella in this traditional Italian salad. Now I'm asking myself, "What the heck took you so long?"

4 tomatoes, cored, ends trimmed, sliced
1 lb medium tofu (rough edges trimmed if necessary), sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
olive oil for drizzling
balsamic glaze for drizzling

Arrange the tomato slices on two plates.

Tuck in the tofu slices. Aim for a pleasing, random look.
Scatter on the beautiful, intense, fresh basil leaves, tucking in a few of them as well.
Drizzle on the olive oil, then the balsamic glaze. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2 meal-size salads.
♥ Becki

#214 The Case of Cashew Milk

If only you could breathe in the comforting aroma of my Cashew Milk as it's poured, warm, into this glass bottle. It carries the scent of vanilla even if there's not a drop of flavouring in it. Heavenly!

I use Cashew Milk extensively and directions on how to make it are embedded in my recipe for Oat Groats with Cashew Milk and Maple Syrup here. Cashew Milk is a vegetarian/vegan basic that I use in soups, sauces, smoothies and Hot Chocolate. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


#213 The Case of Grape Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad

Karl lovingly holds out a bowl of Grape Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad for two. It's the same, simple dish we ate for lunch in a small trattoria in Siena. A local guide assured us that Italians eat pasta every day!

2 cups pasta, cooked and rinsed in cold water
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes, the larger ones halved
1 cup arugula, chopped

Toss pasta to arugula together and salt to taste.

Serves 2.


#212 The Case of Caesar Salad

I've posted two salads in a row, which totally doesn't give away the fact that, as the years fly by, I must gobble more greens to maintain my waistline.

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked, uncovered, in plenty of room temperature water for at least 4 hours, then drained and rinsed
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
3-1/2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch cayenne
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup Pine Nut Parmesan
1/4 cup simulated bacon chips
4 cups vegan croutons


Blend together the cashews to cayenne.


Toss the romaine with the Caesar Vinaigrette.

Toss in the Pine Nut Parmesan and simulated bacon chips.

Then toss in the croutons and plate.

Serves 4.


PS It's easy to make your own vegan croutons. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cut bread crusts or old bread into cubes. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and garlic powder. Toss well. Bake, turning the cubes occasio…

#211 The Case of Italian Chopped Salad

2 handfuls arugula 1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and thinly sliced 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced 1/3 cup mixed olives, pitted and halved 4 marinated artichoke hearts, thinly sliced 1/4 cup Pine Nut Parmesan Vegan Italian vinaigrette Balsamic glaze
Toss together the arugula to marinated artichoke hearts with vegan Italian vinaigrette to taste.
Toss in the Pine Nut Parmesan.
Plate and drizzle with balsamic glaze to taste.
Serves 2.

#210 The Case of Gnocchi Primavera

2 350-g-packages potato gnocchi (Longo's Potato Gnocchi are nice) or enough for 4 people
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1 rounded teaspoon (for 1 cup) vegetable bouillon powder
2 zucchinis, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 green onions, chopped (or the equivalent of chopped chives)
1/3 cup Pine Nut Parmesan

Add the potato gnocchi to a large pot of boiling water. Immediately set your timer for 2 min. As soon as gnocchi float to the surface, test one. They're probably already al dente—ready before the 2 min. are up.

In the meantime, bring the olive oil, white wine and vegetable bouillon powder to a boil in another large pot. Simmer and reduce by half.

When the gnocchi are al dente, drain them and add them to the reduction. Toss in the zucchini, green onions, Pine Nut Parmesan and salt to taste.

Plate and grind pepper on top.  

Serves 4.


PS This is fabulous with fresh peas to replace the zucchini!

#209 The Case of Cream of Cauliflower Soup

I'm lovin' the garnish of fresh, chopped dill.

2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 potatoes, chopped
7-1/2 cups water
7-1/2 rounded teaspoons (for 7-1/2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1 cauliflower, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon caraway seed
1-1/4 cups cashew milk
chopped fresh dill to garnish

Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until softened.

Add the potatoes, water and vegetable bouillon powder, and simmer for 20 min.

Add the cauliflower, lemon juice, mustard seed and caraway seed, and simmer for 20 min.


Return the purée to the pot and stir in the cashew milk. Salt to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped, fresh dill.

Serves 6.


#208 The Case of Sichuan Green Beans and Tofu

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cups green beans, trimmed
1 lb. firm tofu, cubed
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon chilli pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, sliced
salt to taste
1 cup sichuan (or szechwan) sauce

In a wok or non-stick pan, bring the vegetable oil to high heat.

Add the green beans, tofu and onion. Stir-fry until the green beans are almost tender-crisp.

Stir in the sesame seeds and chilli pepper flakes and continue to stir-fry.

Add the garlic and salt, and stir-fry until the beans are tender-crisp.

Fold in the sichuan sauce and let it heat, thicken and coat the vegetables.

Serve with rice.

Serves 2


#207 The Case of Don't Give a Fig Salad

This salad tastes way too decadent not to be dessert and's leafy greens.
10 oz (284-g-pack) mixed lettuce Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette 1 cup pecans, toasted in the oven at 350ºF for 10 min. 12 figs (more or less, depending on size), stems removed, halved 1 cup vegan yogurt
Toss together the mixed lettuce and Orange Vanilla Vinaigrette.
Arrange the figs on the salad. Sprinkle on the pecans. Dollop with teaspoons of yogurt.
Makes 4 meal-size salads.
PS Also good with red grapes cut in half lengthwise to replace the figs.

#206 The Case of Nachos

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
19-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 red onion (approximately 1/2-cup volume), minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1 jalapeno, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
salt to taste1 cup raw cashews 1 yellow pepper, chopped 7 small, medium-heat chillies, seeded and chopped 1/3 cup water 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 4 cloves garlic 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder 2 teaspoons salt 380-g-bag tortilla chips (Tostitos Restaurant Style are nice)Guacamole, doubled

Tomato Black Bean Salsa
Combine the tomatoes, black beans, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin seeds and salt to taste.
Cheez Sauce
On your high-speed blender's soup function (if you have one), blend the cashews, yellow pepper, chillies, water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, chilli powder and salt until heated. If you don't have a soup function, blend, then warm the sauce in a small pot on the stove. 

On four plates or a huge platter, arrange a laye…

#205 The Case of Tofu Florentine

If you can handle the steps below somewhat simultaneously, you'll be way ahead of the game!
1/2 cup cashew milk 1 lb medium tofu, cut into 6 approximately 1/4-cup squares (you may have some tofu left over) 1/2 teaspoon salt + more to season the spinach 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 2-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 10 oz baby spinach 1 tablespoon olive oil pepper 1/3 cup vegan baking stick, melted 2 English muffins
In a high-speed blender, blend together the cashew milk, 2 squares of the tofu, salt, nutritional yeast, mustard seeds, turmeric, lemon juice and cayenne until smooth.
Sauté the baby spinach in the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Microwave 4 squares of the tofu, covered with its package liquid (or water), until heated.
Start your high-speed blender again on the soup function (if you have one). Remove the cover over the hole in the lid and gradually pour in the 1/3 vegan butter stick, melted. Continue…

#204 The Case of Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

Do you know that the flesh of your potatoes will keep its colour (won't turn grey) if you brine the spuds overnight before roasting?

1/8 cup salt + more to taste
2 cups water
24 baby red and white potatoes 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh rosemary (or 1/4 cup dried rosemary)

Dissolve the 1/8 cup salt in the water.

Add the potatoes and let sit overnight.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Drain, rinse and shake the potatoes dry.

Pierce them with a fork and microwave on high for 8 min.

Drain again, if needed, then toss them with the olive oil, rosemary and salt to taste.

Roast for 30 min.

Stir then roast for 30 min. more.

Serves 2.