rants & recipes

Archive for the ‘potato’ Category

Summer Cookout Staples

Posted by trktos on 30-May-2010

I’ve never been much of a fan of potato salad. But I think, what I’ve disliked about it all these years is too much “crunchy stuff” in it – chunks of celery, big bits of pickle, etc. At its basic level, potato salad is potatoes and mayonnaise – hard to go wrong with that!

Vegan Potato Salad (adapted from about half a dozen recipes online)


  • 44 ounces small yellow potatoes, peeled, diced, cooked until tender
  • 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp tummeric
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • about 2 tbsp sweet pickle relish (I like Vlasic brand – more shredded that little crunchy chunks)
  • 1/2 tsp indian black salt
  • celery seed
  • pinch each of cumin, red pepper and ginger (probably can’t tell the difference if you left these out)
  • salt, black pepper
  • paprika


  1. Whisk all ingredients except potatoes and paprika.
  2. Pour sauce over warm potatoes, tossing to coat.
  3. Sprinkle with paprika.
  4. Refrigerate to cool.

Boston Baked Beans (a combination of Alton Brown’s recipe and one posted on vegsource.com ages ago)


  • 1 lb dry navy beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (membranes and seeds removed)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp  soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke (or more, depending on how concentrated your smoke is)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt


  1. Saute onion and chilies in olive oil, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste, sugar and molasses.
  3. Then add vegetable broth, soy sauce and smoke.
  4. Add mustard powder, red and black peppers and salt.
  5. Add beans and cook until the mix begins to bubble. Clamp on lid and then transfer to the oven.
  6. Bake at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours.

Vegan Homemade Hot Dogs (from this recipe)


  • 30 grams almond, finely ground
  • 9 ounces tofu
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 1/2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 34 grams onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 140 grams wheat gluten


  1. Combine all ingredients except wheat gluten.
  2. Process in food processor until completely smooth.
  3. Mix in gluten to form a wet dough.
  4. Shape into logs, roll in foil, pressure cook 15 minutes past achieving pressure.


  • These had really good, hot-dog-like flavor but the texture could have been denser – this was more like a ‘sausage’ in texture. The texture improved some on cooling and we didn’t boil them, as directed – I’ll try that tomorrow.

Posted in 0: Recipes, beans, grains, starches, meat subs, potato, seitan, side dish, tofu | Comments Off on Summer Cookout Staples

Perfect Weather for Curry

Posted by trktos on 7-October-2009


As I thought about what to cook for dinner tonight (and resisted the temptation to suggest we just finish off our bread from last night, maybe followed with a cup of cocoa!), I started thinking about another common food idea that I don’t understand – people who rarely cook and/or “can’t” cook. And especially, new vegetarians/vegans, or would-be new v’s, who have no idea how to “cook vegetarian”. As far as cooking goes, I can’t imagine it gets much easier – nothing has to be cooked to a certain temperature (although I do try to limit my consumption of raw potatoes!), I don’t have to keep track of which cutting board is for what (one of those binary choices I’d probably always get wrong) … most of our meals are simply “vegetables, a grain, and a protein” – the protein, incidentally, we often refer to as ‘meat’. I insist ‘meat’ is a perfectly good word and refuse to surrender it to meaning solely the body parts of dead animals. (Although, I would try to avoid such confusing use in unfamiliar company.)

I try to temper my disbelief by trying to imagine what I’d do if I decided to try to cook, say, a whole chicken. I would be lost, not to mention very sad with a dead bird in my kitchen. Indeed, I stopped eating meat before I learned how to cook … so that would be my excuse for burying hypothetical chicken in the backyard and frying up some tofu.

And, of people (both vegans and non) who do cook regularly, I suppose there are two types – those who must have a recipe and those who are willing to just throw stuff together, experiment and make all sorts of adjustments. I am probably a member of both camps, but for meals, I tend to experiment and only occasionally go by a standard recipe. I don’t bake enough to feel as comfortable doing that with, say, a cake. Unless cutting out/replacing eggs and dairy from non-vegan recipes count.

Anyway, I’d be curious to hear how other people cook. How often they cook, how often they try new recipes for meals, if they just throw stuff together, etc?

So, anyway … tonight’s dinner, I decided for curry. Kind of chilly outside, perfect weather for something hot and a little spicy. A while back, I made some soup that I thought of as “Clean Out the ‘Fridge” soup because I used all the vegetables in the refrigerator that needed to be eaten. Along the same lines, this could be “Clean Out the ‘Fridge” curry. I based it roughly on this recipe, with the following ingredient additions:

  • 5 medium potatoes, diced
  • ~ 1 1/4 cups red lentils (because they cook faster)
  • some spinach that needed to be included in something (maybe 2 cups, non-packed)
  • 6-8 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
  • maybe only 1 cup coconut milk (the amount I had left-over, from something, in the freezer)

Anyway, a good exercise in modifying a “recipe” to use what you have and what you need to use, rather than strictly sticking to a recipe, ingredient for ingredient. A good exercise and a good dinner. (With leftovers, too! =)


Posted in 0: Recipes, beans, curry, eggplant, grains, starches, lentil, main dish, potato, spices, flavors, spicy, stew, VeganMoFo, vegetables | Comments Off on Perfect Weather for Curry

Creamy Spinach Soup

Posted by trktos on 16-September-2008

I’ve been wanting to make creamed spinach soup for a long time and finally, last night, with a huge tub of spinach that needed to be eaten, I finally managed to give it a try. The following recipe is just a compilation of lots of recipes I found online. If you’re not sure you will like creamed spinach soup, halve this recipe.


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • generous amount olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 vegetable cube (I used Rapunzel no-salt)
  • about 2 tsp vegetable bullion (I used Better Than Bullion, Chick’n)
  • black pepper, red pepper
  • about 10-12 ounces fresh spinach
  • about 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • dash soy sauce
  • dash Indian curry powder(I used Frontier brand)
  • about 2 tbsp Tofutti Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups plain, unflavored soy milk
  • pinch nutmeg, optional


  1. Sauté onions, carrot and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add water, potatoes, vegetable cube and bullion.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are almost done.
  4. Add spinach, peppers, soy sauce and Earth Balance.
  5. Cook until spinach is wilted. Lower heat.
  6. Add soy milk, curry, Tofutti. (Don’t boil after adding soy milk and Tofutti.)
  7. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  8. Serve with extra Tofutti cream cheese, if desired


  • My goal with this soup was to make a blended soup that was satisfying and a meal-in-itself … lower-fat versions would make a wonderful side dish.
  • Two onions would be better, I only had one.
  • Evin, an ardent blended-soup hater, said this was “better than he expected” – high praise, indeed!

    Posted in 0: Recipes, cream cheese, dairy subs, grains, starches, main dish, potato, soup, spinach, vegetables | Leave a Comment »

    Aramanth Lentil Potato Mushroom Soup

    Posted by trktos on 23-August-2008


    • 2/3 cup aramanth
    • 2/3 cup brown lentils
    • 3 carrots, sliced
    • 3 stalks celery, diced
    • 2 medium onions, diced
    • 2 Italian eggplants, diced
    • about 6 red potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
    • about 5 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
    • enough water to cover

    Seasoning Ingredients:

    • 2 vegetable broth cubes
    • approx. 1 1/2 t marmite
    • approx 1 T soy sauce


    1. Bring first group of ingredients to a boil, turn down to simmer.
    2. Dissolve Seasoning Ingredients in hot water, add about mid-way through cooking time.
    3. Simmer until potatoes are tender.

    Posted in 0: Recipes, amaranth, beans, grains, starches, lentil, main dish, mushroom, potato, soup, vegetables | Leave a Comment »

    Soyburger Helper

    Posted by trktos on 22-August-2008

    Ok, so I can’t remember what Hamburger Helper tasted like, or even looked like, for that matter … I seem to remember there being noodles, which this doesn’t have … it’s relatively quick and easy though. And very helpful for the cows!!

    Ingredients, group 1:

    • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
    • 3 Chinese eggplants, peeled and diced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 5 – 6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
    • (garlic and carrots would be good too, but I was out)

    Ingredients, group 2:

    • 1 1/2 bags Morningstar Soy Crumbles
    • 1 block Follow Your Heart vegan Mozarella Cheeze, diced
    • 8 ounces mushrooms, washed and sliced
    • 1 can black beans, mostly drained


    1. Cook the 1st group of ingredients in some olive oil until done.
    2. Cook the 2nd group of ingredients until cheeze just starts to melt, cover and continue to cook until all the cheeze has melted and the mushrooms are cooked.
    3. Combine and serve.


    • Also good (better, according to Evin) with pasta, in place of the potatoes.

    Posted in 0: Recipes, beans, black beans, dairy subs, grains, starches, main dish, pasta, potato, soy cheese | Leave a Comment »