Category Archives: Vegetables

Bestest Soup Evah – Potato, Leek, Carnival Squash, Roasted Garlic Soup

I got 5 lbs of free potatoes from our local natural foods store, Cali’s. They needed to be used up pretty quickly as they were already growing some eyes. I looked around the house to see what I had and came up with a potato, leek, carnival squash, roasted garlic soup. The recipe is below. It is for a Fagor pressure cooker at high altitude. For lower altitude, you probably will need less cooking time. You could also make this on the stove and cook for much longer. But, I think the pressure cooker is integral to get the creamy texture of this soup.


Creamy Potato, Leek, Carnival Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup

2 carnival squash
2 heads garlic
olive oil, salt, pepper
1 T olive oil
2 leeks, white parts cleaned and sliced thin
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
a few cranks of pepper
1/4 c white wine
4 c water
2.5 lbs yukon gold potatoes (4 large), peeled and cut into 1.5″ chunks
1/2 T olive oil
2 T fresh parsley
1 not-chicken bouillon cube
1.5 c soy milk
1/2 c Silk soy creamer
2 T Earth Balance margarine
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice carnival squash in half and scoop out seeds. Rub the cut side with olive oil and place on a foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for 40-50 min, until tender. Meanwhile, remove loose paper from garlic, slice off the tops, and place in a foil packet. Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal up the foil packet and bake for 50 minutes at 400. Remove everything from the oven and cool for a while. When cool, scrape the squash insides into a bowl and squeeze out the garlic cloves into the same bowl. Set aside for later.

Using the brown function of the electric pressure cooker (or the stove top), cook the leeks in about a tablespoon of olive oil till tender. When leeks are tender, add the dried herbs and a few cranks of pepper. Cook for about a minute. Add the white wine and cook for another minute. Add 4 cups of water and the potatoes. Add 1/2 T olive oil to the top of the liquid to prevent potato foaming in the pressure cooker. Close lid and cook for 7 minutes (less at regular altitude). Quick release when done, and add the squash, garlic, bouillon cube, and 2 T fresh parsley. Close lid and cook for another 3 minutes. Quick release.

If your pressure cooker is non-stick, you might want to use a measuring cup to scoop the soup to another pot for this next step. Add the cream, soy milk, and margarine along with some salt and pepper. Use a stick blender to puree the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a soft roll and a big dinner salad.



Filed under Dinner Entrees, Vegetables

Now don’t ever buy canned pumpkin again!

Ok, you can buy pumpkin puree in a can, but please, just don’t do it in the fall when you can make it yourself. It’s so easy and I’m going to show you how step by step.

First, you want to get some Sugar Pumpkins. These are small cooking pumpkins.

Preheat oven to 375F. Then, cut the pumpkin in half.

Scrape out the seeds and guts into a bowl. Keep the seeds and guts. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on oiled non-stick foil (or you can oil the cut edge of the pumpkin). I usually just drizzle a little olive oil on my foiled sheet pan and then spin the pumpkins cut side around in the oil. Place them in the oven. They are going to cook for about an hour.

Look at all those great seeds. You didn’t really want to throw that out did you? Pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious and make great snacks (more on that in a minute).

Separate the seeds from the goo. You can do this by squeezing the goo. Put the seeds on a sheet pan covered in non-stick foil. You don’t need to rinse them. Now you can add some oil and seasonings and roast them. You want just enough oil to lightly coat them. I usually go with a mixture of hot sesame oil, sesame oil, a pinch of five spice powder, and some salt or soy sauce. Pop them in the oven under the pumpkins and cook for 15-30 minutes until well browned. Stir every 5-10 minutes.

Here is what’s left of my pumpkin. The goo. Now, you can throw this away or you can add it to vegetable stock scraps if you are making your own stock later. Pumpkin guts in the stock is especially good if you are going to make a pumpkin or butternut squash risotto.

When the seeds are done, they will look like this. Cool and eat.

When the pumpkin is done, you will be able to poke it and leave a dent. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle it.

The pumpkin skin will now just pull away, leaving you with all the good pumpkin. Put the pumpkin into a food processor and blend until pureed.

Here is what my puree looked like.

You can freeze this and use it later. I like to freeze it in 1 cup amounts for recipes. Or, you can now go and make some skanky pumpkin squares, pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin waffles!


Filed under Vegetables

Szchezuan Green Beans and Tofu

I went to the farmer’s market last weekend and asked for a small basket of the beautiful green beans from one of the farmers. Well, she gave me a small basket worth and then piled green beans up on top until we really had 2 small baskets worth. I didn’t mind getting extra since they were the best green beans I’d seen all season; perfectly sized, not overgrown, and not a spot on them. I knew immediately that I’d make some Szchezuan green beans with them.

Szchezuan Green Beans and Tofu

I searched all of my cookbooks for a good recipe and nothing looked like what I wanted, so I hit the interwebs. I found the perfect recipe over at Vegan Bean. We loved it. It makes a lot of very tasty sauce to go with the rice. We make stir fry a lot (so this is a big compliment) and I think that this is now my favorite stir fry sauce recipe. I think this recipe would work with any combination of vegetables. Definitely a keeper.

Szechuan Green Bean Tofu

1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed
½ lb green beans
1 small onion, cut into chunks
2TB peanut oil
1TB Chinese chili paste (I like the Lee Kum Kee chili garlic sauce)
2 scallions, finely chopped
1TB sugar
4TB soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp ginger, minced
1TB sesame oil
1½ C water
4tsp cornstarch

Mix the cornstarch and water together until dissolved. Cut the green beans into bite size pieces, and steam until tender. Make the sauce by mixing the chili paste, scallions, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil together in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium high heat. Add the tofu cubes and cook until crispy and lightly browned. Add the onion, cook for 2 minutes. Add the steamed green beans and the sauce mixture. Mix, cook for 2 more minutes. Add the water/cornstarch mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat, sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Note – I pre-steamed the green beans about 4 minutes before stir frying them quickly.
Note 2 – I know that white rice is not especially good for me, but sometimes a sticky white rice is the right choice for stir fry!


Filed under Dinner Entrees, Vegetables

Today’s SLC Farmer’s Market Haul


All this for $31!

Heirloom Tomatoes
Regular Tomatoes
Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes
Swiss Chard
Baby Red Potatoes
Green Beans
2 Eggplant
2 Zucchini
Butternut Squash
Delicata Squash
4 Corn
1 pepper

Now I have to figure out what to do with all of it.


Filed under Vegetables

Emerald Peanut Sesame Noodles

After a week of cooking Mexican food I need to (a) not cook much this week (b) cook really easy things and (c) make something besides Mexican food.  I went with all my cravings for vegetables and pasta tonight.  This is a recipe from Jack Bishop’s cookbook, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen.  It is Emerald Peanut Sesame Noodles (the emerald is from spinach in the sauce) served with roasted yellow beets and asparagus.  For the noodles I used Whole Wheat Spaghetti.  And you can’t see it in this picture, but one of the best parts of this dish is the fried scallions that go on top of the noodles.

Emerald Peanut Sesame Noodles


Filed under Dinner Entrees, Vegetables

There really are mushrooms in there!

Tonight’s dinner was Swedish Tempeh Meatlessballs with steamed broccoli and maple glazed roasted butternut squash.

The meatless balls are Dan’s tempeh meatless balls. The sauce is Joni’s Swedish meatball sauce. The only changes I made include doubling the sauce recipe (it made a lot and I could probably have gone 1 1/2 times the recipe amt) and deglazing the mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons of white wine. The white wine added a really nice layer to the sauce. To make the dish easier to make, I made the meatlessballs, set them aside and reheated them near the end, just before serving.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I won’t eat mushrooms. I’ll cook with them, but I’ll pick them out. My husband likes them and I don’t mind the flavor. In the pic below it looks like there are no mushrooms in this dish. That was selective serving on my part. But don’t worry, there really are mushrooms in this dish… 16 oz of mushrooms in fact!


Filed under Dinner Entrees, Vegetables

2 Buddha Bowls for the Price of One

Well there would be two recipes here if I hadn’t screwed up one. This week I decided that I wanted Buddha bowls; bowls full of brown rice, kale, tofu, veggies and some sauce. I have no idea where I got the idea that this was the definition of a buddha bowl, but there ya go.

Here is a pic of the bowl, pre-sauced. You can see that it has my buddha bowl definition of ingredients; vegetables (whatever you like really – I used carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers, scallions, snow peas), tofu, kale, brown rice:


The first bowl that we made on Monday night, had a ginger soy sauce. This is the sauce I messed up. But, no fear, I’ll try it again soon and post a usable sauce recipe for this. I wasn’t feeling well at all when I made this, and for some reason I never tasted it until we sat down to eat. Wow was it salty. Hmm, maybe a little less soy sauce next time. 


When I made this bowl on Monday, I made enough stir fry veggies, brown rice, stir fried tofu, and sauteed kale to use the other half in Wednesday’s bowl. This cut tonight’s cooking down to only reheating in the microwave and making a sauce.

Tonight’s bowl got a thai coconut curry sauce. It is a very light sauce (not too spicy and not too much curry flavor), and the recipe follows.


Here is a pic of the sauce cooking on the stove.


Red Coconut Curry Buddha Bowl Sauce

1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 tsp red curry paste, make sure it is vegan
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp paprika
1 14-16 oz can coconut milk (not lite coconut milk)
1 Tbsp brown sugar

Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and then add the garlic and ginger. Saute a couple of minutes (be careful not to burn it; keep the heat medium to low). Add the curry paste, tomato paste, soy sauce, coriander, cumin, and paprika. Cook for about another 30 seconds to a minute. Stir in the coconut milk and brown sugar and make sure you mix it well. Bring it to a boil and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Serve over stir fried veggies and rice.


Oh, And this sauce tasted amazing on the kale!  Here is a link to the original recipe that I based this on (mostly I just looked to see that ingredients they put in theirs and then mixed stuff up till it tasted like I wanted it to).


Filed under Dinner Entrees, Vegetables