Jun 21, 2021

summer solstice - spring wrap up

Hello, hello Dear Readers! Happy Summer Solstice!

Today marks the longest day of the year, which means it'll only get hotter from here on (or colder in the other half of the hemisphere). With the US heading out of the pandemic, I hope it bodes better for all of us.

Since it is the end of the season, I am releasing my fourth free meatless, vegetarian and vegan zine, this one for Spring 2021. This makes a complete year of free zines and I hope a few of you have found them helpful. If you have any suggestions for the next year of zines, drop me a note. 

You can head to the  ** free zine **  page above (Link HERE) and download your zines for free. Printing instructions are in the pdfs; it is an easy way to have fast and easy recipes at your fingertips.

This past season I have prepared staples:

Seafood Tofu is a fast and easy marinating method that gives the tofu a hint of the sea. Of course, it depends on how long you marinate it in the seaweed-flavored broth, but about 20 minutes is all you need. It can be grilled, broiled, battered and fried. 

Zsu's Curry Powder is homemade curry powder and you need homemade curry powder to achieve the best flavor for your dish. Store-bought curry has lost its fizz and you never know how long it's been on the shelf. 

Spring, or any season, really, is a great time for soups, and this season I had plenty:

5. Middle Eastern Lentil Soup  is a unique take on lentil soup. This recipe uses the Indian-method of cooking lentils that retains the shape of the lentils after they are cooked through.

6. Texas Chili is very authentic and very delicious. It takes me back to Austin, where we lived for almost a decade. Top as you like, but the chili itself can be stove-cooked or slow-cooked. 

8. Creamy Cauliflower Soup is my take on Bakers Square Cauliflower Au Gratin soup and it is exactly the way I remember it (way back in my vegetarian days). 

11. Caldo non Pollo Soup is fast and easy soup that uses any chicken-style protein (or beans) to get a hearty and delicious soup on the table in less than 45 minutes, including rice. Have I mentioned it's a one-pot meal? Bonus!

Sandwiches are easy and fast, and this season I had two special ones:   

7. Sriracha Buffalo Sandwich is my take on a regular Buffalo Sandwich, but kicked up to sriracha level. With bits of crisp soy curls, it is perfectly spicy and awesome. 

9. Baja Tacos is authentic San Diego fare. Complete with seafood tofu, slaw, avocado and sauce, it is just perfect! The tofu is air-fried or can be baked.  

Pasta is a  vegan staple, frankly, and I made:

4. Primavera Alfredo is my take on an Alfredo pasta but packed with vegetables. This is just how I remember having Alfredo pasta back in my restauranteur days. Creamy and rich, but fast and vegan.

12. Cabbage Pasta is my childhood favorite pasta dish. This is a perfect way to use up any cabbage you have hanging around after you used what you needed in a recipe (thanks, Susan! Great tip!)

Finally for some "main" meals. I guess those would be anything that doesn't fall into the previous categories. 

1. Trinidad Chickpea and Potato Curry is my son-in-law's mother's recipe, authentic from Trinidad. It's already vegan by design, so I just wrote up the recipe and thank her profusely for this amazing dish. In fact, by page hits, this was a run-away favorite! 

2. Twice Baked Mexican Potatoes is my spin on a twice-baked potato. This is a weekend meal, but that's because the potatoes take a long time to bake. Nevertheless, it came in at second for popularity. 

3. Maple Dijon Seitan with Rice Pilaf is another Bakers Square redo. I worked at Bakers Square for five years during my younger twenty's, and while I never had the chicken part, I did have the sauce and cheese over the rice pilaf (again, my vegetarian days). It is deliciously accurate. The seitan is also easy to make and store in the freezer, if needed. 

10. Bainghan Bharta with Potatoes is so tasty! I hope more people will have the chance to have it. I am very cautious about sharing Indian recipes and I make sure they are worthy before doing so. This one is up to par. The eggplant is easy to prepare and the potatoes fill out this traditional dish.

The only thing left to do is get the pdf, figure out what you haven't made, yet, and start creating your menu. 



Pin it!

Jun 19, 2021

cabbage pasta


Time: 35 minutes
Dishes: large pot, medium pot

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This dish is one of our family's favorite. In fact, I fondly remember my mother making it for me when I was younger. It is practically a staple in the house, so it was a bit challenging to write a recipe for it, since it comes so naturally to us. 

This is a simple dish that makes perfect use of  a head of cabbage. It is slow cooked over 20 minutes to get it soft, tender and flavorful. It calls for a ton of black pepper, but if you grind it fresh, go a bit easier. Add it to your taste, but remember that the authentic Hungarian way is to use a bit more than is probably healthy. 

Heat your pot and add the cabbage as you slice it. This is the fastest way of doing it. Use a knife in lieu of a food processor because the processor either chops it too fine or not fine enough. Think of it as therapy.

Toss it with as much pasta as you like, but I keep it to 12 ounce of pasta for a small to medium size head of cabbage - either purple or green.

My apologies for missing last week's post. I was at UC Davis where my eldest daughter was celebrating her commencement with a Bachelor's in Neurobiology, Magna Kum Laude. I wanted to post, but the drive up there tired me out. 

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the water for the pasta.


(Printer-friendly doesn't seem to be so friendly. Just select the text between the arrows (including the white space to add margin on the top), right-click, select Print, and now it's printer-friendly. Can also be saved as PDF:  choose Save as PDF in Destination drop-down, instead of a printer.)

Cabbage Pasta

Makes 4 servings 



12 ounces fusilli or rotini pasta

1 tablespoon oil

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced 

1 small head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain the pasta, return to the pot:

2. Vegetables: Add the oil, bell pepper, onion and garlic to a large pot over medium heat. Add the cabbage as it is sliced. Once all the cabbage is added, cook, covered, and stir as needed, until tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add a few tablespoons of water, as needed:

3. Combine: Add the drained Pasta to the tender Cabbage. Toss well and serve. 


© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pin it!

vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based