Dec 26, 2020

kettle goulash



Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large pot 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Although no kettle required, real Hungarian Goulash is slightly thick, but not from flour; it is thick from paprika and the starch from the potato. In fact, there is six tablespoons of paprika in this meatless, vegetarian and vegan soup. It was really scrumptious and so easy to make! 

Kettle Goulash differs from regular Goulash in thickness. Regular Goulash is more soupy and Kettle Goulash is thicker - whether that is because of the method of cooking (kettle on an open fire evaporates liquid faster) or because of the mounds of paprika that is poured on the meat even before any liquid is added, I am not sure. However, I do know that I like this version a lot! If you like it soupier, add more water and serve with pasta.

I used Gardein beefless tips this time, but both my son and I think it would be better with seitan. Our husbands, however, thought it was great as is - so there you have it - a matter of opinion, again. 

I made this the old-fashioned way, where the onion is first cooked a little and then the protein is added and shrouded in paprika. It is not stirred but is covered and cooked for 5 minutes. Then the broth is added along with the vegetables, stirred well, and simmered. 

I highly recommend trying this soup! Serve with some crusty bread and garlicky greens; it is very filling and delicious, not to mention crazy easy to make.

NEW TO PLANT-BASED EATING? Get my free zines and check out the wrap-up of Fall 2020 recipes HERE. Great way to set yourself up for success!


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Chop the onions and garlic.
  • Chop the seitan (or use beefless tips; do not thaw) while the onion cooks.
  • Cover to cook the protein and paprika together.
  • Chop the vegetable while the protein cooks.

(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.)


Makes 4 to 6 servings 


1. Onion Base: Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes, until the onion is golden. 

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2. Protein: Add the Gardein or seitan on top of the Onion Base. Add the paprika evenly. Do not stir. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

4 cups frozen Gardein beefless tips or diced Easy Simple Seitan (Fall 2020) 

6 tablespoons Hungarian paprika

3. Vegetables: Add the potato, celery, carrot, pepper, tomato paste and vegetable broth. Stir well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to boil and reduce to a medium simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.  

2 large Russet potatoes (20 ounces total), peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

2 celery ribs, sliced

1 medium carrots, sliced 

1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

4 cups vegetable broth

4. Serve: Season to taste and serve with crusty bread. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pint It!

Dec 21, 2020

winter solstice - fall wrap up

Hello, hello Dear Readers! Happy Winter Solstice!

Today marks the shortest day of the year, but that means that the days from here on will be longer and brighter. It's been a tough year for all, and I hope that you and yours are doing the best you can. No doubt that 2020 kept on taking, but today signals a brighter future - I sincerely hope, for all. 

Since it is the end of the season, I am releasing my second free meatless, vegetarian and vegan zine, this one for Fall 2020. 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, like the

1. Complete Roast recipe above, with all the required sub-recipes. The Roast takes about 3 hours of time to make, but it is mostly hands-off. If you make it for a large group next year, double the ingredients and enjoy your feast. 

12. The Easy Simple Seitan recipe was part of the Picatta dish, which only takes 15 minutes to get to the table. It is a family favorite and I hope more of you try it.

6. Breakfast Tofu is a life-savor for any morning. My hubby and I have been enjoying a daily breakfast sandwich made with the Breakfast Tofu on an English muffin, with a vegan sausage and vegan cheese. It is hearty and delicious and ready in 10 minutes. Faster than any drive-thru.  

Fall is a great time for soups, and I showed you how to make 

7. Chicken-free Rice Soup , which you can completely customize and is ready in 30 minutes. This winter I will be bringing you a soup like it, but cooking the rice in the soup so you won't even have to do that separately. 

11. Southwest Vegetable Soup was a take-on  the Chili's restaurant version. Apparently it is a very popular soup and I can see why. Another very easy but very fast soup to make. Please try it! It is thick and flavorful.

4. Ranking high on the blog is Vegan Beef and Barley Stew. Yes, it is hearty and filling. It is perfect for cool weather. Use the slow cooker, pressure cooker or the stove.   

In addition to the Breakfast Tofu Sandwich, I also brought you 

2. French Dip. Easy Simple Seitan is perfect here (recipe is in the zine for Easy Simple Seitan - takes 45 minutes to cook, with 5 minutes prep) but the real star is the au jus. Making vegan au jus is completely doable and this recipe shows how wonderful it can be. Not more than a few ingredients and a little simmering. 

9. Curried Chicken-free Salad sandwiches are amazing! This is made with Soy Curlz (which I will do a Making Monday post for), but store-bought protein or seitan would work as well. Even Savory Tofu (again, another Making Monday for the winter!) is excellent in this take on Whole Foods Curried Chicken-free Salad recipe. 

Since pasta is a food group for many of us, I made

8. Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta. This is my eldest daughter's favorite pasta dish! I know making your own nut milk is at first daunting, but try it. You'll be surprised how a little practice with making your own nut milk reaps a lot of reward. 

10. Creamy Lemon Pasta with Crispy Lentils brings some brightness to a droopy day - lemons tend to do that for me. They are a bit of sunshine. In fact, lemons are a cool-weather fruit, so it is very apropos that  they should be best at the time of growing darkness. The crispy lentils are a bit of surprise here, but the flavor profiles are in harmony. 

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

3. Kung Pao Tofu happens to be the all-time high ranker on this blog. It has had the most views. With that in mind, I created this recipe that emulates that one, but is easier and faster. An old refrain, I know.

5. Shepherd's Pie is another perfect fall or winter dish. This one is easy to make and uses vegan grounds. Of course, use lentils if you like and swap vegetables in and out. You can even make it with cauliflower mash instead of potatoes.

12. Picatta has already been mentioned above, but another shout-out can't hurt. 

Alfredo Scampi Pasta Bake is a new recipe, but it is already garnering plenty of interest. I can see why - with a prep time of 5 to 10 minutes, it being a Dump Dinner and tasting good - there is a lot to like! And this coming winter I have a few more Dump Dinners scheduled - something else to look forward to.

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!

Dec 19, 2020

alfredo scampi pasta bake - dump dinner



Time: 45 minutes
Dishes: large pot or 9x13 baking pan

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I know this says 45 minutes but this is technically a Dump Dinner, so you can prep this meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish in 5 minutes flat. You add the pasta and broth. Top with vegetables and beans. Add some flavoring, like garlic and lemon zest and bake! 

Once it is baked add some nondairy milk and vegan cheese, if you want, and this is ready for the table. It was super fast and easy and it was really good! I used broccolini and cauliflower, but zucchini, carrots or green beans should work great, as well.

The scampi-ness is thanks to the lemon zest and nondairy milk and the Alfredo part is because of the milk and vegan cheese, if you use it. I used Follow Your Heart parmesan shreds, but the Violife would be great, too , or regular vegan white shreds - or no cheese at all.  

No fuss dinner that hardly needs prep, plus it tastes good. 
On a weeknight, that covers my bases.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • It's a Dump Dinner - so not much to it!
  • Layer the pasta, broth, vegetables, beans, zest, garlic and salt.
  • Bake.
  • Finish with the nondairy milk and vegan cheese and bake to heat and melt.
  • Serve!

(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.)

Alfredo Scampi Pasta Bake

Makes 4 servings 


Preheat oven to 425-F

1. Pasta: Add the pasta to an oiled 9X13-inch baking pan (or equivalent). Spread evenly. Pour the broth over the pasta. 

12 ounces rotini pasta (or equivalent)

4 cups vegetable broth

2. Vegetables: Spread the vegetables and beans evenly over the Pasta.  Sprinkle with garlic, lemon zest, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil or lid and bake for 30 minutes.

3 cups chopped vegetables (zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, pepper)

2 cups (an 15-ounce can) white beans, rinsed

2 teaspoons minced garlic

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)

3. Cheese: Add the milk to the Pasta. Add the optional cheese. Return to the oven (uncovered) and bake until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Serve. 

1 cup nondairy milk

1 cup vegan shredded white or Parmesan-style cheese (optional)

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pint It!

Dec 12, 2020

chicken-free rice soup


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large pot, rice cooker

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Tasty! I thought I would have leftovers of this meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish, but wound up needing to make a second batch. It's easy, too, so that wasn't a big deal.

This is really just a simple rice soup with a delicious broth. I used brown rice, so that always makes it take 15 minutes longer, using Instant Pot, so something to keep in mind.

The recipe calls for Easy Savory Broth Mix which you can find HERE or use any chicken-like broth mix, but don't skimp on it if the flavor is a bit bland. 

I used Gardein today, but I can see this with tofu, beans, zucchini or green beans or a plethora of other vegetables, so don't be afraid to try different ingredients. Keep the broth and rice and substitute your heart out.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the rice first.
  • Cook the scallopini using a lid. 
  • Chop the vegetables while it cooks. Add the vegetables and then take out the scallopini to avoid using another dish.
  • Use a lid to cook the vegetables and soup, too.

Chicken-Free Rice Soup

Makes 4 servings 


1. Rice: Cook the rice as desired, in a rice cooker or Instant Pot.

1 cup rice, any kind

2. Protein: Spray the bottom of a large pot with oil. Add the scallopini and cook, covered, over medium heat, until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove to the cutting board and chop when cool.

oil spray

4 Gardein scallopini

3. Soup: Add the oil and vegetables to the now empty pot. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stir as needed:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery ribs, diced

1 teaspoon minced garlic


4. Broth: Add the seasoning to the Soup and cook for 1 minutes. Add the water and cover. Cook over medium-high heat until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

2 tablespoons Easy Savory Broth Mix**

8 cups water

5. Finish: Add the Rice, Protein and greens. Cook for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve

4 cups baby spinach or baby kale




** Substitute for Savory Broth Mix: 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sage and 1 teaspoon oregano. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pin it!

Dec 5, 2020

making breakfast tofu


Time: 15 minutes
Dishes: large pan 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

I want to share with you what we enjoy for breakfast on most days. Either my husband or I will make our meatless, vegetarian and vegan breakfast sandwiches, which takes about 10 minutes from fridge to table. To make these delicious English Muffin (or bagel, or breakfast burrito, or toast if you like) sandwiches fast, I prepare a package of tofu at the beginning of the week, as the base for the sandwich.

The Breakfast Tofu takes about 15 minutes to cook, hands-off most of the time, and keeps for about 7 days. It is easy to make and not fussy at all. Below is the step-by-step.

Easy Sandwich:

1) Toast the English muffin and vegan sausage patty in the air-fryer for 8 to 10 minutes, 375-degrees.
2) Heat a slice or two of tofu with a slice of vegan cheese in the microwave for 1 minute.
3) Slice onion, jalapeno, tomato (or whatever) while everything cooks.
4) Spread vegan mayo, avocado or salsa on English Muffin.
5) Assemble and season with salt and pepper.


Making Breakfast Tofu

Makes 10 to 12 slices; doubles easily

1. Tofu: Rinse the tofu and slice into 10 to 12 slices. Do this while the tofu is in the package container to keep the tofu together and make it easy to transfer to the pan.

1 package tofu (any type except silken)

1. Sauté: Add oil spray to a large pan set over medium heat. Add the Tofu slices, cramming them into the pan. Cook the slices until golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes. 

Oil spray

2. Flavoring: Sprinkle the turmeric and nutritional yeast evenly over the Tofu. Add salt to taste. Pour the water over the Tofu slowly and evenly. Use a spatula to gently loosen the tofu from the bottom of the pan. If using black salt, keep in mind that the black salt will also add saltiness. Add black salt after tofu is cooked because heat dissipates the flavor of black salt. Adding the water slowly and evenly will mix the yeast and turmeric efficiently. 

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

1/16 teaspoon (half of ⅛ teaspoon) turmeric 


1 cup water

3. Cook: Cook the Tofu in the Flavoring until the liquid evaporates, about 4 to 7 minutes. Store until needed, up to 7 days, and season with black salt after reheating, if desired,. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pin it!