Showing posts with label meatless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meatless. Show all posts

Sep 19, 2020

creamy vodka sauce pasta


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: medium pot, pot for pasta, immersion blender, stand or personal blender 

Heads Up! Nut milk bag and almonds 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This is a family favorite, for sure.  It is a meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish. The creamy tomato sauce over a hearty pasta is pretty terrific and I would classify this as a comfort food. 

I also classified this as easy, but there is a caveat: the nut milk must be made fresh. No processed milk will do this justice, or thicken. Freshly made nut milk thickens as it is heated and gives this sauce amazing body. 

This is the nut milk bag I recommend HERE. It is cotton and leaves all nut meal in the bag.

When you strain the milk, twist the top closed and strain right into the sauce (unless this is your very first time - then strain into a bowl to avoid burning yourself). 

With the top twisted closed, start twisting more, as the bag starts releasing the milk. You can massage the bag so you don't tear it with all the pressure. Once you do this a few times, I promise it gets very easy and intuitive. Think: massage and twist. 

And that right there is the most difficult part of the recipe. I used jarred pasta sauce here because it was more economical at the time. In essence, I doctored it. You can use pasta sauce already prepared, or use canned/jarred whole or diced tomatoes. 

When using whole or diced tomatoes, you don't need a lid, but with sauce that is already blended, use a lid ajar, otherwise sauce will splatter everywhere.

Once the nut milk is added, you simmer it until it thickens. Well worth the forage into the skills of nut milking.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the water for the pasta first. The water needs to boil and the pasta will take about 10 minutes to cook.
  • Then start the sauce. 
  • While the sauce cooks, blend the nuts. Strain it into a bowl if this is your first time doing this; it'll avoid mishaps and give you plenty of time to learn to press milk through a bag.

Creamy Vodka Sauce Pasta

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with baked tofu and/or garlicky greens

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

12 ounces pasta (rigatoni is good)

2. Sauce: Add the ingredients to a medium pot and cook over medium heat, 15 minutes:

1 medium carrot, shredded

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 (28-ounce) can diced or whole tomatoes

1/2 cup vodka (optional)

3. Use an immersion blender to blend the Sauce.

4. Cream: Blend the nuts and water very well. Strain the Cream using a nut milk bag. Strain right into the Sauce. Compost the nut meal.  

1/2 cup raw almonds

3/4 cups water

5. Return Sauce to a simmer to thicken, about 5 minutes, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

6. Serve: Serve the Sauce with the Pasta.  

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pin it!

Sep 12, 2020



Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: air-fryer or oven, blender, large skillet, medium skillet

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Consider this vegan, vegetarian and meatless recipe more of a template than an absolute recipe (whatever that means, at dinner time!)  It is a traditional dish in the sense that you adjust it to whatever you have handy and go with the flow.

The sauce is a standard recipe you should use, but it is simply broth, tomato, onion, garlic and bell pepper. I used Anaheim pepper, but use whatever pleases you.  Once the sauce is reduced a bit, you add old tortillas (typically fried in oil - but here, air-fried - oven works, too). I've even seen tortilla chips used, but haven't tried that, yet. The sauce is thickened a bit more with the added tortillas, though not much. It's more of a vehicle for the filling.

For the filling this time, I have beans, zucchini and spinach, but, here again, add what you have available. If that is a link of leftover vegan sausage or ready to turn vegan tofu eggs, add them. If you have a cup of pinto beans, add that. Seriously, whatever is handy, needs to go or is leftover. 

This meal is also pretty fast, so it is perfect for weeknights! If you have an avocado, fresh cilantro or vegan cheese, it's a great way to finish the dish.


On A Separate Note:

I have compiled the past 16 recipes into a booklet, Zsu's Summer 2020 Vegan Recipes . To print, download it and choose print. Choose Booklet and (if an option) check Front Only. Print and flip the pages. Check Back Only and Print again. Email me if you have any issues.  

At the very bottom (below the Pinterest image) is the image link or here is the PDF link.

~ Zsu

Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Prepare the tortillas first.
  • Prepare the sauce next.
  • Prepare and cook the vegetables.
  • Few minutes before tortillas are ready, heat the sauce; this is about the time the beans and spinach are added to the vegetables.


Makes 4 servings 


1. Tortillas: Slice the tortillas into strips. Spray with oil and air-fry until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.

12 corn tortillas

oil spray

2. Sauce: Add the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add to a large skillet and set aside.

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, lightly drained

1/2 small onion, quartered

1/2 Anaheim pepper (the other half in the Beans)

2 garlic cloves

3. Vegetables: Add to a medium skillet over medium heat and cook until golden, about 8 minutes, using a lid. Season with salt:

spray of oil

1 medium zucchini, chopped

1/2 Anaheim pepper, chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4. When the zucchini is golden, heat the Sauce over high heat until boiling. Reduce to simmer and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Tortilla strips a few minutes before serving and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the strips are softened. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Add the beans and spinach to the Vegetables. Cover and cook until the spinach is wilted. 

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

4 to 5-ounce baby spinach (about 4 cups)

6. Serve: Add some Tortillas with the Sauce to a plate, top with the Vegetables and Beans and avocado or vegan cheese. Season with salt:

1 diced avocado or shredded vegan cheese (optional)


© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pint it!

Sep 5, 2020

green curry


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: large pot

Heads Up! basil or cilantro, green curry paste, 2 light coconut milk 

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Today's vegetarian, vegan and meatless dish is really easy and fast and tastes amazing! When we lived in Austin, there was a Thai place that made curry that was more of a soup and I've been wanting to recreate that for ages. 

Here it is! As great as I remember it!

I used jarred green curry paste (check for shrimp paste in the ingredients), but you can make your own with little fuss, but even that was too much for me on a weeknight.

Cooking Tip: cook your paste in 1/4 cup coconut milk (not oil) until the paste releases its flavors, before adding the rest of the milk. (I was low on green curry paste so I added a tablespoon of red to my dish - you know, whatever it takes!)

An aside: Please be aware that there are brands of coconut milk (Arroy-D and Chaokoh) that use and abuse monkeys to pick their coconuts (as of 9/2020). Please choose a more compassionate brand of coconut milk. Source

This curry has tofu, peppers, zucchini and spinach, but feel free to add Gardein scallopini if you want, or just extra vegetables - that never fails! Keep in mind you will need fresh herbs at the end - either basil or cilantro, depending on the diners. 

Add a squeeze of lime at the end and enjoy!

Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Prepare your rice right away (if using).
  • Get all the ingredients out and prepare the pot.
  • Press the tofu for 5 minutes.
  • Cook the curry paste with 1/4 cup of coconut milk.
  • Chop the vegetables while the paste cooks; add as it is ready.

Green Curry

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with rice

1. Base: Cook the curry paste and the 1/4 cup coconut milk in a large pot over medium heat. Stir and cook until the paste has released its aroma, about 3 minutes.

3 to 5 tablespoons green curry paste

1/4 cup of (14-ounce) can light coconut milk**

2. Soup: Add the rest of the liquid ingredients to the Base. Bring to light boil over medium-high heat and reduce to simmer over medium heat:

1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk**

remainder of other can light coconut milk**

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons tamari

3. Vegetables: Add the vegetables to the soup as they are ready. Cook the soup until the vegetables are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes:

1-pound regular tofu, pressed 5 minutes, cubed

1 bell pepper, sliced

1 zucchini, sliced

3 scallions, sliced

zest of a lime

4. Greens: When the vegetables are tender add the spinach and cook to wilt:

4 to 6 cups baby spinach

5. Serve: When the spinach is tender add the herbs and lime and serve:

1/2 cup cilantro or basil, chopped

juice of the lime zested




** Need a total of 2 (14-ounce) cans of light coconut milk.



© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pin it!