Mar 20, 2021

spring equinox - winter wrap-up

Hello, hello Dear Readers! Happy Spring Equinox!

Since it is the end of the season, I am releasing my third free meatless, vegetarian and vegan zine, this one for Winter 2021. 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.

I am listing the past season's post in order of popularity, as indicated by page hits. Thus they are:

1. Kettle Goulash came  in at the top of the heap! And that makes sense, because this Hungarian classic is rich and delicious - and really easy to make. 

2. One Pot Chili Mac is a Dump Dinner and I love it! I love chili mac as it is, and making it into a Dump Dinner is the answer I didn't know I was looking for. A lot of people thought so, too, as it was the second most popular this season.

3. Pot Roast Charcuterie  was a wonderful weekend meal that brought the family together. I know it might seem like we should all eat a meal together every day, with four adults in the house, even that is asking for a lot. Once a month will do me fine, given how quickly time flies, anyway.   

4. Mexican Breakfast Burrito was a terrific way to start our day - even though it lead to some heated sweet potato debate. Of course, we were debating as we were eating.  

5. Stroganoff Burrito was an interesting way to serve Stroganoff and it truly worked! This one is packed with mushrooms and sauce.  

6. I was very excited to share Knoephla Dumpling Soup with you! If this rich and hearty soup slipped by you, make sure to get it on your menu. Simply delicious.   

7. I was a little surprised to find that Indian Butter Seitan was not more popular. I know its meat equivalent is certainly so - and this version is so easy and tastes so amazing. I do hope more folks catch it on the rebound. 

8. Tex-Mex Tortilla Bake is most definitely a dump dinner and very tasty, indeed! It's fast, healthy, easy and tasty - not much more to it than that. 

9. Sausage and Butternut Squash Stew is definitely the sleeper of the recipes. I know the butternut squash part of it can throw some people, but I promise - if you try it, you won't be disappointed. 

10. Stromboli  can be many things - you can make it like a pizza, with sauce and cheese, or make it like a hoagie that is baked. I went for a combo of the two with this one. 

11. One Pot Tetrazzini was as close as we are getting to a dump dinner, but because some attention was needed, I didn't feel right casting it as a Dump Dinner. Still, very easy, fast and delicious.

12. And the new kid on the block is Pot Pie Pizza . As the name implies, it is a combination of a pot pie with pizza. Another perfect winter dish. 

Along the season I shared some staple recipe with you: Simple Seitan Loaf, Savory Tofu and Savory Soy Curls

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

For more inspiration, see the Winter Solstice - Fall Wrap-up HERE.


Download Winter 2021 zine HERE

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(coming, too)

Mar 13, 2021

ratatouille pasta



Time: 55 minutes 
Dishes: large skillet, medium pot

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

When my son told me that he had a hankering for Ratatouille, I thought - great, I can make that. 

Then he told me he had made it before - the authentic way, and I thought - hey, I can do that. 

Then he told me it took him 3 hours to make, and I thought - yeah, um, no.  

Although I agree with him wholeheartedly that Ratatouille should be made properly - cooked so that all the vegetables sing in harmony but each keep their integrity; not be overcooked but be properly cooked to perfection. However, I could not devote 3 hours to it. 

After preparing the dish, while complaining that it was not layered properly in thinly cut disks, he managed to keep shoveling the pasta into his mouth, so I will follow his actions and not so much listen to his gripes. In the meantime, my husband was head down into the bowl of pasta and by the time I got back to the kitchen there were only a few lingering squash pieces left in the pan. 

In order to cook the dish properly, you have to cook it in stages, very much like the Hungarian Lecso or the Spanish Sofrito. Only after the current layer is partly cooked, do you add the next ingredient. The ratatouille is then braised in broth and finally baked in the oven.

It sounds complicated, but take a look at the recipe - it is easy to prepare and the instructions are clear. 

Don't miss out.     

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


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • Chop the onion first and add to the  pan.
  • Then mince the garlic and add it. 
  • Chop the squash and eggplant while the onion cooks.
  • Chop the tomato while the squash cooks.
  • Cook the pasta while the ratatouille bakes.
  • Save some cooking pasta water in case the ratatouille is too dry, but it shouldn't be needed.

(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.)

Ratatouille Pasta

Makes 4 servings 


Preheat oven to 400-F

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes 

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 medium summer squash (18 ounces), cut into 1-inch dice

1 medium eggplant (14 ounces), cut into 1-inch dice

2 medium tomatoes (15 ounces), chopped

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/4 cup vegetable broth

12 ounces pasta 

1/4 cup minced parsley 

1. Onion: Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chili flakes and garlic. Cook until the onion is golden, covered, about 8 minutes. Stir as needed.  

2. Squash: Add the squash and eggplant to the Onion. Cook until squash is starting to brown, 4 minutes. Stir as needed.   

3. Tomato: Add the tomato and paste to the Onion. Mix well. Cook until the paste is browning, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.    

4. Broth and Bake: Add the broth to the Onion. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 400-F. Uncover and transfer to oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Alternately, transfer to an oven-safe dish to bake.  

5. Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. 

6. Serve: Remove from the oven and stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss with Pasta. Serve.       

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