Fun blogger stuff, part 2

I love this gal–

But first onto business…

Thanks so much for this Very Inspiring Blog nomination, Lidi, at hotspicyandskinny. Lidi writes a blog with inventive, colorful, and yummy recipes, with a Mexican-American twist. Personally, I can’t wait to make her Basic Bean Soup with the beautiful Peruvian beans. I just have to find Peruvian beans where I live…eventually I know I will, maybe not until my next trip west. I am super-impressed with how Lidi posts Weight Watchers points and nutritional information for each recipe-I’m sure that is lots of extra work! She has lots of veggie recipes too. Thanks for the nomination, Lidi, and right back at ya!


Here are the rules of this one.

  • Copy and paste the Award graphic in a post.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Share 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 bloggers, and tell them by posting a comment on their blog.

So here are 7 things about me! I already shared some yesterday, so I will try to put a new twist on things…

  • I would like to become a better writer. I figured this out about two years ago by taking a “What do I want to do in life” type quiz in Oprah magazine, oddly enough.
  • I have run 6 marathons in 4 different cities.
  • This is my second round as a vegetarian. Not going back.
  • I’m not a big fan of onions, but I use a small amount in cooking.
  • I like sunflower butter better than peanut butter.
  • I am an extremely loyal friend. I lost contact with some friends because we were from pre-email/facebook days. As we’ve reconnected, we’ve picked back up right where we left off.
  • I believe forgiveness is the key to a good life.

Here are some blogs I am inspired by: (Sorry, I don’t have 15–haven’t been getting in enough “blog” time lately)!

Thanks Lidi and hope it’s a good weekend for all! If you are here in the States, it’s the season finale of Downton Abbey. Agh, it came way too quickly!!


Fun blogger stuff

Thanks you so very much! Two sweet and prolific bloggers nominated my blog for some recognition. Definitely unexpected and appreciated. I’ll elaborate on one nomination in this post, and then other in the next. The first one was back in December, maybe? I have to apologize for my procrastination and glacial pace of carrying on the spirit of More Than Greens for the Liebstser Blog Award. Check hers out-it’s fun and very pretty! For this award, I get to post 11 facts about myself, answer her questions, and pass 11 more questions on to the 11 blogs that I nominate. Whew…….I’ll be elaborating more on what is keeping me so busy soon.

Liebster Blog Award

Ok, 11 facts first up.

1. My all-time favorite books from my childhood are Harriet the Spy and Charlotte’s Web. I still need to see the movie version of Harriet. I remember uncontrollably laughing out loud as I would read and re-read it.

2.  My tastes have truly changed to appreciate vegetables and actually crave them. It is possible to change your palate as an adult. I love veggies vs. the mindless toleration of them I used to feel.

3. I have attended both men’s and women’s World Cup games in the U.S.

4. I really need to read a book before seeing the movie it’s based on. It just doesn’t work for me the other way.

5. I mess up about 50% of all recipes I try. But then I get it right (usually) the second time. Not a natural-born cook. Definitely.

6. If I could only have three foods to survive on, I guess it would have to be quinoa, blueberries, and broccoli. Not sure if it would be nutritionally adequate, but it might be close?

7. Working with children as an occupational therapist is not for the meek. Just kidding! But what other job gets you sneezed on, peed on, and provides quotes so hilarious that you have to keep a running board in the office?

8. I have two boys. I have two brothers and no sisters. It’s hard to imagine how it would be to raise girls.

9. Food Network faves: Chopped, Cupcake Wars. Needs a veg show.

10. I have tried a few mini-triathlons. I’m afraid to use clip-on bike pedals. I guess that career is not going any further 🙂

11. I really really love my job.

The 11 questions I was asked to answer:

  • If you could trade lives with anyone for a day, who would you pick? Anyone who works at VegNews, ha ha. Lots of samples. In all seriousness, I’m not sure. Maybe someone who works on Downton Abbey.
  • What would you cook to impress your friends at a dinner party? Lentil Enchiladas.
  • What is your favourite item of clothing? Comfortable pants, i.e. warm-up pants.
  • Where do you want to go on your next holiday? The U.S. Southwest.
  • What is your favourite way to spend a Sunday? Cooking, walking or running with someone in my family if possible, a quiet relaxing evening. Would not include groceries or laundry!!
  • Who inspires you? Peacemakers–Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa.
  • What was the last film you saw the the cinema? Oh so embarrassing…I don’t recall! Might have been a Harry Potter movie with my kids.
  • What was your favourite novel of 2012? Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
  • What was your favourite cookbook? Veganomicon.
  • If you could live in any era, which era would you pick? Now. Women have more freedom and opportunity than any other time. Not going back.
  • What is your favourite city in the world? New York City.

My questions for the next nominees…

  • Wine or beer (or neither)?
  • What is your favorite vegetable?
  • Favorite movie of all time?
  • What is your most used and splattered upon cookbook?
  • Where did you go on your last trip for business or fun?
  • What has been your best investment in the kitchen, not including basic appliances?
  • Favorite sports to watch and play?
  • In two sentences or less, what is your take on The China Study by T. Collin Campbell?
  • Do you read paper newspapers?
  • What is your favorite grain?
  • If you were stranded for a month on an island with one other person, what one board game would you choose to pass the time?

My nominations are to these blogs: I know it’s only a few, but I have not been keeping up on exploring blogs as much as I wish I could–and some of these may not be on the newer side (and I had trouble figuring out number of followers)–but they are fantastic! I thank them for teaching me and inspiring me.

Here is a good summary of the award procedure.

So, what are you all cooking this weekend? So far, I’ve made a big pot of quinoa…Not sure what’s next. My refrigerator shelf which also holds the produce crisper drawer broke into a heap of plastic Thursday night at 10:15 pm (thanks, needed that!). Now the crisper is only accessible by lifting a glass shelf fully off of it, after moving items off this. I’m basically down one shelf and easy access to the drawer. This will not be conducive to much veg cooking! Wish me luck on a speedy replacement shelf. We won’t be fixing this ourselves, unfortunately.

Things Making Me Happy

It gets a little rough here by February. Don’t get me wrong, I was always (and still am, a little) offended inside by people talking about how hideous February is in Ohio. My birthday is at the end of the month, and when you add in Valentine’s Day to break up the monotony, it’s not so bad, right? Hmmm. I haven’t seen the sun since last Wednesday I believe. I know there was some Friday, but I arrived to and departed from work in darkness…Definitely not a ray detected in the past 3 days. I think I’m just trying to see if we’ll break the record that I tracked a few years ago when we went 9 days without noticeable sunshine! All of this calls for me to internally review my personal philosophy–just hang on for spring, stay busy, and keep taking Vitamin D. After all, it would be worse in Alaska or Greenland, I suppose.

So, in the spirit of February (love it or hate it) here are 5 things I am pleased with right now. I hope you might pick up a tip or two along the way!

1. This snow was pretty today. It came down in huge flakes (look in the upper right corner of the tree picture!), and fast. I caught my tree with my neighbor’s tree just behind it.

tree Feb 2013

2. This French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme was out of this world. I finally cooked a full recipe from Veganomicon. I fully recommend you try to find this recipe and make this…or buy or get the book from the library. This is a superb cookbook to have, whether you eat vegan or not. This recipe was not as detailed as some of the Veganomicon recipes appear to be.  As I mentioned in the past, I have used this cookbook quite a bit for basic knowledge in cooking veggies. Oh, how I just wanted to inhale this soup in between gazing at how pretty it looked in my red pot.

PPK Lentil soup







3. This greens mix is contributing to my Zen attitude. I noticed the Power Greens mix (also by Earthbound Farms) was out at the store. I like this better anyways. I found this at Whole Foods. The greens (all young) are spinach, Asian mustard, Kale, Chard, and Mizuna.

Zen Blend










4. Cast iron pan. I’ve always been frightened of these things…certain that everything would stick. Believe me, I could make butter stick (back when I used it). I had looked at Lodge brand pre-seasoned cast iron on Amazon before, but was still skeptical. I found this Lodge skillet at Home Goods for only 14.99, and the seasoning looked reasonably likely to work. I just got it out today and look how pretty it is.  I feel confident I can use it for most tasks. The care is simple, wash and use a stiff brush only with hot water. Lightly oil with a paper towel after each cleaning.

Red pepper in Lodge cast iron pan

5. Recipe from Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook by Lindsay Nixon, for “Nona’s Chickpeas”, using cast iron pan. All for me!! My significant other hates green olives. I find most of Lindsay’s recipes are on the easier (quicker!) side–and if I haven’t made it clear over the past year, that is a good thing. They are super healthy, fully plant-based, and don’t even use oil. They fit into my meal planning pretty easily. The truth is, I do have to alter some things for the boys, but that’s to be expected in my world.

HHA recipe-"Nona's Chickpeas"

6. Ok, there’s a quick 6th. Have you seen the movie The Blind Side? The real-life main character was on the winning Baltimore Ravens in the big game last night. They featured him with his adoptive family on the news tonight. I just love that story and movie. Truthfully, I would really love to meet the real-life mother, Leigh Ann Tuohy. Read/watch the above link and you probably would love to as well… If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. I think I’ll be watching it again soon…Distraction in February is the key…

How’s your winter going? Or if it’s your summer, please fill us all in. Give us hope!

Basic Pan-Cooked Tofu

Sometimes my eating is just everyday sort of stuff. Well, my everyday sort of stuff. Here is how I cook some tofu when I am in basic mode. For example, I might need something to put on top of the quinoa or brown rice I cooked earlier in the week. So here it goes…remember, I said basic! In my book that means quick. Nothing fancy here.

1. Press your extra-firm tofu using a tofu press or the heavy book method or press lightly on all sides with clean towels/paper towels. The goal is to get rid of the extra moisture after you have removed it from the packaging liquid.

2. Next lay tofu on a cutting surface and cut into slices (sort of like cutting a stick of margarine into slices). I recommend cutting into about 10-11 slices for quick cooking.

3. Heat up a light coating of oil on medium heat in  your non-stick pan. I got this Danny Seo skillet for Christmas, and I am very happy with it…however, the pan definitely needs a light coating of oil before you start.

4. Pan-fry the tofu for about 5 minutes or until the “down” side is golden brown, or darker if you prefer.

tofu lightly browned

5. Flip the tofu slices when ready and cook the other side, about 5 minutes.

6. If you want more (Asian) flavor before taking the slices out, pour a light amount of soy sauce into the center of the pan and flip the tofu over a few times to coat. This will lead to a more flavorful but less crispy outer coating.

tofu cooking in ds pan

7. Use this basic tofu anyway you want. Ideas include: dipping into bottled sauces such as an Asian sauce, honey mustard, or barbecue sauce. Serve over a grain such as brown rice, quinoa, etc. Serve over veggies such as stir-fry veggies or stir-fried spinach/greens.

tofu on plate with cilantro

This was my tofu, after being tossed–while still in the pan–with a little soy sauce. I dipped it into Panda Express bottled Orange Sauce and ate it over rice. Easy lunch on a non-work day!

Maybe my battles with tofu are officially over. Peace Out!

P.S. Angela from a blog I admire very much (Oh She Glows) did this very similar post this week as I was compiling mine. Here’s another take on pan-frying tofu, with vastly superior photography (smile).

Trust Yourself Cauliflower

This came out really well-trust me. I went out on a limb over the weekend and only loosely (gasp) followed a recipe. I didn’t even measure everything exactly. And this has been, by far, my best roasted cauliflower. It’s based on this recipe, which I had followed closely in the past and found to be tasty and satisfying, but too oily for me.

best cauliflower

Here’s what I did:

Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4 as a side dish. But just try to be that restrained!

  • small head of cauliflower, cut into very small pieces (see photo), slightly damp.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • about 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • coarsely ground pepper according to your taste

(Note: all seasonings should be adjusted to your tastes-trust yourself! You may need to increase amounts of all ingredients if you have a large head of cauliflower)

Directions: In bowl, mix olive oil, garlic, sea salt, onion powder, pepper, and any other seasonings you desire. Add in the cauliflower and toss. Taste a few pieces to determine if you want to add anything else. Add a bit more oil if needed; I like it best when there is a light layer of oil over most of the pieces, but they are not drenched.

Spread cauliflower out in 9X13 inch Pyrex glass baking dish or similar pan. I have had better results in this dish vs. my rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or when lightly browned. Stir after 20 minutes and as desired to ensure even browning. I stirred twice at 20 and 30 minutes, and took mine out at 35 minutes. Watch it carefully for that perfect amount of brown and a bit of near-burn on a few tips.


Just eat more plants!

New Year’s Resolutions? I’m not too into them. I find I’m usually working towards the same long term goals every year. They are good goals, but they are ongoing because they include hard work and time. Every year. That’s just me. As you might guess, an ongoing goal is to eat more plants…

I read a lot of blogs, and try to leave comments. I find myself often saying “Keep eating plants!” or “Keep eating more plants!” It seems like a great phrase to encourage anyone who is (hopefully) thinking about going veg or is dabbling in eating more fruits and veggies. Even for the non-vegetarian world, it’s a good thing.  After all, it’s not rocket science anymore…everyone, I mean everyone has to know by now…we all need to eat more plants and less of the bad stuff. And we all know what that stuff is, right? So it’s my new year phrase, my mantra for every day–Just eat more plants! (My apologies to the footwear company where this thought may be loosely rooted).

Along those lines, three ways I am working on this (non) goal:

1. Awesome organic “Power Greens” salad mix I found at Whole Foods…spinach, kale, and red and green chard. They are all young greens and very tender to eat.


Power greens salad 1


2. Meal Planning–I am using a chart to write down three home-cooked meals I will make each week and then making a complete grocery list for all needed items. The real change for me is trying to cook in bulk. Doubling recipes or whatever it takes. Cooking and prepping on the weekend or one of my days off. My inspiration comes from Diana at Veggie Next Door. She’s got loads of veg tips, enjoys veg cookbooks also, and will certainly get you in the mood to eat at restaurants around Chicago. Cooking large amounts is a challenge around here with 2/3 other family members having much larger appetites than mine. I never seem to make enough with standard recipes to have leftovers! It’s just not instinctive at all for me to cook large amounts. The purpose of my plan is to have some leftover meals, maybe two each week. This leaves less tendency for us to get take-out on my 2 work nights. I am also cooking a large batch of brown rice each week in my Zojirushi cooker, which I still need to do a post on. I love this rice cooker, mainly because of the timer and its ability to cook oats. Cooking the rice has been a time saver to use in planned or unplanned meals or to take to work. I alternate the rice with a large batch of quinoa.

3. Attend a VegFest or similar event this year–VegFest Asheville NC or Chicago…or Vegetarian Summerfest in PA, seem most realistic for me. I hear they have cooking/nutritional seminars and of course, the food! Here is a great calendar of these events and more.

Keep on eating (more) plants…




Greens and more greens…and a recipe

I hope you had great holidays; it seems that all of us get some time off from the regular routine, no matter what we are celebrating. Personally, the whirlwind of the week before Christmas just about did me in. I had a huge amount of work due the 21st on a project related to my job, and a million other things to do. I’m glad that’s over. Now I feel peace…

Extra free time is such a gift, seriously. I have so enjoyed using my WordPress blog reader and checking out old and new blogs that I have not had time for.  I’ve had time to delve  into recipes without worrying about time requirements or rushing somewhere…

I received a new cookbook from my mom, which I love-Wild about Greens, by Nava Atlas. This is such a beautiful book. If you are a book lover, you will relate…pleasing green colors on dust jacket (color green enhances serotonin production in the brain, you know), nice feel to the pages, illustrations throughout that help me with identification of my greens, and easy to follow directions, with tons of tips. I made a few recipes already which turned out well. I think she has set me straight on kale chips…they definitely turned out better than my past attempts.

Here is a picture of her Kale Salad with Dried Fruits and Nuts in a fun container I found at TJ Maxx. This was still delicious 2 days later! In Wild About Greens, Nava gives basic directions for massaged kale salads and easy variations. I used Craisins and walnuts. Although I had made a variation of this in the past, she provided the best instructions I have seen. Click here for Nava’s quick video on making a massaged kale salad, which I got from her website VegKitchen.

kale salad in frigoverre container


I’ve also meant for a very long time to share the following recipe I developed. I can’t believe I found this picture of it too. Just before I started this blog in March 2012, I was building confidence with cooking quinoa and greens. I saw an email at work that our hospital was having a cooking contest for Nutrition Month. I think the top meal would be served in the cafeteria. I tinkered with this recipe a bit and submitted it, sure that I would be in the top few. It is a quick, well-rounded, gluten-free, plant-based meal. It was not meant to be, and I will admit I was disappointed that I never heard back from them. But here it is.  I like to think at least one of the folks that judged the recipes took this one home and is using it…He, he, we all have our daydreams…




Easy and Colorful Spinach and Quinoa (Entrée)


1 c quinoa grain

2 c water

1 vegetable bouillon cube (use cube designed for 8 oz of broth) if desired to add flavor to the water–can be omitted if desired

1 TBSP +1 tsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

2 tsp minced garlic from jar (approx 4 small cloves)

¼  cup pine nuts

8 packed cups washed and ready to eat fresh spinach (approximately 10 oz in weight). You can add in more if desired because it will reduce down significantly in cooking.

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup Original flavor Craisins (or any sweetened cranberries)


  1. Using small sauce pan, bring 2 cups of water to boiling, then add the bouillon cube and stir to dissolve. Add the quinoa, stir, and reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer according to package directions, until water is absorbed (usually 10-15 minutes). Fluff quinoa, remove from heat, and keep covered.
  2. As the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet on medium until hot. Add garlic and pine nuts and stir for 1 minute. Keep the skillet on medium for the remainder of cooking.
  3. Add about ½ of the spinach and stir constantly to coat and distribute the oil mixture.
  4. Once spinach is mostly wilted, move it to the outside of the pan and add the remaining spinach in the open “hole” in the center. Stir the fresh spinach in the middle for 1-2 minutes. Stir the entire pan as needed to evenly cook the spinach.
  5. Stir spinach mixture frequently and once nearly fully wilted, add salt, pepper and Craisins.
  6. Stir another 1-2 minutes to warm but do not overcook the spinach. Add more pepper to taste.
  7. Serve the spinach (with some of the toppings included) on top of a large spoonful of quinoa. Combine them if desired.

Recipe is easily adjusted to add more spinach, pine nuts, or craisins if desired.

Serves 3-4

Entire recipe takes 25-30 minutes.


Have you ever entered a recipe contest? Do you like to fix greens?

Have a great week!




Vegan Green Bean Casserole

green bean casserole

Another holiday approaches with many family and group meals. I am craving green bean casserole–the classic. I ponder…can it be made vegan? I mean, can it be made vegan and be acceptable to those used to the classic recipe?

I scoured the net for several days, looking for a recipe that sounded good and did not involve growing my own beans. Meaning, not too complex…just a foolproof recipe I can pull out every year during holidays and serve to anyone. I thought I had a winner when I decided, unfortunately after buying several ingredients, that I was headed for disaster. I was perplexed by the eternal questions of the recipe reader…is the sage ground or leaf? What is the range of acceptable baking pan sizes…9 by 13? 8 by 8? I started over and made this recipe from the Earth Balance spread website with a few modifications (see below for my modified version).

Results? I was thrilled. My new dish I can bring to holiday meals. I suppose you really can’t go wrong with 4 oz of fried onion! Yum. I haven’t tried it out with a crowd yet, but I think it will go over well.

Green Bean Casserole, modified from recipe posted on Earth Balance website

Serves 6-8 depending on serving size (tricky area here, don’t you think?)


1/4 cup Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I question if this is needed, but I wasn’t risking disaster…but next time I will try 1 Tbsp)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

3-4 small button mushrooms, sliced as thinly as you can. You may want to use more if you like a stronger mushroom flavor; this was fairly mild.

2 14-oz cans green beans, well-drained or equivalent in frozen or fresh beans (I used frozen 365 Brand cut green beans, steamed first)

1 4-oz can of French-fried onions


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the Earth Balance spread on medium to medium low and add the flour, stirring well. Add the vegetable broth, soy sauce, garlic power, and onion powder, stirring frequently until this thickens. Whisk in the nutritional yeast, vegetable oil, mushrooms, and about 1 oz of fried onions.

3. Combine the sauce and beans in a 9X13 or similarly sized casserole dish. Bake 10 minutes.

4. Remove the casserole, sprinkle the rest of the fried onions on top of the casserole and bake for another 10 minutes.


Happy Holidays to all. May the new year bring more peace. Everywhere.



End of the Year Cookbook Roundup

I like cookbooks a lot. I like books a whole lot. I guess it’s a logical thing. I’ve seen  a few top 10 cookbooks of the year lists. I’m going to list a few cookbooks that I either bought or borrowed from the library this year that I liked and really used (not just eye candy). These are in a general order of most favored at the top…and some are older, I warn you. I just discovered the world of vegan cookbooks this year. Until then I was using my old cookbooks from my 20’s when I went through my first vegetarian period.

Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way

1. Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli-Interesting yet mostly non-time consuming recipes, that taste delicious. I have fixed the Avocado Toast at least three times. Amazing and so simple. Every time I look through it, I find something I want to make.

2. Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero…very popular, but here’s why I love it…great information in the beginning 44 pages of the book. It helped me learn how to cook many a vegetable and grain. I spent an embarrassing number of evenings last winter reading this part and learned tons that I have been able to apply to my everyday cooking, shopping, and eating. I was so happy when I looked back in my records and found that I ordered this in January, so it could be in my list. I know it’s full of great recipes too, but so far I have only used basic ones such as several in the quite thorough section on cooking tofu.

3. Quick-Fix Vegan by Robin Robertson-I used this during the summer when I knew I was getting an unfamiliar (to me) vegetable in my delivery. Quick and simple recipes that seemed to highlight the vegetable and not the sauce, if that makes sense.

4. Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon–I’ve only had it a week from the library, but it’s already a favorite. Her recipes include (mostly) ingredients I already have at home. I will be getting my own copy soon. Heck, it may be at the top of the list soon. Last night I made her Sweet Potato Dal, another recipe with red lentils in it…It had a really rich flavor, and did not include any added oils. (She does not add any oils, in the Forks Over Knives manner-see my last few posts). Later this week I plan to make Sweet and Sour Tempeh, and without planning I already have all the ingredients. Love that.

5. Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan-I find these recipes a little more time-consuming, but I love the book for its information on tools, techniques, etc. (more than the typical cookbook and really helpful stuff). I really like the Un-Tuna Salad I had read so much about. I even bought kelp granules for this one! She uses macrobiotic techniques, which I am just beginning to learn about. I’m planning to make her Sea Veggie Sushi rolls next.

These are all still available through online sources and probably in some larger bookstores.

I am trying to find a good vegan green bean casserole recipe right now. Test number one is tonight. I’ll try to share soon.

Happy Cooking, and please share your fave cookbooks of the year, whatever type they are!

Cookbooks and Books

I made another recipe from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook by Del Sroufe. The Veg Cookbook Club (check them out!) has moved onto a new book, but I’m still plodding through some recipes from Forks Over Knives that I never got to last month. It has over 300 recipes and I do think I will be using it in my healthy cooking rotation. Probably not so much when I want a rich not-so-healthy meal. Which is never, right? Sure…

Red Lentil Dal was a winner for me. I love Dal of all types…Unfortunately, I was the only one in the family to eat much of it. For the next time, I will probably cut it in half to reduce the mountain of leftovers, even after I ate it three times! I will also cut the onion in half as I did in the other Forks Over Knives recipe I tried. This did have a bit too much onion for me. Something in the combination of spices (maybe the turmeric?) and red lentils always gives this type of recipe a crazy color. But I still love my red lentils unconditionally. See below, served with Tofutti “sour cream”…

red lentil dal








Next cookbook: A find at the library: The Good Neighbor Cookbook by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg, published in 2011. No, it is not vegetarian, but it has plenty of veg recipes and others that I can easily convert. It contains (I quote from the cover here), “Easy and delicious recipes to surprise and satisfy new moms, new neighbors, recuperating friends…” The book has recipes for other occasions also, including condolences, block parties, and community, religious, or business gatherings to name a few. Just about covers it all! I’ve always wanted to be the good neighbor or friend who shows up with the pan of lasagna or similar dish at the first opportunity, but I only actually achieve this about 25% of the time. I hope to find a few standby dishes that I can whip up quickly.

The Good Neighbor Cookbook









Lastly, I just finished up The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals by Jenny Brown. I had a special interest in the book because Jenny Brown is the founder of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. I happen to have a brother who lives in  Woodstock, NY. We are hoping to spend a week with my brother this coming summer, and now I definitely hope to visit the sanctuary. Truthfully, I never heard of farm animal sanctuaries until I started reading about veganism. The book is a good read. I loved the way she shows the personalities and intelligence of the animals. It won Editor’s Pick: Book of the Year from VegNews magazine. I have always loved the book Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White from a very young age. I can’t turn down a chance to get to know some big Wilburs!

What have you been reading or cooking from?