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In Case of Quarantine: Cook the Pantry

With a possible pandemic on the horizon, I’ve stocked up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer — just in case.  But I’ve also stocked up on enough food supplies to get us through the next couple of months, in case of quarantine.

I’ve been using the tips and recipes in my book, Cook the Pantry, to dictate my grocery list and keep my pantry full if the situation worsens.  The quick and easy recipes in Cook the Pantry use mostly items from your pantry and freezer (along with some optional fresh produce, if you have it on hand).

One of my favorite recipes from the book is the Artichoke Muffaleta Po Boys.  It’s the best of two popular New Orleans culinary icons joining forces to create the ultimate sandwich made with artichokes and a piquant olive relish. Here’s the recipe:

Artichoke Muffaleta Po’ Boys

Makes 2 servings

Recipe from Cook the Pantry © 2015 by Robin Robertson. Photo by Annie Oliverio. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press LLC.

  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/3 cup pickled vegetables, well-drained
  • 1/3 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, well-drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, well-drained and halved
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun spice blend
  • 3 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 small sub rolls
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
  • Pickled sliced jalapeños
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce, to serve

1. In a food processor, combine the scallion and garlic and process until finely minced. Add the pickled vegetables, olives, and pulse to make a relish. Set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the artichoke hearts, season with the spice blend, and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes per side.

3. To assemble the sandwiches, spread the mayonnaise and mustard on the inside top and bottom of the bread. Spread the lettuce onto the bottom of each sandwich, followed by tomato slices. Top with the relish mixture, a few slices of jalapeños, and the artichokes. Serve at once with Tabasco.

In case you don’t already own Cook the Pantry, below is a list of the 100 recipes in the book. Check it out — you don’t need to be quarantined to enjoy these easy and delicious recipes.

Cook the Pantry: Vegan Pantry-to-Plate Recipes in 20 minutes or Less

Soup, Stew, Chili

  • Tortilla Soup
  • Chipotle Corn Chowder
  • White Beans and Greens Soup
  • Hot and Sour Noodle Soup
  • Black Bean Soup with a Whisper of Sherry
  • Shiitake Happens Mushroom Soup
  • Pretty Good Gumbo
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Curry-Spiced Pumpkin Bisque
  • Creamy Peanut Soup
  • Pantry Plus Gazpacho
  • Vegetable Bricolage
  • Everyone’s Favorite Black Bean Chili
  • Red Bean Chili
  • Moroccan-Spiced Vegetable Stew
  • Chana Masala Bowls

Salad Savvy

  • Five-Minute Couscous Salad
  • Amazing Technicolor Chickpea Salad
  • Moroccan Couscous Salad
  • Tabbouleh Salad
  • Pantry Pasta Salad
  • Hearts of Palm Ceviche
  • Composed Marinated Vegetable Salad
  • Pinto, Corn, and Red Pepper Salad
  • “Three’s a Crowd” Bean Salad
  • White Bean Niçoise Salad
  • Taco Salad with Corn and Black Bean Salsa
  • Southwest Salmagundi
  • Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing
  • Zucchini “Pasta” Salad
  • Suddenly Sushi Salad
  • Asian Noodle Slaw
  • Avocado Goddess Salad
  • Three-Tomato Pasta Salad
  • Sesame Soba Salad

Sandwiches, Burgers, and Pizza

  • Crab-Free Sandwiches
  • Bean and Spinach Burritos
  • Artichoke Muffaleta Po Boys
  • BBQ Jack Sandwiches
  • Homestyle Hash Burgers
  • Black Bean and Walnut Burgers
  • Samosadillas
  • Artichoke Tartines
  • Black Bean and Spinach Quesadillas
  • Chunky Chickpea Sandwiches
  • Texas Caviar Wraps
  • Artichoke-Spinach Pizza
  • Pizza Nicoise
  • Black and White Pizza
  • BBQ Chickpea Pizza
  • Cheeseburger Pizza
  • Jalapeno-Hummus Pizza
  • Pinto Bean Nacho Pie

Stovetop Suppers

  • Hoppin’ John and Collards
  • Paella from the Pantry
  • Cheesy Grits and Greens with Smoky Mushrooms
  • Polenta Fiesta
  • Quick Quinoa Pilaf
  • Asian-Style Vegetable Pancakes with Dipping Sauce
  • Dinnertime Scramble
  • Tofu and Broccoli Stir-Fry
  • Layered Tortilla Skillet
  • Lemongrass Jasmine Rice
  • Greek Freekeh and Spinach with White Beans
  • Pantry Bulgur Pilaf
  • Tuscan Chickpea Fritatta
  • Red Beans and Quinoa with Chipotle Queso
  • Chickpea-Artichoke Cakes with Dill Aioli
  • Black Bean Picadillo
  • Jerk Tempeh with Coconut Quinoa
  • Top Shelf Couscous Pilaf

Pantry Pasta Plus

  • Giardiniera Mac and Cheese
  • Capellini with Palm-Heart Scampi Sauce
  • Penne and Broccoli with Red Bell Pepper-Walnut Sauce
  • Kitchen-Sink Capellini
  • Ramen Fagiole
  • Pasta Marinara
  • Puttanesca in a Pinch
  • Rotini with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
  • Penne with White Beans and Olivada
  • Speedy Lasagna
  • Rice Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • Spaghetti Lo-Mein
  • Artichoke-Cannelini Pasta
  • Manchurian Black Bean Noodles

Sweet Treats

  • Rawklava
  • Easy as Chocolate Pie
  • Peanutty Energy Balls
  • Almond-Cranberry Haystacks
  • Coconut Lime Drops
  • No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies
  • Bananas Foster Dessert Nachos
  • No-Fuss Chocolate Fondue
  • Stovetop Peach-Blueberry Crumble
  • Ginger-Walnut Rum Balls
  • Chocolate-Almond Truffles
  • Pecan Pie Squares
  • Mangos with Pistachios and Cranberries
  • Fudgy Brownie Mug
  • Pastry-Wrapped Chocolate and Walnut-Stuffed Dates

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Happy New Year Hoppin’ John

If it’s January 1st, it must be time for Hoppin’ John.  I love the tradition of making black-eyed peas with rice and collards so much!  I first discovered it when we moved to Charleston SC from Pennsylvania in 1983.  It’s been a New Year’s Day tradition ever since.  Most people serve the collards on the side, but I love to combine them. I sometimes add diced tomatoes just because.

My favorite way to serve them is topped with vegan sour cream, Tabasco, sliced jalapenos, with cornbread on the side. I like to cook the collards and black-eyed peas a day in advance and then add them to the rice on New Year’s Day.

Here is my basic recipe (and more photos of Hoppin’ John variations from previous years).  Happy New Year to all my friends. I wish you all the best in 2020!

Hoppin’ John with Collards

1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons water

1 sweet yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup long-grain brown rice

2 cups  vegetable broth or water

Salt

3 cups cooked or 2 (16-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

3 cups chopped cooked fresh or frozen collard greens, well drained

1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (optional)

1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, plus more to serve

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegan sour cream, to serve

Sliced pickled jalapenos (optional)

 

Heat the oil or water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and broth or water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste (the amount of salt needed depends on the saltiness of your broth or if you use water). Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.  About 10 minutes before the rice is tender, stir in the cooked black-eyed peas, the cooked chopped collards, tomatoes (if using), Liquid Smoke, Tabasco, and black pepper. Add more salt, if needed.

To serve, spoon into bowls and accompany with vegan sour cream, jalapenos (if using) and Tabasco at the table.

Here are pics of two other favorites from my Hoppin’ John gallery:

Made in a slow cooker with a cornbread topping….

and Hoppin’ John Collard Rolls…. (serve with Tabasco-Sour Cream)…

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Baked Tofu with 3-2-1 Sauce

It’s no secret. I love tofu.  I use it all the time to make everything from lasagna to cheesecake. Tofu scrambles are a weekly ritual at my house. I even like to dice and bake it to serve it as an appetizer with a flavorful peanut sauce or a zesty sriracha-laced sauce that I’ve come to refer to as my “3-2-1 Sauce.”

The sauce is named after the proportions of its three simple ingredients: 3 parts mayo, 2 parts chili sauce, 1 part sriracha:  3-2-1! If you happen to have some lime juice and cilantro on hand, a bit of each can only improve this flavorful sauce.  I like to serve the dipping sauce on the side, but you can also make extra sauce and toss the tofu in the sauce, then serve it over rice.

The nice people at Nasoya were kind enough to send me coupons for their tofu. The tofu I use for this recipe is Nasoya Organic Super-Firm Tofu. I’m thrilled that my supermarket now carries it because it saves so much time – no more tofu-pressing needed!

Baked Tofu with 3-2-1 Sauce

For the Tofu:

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound Nasoya Organic Super-Firm Tofu

For the Sauce:

3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Thai Sweet Chili Sauce

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

Optional: squeeze of lime juice; minced fresh cilantro

For the tofu: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine the cornstarch and spices in a large plastic zip lock food bag and shake to mix well. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes and add them to the bag with the seasonings.  Close the bag and shake to coat the tofu. Spread the coated tofu in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, keeping the tofu pieces separate from each other.  Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once about halfway through.

For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine the mayo, chili sauce, sriracha, and a squeeze of lime juice, if using.  Stir to mix well. Sprinkle with a little minced fresh cilantro, if desired.

To serve: When the tofu is done baking, transfer it to a plate and serve with the sauce on the side for dipping.

This post was sponsored by Nasoya. All opinions are my own.

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Vegetable Curry

If this cold weather makes you want to cozy up to a curry, but you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen, this curry is for you. This fabulous looking curry is from a new book called Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook by Dianne Wenz.

As a vegan lifestyle coach, Dianne is adept at showing how to prepare well-balanced meals that taste great. The opening chapter of the book is loaded with great tools and tips for eating a healthy vegan diet.  Enticing recipes such as Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Cauliflower Banh Mi, Chickpea Pot Pie, and Key Lime Bars, insure that your menus will be as flavorful and fun to eat as they are good for you.

Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook is ideal for the new vegan trying to navigate their way through unfamiliar territory.  It’s also great for anyone looking to fine-tune their eating habits by eliminating processed ingredients and getting back to basics – including eating more vegetables. This cookbook features easy to find ingredients that are used to make simple and delicious recipes such as this Vegetable Curry.

About this recipe, Dianne says, “Vegetable curries are a favorite warming meal on cold days. I tend to make them with whatever stray bits of vegetables I have on hand to clean out the produce drawer of the fridge, but this combination of cauliflower, green beans, and carrots is my personal favorite. This is a Thai-style curry that uses red curry paste, but it can also be made with the green variety.”

Vegetable Curry

Serves 6 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes

1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil (such as grapeseed or avocado), vegetable stock, or water

1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger

1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk

1 cup vegetable stock

3 tablespoons red curry paste

4 cups chopped cauliflower florets

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 carrots, chopped

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups spinach

Sea salt

Black pepper

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the light coconut milk, vegetable stock, and red curry paste to the pot and stir to combine. Add the cauliflower, green beans, carrots, and chickpeas. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.

Uncover the pot and stir in the spinach, continuing to simmer, while stirring frequently until the spinach wilts. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

From Truly Healthy Vegan Cookbook, by Dianne Wenz, published by Rockridge Press. Copyright © 2019 by Callisto Media. All rights reserved.

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Cheesy Mac Muffins

‘Tis the season for holiday parties and brunches and I have just the thing to serve at your next get-together.  These Cheesy Mac Muffins from my cookbook Vegan Mac & Cheese are a fun way to enjoy everyone’s favorite comfort food.

They’re great as is, but the addition of chopped cooked veggies makes them even better.  And of course, this time of year, those veggies should be red and green!

Two of my favorite holiday combos to add to the mac and cheese mixture are: finely minced and sauteed red and green bell peppers OR chopped steamed broccoli and finely minced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. (Simply fold in your veggies of choice when you combine the cheese sauce and macaroni.)

These muffins can be made in full-size muffin tins or in those tiny muffin tins for one-bite wonders. Note: If using the tiny muffin tins, you can reduce the baking time by about 5 to 7 minutes so they don’t dry out.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Mac Muffins

From Vegan Mac & Cheese: More than 50 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food by Robin Robertson © 2019, Harvard Common Press.

2 tablespoons vegan butter, plus more for preparing the muffin tin

2 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

2 cups elbow macaroni

3 scallions, white and green parts, minced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 1/4 cups plain unsweetened nondairy milk

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Coat a nonstick muffin pan with butter.
  2. Divide the bread crumbs evenly among the bottoms of the cups. Shake and tilt the pan to coat the cups on the bottoms and sides. Discard any excess crumbs.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well and return to the pot. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  5. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the flour, salt, and pepper and cook, whisking, for 1 minute.
  6. Add the nutritional yeast and mustard and then whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes, or until smooth and thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, as needed. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to coat. Divide the pasta mixture evenly among the muffin cups and press it down into the cups. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the muffin pan and set aside for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the outer edge of each muffin and then pop them out of the cups.

Makes 8 to 12 muffins

Vegan Mac and Cheese by Robin Robertson

 

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Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

 

It’s that time of year again when we decide what to make for Thanksgiving dinner.  Most of the dishes I make have been part of our vegan holiday traditions for more than 30 years.  So at the risk of repeating myself or trying to reinvent the wheel, I’m sharing some of my favorite Thanksgiving Recipe Round-up posts from over the years to give you lots of choices.

You can find some great recipes in my Vegan Holiday Hotline

Or check out some holiday favorites is the Thanksgiving Dinner Menu I developed for Vegan.com (has it been 10 years ago already?)

 

If you’re still looking for more ideas, how about this Tricked-Out Tofurky

There’s always my Butternut Mac and Cheese which is great as a main dish or a side:

 

And for dessert, lots of variations on my all-time favorite Thanksgiving dessert in this Pumpkin Cheesecake Round-Up

I hope you all have a wonderful and compassionate Thanksgiving!

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