Thursday, April 25, 2019

Baby Potatoes with Purslane Salad

[Contributed by Megan Saynisch, from the Real Food Right Now series
This is a delicious simple recipe. You can routinely get Purslane (Verdolaga) at the Mexican store Frutas Y Vegetales La Reyna at 1300-1302 Beach Avenue/corner Westchester Ave (opposite The South of France Restaurant.

Look at this nutrition information:


Nutritional Value

Verdolagas is rich in potassium and magnesium and contains as much beta carotene as spinach. It also contains the omega three fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid, which studies have shown can be helpful in lowering blood pressure and regulating cholesterol levels. Recent studies have also shown that Verdolagas contains a significant amount of melatonin as well.



1 lb fingerling potatoes, or young potatoes.
1 cup purslane leaves

3/2/1 dressing with one lemon or lime (3tbsp balsamic, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp maple syrup)

red onion cut up fine

either 1/2 teaspoon of piment d'espelette (alternatively, 1 heaping teaspoon of paprika powder and  1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper)

1-2 tsp of dill

salt and pepper to taste


  • boil the potatoes cut in small chunks
  • pluck the leaves off the purslane and reserve the stems for another use ( like making your own veggie broth or soup)
  • make the salad dressing
  • mix

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Collard Greens Galore

This is the report from the April 13th St. Helena's Communal #WFPB/Suppers Meal Prep event. We had five people.

We had a small group, and the program was a bit too much given the limited number of hands, but we had fun.

I had decided the theme for this time was collard greens, just to explore some different ideas. The salad was just an ordinary salad, but we split some ingredients with the stuffed collard greens later-on.


Red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, beets and the works.

  • 3 beets boiled, peeled, grated (with the mandolin)
  • 1 head of red leaf lettuce
  • 1 box of baby spinach
  • a chopped white onion
  • 1/2 buch of enoki mushrooms
  • 2-3 cloves of minced garlic
  • a yellow, orange, and red pepper cut-up in small chunks
  • 5 tomatoes cut up fine
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley - leaves cut up fine.
  • several serving spoons of boiled quinoa
  • chia seeds
1/2/3 dressing with lemon: 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 3 tbsp balsamic, plus the juice of one lemon and two limes. (It all depends on how much juice you get).

That was one mean salad!


Based on the recipe for Loaded Miso Noodle Soup from NutritionStudies, but with some additions - for 5 people, but we cooked way too much and people took quite a bit home, even after having seconds - we could have served 8-10 people:

5 servings of soba or brown rice noodles, uncooked
3 cups vegetable broth
10 cups water
1 sheet roasted nori seaweed, broken into pieces, or in our case we soaked about a table spoon of wakame to start the broth.

1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms  

5 leaves of collard greens, cut out the stems, roll them up and slice them thin so you end up with thin collard greens strips, similar to the julienned veggies.

1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup julienned zucchini

1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup of daikon, cut katsuramuki style, first in sheets and then rolled up and sliced into thin strips, again, like the spiralized veggies. Alternatively, you could simply julienne them on the mandolin.

8 Tbsp miso paste
1 (14-ounce) package firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped green onions


  • Start the water, and add in the soaked wakame, or the nori, or both. (I have gone away from using hijiki because of its reputation for containing arsenic) this forms the foundation broth
  • Noodles: you can cook them separately, as the original recipe suggests, but I like to cook them with the soup for the last 5-7 minutes, for if they sit around too long cooked, they will stick together.
  • Prepare all your veggies, making sure you add-in the collard greens first, since they are the toughest. Keep the scallions (green onions) for last.
  • Add in the veggies, except for the scallions and let boil on a slow rolling boil for 5 mins, 
  • add in the 3 cup of veggie broth
  • Scoop out some broth and use to dissolve the miso
  • Add the miso, scallions, and tofu and let simmer for another 1 minute. Serve.
If you cooked the pasta separately, you add it in at the last moment, but I see nothing wrong with cooking the pasta in the soup for the last 5-7 minutes.

Oil-free hummus

1 15-Oz can of chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup of the aquafaba from the beans
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
zest of one lemon (thoroughly washed)
juice of one lemon
1 tsp of liquid aminos
if more liquid is needed, add some veggie stock or water.
optional 1 tsp paprika powder
optional some fresh parsley, or scallions

In the blender...

Stuffed Collard Greens and Collard Green Burritos

My idea here was that this is great food for picnics in the summer. You can make a stuffed collard green pocket or a burrito, and wrap it in a sheet of paper towel and wrap it in saran wrap and then use a sandwich bag. You can take that anywhere. I take it even to restaurants when I don't trust the food. "I'm on a diet." Eventually the restaurants will catch on. ;-)

I prepared the Collard green leaves two ways:
Steamed and then flatten the stems with a rolling pin - for the burritos
Fresh, but with the stems cut out and interleaving the two half-leaves, for the wraps.

For stuffings we had:
  • a pilaf of brown and black rice
  • quinoa with parsley and a splash of liquid aminos
  • hummus was pre-made at home with garlic and paprika powder and some parsley
  • steamed green beans
  • scallions, sliced thin
  • enoki mushrooms
  • Upton's Jackfruit Chili Lime Carnitas
  • Kimchi
  • sauteed onions, green peppers and white mushrooms
OK, you can see now we had too much for just five people. Some other time, I'd like to do this again with a bigger group, and have people assemble the burritos and stuffed leaves at the table, so everyone can pick their own favorites.


You lay out the leaves, add a smear of hummus in the center, lay on some quinoa or rice stuffing and then pile on your favorite mix of stuffings and roll it up.

It is easiest with the steamed leaves - burrito style. For the fresh leaves, you might need a toothpick to keep them together, or just hold them and eat them right away.

OK, all in all this was an orgy of fresh leafy greens, but with lots of color as well.

Besides the general lesson, one of our members, Sylvia, taught us all a lesson by taking the parsley stems home for her own veggie broth. If you have the time, it is worth cooking your own veggie broth. I do it once every few months, when I feel brave, and I fill some ice cube trays with my own veggie broth.

Starting #WFPB in April. Episode 11

Another easy day


The usual, some fruit, some steel cut oats with more fruit and some kale and sweet potato. Lately I've been making it a bit spicier with some garlic.


Cucumber salad, Pea soup, some multi grain toast, kale with sweet potato.


Neighbor came over.

Large salad of red leaf lettuce, with red onion, peppers, tomato, some salad olives, 1/2/3 dressing with the juice of one lemon and one lime and some scoops of quinoa. Some chia seeds and flaxseed.

Dinner was the last of the roast cauliflower from earlier in the week served over a bed of black and short grain brown rice pilaf, reheated in the oven on steam reheat. My neighbor loved it.

Presently, I am switching gears. I will have an irregular schedule for the next two weeks, so I'll be doing a bit more improv. This Saturday is my cooking class at St. Helena's - see my separate report - the good news for me is that I have a freezer full of nice soups to fall back on, and when in a hurry, a soup and salad will do just fine.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April. Episode 10


Some fruit to wake up to, the usual steel cut oats, and a portion of kale with sweet potato.


A salad and a bowl of my Umpteen Bean Soup from the weekend


I was at a reception, where I found a few things to nibble on, and when I came back I had a good size salad with some broccoli and quinoa, red leaf lettuce, beets, and the works.

Easy does it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April. Episode 9


Steel cut oats, Kale and sweet potato

Put some beets into the Instant Pot for lunch.


Salad with quinoa and beets.
Heat up a frozen pea soup.


OK, today I was time constrained, as I was back late from an appointment, and that's when you're happy for cooking ahead... a leftover day is a great help... and it proves why it pays to establish cooking cycles.

I had a beet for an appetizer, and my dinner was a plate of roast cauliflower.

Snacks in between of fruits and kale salad with sweet potato - always the go-to snack.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April. Episode 8


2 mandarins
the usual steel cut oats, with Strawberries, and some almond milk for a change.
Kale and sweet potato salad.


Huge salad with red leaf lettuce, beets, peppers, red onion, capers, olives, quinoa and 1/2/3 dressing

A bowl of umpteen bean soup.


Cucumber Salad: Left over from the other day. Added in some Moringa powder jst for fun, because I happened to have it and want to use it up.

Roast Cauliflower

In this case, I am using essentially the original recipe as I found it online:
The oven dish, cauliflower quartered


The Gravy 

3 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp maple syrup optional, for sweetness
3 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce*, or apple cider vinegar
2-4 minced garlic cloves or 2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 cut-up onions or 2 tsp onion powder
3-5 sprigs of parsley, cut up the leaves fine, or 1 tsp dried parsley
3/4 tsp thyme or fresh
3/4 tsp sage
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp pepper
5 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup water

The Roast 

1 whole cauliflower leaves and outer stalk trimmed off
4 large carrots chopped
4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 cup vegetable stock

Preparation Instructions

My plate, over black/brown rice pilaf

The Gravy

In a medium-sized pot, whisk together all of the gravy ingredients EXCEPT for the cornstarch & water.
Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes. (This will allow all the flavors to marry.) Remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a cornstarch slurry.

Once the pot is no longer simmering, slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the gravy a little at a time. Going slow will ensure that no clumps form.
The gravy will begin to thicken as soon as the cornstarch is whisked in. Put the pot back on the stove and return to a simmer for an additional 3 minutes.

The Roast

Pre-heat oven to 450F degrees.
Arrange the potatoes and carrots in a roasting dish with the cauliflower in the center. Be careful not to overcrowd the dish.

Place the cauliflower upside-down and pour 1/3 cup of the gravy into it. Give it a good shake to distribute the gravy.
Place cauliflower right-side up and brush more gravy on the top to cover it (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)

Add 1/2 cup of vegetable stock to the bottom of the dish (this will help steam the veggies.)

Pour about a 1/3 cup of gravy over top of the potatoes and carrots.
Cover the dish tightly with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes, brushing the cauliflower with more gravy halfway through.

Uncover the cauliflower roast and brush more gravy on. Bake for another 30 minutes (uncovered), brushing with more gravy halfway again (that's the final 1/3rd of the gravy.
Remove from the oven and serve while hot.

I served it over a bed of my pilar of black and short grain brown rice. 

*Many brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovies. Vegan Worcestershire sauce does exist (Annie's brand and Kroger brand are vegan for sure), but if you can't find it, you can omit it and substitute apple cider vinegar for a little zing.
If you dig onions, you can slice up an onion and add it right in with the carrots and potatoes. Mushrooms would be great, too! Making sure your pan is not too crowded will help everything cook through properly. If you find the potatoes are drying out, add a little more veggie stock to the pan.

Apart from taking a longish time, this dish is actually not a lot of work.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April, Episode 7


The usual steelcut oats, with strawberries today

Kale and sweet potato salad


Cucumber salad and a huge bowl of my Umpteen Bean Soup, with some parsley garnish.


I was out today, and ended up just taking some kale salad, followed by a big salad with red leaf lettuce, beets, tomato, red onion, peppers, quinoa, flax seed and 1/2/3 dressing with lemon, lime, some minced garlic, and parsley.

Some fruit here and there in between.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April, Episode 6

Ok, we started on Monday with an empty freezer (apart from staples) at the beginning of the month, and sofar I've still got some frozen pea soup and a few left overs (in the fridge). During the week I also shared some meals with a neighbor, for with a single person household, I tend to always cook too much, and I don't want to eat leftovers all the time. For the rest, from what it looks like, I'll make roast cauliflower over rice for tonight and cook ahead some soup for the week.

Part of creating a cooking system for me is to use certain containers always for the same purpose. In this case, I use one container for oatmeal, so washing it and putting it aside, is my reminder that evening to cook oatmeal overnight. My oatmeal is always for 2 days. The same goes for another staple, my kale salad, when that container is half way, I know to bring another bunch of kale, and steam it (I prefer steaming, but that's personal, you could cook it in water). I have a method that involves my induction cooktop, 12 minutes to bring the water to a boil, and then I steam the kale for 15 minutes and I let it drain for a while over the sink, so I do not put it away too soggy. Then I cut it up in about 1-1/2" squares on the cutting board, and mix it with the other ingredients.


At breakfast, I ended up milling some flax seed for the week (again, do not buy it milled, mill it yourself), which I keep in a jar in the fridge, and I use it about twice a day, in my steel cut oats at breakfast and in salads. The other additions I use a lot is chia seeds and hemp hearts.

The oatmeal was ready in the rice cooker at 6:30 and all I needed to do was add a grated apple, a half pint of blueberries, cocoa nibs, 2 tbsp of raisins, 1 tbsp of goji berries, and cinnamon, and let it go for another 5-10 mins on "keep warm." After that just add in a sliced banana, and some blackberries. I never cook my oatmeal with anything other than water, but if people prefer some plant milk, you can add that at serving time - just mix it in and the oatmeal will simply be a bit more liquid, but some folks like that taste better, and using plant-based milk, you are fine.


It was time to steam a bunch of kale, and prepare my usual kale and sweet potato salad, and this time I decided to mince some fresh garlic, which is incredibly healthy. I minced it really fine. Other than that, I cut up a sweet potato in cubes, with skin (high ORAC value), added some mustard seeds, and a drizzle of balsamic and mixed it up really good.


This is saturday, right? Cucumber salad, some left overs, and a piece of toast with home made hummus.

Hummus with endless variations

1 can of chickpeas, drained, preserving some 1/4 cup of aqua fava
whatever spices you prefer. Today, I am making it with chopped parsley and a table spoon of paprika powder, plus I'll add in some minced sundried tomatoes after it's made.
Put the chickpeas with 1/4 cup aqua fava, and the spices in your Magic Bullet, or whatever herb grinder you use, and go to it. 

A note about knifery

You will note that I 'cut up' things, or I 'mince' them, I do not 'chop.' It all depends what your knife habits are. Chopping is a crude method, and it will make your knives dull fast. I keep my knives nice and sharp and I cut, or mince things, as needed. I also do not scrape the cutting board with my knife, which people do who have dull knives in their kitchen. That is anathema to me, though you can scoop up stuff off the board without endangering the edge of the knife.


The last of the leftovers from the week, while cooking a kitchen sink soup for the week. See here the recipe:

Umpteen Bean Soup

My own variation on the various bags with 13-16 beans, or so-called soup mix beans. The Link is just one example, there are a kazillion recipes available.


1 lb Soup Bean Mix (or whatever the name is, like 13 or 15 or 16 bean mix), soaked with a little kombu (kelp)
8 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cup water, 4 cup stock or all water!)
2-4 onions, chopped yellow or vidalia onions are great here
1 tsp savory
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
3 chilis minced
1 jalapeno minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2-3 stalks celery with tops, chopped
2-4 carrots, peeled and cut-up
1/4 tsp himalayan salt and fresh black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp of ground red pepper
1 dried bay leaf
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup of barley
juice of 1 lemon
Braggs Liquid Aminos to taste and some nutritional yeast to round out the flavor.

OPTIONALLY: other veggies as available, root vegetables such as parsnips, or taro (aka edo, or coco), turnips, ginger, fennel, celeriac, turmeric, potato, rutabaga


  • You can cook them directly (dry) in the Instant Pot, for 45 mins or so. I usually soak them and then cook them in the Instant Pot for just 5 mins or so, while I am prepping the other stuff. You can add in the savory during this phase.
  • Then, to cook the soup, I start with the onions, chilis and jalapenos, 5 mins at medium/high, no stirring. By the end of five minutes the lower layer of onions should be starting to turn brown.
  • Add in the garlic and gradually add 2-3 ice cubes of veggie broth, while doing another 5 mins on medium/high, with constant stirring.
  • add in the turmeric and spices while simmering on medium low
  • add in the beans from the Instant Pot, and add in the savory, if you had not done so before.
  • Now you can simply cut up the veggies and add them in and keep adding some veggie broth, or water. I used tow packs of veggie broth this time.
End result: I have a HUGE bowl of soup for lunch today, and I have a container of soup in the fridge for during the week, plus I froze about 6 quart size freezer bags of soup for another time. In short, since the start of the month, I have now built up 10 portions of frozen soup, and whenever I am in a hurry, I can just heat up a frozen soup and combine with a generous salad with quinoa, and I have a nice lunch. It's all part of making your cooking into a system. After all, there are always times when you have no time to cook. I don't have a microwave, so my reheating of frozen soup means melting it in a bowl of hot water and then pouring it into a double boiler. In that time I can be making my salad, so I have about 30 min prep time for a great lunch.

Note 1: Today I added some edo, a parsnip, some broccoli, turmeric, ginger.

Note 2: The kombu and savory add flavor and nutrients but specifically also are thought to help making beans easier to digest. In fairness, over time, you get used to digesting beans, it is really not a problem, except to people who for a long time already have not been getting enough fiber.

Here is the low down on the health value of Kombu which is a form of kelp - note you can overdo it: This is an interesting site to consult. Notice that some of the iodide cooks off.

Overall, you might want to pay some attention to get some sea veggies into your food... here's a great info source:

Here is another piece: there is just one disease, which is bad diet.
A recent report from The Lancet confirms the same thing - Diet is the #1 leading cause of premature death world-wide.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April, Episode 5

Two oranges,
The usual oatmeal, with blackberries still.

Kale and sweet potato for a snack.


Cucumber salad,
Some toast with home made hummus.

And the soon-to-be famous Brown Rice and Millet Ramen - using up the last of my bunch of collard greens.

Dinner, Easy Peasy:

Salad with red leaf lettuce, watercress, red onion, tomato, quinoa, some salad olives, and 1/2/3 dressing with lemon and lime. Flax seed and chia seeds on top.

Fresh made black & short grain brown rice with left over Thai vegetables from the other day.

End the day by putting on steel cut oats in the rice cooker for 6:30 AM tomorrow.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April, Episode 4

Simple things...


Trusty steelcuts, today blackberries instead of strawberries, otherwise the same recipe. The backberries were 99 cents a box at Keyfood Unionport this week.

Snacks of fruit and/or steamed kale with sweetpotato


Steamed Kale,

Cucumber salad with chia seeds, garlic and 1/2/3 dressing.

Brown rice/millet Ramen with collards and carrots, and tempeh instead of tofu.


Off the hook - an experiment - this is for a weekend or a holiday, and preferably when you have help. It was Beet Salad, Pesto Pasta, Cooked Spinach, and the pièce de résistance, a banana blossom sauce on the side. This was dinner for three, so I shared with a neighbor and still have a leftover for another day. Cleaning the banana blossom is something that takes too much time, unless you have elves around to do it while you are cooking. The dinner could have worked without it, but it was a great side dish, and definitely something I might do with company. Preparing food together is one of the joys of life. - The rest of the meal is pretty quick to prepare.

Beet salad, as per day #3

Pesto Pasta


16 oz of your favorite pasta I like whole wheat pasta, but you can do quinoa, lentil or chickpea pasta

3 cups fresh basil
3 cups fresh baby spinach
3/4 cup raw cashews ( I did 1/2 cup cashews and 1/4 cup pine nuts)
1-2 lemons juiced 1 large lemon or two smaller lemons or even 1 lemon and 1 lime
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
5-6 garlic cloves or 2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pink salt add more to taste (or less if you want to avoid salt altogether).

Additionally, a wad of cooked spinach and some cooking water (with onions, garlic, chilis and jalapeno), blended in to arrive at a smooth consistency.

optional: highly recommended: add in some sundried tomatoes cut in strips.


Boil your pasta.
While pasta is boiling, blend all ingredients in food processor until completely combined, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Strain pasta (rinse if gluten-free), then mix pesto into pasta.

Serve and enjoy!

Boiled Spinach

Two bunches of spinach, keep some fresh leaves aside for the pesto sauce.
caramelize some onions with some chopped chilis and jalapeno, use about half for a side of spinach, and blend about half into the pesto sauce.

Banana Blossom Sauce

Note: This one was too much work. Fun to do, but too much for one person - you need more than one person to clean the banana blossom, as per this video:

Here is the adapted recipe:


1 Banana blossom - cleaned, chopped
2 onions, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 sheets of nori
1 tsp dill
1-2 pieces of turmeric or 1 tsp of turmeric powder
1 cup of water
1-2 tsp caper brine, or pickle brine
1/4 tsp black himalayan salt
2 tsp gram flour
1 lemon (juice)


  • Caramelize the onions, with some cubes of veggie broth
  • Once the onions are soft and brownish, cook at medium low, adding in garlic, turmeric, shredded nori, dill, stir constantly to dissolve the flour and make a smooth sauce.
  • Add in the chopped banana flowers and cook on medium/low for 10 minutes till its soft but still has some spring to it (al dente).

Starting #WFPB in April, Episode 3

Breakfast easy, peasy

Today, I started with an orange and a pear, while heating up the oatmeal from the other day (I always cook oatmeal for two days), so all I had to do was slice up a banana, add some fresh milled flax seeds (I mill it for a week at a time in my Magic Bullet - see my plant-based kitchen gear collection - and I keep it in a jar in the fridge. milled flax seed just loses its nutritional quality if it lays around for two long, that is why I mill it myself). No strawberries today - I should visit the Keyfoods on Union port, they usually have some of the best selections of berries. Add some hemp hearts (1 tbps) and a drizzle of balsamic et voilà.

Then a cup of steamed kale with sweet potato, mustard seeds, garlic and balsamic.

Zit. That's all folks.

Quick lunch, Cucumber salad and Ramen soup

Cucumber salad

Budget #WFPB No. 1: Ramen

Check out my post on Budget #WFPB No. 1: Ramen for details. Today, I will add some daikon, which I had run out of yesterday.
Meanwhile notice that the Ramen I use is made from Organic Brown Rice and Millet (Lotus foods).

For the rest, I want to make a beet salad tonight, so I am putting 2 beets in the Instant Pot, and they will be ready when I need them. These gadgets are better than having your own cook ;-)

Dinner, regular salad with beets, 

Beet salad

cooked beets, finely cut-up onion, lemon juice - plus some minced garlic if you wish...

Rachel Ray has the best way to cut up an onion...

My preferred method is slightly different, I take off the top with a paring knife, so that its flat, then I put down the onion upside down, and cut it in two with my prep knife or a chef knife. Then I make the incisions not vertically as on this video but on the diagonal towards the center line. After that, you can cut it as thin or as wide as you want for the give purpose. Most of the time I like them very thin, especially for salad.

By the way, beets count as a leafy green, keep that in mind for you want 4-6 portions of leafy greens per day.

Main dish

Oh well, I ran late and I just reheated some of the black/brown rice mixture with Thai veggies. Excellent combo, for the black rice has a bit of a sweet, earthy flavor which balances well with the hot and spicy Thai veggies.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Starting #WFPB in April, Episode 2

Overnight, I cooked oats again.

Steelcut oats the proper way

The bottom line is there is an endless number of ways to make breakfast, with oats or otherwise, but oats have a lot going for them, and in terms of nutritional quality have it over rolled oats (less processing), though arguably whole oats groats would be even better and, if you cook them with a programmable rice cooker like I do, the fact they take longer to cook is unimportant. Be that as it may, Cutting the oats is minimal as far as processing goes, so whole oats groats and steel cut oats are pretty close in terms of nutrition. Steel cut holds a slight edge, so if it's for breakfast cereal, I would prefer them.

One of the biggest things with steel cut oats is that the glycemic index is lower, so it's better for diabetics. And whole oats groats would be even lower.

Anyway, I cook them overnight, using my trusted Zojirushi Induction Heat 3-cup rice cooker. Before I go to bed I put them on for 6:30 AM, on a brown rice cycle. That seems to give me a satisfactory result.

When they are ready, I keep them on keep warm for a while meanwhile I prepare the additions:
  • a grated apple (preferably Granny Smith)
  • a half a pint of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • cinnamon
I leave that on "keep warm" for a minimum of 5 minutes.  Once it's finished, the toppings are added, typically:

  • a sliced banana
  • some strawberries or other kinds of berries, or fruit
  • one tbsp of milled flaxseed
  • one tbsp of chia seeds or hemp heart
  • a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • more cinnamon
 mangia, mangia!

Here's an alternative pic with Jack fruit:
Steelcut Oats with strawberries, blackberries and Jackfruit

Lunch kale, and Ramen

My standard steamed kale with sweet potato, mustard seeds and balsamic, plus I added some fresh garlic.
Budget Ramen with Collard Greens (Sorry, no daikon today)

Dinner a Salad and Thai Veggies over Rice

A Salad of redleaf lettuce, with finely cut red onion, red and green peppers, quinoa, flax seed, tomato, some capers and salad olives, and 1/2/3 dressing.

I already had a mixture of black rice and short grain brown rice ready.

Thai veggies:

  • Caramelize two/three finely cut-up onions
  • add in some garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • a can of Thai curry paste (watch the labels, avoid the ones with oil or too much sugar, but there are plenty of good ones).
  • peppers in all the colors you can find, green, red, yellow - equivalent to a whole pepper.
  • simmer the above for a while and then add:
  • Napa cabbage sliced in 1/4"strips
  • Sprouts
  • bind it with some arrow root or corn starch at the end.
Various fruit for snacks in betwean and some more kale. I usually steam a batch that gives me 4-5 portions, and it stays great in the fridge.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Getting Started with #WFPB in April

Here's the beginning:

Cook soup ahead. I usually have 2-3 different soups in the freezer, so that I am never caught short.
Also some form of dal, or curry, or beans can be cooked ahead. Rice can be cooked ahead.

Since my freezer was empty, I made some Split Pea soup this weekend, to get my month started right. I will cook more soups during the month eventually building up to having 2-3 soups to choose from, until I build it down again and start the cycle anew. I do not believe in fossilized soup in the fridge.
For the rest, I have some frozen mixed vegetables, and some frozen spinach in the fridge, for an emergency, and some whole wheat flour and gram flour that just keeps better in the freezer.

I also always have icecube trays with frozen veggie stock for when I caramelize onions.

Split Pea Soup

Great basic recipe for vegan split pea soup, adapted for #WFPB, by leaving out the oil.
It might be of interest to compare to the basic recipe I started with online... I removed the oil, but used more onions and garlic, among other things.


2-4 onions, cut fine
4-6 chilis, cut fine
1 seeded, jalapeno, cut fine
3 bay leaves
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (2 lbs) dried split peas
1/2 cup barley
1-1/2 tbsp liquid aminos
8-10 cups of vegetable or mushroom bouillon (2 pints)
(Alternatively, half vegetable bouillon and half water with a whole king mushroom, cut up)
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 potatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
optionally other vegetables, such as parsnips, or turnips etc.


In a large pot over medium high heat, saute the onion, dry for for a total of 10 mins, 5 mins no stir, and 5 mins stirred while adding some 2-3 veggie stock ice cubes, then bay leaf and garlic, cook for 5 minutes on medium.
Add the peas, barley, liquid aminos and water.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cut up the veggies.
Add more water as needed for the right thickness.
Add the carrots, celery, potatoes, parsley, basil, thyme and ground black pepper.
Simmer for another hour, or until the peas and vegetables are tender.

Breakfast: Steelcut Oats Plus

Breakfast today... as is typical for this time of year...

What is that?  I always make the oats for 2 days, and today was the 2nd day, so I'll have the oats with apple, blueberry, cinnamon, raisins and goji berries in the fridge, so I just have to heat it up.
  • steelcut oats
  • grated apple
  • cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of goji berries
  • 1 tsp of raisins
  • fresh banana
  • fresh strawberry, or whatever other berries or other fruit I might have
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • more cinnamon
  • milled flax seed and hemp hearts

Snack: Steamed kale with Sweet Potato

  • One bunch steamed kale
  • One boiled potato (Japanese is my preference)
  • Mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar.
The balsamic is probiotic and a preservative, this mixture stays good in the fridge, so I can snack from if for a day or more. One bunch makes 4-6 portions. The Mustard seeds are courtesy to Dr. Michael Greger, and his research that cooking kale actually destroys certain beneficial enzymes, but some mustard seeds added in after cooking restores that again.


Some of that kale with sweet potato salad,
A Cucumber salad with a 1/2/3 with dill and garlic dressing, with chia seeds.
and some of that soon-to-be-famous Split Pea Soup

Step One for Dinner

Rice Cooker #101

For dinner tonight (and a few more days this week) I am having GABA Brown Rice, this time half and half:
  • Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice,
  • Black Rice.
I put it on after breakfast, on the timer for 6:30 at night. The GABA brown rice process is the healthiest way to eat rice, but it takes 3.5 hours - but a good rice cooker handles all that automatically. The cycle is a 2.5 hour soak, allowing the rice to germinate, and then an approx 1 hour cooking cycle, in my trusted rice cooker.

For details on my preferences about kitchen gear, see my main site, in particular this article about My Tools for the Plant-Based Kitchen.


Salad with Red Leaf Lettuce

Red leaf lettuce
chopped red onion
peppers in 2-3 colors chopped up
tomato cut up in small pieces
quinoa, milles flax seed, and some chia seeds
1/2/3 dressing with lemon, lime, garlic and parsley
some capers, and some salad olives.

Main course: Curry of Broad Valor Beans and Japanese Eggplant

That main dish was a leftover from the weekend, but I'll make this recipe again as I am trying to perfect it.