Heart Smart Cooking

Craving Carbohydrate Comfort Foods?

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Listen to your body. Viva La Pasta! *

I can’t believe I still hear people saying things like, “I’d like to go vegetarian, but how do you do it without eating a lot of carbs?” Or, “I’ve been vegan for five years and I’ve managed to completely avoid pasta in all that time. Yay for me!”

No cheering for you, buddy. A sad pat on the back with a wet noodle instead.

The Atkins myth has long been busted and we all need to move on to healthy eating, like this month’s featured recipes:

Sesame Ginger Sauce Pasta and Veggies
Mushroom Stroganoff Sauce

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Eating for Good Fortune

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

In the South, it’s a tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good fortune. Some people believe you need to eat one bean for each day of the year, so you don’t have any bad-luck days. They used to be cooked with ham, but now that veganism is taking over the world, there are many vegan versions out there.

If you like faux meats, add vegan “ham” to your shopping list, chop it up, and throw it into the peas when they’re done cooking. If you’re eating McDougall, cook some brown rice and just eat beans, rice and collards. You can eat buckets of those three things and still lose weight and cure your heart disease.

o Black-eyed peas

o Collard Greens
o BBQ tempeh
o Cornbread

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Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

Sunday, November 11th, 2007

Vegan holiday food is actually some of the easiest and tastiest food you can make (or buy). Below are recipes for mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, glazed brussel sprouts and pumpkin pie. Cranberry sauce, green beans, salads, sweet potatoes…all the other favorites are already vegan, or so close you won’t need a recipe (Annie’s Goddess dressing instead of the tired old ranch dressing, green beans cooked in veg stock instead of chicken stock, etc).

The main dish is the big question. Tofurky? A big stuffed squash? Thanksgiving Loaf? That’s up to you and your personal tastes. If you’re celebrating with a crowd, try to arrange one of each centerpiece foods (Tofurky, stuffed squash). Have a taste test and then you’ll know what you like in the future.

Mashed Potatoes

Cashew Gravy
Cornbread and Pecan Stuffing
Glazed Brussel Sprouts
Pumpkin Patch “Cheesecake”

Also included is a list for even more holiday resources.

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Pot Roast and Mashers

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Summer produce is delicious, but summer weather makes it too hot to cook anything and too hot to appreciate our healthy vegan appetites. Now that we’re finally getting some cooler weather we can fire up the oven and enjoy the comfort food.

Tempeh Pot Roast is a bit time-consuming, but worth it. I often hear from people who don’t enjoy eating tempeh. That is usually because they are eating under-cooked tempeh and this recipe takes care of that.

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The Red & Green Season

Saturday, September 15th, 2007

Tis the season for red and green! And yellow and purple and orange tomatoes. Tomatoes are being sliced and slurped all over the country right now, and in the Bay Area we’re particularly lucky to have an amazing crop of heirloom tomatoes to die for. I’ve been eating them every single day and can’t get enough. Below are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy them this year (it changes every year).

1. The perfect fresh tomato recipe
2. Tomato and “mozzarella” salad

3. Panzanella
4. Penne pasta with fresh tomato sauce
5. Grilled “cheese” sandwich
6. 5 minute tostadas
7. Frito Pie

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Curry Buffet

Saturday, August 11th, 2007

This past weekend I traveled to Friday Harbor, WA and Victoria, BC. While in Victoria I visited the Empress Hotel, a five star property that’s been around for over 100 years, proudly serving the richest of the the rich (I’m still not sure why they let me in the front door). As you can imagine, the hotel’s restaurants have always been formal and rather old-fashioned. This is not a place looking to be “hip.” I expected to go hungry, being an active vegan, and had packed plenty of energy bars.

Those power bars are still in my suitcase, untouched, because I was fed like royalty—vegan royalty. The Empress Room prepared a full five-course vegan meal without blinking an eye—and it was one of the best vegan meals I’ve ever had!–and the appetizer buffets were also stocked with vegan treats. The neatest thing, though, was the curry buffet in the Bengal Lounge. This restaurant has been serving an old-fashioned Indian curry buffet for decades. Lamb and chicken curries, mostly.

My friend and I walked in for lunch, and I commented that the menu had a couple of veg options so I would be fine if I couldn’t do the buffet. One of the servers heard me and she interrupted our conversation to assure us that the kitchen would love to make extra veg options for the buffet—it was a common request.

It is so nice to be a vegan activist in 2007.

So in honor of the decidedly old-fashioned and un-hip Empress Hotel in Victoria—proudly serving vegan food—here is a list of ingredients for your very own curry buffet. Instructions for dressing to the nines are not included.

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Summer BBQ: VegiQ!

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Tis the season for BBQ. Do veg*ns love BBQ? We do. Do we settle for boring, bland, carrot and celery stick BBQ? We do not.

When people eat dead animals at BBQ’s, they’re not tasting the animal flesh. They’re tasting the BBQ sauce, the salt and fat and herbs and spices, the liquid smoke and beer. Put the same sauces on tofu, tempeh, seitan or big meaty mushrooms and you have the same summertime flavors and textures.

Pesto

BBQ Sauce
Peach-Chipotle Sauce

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Vegan Chiliquiles

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Chiliquiles are, I think, the original Nachos. The basic idea is some good stuff sautéed with corn chips mixed right in, as opposed to putting good stuff on top of corn chips. While not exactly the healthiest of recipes, it does have several selling points:

1. Very quick and easy to make.

2. Good as left-overs, so make a lot.
3. Tasty to meat-eaters (plenty of salt and fat, and familiar Mexican-food flavors).
4. Nice way to sneak some tofu into a tofu-hater’s diet.
5. Pretty much impossible to ruin.

I suspect this might be a great dish to serve to teenagers, but I can’t prove that anymore than I can prove that Nachos are the descendents of Chiliquiles.

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Summer House Guests

Monday, May 7th, 2007

If you live in the Bay Area, you probably have friends and family eager to crash at your place so they can enjoy the area without paying San Francisco hotel prices. If you’re vegan and they’re still eating chicken nuggets, then your cooking becomes more important—like it or not, your kitchen will be representing cruelty-free dining at it’s best (or worst). If your guests are stuck eating carrots, sprouts and hummus for a week, they may leave with a negative impression of veganism and thus will be much less likely to read a Veg Starter Kit or watch Meet Your Meat.

Impress them as you put a new spin plain vegan vanilla ice cream

Cinnamon Orange Ice Cream
Maple-cinnamon Ice Cream
Coriander Ice Cream
Fresh strawberry or berry Ice Cream
Lemon-clove Ice Cream
Cranberry Ice Cream

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Cookbooks and Computers

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Why buy a cookbook?

Well, you should buy cookbooks, because splattering cake batter on a book is much less damaging than splattering cake batter onto your laptop. Also, veg chefs and veg restaurants work VERY hard to make cookbooks and they should be supported.

But don’t forget your computer when it comes to cooking. People are constantly asking me what cookbooks to buy, and I don’t have a set list because everyone cooks and eats differently. I’ll list a few of my favorites here, but I think the best thing to do is search the Internet and check out books from the library before purchasing them.

For your culinary pleasure, here’s my top ten cookbooks and recipe websites. If you don’t cook, share it with your friends who do and maybe they’ll make you some vegan treats!

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