Heart Smart Cooking

Dressings and Sauces for Easy Meals

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

Bay Area Vegetarians has had multiple requests for “one pot meals” lately. Recipes easy to make on Sunday and then take for lunch throughout the week. In fact, pretty much every time I post something to the list—it could be about vegan shoes or PETA or leafleting by BART—I get responses that ask, “That’s great, but can I have a recipe for a big pot of something?”

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Cooking for Carnivores

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

The joy and the hassle of feeding carnivores. Ugh. It’s important to do, because serving a great vegan meal is one of the best outreach tactics I know of. But it’s so darn hard! It’s hard because the meat-eater is bound is determined to not like what you make. If they can convince themselves that veg food is icky, then nobody will blame them for staying with their cruelty-to-animals diet.

I think the most important thing to remember in these situations is that you are NOT cooking for yourself. You can’t. You need to make and serve something that you may not find very appetizing. This is particularly important if you’ve been vegan for years, and/or if you eat a very healthy, low-fat vegan diet.

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New Year’s Traditions

Monday, January 1st, 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 Holiday Treats

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Enjoy the holidays with some festive vegan cookies. It’s a great opportunity to make extras and bring them to your next holiday party or gift them to a friend.

*Cranberry Walnut Oat Cookies

*Chocolate Frosted Macaroons
*Ginger Star Cookies
*Cinnamon-Orange Ice Cream

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Holiday Recipes

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006

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, 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. Turfurky? Unturkey? A big stuffed squash? That’s up to you and your personal tastes. My favorite Thanksgiving involved a six hour hike up a snowy mountain, followed by a feast of latkes (potato pancakes) with apple sauce and vegan sour cream. 3 carefully-chosen people and 7 dogs who were not actually carefully-chosen, being rescues, but they were well-loved. That holiday was so easy, and so fun—none of the stress, misery, heart attacks and animal suffering I was used to—that it set the tone and I haven’t celebrated a “traditional” Thanksgiving since.

If you’re celebrating with a crowd, try to arrange one of each centerpiece foods (Tofurky, Unturkey, stuffed pumpkin). Have a taste test and then you’ll know what you like in the future.

Mashed Potatoes
Cashew Gravy
Cornbread and Pecan Stuffing
Pumpkin Patch “Cheesecake”

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Tahini Recipes

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

Two months ago, the fearless leaders of Bay Area Vegetarians (Chris and Tammy) posted a recipe for “cheese” sauce made with tahini to SFBAVEG, telling us all it was delicious. They found it in one of Joanne Stepaniak’s wonderful cookbooks, The Saucy Vegetarian. Since they wouldn’t stop talking about it, I finally made a batch. YUM.

It’s great as is, drizzled on baked potatoes, steamed veggies, or just as a dip. I couldn’t stop eating it and kept making more batches, adding a few additions (see below).

The best dish I made with the “cheese” was a hot layered bean dip that I served to visiting meat-eaters who went nuts over it.

Tahini is ground up sesame seeds, like peanut butter or almond butter. It is not a low-fat food, but it does not have any of the bad fats. It’s also high in calcium. If you’re new to vegan cooking, I would recommend buying a jar and trying one or more of the recipes here, because tahini is a good staple ingredient to be familiar with. Having a few good sauces under your belt makes it easy to whip together a meal in no time.

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cheese Sauce”
Hot Layered Bean Dip
Tahini Dip
Sesame Ginger Sauce for Pasta

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Favorite Pig-friendly Recipes

Thursday, August 31st, 2006

What if your dog tasted like porkIf your dog tasted like pork, would you eat him? Most meat-eaters would answer “No way! That’s gross, dude!” But really, what’s the difference between pork loin and poodle loin?

Most people know very little about pigs. They are fascinating animals. Pigs are curious and insightful animals thought to have intelligence beyond that of an average 3-year-old human child. They are smarter than dogs and every bit as friendly, loyal, and affectionate.

Covered this month –

• Favorite pre-made pig substitutes
• Cruelty-free bacon
• BLT’s
• BBQ sandwiches
• Baked five-spice seasoned tofu
• Mu-shu “pork” without the dead pig
• Soy foods: Tofu vs. Tempeh

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Cooking Without Cooking

Monday, July 31st, 2006

It’s miserably hot in most of the Bay Area right now—even San Francisco was uncomfortable yesterday. Thank Dog for perpetually cool and windy Treasure Island.

Lots of “no cook” summer recipes actually do involve cooking, for instance, a cold pasta salad means cooking the pasta first. What’s up with that?

So here are some true no-cook recipes and tips on eating well in the hot weather.

– Bean Salad
– Black Bean and Corn Salad
– Hummus
– Garden Salad with Beet and Mustard Dressing

These are filling, nutrition recipes—good for your daily work lunches, or for that weekend BBQ party. The list is also an accidental Ode to the Canned Bean. Beans are good. Beans are great. Beans are cheap, filling, super nutritious, and a perfect weight-loss food.

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Dairy-free and Delicious

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Cow’s milk is the perfect food designed for a nursing baby cow. When it comes to humans, it’s a different story.

Dairy: Fat, cholesterol, blood, pus, food-borne illnesses. Heart attacks, strokes, obesity, diabetes, impotence and osteoporosis.

Dairy-free: No animal suffering, a fraction of the fat, no cholesterol, less fossil fuels and fresh water used to produce, and…delicious!

According to Viva!USA, “investigations have revealed that most cows are kept in confined areas on dirt and cement floors; and the babies, sometimes only a few hours old, are taken from their mothers. Because cows produce significant amounts of milk for only ten months after they have birthed a calf, they are forced to continuously have babies in order to keep the milk flowing.” For the babies, males become veal calves while females are raised as replacement “dairy cows”. Dairy cows are sent to the slaughterhouse after their production levels decreases, typically at age 5-6 versus the normal 25 year lifespan for a cow.

  • Sour Cream
  • Cinnamon Orange Ice Cream
  • Cheeze Sauce for Nachos
  • Tofu Ricotta

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Instead of Eggs

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

How much animal suffering, fat, cholesterol and salmonella do you want in your diet? If you’re looking for lots of those special ingredients, I have the perfect food for you: An egg. If, however, you’d like to avoid ingesting ickiness and heart-attacks-in-a-shell, I have some recipes for you.

– Scramble Seasoning Mix
– Eggless Egg Salad
– Brownies
– Cranberry Oat Cookies

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