Daily Vegan Lunch for 27 November, 2013: Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Cranberry-Apple Compote

vegan mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry-apple compote

Oh how I love mashed potatoes.  Who doesn’t, right?  Actually, when I was a kid, I thought they were gross.


6 – 8  red or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped OR 12 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled.  Yukon gold are smaller in general and you need more of them, however they cook much faster than red or russet potatoes.
Enough water to cover
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
up to 2 cups almond milk


Peel and chop potatoes into small pieces.  Have a colander at the ready next to the sink.  Put in a large pot and then put that pot on the stove and turn the heat to high.  Pour in enough water to cover the potatoes.  Bring the potatoes to a boil and then turn down the heat to medium-high and allow them to cook for anywhere from 10 – 25 minutes depending on type of potato and how large or small you cut your potato chunks.  When the largest potato chunk reaches the fork-tender stage, immediately take them off the heat and drain them in the colander.  Add the potatoes back to the pot you cooked them in.  DO NOT allow the potatoes to cool or they will get gummy, shiny, and weird.  They will still be tasty and perfectly safe to eat, however, they won’t be quite as good.  I have learned this lesson the hard way.  Add the oil and blend the potatoes with a beater or a potato masher if you have one.  I just use the electric beater.  Add about 1/2 cup of almond milk as you beat and keep adding 1/2 cup at a time until potatoes are fluffy and creamy.  Salt to taste and beat until salt is incorporated.


1/2 cup vegetable oil, I used canola
1/2 cup white flour, for gluten free version, use chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon sage
3.5 cups vegetable broth

Prepare vegetable broth, mix it with sage, and set it by the stove.  In a pan, stir oil and flour together with a wooden spoon until they make a goopy, wet paste that is called a roux.  Turn the heat to medium or medium-high (I turn it to medium high because my stovetop is weak) and stir intermittently for about five minutes.  The flour mixture will start to darken.  Now you should stir it almost constantly until it becomes a caramel mocha latte color.  As soon as the color is sufficiently brown, add the sage broth.  If you’ve got a powerful stove, turn the heat off.  If your stove is like mine (wimpy) turn the heat to medium or low-medium.  Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and take off the heat.


You could add lots of cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg to this recipe, however I’m more a fan of very simple fruit compotes with not much going on, so I saved the spices for the pumpkin pie and apple-cherry pie this Thanksliving.

1 bag cranberries, about 2 cups
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
3/4 cup dark brown sugar or 3/4 cup white sugar plus 2 teaspoons molasses

Prepare apples.  Wash cranberries.  Add apples, cranberries, and sugar to a crock pot.  Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 24 November, 2013: Roasted Walnut Shiitake Dressing Stuffed Squash

This roasted walnut, mushroom, and panko stuffing would be perfect for Thanksgiving.  I was really happy to find out these squashes I bought from the grocery store were local.

vegan mushroom dressing stuffed squashvegan mushroom dressing stuffed squash

2 small or 1 large acorn squash

1.5 cups walnuts
2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups broccoli florets, chopped

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water at least 20 minutes
1.5 – 2 cups panko or breadcrumbs
Up to 1.5 cups vegetable broth or saved mushroom water to moisten


Wash outside of squash, poke holes in it, and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  I save the seeds to roast and salt on a cookie sheet, yum!

Roast walnuts in a dry pan on medium heat until they give off a wonderful fragrance, about 5 minutes.  Don’t let them burn but it is okay to let them brown.  Add oil to the pan and onions.  Fry the onions for about 1 minute and add the broccoli and celery.

Chop the mushroom into small bits and add to the pan.  Add panko or breadcrumbs and mix well.  Add mushroom water and/or broth little by little and stir until the mixture is moistened.

Cut the cooked squash in half and remove the seeds by scooping them out with a spoon.  Stuff the squash halves with walnut-panko dressing.  Broil at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes until top browns.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 November, 2013: Lentil Loaf with Small Roasted Potatoes

vegan lentil meatloaf vegan lentil meatloaf

3/4 cup dry lentils (about 2 cups cooked)
4 – 5 cups water for cooking lentils

2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped

1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika

1.5 cups panko or breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour, I used chickpea flour
Up to 2 cups vegetable broth, to moisten
Salt to taste
1.5 cups ketchup


Bring lentils to boil with the water.  As soon as it boils, turn heat to medium and let simmer for about 30 minutes.  Taste test the lentils for doneness, adding more water if needed depending on how soft you like lentils.

In a large pan, fry celery, carrots, and onions on medium heat in the tablespoon of oil until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.  Add sage and paprika, stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.  Add cooked lentils, panko, and flour and stir to make a dry mix.  Slowly pour and mix in the vegetable broth and stir until everything sticks together and makes a thick dough.

Grease a loaf pan and press mixture into the bottom of the pan, smoothing out the top to make it even.  Squirt ketchup in an even layer or zig zags across the loaf.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

For the potatoes, wash about 5 cups of potatoes thoroughly and put them in a medium casserole dish.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on them and then toss them with your hands to coat.  Add about a teaspoon of salt if desired.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then flip the potatoes and cook 20 minutes more.

Daily Vegan Lunch for November 9, 2013: Veggie Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry



1 tablespoon oil

1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in 1.5 cups water (save soaking water)
1 package frozen vegan chicken tenders
1.5 cup green onions, minced
2 cups bamboo shoots from a can, sliced thin and drained
2 cups snow peas

1 tablespoon mushroom “oyster” sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Saved mushroom soaking water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 teaspoon sesame seed oil (optional)


Soak the mushrooms for 20 minutes to overnight. Slice them and save the soaking water for later use in the sauce.

Bake the chicken tenders at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip, bake 5 minutes more. Cut them into chunks. Set them aside.

Chop and set aside these ingredients: mushrooms, chicken tenders, bamboo shoots. Wash and set aside snow peas.

Mix sauce by combining veg-oyster or soy sauce, dry sherry, garlic, mushroom water, sugar, and cornstarch in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on the highest heat possible until it smokes. Add ingredients roughly according to this order, waiting about 30 seconds between each one and stirring while you cook: snow peas, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms. Add the veggie chicken and green onions. Toss. Turn off the heat and add the sauce. Stir and the sauce will thicken around the ingredients. Sprinkle with optional sesame seed oil. Serve with rice.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 21 October, 2013: Rustic Bread Soup

Many people don’t realize most bread, including sourdough, is vegan. It’s a combination of yeast, flour, sugar and salt. Unless there’s an egg wash or a butter top, bread is as vegan as it gets.

This dish reminds me of pre-made frozen white bread dumplings my mom used to make with gravy. Like most meat dishes, it was a heavy, greasy dish. This version brings me back to all of the good things about that dish with none of the grease or heavy fat that used to stick to everything.

vegan rustic bread soup

1 tablespoon oil
1.5 cups chopped onion

1.5 cups chopped celery
1.5 cups chopped carrot
1.5 cups chopped peeled potatoes
2 cups chopped red cabbage or other cabbage (I just really like red cabbage this time of year as you can probably tell)
6 cups vegetable broth (I used water, 2 broth cubes, and a pinch of salt)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups pureed tomatoes (I used some late garden tomatoes puréed in the blender)
1 heaping tablespoon minced fresh garlic

1-2 slices of bread per bowl, I used a crusty homestyle bread from a bakery


Sauté onion and cabbage in oil in the bottom of a large stockpot on medium high until translucent. Add cumin and paprika and saute 30 more seconds. Add celery, carrot, potatoes, and broth. Cook until carrots and potatoes are fork tender. Add pureed tomatoes, basil, and garlic and cook 10 – 15 more minutes. To serve, place 1-2 slices of bread in the bottom of the bowl and ladle soup over it like this: