Daily Vegan Lunch for 12 December, 2013: Three Bean Salad

Vegan 3 bean salad IMG_3816


1.5 cup cooked kidney beans
1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1.5 cups cooked cannellini or navy beans (any white bean will do)
1 cup chopped green onion
2 cups chopped celery
1.5 cups chopped red radishes

1/3 cup any kind of vinegar except balsamic
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper, to taste


Rinse and drain beans and place them in a bowl with celery, green onion, and chopped radishes.  In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, vinegar, salt, and oil, whisk with a fork.

Pour the vinegar mixture over the bean mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.  Allow it to chill in the refrigerator for about 3 hours for best taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 28 November, 2013: Poor Woman’s Tofurky with Sourdough Stuffing

poor woman's tofurky seitan roast with sourdough stuffing IMG_3734

I love Tofurky, however, they are $14 and fairly small so I made this seitan roast because I had to feed a crazy large crowd. Luckily this recipe made so much that my husband and I got to eat a mini rendition of the roast before the big day.


1 tablespoon oil

2 cups onion, chopped
7 cups sourdough bread, I used homemade
1.5 cup shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted in water if from dry
3 – 5 cloves garlic (about 1.5 tablespoons) minced
2 cups celery, chopped
1.5 cups carrots, finely chopped
1.5 cups walnuts, optional
2 cups plus up to 4 cups more vegetable broth

1 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons taco seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground or whole fennel seeds


3 cups vital wheat gluten flour

3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
1/4 cup tahini
2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon sage
Additional oil and soy sauce, for basting

Here is the what the vital wheat gluten flour package looks like:

vital wheat gluten flour package


For the sourdough bread stuffing, pulse the bread in a blender or food processor until it is almost completely crumbs. In the bottom of a large pot, spread walnuts over the bottom and set heat to medium. When the walnuts become fragrant, about 5 minutes, add the onion and the oil and fry until onion is translucent, another 3 minutes. Add all herbs and spices (sage, paprika, thyme, taco seasoning, and fennel) to a well in the center of the mixture and allow to sauté about 30 seconds. Chop mushrooms into fine bits and add them along with celery, carrot, and garlic. Add 2 cups of the vegetable broth and simmer until carrots reach al dente stage, up to 20 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs to the pot. Add more broth a half cup at a time until the mixture is thick but not dry or runny.

For the seitan, chill a large mixing bowl, the vital wheat gluten flour, and the spoon you will use to mix it in the freezer. Also use cold broth and chilled beans if possible. The reason is because seitan is much easier to handle when it is cold because once it is warm, the gluten gets firmer and more obstinate.

In a blender, combine chilled broth with garlic, tahini, beans, oil, sage, and soy sauce. Blend until beans are completely pureed. In the large chilled bowl, pour in the vital wheat gluten flour. Make a well in the center of flour. Add the white-bean broth slurry. Stir until just mixed.

On a cutting board, roll the seitan dough into one oblong rectangular-ish sheet for a large loaf and one smaller oblong sheet for a mini-loaf or 2 equal sheets for 2 equal loaves.

Lay about 1.5 cups of stuffing in the center of the loaf.

lay stuffing in loaf center

lay stuffing in loaf center

Turn the loaf over and seal up the edges with your fingers by pinching. Use a little water if it doesn’t want to stick.

Put the remainder of the stuffing in a casserole dish.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put the stuffing in the oven. While it bakes, oil a pan or a cookie sheet very generously. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes. Take them out of the oven and baste them with a tablespoon of oil and soy sauce each, return to the oven for 20 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 15 November, 2013: Lentil Tomato Pinto Bean Soup

This recipe makes a huge pot of soup that will last for days. Freeze it if you don’t eat it all. It is one of those soups that is good the first day and fantastic the second day.

lentil pinto vegan soup



2 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dried lentils or 3 cups cooked
1 can pinto beans, about 2 cups
4 cups crushed tomatoes, I used canned
8 cups vegetable broth

1.5 cups frozen corn
1.5 cups chopped sweet red bell pepper, I used some from a jar
2 legs celery, chopped (1.5 cups)
1 cup chopped carrot

2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika, I used smoked
Hot sauce or Sriacha, to taste
2/3 cup flour, I used chickpea flour


Pre-cook lentils in 3 cups water a crockpot on low for 4 hours or on high for 1 hour.  Alternately, use 2 cans of pre-made store bought lentil soup.

In the bottom of a large soup pot, sauté onions and garlic on medium high heat until onions are translucent.  Add cumin, chili powder, and paprika to onions and garlic, sauté 30 more seconds.  Douse mixture with lentils and their cooking water, pinto beans, carrots, celery, corn, and all but 1 cup of the vegetable broth.  Turn on high and bring mixture to a boil.  Once it boils, bring heat down to medium-high and boil until celery is al dente, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes.  Add salt or additional spices at this point if needed.  Add red peppers and stir in hot sauce to taste.

Mix remaining cup of vegetable broth with flour until it is a slurry, dump into soup.  Stir until soup is thickened.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 8 November, 2013: Spicy Spaghetti with Spinach and Pinto Beans

fat free spicy pasta with greens and olives


5 cups cooked angel hair pasta

1 teaspoon oil (optional)
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 cup pinto beans, drained
2 tablespoons prepared spaghetti sauce
3/4 cup vegetable broth

3 cups spinach leaves
1 cup sliced black olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pine nuts, to serve


Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, set aside. In a frying pan on medium heat, heat oil and briefly fry garlic, about 30 seconds. Add pinto beans, chili sauce, spaghetti sauce, and vegetable broth. Heat through, about 2 minutes. Add spinach leaves and black olives and cook until spinach wilts. Serve on angel hair pasta. I sprinkled it with pine nuts as you can see.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 7 November, 2013: Taco Casserole

I made this for my How Do We Get A Vegan Restaurant in Naperville informal potluck. It was a big hit.

vegan taco casserole



1 bag of corn chips (I also used some regular corn tortillas briefly fried in oil)
1 large tomato, chopped or 1.5 cups
1.5 cups black olives, sliced
1.5 cups onion

Bean stew

Cashew-oat nacho cheez


About 2 cups black, kidney, pinto, or chili beans from a can, not drained
1.5 cups vegetable broth or V8
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons taco seasoning


3/4 cups cashew pieces
1/4 cup raw onion
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 a lemon’s juice
1 cup oats
2 cups water
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 teaspoons taco seasoning


Prepare the nacho cheez: combine all nacho cheez ingredients in a high speed blender OR if you don’t have a high speed blender, use cashew butter instead of cashew pieces and pre-cook oats in water in microwave for 2 minutes, then combine and blend in normal blender.

For the bean stew, combine beans and onions in a small pan with taco seasoning. Fry until onions are translucent and taco seasoning is fragrant. Mix broth with 1/4 cup flour. Pour over bean mixture and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Grease a casserole dish or dishes by wiping with olive oil. Layer chips, nacho cheese, bean stew, onions, olives, and tomatoes in one large casserole dish or two small ones, I used my big 13 x 9 casserole. How many layers depends on how thin you spread each one. I ended up with 3 layers of chips, 2 layers of beans, and 2 layers of nacho cheez. It’s not an exact science.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Pour 1.5 cups of veggie broth or V8 into the casserole and bake for 20 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 2 November, 2013: Kidney Bean and Torn Corn Tortilla Enchiladas

The layers: corn tortillas on the bottom, olives, onion, lettuce

The layers: corn tortillas on the bottom, olives, onion, lettuce

vegan torn corn enchiladas with V

Makes two big servings.


1 tablespoon oil
5 corn tortillas

6 cups V-8 (tomato vegetable juice cocktail)
1 cup chopped black olives
1.5 cups raw onion
8 cups iceberg lettuce, chopped

2 cups kidney beans or veggie taco meat


Pre-chop olives, onion, and lettuce. Bring oil to medium-high heat in a frying pan. Tear tortillas into small bits and fry them in the oil for about 1 minute. Alternately, fry tortillas and wait for them to cool before tearing them into bits. Evenly distribute a layer of corn tortillas on the bottom of each of two plates. Heat the V-8 in the microwave or on the stove top until it is almost boiling. Layer the plates with beans, onion, and lettuce on the top. Gently pour the hot V-8 over the plates. Eat immediately — this dish does not save or reheat well.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 27 October, 2013: White Bean Hummus and Roasted Vegetable Pizza

I could have used store-bought hummus, I suppose. It can get expensive though as this recipe calls for 2 cups of the stuff. Considering how cheap beans are, you are better off making your own hummus, at least where this recipe is concerned.

I’m sure this would be just as good with chickpea hummus.

vegan white bean hummus and roasted veggie pizza


1 store bought pizza crust or pre-cooked pizza crust
1 eggplant
1 sweet red bell pepper
1 zucchini


2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 a lemon’s juice (about 2 tablespoons)
Salt to taste


Cut the eggplant into small chunks, the red pepper into slices (discard the seed and the stem/core), and slice the zucchini. There is no need to skin the zucchini or the eggplant. Roast the vegetables on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Combine all hummus ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Spread the hummus on the pizza crusts and evenly top with roasted vegetables. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 26 October, 2013: White Bean and Spinach Pizza

vegan white bean spinach pizza


1 store bought pizza crust or pre-cooked pizza crust (alternately you can use tortillas or pitas as I often do)
2 cups cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups spinach leaves

2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes and their water or oil
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake pizza crust by itself for 5 minutes (this is for an extra crunchy crust, you can omit this step if you like softer crust). Mix salt, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, vegan mayonnaise, and olive oil in a bowl, stir well. Spread the crust with the tomato/mayo/garlic/olive oil mixture. Evenly top the pizza with white beans and spinach leaves. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 9 August, 2013: Pinto Bean Burgers

vegan pinto bean burgers


1 Tablespoon oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 and 1/4 cup cooked pinto or other beans

Flaxseed Egg: 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal mixed with 1/4 cup water

1/4 cup roasted red bell pepper
1 cup panko

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Buns and burger toppings, such as:

Sliced avocado
Sliced tomato
Grilled or raw onion


Mix flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl, set aside for about 20 minutes. The mixture will thicken into a viscous goo a.k.a. flaxseed egg. Sauté onion and garlic in oil in a small pan on medium heat until onion is translucent, less than 5 minutes. Combine flaxseed egg, sautéed onion and garlic mixture, and beans in a blender or food processor. Pulse the mixture until blended with no chunks just short of purée. Dump bean mixture into a large bowl and fold in panko or breadcrumbs. Taste test it (after all, there is no egg in it and therefore no salmonella) and add salt as needed.

Form the mixture into flat patties and fry them in oil until browned on either side. Alternately, bake them on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Makes about 4 – 6 burgers depending on how large you like them.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 5 August, 2013: Beanie Linguini

vegan pinto bean tomato sauce linguine


2 tablespoons oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 legs celery, diced
1.5 cups cooking water for celery and carrot (reserve water after cooking)
1.5 cups pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1.5 cups tomato sauce or puree
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons agave nectar or 1/4 cup sugar or 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon oregano

Cooked linguini noodles, to serve


In a large skillet, add onions to oil on medium high heat.  Sauté until translucent, about five minutes.   Put carrot and celery in a microwave-safe bowl or dish.  Cover them with water by 1/4 inch.  Cook them in the microwave on high for 3 minutes and 30 seconds.  Add beans and oregano to the frying onion pan.  Add tomato sauce, agave nectar or sugar, and salt to mixture, stir.  Strain vegetables, reserving water.  Add the vegetables and then add the cooking water as needed to thin the sauce down to your desired consistency.  Add more salt if needed.

Serve over noodles.