Vegan Mofo #4 Zucchini Lasagne

Say it with me, zucchini! Lasagne!

Admit it, those two words in the same sentence sends you into a serious full on drool. Can you see it? Imagine if you will the garlic basil sauce ladled on tofu ricotta and veggies or mushrooms between tender pasta sheets.What happens when you open the refrigerator door to find that you don’t have most of those ingredients?

You switch gears and get creative. Here’s where ta da!! Zucchini comes in.

Zucchini makes a great substitute for pasta when you’re trying to cut back and/or eliminate wheat from your diet. This dish came together because I hadn’t gone shopping and this was all I had in the house at the time.

Serve it with a a salad of your choosing and it makes for a light meal.

Zucchini Lasagne


  • 3 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 2 14 ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bunch kale, washed, trimmed, and chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced and halved
  • 1 medium onion, chopped and halved
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add kale, half the onion and garlic to med high heat skillet and saute with vegetable broth about 5 mins. Set aside.
  2. Beans
  3. Place drained beans into food processor or high speed blender. Puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Zucchini
  5. Cut ends off zucchini. Slice thinly with a knife or a mandolin.
  6. Tomato Sauce
  7. Saute the rest of the onion until translucent. Add garlic and tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Assemble
  9. Place three slices overlapping on a plate.
  10. Spread desired amount of bean puree over zucchini slices.
  11. Sprinkle desired amount of kale over bean puree.
  12. Spoon on desired amount of sauce over kale.
  13. Top with three overlapping slices of zucchini in a different direction (if desired).
  14. Repeat layering three more times.
  15. Serve with a salad of your choice.

If you like, you can add fresh basil to the sauce or chiffonade  and sprinkle over top as a garnish.

Once you get the hang of this recipe, you’ll be making it quickly and often for you and your family.

Happy eating!







Vegan Mofo 2012!

It’s that time of the year again!


Time to start cranking out beautiful amazing vegan delights, treats, and ideas for everyday life, entertaining, and guilty pleasures.

I’m so excited that I took to Walt Disney World again this year to check out what offerings were to be had at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival for vegans. Boy was I surprised when I opened the weekend event guide brochure to find listed as #1 – TERRA!



At first I thought my eyes were seeing things when I saw the all too familiar “Chick’n” term that is usually placed on packaging when referring to vegan chicken substitute. There is was in black and beige – the menu:


Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast; Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese featuring Gardein Beefless Tips; Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam


When I I asked if the selections were vegan or vegetarian, I fully expected to hear vegetarian – made with butter and cream. That wasn’t the answer I received. Instead I heard “Everything here is vegan except the wine.” I nearly dropped my camera. I know a look of surprise spread across my face – I’m so obvious sometimes – it was music to my ears. So I jumped into line and ordered one of every food item.

The Chick’n Curry was interesting, not exactly what I was expecting. I fully expected something that included coconut milk with chopped pieces of  “chick’n” throughout placed over basmati rice. Instead, it was something that look and tasted more like a medium spiced tomato puree over the curry seasoned chick’n cutlet with basmati on the side dry. Taste: good, slightly spicy yet a root vegetable puree would have been nicer or some chunks of veggies would have been nice in the curry.

Again, another dish – Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese came in a way that I wasn’t expecting. That dish I fully expected to be in a cup with peppers, chillies, onions, some beans or not, and corn in a beautifully spiced thick soup-like broth with chips on the side and s drizzle of cashew cheese on top. Well, the chips did come on the side yet with these chunks of beefless cubes in some sort of sauce and a decorative drizzle of cashew cheese on top. The taste: good just needed sweet potato chips or better yet some cornbread.

The chocolate cake was the typical vegan chocolate cake. The coconut foam – very lovely. Passion fruit ice cream – nice on it’s own yet too sweet – didn’t complement the cake well at all.

Yet, with all that said, I’m thrilled that at least there is something other than what Disney offers in their restaurant as vegetarian options. I’ll have another try at it again. Disney is way behind the rest of the world. Even Seoul, South Korea has vegan eats, what happened Disney. Don’t you think it’s time you meet the 21st century? Small steps are better than no steps I suppose.






Earth Day 2012: Japanese Tofu Taco Bites

Happy Earth Day!

It came by email. A very polite invitation to conduct a culinary demonstration during the central Florida Earth Day festivities at Lake Eola in Orlando, FL.

Honestly, when I read the email, I was extremely excited because I wanted to share a different view of what vegans eat. I just didn’t want to present yet another version of some kind of salad with some twist on a dressing. Nor did I want to do some other kind of bean dish with some spin on rice or something like that. It truly annoys me when people think that all vegans eat are lettuce, hummus, beans and rice. And yes, TOFU!!! I wanted to have those who might not have eaten tofu their very first taste of something wonderful.

So, I agreed to do the demo. Then it hit me in that instant that I didn’t have much time to plan anything. Classes I wanted to experience at The Center For Contemporary Dance, two different sites that I needed to take care of since they tend to have a brain of their own, recipes with pictures that needed to be pulled out of my head and uploaded into my gallery. As well as choosing recipes and creating them for another project and finally, getting myself even more involved with social media. By nature, I’m a shy person. Not very good in front of people in any capacity until I feel comfortable with the group.

So I replied with a yes! Then I was hit with “What are you going to make and not to be push and rush you however, we have signs to do. So we need to know like now, lol.” In the process of replying to yet another email I came up with the idea to make little bites of some of what I tend to eat on a daily basis – Japanese food (or at least some elements of it). The title just came to me; when that happens I say so with it. The universe is speaking just follow, always pay attention.

Then it hit me, I don’t have recipes written down for this. Now I have to get this out of my head, translate it to paper, and present this dish both to an audience and on the plate! WHAT!!! HOLY CRAP!!! How am I going to do this when I don’t write down recipes! I just jump in the kitchen with my baby (my Global knife) to began chopping and poof dinner.

I purge the recipe out of my brain and onto paper about an hour before the demonstration. Everything was gathered the day before. Why was I nervous is beyond me. I realized after it was over was how unorganized I had been. It’s a place I don’t like to visit.

Earth Day 2012: Japanese Tofu Taco Bites

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 40 pieces

These are good when you need an appetizer for a gathering or a snack. Or slice tofu into bigger pieces to have as an entree.


    For Tofu Marinade:
  • 1 carrot, washed and grated
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon dark miso or 2 teaspoon shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or brown rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (14-16 ounce) block of extra firm tofu, pressed sliced into any size you choose
  • Extra vegetable broth for cooking or use 2 teaspoon oil
  • For Slaw:
  • 3 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded (your choice of cabbage)
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup daikon radish
  • Remainder of marinade
  • For Edamame Guacamole:
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 tablespoons red onion (they look purple to me)
  • 1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 2 teaspoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • Rice Crackers (or blue corn tortilla chips)
  • Furikake or nori (optional)
  • Sesame (optional)


    For Marinade:
  1. Place all ingredients into bowl once grated.
  2. Mix.
  3. Set aside.
  4. For Tofu:
  5. Rinse tofu. Pat dry. Press if desired to release excess water (if packed in water).
  6. Slice into 10 slices. Cut each slice into thirds or half (your choice).
  7. Marinade for 5-10 minutes.
  8. In a heated skillet, place oil (if using).
  9. Brown tofu lightly 30 minutes on med high. once brown, set aside.
  10. For Slaw:
  11. Place all ingredients into a bowl along with any remaining marinade.
  12. Stir.
  13. Cover.
  14. Set aside.
  15. For Edamame Guacamole:
  16. Steam edamame for 5-7 minutes.
  17. Place edamame into food processor or blender along with cooking liquid to make it creamy (just eyeball for the consistency you desire).
  18. Add remaining ingredients until blended.
  19. Cover set aside.
  20. To Present:
  21. Place cracker onto dish.
  22. Tofu on cracker.
  23. About 1 tablespoon of slaw.
  24. About 1 teaspoon edamame guacamole.
  25. Top with Furikake or shredded nori and sesame seeds
  26. Serve.

Blue Corn Tacos: Taco Tuesday

In our house, sometimes we like to have themed nights for our meals. On this night, we decided to have tacos simply because there wasn’t much in the kitchen. I hadn’t gone grocery shopping yet so I took inventory of what was available to pull together some tacos.

Taco Tuesday

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 18 minutes


  • 1 can of vegetarian low fat refried beans or 2 cups leftover cooked beans, mashed
  • 1 package of blue corn hard tortillas
  • 2 cups kale leaves, shredded
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 carrots, julienne (optional)
  • taco sauce or salsa (if desired)


  1. If using canned refried beans, prepare according to product instructions.
  2. If using leftover cooked beans, mash beans with a potato masher or fork.
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons salsa to the beans, if desired and heat.
  4. Tortillas
  5. Prepare tortillas according to package instructions.
  6. Kale
  7. Wash and removed leaves from stem.
  8. Roll leaves and slice.
  9. Set aside.
  10. Tomato
  11. Core tomato and chop to desired size.
  12. Carrots
  13. Wash and cut each carrot into three sections.
  14. Slice each carrot piece length-wise.
  15. Julienne each slice.

Beans and Japanese Rice on Laundry Day

In Louisiana, red beans and rice is traditionally served on Mondays. This tradition dates back to a time in New Orleans when Mondays was the day that laundry was done. Laundry was an all day event filling with scrubbing, washing, rinsing, drying, and folding. Since there wouldn’t be time to actually be in the kitchen to oversee pots and pans, a pot of beans cooking for two hours or more was ideal. The results produce a creamy flavorful pot of beans.

Beans and Japanese Rice

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 med bell pepper
  • 1 med onion
  • 2 stalks or ribs celery
  • 3 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • Sriracha


    Japanese Rice
  1. Prepare according to package.
  2. Beans
  3. Place all ingredients except Siriracha into a pot.
  4. Cook for 2-3 hours, until beans start to fall apart, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve over rice.

Can You Be Addicted to Bread?


My daughter’s father has been in the kitchen hard at work experimenting with making bread. Some of his test subjects have not been too successful, yet MOST have been incredibly tasty!

Whenever I hear the running of the mixer and the clinging and banging of measuring instruments, I know he’s at it again as I wait in anticipation for the bread. He doesn’t make that quick stuff. Nope. He makes us wait a day for that chewy goodness by letting the dough age and rise slowly, sort of like sourdough.

Then when the sound of the oven’s alert alarm goes off, I know that it’s time to make the bread! Slowly the smell begins to permeate each room in the house. Then it happens! The bread is out of the oven. We stand over it like animals salivating over its meal. The smell is intoxicating. The crust keeps us transfixed just waiting for the cooling period to be over. Then the moment arrives when I hear the sound of crust giving way to the knife.

That first taste of the beautiful crumb in my mouth brings memories of San Francisco sitting in Boudin having that first taste of San Francisco sourdough. I’m not saying it’s better, it just gives me a taste memory of a bread I love so much.

He’s been chronicling his journey with baking bread and I’m glad that he’s taken up this new hobby. I wonder what he’ll make next. Okay, let me be honest, who cares. Just keep the bread coming! I need my daily fix! I mean bread. That’s what I said, bread.

My Love Affair with a Dandy Avocado Salad

I love avocados. I crave avocados. I MUST have avocados often. Yet, the opportunity doesn’t present itself  for me to have avocados every day. So when the opportunity does come around for me to go to Dandelion Communitea Cafe to enjoy a salad maybe even some soup with a mug of hot tea. I jump at the chance.

Each time, I take a glance at the daily specials just to see if my favorite is there. When I don’t see it I grab a menu and slowly open it knowing that it really doesn’t change except for more special items that have graduated to the menu. Like a sweet potato burrito I have yet to try.

I continue to turn the page and there it was, my beloved Avocado Fetish! I LOVE this salad. the lettuce is so fresh and crisp as if they walked outside to their lovely garden and picked each leaf to prepare your salad. The tomatoes actually taste like a tomato. The avocados are so creamy and rich with flavor especially when paired with the whirred peas. The whirred peas are just one of a selection of sides that come with the salad. I love the combination of the avocados and pea guacamole and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette is amazing. Now I am very light on the balsamic because really the avocados and whirred peas I order as my side work well together.

So whenever you get a chance to or want to give your body a wonderful treat in the way of a salad, go in, cross your fingers and hope that the salad is available to order. If it isn’t, there are plenty of other salads, great chili, nachos, soups, excellent teas, and desserts.

Happy Eating!