Vegetarian Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Soup)

Confession: Prior to making this recipe, I never had tried avgolemono soup.

The reasons: Back in my meat-eating youth, I suffered from a near paralyzing lack of Greek restaurants. I think it’s a common ailment for kids growing up in the middle of Wisconsin. Only cure: move. Move far away. And that I did. Well, OK, Minneapolis wasn’t that far away but it sure did have Greek restaurants. Of course, I was a card-carrying vegetarian by then and those delicious Greek restaurants seemed to really, really like putting chicken in this soup. So while I could get a slab of spanakopita the size of my head, avgolemono still wasn’t in the cards.

Moral of the story: Somethings you just have to do yourself.

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Hearty Vegetarian Lasagna

Vegetarian lasagna is often uninspired and over-vegetabled. I’m thinking of that broccoli, carrot in cream sauce wonder we’ve all endured at holiday gatherings or office parties. You know, the stuff sold by the slab at Costco, in the freezer section. It’s, um, okay. It’s mild and creamy but it’s not what I think of when I crave lasagna.

This recipe is, though. This is hearty, tomatoey, cheesey, chunky heaven. It’s basically your R.D.A. for delicious all in one pan.

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Banana Ice “Cream” / Vegan Chunky Monkey

I’m no monkey, but I do like a good banana from time to time.  I remember reading somewhere that the bananas our parents ate were totally different bananas than the ones we eat. Like some terrible banana plague wiped out ALL THE BANANAS of our parent’s youth and they have since been replaced with these new bananas. Mad (banana) science!

OH. And do you remember hearing that the banana was going to be extinct in 20 years? I heard that, like, two years ago. Eighteen more years and counting! Apparently we are farming the crap out of the banana and that will lead to its demise. Wait. Do people farm bananas? That sounds crazy, but I guess it makes sense. Sort of. Banana farmer. That’s funny. Real funny.

Anyhoooooo, this post is not about the dark world of banana conspiracy. No. It is about one-ingredient banana ice cream and how to make it into a much healthier (and vegan!) version of Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey – which we all know is in the Top 5 of best ice cream flavors EVER.

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General Tso’s Tofu

“Hello, <redacted Seattle area Chinese restaurant>!

“Hi, can I place an order for delivery?”

“Yes, go ahead…”

“I’d like one order of Genreal Tso but with tofu instead of chicken aaaand …”

“Hold on, hold on. <covers phone> Do we charge more for tofu? *mumbling* Oh, oh, we should. OK. OK. </covers phone> We charge extra for tofu.”

“Really? That’s never happened before.”

“Tofu is very expensive.”

“Tofu is a $1.”

“It’s gone up. It’s very expensive now.”

And so goes the story of how I learned to make Genreal Tso’s Tofu. And for the record, tofu is still a $1.

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Black Bean Bowl

Sometimes I get out of balance. Competing priorities. Picking the wrong ones. During these times I rarely cook. Relying on coffee for breakfast, going out for lunch and cereal for dinner. It catches up with me. I miss eating something warm. Something I made. With vegetables. Vegetables! Something where I’m being good to myself.

This is one of the things I make when I’m ready to readjust. Not this exact bowl necessarily but something with beans and brown rice, vegetables and spices. Something that is easy to put together because I haven’t shopped in weeks. I have to ease back in and this is perfect. Leaves me feeling cared for.

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