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    It’s Meatless Monday-Summer Inspired Tofu ‘Steak’ with Pasta

        About this time of the year I begin craving something that reminds me of summer. I thought about a salad but then came up with these tofu ‘steaks’ that are topped with a combination of ingredients that makes you think warm summer day. I used the topping for a sauce for the pasta so the flavor carried throughout the whole recipe. Something that I think is essential for vegetarian cooking. I used thin spaghetti but any pasta would work. As an added bonus use the topping for a sandwich filling on toasted bread. Ingredients 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu Salt, pepper, garlic powder Oil 8 ounces…

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    Slow Cooker Vegetarian Baked Beans

      One vegetarian food that I’ve never thought matches or exceeds its meat counterpart is baked beans. They don’t seem to have the depth of flavor and I think that’s because of the lack of one ingredient- bacon. The result is an absence of the smoky undertone that is a must for baked beans. So last week I set out to try and make what I hoped was something close to the real thing. I opted to use a slow cooker partly because of a little laziness on my part, but mostly to give the beans a chance to get soaked in all the flavors, and my second trick; vegetarian…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Golden Beet and Cranberry Salad

    About this time of the year I begin craving salads again. This one uses a mix of spring greens and baby kale and combines it with two favorites of the late fall/winter season, golden beets and cranberries. The beets are sweet, the cranberries have a slight bite to them, and pull all the flavors together with a miso dressing and I think this scores a hit with any salad lover, especially on a cold winter’s day. Ingredients For the salad 1 pound (about 4 medium sized) golden beets ¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries 5 cups spring green/baby kale salad mix (washed and dried) For the dressing 2 teaspoons sesame oil…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Fiesta Eggs

    This one could be a breakfast, lunch or a quick, light supper. Pantry staple items, ten minutes of your time and you have a meal. Serve this with hash browns or cubed pan-roasted potatoes, more salsa and some sour cream. 1 15 ounce can chili beans, drain slightly 4 pieces of bread, toasted 1/3 cup salsa 1/3 cup shredded cheese 4 eggs   Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray four ramekin dishes with non-stick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Break up pieces of toasted bread and place at the bottom of each ramekin dish. Spoon the chili beans on the toast. Break on top of the beans. Spoon…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Crispy Burritos

    Sometimes I’m almost ashamed to call some things I make, actual recipes, and this one is no exception. It uses leftover items and is put together in about 15 minutes. I like to put a different spin on things and for this one I used phyllo dough instead of tortillas. I used pinto beans for this one but just about any bean will do. I’ve sometimes used  leftover refried beans too. Pair it with a side salad, guacamole and sour cream and it’s one of the easiest suppers to pull together at a moment’s notice. 1 cup cooked brown rice 1 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed ½ cup salsa 1 cup…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Speedy Mediterranean Salad

    When the weather’s hot the last thing you want to do is spend extra time in the kitchen. Pasta salads often come to my rescue. One tip to save time is to make a big batch of pasta and keep it in the fridge for week long dining. For this recipe I used penne, and I’d also cooked some elbow marconi and combined the two. Last week, Roma tomatoes were on sale for 99 cents a pound and as soon as I saw them I knew exactly how I’d use them. Slow roasted in the oven with salt, pepper, herbs and olive oil. After that it’s just finding a recipe…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Cashew and Quinoa Sliders with Spicy Corn

    Quinoa’s been the in thing in both vegetarian and mainstream cooking for several years. I like it but have to admit it’s not something that I cook with a lot. I think less is more when it’s come to this grain, so for this recipe I combined it with some cashews. Nuts have grown steadily more expensive which I’m guessing is because they got taken off the naughty list in regard to healthy fat. Cashews average about $12 a pound but I found a 2 pound bag for $7 during the holidays and been using them for lots of recipes. If you can’t find a good deal on them, switch…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Almost Taco Pizza and Leftover Veggie Pizza

    Sometimes I open up the fridge and think about what I can make with leftovers. Oftentimes there’s a little of this and a little of that, but not enough to make a full meal. Last week refried beans, salsa, leftover broccoli, carrots, and pasta sauce sat on the shelf. I thought soup, but then decided on pizza. These days I make my own pizza crust and this time around doubled the recipe. The first one, I’ve called Almost Taco pizza because it has lots of things I usually add to tacos. The second one is perfect for using up leftover vegetables and pasta sauce. Both are ideal for a Meatless…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-A Sweet Snack-Peanut Butter, Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Meatless Mondays focus on main meals but sometimes a cookie to be enjoyed as a snack is just what you need. Last week I came up with this recipe. While making it I also discovered another money saving secret. Gluten free is all the craze and many recipes use oat flour. I don’t know if this type of flour has always been expensive or if the prices have been hiked due to the demand. Any way, I decided I wanted to use whole wheat flour and opted to make my own oat flour. It’s easy… just put some old fashioned oatmeal into a blender or food processor and pulverize it.…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Butterbean Hummus

    I love hummus and it’s often a lunchtime staple for me. The store brands can be pricey so I switched to making my own. However, tahini one of its main ingredients is close to $8 a jar so to the kitchen I headed to work on a recipe where I could substitute a cheaper item. I first tried the following recipe with the chickpeas as per the usual recipe, but it turned out too dry. I switched to black beans and didn’t have much success, but finally stumbled upon a pantry staple favorite of mine, butterbeans. They’re creamy enough to add just the right consistency I was looking for. The…

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