Friday, March 27, 2009

Seitan "Pork Cutlets;"...vegan. Spaghetti Sauce w/Seitan

Another rainy day, about the third in a row for GA, I think, altho mostly it's been an off and on sort of rain. This morning, tho, it's been coming down very nicely for about four or five hours now, and I'm delighted, of course. I absolutely LOVE rainy days, especially on my days off(perfect day for making soup!), and we still need the rain, as we're still in a drought situation.

Got a few things to mention before I get to the recipes this week. First and most importantly, I'm very proud to announce that as of Wednesday, 3/25/09, 5:15PM, I became a great-grandmother!! And I'm ONLY 61, which I think is fairly young to be a great. The baby was 6lbs., 6oz., and 19inches long. His name is Rayden Elijah Lee, and those are his first names. I won't mention his last name here. The Rayden caught me totally by surprise, as my dgd hadn't mentioned that name to me, just the Elijah Lee. Her custodial grandfather came by yesterday evening to tell me...if I'd been offline Wednesday, I'd have known as soon as the baby was born, lol...and showed my Rayden's picture. He's actually pretty good-looking, for a newborn!!! I'm looking forward to seeing and holding him.

Secondly, as of Thursday, 3/26/09, 9:30PM, I have been a non-smoker for one whole week, which means, according to, that I have made it thru "Hell Week." According to their calculator on the site, I've saved a little over $49, added 1 day and 17 hours to my life, and not smoked over 900 cigarettes...I can't remember the exact number. I'm impressed, lol.

So, this week's recipe is another seitan recipe, Seitan "Pork Cutlets," but I didn't taste any pork flavor in them at all. I also didn't like this seitan recipe as well as I ended up liking the one for the vegetarian lunchmeat seitan, but I'm still going to post it, as it gives you another option for making seitan. And, like the first one, itmakes a whole heckuva lot, so be prepared to freeze some for a later use. The recipe is from

...............................SEITAN "PORK CUTLETS".................................

2C vital wheat gluten
2Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes
1tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1C cold water, 1/2C hot water mixed w/2tsp. vegemite or other yeast extract
2Tbs. EACH ketchup and soy sauce
2tsp. Kitchen Bouquet or other gravy browner, optional

4 1/2C water and 2-4 vegetable stock cubes
1C chopped onions
1/4????ground dried Chinese mushrooms[I'm guessing 1/4 cup]
2Tbs. ketchup, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp. EACH white pepper and paprika, 1 tsp. dried sage.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk liquid ingredients together. Pour liquid into dry ingredients and mix will, until it forms a ball.
To make cutlets, divide the uncooked gluten into 12 pieces and flatten them with your hands and/or a rolling pin as thinly as you can(they will expand). For stew chunks, cut into small pieces.

Place in a casserole dish and cover with the cooking broth. Cover and bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes, then at 300ºF for another 30 minutes[SEE NOTE*]. Cool and store in cooking broth. You can also just simmer(do not boil, as this makes it spongy)on top of stove for an hour.

*NOTE: Comment from a reader who is a professional seitan maker: "It takes AT LEAST 2 hours to bake it. If it is too soft, it doesn't have enough water...just add and add and add and after the time has elapsed you will see the toughness emerge. Baked seitan gets SOFTER before it gets harder. Keep baking, keep adding water...add seasoned water, heavily salted water will help prevent too much diffusion of your flavors out into the cooking sure there is some OIL in the water, too! Like 1/2C for a large pan...."

First of all, when I added the water to my dry ingredients, somehow I added two cups of the cold water, instead of just one, as called for. So, then I had to dump in more vital gluten, and add more spices, and hope for the best. Considering my screw-up, I guess the seitan wasn't as bad as it could be, but it sure could've been better, I think. I baked half of it and simmered half of it on the stove, and both methods made the seitan very WET, so I'm guessing I did something else wrong, but don't know what it is.

I also need to tell you that I have no clue as to what vegemite is, so didn't use that or any other yeast extract, and don't know if it made much of a difference or not. Instead of the nutritional yeast flakes, I used 2Tbs. of vegetarian Parmesan cheese, and since "nooch" is used in place of cheeses, don't believe the Parmesan made too much difference.

What I did with the baked portion was to put it back into the oven, no more broth, and left it there for about another hour, at 300ºF, which dried it out considerably. The batch that was simmered is still in the fridge, still wet, and hopefully it hasn't gone bad yet, and I can salvage it, too.

With the baked and then re-baked portion, I did two things: I made a pan-fried seitan with gravy which was pretty darned good, and then I made a spaghetti sauce with chunks of fried seitan, which was excellent.

To make the gravy, I chunked up as much seitan as I thought I'd eat, and then tossed it into a hot skillet with olive oil and butter, and let it get nice and brown and crispy. Then I used the broth from the baking, about two cups I think, to make the gravy: poured it over the seitan in the frying pan and let it come to a simmer. When it was hot, I ladled out about 1/2 cup into a bowl, and put about 2Tbs. cornstarch into the hot liquid, and whisked it smooth with a fork. Then poured it back into the frying pan, and let it come to a boil and get to the thickness I wanted. It was very, very good, and I have the leftovers in the freezer.

The spaghetti sauce was easy, too. One 15oz. can each diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, onions, bay leaf, garlic, and Italian seasoning, and then the seitan chunks, let it all simmer for about 15 minutes or so. The first time, I put it over tri-coloured rotini. With the leftovers, I buttered and grilled one side each of two slices of sourdough bread, laying slices of vegetarian Smoked Provolone "cheese" on the unbuttered side. When the bread had browned and the "cheese" started melting, I transferred them to a plate and poured the heated sauce and seitan over it. Wow! It was wonderful, it truly was! I will definitely do it again some day.

That's all I have for this week, so, until next time, Happy Eating!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Navy Bean and Greens Soup...Vegan

Happy First Day of Spring to you!!!! I love spring, it's my favorite time of year, seems to be filled with promises of rebirth, renewal of life, and all sorts of new vegetation growing, as well. So, with this being a time of renewal, I am now a non-smoker!!! I smoked my last Salem at 9:30 yesterday evening, Friday the 19th of March, 2009. So this morning was my first morning to wake up and not light a cigarette before heading into the bathroom. It was my first morning that I didn't smoke a cigarette with my coffee. How do I feel about this? Believe it or not, I'm excited, I really am. For about two to three weeks now, I've been psyching myself up to doing this, knowing that when I finished the last of the carton of Salems on my desk I was quitting, so when I smoked the last cigarette last night, that was it. This makes this springtime, this time of renewal, a time of renewal for me, as well, as I'm starting a whole new life here, a life in which my house will smell better, my clothes will smell better, my hair will smell better, I will breathe better, I won't cough as much(altho I honestly don't cough much now), I will feel better, and I will have a LOT more money in my pocket, because I won't be spending close to $200 a month any more, and watching my money literally go up in smoke. I've cleaned and put away two ashtrays, and thrown two others in the trash, so there aren't any ashtrays visible in my home now. I refuse to be enslaved any more, and I'm bustin' out, lol. So, even tho I'm excited about doing this, I do ask that you keep me in your thoughts, sending me good wishes, hopes, and prayers, ok? Thanks, I appreciate you.

I don't have a "real" recipe to post this week, as I didn't do a whole lot of cooking this past week. We were very, very busy at work, I worked six days instead of four or five, and I was just too tired to come home and cook. Either I ate the leftover "Beef" with Guinness Stew, or just sandwiches or toast or cereal. Which reminds me: I didn't tell you that when I made the stew, I did NOT use Guinness, for two reasons. First being that I just didn't want to go to the liquor store and pay for it, and the second being that I knew darned well that if I did get some, I'd drink it, thus ruining my 20+ years of sobriety, and none of it would end up in the stew, lol. So, I used seven cups of water with two veggie buillion cubes, and one cup of Japanese white rice cooking wine. It worked. It was just sooooo good. My wine is gone, I used the last of it last night, so I've got to get some more and make this stew again, it's that good.

Last night's supper was a soup of sorts: Navy Beans and Turnip Greens. I didn't use a recipe, altho there's more than likely one out there. Y'know, tho, once you've made a few soups, you pretty much get the general idea of what to do, and don't always need a recipe to make a soup. There are soups out there that I'd need a recipe for, some of the Thai soups, and of course the different peanut soups, that even tho I can't eat peanuts, I'm going to try one day, but using cashews. Anyway. In the morning, I put about a cup to a cup and a half of navy beans in a large pot with enough water to cover by an inch, brought 'em to a boil, and after boiling for a couple minutes, turned it off and let the beans sit there for about two hours. Then I drained them and rinsed them off. I wiped out the large pot, put it over medium heat with about one tablespoonful of olive oil, and added a small onion, diced, one stalk celery, diced, and one carrot(fairly large), diced, and let them fry in the oil for about five minutes. Then I put the beans on top of the veggies, added one large bay leaf, and poured eight cups of water over all of it, along with two veggie buillion cubes, and about a teaspoonful of tarragon leaves. Brought it all to a boil over high heat, added the last of the wine(about 1/4C, I think), and let it simmer over low heat for hours. And hours, sigh. The beans never really did soften up, altho after about four hours they were just soft enough to chew, sigh. OH! I almost forgot: before I brought it to a boil, before I put the wine in, I added half of a 16oz. bag of turnip greens w/turnips, then to the boil, the wine, etc.

Ok, here's my thoughts on this soup. I used too much tarragon. Either none at all or only about 1/2tsp. would be better. The beans needed to be a whole lot softer. I want my beans to be so soft they're about melting into the soup, lol. Possibly the salt in the buillion cubes had something to do with it, or, the beans may have just been very old, which means it will take more cooking to soften them up...which is what I'm doing right now. I also added some leftover spinach that was in the 'fridge, and it's all sitting on the stove simmering now, for either lunch or supper this evening. Tastewise, it was pretty good, even with too much tarragon, good enough that I'm willing to eat it again, and what I don't eat, I'll freeze. I'd like to try this with spinach, I think...or maybe even broccoli. Seems to me that white beans and broccoli would make a good soup, don't you think?

So, until next time, Happy Eating!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More St. Patrick's Day: Colcannon; Pease Porridge...Vegan

When I posted two days ago, I clicked the wrong thing at the wrong time, and published the post before I was ready to. Duh, right? So this evening, I'm going to post two more recipes, both of which are from the same site:

Before I do, tho, I want to tell you that I made the Vegetarian "Beef" and Guinness Stew last night, and that I loved it. It was really good, and I'm going to have it for supper again tonight. What really amazed me about it was the seitan, it was sooooo good prepared the way the recipe says to do, and I fully intend to do cook seitan that way again. It was fantastic, and after all the unkind things I'd said about seitan before, it shocked me, lol.'s the first recipe.

Two-Tone Colcannon

2lbs. boiling potatoes(Yukon Gold, white, or red rose)
4C finely shredded purple cabbage
3C finely shredded green cabbage
1/4C water
2tsp. extra virgin olive oil
3/4-1/C soymilk
1-1 1/2Tbs. nutritional yeast flakes(optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
4 green onions, sliced

1. Scrub potatoes, don't peel, and cut into quarters or eighths if they are very large. Put in 4-qt. saucepan, and cover with water by 1 inch. Cover pan and bring to boil over high heat. Lower to medium-high, and boil gently for about 8-10 minutes, or until fork tender.

2. Meanwhile, put 3 cups purple cabbage and all of the green cabbage and the waater into a large, deep skillet, cover, and steam over high heat about 5-7 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

3. Remove cover, add olive oil, and cook and stir 1-2 minutes, or until cabbage is thoroughly softened. Set aside.

4. Transfer cooked and drained potatoes to large bowl and mash with enought soymilk to creat a smooth, creamy texture. Season with the yeast flakes if using, along with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes to the cabbage along with half the green onions and mix together.

5. Transfer the colcannon to an attractive serving bowl or platter and garnish with the remaining green onions. Finish by garnishing the perimeter of bowl or platter with the remaining purple cabbage. Makes five to six servings.

Pease Porridge
2C water, and 1C green split peas[I would prefer yellow, but can't find them around here...or at least not in Kroger)
2tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4-3/4tsp. low sodium soy sauce
1/4tsp. pepper

Combine water and peas in 2-qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-low, partially cover pan, and cook for 45 minutes, or until peas are soft enought to mash and the water is absorbed. Check the water content occasionally during the cooking and add more if needed. The mixture will be very thick.

Transfer peas to processor and add the olive oil, soy sauce, and pepper. Process until very smooth and fullypureed. Transfer peas to an attractive serving bowl, or spoon onto a serving platter and shape into a shamrock. Makes four servings.

Ok, that's it for now, it's time to turn on my oven so I can bake some biscuits to go with my "beef" stew this evening. It's raining and chilly and damp and the perfect night for a good, hot soup...and buttered biscuits!!!

Until next time, Happy Eating!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Vegetarian Recipes

The post before last, I told you I would find and post some St. Patrick's Day recipes, so, here they are. The first one comes from from the vegetarian pages there. If you've never been there, I highly recommend you check them out. Hopefully my link works, but if not, copy and paste into your address bar, and then after going to, type "vegetarian recipes" into their search bar. Should work just fine.

First of all, since the first recipe calls for seitan, I'm going to post the definition of seitan from, for anyone that doesn't know what seitan is.

Definition of Seitan: "Altho it is made from wheat, seitan has little in common with flour or bread. Also called 'wheat meat,' 'wheat gluten,' or simply 'gluten,' seitan becomes surprisingly similiar to the look and feel of meat when cooked, making it a popular meat substitute. Seitan is also high in protein, making it a popular protein source for vegetarians....Seitan also is the base for several commercially available products such as Tofurkey deli slices.

Seitan can be prepared by hand using either wheat flour or vital wheat gluten, and is made by rinsing away the starch in the wheat, leaving high-protein gluten behind. Prepared seitan can be found in the refrigerated section of most health food stores."

I don't think that's a really good definition, but it'll have to do.

Vegetarian "Beef" and Guiness Stew

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooktime: 60 minutes
Approx. 14oz.seitan, cut in thin strips
2Tbs. each soy sauce and olive oil
1Tbs. steak sauce
3Tbs. butter or margarine(vegans can use Earth Balance)
1 onion, diced, 3 ribs celery, chopped; 2 carrots, chopped; 2 med. potatoes, diced;
3cloves garlic, minced.
2-12oz. bottles of Guiness stout, OR 1 bottle and 1 1/2C veggie broth
2Tbs. flour/ 1Tbs. chopped fresh thyme(1/2Tbs.dried); 1tsp. sugar, optional.

Saute seitan in olive oil and soy sauce until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat, add steak sauce and stir until seitan is lightly coated. Remover from heat and set aside.

In large pot, saute veggies and garlic in butter or margerine 3-5 minutes, or until onions are slightly soft. Reduce heat and slowly add Guinness, gently stirring to combine. Add flour, thyme, salt and pepper and stir well[I guess this is where you would add the optional sugar.]. Add seitan and allow stew to simmer until stout reduces and stew thickens, about 40-5- minutes.

Reader Review:
"WARNING:...Guinness is not a vegetarian beverage. It contains isinglass...a byproduct of the fishing trade used to settle/clarify the stout....There are...stouts out there that don't use isinglass, so by all means, try this recipe."

And btw, I haven't tried any of these Irish recipes yet, so I can't give my opinion of any of them. But, they all looked good to me, and eventually, I do plan on cooking them. I was going to make this stew tonight, because I have some seitan in the 'fridge, but I'm not going to have time. And I don't have any steak sauce...I don't eat steak, so why would I have it, right? Anyway, maybe I can get by with a mix of ketchup, mustard, garlic, and Balsamic vinegar?

Ok, all of these next recipes come from a wonderful blogsite called "Vegetarians in Paradise." I found a whole bunch of Easter/Passover recipes there today, but, I'm not going to post them, because there are so many that I jsut do NOT want to copy them all down and then come here and post them, lol. Lazy. So here's the URL for the St. Patrick's Day recipes, and once you're there, click on "holidays" and look for Easter...or whatever holiday you choose.
Hope that works, sigh...if not, use the copy and paste, and the address bar. You knew that, tho, right?

Irish Soda Bread(Vegan)
1 1/2C plus 2Tbs. unsweetened soymilk and 1Tbs. plus 1 1/2tsp. vinegar
4Cwhole wheat pastry flour[according to "Vegan with a Vengeance," by Isa Muskowitz, you can use all-purpose flour if you prefer, or if you don't have any wheat flour.]
1tsp. each baking soda and salt.

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine woymilk and vinegar, and set aside.

3. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Form a well in center, and add soured soymilk, stirring with a large spoon until mixture forms a dough firm enough to shape into a ball.

4. Place dough on parchment paper and form into a circle 8in. in diameter and about 1 1/2 in. thick. Using a sharp knife, make 3 vertical slits about 1/2in. deep, and 2in. apart. Then, crisscross with 3 horizontal cuts about 2in.apart(plus signs: +++). These will make it easier to slice the baked bread into portions.

5. Bake the bread 40-45 minutes or until bread forms a golden brown firm top and bottom crust[it should sound hollow when tapped on the top]. Serve immediately or warm gently to serve later.

This is not the same recipe I used for the soda bread I posted about in an earlier post, without the recipe. This one is less complicated, a few less ingredients, and I'm anxious to try it, but I don't have any flour, and forgot to buy any yesterday. Sheesh.

Tofu Veggie Burgers

My only day off until next Wednesday and Thursday, darnit! Tomorrow, Friday, I don't have to go in until 10am, instead of 7am, but still, that's not the same as a full day off, now is it? My schedule has changed, because one of our first shift associates has left, after working a two week notice, and I'm moving into his schedule at the manager's request. Fine by me, as it gives me Fridays now, which are usually busier than M-T-W, which is what I've been working.

Got up late this morning, around 8, which was ok, because I had actually slept for about nine hours without waking up one single time...that I can remember, anyway. I did that Wednesday night, too, I think. Highly unusual, but I'd like to do it more often. Anyway, I got started late, and then had company: Old Man, who had to move out in January of '08 because of a major stroke, came by. He drove to Florida and back about a month ago(and has recovered really well from that stroke, thank God, or he wouldn't have been able to drive, by himself, all that way!)and had brought me back some rusty stuff. I LOVE RUSTY STUFF! Don't know why, but I do. He brought me an old cowbell, which is already hanging on my front door, and an old, old meat grinder. It's not like the meat grinder my grandmother used, but I'm not even going to try to describe it, lol. I also have an old plowshare he brought back a few years ago, and I need to try and figure out a way to display them together, and where.

The other day, I cashed my income tax refund check, and bought(and have sent)the money orders for ALL my utilities, the old bills that have been hanging over my head for months, and subscriptions for six of my favorite magazines: "Martha Stewart's Living," "Family Circle," "Woman's Day," "House Beautiful," "Real Simple," and "Vegetarian Times." All this came to...ready for this?!?!?...$835.81~!~!! That included the $16 for the money order fees and ten postage stamps. I'm delighted to have been able to do this, believe me, and am sooooo looking forward to having the magazines delivered to me instead of having to buy them every month!!

I've managed to swish and swipe the bathroom, make the bed, get most of the dishes washed, water my plants, and do laundry, in spite of my late start. The white load is in the dryer now, and the dark load is about to finish washing, and I will probably hang the dark load here in the house to dry. I don't like to hang them outside any more, because there are too many flying things that have settled in them while they're drying, there's too much traffic in front of my house, and in the spring, they turn green from all the pollen around here. Yuck!

Yesterday after work, my friend Pam and I went to Kroger, and I bought a few groceries, but first, we went to a man's house so she could buy a couple bar stools she'd seen on The man sells all kinds of neat stuff out of his basement, and of course I made the mistake of getting out of the car and going in to look around. Sigh. Wouldn't you think I'd have known better, eh? LOL! Anyway, I did really well for $6! I now have a beautiful, large, glass, burgundy coloured Pyrex Dutch oven and lid...$3.00!!!...a tall glass canister w/a canning jar type lid to store my spaghetti in, a bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap(wonderful stuff, and for only $1.75), and a four-tier stacking clear plastic tray w/attachable bowl for dip and crackers, etc. I'm going to use that for all the little things I pick up and save for doing craft/altered art type stuff. Anyway, I feel like I did really well with my six bucks. And none of this has anything to do with cooking, I know, lol.

This recipe comes from,
and I have no idea if that link will work or not. If not, copy and paste into your address bar. There's a whole really wonderful section at for vegetarian cooking, as well as videos and a forum to post on. Really great website, all in all.


1/2lb. firm tofu, drained an mashed
1 onion, diced
2Tbs. each wheat germ and flour
2Tbs. soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Mix all except the oil in a bowl. Form into patties. Fry in oil over medium high heat until patties are brown and crisp.

Ok, here's my take on these. First of all, the only change I made was that I didn't use soy sauce, because I don't care for the taste of it except in fried rice or in other Chinese foods. So, I used a tablespoon each of Teriyaki sauce and water. Other than that I didn't change a thing. This made four medium sized patties, and I ate two of them, and shamefully, didn't keep the other two, as I didn't think they'd be very good cold. Anyway, I liked these quite a bit, they were easy and fairly quick to make, and I'll make them again. The next time, tho, I think I'll try to season them, like maybe some oregano, thyme, tarragon, and maybe either red wine vinegar or Balsamic vinegar. And instead of putting the onions in the patties themselves, make some caramelized onions, which I love, and make pattymelts with non-dairy smoked provolone cheese, the onions, and sourdough bread. That just sounds really, really good.

So until next time, Happy Eating.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vegan Soups: Cauli-Potato; "New England Boiled Dinner"

Friday morning, day off, looks nice out there, and according to my neighbor's thermometer on the carport, it's headed for the 60's, not bad at all. Last Sunday, the 1st, we had rain(and also on Saturday, the 28th), and quite a bit of it, too. Then in the early afternoon, we had SNOW! Yep, right here in Georgia, we had beautiful, gorgous, fluffy white stuff, and it came down good, too. Sadly, it only lasted a few hours, but it gave us almost two inches, I guess, and the backyard at the Waffle House looked like a fairyland: the trees were just covered in white, and it was lovely. There's a church sort of catty-cornered across the street from my teeny tiny little house, and the kids played out in the yard all afternoon, laughing, screaming, just having a ball. When I went to work the next morning, I saw that they had built a HUGE snowman, and a smaller one beside it! Don't you know those little kids had a great day?!?!

I went to my doctor this past Wednesday, the 4th, and wish I hadn't gone. The good news is that, finally, my b/p is just about normal: 125/85, and my pap smear was fine, along with my cholesterol and sugar. But. Sigh. Sad news: my urinalysis showed a borderline high for creatin(creatine? creatinine? Not sure...), so Doc has taken me off the diuretic and replaced it with something else, told me to cut way back on my pain meds(I can't. I can't work without them. I can't even stand up straight without them.), and back off the protein. Now, that's just plain ironic, because I'd been afraid I wasn't getting enough! My thyroid level is borderline low, which may have something to do with the fact that I'm so tired most of the time, and also with the fact that I'm overweight. Sure. That's it. My weight has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I eat, and that I eat a LOT, lol. Anyway, I'm to go back in six weeks, and have the thyroid and urinalyisis re-done, so if you're a praying person, please include me in your prayers, ok? If the creatin level isn't normal, it means that my kidneys may be failing, and that's, well, that's kinda scary, y'know. Anyway...this is a food blog, so let's talk about soups, ok?

Both of these soups were cooked without using anybody else's recipe, altho I'm sure there are recipes for cauliflower soup all over the place. In fact, I know for sure that there's one in "Laurel's Kitchen." As for the "New England Boiled Dinner Soup," I don't think I've ever seen a recipe like it before. It came about because I realized that the cabbage in my 'fridge was going to turn bad, so why didn't I fix a New England Boiled Dinner, minus the meat, for dinner? Somewhere along the line I realized I could probably make a wonderful soup with the ingredients, so I did. And here's the "recipe," altho it's mostly one of those "to taste" sort of things.

New England Boiled Dinner Soup

Two or three good-sized potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and chunked into about 1/2" piece
Roughly a quarter of a medium-sized head of cabbage, diced.
Two or three good-sized carrots, diced very small.
About ten cups of water, with two vegetable buillion cubes and one big bay leaf.
1/2 large onion or 1 small one, diced very small.
As much garlic as you like.
One or two stalks of celery, diced very small.
Good dashes of dried thyme and tarragon, depending on how well you like them.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
Olive oil and margarine(vegans can use Earth Balance, I use Blue Bonnet)

Put about a tablespoon each of the oil and margarine in a large pot. When it has melted, add the diced onion, celery, stir and allow to soften, about five minutes or so. Add the carrots, garlic, and potato, stir to coat with the oil/margarine, and then add the water, buillion cubes, bay leaf, thyme, tarragon, and salt and pepper. Bring to a full rolling boil, turn heat to low, or whatever will keep the soup simmering gently, cover, and walk away. Cook this as long as you want to. For me, about 45 minutes to an hour is good, because I want the carrots to be extremely soft, and the potatoes to sort of "melt" into the liquid. I've read that if the potatoes aren't allowed to cook long enough to be extremely soft, that they have a tendency to make the soup a little "gluey." I don't know, I always cook my 'taters to death. Anyway, once everything is as tender as you want it, you can ladle it out just like it is, you can blend it in a very careful, don't put it all in the blender at once, and make sure to use a towel to hold the cover of the blender on tightly. You sure don't want to get burned. You can also use an immersion blender, or, like I did, just mash the whole mess with a potato masher. This thickened it up some, but still left some texture. And don't forget to take the bay leaf out and throw it away.

This made enough to feed me for about three days, if I remember correctly. All I had with it was some biscuits...yup, the box mix, lol. The soup was wonderful, and I'll make it again sometime.

By the way, for those of you who aren't from the New England area, and may not know what the Boiled Dinner is, this is for you: The New England Boiled Dinner has either ham or corned beef in it, along with potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Some cooks add beets to it, too, but I'm not a beet person. All of this is boiled(duh, right?)in one pot, making it one of the easiest meals to fix. The first day, it's served seperately, each person taking as much of each veggie and the meat as they like. The next day, the meat is simply served cold and sliced, but, oh, the veggies!!! The veggies are all turned into what's known as "Red Flannel Hash," which sounds dreadful, I know, but trust me, it's fantastic. I actually like the hash better than the actual first meal from this. Melt some grease in a large skillet(the thrifty New England housewife would no doubt use bacon grease that she had saved), and put all the leftover veggies in the skillet. As they heat up, start cutting grandmother had a small juice can with both ends taken out that she used strictly for this hash...until they are smooshed up together. Let them fry until one side is brown, turn it over, and let the other side brown. Serve it with butter and, believe it or not, cider vinegar. The beets turn the whole thing reddish, hence the name of Red Flannel. Wonderful stuff, and it can be made without the meat, just boil the veggies together, and then hash them up the next day.

Cauli/Potato Soup
One head of cauliflower, washed, and broken into florets(I cheated and used a 1lb.package of frozen cauliflower, so you can, too, if you want to).
Two or three good-sized potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and diced.
1/2 large onion, or 1 small, diced.
One or two stalks of celery, diced.
One large bay leaf, or two smaller ones.
Thyme and tarragon to taste.
Salt and black pepper to taste.
About 8-10 cups water, and two vegetable buillion cubes.

You probably don't even need directions for this, right? So, I'll try to make this short and sweet.

Put some oil and margarine(vegans use Earth Balance or all oil, your choice)in your soup pot, get it hot, toss in the onions and celery, let them soften, add the cauliflower and potatoes, and then the water and buillion cubes. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, turn the heat down and let it simmer until everything is as tender as you want it. For me, that's about 45-60 minutes. Take the bay leaf out and throw it away, and then do what you want with the soup: blender, immersion blender, leave it the way it is, or mash with a potato masher, which is what I did with this soup, just like the last one. And that's all there is to that!!!

Good soup, and I know I'll make it again, because I've made it's one of my favorites.

I've been doing some hunting for vegan/vegetarian St. Patrick's Day recipes, and hope to have some for you before the 17th, St. Patrick's Day. What I've found so far is Irish Soda Bread, which I made last night. It didn't turn out too well, so I'm going to have to try it again...whenever I get around to buying more flour. I also found a vegetarian recipe for "Beef and Guiness Stew," which is a challange for me, as I'm a teetotaller, which means I'd have to substitute something for the Guiness. Apple cider? Vegetable broth? Don't know yet. To go with it, of course I found Colcannon(cabbage and 'tatties together), which I actually cook for myself sometimes, and a Pease Porridge, which is green split peas. I'd prefer the yellow ones, but can't find any around here. And of course, Irish Coffee, which I won't make, and some kind of dessert, but I've forgotten what it was, lol.

Oh, well, right? So, until next time, Happy Eating!!!
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