Category: Side dishes

Summertime Grilled Vegetables

I've been remiss in posting one of my best-kept secrets: Grilled Vegetables. They are my go to summer filling for tacos, enchiladas, salads, and wraps. Grilled veggies pair nicely with garlicky hummus to make for a light summer lunch, especially when watermelon is served as a side.

Here's the best way to prepare the bounty of summer.

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Hearty Potato Salad: Part Deux

Eat All Your Veggies Day is probably my second favorite food holiday. It’s no secret I love vegetables. I love the colors, the smells and freshness of flavor. When I bring vegetables home from the farmer’s markets they seem so alive and vibrant.

Before I start prepping for any recipe, I take a moment: I breathe in the dirt, I sense the farmer whose hands worked the land and nurtured the plants, the truck that brought the food to market, the people who sold the food to us. And then I dive in. My knives moving in that particular rhythm I have of chopping. Carrots, cabbage, onions, spinach, and peppers all meet the blade with precision.

Then pans get heated up. There’s the gratifying sizzle and pop of the vegetables meeting the heated oil, and I let out a little sigh. I love cooking. I love my veggies. I love feeding myself and my Spouse this kind of feast.

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Arroz, Spanish Rice that isn’t so Spanish

I grew up calling Arroz "Spanish Rice." This followed me into adulthood, and up into my 30's. I found out not too long ago, that what I learned to call Spanish Rice isn't so Spanish. It really doesn't have anything to do with Spain, or how they cook rice in that country (think Paella). Arroz really is Mexican Rice, cooked in a tomato base with peppers, onions, and garlic. I've been making this rice for as long as I remember, back to when I would stay with my grandparents on the farm. I've since perfected it, and made Arroz palatable for the Vegan.

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Move over Pinto, here comes the Black Bean

Black and Pinto BeansIn traditional Southwestern cooking, the pinto bean is king. Pintos are in everything. Traditionally, they are the bean that makes up Refried Beans. But pinto beans are starchy, they have a high fat content. And when you add something like lard (traditional way to refry the bean), the calories go off the scale.

In developing Sonoran cooking for those who want no meat but all the flavor, I’ve come up with this little goodie. Smashed black beans. Cooked in a high heat oil like Sunflower, and you can add that flavor, without adding the fat. Beans are also traditionally cooked in some kind of meat stock. I cook mine either in just plain water, or in vegetable stock. Either way, because of the red chili sauce, there’s flavor in these beans.

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Vegan Whipped Potatoes

One of the things I love are mashed, or whipped potatoes. As a vegan-minded person, I've learned to make a tasty vegan version, sans cream and butter. Substitute the butter for a vegan margarine of your choice, and use soy milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk.

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Potato Salad, the Vegan Way

This last weekend was July 4th. Classic times for barbecues and cookouts. Think of coleslaw, potato salad, burgers, family, fireworks.

But what does a vegan do when faced with mayonnaise and eggs mixed with potatoes and pickles?

They make their own potato salad, minus the dairy items. I created this recipe just in time for pre-fireworks festivities.

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Books by Chef Johnna

  • Delectable Vegan Soups -------------------------------------------------------
  • Things Vegans Fry: Crunchy Comfort Food for Vegans

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