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Category Archives: Meals at Home

Recipes, inspirations and other vegetarian delights we have thrown together at home

Refreshed Storage Canisters

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Imagine being the only vegetarian 12 year old at summer camp in 1998. Now imagine your parents sending you home made granola in a gallon container that has a big label that says GUINEA PIG FOOD! Some good natured joking took place.

We have been using those sturdy plastic screw top canisters for more that a couple of decades now. They were originally guinea pig and rabbit food containers and we bought so many that we started using them for our dry goods. The original labels just would not come off, even after a good soaking, so we just left them there.


New spices, new labels.

The new home we are moving into in a couple of weeks has a corner cupboard  where we will be able to highlight these canisters from the front. In the same spirit of our Refreshed Spice Jars, we decided to finally cover up the pet food labels with creative ones of our own.

If you didn’t click on the link to read the history or see the photos of our Refreshed Spice Jars, take note that the names on the labels are far from what you would expect. They sounds like crazy and mythical things that your would never find in someone’s kitchen. We never wanted anything to be so off-putting that we would be turned off when reaching to use our typical flour, sugar and rolled oats so tried to keep the names whimsical.

They turned out really well and can’t wait to feature them in our new kitchen along side our Refreshed Spice Jars.Canister-afterJPG

Potato Rivel Soup

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Anytime I think of rivels in a soup, I think of my Grandmother as the crumbly flour pellets dropped off her fingers and into the boiling pot of soup. Rivels are like miniature dumplings and help thicken any soup. For all of the Pennsyltucky Veggie dishes we have veganized, I have left out a standard:

Potato Rivel Soup
2 Cups water


Basic Ingredients

3 Potatoes, peeled and cubed but NOT RINSED
1 Carrot, peeled and sliced
1/2 Yellow Onion, chopped
2 Vegetable bouillon cubes
6 drops Liquid Smoke

The Rivel
1/2 Cup white flour
1 Tablespoon Tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon black salt (Kala namak)
2 Tablespoons enhanced* Aquafaba

2 Cups Coconut Milk


As you bring the water, bouillon cubes and liquid smoke to a boil, take some Aquafaba and pour it over the cubed potatoes to gather the potato starch. I did this by putting the cubed potatoes in a colander and catching the *enhanced Aquafaba in a bowl underneath it. Reserve the enhanced Aquafaba for the Rivel.

When the seasoned water is boiling, add the potatoes, carrots and onion. Keep covered at a low boil for 20 minutes.


Uncooked Rivels

While the veggies boil, combine the dry ingredients for the Rivel in a small bowl and make a well in the center for 2 tablespoons of enhanced Aquafaba. Use a fork to blend the wet and dry until pellets start to form, Some will be as small as crumbs and others larger. Make sure the largest are not bigger than a small marble (see photo to the left).

After the veggies have boiled for 20 minutes, they should be tender and it is time to add the rivels to the boiling pot. Add only 1/3 of them and give the pot a stir. Add another 1/3, stir completely again. Add the last third and stir completely before replacing the cover and reducing to a simmer for 5-7 minutes.


Potato Rivel Soup

During this time, the soup will start to thicken so give it a stir about 3 minutes in. When the rivels have cooked at least 5 minutes, add the 2 cups of coconut milk but do not return the soup to a boil, only warm it to serving temperature. You may like to garish a bowl of this mild soup with chives.

I surprised Jim with this for lunch today and he was all smiles. It was a cool day for late June and he said he hadn’t had rivels for a long time. He just sat there beaming as we enjoyed our soup.

I then realized that it incidentally had no oil and mentioned that to him. He was astonished and thought the onions tasted sauted but I assured him that they had only been boiled along with the potatoes and carrot.

We then discussed Aquafaba, which is not as crazy an ingredient as you might think. It is the liquid in a can of chickpeas. Cooks are using it by whipping it into a foam and I used it, enhanced with the potato, tapioca starch and black salt to be the “egg” that traditionally is added to flour to make rivel.

We were very please with how this soup turned out and happy to have veganized yet another central Pennsylvania standard from our childhood.


Chives for Garnish

Vegan Chili Verde


1 lb potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbps canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped small
thinly sliced peppers of choice, seeded and no membrane – I used one green ghost pepper (very spicy), you could use a green bell pepper (mild) or a couple of jalapenos (medium)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1.5 lbs tomatillos, skin papers removed, washed, chopped into 3/4″ pieces
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 cup vegetable broth (plus 1/3 cup for deglazing)
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (reserve a bit for garnish)
1/4 cup chopped scallions (reserve a few for garnish)
2 (15-oz) cans of chick peas, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1 lime
Avocado slices for garnish

Place the chopped potatoes in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Let boil, covered, for a little less than 20 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork NOT MUSHY. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and peppers in oil for about 10 minutes, until everything is softened and the onions are slightly browned.
Add the garlic, cumin, basil, and salt. Saute for 1 more minute, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the 1/3 cup broth for deglazing and tomatillos, raise the heat a bit to let the liquid reduce and the tomatillos release their juices, about 5 minutes.IMG_0771
Add the apples, 2 cups vegetable broth, scallions, and 1/2 cup of the cilantro. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to partially puree everything, or transfer half the chili to a food processor and puree, then return to the pot.
Taste for tartness: if bitter, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to level things out. Add the cooked potatoes and the chick peas, simmer for a few more minutes, until everything is heated through.
Add the remaining cilantro (reserve a garnish) and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls, garnish with the avocado and a few chopped scallions and cilantro leaves, and serve.

6 – 8 Servings

Deep Dish Pi

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BrusselsI had only ever had Chicago-style deep dish pizza once and decided to make a vegan version for Pi Day. I used a layer of roasted Brussels Sprouts and pistachio nuts over a bottom later of Daiya and it turned out really well. I don’t consider it pizza but it was a very hearty Deep Dish Pi.

The crust is key, so I will detail that.

Less that 1/2 C fine yellow corn meal
1 C (plus enough to round out the measurement of the cornmeal so a total1 1 1/2C) All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon active yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/14 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons mix of olive oil and canola oil
1/2 warm water

Combine dry ingredients. Mix in water and all but 1 teaspoon oil. Lightly knead to get the gluten working for a pizza dough consistency. This will be an oily dough but drizzle a glass bowl with the remaining oil. Place dough ball in bowl and turn it over once to coat before covering bowl and placing in a warm place to rise for 2 hours (punching down and kneading once an hour in.)

This dough makes one 9″ deep dish pi. Remember to press up the sides of the well oiled pan, layer in cheese type products first and tomatoes last. Bake 45 minutes at 415°

This isn’t the kind of pie you fold over and eat with one hand and although you can easily pick it up and admire the golden bottom, you will want to enjoy the flaky crust and fillings with a fork.Pi

Vegan Muffaletta

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MuffalettaGet some of your favorite tofurkey sandwich slices, layer them with some different daiya slices and top with a salad of giardiniera, chopped celery, olives, capers good olive oil and oregano. All the ingredients are piled in a dense yet crusty Italian bread, I chose an olive bread.

Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage

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I remember one year on St. Pats that it was so warm we cooked outside. This year we still have snow on the ground and I thought I would try a more traditionally flavored recipe of Corned Beef and Cabbage and using another new seitan product.
Vegan Corned Beef and Cabbage

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, cut into wedges
1/2 medium head of cabbage, sliced into 3/4″ strips
4 carrots cut into 2″ pieces, quartering the thickest ones
4 small potatoes cut into wedges
4 stalks of celery cut on an angle into pieces, mince any leaves
1 large apple cored and cut into pieces the same size as the potato wedges
3 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. sharp hot mustard
1 tsp. mild horseradish
2 Tbsp. malt vinegar
Some pickling spices in a muslin sack (a couple whole cloves, some whole all spice and a couple bay leaves)
8 oz. prepared seitan, sliced (I used and like Sweet Earth)
2 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup water
2 Tbs. dry red wine
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

• Preheat the oven to 200°F.
• Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions until just starting to brown, then add the rest of the vegetables, 1 cup of the vegetable broth, mustard, horseradish, pickling spices in tied sack and vinegar then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
• Add the seitan, then simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 more minutes. Remove the vegetables and seitan to a serving dish with a slotted spoon and keep them warm in the oven.
•Mix the flour with the water and wine, add to the pot with 2 cups of the broth (keep spice sack in at this point), and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove spice sack and pour the gravy over the cabbage mixture in the serving dish. Garnish with the parsley and serve.CBC

Vegan Tamales

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I based these tamales from the recipe in Veganomicon (the vegan bible). If you don’t yet have it you should buy it now and make tamales.vegan_tamales

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