Toni caters lunch for Willard Beach, The Real Story, a sharp and funny web series posting weekly 3 minute episodes
Recently, I was asked to donate a few trays of appetizers for a fundraiser. Because the fundraiser was emphasizing sushi, I decided to create something really new. This recipe is much less tedious than making maki rolls, and if you’re not a seaweed lover, you can control the seaweed flavor, or not add it at all and still get all the tasty quality of a good California Roll.
This recipe – which I’ve modified slightly – is from Vegetarian Planet, a great cookbook by DTV guest chef Didi Emmons.
2 c. cooked sushi rice (prepare according to directions, usually 2 c. of rice to 2 c. of water)
1/3 c. rice vinegar
2 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1-2 sheets sushi nori seaweed sheets, chopped or processed (optional)
2 carrots, minced
5 scallions, green part only, chopped fine
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
While rice is cooking combine vinegar, sugar, salt, seaweed, carrots and scallions in a large bowl. Toast the sesame seeds and set aside. When rice is done turn into the bowl with the dressing. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Let the rice sit for a hour or two – the mixture should be sticky. When the rice has cooled, with wet hands, roll into ping pong size balls, then roll the balls in the sesame seeds and set aside. Sometimes I add a little avocado or pickled ginger. This recipe is flexible, so feel free to add or delete what you like. Refrigerate for up to two days but bring to room temperature before serving.
Ginger Wasabi Dipping Sauce
1 T. wasabi powder
1/4 c. water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1″ fresh ginger, sliced thin
2 T. canola oil
1 t. sugar
3 T. rice vinegar
3 T. soy sauce
Combine all ingredients in processor and process until ginger is chopped fine. Serve with sushi balls.
Inspired by the $5 “grab bags” of vegetables sold by one of the vendors at our local farmer’s market, this variety of late season vegetables combined with woodsy Cremini mushrooms is equally scrumptious for lunch or dinner served alongside tofu “steaks” or a veggie burger, or simply spooned over whole wheat pasta or brown rice.
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped into 1/2” dice
3 large cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 1/2 t. coarse Kosher salt
3 carrots, chopped into 1/2” dice
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced down the middle, then cut into 1/4” half-rounds
2-3 small to medium-sized potatoes, chopped into 1/2” dice
1 pint cherry tomatoes, any variety, rinsed, whole
1 cube Organic Gourmet bouillion dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
8 oz. Cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, sliced into halves
Handful of fresh sage, basil, and parsley, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot pepper flakes, to taste
Heat a wide skillet over medium heat and add olive oil, followed by chopped onion and garlic and a half teaspoon of salt. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes, being careful not to scorch garlic, until onion is just beginning to be translucent. Add chopped carrots and squash to the pan and continue to toss and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are beginning to soften. Now put potatoes and whole tomatoes into the pan and stir to combine the vegetables – add the dissolved bouillion.
When the mixture begins to simmer, add the mushrooms and chopped fresh herbs, lower the heat, and cover the pan tightly. Allow the mixture to cook for 10-15 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and other vegetables are tender, but not mushy. When everything is cooked through, season the mixture with the remaining salt, the black pepper, and the pepper flakes. Taste and correct seasonings as needed.
Oh so many years ago when we first became vegetarians, in order to get a decent, tasty vegan pizza, you had to make it yourself. While it’s still a wonderful thing to DIY – check out Toni’s amazing Potato Sage Pizza – it’s also nice to know that from Boston to Seattle and in a growing number of cities in between, you can find pizza parlors who have mastered the fine art of vegan pizza making.
T.J. Scallywaggles – Boston, MA
Pizza Plaza – Oakland, CA
Pizza Pi – Seattle, WA
The Rudyard Kipling – Louisville, KY
Viva Herbal Pizzeria – NYC
Gianna’s Grille – Philadelphia, PA (check out their veg specialties too!)
Este Pizzeria – Salt Lake City, UT
Tomato Joe’s – Valencia, CA
Bobby G’s Pizzeria – Berkeley, CA (vegan pizza by the slice!)
IT’S HARVEST TIME!
If you’ve ever planted more than one “hill” of zucchini squash, you know that at some point in the season, the output of this reliable plant can be somewhat overwhelming. Here’s a tasty and scrumptious solution for using this prolific vegetable that is sure to remind you why you planted it in the first place.
This cake is vegan and simply scrumptious – sweet and with a lovely, pudding-moist texture. I like to top this cake with fresh fruit (such as raspberries or cut up peaches) and a squirt of Soyatoo. Or simply cool, sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar over the top, and serve as is.
1 c. unbleached white flour
1/3 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. turbinado or organic sugar
1/3 c. coarsely milled walnuts
1 ½ t. non-aluminum baking powder
½ t. soda
½ t. salt
½ t. cinnamon
½ c. vegetable oil
½ c. soy, rice, or hempmilk
2 c. shredded zucchini flesh (skin and all)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and stir to combine with a fork. Add vegetable oil and milk and stir just until combined – don’t overstir! Fold in shredded zucchini. The batter will be thick. Scrape batter into a 9″ round or square prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
For us, summer means less time in the kitchen and more time outside in “the big room” – so of course, the less fuss involved in the preparation of meals, the better we like it. And what could be less fussy (and more delicious) than a stir fry prepared al fresco on the grill? Utilizing any of the super fresh, yummy vegetables of summer, you really can stir fry practically anywhere even over a camper hotplate or an open fire.
The following list is just a small sample of our favorite summer fresh vegetables for stir frying: green beans, peppers, onions, eggplant slices, carrots, zucchini, pattypan or yellow squash, chard, sugar snap and snow peas, asparagus, and of course sweet corn. Use your imagination when combining vegetables for a stir fry and never be afraid to experiment. Summer is the best time of year to enjoy all the flavorful benefits and easy preparation of vegetarian food. So, go on…stir fry!
Roasting garlic produces a complete change in flavor, the “bite” of raw garlic magically turns into a mellow sweetness you have to try to believe! I often roast up to half a dozen garlic heads at a time. They keep well — a month or more in the fridge — and in my house, they disappear quickly!
Several firm, tight heads of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse kosher salt
Fresh herbs such as lemon thyme or oregano
Peel off any the outermost layer of loose, papery skin, then cut off the top half or so of the pointed end of the garlic head, to expose the cloves.
Place bulb in the center of a 6″ square of heavy duty foil. Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place a fresh herb on top. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher salt and freshly ground
Wrap foil snugly up and around bulb like a Hersey’s Kiss and place on hot grill. Flip it around occasionally till it feels soft and squishy on the inside, about 20 minutes or so.
Remove from foil and pour any excess oil back onto the top of garlic. The delightful little bulbs of roasted garlic will easily squeeze out of their skins.
Onions and summer squashes are superb when grilled, but don’t be afraid to try any vegetable on the grill. Toni also likes to throw in carrots, fresh fennel, and halved baby potatoes. You’re only limited by your own imagination.
Basic Balsamico Vinaigrette (makes about 1 cup):
3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. good quality Balsamic vinegar
2. T. wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Eggplant, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2″ to 3/4″ “steaks”
Portobello mushroom caps
Zucchini and summer squash, sliced lengthwise or
whole (if small)
Sweet onion( Spanish or Vidalia), sliced 1/4″ crosswise or into moon-shaped wedges
Bell peppers, red, orange & yellow have the most flavor
Or any other combination of vegetables you like!
Certain vegetables lend themselves to easy, quick grilling.
Our list of veggies need only be trimmed of stem ends and sliced for grilling. The key is to slice them thinly enough so that they cook evenly and quickly while still having a tad of firmness.
They may be brushed simply with oil and sprinkled with salt & pepper before and during grilling, or you can use our basic balsamic marinade/baste or your own favorite prepared vinaigrette-style dressing.
Note: You can serve this mixed grill with anything from bruschetta to rice to pasta and the leftovers make fabulous sandwiches on thick, crusty slices of French or Italian bread or rolled up on pita bread.
Broccoli’s name comes from the Italian piccoli bracci meaning “little arms” and just a single serving of this amazing vegetable provides 30 mg of vitamin C, plentiful fiber, and a slew of other anti-oxidant, cancer-fighting nutrients. And it’s not just good for you, it’s good!
Soup, salad, side, or main dish, broccoli is a cool weather crop and best from October through April in the Northern Hemisphere. When buying this ubiquitous vegetable, look for bright green color and tightly packed buds. Since raw broccoli requires good air circulation to stay fresh, store in a perforated plastic bag for up to 3 days – or just eat it right away.
Give this nutrient-rich vegetable some love. And while you’re at it, check out the baby hamster enjoying a first taste of broccoli.
Maine summers provide the perfect environment for growing lettuces and there are tables at the farmers markets literally piled with beautiful green heads and bins full of tasty, spicy baby greens of all varieties.
A member of the aster family, lettuce has been cultivated for over 2500 years. In China, where lettuce has been growing since the 5th century, lettuce represents good luck and is served on birthdays, New Year’s Day, and other special occasions.
When it comes to making salads – with lettuce or not – the only limitation is your imagination. So be creative and throw in a variety of different lettuce types. Then add your favorite foods: fresh vegetables, cut fruits, toasted seeds and nuts, cooked whole grains or beans, whole wheat croutons, or smoked or seasoned soy products. Everything tastes great on a bed of lettuce!