Tag Archives: fast

Mediterranean Orzo Pilaf

15 Jan

Here is a recipe for a tasty and quick orzo pilaf that I’ve made a couple times.  I was inspired by a non-vegan recipe I found on the back of a San Giorgio orzo box and made several substitutions and redactions, and I love the flavors of the simple ingredients combined with the toasted orzo.  It makes about 4 servings if served as a side, or 2-3 entree servings.

  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 8 oz. uncooked orzo
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (such as a mix of thyme and oregano)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or chopped fresh tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives
  • pepper
  1. Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the orzo and cook a few minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
  3. Stir in the water, bouillon, and seasoning, and heat to boiling.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the tomato and olives, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  5. Add pepper to taste and serve warm.

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Easy-make Foods

2 Sep

Here are some ideas for vegan foods that you can very easily make from store-bought mixes:

  • Falafel.  Serve with hummus.
  • Matzo ball soup.  Use an egg replacer instead of the eggs the instructions call for.
  • Various rice, pilaf, and couscous dishes.  I like the brand Near East.
  • Barley or kasha.
  • Potato pancakes.  Try Streit’s or Manischewitz.

Sauteed Parsnips and Carrots with Honey and Rosemary

28 Aug

Here is another delicious recipe that was originally published in Bon Appetit magazine and is now also on epicurious.  I’m actually not a fan of parsnips so I’ve only made the carrots, and they go really well with the sweetness of the honey.  I sometimes use baby carrots instead of cutting up large ones.

Ma-Po Tofu

28 Aug

I adapted this recipe from one I found in one of my favorite books, The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  The recipe normally also adds pork, which I’ve omitted for obvious reasons, and cilantro for garnish which I decided not to add because I think the other ingredients make it flavorful enough.  I also use dried ground ginger instead of fresh minced, because you just need to buy one spice bottle of it that lasts a long time, and I chose to use red pepper flakes instead of chile flakes for a little less spice.  I’m generally not a fan of anything overly spicy, but as my boyfriend says, this one is “one of the most flavorful” dishes I make.

It makes about 4 servings and is very quick to make.  I recommend serving it with brown rice or pilaf.

  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil (enough to cover the surface of your skillet)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups peeled, chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • One 1-lb. package firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Cilantro (optional)
  1. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When it’s hot, add the garlic and cook less than a minute, until it begins to sizzle.
  2. Add the tomatoes, dried ginger, red pepper flakes, and scallions.  Add the tofu.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tofu begins to brown and absorbs some of the taste of the other ingredients.
  3. Stir in the soy sauce.  Season with salt to taste and more red pepper flakes and/or cilantro if you like.  Serve warm.
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