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D’s Delightful Tomato Sauce

21 Oct

For the longest time, in our household, we purchased all of our tomato sauce ready-made. One glorious day, D. decided to try making his own. “After all it’s cheaper,” he said. Well, not only is it cheaper, but it’s bright, aromatic and absolutely delicious. It beats any other sauce out there. I guarantee it!

I have asked him, and he generously agreedĀ  to share his recipe with EVA followers. (Actually, he got very serious to make sure we got it JUST RIGHT – it was adorable.)

Try it on a home made pizza, in a lasagna, or over your favorite pasta concoction.

Peace and good eating,


D’s Delightful Tomato Sauce


28 oz can diced tomatoes

6 oz can tomato paste

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 sweet onion, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

8 cremini or button mushrooms, chopped

8 leaves fresh basil, chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/4 tsp cayenne


Pour can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste into a non-stick saucepan. Add 1/4 tsp dried basil and oregano, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer.

In the meantime, dry cook the onions on a cast-iron skillet until browned (note from D: It’s OK, even better if they are slightly burned, they add more flavor.) Add 1 Tbs olive oil to de-glaze the onions. Add in this order, mushrooms, fresh basil, 1/8 tsp dried oregano, garlic and cayenne. Saute for ~ 10 seconds, until the garlic just gets aromatic (don’t burn it) and add to the simmering tomato sauce.

Reduce sauce for about 45 min-1 hour on low-medium heat covered. If you want it to go faster, keep the lid off. Reduce it more if you are planning on using it for a pizza sauce.

Keeps well in the fridge in a jar for about a week (that’s the longest we’ve ever been able to keep it without eating it, so that’s all we can vouch for) and gets even more intense in flavor.


Soup in a Jiffy

12 Aug

Ah, soup. The perfect way to use up vegetables one has no clue what to do with and that are not the freshest in the bin! I have been obsessing about how I am going to use up the rest of my pack of celery before it decomposes. And those poor left over organic carrots that would be atrocious to throw out. What to make, what to make?


And not just any soup – creamy sweet potato soup! Based on the versatile yet simple vichyssoise, but altered and bumped up to excellent, this simple (and cheap) soup is quick and easy to make and bound to make you come back for seconds.. or thirds (or if you are my boyfriend, just finish the entire pot :))

Here it is:

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

(makes about 4 generous servings)

1/4 C butter

1/2 C diced onion

1 C diced celery (3 medium/large stalks)

1 large sweet potato or yam (the orange fleshed kind), peeled and cubed into 1/2-1″ cubes

3 small (1/2 inch diameter) carrots, peeled and cubed into 1/2-1″ cubes

1 Tbs vegetable broth powder dissolved in 3 C hot water

1 C unsweetened soymilk

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in large soup pot. Add onion and celery and cook until aromatic.

Add cubed carrots and sweet potato. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Add vegetable broth and cook until sweet potatoes and carrots are soft.

Transfer to blender and blend until smooth.

Transfer back to pot and add soy milk and season.

Cook for another minute. Let sit for a couple minutes and serve.

This is also tasty poured over some cooked brown rice. Soup is mildly sweet and very creamy.


– Mags

Nirvana Falafel Burgers

29 Mar

I have been making this version of falafel for a while and it continues to be a big hit. They are very easy and quick to make, loaded with fiber and protein and are low fat. Tonight it got served up with C.’s Alex+Ivy Slaw, Vegan Ranch and Sweet Potato Oven Baked Fries. What a feast!

(You will notice that the binder I used is dry cream of wheat. I have tried using plain flour, wheat gluten and bulgur. The first too require way too much and still make the falafel too sticky. The latter, falls apart in the pan. Cream of wheat works great and cooks up wonderfully!)



They’re awesome because they’re grilled, not fried, so they have a light taste and texture. They’re also yummy and crumbly and SO GOOD with the vegan ranch. -C

Nirvana Falafel Burgers

Nirvana Falafel Burgers and Vegan Ranch in a Heart Shaped Bowl (Photo by D.)

Nirvana Falafel Burgers and Vegan Ranch in a Heart Shaped Bowl (Photo by D.)

1 – 16oz can garbanzo beans, drained

1/3 medium red onion, chopped finely

2 cloves garlic, pressed

2 Tbs – 1/4 C finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4-3/4 C cream of wheat, uncooked (more or less depending on wetness of bean mixture)

Photo by D.

Photo by D.

Blend garbanzo beans and red onion in blender into a uniform paste. Transfer into a medium sized bowl. Add garlic, parlsey, salt, pepper and cumin and mix. Add baking powder and combine. Add cream of wheat in 1/4 C portions until the mixture becomes hard to mix with a spoon and sticks together well. (A good test is also when you begin to form them into balls in your hands. If it sticks more to your hands than to itself, you need to add more cream of wheat.) Heat up griddle coated with cooking spray. Form falafel into golfball size balls. When the griddle is hot, place on the griddle. Flip when one side is golden brown and press down with the flat of spatula. Cook the other size and flip one more time.

Nirvana Falafel Burgers, Veganized Creole Roasted Garlic Ranch, Cajun Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Alex+Ivy Slaw (Photo by D.)

Nirvana Falafel Burgers, Veganized Creole Roasted Garlic Ranch, Cajun Sweet Potato Oven Fries, Alex+Ivy Slaw (Photo by D.)

Cajun and Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing

29 Mar

Emeril is awesome (well, he is – he may eat meat and all, but he still knows how to cook like a mofo). Veganized Emeril is WAY more awesome.

We made our own veganaise. You can, of course, use store bought. It’s great and it’s less time consuming, but at the same time, it tastes awesome made from scratch AND you get the personal satisfation of making your own veganaise.

Tonight, we made Cajun and Roasted Garlic Ranch dressing. It is awesome served up with Cajun Sweet Potato oven fries, served in veggie burgers or as a topping for Nirvana Falafel.


– Mags

Cajun and Roasted Garlic Ranch Dressing

Photo by D.

Photo by D.

1/2 C (or however much the yield is from the recipe below – I didn’t measure it.) veganaise (recipe below)

1 C (or however much the yield is from the recipe below – I didn’t measure it.) vegan buttermilk (recipe below)

1 head garlic

2 Tbs sunflower oil

1 tsp Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning) (recipe below)

2 Tbs fresh chopped parsley

2 Tbs fresh chopped chives

1 tsp lemon zest

Chop off the top of the garlic head, to expose the meaty part of the cloves. Place on aluminum foil and drizzle with sunflower oil. Wrap and place in preaheated 350F oven. Cook until garlic is fragrant.

Mix veganaise and buttermilk in a bowl. Add the creole seasoning, lemon zest, parsley and chives. Mush the garlic and mix into the dressing. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.


1/4 – 19oz block silken tofu

1/5 C sunflower oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1-2 tsp dijon

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp nutritional yeast

Blend well in blender.

Vegan Buttermilk

1/4 – 19oz block silken tofu

1/5 C unsweetened soymilk

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

Essence (Emeril’s Creole Seasoning)

2-1/2 Tbs paprika (I used chili powder.)

2 Tbs salt

2 Tbs garlic powder

1 Tbs black pepper

1 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs cayenne pepper

1 Tbs dried leaf oregano

1 Tbs dried leaf oregano

1 Tbs dried thyme

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993