Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Klunker's Japanese curry

Klunker's Japanese Curry

Paste Ingredients 

1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp. Onion powder

1 tsp. Garlic powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (ground in coffee grinder)
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2-1 tsp. Salt
4 tablespoons rice flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
About 3-4 tablespoons water
Mix all together until a smooth paste.

The veggies

4-5 potatoes, peeled and cit into 1 inch chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
4-5 c water

In a large pot, add water and veggies. Bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
After veggies are cooked, add the curry paste. Stir well to dissolve. Increase heat to medium high and simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes until thickened. Keep stirring so nothing burns.
Serve with rice.

I hope you give this a try and enjoy it as much as I do.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Potato and rice veggie patties

Potato and rice veggie patties

This has been a very busy week.  We went as a family to California on a mini-vacation.  It was so fun.  We had a lot of fun.  I missed my kitchen though, and the ability to make some really good meals at home.  I am always leery about food that I have not prepared.  
Right before our trip, my friend Anita posted a recipe.  I was very inspired by it.  Now, that recipe has oil and a few things different.  Here is the inspiration though.
I wanted to use that as a base, but then I got off track and just did things my way.  I know, shocker!
So lets look at the ingredients!


4 medium yukon gold potatoes, boiled until fork tender (I did mine in the Instant pot, but you can boil them too)  Let cool for a few minutes and then peel
2 cups cooked rice.  I used white, but you could use brown too.  Just make sure its cooked.
3 heaping tablespoons sweet potato starch (you could use corn, tapioca or any starch flour you want)
2 tablespoons water or veggie stock
6 medium mushrooms, cleaned and chopped small
4 stalks of green onion, both green and white parts, chopped
1-2 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. pepper (optional)
2 cups panko breadcrumbs (if you want this GF, you could use corn flakes, crushed)

optional additions 
1 tsp. garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

Preheat oven to 400°

In a large bowl, add the cooked potatoes, veggies, water and seasoning.  Also dump the bread crumbs into a shallow bowl to use in a bit.

With a hand blender, or a wooden spoon, mix all of it together until it is chunky smooth.
Check the seasoning.  With a large ice cream scoop, scoop out a tight ball into your palm. 
With both hands, form into a patty about 1/2-3/4 inch thick, and about 4 inches round.  Make sure that the potato/rice mix is really mixed well and tight.
Now, dip each patty into the bread crumbs and press them in gently.
Gently transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, or if you have a silicone pad, that works great too.
After all the patties are formed, put into the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes.  After 25 minutes, gently turn each one with a spatula.  Bake another 15 minutes, or until crispy.  
So, testing these, I discovered a better texture if you let them sit after you take out of the oven for about 10 minutes.  
Serve as is, with BBQ sauce, with mustard, or like me, take to work and eat later.  I ate them hot and cold, and both were great.
The main thing to remember is to make sure they are well compacted before baking so they will not fall apart.  :)
I hope you give them a try and enjoy as much as I did.  They will be a regular item on my weekly meals.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Stir fried veggie quinoa

Stir fried veggie quinoa 

This recipe came about because I had leftover quinoa, and I didn't want to eat it plain.  So I looked and saw all the veggies I just bought, and decided a stir fry was in order.  You could sub any of the veggies in this and I am sure it would taste great.
There is no sauce, it is just well seasoned and keeps it basic and delicious
This makes a lot, so you will have some leftovers for the week. :)


8 oz. sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
1 large carrot, peeled, cut in half and cut into matchsticks or half rounds
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3 stalks green onion, sliced thin
2 cups of shredded green cabbage
3 cups cooked quinoa
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large saute pan, saute the veggies all together over medium high heat. Keep stirring until the cabbage starts to wilt.  You don't want to overcook the veggies, they should be still a little crispy.  
Add the seasonings and stir well.  
Add the precooked quinoa to the hot pan, and stir well.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes until everything is hot.  
Test the seasoning and adjust as needed.
Then, serve hot and enjoy.  I ate a huge plate of this for dinner, but is a side too.
I hope you try and enjoy it as much as I did.  
Be creative and try different veggies.  Just remember not to overcook the veggies.
This made enough for me to have 3 large servings for the week. :)

Creamy baked onions and fennel

Creamy baked onions and fennel

The bottom line, I love creamy foods.  I miss many of the creamy foods I used to eat.  I discovered it was more the actual creamy part I was missing, not the other ingredients.  So I decided to explore new options to maybe fill some of the foods I miss.  
I love onions, I love fennel (if you don't like fennel, you can leave it out of this recipe).  I love the flavor both take on when they are roasted in the oven.  Now add some creamy deliciousness to it, and I have made a meal that is creamy and good for you at the same time.
This can be served on its own, or on top of rice.  I put mine on some plain quinoa, and it was great.  
This recipe needs just a little prep work ahead of time.  So if you know you are making it, take the step the night before. 


For the cream sauce (prepare ahead)

1/2c raw, unsalted sunflower seeds, soak for at least 4-6 hours, then drain.
1 14oz. bag of frozen cauliflower
1 cup water
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. white pepper

3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices, try and keep the slices together
1 large fennel bulb, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices

Preheat oven to 400*.

OK, lets make the cream sauce first.  In a medium sauce pan, combine all the cream ingredients except the sunflower seeds.  Cover and boil for about 10-12 minutes.  (you will put the whole garlic in also, it will be blended)
After the cauliflower is soft, take off the heat and add to a blender or food processor.  Add the drained sunflower seeds.  Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.  If it is too thick, add more water.  You want it to be about the consistency of ranch dressing.
Check the seasoning and adjust.
Pour a little of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
In the 9x13 pan, layer the onions like you would for au gratin potatoes.  In between the onion slices place some of the fennel slices. 
Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the onions.  It should be even, so just use the back of a spoon.
Place in the hot oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown and the onions are very soft. (watch it close from 30 minutes on, as all ovens are different)
Remove from oven and serve while hot.  Serve as a side, or on top of rice or quinoa.
Garnish with some of the fennel fronds chopped up.

I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Insanely easy potato corn chowder (IP)

Insanely easy potato corn chowder

I posted this on Facebook today, but thought it would be a good idea to post it here too.  It is such a wonderfully tasty soup.  Great for the winter months (although I am a year round soup fan).
It can be made in the Instant Pot®, a pot on the stove, or even the slow cooker.  
The nice part, just throw it together.  If you are making in the Instant Pot®, you can have dinner ready in under a 1/2 hour.


3 large yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and chopped medium
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 large carrot, peeled, cut in half and cut into matchsticks
1 12 oz. Bag frozen corn
1 12 oz. Bag frozen cauliflower 

3 ribs celery, sliced thin
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black pepper
1 tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Onion powder
4c mushroom stock or veggie stock
In the IP combine all the above, 

stir well and cover. Set to manual pressure, 13 min. Natural release. Then with a immersion blender, blend until semi chunky smooth.
Traditional, place large pot on stove over medium heat. Saute onions and celery for 5 min. Just so they start to soften a bit.
Add remaining ingredients, turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil. Stir well, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 min. Or until potatoes are very tender.
Use immersion blender as above until chunky smooth.
Check seasoning before serving. smile emoticon

Spicy black bean "burgers"

Spicy black bean patties

I already have a recipe for black bean veggie burgers, and I am very happy with them. Sometimes you want something different though.  You want a different taste or texture.  So I wrote this recipe.  It is easy, in fact it is super easy.  And it tastes really good too.  
I made just a single recipe, and it gave me 4 good sized burgers.  As I was forming them, I realized these would make really good "meat" balls for spaghetti.  I will try that this week and report back.
The main thing to remember with this recipe is to allow enough time to soak the sunflower seeds for a couple hours.  Otherwise it is very cut and dry.  I hope you give them a try and report back to me your results. 


1/4c soaked, unsalted raw sunflower seeds, drained  (do this about 2 hours before you start this recipe)
1 14.5 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed, divided in half (put half of the beans in a big bowl, the other half will go into the food processor.)
5 large cremini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
1/2c panko bread crumbs (make sure they are oil free)
1/4c unbleached flour (yes, you can use wheat flour)
2 tsp. mushroom powder (ground up dried mushrooms) or veggie stock powder
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons corn starch (or tapioca, or sweet potato starch)
1/2-1 tsp. chipotle powder

In a food processor, combine all of the above (only half of the beans).  Pulse in the food processor until it is chunky smooth.  Don't blend, just pulse.  You want it to be more chunky than chunky peanut butter.
When you are happy with the texture (think chunky) scrape out the blend into your whole beans.  With a spatula, stir and mix the whole beans and blended until the mixture is combined well.
Cover the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. (you can let it go longer too)
Remove from fridge and form into 4 equal balls.  Squish them into patties.
You can bake these in a 400* oven, flipping after 20 minutes and cooking an additional 10-15 minutes.  I like to dry fry them though.  They get a great crust. So in a large, nonstick pan, over medium high heat, place the patties.  DO NOT FUSS OVER THEM.  Just let them cook.  After about 7-10 minutes, they will be ready to turn.  Cook another 10 minutes.  You can control how crispy on the outside you want them.  I like a nice crust.  Serve on your favorite bun and fixings.  They taste wonderful and hold together really well.
I hope you try this and enjoy.  Make a double batch and freeze them raw, then cook whenever you want a good black bean burger. :)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Klunker's mushroom ceviche

Klunker's mushroom ceviche

I consider myself a good cook.  I have tried many things in my lifetime, and so new things are not that rare.  But this year has been different.  I have gone outside my comfort zone, and decided to try things that maybe I would never try before.  I have loved all the new things so far, and I think that is pretty darn lucky.  This recipe is no different.  
I have always seen non-vegan ceviche made on TV, but never tasted it or really had the desire.  But what if it is good?  What if I am missing out on something?  I think maybe I should give it a try, so I did.
Here is my recipe for the newest member of my menu.  It is great for an appetizer, or even as a meal.  As I write this, I have a big bag of romaine lettuce, and my ceviche, just snacking away.  I am loving the spicy undertone, and the sour citrus.  The veggies are still crispy and the mushrooms "cooked" just right.


1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice. (took 8 whole limes for me)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (took 5 for me)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced fine
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 medium zucchini, sliced in half length wise, then each half cut in half length wise and into small cubes
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4-5 roma tomatoes, cut into small cubes
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced
12 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thick (1/4 inch)  I removed stems, but you could put them in. (personal preference in this recipe)
3 tsp. maple syrup or sweetener of choice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a large bowl, combine the above ingredients.  Doesn't matter the order, you will be mixing it all together.  
Mix for a good 5 minutes to make sure everything is combined well.
Cover the bowl and put in the fridge.  Allow to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, better if you can get 8 hours.  I made early in the day and ate for dinner. Will last for a couple of days before it gets mushy.  
Serve with homemade tortilla chips, lettuce leaves or you could serve on top of a salad instead of dressing, just use more of the juice.
This is a great recipe, and I know if you try it, you will love it too.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Klunker's Southwestern smashed bean sauce

Klunker's Southwestern smashed bean sauce

I have been trying to make some super easy recipes lately, and this one definitely fits the bill. It is super easy to make, but can be used on many different things.  As the picture above shows, it is great with potatoes.  I just boiled up some baby yukon golds and poured this sauce over the top.  You could put on baked potatoes, on nachos, or you could use cold as a zesty salad dressing.  It really is up to you.
So, how easy is it to make?  Lets see the ingredients.


2 cups cooked pinto beans (you could use canned)  I used fresh.  Drain but don't rinse.
1 can of medium hot RoTel® with liquid  (canned tomatoes and chilies)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin.
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
salt to taste (I put about 1/2 tsp.)

In a medium sized saute pan, over medium heat, add all the ingredients.  With the back of a wooden spoon, smash the beans.  Go around the whole pan and squish those beans good.  As you smash and mix around the sauce will start to thicken.  Keep going, there are a lot of beans there, and they need to be squished.  After each round of squishing, stir and mix.  
Let cook for about 10 minutes.  The whole time you want to be squishing and stirring.
Remove from heat, and serve right away, or put in the fridge and heat up and use as needed (or wanted)
It is that easy!  I hope you give it a try and enjoy it.

Klunker's Asian salad

Klunker's Asian salad

So it is not a huge secret that I am not a green salad fan.  I eat them, yes, but I don't really ever crave them often.  They are a great way to get in some extra green's and really they are good for you.  They hydrate you, and dressed right, can be super good to eat.
I had just purchased a big bag of artisan romaine lettuce. (I don't know if that is really a thing, I think its just the hearts, but hey, it was cheap) I needed to use them up, there are 6 in a bag, so they needed to be used soon.  I knew that salads were the only choice today, but I needed to make it something I really loved.
I love Asian inspired food.  I eat it more than any other food.  Normally rice, noodles, stir fry and lots of Korean spicy food.  So, it made sense to try and incorporate some of those flavors into my salad today.  I am not a huge fan of lots of other added ingredients in my salads.  I am a boring salad eater.  Sometimes I will add beans and cucumbers and tomatoes, but not today.  Today I wanted just salad with a good dressing.  That being said, if you want to add all the bells and whistles to make this more, go ahead.  I probably will in the future.  
The dressing is the star here.  It made this so good to eat, and left me wanting more.    I love the way all the flavors came together.  So here is the recipe.


1-2 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and dried, torn into bite sized pieces 
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4c minced onion or shallot
1/2-2 tsp. Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
black or white sesame seeds

After washing and tearing your lettuce, set aside on a paper towel and let drain. 

In a very large mixing bowl start making your dressing.
Add the vinegar first

Then add the soy sauce

next add the pepper flakes

followed by the onion powder

maple syrup is next
 Now whisk until everything is evenly. 
and finally the onion or shallot
Add the lettuce to your bowl of dressing
And with tongs, mix carefully, making sure to get all the dressing on the lettuce.
Serve right away, otherwise your lettuce will wilt.  If you are not using right away, store the dressing in the fridge and mix before eating.
Garnish with sesame seeds and enjoy. 

**This is the brand of Korean hot pepper flakes I use.  If you cannot find them, you could use regular red pepper flakes or not at all if you don't want any spice in your salad. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Plant-Based version of "Vegducken"

Plant-Based version of "Vegducken"

Here is the original version of this recipe:

I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated by this recipe.  It looked so good, but could I really make it delicious and still have it turn out?  Could I finally find my Achilles heel in this one recipe?  Was it really worth the effort to try and make it "McDougall compliant"?  
Well, I decided that it had to be tried............And I am so glad I did.  Because now I have a new recipe to make for Thanksgiving!  It screams Thanksgiving.  The flavor is amazing and the prep, although a lot, is worth it.
** Read the original recipe first.  It has much better instructions for the basic concept.  I am just going to list what I did, and you can compare the two.  If I tried to re-write this, it would be a 3 page report.  Instead I am going to go through what I did and what I used.
Also, I did not make the sauce for it.  I actually make some great mushroom gravy and found that to be my best choice for me.  I didn't think a minty sauce was for me. (not a fan of mint)
One of the changes I made was replacing the eggplant with a delicata squash.  I loved the flavor and texture.  It didn't get mushy, and I think that the eggplant would have. 
When shopping for the 3 squashes used in this recipe, get them at the same time.  That way you can hold them up to each other and make sure they will fit.   
I did not use nuts in this recipe either.  I wanted to make it as fat free as I could, and I am not eating nuts right now.  You can add them if you would like.

Here is my list of ingredients:

1 large butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded, skin washed well
1 medium delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and peeled
1 medium/small zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds scraped out, skin washed well

For the filling:

All of the "meat" from the butternut squash.  Mine gave me about 2 1/2 cups
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 8oz. package of sliced cremini mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 medium cooked sweet potato, peeled
1 1/2 cups no oil panko bread crumbs
2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground flax with 6 tablespoons hot water, mixed)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 1/2-2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 cup black or white raisins 

For the brushing sauce:
1/4c aquafaba 
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
(mix the two together and put aside until you are ready to wrap the squash)

First of all, cut open all the squash, and remove the seeds.  Also peel the delicata squash.  With a paring knife, cut the "meat" from the butternut squash.
Scrape the butternut squash out with a spoon.  Place the "meat" in a food processor and break down.

Pour into a large bowl.
In the same food processor, add the rice, mushrooms, onion, and garlic and blend until almost smooth. (I left a little chunk in it)

Add this to the squash that is in your bowl.  Mix well.
Place a large saute pan on the stove over Medium heat.
Put the mix in the pan, and saute for at least 10-12 minutes, until some of the moisture starts to evaporate.  If the mixture seems too wet, saute a little longer.
Add the sweet potato, and mix into the stuffing.  Cook another 2 minutes. Add all of the spices and the raisins.

Removed from heat, and place back in the big bowl.
Let cool for about 10 minutes.  
While it is cooling a bit, turn the oven on to 400°, and in a small bowl, mix the flax egg, and set aside.
When the mixture has cooled a bit, add the bread crumbs and mix well.
After you mix the breadcrumbs in, you can add the flax egg.  Make sure to mix it in well.
Now, you are ready for stuffing.  This is the fun part.  It is trial and error.  It will not fit right the first time.  Don't get upset.  Instead, get your small knife out and cut corners, trim thick walls, make the damn squash fit together.
Start with the hollowed out butternut squash.  Put about 1/4-1/3 cup of the stuffing in there and spread it out with the back of a spoon.  Make sure it is a nice, even layer.
Then, lay the delicata squash, skinned side down into the butternut squash.  On top of the stuffing.  Now, with a spoon, spoon some stuffing in the delicata and spread it out.  You will now add the zucchini squash and fill the middle up.  You will not spread it out, just smooth it over.
You can add a green onion as the original recipe called for, or nuts if you'd like.
Here is the part where the most patience comes in.  You want to join the two together.  
Do this as close to the cutting board as possible, you will have stuffing jumpers. They will try and squish out the sides.  Let them, we will catch them and reapply.
When you feel they are as "together" as they are going to get, you can wrap the squash with twine, I did not. 
Now, take the aquafaba and garlic sauce and brush liberally the skin of the butternut squash.  On all sides.  If any of the filling fell out, just squish it into the seams of the now sandwiched squash.
I then wrapped the whole thing in parchment paper and then two sheets of aluminum foil.  I wrapped it really tight to keep it all together.
Place into a large loaf pan (I lined mine with aluminum foil too for easy clean-up.
Now place into the preheated oven, and set the timer for 2 hours.  Just walk away.  Nothing to look at but a lump of aluminum foil.  
After about an hour though, your house will start to have faint whiffs of Thanksgiving.  
After 2 hours, your stomach will be screaming at you.  DO NOT GIVE IN.  Eat a potato or something.  You worked hard for this meal, and you don't want to give into temptation.
After 2 long hours, remove from the oven and let it rest.  I let it rest for 15 minutes.  I am glad I did too.  It really made a difference. 
Then, slowly remove it from the pan and unwrap CAREFULLY.  
Place on a cutting board and slice into 1-2 inch slices.
At this point, you can put whatever gravy or sauce you want on it.  
Like I said, I just made a nice mushroom gravy and it was so good.  I was happy I was the only one eating this, I ate half of it without breaking a sweat.
Get creative with your fillings too.  I plan on putting dried cranberries in it for Thanksgiving and maybe I will indulge and add some walnuts.
Most of all, be patient.  This is not an everyday recipe, but one you will love for those special occasions.
Also, I found the skin of the butternut squash perfectly edible.  It was soft and added to the texture of the whole thing. :)
****I have not tried, but I am sure you could make this in a slow cooker, also for those who have an IP and small enough squash, you could probably toy with it. 
I have both, but I will be making this in my oven again for Thanksgiving.