‘savory’ Category

  1. vegan Cuban-style picadillo

    January 21, 2018 by Angie

    My mother-in-law veganized her picadillo for us and it is fantastic. She told me her recipe and now I’m telling you. It’s easy, fast, delicious, and an excuse to use the Instant Pot’s rice cooker function.

    Yields four servings.


    Olive oil
    1 1/2 bags of Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground
    Yellow onion, diced
    Red bell pepper, diced
    Minced garlic
    Edmundo vino seco (any white cooking wine works)
    Goya sofrito tomato cooking base (you can use tomato paste if you can’t find this)
    Garlic powder
    Cooked rice for serving


    1. Make four servings of rice.
    2. In a large pan, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion and bell pepper and cook until tender. Add the minced garlic in towards the end and cook for about a minute.
    3. Break up the Gardein crumbles inside the bag before you open it because it can kinda freeze into a block and that’s a pain. Pour the Gardein crumbles into the pan. Stir everything around and cook until the crumbles start to become warm and to brown a little.
    4. Add in the vino seco and tomato base. I didn’t measure but I would guess I used about 3 tablespoons of the wine and 2 tablespoons of the tomato base.
    5. Add a little cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Taste the picadillo and decide if you want to add any more wine, tomato base, or spices. Sorry I don’t have real amounts here – it’s really a add and taste and repeat kind of situation.
    6. Serve the picadillo over rice.

  2. curried vegetable and chickpea stew

    January 20, 2018 by Angie

    I’m an Instant Pot convert! This was a slow cooker recipe and I was scared to convert it for the pressure cooker. I looked around online about general guidelines for converting slow cooker recipes to Instant Pot recipes and went for it. It worked out perfectly.

    Adapted from The Kitchn who adapted it from Cooking Light.

    Yields at least 4 servings.


    About a tsp of olive oil
    Yellow onion, diced
    2 red potatoes, diced
    1 tbsp curry powder
    1 tbsp brown sugar
    1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
    1 tbsp minced garlic
    a pinch of cayenne pepper
    2 cups vegetable broth, divided
    2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
    1 28-oz can diced tomatoes with their juices
    Black pepper
    Fresh arugula
    1 cup coconut milk


    1. In a large pan, heat about a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the diced onion and some salt. Once the onion is pretty cooked, add in the diced potatoes and a little more salt. Cook for about five minutes so that the potatoes start to brown and become a little crispy on the outside.
    2. Add the curry powder, brown sugar, grated ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper to the onion and potato mixture. Stir and cook for about a minute then add about a 1/4 cup of vegetable broth to the pan and use that liquid to get all the spices off of the pan and into the onion and potato mixture. Transfer everything to the Instant Pot. You can do this whole part inside the Instant Pot using the saute function but I haven’t tried that yet so I sauted the old fashioned way in a big pan on the stove.
    3. Add the rest of the ingredients except the arugula and coconut milk to the Instant Pot. Fasten the lid. Pressure cook for 25 minutes with the vent in the sealed position. Allow for “natural release” – I still giggle every time I read that. I don’t think it would matter much if “quick release” is used for this recipe, but I haven’t tried that.
    4. When the float valve is down and it’s safe to open the Instant Pot, stir everything around a bit. I left the Instant Pot on warming. Stir in the coconut milk. Add the arugula. I would estimate I used about 10 ounces of arugula. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Ladle the stew into bowls. It’s hearty so I don’t think rice is necessary. We ate some toast with it.

  3. Instant Pot black bean soup

    December 30, 2017 by Angie

    Robbie got me an Instant Pot for Christmas! So far I’ve made rice using the rice cooker function and this black bean soup. I’m stoked to make a million more things.

    I mostly followed this recipe from A Pinch of Healthy for my first real foray into Instant Pot cooking. I am really impressed that I didn’t have to soak the black beans. The black beans went from dried beans in a bag to soup in an hour and twenty minutes.

    I added minced garlic, garlic powder, and white wine. I ran out of chili powder so I ended up with a little less than a tablespoon instead of two tablespoons. I also took about half of the solid stuff out with a big ladle when it was finished cooking and pureed the rest of the soup inside the Instant Pot with my immersion blender. Then I added the rest of the solid stuff back in, stirred, and added white wine, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. The avocado I bought wasn’t ripe so we added a little shredded Mexican cheese on top of each serving and ate the soup with toast.

  4. garlic & white wine pasta with Brussels sprouts

    October 28, 2017 by Angie

    I made this a few weeks back and am finally getting around to sharing it now. I couldn’t let myself forget to post about this because it was really special and delicious and unlike any recipe I’ve made before.

    It’s pasta with baked Brussels sprouts and a really rich, vegan, Alfredo-esque sauce.

    I followed this recipe from the blog Minimalist Baker.

    It’s really two recipes because it calls for vegan “Parmesan” as an ingredient for the sauce and to sprinkle on top.

    Vegan “Parmesan” is cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt.

    The sauce is Earth Balance (vegan margarine), white wine, garlic, soy milk, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, vegan “Parmesan”, and salt and pepper. I didn’t need to blend it in order to get it to a smooth consistency. I do think I used too much cornstarch and will reduce that in the future.

    Picky, red-sauce-fanatic Robbie loved this pasta!

  5. curried potato and lentil soup

    September 17, 2017 by Angie

    It’s mid-September and in the nineties outside. Who cares though. I’m not going to miss out on Fall. This recipe is very Fall because it’s hearty, it’s soup, and it has carrots which is a Fall ingredient to me.

    I recently discovered the blog Minimalist Baker and picked out several recipes I’m very excited to try. This is the first. The best thing about this recipe is it is delicious. The second best thing is you only need one pot to make it. I barely changed this recipe but I am writing out the ingredients because I’ve learned the hard way that online recipes are not forever and I don’t want to lose this one. The changes I made are: I used vegetable oil and less of it; I used brown lentils instead of green because that’s all I can ever find at Publix; I skipped the sugar; and I substituted arugula instead of kale because I am not good at kale.

    Barely modified from Minimalist Baker.

    Serves four.

    curried potato and lentil soup


    2 tsps vegetable oil
    1 small yellow onion, diced
    1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
    2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    2 tbsp minced garlic
    1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
    1 large potato, chopped
    1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
    6 cups vegetable broth
    1 cup brown lentils, washed and picked over
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    A lot of fresh arugula, washed (about 2 oz)


    1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large stockpot. Add the onion, ginger, carrots, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes
    2. Add in the sweet potato, potato, and curry powder. Stir.
    3. Add in 5 cups of vegetable broth and the lentils. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
    4. Bring to a boil then lower to medium heat. Cook for 35 minutes.
    5. Check that the potatoes and lentils are cooked and soft. I opted to add another cup of broth and more salt and pepper at this point. Taste your soup and adjust as needed.
    6. Stir in the argula. I had a 5 oz container of washed arugula and used about half of it.
    7.  Serve and enjoy. Toast would be nice with this.

    two bowls of soup

    Robbie was very impressed. This is a keeper and will be added to the homemade soup arsenal.

  6. vegan zucchini meatballs

    December 19, 2016 by Angie

    I love a fake meatball. Ever since Nate’s Meatless Meatballs became impossible to purchase without insane shipping costs, I’ve been searching for a suitable alternative. I’ve previously made some pretty great TVP-based “meatballs”. Alas, TVP is also nearly impossible to buy where I live now. I found this recipe for vegan zucchini “meatballs” on Pinterest from the blog Making Thyme for Health.

    Vegan Zucchini ‘Meatballs’

    They were pretty easy to make – easier than the TVP version. They did not bake all the way through in the middle, but I adjusted the recipe below with suggestions I think will correct that problem. I added more spices than called for in the original recipe. The taste and texture were really good. The only downside to this recipe is the cleanup. It was so heinous that Robbie asked me to never make it again 🙁 I suppose I will have to save this recipe for a day when I have the time to cook and do the dishes so, like never, basically. Huge shout out to my dish doing husband who makes cooking possible.

    a saucy "meatball"


    1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    2 tbsp minced garlic
    1/2 c rolled oats
    1/2 tbsp dried basil
    1/2 tbsp dried oregano
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 tbsp nutritional yeast
    juice of 1/2 lemon
    1 1/4 c shredded zucchini
    one jar of spaghetti sauce
    pasta of your choice, cooked as directed on the package (Robbie had fettuccine and I had zucchini noodles.)

    vegan zucchini meatballs with zucchini noodles


    1. Use a food processor with the shredding blade attached to shred the zucchini. I used almost two large-ish zucchini. Measure it out to be sure you have at least 1 and a 1/4 cups of shredded zucchini. Set aside.
    2. Remove the shredding blade and use the food processor to blend the drained and rinsed chickpeas, minced garlic and oats. I used pulse for 5 seconds three of four times to get everything finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
    3. Add the basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and nutritional yeast to the chickpea mixture. Stir to combine with a spoon.
    4. Add the shredded zucchini and lemon juice. Stir to combine again.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    6. Form the mixture into balls and place them, spaced apart, on the lined cookie sheet. I believe I had enough for 15 balls at about a rounded tablespoon each. Bake for 15 minutes then turn them over and bake for another 15 minutes.
    7. While the “meatballs” are baking, prepare the pasta and heat the spaghetti sauce.

  7. spinach artichoke dip

    December 14, 2016 by Angie

    I’ve tried several spinach dip/spinach artichoke dip recipes. This one is the go-to. It’s never too soggy, too tart, or too rich. It’s a Cooking Light recipe so it’s a little less terrible for us than some other recipes out there. It also doesn’t call for any mayonnaise (blah!) which means it’s the cheesy, delicious kind of spinach dip rather than the far inferior, mayo-based variety.

    I used this Cooking Light recipe posted on myrecipes.com with slight variations.


    1 8 oz package of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
    4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    2 8 oz blocks light cream cheese, softened
    10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
    crackers or chips for serving


    spinach artichoke dip on a triscuit
    Enjoying some of my spinach artichoke dip at the campus potluck


    1. Open the package of spinach and place the frozen spinach in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Flip and microwave for two more minutes. After that, I stirred the spinach around to expose the frozen bits and microwaved for one more minute.

    2.Put the cream cheese blocks out on the counter to soften them.

    3. Construct a spinach draining apparatus. I put a double layer of paper towels in a colander over a plate and poured the thawed spinach in there. I put another layer of paper towels over that and squished the water out. I had to change the paper towels again. You want to be sure the spinach is drained really well.

    4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    5. Drain the artichoke hearts. I again placed a double layer of paper towels on a plate (RIP trees), picked the artichoke hearts out of the can and placed them there, then topped with another layer of paper towels. Press them paper towels to get the water out. Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces.

    6. Mix 1.5 cups of the shredded Mozzarella, the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, the black pepper, the minced garlic, and the cream cheese blocks together in a large bowl.

    7. Add in the spinach and the artichoke hearts. Stir everything together until it’s a beautiful dip.

    8. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees on the middle rack or until it starts to get bubbly.

    9. Serve with crackers or chips. I like Triscuits!

    pan of spinach artichoke dip

    The whole pan of dip – I bakcd it at home but forgot to get a photo. This is after warming it in the microwave at work.

  8. vegan mashed potatoes

    November 27, 2016 by Angie

    I am really bad at making mashed potatoes. I get horrified by the ingredients in the internet’s favorite recipes: bucket of sour cream, 19 sticks of butter, multiple cups of heavy cream, gallons of whole milk. I feel guilty enough about the potatoes. I have tried several healthier versions over the years and they have all sucked.

    This year I based my attempt on a vegan recipe that pledges to be “the creamiest vegan mashed potatoes” from the blog My California Roots. They were cold by the time I got to eat them on Thanksgiving Day, but Robbie and I loved the leftovers. I would make and eat these again and again. I think next year I need to explore a vegan gravy to go on top.

    Thanksgiving 2016

    There they are with apple and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce (I used brown sugar this year – yum), tofu vegetable pot pie, and cheddar bay biscuits. Mom’s sweet potato casserole and Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s vegan pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes were dessert.

    I changed things around a little so here is what I did.


    1 cup water
    1/2 cup raw cashews
    2.5 lbs gold potatoes
    4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
    2 tablespoons (probably more like 5, but who’s counting?) minced garlic
    salt and pepper to taste


    1. Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes.
    2. Submerge the potatoes in water in a large pot.
    3. Microwave a cup of water in a bowl.
    4. Add the half cup of cashews to the boiling water. Set aside for at least half an hour.
    5. When it’s getting closer to meal time, boil the potatoes in the pot for about thirty minutes or until the potato chunks are tender when poked with a fork.
    6. While the potatoes are cooking, make the cashew cream by blending the water and cashews together. I used my crappy food processor and it worked out fine.
    7. Drain the potatoes.
    8. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the cashew cream, Earth Balance, garlic, salt, and pepper.
    9. Using a hand mixer, blend everything together for as little time as you can while still getting the lumpy to smooth ratio you like for your mashed potato consistency.
    10. Eat them right now! They get cold in a hurry.

  9. crunchy tofu tacos

    July 28, 2016 by Angie

    I feel like a fancy chef, y’all! This recipe is easy and so delicious but it looks like something from a cooking show. At least it did in person – I hope the photos do the tacos justice. It’s a flour tortilla topped with a sweetened carrot slaw, pan-fried tofu, toasted cashews, vegan sriracha mayo, and green onions.

    crunchy tofu taco!

    Mmm, sriracha mayo.

    I was looking through the Cooking Light website for new recipes and found this one for supercrunch tacos. I followed it pretty closely except for cheating a bit with the carrot slaw. I used a bag of pre-cut julienned carrots, broccoli stalks, and cabbage instead. I also used flour tortillas and skipped heating them. I will do the two damp paper towels in the microwave trick the next time I make this because warm tortillas would make everything nicer.

    an aerial view

    Two thumbs up from both halves of Robgeleen!

  10. eggplant parmesan

    May 28, 2016 by Angie

    My mother-in-law makes the best eggplant parmesan. The best. I tried to make eggplant parmesan a couple of times using other recipes and I didn’t like what I made. The recipes called for salting then frying the eggplant slices leading directly to disaster. Even Italian restaurants seriously mess up eggplant parmesan so making delicious eggplant parmesan has been a culinary goal of mine for years.

    Blanky's eggplant parmesan

    Blanky’s stellar eggplant parmesan

    My mother-in-law shared her recipe with me along with some tips and the brand of sauce she uses – Ragu Chunky in a giant plastic container. Can you believe that? That sauce is key!

    The recipe is this baked, not fried, version from Martha Stewart. Baking is lower fat, less messy, and a lot easier than frying. I followed the recipe pretty closely because I really wanted it to succeed this time! My small changes included the addition of a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder to the bread crumb and cheese mixture and decreasing the initial baking time as advised by my mother-in-law.

    I don’t buy eggs, but I do keep Eggology egg whites in the house. Robbie looked up the conversion for me. Two tablespoons of egg whites are equivalent to one egg without the yolk. He poured four tablespoons of Eggology into a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of Smart Balance oil to try to make up for the fat missing from the two egg yolks he omitted. From there he added the two tablespoons of water and whisked.

    I ran out of the bread crumbs and cheese mixture halfway through and had to make another one. I will double it from the start in the future.

    I had to bake the casserole longer than the recipe said to achieve the coveted bubbly, golden brown status. I think my oven is wonky so YMMV.

    I’m happy to report that my eggplant parmesan was amazing! It was not exactly like my mother-in-law’s but it was really, really delicious. Way better than what I’ve had at many restaurants and I’ve eaten more than my fair share of restaurant eggplant parmesan.

    eggplant parmesan

    Next time I will do everything the same except I’ll also slice the eggplant more carefully to get consistently thin slices and I’ll be prepared to bake the final casserole longer, maybe even using the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end.

    unphotogenic serving

    Lifetime culinary goal achieved!