* 3 Cups rhubarb stalks cut into 1/2 inch pieces (trim outside stringy layer of large rhubarb stalks; make sure to trim away and discard of any leaves which are poisonous!)
* 1 1/2 Cups strawberries, stemmed and sliced
* 1 Cup sugar
* 2 TB of quick cooking tapioca
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 tsp grated orange peel
* 1 TB fresh lemon juice
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* Betty Crocker pie crust mix (makes two crusts, one for bottom, one for top)
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix rhubarb and strawberries with the sugar, tapioca, salt, orange rind, lemon juice and cinnamon. Let site for 10 minutes.
2. Fill pastry lined pie dish. Top with 2nd pastry, trim the edge and crimp top and bottom edges. Cut slits in the top for the steam to escape.
3. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 350F and bake an additional 30-40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or cold, but it takes at least 30 minutes after taking out of oven for the juices to thicken.
Here is a list of all the songs mentioned in the novel Town Red:
Painting the Town Red – Billie Holiday
Bad Boys – Theme from COPS
Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake
Spice Up Your Life – The Spice Girls
Rêverie – Claude Debussy
Vegan Stuffed Peppers
• 4 medium organic tomatoes, chopped
• 1 Cup chopped mushrooms (or your veggie of choice. Corn and onions would be a great addition, too!)
• 2 TB chopped fresh parsley
• 2 TB Italian Herbs or Oregano
• 3/4 Cup black olives
• 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 2 Cups veggie broth
• 1 cup prepared quinoa
• 4 large bell peppers
• Slivered almonds
1. Prepare quinoa by cooking it in boiling water for 25 minutes or until all water has been absorbed.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium high heat for 1 minute. Add mushrooms (or veggies of choice), cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook another few minutes.
3. Stir the quinoa, parsley, and olives into tomato mixture to combine.
4. Cut the top off the peppers, remove seeds and ribs. Rinse. Place in large baking dish.
5. Spoon quinoa mixture into the peppers. Pour veggie broth over peppers, filling the baking dish up about an inch or two.
6. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with almonds and bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
The second in my Ryan Doherty series, Way to Go, will be published in December 2013. STAY TUNED for more the further adventures of Doherty, Di Santo and Catharine Lulling!
So, now it is the start of the year and I’ve gone off animal products for six months. I did it for my cholesterol numbers, which were in the danger zone. After 10 weeks of no animal products, my TCL dropped by 96 points. I was so amazed. And yes, I shed the weight and feel like I’m finally in that “normal” zone. Although I would like to lose the last twenty.
I’m not going to say that I’m completely vegan. Every now and then I will have fish–maybe once or twice a month. If I go to the coffee shop (again, about once a month), I may have a milk latte, but I’m trying to stick to soy lattes. They’re not so bad.
The hardest part of being vegan is that you really have to cook for yourself. I’ve never been a cook. I like things fast. My philosophy: I don’t have time for that ***! But I found that when I opened myself up to preparing my own meals, it’s basically like going to a restaurant where you can order ANYTHING YOU WANT instead of sticking to a menu. With the internet, I can think of any dish and find a recipe for it. Tonight I want a rice dish, or maybe beets. Or both. I’ve learned to keep my fridge stocked with staples and shop each day for that night’s dinner. It’s actually been fun.
Another hard thing is snacking. I’m a snacker. Especially at night while watching TV. Most “fast” foods are crap: chips, popcorn, etc. I used carrots for a long while, and still use them along with celery and other raw veggies. I started a PINTEREST BOARD for Vegan Fast Food ideas, so I wouldn’t grab those tortilla chips off the supermarket shelf! Take a look and add some if you want!
I do think the secret is to give yourself some slack. As long as you’re eating right 98% of the time, sure, have that one slice of pumpkin loaf at Starbucks. But NOT every day!
Sticking with my fall pumpkin theme, I modified a recipe for Pumpkin Quinoa Chili to make it vegan and it was FANTASTIC! It came out a little spicy for my taste, so if you like it mild, half the amount of the chili powder and cayenne pepper.
1 1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Cups diced onion
1 quart veggie broth
5 medium organic tomatoes on the vine (or 4 large)
2 – 15 oz. cans organic black beans, drained & rinsed
1 – 15 oz. can organic pumpkin
2 TB brown sugar
1 TB thyme
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt (plus a pinch)
1 tsp paprika
3/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 Cup uncooked quinoa
1. Chop onions and dice tomatoes – keep all the juices of the tomatoes.
2. Heat the holive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onions and season with a dash of kosher salt. Saute for 5-7 minutes until tender.
3. Add everything else EXCEPT the quinoa. Heat to boiling then reduce to medium and cook for 15 minutes.
4. Add the quinoa and cook for 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
5. Take bay leaf out and serve*.
* I found that my first serving was a little soupy but by the time I went back for the second serving, it had thickened with the quinoa. So I recommend waiting 15-20 minutes after it stops cooking to serve.
Fan: Do you know what happens in the next book?
Me: I know what happens in the next FIVE books!
Fan: Tell me!
(it’s good to be the writer)
My famous pumpkin soup recipe, modified to be vegan:
One large (30 oz) can or two small cans (15 oz) of organic pumpkin
1/2 Cup (one stick) non-dairy margarine
1 white onion, chopped
5 1/2 Cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 tsp organic sugar
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3 Cups almond milk
2 pinches parsley
3 tsp salt
3 dashes black pepper
pinch of rosemary
Melt margarine in soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft and golden brown. Stir in pumpkin, veggie stock, sugar, curry, nutmeg and parley. Place bay leaves on top and bring to simmer. Reduce heat and continue simmering, uncovered, about 15 minutes – stirring occasionally.
Remove bay leaves and transfer soup, in batches to blender or food processor and puree. NOTE: Because you are blending a HOT liquid, it will want to explode all over your kitchen (I know from experience). As you blend, keep one hand on the top and HOLD TIGHT!
Return blended soup to pot and add almond milk, salt, pepper and rosemary. Simmer 10-15 minutes but do not allow to boil. Salt to taste, if you feel it needs more. Serve with crusty bread!
Makes 8-10 servings.