November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday: Really Good Wooden Spoons

Calling all online shoppers! I just placed my order for a personalized hand carved wooden spoon from the WRONG store in Marfa. These are amazing! I've been an admirer of Camp Bosworth's hilarious, brilliant, accessible work since my sunny days in Marfa and am looking forward to having a piece of my very own! A portion of the proceeds go to Buck and Camp's wood-carving friend, Carlos, to support his craft and work in Mexico. All spoons are hand carved in walnut and come donned with any wild inscription or figure your recipe-filled brain can think up. Price starts at $40. 

To order, email Buck at The deadline for orders is next Monday, December 3.


November 19, 2012

The Veganette's Guide to Preparing a Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving can be a difficult time for vegans. The brimmed table is not always the most welcoming place for those with dietary restrictions and sometimes you even end up sitting next to a ham all night. Quelle horreur! Before you launch into a lengthy defense of veganism with all your aunts and uncles, consider showing up with a few of these dishes to share. In your effort to fill your plate with more than buns, you may even convince a naysayer that vegetables can be interesting and that pie crust can be flaky and delicious without using a pound of butter. From the archives of the veganette!

Soup and Salad

If you are doing a really fancy thanksgiving with courses, soup and salad are in order. This butternut squash soup is festive and delicious (add a cup of coconut milk to make it creamier)- butternut squash recipe. I love serving up this light fennel salad. It's the perfect compliment to a heavy gravy and mashed potato plate and the bright pomegranate seeds are so special. fennel salad recipe.

Main Stage

I like to include the classics like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and stuffing- many of which have been converted into vegan-friendly recipes by our friends at PPK. Some links are attached here; "sausage" stuffinggreen bean casserolemushroom gravy, and chickpea cutlets

Roasted veggies are always a big hit. Consider roasting root vegetables like rutabaga, beets, carrots, and turnips. This is a favorite recipe of mine that pops out of the oven all year round- roasted brussels sprouts with apples.

Get creative with family favorites. We whipped up this sweet potato casserole with toasted coconut and vegan marshmallows- a converted recipe from GK's family. There might be a whole tub of earth balance in there but everyone loved it!

Desserts- Finishing Well

Take a moment to really shine. Omnivores will be floored by the deliciousness of vegan treats like PPK's pumpkin pie brownie or a warm dutch apple pie. 

Here's a link to a pie post from 2010- pie time. I use this oil pie crust recipe for everything from quiches to pies to tarts and it is always a big hit. It's no-roll, no-chill magic that will make your baking easy as pie. 


If you are working on veganizing a family favorite and are having some difficulty, feel free to send me an email at nrgtheveganette(at) I may be able to point you in the right direction or help as you finagle your way through your grandmother's cryptic handwriting. 

Yours till the last slice of pie is gone!

November 18, 2012

The Veganette for Earth Eats: Lentil Tarragon Soup

    You'll have to forgive me for posting two soups in a row, but I've been obsessed with the ease (and low cost) of filling my big silver pot with all things imaginable. Soups are the perfect platform for culinary experiments. Try something new with your old soup recipes and if it doesn't work out you can always reverse it by adding more water, acid (lemon juice, vinegar, wine), sugar, or spices. I worked at a very delicious and well loved restaurant where we intentionally burned the onions in the lentil soup ever so slightly because one accidental burn yielded surprising results! So roll up your sleeves, raid the pantry, and join me in welcoming the most forgiving culinary season of the year, soup season! 

Find the recipe on the Earth Eats site-


November 13, 2012

Three Bean Chili with Gluten Free Cornbread

This is no award-winning chili but it is my go-to base that usually becomes a wild kitchen-sink concoction perfect for freezing or packing into tote bags (adult lunchboxes).  I am working on perfecting my gluten-free cornbread, and what a hard task it is! The first was too gummy, another to dry. This is the best so far, but the recipe isn't quite good enough to be shared with you all yet. I stick to my motto of making all experiments look pretty even if they dissapoint- and this cornbread was lovely to look at if nothing else, speckled with juicy corn chunks and garnished with thin strips of poblano pepper.

3 Tbs. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 jalapeno or 1 habanero pepper, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
2 large cans crushed or stewed tomatoes with juice
1 cup vegetable broth
3 Tbs. chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tsp. cumin
1/2- 1 tsp. cocoa powder
fresh ground pepper

In a large soup pot, saute onion in olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and peppers and saute for five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add water as necessary and add salt and pepper to taste.

To leftovers!

November 7, 2012

Tea Time

During the days that followed the hurricane, we stayed in. I made a few bike ventures out into the wind and rain to check in with friends, survey flood lines, and to run errands. This was an unusually bright and quiet morning in Bed Stuy spent drinking tea. GK and TB are the purveyors of good tea for the masses- carefully unwrapping flat cakes, steeping rolled leaves, dumping through bamboo slots, and pouring. In this hot water anointing we sit around the table sensing subtle fragrances and changes in the floppy, well-traveled leaves. Can you think of a better way to spend your morning?

I don't know much about tea, but I know that after an hour of this sitting, sipping, chatting I always feel much more optimistic about the state of things, even in times such as these. A million homes in New York and New Jersey are still without power and heat and 40,000 people have been made homeless by the hurricane's ravage. Please consider donating or volunteering to relief efforts. My heart is very heavy thinking of those who are without shelter- especially today as the first blanket of snow creeps steadily over the city.

Stay warm,

Hurricane Sandy pics up on the tumblr-

November 1, 2012

Swiss Chard Trenette in Brown Butter Sauce with Roasted Winter Squash

Last Sunday was spent preparing for Hurricane Sandy's big blows. We filled jars with water, bought candles, stood on line, and stocked our pantry. In the hours of hunkering down I set about in the kitchen- marinating, stewing, roasting, and baking. This is one of the recipes that came about that day. Extra-long trenette tossed in a brown "butter" (earth balance) garlic sauce with swiss chard and roasted winter squash. Thankfully, our apartment was spared of the hurricane's rage. Please keep NY in your thoughts as the storm took a serious toll on the city and many friends are out of power or dealing with flooding and damage. I love this city and the very human generosity that I have seen happen between strangers in the last few days is inspiring.

1 bunch swiss chard (washed, stemmed and chopped)
4 cloves garlic (pressed and minced)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/3 cup earth balance
2 Tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1 winter squash (halved)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Prepare the squash for roasting. Scoop out seeds, rub with olive oil, and place squash halves face down on a baking sheet. Cook until tender when poked with a fork.

Prepare noodles in salted water till al dente. In a large saucepan heat the earth balance and olive oil. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly, being careful not to burn. Let the butter simmer for a few minutes and add the crushed red pepper and garlic. Saute for five minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the chard and salt and stir until limp. Add salt and pepper to taste.  When the squash is finished roasting, scoop out the inside and slice into long strips. Toss with chard and noodles and serve immediately!