Veganism is not a sacrifice, it's a joy! Gary L Francione
We love burgers - so when looking for something for lunch I thought of using leftover lentils and quinoa (with a little spinach) to make veggie burgers; and for dessert, I served strawberries and pineapple with leftover raw strawberry jam (from yesterday's breakfast) topped off with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts. How simple, how healthy, how delicious!
“Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.” – Nikoli Berdyaev
I prepared many different types of bread for the friars and family but one of their favorites was my sourdough Greek Loaf. I would use a bread machine to prepare and knead the dough then bake the risen loaf in the oven. I loved making their bread because I could ensure its purity by using non-GMO, organic flours and grains, spring water and sea salt.
I recently took a fermentation cooking class so I have a quart jar of sourdough starter in the fridge. My 23-year-old grandson is staying with us so last night I broke out my old bread machine to make dough, then I baked 2 loaves in the oven this morning. (With apologies to the bread machine maker - I love the way the machine kneads the dough but do not like the way it bakes bread - so I always bake my loaves in the oven).
To me there's nothing that compares to whiffs of fresh baking bread mingled with the aroma of coffee brewing in the morning. The bread and coffee called my grandson to the kitchen; with a sleepy trance still in his eyes he asked what smelled so good? It gave me great joy to serve him a fresh slice of toasted organic, non GMO Sourdough Greek Bread smeared with vegan butter, topped with raw strawberry chia jam. He told me how delicious it was and thanked me 3 times. I explained the pleasure and blessing was mine!
Briami is a Greek baked veggie dish that's very simple to make. Just grab some favorite veggies such as eggplant, zucchini onion and tomato, toss with olive oil, throw in some fresh dill, thyme, parsley, oregano (any combination of Mediterranean herbs to your liking) and bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes. Delicious right out of the oven with Lemon Greek Potatoes or tossed with a little pasta.
Lentils are such a wonderful, humble food - they're rich in protein, minerals, fiber and iron. They are economical and very easy to cook - they don't require pre-soaking. I use them in soups, veggie loafs, in veggie burgers etc. - I always seem to have leftover lentils on hand. So when my daughter and granddaughter stopped by this afternoon, we ransacked the fridge for veggies and made a lentil salad that was so, so delicious I didn't even have a chance to serve it - we literally couldn't stop ourselves from scooping samples right out of the bowl. I snapped a quick photo just before we polished it off. Click here for some ancient lentil lore.
My lentil salad is deliciously alive with raw veggies, lime juice and cilantro; it also has dried cranberries that soak up the dressing and veggie juices, a dribble of maple syrup and raw Nama Shoyu (soy sauce). It's brimming with fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, probiotics, probiotics, enzymes and flavor. Click here for my awesomely delicious lentil recipe. Hint: make sure to use the probiotic rich Nama Shoyu, which takes a simple lentil salad to a new level of lentil deliciousness!
Mujaddara with Quinoa & Lentils, Mujaddara Stuffed Peppers, Butter Lemon Quinoa & Quinoa with Spinach
I love lentils. Even before my vegetarian metanoia, I cooked lentils for my family at least once or twice a week. We ate them hot over rice or pasta and leftovers in a cold salad.
Mujaddara is a humble Middle Eastern dish of lentils and rice garnished with caramelized onions. To bump up the protein and nutrition I made mujaddara with quinoa and spinach tossed with melted vegan butter. I also roasted a couple of bell peppers and stuffed them with remaining mujaddara - a beautiful meal for family, friends - meatless Mondays and for Lent. I'll post recipe soon...
Some historians and archeologists believe Saint Joseph was a member of the Essenes. Essenes were a religious sect of Jewish vegetarians. And so I named my sandwich Sloppy Saint Joes so I could share this beautiful bit of ancient veggie tradition.
Tempeh is a vegan food made from fermented soybeans rich in protein and nutrients. But I have to be honest...for me it was not love at first bite. I found tempeh had an I don't think I like this taste and off-putting, pasty texture. But Rouxbe Cooking School changed all that - it opened up a whole new world of plant food wonder of..I can't believe just how delicious tempeh can be! It's all about love and building flavor. Click for recipe.
My plant based Sloppy Saint Joes are delicious served straight from the skillet but even better the next day so you can make the filling ahead. They are perfect for introducing family and friends to a healthy plant based meal.
For Rouxbe's Plant Based Cooking Class I had to create a recipe using tempeh. I couldn't wait to try it out on a family favorite, kefedes - a minty, herby meatball, which we ate for holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals and even cold for breakfast. I'm honored and thrilled that my Kind Keftedes made with tempeh received a grade of 100%.
I grew up in a traditional Greek-American home. But through prayer/meditation, life's experiences and education - came to question basic assumptions concerning foods I used to eat.
My awakening conscience motivated me to use my passion for cooking to do whatever little I can - to encourage ethical, healthy eating while advocating for animals.
And so - with help from grace, lessons of love I learned from daily life with friars and inspiration from Saint Francis - I use my cooking as an Instrument of Peace - by sharing plant based recipes, which reverence all of God's creatures (Isaiah 11:6-9), while offering nutritious, delicious tastes of love, peace and joy!