Friday, December 29, 2006

Recipe: Vegetarian Sausages

So how exactly did I get from steamy, great cold-weather soup to veggie sausages? Well, I'm a guy. And guys, by design, have to get out and use the grill even in the dead of winter. Nobody really understands why - we just do.

Anyway, don't let the "sausages" title stop you. They don't taste like meat, and even better, they don't try to! Really, the biggest similarity they share with the real thing is that they're cylindrical and fit nicely in a bun.

Here's the stats:

Calories: 213
Fat: 12g
WeightWatchers Points: 5

So you'll need:

1 small white/yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
3/4 cup finely chopped white mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
1 14 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp sage
1 egg yolk
1 cup grated pepperjack cheese
all-purpose flour

Stir-fry onions, garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms in oil for 4-5 min. Add remainder of ingredients, except flour, and mix well. Use hands (probably your own) to form 8 sausages.
Roll in flour and set in refrigerator to chill for 30 min.

Grill on oiled foil for 15-20 min, serve on whole wheat buns with condiments (and, if you're like me, grilled onions and jalapenos).

Note: I've tried to make this vegan several times and failed miserably. I've substituted the cheese for soy cheese, and that seems to work reasonably well (meaning not much cursing going on in the kitchen), but every time I omitted the egg yolk, the danged things fell apart on the grill. If and when I find a solution, I will post, well, post haste.


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Recipe: Winter Soup

Since we're heading into January, which in Ohio means some pretty bitter weather (yes, I hear you New Englanders, we don't have anything to complain about), I thought maybe a soup recipe would be good. Ok, another soup recipe. It's winter - you can't have too many soups!

So, if you liked my Dal Soup recipe, get your stock pot back out - here's a happily satisfying Winter Soup! This is a vegetarian recipe, but you can omit the cheese to make it vegan.

You'll need:

2 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, chopped (I use 1 yellow and one green)
4 cups vegetable broth (if you buy canned, make sure it says vegetarian vegetable broth on the label. For some reason, regular vegetable broth often has chicken stock. Go figure.)
4 chopped roma tomatoes or 2 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
1 14 oz can chickpeas
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 oz parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp sage

Stir-fry leeks, zucchini, garlic in oil for 2 min. Add these plus remainder of ingredients to stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 15-30 min.

Serve with french bread or pita slices.

Enjoy, and stay warm!

Lee aka The Veggie Guy

Recipe: Mexican Salad

OK, I'm going to post a recipe that isn't going to do much to dispel the notion that we vegetarians are a bunch of salad eaters. :-)

This is a very tasty light and tasty salad that you can put together in just a few minutes (a BIG plus in my family). It's vegan, unless of course, you can't have a salad without cheese (I know a few folks like that), or you use a different dressing. The dressing in this recipe is an oil-and-vinegar based recipe, but I've used a bottled fat-free ranch in this salad to cut time and make the salad low-fat, and it worked just fine.

For the salad:

Leaf lettuce (I use mixed field greens)
2 ripe avocados
2 tsp lemon juice
1 medium red onion
2 cups mixed beans, drained and cooked (I use a can of black beans and a can of great northern beans. I've seen it done with kidney beans too.)

For the dressing:

A few drops of hot chili oil
4 tbsp olive oil (Use extra virgin olive oil if possible. It really will make a difference!)
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp garlic wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro

Remove avocado skins and pits, thinly slice avocado flesh and sprinkle with lemon juice (this prevents discoloration).

Chop the lettuce leaves and place into a large salad bowl. slice tomatoes and onion; push onion slices out into rings. Arrange tomato slices, avocado slices, and onion rings around the salad bowl, leaving room in the center for the beans.

Spoon the bean mixture into the center of the salad bowl.

Mix salad dressing ingredients and pour over salad.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Happy Holidays from The Veggie Guy!

Hello everyone! Like most of you, I have spent the last several weeks in a mad rush to get things done before the holidays. To be honest, I haven't spent much time in the kitchen, let alone writing recipes!

Now that the roar of activity has quieted a bit, and most of the toys are put together (the ones that don't require an engineer to stand over my shoulder, anyway), rest assured that I've found my way back to the kitchen, and I'll be bringing you lots more low fat and vegetarian recipes!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Recipe: Easy Portabella Burgers

You can't get much easier than this, unless you want to chuck one of those frozen veggie burgers in the microwave.

Portabella caps (1 for each burger)
Soy sauce
ground basil, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil, if pan frying

Whole wheat hamburger buns (I like the jumbo buns for these)

Any condiments you desire. I usually use some combination of the following:

Lettuce leaves
Tomato slices
Alfalfa sprouts or broccoli sprouts (I love these, but they do garner strange looks.)
Tabasco sauce (Ok, ok, so I use this on nearly everything.)
Annie's Goddess Dressing (Very tasty and vegan. You can find store locations here.)

Sprinkle soy sauce on portabella caps. Fry 2-3 minute each side in olive oil, or grill 2-3 minutes each side on a grill. dust with ground basil on one side. Assemble bun, portabella, and condiments in standard hambrger fashion and enjoy!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Garam Masala - An explanation

A couple of days ago, I posted an Indian-inspired recipe that contained garam masala. Just in case you're not familiar:

Garam masala is a spice blend commonly used in Indian cooking. There are many variants of garam masala, but I found a fairly standard version on this Indian cuisine page.

In the event that you don't feel like making your own, and there's not a good Indian grocery near you, you can buy garam masala by the bag or jar (you can even buy a 5 lb bag if you're making a heck of a lot of Indian food) at Whole Spice. They ship UPS ground, which isn't exactly cheap, but having a good supply of the stuff is well worth it.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Website Update - It Just Keeps Getting Better

I have to wonder what website hosting companies think users want in a site design application. My guess is that they think customers want the simulated experience of training a retarded monkey. Does the opposite of what you ask; ignores you at will; sporadically flings poo at you.

I'm working with a new hosting company on this website, and while the tools in the site design center are cool, I can't seem to get some of them to play together. Like the message board. I have this website, see, and I have this message board, see, but they don't like each other, and so they sit on opposite sides of the fence, shouting mildly offensive things at one another. Forget meeting for tea.

In happier news, I'm working on a section of recipes for vegetarians trying to figure out how to make an unobtrusive meal for omnivores, and for omnivores trying to figure out how to make a meal for a vegetarian guest. You know, foreign diplomatic relations. Or something like that.

Recipe: Mini Samosa Wraps

While we're on Indian inspired dishes, I thought I'd post a recipe for these wonderful little appetizers. I often use them as a side dish with curries, tikka masala, or tandoori.

Traditional Indian samosas are deep-fried pastries, commonly filled with diced vegetables and spices. To make my version low-fat, I have skipped the deep fried pastries and opted instead for flour tortillas.

1 package taco-sized flour tortillas

3 medium potatoes, boiled
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups peas, canned

1 tsbsp olive oil
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 1/2 tbsp hot curry powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Stir fry onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil for 1 minute. Heat peas in a small saucepan, drain.

Mash the boiled potatoes with a fork in a large bowl.

Mix all ingredients (except the tortillas, of course) in a large bowl.

Warm tortillas in microwave or oven, spoon filling into each tortilla, wrap burrito style.

Serve with mango chutney for dipping. I usually buy this in jars at the local supermarket (the brand is Patak's), but one day I will tackle making my own. When I do, I'll post the recipe.


Recipe - Dal Soup

With the weather getting rather brisk, at least in the northern half of the U.S., I thought I'd share this wonderful soup recipe. This is a variant on dal, a thick, spicy Indian stew made from lentils or other pulses.

2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloved, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala

1 fresh tomato, diced or, 4 oz canned chopped tomatoes
1 cup red lentils
2 tsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups coconut milk

salt and pepper
cilantro, chopped

Add butter, garlic, onion, turmeric, garam masala, cumin, and chili powder to large saucepan, cook for 30 seconds.

Add tomatoes, lentils, lemon juice, vegetable broth, coconut milk. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with chopped cilantro.

Friday, December 1, 2006

The Veggie Guy's Very First Boneheaded Error!

So it just occurred to me, The Veggie Guy, that I linked a website in my first post that isn't even operational yet.

Yes, kind readers, www DOT theveggieguy DOT com is still in development, and as such, has not yet been launched. Soon, very soon, but not yet.

I thought of taking the link down in the first post, but really, even if you skip this post entirely and stroll down a couple of posts and click the link that purports to lead to my official site... I think you'll get the point.

So while I'm getting my ducks in a row, please check back here often. I can promise you two things: One, that I'll post as many delicious low fat and vegetarian recipes as I can here; and two, that you will have myriad opportunities to laugh at me while I try to figure this whole website thing out. After all, I've been a vegetarian chef for about twelve years, but I've only been a webmaster for a couple of hours.

Also, feel free to use the comments to ask any questions you may have, and I'll post the answer here (or send you a personal email, if you'd rather I didn't share with the class). Questions like, "What the heck do I do with seitan?" or "Should I be taking vitamin supplements if I stop eating meat?" or "Are you seriously always this scatterbrained?" are all perfectly fine.

Recipe: Herbed Pasta Primavera

6 oz fresh asparagus
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, julienned or thinly sliced
6 oz fresh snow peas
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped or thinly sliced
6 oz white button mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp fresh or 1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp fresh 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp fresh or 1/2 tbsp dried sage
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tbsp ground cayenne pepper, or 1/4 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup water

6 oz pasta (traditionally, spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine, although any pasta will work)

1/3 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese


Tip from The Veggie Guy: I tend to like veggies a bit more tender when serving them over pasta, so I generally steam the asparagus, snow peas, carrots, and mushrooms in a vegetable steamer/rice cooker for 10 minutes while cooking the pasta. But if you like your veggies crisp, I'd advise against doing that.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Mix water and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.

Pour olive oil into wok or large skillet. Stir-fry garlic and onion for 15 seconds. Add asparagus, carrots, snow peas, red bell pepper and mushrooms. Add parsley, basil, oregano, sage, and whichever pepper you chose. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.

Stir and add water/cornstarch mixture to vegetables. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Serve over hot pasta, with parmesan sprinkled on top.

Vegan version: Substitute soy parmesan cheese, and check the pasta package for egg/milk ingredients. Most supermarket dried pastas are fine, but you never know, so always check. If you're really motivated, you can make your own pasta from scratch. I may try that myself right after I retire.


The Veggie Guy's Very First Post!

Hello and welcome to The Veggie Guy, a brand new but rapidly-expanding resource for all things vegetarian and vegan.

Over the coming days, you will see:

Vegetarian and vegan recipes, organized by cuisine. I am also considering adding Weight Watchers points for the recipes, to help those adopting a meat-free diet for weight loss or weight maintenance purposes.

Links to resources for ingredients, products, clothing, and anything else that might be useful for vegetarians and vegans.

Discussions on relevant topics, such as GMOs, legal issues, ethical concerns, health topics, etc.

Feel free to email me at with any suggestions you may have while I'm building this blog and its companion website,

I will be hard at work making both the blog and the website valuable resources for each of you. Until then, may health and happiness be with you.
This blog optimized using Wordtracker.