You are Such a Dip!

It’s make your own wrap night at TheVeganAsana house.  This means preparation of several forms of dip (or fillings) and then letting everyone go to town.  So, today I made baba ganoush, pico de gallo, and prairie fire bean dip.  I vary all of these depending on my mood, so what follows is how I did them today!  As you can see, I had a taste for cumin.

Baba Ganoush

1 large or 2 small eggplant
3 cloves garlic
2-3 T sesame tahini
1 lemon juiced
1 t cumin
sea salt/pepper

Cut off top of eggplant and slice vertically in half.  Place on baking sheet with flat sides down and pierce each half 3-4 times with a sharp knife.  Place 1/2 bulb of garlic (or whole if you really love garlic) on the sheet.  Put sheet in oven at 400*.  Allow to cook 45 minutes to 1 hour (until the eggplant begins to collapse).  Remove and allow to cool.  Using a spoon, scoop insides out into your food processor or blender.  It should be pretty easy to remove everything but the skins.  Add the garlic from the roasted bulb and the reminder of the ingredients.  Pulse until everything is chopped and mixed.  You can continue to mix if you like a smoother baba ganoush.  Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Grape Tomato Pico de Gallo

1.5 pints grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup pickled jalapenos, diced
1 t cumin
1 small bunch cilantro, minced
2 limes juiced
1/3 t sea salt

Mix and cool before serving.

Prairie Fire Bean Dip

4 cups kidney beans (make your own or canned)
1 onion diced
1/3 cup pickled jalapeno slices
1 bunch cilantro
1 T cumin
1/2 t sea salt
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup soy cheese

Combine all ingredients except soy cheese.  Pour in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into oven safe dish, add cheese and mix.  Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or until heated through.  Image to the right is before cheese and cilantro.

Serve it all with wraps and plenty of other goodies to stuff inside!

Vegan Cooking for a Crowd

One of my adult children has been very involved in the Occupy movement, particularly in helping with food preparation and serving at one of the sites.  This has me thinking about vegan recipes that can be easily made large for many people.  There are basics, like spaghetti, that take some time to do in batches, but are pretty easy.  Other things are harder to adapt, but if you work on it in sets, not so bad.  Here I present a few of my recipes or recipes that I have used adjusted for large numbers of people.


Vegetable Soup for a Crowd

3 gallons vegetable broth
1 pound pinto beans (soaked overnight)
1 pound barley
1 pound diced onion
2 pounds diced carrot
1 pound diced celery
1 pound diced potato
1 pounds snapped green beans
1 pound broccoli chopped
2 cups tomato paste
1 T basil
1 T pepper
1 T salt

After soaking beans, drain and then add vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Serves about 50 full ladles.

Baked Faked Mac n Cheese for A Crowd

5 lbs macaroni elbows
1 ¼ cups olive oil
1 ¼ cups flour
3 quarts non-dairy milk
5 tablespoons sesame tahini
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 T brown mustard
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 T salt
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 T paprika

5 cups bread crumbs
2 T. basil

Cook pasta to al dente, rinse in cold water, drain.
Heat oil to medium and wisk in flour.  Stir until it creates a paste and then continue until it is a medium brown.  Slowly add the non-dairy milk, whisking to make it smooth.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Add remaining ingredients (except crumbs and basil) and mix well.  Combine sauce gently with pasta, and pour into baking dishes.  Top with basil and bread crumbs. Bake at 350* until heated through (about 45 minutes).  Serves about 50 as a side dish.

Overnight Baked Oatmeal for a Crowd
(adapted from Ellen’s Kitchen –

2 c. vegetable oil
3 c. applesauce
6 c. sugar
4 packages silken tofu, blended
25 c. regular oatmeal
2 c. nutritional yeast flakes
4 T. cinnamon
1/3 cup baking powder
8 tsp. salt
9 cups soy milk

Wisk together tofu, sugar, oil, and applesauce.  Add remaining ingredients.  Pour into baking pans (2 steam table sized).  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  Serves 50.

Hummus for a Crowd

5 lbs dried garbanzo beans
6 c olive oil
5 c lemon juice
20 cloves garlic minced
5 T sesame tahini
3 T cumin
¼ c salt
3 t. red pepper

Soak and cook beans per directions.  Using food processor, blend beans.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Serve with pitas or veggies.  Serves 50.


Vegan Ratatouille for a Crowd
(adapted from Ellen’s Kitchen –

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tablespoon thyme
3 T basil
2 pounds bell pepper, julienned
5 pounds sliced onions
10 cloves garlic, minced
10 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
8 pounds eggplants, peeled and diced
6 pounds zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 T salt
1 T pepper

Put oils in a deep skillet. Saute garlic and onions until tender.  Add basil, mix, and remove from heat.
In baking pans, layer ½ of each – tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions and garlic.  Repeat.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350* for 90 minutes.  Remove covers and cook about 20 minutes longer or until liquid is reduced.  Serves 50.

Vegan Baked Beans for a Crowd

7 pounds dry navy beans
4 onions, diced
1 cup molasses
2 cups ketchup
1 cup brown sugar
2 T brown mustard
1 T paprika
1 T turmeric
1 T garlic powder
2 T salt
1 ½ cups olive oil

Soak navy beans overnight, drain and rinse. Cover with water, bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and mix with remaining ingredients. Pour into baking pans. Add water as needed to make sauce cover top of beans.  Cover and bake at 350* for 2 ½ to 3 hours.   Serves 50.

Mexican Rice and Beans for a Crowd

6 lbs medium grain rice
4 lbs dry black beans
6 stalks celery chopped
3 lbs chopped fresh onions
3 gallons tomato sauce (or 1 gallon tomato paste and 2 gallons water)
1 cup chili powder
1/3 cup cumin
5 T dried (or 2 cups fresh chopped) cilantro
3 T red pepper
3 T salt

Soak and cook beans according to package directions until al dente.  Mix all ingredients (including cooked beans). Cook 45-60 minutes at 350* (or until rice is tender).  Serves 50.

Cumin Rice with Eggplant and Edamame for a Crowd
(adapted from Fat Free Vegan –

8 cups brown rice
1 cup olive oil
5 medium eggplants, cubed
5 onions, diced
5 green, yellow, or red bell peppers, diced
5 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
5 T cumin
3 t turmeric
2 t ginger
2 t cinnamon
1 T pepper
1 t red pepper
1 cup chopped parsley (optional)
7 cups fresh or frozen edamame (beans only)
1 gallon water

Put  rice in a bowl and cover it with water. Set it aside to soak while you prepare the remainder.
Place oil in skillet.  Add eggplant and onion.   Cook, over medium-high heat, stirring often. When the eggplant is getting soft remove from heat and mix with remaining vegetables and seasonings (all except rice and water).  Combine well.  Drain soak water from the rice and mix in the gallon of water.  Place in baking pans, cover with parchment paper and then tightly with foil.   Bake at 375* until the rice is tender, about 70-90 minutes. Serves 50.

Juice Fast – 1 Week In

I’m a week into my juice fast and there are a few things I’ve learned from this newest experience.

First, as I said in a past post,  while I love love love fruits and veggies, I’m more particular when they are in juice form. Just because I like a combination (like the image of veggies to the right) in a salad bowl, does not mean that I love them room temperature in a cup. The day that I made that juice, with kale, romaine, celery, carrot, tomato, cucumber, peppers, and radishes, I really thought I would love it. I stuck a straw in that sucker and started drinking. It made me literally gag – literally. I choked down a quart and a third (I am shooting for 2 quarts a day). There was no way I could get the rest down and it had to be dumped. Blech. I have since learned that I do better if I warm pure veggie juices and add some seasonings (a little miso, curry powder, hot sauce). This turns them into “broth” in my head and makes them palatable for me.

Second, your other senses have a lot to do with food enjoyment. What something smells or looks like is going to impact your ability to consume it. When I first started my most recent round of juicing, I was having a heck of a time with green drinks after the last incident. I really could not drink something if I saw it was green. After a few weeks of renewed juicing, this is much improved. If I make a juice and it’s a light green, I am pretty excited about it and I anticipate yumminess. If it’s a dark fern or olive green, I still get a little icked out. So, I try to be mindful of not only what the juice will taste like, but what it will look and smell like. If it seems like it’s going to be mostly savory and a dark green or brown color, I consider the warming plan.

Third, fruits can rescue a lot of juices. I would say that it’s probably not a good idea to go with only fruits, as that would be a whole lot of sugar and also quite acidic on the teeth. But, I don’t beat (or beet – HA) myself up about putting a couple of apples or a pear into most of the juices that I plan to drink with a straw. It helps me to drink them, and that’s the goal. Plus, fruits are also good for you!

Fourth, I know this, but juice fasting reminds me, much of diet is about habit and not hunger. I would say that I’m not really physically hungry on this fast. I’m drinking at least 3 quarts of juice a day. But, sometimes I find myself saying “I’m hungry!” which really seems to mean “I want to chew something!” I’ve been letting myself have a piece of gum now and then just to chew a little. While this might not be ideal from a dietary perspective, again, I would say that if something little like this helps you to complete the fast, and that is what you want to do, then go for it.

Finally, juice fasting might or might not be a time to work on other issues. In the past, when I have juice fasted, I’ve also given up all caffeine. This time, I made a decision to reduce, but not to completely cut it. So, I’m still having a cup of coffee (sometimes 2) in a day. I know that serious juice fasters would say this is a very bad idea, and I’m not thinking it is a good one. But, I also know that I’m not going to maintain a caffeine-free diet after the fast, and it helps me psychologically make it through my morning, so there you go. While giving up caffeine has not been for me during this fast, I have done more meditating throughout the day, even when it’s been a more busy week than usual.

A few of my favorite combos right now are:

* cucumber, apple, spinach
* cucumber, spinach, pear, white grape
* pineapple, spinach, cucumber
* carrot, ginger, lemon, miso
* spinach, carrot, celery, tomato, curry, hot sauce

For more general information about juice fasting, check out the full deal post at Elephant Journal.

If you juice, tell me a little about your strategies!