Spinach And Alfredo Pasta

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I had this dish in a cooking class last year, but forgot to take a picture and only made it again recently. Our farmers market is open again and I am loving all the fresh produce.

This dish is modeled after something I used to make before being vegan. The dish is more healthy now and, IMHO, more delicious. What you will need:

One batch of my Alfredo sauce with a bunch of fresh basil added to the blend, about 1/4 of a cup

1 Package spinach pasta (4 cups cooked)

2 good sized tomatoes, heritage if you can find them, diced

1 can white beans (Great Northern or White Kidney), rinsed

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a large bowl, combine pasta, beans, Alfredo and tomatoes. Gently mix. Serve hot.

Can sprinkle with Parma if desired.

Wonderful fresh or as leftovers. Yummers!


Super Simple Chocolate Cupcakes

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I ❤ cupcakes, especially chocolate ones. They are always a hit and these are these easiest ones to make EVER! What you will need:

1 and 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

1 and 1/2 cups unbleached flour

2 cups sugar

6 TBS cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

3/4 cup canola oil

2 TBS distilled white vinegar

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp almond extract

2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350. Pour all the dry ingredients through a small hole strainer, to remove any clumps and add air, into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir until smooth. Scoop into cupcake holders and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes. Let cool completely before icing. I normally wait overnight. This cake is very moist.


For the frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar, strained to remove clumps

1/2 cup margarine

1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 TBS almond milk

Cream everything together with a mixer. If margarine is cold, mix that alone first and then add everything else. Can add food coloring if desired.


Lentils and Greens Stew

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I thrive on soups and stews in the winter. This one is easy, hearty, and allows me to use whatever greens I can get my hands on. What you will need:

1 cup any color lentils, sorted and rinsed

1/2 cup bulgur

1 medium onion, diced

4 and 1/2 cups water

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 cups fresh greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)

1 tsp avocado oil

Juice from a fresh lemon (optional)

Bring water and lentils to boil in medium pot. Turn heat down to simmer, cover, and cook about 20 minutes, stirring every so often. Add bulgur, salt, and pepper and continue to cook, with occasional stir, until lentils are soft, about 15 minutes. Water can be added if needed. Remove pot from heat and, if using spinach, add spinach to wilt in the pot. Sauté the onion and other greens, if using, with avocado oil in a separate pan and then add to the stew. Stir everything and serve hot. For an extra kick, squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Yummers!

Party Queso

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A few years before I became vegan I was introduced to a dish that made me want to eat the entire bowl, knowing a tummy ache was quick to follow. A local restaurant, named after the street it sat on, made an appetizer, also named after the street, of avocados and cheese. Despite the lack of originality in naming things, the appetizer was very good and my vegan version is always a winner. What you will need:

2 ripe avocados, mashed

Juice from half a lemon

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 cups water

1/4 cup margarine

1 tsp mustard, the kind you put on a sandwich

Tortilla chips

Mix avocados with lemon in a medium clear bowl and set in fridge. Mix nutritional yeast flakes, flour, salt, and garlic powder in a medium pot. Using a fork or whisk, mix in the water over medium high heat and beat to remove all clumps. Keep stirring until thick and bubbly. Count slowly to 30, or set a timer for another 30 seconds, before removing from the stove and stirring in the margarine and mustard. Pour as much of the queso over the avocado as you like. If you have left over queso, it can be eaten alone with chips or used as a topping on other dishes. Serve with tortilla chips and make sure to get a bite before it’s gone.

If desiring a spicier option, add a spicy salsa or picante to the avocado before pouring the queso over it.


February Cooking Class

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I was super excited to host another cooking class last month. We made a fun appetizer, soup, quiche, and cupcakes. Only three class members were already vegan and the other two were curious to learn some new recipes. Each person left with copies of the recipes, got to help cook, shared their cooking tips, pigged out, and asked lots of questions. Google was really helpful when we didn’t have answers on the tops of our heads.

We had a great night and finished with very full tummies.

I have already posted the quiche recipe and the others will come soon. Thanks for reading!

January Cooking Class

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I love teaching and I love cooking. Making the plan for time with wonderful people and sharing several hours with the truly curious is so very rewarding. So, I offered a cooking class as a fund-raiser for the First Unitarian Church of Omaha and helped raise a good amount; also rewarding.

Last Saturday we had our healthy eating cooking class. All of the “mmm” and “yum” that I heard, as well as the second helpings, tell me it was delicious. Knowing my students were interested in learning more about a healthy vegan diet and struggled with giving up cow-milk based dairy products, I planned for us to learn to make cream of broccoli soup, baked asparagus, and spinach and tomato alfredo. We also discussed how to make a pumpkin cheesecake and whole wheat soda bread. These last two I made earlier in the day and brought with me to round out our shared meal. In addition to the actual cooking, we discussed how to pick the best ingredients and all the “whys” to each tool and step used in the process. We had lots of fun and closed the evening with big smiles and full tummies.

Please continue to watch the blog for all the recipes to be shared.

If interested in being part of a cooking class and live in or near Omaha, please reach out to me at aneverydayvegan@gmail.com