Month: May 2012

Trinidadian, Veggie Style!

In 2012, we wanted to focus on the foods of the world. Two of our Veggie Dinner regulars, the Heningburg sisters, are Trinidadian. For our first Veggie Dinner of the year, they treated us to the tastes of their homeland, and what a treat it was.


  • Corn Chowder
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Plantains
  • Pelau
  • Callaloo
  • Trini-tea
Callaloo 6 to 8 servings
     ½ lb spinach
     ½ lb swiss chard
     6 cups vegetable stock
     1 onion, finely chopped
     1 clove garlic, chopped
     3 scallions, chopped
     2 tbsp fresh chives
     ¼ tsp fresh thyme
     ½ cup coconut milk
     1 (10 ounce) frozen okra
     2 tbsp Matouk’s (hot sauce/ salsa picante) pepper sauce
     salt & pepper to taste
Place the greens in a soup pot with stock, onion, garlic, scallions, chives, and thyme.  Cover and simmer over medium heat for about 20 mins. Add coconut milk, okra, and pepper sauce.  Simmer of medium heat for another 10 mins.  Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove from heat and transfer all contents to a blender.  Blend on low for about 20-30 secs. Serve.
Corn Chowder 6 to 8 servings
     8 fresh ears of corn
     1 small onion
     5 chives, minced
     2 garlic cloves, minced
     1 stalk of celery, minced
     2 small green bell peppers, chopped
     1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
     2 cups lentils
     6 cups vegetable stock
     3 roma tomatoes
     2 tbsp Matouk’s (hot sauce/ salsa picante) pepper sauce
     salt & pepper to taste
Remove the kernels from two of the ears of corn and place in a blender with ¼ cup of water.  Puree until most of the corn is processed into a creamy paste.  Set aside. Place the onion, garlic, celery, chives, cilantro, and bell pepper.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent. Rinse the lentils and add to the pot with the stock and tomatoes.  Cut the remaining ears of corn into 1-inch pieces and add to the pot.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add corn puree and pepper sauce.  Simmer for 30 minutes more or until corn kernels are soft and the lentils have disintegrated.
     4 large really ripe plantains
     1 tbsp brown sugar
     canola oil
     ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Peel the plantains and cut crosswise into 1-inch sections.  slice each section lengthwise into 3 pieces. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan until hot.  Add the plantains and brown sugar and fry until plantains are golden brown on one side, about 1 to 2 minutes.  (Do not overcrowd the pan or allow the plantains to scorch).  Remove from the pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.  Dust the plantains with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot.
Cucumber Salad
     1 lb cucumbers, sliced
     1 onion
     1 cup vinegar
     ¼ cup water
     ¼ tsp dill
In a saucepan, vinegar, water, dill and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
     1 (12 ounce) can black-eyed peas or 1 cups dry
     2 cups long-grain rice, slightly undercooked
     3 tbsp canola oil
     1 small onion, chopped
     1 clove garlic, minced
     1 cup coconut milk
     2 cups water
     1 bay leaf
     2 tsps curry powder
     ½ cup chopped parsley
     ¼ tsp fresh thyme
     2 carrots, peeled and chopped
     5 scallions, chopped
     2 tbsp Matouk’s (hot sauce/ salsa picante) pepper sauce
     ½ cup ketchup
If using dried peas, soak them overnight in 3 cups of water.  Drain.  Bring 3 fresh cups of water to a boil in a saucepan and add peas.  Simmer for 15 mins, or until cooked almost completely through.  Drain and set aside.  If using canned beans, drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and set aside. 
Place the onion and garlic.  Cook for 1 to 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions become translucent.  Stir in water, the coconut milk, bay leaf, curry power, parsley, thyme, carrots, and scallions.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
Stir the rice, peas, pepper sauce, ketchup.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until the peas and vegetables are tender (add ½ cup more water if needed).  Remove the lid and fluff the rice. The rice should be moist but not sticky.
We hope you enjoyed this food trip to Trinidad & Tobago! Please join us for our next journey, where myself and Jennifer will be preparing food from Greece!

December Potluck

Given how hectic the month of December is, we opted to spread the hosting wealth and do a potluck dinner.


  • Asparagus w/cream sauce
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Sweet potato casserole 
  • Salad
  • Pumpkin pie
Asparagus w/cream sauce
  • 1 bunch green asparagus
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Nathan’s deli mustard
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 carton of silky tofu
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • curry powder
  • cumin
  • garlic powder
  • olive oil
Blanch the asparagus (steam quickly) for about 2 minutes. Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and drizzle in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for ~5 minutes on 350. You will need a food processor or a blender. Combine the ingredients (season to taste) for cream sauce in the food processor and blend until completely liquified. In a sauce pan, heat the mixture until warm and and serve with the asparagus.
Garlic mashed potatoes
  • 5-6 potatoes (of your choice) 
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic (or more if you like garlic!)

Roast garlic in the oven for 15 minutes or until soft. Wash and dice potatoes into small cubes. Boil potatoes in a large pot until potatoes are soft. Drain potatoes (keeping some of the water to use for mashing). In a large mixing bowl, combine garlic, salt pepper, and potatoes. Mash until fluffy. Add Earth Balance buttery spread to taste.

Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 red onion
  • Kalamatta olives
  • chives
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 cob of sweet corn
  • 1-2 cups of sliced crimini mushrooms
  • marinara sauce (I like Whole Food’s 365 organic tomato basil)
  • Fresh basil
  • Italian seasoning
Split the spaghetti squash in half and poke several holes in the meat using a fork. Pour about 1 inch of water into a large, deep pan and place the spaghetti squash meat side down in the water. Bake on 350 for 45 minutes. Chop garlic, onion and red pepper, saute in olive oil and salt to taste. Remove kernels from the cob and saute with mushrooms. Scoop seeds from the spaghetti squash and discard. Scoop all meat from the spaghetti squash into a large pan and combine with sauteed vegetables. Add marinara and chopped heirloom tomatoes. Heat on low, add Italian seasoning, kalamatta olives and salt to taste. Garnish with chives and basil.
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Lemon juice
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • seasoning
  • brown sugar
Wash lettuce and slice off the bottom. In a sauce pan, saute mushrooms and red bell peppers. Combine lemon 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar in a container (with lid) shake well. Place lettuce on plate and add mushroom and bell peppers, drizzle with salad dressing and serve!
Sweet Potato Casserole
We are missing this recipe…Kat and Avory have to provide 🙂
Vegan Pumpkin Pie
We are missing this recipe…Russel will have to provide!
Yet another delicious meal to add to the veggie pantheon of goodness. Let us know if you attempt any of these and until the next time…happy eating!

A Veggie Field Trip: Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Typically we host the veggie dinner in the comfort of someone’s home, but not so for our November 2011 dinner. I just so happened to be listening to NPR (well, not just so, I listen to it ALL the time…) and heard that Vegan cookbook author, compassionate cook and animal advocate, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, would be speaking at Changing Hands Bookstore. Since we often discuss the impact of healthy food choices it seemed like a perfect opportunity to take this show on the road!

Colleen was a humorous and engaging speaker. Her passion for the humane treatment of animals was apparent in her talk, particularly when she characterized the consumption of animal flesh and byproducts as: “Subsisting on their stolen secretions and mutilated bodies.” She went on to discuss the human decision to ingest animals as an unnecessary evil given that unlike cats, humans are not obligate carnivores. I greatly enjoyed her talk and found it both thought-provoking and informative. I wasn’t in full agreement with her advocacy for “faux meat” I prefer to stick to whole foods, however, it was certainly a lively Q&A! I ended up purchasing Colleen’s cookbook, “Vegan’s Daily Companion,” though I’ve yet to cook anything from it 🙂

Following the discussion, we headed next door for a healthy and delicious dinner at the Wildflower Bread Company, a wonderful restaurant for those on the go in need of a quick and healthy food option.