We have a large crop of yellow squash this year, so I came up with this casserole recipe. I had stone ground wheat crackers on hand, so I mixed them with gruyere for a crisp topping. And of course I added fresh herbs from my flowerbed herb garden. One word for it: yum!
3 lb (about 8 cups) yellow squash1 large onion2 cloves garlic1 Tbsp canola or extra light olive oil2 Tbsp fresh basil2 Tbsp fresh oregano2 Tbsp fresh parsley
3 Tbsp flour1 cup evaporated milk
1-½ cups (6 oz) cheddar cheese½ tsp pepper, or to taste1 tsp salt, or to taste
½ cup gruyere or Parmesan cheese1 cup stone ground wheat crackers
To Make It:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Mist a 13”x9” baking dish with light oil. Set aside.
Wash and slice the squash into approximately ¼” to 1/3” slices. Coarsely chop the onion. Put a Dutch Oven on to heat on the stove over medium. Add the onion and garlic. Cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender. The time can range from 5 minutes to 15, depending on how thick the slices are. Mince the garlic and herbs. When the squash is close to tender, add the garlic and herbs and cook two minutes longer. Remove from heat.
I used flour as a thickener. Put 3 Tbsp flour into a cup, preferably a clear one so that you can ensure it is well mixed. Add about ¼ cup of the evaporated milk and stir until smooth. If necessary, add more milk so you can get it smooth. Grate the cheddar cheese. Put the cheese, pepper, salt, flour/milk mixture, plus the rest of the milk into a medium bowl. Stir until well mixed.
Pour the cheese/milk/flour mixture to the squash in the Dutch Oven. Fold until the squash is well coated. Pour into the greased 9”x13” pan. Spread evenly.
Crush crackers until you have one cup. I have found the easiest way to do this is to put them in a plastic zipper bag and squashing them. Put the crushed crackers in a small mixing bowl. Finely grate the gruyere or Parmesan. Add to the crackers and toss to mix well. Sprinkle on top of the squash mixture.
Put into the oven and bake until lightly browned and bubbly.
I love to bake and I particularly love to bake cookies. This became a challenge when I quit eating eggs. You won’t miss the eggs in these decadent, chewy cookies.
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed6 Tbsp water
1-1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour3/4 cup cocoa powder1 tsp baking soda½ tsp baking powder½ tsp cinnamon½ tsp salt2 cups old fashioned oats
¾ cup granulated sugar1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter¾ cup brown sugar1 tsp vanilla extract
11 oz package butterscotch chips
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets (2 for each oven) with parchment paper.
Put 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds into a clear measuring cup. Add the water and stir vigorously. Set it aside and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. It takes about 15 minutes for the flaxseed to hydrate. The end result will be sort of a gelatinous mass that you will use to replace two eggs. If you don’t have ground flax seeds, then grind them in a coffee grinder (I have one dedicated to seeds, herbs and spices). You can grind a bunch, put the ground flax seeds in the freezer and keep for some time.
In a medium mixing bowl, put the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gently toss with a spoon to blend all these dry ingredients, then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar using an electric mixer. Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract and flaxseed mixture. Mix with the mixer until just blended. Add half of the flour mixture and mix with the mixer until just blended. Repeat with the other half. Dump all the oats in and mix with the mixer on low speed until just blended. Fold in the butterscotch chips using a spoon.
Drop walnut-size (~1-¼” diameter) balls of dough onto the lined cookie sheets, 12 per sheet. Bake at 375°F for 7 to 9 minutes for chewy cookies, 10 to 12 minutes for cookies that will crisp up. Remove from oven and let cool for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove to cooling racks using a metal spatula.
Makes about 4 dozen.
Black beans and corn make a good pair. Here I put them in a zesty salad or side dish.
2 15-oz cans black beans1 11-oz can whole kernel corn½ cup red or white onion½ orange or red bell pepper½ green bell pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar¼ cup olive oil1 tablespoon fresh cilantro½ teaspoon ground cumin½ teaspoon Tabasco
Rinse and drain the beans. Put them into a large mixing bowl that has a lid or that you can easily cover with plastic. Drain the corn and add it to the bowl. Dice the onion into small pieces. Add it to the bowl. Remove the seeds and stem and chop the bell peppers into ¼-inch pieces.
Put the oil and vinegar into a small mixing bowl. Wash and finely chop the cilantro. Add it to the bowl. Add the cumin and Tabasco. Whisk together.
Add the vinegar mixture to the bean/corn mixture in the large bowl. Toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight to blend flavors. Serve as a salad or side dish.
I have listed my favorite Wrap ingredients here. Add in your own. Put some or all of the ingredients out buffet style and let everyone create his or her own wrap. You can’t go wrong!
WrapperBurrito-size tortillasSmaller tortillas for smaller appetites
SaucesPicante sauce (store bought) or Salsa Tahini sauce (store bought or homemade) Sour cream (gelatin free)
ProteinsRoasted chicken (store bought)Herbed Tofu Scramble Hummus (store bought) or Garlicky Hummus TempehCrumbled goat cheeseShredded cheddar cheeseSoy cheeze
VeggiesAvocadoBaby spinachBroccoliCauliflowerCeleryOnionTomatoYellow squashZucchini
For the younger crowdPeanut butter or almond butterJamCheese sticks
Select your Wrap stuffings and either buy them (easier) or make them (delicious, though more time consuming).
Cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces.
For the tempeh, crumble it. Mist a skillet and put it on the stove over medium. Add the crumbled tempeh, plus salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until hot.
If you want raw vegetables, just cut them up into approximately ½-inch pieces. If you want to cook some of them—such as the onion, yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower—then put a skillet over medium heat, mist or add ½ tablespoon of olive oil, and dump the veggies in. If you want them all separate, then wipe out the skillet and mist again between each veggie. Sauté until slightly tender. This should take 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the volume of veggies.
Put all stuffing choices in separate bowls on the counter. Put tortillas on one end and have everyone go through and make his own wrap. Put plastic zipper bags or foil at the end, with a magic marker so each person can write his name for easy identification at the picnic site.
None included for this recipe since the variations are endless.
What is Spaghetti Bolognese anyway? It is spaghetti with meat sauce which invariably contains carrot and celery. Most recipes call for it to be cooked for a long time, using more than one kind of meat. This is a quick version using meat replacer.
2 carrots2 stalks celery1 large white or yellow onion1 Tbsp olive oilHamburger replacer to replace 1 lb ground meat1 24- to 28-oz jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (ensure no cheese for a vegan)1 to 2 cups water1 tsp salt (optional)½ tsp pepper
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
16 oz whole wheat or regular spaghetti4 to 6 cups water to boil it in½ to 1 tsp salt
Peel, wash and thinly slice the carrot. Put the olive oil on to heat over medium in a 12-inch Chef’s pan, deep frying pan or Dutch Oven. Add the carrot slices and start cooking them while you cut up the celery and onion. Wash and thinly slice the celery. Peel and finely dice the onion. Add the celery and onion to the pan and cook until the onion is sort of translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the hamburger replacer and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add spaghetti sauce, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water, then more if you want thinner sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain it and rinse it with hot tap water. This will prevent its sticking together. Drain well again and put into a bowl for serving.
To serve, put pasta on a plate or shallow pasta bowl and top with sauce. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan, if desired.
Someone told me it was possible to make bran muffins using Raisin Bran cereal. I researched recipes, then fiddled until I came up with this one using raw sugar, plus no eggs. Next I will try for a vegan version.
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds6 Tbsp warm water
2-½ cups unbleached white flour1-½ cups turbinado (raw) sugar3 tsp baking soda1-½ tsp ground cinnamon½ tsp ground ginger½ tsp allspice½ tsp salt4 cups Raisin Bran cereal
2 cups buttermilk½ cup canola oil
In a mixing cup, put 2 Tbsp ground flax seed. Add 6 Tbsp warm water. Stir vigorously, then stir occasionally while you prepare everything else. It is ready to use when it gets somewhat gelatinous, the texture of eggs.
In a medium mixing bowl, put the flour, raw sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, salt, and Raisin Bran cereal. Stir together.
In a large mixing bowl, one with a lid or that can easily be covered in plastic, put the buttermilk and oil. Add the flax seed/water mixture. Stir together. Add the dry ingredients, ½ at a time, to the wet ingredients. Stir to mix well. Cover the batter and refrigerate overnight.
Next morning, preheat your oven to 400°F for at least 30 minutes. The batter will be very thick. Spoon the batter (it will be in globs) into 24 greased muffin tins and bake for 14 to 16 minutes.
Serve hot slathered with melted butter or cold any time.
I needed an appetizer to take to a pool party that would appeal to children, plus was gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free and dairy-free. Whew! I came up with these. They were one of the first things to go. If you don’t have to worry about gluten, try them with King Arthur unbleached white flour.
2-¼ cups gluten-free baking mix2 tsp baking powder1 tsp ground ginger1 tsp ground cinnamon½ tsp ground cloves½ tsp ground nutmeg¼ tsp salt
¾ cup pumpkin puree3 Tbsp brown sugar2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil3 Tbsp molasses1 tsp vanilla extract½ tsp baking soda1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar1 Tbsp soy milk
In a small mixing bowl, put the gluten-free baking mix, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. Toss lightly with a fork to mix well. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, put the pumpkin puree, sugar, canola oil, molasses and vanilla extract. Stir together until blended. In a separate cup, put the baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Stir to ensure it all reacts. Add this to the medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Add the flour mixture, ½ at a time, and stir to mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and put into the refrigerator. Chill for at least one hour.
Thirty minutes before you are ready to bake the scones, preheat your oven to 400°F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Lay out a rectangle of parchment paper on the counter. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Press it into a square or rectangle about ½ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut a line down the middle. Then cut two more lines on each side so you have four rows. Then cut lines perpendicular to those lines. Then cut diagonal lines going one way only, intersecting the corners. (For photos showing this, go here.)
You now have mini triangular scones. Using a table knife, nudge up the corner of each scone and put it on a cookie sheet. You should be able to get all of these on two sheets. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until just done. Remove from the oven, then remove the scones to racks to cool completely.
Put 1 cup powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp soy milk. Mix thoroughly with a spoon. It will be fairly thick. Spoon the icing into a plastic zipper bag. I use freezer bags since they are fairly stout. Lay the bag on the counter and push the icing into one corner. Snip a small piece off the corner of the bag.
To minimize mess, lay parchment paper on the counter (you can likely use the parchment paper from the cookie sheets). Put the cooling racks loaded with scones onto the parchment paper. Squeeze the icing onto each scone.
Serve and watch these get snapped up.
I needed an appetizer to take to a pool party that would appeal to children, plus was gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free and dairy-free. Whew! I came up with these Pumpkin Mini Scones. They were one of the first things to go. If you don’t have to worry about gluten, try them with King Arthur unbleached white flour.
My first four tries tasted good, but weren’t quite there. The dough was very sticky, so I added flour to it. The result was that the mini scones ended up between dry and chalky. Not very appealing. For the fifth try, I chilled the dough. Made all the difference in the world.
Here is how to make them. For a shorter version and for nutrition information, go to the recipe page.
In a small mixing bowl, put 2-¼ cups gluten-free baking mix, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp ginger, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp cloves, ½ tsp nutmeg and ¼ tsp salt. Toss lightly with a fork to mix well. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, put ¾ cup pumpkin puree, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp canola oil, 3 Tbsp molasses and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Stir together until blended. In a separate cup, put ½ tsp baking soda and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar. Stir to ensure it all reacts. Add this to the medium bowl. Stir to mix well. Add the flour mixture, ½ at a time, and stir to mix well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and put into the refrigerator. Chill for at least one hour.
Here is the trick for the nice, triangular shapes. Lay out a rectangle of parchment paper on the counter. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Press it into a square or rectangle about ½ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter (works MUCH better than a knife), cut a line down the middle. Then cut two more lines parallel to this on each side so you have four rows.
Then cut lines perpendicular to those lines so you have squares or rectangles.
Then cut diagonal lines going one way only, intersecting the corners of the squares or rectangles.
For the icing, put 1 cup powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp soy milk. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until it is smooth. It will be fairly thick. Spoon the icing into a plastic zipper bag. I use freezer bags since they are sturdy. Lay the bag on the counter and push the icing into one corner. Snip a small piece off the corner of the bag.
Until next time,
Lisa, aka Veggie Gal
I recently got to babysit my two grandsons, solo, at dinner and bedtime. For dinner, we went to the 5-year-old’s favorite place: Denny’s. I loved it.
We were put into a half-moon shaped booth, so had plenty of room. Miles ordered his favorite Baseball Pancake. This is a very large pancake with raspberry syrup drizzled on it to resemble the stitching on a baseball. It also comes with bacon and sausage, and he was quick to tell our server he wanted both of them. I ordered an Inside Out Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Spencer and a veggie burger for me.
Our food came and Miles proceeded to eat every bite on his plate. He is an eating machine! Spencer sat in his booster seat and ate a quarter of the sandwich. He grinned and jabbered the entire time. He is a social animal! I finally gave up getting him to eat any more. I moved it to the curve of the table.
He got up to walk to the end of the bench and back, doing his 2-year-old daredevil routine on the end. And an amazing thing happened. Every time he walked by his sandwich, he picked it up and took another big bite. He ended up eating almost the entire thing. No small feat for a little guy!
And it was an epiphany for me. He was hungry. He wanted to eat. He just didn’t want to sit there. Once I stopped trying to make him sit in place, he naturally took care of both needs. While I am crystal clear this won’t work every time, it did work at that one meal and it gave me another getting-a-child-to-eat tool for my toolbelt. I was thrilled.
We had a very nice time. Miles may pick another restaurant next time Spencer and I are along though. He most especially likes to go to Denny’s when his dad takes him—it is a restaurant for big guys.
LV Tortilla Roll-upsO HamburgersV Portabella Mushroom BurgersV Hamburger bunsV Hamburger fixins – lettuce, pickles, sliced onions, sliced avocados, etc.V or OLV Condiments – mustard, mayonnaise, Tofu Mayonnaise V or LV Cheese slices – Swiss, cheddar, American, soy cheezeV Potato SaladLV Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Whether you are having a backyard picnic or an indoor party, this menu will work. And it will have something for everyone.
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Each month we will bring you breakfast, dinner and special occasion menus starring the foods you are already cooking, and featuring tantalizing new vegetarian dishes to appeal to everyone.