This is a variation of a recipe I got from my dear friend Jeane. It is an easy and fairly quick recipe, great for a weeknight one-dish meal. For those omnivores who want meat or poultry, serve it with pan-fried boneless chicken breasts.
1 Tbsp extra light olive oil
1 stalk celery1 small white or yellow onion1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts2 cups (8 oz) sharp cheddar cheese¾ cup eggless mayonnaise¼ cup pine nuts¾ cup frozen green peas¾ cup frozen baby lima beans1 12-oz bag frozen carrot slices, cauliflower and broccoli
2 Tbsp butterEnough crackers to make ¾ cup cracker crumbs (12 to 22, depending on the size)
To Make It:
Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist or grease a 2-1/2 to 3-qt casserole dish (be sure it has a lid) with the olive oil.
Toast the pine nuts by putting them into a small skillet on the stove over medium heat. Stir frequently until slightly browned. Remove them from the skillet so they do not continue to cook.
Wash the celery stalk. Cut it into thin slices and put it into a large mixing bowl. Coarsely chop the onion. Add it to the bowl. Open and drain the water chestnuts. Add them to the bowl. Grate the cheese and add it to the bowl. Add the eggless “mayonnaise” and the pine nuts. Stir with a spoon until everything is well blended. Add the frozen vegetables and stir until they are well coated. Spread into the greased casserole dish. Cover and bake until bubbly, approximately 25 to 35 minutes.
While this is baking, make the topping. Smash the crackers into crumbs. My mini food processor does this quite handily. If you don’t have one, another method is to put them into a plastic zipper bag and smash them with your hands or a rolling pin. Put the cracker crumbs into a small mixing bowl. Cut 2 Tbsp of very cold, very hard butter into small pieces and put in the bowl. Squish the butter into the crackers with your fingers and thumbs, making it into a crumbly topping.
When the casserole is bubbly, remove from oven, remove the lid and sprinkle the cracker crumb topping on top. Return to the oven without the lid and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes, until the cracker crumbs are lightly browned.
Blueberries and blackberries looked so good at the supermarket. Here is a crisp using both of them.
1-½ cup blueberries1-½ cup blackberriesJuice from one lemon (about 1 tablespoon)¼ cup turbinado sugar1 Tbsp unbleached white flour
⅔ cup unbleached white flour½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar1 tsp ground cinnamon¾ cup old-fashioned oats6 Tbsp very cold unsalted butter or vegan substitute
Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or non-dairy topping
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate with butter or vegan substitute.
Wash and drain the blueberries and blackberries. Put into a bowl and add lemon juice. Put the turbinado sugar and 1 Tbsp flour into a large plastic zipper bag. Mix well. Add the fruit to the bag, then gently turn it back and forth until the fruit is coated. Dump the fruit into the pie plate.
In medium bowl, mix 2/3 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oats. Cut the butter or vegan substitute into small pieces, add to the bowl and mix with fingers or a pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the berries.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes until fruit is bubbly and top is lightly browned. Serve warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or non-dairy topping on the side.
4 rings pineapple4 scoops coconut ice cream or coconut sorbet½ cup caramel ice cream topping
If using fresh pineapple, peel the pineapple and cut 4 slices. If using canned pineapple, open and drain. Put one pineapple ring on a small dessert plate. Put a scoop of ice cream or sorbet on it. Drizzle 2 Tbsp caramel topping over the ice cream. Serve immediately.
I love cinnamon apples. They are so good and so easy to make.
4 Granny Smith apples2 Tbsp butter or vegetable oil or canola oil½ cup brown sugar1 tsp ground cinnamon¼ tsp ground nutmeg or allspice
Put brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice in a large plastic zipper bag and shake to mix. Peel and slice the apples, add the apple slices to the bag. Shake to completely coat the apples.
Put the butter or oil in a large frying pan on the stove over medium heat. When melted, add the sugared apple slices. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the liquid is reduced.
Serve as a dessert with ice cream, over pancakes, or just by itself.
These whole wheat pancakes are wholesome and taste great, too!
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (flax meal)6 Tbsp warm water¾ cup buttermilk2 tsp baking soda3 cups whole wheat flour1 tsp salt1-¾ cups water
In a clear cup, put 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds and 6 Tbsp warm water. Stir to mix well. This will be used to replace eggs, so it will need to sit until it becomes gelatinous. That may take 10 to 15 minutes.
Measure ¾ cup buttermilk into a 2-cup measuring cup and let it sit for a few minutes to warm up.
Put a nonstick frying pan on the stove over medium-low heat.
Put whole wheat flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Add 1-¾ cups water. Stir to mix. Add the baking soda to the buttermilk and stir. It will foam up. Immediately add it to the flour mixture. Add the flax meal to the flour mixture. Stir to mix well. If it is too thick to pour, add ¼ cup more water.
Pour ¼ cup into the pan. I can fit 3 pancakes at a time into my large frying pan. Cook until mostly dry, then flip. Cook until done. This is typically 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
Serve with butter or margarine, syrup and your favorites jams and preserves.
Makes about 16 to 18 pancakes.
Shortly after a friend gave me this recipe, Pillsbury came out with “recipe creations” (seamless) crescent rolls, making them a snap to make. In addition to being easy, they are so delicious, they are a hit every time.
2 packages refrigerated recipe ready (seamless) crescent rolls16 oz cream cheese12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1-½ sticks), divided, plus a little more to grease the pan with1-¼ cups granulated sugar, divided1 tsp cinnamon
Remove cream cheese and butter from refrigerator. Let sit for about 30 minutes to soften.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 9”x13” baking pan. Remove the crescent rolls from one of the packages and put them into the pan, pressing the dough until it fills the bottom. If you have the type of crescent rolls that have perforations, press the perforation together so the dough is solid.
In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese, 4 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar with a mixer. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls. I have found this easiest to do by evenly spacing 6 heaping mounds of mixture on the dough, then spreading it with a tablespoon.
If you have recipe-ready (seamless) crescent rolls, put the next layer on top of the cream cheese mixture in the pan. If you have crescent rolls with perforations, put a layer of wax paper down on the counter. Put the rolls on the wax paper, all in one sheet. Press the perforations together, then put the dough on top of the cream cheese layer.
Melt the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Add the cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar to it and stir until smooth. Pour on top and spread it out, being careful to ensure the sugar spreads fairly evenly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow to cool for 20 minutes before cutting.
• Add one of the following between the bottom layer of crescent rolls and the cream cheese mixture:o 8 oz of chocolate chipso 8 crushed Oreo cookieso ¾ cup preserves, such as strawberry, blackberry or raspberry• Pour a 20-oz can of pie filling onto the top of the bars after they have cooled for 20 minutes.
My husband is not a vegetarian. Nutritious steel cut oats are nevertheless his routine breakfast of choice. He cooks them overnight over very low heat. We now have an induction cooktop that has a very low heat setting and he puts them in a small pan. With every other cooktop, he has used a double boiler to prevent scorching.
½ cup steel cut oats1-½ cups water½ tsp salt
Suggested Toppings Butter, margarine or vegan spreadDried fruit of your choiceDiced fresh fruit of your choicePecans or walnuts
Put oats, water and salt in the top half of a double boiler. Cover. Fill the bottom half of the double boiler half full of water. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, put the top half with the oats it in on top and cook overnight.
In the morning, stir and transfer to a bowl. Melt butter, margarine or vegan spread on the oats, then top with your favorite dried or fresh fruit and nuts.
This was my mother’s signature pie. She made it every Thanksgiving. And every time my oldest brother came to visit—it was his favorite.
¼ cup lemon juice1 14-oz can condensed sweetened milk1 20-oz can crushed pineapple in natural juices or sour (tart) cherries1 ready-made graham cracker pie crust
Put pineapple or cherries into a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and condensed milk and gently fold everything together with a mixing spoon. Pour the mixture into the graham cracker crust. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
I had a wonderful herb garden this year. I combined some of them with heirloom tomatoes for this salad.
3 heirloom or your favorite tomatoes¼ to ½ red onion¼ cup Kalamata olives¼ cup fresh parsley¼ cup fresh oregano¼ cup fresh basil¼ cup tarragon vinegar¼ cup extra virgin olive oilSalt to tastePepper to taste½ cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional)
Wash and slice the tomatoes. Overlap on a large plate or platter. Cut the onion into thin strips. Drop on top of the tomatoes. Drain the olives and sprinkle them over the tomatoes. Wash, dry and mince the herbs. Sprinkle them over the tomatoes. Drizzle the vinegar and oil over the lot. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, sprinkle with crumbled cheese.
When you have a group coming for lunch, nothing is easier than putting out a buffet of sandwich fixings and letting everyone make his own.
Rennetless Swiss, American and cheddar cheese slicesLeaf lettuceTomatoAvocadosRed onionEggless mayonnaiseMustardHummusArtisan or sandwich bread
Set everything up buffet style, lining things up in the order they should go on the sandwich. Then set up the ingredients.
Slice the bread. Have a toaster nearby for anyone who wants toasted bread.
Put eggless mayonnaise, mustard and hummus in separate ramekins or small serving bowls.
Overlap the cheese slices on a plate or small platter.
Wash and thinly slice the tomatoes. Overlap them on a platter. Wash and dry the lettuce leaves. Tear the leaves in two or, if small, put entire leaves on the platter with the tomatoes. Wash the outside of the avocados, then cut them into slices and remove the peel. Add them to the platter. Cut a few thin slices of onion, separate the rings and add them to the platter.
For meat-eaters, add one or more deli meats to the buffet.
There are a lot of variations, so nutrition information is not included on this recipe.
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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.