No meat, No wheat

Archive for the ‘vegetarian main course the family will love’ Category

Stuck in on a Snow Day gave me plenty of time to cook!

amaranth veggie burgers plated


Stuck inside like everyone else, I had the whole day to do whatever I wanted. Not only did I have time to use my new bentonite face mask, catch up on laundry and read, but time left over to focus on a recipe I’ve been wanting to investigate for some time.

This recipe, for vegetable burgers, is one I’d seen by Emily Segal on her honest cooking website. Finally, I had both time to try making these, and all the necessary ingredients. I’ve wanted to use the wonderful tahini given to us by our friend Julie, the marketing coordinator for Soom Foods, in something new and unusual. It says on the Soom website that you could use their tahini for hummus AND carrot cake, so I was encouraged to incorporate its creamy texture and full bodied taste in today’s creation.


amaranth and tahini

Amaranth (left), and Soom Tahini (right)

I’ve also been very curious about amaranth, but todays recipe was my first attempt using this tiny seed. I was perplexed when the recipe I was adapting said that after cooking the amaranth to fluff it. My amaranth was beyond fluffing. It was downright gelatinous. Not quite as bad as a pot of chia, but not far off! Despite this discrepancy,  the vegetable burgers came out tasting great, which is why I’m not waiting until I get a pot of amaranth that fluffs to post this and am sharing with you now. I only made a few changes to this recipe. I used an extra zucchini and added garlic powder. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup of spelt flour, but I substituted 1/2 cup of coconut flour.  Also, the original recipe asked for fresh herbs, but mine were dried. It was supposed to make about 10 patties, but I wound up with 16. Must be from that extra zucchini. Anyway, we really liked these burgers. The tahini and lemon really complimented one another. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did. Betayavon!


  • 1 cup dry amaranth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 3 medium zucchini, grated
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. rubbed sage
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon, or more, and maybe some lemon zest if you like
  • no stick spray


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large pan and spoon for stirring veggies
  • shredder or box grater
  • small pot and lid for amaranth
  • baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • spatula


Place amaranth and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until amaranth is soft and water is absorbed. Remove lid, fluff (if you can!), and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with no-stick spray.

amaranth veggie burgers

Cooked Amaranth (left), Vegetables (right)

In a pan, sauté the onion in oil. Add grated zucchini and carrots. Sauté until everything is soft. Add the spinach. Cook just until it wilts. Remove pot from the heat. Slowly add your cooked amaranth to the vegetables, stirring after each addition. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Mix with spoon or your hands until everything is uniformly combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you prefer. Shape patties and place them onto the baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes and then turn over and bake another 10-15 minutes until golden and a bit crunchy on top.


veggie:amaranth burgers



Shepherd’s Pie


Shepherd's pie


This is a dish my children really enjoy. The original with meat and potatoes, that is. They’d be happy to eat mashed potatoes any day!  Who wouldn’t?!  As I was preparing the family’s meal before our recent Yom Kippur fast, my husband asked his usual question: “what are you going to eat?” I blurted out the answer-Shepherd’s Pie before I even stopped to consider that I had no idea how to make a vegan version nor had I ever seen or eaten one. I just imagined it would be hearty and satisfying. Turns out I was right. Searching online, I found several varieties, but nothing I wanted to make.  Rather than rely on lentils-which seemed to be fairly standard in the recipes I surveyed, I decided to use mashed beans-a variety of them-to form the typical meat layer. I also combined the beans with veggie broth, seasonings, chopped sautéed portobello mushrooms, and a bag of thawed mixed veggies, making the bottom layer especially hearty.  You only need one can of beans per pie, but since I decided to use a mixture of beans, I wound up with enough filling for three delicious shepherd’s pies. The top layer, the mashed potatoes are made all the more yummy with the addition of sautéed onions and thinly sliced garlic cloves, but if you’re not a fan of these, feel free to leave them out. Your pie will be delicious anyway. My kids loved this dish. I’m very glad I made and froze extra for Sukkot. I made it happily through 25 hours of fasting, and credit the fact that I ate half of one of these very delicious, very filling and nutritious shepherd’s pies for not being starved.  Looking forward to eating this again for Sukkot! Have a good Yuntif! Betayavon!


  • canned beans, drained, rinsed and mashed -I used a can of pinto beans, a can of light red kidney beans, and a can of black eyed peas, which is why I wound up with three of these beauties!
  • mushrooms, portobello or regular button mushrooms, chopped small
  • olive oil, 1 teaspoon
  • veggie broth, 1/8 to 1/4 cup, depending on how thick the mixture is
  • no stick spray
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bag of frozen mixed veggies, thawed
  • other seasonings of your choice-a dash of thyme, chili powder, whatever you like
  • potatoes-five medium, peeled, cubed, boiled, drained, and mashed
  • Smart Balance Margarine, 1 Tablespoon, optional
  • Coconut, almond, or cashew milk, 1-2 Tablespoons, optional
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, chopped fine

Shepherd's pie


  • pie plate, square, or oval glass or ceramic pan
  • potato peeler
  • pot and lid for boiling potatoes
  • pan for sautéing mushrooms, beans, and veggie combo
  • knife and cutting board
  • colander for draining and rinsing beans and for draining boiled potatoes
  • measuring cup
  • potato masher for beans and potatoes
  • spoon for stirring
  • bowls for potatoes and beans


Peel potatoes, cube and place in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Cover potatoes halfway with water, cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower light and simmer until fork pierces the potatoes easily. Remove from heat and drain in colander. Mash them immediately, adding salt and pepper to taste. You may add some vegan margarine-I used a tablespoon of Smart Balance to make them a little creamier. You can opt to add some coconut, almond, or cashew milk if you want, but I didn’t bother. If you like mashed potatoes with something extra, try sautéing onions and garlic and adding them to the potatoes as you mash them.                                                                                                                                     Time now to spray your glass or ceramic pie plates, open the can of beans, drain and rinse beans with cold water. Mash the beans, mixing them all together with any seasonings you’d like, whether using one type or using multiple varieties of beans, as I did. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir. Add the bag of thawed mixed vegetables. Finally, when the mushrooms have released their liquid, add the mashed beans into the pan with the mushrooms and mixed veggies. Add the veggie broth. If this mixture seems too stiff to stir, thin with a bit more veggie broth, but add that slowly, so you don’t thin the bean layer too much. No need for cooking here, as you will place in the oven later, you just want to combine the mushrooms, veggies, beans, seasonings you want, and veggie broth. Time to press the bean mixture into the bottom of your sprayed pie plate or pan. Top with the mashed potatoes. Bake in 350 degree oven 25-35 mins, just until potatoes start to brown. Looks and smells wonderful

shep pie bean veggie layer

Press the beans, veggies, and mushrooms into the pie plate

shep pie, mashed pot

Top with mashed potatoes

shep pie

A real winner

sheps pie


Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Feast Fit For A Queen

Isaac makes me dinner


Of course I realize this post is way overdo- as Mother’s Day was last month.  But I’d forgotten that I took photos of the feast my son made me, and when I just saw them, decided to post that stellar meal Isaac created for me last month on Mother’s Day.

  1. It all started…..with the chopped onions…..Isaac chopped onions


2. to which he added minced garlic and ginger, and then a series of other veggies were added to the mix (broccoli, string beans, carrots, mushrooms, etc, you get the idea, I’m sure)

Isaac Stir Fry

3. We’re going to need rice, so leave room

Isaac adding rice to the stir fry

4. Don’t forget to add the beans

Isaac's finishing touches

Tofu Yung

Tofu Yung

Tofu Yung, after they're cooked

For years, one of my favorite dishes to make on Sukkot was  egg foo yung. 
I love all the crunchy vegetables (I love vegetables, period), and somehow find it an appropriate entree for the fall harvest season. So I was wondering how to make a vegan version of this dish, and the flax seed version just didn’t fly.                                                                                                                                                               Someone suggested I try substituting tofu for the eggs, and with a bit of experimentation, have come up with a recipe I love. They’re really good, and a special treat on Shabbos. Even the non vegans in my house are happy to eat them. It may look like a lot of steps, but you can simplify this one an awful lot. For example, you can just mash the tofu with your hands instead of in the food processor to save time and dish washing. But I love my food processor, in case you didn’t notice!

Here then, is my recipe. Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you would prefer, using the ideas I’ve given in the recipe below, or choose others you’d be happy with. Hint: this is a great way to use up leftovers, if you’ve got them.  (grated carrots, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced onions, shitake mushrooms, are some possibilities).

You’ll notice that I’ve asked for half the can of both the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Using the whole can makes the patties too dense and they break when you try to transfer them to a plate, as I learned in my early experiments with this recipe. So your options are: either make this two weeks in a row to use up the leftover vegetables, as I do because we like them so much, or else use up the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots by adding to a green salad, with some orange slices and slivered almonds for an easy Asian salad.
Betayavon! Eat Hearty. Enjoy.

  • Ingredients
    One pound of tofu, rinsed, weighted down so all the moisture will drain from it
    1 Tablespoon sesame oil, plus another 2 teaspoons
    1 Tablespoon Tamari sauce, plus another 2 teaspoons
    2 bunches of scallions
    3 inch piece of fresh ginger root
    4 oz. water chestnuts (half a can) drained, and sliced in thin strips
    4 oz. bamboo shoots, (half a can), drained and cut into halves lengthwise
    10-12 oz. bean sprouts, washed and drained
    6 small or three large mushrooms, sliced thin
    No stick olive oil spray or olive oil
  • Supplies
    Food processor
    cutting board and sharp knife
    Large plate
    cast iron pan or wok, spatula or large spoon for stirring
    Large ovenproof pan, preferably cast iron, spatula
tofy yung, weighting down the tofu

Weigh down tofu to release moisture

tofu yung, assembling veggies

Prepare the veggies: dice scallions and ginger; drain and rinse canned water chestnuts and bamboo shoots

Open package of tofu, rinse and dry pat it dry. Slice tofu in half lengthwise, and weight it down with a cast iron pan or plates so that the tofu will expel the excess moisture that you want it to release. In the meantime, open the cans of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots and rinse and drain them in

the colander. Peel and dice the ginger root, wash and slice the scallions-just the while part and the very beginning of the green part. Wash and dry the mushrooms and slice them thin. Rinse the bamboo shoots and let the water drain through the colander. By now, the tofu has released moisture that you should drain off.

tofu yung, adding tofu to processor

Place drained tofu into food processor with tamari sauce and sesame oil

tofu young, in processor

Mash tofu in food processor (or else you can use your hands or back of a spoon)

Put the tofu into the food processor with one tablespoon of sesame oil and one tablespoon of tamari, and pulse until your mixture resembles scrambled egg whites or runny mashed potatoes.  You now have mashed tofu. You could accomplish this step using only your hands, just mashing it up between your hands or with the back of a spoon or fork, and get the same results. But as you know, I use my food processor a lot. Remove the “S” blade from the bottom of the food processor, or if you mashed the tofu with your hands, it will be in a large bowl to which you’ll add the vegetables as soon as you’ve prepared them.

Here’s how to prepare the vegetables.  Just wipe off the bottom of the wok or cast iron pan that you used as to weight down your tofu, and heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in the pan. When the oil is hot,   add half the scallions and half the ginger root. You will use the remaining scallions and ginger root when cooking the patties.

Sauté for 2 minutes, and then add the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and mushrooms. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 2 teaspoons of tamari, and stir another 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes before combining with the tofu mixture.

tofy young, sauteering veggies

Saute scallions and giner, add bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and bean sprouts

Combine vegetables with mashed tofu

Combine vegetables with mashed tofu

Preheat the oven to 425. Spray or grease a large pan. From this recipe,   I usually make seven or eight tofu yung patties per batch, so use a big pan if you have one or two smaller ones. Before placing the mixture on the pan, I put the remaining (raw) scallions and (raw) ginger root in the center of where I plan to put the six patties, which sounds much more complicated than it is, but I love the taste the raw and cooked ginger and scallions combine to give this dish! Feel free to skip this step entirely.

tofu yung, scallions and ginger in pan

Optional step: small pile of raw scallions and ginger at bottom of each tofu young patty

Now form the patties and place each one on top of your little pile of scallions and ginger.

tofu yung, making patties

From seven or eight patties

Tofu Yung, after they're cooked

Bake your tofu yung patties in a 425 degree oven until they hold together, approximately 40 minutes. Let them cool on the pan before removing to serving platter, dinner plate, or glass

crispy tofu yung patties

Delicious crispy tofu yung patties

container, if you will store them for another time. They store well and can be reheated in a hot oven for a few minutes until they are warm and crisp.

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