Not Just Tofu

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Soy Bolognese

In Recipe on June 30, 2010 at 4:56 am

I made a Bolognese Sauce without a tomato base because both my husband and I suffer from Acid Reflux.  This pasta dish is comforting, delicious and simple to make.  The pictures are a guide and you should be able to create the dish in 30 minutes.  If you are timid in the kitchen but very hungry, try cooking something DELICOUS!


  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup  of diced onions
  • 1/2 cup of diced green peppers
  • 1/4 cup of diced carrots
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 2 cups of frozen soy granules (Crumbles)
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  •  teaspoon of Worchestire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Ketchup
  • 1/2 box of tubular pasta 
 1. Sautee chopped onions, green peppers, garlic and carrots until softened
     *Boil pasta according to package* 

 2. Add thawed soy granules to the soften vegetables. 

3. Season mixture with oregano, salt and pepper

Making the Gravy

 4. Add Worchestire sauce, broth and ketchup to the seasoned mixture and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Top cooked pasta with sauce chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese



Try the recipe and tell me what you think.  I am also interested in any changes you made to make this recipe your own.  I find that the vegetarian world is full of sharing so follow suit and let me know what you are making for dinner.





A Cookbook for Your Collection

In Cooking Tips on June 30, 2010 at 4:18 am

You wouldn’t expect it but Marshalls, the retail chain, is a great place to find cookbooks.  You can find all kinds of cookbooks and one Sunday I was fortunate to find “The Vegetarian Bible”.  This book has helped me prepare meals for guest who were and were not vegetarians. 


I love several recipes in this book and would encourage every reader to hunt this book down.  On Amazon (, you can find this book for as little as $2.00 used or $8.00 new. 

I recommend Caramalized Sweet Potatoes (pg 60); I give it 4 stars.  I served this dish at my son’s birthday dinner for his Grandparents and Godparents. I also love the Chili Tofu Tortillas (pg 98) that even if you don’t have the avocados they are great.  I made my version of this recipe spicy and that made it a hit.  The Artichoke and Pimento Flatbread (page 50) was prepared and served at a banquet I catered.  I could go on and on but I think you should try some.

I plan on trying one of many risotto recipes in the book this summer.  Alvin doesn’t like soft rice, but I think if I put enough asparagus or Parmesan cheese in it, he may just like it. 

Do any of you have this book?  Which recipe is your favorite?

Easy Pasta

In Cooking Tips, Recipe on June 30, 2010 at 3:48 am


 As promised, I have added recipes to the blog.  Be the first to try one of my original recipes.  The complete menu for this simple and delicious meal can be found on the Recipe page of the site; the bonus is that my recipes have pictures to help guide you. 

The picture you are drooling over is Soy Bolognese.  I don’t think that people realize how easy it is to convert a meat based dish into a vegetable dishes.  Original Bolognese is made with ground beef onions, celery, carrots and garlic. In my version, I used onions, carrots, peppers and garlic and added frozen soy granules instead of ground beef as a substitute for that meaty texture.  


The next time you warm bottled tomato sauce, add frozen spinach into the sauce and you will  increase the fiber and calcium intake by double the original amount.  You will also get your children to eat veggies because they will think it’s either oregano or parsley. 

What about lasagna?  You can buy a 30 year old cheese lasagna from your grocer’s freezer  or you can learn to make a vegetable lasagna with spinach, carrots, scallions with ricotta or tofu for you vegans.  I promise I will post my recipe for “Not your Mama’s Lasagna” which is Deidranne’s,  my carnivore sister, favorite.

I invite you to challenge me to create a vegetarian version of a tradtional pasta dish.  I may not satisfy that pancetta craving or the turkey sausage hankering, but I will leave you satisfied.   


My Go To Cookbook

In Uncategorized on June 22, 2010 at 3:21 am

While shopping in the used book annex of Barnes and Nobles, I came across “Meatless Meals in Twenty Minutes” by Karen A. Levin. 


Most vegetarian cookbooks have recipes that have ingredients that you would not naturally have in your kitchen.  I was surprised that most of the ingredients are things I would naturally buy to cook a meal made with meat.  I love the mushroom stroganoff on page 114 or creamy garlic fettuccine on page 111.  The cookbook is full of soups, sandwiches, salads and quick fix meals.  If you had to have one cookbook, this is it!  The book only cost me $2 and has saved me time, energy and money.

What cookbook do you turn to?

Vegetarian Eats in Englewood, NJ

In Editorial, Restaurant Experience on June 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm


Asian - American Cuisine

I live in Englewood, NJ which is 15 minutes from Manhattan.  If you drive 5 minutes east of Englewood you can see the skyline.  NYC has a lot of places dedicated to vegetarian cuisine and NJ is slowly catching up with this trend.  I love my town because there are so many restaurant to choose from.  Here are just a few spots worth trying, vegetarian or not.

Baugmart’s have locations in Englewood and in Ridgewood, NJ.  When you go to eat here, bring cash or an AMEX because they don’t take Discover, Visa or Mastercard. The food is good but what I like is the pad thai.  You can get it mild or get it spicy. 
Me being the person that I am, I take it as spicy as they will give it to me.  After eating the spicy of the spicy, I can order an ice cream sundae to cool me down or even a milkshake. Check out their menu at

Greek Cuisine

Moussaka anyone?  International cuisine is usually great for vegetarians because a lot of countries focus their meals around vegetables instead of meat.  Even though I go for the chicken souvlaki, my husband goes for the salmon and spinach in phyllo pastry.  He also eats the Greek fries with freshly made hummus.  Everyone knows that the Greek love their veggies and this restaurant captures that love.  From the Greek salad to the Greek Fries the grown ups and the kids can eat here.  The best thing here is the BAKLAVA!!!!  I love their baklava and could honestly eat an entire pan in a day.  They have many locations; Visit them at
The Thai food here is bananas!!!! The vibe in this place is very “cozy” aka small.  Small quarters work at Kratiem because everything is small.  I love the tempura and suggest everyone vegetarian or not to try it.  Everyone I know that has tried Kratiem loves this place because there is so much to try.  It is not cheap but you can eat for $20 a person and leave full.  Find out more at
If you live near Englewood or visiting in the area, try these restaurants for good food.  They are all open for lunch and dinner and some of them let you eat outside.  I will keep eating and taking pictures and I encourage you to do the same.  Hit me with some of your local eats in Comments.

Is My Boca Broken?

In Cooking Tips, Recipe on June 7, 2010 at 11:00 pm

I love a good, moist and delicious vegetarian  burger.  I usually enjoy a Morningstar or Gardenburger, but what is up with the Boca burgers?  Out of the package, Boca burgers look like hockey pucks and would most likely taste like one.  Boca burgers or dry, tough and tastless without condiments. 

My solution to the Boca burger is cooking it in a different way.  You can’t just pop these bad boys into the microwave, you need to put them in a nice hot, greased skillet after thawing them in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Fry a pattie for 30 second on each side to create a crust.  This is the trick; season with seasoning salt, drop a few drops of water around the pattie to create steam and cover the pan with a lid.  I got my whopper loving friends to give this burger two thumbs up. 

If you want to try something creative, try a Boca gyro.  The texture of this burger imitates lamb well enough for transistional eaters.  While thawing the burger in the microwave, saute a few slices of onion.  Remove onions and add burger to a greased frying pan.  Fry about 2 minutes on each side.  Let cool to touch, then cut pattie into 3 strips.  Toast your flatbread in the greased skillet.  Assemble the ingredients like a gyro and top with homemade yogurt sauce made up of greek yogurt, fresh mint and cucumbers.  Enjoy!

So to answer the question about your Boca burger; it isn’t broken you just need to adjust your technique.

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