Monday, February 27, 2017

Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl
Bamii บะหมี่


Thailand, formerly known in the West as Siam, is located on a central peninsula below Mainland China. It is surrounded on three sides by Burma, Laos and Cambodia. The largest of the peninsular countries is connected by an isthmus into the Gulf of Thailand to Malaysia in the south. 

To this extent Thailand's cuisine shares much of the surrounding flavor, style and tradition of Southern Asia including Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines. Thailand is a cross roads country: Buddhist, agrarian in the North and more cosmopolitan in the southern half and has a history along the great trade routes of the area. 

Noodle Bowls, essentially broth with rice or noodles and flavored variously, are ubiquitous throughout the far east. We chose Bamii for that very reason, it is often vegetarian and has elements reflective of traditional Japanese Soba and at the same time may incorporate early African traditions like the peanut based Maafe.

                                                              photo GCB Press All tights reserved 


  • ½ lb. extra firm tofu — drained and marinated [marinade follows]
  • ¾ lb. thin spaghetti or thin linguine
  • ½ c. fresh ground peanut butter
  • ½ c. vegetable stock
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1-2 scallions


Place the tofu in a large strainer or alternatively between 2 paper towels, set a heavy pot on top to slowly drain out as much of the water content as you can; this will allow the tofu to then absorb more of the flavor from the marinade. When drained [about 30 minutes] remove the tofu and slice into approximately 1" square cubes.

In a large baking dish arrange the tofu in one layer and cover with the prepared marinade, refrigerate covered for at least 1 hour, overnight is better. Drain the marinated tofu, reserve the marinade liquid.

To begin prepare 1/2 cup of vegetable stock. To a non stick frying pan on medium heat add olive oil and drained tofu. Sauté 10 minutes turning until lightly browned. Add the diced red pepper and garlic. Cover and continue to cook until the red pepper is medium soft.
To a medium low heat sauce pan add peanut butter, reserved marinade and prepared vegetable stock, blend.

Bring a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt to a boil. Add pasta and cook al dente. Add the tofu to the peanut sauce then the drained pasta, toss to coat serve. Garnish with slices scallion.

Prepare the Marinade:

  • ¼ c. plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon. chopped fresh ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid aminos
  • 1 tablespoon honey [for vegan substitute agave syrup]
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

serves 2

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Spinach Ricotta Taco

                                                    photo GCB Press all right reserved


6  ounces ricotta (preferably fresh), at room temperature
2  cloves garlic, chopped
    Himalayan pink salt
1  tablespoon vegetable oil
1  ounce diced green chilis
4  ounces button mushrooms sliced
1/2  white onion, sliced 1/2-inch-
8  ounces white beans drained
2  cups fresh spinach
1  teaspoon ground cumin
4  corn tortillas
1/4  cup chili sauce

  1. Combine the ricotta and 1 clove garlic in a medium bowl season with salt.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until lightly browned. Stir and continue cooking until the onion begins to soften. Add the chiles, spinach and cumin, cook, stirring, until the spinach begins to wilt. Add the remaining clove garlic and cook until the spinach is completely wilted. Season with salt; transfer to a bowl, keep warm.
  3. Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet. Divide the spinach, bean mushroom mixture between the tortillas, top with the ricotta, fold and garnish with chili sauce.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Red Pepper Tomato Soup*

                                                                             photo GCB Press all rights reserved
Peppers are indigenous to the new world, fossilized remains in Peru indicate that peppers existed as early as1200 BC, and were cultivated in Central and South America in prehistoric times. Columbus brought them to Europe in 1493, and they were quickly adopted and cultivated as decorative additions to floral presentations.** 

Europeans gave peppers their modern name when it was discovered that the fruit of the plant was edible and tasted like the black and white ground condiment used at their tables, pepper.

Today the confusion remains and the argument over whether peppers are fruit or vegetable depends on largely on whom you ask, a gardener or a cook.

(1825-1905) "Soup" (1865)     
This recipe marries red peppers with tomato, another case of dual identities combined in a tasteful union. 


1 soy bacon strip
2 teaspoons Earth Balance vegetable spread, divided
1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon paprika
Splash hot pepper sauce
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup vegetable broth, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream [vegan alternative: to 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk add 1 teaspoon Sour Supreme, mix      thoroughly]
1/4 teaspoon salt or preferred, Himalayan Pink Salt


        1 To a skillet add 1 teaspoon vegetable spread and cook soy bacon  until crisp. Remove, set aside. To the drippings, add the red pepper, onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, hot pepper sauce and cayenne until well blended. Add 1/4 cup broth. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; cool for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender; set aside.

    2 In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt remaining vegetable spread. Stir in flour; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Gradually add remaining broth; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; reduce heat to low.

3 Gradually stir in cream and salt. Add puree; heat through. Crumble soy bacon over top. Garnish with vegan sour cream, chives and red pepper if desired. 

Serves 2

*Originally published as Pretty Pepper Soup in  Reminisce Extra August 1998, revised by HCAYK to be vegetarian

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

No-Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

                                          photo Green Cutting Board Press, all rights reserved

Cheesecake, a popular if admittedly decadent dessert [we'll get to that later] has its origins far from the currently accepted "baked or unbaked" traditions. History grants the ancient Greeks credit for divining this food of the gods — by the Greek physician Aegimus, who wrote a book on the art of making cheesecakes (πλακουντοποιικόν σύγγραμμα—plakountopoiikon suggramma)…We know this as written in the oldest known surviving work of Latin prose the De Agri Cultura [On Agriculture,160 BC] by Cato the Elder

If cheesecake really is the food of the gods this no-bake conception must be their supreme accomplishment; and just as a whim we transformed it to a vegan version — not so decadently fat…apologies to Aegimus, Cato the Elder, deli bakers and supreme beings everywhere.
2 1/3 ounces (about 2/3 cup) graham cracker crumbs 
2  tablespoons Earth Balance, melted 


1/2 container (4 ounces) Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, at room temperature 
1/4 cup Agave Powder 
1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 cup vegan chocolate, recipe by our favorite vegan baker, The Minimalist Baker
3-4 medium strawberries - sliced

  1. For the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and melted vegan spread together in a small bowl until the mixture looks like damp sand. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of 2 Crème Brulée Ramekins
  2. For the filling, in a small bowl whisk the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat again for a minute or so until combined. Add the sour cream, vanilla and mix. 
  3. Add the melted chocolate (make sure it is room temperature), whip for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and light. 
  4. Divide the cheesecake filling evenly between the 2 ramekins, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set. 
  5. Top with sliced fresh strawberries and savor 

Serves 2

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chorizo Mushroom Stuffed Red Pepper


Bell Peppers when fully ripened turn a deep, glossy red and are sweeter than their green cousins. Bell peppers are also the only peppers that produce no capsaicin, the chemical that causes irritation [heat] when in contact with our taste buds. A traditional recipe in Spain using piquillo pepper which are smaller than bell but of the same variation are stuffed with a variety of ingredients including meat, seafood, or cheese, and served as tapas; in Mexico called Chile rellenó, literally "stuffed pepper," or in middle eastern, Turkey, Greek cuisine called Dolma, a tradition of stuffed vegetables.

In this recipe the enhanced sweetness of red bell peppers adds an unexpected flavor note to the heat of the chorizo and the savory middle eastern blend of quinoa, onion, garlic and olive.

Pair these stuffed peppers with the rich, umami taste of this easy vegan Yorkshire Pudding and you experience the meeting of 2 worlds: the Old British Empire and the even older Ottoman Empire. That encounter produced a rich blended cuisine of northern European and middle eastern fare stirred, mixed and blended for four centuries until the end of the nineteenth century.

 photo: The Green Cutting Board Press, all rights reserved

Red Bell Peppers
  • 1/3 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup diced button mushroom
  • 1 clove garlic diced
  • 1/3 cup diced green olives
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas [garbanzo beans]
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup quinoa 
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons vegetarian chorizo
  • 3 ounces queso fresco
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon no beef bullion base
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  1. Set a soup pot of water to boil.
  2. Cut the top of red peppers and remove the seed and veins. Place the peppers bottom down in the hot eater with their lids, cover and cook 10 minutes
  3. Brown tablespoon Earth Balance in a medium hot pan. Add first 4 ingredients and sauté 2 minutes
  4. Add water, chickpeas, quinoa, water and bouillon paste, cumin. Cover and cook medium for 10 minutes or until water is nearly absorbed.
  5. Remove peppers from water, drain and allow to cool
  6. Preheat oven to 365℉
  7. Fill the peppers with chorizo mushroom stuffing. Top with queso fresco and pepper lids. Place in an oven ready pan.
  8. Continue baking for 30 minutes
Serves 2 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Spaghetti con Salsa di Fragole, Pomodoro

Spaghetti con Salsa di Fragole, Pomodoro
Spaghetti With Strawberry-Tomate

No one can say for certain but it now appears likely that all Italy owes it’s gastronomic identity to a group of so called new world Indios known as the Aztec; it seems the humble tomato, like its earth sleeping cousin the potato, are but two of the edible gifts the “old world” received from the Americas.

The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word "tomate," from which, according to Wiki, the English word tomato originates.

The arrival of tomatoes in Italy dates to 1548 when the steward of Cosimo de' Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany, wrote to the Medici private secretary informing him that the basket of tomatoes sent from the grand duke's Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo "had arrived safely.”

Hitherto tomate, a member of the poisonous nightshade family were appreciated only for their decorative attributes: shiny, red and luxuriant garden ornaments for the holiday table.

It was not until the 18th century that the tomato was added to the book of condiments as fruit or in the Italian lexicon, “pomo d'oro “ or “apple of gold," indeed the fruit of the tomato vine is classified as just that, fruit, not vegetable and so it is, with this admittedly heuristic leap of faith we gently present:

                                                      photo GCB Press, all rights reserved

A Romantic Vegan Valentine Dinner for Two

Considering that the tomato is a fruit, the addition of strawberries isn’t that strange in this sauce. The sauce should be quite spicy, which tempers the berries’ sweetness.


  2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch Kosher salt
1/2 pound fresh (or frozen, thawed) strawberries, hulled, quartered
1 teaspoon agave 
12 oz. spaghetti [full bodied pasta works better than the thinner strands]
  1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh vegan ricotta* — follows
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
     Spring onion sliced


Heat olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and red pepper flakes, season with salt, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until tomato juices have reduced slightly, about 3 minutes. 

     Add strawberries and agave, cook, stirring often, until strawberries are soft and sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse purée.
     Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water, stirring occasionally until al dente; drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
     Add pasta to tomato sauce along with ½ cup pasta cooking liquid and cook, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
     Remove from heat, drizzle with more oil, and toss to combine. Serve pasta topped with onion, ricotta, and black pepper.

      SERVINGS: 2

Vegan Ricotta*

       •      2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours, then drained
2 garlic cloves
3 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup plain soy milk
1/2 tbsp agave
1½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper & salt to taste

1 Add soaked cashews, garlic, lemon juice, soy milk, agave, oil, to      your food processor.
2 Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. If your ricotta is too dry, add more soy milk.
3 Season with salt & pepper, to taste 

Monday, September 21, 2015



                                                photo GBC all rights reserved

Maafe (var. mafémaffémaffesauce d'arachide (French), tigadèguèna or tigadenena (Bamana; literally 'peanut butter sauce'), or groundnut stew, is a stew or sauce (depending on water content) common to much of West Africa. It originates from the Mandinka and Bambara people of Mali.[1]Variants of the dish appear in the cuisine of nations throughout West Africa 

3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small Chopped whole tomato
1 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup canned chick peas - drained
1/2 cup fresh ground peanut butter [smooth]
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 healthy tsp cumin
Hot sauce [to taste]
1/4 cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish
1 scallion thinly sliced for garnish [white end only] 


  1. In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the red onion, ginger, garlic and chick peas. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Using a submersible blender, blend until smooth.
  2. In a medium-sized, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, chopped tomato and tomato paste, then transfer 1 cup of the hot stock to the bowl.  
  3. Pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. The soup should be thick and creamy. Season the soup with cumin and hot sauce to taste. Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often.