My Family’s Favorites

These are the recipes that I make over and over again for my family. Most are in regular rotation in our weekly menus; a few are favorites that we look forward to only on holidays. They’re all tried and tested many, many times.

Black and Red Lentil Chili

March 11, 2014
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This is probably the fastest chili I’ve ever made without using canned beans. The secret is black beluga lentils, which cook quickly and keep their shapes, giving this chili a very hearty texture. I combined them with split red lentils, which cook just as quickly but break down to create a thicker broth. Together they […]

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Simple Chopped Salad

February 15, 2014
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A minor miracle occurred at my house on Thursday night when my teenager went back for a third helping of salad. And not just any salad–a salad that contained radishes, which she “hates.” We were having the salad with two of her favorites dishes, mac and cheese and roasted asparagus, and it was no surprise […]

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Cumin-Infused Vegetables and Chickpeas over Quinoa

August 26, 2013
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One of my family’s stand-by meals is the Vegetable Couscous from Jeanne Lemlin’s Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. I’ve mentioned before that I have a sentimental attachment to this almost one-pot meal because it was one of the first things that my husband D cooked for me when we were dating. But beyond that, it’s quick, it’s […]

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Applesauce Ginger Cake with Maple Glaze

December 21, 2012
Applesauce Ginger Cake with Maple Glaze

Imagine biting into this moist and tender cake. First you breathe in the aroma of cinnamon, and as you take your first bite, you savor the warm flavor of ginger. And then, just when you think you’ve figured out all the secrets of this sweet delight, you bite into a hidden nugget of candied ginger […]

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Lentil Soup with Coriander and Cumin

November 12, 2012
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Is there a word for when the wind sends the autumn leaves swirling in the driveway, orange blurring with gold, like calico cats chasing their tails? Well, there should be. Though it was unusually warm, yesterday looked like the classic fall day, leaves both bright and brown raining down, revealing the gray bones of the […]

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Mary McDougall’s Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

October 17, 2012
Pumpkin Walnut Muffins

The first time I made these muffins, I was worried because they contain molasses and I thought I didn’t like molasses. Wrong! I love molasses in these delectable pumpkin muffins. It gives them a dark richness and amplifies the spiciness of the cinnamon and nutmeg. The second time I made them, I was confident that […]

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Old Fashioned (Tofu) Chicken Salad

June 6, 2012
Tofu Chicken Salad

It’s chicken salad the way my mom used to make it–but with no chicken, mayo, or hard-boiled eggs. So maybe it’s not exactly my mom’s chicken salad, but it’s close enough to satisfy my craving for something savory and crunchy to put between two slices of bread.

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Tofu-Cashew Mayonnaise

April 19, 2012
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So much depends upon mayo. If you think that’s an exaggeration, try eating a dry sandwich or a tempeh salad with nothing but lemon juice to moisten it. For omnivores, the solution is easy: Grab a jar of egg-based mayonnaise off any supermarket shelf. For vegans, it’s a little more difficult; oil-based Vegenaise* and soy-based […]

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Pasta and Vegetables with White Sauce

March 21, 2012
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Welcome to another installment of My Family’s Favorite Recipes! If my daughter had her way, we’d eat pasta at every meal. Lasagna, mac and cheese, chili mac–she’s not picky, she’ll devour any of them. About once a week I give in to her demands, and the dish I most often make is this one, which […]

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Hummus in the Blender

March 12, 2012
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Always travel with hummus. That’s my advice to new vegans and to anyone trying to eat healthy on the road. Having hummus in a small cooler saved us last month when my family went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. With the streets and streetcars closed for parades, we were limited to restaurants we could […]

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Burritos with Spanish Rice and Black Beans

March 5, 2012
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A Facebook friend asked me recently if I had a list of my favorite recipes, and I was sorry to say that I didn’t. But what a good idea! Or so I thought, until I started to name all the recipes I considered favorites and found that the list would be so long that it […]

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Simple Scrambled Tofu and Kale with Sweet Potato Fries

February 6, 2012
Simple Scrambled Tofu and Kale with Sweet Potato Fries

I’ve long relied on soups as a way to cram as many vegetables as I can into my family’s diet, but the truth is, my daughter prefers to eat her leafy greens mixed into one of her two favorite foods: lasagna and tofu. Lasagna will always be her first choice, but for a super-quick meal […]

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Cashew Carrot Salad

July 31, 2011
Cashew Carrot Salad

I’ve discovered a salad that my daughter will gobble up like candy. In fact, she eats so much of it that she’s almost in danger of turning orange! I’m talking, of course, about good, old-fashioned carrot salad–but with a few updates and improvements.

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Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa

May 27, 2011
Cosmic Cashew Kale and Chickpeas with Confetti Quinoa

My daughter E graduated from middle school on Monday, so she’s officially a high schooler now. Yes, a high schooler. Those of you who picture her as she appeared in her first photo on this blog can perhaps appreciate how strange it feels to look at her and see both that nine-year-old girl and the […]

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Cabbage “Noodle” Soup

March 8, 2011
Cabbage Noodle Soup

One of my daughter E’s favorite soups is a “Chick’n” Noodle Soup that starts with Imagine’s No-Chicken broth and includes, besides pasta, either Soy Curls or another packaged chicken substitute such as Lightlife Smart Strips.   It’s one of those dishes that feel comforting on a chilly night or whenever our spirits need a lift, so […]

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E’s Super-Awesome Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

February 21, 2011
Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms Recipe

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during almost 14 years of parenting, it’s that if you want your kids to eat vegetables, get them into the kitchen to cook them.  Last week I was about to toss some Brussels sprouts into the oven to roast when my daughter stopped me: “Please don’t cook them in […]

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Sea-sational Chickpea Salad

September 8, 2010
Sea-sational Chickpea Salad

Eaten any good algae lately?  Chances are you have, even if you didn’t know it.  Algae, or sea vegetables, are used as stabilizers or thickeners in everything from mayo to ice cream, and even if you avoid processed foods, you’ve probably enjoyed sushi wrapped up in nori or miso soup flavored with wakame.  But if […]

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Baked Spring Rolls and Low-Fat Lo Mein

May 22, 2010
Easy Baked Spring Rolls

Instead of having two recipes for you today, I came very close to having none.  If my husband and daughter hadn’t walked in right in the middle of my culinary meltdown, tasted a couple of the misshapen spring rolls I had managed to coax out of the dried out wrappers that had been buried in […]

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E’s Samosa Wraps

June 23, 2009
Samosa Wraps

Like a lot of 12-year olds, my daughter E is hesitant to try new foods—and when I say hesitant, I mean she has to be bribed, threatened, or otherwise coerced into trying them. So when I recently picked up a couple of Amy’s Samosa Wraps because they were on sale, I hoped to get her […]

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Ridiculously Easy Lentil Soup

May 21, 2009
Ridiculously Easy Lentil Soup

May is the month when I generally give up on opening our screened windows and settle into the reality of air conditioning. While not as hot as the sauna that is June or the pressure cooker that is July and August, the end of May usually gives us Mississippians a good taste of the summer […]

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Chili Mac

August 2, 2008
Chili Mac

I’ve always known that labeling recipes as Kid-Friendly is somewhat misleading; children, like adults, all have different tastes, so predicting what other children might like based on my own child’s taste (which seems to change as often as her clothes lately) is kind of presumptuous as well as silly. Still, the error of my ways […]

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Tofu and Vegetables with Lower-Fat Thai Peanut Sauce

June 5, 2008
Tofu and Vegetables with Lower-Fat Thai Peanut Sauce

We were in Phoenix our last night in Arizona and really should have eaten at Green. We’d planned to, actually, but after D and I made the executive decision to eat lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant, E complained that we never let her decide where to eat. So, reluctantly–and playing up Green’s great qualities–I presented […]

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Smoky Refried Bean Soup

March 4, 2008
Smoky Refried Bean Soup

Thanks to everyone who emailed and left comments identifying my mystery birds. The robins and cedar waxwings are still hanging around, even after last night’s storms. I’ve discovered that they’ve finished the hackberries and are now eating our holly berries, so I’m hoping there’s enough food for them to stick around a while. Since I’ve […]

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Watching Your Weight? Eat Soup! (Dirty Little Secret Soup Recipe)

January 27, 2008
Dirty Little Secret Soup

Green on Green Soup I love soup, especially during cold weather. In the winter, about every other meal I make centers around soup. I tend to favor thick, chunky, meal-in-a-bowl soups, primarily because I’m too lazy to make lots of different courses. But if I had all the time and energy in the world, I […]

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Cauliflower Dal with Panch Phoran

January 17, 2008
Cauliflower Dal

Sometimes a recipe comes along that’s so spectacular that you feel compelled to climb your way up to the top of the nearest alp and sing like Julie Andrews, giddy and overflowing with such love for the world that the power of your emotions threatens to send you skidding down the mountain on the backside […]

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Thick and Hearty Split Pea Soup

December 18, 2007
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If your days are as busy and rushed as mine have been lately, perhaps you won’t mind if I give barely any introduction to this recipe. In a way, this is a soup that needs no introduction: it’s your basic, all-purpose, down-to-earth split-pea soup. This is the one I whip up when I’m serving curry-haters […]

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Chocolate-Orange Cake

December 3, 2007
Chocolate-Orange Cake

It’s citrus season in the Deep South. All along the highways of southern Louisiana and Mississippi, vendors are setting up stands selling local satsumas and oranges. I noticed them when D, E, and I were driving back from New Orleans at Thanksgiving, but I didn’t need to stop because we were already en route to […]

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Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 21, 2007
Double-Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake

[Insert standard "this is not a fat-free recipe" disclaimer here. Geez, what was I thinking when I named this blog!] I know most of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have already figured out your menus. I’m probably the only slacker who still doesn’t know what she’s cooking! I’m lucky, though. I’m going to my in-laws’ celebration […]

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North African Chickpea and Kale Soup

November 3, 2007
North African Chickpea and Kale Soup

If it seems to you like I’ve been making lots of soup lately, you’re right. Not that it’s been especially cool here, but once there’s even a hint of Fall nip in the air, I crave nothing more than a hot bowl of soup. I haven’t wanted to even glimpse a salad; give me all […]

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Easy Macaroni and “Cheeze”

October 1, 2007
Easy Macaroni and Cheeze

It’s a funny thing, but the recipe I’m asked for most often is the one I’m most reluctant to give out. Every time I mention that macaroni and “cheese” is one of E’s favorite dishes, parents wanting to wean their kids off the dairy stuff and onto something more healthy ask me for the recipe. […]

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Vegan Omelette for One

September 19, 2007
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I’m not a big breakfast eater. In fact, ordinarily I skip breakfast and don’t even miss it. But I’ve been trying to change my ways since finding out that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight than people who skip it. In addition to speeding up your metabolism, eating breakfast has also […]

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Confetti Cornbread

July 26, 2007
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During the summer, one of my most frequent meals is “fresh from the farmers’ market”: fresh peas, some greens, and cornbread. By “peas” I mean one of the many varieties of field peas available here in the South in the spring and summer, such as blackeyed peas, lady cream peas, pink-eye purple hull peas, and […]

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Barbecued Seitan Ribz

May 1, 2007
BBQ Ribz

Sunday was such a beautiful day that I had to get outside, away from the kitchen and the computer, and just enjoy the sunshine and flowers. I spent all of last week closeted in my office trying to copy files and programs to a new computer and set up a new home network. By Sunday […]

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Thick and Hearty Pinto Bean Chili

January 17, 2007
Thick and Hearty Pinto Bean Chili

Mississippi is finally getting a taste of the cold weather that’s sweeping across the country, and though some transplanted Northerners here may think that it’s long overdue, I just want to hibernate. Maybe I’m getting old, but I have no desire to go outside once the weather is below freezing. Yes, I know that in […]

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Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches

December 4, 2006
Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches

I don’t have a lot to say about this recipe. I mean, there are only so many ways I can say something’s delicious—Mmmmm! Yum! Wow! Awesome! Kid-Friendly!—without sounding like a 4th grader. The story on these quiches is that I saw a non-vegan recipe for mini crustless quiches in a magazine and wanted to try […]

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The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole

November 22, 2006
Vegan Green Bean Casserole

I just had to write a quick post about this recipe because D. and I just had some for lunch and oh my gosh, it is good! Truly, we were scraping the casserole dish clean. This is adapted and plagiarized from Alanna’s World’s Best Green Bean Casserole, and I have to say, the name fits. […]

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Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale

October 14, 2006
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I may have the only child in the world who begs for split pea soup as an after-school snack, but I’m not complaining. Yesterday I needed to cook dinner early because we were going out to dinner. To you non-vegetarians, that statement probably makes no sense at all, but the vegetarians and vegans out there […]

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International Quinoa Salad

July 6, 2006
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Whenever my husband sees that I’m cooking quinoa, his eyes light up and he asks if I’m making “The Salad.” It’s our favorite quinoa dish, but for a while I made it only on special occasions because I couldn’t figure out how to make it without using olive oil. I was just afraid that it […]

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Mexican Lasagna (or Enchilada Casserole)

July 1, 2006
Enchilada Casserole

When my daughter E. has a friend over for dinner for the first time, my first thought is often the same as what I imagine her friends’ parents think when E. comes to visit for the first time: “Oh no, what will I feed her!” Most kids come packing all sorts of food baggage: This […]

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Pasta and Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

June 14, 2006
Pasta and Vegetables with Peanut Sauce

When my family and I go on vacation, we either camp with our Coleman stove or stay in cabins or guest houses with kitchens so that we can prepare our meals and not have to worry about finding vegan food in remote places. But cooking can be tricky when we’re not in our own kitchen. […]

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Spinach and Artichoke Pie

April 18, 2006
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I rarely rave about a recipe, or at least I don’t think I do. But I have to rave about this one because it was quite simply the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. (And that is including decadent deserts, too!) This was something that was both long in the planning and thrown […]

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Cherry-Walnut Banana Bread

April 13, 2006
Cherry-Walnut Banana Bread

What do you do when the bananas are so over-ripe that they’re practically inedible? In my house, there are basically two choices: freeze them for smoothies or make banana bread. So I put it to a family vote, and the response was unanimous: Banana Bread! I’ve been making the same banana bread for years. The […]

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My Favorite Lasagna

March 24, 2006
Easy Vegan Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Last night I had the pleasure of having dinner with a group of people taking a Civil Rights Tour through the South. The menu for the night was barbecued pork sandwiches and pork-and-beans, the idea being to give them a little taste of local cuisine (which revolves around pork, apparently). The only problem: Several of […]

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Beefless Stew

March 21, 2006
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Yesterday was supposedly the first day of Spring, but you wouldn’t know it from our weather. It’s been raining for days and the temperature has been pretty chilly for Mississippi. So last night I resorted to a favorite family comfort-food: Beefless Stew. I try not to use many processed “meats” in my cooking, but every […]

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African Pineapple Peanut Stew

March 7, 2006
African Pineapple Peanut Stew

(Updated July 2014) Several years ago, my husband and I were thumbing through Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home when my husband stopped at this recipe and said, “Let’s try this one.” I looked at it. . . and then I looked at him like he was insane. Pineapple, onions, and kale? And peanut butter? What […]

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Rainy Day Lentil Soup

February 20, 2006
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The weather has been awful lately–cold and wet. Those of you who live north of here might say I’m being a big baby, but it’s all a matter of what you get used to, and I’m not used to highs in the 40′s. I’d been happily accepting days in the 60′s and 70′s as my […]

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Vegetable Couscous

January 24, 2006
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Last night’s dinner was a cooperative effort: D. chopped the veggies, E. opened cans and boxes, and I threw everything together on the stove. As a result, this old favorite of ours came together in record time, about 20 minutes from start to finish. While it was cooking, I threw together a salad to complete […]

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Curried Split Pea Soup with Cauliflower

January 20, 2006
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You might think that I plan all my dinners in advance, but the truth is I rarely decide what I’m going to cook until 5 minutes before I start. I like to keep my options open, so I keep a fairly well-stocked pantry and adapt recipes when I don’t have the exact ingredients. I mention […]

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Banana-Date-Walnut Muffins

January 16, 2006
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This morning I had a houseful of girls: my daughter E. had her friends J. and K. over to spend the night since today is a school holiday. I decided that instead of filling several breakfast orders (one loves grits, one likes cereal, one says she always eats bacon…) I’d make muffins. I took a […]

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