Meat Free Monday: Quick and Fresh-ish Salsa Bean Dip

This is an easy, quick, and fresh tasting dip, great for a party when you want something vegan that doesn’t seem too out of place.


  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
  • 1 can corn kernels
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 cans fat free refried beans (make sure they don’t have any lard or pork fat).


  • Dice the bell pepper and onion 
  • Mix the corn, 1 1/2 cups salsa, and onions into the refried beans.
  • Microwave the whole thing on 70% power for 8 minutes, rotating at least once.
  • Then pour the remaining 1/2 cup salsa onto the top of the dip to give it a pretty red top. 

Serve with tortilla chips, and enjoy.

Meat Free Monday: Emilie Eats’ Vegan Cajun Red Beans and Rice

So I finally took the time to make this recipe.

I won’t reprint the recipe (just follow the link above), but I will give my impressions:

First,  this took a lot more time and attention than I’m used to putting into my cooking. 

It had a lot of ingredients, several steps, and took a long time to cook. This is no problem for a true foodie, but I mostly cook so I’ll have something to eat.

The result was pretty good, but all I can really taste is the hot sauce, the bay leaves, and the dried beans, which I can never seem to get just right. 

So my verdict is: this is not a quick, easy, or lazy recipe. It requires more skilled hands than mine to really shine. Foodies only: for someone like me, it isn’t worth the effort as written.

I may try it again with canned beans. That will cut the cook time way down and remove my main source of error. 

I’ll also use less Tobasco, so it doesn’t overwhelm the other seasonings.

I really think this is a good recipe, but I’ll need to cut it down to my skill level for it to work for me. 

Meat Free Monday: Low Fat Oil Free Lentil “Tim” Curry

It’s a Tim curry because I’m Tim, it’s a curry,  and I wrote the recipe. Also, it can’t decide whether it wants to be a mad scientist, and evil clown, or a professional pirate when it grows up.

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 2 medium potatoes, cooked and diced. Sweet potatoes taste even better than white potatoes,  but both work well
  • 2/3 to 1 cup cooked cut carrots
  • 1/4 to 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • Curry powder and red pepper to taste
  • Salt and black pepper 


  1. If you haven’t done so already, cook the potatoes, lentils, and carrots
  2. Simmer the onion,garlic, and red bell pepper in a little water until slightly soft
  3. Stir in the lentils, potatoes, and carrots
  4. Add curry and ground red pepper to taste 
  5. Cook covered on low heat for 10 minutes, until everything is hot, and the flavors have mixed. If it doesn’t treats quite right, add curry, stir, and simmer a few minutes longer.
  6. Add salt and black pepper to taste on the plate. You’ll use a lot less salt that way, and it will taste better.
  7. Eat over rice for best effect

    It’s hard to express how much I like this recipe, so I’ll let a more eloquent Tim do it for me:

    Quick Microwavable Oatmeal that Tastes like Banana Pudding 

    I was eating some oatmeal that had gone cold and it hit me: “this tastes like banana pudding!” 

    Alright, it doesn’t have exactly the right consistency,  but the taste is definitely there. 

    I’ll share the recipe and you can tell me if I’m crazy.

    One serving (I usually eat 2 or 3 servings):

    • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
    • 2 medjool dates
    • 1/3 large ripe banana 

    Cut up the dates and put in a large microwavable bowl with the oatmeal. Cover the dates and oatmeal with water.

    Cook on high for 4 minutes

    Cut up the banana and stir into the cooked, how oatmeal.

    Let it cool just a little, then eat. Save a little, let it go cold, and see if you think it tastes like banana pudding. I do.

    Meat Free Monday: Crispy Oil Free Quick BBQ Tofu Sandwiches

    I feel like a Doctor Who villain: Devour! Devour! Devour!

    Seriously, I’ve never tasted, and certainly never made, tofu this good. And I owe it all to this video from Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen:

    This was actually my second batch. The first tasted good, but didn’t quite have the golden crisp texture I was looking for. This one nailed it.

    By the way, one package of tofu makes three big sandwiches or maybe six smaller ones.

    I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce as the final ingredient in the tofu “fry”, and added some to the sandwich.

    For the sandwiches, use your favorite bread (I made two sandwiches, one on white and one on seeded wheat, and both were equally good). 

    1. Toast the bread first.
    2. Spread each slice with a little mayo (optional).
    3. Add BBQ sauce to one slice, and layer it thick with golden crispy caramelized sauced tofu.
    4. Then add shredded cabbage (or cole slaw, if you prefer) and thin cut red onions. Go big with both of these, especially the cabbage. They bring a big crunch and bright flavors to the party, er, sandwich. 

    Put the sandwich together and you’re ready to go. 

    The tofu and the toasted bread are warm and both crispy and soft at once. The cabbage and onion are cold and crunchy.

    The combination of flavors and textures really makes the sandwich pop.

    Meat Free Monday: Quick Low-Fat Potato Hash

    It’s the one on the right. The one on the left is a skillet of low-fat white bean burgers.

    This has a yummy Southwestern flavor, but is mild enough for the most heat-averse palate. 

    • 4 medium potatoes
    • 1 can great northern beans,  rinsed
    • 1/2 large onion
    • 2-3 cloves garlic
    • 2 cups broccoli
    • 1-2 cups salsa or picante, to taste


    1. Steam broccoli (I used the microwave)
    2. While the broccoli is streaming, wash & perforate potatoes 
    3. And finely chop the onion and garlic
    4. Microwave the potatoes
    5. While the potatoes are cooking, soften half the onion bits and all the garlic in a little water in a skillet on high heat
    6. Cut the potatoes into chunks and put them into the skillet. Turn the heat down to medium
    7. Add the cooked broccoli and the beans
    8. Stir in the salsa and cook for a few (2- 5) minutes. Taste as you go to see how much salsa you want to add.
    9. Add the raw onions and cook for a few minutes more.

    This is hearty, filling, and low in fat. And delicious!

    Meat Free Monday: V for VeganDressing

    Remember remember the 25th of December

    The vegan cornbread dressing’s hot

    I see no reason in this merry session

    The dressing should be forgot

    Okay,  so I didn’t exactly cook this while wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, but I did mark it to differentiate it from the other cornbread dressings at our family gatherings. 

    I used the same recipe I used at Thanksgiving, ChefMom’s vegetarian cornbread dressing. I still used Food52’s  vegan cornbread recipe as my base. 

    But I modified the dressing a little. Last time, we were a bit put off by the strong sage flavor, so I eliminated the extra sage from the recipe (the poultry seasoning already has sage in it).

    But the biggest change was the incorporation of biscuits into the mix. My grandmother’s recipe used half cornbread and half biscuits as its base. I’d say mine is 2/3rds cornbread and 1/3rd biscuits. 

    I think those two changes will make it feel more like”home…” 

    …and they did. Everybody liked the dressing a lot more this time, judging both from their comments and their poetion size.

    Mission accomplished. 

    Meat Free Monday: Pan Fried Butternut Squash with Mushroom, Garlic, and Red Onion Sandwiches

    My wifie put this together, so I don’t have exact recipes. 

    Slice a butternut squash  into half inch (1cm) thick slices. Pan fry in a thin layer of olive oil. Let them get a little blackened if you like. It makes them taste sweeter.

    In a skillet with a thin layer of olive oil, sautee 8oz mushrooms with about 1/4 a large red onion and garlic to taste. Serve on toasted bread with vegan margaeine.