Italian Winter Stew

Italian Winter Stew
Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced sweet onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 potatoes, diced 1-inch
  • 1 small acorn squash, peeled, seeded and diced 1-inch
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano or marjoram leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped basil leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 packed cups de-stemmed and chopped kale
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Italian bread, for serving 

Heat olive oil in a 6-quart saucepan and sauté onion until golden, 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, 1 minute. Add wine and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes including liquid, broth, potatoes, squash, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle boil, then stir in kale. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in cannellini and red kidney beans and simmer 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with Italian bread.

Broccoli with Roasted Shallots or Onions and Mushrooms

Broccoli with Roasted Onions and Mushrooms
Serves 4

  • Olive oil or oil spray
  • 4 large shallots, peeled and halved or 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarter- or eighth-wedges
  • 4 ounces whole mushrooms
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or to taste
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Adjust rack to lower position. Line a baking pan with foil and brush with oil.

Rub or spray vegetables with oil and place on prepared pan, onions or shallots cut-side down, and mushrooms stem-side down. Roast mushrooms and shallots until they are nicely browned all over, about 15 minutes; onions until crisp-tender and browned at the edges, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cooled, if mushrooms are very large cut them in half.

Meanwhile, cut broccoli into florets. Peel stalk and cut into rounds 1/4-inch thick. In the bottom of a steamer basket place rounds of stalk. Add florets on top. Steam over 1/2 inch of boiling water until fork-tender, 7 minutes.

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet on medium and cook broccoli until lightly browned on one side. Add roasted vegetables and sauté until heated through. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Corn & Bean Casserole

Corn & Bean Casserole
Serves 6

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn kernels, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 (15 ounce) cans black eyed peas, small red kidney beans or black beans, drained and rinsed (2 1/4 cups cooked beans)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups corn flour or cornmeal
  • 1 cup grated or shredded cheddar-style nondairy cheese, optional

In a large skillet, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and bell pepper and sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, place reserved corn liquid in a measuring cup and add water to equal 1 cup; transfer to a saucepan. Add 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Whisking continuously, slowly add cornmeal. Whisk until mixture is smooth with no lumps. Reduce heat to very low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes for corn flour or 20 minutes for cornmeal.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a square or rectangular 2-quart baking dish. Spread half the cooked cornmeal into bottom of baking dish. Spread vegetable mixture over cornmeal. Add a layer of cheese if using. Top with remaining cornmeal and smooth the top. Bake about 1 hour, until cornmeal is golden brown and crusty and filling is bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes, then cut into serving pieces.

Maria's Rich Chocolate Cake or Cupcakes

Maria's Rich Chocolate Cake
Recipe contributed by Maria Flores

Makes 1 frosted cake


  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sugar (3 parts white sugar, 1 part brown sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or other nondairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup to 6 tablespoons boiling water, as needed


  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For cupcakes grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners, or for cake grease a cake or loaf pan. In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients: flours, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together wet ingredients: milk, oil, tofu and vanilla extract. Mix wet mixture into dry mixture. Slowly mix in 1/4 cup boiling water and add more if needed until consistency is thin, like applesauce. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake cupcakes 18 to 20 minutes or cake bake 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan 5 minutes or cake 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and cool completely. When completely cool, make frosting:  in a bowl beat together tofu, sugar, cocoa and vanilla until fluffy. Frost cupcakes or cake, and serve.

NYC Halal Cart-Style Chick’n or Tofu, Yellow Rice & White Sauce

NYC Halal Cart-Style Chick’n, Yellow Rice & White Sauce
Serves 6

*VEGAN YOGURT SUBSTITUTE (for use in recipes, makes 1 cup)

  • 1 cup drained silken tofu
  • 2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

WHITE SAUCE  (Makes 2 cups)

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Vegan Yogurt Substitute* or commercial plain nondairy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 rounded tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Salt, optional, to taste

**HALAL SEASONING   (Makes 1 tablespoon)

•  3/4 tsp coriander
•  1/4 tsp cardamom
•  1/4 tsp turmeric
•  3/4 tsp cumin
•  1/4 tsp cinnamon
•  1/8 tsp allspice
•  3/4 tsp paprika
•  1/4 tsp cloves
•  1/8 tsp cayenne
•  1/4 tsp black pepper
•  1/4 tsp nutmeg
•  1/8 tsp ginger


  • 1/2 cup Vegan Yogurt Substitute * or commercial plain nondairy yogurt 
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Halal Seasoning**
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 packages Gardein Chick’n Scallopini (8 cutlets), thawed, OR 1 block extra-firm tofu cut into 8 slices, drained and pressed*
  • High-heat oil (canola, safflower, grapeseed)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups white long-grain or Basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken-flavor vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Hot sauce

FOR VEGAN YOGURT SUBSTITUTE:  In a blender combine tofu, lemon juice and red wine vinegar; blend until thoroughly combined. Remove 1/2 cup and set aside for marinade.

FOR WHITE SAUCE:  To the 1/2 cup Vegan Yogurt Substitute in blender add mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, and pepper; blend until smooth. Season with salt if desired. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

FOR MARINADE:  Return reserved Vegan Yogurt Substitute to blender. Add lemon juice, oregano, Halal Seasoning, garlic and olive oil; blend until smooth. Transfer marinade to a Ziploc bag, add chick’n or tofu, seal, turn to coat, and marinate 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

FOR YELLOW RICE:  In a heavy 4- to 6-quart saucepan having a tight-fitting lid, melt margarine over medium heat. Add turmeric and cumin and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until rice is fully coated and lightly toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broth, salt and pepper. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Keeping covered, remove from heat and let rest until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

FOR CHICK’N:  Preheat a 12-inch skillet, add high-heat oil and heat until shimmering. Remove chick’n from marinade, add to skillet and brown on both sides. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Transfer chick’n to a dish and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices. If serving immediately, return chick’n to skillet with all remaining marinade, and stir to coat cut edges. If preparing in advance, return chick’n to bag with marinade and refrigerate.

TO SERVE:  Divide rice among 6 plates. Alongside rice and add lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Place chick’n over rice and top with white sauce. Serve immediately, passing hot sauce and extra white sauce at the table.