Jan 27 2011

Week 2


Monday – Quesadillas

These quesadillas are great for children and adults. They only take a few minutes to make (after you cook the brown rice). If I know I will be making them during the week, I’ll usually cook the brown rice Sunday night while I’m doing stuff around the house. I put in the refrigerator and save it for the next day or later in the week when I will be making the quesadillas. The brown rice and beans provide ton of protein and fiber. Black beans are also a great source of antioxidants.


  • 4 cups Shredded Rice Cheddar Cheese (Galaxy brand at Whole Foods)
  • 4 (10-inch) whole grain flour tortillas
  • Black Bean Filling, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups brown rice
  • Non-Dairy Sour cream – like tofitti


1) Cook the rice. This takes about 45 minutes. Wait to continue with the rest of the recipe until the rice is ready.

2) Make the black bean filling – Mix together the rice and beans. Then add cumin and garlic and mix well together.

3) Spread sour cream alternative on ½ of the tortilla.

4) Put rice cheddar on top of the sour cream.

5) Put the rice/bean mixture on top of the cheese, fold in half, spray with butter alternative or vegetable oil.

6) Put on the panini maker for about 3 minutes. If you don’t have a panini maker you can put a little oil on both sides of the tortilla and brown each side in a frying pan until it turns golden.

Tuesday – Spinach and Squash Gnocchi


  • 1 pound shelf-stable gnocchi
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced peeled butternut squash or unpeeled delicata squash (1- to 2-inch-long slices)
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots (1-2 medium)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. If using frozen gnocchi, cook in a large pot of boiling water according to package directions. Drain, rinse and pat dry. (If using shelf-stable gnocchi, skip this step.)
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, squash, shallots and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, currants, sage and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the squash is almost cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Add spinach, chickpeas and the gnocchi and cook, gently stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes more. Serve drizzled balsamic vinegar (if you choose).

Wednesday – Seitan Piccata with White Wine and Caper Sauce

This recipe if from Alicia Silverstone’s book. It’s a version of Candle 79’s recipe that is amazing! If you like chicken, or used to, you will love this dish. It’s very similar to chicken piccata, only better!

Next time you’re in New York, take a trip over to Candle 79 for some of the best vegan food you’ve ever had!


6 large pieces plain seitan (about a pound–I used Westsoy in the blue box and just broke it up into small pieces)

Whole wheat flour for dredging (about 3/4 C)

1/4 C olive oil

1/2 C diced shallots

1/2 C diced onion

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 C drained capers

1 C dry white wine

1/4 lemon juice

1 C vegetable broth

2 Tbs all-purpose flour

4 Tbs soy margarine (Earth Balance)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper


Dredge the seitan in the whole wheat flour, shaking off the excess. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add the seitan and saute until crisp and tender, about 30 seconds per side.

Transfer seitan to a plate. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs oil in the same skillet. Add the scallions, onions, garlic, and capers and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, 1-2 mins. Add the wine, and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half. Whisk in the lemon juice, and cook until sauce has reduced a bit more, 1-2 mins. Whisk in broth and the all-purpose flour and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 min to thicken. Whisk in the margarine, salt and pepper.

Pour over seitan and serve immediately. (I added the seitan to the pan and coated it with the sauce).

Thursday – Chile

This is a very satisfying and delicious chili recipe. My little Henry had 3 bowls last time I made it! The sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene and black beans are a great source of protein, fiber and antioxidants.


  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½  tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (if you don’t have it – don’t worry. It adds a nice touch, but it’s not crucial).



  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (or medium pot) over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Grocery List – Week 2

I recommend going to Whole Foods if you have one near you because you can find everything on this list there.

Whole Wheat Tortillas(10 inch – get as many as you will be making)

1 bag Rice Cheddar Cheese – Galaxy is a good kind

Non-dairy sour cream – Tofutti has a good one

Non-Dairy margarine – Earth Balance is good

6 large pieces plain seitan (about a pound–I used Westsoy in the blue box and just broke it up into small pieces)

4 Shallots

2 onions

1 large sweet potato

2 limes

2 lemons

2 Garlic Bulbs – you will likely only need 1, but get 2 just in case

Currants (2 tbls)

1 tbls fresh sage – or 1 teaspoon dry

¼ cup fresh cilantro (not totally necessary if you can’t find it)

8 cups spinach

2 cups butternut squash

1 lb gnocchi


Garlic Powder

Ground chipolte chile (or chile powder if you can’t find it)

3 cans black beans

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1 jar capers

1 32 oz vegetable broth (you will need it for 2 recipes)

Balsamic vinegar (not essential if you want to skip it)

Brown rice

1 pound shelf stable gnocchi

All purpose flour

Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup dry white wine

Olive Oil

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