Monthly Archives: February 2012

Vegetarian Bouneschlupp (Green Bean Soup) and Vegetarian Pâté {Luxembourg}

Oh, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.  Or you can just call it Luxembourg.  A tiny, wealthy European country, the cuisine is similar to French cuisine.  Read: rich, meat-heavy, potato-heavy, cheese, and pastries.  Since I made this meal the day before our Valentine’s Swiss meal, which was very cheese-centric, (yes I am that behind on posting) I didn’t exactly need to be eating oodles of pastries, and meat is obviously out of the question.

Vegetarian Bouneschlupp is the fancy name for green bean soup.  This was great for being a simple recipe with simple, common ingredients.

This recipe is remarkably easy.  Almost too easy.  But very tasty.

Vegetarian Bouneschlupp:  (Serves 6 ) Vegan if no yogurt garnish used


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1.5 lbs green beans
  • 3 medium potatoes, cubed (I didn’t bother peeling)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dill and Greek Yogurt for garnish


  1. Heat oil in pot.
  2. Add in onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add potatoes and green beans.  Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add water and bouillon.
  5. Bring to a boil and let simmer until potatoes are tender.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and dill to taste.
  7. Garnish with yogurt if desired.

Easy, like I said.

This recipe was not all she wrote for my Luxembourg experience.  I went for it with a vegan pâté.  If the idea of little ground livers creeps you out (this was not my thing way before a vegetarian lifestyle was even on my radar), don’t give up on pâté.  Delicious savory spread.  Too bad I took it took work and forgot it there…ah, well, coworkers need pâté too.

Instructions for my pâté?  Grind the following: 1 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 nutritional yeast, 1/4 oil, 1 peeled tater, 1/4 peeled carrots, 1 stalk celery, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp salt, juice of one lemon, 1 1/2 cups water, 1 T delicious mustard, and your choice of seasonings (I used parsely, thyme, and pepper).  Then bake it for 1 hour at 350.  Spread that one some great carbs.

Categories: European Food, Food, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Moksi Meti Recipe {Suriname}

Hey, hey, people!  I have returned from the land-of-cooking-a-lot-but-posting-a-little.  I must get back into the swing of things with posting.  Be prepared (in the words of Uncle Scar).

Last night proved to be an interesting night.  The country challenge–Suriname.  Suriname is on the northern coast of South America.  Much like the U.S. is a country of many immigrants, Suriname is composed of people from the land-of-somewhere-else.  Their food culture stems from the food cultures of India, Indonesia, and Africa among others.

(You guys are missing Jordan’s maps right now, huh?)

One of Suriname’s most popular dishes is Moksi Meti.  Loosely translated, it means mixed meats.  Sounds like the best vegetarian to choose to make, right?  Yeah….you’ll see.  Moksi Meti is typically served with either noodles or rice.

What you see below—all plants believe it or not.  Yep, vegan Moksi Meti.

I’m going to once again not provide you a recipe; not because I don’t want you to make it, but because I’m skeptical that it should actually be called a recipe.  But I will still tell you my method and ingredients.

My version is less mixed meat and more mixed protein.  I used three different types of plant-based proteins: gardein breasts (soy based), seitan (wheat-based), and tofu cubes.  They were sauteed in some oil, before a pepper/soy sauce was added to the pan.  This created a beautiful glaze for all the proteins.

My base for the Moksi Meti was soba noodles with sauteed carrots, bean sprouts, and bok choy.  Had to find a way to sneak more vegetables into the dish.  If a made this dish again, I would probably leave the bok choy out and use regular soba noodles instead of the buckwheat.  I just was not a fan of it last night.

That’s okay.  I was a big fan of the glazed mixed proteins.  Just another photo to post of them…

We tried our hand at making our own roti last night (I say we because Jordan helped out with the meal).  I would call it a learning experience.  I think I need to add a bit more flavor to my dough and make it a little bit thinner.  Don’t you worry, we’ll be trying again tonight for Trinidad and Tobago!

Because last night was Fat Tuesday, we had to celebrate a bit too.  But I wimped out and went for some easy, non-Surinamese goodness.

Catholics, come here to find you meatless Friday meals during Lent!

Categories: Breads/Starches, Food, Latin American Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Zeppelin Dumplings (Cepelinai) and Beet-Stuffed Onions {Lithuania}

Jordan really wants me to get my recipe-planning self off of the European continent.  Too many similarities between Scandinavian food, Croatian, Lithuanian, and Hungarian food.  Yeah, we could probably use some Latin American food soon.  Too bad the rest of the week features Switzerland and Luxembourg.  Woops.

Nevertheless, I’d call last night’s meal a success.  I started with some great ingredients.  Last night was my first time handling fresh dill.  I shouldn’t have waited 26 years to do so.  Smells so good when being chopped.

I made one time consuming dish and one quick assembly dish.  First, the quick assembly dish.  Beet-stuffed onions were so easy and fast.  And I love beets.  Occasionally, I actually have beet cravings, making me especially thankful for canned beets. This “recipe” includes chopping beets and onions, seasoning with salt, pepper, and sugar and then placing in an onion shell (about three layers thick).

I drizzled the remaining beet juice over it liberally and garnished with some dill.

Now onto the fun.  I typically enjoy cooking, finding it therapeutic.  But then there are times when it is simply fun.  Last night was one of those nights.

Cepelinai is a very typical Lithuanian dish.  Typically, it is made of potato dumplings and is stuffed with ground meat.  So I brought in the [faux] beef again.  In case you’re a Knoxvillian wondering where to pick up this [very cheap] faux beef, I’ve only been able to find it at Three Rivers Coop.  Here’s a shot of those TVP granules just in case you were curious.

For my dumpling filling, I combined these with onions (and oil), salt, pepper, and a handful of chopped dill.

The filling was easy and quick to prepare.  But the dumpling dough took a bit more time.  I mashed two potatoes, and combined the mash with three potatoes worth of pulp (peel, shred, and strain three potatoes using a cheesecloth–I was shocked at the water content of potatoes!), and 1/4 cup whole wheat all-purpose flour, and a teaspoon of salt.

Once the dough was made, I really enjoyed making the individual dumplings.  Roll it, and pat it…

Don’t mark it with a letter.  Instead, put 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling in it.

Closing the dough around the filling, form the dumpling into the shape of a lemon (or football of the U.S. variety if you wish).

Set them up for a photo shoot.  Or don’t.

Carefully drop each of them into a large pot of simmering water.

Once they start to float, they’ll need about 25 minutes to cook through.

I served mine topped with Greek Yogurt (why would anyone ever opt for sour cream with this nutritionally sound option around?) and crispy fried onions.  Prepare for more shots of dumplings than is ever necessary.

These were delicious.  I thought the flavors in the filling were just right. The “beef” flavored TVP seemed to work even better in this dish than in the goulash from Saturday.

Beet juice sort of took over the plate.  Doesn’t make for the best picture, but it did make for a tasty dumpling sauce when combined with the yogurt.

Until tomorrow.  Cannot wait for Valentine’s Day food!

Categories: European Food, Food, Grocery Stores, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Hungarian Goulash and Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I love puns.  But a pun about the country of Hungary on a food blog…I just cannot bring myself to do it.   Just know that I thought about it.

Sorry I’ve got no map of Hungary for you.  But you should know where it is anyway, right?  Hungarian cuisine is similar to Croatian, at least in part.  Both are known for soups–especially goulash, and though I chose to make stuffed cabbage rolls for Hungary, 97% of Croatian women over 25 eat cabbage rolls on a regular basis (Wikipedia-proven, naturally).

Believe it or not, our temperatures have been dipping below freezing.  It snowed here for the better part of two hours yesterday.  Goulash just sounded appropriate for our weather.

It started well.  I love sights like this:

It ended like this:

Paprika is goulash’s shining star.  Goulash is so similar to chili, though, that it was tempting for me to add cumin, oodles of chili powder, and even cocoa powder.  But I resisted.  My goulash was made with a solid amount of onions, paprika, noodles, and vegetarian beef-flavored textured vegetable protein.  Looks like ground beef in the photo, though, right?

I thought the goulash was decent, but I much preferred the stuffed cabbage rolls over it.  Maybe that’s just because it seemed like so much more work was put into the cabbage rolls.

First things first, I had to peel leaves and boil them.  I boiled them for about five minutes, until they were soft enough to roll.  Since cabbage rolls are typically stuffed with ground pork or ground beef, I had to be a bit creative with my stuffing.  I used onion, salt, pepper, the beef-like TVP used in the goulash, a brown/wild rice mix, and a chia egg (chia seeds soaked in water for five minutes as a binding agent).

Roll those leaves like burritos.  Tuck the sides.

I prepared a bed of onions, shredded cabbage, and sauerkraut for the cabbage rolls.

The rolls were added.

Cover the bed of shreds with a water and tomato paste mixture.

These simmered (covered) forevvvveeeerrrr.  Or like two hours before the rice started to cook.  And then they were ready.

I do love me some cabbage.

I think I’m Hungary again.  Shame on me.


Categories: European Food, Food, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Moroccan Roll {Schlada, Chickpea Couscous, and M’hanncha}

Oops! Due to storage issues, this post has been moved to a new location:

See you there!

Categories: Baking, Desserts, Food, North African Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

How to Finnish Your Meal: Finnish Pea Soup, Mushroom Salad, and Rustic Karelian Pasties

I love puns.  Please endure them for my sake.

Last night, we “Finnished” our meal completely.  Ah, Nordic countries.  Someday, I will go on a great Nordic bicycle trip.  Someday.  But until then, I’ll keep making delicious pasties.

I’ve got to say, I am partial to the cuisine of the eastern side of the country, as they rely more on vegetables and mushrooms, compared to the more meat- and fish-centric western side.  Rye breads and crusts are common in Finland, and soups are common as well.  Also, because of the cold weather in these countries, many recipes are focused on dairy products and starches, as they are available on a year-round basis.

If anyone is curious about the actual recipes used, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll send along, but the Pea Soup and Mushroom salad recipes are so simple that I feel like it’s maybe a stretch to call them recipes.

For my mushroom salad, I used oyster mushrooms.  I had never seen eaten these before…or apparently smelled them.  The instant I opened the package, I was afraid that we wouldn’t enjoy them.  After some rehydrating, I was a little less anxious trying them, though.  The smell subsided a bit.

To these, you just add heavy cream, the juice of one lemon, and salt and pepper.  No recipe, just use what you need to cover the mushrooms.  Certainly, with a cream and lemon juice combination, the mushrooms tasted good.  Jordan even said that he really enjoyed this dish (which was a relief after the initial olfactory shock the oyster mushrooms gave us).

Most of the prep time for this meal was spent on the Karelian pasties (karjalanpiirakka). They have a rye flour base, which I loved.  I think I’ll definitely use the crust to make some galettes in the future.  So easy, but look like a lot of work.

The filling for these is cooked rice with almond milk added to make the mixture creamy.  I also added some sprinkles of sea salt.

I did make an egg butter to brush on the top of the Karelian pasties, but honestly I wasn’t really in the mood for egg so I didn’t push the issue by spreading it on too thick.  They are cute, yeah?

I really had fun experimenting with the sides in this meal.  I’m not sure why, but I was most anxious about this meal for this week, and I was happy to see it pan out (is that accepted as pun #2 for the post??).  These two sides also went really well with the basic split-pea soup.  The overall meal had a lot of different flavors, although I admit that it was a bit low in the leafy greens department.

I’m not sure I’ll have too many posts this weekend with recipes.  But you cannot blame me, because you would find it hard to devote your weekend to menu planning when you’ve got computer training curriculum to complete and especially hard when you’ve got these two fellas visiting you:

That’s right, we’ll have a full house apartment here this week.  Jordan’s brother and sister-in-law and the two aforementioned fellas will be exploring much of what Knox (and probably Sevier) County have to offer throughout the next six days.  (By the way, I would definitely wish the least little guy a happy 2nd birthday via blog if I was convinced he was a subscriber).  I wonder if the boys will like Algerian food?

Help!  Anyone have any suggestions on what countries’ dishes I should prepare for the house guests this weekend?

Categories: Baking, European Food, Food, Soups, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Cabbage and Spinach Kutendela with Mini-Sweet Potato Biscuits {Malawi}

The camera’s back!

Is this stretching anyone’s geographic knowledge?   Malawi is a landlocked country located in southeast Africa.

Though Malawi was a British colony until 1964, there are relatively few outside influences on Malawian cuisine.  Staple, such as potatoes, yucca, and millet are very important.  Beans, tomatoes, cabbage, and green vegetables also play a big role in Malawian cuisine, as do onions and peanuts.  The techniques remain quite simple.

Nsima, a type of cornmeal porridge, is the single most popular dish, I skipped over it when I saw that sweet potato biscuits were popular in the country.  Any chance I get, I will incorporate sweet potatoes into my meal.

Usually, the above pictured Mbatata are served as sweet snacks.  I used mine as bread to serve with the soup, but I can see how some drizzled frosting could be excellent with them.  What soup, you ask?  (Okay, no one asked…)

We ate Cabbage and Spinach Kutendela.

Kutendela is peanut sauce/powder, which is common in Malawi, and many other African cuisines.  The recipe is simple and fast, and eventually I learned to really enjoy the taste.

Cabbage and Spinach Kutendela (Serves 4)


  • 1 T oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/2 head of medium cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup water+more water for thinning the peanut butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt


  1. Heat oil in pan on medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add tomato and cabbage.  Stir and saute for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add one cup of water.  Cover and let cook down under cabbage is tender.
  4. Thin peanut butter with warm water until it reaches gravy-like consistency.  Mix salt and peanut butter mixture into pan.
  5. Add spinach and stir in until wilted.

Not half bad.  But not as addicting as those little Mbatata Sweet Potato biscuits!

Categories: African Food, Breads/Starches, East African Food, Food, Soups, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Costa Rican Casado

Meet Gallo Pinto.

Or rather, meet the “No-Gallo Pinto.”  Gallo Pinto literally means “spotted rooster,” and this vegetarian version of the dish lacks rooster. Gallo Pinto is one Costa Rica’s national dishes and is typically served with a cabbage salad and fried plantains.  The whole plated combination is referred to as “casado.”

Gallo Pinto is a budget-friendly and healthy dish.  Vegetarian Gallo Pinto is even cheaper–no need to purchase chicken.  As an extra bonus, it’s quite easy to make at home!

No-Gallo Pinto (Vegan) Serves 8


  • 2 T oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 cups rice (we used long grain white)
  • 15 oz black beans (cooked)
  • 1 chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 T paprika
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 t coriander
  • 2 cups water
  • 13.5 oz light coconut milk


  1. Heat oil in large pan on medium.  Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic and bell peppers and fry for 2-3 more minutes.
  2. Add in all remaining ingredients.  Stir so that seasonings are distributed evenly.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer while covered until rice is cooked.  (Since we used white rice, it was about 20 minutes for us).

Serve with a salad and friend plantains.

The cabbage I put together was also light and easy to assemble.  Shredded cabbage, chopped tomato and cucumber, avocado, the juice of one lime, salt and pepper.  No real recipe there.  As for the plantains…

If you plan on sticking around the blog (and I really hope you do!), you’ll quickly become acquainted with fried plantains.  So many countries around the world put plantains to good use.

These are so good.  And so easy.  I think I’ll start making whole meals of fried plantains now.  Heat a pan, add a little oil or butter (or E.B.), toss in your plantain slices, flip when underside is brown.  Once they are good and browned, sprinkle with sea salt.

I love the emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables within Costa Rican cuisine.  I know it’s also lame to say on Week 2 of The Pearl Project, but I was also thrilled with how easy this meal was to put together.  Sure, knife skills are necessary, but beyond that, no crazy culinary techniques are needed to make this taste great.

(The camera died during my picture-taking stage, so my posts are a little bit behind. Not to worry, the battery is now fully charged!)

Categories: Food, Latin American Food, Vegan, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

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