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lazy vegetarians are everywhere. this is a collection of easy recipes and tips for dining out for vegetarians with little time or effort.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pierogi made vegan

Pierogi are actually really easy to turn vegan, but are almost always vegetarian to begin with.

Peel and boil the potatoes and boil them until soft. Mash them well and set aside.

Start heating the olive oil in a large pan. Shred the onion and saute for a few minutes.

Stir in the soy milk, salt pepper and sour cream and heat until the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Blend the mixture into the mashed potatoes and set the filling aside.

Mix the dough ingredients together to form the dough.

Knead it for a few minutes, then roll out on a well floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness.

Cut circles with either a biscuit cutter or pint glass.

Make sure the dough circles are well floured so that they don’t stick together while you finish cutting and filling the pierogi.

Boil water in a large pot while you fill and close the pierogi.

Take each dough circle and put a small spoonful of the filling in the middle, then wet the edge a little bit and fold in half.

Pinch the edge shut starting at one end and methodically closing the whole side to make sure that there are not any holes.

Once they are sealed, boil them a few at a time until they begin to float in the water.

Some people will just melt butter or margarine on them and eat this way.

I like to pan fry them in just a little bit of oil. The other option is deep frying them, but just be careful to drain them well and not put wet pierogi into the deep fryer.

These can be filled with just about any filling, so get creative and have fun.



2 cups flour

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup oil

1 tsp. salt


3 to 4 potatoes, boiled and mashed

1/2 onion

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup soy milk

1 tub of tofuti sour cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sweet potatoes and almond syrup!

This is a simple recipe from Girl Cooks World that I need to try some time soon.
* 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled
* 1/4 cup light brown sugar
* 1/4 cup water
* 2 almonds, crushed
* vegetable oil for deep frying
* approximately 1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds
* salt to taste

For the full recipe check out Girl Cooks World

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Faux-chicken tetrazzini

One of my favorite tasks in the kitchen is to make vegetarian versions of the dishes my family ate when I was a kid.

Often, they are just approximations, sometimes I hit dead on and on occasion I improve upon the original.

One of those dishes that I always loved as a kid was chicken (or turkey) tetrazzini.

I’ve taken an old recipe and subbed in some veg alternatives and come out with something pretty good. Might not be better than my mom’s, but it is a satisfying and hearty meal.

This is pretty simple.

Prepare the spaghetti as directed on the box.

As the pasta is boiling, finely chop the mushrooms. I like to use baby bellas, but pretty much any mushroom will work.

Sauté the diced mushrooms in a couple of tablespoons of margarine until cooked through and lightly browned.

Prepare the frozen faux-chicken as directed on the package. You can use Quorn brand’s Chk’n Tenders for vegetarian or Morning Star Farms’ Meal Starter strips for a vegan dish. You can also heat and dice Boca’s Chik’N patties or nuggets for a different vegan version.

While the mushrooms and chick’n cook, heat a saucepan on med-low heat and melt 4-6 tablespoons of margarine.

Thicken with the flour and blend well.

Add the broth, milk and wine and mix thoroughly.

After both mushrooms and Chik’n are done cooking, stir into the sauce.

Prepare a casserole dish by lightly greasing the sides with margarine or non-stick spray.

Pour in both the drained pasta and the sauce. Mix together and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. For a vegan version, you can use vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast and some margarine to add some flavor to the top.

Bake at 425 until the top is slightly browned, or about 20 minutes


1 box of spaghetti (16 oz)

1 package frozen faux chicken

1 pack (8 oz) fresh mushrooms, diced

6 to 8 tbsps. margarine

2 1/2 cups veggie broth

1/4 cup cooking wine

1/4 cup flour

1 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk

1/2 cup grated parmesan or vegan alternative

Green stuff and pasta

This pasta dish is really just my way of combining my favorite green veggies.

Mixing asparagus, spinach and broccoli might not sound too appealing to some, but since we’re all grown ups, we’ll probably be alright.

Start by boiling the pasta however you normally cook your pasta, then drain and put back into the pot while veggies cook.

While that is boiling, dice one onion and sauté in olive oil.

Once the onions are beginning to brown, add the veggie broth and allow it to simmer over medium heat.

Add the broccoli and asparagus and cover, allowing this to heat in the broth.

Once the veggies are heated, but still a little crisp, pour this whole mixture into the pot with the drained pasta.

Add the baby spinach, frozen veggie crumbles and about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

Mix thoroughly and return to low or medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Once the spinach is cooked, serve sprinkled with the rest of the Parmesan cheese.

To make this vegan, just use a brand of veggie crumbles, like Boca, that don’t use egg or dairy to make them. Also, substitute the Parmesan cheese with a vegan Parmesan or combine 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast with a couple tablespoons of melted margarine.


1 box (16 oz) of penne or other pasta

1 bag frozen veggie crumbles

1 onion, diced

1 bunch asparagus cut in 1-inch pieces

1 to 2 crowns broccoli, chopped roughly

2 cups baby spinach

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 to 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
or vegan alternative

Friday, April 22, 2011

Baked Brussel Sprouts

This week’s recipe strikes right to the core of the Lazy Herbivore ethos. It is super-easy, takes little time and is totally vegan.

Brussel sprouts have been demonized by children and adults alike forever. They are not the most appealing veggie through normal preparation.

Boiling them and putting a little butter and salt often makes for a solid punishment for children.

But baking them gives you a light, crunchy veggie that is just as good as a side dish as it is for a snack.

And as far as simple recipes go, this is about as simple as they come.

Slice them in half (or quarters if you want to double your cutting efforts) and arrange them on a baking sheet.

Brush lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Bake at about 400 degrees for 6-8 minutes, flip them and bake for another 6-8 minutes.

You can also add some fresh chopped or minced garlic to replace the garlic powder, or spice it up with some cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning.

These baked sprouts won me over to brussel sprouts after a long time of remembering the torture that I always remember them being as a kid.

It helps that they are fresh sprouts instead of the frozen kind, and anything baked with garlic and salt can be amazing.


Brussel sprouts (fresh)

Olive oil




Vegan cinnamon buns

I have often professed my inefficiency at vegan baking.

Cooking vegan I can do, but baking vegan has always ended in flat, doughy breads and cakes that were not worth sharing.

So, being stubborn, I decided to try again, this time with cinnamon buns.

For this endeavor, I wanted help and found a recipe from that I decided to adapt a little bit.

The recipe was pretty easy, but time consuming.

The result was nothing short of spectacular.

So this week’s recipe is not mine, but rather the story of my first successful foray into vegan baking (besides cookies, but that doesn’t count, anyone can make cookies). recommends Earth Balance brand margarine, and I went with that because it is a great product that always works well.

They also called for Ener-G egg replacer, but I chose to use 1 banana and a mixture of 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Each of these is a suggested vegan egg replacement in a lot of recipes, but I tried using the two and found that it worked out.

Start by proofing the yeast as directed on the yeast packets, warm water, tsp sugar and yeast, set aside.

Next, melt the margarine on the stove.

Mix in the soy milk, sugar, salt and egg replacers from the dough ingredients. Mix until the concoction is smooth and everything is combined.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool below 110 degrees because it is time to add in the yeast mixture, and if it is too hot, the yeast becomes pointless.

Add the wet mixture to about 4 cups of the flour and mix thoroughly until it becomes a smooth batter.

Add the other two cups of flour and mix until it becomes a more solid, messy dough.

Knead the dough on a floured surface for about eight minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes somewhere warm.

After it has risen, roll it out in a rectangle about 15x20 inches.

Pour the ½ cup melted margarine evenly onto the dough surface, brushing to spread it out.

Drizzle the molasses around, then sprinkle the sugars and cinnamon from the filling ingredients to cover the whole top of the dough.

Roll up the dough, gently, and then slice the roll into the individual rolls. This should make 9-12 rolls depending on how thick you slice them.

Pour the melted margarine into a long, flat casserole dish or lasagna pan and coat all surfaces.

Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup of sugar.

Place the rolls in the pan and allow them to rise for about 45 minutes.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

The icing is simple, combine the ingredients and stir well until it resembles icing and has no lumps.

Spread icing and enjoy.

These were so good that I’ve now begun thinking about baking more often.


For the dough:

4 tsp active yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 cup warm water

1 cup soymilk

2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup margarine

2 tsp salt

2 eggs worth of egg replacer

6 cups all-purpose flour


½ cup margarine, melted

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 tbsp cinnamon

2-3 tbsp molasses

For the pan:

½ cup margarine, melted

1/3 cup sugar

For the frosting:

¼ cup margarine

1/3 cup Tofutti cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Easy veg egg rolls

Chinese food (or the Americanized version we eat in this country, anyway) is often an easy vegetarian choice, since most restaurants offer a tofu dish or vegetable stir-fry.

Most however don’t have egg rolls that are meat-free.

Making the deep-fried classic is easy, once you gather the right ingredients.

To make it really easy, I use a frozen veggie assortment that are made for stir-fry and usually are an appropriate assortment. You can also just use fresh veggies, but the effort and cost put in seems pointless since you’re going to shred everything and then deep fry it in a wrapper. So I go for the easiest route, frozen.

Start by defrosting the veggie assortment or chopping fresh veggies very small.

Next shred the carrot and cabbage with a food processor, do just chopping very fine with a knife.

Mix together all of the vegetables.

Heat a frying pan with the sesame oil, then fry the vegetable mixture, stirring frequently.

As the cabbage shreds become limp, add the soy sauce, sriracha and spices. Stir well, then set aside.

Either heat up your deep fryer to 350 or put about 3 inches of oil in a pot and heat to about 350 on the stove.

Lay the egg roll wrappers on a plate positioned like a diamond. Brush a little water around the edges to that they will stick once wrapped.

Put about two tablespoons (more or less depending on the size of the wrapper) of the filling in a line at the middle of the wrapper.

Fold the bottom corner up and over the filling. Fold in the two sides, then roll up the top corner. Place with the seam side down on a plate so until you’re ready to fry.

Once you have a few ready, drop them into the oil for 2-3 minutes, then flip them over and cook for a couple more minutes.

After they are nice and brown on all sides, place them on some paper towels to drain excess oil.


1 package or egg roll wrappers

1/2 head of cabbage

1 carrot

1 bag (8 oz) of frozen mixed veggies, stir fry assortment

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsps. sesame oil

Oil for frying

Scallion Pancakes

One of my favorite appetizers is the scallion pancakes from New Harmony in Philadelphia.

This all vegan Chinese restaurant has a ton of amazing food, and if you get the chance, go get their all-you-can-eat dim sum. It is a parade of delicious appetizers dropped at your table until you pass out in a food coma.

These are not as good as the New Harmony ones, but are a good homemade alternative.

Start by boiling the water.

As this heats up, sift flour into a large bowl.

Add the water slowly to the flour, stirring constantly. Incorporate all of the water until a dough forms.

Roll the dough into a ball, cover with a damp towel and let it rest for about a half hour.

Slice the scallions and grate the ginger.

Roll the dough on a well-floured surface into a large, thin rectangle.

Mix the two oils and lightly brush the surface of the dough.

Mix the scallions, ginger and sesame seeds, then spread them evenly around the oiled dough.

Roll the dough up and quarter it.

Each piece should be flattened to about a 6 to 8 inch pancake.

Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Fry each side of the pancake for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels, then cut into wedges.

Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce and serve.

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup sliced scallions

1 tsp fresh ginger, grated fine

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp toasted sesame seed (optional)


1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp sugar

Vegan cream of mushroom and spinach soup.

For a vegetarian, I’ve never been good at liking mushrooms.

As I get older, I find more that work for me. Usually in dishes that don’t give me the mushroomy texture.

Cream of mushroom soup is not something I would have thought I’d ever find appealing.

So when presented with the idea of crafting a mushroom soup, I figured that would be a good challenge.

A friend’s basic cream of mushroom soup recipe was the base for this (thanks Kaik) and then I tried to make it taste less mushroomy.

I started with a mixture of mushrooms. You can use whatever variety you like best, but I chose mostly baby bellas with a few porcini, oyster and shitake.

Start by sauteing the mushrooms in olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. This should take about 10 minutes to brown them completely.

Add the garlic and ginger and allow them to saute for a few minutes.

Next, pour in the almond milk and the veggie bullion.

Raise heat to allow this to come to a brief boil, then reduce heat again and simmer, stirring frequently.

Add the soy sauce and sriracha according to your taste.

The spinach can be chopped or you can remove any stems, or just dump in all of it into the soup.

Allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes to combine the flavors.

Puree the soup in a food processor or blender, then put it back on the stove.

Heat the newly liquified soup and add about 1/4 cup of the potato flakes to thicken the soup.

Slowly add more potato flakes to thicken until the soup is at your desired consistency.


8 to 12 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 to 3 tbsps. olive oil

1 quart almond milk

2 cubes vegetable bullion

1 package fresh baby spinach (6 oz)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger, minced

1 to 2 tbsps. soy sauce or Bragg’s

1 to 2 tsps. sriracha hot sauce

1/2 to 1 cup instant mashed potato flakes