May 24, 2011


Apparently it's the time of year for asparagus. I've been seeing it blogged about a lot lately so when I saw bunches of it at the grocery store a few days ago I couldn't help but pick some up. I know this might seem silly but I didn't know how to prepare it. So I googled it and this is the first thing that came up. Turns out asparagus is practically the easiest thing to prepare ever.
Trim off the bottoms, add a little water to a glass dish, cover and microwave for 2.5 minutes. Beyond that I just drained off the water, topped with a little butter and sprinkled with some Bragg's Organic Sprinkle Seasoning, which by the way is great on just about anything! It's a salt-free combo of dried herbs and spices with so much flavor you won't miss the salt. And no, they're not paying me to say that :)

May 23, 2011

Basic Stir-Fry

Perhaps the simplest base recipe ever is the stir-fry. This is more an outline than a recipe. It's great for improvising a meal with what you have on hand. It can be vegetarian or not depending on what protein you use. A wok is ideal but a big frying pan will work too.

  • cubed meat(chicken/beef/pork) or 1 package diced seitan/tempeh/extra firm tofu
  • diced onion and/or garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • chopped veggies (carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, peppers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, etc.)
  • handful chopped nuts or seeds
  • spices/soy sauce/teriaki sauce/jerk sauce/etc.
  • rice/pasta/quinoa/etc.

saute onion or garlic in olive oil. add meat or tofu and fry until cooked.  Add veggies, nuts and sauce or spices and stir fry until veggies are tender.  Serve over rice or pasta.

If you use meat you may not need as much oil.  If you use tofu, dry it first and press it between two plates to squeeze out any excess moisture.  Add a little salt while frying it and a sprinkle of brown sugar will make it a little crispy.  Tofu is "cooked" when it's slightly browned. If you use dry spices (rather than some kind of sauce) you might need a bit more oil or even a little water to keep everything moist enough. The more you make this the easier it will be to know what you need.

May 20, 2011

Caramelized Tofu and Brussels Sprouts

tofu and brussels sprouts

I used to hate tofu. Well, I used to think I hated tofu until I had some properly cooked. This recipe was one that turned me around. Now I kinda can't get enough tofu. I make this dish or a variation of it at least once a month. It's delicious!

The original recipe can be found over at 101 Cookbooks which is by far my favorite veggie cooking blog. Every time I make this it's a little different. I always use a whole block of extra firm tofu and usually serve it with rice. I like to experiment with different spices too like curry and cinnamon and red pepper. Therefore I've listed some of the ingredients as rough amounts because there's really no need to be super exact with this. If the tofu or sprouts stick to the pan, add more oil. Taste periodically for spice/salt level.

  • 1 - 16 ounce package of extra-firm tofu cut into cubes or strips
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • handful of chopped pecans
  • light sprinkling of brown sugar
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 to 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts chopped into strips or quarters
  • (additional spices as desired)
Cook the tofu strips in large hot skillet with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until slightly golden, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and pecans, and cook for another minute. Stir in sugar. Cook for another couple of minutes and sprinkle with other spices if desired. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Set aside.
In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious. Sprinkle with spices and toss together with the tofu. Serve with rice or quinoa or couscous for a full satisfying meal.

Serves 2 - 3 as a main, 4 as a side

May 19, 2011

Homegrown Spinach-Basil Pesto

Ever since I started growing basil (quite possibly my favorite herb) I've wanted to make my own pesto. I didn't quite have enough basil at the time to make a full batch so I used half spinach/half basil. I also didn't have pine nuts so I experimented.

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • handful of raw nuts (cashews, walnuts, brasil nuts, pistachios, almonds)
  • 1/2 cup or so grated parmesan cheese
  • enough olive oil for desired consistency

Put spinach and basil into food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add garlic, nuts and cheese and mix until well blended. Pour in oil while processing until it looks like pesto.

homemade pesto!

Originally posted at Meiby the Pug last summer. This year I've planted lots of basil, a few different kinds even, so watch for more pesto recipes!

Black Bean Brownies

I discovered this idea a few months ago when my husband started a trial wheat-free/low-sugar diet. These brownies are surprisingly delicious and much healthier than your traditional brownies. They are similar to a souffle or a mousse since the added eggs create a fluffy texture. You will need a food processor or blender for this!

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil (or sub in natural applesauce to cut down on fat)
  • 1/2 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa (or 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa plus an extra 1/4 cup white sugar or other substitutions)
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (adjust amount to your liking - also good with brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan.
Add all ingredients to your food processor (but reserve a few walnuts to sprinkle on top) and process until smooth.
Pour into baking pan and sprinkle reserved walnuts over the top.
Bake for about 30 minutes until edges start to pull away from the pan. Let cool completely before cutting.
These are actually best kept refrigerated and served chilled.

Added note: If you are looking for a sugar-free dessert, I've heard these work well with Splenda in place of the sugar. If you try it, let me know how it is.

May 18, 2011

Veggie Chili

This is another super easy chili recipe that requires very little prep. It's also customizable, just add or subtract veggies to include your favorites.

  • 1/2 cup TVP (soaked and drained, optional)
  • 1/2 cup of frozen diced onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans (soaked overnight) or 1 can, drained
  • 1 cup dried navy beans (soaked overnight) or 1 can, drained
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilis with juice
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • about 6 baby carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup or so cauliflower florets
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • a squeeze of honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little olive oil
  • 1 cup water or broth (or more if needed)

Saute onion, garlic and tvp in olive oil until browned. Stir in all seasonings then stir in everything else except tomatoes. Simmer stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until beans are soft (if using dried). Add tomatoes and simmer another 20 minutes or so. Add extra seasonings if needed. Serve with shredded cheese, fresh cilantro and/or sour cream.
Note: adding the tomatoes later allows the beans to soften faster. If you're using canned beans it's safe to just add them with everything else and you can reduce the cooking time.

Originally posted on Meiby the Pug

White Veggie Chili

This is one of my favorite winter crockpot recipes. There is no chopping, you just throw everything into the pot in the morning and it's done by dinner time. It's easy to adjust to your liking and is great for using up leftovers

  • 1 cup dried navy beans (soaked overnight) or 1 can white beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups or so frozen sweet corn 
  • 2 fresh or frozen hot peppers or canned chilis
  • 1 cup leftover brown and wild rice
  • 1/2 cup natural unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups or so broth (or water + bouillon cube)
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • juice from one lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a little plain yogurt or sour cream

Load everything but the sour cream into the crockpot and turn it on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8. Add the yogurt or sour cream at the end. A sprinkling of cheese and/or fresh herbs makes a nice garnish for this one.

Originally posted on Meiby the Pug


I've assembled this blog as a place to inspire me (and hopefully you too) to cook at home and to eat more veggies. It's not necessarily a vegan or vegetarian blog but it will certainly lean that way. I plan to post my favorite recipes that feature vegetables and I will also compile a list of links to other sites that have great recipes. I also hope to have guest posts and recipes so that we can all share some inspiring and delicious healthy meals. I will also occasionally post about gardening because growing your own veggies and herbs is one of the most rewarding and inspiring ways to maximize your intake of greens.

I love vegetarian cooking but sometimes struggle to come up with full meals that are satisfying enough to call dinner. I have to admit that I'm a lazy cook and I prefer one-pot, quick meals and I especially love dishes that can be prepared ahead of time. I couldn't live without my crockpot and rice cooker. Therefore, the kind of recipes I want to feature here are those that are not complicated, require few dishes, and can be assembled in half an hour or less. If you have a great recipe that might fit that description I would love to post it here or even just link to it so that we can have access to them all in one place. Just leave me a comment here or email me at to add your recipe to Max Your Greens!