Bahn Mi Bowl-o-rama

It’s kind of funny. I cook all the time, but I fail to ever really think I’m creating new recipes or anything worth sharing, so I don’t post here.

I am hoping to change that this year.  Really.


I got pretty bored the other day and decided that I had some carrots, cucumber, and radishes that needed pickling, so I figured out how to do that.  Then, I thought, oh man, I could make something like a Bahn Mi with this.  And, the bowl was born.


Here’s the basic info on pickling that I used.

Note: I used apple cider vinegar and agave, and added a crushed garlic clove, used whole peppercorns, and played around with the herbs/spices.  And I doubled this recipe.  I love spicy food, but they aren’t kidding about the heat, here!

The Bowl

Ingredients (for 1):

  • short grain brown rice (cook however much, but about 1/2 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 bunch of kale
  • pickled veggies
  • fresh cucumber (about 1/4 should be good)
  • fresh carrot (1 medium)
  • 1/2 package of tofu, pressed, dried, and cut into cubes
  • avocado
  • vegan mayo of choice
  • sriracha
  • lime juice

Really, aside from the pickles, this is a very easy recipe.


  1. Make the pickles beforehand, so that they are cooled and pickley!  Also, preheat your oven to 425!
  2. Cook your rice!
  3. While rice is cooking, season your tofu cubes with salt and pepper and pop them in the oven.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until a little browned and crispy!
  4. Slice your carrot and cucumber up and set aside.  Wash and destem kale, then chop into ribbons.  I like to steam my kale quickly, but it will be just fine totally raw, if you chop it up small.
  5. Assemble!  Start with the rice, then kale, veggies (fresh and pickled), tofu, avocado, and mayo.  Drizzle (or pour, no judgement) sriracha and lime juice over the top.

That’s it!

Vintage Goes Vegan: Hot-Dog-and-Eggplant Casserole

I’ve been trying to gather inspiration to try out these recipes through ingredients I already have around.  I recalled that several of the recipes in the books used hot dogs, so when I was at the store a few weeks ago, I bought a package of Smart Dogs.  All of the other ingredients are staples in my pantry and refrigerator, anyway, so when I came across this recipe, I knew I had to make it.


I was discussing the idea of this one with my friend, and both of us agreed it was an odd combination.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone raving over eggplant and hot dog casserole, so I was a little worried about wasting a whole bunch of perfectly good food.  I knew the eggplant part would be good, but I didn’t know how to feel about the hot dogs.  But, the point of this is to try new things I wouldn’t otherwise try, so I did it!  The verdict?  It was good, and actually got better as left overs!  If you’re feeling like trying something a little off the wall, Hot-Dog-and-Eggplant Casserole may be just for you.



1 medium eggplant (mine was a little smaller; in the recipe, it says you should have 5 cups, and I had about 4)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1 small clove garlic
1 lb frankfurters, cut in 1 inch pieces (I used 6 of the smaller sized Smart Dogs)
1 can (1 lb) tomatoes, undrained (mine was 12oz)
Cooked rice (I used farro, but also ate the left overs on pasta!)

Because of the smaller amounts on some ingredients, this went from 6 servings according to the recipe to 4 generous servings!


  1. Peel eggplant. Cut into 1-inch cubes; measure 5 cups (note that mine only measured 4 cups). Toss eggplant with flour to coat lightly.
  2. In hot oil in large skillet, sauté onion intil tender – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggplant, salt, pepper, basil, and garlic. Cook, stirring ocassionally, until eggplant is lightly browned.
  4. Add hot dogs and tomatoes, mixing well. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice (or in my case, farro, or really whatever you want!).

Makes 4 servings

I also made the left overs into a calzone, with a little Daiya, so be creative with your left overs!!!


A New Endeavor: Vintage Goes Vegan, and the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Bacon Sandwich

A few christmases ago, my mom gave me one of the best gifts ever: a set of McCall’s cookbooks from 1965.  I grew up eating so many recipes from these pages, and had always told her that I wanted her set when she didn’t need them anymore.  To speed up the timeline of receiving them, she searched the internet for a set in far better condition than her own.  It was such a fantastic surprise to receive all 18 books, with the index book and holder, in such great shape.


Due to many circumstances (especially the whole thing where I’m a vegan), these books have sat in my possession, unused, but remaining in the back of my mind.  Last Thanksgiving, I was talking to my sister-in-law about an idea I’d been playing with – what about taking some of these recipes and making them vegan, or updating them?

Well, it’s taken me nearly a year to get to the point where I felt like I could do this, so here it is: Vintage Goes Vegan.  I’ve gone through all 18 books, and pulled 111 recipes – that’s 6 breakfasts, 5 appetizers, 5 salads, 8 soups, 4 sandwiches, 11 side dishes, 48 (!!!) main dishes, 19 desserts, and a 5-course Thanksgiving menu.  Some of them I’m keeping as close to the original recipe as possible, and some of them are being updated to reflect a more modern food availability.  Remember, these recipes were written in 1965, when I’m fairly certain there wasn’t a single american who had heard of a vegan (and these people really loved their gelatin molds…).

I wanted to start out with a recipe that I could keep close to the original, and one that also gave everyone a good idea of what I was going to be dealing with in this venture.  So, without further ado, here’s a recipe that had me gagging when I read it: the Peanut Butter ‘N’ Bacon Sandwich.



1/2 cup creamy or chunk-style peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped crisp-cooked bacon (I subbed LightLife Smart Bacon here, because I knew it would be crispier than tempeh bacon)
3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, drained
2 tablespoons chopped stuffed olives
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (Vegenaise was my choice here, but take your pick)
12 slices bread

For the record, I did cut this down – the measurements you see above are for 6 sandwiches, and since it’s just me, I cut everything into 1/6ths as best I could.  A single sandwich would need:

4 teaspoons creamy or chunk-style peanut butter
about 2 slices chopped crisp-cooked bacon
a little shy of 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, drained
2 chopped stuffed olives
1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
2 slices bread

Do you understand why I would be gagging?  Mayonnaise and peanut butter is bad, but relish and olives?!?!  Yuck.  Who came up with this?!


1. Combine all ingredients, except bread; mix well.
2.   Use to fill 6 sandwiches. Cut in quarters.

That’s it.  They recommend buttering the bread too, but I went ahead and skipped that step.  I couldn’t imagine why I would need to!


So, there you have it.  A very simple, and very odd, first recipe for Vintage Goes Vegan.  The verdict?  I’m ashamed to say it was actually not as horrifying as it sounds, although I don’t think I’ll jump at the opportunity to eat it again.

Sweet Potato Chili Pie

I’ve been eating a lot of sweet potatoes for the last year, if you haven’t noticed.  I love them.  I’ve been experimenting more with different ways to eat them.  Today I decided to try a “shepard’s pie” kind of approach, utilizing the chili I made today (  It was awesome.

Ingredients (serves 1 as is, but obviously easy to adapt):

  • 1 serving of bean chili (see link above)
    • Note: I used garbanzo beans, black beans, white beans, and pinto beans, a can of diced tomatoes, 1 jalapeño, cumin, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne, turmeric, ground ginger, cinnamon, garlic, parsley, basil, and my favorite hot sauce.
  • 1 small-medium sweet potato, peeled and mashed
  • salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and garlic
  • Beyond Beef beefy crumbles


  1. Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take the serving of chili and put it in a ramekin, and mix in the Beyond Beef.
  3. Top the chili with the mashed sweet potato.
  4. If all of your ingredients are already warm, it only needs to bake for 8-10 minutes to get nice and hot.  If they’re both cold, you’ll probably want closer to 20 or 30.

That’s it!  If you’ve already made the chili, it’s super quick and east to throw together and make this.


Bean Chili Basics

Part of my “New Year’s Resolution” is  to update this blog more.  Hopefully, I can stick to it, but be advised, that may mean the only pictures are the finished product!

One of the things I’ve been making for a while now is bean “chili.”  It’s a great option for cold weather, as well as for when I’m broke and can’t afford to buy a wide array of my usual groceries for the week.  I usually have between 5-8 servings, depending on the combination of ingredients that I use.

This isn’t so much a recipe as a method.  Depending on the flavor profile and availability of ingredients, you can make many, many different variations on this basic idea.

The Ingredients:

(The first two are the very basics that I use in every recipe for this chili)

  • 4 cans of beans (I recommend a variety – my standards are black, pinto, garbanzo, and either red or white beans)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

(everything else below is a list of optional ingredients that I may add in)

  • potato (regular or sweet) diced very small
  • onion
  • jalapeno
  • lentils
  • fake meat (“beef” or “chicken”)
  • canned diced chilies
  • corn
  • bell peppers

(this is a list of herbs and spices that I have used; utilize different combinations based off of what flavor profile you’re looking for)

  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon pepper
  • cumin
  • smoked paprika
  • parsley
  • basil
  • tumeric
  • ground ginger
  • cayenne pepper
  • cinnamon
  • hot sauce

The Method:

  • Drain the liquid from and rinse all of the cans of beans and dump the contents into a slow cooker
  • Add the diced tomatoes, and their liquid
  • Add in whatever addition ingredients you may want to use, then spices.
  • Mix everything together!
  • If you’re looking to eat within the next two hours, turn your slow cooker on high.  If you’re making this before work and want to come home to a hot bowl, turn it on low.
    • Note: I’ve left this on low all day and it’s been pretty dried out, so if this is the plan I may recommend adding about 1/2 a cup of water before you leave.  Or, I’ve actually used this opportunity to add a lot of water and make a really delicious soup!

The best part about this recipe is using it in different ones.  Some examples are: chili on sweet potato fries, chili mac and cheese, chili over zucchini fries, etc.  Tonight, I plan on trying something new!

Meatless, Not Beetless, Monday

My life has become a lot more hectic lately, so I haven’t been very creative in the food making.  Sorry!


Last week, I decided that I would finally try to go to one of the farmers markets in my area.  It was not as big as the one I used to go to when I lived in Orange County, CA, but it was pretty well stocked.  I only bought a handful of things, but among them were 3 kinds of kale and a bunch of golden beets.  I love beets.  I remember the first time I ever had them was in a salad at a Claim Jumper around 10 years ago, and I thought to myself “WHAT ARE THESE NUGGETS OF PURPLE MAGIC?!”  I don’t always buy beets, but when I do, I get really excited to eat them.  If you haven’t tried them, you should.  They’re sweet and delicious.

So, my beets, their greens, and the copious amounts of kale lead to the creation of this recipe for Monday night.


Coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, faro, Gardein beef less strips, kale, beets, zucchini

Ingredients: Coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, faro, Gardein beefless strips, kale, beets, zucchini


Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 2 small beets, and their greens
  • 1/4 cup farro, dry
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 6-8 leaves of kale
  • 1 serving beef less strips, or any protein alternative of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


Prep:  Preheat your oven or toaster oven to 450.  Clean beets, and cut off the ends.  Wrap them in aluminum foil, and roast until soft.  This will depend on the size of your beets, but takes usually in the 40 minute range.  Once they are roasted, their tougher outer skin will peel right off, and they’ll be beautiful and delicious.  Then you can slice them up!


  1. While the beets are cooking, cook the farro according to package directions (it’s a 2.5:1 water to farro ratio)
  2. Wash, dry, and chop up all of your greenery and the zucchini.
  3. In a large skillet, add the coconut oil and cook your protein.  Remove from the oil when cooked, and add your greens and zucchini.  When the greens are melted and the zucchini is soft, add in the faro, protein, and sliced beets.
  4. Add 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to your personal taste, really), and serve up!


Sweet and Spicy Enchilada Casserole

I don’t really have a story or witty anecdote to introduce this recipe. It was a long week. I hope you’re not disappointed.


Ingredients: black beans, enchilada sauce, firm tofu, tortillas, zucchini, sweet potato, and mushrooms

Ingredients: black beans, enchilada sauce, firm tofu, tortillas, zucchini, sweet potato, and mushrooms

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  • 6 small tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s vegan corn and wheat tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup of black beans
  • 2 oz tofu
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1/2 sweet potato
  • 8-10 mushrooms
  • 1 bottle of enchilada sauce (or be really amazing and make your own!)
  • Seasonings (I used sea salt, cumin, cayenne pepper)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Stack your tortillas on a plate, pouring a small amount of sauce in between each one.  Set them aside.IMG_1932
  3. Chop your tofu into small cubes and add to a bowl with your black beans.
  4. Chop the rest of your vegetables and sauté until they begin to soften.  Add in the tofu and black beans, then seasonings.IMG_1934
  5. Beginning with a layer of tortilla, build your casserole layer by layer! Because I used a 9×9 inch glass pan and my tortillas were much smaller, I cut them in halves and then cut half of those into quarters.  Once completed, pour any remaining sauce on top.IMG_1936
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5.
  7. Cut, serve, and shovel into open mouth.