Monthly Archives: March 2008

Breakup Soup

The following guest blog comes from Daniel Johnson over at Wingstroke. Music — he knows. Culture — his finger’s on the pulse. How to talk his child into eating one more bite — he can do. Cook a damn thing — he cannot.

Nonetheless, we here at the I Eat Veg test kitchens have very fluid policies when it comes to guest blogging. You need not “cook” at all to create your dish, nor does it have to constitute an actual meal. So, here’s Dan’s recipe for Breakup Soup. Maybe you can find comfort in a big bowl of it someday too.

I’ve never been much in the kitchen. It’s just not my gift and I’m jealous of the people with the cooking skills. They make it seem so easy, throwing spices, adding dashes and turning oven knobs with a taunting confidence.

But today I’m making my contribution to the culinary arts; a recipe I created last summer called Breakup Soup. It’s cheap, delicious, and single-person friendly. And it takes, like, a minute and a half to make. I literally lived off this for months. Of course I also lost about ten pounds during that time, so maybe it should be more of a treat than the entirety of your diet.


Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

STEP 1 – Have a debilitating breakup

STEP 2 – Pour chips onto a plate or bowl and try not to think about debilitating breakup

STEP 3 – Crush the chips in a million little pieces, just like she did to your heart

STEP 4 – Add salsa, red like the color of valentines, roses and your pain-poisoned blood

STEP 5 – Mix.

STEP 6 – Eat.

STEP 7 – Go where it takes you.

The best GD salad you will ever eat

That’s according to our friend Megan over at the now defunct blog, The Realist. She posted this recipe back in February and it sounds so good, I decided to poach it for I Eat Veg. Enjoy!

Avocado, Mozzarella & Tomato Salad

Ingredients (for two people):
2 – 3 super delicious huge Haas avocados, sliced length-wise
1 1/2 cups fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh mozzarella (not the shredded bagged stuff, look in the “fancy cheese” section and buy the balls of fresh plain mozzarella.)
2 cups mixed baby greens or microgreens
12-year aged balsamic vinegar

To assemble:
Splitting all ingredients in half onto two separate plates, pile the tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado slices atop a bed of greens. Drizzle with balsamic. Enjoy!

Sweet potato and black bean quesadillas

Last year, I got Daniel a student’s vegetarian cookbook with the theory that he was going to learn how to cook some things. All of the recipes have only a handful of ingredients, are on the easy side and many of them involve beer (I guess that’s what makes it a student cookbook).

The first thing I made from it were these sweet potato and black bean quesadillas. Dan would pop into the kitchen and say, “OK, what are you doing now? Got it….” then would go back to painting Claire’s room. So, more than a year later…. I made it for us for dinner last night. It has remained a favorite and is really easy to make.

There are specific amounts for everything, but I mostly wing it. Here’s my best guess…

2 Tbsp. oil (veg is fine)
1 c. grated sweet potato
1 can black beans
1 med. onion, diced
2 tsp. garlic minced
2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheese — soy if you like

Heat the oil in a skillet, then add onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until onion is soft.

Add sweet potatoes, black beans and spices and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until potatoes are soft but not mushy.

In another skillet or on a griddle, layer mixture with shredded soy cheese (see previous post for insight on that!)

If you attempt to turn the quesadilla over, you likely will make a huge mess, though I still do it every time. I’m not sure how to prevent this…. Less filling? Cheese on both sides of the filling to melt and hold it together better? Good luck.

Cut the rounds into fours and serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole or whatever your little heart desires.

It’s a simple recipe that somehow always turns out really flavorful, even if you find that you’ve almost run out of cumin when you go to make it, like I did last night…

A cheese(like) sensation

I’ve already mentioned my love for all things taco- and nacho-like. And there’s no question these things are deliciously accompanied by cheese. While I’m not vegan, I’ve found I feel better, lighter, less sludge-like by eating less and less dairy. Because of this, I’ve turned to more and more soy products.

Veggie Shreds and Tofutti are fine, but I found one cheese I like better. I can’t find a picture of it, but it’s called Soy-Sations and I’ve only ever found it at Trader Joe’s. I don’t know if this means it’s a Trader Joe’s product or if it just hasn’t yet hit the major retailers, but it looks, tastes and even melts like real cheese. This is important to me, especially in the nacho department. Who can eat nachos with big ol’ pieces of cheese just sitting there?

And don’t get me wrong, I was as skeptical of soy cheese as the next guy, but this stuff actually tastes so good I can grab a pinch of it and eat it. Yes, it’s that good. I can’t find a picture of it to show you, but look for it at Trader Joe’s, in the purple bag. You won’t be sorry!

Making life easier

I’m in the middle of getting ready for a move. A whopper of a move across statelines. Packing my 2-bedroom apartment into boxes that hopefully will fit snugly in Daniel’s basement, until we get a bigger place.

What does this have to do with food? Well, in the remaining two weeks I have in Chicago, my schedule is pretty full and time is tight. I stopped at the store a few days ago to stock up on things that are easy and quick. Which, in this case, meant frozen. Fortunately, these days frozen doesn’t have to mean cheese pizza. Not only does Amy’s offer cheeseless pizza, but there are a lot of other things out there too.

I’ve fallen in love with Amy’s vegan pot pies. They taste just like the Banquet chicken pot pies of yore, except with out the dairy, fat and half the sodium. So you get all of the warm and fuzzy nostalgia without the pseudo-chicken chunks.

Another new thing that I’ve discovered are these bags of frozen vegetables that you can throw in the microwave and they steam the veggies. Not a new concept entirely, I realize, but I found these Birds Eye Steamfresh individual pouches. You pop the little pouch in the microwave for about a minute and — voila — fresh vegetables, steaming hot and ready to eat.

The “individual” portions are a bit small, for someone such as mysef who loves to devour vegetables. All that means is that I’ll do two at once or just forget the individual pouches and keep buying the whole bags. The vegetables taste fresh and are a vibrant green — unlike some frozen veggies that take on this odd, brownish-green-grey appearance.

Either way, these things have helped keep me alive this week, so I just thought I would share!