On Sunday evenings we often have pasta. It is always whole wheat, which I prefer to the gluten-free types, and it is always imported from Italy, because I have never once found a rancid package of imported whole wheat pasta, unlike its American made counterpart. 

Learning how to cook without measuring is essential to cooking with ease, so I am going to talk you through this recipe, while providing variations for different tastes, available ingredients, and nutritional needs.

Listed below are different options you can use to create a similar meal.

Whole wheat pasta is the base of the recipe, but you can use gluten-free pasta, quinoa, millet, polenta or any other grain.

Kale from the garden was pressure cooked, without seasoning, and generously heaped on top of the pasta. Instead of kale, dandelion, mustard, chard, spinach or broccoli would all be delicious. I like to cook kale and other coarse greens, well because when it is well-cooked you can eat a lot more of it and therefore get more of its nutritional value. Just save the cooking water for stock. Chard, spinach or broccoli are best lightly cooked. 

Leeks were sautéed in a little olive oil. Onions, shallots or garlic can be added to, or substituted for, the leeks. Bell pepper or mushrooms could also have been added here.

Baked, seasoned tofu was added to the leeks when they were almost tender. This is one of the few convenience foods I buy, but I love it for easy meals when I have not had a chance to prepare anything more time consuming. It could be substituted with white beans. Cook the tofu until it is lightly browned.

Frozen organic peas are another of the few packaged foods I buy, and they are great with pasta. Add them at the end and cook then just enough to get them nice and hot. They were added to the sautéed leeks and tofu at the end.

Tamari soy sauce and balsamic vinegar were then added to to the skillet to taste and stirred into the mixture along with some fresh oregano from my garden. Some white pepper would have been good too. This mixture was piled on top of the cooked kale.

Tiny little Florida native tomatoes, along with extra oregano were used as a garnish and voila! A delicious hearty meal that can be mixed and matched for many needs was made in 20 minutes or less!




 
 
This is the blueberry crumble that is in Vicki's Vegan Kitchen. It can be made with any kind of sweet and juicy berry or fruit, such as peaches, pears, blackberries etc. What is interesting about this recipe is that it is very low in sugar. It is mostly sweetened with stevia extract, and a small amount of maple syrup - just enough for it not to taste like stevia. 

For the flour you can use whole wheat pastry flour, barley, sorghum or simply oats, blended to a flour in the blender.

Yield: about 6 servings

1 cup whole grain flour (see choices above)
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon liquid stevia extract
4 cups blueberries

1. Place all ingredients, except the blueberries, in a food processor and blend until the nuts are coarsely ground.
2. Arrange the blueberries on the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Top with the walnut mixture.
4. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350, or until the blueberries are bubbly and the top is lightly browned.

 
 
This is one of my old standby recipes that changes with the type of produce available. It's great for dinner, lunch or brunch. I love it with roasted potatoes and a big green salad. Exact amounts truly don't matter, just add vegetables that sauté quickly and go well together and season to your own taste. 

Often I make this with simply onions and grated carrots, because I always have them on hand and it is super quick. 

Yield: 3- 4 servings

1-2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed
3 - 4 cups diced vegetables ( here I just used mushrooms and large scallions from the garden)
1 tablespoon curry powder, or 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
16 ounces firm organic tofu
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup chopped scallion tops or a mixture of scallion tops and parsley

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables (if you are using onions, start them first) and cook, while stirring for a couple of minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender.

2.   Place the block of tofu in the skillet, pushing the veggies to the side, if necessary, and mash the tofu with a potato masher.
3. Add the curry powder or turmeric (or both), and salt. Stir and cook for a minute or two.

COOKING TIP
This is black salt. It is a mineral-rich salt that has a surfer flavor. Which is available at Indian grocery stores. It gives an egg-like flavor to foods, and they say it is very good for you too! Use all or part black salt in place of the salt in the recipe.
 
 
This is the real color of a type of purple yam that is common in the Philippines. It is from a friend's garden. It is sort of light, starchy, mealy and mild flavored - perfect for gravy! 

To cook the yams, I simply boiled them in large chunks, with the skin in a little water, peeled them after they were cooked and mashed them with sea salt and a bit of soy milk. I then topped them with cooked mustard greens from the garden, and the hemp butter mushroom sauce, that I liked so much that I will do again and measure it this time to create a recipe so come back for the recipe in about a week! 
 
 
This soup works equally well with collards, kale, turnip or any corse green. Since collards are one of the few vegetable crops I have been able to keep going throughout the summer and since they are such a good source of calcium, they are a favorite in our household. 

 
 
Here is an easy, and slightly exotic salad that would go well with any bean or grain dish.

 
 
Tomatoes are abundant at the moment and this is a simple, delicious and fairly low calorie dressing. Use it on any kind of green salad.

 
 
 
 
Here is a nice recipe for vegetable gumbo that I made for eHow a few years ago. 
 
 
Simple Teff Porridge

Teff is the staple grain of Eithopia and if you have ever eaten in an Ethiopian restaurant, you have experienced teff in the form of injera, that delicious spongy flat-bread that is served with almost everything. Teff grains are so small, that the name actually means "lost," because if you drop a bowl of uncooked teff it is impossible to reclaim. The tiny grains of teff cook into a delicious porridge with a faint molasses-like flavor. It is a good source of protein, especially the amino acid lysine, which is often lacking in grains. It is also a good source of fiber. iron and other nutrients. 

Pictured here, it is cooked teff topped with mango, and papaya from our garden supplemented with a red organic pear and raspberries from the store.

Yield: 2 – 3 servings

½ cup teff
1 1/2 cups water
4 dates, or other dried fruit if desired

1. Wash the teff and drain it through a fine wire strainer.
2. Place the teff, the dates or other dried fruit, if using,  and the water in a heavy medium-size saucepan.  Cover, bring to a boil while stirring, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionaly, over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.
3. Place the porridge in serving bowls and top with your choice of fresh fruit, ground flax seeds and vegan milk.