A Celebration of Food and Food Sustainability Projects

Category: Vegetarian

Cauliflower The Power Veggie

Photo from Pixlr.com

I was shopping and stopped in my tracks when I saw a big beautiful head of cauliflower in the produce department. I hadn’t even thought about buying a cauliflower… it wasn’t on my list but I had to buy it and decide how to enjoy this nutritionally power-packed hunk of veggie for dinner.

My oven is subpar in our Motorhome so baking was out. I didn’t want to deep fry. BBQ could work but the smoke was heavy outside from fires in the area. So simple stir fry called to me.

What is nice about cauliflower is it can be used in so many ways. Riced, Baked, Fried, BBQ, Soup, made into faux Buffalo Wings, Faux Sweet and Sour bites, used as a Pizza crust, and simply stir-fried.

The other nice thing about Cauliflower is it has a nutritional punch and yes low in calories! According to Livestrong.com: Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse — providing antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, and other important nutrients.

One side effect that some people experience is gas. Veggies from the cole family can upset some people’s systems so you can take an enzyme like Beano to help with flatulence. Cooked versus raw can also alleviate gas as well.

Simple Cauliflower Recipe

  • 2 – 3 heads of small cauliflower (or 1/2 head large)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • a couple pinches of sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch of chives, chopped
  • zest of one lemon
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • a bit of flaky sea salt


  1. To prep, the cauliflower, remove any leaves at the base and trim the stem. Now cut it into tiny trees – and by tiny, I mean most florets aren’t much larger than a table grape. Make sure the pieces are relatively equal in size, so they cook in the same amount of time. Rinse under running water, and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil and fine grain salt in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the cauliflower and stir until the florets are coated. Wait until it gets a bit brown on the bottom, then toss the cauliflower with a spatula. Brown a bit more and continue to saute until the pieces are deeply golden – all told about six minutes. In the last 30 seconds stir in the garlic.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the chives, lemon zest, and dust with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a pinch of flaky sea salt (if you have it on hand). Serve immediately.

Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 7 minutes Total Time 12 minutes Serves 3

To make this recipe vegan, just omit the Parmesan cheese finish – still delicious!


Farm Market Chard and Pasta

Picture taken by Greg Dixon

Greg and I were driving in West Kelowna BC Canada looking for a place to walk. We drove by the lovely BONFIRE Culinary Farm Market and stopped to see what they had for sale. I was craving something green and saw Swiss Chard still in the field. Lisa was welcoming and offered to pick a bunch for us.

Fresh cucumber, Chard, and field tomatoes from BONFIRE Culinary Farm Market
picture by Bonnie Dixon

Fresh field tomatoes also caught my eye. Nothing better than a fresh tomato sandwich on toasted sourdough bread!

Picture by Bonnie McDonald

Pasta with Chard and Garlic

1 pound Swiss chard, stems cut from the leaves and the stems and leaves chopped separately

1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 white onion sliced into slivers

3 large garlic cloves sliced thin, Russian Garlic is terrific

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup water or broth, Better Than Bouillon is my favorite

1 1/2  cups red cherry tomatoes

1/2 pound penne or other tubular pasta

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for topping

Rinse and drain separately the Swiss chard stems and leaves.

In a large heavy skillet cook the red pepper flakes and the garlic and onion in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the garlic is pale golden, add the stems and 1/4 cup of the water, and cook the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the stems are just tender.

Add the leaves with the remaining 1/4 cup water and salt and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, for 3 minutes, or until the leaves are tender.

While the chard is cooking, in a kettle of salted boiling water boil the penne until it is al dente and drain it in a colander. In a large bowl toss the penne with the chard mixture and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan,

In heavy skillet toss in cherry tomatoes and sear till they almost pop. Toss on top of the Penne Chard.

 Serve it with the additional Parmesan. If desired.

Tip: To chop the Swiss Chard after washing, roll the leaves into a tube and then slice. They come out nice and evenly sliced.

Substitute canned cherry tomatoes for fresh and use the juice from the can for the water or broth.

Optional : Add 2-3 links cooked and sliced Italian Sausage

Crazy MacSlaw Salad

I was trying to use what I had in the pantry and fridge for dinner and was thinking about macaroni salad or coleslaw. Hmm, what if I combined the two recipes and made a MacSlaw Salad. What makes it crazy is we all have our favorite recipes so the recipe can be changed up to taste.

Crazy MacSlaw Salad

8 oz of favorite pasta, nice with elbows, fusilli, shells

1/2 head Green Cabbage Chop into fine pieces.

Six Green onions chopped fine

2-3 carrots peeled and shredded

2-3 sticks celery chopped fine ( optional)

1 red pepper chopped fine

1 cucumber chopped into small pieces


1 to 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup Braggs Organic apple cider vinegar

2 tsp mustard or dijon mustard

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp Sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste

So pick your favorite pasta, then cook al dente per the package direction. Drain, set aside to cool. You can toss with a little Olive Oil to keep the pasta from sticking.

In a large bowl add dressing ingredients. Whip with whisk till blended.

While pasta is cooking Chop the cabbage into fine pieces. Place on top of the dressing. Set aside.

TIP You can use your Food Processor just don’t chop too fine.

Chop the other veggies and and add to the cabbage. Toss to coat with dressing.

Add cooled pasta. Toss to incorporate Slaw and Pasta.

Best if you wait an hour or two. Really good the next day.

Good keeper. Lasts in fridge 3-4 days.

Make it fast. Purchase prepared undressed coleslaw from produce section.

Make it a meal: add canned garbanzo beans ( ceci beans). You may want to add extra dressing.

Fun add ins:

Garbanzo Beans

Toasted sunflower seeds

Green or black olives

Chopped pickles: dill or sweet

Linda Purcell’s Spicy Unfries and Chipotle Aioli Dip

Linda Purcell demonstrates prepare her Unfries and Spicy Chipotle Aioli from Veggie Outlaws Most Wanted Vegetarian Recipes
Cooking with Linda Purcell and Bonnie Dixon

Linda Purcell shared her Vegetarian Unfries and Spicy Chipotle Aioli from her Veggie Outlaws Most Wanted Vegetarian Recipes.

Unfries Recipe

These fries are crunchy on the outside and creamy on the inside. The trick is to soak the cut fries in hot water for 10 minutes before baking. They are spicy – or not, because you can make them as hot or as mild as you like. They are lower in fat, and healthier because they are baked and not fried, so you can enjoy them without feeling guilty.

Linda Purcell

Here is a video of the preparation. There is a lot of discussion about cooking beyond the preparation, so there is a lot to learn in the clip.

Linda and Bonnie talk while preparing the Unfries


  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled, and cut longwise into even strips (about 4 cups)
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 ⅓ tbsp grapeseed oil, divided into 2 tbsp and ⅓ tsp (from an oil dispenser)
  • ¼ tsp Spike or Old Bay seasoning (if using Old Bay you may want to add an additional ¼ tsp sea salt)
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ – 2 tsp chili powder


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Peel and cut 4 medium russet potatoes lenthwise into long slices about ¼” thick, and then slice again so each long slice is also ¼” deep (AKA fry shape).
  3. Place slices in a narrow dish, sprinkle with ¼ tsp salt, and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. This will allow the fries to be crunchy on the outside but soft and creamy on the inside.
  4. Drain potatoes, pat dry with paper towels, and place in a dry dish. Add in 2 tbsp grapeseed oil and sprinkle with ¼ tsp Spike, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ – 2 tsp chili powder (vary amount depending on how spicy you like your fries) and toss potatoes to evenly coat them in oil and spices.
  5. Spray a baking dish with grapeseed oil from an oil dispenser. Evenly spread out the potatoes onto the baking sheet in a thin, single layer. For a crisper fry, leave space between each.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes. Check fries, at the half way point, and turn them with a spatula. Continue baking until golden.
  7. Serve immediately with Chipolte Aioli.

This recipe is high in vitamin C, and has some vitamin A, calcium, and iron.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 cups

Spicy Chipotle Aioli Dipping Sauce

The Spicy Chipotle Aioli makes a great dip for the Unfries.

This is a yummy aioli (a fancy way of saying vegan mayonnaise) and can be used in burgers, on sandwiches, or as a dip. We love to pair Chipolte Aioli with our Spicy, Chili Unfries. This is a quick, easy recipe to make, but it goes fast. We recommend doubling or tripling the recipe, and if you have any left over, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week. It also freezes well.

Linda Purcell
Make a tasty Chipotle Aioli dip


  • ½ cup cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours)
  • 2 tbsp cashew milk (or combination of oat, cashew, and coconut milk)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chipotle pepper, chopped (from canned in adobe sauce with seeds removed) (for a milder flavour you can use 1 tsp powdered chipotle pepper 
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves (you could use instead 1 – ½ tsp minced garlic)


  1. Prepare roasted garlic (It is handy to prepare in advance – but if you do not have time, you can replace with 1 – ½ tsp minced garlic)
  2. Soak ½ cup cashews in water for at least four hours. Make sure to drain, rinse, and resoak several times to ensure the water remains clear. (We find the water often becomes quite black between rinses)
  3. Mix together in a food processor or blender, soaked cashews (they will have expanded a bit, but that is okay), 2 tbsp cashew milk (or combination of oat, cashew, and coconut milk), 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 chopped chipotle pepper (from canned in adobe sauce with seeds removed), 3 tbsp fresh lime juice, ½ tsp sea salt, and 3 roasted garlic cloves.
  4. Process until smooth and creamy. If the aioli is too thick, add more milk – 1 tbsp at a time to ensure it does not become too runny, and process until it reaches it desired texture.
  5. Serve as a dipping sauce for fries or use as a condiment on burgers or sandwiches.

This recipe is high in Vitamin C, and has some Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Makes: ½ cup

Stay Tuned!

We will let you know when Linda’s Veggie Outlaws Most Wanted Vegetarian Recipes Cookbook is available.

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