Creamy Potato Cabbage Soup

From Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special. “Sweet cabbage and creamy potatoes in a humbe, warm-hearted soup offer cozy comfort for those who live in cold, damp climates where these vegetables happily thrive. The caraway and dill add appetizing flavor and fragrance.”
Serves 4, Yields 5.5 cups, Total Time 45 minutes

2 T oil
2 C coarsely chopped onions
1 t GROUND caraway seeds
1/2 t salt
4 C coarsely chopped green cabbage
2 C sliced red or white potatoes
3 C water or vegetable stock
1 t dried dill
4 oz cream cheese
salt & ground black pepper to taste

Warm the oil in a soup pot on medium heat, add the onions, sprinkle with the caraway and half the salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the cabbage and remaining salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, unti the cabbage begins to wilt. Add potatoes and water, cover, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until all the vegetables are tender.

In a blender in batches, puree the vegetable mixture, dill, and cream cheese until smooth. Return to pot and gently reheat. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more water if it’s too thick.

My comments: I used chicken broth instead of water. Really tasty, Peter loved it — “It’s like baked potato soup, but better.” Nobody noticed the cabbage, which is a good thing since it’s not a universally-loved vegetable in this household. Definitely worth making again. It tastes really creamy, for only 4 oz of cream cheese, too.

Crockpot Char Siu Pork Roast

From kp at Yaaps:
Made this out of a recent Cooking Light and it was so good I thought I’d share.

Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 TBS ketchup
3 TBS honey
2 tsp bottled minced garlic
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp five-spice powder
2 pounds boneless Boston butt pork roast, trimmed
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add pork to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours, turning occasionally. (I did it overnight so that I could just pop it into the cooker in the AM)
2. Place pork and marinade in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.
3. Remove pork from slow cooker using a slotted spoon; place on cutting board or work surface. Cover with aluminum foil; keep warm.
4. Add broth to sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens. Shred pork with 2 forks; serve with sauce. (My sauce didn’t thicken and it would have been even yummier if it did)

Yield: 8 servings (3 oz. pork and 1/4 cup sauce)

CALORIES 227 (38% from fat); FAT 9.5g (sat 3.1g, mono 3.9g, poly 1.1g); PROTEIN 21.6g; CARB 12.7; FIBER 0.4g; CHOL 73mg; IRON 1.7mg; SODIUM 561mg; CALC 30mg

Crockpot Pork Barbecue

From neopagan, at yaaps:
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder (or really any boneless pork cut that isn’t too fatty)
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cups ketchup
1/4 c Worchestershire sauce

If cut of pork is large, slice it. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker, mix well and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 hours or until meat is tender. I used two forks to pull the meat apart into shreds at that point.

Kathy’s Cheesecake Dip

From her blog.

I made this fruit dip for Arden’s St. Patrick’s Day party at preschool (I brought green fruit – apples and grapes – and dip) and it was a huge hit. It tastes just like cheesecake and is incredibly easy to make up. If you made it with a little less cream, it would make a perfect frosting for cupcakes as well.

Cheesecake Dip
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Heat over medium-low heat in a small pot until smooth, stirring frequently. A whisk helps to break up lumps easily. Cool to room temperature and serve.

Yellow Cake Mix

From Whole Foods.
Natural Yellow Cake Mix

Thanks to our reader for this great idea. She wrote, “I would love an alternative to using boxed cake mixes in desserts. I often see recipes that call for a box of yellow cake mix as an ingredient. I really don’t like using cake mixes because they often contain chemicals, preservatives, probably trans fat, and other stuff I don’t want to consume.” While we do sell prepackaged all-natural cake mixes, we thought the idea of a homemade version sounded fun. As a special bonus, we used this cake mix to make Cream Cheese Cookies sent in by another reader.
Replaces 1 box (16 to 18-ounces) yellow cake mix

* 1 cup unbleached organic white flour
* 1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
* 11/2 cups organic evaporated cane juice
* 4 tsp baking powder
* 1 tsp sea salt
* 1/2 cup plus 2 TB softened organic salted butter

Ingredient Options: For a vegan version, replace the butter with natural palm oil shortening. Use all whole wheat or all white flour, if desired.

Place white and pastry flour in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar, baking powder and salt. Process until blended. Cut the butter into 4 or 5 chunks and add to the flour mixture. Pulse and process until the butter is completely incorporated. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Use within one month.
Nutrition Info

Per Serving (66g-wt.): 180 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 2g protein, 20g total carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 25mg cholesterol, 470mg sodium

Cream Cheese Cookies

Cream Cheese Cookies


Soft and chewy, these deliciously moist cream cheese gems are made with our Natural Yellow Cake Mix Replacement. Feel free to substitute a prepackaged all natural yellow cake mix instead. Not too sweet, these cookies brown nicely and make a wonderful addition to any baker’s repertoire.
Makes 5 dozen

* 1/4 cup organic butter, softened
* 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
* 1 organic egg yolk
* 1/4 tsp vanilla
* 1 recipe homemade yellow cake mix

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the cream cheese. Blend in the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the cake mix 1/3 at a time, mixing well after each addition. If using a mixer, add the last third of cake mix by hand.

Cover and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an un-greased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool slightly before transferring to wire racks to continue cooling.
Nutrition Info

Per Serving (52g-wt.): 150 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 3g protein, 11g total carbohydrate (less than 1g dietary fiber, 0g sugar), 40mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium

Crockpot Hungarian Goulash

(from Kathy, at yaaps.)

Crockpot Hungarian Goulash
serves 8

2 lb sirloin, cut in 1/2 cubes (just about any cut of beef is fine here – chuck works quite well)
1 large onion, chopped
6 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tb. paprika
1/4 tsp thyme
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans tomatoes, chopped
2 cups sour cream

Place steak cubes, onion, garlic in crockpot. Add in flour, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add all remaining ingredients except sour cream. Stir well. Cover and cook on Low 8-10 hours. Add sour cream 30 minutes before serving, and stir in thoroughly. (High: 4-5 hours, stirring every hour).

My comments: Don’t forget the part where you add sour cream and then cook for 30 minutes; I neglected to factor that into the planning. It was still tasty, just not incorporated as well as we might have wanted. I didn’t love the smell (though Peter did), but it was really quite tasty. Served over noodles, with salad. Yum.

Crockpot Spanish Rice

Crockpot Spanish Rice (from
Here’s a recipe for yummy spanish rice made in the crockpot.

Crockpot Spanish Rice

1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled and quartered
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 1/2 c water
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3/4 cup brown rice
2 Tbs chunky salsa

Combine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 10 hours.

Baked Tofu

(from collier, at yaaps)
But, baked tofu is really easy and very, very tasty. Here is the recipe just in case:

Plan on a block of tofu for every two grownups.

Take it out of the container, and press it. One way to press it is to place each block on a plate, put another plate on top and then put a heavy book (such as a cookbook like Joy of Cooking) on top of that. Let it sit for 15 minutes.

While it is pressing, gather the ingrediates and make the sauce.

You need:
two gloves of garlic (pressed) for the first block of tofu and one more for every additional block.
Soy sauce (about 3 Tbl per block)
Olive Oil (about 1 Tbl per block)

Mix/wisk those three ingredients together. Set aside.

Cut up the pressed tofu on a chopping board (remove them from the plates which will have a lot of liquid on them). Cut into cubes about the size of cube cheddar — bite sized.

Put into a baking pan. Pour the mixure on top and mix around until coated.

Put in a pre-heated 375 oven, stirring every so often (15 minutes or so) until it looks brown.

Serve with mashed potatoes (just steam the potatoes until soft and mash with some unsweetened soymilk — sweet potato works equally well) and green beans or beets.

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean Soup (fast too!) (from Julie Ann, at yaaps)
homemade vegan rolls
vegan maple peanut butter cookies

Here’s the black bean soup recipe (from Family Fun):
1 c. tomato salsa
2 14.5 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 c. of chicken (sub veggie) broth
1 t. lime juice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (which I always forget)

1. Heat salsa in saucepan over medium heat, stirring often for about 5 minutes. Add beans and broth, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, about 15 minutes
2. Ladle half into food processor or blender and puree. Return to pot. Stir in lime and cilantro and heat again if needed.

I would double, prossibly triple the recipe for your company b/c it makes just enough to serve 4 people.

This soup has become my standard meal when a baby is born and everyone seems to enjoy it. It is seriously so easy and even though I prefer it with chicken broth, my friend’s meat eating husband really liked this.

Chickpeas in Curried Coconut Broth (crockpot) (channa masala)

Chickpeas in Curried Coconut Broth (from jillwe, at yaaps.). AKA channa masala, chana masala.

2 tsp. oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2 (19 oz) cans chickepeas, rinsed and drained
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes, not drained
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 TBS curry powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
6 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Place everything in slow cooker. Stir well and cover. Cook low 6-8 hours. Stir in cilantro. Serve over rice.

My comments: Peter really liked this one. A lot. I think it needs raisins, either cooked with or sprinkled on while eating. We had it over couscous because it’s faster than rice; that worked well.