Some of our summer favorites:
# Cook a big pot of pinto beans with diced tomatoes & onions. Throw in chile if you like. Ladle ’em out on a bed of grated cabbage & carrots, layered with brown rice, crushed corn chips, & salsa.
# The beans can also be combined with white rice & celery to make rice soup.
# Stuff bell peppers with a mixture of rice, tomato sauce, seasoned bread crumbs, & crumbled vegan burgers.
# Crumbled veggie burgers also go very well in spaghetti sauce.
# Thai-style stir fries. We oil a wok, then dump in grated cabbage, onions, bell peppers, carrots, and zucchini and/or any other squash. You can add baby corn & green beans if you like. Once it’s sizzling a little, pour in some soy sauce & let it marinate for a bit. Add a big dollop of peanut butter. We usually toss in a handful of nutritional yeast, too, and some curry powder, but those are optional. Stir in a whole pound of silken tofu. Serve with rice.
# Indian-style stir fries. Same basic approach, but skip the silken tofu. Instead, add pre-boiled potatoes, yams, and/or sweet potatoes, plus hot pepper to preference, & stir them into a sort of very thick soup. At this point you can either eat it by itself, or with catsup, or add a bit of flour & fry it into pancakes, or eat it with rice, as a curry.
# Indian-style lentils, boiled with dried peas. Stir in black pepper to preference. This can also be eaten either by itself or with rice, as a curry.
# Vegan lasagna is dead easy. Boil the lasagna noodles, thaw a couple of pounds of spinach, & stir the spinach together with spaghetti sauce, Italian seasonings, & bread crumbs (preseasoned packaged bread crumbs work as well as any) & silken tofu. Most people prefer to add some vegan mock cheese; some don’t. Lay out your first layer of lasagna noodles in a baking pan. Ladle in a layer of spinach mix. Lay out your second layer of lasagna noodles. Ladle in a second layer of spinach mix. Cover with lasagna noodles, pour the last of the spaghetti sauce, & bake. It will be ready to eat about the time you’ve finished your first beer.
Beth and I usually cook a couple of big batches of beans, rice, potatoes, etc. at the beginning of the week, then mix up the combinations all week long. Put the basics together in various ways with salads, & one can go for months without ever having to repeat exactly the same menu.