Deli Bean Salad

Nothing beats a quick and easy bean salad for picnics and potlucks. I always make a bean salad to go with pasta dishes because they may taste great but their not very filling.

2 cups fresh green beans, blanched cut into 1 inch pieces or frozen & thawed*
1 can (19 ozkidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, rinsed & drained
sweet pepper, orange, yellow or red, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar (Redpath brand is vegan)
1 tsp garlic, grated
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a lid or 2 smaller bowls. Cover bowl then shake to mix well. Re-shake during marinating time. Chili for at least 4 hours before serving. The longer you can leave it marinading the better, overnight or even longer would be GREAT! Serves 6

*I never use to buy frozen green beans because I though they would be tasteless and mushy once they had thawed. Not so, I buy the store brand, Compliments and their thin green beans are great! I'm sure other brands will be too, not sure if buying the THIN ones makes a difference or not. Frozen as opposed to fresh green beans can be a better choice because they are frozen when they are fresh and don't have to travel a great distance before getting to you.

Angela Liddon's Shepherd's Pie

One of my friends gave me the cookbook Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon for my last birthday. Oh how I love cookbooks. It's been years since I've bought one, I was a little addicted to collecting them at one time. I'm going to make the exception this year and buy Lauren Toyota's Cookbook Vegan Comfort ClassicsMany of her recipes I use on a regular basis. The very first recipe I decided to try from the Oh She Glows Every Day cookbook was her Shepherds Pie because I just didn't have a real good recipe for Shepherds Pie. I've tried many recipes on line and they weren't that good but this one is defiantly a winner!!!!  I did make some changes.....for the seasonings I used 1/2 tsp less of the dry seasonings and I use 2 seasonings she did not use. I also added more green beans to the frozen vegetables. The important change I made was making instead mashed potatoes rather than making mashed potatoes from scratch next following paragraph  explains why.....

The first time I made this recipe it turned out perfect, I used instant mashed potatoes instead of using her recipe to make mashed potatoes from scratch.  The second time I made it I was out of instant mashed potato mix so I made it from scratch using Angela's recipe and it was a disaster. Once the Sheppard's Pie was cooked the mashed potato topping was so dry, it ruined the whole dish...grrr. The liquid measurements were WAY too low. So please just use instant, this recipe does take extra time to make, so take some short cuts and its not only quicker you will end up with prefect mashed potatoes every time. 

She does suggest making her own Cozy Gravy to go with it but seriously who has the time. Mashed potatoes by hand, the Sheppard pie filling and making homemade gravy wow I'm retired and even I don't have time to do all of that.. I don't even think I like anyone enough to do that much 

The following was written by Angela  Liddon........"This is one of those special occasion recipes that requires a bit more prep time than usual. But its so worth it when you are feeding a crowd or just want a special Sunday night dinner with your family. It's bursting wit bursting with the rustic and comforting flavors of rosemary and thyme. The red wine give it a sophisticated flavor but feel free to swap out the wine with more broth if you like to avoid adding alcohol. Using bags of frozen veggies is my little secret here, it saves a ton of time and prep work!"  

Mash Potato Topping:

instant mash potato mix
vegan milk

Final Topping (optional)

vegan gravy


2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
2 heaping Tbsp garlic, grated
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 cups frozen, mixed vegetables (corn, carrots, peas & green beans)*
2 Tbsp potato starch
3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup red wine 
1/4 tsp red pepper chili flakes (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp basil
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils*

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a casserole dish. Cook mashed potatoes as directed on package. Once cooked put aside. Cook the lentils. Meanwhile in a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and a couple pinches of salt. Stir to combine and saute until onions are softened about 5 minutes. Add garlic the last minute. Add the mushrooms, stir and increase the heat to medium high. Saute until much of the liquid released by the mushrooms has cooked off 10 to 13 minutes. (This is important, as it ensure the filling won't be too watery.)

Add the bag of frozen vegetables (no need to thaw beforehand) and saute for a few minutes, until heated through. Stir in the potato starch until combined. Add broth and wine and stir to combine. Simmer the mixture over medium to high heat until it thickens slightly. Add the red pepper flakes, salt, marjoram, thyme, basil and lentils. Saute for a couple of minutes longer. 

Spoon the filling into the prepared casserole dish and spread it out evenly. Using a spoon (and a lightly oiled had, if necessary) spread the potatoes out over the filling in an even layer. Sprinkle some paprika oven the top of the mashed potatoes. 

Bake for about 25 minutes, then switch the oven to broil and broil for 4 to 7 minutes, until bubbling around the edges. Watch closely to avoid burning. Serve with vegan gravy which is Angela Liddon's choice, ketchup is my husbands and I thinks its just great on its own. Keeps in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.


*To cooked lentils add 3/4 cup rinsed lentils and 1 1/2 cups water to a pot. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat to a gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubbles and some slight movement of the lentils. Cook, uncovered for 20 minutes or until tender. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.

* I used 1 cup frozen veggies (carrots, peas & corn) & 1 cup frozen green beans.

*The original recipes seasoning mix was 2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 1 tsp dried and 2 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried.

Cranberry Slaw

This would be a great side dish for your Christmas meal.... the red from the cranberries and green from the kale are the perfect colors for the season. You can also bring it to potlucks since it doesn't get soggy. It's no secret that I love crunchy food including coleslaw so I'm always looking for ways to change it up. Recently, I came up this cranberry slaw. It's really quick for me to make, since I always have Fresh's Restaurants House Dressing made and ready to go in my fridge. There are so many great salad/slaw mixes in your product section now! So try them out and see which one you like best. I usually use Mann's Power Blend salad/slaw mix. 

slaw mix (I use store bought)
green kale, chopped 

I don't use ingredients amounts, its just made according to taste. Add slaw mix to a large bowl then add some dressing, kale and cranberries
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