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Articles tagged “recipes”

Fusion Coconut Milk Soup Recipe

Vegan Coconut Milk Soup Recipe


When I made my list of superstar vegan ingredients, I forgot another secret weapon in the vegan chef’s arsenal : coconut milk. Coconut milk just makes everything taste better, even if you don’t like the taste of coconut (like me!). Because it doesn’t taste particularly coconut-y, it’s actually quite versatile.

One of my favorite quick recipes is using coconut milk as well as garam masala or Thai curry paste as the base for a soup. I toss in whatever vegetables I have at hand, adding noodles and tofu if I have them around.

For today’s lunch I made one of these fusion soups.


coconut oil

onion, chopped up

garam masala* / Thai curry paste

3 small carrots, chopped

half a bell pepper, chopped

7 stalks of chard (my CSA won’t stop sending me these, so I’ve been featuring chard shows up in my recipes a lot), chopped

whole-grain noodles

coconut milk and water

salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Heat coconut oil in a large pot until it melts.

2.  Add onions and garam masala* or a Thai curry paste.

3. When the onions have browned, add the carrots, bell pepper, chard, and noodles. I like whole-grain because you can boil them a bit more than white noodles, and they still retain their texture.

4. Add coconut milk and water to taste as well as salt and freshly ground pepper.

What I love about this recipe is that you can eat it hot or cold.


* Garam masala just means a mix of Indian spices. You can find these spices pre-mixed at your local Indian grocery.

Simple Vegan Gazpacho Recipe

Dead Simple Gazpacho Recipe

A long time ago I didn’t know how to cook. Coddled by New York’s cheap and delicious eats as well as the fact that socializing happened around food in New York, I didn’t have to learn.

When I got to France, I realized that unless I had a huge budget (which I didn’t as a student), I couldn’t afford to eat out every day.

But I still didn’t learn how to cook.

Because I discovered gazpacho in a carton as sold by Alvalle (this is totally not a sponsored post, I only wish they would send me crates of their gazpacho–are you listening, Alvalle?)…which I would drink in a lowball cocktail glass, feeling smart for saving myself the washing of one spoon and savoring the gazpacho’s creamy coolness on hot days.

 Gazpacho by Alvalle

Even though eating from a package is usually horrible for your health, after drinking my gazpacho I would feel still healthy. The gazpacho was not only without preservatives but also vegan.

Check out the ingredients : Tomato, Pepper, Cucumber, Onion, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2.6%), Wine Vinegar, Salt, Garlic, Lemon Juice.

Even now my recipe for gazpacho today is the same one from Alvalle.

Gazpacho is delicious made ahead of time and served chilled.


3-5 good-sized tomatoes
one bell pepper, cut up and de-seeded
one long cucumber
1/4  of a red onion
1 clove of garlic
gobs of extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh lemon juice
sprouts (optional)


1. Cut the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, and red onion in big pieces. Put them all into a blender, with the tomatoes on the bottom. Add the garlic, and blend. Don’t worry about not having any water in their; the juices from the cucumber and tomatoes will make it a soup.

2. After the consistency is as creamy as you like, add lots of extra virgin olive oil and stir it in by hand. Do NOT blend the olive oil or else it will turn bitter.

3. Add the red wine vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice to taste.

4. Chill for 3-4 hours until the gazpacho is thoroughly cold.

5. Serve alone or with bread.

Photos, from top to bottom, by jlastras and by Alvalle

Secret Ingredient Vegan Creamy Potato Salad Recipe

Vegan Creamy Potato Salad

So today I ate at a friend’s house who prepared a brunch-ish lunch for me, knowing full well about my Try Vegan Challenge.

I was so hungry when he offered his potato salad to me, I ate almost all of it before asking how he made it so creamy without cream.

He totally surprised me. The secret ingredient is to a creamy vegan potato salad is not vegan cream, but avocado! It’s no surprise that it’s so genius because his recipe came from Ms. Vegan Chef Rock Star herself, Isa Chandra Moskowitz. In fact, I even have her book from which the recipe came, Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up For–From Asparagus Omelets to Pumpkin Pancakes.

The only caveat to this amazingly creamy potato salad is that if you’re making it ahead of time to pack for your lunch tomorrow, add in lots of lemon / lime if you like the sour citrus taste and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. You want to lay the plastic wrap on the salad itself, so that there is no air touching the salad. Otherwise, the avocado turns brown from oxidation over time.


2 lbs tender boiled diced potatoes that have cooled down
2 avocados
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
1 plum tomato, chopped
half of a red onion, diced small
half of a cucumber, diced very small
sea salt and cayenne pepper or freshly ground pepper to taste
scallions for garnish



1. Cut the avocado in half. Use a spoon to remove the seed, and scoop the avocado out into a bowl large enough to hold all the potatoes. Add the lime juice, and start smashing the avocados in the bowl until they’re creamy.

2. Add the tomato, onion, and cucumber to the avocado. Mix it up!

3. Add the potatoes to the dressing. Keep on mixing.

4. Add salt and pepper as well as extra lime juice to taste. Top with scallions or other fresh herbs you like.


Keep chilled if you are making it the night before for your work lunch.

Easy Vegan Ratatouille Recipe


Easy Vegan Ratatouille Recipe

Today’s ratatouille recipe for the Try Vegan Challenge is inspired from a book I’m a little embarassed to cite, but the recipe is so awesomely simple and easy. Rarely do I find recipes that feature vegetables in all their glory without the makeup of fancy stuff.

This classic French recipe doesn’t much time to prepare–perhaps just 15 minutes of cutting, but it takes more than an hour to cook. The slow cooking draws out the vegetables own juices and then cooks them in it, building up flavor over time. At the end it’s almost like a soup–delicious spooned over couscous or quinoa.

The amount of tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant doesn’t matter as much as their ratio; use an equal amount of the three vegetables to balance their flavors.


1 pound tomatoes, cut into thick slices
1 pound zucchini, cut into thick slices
1 pound eggplant, cut into thick slices
4 garlic cloves or as many as you’d like
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley or basil or other green herb you like
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Make layers starting with the eggplant, then the tomatoes and finally the zucchini. In between the layers of vegetables scatter the garlic. Repeat the layers until the pot is almost filled.
2. Cover and cook under very low heat until the vegetables are tender, approximately 1-2½ hours.
3. Add the parsley, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

This dish is delicious served as is, over couscous, with bread, or cold.

Photo by telly telly


Quick Vegan Garlicky Chard Rice Recipe

Quick Vegan Garlicky Chard Rice Recipe


So I usually just cook what my CSA gave me and don’t plan my cooking in advance like all the pro chefs do. Instead I’m a master substituter and recipe improviser. Read on to find out what I substituted in this Spanish recipe.

The traditional recipe from Andalucia calls for spinach, raisins, garlic, pine nuts as the main ingredients.

  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 medium bunches of spinach
  • at least one clove garlic, but as many as you like if you’re a garlic-lover like me
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

I had, however, a mountain of rainbow chard, so that was going to replace my spinach. Baby spinach will be more tender than chard, but my rainbow chard added some pink to pep up the dish visually. Actually, any leafy greens will star in this dish quite nicely.

Rather than run out to get pine nuts, I just shook in some black sesame seeds that I already had in my pantry. At least I had the raisins and garlic!

Plus, I had leftover rice, and the magic formula to feeling full as a vegan is to include greens, grains, and protein with every meal (learned from pro vegan chef Lagusta, thanks!). So adding the rice adds in grains, whereas the sesame seeds are the protein. And if it’s not obvious already, the greens are the greens. If you don’t have any leftover rice, I’d suggest eating the garlicky greens with another grain like bread or noodles or…freshly-made rice.

My final adjustment was to spritz on lemon juice liberally at the end, because the iron in the greens need Vitamin C to be fully absorbed in our body. Plus, it adds a little zest to the sweetness of the raisins.

With all of my substitutions and additions, my recipe looked more like this :

  • a handful of raisins
  • two scallion, chopped up
  • coconut oil
  • 2 medium bunches of chard, chopped into slivers aka chiffonade
  • leftover rice
  • at least one clove garlic, but as many as you like if you’re a garlic-lover like me, chopped up small
  • a handful of black sesame seeds
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • lemon juice to taste

1. Soak the raisins in boiling water so that they plump up.

2. Heat up your pan, add the coconut oil and the scallion.

3. After your scallion cooks a bit, add in the chard.

4. After the chard has wilted, add the leftover rice or else just skip to step 5.

5. Add the garlic, the sesame seeds, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Tada! Enjoy your meal!

That should have taken no more than 30 minutes from opening the fridge, cleaning and prepping the vegetables, and cooking.

I Quit Sugar Week 5 : 11 Fat-full, Sugar-free Snack Ideas and Recipes

So I’m now on week 5 of quitting sugar.

To keep myself feeling full, I’ve been replacing my usual high-sugar snacks and drinks with the following:

1. Instead of a berry and banana smoothie every morning, I tried a pure green smoothie with cucumber, some lemon juice, ginger bits, and lots of green leafy purslane.

2 & 3. Instead of a slice of dark chocolate cake, I’ve been smearing almond butter on rice cakes (a recipe I got from Sarah Wilson’s quitting sugar manual) or eating it mixed into plain, full fat yogurt.

4 & 5. Instead of sugar with coffee and foamed milk, I’ve been drinking chai and coffee without sugar and with a lot more milk than usual. The lactose in the milk is a little bit sweet.

6. Instead of sugary apple juice, I’ve been drinking coconut water.

Food substitutes I’ll be trying this week:

7 & 8. Instead of salty chips that are laden with sugar, I will be eating salty, crunchy, sugar-free pickles or popcorn with butter and nutritional yeast.

9. Instead of sugary salsa, I’ll be trying this recipe for herbed crème fraîche as a dip for raw veggies. The recipe is just full-fat crème fraîche with dried basil or parsley or chives, salt, and pepper to taste.

10. For breakfast, I want to try this bacon-turnip casserole with vegetarian bacon.

Sugar-free Breakfast Casserole



1 pound ground VEGETARIAN breakfast sausage
3 turnips, peeled and grated (a food processor works well for this)
4 eggs, beaten
3 scallions, chopped


Sauté sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a spoon or spatula, until almost cooked through.

Mix the sausage with the rest of the ingredients.

Spoon into a 8×8 baking pan.

When ready to cook, heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 45 minutes then cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes more. Let cool 15-20 minutes so the casserole sets before cutting into it.

Here is the original recipe at Mark’s Daily Apple.

11. For dinner, I’ll be making this vegan adzuki bean and pumpkin casserole.

Vegan Adzuki Bean Pot

Adzuki Bean and Pumpkin Casserole from Scandi Foodie
(Recipe adapted from Janella Purcell)


2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
small knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 cup adzuki beans, soaked over night and drained
1/2 butternut pumpkin, cut into chunks
40g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 30 minutes in warm water
1 stick of kombu
750ml water
ground black pepper
salt reduced soy sauce or tamari
toasted sesame seeds, to serve



Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and sauté for a few minutes. Add the garlic and the ginger and sauté for another minute. Add the pumpkin, the beans, mushrooms, kombu and water and season with pepper and soy sauce. Leave to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Take out the kombu and slice it into small pieces, then return the kombu into the saucepan. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve with brown rice.

If you have any good sugar-free recipes, please let me know!