George and Julia's Vegan Underground

Archive for the tag “garlic”

Sweet potato and jalapeño bisque

So for the Super Bowl, George and I were thinking about what to make for snacks almost all day. Finally once the game started, we decided on tacos…

Well we had some sweet potatoes around the house and I began googling for a sweet potato and jalapeño mash to be the base. I ended up finding another recipe, a sweet potato bisque. It was completely non vegan. There was bacon and rendered bacon fat involved, half and half and everything to turn a vegans stomach. Well I read the recipe and altered it to make it vegan. Thanks to our vitamix it was easy to make:

  • 3 sweet potatoes- soften all three, purée two, and dice the third
  • 3 roasted jalapeños
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 5 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 cup almond milk

Purée 2 sweet potatoes, roasted jalapeños, roasted garlic, almond milk and vegetable broth.

In a soup pot, sauté onions with coconut oil and cumin. Once onions are translucent, add diced sweet potato and mix well. Then add sweet potato purée. Salt and pepper to taste.

It’s sweet and very pleasant. Not overly spicy but has a lingering warmth. Reminds me of corn chowder. Roasting the jalapeño and garlic was to add smokiness that bacon would usually have. Coconut oil was used to replace the rendered bacon fat and to still give it a richness. There you have it, vegan sweet potato and jalapeño bisque. Eat guilt-free.

Five Tool Stew

Matt Kemp
Photo credit:

It’s baseball season and in honor of the bat swinging superstars I decided to pay homage to America’s pastime with this Vegetable Stew. This stew is crowd favorite and can be very versatile just like Mike Trout, Buster Posey, Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun and Josh Hamilton. It features 5 vegetables you can get all year round: Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers (mild or hot), and Beans.

3 out of 5 prepped and ready to go

Like every great superstar there needs to be solid role players and in this stew we have several great secondary ingredients: Fresh lime juice, fresh pineapple juice, garlic, fresh cilantro, tomato paste, and mexican spices. But before we field the ingredients we need to build our foundation first.

What the heck is it cooking in?

There is NO OIL involved in this. But I’m not going to say it’s entirely oil free. Grab a medium sauce pan and turn the heat to high and pour about a quarter cup of water in it. When it’s boiling (more like sizzling), drop in 1/3 of a vegetable bouillon cube (this is where a little oil sneaks in). Once the bouillon sliver dissolves turn the heat down to medium and add onions and salt. Be aware that during this process the water evaporates so in order to keep your pan from browning you might have to add tablespoons of water (I added 3).

When the onions become translucent add garlic and stir for about a minute before adding the zucchini and peppers. I allowed the zucchini and peppers to cook for about 2 minutes before adding a spoonful of tomato paste. Once tomato paste is fully mixed in, add the cherry tomatoes and zucchini insides (zucchini insides to be explained at the end).

Missing just one major ingredient: Beans

Once fully stirred, add the beans. Whatever beans are your fancy, have at it. I admittedly did not use dried beans. Instead I used 1- 14.5oz can of black beans, and 1- 14.5oz can of garbanzo (Chickpea) beans. Drained and rinsed of course.

5 big players in, now let’s round the bases for the winning run

At this point your vegetable stew isn’t quite looking like a stew at all, so we’ll need to add some liquid and spices to bind it all together. Add 1/2 of a lime juiced (if it’s not a juicy lime add a quick squeeze from the other half), and 2 tablespoon of pineapple juice. Then stir in the following mexican spices: 2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, dash of cayenne pepper, and a pinch of dried oregano.

Now that’s looking like a stew!

Once all the ingredients above are stirred in, salt and pepper to taste. To finish this veggie delight off, add 2-3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro to the stew and mix in before serving.

As I mentioned above this is very versatile and can be eaten with a spoon or served a little differently. It’s a great source of protein so I used this stew as my “meat” for my vegan and gluten-free tacos!

Topped with diced pineapple and julienned jicama for “cheese.” Avocado on bottom

Towering gluten-free vegan taco

jicama cheese adds depth and flavor


Major ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large zucchini, boated and diced. Chop and set aside insides*
  • 3-4 small mild (or hot) peppers (or 1 large bell pepper), diced
  • 2  14.5oz can of beans of your choice, drained and rinsed

Secondary ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbs pineapple juice
  • 3 tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Heaping spoonful tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of dried oregano
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredients:

  • Corn tortillas (I prefer Maria and Ricardo’s brand)
  • jicama, julienned
  • avocado, sliced
  • pineapple, diced


  1. In medium sauce pan on high heat add 1/4 cup of water and add vegetable bouillon cube. When cube is dissolved, turn down heat to medium and add onions and salt. When onions are translucent add garlic and cook for an additional minute, then add zucchini and peppers.
  2. Cook zucchini and peppers for 2-3 minutes then stir in tomato paste. Once fully stirred in, add cherry tomatoes and zucchini insides. Cook for an additional minute and stir in beans.
  3. Stir in lime juice, pineapple juice, oregano and spices. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until liquid is noticeable. Mix cilantro into the stew and then salt and pepper to taste before serving.

* Zucchini boated and diced

I don’t like how mushy zucchinis get so I’ve been scraping out the insides, setting them to the side and then dicing/cubing the harder outside of the zucchini. Once the insides are scraped out, I cut the zucchini into 5 strips and dice into even small cubes. It keeps the consistency of each piece, and also helps create more texture in the dish.

Process of boating

I made this for my family party and it was a huge hit! The vegetarians loved it and so did the carnivores. It’s nearly fat-free, completely gluten-free, good source of protein, entirely vegan and of course super healthy!

Gluten-Free Zucchini Boats

I’ve returned to Connecticut after spending a few weeks out on the road, and when I came back the garden was overflowing. When I went foraging I saw some of the peppers were ready for picking and the cherry tomatoes were coming in like gangbusters. I also came across a massive zucchini, which left me entirely stumped on what to do with a vegetable the size of a toddlers leg.

The perfect ingredients to make a primavera… but where’s the creativity in that?

I had a bad case of cookers block. So I did what anyone with any kind of mental block would do… go on facebook and then google random stuff. That’s where I got my inspiration to make a zucchini boat (aka zucchini pizza). I’m using quinoa and sunflower seeds as the protein and the cool thing about quinoa is that it’s a complete protein, which means that it has all nine amino acids. Sunflower seeds offers the amino acid Lysine and increases protein to any dish. But use sunflower seeds in moderation because although they do contain heart-healthy fats, they are high in calories.

Too much talking, grab a spoon already and start scraping!

So first things first, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and start making your quinoa (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water). Then go grab a spoon and gut the zucchinis. Don’t go too deep when scraping because you want to keep the shape of the zucchini while it bakes and not get mushy. Set aside the insides to be used in the filler. You can coat the inside of the zucchini boats with oil or vegan shortening. I used sunflower spray oil sparingly.

Place gutted zucchinis on a pan with foil.

Chop up your vegetables. This recipe can be varied any way you want it to be, but I’ll list what I used:

  • 1 cup oregano and basil mixture chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 hot peppers diced
  • pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cup kale chopped
  • 1/3 cup mango minced (set a tablespoon or so aside)

    From top left and going clockwise: Kale, cherry tomatoes, zucchini innards, basil/oregano mix (mostly basil), hot peppers.

In a skillet spray a little oil or use 2 tablespoons of sauce as oil replacer (like tomato sauce or peanut butter, depends on what kind of flavor you’re aiming for). I used vegan pesto as my oil replacer.

Hello Pesto!


On medium to low heat, add your minced garlic first, cook for a minute or two. Then add your peppers and cook them for another minute. Add zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs. Stir in for another minute then add quinoa, sunflower seeds, mango and kale and stir together for another minute or two. Then salt and pepper to taste.

What fun colors and textures

I didn’t use the entire pot of quinoa. I actually used less than half of it. I used as much as I cared to use, I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way on this. I used about 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds. Once the filling has reached my desired texture (I didn’t want to overcook the kale), I spooned it into the zucchini boats and topped it with mango bits so it looked like cheese.

Fill ‘er up!

Close up before it heads to the oven

Place the pan into the oven and cook the zucchini boats for about 15-20 minutes. I would personally keep them in for closer to 20 minutes but not much more than that. Don’t want the boats to capsize and break.

When done cut in half and serve

Have fun when you make your version of a zucchini boat! This is a dish I could see in the Engine 2 Diet

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