Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Vichyssoise is traditionally served cold, however I will be serving mine hot (also accepted) as I gaze at the snow-covered landscape outside the kitchen window :- )

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:
  • 2 cups leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3  large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup rice milk
  • 2 tbsp. vegan margarine
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • sea salt, pepper, to taste
What to do:
  1. Heat margarine in large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks and onions and cook for 5-7 minutes. 
  2. Add potatoes, herbs, salt, pepper and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer soup to a blender, add rice milk and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. 
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve with warm crusty French bread.
Serves: 4-6  Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Black Olive Tapenade

Who doesn't love a good olive tapenade? This one takes about 15 minutes to make. You may wish to served it with crudites (a variety of vegetables to dip,) in addition to slices of warm baguette from your local boulangerie :-)

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:
  • 2 six-ounce cans black olives, drained
  • 3-4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp. capers
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 cup chopped red onion
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
What to do:
  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor and serve on thin slices of toasted baguette. Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creamy Herb and Garlic Spread

An easy little spread to put together at a moment's notice, this is a nice addition to any array of hors d'oeuvres for a dinner party.

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:
  • 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 3-4 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, etc)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients well and serve on thin slices of toasted French baguette.  Bon Appetit!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lentil Walnut Pate Lettuce Wraps

If you wish to keep a trim waistline (like the quintessential French woman,) you may wish to forego serving this dish with crusty bread and opt for individual pieces of Bibb lettuce which you can fashion into petit wraps.

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. red wine
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • Bibb lettuce, washed 
What to do:
  1. Heat olive oil in a cast-iron pan over low heat. Add onions and garlic, cooking until they are soft.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the lentils in a well-oiled baking dish, add the cooked onions and garlic mixture and combine, adding a bit more olive oil if you like. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pat the mixture down into the bowl and brush the top with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with crusty French bread and individual pieces of Bibb lettuce "wraps."  Bon Appetit!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Salade de Lentilles Vertes (Green Lentil Salad)

The most prized French green lentils come from the village of Le Puy, where the soil is particularly suited to growing these earthy green treasures.

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:

  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut in half (2 quarters) and stuck with 2 cloves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

What to do:

  1. Rinse the lentils thoroughly. Place lentils, onion, garlic and bay leaf in a medium-size saucepan and cover with cold water. Add a pinch of sugar and a splash of vinegar to cooking water. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, 25-30 minutes, adding water as needed.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, oil and salt in a small bowl. 
  3. Remove lentils from heat and coat lentils with dressing. Season with pepper and serve warm.
Serves: 2-4 Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Melange de Noix Epices (Spiced Nut Mix)

This fun little melange de noix comes from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz. I omitted the pretzels that he calls for and the end product was, well...vraiement magnifique!

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts, peanuts and brazil nuts)
  • 2 tsp. vegan margarine
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spread nuts on a baking sheet. Toast for 7-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the margarine, brown sugar, cinnamon, chili powder, maple syrup and cocoa.
  3. Stir the warm nuts into the spice mixture. Coat completely and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Place them back in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the nuts are glazed and brown.
Serve to friends this holiday season. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mango Carpaccio with Cinnamon

I found this simple mango dessert recipe while leafing through my copy of French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasures, by Mireille Guiliano. It's the sequel to French Women Don't Get Fat and ripe with simple yet elegant recipes for cooking and living. Most of the recipes are not vegan but they are light and simpler than traditional French cuisine.

Difficulty Level: Facile

What you need:

  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • juice of half a lemon
  • fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups mango chunks (unthawed if frozen)
What to do:
  1. Place sugar in a small saucepan with the lemon juice, 1 mint leaf and 1 tbsp. water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and add cinnamon. Let cool.
  2. Place mango in 2 serving dishes and drizzle with the syrup. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve and decorate with mint leaves.  Serves: 2   Bon Appetit!