Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

Well, finally. Spring. My Mom's favorite flower, she says, is the yellow crocus. It has to be the bravest flower that ever grew. Some years, we see it bursting up through the snow.... Someday, Mom wants to write a children's story about the yellow crocus. She has an outline.

We are scrambling here, getting ready to develop and open our summer home in upstate New York. It's a lot of work, but it is going to be glorious. I will have a HUGE garden, and be able to use fresh vegetables in many of my recipes.

You should see this place. It is incredible, with 25 acres of woodland, and 15 acres of sunny meadow. I said that I will be spending a lot of time exploring, and Mom just looked at me. I guess that I will be working hard, too. It will be good for both of us. We will get strong and fit. All the same, there's a pond about a third of a mile long, with a beaver dam and a waterfall that I want to explore again. One day in the Fall, we saw steam coming from the beaver lodge, and deer tracks on top of the dam. We will buy re-cycled lumber and build feeding stations for the deer and the other animals in the woods. What do beaver eat? I have to find out. I'll be doing a lot of studying.

Mom wants to set up a self sustaining facility there, and it will be slow going for a while, and much work and study, but we human beings just must smarten up and quit burning down the planet and killing off our fellow creatures.

There's still snow on the ground up there, but in the Fall, we'll plant some crocus bulbs. And a lot of other stuff.

In honor of Spring and the Brave Crocus, I have ten recipes for you this time.

Vegetarian Bacon 'n Onion Appetizer

#1 - Vegetarian Bacon 'n Onion Appetizer
  • 1/2 lb of vegetarian bacon (we use Morningstar Farms)
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 small jar of cocktail onions, drained

Cut vegetarian bacon slices into thirds. Dip in brown sugar. Wrap vegetarian bacon pieces, sugared side in, around cocktail onions. Secure with toothpicks. Broil about two minutes on each side. May be served hot.

  • Yields: About 6 servings -- Depends upon the greed of your guests.
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Hawaiian Fruit Salad

#2 - Hawaiian Fruit Salad
  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple or canned pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup white seedless grapes
  • 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or papaya
  • 1 cup shredded coconut or angel-flake coconut
  • 1 cup non-dairy whipped topping

Combine pineapple, grapes, cantaloupe and coconut. Toss lightly with the topping.

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Rye Muffins

#3 - Rye Muffins
  • 1 cup unsifted rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (egg-free)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease 6-muffin pans. Sift together the rye flour and baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the water and oil and stir in just until mixed, but still lumpy. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the muffins come away from the edges of the pans.

  • Yields: 6 muffins -- So make more than one pan!
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Eggless, Butterless Cake

#4 - Eggless, Butterless Cake
  • 1 lb raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water or brewed coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon egg-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Boil raisins, sugar, water, or brewed coffee, salt and shortening together for 5 minutes. Cool and then add dry ingredients which have been sifted together 3 times. Bake in two loaf pans or 1 tube pan at 275 degrees F for one hour and 15 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Yields: 1 or 2 cakes -- Depends upon pans used.
  • Preparation Time: 2+ hours

Eggplant with Tomato

#5 - Eggplant with Tomato
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • Solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 slices of vegetarian bacon (chopped)
  • Cracker crumbs, browned in milk-free margarine

Soak eggplant in salt water for 30 minutes. Cook in boiling water until tender. Brown green pepper and onion in rendered vegetable shortening. Add tomatoes and eggplant. Place in casserole. Add salt, pepper, and vegetarian bacon.

Sprinkle browned cracker crumbs over all. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

  • Yields: 4 generous servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

Best Baked Beans

#6 - Best Baked Beans
  • 5 slices of vegetarian bacon, crisply fried and crumbled
  • Two 16-oz cans vegetarian baked beans, drained
  • 1/2 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and simmer over a very low heat for about 45 minutes.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour

Nutty Fingers

#7 - Nutty Fingers
  • 1/2 cup milk-free margarine
  • 5 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cream margarine and add sugar and vanilla. Work in flour gradually. Add nuts. Make into rolled cookies about the size of a little finger. Bake for 8 minutes or until lightly brown. Roll in powdered sugar twice.

  • Yields: 1 dozen cookies -- I'd make a couple of batches.
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Rice or Barley Cookies

#8 - Rice or Barley Cookies
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup rice flour or barley flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon egg-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Drop teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Yields: 1 dozen cookies -- I'd make more of these, too.
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Fried Green Tomatoes

#9 - Fried Green Tomatoes
  • 4 or 5 medium green tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening

I don't know if this is the recipe made famous by the Whistle Stop Cafe, but the result is surely good to eat. Wash tomatoes; remove stem end. Cut crosswise into 1/2" slices. Blend flour, salt and pepper. Dip slices into mixture. Brown quickly in vegetable oil, on one side. Turn and reduce heat. Cook until soft in center.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes or less

Oriental Tomato Skillet

#10 - Oriental Tomato Skillet
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium un-pared zucchini squash, quartered
  • 3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • One 3oz can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Dash of pepper

Heat oil in a wok or skillet; add onion and zucchini. Stir fry over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender, but slightly crisp.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes