Two Heads of Lettuce

Simple recipes for vegetarian potlucks. Would you like to join the Two Heads of Lettuce team? Contact twoheadsoflettuce at gmail dot com.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The bag, the block, and the can, a.k.a. vegan chocolate pudding

Submitted by reader Alix Davidson:


1 bag of chocolate chips
1 block (1lb) of extra firm tofu, washed and drained
1 can of coconut milk, works fine with the low fat

optional extras: cinnamon, pinch of cayenne, fruit
chopped small, nuts, chocolate or coconut shavings,
pureed berries

Melt the chocolate chips in the coconut milk, on the
lowest setting your burner will go- let it take 5-10
minutes since burning the chocolate means you'll have
to start over and the melting chocolate creates a nice

When the chocolate- coconut mixture has cooled a bit,
crumble the tofu into a food processor and pour the
melted mixture over it and pulse until it's creamy.
It will stay a little grainy.

Pour into a pie plate with or without a crust,
individual glasses, over berries in a casserole
dish.... whatever you do, either refrigerate for 3+
hours or freeze for at least an hour to firm. If
frozen, prepare to battle it a bit when serving, but
it's oddly fancy when poured into a prebaked pie crust
and refrigerated.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

lentil-bulgur salad

Since this is my first post, it's kind of fitting that this is my default potluck recipe - I probably bring this to half the potlucks I attend. Reasons: it's delicious, meant to be served cold, and a good source of protein among all the salad and pasta that inevitably turns up. It's also easily doubled - or tripled - for a crowd, and it actually improves with age, so go ahead and make it the night before. I just discovered french lentils, which are a slightly more three-dimensional version of your run-of-the-mill greens and browns, and which hold their shape better after cooking - I've never tried them in this recipe, but I think they'd be a good substition. All credit for this recipe goes to Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook, my first and best source for all things delicious.

(A note about these ingredients: in all of the many times I've made this recipe, I have *never* included everything. I always leave out the onion - I don't like raw onion - and at any given time, I'm missing mint, or tomatoes, or celery, or walnuts... This is okay. As long as you've got lentils, bulgur, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and some combination of other stuff, you're good to go.)

1 cup of dry brown lentils, rinsed and sorted.
1 cup of raw bulgur wheat.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 small red onion, minced
2 tbs fresh dill, chopped (or 2 tsp dry dill)
2 tbs fresh mint, chopped (or 2 tsp dry mint)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cover dry lentils with water in a small pot and bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes (slightly longer for French lentils). Drain.
Place bulgur in a bowl and pour in 1 cup boiling water. Cover tightly and allow to sit for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed and bulgur is soft.
Mix all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked bulgur and lentils. Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate. Serve either cold or at room temperature.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Home-made Hummus

I acquired this recipe from a friend I met recently at Kavod House. To our surprise, it turns out that we went to the same high school (she's two years older than I am). We were even in concert band together for a year. It's a small small world.

3 cups garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Water (to consistency)
3 Garlic Cloves (use less if tahini has garlic)
1/2 cup tahini
4-5 Tbsp. lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 Parsley (optional)
Tobasco or any other hot sauce (optional)

  1. Drain and rinse beans.
  2. Put chickpeas, tahini and garlic gloves in food processor. Pulse until coarse and scrape down sides.
  3. Slowly add olive oil/water until light and fluffy.
  4. Season with black papper, cumin, lemon juice, and tobasco.
  5. Add handful of parsley and pulse until blended.
  6. Serve with some paprika, za'atar (hyssop), and pita or carrots.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Eco-Kashrut in Newsweek

I'm sure some of you have seen this already, but for those that didn't get a chance to read it, check it out:


Friday, December 08, 2006

Fresh Spinach-Artichoke Baked Dip

In one word: Yum! This recipe also comes from Delicious Living (Nov. 06). Anyone see a pattern to my posts? I promise my next recipe will not be from the same source. In any case, my girlfriend made this a few weeks ago and it was absolutely decilious. It's packed with flavor (garlic cloves are nature's flavor crystals after all), quite easy to make, has plenty of protein, and unlike many spinach-artichoke dips, it doesn't have heavy cream or lots of mayo. Enjoy!


1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
9 oz baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp canola mayo (substituting normal light mayo works well too)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (regular salt will do just fine)
1 tsp hot pepper sauce, or more to taste
1 14-oz can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Makes about 3 cups. Serve with whole wheat crackers or pita.

  1. Place yogurt in a fine sieve over a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Let drain for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Fit a steamer basket in a large pot with 1-2 inches water and add spinach. Bring to a boil and steam spinach until lightly wilted. Transfer to a colander and let cool. Wring out excess water.
  3. Place spinach in a food processor. Add drained yogurt, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, mayo, garlic, pepper, salt, and hot sauce. Process until coarsely blended. Add artichoke hearts and pulse until a chunky mixture forms.
  4. Place mixture in a 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese. Bake until bubbly and lightly browned, about 35 minutes.

Viewer mail, viewer mail, party time, excellent

Two Heads of Lettuce has received these submissions from our readers!

The Last Trumpet writes:

Holy friends -
I have a great resource for vegan (pareve) dishes for pot-lucks.
The Post-Punk Kitchen is a treasure trove of tasty goodness.
I've made vegan cornbread, Tempeh chili con frijoles, and the Sweet & Spicy BBQ Tempeh with Peppers, all of which have been tremendous (and are perfectly sized for a pot-luck submission).
Check it out for yourself.

Betsy Teutsch writes:

Hello fellow Sustainable mayvens-
I attended the GreenFest in DC and one of the things I got a lead on was compostables, as opposed to disposables. In quantity, the price is not prohibitive. They have 3 advantages:
1) they are not made of petroleum, so no fossil fuels consumed in their direct creation (though of course in their manufacture and transit)
2) they are compostable, and don't add to the landfill
3) composting is easier than washing and obviously ethically superior to trashing.


Thanks! Keep the letters coming!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gas-free Beans

Before I dive into my inaugural post, I would like to thank the creators of this blog for a) creating this blog b) accepting my request to blog on this site (though they may come to regret it in the future).

Though I am not currently a vegetarian (I hope to be one someday), I frequent many a Shabbat vegetarian potluck around Beantown (no pun intended). The food is generally delicious and nourishing, but the barrage of legumes amounts to torture on my digestive system. I recently came across an article in Delicious Living November 2006 p.20 that just might help cure my ills and thought that it was worthy of sharing on this blog...

(N.B. I'm not that hip; I don't actually subscribe to this magazine. I think it belongs to one of my girlfriend's roommates.)

"...Venezuelan researchers report that the key to making gas-free beans is fermenting the beans before cooking them (Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 2006, vol. 86, no. 8). The secret lies in two strains of bacteria, Lacto bacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum. You can encourage these helpful bacteria to grow either by adding them to a batch of beans before cooking, or (as savvy cooks will tell you) by cooking beans in the juices from a previous batch. Bonus: Once these fermented beans are cooked, the amount of nutrients that can be digested and absorbed increases significantly."

I guess there's hope for those of us with legumaphobic digestive systems. On a related note, can someone please let me know which aisle in the grocery store generally stocks bacteria?