Thursday, September 30, 2010

Layered Bean Dip

You can't beat this super easy bean dip served with tortilla chips for a delicious, fairly healthy snack!

Layered Bean Dip

1 cup black beans
1/2 t garlic salt
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t cumin
1/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat through. Mash. Set aside and let cool.

1 recipe guacamole

Being less than thrilled with my past attempts at making seitan (always turns out so spongy - even if I don't allow it to come to a boil), I was skeptical yet determined when I decided to try out Vegan Dad's version of "Chicken" Seitan. I was particularly intrigued by his addition of tofu to the wet ingredient list as well as chickpea flour as an addition to his dry ingredients. Further, the recipe uses the crockpot to allow the cutlets to simmer half the day away. Needless to say, the recipe was much different than most and I was hopeful tha perhaps this was the recipe I had been looking for. Unfortunately afte simmering for many hours, the cutlets appeared pretty much the same as my past seitan cutlets. They looked spongy and I was really bummed. I put them in the fridge for future use in this week's recipes. Well, today, I pulled them out to make lunch - a new creation - and yay yay yay, the meal was great! If eaten in large chunks with very little seasoning, I think these cutlets would be pretty spongy and not real appetizing but they worked perfectly in this wrap. I was thrilled!! I am excited to try this seitan in my Asian tacos later this week. I still wish I could find a recipe that created seitan like store-bought seitan that is very chewy rather than spongy but as of yet, I have not discovered one. For now, I am pretty darn pleased with this seitan!

Southwestern Seitan Wraps

For the seitan:
4 "chicken-style" seitan cutlets ( I used Vegan Dad's recipe -
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup flour
1 t chili powder
1 t garlic salt
1 t ground cumin
oil for pan-frying

Mix all ingredients except seitan and oil. Place cutlets in crumb mixture and press crumbs into seitan to coat as generously as possible. Heat oil in cast iron skillet and add cutlets. Cook until browned on each side (about 3-4 min each side). Slice each cutlet into 1/4-1/2 inch thin strips. Set aside and keep warm.

For the Slaw:
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup Veganaise
1/8 cup salsa verde

For the Fixin's:
Flour tortillas (I use Tortillaland brand from Costco - they come raw and you cook them at home. They have only a handful of ingredients and are delicious!! I have made my own tortillas from scratch many times and these are every bit as good and soooo easy!!)
Guacamole (my recipe below)

1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/2 t garlic salt
1/2 t chili powder
1 t dried minced onions
Mix all ingredients together.

Take a tortilla, spread guacamole on it (about 4 T). Place 1/2 cup slaw over guac. Pour desired amount of salsa on top of guac and finish the wrap with several slices of seitan. Wrap up and eat. Yum!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Homemade Tortellini

Wow - this was a time-consuming dish! Again, I am on my Conscious Cook kick! Always super-detailed recipes but yummola! I made a lot of modifications and they turned out great. I have made this dish before but only sort of! Last time I cheated and used wonton skins to make the raviolis intead of making my own dough. The homemade dough made a huge difference and they turned out far better. A very rich and satisfying dish. Keith (my 4 yr old) even helped make them. We stuffed his with a different filling (corn and lima beans at his request!!). A fun experience overall but I am pooped (especially since I also made a batch of "chicken" seitan this morning as well and it is happily simmering in my crock pot right now! Yep - seitan in the crockpot! Kinda funny. We'll see how it turns out!!)

My Version of "Artichoke Ricotta Tortellini with Saffron Cream Sauce" (Source: Conscious Cook)

For pasta dough:
4 oz silken tofu
2 T olive oil
1/2 t sea salt
2 cups flour plus more for dusting

In a food processor, blend tofu, oil, salt, and 4 T water. Slowly add flour until soft dough forms. Add more flour or water if necessary to create a dough that is pliable but not too sticky. Knead for about 5 min. Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 30 min. Remove from fridge and roll out as thinly as possible. Use a large biscuit cutter and cut rounds of dough until all dough is gone. Place rounds on floured baking sheet and set aside until filling is ready.

For Filling:
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 8oz box mushrooms, minced (I used these instead of artichoke hearts as I used my artichoke hearts for the paella yesterday!)
1/4 cup faux chicken broth
1 cup cashew cream
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
fresh cracked black pepper

In a skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and cook 3 min. Add mushrooms and broth. Cook until liquid is reduced by 1/2. Add cashew cream, yeast and pepper and cook until hot and thick. Set aside.

For Saffron Cream Sauce:
1 T olive oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 cup faux chicken broth
1 cup cashew cream
2 pinches saffron threads
freshly cracked black pepper
2 T Earth Balance

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion. Cook 10 min. Add broth and cook 5 min. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Keep warm.

To assemble tortellini, take a dough round and fill with 1 t filling. Fold in half and crimp sides to seal. Place on floured baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough and filling. Heat a large pot with water and bring to boil. Add tortellini and bring back to boil. Boil for 3 min. Remove from pan and let drain in collander. Top with saffron cream sauce.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I have really been enjoying recipes from the Conscious Cook - there really are some fabulous concoctions in this book! As I have mentioned previously, however, the recipes are quite detailed and require multiple steps thus making them rather time-consuming - but boy are they tasty! In the recipe for Paella, I have again modified and simplified the recipe. Turned out fabulously! I made it for lunch today - wanted to make something really yummy for my parents who had just arrived from Florida following a very LONG airport/airplane adventure that put them back into KC about 15 hours late! We all quite enjoyed this. I made a yummy salad with sweet poppy seed dressing and served it all with crusty french bread sprinkled with garlic salt.
Of course following our delicious lunch, I wanted to make a special dessert for my very exhausted parents! So, where did I turn? Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar of course! Love that book! The Cowboy cookies were the pefect blend of oatmeal, chocolate chips, coconut and pecans baked to a fabulous brown perfection! My hubby's going to love these!! My brother-in-law on the other hand would hate these cookies (seriously, how can you not like nuts or coconut?!). Another delicious day in this vegan household - woohoo!!

Tossed Salad with Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 cup grapes, washed and cut in half
1/2 cup mandarin oranges
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup vegan croutons
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage

Toss all salad ingredients together and drizzle dressing over the mixture. Toss to coat.

Poppy Seed Dressing (My Favorite Recipes - modified a bit)
2 T white vinegar
1 T yellow mustard
1/3 cup honey (ok, so I know that's not vegan but honey is not something I stay clear of - sorry! You can substitute agave if you would rather)
2/3 cup canola oil
1 T minced dried onions
1 t salt
3 t poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients and shake til combined.

Paella (Conscious Cook - under the recipe name Paella with sausage, nori-dusted oyster mushrooms and wine-braised artichoke hearts)
For the Rice:
4 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T fresh minced parsley
2 tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 t salt
1 green pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups rice (called for med-grain but all I had was long grain and it turned out great)
4 cups faux chicken broth
pinch of saffron threads
1/2 t fresh ground pepper

In a large skillet, heat 2 T olive oil. Add onion and garlic until cooked and translucent. Add tomatoes and parsley. Add a spinkle of water. Cook until veggies resemble chunky jam. Add rice and cook for 2 min. Add broth, pepper, salt and saffron. Stir to combine and bring to boil. Cook uncovered for 10 min without stirring. Lower the heat to simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 15 min (I had to add another 1/2 cup or so of water and cook a bit longer as mine wasn't done at this point). Set aside or place heat on lowest setting to keep warm.
In a separate skillet, heat 2 T olive oil and cook peppers for 3-4 min or until just browned but still crispy. Add to rice mixture and stir to combine.

For the Toppings:
2 T olive oil
3 Field Roast sausages, sliced (I used chipotle)
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
1 sheet nori seaweed, toasted and ground
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
1/2 cup faux chicken broth
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

Heat 1 T olive oil in skillet and cook sausage until lightly browned. Set aside in bowl. Add 1 T oil back to pan and add mushrooms and aritchoke hearts. Sprinkle with toasted ground nori (I didn't want to use my coffee grinder for this and thus had a hard time crumbling it with my hands but managed sort of!). Cook about 3 min. Add lemon juice and broth and peas. Cook until liquid is reduced to half. Pour into rice mixture and stir to incorporate.

Cowboy Cookies (Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar)
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup almond milk
1 T ground flax seeds
1 t pure vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Stir together oats, flour, soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine oil, sugars, milk, flax, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add flour mixture. Slowly add coconut, chocolate chips and pecans until well incorporated. Drop by large tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 min or until lightly browned. (My cookies stayed quite plump rather than flattening but they were delish! A bit crispy on the outside and very moist and chewy on the inside!

Monday, September 27, 2010

I'm back!!

After a lovely 5 days on the beaches of Florida, we are back home and back to cooking! Actually, we cooked all but a couple of our meals while on vacation but I am back to my own beloved kitchen and pantry staples and it is so good to be home! I made two fabulous meals today - and after a few meals of mediocre status in the last couple of weeks, I was so happy! I guess that's the hard part about trying so many new recipes - you are bound to make several that are just "ok". Anyway - my 2 meals today were outstanding in my opinion!! For lunch I made an adapted version of Pine-Nut Crusted Gardein from Conscious Cook (the picture isn't great but it really was delish!) and for dinner I made a polenta dish that was a perfect meal for my gluten-intolerant father-in-law (who came to dinner tonight!). I am loving polenta more and more! I always loved eating it at my sister's house (she makes really great polenta and makes it quite frequently in fact!) but up until a couple weeks ago had never tried it myself. Mmmm - so yummy! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the polenta and when I realized, there were no leftovers to photograph! Oh well.

I find recipes in the Conscious Cook to be pretty detailed and lengthy. I have abbreviated this recipe and also modified it in several places so the recipe is not as it appears in the book!

Pine-nut-and-basil Seared Gardein With Lobster Mushroom Beurre Blanc
For the "Chicken"
1 cup toasted almonds (instead of using the outrageously pricey pine nuts!!)
1 cup flour
1 T dried basil
8 (2 oz) Gardein frozen scaloppini, thawed
Sea salt and black pepper
4 T canola oil

Place almonds, flour, and basil in food processor and pulse until coarsely crumbled. Place in pie plate. Flatten scaloppini with your hand to 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper. Press each side into crumb mixture. Heat oil in skillet and pan-fry fillets until golden. Keep warm.

For the mushroom beurre blanc
1 t olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 oz package of button mushrooms, sliced (I chose to slice instead of chop finely because my family doesn't like mushrooms and bigger pieces are easier to pick out!)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup cashew cream (see recipe below)
2 T nutritional yeast
6 T Earth Balance

Heat oil in skillet. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute 2-3 min. Add broth and cook until reduced by half. Add cashew cream and cook 5 min. Whisk in nutritional yeast. Remove from heat and stir in Earth Balance 1 T at a time.

Top scaloppini pieces with mushroom sauce and serve.

His version is much more elegant and looks far more beautiful but I used what I had and didn't purchase some of the pricier ingredients (pine nuts and lobster mushrooms) but this was truly an incredibly delicious meal!! My 4 yr old loved the "chicken" and told me he loved it so much! Thrilled my little vegan-cook's heart!!

Polenta and Veggies (Source: The Complete Vegan Cookbook)3 T olive oil
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 t fennel seeds
1/2 t dried chili flakes
1 EACH red, green, yellow pepper, sliced
1 8 oz package mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1/2 t dried rosemary
1/4 t salt
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
6 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked polenta

Heat the oil in a skillet. Stir in garlic, onion, fennel and chili flakes. Cook until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and peppers and continue to saute about 1-2 min. Add parsley, rosemary, 1/4 t salt, and 1 cup broth. Cook about 10 min or until liquid has reduced to about half. Set aside and keep warm.

Bring the remaining broth to a boil. Pour in polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 20 min. When polenta begins to pull away from sides, it is done.

To serve, spoon polenta into bowls and top with veggies.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Creamy Sweet Potato Kale Bake

I have been wanting to try this dish for a while and finally got around to it...unfortunately, we were quite disappointed. For some reason it was very bland and the sauce was almost a bit bitter. Very odd indeed. I think sometimes the tahini imparts a slightly bitter taste. Anyway, I wouldn't make it again, sadly enough. It was "ok" if you added a bunch of salt to it but certainly not the taste delight I was looking forward to. Vegan Yum Yum has a couple alfredo-like sauces that are really good but this was not one of them! Bummer on this meal...
Posting the recipe anyway in case you want to try it with added salt and some other more flavorful components??? I am holding off on making the Creamy Broccoli Mushroom Bake because the sauce ingredients are largely the same and I don't want a repeat casserole just with different veggies! I will have to come up with some sauce adjustments for that one...but for now, I think I will replace that item on my menu and go for something I know will be good. Something like...hmmmm...veggie-ful egg rolls maybe :-)

Creamy Sweet Potato Bake (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

3 cups small pasta shapes
1 head kale, deveined and chopped
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes

Alfredo Sauce:
1 ¼ cups soy milk
1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 T soy sauce
2 T Earth Balance
1 T tahini
1 T lemon juice
½ t dijon mustard
¼ t powdered ginger
1 pinch nutmeg
¾ t dried thyme
½ t paprika
black pepper to taste
bread crumbs for topping

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta.
Two or three minutes before pasta is completely cooked, add the chopped kale to the boiling water. When pasta is cooked and the kale is bright and green but tender, drain and set aside.
Chop the sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces. Boil in salted water until tender but not falling apart. Drain.
Preheat oven to 400.
To make alfredo sauce, blend soy milk, cashews, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, butter, tahini, lemon juice, mustard, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, paprika, pepper in a blender. Blend well for several minutes until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Combine pasta, kale, and sweet potatoes with sauce and stir well. Place in a casserole dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 20 min or until hot and bubbly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Carmelized Leek and Spaghetti Squash Polenta with White Sauce

My sister makes polenta a lot and I always enjoy it but I have never made it before. This recipe looked really tasty so I gave it a go. Very yummy! The polenta is very flavorful and the white sauce was a perfect addition. I almost made it without the sauce as I think the Vegan Yum Yum creamy sauces often taste very much the same and I didn't figure it would add a lot. I was wrong - the sauce was fabulous! This recipe is a bit time-consuming but worth it. I served it with Lemon Walnut Green Beans and Roasted Carrots and Onions (which look dreadful in the picture! I roasted the onions and carrots with a little olive oil, coarse sea salt and pepper and bake at 425 until the onions are very crispy. So even though they look terrible, they are delicious!)

Carmelized Leek and Spaghetti Squash Polenta with White Sauce (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)
1 cup thinly sliced leeks
1 T olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 small spaghetti squash
3 cups water
1 vegetable boullion cube
1 cup cornmeal
½ t red pepper flakes
¼ t salt

White Sauce
¼ cup vegan butter
2 T flour
1 T tahini
1 T lemon juice
1 t stone-ground mustard
2 T nutritional yeast
1 cup soy milk
½ t salt
pepper to taste

In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil. Add leeks and cook until golden and tender. Set aside. Meanwhile, place about ½ in of water in a baking dish. Cut squash in half and remove the seeds. Place squash face-down in baking dish and bake at 400 degrees for about 45 min. Remove from oven, cut each half in half again , scrape flesh from skin and place in a bowl. Squeeze out excess moisture with a paper towel. Set aside.

Meanwhile, add boullion cube to 3 cups of water and bring to boil. Add the cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking thoroughly. Continue to whisk. Add leeks, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 min. Add squash to polenta and stir. Mix well and cook for another 5 min. Scrape polenta into an 8x8 baking dish and cover. Refrigerate for about an hour. Cut into quarters. Take each square and cut it in half diagonally. I cut each diagonal again to yield thinner pieces. Pan fry or bake the polenta pieces and keep warm. I pan-fried mine but would try baking next time as it was kind of a pain and I don’t think it added much other than fat!

To make the white sauce, melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour to form smooth paste. Add remaining ingredients except soy milk. Stir. Slowly add soy milk until smooth and thick.

Serve polenta topped with sauce.

Lemon Walnut Green Beans (Source: Supermarket Vegan)
1 lb. Fresh green beans
1 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
2 T chopped walnuts
½ t coarse sea salt
¼ t dried rosemary
¼ t lemon pepper (I left this out because I didn’t have any)

Steam green beans until crisp-tender – about 5 min. Drain. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add green beans and remaining ingredients. Stir fry for about 2-3 minutes. Serve.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pad Thai Summer Rolls and Better-than-takeout Stirfry

We had family over for lunch today and I made Thai and Chinese-like fare. The summer rolls were so fun - I have never used rice papers before but they are delightful! In the package, they are hard and will snap if you bend them too far but once you soak them in warm water for about 30 seconds, they become soft and pliable and totally workable. I filled them with veggies (green and red cabbage, carrots), a tamarind sauce, peanuts and rice noodles. The tamarind sauce was kinda different - it was tart. I would probably make a peanut sauce instead in the future. But they were fresh and chewy and just fun, even though the sauce wasn't all that great. The stir-fry was pretty yummy. It was basically a sweet and sour sauce and I served it with rice noodles instead of serving it over rice. It was quite yummy. I would make this meal again with the exception of the tamarind sauce and I might serve the stir-fry over rice.

Better Than Take-out Stir-fry (Source: Vegan on the Cheap – I added different veggies so I have listed what I added)
1 cup carrot sticks
1 cup sliced cabbage
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed
½ cup chopped celery
2 T canola oil
4 sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 t grated fresh ginger
¼ cup soy sauce
1 cup vegetable stock
1 ½ T brown sugar
2 T rice vinegar
1 T ketchup
½ t Asian chili paste
2 T water
1 T cornstarch

Heat large skillet and add oil. Add onions, carrots, garlic and ginger and cook 2-3 min. Add cabbage, celery and peas. Cook additional 2-3 min. In a bowl, stir together remaining ingredients, except cornstarch and water, until well incorporated. Add sauce to skillet and cook 2-3 min. Stir together cornstarch and water. Slowly stir into skillet of veggies to thicken sauce. Serve over rice or rice noodles.

Brussel sprouts score!

I have tried eating brussel sprouts in the past - my mom and sister both have tried various recipes for family get-togethers. However, try as we might, we have never been crazy about them. I want to like them - they are so adorable! So, when I discovered fresh home-grown ones at the farmers market, I decided I needed to give them another try. These were petite and supposedly sweeter and less bitter. I had a recipe I had been wanting to try - Cornmeal Masala Crusted Brussel Sprouts (Veganomicon) - so I gave it a try. The first couple bites were good but different. They were not bitter and were quite pleasant. However, after I finished my meal, I was pretty tired of them! The crazy thing is, the last couple of days I have been craving them!! Ha! I guess I would try this recipe again and I think I will venture out and try some other brussel sprout recipes! Along with the brussel sprouts, I made fresh sweet corn, sweet potato fries (sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil, coarse sea salt, and cumin and roasted in the oven - a favorite in our house!!), and Crispy Sesame Kale (Vegan Yum Yum). A very yummy veggie-ful lunch!!

Cornmeal-Masala Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Source: Veganomicon)

8 T peanut oil
1-1 ½ lbs Brussels sprouts
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 T chickpea flour
1 t salt
1 t garam masala
½ t ground coriander
¼ t ground cumin
¼ t ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
Preheat the oven to 400. Prepare baking pan by pouring 2 T peanut oil onto it and spreading it around bottom of pan. Trim and wash sprouts, shake off excess water and pat dry. Cut any very large sprouts. Combine sprouts with a sprinkle of salt and 1 T chickpea flour, tossing to coat. In a small bowl, mix together the cornmeal, remaining chickpea flour, spices. Add remaining 6 T oil and mix together with your fingers to create crumbs. Add sprouts and toss to coat, pressing as much crumb mixture onto them as possible. Pour sprouts and crumbs onto baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 min or until the sprouts are browned and tender. Every 10 min during cook time, stir them around a bit to allow browning on all sides.

Crispy Sesame Kale (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)
1 head of kale, washed and deveined
1 T sesame oil
1 T sesame seeds
1 pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375. Tear the kale into bite-size pieces and spread out evenly on a cooking sheet covered in foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle oil on top and then scrunch kale with your fingers until the oil is evenly distributed over the greens. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and salt. Bake in oven about 10 min or until the leaves are crispy but still dark green.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vegan Lasagna and Black Bean Enchiladas

I have been craving lasagna and the recipes I kept coming across just didn't look like what I wanted. So, I decided to create my own version and the finished product was quite tasty. The only thing I would change would be to either double the sauce recipe or make an additional sauce (such as fresh marinara) to top the lasagna with - mine was a bit dry, especially since the sauce is fairly thick. I used some of my seitan sausage (recipe in previous post) and crumbled it to resemble bulk sausage - it turned out much better than eating a patty of seitan sausage. All in all, this dish was filling, tasty and fulfilled my craving for Italian comfort food! And to top it all off, my 4 yr old liked it - definite plus!!

Vegan Lasagna
(this sauce recipe is a twist on Vegan Yum Yum's Creamy Tomato Pasta sauce)
1/2 cup fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cashew cream
1 T tomato paste
2 T olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Heat olive oil in a skillet and add garlic, cooking until golden. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Pour sauce into garlic skillet and cook for 5 min to blend flavors. Set aside.
10 cooked lasagna noodles
1 cup seitan sausage, crumbled
1 chopped onion
1 1/2 T olive oil
In a skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add onion and sausage and cook until onions are translucent and sausage is browned.
Layer noodles, sausage/onion mixture, and sauce in a baking dish. Bake for 20 min in 400 degree oven.

I am always in the mood for Mexican food...well almost - and I have found several enchilada recipes that look good. I must admit that I am a bit skeptical about enchiladas sans cheese however! When I came across the recipe for Averie's "Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip (Amber@AlmostVegan), I decided to make up my own ensemble of ingredients. The result was pretty spicy and I don't think the cheesy sauce tastes a bit like Dorito flavoring but it was still pretty good!

Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas with Cheesy Sauce
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup water
1 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
2 t fine sea salt
2 t minced dried onions
3/4 cup spicy vegan sausage (I used Field Roast Chipotle), crumbled and browned
10 corn tortillas
1 recipe Spicy Doritos Dip (see below)
Combine beans, water and spices in a saucepan and heat until bubbly. Remove from heat and mash until most beans are smooth. You can leave a few whole for added texture. Stir sausage into beans and set aside. Heat tortillas on griddle to increase pliability. Fill each tortilla with a scoop of the bean mixture. Roll up and place in an 8x8 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour sauce over enchiladas. Bake at 375 degrees until bubbly and tortillas are tender - about 15-20 min.

My adapted version of Averie's "Spicy Doritos" Cheezy Dip
1/2 C cashew cream
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1/4 nutritional yeast
1/2 of a Red Pepper
3 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder (add more to taste if desired)
1/8 Tsp Cayenne (add more to taste if desired)

Combine All Ingredients and Blend until Smooth

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tempeh Lettuce Cups, Ginger Broccoli, Sweet Brown Rice and Hot and Sour Carrots

This turned out to be a pretty yummy meal. I bought some sweet brown rice from Whole Foods and I must say, I wouldn't buy it again. It was very sticky which was fine but it was actually bitter - not sweet at all! Very strange. The tempeh filling for the lettuce cups was very tasty the two veggie sides were quite yum.

Tempeh Lettuce Cups
8 oz tempeh
2 T brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T hoisin sauce
1 T lemon juice
1-2 t Asian cili paste
2 t sesame oil
2 T canola oil
1/4 cup chopped onion (I used green onion)
1 t minced garlic
1 cup minced white mushrooms
1 cup minced water chestnuts
8-12 whole leaves iceberg lettuce

In a medium saucepan of simmering water, cook the tempeh over medium heat for 30 min. Drain, pat dry, set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, water, soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, lemon juice, chili paste, and sesame oil. Mix well and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Crumbled the tempeh and add it to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the tempeh from pan and set aside.
To the same skillet, add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. Stir in the mushrooms and water chestnuts and cook 2 min longer. Add the tempeh and sauce. Simmer, stirring, 3-5 min to blend the flavors.
To serve, spoon the tempeh mixture into the lettuce leaves.

Hot and Sour Carrots
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1/2 T sugar
1/2 t chili paste
2 1/2 cups sliced carrots

Steam carrots until tender- about 10 min. Combine remaining ingredients. Pour over carrots, stir to combine and warm.

Ginger Broccoli
1/2 T peanut oil
1/2 T sesame oil
3 cloves minced garlic
4 t minced fresh ginger
1 lb broccoli, chopped
3 T water
1 T soy sauce
1 rice vinegar
Heat oils in a large skillet. Add garlic, ginger and broccoli and stir fry until garlic is golden and broccoli turns bright green. Add remaining ingredients and stir until broccoli is crisp-tender.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Green Bean and Potato Salad With Sweet Miso Dressing

This recipe is from The Conscious Cook and the picture in the book is beautiful. My version didn't come out very pretty- mainly because I chose to use what I had on hand (russett potatoes) and the recipe called for fingerlngs - a dreadful substitution really, more for cosmetic reasons than taste in my opinion! Anyway, the potatoes were far too soft and just kind of mashed themselves together when I stirred in the dressing. The flavor of the dressing was delightfully summery and a wonderful accompaniment to our Labor day cookout.

Green Bean and Fingerling Potato Salad With Miso Dressing
2 T yellow miso paste (I only had white on hand so that's what I used)
3 T rice vinegar
1 T agave
1/4 t sea salt ( I added more as I think potatoes need a good dose of salt!)
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 shallot, minced (I used minced dried onions)
1 garlic clove, minced (I used dried minced garlic)
1 T Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup safflower oil (I used canola)
8 oz fingerling potatoes, boiled for 15 min and sliced into 1/4 in rounds
8 oz green beans, blanched in boiling water for min.
This recipe also called for arugula (1 1/2 cups) but I didn't have any so didn't use!

Place first 9 ingredients (Miso through lemon)in food processor and process until well mixed. With motor running, slowly add the oil in a thi stream until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Place potatoes and green beans in a bowl and drizzle with the dressing and toss to coat.

Seitan Sausage...tasty but spongy

Decided to give seitan sausage a try - I found a recipe that looked like it was filled with flavor and made a batch this morning. Once again, the seitan turned out very spongy though the flavor was quite good. I made the sausage into patties and I think it will be better if I pulse it in the food processor and use it in things like lasagna and spaghetti rather than eating a patty of it. When I have purchased seitan in the store, its consistency is chewy so I am not sure why homemade turns out so much different in taste and consistency. Oh well. Hopefully it will be better incorporated into some dishes.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gardein "Chicken" Salad Pitas and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I have been meaning to make these sandwiches for some time. I finally did! They were very tasty - I was very impressed with the flavor of Veganaise (especially as compared to Nasoya Mayo - yuck! I didn't have champagne grapes as called for so I used a mixture of red and green grapes. The recipe shows using this filling in a wrap but I decided to use pitas from Jerusalem Cafe. Very yummy indeed! This was a nice light yet filling lunch. The recipe is from The Conscious Cook (love this book!) but I made a smaller recipe to just feed 2.

I just checked out Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar from the library. I really wanted something sweet and yummy this afternoon and decided to try a batch of cookies. This recipe used flax seeds as the binder (instead of eggs). I typically make a regular cookie recipe with vegan modifications so this was a nice change - not having to substitute anything. They were fabulous!

Gardein "Chicken" Salad Pitas

2 Gardein Scallopini fillets, chopped and cooked for 5 min in a non-stick skillet
1/4 cup Veganaise
1/2 t rice vinegar
sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 1/2 t agave
juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
1 cup grapes, cut in half

Combine all ingredients until well incorporated and serve on bread of choice.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
2 cups quick cooking oats
1 2/3 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 T ground flax seeds
2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond)
2/3 cup canola oil
1 3/4 t vanilla (recipe called for 1 1/2 t vanilla plus 1/4 t almond extract but I didn't have any almond)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Recipe also called for dried cherries or raisins but my husband isn't a fan so I left them out

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cooking sheet with cooking spray. Combine oats, flour, cocoa, soda, baking powder, salt. In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients except chocolate chips. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated. For each cookie, drop 2 T dough, leaving 2 inches space between cookies. Cook for 10-12 min.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I think I am caught up on recipes! More new ones to come this week!

Red and White Cauliflower Bake and "Taste like doughnuts" Muffins

My sister told me about these muffins and since I am a doughnut lover, I asked for the recipe right away! I veganized it of course and I must say pretty darn fabulous!! They really do taste like cinnamon and sugar cake doughnuts. They are delicious warm or at room temperature. Yummmm!

Another Vegan Yum Yum recipe - Red and White Cauliflower Bake - quite yummy and a pretty good main dish. I wasn't sure my husband would enjoy this dish but thought I would give it a try - he isn't much for just having a veg casserole as the main dish, he likes something a little more substantial that includes something like seitan, tempeh, Gardein etc. He actually loved this dish and was very pleased with it. I was excited! It was quite tasty and fairly simple. There were several steps involved but all very simple.

“Taste like doughnuts” Muffins
 1-¾ cups Flour
 1-½ teaspoon Baking Powder
 ½ teaspoons Salt
 ½ teaspoons Nutmeg
 ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
 ⅓ cup Oil
 ¾ cup White Sugar
 Substitute for 1 egg
 ¾ cups almond milk

 ¼ cups Butter
 ⅓ cups White Sugar
 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
Preparation Instructions
Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Combine oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add dry ingredients and stir only to combine.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a bowl. Combine the white sugar with the cinnamon in another bowl.
Shake muffins out while still hot. Dip muffins in butter, then into the sugar/cinnamon mix. Let cool.

Red and White Cauliflower Bake (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)
Simple Marinara
1 tbsp vegan margarine or olive oil
2 tsp dried Italian herbs
2 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 vegetable stock cube or 1/2 tsp salt

Directions 1. Heat margarine or oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the herbs and sauté for a minute or two, being careful not to burn them. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and stock or salt. Simmer until the sauce is the consistency you like, about 10 minutes. Since the sauce is going on top of the bake, you might want to cook it a bit longer than you usually would so it is not watery. A thicker sauce works best.

Herbed Tofu Ricotta
400g packet of firm tofu, well pressed and crumbled
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water (this helps the tofu set so leave out if using the herbed ricotta for another recipe)

Directions 1. Mix all the ingredients together. This mixture can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator. If making in advance leave the cornstarch and water mixture out until ready to assemble in the bake.

White SauceIngredients
1/4 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Directions 1. Whisk the margarine in a saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and whisk into a paste. Add the tahini, mustard and nutritional yeast and whisk well. Slowly add the soy milk, whisking well to make a smooth sauce. Add salt and pepper and whisk over medium-high heat until mixture is thickened. If you have made this in advance and wish to use it later just reheat before assembly so the cauliflower can get nicely smothered.

Remaining Ingredients
4 cups cauliflower, chopped small and steamed
1 cup breadcrumbs mixed with 2 T vegan margarine, 1 t salt and 1 t dried Italian herbs

Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2. Place the tofu ricotta in an oiled 1.5 litre casserole/baking dish - shallow and long works better than deep and narrow. Press it down to make an even layer. 3. Mix the cauliflower into the white sauce, coating well. Spread it over the tofu in an even layer. Add the Marinara Sauce on top of the cauliflower, top with bread crumbs and bake for 20 to 25 mins until bubbly and brown.

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.