Seitan Piccata with White Wine and Capers

I LOVE this recipe! It is so full of flavor, easy to make and absolutely delicious. My husband has already claimed the leftovers for his breakfast tomorrow!

(Update: I made this with a sliced Field Roast and it was wonderful!)

INGREDIENTS:

6 large pieces plain seitan (about a pound–I used Westsoy in the blue box and just broke it up into small pieces)

Whole wheat flour for dredging (about 3/4 C)

1/4 C olive oil

1/2 C diced shallots

1/2 C diced onion

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 C drained capers

1 C dry white wine

1/4 C lemon juice

1 C vegetable broth

2 Tbs all-purpose flour

4 Tbs soy margarine (Earth Balance)

1 C chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Dredge the seitan in the whole wheat flour, shaking off the excess. Heat 2 Tbs olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add the seitan and saute until crisp and tender, about 30 seconds per side.

Transfer seitan to a plate. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs oil in the same skillet. Add the scallions, onions, garlic, and capers and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, 1-2 mins. Add the wine, and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half. Whisk in the lemon juice, and cook until sauce has reduced a bit more, 1-2 mins. Whisk in broth and the all-purpose flour and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 min to thicken. Whisk in the margarine, parsley, salt and pepper.

Pour over seitan and serve immediately. (I added the seitan to the pan and coated it with the sauce). This sauce was so rich and lemony…enjoy!

Recipe source: The Kind Diet

Fresh and Healthy Soft Tacos/Burritos

When I don’t have a lot of time but I want my family and I to have a satisfying, healthy dinner, this is one of my go-to meals. I typically have the ingredients all the time and with so many different ingredient options, it’s easy to make the whole crew happy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C cooked rice

1 can refried beans

1/4-1/2 C salsa

vegan cheese, shredded

diced avocado

sliced green onion

cilantro, chopped

Small flour tortillas

Tofutti sour cream

Other tasty options: diced or shredded cucumber, sprouts, lettuce

DIRECTIONS:

Combine cooked rice (I use Minute Rice), refries and salsa in a medium pan, heat on low-medium heat. Stir until heated through.

Separate other ingredients into small bowls and I like to start with the sour cream, then layer the beans/rice mixture, then top with cheese, avocado slices, etc. on a warmed tortilla.

Voila! You’re ready to eat! Served with a salad, this is a quick, delicious and healthy meal. Enjoy!

A Smarter Fettuccine Alfredo

This comes from my friend over at Tried and Tasted Recipes Even though the original recipe isn’t vegan, it was super easy to veganize–and so delicious! I of course, added 1/3 C of Tofutti sour cream for extra creaminess and mushrooms and green onions and she added peas and carrots (another great variety).

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces fettuccine, uncooked
1 1/4 cups fat-free reduced-sodium vegetable broth
4 teaspoons flour
1/3 cup Tofutti cream cheese
3 tablespoons Rice brand parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 C nutritional yeast (optional)
1/3 C Tofutti sour cream (optional)
5 mushrooms, sliced (optional)
2 green onions, sliced (optional)
Handful of frozen peas and carrots (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Cook pasta according to package instructions. At this time, I sauteed the mushrooms and green onions in a small skillet.
Meanwhile, combine broth and flour in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in cream cheese spread, 2 Tbsp. of the Parmesan cheese, the nutmeg and pepper; cook 2 min., stirring constantly with wire whisk until mixture boils and thickens. I had trouble getting the sauce to thicken, so I added a tiny bit cornstarch/water mixture and presto! It thickened immediately. If using, add nutritional yeast and stir to combine. I then removed it from the heat and stirred in the sour cream.
Drain pasta. Toss with sauce (and veggies, if using) Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and parsley.
I served this with leftover salad from the previous night and some fabulous olive bread!

Serves 4.
Enjoy

Vegan Ranch Dressing

This is a great version of dairy-free ranch dressing. It’s perfect for salads, but if  you want it thicker, such as for a dip, I would add about 1/4 – 1/2 C of Tofutti sour cream and use less soy milk.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C Veganaise

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

6-8 Tbs almond milk

1/2 tsp dried chives

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp dried dill weed

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Transfer to a pourable jar and keep refrigerated up to 4-5 days. Enjoy!

Quinoa-Couscous Cereal with Dried Fruit

This may take a bit longer to make than regular old oatmeal, but it is so worth it!  Not only is it good for you, but is quite filling–perfect to keep you going all morning!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 C unsweetened apple juice
1 C water
1/2 C quinoa
2 Tbs dried cranberries
2 Tbs dried apricots, chopped
2 Tbs dried blueberries
2 Tbs raisins (I like the golden variety)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 C couscous
1/2 cup soy, rice or almond milk

DIRECTIONS

In a medium saucepan, combine apple juice and water. Bring to a boil and in the meantime, rinse and drain quinoa (or use an already rinse kind) and put into a small saute pan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until grains begin to pop, about 2-3 mins. Add the quinoa, dried fruit and spices to the liquid in the sauce pan, stirring occasionally for about 12 minutes. Stir in couscous. Remove pan from heat and cover with a lid. Let stand for 5 mins until liquid has been absorbed.  Stir and serve with soy milk. Enjoy!

Serves 6

Recipe source: Shape Magazine, 2006

Seitan Marsala

This is my husband’s specialty, but of course he had always made it with chicken. Well…not anymore! I finally convinced him to use seitan and even he loved it. Turned out absolutely delicious, which means he’ll be cooking more often! I served it over pilaf and also with my kale and mustard green salad and red wine vinaigrette and it made a complete, satisfying and healthy meal.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkgs seitan (chicken style), broken up into pieces

1/4 C all purpose flour

1/4 tsp dried marjoram, crushed

1/8 tsp salt, pepper

1 C sliced mushrooms

2 Tbs sliced green onion

3 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1/4 C vegetable broth

1/4 C Marsala or dry sherry

DIRECTIONS:

Stir together flour, marjoram, salt and pepper. Lightly press seitan pieces into flour mixture and cover all sides, gently shake off the excess. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the seitan in 1 Tbs of the margarine. Saute until brown on all sides. Seitan is already cooked–its just a matter of heating it through, about 5 mins.

Add the mushrooms, green onions, vegetable broth, Marsala or sherry and remaining 2 Tbs of margarine. Cook uncovered for about 2-3 mins, until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.

Serve over rice or pilaf and enjoy!

By the way, here’s my favorite seitan for this dish:

Red Wine Vinaigrette and Salad with a Kick

So long to boring salads! Between the mustard greens and the Dijon and shallots in the dressing, this salad is anything but tame.


INGREDIENTS:

Vinaigrette:

4 Tbs red wine vinegar

2 Tbs shallots, chopped fine

3 tsp Dijon mustard

4 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Salad:

2 large leaves mustard greens, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 large leaves of kale, chopped into 1″ pieces

2 big handfuls of spinach, chopped into bite sized pieces

8 mushrooms, sliced

2 small tomatoes, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced (not tiny diced–bite sized)

1 big handful sunflower seeds

2 big handfuls craisins

croutons

DIRECTIONS:

Dressing

Whisk together all ingredients, serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate. Makes about a 1 cup

Salad

Combine and toss–I’ll bet you know how to make a salad!

Enjoy!

Tempeh Burgers

It didn’t take much to throw these together–which was good, because I didn’t have a lot of time–and with leftovers, the next day’s lunch is a breeze.

INGREDIENTS:

1 (8-ounce) package tempeh
1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice cooking wine)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the tempeh in half, then slice each half into thinner slices. Steam the tempeh for 10-15 mins. In a small bowl, combine tamari, mirin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and Liquid Smoke. Place half of the marinade in a shallow bowl or dish, then add steamed tempeh. Pour the rest of the marinade and be sure to coat the pieces thoroughly. Marinate in the refrigerator 30-60 mins.

When ready to prepare, heat a large nonstick skillet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cook the tempeh–3-4 mins on both sides.

Serve on buns, or open face. Here are suggestions of toppings:

Guacamole or avocado slices

Tomato

Vegan cheese

Lettuce

Mustard

Ketchup

Sliced jalapeno peppers

Onions

Pickles

I liked mine with Veganaise, vegan cheese and tomato. The hubby and son liked guacamole, cheddar cheese and ranch dressing (I’ve only been able to convince them to be part-time vegans). Load up on your favorite ingredients and enjoy!

Pineapple-Cashew-Quinoa Stir-Fry

This was so flavorful and delicious!

It helps to have all the ingredients ready and chopped up before your start and the recipe calls for chilling the quinoa once it’s done, but I didn’t have time for that, so I filled the sink with cold water and placed the pan of quinoa in the sink–it worked beautifully. I also made some other changes to the recipe, but I’ll list the original and my alterations.

INGREDIENTS:

Quinoa:

1 C quinoa, well rinsed and drained (I like Ancient Harvest brand–already rinsed)

1 C pineapple juice (I used a cup from the canned pineapple you’ll need for the stir-fry)

1 C cold water

1/4 tsp soy sauce

Stir-fry:

4 oz cashews, raw and unsalted

3 Tbs peanut oil (I used olive oil)

2 scallions, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 hot red chile, sliced into very thin rounds (When I started this, I realized I didn’t have one…oops)

1/2″ piece ginger, peeled and minced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced (I also added one diced yellow bell pepper)

1 C frozen green peas or cooked edamame (I used the edamame)

1/2 C fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced thin shreds

2 Tbs chopped fresh mint

10-oz fresh pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces (about 2 C–I used canned)

3 Tbs soy sauce

3 Tbs vegetable stock

1 Tbs mirin

Lime wedges for garnish (I drizzled jarred lime juice on top)

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the quinoa first: Combine the quinoa, juice, water and soy sauce in a medium-sized pot. Cover, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Stir a few times, lower heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 12-14 mins until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa appears plump and slightly translucent. Uncover, fluff and let cool. For best results, place the quinoa in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight, or chill for 1 hour. Like I said, I cooled it in a sink of cold water.

To prepare the stir-fry: Use a very large skillet–at least 11 inches. Place the cashews in the dry pan and heat over medium heat, stirring them, until lightly toasted, 4-5 mins. Remove the cashews from the pan, raise the heat to medium and add the oil, scallions, and garlic. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the sliced chile pepper and ginger. Stir-fry for about 2 mins then add the bell pepper(s) and peas (or edamame).

(Such a colorful dish)!

Stir-fry for another 3-4 mins, until the bell pepper is softened. Add the basil and mint and stir for another minute before adding the pineapple and quinoa.

In a measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, vegetable stock and mirin. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Stir to incorporate completely and coat the quinoa. Continue to stir-fry 10-14 mins, until the quinoa is very hot.

(I see why the recipe called for a very large skillet)

The recipe didn’t say anything else about the cashews, so I added them the last 5 mins of stir-frying.  Serve with lime wedges and additional soy sauce to season individual servings to taste. Serves 5-6.  Enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Breakfast Sandwiches

These were delicious, but I made it harder on myself than I needed to…I thought I could get away by using soft, Silken tofu, not firm, like the recipe says…won’t make that mistake again. Despite the detours I had to make these sandwiches were very yummy and served with some tempeh bacon, it was a satisfying breakfast.

The recipe includes homemade biscuits, but I used toasted English muffins instead–I didn’t have ALL morning…!

INGREDIENTS:

Tofu eggs:

1 12-oz pkg Firm Aseptic Silken Tofu

5 Tbs soy milk

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 Tbs olive oil

3/4 tsp salt

1 Tbs tahini

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbs plus 1 tsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp baking powder

Vegetable oil for heating in pan

Maple Soy Tofu:

1 14oz block of water-packed tofu, pressed

3 Tbs soy sauce

3 Tbs maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:
To make the tofu egg, mix all the ingredients, except vegetable oil in a blender or food processor. Blend well.  Heat a nonstick skillet with a few teaspoons of vegetable oil.  Pour 1/3c of batter into the hot pan, using a rubber spatula to gently spread the batter into a thin pancake. When beginning to brown, flip gently and cook on the other side. Continue to cook the tofu egg “pancakes”; stack and set aside. (Ok…this was not as easy as it sounds–perhaps it was the tofu issue, after the first “pancake” fizzled and disintegrated into the oil, I said screw it–I’ll make scrambled eggs. That didn’t work. BUT…after 5 mins, it made a thicker batter, so I poured it back into a bowl and was able to make the egg pancakes).

They weren’t real pretty, but that’s ok..they tasted great.

To make the maple tofu:

(And I recommend doing this while the egg pancakes are cooking–save on time–if you don’t mind having 2 pans going)

After tofu is drained and pressed, slice it into 10 thick slices. Cook in an ungreased, nonstick skillet until brown on both sides, cooking in batches if necessary. Place all of the cooked tofu into the pan. Add the soy sauce and maple syrup (I whisked together both in a bowl first–made more sense) until the sauce bubbles up and thickens into a glaze, being careful not to burn it. Set aside. Place the tofu eggs and maple tofu on the toasted english muffins and serve. I had a third pan going with the tempeh bacon–and then added a slice to the sandwich. Hmmm….despite all the work and my “egg” mishap, it was well worth it! The tofu eggs really tasted very much real like egg–impressed. I think a good variation would be to use a Tofutti cheese slice in the place of the tofu egg, the maple tofu and tempeh bacon.

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum

Crispy Tofu Slices with Orange Dipping Sauce

Holy…mackerel, I have never seen 8oz of tofu disappear so fast. This is was outstanding–I just wish I had made more!

INGREDIENTS:

1-8oz pkg savory-flavored baked tofu (I used Westsoy Sesame Peanut flavored and the picture only shows about 1/4 of that)

1/2 C corn flour

1/2 C brown rice flour

Safflower oil

2/3 C orange juice

1/3 C maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the baked tofu into slices about 1/4″ thick. Mix the flours together in a shallow bowl. Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer and heat over medium heat. Dip each of the tofu strips into the flour mixture, coating well on all sides. Place the tofu strips in the skillet, and cook until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 mins per side. Transfer the fried tofu strips to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Stir together the orange juice and syrup in a small bowl. Serve the tofu strips with the dipping sauce along side.

So delicious!

There was quite a bit of leftover flour, so I saved it for another batch, but I would recommend using 2 packages of tofu because there was also quite a bit of sauce left, too. With the orange juice and maple syrup dipping sauce, it would be delish for breakfast. Or try a tamari and brown sugar combo, or teriyaki sauce…the possibilities are really endless and I can’t wait to make more!

Recipe source: The Kind Diet

Sunflower Cherry Oatmeal Bars

These are delicious! And simple to make-taking only about 10 mins to prepare. These would be great with a scoop of soy ice cream or a dallop of vanilla soy yogurt on top. These also taste great after being the fridge for a while–they’re a tasty snack that will keep you going when you’re on the run.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup rolled oats, either quick cooking or old fashioned
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed natural brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup expeller pressed canola oil
5 tablespoons orange juice, divided
1/2 cup fruit sweetened black cherry preserves

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine oats, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, sunflower seeds and cherries in a large bowl. Add oil and 3 tablespoons orange juice, mixing well until all ingredients are fully combined. Reserve a half cup and press the rest into a lightly oiled 8-by-8-inch baking pan.

Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice with the cherry preserves and spread evenly over the oat mixture in the pan.

Sprinkle reserved oat mixture over the top and press down lightly with fingers.

Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool in the pan on a wire rack then cut into bars or squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Whole Foods

Pesto Potato Bread

I can’t tell you how much I LOVE this bread. I’ve made it several times now and it goes great with pasta, soups–pretty much anything, even just for a snack. It smells wonderful, too as it bakes. I’ve never been very good at making yeast breads, but this one always turns out, however, adequate warmth for the bread to rise is crucial. The best place is on the stove top of your oven with your oven on warm. For me, that doesn’t work because my oven is mounted in the wall with the microwave mounted above it. I have found that if my dishwasher happens to be running, the counter top above it gets nice and warm, too. I settled for a sunny spot on the kitchen table.  I also took lots of pictures of the process…and please note, this recipe makes 2 of these beautiful loaves!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C plain soy milk
1 C leftover mashed potatoes
3 Tbs pesto (I used Classico brand)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 C warm water
4 C all-purpose flour (or you can use bread flour), or more if needed

DIRECTIONS:
In a large saucepan, heat the soy milk until hot but not boiling. Stir in potatoes, pesto, oil, salt and sugar, stirring until well mixed.

(Soy milk mixture and yeast mixture)

Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water, stirring to dissolve the yeast. Let the mixture stand for 10 mins then stir it into the potato mixture. Add about 1/2 of the flour, stirring to combine. Work in the remaining flour to form a soft dough, then transfer to a lightly floured surface.

Add up to 1/2 C of additional flour, if needed.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 8 mins, using additional flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.

Place the dough in a large (use a pretty large bowl) lightly oiled, turning the dough to coat with oil.

Cover w/plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Test dough by poking it with your finger. It is ready if the indentation from your finger remains.

(After first rising)

Lightly oil a large baking sheet and set it aside. Punch down the dough and turn it out into a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 mins. Divide the dough in half (use a sharp knife), shape into two round loaves and place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Cover again with clean plastic wrap or dish towel and let rise for another 45-60 mins.

(After 2nd rising)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Uncover dough and use a sharp knife to cut 1 diagonal slash in the top of each loaf. Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 mins. (I think they came out perfect at about 22-23 mins, but every oven is different). The bread is done if it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. (I didn’t do this–seemed a bit too much to do to a piping hot loaf of bread). Cool on a wire rack for 30 mins before slicing. (I waited about 15-20 mins and it was so yummy warm)!

Recipe source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Three-Bean Dip

This is a great dip, but at first, I thought it was a little bland, so I added about a cup of diced (food processed) black olives and it was just what this dip needed! I think a diced up roasted red pepper or two would be yummy too. Great for crackers, sour dough squares or even on celery and other veggies.

INGREDIENTS:

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbs chopped green onion
1 C canned Great Northern or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1 C canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 C cooked shelled edamame (I steamed them for a few minutes)
1 Tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 C finely diced black olives

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, process the garlic and green onions until minced. Add the beans, chickpeas, edamame, lemon juice , olives (if using) and salt and black pepper to taste and process until smooth.
Transfer to a medium bowl and serve right away or cover and refrigerate for 1  hour. Will keep for 3 days if stored properly. Enjoy!

Recipe source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Isn’t it pretty? They’re very yummy, too. The lemon flavor is subtle and not over powering–which is good, too, so if you want a bit more lemon flavor, add another tablespoon of lemon juice and more lemon zest. Also notice that the 1/4 C of butter (Earth or Smart Balance) needs to be melted and then cooled, so I recommend doing this step first so it has time to cool down. The recipe makes 10 small muffins, but I decided to make 6 large muffins. I haven’t tried this recipe as a bread loaf, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. The recipe does suggest that if you like fresh ginger, substitute the poppy seeds with 3 tablespoons of peeled, grated fresh ginger. Another variation would be to add about a cup of dried or fresh blueberries or strawberries.

Also, I thought it would be delicious to prepare a lemon or raspberry glaze to drizzle on top….1 cup icing sugar, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or raspberry flavoring), dash of dairy-free milk for drizzle consistency.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C sugar
2 Tbs poppyseeds
2 large eggs (I used Ener-G egg replacer)
1 C rice or soy milk ( I used soy milk–I find it cooks better because it’s thicker)
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 C margarine, melted and cooled (Again, I used Earth Balance sticks)
2 Tbs chopped lemon zest (from 3-4 lemons, but I got that much from just 2)

DIRECTIONS:

Position the oven rack in the center and preheat to 400. Coat muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and poppyseeds. Mix together with a whisk until blended. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, soy milk, lemon juice, margarine and zest until well blended. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined, taking care not to overmix the batter. It should look lumpy.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup 2/3 full. Any cups that are not filled with batter should be filled halfway with water to allow for even baking. Bake muffins until golden brown adn tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 mins. Let cool for about ten minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack and cool completely. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Recipes for Dairy-Free Living

A New Take on Guac

I wanted to spice up some old favorites. I love the different flavors in this guacamole and chances are, you have all the ingredients already. The idea came from Whole Foods, but I made some variations.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Med ripe avocados
1/2 C diced water chestnuts
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 Tbs minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp hot sesame pepper oil
2 Tbs minced fresh cilantro leaves
3 Tbs lime juice
Sea salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mash up the avocados and then add all the other ingredients. Mix well and enjoy!
Like my other guacamole recipe, I like to use a pastry blender to mash the avocados. It works beautifully, even when the avocados aren’t quite ripe enough.

Tempeh Spread

I spent one day experimenting with tempeh for quick and easy appetizers and I love what I came up with! It’s also very versatile, so feel free to add your favorite other ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz pkg tempeh, original
1 small carrot, grated
1 small red onion, diced
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbs vegetable stock powder
1/4 C Veganaise
Parsley, garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the tempeh into small cubes and steam for about 10-15 mins. In the meantime, add carrots and onion to a food processor and chop up until they are very fine. Scoop out into a large bowl. Add the steamed tempeh to the food processor and chop up until fine as well. Combine the tempeh in the bowl with the carrots and onions and add the lemon juice, celery salt, curry powder, vegetable stock powder and mayo. Mix well. Scoop into pre-made phyllo shells and garnish with some parsley.
I halved the batch and after chopping up about a cup of mushrooms and 1/2C of spinach leaves in the food processor, I added them to one half of the batch for a variation. They’re both delicious! You may want to add more spices to taste. Enjoy!

Christmas Bourbon Balls

Who said Christmas cookies had to be sweet and innocent? And…who said you just had to make these at Christmas? Well…I just tend to make them that time of year. Keep them away from the kiddies though, but chances are, they won’t like the flavor of them as much as us adults! They’re also non bake, so they’re pretty easy.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C finely crushed vanilla wafers, about 26
1 C plus 1/2 C powdered sugar
2/3 C walnuts, chopped
1/2 C candied cherries, chopped
2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
5 Tbs Bourbon
1 Tbs water
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup

DIRECTIONS:

In a mixing bowl combine crushed vanilla wafers, the 1 cup powdered sugar, walnuts, candied cherries and cocoa powder. Stir in bourbon, water and light corn syrup until well mixed. Chill the mixture about 30-60 minutes. Shape the mixture into 1″ balls. Place in an airtight container; let balls stand (ripen) for 2-3 days. Before serving, roll them in the additional 1/2 C powdered sugar. Makes about 24 balls.

English Muffin and Avocado Delight

I’m really not sure what to call this–”delight” is really an understatement. I needed a snack that was fresh and flavorful, so I scoured my kitchen for ideas. I had avocados that I was needing to make something with and voila! And idea was born…

INGREDIENTS:

1 English muffin, sliced in half and toasted
1 small tomato, sliced or for even more flavor, a slice of roasted red pepper
1 small avocado, sliced
1-1/2 tsp hummus
Balsamic vinegar
Spinach leaves, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Spread hummus evenly on both slices of English muffin. Top with a tomato slice and 2-3 avocado slices. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar. It’s that easy! My tastebuds were loving me! Enjoy!

Hurry Up Alfredo

This comes from Lauren Ulm’s cookbook, Vegan Yum Yum and is by far the best non-dairy “cheese” sauce I’ve tasted yet! The only thing I changed was adding 1/2 C Tofutti sour cream which made this sauce perfectly creamy!

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 C small pasta
Sauce:
1 C soy milk
1/3 rounded raw, unsalted cashews
1/4 C nutritional yeast
3 Tbs tamari (or soy sauce)
2 Tbs Earth Balance (or Smart Balance) margarine
1 Tbs tahini
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
Black pepper, to taste
2-4 garlic cloves
I added 1/2C Tofutti Sour Cream and used SMOKED paprika and WOW! It was so creamy and flavorful!

DIRECTIONS:

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add noodles. Cook until tender, but not mushy. Meanwhile, to make sauce, mix all sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. When noodles are finished, drain and return to pot. Add as much sauce as you’d like and heat and stir. (What I did is transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and heat–this is also when I added the Tofutti sour cream. Then I just ladled the sauce on a serving of pasta). Top with Rice Parmesan and enjoy!

Note: for leftovers, I don’t recommend microwaving them. Keep sauce separate from pasta leftovers and reheat sauce in a pan over the stove and nuke the noodles. Sauce gets too dried out otherwise.

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum

Queso is Back!!

Finally! I have found a queso I can eat!! You’d never know this is dairy-free! It makes about 4 cups, so it’s perfect for a get together.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 C minced onion (I just chopped them really fine)
1/4 C oat flour or finely ground old fashioned oats ( I ground the oats)
2 Tbs Tahini
1/2 nutritional yeast flakes
1/3 C soy milk
1 tsp maple syrup
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4oz) can diced green chilies, drained (I diced up half a large Anaheim pepper)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oat flour, tahini, nutritional yeast, soy milk and maple syrup. Stir in the tomatoes and mix well. Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly. When mixture starts to bubble, add the chilies, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt. Continue to cook, stirring for about 10 mins. Stir in lemon juice. The recipe recommends adding more soy milk if it is too thick, but I added 1/2C Tofutti sour cream, because, well, I just love that stuff and it made it very creamy and delish! I also transferred it to my electric fondue pot to keep warm. Love it! Hope you enjoy it!

Recipe Source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Grilled Portobellos with Rosemary-Roasted Vegetables

The great thing about portobello mushrooms (besides their great flavor) is that they’re so versatile and can be grilled, baked, sauteed–you name it. I added balsamic vinegar and burgundy wine to this recipe, but you can certainly leave them out–I just find that both of those go beautifully with mushrooms.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large red onion, chopped
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped (a little more would have been good)
1/3 C olive oil (I used a 1/4 cup + 1-2 Tbs)
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh rosemary or other herb leaves (I would increased this to at least 3 Tbs)
Salt and pepper, ground
1 large tomato, chopped
4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1/4C balsamic vinegar (optional)
1/8-1/4C Burgundy wine (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 and heat your grill (if using).  In a large bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, 1/4 C of olive oil, the rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. (I added the balsamic vinegar here).Toss to coat the veggies with oil, then spread them in a single layer in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender and lightly browned, about 25 mins. (18-20 mins was perfect). Reduce oven temperature to 275. Add the tomatoes to the roasted vegetables, stirring to combine and return to the oven to keep warm. (I just turned the oven off and it stayed plenty warm in the oven for the tomatoes). Brush the mushrooms with the remaining olive oil and grill until tender and lightly charred on the outside, about 5 mins per side. (At this point, seeing as it’s in the single digits here in Colorado, I decided not to brave the snow-piled deck to do some bakyard grilling. I opted to lightly saute the ‘shrooms in the Burgundy wine). To serve, arrange the portobello caps gill side down and top with the roasted veggies. (I served them gill side up and filled them with the veggies). They were delicious! I’m sure grilling would add a whole new flavor, so that it why I chose the wine to give it a bit more jazz.I served these with the Tarragon Pasta Salad and together, they make a great meal, especially for the coming spring and summer. But beware, if you’re not used to eating that amount of veggies in one sitting (namely, my husband) don’t go to a 2 1/2 hour movie afterwards…poor guy. Luckily, veggie gas tends to be less offensive. Otherwise, eat up and enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Thai Peanut-Burger Wraps with Spicy Peanut Sauce

These require a little bit of (easy) prep work and they’re well worth it! I also think they’d taste great as the next day’s cold lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

Burgers:
1/2 C chopped red onion
1/2 seeded and chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 C unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
8 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and mashed (I recommend squeezing all the water out, too)
3 Tbs smooth peanut butter
2 Tbs chopped fresh Thai basil or cilantro leaves
2 Tbs tamari or dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp Asian chili paste
Salt
1/2 C dry bread crumbs (I had to use about a cup)
flour tortillas or pita bread
Shredded romaine lettuce
Spicy Peanut Sauce:
1/2 C smooth natural peanut butter
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 C tamari or other soy sauce
1/4 C water, or more as needed
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 tsp Asian chili paste
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, combine the onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger and peanuts. Pulse to blend, leaving some texture. Add the tofu, peanut butter, Thai basil or cilantro, tamari, chili paste and salt to taste and pulse until mixture is well combined. Shape the the mixture into 4 large or 8 small patties (I advise going for the smaller patties–they are much easier to handle because they will fall apart if too big) and coat evenly with the bread crumbs. (Here, I recommend shaping the patty with hands and leave in your hand and thoroughly sprinkle with bread crumbs, then flip to other hand and sprinkle the other side with bread crumbs). Arrange on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake turning once, until browned on both sides, 25-30 mins. (15 mins on each side was just about right. This is where you’ll be glad you did small patties because they’re hard to keep together if they’re too big). While these are baking, make the peanut sauce: In a small bowl or food processor, combine peanut butter, garlic, tamari, water, vinegar, chili paste, and sugar until well blended. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more water if the sauce is too thick. (Use at once or refrigerate until ready to use). Stir in the cilantro just before using. Will keep for 4-5 days. It makes 1 cup, but I doubled it since I’ll use it on baked tofu, tempe, steamed veggies and even sandwiches.

Ok…to assemble cut the burgers in halves or thirds, if necessary, so that they roll up easily. Place them end to end on the lower third of the tortillas. Top with the lettuce and drizzle with the peanut sauce (it goes a long way, so you don’t need a ton) and roll up. Serves 4. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Herb-Roasted Potatoes

These are great for a side dish or if you’re like me, just to have a plateful!

INGREDIENTS:

10 small russet potatoes, scrubbed (not peeled) and cut into large wedges
1/3 C olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs garlic salt
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, combine oil and potatoes, toss to coat. In a small bowl, combine garlic salt, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, pepper and lemon juice. If you want a spicy kick, add 1/4 tsp cayenne red pepper. Combine well, pour over potatoes and coat thoroughly. Line a large baking sheet with foil and evenly spread potatoes on pan. Bake for 30 mins. Enjoy!

My Favorite Hummus and Pita Chips

I make this hummus all the time. It’s inexpensive, high in fiber, packed with protein and delicious! It’s also easy to change it up with other flavors such as olives, roasted red pepper or artichokes. In fact,  in one of my recent magazines, it was listed as one of the ten best foods you could eat. (For the life of me, I can’t find the magazine, but as soon as I do, I’ll post it!). This from About.com: “Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are the main ingredient in hummus. One cup of chickpeas contains 286 calories and 5 grams of fat. This is relatively low considering when made into hummus, the calories and fat become much lower per serving. Chickpeas have no saturated fat, and no cholesterol. They aid in improving blood sugar levels and help fight cholesterol. They are also high in protein, making them a perfect addition to a vegetarian’s diet or one who would like to cut back on red meat.”  Also… ” Tahini [ingredient in hummus], like chickpeas, is a great source of protein, and calcium. The fat contained in tahini is mainly unsaturated fat, rather than the more unhealthy saturated fat.”
So dig in!

INGREDIENTS

1 15-16oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
1/4 C Tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 Tbs water
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbs chopped parsley (I tend to leave this out)

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor combine garbanzo beans, tahini, water, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. Cover and process until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl, stir in parsley. Makes 1 3/4 C
Pita Chips: Cut pita bread in half, then cut each half into 4-5 wedges -peel apart so they are one layer. Place on a cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and dried basil. For a variation, use a flavored olive oil, or one with the herbs already in it to cut back on prep time. Bake 4-5 mins at 400. They are delicious right out of the oven with a bit of hummus!

Recipe source: Sonoma Diet Cookbook

Seitan Fajitas

I love that there is a tasty alternative to meat! Even my husband went so far as to say that he liked these better than chicken. This…coming from a man who  absolutely loves chicken!  Maybe it’s because seitan really, truely has the same texture and similar flavor to meat, particularly chicken, but none of the saturated fat, hormones and antibiotics. These were super easy to make and I served them with a scoop of refries with vegan cheddar melted on top. Talk about a yummy, protein-packed meal!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkgs seitan, break up or slice into pieces (I like Westsoy brand)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 cloves minced garlic
1 packet fajita mix + 1/2-3/4 C water
Tofutti sour cream
Vegan cheese, shredded, cheddar flavor
cilantro, chopped
Salsa
sliced avocado (optional)
Flour tortillas (I like Whole Foods brand–organic and small. They come in whole wheat, fat free and Homestyle (white). I like the taste and that they are the perfect size. Small, so I don’t feel like I have to load up a large tortilla. I can always make 2 if I want more).

DIRECTIONS:

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender, 3-5 mins. Add seitan and saute for 10-12 mins. Combine the fajita mix with the water and add to the pan. Coat veggies and seitan and cook for 2 mins on med-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 3 mins.

I like to spread a Tbs or so of Tofutti sour cream on a warmed tortilla, then add a bit of cilantro, then seitan mixture and top with vegan cheese and salsa. If I have avocado, I’ll add 1-2 slices on top. Roll up and enjoy!

Miso Soup with Tofu and Baby Spinach

This soup has all my favorite ingredients! Mushrooms, spinach, tofu, green onion….It’s a very light soup that would go great with half a sandwich and is tasty, tasty, tasty! Plus, with prep and cook time, it was ready in about 25 minutes. This is great soothing soup–it’s the new chicken soup! Add or substitute your favorite ingredients like celery, leeks or shredded carrot.

INGREDIENTS:

6 C water
1 1/2 C baby spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 C thinly sliced mushrooms
3 Tbs minced scallions (about 3 large green onions)
1 Tbs Tamari or other soy sauce
1/3 C mellow white miso paste
4 oz extra firm silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2″ dice

DIRECTIONS:

Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, mushrooms, scallions, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables soften, about 3-6 mins. Reduce the heat to low. Place 1/4 cup of the soup mixture in a small bowl and add the miso, blending well. Stir the mixture back into the soup and add the tofu and simmer for 2 minutes, being careful not to boil. Serve hot. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Soyrizo Layer Dip


Meat-eaters won’t know the difference! I like to use Soyrizo instead of refried beans because it adds so much flavor. Soyrizo needs no seasoning, isn’t raw and can be served cold or heated up. I served this dip cold and didn’t tell people it was vegan. It was gone in a matter of minutes! The ingredient amounts are approximate–I just threw it together and how much you layer on is up to you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg Soyrizo
1 C Tofutti sour cream
1 C Vegan cheddar, shredded
1 C sliced black olives
1 C green onion, sliced thin
1/2 C salsa
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C fresh roma tomatoes, diced
Optional: 1C prepared guacamole, or 1-2 C diced avocado

DIRECTIONS:

Layer Soyrizo, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, green onion, tomatoes, cheese, olives and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips!

Ginger-Molasses Bread

Mmmm…this tasted like it came from my Grandmother’s kitchen! And it smelled wonderful, too! Plus, it was a breeze to make–ten minutes of prep work and it was in the oven!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C warm soy milk
1 Tbs cider vinegar
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 C yellow cornmeal
1/3 C sugar
1 Tbs ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 dark molasses
1/2 C fresh or dried blueberries (I used dried)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9″ loaf pan and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the warm soy milk and vinegar and set aside. In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, ginger, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add the molasses and soy milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the batter is just mixed. Fold in the blueberries and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake until firm and a toothpick (or knife) inserted in the middle comes out clean, about an 1 hour. (I found that it came out perfect in 53 minutes). Let cool slightly on a wire rack, then remove from pan and slice. Enjoy!

Recipe source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Classic Guacamole

The recipe is actually my sister-in-law’s and perhaps it’s just how most guacs are made, but this recipe is always a hit. The ingredients are kind of approximate–don’t get too heavy-handed with them right away–you can always add more flavor to taste. Keep in mind that most tortilla chips are salted, so I wouldn’t go too crazy with the garlic salt.

INGREDIENTS:

6-7 ripe avocados
2 Tbs lime juice
1/2 C salsa
1/2-1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped (A total must)!

DIRECTIONS:

Mash the avocados with one of these (pastry blender)…it works the best, especially if the avocados aren’t quite ripe enough.

Add the lime juice, garlic salt and salsa, mix well. Taste to adjust seasoning. I then gently stir in the cilantro and serve with tortilla chips! Always a crowd-pleaser…enjoy!
NOTE: To keep it from browning, cover with plastic wrap, but mold the plastic wrap to the top of the dip so that air will not get to it.

Sauteed Seitan with Mushrooms and Spinach

Oh wow…talk about yummy vegan comfort food! This was so satisfying, delicious and a breeze to make. I used the stir fry style seitan that had a very beefy taste and texture. I served it over mashed potatoes (YUM!!), but you can also use quinoa or rice.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
2 C seitan, (Westsoy brand in the red box–2 pkgs)
1 small onion, sliced into thick half-moons
2 C sliced white or cremini mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper (I left this off–not a fan of black pepper)
1/4 C white wine
1/4 C vegetable broth
6 C spinach (Recipe didn’t specify if it should be chopped and since I had large-leaf spinach, I coarsely chopped it and I also used about 4 cups, thinking 6 was overkill, but it cooks down quite a bit).
Lemon slices

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat a large, lidded skillet over med-high heat. Saute the seitan for about 2 mins. Add the onions and saute for another 5 mins, until softened, covering the pan but lifting to stir occasionally, to make the seitan and onion cook faster.

Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, basil, salt and pepper and saute for another 8 mins, again covering but occasionally stirring. Once the mushrooms are cooked and soft, add the wine and broth. Add the spinach in batches and combine.

Serve immediately with slices of lemon (which is a really nice added flavor). I will definitely be making this again and agiain–it was hit with the fam. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Baked Zucchini Fries (and other stuff…)

I really like to experiment with vegetables and spices and see what I can cook up. I had some zucchini in the crisper (which weren’t getting any crisper), so I decided to make fries out of them. I served this with spaghetti and they tasted extra yummy dipped in the spaghetti sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium zucchini, cut into long wedges
1/2 C plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/8-1/4 C toasted sesame seeds
1/8 C vegetable oil
1/4 C lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil. Combine lemon juice and oil in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, sesame seeds, paprika, and garlic salt. Coat zucchini slices in the lemon juice mixture and then coat them in the bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet.

Bake for about 25-30 mins until they start to brown. The toasted sesame seeds really add a nice flavor. Like I said, I served these with spaghetti, so I ladled a little extra sauce in small bowls for dipping, and they were even more delicious!
Since it was just boring, ol’ spaghetti, I wanted to spice it up, so I sauteed about 10 sliced mushrooms in olive oil and Burgundy cooking wine.

Once sauteed until tender, I added them to the warmed sauce. It just gives it a bit more flavor and then it’s not just boring old spaghetti anymore.

This is my favorite red cooking wine. It’s actually just a really cheap table wine, and for 4 whopping liters of it, it’s only about $12! It is great for sauteeing, adding to soups and pretty much anything requiring red cooking wine–but I won’t attempt to drink it though! There’s a particular “gourmet” dried soup mix I get at my favorite kitchen store–Hungarian Mishroom–and I always add a couple splashes of this wine to it and it is the perfect addition! Anyhow, I thought I’d share it with everyone.

Smoky Miso Tofu Sandwiches

I love sandwiches, but I typically don’t post any unless they are unique and out-of-this-world. This sandwich is just that! The baked tofu slices will keep in the refrigerator for a while for future lunches, snacks, pasta salads, etc. I end up making a batch every couple of weeks. When it comes to sandwiches, anything goes! Add your favorite ingredients. I like mayo, roasted red pepper, spinach, a Tofutti cheese slice. I sometimes substitute the roasted red pepper for tomato. My husband likes to add some balsamic vinegar. Just go for it!

INGREDIENTS:

1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
3 Tbs red miso
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke flavoring
Your favorite sandwich bread

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. Wrap drained tofu in a few paper towels. (What I do is wrap in paper towels, place in/on a large dish or plate. Top with a plate and then stack 2-3 heavy cans on the plate. I press down just a little. I wait 5 mins then re-wrap tofu again in new paper towels and repeat. Works great). Meanwhile, mix together the miso, lemon juice, sugar, tamari, yeast, and Liquid Smoke to make the marinade. Unwrap tofu and cut many thin, width-wise slices with a large knife. (Don’t use a serrated knife–you don’t want to saw your way through the tofu. I like it a bit thick and got 17 slices, but depending on how thick or thin you want it, you can get 20 slices).

I then line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. I brush one side of each tofu slice with the marinade, placing the brushed side down. Then I brush the other side. Let the slices absorb the mariade for 10 mins, then brush just the tops again. Bake for 20 mins (unless you go really thin with the slices–check after 10 mins). Remove from the oven and let the slices cool on the sheet. (I like them a bit warm). The tofu should be darkened around the edges, but not burned.

To make a sandwich, I toast a couple slices of sour dough and add my favorite sandwich toppings! Here’s some suggestions:
roasted red peppers
spinach
Tofutti cheese slices
cucumber
tomato
avocado
sprouts
Dijon mustard
bell pepper
The ideas are endless. What your favorite sandwich ingredients?
I store the leftovers in a well-sealed container in the fridge. Dice up the slices for pasta salad, stir fry, rice, or just plain snack on it! Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum

Pecan-Crusted Seitan


This comes from Alicia Silverstone’s cookbook, The Kind Diet and it is wonderful! The chicken-style seitan is perfect for this recipe and I have found that not only is it yummy served over pasta or rice, but try dipping them in marinara sauce or your favorite vegan dressing for a heavy appetizer.

INGREDIENTS:

Marinade:
3/4 C tomato paste
1/4 C umeboshi vinegar (Asian section of most health food stores like, Whole Foods)
1/4 C dry red wine
1/2 C orange juice
1/4 C shoyu (Like a soy sauce found in the Asian section of most health food stores, like Whole Foods)
1/4 C minced garlic
1/4C chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs minced fresh tarragon or 1 Tbs dried
2 Tbs minced fresh rosemary
The rest:
8-10 pieces of seitan-about a pound (I used 2 packages)
2 C flour (I would use just 1 to 1 1/2 cups–2 is a bit too much)
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 C ground pecans (a must)!
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4C olive oil

I added about 8-10 sliced mushrooms and 3/4 C sliced green onion. I sauteed them after I cooked all the seitan and while the seitan was keeping warm in the oven.

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the tomato paste, vinegar, wine, orange juice, shoyu, garlic, parsley, tarragon and rosemary in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer the marinade to a shallow dish (a zip lock doesn’t work well) add the seitan and turn to coat on all sides. Cover the dish and marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours to overnight. When ready to serve, mix together flour, salt, pepper, pecans and rosemary in a shallow bowl. Dredge the marinaded seitan in the flour mixture. Heat the oil (don’t use Pam cooking spray–gotta use enough oil for frying) and add the seitan to the pan. Saute until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Serve immediately. I usually preheat the oven to 275-300 and keep the cooked pieces warm as I make them. I then serve them over cooked spaghetti or rice. I like to use Arborio rice (risotto). The pecans have such a wonderful flavor and honestly, the final product tastes so much like chicken that it’s hard to tell a difference! After cooking the seitan, I drained the oil and then added sliced mushrooms and sliced green onions and sauted them a bit. I then added the cooked seitan to the pan and served over pasta. It was so delicious! Enjoy!

Easy, Healthy Granola

This is inspired by my mom’s granola recipe, however, she uses 1-14oz can of condensed milk, so I had to come up with an alternative. There are recipes to make a dairy-free condensed milk using soy milk powder and sugar, but it looked like a bit of work, plus I couldn’t find soy milk powder. So…with the need for sugar and milk in her recipe, I decided to use maple syrup and soy milk. You can also use brown rice syrup as well. Log Cabin makes a nice maple syrup that has no high fructose corn syrup, which I like. This isn’t a super sweet granola, so if you prefer it be sweeter, add 1/4-1/2 C brown sugar to the mix or a tsp of cinnamon, which happens to be rich in antioxidants. Don’t forget, sunflower seeds, walnuts and almonds are a great source of calcium and protein. Plus, wheat germ itself is miracle-working superfood!
Check out the benefits here.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C old fashioned oats
1 C shredded coconut
1/2 C wheat germ
1/2 C chopped almonds
1/2 C chopped walnuts
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1 tsp salt
1/4 C maple or brown rice syrup
1/2 C soy milk
1/8 C vegetable oil
1-6oz bag craisins (try orange-flavored craisins–they add just a bit more sweetness)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300. Combine oats, coconut, wheat germ, nuts and salt. Stir in syrup and soy milk and add oil and mix. Spread evenly on a large greased and foiled pan. Make sure you grease it well, or it’ll “stick something awful”, as my mom said.

Bake until it starts to brown, 45-50 mins. Transfer to a large bowl and add the craisins. Makes about 8 C. Store in an air tight container. Serve over vanilla soy yogurt, soy ice cream, in a bowl with some soy or rice milk, or just snack on it! Try other dried fruit like blueberries, apricots, apples, cherries…you name it! Enjoy!

Tarragon Pasta with Roasted Asparagus


This is a wonderful take on pasta salads! With the flavor of the roasted asparagus, the baked tofu and shallots, there’s no need for a heavy, rich mayo-sour cream dressing. The lemon juice and cayenne dressing is the perfect accompaniment to the other flavors. I just made a couple of small changes to the recipe for convenience, but I’ll list the original recipe and my changes.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz rotini pasta (I used about 16oz because I just didn’t think 8oz was quite enough)
1/4C plus 1 Tbs olive oil
1 lb thin asparagus, bottoms trimmed (I cut them into about 1 1/2″ pieces as well)
Salt and pepper
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Cayenne, to taste (I used about 1/8 of a tsp)
1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 large, ripe yellow tomato, seeded and diced (I used a large roma tomato)
8 oz baked tofu, cut into small cubes (I used Westsoy’s Garlic and Herb baked tofu–so yummy)!
2 Tbs minced fresh tarragon leaves

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta until al dente, 8-10 mins. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a large bowl, toss with 1 tsp of the olive oil and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the asparagus on a lightly oiled baking sheet, season with salt and pepper to taste, drizzle with 1 tsp of the olive oil. Roast until soft and lightly browned, about 10 mins. Set aside and cool. (I did this while the pasta was cooking). In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, salt and cayenne to taste. Whisk in the remaining olive oil until well blended and pour over the pasta. Add the bell pepper, shallots, tomato, tofu and tarragon and toss to combine well. Divide among 4 individual plates and top with the asparagus. Serve immediately. (I added the asparagus with the other ingredients). Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Szechuan Hot and Sour Soup

Very easy and very delicious! It smelled so good as it simmered. I could easily taste each ingredient such as the toasted sesame oil and cilantro.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 dried cloud ear or shiitake mushrooms, soaked in very hot water to cover, 20 mins (I used the shiitake)
2 C canned or fresh sliced bamboo shoots (The recipe didn’t specify what sized can. I used 14 oz of small, cute, little bamboo shoots)
4 tsp peanut oil
8 oz (just over 1/2 a usual pkg of tofu), drained and cut into thin strips
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger root
4 C Vegetable stock
2 Tbs tamari or other soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Asian chili paste
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tsp water
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
2 Tbs chopped scallions (I left these out)
One thing I thought it needed was at least a 1/2 C of chopped green onion. I say add with the mushrooms.
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Drain the mushrooms and discard the stems. Cut into thin strips and set aside. If using canned bamboo shoots, drain and rinse, then cut into thin strips (unnecessary if they’re the ones in the can–typically) and set side. If using fresh ones, soak in water to cover for 30 mins. Cut into thin strips, cook in boiling water until tender and set aside.
Heat 2 tsp of peanut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 5 mins. (I found that 10 mins was better). Set aside.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the stock, tamari, vinegar, sugar, chili paste, and mushroom strips. (If you don’t want crunchy bamboo shhots, add them now). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 5 (to 10) mins. Add the tofu and bamboo shoots and bring back to a simmer. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook until heated through, about 5 mins. Stir in the sesame oil, scallions, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
This was such a delicious soup and can be quite changeable. Try 8-10 oz rice noodles during last 5 mins of cook time. If  you’re going to do that, I would recommend adding at least another cup of broth and nearly doubling some of the other ingredients like the rice vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, chili paste and cilantro.
This made about 4 servings with no leftovers. Next time, I might just double it. I was impressed with the various flavors and the ability to taste so many of them at once. I loved it! Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Party Cheese Ball

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!! You see, my mom has made this incredible cheese ball every Christmas for years now and since I went dairy-free, it is probably one of the foods I miss the most.  I finally made a dairy-free version after a couple of attempts and frankly, it’s so good, it brought a tear to my eye. (Also, this is probably one of the most requested recipe and when invited to a shin-dig, I am instructed to not come without this cheese ball).

INGREDIENTS:

12-oz Tofutti cream cheese
2 1/2 C Rice brand, or Daiya brand shredded cheese, cheddar flavor
2Tbs pimento, chopped
2 Tbs green pepper, chopped
2 Tbs onion, chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 C walnuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Combine softened cream cheese and cheddar. I used my food processor, but with the dough blade, just to blend them. Add remaining ingredients except walnuts and mix well. Transfer to a bowl and chill for several hours or overnight. Shape into a ball and roll in nuts. Serve with crackers. (Club crackers and Ritz always taste the best with this cheese ball)!

NOTE: Keep in mind that Rice cheese does have traces of casein.

Snickerdoodles

These cookies are not flat and crispy like your typical snickerdoodle, but more like scrumptious little bites–definitely something I love! These were a cinch to make and the aroma of these baking was divine!

INGREDIENTS:

1 2/3 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C butter, at room temp (I used Earth Balance sticks)
1/3 C plus 2 Tbs sugar
Ener-G egg replacer for 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs cinnamon
Baking sheet lined with parchment, waxed paper or greased (waxed paper worked lovely)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat over to 350. Combine flour, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter with 1/3 of the sugar until light in texture and pale in color, then beat in egg and vanilla.

Stir in the dry ingredients until blended smooth.

(Well, I couldn’t get mine smooth, and I was a bit worried, but it worked out just great)…
Spoon out rest of sugar and the cinnamon onto a plate and combine. Then, with your fingers, squeeze out pieces of dough and roll between the palms of your hands into walnut-sized balls. (Shaping with my fingers worked best–didn’t crack). Roll each ball in the sugar mixture and arranged on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 15 mins (13 1/2 mins was perfect for mine), by which time they will begin to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes 32-34. Enjoy!
For a variation, replace 2 Tbs of the flour with cocoa to make chocodoodles. I haven’t tried this, but next time I certainly will!

Recipe source: Nigella Lawson

Soyrizo Tacos

Soyrizo is such a perfect alternative to meat and these tacos are so satisfying and delicious. Combined with fresh ingredients, vegans and non vegans alike will love them!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
8 oz vegan chorizo or taco crumbles (found in the tempe and tofu section)
4-6 corn shells (or soft, if you prefer)
1/2 C diced onion
1/2 C chopped tomatoes
1 C tofu sour cream (Tofutti brand)
2/3 C shredded vegan cheese
Prepared salsa
I added diced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat (I added the onions at this time and cooked until softened). Add the chorizo or taco crumbles and cook, stirring until heated through, 3-4 mins.

Arrange onions (if you want more), lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, cheese, avocado, salsa and cilantro in bowls. Assemble as you want! Enjoy!