Tempeh-Avocado Reuben Sandwich

Tempeh-Avocado Reuben Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganThis sandwich certainly isn’t for the dainty. Grab some napkins and don’t be afraid to let things get messy, but you probably won’t care, because the flavor is amazing. Sauerkraut, avocado and tempeh is a delicious combination, especially with the tangy dressing and toasted rye bread. This is also a quick meal; perfect when you don’t have a lot of time.

INGREDIENTS:
1 8-oz pkg. tempeh, cut into slices
1/2 C tamari
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Dressing
1/2 C vegan mayo
1/4 C ketchup
2 Tbs relish
1/8 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbs nutritional yeast (I like to sneak this into sauces & dressings for some added B vitamins)
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
The rest
1 avocado
2-3 C jarred or canned sauerkraut
8 rye bread slices, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
Combine the tamari, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium zip bag. Add the tempeh, coat well and marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator. To make the sauce, whisk together the mayo, ketchup, relish, Dijon, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder.

Tempeh-Avocado Reuben Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganIn a large skillet, over medium-low heat, add the marinade and tempeh. The marinade will burn if you cook it over too high of heat, so try to keep it between medium-low and cook the tempeh, turning once or twice, until the sides are crispy.
Tempeh-Avocado Reuben Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganTo assemble the sandwiches, I spread some dressing on one bread slice, placed a few pieces of tempeh on top, then some sauerkraut, avocado slices and some more dressing.
Tempeh-Avocado Reuben Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganCut in half and enjoy!
Tempeh-Avocado Reuben Sandwich -- Epicurean Vegan

 

 

Open-Faced Chick’n Sandwich

Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganYummm . . . this open-faced sandwich is crazy good. It’s also super versatile. I used Lightlife Chick’n strips, but other good options would be garbanzo beans, Great Northern beans, tempeh or tofu. The creamy sauce and crunchy texture of the water chestnuts, are a wonderful combination. So much flavor in one bite. Because I used a fat loaf of French bread, I ended up with 3 sandwiches, but if you use a thinner loaf, you’ll easily get 4. This is also a very quick meal, so great when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands.

INGREDIENTS:
1 loaf of French bread, cut in half, then each half cut lengthwise
3/4 C vegan mayonnaise
1 8-oz can water chestnuts, chopped
1/2 C green onion, sliced
1-1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 C vegan mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 6-oz pkg. LightLife Chick’n Strips, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 C black olives, sliced or chopped
Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, water chestnuts, green onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt nutritional yeast and vegan cheese. Fold in the chick’n strips and tomato.
Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganFor the bread, hollow out the middle a little bit, otherwise, the filling won’t stay put.
Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich -- Epicurean VeganFill the bread with the filling and place on a baking sheet.
Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich --Epicurean VeganBake for 8-10 minutes, or until the bread begins to brown and the filling is hot. Top with black olives, slice and enjoy!
Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich -- Epicurean Vegan

Open-Faced Chick'n Sandwich
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf of French bread, cut in half, then each half cut lengthwise
  • ¾ C vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 8-oz can water chestnuts, chopped
  • ½ C green onion, sliced
  • 1-1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ½ C vegan mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 6-oz pkg. LightLife Chick'n Strips, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 C black olives, sliced or chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the mayo, water chestnuts, green onion, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt nutritional yeast and vegan cheese. Fold in the chick'n strips and tomato.
  3. For the bread, hollow out the middle a little bit, otherwise, the filling won't stay put.
  4. Fill the bread with the filling and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the bread begins to brown and the filling is hot. Top with black olives, slice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce

Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganAs you probably know, I love pasta. I’m very fortunate that I don’t have a gluten intolerance, but I have to say, these zucchini noodles make a wonderful pasta substitute with it’s fresh flavor and slightly crunchy texture. This is a very easy dish to throw together and you could easily add your favorite veggies such as bell peppers or artichokes. You  may recall my first zucchini noodle recipe with pesto as sun-dried tomatoes  and I really love my spiralizer . . .
Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganThis works fabulous and is so easy to use. I haven’t spiralized any other veggies yet, but it takes only a few minutes to turn small to medium zucchinis into wonderful noodles. Pasta with cream sauce dishes (my favorite!) are notorious for being full of fat and calories (thanks to dairy products) but even cream sauces made with nuts can be up there too, but fortunately, between subbing in zucchini noodles and the fact that nuts are full of healthy fats and calcium, you don’t have to feel guilty about loading your plate with these “noodles.”

INGREDIENTS:
4-5 small to medium zucchinis
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced
3 C mushrooms, sliced
Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce
1 C macadamia nuts
1 large garlic clove
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 C white wine
1/2 C water
The rest
1-2 tomatoes, diced

DIRECTIONS:
Spiralize your zucchinis into a large bowl and set aside.
Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganNext, start the sauce by pureeing the nuts and garlic clove. While the machine is running, add the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Add the white wine, water and apple cider vinegar. You’ll probably need to scrape the bottom edge of the food processor bowl and continue to puree until completely smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm—keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Also, if it’s too thick, whisk in some water or vegetable broth.
Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIn a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, or until the onions are softened and browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for just a couple of minutes.

Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganTransfer the veggies to a bowl and add the zucchini noodles to the skillet. You might want to add a tad more oil, or even some water to the skillet. Zucchini will cook pretty quickly and I recommend using tongs to turn the noodles over medium heat.
Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganOnce the noodles cook down a bit, add the mushroom and onion mixture and mix together.
Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce -- Epicurean VeganYou can either transfer the noodle mixture to a large bowl and coat with the sauce and serve family-style with some tomatoes on top, or create individual servings topped with a ladle of sauce and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodles with a Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4-5 small to medium zucchinis
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 3 C mushrooms, sliced
  • .
  • Macadamia Nut Cream Sauce
  • .
  • 1 C macadamia nuts
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ C white wine
  • ½ C water
  • .
  • The rest
  • .
  • 1-2 tomatoes, diced
Directions
  1. Spiralize your zucchinis into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Next, start the sauce by pureeing the nuts and garlic clove. While the machine is running, add the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Add the white wine, water and apple cider vinegar. You'll probably need to scrape the bottom edge of the food processor bowl and continue to puree until completely smooth.
  3. Transfer to a small saucepan and heat over low heat until warm---keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn. Also, if it's too thick, whisk in some water or vegetable broth.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and saute for 5-8 minutes, or until the onions are softened and browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for just a couple of minutes.
  5. Transfer the veggies to a bowl and add the zucchini noodles to the skillet. You might want to add a tad more oil, or even some water to the skillet. Zucchini will cook pretty quickly and I recommend using tongs to turn the noodles over medium heat.
  6. Once the noodles cook down a bit, add the mushroom and onion mixture and mix together.
  7. You can either transfer the noodle mixture to a large bowl and coat with the sauce and serve family-style with some tomatoes on top, or create individual servings topped with a ladle of sauce and tomatoes. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce

Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce -- Epicurean VeganThis recipe started out with me going through the refrigerator and trying to decide what I had and how they could go together. At the center: a close-to-expiring tub of tofu. Luckily, we had hit the farmer’s market yesterday, so I had plenty of veggies on hand. The flavors of the breaded tofu and the savory, sage-y sauce, is a beautiful combination. The pine nuts on top are a fabulous addition if you happen to have some on hand.

INGREDIENTS:
Tofu
1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 6 steaks
1/4 C tamari or soy sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
2 tsp tomato sauce
1 Tbs yellow or red miso
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp agave
1 C panko
1/8 C nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper
Sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
3 Tbs vegan margarine
6 Tbs flour
1/2 C white wine
1 C almond milk
1/2 to 3/4 C vegetable broth
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tomatoes, diced
4 C spinach, chopped
The rest
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
I recommend having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before proceeding; it’ll help out a lot.

Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce -- Epicurean VeganStart with preparing the tofu. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the tamari, tomato paste, miso, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil and agave. In another shallow bowl, combine the panko, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Next, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and bell pepper over medium heat. While the pepper is cooking, finish preparing the tofu. Coat the tofu steaks in the tamari mixture, then coat well in the panko mixture.
Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce -- Epicurean VeganSpray a grill pan with some olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium. Lay the six tofu steaks in the pan and cook for about 8 minutes per side.
Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce -- Epicurean VeganWhile the tofu is cooking, check the bell pepper. (You should also make sure you’re toasting those pine nuts—just a few minutes in a dry skillet, stirring often.)
20140818_174457Once the bell pepper softens and browns, transfer to a bowl. Using the same skillet, add the vegan margarine and let it melt completely. Whisk in the flour and blend well over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the white wine until the mixture is smooth. Next, add the almond milk, but just a little at a time. The sauce will gradually thicken as you go. (Check the tofu; you may need to turn it by this point.) Once the milk is all incorporated and the sauce is getting thick, add the vegetable broth. I used somewhere between half and three-quarters of a cup. I’d whisk a little in, let it thicken, then added more. I continued to do this until I was happy with the consistency. Season with sage, salt and pepper. Next, I folded in the tomatoes. The liquid from the tomatoes may thin out the sauce a little, but it ought to thicken back up with no problem. Your tofu ought to be finished about this time, so fold the spinach into the sauce.
Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce -- Epicurean Vegan Serve the tofu with a ladle or two of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts and enjoy!
Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce -- Epicurean Vegan

Breaded Tofu with a Creamy Spinach, Tomato and Bell Pepper Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-6
Ingredients
  • Tofu
  • .
  • 1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 6 steaks
  • ¼ C tamari or soy sauce
  • ½ tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs yellow or red miso
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp agave
  • 1 C panko
  • ⅛ C nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper
  • .
  • Sauce
  • .
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3 Tbs vegan margarine
  • 6 Tbs flour
  • ½ C white wine
  • 1 C almond milk
  • ½ to ¾ C vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp sage
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 4 C spinach, chopped
  • .
  • The rest
  • .
  • ¼ C pine nuts, toasted
Directions
  1. I recommend having all of your ingredients prepped and ready to go before proceeding; it'll help out a lot.
  2. Start with preparing the tofu. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the tamari, tomato paste, miso, Worcestershire sauce, sesame oil and agave.
  3. In another shallow bowl, combine the panko, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
  4. Next, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and add the garlic and bell pepper over medium heat. While the pepper is cooking, finish preparing the tofu. Coat the tofu steaks in the tamari mixture, then coat well in the panko mixture.
  5. Spray a grill pan with some olive oil cooking spray and heat over medium. Lay the six tofu steaks in the pan and cook for about 8 minutes per side.
  6. While the tofu is cooking, check the bell pepper. (You should also make sure you're toasting those pine nuts---just a few minutes in a dry skillet, stirring often.)
  7. Once the bell pepper softens and browns, transfer to a bowl.
  8. Using the same skillet, add the vegan margarine and let it melt completely. Whisk in the flour and blend well over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the white wine until the mixture is smooth. Next, add the almond milk, but just a little at a time. The sauce will gradually thicken as you go.
  9. (Check the tofu; you may need to turn it by this point.)
  10. Once the milk is all incorporated and the sauce is getting thick, add the vegetable broth. I used somewhere between half and three-quarters of a cup. I'd whisk a little in, let it thicken, then added more. I continued to do this until I was happy with the consistency. Season with sage, salt and pepper.
  11. Next, I folded in the tomatoes. The liquid from the tomatoes may thin out the sauce a little, but it ought to thicken back up with no problem. Your tofu ought to be finished about this time, so stir in the spinach.
  12. Serve the tofu with a ladle or two of the sauce on top. Sprinkle with pine nuts and enjoy!

 

 

Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce

Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganHere I go again with the ravioli! Well, these could be like more like perogies, actually. Plus, I also added spinach to the dough which is definitely new for me. I’d been wanting to try that for a while now and I’m so glad I did. I’m already trying to figure out what other vegetables I can use to make pasta with. I made everything up earlier in the afternoon when I had some extra time, so when it came dinnertime, it was easy to throw it all together. The mushroom sauce with truffle oil is the perfect, light sauce for these raviolis; nothing too heavy and thick since the raviolis themselves have got some girth. Between the sauce and the fresh chives in the filling, this meal is packed with flavor and taste.

INGREDIENTS:
Dough:
1-1/2 C semolina flour
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C warm unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs olive oil
1 C minced spinach (about 4 C of fresh spinach leaves)
Filling:
2 medium potatoes
1 Tbs vegan margarine
1/8 to 1/4 C almond milk
1-2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mushroom-Truffle Sauce:
4 Tbs vegan margarine
2-3 C mushrooms, sliced
5 Tbs flour
1-1/2 to 2 C vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs truffle oil

DIRECTIONS:
To prepare the dough, whisk together the two flours and salt. Add the olive oil and warm almond milk and blend a little to create large clumps of dough. Add the spinach.

Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganBlend well using either a wooden spoon, or your hands.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganKnead on a floured surface for 3-5 minutes. You may need to add more flour; the spinach adds a bit of moisture to the dough. Shape into a ball, wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganYou can go about making the filling two ways: nuke the potatoes in the microwave until they are done, let them cool slightly, then peel them. The other way, is to peel them first, dice them up and boil them in either water or broth until they are tender. I went ahead and microwaved them, but you choose. I then transferred the cooked potato to a medium bowl, mashed them up, then added the margarine, almond milk, chives, salt and pepper. You can also use the food processor to make the potatoes super creamy and whipped, but I’m a lumpy mashed potato kind of girl, so I just used a potato masher for mine.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganTo make the raviolis, I love using my pasta maker and ravioli plate. If anything, I highly recommend the ravioli plate, but you can easily roll the dough out thin enough without using a pasta maker. I usually tell readers to THIS POST for a more detailed description of how to use the ravioli plate, as well as some helpful links. Fill each ravioli with about a teaspoon or so of the potato filling.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganIf you find that the dough is sticking to the ravioli plate (which I did), I recommend lightly spraying the plate with cooking spray and they’ll pop right off next time. I then transferred them to a baking sheet sprinkled with some semolina flour (which keeps the raviolis from sticking to the pan). I ended up with 54 raviolis. These can sit out and dry a little while you prepare the sauce.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganTo make the sauce, saute the mushrooms in the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and coat the mushrooms well. Little by  little, add the vegetable broth and stir. Once it starts to thicken, add a little more broth and keep doing that until you’re out of broth. Let it thicken up, but if it seems to be taking a while, turn the heat off, and let the sauce sit. It will get thick.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganNext, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the raviolis in 2-3 batches. I often hear that you shouldn’t cook more than 6 or 7 at a time, but I did them in two batches. First of all, they should be served immediately after being removed from the water (3-5 minutes) and second, they tend to stick together if you transfer them to a colander and wait until they’re all cooked before you serve them. I didn’t find any problems with cooking 25 at a time. Do what feels right to you though. If you’re going to cook them in several batches, I recommend oiling a large bowl and use a slotted spoon to transfer the raviolis to the bowl. The oil will help keep them all from sticking to one another.
Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce -- Epicurean VeganLadle some sauce over the raviolis and enjoy!

20140802_205442

Potato-Filled Spinach Ravioli with Mushroom-Truffle Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • Dough:
  • .
  • 1-1/2 C semolina flour
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ C warm unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 C minced spinach (about 4 C of fresh spinach leaves)
  • .
  • Filling:
  • .
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1 Tbs vegan margarine
  • ⅛ to ¼ C almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • .
  • Mushroom-Truffle Sauce:4 Tbs vegan margarine
  • .
  • 2-3 C mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 Tbs flour
  • 1-1/2 to 2 C vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs truffle oil
Directions
  1. To prepare the dough, whisk together the two flours and salt. Add the olive oil and warm almond milk and blend a little to create large clumps of dough. Add the spinach.
  2. Blend well using either a wooden spoon, or your hands.
  3. Knead on a floured surface for 3-5 minutes. You may need to add more flour; the spinach adds a bit of moisture to the dough. Shape into a ball, wrap with plastic and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. You can go about making the filling two ways: nuke the potatoes in the microwave until they are done, let them cool slightly, then peel them. The other way, is to peel them first, dice them up and boil them in either water or broth until they are tender. I went ahead and microwaved them, but you choose. I then transferred the cooked potato to a medium bowl, mashed them up, then added the margarine, almond milk, chives, salt and pepper. You can also use the food processor to make the potatoes super creamy and whipped, but I'm a lumpy mashed potato kind of girl, so I just used a potato masher for mine.
  5. To make the raviolis, I love using my pasta maker and ravioli plate. If anything, I highly recommend the ravioli plate, but you can easily roll the dough out thin enough without using a pasta maker. I usually tell readers to THIS POST for a more detailed description of how to use the ravioli plate, as well as some helpful links. Fill each ravioli with about a teaspoon or so of the potato filling.
  6. If you find that the dough is sticking to the ravioli plate (which I did), I recommend lightly spraying the plate with cooking spray and they'll pop right off next time. I then transferred them to a baking sheet that is sprinkled with some semolina flour (which keeps the raviolis from sticking to the pan). I ended up with 54 raviolis. These can sit out and dry a little while you prepare the sauce.
  7. To make the sauce, saute the mushrooms in the margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and coat the mushrooms well. Little by little, add the vegetable broth and stir. Once it starts to thicken, add a little more broth and keep doing that until you're out of broth. Let it thicken up, but if it seems to be taking a while, turn the heat off, and let the sauce sit. It will get thick.
  8. Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the raviolis in 2-3 batches. I often hear that you shouldn't cook more than 6 or 7 at a time, but I did them in two batches. First of all, they should be served immediately after being removed from the water (3-5 minutes) and second, they tend to stick together if you transfer them to a colander and wait until they're all cooked before you serve them. Do what feels right to you. If you're going to cook them in several batches, I recommend oiling a large bowl and use a slotted spoon to transfer the raviolis to the bowl. The oil will help keep them all from sticking to one another.
  9. Ladle some sauce over the raviolis and enjoy!

 

Pasta with Cashew Cream & Cheese

Pasta with Cashew Cream and Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan(Unfortunately) most of us probably grew up on the boxed mac and cheese stuff, and likely, so have our kids. And kids like their mac and cheese. Instead of giving them that nasty, chemical-filled boxed junk, try making this kid-pleasing version using grated vegan cheese and cashew cream. Not only is it creamy, but it actually tastes cheesy and pretty darn delicious. While this may not top the list of the most healthiest vegan dishes, it’s miles from the fat-laden dairy version. Cashews are loaded with heart-protective monosaturated fats, antioxidants, calcium and protein. You can use your favorite vegan cheddar such as Daiya, Follow Your Heart or even make your own. This is also an easy recipe that your kiddos can help out with too!

INGREDIENTS:
16-oz uncooked pasta, such as elbows, shells or spirals
1 to 1-1/4 C vegetable broth (it just depends on how thick you want it)
4-oz vegan cheddar, shredded (I used Follow Your Heart brand)
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 C cashews, soaked for at least an hour in hot water (if you can; no biggie if you can’t soak them)
1/2 C water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 dashes of nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional ingredients: sneak in those veggies by adding peas, carrots or broccoli. Or spice it up with green chilies or salsa.

Pasta with Cashew Cream and Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the pasta according to package instruction, or until al dente. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. If you soaked the cashews, drain them and transfer to a food processor. Puree until finely ground, scraping the sides of processor bowl if necessary. Add the water, apple cider vinegar and salt. Puree 2 minutes, or until smooth. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot. Over medium-low heat, fold in the grated cheese,  cashew cream, broth and nutritional yeast. Combine well and continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. If using, add the optional ingredients and stir until heated through. Enjoy!

Pasta with Cashew Cream & Cheese
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 16-oz uncooked pasta, such as elbows, shells or spirals
  • 1 to 1-1/4 C vegetable broth (it just depends on how thick you want it)
  • 4-oz vegan cheddar, shredded (I used Follow Your Heart brand)
  • ⅓ C nutritional yeast
  • 1 C cashews, soaked for at least an hour in hot water (if you can; no biggie if you can't soak them)
  • ½ C water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 dashes of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional ingredients: sneak in those veggies by adding peas, carrots or broccoli. Or spice it up with green chilies or salsa.
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta according to package instruction, or until al dente. Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. If you soaked the cashews, drain them and transfer to a food processor. Puree until finely ground, scraping the sides of processor bowl if necessary. Add the water, apple cider vinegar and salt. Puree 2 minutes, or until smooth.
  2. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot. Over medium-low heat, fold in the grated cheese, cashew cream, broth and nutritional yeast. Combine well and continue to stir until the cheese is completely melted.
  3. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. If using, add the optional ingredients and stir until heated through. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Tofu Caesar Wraps

Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganWraps are such a quick and easy meal, especially when summer activities have you running all over the place. Although, these are a great option during the school year when you need to grab-and-go. I love Caesar salad, but since going vegan, it’s hard to come by a non-dairy (and non anchovy) version. I made my own Caesar dressing a couple of years ago, which I think his pretty darn good, if I say so myself, so I used that same dressing for these wraps. I did, however, thin out the dressing a little for this recipe, but feel free to do what you’d like. The dressing recipe makes about 2-1/2 cups, so I suggest either halving the recipe, or just enjoy the leftover dressing on salads, sandwiches, or even as a veggie dip.

INGREDIENTS:
Dressing:
2 cloves garlic
12-oz box firm silken tofu
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/8 C olive oil
2 Tbs capers
4 tsp caper juice/brine
1/2 tsp mustard powder
Dash of sugar
Salt and pepper
(I added 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast to the original dressing recipe)
The rest:
1 large bunch of romaine, chopped
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1/3 C cashews chopped
1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 4 slabs
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper
Croutons
Flour tortillas or other wraps

DIRECTIONS:
To make the dressing, puree the whole garlic cloves in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. I then transferred the dressing to a mason jar and stored in the fridge.
To prepare the tofu, lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray and over medium heat, brown the tofu, about 8-10 minutes per side.

Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganMove the tofu to a cutting board and let them cool about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the romaine, red onion and cashews in a medium bowl. I then scooped out about 1/2 a cup of the dressing into a small bowl and whisked in about 1-2 tablespoons of water—it’s a pretty thick dressing. Feel free to use almond milk, veggie broth or leave it as is. I then added the dressing to the salad mixture and thoroughly combined it all.
Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganCut the tofu into small squares.
Tofu Caesar Wraps -- Epicurean VeganTo assemble, I warmed the tortilla in the microwave for just a few seconds; it’s easier to roll when warm. Place a large mound of salad in the tortilla, then some tofu and a few croutons. Wrap and enjoy!

Tofu Caesar Wraps
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Dressing:
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 12-oz box firm silken tofu
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • ⅛ C olive oil
  • 2 Tbs capers
  • 4 tsp caper juice/brine
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • Dash of sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • (I added 2 Tbs of nutritional yeast to the original dressing recipe)
  • .
  • The rest:
  • .
  • 1 large bunch of romaine, chopped
  • ½ large red onion, sliced
  • ⅓ C cashews chopped
  • 1 14-oz tub extra firm tofu, cut lengthwise into 4 slabs
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • Croutons
  • Flour tortillas or other wraps
Directions
  1. To make the dressing, puree the whole garlic cloves in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway through. I then transferred the dressing to a mason jar and stored in the fridge.
  2. To prepare the tofu, lightly spray a grill pan with cooking spray and over medium heat, brown the tofu, about 8-10 minutes per side.
  3. Remove to a cutting board and let them cool about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the romaine, red onion and cashews in a medium bowl.
  5. I then scooped out about ½ a cup of the dressing into a small bowl and whisked in about 1-2 tablespoons of water---it's a pretty thick dressing. Feel free to use almond milk, veggie broth or leave it as is. I then added the dressing to the salad mixture and thoroughly combined it all.
  6. Cut the tofu into small squares.
  7. To assemble, I warmed the tortilla in the microwave for just a few seconds; it's easier to roll when warm. Place a large mound of salad in the tortilla, then some tofu and a few croutons. Wrap and enjoy!

 

 

Product Review: Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers

Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean VeganI was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out these Hand-Formed Burgers from Field Roast. Each package comes with 4 hand-formed burgers all ready for the grill (or in my case, grill pan).
Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean Vegan

To start, here’s what’s in ‘em.
Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean Vegan
One of the reasons I really enjoy Field Roast products (besides the absence of strange, unpronounceable ingredients) is that they don’t taste like real meat. That’s right. Sometimes, when meatless products taste too similar to the real deal, it grosses me out. But with Field Roast, even though the texture is very, very similar, the taste is all its own. With lots of vegetables, fruits and seasonings, Field Roast products taste fresh and flavorful. (Even our meat-eating friends and family have enjoyed Field Roast). These burgers are really no exception. We don’t use the grill that often (so I’m sure there’s a wasps’ nest inside of it by now), so I opted to use my trusty grill pan. I lightly sprayed the surface with cooking spray and over medium heat, I sauteed the burgers, about 3-4 minutes per side.
Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean VeganWe didn’t get too fancy with all the toppings, as I didn’t want to mask up the flavor of the Field Roast, especially since this was the first time I was trying them. I went with the traditional lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup.
Field Roast Hand-formed Burgers -- Epicurean VeganSO DELICIOUS! The three of us loved these burgers and would certainly buy these (although the fat content is a lot higher than I’d like). They stay moist, not dried out like a typical “veggie burger.” And of course, the flavor is outstanding; just the right amount of seasonings. These burgers can also be crumbled up and used as a ground “beef.” I have another package left and I’m torn over what to do: we have a neighborhood BBQ on Tuesday, so do I save the other package for that, or crumble them up for a new recipe?! Oh, the dilemma! You’ll probably find out soon. Since we had gone all traditional with these burgers, I couldn’t resist making some oven-baked fries to go with them . . .
Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean Vegan
The Husband’s neatly sliced burger . . .
Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean Vegan I just went for it . . .
Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers -- Epicurean VeganOverall, another excellent product from Field Roast that makes my vegan life even easier (and tastier). Thanks, Field Roast!

 

Cashew Cheese Risotto

Cashew Cheese Risotto -- Epicurean VeganJust so you  know, we’re not messing around with this risotto. I shudder to think what my vegan life would be like without cashew cheese. Obviously, the pure joy of the Creamy Macaroni with Cashew Cheese, would just not exist, as would the Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash and Cashew Cheese and the Pine nut and Cashew Ravioli. Not a vegan world I’d want to live in, folks. And the beauty of it all, is that cashew cheese is so simple to make, a monkey can do it, so it just doesn’t get any better. This baked risotto dish is creamy, decadent and outta this world (and into vegan heaven). And did I mention it’s easy to make? Ready in 50 minutes? No standing at the stove constantly stirring like traditional risotto; this entree (or side dish) practically cooks itself. Served solo or with garlic bread and a salad, you’re well on your way to cashew cheese nirvana.

INGREDIENTS:
5 C vegetable broth
1-1/2 C Arborio rice
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C onion, diced
16-oz mushrooms, sliced, then cut in half
1-1/2 C green onion, sliced
2-3 C fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 C white cooking wine
2 Tbs vegan margarine
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 recipe cashew cheese (see below)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cashew Cheese (makes 1 cup)
1 C raw, roasted and unsalted cashews (whole or pieces), soaked in hot water 1-2 hours
1/2 C water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:
Start the cashew cheese first. Soak the nuts in a bowl with enough boiling water to just cover the nuts. Let sit 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse and transfer to a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of water and puree. While the machine is running, add the salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary; set aside.
Cashew Cheese Risotto -- Epicurean VeganPreheat oven to 350. Combine 4 cups of the broth with the rice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. While the rice is baking, prepare your other ingredients. With about 10 minutes of cooking time left for the risotto,  heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the mushrooms and green onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and let it cook 2 minutes. Once it starts to wilt, remove from the heat.
Cashew Cheese Risotto -- Epicurean VeganWhen the risotto is done (all the liquid is absorbed), stir in the remaining cup of broth. Then add the white wine, vegan margarine, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes; this is what releases the starches and makes the risotto nice and creamy. Add the nutritional yeast and all of the cashew cheese. Stir until well combined. Fold in the mushroom-spinach mixture. And that’s it! Serve and thoroughly enjoy!

Cashew Cheese Risotto
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 5 C vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 C Arborio rice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C onion, diced
  • 16-oz mushrooms, sliced, then cut in half
  • 1-1/2 C green onion, sliced
  • 2-3 C fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ C white cooking wine
  • 2 Tbs vegan margarine
  • ¼ C nutritional yeast
  • 1 recipe cashew cheese (see below)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cashew Cheese (makes 1 cup)
  • 1 C raw, roasted and unsalted cashews (whole or pieces), soaked in hot water 1-2 hours
  • ½ C water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
Directions
  1. Start the cashew cheese first. Soak the nuts in a bowl with enough boiling water to just cover the nuts. Let sit 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse and transfer to a food processor. Add ½ cup of water and puree. While the machine is running, add the salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Combine 4 cups of the broth with the rice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. While the rice is baking, prepare your other ingredients. With about 10 minutes of cooking time left for the risotto, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the mushrooms and green onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and let it cook 2 minutes. Once it starts to wilt, remove from the heat.
  4. When the risotto is done (all the liquid is absorbed), stir in the remaining cup of broth. Then add the white wine, vegan margarine, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes; this is what releases the starches and makes the risotto nice and creamy. Add the nutritional yeast and all of the cashew cheese. Stir until well combined. Fold in the mushroom-spinach mixture. And that's it! Serve and thoroughly enjoy!

 

Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies {Gluten-Free}

Gluten-Free Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies -- Epicurean VeganThis amazing dish will be ready in less than 30 minutes but will taste like you spent a good hour on it. I came across Viviana Foods gluten-free & vegan lemon garlic orzo and it looked pretty interesting, so I thought I’d give it shot.
Gluten-Free Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies -- Epicurean VeganThe orzo is ready in about 7 minutes and all I had to do was just had to chop some veggies and herbs and saute some for just a few minutes. The flavor is fantastic; I only seasoned it with a tiny bit of salt and pepper. The only downside is that the orzo costs around $7! Yeah, it was a splurge. I guess I was so drawn to the cute little package.  So it may not be something I’d buy on a regular basis, but it really was tasty!

INGREDIENTS:
1 8-oz pkg. Viviana Lemon Garlic Orzo
1 tsp olive oil
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1/2 C green onion, sliced
3/4 C fresh basil, chopped
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the pasta in boiling water for 6-9 minutes. Test it for doneness. You’ll want to use a fine mesh strainer to drain the orzo, otherwise you’ll pretty much lose most of it down the drain. Rinse with hot water and return to the pan.

Gluten-Free Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies -- Epicurean VeganWhile it’s cooking, however, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the mushrooms and green onion. Saute over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes—just until the mushrooms start to cook down. Fold the mushrooms and green onions into the orzo and season with salt and pepper. Top individual servings with some basil and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Lemon Garlic Orzo with Fresh Veggies {Gluten-Free}
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 8-oz pkg. Viviana Lemon Garlic Orzo
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 C mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ C green onion, sliced
  • ¾ C fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 C cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Cook the pasta in boiling water for 6-9 minutes. Test it for doneness. You'll want to use a fine mesh strainer to drain the orzo, otherwise you'll pretty much lose most of it down the drain. Rinse with hot water and return to the pan.
  2. While it's cooking, however, heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the mushrooms and green onion. Saute over medium heat for about 4-5 minutes---just until the mushrooms start to cook down.
  3. Fold the mushrooms and green onions into the orzo and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Top individual servings with some basil and tomatoes. Enjoy!