Quinoa & Veggies with a Tahini-Miso Dressing

Quinoa2Quinoa is such a fantastic lunch option. It’s packed with protein and it can be made so many different ways, that it’s pretty hard to get bored with it. I wanted a light dressing for this and came up with this tangy tahini-miso goodness. I also love adding nuts for a bit of crunch to these types of dishes, so I threw in some toasted almond slivers. Delish!

DSC08036

INGREDIENTS:

1 C quinoa (I like this Rainbow Quinoa from Alter Eco)
2 C vegetable broth or water
1-1/2 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced
6 green onions, sliced
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 C slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing:

1 tsp tahini
1 Tbs yellow miso
1/8 C almond milk
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

nutsandveggies

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse the quinoa in fine mesh strainer with cold water. Combine it with the broth (or water) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until there is just a little bit of water left, about 12-15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and green onions, but don’t combine—cover and let the veggies steam 3-4 minutes. For the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.

DSC08038Once the mushrooms have softened, stir them into the quinoa. Add the tomatoes, nuts and dressing. I recommend adding a little dressing at a time in case you don’t want it all. I had a little left over.

DSC08041Gently fold and combine everything. Enjoy!

Quinoa2

Garbanzo-White Bean Truffle Spread

20130704_172533

This is a variation on the white bean truffle spread that I decided to whip up for our July 4th party. I’ve made the original version several times, but I wanted to change things up a little and I’m thinking I like this new version even better!

INGREDIENTS:

1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 15-oz can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 large (or two medium) clove of garlic, halved or quartered
1 tsp salt
5-6 large green onions (white and green parts) sliced
4 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs truffle oil

DIRECTIONS:

Add the salt and garlic to a food processor and process until the garlic is pretty well chopped up. Add the beans, lemon juice, salt, and green onions; puree until smooth. While the machine is running, add the truffle oil; blend well. If you have time, let it chill for an hour or two before serving. Enjoy on crackers, toasted baguette slices, or veggies.

20130704_172542

Macadamia Nut Cheese

DSC07278

I was immediately smitten when I saw this recipe for macadamia nut “goat cheese” over at The Holy Kale. I haven’t met many nut cheeses I didn’t like, and this one looked too delicious not to try. I followed the recipe as it was written, but when I tasted it, I found into be incredibly bland. After all, there wasn’t any seasonings besides the tarragon it was rolled in. . . I took matters into my own hands because I sure the heck wasn’t going to waste the $7 I spent on two cups of macadamia nuts! A little salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and agave saved the day . . . and the cheese! Other than the texture, I don’t think this resembles goat cheese, but that doesn’t mean it’s not tasty–it most certainly is!

INGREDIENTS:

2 C macadamia nuts (I used unsalted), soaked for 24 hours in water
1 cap veggie Probiotic
1/2 C water
2-3 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp, or to taste, salt
1-2 Tbs agave
2-3 Tbs fresh tarragon, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

After soaking the nuts, drain and transfer to a food processor along with 1/2 a cup of fresh water and the contents of the probiotic capsule. Blend until smooth (you will probably need to periodically scrape the sides).

DSC07260

Wrap in a cotton napkin or a few layers of cheese cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

DSC07261

Keep wrapped in the cloth and place into a bowl. Do not seal the bowl.

DSC07262

Let it sit for 2 days on the counter and ferment. Unwrap . . .

DSC07263

. . . and transfer to a bowl. Using a fork, blend in the lemon juice, salt, and oil. Taste and adjust seasonings/flavorings if need be. Wrap the cheese in plastic wrap, shaping into a log.

DSC07264

Refriderate for several hours to overnight to allow the flavors to meet and mingle. The longer you let it percolate the better! Spread the chopped tarragon on a cutting board and roll the log over it. Drizzle with agave and serve with crackers. This would also be excellent crumbled over a salad. Delicious and worth the long process! Enjoy!DSC07277

Vegan Herbed Cream Cheese

DSC07223

I think non vegans would find it pretty hard to know this is nondairy. (And when is it not fun to fool omnivores)? This is a Tofutti cream cheese-based dip/spread, but you could easily reverse the ratio of cream cheese and sour cream in this recipe and make it a sour cream-based one. It works great as a dip, dolloped on a baked potato, cracker spread, bagel topper, or sandwich condiment. It was ideal for veggie wraps . . .

DSC07224

INGREDIENTS:

12-oz container of Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 C Tofutti sour cream
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs dried minced onion
1 tsp salt
2 large green onion, sliced
1 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container and keep chilled until using. Enjoy!

Immune-Boosting Salad with Baked Tempeh

DSC07100

Whether or not you’re fighting a cold or illness, this is the perfect salad to eat to boost your immune. No one wants to be sick during the holidays. It also doesn’t help that we tend to not eat or drink as healthy during these yuletide times. Instead of throwing back some harmful meds with a measly glass of OJ while you’re sick, head for the fridge (or ask someone politely) to fix this cold-fighting bowl of awesomeness. If anything, steam some kale, eat a raw orange bell pepper, and a bowl full of white mushrooms. Then repeat.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of kale, torn from stem and chopped small (high in iron, vitamins C, A & K, antioxidants, omega-3s (anti-inflammatory), fiber, and calcium)

1 small bunch of spinach, stems removed and chopped small (1 C=337% of the RDA of vitamin A!! vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium)

1 orange bell pepper, chopped small (vitamin C and B-6, fiber, and antioxidants)

10-12 white mushrooms, stems removed and chopped, (great sources of potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. They’ve also been proven to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers)

2 large carrots, shredded (beta carotene, vitamin A, cancer-preventing properties, and alpha-carotene and lutein, which fight heart disease)

6-7 green onions, sliced thin (Quercetin, an antioxidant and anti-histamine, chromium, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and copper)

1/2 C pepitas (high in vitamins C, D, E, and K. They are rich in beta carotene (that is converted into vitamin A in the liver),  rich in the eye protective carotenoid lutein. A handful of these will deliver 9 grams of protein, along with manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc. They are also rich in omega-3 fats and are also shown to reduce inflammation. Definitely a super food!)

Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, cut in half (boosts hydrogen sulfide production=protects against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer and protects the heart. Raw garlic’s antimicrobial fights viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. Its also helps fight asthma, bronchitis, inflammation, rashes, bug bites, tooth aches, ear infections and other infections i.e. Staph and MRSA. Unlike antibiotics that weaken your immune system, garlic actually boosts your immune system)

1/3 C sunflower seed butter (calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Also a great source of B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, and  B6, folate, and pantothenic acid. Folate is also essential during pregnancy for proper fetal development. Let’s not forget protein and the healthy, unsaturated fats)

1/4 C tahini (Packed with B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15, protein and calcium)

3 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs light miso (Protein, has probiotics, B vitamins, especially B12, fights cancers, high in antioxidants, and can even help lower cholesterol)

1/4 C nutritional yeast (TONS of B vitamins, protein, and fiber. It’s also low in sodium)

1/4 C chia seeds (Omega-3 and 6 oils, protein, and antioxidants. Considered a super food, chia seeds not only support the immune system, they balance blood sugar levels, support the cardiovascular system, give you energy, aid in weight loss, help detox the body, and provides fiber, iron, calcium, niacin (B-3), phosphorus, and magnesium. Did I mention brain-boosting, too?!)

1 C water

IMG_1089

Tempeh (optional)

8-oz pkg. tempeh, cut into small cubes (high in fiber, easy to digest, low sodium, and contains antioxidants. It also helps balance blood sugars)

1/4 C soy sauce

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed (see above)

1 Tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper

DSC07097

Whew! Did you get all that?! Talk about a loaded salad!

DIRECTIONS:

If you’re adding tempeh, you’ll want to start that now. Combine the tempeh with the soy sauce (preferably low-sodium),  Worcestershire sauce, oil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag; coat the tempeh thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the tempeh on the sheet. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes, stir around, then bake another 5 minutes.

IMG_1086

 Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then chop up the tempeh into even smaller pieces; add to the salad.

IMG_1087

To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend 2 minutes, or until completely smooth. It makes about 2-1/2 cups.

DSC07098

You can pour the dressing over the entire salad and blend well, or keep it separate. If you store it separately, keep in mind that it will probably set up in the fridge; you’ll need to add some water and/or lemon juice to it to thin it out some more. I hope all of you are staying healthy and continue to do so during these oftentimes stressful days! Enjoy!

DSC07100

Cashew-Truffle Hummus

This was probably one of the best cashew spreads ever. The original recipe, called Rich and Creamy Cashew Cheese, is from Vegetarian Times, but when I tasted it, it was incredibly bland, so I decided to up the ante and add some of my favorite ingredients. After I messed with it, I found that it ought to be more appropriately called hummus, not to mention, my new favorite hummus. It’s hard to go wrong with miso and truffle oil!

INGREDIENTS:

2 C raw & unsalted cashews, soaked for 24 hours
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar (I used regular and added another tsp)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2-1/2 Tbs truffle oil (my addition)
2 Tbs white or yellow miso

DIRECTIONS:

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Using a food processor, process for a minute.

Add a 1/2 cup of water and remaining ingredients. Process for 3-5 minutes or until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for about 12 hours or overnight. Enjoy with pita chips, crackers, or on a sandwich.

Vegan & Soy-Free Ricotta Cheese

I am so excited to share this recipe with all of you! Having to give up soy is a little less traumatic now that I’ve come up with a delicious soy-free ricotta cheese. After I made the switch from no wheat and no soy, The Seventh Grader wanted stuffed shells. Of course. And . . . like the power of suggestion, I wanted stuffed shells in the worst way. So I couldn’t use my go-to riotta cheese, nor use regular jumbo shells. Thankfully, I found these “Grand Shells” from Tinkyada.

The ingredients are simple: brown rice, rice bran, and water. They’re a little smaller than the typical flour-based jumbo shells . . .

. . . but it’s not a big deal. They also don’t fold over like regular shells do either. Again, no biggie. Also, cooking these are a bit different. Bring water to a boil, add the shells and cook 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the shells sit for 20 minutes. The shells definitely aren’t mushy like some brown rice pasta can be. In fact, they’re pretty al dente—almost too much. If you want them a little softer, I’d leave them for 25-30 minutes. Overall, very impressive! I thought they were delicious.

So onto the ricotta. This recipe makes quite a bit—great for a big pan of lasagna. Feel free to half it for a small portion, otherwise, it makes almost 4 cups.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C blanched almonds

1 C cashews

1 C cold water

1/8 C olive oil

3-4 Tbs lemon juice

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil

1 Tbs fresh rosemary

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/3 C Daiya cheese,  Mozzarella flavored

DIRECTIONS:

I threw the cashews in a bowl of water while I blanched the almonds. Soaking the nuts are not necessary, unless you have the time and want a really smooth ricotta. Add them to the food processor.

Add the water, oil, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. This may take a few minutes to get it real smooth, especially if you opt not to soak the nuts overnight, which I did not. It just depends on your preference. I happen to like the nutty texture.

Next, add the basil, rosemary, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Blend until well combined. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cheese.

I had some jumbo shells as well as tofu-ricotta in the freezer, so for the guys, I made them regular stuffed shells. Since I don’t have celiac disease and not concerned with cross-contamination, I combined both in the pan.

Layer on some sauce and Daiya cheese and you’re good to go. Bake covered for 25 minutes at 375.

Enjoy!

Kale & Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing

Ok, this is probably my favorite dressing I’ve made so far. Love it! It has just a hint of lemon and with the ginger, goes fabulous with the almond butter. There’s some prep work involved here, but if can, make this the night before and you won’t be able to wait for lunch!

INGREDIENTS:

Salad:

2 large bunches of kale, stems removed and chopped

1/4 of a red/purple cabbage, diced

1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow), diced

1 C carrot, shredded or finely chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 small red onion, diced small

1/3 C sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1/4 C tahini

1/3 C + 1 Tbs almond butter

1″ piece of ginger, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs miso (light, yellow or red)

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/8 C water

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients in the blender—except the water—just start with a little and add more as you blend it to reach the consistency you want. You may need more than the 1/8 cup. It also depends on how lemony you want it—you can thin it out with more lemon juice if you’d like. Blend until smooth.

You can pour the dressing over the salad, just a little at time to coat the salad, or serve on the side and mix into individual servings. Yields about 1-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Three-Nut Cheese

I have been both fascinated and mystified by nut cheese. It wasn’t until I went vegan two years ago that I even learned you could make cheese from nuts. No, it doesn’t necessarily taste much like milk cheese, but it’s still delicious and of course, much healthier for you than the moo-ey version. This recipe is also from Big Vegan, and is actually for quesadillas topped with a mango salsa. I plan on giving that a try, but I think this cheese tastes phenomenal on crackers and apples. I melted some on a tortilla and the flavor really comes out. This recipe is a process, so allow a couple of days for it to magically turn into cheese.

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 C macadamia nuts

1/3 C raw cashews

1/3 C almonds, slivered or flaked

1 acidophilus capsule

1 Tbs cold-press corn oil (I didn’t have any, so I used olive oil)

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Place the nuts in a bowl and cover with cold water; refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain the nuts and puree them in a food processor with 1/2 C water. Add the contents of the acidophilus capsule and puree.

Transfer to a glass bowl and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.

It will then give off a very cottage-cheesy smell. Stir in the lemon juice, oil, and salt. Refrigerate. Enjoy!

White Bean Truffle Spread

Many of you know I LOVE truffle oil. When I saw this recipe in Party Vegan, I knew I had to make it.

I brought this spread to a get together and wow—it was gone in seconds and the recipe was requested by several people. The flavor is subtle; not overpowering at all. I highly recommend doubling this recipe—you’ll be glad you did!

INGREDIENTS:

1, 15-oz can white beans, drained and rinsed

2 tsp garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs + 1 tsp truffle oil

1 Tbs fresh chives, chopped (I used one green onion—mostly green parts)

DIRECTIONS:

Using a food processor, blend the garlic and salt together. Next, add the beans, chives, and lemon juice; blend well. With the processor running, slowly pour 1 Tbs of the truffle oil in. I got a little excited and poured it all in—which was just fine. (The remaining teaspoon is for drizzling on top when you serve it). Chill for at least two hours, then serve with crackers and veggies.

Orange-Almond Cheese Log

I saw a recipe in the December issue of Vegetarian Times for Date-Cheese Ball, but it’s made with goat cheese. I decided to make my own version using the almond cheeze I’ve made before. It has a similar taste and texture to goat cheese and figured it’d be a perfect substitute. It was. Plus, the orange zest gave it such a unique flavor. I brought this to a holiday party and it was gone pretty quick. Keep in mind that this recipe takes up to two days to prepare. You could make it in a day if you blanch and soak the almonds in the morning and serve it in the evening.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C blanched almonds

1/2 C lemon juice

5 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp salt

1 C cold water

8-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1-2 Tbs orange zest

2 tsp dried thyme

1 C sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS:

To the make the almond cheese, soak the blanched almonds for about 24 hours in water. Next, dry them off and transfer to a food processor. Puree them with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, water and salt. Layer a fine mesh strainer with a thin cotton napkin (works way better than cheesecloth), and place over a bowl. Pour half of the mixture into the lined strainer and wrap up tightly, then squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible. Wrap up and secure with a rubber band. Do the same with the rest of the cheese. Transfer to a plate and chill for 8 hours or over night.

(you’ll end up with twice this much almond cheese)

To make the cheese log, cream the cream cheese the food processor or mixer. I used a food processor; either would work fine—I just find that the cream cheese gets blended much better this way. You can then transfer to a bowl and stir in everything else, or continue using the food processor.  Squeeze out any more liquid from the almond cheese and add them to the cream cheese along with the orange zest and thyme.

Pulse several times to combine. Layout a long piece of plastic wrap and spread the toasted almond slices on it. Scoop out the cheese onto the plastic, then wrap up the sides to create a log. This will take some finessing, so just go with how you feel most comfortable doing it.

Chill for a few hours and serve with crackers. As we were putting the food out for the party, someone had some blackberries and put them around the cheese—brilliant! Fresh fruit is ideal to accompany this cheese log. I know there’s some time involved in making this, but the steps are very easy and worth the effort. Enjoy!

Vegan Ranch Dip

This dip is ideal for chips, veggies, and especially for the Gardein Chipotle-Lime Crispy Fingers. I used Galaxy Foods Vegan Cream Cheese—which was new for me, as I’ve always used Tofutti brand. I thought it was really good.

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz vegan cream cheese

2 Tbs light miso

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs nutritional yeast

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbs dried chives

DIRECTIONS:

Combine everything in a food processor and chill for a couple of hours. Enjoy!

Day 5 of Reboot, Plus More Recipes

It’s the morning of day 5 of my Reboot and I feel great, especially since I’m even down 5 pounds! I definitely don’t feel as weak and tired as the last few days, not as hungry either. Mentally, I feel clearer and less foggy–able to concentrate longer. Last night we went and saw Harry Potter and we usually go for some popcorn . . . I know, terrible (btw, did you know (according to the latest VegNews mag) that a large movie popcorn–without butter–is 1,050 calories?!) Anyway, the boys finished a vat of popcorn before the movie even started, but I wasn’t tempted to eat any. Wow. That never happens! I’m determined to continue this reboot through Sunday and after that, I plan on making a lot of changes, such as no alcohol, little oil, little gluten, and very little processed foods. That’s the goal at least.

Yesterday, I had a class at the NCW and then worked in the studio for the afternoon, so I needed to come prepared. With salty snacks and soda in the fridge just ten feet from me, I had to arm myself with good food. I made a salad, packed some jicama, yellow bell peppers, and mushrooms and dipped them in dressing. The dressing recipes are from the JointheReboot site. Having both dressings changes things up—it’s great so that you don’t get sick of one.

Ginger-Honey (Agave)-Soy Dressing  and  Agave-Mustard Dressing

Ginger-Agave-Soy Dressing

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Ginger
2 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Garlic
2 Tbsp. Raw Honey (I used agave)
4 Tbsp. Nama Shoyu or Tamari
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients in a shaker.

Mustard-Agave Dressing

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
1 Tbsp. Honey (I used agave)
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1/4 Tbsp. Sea or Celtic salt
1/8 Tbsp. coarsely Ground Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a shaker.

For dinner, I made sweet potato “fries” also from the Reboot site. They were delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large sweet potato, peeled, cut into sticks or crescents

1 tsp olive oil

A couple pinches of sea salt

A couple pinches of black pepper

A couple pinches of cumin

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the sweet potatoes with the rest of the ingredients and coat well.

Layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

I also made lettuce wraps:

INGREDIENTS:

1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

5-6 mushrooms, diced

1 avocado, diced

1/2 a large tomato, diced

2 Tbs diced green chilies

3 scallions, sliced

Large lettuce leaves

Ginger-Agave-Soy Dressing

Optional: fresh mint, basil, or cilantro

Combine all the veggies and top the lettuce leaves with a couple of spoonfuls of them. Drizzle with the Ginger dressing. So good!

So this morning . . . I find that fruit smoothies are the easiest way to start the day. I blended up a mango, 1/2 a cup of fresh cherries (I removed the pits first) and about a cup of water. Awesome.

So, I’ll keep going and continue to try different recipes. I’ll keep you posted on my progress—thanks for traveling along with me!

White Bean Crock Cheez

This cheeze comes from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and is similar to the other crock cheez from the same cookbook. The change here is that this recipe uses white beans (I used Great Northern beans) instead of tofu. That makes a difference, especially for those who don’t eat soy (or a lot of it) for various reasons. This is a great alternative. The taste is only slightly different as you can tell it’s made with beans, and the texture is a little bit softer and smoother. I love to have this on pieces of pita bread, on crackers, or spread on toast. You can also use garbanzo beans in place of the white beans.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C cooked white beans or garbanzo beans

3 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbs tahini

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 Tbs light miso

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Chill several hours or overnight. Keeps 5-7 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Herbed Almond Cheeze

It’s amazing what you can make with almonds! This recipe is the same as the Almond Cheeze Log, but this time, I added herbs to it. This cheeze is light and fluffy and the herbs are subtle. Feel free to add more than I did, but I think you’ll like this mild version.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C blanched almonds

1/4 C lemon juice

3 Tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled (I used minced)

1-1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 C cold water

Cheesecloth (a thin cotton napkin works great, too)

DIRECTIONS:

First, to blanch the almonds, add them to a small sauce pan and fill with water, just to cover the almonds. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pinch the skins between your finger and the skins will slide right off. Dry them off well.

Place almonds in a medium bowl and cover with 3″ of water; soak for 24 hours. Drain and rinse twice with running water. Next, puree the almonds with the chives and parsley.

Then, add the dill, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and water in a food processor until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into cheesecloth or cloth napkin.

Bring the corners and sides of the cheesecloth together and twist around the cheese, squeezing out any excess moisture. Secure with a rubber band and refrigerate for several hours. Enjoy!

 

Edamame Hummus

My wonderful friend and neighbor brought this over to me. We are both foodies and even though she’s not vegan, she always whips up amazing vegan creations for me to try. This hummus is full of flavor and is great with veggies, chips, crackers, etc. A refreshing summer dip!

INGREDIENTS:

2 C edamame
2-3 garlic cloves
2-3 lemons, juice and zest reserved
1/3 C tahini
5/8 C olive oil
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/16 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp agave

DIRECTIONS:

Using a food processor, blend edamame, garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and tahini. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil to emulsify mixture. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. Enjoy!

Recipe: Edible Front Range

Creamy Tofu-Port Spread

I love experimenting with making vegan cheeses and spreads and this one is so easy and delicious. It’s ideal as a sandwich or wrap condiment, or a dip for crackers and veggies (particularly, veggie crackers)! I also think it’d be great on a toasted bagel, English muffin, or toast.

INGREDIENTS:

14-oz tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed

2/3 C nutritional yeast flakes

3 Tbs yellow or red miso (I used yellow)

3 Tbs tahini

1 Tbs lemon juice

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C port wine

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Add everything into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about 2-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Chickpea Havarti Spread

This spread can easily be called a dip as well. It almost has a chowder-like taste to it. From the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, this recipe is simple and delicious! This would also make a great condiment for sandwiches or wraps, too.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C water

2 C drained cooked or canned chickpeas (one 15 or 16 oz can)

1/2 C raw cashews

1/3 C nutritional yeast flakes

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground dill seed

1/2 tsp whole celery seed

1/4 C lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often until very thick, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat and cool a few minutes. Pour into an air tight container and chill for several hours to overnight.

Enjoy on crackers, as a vegetable dip, or as a sandwich condiment. Makes 2 cups.

Cashew Spread

I think I might be getting the hang of these nut cheeses. I thought I’d try my hand at making a cashew cheese spread and I love it! It’s perfect as a sandwich condiment, a cracker topper, or lathered on an apple slice. You can play with the flavors, but I like an herb-y kind of spread and I think you’ll like this one, too!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C raw cashews

1/4 C lemon juice

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp yellow miso

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried chives

1/4 C cold water

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for about an hour; drain and rinse. In a food processor, grind the cashews until fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

Transfer to an airtight container and chill for 3-5 hours. Makes about 1-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Almond Cheeze Log

This fluffy, mild cheeze is outstanding. I originally posted the recipe for it back in December. I’ve made it a few times since then, and this time, made a log out of it and brought it to my neighbor’s Super Bowl Party. It was a hit. I use the cheese as a pizza topping, sandwich spread, and pasta topper. Just this morning I made breakfast tarts using it. I recommend making a double batch at a time since it does take a while—but I guarantee you’ll love it!

The guys were (almond) Cheeseheads for the day!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C blanched almonds

1/4 C lemon juice

3 Tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled (I used minced)

1-1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecloth (a thin cotton napkin works great, too)

Toasted walnuts or pecans

Agave nectar

DIRECTIONS:

First, to blanch the almonds, add them to a small sauce pan and fill with water, just to cover the almonds. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pinch the skins between your finger and the skins will slide right off. Dry them off well.

Place almonds in a medium bowl and cover with 3″ of water; soak for 24 hours. Drain and rinse twice with running water. Next, puree the almonds, lemon juice, 3 Tbs olive oil, garlic, salt and 1/2 C of cold water in a food processor until smooth.  Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into cheesecloth.

Bring the corners and sides of the cheesecloth together and twist around the cheese, squeezing out any excess moisture. Secure with a rubber band. I have found that a cloth napkin works really well for this—even better than cheesecloth.

Chill 12 hours or overnight. Discard any excess liquid—I squeezed a little more out. After it has chilled, spoon it onto a layer of plastic wrap and form a roll, or log.

Unwrap and roll it out onto a plate. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts or pecans on top and then drizzle with agave. Serve with crackers or Grannie Smith apple slices. I love this recipe (from Vegetarian Times) and even though you have to soak and chill a lot, it’s worth it.

Plum Crock Cheez

Today’s high is a whopping -4 degrees. School was even canceled. So not only is it a great day to be in the kitchen (later I’ll be baking something delish–stayed tuned), but thanks to the snow day, I’ll be home to watch Oprah and her vegan challenge! Since the crock cheez was such a big success, I decided to make it again, but follow one of the variations listed in the cookbook (The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook).  This one is actually called, “Plum Good Crock Cheez” and uses umeboshi plum paste. It is outstanding! It tastes very similar to the original version, but with a tangier, sweeter punch. I’m not sure which version is my favorite!

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb (8oz) firm tofu, drained

3 Tbs nutritional yeast

2 Tbs tahini

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 Tbs umeboshi plum paste

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

DIRECTIONS:

Cut tofu into large cubes. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water—just enough to cover the tofu. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and drain well. I used a fine mesh strainer to ensure any small pieces didn’t fall through. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator until it’s easy to handle. Crumble it up into a food processor and add the other ingredients. Process until smooth, scraping the sides, if necessary. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the fridge for several hours to overnight. Enjoy!

Amazing Mac ‘N Cheez Sauce

Guess what? You’ll never guess where this recipe came from! That’s right . . . how’d you know? The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. All right, I have one more recipe from the book in the que, then that’s it. Promise. I just can’t help it; these recipes are amazing. As vegans, we all know how difficult it can be to find tasty “cheese” so when you find what works—go with it. This sauce is delicious, creamy and ready in less than 10 minutes. I added some vegan Worcestershire and some light miso, but feel free to tweak the recipe to your liking because it’s a pretty basic sauce. You can serve it over pasta, potatoes, or other veggies.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 C flour (any kind)

1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp paprika, sweet, hot, smoked or regular

2 C nondairy milk (I like almond milk)

1/4 C olive oil

1/2 tsp prepared mustard, any variety (I used Dijon)

Optional: 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire, 1 Tbs light miso

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium saucepan, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and paprika. Gradually whisk in the nondairy milk, olive oil, and mustard. Combine well, then add the optional ingredients, if using. Cook over medium heat stirring with a whisk constantly until the sauce is smooth and thick. Enjoy! Oh, and when it comes to leftovers, like most nondairy cheese sauces, I recommend heating the sauce in a saucepan on the stove. Otherwise, it gets dried out.

Crock Cheez

When I tell people I’m vegan,  a lot of them will say that they could probably give up meat, but cheese?! Are you kidding? They just can’t give up this coagulated, compressed, salty, melty product of milk. I can understand; back in the day, I was definitely a cheese-whore. But thanks to The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, I can go back to my cheese-whoring days of yore. If  you don’t already have this cookbook, run, walk, bike, drive (carpool, if you can), ride the bus . . . to the nearest locally-owned and operated (if possible) bookstore and buy it!  Either that, or visit me often, because rest assured, I will be making (and posting) every recipe from this cookbook throughout the coming months. I am amazed at how delicious (and easy!) these recipes are. I know . .  *eye roll* . . .there may be a few cheeze recipes that won’t fool you skeptics out there, but that’s ok, I’m aware that some fake cheese taste, well, fake. It’s gonna happen, but I’m finding that there are enough out there to make up for those few.

This crock cheeze is absolutely amazing! It tastes incredible. The cookbook also list several different variations of this recipe that I will definitely try–watch out for those posts. :)  I made it shortly before dinner and I wanted to eat just that on crackers, but my family would have gone hungry . . . I don’t know that I would have shared.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb (8oz) firm regular tofu, drained and pressed

3 Tbs nutritional yeast

2 Tbs Tahini or raw cashew butter (I used tahini)

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 Tbs light miso

1 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

I love Denver Tofu (not just because I live in Colorado) but because it really is outstanding.

DIRECTIONS:

Cut tofu into large cubes. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water—just enough to cover the tofu. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and drain well. I used a fine mesh strainer to ensure any small pieces didn’t fall through. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator until it’s easy to handle. Crumble it up into a food processor and add the other ingredients. Process until smooth, scraping the sides, if necessary. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the fridge for several hours to overnight. This is a pretty important step, like with the Party Cheese Ball and the Cheddar and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. The flavors really need a chance to mesh and mingle. That is, if you can wait that long. :)

It’s A Cheeze Extravaganza!

Well, first of all, Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has had a wonderful, fabulous holiday full of family, friends and happiness. Even Moe-Dog is having a happiness hangover:

And apparently, he’s a little embarrassed about it:

My mom surprised me with a copy of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and I have had uncheese on the brain since.  For Christmas Eve, we typically do drinks and appetizers, games and movies, so I made three different cheezes from the recipe book and one from Vegetarian Times. A few of the cheezes will require a couple days’ worth of time—but rest assured—they’re easy and worth it. You will need to blanch almonds, something I had never attempted before, but found it to be quite an easy process.

First up:

Port Wine Uncheese


This is super simple to throw together. The pinto beans give it that dry cheese taste and texture and even if it doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, it still has excellent flavor. I recommend adding some nutritional yeast–maybe a 1/4 C for more of a cheesy flavor if you feel it needs it. Otherwise, it’s fab on its own. The recipe calls for nonalcoholic red wine, but I went with an actual port.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C (1-15 or 16 oz can) pinto beans

1/4 C nonalcoholic red wine or port wine

3 Tbs sesame tahini

1 Tbs light or chickpea miso (I used light miso)

DIRECTIONS:

Throw it all in a food processor then let it chill several hours or overnight. You could then roll it in roasted walnuts or pecans for extra flavor, if desired.

Source: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

 

Incredible Almond Creme Cheez


This one has a fluffy, lemony flavor that pairs really well with herbed crackers. The taste is very mild, so herbed crackers work great with this one. You will need to blanch the almonds for this, which is very easy: place almonds in a saucepan with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain and allow to cool. Pinch the skins between your finger and the skins will slide right off. Dry them off well.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C blanched almonds

1/2 C hot water

1/2 C cold water

2 Tbs  lemon juice

2 Tbs kuzu, arrowroot, or cornstarch (I used cornstarch)

1/2 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Grind the almonds to a fine powder. Transfer to a blender (I did as the recipe said, but I’m sure just using the food processor is fine) and add the hot water; process until thick and creamy. Add the cold water and remaining ingredients; blend until smooth and creamy.  Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  Once it thickens, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly for another minute. Let it cool. Fluff with a fork or whisk and transfer to a storage container.

Chill for a few hours. Before serving, beat again with a fork or whisk.

Source: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

 

Onion, Dill and Horseradish Cheez

If you like cheese with a kick, you’ll love this one. The horseradish is perfect in this and makes for a great sliced cheese. I’m not crazy about dill, so next time I will go easy on it and not add the full two teaspoons, but aside from that, it’s a great addition to any cheese platter.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C water

5 Tbs agar flakes

1/2 C chopped raw cashews

1/4 C nutritional yeast

3 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs tahini

2 Tbs white horseradish (not creamed)

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dried onion flakes

2 tsp dried dillweed

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly oil a 3-cup plastic (I used glass) container and set aside. Combine the water and agar flakes in a saucepan and boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently 5-10 minutes, or until flakes are dissolved. Transfer to a blender and add the cashews, nutritional yeast, tahini, horseradish, mustard, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Process until smooth. By hand, add the onion flakes and dillweed. Pour into the prepared container and cool uncovered in the fridge. Once it is completely cooled, cover and chill several hours to overnight. Before serving, slice thin.

Source: The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook

 

Almond Cheese: Spreadable and Feta-Style

 

(Spreadable)

(Feta-Style)

Now this is probably my favorite. This one comes from Vegetarian Times and despite the time and effort, I’ll be making it over and over again. I doubled the recipe because it can be made into a spreadable version and a feta-style. The only difference is that the feta-style requires baking—a very simple step.

INGREDIENTS: (undoubled)

1 C blanched almonds

1/4 C lemon juice

3 Tbs olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled (I used minced)

1-1/4 tsp salt

Cheesecloth

DIRECTIONS:

Place almonds in a medium bowl and cover with 3″ of water; soak for 24 hours. Drain and rinse twice with running water.

Puree the almonds, lemon juice, 3 Tbs olive oil, garlic, salt and 1/2 C of cold water in a food processor until smooth.  Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into cheesecloth.

Bring the corners and sides of the cheesecloth together and twist around the cheese, squeezing out any excess moisture. Secure with a rubber band.

Chill 12 hours or overnight. Discard any excess liquid—I squeezed a little more out. One half I left in the fridge and for the feta-style: Preheat oven to 200. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unwrap cheese and transfer it from the cheesecloth to the baking sheet. Flatten to a 6″ round with a  3/4″ in thickness on the sheet.

Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool. I then transferred it to a bowl and used a fork to break it up into feta-like chunks. Place in a storage container and refrigerate for several hours.  Add to salads or soups—you’ll love it! Enjoy!

I’m sure Moe will recover from his Christmas overload soon . . .

Cashew Cheeze Spread

I was inspired by Opera Singer in the Kitchen’s recipe for this cashew cheeze spread, but I made some changes–adding some other flavors and putting my own spin on it. It came out delicious! An easy appetizer or even sandwich spread that is sure to please!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C raw, unsalted cashews

1 garlic clove, minced

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 tsp white miso paste

2 tsp nutritional yeast

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/3 C white onion, chopped

1/2 tsp Garlic and Wine seasoning

2 tsp pimento, diced

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, chop up cashews–but not too fine. Add garlic, lemon juice, miso, nutritional yeast, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, onion, and seasoning. Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and thoroughly stir in the pimentos. Line a small bowl (I used a 2.5 cup Tupperware bowl) with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Scoop cheeze mixture into bowl and mold it to the inside the bowl.

Wrap extra plastic wrap around the cheeze and refrigerate for several hours. The longer the better–for the flavors to mingle. Serve with cracker and veggies, or use as a sandwich condiment. Enjoy!

Miso Tahini Dressing

This dressing has the perfect combination of saltiness, creaminess and nutty flavor that would be great on salads, wraps, sandwiches, baked tofu, steamed veggies or as a veggie dip. It’s also a breeze to make.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C white, sweet miso

1/4 C tahini

1/3 C or more warm water

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl whisk together the miso and tahini to form a creamy paste. Slowly pour in warm water, gently whisking a little at a time until a creamy dressing forms. If thinner dressing is desired, dribble in a little more water. The dressing will thicken if allowed to sit a while. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Garlicky Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts and Olive Oil

This is probably my new favorite hummus. I love how smooth it is and sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and drizzled with olive oil is certainly the way to go. You can make it spicier by adding a teaspoon of cumin or some cayenne.

INGREDIENTS:

4 garlic cloves, minced and then mashed (I added one more)

2 15-oz cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

2/3 cup of tahini (roasted, not raw)

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil, plus some to drizzle

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Pine nuts, toasted

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, combine the mashed garlic, garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Add salt, starting at a half a teaspoon, to taste. Spoon into serving dish and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and drizzle on some olive oil. Serve with crackers, raw dip vegetables such as carrots or celery, or with pita bread. Makes about 3 cups. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Simply Recipes

Summertime Vegetable Marinade

There is nothing like some grilled veggies during the summer. It’s the Husband’s birthday so he wanted this recipe–which was served with Israeli couscous. You can serve the veggies as they are, or in a pita or tortilla. Skewer them or use a grill basket, like we did.

INGREDIENTS:

Marinade:

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 C vegetable oil

1/4 C soy sauce

1/4 C vegan Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C Dijon mustard

1/4 C fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

Veggies:

I used:

3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange)

1 large yellow onion, cut into large pieces

3 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

15 mushrooms, slice in half

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all marinade ingredients in a gallon-sized zip lock bag. Add veggies, but I recommend marinating the mushrooms in another bag because you’ll probably want to throw those on the grill last since they’ll cook fast. Refrigerate and turn bag halfway through marinating time.

Grill on medium heat (350 degrees)  for 20-30 minutes, or until desired tenderness, adding the mushrooms  about the last 8-10 minutes of cooking.

After dinner, we enjoyed a perfect night of kayaking–the lake was like glass–the ideal conditions.

Recipe source: Creme de Colorado cookbook

Bowties with Homemade Lemony-Basil Pesto

I love pesto–just not how oily the jarred variety can be. I wanted to create my own version with my favorite ingredients and with less oil. This pesto has a fresh, earthy taste that is nothing like the jarred stuff! If you want a little more oil, I suggest swirling the pasta in some olive oil before mixing in the pesto. This recipe makes about 1-1/2 cups and a little goes a long way, so a great way to store it, is freezing it in ice cube trays and using only one cube at a time. This would also be great for cold pasta salads.

INGREDIENTS:

2-1/2 C fresh basil leaves

1/2 C parsley

1 C pine nuts

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/8-1/4 C lemon juice (depending on how lemony you want it)

1/3 C olive oil

3 Tbs vegan Parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil and puree for about a minute. Add the pine nuts and process for another 30-45 seconds, then add the Parmesan cheese and process again to blend well. I sauteed some mushrooms and mixed in about a tablespoon of pesto with single servings of the pasta/mushroom mixture. Delicious!

Smoky Tempeh Marinade

Nope…that’s not cubed steak.

This is a great marinade for tempeh and veggies. I chopped up some tempeh, mushrooms and onions, combined them in a large zip lock with the marinade for about 24 hours (you can easily just do an hour) and sauteed them up. The recipe is super versatile–crumble up the tempeh into small pieces and toss with a salad–both with greens or a taco salad–mix into a bean dip, or make tempeh burgers. If you don’t want too much of the smokiness, marinade for just 30 minutes–that would still give it a nice, subtle flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup Liquid Smoke
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon ginger
Splash of water
1 pkg tempeh, cubed

Remove tempeh and other veggies with a slotted spoon and discard the marinade when ready to saute.
Enjoy!

Recipe source: Factory Farming Campaign

Cheezy Sauce

Yep…here is yet another “cheese” sauce–this one quite impressive. The ingredient list is relatively small and the flavor is not soy sauce-y like most (’cause there isn’t any in this recipe)! It’s quite simple to make and can be used on nachos, pastas, baked potatoes and as a dip for veggies. I think this sauce tastes closest to real cheese and I’ll certainly try it on other food. Like most “cheese” sauces, I recommend not microwaving any leftovers, but rather reheating it on the stove. Also, it does help to have the ingredients measured out and ready to go before starting…and of course, I went to my go-to ingredient for added creaminess…Tofutti sour cream!

INGREDIENTS:

2 C vegetable broth

1/4 C all-purpose flour

1 Tbs olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of dried thyme (crumbled in your fingers)

1/4 tsp salt

Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper (I did 4 pinches)

1/8 tsp turmeric

3/4 C nutritional yeast

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp prepared yellow mustard

Optional: 1/4 C Tofutti sour cream

Optional: Vegan Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the broth and flour in a measuring cup and whisk until dissolved. Preheat a small sauce pan over medium-low heat. Place the oil and garlic in the pan and gently cook for about 2 mins, stirring often and being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for about 15 seconds. Add the broth, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, and raise the heat to medium. Use a whisk to stir constantly. The mixture should start bubbling and thickening in about 3-5 mins; if it doesn’t, turn the heat a bit higher.

Once the mixture is bubbling and thickening, stir and cook for about 2 more mins. Add the lemon juice and mustard. The mixture should resemble a thick, melty cheese. Taste for salt (you may need more depending on how salty the vegetable broth is), turn off the heat, cover the pan to keep it warm until ready to use. (If using the sour cream, add it now). The top might thicken a bit while it sits, but you can stir it and it will be fine. Serve warm and enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Peanut Butter Hummus

I think this is a great hummus variety, especially for kids who aren’t crazy about regular hummus. Spread this on a tortilla with sprouts and veggies and it’ll make a healthy lunch. It’s also great on apples or celery.

INGREDIENTS:

1 15-oz can garbanzo beans

1/3 C warm water

4 Tbs peanut butter

2 Tbs olive oil

3 Tbs lemon or lime juice (I used lemon)

1 clove garlic

I added 1/2 tsp of cumin

DIRECTIONS:

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Recipe source: About.com

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!

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!