Simple and Delicious: Cooked Edamame

Cooked Edamame -- Epicurean Vegan

Sometimes it’s the little things. We typically order these as an appetizer when we eat out at Asian restaurants and figured it was high-time we started eating them at home, too. It’s so easy and they make a great side dish or starter. You can also change up the seasoning and you have a whole new dish. Not only do they taste amazing, they’re ready in 10-15 minutes. Edamame is full of fiber, protein, vitamins C and A, as well as iron, so dig in!

INGREDIENTS:
12-oz bag frozen edamame in the shell
1 tsp salt
Seasoning of choice: salt; pepper; tamari/soy sauce; orange zest + ginger; lemon + garlic; 5-spice; cayenne . . . endless possibilities!

Edamame -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
Bring a medium saucepan of water (plus the teaspoon of salt) to a boil. Add the edamame and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain and toss with a generous amount of seasonings.

Enjoy!

 

Kale & Wild Rice Casserole

Kale & Wild Rice CasseroleI saw this recipe and it looked delicious, but I made several tweaks, including making it vegan. This dish has many of my favorite ingredients: kale, wild rice, and mushrooms. It’s pretty easy to make, but it does have a few steps. I recommend making the rice ahead of time, otherwise, keep in mind that it takes about 45 minutes for the rice to cook. Of course, I think it’s absolutely worth it. This dish is also easily gluten-free if you sub in a wheat-free flour (you’ll only need 5 tablespoons). A fantastic main meal or side dish that will please the troops.

INGREDIENTS:
4 C cooked wild rice (I used 2-1/2 C vegetable broth + 2 C wild rice mix from Lundberg)
3 bunches of kale, torn into large pieces
16-oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs dried thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
5 Tbs flour
1 C vegetable broth
1/2 can coconut milk (I used lite)
1/4 C nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 C Daiya mozzarella shreds
1 Tbs olive oil
1 large white onion, cut into thin slices
1/2 C panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS:
Start with the rice. Cook it according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine the kale with 1-1/2 cups of water. Over medium heat, steam the kale for about 5-7 minutes.
Kale & Wild Rice Casserole -- Epicurean VeganRemove the kale to a bowl and set aside. Using the same skillet, heat the margarine and add the garlic. Saute over medium-low heat and then add the mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Kale & Wild Rice Casserole -- Epicurean VeganAdd the kale to the mushrooms and sprinkle with the flour. Over medium heat, add the broth a 1/4 of a cup at a time. Let the sauce thicken a little before adding more broth. Next, slowly add the coconut milk and stir often. Fold in the nutritional yeast.
Kale & Wild Rice Casserole -- Epicurean VeganAt this point, preheat the oven to 375 and grease a 9×13″ pan. Once the rice is cooked, add it to the kale and mushroom mixture, then transfer to the baking dish. Either in a new skillet, or the same one (wiped clean), heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the Daiya cheese over the mixture, then top with the cooked onion slices. I then topped with panko, but I also recommend making breadcrumbs yourselves by chopping up two slices of bread in the food processor with 1 tbs of margarine, until you have a fine crumble. They’re so delicious!

Kale & Wild Rice Casserole -- Epicurean VeganBake uncovered for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Kale & Wild Rice Casserole
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 4 C cooked wild rice (I used 2-1/2 C vegetable broth + 2 C wild rice mix from Lundberg)
  • 3 bunches of kale, torn into large pieces
  • 16-oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 5 Tbs flour
  • 1 C vegetable broth
  • ½ can coconut milk (I used lite)
  • ¼ C nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ C Daiya mozzarella shreds
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, cut into thin slices
  • ½ C panko bread crumbs
Directions
  1. Start with the rice. Cook it according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine the kale with 1-1/2 cups of water. Over medium heat, steam the kale for about 5-7 minutes. Remove the kale to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Using the same skillet, heat the margarine and add the garlic. Saute over medium-low heat and then add the mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add the kale to the mushrooms and sprinkle with the flour.
  5. Over medium heat, add the broth a ¼ of a cup at a time. Let the sauce thicken a little before adding more broth.
  6. Next, slowly add the coconut milk and stir often. Fold in the nutritional yeast.
  7. At this point, preheat the oven to 375 and grease a 9x13" pan.
  8. Once the rice is cooked, add it to the kale and mushroom mixture, then transfer to the baking dish.
  9. Either in a new skillet, or the same one (wiped clean), heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle the Daiya cheese over the mixture, then top with the cooked onion slices.
  11. I then topped with panko, but I also recommend making breadcrumbs yourselves by chopping up two slices of bread in the food processor with 1 tbs of margarine, until you have a fine crumble.
  12. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta

Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta -- Epicurean VeganI wish I could say I eat healthy all year round, but there are definitely times (especially during the holidays) when I don’t eat as many fruits and veggies like I should. So what better time than the new year to recommit to fresh, non-packaged meals? This Greek salad is the epitome of fresh. The great thing is, you can serve it over a bed of greens, wrap some up in a tortilla, or fill up a pita with it. Aside from some chopping, there’s not much to prepare, so it comes together rather nicely. We are beginning a kitchen remodel, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have a full kitchen again, but my goal is to NOT live off take-out and Boca burgers during the renovations. I’ll do my best to not only eat healthy, delicious meals during the chaos, but share them with you as well. I also have a cookbook review coming soon, so stay tuned!

INGREDIENTS:
2 medium cucumbers, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
Dressing
1/4 C red wine vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
Tofu Feta
1 14-oz tub of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and crumbled
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp red miso
1/8 C olive oil
1/8 C water
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Start with the feta. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the feta ingredients, except the tofu. Fold in the tofu and set aside; although, stir it a few times as it sits.
Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta -- Epicurean VeganCombine the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and then drizzle over the veggies. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dressing thoroughly.
Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta -- Epicurean VeganOnce the feta has stewed a bit, drain out any excess marinade and transfer to a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta -- Epicurean VeganServe with some crumbled tofu feta on top and enjoy!

Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta -- Epicurean VeganThe next day, I enjoyed the chopped salad over mixed greens with hummus. So delicious!!

Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Chopped Greek Salad with Tofu Feta
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
  • .
  • Dressing
  • .
  • ¼ C red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • .
  • Tofu Feta
  • .
  • 1 14-oz tub of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and crumbled
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp red miso
  • ⅛ C olive oil
  • ⅛ C water
  • ⅓ C red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Directions
  1. Start with the feta. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the feta ingredients, except the tofu. Fold in the tofu and set aside; although, stir it a few times as it sits.
  2. Combine the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and then drizzle over the veggies. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dressing thoroughly.
  3. Once the feta has stewed a bit, drain out any excess marinade and transfer to a bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Serve with some crumbled tofu feta on top and enjoy!

 

 

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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Total time
 
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!

 

 

BBQ Cauliflower Salad

BBQ Cauliflower Salad -- Epicurean VeganI never used to like cauliflower, mostly because I never really knew a tasty way to prepare it. Then, I discovered it makes great “chicken wings.” So why not “chicken wing” salad? This is salad is no joke. It’s also easier than you might think to make. The cauliflower takes very little time to prepare and the rest is chop-chop.

BBQ Cauliflower Salad -- Epicurean VeganI used OrganicVille BBQ sauce and Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch Dressing
CondimentsPre-roasted cauliflower . . .

BBQ Cauliflower Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

BBQ Cauliflower Salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cauliflower florets
  • 6-7 oz BBQ sauce (I used half of a 13.5 oz bottle)
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 6 C lettuce, chopped
  • 1 C red onion, diced
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 C green onion, sliced
  • Vegan ranch dressing
  • Optional ingredients: cilantro, vegan cheese, corn
Directions
  1. To prepare the cauliflower, preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place the cauliflower florets on the baking sheet. I tried to keep the cauliflower pieces around the same size so that they cook evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  3. Pour the BBQ sauce over the cauliflower and stir well to coat. Bake another 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the black beans with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin and lime juice.
  5. To assemble, start with a bed of lettuce, then add the beans. Top with the rest of the veggies and drizzle on some vegan ranch dressing. Enjoy!




 

A Spectacular Superfood Salad

A Spectacular Superfood Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

So what’s a superfood, you might ask? Well, according to the online dictionary, it’s “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.” That sounds about right. Chances are, your fridge and pantry are stocked with these very ingredients and a salad is a great way to make the most of them—all in one bite. You won’t find meat and dairy labeled as superfoods. Ever. (Okay, some people consider salmon a superfood, but it’s really the omegas they’re after, which are readily found in plant foods). I made a very light dressing to coat the salad, also packed with immune-boosting deliciousness, so dig in and feel super energized, super healthy, and super happy with this spectacular superfood salad!

The super benefits:

Kale: high in fiber, iron, Vitamin K, C, and A; an anti-inflammatory food, supports cardiovascular health and is full of antioxidants.
Spinach: high in Vitamin A, K, D and E; good source of omega-3 fatty acids, loaded with antioxidants (fights cancer & inflammation), rich in calcium and magnesium, as well as carotenoids for eye health.
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds): high in magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also high in tryptophan—you know, the “sleep hormone” found in turkey? Sprinkle some pepitas on your next Thanksgiving dish and enjoy the same post-meal nap without the dead bird.
Walnuts: cancer-fighting properties, heart health benefits, extremely high in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin E, folate, melatonin and omega-3 fatty acids.
Red onion: high in quercetin, a bioflavonoid with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Blueberries: said to help with memory decline, reduce heart attack risk, and are full of antioxidants. Also high in Vitamin K, manganese and fiber.
Chia seeds: high in protein, fiber, phosphorus, manganese, calcium and potassium. They also contain healthy antioxidants and are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas): high in fiber, protein, manganese, and iron. They can also stabilize blood sugar and help lower one’s cholesterol.

A Spectacular Superfood Salad
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 heads of kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped small
  • 3 C spinach, chopped small
  • 2 C fresh or dried blueberries
  • 1 C red onion, diced small
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ C pepitas
  • 1 C walnuts, chopped
  • .
  • Dressing
  • .
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs yellow miso
  • 1 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • ½ tsp chia seeds
  • ¼ C water
Directions
  1. Toss all of the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Let the dressing sit about 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to thicken the dressing just a bit.
  3. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to coat thoroughly. Enjoy!

 

Dreamy, Creamy Pasta Salad

Dreamy, Creamy Pasta Salad -- Epicurean VeganThis is the perfect picnic pasta salad . . . okay, perfect for any time. Summer is around the corner and chances are, you’ve got some get togethers on the horizon (the Fourth of July will be here before you know it), so this is a flavor-packed, crowd-pleasing salad sure to be gone in minutes.

INGREDIENTS:
16-oz of pasta
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 C green onion, sliced
2 carrots, shredded
Sauce:
2 cloves of garlic
12.3-oz pkg. Mori-Nu Silken tofu, firm or extra firm
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbs yellow miso
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dill
2 Tbs vegan sour cream

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Meanwhile, chop up the garlic cloves in the food processor, then add the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth, 1-2 minutes.

Dreamy, Creamy Pasta Salad -- Epicurean VeganAdd the veggies to a large bowl . . .
Dreamy, Creamy Pasta Salad -- Epicurean Vegan. . . add the pasta and then fold in the sauce. Combine thoroughly; serve immediately, or chill in the fridge. Enjoy!
Dreamy, Creamy Pasta Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Creamy Kale & Mushroom Pasta

Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta -- Epicurean VeganKale and mushrooms. Two of my favorite veggies. Together with pasta: a new favorite meal! It’s incredibly easy to make and will be ready in no time.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C onion, minced
3 Tbs flour, divided
1 C vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
3/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
2 portobello mushroom caps, sliced, then cut in half
2 C kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 C green onions, sliced
Optional: 1/3 C Dairy-free sour cream
12-14 ounces pasta of your choice (I used rotini)

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over  medium heat; cook for 3 minutes. Add the onions, and cook another 6-8 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add two tablespoons of the flour and coat the onions well; cook 1 minute. Little by little, add the broth and whisk until the mixture is thickened. While I prepare the sauce, I had the kale and mushrooms in my steamer pot. They only need about 5-7 minutes to steam, so keep an eye on the pot; I find that kale can get bitter-tasting if it gets over-steamed. Once it turns bright green, it’s perfect—remove from heat.

Stir the nutritional yeast into the sauce, along with the salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. In a small cup, whisk together the almond milk with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Again, little by little, whisk it into the sauce until it has thickened. Stir in the lemon juice. Combine the cooked pasta with the green onions and the steamed kale and mushrooms.
Creamy Kale and Mushroom Pasta -- Epicurean VeganPour the sauce over the pasta mixture and combine well. If using, add the sour cream and mix thoroughly. Season with more salt and pepper if you’d like, serve and enjoy!

Empowered Noodle Bowl + A Giveaway of The Oh She Glows Cookbook!

The Oh She Glows Cookbook -- Epicurean VeganI was thrilled to have an opportunity to post a recipe from Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbook AND be able to give a copy away to one lucky reader! I’ve been glued to this cookbook since I received it because not only is it full of beautiful photographs (about every recipe has a pic), but the recipes look downright delicious. Like Liddon, I had some unhealthy eating (or should I say, not eating) habits before I went vegan. I can truly say that a vegan diet saved my life. This is a great cookbook to have in your collection because it is full of tasty, healthy recipes that use only whole, minimally-processed ingredients. If you’ve been a fan of the Oh She Glows website, you’re going to love this cookbook with 75 brand-spankin’ new recipes, plus 25 updated reader favorites. So if you want to win this beautiful cookbook, leave a comment; it’s that easy! You have until midnight (PST) on Sunday, April 6. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, April 7th. 

Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean Vegan

You’ll love Liddon’s Empowered Noodle Bowl, two ways: Thai Peanut & Orange-Maple Miso on page 153. I decided to make both dressings and honestly, I can’t tell you which one is my favorite; they’re both delicious. The Thai Peanut is thicker with some garlic kick, whereas the Orange-Maple Miso is a tad thinner and milder. They’re both easy enough to make, so why not do both? This is a fantastic lunch or light dinner, that comes together rather quickly. I like how the veggies take precedence over the noodles—it’s not a heavy pasta dish, but rather, a bowl of fresh veggies with some noodles thrown in and coated with a tasty dressing. A winner for sure.

Serves 4
INGREDIENTS
Thai Peanut Sauce
1 large garlic clove
2 Tbs toasted sesame oil
3 Tbs natural smooth peanut butter
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 Tbs fresh lime juice
2 Tbs + 1 tsp low-sodium tamari
1-2 tsp granulated sugar
Orange-Maple Miso Dressing
3 Tbs light miso
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs tahini
1/4 C fresh orange juice
1 Tbs water
1 tsp maple syrup
Salad
4 oz gluten-free soba noodles
Extra virgin olive oil, for the noodles
16 oz bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 English cucumber, diced
1 carrot, julienned
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
Sesame seeds, for serving

DIRECTIONS
To make the Thai Peanut sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Do the same for the Orange-Maple Miso Dressing.

Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean VeganCook the noodles according to instructions on the package (5-9 minutes). Drain, rinse under cold water and transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with a little of the olive oil, then toss with the veggies and dressing of your choice. Top individual servings with sesame seeds and enjoy! If you like the looks of this recipe, you’re going to want this cookbook, so leave a comment and you just may get it! Good luck!

Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean VeganWith the Thai Peanut Sauce
Empowered Noodle Bowl -- Epicurean VeganWith the Orange-Maple Miso Dressing

 Reprinted by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © GLO BAKERY CORPORATION, 2014.