Sauteed Asparagus & Chickpeas Over Herbed Brown Rice

Sauteed Asparagus and Chickpeas Over Herbed Brown Rice -- Epicurean Vegan

This recipe came to me about two in the morning a few days ago and I haven’t been able to get it off my mind. And it’s a good thing. The flavors of the sage, thyme, and parsley meld so perfectly and I love the combo of the soft chickpeas and crispy asparagus. I don’t usually go for instant brown rice, but I also don’t always like waiting forty-five minutes for brown rice to cook, so the ease of instant rice made this delicious dish come together in breeze.

INGREDIENTS:
1 bunch asparagus, cut diagonally into 3-4 pieces
1 Tbs olive oil
2 C instant brown rice
1-3/4 C vegetable broth
1 Tbs fresh sage (about 10 leaves), minced
1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil add the asparagus. Saute 10-15 minutes, or until softened, but with still a little crunch. Season with salt and pepper.
Sauteed Asparagus & Chickpeas Over Herbed Brown Rice -- Epicurean VeganMeanwhile, start the rice. Bring the broth to a boil, then add the rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. If you’re using regular brown rice, get it going right away and don’t start sauteeing the asparagus until the rice has about 15 minutes of cooking time left. (Cook according to package instructions.)

Add the chickpeas to the skillet, along with the lemon juice, and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Sauteed Asparagus and Chickpeas Over Herbed Brown Rice -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the herbs to the cooked rice and combine well.
Sauteed Asparagus & Chickpeas Over Herbed Brown Rice -- Epicurean Vegan

Serve the asparagus-chickpeas mixture over the herbed brown rice and enjoy!

Sauteed Asparagus & Chickpeas Over Herbed Brown Rice
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut diagonally into 3-4 pieces
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 C instant brown rice
  • 1-3/4 C vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs fresh sage (about 10 leaves), minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme, minced
  • ⅓ C fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
Directions
  1. In a large skillet, over medium-low heat, heat the olive oil add the asparagus. Saute 10-15 minutes, or until softened, but with still a little crunch. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, start the rice. Bring the broth to a boil, then add the rice. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 5 minutes. If you're using regular brown rice, get it going right away and don't start sauteeing the asparagus until the rice has about 15 minutes of cooking time left. (Cook according to package instructions.)
  3. Add the chickpeas to the skillet, along with the lemon juice, and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the herbs to the cooked rice and combine well.
  4. Serve the asparagus-chickpeas mixture over the herbed brown rice and enjoy!

 

Lentil Bowls with Avocado & Tomato

Lentil Bowls with Avocado and Tomato -- Epicurean Vegan

This makes a great side dish or main meal. It’s also ready in about 30 minutes. Lentils are so easy to make and are incredibly healthy. They’re full of fiber (perfect for lowering cholesterol), a fabulous source of folate and magnesium which contribute to heart health, and good for the digestive system. They also contain the third highest level of protein, lots of iron, and are low in calories, and virtually no fat. Dig in!

INGREDIENTS:
3 C vegetable broth
1 C green lentils
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbs lime juice
4 green onion, sliced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 C pepitas
3 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped
Avocado slices

DIRECTIONS:
Combine the broth and lentils in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat, and cover for 20-25 minutes. Halfway through the cooking process, stir and season with cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Taste the lentils and if they’re soft, with a little firmness, they’re about done. Drain any excess liquid off.
Lentils with Avocado and Tomato -- Epicurean VeganGently fold in the green onion, tomato, pepitas, nutritional yeast, and lime juice. Top individual servings with 2-3 slices of avocado and some cilantro. Enjoy!

Lentil Bowls with Avocado & Tomato
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 C vegetable broth
  • 1 C green lentils
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 2 Tbs lime juice
  • 4 green onion, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ C pepitas
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • ½ C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Avocado slices
Directions
  1. Combine the broth and lentils in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat, and cover for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Halfway through the cooking process, stir and season with cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  3. After the 20-25 minutes, taste the lentils and if they're soft, with a little firmness, they're about done. Drain any excess liquid off.
  4. Gently fold in the green onion, tomato, pepitas, nutritional yeast, and lime juice.
  5. Top individual servings with 2-3 slices of avocado and some cilantro. Enjoy!

 

Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy

Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy -- Epicurean Vegan

We’re not messing around here over at EV headquarters. No, this may not be your typical springtime dish, but does that matter? It’s vegan; it’s savory; it’s divine. You won’t be disappointed. I’ll be clear: these won’t taste like mashed potatoes, but who said mashed cauliflower isn’t fan-freakin-tastic? Lumpy, smooth; you decide. And if you’re feeling sassy, you can even add some vegan sour cream. What are you waiting for?

INGREDIENTS:
Gravy
Half a medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves
2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
2 Tbs arrowroot or flour
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 C white wine
2 C vegetable broth
1 Tbs tamari
2 C sliced mushrooms
The rest
Florets from one large head of cauliflower
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1/8-1/4 C unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs Earth Balance
1/3 C chives, chopped
Salt and pepper
A scoop or two of sour cream (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is softened. (You can be making the gravy during this time, but I’ll give you direction to make the mashed cauliflower, then the gravy.) Drain and return to the pan. Add the Earth Balance and almond milk and using a hand blender, puree the cauliflower to a desired consistency. I happen to like lumps in my mashed potatoes, so I went with the same for the cauliflower.
Mashed Cauliflower -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the nutritional yeast and chives (and sour cream, if using).
Mashed Cauliflower -- Epicurean VeganCover and keep warm over low heat; stir occasionally.
Mashed Cauliflower with Chives -- Epicurean VeganNow, onto the gravy. Add the onion and garlic cloves to a food processor, and mince.
Mashed Cauliflower and Mushroom Gravy -- Epicurean VeganTransfer to a medium saucepan along with the Earth Balance. Saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the arrowroot, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Stir in the white wine and cook 1 minute.

Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy -- Epicurean Vegan

Next, add the broth, but only about a 1/4 cup at a time; stir with a whisk until it thickens, then add more broth. Add the mushrooms and let simmer for 5 minutes or so, or until the mushrooms cook down a little.
Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy -- Epicurean VeganBoom, baby! You are ready to scoop and ladle. Enjoy!
Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy -- Epicurean Vegan

Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy
 
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Author:
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • Gravy
  • Half a medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
  • 2 Tbs arrowroot or flour
  • ½ tsp rosemary
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ C white wine
  • 2 C vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbs tamari
  • 2 C sliced mushrooms
  • The rest
  • Florets from one large head of cauliflower
  • ¼ C nutritional yeast
  • ⅛-1/4 C unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbs Earth Balance
  • ⅓ C chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • A scoop or two of sour cream (optional)
Directions
  1. Place the cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Let cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is softened. (You can be making the gravy during this time, but I'll give you direction to make the mashed cauliflower, then the gravy.)
  2. Drain and return to the pan. Add the Earth Balance and almond milk and using a hand blender, puree the cauliflower to a desired consistency. I happen to like lumps in my mashed potatoes, so I went with the same for the cauliflower.Stir in the nutritional yeast and chives.Cover and keep warm over low heat; stir occasionally.
  3. For the gravy, add the onion and garlic cloves to a food processor, and mince.
  4. Transfer to a medium saucepan along with the Earth Balance. Saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the arrowroot, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper. Stir in the white wine and cook 1 minute.
  5. Next, add the broth, but only about a ¼ cup at a time; stir with a whisk until it thickens, then add more broth. Add the mushrooms and let simmer for 5 minutes or so, or until the mushrooms cook down a little.
  6. Boom, baby! You are ready to scoop and ladle. Enjoy!

 

Spinach Salad with Homemade Rosemary Croutons and Creamy Vinaigrette

Spinach Salad with Homemade Rosemary Croutons and Creamy Vinaigrette -- Epicurean Vegan

I’m excited to bring you this light and delicious salad. I know this isn’t a complicated or complex recipe, but it’s so delicious and perfect for a light meal. I love salads, but sometimes they need to be livened up with flavor—it’s easy to fall into a salad rut. I obviously didn’t have anything, but for some color, I’d recommend some dried cranberries or maybe some radishes. Raspberries would also be a great addition. For the croutons, I had half a loaf of multi-grain sourdough with sunflower and sesame seeds from Trader Joe’s, that was probably going to go bad if I didn’t so something with it. The vinaigrette is simple and delicious, and perfect for a springtime salad. Everything comes together beautifully!
Trader Joe's Multi Grain Sour Dough

INGREDIENTS:
Croutons:
6-8 C cubed sourdough
Olive oil
Dried rosemary
Salt
Garlic powder
Dressing:
2 clove of garlic
1/2 a large shallot
1/2 C olive oil (I really used just less than half a cup, but slightly more than 1/4 C)
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp agave
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbs lemon juice
Salad:
8 C baby spinach
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
2 C sliced mushrooms
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
1/3 C pepitas
Dried cranberries, radishes or raspberries (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 400. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil—not a lot—you do not want to coat each bread cube with oil. Add the rosemary, salt, and garlic powder—to taste—and use a rubber spatula to combine everything well. Transfer to a large cookie sheet, preferably one with sides, and bake for 10-15 minutes, checking and stirring around about halfway through. When they start to brown around the edges, they’re done.
Spinach Salad with Homemade Rosemary Croutons and Creamy Vinaigrette -- Epicurean VeganFor the dressing, add the garlic clove and shallot to the food processor or blender and blend until minced. Add the rest of dressing ingredients and blend until smooth; transfer to a jar.
Spinach Salad with Homemade Rosemary Croutons and Creamy Vinaigrette -- Epicurean VeganCombine all of the salad ingredients, except the avocado (I like to keep avocado out of any leftover salad because it doesn’t always stay fresh; I had it on top of individual servings). I’d treat raspberries the same if you decide to add them. Add some croutons and drizzle with a bit of dressing. Enjoy!

Spinach Salad with Homemade Rosemary Croutons and Creamy Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Croutons:
  • 6-8 C cubed sourdough
  • Olive oil
  • Dried rosemary
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Dressing:
  • 2 clove of garlic
  • ½ a large shallot
  • ½ C olive oil (I really used just less than half a cup, but slightly more than ¼ C)
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp agave
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • Salad:
  • 8 C baby spinach
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 2 C sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • ⅓ C pepitas
  • Dried cranberries
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Put the bread cubes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil---not a lot---you do not want to coat each bread cube with oil. Add the rosemary, salt, and garlic powder---to taste---and use a rubber spatula to combine everything well. Transfer to a large cookie sheet, preferably one with sides, and bake for 10-15 minutes, checking and stirring around about halfway through. When they start to brown around the edges, they're done.
  2. For the dressing, add the garlic clove and shallot to the food processor or blender and blend until minced. Add the rest of dressing ingredients and blend until smooth; transfer to a jar.
  3. Combine all of the salad ingredients, except the avocado (I like to keep avocado out of any leftover salad because it doesn't always stay fresh; I had it on top of individual servings). Add some croutons and drizzle with a bit of dressing. Enjoy!

 

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
 
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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}
 
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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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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!