Creamy Chick’n & Mushroom Soup

Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganWow, two posts in two days! I’m on a roll! We have had three days of rain, which is great—we need it (my lilac bush loves it):
20140508_164036but it makes me want to hunker down, get cozy and cook something comforting. Soup was in order. I had these chicken-free strips from Beyond Meat, so I decided to go for a hearty, satisfying soup.
Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganI’ve used this product for enchiladas and thought they’d be great for this soup. I think the strips lose a bit of firmness when boiled, but that didn’t bother me; the flavor was still great. When it comes to fake chicken, I think Beyond Meat is the best tasting and uses the most natural ingredients. They’re not only vegan, but non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, hormone-free, cholesterol-free, and has 20 grams of protein for every 6 strips. Good stuff, especially great for feeding those omnivores in the family.

INGREDIENTS:
1 Tbs olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped fine
12-oz pkg Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips, cubed
4 C (about 18) mushrooms, quartered
5 C vegetable broth
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 C vegan sour cream
3 Tbs flour
1/2 C nutritional yeast
1/4 C unsweetened, plain almond milk
3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence

DIRECTIONS:
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the garlic. Saute 2 minutes, then add the onion and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.

Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganAdd the broth and let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Toss in the chick’n and mushrooms and let cook for 10 minutes.
Creamy Chick'n and Mushroom Soup -- Epicurean VeganIn a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, flour, nutritional yeast and almond milk; stir into the soup. Season with Herbs de Provence. Let simmer a few minutes until it thickens. Serve and enjoy!

 

Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean VeganFor mushroom lovers like us, this soup certainly made us very happy. Some friends had brought it to a get together and we all demanded the recipe. It is from The Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  This soup requires just a tad of prep work, but then it all goes into the slow cooker. Not only is this soup savory and full of flavor, but the mushrooms are packed full of immune boosters—perfect for fighting off the winter chills and colds.

INGREDIENTS:
1 (1/2 oz) pkg dried porcini mushrooms (I could only find the 3/4 oz package, which I used all of)
1 C hot water (I added a bit more since I used more mushrooms)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 leeks, (mostly white parts and a little of the green) sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns (I used ground—didn’t have the peppercorns)
1 bay leaf
8-oz shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and thinly sliced (I recommend adding more–they cook down quite a bit)
8-oz cremini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered (Again, I’d add more)!
6 C vegetable broth
1 C water
1/4 C miso
Optional: fresh snipped chives

DIRECTIONS:
In a small bowl, combine the dried porcini mushrooms and the hot water. Let sit for 30 minutes, using a fine mesh strainer, drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Finely chop up the porcinis and set aside. In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrot and celery for about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and porchinis. Cook for a minute, then add the reserved liquid.

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean VeganTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

Wild Mushroom and Miso Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Cover and cook on high for 3 hours OR on low for 6 hours. Stir in the miso and cook on high for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf and ladle into separate bowls; garnish with chives. Enjoy!

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean VeganColorado weather has been staying true to form, showing us just how schizophrenic it can be in the springtime. We’ve had 70 degree days and suddenly, we’re hitting the 20s and getting snow. Yesterday was one of those bone-chilling days which always makes me want to put on a pot of soup. I love experimenting with soups because it’s so easy. I have to say, this is probably one of my favorites—rich, creamy, and flavorful. I was already told that I need to make it again soon, and the Eighth Grader actually took leftovers to school today for lunch. He never takes leftovers! After a warm up this weekend, we are expected to get some more rain/snow next week, so I just may have to make this again. Darn. ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2-3 celery stalks, sliced thin
1 medium onion, diced
7 C vegetable broth
1 C wild rice mix (I used Whole Foods 365 Everyday brand)
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1 carrot, grated
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
4 Tbs Earth Balance
6 Tbs flour (any variety)
2 C almond milk

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil then add the garlic; cook 1 minute. Add the celery and onions and cook 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the broth, rice and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook another 15 minutes, or until they soften, but are still a little firm. Stir in the carrots and nutritional yeast.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Meanwhile, to make the roux, melt the Earth Balance in a medium pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, one tablespoon at a time. You’ll have a thick, batter-like consistency. Slowly add the almond milk—a little at time—and continue to stir until it is all incorporated and thickens. This shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

Remove and discard the bay leaves, then slowly pour the roux into the soup and combine well. Reduce the heat to low and let it cook 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Creamy Wild Rice Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza

Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza -- Epicurean Vegan

This is going to blow your mind. This turned out to be the most amazing pizza—ever. I was inspired by Kelly over at Vegan Thyme who made this using Gardein, but because Gardein never seems to agree with me, I thought I’d sub in cauliflower. A friend had made buffalo “wings” from cauliflower and used this recipe from PETA. If anything, try the wings—they are incredible! (just double it if you’re feeding a crowd). March Madness, anyone? Can I tell you how excited we are that our CSU Rams have advanced?! GO RAMS!!

rams

So, making cauliflower wings is definitely going to add to your prep time, so I recommend enlisting some help. That’s why you had kids, right? The Eighth Grader was a great sous chef. I also made several changes to the original, just based on what I had on hand, so feel free to tweak the recipe. This recipe is going to require a certain timing of tasks, but thankfully, they’re all easy to do. So, get ready for some amazing pizza that you won’t mind making again and again!

INGREDIENTS:

Wings:

1 C almond milk
1 C flour (any variety)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 head cauliflower, chopped into pieces
1 C buffalo wing sauce (I used Wing Time)
1 Tbs olive oil or Earth Balance, melted

Dough: (I made a quick, no-rise pizza dough. So if you like a thin crust, crispy dough, this is a good one to use. Otherwise, if you have more time, I recommend a yeast-based one).

2-1/2 C flour
2-3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs olive oil
3/4 C to 1 C warm water

Pizza:

3 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced thin (my sous chef used a potato chip slicer—major time saver)!
3/4 C red onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
5 mushrooms, diced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
Daiya mozzarella, optional
Vegan ranch dressing (Try Follow Your Heart Vegan Ranch or make your own)

Sauce:

2 Tbs flour
1/3 C warm water
3 Tbs Earth Balance
1 C vegetable broth, warmed up
Dash or two of red wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

So, first off, prep the potatoes. Once they’re sliced, place in a bowl of water with 1 tsp of salt and let sit for 30-45 minutes. This is a good time to make the dough and chop up the mushrooms, celery, and cauliflower. Drain the potatoes and season them with the rosemary, basil, and pepper; stir in the red onion.

Potato Pizza -- Epicurean Vegan

To make the dough, mix the dry ingredients together in a stand mixer. Slowly add the olive oil and warm water until you have a dough that is just slightly sticky. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes.

Vegan Pizza Dough -- Epicurean Vegan

This is where timing comes in. Preheat oven to 400. Roll out the dough to fit an 11″x17″ pan. I actually let it hang over the edges a little to account for shrinkage:

DSC07469

Stick with a fork in several places and bake 5 minutes. This is also where you’ll need a hand. While your amazing helper lines the crust with the potatoes and onions . . .

Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza -- Epicurean Vegan

. . . you’ll want to be making the “wings.” Pretty easy: Preheat oven to 450. Whisk together the milk, flour and garlic powder in a medium bowl. You’ll have a pancake batter-like consistency. Add the cauliflower and coat them completely; transfer to a baking dish.

Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza -- Epicurean Vegan

Bake for 15-18 minutes . . .

Buffalo Cauliflower -- Epicurean Vegan

While they’re baking, whisk together the wing sauce and olive oil (or Earth Balance). Loosen the cauliflower if it’s stuck to the dish. Pour the wing sauce over the cauliflower and bake another 5-8 minutes.

Buffalo Cauliflower -- Epicurean Vegan

Now, while those are baking, saute up the celery and mushrooms in the olive oil. Also, start the sauce in a small saucepan. Combine the 2 Tbs of flour and 1/3 C warm water; set aside. Melt the 3 Tbs of Earth Balance in a the pan and add 1 Tbs of the flour-water mixture and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the rest over medium heat. Just a little at  time, add the broth. Whisk until thickened; add the red wine vinegar.

DSC07477

So now, your wings are ready to come out of  the oven. Throw the pizza in the oven (still at 400 degrees) and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown on the edges. This is a good reason to use a slicer to make them thin, otherwise, they’ll take too long to cook and your crust will be lovely shade of black. I then chopped up the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces.

Buffalo Cauliflower -- Epicurean Vegan

It even looks like chicken pieces! Try not to eat it all yet. Combine the cauliflower in a bowl with the celery and mushrooms and pour the sauce over them and coat well. When you have just a few minutes left on the potatoes, sprinkle the top with a little Daiya cheese.

Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza -- Epicurean Vegan

Yum!

Cut into squares and top with the cauliflower/veggie mix and ranch dressing. Thoroughly enjoy!

Buffalo Cauliflower Potato Pizza -- Epicurean Vegan

Hearty Vegetable Stew

Hearty Vegetable Stew -- Epicurean VeganThe guys went snowboarding yesterday, so I figured this soup would be great for them to come home to. It may not have healed the bruises and bumps, but it did hit the spot. This is much like beef stew but without the cancer-causing, artery-clogging, animal carcass. Yum!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C white onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1/4 C flour
1 C red wine
7 C vegetable broth
1 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4-5 celery stalks, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
2 C mushrooms, quartered
2 Tbs arrowroot
1 Tbs dried minced onion

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften and brown. Stir in the flour and coat the onions well and cook 2 minutes.

DSC07176

 

Whisk in the wine and let it simmer for about 2 minutes.

DSC07178

Whisk in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper, then drop in the bay leaf. Cover and let simmer over low to medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

DSC07179

Add the potatoes, celery, and carrots and cook 20-25 minutes, or until the veggies soften, but not too much—you don’t want them mushy. Add the minced onions and mushrooms and let them cook down a little—about 5-7 minutes. The soup wasn’t quite as thick as I wanted it, so I mixed together the arrowroot with just over an 1/8 cup of water and then poured it into the soup. As always, it worked like a charm. Enjoy!

Pesto-Potato Soup

Pesto-Potato Soup -- Epicurean VeganI told you I’d find a way to use the pesto—or at least some of it. This soup, from Crash Test Vegetarian has become a mainstay around here. I’ve made small changes during the half a dozen times I’ve made it and I have to say, adding the pesto is probably my favorite variation. It reminds me of the Pesto-Potato Bread that is so delicious. Served with bread or croutons, this is a fabulous fall dinner.

INGREDIENTS:
4-5 C potatoes, peeled and diced
2 C celery, sliced
1 C onion, diced
4 tsp Better than Bouillon vegetable base
4 Tbs Earth Balance
6 Tbs flour
2 C almond milk
2 Tbs basil pesto
Salt and pepper
Vegan cheddar shreds, optional

DIRECTIONS:
In a large soup pot, whisk together the bouillon base with 6 cups of water. Add the celery and onions and bring to a boil. Stir in the potatoes and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes become tender. You should have just enough water to cover the potatoes and veggies, so if it’s too watery, you’ll want to drain some of the liquid. In a medium saucepan, melt the Earth Balance, slowly whisk in the flour; blend well. You’ll end up with a paste. Blend in the pesto. Little by little, add the almond milk and whisk thoroughly. Cook over medium/high heat and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour into the soup and bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes until soup is thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Pesto-Potato Soup -- Epicurean Vegan

 

Wild Rice and Blueberry Salad

Wild Rice and Blueberry Salad -- Epicurean VeganThis recipe comes from Big Vegan cookbook and I thought, what a great combination of ingredients and flavors. The original recipe calls for raspberry vinegar, but after a long search at the grocery store, I found one bottle . . . for $5.99. The fact that I only needed 2 Tbs, and that I rarely come across recipes that call for this fancy vin, I decided to use rice vinegar. Besides, with the maple syrup, I wonder if the raspberry vinegar would make this salad a tad too sweet. Also, may I suggest you buy wild rice in bulk. I went to a regular grocery store (as opposed to Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage) and they don’t have much in bulk. I picked up a small box of wild rice, but failed to notice (until I got home) that it’s only 4-oz. I needed 6 for this recipe. Who makes 4-oz boxes of rice?! Who needs only 4 ounces?! For 2.69 a box, I find it ridiculous that it’s under a cup of rice per box.

Wild Rice and Blueberry Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

This reminded me of the hilarious scene in Father of the Bride where Steve Martin loses it in the grocery store over hotdogs and hotdog buns. I think the people at the rice factory, got together with the people at the grocery store, and said, let’s make a small box of rice so that customers have to buy two boxes to reach a cup of rice, thus, leaving them with a little bit of rice left . . . Ok, it’s an exaggeration. Just outsmart the rice people and the grocery store people by buying wild rice in bulk.

Anyhow, this is an outstanding salad. I love the combination of flavors and is very simple to make. It’s got a unique sweet and tangy flavor and great for summer.

INGREDIENTS:
6-oz wild rice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 C canola oil
2 Tbs raspberry (or rice) vinegar
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 C fresh raspberries
1 C fresh blurberries
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 large green onions, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Stir in the salt and rice. Let it cook anywhere from 25-45 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover and let it sit about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cooled. In a small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, and syrup together. It’ll get slightly thick.

Wild Rice and Blueberry Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

Combine the celery and green onions with the rice.

Wild Rice and Blueberry Salad -- Epicurean Vegan

Fold in the berries, then toss with the dressing. Enjoy!

Kale & Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing

Kale and Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing -- Epicurean VeganOkay, 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, chopped2 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.

Kale and Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Kale and Cabbage Salad with Lemony-Almond Butter Dressing -- Epicurean Vegan

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!

Potato-Celery Soup

Potato-Celery Soup -- Epicurean VeganThis FANTASTIC soup comes from Izzy over at Crash Test Vegetarian. We LOVED this soup–so easy to make and absolutely delicious. The only thing I changed was use almond milk instead of soy and added 1 tablespoon on chopped fresh rosemary. Get the recipe and visit Izzy–she has a great blog with lots of yummy recipes! Thanks, Izzy!

Vegetable-Barley Soup

Vegetable-Barley Soup -- Epicurean VeganYes, I am on a barley kick. Since I started using it (Vegetable-Barley Chili) I’ve been hooked. It has a lovely chewy texture that is ideal for soups and stews. In addition to the rainy weather, I  needed to clean out the fridge of some veggies, so this soup worked out beautifully. Amazing flavor and ideal with some garlic toast or rolls.

INGREDIENTS:
4 C vegetable broth
3-4 C water
1/3 C pearled barley
1 zucchini, sliced then quartered
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 C mushrooms, sliced/quartered
3 medium carrots, sliced
4 large green onions, sliced
1/3 C light miso
1/3 C sherry
3 Tbs dried minced onion
2 Tbs dried chives
1 C fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp black pepper
3/4 C almond milk

DIRECTIONS:
Combine the broth, barley, zucchini, carrots, celery, minced onion, chives, and pepper in a large soup pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook 25-30 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Add 1-2 cups of water along with the mushrooms, green onions, miso, and sherry. Cook another 5-7 minutes. Add more water if you feel it’s too thick. Stir in the parsley. Serve and enjoy!