Ultimate Green Protein Smoothie

smoothie

A friend gave me this recipe over the weekend and I’ve made 3 of these so far! I added a tablespoon of chia seeds because of their amazing health benefits, but you can leave them out if you’d like. Please note, you don’t have to use peanut butter AND protein powder, but if you omit the protein powder, I suggest using vanilla almond milk or a vanilla flavoring for taste. Bottoms up!

INGREDIENTS: (1-16 oz smoothie)

1-1/2 C unsweetened almond milk
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/2 a ripe avocado
1 Tbs peanut butter
1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
1 Tbs chia seeds
2-3 ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

Blend 2-3 minutes in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cupcakes

I was in a baking mood today, but I couldn’t decide between these, chocolate chip scones, or lemon madeleine cookies. Obviously, I went with these cupcakes from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking. If you love to bake, vegan or not, this is a fabulous cookbook to own. Not only is it filled with easy and delicious recipes, it also is filled with lots of valuable baking tips, especially if you are new to the world of vegan baking. I found that these cupcakes are really more like muffins, but if Ms. Colleen says they’re cupcakes, then I’ll go with it. Cupcakes, muffins, whatevs—you’ll love them!

INGREDIENTS:

1-3/4 C flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 C granulated sugar (I used about 3/4 C)

1/2 C canola oil

1 Tbs white distilled vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 oz frozen or fresh strawberries, crushed or pureed (I used fresh)

For the frosting, I didn’t go with her Butter Cream Frosting. I used confectioners’ sugar mixed with almond milk.

Strawberries to garnish the tops

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease or line a muffin pan with muffin cups. I only had 9 muffin cups, so I greased the last three. Both methods worked fine.I pureed the strawberries in the food processor.

Mix the flour, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Stir in the strawberries. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.

Stir to combine, but don’t overstir. You’ll be left with a light and fluffy batter:

Evenly fill the muffins cups with the batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.

Let them cool completely before icing them. I just mixed a few cups of confectioners’ sugar with just 1-1/2 to 2 tsp of almond milk to reach a very thick consistency. If you’d like, you can add a dash of extract flavoring to it. Drizzle the tops of the cupcakes with the icing and top with a few strawberry slices. Enjoy! Makes 12.

Vegan Brie

This recipe is from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. I was intrigued. I’ve tried lots of other recipes from this cookbook and many have been outstanding, but there have been a few that just didn’t do it for me. I was nervous about this one. Surprisingly, however, it’s pretty delicious. I wouldn’t say it’s like brie; both with consistency and taste, but it does taste very good. The recipe doesn’t mention this, but I highly recommending briefly warming this cheeze in the oven or microwave. It only takes about 10 seconds in the microwave. It seems to taste better when it’s a bit melty. I also think this would be really tasty with some warm fruit compote over the top, such as warmed raspberries and blueberries. The possibilities are pretty endless!

INGREDIENTS:

1-2 Tbs wheat germ, or 1/3 C toasted sliced almonds

1-1/2 C water

3 Tbs agar flakes, or 1 Tbs agar powder

1/2 C chopped raw cashews

1/2 C silken tofu

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/4 C lemon juice

2 Tbs tahini

1-1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp ground dill seed or ground coriander (I used the coriander)

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly oil a 2-1/2 cup round mold. I used a Pyrex bowl, but you can also use a pie plate or cake pan. Dust the bottom of the bowl with either the wheat germ or toasted almond slices. I used the wheat germ; set aside. Combine the water and agar flakes in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often until dissolved. Transfer to a blender and add the rest of the ingredients; blend until very smooth. Pour it into the prepared mold.

Place it uncovered in the refrigerator until it cools completely. Then cover it with a lid and let it chill for several hours, or overnight. To serve, I used a sharp knife to go around the edge—mostly to just break the suction. Turn it over and it will slide right out of the bowl.

Cut it into wedges and serve with crackers. Like I said before, I recommend serving it warm; I think it taste much better that way. It will keep for 5-7 days. I don’t see why it can’t be wrapped up and frozen, too.

Enjoy!

Hash Brown and Spinach Frittata

I  love making breakfast frittatas. They’re so easy to throw together and are perfect for cleaning out of the fridge of on-the-verge veggies. Since this one uses a Chipotle-flavored Field Roast Sausage, it supplies enough flavoring that I don’t add any other spices or seasonings to this dish, but feel free to add some if you’d like. Some fresh cilantro would be a great addition.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp olive oil

2 medium potatoes, shredded

2 C fresh spinach, torn (you can also use kale if you’d like)

1 C green or red cabbage, chopped

5 mushrooms, sliced

4 green onions, sliced

1 Field Roast Chipotle-flavored sausage, crumbled

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream

1 C Daiya cheese (I used a mixture of cheddar and pepper jack flavors)

1-1/2 C crackers, broken up into pieces

1 tomato, diced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375. Layer the cracker pieces on the bottom of a pie plate; set aside. Sprinkle with about half of the cheese. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shredded potatoes and over medium heat, cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring them around. Add the cabbage and continue to cook until both the potatoes and cabbage begin to brown. Add the Field Roast, spinach, mushrooms, and green onions and cook until the spinach starts to wilt.

Stir in the sour cream to the spinach mixture and combine thoroughly. Pour the mixture on top of the cracker crust and spread it out evenly.

Top with the remaining cheese and the diced tomatoes. Bake for 15 minutes.

Let it cool for about 5 minutes, then slice into it and enjoy!

Vegan & Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cake

Some of you may recall when I made this cake about a year ago, I put in way, way too much of the flour mixture and a friend, who I had served it to, joked that I made him eat a brick. The cake was a disaster and apparently, it took me a year to get over it, but here it is. Wow, what a difference correctly following the recipe makes! ;) This cake is outstanding! You’d never know it was gluten-free AND vegan! The cake was soft, moist, and not too sweet. (The icing will sure make up for that)! This is now going to be the family birthday cake for a while—it’s that good! Plus, I’ve completely redeemed myself and my friend told me he can no longer tease me about serving him a brick!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C gluten-free vanilla rice milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

2-1/2 C Betsy’s Baking Mix (recipe below)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 C palm oil shortening

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1 oz red food coloring

1/4 C + 3 Tbs unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbs distilled white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

1 recipe butter cream frosting (below)

Betsy’s Making Mix: this makes 7-1/2 cups–remember, use just 2-1/2 cups of it.

3-3/4 C garbanzo bean  flour

2-1/4 C potato starch

1-1/2 C tapioca starch/flour

Buttercream Frosting:

1 C Earth Balance margarine

4 to 4-1/2 C confectioner’s sugar

Vanilla rice milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Make your baking mix first: Combine all the flours in a large zip-lock bag. Using a whisk, blend them well. Then seal tightly and shake it vigorously for 1 minute. This mix will stay good for up to 3 months.

Grease 2 9″ cake pans, line the bottoms with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the rice milk and cider vinegar to create “buttermilk” and set aside. In a small bowl, use a spoon to combine the cocoa powder and food coloring. (Keep in mind that 1 ounce is a full-sized bottle of food coloring). It will form a paste:

In a large bowl, combine 2-1/2 cups of the baking mix, salt, and xanthan gum. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and palm oil shortening. Add the applesauce and vanilla and cream everything together until mixture is light and creamy. Add the cocoa paste and mix well.

Alternately, add the dry ingredients and the “buttermilk” mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the white vinegar into a small cup and sprinkle the baking soda over it. Immediately pour the fizzing combo into the cake batter and thoroughly mix it in. Evenly divide the batter into the two cake pans.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a rack before turning them out of the pans.

Once cooled, turn over the pans and remove the parchment paper. Take a large plate and place it upside down on the bottom of one of the cakes (that will be upside down on the rack). Flip over so the cake is face up on the plate.

To make the frosting cream the Earth Balance until smooth. Little by little, add the confectioner’s sugar. Add the vanilla rice milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you reach a thick consistency.

Frost the top and sides of the cake that is on the plate. Lay it pretty thick, especially on the top. Carefully place the 2nd cake on top and frost that one.

Slice and enjoy! Cover the leftovers and store in the refrigerator.

Recipe source (cake only): Living Without

Tater Tot Casserole

Please Pass the Tofu posted a tater tot casserole recipe and considering my guys love anything potato (tater tots being the Holy Grail) I knew this would be a hit with them. I made some modifications to the original recipe based on what I already had on hand. As expected, the guys loved it and are even fighting over the leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 C fresh spinach, torn or chopped

1 C edamame

1 bag Boca soy crumbles

10-oz mushroom broth

1/2 C almond milk

2 Tbs arrowroot

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Dash or two of nutmeg

Salt and pepper, to taste

40-50 frozen tater tots

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the soy crumbles and edamame; cook until heated through. Add the mushrooms and spinach and cook until the spinach begins to wilt and the mushrooms soften.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring the mushroom broth to a boil. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the almond milk and arrowroot; whisk it into the broth. Once it begins to thicken, add in the sour cream and whisk until smooth. Season with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Pour the broth mixture over the crumble/vegetable mixture and combine well. Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Layer about 20-25 of the tater tots on the bottom of the pan. Pour the mixture on top and spread it out evenly. Top it off with the rest of the tater tots.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the tater tots are crispy. Enjoy!

Savory Asparagus Tart

When I open my own vegan restaurant, this tart will be a signature item on the menu! And look, I’m sharing my secret recipe with all of you now! The Husband was on a conference call when I took this out of the oven and took a bite. You have no idea how difficult it was to not eat his portion; he would have never known. But of course, I couldn’t do that to him—it’s a recipe you’ll want to share and enjoy with others.

INGREDIENTS:

1 puff pastry dough, thawed

1 C Daiya or other vegan cheeze, shredded

1 bunch asparagus

2 Tbs olive oil

1-1/2 tsp truffle oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Roll the pastry sheet out to about 11″x7″. Place onto a baking sheet. Using a fork, puncture the dough all over.

Bake for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. You may need to press down on the dough with a spoon if it puffed up in places.

Sprinkle the cheese onto the dough, then line the asparagus—close together—on top. I just cut the stalks in half (after cutting of the thick ends) and placed them like so:

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, truffle oil, salt, and pepper. Brush the mixture onto the asparagus , thoroughly coating the tops. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges of the tart begin to brown. Remove from the pan (I used two spatulas on either end) and transfer to a large cutting board. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Crispy “Chicken” Salad

This salad is a staple around my house and each time I make it, I never learn. I eat way too much of it. It’s just so damn good. Not to mention, easy to make. Bake some meatless chicken nuggets and throw some fresh veggies together and you have a healthy meal in minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Boca nuggets, baked and diced

Romaine lettuce, torn

Fresh spinach, torn

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 cucumber, sliced, then quartered

Vegan pepper jack cheese and/or cheddar, shredded

Green onions, sliced

Tortilla chips, broken up

Vegan Ranch dressing:

1 C Vegenaise

1-1/2 tsp lemon juice

6 Tbs almond milk

1/2 tsp dried chives

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp dried dill

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

I tend to put everything in separate bowls and let everyone create their own salads. To make the dressing, just whisk everything together in a small bowl and transfer to a pourable container. Refrigerate the leftovers. Enjoy!

Warm Pasta Salad

I tend to make cold pasta salads in the spring and summer and I think I’ve been craving them, but I went with making it warm—just seemed like the thing to do. It came out delicious and I’m anxious to try the chilled leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb bow-tie pasta

2 C fresh spinach, chopped

1 C parsley, chopped

1/2 C fresh basil, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

1 bell pepper (any variety), diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

Optional: vegan Parmesan

Dressing:

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp truffle oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package instructions; drain. Return to the pan and add the spinach, basil, parsley, green onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients; add to the pasta mixture and coat well and enjoy!

Mushroom and Spinach Pizza with Truffle Oil

I’ve found my new favorite pizza—and this is it. Truffle oil is ideal for pizzas and this one will leave you wishing you made more!

INGREDIENTS:

Any basic pizza dough recipe. I used a pre-packaged mix.

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1-1/2 C fresh spinach, torn or chopped

1 C fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped

3/4 C Daiya mozzarella cheese

Truffle oil, to taste (I recommend about a tablespoon)

Earth Balance margarine

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the mushrooms, spinach, basil, and truffle oil in a medium bowl; set aside. Using about a teaspoon of Earth Balance, I greased a round pizza pan. Press dough onto the pan. Stick several times with a fork.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes, or until it begins to brown. Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese on top of the crust. Next, add all of the spinach/mushrooms mixture. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edge of the crust browns. Slice and 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.

Herb-Scalloped Potatoes

The Husband LOVES potatoes and several days of week, he makes hash browns from scratch. But in an effort to reduce fried and sauteed food, he decided to make these baked scalloped potatoes from Veganomicon. They turned out fantastic! The only change we recommend is layering the spices, broth, almond milk, and nutritional yeast instead of just topping the potato slices with them.

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs white potatoes (3 average-size) scrubbed, slice into 1/8″ thick disks

3/4 C vegetable broth

1/2 C unsweetened soy milk (he used almond milk)

1 Tbs olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs nutritional yeast or flour (he used nutritional yeast)

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

Several pinches of black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish. Layer the potatoes in the dish, slightly overlapping them. Lay them across the short way first, overlapping a little less than half of each potato slice. In each subsequent row, overlap the potatoes by about 1/4 of each potato slice. (Keep in mind, if you want to layer in the spices, broth, milk, and nutritional yeast, don’t layer all the potato slices at once).

Pour most of the vegetable broth over the potatoes, reserving about 3 tablespoons.

Pour the almond milk and drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, making sure to coat each one. Scatter the garlic over the top then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast all over the potatoes. Slowly drizzle the remaining vegetable broth on top. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of nutritional yeast, the herbs, and salt.

Loosely cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes and enjoy!

Baked Mushroom Risotto

I love the natural creaminess of risotto and when possible, I use it in recipes that call for regular old white rice. This simple dish is great as a side or even a main meal. The recipe is from Prevention, but I made several changes, including having to veganize it, which proved to be very simple. You can use a dutch oven or like me, good old fashioned aluminum foil and a baking dish. The aroma of this baking in the oven will attract the family to the dinner table!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 C sliced shiitake and/or oyster mushrooms

1/3 C dry white wine

1-1/2 C arborio rice

3 C low-sodium vegetable broth

1/3 C (+ some for sprinkling) vegan Parmesan cheeze

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions; cook for 5-7 minutes, or until they soften and brown. Add the mushrooms and cook a few more minutes until they begin to soften. In the meantime, in a small saucepan, warm the broth a little.

Add the wine and cook until it evaporate, just a few minutes. Transfer to an oven-safe dish, stir in the rice, 1/3 C of the cheeze, and warmed up broth.

Cover tightly with foil and bake 30-32 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. You’ll need to stir it, as the mushrooms and onions migrated to the top. Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheeze and enjoy!

Vegan King Ranch Casserole

Kelly at Vegan Thyme posted this recipe last week and knowing that the he-gans I live with love casseroles (especially of the Mexican kind), I figured this would be a winner over here. And no surprise, it was. The original recipe calls for Morning Star Vegan Chicken Strips, but I couldn’t find those—at least not the vegan ones. They make vegetarian ones, however. So I opted for Boca Chick Patties instead.

The great thing about this recipe that Kelly pointed out, is that you can use your favorite vegetables and seasonings—there’s no right/wrong way to make this casserole. Next time, I’ll add some guacamole or diced avocados on top, otherwise, it was perfect.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Boca Chicken Patties, slightly thawed and diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1 small onion, diced

2 tsp olive oil

12 corn tortillas, sliced into strips

1 C vegan shredded cheese (I used a mixture of pepper jack and cheddar)

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper

4 scallions, sliced

1 C black olives, sliced

3 Tbs Earth Balance

3 Tbs flour

1-1/4 C almond milk

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Optional ingredients: Tofutti sour cream, salsa, avocados/guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. I recommend having all the ingredients chopped, shredded and measured before you get started—it’ll just make things easier on you. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and chick patties; cook 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, and cilantro.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt the margarine. Whisk in a tablespoon of flour to thicken it up. Gradually add the other two while whisking, forming a paste. Whisk in the milk and continue stirring over medium-high heat until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Pour a third of the sauce onto the bottom of the baking pan and spread as evenly as you can. Next, add a layer of tortilla strips. There’s no rhyme or reason to this step—you can layer them down willy-nilly, just as long they evenly cover the bottom.

Pour half of the vegetable mixture on top of the tortilla strips, then another layer of tortilla strips. I then drizzled another third of the sauce on top.

Repeat layers once more and then top with the vegan cheese, scallions, and black olives. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let it cool 5 minutes before diving into it. Enjoy with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole on top.

Guest Post: Banana Blueberry Muffins

Today, I’m bringing you a recipe from Patricia Stoltey, a delightful friend, writer, and fellow critique group member . We’re both original members of the Raintree Writers, formed in 2003, which continues to meet every two weeks.  Pat has two published mystery novels, The Prairie Grass Murders and The Desert Hedge Murders, both excellent reads with fun and quirky characters. You can visit Pat at her blog and see why I call her “Bad Ass Pat.” In the meantime, check out her yummy vegan muffins that she kindly took the time to share with us.

I can’t leave a recipe alone, no matter how good it is.

The first time I made these Mountain Biker’s Banana Muffins from the Simply Colorado: Nutritious Recipes for Busy People cookbook by the Colorado Dietetic Association, I thought they were delicious. But I couldn’t help it. I tinkered with the recipe until I made it mine.

If you find a copy of the original, you’ll see I changed the balance of whole wheat flour to white, replaced the skim milk with soymilk, and ditched the raisins (which I don’t really like) for blueberries. Here’s how it goes:

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Pat’s Variation on Mountain Biker’s Banana (Blueberry) Muffins

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. sugar (or slightly less)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. flour

1 c. whole wheat flour (I use high altitude flour in Colorado)

1/3 c. oil

1/4 c. soymilk

2 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. blueberries (I use frozen berries to keep the batter from turning totally blue)

Cooking Spray

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375⁰. Measure sugar, baking soda, salt and flours into bowl. Add oil, soymilk, bananas and vanilla; mix just until flour is moistened. Gently fold in frozen blueberries. Fill standard size muffin cups coated with cooking spray to 2/3 full with batter. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Because of the frozen berries, it’s best to test the center of the muffins with a toothpick to make certain muffins are done all the way through. Immediately tilt the muffins in the cups or remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

Although I have to tell you, at my house muffins tend to disappear from the pan minutes after they’re removed from the oven. I was lucky to get this photo.

Looks delicious, Pat. :)  Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!

Tetrazzini

Holy mackerel, Andy! (as my father used to say) This is another winner from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. It’s cheezy, tasty, and creamy comfort food that I guarantee you’ll love. Not only that, it’s simple to make. The recipe also gives you ideas to add more protein such as 1-3/4 C chickpeas, 1/2 lb smoked or seasoned cubed tofu, cubed tempeh, or seitan. I went with a couple of sliced Tofurky hot dogs—Field Roast sausages would also be a great option. The recipe makes enough to feed a crowd of 6-8, so it’s great for get togethers. I highly recommend making the Parmezano Sprinkles for this, too—they add the perfect topping.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb spaghetti, broken in half

2 Tbs olive oil

4 C thinly sliced mushrooms

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 C flour

4 C nondairy milk (I used almond milk)

1/2 C nutritional yeast flakes

1 Tbs onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 C frozen peas, thawed (I left these out since I didn’t have any)

1/2 to a cup of Parmezano Sprinkles

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile,  in a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the mushrooms and bell pepper until tender.

Combine the flour, 2 cups of the milk, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour over the mushroom mixture. Add the remaining 2 cups of milk. The recipe says to remove from heat, but I just turned it to low. This is when I added the Tofurky hot dogs, too. Constantly stir it as it will begin to thicken and bubble within a couple of minutes.

Combine it with the spaghetti.

Pour it into a lightly greased 4-quart baking dish, top with the Parmezano Sprinkles, and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Bok Choy Skillet Supper

Ok . . . way better than last night’s catastrophe. This recipe is in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times but I made just a couple of changes based on what I had at home. My only suggestion would be to steam the bok choy separately (defeating the purpose of a 0ne-pan meal) but I found that when I steamed them much longer than the recipe says and they still were crunchy, it’s worth using another pan. I love bok choy and I don’t cook with it nearly as much as I ought to. VT also informed that it is packed full of vitamin C, carotenoids, and phytonutrients that strengthen the immune system and may help reduce the risks of some cancers. What a bonus!

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp garlic-flavored olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

8-oz button mushrooms, sliced (I left them whole and used jarred)

8 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I chopped one tomato as I somehow ended up with a ton)

2 shallots, finely chopped (1/4 C)

1 C bulgur (I used couscous)

1 C mushroom broth (I used vegetable broth)

1 sprig fresh thyme, plus 1 tsp  thyme leaves

4 small bok choy, halved

DIRECTIONS:

Heat 1 tsp  garlic oil in a skillet over med-high heat. Add the mushroom and saute 5 minutes, or until browned.I added about 1/2 tsp of minced garlic as well.

Transfer to a bowl or plate. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes; add to the mushrooms. In the skillet, add the remaining 1 tsp of oil and stir in the shallots; saute 2-3 minutes. Stir in the couscous and thoroughly coat with oil. Add the broth, thyme sprig, and 1-1/2 cups of water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, stir, reduce heat to med-low, and cover for 5 minutes.

(If not steaming the bok choy separately) arrange the stalks on top of the couscous in a pinwheel fashion. (Gotta make it look pretty). Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Drizzle with the garlic oil. This dish is full of flavor and taste—not to mention vital nutrients. Enjoy!

Chai-Spiced Berry-Oatmeal Cookies = Redemption

I am so relieved and happy that these cookies turned out. I found myself in a funk today. And apparently, it’s catching ’cause Moe looks to have it:

He probably smelled these amazing cookies and knew he couldn’t have any. Sorry, Moe. Anyway, missed my workout this morning and struggled some more with an essay I’ve been trying to write for the last four years. Yes, that’s four years. Then, to add insult to injury, dinner turned out to be a disaster. Awful. By far the worst results of anything I’ve attempted since the ill-fated red velvet cake nearly a year ago. I could have easily called it a night, but instead, I picked myself up by my bra straps and dusted my vegan-self off because I’ll be damned to go nighty-night after today. These are my Redemption Cookies. I swaggered into the kitchen and started pulling stuff out of the pantry, grabbed a bowl and got to work. One bite and not only did I feel the fog lift, I felt redeemed after that horrendous dinner. Talk about cookies for the soul.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1-1/2 C rolled oats

1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

Egg Replacer (and water) for one egg

1/2 C sugar

1/2 C brown sugar

2 Tbs agave

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C fresh blueberries

1/2 C dried cherries, chopped (I think I’ll call them “cheeries” for this recipe)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the egg-replacer/water mix, agave, and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients.

Little by little, add to the butter/sugar mixture. Fold in the blueberries and cherries.

Drop onto a baking sheet lined with foil. (For the first batch, I lightly sprayed the foil with cooking spray since I wasn’t sure if they’d stick, but just go with the foil).

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Let them cool a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack, then thoroughly enjoy. And feel better. And redeem yourself from any minor infractions you committed during the day. They are guarantee to turn things around for you. :) Makes 32-34 soul-good cookies.

Collard Green Wraps with Tahini-Umeboshi Sauce

Sorry I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Life is quite busy these days, especially with my alter ego. For the last few days, the family has dined on easy things like spaghetti, veggie burgers, and canned soup. Looking into their Oliver Twist eyes, I knew I needed to make an effort with dinner. Thank goodness for Green Buffalo Foods—they delivered my box of veggie love this afternoon and I swooned at the beautiful collard greens I received.

You could easily make spring rolls using collard greens, or make them with rice instead of noodles, like I did. The ingredients can easily be varied with this recipe, so get creative! I liked using the collard greens because of their fabulous nutritional value and durability when rolling them up. I think next time though, I’ll steam them just a tiny bit before filling them up, rather then afterward—they may fare better.

INGREDIENTS:

12 collard green leaves, washed and patted dry

8-oz firm tofu

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

4 large green onions, sliced

1-15oz can Great Northern beans, drained

1 C long-grain rice, uncooked

2 tsp garlic, minced

1-2 tsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Tahini-Umeboshi Sauce:

1/3 C tahini

2 tsp umeboshi paste

2 tsp lemon juice

2 Tbs tamari

2 Tbs water

2 Tbs almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

Combine rice with 1-1/2 cups of water. Bring to boil; stir and cover for 15 minutes, or until water has absorbed. You can also use jasmine scented rice, or arborio rice. Sushi rice would also be great. In the meantime, slice tofu into thin slices (julienned) saute in a dry skillet until slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the skillet. In its place, add the garlic and olive oil. Heat for a minute, then add the green onions and mushrooms. Saute until slightly browned and soft. Add the rice, beans, and tofu and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the fat stem off of the collard green. Don’t cut off too much—just to where it starts to thin out and add 1-2 spoonfuls of the rice mixture onto the leaf.

Fold in the two “tails” of the collard green leaf:

Now fold the opposite side in:

Then roll from the bottom up and secure with a toothpick. Spear it through the stem, if you can. You’ll be left with a neatly rolled wrap:

I then placed them in a steamer basket and steamed them for just a few minutes.

You’ll probably have to do this in batches, so I recommend transferring them to a plate after steaming and covering with foil.

To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients and serve with the warm wraps. Enjoy!

 

 

Mexican Fettuccini

I’ve had some sun-dried tomato pasta in the pantry for a while, so I decided it was high time to do something with it, but any type of pasta will do for this meal. After taking his first bite, The Husband remarked, “Now that’s a smorgasbord of flavors!” It was definitely flavorful and it seemed to gather steam with every bite!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz sun-dried tomato fettuccini

1/2 C walnuts, chopped

1/2 C salsa

2 C spinach, chopped

1/2 C black olives, sliced

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbs water

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 green onions, sliced

Tofutti sour cream

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package instructions. In the meantime, in a medium sauce pan, toast the walnuts for about 3 minutes. Add the salsa, spinach, black olives, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, water, salt, and pepper. Combine well and let simmer on a low heat until spinach has cooked down and everything is heated through.

Top individual servings of pasta with the sauce, a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, cilantro and green onions. Enjoy!

Lemon Almond Cookies

These cookies are pretty darn easy to make, soft, and aren’t overly sweet—my kind of cookie. If you have a bigger sweet tooth, use honey (which isn’t vegan) instead of agave, or these would be ideal to sprinkle with powdered sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C Earth Balance margarine

3/4 C agave

1/2 tsp almond extract

3 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Zest from one small lemon

1/2 C ground almonds

1/2 C chopped almonds

1 C whole wheat flour

1 C all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and agave. Add the almond extract, lemon juice, lemon zest; combine well. In another bowl, combine the ground and chopped walnuts with the flours and add to the margarine mixture. The batter will be sticky—it’s supposed to be, so don’t add any more flour.

Roll dough into 1 to 1-1/2″ balls and place onto a lightly greased cookie sheet; press down slightly.

Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the bottom edge of the cookies begin to turn a golden brown.

Enjoy!

Pasta with Almond Parmesan

This has always been one of my favorite go-to lunches or quick dinners. I tend to have the almond Parmesan, from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, in the fridge because it’s delish and so easy to make. It’s packed with B vitamins (nutritional yeast) and protein (almonds). I also use low-carb, whole-wheat pasta when possible and the beauty of this, is that you can make as little, or as much as you want.

INGREDIENTS:

Cooked pasta, any variety

Mushrooms, sliced and lightly sauteed

Tomato, diced

Earth Balance margarine

Parmezano Sprinkles:

1/2 C blanched almonds

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1-2 tsp light miso

Heaping 1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

To make the Parmezano Sprinkles: place the almonds in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes, then drain them; rinse with cold water. When pinched between your fingers, the skins will slide right off. Dry off with a paper towel and place the almonds in a food processor; grind to a fine powder. Add remaining ingredients and pulse several times to incorporate everything. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator; will keep for a month or so and can be frozen.

Cook pasta according to instructions on package. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms a little. Once pasta is cooked and drained, add a little Earth Balance to the pot and coat the pasta. Stir in the mushrooms and tomatoes; let the tomatoes heat through a minute or two. Serve with Parmezano sprinkles on top! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter, Chocolate & Cherry Granola Bites

Jess at Healthy Exposures posted these last week, and I knew right away I had to try them. I made a few changes, just based on what I had on hand and on my taste preferences, such as subbing brown rice syrup for the molasses, as I’m not big on molasses. You can see her original recipe here.

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 C quick oats

2 Tbs brown rice flour

2 Tbs wheat germ

1/2 C peanuts, chopped

1/4 C sunflower seeds

1/4 C chia seeds

2 Tbs flax seeds

1/2 C dried cherries, chopped

1/2 C dark chocolate chips

1/2 a banana

2 Tbs brown rice syrup

3 Tbs almond milk

3 Tbs peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a mini-muffin pan (genius idea, Jess)! Set aside. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, wheat germ, peanuts, seeds, cherries, and chocolate chips.

In a smaller bowl, mash the banana with a fork add the syrup, almond milk, peanut butter, and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly and combine well with the dry ingredients.

Fill the muffin cups with the mixture, pressing down firmly with a spoon. I didn’t fill them quite to the top, but you can—they won’t overflow when they bake. Depending on the size of muffins cups you use, the number you get will be different; I got 15.

Bake 15 minutes, or until the tops turn a golden brown. These make such a great little snack and I imagine, a heck of a lot healthier than store-bought granola bars. As an alternative, you can use a 8″ baking pan and then cut them into squares after they bake. Either way, you’re sure to enjoy them, especially since they’re so simple to make.

 

 

 

Strawberry-Pear Tarts

For about a month, I’ve had some puff pastry in freezer because I accidentally bought it, thinking I was getting phyllo sheets. So, instead of letting it continue to sit and freeze, I decided to make these tarts. Now, even though puff pasty is vegan, it isn’t the healthiest stuff out there and we probably shouldn’t gorge on this stuff on a regular basis—vegan or not. It’s a treat and that’s ok. And these treats you’ll love—not too sweet and done before you know it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

1 pear, peeled, sliced thin and cored

6 strawberries, sliced

2 Tbs brown sugar

2-1/2 Tbs Earth Balance, melted and divided

1/3 C walnuts, chopped

4-4″ tart pans

DIRECTIONS:

To thaw puff pastry, remove from bag and place on counter. It will thaw in about 40 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 400. Unfold pastry sheet and place the bottoms of the tart pans on it, cutting around the circles.

Place bottom of pan and cut out dough back into the tart shell. In a medium bowl, combine the pears, strawberries, brown sugar, walnuts, and two tablespoons of melted Earth Balance.

Divide the fruit mixture evenly among the 4 tart pans. Roll out the extra dough and using a cookie cutter, cut out a heart or other beautiful shape you wish to make. Place on top of each tart. Brush the cut-out with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of melted Earth Balance.

Bake for 20-22 minutes and enjoy!

Raspberry Cake (and don’t give away your heart . . .pan)!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yesterday as The Husband and I were moseying through an antique shop, he asked me, “Did you get me anything for Valentine’s Day?” Having not even thought about this (card company) holiday, I truthfully answered, “Uh, no.” He suddenly looked relieved. “Good! I didn’t get you anything!” Frankly, I was relieved, too. I told him I’d bake him something. So when I got to that today I realized I no longer had my red, ceramic, heart-shaped pan anymore. I think I Goodwilled it because I never used it. I was quite disappointed, as it would have been perfect for this cake. Oh well. The sentiment is still there! This recipe is essentially the same as my muffin recipe from a year ago, but I used raspberries instead of blueberries.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1/4 C Earth Balance margarine

1/2 C apple sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 C sugar

2 C flour

1 Tbs baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C almond milk

2 C fresh or frozen raspberries (If using frozen, thaw and drain liquid)

Crumb topping:

1/4 C sugar

1/8 C flour

3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 Tbs Earth Balance butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Using an electric mixer, combine all the muffin ingredients, except the raspberries. Mix well. Fold in the raspberries.

To make the crumb topping, combine all the crumb topping ingredients in a bowl and mix well using a fork.

Lightly grease an 8×8″ baking pan. You can also use a bundt pan, just remember to put the crumb topping on first, before pouring in the batter.

Top with crumb topping and bake for 30-33 minutes.

Let cool 5-10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Product Review: Solterra Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pizza

First I saw “Vegan Cheese Pizza”, then I saw it’s made with daiya cheese and I knew, this pizza had to be mine. Well, mine and the kid’s. We are always on the lookout for vegan pizzas, but I think we’ve had pretty good luck so far with the Tofurky one. From Solterra, this gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free 8″ pizza will run you $4.99 at Whole Foods (and probably at least a buck cheaper in other places) and offers a unique way of cooking it. You leave the pizza in the packaging, just peel back the front/top paper to reveal a plastic window over the pizza.

At 450 degrees, place the pizza directly on the oven rack and bake for only about 5-7 minutes. After about 6 minutes, it didn’t look done, but I think it was–just was hard to tell through the plastic.

I ended up burning the edges quite a bit, so I just cut those off–the rest of perfect. In fact, it was pretty darn good! We liked the thin crust and of course, the daiya cheese.

I would certainly buy this pizza again and next time, I won’t over cook it! Solterra’s products are all gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free, with several products that are dairy-free as well. Click HERE for nutritional information.

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!

Potato and Corn Chowder

I told you I was going to make soup. Considering it’s quite cold here in Colorado, soup just hits the spot. I used frozen diced potatoes which made it very easy to prepare. I served this soup with the chive-flecked spud muffins which were an ideal accompaniment.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C onion, diced

1 C celery, sliced thin

5 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 tsp Garlic and Wine seasoning or a Mrs. Dash-type seasoning

2 lbs russet potatoes, diced (I used frozen ones)

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 C corn kernels

14-oz coconut milk

4 C vegetable broth

1/2 C nutritional yeast

1-2 Tbs olive oil

Optional ingredients: shredded vegan cheddar, Tofutti sour cream, fresh chopped chives

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions and celery for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 3 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together the nutritional yeast and vegetable broth. In the soup pot, whisk in the coconut milk, then the broth mixture. Add the Garlic & Wine seasoning and rosemary.  Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and corn and simmer 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Kale Stroganoff

I saw this recipe this morning from Healthy Exposures and I knew I had to make it. It calls for some roasted red pepper hummus and I actually had some in the fridge, so it just had to happen. It also has two of my favorite ingredients: mushrooms and kale. I was sold. I doubled the recipe, as originally, it’s for 2 servings. The fennel, I believe, was key. It gave the dish that stroganoff-beef taste, which surprised me, as I’ve only used fennel in chai flavoring. Be sure to check out Healthy Exposures’ yummy vegan recipes, (plus this original recipe),wonderful photography and her beautiful horse, Teddie. :)

INGREDIENTS:

14-oz whole wheat pasta

1 large onion, chopped

2 tsp garlic, minced (I added this)

1 Tbs olive oil

3 C sliced mushrooms

6 large kale leaves, thinly sliced (I tore them up)

1/2 tsp  fennel seed

salt and pepper, to taste

2 C  reserved pasta water

2 Tbs white bean flour (I used garbanzo flour since that was all I had)

4 Tbs roasted red pepper hummus

1 Tbs pub-style Dijon mustard

2 Tbs  nutritional yeast

Cook pasta until al dente. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and add the garlic and onions. Saute until the onions begin to brown. Add the mushrooms, kale, fennel, salt, and pepper.

Ok, I went a little nuts with the kale, but I LOVE kale so much, I could not be stopped.

Add 4 Tbs of water and cover until kale cooks down. In a small bowl, whisk together the pasta water, flour, hummus, Dijon, and nutritional yeast. Once the kale mixture has cooked down, add the liquid mixture to it and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until it thickens.

I then served this over individual servings of pasta and seasoned with a little salt and pepper. It was phenomenal! We all loved it. Enjoy!

Ranch Bread

Vegan MoFo, Day 11

Happy Veteran’s Day!

It also happens to be the first snow of the season:

And you thought ranch flavor was just for salads or dips. It’s for bread, too! This recipe is so simple—I used the basic quick bread recipe that I used for the green chili bread. It’s a great basis for quick breads–just add some of your favorite flavors and seasonings.  I served this with the Cheezy Kale and White Bean Soup and it made a great fall meal.

INGREDIENTS:

3 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp chives

1/2 tsp dill

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1 C almond milk

2 Tbs olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, chives, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add the sour cream, milk, and oil; combine well and transfer to the loaf pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then slice and enjoy!

Cheezy Kale and White Bean Soup

Vegan MoFo, Day 10

Kale is my drug. I love it. This soup is great for fall (or even a cool summer evening) and easy to throw together. It’s hearty without being overly filling.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large leek, chopped

2-15 oz cans great northern or cannellini beans, drained

8 C vegetable broth (or 6 cups broth, 2 cups of water)

1/2 C white wine

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs lemon juice

4-5 C fresh kale, torn or chopped

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

White pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

I just filled my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup of kale to the top–so about 5 cups

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and leek and saute until slightly browned. Add the beans and parsley and saute 4-5 minutes.

Add the broth, kale, lemon juice, and white wine. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. 5 minutes before serving, add the cheeze. This is strictly an optional ingredient—you can also just sprinkle a little cheeze on individual servings. Enjoy!

Seitan Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce (and a Field Roast Sausage Thrown In)

Vegan MoFo, Day 9

That’s right, I had to throw in a Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage link—I had a lonely one in the fridge, and these are enchiladas, after all. It was the piece de resistance. This recipe is based on one my sister used to make all the time, but with *gasp* chicken and *gasp* again, half-and-half, so I was determined to veganize it. If you’re not big on seitan, try some other filling options: ground meatless crumbles and refries, portobellos and onions, or bell peppers and zucchini. Either way, I think you’re love the creaminess and cheezyness of this classic dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkgs. seitan, beef or chicken style, chopped into 1″ pieces (or other filling of choice)

1 Field Roast sausage link, Mexican Chipotle flavor, crumbled

1-4oz can diced green chilies

1 C Tofutti sour cream

1/8 C almond milk

1 C  fresh cilantro

1 C black olives, sliced

3 green onions, sliced (white and greens parts)

1-1/2 C vegan cheddar and/or vegan Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded, divided

2-16oz jars of 505 Green Chili sauce, choose your level of hotness

11 flour tortillas (I know, I tried to make it an even number, but it just didn’t happen)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine seitan, Field Roast, chilies, cilantro, sour cream, almond milk, and 1/2 C of the cheese. Pour 1/2 of on jar of the green chili sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking pan. Spread evenly. Fill each tortilla with about 3-4 tablespoons of the seitan mixture and fold over to make a burrito.

Lay folded side down.

Sprinkle a little cheese on the enchiladas, then layer rest of green chili sauce on top–spread evenly. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top, then layer on green onions and olives.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then enjoy!

Product Review: Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix

Vegan MoFo, Day 8

I picked up this dairy-free, gluten-free cake mix in Boulder a while back. In fact, Lillabee is a Boulder-based company. In addition to having no dairy or gluten, this cake mix is soy-free and all natural, meaning non-GMO. When I picked up a bag, I didn’t realize that the recipe requires 2 eggs, but thankfully, Ener-G Egg Replacer came to the rescue!

Lillabee’s aim is to provide delicious baked goods you make at home that are allergy-friendly. Other products include: Fudgy Brownies, Anytime Muffins, and Perfect Pancakes/Waffles.

So included in the bag is a sugar mixture (about a cup’s worth), the baking mix and directions:

Required ingredients: 2 eggs (3 tsp egg replacer + 4 Tbs water), 6 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 C non dairy milk, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and an 8″ cake pan or muffin pan. It was a breeze to throw together–about 5 minutes using the mixer, then 45 minutes in the oven.

It smelled quite delish as it baked! I let it cool for about an hour and then sliced it up. It was wonderful! Very sponge-y and sugary and quite delightful. You can also add things to the batter before baking it, like blueberries, or other fruit.

So where can you find this decadent vegan dessert? If you live in Boulder (or close by) you can purchase it at Dish Gourmet and Caffe Victoria. But you can also order directly from Lillabee.  I was very impressed and next time we’re in Boulder, I will definitely pick some more up.

“Cheddar” and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Like the Party Cheese Ball, people will not be able to tell this is vegan! I love this dip and I guarantee, so will your guests (that is, if you don’t eat it all yourself)!

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz Tofutti cream cheese

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream

1/2 C plain soy yogurt

2 C vegan cheddar, shredded (Daiya brand)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

4 scallions, sliced thin

8 (I recommend 10-12) oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and minced

Dash of salt

DIRECTIONS:

Stir together cream cheese, sour cream, and yogurt in a medium bowl. Stir in the cheddar, garlic, scallions,  tomatoes, and salt. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with crackers, chips and veggies. Enjoy!

Recipe: adapted from Beyond the Moon Cookbook

Fluffy Vegan Pancakes

The Sixth Grader helped me make pancakes—he’s actually quite a seasoned pancake-flipper and was very explicit in his instructions. He wanted to make sure I told all of you the importance of not pressing down on the pancake once it is flipped; you lose all fluffiness. These are simple to throw together and if you’re lucky enough to have a Pancake-Flipper pro, breakfast is done in no time!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C all-purpose flour

1/2 C whole wheat flour

3 Tbs baking powder

2 Tbs sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 C vanilla almond milk

4 Tbs vegetable oil

Cooking spray

Earth Balance margarine

Maple syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Whisk in milk and oil and combine until smooth.

Spray a skillet or flat griddle and heat on medium heat. Add about 1/3 to 1/2 C of batter to make each pancake. A good rule of thumb when making these is to wait until air holes/bubbles form before flipping. Flip and cook until golden brown (and remember, no pressing down with the spatula)!

I typically keep them warm in the oven until finished, then smother with some Earth Balance and maple syrup and enjoy!

Makes about a dozen pancakes.

*I don’t recommend this batter for waffles. We tried that the next morning and it didn’t work to swell.

Vegan New England Chowder

I have had this recipe from Weekly Vegan Menu bookmarked for some time now, and since today was drizzly and cold, it was about time I made it. I changed a couple of things like using button mushrooms instead of oyster and pureeing 1/2 the soup for a more chowder consistency. The flavors in this soup are spectacular and was perfect for a day like today.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/2 a bell pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

4-6 C mushrooms, diced

1 C corn

3 C vegetable stock

3 C russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke

2 C nondairy milk (soy or almond)

1/4 C cornstarch

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Tofutti sour cream (optional)

Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. I recommend having all your ingredients out, chopped, and ready to go before starting:

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, basil, and oregano. Once they are hot and on high heat, add the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes.

While this is happening, roast the corn in the oven for 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes, then the stock, Old Bay, Liquid Smoke, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the nondairy milk and cornstarch and add to the pot along with the corn. Bring to a simmer, but not a boil. Taste for seasoning. Here, I added (in batches) half of the soup to my food processor and just pureed a little; just enough to still be a bit chunky. I then added it back to the pot and mixed it with the un-pureed soup for the perfect chowder consistency. Top with a bit of cheese and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Product Review: Amy’s Rice Macaroni with Dairy Free Cheeze

When I saw that this product made it as a readers’ fave in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, I did a tentative happy-vegan-food dance. It sounded promising, especially since it’s made with Daiya cheese. Plus, it’s gluten-free. So I picked one up for $3.69. It was practically burning a hole through my reusable grocery bag on the way home. I couldn’t get it in the microwave fast enough. Then the moment of truth . . .

I did a full-fledged, unadulterated, happy-vegan-food dance like no other. Never in my life would I have thought there’d be a delicious vegan mac and cheese that rivals that of the real deal. Unbelievable. Even The Husband was hovering, hoping that I would share more than just the one tiny bite I had given him. No way.

Oh, man. Good stuff. It took me a few minutes to recover and wipe the cheeze from my face–I was not above licking the cardboard dish clean, nor am I embarrassed to admit that. It was creamy and tasted just like the real thing. You can cook it in the oven for 25-30 minutes (I had no patience for that) or in the microwave for about 4 minutes.

Alas, like everything delicious, it comes with a price. One 8-ounce container brings with it 520 calories (I better go for another run today), but it’s actually comparable to regular mac n’ cheese. Total fat: 22g, 5g of saturated fat and no trans fat Sodium: 740mg, Carbs: 72g, Protein: 8g, but hey, NO cholesterol! :) Overall, with no dairy, no soy and no gluten, it’s an indulgence I can handle every once in a while. (Glad I bought two)!

Zucchini-Tofu Scramble with Roasted Red Peppers

I love tofu scrambles—as you have probably already gathered, but they’re so easy to change up and are perfect for those times when you need to clean out the produce drawer of on-the-verge-veggies. You can pile it into a wrap or a toasted English muffin, or just eat it as it is. I had half a package of tofu just waiting for me to use it, so it was easy to figure out what to make. A great protein-packed breakfast to start the day.

INGREDIENTS:

7-8oz tofu, extra firm, drained and pressed

1 small zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1 jarred roasted red pepper, diced

1/3 C salsa

3 green onions, sliced

1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1/3-1/2 C Vegan cheese, shredded (any kind you like: cheddar, pepper jack, Monterrey Jack, etc)

1 avocado, diced

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

A few dashes cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper, to taste

Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add zucchini and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the roasted red pepper and saute another 5 minutes. In a small bowl, break up the tofu to resemble scrambled eggs. Add turmeric, cumin, and cayenne; stir to combine. Add tofu and green onions; combine well with the veggies. Saute for about 4 minutes and then stir in the salsa, cilantro, and cheese. Finish off with salt and pepper and then top individual servings with some avocado. Enjoy!

Lemon Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

These are perfect little, squatty, tasty, cute cupcakes. The outside is crispy, slightly sticky with lemon cake goodness on the inside. They are easy to make and once frosted, gone in seconds!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C soft Silken tofu

4 heaping tsp egg replacer powder mixed with 10 Tbs water

3/4 C granulated sugar

2 Tbs lemon juice

Rind of 1 lemon, grated

1/2 C flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Frosting:

1/2 C vegan margarine

2 C confectioners’ sugar

1 Tbs plain or vanilla soy milk

3/4 tsp pure lemon extract, or vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Using a mixer, mix the tofu until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Mix until thick, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Slowly add to the tofu mixture and mix until smooth and thick.

In the medium bowl with the egg replacer and water, add the cream of tartar and mix for about 5 minutes until it is well combined and a little fluffy. Fold it into the tofu and flour mixture. Grease a muffin tin and fill each one with a 1/4 cup of the mixture. I got 11 cupcakes. . .why not a dozen? I have no idea. Oh well.

Bake for 35-40 minutes–the edges will get a little brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before removing them from the pan and frosting them.

To make frosting: Let margarine sit out until room temperature. Using a mixer, mix the margarine until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, soy milk and flavoring. Combine thoroughly. You may need to adjust the consistency to how you’d like it by adding more milk or more sugar. Since all I could find was one lonely frosting tip and no pastry bag, I snipped off the corner of a zip lock back as a substitute. It worked lovely. Enjoy!

Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese

You’re probably thinking. . .how many non-dairy mac and cheese recipes can there possibly be? Turns out, quite a few, but as most of us know, they’re not all that tasty. This one, however, from The Vegan Table, is the first cashew cheese sauce I’ve tried (but close to the Hurry Up Alfredo) and I really, really, love it. I ate way too much of it, too. :) By the way, if you need to omit the miso because of a soy intolerance, you can use a chickpea (garbanzo) miso or a barley miso. Another alternative is to use tahini mixed with a bit of salt.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/4 C raw cashews
1/2 C nutritional yeast
2 tsp onion powder
1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp white pepper
3-1/2 C nondairy milk (I use 3 cups)
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 C canola oil (I use about a 1/4 cup and will often use olive oil instead)
1/4 C light (yellow or white) miso
2 Tbs lemon juice
12-16oz macaroni, cooked (I used about 16 ounces of both small shells and rotini)
I added 1-1/2 tsp of truffle oil, but it’s optional (I recommend it)!

DIRECTIONS:

Place cashews in a large-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind–just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in spices.

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, cornstarch and oil(s). Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until cornstarch dissolves.

With the food processor running, gradually add milk/oil mixture to cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice.

Combine cashew cheese with macaroni noodles and serve. You may also bake it: Preheat oven to 325 and place macaroni mixture in a 8 or 9″ square baking dish (I recommend a 9″x13″ one). Cover and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 1/2 C herbed bread crumbs. Continue baking, uncovered, for 15-25 minutes until topping is golden brown. (I’m going to do this with the leftovers)! Enjoy!

Recipe source: The Vegan Table

UPDATE: I baked the leftovers and it was good, but I think I like it better unbaked.

Coconut-Lemon Bundt Cake

This is incredibly easy to make, but most importantly, it’s moist and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/2 C granulated sugar

2/3 C canola oil

1 (14-oz) can coconut milk

1/4 C soy milk

1/4 C lemon juice

3 Tbs lemon zest

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut

A few tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 or 10″ Bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar, oil, coconut milk, soy milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into the wet ingredients in batches, mixing well after each addition. Stir to combine, then stir in the coconut. Pour batter into the Bundt pan, Bake 1 hour or until a knife inserted  through the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then place a cutting board over the cake pan, gently flip over and release the cake from the pan. Let cool completely. Once cooled, sift a sprinkling of the confectioners’ sugar over the tip. Slice, serve and enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Vegan White Sauce and Pasta

This is probably my favorite vegan white sauce—it doesn’t taste fake and I think even non-vegans would have a tough time complaining about this one. It’s simple to make and versatile. I added diced mushrooms, but feel free to add other veggies, or just serve it plain over pasta. I like to serve it with a little sprinkle of Daiya cheese and I made garlic toasts out of leftover buns—a great meal!

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C Earth Balance

1/2 C minced shallots

3 Tbs all-purpose flour

1 Tbs dry white wine

1 C vegetable broth

2 C unsweetened soy milk

Dash ground nutmeg

1 bay leaf

Salt and ground white pepper

DIRECTIONS:

I recommend having all the ingredients measured out and ready to go–it’ll be a lot easier. In a medium sauce pan, heat the margarine over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Do not brown. Stir in the flour until it is absorbed. Stir in the wine, broth, soy milk, nutmeg, and bay leaf and cook, stirring until thickened, about 5 minutes. (For me, after about 12 minutes it had not thickened, so I resorted to ever-trusty tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/4 C of broth mixture–worked immediately). Remove the bay leaf and discard. Here, the recipe says to transfer to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, which baffled me since the sauce was pretty smooth already. If the shallots weren’t minced finely enough, I could understand, but after thinking about it, I opted to not have to clean the food processor, too. Maybe something spectacular was to happen and I missed out, but I decided to take my chances. It turned out great. I added about 1-1/2 C of diced mushrooms and removed from the heat. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

During all this, I cooked up some fettuccine and made up some garlic toast with some leftover sandwich buns by spreading them with some Earth Balance, sprinkling on some garlic salt and Daiya mozzarella cheese. Under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes, they came out great. Enjoy!

Recipe source: 1000 Vegan Recipes

Baked Mac and Cheese

I made this recipe before and it was alright—I knew it had potential, so I made it again, but this time, I made a few changes and I really love how it turned out. The original recipe was just a little too dry for my taste but I’ll post that recipe with what changes I made. Overall, it’s a great basic recipe for vegan mac and cheese so it was easy to tweak.

INGREDIENTS:

5 C water, divided (I used more water…had to use more pasta)

3/4 C nutritional yeast

1/4 C pine nuts

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs fresh parsley

1 tsp pepper

1 Tbs soy sauce (I used 2 Tbs almond milk instead)

1 C uncooked pasta (This seemed way to little for the 4 servings it says it makes–I used 4 cups and didn’t even need to make more sauce)

3 Tbs olive oil

1/4 C flour

3/4 C breadcrumbs (I used about 1/8 of a cup)

I added 1/2 C Tofutti sour cream, 1/2 C shredded vegan cheddar cheese,  and 1/2 tsp of turmeric.

(This is great vegan comfort food–especially considering we got snowed on again–it’s mid-May)!


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil (you’ll need more if using more pasta). While water is boiling, in a blender (or food processor) combine nutritional yeast, pine nuts, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, parsley, pepper, and turmeric until blended. Add remaining 1 cup of water and soy sauce (or almond milk) and blend. Add pasta to boiling water. In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add flour and stir constantly to remove lumps. Pour in blended mixture and stir until a desired consistency is reached. (This actually happens pretty quick, so you could easily do this step after the pasta is already cooked). Remove from heat. (This is where I stirred in the sour cream and cheddar cheese). Strain pasta and pour into pan of cheesy sauce and stir to combine. Transfer to a oven-safe dish, top with breadcrumbs and bake 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe source: VegNews

Red Velvet Cake

Ok, this cake could have been one of the most amazing vegan desserts ever. . . if I hadn’t of screwed it up. Really, it was all my fault. Apparently, I didn’t know the difference between 2-1/2 cups and say. . . 4 cups. Of the dry ingredients. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. Got heavy-handed with the dry baking mix and the cake ended up a bit dense (much like the baker). I thought the flavor was really good and the “buttercream” frosting was delicious! Plus, it’s gluten-free!

So I’ve only posted the winners before, but c’mon—the pictures! I had to post it after all the work and it is my birthday for at least another 45 minutes, after all, so I can do what I want! :) Really, if it hadn’t been for my mistake, I truly think this recipe is a winner. Try it and let me know what you think! If not, enjoy the pictures! (A special thank you to the kind folks who I “tested” this on. . . you’re all good sports)!

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1 C gluten-free vanilla rice milk

1 tsp cider vinegar

2-1/2 C Betsy’s Baking Mix (below. . . and this is where I screwed up because the mix makes more than 2-1/2 cups)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1-1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C organic palm oik shortening

2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ounce red food coloring

1/4 C +3 Tbs unsweetened applesauce

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 Tbs distilled white vinegar

1 tsp baking soda

Betsy’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix:

3-3/4 C garbanzo flour

2-1/4 C potato starch

1-1/2 C tapioca starch/flour

(Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk. Seal in an airtight container and shake vigorously for 1 minute)

Frosting:

1-1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

4-1/2 C confectioners’ sugar

Vanilla soy/rice/almond milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 9″ round cake pans. In a small bowl, make “buttermilk” by combining rice milk and cider vinegar. In a large mixing bowl, combine the baking mix (just the 2-1/2 cups) with the salt and xanthan gum. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar and shortening. Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and food coloring to form a paste; set side.

Add the applesauce and vanilla to creamed shortening and sugar blend until the mixture is light and creamy. Add the cocoa powder paste and mix well. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the “buttermilk” mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Pour the white vinegar into a small cup and sprinkle the baking soda over it. Immediately pour the fizzing combo into the cake batter and thoroughly combine the two mixtures.

(That’s some thick batter)!

Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes. Let cakes cool completely in their pans on a cooling rack. Turn cakes out of their pans.

To make frosting: With a mixer, cream the butter until fluffy. Alternately, add the confectioners’ sugar and enough soy milk to reach desired consistency. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Frost the top of each cake layer. Transfer 1 layer to a serving plate and set the other layer on top. Frost the sides of the cake. Store the frosted cake, covered and refrigerate, for up to 3 days.

I think a scoop of soy ice cream on top would have been perfect — and possibly would have even saved me, but of course, I didn’t have any!

Recipe source (cake only): Living Without

Chai Spice Cookies with Lemon “Buttercream” Frosting

Yum. Yep, these are delicious! Both the cookie and the frosting recipe is from 1000 Vegan Recipes, and I decided to combine the two. This is a crispy cookie, so my suggestion is to make them really thin if making a sandwich–otherwise, it’s a lot of cookie (which is what I learned). Or you can just ice the top of the cookie–it’s a wonderful combination of flavors. You can also use vanilla extract in place of the lemon, if you prefer. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

INGREDIENTS:

Cookies:

2 C all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1-1/2 tsp ground cardamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground fennel seed

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 C vegan margarine (Earth Balance)

3/4 C sugar

2 Tbs plain or vanilla soy milk

2 Tbs agave nectar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Frosting:

1/2 C vegan margarine

2 C confectioners’ sugar

1 Tbs plain or vanilla soy milk

3/4 tsp pure lemon extract, or vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Cookies: Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, fennel seed, and salt. Mix to combine well. In a large bowl, beat together the margarine, sugar, soy milk, agave nectar, and vanilla until well combined. Add the flour mixture, stirring well to form a smooth, stiff dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll them between your hands into balls. Place dough balls onto an ungreased baking sheet and use a metal spatula to flatten the cookies to about 1/4″ thick.

Bake until lightly browned at the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting: In a large bowl, cream the margarine with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, soy milk, and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined. Continue mixing for about 2 minutes, until the frosting is smooth and stiff. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Creamy-Apple Horseradish Dip

This is the other great recipe from my fabulous neighbor, also from the VeganChef. The apples and horseradish make a great combination and you can add more horseradish if you want more of a kick. This is great on crackers and veggies. Thanks, neighbor!

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup walnuts
4 apples, peeled and cored
2 T. lemon juice
2/3 cup plain soy yogurt
2-3 T. prepared horseradish, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a non-stick skillet, place the walnuts, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, grate the apples into a bowl, drizzle them with the lemon juice, and toss well to prevent the apples from turning brown. When the walnuts are cool, place them in a blender or food processor, and finely grind them. Add the walnuts and remaining ingredients to the grated apple and stir well to combine. Taste, season with a little salt and pepper, and add more horseradish if desired. Transfer the dip to a glass bowl. Serve with crackers, chips, sliced bread, or an assortment of raw vegetables.

Yield: 2 Cups

Vegetable Lasagna

This lasagna is delicious, simple and healthy! I used the same tofu mixture recipe as the Stuffed Shells and it was perfect for this meal. I used the no-boil lasagna noodles since they’re such a time saver–just make sure that every inch gets covered with sauce, otherwise, any bare spots won’t cook and will be crunchy.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs olive oil

12 no-boil lasagna noodles

2-1/2 C zucchini, sliced thin

2-1/2 C portobello mushrooms, sliced

2/3 C onion, chopped

1 14-oz pgk. extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed

1 jar marinara sauce, divided into thirds (I like Newman’s Own)

1/4-1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

8-oz vegan mozzarella, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375.

To make tofu mixture: Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions, zucchini and mushrooms in the olive oil for about 5-8 minutes, just enough to soften them.

In a 15″ baking pan, line the bottom with 4 of the lasagna noodles. Top with half of the tofu mixture, half of vegetables, sprinkle with a layer of cheese and then 1/3 of the sauce.

Top with another 4 noodles, the other half of the tofu mixture and other half of veggies. Add another thin layer of cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Top with remaining 4 noodles, rest of sauce and rest of cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Vegan Enchiladas

These were yummy and satisfying! I used stir-fry seitan, but you can use sliced portobello mushrooms, or Boca Meatless Crumbles. To clear out the sinuses, puree some chilies in adobo sauce (comes in a 7-oz can) and mix in with the meat-of-choice. I used about 6 tablespoons and the Husband and Fifth Grader found it a little too fork-curling hot, so next time, I’ll use only 1-2 tablespoons–just depends on what you like.

INGREDIENTS:

16-oz seitan, sliced portobellos, or Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles

1/2 large onion, chopped

12 small  flour or corn tortillas

2-1/2 C mix of vegan Monterey Jack cheese and vegan Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

1-2 avocados, diced

Fresh cilantro leaves

1 recipe enchiladas sauce:

3 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs flour

1/4 C chili powder

2 C vegetable broth

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 pkg. enchiladas spices or recipe (below):

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Start with the enchiladas sauce: Heat oil in a saucepan, stir in flour, then chili powder (if you need to make your own chili powder, combine 3 Tbs paprika, 1 Tbs cumin, 2 T oregano, 1 tsp cayenne, and 1/2 tsp garlic salt). Add vegetable broth, tomato paste, cumin and oregano. Simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Sautee meat-of-choice with some olive oil until browned. Whether you use seitan, portobellos or ground crumbles, they only take about 10 minutes. Stir in spices. Add onion last couple of minutes of sauteeing.

Spread about a 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking pan. Fill each tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of meat mixture and 1-2 Tbs of cheese. Be sure to save about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of cheese to spread on the top. Fold each tortilla and place into the pan. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes.

Serve hot and top with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, avocados and cilantro.

Enjoy!

Stuffed Shells

Ricotta what?! Who needs ricotta? These stuffed shells are outstanding and the tofu mixture can easily be used for lasagna. If you don’t have fresh basil, use 1-1/2 tablespoons of the dried variety. In the past, I’ve also added about 6 large spinach leaves after processing everything else. Great way to get some added calcium and veggies. Also, if you don’t have any French or Italian bread, make garlic toast easily with leftover hamburger or hot dog buns. I had some whole wheat hamburger buns in the freezer, so I thawed them briefly in the microwave, spread them with some Earth Balance and sprinkled them with garlic salt. Pop them in the oven under a high broiler while the shells cool after baking.

INGREDIENTS:

1 12-oz pgk. jumbo pasta shells

1 14-oz pgk. extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed

1 jar marinara sauce (I like Newman’s Own)

1/4-1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 C vegan mozzarella, shredded and divided

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese.

Cook shells according to package instructions, but subtract a couple of minutes–you want the shells very al dente so that they do not split. Pour a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking dish. Stuff each shell (about 43 of them) with 2-3 tsp of tofu mixture and place in pan. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes and enjoy!

Garlic-toasted hamburger buns

Pita Quesadillas with Cilantro Hummus

I was thumbing through the latest issue of Vegetarian Times and when I saw this recipe, I decided right then and there to try these. I happened to have all the ingredients, even adding some Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack cheese and between that, the roasted red peppers and cilantro, it made a delicious, quick and easy lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

Hummus:

1/2 C cilantro leaves

2 cloves garlic, peeled (I used minced)

1-1/2 C cooked chickpeas (or 1 15oz can, rinsed and drained)

2 Tbs lime juice

2 Tbs olive oil

Quesadillas:

4 7″ whole-wheat pitas, split crosswise

4 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into strips

1-1/2 C baby spinach leaves

Optional: Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack, shredded (I did little slices, but shredding it would have been better)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. To make hummus: Process cilantro leaves and garlic in food processor until chopped. (I added the garlic later since it was already minced). Add the chickpeas, lime juice, oil, and 1/4 C water; puree 3 minutes, or until creamy.

To make the quesadillas: Place 4 pitas halves on baking sheet. Spread each with 1/2 C hummus. Top with peppers, spinach, cheese (if using) and remaining pita halves. Bake 10 mins, serve and enjoy!