Vegan French Onion Soup

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I’ll be honest, I never really ate French onion soup before my vegan days, so I’m not sure how it’s supposed to taste. My guys were the ones to decide if this one passed the test. The Ninth Grader liked it a lot, but found it a little salty (I used broth and miso). The Husband liked it, but didn’t care for the vegan cheese—he admitted that the  real cheese is what made it so great before. I myself, loved the vegan cheese and I found that it all worked so well. Of course, the salt-factor didn’t seem to be a problem for me, which I’m thinking is because I spent the day (from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) walking over 15 miles along one of Fort Collins’ trails and pretty much sweated out any salt, so I was needing it! You can certainly just use water for this recipe. This recipe serves 3.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs olive oil
2 extra large onions, sliced (about 8 cups)
4 C water (or broth)
1/3 C miso
3 Tbs water or broth
1 Tbs thyme
Black pepper (and salt, if needed)
Vegan cheese

Croutons

1/2 a loaf of sourdough or French bread or baguette, sliced
Olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

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Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a large soup pot and add the onions. Cook them over medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until they soften and begin to brown.

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Meanwhile, make the croutons. Lay them out on a baking sheet, brush with oil and place under the broiler until browned. Flip them, brush with oil and broil again.

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In a small bowl, combine the miso, thyme and tablespoons of water or broth.

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Add the water/broth and miso mixture to the onions and bring to a boil.

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Fill bowls with the soup, top with the croutons and cover with cheese. I used the Daiya shreds and also sliced up some of the Daiya Swiss slices:

French Onion collage

Place the bowls onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler for just 1-2 minutes.

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Enjoy!

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Vegan Deep Dish Pizza

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There are certainly more than one way to make pizza—this one in a 9×13″ baking dish, plus you can use whatever pizza toppings you want. I used Pillsbury’s pizza crust, and yes, I know . . . even though it’s vegan, it’s not the healthiest food, but it’s definitely not a staple at our house and it worked perfect for this meal. Whichever crust you decide to use, you’ll enjoy this deep dish classic!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust

1 Tbs olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, cut into thin strips, then cut in half

2 small zucchini, sliced thin

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

28-oz can diced tomatoes, with juices

24 slices of veggie pepperoni

1 Tbs Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

Daiya cheese mozzarella shreds

Optional: 2 Field Roast sausages, Italian flavor, crumbled

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and then add the garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes.

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Add the can of tomatoes and combine well. Let it simmer for 10 minutes.

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Meanwhile, line the bottom of a 9×13″ baking dish with the pizza dough. It doesn’t need to be perfect—as seen by mine . . .

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Bake for 6-8 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375. Next, sprinkle a little Daiya cheese on the crust, then spoon the veggie mixture on top of the crust. I left a little bit of an edge all the way around.

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Top with some more Daiya cheese and the veggie pepperoni.

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Bake for 20 minutes. Cut and enjoy!

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Roman Pasta Soup with Potatoes

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This is definitely a carb-lover’s soup! You certainly don’t have to use pasta and potatoes, but I think they work really well together in this soup. I used to make this soup a lot about ten or twelve years ago, but sort of forgot about it, especially since it used real bacon, but like most meat dishes, this one is easy to veganize. It’s incredibly easy to make and versatile, too. I think some chopped kale or mushrooms would be great additions.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 veggie bacon slices, diced

1 large onion, chopped

1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped

8-9 C vegetable broth

3 medium russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced

2 C pasta shells, uncooked

Black pepper, to taste

Daiya mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and veggie bacon and cook 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and broth and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly tender. Add the pasta and cook 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Season with black pepper and serve with Daiya cheese on top. Enjoy!

Lasagna Soup

 

Well this was unexpected. So earlier this afternoon, I was reading though the 131 blog entries from my Google blog reader (after being out of town for a while) and came across this recipe from That Was Vegan? I immediately bookmarked it. Then I realized I had hungry he-gans to feed and not much to work with. I wasn’t planning on going to the store until tomorrow. Anyhow, it was love at first read . . . even though I didn’t have all the ingredients for the original recipe, I figured I could make it work with what I had. I even borrowed a can of diced tomatoes from my good friend (and neighbor). (Thanks, Jessie)! You don’t have to use lasagna noodles, but if you’re like me, chances are, you’ll have an opened box of lasagna noodles leftover from a bygone (yet fabulous) lasagna. This is the perfect soup to use those rogue noodles! I added a couple of Field Roast sausages and made some other alterations and it came out fantastic. Try this with some diced zucchini or mushrooms for some variety.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Field Roast sausages, Italian variety

1 Tbs olive oil

2-1/2 tsp dried oregano

3/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp dried rosemary

28-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes

9-10 lasagna noodles

7 C water

1 vegetable bouillon cube

1/2 C spaghetti sauce

2 bay leaves

1-1/2 Tbs dried basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Daiya cheese

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil, garlic, Field Roast, and onion.

Cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender.

 

Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, and rosemary; stir to combine. Add the diced tomatoes (juice and all), spaghetti sauce, 6 cups of water (you may want to add more later), the two bay leaves, and the bouillon (I chopped it up first); bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Break up the lasagna noodles and add to the pot. Let simmer 10-12 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked (you may need to add more water). Remove the bay leaves and serve with a sprinkle of Daiya cheese. Enjoy!

Field Roast and Spinach Enchiladas (a.k.a. Best. Enchiladas. Ever.)

These were seriously enchilada magic. They were also very easy to make, which may have been because The Eighth Grader helped out. With or without help in the kitchen, you’ll have plenty of help eating these! This is also a great dish to trick those meat-lover friends and family and later, you can do the happy “Ha-Ha That Was Vegan And You Loved It” dance. (But try not to gloat too much). ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:

28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C vegetable broth
2-1/2 tsp Ancho chile pepper
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 jarred roasted red peppers
2-3 large cloves of garlic

Filling:

2 tsp olive oil
2 Field Roast sausages, Chipotle style, crumbled
1 C onion, diced
5-6 C fresh spinach, torn into pieces, or chopped
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

The rest:

6 large flour tortillas
Daiya cheese shreds

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan, combine the diced tomatoes, broth, Ancho chile pepper, cumin, oregano, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook five minutes, or until the onion softens and begins to brown. Add the Field Roast and black beans and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

While the filling is cooking, place the roasted red peppers and garlic in the food processor:

Add just half of the sauce and puree until smooth, then return it to the saucepan and combine with the other half of the sauce.

Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir the spinach into the filling mixture. You may need to add a tiny bit of water to get the steam going. I poured a little vegetable broth in. Cook until the spinach just begins to wilt, then remove from the heat.

To assemble the enchiladas, place about a third of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Fill each tortilla evenly with the filling and top with a sprinkle of Daiya cheese. I used a combo of cheddar and jack.

Roll up tightly and place fold-side down in the pan.

Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle some more Daiya on top.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Top with some Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, and green onions (diced avocado is great, too)!

Enjoy!

French Bread Pizzas

Now this is pizza you have eat with a fork and a knife. These really are a no-brainer to make, but I’ll post them because sometimes the easiest and quickest meals can be the hardest to come up with. I didn’t feel like taking the time to make dough, let it rise, knead it . . . so using French bread is a way around that. Just add your favorite toppings . . .

 . . . and bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole

 

Quinoa and black beans are two proteins that are just meant to be together. The original recipe for the burgers is from Vegetarian Times, but I made a few alterations. I also added a slice of Daiya cheese (Havarti style wedge) and I made some guac to top it off. The recipe also calls for steak seasoning, and as a vegan, I don’t typically stock up on that stuff, so I went with a blend of Old Bay and a Garlic and Wine seasoning. And don’t expect a dry consistency with these burgers—they’re crispy on the outside and soft and moist inside. These can be made ahead, and even frozen, so they make a great lunch as well when you don’t have a lot of time.

 

INGREDIENTS:

Burgers:

1/2 C quinoa (I used a blend of red, wheat, and black quinoa which I found in the bulk section of the store)

1 C onion, chopped fine

6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped fine

1 15-oz can black beans, drained, rinsed, and divided

2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

1 tsp Garlic & Wine seasoning

1/4 C flax seed

5-6 hamburger buns

Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded

1/2 C diced tomatoes

2 Tbs red onion, diced

1 Tbs lime juice

1/4 C cilantro, optional

2 tsp Mt. Elbert All Purpose Seasoning from  Savory

 

DIRECTIONS:

In a small saucepan, combine 1-1/2 cups of water with the quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, in a skillet, combine the onion and sun-dried tomatoes. The oil left on the tomatoes will be plenty of oil for sauteeing. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add 3/4 cup of the black beans, garlic, seasoning, and 1-1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed.

 

Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor, along with 3/4 cup of the quinoa and process until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl and add the rest of the black beans and quinoa. I also added some flax seed to the mix. Season with salt and pepper.

(Yes, I know, it looks really unappetizing right now…)

I made these earlier in the day, so I covered the mixture and let it cool in the fridge for about an hour. When you’re ready to make the patties, preheat the oven to 350. Spray a pan with cooking spray and set aside. Make 5-8 patties (depending on how large you make them) and place onto the pan.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, then flip and bake another 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the guac, mash the avocados with a pastry blender. Add the other ingredients and combine thoroughly.

If using Daiya cheese, throw a slice or two onto the burgers during the last minute of baking—it’ll melt quickly.

Enjoy!

Mexican Pasta Bake

As you may recall, a few months ago, I had decided to give up wheat and soy . . . yeah, uh, the soy part has been surprisingly easy. It’s the wheat part. I don’t know how you gluten-free folks do it! Especially if you’re vegan and gluten-free! I’ve certainly laid off of it, but there’s just no way I could swear off of it for good. As for soy, I’ll have the occasional miso or Tofutti sour cream. Otherwise, it’s a no-soy zone for me. For this meal, I broke all my rules by using regular pasta, Boca crumbles, and Tofutti sour cream. *GASP* Yes, I fudged and it was damn good. This creamy, spicy casserole was delicious and I’m thrilled with the results.

INGREDIENTS:

13.25 oz pkg penne pasta

1 Tbs olive oil (I used chipotle-flavored)

1 bag Boca crumbles (a half a bag would probably be plenty)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

2-3 C kale, chopped or torn

Sauce:

1 10-oz can Rotel Original with diced tomatoes & green chilies

seasoning packet (either for tacos, burritos, or fajitas)

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/4 C almond milk

1/2 C Daiya cheddar (you’ll need just a bit more for sprinkling on top)

The rest: (optional toppings)

Guacamole, or diced avocados, black olives, sliced green onion, fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the Boca crumbles; cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook 7-10 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Stir in the kale and cook until it softens and wilts.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.

Return the drained pasta to the pot (or you can use a large mixing bowl) and combine it with both the sauce and the veggie/Boca mixture. Pour it into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle some Daiya cheese on top.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. I made some guacamole, so I added a dollop on top with some green onion. Enjoy!

Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes

I should clarify: Once nuked, once baked. This is another kid creation that The Seventh Grader took on. It was one of those nights I forced the family to fend for themselves and this is what the 13-year-old wanted. With very little instruction, he made dinner in about 20 minutes. He a genius. (He takes after me, you know). He may have gotten a little heavy handed with the Tofutti sour cream and (vegan) bacon bits, but who wouldn’t? I stole a bite and wow! He’s cooking next time!

INGREDIENTS: (He made one potato, so I’m giving you the gist–you can figure it out for more than one) ;-)

1 russet potato

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream (my suggested amount)

1 Tbs Earth Balance

1/8-1/4 C Daiya cheddar cheese shreds

Dash or two of garlic salt

Dash (or several) of veggie (TVP-based) bacon bits

Paprika

(I think some chopped chives or green onions would be great, too)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Cook the tater in the microwave. (Be sure to fork it several times first). Once it’s soft, cut it in half and scoop out the innards. Be careful not to puncture the skin.

 Transfer to a bowl and add the other ingredients, except the paprika. Mix together thoroughly.

Fill each potato skin evenly with the filling.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. If you want to brown the top, place under the broiler for a minute or two. Enjoy!

Field Roast and Veggie Tacos

I’ve used Field Roast in breakfast burritos, so why not tacos? ( As you can see, I had a taco fiesta foul with one of the shells, but it worked out ok. :) ) Somehow, zucchini reproduced in my fridge so I had to use some of them up—they’re ideal for tacos.  I also had some chipotle-flavored olive oil from Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company—the perfect opportunity to use it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

4 Field Roast Chipotle-flavored sausages, thawed and crumbled

4 medium zucchinis, cut into sticks

2 red bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

Corn taco shells

All the other fixins (optional): Daiya cheese, Tofutti sour cream, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and salsa

DIRECTIONS:

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions, and cook 4-5 minutes.

Next, add the zucchini, peppers, and Field Roast. You don’t necessarily have to add the sausages at this point since it’s only a matter of heating them through, but I like to get the flavors incorporated with the veggies early on.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, or until tender. I like to cover and let the steam help cook the veggies. Serve with your favorite taco fixings and enjoy!

Avocado and Pinto Bean Enchiladas

These are probably some of the tastiest enchiladas I’ve had. The original recipe is from eat, drink & be veganI made a couple of minor changes because I couldn’t find one of the ingredients, added some green chilies, but also made a bigger batch (inadvertently). Her recipe yielded 10-12 enchiladas, but I ended up with 17—if my pan was bigger, I would have got 18. I’m glad that I bought extra enchilada sauce because of this. I’m not sure if I just didn’t fill the tortillas up enough, but I definitely had lots of filling left over after the first dozen tortillas. In any case, they were delicious. I was really intrigued with the 1/2 cup of cashew pieces the recipe requires and I have to tell you, they’re fabulous—they add just a little crunch. I highly recommend using them. Below is how I made these, but click on the above link for the original recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

16-18 corn tortillas

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 C onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp Ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

2-1/2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 can pinto beans, drained

1/2 C cashews, chopped

2 Tbs lime juice

2 avocados, peeled and pitted

1-1/4 tsp salt

2 19 oz cans enchilada sauce

1 small can diced green chilies, mild or hot

Optional ingredients: Daiya cheese, cilantro, and vegan sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, allspice, the 1/4 tsp of salt, and the pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, beans, and cashews and cook another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado with the 1-1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl, or use the food processor. The avocados I had weren’t completely ripe so I used the food processor. I probably got them a little too mashed, but it turned out just fine.

Stir in half a can of one of the enchilada sauces and the green chilies, into the avocado mixture.

Blend the avocado mixture with the onion/mushroom mixture. At this point, I heated some water in my steam pot to steam the tortilla shells. Place a tortilla one at a time in the pot–it’ll only take about 15-20 seconds per side to steam the tortilla. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce from the first can on the bottom of a 15″ baking dish (you can also use some from the other can. I also started out with a 9×13 and realized it wasn’t going to be big enough, so I added an 8×8″ baking dish). Fill each tortilla with about 4-5 tablespoons of filling, roll up, and place fold-side down in the pan. Repeat. Pour the remaining sauce on top.

Cover and bake 16-18 minutes. Remove the foil and top with cheese (if using) and bake another 10-12 minutes.

Top with cilantro and sour cream. Enjoy!

 

More Fun with Ramen

You may remember that The Seventh Grader likes to experiment in the kitchen, particularly using ramen noodles. Recently, he came up with a new creation: Ramen Nests. After cooking the noodles, he sprayed a muffin tin with cooking spray and divided the noodles into four nests. After baking for a few minutes, he then added some chopped spinach, Daiya cheese, and his own array of spices such as garlic salt and pepper. He then baked them a bit more. They were quite delicious! What a cheap appetizer! (4 nests for about $0.20)  Such a culinary genius! ;-)

Vegan Scalloped Yams and Zucchini

I found myself with several yams and sometimes, I don’t always know what to do with them. So why not scalloped potatoes? I threw in some zucchini and onions, and topped it with some Daiya and panko. Delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

2 large yams, peeled and sliced thin

1 small onion

1 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

2-1/2 Tbs arrowroot

1/4 C nutritional yeast

2 C almond milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 Tbs fresh rosemary, minced

1/4 C panko

Daiya cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Boil the yams in a large soup pot for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until softened. Add the seasonings.

Whisk together the milk, arrowroot, and nutritional yeast. Pour it into the skillet with the onions and zucchini. Stir continuously until the sauce begins to thicken.

Layer half of the yams into an 8″ baking dish. Pour half of the onion mixture on top and spread evenly around. Layer on the rest of the yams, then the mixture. Top with some cheese.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the panko and bake another 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!

Gluten & Soy-Free Pizza with Caramelized Onions

Crash Test Vegetarian posted a pizza recipe with caramelized onions. It took me back because we used to always put caramelized onions on our pizza, along with toasted walnuts and (at the time) Gorgonzola cheese. Oh, how things have changed!  It got me craving our old pizza recipe. I decided to change things up though with other ingredients, but those onions were a must!

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Dough Mix (see my earlier review)

1 large onion, sliced into strips

2 Tbs olive oil

1/4 to 1/3 C balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sugar

Toppings: sliced mushrooms, torn spinach, tomato slices, Daiya cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the crust according to package instructions (it will need to rise for 20 minutes). To caramelize the onions, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until they tenderize and start to turn brown.

Drizzle balsamic vinegar and sugar on the onions, and combine thoroughly. Cook until brown and shriveled.

Layer your toppings on the prepared pizza crust (Bob’s Red Mill makes (2) 12″ or (1) 16″). Bake for 15-18 minutes. Enjoy!

Easy Tostadas

This is one of those no-brainer meals that when you need something quick and easy, these fit the bill. The Seventh Grader, always helpful when it comes to cooking (but not cleaning) makes this even easier to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Boca crumbles

1 can refried beans

1/2 large onion, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 pkg taco seasoning

8-12 tostada shells

All the fixins’: Tofutti sour cream, lettuce, tomato, avocado, fresh cilantro, Daiya cheese, and salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the onion and cook 3-5 minutes. Add the Boca crumbles and cook until heated through. Add the can of refries and combine well. In a small cup, prepare the seasoning mix according to the package instructions and stir into the bean/Boca mixture. Place the tostada shells on a baking sheet and warm for 3-5 minutes. Layer on some of the bean mixture along with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Tortilla Lasagna

This was a smash hit with the family. The original recipe is from the Jan/Feb issue of Vegetarian Times, but I made a few changes and added some ingredients, such as green onion, cilantro, and black olives. Personally, if those three ingredients aren’t in a Mexican dish like this, don’t bother. Just saying . . . I really liked using flour tortillas, but feel free to use the corn variety, especially if you’d like to make a gluten-free version.

INGREDIENTS:

6, 8-inch flour tortillas

1 Tbs olive oil

1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)

2 Tbs chili powder (I used 1 Tbs ground cumin)

2 tsp ancho chile powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 C strained tomatoes, divided (I used a can of crushed tomatoes)

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

1 med chayote, peeled and diced or 2 med zucchinis, diced (I went with the zucchinis)

1/2 C fresh or frozen corn kernels

1-1/2 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I used a mix of Daiya cheeses)

Optional ingredients: (totally worth it)

black olives, green onion, guacamole, Tofutti sour cream, salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1-1/2 cups of the tomatoes, black beans, zucchini, corn, and 1/2 cup of water.  Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Cover and cook 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Meanwhile, place the tortillas on a large baking sheet and toast them for 5 minutes, turning once. Then, coat a 2″ deep by 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup of the tomatoes on the bottom and spread around. Lay one tortilla on the bottom; top with about 3/4 cup of the bean mixture and some cheese.

Repeat four more times, then top with last tortilla.

Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top and sprinkle on the last of cheese. If using, top with green onion and black olives.

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Top with some diced avocados or guacamole, fresh cilantro, and a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Zucchini and Kale Breakfast Frittata

I haven’t made a breakfast frittata/casserole in a while and I was craving one. Plus, I had veggies that needed to get eaten before they went beyond the  point of recognition. Loaded with some of my favorite veggies,  I could have eaten the entire pan.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Field Roast sausage, Italian-style, thawed and crumbled

4 green onions, sliced

3-4 C torn kale (I used a red boar kale)

1 small zucchini, sliced thin

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1 C crackers

1/3 C Daiya cheddar shreds

1 small tomato, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the Field Roast, zucchini, and green onion. Cook until the zucchini begins to soften, 3-4 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and kale; cook another few minutes, or until the kale begins to wilt. Because kale is a heartier green, it doesn’t cook down as fast as spinach or chard. Crumble the crackers into the bottom of a pie plate and sprinkle half the cheese on top.

Pour the veggie mix into the pie plate . . .

Top with remaining cheese and the diced tomatoes.

Cover with foil and bake for 12-15 minutes. If you want crispier kale, cook uncovered. Enjoy!

Swiss Chard Gratin

Holy moly! Has Christmas come and gone? Where was I?  Well, I certainly wasn’t blogging. I planned to, but to be honest, the dishes I made came out less-than-stellar. I was really disappointed. I was thrilled to use the Whole Foods Recipe App for my ipad, but I think the only thing exciting about the recipes I chose, was how they looked on the app. :-( Oh well, not a big deal. I did, however, receive Vegan Holiday Kitchen from a friend, so next Christmas, I’ll be prepared.

So I wasn’t about to give up on Whole Foods and their fabulous app. It’s quite amazing, actually—check it out. So here’s how it went down tonight . . . I received 2 gorgeous bunches of organic Swiss chard from Green Buffalo Food Company this afternoon and I immediately clicked on the trusty app. There’s a section called “On Hand” where you plug in what ingredient(s) you have it’ll show you what they’ve got. Plus,  you can narrow it down to only show you vegan or vegetarian recipes using that ingredient.

There were so many choose from such as Chard with Sherry Vinegar and Walnuts and Mushroom, Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos. I decided on the Gratin, which I had to veganize, but that was a breeze. I served it with some pilaf and rolls, making it a night of side dishes. This recipe certainly restored my faith in WF’s recipes. I added mushrooms to this recipe and I’m glad I did–they are ideal for a dish like this. Even using three bunches of chard or some added kale would have been good, too.

INGREDIENTS:

2-3 bunches Swiss chard leaves, chopped

6-8 mushrooms, sliced

1 C water

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, more for baking dish

1 C almond milk

2 Tbs flour

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/3 C Daiya mozzarella

1 Tbs panko (or vegan breadcrumbs)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large pot, add the water and chard; cook over medium heat. I used tongs to constantly stir the chard. After 3-4 minutes, or the chard is tender, drain (but reserve 1/4 C of the water) and set aside. In the same pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour and stir constantly for a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and reserved cooking water; whisk until thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir in 1/2 of the Daiya cheese, then remove from the heat. Stir in the mushrooms and chard.

Butter an 8″x8″ baking dish and pour the chard mixture in, topping it with the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mexican Casserole

I’m fortunate I don’t have a gluten intolerance (even though seitan bothers me). I can’t imagine eliminating gluten from my diet as well, but I am starting to realize that it’s not that difficult to make something vegan and gluten-free, like this delicious casserole.

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz quinoa pasta, any variety

3 bell peppers, diced (I used one red, one yellow, and one orange)

1 medium red onion, diced

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 15-oz can black beans, drained

1 6-oz can tomato paste

4-5 green onion, sliced

1-2 Tbs olive oil

Daiya cheese, any flavor

2-1/2 C Corn chips or gluten-free crackers

Optional ingredients: 1-2 C fresh chopped cilantro, 1-2 C black olives, diced avocados, salsa, jalapenos, green chilies, Tofutti sour cream

Taco seasoning packet or make your own: (This is a mild version, so you may want to add more chili powder for a added kick)

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. If making the seasoning, combine the ingredients and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes—not too long, or it’ll get mushy. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the peppers and onions.

Cook for about 10 minutes, until they are slightly soft. Add the mushrooms and half of the seasonings; cook another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the tomato paste and diced tomatoes until well combined. Stir in the black beans and the rest of the seasonings. Stir the tomato mixture into the pepper mixture and combine well.

Using the same bowl as the tomato mixture, combine the pasta and vegetable mixture and stir well to combine. Line the bottom of a 15″ baking dish with corn chips or gluten free crackers, then spread on a layer of Daiya cheese. Pour the vegetable mixture on the chips.

Top with more Daiya cheese and green onion. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream and enjoy!

Mushroom & Spinach Manicotti

It’s hard not to please the family with this simple, flavorful dish. Many people think that vegans can’t enjoy Italian food because the cheese factor, but in reality, it’s so simple to veganize. I use my go-to ricotta cheese recipe and Daiya cheese is really delicious, so there’s not reason herbivores can’t indulge in their favorite pasta dishes!

INGREDIENTS:

12-13 manicotti shells

1 jar marinara sauce

1-1/2 C sliced mushrooms

2 C chopped fresh spinach

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1/2 C diced onion

1/2 C Daiya mozzarella

Tofu Ricotta:

1 14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil

2 Tbs fresh rosemary

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the pasta until just al dente—it will cook more in the sauce while in the oven. Meanwhile, combine all of the ricotta ingredients in a food processor and blend well. In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic and add the onion. Cook under tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes.

Combine the tofu mixture and the mushroom mixture in a medium bowl. Stir in the spinach.

Pour about a half the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13″ pan; spread evenly. Using your hands or a spoon, stuff each manicotti shell and place in pan. Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5-7 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. 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!

Boca Enchiladas

When we first went vegan, the thought of having Mexican (or Italian) food again seemed like a pipe dream, but I think that some of my favorite meals have been just those—thanks to yummy meat and dairy alternatives. Lucky for me, too, because the Husband loves enchiladas and if I didn’t come up with a veg-based one, he wouldn’t be fun to live with. ;) I’ve also made a seitan version, and these Boca Crumbles ones are pretty darn delish, too.  I made a pretty big batch so feel free to halve the recipe for a smaller crowd.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

1-12 oz bag Boca Crumbles

1 medium green bell pepper, diced small

1 small onion, diced small

1-4 oz can diced green chilies (I used mild)

3-10 oz cans enchiladas sauce (I used Old El Paso–mild)

20 LaTortilla Factory Hand Made Style Corn Tortillas (Love these!! They’re a cross between a corn and flour tortilla and come in white and yellow corn—see below)

1 pkg Vegan Gourmet Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded + 1/2 C Daiya cheddar, shredded, mixed together

1 C black olives, sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced (both green and white parts)

Optional garnishes: Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, diced avocados

DIRECTIONS:

Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the bell pepper and onions; saute until softened. Add the Boca crumbles and cook until heated through; stir in the green chilies.

I think it helps to steam the tortillas first, but only do a couple at a time, as the bottom ones will stick if there are too many on top. In a 15″ pan (I made the mistake of using a smaller pan, so I had to use 2 pans) pour 1-1/2 cans of the enchiladas sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of the Boca mixture into the steamed tortillas; add some cheese on top.

Tightly roll up the tortillas and place, fold down, into the baking dish.

Once each tortilla is rolled, top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Sprinkle the olives and green onions on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro and/or any of the optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Product Review: Tofurky Vegan Cheese Pizza

For the Sixth Grader, finding a tasty vegan pizza is a must. Pizza parties are a thing of the past for him, so I think it’s important for him to have this treat every now and again.

Tofurky claims that this is the “1st Non-Dairy Cheese That Really Melts”. Well, they use Daiya cheese, just like Amy’s Mac and Cheeze so that is promising!  The 12-oz frozen pizza will cost you $6.79 at Vitamin Cottage Grocers, but $8.99 at Whole Foods (gee . . .big surprise). I certainly don’t think that’s right to pay that much for a frozen pizza. Unfortunately, I think that’s one of the reasons why vegan food gets a bad rap as being more expensive. But I think the more people eat vegan, the cheaper the products will become.  (The Sixth Grader, of course has no problem with the price . . . ;) )

You bake it at 420 for 11-12 minutes (10 was perfect). It was quite good! They don’t skimp on the cheese and like they claim, it melts beautifully. Very impressive.

A third of the pizza contains 240 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, NO CHOLESTEROL, and less sodium than regular cheese pizza.

Overall, this is a great choice for a vegan pizza, if you don’t mind the price tag.

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)!

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