Wild Mushroom & Miso Soup

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

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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

vegmixTransfer to a slow cooker and add the shiitake and cremini mushrooms, along with the broth and water.

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

Quinoa & Veggies with a Tahini-Miso Dressing

Quinoa2Quinoa is such a fantastic lunch option. It’s packed with protein and it can be made so many different ways, that it’s pretty hard to get bored with it. I wanted a light dressing for this and came up with this tangy tahini-miso goodness. I also love adding nuts for a bit of crunch to these types of dishes, so I threw in some toasted almond slivers. Delish!

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INGREDIENTS:

1 C quinoa (I like this Rainbow Quinoa from Alter Eco)
2 C vegetable broth or water
1-1/2 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced
6 green onions, sliced
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 C slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing:

1 tsp tahini
1 Tbs yellow miso
1/8 C almond milk
2 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

nutsandveggies

DIRECTIONS:

Rinse the quinoa in fine mesh strainer with cold water. Combine it with the broth (or water) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until there is just a little bit of water left, about 12-15 minutes. Add the mushrooms and green onions, but don’t combine—cover and let the veggies steam 3-4 minutes. For the dressing, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.

DSC08038Once the mushrooms have softened, stir them into the quinoa. Add the tomatoes, nuts and dressing. I recommend adding a little dressing at a time in case you don’t want it all. I had a little left over.

DSC08041Gently fold and combine everything. Enjoy!

Quinoa2

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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Pasta with Kale

I was on my own for dinner the other night, so after staring blankly at the cupboards, then the fridge, I decided to combine some of my favorite ingredients for dinner: tri-color pasta, kale, mushrooms, and miso. For some added crunch (and protein) you could throw in some pine nuts or chopped cashews.

INGREDIENTS:

8-10 oz tri-color rotini

1 bunch kale, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, sliced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1 Tbs yellow miso

1 tsp garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook the pasta until al dente and drain. Meanwhile, steam the kale and mushrooms 3-5 minutes—just until they’re tender. Usually, once the kale turns bright green, it’s ready. Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in, melt the margarine and garlic. Stir in the miso and blend it in. Add the kale and pasta and combine well. Enjoy!

Mushroom and Snow Pea Soup

This soup is perfect if you want a comforting meal in no time. I used lots of my favorite ingredients and like most soups, it will taste even better the next day.

INGREDIENTS:

6 C vegetable broth

1 Tbs olive oil

6 green onion, sliced

3 C Shiitake and white mushrooms (or cremini), sliced

2 C snow peas, cut into pieces (and ends snipped)

1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated

3 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tbs yellow miso

6-oz Angel hair pasta

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and garlic. Add the green onion, mushrooms, and snow peas. Cook until the veggies are tender.

Add the ginger and miso, and combine well. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and cook another 3-5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Raw Alfredo with Zucchini Noodles from Vegangela

I saw this recipe from Angela at Vegangela earlier this week, and it’s all I could think about. I had to wait until the reboot was over since it contains cashews. She came up with the sauce based on the creamy cashew sauce. Using non-pasteurized miso will make it raw and I think zucchini makes ideal noodles. Thanks for another amazing recipe, Angela!

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium zucchinis

1 C raw cashews

3/4 C water

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp thyme

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt & pepper, to taste

1 Tbs light miso paste (optional)

2 Tbs nutritional yeast (optional)

Fresh basil (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the cashews for minutes in water. While that’s going on, remove the peel of the zucchinis. Using a peeler, peel the zucchinis from one end to the other, rotating until the core is too small to peel anymore.

Next, grind the cashews in a food processor to a fine consistency. Add the other ingredients and blend until fairly smooth.

You can mix the noodles with the sauce or spoon it over them. Top with some fresh basil and enjoy!

White Bean Crock Cheez

This cheeze comes from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook and is similar to the other crock cheez from the same cookbook. The change here is that this recipe uses white beans (I used Great Northern beans) instead of tofu. That makes a difference, especially for those who don’t eat soy (or a lot of it) for various reasons. This is a great alternative. The taste is only slightly different as you can tell it’s made with beans, and the texture is a little bit softer and smoother. I love to have this on pieces of pita bread, on crackers, or spread on toast. You can also use garbanzo beans in place of the white beans.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C cooked white beans or garbanzo beans

3 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbs tahini

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 Tbs light miso

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Chill several hours or overnight. Keeps 5-7 days in the fridge. Enjoy!

Creamy Tofu-Port Spread

I love experimenting with making vegan cheeses and spreads and this one is so easy and delicious. It’s ideal as a sandwich or wrap condiment, or a dip for crackers and veggies (particularly, veggie crackers)! I also think it’d be great on a toasted bagel, English muffin, or toast.

INGREDIENTS:

14-oz tofu, drained, pressed, and cubed

2/3 C nutritional yeast flakes

3 Tbs yellow or red miso (I used yellow)

3 Tbs tahini

1 Tbs lemon juice

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C port wine

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Add everything into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about 2-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Vegetable-Barley Soup

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

INGREDIENTS:

4 C vegetable broth

3-4 C water

1/3 C pearled barley

1 zucchini, sliced then quartered

4 stalks celery, sliced

2 C mushrooms, sliced/quartered

3 medium carrots, sliced

4 large green onions, sliced

1/3 C light miso

1/3 C sherry

3 Tbs dried minced onion

2 Tbs dried chives

1 C fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp black pepper

3/4 C almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

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

Cashew Spread

I think I might be getting the hang of these nut cheeses. I thought I’d try my hand at making a cashew cheese spread and I love it! It’s perfect as a sandwich condiment, a cracker topper, or lathered on an apple slice. You can play with the flavors, but I like an herb-y kind of spread and I think you’ll like this one, too!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C raw cashews

1/4 C lemon juice

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp yellow miso

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried chives

1/4 C cold water

1/4 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Soak the cashews in a bowl of water for about an hour; drain and rinse. In a food processor, grind the cashews until fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.

Transfer to an airtight container and chill for 3-5 hours. Makes about 1-1/2 cups. Enjoy!

Crock Cheez

When I tell people I’m vegan,  a lot of them will say that they could probably give up meat, but cheese?! Are you kidding? They just can’t give up this coagulated, compressed, salty, melty product of milk. I can understand; back in the day, I was definitely a cheese-whore. But thanks to The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, I can go back to my cheese-whoring days of yore. If  you don’t already have this cookbook, run, walk, bike, drive (carpool, if you can), ride the bus . . . to the nearest locally-owned and operated (if possible) bookstore and buy it!  Either that, or visit me often, because rest assured, I will be making (and posting) every recipe from this cookbook throughout the coming months. I am amazed at how delicious (and easy!) these recipes are. I know . .  *eye roll* . . .there may be a few cheeze recipes that won’t fool you skeptics out there, but that’s ok, I’m aware that some fake cheese taste, well, fake. It’s gonna happen, but I’m finding that there are enough out there to make up for those few.

This crock cheeze is absolutely amazing! It tastes incredible. The cookbook also list several different variations of this recipe that I will definitely try–watch out for those posts. :)  I made it shortly before dinner and I wanted to eat just that on crackers, but my family would have gone hungry . . . I don’t know that I would have shared.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 lb (8oz) firm regular tofu, drained and pressed

3 Tbs nutritional yeast

2 Tbs Tahini or raw cashew butter (I used tahini)

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 Tbs light miso

1 tsp onion powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

I love Denver Tofu (not just because I live in Colorado) but because it really is outstanding.

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. This is a pretty important step, like with the Party Cheese Ball and the Cheddar and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. The flavors really need a chance to mesh and mingle. That is, if you can wait that long. :)

My Cure-All Vegetable-Miso Soup

Well, curing colds is the idea. If anything, this soup is hearty and flavorful. It’s also chocked full of immune-boosting ingredients. The Husband was struck with a cold for two weeks, then after four days of wellness, got hit again. The Sixth Grader is now catching on to this cold business. I’m a firm believer that fresh fruits and vegetables are the best remedy for the cold. Unfortunately, the Husband didn’t load up on them when he was sick . . .hmmm. . . Twice, I did feel it coming on, and both times I ate a big bowl of steamed kale. Cold symptoms gone. I make the kale a regular thing for me now—at least three days a week and even for breakfast. So last night my sniffling, coughing guys were asking for me to make the colds go away, so to the kitchen I went and for a appetizer, I made them split an orange bell pepper, which is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin A and antioxidants.

INGREDIENTS:

4 C low-sodium vegetable broth

3 C water

2 C red potatoes, diced

1 large leek (loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium)

2 tsp garlic, minced (also loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium)

1 C carrots, sliced (get your beta carotene, Vitamin A and antioxidants)

2 C button or shiitake mushrooms, quartered (packed full of nutrients–long list–plus some fiber)

1 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (high in fiber and protein)

1/2 C yellow miso

Optional: 1 C kale or spinach

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the vegetable broth and water in a large soup pot. Bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, carrots and leeks. Cook about 10 minutes and then add the garlic and beans. Simmer again for another 8-10 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are soft, but still with a bit of a crunch. Stir in miso and mushrooms and simmer 5 minutes. It’s that easy!! Serve with a little extra love and it’s sure to cure colds! Enjoy!

Miso Tahini Dressing

This dressing has the perfect combination of saltiness, creaminess and nutty flavor that would be great on salads, wraps, sandwiches, baked tofu, steamed veggies or as a veggie dip. It’s also a breeze to make.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 C white, sweet miso

1/4 C tahini

1/3 C or more warm water

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl whisk together the miso and tahini to form a creamy paste. Slowly pour in warm water, gently whisking a little at a time until a creamy dressing forms. If thinner dressing is desired, dribble in a little more water. The dressing will thicken if allowed to sit a while. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Veganomicon

Sesame Tofu Sandwiches

I really love marinated tofu sandwiches. They’re easy to make, will last the whole week and it’s so simple to create your own marinades. I first came across this idea from Lauren Ulm of Vegan Yum Yum and her recipe for Smoky Miso Tofu Sandwiches. After making her recipe several times, I decided to changes things up and come up with my own marinade using some of my favorite ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb extra-firm tofu

2-1/2 Tbs red miso

2 Tbs tamari

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1 Tbs brown rice syrup

About 1/8 C toasted sesame seeds

Avocado slices

Tomato slices

Spinach

Veganaise

Your favorite sandwich bread (I like to toast it)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Drain and press tofu. Meanwhile whisk together miso, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, and brown rice syrup. It makes about a cup. For a kick, add 1/8-1/4 tsp of cayenne to the marinade. Or try smoked paprika.

Slice pressed tofu into 13-18 slices. I wanted the tofu to be a little thick, so I got 13 slices out of this one. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush one side of a tofu slice with the marinade and place it on the pan (marinaded side down) then brush the top. Repeat until all slices are covered. With 13 slices, I could layer it on pretty thick. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and bake for about 15-20 mins, depending on how thick of slices you have. 17 mins worked great for mine.

Add your favorite sandwich toppings. I toasted the bread, used some Veganaise, avocado slices, tomato slices and spinach. Try roasted red peppers, vegan cheese, sprouts, cucumbers, bell pepper…the list goes on.

Besides great for sandwiches, these baked tofu slices could be diced up for salads (green or pasta), tossed over cooked rice, or steamed vegetables or just to munch on.   Enjoy!

Miso Soup with Tofu and Baby Spinach

This soup has all my favorite ingredients! Mushrooms, spinach, tofu, green onion….It’s a very light soup that would go great with half a sandwich and is tasty, tasty, tasty! Plus, with prep and cook time, it was ready in about 25 minutes. This is great soothing soup–it’s the new chicken soup! Add or substitute your favorite ingredients like celery, leeks or shredded carrot.

INGREDIENTS:

6 C water
1 1/2 C baby spinach leaves, cut into thin strips
1/2 C thinly sliced mushrooms
3 Tbs minced scallions (about 3 large green onions)
1 Tbs Tamari or other soy sauce
1/3 C mellow white miso paste
4 oz extra firm silken tofu, drained and cut into 1/2″ dice

DIRECTIONS:

Place the water in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach, mushrooms, scallions, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables soften, about 3-6 mins. Reduce the heat to low. Place 1/4 cup of the soup mixture in a small bowl and add the miso, blending well. Stir the mixture back into the soup and add the tofu and simmer for 2 minutes, being careful not to boil. Serve hot. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Planet

Smoky Miso Tofu Sandwiches

I love sandwiches, but I typically don’t post any unless they are unique and out-of-this-world. This sandwich is just that! The baked tofu slices will keep in the refrigerator for a while for future lunches, snacks, pasta salads, etc. I end up making a batch every couple of weeks. When it comes to sandwiches, anything goes! Add your favorite ingredients. I like mayo, roasted red pepper, spinach, a Tofutti cheese slice. I sometimes substitute the roasted red pepper for tomato. My husband likes to add some balsamic vinegar. Just go for it!

INGREDIENTS:

1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
3 Tbs red miso
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs sugar
3 Tbs tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke flavoring
Your favorite sandwich bread

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. Wrap drained tofu in a few paper towels. (What I do is wrap in paper towels, place in/on a large dish or plate. Top with a plate and then stack 2-3 heavy cans on the plate. I press down just a little. I wait 5 mins then re-wrap tofu again in new paper towels and repeat. Works great). Meanwhile, mix together the miso, lemon juice, sugar, tamari, yeast, and Liquid Smoke to make the marinade. Unwrap tofu and cut many thin, width-wise slices with a large knife. (Don’t use a serrated knife–you don’t want to saw your way through the tofu. I like it a bit thick and got 17 slices, but depending on how thick or thin you want it, you can get 20 slices).

I then line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. I brush one side of each tofu slice with the marinade, placing the brushed side down. Then I brush the other side. Let the slices absorb the mariade for 10 mins, then brush just the tops again. Bake for 20 mins (unless you go really thin with the slices–check after 10 mins). Remove from the oven and let the slices cool on the sheet. (I like them a bit warm). The tofu should be darkened around the edges, but not burned.

To make a sandwich, I toast a couple slices of sour dough and add my favorite sandwich toppings! Here’s some suggestions:
roasted red peppers
spinach
Tofutti cheese slices
cucumber
tomato
avocado
sprouts
Dijon mustard
bell pepper
The ideas are endless. What your favorite sandwich ingredients?
I store the leftovers in a well-sealed container in the fridge. Dice up the slices for pasta salad, stir fry, rice, or just plain snack on it! Enjoy!

Recipe source: Vegan Yum Yum