Cashew Cheese Risotto

Cashew Cheese Risotto -- Epicurean VeganJust so you  know, we’re not messing around with this risotto. I shudder to think what my vegan life would be like without cashew cheese. Obviously, the pure joy of the Creamy Macaroni with Cashew Cheese, would just not exist, as would the Stuffed Shells with Butternut Squash and Cashew Cheese and the Pine nut and Cashew Ravioli. Not a vegan world I’d want to live in, folks. And the beauty of it all, is that cashew cheese is so simple to make, a monkey can do it, so it just doesn’t get any better. This baked risotto dish is creamy, decadent and outta this world (and into vegan heaven). And did I mention it’s easy to make? Ready in 50 minutes? No standing at the stove constantly stirring like traditional risotto; this entree (or side dish) practically cooks itself. Served solo or with garlic bread and a salad, you’re well on your way to cashew cheese nirvana.

INGREDIENTS:
5 C vegetable broth
1-1/2 C Arborio rice
1 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 C onion, diced
16-oz mushrooms, sliced, then cut in half
1-1/2 C green onion, sliced
2-3 C fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 C white cooking wine
2 Tbs vegan margarine
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 recipe cashew cheese (see below)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cashew Cheese (makes 1 cup)
1 C raw, roasted and unsalted cashews (whole or pieces), soaked in hot water 1-2 hours
1/2 C water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:
Start the cashew cheese first. Soak the nuts in a bowl with enough boiling water to just cover the nuts. Let sit 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse and transfer to a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of water and puree. While the machine is running, add the salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary; set aside.
Cashew Cheese Risotto -- Epicurean VeganPreheat oven to 350. Combine 4 cups of the broth with the rice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. While the rice is baking, prepare your other ingredients. With about 10 minutes of cooking time left for the risotto,  heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the mushrooms and green onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and let it cook 2 minutes. Once it starts to wilt, remove from the heat.
Cashew Cheese Risotto -- Epicurean VeganWhen the risotto is done (all the liquid is absorbed), stir in the remaining cup of broth. Then add the white wine, vegan margarine, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes; this is what releases the starches and makes the risotto nice and creamy. Add the nutritional yeast and all of the cashew cheese. Stir until well combined. Fold in the mushroom-spinach mixture. And that’s it! Serve and thoroughly enjoy!

Cashew Cheese Risotto
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 5 C vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 C Arborio rice
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C onion, diced
  • 16-oz mushrooms, sliced, then cut in half
  • 1-1/2 C green onion, sliced
  • 2-3 C fresh spinach, chopped
  • ½ C white cooking wine
  • 2 Tbs vegan margarine
  • ¼ C nutritional yeast
  • 1 recipe cashew cheese (see below)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cashew Cheese (makes 1 cup)
  • 1 C raw, roasted and unsalted cashews (whole or pieces), soaked in hot water 1-2 hours
  • ½ C water
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
Directions
  1. Start the cashew cheese first. Soak the nuts in a bowl with enough boiling water to just cover the nuts. Let sit 1-2 hours. Drain, rinse and transfer to a food processor. Add ½ cup of water and puree. While the machine is running, add the salt, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350. Combine 4 cups of the broth with the rice in a Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
  3. While the rice is baking, prepare your other ingredients. With about 10 minutes of cooking time left for the risotto, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the mushrooms and green onion. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute about 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and let it cook 2 minutes. Once it starts to wilt, remove from the heat.
  4. When the risotto is done (all the liquid is absorbed), stir in the remaining cup of broth. Then add the white wine, vegan margarine, salt and pepper. Stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes; this is what releases the starches and makes the risotto nice and creamy. Add the nutritional yeast and all of the cashew cheese. Stir until well combined. Fold in the mushroom-spinach mixture. And that's it! Serve and thoroughly enjoy!

 

Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto

Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto -- Epicurean VeganWow, has it really been this long since my last post?! I guess the holidays will do that. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and so far a good 2014. I’ve made this risotto several times now, and I swear we love it more each time. Sure, there’s a little prep work involved, as well as some constant stirring, but I promise you, it’s worth it. You can even read a book while you make this. Seriously. Have a book  handy because you  might as well get some reading done as you stir. (A glass of wine wouldn’t hurt either).

INGREDIENTS:
3/4-oz pkg. dried shiitake mushrooms
3/4-oz pkg. dried porcini mushrooms
3 C vegetable broth
3 C fresh spinach, chopped
1/8-1/4 C lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 large onion, chopped small (about 1 C)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
16-oz cremini mushrooms
1-1/2 tsp thyme
1 C Arborio rice
1/2 C white cooking wine
1-1/2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
1/8 C nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp black pepper

DIRECTIONS:
To begin, soak the shiitake and porcini in very hot water for about 30 minutes. Once re-hydrated, drain, wash, and chop the mushrooms up small; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the spinach, lemon juice and salt; set aside as well. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil and add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat, then add the onion. Saute until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the cremini, shiitake, and porcini mushrooms and cook 10-12 minutes, or until they have cooked down. Add the thyme, Arborio rice, and remaining olive oil. Combine the rice well in the pan and cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook 5 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto -- Epicurean Vegan

Add about 1/2 C of the broth and stir constantly until completely absorbed; repeat, adding only a 1/2 C of broth at a time. It will take about 20-30 minutes. (Good time to have a book handy). Next, stir in the spinach mixture and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach has cooked down. Stir in the Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, and black pepper. Enjoy! (This is great with some oven-roasted asparagus and garlic toast)!

Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto -- Epicurean Vegan

Layered Polenta Casserole

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean VeganThis is how tonight’s post-dinner conversation went between father and son:
        “This is going to be deee-vine for tomorrow’s lunch,” father said as he placed the leftovers in a container.
        “Wait, who said you get them all?” his son said, grabbing hold of the dish.
        “You will lose an arm, son,” father said firmly. 
A wresting match in the kitchen ensued. I don’t know who the victor was; I walked away, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be eating the leftovers for breakfast. Yes, it was that good.

INGREDIENTS:
1 pre-made polenta log (I used the sun-dried tomato & garlic variety), cut into 18 slices
2 C spinach, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 C bread crumbs or panko
1/2 C Parmezano Sprinkles (recipe below)
Parmezano Sprinkles: (from the Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook)
1/2 C blanched almonds
2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes
1-2 tsp light miso
Heaping 1/4 tsp salt
Sauce:
4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
6 Tbs flour
1 C vegetable broth
1/4 C almond milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375. To make the Parmezano Sprinkles (which I recommend making ahead of time) combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until you have little crumbles . . . then refrigerate.

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan Combine the chopped spinach, tomatoes and sliced mushrooms in a bowl along with the basil, rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean VeganTo prepare the sauce, melt the Earth Balance and add the garlic. Saute about 2 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Next, add vegetable broth a little at time, whisking constantly until everything is incorporated over medium heat. The sauce should begin to thicken. Slowly add in the almond milk, an 1/8 C at a time and whisk thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Add a ladle of sauce to the bottom of an 8″ baking dish—just enough to coat the bottom. Place 9 slices of the polenta on the bottom and sprinkle with about 1/4 C of the Parmezano Sprinkles.

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean VeganNext, layer on the spinach mixture—pack it down if you have to, but get it all on there. Top with the remaining 9 slices of polenta . . .

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan. . . then remaining sauce, the bread crumbs, and another 1/4 C of the Parmezano Sprinkles.

Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean VeganBake for 20-25 minutes. Let it sit for  about 5-6 minutes before digging in. Enjoy!
Layered Polenta Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

Ultimate Green Protein Smoothie

Ultimate Green Smoothie -- Epicurean VeganA 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!

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta -- Epicurean VeganI’m so happy there are some leftovers! The original recipe uses real ricotta, but not only did I make use my go-to ricotta recipe, I also added/omitted some ingredients. Ricotta cheese has so much fat it’s ridiculous (10 g/fat, 6 g/saturated fat) so even if you do eat dairy, I urge you to try my tofu-version that contains 5 grams of fat, and only 1 gram of saturated fat. Plus, you’ll also benefit from the protein and the no cholesterol! Also, if you think roasting garlic is a pain, it’s really not. It’s so easy to do and takes only 30 minutes, in which time, you can prepare all of your ingredients. Ideally, if you can roast the garlic and make the ricotta the day before, it will be even more flavorful by the time you make this dish. I think you’ll find this is a great main meal or side dish that will please even picky eaters.

INGREDIENTS:
Tofu-Ricotta:
14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
Optional: 1/2 C Daiya Mozzarella shreds
The rest:
1 lb bow-tie pasta (any variety would be fine)
6 cloves of garlic (or more if you want)
Olive oil
1-1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
4-6 C fresh spinach, chopped
2 C mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 C reserved pasta-cooking water

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:
To roast the garlic, preheat the oven to 425. Cut off the tips of each garlic clove and place on a piece of foil; drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up loosely in the foil, place on a small baking sheet, and roast for about 30 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta -- Epicurean VeganMeanwhile, however, prepare your other ingredients. To make the “ricotta,” combine all of the ingredients in a food processor, but don’t blend it yet until the garlic is done. You’ll want to add the garlic cloves and blend everything together, along with the 1/4 C of the reserved pasta-cooking water. So until the garlic is ready, at least throw together the ingredients to get started. Cook the pasta according to package instructions while you saute the mushrooms in a small pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Chop your spinach, slice those tomatoes, and finish off the ricotta by adding the newly roasted garlic and water. (For the garlic cloves, gently squeeze an end and the skins should come right off, then discard).

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta -- Epicurean VeganDrain the pasta and rinse with hot water to remove as much starch as possible. Return the pot to the stove and over medium-low heat, add the spinach, tomatoes, and mushrooms; saute with a smidgen of water until wilted and heated through.

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta -- Epicurean VeganAdd the pasta and ricotta and combine everything thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Bowties with Veggies and Roasted Garlic Ricotta -- Epicurean Vegan

Alfredo Ravioli (and a beautiful white morning)

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganFirst, I had to snap a few pictures this morning of the snow because by tomorrow, most of it will be gone. This is a photog’s dream and the time I love snow—so beautiful.

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DSC07688So anyway, as you probably know, I go through phases when I discover certain meals. For example, when I discovered stuffed peppers, I made about 10 different versions . . . same with frittatas and tofu scrambles. Now I’m on to my latest obsession: Ravioli. At least I have the process down to a science so preparation goes a lot smoother. I was hankering for some of this Alfredo sauce, but I was also craving ravioli. Typically, I don’t like to pair ravioli with a heavy sauce, but to hell with rules; this was too good not to try. I changed up the dough a little because I didn’t have enough semolina flour and it worked out nicely. These are stuffed with tofu ricotta and fresh spinach—a fabulous combo. For a more in-depth description on using a ravioli plate, check out this version.

INGREDIENTS:
Dough:
1 C semolina flour
2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 C almond milk, warm
2 Tbs olive oil
Filling:
14-oz pkg. extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and crumbled
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1/3 C Daiya mozzarella (optional)
2 C chopped spinach
Sauce:
1 C raw cashews
2 Tbs pine nuts
1-1/2 C water
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/16 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 C nutritional yeast
1 to 2 C mushrooms, sliced

DIRECTIONS:
Start with making the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Create a well in the middle and slowly pour in the almond milk and oil. Using a spoon, or your hands, combine well. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 5 minutes. Shape into a ball, cover with plastic, and set aside.
Next, throw together the ricotta. Combine all of the ingredients, except the spinach and cheese, in a food processor and blend well. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the spinach and cheese. Set aside.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganNext, roll out the dough. I used my pasta maker, but you may certainly use a rolling pin. Lay one long sheet over the ravioli mold and fill each pocket with just over a teaspoon of filling.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganLay another thin sheet of dough over the top, press down and use a rolling pin to seal the edges. Again, refer to this post on how to use a ravioli plate. Place the raviolis on a baking sheet and repeat the process until you have used up all of the filling. I had just a small amount of dough left, but not much. I had 75 raviolis when it was all said and done. Cover and set aside.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganTime to make the sauce. Using a blender, grind the cashews and pine nuts to a fine powder. Add the nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, garlic, nutmeg, and salt. Blend until completely smooth—about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes; stir in the black pepper. I sauteed the mushrooms first, then stirred them into the sauce.

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean VeganKeeping the sauce warm on very low heat, bring a large pot of water to a boil. I cooked about 12-15 raviolis at a time for about 4-5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, place them in a strainer. Serve immediately, or lay them out on a large pan, otherwise, they’ll stick to each other. You can drizzle a little olive oil on them as well, to keep them separated. Ladle on some sauce and enjoy!

Alfredo Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

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Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Nothing says Easter like ravioli, right? Well, if you’re vegan and some of your dinner guests can’t eat gluten, then yes, raviolis are an ideal Easter meal—or for any occasion, actually. In all of the excitement, I didn’t get a good picture of the finished product with the amazing garlic-butter-walnut sauce, but I did get one with some regular raviolis that I made as well.

Vegan Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

In addition to the raviolis, one guest brought some delicious vegan horseradish mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans and another guest brought this incredible corn and avocado salad.  So, I was living on the edge when I decided to not do a test run on the gluten-free dough before the big day. Luckily, it turned out ok, but not before having a slight meltdown when the GF dough wouldn’t fully cooperate with me. First off, don’t try using your pasta maker; the dough will fall apart. You’re better off using a rolling pin and lots of GF flour to roll it out. Believe me, it’s doable and worth the extra effort; just be patient. I also recommend using a ravioli plate like this one—and that goes for any type of raviolis—it just makes life easier. For the filling, I made two: pureed beet/cashew and tofu ricotta with spinach and mushrooms. Make it easy on yourself and prepare these fillings ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use. If I was unable to eat gluten, I would miss homemade pasta, especially raviolis, so I’d be making these all the time. Our GF guests loved them and happily took the few leftovers home with them. My friend Kerrie gave me a conversion for GF flour and regular flour a while back and uses it for most things, so I thought I’d give it a whirl for pasta. Basically, for every 1 cup of regular flour, use 7/8 C of rice flour and 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum—worked like a charm.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

1-3/4 C white rice flour
7/8 C brown rice flour
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 C warm almond milk
2 Tbs olive oil

Spinach-Tofu-Mushroom Filling:

14-oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 C nutritional yeast
2 Tbs lemon juice
3 C fresh spinach, chopped
3 mushrooms, diced small

Beet/Cashew filling: see link above

Garlic-Butter-Walnut sauce: (I was feeding a crowd, so for 3-4 people, you may want to halve the sauce recipe)
1-1/2 C walnuts, chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1-1/2 C Earth Balance margarine, cut into pieces

DIRECTIONS:

To make the spinach filling, puree the first 9 ingredients in food processor. Set aside, or refrigerate until ready to use. The beet filling will take just over an hour to prepare, so keep that in mind if using that one. (click on link above to see instructions).

Ravioli Filling -- Epicurean Vegan

To make the dough, combine both rice flours, xanthan gum, and salt in a bowl of a stand mixer. On medium speed, slowly add the oil, then the warm almond milk. When it’s fully incorporated, form it into a ball and refrigerate if not using right away. The dough will probably work better if it’s room temperature.

Gluten-Free Ravioli Dough -- Epicurean Vegan

On a constantly-floured surface, roll out the sections of the dough into long pieces, big enough for your ravioli plate. I wouldn’t bother using the plastic mold part, as it will easily break through the dough. Gently use your fingers to create a small dip where the filling will go. Fill each dip with about a teaspoon of the filling. If using the spinach one, place a few pieces of mushroom on top of the filling. Roll out another long piece of dough and place it carefully over the top of the filling and gently press down. You can use the rolling pin to then finish the process. (This is a great YouTube video showing how to use the plate). Here’s a pic of the regular dough with the fillings:

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

I was pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. A couple of them had some a filling peeking out, but they still cooked up great.

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli -- Epicurean Vegan

Let them sit for 20 minutes. While this is happening, prepare the sauce. In a medium, dry saucepan, add the walnuts and brown them over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then add the Earth Balance. Stir over low to medium heat until the butter is melted and reduce the heat to low.  To cook the raviolis, boil them, about 4-6 at a time, for 3-4 minutes, or until they float to the surface. I usually give them a minute more, just to make sure they’re heated though.

Homemade Gluten-Free Ravioli

I’m happy to tell you that none of them fell apart and they were delicious. The regular ones seemed to taste a little sweeter, but otherwise, they tasted very much like regular raviolis! Top them with a ladle of the garlic sauce and enjoy!

Quinoa with Walnuts and Spinach

Quinoa with Walnuts & Spinach -- Epicurean VeganI hope everyone had a happy and safe holiday! For the first time in many years, we had snow falling on Christmas Eve! You wouldn’t think that’d be such a rarity in Colorado, but a drought will do that to ya. It’s even snowing as I type! So I wasn’t sure what to call this dish because it has more than just walnuts and spinach it—it’s loaded with veggies. I served this warm, but I think it would be tasty cold as well.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C regular quinoa
1 C red quinoa
2 tsp Better Than Bouillon
3 C water
1 C spinach, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
4 mushrooms, chopped
1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbs chia seeds
1/2 C walnuts, chopped (and toasted, if you’d like)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs lemon juice

Quinoa with Walnuts & Spinach -- Epicurean Vegan

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium or large saucepan, whisk together the bouillon and water and then bring to a boil. Add the two quinoas (you can also use tri-colored quinoa if you’d like), stir, reduce heat, and cover. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until just a little bit of liquid remains. Stir in the spinach, green onion, and mushrooms and let cook for a few minutes—just enough for the spinach to wilt and the mushrooms to cook down a little.

Quinoa with Walnuts & Spinach -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the salt, pepper, chia seeds, and lemon juice. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley and walnuts. Enjoy!

 

Immune-Boosting Salad with Baked Tempeh

Immune-Boosting Salad with Baked Tempeh -- Epicurean Vegan

Whether or not you’re fighting a cold or illness, this is the perfect salad to eat to boost your immune. No one wants to be sick during the holidays. It also doesn’t help that we tend to not eat or drink as healthy during these yuletide times. Instead of throwing back some harmful meds with a measly glass of OJ while you’re sick, head for the fridge (or ask someone politely) to fix this cold-fighting bowl of awesomeness. If anything, steam some kale, eat a raw orange bell pepper, and a bowl full of white mushrooms. Then repeat.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of kale, torn from stem and chopped small (high in iron, vitamins C, A & K, antioxidants, omega-3s (anti-inflammatory), fiber, and calcium)
1 small bunch of spinach, stems removed and chopped small (1 C=337% of the RDA of vitamin A!! vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium)
1 orange bell pepper, chopped small (vitamin C and B-6, fiber, and antioxidants)
10-12 white mushrooms, stems removed and chopped, (great sources of potassium, riboflavin, niacin, and selenium. They’ve also been proven to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancers)
2 large carrots, shredded (beta carotene, vitamin A, cancer-preventing properties, and alpha-carotene and lutein, which fight heart disease)
6-7 green onions, sliced thin (Quercetin, an antioxidant and anti-histamine, chromium, vitamin C, fiber, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and copper)
1/2 C pepitas (high in vitamins C, D, E, and K. They are rich in beta carotene (that is converted into vitamin A in the liver),  rich in the eye protective carotenoid lutein. A handful of these will deliver 9 grams of protein, along with manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, copper and zinc. They are also rich in omega-3 fats and are also shown to reduce inflammation. Definitely a super food!)

Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, cut in half (boosts hydrogen sulfide production=protects against various cancers, including breast, prostate and colon cancer and protects the heart. Raw garlic’s antimicrobial fights viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi. Its also helps fight asthma, bronchitis, inflammation, rashes, bug bites, tooth aches, ear infections and other infections i.e. Staph and MRSA. Unlike antibiotics that weaken your immune system, garlic actually boosts your immune system)
1/3 C sunflower seed butter (calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Also a great source of B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, and  B6, folate, and pantothenic acid. Folate is also essential during pregnancy for proper fetal development. Let’s not forget protein and the healthy, unsaturated fats)
1/4 C tahini (Packed with B vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15, protein and calcium)
3 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs light miso (Protein, has probiotics, B vitamins, especially B12, fights cancers, high in antioxidants, and can even help lower cholesterol)
1/4 C nutritional yeast (TONS of B vitamins, protein, and fiber. It’s also low in sodium)
1/4 C chia seeds (Omega-3 and 6 oils, protein, and antioxidants. Considered a super food, chia seeds not only support the immune system, they balance blood sugar levels, support the cardiovascular system, give you energy, aid in weight loss, help detox the body, and provides fiber, iron, calcium, niacin (B-3), phosphorus, and magnesium. Did I mention brain-boosting, too?!)
1 C water

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Tempeh (optional)

8-oz pkg. tempeh, cut into small cubes (high in fiber, easy to digest, low sodium, and contains antioxidants. It also helps balance blood sugars)
1/4 C soy sauce
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed (see above)
1 Tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper

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Whew! Did you get all that?! Talk about a loaded salad!

DIRECTIONS:

If you’re adding tempeh, you’ll want to start that now. Combine the tempeh with the soy sauce (preferably low-sodium),  Worcestershire sauce, oil, garlic, and salt and pepper in a large ziplock bag; coat the tempeh thoroughly. Line a baking sheet with foil and pour the tempeh on the sheet. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes, stir around, then bake another 5 minutes.

Baked Tempeh

 Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then chop up the tempeh into even smaller pieces; add to the salad.

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To make the dressing, combine all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend 2 minutes, or until completely smooth. It makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Tahini-Miso Dressing -- Epicurean Vegan

You can pour the dressing over the entire salad and blend well, or keep it separate. If you store it separately, keep in mind that it will probably set up in the fridge; you’ll need to add some water and/or lemon juice to it to thin it out some more. I hope all of you are staying healthy and continue to do so during these oftentimes stressful days! Enjoy!

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

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganThese 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). ;-)  The homemade roasted red pepper sauce is so simple to make and rounds out the entire dish rather nicely.

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

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganMeanwhile, 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.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganWhile the filling is cooking, place the roasted red peppers and garlic in the food processor:

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganAdd just half of the sauce and puree until smooth, then return it to the saucepan and combine with the other half of the sauce.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganLet 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.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganTo 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.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganRoll up tightly and place fold-side down in the pan.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganTop with the remaining sauce and sprinkle some more Daiya on top.

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean VeganCover and bake for 40 minutes. Top with some Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, and green onions (diced avocado is great, too)!
Enjoy!

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean Vegan