Wild Rice & Potato Stew with Field Roast

Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean VeganCan you tell that I’m loving my new Dutch oven?! But really, this could be made with a regular soup pot too, but it’s way more satisfying to get use out of a new kitchen toy. This is a little similar to the Creamy Wild Rice Soup, but I revved it up by adding a Field Roast sausage (which we all thought, made the soup) and some other seasonings. I also didn’t have to prepare a roux, so it was even easier. This stew is perfect for a cold and wintry night. We’ve been socked in with LOTS of snow and temps this week haven’t risen much above 12 degrees. Our rain chain is certainly feeling it . . .

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine
1/2 large red onion (about a cup)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 C vegetable broth
1 C wild rice mix (I like Lundberg’s Wild Blend)
1 Field Roast sausage (either Apple & Sage, or Italian Seasoning flavor), crumbled
3 small red potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/2 C Tofutti sour cream
1/4 C almond milk
3 Tbs flour
3/4 tsp Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean Vegan

In a Dutch oven (3Q or larger) or in a large soup pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook 4-5 minutes, or until they are softened. Stir in the garlic and Field Roast and saute over medium heat for 3 minutes. Pour in the broth and rice; cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes. Add the diced potatoes and cook covered for another 20-25 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream, milk and flour until well blended; stir into the soup. Season with the Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper.

Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean VeganLet it cook a few minutes longer until heated through, then enjoy! (Serves 6)
Wild Rice and Potato Stew with Field Roast -- Epicurean Vegan

Vegan Herbed Cream Cheese

Vegan Herbed Cream Cheese -- Epicurean Vegan

I think non vegans would find it pretty hard to know this is nondairy. (And when is it not fun to fool omnivores)? This is a Tofutti cream cheese-based dip/spread, but you could easily reverse the ratio of cream cheese and sour cream in this recipe and make it a sour cream-based one. It works great as a dip, dolloped on a baked potato, cracker spread, bagel topper, or sandwich condiment. It was ideal for veggie wraps . . .

Veggie Wraps -- Epicurean Vegan


12-oz container of Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 C Tofutti sour cream
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs dried minced onion
1 tsp salt
2 large green onion, sliced
1 Tbs lemon juice


Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight container and keep chilled until using. Enjoy!

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). ūüėČ ¬†The homemade roasted red pepper sauce is so simple¬†to make and rounds out the entire dish rather nicely.

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
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

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)!

Field Roast & Spinach Enchiladas -- Epicurean Vegan

Mexican Pasta Bake

Mexican Pasta Bake -- Epicurean VeganAs 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.

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
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

Mexican Pasta Bake -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mexican Pasta Bake -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Mexican Pasta Bake -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Mexican Pasta Bake -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Mexican Pasta Bake -- Epicurean Vegan

Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes

Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Epicurean VeganI 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) ūüėČ
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
(I think some chopped chives or green onions would be great, too)

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.

Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Epicurean Vegan

Fill each potato skin evenly with the filling.

Vegan Twice-Baked Potatoes -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Easy Tostadas

Easy Tostadas -- Epicurean VeganThis 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.

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

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

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean VeganThis 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.

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

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.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Repeat four more times, then top with last tortilla.

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Tortilla Lasagna -- Epicurean Vegan

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mexican Casserole

Gluten-Free and Vegan Mexican Casserole -- Epicurean VeganI’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.

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

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.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Mexican Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Gluten-Free and Vegan Mexican Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Mexican Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

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.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Mexican Casserole -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Orange-Almond Cheese Log

Orange-Almond Cheese Log -- Epicurean VeganI saw a recipe in the December issue of Vegetarian Times for Date-Cheese Ball, but it’s made with goat cheese. I decided to make my own version using the almond cheeze I’ve made before. It has a similar taste and texture to goat cheese and figured it’d be a perfect substitute. It was. Plus, the orange zest gave it such a unique flavor. I brought this to a holiday party and it was gone pretty quick. Keep in mind that this recipe takes up to two days to prepare. You could make it in a day if you blanch and soak the almonds in the morning and serve it in the evening.

2 C blanched almonds
1/2 C lemon juice
5 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
1 C cold water
8-oz Tofutti cream cheese
1-2 Tbs orange zest
2 tsp dried thyme
1 C sliced almonds, toasted

To the make the almond cheese, soak the blanched almonds for about 24 hours in water. Next, dry them off and transfer to a food processor. Puree them with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, water and salt. Layer a fine mesh strainer with a thin cotton napkin (works way better than cheesecloth), and place over a bowl. Pour half of the mixture into the lined strainer and wrap up tightly, then squeeze as much of the liquid out as possible. Wrap up and secure with a rubber band. Do the same with the rest of the cheese. Transfer to a plate and chill for 8 hours or over night.

Orange-Almond Cheese Log -- Epicurean Vegan

(you’ll end up with twice this much almond cheese)

To make the cheese log, cream the cream cheese the food processor or mixer. I used a food processor; either would work fine—I just find that the cream cheese gets blended much better this way. You can then transfer to a bowl and stir in everything else, or continue using the food processor. ¬†Squeeze out any more liquid from the almond cheese and add them to the cream cheese along with the orange zest and thyme.

Orange-Almond Cheese Log -- Epicurean Vegan

Pulse several times to combine. Layout a long piece of plastic wrap and spread the toasted almond slices on it. Scoop out the cheese onto the plastic, then wrap up the sides to create a log. This will take some finessing, so just go with how you feel most comfortable doing it.

Orange-Almond Cheese Log -- Epicurean Vegan

Chill for a few hours and serve with crackers. As we were putting the food out for the party, someone had some blackberries and put them around the cheese—brilliant! Fresh fruit is ideal to accompany this cheese log. I know there’s some time involved in making this, but the steps are very easy and worth the effort. Enjoy!

Halloween Shenanigans

I’m a little slow in getting this post up—I’ve been swamped, but here it is. I LOVE Halloween—behind Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday. It’s The Husband’s least favorite holiday, but he puts up with it for me. (Thanks, hon). He’ll even don a costume . . .

The Husband, on the left, after getting fed up with the (cheaply made) Headless Man costume and our good friend, and neighbor, Chris.

I decided to go as a witch . . .

(No, I’m not drunk, just hamming it up for the camera)

I’ll make this quick . . . I threw together some appetizer favorites along with a pot of Vegetable-Barley Chili. On the menu were Stuff Phyllo Cups, Mushroom/Spinach Truffle Oil Tart, Hummus, and my mom’s famous Party Cheese Ball.

For dips, I used Tofutti sour cream with vegan veggie mixes, had some olive out, as well as cider and punch. For something sweet, I decided to make Cinnamon-Sugar Pita Chips:

So easy! Preheat oven to 425. Cut each pita in half, then each half into 3 pieces, then pull each piece apart; place on a baking sheet.  Heat about 4 Tbs of Earth Balance in a saucepan and combine 2 Tbs sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon in a bowl. Brush each pita triangle with Earth Balance, then sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake for about 4-5 minutes. Once they cool completely, whip up some icing by combining about 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2-3 Tbs of almond milk; drizzle on the chip. Enjoy!

Can you guess what my friend, Jessie is?