Wild Rice & Potato Stew with Field Roast

WildRicePotatoFRStewCan 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 . . .

rainchainINGREDIENTS:

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

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DIRECTIONS:

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.
soupsLet it cook a few minutes longer until heated through, then enjoy! (Serves 6)
wildricepotatoFRStew2

Vegan Herbed Cream Cheese

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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 . . .

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INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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.)

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!

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!

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!

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!

Orange-Almond Cheese Log

I 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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

DIRECTIONS:

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.

(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.

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.

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?

 

Cream Cheese & Jalapeno Empanadas

I was in charge of bringing an appetizer to a get together this weekend. I try to make something that I haven’t already brought a million times before, I just have to hope they turn out if I’m making them for the first time. How do you do that? I don’t know, just make these! :) When my mother-in-law called this morning to get the recipe, I knew I must have done something good!

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

3 C all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 C Earth Balance margarine

1/2 C almond milk

Filling:

12-oz Tofutti or Galaxy Foods brand vegan cream cheese

1-1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped

6-7 green onions, sliced

5-6 (depending on how hot they are) jalapenos, finely chopped (You can use canned, too)

1/2 C vegan Monterrey jack or mozzarella, shredded

About 1-1/2 Tbs lime juice

A few dashes of garlic salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. To make the dough, use a mixer to blend the flour, salt, and butter until you get a crumbly mixture where most of the butter pieces are small. While mixing, gradually add the milk. You may not use all of it–just enough to make a dough that sticks together to make a ball. You can wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge while you make the filling.


To make the filling, combine all the ingredients using the mixer. I eyeballed the lime juice–just enough to flavor and thin the mixture out. A tablespoon may be plenty. Same with the garlic salt; just to taste.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about an 1/8″ to a 1/4″ thick. I cut out 4″ circles by cutting around the bottom of my 4″ tart pans, but a wide mouth glass, or round cookie cutter would work great. Place about a tablespoon or so of filling in the center of the dough circle, but spread it out so it’s kinda long and narrow.

You’re then going to fold the dough in half and crimp the edges closed with a fork. Make sure the edges get good and sealed, otherwise, they’ll puff up in the oven and come open.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes.  About halfway through, I brushed the tops with olive oil.All ovens run different, so you may need to bake them longer or for less time; check periodically. Serve with salsa. Enjoy!

Yield: about 28

Linguine in a Lemon Cream Sauce

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times and the only changes I made were using vegan cream cheese and adding a couple dashes of nutmeg to the sauce. It came together quickly and served with a salad, it made an ideal meal.

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz dry linguine

1/2 C Tofutti cream cheese

2 Tbs olive oil

1 lemon, juiced and 1 Tbs zest

1/2 C parsley, chopped

A couple dashes of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

Cook linguine according to package instructions. In a small saucepan, warm the cream cheese, oil, and 2 Tbs lemon juice (I just juiced the whole thing), over low heat. Add the nutmeg, if using. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta; return it to the pot. Stir in the reserved cooking water into the cream cheese mixture. At first, I thought it was too much water and watered it down too much, but surprisingly, it turned out to be the perfect consistency. If you’re not sure, just add a little at a time and decide how thick you want it.

Stir the sauce into the pasta and add the lemon zest, and parsley; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!

Kale and Cream Cheese-Stuffed Sweet Chilies

Geez . . . it’s been a while since I last posted. The Sixth Grader (or should I say, soon-to-be The Seventh Grader) was on a week-long field trip so me and The Husband ate out a lot this week. Produce in my refrigerator, however, was feeling very neglected, so last night I decided to make these. They were delicious! We threw them on the grill, but you can also bake them in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes. Use this stuffing for small chilies and serve them as appetizers, too.

INGREDIENTS:

3 large sweet chili peppers

10-oz Tofutti cream cheese

3 Tbs lime juice

1 tsp cumin

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, diced

1 bunch of kale

6-8 green onions, sliced

1/2 C vegan pepper jack cheese, shredded

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 tsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Using a food processor or mixer, cream together the cream cheese, lime juice, cumin, and cilantro.

In a large saucepan or skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the kale. One bunch may seem like a lot (5-6 cups) but it will cook down quite a bit. Cook it over medium heat, constantly stirring it. I found that tongs work great for this. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nice and wilted.

In a large bowl, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, and cheese. Mix in the cream cheese mixture, then stir in the kale.

To prepare the chilies, there are a number of different ways to do it. First, slice the tops off and pull out the insides–as much as you can. You can either stuff them from the top, or slice them in the side. You can also slice them lengthwise, stuff them, then put them back together. I sliced into the side of it and found that that just worked better for the size of these chilies.

Preheat the grill to a medium-high heat. Wrap the stuffed chilies in foil and place on the heated grill. Cook them for about 10 minutes, turning them often. Once the filling starts to drip out from the foil, remove them from the grill. Unwrap from the foil and enjoy!

Tater Tot Casserole

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 tsp olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

2 C mushrooms, sliced

2 C fresh spinach, torn or chopped

1 C edamame

1 bag Boca soy crumbles

10-oz mushroom broth

1/2 C almond milk

2 Tbs arrowroot

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Dash or two of nutmeg

Salt and pepper, to taste

40-50 frozen tater tots

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

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

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

Grilled Vegetable Fajitas

It’s that time of year to fire up the grill! For its 2011 inaugural grilling, we went with vegetable fajitas. Since I do most of the cooking, the Husband revels in the opportunity to be King of the Grill. I’ll gladly delegate that method of cooking to him. This is an easy, healthy meal to jump start your spring (as well as your grill)!

INGREDIENTS:

2 bell peppers, sliced

1 large onion, sliced into strips

1 medium zucchini, julienned

2 avocados, diced

1-1/2 C vegan cheese, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

Salsa

Fresh cilantro

6 flour tortillas

Marinade:

1/4 C olive oil

1/8 C red wine vinegar

1/8 C lime juice

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp Ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin

DIRECTIONS:

Using a large Zip-lock bag, or bowl, combine all of the vegetables.

In a small bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Coat the veggies with the marinade and let sit for about an hour. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. We used a grill basket and while stirring often, we (I mean, the grill-master) cooked them for about 20 minutes.

On a warmed tortilla, add some Tofutti, veggie mix, cheese, avocado, cilantro, and salsa. Makes 6. Enjoy!

Barley-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite meals. They’re easy and versatile. This time, I decided to try something different: barley. In addition to being high in fiber, barley is also high in selenium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. And also because of its high B vitamin content, it has also shown to help lower cholesterol. Go barley!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C pearled barley

2-1/2 C water or vegetable broth

3 large peppers, or 4 medium ones

1/2 red onion, diced

1/2 C pimentos, diced

6 large mushrooms, diced

1 Field Roast sausage, Apple Sage flavor (excellent source of protein)!

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp olive oil

3/4 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the barley, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Cut the tops off the peppers, clean out the innards, wash, and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onion and Field Roast, which I just chopped up.

Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the barley, pimento, cheese, and sour cream. Combine well.

Stuff the peppers with the barley mixture. Press down with every scoop to maximize the full capacity of the pepper :) Place into a baking dish.


Cover and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Warm Pasta Salad

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

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb bow-tie pasta

2 C fresh spinach, chopped

1 C parsley, chopped

1/2 C fresh basil, chopped

3 green onions, sliced

1 bell pepper (any variety), diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

Optional: vegan Parmesan

Dressing:

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp truffle oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1/3 C Tofutti sour cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

Sweet Potato, Kale & Black Bean Fajitas

I’mmmm baaaacckkk! And boy, does it feel good. I had an amazing conference experience that you can read about at Folsom’s 93 and then a fabulous respite up in the mountains where we got to spend time with some great friends and just relax. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe from my friend at Tried and Tasted Recipes and it was absolutely delicious! I will be making this again and again. It makes quite a bit, as we fed about 8 and still had leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes (I used 2)

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 large red onion, diced

10 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1-1/2 cans)

2 tsp ground cumin, divided (I recommend more)

1 tsp ancho chili powder (again, I suggest adding more)

Freshly ground salt and pepper

8 tortillas

Optional ingredients: Cilantro, Tofutti sour cream, vegan shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheeze, guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add 6 cloves of minced garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and peppers, and saute another 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp of the cumin and the ancho chili powder. Turn to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

In a smaller saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Add the beans and kale; stir once and cover for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale has cooked down. Season with the rest of the cumin and more salt and pepper.

Serve a scoop or two of each mixture onto warmed flour tortillas with Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, cheeze, and guacamole. You won’t be disappointed—they are outstanding!

Mexican Fettuccini

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

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz sun-dried tomato fettuccini

1/2 C walnuts, chopped

1/2 C salsa

2 C spinach, chopped

1/2 C black olives, sliced

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbs water

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 green onions, sliced

Tofutti sour cream

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

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

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

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce

Vegan MoFo, Day 29

I can’t believe I went this far into Vegn MoFo and missed yesterday! It was a busy day of Christmas shopping then an evening of margaritas and a taco bar at the neighbor’s. We made tacos with Boca crumbles, Tofutti sour cream, Daiya cheese, vegetarian refries . . .it was great! So tonight, I went with something easy and quick. The recipe came with the Pappardelle’s pasta, but I made some alterations.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz porcini mushroom fettucini

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1/2 C green onions, sliced or 1 large leek or 1/c C yellow onion (I used green onions since I had a ton left over from last night’s taco bar)

3 oz Tofutti sour cream

3 Tbs Earth Balance

1/3 C almond milk

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs minced onion or 2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to instructions. In a medium saucepan heat Earth Balance and garlic. Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes; add green onions. Saute another 3-4 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and mix until thoroughly melted and combined.

Add almond milk and combine well. Season with minced onion, salt, and pepper.

Ladle over individual servings of pasta and enjoy!

Cheddar and Green Chili Bread with Cream Cheeze Spread

Vegan MoFo, Day 7

I love making bread and sometimes I’m in the mood to put the time and effort into kneading, rising, kneading, rising it, but there are days I just can’t be bothered with that. And today, I had a weird inclination to combine green chilies and cheeze and this quick, simple bread magically appeared in my oven. It was that easy. Great served with veggie chili!

INGREDIENTS:

Bread:

3 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs dried minced onion

4-oz can diced green chilies

2 Tbs olive oil

1-1/4 C almond milk

1-1/2 C vegan cheddar, shredded (or vegan pepper jack cheeze)

Spread:

4-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 Tbs fresh cilantro, minced

1/8 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan. In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, minced onion, and salt. Add the cheese and chilies. While the machine is running, add the almond milk and oil. Combine thoroughly and then transfer to the loaf pan. Use a spatula to even it out.

Bake 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick or knife in the center to assure it’s done. It smells wonderful as it bakes!  To make the spread, combine all ingredients well. Spread some of the cream cheeze mixture onto a warm slice of bread—it’ll melt in your mouth!

Enjoy!

Easy Flatbread

Vegan MoFo, Day 6

How many times have you gone to make a panini or quesadilla and you find there’s no bread? Happens all the time, right? ;) Well, have no fear, an easy, tasty flatbread is here! The original recipe, from Vegan Planet uses cumin, but I decided to use garlic salt and dried basil. It also called for frying them in a pan, but I opted for baking them.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C flour

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 C water, or as needed (I needed just a smidge less)

Olive oil for brushing

2 Tbs sesame seeds

Garlic salt

Dried basil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Using a mixer, combine the flour and salt. Add the water little by little until the dough holds together. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic and set aside. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.

Shape the dough pieces into balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to 6″ in diameter. Brush lightly with oil, the sprinkle with sesame seeds, garlic salt, and basil. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

The Sixth Grader made a type of grilled cheese with Tofutti slices:

The Husband made a couple of quesadillas in the oven using Daiya cheese, onions, and salsa:

And I went with the panini maker using roasted red pepper, Vegan Rella, and some jarred olive tapenade:

Enjoy!

Latin-Inspired Coleslaw

Vegan MoFo, Day 3

I have become enamored with coleslaw this year. I guess it’s because we’ve received so much cabbage from our CSA, and before, I never really gave cabbage that much thought. I’ve made regular coleslaw and Asian coleslaw, so of course, it was only natural to make a Mexican-style one. This is great on its own, or wrapped in a tortilla.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 C carrot, shredded

1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 C fresh cilantro, slightly chopped

3 large green onion, chopped (both white and green parts)

1 Tbs pimento, diced

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/2 C Vegenaise

1 Tbs almond milk

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C vegan cheddar shredded (or vegan pepper jack for an added kick)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, and green onions. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, Vegenaise, almond milk, lime juice, liquid smoke, pimento, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add the sour cream mixture to the cabbage mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in cheeze. Enjoy!


8-Layer Dip

Who needs 7 layers when you can have 8? This is also much like my Soyrizo Layer Dip, but with minor changes. Always a crowd-pleaser, this dip is not difficult to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:

1 16-oz can vegetarian refried beans

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

2 avocados, peeled and pitted

1/2 C salsa

1 large tomato, diced

3 green onion (white and green parts), sliced thin

1/2 to 1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1 3.8-oz can sliced black olives

1 tsp garlic salt

1-1/2 tsp lime juice

1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium-sized bowl, smash up the avocado. Sprinkle with garlic salt, cilantro, and lime juice; thoroughly combine.  On a 8-9″ plate, layer on beans, sour cream, avocado mixture, and salsa. Next, layer on the cheese, tomato, green onions, and olives. This is would be a good time to admire the beauty of it, because it’s gonna be gone as soon as the guests get one taste! Serve with corn tortilla chips (pita crisps would be good, too) and enjoy!

Product Review: Tofutti Yours Truly Cones

I have come to learn that thankfully, going vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up ice cream. I may not be able to grab a cone at the downtown ice cream shop, but thanks to Tofutti, I can enjoy it at home. I was actually going to pick up some Tofutti Cuties but my heart went aflutter when I spotted these. I can’t remember the cost (under $4.50 for 4) but who cares. They were worth it.

The scoop of ice cream is coated in a thick dark dark chocolate that is then sprinkled with chunks of cookie crunchies–delicious!! Then the ice cream. It’s smooth and cream vanilla (the outside of the box tells you all this) and the inside of the cone is lined with a thin layer of chocolate.

Now the cone is a little on the chewy/soft side and I don’t know if that’s how most frozen ice cream cones are because it’s been a heck of a long time since I’ve had one, so it could be the norm for such desserts. So don’t expect a real crunchy cone. I wasn’t complaining too much though–the thin layer of chocolate in the cone made up for that.

Each cone comes with 220 calories and 13 grams of fat, 3 of which are saturated. We’re also looking at 24 grams of carbs and 21 grams of sugar, but it’s still less than the real deal. So indulge every once in a while and enjoy!

Product Review: Tofutti Cuties–Cookies ‘N Cream

Delicious. That’s about it.

Ok, so here’s the low-down: 1 cutie is 130 calories with 6 grams of fat. So not the healthiest, but c’mon, it’s fake ice cream! And when you’re a vegan, tasty fake ice cream is like striking gold.

Completely dairy-free, these ice cream sandwiches come in several flavors: Cookies ‘N Cream, Vanilla, Mint Chocolate Chip, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Key Lime, Wild Berry, Coffee Break, Strawberry Wave, and Very Vanilla (I guess the other vanilla is just sort of vanilla).

Here’s a list of ingredients: water, sugar, corn syrup solids, contains one or more of the following oils: (Corn, soy, coconut, and palm), soy protein, tofu, cocoa butter, vanilla, crunch (unbleached wheat flour, cocoa sugar), soy lecithin, guar seed gum, carrageenan, carob bean gum, salt.

Wafer ingredients: unbleached wheat flour, sugar, caramel color, soybean oil, yellow corn flour, cocoa processed with alkali, modified corn starch, salt, baking soda, vegetable mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin.

They are the perfect sized dessert–at least for me (and kids)–and taste sweet, but not overly sweet. Compared to the ice cream sandwiches I had as a kid, these taste identical, if not better!

Check out Tofutti’s site for more info.

Soyrizo Layer Dip


Meat-eaters won’t know the difference! I like to use Soyrizo instead of refried beans because it adds so much flavor. Soyrizo needs no seasoning, isn’t raw and can be served cold or heated up. I served this dip cold and didn’t tell people it was vegan. It was gone in a matter of minutes! The ingredient amounts are approximate–I just threw it together and how much you layer on is up to you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg Soyrizo
1 C Tofutti sour cream
1 C Vegan cheddar, shredded
1 C sliced black olives
1 C green onion, sliced thin
1/2 C salsa
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C fresh roma tomatoes, diced
Optional: 1C prepared guacamole, or 1-2 C diced avocado

DIRECTIONS:

Layer Soyrizo, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, green onion, tomatoes, cheese, olives and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips!

Party Cheese Ball

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this!! You see, my mom has made this incredible cheese ball every Christmas for years now and since I went dairy-free, it is probably one of the foods I miss the most.  I finally made a dairy-free version after a couple of attempts and frankly, it’s so good, it brought a tear to my eye. (Also, this is probably one of the most requested recipe and when invited to a shin-dig, I am instructed to not come without this cheese ball).

INGREDIENTS:

12-oz Tofutti cream cheese
2 1/2 C Rice brand, or Daiya brand shredded cheese, cheddar flavor
2Tbs pimento, chopped
2 Tbs green pepper, chopped
2 Tbs onion, chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
1 C walnuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Combine softened cream cheese and cheddar. I used my food processor, but with the dough blade, just to blend them. Add remaining ingredients except walnuts and mix well. Transfer to a bowl and chill for several hours or overnight. Shape into a ball and roll in nuts. Serve with crackers. (Club crackers and Ritz always taste the best with this cheese ball)!

NOTE: Keep in mind that Rice cheese does have traces of casein.