Flaky Harvest Vegetable Squares

Flaky Harvest Vegetable Squares -- Epicurean Vegan

These were amazing! I thought they’d be a pain in the butt to make, but actually, they were pretty easy. They took some time, but other than that, they were simple to make. And so delicious! The recipe is from Vegetarian Times and I substituted the Brussels sprouts with asparagus and elephant garlic with just two large cloves of garlic. Next time I make these, I’d probably chop the carrots  smaller than the recipe says, but otherwise, theses were fantastic! And why wait until next Thanksgiving? These are great as a fall/winter meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 medium onion, sliced
3 Tbs + 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
1-1/4 tsp salt, divided
3/8 tsp black pepper, divided
2 heads elephant garlic (again, I used 2 regular cloves of garlic)
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce, divided
3 Tbs white wine
1 Tbs cornstarch or arrowroot
1 tsp thyme
10 stalks of asparagus, cut into thirds or fourths
10 baby carrots, cut into thirds or fourths (rather than in half on the diagonal)
10 button mushrooms, halved
6 shallots, peeled and quartered
2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed
Almond milk, for brushing dough

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. Set aside about 20 cauliflower florets in a bowl. Toss the rest with the onion and 1 Tbs olive oil; season with 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper.

(I’d break up the cauliflower more than this)

Spread onto a baking sheet. Wrap up the garlic and 1/2 tsp of the olive oil in some foil and place on the baking sheet.

Roast 30 to 45 minutes. I roasted them for about 25 minutes—the onions were getting too browned. (Another reason to break the cauliflower up smaller).

Squeeze the warm garlic from it’s skin into a food processor and add the cauliflower/onion mixture and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Combine the wine, cornstarch, remaining 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, thyme, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper, and 1/2 C water in a small bowl; set aside.

Heat remaining olive oil in a wok or skillet. Add the reserved cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, and shallots. Stir-fry for 5-7 minutes, then add the cornstarch mixture and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

Flaky Harvest Vegetable Squares -- Epicurean Vegan

Roll out the puff pastry into a 12-inch square. Cut into four squares. Chill for 15 minutes on parchment paper.

 

The recipe says to place a 1/4 C of the cauliflower puree in the center, but I found that when I got close to last four (of the 8 squares) I was running low, so I recommend using a bit less than a quarter cup per square. Top the puree with about a 1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture. Again, so easy on the 1/2 cup–it was close.

Fold corners of the dough over the vegetable mixture, pinching the corners together.

Flaky Harvest Vegetable Squares -- Epicurean Vegan

I made these ahead of time, so I covered and refrigerated for about 2 hours before baking them. When it comes time to bake, brush with almond milk and bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. Delicious!! Enjoy!

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

 

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

 

INGREDIENTS:

Burgers:

1/2 C quinoa (I used a blend of red, wheat, and black quinoa which I found in the bulk section of the store)
1 C onion, chopped fine
6 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped fine
1 15-oz can black beans, drained, rinsed, and divided
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Garlic & Wine seasoning
1/4 C flax seed
5-6 hamburger buns

Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1/2 C diced tomatoes
2 Tbs red onion, diced
1 Tbs lime juice
1/4 C cilantro, optional
2 tsp Mt. Elbert All Purpose Seasoning from  Savory

 

DIRECTIONS:

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

 

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

 

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

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

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

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

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

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

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

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

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

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

Enjoy!

Quinoa and Black Bean Burgers with Guacamole -- Epicurean Vegan

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup -- Epicurean VeganThis soup, from Vegetarian Times is amazing! It’s a simple fall soup that comes together in no time. I think it came out pretty thick and I would have preferred it to be soupier. If you’re like me, I recommending using about 10 cups of water instead of 6. The bread that it’s served with really soaks up the liquid. Otherwise, for a thick chunky version stick with the recipe as is. Either way, it’s delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbs olive oil, divided
2/3 C Arborio (risotto) rice
3 cloves garlic, minced
3-1/4 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
6 C veggie broth (I like to use Better Than Bouillon veggie base)
2 C sliced cabbage
1 bay leaf
2 slices Italian bread, torn into pieces (1 cup)
1/4 C pine nuts
1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS:

Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the rice and toasted for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook 2 more minutes.

 

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup -- Epicurean VeganAdd the broth, cabbage and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, pulse the bread and pine  nuts in a food processor until you get small crumbs. Heat the remaining Tbs of olive oil in a skillet and add the bread/nut mixture. Toast over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup -- Epicurean VeganAdd the beans to the soup and cook 5 minutes. Check to make sure the rice is tender. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup -- Epicurean VeganThe recipe says to stir in the bread crumbs, but I opted to just sprinkle them on top of individual servings. Otherwise, I think the bread would soak up too much of the broth. Serve with salad and bread and enjoy!

Paella Primavera

Paella Primavera -- Epicurean VeganLike many of you, I received the latest issue of Vegetarian Times yesterday . . . when I saw this recipe on the cover, I had to make it. I didn’t have all the same ingredients, so I improvised, plus I added some other seasonings. It came out delicious! Next time, I think I’ll try using barley instead of rice and maybe use zucchini instead of broccoli. It helps to have all of your ingredients chopped and ready to go first. Despite some prep work, this dish came together quickly and I liked that I only needed one pan.

Adapted from Vegetarian Times

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
2 C broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 green onion, sliced
3 C low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C white rice
1 C corn kernels
12 pitted green olives, halved
12 pitted black olives, halved
1/4 C fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, pepper, and cumin, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the broccoli, bell pepper, and green onion. Cook about 5-6 minutes.

Paella Primavera -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the broth and garlic; bring to a boil. Stir in the rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Paella Primavera -- Epicurean Vegan

Stir in the corn and olives; cover and cook another 8 minutes.

Paella Primavera -- Epicurean Vegan

Season with salt, pepper, and cumin and serve with a pinch or two of fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Fondue Flop

Looks good, huh? And actually, it wasn’t too bad, but NOT as a fondue. The recipe is called Blonde Bliss Vegan Fondue from the Jan/Feb issue of Vegetarian Times. (I tried to find the recipe on their site, but couldn’t,  but found it HERE). The stars of the show are potatoes and I figured since the Veg News’ Mac n’ Cheese is made with potatoes and is SO DELICIOUS, then this one has got to be pretty good. It tasted more like a potato chowder, which is good in its own right, but not as a fondue. I wanted to add some Daiya cheese, Tofutti sour cream and some chopped chives. Oh well.

Fondue was invented for cow’s milk cheese—that’s just the way it is, but I think  the Veg News’ sauce , a vegan white sauce, and the creamy cashew sauce would make much better fondues. Next time, I might give that a try. For now, at least I have some leftover chowder for tomorrow’s lunch.

The apples, bread and mushrooms were good though!

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean VeganYesterday was a chilly, rainy day where the sun never made an appearance. Dare I say . . . we’ve stumbled into fall? This soup was perfect for a evening like that. This recipe is from Vegetarian Times and the only thing I’d change is add more potatoes and mushrooms or use less broth to make it thicker. Otherwise, this is a super flavorful, delicious stew—loved it.

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
4 Tbs olive oil (I cut this in half)
1-1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes
1-1/2 lb cremini mushrooms,
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs)
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divded
1/2 C dry white wine

DIRECTIONS:
Bring 7-1/2 C of water to a boil in a large soup pot. If you want a thicker soup, use less water (or use more potatoes and mushrooms). Add the porcini mushrooms and remove the pot from the heat and let soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes and thickly slice the cremini mushrooms. In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs (or 1 if not using as much) and add the potatoes and salt, if desired. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to brown.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pan. Using cheesecloth (I recommend using a thin cotton napkin), squeeze as much liquid from the porchini mushrooms as possible.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

Finely chop the porcini mushrooms and add them to the pot of liquid. Once the potatoes are browned, add them to the pot and throw the cremini mushrooms in the skillet with the remaining olive oil. The recipe says to cook them until they begin to brown, about 15-17 minutes. For me, this happened within 5 minutes.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the garlic and 1 Tbs of the rosemary; cook for 20 seconds. Add the wine and simmer 15 seconds. Transfer to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Mushroom Chowder with Potatoes and Rosemary -- Epicurean Vegan

Puree 2 cups of the soup in a blender and return back into the soup pot. Serve with remaining rosemary sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Mock Chicken Divan Pot Pie

Mock Chicken Divan Pot Pie -- Epicurean VeganOkay, so this is pretty much one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. So incredibly creamy and tasty; even the (soon-to-be) Seventh Grader had 3 helpings. The original recipe is from Vegetarian Times, but I made lots of changes such as using Boca chick patties instead of seitan and adding mushrooms to the mix. You will love this recipe and even non-vegans will be thoroughly impressed!

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups broccoli florets (about 2 medium-sized heads)
2 C mushrooms, diced
1-1/2 C prepared creamy portobello mushroom soup (Imagine brand–see below)
3/4 C light Vegenaise (see below)
1 tsp dry sherry or cooking sherry
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning (or use 1/8 tsp each of sage and thyme. I used Old Bay)
1/3 C nutritional yeast
4-5 Boca Chick patties, slightly thawed and diced
1/2 C Daiya mozzarella
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

With the leftover mushroom soup, I used it to make Near East pilaf, instead of using water. Conveniently, the pilaf takes 20 minutes to cook—same as the cooking time for the pot pie.  It turned out amazing!

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 425. Place the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Coat a 11″x7″ baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Steam the broccoli for 10-15 minutes; set aside. Meanwhile, whisk together the portobello soup, Vegenaise, sherry, seasoning and nutritional yeast. Add some salt and pepper, if you’d like.

I thawed the Boca patties in the microwave for about 45 seconds so that they’re a bit easier to cut.

Mock Chicken Divan Pot Pie -- Epicurean Vegan

Add the diced patties,broccoli, and mushrooms to the mayo mixture. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the Daiya cheese. (If making the pilaf to go with this, I’d start heating the soup for it now . . .)

Mock Chicken Divan Pot Pie -- Epicurean Vegan

On a lightly floured surface, I rolled out the pastry sheet a bit more and then cut it into18 squares. I ended up with about 2 leftover squares, but I’m cool with that.

Mock Chicken Divan Pot Pie -- Epicurean Vegan

Place the squares (as evenly as you can–they don’t have to touch) on top of the broccoli mixture.

Bake for 20  minutes. The puff pastry pieces will be a beautiful golden brown. Enjoy!

Mock Chicken Divan Pot Pie -- Epicurean Vegan

Herbed Almond Cheeze

Herbed Almond Cheeze -- Epicurean VeganIt’s amazing what you can make with almonds! This recipe is the same as the Almond Cheeze Log, but this time, I added herbs to it. This cheeze is light and fluffy and the herbs are subtle. Feel free to add more than I did, but I think you’ll like this mild version.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C blanched almonds
1/4 C lemon juice
3 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, peeled (I used minced)
1-1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 C cold water
Cheesecloth (a thin cotton napkin works great, too)

DIRECTIONS:
First, to blanch the almonds, add them to a small sauce pan and fill with water, just to cover the almonds. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pinch the skins between your finger and the skins will slide right off. Dry them off well.

Herbed Almond Cheeze -- Epicurean Vegan

Place almonds in a medium bowl and cover with 3″ of water; soak for 24 hours. Drain and rinse twice with running water. Next, puree the almonds with the chives and parsley.

Herbed Almond Cheeze -- Epicurean Vegan

Then, add the dill, onion powder, garlic powder, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and water in a food processor until smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and line the strainer with a triple layer of cheesecloth. Spoon mixture into cheesecloth or cloth napkin.

Herbed Almond Cheeze -- Epicurean Vegan

Bring the corners and sides of the cheesecloth together and twist around the cheese, squeezing out any excess moisture. Secure with a rubber band and refrigerate for several hours. Enjoy!

 

Vegetables Korma

Vegetables Korma -- Epicurean  VeganI saw this recipe in Vegetarian Times but I made several changes like using barley instead of rice and fresh vegetables instead of frozen. I really loved the flavors and heartiness of this meal. It makes quite a bit, so feel free to halve the recipe if only feeding two.

INGREDIENTS:
1 C barley
4 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 white onion, cut into chunks
3 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp garam masala or curry powder
3/4 tsp ground cardamom
4 Tbs golden raisins (I used craisins)
2 C broccoli florets
1 C mushrooms, quartered
1 can waterchestnuts, chopped
1 zucchini, sliced then quartered
1-15oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 C coconut milk
Toasted peanuts, chopped

DIRECTIONS:
Cook the barley according to package instructions. You can use vegetable broth in the place of the water, if you’d like. Keep in mind, the barley will take 50-60 minutes to cook. Using a food processor, puree the tomatoes, onion, and ginger. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat; add the curry powder and cardamom; cook for 30 seconds. Add the puree and raisins to the pan. Simmer for a couple of minutes until it start to thicken.

Vegetables Korma -- Epicurean  Vegan

Stir in the vegetables, garbanzo beans, and coconut milk. If it’s too thick, add a bit more coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Vegetables Korma -- Epicurean  VeganServe over the barley, sprinkle with the peanuts, and enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times Quick & Healthy 30-Minute  Meals that I picked up at the grocery store. The recipe is actually entitled: Fusilli Bucati Lunghi with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce, but that’s a long title, plus, you can use any pasta you’d like.

It’s full of some really outstanding meals and I like that they’re done in about 30 minutes (ideally). The Sixth Grader loves to cook so I’ve been having him help me in the kitchen as much as possible. For those of you with middle-grade kids, this recipe is a good one to let them do—that is, if you trust them with a sharp knife. :) When the onions made him cry, he didn’t let it detour him—a sure sign of a dedicated chef! There’s some chopping of vegetables involved, plus some simmer time for the sauce, so this recipe definitely took longer than the 30 minutes the magazine claims. 45 minutes was more like it. Regardless, it was still easy and very delicious; something we’d make again. The kid got to partake in the full culinary experience, by not only cooking dinner, but cleaning up when he dropped the leftover sauce container and creating a quite a mess. Ah well, all part of being a master chef.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs garlic-flavored olive oil (I just use regular olive oil and added 2 tsp of minced garlic)

1 C jarred roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained, and chopped

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped (you’re going to puree this later—we just chopped it)

1 large carrot, finely chopped (Save yourself some time—especially when letting the kids help—and use the food processor)!

8-oz dry fusilli bucati lunghi (or any other pasta you’d like)

DIRECTIONS:

Look at him go . . . chop chop!

We’d still be in the kitchen if he had to finely chop the carrot by hand. I know it’s an extra thing to clean, but use the food processor.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil (add garlic, if using). Add the peppers, onion, and carrot; saute 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Remove the sauce from heat. The recipe says to use a hand blender to puree the sauce until smooth. Not having this handy appliance, I used the food processor. Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Drain pasta and add to saucepan with sauce. Toss well and enjoy!