Monday, January 1, 2018

Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Toasted Nuts and Pomegranate Seeds

We found the Kabocha Squash at the Farmer’s Market and thought this was the perfect recipe to use it in.  The squash was on the small side, which was perfect for two servings of salad.

Kale Salad with Kabocha Squash, Toasted Nuts, and Pomegranate Seeds
Food 52 Vegan cookbook

1            small kabocha squash, about 1 pound (or butternut), cut into 1.5” pieces
4            tablespoons olive oil
              salt and pepper
1/2         cup hazelnuts ( I used Macadamia nuts)
2            tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1            teaspoon Dijon mustard
1            teaspoon maple syrup
1            large bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
3/4         cup pomegranate seeds (I used dried cranberry/orange pieces)

Preheat oven to 375

Toss the squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then spread on a rimmed baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes, then stir well.  Bake for 15-20 minutes longer, until tender.  Let cool to room temp.  (I peeled my squash but
Recipe doesn’t call for it to be peeled).

Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a small baking pan and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes, until golden.  Check them frequently and remove them the moment they start to get brown.  Let cool slightly, the rub the nuts between paper towels to help remove the skins  Coarsely chop the nuts.

Put the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl or cup.  Add the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and whisk until well blended.  Season with pepper.

Put the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the dressing.  Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands until the kale has a soft, almost wilted texture.  Add the squash, hazelnuts, and pomegranate seeds and toss gently until all the ingredients are evenly coated.  Taste and mix in more dressing if desired.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Lebanese Lentil Soup

I’ve been searching for an authentic crushed lentil soup that tastes as good as the restaurant soups.  After scouring over several recipes, I found that they all include cumin – which surprised me.  Some include carrots and some recipes leave them out.  I like the bit of sweetness they add.  I made some homemade pita chips and topped with a bit of salt and za’atar spice.

Lebanese Lentil Soup
Serves 8
By Amanda’s Plate

1            cup chopped yellow onion
3/4         cup finely shredded carrots (1 large carrot)
1/2         cup finely chopped celery  (2 small)
2            large garlic cloves, finely minced
1  1/2     cups red lentils  (they look orange)
3            tablespoons short grain rice
1            teaspoon ground cumin
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2         teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)
2            tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8            cups low sodium vegetable stock – or water
3            tablespoons fresh lemon juice and more for serving

Rinse lentils and rice under cold water until water runs clear.

Place lentils and rice in a stock pot with 2 cups of the vegetable stock and bring to boil.  Reduce to a simmer and place the lid on the pot.

In a skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil and sauté onion, celery, carrots and garlic.  Add in the cumin, turmeric, white pepper and salt.  (heating the spices draws out more of the flavor).

Add the vegetables and spices to the pot of lentils.

Once vegetable stock has been absorbed, add the remaining 6 cups and continue to simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until lentils are tender.

Squeeze in fresh lemon juice.

Taste and season if needed.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Couscous Sprout Salad

I modified the original recipe dressing a bit to add some sweetness and tang.
Along with the suggested tamari, I added a few splashes of red wine vinegar and some Agave to, taste.  I didn’t have lima beans so added pistachio nuts instead to add some texture.

Couscous Sprout Salad
2 servings
Gary Null – Vegetarian Cooking for Good Health

2            cups cooked couscous (I used one cup of Pearl couscous – it’s bigger)
1/2         cup diced carrots
1/4         cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2         cup cooked fava or lima beans (or pistachio nuts)
3            tablespoons tamari
            ***I added red wine vinegar and Agave
2            green onions diced (optional)
2-3         tablespoons raisins
1/2         cup sprouts (we buy ours from the farmer’s market and keep in fridge)
3            tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl, toss, and serve at room temperature

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Southwestern Sweet Potato Noodles

Since I already committed to the recipe, and couldn’t get my spiralizer to cut the potatoes into noodles,  I decided to just cut the sweet potatoes into long, thin slices.  I didn’t really feel like I was eating noodles, but the flavors were all there so it was worth the effort.  I’ve used the spiralizer for zucchini, which is much softer and it worked great.  I figure I have all winter to figure out the secret to making sweet potato noodles!

Southwestern Sweet Potato Noodles
Serves 4
Food Network Magazine

3            small sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4         cup vegetable oil
              kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1            small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1            red bell pepper, cut into thin strips  ( I only had green on hand)
1/2 – 1       small Serrano chile pepper, thinly sliced into rounds
                         (since I didn’t have one, I added some red pepper flakes for heat)
1/2         cup frozen fire-roasted corn (Trader Joe’s usually carries)
3            cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4         teaspoon ground cumin
3/4         teaspoon chili powder
1/2         teaspoon ground coriander
1/2         cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
              juice of 1/2 lime, plus wedges for serving

Preheat the broiler.  Cut the potatoes into long noodles using a spiralizer (or use store bought – but I could only find with egg in them).  I cut potatoes into long, thin strips.

Spread on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Broil until browned in spots and slightly softened, 3-4 minutes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the red onion, bell pepper and Serrano; cook, stirring until just softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the corn, garlic cumin, chili powder, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 3-5 more minutes.

Add the broiled sweet potato noodles and 1/4 cup water to the skillet with the vegetables.  Cook, gently tossing, until the noodles are coated and tender, 1-2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.  Serve with lime wedge.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

No Bake Coconut Snowballs

I plan to make these again for the Holidays and the only thing I’ll do different is make a double batch.  If you love coconut, then these tiny bites of goodness are for you.  Perfect to keep in the fridge for a quick little snack.

No Bake Coconut Snowballs
Simple Vegan Blog

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Vegan Butter Tofu

I was happy to get this recipe from a friend and it is so addicting!  The flavors are mild and sweet and I love the creamy texture.  I added peas and a hit of cayenne to my version, which I’ve included in the notes.

Vegan Butter Tofu
·       1/4 cup vegetable oil  (I used a bit less)
·       2 medium onions, finely minced   (I used 1 red onion)
·       1 teaspoon sea salt
·       1⁄2 cup raw cashews
·       3 tablespoons grated ginger
·       5 garlic cloves, finely grated  (I used 3 large cloves)
·       1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
·       1 teaspoon ground turmeric
·       1 teaspoon ground coriander
·       1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
·       Seeds from 4 cardamom pods   (didn’t have on hand)
·       One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
·       9 ounces soft tofu, cut into bite-size cubes (I used 14 oz. firm tofu – cubed and baked)
·       3/4 cup frozen peas (optional)
·       2 tablespoons brown sugar
·       2 tablespoons almond butter
·       1/4 cup vegan yogurt of soy creamer
·       cayenne pepper to taste (optional)   

Tofu:  I baked mine slightly to dry out the tofu a bit but this step is optional.
Drain and pat dry the tofu (did not use Silken).  Cut into cubes and place on baking sheet.  Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.  Turn oven off and keep in until ready or take out and set aside.  Cooking to
Dry and firm up tofu a bit. 

Step 1
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add onions and sea salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are medium brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cashews, ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of the spices and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Step 2
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and begins to splatter.

Step 3
Remove from the heat and allow sauce to cool for a couple minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and blend for 1 minute, or until very smooth.
Step 4

Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the tofu over low heat until it is warm. Remove from the heat and stir through the brown sugar, almond butter, cayenne (if using) and soy cream. Add in frozen peas, if using.  Stir until peas are thawed.  Season with salt to taste .

Friday, November 24, 2017

Cauliflower Tacos with Romesco Sauce

I ordered these unique tacos at Bartaco in Nashville and let me tell you, they were good!  The description on the menu simply said Cauliflower Tacos with Romesco Sauce so in order to recreate I had to find a recipe for the sauce.   I added coleslaw as a bottom layer but you can just keep it simple and add a bit of cilantro and let the cauliflower be the star.

Cauliflower Tacos

            Small tortillas
1          head of Cauliflower, cut into small pieces.

Roast the cauliflower pieces in a 350 degree oven until slightly browned (15-20 minutes).  Take out and put aside.

While cauliflower is roasting, make the Romesco Sauce, or make the sauce the day before.

Pour the Romesco sauce onto the cauliflower and mix to make sure every piece is coated.  When ready to serve, just heat up the mixture and make the tacos.  I suggest
adding a bit of your favorite hot sauce for a little extra kick.

Spanish Romesco Sauce
Bon appétit – web

1            large roasted red bell pepper from a jar
1            garlic clove, smashed
1/2         cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4         cup tomato puree
2            tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2            tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1            teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2         teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2         cup extra-virgin olive oil
              fresh sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pulse first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped.  With motor running, slowly add oil; process until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Romesco can be made 1 week ahead .  Cover and chill.