Thursday, November 15, 2018

Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash

For a fancier way to serve the Squash, try cutting it into slices, assemble on a pretty platter and drizzle with a little more Maple Syrup.  We couldn't wait to dig into ours so we enjoyed them right from the shell, no shame here.

Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash
Ina Garten – adapted
Serves 6

3          acorn squash, unpeeled, halved through the stem, and seeded
3          tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, diced (or salted - just adjust seasoning)
3          tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus extra for serving
            good olive oil
            kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
            flaked sea salt for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Place the squash, cut sides up, on a sheet pan.  Place 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup in the cavity of each squash.  Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle the squash with 3 teaspoons kosher salt (I used way less) and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Roast for 40 – 60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until tender when pierced with a small knife.

Place the squash on a serving platter.  If the halves are too large for one serving, cut each piece in half through the stem.  Drizzle lightly with extra maple syrup, sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Dill Pickle Soup

Someone posted a video of Dill Pickle Soup being made and even though I’ve never made it or heard of it before, it sounded interesting. I was hoping it would taste as good as it looked and it did not disappoint.  In fact, it exceeded my expectations.  Cooking note:  Before I added the diced pickles, I used an immersion blender to break-up some of the potatoes (I think I diced too big) but it is not necessary.  Pureeing some of the soup made it like a thick chowder – which I liked.

Dill Pickle Soup
Serves 8   (adapted recipe)

·  5 – 1/2 cups vegetable broth
·  1-3/4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
·  2 cups chopped carrots, smaller dice
·  1 cup chopped dill pickles (smaller dice ~ about 3 large whole dills)
·  1/2 cup vegan butter
·  1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·  1 cup vegan sour cream
·  1/4 cup water
·  2 cups dill pickle juice*
·  1-1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
·  1/2 teaspoon table salt
·  1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
·  1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
·  Optional garnishes: sliced dill pickles, fresh dill and black pepper

1.    In a large pot, combine broth, potatoes, carrots and vegan butter. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. ***I pureed a bit of the soup at this point to make extra thick but was not in the original recipe***   Add pickles and continue to boil.
2.    In a medium bowl, stir together flour, vegan sour cream and water, making a paste. Vigorously whisk vegan sour cream mixture (2 Tablespoons at a time) into soup. (This will also break up some of your potatoes, which is okay. You might see some initial little balls of flour form, but between the whisking and boiling, all will disappear. Don't panic.)
3.    Add pickle juice, Old Bay, salt (*see below), pepper and cayenne. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
4.    *All pickle juice is not created equal. Some is saltier than others. Taste your soup after adding the pickle juice and final seasonings. It's possible you will not need any salt or would prefer more or less.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Potstickers (Dumplings)

This is the first time I’ve made potstickers and I thought it would be much more difficult and time consuming but I found it to be quite therapeutic.  If you are pressed for time, just make the filling the day before and keep refrigerated.  I included a link to the original recipe but keep in mind I veganized mine by using vegan cream cheese and because I had some butternut squash hanging around, I added that to the diced sweet potato when roasting.  I also sautéed some onion and garlic until very soft and added it to the mashed mixture.  My mixture made approximately 23 potstickers.

As far as dipping sauces go, I made two that I found on-line.  One was vegan sour cream mixed with garlic chili sauce and the other was a soy/sugar/vinegar/garlic mixture.  Both good!

Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Potstickers (Dumplings)

Dipping recipes:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kale Caesar Salad with Almond Vinaigrette

What a delicious salad and perfect for Fall.  The dressing is amazing and with the addition of ground almonds, it makes for an extra creamy finished product.  We like to mix our greens so we combined Curly and Russian kale, both purchased at the Farmer’s market.  The Russian kale is soft and tender, giving the salad a nice balance of texture.

Kale Caesar Salad with Almond Vinaigrette
Chef Antoni Porowski – adapted
Servies 4

2            6 oz. bunches kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
1            large heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4” wedges
1 and 1/4            cups sliced toasted almonds, divided
2            tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2            tablespoons Agave
1            tablespoon chopped shallot (from one small shallot)
1            teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1            teaspoon Dijon mustard
1            teaspoon kosher salt
1/4         teaspoon black pepper
1            medium garlic clove
1/3         cup olive oil

Toss together sliced kale, tomato wedges and 1 cup of the almonds in a large bowl, set aside.

Place vinegar, Agave, shallot, thyme, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic and remaining 1/4 cup almonds in a blender, blend until smooth, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Slowly drizzle in oil, blending until dressing is fully combined.

Add almond dressing to kale mixture, toss well to coat.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Butternut Squash Soup

Fall, glorious fall.  The Farmer’s Market had such beautiful Butternut Squash on display that I just had to make a double batch of this delicious, creamy and spicy squash soup. 

Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted recipe

3            cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2         cup onion, diced
1            cup Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1            tablespoon olive oil
4            cups vegetable stock
2            tablespoons Agave
1/4         cup vegan milk
1            pinch – or more – cayenne pepper
1            pinch – or more – nutmeg
1            pinch – or more – cinnamon
              salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, sweat onions for 10 minutes with olive oil. 

Add squash, apples, spices and stock.

Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.

Puree in food processor or blender.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Stir in vegan milk, if desired.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Spicy Tofu Tacos

If you are not a fan of Tofu, you can easily replace it with Tempeh, soy protein or even finely chopped Cauliflower.  I had to improvise a bit because I didn’t have a Poblano pepper on hand so I used a Jalapeno pepper instead.  Also fried some Jalapeno slices and used for garnish along with home made Guacamole.

Spicy Tofu Tacos
Prevention Magazine

1/2         small Poblano pepper
1/2         red pepper
2            cloves garlic
1            small onion
1            tablespoon oil

14 oz.  extra-firm tofu  (squeezed of excess moisture) **OR other non-meat item
1 and 1/2            teaspoons chili powder
1/2         teaspoon ground coriander
1/4         teaspoon each salt and pepper
              corn tortillas

Romaine, jalapeno and vegan sour cream for toppings.

In a food processor, finely chop 1/2 each small poblano and red pepper, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 small onion.  Cook mixture in a large nonstick skillet in 1 tablespoon oil, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes.  Crumble 14 oz. extra-firm tofu (Squeezed of excess moisture), into the skillet, season with 1 and 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Spoon into corn tortillas and top with shredded romaine lettuce and diced jalapeno.

**I used hard shell tacos and added guacamole.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bean, Corn and Tamale Casserole

This recipe is called a “pie” but my polenta crust never really became as firm as I thought it would -- it was still good.  It ended up being more of a casserole with a cornmeal layer on the bottom  -- kind of like chili and cornbread all in one dish – pretty convenient if you ask me!

For advanced prep, you can make the vegetable mixture, without the corn, a day or two ahead.  Add corn just before baking.

Bean, Corn and Tamale Pie (Casserole)
Recipe from Thanksvegan Cookbook

1            large green pepper, chopped
1            onion, chopped
2            cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4          cup chopped pitted black olives
3 and 1/2     cups whole canned tomatoes, with some of their juice
1 and 1/2     tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1/4         teaspoon red pepper sauce, optional  (I used a bit of cayenne)
1            teaspoon salt
1/8         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 and 1/2     cups cooked kidney or pinto beans
2 and 1/2     cups whole kernel corn
1 and 1/2     cups cornmeal
4  and 1/2     cups water, divided
3/4         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup breadcrumbs optional  **I toped casserole with shredded vegan cheddar
                                    cheese mixed with panko bread crumbs and a bit of oil then
                                      at the end of cooking, broiled a few minutes.

In 10” or 12” skillet, heat the oil and sauté the green pepper and onion until onion is translucent and green pepper is soft, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and sauté one minute.  Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon.

Add the beans, and mash them coarsely with a potato masher.  Add olives, chili powder, pepper sauce, salt and pepper.  Add enough juice from tomatoes to create a stew-like mixture that is moist, but not too soupy.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil 2 and 1/4 cups water in a 2 quart saucepan.  Mix cornmeal with 1 and 1/2 cups cold water and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Add to boiling water, stirring constantly.  Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

***mix together vegan cheese and panko with a bit of oil – if using as topping.

Oil a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish and spread the cooked cornmeal over its bottom and sides. 

Add the corn kernels to the vegetable mixture, stir well, and spoon into the crust.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, if desired.  Bake 30 minutes.

Serves 8-10