Thursday, March 31, 2011

Veggie Wraps with Mole Sauce

I added a little agave to vegan store bought Mole sauce to give it a sweeter flavor.  I was originally going to make with corn tortillas but found Flax Roll-ups that worked out perfectly.  Patrick gave me a steaming tip that I included below.

Veggie Wraps with Mole Sauce

              olive oil for cooking
2            small red or yellow potatoes, small dice
1            small red pepper, sliced
1            small orange pepper, sliced
1            small yellow pepper, sliced
1            red onion, sliced
8 oz.      mushrooms, sliced
1            garlic clove, minced
              mole sauce mixed with veggie broth (per jar instructions)
              agave to taste
              salt & pepper to taste
             sour cream (optional)
             flat bread

Dice potatoes and par boil for approximately 5 minutes.  Drizzle oil in sauté pan and heat.  Add potatoes and cook for a couple minutes.  Add onion and cook 5 minutes.
Add peppers and garlic.  Salt and Pepper.  Add mushrooms.  Put lid on to soften.

In separate pan, prepare Mole sauce per directions.  Once sauce is smooth, add to vegetables.  Add Agave if you desire a sweeter taste. 

Steam flat bread  (large sauté pan with a little water, put cooling rack in pan and bread on top).  Steam until soft.  Fill bread with veggie mixture, add vegan sour cream and roll!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Black Bean-Grain Burger

If you are ever in the Chicago area, you should make a lunch or dinner stop at the Chicago Diner.  Kevin discovered the diner when working there many years back and I finally made it there last year.  Their cookbook is a nice addition to my vegetarian/vegan collection.

Now, on to the burgers.   We baked our burgers a little longer than the suggested 20-25 minutes and it seemed to help them bind together nicer.  Kevin thought the burgers had even more flavor the next day when he pan fried the pre baked patties.  **Highlight the blue recipe title and it will take you to the Chicago Diner site.

Black Bean-Grain Burger (The Chicago Diner Cookbook-chef Jo A. Kaucher)

1            medium onion, finely chopped
2            stalks celery, chopped
2            cloves garlic, minced
1/3         medium red bell pepper, diced
2            teaspoons oregano
1            tablespoon cumin
2            teaspoons thyme
½           teaspoon salt
2            teaspoons pepper
2            tablespoons oil
2            cups cooked black beans, lightly mashed
1            cup cooked brown rice (should be sticky, not dry)
¼           cup sunflower seeds, chopped and toasted
¼           cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2            tablespoons tamari

Saute the onion, celery, garlic, pepper, and spices in the oil until tender.  Pour into a large mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.  The mixture should hold together to form patties.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . Form the mixture into patties, and place on an oiled baking sheet.  Bake about 25 – 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.  Or, panfry the patties in a medium skillet.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spicy Fries

I was kickin back watching Paula Dean and her son make homemade grilled fries and was motivated to make my own to go with our bean burgers.   Paula’s son used Cajun seasoning and grilled them,  I used Emeril’s Essence Seasoning and baked mine.   Be careful, these are very addicting!

Spicy Fries

2          baking potatoes, sliced into large chunks
            olive oil
            Cajun spice or Emeril’s Essence Seasoning
            Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut two baking potatoes into large slices, leaving skin on.
Par boil potatoes for approximately 6 min., rinse and pat dry.
Assemble potatoes onto pan in one layer.  Sprinkle potatoes with oil and seasonings.
Mix with hands.

Bake approximately 10 – 15 min.  Turn potatoes and continue to cook another 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye on the potatoes, they may take less time to cook depending on the type of potatoes you are using.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Orange-Pan Glazed Tempeh

Orange Pan-Glazed Tempeh-Coming Home to Eat CB

I found this recipe on another blog:

The only change I made was to reserve a little of the sauce and add a thickener (arrowroot or cornstarch) then pour it over the dish before serving.  I served it with some roasted Fennel.

Next time I make this, and there will be a next time, I will try it on a bed of Quinoa.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hearts of Palm Chopped Salad

I'm attempting to make more salads at home and get over my notion that salads from restaurants taste better than mine.  I had a can of Hearts of Palm in my pantry that I finally found a use for and just added whatever fresh veggies I had on hand.  I have to say, this is one salad I would definitely order at a restaurant!!

Hearts of Palm Chopped Salad

15 oz. can Hearts of Palm, chopped into round discs
cherry tomatoes, halved
red pepper, diced
cucumber, diced
shallot, cooked in oil w/garlic
romaine lettuce, chopped


Olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dollop of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wild Irish Stew

It’s still cold enough outside to enjoy a hot, thick stew.  After taking Paige for a long walk, I sat down and perused through some cookbooks to find the perfect stew recipe.  The original recipe called for 1 cup chopped Kale (which I didn’t have) and a can of Chickpeas (I used Cannellini Beans instead – I wanted a creamier texture).  I also added Soy Beef strips – but it would be just fine with veggies only. 

Wild Irish Stew (adapted from The Vegetarian Meat & Potatoes” cookbook).

1            tablespoon olive oil
1            pkg. soy beef strips
              a bit of flour
1            small yellow onion, chopped
1            celery stalk, chopped
5            small waxy white potatoes, chopped into med. chunks
1            lb. baby carrots (I sliced in half)
2            garlic cloves, minced
3            cups vegetable stock or water (I added a bit more because I added soy meat)
¼           cup dry red wine (optional)
2            bays leaves
¼           cup tamari or other soy sauce
8            oz. button mushrooms quarter (I used pre-sliced baby portabella)
1            teaspoon dried thyme
              salt and pepper to taste
1            tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
1            15 oz. can cannellini beans
              parsley for garnish

Soy Beef Strips:  Heat some oil in large pot over med/high heat.  Toss soy beef strips in flour then fry for a few minutes.  Take out of pan and set aside.

Soup:  Heat more oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery, cover and cook, stirring a few times until softened.  Add the potatoes, carrots, garlic, stock, wine if using, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the tamari/soy sauce, mushrooms, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the cornstarch mixture, bring to a boil and cook, stirring for a minute or until the stew is thickened.  Add the soy beef and beans, reduce heat and simmer until heated through.  Sprinkle with parsley.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quinoa Paella

    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 red or yellow onion,   sliced
    1/2 red and green bell pepper, chopped
    as many cloves of garlic as you have in the  kitchen, minced or chopped
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
    1-2 bay leaves (optional)
    1 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
    1 15 oz. can pinto beans
    a pinch of saffron
    1/2 cup sherry
    2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
    a generous handful of cherry tomatoes,
    3/4 cup frozen peas
    lemon slices
    Acorn Squash for accompaniment

Acorn Squash on side:  Slice Squash in half, fill casserole dish with water.
Place squash upside down in water and cook at 350 degrees until soft, approximately 20-25 min.  Dab with butter and a little brown sugar and serve with Paella.

Heat the oil (3 Tablespoons, or however much you like to use) in a large, wide skillet (preferably nonstick). Saute the onions on medium heat until soft, then add the peppers, again cooking until the vegetables begin to soften.

While this is cooking, combine the spices in a measuring cup. Stir the garlic into the pan, then add the bay leaves and mixed spices after a minute or two. Add the quinoa and cook for two minutes, stirring. Next add the saffron and sherry, and allow to simmer for a moment. Add the vegetable stock and salt, and reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan and allow the ingredients to simmer for 20-25 minutes, without stirring. You may want to check on it periodically to make sure the quinoa doesn't dry out.

After 20-25 minutes, when quinoa seems tender enough, remove the pan from the heat, and sprinkle the tomatoes and peas , and cover again. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then serve with lemon slices.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vegan Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This recipe was created by Chef Chloe, a past winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars.  She is a vegan chef and has a beautiful food blog.
If you go to her blog for this recipe, you will notice her cookies turned out much prettier than mine but I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pizza - Spelt Flour Crust

This was my first time making a spelt crust. I searched a couple vegetarian web sites and found a recipe on The only ingredient I added to the original recipe was garlic salt.  

Pizza – Spelt Flour Crust

    3 cups spelt flour
    1/4 + cup cornmeal
    1 pkg yeast
    2 teaspoons agave or maple syrup
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup water,
    thyme, oregano, basil dried or fresh to taste
    garlic salt  (optional)
    1  15 oz. can of pizza sauce ( I used Trader Joe’s)
         soy sausage (cook in oil then add to crust)
    1   red onion
    1   green or red pepper
         sliced mushrooms
         soy mozzarella cheese
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water with maple syrup. Set aside.

Mix spelt, 1/4 cup cornmeal, salt, dried herbs in bowl.  Add oil and yeast and mix well with hands.

Knead it for 5-10min. Thin coat oil on bowl and dough ball, cover with damp cloth. Set aside. Rise for at least 1 hour.

Assemble Pizza:  Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Lightly oil square baking sheet, then dust with remaining cornmeal.

Stretch out dough to cover most of sheet. Place in hot oven for 2-4 minutes, take out .

Layer sauce, onions, peppers cheese & sausage.

Place back in oven for 4-6 minutes until crust is nicely browned.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cinnamon Elephant Ears: Ina Garten

I think I let the puff pastry get a little warm because it got a bit gooey in the oven - which I'm sure doesn't happen to Ms. Garten's pastry!  They still turned out delicious!
Cinnamon Elephant Ears: Ina Garten
1     cup sugar, divided
       pinch kosher salt
1/4  teaspoon cinnamon
1     sheet  puff pastry, defrosted
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and kosher salt and pour it over a flat surface such as a wooden board or marble slab. Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar mixture.
Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar and the cinnamon and spread it evenly on the puff pastry. This is not about sprinkling, it's about an even covering of sugar. With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it's a 13-inch square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom. Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Slice the dough into 38-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake the cookies for 6 minutes, or until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. Transfer to a baking rack to cool.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sloppy Joes

I had a bad sloppy joe recipe experience the other day.  The recipe I was referencing had too many fancy ingredients and the mixture came out bitter.  Chef Patrick graciously shared his Sloppy Joe recipe with me and I have to say, it was yummy good.  Perfect texture and flavor -- hope you'll give it a try.  
 **Tip:  After grilling the buns, spread a thin layer of veganaise on both sides of bun to keep from getting soggy.

Chef Patrick's Sloppy Joes

1 medium onion chopped fine
1 carrot chopped fine
1 celery stalk chopped fine
1 T dried thyme
1 t celery salt
olive oil

1 12oz pkg Quorn meatless grounds or 2 8oz packages of tempeh prepared and crumbled

1 15oz can black beans rinsed, drained, roughly chopped
1 t ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper

1 C ketchup
2 T red wine vinegar
3 T brown sugar + to taste.

Saute onion, carrot, celery, thyme and celery salt about 6-8 minutes in olive oil over medium heat, until onion just turns translucent.
Add; ancho chili, Quorn (tempeh) and black beans, stir to incorporate.
Add salt and pepper to taste, cook several minutes.
Add ketchup, vinegar and brown sugar simmer for 30-60 minutes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Chickpea Noodle Soup

I love this salty soup.  I added celery, a bit more carrots and used spaghetti noodles vs. soba noodles in the original recipe.  This reminds me of my mom's noodle soup --  without the chicken!

Chickpea Noodle Soup: Adapted from Veganomicon The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

2     tablespoons olive oil
1     large yellow onion, sliced thinly
3     carrots, sliced
2     stalks celery, sliced
2     cloves garlic, minced
2     cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2  teaspoon celery seeds
1     teaspoon dried thyme
1/2  teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed in fingers
1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
2     tablespoons mirin (optional (Japanese rice wine)
1/3  cup brown miso
6     cups water or vegetable stock
2     cups (1 15-ounce can) chickpeas
6     oz.  spaghetti noodles or soba noodles

Preheat a coup pot over medium heat. Saute' the onions and carrots in the oil for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, and herbs, and saute for another 5 minutes.  Deglaze the pot with the mirin or splash of water. Add water and chickpeas. cover and bring to boil.

Once broth is boiling, break noodles and add to broth. Lower the heat so soup is at a low boil. cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the miso and stir until it's incorporated. Add more miso if you want a saltier flavor.