Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hot Corn Dip

If you're having a New Year's Day party and are looking for an appetizer, this one might be a nice addition to the table.

Hot Corn Dip
Adapted from Trisha Yearwood recipe

            Cooking spray to grease
1          11-ounce can Mexican corn w/black beans, drained
1/2       green pepper, small dice
2          green onions, diced
1          cup vegan cheese (we mixed cheddar Daiya and vegan Trader Joes' mozzarella )
1/4       cup soy parmesan cheese
1/2       cup vegan mayonnaise
            chilli powder (to taste)
            hot sauce (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease casserole dish.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Spread mixture into prepared casserole dish and bake uncovered until bubbly around the edges.  Approximately 20 minutes.  Serve dip warm with corn chips.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms, Rice and Pistachios

Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushrooms, Rice and Pistachios
Adapted from Whole Living Magazine

2            acorn squash (1 pound each), halved crosswise, seeded and bottoms
              trimmed to lie flat, if necessary salt and pepper

3            tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2         pound cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and diced small
1            medium yellow onion, diced small
3/4         teaspoon dried thyme
1            cup brown rice or long-grain white rice
2            cups vegetable stock
              Pistachios,  approximately 1/4 cup for each squash (optional)
1/2         cup soy parmesan or bread crumbs mixed with soy butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  On a rimmed baking sheet, season cut sides of squash with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and turn cut sides down.  Cover sheet tightly with foil and roast until tender, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium straight-sided skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium high.  Add mushrooms, onioin and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are golden, 8 minutes.  Add rice and broth and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook until liquid is absorbed  20-30  minutes.

Remove squash from oven and heat broiler. Carefully scoop out 2 – 3 tablespoons flesh from each squash half and stir into rice, season with salt and pepper. 

Divide rice mixture among squash halves, add a layer of pistachios and top with either soy parmesan or breadcrumbs cut with soy butter.  Broil until melted – 2 minutes

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque

I discovered this recipe on a new site  The creator of this recipe graciously allowed me to share it with you.  This is the first time I’ve actually roasted and peeled my own red peppers and it’s was so easy.  There is also a pesto cream sauce that can be drizzled over the soup which can be found on her site.

Roasted Red Pepper Bisque- Positively Vegan Blog

4         large red bell peppers
1         onion, chopped
2         stalks celery, chopped
2         tablespoons olive oil
2         tablespoons soy butter
1/2      cup fresh basil, packed
1         box (32 oz.) almond milk
1/2      cup raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes or more and drained
1         tablespoon garlic powder
1/4      teaspoon red pepper flakes ( more if you like spicy)
1         teaspoon salt
1/4      teaspoon white pepper
1/4      teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
3         tablespoons tamari

Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, tear off the stems, and clean out the seeds.  Place on an oiled cookie sheet, skin side up, and flatten with your hand.  Broil the peppers until the skins turn black.  Quickly place the blackened peppers in a paper bag, or a bowl, and cover tightly so the peppers can steam.  After about 15 minutes, remove the blackened skins from the peppers, and chop them coarsely. 

Heat the oil and soy butter in a soup pot over medium heat, and add the onions and celery. Cook until the onions begin to soften and look translucent – about 5 minutes.

Stir in the roasted peppers, then add all other ingredients.

Pour the soup into your blender- in two or more batches if necessary – and blend until smooth.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies

I plan to make these again and add to a few gift baskets, they're so pretty.  You can't go wrong with a Giada recipe.

Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies

1            cup all-purpose flour
2/3         cup old-fashioned oats
1            teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
1/2         teaspoon fine slat
1/4         teaspoon ground allspice
3/4         cup raw sugar, plus additional sprinkling
1/2         cup canned pumpkin puree
1/3         cup vegetable oil
1            tablespoon pure maple syrup
1            teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2         cup raisins

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 heavy large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice.  Stir to blend well.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, syrup and vanilla; whisk to blend.  Using a flexible rubber spatula, gradually stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the raisins.

For each cookie, drop 1 generous tablespoon of batter onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the rounds about 1 inch apart.  Using moistened fingertips, flatten each to 2-inch diameter round.  Sprinkle each cookie with a bit more raw sugar.

Bake the cookies until brown and a bit firm to the touch, 17 to 20 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack and cool completely.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tempeh and Onion Paprikash

Found a recipe in a magazine that sounded scrumptious so I changed out a few items to make this dish. Good on a cold winters night!

Tempeh and Onion Paprikash

1          pkg. Tempeh
            salt and pepper
3          tablespoons soy butter
1          medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2       red/orange or yellow pepper, diced
1          28 oz. can whole tomatoes
2          tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika
3/4       cup vegetable stock (less if you want thicker sauce)
1/3       cup soy sour cream
            cooked noodles for serving
            fresh parsley or dill, chopped for dressing

Cut the Tempeh in half then cut the halves into triangles then slice each triangle in half to make thinner.

Heat soy butter and oil into sauté pan and fry until golden, flipping once.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add more soy butter and oil if needed and add sliced onions.  Cook until soft.  Add diced pepper and sauté a few minutes.  Take knife and cut tomatoes in can to break up, drain most of the liquid and set aside.  Add tomatoes with a bit of juice and paprika.  Cook for a few minutes then add broth.  Cook until slightly thickened.  Add soy sour cream.  Mix well then add Tempeh pieces and heat through.  Add parsley or dill then serve over cooked noodles.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pumpkin Vegan Cheesecake

Even though this recipe is called “Cheesecake”, it really tastes more like pumpkin pie and the texture is more pie-like.  I liked it because some of the other vegan pie recipes tend to turn out a little too soft and I think the soy cream cheese helps to keep this firm.  This recipe actually makes more filling than for just one pie so  I saved the filling and made another pie the next day since there weren’t any pie leftovers from Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Vegan Cheesecake

1           12 oz. package firm silken tofu (Mori Nu)
1            8 oz. container vegan cream cheese
1            cup pumpkin puree
1            cup granulated sugar (I used evaporated cane sugar)
3            tablespoons flour
1/2         teaspoon ground ginger
1/2         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2      teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4         teaspoons ground cloves (I didn’t use)
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
1            crust recipe below ( made pecan crust – fantastic)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, puree all ingredients in a food processor.
Pour into the crust  (recipe below)
Bake for 50 minutes (or longer if still not set).  Let cool and refrigerate.

Pecan Crust
The Joy of Vegan Baking CB by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

3/4            cup pecan halves
3/4            cup quick-cooking oats
3/4            cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2            teaspoon cinnamon
                 pinch of salt
1/4            cup canola oil
3               tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a 9-inch pie plate.
Spread the pecans on a cookie sheet.  Toast for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the smell of nuts fill s the kitchen.
Combine the oats, flour, toasted pecans, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor bowl.  Pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse meal.  Pour in the oil and maple syrup and pulse until the dry and wet ingredients are just combined.  Press this mixture into the prepared pit plate.  Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Black Bean Lasagna

I was pretty surprised, well actually amazed, to find a healthy lasagna recipe from Trisha Yearwood who is known for her calorie rich southern cooking -- so I had to try it.  I always make Tofu Ricotta for my recipes and find it to be creamy and very flavorful.  The sauce was a bit thick so I just poured a little water into the tomato can and added it to the sauce.  Beans, tomatoes, noodles, tofu cheese -- what's not to like!

Black Bean Lasagna
Trisha Yearwood 

1                  28 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (I used regular)
1                  12 oz. can tomato paste
1                  tablespoon dried oregano leaves
2                  teaspoons sale, plus more for pasta
1/2               teaspoon black pepper
1/4                teaspoon garlic powder
1                  small onion, finely chopped
2                  15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
8                  ounces lasagna noodles
1                  recipe Tofu Ricotta, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, pepper, oregano, onions and black beans.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce he heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.  ***I had to add some liquid to the sauce because it was really thick.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the lasagna noodles and cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain the noodles well.

Spread 1 cup of the prepared sauce in a 9 x 13 x 2” baking pan. Make three layers of each of the noodles, sauce and Tofu Ricotta.  End with the sauce and make sure the noodles are completely covered or they will dry out during baking..  ***I added a bunch of little butter pats and a sprinkling of soy parmesan to the top.  Bake for 45 minutes, uncovered.  Allow the dish to stand for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

Tofu Ricotta:
1/4              cup raw cashews, finely ground  (I soaked the cashews for 10 minutes to soften)
14               ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/4              cup nutritional yeast
3                 tablespoons olive oil
1                 tablespoon dried basil
                   salt and pepper

Add the cashews to a food processor and grind them.  Then crumble in the tofu, and add the yeast, olive oil and basil.  Season with salt and pepper.  To press tofu, drain any liquid from the block of tofu by folding paper towels around tofu on a plate and setting something heavy on top –wrought iron skillet.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mini Apple Pies

This was a great accompaniment to the Pumpkin Pie I made for Thanksgiving dinner and easy to transport! We thought they tasted the best served warm but they are also good cold and would be a nice addition to an appetizer table.

Mini Apple Pies

10-12 mini pies

1            vegan pie crust (rolled out - or you can make your own favorite crust)
4            cups of small diced apples (3-4)
6            tablespoons flour
3/4         cup sugar (or less)
2            heaping teaspoons of cinnamon
1/4         teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
2-3         tablespoons soy margarine (chilled)
              melted soy margarine, enough to brush each pie

Cut up to 4 cups of apples into small 1/2” bits.  Mix apples with the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir until all the apple bits are nicely coated.

Unroll piecrust (or rollout your homemade) and cut circles out (10-12), a wide mouth mason jar ring works well.  (use left over pie crust for little strips on top of filling).

Prepare your muffin tins then line with the piecrust circles.  Fill each crust with apple mixture and push the crusts down the rest of the way.  Fill until slightly mounded.

Put a dab of the soy margarine on each mini pie.  Cover with left over dough in strips or little shapes.

Brush with melted soy margarine and bake at 400 degrees for 18 – 20 minutes.  Keep an eye on them – maybe check at around 12 minutes.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fresh Rolls with Dipping Sauce

I figured I'd post a nice light and healthy dish for the day after Thanksgiving.  Maybe make it for lunch, then dive back into Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner!

You can get as creative as you would like when it comes to filling these fresh rolls and also serve with a few different sauces, especially if serving at a party.  Blissful Bites cookbook by Christy Morgan is a great little Vegan cookbook with a wide variety of recipes.  I've made several dishes from it already.

Fresh Rolls
Adapted from Christy Morgan - Blissful Bites CB:  Asian Rice Paper Rolls

Rice Paper for soft rolls
Warm Water

Red cabbage, thinly sliced
Carrots, matchsticks
Pan fried Tempeh (in oil and a few dashed of soy sauce)
Soy sauce for cooking Tempeh
Green onion
Avocado, slice
Thin rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions

Almond bliss Dipping Sauce
1/2         cup unsalted creamy almond butter
3            tablespoons tamari
3            tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2            tablespoons brown rice syrup
1            teaspoon grated ginger
1/4         water, as necessary, to obtain desired consistency

Cut Tempeh into thin slices.  Add oil into sauté pan and fry tempeh.  Add a few dashes of soy sauce – if using.

Big bowl of warm water to dip rice paper in, a cutting board or plate to create rolls on.

Dip the entire piece of rice paper in the water, then pulling it out right away.  If you let it sit in water, it will get too soft.  The rice paper will soften as you work with it.
Lay the rice paper on board or plate and layer in ingredients toward the bottom side closest to you in the middle, leaving  a couple of inches clear on either side of the veggies.  Start rolling, holding the filling in place as you make a tight roll.  Roll all the way up and set on serving dish.  Repeat until all ingredients are used.

Whisk  together sauce ingredients until well combined.

General Tso’s Sauce
3            tablespoons soy sauce
3            tablespoons sugar
2            tablespoons rice wine

Whisk all ingredients together.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Pumpkin Smoothie

This is a tasty, sweet and decadent smoothie!  Just adjust the almond milk and sweetener to your liking.

Pumpkin Smoothie
(adapted from Ree Drummond recipe)

1            can (15 Ounce) pumpkin puree
3            cups soy or almond milk
3/4         cup Vanilla Soy Yogurt
1            banana (not in original recipe)
              a few dashes of Cinnamon
2            teaspoons Agave or Maple Syrup

Place the pumpkin puree into a freezer-safe container and freeze for a few hours or until frozen solid.

To make the smoothie, add soy/nut milk, and soy yogurt and banana to a blender.  Drop in the frozen pumpkin puree and bled until the frozen filling is completely pulverized.  Add a few dashes of Cinnamon and Agave or Maple Syrup to taste.

Add more liquid as needed to get it to the consistency you’d like.  The banana will thicken up the smoothie.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

General Tso's Sauce over Roasted Cauliflower

I think Kevin could eat this sauce if it were poured over cardboard but I thought I’d treat him and use it as a dressing over Roasted Cauliflower – it’s sooooo good!  Some restaurants will bread and fry the cauliflower but I think it’s even better au naturel.

General Tso’s Sauce over Roasted Cauliflower

3            tablespoons soy sauce
3            tablespoons sugar
2            tablespoons rice wine
1 1/2      tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1            tablespoon chili paste
1 1/2      teaspoons cornstarch

Mix all ingredients in a sauté pan.  Cook at medium temperature until thickened.

Roasted Cauliflower

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven proof baking dish or baking pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and mix until all florets are covered.

Cook until tender and brown on top, approximately 20 minutes.

Serve with the General Tso’s Sauce drizzled over florets.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Creamy Lima Bean Soup

I have a big jar of dry Lima beans in my pantry, also known as butter beans, but I never know what to do with them until I discovered this recipe.   It may not be the most glamorous sounding soup but it is packed with fiber and protein and surprisingly low in calories.  Very soothing to the soul.

Creamy Lima Bean Soup
Dining With Friends Cook Book

1 1/2      cups dry lima beans, thoroughly washed
6            cups vegetable broth
              Sesame oil
2            cups finely diced onions
1            cup peeled and coarsely grated carrots
2            tablespoons chopped garlic
2            tablespoons olive oil
1/4         teaspoons olive oil
1/4         teaspoon ground pepper
1/2         cup finely diced green bell pepper
1            tablespoon seal salt or less
1/4         teaspoon ground coriander
              Finely shredded scallions for garnish

To prepare the beans, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a large saucepan and add the beans.  Immediately remove from the heat, let the mixture cool and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  ***I put the beans and broth in my crock pot for a bit so I had to cook less the next day.
Cook the beans in the soaking broth covered over medium heat about 1 1/2 hours,  until tender (since I precooked in crock pot, I didn’t have to cook on stove for that long).

To make the soup, sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic in a 2-quart saucepan with the olive oil and pepper over medium heat until the onions are translucent.  Add a few drops of sesame oil.

In a blender, puree 2 cups of cooked lima beans with 2 cups of the soup’s broth.  Add this puree to the sautéed vegetables.  Add the remaining cup of cooked lima beans, keeping them whole.  Then add the bell peppers, salt and coriander to the bean mixture and cook for a few minutes to blend the spices.

Serve with a garnish of finely shredded scallions.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vegan Ranch Dressing

We've been on a big salad kick since Kevin has been hitting the Farmer's Market weekly. He's been bring home all different kinds of lettuce, fresh sprouts and radishes.   Ranch dressing is my all time favorite dressing next to Tahini Dill so I was happy to find a recipe that is extremely easy to make.  We make a big batch and store in the fridge in a Mason jar -- pretty and practical.

Vegan Ranch Dressing
Web:   Jolinda Hackette

1            cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4         cup soy or nut milk
1            teaspoon garlic powder
1/4         teaspoon salt
1            teaspoon onion powder
1/4         teaspoon black pepper
2            teaspoons fresh chopped parsley
1            tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2         teaspoon fresh chopped dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cookies

These are fun to put out at a party because they look so unusual and I must say they are a bit addicting so make enough to keep for yourself.

Chocolate Chow Mein Noodle Cookies
Adapted from Giada De Laurentis recipe

18-20 cookies

1            12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips, Vegan
1            5-ounce can crispy chow mein noodles (about 2 1/2 cups)
3/4         cup salted and roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2         cup finely chopped dried apricots ( or any other dried fruit)
1/8         teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.

Place the chocolate in a small bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 4 minutes.

Combine the noodles, almonds, apricot, cayenne pepper if using and melted chocolate in a large bowl.  Stir until all the ingredients are coated with chocolate.  Scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop and allow the cookies to harden at room temperature, about 2 hours.  Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Crispy Tempeh Fingers with Agave- Mustard Sauce

This is some good snackin' food!

Crispy Tempeh Fingers with Agave-Mustard Sauce
1          pkg. Tempeh, boiled or steamed, just to release bitterness
1/2       cup soy/nut milk with teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
            (this is a vegan buttermilk)
1/2-1    cup flour
4          cups corn flakes
1/4       tsp. salt
            black pepper

Agave-Mustard Sauce
1/3       cup Dijon mustard
2          tsp. Vegan mayo
2          Tbs. agave

Steam or boil Tempeh for approximately 10 minutes, to release bitterness.

Add vinegar or lemon juice to soy/nut milk and set aside.

Put flour in a bowl and add any sort of seasoning you like, I added a bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper.  In another bowl, add crushed corn flakes (put flakes in a plastic ban and crush with rolling pin).  I kept the crumbles pretty big.  Add salt and pepper to flakes.  Add milk and lemon juice or vinegar to third bowl. 

Once tempeh has cooled, slice in half to make thinner then cut into strips. 

Dip each “finger” in flour first, then mock buttermilk, then in corn flake crumbs.
Place each piece on a prepared baking pan. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake approximately 10-15 minutes – making sure outside is nice and crispy. 

Serve with the mustard sauce.

***rule of thumb for making buttermilk, 1 tablespoon vinegar then fill up measuring cup with milk to equal one cup.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Banana Ginger Energy Smoothie

You know it's going to be a good day when you start your day with a Banana Ginger smoothie!

Banana Ginger Energy Smoothie

1/2         cup ice
2            cups milk
2            bananas, ripe
1            cup soy yogurt
1/2         teaspooon fresh ginger, peeled and grated fine
2            tablespoon agave

In a blender, add the ice, milk, soy yogurt, bananas, and ginger.
Blend until smooth.
Add agave as needed.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Creamy Green Onion Dressing

Since this dressing has a nice onion flavor and is on the thicker side, I thought it would also be good as a dip. In fact, we couldn't stop dipping our fresh farmer's market red peppers in it!!  If dressing gets too thick, just add a bit of water to thin out.

Creamy Green Onion Dressing
Dining with Friends cookbook by Friends of Animals

7            scallions with tops, finely chopped
1/8         cup rice vinegar
1/8         cup tamari
1            cup Tofutti Milk-free “Better than Sour Cream”
1/2         cup olive oil
1/4         teaspoon salt
              ground pepper

Using a blender, mix all ingredients, including pepper to taste.