Saturday, June 30, 2012

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip

This spinach dip recipe uses tofu instead of mayo for its creaminess and calls for nutritional yeast to add a slightly cheesy flavor.  Nutritional Yeast can be found in health food stores or Whole Foods.

 ***Nutritional Yeast:  An excellent source of protein, containing essential amino acids. Gluten Free.  Rich in vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins.  Excellent source of folic acid which is important for formation, growth and reproduction of red blood cells.

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip (Chloe’s Kitchen CB – Chloe Coscarelli)

2            tablespoons olive oil
1            onion, roughly chopped
3            cloves garlic, minced
1/2         teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
5            oz. baby spinach
1            14-oz. package soft tofu, drained 
1/2         cup nutritional yeast flakes
2            tablespoons lemon juice
1            teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2      teaspoon sea salt
1/2         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14          oz. of canned, marinated, or frozen artichoke hearts, drained
              bread of tortilla chips for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until soft. Add garlic and red pepper and let cook a few more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add spinach. Let cook, stirring gently, until spinach is wilted.

In a food processor, blend tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, salt and pepper until smooth. Add artichokes and spinach mixture, and pulse about 15 times. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Let cool a few minutes, then serve with bread or tortilla chips.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spanakopita with Homemade Tofu Feta

This recipe is for appetizers but you can cut the dough a little larger for bigger pieces and serve with a side salad.  The puff pastry dough makes these little pockets of goodness nice and crispy!

Spanakopita with Homemade Tofu Feta  Spork-Fed Cookbook by Jenny Engle and  Heather Goldberg   

2            tablespoons neutral tasting high-heat oil
1            teaspoon dried oregano
1            14 oz. block extra-firm tofu, crumbled
5            cloves roasted garlic
1/2         teaspoon sea salt
1/2         teaspoon finely ground black pepper
2            tablespoons light miso paste
2            tablespoons red wine vinegar
2            tablespoons lemon juice, plus grated zest of 1 lemon
1            tablespoon brown rice syrup
1            tablespoon fresh thyme
4            cups spinach, tightly packed
1            package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed

Roasted Garlic:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice off base of bulb with large chef’s knife. Place bulb, cut side down, in an oiled heat-proof baking dish and sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until cloves are soft. Set aside

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large pan, combine oil, oregano and crumbled tofu. Add roasted garlic, sea salt, black pepper, miso, vinegar, lemon juice and zest, brown rice syrup and thyme. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tofu appears slightly dry and golden.

Add spinach to tofu mixture in small bunches and cook until wilted. Remove excess water once cooked.

To assemble:  Slice each sheet of thawed puff pastry into 4-inch squares. Add about 2 tablespoons filling to upper left corner of each square.  Fold puff pastry in half over filling to create a triangle.

Seal edges by pressing with a fork.

Make 2 small slits in the top of Spanakopita. Repeat for remaining puff pastry.

Place on a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (or use cooking spray). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and golden. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sloppy Joes

I guess I could just keep using my same old tried and true Sloppy Joe recipe but I love to try out new versions.  This version has a strong tomato taste, a good one to add to your collection.  The original recipe called for vegetable protein (soy crumbles) but I used Tempeh for a more neutral flavor.  Enjoy!

 Sloppy Joes  (Adapted from The Imus Ranch Cookbook)

2            tablespoons olive oil
1            medium onion, diced
4            cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2            teaspoons dried oregano
3            tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1            32-ounce bottle vegetable cocktail or tomato juice
1            14 ounce can regular or fire roasted can diced tomatoes
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2            tablespoons Worcestershire sauce – vegan
1            teaspoon spicy mustard
4            cups Tempeh – first boiled in water for 10 min.  (2 blocks of Tempeh)
8            buns
2            cups soy mozzarella cheese (optional)
              cornstarch --  if mixture needs thickening

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is simmering, add the onion, garlic and oregano, and sauté until the vegetables are tender, 6-8 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar and boil to reduce by half, about 3 minutes. 

Boil Tempeh for approximately 10 minutes to remove bitterness.  Let cool then chop finely.

Add vegetable cocktail, tomatoes, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard and bring to a low boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the chopped tempeh, and stir until it is thoroughly softened and the liquid is absorbed.  Let simmer for a bit and add cornstarch if mixture needs thickening. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sweet-and-Sour Party Meatballs

Great idea for a party, just dress them with fancy skewers/tooth picks and watch them go!

Sweet-and-Sour Party Meatballs  (Chloe’s Kitchen CB)

1            8-oz. pkg. tempeh, or 1 cup cooked brown rice (we used Tempeh)
2            tablespoons olive oil
1            onion, finely chopped
2            cloves garlic, minced
1            15-oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
1            cup walnuts, toasted
1/2         cup all-purpose flour, or gluten-free all-purpose flour
1            teaspoon dried basil
1            teaspoon sea salt
1            teaspoon ground black pepper
2            tablespoons canola oil
              Sweet and Sour Sauce (to follow)

Fill a large pot with enough water to reach the bottom of a steamer basket. Using a knife or your hands, break tempeh into 4 pieces and place in the basket. Cover and steam for 20 minutes. Check the pot occasionally and add more water if necessary. Steaming the tempeh will remove its bitterness.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté onions until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Reserve skillet for later use.

Add steamed tempeh, lentils, walnuts, flour, basil, salt, and pepper to the onions in the food processor. Pulse until the walnut pieces are very fine and the mixture comes together. If necessary, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix with your hands. Adjust seasoning to taste. With the palms of your hands, form the mixture into 1-“ balls.

Heat oil in non stick skillet over medium high heat, and pan fry meatballs in batches, adding more oil as needed.  Rotate the meatballs with a wooden spoon so that they brown on all sides. Remove meatballs from the pan using 2 forks or slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Transfer to serving platter and spoon Sweet-and-Sour Sauce on top.

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce:
3/4         cup water
1/2         cup packed brown sugar or maple syrup
1/4         cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/4         cup soy sauce
3            tablespoons ketchup
2            tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot

In a medium saucepan, whisk together water, brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup and cornstarch. Heat the sauce over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture has thickened and big syrupy bubbles appear on the surface.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Raw Zucchini Pasta

We went to a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in St. Louis and I ordered Fettuccini Alfredo not realizing it was made with raw zucchini noodles.  I had to make it when I got home so I bought a Spiral Slicer and made the noodles then added other healthy veggies.  I heated up the sauce but you could also eat it room temp.

Raw Zucchini Pasta: 
2-3        large zucchinis, peeled then run through the Spiral Slicer

Spiral Slicer

Other Ingredients:
            Broccoli pieces
            Sliced red pepper
            Sliced mushrooms
            Sliced red onion

Alfredo Sauce (from Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm) 
1            cup soy or nut milk
1/3         cup  raw, unsalted cashews
1/4         cup nutrional yeast
3            tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2            tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1            tablespoon tahini
1            tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2            teaspoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard
1/2         teaspoon paprika
1            pinch nutmeg
1            pinch salt
              black pepper to taste
2-4         garlic cloves  (optional)

Mix together the soy milk, cashews, yeast, tamari (or soy sauce), margarine, tahini, lemon juice, mustard, paprika, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and garlic in a blender and blend on high until very smooth. If your blender is having issues with grinding the nuts smoothly, you can strain the sauce.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Icing

I made these cupcakes for my dad's birthday and they were so light and fresh tasting.  Yet another winning recipe from one of our favorite cookbook authors - Chef Chloe Coscarelli.  I figured I couldn't go wrong choosing this recipe since she won first place on The Cupcake Wars!

Banana Cupcakes with Lemon Icing  (Chloe’s Kitchen CB- Chloe Coscarelli)

2            cups all-purpose flour
1            cup sugar
1            teaspoon baking powder
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
1            teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2         teaspoon ground cloves
1/2         teaspoon ground ginger
1            cup mashed bananas, from approx. 2 very ripe bananas mashed on a plate
              using the back of a fork
1            canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
1/2         cup canola oil
2            teaspoons white or apple cider vinegar
1            tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Lemon Icing
1            cup powdered sugar
3-4         teaspoons lemon juice
1            tablespoon water
1/4-1      teaspoon lemon zest

Cupcakes:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 x 12 cup cupcake pans with 18 cupcake liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. In a separate bowl, whisk together bananas, coconut milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.  Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the cupcake liners about two-thirds full with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Cool the cupcakes completely before frosting.

Icing:  Whisk the powdered sugar, lemon juice, water and zest in a small bowl until smooth.

Spread a thin layer of Lemon Icing over each Banana Cupcake.