Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day After Thanksgiving Smoothie

After a day of stuffing ourselves with way too much Celebration Field Roast & gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and apple pie, we thought it might be a good idea to start off our day with a light and refreshing smoothie.  This way we won't feel so guilty when we dive into the leftovers and do it all over again!

There are no measured amounts just a list of ingredients we used.

       Red Apple
       Frozen Pineapple
       Frozen Blueberries
       Broccoli Stem
       Trail Mix

Monday, November 25, 2013

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole


If you're looking for another side dish to add to your Thanksgiving table, this casserole might just be the one.  I love that the veggies are all mixed together with the rice, leaving room in your oven or on your stove top for yet another side dish.  To me, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes!

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
Adapted from Pioneer Woman recipe
Serves 12

2            cups uncooked wild rice
8            cups vegetable stock, more if needed for thinning
3            heads broccoli, cut into small florets
1            pound White Button or Crimini Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2         cup (1 stick) vegan butter
1            whole medium onion, finely diced
2            whole carrots, peeled and finely diced
2            stalks celery, finely diced
4            tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2         cup nut or soy milk
1            teaspoon salt, more to taste
1            teaspoon black pepper
1            cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Add the wild rice into a medium saucepan with 5 cups of the vegetable broth.  Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.  Cook the rice until it has just started to break open and is slightly tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Set it aside.

Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into boiling water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until bright green and still slightly crisp.  Immediately drain the broccoli and plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Remove it from the ice water and set it aside.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the vegan butter.  Add the onions and the mushrooms and cook, stirring them occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid begins to evaporate. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color.

Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables and stir to incorporate it, then cook for about a minute.  Pour in the remaining 3 cups of broth and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the nut/soy milk, stirring to combine.  Let the mixture cook until it thickens.  Season with the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Add half the cooked rice to the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then lay on half the broccoli.  Using a ladle, scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spoon it evenly all over the top.  Continue with the rest of the sauce, totally covering the surface with vegetables.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, then pour it into a separate bowl with the panko breadcrumbs.  Toss the mixture together to coat the breadcrumbs in vegan butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top.

Cover with foil and bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Sprinkle on the parsley after you remove it from the oven.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup

My beautiful Basil plant has finally said goodbye ….. but not without providing me with just enough leaves to make this soup.  Thank you Mr. Basil!

Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup
Adapted from magazine recipe

1            tablespoon olive oil
1            large yellow onion, chopped
2            lbs. zucchini, sliced 1/4” thick
4            cups vegetable stock
1            cup loosely packed basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2            tablespoon vegan sour cream for garnish
1/4         tsp. chili powder, plus more for garnish
            ***I added 4 tablespoons vegan cream cheese to the mixture in the blender

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook another 2 minutes; then add vegetable broth and 1 cup basil leaves.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender.  Add vegan cream cheese if using.  Add chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Divide into soup bowls, add garnish.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin-Chia Pudding

Instead of overloading on pies this Thanksgiving, I'm planning to make this Pumpkin pudding to go alongside my mom's homemade apple pie.  Seems like a perfect combo to me.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Friday, November 15, 2013

Portabello Stroganoff with Farfalle

Portabello Mushrooms, another great find at the local Farmer's Market. My mom found this recipe in the newspaper so I thought it sounded like a nice alternative to stuffing them.

Portabello Stroganoff with Farfalle
Darlene Zimmerman/Detroit Free Press – veganized

2            tablespoons vegan butter
2            cups chopped onion
2            cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2            tablespoons olive oil
7            cups cubed (1”) portabello mushrooms (about 4 large caps)
1/3         cup red wine
1 & 3/4     cup vegetable broth
2            tablespoons cornstarch
1/2         cup vegan sour cream
1            tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2         teaspoon dry mustard
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/4         teaspoon ground pepper
5            ounces pasta
              parsley for garnish

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter over medium-high heat and sauté onion until tender and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to sauté 30 seconds.  Remove onion mixture from pan and set aside. Heat remaining tablespoon vegan butter and olive oil in same skillet; add mushrooms and sauté until water released from mushrooms evaporates, about 6 – 8 minutes.  Add wine and cook until it evaporates.  Add sautéed onion mixture back to skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the broth and cornstarch and stir to dissolve cornstarch.  Add to skillet, stirring constantly until sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream, vegan Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Remove skillet form heat, stir in the vegan sour cream mixture and combine thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Serve Stroganoff over pasta.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts

Fresh Butternut Squash from the Eastern Market was the inspiration for this soup.  I highly recommend serving with the toasted walnuts - pure deliciousness!

Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts

8            cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 lbs)
1 & 1/2  teaspoon olive oil
3/4         teaspoon salt, divided
1/2         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
              cooking spray
4            cups warm nut or soy milk (I replaced 1 cup w/soy creamer)
1            can vegetable stock  (14-ounce)
1/4         cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine squash, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender.

Place half of the squash, half of the nut milk, and half of the broth in a blender, process until smooth.  Pour pureed mixture into a large saucepan.  Repeat procedure with remaining squash, milk and broth.  Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not bring to a boil).  Stir in remaining salt and pepper.  Top with toasted walnuts. (put walnuts in small frying pan and toast over medium heat on stove top).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cinnamon Crisps

Ever have left over tortillas?  We always seem to have them in our fridge and we thought this was a great idea for a sweet snack.

Cinnamon Crisps:
Adapted Ree Drummond recipe

1/2              cup sugar
1                  tablespoon cinnamon
6                  flour tortillas
1/4              cup vegan butter, melted

Preheat the oven o 350 degrees.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush both sides with the belted vegan butter.  Sprinkle both side of the tortillas generously with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes, and then allow them to cool to room temperature.

Break into large pieces and set aside.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Vegan Cheese

With so many combinations of vegetables and legumes for soup creations, it's no wonder soup recipes dominate our food blog.  From Fall to Spring, we attempt to make one pot of soup a week then store in the fridge for easy dinners.  A big bowl of soup and a slice of your favorite bread make the perfect cold weather dinner.  Ya can't go wrong with soup!

Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Vegan Cheese  modified

2            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1            small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1            stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1            medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3            sprigs thyme
              salt and freshly ground pepper
1            cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
4            cups vegetable broth *I used a bit more broth, seemed too thick
1/2         head cauliflower, cored, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
3            ounces vegan cheese of choice  (about 1 cup)

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.  Add lentils and broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover an simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower, increase het to medium high and simmer just until cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove thyme and season with salt and pepper.

***I added the vegan cheese directly to the soup and melted.  The original recipe calls to preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heating element. Divide soup among 4 broiler proof ramekins or soup bowls.  Top with cheese and broil until golden and bubbling, 3-4 minutes.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


This humus is way better than store bought hummus and so easy to make.  Use this recipe as a base then add other flavors if you want to kick it up a bit.

Ina Garten – “How Easy Is That” cookbook

2            cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved (15.5 oz. can)
1/3         cup tahini or sesame paste
4            teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
6            tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
8            dashes Tabasco sauce
2            teaspoons kosher salt

Place the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.  The hummus should be moist and thick; add more lemon juice or reserved chickpea liquid to thin, if necessary.  Cove and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to blend.  Taste for seasoning.