Monday, June 30, 2014

Cashew Mascarpone with Smoked Sundried Tomato Pesto

Not much I can say about this except that it is off the charts good!!!  I think vegans and non vegans alike will love this recipe.  It only lasted two days at our house.  Perfect to complete an appetizer table, whether it be at your house your a friends.

Cashew Mascarpone with Smoked Sundried Tomato Pesto

For the Cheese: 
  1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours, drained
   1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
   1 ½  tablespoons water (additional if needed)
   2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
   1 teaspoon coconut (or raw apple cider) vinegar
   Pinch of salt
For the Tomato Pesto:
  6 oven or sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
  1 garlic clove
  Handful of fresh basil
  1 tablespoon of finely minced fresh basil, divided in half
  1-2 tablespoons oil from tomatoes or olive oil
  1-2 drops liquid smoke (optional)
  Salt and pepper to taste
  Fresh mixed herbs ( dill and chives) for lining the ramekin and for garnish
Place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined with a light texture. Set aside.
Line a small lightly oiled ramekin with plastic wrap or cheesecloth. Sprinkle half of the minced basil, a sprinkle of mixed herbs and fresh ground black pepper into the bottom of the ramekin. Set aside. In a high-speed blender blend cheese ingredients until very smooth, about 45-50 seconds at high speed. Spoon half of the mixture into the lined seasoned ramekin. Top the cheese with a spoonful of the pesto in small dollops around the cheese. Next sprinkle on the remaining minced basil. Cover with the rest of the cheese. Gently pull up the sides of the wrap to cover the top and refrigerate 12 hours or overnight. The cheese should feel firm to the touch.
Once it’s firm, place the ramekin top down onto a serving plate. Gently and lift off the ramekin and carefully remove the wrapping.  If desired sprinkle with additional fresh minced herbs and a light drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with toasted crostini or crackers.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Coconut Tempeh Curry

Tempeh really holds up to the flavors in this dish, you can also use tofu if you prefer. 

Coconut Tempeh Curry
Adapted recipe from Rachel Ray magazine

1            pkg. Tempeh, cut into small chunks
6            teaspoons curry powder
1/4         teaspoon salt
1/4         teaspoon pepper
2            tablespoons olive oil
1            onion, chopped
3            cloves garlic, minced
1            sweet potato, cut into 1/2” pieces (about same size as potatoes)
1            can (14 oz) light coconut milk
2            teaspoons packed brown sugar
1            cup frozen peas

            brown rice for serving

In a bowl, toss the tempeh with 1 teaspoon curry powder, a drizzle of oil and the salt and pepper. 

In a large skillet, sauté the tempeh until browned (approximately 10 minutes).  Remove from skillet and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until just soft, 2-3 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in the sweet potatoes and cook 3 minutes.  Add the remaining 5 teaspoons curry powder and cook, stirring 30 seconds.  Add the coconut milk and brown sugar, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.

Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes.  Stir in the peas and cook 2 minutes.  Stir in the tempeh and cook until heated through.  Serve over brown rice.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sliced Tempeh with Kale, Spinach and White Bean Salad

Sliced Tempeh with Kale, Spinach and White Bean Salad
Adapted recipe from Rachel Ray magazine

1          pkg. Tempeh cut in half for marinade then into strips for sauting
            (soy sauce, garlic oil and veggie broth for light marinade)

1          lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons)
            fresh or dried thyme for dressing
2          tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar
2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
1          large clove garlic, minced
1/4       olive oil
            Kale (chopped)
            Spinach (chopped)
            Basil (chopped)
            Tomatoes (chopped)
1/2       zucchini (diced)
1          celery (diced)
1/2       onion (small dice)
1          14 oz. can white beans (cannellini or kidney)
             salt and pepper

Mix together some soy sauce, veggie broth and garlic oil and place block of tempeh in shallow dish to marinate while you prepare the dressing and salad.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, thyme, vinegar, mustard and garlic.  Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil until the dressing is smooth, season with salt and pepper.

Cut up the salad greens, basil, onion, veggies and beans. Add to dressing and toss gently.  Save a bit of dressing to drizzle on Tempeh.

Cut Tempeh into long strips then sauté in remaining marinade until brown.  Add to top of salad and drizzle a bit more dressing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Portabella Mushroom Burger with Balsamic Dressing

These can be eaten without the buns but sometimes you just need all the fixings loaded between two pieces of bread!

Portabella Mushroom Burger with Balsamic Dressing

2-3            Portabella Mushrooms
1/4            Balsamic Vinegar (I mixed mine with a Balsamic sauce which is a bit thicker)
1/4            vegan mayonnaise
                 olive oil (just a bit)
1               clove garlic, minced
                 salt and pepper
                 onion and lettuce for burgers

Clean and dry the Portabella Mushrooms. 

Mix the vinegar, vegan mayo, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. 

Add a bit of olive oil to a sauté pan.  Spoon dressing onto the inside of the mushrooms and cook in a skillet top side down until tender. 

Use the extra dressing (if any left) to dress the  burger.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Cream of Asparagus and Pea Soup

A great way to enjoy some sweet and tender greens.  Add a bit of mint if you are feeling extra crazy.

Cream of Asparagus and Pea Soup
Adapted recipe from

1             bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces (approx. 2 cups)
1/2          cup onion, diced
1            14.5 ounce can vegetable broth
1            cup frozen peas
1            tablespoon vegan cream cheese (optional)
2            tablespoons vegan butter
2            tablespoons GF flour
1            teaspoon salt
              pinch black pepper
1            cup nut or soy milk
1/2         cup vegan sour cream
1            teaspoon lemon juice

In a large saucepan, combine asparagus, chopped onion, and 1/2 cup vegetable broth.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until asparagus is tender, about 12 minutes.  Process the mixture along with 1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese (if using) in a blender to puree the vegetables.  Set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium-low heat.  Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.  Whisk in the remaining vegetable broth, and increase the heat to medium.  Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture boils.  Stir in the asparagus puree, milk, vegan sour cream and lemon.

Let cook on low just till all the ingredients are mixed well.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce
Modified recipe

1            tablespoon olive oil
1            cup diced onion
4            cloves garlic, minced
1            medium carrot, finely diced
1            celery rib, finely diced
1            Portobello Mushroom, diced
1            cup diced red pepper
1-1/2      cups cooked brown lentils with liquid
2            14 oz. cans diced tomatoes with liquid
1            teaspoon molasses or maple syrup
1            teaspoon smoked paprika
2            tablespoons tomato paste
1/4         cup red wine
1            teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1            teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
2            teaspoon dried basil
              water or vegetable stock to thin
              vegan parmesan (optional)
              salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all vegetables
Heat oil in large sauté or sauce pan.
Saute onions until soft, add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until soft.
Add lentils and liquid, diced tomatoes and rest of the ingredients.

Cook the pasta while the sauce is simmering.  Save a cup of pasta water and use for thinning the sauce if needed. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Tofu Scallops

These little beauties can be served over rice, noodles or a bed of sauted vegetables.  We had tofu scallops for the first time in Florida and just had to make them at home.  The restaurant served them up with a red curry sauce over top, I made a spicy Thai chili sauce but plan to switch it up every time I make them.  A side of Jasmine rice is a nice addition.

Tofu Scallops
Makes 8 Scallops

1            block extra-firm tofu, pressed and drained
2            tablespoons gluten-free tamari
2            tablespoons vegetable broth
2            tablespoons Golden Mountain Seasoning sauce (non fish sauce)
              kosher salt
              kelp flakes (optional)
2            tablespoons olive oil
2            tablespoons vegan butter

Drain and dry tofu as much as possible.  Cut the block of tofu in half and then cut each half in two width-wise.  You should have 4 thin rectangles.  Use a small biscuit cutter or cookie cutter (I just cut in circle carefully with knife).  Save the leftover tofu pieces for stir-fry.  Using a paring knife, cut a shallow X in the top and bottom of each scallop.

Combine the tamari, seasoning sauce (if using) and the broth in a shallow bowl.  Marinate the scallops for at least 30 minutes.  Remove them from the marinade and pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.  If they are wet, they will not sear in the pan. Sprinkle the scallops with a bit of salt, kelp flakes and Old Bay Seasoning on both sides.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and the vegan butter to the pan.  When the butter melts, carefully place each scallop in the pan.  Don’t overcrowd the pan; if your pan can’t hold all 8 scallops comfortably, cook them in 2 batches.  Once you put the scallop down, don’t move it.  Let it form a sear.  You should be able to see the bottom of the scallop browning.

After about 2 minutes, carefully flip the scallops over and cook on the other side.  While the 2nd side is cooking, tilt the pan and use a large spoon to baste the tops of the scallops with the butter and oil. This will keep them from drying out.  You should see the sides of the scallops turning brown like pretty rings.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place ona peper towel to drain before serving.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Raw Chocolate Ginger Stacked Cake with Frosting

I made this for my dad's 88th birthday and it was a hit.  I wanted to make something rich and gooey but also healthy.  He loved it.

Raw Chocolate Ginger Stacked Cake with Frosting
Kimberly Snyder “The Beauty Detox Foods” - modified

1            cup almonds
3/4         cup walnuts
1/4         cup raw cacao (I used powder)
1/4         teaspoon sea salt
1            teaspoon grated ginger
3            tablespoons maple syrup
5            Madjool dates, pitted
1            teaspoon vanilla

3/4         cup avocado flesh
3            dates
2            tablespoons cacao powder
1/4         cup maple syrup
              vegan dark chocolate chopped into fine pieces around 1/4 of a big bar
              vegan dark chocolate shaved on top

Process the almonds, walnuts and cacao in a food processor and grind well.  Add the sea salt, ginger, maple syrup, dates and vanilla and mix again until a smooth mixture is formed.

Press the mixture firmly into an 8 x 6 rectangular glass baking dish, or a dish of a similar size.  Cut in half and separate with a spatula, as you will be stacking one half of the cake on top of the other.

Make frosting by blending the avocado, dates, cacao, maple syrup and dark chocolate (if using) in a food processor.  Use half the frosting to frost one of the halves, then stack the other half of the cake carefully on top.  Finally, frost the top of the double-layered cake with the remainder of the frosting.

Shave the top of each piece with dark chocolate – I used a vegetable pealer.