Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Breaded Eggplant

I think this is my favorite way to eat eggplant.  I like the crunchiness you get from the Panko breadcrumbs that lead into the creaminess of the Eggplant - yum!  I especially like to dip it in Garlic Marinara sauce by Trader Joe's - great combo.

Breaded Eggplant

1          large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1” thick slices
            coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4       cup flour
1/4       nut milk (or more if needed)
1          cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4       cup nutritional yeast (optional)
            garlic powder (sprinkle in with breadcrumbs)
            olive oil or garlic oil for frying
            tomato sauce for dressing

Arrange eggplant in a large colander and season generously with salt.  Let stand 30 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.

Dive flour, nut milk and breadcrumb mixture (garlic powder/nutritional yeast – if using), among three bowls.  Dip each eggplant slice, turning to coat and shaking off excess, in the flour, then milk, then breadcrumbs.

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet, with generous amount of oil, over medium heat, and, working in batches, fry eggplant until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate and season with salt and pepper.

Top with your favorite store bought or home made pasta sauce.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

The sweet tomato sauce really makes this dish and can be made ahead of time.
I think the cabbage leaves I used were much bigger than those shown on the original blog site, so I ended up adding a bit more veggie crumbles to the mix and it made 7 rolls.  I also added a bit of tomato paste, sprinkling of flour and one flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 2.5 tablespoons warm water), this acts as a binder, not sure it’s needed.  We think they were even better heated up the next day!

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

28          oz. can of diced tomatoes
6            oz. can of tomato paste
1            cup vegetable broth
1            tablespoon vegan margarine, such as Earth Balance
1            small onion, diced
1            tablespoon sugar
1/2         cup non-dairy creamer
              salt and pepper to taste

Cabbage Rolls:
1            medium cabbage
1            cup Boca Veggie Crumbles (I used about 1 & 1/2 cups)
1/2         cup cooked white rice
1/4         cup minced onion, sauted
1            teaspoon tomato paste (optional)
1            flax egg (1 T. ground flax mixed with 2.5 T warm water) (optional)
              sprinkling of flour (optional)
              sprinkling of onion powder, garlic powder and red pepper flakes (optional)
              salt and pepper to taste
In a large sauté pan, melt 1 tablespoon of vegan margarine and add the diced onions, Saute until soft and translucent.  Add the diced tomatoes with sauce and the vegetable stock.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the tomato paste and taste again for seasoning. Add a tablespoon of sugar to balance out the bitterness.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the creamer and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Cabbage leaves:
Partially boil the head of cabbage just enough until you can gently peel away each layer INTACT.  ***I cut out a bit of the hard rind at top leaving plenty to roll.  Do not overcook.  The leaves should be crisp still, but pliable.  Drain on a paper or kitchen towel.  Repeat until the cabbage is done.  Only use the biggest, best leaves.  ***I filled each leaf as I got it out of the water to make sure I didn’t have more leaves than filling.  I had left over cabbage, which I’ll use for soup.

Mix together all ingredients for the rolls and add 1/2 cup of the sauce mixture to help bind.  Place an amount of the mixture in the center of the leaf, proportionate to the leaf.  Do not overfill. 

Roll, tucking in the ends like an egg roll.  If necessary, you can use a toothpick to hold them together.  Repeat with all cabbage leaves.

Place all the finished rolls into a large sauce pot or crock pot, stacking largest to smallest.  Add all of the sauce to cover.  If needed, you can add some additional vegetable broth or water.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.  Cook for 1 hour until sauce is bubbling, cabbage leaves are more translucent and filling is not inside.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Zesty Orzo Salad

The combination of olives, artichoke hearts and bell peppers give this salad a burst of flavor and I love the addition of Lima Beans for a bit of texture.  If you aren't a Lima bean fan, any other bean will work.

Orzo noodles tend to really soak up the dressing so I poured a good amount of the dressing over the salad while the noodles were warm, then put in the fridge.  I poured the rest of the dressing in before serving.  You may not want to use all the dressing but I prefer well dressed salads.

Zesty Orzo Salad
Dining with Friends CB – adapted recipe

1            cup dry orzo, cooked, drained and rinsed with cool water
1/2         cup red onion, diced
1            bunch scallions  (mostly the white parts), chopped
6            or more sun-dried tomato halves, diced
1/2         red and yellow bell pepper  ( I only had red on hand)
6            or more Spanish olives, pitted and chopped (I used greek olives)
4            artichoke hears, chopped (I used kind jarred in oil)
***1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained ***I didn’t use
1/2         cup cooked lima beans, fresh or frozen
1/4         cup fresh parsley, minced
1/4         cup fresh dill, minced
              salt and pepper to taste

1/2        cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3        cup wine vinegar (I used red)
            juice of one lemon
            pinch of turmeric
            pinch of sugar  (I used a bit of agave)

Place cooked orzo in a salad bowl and stir in red onion, scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, beans, parsley and dill.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk dressing ingredients to blend them; taste the dressing and adjust seasonings before combining it with the salad.  Serve slightly chilled.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Vegan Eggless Salad Sandwich

Everyone has her own favorite way to make an egg salad sandwich.  The original recipe is excellent but I decided to add a little sugar and a touch of mustard the second time I made it and it tastes a little closer to my moms.  Reminds me of being a kid again.

Vegan Eggless Salad Sandwich

Ingredients for the “Yolk”
2            heaped Tablespoons vegan dried instant mashed potatoes
7            tablespoons hot water (may need a tiny bit more) *7 was fine for me
1            teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/4         teaspoon turmeric
1/4         teaspoon black salt (it has a sulphuric  “egg” flavor so it’s essential for this
              recipe.  I found at an Indian grocery store and lasts a long time.
3/4         teaspoon egg replacer
1            teaspoon vegan margarine
1            teaspoon canola oil
  ***after the “yolk” cools in freezer
1            teaspoon mustard
1            teaspoon sugar (more if like sweeter)
2            tablespoons vegan mayo
              salt and pepper to taste

For the “White”
1            12.3  oz. pack of firm silken tofu

Prep:  Mix together dried instant mashed potatoes and next 7 ingredients.  Mix really well, then place in freezer for 10-20 minutes.  Then remove from freezer and mix in (if using) mustard, sugar and vegan mayo.

Put tofu in small container and blend in “yolk”.  Mix gently to keep some larger size pieces of tofu.  Just depends how chunky you like your salad.   Salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tempeh Bourgignon

The original recipe suggests serving over rice, we just served it with big pieces of be bread and dipped the bread in the glorious sauce.

Tempeh Bourgignon
Magazine Recipe

2            cups medium-bodied red wine, such as Pinot Noir
1            8-oz. package tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
1            small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1            large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 “ dice (about 1 cup)
3            cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3            tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2         teaspoon herbes de Provence
1            bay leaf
1            tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
2            tablespoons tomato paste
7            oz. shiitake mushrooms (or white)
1/2         cup peas –optional
              chopped parsley, for garnish

Combine wine, tempeh, onion, carrot, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbes de Provence and bay leaf in large bowl.   Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Strain vegetables and tempeh, and reserve wine.

Heat remaining oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add tempeh and vegetables, and cook 5-7 minutes, or until tempeh cubes are browned on all sides.  Add vinegar, and quickly stir to coat evenly.  Add tomato paste, and cook 1 minute.  Stir in red wine marinade scraping bottom of pot to release any stuck brown bits.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, or until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.  Add water if mixture seems too dry before carrots are fully cooked. 

Add mushrooms and 3/4 cup water and simmer 10 minutes, or until tender.  Remove bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with parsley, and serve over rice.  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup

My soup ended up a little too thick, maybe because I used more squash than the recipe asked for, so I just added some almond milk until it became the perfect consistency.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallot Soup

4            cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (about 1 & 1/2 pounds)
1            tablespoon olive oil
1/4         teaspoon salt
4            large shallots, peeled and halved
1            1/2” piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
2 & 1/2  cups vegetable stock
2            tablespoons slices fresh chives
              cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Combine first 5 ingredients in a roasting pan; toss well.  Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Cool 10 minutes.

Place half of squash mixture and half of broth in a blender.  Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.  Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a large sauce pan.  Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture and broth.  Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.  Top with chives and pepper, if desired.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Boats

We loved the sweetness of the Spaghetti Squash mixed with the mexican flavor.  We've made Spaghetti Squash before and mixed with plain spaghetti sauce but this mexican mixture takes it up a few notches.

Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Boats
Adapted recipe

2            medium spaghetti squash, divided in two and deseeded
1            small onion, finely chopped
4            garlic cloves, crushed
1            bell pepper, diced
14          oz. red kidney  or black beans, drained & rinsed
1/2         teaspoon chili powder
2            tablespoons diced canned chilis or jalapenos (I left out)
1            cup tomato sauce
1/2         cup cilantro, finely chopped + more for garnish
1 & 1/2     cup vegan cheese (we used less cheese)
1/4         salt
1/2         freshly ground black pepper
              cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  Lay skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake for 45 min. or until cooked to a touch with a fork.

In the meanwhile, preheat medium skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add onion, garlic, bell pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Add beans, chili powder, chills/jalapenos, tomato sauce, cilantro and stir.  Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup vegan cheese. Stir again.

Remove baked spaghetti squash from the oven and let cool a few minutes.  Fluff each squash “boat” with a fork releasing some of the strands, leaving the squash in a shell.  Fill each “boat” with heaping 3/4-1 cup prepared bean/pepper etc. mixture and sprinkle with 1/4 cup vegan cheese each.  Bake for additional 10 minutes or until vegan cheese is melted.  Serve hot, garnished with extra cilantro.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Creamed Spinach

Another springtime side dish that we included in our Easter meal.  It may seem like you are cooking way too much spinach, but it's crazy how much it cooks down.  Kevin isn't too crazy about spinach served this way but that's ok ….. more for me!

Creamed Spinach

2-3       bags spinach, washed, chopped then steamed
1-2       cups almond/soy milk
1-2       teaspoons garlic, minced
2-3       tablespoons flour
3          tablespoons vegan butter
            pinch of nutmeg, optional
            salt and pepper for seasoning

This is a rough recipe because I made more than the recipe but not double so I kind of played it by ear. 

Wash, chop and steam all the spinach in a large pot – approximately 10 minutes.  Drain as much water off as you can. 

In small sauce pan, melt vegan butter then add flour, stirring constantly to combine then add vegan milk a little at a time.  I kept the sauce on the thick side.  Add garlic and a pinch of nutmeg.  Combine the spinach and the sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I usually add walnuts to all my cookies but this recipe called for pecans, which made for a nice change.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Web

1/2            cup vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2            cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3            cup granulated sugar
1/2            teaspoon vanilla
1               cup all-purpose flour
3/4            teaspoon baking soda
1/4            teaspoon salt
1               cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1/2            cup chopped pecans

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat vegan butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until well blended.  Beat in 3 tablespoons water and the vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.  Stir or beat into vegan butter mixture until well incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using.

Drop dough in 1-tablespoon portions, 2 inches apart, onto prepped baking sheet.

Bake in a 300 degree oven until edges of cookies are browned, but an area about 1” wide in the center is still pale, about 14 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Pea Salad

Nothing like a yummy, crisp green salad to make your table complete. I love the sweetness of the peas mixed with the maple spice of the tempeh bacon.

Pea Salad
Ree Drummond recipe, adapted

1/3         cup vegan sour cream
1            tablespoon vegan mayo
              salt and pepper
1            tablespoon white vinegar
4            cups frozen green peas, almost totally thawed
6            slices of tempeh or soy bacon
1/2         whole small red onion, halved and sliced very thin
6            ounces vegan cheddar cheese
3            tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Mix the vegan sour cream, mayo, salt pepper and vinegar together to make the dressing.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Stir 2/3 of the dressing into the peas until the peas are coated.  Gently stir in the tempeh/soy bacon, onion, vegan cheese and parsley until all combined.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-4 hours, before serving.  (pop the extra dressing in the fridge, too)  Remove from the fridge and stir in the rest of the dressing to your liking.  ***I just used all the dressing at once.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Warm Quinoa Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

A great light, salty, spring salad to be served as an entree or a side. Why not add it to your Holiday spread?

Warm Quinoa Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Adapted magazine recipe

1            cup dry Quinoa, cooked in 2 cups water (according to package)
2            cups water (for Quinoa)
1/2         cups nuts (pine, almonds) – I used slivered almonds – toasted
2            tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3            tablespoons olive oil
1            tablespoon balsamic vinegar
              salt and pepper to taste
1            clove garlic, minced
2/3         cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/3         cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/3         cup diced red pepper (optional)
2            tablespoons capers (optional)
1/2         cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Cook quinoa in pan with 2 cups water.  Simmer, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed.  Let rest in pan while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Dry-toast pine nuts or almonds in a skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients – sun-dried tomatoes, olives, red pepper and capers.  Add all ingredients, including Quinoa to large bowl.  Pour dressing over salad mix together. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.  Service warm – also good cold or room temp.