Thursday, November 15, 2018

Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash

For a fancier way to serve the Squash, try cutting it into slices, assemble on a pretty platter and drizzle with a little more Maple Syrup.  We couldn't wait to dig into ours so we enjoyed them right from the shell, no shame here.

Maple-Roasted Acorn Squash
Ina Garten – adapted
Serves 6

3          acorn squash, unpeeled, halved through the stem, and seeded
3          tablespoons unsalted vegan butter, diced (or salted - just adjust seasoning)
3          tablespoons pure maple syrup, plus extra for serving
            good olive oil
            kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
            flaked sea salt for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Place the squash, cut sides up, on a sheet pan.  Place 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter and 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup in the cavity of each squash.  Brush the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle the squash with 3 teaspoons kosher salt (I used way less) and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Roast for 40 – 60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash, until tender when pierced with a small knife.

Place the squash on a serving platter.  If the halves are too large for one serving, cut each piece in half through the stem.  Drizzle lightly with extra maple syrup, sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Dill Pickle Soup

Someone posted a video of Dill Pickle Soup being made and even though I’ve never made it or heard of it before, it sounded interesting. I was hoping it would taste as good as it looked and it did not disappoint.  In fact, it exceeded my expectations.  Cooking note:  Before I added the diced pickles, I used an immersion blender to break-up some of the potatoes (I think I diced too big) but it is not necessary.  Pureeing some of the soup made it like a thick chowder – which I liked.

Dill Pickle Soup
Serves 8   (adapted recipe)

·  5 – 1/2 cups vegetable broth
·  1-3/4 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
·  2 cups chopped carrots, smaller dice
·  1 cup chopped dill pickles (smaller dice ~ about 3 large whole dills)
·  1/2 cup vegan butter
·  1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·  1 cup vegan sour cream
·  1/4 cup water
·  2 cups dill pickle juice*
·  1-1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
·  1/2 teaspoon table salt
·  1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
·  1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
·  Optional garnishes: sliced dill pickles, fresh dill and black pepper

1.    In a large pot, combine broth, potatoes, carrots and vegan butter. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender. ***I pureed a bit of the soup at this point to make extra thick but was not in the original recipe***   Add pickles and continue to boil.
2.    In a medium bowl, stir together flour, vegan sour cream and water, making a paste. Vigorously whisk vegan sour cream mixture (2 Tablespoons at a time) into soup. (This will also break up some of your potatoes, which is okay. You might see some initial little balls of flour form, but between the whisking and boiling, all will disappear. Don't panic.)
3.    Add pickle juice, Old Bay, salt (*see below), pepper and cayenne. Cook 5 more minutes and remove from heat. Serve immediately.
4.    *All pickle juice is not created equal. Some is saltier than others. Taste your soup after adding the pickle juice and final seasonings. It's possible you will not need any salt or would prefer more or less.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Potstickers (Dumplings)

This is the first time I’ve made potstickers and I thought it would be much more difficult and time consuming but I found it to be quite therapeutic.  If you are pressed for time, just make the filling the day before and keep refrigerated.  I included a link to the original recipe but keep in mind I veganized mine by using vegan cream cheese and because I had some butternut squash hanging around, I added that to the diced sweet potato when roasting.  I also sautéed some onion and garlic until very soft and added it to the mashed mixture.  My mixture made approximately 23 potstickers.

As far as dipping sauces go, I made two that I found on-line.  One was vegan sour cream mixed with garlic chili sauce and the other was a soy/sugar/vinegar/garlic mixture.  Both good!

Vegan Roasted Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Potstickers (Dumplings)

Dipping recipes:

Monday, November 5, 2018

Kale Caesar Salad with Almond Vinaigrette

What a delicious salad and perfect for Fall.  The dressing is amazing and with the addition of ground almonds, it makes for an extra creamy finished product.  We like to mix our greens so we combined Curly and Russian kale, both purchased at the Farmer’s market.  The Russian kale is soft and tender, giving the salad a nice balance of texture.

Kale Caesar Salad with Almond Vinaigrette
Chef Antoni Porowski – adapted
Servies 4

2            6 oz. bunches kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
1            large heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4” wedges
1 and 1/4            cups sliced toasted almonds, divided
2            tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2            tablespoons Agave
1            tablespoon chopped shallot (from one small shallot)
1            teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1            teaspoon Dijon mustard
1            teaspoon kosher salt
1/4         teaspoon black pepper
1            medium garlic clove
1/3         cup olive oil

Toss together sliced kale, tomato wedges and 1 cup of the almonds in a large bowl, set aside.

Place vinegar, Agave, shallot, thyme, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic and remaining 1/4 cup almonds in a blender, blend until smooth, about 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Slowly drizzle in oil, blending until dressing is fully combined.

Add almond dressing to kale mixture, toss well to coat.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Butternut Squash Soup

Fall, glorious fall.  The Farmer’s Market had such beautiful Butternut Squash on display that I just had to make a double batch of this delicious, creamy and spicy squash soup. 

Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted recipe

3            cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2         cup onion, diced
1            cup Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
1            tablespoon olive oil
4            cups vegetable stock
2            tablespoons Agave
1/4         cup vegan milk
1            pinch – or more – cayenne pepper
1            pinch – or more – nutmeg
1            pinch – or more – cinnamon
              salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, sweat onions for 10 minutes with olive oil. 

Add squash, apples, spices and stock.

Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.

Puree in food processor or blender.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Stir in vegan milk, if desired.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Spicy Tofu Tacos

If you are not a fan of Tofu, you can easily replace it with Tempeh, soy protein or even finely chopped Cauliflower.  I had to improvise a bit because I didn’t have a Poblano pepper on hand so I used a Jalapeno pepper instead.  Also fried some Jalapeno slices and used for garnish along with home made Guacamole.

Spicy Tofu Tacos
Prevention Magazine

1/2         small Poblano pepper
1/2         red pepper
2            cloves garlic
1            small onion
1            tablespoon oil

14 oz.  extra-firm tofu  (squeezed of excess moisture) **OR other non-meat item
1 and 1/2            teaspoons chili powder
1/2         teaspoon ground coriander
1/4         teaspoon each salt and pepper
              corn tortillas

Romaine, jalapeno and vegan sour cream for toppings.

In a food processor, finely chop 1/2 each small poblano and red pepper, 2 cloves garlic, and 1 small onion.  Cook mixture in a large nonstick skillet in 1 tablespoon oil, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes.  Crumble 14 oz. extra-firm tofu (Squeezed of excess moisture), into the skillet, season with 1 and 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally, until golden brown.  Spoon into corn tortillas and top with shredded romaine lettuce and diced jalapeno.

**I used hard shell tacos and added guacamole.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Bean, Corn and Tamale Casserole

This recipe is called a “pie” but my polenta crust never really became as firm as I thought it would -- it was still good.  It ended up being more of a casserole with a cornmeal layer on the bottom  -- kind of like chili and cornbread all in one dish – pretty convenient if you ask me!

For advanced prep, you can make the vegetable mixture, without the corn, a day or two ahead.  Add corn just before baking.

Bean, Corn and Tamale Pie (Casserole)
Recipe from Thanksvegan Cookbook

1            large green pepper, chopped
1            onion, chopped
2            cloves garlic, minced
1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4          cup chopped pitted black olives
3 and 1/2     cups whole canned tomatoes, with some of their juice
1 and 1/2     tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1/4         teaspoon red pepper sauce, optional  (I used a bit of cayenne)
1            teaspoon salt
1/8         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 and 1/2     cups cooked kidney or pinto beans
2 and 1/2     cups whole kernel corn
1 and 1/2     cups cornmeal
4  and 1/2     cups water, divided
3/4         teaspoon salt
1/2         cup breadcrumbs optional  **I toped casserole with shredded vegan cheddar
                                    cheese mixed with panko bread crumbs and a bit of oil then
                                      at the end of cooking, broiled a few minutes.

In 10” or 12” skillet, heat the oil and sauté the green pepper and onion until onion is translucent and green pepper is soft, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and sauté one minute.  Add tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon.

Add the beans, and mash them coarsely with a potato masher.  Add olives, chili powder, pepper sauce, salt and pepper.  Add enough juice from tomatoes to create a stew-like mixture that is moist, but not too soupy.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil 2 and 1/4 cups water in a 2 quart saucepan.  Mix cornmeal with 1 and 1/2 cups cold water and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Add to boiling water, stirring constantly.  Cook, stirring frequently over medium heat until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

***mix together vegan cheese and panko with a bit of oil – if using as topping.

Oil a 13 x 9 x 2 baking dish and spread the cooked cornmeal over its bottom and sides. 

Add the corn kernels to the vegetable mixture, stir well, and spoon into the crust.  Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, if desired.  Bake 30 minutes.

Serves 8-10

Friday, October 19, 2018

Heart of Palm Calamari

Oh my gosh -- these little beauties are absolutely addicting!  I made a few additions to the original recipe by adding Panko Bread crumbs to the flour, a bit of Turmeric for color and a 1/4 sheet of Nori, ground in a spice grinder.  I have an extra jar of heart of palm on hand so I'll be making these again soon -- like today.

Heart of Palm Calamari

1/2            cup all-purpose flour **I also mixed in Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4            cup cornstarch
1/2            teaspoon salt (plus more for garnish)
1/2            teaspoon garlic powder
***           I added a few sprinkles of turmeric for color
***           I ground up 1/4 sheet nori in spice grinder and added to flour
***            pepper
                 oil for frying
1               jar or can of heart of palm, drained, cut into 1” pieces, rings separated

            garnish with lemon, parsley
            used garlic aioli for dipping

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, seasoning and ground nori sheet – if using.

Cover the bottom of a skillet with about 1/4” of oil and put over medium heat.  When oil is hot, take a handful of heart of palm rings (which should still be wet from the draining – if not, just dip in a bit of vegan milk).  Dredge the rings in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess, and carefully drop them into the hot oil.  Repeat with the remaining heart of palm.  You may need to do this in batches so your pan isn’t too crowded.  Fry turning the pieces until they are lightly golden all over.  Drain on paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt and add a bit of lemon before serving.

Vegan Garlic Aioli

2 garlic cloves pressed (could get away with just one)
1/4            teaspoon or more kosher salt
1/2            cup vegan mayo
2            tablespoons olive oil
1            tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mash garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until paste forms.  Whisk in vegan mayo, olive oil, and lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.   Can be made day ahead. Cover and chill.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup- Insta Pot

Another Vegan Richa Blog recipe -- I made my soup on the stove in a big soup pot and added a bit more vegetable stock than the original recipe called for.  For non-insta pot cooking, just sauté the onion, garlic, mushrooms and jalapeno pepper in some olive oil until soft.  Cook the wild rice in a separate pot.  Add the cooked rice, seasoning and broth to sauté pan.  Let cook for 30 minutes.  Add the salsa and vegan cream cheese and cook another 20 minutes, adding more broth if necessary.

Wild Rice Mushroom Soup  -Insta Pot

Friday, October 12, 2018

Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala

I just made another great recipe from one of my go-to vegan blogs  -Vegan Richa.
They make their sauce in an instant pot but I just cooked mine in a pot on the stove.  I didn’t add any other ingredients but I plan to add cooked chickpeas next go around, because everything tastes better with chickpeas.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Coconut Creamed Kale

Coconut Creamed Kale
Food Network Magazine

2            tablespoons coconut oil
2            diced shallots
1            tablespoon minced ginger
2            minced garlic cloves
1/2         sliced seeded Fresno Chile (I used a bit of Ancho Chili Spice and Trader Joe’s
                                                                        Lime and Chili spice)
10 oz.    Kale (de-stemmed and chopped to desired size)
13.5 oz.  can coconut milk and 1/4 cup water (I didn’t use the water)
              salt and pepper
1/2         juiced lime
              fried onions for garnish **Maybe add toasted sliced almonds

Heat coconut oil in Dutch oven.  Add shallots, minced ginger, garlic cloves and Fresno chile  or spices if not using chile. cook until softened.  Stir in chopped Kale, coconut milk and water.  Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and simmer until tender 12-14 minutes.  Stir in the juice of 1/2 lime.  Top with fried onions or toasted sliced almonds.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Broccoli Polenta

I'm thinking you could serve this as a soft Polenta as well, a stand in for mashed potatoes.  Either way, it's a nice twist on regular old polenta.

Broccoli Polenta
Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

3 1/2      cups vegetable broth or water
1/2         teaspoon salt, depending how salty your broth is
1            cup polenta corn grits (polenta)
2            tablespoons olive oil
4            cups very well-chopped broccoli, stalks and tops (pieces should be no larger
                     than 1/4” inch)

**I added a tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast

Prepare an 8” square baking dish and set aside.

Bring the water/broth and salt, if using, to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the polenta in a slow, steady stream, mixing with a whisk as you pour it.  Add the broccoli and olive-oil, and lower the heat to low.  Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.  Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  **I added a tablespoon of Nutritional Yeast for extra flavoring.

Spoon the polenta into prepared dish, spread it out evenly.  Refrigerate for about an hour. Cut into squares and cook.

You can pan fry or broil – I pan fried.

Preheat a nonstick pan over medium heat.  Pour a very thin layer of olive oil into the pan.  Place the polenta slices in the pan and cook on both sides for about 5 minutes each, until lightly browned.  (Mine took a bit longer to brown).

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh

I wasn't sure if I could handle 1/4 cup hot sauce so I made mine with half salsa and half hot sauce - it worked out well and was plenty spicy.   I' will definately making this again and will add a side of Cilantro Slaw to go along with the Tempeh and Rice - yum.

Hot Sauce Glazed Tempeh
By Isa Chandra Moskowitz (VEGANOMICON) cookbook


8 ounce package of tempeh
1/2 cup wine (whatever kind you've got on hand, just nothing sweet, or use vegetable broth and a touch of wine vinegar)
1/4 cup hot sauce **(I did a mix of hot sauce and salsa)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*** Green onions for serving
*** Jasmine brown rice on side

1.              Bring a pot of water to boil.
2.              Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a bowl large enough to fit the tempeh slices.
3.              Cut the tempeh in half width wise then cut each of those squares diagonally to form 4 large triangles. When the water is boiling, add the tempeh, lower the heat and steam for 10 minutes.
4.              Use tongs to remove the tempeh and then immediately place them in the marinade bowl for 1 hour, flipping them every now again to cover with the marinade.
5.              Preheat a greased grill pan over medium high heat. Brush lightly with olive oil 
6.              Grill each side for 5 minutes. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

***I fried in cast iron skillet in thin layer of oil, sauté on each side until start to brown.  Cooked the remainder of the marinade and heated with a touch of cornstarch and teaspoon of sugar, just until thickened.  Added  sauce to pan at end of frying then turned the tempeh a couple of times for a nice coating.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Lemon Garlic Herb Vinaigrette

I’m a huge fan of cold pasta salads and love the Lemon Garlic Herb Vinaigrette dressing in this particular salad.  I didn’t have vegan feta in the house so I added pieces of herbed Miyokos cheese (found at health food stores – Trader Joe’s is carrying their vegan Cream Cheese).  I added chickpeas to our salad for an extra bite and burst of protein.

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Lemon Garlic Herb Vinaigrette

Miyokos Cheese:

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tempeh Satay

These were super yummy and could be presented as an appetizer, even for your non-vegan friends.  I marinated Tempeh over night in the fridge then pan fried to give a bit of crispiness to the outsides.  I also added a teaspoon of my favorite jarred Garlic Chili Sauce to the Peanut Sauce to give it a bit more zing.  Recipe can be found on blog link below.

Tempeh Satay
Simple Vegan Blog