Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Sweet and Spicy Nuts

Sweet and Spicy Nuts
Crowded Kitchen

These Spicy Nuts are such a yummy treat to make for the Holidays.  It's a nice snack to munch on before the big meal!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Vegan Banana Bread

I'm happy to share my discovery of a super simple, super delicious Banana Bread recipe from the Connoisseurs Veg site.  We were hit with a snow storm this week and stuck inside so I thought I'd get the kitchen smelling like the Holidays. This will be my new go-to recipe.  The only thing I added was more nuts (half Walnuts and half Pecans).

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Artichoke and White Bean Dip with Rosemary

I love Hummus but I like to switch it up a bit and found this easy recipe.  It’s a great dip to serve with homemade pita chips or an assortment of your favorite veggies.

Artichoke and White Bean Dip with Rosemary
The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook by Melissa Costello

2            teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2            garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1            shallot, peeled and finely chopped
2            tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4         cup Vegenaise (or other brand of vegan mayo)
1            tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2            cups canned white beans, drained and rinsed
1/4         teaspoon salt
1/2         teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2         teaspoon powdered mustard
1/4         teaspoon pepper
1.5         cups frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (jarred or canned are fine, but
              drain first).
            Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste.

In a skillet over low heat, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic and shallot until soft.  Put the garlic and shallot mixture into a food processor, along with the remaining ingredients, except for the artichoke hearts.  Process until smooth.  Add the artichokes and pulse,  but you still want some chunks to remain intact.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Quick Sweet Pickle Recipe

My mom's neighbor has an over abundance of beautiful cucumbers so I thought I'd switch things up and pickle a few.  Love this quick recipe and plan to make a dill version next.  Summer is still here folks!

Quick Sweet Pickle Recipe

2            cups sliced cucumbers, approximately 1/4” thick
1/2         cup sweet onion, thinly sliced
1            cup apple cider vinegar
1/2         cup water
1/2         cup white sugar
1            teaspoon celery seed
1            teaspoon mustard seed
1            teaspoon non-iodized salt

In a heat safe medium bowl, add sliced cucumbers and onions.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan mix the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Pour hot liquid over the cucumbers and onions.  Let cool or process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes (adjusting for altitude as necessary).

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator up to 2 months

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Stuffing Biscuits

Even though it isn’t Thanksgiving, in fact it’s summertime, the main dish I’m making tonight is screaming for a side of stuffing.   What a great idea, little stuffing biscuits.  They look so cute on the plate and I bet kids would love them.  Just add some gravy and you’re all set. 

Stuffing Biscuits
The Dirty Vegan Cookbook
Makes approx. 10 biscuits

1/4         cup flaxseed, ground
3/4         cup plain soy or almond milk
4            cups cubed bread, any kind
2            tablespoons vegan butter
1            small onion, finely chopped
1/2         cup celery, finely chopped
4            strips vegan bacon, chopped  **I didn’t use
1/4         cup vegetable stock
1            teaspoon dried sage
1            teaspoon dried parsley
              salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with high temperature resistant parchment paper and grease lightly.  Combine flaxseed and milk in a large mixing bowl; add bread cubes and toss.  Let bread soak up nearly all the liquid and set aside.

I a frying pan on medium heat, sauté onion and celery in butter until very soft, stirring frequently.  Add vegan bacon and sauté until browned; allow mixture to cool enough to handle safely.  Add vegan bacon mixture to bread and add remaining ingredients to mixing bowl.  With clean hands, combine and roll into large balls.  Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Quick Ginger Beets

I will say..... you really have to love beets for this side dish, which I do!  I did add a bit more
Agave to the beets to offset the vinegar and ginger.  If you have any leftovers, just throw them in a salad with some vegan feta and pistachio hearts.

Quick Ginger Beets
Food Network Magazine

1            pound packaged cooked beets
1            tablespoon cider vinegar
2            teaspoons grated ginger
1/2         teaspoon agave
2            tablespoons vegetable oil.
              Salt and pepper to taste

Cut 1 pound packaged cooked beets into wedges, reserving 1 tablespoon liquid from the package.  Whisk the liquid with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons grated ginger, 1/2 teaspoon Agave and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. 

Toss with the beets with salt and pepper.

***I added more Agave to my dish.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Strawberry and Blueberry Crumble

Have an over abundance of Berries?  Crumbles, Crips and Cobblers are always good ways to use up your fresh berries.  This recipe calls for a cast-iron skillet but we made ours in a regular casserole dish.  I might try the skillet next time just to see if there is a difference.  I think the cast iron skillet is nice, if serving right away.

Strawberry and Blueberry Crumble
Jenni Kayne  - modified
Serves 8

2            cups fresh blueberries, divided
3/4         cup, plus 6 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
3            tablespoons cornstarch
2            cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/2         teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4         teaspoon ground nutmeg
3            tablespoons softened vegan butter, plus 1/2 cup melted vegan butter,
2            teaspoons lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice (from one lemon),
1 and 1/3       cups all-purpose or gluten-free flour
1            teaspoon baking powder
              pinch of kosher salt
              cooking spray

1.            Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cook 1 cup blueberries and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan over low, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.  Stir cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl until cornstarch is dissolved; stir into blueberry mixture in saucepan.  Cook over medium high, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil and liquid is clear and thick, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

2.            Pour blueberry mixture into a large-heatproof bowl.  Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.  Fold in strawberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, 3 tablespoons softened vegan butter, lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 cup blueberries.

3.            Stir flour, baking powder, salt, 1/2 cup melted vegan butter, 6 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon zest in a separate bowl with a fork until crumbs form.

4.              Coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.  Pour berry mixture into skillet.  Sprinkle flour mixture evenly over top.  Bake until topping is golden brown and filling bubbles.  35-40 minutes.  Let coo 5 minutes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Bow Tie and Butter Bean Salad with Fresh Dill

I'm a big cold pasta salad fan and this recipe caught my eye because I picked up some beautiful radishes and fresh dill at the farmer's market this weekend -- without a plan.  This makes the perfect picnic side dish.

Bow Tie and Butter Bean Salad with Fresh Dill
The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Serves 8-10

12          ounces farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1/2         cup vegan mayo
3            tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1            teaspoon sugar
1            teaspoon onion powder
1/2         teaspoon salt
              freshly ground pepper
1            cup sliced cucumbers, in thin half-moons
1/2         cups shredded peeled carrot (I left out)
1/4         cup chopped fresh dill
1            15 oz. can butter beans, rinsed and drained

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, then drain in a colander and run under cold water to cool.  Refrigerate to cool even further.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mayo, vinegar, sugar, onion powder, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Then add the chilled pasta to the dressing along with the cucumbers and radishes, and mix well.  Add the carrot and dill and toss to mix.  Stir in the butter beans.  Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld.  Serve cold.

***I sometimes make a little extra dressing because I find that the pasta really soaks

it up and I like to add a little creaminess before serving.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Curried Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup

I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more lentils and quinoa into soups and other dishes I make.  For this soup, the lentils create a richly textured, hearty soup that is a meal in itself.   I added a small can of tomato sauce to make it nice and thick.  You can also hit is with a bit of cayenne, if you want a little heat.

Curried Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup
4 servings

2            tablespoons virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1            medium onion, finely chopped
2            garlic cloves, finely chopped
1            2 -1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
1            tablespoon medium curry powder
1/4         teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4         cup red lentils
1            14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1            small can tomato sauce (this was not in original recipe)
1/2         cup finely chopped cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium.  Cook onion, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add lentils and cook, stirring, 1 minutes.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce (if using),  1/2 cup cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, and 2.5 cups water; season with pepper.  Set aside 1/4 cup coconut milk for serving (I just used entire can and did use for serving), and add remaining coconut milk to saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, 20-25 minutes.  Season soup with more salt and pepper if needed.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Double Chocolate Date Bars

A Mother's Day treat!

I just bought a big bag of pitted dates and was so happy to find this recipe on line.  I like that the recipe calls for regular pitted dates rather than Medjool Dates, which I find to be a little too sweet.  These bars are so easy to make that I will be keeping them on regular “sweet treats” rotation as well as taking a goodie bag to my mom for Mother's Day.

I just bought a big bag of pitted dates and was so happy to find this recipe on the web.  I like that the recipe calls for regular pitted dates rather than Medjool Dates, which I find to be a little too sweet.  These bars are so easy to make that I will be keeping them on regular “sweet treats” rotation.

Double Chocolate Date Bars

1 1/2         cup dates, pitted
1/4            cup + 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
3               teaspoons maple syrup
1/2            cup almonds
1/4            cup almond butter
1/2            teaspoon vanilla
1/4            teaspoon salt + extra for topping (I used finishing salt for final salting)
1/2            cup dairy-free chocolate chips
1               tablespoon coconut oil

Make sure dates are pitted.  Then place dates and almonds into a food processor and pulse.

Add cocoa powder, syrup, almond butter, salt, and vanilla to processor and pulse until everything is mixed together.

Place mixture in a 5 x 8 pan and smooth out with a spatula – or if you want thicker bars, put mixture in the middle and spread out without going to the edges.

Place in refrigerator for approx. 10 minutes, allowing bars to harden a bit.

Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together in a microwave-safe dish – or small saucepan on stove.

Remove bars from refrigerator and drizzle melted chocolate over top; place back in the refrigerator for an additional 10 minutes. 

Add a little finishing salt to the top.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Orange-Scented Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

Cauliflower Rice is so light and can be dressed with many different sauces, it is definitely my new favorite side.  This particular dressing is light and refreshing and paired well with Asian vegan pot stickers.  I ended up making a double batch of dressing and used it all - I'd rather have too much than not enough.

Orange-Scented Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
Love & Lemons Every Day Cookbook
Serves 4

1            tablespoon orange zest
3            tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange-juice
1/2         tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1            tablespoon rice vinegar
1            tablespoon sriracha
1/2         teaspoon sea salt
              pinch red pepper flakes

1            small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (1 pound)
1/2         tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1            shallot, chopped (1/3 cup)
2            scallions, finely sliced
              sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4         cup toasted chopped almonds
1/4         cup toasted chopped pistachios
1/4         cup dried currants
1/4         cup pomegranate seeds
1/3         cup chopped fresh parsley
1/3         cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4         cup fresh mint leaves
1.5         teaspoons orange zest
              orange wedges, for serving

Make the dressing:  In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, olive oil, rice vinegar, ginger, sriracha, salt and red pepper flakes.  Set aside.

Make the pilaf:  Working in several batches, place the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.  This should yield about 4 cups riced cauliflower.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring, for 6 minutes or until soft.  Add the cauliflower rice, scallions, a generous pinch of slat, and a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes more until the cauliflower has just softened.  Do not overcook.

Remove the skillet from the heat and let it cool slightly.  Transfer to a large bowl and toss with three-quarters of the dressing, the almonds, pistachios, currants, pomegranate seeds, parsley cilantro, mint, and orange zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Sweet and Sour Tofu

This Tofu can be served up with a side of fried/steamed rice or veggie quinoa, also good to just snack on.  I added a pinch of red pepper for a little heat.

Sweet and Sour Tofu
Simple Vegan Blog 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Vegan Mushroom Stew Over Mashed Potatoes

My version turned out a little soupier than it was suppose to but I wanted to share anyway and recommend that you visit the link below for author’s original photos. I ended up adding more liquid than recommended but the flavors were all there so we still enjoyed it. 

Crowded Kitchen is a mother-daughter team from Michigan with a wonderful Blog that has interesting, delicious recipes and beautiful photos!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Citrus-Roasted Tofu

I decided to cook one block of tofu instead of two and used the leftover marinade to drizzle over before serving.  I served with a side of Trader Joe’s Sprouted Organic California Rice stir fried with diced onion and garlic.

Citrus-Roasted Tofu
Vegan Holiday Kitchen Cookbook
Serves  6-8

2            14-16 tubs extra-firm tofu  (I used one but used same amount marinade)

Orange Marinade

            Juice of 1 orange
            Juice of 1 lemon
2          tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2       cup orange marmalade
1          tablespoon olive oil
1          tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2       teaspoon dried tarragon
            several grindings of black pepper
1           tablespoon olive oil or other healthy vegetable oil
8-10      baby carrots, quartered lengthwise
1-2        cloves garlic, minced, optional
1/3        cup slivered almonds
1/4        teaspoon curry powder
1/4        cup minced fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees

Cut each block of tofu into 8 slices, about 1/2” thick crosswise. (I used one block)
Blot well between several layers of paper towel or a clean tea towel.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a small mixing bowl and whisk together.

Arrange the tofu in a single layer on a parchment-lined roasting pan.  Spoon the marinade generously over the surface of the tofu.  Roast for 15 minutes, or until the tofu begins to turn golden.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small skillet.  Add the carrots, garlic and almonds, and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until both are golden.  Stir in the curry powder and remove from the heat.

When the tofu is done, transfer to a rectangular or oval serving platter or two, depending on their size, with the slices slightly overlapping one another.  Sprinkle the carrot-almond mixture evenly over the surface, topped by the parsley.  Serve at once, passing around the additional marinade.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Perfect healthy side for any celebration not to mention it's just plain pretty.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
The Real Food Dietitians adapted

1            pkg. of whole Brussels sprouts and cut thinly with knife or pre-shredded
1/2         cup red onion, small dice
1/3         cup dried cherries
1/3         cup sliced almonds, toasted or pecans
4            oz. vegan Feta cheese or other vegan cheese, diced
              Citrus Vinaigrette

1            small orange, juiced
1            teaspoon orange zest
1            lemon, juiced
2            tablespoon finely minced shallots (or sub. With 1 T. minced garlic)
1            teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4         cup avocado or olive oil
2             teaspoons fresh thyme, minced (may substitute an equal amount of tarragon,
              basil, rosemary or oregano or 1 t. dried herbs of choice)
              salt and pepper to taste

Shred Brussels sprouts using the shredding blade of a food processor or slice thinly with a knife.

Place Brussels sprouts in a large bowl and combine with diced red onion, cherries, nuts and optional vegan cheese.

Wisk together vinaigrette ingredients.

Add vinaigrette immediately before serving and toss well to coat.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Cauliflower Ricotta Stuffed Shells

This is my new favorite Stuffed Shells recipe.  My other go-to recipe calls for a tofu  ricotta mixture as the stuffing, which is good but this version feels lighter and I like the subtle flavor of the cauliflower.  I made my life easier by using my favorite jarred garlic tomato sauce by Trader Joe’s.

Cauliflower Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Makes about 20 medium shells
Nom Yourself CB by Mary Mattern

1            large head of cauliflower, chopped
2            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4         cup nutritional yeast
              I also added some vegan parmesan cheese
1/2         cup unsweetened almond milk
2            teaspoons garlic powder
1            teaspoon onion powder
1            bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2            pinches of sea salt
1            12 oz. jar prepared tomato sauce, or 1.5 cups homemade tomato sauce
1            12 oz. package jumbo shells, cooked to al dente and drained.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees

In the bowl of a blender, blend the cauliflower, olive oil, nutritional yeast, almond milk, garlic powder, onion powder,  (vegan parm., if using) parsley, and sea salt.  Don’t over blend.  You want to eliminate big chunks of cauliflower, but you still want a coarse consistency.

Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 8 glass baking dish.

Stuff the shells with the cauliflower mixture, arrange them in the baking dish., and pour the remaining sauce on top of the shells

Bake for 15 minutes.

Add some fresh basil and vegan parmesan cheese on top if you have it.


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Cream of Carrot Soup

This soup is a great way to get some nutritious carrots into your system.  I really love the pop of flavor the fresh minced ginger brings to the party.

If you are looking for a new Vegan Cookbook to add to your collection, this one is filled with pretty pictures and the recipes are broken out into Holiday chapters, giving you lots of options. 

Cream of Carrot Soup
Serves 6-8
The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook by ISA Chandra Moskowitz

1            tablespoon refined coconut oil
1            medium yellow onion, diced medium
1/2         teaspoon salt, plus a pinch
3            garlic cloves, minced
1            tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3.5         cups vegetable broth
3            pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2” pieces
1            cup coconut milk from well stirred can (I used whole can)
2            tablespoons pure maple syrup
2            tablespoons fresh lime juice
              freshly ground pepper

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat.  Heat the oil, then sauté the onions with a pinch of salt until lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the broth and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.  Add the carrots, cover the pot and bring to a low boil.  Boil until the carrots are completely softened, about 15 -20 minutes.  Add the coconut milk, maple syrup, and lime juice and heat everything through. 

Use an immersion blender to blend the soup smooth and creamy.  If you don’t have an immersion blender and need to use a food processor or blender, remember that steam can build up in there and hurt you, so lift the lid every few seconds to let steam escape.

Thin the soup with a little water if necessary, then taste and adjust for sweetness, salt and pepper.  **This is when I added the rest of the coconut milk that was left in the can.