The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Four Taters

 

 

 

Yield: 8 potato skins

These delicious potato skins will look like irresistible little footballs on your tailgate spread.  I so enjoyed taking the “pig” out of “pigskin” for this vegan version of JaMarcus Russell’s “Famous Tailgat Taters,” commissioned by the good folks at Tofutti Brands, Inc!

Just click HERE for the recipe!

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Tofutti Enchiladas

This dip has always been a hit with my National Art Honor Society students since I introduced it a few years ago, wanting to serve them something tasty, but nutritious at our after school meetings.  We had our first meeting of the year about 10 days agao, and the officers specially requested it.

There was some left over, as we had a LOT of food for the induction ceremony and kick-off.  So, I rolled scoops up inside tortillas and some inside a halved red bell pepper; spooned homemade, slightly chunky enchilada sauce over the top of each; and baked them about 20 minutes (30 for the peppers) for some of the best enchiladas around!

They are perfect for a family dinner, but they reheat beautifully for satisfying lunches.  All you need is a microwave.

 

Vegan Spinach-Three Bean Dip or Enchilada/Bell Pepper Filling:

 

1 1/2 cups Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 envelopes (1 box) dry vegetable soup mix

2-9 or 10 ounce boxes frozen spinach, thawed, and moisture squeezed out

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 can white beans or dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Pinch coarse sea salt to taste

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients, separating strands of spinach with your fingers as you add it. Check for salt and add a pinch to bring out flavors if desired. Serve cold with your favorite dippers.  Or, roll up inside tortillas, place in an oiled pan, top with your favorite homemade or prepared salsa verde or enchilada sauce, bake about 20 minutes and serve topped with more Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and the garnish if your choice.  I like a slice of lime and a few toasted pepitas.  Note:  you can use any beans you prefer, even all of one kind.  To make stuffed peppers, stem, seed, and half a red bell pepper, mound slightly with the filling, top with the enchilada sauce, and bake for about 30 minutes or until peppers are tender.  Cover with foil if sauce in the bottom of the pan starts to scorch.

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Charred Broccoli and Eggplant Salad with White Beans and Dried FigsYield: 4 servings

The flavor of this pretty simple salad–which may be served warm, cold, or room temperature–belies its throw-together-quick origins.

I always called broccoli prepared this way “roasted,” but the new term in culinary magazines is “charred” and I liked that for a fun change.  Whatever you call it, you will love it!

Note:  This salad is delectable as is, but if you like a little more salt, add about 6 oil cured black olives, pitted and chopped.  Olives and dried figs are one of the world’s great marriages of flavor.

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

About 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets

2 8-inch long very slender Japanese eggplants, sliced diagonally 1/2-inch thick

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1-15.5 ounce can cannelini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

4 dried Mission figs, stems removed and quartered

1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or if you really like the “bite” of raw garlic, 1 small clove minced)

Optional: 6 oil cured black olives, pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a metal roasting pan (I like to use my large cast iron skillet).  Add broccoli, eggplant, and a pinch of salt and pepper, toss, and roast for 20 minutes, stirring after 10, or until lightly charred.  Remove from oven and transfer vegetables to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients, adjust seasoning if necessary, toss gently to combine, and serve warm, cold (chill, covered) or room tempeature (my favorite).

 

 

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BBQ Bean Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Fall Festival SlawYield: 4 sandwiches

My new Fall Festival Slaw was the inspiration for this delicious sandwich.  After I made the luscious slaw, though, it seemed to cry out for tangy BBQ beans and sweet caramelized onions.  Oh boy, what a great combination, though the slaw is a beautiful side dish on its own.

 

BBQ Bean Sandwich with Caramelized Onions and Fall Festival Slaw

4 sandwich rolls or 8 slices of whole grain bread, toasted

Fall Festival Slaw

Caramelized Onions

BBQ Beans

Vegan mayonnaise (I like Vegenaise)

For each sandwich, spread bottom piece of bread with about 1 tablespoon or less of mayo.  Top with 1/4 of the beans, 1/4 of the onions, and about 1/4 cup of slaw.  Serve immediately.

 

Fall Festival Slaw

Note:  I use the grater attachment of my food processor to grate vegetables, as it creates a nice julienne style shred.  You will have slaw left over.

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup grated apple

1/2 cup grated carrot

1-4 to 5-inch small mild red chili pepper, stemmed and seeded, grated

1/2 cup taosted walnut pieces

1/4 to 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise (I like Vegennaise)

1 teaspoon anise seed

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

Place grated vegetables in a colander or strainer, press gently to remove excess moisture, and let drain for a few minutes.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Add all remaining ingredients and combine will with a fork.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.  Stir again before serving.

 

Caramelized Onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, slivered

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add all remaining ingredients and saute, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until preferred degree of caramelization is reached.  Reduce heat if cooking too fast. While onions caramelize, prepare beans.

 

BBQ Beans

Use your favorite BBQ bean recipe or:

1-15.5 ounce can vegetarian (which are actually vegan) barbeque beans (I used Bush’s brand with bourbon and maple syrup)

1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

In a small cast iron skillet or saucepan, heat together all ingredients, cooking for 7 or so minutes until thick and a little “sticky” to intensify flavors and insure that the beans will hold together nicely inside the sandwich.  Remove from heat.  Note:  you may need to tweak amount of mustard and vinegar or you may even need to add turbinado sugar depending on the type of beans you pruchase.  Mine were already sweet, so the mustard and balsamic vinegar balanced the flavors beautifully.

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Fall FrittersYield: 8 fritters

After a Saturday visit to the farmer’s market, I had a beautiful zucchini and VA apple, along with a large carrot in the fridge.  I was in the mood for a slaw to top a sandwich, but after I had grated up these ingredients, I had far more than I needed for that.

Theshreds reminded me of latkes, so the idea of fritters popped into my mind.  I scooped out half the shreds of the zuke, apple and carrot, added a very few more ingredients, and quickly tossed together these beautiful fritters that personify autumn: delightfully crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside!

Note:  I use the grater attachment of my food processor for shreds that are like a very fine julienne.

2 cups grated zucchini (about half of a 7 to 8-inch zucchini)

1 cup grated apple (about 1 large apple)

1/2 cup grated carrot (about half of a 7 to 8-inch carrot)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt + additional for sprinkling.

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive or canola oil for frying

Garnish: vegan sour cream, walnut pieces, toasted or not, and maple syrup

 

Line a plate with paper towel.  Preheat oven to low.  Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Do not drain, as the moisture is essential to help the fritters hold together.  In a small bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients, sprinkle over vegetables, and stir with a fork until completely combined.  The consistency will be almost like cookie dough.  In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1/8th inch oil over medium high.  Divide dough into 8 equal parts, scooping four mounds into skillet and flattening with fingers to about 1/2-inch.  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, lowering heat and swirling pan to redistribute oil if necessary.  Flip with a spatula, sprinkle with a tiny bit more salt, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp and golden.  Remove to prepared plate and keep warm.  Repeat with more oil and remaining dough.  Serve warm, garnished with vegan sour cream, walnut pieces and maple syrup.

 

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Green Chilies Casserole

Yield: 6-8 servings

A childhood favorite from my mother’s kitchen remade my way!

Not only is it more healthful with my addition of bell pepper, kale, yellow squash, and black beans, plus tempe substituting for you-know-what, but it is also much quicker, yet still creamy-good.

Ole!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1/8th teaspoon sea salt

1/8th teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large orange or red bell pepper

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 tablespooons nutritional yeast (optional, but yields a beautiful “cheesy” taste)

8 ounces crumbled tempeh

1 8-inch yellow squash, diced

8 cups loosely packed chopped kale

1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

8 cups corn chips (I used Xochitl Organic White Corn Chips)

16 ounce jar salsa verde

7 ounce can chopped green chilies

1 cup vegan sour cream (I use Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, but use your favorite prepared or homemade version)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a large casserole dish.  In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high.  Add onion, sea salt, and pepper, and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until softened.  Then add in order the following ingredients, sautéing and stirring about 3 minutes between each:  bell pepper and garlic, spices and tempeh, yellow squash, and kale. Kale may require a couple more minutes of cooking time. Then stir in remaining ingredients and heat through.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, covered.  Serve garnished as desired.

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Green-Go Bean Burger 3Yield: 4 burgers

I love developing recipes, like these “Go Bean” green-themed burgers, exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc! 

These simple, delicious and nutritious Mexican-spiced patties hold together beautifully and their pleasantly chewy texture is the perfect counterpoint to their spicy-tart Green Chili “Cream Cheese” Topping made with Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese.

Lima beans may sound odd for a bean burger–though you can use whatever bean you prefer–but I had some fresh ones on hand from our farmer’s market; and they are, in fact, what spawned the whole “green” approach: butter lettuce instead of a bun, a thick slice of green tomato, the Green Chili “Cream Cheese” Topping with lime zest, and a garnish of fresh lime.

And about that topping:  it’s delicious on these burgers, but it would be fabulous on an old shoe…it’s that good!  Your beef burger-eating friends will be green with envy!

Note that Tofutti makes two types of Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream, one with transfat and one without, each in its own color carton.  So read the nutrition information to make sure you purchase the one you prefer. 

1 3/4 cup fresh cooked lima beans (or 1-15.5 ounce can of your favorite bean, rinsed and drained)

1/3 cup walnuts (or your favorite nut)

1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal

1/3 cup vital wheat gluten

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Liquid Aminos or soy sauce

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

Optional: 1 tablespoon water

4 toasted hamburger buns or 4 butter lettuce leaves

4 slices green tomato

Green Chili-“Cream Cheese” Topping (recipe follows)

Optional Garnish: lime zest and/or thin slices of lime

 

Place all ingredients, except tomato, topping, and bun–using only 1 of the tablespoons olive oil and optional water–in a food processor and pulse until mixture is well combined.  Then run motor for a few seconds until mixture holds together; avoid over processing.  Shape mixture into 4 patties about 3/4-inch thick.  Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high in a large cast iron skillet.  Add patties and cook 5 minutes or until golden brown, adding another tablespoon of oil and swirling around pan if needed halfway through.  Flip, add remaining tablespoon of oil, swirl, and cook another 5 minutes to brown remaining side.  Place each patty on a bun or lettuce leaf, top with a slice of tomato and 1/4 of the sauce, and serve immediately.  Garnish, if desired, with lime zest and/or thin slices of lime.

 

Green Chili-“Cream Cheese” Topping

8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

1 can chopped green chilies, drained

Zest of 1 small lime

In a small bowl, heat cream cheese for about a minute in the microwave or until very soft and stir-able.  Add green chilies, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

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Fresh Ginger, Anise, Golden Tomato, and Red Bell Pepper JamYield: approximately 1 1/2 cups

 

This savory jam shimmers like jewels. Enjoy it alone or with vegan cheese spread or cream cheese on toasted bread as a simple but striking crostini, inside a wrap for a burst of flavor, or dabbed atop all manner of cooked vegetables or proteins.  It is most beautiful, though, served in a glass dish where it can really sparkle.

 

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, slivered

1/2 of a large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 pint golden grape or pear tomatoes

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

 

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper, and saute, stirring, for approximately 3 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and break down, about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, another 5 or so minutes until tomatoes break down further, and most of moisture has cooked off, creating a thick, pulpy, very textured, and beautifully colored jam.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Reduce heat at any point if cooking too fast.

Fresh Ginger, Anise, Golden Tomato, and Red Bell Pepper Jam with Star Anise 2

 

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Middle Eastern Pomegranate and Eggplant Melange

I always love the opportunity to develop recipes for Tofutti, and you can find the original post here.

Yield: 6 servings

This versatile Middle Eastern-inspired mash-up is equally addicting as a creamy dip, stuffed in a pita or baked pepper, or piled atop a grilled flatbread.  Heck, it is delicious just heated and eaten with a spoon as I’ve done every day this week for my school lunches!

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 of a medium), diced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium eggplant, stemmed and diced

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup red wine (a Merlot is nice)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Optional: 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or tamarind syrup (available at Middle Eastern/Mediterranean markets)

4 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Optional: 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste; available on the international aisle of grocery stores)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Zest of 1 large lemon

Optional garnish: olives, fruit (fresh or dried), fresh herbs, nuts, etc.

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.  Add eggplant, garlic, and another pinch of salt plus a pinch of pepper, and sauté, still stirring frequently, until some color develops, about 3 minutes.  Add wine, balsamic vinegar, and optional molasses or syrup, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until eggplant is fairly soft.  Mash firmly with a potato masher.  Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.  Mash the mixture again.  Add Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese , Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, and optional tahini, and cook, stirring, until melted and completely combined.  Stir in all remaining ingredients until heated through and flavors are well-combined.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Serve as a dip, stuffed in a pita or baked pepper, or piled atop a grilled flatbread.  Garnish, if desired, with olives, fruit (fresh or dried), fresh herbs, nuts, etc.

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Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Tarts--3Yield: 6-4.5 inch tarts

Our farmer’s market still has local eggplant, and I hope yours does, because you will not want to wait until next summer to savor these simply beautiful and delicious tarts.  They were another of my contributions to our annual  Julia Child Birthday Bash in August.  Everyone loved them and I’m sure Julia herself would have approved!

The recipe is one I adapted from TheFoodDiaries.com.  It calls for either spreading the cooked shells with mustard or pesto.  I didn’t read it carefully and used both and LOVED it: Different, but subtle, and not weird at all.  The mustard provides a nice little unexpected zing.  I hope you agree!

 

1 recipe Press-In Tart crust (recipe follows)

1 recipe Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (recipe Follows)

1 approximately 12-inch long Japanese eggplant, cut into 24 1/4-inch slices, oiled and baked on an oiled baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes or until softened

2 tablespoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard

2 generous  tablespoons vegan pesto (homemade, preferred)

Pinch sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Garnish: 6 sprigs fresh basil

To assemble, spread each cooked tart crust with 1 teaspoon mustard followed by 1 teaspoon pesto and 1/12 of the sauce.  Arrange about 4 slices of baked eggplant on top of the sauce, add a pinch sea salt, and then top with another 1/12 of sauce, allowing eggplant to show around the edges.  Sprinkle with just a hint of salt and pepper and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool enough to remove sides of tart pans without burning yourself and serve warm.  Or, allow the tarts to cool completely, remove sides, and serve room temperature.  Garnish with fresh basil sprigs.

 

Press-In Tart Crust:

Ever since I found this recipe at www.steptalk.org, it has been my go-to crust for everything!  It is so easy, never-fail, requires no rolling, and is quite flavorful.

2 cups flour (unbleached all-purpose, white whole wheat, or whole wheat)

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cup canola oil

3  tablespoons unsweetened soymilk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center, and pour in oil and soymilk.  Whisk together just until combined.  Divide dough evenly among six 5-inch tart shells with removable bottoms, and press evenly onto bottom and around edges.  I like to break the dough into pieces and distribute it around the bottom of the tart pan so that maintaining an even crust is much easier.   Use a drinking glass to assest with the pressing if desired.  Bake 10-12 minutes and remove to a wire rack.  While tart shells bake, make sauce.

 

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

2 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stemmed, seeded, broiled until charred, and skin removed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, diced

Sea salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

 

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of sea salt and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.  Add garlic and sauté, stirring, for about 1 minute.  Place peppers, onion mixture, and balsamic mixture in the bowl of a food process, and process until fairly smooth.  Check for salt and adjust if necessary.

 

Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Tart

 

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