I am excited to share this recipe with you because, in vegan baking, the basics–like Blondies–just have to be just right. And I have experimented endlessly to dave you the trouble.
As an egg replacement, I highly recommend Neat Egg, a new product to me, which I found at Kroger.
3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 vegan egg substitute (I like Neat Egg)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease and flour a 5 by 9″ loaf pan. Place all the ingredients in a medium to large mixing bowl and whisk until a thick batter forms. Fold in chips or chunks and nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly to fill, but avoid packing down. Bake until light brown around edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, about 23 minutes. Avoid over-baking. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, invert onto a rack, and cool completely. To serve, cut into squares or rectangles with a serrated knife.
My secrets (and recipe) for PERFECT Vegan Cauliflower Puree–better than mashed potatoes! Rave reviews at last night’s Starlight Supper Club…
1) cook only until tender; avoid overcooking 2) after cooking, even if you steam the cauliflower in a bag, drain it well on paper towels 3) for 12 oz raw cauliflower, use 1 tablespoon vegan butter and 1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese; don’t omit the cream cheese! 4) fold in the zest of one quarter or more I have a large lemon–this is a game-changer!
12 ounces raw cauliflower florets (I used the steam-in-bag microwave variety)
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 tablespoon vegan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest of one quarter or more of a large lemon to taste
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary sizzled in 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter
Cook cauliflower just until tender, drain if necessary, and drain again on paper towels. Break up any large florets and process with vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat if necessary and fold in zest just before serving. Drizzle with optional rosemary butter.
Laura Theodore, aka the Jazzy Vegetarian, is hitting all the high notes and winning awards and accolades in the process. From her latest vegan cookbook, to the Jazzy Vegetarian on public television, to her podcast radio show, to her pop-up restaurant, this vibrant recording artist never misses a beat. She is everywhere: from Netflix to CBS to HBO, just to mention a few forums where she has been featured.
Her recipes are simple and straightforward; the resulting dishes colorful and flavorful. In fact, I gifted good foodie friends with one of her cookbooks, Vegan-ease this Christmas. Like me, they like to use recipes as a starting point for their own iterations, and no better place to start than with Laura’s, though her recipes are perfectly balanced as is.
When her latest cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan hit the stands, I had promised to participate in a “blog tour,” but life got in the way. So, better late than never. Today, I finally had an opportunity to return the favor to this energetic and supportive member of the vegan community, for years ago, she interviewed me on the Jazzy Vegetarian Radio when my cookbook, The Blooming Platter: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes was published.
Says Laura of her quick and easy recipe featured here, “Miso provides texture and taste to this hummus without adding any oil, keeping it a light and low-fat option for a satisfying snack.”
True confession, I added a tablespoon of oil because I love the mouthfeel of a hint of oil, but I also love Laura’s idea of using good ‘ole tap water for most of the moisture. Also, though I know the prevailing wisdom is to make a recipe as printed the first time and then adjust, I didn’t have any chickpeas on hand, it is pouring rain here, and I didn’t want to run into the grocery store. So, I made it with the edamame I which I had in the fridge. Yum. And I used my food processor rather than blender.
Also, because my hummus was leaning in an Asian direction–and because I have been cooking and developing award-winning recipes for a very long time–I made a couple of other alterations: I added 2 large cloves of garlic, minced, and, over the top, I drizzled about a tablespoon of my Blooming Platter Mayo (basically, a white tangy “sauce”) and another of Asian Sweet Chili Sauce for color and zing. I think Laura would approve of my “jazzing up” my version just a little.
But, I guarantee that her unadulterated Miso-Parsley Hummus would be delicious as is:
1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed 2 to 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (see note) 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon mellow white miso 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Chef’s Note: For a more lemony taste, add 1 more tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Add a bit more water, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.
Dinner on Friday night was delicious, nutritious, beautiful, and almost more than I could eat…but only 25O calories.
We had considered Chinese takeout, but I didn’t want to get back out after walking the dogs. So with Asian cuisine on my mind, I did a mental scan if what was in the fridge and created this satisfying and beautiful bowl.
Be sure to enjoy it with chopsticks; it is so much more fun that way.
1/2 cup shredded cabbage and carrot slaw mix (12.5 calories)
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup frozen, shelled edamane, thawed (110 calories)
1-8 ounce package Shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained (20 calories)
2 tablespoons vegan Fish Sauce (sold as vegetarian in Asian markets–20 calories)
1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Blooming Platter Mayo (20 calories)
2 tablespoons Asian Sweet Chili Sauce (60 calories)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + 1 spring for garnish
Barely cover the bottom of a large skillet with water. Saute cabbage and green onion, just until slightly tender, but still bright in color. Add edamame and do the same. Add all remaining ingredients in order and heat through, stirring until hot and well-combined. Serve immediately in a bowl garnished with a sprig of cilantro.
My favorite Chex Mix recipe is whichever one I have just created. So this rich mix is my current favorite. It was created for a bourbon-loving friend’s birthday but enjoy it for any occasion or no occasion at all.
Casting around for a logic behind ingredient selection, I decided to go with other flavors associated with the Bluegrass State in addition to Bourbon: bacon and pecans. Bacos are vegans, they’re not necessarily health food, so that choice was easy.
I was going to use Rye Chex, but you can’t find them anymore, or I couldn’t, and I even searched online, so I went with wheat. The cheese crackers and fried onions are because, well, I just love those flavors with smoky bourbon, smokier bacon, and sweet, earthy pecans.
Plus, the cheese crackers lend some color contrast. Brown Chex Mix may taste great, but it doesn’t do much in the appearance department.
The Cheerios and pretzels are for shape and texture contrast and Chex Mix just isn’t Chex Mix without both where I come from.
1 cup vegan butter
1/3 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 jar Bacos (they are vegan!)
16 ounces pecan halves
4 cups Cheerios
3 cups pretzel sticks
3 cups Wheat Chex
1-6 ounce box Earth Balance Cheese Squares
1-6 ounce can fried onions
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Melt butter in oven in a large roasting pan, carefully remove from the oven, start animating ingredients, and roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely in store in airtight containers.
For the 18th (!) Annual Christmas, Chanukkah, Curry, and Cakes Party & Swap for some 25 of my girl tribe, I kept the menu simple, healthful, beautiful, and delicious.
This one time buffet dinner morphed into a cocktail party-swap a few years back and then, last year, into a moveable feast and swap featuring curried pumpkin soup. Soup is self-serve from the stove, but I make it festive with a buffet of toppings. This year’s tasty accompaniments were vegan blue cheese-chutney cole slaw, quartered persimmons, and vegan sugar cookies. Oh, and wine. Lots of wine.
This year’s soup creation was superior to last and I am pleased to share it with you, as I wouldn’t change a thing.
Vegan Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup
Yield: 10 cups
1- 29 ounce can pureed pumpkin
1-15.5 ounce can lite coconut milk
1-30 gram package Jaswant’s Kitchen Chana Masala seasoning packet or the equivalent (you may prefer less–it is spicy)
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
Toppings bar: grated coconut, sliced green onions, roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries or cherries, etc.
Whisk together all ingredients except toppings in a large soup pan or Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Serve topped as desired.
This was a favorite dish at our Friendsgiving this year…but it is too special–and easy–for a once-a-year feast. Celebrate often!
Approximately 6 cups roasted vegetables (Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, two to four vegetables at a time, tossed with a very small amount of olive oil and sea salt at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes, stirring halfway through–be sure vegetables are in one layer–and cool completely.)
2 tablespoons Cointreau
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup pecan halves, toasted at 350 degrees for 5 minutes
Place all vegetables in a large bowl. Whisk together Cointreau, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic in a small cup. Drizzle over vegetables, add dried cherries and toasted pecans, toss well, and serve immediately. You may roast and cool the vegetables a few hours or a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Add dressing, dried cherries, and toasted pecans just before serving.
Though I created this recipe for New Year’s Day, it is too tasty, quick, and healthful to only roll out once a year.
I am happy to share black eyed peas like you’ve never had them for good luck throughout the new year and great taste in the present moment:
Creamy Vegan Middle Eastern Black-Eyed Pea Dip or Spread
1/2 red or yellow onion, diced
1-15.5 ounce can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
Pinch sea salt
8 ounces tofu, silken (dip) or firm regular (spread), patted dry
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Everything Bagel seasoning
Barely cover the bottom of a large skillet with water and saute onion, stirring, with a pinch of sea salt until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add black eyed peas and continue sauteing until onion is soft and water is evaporated. Place all ingredients in bowl of food processor and process until smooth. Serve garnished with a sprinkling of smoked paprika and, if you have on hand, a few pomegranate seeds. Serve with pita points, regular or fried, pita or bagel chips, or raw vegetables.