Vegan Beer Battered Onion Petals

Vegan Fried Onion Petals!

Bob said this was the best batter he had ever tasted, so I have to share with you all.  To be specific, he said it was a “killer batter.”

1 medium Vidalia Onion, sliced into thin wedges like an apple
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
8 tablespoons (vegan) beer

Heat oil to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except onion.  Working with 1/4 to 1/3 of the onion petals at a time, dip them into the batter and drop them into the hot oil, making sure not to let them touch initially.

Fry for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towel, and serve immediately with a sauce made of equal parts vegan mayo and ketchup.

Note: if desired, heat oil to 350 degrees and cook for 3 minutes if you don’t care for a small amount of crunch to your onion.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Loaded Tater Tots
The Healthy Way

Loaded (vegan) Tater Tots…my way!

Forget the cheese, the b-word, the sour cream and all the rest of it. Load up your crispy home-cooked tots with chopped cauliflower at only 10 calories per cup, chopped celery, sliced green onions, raw cabbage, and diced variety. I like the sweet tri-color cherry tomatoes. Then drizzle with my 10 calorie per tablespoon Blooming Platter Mayo.

It’s dinner that’s a little decadent, and a lot colorful and nutritious. Plus the crunch can be heard ’round the world.

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Vegan Buffalo Bites
Pan Sauteed Seitan Bathed in Buffalo Sauce

I am hooked on Whole Foods Buffalo Soy Nuggets.  I literally go to the prepared foods counter and ask for “a small carton vegan crack.”  They know exactly what I mean.

This recipe isn’t that because I use my delicious seitan (“wheat meat”) in place of soy for a more tender product.  Their soy nuggets are rather toothsome, especially cold, which is how I devour them, as they never make it all the way home.

Of course, if you have a favorite seitan recipe, use it.  BUT, I have perfected my recipe after some serious “R & D” in my kitchen.  You can read the backstory and access my recipe for the most delicious version I have ever tasted right HERE.

Vegan Buffalo Bites

Yield: 8 pieces (easily multiplies)

8 pieces Booming Best (Vegan) Seitan, pan sauteed a couple of minutes on each side until lightly browned in a skillet lightly coated with non-stick spray

1 tablespoon melted vegan butter

1 teaspoon hot sauce like Texas Pete’s or Sriracha

1/2 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

1/4 teaspoon molasses

1 teaspoon diced celery

While seitan browns, whisk together all remaining ingredients, except diced celery, in a small bowl. Pour over seitan and toss quickly to coat. Keep gently stir-frying for a minute or two until heated  through. Serve immediately garnished with diced celery.

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Vegan Bologna Cake
with Vegan Herbed Cream and Goat Cheese Frosting

Yield: at least 12 servings

This beautiful “cake” is a cinch to make though it impresses in both flavor and appearance.  It looks so pretty on a buffet…maybe even for a wedding or bridal shower?

Admittedly, I took a cake decorating class in high school and have done some decorating over the years, but wielding a pastry bag, especially to make simple borders, stars, and swirls, is quickly and easily mastered.  A YouTube video will do the trick.  However, if you prefer, you can simply frost the cake, garnish with fresh herbs, and your results will be lovely.  I just like the finished edge that piped frosting gives to a cake.

This  “recipe” is not much of a recipe.  You simply stack the vegan bologna, filling between the layers and frosting the sides and top with a mixture of vegan cream cheese and Treeline Soft French-style nut cheese, which I purchase at Whole Foods.  But you could use all cream cheese.  After tucking a few sprigs of fresh herbs here and there, you are finished.  Be sure to slice it with a serrated knife, as 18 layers or so is fairly dense, but oh-so-delicious.

Bob, my meatatrian partner who prefers meat with meat sauce and a side of meat, confessed that he prefers vegan bologna to “real” bologna!  The vegan variety has a much smokier flavor.

 

Vegan Bologna Cake

8 ounces vegan cream cheese

2-6 ounce cartons Treeline brand soft French-Style nut cheese (any flavor, e.g. scallion)

1 teaspoon minced basil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste if desired

2 packages Tofurky bologna Style Deli Slices (18 slices total)

Sprigs of fresh herbs such as basil, mint, sage, and rosemary

With an electric mixer–stand or hand-held–cream together all ingredients, except bologna, until fluffy.  Line a serving plate with 4 strips of foil or waxed paper to protect plate.  Lay 1 slice of bologna on top, spread to edges with small amount of filling, and repeat with all 18 layers, making the last layer, which will be the top, nice and thick.  Frost sides, pipe on more frosting as decoration, if desired, and garnish with fresh herbs.  Refrigerate until serving time. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

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Vegan Bang-Bang Tofu

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t matter how you serve this dish–taco, appetizer, etc.–you will love it. In fact, you might want to just eat spoonfuls of the delectable sauce by itself.

Note:  We own a Waring Pro fryer, which is surprisingly affordable (cheap!), and I highly recommend.  

Bang-Bang Tofu

Bang-Bang Sauce (recipe follows)

Crispy Fried Tofu (recipe follows)

Optional garnishes: cilantro sprigs, lightly salted cashew halves, snipped chives or green onions; or small flour or corn tortillad and shredded cabbage if serving as tacos

To serve, either toss the cubes of fried tofu with some of the sauce and sprinkle with the garnishes of your choice; do the same, but serve in a soft taco shell with some shredded cabbage; or serve as an appetizer with a toothpick in each tofu square,  a little sauce on the side,  and the garnishes of your choice.  Be sure to prepare just before serving so that the sauce does not make the crispy tofu soggy.

Bang-Bang Sauce

2 cups vegan mayonnaise

1 cup Asian sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon demerrera sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion garlic powder

1 teaspoon sriracha sauce or to taste

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate.

Crispy Tofu

1 pound extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup unsweetened soymilk curdled with 2 teaspoons rice vinegar + 1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup cornstarch

Heat 2 to 3 inches vegetable oil to 375 degrees in deep heavy-bottomed pot.  Place both the curdled soymilk and the cornstarch in separate shallow bowls. Working with 1/4 of the tofu at a time, dip the pieces first in the curdled soymilk and then coat with the cornstarch. Fry for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on oaper towels.  Keep warm in a preheated 170 degree oven (or lowest temperature).

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Vegan Ro*tel “Velveeta” Dip or Sauce
The BEST Hot Vegan Cheese Dip or Sauce
Get Your Super Bowl Game On!

This is the old school recipe my way…

And hopefully I am not posting this too late for your Super Bowl festivities.

Recently, a local vegan bakery advertised their vegan “chick-un” nugget platter with “cheese” sauce for the Super Bowl.  I was curious about the sauce because, fairly recently in researching vegan cheese sauces online, there was a baffling array of sauces made with potatoes, eggplant, cashews and more.  But I was highly skeptical and  wondered to myself at the time, “Why not just melt some vegan cheese?”   And I shied away from experimenting.  But, Friday, I purchased some of the advertised sauce on the way to school to enjoy with my lunch at my desk.  It was a nice texture and lovely color, but it tasted oddly of garlic and mustard, ingredients I have used in vegan cheese spreads, but better camouflaged than that. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t taste convincingly like cheese.

So, I looked up the old recipe from my childhood–10 ounces of Ro*tel tomatoes and 1 pound of Velveeta–and purchased some Ro*tel yesterday on my grocery store run.  The cheese I had on hand.  Velveeta is so processed that it always reminded me of what would happen if orange vinyl were sold in blocks, so I figured that vegan cheese would be a shoe-in.  This morning I melted it in the microwave with the So Delicious vegan shredded cheeses I had on hand–both cheddar and cheddar-jack–and I was right!  I needed look no further for my go-to cheese sauce.  And, shamefully, I fantasized almost all the way through my yoga class, buying some jalapeno-lime corn chips on the way home and diving in.

Granted, this is not health food folks.  It is an occasional splurge.  And with the price of vegan cheese, it’s not cheap.  But it is super simple, lightening fast, and delicious.  It contains no nuts as some cheese sauces do, but it does contain soy.  However, soy is not even a whisper of a problem for me and hopefully not for you.

Plus, I can think of a million ways to use it.  It is hard to beat, plain, as a hot dip for chips.  But why not add corn, black beans, green chilies, vegan sausage, cooked diced potato, or some of all and enjoy it as a chunkier dip, as a sauce for nachos, a filling for enchiladas, or even as a base for a casserole, say potato and Poblano?  Or simply kick it up with some cumin, coriander, chili powder, or lime juice?

While your wheels are turning, why not make a batch and munch on it with some crispy chips?

Vegan Ro*tel “Velveeta” Dip

1 10-ounce can Ro*tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies, mild or spicy

1 pound shredded vegan cheese (I like So Delicious cheddar and cheddar-jack sold in 8 ounce packages)

Optional garnish: chopped fresh garnish

Place in a microwave safe bowl or a double boiler and heat until melted, stirring frequently, approximately 8 minutes.  Whisk for a smoother finished product.  Serve warm with chips and a sprinkling of chopped fresh cilantro.

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Vegan 4-Ingredient Thai Chicken and Cream Cheese Roll-ups
Quick-and-Easy

These simple retro-contemporary apps are like cute little packages, and they are so quick, easy, and satisfying.  Though they are best warm, they are even delicious cold.  I know because I have brought them to school for lunch 3 days this week and my days don’t leave time to heat my lunch.

I am not sure why I even had Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in the fridge–vegan Pigs-in-a-Blanket?–but I did and I was craving my Vegan Thai Chicken Bites.  However, I had no puff pastry and no cashews.  So, I adapted.  I used the same sesame-garlic Tofurky Slow Roasted Chick’n and a dab of commercial Thai peanut sauce in both, but added a layer of vegan cream cheese to the roll-ups, and omitted the cashews.  Delish.

For presentation at home, I arranged them on a leaf of kale and sprinkled coconut shavings over the top.  But, believe me, they are also irresistible out of a Tupperware carton.

1 can Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Approximately 1/3 cup vegan cream cheese, softened

1 box sesame garlic Tofurky Roasted Chick’n

Approximately 3 tablespoons commercial or homemade peanut sauce + extra for dipping

Optional: fresh kale leaves and coconut shavings

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat (silicone baking sheet) or spray with nonstick spray.  Unroll crescent roll dough and separate triangles, laying them a couple of inches apart on baking sheet.  Spread with about 2 teaspoons of vegan cream cheese, top with about 1/8th of the chick’n, drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of peanut sauce, and roll up beginning with wide side of dough triangle opposite point.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool enough to handle and then serve immediately on an optional bed of kale sprinkled with coconut shavings and a dish of extra peanut sauce for dipping.

 

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Vegan Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Cheese,
Maple Syrup & Sriracha
4 ingredient, quick & easy, super sexy appetizer

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t enjoy Brussels sprouts for breakfast. However, southeast Virginia, where I live, just experienced “Snowmageddon,” aka The Blizzard of 2018, and the light is absolutely breathtaking.

So I knew I wanted to do a photoshoot this morning to take advantage of the glorious glistening out the window.  And I certainly wasn’t going to allow these beauties to go to waste.

If you are in need of a quick, drop-dead gorgeous, and delicious appetizer–or breakfast (just kidding)–look no further.
Simply top crispy roasted Brussels sprouts halves with a dollop of softened vegan cream cheese or nut cheese, homemade or prepared like Treeline brand, a drizzle of maple syrup from a spoon going in one direction, and a drizzle of sriracha straight from the bottle going in the other direction–almost like handwriting–and finish with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. (Note: I am impatient and like my Brussels sprouts practically charred, so I roast them at 500 degrees with just a hint of nonstick spray or olive oil and coarse sea salt, stir them a couple of times, and watch them carefully.)

Voila! You will impress your guests and satisfy both their eyes and their appetites.

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Vegan Cheesy Garlic and Herb Snack Crackers
quick and easy perfection

Every year of my life, until my mother passed away, I was in my parents home for Christmas. And every night before I was due to fly home, my mother would be up late–me often with her, though I tended to give out earlier than her even more intrepid and tenacious self–in the kitchen making a treat for me to take on the plane. It was either Chex Mix, which she called Texas Trash, or her famous almond butter toffee.

After Mama died, my father and sister were supposed to come to Virginia to celebrate Christmas with me, and both times there plans fell through. The first year, which was 2 years ago, they both got sick. This year, they got snowed in.

But, Tammy Wells, my best friend since 3rd grade, who was, like me, also recently widowed, came on Christmas Day to attend Bob’s and my open house for 35 beloved people in our lives, and spend the week. It has been a glorious will we end up hiking in the freezing cold, happy hours and tea with friends, dinner with Bob’s family, yoga, and more.

She is leaving at 6 this evening, flying back to Mississippi, so I had to uphold the tradition of my dear Mama, whom one of my friends dubbed the Genius of Christmas, and make Tammy  a treat for the plane.

I love Chex Mix and almond butter toffee, but I needed something even quicker. So I devised this tecioe in my mind, whipped it up, and even Bob the Omni who, for the most part, does not care for my food, loved them.

I will be making this quick and easy treat over and I can throughout the holidays and beyond.  Feel free to experiment with different types of dry seasoning mixes and nuts.

Recipe

1 6-ounce box Earth Balance Cheddar Flavor Squares

1/4 chp roasted and sakted almonds

1/4 cup really good olive oil

.70 to .75 ounce package dried garlic and herb seasoning mix

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. In a 9 x 13 -nch metal baking pan, combine crackers and almonds. In a small cup or bowl, whisk together olive oil, seasoning mix, and paprika. Drizzle over crackers and almonds, stir gently to combine well, place in oven and bake for 7 minutes.  Stir and bake for 7 more minutes. Let cool and store in airtight containers.

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