Caramelized Onion, Dried Cranberry & Pistachio Tart (vegan & plant-based)

A Thanksgiving guest you will want at the table: Caramelized Onion, Dried Cranberry, and Pistachio Tart. It is vegan, plant-based, and very well-behaved.

Plus It is easy-breezy, thanks in part to a press-in crust, but elegant in that rustic way that is so appealing in autumn.

I was comes honored to be hired by Tofutti to create 3 holiday recipes and it is super fun to share the first one with you for the holiday of gratitude this week, at least in the US.

Find my vegan/plant-based–but no one will no–recipe here.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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Quick & Tasty Pakora-ish Onion Fritters (vegan, plant-based, gf)

Yield: 4 fritters (easily multiplies)

The larder was pretty bare but I needed a bite of lunch that was plant-based, interesting, satisfying, and beautiful. We had yellow onion and one tablespoon of chickpea flour which was was about all I needed for a lite vegan lunch on the fly. But these would be tempting appetizers as well.

1/2 yellow onion, sliced into slivers

1 tablespoon chickpea flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons water

Garnishes: chutney, plant-based raita, cashews, mint leaves, cilantro, etc.

With a fork or spoon, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat skillet sprayed liberally with nonstick spray over medium heat. Divide divide fritter batter evenly into 4 disks a couple inches apart. Cook for a minute or 2 on first side, flip with a spatula, and cook a couple minutes more. Serve warm, garnished as desired.

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Creamy Buffalo Chicken Salad Dip aka Desperation Dip (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: approximately 1 1/2 cups

You know those weeks: full to the brim at work and in the evenings and bracketed by similarly packed weekends of entertaining, yet you invited new friends for Friday happy hour in a rare moment of downtime. Then, Friday arrives, and you realize you have nothing more substantial to serve them than cashews and olives.

This is the dip for THOSE times. On our lunch buffet at school this week was a Buffalo Chicken Salad, creamy, not chunky. The staff prepares inspired vegan food for me, but this was not and I abstained. But I have been fantasizing about it, so I dashed into the grocery on the way home, picking up the ingredients along with everything we needed to host Bob’s father’s 90th(!) birthday party and his sister’s 60th–they were born on the same day–on Sunday. Whew!

Please enjoy even when you aren’t harried or maybe especially then:

1/4 to 1/3 cup diced red onion

4 celery hearts, cut into 1-inch chunks

8 ounces chick-un substitute (I use Tofurky Sesame-Garlic Chick’n)

2 to 3 tablespoons mayo (I use Walden Farms no-calorie mayo, but use what you love)

1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon wing sauce or Sriracha

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Optional garnishes: sprig of herbs, green or black olive, crumbles of plant-based blue cheese or blue cheese dressing

Accompaniments: celery sticks, cucumber slices, crackers, or sturdy chips

Place onion and celery in food processor and pulse to coarsely chop. Add chick-un and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until mixture comes together with a creamy-course texture. Cover and refrigerate. To serve, garnish as desired and serve with vegetables, crackers, and chips.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedbuffalochicken #veganbuffalochicken #plantbaseddip #vegandip

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Queso Blanco: Warm, Luscious Cheese Dip (vegan, plant-based, GF)

Vegan and plant-based queso blanco is typically made with cashews and potatoes, but mine is made with cashews and cauliflower for fewer calories and loads of nutrition. Served with plantain chips, it is my new obsession.

Yield: approximately 4 cups

12 ounces cauliflower florets
2 cups raw cashews
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin Juice of 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons brine from a jar pickled jalapeños
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons white miso
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies with juice
Garnish: Fresh cilantro and finely diced bell pepper (I like tri-color)
Accompaniment: plantain or tortilla-style chips; also delicious served over Mexican dishes like enchiladas, Quesadillas, and nachos

Place cauliflower, cashews, water, and sea salt in a medium saucepan and gently boil until very tender and all but about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water has evaporated.  Carefully transfer to food processor or high speed blender and add all remaining ingredients except green chilies.  Process for several minutes or until very smooth.  Rinse out saucepan, pour in cauliflower mixture, green chilies and juice, and heat through for a couple minutes over medium or medium-low heat, stirring frequently.  Garnish with bell peppers and cilantro, and serve with chips or spooned over the Mexican dish of your choice.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedcheesedip #vegancheesedip #plantbasedcheesesauce #vegancheesesauce #plantbasedquesoblanco #veganquesoblanco

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Stupidly Simple & Delish Grilled Eggplant Zataar with Tahini Slaw (vegan/plant-based)

Tonight’s dinner alfresco was inspired by what was in our fridge, and what I was craving, namely something cold and something grilled… summer is here with a vengeance in Eastern Virginia.

There is really not much of a recipe. I just grilled planks of eggplant on my indoor grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkled with a little sea salt and zataar.

For the slaw on top, I used a ratio of 1 to 1 to 2 tahini, brine, and olive oil. You could use any vinegar or vinegary-type brine, but I used some leftover escabeche brine.

I simply tossed the dressing with some slaw mix, mounded it on top of the eggplant, garnished with some sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled with Everything Bagel spice blend.

Dinner is served!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedMediterranean #veganMediterranean #plantbasedeggplant #veganeggplant

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Carrot-Cabbage Pakora–Simply Satisfying (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1 serving as a meal, 2 as apps (easily multiplies)

Craving pakora after seeing them promoted on a social media website of a favorite restaurant, I decided to make my own with ingredients I had on hand. These go together in a flash and taste like you labored for hours.

While you make the pakora batter, heat scant 1/2 inch vegetable oil in large skillet over medium to medium high heat u til shimmering g on the surface.

1/4 cup shredded cabbage (any color)

1/4 cupshredded carrot

1/4 cup very thinly sliced yellow onion

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Accompaniments: chutneys like cilantro, mango, mint

Garnish: sliced green onion

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients, except accompaniments and garnish with a fork. Create 4 mounds in skillet using 1/4 of batter for each. Gently press tops with a spatula and cook a couple of minutes or until golden brown. Adjust heat if cooking too slow or fast. Gently flip and brown on reverse. Remove to paper towels to drain and serve immediately with accompaniments and garnish.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedpakora #veganpakora #plantbasedindian #veganindian

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Cauliflower Nacho Hack (vegan, plant-based, lite, and quick)

Yield: 1 serving (easily multiplies)

Every so often in a restaurant, I will gaze longingly at a big laden pile of nachos, but the truth is that, even when faced with a big platter of the vegan variety, I really don’t want to eat all that business. So I devoted this pretty and healthful take. This quick version feels decadent and tastes delicious, but won’t weigh you down.

1-1.5 ounce bag Rhythm brand Crisp Cauliflower Bites (I buy them at Kroger)

1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (I like a mozz, but cheddar is great too)

2 tablespoons Pico de Gallo

2 tablespoons vegan sour cream or creamy dressing (I use Walton Farms Chipotle Ranch with 0 calories)

Garnish: fresh sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion (you could also add or sub sliced black olives and sliced green onion)

Pour crispy Cauliflower Bites onto plate, top with cheese, microwave 45 seconds–Bites will not become soggy or chewy–top with pico and sour cream or dressing, garnish as desired, and serve immediately.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasednachos #vegannachos #plantbasedcauliflower #vegancauliflower #waltonfarms

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Creamy Coconut Lentils with Hot Chili Oil 2 Ways! (Vegan & Plant-based Dip and Burger)

Creamy Coconut Lentils with Hot Chili Oil Two Ways : Dip and Burger!

Hit chili oil/hot chili crisp is my new jam. I can’t stop creating new ways to enjoy it.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, slivered or diced
2 to 3 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound dry lentils (I used green), rinsed, drained, and picked over
1 tablespoon hot chili crisp (I purchase at Kroger on Asian aisle) or hit chili oil
4 to 5 cups water
4 bouillon cubes or 4 teaspoons vegetable base
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used light)

In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil to sizzling over medium. Add onion, green onion, and soy sauce, and saute, stirring frequently, until soft. Stir in garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients except coconut milk and simmer 20 minutes or so until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in coconut milk and heat through.

Poached Garlic and Ginger in Hot Chili Crisp:
1 tablespoon hot chili crisp or oil
4 to 5 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 inch ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced

Place all ingredients in small dish or cup, cover with plastic wrap, and poach in microwave for 30 seconds to one minute or until tender.

To serve as dip with wonton chips:

Cut vegan wonton wrappers into triangles and deep fry in oil heated to about 375 degrees just until golden brown. Drain well and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Serve lentils topped with poached garlic and ginger slices and wonton chips.

To serve as Lentil Burgers with Hot Chili Crisp Slaw:

2 cups Creamy Coconut Lentils with Hot Chili Crisp, cooked until most of moisture is evaporated or absorbed
1 cup old fashioned oats, raw
1 bag (approximately 14 ounces) shredded slaw mix
3 to 4 tablespoons vegan mayo (I use Walton Farms no calorie)
Poached Garlic and Ginger in Hot Chili Crisp

Combine Creamy Coconut Lentils with old fashioned oats and set aside for oats to absorb moisture. Meanwhile, combined mayo with Poached Garlic and Ginger in Hot Chili Crisp to taste. In large bowl, combine dressing with slaw mixture and chill until serving time.

Form lentil mixture into 8 patties approximately 3/4 inch thick. In a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray, pan fry, compacting with spatula, for about 2 minutes on each side over medium heat or until they develop a golden brown crust. Serve atop a mound of slaw, with or without a toasted bun, garnished as desired. I used red bell pepper strips, dill pickles, baby kale leaves, and lightly salted and roasted cashew halves.

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Sichuan Chex Mix with Hot Chili Oil (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 4 quarts (16 cups or 1 gallon)

Every Christmas, my late mother made traditional Chex Mix. She would not be at all happy with my messing with tradition.

With apologies to my mother, this year’s vegan Sichuan Chex Mix is inspired by my Chinese obsession from Judy’s Sichuan in Virginia Beach, VA: Tofu Braised in Hot Chili Oil. Redolent of garlic, ginger, and chilies, this dish features 4 other key ingredients: fried tofu and stir fried jalapeños, red and green bell pepper, and peanuts over Jasmin rice.

I think, though I am not certain, that an elusive flavor in the dish is lent by Sichuan Peppercorn which I purchase st the Asian market and grind myself. Warm, but not hot (to me), this seasoning also adds a very temporary, characteristic, and pleasant lip numbing sensation. The Chex mix is delush with or without.

Seasoning Mix:
1/2 Cup vegan butter
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Fried Chili in Oil (sold in a jar on Kroger’s Asian aisle)
2 teaspoons grated ginger (I purchase it in a squeeze jar)
1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Onion Powder

Optional: 1 to 3 teaspoons ground Sichuan Peppercorn

Cereal Mix:
7 cups Rice Chex cereal
5 cups pretzel sticks
*3.5 ounces crispy fried onions in bag, carton, or can
*3.5 ounces crispy jalapeños in a bag
*3.5 ounces crispy red bell pepper or beets in a bag or carton
4 ounces roasted and salted edamame
1 cup roasted and salted peanuts

*I use Fresh Gourmet brand from Kroger. I wanted bell pepper, but couldn’t find them in two stores, so the beets added that red, sweet, and earthy element I wanted.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter in large roasting pan in preheating oven. Stir in remaining Seasoning Mix ingredients followed by all Cereal Mix ingredients, coating evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely and package in airtight containers.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #plantbasedsichuan #vegansichuan #plantbasedchexmix #veganchexmix
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