As I’ve mentioned, the newly formed Starlight Supper Club consisting of three couples–a vegan (me), 2 vegetarians, 1 pescetarian and, yes, my husband the carnivore–celebrated our inaugural dinner last Saturday night at the home of Becky Bump and Reese Lusk. The setting–their tiny log cabin with an exquisitely designed interior and a furnished deck on Chubb Lake–was outdone only by the food and company.
The appetizer alone set me off on a several day-binge of Beet Bruschetta. I can’t believe I never thought of it before, but it has quickly become a staple. Becky and Reese made theirs on Reese’s delicious sourdough bread, but I just used bread from the bakery section of the grocery store and it was tasty.
Be sure to roast the beet a little over an hour before serving time. And keep the bruschetta on the smaller side or it is too difficult to pick up and enjoy.
1 fist-size beet (which will shrink slightly while roasting), rubbed with olive oil, sprinkled lightly with salt, wrapped in foil over a pan to catch drips, roasted at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until tender, and slightly cooled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic
8-1/3 to 1/2″ thick slices ciabatta bread (or something similar), about 2 1/2″ in diameter
Approximately 7 ounces extra firm tofu, crumbled (half of a 14 ounce box, as is available here) or Homemade Vegan Ricotta
Freshly ground black pepper
8 large basil leaves
While beet roasts, mince garlic into olive oil, add a tiny pinch of sea salt, stir to combine, and set aside. While beet is cooling, brush bread very lightly with garlic oil and grill in an indoor grill pan over medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until lightly toasted. (If you don’t have a grill pan, broil, watching carefully). Lightly mash tofu with about 1 teaspoon garlic oil and a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut beet into 8 slices, crosswise. Divide tofu among bread slices and place a basil leaf on top of each, followed by a beet slice. Drizzle with garlic oil and finish with a few grains of sea salt.
Last week, I was in Mississippi, aka the ‘Sip, visiting my family when we suddenly realized that we had three guests joining us for happy hour and nothing to serve them. My parents–children of the depression, the canned food-centric ’50s and ’60s, and survivors of Hurricane Katrina–always have a well-stocked pantry with overflow in two remote locations that I know of.
So, I quickly surveyed the shelves, selected a can of chickpeas and of artichoke hearts, and moments later–thanks to a food processor and a little olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, Greek seasoning, salt and pepper–this crowd-pleasing appetizer was born.
Though each is a little different, commercial preparations of Greek seasoning–at least the two the I have taste-tested–are perfectly compatible with the other ingredients. But feel free to flavor it with your favorite herbs and spices, fresh or dried. In particular, I am eager to try this recipe with beau monde seasoning.
1-15 ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1-15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 large cloves garlic
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 rounded teaspoon Greek seasoning
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional garnish: fresh lemon slices/wedges and sprigs of fresh herbs
Accompaniments: crackers, crostini, toasted bagels/mini bagels
Place all ingredients, except sea salt, in a food processor and pulse until a creamy, but textured, consistency is reached, scraping down the sides of the bowl, as necessary. Check for salt, season accordingly, and pulse again, just to combine. Chill, covered, and bring to room temperature before serving, or serve immediately with crackers, crostini, or toasted bagels, garnished as desired with fresh lemon slices/wedges and fresh herbs. (In the photo, I used thyme.)
Baby, it’s cold outside! At least it is here in Eastern VA where we are expected to experience the southern edge of the winter storm headed for New England. A warning is scheduled from 7 p.m. this evening until 4 p.m. tomorrow. Yippee….Snow Day!
When snow is on it’s way, there is only one thing to do: make sure there is delcious, nutritious, body-and-soul warming food ind the house. And this dip (which is darn tasty in a baked potato) fits that bill.
Inspired by the Super Bowl–you have to have dip during that game of games, no?–and by a bountiful box of GO Veggie! vegan cheeses kindly sent to me to test, I incorporated three kinds of cheesiness to achieve the flavor and texture I was after.
I am a new fan of GO Veggie! cheeses, having only discovered that the company makes vegan products (look for the purple label) when they contacted me recently, as the Kroger where I shop only stocks the vegetarian varieties. With nice mild flavor, texture, and meltability, all they lack is “stretch,” and I can live with that. Find a store near you.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced (or 1/2 medium onion)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1-8 ounce carton GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Chive and Garlic Cream Cheese
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or dried oregano)
2-14 ounce cans artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained well, and chopped
3 cups coarsely chopped and lightly packed fresh mustard greens (feel free to use the greens of your choice, e.g. kale, spinach, Swiss Chard, etc.)
1-7 to 8 ounce cansliced mushrooms, drained (I almost always use fresh everything, but canned are perfect for this)
1-8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1-8 ounce package GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Mozzarella Shreds
1/2 cup GO Veggie! Dairy-Free Parmesan Grated Topping, divided
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Garnish: smoked or plain paprika
Accompaniments: chips or crackers of your choice (I bought the beet tortilla chips in the photograph in T. J. Maxx–tasty and such a pretty contrast with the green dip!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add, garlic and saute, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add the cream cheese and Italian seasoning and stir until melted,lowering heat at any point if necessary. Stir in artichoke hearts followed by greens, one cup at a time, allowing each cup to wilt before adding next cup. Then stir in mushrooms, water chustnuts, mozzarella shreds, and 1/4 cup parmesan topping, stirring until mozzarella is completely melted. Season to taste with additional sea salt, if needed, and freshly ground black pepper. At this point, you may transfer into a greased casserole dish if you like, but I baked it right in the skillet. Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan and sliced almonds. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with smoked or plan paprika and serve hot with chips or crackers.
Today seemed like the perfect day to repost a recipe I recently developed for Tofutti even if Super Bowl Sunday finds you sitting on your sofa rather than your tailgate: Vegan Tailgate Taters–Game On!
(Vegan) Buffalo Wings and the Super Bowl go together like Katy Perry and Lenny Kravitz!
I wouldn’t touch chicken wings many years ago when I ate chicken, but my vegan version is a slam dunk…hmmm, wrong metaphor. But you know what I mean.
Find my delicious recipe here and may the Seattle Seahawks, er, I mean, may the best team win.
I haven’t used Go Veggie products in years, ever since I discovered that the Go Veggie products sold at the Kroger where I shop are not vegan.
So, I had no idea that the brand produces quite a selection of vegan products, including slices, shreds, and cream cheese in a variety of flavors plus parmesan style sprinkles until they contacted me and asked if I would like to sample some of them. Yes, please!
A big box arrived last week and today, a holiday in honor of MLK Day, I am home from school with a little extra time to experiment. So I did. A girl’s ‘gotta eat, right?
Having seen a couple of different preparations for Mac-n-Cheese on the Food Network this weekend–both made with a broth-based veloute style sauce and only a little dairy–I decided that I would use the Go Veggie Mexican Flavor and Mozzarella-style Shreds for my own rendition using veggie broth and soymilk. That left the Cheddar Flavor Vegan Rice Slices for the Smoky Cheddar Spread I had in mind. I could have used the shreds in my spread and the slices melted into my sauce this evening, but I wanted to see if the slices would shred since I really don’t make sandwiches or other recipes that call for slices of cheese. And they shred nicely…keep reading!
First, I broke off a strip of one of the slices to taste. The mild flavor was very pleasant and the texture quite nice. The slightly damp and slippery exterior was a tiny bit off-putting, but not a big drawback. With the rest of the strip, I performed a quick melt test, simply laying it on a plate and microwaving it. It was beautifully melted in less than 10 seconds. Brilliant!
Next, I fitted my food processor with the grater attachment, stacked the eight unwrapped slices together, folded them in half, fit them down into the feeder tube, flipped the switch, and pressed them down with the plunger. In seconds, I had lovely shreds. The cheese is quite soft, but it didn’t “mash” except at the very end as the last little bit went through the chute. No problem.
I made my Vegan Smoky Cheddar Spread by adding chopped smoked almonds, a little bit of vegan mayo, a pinch of garlic and onion powder, and a hint of smoked paprika. But the grated slices would make a beautiful pimento cheese spread as well.
Go Veggie is not paying me to endorse their products(!), but I would definitely purchase and use these Cheddar Flavor Vegan Rice Slices again. Very low in calories and fat, but high in calcium, they are a keeper.
For the vegan versions of Go Veggie products, look for the purple packaging. To find them at a store near you, click HERE.
Stay tuned for more Go Veggie taste tests and recipes. And thanks Go Veggie for enlightening me!
Vegan Smoky Cheddar Spread
Yield: 1 1/2 cups spread
8 ounces Go Veggie Cheddar Flavor Vegan Rice Slices, unwrapped, stacked, and grated (I used a food processor with grater attachment)
1/2 cup smoked almonds, finely chopped
Optional: 2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
Optional Garnish: whole smoked almonds and a sprinkling of smoked paprika
Lightly combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until completely combined. Serve immediately with crackers or celery sticks or refrigerate in an airtight container until serving time. Garnish if desired with whole smoked almonds and a sprinkling of smoked paprika.
This recipe is throw-together easy, highly nutritional, and delicious to boot. It was inspired yesterday by what was in our pantry and fridge when an impromptu post-yoga, haven’t-yet-been-to-the-market, quick lunch was in order.
1-15.5 ounce can white beans like cannelini, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin
2 cups loosely packed chopped raw kale
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup roasted and lightly salted cashew pieces
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon rubbed sage (or 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves)
1/2 teaspooon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Garnish: fresh sage leaves or rosemary sprigs
Accompaniments: toasts, bagel chips, pita chips, or crackers (I like melba toast as depicted)
Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well-combined, but not pureed. It should be creamy but with some nice texture and flecks of color. Serve slightly warmed atop your favorite crunchy accompaniment.
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.
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.
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
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.