The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Appetizers'

Lemony Agean Artichoke and Chickpea SpreadLast 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.)

Print Friendly

Cheesy Artichoke Dip with Greens, Mushrooms and Water ChestuntsYield: approximately 6 cups

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)

Sea salt

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.

Print Friendly

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 Tailgate Taters

Print Friendly

(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.

:)

Print Friendly

Go Veggie Smoky Cheddar SpreadI 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.

Print Friendly

Pumpkin, White Bean, and Kale DipYield: approximately 3 1/2 cups

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.

 

Print Friendly

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.

 

Print Friendly

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

 

Print Friendly

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.

Print Friendly

Roasted Pecan and Dried Apricot No-Chicken Salad 2Yield: 4 servings

I actually created this throw-it-all-in-the-food-processor-simple no-chicken salad recipe from ingredients I had in the house while I was “snowed in.”

But, now that the snow is melting and folks in many states will be headed back to school and work tomorrow, I wanted to post it as a delicious lunchbox option.  Also, though, with the Super Bowl tonight, it’s a delicious and nutritious spread for crackers and, as you can see in the photo, it dresses up nicely for a “fancier” cocktail party.

I have created many versions of no-chicken salad, some here on my blog and some in my cookbook.  This one is made with wholesome tempeh, roasted pecans, and dried apricots, and is delicious served as you would any chicken(less) salad: in a sandwich, on crackers, or on my low-calorie, highly nutritious preference: sliced cucumber.

1/2 cup pecan pieces

4 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup dried apricots, halved

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

8 ounces tempeh (any kind), coarsely crumbled

4-5-inch stems fresh dill, leaves stripped

4-5-inch stems fresh tarragon, leaves stripped

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

Accompaniments: bread for sandwiches, crackers or sliced cucumber

Optional garnish: fresh dill sprigs and/or pecan halves or pieces

Roast pecans for a few minutes with a pinch of salt in a dry skillet over medium-high heat; transfer to bowl of food processor.  Add celery, apricots, garlic and onion powder, and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped.  Add tempeh to skillet in which pecans were roasted and roast, stirring frequently, just until it begins to turn golden brown in spots; transfer to bowl of food processor.  Add dill and tarragon, and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped.  Add mayonnaise and pulse a few more times until mixture comes together.  Serve in a sandwich, spread on crackers, or as canapes perched atop slices of fresh cucumber.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD