Middle Eastern Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream Sauce (vegan/plant-based)

Middle Eastern Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Simple enough for a weeknight, and special enough for a holiday meal, this Middle Eastern-inspired twist on whole roasted cauliflower is a nutritious showstopper.  Though quite low in calories, the flavor is high octane and the Better Than Sour Cream Sauce contrasts beautifully with the roast’s rich golden color.  

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

1 whole medium cauliflower, rinsed, and leaves and stem removed without detaching florets

6 tablespoons garlic hummus (or whatever flavor you like)

2 teaspoons Everything Bagel Seasoning 

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Topping:

Note: you may substitute seasoned breadcrumbs, but this nut mixture is special.

1/3 cup broken or small nuts (regular or smoked almonds, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts, or a combination)

1 tablespoon fresh minced chives, cilantro, or parsley

1 tablespoon Everything Bagel Seasoning

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line an 8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray or vegetable oil.  Whisk together all ingredients, except cauliflower and Topping, and rub and pat generously over entire surface of cauliflower, including the bottom.  Place, stem down, in prepared pan and roast, covered with foil shiny side down, for 45 minutes.  While cauliflower roasts, place topping ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times until nuts are finely chopped and ingredients are well combined.  After 45 minutes, carefully remove foil—avoid escaping steam—spritz top lightly with oil, and roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  Open oven door, slide rack out, sprinkle cauliflower with topping, and roast, uncovered, for 10 more minutes.  Test for tenderness with a sharp knife at base and bake a couple more minutes if necessary.  Serve on a platter of mixed greens and pass a bowl of Better Than Sour Cream Sauce (recipe follows).

Better Than Sour Cream Sauce:

1/2 cup Tofutti (www.Tofutti.com) Better Than Sour Cream

2 tablespoons garlic hummus (or same flavor used for cauliflower rub)

Optional: pinch sea salt

Zest of 1/2 medium lemon

In small bowl, whisk together Better Than Sour Cream, hummus, and optional sea salt.  Whisk in half the zest and use the remainder as a garnish on top.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedbuffaloholiday #veganholiday #plantbasedcauliflower #vegancauliflower

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Savory Parmesan-Fennel Shortbread (vegan & plant-based)

Savory Parmesan-Fennel Shortbread make every hour happy!

Few things are better than these tasty rounds–buttery, tangy, and crisp-tender–with a glass of wine or non-alcoholic Proxies (pictured is “Pastiche”). Made by Acid League of teas, fruit juices, vinegars, bitters, herbs and other unexpected ingredients to pair with food, these wine alternatives have an “intoxicating” nose.

A Gift from Your Kitchen

An easy and welcome gift, the Shortbreads pack beautifully inside coffee filter-lined tins which I shared this holiday season with my freelance editors/publishers/clients and other professionals who provide service of inestimable value throughout the year.

On December 27, I contributed a dozen shortbread rounds to a happy hour for two (pictured) at the beautiful home of Angela Phillips. We also enjoyed her air fried brussels sprouts and chestnuts warmed with just a hint of olive oil.

Why Proxies?

Angela lives 8 or so miles away from us and, despite splitting the entire bottle of Proxies, I could drive home safely. These bottles really are “free of alcohol, full of complexity,” but are NOT dealcoholized–and are perfect when you want something beautiful, interesting, and exciting to sip on its own or, especially, with food, but prefer not to imbibe.

The pair of us drank the entire bottle of Pastiche, at only 75 to 100 calories total for each of us. Pastiche is a white wine alternative, made of the following: (FRUIT) Lychee, Pineapple, Peach, Gewurztraminer Grapes; (ACIDITY) Rose Vinegar; (SPICE) Pink Peppercorn, Amchur, Galangal, Clove; and (BODY) Bai Jian White Tea, Oolong Tea, Mosaic Hops. Proxies may remind you a bit of Kombucha but without the assertive fermentation and with many more layered and subtle flavor notes.

Savory Parmesan + Fennel Shortbread

Yield: approximately 4 dozen

(Note: these are also tasty without the parm.)

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 cup Follow Your Heart or your favorite plant-based brand shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup plant-based butter (I like Myokos), broken into chunks
1/2 cup olive oil (may need slightly more or less)

Place first 7 ingredients in food processor and pulse a few times to break up fennel seeds. Add parmesan and pulse a couple more times. Add butter and pulse to distribute. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil, stopping occasionally, until dough comes together, but is not sticky. It should be fairly firm, like roll-and-cut cookie dough. Form into 3 to 4 logs, approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2″ in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with Silpat or parchment paper. Slice rolls into 1/3-inch disks, place 1″ apart on baking sheet, and bake 18-20 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Package in airtight containers.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedfoodgift #veganfoodgift #plantbasedshortbread #veganshortbread #savoryshortbread #Proxies #acidleague

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Chick-Un Pot Pie Chex Mix–Next Level Chex! (vegan & plant-based)

Each Christmas, I make gifts for freelance clients and other professionals who have provided services to me during the year. I either package my paternal Mam-ma’s three kinds of Christmas cookies that she perennially made for our family or my latest and greatest Chex Mix in tins from the Dollar Tree (such a steal).

I have developed so many varieties of Chex Mix that picking a favorite would be like choosing a favorite dog. Just search “Chex Mix” here on the Blooning Platter for a mix for every mood.

This year’s iteration was inspired by all the ingredients and flavors of pot pie–even the pie crust, which is perhaps the best part–but also carrots, cirn, onions, potatoes, and peas.

When you whip up a batch–ideal to have in the oven while you are doing other tasks, as it only needs three stirs over the course of an hour–remember to thaw and bake the pie crust pieces first. I remove a crust from its foil pan and thaw in microwave, as collapsing is exactly what you want in order to cut it.

Enjoy this mix for Happy Hour and car trips, as well as gift-giving.

Happy Holidays!

Chick-Un Pot Pie Chex Mix

1/2 cup vegan butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoons Liquid Aminos vegan Worcestershire, or soy sauce
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon ground celery seed
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 vegan pie crust, thawed, cut into small rectangles, and baked at 450 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown
6 ounces (half of 12-ounce box) Corn Chex
8 ounces (2-4 ounce bags) potato sticks or straws
1-7.25 can roasted pecan halves
5 ounces (about half of a 9.9-ounce can) Wasabi peas
Approximately 1.5 ounces carrot-flavored & orange-colored chips from bag of veggie snack chips like Good Natured brand Veg-ables (approximately one-third 4.5-ounce bag)
1-6 ounce can French Fried Onions

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Combine butter, Liquid Aminos, and all spices in large roasting pan and place in oven to melt butter. Stir to combine. Gently stir in remaining ingredients, one at a time. Roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, and package as desired in airtight containers.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedchickenpotpie #veganchickenpotpie #plantbasedchexmix #veganchexmix #chexmix
plantbasedsnack #vegansnack
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Thanksgiving Leftovers: Stuffing Cake Christmas Tree (vegan & plant-based)

A Holiday Hybrid Worth Celebrating!

I continue to upcycle my Thanksgiving Leftovers, first, shaping stuffing into cakes and baking (25 minutes at 350 degrees), then stuffing corn pudding into orange bell pepper halves, baking, and topping with whipped cauliflower and a dollop of cranberry sauce.

For this stack, I gridded the thawed stuffing cakes (they freeze really well) and reprised them this morning. It was the most scrumptious breakfast/brunch, although you could serve it for any meal if you leave off the bourbon maple syrup…but don’t!

In between the cakes, I layered an arugula and butternut squash salad, topping the tree with a drizzle of the syrup, homemade cranberry sauce, a little Follow Your Heart vegan feta, and roasted pepitas.

And I still have half for a snack a bit later.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedbrunch #veganbrunch #PlantBasedThanksgiving #veganthanksgiving #veganbreakfast #plantbasedbreakfast
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Russian Almond Cookies (with Pistachio and Dried Cherry/ Cranberry Variation) [vegan & plant-based]

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

These buttery cookies are so pure and simple, the perfect hybrid of crisp and tender.

Wherever we were for Christmas as a family of four–our home in Richardson, TX, our maternal grandmother’s in Dallas, or Mam-ma’s and Pap-pa’s in Houston–Mam’ma always made sure these and three other kinds of cookies, perennially the same, were there too, packed in wax paper-lined metal holiday tins.

The crackley paper, the aroma of sweet butter, vanilla, and almond–none of her cookies were spiced–and the shapes: slices, balls, Santas, reindeer, stars, bells, Christmas trees, and more, are the embodiment of Christmas for me.

Though Mam-ma probably creamed the butter by hand, I use my Kitchen Aid mixer, except when including my addition of nuts and dried fruit. Then I use a food processor as it does the chopping for you. But feel free to chop the ingredients and fold them into the dough made by hand or with a mixer.

Russian Almond Cookies (with Pistachio and Dried Cherry/Cranberry Variation) [vegan & plant-based)

1 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour

Optional:
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries

Place all ingredients, including optional nuts and fried fruit, in a large food processor. Pulse until well combined and dough comes together in a ball. Divide dough in half, roll each into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 20 to 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. With a thin sharp knife, cut each log diagonally into 1/4″ thick slices, and place about 1-inch apart on prepared sheets, as they won’t spread much at all. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #Veganchristmascookies #plantbasedchristmascookies

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Eggnog French Toast–So Quick & Easy (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1 serving (easily multiplies)

A holiday gift of a homemade sourdough loaf on the counter, So Delicious Dairy Free Nog in the fridge, and chickpea flour in the freezer inspired this divine and ready-in-a-flash Eggnog French Toast.

And because I am on winter break from school, I just might have made a warm topping with a 2 to 1 ratio of maple syrup and Bailey’s vegan Almande.

For each serving:

1 tablespoon chickpea flour

1/4 cup So Delicious or Silk dairy-free nog

1-1 inch slice sourdough bread, preferably homemade or artisanal

Almande-Maple Syrup (recipe follows) or maple syrup

Optional: chopped nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar

Whisk together chickpea flour and nog in a small bowl. Place bread in bowl and press down on one side, flip over and repeat. Allow to soak for as much time as you have up to 20 or so minutes. Even 5 or 10 will be delicious. Flip bread once or twice while it soaks. Then, either melt a tablespoon of vegan butter in a large skillet or simply spray skillet with nonstick spray as I did and place over medium low heat. Remove bread from nog mixture, lay in skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and custard is set. Serve topped with the syrup of your choice plus optional chopped nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Almande-Maple Syrup Optional:

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon Bailey’s Almande

Whisk very well, as Almande wants to float on top, and heat in microwave for 10 or so seconds. Careful or it will boil over.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #plantbasedeggnogfrenchtoast #veganeggnogfrenchtoast #plantbasedfrenchtoast #veganfrenchtoast

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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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Red Wine-Chocolate Bundt Cake (plant-based)

Yield: 1-10-inch Bundt cake or 24-2 inch mini Bundt cakes

Red wine is not just for drinking anymore!

My latest creation–whipped up in one bowl (and one for the gorgeous glaze)–can easily and quickly be yours: Red Wine-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Red Wine Glaze (and chocolate and coconut chip garnish)!

I made the large version as a gift given in a cake box tied with a gorgeous ribbon and the minis for my annual Christmas, Chanukah, Curry and Cakes Party.

Merry, Merry, everyone!

Red Wine-Chocolate Bundt Cake

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups natural sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg substitutes (I used 3 tablespoon Neat Egg– it is flaxseed meal and tapioca starch; I used just flaxseed meal for mini Bundts)
1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Red Wine Glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a regular or mini Bundt pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Make a well in center, and pour in all wet ingredients. Whisk together until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes for large/30 for minis or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack, cool completely, and then glaze.

Red Wine Glaze

2 to 3 tablespoons red wine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut chips or shaved coconut

In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine, vanilla, and powdered sugar, adding more red wine or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Place cake on wire rack in shallow pan to catch drips and pour glaze over. Decorate with chocolate and coconut chips.

#Vegancake #plantbasedcake #veganholidaycake #plantbasedholidaycake #redwine #vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Best and Easiest Vegan Roll-and-Cut Gingerbread Cookies

You will love this no-fail, no-egg recipe that I have had since I was an adolescent growing up in a small town in south-central Mississippi.  There, Quinn’s, the local pharmacy, was virtually the only place to purchase cosmetics. Just beginning to experiment with make-up, one year, I was seduced around the holidays  by “gingerbread” flavored lip gloss which was sold complete with a gingerbread cookie recipe printed on an accompanying card.

I first made them for one of the attorneys with whom my mother worked.  He loved them and, thereafter they became known as “John’s Gingerbread Cookies.”  I made them frequently but I haven’t made them for a long time.  However, this holiday season I saw a mason jar filled with miniature gingerbread boy and girl cookies and tied with a bow.  I was smitten, yet I never had an opportunity to make them during the winter holiday season. But, with my partner Bob struggling with several weeks of pain from bulging disks in his neck, I decided he needed a treat so I made a half batch shaped as hearts.  He ate half of them in half a day.

The only ingredient that needed to be substituted to make the cookies vegan was butter. Thank goodness for Earth Balance.  The rest is a piece of cake, er, bite of cookie.  And your home will smell divine.

Best and Easiest Vegan Roll-and-Cut Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup softened vegan butter

1 cup sugar (I like to use demerara, available at Kroger)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger or ground ginger (I like the pungency and brightness of the fresh, but I purchase it in a jar for ease and convenience)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (the original recipe called for 1 teaspoon, which I found too strong)

3 cups all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or, my favorite, Silpat (silicone baking mats).  In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together vegan butter and sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy.  Beat in maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until completely combined.  Don’t worry if mixture looks slightly curdled.  Then, with mixer on low, beat in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, just until incorporated and dough comes together.  Add water, a teaspoon at a time, if dough seems too dry.  Avoid over-mixing or cookies will be tough. Working with one-fourth of dough at a time, roll it out on a lightly floured board to a thickness somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4″.  Cut into desired shapes, place close together on prepared baking sheet, and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Cool slightly and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.



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