Vegan Greek Chex Mix

It’s official. I am obsessed. This is my 6th or 7th version of Chex Mix this year, each one–if I do say so–a flavor sensation.

Picking a favorite is akin to picking a favorite puppy.   So, my favorite is whichever is in front of me.

This iteration was inspired by Juan Gelpi’s vegan gyros. I could not get those flavors out of my mind after seeing his Instagram photo, even during Saturday morning yoga. I was mindful alright. Mindful that I was stopping at Whole Foods on the way home and procuring ingredients. (That is where I find vegan tapenades.)

Admittedly, this Chex Mix contains no Chex. That wasn’t my intention; it just didn’t seem to need more crunch. Or more anything. It is lemony, garlicky, nutty, Greek perfection. Hope you agree.

I made this for one of my late husband’s paralegals’ birthday with the surplus going to others at the firm. I had to get it out of the house quickly…before I consumed it all.

1/2 cup vegan butter

1/4 cup olive oil

Zest of one large lemon

1/4 cup (generous) vegan artichoke and garlic tapenade or something similar ( I used Seggiano brand)

1/4 cup (generous) vegan olive bruschetta or the like (I used Delallo brand)

2 tablespoons Greek (or Italian) seasoning (dried oregano and rosemary are key ingredients)

2 tablespoons Za’tar

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

Sea salt to taste

8.6 ounces Cheerios (I used Canadian Farms organic Purely Os)

8 ounces pretzels

9 ounces pita chips

7 ounces walnut halves and pieces

9 ounces shelled pistachios

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place butter in large roasting pan, slide into oven, and allow µbutter to melt. Remove and whisk in lemon zest, tapenade, bruschetta, and all spices.  Stir in remaining ingredients, one at a time until evenly coated. Roast mixture for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool, and package in airtight containers.

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Vegan Valentine’s Medley–Sweet, Savory, Quick or More Involved, Choose from these 7 Favorites

Valentines Medley 2016Picking a favorite of my Vegan Valentine’s Recipes to post would be like picking a favorite dog.  So, I want you to pick.

From a breakfast of Red Velvet Pancakes to Red Velvet Brownies for kids or a little savory “Heart Tart” for lunch or dinner–plus lots of sweets, including mints and truffles that are perfect little heart-felt gifts from your kitchen–I think you’ll find something here to love.

Just click on the links.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

~betsy

Clockwise from top-left:

Vegan Chocolate Truffles–created when I was disappointed with other recipes I found online.

Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes (THE BEST!)–I created these when I was dissatisfied with all of the recipes I could find online.

Vegan Red Velvet Brownies–VERy popular on One Green Planet and, again, created when I couldn’t find what I wanted after searching online.

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Patties–peppermint and chocolate, a marriage made in heaaven, so pretty layered in a ribbon-tied box.

Vegan Chocolate Heart Cakes–the apricot-hazelnut ganache filling is sophisticated, but simple, and the espresso-cream cheese frosting a sweet dream.

Vegan Cocoa-Dusted Chocolate Truffles–bittersweet bliss.

Vegan Savory Heart Tarts–they look fancy, but are so flavorful and easy with prepared puff pastry (center).

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Vegan Quick Fruit Pickles (Like Peaches and Rosemary)–They Sparkle Like Summer

Fruit Pickles--Peaches and RosemaryYield: 1 quart

I think that canned fruits and vegetables are so beautiful, sparkling like jewels under glass.  But, sterilizing jars is  a deal-breaker for me.

So, when I saw this recipe from Robby Melvin in Southern Living, I was all about it.  These quick pickles are “put up” in jars, but no sterilizing is required, as they stay refrigerated.

His paired strawberries and rosemary, honedew and thyme, and peaches and mint, but pair up any fruit or berry and woody herb you choose.

I altered the recipe just a little only because I  didn’t have white balsamic vinegar on hand, but did have white balsamic vinegar reduction and white vinegar.  I also upped the vinegar in the vinegar-water ration–I love bold flavors–and I didn’t have mint in my herb garden, so I used rosemary with the peaches I purchased at the farmer’s market on the way home from yoga yesterday morning.

I doubled my recipe to make 2 jars and took them as gifts to the inaugrual dinner of the Starlight Supper Club last night.  I’ve always wanted to be in a “supper club,” so two friends and our husbands finally started one.  Becky Bump and Reese Lusk set the bar high  with a deliciously inspired menu in a breathtaking setting among treasured friends. More on our wining and dining throughout the year.

Note: you may substitute 1 generous cup white balsamic vinegar for the white vinegar and white balsamic vinegar reduction if you choose.

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar (I use demerara sugar)

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar reduction (I purchase at Kroger)

2 teaspoons sea salt

3 peaches

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

In a 2-quart saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, water, white balsamic vinegar reduction, and salt to a boil.  Remove from heat and completely cool (about 1 hour).   After about 45 minutes, slice peaches into eighths and place in a 1 quart jar along with rosemary on the sides so that it shows nicely.  Poor cooled pickle brine over the fruit, seal tightly with a lid and refrigerate for 1 hour, at least, but best after 8 to 12.  Keeps about 1 week in the refrigerator.

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