The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Greens'

Savory 3-Layer Mashed Sweet Potato and Kale Pesto Cheesecake

Yield: 8 servings

This elegant-but-easy (stupid easy!) dish is the perfect way to use leftover mashed sweet potatoes after Thanksgiving or any time.  Though leftover sweet potatoes are almost unheard of in our house, we did have a little remaining after a recent dinner party, and this luscious cheesecake was the result.  It is perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, or sliced thin for an appetizer.

 

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Chip Crust:

1 1/2 cups sweet potato chips “crushed” in food processor to yield 1/2 cup or slightly more crumbs

2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Using a fork, combine the crumbs and butter in a small bowl until butter is completely incorporated. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over bottom of the pan, and then gently press to mostly cover the bottom. Refrigerate while you prepare filling.

Ingredients:

Filling:
12 ounces extra firm tofu, gently pressed (not silken)
8 ounces 
Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mashed and seasoned sweet potatoes (be sure these have the full complement of vegan butter, sour cream, sea salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups chilled kale pesto (use my delicious Kale, Pepita, and Sage Pesto recipe below or one of your own)

Topping: 1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, 1 tablespoon per each of 8 slices

Garnish: Roasted pepitas

Optional Sidecar:  Small clusters of red grapes

Directions:

Place all ingredients, except pesto, topping and garnish in the bowl of a food processor, and process until thick, smooth, and completely combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Gently spread half of filling evenly over crust, being careful not to disturb the crumbs. Top with pesto, spreading evenly, and finish with a final layer of remaining filling, spreading gently to seal to edges of pan.  Bake cheesecake in center of oven for about 35 minutes or until edges are set and top appears dry; some minor cracking is to be expected.  (If your mashed sweet potatoes were very moist, you may need to cook up to an additional 5 minutes.)  Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve (or heat slices about 30 seconds in microwave), as it is best at room temperature or with some of the chill removed.  Loosen edges with a thin knife blade before removing outside ring from spring form pan.

Slice and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a few roasted pepitas.  Alternatively, spread the sour cream over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the pepitas before slicing, especially if presenting the entire cheesecake at the table.

Serve, if desired, with small clusters of grapes on the side.

 

Ingredients:

Kale, Pepita, and Sage Pesto:

6 cups roughly chopped, lightly packed fresh kale

3/4 cup lightly roasted and salted pepitas

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage

Sea salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)

Juice of 1/2 small lemon

2 to 3 teaspoons maple syrup

3/4 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients except olive oil in bowl of food processor and pulse until very finely chopped, almost a paste.  With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until all ingredients are completely combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary.  Adjust seasoning if desired and chill, covered.

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Close-upYield: 6-8 servings (depending on other side dishes)

 

I took this salad to a 4th of July celebration at our good friends’ Mary Beth and Ken Mays’ home where it was a huge hit along with burgers (veggie and beef–I was the only vegan, though Mary Beth is a pescetarian and her cousin a vegetarian), red skinned new potato salad with artichoke hearts and both green and ripe olives in a light vinaigrette dressing, and a beautiful fruit salad for dessert.

Since we decided to go fairly traditional with our menu, I felt a slaw was in order.  But I also felt a little more protein would be nice, not to mention more color and texture contrast.  When all was said and done, this was one addicting salad!

 

1-12 ounce package prepared (but not dressed) broccoli slaw

5 ounces mixed or single greens like kale, Swiss chard, etc., finely chopped (I use a food processor for this task)

1 orange or red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1-15.5 ounce can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and well-drained

5 stalks celery hearts, diced

1/2 cup roughly chopped smoked almonds

Pinch sea salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Lime Aioli Dressing (recipe follows)

In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients.  Drizzle dressing over the top and toss well to combine.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Refrigerate for at least a half hour to allow flavors to marry.  Serve cold.

 

Lime Aoili Dressing:

Juice and zest of 1 small to medium lime

1 teaspoon stone ground mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon Liquid Aminos

1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch turbinado sugar (or your favorite granualted sugar)

Pinch sea salt

Pinch freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

Place lime juice and mustard in a medium bowl.  Slowly whisk in olive oil.  Add all remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth and completely combined.  Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.Bean and Broccoli Slaw

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Beets 3 Ways

Yield: 8 appetizer servings

A beautiful bunch of beets at the farmers market inspired this tasty trio.  I couldn’t decide how I wanted to prepare them, so I created three recipes, as delicious individually as they are together.

(In the photo, I combined some of the rich green pesto with a little vegan sour cream for color contrast with the sautéed greens.  However, the pesto is fantastic on its own.  When I serve the crostini with the pesto, I typically seve the sautéed greens on the side so that the dark green pesto sits right on top of the brilliant fuscia spread.)

 

Beet Green Pesto:

4 ounces beet greens, stemmed

1 large clove garlic, halved

4 ounces roasted and lightly salted cashews

Sea salt to taste (don’t skimp; the bitterness of these greens requires ample salt)

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil or enough to create the desired consistence

Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and process until fintely chopped.  With motor running, stream in olive oil, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.

 

Beet Spread:

4-2 to 3 ounce fresh beets (trimmed weight), peeled and quartered

2 large cloves garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Optional: 1 teaspoon ground sumac (a middle eastern spice that lends an earthy, slightly lemony flavor)

1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, except olive oil, and pulse until very finely chopped, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.  With motor running, stream in olive oil and process until as smooth as desired.

 

Sauteed Beet Greens with Chickpeas:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, diced

4 ounces beet greens, stemmed, and torn or rough-chopped into approximately 2-inch pieces

Sea salt to taste

1 teaspoon natural sugar

1-15.5 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained

Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion, a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until softened.  Add beet greens, another pinch of salt and sugar.  Saute, stirring constantly, for another 3 minutes or until slightly wilted.  Stir in chickpeas and heat through, stirring.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

 

To Serve:

Spread a little Beet Spread on toasted bread and top with some of the Sautéed Beet Greens and a dollop of Beet Pesto (whisked into an equal part sour cream for color contrast, if you like).  Or serve the greens on the side and dollop the pesto directly on top of the spread.

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Kale PierogiMy delish Vegan Kale Pierogi with Sweet Potato Filling was published today on Go Dairy Free–and with it’s green filling, it’s perfect for St. Pat’s Day.

After a brief warm spell, we have winter storms here again in VA, so the kale and sweet potato combo–two of my cold weather favorites–will warm you from the inside out!

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Middle Eastern MigasYield: 4 to 6 servings

This long, snowy winter here at the beach finds me loving the weather, actually, and hungry for warming and hearty, but still healthy, fare.

After a recent trip to Organic Depot, I found myself with three different kinds of Tofurky Sausage, including Spinach Pesto.  How did that happen?  I rolled around a number of ideas, none of which sounded just right until I thought of a Middle Eastern take on my beloved migas, substituting pita bread for the tortillas, chick peas for the black beans, etc.

Plus, these days,I seem to slip bitter winter greens into almost everything, and this dish was no different.  Packed full of vitamins, pungent mustard greens turned out to be the perfect flavor and color counterpoint.

And don’t leave out the lemon zest!  The complex depth of the spices in this dish and the slightly sweet peppadew sauce needs it for brightness and a little tangy zip.

Sauce:

12 peppadew peppers, drained (I purchase them on the “olive bar” at a chain grocery store, Kroger to be specific)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons tahini

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Zest of 1/2 large lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Set aside 4 tablespoons for garnish and reserve remainder for migas.

 

Migas:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

Sea salt

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 whole piece pita bread, plain or whole wheat, torn into bite-size pieces

8 ounces vegan link sausage, sliced (homemade or prepared; I use Tofurky brand Spinach Pesto flavored)

4 ounces mustard greens, coarsely torn or chopped

1/4 cup whole pistachios

Zest of 1/2 of large lemon

Topping: unsweetened vegan yogurt (or sour cream, in a pinch), and the 1/4 cup sauce set aside

Optional garnish(es):  lemon slices, pistachios, paprika

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and spices and saute, stirring, for 3o seconds.  Add bell pepper, and saute, again stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until pepper is slightly softened.  Add pita bread, and saute, stirring, for a couple of minutes.  Then add sausage and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until it starts to brown in spots.  Add mustard greens on top and gradually fold in, allowing them to wilt as they heat.  Once incorporated, add reserved sauce (still leaving 1/4 cup for garnish), pistachios and lemon zest, stirring well to incorporate and heat through.  Serve topped with a dollop of vegan yogurt on each serving and a drizzle of the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce, divided evenly among plates.  Garnish each serving, if desired, with a lemon slice, a few pistachios and/or  a sprinkle of paprika.

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DSCN2380You will love my whimsical and novel take on a standing rib roast.

When I got the idea–in response to my aunt serving an actual standing rib roast for her holiday meal–I could find no other vegan standing rib roasts online, so I had fun creating my own.

Baked in a bundt pan with rosemary sprig “bones,” my version was just featured on the inimitable Nava Atlas’s Veg Kitchen website.   “Like” VK on Facebook HERE.

It takes just a little more time in the kitchen than what most of us would prepare for a weekday meal, but it is perfect for a holiday–say, Easter or, of course the winter holidays–or a dinner party.

Just follow the link to my tasty and easy, but impressive, recipe for Vegan Standing Rib Roast with Shiitake and Kale Filling and Shiitake Gravy with your tongue firmly in your cheek!

 

 

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Pureed Potato-Kale SoupYield: 8 cups

This has been an especially cold winter, which I actually like.  As such it has been the impetus for quite a few greens-based soups.  This one,served steaming hot, is perfect for a cold winter day.  But the reverse is also true: served cold in a hot day, it is the ultimate tasty and healthy vichyssoise. Besides all of the flavor-packed nutrients, each baking potato has 3.9 grams fat for a total of 7.8 grams total in this entire pot of soup!

2 baking potatoes, cubed

2 cups vegetable stock (or 2 cups water + 2 bouillon cubes)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, halved

2 lightly packed cups coarsely chopped kale

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk creamer

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional garnishes: vegan sour cream and paprika or smoked paprika

Place potatoes and 2 cups vegetable stock in a 4-quart saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add onion and garlic, and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Add kale, and simmer for a final 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove solids to a food processor and process until smooth.  Whisk puree back into broth in saucepan along with nutritional yeast, creamer, salt and pepper to taste.  Reheat if necessary and serve hot, garnished if desired with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika or smoked paprika

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Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Turnip Green SoupYield: 4 to 6 servings

We are snowed in here under 10 inches in VA Beach!  And this soup was the perfect, warming lunch yesterday.  However, even if you aren’t blanketed in snow, you will love this beautiful nourishing soup.

4 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups water + 4 veggie or “no-chicken” bouillon cubes)

2 bay leaves

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 cups chopped turnip greens

1-15.5 ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained

3-5 inch stems fresh dill

3-5 inch stems fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer (I use So Delicious coconut milk creamer)

In a covered 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock and sweet potato cubes to a gentle boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes for 10 minutes.   Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until beginning to turn golden brown.  Add garlic, and continue sauteeing, stirring continually, for another minute or two.  Stir into sweet potato and stock mixture, along with turnip greens.  Simmer, stirring continually, until greens have wilted.  Stir in beans, dill, tarragon and nutritional yeast, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.  Stir in non-dairy creamer, remove bay leaves, dill and tarragon, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve immediately.  Note: Avoid boiling soup after creamer has been added to prevent curdling.

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Tempeh and Turnip Green SoupYield: 4 hardy servings

Today is a second “snow day” with temps in the twenties–far milder than much of the country (and world!) I realize–and I’ve been home from school craving something warming and nutritious.  I love alliteration and happened to have some tempeh on hand so when there was no pre-chopped kale (sorry, I was feeling lazy) at the grocery store, but there were turnip greens, I greedily tucked a big bag into my basket.

I happened to have a can of white beans in the pantry and debated adding them, but I have something else in mind for them and there is PLENTY of protein in this soup thanks to the tempeh, as well as just the right amount of creaminess from the nip of non-dairy creamer.  But feel free to add beans if “beans and greens” along with the tempeh sounds more satisfying, or if you want to stretch the soup for a larger group.

Because greens where I come from are typically eaten with pork (sorry!), I used fennel and smoked paprika for a nod in that direction.  Note that the hint of sweetener is optional but, while I love bitter greens, tempeh is also a tiny bit bitter–or maybe pungent is a better word–so I feel the sweetener creates a better balance of flavors.  And, while it may sound odd to add vinegar to bitter flavors, malt vinegar is wonderfully mellow and complex and actually enhances those flavors which is probably why we southerners love vinegar sprinkled over our greens.  Finally, if you can’t easily obtain nutritional yeast, feel free to omit, but it adds a subtle richness and depth that is difficult to duplicate.

4 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups water + 4 veggie or “no-chicken” bouillon cubes)

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces tempeh, cut into bite-size cubes

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 cups chopped turnip greens

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1 teaspoon natural sugar, agave nectar, or maple syrup

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer (I used So Delicious coconut milk creamer)

In a covered 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to a simmer, reduce heat to medium.  Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until beginning to turn golden brown.  Add garlic, and continue sauteeing for another minute or two, stirring frequently.  Add tempeh, fennel, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes, and saute, stirring frequently, for about five minutes or until tempeh is coated in the spices and hot through.  Add half the greens and about 1/2 cup hot stock and cook down for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.  Repeat with remaining greens and another 1/2 cup of stock.  Stir in nutritional yeast, sugar and vinegar until completely combined.  Add contents of skillet to stock, bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring in the 2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer at the end.  Check for seasoning, adjust as necessary, and serve immediately.

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DSCN2354

I am super-excited to share this recipe with you!  Excited because I found NOTHING like it online when I got the initial brainstorm AND excited because the good folks at Tofutti wanted to publish it.  Plus, my carnivorous husband and friends love it!

So, Savory Vegan Layered Hummus and Kale Cheesecake.  Sound weird?  It’s not!  It is utterly delicious, really easy, and beautiful to boot.  It is even quite festive.

A generous gift of way too much homemade hummus to consume while it was still fresh led to a brainstorming session about how to use up a good portion of it.  A pumpkin cheesecake came to mind, as the hummus is about the same texture.   And this particular variety–garlic-red pepper–was about the same color.  “So what about a savory hummus cheesecake?” I wondered.  As I mentioned, a little online research revealed no such thing, so I set out on my own, using my go-to cheesecake recipe as a starting point.

But a whole hummus cheesecake, while scrumptious-sounding, also sounded like perhaps too much of a good thing.  So, a huge bag of chopped kale, also needing used while still fresh, inspired the idea of layers: a kale and hummus batter on the bottom with just a hummus batter on the top.

Since pita chips are so tasty with hummus, I made a pita chip crumb crust, though a bagel chip–or even cracker–crumb crust would be equally as tasty.  I simply mixed finely processed crumbs with a little melted vegan butter and pressed the mixture into an 8-inch spring form pan.  Once baked and cooled, I “frosted” the whole thing with vegan sour cream and garnished it with sliced cucumbers and red bell pepper strips to echo the green and red color scheme of the cheesecake for a lovely presentation.  However, by all means, you should feel free to let your imagination be your guide.

Note that you can use any flavor of hummus you prefer, though one with a reddish hue contrasts handsomely with the kale layer.

DSCN2367

 

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