The Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

Recipes for 'Vegan Greens'

Coconut Dal with Grilled Kale and CashewsYield: 6 servings

Last Saturday night, Joe and I were so pleased with ourselves for choosing Pompano as our dining destination in NYC.

Yes, I know that coconut dal isn’t Mexcian, so keep reading…

Located at 209 East 49th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, it is a beautiful restaurant with a second story that opens onto a terrace, which is where we were seated.  The weather was perfect–like early fall–the service swift, and the food outstanding, with lots of  vegan options, provided cheese or sour cream is omitted.

For my dinner, I ordered smooth-as-velvet black bean soup with a grilled plantain garnish and a black quinoa salad with corn, onions, and grilled–yes, grilled–kale.  Divine!  You can imagine that I came home commited to grilling some kale before week’s end.

On the Thursday night we arrived for our weekend in the city on the occasion of  a dear friend’s wedding, we dined at Amma (246 E. 51st Street between 2nd and 3rd), an intimate and warmly contemporary second story Indian restaurant.  (For meals, we tended to stick close to “home” which was POD51 at 230 E. 51st Street: hip, modern, and well-designed from quality materials with compact rooms.  Ours was a queen POD with a private bath and a very intimate one indeed: think airplane restroom–in size, not style–with a shower.)

I came home Sunday with a powerful craving for Indian food and decided to put the two together: Indian and grilled kale.  For the dal, I used a recipe from Deryn Macey at RunningOnRealFood.com with no substantive changes except more water that is ridiculously tasty, especially scooped up in lettuce leaves instead of naan which, unless veganized, contains yogurt.  To make it more “buttery” while adding a third texture contrast, I sprinkled it with roasted cashews.  And to create more of a  one-dish vitamin-packed meal, I topped it with grilled kale.

For the kale, all I had was pre-chopped, so I used it and thought it made a perfectly textured topping, though you could certainly grill whole kale leaves and use them differently.  I am an indoor griller and found my Lodge cast iron grill pan to do a beautiful job.  Grill the kale, which just takes a few minutes, in two batches while the dal cooks to creamy perfection.

Vegan Coconut Yellow Dal with Grilled Kale and Cashews

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 large cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated (I used 1 teaspoon ground ginger, as I had no fresh on hand)

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups dry yellow lentils

1-15 ounce can coconut milk

4 to 4 1/2 cups water

Grilled Kale (recipe follows)

Roasted and lightly salted cashew halves and pieces

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high.  Add onions and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until softened.  Add garlic and ginger and continue to saute and stir frequently for about 2 more minutes until onions are quite soft.  Lower heat to avoid scorching garlic if necessary.  Add the spices, coconut milk, lentils and 3 cups water, whisking in one cup of water at a time.  Simmer for about 45 minutes or until soft and thick, lowering heat if necessary, adding another 1/2 cup water about every 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and serve topped with grilled kale and a sprinkling of cashews.  Note: if desired, toss kale with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro before topping dal.

 

Grilled Kale

4 cups coarsely chopped kale (when I purchase from the grocery store instead of farmer’s market, I purchase a bag of, prewashed and coarsely chopped

Small amount of olive oil (If possible, dispense from a spray can or spritzer to avoid over-doing it)

See salt

Heat lightly oiled grill pan over medium-high.  Add half of kale in an even thin layer to pan and grill about 3 minutes to until it starts to char, flip with a spatula and grill about 3 more minutes or until desired color and texture is achieved.  Remove to a platter (avoid heaping it in a bowl or it will steam) and repeat with remaining kale.  Sprinkle with a small amount of sea salt if desired.  Prepared this way, you can use the kale myriad ways: in salads, soups, sandwiches, side dishes, and more.  Its pretty darn good “right by itself,” as they say in the ‘Sip (Mississippi).

 

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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.

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Chickpea, Sweet Potato, and Peanut Stew

Seriously, this soup will make you ‘wanna ‘holla…for more!  This is, quite honestly, one of the best soups–flavor, texture, color, etc.–that I have ever eaten…of mine or anyone else’s.

My recipe was inspired by a couple in recent culinary magazines.  Only, one of the recipes called for a whole cup of peanut butter.  I love peanut butter as much as the next gal but, honestly, that made me feel a little queasy just thinking about so much of such a rich ingredient.

So, I use a mere 1/4 cup.  That same recipe–or was it the other?–called for a making a sweet potato broth and using that in the stew.  If I can skip a step, I do, so I just made aromatics like onion and garlic plus the sweet potaot part of the soup.

Love!

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion (half a medium onion), diced

Sea salt

1/2 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

2 cups vegetable stock

1-14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomoatoes with juice

1-15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1-15 ounce can coconut milk

1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Freshly ground black pepper

2 lightly packed cups coarsely chopped mustard greens

Juice of 1/2 medium lime

Garnish: lime zest and roasted and lightly salted peanuts

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until softened and translucent.  Add bell pepper and garlic and continue to saute and stir for about 3 more minutes.  Add sweet potato and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Add all remaining ingrdients except greens and lime juice, bring to a simmer, and stir until peanut butter is melted and soup is heated through.  Stir in greens and cook just until wilted, but still bright green.  Add lime juice and serve hot garnished with lime zest and roasted and lightly salted peanuts.

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Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter Cakes--with ForkThese savory fritter-cake hybrids are made from a trifecta of favorite, healthful, colorful and plentiful ingredients: chopped fresh kale, shredded sweet potato, and black beans.  Green onion adds a fresh, pungent, herb-y kick.

A food processor made short order of  finely chopping the kale and, with a quick blade switch-out, creating beautiful, consistent shreds of sweet potatoes and no scraped knuckles.  For efficiency, I used canned black beans, rinsed and well-drained, mashing about half of them with a potato masher to help the fritter-cakes hold together without  a lot of additional ingredients.  However, I did use a little flour and soymilk (use the nondairy milk of your choice) plus some baking powder and soda for a hint of lift, but not enough to create a “batter.”  The finished consistency of these is somewhat similar to a latke with a bit more body.

For spices, black beans would suggest Mexican or southwestern flavor notes.  But, for some reason, I wanted to nudge these fritter-cakes in a slightly Middle Eastern direction.  So I did invite cumin, coriander and lime zest to the party, but also smoked paprika and sumac which lends a lovely earthy lemony profile.  It is widely sold in Middle Eastern grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, just order it online or leave it out.  However, it has been one of my favorite kitchen companions of the last few years.

For cooking, I tried both oil and nonstick spray and found that the calories in the oil were worth achieving a crispier crust, but see what you think.

I love a savory and ever-so-slightly sweet balance, so for a topping, I whisked a little lime juice and tamarind syrup into vegan sour cream.  Tamarind syrup lends a heavenly, subtle and distinctively Middle Eastern floral note tempered by the sweetly acidic lime juice.  Again, the syrup is sold at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online.  But you could substitute pomegranate syrup which is fruity without being floral or just leave out all together and go with a citrus sour cream which would be delicious too.

A little spoonful of the sauce, a thin slice of lime, a few pine nuts and a sprinkling of smoked paprika created a beautiful presentation of these delectable disks, perfect for breakfast brunch, lunch or even dinner, perhaps with a side salad.

3 cups shredded sweet potatoes (slightly over a half-pound potato)

4 cups coarsely chopped or torn kale, finely chopped (I used a food processor)

1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and well-drained; half of beans mashed with potato masher

6 green onions, very thinly sliced

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste + a small amount more for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1/2 cup soymilk (or an nondairy milk)

Tamarind-Lime Cream (recipe follows)

Garnishes (optional): thin slices of fresh lime, a few pine nuts, dusting of smoked paprika

 

Kale, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Fritter Cakes--Uncooked

Mixture Before Frying

Line a baking sheet with paper towel and set aside.  Set oven to lowest temperature.  In a large mixing bowl, toss together with your hands sweet potato, kale, green onions, and unmashed sweet potatoes.  In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed beans, flour, baking powder, baking soda, all spices, including salt and pepper, and soymilk.  Spoon in roughly even dollops over vegetable-bean mixture and combine well with a fork.  The mixture will be very textured and moist, mounding nicely, but will not form a batter.

Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil (or a combination of vegetable and olive oil) in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Divide mixture into 1/12ths and, using a spoon or scoop, place 4 evenly-spaced mound into the sizzling oil pressing to about 1/2-inch thick with a metal spatula.  Cook for about 2 minutes, flip and cook 2 more minutes, lowering temperature if necessary to prevent scorching.  They will turn a rich nutty brown (as opposed to a light golden brown).  Remove fritter-cakes and drain on prepared baking sheet, sprinkling each with a few granules of sea salt.  Keep warm in oven.  Repeat twice more with remaining mixture.  Serve immediately topped with Tamarind-Lime Cream and garnished as desired.

 

Tamarind-Lime Cream

1/2 cup vegan sour cream

1 teaspoon tamarind syrup (or pomegranate syrup)

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Sea salt to taste

 

 

 

 

 

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There’s nothing wrong with a big pot of–if you’ll pardon the pun–garden variety black-eyed peas, or Hoppin’ John, for that matter.  Tried and true.

But if you’re looking for something a little different to do with your blackeyed peas, making them into more of a meal, try this trifecta of flavor from The Blooming Platter, all of which elevate the humble pea to a glorious meal.

First up is a whimsical vegan take on crabcakes and tartar sauce from my Blooming Platter Cookbook, generously published by One Green Planet.  It hardly gets more festive or tasty than this.  Look at all of that red and green yumminess!:  Vegan Black-eyed Pea and Spinach Cakes with Sun Dried Tomato Tartar Sauce.

 

Next up is a little kicked up southern comfort and colorful whole grain extravaganza including good luck and good-for-you greens: Vegan Blackeyed Pea Pilaf Over Collards with Green Tomato Salsa and Roasted Pecans.

 

Finally is another “southern” dish–southern Indian!  The title is a mouthful, so to speak, but I wanted to reference all of the ingredients that make this dish addicting:  Vegan “Southern” Indian Cilantro-Scented Cardamom-Coconut Cream Blackeyed Peas, Peppers & Spinach.

 

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Happy New Year!

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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.

For the recipe, just click HERE!

 

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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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