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.

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Thanksgiving Leftovers Idea #2: Corn Pudding Stuffed Bell Peppers (vegan & plant-based)

Thanksgiving Leftovers Idea #2

Corn Pudding Baked in an Orange Bell Pepper at 350 for 25 minutes.  I topped mine with leftover Whipped Cauliflower with Lemon Zest, Cranberry Sauce, and Roasted and Lightly Salted Pepitas.  Such a cozy quick meal after a packed day on a chilly night.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedleftovers #veganleftovers #PlantBasedThanksgiving

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Leftover Stuffing Cakes (vegan & plant-based)

Leftover stuffing?

Make Stuffing Cakes! Shape stuffing into patties about 2 1/2-inches in diameter and about 1/2-inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve garnished as desired. I like a little dollop of cranberry sauce, roasted and lightly salted Pepitas, and fresh sage sprigs.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #plantbasedleftovers #veganleftovers #PlantBasedThanksgiving #veganthanksgiving

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The BEST Cornbread Stuffing (vegan, plant-based, lower in calories)

Yield: 8 servings

Stuffing is everyone’s favorite, no?  Mine tastes so similar and every bit as delicious as the ones I remember from childhood, yet it is not only vegan but far lower in calories thanks to only 2 tablespoons of oil in the cornbread muffins, water sauteeing of vegetables, and the inclusion of cauliflower pearls rather than white bread. Though I love cauliflower, don’t worry, it does not taste–or smell!–of cauliflower.

And the texture is just perfect thanks to homemade cornbread–with actual corn–that goes together in a flash, sauteed onion plus the green part of green onions, water chestnuts–my late mom’s secret ingredient–and just a few dry roasted pecan halves.

My Mushroom Misto Gravy is the perfect accompaniment.

Note: please do not try to save time by using Whole Foods vegan cornbread. It is sweet enough to be cake and, last year, reacted to liquid like cake turning into a dense mass that ended up in the woods next to our house. I had to redeem myself this year.  And I did!

Cornbread:
Make cornbread a few hours–or a day–ahead:
3/4 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon Vegan Egg (not tested with other egg substitutes but try it and share!)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy millk (I use soymilk)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cup frozen corn

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease 6 muffin cups and preheat for about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add vegetable oil and water.  Whisk together just until combined.  Season with salt and pepper, and stir in corn.  Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, remove cornbread muffins from tin and crumble into a large bowl.  Cover until ready to use.

Stuffing:
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cups cauliflower pearls (buy them prepared or chop in a food processor until the size of small peas)
4 celery hearts, sliced lengthwise, and then finely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable stock or broth, divided
1-8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4 green onions, green part only (reserve white part for my delicious fat-free Vegan Mushroom Gravy)
1/4 cup pecan halves toasted for 5 minutes at 350 degrees
3 tablespoons aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)


Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and oil a 9 x 13″ casserole dish.  Cover bottom of large cast iron skillet with water.  Heat over medium-high and then stir in onion, cauliflower, celery, garlic, and poultry seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper and saute, stirring frequently, until tender, adding 1 cup vegetable stock a little at a time.  When vegetables are softened and most of moisture has been absorbed and/or cooked off, remove from heat and add to bowl with crumbled cornbread.  Stir in water chestnuts, green onions, and toasted pecans, moistening with remaining cup of vegetable stock or broth and aquafaba.  The consistency should be that of unbaked bread pudding, so add liquid a little at a time, adding more or less, as needed.  Adjust seasoning if necessary, transfer to prepared casserole dish–avoid packing down–and bake, uncovered, for a half hour.  Serve immediately.

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Caramelized Onion, Dried Cranberry & Pistachio Tart (vegan & plant-based)

A Thanksgiving guest you will want at the table: Caramelized Onion, Dried Cranberry, and Pistachio Tart. It is vegan, plant-based, and very well-behaved.

Plus It is easy-breezy, thanks in part to a press-in crust, but elegant in that rustic way that is so appealing in autumn.

I was comes honored to be hired by Tofutti to create 3 holiday recipes and it is super fun to share the first one with you for the holiday of gratitude this week, at least in the US.

Find my vegan/plant-based–but no one will no–recipe here.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn#vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #thebloomingplatter #Thanksgiving #veganthanksgivingrecipes #PlantBasedThanksgiving #tofutti

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Freedom Fusion Backyard BBQ Quesadillas–Assert Your Independence! (Vegan/Plant-Based)

Independence Day in the US is July 4. With leftover barbecue beans and slaw–standard menu items–but not wanting to enjoy them the same way we had on the holiday, I decided to make a quesadilla which I joking call Feedom Fusion, a blend of this American holiday fare with a favorite Mexican preparation.

There is no real recipe here. I just used the beans as the filling and the vinegar-based slaw on top. The beans were a jazzed up version of canned barbecue beans with ketchup, mustard, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, and garlic and onion powders, baked at 350, uncovered, for an hour.

The slaw was similarly simple: vinegar, escabeche brine, garlic and onion powders, celery seed, sea salt and pepper, etc.

I found a 10″ tortilla in Kroger that is only 50 calories, which really appeals to me, though it may not matter to you. They are billed as high fiber and I cannot tell the difference between them and the 150 calorie version except they may be a little thinner, which is great by me.

I simply sprayed my skillet with nonstick spray, laid the tortilla in the skillet, spread the beans over half, folded it over, and cooked it for a couple of minutes on each side over medium heat. I then piled the slaw on top, drizzled it with no-calorie ranch dressing from Walton Farms that I had been sent to sample, and topped it with halved cherry tomatoes, pineapple chunks, and some jalapeño slices that were still floating in the escobeche brine, a homemade version gifted from Betsy Hardy, a dear friend.

That’s it: a flavor combo more explosive than Fourth of July fireworks.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedquesadilla #veganquesadilla #plantbasedjuly4 #veganjuly4 #plantbasedmexican #veganmexican

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Sichuan Black Eyed Pea Soup with Hot Chili Oil (vegan & plant-based)

It is fair to say I am obsessed with the Tofu Braised in Hot Chili Oil at Judy’s Sichuan, a great local restaurant. But with its big cubes of deep fried tofu, it is a fairly high calorie dish. So I have created a profusion of ways to incorporate the flavor profile into healthier dishes, including popcorn and even popcorn salad, a whole grain-based salad like no other.

I created this warming and pleasantly *lip numbing soup so that we could enjoy our black eyed peas on New Years Day with punched-up flavor. Though Bob and I have been very fortunate during the Covid19 pandemic, I felt I should enjoy a bowl of this good luck omen on behalf of this beleaguered world.

While I made the soup for the holiday, please enjoy it any day for any reason. These humble black eyed peas are remarkably tasty with their unexpected twist.

*Sichuan peppercorns, not peppers at all, possess a numbing property that is not due to heat and, in fact, enhances other flavors.

Sichuan Black Eyed Pea Soup
Yield: 4 servings

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 red and 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 to 2 teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns (I purchase at Asian grocery)
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced on diagonal
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced on diagonal
1 to 2 tablespoons Chinese hot chili oil or fried chili crisp (I purchase the latter at Kroger on International aisle and use as is or make my chili oil from it)
2 cups fresh black eyed peas (you may substitute canned, rinsed and drained, or cooked dry peas)
1-15 ounce can lite coconut milk and 1/2 can warm water
Optional Garnishes: scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal, lightly roasted and salted peanuts, star anise

Cover bottom of soup pot with water, add sesame oil, and place over medium heat to bring to simmer. Add onion and bell peppers, sprinkle with salt and ground Sichuan peppercorns, and simmer, stirring frequently, until tender. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavours have married, peas are very tender, and soup is heated through, approximately 20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to suit your taste and add more water if needed. If desired, puree 2 cups of soup and pour back in, stirring to distribute. The soup will be less colorful, but creamier; I enjoy it both ways. Serve in mugs or bowls garnished as desired.

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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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