Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Indian Spices (vegan & plant-based)

Whole Roasted Cauliflower is my new favorite dinner: nutritious, delicious, gorgeous, and so low in calories and fat! This photo is from Tuesday night dinner with friends, but it is impressive enough for the centerpiece of a holiday feast.

Yet, it is also quick and easy. Though it bakes quite a while at 65 minutes, that is all hands-free time.

After removing the stem from the whole head of cauliflower–but not so much that the florets detatch–I blend 6 tablespoons hummus with sea salt and the spices of my choice.

This one was Indian so I used about 1/2 teaspoon each cardamom, coriander, curry powder, and turmeric. Then I rub the paste all over and under, place the cauliflower stem down in an oiled 8-inch gratin dish or metal baking pan for better browning, bake at 400 for 45 minutes covered, uncover, and bake for 20 minutes more.

Lastly, I top in a variety of ways. For this one, I heated together purchased onion jam (a “Burger Topper” I found at Kroger) with mango chutney I had on hand and sprinkled with finely chopped nuts, chives, and Everything Bagel Seasoning. I have also made a “yumtious” Middle Eastern iteration (see previous post).

I was a little late to the whole roasted cauliflower party, but I am making up for lost time!

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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.

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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.

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A Luscious Crossing of Cultures: West African-Inspired Lentils with Middle Eastern-Inspired Chickpeas (vegan &plant-based)

West African-Inspired Red Lentils with Middle Eastern-Inspired Chickpeas

Yield: 4 main dish servings

This magical crossing of cultures is deeply flavorful and deeply satisfying.

Note:  Zaatar, sumac, and pomegranate molasses are available at Middle Eastern grocery stores and online.

West African Red Lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 medium-large onion, peeled and diced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Sea salt
1″ knob fresh finger, peeled and finely grated 
1 tablespoon Berber spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Half of 15.5 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 pound red lentils, rinsed and drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1-15.5 oz can Coconut milk, light or regular
Middle Eastern Chickpeas (recipe follows)
Garnish suggestions:  Roasted and lightly salted cashew halves and pieces,  vegan sour cream or substitute (I love Tofutti’s Vegetable Cucumber Dip, sometimes available at veganessentials.com), olive tapenade, olives, cucumber slices

In Dutch oven or a large soup pot with heavy bottom, heat olive oil over medium. Add onion and a pinch of sea salt, and saute,  stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic and ginger and saute about 30 seconds more.   Add spices and fire roasted tomatoes and heat through, stirring occasionally.  Add lentils and vegetable stock and cook approximately 12 minutes or until lentils are soft and most of moisture is absorbed or evaporated. Stir in coconut milk and heat until simmering.  Adjust salt and other seasonings to your taste. Serve topped with Middle Eastern Chickpeas, garnished as desired.

Middle Eastern Chickpeas

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 medium-large onion, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Sea salt
1″ knob fresh finger, peeled and finely grated 
1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained
Half of 15.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon zaatar
1 teaspoon sumac
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

In large skillet with heavy bottom, heat olive oil over medium. Add onion and a pinch of sea salt, and saute,  stirring frequently, until softened. Add garlic and ginger and saute about 30 seconds more.   Add chickpeas, fire roasted tomatoes, and spices, and simmer together for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.   Stir in pomegranate molasses and heat through.  Adjust salt and other seasonings to your taste.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn
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Queso Blanco: Warm, Luscious Cheese Dip (vegan, plant-based, GF)

Vegan and plant-based queso blanco is typically made with cashews and potatoes, but mine is made with cashews and cauliflower for fewer calories and loads of nutrition. Served with plantain chips, it is my new obsession.

Yield: approximately 4 cups

12 ounces cauliflower florets
2 cups raw cashews
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin Juice of 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons brine from a jar pickled jalapeños
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons white miso
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies with juice
Garnish: Fresh cilantro and finely diced bell pepper (I like tri-color)
Accompaniment: plantain or tortilla-style chips; also delicious served over Mexican dishes like enchiladas, Quesadillas, and nachos

Place cauliflower, cashews, water, and sea salt in a medium saucepan and gently boil until very tender and all but about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water has evaporated.  Carefully transfer to food processor or high speed blender and add all remaining ingredients except green chilies.  Process for several minutes or until very smooth.  Rinse out saucepan, pour in cauliflower mixture, green chilies and juice, and heat through for a couple minutes over medium or medium-low heat, stirring frequently.  Garnish with bell peppers and cilantro, and serve with chips or spooned over the Mexican dish of your choice.

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Stupidly Simple & Delish Grilled Eggplant Zataar with Tahini Slaw (vegan/plant-based)

Tonight’s dinner alfresco was inspired by what was in our fridge, and what I was craving, namely something cold and something grilled… summer is here with a vengeance in Eastern Virginia.

There is really not much of a recipe. I just grilled planks of eggplant on my indoor grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkled with a little sea salt and zataar.

For the slaw on top, I used a ratio of 1 to 1 to 2 tahini, brine, and olive oil. You could use any vinegar or vinegary-type brine, but I used some leftover escabeche brine.

I simply tossed the dressing with some slaw mix, mounded it on top of the eggplant, garnished with some sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled with Everything Bagel spice blend.

Dinner is served!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasedMediterranean #veganMediterranean #plantbasedeggplant #veganeggplant

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Carrot-Cabbage Pakora–Simply Satisfying (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1 serving as a meal, 2 as apps (easily multiplies)

Craving pakora after seeing them promoted on a social media website of a favorite restaurant, I decided to make my own with ingredients I had on hand. These go together in a flash and taste like you labored for hours.

While you make the pakora batter, heat scant 1/2 inch vegetable oil in large skillet over medium to medium high heat u til shimmering g on the surface.

1/4 cup shredded cabbage (any color)

1/4 cupshredded carrot

1/4 cup very thinly sliced yellow onion

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Accompaniments: chutneys like cilantro, mango, mint

Garnish: sliced green onion

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients, except accompaniments and garnish with a fork. Create 4 mounds in skillet using 1/4 of batter for each. Gently press tops with a spatula and cook a couple of minutes or until golden brown. Adjust heat if cooking too slow or fast. Gently flip and brown on reverse. Remove to paper towels to drain and serve immediately with accompaniments and garnish.

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Best, Lightest Cauliflower Gnocchi (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 2 servings

I think I have perfected the lightest, tastiest, and most lovely textured gnocchi with only 1/4 cup flour and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. All the rest is pureed cauli and spices.

Gnocchi Dough:

8 ounces riced, cooked cauliflower, pureed in food processor, and chilled until cold (I steam in bag in microwave), about 3/4 cup

1/4 cup flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional: 1 tablespoon olive oil

Bring a medium saucepan filled with salted water to a simmer. Meanwhile, blend all ingredients together with a fork in medium bowl. On cutting board, roll one-fourth of dough at a time into a rope, 3/4-inch in diameter. Slice into 1-inch pieces for a total of 12 to 14. Add to simmering water and cook until gnocchi float. While gnocchi cook, heat olive oil or nonstick spray in skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon to skillet and cook a couple of minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Serve as desired, 6 to 7 per person. I like to place the gnocchi over a bed of lightly sauteed baby spinach with dabs of fruit chutney, foraged blackberries, pistachios or pine nuts, and a few grates of vegan mozzarella, or with sauteed fresh green peas, diced shallot, sliced garlic, white wine, and lemon zest.

#vegan #plantbased #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodpornvegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #vegangnocchi #plantbasedgnocchi #vegancauliflower #plantbasedcauliflower

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Sichuan-Inspired Noodles in Hot Chili Oil with Spinach

Yield: 1 to 2 Servings

This lightening quick, nutritious, delicious, and colorful meal is satisfying on every level. Plus, if you care about such things, the entire enormous bowl is only 300 calories.

Simply heat together 2 handfuls fresh baby greens and an 8 ounce package shirataki noodles. Drain, place in a large bowl, and toss with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon soy sauce, just shy of 2 tablespoons hot chilli oil, fried chilies in oil, or hot chili crisp–available on the International Isle at the grocery store–and an optional dash crushed Sichuan peppercorns to tastw. Heap into a bowl and garnish with a smidge of the hot chili oil or crisp and a few roasted and lightly salted peanuts.

Dinner is served!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodpornvegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #veganchinese #plantbasedchinese

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