A Pair of Sensational Summer Dips/Salsas/Salads: Black Bean & Peach + Sweet Corn (vegan/ plant-based)

If summer gives you peaches and corn…

Last night, Bob and I hosted an impromptu happy hour retirement party for a dear friend, Linda Francis, who finally took the plunge with a swandive out of our school system and into Virtual Virginia as a history teacher.

Our easy menu is as summary as it gets with Claudia Cksimano, a retired teacher friend, and her husband bringing the broccoli salad from my Blooming Platter cookbook. I contributed I a purchased baba ghannoush, served in a martini glass, along with a Black Bean and Peach Salsa and what we fondly refer to as David’s Corn Dip. He was a guest at the party but had to work during the day, so I did the honors and he approved.

On the side, I served sliced cucumber and orange bell pepper strips, as well as two healthy- ish types of chips: a nacho-flavored cauliflower triangular chip and a round Garden of Eaten chip made of chickpeas and such.

All of it was a huge hit and I am pleased to share the new recipes here.

Black Bean and Peach Salsa

Yield: 8 appetizer or 4 side salad servings

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

2 medium peaches, pitted and diced

1/2 mecium yellow or red onion, diced

1/4 cup favorite salsa, drained

1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Several hours before serving, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with cucumber slices or your favorite chips or crackers. This is also delicious served as a side salad.

David’s Sweet Corn Dip (cold or hot)

Yield: 8 appetizer or 4 side salad/side dish servings

3 cups fresh corn kernels, any variety, or 1-15.5 oz can yellow corn + 1-15.5 oz can white corn, drained

1/4 cup grated white vegan cheese, like mozzarella style

1/4 cup grated vegan cheddar cheese

1/4 cup favorite salsa, drained

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise (I use Walton Farms no calorie)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with cucumber slices or your favorite chips or crackers. This is also delicious served as a side salad or hot side dish. For the latter, simply microwave until bubbly.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbaseddip #vegandip #plantbasedcorndip #vegancorndip #plantbasedblackbean #veganblackbean

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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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Cauliflower Nacho Hack (vegan, plant-based, lite, and quick)

Yield: 1 serving (easily multiplies)

Every so often in a restaurant, I will gaze longingly at a big laden pile of nachos, but the truth is that, even when faced with a big platter of the vegan variety, I really don’t want to eat all that business. So I devoted this pretty and healthful take. This quick version feels decadent and tastes delicious, but won’t weigh you down.

1-1.5 ounce bag Rhythm brand Crisp Cauliflower Bites (I buy them at Kroger)

1/4 cup shredded vegan cheese (I like a mozz, but cheddar is great too)

2 tablespoons Pico de Gallo

2 tablespoons vegan sour cream or creamy dressing (I use Walton Farms Chipotle Ranch with 0 calories)

Garnish: fresh sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced red onion (you could also add or sub sliced black olives and sliced green onion)

Pour crispy Cauliflower Bites onto plate, top with cheese, microwave 45 seconds–Bites will not become soggy or chewy–top with pico and sour cream or dressing, garnish as desired, and serve immediately.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegansofinstagram #vegansoffacebook #vegansofvirginia #plantbasednachos #vegannachos #plantbasedcauliflower #vegancauliflower #waltonfarms

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Green Apple Pico de Gallo (atop “white cheddar” nachos)–vegan & plant-based

Not your typical fall fare, this cleaned-up-bar-food celebrates autumn’s apple bounty and may be an all-time favorite flavor combo.

I used green apples, but red or a combination would be lovely too. Choose your favorite sweeter or more tart variety; all will be delicious, just with different flavor notes. Some recipes add honey/agave and apple pie spices, but I prefer it without, though a pinch of allspice is nice.

The “white cheddar” nachos were inspired by a food blogger describing a meal in a Nashville restaurant. I literally had to make my version the same night.

I use vegan shredded mozzarella, though smoked gouda sounds delicious and fall-like too. And, for the chips, I deep fried vegan eggroll wrapper triangles because nothing is crisper or more textured. But use whatever chips you like and the dish will still be a favorite.

After frying and draining the triangles, I spread them on a plate, topped them with the cheese, popped them in the microwave for 1 minute, and then spooned a generous portion of the bright and zesty pico over the top, a perfect counterpoint to the rich, melt cheese and ever-so-slightly oily chips.

I think the pico is best made and refrigetated a few hours before serving so the flavors marry nicely.

Green Apple Pico de Gallo

2 green apples, stemmed, cored, and diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup diced cantaloupe or red or green grapes (for a sweet note and a texture contrast)

Optional: pinch ground allspice

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 jalapeno, stemmed. cored, seeded, and very finely chopped

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (1 large clove)

Pour lime juice over apples and sprinkle with salt to prevent the oxidation while you prepare/assemble other ingredients. Then stir all together, taste, adjust, and serve or refrigerate, covered, to allow flavors to marry.

#picodegallo #vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Cuban-Asian Fusion Nachos + Hot Chili Oil Hack (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 2 servings

These deliciously different–but not bizarre–nachos substitute plantains for corn chips and infuse the tasty black bean topping with a hint of coconut milk, orange, and spice from my new obsession: Sizchuan Hot Chili Oil. No one will judge if you drizzle more of the addicting oil over the top.

1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1-15 ounce can seasoned vegan black beans, including juice

3 ears grilled corn, kernels cut from cob

1 cup lightly packed baby spinach or kale leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

Sea salt to taste

1/4 to 1/3 coconut milk (I use lite, but regular is more flavorful)

1 generous tablespoon Sizchuan Hot Chili Oil, made with blood orange-infused olive oil (see my hack below)

2 servings packaged plantain chips

Toppings: white vegan cheese like mozarella, halved tri-color cherry tomatoes, vegan sour cream, minced cilantro

In large skillet over medium heat, dry saute onion, stirring frequently, until starting to soften and color. Add all remaining ingredients, except chips and toppings, and cook, continuing to stir frequently, until onion is softened, greens are wilted, mixture is heated through, and flavors are married. Divide chips between 2 plates, spoon half of bean mixture over each, top as desired, and serve immediately.

Note: After topping with cheese, you can run nachos under broiler or pop into mic for 30 seconds before adding remaining toppings.

Hot Chili Oil Hack

1-8 ounce jar Lao Gan Ma: Spicy Chili Crisp (I purchase at Kroger or online)

4 to 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced and softened by heating for 30 seconds in microwave

1/4 cup neutral vegetable oil

1/4 cup blood orange-infused olive oil (or another 1/4 cup oil + zest of 1/2 large orange

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste

Decant Spicy Chili Crisp into a larger jar, stir in remaining ingredients, cover, and chill. Stir before using; heat if desired. Delicious on virtually everything savory.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegannachos #plantbasednachos #veganasianfusion #plantbasedasianfusion #vegancubanfusion #plantbasedcubanfusion
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Cheesy Stovetop Mexican Rice with Spinach

Arriving home at 8 p.m. on Sunday night, and peckish after a (de-alcoholized) wine cruise on our new little boat, I whipped up this mouth watering comfort dish from pantry and fridge staples, including leftover rice from Chinese takeout. Supplementing with shredded cabbage creates a filling dish with fewer calories. This quick and easy dish packs a flavor and texture punch.

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 cup shredded cabbage

Approximately 4 lightly packed cups baby spinach

1-15.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or your favorite chili powder)

1/4 teaspoon Chipotle chili powder (or, again, your favorite chili powder)

2 tablespoons vegan half-and-half (I like Silk or Ripple brand, but you can substitute vegan sour cream or cashew cream)

2 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese (I like mozzarella, but use your favorite or whatever you have on hand)

Garnishes: vegan sour cream, sliced green onions, halved cherry tomatoes, lime wedges, and peanuts or pumpkin seeds

In large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, bring 1/4 cup water to simmering. Add onion, salt, and pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, for two or three minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cabbage and continue sauteing for another two or three minutes. Add spinach in two parts, allowing it to steam and shrink in size, folding it in to onion mixture. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add rice and remaining spices, stirring and cooking to heat through. Stir in half-and-half and cheese until fully incorporated and hot throughout. Serve garnished as desired.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganMexicanrice #plantbasedMexicanrice

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Cheesy Vegan Low-Fat/Low Calorie Taco “Meat” Filling
Holy (Non) Cow!

Honestly, this filling is a rave and impossibly healthy.  Not only is it made with no oil, but no calorie-dense ingredients like nuts.  It is made from what virtually everything I make is made from nowadays: riced vegetables, but you would NEVER know it.  Rich, thick, and beautifully spiced, this filling can be used in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and quesadillas or spooned over nachos.

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups riced vegetables (I used a hash made of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot, but any single or combination of these vegetables would work great)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried cilantro (or 1 tablespoon fresh, finely chopped)

1 vegetable bouillon cube (the size to make 8 ounces broth) or 1 teaspoon vegetable broth base

1/2 to 1 teaspoon sauce from a can of Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce (it is very spicy, so you might want to start with the smaller amount)

Sea salt to taste

1/2 cup my Luscious Vegan Low-Fat/Low-Calorie Cauliflower Cheese Sauce

Add water to a large skillet just to cover the bottom.  Heat over medium to medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.  Add riced vegetables and enough water to not quite cover.  Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender and moisture is mostly evaporated.  Stir in cumin, smoked paprika, cilantro, bouillon cube, Adobo Sauce, and sea salt to taste.  Stir in cauliflower cheese sauce and heat through.  Serve immediately.

Serving note: I love it spooned over a brown rice cake and topped with a dab of vegan sour cream, a spoonful of pico de gallo, and two or three halved cherry tomatoes.  A sprig of cilantro would be just right, but I didn’t have any for the photo shoot.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Stuffed Southwestern Acorn Squash

This was my delicious, lo-cal dinner on a recent autumn evening.

No real recipe, but one big secret: while my acorn squash roasted, I cooked a few french lentils and mixed them with sauteed onions, carrots, and, wait for it… shredded cabbage(!), all seasoned up with cumin, smoked paprika, and sea salt. Yummm!!!!!

Lentils are somewhat high in calories because they are nutrient dense, so I added additional bulk, nutrition, fiber, texture, and flavor with almost no-calorie cabbage.

I topped the beautiful little mound with pico de gallo and a dab of vegan sour cream. What a beautiful meal enjoyed on the deck in this cool weather with a glass of even cooler Prosecco.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Broccoli Tacos

Yield: 2 tacos

Eat your broccoli…your Vegan Broccoli Taco that is!

Everything is better as a taco…

Most of our busy lives leave little time for cooking. But I still like to cook, I just find that I gravitate more to an assemblage of minimally cooked and delicious fresh ingredients. So, these days, I am often more of an assembler than a cook. But I am eating delicious food that is healthy and beautiful. Come along for the ride!

1 cup riced broccoli
1 cup diced or slivered onion
Sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegan parmesan (I like Follow Your Heart brand)
2 corn, flour, or corn-flour tortillas
2 to 4 tablespoons my Blooming Platter Mayo (at only 10 calories per tablespoon), or vegan sour cream, hummus, etc.
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
4 carrot chips

In a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat, dry saute broccoli and slivered onion with sea salt to taste until onion is crisp-tender and develops some nice charred marks. Remove from heat and stir in vegan cheese.

Heat tortillas for 30 seconds in microwave, spread each with half of the Mayo, divide the broccoli-onion mixture between the two, top each with a couple of tablespoons shredded cabbage and a couple carrot chips. Dive in!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn



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