Vegan Smoky Pumpkin, Black Bean, Chorizo and Kale Bisque

Soup 2Yield: 4 to 6 servings

This rich, smoky and healthy bisque is perfect for a day like today in Eastern, Virginia: cool, rainy, and a bit dreary.  This soup will warm you from the inside out and brighten the darkest of days and nights which come so early this time of year.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

7 ounces vegan chorizo (I use a half a package of Trader Joe’s brand)

2 large cloves garlic, minced

Optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (adds richness and depth of flavor)

1 tablespoon adobo sauce froma can of chilies in adobo

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

12 ounces flavorful vegan beer (check out Barnivore for an A-Z list of vegan beer, wine and liquor)

1-15.5 ounce can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1-15.5 ounce can black beans, drained

3 to 4 cups fresh baby kale

2 cups vegetable stock or broth

Juice of 1/2 medium lime

Opttional: 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese or your favorite nut cream

Toppings: fresh cilantro leaves, roasted pumpkin seeds, sliced avocado, halved grape tomatoes, vegan sour cream or more nut cream, etc.

 

In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high.  Add onion and saute, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes.  Add chorizo and garlic and continue sauteeing and stirring for another couple of minutes.  Lower heat if the onion or garlic starts to scorch.  Stir in all remaining ingredients, except lime juice, until well combined and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine. Stir in lime juice and serve warm topped as desired.

 

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Vegan Pumpkin-Apple Spice Muffins

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

Pumpkin-Apple Spice Muffins

My apologies for yet another hiatus…this one precipitated by the death of my adored mother, Sallie Gough–who inspired my love of cooking, art, and much more–on October 2.  But I’m back and, hopefully, facing at least a year of no major losses. Yet and still, I live in a perpetual state of grace and gratefulness for the last two months of so many gestures of love and compassion that I couldn’t pay them back in two lifetimes.

In fact, I created these muffins for my nextdoor neighbor, Sonny–who has been helping me out, especially with the new dogs, since Joe passed away–and his darling daughter the young soccer star.  He came over this morning with his coffee and visited with me while I sipped tea and unloaded the dish washer, leaving with the muffins to waft under the nose of his adolescent daughter who loves to sleep in, especially on chilly fall mornings.  They were a hit.

The love child of my vegan  Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Butter Muffins and my Peanut Butter and Apple Muffins, this recipe makes the most of two of my favorite autumnal ingredients that I happened to have on hand: pumpkin puree and fresh local apples.  Enjoy with a cup of hot tea or glass of cold soymilk.

1/2 cup canned pureed pumpkin

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk (you can use plain, but you might want to slightly decrease the sugar)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup demeraral sugar

2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Pinch ground allspice

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pinch ground cloves

2 medium apples, skin on, finely grated finely grated or chopped (fine like food processor-fine)

Line muffin cups with papers or oil well with nonstick spray.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together pumpkin , canola oil, soy milk and vanilla until well combined.  Whisk in sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt just until a smooth, thick batter forms.  Then stir in grated apples only until incorporated.  The moisture from the apples will loosen the batter a bit.  Divide evenly among prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 to 23 minute or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.  Allow to cool about 10 minutes in the pan and then remove to cool completely or to enjoy while warm.

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Vegan Pumpkin, Kale, and Cannelini Bean Bisque

Pumpkin, Kale, and Cannelini Bean BisqueYield: 4 to 6 servings

Contrary to my best intentions, I am not posting as much as I’d hoped since my husband passed away–suddenly and unexpectedly–on July 30…

…but I hope when I do, the recipes are worth waiting for.

As those of you who have experienced a loss such as this know, it’s a game-changer.  And, while we basically understand the rules of the game, we don’t know–and can’t necessarily anticipate–how they will play out, both in positive and negative ways.

I knew I would be busy with schoo, once it started on September 8, and my freelance work.  But, add to the mix a pair of 8 1/2 month old puppies (my dear, dear Minnie passed away less than a month after Joe); the administration of Joe’s estate; and a fuller, more diverse, and less predictable social life than I was accustomed to (I’m “trending,” don’t you know–ha!), and time has a way of ticking past, albeit in very meaningful ways, though sometimes with a steep learning curve.

However, I deeply value this blog and the opportunity to, not only share recipes with all of you but to connect with you arouond food, so I hope you will forgive me the infrequency of posts as I figure out how to achieve balance.

Speaking of that less predictable social life…last night, I served this impromptu soup–inspired by a recipe in my latest Southern Living Magazine (worth the subscription just to read Rick Bragg’s “Southern Journal” essay in the back of each issue)–to two girlfriends, one of whom brought her guitar, played a mini-concert in my breakfast room, and spent the night.  What a beautiful, beautiful gift.  This woman’s spirit is infused with magic.

The soup was a hit.  So, as the weather begins to turn colder, nourish body, mind, and soul with a cup of this nutritious deliciousness.  On the side, I like to serve a rice cake topped with one of my vegan cheese spreads (search this website for lots of tastt options) and a dab of my friend Rich’s chimichurri.  It’s the perfect mini-meal and, remember, I have proclaimed this the Year of the Mini-Meal.

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1/8th teaspoon salt + more to taste

2 large gloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sugar (I use demerara)

1/2 teaspoon onion powder (I love its sweetness)

1/2 teaspoon coriander

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1-15 ounce can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

4 1/2 cups vegetable broth or stock (I use one called a “no-chicken” broth that tastes richer to me) OR 4 1/4 cups vegetable broth and 1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

2 to 3 cups chopped fresh kale

1-15.5 ounce can rinsed and drained cannelini beans

Optional garnish: dollops of vegan sour cream or crema

In a 4 quart soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high.  Add onion and salt and saute, stirring, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until softened and beginning to show color around the edges.  Add garlic and sugar and saute, stirring, until nicely caramelized.  (This only takes a few minutes because of sugar.)  Stir in spices, followed by pumpkin, and slowly stir in liquid and nutritional yeast.  Add kale, a handful at a time, and let it begin to wilt before adding the next handful.  Stir in beans and heat through, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.  Lower heat if necessary.  Taste and adjust seasoning, as you might choose to add more salt–since pumpkin is naturally sweet–cumin, and smoked paprika.  Serve topped with vegan sour cream or crema.

 

 

 

 

 

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Vegan Thai Pumpkin and Tofu in Coconut Red Curry Sauce–A Restaurant Leftover Redux

Thai Pumpkin and Tofu in Coconut Red Curry Sauce--Restaurant Leftovers Redux

Yield: 2 servings

I LOVE Thai food but, let’s face it, those creamy coconut milk dishes–even vegan–are pretty indulgent in the calorie department.  So, recently, when we went out for Thai, I allowed myself part of my dinner of pumpkin and tofu in coconut red curry sauce–which was mostly velvety rich sauce–and brought the rest home.

Rather than just eat the leftovers “as is,” I decided I could make them more healthful and colorful while stretching them into two more meals with the addition of just a very few fresh ingredients.

So, that’s what I did, and it was outstanding!  Following is my easy recipe.  Because restaurant dishes will vary, just trust your instincts and taste buds when you set about doctoring up your leftovers.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Half of a medium yellow onion, slivered (or 1 small yellow onion)

Sea salt to taste

1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, diced

Approximately 1 cup leftover vegan pumpkin and tofu in coconut red curry sauce with optional white rice (or something similar)

2 handfuls baby kale

2 to 4 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (sold at Asian markets as “vegetarian”)

Optional: approximately 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil, whole leaves or coarsely chopped + more for garnish if desired (sold in Asian markets)

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup lightly roasted and salted cashews

In a large cast iron skillet–or wok–over medium-high, heat oil.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to turn translucent.  Add bell pepper and continue sautéing and stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes or until bell pepper is softened.  Add leftover pumpkin and tofu in coconut red curry sauce or similar dish, including any rice, up to about 1/2 of the amount of curry, and heat through, stirring.  (Any more rice, and the finished product will be too thick and dry.)  Sprinkle kale over the top and gently fold in just until it wilts slightly.   Add remaining ingredients, except cashews, including more salt to taste.  Heat through, and serve immediately topped with cashews and optional garnish of additional Thai basil.  If mixture becomes too thick, think with a little coconut milk, vegetable stock, or even water.

 

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On the 3rd Day of Christmas…Vegan Pumpkin Pie Espresso

It is supposed to chill down today through at least Christmas in much of the US that isn’t already frigid or frozen, so my Pumpkin Pie Espresso seemed the perfect way to start this morning, Christmas morning, or any winter morning!

(Please note: when you click on the link, it will take you to the recipe that I posted in 2011 with a cookbook giveaway but the giveaway is not a current offer.  Sorry!)

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Countdown to Thanksgiving–Day #2: Vegan Turks Turban Squash with Pepita-Sage Pesto (Delicious with Any Pumpkin or Squash)

Turks Turban Squash with Pepita-Sage PestoWho knew that those pumpkins and squash at the farmers market–with their fanciful forms and all of their beautiful color, strips and spots–were not just for decoration?  Many, if not most, are seriously good eats.

What better to top my roasted version with than my Pepita-Sage Pesto?  I make a lot of pestos out of all kinds of ingredients, but this glistening version  is an all-time favorite!

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Countdown to Thanksgiving–Day #5: Vegan Fresh Pumpkin, Pecan and White Bean Shooters (or Dip or Spread)

Pumpkin, Pecan, and White Bean SpreadThis is the perfect little nibble to stave off I-don’t-think-I -can-wait-any-longer pre-Thanksgiving Feast hunger pains!

I recently created this dip or spread and love serving it as a “shooter” with tiny little spoons a friend brought me back from a trip to India.  But any small spoon will do–or mini-spreader with a side of crostini.  My serving secret?  My “glasses” are actually votive holders!

Food  just doesn’t get much more delectably fall-like than this simple spread, so it is perfect for Thanksgiving.  You really can taste the contribution of each autumnal ingredient: fresh(!) pumpkin, pecans, white beans and sage.  Be sure to cook the pumpkin ahead of time so it’s cooled and ready to go when you are.  (See my easy microwave directions below.)

Bind it all together with your favorite vegan creaminess–sour cream, mayo, or unflavored cashew cream–and you have a fabulously flexible shooter, dip for raw veggies or crackers, spread for a bagel, or even a filling for non-traditional quesadillas, stuffed peppers, etc.

(Where’s Minnie?  Can anyone spot our female brindle Dane who is never far away when food is out?)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup pecan pieces

Sea salt

1 cup diced onion

2 large cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoon dry rubbed sage

2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup diced cooked fresh pumpkin (see super simple microwave directions below)

4 to 5 tablespoons vegan sour cream, mayo, or cashew cream

Accompaniments: raw vegetable strips or slices or crackers

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add pecans and a pinch of salt, and toast, stirring continually, for a couple of minutes.  Add onion and a pinch more salt, and continue sauteing and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes.  Add garlic and sage and continue for another minute.  Stir in beans, pumpkin and vegan sour cream or mayo and heat through, stirring continually.  Serve warm with the accompaniment of your choice.

How to Microwave a Fresh Pumpkin (The Time-Pressed Woman’s Way)

1-2 pound pumpkin

Wash your pumpkin, pierce several times all-over with a sharp knife, place on a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for about 7 -10 minutes.  Check for tenderness, by piercing with a knife.  It if goes in easily, the pumpkin is ready.  Allow to cool, then slip off the skin, ct in half, and remove seeds and pulp.  If you prefer, you can halve and deseed the pumpkin first, but I find it puts up more resistance that way.

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Vegan Smokey Pumpkin Grits with Maple-Roasted Pepitas

Yield: 4 servings

This golden and delicious dish personifies fall.  Whether you serve it for breakfast or brunch, as tapas, or as a side dish, it is sure to satisfy as a warm and comforting ode to autumn.

When I was growing up, my family probably ate cheese grits for breakfast on more Sundays than not.  When I became vegan, I learned that cheesy grits need not be a faint and distant childhood memory, thanks to nutritional yeast.

For this recipe, I make the grits even more creamy and golden, with just a hint of smoke and savory sweetness, by incorporating coconut creamer, smoked paprika, vegan butter, and pureed pumpkin.  The creaminess of the grits is perfectly set off by crunchy pepitas lightly toasted with more nutritional yeast, salt, and just a hint of maple syrup.

For some recipes, the garnish is nice, though not necessary.  But for this one–though I would still make the dish even if I didn’t have fresh sage growing in the garden–I feel that tiny, tender and very young sage leaves add the perfect finishing touch to balance and accent all of the other flavor notes.

Find the simple and simply addicting recipe HERE at One Green Planet!

 

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Spicy Vegan “Beef,” Zucchini, and Pumpkin Chili

Yield: 4 servings

I will admit that this non-traditional chili came from very humble beginnings–a zucchini from the farmer’s market that needed used and soon and some textured vegetable protein, which keeps forever and that I had had on hand for about that long–but it is glorious!

It is also simple to prepare, mouth-watering, a beautiful golden color, nutritious, filling-but-not-too, and delightfully perfumed.

“TVP?” you may wonder.  Believe me, I did too.   I suppose I ate it at some point–probably in school lunches back when its cost effectiveness as a cheap source of protein led to it being camouflaged in a variety of dishes–but I know I have never cooked it.  I purchased it quite a while ago out of curiosity.  Turns out that I really liked both its texture and flavor, namely whatever it is cooked with.  Something about its appearance and texture reminded me of chopped clams (from back in the day), so stay-tuned for some kind of yummy chowder.

In the meantime, enjoy this chili!

2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP) or crumbled vegan ground meat substitute, e.g. soy crumbles or tempeh

2 cups vegetable stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

Sea salt

4 large cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

2-8 inch zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced vertically, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 stick cinnamon, broken in half

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or 1 teaspoon of a milder chili powder like Ancho)

1 cup coconut milk

1 cup pureed pumpkin

Optional garnishes: vegan sour cream, broken cinnamon sticks, and/or roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine textured vegetable protein (TVP) and stock.  Bring to a vigorous simmer over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

In a large skillet (cast iron is always my preference), heat olive oil to shimmering over medium-high heat.  Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.  Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring, until softened.  Add zucchini, and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Add textured vegetable protein, wine, cinnamon sticks, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, and chipotle chili powder, and stir well.   Stir in coconut milk and pumpkin and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 10 minutes or until flavors marry.  Thin with a little water or white wine if necessary.  Check for salt and stir in more if necessary.  Serve warm in bowls garnished, if desired, with vegan sour cream, a piece of a cinnamon stick, and a few roasted and lightly salted pumpkin seeds.

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