Vegan Kielbasa, Sauerkraut, White Bean, and Kale Soup–sound odd? It’s outrageous!

Kielbasa, Sauerkraut, White Bean and Kale SoupYield: 6 to 8 servings

With a blanket of snow about to cover parts of the East Coast, soup–especially a hardy, but not heavy, one like this–is in order.

I know what you are thinking, “Sauerkraut in a soup?  No thanks.”  Heck, lots of people don’t care for sauerkraut at all, never mind in soup.

But perhaps the highest endorsement I can give this soup is from my next door neighbor.  He tends to some “guy things” here at my house since my husband died in July and I return the favor with food.  He LOVED this soup and he joked about surprising himself with his appreciation for my plant-based dishes.

I trust you and yours–vegan or not–will share his appreciation.  Try it on a big “guy’s guy” and please let me know the verdict.

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

14 ounces keilbasa (I used Tofurky brand), sliced lengthwise and then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1/4 cup whole roasted garlic (I purchase from antipasto bar at grocery store)

14.5 ounce can sauerkraut, lightly rinsed, drained, and gently pressed

15 ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon apple cider or malt vinegar

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

2 teaspooons dried dill weed

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 cups vegetable stock; or 4 cups water plus 4 regular-sized vegetable bouillon cubes; or 4 cups water plus 1 envelope dried vegetable soup mix (I used the latter because that’s what I had on hand)

6 yo 8 cups lightly packed fresh baby kale (or mature kale, roughly chopped or torn)

1/4 cup soy or coconut creamer (the sweetness balances all of the tangy and acidic flavors)

Optional Garnish: vegan sour cream and smoked paprika

In a Dutch oven or large soup pot, heat oil over medium-high.  Add kielbasa and saute, stirring frequently, until it begins to develop crispy, golden-brown caramelized areas.  Add onion and continue sauteing and stirring until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Stir in remaining ingredients in order, except kale and creamer, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and siummer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.  Stir in kale, just until wilted, and finish by adding creamer and heating through just before serving.  Ladle into mugs or bowls and serve topped with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

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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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Sassy Vegan Sausage and Salsa Roll-Ups (Stupid-Easy and Simply Beautiful)

Sassy Sausage and Salsa Roll-UpsYield: 4 servings

With a couple of grilled vegan sausages left over from testing my Vegan Sausage with Curried Peach and Kale Quick Compote and my husband’s leftover tortillas from “date night” at a Mexican restaurant late yesterday evening,  the idea for these super simple sausage and tortilla rollups sprang into mind for my lunch today.

The deal was sealed by some tasty commercial pineapple salsa in the fridge which I spruced up with beautiful try-color artisinally grown tomatoes.  A dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh herbs (I chose mint to complement the pineapple salsa) was the only embellishment needed to creat a quick, lovel,y and satisfying restaurant-quality lunch (that is certainly filling enough for dinner and special enough for guests).

Ole!

4 cooked vegan sausages or hot dogs, still warm (I like to grill them on an indoor grill pan)

4-6 to 8 inch flour tortillas, barely warmed (so that they are pliable)

Optional: 4 strips of vegan cheese

1 generous tablespoon vegan butter or vegetable oil

1/2 cup salsa, prepared or homemade

Optional: Approximately 16 cherry tomatoes, halved (a tri-color blend is nice)

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

4 sprigs fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, etc.)

In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, melt butter or heat vegetable oil.  If desired, split sausages lengthwise, insert a piece of cheese, and sandwich back together.  Wrap one tortilla around each sausage and place into skillet seam-side down.  Griddle for about 1 1/2 minutes on 4 “sides” to create a golden brown crust all around.  Serve immediately topped with 2 tablespoons salsa, 8 cherry tomato halves if desired, a tablespoon of sour cream and a sprig of fresh herbs.

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Vegan Sausage with Curried Peach and Kale Quick Compote

Sausage with Peach and Kale Quick CompoteYield: 4 servings

Despite the fall colors in my photo and the sausage–which I often associate with cool weather–this recipe capitalizes on one of summer’s biggest boasts: peaches!

Starving after a 2 mile walk with Minnie and an hour long Pilates-Barre class (with the formidable, but lovely, Darlene Stephens at Music in Motion hear in Coastal Virginia), I wanted a quick, healty, pretty and satisfying lunch.  I don’t want much, do I?

Remembering that I had sausages in the fridge that needed used and hankering for peaches after having some of the best last week while visiting my family in Mississippi, I nipped into the grocery store, still clad in exercise attire, to pick up some baby kale and peaches, and dashed home to whip together this easy, flavorful lunch.

Recipe Note: Some vegan sausages taste like sawdust in a tube so find a good one.  I tend to like a flavored one, say Field Roast’s apple-sage.

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 vegan sausages (try one like Field Roast apple-sage)

1 medium yellow onion, sliced or diced

Sea salt

2 peaches, cut into 1/8ths and each 1/8th cut in half

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons agave

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 cups baby kale (or chopped mature kale, tough stems removed)

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons coconut milk creamer

2 teaspooons Dijon or your favorite grainy mustard

Spread an indoor grill pan or small skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, preheat over medium-high, and grill or griddle sausages  for about 6 to 8 minuts or 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on 4 sides.  Remove to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.  Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion, a pinch of sea salt, and saute, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.  Add peaches and continue sauteeing and stirring for about 3 minutes.  Stir in red wine vinegar, agave nectar, and curry powder until completely combined.  Add kale and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes or until kale begins to wilt, but is still bright green.  Stir in creamer and mustard until well distributed and heated through.  Serve 1/4 of compote over each sausage sprinkled with a tiny pinch of coarse sea salt.

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Vegan Maple-Sage Tempeh “Sausage” and Grilled Apple Quesadillas (Also a Great Pizza Topping) + Recipe for Quick Vegan Cashew Cream

DSCN2028Yield: 8 quesadillas

Different, but not bizarre, this quesadilla celebrates the cozy flavors of fall.

2 large apples, halved, cored and cut into 12 wedges each

Sea salt

Olive oil

8 ounces tempeh (I use Trader Joe’s “3 Grain” variety)

2 teaspoons soy sauce (I use a lite variety with less sodium)

1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage or a tablespoon minced fresh sage

Optional: 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 cup Quick Vegan Cashew Cream (Recipe Follows)

1/2 cup water

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 6-inch wheat tortillas

Optional: 1/2 cup caramelized onions

Garnish: dollops of vegan sour cream or additional Quick Vegan Cashew Cream, fresh sage or rosemary sprigs, roasted pepitas

Grill lightly salted apple wedges in well-oiled grill pan over medium high heat until tender and nice grill marks develop, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.  Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet.  Crumble tempeh into the skillet, add a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring frequently, until golden brown in some places, adding about a teaspoon of olive oil if it appears to be drying out.  Add soy sauce, sage and optional rosemary, and continue sauteing until golden throughout.  Stir in balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Cashew Cream, and water, and heat, stirring, until mixture comes together.  Remove from heat and add additional salt, if necessary, and black pepper to taste.  Transfer filling to a bowl or carton and wipe out skillet.

To make quesadillas, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in skillet over medium high.  Place 1/8th of filling on half of each tortilla, top with 3 slices of grilled apple and optional 1/8th of caramelized onions.  Fold other half of tortilla up over the filling and toast, 2 quesadillas at a time, in skillet for a couple of minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Keep warm.  Repeat with more oil as needed and remaining tortillas, filling and apples.  Serve garnished as desired.

Quick Vegan Cashew Cream:

2 cups raw cashews

2 cups simmering water (heated stovetop or in microwave)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Place cashews in a heat-safe bowl and pour simmering water over.  Let stand, covered, for a half hour.  Drain and reserve 1 1/4 cups of water.  Process cashews with sea salt and garlic powder until a thick past forms, about a minute or two.  Reheat water and, with motor running, stream in 1 1/4 cups or enough to reach desired consistency.  Serve as is, flavor as desired, or cover and refrigerate for use at a later date.

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THE BEST Vegan “Chicken” and “Sausage” Gumbo (Non-Vegan Husband-Approved!)

I am thrilled with my VEGAN Gumbo Recipe–it would make any Cajun proud!

Head over to One Green Planet for the recipe and it’s back story by clicking  HERE.

They only publish one photo with each recipe,

but I thought you might appreciate seeing my oven-baked roux–

inspired by “Cook’s Country–“

which is truly the foundation of “the best” gumbos.

(It looks red in this photo which was taken at night on the stove with no natural light, but it was the color of melted chocolate.)

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Vegan Chorizo, Apple, and Chickpeas with Fresh Kale and Cashew Sauce

Yield: 4 servings (you may have left over Kale Sauce)

Now that school is back in session for the year, my schedule is dramatically different.  So, I have a bit less time to cook, photograph, and post.  But, as has been the case since the launch of The Blooming Platter several years ago, I plan to offer you delicious new recipes right here several times a week with only the occasional hiatus, as in the last week or so.

We had open house at school late one night last week, my 22nd(!) anniversary was Saturday, I had a book-signing at our fabulous “Farm to Fork” event sponsored by Buy Fresh Buy Local Hampton Roads, and then I caught a cold.  Whew!  At any rate, I hope you’ll agree that this one was worth waiting for!

This Spanish-inspired dish is so pretty with its warm golden stew-like base and it’s fresh green sauce.  And the flavors complement each other perfectly: the spicy chorizo offset and cooled just a bit by the fresh kale sauce, made rich and creamy with buttery cashews.  The sweet-tart apples temper the heat of the chorizo, as well, creating a beautifully balanced fall dish that goes together in a snap.  I like to serve it as tapas, but no one would take issue with a big bowl of it!

For the simple recipe, just click on over to One Green Planet who generously shares a bounty of Blooming Platter recipes with their readers. Thanks OGP!

 

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Vegan Lentils with Soy Chorizo, Orange Tomato, Caramelized Onion, and Kale

Yield: 4 servings

So simple, so satisfying, so colorful, and so nutritious…this dish is fabulously tasty warm, room temperature or even chilled.

I use Trader Joe’s brand soy chorizo and it is mighty spicy.  I find that the sweetness of the tomato helps temper the heat of the chorizo, as does this particular selection and proportion of additional ingredients.

Though it doesn’t need it for flavor, I top the mixture with a little cashew cream for color contrast and sprinkle with just a few roasted and lightly salted pepitas (also from Trader Joe’s) for texture contrast.

It’s the ultimate one-dish wonder!

 

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, halved and slivered

Pinch sea salt

1-2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon natural sugar

1-12 ounce package Soy Chorizo (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

4 lightly packed cups chopped fresh kale

Approximately 18 ounces steamed lentils (I purchase Trader Joe’s in the produce department)

1 fresh very large orange tomato or 2 medium, cut into 1/4-inch dice (any color will do; I just think orange is especially pretty in this dish)

Juice of one medium  lime

Optional garnish: cashew cream and roasted and lightly salted pepitas

In a large cast iron skillet over medium high, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add onion and caramelize, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.  After about 5 minutes, add water and natural sugar.  Reduce heat if necessary to prevent scorching, but you want the onions to be a deep golden brown.  Transfer onions to a medium bowl.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, break up chorizo into the skillet and saute until lightly browned and heated through.  Add kale, and continue sauteing just until kale is almost tender; it should still be bright green.  Add lentils and continue cooking until kale is tender and lentils are heated through.  Transfer to bowl with onions, add tomato, sprinkle with lime juice, and toss all together.

Serve warm, room temperature or chilled with a dollop of cashew cream and a sprinkling of pepitas.

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Trio of Vegan Valentine’s Treats: 1 Savory and 2 Sweets

Since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow(!), I wanted to direct you to three oldies-but-goodies that I created in years past to celebrate the national day of love.  Just click on the title to be taken right to the post with that recipe.  Happy Valentine’s Day from the Blooming Platter!

Savory Vegan Sausage and Red Bell Pepper Heart Tarts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Peppermint and Chocolate Patties

 

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