In March, the good folks at VegNews published my Vegan Seafood Gumbo in “Recipe Club,” their e-newsletter, which I shared here on The Blooming Platter (just follow the link).
Not too long after that, the kind folks at Navitas Naturals sent me a sample of their delicious and nutritious organic Nori Powder (roasted seaweed powder) with which to experiment. I didn’t get to it right away, but recently, with friends coming for dinner to whom I had promised gumbo, I decided to use the Nori Powder instead of Nori sheets in the gumbo stock, as I was out of the latter.
Brilliant! After a little research, mostly based on protein content, I determined that 1 teaspoon of Nori powder is the equivalent of 1 Nori sheet, and that worked out perfectly. Both lend to the stock that deeply seductive briny flavor of the sea.
Plus, there is an ocean (couldn’t resist–sorry!) of uses for Nori powder. It can be dissolved in just about anything to enhance flavor and nutrition (protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber), e.g. soups, stews, purees, sauces, doughs, fillings, etc. And it is certified organic, kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free and raw.
Enjoy this great new product and my Seafood Gumbo recipe which they have generously published on their site!
Earlier this week, I was thrilled to learn that VegNews–THE culinary and lifestyle magazine for we meat-free folks–featured my brand new Vegan Seafood Gumbo recipe in their culinary e-newsletter, “Recipe Club.” Thanks to all the great folks at VegNews!
They were happy to grant me permission to post my recipe. But, because they were so generous–and because everything they produce is of such high quality–I urge you to visit their website and scroll down on the right to “Let’s Talk” where you can quickly sign up for the “Recipe Club” culinary e-newsletter with the click of a button.
Now, about that recipe…
Having once had a vegan gumbo prepared by one of the finest (albeit non-vegan) chefs on the Eastern Seaboard–and not caring for it–I thought a delicious briny-tasting seafood-flavored vegan gumbo simply couldn’t be achieved.
But fast-forward a few years and lots of cooking experience, and the stars aligned to bring authentic gumbo within my reach. And I’m thrilled to share it with you
This is a true gumbo, folks; not a soup or a stew. That means that the roux is all-important. Besides fearing that I could never hit the right flavor profile, I shied away from gumbo for years, as I loathed the idea of standing over the stove, stirring a pot for nearly an hour. But when I recently learned about an oven-baked method for making roux on Cook’s Country TV, that all changed.
Boy, did it!
Though gumbo is a fairly new addition to my repertoire, I am trying to make up for lost time. My first recipe, one for a delicious (if I do say so) Vegan Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, was recently published here on One Green Planet. However, since my Mississippi and Texas relatives have little more than disdain for any dish containing chicken and sausage that dares call itself gumbo, I knew I would have to eventually create a recipe for a vegan seafood gumbo. And the opportunity presented itself sooner rather than later. Actually, a Sunday morning plus a powerful craving was all the urging I needed.
Laissez les bontemps rouler!
Blooming Platter Vegan Seafood Gumbo
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
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.
This simple, flavorful and robust “Chicken,” Green Chili and Hominy Posole is sure to become a cold weather favorite. However, unlike most of my recipes, it doesn’t rely on seasonal ingredients, so you can actually enjoy it any time the mood strikes.
I have never made, much less eaten, Posole, but a non-vegan recipe in a recent culinary magazine made my mouth water. So, recently, with Posole on my mind, I created my own version without even referring to that recipe. I did, however, check online to make sure I knew what spices to include.
My version departs a bit because, well, that’s what I do, though I still stayed true to the dish. So, I used the traditional dried oregano, but I substituted ground coriander for fresh cilantro because I didn’t have any, and I used smoked paprika instead of cayenne because those smoky undertones are irresistible to me and seemed perfect for the dish. Also, I find the more subtle and complex heat of paprika a bit more appealing than that of cayenne. Plus, the color was also lovely. For some reason, a note of cinnamon sounded good to me, so I added a couple of cinnamon sticks for a background note of warmth. It was perfect!
The other main difference is that instead of serving warm corn tortillas alongside the soup, I decided to dice up a few and saute them with the onion for additional corn flavor, as well as for texture. But don’t worry; this is not yet another version of tortilla soup! It is Posole through and through.
I loved it and wouldn’t change a thing. And I hope you agree. But should you not, have some fun making it your own! Find the recipe HERE where the good folks at One Green Planet were happy to publish it.
Just click HERE for the recipe, nutritional information, and a little of the back story involving a Superbowl party, a dog named Huff, and a million dollar-winning commercial!
Thanks, as always to Alisa Fleming, creator and founder of Go Dairy Free!
For 150+ additional seasonal recipes, see The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.
Not Your Mama’s Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup is a healthy and simple version of the chicken noodle soup you may remember from childhood. But, not only is it vegan, it’s a bit more grown-up and “gourmet” courtesy of the orecchiette and, especially, the pesto. The latter celebrates some of winter’s finest ingredients: oranges and kale. A dollop of it is optional, but I highly recommend it for a delicious burst of contrasting flavor, texture and temperature atop a mug of the warm soup.
With chilly rain in our forecast starting this evening and continuing through tomorrow, and the fridge is nearly barren of leftovers, I think this soup may be in order to warm up the weekend….but, trust me, t’s just as good when the sun is shining!
Not Your Mama’s Vegan Chicken Noodle Soup
Yield: 6 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup celery cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 teaspoon powdered thyme
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
8 cups faux chicken or vegetable stock (I purchase extra large faux chicken bouillon cubes and use 4 with 8 cups of water, as I think the seasoning lends more of a “pot pie” flavor than vegetable stock does)
2 bay leaves
4 ounces dried Orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta rarely made with egg, but check to be sure)
8 ounces chicken-flavored seitan (I use MorningStar Farms® Meal Starters® Chik’n Strips which have plenty of salt and pepper for my palate)
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
Sea salt to taste, if needed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste, if needed
Optional accompaniment (but very good!) : a little “glug” of sherry in each bowl or mug
In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add onion and saute, stirring frequently, until translucent and softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and saute, stirring, for 30 seconds. Avoid over-browning. Add celery and carrot and saute, stirring frequently until both are slightly softened, or about another 3 minutes. Add sage, tarragon, thyme, flour and nutritional yeast, and stir to distribute evenly. Stir in stock and bay leaves and heat to a simmer. Add pasta and simmer until al dente, about 7-8 minutes. Stir in chicken-flavored seitan and heat through, followed by the soy milk. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot in bowls or mugs topped with my optional, but recommended, Vegan Orange-Scented Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto. I also LOVE this soup with a little “glug” of sherry added to each serving.
Vegan Orange-Scented Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
4 cups stemmed, roughly chopped or torn, and lightly packed fresh kale
1 cup roasted and lightly salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (I purchase Trader Joe’s Brand)
1/4 cup olive oil or to taste
Zest of one medium naval orange
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
Sea salt to taste, if needed
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place kale and pepitas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil, and turn off the machine as soon as the last drop of oil has fallen in. Remove the lid and add zest, juice and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a couple more times and then chill, tightly covered, before serving.
For 150+ additional inspired seasonal recipes, I invite you to peruse The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.
Thanks to FARM for not only publishing my vegan White Bean and Kale Stew recipe from The Blooming Platter Cookbook, but for also including nutritional information, Gimme Lean product information, and an article on the fast food-obesity connection. Just click HERE to access the newsletter, including recipe.
If you live in a part of the world where temperatures have dipped–or never rose to begin with–this ultra-simple, ultra-satisfying chili will warm you from the inside out. However, if you live in warmer climes, a bowl of this spicy soup just might get a little perspiration going and cool you down–nature’s own air conditioning.
The most difficult part of making this dish is waiting while the chili simmers for 25 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, but into 1/4-inch dice
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces tempeh
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon smoked, sweet or spicy paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1-15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes in juice
12 ounces light beer or non-alcoholic beer (see note below)
1 tablespoon miso paste (any kind)
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup or agave nectar
(Note: you may substitute 2 tablespoons of tomato paste for the miso paste and the brown rice syrup.)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup frozen corn
1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Optional garnishes: dollops of my Vegan Cheddar “Cheese,” dollops of vegan sour cream, and cilantro sprigs
Optional accompaniment: Frito Scoops for “Frito Chili Pie”
Heat oil to shimmering in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Crumble tempeh into the pa, add all spices and saute, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or just until tempeh starts to brown. Add all remaining ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until all flavors have married. Serve hot garnished as desired.
Note: According to Ali Tadayon in “Beware the Beer: Is Yours Vegan,” found in the Vegan Mainstream e-newsletter, not all beer is vegan, as it may include albium (derived from animal blood), isinglass (derived from the swim bladders of fish), gelatin, charcoal, pepsin, lactose, and even insects. She recommends the following vegan-approved beers: Amstel, Corona, Heineken, New Belgium Brewery, Pabst Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and Tecate over these non-vegan ones: Castle Rock Brewery, Guinness, Newcastle Brown Ale, and Red Stripe.
I created it last weekend as an antidote to my Vegan Ginger-Spice Caramel Pecan Rolls, of which I ate TWO in one day (though I went for long walks and shared the rest with co-workers on Monday). I knew I needed to eat something else that was very low in fat and calories, but full of vitamins, so Skinny Indian Soup was born.
It’s simply vegetable stock–store-bought for convenience–simmered with lots of sweet roasted garlic cloves–also purchased for convenience –and Indian spices plus a little Liquid Aminos, lemon juice for brightness, and nutritional yeast with bushels of fresh baby spinach added near the end. You won’t believe the depth of flavor! And the only fat comes from any that might be clinging to the roasted garlic cloves. (I buy the garlic NOT in a jar, but in bulk from my grocery store’s antipasto bar.)
Note: I like fairly pronounced lfavors of spices in most all of my food; if you don’t, consider starting with half the amount of each spice, tasting after a couple of minutes of simmering and adding more if desired.
Since the soup itself lacks adequate protein, I enjoy it with a cold glass of unsweetened soymilk and, if I haven’t overdone it in the calorie department, a couple of ”everything” flatbread crackers spread with just a smidge of my Vegan Cheddar “Cheese” Spread and a tiny pinch of paparika for color.
Here’s to the last spinach of winter and the great bodies of summer!
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves (sounds like a lot but, because they are so sweet, that it’s perfect)
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach (if desired, save 4 leaves for garnish)
In a 4-quart saucepan, simmer together all ingredients except spinach for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and gentely simmer, still stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes more. Spinach should retain some nice green color. Serve warm, garnished, if desired, with a roasted garlic clove in fresh spinach leaf “boat.”
If you’ve read my previous two posts, you know that I have been traveling and, hence, not grocery shopping. Late this week, starving, I suddenly realized we had precious little in the fridge or pantry to make a whole meal out of. Literally, the only produce on hand were baby carrots and a half a tomato that had seen better days.