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.

Print Friendly

Vegan Kale Chips–The World’s Best Croutons for Soup!

Lentil Soup with Kale CroutonsSince my husband’s passing last July (has it really been almost 6 months?) led to my profoundly changed relationship to food and to my proclamation of this as the “Year of the “Mini Meal,” I wanted to share this little tip that I just disovered for turning a cup of your favorite vegan soup into something a little more special:

Crown heated soup with a dollop of vegan sour cream and kale chips or even the little crispy bits at the bottom of the container (I love to make them, but I purchased these flavored vegan ones at Whole Foods).


Print Friendly

Vegan Asparagus, Leek and Fennel Spring Stew

Asparagus, Leek and Fennel Spring StewYield:  2 main dish servings or 4 side dish servings

This simple “stew” is much lighter–in color and heft–than a winter stew and really just refers to the fact that the lovely spring vegetables are married in a creamy, white wine-kissed sauce.  In both texture and flavor, it is addicting.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

1 small-medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced + 2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds

Sea salt

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 bunch asparagus (the thinest and most tender that you can find), *trimmed, and cut into about 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup plain non-dairy creamer

2 tablespoons dry white wine

Zest of 1/2 large lemon

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add leeks, fennel bulb (not fronds), and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, for a about 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften and turn translucent.  Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute, stirring, followed by asparagus for another 2 to 3 minutes or until tender, but still bright green.  Cooking time will depend on diameter of spears.  Stir in cream, white wine, fennel fronds, and lemon zest, and heat though, continuing to stir frequently.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and additional sea salt.  Serve immediately.

*Trimming asparagus: though this may seem wasteful, grasp one asparagus spear at each end between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.  Pull fingers down to bend the spear until it snaps.  The point at which it snaps is the point at which all spears should be trimmed for the tenderest spears.

Print Friendly

Vegan Cannelini Bean, Sweet Potato and Turnip Green Soup

Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Turnip Green SoupYield: 4 to 6 servings

We are snowed in here under 10 inches in VA Beach!  And this soup was the perfect, warming lunch yesterday.  However, even if you aren’t blanketed in snow, you will love this beautiful nourishing soup.

4 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups water + 4 veggie or “no-chicken” bouillon cubes)

2 bay leaves

1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large garlic clove, minced

6 cups chopped turnip greens

1-15.5 ounce can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained

3-5 inch stems fresh dill

3-5 inch stems fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer (I use So Delicious coconut milk creamer)

In a covered 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock and sweet potato cubes to a gentle boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes for 10 minutes.   Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until beginning to turn golden brown.  Add garlic, and continue sauteeing, stirring continually, for another minute or two.  Stir into sweet potato and stock mixture, along with turnip greens.  Simmer, stirring continually, until greens have wilted.  Stir in beans, dill, tarragon and nutritional yeast, and simmer gently for about 15 minutes.  Stir in non-dairy creamer, remove bay leaves, dill and tarragon, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve immediately.  Note: Avoid boiling soup after creamer has been added to prevent curdling.

Print Friendly

Vegan Tempeh and Turnip Green Soup

Tempeh and Turnip Green SoupYield: 4 hardy servings

Today is a second “snow day” with temps in the twenties–far milder than much of the country (and world!) I realize–and I’ve been home from school craving something warming and nutritious.  I love alliteration and happened to have some tempeh on hand so when there was no pre-chopped kale (sorry, I was feeling lazy) at the grocery store, but there were turnip greens, I greedily tucked a big bag into my basket.

I happened to have a can of white beans in the pantry and debated adding them, but I have something else in mind for them and there is PLENTY of protein in this soup thanks to the tempeh, as well as just the right amount of creaminess from the nip of non-dairy creamer.  But feel free to add beans if “beans and greens” along with the tempeh sounds more satisfying, or if you want to stretch the soup for a larger group.

Because greens where I come from are typically eaten with pork (sorry!), I used fennel and smoked paprika for a nod in that direction.  Note that the hint of sweetener is optional but, while I love bitter greens, tempeh is also a tiny bit bitter–or maybe pungent is a better word–so I feel the sweetener creates a better balance of flavors.  And, while it may sound odd to add vinegar to bitter flavors, malt vinegar is wonderfully mellow and complex and actually enhances those flavors which is probably why we southerners love vinegar sprinkled over our greens.  Finally, if you can’t easily obtain nutritional yeast, feel free to omit, but it adds a subtle richness and depth that is difficult to duplicate.

4 cups vegetable stock (or 4 cups water + 4 veggie or “no-chicken” bouillon cubes)

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces tempeh, cut into bite-size cubes

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 cups chopped turnip greens

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1 teaspoon natural sugar, agave nectar, or maple syrup

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer (I used So Delicious coconut milk creamer)

In a covered 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to a simmer, reduce heat to medium.  Meanwhile, heat the tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Add onion and a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently until beginning to turn golden brown.  Add garlic, and continue sauteeing for another minute or two, stirring frequently.  Add tempeh, fennel, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes, and saute, stirring frequently, for about five minutes or until tempeh is coated in the spices and hot through.  Add half the greens and about 1/2 cup hot stock and cook down for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.  Repeat with remaining greens and another 1/2 cup of stock.  Stir in nutritional yeast, sugar and vinegar until completely combined.  Add contents of skillet to stock, bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring in the 2 tablespoons non-dairy creamer at the end.  Check for seasoning, adjust as necessary, and serve immediately.

Print Friendly

Vegan Brazilian “Chicken,” Cauliflower, Peanut, Cashew & Coconut Milk Stew (Xim Xim de Galinha)

DSCN1204Yield: 6-8 servings

Shame on me…to my knowledge, I have never eaten, much less cooked authentic Brazilian cuisine.  I don’t even know why, as I am naturally curious about all cuisines.
However, recently, my beloved cousin and hiking buddy has had to spend a lot of time in Brazil for work.  So, on a recent Sunday morning, when I was flipping the TV channels around and trying to wake up, an episode of Sara Moulton’s “Weeknight Meals” caught my attention, as her featured guest was Leticia Moreinos Schwartz, a Brazlian chef and cookbook author.  Their theme was “A Trip to Brazil.”
The food they prepared was hardly vegan, but a chicken and shrimp stew called, Xim Xim de Galinha caught my eye;  it  looked mouthwatering and seemed easy to veganize.  It was!  I think it was the ground cashews and peanuts plus the coconut milk that captured my fancy, as I am a sucker for any recipe featuring nuts and coconut milk.  This one held particular appeal because it was different than the Thai and Indian dishes I love to prepare.
If recipe derivation interests you, here are the main alterations that I made to Moreinos Schwartz’s recipe (if you could care less, just click HERE now!):
  1.  Substituted cauliflower florets for shrimp and thawed Morningstar Farms “Meal Starters” Chick’n Strips for Chicken (seasoned seitan would be a fine substitute).  HOWEVER, so that I didn’t have part of a head of cauliflower around, I basically reversed the amount of shrimp and chicken, using only 1/2 pound of faux chicken (that is how it is packaged) and a 3 to 4 pound head of cauliflower (which is an average size head).
  2. I didn’t pat the cauliflower dry as the recipe says to do with the chicken, so I ended up needing to cook it 8 minutes (instead of 6) in order for it to brown nicely.
  3. I used lightly salted instead of unsalted nuts (and still added salt).
  4. I don’t cook with tomato paste much, so instead of using fresh tomatoes, which aren’t in season, and the paste, I just used a can of organic fire roasted diced tomatoes in place of both, which was exactly the 1 1/2 cups called for.
  5. I substituted faux chicken stock for chicken stock.
  6. Because I couldn’t find dende oil here (and the shipping cost to mail order a bottle was exorbitant), which supposedly has a fabulously indescribable taste and orange color, I quadrupled the amount of turmeric and paprika (I used smoked paprika) specified in the recipe for a total of 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika.

Thanks to Alisa Fleming and Go Dairy Free for publishing my “Vegan Brazilian ‘Chicken,’ Cauliflower, Peanut, Cashew & Coconut Milk Stew” on her popular website!

Print Friendly

My Vegan Gumbo Made with Navitas Naturals Nori Powder: A Rich Briny Marriage Made in Cajun Heaven!

Vegan Seafood GumboIn 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.

Product Image

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!

Print Friendly

VegNews Features the Blooming Platter’s Vegan Seafood Gumbo in This Week’s “Recipe Club” e-Newsletter

VegnNews Recipe Club--Vegan Seafood Gumbo--ScreenshotYield: 6 to 8 servings

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


  • 5 3/4 cups water
  • 6 sheets Nori (roasted seaweed; the type used for making sushi)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small-medium finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dry)
  • 1 teaspoon file (dried sassafras leaves)
  • 1-14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4 cup vegan fish sauce
  • 2 cups frozen cut okra, thawed
  • Accompaniment: 3 to 4 cups of cooked white rice


  1. MAKE STOCK  In a 4-quart saucepan, combine water, Nori, 1 tablespoon salt, Old Bay Seasoning, soy sauce, and lemon halves.  Cover loosely, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Turn off heat, cover tightly, and let sit while continuing with recipe.  Strain before using, pressing on solids with the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. MAKE ROUX Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast iron skillet or heavy Dutch oven (my preference) over medium heat, toast ¾ cup flour, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in oil until smooth. Cover (use foil if you have no lid that fits your pan), transfer skillet or pot to oven, and cook until mixture is deep brown and fragrant, about 20 minutes, checking and stirring after 10. It will look almost chocolatey or the color of an old copper penny.  (If not making gumbo right away, store roux in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. To use, heat the roux in a  cast iron skillet or heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until just smoking, and continue with step 2.)
  3. COOK AROMATICS Transfer skillet or Dutch oven to stovetop and whisk cooked roux to combine. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes. It will seem quite dry.  Stir in garlic, thyme, and file, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and cook about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in 3 3/4 cups of the stock along with the vegan fish sauce until smooth.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
  4. FINISH GUMBO Stir okra into gumbo and simmer for about 20 minutes while rice cooks; reduce heat to medium if cooking too fast.  Meanwhile, place textured vegetable protein (TVP) in a medium bowl and pour remaining 2 cups of hot stock over.  Let sit for 5 to10 minutes or until TVP has softened.  Stir into gumbo and adjust seasoning if desired. Serve with a scoop of white rice and, possibly, biscuits or garlic bread.


Print Friendly

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.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly