If cornbread and a souffle had a love child, it would be spoonbread. My version is low calorie–even with rich plant-based butter–and includes no corn, but somehow has a slightly corny taste. Regardless, it is luscious. You can leave out garlic and onion powders and serve with maple syrup for breakfast or brunch.
1 pound frozen riced cauliflower, cooked (I use the steam-in-bag type)
1 cup plain nondairy milk (I use unsweetened soy)
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 tablespoon vegetable-based oil
1/3 cup coconut flour (lends a slightly sweet flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons melted butter (I use Miyoko’s)
Grease an 8″ souffle dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients, except butter, in large food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to prepared dish, drizzle with butter, and bake for 45 minutes for a soft consistency or 50 for a slightly firmer consistency. The dish is spoonable while warm and sliceable once cooled.
I have always loved the edible bowl concept, especially miniaturized. Thick beer battered and deep fried onion rings make the perfect cups for fresh garlicky cream cheese spinach. This is a rich dish, so a serving of 3 to 4 is about perfect as a meal.
Beer Battered Onion Rings
1 cup flour (I use white whole wheat)
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
12 ounces beer (search online for a vegan brand you like)
1 large yellow onion
Cream Cheese Spinach Filling (recipe follows)
Garnish: cherry tomato halves
Preheat deep fat fryer or a large pot of oil to 375 degrees and oven to warm if desiresd. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and then whisk in beer. Set aside. Peel onion and slice off both ends, reserving flesh for spinach. Cut onion in half crosswise and separate into rings. Dip into batter, coat well, and fry a few at a time, just until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and keep warm in oven if desired. When all rings are fried, arrange on serving plates, fill with spinach mixture, garnish with cherry tomato halves, and serve immediately.
Cream Cheese Spinach Filling
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons finely diced onion (I use the onion flesh around the trimmed ends)
4 large cloves garlic
10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (or favorite baby greens; I like the Harris Teeter Power Greens)
4 ounces plant-based cream cheese
Cover bottom of a 10-inch skillet with water and a pinch sea salt. Add onion and garlic and simmer, stirring frequently, until softened. Add spinach and wilt, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream cheese until melted and fully combined.
Yield: 1 main dish serving, but may also be served as a rich side dish (easily multiplies)
Similar to a loaded baked potato, only with far more juicy flavor, this loaded baked onion is liable to become a staple in your household.
I have never been a breakfast eater–Just give me a chai tea with non-dairy milk and I am good to go–so while I walked each of our dogs for their mile, from 10 until 11, I was contemplating what I might enjoy for an early-ish lunch.
I haven’t been to the grocery store in a bit, so I was also mentally scanning the pantry and fridge as I walked. I wanted something that tasted decadent but was actually quite wholesome. For some reason, I lighted upon a baked onion. My luscious version turned out to be only 300 calories and ready in a snap because I actually cooked it in the microwave and then finished it under the broiler.
It is as addicting as homemade caramelized onion dip, but without the fairly empty calories of potato chips. Win-win!
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, and one quarter inch cut horizontally off top and bottom
Vegetable oil spray
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small clove garlic minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons shredded vegan cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use a light version that is only 35 calories per tablespoon)
1 tablespoon vegan sour cream
Garnishes: A few pieces sliced green onion, minced parsley, three or so smoked almonds, and a pinch smoked paprika
Spray a gratin dish with vegetable spray, place onion inside, lightly spritz onion with soray, and sprinkle with a hint of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook uncovered in microwave on high setting for 10 minutes. Remove and gently cut an x into top of onion with a serrated or sharp knife, about half way or 3/4 of the way down, being careful not to burn yourself. Preheat broiler. Spoon minced garlic down inside onion and top with shredded cheese. Spritz again with vegetable oil spray and broil two or three minutes or just until top is bubbly and brown. Remove from broiler and top with butter, sour cream, parsley, green onion slices, smoked almonds, and smoked paprika. Serve immediately.
I will put my new Vegan Sage and Vegetable Stuffing with Dates and Toasted Almonds up against ANY stuffing, vegan or not. Plus it is low calorie with no added oil. Happy Thanksgiving!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 or 9-inch casserole dish. Simmer 1/2 large yellow onion and 16 ounces riced cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot in 2 cups vegetable stock with 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon rubbed sage, 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, and 1 teaspoon powdered rosemary until most of moisture is evaporated. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and stir to combine. Turn off heat. Remove bay leaf and stirrin 1/4 cup my Blooming Platter Mayo (think slightly tangy white sauce at only 10 calories per tablespoon), 6 ounces toasted bread cubes, 2 tablespoons chopped dates and 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds. Spoon into greased casserole dish, and bake 20 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh sage sprigs.
Note: I love a lot of herbs, but you might start with a smaller amount and adjust to suit your taste.
Chicken tenders? H*** no! These are my brand new vegan butternut crinkle fries.
I purchased the crinkle vut butternut squash at Whole Foids. Then I used the old dry, wet, dry method of seasoned flour with just a hint of baking powder, and vegan buttermilk made with soy milk curdled with vinegar. Just a minute and a half in the fryer and they were perfect!
Of course, as you all probably know, I topped them with raw cauliflower, broccoli, and carrot pearls and just a hint of a cilantro mint sauce with a faintly Indian flavor, both very low in calories.
I think I have just invented legal crack! I am a little late to the “riced” vegetable party, as I like my fried rice with, well, rice. But, this casserole has made me a believer.
My Vegan Riced Broccoli-Cauliflower Casserole has it all:
The entire casserole is vibrantly healthy and only 535 calories. That means you could eat the whole thing and still be under the typical number of calories for an entire meal. Of course, you might have buzzard breath and a little abdominal gas, but that’s a small price to pay, no?
It goes together, stove top, in about 20 minutes plus 15 minutes of optional oven baking.
It is an ideal side for a host of main dishes, but you could also stuff an enchilada, spread it on toasted bread for crostini or on pizza, include it as a layer in lasagna, or serve it as a dip, just for starters.
Note: I purchased the broccoli and cauliflower already riced at Whole Foods, but you can make your own simply by pulsing chunks of both vegetables in a food processor until very finely minced.
1 tablespoons olive oil (125 calories)
4 green onions (both the white and green part), thinly sliced (20 calories)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme or a scant 1 teaspoon fresh, minced
2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese, e.g. Tofutti brand (60 calories)
4 + 1 tablespoon vegan shredded Parmesan; e.g. Follow Your Heart brand (125 calories)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, but I like the flavor and health benefits; they don’t call it “nutritional” for nothing) (50 calories)
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (I love nutmeg in creamy savory dishes, but only the fresh)
Optional (but recommended): Zest of one-half medium lemon
(Note that my new Samsung gas range cooks with a lot of power. What I used to cook at medium-high, I now cook at medium-low or low. Seriously. So, adjust accordingly. I am going to recommend “medium” as a, well, happy medium.)
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add green onions and garlic, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and saute, stirring, just until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add riced vegetables and saute, stirring, for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and thyme. Stir well to combine and simmer for 10 minutes or until moisture is released into cooking liquid and then almost entirely evaporated. Stir in cream cheese, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, optional nutritional yeast, and nutmeg, and heat until melted. Stir in optional lemon zest. At this point, you can either sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan and serve, or transfer mixture to a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray, sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan, and bake for 15 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven.
My latest Buffalo-flavored obsession needs little introduction. It’s the traditional bar food with a side of compassion.
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter
.75 to 1 ounce dry Buffalo mix (I prefer mild)
20 ounces butternut squash cut into fries
1/4 cup vegan sour cream or Daiya brand blue cheez dressing
1/4 cup shredded vegan parmesan (I like Follow Your Heart)
1/4 cup finely diced celery
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt butter in a rimmed baking sheet. Add squash fries and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with Buffalo mix and gently toss well again to evenly coat. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occssionally. Or until golden and slightly caramelized. Cool slightly. Divide in half and top each serving with half each of the sour cream or dressing, parmesan, and celery.
Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year to be vegan. Though I am thankful every day that I chose many years ago to live more compassionately, it is during this season that I celebrate my favorite tastes and textures…and share them with you.
The mouthwatering menu I have selected for you features two entrée-like dishes, both meals in themselves because of the balance of ingredients: greens, grains, veggies and more. So delightfully pretty, filling, and creamy are these dishes that the only side dish I recommend is a fresh bright salad that sounds some special autumnal notes in the form of dried fruits and smoked nuts. All that remains to round out this bountiful fall feast is my late mother’s Double Cornfingers which I recommend serving in place of stuffing. For dessert, I offer a recipe I developed for Tofutti a few years back that is a perennial favorite. These pumpkin cheesecake bars with their streusel topping are super quick and easy but doesn’t look like it, especially when sliced and served on frilly paper doilies.
Each item listed in the menu below is linked to its recipe, and following the menu are captioned photos that will help you envision how your beautiful table will look as everyone gathers around with gratitude.
Speaking of gratitude, I am so grateful for all of you who make my platter bloom throughout the year. With nurturing wishes to you and yours during this holiday season and always.
This recipe defies both description and categorization; hence, I didn’t know whether to tag it as a vegetable side dish, snack, slaw, or ??? I suppose it could even be a main dish.
But, no matter. Whatever you call it or whenever you eat it–I was starved, so I invented it on the fly and devoured it for “brunch” today, as I am home on Spring Break with a bit more time to experiment–you will love it, odd as it sounds.
Be sure to serve it in a pretty Asian bowl with chopsticks to make a mouthwatering presentation that is as fun to eat as it is pretty.
1 tablespoon vegan butter
3 tablespoons vegan sour cream (you could use mayo or the thick part of coconut milk that separates in the can, but I wanted less calories)
1/4 teaspoon prepared Thai Red Curry Paste (feel free to add a bit more if you desire a more pronounced flavor and more heat)
1-2 tablesoon vegan fish sauce (sold as vegetarian in Asian markets), lime juice or half of each
6 cups popped kettle corn (slightly sweet and salty)
1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage (I buy it shredded in the bag; the type with some shredded carrot mixed in would be delicious too)
1/4 cup lightly roasted and salted cashew halves or peanuts + a couple for garnish
1 tablespoon pinched fresh cilantro leaves (feel free to chop but I was to impatient) + 2 sprigs for garnish
In a medium-large bowl, melt butter with sour cream in microwave for 30 seconds to a minute.whisk in curry paste and fish sauce. Fold in remaining ingredients, except garnishes. Pile into two small Asian-style bowls, garnish with cilantro sprigs and cashew halves, and serve immediately with chopsticks so that popcorn doesn’t become soggy.