Cajun Gumbo Chex Mix

Yep, you read that title right. I am known for all manner of Chex Mix. Some leftover okra chips after our Christmas Cheer Open House inspired this particular recipe. I gave it away as a couple of New Year’s gifts, but not before sampling a gracious plenty of it. Mmmm!

All of the ingredients are inspired by a bowl of gumbo: rice Chex for the rice, of course, Cheerios for the wheat that goes into French bread; Bugels for the corn as a nod in the direction of those that prefer cornbread with their gumbo; celery seed, crispy fried onions, and crispy fry bell pepper for the mirepoix; and fennel to suggest the sausage, Chesapeake Bay seasoning to suggest the seafood, and poultry seasoning to suggest the chicken that various folks prefer in their gumbo. Tomato paste and faux chicken bouillon, of course, represent the broth, along with Cajun seasoning and gumbo filet (ground sassafras). And I added pecans because they are just so darn Southern.

Feel free to play around with the spices, but I love it like it is. It’s a little on the salty side, so knock back a Sazerac while you enjoy a handful …or five.

Cajun Gumbo Chex Mix

1 cup butter
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon Chesapeake Bay seasoning
2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
3 tablespoons gumbo filet
7 cups Rice Chex
7 cups Cheerios
7.5 ounces bugles
2 cups pecan halves
4.5 oz Okra Chips (I use Farmers
Market brand from Harris Teeter)
6 ounces French’s Crispy Fried Onions, Caramelized
5 ounces French’s Red Pepper Crunchy Toppers

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter in large roasting pan. Whisk in next 6 ingredients. Stir in remaining ingredients. Roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely before packaging in air tight containers.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #chexmix

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Mini “Cheeseball” Pops

It would be downright wrong of me not to share this recipe before New Year’s because every southern gal knows it’s not a proper party unless there’s a cheeseball on the table.

But for our Christmas Cheer Open House, I felt guests would enjoy the food more if they could pick it up and pop it in their mouths without a plate–though I provided plates–and I was right!

These were a hit and were even included on a New Year’s appetizer menu by a chef who saw my post in a plant-based Facebook group for chefs and serious home cooks.

But don’t wait for a party to make these. Filled with different ingredients, they just might be a way to get kids to eat more veggies!

Mini “Cheeseball” Pops

Yield: approximately 20 pops

8 ounces vegan cream cheese (I used Follow Your Heart brand though any brand–or home-made–could work as long as it is fairly firm)

1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup roasted and lightly salted shelled pistachios, chopped

1/4 to 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onion

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: pinch garlic powder

20 straight pretzels

In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients with a fork. Using a small scoop–or just a spoon (but a scoop is so quick!)–form 1-inch balls. Place on parchment paper (or foil or waxed paper) in a lidded carton if not serving immediately. Insert pretzel sticks, cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Recipe notes:

1) As you insert the pretzel stick, it may hit a diced ingredient and start to force the ball apart just a little. Don’t panic! Just use the fingers of your other hand to gently squeeze it back together.

2) Feel free to experiment with other ingredients–though the red and green is especially pretty–maybe dates, pecans, and sliced green onions or parsley.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganappetizers #plantbasedappetizers #vegancheeseball #plantbasedcheeseball #veganholiday #plantbasedholiday

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Holiday (Leftovers) Hummus

If, after Thanksgiving and Christmas–or whatever winter holidays you celebrate–you can’t look another Brussels sprout in the face, you might want to try this tasty redux.

To make this quick and very light lunch or appetizer, I simply processed together about a half cup each roasted Brussels sprouts and roasted cauliflower, 2 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon fig infused balsamic vinegar, a tiny bit of onion powder, and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To serve, I swirled it on a plate and topped it with a couple tablespoons each dried cranberries and pistachios, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, sea salt and a few sprouts.

It was delicious and satisfying on cucumber slices. And it looked festive without looking like a rehash of holiday meals and hors d’oeuvres.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #hummus #veganappetizer #plantbasedappetizer #veganlightlunch #plantbasedlightlunch

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Sweet Potato Bruschetta with Cream Cheese, Toasted Pecans, Fresh Thyme & Maple Syrup

Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted all of the pretty pictures of the food from our 4th annual Christmas Cheer Open House. But what I didn’t share was my sweet potato bruschetta fiasco.

Depicted is what I intended to serve, which I prepared for myself this evening as a snack with a glass of Pinot Grigio. It was as delicious and pretty as I had hoped it would be. Darn it.

I had baked about five glorious foil-wrapped sweet potatoes in the oven on Tuesday in preparation for our open house yesterday. But then I forgot about them and let them sit overnight.

Research indicated that after 2 hours, I could reheat them to 160 degrees and kill any bacteria that might have grown, but after that, there could be a concentration that would not be killed by the heat and would be toxic.

Over the fence I tossed them and I had to create a new appetizer, which thankfully proved to be a hit.. (I will share it in another post.) Later, we saw a squirrel eating a piece of one of them on the fence, so all was not lost.

If you would like to try this stupid-simple appetizer, all I did was slice warm baked sweet potatoes and top with a dab of plant-based cream cheese, a toasted pecan half, sprouts, fresh thyme, a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Out of this world and so nutritious!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #appetizers

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Red Wine-Chocolate Bundt Cake (plant-based)

Yield: 1-10-inch Bundt cake or 24-2 inch minis

Red wine is not just for drinking anymore!

My latest creation–whipped up in one bowl (and one for the gorgeous glaze)–can easily and quickly be yours: Red Wine-Chocolate Bundt Cake with Red Wine Glaze (and chocolate and coconut chip garnish)!

I made the large version as a gift given in a cake box tied with a gorgeous ribbon and the minis for my annual Christmas, Chanukah, Curry and Cakes Party.

Merry, Merry, everyone!

Red Wine-Chocolate Bundt Cake

2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups natural sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg substitutes (I used 3 tablespoon Neat Egg– it is flaxseed meal and tapioca starch; I used just flaxseed meal on mini-bundts)
1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
Red Wine Glaze (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with baking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Make a well in center, and pour in all wet ingredients. Whisk together until batter is smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack, cool completely, and then glaze.

Red Wine Glaze

2 to 3 tablespoons red wine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut chips or shaved coconut

In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine, vanilla, and powdered sugar, adding more red wine or powdered sugar to reach desired consistency. Place cake on wire rack in shallow pan to catch drips and pour glaze over. Decorate with chocolate and coconut chips.

#Vegancake #plantbasedcake #veganholidaycake #plantbasedholidaycake #redwine #vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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The BEST Vegan Blondie’s with Chocolate Chips and Nuts

I am excited to share this recipe with you because, in vegan baking, the basics–like Blondies–just have to be just right. And I have experimented endlessly to dave you the trouble.

As an egg replacement, I highly recommend Neat Egg, a new product to me, which I found at Kroger.

3/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar, light or dark
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 vegan egg substitute (I like Neat Egg)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease and flour a 5 by 9″ loaf pan. Place all the ingredients in a medium to large mixing bowl and whisk until a thick batter forms. Fold in chips or chunks and nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly to fill, but avoid packing down. Bake until light brown around edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean, about 23 minutes. Avoid over-baking. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, invert onto a rack, and cool completely. To serve, cut into squares or rectangles with a serrated knife.

vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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PERFECT Vegan Pureed Cauliflower (tips and recipe)

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

My secrets (and recipe) for PERFECT Vegan Cauliflower Puree–better than mashed potatoes! Rave reviews at last night’s Starlight Supper Club…

1) cook only until tender; avoid overcooking
2) after cooking, even if you steam the cauliflower in a bag, drain it well on paper towels
3) for 12 oz raw cauliflower, use 1 tablespoon vegan butter and 1 tablespoon vegan cream cheese; don’t omit the cream cheese!
4) fold in the zest of one quarter or more I have a large lemon–this is a game-changer!

12 ounces raw cauliflower florets (I used the steam-in-bag microwave variety)
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1 tablespoon vegan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Zest of one quarter or more of a large lemon to taste
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary sizzled in 1 tablespoon melted vegan butter

Cook cauliflower just until tender, drain if necessary, and drain again on paper towels. Break up any large florets and process with vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat if necessary and fold in zest just before serving. Drizzle with optional rosemary butter.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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The Jazzy Vegetarian’s Vegan Miso-Parsley Hummus

Yield: 4 servings

Laura Theodore, aka the Jazzy Vegetarian, is hitting all the high notes and winning awards and accolades in the process. From her latest vegan cookbook, to the Jazzy Vegetarian on public television, to her podcast radio show, to her pop-up restaurant, this vibrant recording artist never misses a beat. She is everywhere: from Netflix to CBS to HBO, just to mention a few forums where she has been featured.

Her recipes are simple and straightforward; the resulting dishes colorful and flavorful. In fact, I gifted good foodie friends with one of her cookbooks, Vegan-ease this Christmas. Like me, they like to use recipes as a starting point for their own iterations, and no better place to start than with Laura’s, though her recipes are perfectly balanced as is.

When her latest cookbook, Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan hit the stands, I had promised to participate in a “blog tour,” but life got in the way. So, better late than never. Today, I finally had an opportunity to return the favor to this energetic and supportive member of the vegan community, for years ago, she interviewed me on the Jazzy Vegetarian Radio when my cookbook, The Blooming Platter: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes was published.

Says Laura of her quick and easy recipe featured here, “Miso provides texture and taste to this hummus without adding any oil, keeping it a light and low-fat option for a satisfying snack.”

True confession, I added a tablespoon of oil because I love the mouthfeel of a hint of oil, but I also love Laura’s idea of using good ‘ole tap water for most of the moisture. Also, though I know the prevailing wisdom is to make a recipe as printed the first time and then adjust, I didn’t have any chickpeas on hand, it is pouring rain here, and I didn’t want to run into the grocery store. So, I made it with the edamame which I had in the fridge. Yum. And I used my food processor rather than blender.

Also, because my hummus was leaning in an Asian direction–and because I have been cooking and developing award-winning recipes for a very long time–I made a couple of other alterations: I added 2 large cloves of garlic, minced, and, over the top, I drizzled about a tablespoon of my Blooming Platter Mayo (basically, a white tangy “sauce”) and another of Asian Sweet Chili Sauce for color and zing. I think Laura would approve of my “jazzing up” my version just a little.

But, I guarantee that her unadulterated Miso-Parsley Hummus would be delicious as is:

1 can (15 to 16 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 to 3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (see note)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon mellow white miso
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Chef’s Note: For a more lemony taste, add 1 more tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and process until smooth. Add a bit more water, as needed, to achieve the desired consistency.

Recipe by Laura Theodore, from Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan. Published by Scribe Publishing, ©2018, reprinted by permission.

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Vegan Edamame Buddha Bowl (only 25O calories per huge serving)

Yield: 1 large serving; easily multiplies

Dinner on Friday night was delicious, nutritious, beautiful, and almost more than I could eat…but only 25O calories.

We had considered Chinese takeout, but I didn’t want to get back out after walking the dogs. So with Asian cuisine on my mind, I did a mental scan if what was in the fridge and created this satisfying and beautiful bowl.

Be sure to enjoy it with chopsticks; it is so much more fun that way.

1/2 cup shredded cabbage and carrot slaw mix (12.5 calories)

4 green onions, sliced

1 cup frozen, shelled edamane, thawed (110 calories)

1-8 ounce package Shirataki noodles, rinsed and drained (20 calories)

2 tablespoons vegan Fish Sauce (sold as vegetarian in Asian markets–20 calories)

1 to 2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Blooming Platter Mayo (20 calories)

2 tablespoons Asian Sweet Chili Sauce (60 calories)

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro + 1 spring for garnish

Barely cover the bottom of a large skillet with water. Saute cabbage and green onion, just until slightly tender, but still bright in color. Add edamame and do the same. Add all remaining ingredients in order and heat through, stirring until hot and well-combined. Serve immediately in a bowl garnished with a sprig of cilantro.

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Vegan Kentucky Bluegrass Chex Mix: Bourbon, “Bacon,” & Pecans

My favorite Chex Mix recipe is whichever one I have just created. So this rich mix is my current favorite. It was created for a bourbon-loving friend’s birthday but enjoy it for any occasion or no occasion at all.

Casting around for a logic behind ingredient selection, I decided to go with other flavors associated with the Bluegrass State in addition to Bourbon: bacon and pecans.  Bacos are vegan, though they’re not necessarily health food, so that choice was easy.

I was going to use Rye Chex, but you can’t find them anymore, or I couldn’t, and I even searched online, so I went with wheat. The cheese crackers and fried onions are because, well, I just love those flavors with smoky bourbon, smokier bacon, and sweet, earthy pecans.

Plus, the cheese crackers lend some color contrast. Brown Chex Mix may taste great, but it doesn’t do much in the appearance department.

The Cheerios and pretzels are for shape and texture contrast and Chex Mix just isn’t Chex Mix without both where I come from.

1 cup vegan butter

1/3 cup bourbon

2 tablespoons Liquid Aminos

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 jar Bacos (they are vegan!)

16 ounces pecan halves

4 cups Cheerios

3 cups pretzel sticks

3 cups Wheat Chex

1-6 ounce box Earth Balance Cheese Squares

1-6 ounce can fried onions

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Melt butter in oven in a large roasting pan, carefully remove from the oven, start animating ingredients, and roast for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely in store in airtight containers.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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