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Archive for the ‘Picnic/Party Foods’ Category

 

 

Vegan RO*TEL Dip

Ingredients:

2 cups hemp or oat milk [I prefer one of these more full-bodied milks for this recipe]

10 oz can RO*TEL

¾ cup nutritional yeast

2 T flour

2 T oil

1 T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish

1½ tsp chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp chili flakes

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp cumin

Optional garnishes:

cilantro

freshly diced tomato

jalapeño

Directions:

Place the oil in a pot over medium heat.  Stir in the flour to create a light roux.  Cook for a few minutes until the color darkens a little bit and there is a nutty scent.  Stir in the seasonings and cook for another minute or so.  Slowly add in the milk while whisking to prevent clumps.  Add the nutritional yeast and RO*TEL.  Bring to a low simmer then remove from heat.  Serve warm.

 

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This is a wonderfully quick and delicious autumnal whole grain-based salad.  It can be served at any temperature you wish, but is very nice when warmed.  I like to serve this over a pile of soft butter lettuce as a side dish to my gyros seitan for a hearty meal on a cold night.

 

Warm Bulgur Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup coarse bulgur

1 cup diced green beans

½ cup toasted pine nuts

12 dried apricots, cut into slivers

¼ cup mint, chopped

¼ cup Italian parsley, chopped

1 leek, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 leaves dinosaur kale, finely chopped

Lemon vinaigrette with oregano  

  • 1T lemon juice + 2T olive, flax or nut oil + 1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Bring 2½ cups of water or vegetable stock [If you want a more savory flavor] to a boil.  Add the bulgur, stir and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the grain is tender simply drain off excess liquid and set aside.

While the bulgur is perking away, over medium heat, sauté the green beans, leek, garlic and kale in a small drizzle of olive oil until tender.  Add the apricots and pine nuts.  Toss to combine.  Transfer the drained bulgur to a large bowl and add the sautéed vegetables, parsley and mint.   Pour as much of the lemon and oregano vinaigrette over the bulgur salad as you wish and mix well.   Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

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Sweet, sticky and lip-smackingly good.  These beans are incredibly easy to make and well worth the effort to make from scratch, rather than simply opening a can of ready-made.  While they bake, uncovered, the sauce on top caramelizes and thickens as it darkens in color adding a richer flavor that you can stir through the whole before serving.

 

Sweet and Savory Oven-Baked Beans

Ingredients:

1 lb dry white beans [I used Navy]

1 3-inch piece of dried kombu

1 ½ cups organic ketchup

1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed

½ cup molasses

¼ cup yellow mustard

1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 T tomato paste

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T sweet paprika

1 T dry mustard

1 T chili powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:

Soak the beans overnight in water.

Drain and rinse the beans, then place into a large pot.  Cover beans by 4 inches with water, add the piece of kombu, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half, until the beans soften.

While the beans are simmering, sauté the onion in a drizzle of olive oil until translucent.  Add the garlic and tomato paste.  Continue cooking until the tomato paste has slightly caramelized.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Drain the beans, reserving 2 cups of cooking liquid.  Return the beans and reserved cooking liquid to the pot.  Add the sauce and mix thoroughly.  Transfer to a large oven-safe crock and bake, uncovered, for an hour. 

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It’s summertime and people are out grilling and gathering around tables laden with food.  Problem is, there usually aren’t many vegan options.  These veggie dawgs will be a hit at your next gathering and are, as always, entirely vegan.  I had a few goals when I set out to make these veggie dawgs:  First, they had to contain some actual vegetables in order for me to call them a bonafide “veggie”dawg.  Second, I wanted to improve the texture and flavor of regular seitan dogs and create one that was less “bready” in nature.    Third, as always, I wanted them to be more nutritious.  I believe I suceeded on all three counts and hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

 

Veggie Dawgs

Dry Ingredients:

1¼ cups vital wheat gluten

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup garfava flour

½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped  [400°F for 10 minutes on a sheet pan]

1 T Bill’s Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

1 T dry mustard

1T sweet paprika

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp dried sage

¼ tsp sea salt

⅛ tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

½  block silken tofu

½ cup finely grated carrot

1 onion, sliced

½ cup cooked garbanzo beans

½ cup amber beer

1 ½ T walnut oil

1 T tamari

1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pan and brown the onions over medium heat.

Add the following to a food processor and blend until homogenous:  tofu, browned onions, walnuts, carrot, garbanzo beans, garlic, tamari, Worcestershire and beer.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk together well.

Mix the wet into the dry and knead with your hands until fully homogenous.  Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized portions.  Place 8 foot-long pieces of aluminum foil on a surface in a stack with the short edge facing you.  Place one dough portion along the bottom edge, a few inches from the end, and mold into a sausage shape that is bun-length long [@ 5 inches].  Using the foil, roll the dough into a cylindrical tube and twist the ends once completely rolled to form the tubular sausage shape.  Repeat the process for the remaining dough portions.

Steam in a steamer basket for 30 minutes.  Let the veggie dawgs cool and then either reheat in a pan or on a grill.

 

 

 

 

 

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Red Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, though often called a grain, is in fact, a seed.  It is a fabulous source of protein and contains all essential amino acids.  The cold-pressed flax seed and walnut oils offer healthful Omega-3s, while the dried tart cherries are chock full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.  This salad is perfect for a light summertime lunch or as a side dish at a picnic or barbecue; I’ve actually eaten leftovers of it for breakfast.

Ingredients:

1½ cups organic red quinoa

1 bunch asparagus

2 oranges, sections cut into supremes

½ cup dried tart cherries

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 T flax seed oil

1 T walnut oil

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Chive blossoms, to garnish

Directions:

Add the quinoa to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander and cool to room temperature. 

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with Chive or other edible flowery blossoms.

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Cherries, especially the tart variety,  are receiving a great deal of attention these days in the athletic world due to their ability to mitigate pain after exercise.  This little fruit is packed full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important to the health of your vision. They are also, interestingly enough,  a good source of the calming antioxidant, melatonin.

I use a great deal of fruit and vegetable juices in my cooking to impart both flavor and nutrients to our food, so when Cheribundi approached us and asked if we’d try out their cherry juice, we eagerly agreed.  This sauce, coupled with the yuba, was savory and sweet, tangy and lip-smacking good.   In short, it had umami.   The slaw, absolutely necessary for any mustardy Carolina-style barbecue-sauced dish, was the perfect fresh and raw accompaniment. 

 

Pulled Yuba in a Cherry Barbecue Sauce with Sesame Slaw

Ingredients:

1 cup tart cherry juice [I used Cheribundi’s Tru Cherry juice.]

½ cup dried sour cherries

¼ cup yellow mustard

¼ cup Dijon mustard

½ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup dark brown sugar

3 T tomato paste

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

6 oz dried bean curd sheets [1 package]

Peanut oil

Directions:

Add a drizzle of peanut oil to a pan and heat over medium.  Add the tomato paste and spread around the pan to caramelize and rid the paste of the tinned flavor.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the yuba and dried cherries, and bring to a low simmer.  Cook for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

While the sauce is simmering, soak the sheets of yuba in hot tap water to hydrate.  Once pliable, drain and roll into a tight bundle.  Cut into small shreds across the roll. 

Add the shredded yuba and dried cherries to the sauce.  Mix well to incorporate and set aside to marinate.  The longer you leave it, the more flavor the yuba will absorb.  To serve, simply return to the heat and warm through.  I served this sandwich-style on a toasted ciabatta bun.

 

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Sesame Slaw

Ingredients:

snow pea pods, julienned

red bell pepper, julienned

apple, julienned

golden beet, shaved with a vegetable peeler

tahini

fresh lemon juice and zest

dark sesame oil

black sesame seeds

Directions:

I did not include amounts because it depends upon how much you wish to make.  I simply added equal portions of each fruit and vegetable ingredient and then used a 2:1 ratio of tahini to lemon juice as the dressing with a few drops of dark sesame oil added.  Season with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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The other day H decided that she was going to make some soft pretzels [I believe she used Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe].  They turned out really well and, as it also turns out, they freeze beautifully.  Now, knowing that there were frozen soft pretzels lurking in the freezer, and having the urge to make a new variant of tofu, I decided to fashion a meal out of the two items.  The only thing that remained unresolved was what flavors to infuse the tofu with; a combination of agave, mustard, orange zest and chili sauce grabbed hold of my mind and pulled me into it’s undertow.  Sweet and mustardy with a kick of heat turned this idea into an amazing dinner.

The glaze would also work really well baked onto store-bought tofu.  It would jazz it up and make it a great addition to any spicy dish.

 

Agave,  Mustard and Chili Tofu

Ingredients:

freshly made tofu,  ready to be pressed

½ cup agave syrup

2 T yellow mustard

1 T stone-ground mustard

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

zest of 1 orange

pinch of salt

Directions:

Drain the tofu curds and let cool.

While the tofu is cooling, heat the agave, mustards, chili garlic sauce, salt and orange zest in a sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let cool.

Once cooled, transfer the tofu curd to a large bowl and mix in ½ of the agave and mustard sauce.  Mix well, but gently.  Transfer the infused tofu to a mold and press for 30 minutes to an hour.

Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  Reserve the remainder of the sauce for use as a glaze.

Preheat oven to 350°.

When you are ready to serve, cut the tofu into slices* and place upon a silpat on a baking sheet [or other non-stick, oven-safe surface].  Spoon ½ of the remaining glaze atop the slices and bake for 20-30 minutes.  Add the remainder of the glaze and repeat.  Baking the tofu will firm up the texture and the glaze will become thick and sticky. 

*I grilled the tofu prior to glazing and baking it in order to give it grill marks and to give the outside layer a chewier texture.

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