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Archive for the ‘Vegan’ Category

Masala Chai Latté Pudding

 

This is the perfect season for chai lattés.  It’s also the perfect season for comfort foods.  This dessert combines the two in a rich and deliciously Indian-spiced pudding that begs to be enjoyed on a comfy sofa while wrapped in a blanket.

 

Masala Chai Latté Pudding

Ingredients:

2 cups non dairy milk [I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk]

6 oz non dairy vanilla yogurt

½ cup date sugar

1 block organic firm silken tofu

4 T organic cornstarch

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

12 cloves

8 green cardamom pods

1 stick cinnamon

½ tsp ground mace

4 bags Assam Black tea

1 inch ginger, sliced

¼ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Pour  1 ½ cups milk into a pot and heat over medium low.  Add the cloves, cinnamon, mace, cardamom, ginger, pepper.  Steep for ten minutes.  Add the tea bags and steep for an additional five minutes.  Strain over a fine mesh strainer and wring out the tea bags.  Return the pot to the stove.  Dissolve the sugar into the flavored milk.  Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining ½ cup of milk and pour into the flavored milk.  Bring to a low simmer until the mixture thickens. 

Add the tofu, vanilla and yogurt to a blender and pulse until homogenous.  Add the thickened flavored milk and blend until smooth.  Pour into ramekins and chill until set.

I garnished mine with some Indian-spiced sliced almonds, but any toasted nut would be a great choice to add a bit of crunch on top.

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If you’re craving Americanized Mexican food, this is a wonderfully quick meal to toss together and makes a great portable lunch the following day rolled into a tortilla.  Garnish them up with freshly cut radishes, crisp romaine and heady cilantro, or grilled onions and green peppers.  You could, and I often do,  add some diced bell pepper, kale, carrots, zucchini or any other vegetable to the onions as they sauté and add yet more goodness to the mix.  It’s also wonderful garnished with some chili beans.

 

Tempeh Taco/Burrito Filling

Ingredients:

8 oz tempeh, ground to crumbles in a food processor [Careful not to overprocess and turn it pasty.]

1 medium onion, diced ~ ½ cup

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

8 oz tomato sauce

1 T chili powder [I used Ancho chili powder]

1½ tsp cumin

1 tsp Mexican oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes, depending upon your tastes

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

water

oil for sautéing the onion and tomato paste [I use a small dollop of coconut oil, macadamia nut or olive oil.]

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic until softened.  Add the spices and cook until fragrant.  Clear a spot in the pan and add the tomato paste.  Cook for a couple of minutes to rid it of the metallic flavor from the can.  Add the tomato sauce and tempeh.  Mix well and add water to the consistency you prefer, I used ~4 oz of water. 

Serve with chili beans and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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There is a reason that street foods are eternal and craved relentlessly; they’re just damned good.  When you load your diet with legumes, you’re always after new ways to be creative with them.  In my opinion, the queen bean is without a doubt the garbanzo.  Call it ceci, chickpea or Bengal gram, it’s still the reigning sovereign of many vegan’s diets and a favorite of omnivores the world over. 

Here I celebrate and pay homage to panelle, a Sicilian street eat that is traditionally served as a simple sandwich filling on a bun.  One of the reasons that I love panelle so much is because, when pan-fried and warm,  it has that contrasting textural thing going on with the crispy edges and a velvety soft interior.  It is, hands down, a great sandwich.

Panelle [Chickpea Polenta]

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups garbanzo bean flour

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tsp dried oregano

Pinch of salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Olive oil

Directions:

Slowly add broth to the flour while whisking to avoid lumps.  Add in the oregano, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring the entire time.   (It does not need to boil and shall spit molten chickpea lava at you if you do let it boil, so be careful.)  It is going to be very thick once finished but you want it to have that consistency because you want a substantial texture for a sandwich filling.

Transfer panelle to a non-stick pan and tamp down with a spatula. (I used a loaf pan sprayed with olive oil.)  Place into the refrigerator until chilled solid.  Invert onto a cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices.  You can either pan fry in oil (as is traditional) to crisp it up or do as I did and simply give a quick spray of olive oil to each slice and place in a pan until the sides are golden.

As always, my predilection for the savory-sweet combination shines through here.  I like to add a nice slather of apricot jam to my panelle sandwich, though it’s entirely up to you how you wish to assemble your own masterpiece.

 

[This slightly-modified post/recipe was originally published at VelvetPark last year.  I wanted it here, on my personal blog, because it is one of my favorites and I felt it was important to include it here in my collection/index.]

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This was my first foray into the realm of ice cream making,  and all I can say is that I wish I’d invested in an ice cream maker and tried this sooner!   No preservatives, no stabilizers, no artificial colors or flavors, no gums or thickeners darkened this doorway.   A handful of wholesome ingredients, including some gorgeous seasonal figs,  was simply transformed into an amazing summertime treat that bests any commercially-made vegan ice cream I’ve tried.

Caramelized Fig and Tree Nut Ice Cream

[Makes 1 pint]

Ingredients:

2 cups full fat coconut milk [I use AROY-D because it is preservative and BPA-free.]

1/3 cup organic dark brown sugar, packed

1 T coconut or macadamia nut oil [I used macadamia nut because of its rich and buttery flavor.]

4 figs, diced

½- ¾ cup nuts [I used macadamia nuts and cashews]

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat and add in brown sugar.  Once the sugar has melted add the diced figs and a pinch of salt.  Cook for a few minutes until soft and bubbly.  Slowly add the coconut milk and vanilla extract.   Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to a container and place in the refrigerator to chill.

While the ice cream mix is chilling preheat the oven to 400°F.  Place the nuts on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes or until they begin to turn golden.  Set aside.  [Transfer the nuts from the cookie sheet to a cool container so that they do not continue to cook and burn on the hot cookie sheet.]

Once the ice cream mix has chilled, add to your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer’s instructions.  Once the ice cream is semi-solid, add in the roasted nuts and continue to freeze until it sets up.

Serve immediately as soft serve or place in a container in the freezer to harden further.

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This is a simple and delicious rice dish that’ll become a favorite.  It has wonderful flavors and a variety of textures that keeps it interesting until the last bite.  It also just happens to contain some ingredients that are powerful antioxidants/anti-inflammatories such as turmeric, chile peppers, and ginger.

 

Lime Rice

[Serves 4]

Ingredients:

1 cup brown basmati rice

⅓ cup raw cashews

¼ cup yellow split peas

2 spring onions, sliced

1 T fresh ginger, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T unsweetened dried shredded coconut

½ tsp turmeric

Juice and zest of one lime

1 dried chile [I used a Chile de árbol]

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

Rinse rice and split peas under running water in a colander.  Drain well and transfer to a heated pot on the stove over medium high heat.  Add the chile pepper.  Stir frequently until the rice begins to dry and pop.  Add water to cover by a couple of inches.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander.  Reserve the chile pepper.

Return the pot to the stove and add the coconut oil.  Sauté the onions, ginger, garlic and finely diced reserved chile pepper for a couple of minutes.  Add the turmeric, dried coconut and lime zest.  Add the cooked rice and peas, cashews and lime juice.  Stir until the rice is well coated.

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This dish was an awesome pairing of two of our favorite seasonal offerings:  asparagus and morel mushrooms.  I’ve found that roasting [rather than steaming] asparagus takes this already sublime stalk to its ultimate level of tastiness as those natural sugars caramelize and the tips slightly crisp.  I figured that if I then smothered that roasted asparagus in some earthy mushrooms, cooked in a tartly sweet and creamy balsamic sauce, and then further wrapped it all up into a calzone that had been spread with a lemony cashew “cheese”, it might just delight H.  Phew…what a mouthful; and it was!  I was right, but I had a pretty good hunch going in that this would be a winner.

This recipe yielded 4 calzones.

 

Creamy Balsamic Morels

Ingredients:

½ cup diced shallot

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 oz mushrooms, diced [I used morels; you could use whichever mushroom you enjoy most.]

1 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt [I used So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt]

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent.  Add the morels and sauté until softened.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.  Add the yogurt and mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Lemony Cashew “Cheese”

Ingredients:

½ cup cashews, soaked for one hour

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T lemon juice

Directions:

Drain the cashews and place in a food processor.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Pulse until a paste forms.

12 roasted asparagus spears [Toss in olive oil and roast at 450°F until they start to caramelize ~10-15 mins.]

One large pizza dough at room temperature [I buy this at my local grocery; your local pizzeria would probably sell you a ball of pizza dough]

***

Assembling the Calzone:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. [Also preheat your pizza stone or sheet pan.]

Divide the dough into 4 portions.  Stretch each into a small pizza-sized round.  Add ¼ of the cashew cheese to ½ of each round.  Lay 3 spears of asparagus [trimmed to fit] atop the cashew cheese.  Add ¼ of the creamy balsamic mushrooms.  Fold the top of the pizza round over the bottom and seal the edges by crimping and rolling over as you make your way around the semi-circle [as you would a pie crust].  Using a knife make a couple of vent holes on the top to allow steam to release as they cook.  You can also brush the surface with some olive oil.

Place upon a pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan.  Bake until golden.

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It’s nearly summertime and the farmer’s markets are beginning to burst at the seams with produce! Use whatever vegetables you have on hand in this. Aside from the gorgeous okra I picked up, I added some crisp bell pepper, carrots and green cabbage to give this stir-fry some color and wonderful texture.

Okra and Yuba Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

2 cups dried yuba bowtie knots, rehydrated in warm water

2 cups okra, sliced lengthwise

2 carrots, sliced into coins

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 head cabbage, cut into a large dice

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup ponzu sauce, without bonito [could substitute soy sauce or tamari]

1 tsp roasted sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili paste

cornstarch, divided  [Mix 1 T in 1/2 cup cold water to thicken the sauce.  You shall also need some to dredge the yuba in.]

ground ginger

coconut oil

Directions:

Spoon a little bit of coconut oil into a pan and heat to medium-high.  Drain yuba in a colander and pat dry.  Toss with a small handful of cornstarch seasoned with a bit of ground ginger. Allow excess cornstarch to fall off and add to the hot pan,  Cook until the edges have crisped.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another drizzle of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir fry all vegetables except the cabbage.  When the vegetables begin to cook yet are still crisp add in the cabbage.  Stir fry for a few minutes longer then add vegetables to the bowl with the yuba.  Add all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Add cornstarch a bit at a time until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Return yuba and vegetables to the pan and mix well to coat with sauce.  Serve over steaming brown rice.

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