Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vegan Potato Cakes with Tahini Lime Dressing:

Decadent, delicious, and easy to make...what more could a girl ask for? These babies are amazing. I used canned new potatoes to make this less time-consuming. I also baked them so that I could study while they were cooking, but you can fry or saute them to achieve a little more crunch around the edges. The tahini lime dressing compliments the potatoes and paprika, giving them a hint of freshness. I'm actually in the library again, but I can't wait to get home and eat some more of these. My stomach is growling.

I only have a few more days until I'm done for the semester! Plans for break include: making this blog super awesome, setting up job interviews, writing a novel (haha), taking tons of pictures, spending time with family, and getting a little bit of traveling in.

Ingredients:

1 (49 oz.) can new potatoes, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. plain unsweetened almond milk
3/4 tsp. paprika, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 cup tahini lime dressing (recipe below)

Instructions:

1. Add the potatoes, olive oil, almond milk, and salt to a large pot. Smash the potatoes with a potato masher, and heat over medium to medium-high heat until heated through. Smash a little bit more (these potatoes should still be a little chunky though).

2. Stir in the breadcrumbs, parsley, and paprika. Let the potato and parsley mixture cool in the fridge for a half an hour (optional).

3. Once the mixture has cooled, preheat your oven to 400, and generously grease a baking sheet. Separate the potato mixture into 15 patties, 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Place each on the baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and paprika, and spray or brush with a little oil.

4. Bake the patties until golden-brown, about 15 minutes on each side. NOTE: I baked them on the bottom rack of the oven for the last 7 minutes. Serve over a bed of fresh greens, and drizzle with the tahini dressing. 


TAHINI LIME DRESSING:

Ingredients:

1/3 cup water
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. sesame tahini
2 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. agave nectar
Dash of salt

Instructions:

Add all of the ingredients to a small container. Mix until well combined, adding more or less of each ingredient to reach desired flavor.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Photo Album: Thanksgiving:

We baked a ton of cookies one day while I was home. They weren't vegan though, so I'm going to have to bake some vegan ones myself. I did sneak a cookie or two, but paid for it later that night (I never said I was perfect!)
All in all, I had a great time home for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go out and take pictures like I usually do, but here are some fun ones of my family and I. We went out for Wild Turkey night, had 3 Thanksgiving dinners, went out to breakfast and lunch a lot, watched some movies, baked cookies, explored the outdoors in the cold, and I was even able to get a little rest while we were at it. PS: more recipes to come. I promise! I'm actually in the library right now, and I need to study, so I will get some recipes up later.  

Dad and I watching the Notre Dame USC game.
One of my Thanksgiving dinners: Roasted Portabello Mushrooms in port sauce with vegan stuffing, yams, mashed potatoes, and cauliflower gratin.
My little brother, Brennan, and I at Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma Hunter's.
My little man, Jordan, and I eating yummy Mexican food.
All of the siblings (minus Brennan and Ethan) and Grandpa OB celebrating ND's win.
My cousin's moth man cookie.
My madre and I during Thanksgiving dinner.
My dogs woke me up every morning. It feels good to be loved.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Out & About: Melt Bar and Grilled:

MELT BAR AND GRILLED:

 Glorified Grilled Cheese: I love it, and I could live off of this stuff. 

I met up with my brother at Melt for lunch after a meeting I had in Cleveland the other day. My cousin has been talking Melt up for over a year now. I'm just never home long enough to make it up to Cleveland. 

I'm glad that Mac and I decided to try it out. It was delicious. They have a lot of vegan and vegetarian options, and they have Daiya cheese. It's essentially a glorified grilled cheese joint, with a variety of options, from falafel to a nice long list of microbrews. 

I got the Roasted Vegetable Sandwich and added mushrooms and Daiya mozzarella cheese. I would say that the pesto on the sandwich was "to die for," but I hate that expression, so I will just tell you that it was heavenly and that I wish I had ordered one to go so that I could be eating it right now.

The zucchini, eggplant, roasted red pepper, carrots, and spinach drenched in pesto and covered in "cheese" left me smiling all day long, not to mention the fact that I was able to have lunch with one of my favorite baby brothers.

I should've gotten better pictures, but I always feel incredibly awkward while taking pictures of my food while I'm out to eat (as if I wasn't weird enough by ordering a vegan meal). Anyways, the pictures don't do the sandwich justice, but I promise you that it was delectable. The atmosphere is also very cozy and fun. If you're ever near one of Melt's Cleveland area locations, you should stop in and give it a try. Check out their website here: Melt Bar and Grilled.

Rich pesto with roasted mushrooms and Daiya Mozzarella: everything a girl could ask for in a grilled cheese.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vegan Baby Bella and "Parmesan" Sandwiches:

Yum! This is perfect for those days when you need something quick but delicious at the same time. In ten minutes, you can have this on the table.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
 1 tbsp. olive oil 
Garlic salt (to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
Lawry's seasoned salt (to taste)
2 fresh rolls
Galaxy Foods Rice Parmesan (here)

Serves 2. (Easily doubled).
Total Cook Time: 10 minutes.

Instructions:

Add the mushrooms, oil, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt to a medium saucepan. Saute on medium-high to high heat until cooked through and a little charred (but not mushy), about 7 minutes. Add half of the cooked mushrooms onto each of the rolls, and sprinkle with as much rice Parmesan as you want.  I served these with fries and broccolini.
 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Briefly...

Just figured I'd give a quick update: I'm having a great time at home. It's been interesting to say the least. I've kind of been taking a break from cooking and blogging, but I promise that I'll get back to posting this weekend. Everything's going well...I have so much to look forward to and be excited about, so I'm feeling very rejuvenated today. Lots of plans for this blog over Christmas break.

PS: I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving. I've heard that some of you made my recipes. You honestly don't know how flattered I am. I hope that they came out well! Anyways, I have to pick my sister up from basketball. We're about to have some quality sister time (finally). We've both been so busy that we've barely seen each other. 

All I know is that I couldn't ask for anything more than what I have today, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. ♥

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Vegan Panzanella with Apricot Dressing:

Well, I turned my papers in today...45 pages later, and I'm free. (It's been a semester). I'm at the airport now, just waiting to board my plane home, where it's probably freezing cold. Either way, I'm excited. I have lots of big plans for Thanksgiving. This panzanella is perfect as a side salad. I'm been having lots of fun with the leftover apricot preserves from the Vegan MoFo Chopped Challenge. I'm hoping that my family loves it as much as I do. 

NOTE: I used the cinnamon rolls from the other day for my panzanella/croutons. I found that the little bit of cinnamon went a long way with flavor, but you can use regular bread and just add a tiny dash of cinnamon to yield the same effect.

Also, I will post some last-minute Thanksgiving ideas tomorrow. I know it's a little late, but it's the best I can do at this point. Anyhow, I should probably board my plane now.  ☮❤

Ingredients:

3 to 4 cups arugula
1 1/2 cups bread, cubed
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
3 tsp. apricot preserves
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. vegetable broth
Teeny dash of cinnamon

Serves 4 to 6.
Total Cook Time: 15 minutes.

Instructions:

1. Combine the Italian dressing, apricot preserves, and olive oil in a small bowl. Stir until well-combined.

2. Line the bread cubes out evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle each with the vegetable broth. Sprinkle with salt and cinnamon (if using), and broil until toasted, 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Add the arugula to a large salad bowl. Once the bread is toasted, add the bread and almonds. Mix in the dressing, and toss to coat.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Vegan Cabbage & Polenta "Dumplings":

Um...I was just pretending that I was back in Prague....
Cabbage and Dumplings in Prague
Cabbage and Dumplings at Home (sans beer)

So anyways, I was really missing Prague today, and I wanted cabbage and dumplings. Instead of taking the time to actually make dumplings, I used polenta. It was awesome and much healthier than your typical dumpling.  The comforting polenta rounds compliment the tangy, savory cabbage beautifully. This dish is comfort for any day, and you can have it on the table in less than 25 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 head of cabbage, sliced into 1-inch sections
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed, and chopped
2 tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tbsp. vegetable broth
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
Dash of pepper 
1 tube of polenta, sliced

Serves 4 to 6.
Total Cook Time: about 25 minutes.

Instructions:

1. Add the cabbage, onion, shallot, and garlic to a pan. Add a dash of salt, pepper, and the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Toss to coat. Turn the stove to medium-high, and cook for about 3 minutes.

2. Add in the vegetable broth, and continue cooking until the liquid is absorbed and the cabbage is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

3. Once the liquid is absorbed, add the sliced polenta. Cook until heated through, 5 to 7 minutes, and enjoy. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Vegan Sweet Rolls with Cinnamon "Buttery Spread":

For whatever reason, though I have deadlines screaming at me from just about every angle, I have found myself extremely bored as of late. I feel like my life is stagnating. I need to get out, to travel someplace. I miss those feelings of inspiration and creativity that plagued me so greatly during and in the few months after traveling through Europe. Those feelings have begun to fade, and I feel myself in a sadness of sorts. You know what they say, "all good things are wild and free." Right now, I feel neither wild not free, even despite my impending trip home.

 Oh God...sorry for rambling like an idiot. (Depressing much?)
Haha. That's enough about my feelings.

Anyways, these rolls cheered me up. If you've ever had Texas Roadhouse rolls, you will find that these are very similar. They take a few hours to make (most of the time is to let the dough rise). However, they're very easy to make, and worth the extra time. The brown sugar in the dough gives them a sweet flavor, which goes well with the cinnamon "butter."

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup warm water + 1 1/2 tsp. yeast + 1 1/2 tsp. white sugar
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. canola or olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp. salt (+ some to sprinkle on the rolls before baking)
2 tsp. white sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Instructions:

1. First, proof the yeast: dissolve the yeast and 1 1/2 tsp. white sugar in the warm water. Let stand until frothy, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Next, add the flour, brown sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Sift the ingredients until well-combined. Add in 1 tablespoon of the oil and the yeast mixture. Mix well, and then add the cold water. Knead until the dough is smooth and tacky, about 7 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, coat with oil, and let it rise for about 2 hours.

3. After the dough has risen, separate it into 16 one-inch balls. Grease your baking pan, and place the dough balls in the pan, allowing room for them to rise. Let them rise for another hour.

4. Next, mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Brush the rolls with the remaining oil and sprinkle them with about 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture and a dash of salt. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and then bake for 25 minutes, until golden-brown.

5. While the rolls are baking, mix the remaining cinnamon sugar with the Earth Balance. Brush the cinnamon butter onto the rolls after you pull them out of the oven.



Vegan Nachos & Nacho "Cheese":

Well, this is lame. I think I'm going to stay in, rent The Holiday, and watch it on repeat by myself all night. Haha. At least I ate well today. I made nachos with "cheese" sauce, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, and avocados. I also made sweet rolls with cinnamon buttery spread. ♥

Clearly, daylight savings time has become my arch enemy in getting good pictures these days. It has also been particularly gloomy for Florida lately. Needless to say, it's frustrating. Oh well, the  nachos tasted amazing anyways. You can also add in diced onions, black beans, bell peppers, and/or tempeh for more variety. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 ripe tomato, diced
 1 avocado, sliced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried cilantro
Tortilla chips
1 cup nacho cheese (see recipe below) 
Hot sauce (to taste)

Instructions:

Lay the tortilla chips out on a plate or casserole dish. Toss the diced tomato with the olive oil and cilantro. Drizzle the tortilla chips with the cheese and hot sauce, and then top them with the tomato, avocado, and jalapenos. 

Vegan Nacho Cheese

1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sesame tahini
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. chiles, minced
1/4 tsp. miso (optional)
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
A few dashes of cayenne pepper

Instructions:


1. Whisk the almond milk, tahini, nutritional yeast, chiles, miso, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in the flour.

2. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium, and let simmer until it thickens, another 10 minutes, whisking often.

3. Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. It should thicken a little more.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

VEGAN SOUTHWESTERN BLACK BEAN & CORN PIZZA:

My favorite pizza to date! The hot sauce is optional, but it gives this recipe a little kick...this is most definitely a party in your mouth.

Only a few more days until I go home! I'm still working on my papers, but I should have them both turned in by Monday, so I'll be able to relax a little on my plane ride home.

I've learned, however, that writing on subjects that I'm passionate about will generally be much more time-consuming because I always want to add more. (Hence why my first one is not turned in yet).

Anyways, one semester of law school left...scary. I can't believe that 7 years of higher education has gone by so quickly.

Getting back to the recipe, I know that you'll love it! It's definitely worth a try, and the pizza dough is just delicious. Feel free to top it with fresh greens and avocado as well. ❤❤❤

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough (see below)
1/2 cup corn
2/3 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 yellow or red onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cilantro
1 tsp. corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt 
Dash of black pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of parsley
1/2 cup vegan pepper jack, grated (optional)
Hot sauce (optional - to taste)

Instructions:

1. Make the dough. Allow it to rise for a few hours (see recipe below).

2. Once the dough has risen, add corn starch to your pizza stone or baking sheet, and form the dough into a round crust by maneuvering it around on your knuckles. Lay it on your pizza stone.

3. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Let the dough rise for another half an hour. Mixed the garlic and olive oil in a bowl, and then brush it oven the dough.

4. Next, top the dough with the corn, black beans, onion, and tomato. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cilantro, and parsley.

5. Bake at 500 for 10 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Top with the pepper jack, and continue baking until golden-brown, another 10 minutes or so. Drizzle with hot sauce and serve. ❤

Best Pizza Dough EVER:

Ingredients:

4 cups all purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups water, ice cold
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Makes three 8-ish inch pizzas or  two 12-inch pizzas.
Adapted from The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Dough Instructions:

1. Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and parsley to a large bowl. Mix together.

2. Next, stir in the water and oil. Knead the dough until it's tacky and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, coat with oil, cover with a damp towel, and let  the dough rise for at least 2 hours (overnight for a lighter and airier dough).

3. After the dough has risen, divide it into 3 sections. If you're only making one pizza, put the other dough balls in ziplock bags and save them for later. (It should last for 5 days in the fridge. I froze my extra dough).

4.  Sprinkle corn starch over a cast-iron skillet, pizza stone, or baking sheet. Spread the dough out evenly on whatever pan that you decide to use. Preheat the oven to 500, and let the dough rise a little more while the oven is heating.

Other Vegan Pizza Recipes: ❤

SMASHED REDSKIN POTATO PIZZA
Falafel Pizza With Vegan Ranch Dressing
Quick Mushroom and Kale Pita Pizza
Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Pizza
Vegan Bruschetta Flatbread
Mellow Mushroom Build Your Own Pizza
GUACAMOLE PIZZA


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TRUFFLES!

Sweet and salty truffles...these are perfect for a sweet snack in between meals.

Ingredients:
3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (store bought)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Dash of sea salt
Agave nectar
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. coconut flakes

Makes a dozen truffles.
Total Cook Time: 10 minutes.

Instructions:
Add the pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, and sea salt to your food processor. Process the mixture until it starts to clump together. Form the mixture into 10 truffles, and roll them in the cocoa powder and coconut flakes. I served the agave nectar on the side.

Vegan Chili Rice Bowls:

Here's a little twist on classic rice and beans. I made a sauce with chili powder and brown sugar for the black-eyed peas. It's super delicious and hearty. Feel free to add greens as well. (I was just too lazy). Hope you like it!

PS: I should be posting some more travel pictures and stories in the near future. :)

Ingredients:
1 cup rice + 1 cup water + 1 cup vegetable  broth
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic
1 (15oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp. cilantro
1 tsp. brown sugar
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of chili powder

Instructions:

Blogging and writing papers!
1. Add the rice, water, and vegetable broth to a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes.

2. While the rice is cooking, add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne, and 1/2 tbsp. olive oil to a small bowl. Toss to coat. Set aside.

3. Drain and rinse the black-eyed peas. Add the beans, salt, pepper, chili powder, brown sugar, and 1/2 tbsp. of the olive oil to a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until the beans are heated through and a sauce has formed and thickened, about 10 minutes.

4. Once the rice is cooked, add 1 tbsp. of the olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley. Toss to coat.

5. Add all of the ingredients to bowls, in whatever order you want, and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

OMG - Vegan Polenta Stackers in Lemon "Butter" Sauce:

OMG! This is so decadent. My mouth was watering the whole time I was cooking. You might die when you taste this, and again when you realize that you made such a rich, delicious, gourmet meal in less than 25 minutes.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups arugula
1 tube polenta (about 2 cups), sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
1 1/2 cups broccoli, cut into medium florets
1 cup kale, ripped into medium pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, sliced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts  
1 tsp. olive oil

1 1/2 cup dry white wine
2 to 3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Earth Balance
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
Dash of black pepper
Dash of paprika
Dash of cayenne

Serves 4.
Total Cook Time: 25 minutes.

Instructions:

1. Add the white wine, lemon juice, broccoli, Earth Balance, and thyme to a medium saucepan. Stir, and mix in the pepper, paprika, cayenne, and half of the salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low, add the chickpeas, and continue cooking until reduced, about another 8 to 10 minutes.

2. While the sauce is cooking, heat the polenta and tomatoes in a large sauce pan: add the olive oil, polenta, tomatoes, and salt to the pan. Cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes, and then turn the heat up to high. Continue cooking until the tomatoes are brown, 3 to 5 more minutes. (Take the polenta out of the pan if it begins to burn).

3. Stack the polenta, tomatoes, and other ingredients on top of a bed of arugula...and then try not to eat it all yourself. ❤

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vegan Crock Pot Tortilla Soup:


I know...I've been neglecting my blog a little for the past few days. I haven't been cooking all that much because I haven't been home during meal times, and I honestly haven't really felt like it. The past weekend was fun. I was able to relax a little, catch up with old friends, and make this delicious tortilla soup. (And Notre Dame won again. Woohoo). Anyways, more to tell later, and a few more recipes should be up tomorrow.

Ingredients:
1 (15oz.) can diced tomatoes + 1 can water
1 (15oz.) can corn, drained
1 (15oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced or diced
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 to 2 tbsp. hot sauce
1 to 2 tsp. yellow corn meal
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
Dash of paprika
Dash of black pepper

Toppings
Tortilla Chips
Vegan Cheese


Instructions:
Add all of the ingredients (minus the rice, vegan cheese, and tortillas) to your crock pot, stir, and turn to high. Cook for an hour, and then stir in the rice. Cook for an additional 2 hours or so. Top with grated vegan cheese (optional) and tortilla chips.

NOTE: Feel free to add Tofutti Sour Cream or avocados as toppings as well.

Other Soup Ingredients: You can also use bell peppers, onions, or black beans in this soup. (I didn't have any bell peppers and was feeling too lazy to cut the onions).

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Vegan Harvard Beet, Cranberry, and Quinoa Salad

This sweet and savory salad is essential for this time of year. It has a hint of Fall flavors, with a little reminder of summer. The beet juice, lemon juice, and rosemary leave little room for anything to be desired, so seasoning is minimal in this recipe, and dressing is unnecessary. The arugula gives this recipe a little tang as well. Harvard beets are different from pickled beets. They're sweet and syrupy...perfect for this recipe!

NOTE: This salad can be served hot or cold. I served it cold, but it still tastes delicious hot if you don't have the time to cool the quinoa. To save time, cook the quinoa the night before and let it cool in the fridge overnight. 

I'm just hanging out today. I have to clean and do some school stuff. It's a beautiful day, so I'll probably try to get outside at some point. The semester is quickly winding down, and I'm getting ready to go home for Thanksgiving: 8 classes, 2 papers, some reading and outlining, and a few days of work are all that stand between Thanksgiving and I. I'm hoping for snow and lots of good food.❤

Ingredients:
2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 to 1 1/2 cups Harvard Beets (diced) + 2 tsp. of the extra  beet juice from the jar
1 1/2 cups cucumber, diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
Dash of Kosher salt
2 cups argula

Serves 4.
Total Cook Time: 30 minutes + 1 hour to cool the quinoa.

Instructions:

1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Let cool in the fridge for about an hour (optional).

2. While the quinoa is cooking or cooling, chop the cucumbers and beets. Once the quinoa is ready, add the cooked quinoa, cucumber, beets, dried cranberries, lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, and salt to a large mixing bowl, and mix together. Add the remaining beet juice (if you didn't add it with the beets), and toss to coat.

3. Serve over a bed of arugula or mixed greens.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

More "Cheese Making": Vegan Pepper Jack "Cheese"?

I know that you guys love vegan cheese recipes, so I figured that I'd put another one up. This cheese is really good. The chiles in it give it a nice, Pepper Jack-type flavor. Melt it on a grilled panini with roasted red peppers, and you're good to go!

Ingredients:
1 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
2 tsp. agar powder
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tbsp. sesame tahini
1 tsp. chile pepper, chopped (or more, to taste)
1 tsp, salt
1/4 tsp. roasted sesame seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp. thyme
Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions:

1. Add the almond milk and agar to a medium sauce pan. Dissolve the agar in the almond milk, and bring it to a boil. Boil for 7 to 10 minutes, whisking almost constantly.

2. Next, add the cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, tahini, chile pepper, salt, sesame seeds, and thyme to the food processor. Briefly pulse. Pour the almond milk and agar mixture in, and process until smooth.

3. Taste the mixture, and add more ingredients to taste (chile peppers, tahini, salt, etc.).

 4. Grease a small bowl or container, pour the cheese mixture in the container, and let it cool uncovered for 5 minutes. Cover, and let set in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Vegan Seitan & Quinoa in an Asian Apricot Glaze:

Seitan is a particularly good meat substitute in Asian dishes. I've only had it a few times, but it's really good. Try it in stir fries, soups, or even in spring rolls. I made my seitan homemade (recipe to follow in the next day or so), but you can also buy it in most health food stores. It's made with vital wheat gluten, and it has a chewy and meaty texture. It's really tasty, but I wouldn't eat it every day just because I generally like to stick to more natural foods, and seitan is processed.

The apricot glaze is delicious. I used apricot preserves and soy sauce as it's main ingredients. A touch of ginger goes a long way in adding texture and flavor to the sauce. I also added a dash of cayenne and a little garlic salt. A little thyme aids in adding flavor as well. This glaze can be used for anything: on grilled pineapples or mangoes, in stir fry, on any type of vegetable you want, etc., etc.

NOTE: If you don't have seitan, you can substitute tofu, portabello mushrooms, or a variety of mixed bell peppers. If you want a little more of a spicy kick, add more cayenne pepper (to taste). 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked + 1 cup water
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. water
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, divided
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 1/4 cups mushrooms, sliced (your choice - I used white, but portabello go well here).
1 cup seitan, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Serves 2.
Total Cook Time: 20 to 25 minutes.

Instructions:

1. Bring the 1 cup water and 1/2 cup quinoa to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, add the 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. water, apricot preserves, soy sauce, brown sugar, half of the thyme, ginger, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper to a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve all of the ingredients together, and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for another 5 minutes, and then add the seitan and mushrooms to the sauce. Turn heat to medium, and cook until reduced, another 10 to 12 minutes or so.

3. Once everything's cooked, add the seitan and sauce mixture to the quinoa, and serve. Garnish with the remaining thyme.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vegan Mushroom & Onion Flatbread Panini Melts:



I hope that you all are having an awesome day! If you're in the U.S., please don't forget to vote! A lot of people have sacrificed their lives and have worked very hard in order for us to have the right to vote, so please make time to get to the polls. And though I do not intend to use this blog as a forum for my political beliefs, I will urge you to educate yourselves on the candidates and issues before you go, but that's all I'm going to say on that. ☮


I had to take these pictures before class this morning, so they're not great, but these paninis taste delicious. They're melty, gooey, and really savory. The soy sauce and Daiya cheese both add a lot of flavor, so no other seasonings are necessary. However, I did add a dash of garlic salt for good measure.


Ingredients:

2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
2 sweet yellow onions, sliced
1 cup falafel mixture (recipe below)
2/3 cup Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
2 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of garlic salt
2 premade flatbreads or tortillas

Serves 2.
Total Cook Time: 25 minutes.

Instructions:

1. Preheat your panini press or grill to high. Add the onions, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to a medium sauce pan, and cook on medium to medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

2. Add the mushrooms and remaining soy sauce in with the onions, and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat to high, and heat until most of the liquid has evaporated out of the pan. (We don't want soggy flatbread!)

3. Spread 1/2 cup of the falafel mixture over 1/2 of each flat breads, add the onions and mushrooms, and top with the Daiya cheese.

4. Fold the flatbread in half and grill either in your panini press, regular grill, or in a skillet on medium high or high heat until the Daiya is melted and the paninis are golden-brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Falafel Mixture Recipe:

1 (15oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (reserve a tsp. of liquid)
1/3 cup sweet onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt
Dash of cayenne pepper

Makes 1 1/2 cups of falafel mixture.

Process the onions, garlic, and olive oil in food processor until very fine. Add the garbanzo beans, cumin, coriander, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper. Process it until the mixture is pretty smooth. Stir in the breadcrumbs (this will help keep the mixture from falling apart).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Falafel Pizza With Vegan Ranch Dressing:

I was planning on taking a break from posting today, but I changed my mind! I had full intentions of using my pizza stone for this. Unfortunately, however, I don't have a pizza peel for it.

Anyways, I preheated my pizza stone at 500 degrees, but I was busy working on a presentation and left it in the oven for too long. As a result, I set all of the fire alarms off when I took it out of the oven. Then, when I tried to transfer my pizza crust to the stone, it didn't work at all. My nicely laid-out, light and airy dough turned into a blob, and while I was trying to fix the situation, my pizza stone was busy searing my beautiful fluffy pizza dough.

Long story short, I was aiming for a light and airy dough. It turned out really good, but not as light as I had wanted. The trick is to let it rise longer (sometimes 18 hours is best) and not let your pizza stone sear the dough before it's ready to go in the oven. However, with my impatience and clumsiness, who has time for that? This is what I ended up with...it was totally yum: airy and crispy, and filling. I had one small piece and have been full all night.

Also, this recipe may look a little long and convoluted, but don't fret! It's 3 recipes in one post, so while it looks difficult, it's not. Also, don't forget that you can use premade pizza dough to save time!

Oh, one more word of caution: let it cool before eating it! Although my healthy taste buds are rejoicing, the ones on the roof of my mouth are not happy with me right now. (What can I say? I'm impatient). ❤☮

Ingredients:

For the Dough:
4 cups all purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups water, ice cold
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Makes three 8-ish inch pizzas or  two 12-inch pizzas.

Toppings:
1 to 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 cups kale, ripped into small pieces and soaked in water for a few minutes
Any other toppings that your heart desires at the moment
However much Vegan Ranch Dressing that you want ( Recipe below)I used about 1/4 cup + more for dipping)...or use Vegan Tzatziki Sauce (recipe here).

(Toppings for one 8 or 12-inch pizza). 

Falafel:
1 large can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (reserve a tbsp. of liquid)
1/3 to 1/2 cup sweet onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. parsley
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. coarse kosher salt
Dash of cayenne pepper

(I used most of this on one 9-inch pizza, but this amount is enough falafel for one 12-inch pizza or for two 8-inch pizzas). 

Falafel Instructions:
Process the onions, garlic, and olive oil in food processor until very fine. Add the garbanzo beans, cumin, coriander, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Process the mixture until it's smooth.  Stir in the breadcrumbs (this will help keep the mixture from falling apart).

Dough/Pizza Instructions:

1. Add the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and parsley to a large bowl. Mix together.

2. Next, stir in the water and oil. Knead the dough until it's tacky and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, coat with oil, cover with a damp towel, and let  the dough rise for 2 hours.

3. After the dough has risen, divide it into 3 sections. If you're only making one pizza, put the other dough balls in ziplock bags and save them for later. (It should last for 5 days in the fridge. I froze my extra dough).

4.  Sprinkle corn starch over a cast-iron skillet, pizza stone, or baking sheet. Spread the dough out evenly on whatever pan that you decide to use. Preheat the oven to 500, and let the dough rise a little more while the oven is heating.

5. Once the oven has preheated, brush the crust with olive oil, and add a generous scoop (1 to 1/2 cups) of the falafel mixture. Spread it evenly over the dough. Bake for 12 minutes.

6. Remove the pizza from the oven, and add the kale and tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue baking for another 12 to 15 minutes, until golden-brown and crispy.

VEGAN RANCH DRESSING:

Ingredients:
3/4 cup silken tofu (soft)
3/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried parsley)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. fresh dill (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch of black pepper

Makes about 1 1/2 cups of Vegan Ranch Dressing

Instructions:
Add the unsweetened almond milk, silken tofu, chives, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, dill (if using), salt, and black pepper. Process until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add any other seasonings as desired.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Vegan Baked Broccoli Pasta in Avocado Cream Sauce:

So anyways, I used gluten free quinoa noodles for this recipe. They were good!  This recipe is relatively quick, and it's just so comforting!

How's everyone's weekend? I'm about to make lunch for my friend and I, and then we're heading over to UCF for the homecoming game. The weather is perfect: 77 degrees with a high of 81. It's a beautiful day to be a Knight, but then again, it's always a beautiful day to be a Knight. Unfortunately, this may be my last UCF tailgate for awhile, but I do plan to return one day with a big RV.  (I'm always jealous of people with RVs at tailgate).  Have a good day and enjoy! ❤

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups small shells, cooked according to package instructions
1 1/2 cups broccoli, cut into medium-sized florets
1 cup yellow onion, diced or sliced
1/2 cup avocado
1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. olive or canola oil, divided
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped)
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt (probably a little more, to taste)
Dash of black pepper
Dash of paprika

Serves 2.
Total Cook Time: 35 minutes. 

Instructions:

1.  Cook the pasta according to package directions, strain, and reserve about 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the pasta back to the pot that you cooked it in, and stir in 1 tsp. of the oil and a dash of salt and black pepper.

2. Add the avocado, almond milk, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and garlic to the food processor. Process until it's smooth and creamy.

3. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large saucepan, add the remaining 1 tsp. of oil, the broccoli, and the diced onions. Cook on medium-high heat until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. (You may want to add a little more oil if it begins to stick).

4. Stir the cream sauce and the broccoli/onion mixture in with the pasta. Add the paprika, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

5. Add the pasta to a casserole dish, cover, and bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes.


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