Monday, September 23, 2013

Cashew Sour Cream



  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 t Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
  • generous pinch of salt
  • garlic powder to taste

Soak the cashews overnight. Drain the soaking water. Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor (I used a Nutribullet) and mix until thoroughly combined and creamy. Refrigerate to set. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Easy Vegan Lunch: Veggie Tacos

This is a great way to use leftovers. What I had? Brown rice from a Chinese restaurant, leftover broccoli from a diner, and a few cherry tomatoes that needed to be used. My solution? Veggie tacos!


I started with a little sauteed onion and garlic. Added a can of organic black beans, a little cumin, a dash of chili powder, and my leftovers and past-their-prime cherry tomatoes. Put my filling on a couple of toasted corn tortillas and topped with salsa, hot sauce, vegan sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro, a little jicama, and a squeeze of lime juice. Voila! Lunch is served.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Vegan Bloomin' Onion Sauce: Oh Yes, I Did

And no, it is NOT vegan health food - but roasted veggies sure are good dipped in it. It's all about the sauce. If memory serves, this is pretty close to the sauce served at the Outback! Better, because it's cruelty free.

The measurements here are estimates - adjust to your own liking.

  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Follow Your Heart Horseradish Sauce
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1-2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 T unsweetened non-dairy milk, to thin
  • 1 t stone ground mustard
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika
  • 1/4 t garlic salt or sea salt
  • 1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • cayenne pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Enjoy with roasted veggies, fried onion strings or french fries, or just about anything else. I'm sure it would be great as a sandwich spread, too...perhaps on a vegan philly sandwich? Bon appetit!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vegan Americanized Lachmajou

This is a vegan, Americanized version of a Middle Eastern dish. I say Americanized because it is not authentic - I substituted the flavors I like for those called for in the original ingredient list (cilantro for mint and parsley, lime for lemon). I also omitted a spice or two and reduced others to suit my tastes. I am very pleased with the results...this one is definitely a keeper!




Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 of a roasted jalapeno pepper
  • 1/4 t turmeric
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • 1/8 t allspice
  • 1/8 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 t smoked paprika
  • 1/4 t chili powder
  • ground sea salt (to taste)
  • pinch of dried cilantro
  • one package of Trader Joe's Beefless Beef (or other vegan meat substitute)
  • whole wheat pita bread (small)
  • hummus of choice
  • fresh lime juice, to garnish
  • fresh chopped cilantro, to garnish

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions over medium heat until they are softened. 
  2. Add the garlic and reduce the heat a bit, being sure not to burn the garlic. 
  3. Add the tomato paste and sauce, and cook until well blended.
  4. Add the spices and the roasted jalapeno pepper (coarsely chopped). 
  5. Stir in the Beefless Beef or other meat substitute, keeping the heat around medium. Saute until it begins to lightly brown. If the mix is a bit dry, add a little more oil. Do not add water - you don't want the mixture to be soggy.
  6. Taste the mix and make sure it is balanced. This is not an exact science - I tend to like a spicy and sweet mixture, with plenty of salt...just adjust the seasonings to suit your palate!
  7. Lightly toast the pitas. Spread them with a thin layer of hummus.*
  8. Top with the "meat" mixture, sprinkle with cilantro, add a squeeze of lime, and enjoy!
*Hummus: I make my own, which is very easy and much tastier than the store-bought versions. I have not posted a recipe, however, because I don't really use one. Here are a few loose guidelines: Start with dried chickpeas. Soak them overnight, drain, add fresh water, and boil them until soft (water only - no spices). When they have cooled a bit, put them in the food processor. Add lemon juice (about a quarter cup for 2-3 cups of chickpeas) and tahini (also about a quarter cup). Add a bit of salt and a little olive oil, and process until thoroughly combined. If you like it a little thinner, add a couple of tablespoons of the chickpea cooking water to thin it. I generally like to make roasted garlic hummus, so I add a full head of garlic to the mix - after roasting and cooling the whole bulb. I squeeze the roasted cloves into the food processor with the other ingredients, and blend until smooth. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Eggless Salad



  • 1 package silken tofu (aseptic package)
  • 1 T prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T vegan sour cream
  • 1 t agave nectar
  • 2 T sweet relish
  • 1/2-1 t turmeric
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery (optional)
  • dash of cayenne or cajun seasoning (optional)
  • fresh ground salt and black pepper, to taste

Cut tofu into small cubes and place in mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly, until the tofu starts to fall apart. Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour to allow the flavors to meld. Serve as you would egg or other salad! (I had an eggless salad sandwich on Ezekiel toast, with a side of tomato soup.)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vegan Ranch Dressing (or Dip)


1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
1/4 t garlic salt
2 t dried parsley
2 t dried chives
1/4 t dried dill
1/2 t agave nectar
1 t apple cider vinegar
1-2 t lemon juice (depends on how tart you like it)
non-dairy milk (or water) to thin, if needed

Whisk all ingredients together and enjoy! I did not use any milk or water to thin the mixture, because I like a thicker dressing. (Above: I added some fresh scallions and put it on a Boca patty sandwich for dinner.)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vegan Breakfast Quesadilla

I've gotten in the habit of making a batch of scrambled tofu and soy chorizo on Sunday, enjoying brunch, and using the leftovers for my breakfasts the rest of the week. The scramble portion is very versatile, and today I made it into a lovely breakfast quesadilla.


For scrambled tofu:
1 package Trader Joe's soy chorizo
1 package firm tofu (refrigerated)
1 package organic baby spinach
1 sweet onion (small, diced)
3 green onions (white part, sliced)
3-4 cloves garlic
1-2 T olive oil
1 t turmeric
1/2 t cumin
salt and pepper to taste

For quesadilla:
whole wheat tortilla(s)
vegan cheese of choice
salsa
sour cream
Cholula hot sauce
any other garnish!

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and onions. Saute until the onions are almost translucent. Add the garlic, and stir. Let the mixture cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the chorizo. I cut the casing off and crumble it up in the pan. Stir and cook until the chorizo is warm, then crumble and add the tofu and the spices. Once the mixture is hot, stir in the spinach and green onions, just long enough to wilt the spinach. Remove from heat.

You can enjoy it as is, with nutritional yeast cheesy sauce, or a number of ways. To make a quesadilla like I did today: Warm the tortilla (I warmed it on a burner covered with foil, but you can use the microwave, the oven, or a pan - whatever method you like), and put it on a large plate. Put vegan cheese on the half that will be the bottom of the quesadilla. I used the Daiya cheddar wedge, cut into slices. Top the cheesy half of the tortilla with the tofu, chorizo, and spinach mixture. Fold in half, cut into sections, garnish with salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, or other garnish, and enjoy!