Monday, August 30, 2010

"Cheesy" French Onion Soup

Many thanks to my husband, who made this dish for me tonight.

I have always loved French Onion Soup but had given up on the cheesy goodness that is traditionally served atop a velvety onion soup that is traditionally made with beef broth. This vegan version will stand up to the best of the best traditional French Onion Soups and the Daiya Mozzarella shreds were such a good cheese stand in that I am quite sure that even the most avid cheese lover would be none the wiser ;)

Thanks for the perfect meal on a day where soup was just what the Doctor ordered.

"Cheesy" French Onion Soup

1 large Spanish Onion
1 32 ounce box vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
Crusty french bread cut into medium thick rounds
1 handful Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

In a large pot saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add vegetable stock and simmer over low heat until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oven to broil. Place bread rounds under broiler until toasted. Place soup mixture in an oven safe dish, add bread round(s), cover with Daiya cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve immediately.

Friday, August 20, 2010

No Meat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy

Ever thought about a vegan version of meatloaf? I have. Thought and thought and thought. Here is what I came up with. This has a really nice nutty flavor and is hearty, delicious and filling. My meat eating husband even enjoyed this which I take as a ringing endorsement.


No Meat Loaf with Mushroom Gravy

For the loaf:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 portabella mushroom rough chopped
3 shitake mushrooms rough chopped
1 tbsp chick pea flour
1 1/2-2 cups vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I used cashews, walnuts, peanuts and almonds)
3 cups breadcrumb
1 1/2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp dried herbs (I used a grill seasoning)
2 tbsp Vegan mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

For the gravy:
2 tbsp olive oil
5 sliced shitake mushrooms
1/2-1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp chick pea flour
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the no meat loaf by sauteing onion in olive oil over medium heat for until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute a few minutes longer. Add flour and stir. Add the vegetable stock stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for several minutes. Stir in nuts, soy sauce, breadcrumbs, vegan mayonnaise, herbs and salt and pepper.

Remove mixture from pan and form into a loaf shape. Place in a greased loaf pan, drizzle top with olive oil and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes basting with some some vegetable stock or water halfway through cooking.

To prepare the gravy heat oil in a saute pan. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Add vegetable stock, flour and fresh rosemary. Bring to a boil until mixture thickens to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Once loaf has cooled remove from loaf pan , slice and top with gravy.

*Note- for a more traditional loaf you may want to mix some ketchup into the mixture before baking.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mac and Cheeze

Another pasta dish! I am on a serious pasta kick and I finally figured out why. I have been craving good 'ol fashion Mac and Cheese, something I have not had in substitute form at all since going vegan over a year ago.

So I set out to "veganize" my favorite Mac and Cheese recipe, given to me by my Husband's Aunt. I think this was a pretty valiant first attempt and certainly something I will do again. I may change it a bit here and there and may try alternate a non-soy milk the next time as the soy gives it a certain sweetness I am not 100% sold on. Nonetheless, the consistency IS Mac and Cheese and the flavor IS very good!

Mac and Cheeze

2 cups Daiya cheddar flavor shreds
2 cups macaroni (I used rotini)
2 tbsp Earth Balance butter
1 tbsp chick pea flour (any flour will do)
1/2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
2 cups non dairy milk (I used soy)
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Boil water and cook the macaroni until al dente or a little firmer. Let it sit in a colander to drain when it is done. In a heavy 2 qt pot melt butter. Mix in the flour, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Stir to make a roux. Slowly pour in the milk stirring constantly until smooth. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Keep a close eye on the heat so it does not burn. This will feel like it takes forever.

Place the macaroni into a well greased casserole dish, stir in the melted cheese with a wooden spoon so all the macaroni gets coated. Place the panko bread crumbs on top and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool somewhat before serving.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pasta Alfredo

I have seen many recipes for Vegan Alfredo sauces. This one is largely from Vegan Yum Yum but I did modify the amounts of ingredients to my own taste. Though this isn't a one for one replacement to Alfredo sauce it is an interesting flavor and I think you could do a lot in terms of mixing vegetables into this dish. I especially think that mushrooms would be a winner with this one.

Vegan Alfredo

1 pound whole wheat pasta (use whatever shape you like)
Water to cook pasta in
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/8 to 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Sticks
1 tbsp tahini (sesame butter)
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1 pinch nutmeg
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Heat water in a large pot to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking place all ingredients in either a food processor or high powered blender. Mix on high until all ingredients are well Incorporated and the sauce smooth.

Drain pasta, place in a bowl and cover with the desired amount of sauce.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Simple Summer Pasta

I love summertime and I love pasta. And, at this time of year I love picking veggies out of my garden where they can go from harvest to table in no time flat. Both the tomatoes and basil in this recipe were picked from my garden just minutes before serving.
This is a great dish when you have little time but want lots of satisfying flavor. Sometimes we overlook the simplest meals and often times they are the best!

Simple Summer Pasta

3/4 pound pasta (any shape you like is fine)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
1 handful grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 chiffonade of basil*
salt to taste

Boil pasta according to package directions. In a separate saute pan heat olive oil, garlic and nutritional yeast, if desired. Heat until aromatic. Do not allow garlic to brown or it will be bitter. Set aside. Drain pasta and put back in the pot. Add olive oil mixture, tomatoes, basil and salt to taste. Toss and place in serving bowl. Sprinkle with some additional nutritional yeast if desired.

If you have Daiya Mozzarella Shreds a small amount of that on top would also be quite good.
* To chiffonade the basil simply roll the leaves together like a cigar and slice to create long thin strips.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Sliders

Talk about a really simple summer meal! This took only minutes to prepare, is a great alternative to burgers for even the most hard core meat eater, and was seriously delicious! The combination of barbecue sauce and red cabbage slaw gives this dish a really nice tangy flavor.
Summer Sliders

For the sliders:
3 portabella slider mushrooms*
Barbecue sauce for basting (I used store bought)
3 whole wheat slider rolls

For the red cabbage slaw:
1 small head red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp celery seed

Heat a barbecue grill to medium high heat. Place the mushrooms on the grill and brush some barbecue sauce over the top of each. Allow to heat until tender, about ten minutes. Flip and brush with more barbecue sauce. Allow to cook another minute or so. Remove from the grill and allow to rest.

Red cabbage slaw (you will have leftovers for another meal):
In a large bowl place all ingredients and toss to coat cabbage. Season to taste. Depending on the size of the cabbage you may want to adjust the liquids and the seasoning. I actually like this better after it sits overnight in the refrigerator as the flavors continue to develop and the cabbage becomes somewhat pickled.

Place the sliders on the whole wheat rolls, top with red cabbage slaw and the other half of the bun.


*note if you cannot find portabella sliders simply cut a larger portabella to slider size.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Veggie Chili

This weekend was filled with family. There is nothing I like better than cooking a great meal for those I love most!

I was really craving comfort food today and even though it is the middle of the summer decided to make a big vat of chili. It was a big hit.

The great thing about this recipe is you can use pretty much any vegetables you have on hand (especially those that have seen better days!). The recipe is very forgiving so you can start it in the morning and let it cook all day (which is what I did) or you can whip it up just in time. And, it freezes really well which is why I made a huge vat of it!

Veggie Chili

1 yellow squash
1 green squash
3 red bliss size B potatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion chopped finely
1 green pepper chopped
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
1 red pepper chopped
3 cans red kidney beans
1 small can chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 small cans tomato paste
2 tbsp chili powder or to taste
1 tbsp cumin or to taste
2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until soft. Add the rest of the fresh vegetables and saute for a few minutes until tender. Add diced tomato, tomato sauce and tomato paste, chipotles, frozen veggies and stir. Add kidney beans and spices (the measurements I gave you are approximations- adjust for the amount of heat you like). Turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least one hour (I did mine for about six hours). About a half hour before serving remove the lid and allow to thicken.

Garnish with chopped onion and your favorite vegan sour cream.