Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sesame Glazed Cauliflower

When most people think of vegan "meat replacements" I think mostly tofu comes to mind. For those a little more educated on plant based eating maybe tempeh or seitan. Mostly, people don't think about cauliflower as a meat replacement but it is a  good one.

I especially like it for small bite type appetizers.  I absolutely love Buffalo Cauliflower. I like Orange Cauliflower.  This Sesame Glazed Cauliflower is pretty awesome, too.

This has a bit of an Asian flair and is a nice alternative to Sesame Glazed Wings and it could be served over rice to be eaten as a full meal.

I got this recipe from another blogger. I changed it very little, most notably to use whole wheat flour and the quantity of non dairy milk used. The result was good and my twelve year old daughter enjoyed it so much she said "Mom, this is 'blogworthy'", so here you go!

Sesame Glazed Cauliflower

For the sauce:
1/2 cup tamari sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 scallions, minced
1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower cut into bite size florets
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup non dairy milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Sesame seeds and sliced scallions for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.

In a bowl mix the whole wheat flour, garlic powder and non dairy milk until a batter forms.  Add the cauliflower and toss to coat.

Place cauliflower on a well oiled baking sheet.  Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees.  After 15 minutes remove from the oven and pour the sauce all over the cauliflower.  Put back into the oven for five minutes and then remove, flip the florets and ensure they are well coated with the sauce. Note: some of the sauce may burn on the bottom of the pan- that's ok. Return to the oven for another five minutes.

Serve hot over rice or as a snack.  Any remaining sauce from the pan may be used for dipping.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns

Yep, I have been totally sucked into pumpkin mode. I am all about pumpkin spice everything! I just can't get enough.  I am really enjoying cooking and eating all things pumpkin. Coffee, cake, cookies, pancakesdoughnuts, bread, pasta, muffinsFrench toast, and of course pie. You name it. If it's pumpkin I am probably making it, have recently made it, or am eating it right now.

I have not made sticky buns in a quite a while. The other day I decided it was time to use up the last of the bread dough in the freezer, so why not sticky buns? And why not pumpkin spice sticky buns? 'Tis the pumpkin season after all.

I followed my tried and true sticky bun recipe except that I used the So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk I followed my tried and true sticky bun recipe except that I used the So Delicious Pumpkin Spice Coconut Milk instead of regular nondairy milk and then added some pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon. I also shortened the time I let the dough rise from 12 hours overnight in the refrigerator to one hour on the kitchen counter based on the package instructions. They came out just as ooey-gooey awesome!

And, on a total side note/tangent, have you tried the Pumpkin Spice Oreo cookies yet?  Oh my, they are good, too!

Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns

2 loaves of frozen bread dough*
1 cup chopped pecans
1 4.6 oz package vanilla cook and serve pudding mix (not instant)*
1/4 lb. (1 stick)  Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
1 cup organic light brown sugar
2 tbsp So Delicious Pumpkin Coconut Milk
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Thaw the bread dough according to package directions. Grease a 9x13 pan well with cooking oil spray. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with the chopped pecans.  Before the dough rises break into walnut size pieces and place in an even layer on the bottom of the 9x13.  Cover with plastic wrap or foil and allow the dough to rise for about one hour. You may want to spray your plastic wrap or foil with cooking spray so the dough will not stick to the top if it rises that high.

Once the dough has risen uncover and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Over low heat place the vegan butter in a saucepan.  Once melted add the brown sugar, pudding mix, pumpkin spice coconut milk and pumpkin pie spice and stir until smooth.  Pour over the top of the risen dough.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Immediately upon removing the pan from the oven invert the sticky buns on a cooling rack and allow to cool before serving.

*Note: be sure to read package ingredients to ensure your bread dough and pudding mix are indeed vegan.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mashed Potato Cakes with Sriracha Aioli

Whenever I make mashed potatoes I make too much.  I don't know what it is but I always make about double what I need.  What to do to use up extra mashed potatoes?  Mashed potato cakes! You can season them with whatever you like- onion, garlic, fresh herbs, etc. You get the picture.

I used some dried herbs since that was all I had in the house. My daughter and I ate them for dinner last night and we both really enjoyed them.  Reminiscent of a hash brown they are crispy on the outside and tender and creamy on the inside.  We decided to kick it up  a notch with some Sriracha aioli.  Along with a salad this is a simple, easy dish or an interesting side for a larger meal.

I tried to scale the recipe as if you were making this for a single meal.  This should make about five cakes.

Mashed Potato Cakes with Sriracha Aioli

For the mashed potato cakes:
3 red bliss potatoes, peeled 
1 tbsp vegan butter
1 tbsp non dairy milk
1 tbsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp dried minced onion
Splash of non dairy milk
Olive oil for pan frying

For the Sriracha Aioli:
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
Sriracha sauce to taste

Boil the potatoes in water until fork tender. Drain and add to a bowl with the vegan butter and tablespoon of non dairy milk.  Add dried parsley, salt and pepper and mash until smooth.  Allow to cool.

When the potatoes are fully cooled add the whole wheat flour, dried minced onions and a splash of non dairy milk.  Mix well.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add enough olive oil to coat the pan.  When the oil is hot, using an ice cream scoop scoop out potatoes. The potatoes should be level in the scoop.  Add to the pan and allow the scoop of potato to cook for a few minutes, until the bottom starts to crisp. Using a spatula press the potato down into a pancake shape. Flip and let brown on the other side.  Remove from the pan and repeat with the rest of the potatoes.  Add oil in between each cake.

To make the aioli simply add sriracha sauce to the mayo and whisk until smooth.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Don't Be a Piggy" Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Fennel Sauce

I cannot even begin to tell you how good these were.  For a meal that was created out of the continued desire to cook through all of the "stuff" I have collected in my pantry and cabinets this came out just beautifully.

I used Wegman's "Don't Be a Piggy" Sausage crumbles mixed with quinoa for the and filling it was delicious. Of all the faux sausages out there I find I like Wegman's best but you could use whatever kind you like or have available to you.

The tomato fennel is sauce is awesome. Together this makes such a nice meal. Once baked with the peppers the tomato sauce gets nice and thick and has a lovely fennel flavor which compliments the peppers and sausage filling. I think the key to the sauce is using tomato paste plus vegetable stock as opposed to plain tomato sauce (check underneath the recipe for a cool tip I learned about tomato paste).

I am going to take the leftovers to lunch for a coworker and I tomorrow. That, with a salad and some of the Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns I recently made (recipe soon) will make for a nice departure from the usual grab-and-go salad eaten at my desk while working.

Don't Be a Piggy Quinoa and Sausage Stuffed Peppers with Tomato Fennel Sauce

For the stuffed peppers:
6 sweet bell peppers halved and cleaned
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable stock
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste*
1/4 cooking onion, chopped
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 13.2 oz package Wegman's Don't be a Piggy Sausage Style Crumbles (or other faux sausage)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

For the tomato fennel sauce:
1/4 cooking onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz tomato paste*
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp ground fennel seed
1 tsp dried, minced onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Green onion for garnish (optional).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a sauce pan add the quinoa and 1 cup vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling reduce the heat and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Uncover and add the 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste. Stir to incorporate.  Set aside.

Place the pepper halves in a microwave safe baking dish and microwave for about 3 minutes or until the peppers start to soften. Remove from the microwave.

In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil. When hot, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Saute about a minute and add the sausage style crumbles, fennel seeds and dried minced onion.  Saute until warmed through.  Add the quinoa mixture and stir.  Set aside.  In the pot you made the quinoa in add 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and saute until translucent.  Add the garlic, saute another minute and then add the tomato paste and 1 cup vegetable stock. Whisk to combine.  Add the ground fennel seed, dried minced onion and salt and pepper to taste,  Heat until starting to simmer and then transfer to a blender and pulse until very smooth.

Pour the tomato sauce in the dish you microwaved the pepers in. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa and sausage style crumble mixture and place them in the tomato fennel sauce.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven, garnish with green onion if desired and serve.

*I don't know about you but I often find I use a small amount of tomato paste in a recipe and end up with a nearly full can of tomato paste in my fridge. Invariably, the rest does not get used or when I go to use it it is "too late".  If you have a recipe calling for a small amount of tomato sauce open both ends of the can and push the tomato paste out onto some plastic wrap. Cut off what you need and wrap the rest and pu it in the freezer.  The next time you need tomato paste take it out of the freezer, allow it to partially thaw, cut off what you need and re-wrap it and put it back into the freezer for next time.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"My Pantry Project" Odds n' Ends Soup

I was not going to post this My Pantry Project recipe because it is similar to other soups I have blogged about in the past. But, when I put a picture up on a couple of social media sites I got a few requests for the recipe so I figured, why not.

This was created out of the various bits of vegetables left from a weeks worth of cooking. I really hate throwing anything away plus, it was cold and rainy yesterday so soup sounded good.

This used up all my left over veggies, a couple of cans of beans and the rest of my home made vegetable stock. Time to go shopping!

Odds n' Ends Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 white onion, minced
1/4 yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 red pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch curly kale
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained (I used Great Northern)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning herbs
2 tsp dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add the carrot and saute until starting to get soft. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the onion and peppers and continue to cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add salt and pepper.  Add the garlic, kale and thyme leaves and saute until the kale wilts and becomes bright green.  Add all but 1/2 cup of the beans. Cover with 3 1/2 cups of stock.  Add the Italian herbs and parsley. Re season with salt and pepper.  Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

While the soup is simmering puree the rest of the beans and remaining 1/2 cup of stock until very smooth.  Add to the soup and continue to cook about another 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"My Pantry Project" Tater Tot Pot Pie

Tater Tot Pot Pie. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? I think so.  As it turns out tots make a great pot pie topping.

As you may be aware,  I have been working to reduce the amount of "stuff" in what were my overflowing kitchen cabinets and pantry.  I have made a great dent and figured it made sense to expand to the freezer as well.

I have some frozen things were due to be used and this dish is the result of making a dent in those. I served this to family this evening; they seemed to enjoy it.  My daughter told me "you need to make this more often".  I like hearing that.

This comes together easily, especially if you use frozen vegetables. Just make sure you allow enough time for the frozen items to at least partially thaw before you start preparing the dish. The mixed veggies I used contained corn, green beans, peas and carrots. Use whatever kind you like.

Tater Tot Pot Pie

1 tbsp olive oil
1 1//2 cups frozen vegetables, thawed
1/4 cup all purpose flour plus 2 tbsp (if needed)
1 tsp onion powder
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup non dairy creamer (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut)
4 gardein chick'n scallopini partially thawed and cut into cubes
3 cups frozen tater tots, thawed
1 tbsp thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil.  Once heated add the thawed vegetables and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for a few minutes and add whisk in the 1/4 cup flour. Add the onion powder and cook for a couple of minutes constantly stirring.  Add the vegetable stock and the gardein chunks.  Cook for two minutes and then add the coconut creamer. Re-season with salt and pepper.  Allow to come to a boil and cook until the sauce starts to thicken.  If it boils for more than three minutes and has not thickened to the consistency of a thick gravy add the additional flour one tablespoon at a time. Stir continually while the sauce thickens and the raw flour is cooked (at least a minute per tablespoon added). Pour into four quart baking dish.

In a food processor pulse the thawed tater tots and thyme leaves.  Sprinkle on top of the vegetable mixture and bake for 25 minutes at 450 degrees or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

Allow to stand about ten minutes before serving.