Category Archives: Meatless Monday

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

New Year’s Eve is for two things:  1) resolution making and 2) drinking, heavily.  The day after your first thought:  1) resolving to not EVER drink again….like for real this time, ever.  Right?  So for your hangover cure I did a little research and decided that one of my fave soups can be your cure for what you overdo on NYE.

Nutrient-rich foods that are good to eat with a hangover are bananas, red peppers, broccoli, nuts, and oats. A banana smoothie is an excellent choice, as it acts as a natural antacid as well as replenishing vitamins and minerals. To make one, blend together one ripe banana, one a half cups of nondairy milk, and two tablespoons of honey or agave (for those of you that are strict vegan).

This soup is great.  Protein, vitamins, sits on stove all day without getting icky so you can eat when you get that small window of opportunity when you feel “better” than you did when you woke up at Noon.  Tastes excellent with saltines…see, it’s like perfect.  Take care.

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. rosemary, dried
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 c. tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut out the stems of the peppers and discard along with the seeds. Stand the peppers in a small baking pan to roast the peppers for 35-50 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool, additionally, I removed the skin, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Saute the onion in a large pot in very little oil (or none at all if you like) for 5 minutes until translucent.
  5. Add garlic, rosemary, salt, and black pepper to pot and saute for another minute.
  6. Mix in tomatoes (canned are okay here too, let’s be honest you aren’t going to cut up tomatoes hungover) and stir for another minute.
  7. Add coriander, vegetable broth, and chickpeas and stir.
  8. Bring contents of pot to a low boil and cook covered for 15 minutes or all day…whatever you need/want.
  9. Add the roasted peppers.
  10. Blend half the soup with an immersion blender OR blend about half the soup in a blender, being careful not to let the steam build up in the blender while you are blending, add the blended soup back to the pot.
  11. Let soup sit for a few minutes, taste for salt, and serve.

Adapted from Appetite for Reduction; shown here with bread and goat cheese (omit goat cheese for vegans).

IMG_6222

Tamarind Tempeh BBQ with Sweet Potatoes

If you haven’t already been ruined by the appearance of sweet potatoes in just about everything except for your toothpaste, do give this recipe a try.  It’s bbq like all vegans truthfully do miss when no longer eating meat.  Isa delivers another recipe that kicks total ass, it’s all things bbq should be…sticky, tangy and satisfying.  Track down tamarind paste at an ethnic grocery or just stop working do damn hard and order it from Amazon.com already.  It will be on your doorstep in two days which is actually less time then it would take you to drive around until you found it anyway.  Happy lip-smacking.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (Indian spice)
  • 3 tbsp of agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 12 oz Tempeh cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1.5 pounds sweet potatoes also cut into 3/4 chunks

Spray a 9X13 inch glass casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray. Avoid glass. In medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Make sure the tamarind is dissolved. Place the sweet potatoes and tempeh in the prepared pan. Pour the sauce over them and use your hand to coat well. Let marinade for an hour at least. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cove the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and toss out the foil. Flip the tempeh and sweet potatoes, making sure to scrape the bottom with a spatula in case anything is sticking. Bake for another 30 minutes, flipping everything once. The sweet potato should be tender but not mushy, the sauce should be thickened and coating everything. Serve.

Number of Servings: 4

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Talkin’ Tempeh

I recently found an article, it’s an oldie but a goodie.  I liked so much I thought I reproduce a part of it for you, my faithful followers.  I get bored of tofu this and tofu that and sometimes I just want something toothsome and jerky like.  This texture usually helps make my TLTs a little more BLT if you know what I mean.  Tempeh while it’s my newest taco go-to…it’s still an odd vegan duck.  Here are some ways to break it in a little, making it less weird and more yum.  Give it a try.

Methods To The Madness
Tempeh is so so versatile, it takes to just about any cooking method you throw its way. Here are a few methods, along with recipes, to get you started. But feel free to use some of your favorite marinades in place of these. All of the following recipes are for 8 ounces of tempeh and serve 2 to 4 people.

Basic Baked Tempeh
This marinade of basic pantry ingredients works well with any of the cuts of tempeh. Try sandwich slices or serve slabs over a salad or alongside mashed potatoes, gravy and greens.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Here’s what you do:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place tempeh slices on sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once. Spoon extra marinade over tempeh a few times during baking.

Hot Sauce Grilled Tempeh
This tempeh is excellent served with sauteed greens and mashed sweet potatoes. Use a cast iron grill for best results indoors.

  • 8 oz tempeh, in slabs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, if you like a little extra heat)


Here’s what you do
:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat a greased grill pan over medium-high heat. To grease it, brush lightly with olive oil or if you have a spray bottle of olive oil, that works, too.

Grill each side for 5 minutes, until dark grill marks appear. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

Sauteed Tempeh With Chard
I’m kind of cheating here because when I serve this for dinner I call it “sauteed,” but when I serve it for brunch I call it “scrambled.” Either way, it’s wonderful paired with roasted butternut squash. For this recipe, cubed tempeh is perfect.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 4 large leaves Swiss chard, or any leafy green, torn into pieces

Here’s what you do:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add red bell pepper, and red onion and drizzle in remaining tablespoon of oil. Saute for about 5 minutes, veggies should be softened but still have a bit of crunch.

Add garlic and thyme, saute for two minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add swiss chard and saute just until wilted. Serve immediately.

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles
These are perfect for topping pizza or serving over pasta. No need to steam the tempeh for this recipe.

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried margoram or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Here’s what you do:
In a saute pan, crumble the tempeh and add enough water to almost cover it. Over high heat, steam the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain the remaining water, add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Tempeh Bacon
Tempeh bacon is great alongside scrambled tofu and home fries, served over a salad or make a TLT with some vegan mayo – Veganaise grapeseed mayo is a favorite. Use tempeh strips for this.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • To cook: 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Here’s what you do:
In a wide shallow bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Add the tempeh slices and marinade for about an hour.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Pan fry the tempeh in oil for about 7 to 10 minutes, flipping occasionally and adding more marinade as you cook. Tempeh is done when it is browned and crispy to your liking.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

It’s tailgating season that means…Sloppy Joes.  Last year I posted a recipe using TVP which fooled the meat-eaters for sure, this year I’ll be taking Lentil Sloppy Joes.  Very similar recipe, as I finally got the flavor right, so now, moving on to lentils.  These have a bit of a kick to them, so easy on the chipotle en adobo if you like things a little more mild.  I think dijon, brown, or whole grain mustard would be a great sub for the peppers if you want a kick but no heat.  We shall see how this goes.

Filling:

  • 2 C dried lentils, your choice of lentil
  • 6 C water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic

So this part cooks itself.  Take your lentils, give them a hearty rinse under cool water until the water runs clear.  Dump them into your slow cooker with the water, bay leaves and head of garlic with top cut off (keep it intact, so you can drag it out later).  Depending on your lentil, your water will absorb completely, or you will have to strain them before combining with other items below.  Either way, you want to cook your lentils until they are al dente (like pasta), not mush.  For me, in a slow cooker cranked up to high, it was just 3 hours.  I cleaned the house while they cooked.  When they are done, drain the excess liquid from the lentils, toss the bay leaves and garlic, then return the lentils to the slow cooker pot, you will finish cooking this dish in the slow cooker after you assemble the items below.   Next…

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped bell pepper (your choice of color)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 4-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 T packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 2 whole chipotle en adobo, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4-6 large hamburger buns or rolls or 10-12 slider buns

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (I used a wok) over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic through until the bell pepper is tender (8-10 minutes).

Stir the remaining sandwich filling ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Add this mix to the cooked and DRAINED lentils in the slow cooker, stir until the mixture is well combined.  Set the slow cooker to high for faster results or low if you have all day and let the mixture thicken.

To serve, spread filling onto a bun and enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sriracha Tofu

I was thinking of a recipe that might be similar in sushi for spicy tuna and this is pretty close.  One night when we were out at Tokyo Grill, I asked the sushi chef what made up the spicy sauce for the tuna and it’s just Sriracha and mayo mixed together.  I bet the texture could be achieved if you cubed the tofu very, very small.  This can be used for make at home sushi or over rice in a bowl, which is a go-to meal for us during the work week with some steamed or stir fried veggies.  This is spicy.  So if you want to dial it down a notch, half the Sriracha or even quarter it depending on your tolerance.  I like this with avocados and kale over brown rice.  It cools it off a little but still tastes tangy.

  • 1 12-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 3 T low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 T Sriracha
  • 1 T white wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
  • 1 T mirin
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 T vegan mayonnaise

1. Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and add half of tofu cubes. Cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until cubes are golden, stirring occasionally. Transfer tofu to plate, and repeat with remaining tofu.

2. Stir together soy sauce, Sriracha, vinegar, mirin, maple syrup, sesame oil.  Return all tofu to pan, and add soy sauce mixture. Bring to a simmer, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until most of liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in mayonnaise. Serve warm or chilled.

Adapted from vegetariantimes.com

Raw Tomato Sauce

What to do with a bazillion tomatoes, some fresh basil and a hungry husband? Make dinner.  My first thought was bruschetta!  Then I thought about the naked pasta in the fridge so I warmed up the noodles in some hot water, you know the way Olive Garden does it (start rant-no, they don’t make their own food in the restaurant.  I know I just broke your heart.  It comes to them from some industrial kitchen, off a truck, in large Ziplocks they toss in hot water, warm up then put on a nice plate.  You are so distracted by “neverending salad and sticks” that you don’t notice the food is gross and reheated-end rant).  I served this sauce over top, not to make a statement, but mostly because I was too lazy to put this sauce on simmer at like noon, so what’s the point to heat it up at 7pm?   No point.  I give you raw tomato sauce.

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, about 3 large tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound spaghetti (grab vegan version if you like)
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving (omit if vegan)

Preparation:

Option 1-as shown in pictures:
Combine diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, red peppers in a bowl, toss to form the sauce.  Serve cold sauce over hot pasta.  Add grated cheese if interested.  Adjust seasonings to your preference.
Option 2:
If desired, peel tomatoes; remove seeds, straining juice into a bowl. Save the juice and discard seeds. In a food processor, combine garlic, tomatoes with juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil, and basil. Pulse quickly to chop roughly. Pulse more for a smoother sauce, if desired. Transfer to a bowl, add salt and pepper and let stand to marinate for about 20 minutes.  Serve over pasta.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Vegan Zucchini Corn Pancakes

Last year at about this time I concocted a vegetarian version of zucchini fritters and zucchini pancakes that were pretty darn good.  This year, I tried for a little less batter, a little more vegetable and no animal products.  Adapted from Simply Recipes (zucchini fritters) and Smitten Kitchen (zucchini fritters) I give you, Vegan Zucchini Corn Pancakes.

  • 1 pound (about 2 medium or approx 4 C) zucchini, shredded
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1 C corn kernels cut fresh from the cob
  • 2 tsp water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying

To serve (optional)

  • 1 cup non-dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic

OR

  • 1/4 C Vegenaise
  • 1/4 C salsa of your choice
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Non-dairy milk to thin this concoction to your desired consistency (I used soy milk)

Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor.  Either way, be sure to squeeze out the excess moisture in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels until practically dry.

Add zucchini shreds to a large mixing bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from salt, then add a little, you should season as you go here. Stir in corn, flax egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.

In a large heavy skillet — cast iron would be great, but I settled for an electric griddle — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula.

Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes-this could take up to 6 minutes this first side, don’t let burn, but let it cook and rise completely. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you prefer them warm.  Leave them on a cooling rack if you don’t mind them at room temp-they dry out well if left out and keep their crunch.  Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter.

For the topping, if using, stir together ingredients for whichever topping you prefer.  Dollop on each fritter before serving.   To assemble as shown in the picture.  I took a sandwich thin, halved it and then placed on each half 1 piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, some leftover grilled onions, the fritters, a little of the salsa dressing (above) and a few pickled jalapenos.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.

Kohlrabi Tofu Scramble

This is a twist on a previous post:  Curried Tofu & Wilted Arugula Scramble .  I won’t bore you with the details, but this update is awesome when you add the garlic scapes and kohlrabi it turns slightly more sweet than the original.  Proof that really you can toss anything into a tofu scramble and it will taste good.  Flex your imagination, or simply look into your CSA bag for inspiration.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced finely
  •  2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 garlic scapes, minced
  • 1 medium sized kohlrabi, peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 large handful, pea pods
  • 1 1/2 T fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch dice
  • 2 tsp regular (sweet) curry powder
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • a few pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 C baby arugula or spinach
  • 2 T crushed roasted peanuts
  1. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and kohlrabi in oil for about 4-6 minutes covered, until translucent and tender. Add the garlic, scapes, and ginger, saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add tofu and pea pods to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the tofu has browned on some of the sides.
  2. Add the curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice & a few splashed of water if it’s too dry. Mix in the arugula. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the arugula is wilted (cover if you want this to go faster).
  3. Taste for spices and add another teaspoon of curry powder if needed. Plate, add crushed peanuts on top and serve!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

I’m already thinking of dishes to take to 4th of July festivities.  So many salads have mayo (gag) in them and have a short potluck shelf life.  This one can stay at room temp indefinitely.

I could eat this every single day of the summer, mixing and matching veggie add-ins.  It’s really THAT good.

Adapted from the NY Times.

Try it for yourself.

For the salad:

  • 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
  • 1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh corn (optional) *see note
  • 1 small avocado, chopped into 1 inch pieces

For the dressing:

  • 4-5 tbsp of fresh lime juice (juice from 2 small limes)
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste (I used 1 tsp, I love cumin)

Directions:

1. Cook 1 cup Red Quinoa according to package directions.

2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.

3. Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.

4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Keep fresh in a sealed container for 1-2 days. Makes about 5 cups.

Note: I defrosted and drained frozen corn before adding it to the salad, but the result was rubbery corn. I painstakingly picked out every, single, kernel after that eff up.  I would suggest using fresh corn only, if the season applies, otherwise I wouldn’t bother with the frozen stuff.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

THANK YOU!

Thanks to all who took the time to brave the captcha nightmare and voted for me to be on the cover of West Michigan Woman Magazine’s debut issue (August).  I’ll let you know the results as soon as I am able.

What is on your Meatless Monday menu this week?  We’re gonna try a roasted sweet potato pizza.