Category Archives: Make Ahead

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.

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Vegan Pear Ginger Muffins

Sometimes what I make is determined by what is available in my kitchen at the moment (then I don’t have to go to the grocery store).  So many pears lately hanging around, hence, vegan pear ginger muffins found their way into the oven.  I was delighted at how little sugar went into these and how they still managed to be slightly sweet, not over- or underwhelming.  The pear makes a for a great break from squash and pumpkin during the fall months.

(make 18 muffins, or 12 muffins and 1 small loaf of bread)

  • 3 C whole grain flour
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ C unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • ½ C canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 pears, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C crystallized dried ginger chopped fine

1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a muffin tin with paper cups.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet. Stir until just combined.

3. Fold in the chopped pear and pour batter into prepared pan or cupcake wrappers.  Bake for about 20 minutes, check to see if they are done with a toothpick, you don’t want to overbake else they become dry.

These freeze brilliantly.  I don’t know if I’d let them go longer than about a month, but they will get you through a few weeks of breakfasts nonetheless.

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Many thanks to Gosh, that’s so vegan for the inspiration on the muffins.  I was all pumpkin’d out and pears hit the spot.

Wahoo! Ride ’em Cowboy Cookies [Vegan]

Today is Saturday and that means football!  These are a tailgating favorite.  You could dump just about anything you wanted into these in terms of chip, or chip-like substance.  Sub different flavored chocolate chips, use toffee chips, peanut butter chips if you like (the later will flip your cookies from vegan to vegetarian).  I like these because they come together in a flash and the only person that I’ve found that doesn’t like ’em is my friend Andrea and that is because she is allergic to coconut (which is a horrible thing to be allergic to).  I scooped a few out before the coconut so she wouldn’t miss out 😉Image

photo:  Hell Yeah It’s Vegan

Ingredients
  • 2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1½ c vegan butter
  • 1½ c granulated sugar
  • 1½ c light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c applesauce (this subs for your egg and oil)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 c vegan chocolate chips, Ghiradelli brand is accidentally vegan
  • 3 c rolled oats
  • 2 c chopped pecans, toasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Measure coconut into a small bowl and stir in 1 tbsp warm water and 2 tbsp sugar; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the butter until fluffy, add sugars and cream together until smooth.
  4. Add applesauce and vanilla and beat.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, powder, soda, and spices.
  6. Add to wet ingredients and beat until well mixed.
  7. Fold in the coconut, nuts, oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  8. Use an scoop to form balls of dough for jumbo cookies, and flatten slightly.
  9. Bake on greased sheets for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

Adapted from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan and Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar by Isa

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

Seasonal Pesto Pasta

Last week’s vegan (cheeseless) pesto recipe gets a workout here on a hodge-podge salad from seasonal veggies.  A “clean out the fridge” recipe that turned out pretty delish.  This could easily be made vegan or gluten free with the appropriate pasta.

  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • 3-4 cubes pesto
  • 2-3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1 C toasted walnuts
  • 2 C white beans
  • 2 C arugula or other seasonal greens, hand torn
  • 1/2 C packed fresh basil, hand torn
  • 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked al dente
  1. Select a large bowl or rectangle pan for the elements to be assembled.  As the ingredients are finished with their first phase you can just toss them together as you go to avoid destroying the integrity of the veggies by trying to stir or toss together at the end.  The pesto will incorporate easily this way as well.  You do not want a huge bowl of mush at the end.
  2. Tear arugula and basil into pieces and put in the bottom of this large bowl or pan.  The warm ingredients added will wilt this for you saving you a cooking step.
  3. Boil water and cook your choice of pasta noodle, al dente, drain water and toss back into warm pan with pesto cubes, juice and zest of two lemons.  Turn noodles to coat.  Toss into big bowl-this will wilt your greens easily.
  4. Warm a little olive oil (1 tsp or so) in a wok or fry pan, toss in walnuts and toast until slightly browned and super crisp.  Toss into big bowl.
  5. Cut zucchini into little wheels of uniform size.  In the same pan without adding more oil, saute the bite-sized squash pieces for a few minutes, then add the juice and zest of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Do this over high heat and don’t let your zucchini get soggy.  Remove when it still has a bite to it and toss into the large pan with the other ingredients.
  6. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Toss into big bowl.
  7. Finally add your two cups of white beans.  Mine usually come from the freezer as I bulk make beans every few weeks, but using canned is cool with me.  If you do so, be sure to rinse them well, to get all the unnecessary ick off them.
  8. Toss all ingredients together and serve.  This makes a TON of salad.  It keeps well in your fridge for up to a week if you don’t let it dry out.  I make sure plastic wrap is touching the leftovers and that seems to keep it fresh, not dry.  If yours becomes dry, refresh with a little bit of olive oil, water or lemon juice before serving.

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Pesto, hold the Parm…

Pesto.  No cheese.  Just make it.  So good and simple, saying anymore would spoil the beauty.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 C washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
  • 1 C shelled, roasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • 6-7 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Big pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions:Combine the fresh herbs, nuts, red pepper flakes and garlic in a food processor and process the mixture until it turns into a coarse meal.Slowly add extra virgin olive oil in a steady drizzle as you pulse the processor on and off. Process until it becomes a smooth, light paste. Add enough olive oil to keep it moist and spreadable.

Season with sea salt, to taste.

Immediately use over fresh pasta or on toast.  I put the leftovers in ice cube trays top with a drizzle of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap.  When they are frozen, pop them out and wrap them securely with plastic wrap by the one cube and then toss all the cubes into a plastic freezer bag and you have summer pesto in the winter months.

Inspired by : glutenfreegoddess.com

Peach Pie

Fruit this summer was super duper expensive in Michigan due to premature 90-degree days in April followed by a super freeze that was experienced which sadly killed most of the premature fruit buds.  Michigan produces 70-75% of US cherries and this year, crop was at a loss of more than 90%.  This of course put a premium on fruit including blueberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, well you get the idea, Michigan produces a ton of fruit.

While in Hart for a Girls Get-a-Way, I was lucky enough to grab a bag of Starfire peaches and nectarines which cost me a pretty penny, but the sweet treat was WELL worth the premium.  I crammed most of them in my face over the first two days, then let the last of the fruit ripen over the course of the week.  Today, I made a simple peach pie so no peach was left behind.

  • One nine inch pie crust, Pillsbury (accidentally vegan)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 cups fresh sliced peaches, 7 or 8 medium peaches
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Put pie crust in nine ince pie plate. Prick crust with a fork to prevent bulles during baking and flute edges.
  3. Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon in large bowl.
  4. Stir in peeled and sliced peaches and lemon juice.
  5. Pour into pie plate. Put foil around edges of pie to prevent burning. Remove the foil during the last 8 minutes of baking.
  6. Bake about 45 minutes or until the filling is bubble and the crust in golden brown.
  7. Let set for 30 minutes before serving.

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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.

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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.

Quick Pickled Peppers

Even Peter Piper couldn’t pickle a pepper faster than these babies turn out.  I had a few jalapenos leftover from making jalapeno jelly, so I put them to work in a bath of pickling spices.  I can’t wait to try these on a BBQ pizza, nachos or in chili.

  • 1 + 1/4 C water
  • 1 + 1/4 C distilled white vinegar
  • 3 T white sugar
  • 3 T kosher salt, this is NOT the same as iodized or table salt
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp dried epazote
  • 3 tsp dried cumin seeds, crushed a little
  • 10 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
  • 2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips

Directions

  1. Combine water, vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, garlic, epazote, cumin seeds, and oregano in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stir in jalapeno and red peppers then remove from heat. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Pack peppers into jars using tongs, cover with vinegar mixture, cover, and refrigerate until needed – should keep for up to 6 months.

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This recipe for me yielded 5 (12-oz) jelly jars full of peppers and pickling juice and 2 (12-oz) jars of extra juice that I dropped some baby carrots into for an experiment.

Adapted from Chef John

Roasted Beet Sandwich on Naan

I love naan.  I love it a little less now that I’ve investigated what it is that I am actually eating.  It’s not exactly health food.  I have been buying these delicious commercial naan bread that I typically see at my deli counter and now they are available at Costco, double whammy.  After I made this sandwich, I started researching recipes online for a healthier, more importantly vegan naan and I came up with a few that I will be trying for my next foray into sandwich-making.

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Sometimes not eating meat poses problems in the sandwich area-going to a deli can be less than successful most times.  Instead, you have to make up for it in your own kitchen.  Pictured is a toss together sandwich made from Tin Foil Beets and various other items found in the fridge.  These items would also make a great salad with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice for the dressing.  Contents of the sandwich on naan bread are:  smear of hummus, fresh baby spinach, avocado with lemon juice and roasted beets.  I serve this in a pocket sometimes with sprouts, arugula and carrots.  A Mr. Wonderful fave and perfect beach food as they travel well.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

These vegan brownies are gluten free, vegan and totally delicious. They taste like any other brownie you may have met, except have a more complex and deep taste associated with the chocolate, almost a savory sweet.  They are also not dry, which is more than I can say for most other brownies I’ve experienced of the non-veg variety.  This is another one of those recipes that you may as well just double and bake off another batch for the masses.  They freeze well and keep in the fridge for a long time so you can enjoy them longer.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 of a 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 flax egg (1 T flaxseed meal + 2.5 T water)
  • 1 T coconut oil (or other oil)
  • scant 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • heaping 1/2 t finely ground espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free for vegan)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 6 muffin tins. Prepare flax egg by combining flax and water in small bowl and letting it rest for 3-5 minutes. Combine black beans through instant coffee in a food processor (sift in sugar if clumpy) and puree. Then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into muffin tins and smooth the tops with a spoon. Bake for 17 minutes or until tops are dry and starting to pull away from the sides. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan (I baked mine in cupcake papers so I didn’t have to mess with clean up and I baked another batch in mini cupcake tin form).

*PETA happens to have a very good/searchable data base on their website for vegan products to sub for regular products.  I understand they are polarizing but they also have the mad money to make tools that are incredible for people searching for animal safe items.  Despite the fact that they sell half shirts still (thanks Pamela Anderson), I really like the info they have available on their site.  If you just can’t bring yourself to check out the tools, typically you can find Ghiradelli Chips at the grocery store which are accidentally vegan.

Recipe courtesy:  Dana Schultz

Vegan Crunch Bars

Go ahead and double this.  Save yourself the re-make dirty dishes you will have to wash when you eat the first batch and need to whip up a second batch.

  • 1/4 cup rice crispies (brown or white, or gf)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • Sweetener to taste-I used 1 1/2 T Agave (options include: pure maple syrup, NuNaturals alcohol-free vanilla stevia drops, or agave. I haven’t tried granulated sugar or powdered stevia in this recipe.)
  • tiny dash salt (makes the flavor pop)

Combine coconut oil and sweetener. Stir, then add cocoa powder and rice crispies (If needed, add 3 tbsp water or milk of choice, only if using stevia.). Stir until it gets thick. Pour into any flat container (or candy molds, or smush between layers of wax paper or in ziploc bags). Freeze until solid, and store in the freezer.

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recipe courtesy of:  http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/

Fried Rice

I typically make grains on the weekend to avoid the time it takes to prep them during the week.  There is nothing worse than a 30 minute meal, that takes an hour and a half because you need to account for the brown rice to cook.  I have gotten in the habit of planning out a week of meals at a time because as you have probably noticed about me by now, I hate the friggin’ grocery store.  So I shop once a week, get my CSA’s two times a week and that generally allows me to be pretty prepared for all lunches and dinners for the week.
Now sometimes, those made-ahead grains get lost in the back of the fridge.  When that happens there is no better time to use up the rest of your CSA, freezer stuff, and pre-made brown rice, than in fried rice.
Ingredients
  • 3 C cooked brown rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
  • 3 T sesame oil
  • 1/2 C shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/3 C frozen shelled edemame
  • 1 C shredded carrot
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten (omit if vegan)
  • 1/4 C Tamari (to keep it gluten free; okay to use soy or Bragg’s Aminos if you are not concerned about gluten)
  • 1 bag Quorn strips (if vegan omit)
  • 1 handful roasted, salted peanuts
On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the peas, carrots, edemame, onion, Quorn*, and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled*. Add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated.
*To keep this recipe vegan, omit the egg and the Quorn of course.
Recipe adapted from Life as a Lofthouse

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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.

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Tempeh, Poblano and Portobello Tacos with Honey Cumin Slaw

My third taco recipe of May is a blend of two of my fave recipes: Poblano & Portobello Tacos and TLT Sandwiches.  Sundays are typically a very hectic day at my house cramming all the stuff we should have done on Saturday AND Sunday into just Sunday, so I wanted leftovers for Sunday that I could reheat and not have to spend time on din-din.

Enter, the Tempeh, Poblano & Portobello Taco for dinner guests on Saturday.  Most of this can be done in advance and kept warm in a 200 degree oven until company arrives.  This recipe looks long and drawn out, but it’s mostly done in stages so you don’t even notice it.

Components:

  • 3 packages portobello mushrooms, de-stemmed and sliced then roasted
  • 4 poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced into strips
  • 3 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and sliced into strips
  • 2 boxes grape tomatoes, roasted
  • dairy or nondairy cheese
  • tortillas of your choice
  • dairy or nondairy sour cream
  • cubed avocado
  • lime wedges
  • store-bought salsa (I used Newman’s black bean and corn)
First things first…the prep for the roasted veggies is not difficult, they pretty much do the work for you…it’s magic, but takes time to get that roasty goodness, so plan accordingly.  Before you dive in, read below to prepare your dressing for the slaw and your marinade for your tempeh, get those two things started and then get your veggies goin’-you will want your tempeh to marinade for about 30 minutes before you bake it off.
Roasted peppers from a jar or the frozen food section are adequate, but who the hell wants to be knows as the adequate taco maker?  Not this chic.  Plan ahead and then deny the time it takes to make these the right way like every other reasonably awesome at home chef.  Easy peasy.  Preheat a grill or your oven to super hot (for the oven we’re talking like 450 and open up the windows just in case).  Preheat your oven to 450 and roast the mushrooms and tomatoes indoor while you soak up some vitamin D outside grilling your peppers.  Since it’s summer, grill them your peppers, then you won’t have to disable your smoke detectors to get the perfect charred pepper.  Take clean, dry peppers and drop them on the grill, wait for smoke and or charring and then turn until every side is burned but yet still moist-ish (yeah, it is a word now).  Transfer these little beauties to a bowl, cover in plastic wrap and then wait until they are cool to remove the charring.  After this is done, you will be left with succulent, sweet and smokey roasted peppers.  Resist eating them all before company arrives.  All that goodness and NO oil needed.
Take your washed and dried tomatoes and chopped mushrooms, place on baking sheets in the oven (use the ones with sides to contain the liquid or you will have a fire, and jerky instead of roasted veggies).  Spray with a little cooking oil, pop in preheated oven and wait.  The tomatoes are done when their skins are bursting.  The mushrooms are done with them are still glistening from moisture, not dry like rawhide.  Watch those, they will burn and then you have mushroom chips.  Gross?  Or maybe a new blog post..hmmm.

Tempeh “Meat”

  • 2 bricks tempeh (any flavor), steamed and sliced into strips

Marinade

  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 T maple syrup or agave
  • 6 T chipotle en adobo
Toss all marinade ingredients into a food processor and whirl away.  Pour over the top of the tempeh strips that you have nestled into a 9×11 baking dish and let sit for 30 minutes or longer.  When your oven roasted veggies are done from above, reduce the oven temp to 350 degrees and slide the tempeh into the oven.  Bake until the marinade has become basically a syrup.  Watch it though, don’t let it burn.  It will look very dark.  Reduce oven even further to 200 degrees leave in tempeh, then toss back in the tomatoes and mushrooms to keep them warm until guests arrive.

Honey Cumin Slaw

  • 1/2 large green cabbage, shredded (could also use a bag of cole slaw mix)
  • 5-8 radishes, grated and patted dry
Combine both items in a large bowl.  Just before service, top with dressing below.  Serve on top of or along side tacos.

Dressing

  • 1/3 C fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 T vegetable, grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T honey or agave
  • 1 tsp cumin

Easiest.  Dressing.  Ever.  Combine items in a Ball jar, give it a good shake and let it sit for 30 minutes before topping slaw above.  Serve immediately.

Finally, assemble tacos with your choice of tortilla (I prefer corn), roasted peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, tempeh, dairy or nondairy cheese, avocado, dairy or nondairy sour cream, salsa, slaw, squirt of lime and prepare for leftovers.

From this recipe, I was able to get dinner on Saturday night for four, TLT’s from the leftovers with the help of some bread from the freezer toasted for two for Sunday night dinner, two lunches of black bean/mango bowls on Monday, and finally…dinner on Monday night for two, roasted veggie quesadillas.  Not bad for a bunch of simple ingredients, a little prep work, and some help from the freezer.

Bitchin’ Pantry Raid Granola

My friend Julie and I are addicted to granola.  Too bad all the store brands are made with crap.  I set off to create a better-for-us-granola.  I concocted this from the combo of several other granola recipes before me, the result was delish.  Now that I have the hang of it…I have lots of flavor combos in mind.  Stay tuned.

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Now prepare yourself…this next part is very complicated…combine all items in a bowl and stir.

Pour out granola onto a baking sheet with sides and bake for about an hour, stirring every 10 minutes, checking that the granola is crisping, not burning.  Remove, let cool totally and enjoy.

This recipe makes 3 1/2 C of granola with each 1/2 C serving costing you 337 well-worth-it calories.

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A Tale of Two Lentil Taco Recipes

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only (A Tale of Two Cities-Dickens-opening paragraph).

If I haven’t lost ya yet, now you have some trivia knowledge and two taco recipes coming right up!  See this is why we are friends!  Speaking of friends that tolerate me, my friend Angela asked me about these lentil tacos I keep talking about.  I went to direct her to my blog and realized, crap, I have never shared them on my blog.  Here you go Angela!  I have no pictures for you, but the recipe needs to get out into the universe.  We all know that pink slime, er beef is bad; love on a lentil instead.

Recipe One:  Lentil Tacos

Adapted from Isa Chandra.

2 teaspoons olive oil (you can do this oil free if you add a smidge of water to the onion when it starts getting sticky from sauteing it)

  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (from about 1 cup dried)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce (preferably Cholula)

Spice mix:

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

First combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix and set aside. Also, keep a cup of water within reach, you’ll need to add splashes as you cook.  You can totally put in taco sauce or salsa for the hot sauce and chili powder for the ancho pepper in the spice mix to make it less of a shock.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee the onion and garlic in the oil with a pinch of salt for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add spices and toss them for 30 seconds or so to toast.

Lower heat to medium, add lentils, a few splashes of water, tomato paste and hot sauce; use a spatula to mash them a bit as they cook, until they hold together. If your spatula isn’t strong enough to accomplish this, just use a fork. Do this for about 5 minutes, adding splashes of water as necessary if it appears dry. Depending on the type of lentil you land, it will take more or less time to cook.  Taste for salt and seasoning; you may want to add more spices or hot sauce. And that’s it, time to serve!

Lentil Tacos Take Two

Adapted from the recipe above based on what I had in my kitchen

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 12 taco shells
  • shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomato, vegan cheese, avocado, limes

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.  Stuff in your shell of choice and serve with toppings as you have them available.

Skinny Bitch Curried Chickpea Patties

I have a love/hate relationship with the Skinny Bitch vegan book series.  I think it starts with the word skinny, something which I will never ever feel that I am, nor that I necessarily desire to be frankly…Thinner Bitch I will strive for I guess then.  At any rate, I present to you, a reason I’ll never be skinny….Curried Chickpea Cakes via Skinny Bitch Kim Barnouin’s Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.

Curried Chickpea Cakes
Makes 10 Servings

  • 1 (15-ounce/430 g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup (20 g) sliced green onions, both white and light green parts
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) light coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons evaporated cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup (75 g) breadcrumbs, plus 1/4 cup (30 g) for coating
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) grapeseed oil or toasted sesame oil, for pan searing
  1. In a large food processor, combine the chickpeas and green onions. Pulse until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk, sugar, 2/3 cup (75 g) of the breadcrumbs, curry powder, nutmeg, and cumin. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  2. Stir in the brown rice and the salt.
  3. Mold into 10 mini patties.
  4. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat (make sure it is preheated well in advance, so you get a nice crust). Add the chickpea cakes to the pan and sauté until there’s a nice golden sear on the bottom. Flip and sear the other side as well. Continue with the remaining cakes.
  5. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Serving Size: 123 g; Calories 170; Fat 7 g; Saturated Fat 1 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Carbohydrates 23 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 4 g

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Vegan SIN-amon Rolls

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I wasn’t sure if I should share this recipe or just keep it to myself so I alone look amazing when I waltz into a potluck brunch with these babies in tow.  Alas, I want to eat them more often, so I thought if I can get this out there to my vegan friends, they also would develop a mild addiction and want to make them frequently as well thereby getting them into my face more often.

I’ve had this cookbook Vegan Brunch on my bookshelf FOREVER, and never even cracked the binding.  Honestly, when is the last time you attended a brunch?  Yeah, me either.  A few months ago however, my friends Kolene and Jon hosted, you guessed it, a VEGAN BRUNCH!  I made curried tofu scramble, but Jon….he made these rolls and probably other delicious things-but THESE I was frankly obsessed with and had to get more of.  When I asked for the recipe he directed me to Vegan Brunch, you know the book collecting dust on my shelf.  I went home and made them that night, pigged out on them at midnight with Mr. Wonderful, then brought a batch to work the next day (the recipe made a TON of rolls) to test on my coworkers.  In case you were wondering how to score serious favors at work for a while, bake cinnamon rolls in your office kitchen, then serve them to your friends.  They become even more helpful in their sugary comas.

Caution, these take a while to make.  You are MAKING cinnamon rolls-like “from scratch”, not just baking them off from the frozen food section at Meijer, so there are steps involved.  Do not skip them, do not rush them.  And by all means….MEASURE, this is baking, you know…like chemistry and crap, so you need to be precise.  If you haven’t worked with yeast before, check out this link to keep you from throwing in the towel prematurely.

Dough

  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/3 c sugar + 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c lukewarm water
  • 3/4 c non-dairy milk, room temperature (I used coconut milk)
  • 1/3 c canola oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/4 – 4 c flour

Filling

  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 2 T flour

To roll

  • 1/4 c Earth Balance (soy margarine, non-hydrogenated)
  • also, a great deal of patience and an uncluttered work space

Icing

  • 1 C powdered sugar (10x)
  • 1-1/2 – 2 T non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk here too)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Proof yeast by putting yeast into half the lukewarm water with the 1 tsp of sugar. Let sit, make sure it bubbles so you know your little organisms are hungry, alive and well.  Mix the rest of the dough ingredients together, add proofed yeast mix. Knead for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise 1 hour. Punch the dough down and let rest 10 more minutes.

Make the filling (mix together ingredients above for filling).

Roll out dough to 12″ x18″ (or whatever you get frankly-mine was a little larger) on a floured clean, flat surface. Sprinkle filling over the dough evenly, dot with small chunks of the Earth Balance.

Roll from the long side. Go slowly and get it as tight as possible.  This for me is the most difficult part. I can’t even roll up my yoga mat without having it all cock-eyed, so this dough rolling part is torture for me.  Do the best you can.  When they bake, no one will know you had edges that were not perfect as they will be too busy cramming the final product into their pie-holes.

Oil or spray any kind of pan you like really. I used two pie plates so I could bake one now, and take one to work in an unbaked state later. Cut the roll into half to one inch pieces pieces and place close together in the prepared pan. I used dental floss to cut through the dough so that I didn’t smash the dough.

Cover with towel, let rise for 30-45 minutes in a warm location. I usually put it on the stove, above the pilot lights.  These can also be stored in the fridge overnight without losing any of the yumminess to be baked off the next morning, just cover in plastic wrap. The next morning when you are preheating the oven (below) leave on the counter until they hit just about room temp.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 18-2o minutes-the smaller your rolls when they go in, the less time you need, check them regularly to make sure they aren’t burning, they should be lightly browned. Make icing while it bakes.

Drizzle with the icing as soon as you remove from the oven.

Adapted from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Featured on The Mode Life.

Curry with Cashews

Confession:  I love cooking, but I could LIVE on take out.  In particular thai take out.  My fave place in GR is Angels Thai on Monroe Center.  This is my “go-to” curry recipe adopted from Heidi Swanson’s 101cookbooks.com.  I add some more num num’s and make it for a crowd so that I have leftovers!  Curry lasts surprisingly well in the freezer and makes a great quick meal over rice or quinoa in a hurry.  I picked some hearty veggies and a sturdy bean so they stand up well later going from freezer to table later.  You can add just about anything you want into this dish.  Clean out the fridge if you like.  Just be sure to write it all down if it tastes awesome, or you won’t be able to recreate it later…this happens to me more times than I care to mention.

  • 2 cups lite coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs HOT curry powder (I use Penzeys)
  • 3 Tbs Mild or Sweet curry powder (Penzeys here too)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp fine grain sea salt (to your taste)
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 block firm tofu, pressed and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
  • 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (one large head)
  • 1/3 cup cashews, toasted
  • a handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Toast the cashews in a wok briefly, until just browned.  Remove the cashews and allow to cool.  Next, toast the curry over LOW.  Do not burn it or your pan will smell and taste like burned curry for all time.  For real.  Add to the toasted curry, half of the coconut milk and bring to a simmer.  Whisk in the rest of the curry powder and salt, working out any clumps. Now stir in the chopped red onion and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and the water, and then the tofu. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the green beans, garbanzos, and cauliflower. Cover and simmer for just about one minute, maybe two – or just until the cauliflower and beans lose their raw edge and cook through a bit. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt / curry powder) if needed. Serve with a bit of cilantro topping each bowl over rice or quinoa.

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Tortilla Soup Take 2

I already have one recipe for tortilla soup here on my blog, and now I am adding another to the collection; both are excellent.  This one is a little more pedestrian, meaning you are much more likely to have these items on hand than you are the 101 Cookbooks version of tortilla soup I published earlier in my blogging life.  Enjoy yet another recipe adapted from the cookbook Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 2 poblano peppers or green bell pepper, seeded, chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 3/4 tsp corriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (24-ounce) can diced tomatoes, juice and all
  • 1 (24-ounce) can gluten-free vegetable broth or water
  • 1 heaping T ground cumin
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • cilantro for garnish
  • tortilla chips for garnish
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Salt, to taste

1. Place oil in a 4-quart pot and sauté onions, jalapeños and poblano pepper over medium-high heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. (Add a little more oil or broth if needed.) Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and sauté for another minute.
2. Add tomatoes to the pot, including the juice. Fill the tomato can with vegetable broth or water and add to the pot. Stir in the cumin and corriander.
3. Add beans, corn and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Add lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt to taste.
4. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Crumble tortilla chips over the top and garnish with cilantro.

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Sweet Potato Marinara with Vegan Tempeh Black-Eyed Pea Balls

I promise the process of this lengthy recipe is well worth the effort.  Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the genius behind cookbooks I regularly chastise you for not owning.  Just buy them already.

At any rate, this recipe is adapted from her marinara recipe (there are like 8 of them in her book) and her “meatball” recipe. The good news is, this recipe makes A TON of “meatballs” and they can be successfully frozen and reheated without too many issues.  Just be sure to freeze them first, then bag them otherwise you will get mush (yes, I got mush once, so I’m saving you the trouble).  The recipe as written fed Mr. Wonderful and I dinner one night, lunch the next day and the other half was frozen for a quick dinner later in winter when we are hibernating; so it’s a ton of food.  Take note, you have been advised (and warned).

Tempeh Black-Eyed Pea Balls

  • 12 ounces of tempeh (1.5 packages)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Black Pepper (several pinches)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp salt

First, steam your tempeh.  Frankly tempeh isn’t that appetizing unsteamed.  This is probably why you avoid using it, you had that one bad experience where you just used it straight from the package and it was gross.  Give tempeh another try-steam it before you use it.  Off soapbox, back to cooking.  If you have a steamer, great, use it.  If you don’t or, if you are like me, and have no idea how to use the steamer you have because you use it like once a year, forget it and grab a glass microwave safe dish.  For you steamer elitists, once the steamer is ready, break the tempeh into bite-size pieces, and steam for 10 minutes.  For you rugged folks, break tempeh into small hunks, drop it in the bowl/dish, cover with water and zap it on high for 5 minutes or so, then leave in there for another 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork to mash the beans. They should be well mashed, with no whole beans left, but not totally smooth, like a puree. Add the herbs, minced garlic, spices, soy sauce, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, and mix well.  Isa says don’t use a food processor here, but if you aren’t a total ass about it you can use it, just DO NOT PUREE the mixture or you will be sorry.  Remember at the end you are trying to achieve hamburger-like [gag] meatball consistency.

When the tempeh is done, add it to the mix, and mash well. It’s good if it’s still steaming, because it will help all the flavors meld, before baking. When the mix is cool enough to handle (a few minutes), add the bread crumbs and salt. Unlike raw cookie dough which is amazing out of the bowl, do not eat these before you bake them, they don’t taste that yummy.  They become delicious with the addition of heat.

Make “meatballs” using a 2 tsp of the mix, roll the mixture into walnut size balls, placing them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I’ve said this twice, don’t forget the parchment paper).  Isa recommends to spray the balls liberally with cooking spray, and cover loosely with tinfoil. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the balls, and bake for 10 more minutes, uncovered.  I didn’t bother with the spray or the cover.  I baked them until they looked done, shook them once or twice while they were baking, then removed them before they were all dried up.  This is why I like cooking and not baking so much.  Lots more room for error.

So if you are still with me after all of that, marinara sauce coming your way next.

Basic Marinara

  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (24 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
I also added: 
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, washed, chopped and browned
  • 2 cups sweet potato, diced and steamed

Preheat a 2-quart pot over medium/low heat. Saute the mushrooms in the oil for until browned, add garlic and red pepper flakes into the oil, saute for about a minute-warning do not stand over the pan when you add the red pepper flakes unless you are wearing a gas mask.

Add thyme, oregano, and pepper, and saute for a minute more, adding a splash of water if necessary. Add the tomatoes, steamed sweet potatoes, salt, and stir to combine. Cover the pot, leaving a gap for steam to escape, and cook for 10 minutes. Salt if necessary.  This is ready to serve over pasta and “meatballs” above.

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Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

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Semester is finally coming to a close.  My grading is nearly finished and it’s time to get some good food up here for the month of December! This is a wonderful dish perfect for those potlucks where you can’t take another helping of green bean casserole made from gray, canned, green beans (not that those little crispy onion things aren’t delicious, but come on!).  This will spice things up.  This modified recipe is courtesy of Vegetarian Times’ reader recipe contest of 2011 and is featured on the cover of the December 2011 issue.  This recipe made enough for me to make a 9×9 pan for dinner, then freeze a fully made 8 1/2 x 11 pan for later when we have company.

Sauce 

  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder

Filling 

  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (3 cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 16-oz. jar prepared medium salsa
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained and minced
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

Enchiladas

  • extra virgin olive oil, for brushing baking dish
  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup faux sour cream, for garnish
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish, optional

To make Sauce: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
To make Filling: Heat oil in separate saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salsa, garlic, chipotle chile, and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft. Mash mixture with potato masher until combined. Add black beans, and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
To assemble Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush 13- x 9-inch baking dish with oil. Spread 1/2 cup Sauce in bottom of dish. Fill tortillas with Filling. Roll, and pack close together seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce.  Bake 15 minutes.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime wedges, avocado slices, faux sour cream, and cilantro sprigs, if using.

TVP Chili – Say That Three Times Fast

This is the chili I take tailgating.  Carnivores have no idea this doesn’t have meat in it thanks to the chipotle which adds a smokey beefy taste to the dish.  Add a little liquid hickory or hot sauce to increase the meaty factor.  I love this over vegan dogs, it makes me feel just like everyone else, which if you are veg, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

TVP Chili for Meat-Eaters

  • 1/4 C cumin
  • 1/2 C chili powder
  • 2 C cooked chickpeas
  • 2 C cooked great northern beans
  • 2 C cooked cranberry beans
  • 1-46oz bottle V8 Hot & Spicy reduced sodium
  • 1/3 of the V8 bottle, water
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 4 T garlic, minced
  • 3 bell peppers (your choice of color), chopped
  • 1 C frozen or fresh corn off the cobb
  • 2 chipotle en adobo, chopped finely
  • 2 C whole crushed tomatoes, with juice
  • 3/4 C hot water
  • 1 C TVP
Rehydrate the TVP in a bowl with the 3/4 C hot water.  Set aside.
Saute onion, garlic, bell peppers, cumin and chili powder over medium heat until onion is soft.
Add V8, water, tomatoes, stir to loosen up the charred bits in the bottom.
Last, add the beans, corn, and TVP then stir to combine.
Let simmer for flavors to develop for 20 to 30 minutes.

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Simple Solution – Veg Broth

It has been a busy few weeks at the nonprofit I work for, so mostly dinner has been take out or warming up stuff out of the freezer, and plenty of veggie burgers (on buns, on tortillas, on naan), not a ton of creativity going on in the kitchen.  With that in mind, my CSA share and Doorganics delivery look limp and sad, but not rotting in my fridge, I decided to get ahead of the game and make veg broth to store in my freezer for the upcoming soup season.  Making your own veg broth is cheap, and a good way to use up items that are unsavory for cooking at face value but are still wonderful for a broth base.  During the summer, I keep a freezer bag full of items that would make good broth like the stems of mushrooms, the tops of radishes, celery greens, washed carrot peels, the ends of onions, parsley and the like then when I get a few extra seconds, I dump it in a soup pot cover it with water, add whatever fresh herbs I have in the fridge if any, and let it boil away.  I store it in 2-cup measures in freezer bags marked with the date and freeze flat, that way whenever I need a quick base for soup, I have a lightly flavored, sodium free, cheap alternative to store-bought broth.   Since the consistency of the veggies doesn’t make a difference in the taste of the broth, the freezer step doesn’t hurt, I promise.

My current batch of broth has in it:

  • celery greens
  • celery
  • portobella mushroom stems (trimmed and washed)
  • red bell pepper (seeds and all)
  • carrot shavings (cleaned)
  • turnips, quartered
  • onion ends & parts
  • garlic cloves
  • peppercorns
  • rosemary
  • thyme

Put all the items into a soup pot, cover with water and let it simmer away for an hour or so.  Remove from heat, let cool for hours and hours, then pour into labeled freezer bags (label them before you pour into them) and freeze flat. Remember this will not have salt added as is, so when you add to soups be sure to season well.

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