Friday, May 28, 2010

Tempeh Piccata

I had high hopes for this recipe... maybe I just wasn't crazy about the tempeh?  I usually like it just fine...  It was a little bitter... I should have boiled or steamed it a bit first to get rid of that before I did anything.  I tried to doctor up the sauce by adding a little Earth Balance, but it didn't do the trick.  I think 2 cups of white wine was too much... I wound up just making a scampi-like sauce with a little white wine thrown in.  I have a lot of tempeh leftover that I think hubby is going to just dip in some BBQ sauce.  LOL

Don't get me wrong - it wasn't bad... I think I had my expectations up too high. :(   I'm making this again with seitan and I'll see how I like it. :)

Recipe from Vegetarian Times

Piccata Sauce

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cups dry white wine

1 Tbs. capers, drained

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1 Tbs. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbs. water

Tempeh Triangles

1/2 cup soymilk  *I used almond milk

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup all-purpose flour *I used whole wheat flour

2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage *I used a pinch of dried

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

2 8-oz. pkg. tempeh  *I used 1 pkg. 3 grain tempeh and 1 pkg. wild rice tempeh

2 Tbs. olive oil

Lemon slices for garnish

I served it over long grain brown rice...

To make Piccata Sauce: Saute' garlic in skillet over medium heat, 20 seconds. Add lemon juice, wine, capers, salt and pepper; cook about 10 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

To make Tempeh Triangles: Whisk together soymilk and mustard in bowl. Combine cornmeal, flour, sage, salt and pepper on wax paper.

Cut each tempeh piece into 3 squares. Cut each square into 2 triangles. Dip triangles in soymilk mixture, dredge in cornmeal mixture and set aside.

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half tempeh triangles about 3 minutes per side. Add remaining oil, and repeat.

Arrange tempeh triangles on serving plates, and top with sauce. Garnish with lemon slices.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Apple-Kale Muffins

Yep, you read that right - KALE in muffins!!  They were great!  You can get kids to eat these (even adults!!) and they wouldn't even know they're eating something healthy!

Recipe from here:

* 1-1/2 C organic whole wheat flour

* 1 tsp. each baking soda and baking powder

* ½ teaspoon salt

* ½ tsp. cinnamon

* ¼ tsp. nutmeg, * left out

⅛ teaspoon grated vanilla bean (or use ½ teaspoon vanilla extract)

* ⅓ C honey * used raw agave nectar - will add 1/2 cup next time

* 1 egg * used 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal mixed with 3 tbsp. water

* ½ C sour milk or plain unflavored yogurt * used 1/2 cup soy  milk mixed with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

* ⅓ C canola oil * used grapeseed oil

* ½ tsp. vanilla (see above)

* 1-½ C grated apples or carrots (used cored, unpeeled apples chopped in my food processor)

* 1 C finely chopped kale or raw leafy green vegetable (I took off the stems and then chopped the leaves fine in my food processor)

* ½ C each any dried fruit and chopped nuts * used chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 400.

In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

In another bowl, mix honey, egg, yogurt, oil, vanilla, apples, kale, dried fruit and nuts.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened. Fill 12 typical size greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Made 12 very full muffins.

Sweet Potato, Kale, & Bean Soup

Really healthy, comforting, filling soup!  Loved it!

From this website:
2 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 1/2 tsp. dried Italian herb seasoning  *I left out and used a little onion powder
6 cups vegetable broth
2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
4 oz. kale, tough stems removed, chopped coursely (about 4 cups)
12 garlic cloves (I've added a few more but it's up to your taste) * I used 3 large cloves
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and Italia herb seasoning; saute until
onions are soft and golden, about 6 minutes

2. Stir in broth, beans, sweet potatoes, and kale; bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low
and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add garlic to simmer soup base. Simmer until sweet potatoes and greens are tender.
About 15 - 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *I used an immersion blender and pureed 1/2 the soup

Yield: 6 servings (1 1/2 cup each)

Vegan Coconut Cream Pie

Again, I needed a yummy dessert to go with the special Anniversary dinner of pasta carbonara (previous post) and what could be better than coconut cream pie?!? This held together nicely, but could have been sweeter in my opinion. Next time I'll add in some vanilla soy or coconut creamer and that should do the trick, but this was definitely good on it's own!

From Vegetarian Times -

Ingredient List

Makes 6 mini pies 

1/3 cup sweet flake coconut
6 oz. soft silken tofu, drained
1/3 cup sugar
5 Tbs. cornstarch
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. coconut extract
6 mini graham cracker pie crusts *I used a regular pie crust
*Next time I'm going to add in 2 tbsp. vanilla soy or coconut creamer for added sweetness
*I also mixed in additional coconut to the batter

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread coconut on baking sheet, and toast 5 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, or until golden.

2. Blend tofu in blender or food processor 2 to 3 minutes, or until smooth. Set aside.

3. Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in saucepan. Whisk in coconut milk, and cook over medium-high heat 8 minutes, or until thickened, whisking constantly.

4. Remove pan from heat. Fold in tofu, vanilla and coconut extracts, and coconut. Divide among mini pie crusts, and chill.

Nutritional Information

Per : Calories: 283, Protein: 3g, Total fat: 13g, Saturated fat: 6g, Carbs: 37g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 134mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 18g

Vegan Pasta Carbonara

I wanted to make something special for my husband for our wedding anniversary and when I saw this recipe and I knew this was the one!  This was to die for!!!  My husband could not stop raving about it and neither could I!  It's definitely my favorite vegan recipe out there! 

Here is website where I found this recipe: 
Yeah, That "Vegan" Shit: Pasta Carbonara

INGREDIENTS:  (My notes are in red)

1 lb. spaghetti, fettucine or linguine
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. dry white wine  ** I used 1/2 cup or more
5 to 6 oz. vegan bacon, chopped fine **You could definitely use less - but why would you?? LOL
1 T. kudzu root, cornstarch, or arrowroot **I used arrowroot
1 1/3 c. soy milk
6 T. vegan margarine  **I used about 4 T
3 heaping T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt (optional--if your "bacon" is uber-salty, you may want to leave this out) **I found it needed salt

Additional nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan for sprinkling  **didn't need a thing - super tasty!!
Freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Dissolve kudzu/cornstarch/arrowroot and salt in soymilk and set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Saute tempeh for about 5 minutes, or until heated through (You should be able to smell the smoky aroma). Turn up the heat to medium-high and pour in the wine to deglaze the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes, and transfer tempeh to another dish.

Melt butter in the same saucepan over medium-low heat and sprinkle in nutritional yeast. Whisk together to make a roux, then slowly whisk in the milk. Turn heat to low, and cook until thick, whisking occasionally--about 15 minutes. Add the tempeh, turn heat down very low, and simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If too thick, you can always add a tiny bit of wine to thin it down.) Add pepper to taste.

Toss over drained pasta and sprinkle generously with more nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan.

4 large or 6 small servings

Friday, May 14, 2010

Chocolate Chip-Nut Banana Bread!

A stick-to-your-ribs kinda banana bread! :)   Everyone who tried it loved it - hope you will too!

Here's what I did:

(I made a double batch, but you'll need an 8x4 bread pan).  Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray pan with non-stick spray.

3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup margarine, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance)
4 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups of flour (I used 1 cup white, 1/2 cup whole wheat, 1/2 cup spelt)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (or any non-dairy milk mixed with 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar - it will curdle don't worry!)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract, optional
1 tbsp. chia seeds, optional
1/3 cup flaxseed meal, optional
chopped walnuts
vegan chocolate chips

Mix flours, baking soda and salt together and set aside.  In a large bowl cream together sugars & margarine.  Then add in milk, bananas and vanilla; mix well.  Combine flour, etc. to the wet ingredients and stir until well combined.  Add in rest of ingredients and pour into pan.  Bake approximately 60 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.  Enjoy!  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Red Quinoa & Roasted Veggie Salad

This salad is a new favorite!  Red quinoa is just delicious!  It's the first time I tried the red variety and I won't be going back to the plain kind!  I absolutely loved it!

You can add any kind of vegetables/beans you like.  I also made a dijon vinaigrette that's mixed in; feel free to make any type of dressing you desire.

You'll need:

1 1/2 cups red quinoa, rinsed with cold water & drained
3 cups water or veggie stock (I used Better Than Bouillion Vegetable Base)
fresh broccoli
corn (I used organic roasted, frozen corn kernels)
black eyed peas - canned, rinsed and drained
scallion, both white and green parts, diced

Dijon Vinaigrette
1 tsp. dijon mustard (more to taste)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil (I whisk it in until desired taste)
sea salt to taste

Whisk together mustard, garlic, vinegar, sea salt & olive oil.  Set aside.  Whisk it again right before adding it to the salad.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  On a baking sheet mix broccoli and zucchini with a little olive oil and sea salt.  Roast veggies until tender and golden brown. 

In a pot add water and quinoa and bring to boil; then cover and lower to simmer.  Quinoa should cook approximately 20-25 minutes or until water evaporates and quinoa is tender.  Fluff with fork.

In large bowl add in quinoa, veggies and vinaigrette; Mix well.  Tastes great warm and cold!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spinach Mushroom Lasagna

Soo good! :)  After making the spinach pasta bake last week my husband reminded me that I promised him a lasagna!  I had a huge pot of homemade marinara sauce already made so I was pretty much half way there!  So I whipped up another batch of the cashew ricotta and the cashew cream sauce and went to work.

Making lasagna is much easier in my opinion since I don't boil the noodles.  I use low carb noodles that are loaded with fiber and all I do is put a generous amount of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan and on each layer of the noodles so they stay extra moist - then layer your lasagna as usual.  I didn't use any soy mozzarella this time as I didn't feel it needed it.  I topped the lasagna with the cashew cream sauce and each plate had some vegan parm. sprinkled on top and more marinara sauce.  Delicious!

Before going into the oven - topped with cashew cream sauce
Right out of the oven
Yummy layers of spinach/mushroom/cashew tofu ricotta

Monday, May 3, 2010

Baked Pasta with Spinach, Cashew Tofu Ricotta & Cashew Cream Sauce

This was supposed to be a lasagna, but I ran out of lasagna noodles.  I still have leftover cashew tofu ricotta so I do plan on making a lasagna this week. ;)  I only used a few tablespoons of the ricotta mixture and 1 cup of the cashew cream sauce in this dish as I didn't want it to be too rich.  It worked out perfectly; the ricotta held everything together and the cream sauce made everything... well... creamy!  :) 

You'll need:
Any pasta you like
marinara sauce
spinach (I used frozen, drained well)
1 cup cashew cream sauce (see previous post) (you'll need more if making a bigger casserole)
vegan mozzarella cheese (I used Daiya)

For the cashew tofu ricotta:

1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 lb. firm tofu
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast (optional)
pinch garlic powder (optional)

Combine cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt in food processor until a thick paste forms.  Add in tofu and blend until smooth.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees...
First layer:
Combine pasta with a few tbsp. of ricotta mixture and spinach.  Spray a casserole dish w/ non-stick spray and spread bottom with marinara sauce and half of pasta mixture.

Spread 1/2 of cashew cream sauce on top of pasta.  You can add a little more marinara sauce on top of this as well.  Place rest of pasta mixture on top and spread remaining cashew cream sauce and more marinara on top.  Sprinkle vegan mozzarella on top.  Bake until cheese gets a light golden color; approximately 20 minutes.
Daiya on top:
Out of the oven:

Cashew Cream Sauce

This sauce is soo incredibly creamy and decadent!  I made eggplant parmiagana on the same day and added a little of this sauce to it and it was heavenly!  You can make a pink pasta sauce by just adding a little marinara to this delicious sauce.  I have another post coming in a few minutes where I layered this sauce with marinara in a baked pasta dish.  Incredible!
You'll need:

1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 tsp.  fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
pinch of sea salt
pinch of garlic powder, optional
fresh basil, optional (add once sauce is done)

Place cashews in the food processor and grind them until they're very fine.

Add in rest of ingredients and process until smooth.  Pour sauce into a pot over low heat and whisk until it starts to thicken.  Pour sauce over pasta, veggies, nachos, etc. Enjoy!