Friday, March 16, 2018

Miso-Glazed Peas and Carrots

I love finding new side recipes that brighten up a main dish.  Peas and Carrots remind me that Spring is right around the corner, even if snow is still on the ground.

Miso-Glazed Peas and Carrots

3            tablespoons miso, preferable white
1            tablespoon mirin
2            tablespoons rice vinegar
1            teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1            teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2            cups thinly sliced carrots, fresh or frozen
2            cups frozen peas (8 ounces)

Combine miso, mirin, vinegar, ginger and oil in a small bowl.  Place carrots and water in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the miso mixture and peas; cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are heated through and the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Tofu Saag Paneer and No-Yeast Vegan Naan

Tofu Saag Paneer
modified Aarti Sequeira’s recipe

Tofu “Paneer”
1            12 oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu
1            tablespoon yellow miso paste
2            tablespoons lemon juice, plus 1 tablespoon zest, from 2-3 lemons
1            tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
              salt and pepper

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Press tofu firmly between paper towels to remove excess moisture.  Cut into 1 and 1/2 “ cubes and set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together miso paste, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest and 1 tablespoon oil.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Add tofu and toss to coat.  Spread tofu evenly over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (I just sprayed with non stick – didn’t use foil).  Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Sauce may darken a little against the foil; this is fine.  Set tofu aside.

1            16-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach  (Thawed)
1 and 1/2            tablespoon vegetable oil
1            medium white onion, finely  chopped
1            1” piece ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4            cloves garlic, minced
1            large green sarrano chile pepper (seeds removed – if you don’t like it spicy)
                                                            finely chopped  (I used red pepper spice)
2            teaspoons ground coriander
1            teaspoon ground cumin
1/2         teaspoon garam masala
1/2         cup plain vegan yogurt, stirred until smooth (I added a bit of curry to yogurt)

Thaw the spinach in the microwave safe dish, 5 minutes or over night in fridge.  Transfer to a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.  Puree in a food processor until smooth.  (Alternatively, you can chop it up very finely with your knife).  Set aside.

Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add  vegetable oil.  Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chile and a pinch of salt.  Now here’s the important part.  Saute the mixture until it’s evenly toffee-colored, which should take about 15 minutes.  Don’t skip this step – this is the foundation of the dish.  If you feel like the mixture is drying out and burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water.

Add the coriander, cumin and garam masala.  Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cooks out and it smells a bit more melodious, 3-5 minutes.

Add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach.  Stir in a little salt and 1/2 cup water.  Cook 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat.  Stir in the yogurt a little at a time.  Once the yogurt is well mixed into the spinach, add the tofu paneer.  Turn the heat back on, cover and cook until everything is warmed though, about 2 minutes.

No-Yeast Vegan Naan
modified Web recipe

1 and 1/4           cup all purpose flour
1/2                     teaspoon baking powder
1/3                     teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2                     teaspoon salt
3                        tablespoons + 1 teaspoon vegan milk
2                        tablespoons vegan butter
1/4                     cup plain, vegan yogurt

Optional:  melted vegan butter for brushing (butter-naan), or add a bit of garlic to the melted vegan butter.

Mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.

In a small saucepan heat vegan milk together with vegan butter, until melted.  You can also use a microwave.  Let cool down slightly.

In a big bowl, add yogurt and stir in warm (not hot) vegan milk mixture, until smooth.

Gradually, add the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon, until the ingredients come together.

With your hands, knead into a smooth dough.  It’s best to first knead in the bowl and later on a lightly floured surface.  If the dough is still sticky, add a little more flour.
Let the dough rest for at least 1/2 hour on a lightly-floured surface and put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it.  Or, let it rest in the bowl, covered with a kitchen towel.  The longer the dough rests, the softer it gets and the easier it will roll out.

Split dough in 4 equal parts, form each of them into a ball and roll out.  Rotate the dough-disk while rolling, and flip it over occasionally.  Sprinkle with flour every now and then, so it will not stick to your rolling pin or surface.  When finished, the Naan should have an oval shape 6”x9” large and about 1/8 thick.

Preheat skillet or pan to medium high heat – but don’t add any oil.  Pick up the Naan, remove excess flour by slapping the dough between your hands and pit it into the pan.   Cook until bubbles have formed on the top and the bottom side gets lightly colored.  Then flip, and cook until done, about 1 minute.  Keep wrapped in foil to keep warm and moist.

*** If using vegan butter and garlic, brush bread with melted butter    

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Coconut and Red Lentil Soup

I just can't seem to get enough soup, maybe it's because winter is lingering on and on and I'm getting cabin fever.  The coconut milk base gives just a hint of coconut flavor to this lentil soup, it makes it a bit different than your standard lentil soup.

Coconut and Red Lentil Soup

1 and 1/2          tablespoons cumin seeds
1                        tablespoon coriander seeds
2                        tablespoons olive oil
1/2                     cayenne pepper
1                        small white onion, finely diced
1 and 1/2           cups red lentils
4-5                     cups vegetable stock
1                        12-oz. can coconut milk
2                        tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger
1/2                     tablespoon black pepper
1/2                     teaspoon sea salt
2                        tablespoons lemon zest
2                        lemons, juiced or 5-tablespoons bottled lemon juice
1/2                     bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
                          diced avocado for garnish

Toast cumin and coriander seeds in dry pot on medium heat for 2 minutes until you smell the robust aromas.

Add the olive-oil, pepper, and onion,  Stir consistently until the onion is golden and translucent.

Add the next 6 ingredients.

Put on low heat, stir well, and cover.  Allow to cook for about 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have “melted”, meaning the have lost their round shape and have softened.  You may need to add more water to get the desired thickness.

**I decided to puree the soup then add a little more lentils and cook just until done, approximately 1/4 cup.

When soup is done, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and chopped cilantro.
Remove from heat and serve with diced avocado and cilantro leaves.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Everything Drop Biscuits with Vegan Cream Cheese

I just discovered "Everything" mix at Trader Joe's and couldn't wait to find something to make with it.  These biscuits are less filling than bagels and are taken to another level when eaten warm, with a dab of vegan butter smeared on them.

Everything Drop Biscuits with Vegan Cream Cheese

Seed Mix  (or use a pre-made “Everything” mix Trader Joe’s carries in spice area)

2            tablespoons sesame seeds
2            tablespoons poppy seeds
1            tablespoon dried minced onion
2            teaspoons dried minced garlic
1            teaspoon coarse salt


2 and 1/2            cups all-purpose flour
2 and 1/2            teaspoons baking powder
1                        teaspoon coarse salt
4                        tablespoons vegan butter, cut into cubes
4                        ounces vegan plain cream cheese
1                        cup vegan buttermilk or regular vegan milk (1 cup vegan milk, 1 tablespoon                                                                    apple cider vinegar) mix together and set  aside a few minutes.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine the seeds with the dried onion, garlic, and coarse salt in a small bowl.  (Or the premade mix)

Put apple cider vinegar into the vegan milk and set aside.

In a larger bowl, combine the flour baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt.   Scatter the cold vegan butter and vegan cream cheese over the dry mixture, and use your fingertips or pastry blender to work them in until the mixture resembles sand.  Add the vegan milk or vegan buttermilk, and stir until just combined, with the dough clumping together

Drop the dough in about twelve equal mounds, one at a time, into The Everything seed mixture.  (I dropped all on baking sheet first then dipped into seed mixture one at  time and returned to baking pan).   Use your fingertips to give them a little half-roll through the seeds, and space them evenly on the baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough. 

Bake until golden, about 12 minutes ( cooked about 15 minutes).

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Vegan Apple Cranberry Cake

I was very happy to find this blog while looking for apple/cranberry cake, much easier process than scouring through all of my cookbooks.  The only thing I might do next time is add a sweet crunchy, crumbly topping - fancy it up a little.

Apple Cranberry Cake
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond milk room temperature
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced apples  (I diced my apples and used about 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, chopped in food processor
  • ***I added chopped almonds, about 1/2 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan. I use a thin smear of coconut oil and light dusting of flour on the cake pan to prepare.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together and set aside.
  4. In another bowl whisk brown sugar, sugar, and safflower oil.
  5. Add vanilla to sugar and oil mixture and whisk.
  6. Add dry ingredients to sugars, oil and vanilla mixture.
  7. Fold together dry and wet ingredients until about half way combined.
  8. Add half the almond milk and partially fold.
  9. Add the remaining almond milk and fold ingredients until just combined (do not over mix).
  10. Add apples and chopped cranberries, folding in until just combined. **and nuts if using
  11. For a tender cake do not over mix.
  12. Use spatula to pour batter into a 9" prepared pan.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees 50 minutes turning cake in the oven if need be half way through.
  14. Allow cake to completely cool before removing from pan and placing on a cooling rack.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Spinach and Artichoke dip

I love, love, love, Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook by Dana Shultz.  It has a good variety of recipes and the pictures are amazing.  My version on the dip came out less creamy than her picture but I can always add more Almond milk.  This would be good as a Crostini topping.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Dana Shultz

***Raw cashews require soaking.  Either Soak the cashews for 6-8 hours in cool water or pour boiling water over them and let rest uncovered at room temp. for 1 hour (which is what I did).  Drain well and use as instructed.

3            tablespoons vegan butter (or avocado oil)
5            cloves garlic, minced  (2 T.)
3/4         cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
8            ounces vegan cream cheese (Trader Joe’s carries) if you don’t have
              vegan cream cheese, add another 2/3 cup cashews but might not be as
1/2          cup unsweetened plain Almond milk or soy milk
4-6          tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1/2          teaspoon each sea salt, and black pepper, plus more to taste
1            14 oz. can artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped
1            pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in a thin towel
1/4          cup Vegan Parmesan for topping

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat a large oven-safe cast-iron or metal skillet over medium heat.

2.  Once the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic.  Saute for 1-2 minutes or until just golden brown.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Set aside.

3.  To the bowl of a blender or food processor, add the cashews, garlic, vegan cream cheese, remaining 2 T. olive oil, and almond milk.  Puree to a cream. 

4.  Add 4 T. nutritional yeast to start, plus the salt and pepper.  Blend once more.

5.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  The dip should be cheesy in flavor and well salted, so consider adding remaining 2 T. nutritional yeast and another 1/3-1/2 salt.  Set aside.

6.  Add the artichokes and spinach to the skillet used earlier.   Pour all the cheesy sauce over the artichokes and spinach.  The mixture will look sauce-heavy, but that’s the idea.  Stir to combine  (Mine was not saucy but I didn’t mind the firmer texture).

7.  Sprinkle the top with Vegan Parmesan for additional texture/flavor.  Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until warmed through.

8.  Serve warm with assorted veggies, tortilla chips or crackers.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vegan Cheddar Biscuit-Topped Barbecue Pot Pie

Since this dish has a few steps to it, I decided to make it on a nice snowy Saturday, when I could sip on my coffee, watch the birds outside the window and enjoy the cooking process.

I added a bit more BBQ sauce than the recipe asked for because I find that the pie topping seems to absorb some of the liquid.

Vegan Cheddar Biscuit-Topped Barbecue Pot Pie

1            pkg. vegan strips (Whole Foods)

Biscuit Topping

2            cups all-purpose flour
1            tablespoon baking powder
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
2            teaspoons sugar
1            teaspoon garlic powder
1/2         teaspoon salt
6            tablespoons (3/4 stick) vegan butter, cold and cut into pieces
1            tablespoon melted unsalted vegan butter for brushing toe tops of the biscuits
1            cup vegan milk w/dash of vinegar to create buttermilk
4            oz. vegan cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup)
1            tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives


2            teaspoons olive oil
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/4         teaspoon ground black pepper
5            tablespoons vegan butter (1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon)
1            medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3            celery stalks, chopped (about 2 cups)
3            large carrots, chopped (about 2 1/4 cups)
1            cup button mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
3            garlic cloves, minced
1            cup frozen green peas, thawed
1            cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (I didn’t use)
1/2         cup all-purpose flour
2            cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4         cup soy or nut milk
1/4         cup barbecue sauce  (I used 1/2 cup)
2            tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving.

You can use the mock chicken strips as is or sauté in a little bit of vegan butter, just to brown then set aside.

1.    Pour 1 cup of vegan milk and a dash of vinegar and set aside.
For the biscuit topping, in a bowl of food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, garlic powder and salt.  Add the cold vegan butter pieces and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and resembles cornmeal, about 7 pulses.
2.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and add the vegan milk mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, stir just until combined.  Stir in the vegan cheese and chives.  The dough will be wet and lumpy.

3.  Turn the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work service and knead it 3-4 times, just until it comes together.  Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 7 x 10 “ rectangle, about 1” thick.  Using the rim of a drinking glass or biscuit cutter, cut 8 rounds (I made mine a bit thinner and cut approx. 11) of the dough.  Place the biscuits on a parchment paper-lined plate and refrigerate while you make the filling.

4,  For the filling, spray a 9x13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

5.  In a large pot, melt the vegan butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft 6-8 minutes.

6.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add the peas and corn.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are completely coasted, 2 minutes.

7.  Slowly add the broth and the 1/4 vegan milk and bring mixture to a gentle boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, 4-6 minutes.  Stir in the barbecue sauce and parsley.

8.  Add the vegan strips, toss to coat, and transfer the mixture to the baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven, top with the biscuits, and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted vegan butter.  Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.  ( put the broiler on for a few minutes)