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vegan hummus sandwich

{ about this recipe }

This is a sandwich that is delicious unto itself but that I must confess I came up with initially because I was still craving tuna sandwiches (which, thankfully, I no longer do). This sandwich gave me that creamy/crunchy texture I missed with my tuna sandwiches.

This deliciously simple hummus sandwich exemplifies the healthful benefits of “food combining”. In addition to being excellent sources for fiber and heart-healthy iron and manganese, the combination of bread and hummus (chick-peas/garbanzo beans)  provides a high ‘complete’ protein source. Also, by combining fresh carrots with  hummus, digestion speeds up thus avoiding excessive gas buildup.

And, as always, feel free to change up the minced veggie ingredients. For instance, the addition of minced radishes and/or celery wonderfully expands the crunch, texture and taste factor. And if I have it on hand I add a layer of spicy/sweet kale salad and layer it in a wrap – delicious!

hummus wrap with carrots and kale

{ stuff you’ll need }

I’ll leave the ingredient quantities up to you but if you have any questions feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to reply.

. Creamy style spicy or garlic flavor hummus
. Shredded sweet carrots
. Kale salad (optional)
. Flavorful whole grain bread

{ how to make it }

spread a layer of hummus, not too thick, on the inside of each slice of the bread …  by spreading  hummus on each slice of bread it serves to hold the shredded carrot in place … sprinkle one slice generously with the shredded carrots … place the other slice of bread on top

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking ~ Colleen Patrick Goudreau


These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. They have all the characteristics that many chocolate chip cookie connoisseurs think that a good chocolate chip cookie should have – crispy buttery outside, very slightly chewy inside, a not too molasses-sweet, yet very faintly salty background flavor … and, oh yes!, lots and lots of chocolate chips!!


makes 3-4 dozen cookies

tsp egg replacer (Ener G brand, available in powder form from Whole Foods)
6 tbsp filtered water
1 cup nondairy butter, softened a bit (½ tub, or two half-sticks) (Earth Balance brand from Whole Foods)
½ cup granulated *vegan sugar
¾ cup organic **dark brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tsp organic vanilla extract
cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Celtic fine grain salt
12 oz bags nondairy chocolate chips, ***(Sunspire semi-sweet, or Whole Foods 365 vegan)
… preheat oven to 375°

… line cookie sheet or half-sheet baker’s pan with parchment paper or Silpat silicone liner

1.   In medium size bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt

2.   In food processor or blender (whichever is easiest for you, just put the water in first, then the egg replacer) whip the water and egg replacer together until thick and creamy.

3.   In a large mixing bowl, using a hand or stand mixer (whichever is easiest for you), cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla.

4.   Bump the egg replacer mixture in the blender to remix it a bit, then blend it into the creamed mixture.

5.   Gradually add in the flour mixture by large spoonfuls to the creamed mixture until it begins to form a dough. Don’t over mix. When almost completely combined, blend in the chips.

6.   It’s time to form the cookies and arrange them on the baking sheets. The easiest way to do this is to grab a cookie-sized hunk with the tips of your fingers (I wear surgical gloves), and with your finger tips loosely form a semi-flattened cookie shape. Place a dozen cookies per sheet, evenly spaced.

7.   Depending on your oven’s ‘true temperature’, bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, a minute or so longer if a crispier texture is desired. If you are baking two sheets at a time bake only one sheet for you initial bake, since like making pancakes or waffles, the first batch is always the least ‘perfect’

*sugar that is not filtered through bone char, as most white table sugar is

**dark brown sugar is made with molasses which deepens the sweetness

***don’t use grain-sweetened vegan chips unless you want chocolate chip cookies with “burnt melted raisins” (as described by dd) in place of what started out as chocolate chips in the dough

Your trusty blender makes this rich, savory gravy easy, fast and foolproof!

Besides their deliciously warm and slightly spicy flavor that make this a standout gravy recipe, Shiitake mushrooms are a healthful source for protein and fiber!

1 oz. (approx. weight) package of dried Shiitake mushrooms

2 cups of the broth from the reconstituted Shiitake mushrooms (see directions)

2 cups of vegetable broth (made with one whole Rapunzel Sea Salt and Herbs bouillon cube mixed into 2 cups of boiling water)

1 cup dry white wine like Pinot Grigio

1 large Vidalia or sweet onion, minced

4 cloves of garlic, minced (or 1 tbsp of Garlic Gold Nuggets)

1 tsp powdered dried sage and 1 tsp dried thyme leaves (or 2 tsp dried Herbes de Provence)

¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes, aka “nooch”

1 tbsp flour

4 tbsp Earth Balance butter

Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste

(Add an optional 1 tbsp poultry seasoning when serving with vegan chix cutlets, vegan turkey or stuffing)

  1. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over dried mushrooms in a medium size bowl and set aside
  2. In a large, (approx. 4 qt size) heavy bottom sauté pan (or high-sided skillet) sauté the onion in the butter; when the onion has softened add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or until the onion begins to caramelize
  3. Add the mushrooms in their broth, the vegetable broth, the wine and the seasonings and bring to a simmer
  4. Turn the heat off and, in two batches, blenderize the mixture in a blender, returning each blenderized batch of gravy to the sauté pan
  5. Continue to cook the gravy on a low simmer for 8-10 minutes or until thickened to desired consistency
  6. Stir in the ‘nutch” and adjust seasonings to taste

Makes approximately 5 cups of gravy

If you’ve checked my other recipes I guess you’ll notice that I love recipes that are super simple, super fast to prepare and super yummy! Oh, and did I mention healthy?! Couscous could not be easier to prepare, and if you love pasta you will love couscous  ~ because that is what it is 😀 ~ and it’s actually even easier to prepare than boxed pasta! If you can boil water (I use an electic kettle) you can make couscous. A make-ahead-of-time dish. Serves 4

1       block of  More Than Tofu Spinach Jalapeno seasoned tofu, removed from package and patted dry

½      box of Delallo brand Certified Organic 100% Durum hard wheat couscous

3       large Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and cut into small pieces

2       15oz cans of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, drained

1        large Vidalia onion, peeled and diced

½     bunch of spring onions, cut into ½ inch lengths

4-5   cloves of garlic, minced, or 2 tbsp of Rinaldo’s Organic Garlic Gold Nuggets

½     cup of sliced pitted assorted Mediterranean style olives or whole capers

olive oil

Celtic Sea Salt

≈≈≈

1: Place the couscous in a large glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl.
2: Boil 1½ cups of water, pour over the couscous, gently stir to evenly  distribute the water, cover and set aside
3: In a large heavy bottom skillet saute the onion until caramelized.
4: Gently fluff up the couscous.
5: Scoop the cooked onions on top of the couscous and gently mix in.
6: In the same skillet, add some more oil and gently saute the mushrooms, adding the garlic when almost done.
7: Scoop the cooked mushrooms into the couscous and gently mix.
8: In the same skillet, add some more oil, crumble in the tofu and, using a steel spatula, saute the tofu for about five minutes, adding the spring onion after about 2 minutes, being careful to continuously scrape the bottom in order to get all the precious crunchy bits.
9: Scrape the tofu from the skillet into the couscous and gently mix.
10:Add the drained tomato bits and the olives or capers.
11:Salt to taste.

This is one of those really great tasting staple vegan recipes that for some might seem a bit time-consuming and not-so-easy the first time you make it.  Well, hang in there, because as any seasoned ‘tofu-scrambler’ will tell you, once you start making this dish you cannot stop. It is so munchy-delicious and, yes, super-fast and easy to prepare. Except for the tofu all the ingredients are larder items, including the Garlic Gold Nuggets which I keep on hand all the time (in the refrigerator to extend their freshness), especially since I use them for other dishes. I make scrambles a couple of times a week, never have to refer to a recipe card anymore, and I change up the basic recipe with seasonings / ingredients as I feel like it … and not to mention this dish is a very good source for protein, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, and is very high in the complex B vitamins.

This is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed simply by glopping some ketchup (or your favorite condiment, sauce, chutney or salsa) onto the basic scramble for a quick snack in front of the TV or PC – or proudly serving a deliciously savory and eye-pleasing breakfast or brunch to guests by alternating layers of tofu scramble, veggies and sausage in a company-worthy casserole dish, and topping it with Herbs-de-Provence seasoned toasted bread crumbs.

4 servings (or 2 Hungry Man servings)

Prep to Table Time: 10 minutes (not including time to press tofu)

tofu-scramble-ingred

1 block of certified organic Wildwood brand SprouTofu firm style non-GMO tofu, water pressed out super-fast with TofuXpress, or your preferred method
1 tsp powdered smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp organic curry powder
1 tsp powdered garlic
1 tsp fresh dried organic thyme, crumbled finely with your fingers (optional)
3 tbsp filtered water in a small ceramic, glass or stainless steel bowl
1 tbsp Garlic Gold Nuggets (or 5-6 minced fresh garlic cloves)
2 tbsp cup nutritional yeast (‘nooch’)
2 tbsp organic olive oil
Celtic salt to taste, small size crystals

1. With a fork or small whisk, mix together the spice blend (optional thyme, curry, paprika, powdered garlic) into the water, then set aside.

tofu-scramble-1
2. Heat the olive oil to medium heat in a large size stainless steel heavy bottom skillet, or cast iron skillet. A well seasoned cast iron skillet will give you the fastest-cooking, non-sticking, even-browning results for tofu. I find the cast iron skillet to be an indispensable, must-have item for the vegan cook.

3. With your fingers, crumble the tofu into smallish random size pieces into the skillet, evenly covering the bottom. If using fresh garlic instead of the Garlic Gold Nuggets add  them to the pan, evenly sprinkling the garlic over the top of the tofu. When it appears that the tofu is light golden brown when you lift and peek at the underside of one of the pieces, using your steel spatula (or hard plastic spatula for your cast iron skillet so as not to scratch all the hard work you’ve done seasoning your pan), begin to continuously turn the tofu mixture by pushing and scraping against the bottom of the pan, keeping the mixture evenly spread out, and making sure to scrape every bit of cooked tofu/garlic bits off the bottom of the pan as it continues to gently brown.

tofu-scramble-2
4. Continue to cook on medium heat, scraping the bottom to get all the bits, and turning the mixture every 30 seconds or so for about 5 minutes.

tofu-scramble-3
5. After most of the areas of the pieces are light golden brown (not every bit of each piece needs to be browned), mix in the Garlic Gold Nuggets and then turn the heat off and keep the pan on the burner.

6. Distribute the tofu evenly across the bottom of the skillet. Using a small spoon, stir the spice blend with a small spoon, and without getting too anal about it, proceed to drizzle it over as many of the tofu pieces as possible so that it soaks into the top layer (so that if you cut into a piece of tofu you would see a white interior surrounded by a seasoned top layer). You don’t have to use all of the seasoning or evenly cover each piece.  Once most of the pieces have been dribbled on a bit, stirring the mixture gently will incorporate it more evenly throughout the tofu pieces. Go ahead and  dribble a bit of seasoning on any obviously missed pieces. Remember, you don’t have to heavily soak them, just the dribbling on some of the outside of the pieces will suffice for flavor.

tofu-scramble-4
7. Sprinkle the scramble with salt and ‘nooch’ and mix gently.

8. Adjust salt to taste and add a grind or two of your fresh pepper blend

Optional » Gently fold in pre-prepared and cooked veggie and/or sausage.

tofu-scramble-6tofu-scramble-5

My favorite Tofu Scramble, with Portobello mushrooms and spring onions sauteed in garlic and olive oil, and sliced Mediterranean green and Kalamata pitted olives


About adding optional veggies and/or sausage to your tofu scramble ...

If you would like to add veggies to your scramble, do this by preparing and sauteing your optional additions ahead of time in a separate pan. Some great chopped/minced and sauteed veggie additions that are great with scrambles, alone or in combination, are Vidalia onions, sweet peppers, and light heat peppers like jalapenos (saute any of these options until they are caramelized); spring onions, mushrooms, squash, tomatoes and broccoli. Capers or sliced olives.


If you want a scramble that has chunks and bits of savory sausage it
in, crumble a couple of links of Field Roast’s Smoked Apple Sage sausage or Twin Oaks Community Foods Breakfast Sausage into a cast iron skillet (or fry pan) and fry them up until browned with lots of crunchy bits.


UPDATES

12/6/09 All the way home from church this morning I was thinking about the leftover scramble waiting for me in the fridge that I had made yesterday morning with bits of breakfast sausage. As I removed it from the fridge shelf I spied the box of Daiya cheddar style cheese that happened to be sitting next to it. I sprinkled some of that amazing cheese over the top of the scramble, popped it in the microwave for a minute on three quarter power and …. oh, my, was that ever the yummiest breakfast eh-ver!

~ LASAGNA ~

“Best Vegan Lasagne Ever!”

+ + + + +

An easy, foolproof, flavorful lasagne layered with a robust spicy tomato sauce, rich garlic-y grilled mushrooms or delectable zucchini, and flavorful herb infused ricotta-style cheese, nestled in perfect pasta, and topped with melted herbed Italian parmigiana-style cheese!

lasagna ingredients 1lasagna ingredients 2

    Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°
Lasagna baking pan, ungreased
Large pot to boil the lasagna noodles in
Strainer
Measuring spoons and small bowls
Med size mixing bowl to prepare the ‘ricotta cheese’
Med size mixing bowl for the sauce
Wooden cutting board and vegetable slicing knife
Ladle or large spoon
Fork

    Ingredients

1 box Whole Foods brand Imported Organic Italian Lasagna noodles

1 block extra firm or firm tofu, Wildwood (or Nasoya) organic, drained very well – for best results use this awesome product to drain your tofu

2 tsp organic lemon juice

2 tsp good quality organic olive oil

6 cloves fresh garlic, minced

¼ cup ‘nooch’ (nutritional yeast)

a generous handful of fresh organic basil leaves, chiffonaded or minced

Celtic sea salt and cracked pepper

1 jar Seeds of Change – Tomato Basil Genovese sauce

1 jar Lucini – Spicy Tuscan Tomato Sauce (this is what gives the lasagna its’ ‘kick’)

1 lg box or 2 bunches of organic washed baby spinach leaves OR 3 med size fresh organic zucchini, scrubbed, sliced thinly into ‘coins’ AND/OR 4 large fresh sliced portobello mushrooms (de-stemmed/de-gilled/washed/patted dry), sauteed in garlic and olive oil until cooked but still firm and set aside

1 cup Daiya – Italian style shredded ‘parmigiana-style’ vegan cheese, (this amazing cheese is hard to find so you can substitute the easier to find Follow Your Heart brand)

optional dried Italian herbs

    Directions

Bring large pot of filtered water, salted, to a boil and cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain, rinse, return to pot, toss gently with olive oil, set aside

Prepare the ‘riccotta cheese’: (feel free to adjust amounts ‘to your taste)

With your hands (or you can use a fork to blend the ingredients) mush the well-drained tofu until it is in tiny crumbles. (I use medical gloves much of the time when I cook and this is one of those times, but feel free to use your bare hands – it’s just a matter of personal preference)

Add lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper – keep mushing.  Add olive oil – keep mushing. Add the ‘nooch’ and basil – keep mushing.

lasagana-mix-ricotta

Time to layer the lasagna in the lasagna pan

Pour both jars of sauce into a bowl and blend with a fork

Ladle about a ¼” layer of sauce into bottom of lasagna pan

lasagan-bottom-layer

Layer noodles to cover sauce completely and touch sides of pan – you might need to trim the length of the noodles if they are too long for the pan

Distribute layer of ‘ricotta cheese’ evenly over noodle layer – feel free to use your hands again to do this and don’t worry about being perfect about it

Distribute a layer of spinach (about 6-10 leaves high) and/or mushrooms, or zucchini and/or mushrooms

Start again by adding a layer of sauce, noodles, cheese, veggies and/or mushrooms, two more times

lasagna-layering

The top layer will be noodles covered with sauce, then sprinkled generously with the ‘parmigiana’ cheese mixed with optional dried Italian herbs

lasagna-ready-to-bake

Bake for approx 35-45 minutes until you can see that the sauce is bubbling and the cheese on top is melted and well done

Let the lasagna ‘rest’ for about a half hour before serving. Should there be any leftovers, this is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day

best-vegan-lasagna

DAIYA Cheddar Cheese grilled between split Wholly Wholesome Mini (or regular size if you prefer) Pocket Bread makes a very satisfyingly tasty cheddary, melty, creamy smooth grilled cheese sandwich.

vegan-grilled-cheese

And if you think the above vegan classic grilled cheese looks scrumptious (check out the melted cheese factor, a 10 on a 1-10 scale – and the flavor is classic intense cheddar!), here’s another delicious version of the grilled cheese sandwich using DAIYA’s Italian cheese blend!

  • Split two (yes, you’re going to want the other one once you inhale the first one) Wholly Wholesome Mini Pocket Breads (your taste choice, classic white or whole wheat) and place a slice of heirloom tomato (ideally heirloom tomato, because with heirloom tomatoes we are talking perfect texture and tomato flavor, tomato flavor that once you taste them immediately justifies the outrageous price you paid for them), preferably the same diameter as the pocket bread, on the open face of each sandwich.
  • Make a generous pile of DAIYA Shredded Italian Style Vegan Cheese on top of each tomato slice. With your fingertips spread the cheese evenly to the sandwich edges. Top with optional fresh oraganic Basil leaves.
  • Put the sandwich tops on and place next to each other without touching in a hot preheated large fry pan sprayed with coconut oil or other high heat oil with the flame reduced to medium heat
  • Place a grill press on top of the sandwiches. The press nicely covers both sandwiches evenly.  Depending on your pan and heat level the side being grilled will develop a golden crunchy texture in a few minutes. Remove the grill press, turn the sandwiches over, replace the grill press and repeat the grilling process for the other side. By now the cheese will have melted and you can serve and enjoy. As usual I like to eat it with one of my favorite condiments, cold and crunchy bread and butter pickles.

Oops, I ate it before I realized that I should have taken a picture of it to post. Next time. It does make a nice presentation and would be a nice luncheon item to serve guests.

 

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Want to read about why it’s so great to go Vegan?

The China Study
by T. Colin Campbell, PhD

Dominion~The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy
by Matthew Scully

The Emotional Lives of Animals
by Marc Bekoff

The Inner World of Farm Animals
by Amy Hatkoff

When Elephants Weep
by Jeffrey M. Masson

The Outtermost House
by Henry Beston

Mind of the Raven
by Bernd Heinrich

Tarka the Otter
by Henry Williamson

The Face on Your Plate
by Jeffrey M. Masson

 

             "other nations"

 

Noteworthy

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard for our liberties."
Abraham Lincoln ~ August 1856

"This is not just an America in decline. This is an America in retreat -- accepting, ratifying and declaring its decline, and inviting rising powers to fill the vacuum."
Charles Krauthammer ~ May 2010

"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain."
Thomas Sowell ~ February 2007

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself"
Benjamin Franklin ~ "Yardstick of Liberty"

"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."
Albert Schweitzer

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Gandhi

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned -- this is the sum of good government."
Thomas Jefferson

"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."
Alexander Graham Bell

"Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts."
Aristotle

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."
Milton Friedman

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."
Ronald Reagan

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
Alexis de Tocqueville

"That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves."
Thomas Jefferson

"I hope we have once again reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts."
Ronald Reagan

"Give me liberty or give me death!"
Patrick Henry ~ 1775

"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected upon a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."
George Washington ~ Inaugural Address 1789

"Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem."
Ronald Reagan ~ Inaugural Address 1981

"How can you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
Ronald Reagan

"I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."
Booker T. Washington

"I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it's possible."
Milton Friedman

"Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong."
Calvin Coolidge

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If ti moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it"
Ronald Reagan

"Liberals claim to be open to hearing other peoples' views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."
Benjamin Franklin

"Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties."
Abraham Lincoln 1856

"There has never been a society or a nation without God. But history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations that became indifferent to God, and died."
Whitaker Chambers

"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever..."
Thomas Jefferson 1788

"Within the covers of that single Book are all the answers to all the problems that face us today; if we'd only look there."
Ronald Reagan

      libera nos a malo

 
 
Veganize it!