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{ about this recipe }

Are you ready for some comfort food? This is the creamy cheddar cheese version of my recipe that features parmesean cheese and garlic as the featured taste. And, yes, it’s 100% vegan – yet another recipe that dispels the myth that vegan food cannot be absolutely, satisfyingly delicious without sacrificing the spectrum of sensations we so treasure in our food experiences – taste, texture, depth of flavor, richness, delicacy, heat, spice, sweet, savory …

Like many meals,  I initially made this one based on “What’s in the fridge/pantry that we can use so we don’t have to go out to the store?”  Well, this time I noticed that the expiration date on the sausage was drawing near so, given that parameter to start with,  my attention was drawn to doing something with pasta, cheese and fresh spinach.

And, of course, it had to be easy and quick to prepare.

BRUNCH OPTION >>> substitute cooked diced Yukon Gold potatoes for the pasta

{ stuff you’ll need }

12 oz or one medium package of elbow or penne noodles, cooked, drained,rinsed and lightly coated with olive oil so it does not stick … I used Tinkyada’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta (what I had on hand); it’s wheat/gluten-free and cooks up al dente unlike most wheat-free and rice pasta brands

1 pkg Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage Sausages, roughly crumbled

¾ pkg Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds

½ cup Wildwood Soy Milk Creamer

½ cup Soy Dream Organic Enriched Milk

2 tbsp Wildwood Aioli

4 handfuls of fresh organically grown spinach leaves, thinly sliced while bunched

powdered smoked paprika to taste

powdered cayenne pepper to taste

Celtic sea salt and ground pepper to taste

{ how to make it }

… while the pasta is cooking saute the roughly crumbled sausages in a fry pan (preferably cast iron skillet) in a bit of canola oil, turning to brown evenly, being sure to scrape up any bits that are sticking to the bottom of the pan – the sausage browns up quickly so pay close attention to them it …  set aside when finished

… in a saucepan, heat on medium high flame the creamer/milk mixture making sure you do not bring it to a boil … instead, when the creamer/milk is very hot start adding the cheese to it, stirring constantly to incorporate the cheese into the creamer/milk

… when the cheese is melted stir in the cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper … set aside

… once the pasta is drained, rinsed and lightly oiled move it to a medium size bowl and fold in the uncooked sliced spinach leaves, being careful not to harm the noodles

… blend the Aioli into the cheese sauce, then pour the sauce into the noodles, stirring and continuing to be careful of harming the noodles, but being sure to mix thoroughly so the cheese is coating all the noodles

… spoon the noodle mixture into a medium size casserole, similar in capacity to an 8x8x3 baking pan

… sprinkle the sausage mixture on top, distributing it evenly and being sure that all the crunchy bits make it on as well

… bake at 350° for about half an hour

vegan tuna salad ingredients
vegan tuna fish sandwich

{ about this recipe }

It’s been a long time in coming but after a lot of online research and working on various recipes I’ve finally come up with a vegan tuna salad that I can be happy to share with you.

Besides really tasting like tuna salad this vegan tuna salad is even healthier.  It is super rich in protein (10g!), Iron, Potassium, Iodine, Vitamin A,  fiber – and more!

The raw veggie ingredients are optional. All the ingredient amounts are approximate and can be adjusted according to your personal taste and textural preference. I happen to like my tuna on the crunchy side so I heavy-up on the celery and carrot. I also like the play of salt v. sweet by using onion and garlic with sweet pickles.

There are three elements that make this recipe really taste like traditional tuna fish salad:  the sea vegetable flakes which give it that authentic tuna fish salad taste without tasting ‘fishy’ ( sea veggie flakes are an awesome dietary source for iodine as well as providing the essential ingredient responsible for the production of thyroid hormone and all other hormones of the body); the Aioli dressing which is just so much better tasting than any other ‘mayo’;  and the use of the press to release the maximum amount of moisture from the ‘tuna’ before processing into flakes.

Ingredient Options: roasted slivered almonds and grapes instead of celery/carrot/pickle/garlic/onion

Makes about 2½ cups of vegan tuna salad.

{ stuff you’ll need }

Tofu XPress

Half a pkg. of Dixie Carb Counters Tuna (Not) Salad Mix (made with Certified NGMO Soy Beans)

1/3  cup minced celery

1/3  cup minced carrots

1 tbsp minced red onion

1 tsp Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Cert. Org. Triple Blend Flakes (Dulce-Laver-Sea Lettuce)

½ cup minced Bread and Butter pickle slices

a couple of pinches (or shakes) of garlic powder

s + p to taste

Wildwood Aioli

{ how to make it }

Prepare the tuna according to the directions on the package by simmering it for about 8 minutes or until the tuna is softened to tuna ‘texture’ by testing with a fork … pour into a colander to drain/cool to room temperature

Place the tuna into the tofu press (for at least an hour) until as much moisture as possible is pressed out

Place half the amount of the pressed tuna chunks into in a small food processor and pulse blend until the tuna presents the consistency of tiny, uniform flakes; remove to  a medium size mixing bowl and pulse blend the other half and add to the bowl

Mix the rest of the ingredients into the tuna until evenly blended

Blend in Aioli dressing to desired consistency

Chill and enjoy

spanish rice

{ about this recipe }

This dish is one of those super easy to make comfort foods that is a real crowd pleaser. It was one of the first dishes I ‘veganized’ after I went vegan. You can choose to make it non-spicy by substituting plain diced for the canned tomatoes with chipotle peppers, as well as toning down on the powdered spices. The crumbles are optional – they are the ‘meaty’ part of the dish – making for a ‘heartier’ meal option, and also good for serving to a ‘mixed’ (vegan and meat-eaters) crowd of guests. Served along with a freshly tossed veg/fruit salad and your good to go!

I usually get the idea to make Spanish Rice when I have a lot of fresh garden tomatoes on hand (dear son-in-law just arrived with the most amazing pile of plum tomatoes!), and green peppers are in season (now!) when at the peak of their flavor and low price. However, that does not keep me from making this dish in the dead of winter (comfort food!) when it’s a perfect for social get togethers. And, like most casserole-style meals, it is even yummier the next day, and the next …

{ stuff you’ll need }

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

. 4 cups cooked (2 dry) organic Basmati style rice – white, light brown or brown
. 3 med-large sweet onions, diced and sauteed until caramelized
. 2 jumbo or 4 med/small green peppers, diced and sauteed until caramelized
. 3-4 15 oz cans of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Petite Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Peppers, undrained
. 1 bag of frozen non-gmo crumbles, Boca or other, nearly thawed
. fresh tomatoes, diced
. smoked paprika
. cayenne pepper
. salt and pepper

{ how to make it }

while the rice is cooking saute in separate batches (a cast iron skillet is ideal) the onion and green pepper, gently folding them into the rice when they are done … then, saute the crumbles for 10-12 minutes and gently fold into the rice mixture … add the canned tomatoes and fresh diced tomatoes … season to taste … bake or microwave to warm and serve

vegan sloppy joes

{ about this recipe }

Aka ‘Sloppy Lentils‘ or ‘Vegan Bar-B-Q‘. This super fast and easy-to-prepare dish is a satisfying and munchy meal for a crowd or a midnight refrigerator raid. I like it either served hot on a toasted bun or cold in a bowl. It is a rich source of protein fiber, iron, and  lycopene anti-oxidants.

{ stuff you’ll need }

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

. one 16 oz. pkg of organic green lentils, cooked, drained and rinsed
. 3 med or 2 large sweet onions, chopped small and sauteed until they                        caramelize
. organic ketchup, approx 18-20 oz – or most of a 24 oz bottle
. half a bottle of Amy’s Sweet and Spicy B-B-Q sauce
. vegan Worcestershire sauce
. 3 to 4 tbsp of dark brown sugar
. salt to taste

{ how to make it }

combine all the ingredients and adjust the moisture content with watery ketchup if necessary. … you can serve immediately or simmer for a bit to further ‘set’ the flavors

This dish is so delicious ~ and very easy and quick to prepare. If you like pasta, if you like savory sausage, if you like greens, if you like parmesan cheese – you will not be disappointed!

Vegan Pasta and Sausage Main Dish

  • 1 four-link package of Field Roast brand Smoked Apple Sage Sausage, crumbled and sautéed in a cast iron skillet until browned with crunchy bits – set aside
  • 1 box of Farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, cooked, drained, rinsed and placed into large glass or stainless steel bowl
  • 2 large bunches of fresh spinach, rinsed and drained well and sliced  into thin strips
  • 2 teaspoons dried powdered mustard (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Gold bits
  • ¼ cup vegan grated style parmesean cheese
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes, aka “nooch”
  • Celtic sea salt
  • Olive oil

≡ ≡ ≡


  1. Saute the sausage while the pasta is boiling.
  2. Gently mix the olive oil, mustard, and nooch into the cooked warm pasta.
  3. Add the spinach and gently mix it in.
  4. Add the crumbled sausage, mixing it in gently.
  5. Sprinkle and mix in the parmasean style grated cheese.
  6. Salt, taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.

This super tasty dish is very easy and quick to prepare. You will not be disappointed!

Ÿ 1 four-link package of Field Roast brand Smoked Apple Sage Sausage, crumbled and sautéed in a cast iron skillet until browned – set aside

Ÿ 1 box of Farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, cooked, drained, rinsed and placed into large glass or stainless steel bowl

Ÿ 2 large bunches of fresh spinach, sliced into thin strips

Ÿ 2-3 teaspoons dried mustard (to taste)

Ÿ 1 tbsp Garlic Gold bits

Ÿ ¼ cup vegan grated style parmesean cheese, like

Ÿ ¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes, aka “nooch”

Ÿ Celtic sea salt

Ÿ Olive oil

≡ ≡ ≡

1. Sautee the sausage while the pasta is boiling.

2. Gently mix the  olive oil, mustard, and nooch into the cooked warm pasta

3. Add the spinach and gently mix it in

4. Add the crumbled sausage, mixing it in gently

5. Sprinkle and mix in the parmasean style grated cheese

6. Salt, taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.

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!

 

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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

 

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Noteworthy

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Abraham Lincoln ~ August 1856

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Charles Krauthammer ~ May 2010

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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

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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

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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

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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!