Tag Archives: vegan cooking

Roasted Beet Catsup

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 45 Minutes / Refrigeration Time: 2 hours

3 medium/large fresh beets, trimmed, peeled, and quartered

½ sliced red onion

1 peeled garlic clove

3/4 cup of water

2 Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp brown sugar

½ tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trim, peel, and quarter the beets. Place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes. Let cool.

Slice the red onion and add it to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the cooled roasted beets, garlic clove, white vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and ½ cup of the water. Pulse the blender and check the consistency. It should be obvious, but you’re going for a catsup consistency…if you’ve arrived, do not add the additional ¼ cup of water, if not, add the remaining water slowly until you reach your preference. Test for salt and sweetness. You’re going to have some variability with this recipe due to the liquid and sugar content of the beets. Do not be afraid to adjust until it’s best for your taste buds. Chill before serving.

Enjoy!

Chewy Cocoa Cookies

Prep Time: 25 minutes / Cook Time: 8-10 minutes per batch / Preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven

1 ¼ cups of Earth Balance (or similar) butter

2 cups of granulated sugar

2 flax eggs (1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp warm water + 5 minutes = 1 egg)

2 tsps vanilla extract

2 cups of all-purpose flour

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the flax eggs: In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbsp of ground flax seed with 6 Tbsp warm water. Let this mixture sit and thicken for at least 5 minutes before adding it to the recipe.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium until creamed. Add the flax eggs and vanilla and beat well.

Combine flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix well.

At this point I put the mixer away and use a rubber spatula. Fold in the walnuts (optional) until distributed evenly.

Using a big spoon, drop about 2 Tbsp of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2” apart.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit on center oven rack for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have firmed up. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Variation: Substitute up to 1 cup of the flour with Vega Vanilla Chai or Chocolate…a tasty and healthful twist.

Another Variation: Sub the walnuts for chocolate chips or chopped peanuts.

Enjoy!

Fiesta Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes / Refrigerate for 2 hours to rest and blend / Serve at room temp

2 cans of garbanzo beans drained – around 2 cups

1 small can diced green chilies

1 medium onion – chopped

2 garlic cloves – chopped

3 medium tomatoes – chopped

2 jalapeños – chopped

3 Tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro

1 ½ tsps. cumin

½ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

Get a bowl and mix everything together. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours but serve at room temperature.

You can leave out the green chilies if you want or replace them with a couple canned chipotle chilies in adobo.

Get fancy and grate a little lime zest on top before serving…why not!

Another crazy variation: Blend the whole thing into a hummus consistency and serve with tortilla chips and salsa!

Enjoy!

Fennel Orzo Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 10-12 minutes for Orzo / Refrigerate for 1 hour

1 pound (1 package) cooked Orzo – Drained and shocked with cold water to stop cooking

1 cup finely chopped green onions

1 cup finely chopped fresh fennel (can substitute celery)

¼ finely chopped fresh parsley

1 ½ cups of plant-based plain Greek yogurt (about 2 store-sized packages)

¼ olive oil

¼ Tabasco

¼ dried dill

½ tsp black pepper and salt

Cook the orzo according to the package directions and shock to cool…drain well. In a large bowl mix the orzo with the veggies, parsley, and olive oil. Add the yogurt, spices, and tabasco. Mix well and refrigerate to rest and blend the flavors. The starches will tighten up a bit so toss again before serving…add some additional olive oil, salt and pepper if needed before serving.

Variation: Add some thawed frozen baby peas or edamame for some extra protein or top with some toasted pistachios or walnuts for an additional crunch.

Enjoy!

Tofu Scramble

Prep time: 5 minutes /Cook time: 8 minutes/Total Time: 15 minutes

 

Half a block of Extra Firm Tofu, drained under weight

4 Tbs grape seed or other high-heat oil

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp kosher salt

Pinch of sugar

Splash of rice wine vinegar

 

½ Red or Green Bell Pepper

½ cup Red or Yellow Onion

 

Weight and drain your tofu (I use an inexpensive tofu press) and crumble into, for lack of a better term, “scrambled egg size” pieces. In a bowl, toss the crumbled tofu, oil, spices, sugar and vinegar together and let it marinate for about 10-15 minutes while you chop your bell pepper and onion.

Tofu Scramble 2

Crumbled and seasoned tofu for Scramble

With a little oil and kosher salt in a non-stick skillet, sauté the onion and bell pepper on medium-high heat until softened but still colorful (about 3 minutes). Then add the marinated tofu, stir and toss to heat, combine, and brown. This will be take about 5-6 minutes, adjust your heat as needed but it should be consistent around medium heat.

This will make about 3 servings and is great in breakfast burritos and sandwiches, or just alone with some nice toast and coffee!

Enjoy!

Basic Tomato Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes /Cook time: 90 minutes/Total Time: 2 hours

One of the reasons I started this blog was for my kids. As daring, industrious young adults (mostly vegan and nearly vegan), they wanted a lot of my recipes of the food they grew up on to cook for themselves. They always loved my tomato sauce and I’ve always given them a quick, “Oh, it’s easy, take this and this and cook it together for a while.” When visiting me though, they claimed that it never quite tasted the same, so we cooked this Basic Tomato Sauce together. What I discovered is that “basic” is a qualifier for the sauce, not the skills and timing needed to produce a hearty and rich tomato sauce.

My kids were pretty much looking at the list, dumping the ingredients in a pot, and simmering it for about 30 minutes. While I’m a big believer in “If you use good ingredients, you’ll get a good product,” any recipe is a little more than simply the sum of its parts – I needed to refine my kid’s technique a little bit. See the notes below for hints!

2 28 oz cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes (see notes below)

1 28 oz can of tomato puree

¼ cup of high-heat and olive oil mix

1 medium to large yellow onion, chopped

4-6 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed, large pieces

1 ½ cups red wine (or white wine or beer – see notes)

1 ½ Tbs of Italian Seasoning (mixed herbs only, no salt),

OR

(1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 tsp dried basil)

2 Tbs Kosher salt

1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbs fennel seed

1 Tbs Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar – split

Handful of chopped fresh basil, oregano, and parsley (optional)

2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Start with a hot pot. Preheat a 5-7 quart Dutch oven or other large heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop. Add the high-heat oil and olive oil mix and then add the garlic and onions and sauté on medium heat until they get translucent. Toward the end of the sauté time, add all the herbs and 2 Tbs of the balsamic vinegar, cook with the o & g the last couple minutes.

When the onions, garlic, and herbs are soft, boost the heat and stir. As soon as it’s starting to get nice and hot, hit it with the wine and then lower the heat back down to medium and stir from the bottom to release any caramelization from the pan. This is when I open my cans…so let this simmer down for a couple minutes.

Add the tomato sauces first and stir until mixed. Then turn up the heat to medium high to get this simmering again. Once combined, stir in the puree, keep the heat on medium high and stir and bring back up to a simmer. This is when I usually add a little wine to each of the empty cans and swirl them around a bit, pour that into the pot too.

Adjust the heat and bring the sauce up to a slow bubbly simmer while stirring occasionally. At this point, everything should be smoothly combined, nothing stuck on the sides or bottom of the pot…kinda scrape the sides down and tuck it in by partially covering the pot.

Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.

Turn off heat.

Stir in the rest of the balsamic and 2 Tbs of olive oil and the optional chopped fresh herbs. Cover completely and let rest for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust before serving.

Makes about  10 cups (2 batches)

Recipe notes:

Tomato Sauces – I use mid-quality/priced tomato sauces for this recipe, you can go more expensive, but I wouldn’t go cheaper. You can also adjust the texture of this sauce by substituting your tomato mix, smooth v chunky tomato sauce, the crushed tomatoes option will make the final product a little thinner and lighter, etc.

Wine – Be flexible, generally, I like a cheap Italian red wine for this, but something drinkable. If I’m making a lighter sauce I’ll use white wine, if I’m making something like ‘beef’-a-roni, I’ll even use a beer. If you want to eliminate the alcohol altogether, double the vinegar. You still want that acid.

Good luck and enjoy!

Hummus + variations

Total Time: 5 minutes

 

1 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained and lightly rinsed

2 cloves garlic

Juice from 1 lemon

1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs tahini

1 tbs kosher salt

2 tsp cumin

In a high-speed blender or food processor combine all ingredients and mix to your desired texture. Make it more/less garlicy or lemony or cuminy to your taste.

That’s it…why are you buying pre-made hummus?? Seriously…. This is soooo much better and you will impress your family, friends, and neighbors.

(note – if it’s not mixing well or is too thick, don’t be scared to gradually add a little water to get it moving again)

(another note – don’t be afraid of tahini, just think of it as sesame seed “peanut butter,” keep it in the fridge, and always mix it up really well before using)

Experiment with this basic recipe by using different beans, beets, or even carrots. For instance, I love making black-eyed-pea hummus with a little creole seasoning. You can add a little jalapeño, red peppers, sriracha, more garlic, etc. The one thing you’ll need to be aware of is your moisture level – reserve some bean liquid in case you need to thicken it up a bit after your add-ins.

Enjoy!