April 28, 2010

Puddin' Please!

My little one absolutely LOVES this pudding. For her, I leave the almonds off, but for me I drizzle with some cashew cream (pictured - recipe coming soon!) and sprinkle with chopped walnuts or sliced almonds. This has been our favorite go-to dessert for years because it's so easy to throw together in minutes. An older child could have a lot of fun helping to measure out the ingredients for you.

Warning: It's messy!

Here's how to do it...
Throw all of the following into a blender or food processor and mix on high until smooth and creamy. Easy!

2 boxes of firm silken tofu
1/2 C sugar, agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/4 C powdered cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract

This recipe is very versatile and easily accommodates additions such as peanut butter or coconut. Feel free to experiment!

This makes about four large servings. It stores well, covered in the fridge, for several days. But if you don't want quite this much, feel free to cut the recipe in half. It turns out just fine either way!

Braised Kale over Brown Rice with Peanut Sauce

Technically, this recipe is still in progress. I've been toying with it for a while, and I think it tastes really nice, but it seems to be missing just a little something. Soy sauce? Curry powder?? I can't put my finger on it. So, feel free to experiment with it. And if you find that special "punch" please let me know what it is!

P.S. I love a rich, hearty peanut butter flavor, so this sauce is thick with it. If you prefer a more subtle peanut  "whang," try reducing the peanut butter by half. 

1 cup long grain brown rice
2 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch green kale, chopped (stems removed)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Dash of cayenne
  • Bring two cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add brown rice. Stir, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until soft (30 - 45 minutes). 
  • While rice is cooking, prepare your peanut sauce. In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, water and spices until well-blended. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan. Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent and soft. Add kale and cook only until dark green and slightly wilted (5-10 minutes). Do not overcook or kale will turn into a slimy mess.
  • Add peanut sauce to kale and stir until well-coated.
  • Place desired amount of rice into a bowl and top with kale and sauce mixture.
  • Garnish with chopped peanuts.
  • Enjoy!

April 21, 2010

Hearty Vegetable Stew

This is actually more of a fall/winter dish, but I happened to have some potatoes about to buy the farm, so I got busy makin' stew! This is a really hearty, filling bowl of stew. It's great if you throw some homemade dumplings in (which is usually how we eat it), but some toasted bread with butter throws it right over the top too. Use the toast to soak up the "gravy" left behind in your bowl. It's so yummy!

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (or more, to taste)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
3 celery stalks, diced
4 cups no-chicken broth or vegetable broth, divided
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup organic all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
Leaves from a sprig of fresh rosemary (optional)
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Heat oil in a large pot.
  • Saute onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. 
  • Add potatoes. Add water in 1/8 cup increments (up to 1 cup), if needed, to keep potatoes from sticking.
  • While potatoes are softening, chop and add remaining vegetables.
  • Add 3 cups of broth to pot and stir. 
  • Add soy sauce and spices.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together remaining 1 cup broth and flour. Add mixture to stew and stir.
  • Cover pot. Allow to simmer over medium heat until all vegetables are soft. Generally only takes about fifteen minutes.
  • Enjoy! 

April 16, 2010

Easy "Eggless" Salad

This is such an easy fix when you're drained from running around all day and you don't want to be tempted by junk (which is exactly why I made it today). It whips up super-fast, and is extremely versatile. Sometimes I'll just throw in random stuff that I have on hand, like grated carrot or diced red bell pepper. Just about anything works. Try it on toasted bread with lettuce and tomatoes for a great sandwich. Throw some vegan cheese on there too and grill it for a yummy melt!

1 lb. firm tofu, drained
2 stalks celery, minced
3 green onions, chopped
2/3 C vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbsp yellow or dijon mustard
1/4 C dill pickle relish (or sweet relish, if you prefer)
2 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
  • Throw everything into a medium bowl and stir it up until it's mush. Yum!
  • This recipe makes quite a bit, easily enough for seven or eight average sandwiches. Keeps well if covered in the fridge - it'll stay fresh for a few days, at least.
  • Enjoy!

April 7, 2010

"Cheesy" Potato and Leek Soup

I had a couple of leeks about to buy the farm a few days ago, so I made up this soup completely on the fly and it turned out great! It's thick and creamy, with a "cheezy" and onion-y tasting base. My husband loved it. Give it a try!

1/8 cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 leeks, white parts only (save the greens for stir fry), chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/4 cup vegan beer (optional)
2/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup soy milk
3 cups water
2 tablespoons all-purpose seasoning (I used Simply Organic)
1 tablespoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of rubbed sage powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
4 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
  • Heat olive oil in a large pot. 
  • Saute yellow onion and leeks until soft.
  • Add remaining ingredients (except green onions) and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for half an hour.
  • When potatoes are soft, use a hand-held blender to smooth into a creamy soup. 
  • Pour into bowls and top each with one chopped green onion. Makes about 4 large bowls.
  • Enjoy!

April 6, 2010

Behold the Mighty Kale Chip!

This recipe idea came from the Plant-Based Health newsletter I received via email today. If you've never visited the Plant-Based Health website, please go give it a look. Katherine, who runs the site, is a sweet vegan gal from right here in Texas. Sign up for her newsletter too! It's totally free and she always sends out great recipes. I met her when I took a Cancer Project class at Spiral Diner a year or so ago. That was the impetus that turned me veg! If you ever have the chance to take a Cancer Project class, do it. You'll learn a lot, and you'll sample a ton of great food. It's so much fun!

Give these a chips a try. They take mere minutes to make and are super-healthy for you. Can't beat that! Not even with a kale chip.

1 bunch kale, rinsed and dried, then torn into chip-sized pieces. Leave out stalks.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss all ingredients into a large bowl and stir until leaves are evenly coated. I used a big spatula to stir.
  • Spread leaves apart on a large ungreased cookie sheet and place in oven.
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes, until desired crispness is acquired, watching closely not to burn.
  • Enjoy!