May 31, 2010

Veggie Bolognese Over Linguine

Justin, over at Marx Foods, was kind enough to send me a sample pack of several different varieties of their  dried mushrooms to experiment with. Lucky day for me! I love mushrooms, but you know The Bankrupt Vegan can't always afford the fancy stuff. So, it was really nice to get to play around with these.
This recipe features the dried porcini mushrooms from Marx Foods. I received eight varieties to try and this is the first one I've had a chance to use so far. Porcinis don't come cheap, though, so feel free to try the recipe without them and see how you fare. But, if you're able to get your hands on some dried porcini mushrooms, you will find that even a small amount can impart a delicious, rich and meaty flavor to your pasta dishes, soups and more. I really dig the flavor.
Here's the recipe...

1/8 C olive oil
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 8oz package white mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 C dried porcini mushrooms
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 C dry red wine
1/4 C water
salt and pepper, to taste
1 16oz package of your favorite linguini
nutritional yeast, for garnish
  • Place dried porcinis in a blender or coffee grinder and chop until finely ground. 
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, and white mushrooms. Saute until soft - about 10 minutes.
  • Add the wine and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Add the water, salt, pepper, crushed tomatoes and porcinis.
  • Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook linguine according to package direction.
  • To serve, scoop the pasta into a bowl and ladel with sauce. Sprinkle "nooch" on top, to taste.
  • Make 4 "Texas-sized" bowls of pasta, or 6-8 normal sized bowls.
  • Enjoy!

May 30, 2010

Chocolate No-Milk Shake

Oh. My. God! This tastes just like a chocolate milkshake made with ice cream. You could easily fool any die-hard dairy lover. It's sooooo good! And, best yet, it's pretty healthy too.
The recipe calls for a cup of raw cashews, and raw cashews don't come cheap, but I got lucky and found them for 2 bucks a pound at my local salvage grocery store! Big-time score!!!
Here's the recipe...
(you are going to love me so much for this)

1 C raw, unsalted cashews
1 tray of ice cubes (about 3 cups)
1/8 cup powdered unsweetened cocoa
1 C soy or nut milk
1/4 C agave nectar, maple syrup, sugar, or stevia
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
  • Toss all ingredients, except the ice, into a strong blender and blend until smooth. 
  • Add ice cubes through the hole in the lid one at a time, and continue to blend until nice and creamy.
  • Try substituting maple or mint flavoring for the vanilla sometime. Both are equally yummy!
  • Enjoy!

May 29, 2010

Banana Pancakes

If you have some funky bananas laying around, these pancakes are a great alternative to banana bread! My daughter loves them. Observe...

 She's got a little "bed-head" going on, but you get the idea.


3/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 C plain soy milk or oat milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium ripe banana, mashed
Vegetable oil for the pan
  • Combine the flours, salt, baking powder, and sugars in a medium bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the soy milk, vanilla and banana.
  • Stir together just until combined. Some lumps are okay. 
  • Oil a griddle (we used a cast-iron skillet) and warm over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Ladle the batter onto the hot griddle and cook until bubbles form on top, about 3 minutes. 
  • Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Whole Wheat Vegetable Lasagna with Tofu "Ricotta"

I am a slave to my cravings. I really am. And when I desperately crave something that I cannot generally find vegan-style at a restaurant or the grocery store, and I don't know how to make it, I have no choice but to experiment. Sometimes it works out and sometimes I'm left disappointed, with only my unsatisfied craving to keep me company.
Today I was craving Italian food. Chewy, ooey, gooey, cheesy, piping hot, carb-rich Italian food. As usual, I'm broke, so restaurants are out. Plus, not many Italian food joints cater to the veg crowd. We have a great vegan restaurant here in town, but they don't really have what I'm looking for with this particular craving anyway. And none of the vegan Italian offerings at the grocery store are up to snuff compared to their price. So, I went into the kitchen and started playing around. And, I'm happy to report that the result was delicious!
My methods may be weird, but try it for yourself. Here's the recipe...

1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained, squeezed and crumbled
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp all-purpose Italian seasoning, or any blend of your favorite Italian herbs
1 can of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 C nutritional yeast, plus more for garnish
1/4 C olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  •  Place all ingredients into a bowl and stir until everything is mixed and tofu is well-coated. Set aside.
9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
5 or 6 large mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini squash, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
1 can of regular tomato sauce (I used plain ol' Target store brand)
  • Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Layer ingredients in the following order (or mix it up if you want), from bottom to top, in a medium casserole dish
    • a quarter of the marinara sauce
    • 3 noodles
    • half of the tofu "ricotta"
    • a quarter of the marinara sauce
    • squash
    • 3 noodles
    • the rest of the tofu "ricotta"
    • the rest of the marinara sauce
    • zucchini
    • mushrooms
    • 3 noodles
    • all of the tomato sauce
    • Sprinkle extra nutritional yeast all over the top, or splurge and use veggie mozzarella!
  • Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour, or until veggies are cooked and the whole thing is hot and bubbly. 
  • Allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before serving. 
  • While lasagna is cooling, heat the plain tomato sauce in a small sauce pan.
  • Enjoy!

May 15, 2010

Easy Tempeh Tostadas

I've been in a real Tex-Mex kind of mood lately. I think it's because the days are getting hotter and sizzling, steamy dishes that make me sweat just aren't as appealing. Tostadas have always been a Manriquez Family favorite because they're easy to make and even more fun to eat. Jason picks his up and eats it bite by bite, like a mini pizza, while I crunch mine up with a fork and eat it like taco salad. Another great thing about these is that you can mix up the ingredients based on what you happen to have on hand. Sometimes I'll add a cheesy sauce made from nutritional yeast, and when the price of avocados allows, I'll top with guacamole. Roasted veggies are also great on these! If you don't have tempeh, use textured vegetable protein or quinoa. Feel free to get creative.
Also, this recipe fills a lot of bellies. You can get 8 good-sized tostadas, if not more. So, go for it champ! Here's my basic recipe...

8 prepared tostadas (mine were store bought, but you can fry up some corn tortillas if you like)
1 8oz package of tempeh
1 packet of taco seasoning 
1 15oz can of vegetarian refried beans (Central Market has organic for a buck fifty right now)
Your favorite salad greens
1 small can of red enchilada sauce
Homemade or store bought salsa
Vegan sour cream, to taste 
  • Place tempeh in a pot of shallow, boiling water. Reduce heat and let the tempeh sit, covered, for several minutes, until softened.
  • Drain water and place the taco seasoning, along with the amount of water it calls for, into the pot with the tempeh. Prepare according to package directions, breaking up tempeh with a wooden spatula as taco sauce thickens. Once it's cooked, stir, remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  • Now, open your can of refried beans and heat up its innards in another small pot. You can use the microwave if you want to, but we're hippies and we fear microwaves.  
  • Now, start assembling your tostadas! You can go in any order you like, but I prefer to always start with a nice base of refried beans and build from there. Have fun with it.
  • When you've got all your goodies piled up on the tostadas, top 'em with some vegan sour cream and a light drizzle of enchilada sauce. Or top with guacamole and "nooch" or whatever else you have on hand. Up to you. You can't screw up this dish.
  • Enjoy!

My Favorite Summer Salsa

In several recent recipes I've referenced homemade salsa, and the only link I have takes you to a hummus quesadilla recipe wherein the salsa is defined. So, I figured it was high-time to give my favorite salsa a place of its own. And when I say "favorite" I mean it! I make a veritable troff of this stuff once a week and we ladle it on everything we eat. When we want a snack, we grab a bag of Santitas (hey, they're 2 bucks) and go to town. It's delicious! Give it a try. Here's the recipe...

8-10 large tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, diced
3 - 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed and minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 15-ounce can of sweet corn, drained
1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup lime juice (or less, to taste - I like it "lime-y")
1 tablespoon paprika (optional)
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Throw it all in a big bowl, stir it up real good, cover it and stick it in the fridge.
  • Tastes best after it's had a few hours in the fridge.
  • This makes a HUGE bowl. Perfect for parties. If you don't want so much, try cutting the recipe in half.
  • It will keep well in the fridge, covered, up to a week.
  • Enjoy!

May 5, 2010

Purple Monster Muffins

These muffins are easy to make and the batter is bright purple! Kids love it. And, best of all, they are full of yummy nutrients thanks to a healthy helping of fruit, nuts and agave nectar.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed berries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temp.
1/3 cup soy or nut milk
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or maple syrup
sliced almonds, for topping
sucanat, for topping
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add remaining ingredients and carefully stir with a wooden spoon until well mixed.
  • Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with baking spray, or line with muffin cups.
  • Fill all cups with equal amounts of batter. I use a large cookie scoop to measure it out.
  • Top each muffin with a tablespoon of sliced almonds, followed by a sprinkle of sucanat, to taste.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool completely before removing from muffin pan.
  • Enjoy!

May 3, 2010

Delicious and Healthy Tex-Mex Dip

I know this picture just looks like a pile of mushy goo, but trust me, this stuff was awesome!! I was craving the traditional Tex-Mex 7-layer dip, but I didn't have the ingredients for that, so I dug around in my pantry and fridge and created my own super-flavorful, highly addictive Tex-Mex extravaganza. Try it!

2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
8 ounces vegan sour cream (I used Follow Your Heart brand)
1 packet taco seasoning (read ingredients - avoid MSG, dairy, and trans fats!)
1 cup store-bought or homemade guacamole
1 cup store-bought or homemade salsa
1 15-ounce can of vegetarian refried beans
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar
1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • Stir sour cream and taco mix together until well-blended.
  • In a medium casserole dish, layer ingredients in the following order:
    • rice
    • refried beans
    • salsa
    • guacamole (or "mockamole" - see below)
    • sour cream
    • shredded cheese 
    • black olives
  • Dip your favorite tortilla chips in and enjoy! Keep very well in the fridge, covered, for several days.
  • Perfect for a party!!
  • If you use my homemade salsa recipe, you'll be adding tons of extra fiber to an already fiber-rich dip via the addition of black beans.
  • If you want to make it even MORE fiber-rich, do what I did and make "mockamole" instead of the fatty traditional avocado stuff. I love avocados (they definitely have their health benefits too), and I LOVE guacamole. But I didn't have any avos on hand, so I mixed 1 1/2 cups of sweet green peas (I used frozen), a 15oz can of white kidney beans, about 1/4 C lime juice, 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and some fresh cilantro in the blender until smooth. I wouldn't recommend eating it straight if you're craving guacamole, but it works like a charm to replace missing guacamole in Tex-Mex recipes and adds a ton of extra fiber and vitamins! (Yep, that green stuff in the picture is actually mockamole. No one will know the difference.)