Monday, November 1, 2010

End of An Era

Please note that as of yesterday, I will no longer be adding new posts to this blog.  The archive remains, with nearly 1,000 vegan recipes for you to enjoy, and I hope you will continue to do so!  In the meantime, I'll be blogging in a slightly new format and style over  I look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vegetarian Cashew Chili

This hearty chili feeds a crowd - cashews stand in as the main source of protein instead of meat, for a novel alternative.

In a bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. black pepper and 1 bay leaf; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add 3 cups chopped onion, 2 and 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper, 1 and 1/2 cups chopped celery, and 3 minced garlic cloves; saute for 8 minutes.

Add the vinegar mixture, along with 2 undrained (15-ounce) cans of kidney beans, 1 undrained (28-ounce) can of whole tomatoes, and 1 undrained (15-ounce) can of pinto beans; break up the tomatoes with a spoon, and continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Note: I actually only had 1 can of kidney beans on hand, not 2, so my chili was a little less bean-y!  I also was a tad shy on the red wine vinegar (closer to 1/4 cup) so thinned it the rest of the way with water.

At the end of twenty minutes, discard the bay leaf and stir in 2/3 cup coarsely chopped cashews.  Ladle 1 and 1/2 cups of chili into each of 7 bowls for 7 servings of 350 calories each.

Although I made this dish at home, it also can easily be made outdoors, on these last few weekends warm enough for camping.  Simply pack the vinegar mixture in one zip-top plastic bag, and the chopped vegetables in another.  At the campsite, prepare the soup according to the directions above, in a cast-iron Dutch oven over hot coals.

onion $2.75
red bell pepper $3.95
celery $3.39
canned kidney beans $1.99
canned whole tomatoes 3.39
canned pinto beans $1.99

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Potato-Dill Bread

Mashed potatoes lend a nice moistness to this sandwich bread.  Build yummy sandwiches using vegan deli turkey slices, cucumber, and vegan mayo!

To start, combine 1/2 cup warm water (between 100 and 110 degrees) in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon raw sugar, 1 tablespoon dried dill, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 package yeast (about 2 and 1/4 teaspoons).  Let stand for 5 minutes, then add 2/3 cup mashed potato and 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil.

Lightly spoon 2 cups all-purpose flour into measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Add the flour to the potato mixture and stir to form a dough, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic - about 8 to 10 minutes.  You can add up to 1/4 cup more flour as needed to prevent the dough form sticking to your hands, but I found that I only needed to add another tablespoon.  My kneading reminder is this: push the dough down with the palm of your hand, fold it in half, turn it a quarter turn, and repeat!

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning so the top of the dough is coated as well, then cover and let rise for 55 minutes.  My favorite rising spot is an unheated oven, which will be about 85 degrees and free from drafts.  At the end of rising, punch the dough down and let it rest 5 minutes, then roll into a 14x7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

Roll up the rectangle jelly-roll style, pressing to eliminate any air pockets, and pinching the seams and ends to seal.  Place the loaf, seam-side down, in an 8x4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.  Coat the top of the bread with cooking spray as well, then cover and let rise for 35 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes - the loaf will be lightly browned on top by the end, and sound hollow when tapped.  Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

This loaf makes enough for 10 slices of 150 calories each.

baking potato $0.89

Friday, October 29, 2010

Creamy Mushroom Soup with Tarragon

This soup has some sneaky enhancers, like dried mushrooms for flavor and breadcrumbs to add body.

To start, melt 2 teaspoons vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add 1 and 3/4 cups chopped onion, 1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms, 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon, 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, and 1 bay leaf; saute for 10 minutes - the onions should be lightly browned by the end.

Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup vegan dry white wine of your choice, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 8 ounces chopped button mushrooms, and 8 ounces chopped cremini mushrooms; cook for 10 minutes.

Place 1 (1-ounce) slice of wheat bread in a food processor and pulse until you have crumbs.  Add to the pot, along with 5 and 1/2 cups water and 1 vegetable bouillon cube.  For the bread, I like the organic whole wheat from the Vermont Bread Company.  Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, then discard the bay leaf at the end.

Working in batches of about 2 and 1/2 cups, transfer the mushroom soup into a blender and process until smooth.  Transfer the pureed soup to a bowl, and stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and 2/3 cup plain soy creamer (such as Silk).

Ladle 1 and 1/3 cups of soup into each of 6 bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives.  Each serving is 150 calories.

onion $1.31
fresh tarragon $2.49
fresh thyme $2.49
button mushrooms $2.79
cremini mushrooms $1.96
vegetable bouillon $2.99
fresh chives $2.49

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Udon Noodles with Sesame and Tofu

This is a great one-dish meal with a little bit of everything - grains, vegetables, and protein.

Cook 8 ounces of udon noodles according to package directions, then drain and set aside.

For the base of the dressing, the original recipe called for either seasoned rice vinegar or cider vinegar; since I had the latter at home, that's what I used.  If you use seasoned rice vinegar, make sure to read labels as you shop, since most varieties will include sugar.

Whisk together the vinegar of your choice with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper; set aside.

Combine the cooked noodles with 1 and 1/2 cups diced cucumber, 1 cup shredded carrot, 1/4 cup (1-inch) pieces of green onion, 2 teaspoons sesame seeds (which you can toast first, if you like), and 1 diced (8-ounce) package of Asian-style baked tofu.  Although the original recipe also called for 1/4 tsp. salt, I left it out to keep overall sodium levels down.

Drizzle the vinegar mixture over the the noodles, and toss to coat.  2 cups makes a serving of 350 calories.

Note: for the tofu, I used the certified vegan Tofu Lin from SoyBoy (their version of Asian-flavored baked tofu).  Whatever brand you choose, make sure to check ingredients - some Asian-style varieties will contain honey!

bottled minced garlic $2.69
ginger $1.92
cucumber $1.78
carrot $1.11
green onions $0.99
Asian-style baked tofu $2.79

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

Baking oatmeal in the oven is a fun alternative to the stovetop.  Even better, you can save any leftovers in the fridge, and reheat in individual portions, making weekday breakfasts a snap!

In a large bowl, combine 2 cups regular oats with 1/2 cup organic brown sugar, 1/3 cup raisins, 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, and 1 teaspoon baking powder; set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups plain soy milk (such as Silk), 1/2 cup applesauce, 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter (such as Earth Balance), and the equivalent of 1 egg using egg replacer (such as Ener-G).  Add the soy milk mixture to the oat mixture, stirring to combine.

Pour the oatmeal into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray, and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.  2/3 a cup makes a serving of 290 calories.

brown sugar $4.39
plain soy milk $2.49
applesauce $4.49

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Walnut-Stuffed Slow-Cooked Apples

I dusted off my slow cooker to make this yummy dessert tonight!  By the time I was home from evening graduate school classes, it was ready to go...

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 3 tablespoons dried currants, 2 and 1/2 tablespoons organic brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon; stir to combine.

Core 4 granny smith apples and peel them about one-third of the way down, then stuff evenly with the walnut mixture.  Place the apples in a slow cooker, and set aside.

Note: I don't have an apple corer, so had to get a little creative here - my solution was to slice the apples in half, cut out the cores, then arrange the walnut mixture between the halves of each apple.  Luckily this seemed to work!  I did forget to peel the top third of the apples, but it hardly seems to have mattered.

In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 cup organic brown sugar, and 3/4 cup apple cider; stir with a whisk to combine.  Pour evenly over the apples, then cover and cook on LOW for 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Remove the apples with a slotted spoon, and place 1 apple on each of 4 dessert plates.  Top each with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.  Each dessert is 310 calories.  This is great with some non-dairy vanilla ice cream on the side!

dried currants $3.39

The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance