DDD #155 – Fresh Homemade Falafel & Pickled Turnips

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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These guys are REALLY easy to make but this recipe makes a fuckton.  If you make more than you want to eat immediately – form them into 1″ balls & place – UNCOOKED – on a cookie sheet & parchment paper.  Freeze.  Once frozen, you can transfer them to a Ziplock bag.  Thaw before frying.

FRESH FALAFEL

Makes about 40 falafels

INGREDIENTS

1 lb DRY garbanzo beans (chickpeas) – soaked overnight in deep water

1/2 onion

1 jalapeno or serrano (optional)

5 garlic cloves

1 cup parsley

1 cup cilantro

1 TBS turmeric

2 TBS ground cumin (maybe more – to suit your taste)

1 TBS ground coriander

juice of 1 lemon (2-3 TBS)

2 TBS olive oil

1 TBS salt (maybe more – to suit your taste)

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp baking powder (this will make the falafel a bit lighter)

1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)

Water – just enough to get the ingredients to blend but go easy – start with 1/2 cup

Oil for frying

GARNISH – pickled turnips (recipe below), chopped tomato, sliced cucumber, pita bread, lettuce, red onion, tahini-yogurt dressing (recipe below) and maybe HUMMUS, tabbouleh, lemon wedges, tzatziki sauce, garlic paste (toum)

 

DIRECTIONS

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor using as little water as possible – until combined.  It should be moist but crumbly.

Form 1″ falafel balls.  Do not go too big or they will be burned outside or raw inside.  Raw dough will keep several days in the fridge.

Heat oil on high & fry – turning to cook evenly.  They should cook in about a minute on each side.  Drain on paper towels.

Serve as you will!

PICKLED TURNIPS

Makes enough for 40 falafel

INGREDIENTS

1 red beet

2 lbs turnips – peeled & cut into matchsticks

1/3 cup kosher salt

1 cup white vinegar

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve the salt in the water & vinegar.  If you need to warm it – that is OK but not not put the turnips in until it is cooled completely.  Add the turnips & beet & store in a jar overnight.  They should last a good two weeks in the fridge.

TAHINI-YOGURT SAUCE

Mix 1/4 cup tahini with 3/4 cups vegan yogurt. Season with S&P, minced garlic and/or lemon juice.  Maybe a pinch of cumin and chopped parsley.  It should keep for the lifetime of the yogurt.

DDD #152 – Vegan Mushroom Pate

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Vegan Mushroom Pate

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS vegan butter

1 small onion or several shallots – diced

1 lb or more of mushrooms – sliced

4 garlic cloves – minced

5 oz vegan cream cheese

1 TBS chopped rosemary (or thyme or fried sage)

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter in a large saute pan.  Cook the onion over med-low heat until soft.  Add the mushrooms & herbs & saute until most of the moisture is out of the mushrooms.  Add the garlic & salt & pepper.  Saute a minute & then transfer to a food processor.  Add the cream cheese and S&P & puree.

Chill & serve.

 

 

DDD #146 – Vegan Tamales & Neil Hamburger

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – this episode features the awesome Neil Hamburger, local comedian, song man, magician & lounge act.  Neil happens to be vegan & so I invited him to make tamales on my channel.  Tamales have always intimidated me & I have never attempted making them myself.  Don’t let the length of this episode frighten you.  It is not long because it was hard to make tamales but because Neil is a fascinating conversationalist.

Click the image below to watch us make tamales from scratch, discuss vermin-infested chili factories, Greek cheese & serial killer yard sale finds, Tiffany Amber Thiessen – and more!


Vegan Tamales

This will make about 8-12 tamales – depending on how large you make them.  Depending on how fat they are – you might have extra stuffing ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

1 large package of corn husks (get more than you need because lots of them will be too small or torn) – soaked in warm water for an hour

4 cups masa flour

1 cup corn grits

6 cups vegan stock

1 package of soyrizo or other vegan chorizo – minced (optional)

Vegan grated cheese

1 cup (2 sticks) vegan butter

1 4oz can of diced green chilies

for mushrooms

1/2 lib sliced mushrooms

olive oil

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

pinch chili powder

S&P

for the black beans

1 15oz can black beans

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp garlic powder

pinch of chili powder

GARNISH OPTIONS – rice, beans, salsa, cheese, guacamole, lime wedges, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro

DIRECTIONS

for the mushrooms

Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan.  Add the mushrooms, cumin & chili powder & saute until soft.  Mix in the garlic & saute another minute or so.  S&P to taste.  Set aside to cool.

for the beans

Drain the beans.  In a stock pan, heat them & stir in the bay leaf, garlic powder & chili powder.  Set aside to cool.

for the tamales

In a large bowl, mash 2/3 of the butter & then smoosh in a cup of masa flour.  Add 1 cup of stock & combine.  Add the remaining 3 cups of masa & 3 cups of stock – one cup of each at a time – alternating.  ! cup masa – one cup stock.  Combine.  Repeat.  When all four cups of masa & stock are blended with the butter, add the rest of the butter & the cup of grits and the can of green chilies.  Combine – only using as much stock as you need to keep it in a cookie dough consistency.  It should not be soupy.

To assemble the tamales – find a large & untorn husk and put it on the counter – small side on the bottom – wide at the top. (The video will show this far better than I can explain in words.)  Then, put a small handful of masa in it. Pat it flat & add a small amount of whatever fillings you like in any combination you prefer.  Again – watch the video to see Neil expertly assemble a few of these.  Then – fold the bottom up – folding the masa from the bottom over some filling.  Fold the sides in pressing the masa over the filling from the sides.  Basically, create a veggie-stuffed masa Twinkie, then fold the bottom of the husk up, fold one side in & then the other.  If they are overstuffed & squirting out the top, simply double wrap them but put the open end on the bottom so the bottom fold encloses the opening.  Video shows this clearly.  Then 0 you can move on & make the rest or use a strip of husk (or kitchen twine) to tie them shut.  Repeat until all the masa is gone.

Neil steamed his tamales in his electric steamer for 65 minutes.  I steamed mine in an Instant Pot for 45 minutes.  I steamed mine upright.  I used a little terra cotta pot to keep mine upright. Neil steamed his flat.

Now – you can let them cool & freeze them for the future or eat them immediately – garnished as you like.  See?  Not hard at all!

 

 

DDD #141 – Vegan Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame & Garlic

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

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This is yet another easy one.  It comes together in ten minutes & it is really flavorful.

I used jarred ginger & this chili oil below is available at Asian markets but also at most large supermarkets in the Asian food aisle.   Fresh ginger is available in most stores, too, if you can’t find this very convenient jarred stuff.  The real key here is the Thai basil as it packs a real flavor punch & tastes distinctly different from regular basil – but regular basil will do if it is all you have access to.

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Spicy Thai Basil Noodles with Sesame and Garlic

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 pound noodles (even spaghetti works)

2 TBS sesame oil

4 TBS ginger

8 garlic cloves – minced

4 TBS soy sauce or tamari

4 TBS balsamic vinegar

2 TBS agave nectar (or sugar)

1 TBS chili oil (or another TBS of sesame oil & 2 tsp crushed red pepper)

1 cup Thai basil – chopped

2 scallions – sliced

A handful of crushed nuts ( I used almonds – peanuts are more traditional) – optional

Vegetables are optional but I added 1 carrot cut into matchsticks & a dozen or so sugar snap peas.  Other options: broccoli, red bell pepper, zucchini, edamame, bok choy, or any veggies you fancy.

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat & saute the ginger & garlic for one minute. BEWARE OF SPLATTERING OIL!   If you are using sesame oil & crushed red pepper rather than chili oil – add them to the pan, too.  Stir & whisk in the soy sauce, balsamic, agave, and chili oil.

If using regular pasta – add the vegetables you are using in the final 1-3 minutes of the noodle cooking time – depending on the density of the veggies.  Drain & toss with the sesame oil mixture.

You can let these sit for an hour & really soak up the flavors & serve at room temperature – or eat them warm.  When you are ready to eat – toss in the basil & scallions & stir well.  Add nuts & you are good to go!

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DDD #136 – Keto Vegan Sausage & Kale Soup with Spinach

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Keto Vegan sausage & Kale Soup with Spinach

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

8 or more vegan sausages (I used Beyond Meat)

1 head kale – tough ribs removes & the leaves chopped

1 pound spinach

2 TBS olive oil

1 onion – chopped

2 red bell peppers – seeded & chopped

2 poblano peppers – seeded & chopped

8 celery stalks – chopped

2 tsp dry basil

1 tsp dry oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

8-10 cups vegan stock

S&P

Fresh basil as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Cook the sausages (removing skins if you prefer) in a skillet until browned.  Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, bell peppers, celery, and poblano peppers & saute until soft.  Add the dry basil, cumin, oregano, crushed red pepper, and rosemary and stir to combine.

Add the sausage, kale & stock & heat through.  Season with S&P.

When ready to serve, put a handful of raw spinach in each bowl & ladle the hot soup on top.  Garnish with fresh basil.

 

 

DDD #135 – Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Cauliflower

Feeds 6

INGREDIENTS

12 ounces soyrizo (or other faux meat)

14 ounces Beyond Sausage (or other faux meat)

4 cups mixed veggies (I used a combination of frozen corn, peas, lima beans)

1 med-large head cauliflower – cut into florets

2 medium red potatoes (optional)

8 oz mushrooms – sliced

1 leek – white part sliced

1/4 onion – diced

vegan butter (2-4 TBS)

vegan milk (1/4 cup or more)

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Boil the cauliflower & potatoes (if using) until soft.  Drain & set aside.

Heat a TBS or so of vegan butter (or other oil) and saute mushrooms & onion until both are browned & soft.  Set aside.

Melt a TBS or so of vegan butter (or other oil) and saute the leek until soft.  Set aside.

Saute the faux meats together until heated all the way through (primarily to cook the Beyond Sausage & drain some grease).  If you are using other meats than Beyond sausage – there is no reason to precook them.

Mix the faux meat with the mushrooms & onion.

Mash the cauliflower & potato mix with the leeks & about 1/4 cup of vegan milk & 2 TBS or more of vegan butter.  Season with S&P.

Assemble the shepherd’s pie by putting the faux meat mix on the bottom of a casserole pan (I divided mine between two smaller pans (see above).  Top with whatever veggies you are using & then top with the mashed cauliflower.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until heated through.  Serve!  I plated mine as double-decker stacks so it looked prettier & more substantial.

 

 

DDD #133 – Vegan Keto Curry Soup with Cauliflower Rice & Kale

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Vegan Keto Curry Soup with Cauliflower Rice & Kale

Feeds 6 very well

INGREDIENTS

1-2 TBS olive oil

I onion – diced

1 head of kale – ribs removed & chopped

1 head of cauliflower

8 carrots – chopped

5-6 ounces coconut milk

8-10 cups vegan stock

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS curry powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the cauliflower into florets & spray with cooking spray (or toss in a little oil).  Roast at 400 for about 30 minutes.  Once cooled, rice the cauliflower by pulsing a few times in a food processor or using the grater blade.  Or – grate the cauliflower manually.  Set aside.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil & saute the onions until soft.  Add the garlic & spices & stir for a minute.  Add all the other ingredients & bring to a boil.  Simmer until the carrots are tender.  Season with S&P.  Add more water or stock if it gets too thick.

Serve!

 

DDD #131 – Luvo & Hodo Vegan Thai Curry Food Review (Nuggets & Coconut Curry Rice)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2019

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

 

DDD #129 – Vegan Spicy Teriyaki King Trumpet Mushrooms

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Vegan Spicy Teriyaki King Trumpet Mushrooms

Feeds 2 with rice & a side veggie

INGREDIENTS

9 or more ounces of King Trumpet or Oyster mushrooms

1 cup water

2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS minced ginger

6 TBS low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS sambal oelek (chili paste) – optional

1 TBS vegan oyster or mushroom sauce

1/4 cup cornstarch whisked into 1/4 cup water

Cooking spray (or oil)

GARNISH – steamed rice & bok choy & sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

Cut the tops off the mushrooms & either set aside for some other use or use in this recipe.  Slice the stems 1/2 inch thing.  Score them in a criss-cross & set aside.

Warm the water, sugar, sesame oil, ginger, soy sauce, sambal oelek, and oyster/mushroom sauce until the sugar dissolves.  Pour over the mushrooms & let marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Steam your rice, adding boy choy in the final three minutes.

Heat a pan treated with cooking spray or 1 tsp of oil.  Reserving the marinade aside – sear the mushrooms on both sides until browned & caramelized.  Set aside.  Bring the marinade to a boil in that same pan & add the cornstarch mixture.  Heat until thick.

Add mushrooms to the sauce, heat through & serve atop steamed rice & bok choy.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

 

DDD #128 – 10-Ingredient Vegan Spicy Chinese Barbecue Chicken with Broccoli

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

 

Click the image above to watch the video.

This is as easy as a dish can be!  It took me less time to make the chicken & broccoli than it did to make the rice.  Easy, delicious & as spicy (or not) as you please.  Ok – I list 11 ingredients but I only used snap peas because I had them.  Use them, lose them, substitute them with something else.  Your call.

Vegan Spicy Chinese Barbecue Chicken with Broccoli 

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

9 (or more) ounces vegan chicken (I adore Beyond Meat brand) – cubed

Broccoli for two – cut into florets (amount is up to you & your love of broccoli)

1-2 jalapenos (red or green) – diced (optional & up to your tolerance for heat)

1 scallion – sliced (green & white parts)

1 TBS olive or coconut or other cooking oil

for the sauce (double this sauce recipe if you like a lot of sauce or want extra sauce for some rice)

1/4 cup vegan hoisin sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos or tamari)

1 TBS chili paste (sambal oelek or chili garlic sauce)

1 tsp fresh minced ginger (I used bottled)

2 TBS dark berry jam (I used Marionberry jam but blueberry, blackberry or raspberry would work.  Orange might be nice, too!)

GARNISH: warm cooked rice, sesame seeds, sliced scallions

DIRECTIONS

Make rice or whatever grain you like.

Heat the oil & saute the jalapenos & scallion slices for a minute or two.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients & the chicken.  Heat for a few minutes until the chicken is warmed & the sauce thickens a bit.  Lower heat & set aside.

Boil water & blanch the broccoli & peas (if using) for 5 minutes then drain.   You can either add the broccoli to the chicken & sauce or simply serve it beside the chicken.

Plate with some rice & garnish with sesame seeds & scallion slices.

DDD #123 – Halloween Special & Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I offered another vegan Corn Chowder a while back.  That recipe is Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder with Coconut Cream, Cilantro & Lime.

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I also posted this Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder.

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OK – so – this recipe makes a lot of soup and it is absolutely entry-level easy.  It would feed six easily, especially if you served it with crusty bread & a salad.  Also – like so many of my recipes, it is extremely forgiving & customizable.  I would have added carrots but I had none.  You can add other veggies you might have or lose some I used if you don’t have them or do not like them.

The photos below are explained in the video.

Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

6 TBS cup butter

1/4 cup flour

1 small onion – diced

2 Russett (or other) potatoes – peeled & diced

1-3 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

3 stalks celery – chopped

3 cobs of fresh corn – corn cut from the cob

2 (15 oz) cans of cream-style corn

6 cups non-dairy milk

1 TBS sriracha (optional)

5 sprigs fresh thyme

S&P to taste (at least a tsp each)

 

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over med-high heat.  Add the onions, celery & jalapeno.  Saute about 5 minutes, stirring & taking care not to brown the onions.

Stir in the flour.  This should create a thick paste pretty quickly.  Increase heat to high.  SLOWLY – as in – a cup or less at a time – add the milk.  Let each portion heat through & thicken a bit.  This isn’t brain surgery & the soup will thicken as it heats anyway but this going slow stuff hastens that process.

When all the milk has been added, bring it to a boil & then reduce heat to medium.  Add all the other ingredients.

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Add the thyme sprigs whole.  Cook over medium or low heat until the potatoes & corn soften.  Twenty minutes or so – depending how large the bits of potato are.

Remove the thyme sprigs & serve with cracked pepper and/or its of fresh thyme.

 

DDD #118 – Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi with Arugula Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.


Click the image above to watch the video.

Arugula Pesto

INGREDIENTS

Handful of fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

juice of 1 lemon

1/3 cup nutritional yeast (or vegan Parmesan)

1/3 cup vegan Parmesan

1/2 cup pecans (or other nuts)

5 oz fresh arugula

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Blend in a food processor until smooth.  Add water or more oil if it is too thick.  Season with S&P.  Set aside.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

INGREDIENTS

1 head cauliflower – cut into florets

Flour

GARNISH: basil, parsley, or lemon wedges

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees & roast the cauliflower for 20-25 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it is finely chopped.

Put some flour on a kneading space.  Knead just enough flour into the cauliflower until you have a nice, dough that is no longer tacky.  Use as little flour as possible or your gnocchi will be too dense.

Quarter the dough & roll each quarter out to a long snake that is about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut your gnocchi in about 3/4 inch pillows.  You can rill them on a fork or gnocchi board (below) – to aid in making sauces cling but that is unnecessary.

If the gnocchi are still tacky, dust with more flour.  Set aside until you are ready to eat.

When ready, heat the pesto.  Bring salted water to a rolling boil.  Put the gnocchi in the water & boil until they float to the top – a few minutes.  Drain & toss with the pesto.  Garnish with fresh basil or parsley or lemon wedges.

To freeze some, put them on a floured cooking sheet or on a cooking sheet with parchment paper & freeze flat.  Once frozen, you can transfer them into any other container – even a Ziploc bag.  Always put frozen gnocchi into water at a rolling boil without letting them defrost first – or they will become a gooey mess.

 

DDD #113 – Vegan Heirloom Tomato Tart (Pie) with Homemade Buttery Crust

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I keep throwing softballs like this out there to you kids.  Softballs in that the recipe is easy & the result delicious.  When, oh when, will you trust me & try one?

This one is almost like a quiche but uses no eggs or heavy cream – and it is vegan!  I used three colors of heirloom tomatoes but any tomatoes would work, even cherry tomatoes, I suspect.

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For the pastry crust

makes two tarts

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

16 TBS ice cold (even frozen) vegan butter

1/4 cup or more of ice water

Heirloom Tomato Pie with Arugula, Tofu, Cream Cheese & Parmesan

makes two tarts

INGREDIENTS

Pie crust – uncooked

5-6 heirloom (or other) tomatoes – sliced thin

2 cups fresh arugula

2 cloves garlic

1 (14 oz) block firm tofu

4 oz vegan cream cheese

2 slices of your favorite flavor vegan cheese

1/4 cup vegan Parmesan – grated  (plus a bit extra for topping – optional)

S&P

Basil – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

For the pastry crust

Put the flour, salt & sugar in a food processor.  Pulse to blend.  Then, 1 TBS at a time, pulse in the cold butter until it is all incorporated.  Add a few TBS water & pulse until little balls of dough begin to form & it falls away from the bowl of the processor.

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Remove from the bowl & press into two balls – one a tad larger than the other.  Press flat, wrap in plastic wrap & chill for about an hour.  Let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you roll it out.

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DIRECTIONS

for the Heirloom Tomato Pie with Arugula, Tofu, Cream Cheese & Parmesan

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Press the dough into a greased pie or tart pan.  A traditional pie dish is absolutely OK to use – as is a spring form pan.  Slit the crust at the bottom and par-bake it for 7 minutes.

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Put the sliced tomatoes on paper towels, salt them & press more paper towels on top.  If your tomatoes are very wet & seedy, squeeze some of the seeds out to avoid excess moisture in the pie.  You can see that I did this with my red tomatoes.

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Meanwhile, blend the tofu, cream cheese, cheese slices, vegan Parmesan, arugula & garlic in a blender or food processor.  Season with S&P.

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When the crust has baked 7 minutes, top with the cup of grated Parmesan, the tofu mix & the drained tomatoes.  Add some S&P.  Maybe sprinkle some grated vegan Parmesan on top.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes – or until the ricotta is set.  You might need to wrap the edges of your pie with foil (or one of these cool silicone things – the red thing below – that I got at Bed Bath & Beyond) to prevent the crust from over-browning.

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When the center seems set, allow this to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it.  It can be eaten warm or room temperature.

Garnish with basil & eat it up!

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DDD Ep. #112 – Vegan Spinach-Stuffed Eggplant Rollatini with Homemade Arrabiata Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

 

vromans back


Click the image above to watch the video.

This is a really easy, 5-minute pasta sauce.  It is fairly spicy so cut back on the crushed red pepper if you are sensitive to heat.  Canned tomatoes are not desirable – even BAD – (read why you should avoid canned tomatoes & seven other foods HERE) – but they are sometimes the only affordable (and super convenient) option. .

Fresh herbs will also improve this sauce measurably but – in a pinch –  they are absolutely not REQUIRED to make this sauce tasty.

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Five (5) Minute Arrabiata Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 27 oz carton tomato sauce
Garlic to taste
1 tsp each of crushed red pepper, oregano, pepper & sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh thyme (optional)
Fresh basil – chopped (optional)
Fresh parsley – chopped (optional)
Fresh oregano – chopped (optional)
1 TBS olive oil
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DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil. I sautéed maybe 10 tiny garlic cloves whole. If giant chunks of garlic offend you or yours, you might want to crush them a bit with the side of a knife or press them through a garlic press or chop them fine. Just do not burn the garlic and burning is easier – the smaller you chop the cloves. With whole cloves – I sautéed a minute before adding the spices. If you chopped the garlic – add it and the spices at once.After about a minute of both the garlic and all other spices sautéing – add the tomato sauce. Be careful as it will sputter and splatter you when it hits the hot oil.
A few minutes in – I used a slotted spoon to fish out the garlic cloves & put them through a garlic press but this is not totally necessary.Heat over med-low heat until ready to use. Add chopped fresh basil/parsley at the very end – if you are using fresh herbs.

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Eggplant is an odd thing.  Some of my favorite dishes are made of eggplant – most markedly my nearly guiltless Indian Baingan Bharta & one of the most popular recipes of this blog’s history, my Spicy Vegan Chinese Eggplant – both seen just below.

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But if it is cut into slices or cubes that are too large & then under-cooked – it can have an icky texture & an icky flavor.  Lots of people categorically reject it because the first time they tried it – it was yucky.  But it is so versatile & can take on so many flavors so well.  I love it & I feel certain I could convert more than a few haters – if I served them the right dish.

THIS dish might just be that dish – assuming they do not also hate spinach.   The eggplant is very subtle & melts in your mouth.  This could be customized a zillion ways.  There are no rules.  Just make a little mash of some flavors you like & roll’em up & bake them – and voila!  Yes – there are a few steps but none are difficult & the result is delightful.  A tad hard to photograph but really delicious.

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Oh!  I got this new little garlic press at Bed Bath & Beyond for (I think) under ten dollars & I am kind of in love with it.  There are to ways to go with this – sliced or minced (there is a second blade tucked into the base) & all you do is press the garlic through & it creates a little drawer of crushed garlic for you.  Se easy & easy to clean & no garlic fingers!

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Easy Eggplant Rollatini with Spinach 

Should feed 4

INGREDIENTS

2 medium eggplant – tops removed & sliced 1/4 inch thick (thick makes assembly harder)

1 lb fresh spinach (or 8 oz frozen or other spinach – thawed)

3-4  cups (28 0z or so) – marinara (your favorite brand or homemade or the one I  post below) or my 5-minute spicy arrabiata 

Handful vegan Parmesan

1/2 cup vegan ricotta

1/4 cup parsley – chopped

4 oz vegan mozzarella

S&P

Olive oil

More vegan mozzarella to melt on top – to taste

Parchment paper (if possible but not imperative)

Foil

Garnish: more cheese and/or parsley and/or basil

 

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the tops off the eggplant & try to cut them evenly 1/4 inch thick.  I used a mandolin.  Lay the slices on paper towels & sprinkle with salt.  Flip & salt the other side (lightly – so they won’t be overpowered by salt).  Salting the eggplant helps release excess moisture & can temper any bitterness.  Let them sit for about ten minutes.

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Steam the fresh spinach by simply boiling a tiny bit of water to a very large stock pot & adding the spinach.  Cover the pan.  It should wilt in less than a minute (this works to thaw frozen spinach, too, though it might take longer).  Strain into a colander & run cold water on it.  Squeeze out as much water as you can & chop the spinach.

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Put the spinach, parsley, & your Parmesan & ricotta & mozzarella cheese in a large bowl & blend.  Add some S&P.

 

Pat the eggplant slices dry & sprinkle with ground pepper.  Place them on a cooking sheet covered in parchment paper (or foil treated with cooking spray – because you do not want these guys sticking).  Bake about ten minutes.

Layer some sauce on the bottom of a casserole pan.  Spread about 2 TBS of the filling on each of the eggplant slices.  If you have extra – spread it around.  Carefully roll those guys up & place them in the pan, seam side down.

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Layer some more sauce on top & then sprinkle with mozzarella.  Cover tightly with foil & bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven & uncover & let rest a good 5-10 minutes before cutting in.  Serve with more cheese and/or parsley and/or basil and copious red wine.  See?  You like eggplant!

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DDD #111 – The Ivy Copycat Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

Click the image above to watch the video.

The Ivy Copycat Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

serves 2 as an entree

INGREDIENTS

for the dressing

Juice of 1-2 limes

match the lime juice with an equal part of olive oil so it is 50/50.

Add about 1 TBS each of balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar) and agave

Season to taste with S&P.

Combine & taste.  Tweak to suite your palate.

for the salad

Your choice of greens – or a mixture (arugula, romaine, butter lettuce, watercress, field greens – your call)

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

2 ears fresh corn – in the husks

1 bunch asparagus – tough bottoms trimmed

1 red bell pepper – seeded

1/2 cucumber – diced

1 handful cherry tomatoes – haved

3-4 radishes – chopped

1/4 small red onion – diced

1 avocado – chopped

OPTONAL  – chopped herbs (basil or cilantro), protein (chickpeas, black beans, vegan chicken or any other protein you desire)

DIRECTIONS

Make the dressing while the veggies are grilling.

Slice the zucchini & squash in 1/4 inch thick slices & grill until softened & there are grill marks – turning a few times.  Do the same with the red pepper & asparagus.  Set aside.  Grill the corn in the husks until blackened on the outside.  Cool & throw the husks away then cut the corn from the cobs.

Now – just assemble the salad the way you would any other.  If there are going to be leftover veggies – do not dress them.  They will stay fresher in the fridge undressed.

Serve & enjoy!!!

 

DDD #110 – Jackfruit Company Teriyaki Jackfruit Review

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~


Click the image above to watch the review.