DDD #154 – Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

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Vegan Orange Olive Oil Cake

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cups good quality olive oil

3 vegan eggs

1 1/3 cups vegan milk

2 TBS orange zest

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1/4 cup Grand Marnier (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 325 degrees & put the top shelf in the middle of the oven.

Combine all the ingredients & pour into a greased 9″ spring form pan.

Bake for 55-70 minutes or until it is golden on top & a toothpick comes out clean (maybe a few crumbs but not wet).

Allow to cool.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar & maybe more orange zest.

Enjoy!

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DDD Ep. #153 – Vegan Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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IMG_4718All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

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Vegan Strawberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS

3 cups fresh strawberries (stems removed & chopped) – or frozen strawberries (thawed)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp cornstarch

1 TBS lemon juice

2 cans coconut CREAM (not coconut milk)

2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

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DIRECTIONS

Put the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer – at least overnight – or longer.  If you have room – it should just live there when it is empty so you can be more spontaneous about making ice cream.

Heat the strawberries with the sugar, cornstarch & lemon juice until dry ingredients dissolve.  Bring to a boil to thicken a bit then set aside to cool completely.

Mix in the coconut cream, vanilla & salt & make ice cream according to your machine’s directions.

Add the chocolate chips in the last 5-10 minutes.

Eat immediately or put in a loaf pan, cover with wax paper & then foil & keep in the freezer.

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DDD #148 – Vegan Penne with Cauliflower Ragu

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Vegan Penne with Cauliflower Ragu

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium cauliflower (about 2 lbs.)
  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-in. dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 3/4 cup freshly vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast or a combination, plus extra for serving
  • Parsley as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Halve cauliflower. Remove leaves and cut out core and reserve. Cut cauliflower into small bite-size florets, reserving stalks. Chop core, leaves, and stalks.

Combine oil, onion, garlic, and cauliflower core, leaves, and stalks in large pot, season with sea salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until leaves are just beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are just tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Add cauliflower florets, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup water and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to gentle simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is almost falling apart, 22 to 25 minutes. Add butter, stirring gently until it melts; season well with sea salt. Remove from heat.

Bring 6 quarts water to boil in large pot and add 3 tbs. kosher salt. Drop in pasta and cook until just al dente.

Drain pasta, reserving about 1/3 cup pasta water. Add pasta and 1/3 cup reserved water to ragu. Toss over medium heat until pasta is well coated (add more pasta water to thin sauce). Stir in cheese.

DDD #147 – Vegan Hot & Dry Wuhan Noodles

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This is not a very traditional version of this dish but – given grocery stores during the Coronavirus pandemic – I just sorta winged it with what I had available.

Wuhan was the early epicenter of this virus so I Googled it & found that their traditional dish is Wuhan Hot & Dry Noodles.  They looked & sounded great so here is my humble version.  Expect a more traditional version in the near future.

Click the image below to watch the video.

Vegan Hot & Dry Wuhan Noodles

serves 2

INGREDIENTS

9 oz dry noodles

4 TBS tahini sauce

2 – 4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS good quality balsamic vinegar (optional)

2 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS dark (black) soy sauce (or regular)

2 TBS light (thin) soy sauce (or regular)

1 TBS sambal oelek (or hot chili oil to taste)

Pinch Chinese 5 spice

1 tsp sugar

1-2 TBS peanut butter

GARNISH – black and/or white sesame seeds, chopped scallions

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the noodles.

Whisk the sauce ingredients together.

Drain the noodles & toss with the sauce – using a quantity to suit your taste.

Garnish – devour!

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DDD #143 – Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili for a Chili Cook-Off – for the Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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So – this weekend, I entered a Chili Cook-off!  There were only two vegan entries of the 14 adults competing & it was meat chilis that won the chili titles but I won for best presentation.  Check it out!

Click the image below to watch this on my Youtube channel.


It was a lot of fun & it raised money for the Downtown Women’s Shelter.   Kids competed, too!

Homemade Chili Powder

2 TBS smoked paprika

2 tsp oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix & store in a jar.

Cirque Du Macabre Vegan Chili 

Serves a fuckton!

INGREDIENTS

1 TBS olive oil

2 each – Anaheim, Pasilla & Jalapeno peppers (I used 3 large jalapeno peppers)

2 small sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 ears of unshucked corn or 2 (15 oz) cans of corn kernels

2 celery stalks – chopped

1 large onion (I used 1/2 white & 1/2 sweet onions) – diced

2 red bell peppers

1 TBS chili powder (recipe for homemade is above)

28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

2 TBS hoisin or BBQ sauce

2 TBS chipotle in adobo – minced

2 TBS vegan bouillon (I used vegan beef bouillon)

1 (4oz) can hot diced jalapenos (optional)

1 (4oz) can mild diced chilis

5 (15oz) cans of beans (I used a mixture of chili beans, light red kidney beans & black beans)

3 lbs vegan ground beef

8-10 large vegan sausages (Beyond Meat are the best)

2 (12oz) tubes vegan chorizo (soyrizo)

4 cups of water

GARNISHES: chopped cilantro, shredded vegan cheese, diced onion, chopped scallions, crushed corn chips, rice, corn bread, hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

I charred all the peppers (Anaheim, Pasilla, red bell & jalapeno) on a grill until the skins were black.  I did the same with the corn.  I put the peppers in a closed container to cool & then peeled & seeded them under cold water.  I shucked the corn.  You need not roast the peppers & corn but it adds a lovely smokiness.  Cool & chop.  Cut the grilled corn from the cobs.

I cooked the sausages on an outdoor grill.  Cook yours as you please.  Cool & chop.

Heat the olive oil in an Instant Pot or on the stove.  Saute the onions & celery until soft.  Add the chili powder & saute a minute.  Add the ground beef & brown it.

If using a slow cooker, transfer the meat from the stove to it.

Now – add everything else or as much as fits in your slow cooker of Instant pot (minding the maximum capacity line).  If it all cannot fit – leave out a few cans of beans.

Slow cooker – cook on high for 4 hours.  Add remaining beans – if they fit – & heat through.

Instant Pot – pressure cook for 45 minutes.  Add any beans you have left & stir to heat them through.

Serve!

 

DDD #132 – Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew

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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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To watch the video – click the image above.

There are about an infinity of ingredients in this stew – most of which can be eliminated without a negative impact on this dish.  I happened to have all but mushrooms, an onion & carrots on hand.  If you are missing an ingredient or two (or three) – I think you will still like the results.

I used those vegetarian bouillon cubes above but I am going to stop buying them.  They contain palm oil & an obscene sodium content so – I will be moving on to Better Than Bouillon, when my supply of these runs out.

I served my stew over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

**NOTE – I made this in a slow cooker (on high) while I hiked.  It was pretty much done when I returned 2 1/2 hours later.  You could make this just as easily stove top – maybe in less time.  Just bring to a boil & simmer until the veggies are cooked.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.

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Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6 or more

INGREDIENTS (VERY flexible – both in what you use & quantity)

Olive oil (or the cooking oil of your choice)

1 (9 oz) vegan ground beef (or more) – I recommend Beyond Meat

1 package (or more) of Gardein Beefless Tips (or your favorite vegan cubed steak)

1 onion – diced

2 Portobello mushroom – cut up (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)

4 carrots – sliced

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1-2 cups cubed white-fleshed potato of any variety (I don’t peel my potatoes)

1 small sweet potato – cubed (I don’t peel my potatoes)

2 celery stalks – chopped

4 radishes – cubed (I only used them because I had them so they are very optional)

2 tomatoes – diced (or a cup of canned diced tomatoes)

2-6 garlic cloves – minced

5 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dry red wine (optional) – or another cup of stock

6 oz lima beans (I used frozen)

1-2 cups peas (I used frozen)

1 cup corn (I used frozen)

1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Rao’s but you can use your favorite or omit it)

1 TBS Bragg’s liquid aminos OR soy sauce OR tamari

1 TBS dry mustard

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS Kitchen Bouquet (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

Few squirts Maggi  (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)

1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika

2 bay leaves

6 whole coves

1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1/4 cup corn starch (or more)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

I really prefer slow cooker recipes that require ZERO prep.  Recipes where you just dump the shit into the cooker & go away.  But – I really wanted a stew-like flavor here so – I thought cooking the onions & bringing their flavor – & the flavor of the sauteed mushrooms were important.  Also – browning the steak cubes assists in the visual presentation.  You could certainly just dump it all in & would probably be just as happy with the result.  Your call.

So – heat 2 TBS or so of oil & saute the onions & the beef cubes.  When the onions start to brown.  Add the garlic & saute one minute.  Add the wine (or stock) and quickly deglaze the pan.  Put this into the slow cooker.

In the same pan, add another TBS or so of oil & saute the mushrooms until they begin to sear.  Deglaze the pan with a tiny bit of water & add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.

If you are going stove top – do the steps above & then put those things & the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into a huge stock pot, bring to a boil & simmer until the vegetables are tender – not more than 1/2 hour.  To thicken it – return it to a boil.  Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you are slow cooking it – dump the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into the slow cooker & leave it covered & on high for 3 hours or so.   To thicken it – remove the lid. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew.  It should thicken nicely.  If not – do it again.  Leave the top off until it thickens.  Add water if it gets too thick.  Season with S&P.

If you have am Instant Pot or pressure cooker – Cook for 15 minutes.

Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or – as I did – over mashed cauliflower.   When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew.  This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.

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DDD #117 – Vegan Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice & Sausage

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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.

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Photo from The Iron You.

Click the image above to watch the video.

The photo just above is from the wonderful blog – The Iron You.  It is their Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole and it is that recipe that inspired mine here.  There are a few subtle changes but the primary difference is that I used cauliflower rice rather than real rice and I made it vegan.  That way – this dish is very light & nearly guiltless.  Is is very easy to make & comes together in less than 45-60 minutes – 30 of which are in the oven.  It is a surprisingly tasty recipe & chock full of fresh vegetables.

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Eggplant Parmesan Casserole with Cauliflower Rice (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

1 large head of cauliflower

2 eggplants – cut into 1/4 inch slices

Olive oil

1 cup basil – chopped

2 large shallots (or 1/2 small onion) – diced

2 cups cherry tomatoes – quartered (reserve a few extra to garnish)

2-3 cups vegan mozzarella – according to your preference (I used 3 cups)

1-2 cups grated vegan Parmesan – according to your preference

S&P

1 TBS oregano

1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)

1 cup vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce

3 (or more) vegan sausages – cooked

Parsley or basil – chopped as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

If you have a grill or grill pan, spray some olive oil on the eggplant (or toss them in a light coating of olive oil or dressing) & grill on each side until a bit charred & soft.  Set aside.

If you do not have a grill or grill pan – follow Iron You’s oven method directions:  Preheat oven to 400°F  and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add eggplant slices and let them sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.  Fish the eggplant slices out of the water, pat them dry, and arrange them on a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the slices turn deep brown on top.
Remove the slices from the baking sheets and carefully transfer them on a plate to cool.

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Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cook sausages & chop.

Cut the florets from the cauliflower & either grate them on a box grater or using the grater of your food processor (the FAR neater way to go).  Set aside.

Toss the tomatoes with basil, a pinch or S&P & the oregano & crushed red pepper & set aside.

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Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a large frying pan (large enough to hold all the cauliflower rice) & saute the shallots or onion until soft.  Add the cauliflower rice & the stock.  Over high heat – saute until the cauliflower is soft & the bulk of the stock has evaporated.  Stir in the tomato & basil mix and the sauce.

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Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray) and layer 1/3 of the rice on the bottom.  Top with half the eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese and 1/2 the sausage.  Add another 1/3 of the rice, remaining eggplant and 1/3 of the cheese & the remaining sausage.  Top with a final layer of rice & cheese.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the casserole is heated through.

Let sit for 10 minutes & then serve with parsley or basil & maybe extra diced tomato.

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DDD #114 – Rabbit Hole Foods – Vegan Egg, Tuna & Chicken Salads Reviewed

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DDD Ep. #36 – Easy Basic Hummus with Spicy Jalapeno

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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I have a video from my channel for this recipe.  Click the image below to watch & please subscribe!

I am kind of on a Mediterranean kick & am VERY excited to attempt a vegan gyro later today but for now – I post this hummus.  My mother always made her own & it is really so easy – nobody should ever buy any that is prepackaged.  All this requires is 8 simple ingredients & a blender.  I added jalapeno because I like them but you need not.  Tahini is a sauce that comes bottled & is readily available at most large grocery stores and it has a refrigerated shelf life like peanut butter – FOREVER.  So go ahead & buy some.

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Easy Basic Hummus with Spicy Jalapeno

INGREDIENTS

1 can chick peas – drained

1/4 cup tahini

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp cumin

1-3 cloves of garlic – to taste

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBS olive oil

1-4 TBS water (depending on how thick you like your hummus)

1/2 – 1 jalapeno – use half for a little spice, all for more spice and use even the seeds for a powerfully spicy hummus – or use none at all

Whip that shit up in a blender or food processor.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, parsley or diced jalapeno.  Serve with naan or pita or veggies!

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DDD #35 – Vegan Butter Chicken & Chickpeas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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This blog is 5 years old today!   And my Youtube channel just hit 1000 subscribers!  I am very happy about both milestones.

I have a video on my Youtube channelwww.VideoVegan.com for this.  Click the photo below to watch & please subscribe!

I have really become obsessed with my slow cooker.  Slow cookers – as I have many.  The one that I can set to cook for 5 hours & then just keep the food warm is the best because I can set it & go to work & come back 10 hours later to a house that smells delicious & a warm meal waiting for me.  If you don’t have a low cooker – I really encourage you to get one.  Easy doesn’t get easier than a recipe like this one.  Just throw everything in & set the timer for 5 hours & that is it.

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken because it is, hands down, the best fake chicken on the market.  But you could use real chicken or just use chickpeas.  Your call.

I used two kinds of saffron:

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That Golchin liquid stuff is affordable (under $10) and is GENIUS.  If your store doesn’t carry it – buy it on Amazon or something.

The saffron threads are delicate & lovely but very costly.  They were part of a gourmet gift box I was given for my birthday – and not usually on my shopping list.  Either or both of these work – but I suggest trying to use one – because saffron is such a specific & lovely flavor & adds gorgeous color – but it isn’t really critical for this dish to be a success.  So – if you don’t have it, don’t like it, can’t find it – blow it off.

I used dry chickpeas because I am delighted by how cheap they are & I like that they have been processed less & have no added sodium.  But – if you want to use canned ones – go ahead!  This could be made stove-top easily with canned beans – just don’t add the 4 cups of water.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a LOTTA folks – maybe 8-10 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry chickpeas (or 4 cans – but if you use canned chickpeas – eliminate the water here)

3 cups water (4 cups if you are gonna leave it for 10 hours – like I did)

9 ox vegan chicken

2 jalapenos (red or green) – seeded & diced

1 onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS ginger – minced

8 oz tomato sauce (I used a homemade arrabbiata)

6 oz tomato paste

14 oz can lite coconut milk

1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads (optional)

3 TBS saffron liquid (optional)

1 TBS garam masala

1 TBS curry powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 TBS turmeric

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

garnish – cilantro, scallions, yogurt (vegan or otherwise), cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Put everything into a slow cooker & set on high for 5 hours.

If you are using canned chickpeas – do not add water.  As you see above – this recipe has lots of gravy (the upper picture is before it cooked & the other is how it looked 10 hours later).  If you want  it thicker – whisk some cornstarch (2-3 TBS) into a little water & stir it in.  It should thicken up.  If it is too thick – add water.

Serve over rice & garnish at will.

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DDD #33 – Vegan Creamy Avocado & Spinach Pesto for Pasta

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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I have a video on my Youtube channel for this recipe.  Click the image below to watch & please subscribe.

This is a 5 minute recipe so – if you can boil pasta & own a blender – you can make this dish.  I had an avocado that was about a day past its prime & loads of spinach – so this was born.  I used a few serrano peppers for heat but that it totally optional.

*NOTE – I also used fresh basil that I had frozen a few weeks ago.  Worked great – so – if you are ever wanting to preserve fresh herbs so they do not go to waste – they can be frozen & then used in pestos & sauces.

Vegan Pasta with Creamy Avocado & Spinach Pesto

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked as directed

1 large avocado

2 packed cups of fresh spinach

2 garlic cloves

1/4 packed cup fresh basil *See note above

2 serrano or jalapeno peppers (optional) – seeded

1/2 to 1 cup vegan Parmesan (or nutritional yeast or a combo) – quantity to your taste

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Blend everything except the pasta in a blender or food processor.  Season with S&P & adjust anything else to suit your fancy.

Toss with warm pasta.

See?  EASY!

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DDD Ep. #3 – Vegan Chicken Piccata

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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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I am sharing this recipe from May 2014 because I have a new episode of my new Youtube show – Delightful Delicious Delovely & Video Vegan to go with it.  Check out the on-camera recipe here (and lease subscribe to my channel):

I always adored chicken piccata.  I love capers, I love lemon and, defiantly, I love parsley!  But, about 25 years ago, I gave up meat from mammals & poultry.  “Meat from mammals” sounds like something they found at Jeffrey Dahmer’s because – well – that IS what they found there.  But I mean I gave up red meat which, sorry folks, includes pork, and I gave up chicken & the like.  I only gave up seafood this year (because of lots of things but Fukushima was the last straw).

I miss the oddest things from the meat & chicken world.  Costco hotdogs.  Big Macs (which I would no longer eat because of pink slime etc – even if I ate meat).  Really, really rare steak.  Any real selection of any ethnic food beyond Indian.  Tacos (fish tacos).  Street cart kinda food.  And chicken piccata.

So – with all this fake meat suddenly deluging the market – I have begun to get quite busy experimenting with it.  In the past, fake meat was seitan or tempeh – which I find have flavors too specific to mask easily and tofu which has always underwhelmed me- and now soy is all GMO & shit & so I try to avoid that, too.  Then there are veggie burgers & veggie dogs – which are reasonable replacements for the real thing but they can’t be turned into chicken piccata.  And the fake breakfast sausage patties they make are great!  A decent fake bacon is still an apparition on the horizon – except for the chemical-burn inducing Bacos – which I have been known to eat, by the jar, with a bottle of red.

Sometimes, I am really gross & pathetic.

Anyway, it seems that overnight – there is a selection of fake meats in even the most mainstream supermarkets and I have been having great success with them!  Look at how delicious a vegan chicken (firecracker chicken) can be!

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Prefer beef?  Behold!

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HERE are some other vegan chicken selections from my recipe book.  And HERE are some vegan beef ones.

 

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OK – so – chicken piccata!  OK – the first time I attempted it this week – I used these cutlet things because they seemed to replicate real chicken piccata visually better.

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So – I whipped them up into a piccata & made myself that garlic baby broccoli, and some lemon-basil baby squash & some jalapeno mashed cauliflower – plated it up & commenced photographing it.  Here are the results:

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While this was all very delicious (though these cutlet-style pieces retain some of the stronger and not altogether awesome flavors of earlier faux meat products) – I did not like the darkness of the “chicken” piccata in these photos.  So – I endeavored to make it again using some chicken strip-style faux meat I had.

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I picked around in this bag & pulled out all the larger strips I could find.  I used about half this bag in the recipe here.  (UPDATE – I would suggest using Beyond Meat – if you can find it near you.)

And look at how convincingly it looks like chicken once it is cooked!  Isn’t that amazing?  I am very excited about this & VERY glad I attempted this recipe a second time.  This brand of fake chicken tastes way better than any of the Gardein products I have tried but Simple Truth products are really Kroger products & this Simple Truth folks were recently exposed as being lying motherfuckers.  Or MISLEADING motherfuckers, at the very least.   Read about the lawsuit HERE.  And PS – I once bought a few cans of Kroger pitted black olives & they tasted SO MUCH like chemicals – I actually returned the unopen cans for a refund.  That marks my ONLY return of a grocery item in my life!  I avoid Kroger now whenever I can (no pun intended!).  🙂  So – I still highly recommend the Trader Joe’s faux beef & chicken products & the Beyond Meat stuff that the coupon above is for.

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Chicken piccata is a dish that allows a bit of wiggle room.  I REALLY like capers & I love lemon – so I go heavy on these.  I will admit, I actually used real butter here but a vegan option is perfectly fine.  There is a shallot in my pictures but I forgot to use it.  Oops!

Say – have you heard?  I wrote a comedy NOVEL!!!!!  Go to http://www.BathingBook.com & find out more – and maybe BUY it!  The reviews on Amazon are pretty awesome!

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Vegan Chicken Piccata

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

About 1/2 lb of vegan chicken (like Beyond Meat)

Flour

2 lemons – one sliced into thin rounds.  One quartered for garnish.

1/2 cup Parsley – chopped

2-3 TBS Vegan (or real – if you ain’t vegan) butter

Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup dry white wine (or cooking wine) OR 1 TBS Dijon mixed into a cup of water

Capers (I used 1/2 of a 4 oz jar – but I LOVE capers!)

Vegetable bouillon (I used 1/2 of one of the large ones seen below – enough for 1 cup stock – and I am not certain they are vegan)

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the faux chicken in enough flour to lightly coat the pieces.  Add some S&P & toss.

In a large saute pan, heat about 1 TBS olive oil & 1 TBS of whatever kind of butter you are using over med-high heat.  Add the fake chicken.  I pressed the chicken flat in the pan.

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My chicken cooked up nicely but I did have to add another TBS or so of olive oil to keep the pan from becoming too dry.  When the chicken (and this would even apply to real chicken) is heated through & browned, take it from the pan & set aside.

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At this point, I added about another TBS of butter & a dollop of olive oil & the bouillon.   Be very careful NOT to burn your butter.  Once the bouillon dissolved, I added the garlic.  After 30 seconds – THIRTY SECONDS because garlic burns fast – I added the wine.  I increased the heat to high & added HALF the lemon rounds and the capers.  I saved the other half of the rounds to put under the piccata when I served it.

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This came to a boil pretty fast & I let it do its thing there for a minute or two until it thickened just a bit.  If yours doesn’t thicken quickly, a few PINCHES of flour whisked in should help.  Add the chicken & a few pinches of chopped parsley & heat it all through.

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Once it seems hot – serve that shit up!   Plate it over a few fresh lemon rounds & garnish it with LOTS of parsley & maybe more capers & a lemon wedge.  This goes really will over pasta noodles or mashed potatoes.  I used mashed cauliflower & I was VERY pleased with myself!   I nice white wine & a veggie side & you are good to go!  Go & buy my BOOK, that is!  🙂

www.BathingBook.com

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Vegan BBQ Ribs (Seitan) with Spicy Korean or Spicy Traditional BBQ Sauce

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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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I am reposting this recipe from June 2014 because I have a new Video Vegan Youtube recipe to go with it.  Check it out here:

Holy.  Fucking.  Shit.

These are so crazy easy & so freaking delicious – I might eat them every day for the rest of my life!  As a kid, BBQ ribs with that red, Chinese BBQ sauce were my favorite food on Earth.  Having given meat up 25 years ago or so – I have often longed for those fuckers but nobody seemed to have any way to replicate them.  Until now!

These will not fool a meat-eater into thinking these are beef or pork but who cares about that?  Not fucking ME.  I was very pleased with myself yesterday – having eaten the entire plate of these spicy wonders and – and sat there wondering why I put off trying to make my own seitan (wheat gluten-based fake meat) for this long.

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This is the brand I bought & I got it at the local health food store.  I am certain Whole Foods & places like Erewhon must also carry it – perhaps even in the bulk items aisle.  If you live in a remote area – buy it online.  But BUY IT!

The rack of 8 ribs I made yesterday took 1 cup of this flour to make – which is only about 500 calories – plus the calories from the BBQ sauce.  Not bad for what feels like an enormous amount of meat because, remember, those ribs you see here are boneless – so that big slab is all eatin’ material.  Plus – it is really enough for two – I just completely lost my shit & shoved these down my gullet like hotdog-eating champion Takeru Kobayashi.  It must have looked obscene (had anyone been here to watch me) and I will admit to a near-sexual level of excitement as I devoured these.  It was madness!  I had become unhinged!  And I write about it now without shame or regret.  Though I still suffer from a haunting, multi-pronged depression-anxiety that clings to me like a sticky burr on a pilly Irish sweater.  So – these ribs, magical as they are, do not cure THIS feeling (photographer unknown):

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Never fear – wine takes at least some of the edge off – if you also feel like that image above.  The combo of wine & these ribs will keep those demons at bay for at least a brief respite.

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OK – back to the ribs.  I made two kinds of BBQ sauce yesterday – Korean & traditional.  Both were very spicy but I ended up opting to use the Korean variety on my first faux rib effort.  The Korean one was made in my crock-pot as I hiked.  The other was made stove-top.   I used 2 TBS Gochujang (seen below) in the Korean BBQ sauce but only because I had it.  It is in NO WAY critical to the final outcome.

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Spicy Korean BBQ Sauce

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

1/4 cup water

1 TBS rice vinegar

2 TBS chili paste (sambal oelek or other type)

2 TBS Gochujang (optional)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground pepper

1 TBS fresh ginger (minced)

5 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS cornstarch

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DIRECTIONS

I put everything EXCEPT the cornstarch into a little crock-pot & left it for two hours.  Once it was bubbly – I added 2 TBS cornstarch & whisked it in.  That made the sauce very thick & gooey.  Perfect!  You can do this stove-top by just bringing everything (except cornstarch) to a boil & then whisk in the cornstarch.  It would likely take only a few minutes to come together.

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Spicy Traditional BBQ Sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 cups ketchup

1 cup water

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

5 TBS brown sugar

2 TBS white sugar

1 TBS ground pepper

1 TBS garlic powder

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS Dijon

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 TBS horseradish

1 TBS lemon juice

1 TBS vegan (or other) Worcestershire sauce

2+ chipotle peppers in adobo (minced) (use more or less to suit your heat tolerance – I used 5)

juice of 1 orange

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DIRECTIONS

Bring all ingredients to a boil & simmer until thick.  10-15 minutes.  Maybe more but not likely.

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Vegan BBQ Ribs

INGREDIENTS

1 cup vital wheat gluten

2 tsp chipotle powder (smoked or not)

1 TBS lemon pepper

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

1 cup water

2 TBS tahini

2 TBS low sodium tamari (soy sauce)

1-2 drops (DROPS – as this shit is overpowering and gets nasty-tasting fast) – liquid smoke (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Also – get the barbeque ready.  It is the grilling of these guys that is the magic.  A regular BBQ with charcoals is best.

Mix the wet ingredients (water, tahini, tamari & liquid smoke) in a small bowl.  Set aside.

In a larger bowl – mix the dry ingredients (wheat gluten & spices) and add the wet ingredients.  Mix it up until that gooey hamburger-looking stuff comes together – which happens almost instantly.

Grease a loaf pan & press the seitan into the pan.  Smooth it flat.  Bake it at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven & transfer the seitan to a plate & slather it with the BBQ sauce of your choice.

When your charcoals are ready – flop the seitan, BBQ sauce side down, onto the grill.  Slather lots more BBQ sauce on the other side.

Now just cook this until it looks the way you would want ribs to look.  I took mine off too early & found the “ribs” still not chewy enough to seem like meat so – I cut the slab into ribs and cooked them all a bit more.

And then I commenced the food orgy.  I suggest you do the same!

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Saffron Cream Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomatoes & Chili Flakes

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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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I am reposting this recipe from August 2013 because I have a new Video Vegan episode to go with it.  Here it is:

That photo is un-retouched & shot in natural light.  So – yes!  That pasta really IS that color!  Pretty to look at but with the delicate flavors of saffron and cauliflower – this is a delightful pasta dish.

I found this great saffron liquid at Super King for $7.

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That is a way cheaper option than saffron threads but saffron threads will be easier to find, I suspect.  I actually made this twice because the first time I made it – I made it with whole wheat fusilli & I didn’t like the photos.  This dish above was made with regular linguini.   The first time I made it, I used white wine & ghee (clarified butter).  The second time, I used regular butter & skipped the wine.  I think they tasted pretty much the same so I am going to post the one I made this morning.  There is only a tiny bit of the heavy cream per serving so do not be alarmed.  It isn’t as rich as you might fear.

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Saffron Cream Pasta with Cauliflower, Tomatoes & Chili Flakes

INGREDIENTS (for two very healthy servings)

1/2 lb dry pasta or your choice

1 small head cauliflower cut into bite-sized florets

2 large shallots – minced

2 tomatoes – diced

2 TBS ghee or butter (or vegan alternative)

1/2 cup heavy cream (or vegan alternative – almond milk should work fine)

1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 generous pinch (1/2 a tsp or more) saffron threads steeped in 1/4 cup hot (not boiling) water OR 1 TBS (or more) saffron liquid from a bottle

Crushed red pepper to taste

Salt to taste

White pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Steam the cauliflower for about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

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Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the shallots until just soft but not browned.  If using wine – add it now & cook it off for about a minute.  Or just skip ahead.

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Add the ghee or butter and the heavy cream & the saffron.  Simmer over medium heat until it reduces by about half.  Add the tomatoes & the steamed cauliflower.

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Add salt & white pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta according to instructions, drain & add directly to the pan with the saffron sauce.  Combine thoroughly.  Serve with lots of crushed red pepper.

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The Best Fast & Easy Vegan Mozzarella – for Melting & Grating

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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I am reposting this one from December 2015 because I have a new Video Vegan to go with it.  Here it is:

My quest for a truly successful mozzarella has only just begun & I think I found the easiest & best already – see above!  I posted the one below a few days ago & that post is HERE.  The gist of that post is this: It was, indeed, very easy & the visual – as you can see is very convincing.  The texture – when cold – isn’t bad, either.  My only issue was that there was a tang to it – that was a result of using yogurt as the base.  The tang wasn’t overpowering or unpleasant, in and of itself, but the overall impression it gives one is that they are eating mozzarella that has soured a bit.

It worked fairly well on pizza & the sour flavor became unnoticeable and it softened quite a bit.  The texture is really a bit closer to ricotta, though, so this version below might be better suited to things like lasagna.

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So – while I considered that buffalo mozzarella a success – it wasn’t perfect – so, I tried THIS one by Living My Pinterest Life – seen below.  This version came together more quickly & the only thing you might not have ready access to is the agar flakes.  I happened to have agar agar powder – not really sure what the difference is but the agar agar powder worked perfectly.  I got it at TJ Maxx in their “random kitchen shit” section – but your supermarket might carry it in the spice aisle.  Or buy some online.  Whatever you do – TRY THIS CHEESE!  It tastes GREAT naked.  Living My Pinterest Life said they thought it tasted like tofu but mine did not.  At all.

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Additionally, I was completely unable to find any kind of vegan heavy cream – so I used 3/4 cup almond milk & 1/4 cup vegan sour cream & I could not be happier with how this cheese turned out.  Non-vegans will never question this cheese.  It looks like mozzarella, has the correct texture & absolutely nothing in the flavor (which is mild) to give it away.  Simple ingredients.  Simple instructions.  Wondrous result!  I promise – you will not regret trying this cheese!  And look how is does on pizza!  I took the flat edge of a knife & pressed it a bit after I took it from the oven & that helped the grated cheese to give up its shape a bit more so that – visually – it looked as melted as it actually was.  It even looks like it is greasy – like real cheese – but it isn’t.  It has to have less calories than real cheese & so much protein from the tofu & calcium from the almond milk – it is tantamount to a health food.  People seldom think of cheese as particularly healthy – but this shit is!  I just cannot say enough about how happy I am with this!

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The Best Fast & Easy Vegan Mozzarella – for Melting & Grating

INGREDIENTS

1 package Extra Soft Silken Tofu
1 cup Vegan Heavy Cream (I used 3/4 cup almond milk & 1/4 cup vegan sour cream)
1/2 TBS Salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Rice Vinegar
6 tsp Agar Flakes or Powder
1/2 cup water

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DIRECTIONS

Blend until smooth the tofu, heavy cream, salt, garlic power, and vinegar. Transfer to a small sauce pan and stir in the agar flakes and water. Bring to a boil on medium, stirring frequently. Boil until the agar flakes are almost completely dissolved (about 20 minutes), adding water if necessary so it doesn’t boil down too much.  Pour into a large loaf pan and place in fridge until completely cooled.

When cooled – it just dropped right out of the inverted pan & was ready to devour.  Try it naked.  AWESOME!

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