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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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.

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 #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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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.

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 #109 – Simone Turkington’s Easy Vegan Sri Lankan Feast

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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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My friend, Simone Turkington, comes over to treat us to four of her mom’s Sri Lankan delicacies!  She makes Bandakka (an okra & turmeric dish), potato & coconut milk curry, mock lamb curry & sambol (a coconut-based condiment).  Click the image above to watch!

DDD #96 – Vegan Parsley Herbed Potato Gnocchi

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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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Click the image about to watch the gnocchi video.

OK – spicy marinara is really arrabbiata – I know.  And I have posted many versions of simple pasta sauce before but I am just gonna go ahead and post another here.  Pasta sauce is so easy – there is no excuse to buy bullshit jarred sauce at a far greater price.   HERE is one you can make in the time it takes your pasta to cook.  But – in a pinch – your favorite jarred sauce will do.

I used some wrinkly sad cherry tomatoes in my sauce.  Every time I consider whether produce is still edible, I think of the Diary of Anne Frank.  They lived on sub-par or rotting produce.  For years.  So, I am usually guilted into finding a way to use the questionable items.

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Gnocchi are remarkably easy to make, too.  Once the potatoes are baked – it can all come together pretty quickly & so incredibly delightfully.  This recipe should feed 4 pretty easily but if you want to save a bunch for the future – simply put uncooked gnocchi on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Put the sheet in the freezer & once the gnocchi are frozen, put them into sandwich bags in the freezer.  When you want to eat them – boil them frozen or they will get gooey.

In the past, I have made these with eggs but this recipe is vegan & they came out SO LIGHT & PILLOWY!   I will never use eggs in gnocchi again.  I had to subsidize my Russet potato quotient with some random yellow potato.  It didn’t hurt anything.  But try to use Russet because of the starch & moisture factors.

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Vegan Parsley Herbed Gnocchi with a Spicy Basil Marinara

INGREDIENTS

for the gnocchi

3 lbs Russet potatoes

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups (plus more) flour

S&P to taste

for the spicy basil marinara

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 28 oz crushed tomatoes

30 grape or cherry tomatoes – quartered

1 TBS olive oil

6 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 cup chopped basil

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – optional

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

for the spicy basil marinara

Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the garlic for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste & fry another minute or so.  Add the crushed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes & basil & about 1 cup of water.  Add the crushed red pepper – if using.

Simmer covered on low for the hour it takes to bake the potatoes.

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for the parsley herbed gnocchi

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake the potatoes (directly on the rack) for an hour or until soft.

Halve the potatoes & let cool a bit & then peel them.  If you have a ricer – rice the potatoes.  Otherwise – mash’m up good with a potato masher.

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Mash in the olive oil, parsley & some S&P.  By hand, incorporate the flour 1/2 cup at a time until you get a dough that you can handle without it being too sticky.  Depending on the sort of potatoes you used & their moisture – this might take more or less flour.

Roll out chunks of the dough into snakes less than an inch thick & cut into gnocchi.

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You can leave them like that or roll them on a fork or a gnocchi board to get little grooves on them.

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I like the little gnocchi board so that is what I used.  They are super cheap – if you decide to buy one – like maybe $5.

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Now – you can either freeze a bunch as I explained above or get to cooking them up.  I let mine sit out an hour or so.  It didn’t harm them.

Boil some salted water & when it is rolling – add the gnocchi.  They are done when they float & stay at the top.  Scoop out with a slotted spoon & serve with the marinara & more basil.  Add some cheese or vegan cheese – if you desire.  YUM!

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Oh – and remember to buy my book!  IT IS HILARIOUS!  www.BathingBook.com

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DDD #87 – Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Fried Sage

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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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Click the image above to watch the video.

This is another super easy & healthy one!  I used sweet potatoes but any orange squash would also work.  No dairy in this at all & it still tastes so decadent!  If you own a blender – you can make this in less than 30 minutes.   The sauce can be used as it is here – over pasta – but if you added a bit more stock or some non-dairy milk or vegan heavy cream – you would have a delightful soup!  Or – leave it thick & make ravioli.  Or slather some in a white lasagna.  Mmmmm!

 

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Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Fried Sage

Serves 4 well

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta (if you use less pasta – see notes above about how to re-purpose the extra sauce)

2 TBS olive oil

1 package or bunch of fresh sage

1 large sweet potato (2 lbs or so – or 3 cups) – peeled & cubed

1 medium onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS (or less – if heat bothers you) crushed red pepper

2 cups vegetable stock

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain your pasta – but reserve about a cup of the hot pasta water.  Toss the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking.  Set aside.

Over medium heat – warm the oil in a large saute pan & fry the sage.   Be careful not to burn it (it should not brown in the pan).  After 2 minutes or so – drain it on papers towels & set aside.

In the same pan, add the onions.  Once softened, add the sweet potato, garlic & crushed red pepper.  Stir for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil & boil until your sweet potato is soft.

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Being careful not to burn yourself, puree the sweet potato mixture.  Season liberally with S&P (to taste).   Put the noodles in the pan you cooked the sweet potatoes in.  Spoon only as much of the sweet potato puree onto it so you get a light cover.  You don’t want to drown the pasta.  I had a lot of puree left over from the 1/2 pound of pasta I cooked & I will make it into soup (see notes above the recipe).  If it gets too thick, stir in some of the reserved pasta water – a bit at a time.

Plate the pasta & crumble sage on it.  Garnish with fresh cracked pepper & maybe some vegan Parmesan.

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DDD #80 – Vegan Aloo Palak – Indian Spinach & Potato Curry

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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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Click the image above to watch the video.

I fucking love Indian food.  I always have.  I have posted many Indian recipes & Indian food is the easiest way to feed someone vegan food without them noticing.  If you research, you will find that most recipes have largely overlapping ingredients.  If you intend to get into cooking Indian food – the critical spices (outside of cumin & coriander) are garam masala & cardamom.  If your local market does not carry the spices you need – and there is no local Indian spice source (ethnic markets are THE BEST resource for cheap spices) – buy them on Amazon.  This recipe calls for fenugreek (or kasuri methi) but I read that celery seeds are a decent substitute.  If you can’t find either – blow it off.

If you are accustomed to cooking Indian food – you might notice I tend to use far larger amounts of the spices than your average recipes.  The measurements are very forgiving, though, so don’t worry if you want to use more – or less – than what I suggest.

I used a vegan goat cheese that I bought at a Soledad Santuary stand at the Hollywood farmer’s market.  If you live in Hollywood or can make it to that market – look for them.  They recently turned vegan & are experimenting making many kinds of vegan cheese.  (If you get there – BTW – look for Dave’s Korean stand, too.  Their tempeh is INSANE!)  You can use any soft vegan cheese (cream cheese or yogurt or goat cheese – if you can find some).  If you are not vegan – a Boursin or garlic/chive cream cheese would work.  You just need some sort of “dairy” to mellow out the overall flavor.

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Vegan Aloo Palak (Indian Spinach & Potato Curry)

Serves 4-6 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 – 2 lbs fresh spinach (You can use canned or frozen but the flavor will not be the same & you won’t get the vibrant green color.  Google Aloo Palak & see how ugly it can look.  LOL)

3 large red potatoes – cubed

1 large onion – diced

1-3 jalapenos (to taste) – chopped (remove seeds to lessen the heat)

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp cumin

1 TBS turmeric

1 TBS fresh ginger – minced (I used jarred)

1 TBS garlic – minced (I used jarred)

1-3 tsp chili powder (I used 3 but I like heat)

1 TBS ground coriander

1 tsp dry fenugreek (or celery seeds) – OPTIONAL

1 TBS garam masala

1/2 cup vegan soft cheese

Salt

Olive oil

Garnish – cooked rice and/or naan

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DIRECTIONS

Boil a large pot of water & blanch the spinach by immersing it for 30 seconds to a minute – so it wilts.  Plunge into cold water & drain.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil & pan fry the potatoes until they begin to brown – turning often.  This might cook them through – depending on how large your cubes are.  If it doesn’t do not worry.  They can cook more in the spinach.  Set aside.

In that same pan – heat another TBS olive oil & add the cumin seeds.  Once they begin to sputter, add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, & spices.  Cook until the onion is soft.

In a food processor – blend the onion mix.  Then – add the drained spinach & puree.  Return this to the pan.  Stir in the cheese & add the potatoes.  Heat through & be sure your potatoes are soft.  You may have to add between 1-2 cups of water to thin it out.  If it is too thick add more water.  Too thin?  Cook it down.

Serve with rice or naan – or eat it naked!  I mean – the spinach & potatoes could be naked – as the potato adds a starch to the dish, already.  But – if you wanna be naked yourself – I don’t see a problem with that.  Your roommate or children might feel awkward but fuck’m.  You just made motherfuckin’ Aloo Palak.   What the fuck have they achieved lately?  Probably not appreciate you enough, that’s what.

See my point?  Might as well swill some wine, too.  Haters gonna hate.  No reason for you to give any fucks at all.  Eat, drink & be proud you just made a yummy vegan meal!

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DDD Ep. #68 – Vegan Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon for your Instant Pot

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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 just 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 below to watch the video.

OK – in order to make this recipe – you really will need two important ingredients – seen above – preserved lemons & ras el hanout.  The preserved lemons will give the dish its distinctive Moroccan flair and the ras el hanout will keep this stew from tasting like a curry.   You can make the ras el hanout – as it is just a blend of other spices – but buying it will be so much cheaper & easier.  See the package below – list the spices involved in that particular brand.

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I used saffron – because I had it – but saffron can be very expensive so – if you don’t have any & don’t want to shell out the funds – blow the saffron off.  Same with the harissa (a hot sauce).  The two things I really suggest you not blow off are the preserved lemons & the ras el hanout – both of which can be purchased on Amazon.

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Preserved lemons come in a jar (see above) & are simply lemons pickled in brine.  They maintain all their sharp lemon flavor but are quite salty & very soft.   The flavor they give this dish is critical – so – be patient – and get some before making this.

Other than that – this is a straight-forward slow cooker dish (which could be made by simmering on the stove, too) with ingredients that are easy to come by.  I served mine with this Trader Joe’s blend of grains but couscous is more traditional.  I like this stuff from Trader Joe’s because it is pretty & offers lots of textures.  You can serve yours with whatever grain you prefer.

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I used Beyond Meat chicken because I think it is the best on the market.  I thawed & shredded it because it breaks down in stews better that way & because – visually – it really looks like shredded chicken.   I am convinced you could slip this by meat-eaters with no complaints.

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Vegan Moroccan Chicken, Chickpeas & Butternut Squash with Preserved Lemons for the Slow Cooker (or Not)

Serves 4-6 with couscous or rice

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken

1 onion – diced

2-4 garlic cloves – chopped

2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas – drained

4 cups vegetable stock

1 TBS ras el hanout

1/4 – 1 preserved lemon (depending on hpw large it is) – diced small (start with less & add more as you go – just so that this flavor doesn’t get to overpowering for you) – I used the entire 1/2 lemon using all parts

Saffron (a large pinch or more) – optional

Green and/or black olives – I used half Kalamata & half large martini olives – in a quantity to suit your taste for olives – optional

1 TBS harissa (or other hot sauce) – optional

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

3 carrots – chopped

1 butternut squash – peeled, seeded & cubed

1/2 – 1 red bell pepper – diced

1 lemon – peeled & sliced

1 handful cilantro

GARNISH – chopped cilantro or parsley, lemon wedges/slices

Cooked couscous or other grain

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DIRECTIONS

Instant Pot – Put all the ingredients in & use soup setting for 20 minutes.

Slow cooker – Put everything into a slow cooker & cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8.  If you started light with the preserved lemon – taste occasionally & add more – if you like the flavor.  Overall – it should have a strong lemon flavor.  It should not need salt – because the preserved lemons, olives & stock should have that covered.

Stove top – just bring to a boil & simmer everything until the vegetables are soft – likely less than an hour.  If you started light with the preserved lemon – taste occasionally & add more – if you like the flavor.  Overall – it should have a strong lemon flavor.  It should not need salt – because the preserved lemons, olives & stock should have that covered.

In all cases – add water if it gets too thick.  Drain in a colander if it is too wet.

Serve with whatever grain you chose & garnish with cilantro or parsley & lemon wedges.

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DDD #64 – My “You Are Not Vegan Enough” Rant & Holiday Leftovers Shepherd’s Pie & 14 Other Ideas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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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Ok – so I posted my Vegan Whole Turkey (seen above) – and the vegans on Facebook lost their collective shit.  Despite knowing it was a vegan item – I got blocked & banned & verbally assaulted SAVAGELY.  This video below is my response to the “You are not the right kind of vegan” attacks I got from the most self-righteous douchebags ever.  I also show you how I reinvented a bunch of random leftovers into and epic Shepherd’s Pie.

Below the video here are the 14 recipes I suggest as potential uses for your holiday leftovers.

Click the image to watch the video.

Thanksgiving Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach and Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

Vegan Chicken & Mixed Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegan Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Vegan Marinated Chicken Banh Mi Sandwich

Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups

Vegan Chicken Salad Wraps

Cool Vegan Cashew & Cranberry Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado

Sweet & Spicy Vegan Island Chicken with Pineapple

10-Minute Spicy Vegan Sriracha Chicken & Broccoli Bowl

Healthy Vegan Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon

Healthy Vegan Chinese Chicken Salad with Spicy Asian Dressing

Vegan Cold Chicken Piccata Pasta Salad with Asparagus & Spinach

Vegan Firecracker Chicken

Vegan Beef and Vegetable (Shepherd’s Pie) Empanadas

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Beef & Cabbage Stew & My New Youtube Channel!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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.

MOST exciting new thing in my life?  My brand, spanking new YOUTUBE channel!   I set it up two days ago & there are already two videos.  One to make Vegan Firecracker Chicken and one for St. Patrick’s Day to make a Last Word Cocktail – pictured above.

As my editing skills & equipment improve – so will the videos but I was just so excited to get started – I just jumped right in.  Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel!

Ok – so – if you watched the Last Word video – you saw that I was also cooking up this creation – just in time for you to cook tomorrow!  Easy & vegan – it is flexible.  Use the veggies I suggest – or not.  I used Gardein Beefless Tips but Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles or even the Beast Burger would work!   The photo I used shows the green beans & Brussels sprouts I considered adding but then did not.

*NOTE – I used a combination or bouillon, soy sauce, Marmite & Kitchen Bouquet.  This made for a sodium-intense stew.  I recommend starting with just veggie stock and then adding one or a few of these other things until you get the intensity you want in both flavor & color (Kitchen Bouquet being best for the deep brown color) – but add them in increments so you avoid a salt-fest.

St. Patrick’s Day Vegan Irish Beef & Cabbage Stew

Serves a lot – like – at least 6

INGREDIENTS

9+ oz vegan beef – you can pan-sear & brown it first, if you like.  I did not.

1/2 cup vegan butter (or olive oil)

1 onion – chopped

2 potatoes – cubed

5 carrots – chopped

8 mushrooms – sliced

4 celery stalks – chopped

2 cups cabbage – chopped

1-2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

9 oz peas

1 cup pearl barley or other grain (optional)

up to 1 cup flour or a few TBS cornstarch

10 cups veggie stock

1 TBS pepper

Optional – fresh chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano or parsley.  I used none.

*OPTIONAL – a few TBS soy sauce OR 1/2 tsp Marmite OR 2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet OR a combination *see note above

DIRECTIONS

Warm the butter or oil & then add onions, celery, mushrooms, and jalapenos (if using).  Saute until the onions & celery are soft.

Add potatoes & carrots & beef.  Combine.  Add stock & cabbage & pepper & chopped herbs (if using) & pearl barley.  Bring to a boil.  Whisk either 1/2 cup of flour or a few TBS cornstarch into some water & add it to the stew.  As it boils – it should thicken.  Repeat incrementally to thicken the stew more if necessary.   Conversely – add water to thin it.

Now taste it & see if you want to add Marmite, Kitchen Bouquet or soy sauce.  Adjust flavors to suit yourself.  I added two halved potatoes to mine to draw some sat out.

It is done when the veggies are all tender & it is thick as you like & the seasonings seem right.  Stir in the peas.  Serve!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Slainte!

Deconstructed Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or Broccoli & Mashed Potato Casserole

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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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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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This dish takes a few steps but all are easy.   I adapted this recipe from One Green Planet’s MASHED POTATO CASSEROLE WITH BROCCOLI AND A CAULIFLOWER GRAVY.  I already had gravy in the freezer – leftover from my effort at poutine – seen just below.  It was a leek & sage brown gravy & the recipe is HERE.  When I end up with more of something than I need for a recipe – I often freeze the extra in Ziplock bags that I store flat – so they take up very little space in my freezer – as seen just below the poutine here.  Just squeeze the air out & place it on top of a frozen pizza or some other flat item (a cookie sheet) until it freezes.  It thawed quickly in the bag when placed under hot running water.  You can use this gravy recipe or your own favorite one or the easiest one ever – HERE.

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I wanted to use one of the vegan cheeses I recently bought from Soledad Goat Sanctuary…seen just above.  It is creamy & has a tang sort of like sour cream & I thought it would add a nice layer of flavor & some richness to the potato level.  You can use any soft cheese you like (cream cheese or whatever) or eliminate that ingredient with no real negative impact on this dish.

The nice thing about this dish is that it combines potato, broccoli & gravy in one decadent dish & it is easy to transport to a family or friend’s house as your vegan contribution to an otherwise potentially non-vegan meal.  Meat eaters will love it & vegans could really get away with eating only this & not feeling too ripped off.

I used fresh broccoli but frozen will do – if you prefer it.

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Deconstructed Vegan Shepherd’s Pie or Broccoli & Mashed Potato Casserole

INGREDIENTS

2 large heads of broccoli – cut into florets

10 small red potatoes – cut into large chunks (I left skins on)

1 (14 oz) can of white beans – drained & rinsed

2 cups gravy of choice (two recipes are linked above)

4 oz soft vegan cheese (optional) OR 2-4 TBS vegan butter (or both if you are feeling decadent!)

2 garlic cloves

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

1/4 cup parsley

1 large rosemary sprig – leaves removed

small handful of fresh oregano

few sprigs of fresh thyme

2 TBS olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make your gravy.  Set aside.

Prepare the broccoli (try very hard not to overcook it).   Steam or boil it for 2-3 minutes & drain it under cold water   When cool enough to handle – chop it pretty small.  (I take the steamed stalks & blend them into wet food for my dogs.)  Chop the thyme & oregano & toss with the broccoli & 1 or 2 TBS olive oil.  Season with S&P.  Set aside.

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Puree the beans and 1/2 cup almond milk in a high power (or regular) blender until smooth.  (I REALLY love my Magic Bullet that I recently bought at Bed Bath & Beyond for $30 & I recommend them.)  Add the rosemary & parsley & puree them into the bean mixture.  Set aside.

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Boil the potatoes and the garlic cloves until the potatoes are very soft.  Drain.  Return to the pan.  Add the bean puree, soft cheese or butter (or both) & blend with a hand mixer or immersion blender.  Add as much additional milk as you need to make them thick but creamy.  Season with S&P.

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I sprayed my casserole pan with cooking spray but that probably is not necessary.

Spread the potatoes on the bottom.  Top with as much gravy as you like (I used about 2 cups – which was A LOT (though not too much for ME) – so add as much as feels right to you) & then the broccoli.

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Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes.  Let it rest a few minutes & serve!

If you have extra gravy, either put it on the table or freeze it.

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Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas

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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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This soup is very easy & guiltless & comforting & delicious.  I roasted the turnips because I was roasting other veggies & just included them.  Once they were done, I though – why not add them to this soup.  You could roast all the veggies n this soup first, if you wanted to, but that is not necessary.  There is enough flavor going on without that extra step.  The vegetables I used were random & included simply because I had them around.  You can add or delete ingredients according to your taste or what you have handy.

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Vegan Potato, Leek, Fennel & Turnip Soup with Carrots & Pepitas

Makes about 8 cups

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS vegan butter

1 large fennel bulb – chopped (reserve some fronds for garnish)

1 large leek – sliced

1 zucchini – sliced

2 celery stalks – chopped (reserve a few celery leaves for garnish

3 large potatoes – peeled & cubed

3 small turnips – chopped

4 carrots – sliced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (plus maybe a bit extra for garnish)

2 TBS fresh thyme (plus maybe a bit extra for garnish)

Vegan milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) – maybe a cup or so

S&P

Pepitas as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

I like a few chunks in my pureed soups so – if you do, too – take one carrot & one potato (both cubed) & boil until soft.  Drain & set aside.

If you want the soup completely pureed – skip that step.

Heat the butter in a large stock pot.  Add the chopped, raw veggies & saute until soft.  Add the stock & herbs (no need to chop the herbs) & bring to a boil.

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Very carefully, in batches, blend the soup smooth.  I added just enough almond milk to each batch so that it blended very smoothly.  Reheat.  Add the boiled carrots & potatoes.  Ladle into bowls & garnish with celery leaves or fennel fronds & some pepitas.  Add some cracked pepper.  Enjoy!

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut-Ginger Cream, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

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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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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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This might – honestly – be the most delicious soup I have ever made and it is as easy as can be.  If you have a blender, food processor or immersion blender – you can wow the fuck out of your friends with this glorious, autumnal, light & healthy, rich & creamy soup!  I used all the random veggies that I had wilting in my vegetable bins.  You can add or subtract ingredients but I gotta say – this baby is kinda perfect!  Very little added oil & chock full of veggie nutrients.  The Coconut- ginger cream is certainly optional but it adds a nice level.  The pistachios & pomegranate were for texture & color – but they can go with little impact on this soup.  If you are not vegan – stirring in a little goat cheese might be a nice touch.

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Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut-Ginger Cream, Pistachios & Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 4 very well

INGREDIENTS

3 medium sweet potatoes – sliced into 1/2-inch rounds

3 bell peppers – halved & seeded

1/2 onion (or a leek or some shallots) – peeled & cut in half

10 small carrots – ends trimmed

1 jalapeno (optional)

1 TBS fresh lemon juice (optional)

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp red (or other) curry powder (or curry paste)

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne

Several fresh thyme sprigs (or 1/2 tsp dry thyme)

4 cups vegetable stock

olive oil (or coconut or other oil)

S&P

Garnish – pistachios and pomegranate seeds (optional)

for the coconut-ginger cream

5.5 ounces coconut milk

1-3 TBS minced ginger (I used a squeezable kind) – or to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the vegetables in a bit of olive oil & spread in a single layer on cooking sheets (covered with either foil sprayed with cooking spray or parchment paper).  Salt & pepper liberally.  Cook for about 30+ minutes or until the veggies are soft.  Some might need to come out earlier than others.  I cooked an extra sweet potato to put in my dogs’ food tonight.  They LOVE sweet potatoes.  The bell peppers should blacken a little bit.  When the peppers are done – either put them in a tightly-closed container or wrap them in foil to cool a bit.  This will make them sweat & the skins should peel off nicely under running water.  Do not worry if all the skin does not come off.

Meanwhile – combine the coconut milk & ginger – adding ginger in increments – until it tastes good to you.  Set aside.

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Once you can handle the veggies (not the sweet potatoes) – chop them a little bit.  Seed the jalapeno to make it less spicy.  I used the seeds.

Heat a little olive oil in a large stock pot & add the chopped veggies & sweet potato and garlic.  Stir to combine & then add stock & spices.  Squeeze in about a TBS lemon juice.  Bring to a boil & turn off heat.

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Puree the soup in batches or with an immersion blender.  I added about 1-2 cups of water to thin it enough to puree in the blender.  Season with S&P.

Serve garnished with coconut-ginger cream, pistachios & pomegranate seeds.

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Indian Curry with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 4

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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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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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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Ever have a bad day?  Cat peed on your favorite shoes?  Splashed at the street corner by a passing car driving through a puddle?  Dropped your phone in the toilet?  Smiled your toothiest & flirtiest smile at that cute guy at Starbucks only to later discover you have poppy seeds between several teeth? Someone cut you off in the parking lot & then gave YOU the finger?  Just found out your new boss is 25 years younger than you?  Asked for a cute bob but walked out looking more like Tom Petty than Taylor Swift?   Get spaghetti sauce on that white blouse you just splurged on?  Bought a 12x magnifying mirror – looked in it – and you are now convinced you can never leave the house again?  Trapped behind zombie walkers at Costco?  Sharted?  It happens.

Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well…

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Indian Curry here today.  The Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass & Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili were reviewed separately.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes…and a low calorie count with only 300 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a TBS or so of spicy chutney to this & it was delightful!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was filling for 300 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  I prefer my Indian food with more gravy – the wetter dishes – but despite the lack of a heavy sauce – this really was delicious.

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count but with the added benefit of exotic flavors and – I feel – a denser & more filling product.  Win-win-win-win-win!

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili with Beyond Beef – Frozen Dinner – Part 3

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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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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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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Ever have a bad day?  Did your dog die?  Your woman left you for your best friend?  Your horse run off with that wild stallion?  Broke your last git-tar string?  Coffee run out?  Whiskey, too?   Dusty trail whipping sand in your face & tumblweeds frolicking ever-where – mocking your pain?  Ten gallon hat feeling 5 gallons flat?  Feeling slow on the draw?  Plum outta chaw?   That saloon whore left you feeling itchy in places nobody wants to be itchy?  Has your get up & go just got up & went?  Has one final-straw motherfucker used the phrase “assless chaps” – as if ASSLESS was not the fucking DEFINITION of chaps – otherwise they’d just be called fucking PANTS?

Need a little comfort food to go with your moonshine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well – giddy-up, cowboy!

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili here today.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  And an even lower calorie count (compared to the Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass) – with only 270 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a squirt (or ten) of Crystal hot sauce to this & it was perfect!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was hearty for 270 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  Tough to cook on a campfire but you are probably glamping, anyway.  So far – Beyond Meat has hit it out of the park with the three I’ve tried.  My review of the fourth coming soon!

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count.  Win-win-win!

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Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker

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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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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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 have posted a beef stew before – my Easy Vegetarian (Vegan) Irish Stew for a Slow Cooker – from almost exactly three years ago but this current one is superior.  It is superior due to my just getting better at vegan stews & a higher quality vegan meat.  I am all about Beyond Meat – and I think it is the best on the market – but they don’t offer certain things.  In this case – I wanted cubes of beef – and Beyond Meat only offers a ground beef.  So – I decided to use both Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles and Gardein’s Beefless Tips – which were wonderful in my Vegan Spicy Ginger-Garlic Red Pepper Beef Steak with Vegetable Fried Cauliflower Rice – seen just below.  I used one bag of each in this stew.  If you really want to ratchet up the presence of the beef – double up on one or both of these – or use your own favorite faux beef.

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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.

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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.

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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Creamy Kale & Potato Gratin (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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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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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just 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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My intention was to make this entirely vegan – and I almost finished it vegan – but it came out of the oven looking very sad – because the vegan cheeses I used did not melt well & it was just a delicious-smelling but not pretty (really not pretty) thing that I could not post here & lure a single person to try it.  If you are not vegan – use whatever cheeses you prefer and, if you are vegan, either use your favorite (and – hopefully – melty) mozzarella.  I used real mozzarella in the last half hour of cooking time – which is why it has the golden, melted topping.  But – had I not been under pressure to make it LOOK pretty – I would have left it vegan & just shoveled it into my face – because it really is yummy!  And – when I am home & eating alone – WTF do I care what it looks like?  So – vegan or not – I think you can modify this to suit your diets & have a yummy kale & potato gratin.

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Creamy Kale & Potato Gratin (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 6 as a side

INGREDIENTS

1-2 TBS olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 large onion – diced

2-4 garlic cloves – chopped

1-3 jalapenos – diced (very, very optional – I just like spice so I used 3)

2 small heads of kale – ribs removed & chopped

10 small potatoes (or any combination – I used a mix) – sliced into 1/4″ slices

2 cups soy or almond or other milk

2/3 cup vegan sour cream

10 slices vegan cheese (I used 2 sharp cheddar slices & 8 Chao Original slices) or other grated cheeses (I used about 1 cup but more is always better and I would have used way more had I had it – but less is healthier so…your call)

1-2 cups grated vegan mozzarella (I used real mozzarella because I had it but my homemade vegan mozzarella would be great and it kinda melts!)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the sour cream into the milk & set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  Cook the onions until soft & then add the kale, jalapenos (if using) and the garlic.  I added a few TBS of water to aid in the wilting of the kale.  You can do this or not – but simply cook until the kale is wilted & soft.  Set aside.

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Grease a casserole pan (I used olive oil Pam) and layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the bottom of the pan.  Add 1/2 the kale & 1/3 of the non-mozzarella cheese.  Add another 1/3 of the potato, the rest of the kale & another 1/3 of the non-mozzarella cheese.  Top with remaining potato & non-mozzarella cheese.  Pour the milk/sour cream blend over it all.  I was a lazy whisker & my sour cream stayed lumpy.  It looks bad but didn’t hurt the recipe.  Add some S&P.

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Cover with foil & bake for 1 hour.

Remove from oven & top with the grated mozzarella.  Bake – uncovered – another 20-30 minutes or until the gratin is sorta firm & your cheese (especially if using real cheese) looks done.  Non-melting vegan cheese might never look done – so – be careful not to overcook the gratin because it will dry out.

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