Vegan Lentil Meatballs in a Spicy Asian Glaze (Appetizer)

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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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It has been a lentil-crazy week here, lemme tell you.  The other day, I made about 10 cups of my Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils.  Then, I used some of the bountiful leftovers to make my Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan).  Both are seen just above.  Well, I still had FIVE CUPS of prepared lentils leftover.  What to do?  How many times can one person eat lentils in one week?  And, while they would freeze well, my freezer is busting at the seams with leftovers.  So – I decided to make party appetizers.  And these are GOOD!  Very easy & great for a crowd & healthy & yummy & vegan!  Just mix up the ingredients, bake them for 10-15 minutes – drizzle the glaze & serve!  Mmmmmm!

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Vegan Lentil Meatballs in a Spicy Asian Glaze

Makes about 50 meatballs

INGREDIENTS

5 cups prepared lentils in their thick sauce (or about 1/2 of this recipe – Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils)

1 TBS olive oil

1 small onion – diced

10 mushrooms – chopped

3 scallions – chopped

5 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

2 eggs (whatever vegan replacer you use – I used Neategg)

1 cup panko crumbs (more or less – depending on how wet your lentils are)

2 TBD sesame oil

3 TBS vegan hoisin sauce

for the spicy Asian glaze

2/3 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground ginger

GARNISH – sesame seeds and/or sliced scallions

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DIRECTIONS

for the glaze

Combine ingredients in a shaker or whisk in a bowl.  Set aside.

for the meatballs

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the lentils according to my recipe or your own favorite recipe.

In a saute pan, add the olive oil & saute the onion, mushrooms & scallions until soft.

Add the onion mix to the prepared lentils. Add the remaining ingredients for the meatballs.  Make balls that are 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter & place them on a greased cooking sheet.  Bake for 10-15 minutes -depending on how large & we they are.  When they are getting crusty on the outside – taste one & be sure they are done to your liking.  When they are ready, put them on a plate.  Drizzle with sauce & garnish with sesame seeds & scallion slices.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

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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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The other day, I made a boatload of Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils – seen just above.  By boatload – I mean I started with 5 cups of dry lentils.  That makes nearly twice as much of the finished product – so – I decided to try to reinvent them.    I used two cups of them in this recipe and I still have a ton left.  You can either make this lentil recipe (cut in half) or your own favorite lentil recipe.  I recommend these because the flavor profiles match but I am pretty sure most lentil recipes will do.

I baked mine for an hour but this loaf was only about an inch deep.  I recommend going shallow rather than deep because the deeper the loaf is – the trickier it will be to get it cooked through without drying it out.

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I also used this crazy glaze I spotted at Ralph’s.  If you cannot find this – either let the loaf be naked or mix up a glaze of your choice – or just top it with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Glazes are nice because they add moisture & another flavor component.    Here is a CURRY KETCHUP recipe (use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan) and here is a SRIRACHA KETCHUP recipe (again – use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan).    I posted Korean & traditional BBQ sauce recipes HERE.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry & Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

Makes one meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

2 cups prepared lentils (your favorite recipe or less than half of this recipe Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils)

11 oz vegan beef crumbles (I always use Beyond Meat)

2 TBS red curry paste (or more – to taste)

5.6 oz coconut milk

1/4 cup oats (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry) – breadcrumbs work, too

1/4 cup flax meal (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry)

GARNISH – your favorite meatloaf glaze or BBQ sauce & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all your ingredients together.  Get it to about the consistency of a wet burger.

I lined my pan with foil but parchment paper is better.  I sprayed it with cooking spray & poured the lentil mixture in & pressed it flat.

Top with the glaze of your choice.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until it is cooked through.  A testing stick should come out clean.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before transferring or cutting into it.

Top with more glaze, if you desire, & serve with fresh cilantro.

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Vegan Fried Green Tomato Street Tacos with Spicy Remoulade

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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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So – I bought those two gorgeous green tomatoes at the farmers’ market.  Legit, unripe green tomatoes.  Harder to find than you may think.  So – I made that first effort with them above – my Easy Vegan Fried Green Tomatoes.  They were simply & delicious but I did not use anything in place of the egg typically used when folks make this & the breading was fragile & did not stick to the slick sides of the tomato slices.  So – today – I used the other tomato for these tacos & used aquafaba in place of eggs.

What is aquafaba?

The word aquafaba is the common name for the cooking liquid of beans and other legumes like chickpeas. You may know it as the typically discarded liquid found in retail cans and boxes of beans, or as the liquid left over from cooking your own.”

I used the liquid from a can of chickpeas and it worked pretty well.   I found that my breadcrumb mixture was still a bit fragile but it seemed to adhere a bit better.

The remoulade is a nice & tangy touch but any sauce you like would do – even vegan salad dressing.

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Vegan Fried Green Tomato Street Tacos with Spicy Remoulade

Feeds two

INGREDIENTS

8 small street taco=sized corn tortillas

1 large green tomato – sliced into 1/4 to 1/3 inch rounds (try to get 4 slices)

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup panko crumbs (I used only panko in these tacos)

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (or any mixture you prefer or have handy)

Cajun seasoning (to taste) or S&P

1/4 cup or so non-dairy milk

The liquid from a can of chickpeas or other beans OR 1/4 cup or so of almond milk

Enough vegetable oil to submerge the breaded tomato in your frying pan

Taco toppings: (your choice) sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, grated carrots, sliced jalapenos, diced tomato, cilantro, sliced radishes, grated lettuce, grated vegan cheese, lime wedges

for the remoulade

1/4 cup vegan mayo

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1-2 TBS prepared horseradish

1 TBS chopped parsley

1 tsp sriracha

1 tsp juice from a jar of jalapenos (optional) or 1 tsp diced pickled jalapeno

Dash of hot sauce

Pinch of each: onion powder, garlic powder,  chili powder, paprika

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DIRECTIONS

Prep all the ingredients.

Make the remoulade by whisking the ingredients together.

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I only used panko this time.  You can use whatever mixture of crumbs you desire & season as you like – either with a Cajun seasoning or S&P or something else you like.

Wet the tomato slices & dredge them through the flour then the aquafaba (or almond milk) & then the bread crumb mixture.  I dunked mine a second time into the aquafaba & panko.

Heat the oil (deep enough to submerge the tomato slices so they will not require flipping).  Let the oil get very hot & then carefully slide the tomato slices into the oil & fry until they are browned to your liking.  Drain on paper towels.

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While the tomatoes drain – warm your tortillas directly on your stove burners.

Cut the tomatoes in half & assemble 8 tacos.  Serve with the accoutrements of your choice & drizzle with remoulade.  Devour!

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Vegan Spicy Szechuan Orange Beef & Wide Rice Noodles

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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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So – the other day I found this amazing new beef replacement at Silom Thai Market.  If you live in LA & you want something that will fool folks they are eating sliced steak – RUN to Silom & go to the center freezer aisle in the middle of the store.  Dig around the freezer-burned packages in the cardboard boxes & find this stuff below.

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It is SO convincing – once you load it with yummy flavors like this Szechuan dish.  I served this beef over wide rice noodles (above) that I buy fresh at Bangluck Thai Market.  The two stores are only a few blocks apart in Thai Town & both have their treasures & are worth adventuring into.  If you don’t want or can’t find noodles – rice or whatever will do just as nicely.  This cooks up in just a few minutes & the ingredients are not exotic.   It is a great entry-level Chinese dish.

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Vegan Spicy Szechuan Orange Beef & Wide Rice Noodles

Serves 2

Sesame oil

7 or more ounces vegan beef

12 ounces cooked wide rice noodles (or pasta or cooked rice)

1/2 red bell pepper – sliced into thin strips

2 jalapenos – diced (optional)

1/4 onion – diced

1 cup orange or tangerine juice (I freeze juices in 1 cup quantities for future use in recipes)

2 dry red chilies – split (these add a lot of heat & should not be eaten when the dish is finished)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

1 tsp Szechuan pepper corns (anise) – crushed in a mortar & pestle or pre-ground

2 TBS hoisin sauce

2 TBS dark soy sauce

2 TBS sambal oelek

1 tsp agave nectar

3 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS minced fresh ginger

GARNISH – sesame seeds & sliced scallions

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DIRECTIONS

Sear the beef in a TBS or two of sesame oil.  Set aside.

In the same pan, heat another 1 -2 tsp sesame oil & saute the red bell pepper, onion & jalapenos.

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Then add the juice, Szechuan pepper, hoisin, sambal oelek, dary soy, liquid aminos, ginger, garlic, and agave.  Heat on high until it thickens a bit.  Add the meat and noodles – if you are using them. When the ingredients are well combined & warmed through – serve with sesame seeds & scallion slices.

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Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

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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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So – I am several days into eating only food I already have in the house.  I have WAY too many frozen leftovers & dry pastas & beans etc taking up space & yet I keep going to the store to buy more food. It is ridiculous & wasteful.  Today’s recipe was inspired by a huge butternut squash I had & some other veggies rapidly reaching the end of their shelf life.  I used jarred salsa because I had one open but made the enchilada sauce because I did not already have some in a jar or can.  You can choose to go all jarred or all homemade – your call.

I also roasted a whole butternut squash.  You might want to buy some already cubed & roast those – or just boil them.  This can be as labor-intensive or as simple as you care to make it.

The real star of this dish is this newer vegan cheese I found.  It tastes great & does a fair job at melting – so – I recommend trying it if you see it or can find it online.  It is from Parmela Creamery and you can definitely buy it – and loads of other vegan cheeses – from them.

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Oh – as an aside – TJ Maxx is a great source for kitchen items.  They always have loads of olive oil marked way down.  I stock up every time I go there.

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Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Serves 6 well

INGREDIENTS

2 cups red enchilada sauce (my recipe HERE) or your favorite brand or recipe

16 oz salsa – homemade or your favorite brand

olive oil

1 small butternut squash

1/2 medium red (or any other kind) onion – diced

1-3 jalapenos (optional) – seeded & diced

3 tomatoes – diced

2 carrots – diced

1 cup corn

1 12 oz can black beans – drained

1-4 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup cilantro – chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

15-20 taco-sized corn tortillas

Up to 1 lb grated vegan cheeses of your choice ( I used both cheddar & mozzarella)

S&P to taste

GARNISH: cilantro, sliced scallions, avocado slices, additional salsa or hot sauce

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

I roasted my butternut squash unpeeled & halved.  It was a sorta messy business doing it this way.  In the future, I will peel & cube it first.  Whatever you decide – roast it naked for 20-40 minutes, turning at least once, until it is soft.  If you cooked it like I did – let it cool in the sink & peel & cube it once it is cool enough to handle.  OR – you could peel, cube & boil it until the cubes are soft.  I had a large squash – so I put some extra mashed up into my dogs’ dinner.  They loved it!

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan & add the chopped carrots & onions.  When they start to soften, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, corn & black beans.  Add the spices & cilantro.  Heat through.  Add the garlic & saute 1 minute.  Stir in the cubed squash.  Season with S&P & set aside.

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Now – assemble the casserole.  Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray).  Put the salsa on the bottom.  The rest can be pretty random – as long as you end with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce & 1/3 of the cheese.

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Layer some corn tortillas & top with 1/3 of the veggie mixture, 1/3 of the cheese & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

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Add another 1/3 of the veggie mixture.  Layer with  1/3 of the cheese, more tortillas, the final 1/3 of the veggie & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.

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Add another layer of tortillas & the rest of the enchilada sauce & cheese.

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I used the casserole glass lid to cover it.  You can do this or use foil.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, remove cover & bake another 10 minutes or so.  Let rest for ten minutes before serving.

Garnish with cilantro or scallions & maybe salsa, hot sauce or a few slices of fresh avocado.  Enjoy!

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

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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 is really easy & does not use any ingredients that are especially exotic.  I added WAY too many hot peppers & blasted my face off with this one – so – I will recommend using less spice here than I did.  I used Gardein Beefless Tips that I found in the freezer section of my local Ralph’s.  You can use these or any other meat replacement you prefer.  The ratio of veggies is an entirely personal one.  You can take my suggestions or wing it – or just go straight beef & rice.  Your call.  But it is easy & bursting with flavor!

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Serves 4 with cooked rice

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice of your choice

2 TBS coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

9 oz meatless beef – defrosted

2 cups broccoli florets

2 bell peppers – seeded & cut into strips

3 carrots – chopped

1 leek or medium onion – chopped

1 large zucchini – chopped

4 oz mushrooms – sliced

1-2 jalapenos or serranos (seeded to lessen the heat) – or to taste – diced

1-3 tsp cornstarch (optional)

for the sauce

2 TBS vegan oyster-flavored or mushroom-flavored sauce

1 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS chili garlic sauce (or sambal oelek)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)

1 TBS dark soy sauce

1 tsp chili oil

1 TBS sesame oil

1 TBS dark berry jam (or molasses or brown sugar)

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INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the rice & set aside.

Mix the sauce & pour it into the bag with the faux beef & smoosh it around to marinate.

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large fry pan.  I added the leeks & carrots & mushrooms first – because they take the longest to soften.

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Add the fest of the produce.  Broccoli & zucchini cook fastest – so I added them last.  Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, stir in the beef & marinade.  You might want to add a bit of water – but not much.  If the sauce feels too thin – whisk in a tsp of cornstarch.  Mine did not need it but yours might.  Toss to heat through & serve with rice.

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Baked Vegetarian Penne Pasta alla Siciliana with Smoked Mozzarella & Grilled Eggplant

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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.

images (1)download (1)

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 is rich & comforting & easy to make.  I made the sauce but you could use a jar of your favorite kind.  I used real cheese – you can use a vegan alternative – or even omit it.    If you go with no cheese – there is no reason to bake it & you can serve it right from the stove top.  The real key to this is grilling the eggplant – to get rid of that texture & add a smokiness that adds to the autumnal flavors of this dish.

Baked Vegetarian Penna Pasta alla Siciliana with Smoked Mozzarella & Grilled Eggplant

Serve 4 well

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry pasta

Olive oil

1 eggplant – sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

28 oz chopped tomatoes

6-10 cherry tomatoes – quartered (optional)

1-6 garlic cloves (to taste) – chopped

8 oz smoked mozzarella – grated

1 cup regular (or more smoked) mozzarella – grated

1 tsp – 1 TBS crushed red pepper (to taste)

1 tsp oregano

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

1/4 cup fresh basil – chopped

S&P

Garnish: more grated cheese (Parmesan or Asiago), chopped fresh basil or parsley

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven (if you are using cheese) to 350 degrees.

Cook & drain the pasta.

Either brush the eggplant with olive oil r spray with cooking spray & grill (or a grill or grill pan) – for a few minutes on each side until they are nicely grilled.  Cool & chop.

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Heat a TBS or so of olive oil in a stock pan.  When hot – add the garlic & cook one minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes, crushed red pepper, oregano, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, basil & parsley.  Cook on low for a while until it thickens & the flavors meld.  Maybe 20 minutes or so.  Add the cooked pasta & toss.  If not using cheese – serve & garnish once it is heated through.

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If using cheese – add the 8 oz grated smoked mozzarella & toss.  Put it into a greased casserole & top with the remaining cup of grated cheese.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbling.

Garnish with cheese or herbs & serve!

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