DDD #130 – Just Egg Review & Personal Loss

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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 video above to watch the video.

Once again, for the 4th time in ten years, my home is plunged into grief by the sudden loss of a family member. Yesterday, I lost one of the best friends I have ever had in my life – my sweetest, sweet boy, Levi Dexter Gordon. My Dexter. He came into my life a little under 13 years ago – to help me recover from the devastating loss of my pug, Dempsey. Dexter started & ended his life very frail. He was a very sick puppy but, together, we got him right & robust & as muscular as you would expect a Frenchie to be. He cuddled my then senior pit mix, the very cantankerous Girl Friday, from behind so she could not bite him & he was there to comfort me when we lost her. In his prime, he was an only dog, and he was a huge personality – uber-protective of me, playfully tearing the pants at the ankle of many of my guests, unapologetically trying to bite anyone who dared approach me if he was in my lap & terrorizing veterinarians. Together, we drove to Michigan in the winter of 2007/8. He was my companion & comfort during my brutal month there & then spent 3 cold, winter months in Boston with me. He crossed country with me in a car twice. When Sarah MacLaughlin ads guilted me into adopting another dog – I took in twin pugs, Ella & Grisbi. I was afraid he would be jealous & unaccepting but he adored them both immediately. He was there for me when 11-month-old Ella died of a bee sting. When I adopted TEENY Moxie – he was wise & gentle enough to let Grisbi cuddle her until she was resilient enough to handle his enormous energy & enthusiasm. He was there for me when Grisbi died suddenly at the age of three. He welcomed Memphis as family immediately and gave him long & loving ear & face baths. He was there for me when we lost Memphis, suddenly. He graciously welcomed competing Frenchie, Hayden, into our home & even seemed to grow younger in the presence of her youthful enthusiasm. As important as his generosity was to the dogs I adopted into the family without consulting him – the generosity of his soul in accepting & nurturing about 15 foster dogs I have taken in and adopted out over the years was of equal impact. I could never have been a part of Road Dogs & saving doggy lives – if Dexter had not been so totally on board.

Just over 5 years ago, Dexter was diagnosed with an untreatable pinched nerve in his back which left him increasingly lame and, eventually, incontinent. My home became a labyrinth of yoga mats & rugs for traction for him & my bed was a patchwork of waterproof blankets – so he could still sleep with us each night. He handled his failing health with dignity & courage & forgave me every time I got frustrated with what felt like a life of endlessly cleaning pee & poo. I am so incredibly ashamed of ever letting him experience my sometimes frustration with something so out of his control. I am sure he was far more frustrated than I. But – he was a king among dogs & I know he understood.

Dexter was the man in my life for the last 13 years. He was my friend, my confidant, and my protector. I feel anchorless in his absence. Truly. Despite his frailty, he was all heart & bravado until his last days.

Dexter – I love you even more than you loved me. I still see you everywhere and it will take a long time for me to forget the routines that were ours. I miss your love of fashion & your pride in wearing any outfit. I miss you barking in impatience if I left you downstairs & the steps were too much for you. I miss carrying you around and looking at your face as I did so – seeing the total trust there & the blind acceptance of whatever it was I was carrying you toward. I miss your wonky, wobbly run toward me whenever I knelt on the floor & called you to me. I miss the slow & deliberate placement of your stinky kisses on my face. I miss your snoring. I miss how it feels to see you looking back at me. I miss all that trust & faith & love – directed at me. I thought we had more time. I knew it would not be enough time – but I thought we had more – measured in years – if we were lucky.

That is not what happened. You decided it was time & all I can do is accept that. You went in your sleep, on a freshly cleaned bed in a new outfit from your grandmother, Gail. And you decided to go while I was not here. I am torn about that but this was your choice.

Know I loved you completely – from the moment I saw you. I went to the breeder (first & last breeder visit of my life) meaning to choose a cream boy Frenchie from a litter of 5 cream pups & one brindle. I went home with the brindle – the boy with the biggest ears I had ever seen & the giant tummy. I was nervous because I understood the responsibility you represented – but it is a responsibility I am forever grateful to have taken on.

I loved you then & I love you more now. You are one of the very best things that ever happened to me. I am honored to have been your friend. So are all the dogs here and elsewhere who had the great opportunity to know you. None of us here could possibly have loved you more than we do. You were our patriarch.

RIP, Dexter – my baby, my boy, my man. I will forever love you as much as you loved me – times infinity. xoxoxoxox

 

DDD #129 – Vegan Spicy Teriyaki King Trumpet Mushrooms

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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.

Vegan Spicy Teriyaki King Trumpet Mushrooms

Feeds 2 with rice & a side veggie

INGREDIENTS

9 or more ounces of King Trumpet or Oyster mushrooms

1 cup water

2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS sesame oil

2 TBS minced ginger

6 TBS low sodium soy sauce

1 TBS sambal oelek (chili paste) – optional

1 TBS vegan oyster or mushroom sauce

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

Cooking spray (or oil)

GARNISH – steamed rice & bok choy & sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

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

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

 

Click the image above to watch the video.

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

Vegan Spicy Chinese Barbecue Chicken with Broccoli 

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

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

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

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

1 scallion – sliced (green & white parts)

1 TBS olive or coconut or other cooking oil

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

1/4 cup vegan hoisin sauce

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

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

1 tsp fresh minced ginger (I used bottled)

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

GARNISH: warm cooked rice, sesame seeds, sliced scallions

DIRECTIONS

Make rice or whatever grain you like.

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

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

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

DDD #126 – Holiday Vegan Torta Rustica with Creamed Spinach and Chicken, Scalloped Potatoes & Sweet Potato-Butternut Squash Puree

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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.

OK – this one takes a few steps but all are easy & you end up with a GIGANTIC mound of all things savory & Thanksgivingy!  It is a bread course, sweet potato/squash dish, creamed spinach, scalloped potatoes & chicken courses – all rolled into one.  You can sub out the ingredients to suit your tastes.  This is basically an enclosed shepherd’s pie & is as versatile at shepherd’s pie is.

**PLEASE NOTE** – transferring this tart from the cooking sheet onto a serving platter might prove VERY tricky.  It will be very heavy – and the warmer it is when you try to transfer it – the more delicate that procedure will be.  It would SUCK to put all the work in – only to break it when you are ready to serve it.  If you don’t have two very large spatulas – and maybe an assistant – perhaps consider cooking this on something you can also serve it on.  Surrounding it with leafy kale (or other greens) at the base & a few cranberries & it will look festive & spare you the trauma of transferring it to a platter.  SERIOUSLY consider baking & serving from the same piece.  I am devastated just imagining what a failed transfer would do to my life – and I don’t want that for you.

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

Feeds 8 easily

INGREDIENTS

for the soft tart dough

4 cups flour

1 tsp salt

8 ounces vegan butter

3/4 cup silken tofu – pureed (I just smashed it all up with a fork)

1/3 cup vegan milk

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for the creamed spinach 

1 small onion or large shallot – diced

1 lb fresh spinach

2 (9 oz) packages vegan chicken (I highly recommend Beyond Meat brand.  Best on the market!) – cubed

4 oz vegan cream cheese

1/2 cup vegan milk

4 slices vegan cheese (I used the Chao below)

S&P

Olive oil

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for the scalloped potatoes

2-3 medium potatoes – peeled & cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS flour

2 cups vegan milk

7 oz vegan cheese (I used that Daiya)

S&P

for the sweet potato-butternut squash puree

1 butternut squash – peeled & cubed

1 large sweet potato – peeled & cubed

4-6 TBS vegan butter

Pinch of nutmeg

S&P

PARCHMENT PAPER for cooking

Vegan egg wash – small but equal parts agave nectar – soy milk – olive oil

GARNISH – kale (or other leafy greens) and fresh cranberries – to arrange around the tart.

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DIRECTIONS

for the soft tart dough

By food processor: Combine flour, salt & butter in a food processor using a metal blade.  Process with short pulses until the mixture is crumbly.  Add tofu with short pulses.  Add milk, gradually, with short pulses until it begins to clump and – eventually – orbit as a ball inside the food processor.  You might need a little more flour.  When the dough is formed – it will be very soft.   Gather it into a ball & wrap it tightly with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least an hour but up to 3 days.  When ready to roll it out bring it back to room temperature and flour a work surface to facilitate handling.

By hand: combine flour & salt in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center & add the butter and the smashed silken tofu.  Lightly blend the butter & tofu with fingertips.  With a knife or pastry blade, cut the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have a crumbly mixture.  Gradually, add the milk – tossing with a fork until the dough comes together.  The dough will be very soft.  Add more flour if it is too wet.  Gather it into a ball & wrap it tightly with plastic wrap & refrigerate for at least an hour but up to 3 days.  When ready to roll it out bring it back to room temperature and flour a work surface to facilitate handling.

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for the scalloped potatoes

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter in a stock pot & whisk in the flour & a little S&P.  Heat until it just begins to turn golden then slowly add the milk – letting it thicken before you add more.  When all the milk is incorporated & it is still sorta thick – melt in the cheese.  Season with salt & pepper.  Toss with the sliced potatoes & place in a greased casserole dish.  Cook for 45-60 minutes or until it is bubbling & the potatoes are soft.  Set aside to cool completely.

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for the creamed spinach & chicken

Heat a TBS of olive oil in a saute pan & cook the onions until soft.  Add the spinach & let it wilt – then add the cream cheese & milk.  Heat until the cheese melts & you have a thick & creamy spinach.  Season with S&P & toss the chicken in & stir.  Set aside to cool.

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for the sweet potato-butternut puree

Boil the sweet potato & butternut chunks until soft.  I then drained them & mashed them with the butter, nutmeg and S&P.  Set aside to cool.

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to assemble the tart

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a medium bowl with plastic wrap.  A moderately deep & wide one is best.  If the bowl is too deep – your tart will be too tall & be more likely to collapse.  Also – be sure your bowl opening (at the top) is no wider than the cooking sheet you will be using to bake the tart.

Roll out 2/3 of the dough big enough that it not only lines your bowl but has overhang.

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DO NOT OVERFILL!  Only fill it to below the depth of the bowl.  The stuffing ingredients should be to warmer than room temperature.

Place a thin layer of puree in the bottom & then a thick layer of scalloped potatoes & then the rest of the puree.  Put the four slices of cheese on top of that then all of the spinach & chicken.

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Roll out the remaining dough so that it fits the top of your bowl & then fold the edges of the bottom crust over it & use a knife or fork to pinch it sealed.  Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper & invert it on top of your tart – and VERY CAREFULLY – flip it over so your tart is sealed-side down.  Be sure to put the cooking sheet with the parchment ON TOP OF your bowl & flip.  Do not try to just flip the bowl onto the cooking sheet.   This sucker likely weighs more than a turkey & the soft dough will not withstand that much pressure.  Remove the bowl & the plastic wrap.

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I sprayed it with cooking oil but found that did not give me a golden glaze so – mix up a little vegan egg wash (small but equal parts agave nectar – soy milk – olive oil) and occasionally brush the tart as it bakes.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until it looks nice & browned.

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Look how HUGE that thing is!  See the pastry brush?  That has to be 12 inches long.

OK – here comes a tricky part.  Let it cool a while before fussing with it.  Once anything that seeped out of it has pretty much cooled – run a knife under it to loosen the tart from the escapes bits.  I used an ENORMOUS spatula & the parchment paper to very delicately shift the tart to a serving plate.  It is a heavy & unwieldy thing – so be very delicate when handling this tart – get assistance, if possible.  If the transfer is too risky for you – consider just putting some leafy greens & cranberries around the base on the pan itself & serve this bad boy directly from the cooking sheet.  Better to go low brow than having this guy fall apart.

This should be served warm but is delicious at room temperature, too.

Happy vegan Thanksgiving!

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DDD #125 – Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

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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.

OK!  Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles!!!  I added fresh noodles that I bought at Bangluck but this would go just as nicely over rice – or in lettuce wraps.

This dish is very easy & doesn’t use anything especially exotic.  I recommend it very highly!

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Vegan Thai Pad Gra Prow – Spicy Beef & Basil – with Wide Rice Noodles & Bok Choy

SERVES 2 well

INGREDIENTS

A 1-2 TBS sesame oil (or olive oil)

7 (or more) ounces vegan beef (I used seitan)

16 ounces fresh rice noodles (or cooked pasta or cooked rice)

1/2 red bell pepper – sliced into strips

1/2 small onion – diced

2 jalapenos – diced

2 heads bok choy – cleaned (optional) & chopped a bit

5 garlic cloves – chopped

1 TBS liquid aminos (or soy sauce or tamari) – plus extra

1 tsp dark soy sauce – plus extra if you think it needs more

1 tsp vegan oyster or mushroom sauce

1 TBS sambal oelek

1/2 tsp agave nectar (or brown sugar)

1/2 – 1 cup basil leaves (I used a mixture of Thai sweet basil & Thai holy basil but any basil will do – Thai ones being preferred)

GARNISH – lime wedges, cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

If using noodles – separate them under cold running water.  If using pasta or rice – cook it & set aside.

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Heat the sesame oil (1 or 2 TBS) in a wok or large saute pan.

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Add the red bell pepper, onion & jalapenos.  Saute until soft.  Add all the other ingredients except the garlic & basil (and the garnish).  Heat the noodles & meat through & let the bok choy wilt.  I added a bit of extra liquid aminos here because I thought the dish needed a tad more salt & moisture.  This is your call.  Once the bok choy is wilted & the ingredients are well-combined – stir in the garlic & basil.

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Serve with cilantro & lime wedges!

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DDD #124 – Easy Vegan Garlic Sesame Chicken

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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.

There is nothing easier than putting raw ingredients into a crock pot & walking away – only to return in a few hours to a home that smells yummy & food that is delicious.  But this comes together on the stove top in about 5-10 minutes.

This is the easiest fucking dish ever.  I used Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken one & Morning Star Veggie Pulled Pork the next time.

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Easiest Ever Vegan Garlic Sesame Chicken (with or without Honey) for the Slow Cooker

Feeds 2 well with rice

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken or other vegan faux meat

6 cloves garlic – minced

1 small onion – diced

1/4 cup of some dark berry jam – I used blueberry but blackberry would be great

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 TBS agave nectar

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TBS sesame oil

1 – 2 TBS cornstarch (optional)

1 TBS dark (black) soy sauce (optional – for color)

For garnish:

Scallions, sesame seeds and/or Thai basil and cooked rice

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Directions

Cook some rice.

STOVE TOP VERSION

Heat the sesame oil & cook the onions until soft.  Add the garlic & after one minute – add the remaining ingredients (the corn starch is optional).  Heat through.  Add water if it gets too thick – cornstarch if it is too watery.  Add the dark soy sauce if you want a darker color.

Garnish as you desire & serve over rice.

SLOW COOKER VERSION

Put everything EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH the garnishes in your crock pot.  Stir it all up.  My crock pot has no settings so I assume it is just always on high.  Leave it alone for an hour or two – stirring it if you can or want to but it doesn’t need it.

Once it was all bubbly & hot, I used a slotted spoon & took the chicken out and used two forks to sorta shred it – like a pulled pork.  I whisked about 1-2 TBS cornstarch into the sauce to thicken it & then returned the shredded chick to the pot.  I let it sit a while longer but it didn’t need it.  It didn’t REALLY need the shredding or cornstarch, either, so if it looks good to you right outta the pot au naturale – go for it!

Then I garnished it & ate some over rice.  I enjoyed it.

True story.

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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.