Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese Style Brussel Sprouts and Exotic Mushrooms

Love love love me some brussel sprouts!  I actually can't remember disliking any preparation of sprouts.  You can steam them, saute them,roast them...all are delicious!

 I have never had brussel sprouts in a Chinese dish, so I thought, why not?  We made a trip to Chinatown over the weekend and purchased some exotic woodland and enoki mushrooms and some vegan oyster sauce.  I thought that's it!  A great little mushroom/sprout saute!

As far as the oyster sauce, make sure you read the ingredients.  Surprising many oyster sauces actually do not have oyster extract in them

For this dish, I wanted to break down the brussel sprouts into leaves, instead of just halving them or keeping them whole.  This took away a bit of the bitterness to the sprout, but also reduced the cooking time as well!

Just cut in half, and peel apart! 

Chinese Style Brussel Sprouts and Exotic Mushrooms
1 lb brussel sprouts
1 c exotic mushrooms (I used woodland and enoki)
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 c chopped leeks
 3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp evoo

First start with cleaning your brussel sprouts.  After washing, pat dry with paper towel and trim off each end.  Cut in half and peel into leaves.  
In a saute pan, heat evoo on medium heat and saute garlic and leeks for about 3 minutes.  Toss in sprouts and mushrooms and saute until soft, about 3-5 more minutes.  Stir in oyster sauce.  
If you would like them a bit more crispy,  place your mixture in a baking dish and broil for about 10 minutes (optional).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Not so Meaty Meatballs....Vegan Eggplant "Meatballs"

Yes, I have already done a Vegan version of an Italian Meatball with TVP.  But for this recipe, I wanted to create a "meatball" that was soy-free, plant based and fairly light.  I thought that eggplant would be a great vessel for that!

Eggplant has such a subtle flavor and so high in water content, that it holds on to really any flavor that you give it.  I opted to bake the eggplant before forming into balls rather than pan frying it.  This enables me to use far less oil.  Though, if you are tight for time, I would recommend pan frying, since it takes much less time to cook through. 

These are great to serve on top of your favorite spaghetti recipe, or as an appetizer.  If you have a large party, serve with toothpicks and marinara for dipping.  A perfect "finger" food.

Vegan Eggplant "Meatballs"

1 medium sized eggplant
1 tbsp evoo
1 c panko crumbs
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 tbsp favorite tomato sauce
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley 
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 c diced yellow onion
1 garlic clove diced
egg replacer mixed with water

Preheat oven 400.  Peel and cut eggplant into cubes, lightly toss with evoo, salt and pepper and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  
Once eggplant is done baking, remove from oven but DO NOT turn off the oven (you still need it at 400 to bake the balls)!  Combine all of the remaining ingredients from above to the eggplant EXCEPT for the bread crumbs and transfer to blender or food processor.  Pulse just a few times.  You do not want it to be completely blended, just partially!
Transfer back to bowl.  Add in bread crumbs and mix thoroughly.  Throw in more if seems too wet.  Season to taste. 
With your hands, roll about 2 tbsp of the mixture into a ball and place on greased baking sheet.  Repeat until mixture is gone.  Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, rotating the balls about every ten minutes.
Serve as an entree with pasta or as an appetizer with marinara sauce!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Vegan French Lentil Salad

Light, sexy, simple and tasty.  I think this is a great year round salad recipe that is great for pot luck dinners and picnics (sigh....oh the thought of a picnic in the middle of a Chicago winter...).

I have been doing so many Italian dishes lately, I thought I would lighten things up with a great lentil salad.  I feel like lentils are overlooked.  Of course, a great lentil soup is, well, great.  But come on!  There are many other things that you can do with this legume!

As for a plant based diet, lentils should never be overlooked!!  30% of their calories are protein!  Hello!  They are also rich in fiber, folate, vitamin B, minerals and iron.  Really, there is no reason not to cook with them!

With this salad, add some fresh dill and thyme, some diced veggies and dressing and you are good to go!

 Vegan French Lentil Salad

Ingredients/Directions: (yields 4 servings)
1 c french lentils
2 c water or vegetable broth
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1/2 cucumber chopped
3 tsp fresh thyme chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill chopped

3 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp evoo
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 garlic clove minced

In a small pot, bring water and lentils to a boil, turn to simmer, cover and let cook for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  
In meantime, make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together, adjusting seasoning and the amount of vinegar/evoo to taste.
Once lentils are cooked, transfer to bowl and let stand for about 10-15 minutes to cool down (optional).  Toss in vegetables, thyme and dill and mix with your dressing.  Transfer to refrigerator or serve warm/room temp. 

That's it!  Easy, healthy and tasty!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Homemade Vegan Beet Fettucini with Cashew "Alfredo" and Peas

I felt like I had to redeem myself after my last post of the quick and easy Mediterranean Pasta Dish, so here you have it...Homemade Vegan Beet Fettuccine!  Don't be is actually not all that difficult to make your own pasta, just make sure you have a good amount of time to do it.  And yes, it may be timely, but is also quite therapeutic!

 I have been waiting to make pasta until I bought some of the attachments for my mixer, but just said screw it...I can do this without that fancy shmancy stuff.  And, guess what?  You really do not need all those fancy pasta roller machines or pasta drying racks  You can literally do everything by hand and improvise.  It is all very doable! 

If you have some pasta making appliances and So lets call this my DIY pasta making trial!  So, what do you need?  A large cutting board or surface, a rolling pin, pizza cutter (to cut pasta), a dish drying rack (to hang noodles on) and 2 pots (to prop up drying rack).

 So, why go through all this work to make pasta?  The answer is simple:  Fresh homemade pasta is always better than that boxed crap.  It is lighter, is completely fresh and you actually don't feel heavy and full afterwards.  And best of all, it will always taste better!

Homemade Vegan Beet Fettucini with Cashew "Alfredo" and Peas

for the dough:
1 large beet
2 tsp evoo
2-2.5 c flour, plus extra for when rolling
1/2 c water
1 tsp salt

for the sauce
1 c raw cashews soaked at least 2 hrs
3/4 c unsweetened original almond milk
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1/2 lemon juiced
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

preheat oven 425.  Lightly brush beet with evoo and wrap in foil.  Bake for about 1 hour or until a knife can pierce the beet easily.
Once done, peel the beet by just wiping with a paper towel.  Cut into pieces and blend in food processor or blender until pureed.  Add a touch of evoo to make more smooth while blending, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, add in flour and water and mix and knead with hands.  Add in pureed beets and continue to mix thoroughly.  Add in more flour if the dough seems too wet.  I should not be wet at all.  Continue to knead with hands for about 10 minutes.  Form into ball over cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit for about 15-20 minutes.

In meantime, make your sauce.  Take your soaked cashews and almond milk and blend until completely smooth.  Transfer to sauce pan, and turn to med-low,  Stir in nutritional yeast, lemon juice and seasoning.  If the sauce seems too thick, add in more almond milk.  Once desired consistency, stir in peas, turn off and reheat later.

At this point, your dough is ready to be worked with.  Break apart into thirds and roll out each third on a floured surface.  Try to make the dough just about as thin as you can get it without tearing.  With your pizza cutter, cut into long noodles.  Hang each noodle on your DIY drying rack.  Complete process until all the noodles are cut and are hanging.  Allow to hang dry for about 10 minutes.

Cook noodles in salted, boiling water for about 4 minutes.  Strain and serve with sauce! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mediterranean Vegan Pasta

This is a pretty simple, yet tasty dish to make when you are pressed for time and do not feel like making everything from scratch.  But of course, you always can make your own pasta and marinara sauce!

After a long day of work, I really just wanted something easy.  I opted for whole wheat vegan spaghetti, and some pre-made marinara sauce.  But that seemed a little boring.  Lets jazz it up and add some spanish olives, capers and roasted eggplant!  Now we are talking!

Aside from boiling your pasta and heating up the sauce, the only cooking you really have to do is to roast the eggplant.  Pretty simple, eh?

Mediterranean Vegan Pasta

Ingredients/Directions:  (yields 4-6 servings)
1 package whole wheat pasta
1 jar favorite vegan marinara sauce
1/4 c sliced green Spanish olives
3 tbsp capers
1 small eggplant, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp evoo

Preheat oven 425.  In a bowl, toss eggplant with evoo and seasoning and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes, stir and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes. 
In meantime, boil water and cook pasta accordingly.  In another sauce pan, add in marinara sauce, olives and capers.  Once eggplant is finished roasting, stir into sauce as well.  
Strain pasta, and spoon sauce on top.  Easy as that!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Little Heavenly Sweet Pillows!....Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi!

I am really excited about this recipe.  I almost feel like it is some sort of feat for me because I have always stayed away from trying to make gnocchi, solely out of fear that they would not turn out properly.  But definitely on the contrary!  No fear here anymore.  They are actually a lot easier to make than one would think.

All you need are some delicious sweet potatoes, a bit of salt and some flour.  Seriously that is it!  Your choice of sauce is really up to you.  I did a lemon, vegan butter-thyme sauce.  But, I also think a vegan cream sauce would be nice, or a sage brown butter sauce.

So, why choose sweet potatoes rather than yukon gold potatoes?  Aside from personal preference, sweet potatoes have less calories, carbs and more fiber.

So lets have fun and start making these heavenly sweet potato pillows!

Vegan Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients: (yields 3-4 servings)
3-4 medium sized sweet potatoes
3 c flour (plus extra if need be)

So to start, I roasted my sweet potatoes in the oven for about 45 min-1 hr.  If you want a quick method, you can cook them in the microwave.  I am not sure of the amount of time needed for that, as there is no microwave in my really is not needed!

Once cooked, you are going to want to peel those bad boys, mash until smooth and then let cool to room temperature.

Then, grab your flour and kneed into the sweet potato mash, doing about 1/2 c flour at a time.  Continue to add in the flour and kneed for about 10 minutes.  To make sure you have enough flour, tear in halves and see if the center is still wet.  If it is, add in more flour.  You want the dough slightly moist, not wet.

Next step is to form a nice ball, and pinch off about 2 tbsp worth of dough at a time and roll with either both hands or on a floured cutting board.  Continue this until all dough as been rolled.  With a knife, cut into about 1/2 pieces.

Finally, with a fork, roll the gnocchi over the spokes to create the ridges.  Or, you can just press the fork on one side of the gnocchi.

Boil a pot a salted water and boil the gnocchi for about 5 minutes.  They should be floating when complete.  Remove with slotted spoon and serve with your favorite sauce!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Detoxifying Roasted Blueberry-Kale Quinoa Salad!

This is one super healthy and tasty recipe!  We have fruit, veggies, grains, nuts and protein.  This is all plant based-vegan and low in fat as well.

I am sure everyone is tired of hearing about all these "super foods" and why you should eat them.  While yes, kale and quinoa are incredibly good for you, they actually taste good too!  Well, at least they do when making my recipes ;)

One thing I like to remember is to "eat the rainbow".  And no, we are not talking about skittles all you candy freaks!  Not only does your food look vibrant and fresh, but this mantra will also get you tons of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs!

So, what I believe really makes this salad so great is roasting both the blueberries and tomatoes, along with roasting the cashews in a mix of salty, sweet and spice.  Throw in a few more veggies and toss with a lemon vinaigerette and you have a heavenly detoxifying meal!

Detoxifying Roasted Blueberry-Kale Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: (yields 4 servings)
1.5 c quinoa
3 c water
1 c blueberries
1 c cherry tomatoes halved
2 c kale stems removed
1/4 c sweet/spicy roasted cashews
1-2 lemons juiced 
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp evoo
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 tbsp nutritional yeast

Preheat oven 400.
In a pot, combine quinoa and water bring to a boil, turn to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. 

In a bowl, drizzle 2 tsp lemon juice over the blueberries and transfer to a baking dish.  In another bowl, toss halved cherry tomatoes in evoo and transfer to either same baking dish as blueberries, or a separate on.  Cook for about 10 minutes and remove and let cool.  

Once quinoa is cooked, transfer to a large bowl, add in about 1-2 tbsp lemon juice, red wine vinegar and evoo.  Toss in cashews, kale, nutritional yeast and seasoning.  Once cherry tomatoes and blueberries have cooled, toss into quinoa as well.  Season to taste and let cool to room temperature or place in the refrigerator for about an hour and serve cool.  Either way you it it, it is great!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Best Vegan Quiche!.....Spinach, Mushroom & Bell Pepper Vegan Quiche

This is soooooo good!  Quiche without the eggs?  Yes please!  And quiche that tastes like it has cheese in it, but doesn't?  Oh heck yes!  And, why is a quiche good, you ask?  It is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  And, tastes great right out of the oven, warm, or even cold!

When I was just vegetarian and Ryan was still a full on meat eater, eggs were one thing that always upset our stomach.  We loved the taste of quiche, but hours later, we would be left with sour stomachs and complete regret.  Who wants that?  That is never fun!  I want my food to taste great, but most importantly, make me feel great! 

So, here is a truly tasty and extremely easy recipe that is 100% plant based and tastes like the real thing!  What makes this even better is that it is so easy to make and you will never have to worry about it being runny or under cooked!  Ah, the pleasures of being vegan! 

Spinach, Mushroom & Bell Pepper Vegan Quiche
1 package firm tofu
1 12 ounce package mushrooms sliced
3 cup losely packed baby spinach
1 bell pepper (red, orange or green)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 lemon juiced
2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce
s+p to taste
1 tbsp evoo
pie crust (I use premade vegan pie crust)


Preheat oven according to directions on pie crust box.

Heat saute pan with evoo and saute garlic for 3 minutes.  Add in bell peppers and mushrooms and saute for another 5-7 minutes.  Toss in spinach and saute until wilted.  Season to taste.
Drain your tofu in a strainer, eliminating all excess water.  With your hands, crumble the tofu into a mixing bowl.  Add in the nutritional yeast, tahini, tamari or soy sauce, lemon juice and dijon mustard.  Stir until completely combined.  Add in your veggie mixture and combine.
Pour into pie crust evenly and bake for about 15 minutes, or what the time tells you according to the pie crust directions.
Let cool 5 minutes and cut into pieces.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Vegan Chicken and Vegetable Ramen Stirfry!

I feel like this recipe came out of left field.  I usually have a menu of what I want to make for the week posted on the refrigerator so I use all the fresh ingredients I bought and nothing goes to waste.  But, this wasn't even an idea for the future.  Man am I glad that I concocted it though.  Ryan said after he came home from work that he was even dreaming about it all day long.  Success!

Ramen is ever so popular and some people come up with some strange recipes with it.  But, what makes this stir fry so yummy is the rich, flavorful Edward & Son'sNot-Chick'n bouillon cubes.  If you cannot find this, you can just use vegetable broth.

As for the "chicken"I used Soy Salud's Carne de Soya.  It is a tvp product that really has the texture of chicken and is prepared by just adding boiling water or broth to rehydrate it.  Between this and the bouillon cubes, any carnivore would be duped!

Ingredients (yields 4-6 servings)
2 ramen "squares"
1 bouillon cube mixed with 2 c water
1.5 c TVP chicken pieces
1 c chopped broccoli
1/4 c chopped scallions
1 c sliced mushrooms
handful of snap peas, trimmed
1 garlic clove minced
2 tsp ginger minced
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tbsp Lanchi chili-garlic paste (optional) (found in Asian marts)
s +p
1 tbsp sesame oil

Boil water and bouillon cube and mix until disintegrated.  Add in tvp and let sit 10-15 minutes.  There should be left over broth after letting sit, make sure you keep this.
While TVP rehydrates, boil another pot of water and cook ramen noodles accordingly (usually 3 minutes).  Once done, strain and set aside.
In a wok, heat sesame oil and add in garlic, ginger, and broccoli and saute for 3-5 minutes.  Add in mushroom, snap peas, and scallions and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.  Add in tamari, lanchi paste, and ginger powder.  Stir thoroughly,  Spoon in the re-hydrated tvp chicken pieces, adding in the broth by spoonfuls as well.  Toss in noodles.  Add more broth if desired, and toss a few times in the wok.
Transfer to bowl and garnish with fresh chopped scallions.  You will be craving this at a later date, I promise!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vegan Indian "Chicken" Cashew Curry!

Yes, it is definitely flippin' cold out!  Time to get warm and cozy with an Indian curry.  Warming, comforting and bursting with flavor!

 So, it seems like there is a ton of work that goes into this dish because of the daunting long list of ingredients, but fear not!  It is really just the spices that you have to worry about.  And, most of you will likely already have many of these in you plantry!  And, if you are missing one or two, no worries!  It will still taste great!  The main spices you need to worry about are curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, garlic and ginger.  But primarily curry powder and cumin!!!!

I used my all time favorite vegan chicken product, Beyond Meat.  If you cannot get your hands on this tasty, protein packed plant based product, replace it with tofu or your own favorite meat replacement.

Another important part to the dish is the addition of coconut cream.  I used Trader Joe's brand and it was great!  Rich and thick, just like it says on the can.  The consistency was actually that of a butter and just melted into the curry broth when I spooned it in.

Vegan Indian "Chicken" and Cashew Curry

Ingredients:  (yields 3-4 servings)
1/2 package of Beyond Meat chicken strips (or your desired substitute) torn into chunks
1 potato peeled and cut into chunks
2 large carrots peeled and cut into pieces
1/4 c chopped scallions 
2 garlic cloves minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
2 tbsp evoo

for the curry:
4 c veggie broth
4 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp coconut cream
1 tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp paprika 
1 tsp all spice 
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp corn starch

Start the curry sauce first.  Heat veggie broth to a boil and add in all the ingredients, ending with the corn starch.  Add in more corn starch to obtain your ideal curry sauce.  I like my consistency to be on in the middle of watery and thick.  Turn to low, cover and let simmer.

Heat evoo in a large saute pan and saute the garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes, then add carrots, potatoes and scallions, and continue to saute until carrots and potatoes are somewhat soft (about 10-12 minutes) stirring often.  Add more evoo if needed.  Add in "chicken" and then slowly pour the curry sauce into the mixture.  Turn to low, season more to taste, then cover and simmer to let flavors combine for about 15 minutes.

Serve with steamed white rice, brown rice or even quinoa!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Vegan Italian Sausage Hot Pockets!

Hot Pockets!  Yup, I said it!  This is a healthy, vegan plant based recipe, instead of the frozen suckers that I am sure everyone has devoured at least once in their lifetime.

Sadly enough, I used to love those frozen hot pockets.  I don't even want to know what ingredients they use when making those.  I am sure low grade, hormone filled meat and tons of preservatives and chemicals.  Um, no thanks!

Instead, why not make your own?  They are great for adults and kids alike!  Plus, you can make many at a time and freeze the left overs!  Makes for a quick meal when you don't have time to cook.

Vegan Italian Sausage Hot Pockets
Really, you can make many varieties of a hot pockets.  I wanted to go the Italian route today, so I used vegan sausage crumbles, a bunch of veggies and tomato sauce.  The filling was fantastic!  If you have any filling left over, it is great over some pasta!

You can make everything from scratch, like the tomato sauce and pizza dough, but I opted to take the easier route and buy vegan pizza dough and sauce. 

Ingredients/Directions: (yields 4-6 pockets)
1 package pre-made pizza dough (or make your favorite recipe
1 jar vegan tomato sauce
3/4 c sausage style tvp (or premade ground vegan beef)
3/4 c "beefless" broth or veggie broth (do not need if using premade ground beef)
1/2 red and green bell pepper chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced
1/2 c chopped mushrooms
2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp crushed red peppers
1/2 tsp cayanne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp evoo + 2 tbsp for brushing dough

Bring broth to a boil and add to the tvp.  Mix completely and let sit for 10 minutes.  In meantime, heat evoo in a large saute pan and add in garlic, onion and peppers and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add in mushrooms and continue to saute until everything is cooked (roughly 5 more minutes). 
Add the tvp or premade vegan ground beef to the veggies, and stir.  Add tomato sauce, liquid smoke and seasonings and continue to mix.  Adjust seasoning to taste and set aside.

Preheat oven 425 (this was according to my dough!)

Roll out your pizza dough, on a lightly floured surface.  The thickness of the dough should resemble that of a thin crust pizza.  With a rectangular mold (I used the top of tupperware) cut out as many rectangles as you have dough.  Take one rectangle and spoon in about 3-4 tbsp of your mixture.  Take another rectagle and place on top.  With a fork, seal all around the pocket on both sides.  Lightly brush with evoo on both sides as well.  Repeat this until all your dough or mixture is gone.

Bake in oven for about 12-15 minutes, flipping half way through.  Let cool for about 5 minutes.  Brings you back to your childhood!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup!

Ohhhhhhhhhh weeeeeeeeeee, get me out of this ridiculously cold and snowy weather and warm me up with some heart warming matzo ball soup!

This soup is very nostalgic for me.  It reminds me of holidays at my grandma's place growing up.  It has been at least 10-15 years since I have had it.  And, I highly doubt it comes anywhere close to my grandma's.  There is just something special and comforting about that soup and warms my heart just thinking about it.

I have been craving matzo ball soup for I don't know how long.  Even when I was vegetarian (matzo balls are made with egg), I still could not eat it because the broth is usually a chicken broth.  I would go to great diners and see matzo ball soup speeding by me and start to get so jealous.  So, obviously I had to make a vegan version!

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

Ingredients:  (yields 4 servings)
4-5 c water plus Edward & Son's Non Chik'n Broth
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the boiling water
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu (like Mori-nu)
8 1/2 cups or so Rich Vegetable Broth (recipe above)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled
A handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley for garnish
- See more at:
1 c matzo meal
1/2 block of tofu
2 tbsp evoo
1/2 large carrot shredded
1/4 c vegetable broth
1 tbsp dill chopped
1/2 tbsp parsley chopped

In blender or food processor, blend tofu and evoo until smooth.  Transfer to bowl and add in matzo meal, shredded carrots and spices and mix until thoroughly combined.  Cover with seran wrap and refrigerate for 2 hrs - over night.
After refrigerated, form into balls (they can vary in size).  Bring vegetable broth to a boil, and gently drop each matzo ball in the broth with a slotted spoon, on at a time.  Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes.  When done, they should be floated.
Garnish with parsley, and there you have it....delicious Vegan Matzo Ball Soup!
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the boiling water
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu (like Mori-nu)
8 1/2 cups or so Rich Vegetable Broth (recipe above)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled
A handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley for garnish
- See more at:
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the boiling water
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu (like Mori-nu)
8 1/2 cups or so Rich Vegetable Broth (recipe above)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled
A handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley for garnish
- See more at:
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the boiling water
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu (like Mori-nu)
8 1/2 cups or so Rich Vegetable Broth (recipe above)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled
A handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley for garnish
- See more at:
1 1/2 cups matzoh meal
3/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra for the boiling water
3/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 (12-ounce) package firm silken tofu (like Mori-nu)
8 1/2 cups or so Rich Vegetable Broth (recipe above)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 carrot, peeled
A handful fresh dill, coarsely chopped
Fresh parsley for garnish
- See more at:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Vegan Mushroom and Kale Strudel

You may be fooled by the rich, savory flavor of this strudel, thinking that it must be bad for you since it tastes so damn good!  Oh, but on the contrary!  It is light, flaky and packed with veggies.

Strudels are a Hungarian layered pastry that is usually sweet and served with powdered sugar.  But, sometimes they would fill them with spinach or cabbage.

The combo of kale and mushrooms are my favorite, so I knew I could not go wrong here!

Traditional Hungarian or Czech strudels are made with a high gluten, puff pastry dough.  I wanted to keep this dish light, so opted to use filo dough, which I absolutely love!  Usually you would use butter, or in our case, vegan butter.  But, I opted for a heart healthier option, and used extra virgin olive oil instead. 

Vegan Mushroom and Kale Strudel

Ingredients: (yields 4 servings)

16 oz button mushrooms chopped
1 medium yellow onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup fresh kale chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
1/4 c dry red wine
1/4 c original, unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
4 sheets filo dough, thawed
2 tbsp evoo, divided


Preheat oven 400.  Heat 1 tbsp evoo in large saute pan and saute garlic and onions for 3-5 minutes or until translucent.  Add in mushrooms and thyme and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.  Add in red wine, almond milk and balsamic vinegar.  Let reduce by half, then add in kale until it wilts.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Separate the 4 pieces of filo dough carefully and place on parchment paper.  With a brush, brush one piece with evoo completely, then stack another piece on top and do the same.  Continue until all 4 are brushed with evoo and stacked on top of one another.  Spoon in mushroom mixture 1/4 way into the filo.  Roll carefully, using the parchment paper.

Carefully transfer to baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes or until flaky and golden brown.  Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces.

Healthy Start to the New Year!......Detox Green Pea Soup!

Ring in the New Year with a healthy start!  Eat and drink too much over the holidays?  Get off to a great start with this recipe!  This is a great detoxifying and tasty soup that is super easy to make.

I have actually made many variations of sweet pea soup, but this one is by far my favorite.  The fresh mint is really key.  To bring another dimension to this simple soup, I like to drizzle a bit of truffle oil on top when serving and garnish with crispy mint leaves.  It brings both earthy and savory elements to the light soup, and the mint crisps bring in another texture.  But, my favorite part is how beautifully bright green and eye catching it is!  Simple yet sexy!

Detox Green Pea Soup

  So, why are green peas so good for you?  They are low in calories, yet high in protein.  A vegan's best friend, you might say!  In addition, they are anti-inflammatory, high and fiber and regulate blood sugar.  After reading more about peas, I think I will incorporate them into my diet more often!

Ingredients/Directions (yields 4 servings)
4 c vegetable broth
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1.5 bag frozed peas, thawed
1 c fresh mint, plus a few extra leaves for granish
2 clove garlic minced
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tbsp evoo
 truffle oil (garnish/optional)

In pot, heat evoo and saute onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes.  Add in broth, peas, mint and seasoning and bring to boil.  Turn to simmer and let sit for 10 minutes.  Transfer to blender and blend until smooth and return to pot to keep hot.
In small pan, heat a touch of evoo until hot.  Drop in mint leaves and cook until crispy, turning once.  This should only take about a minute or less.
Transfer soup into bowls and top with crispy mint leaves and drizzle truffle oil on top.

Great way to start a new year!  Vegan and healthy!