Thursday, November 24, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

I have so much to be thankful for this year:

Our amazing Noodle Nose, my outstanding (and devastatingly handsome) husband, a roof over our head, food to eat, my fantastic new business, our families who love us unconditionally and are always there, our friends who are like family in every sense of the word, challenges which make me stronger (yes, I"m even thankful for that), my extended friend list including everyone who reads and/or comments on this blog, the beautiful place we live...

The list goes on and on.

I am excited to share this year's Thanksgiving feast with you, though given the incredibly busy nature of our life in the last few weeks, I wasn't proactive enough to get them up early.

I do want to share with you many of my favorite vegan recipes, all of which I have tested and loved. Best of all? You can find them all here!

Thank you for your continued support and visits to La Pure Mama! I am truly thankful for each and every one of you. More than you know :)

xoxo

And now, on to the food!!

Some fun and fantastic appetizers, perfect for Turkey day, football watching and tofurky salivating:

Tomato Bruschetta with Balsamic Reduction
Vegan Mushroom Pate
Vegan Almond Cheese
Sweet Potato Pita Canapes

Check out more on the La Recipes page!

Some salads, sides and other stuff:

Kale Quinoa Salad
Grilled Asparagus Salad
Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce
Cranberry Orange Pomegranate Sauce
Spicy Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Chickpeas and Collard Greens

And oh so many more on the La Recipes page...

The main event. Oh yeah!

Homemade Tofurky
Seitan Roast with Mushroom Gravy, Potatoes and Beans

And the other main event. I mean dessert...

Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Vegan Blackberry Apple Torte
Vegan Baklava
Vegan Pomegranate Cupcakes
Vegan Eggnog Cookies
Vegan Chocolate Cake

Now, this list is ridiculously long. Check out the La Recipes page. There are so many to choose from!

Happy Holidays my friends!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vegan Broccoli Pesto Pasta

Two things come to mind as this very behind the ball blogger writes:

1. Does anyone besides me continually forget whether broccoli has two C s or two L s?

I'm kind of a neurotic speller. I know how to spell a lot of things and unless I'm being lazy, things are usually spelled correctly. But I can't for the life of me ever remember. I'm hoping by posting this it will be forever ingrained in my brain.

2. Nothing. And I mean nothing sounds good to me lately. Nothing sounds good to eat and nothing sounds good to cook.

It's gotten so bad recently that Honey has taken over the kitchen. Two. Days. In. A. Row. On the menu? Geeze, I can't even remember what Saturday's dinner was. Last night was nachos. Yes. Nachos. Doesn't really matter to me because as I might have mentioned: nothing sounds good to me.

I'm hoping this affliction will cure itself soon. Especially because the impending 'food holiday' is a mere three days away. I am cooking. And I'm liking my menu.

I did poop out a little though and decided to go with a store bought tofurky rather than my usual Homemade Tofurky or Homemade Seitan Roast. Both are fairly simple but hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. Bear with me friends.


So for today I have a fun little recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times, one of my favorite magazines. It's a simple and tasty broccoli pesto pasta. I added a few tweaks here and there because I just can't leave any recipe alone.

Need:
6 Tablespoons raw cashews
3 large garlic cloves, quartered
2 cups organic broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained, optional
12 oz. medium sized pasta. I used shells
1 container cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 package tofurky sun dried tomato sausages, cut lengthwise then sliced
Fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
Fresh lemon for garnish (optional)

Do:


Coarsely chop cashews and place in a food processor along with garlic. Pulse until you have a rough consistency. Note: you don't have to go overboard on this because you'll be adding more ingredients.

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli and cook about 2-3 minutes until just barely soft. Drain and shake to get most of the moisture off.

Add broccoli, parsley, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and capers to your food processor and pulse/blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper, blend again and taste. Add more salt and pepper as needed then set aside.
Bring another large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente then drain but do not rinse.

While pasta is cooking, combine tomatoes, sausage and pesto to a large skillet and heat on low. Cook stirring until pasta is done.

When pasta is done add to the skillet and stir to combine, ensuring pesto evenly covers everything. You're ready to serve.

Serve:
Portion onto a plate and add a bit of extra fresh parsley and a squirt of fresh lemon juice, if desired.

Perfect with a little green salad.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

On a wishy washy day that looks like it really wants to snow but it probably won't, it just seems right to make something to snack on that is equally oxymoron-ish.

Bananas equal healthy. Chocolate chips equal not as healthy.

I say that, except I'm forty-two percent sure 'they' are still advocating chocolate like they are red wine. Dear 'they', thank you for advocating chocolate and red wine. I appreciate your validation.


These muffins are really simple and turned out the perfect crumb and flavor. I 'guinnea pigged' several people and low and behold, they were winners with everyone who ate them. Especially me. Who may or may not have eaten two. In a row. I.... call it quality control?


Yield: about 18 muffins

Need:
4 teaspoons egg replacer
6 Tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk
3 ripe bananas, smashed
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Do:
Preheat oven to 375 and line two muffin pans with liners. Alternately you can lightly spray them with a bit of oil or Earth Balance.

In a small bowl, combine egg replacer and So Delicious coconut milk. Using a fork, whip vigorously until fully combined and lightly frothy. Set aside.

In another small bowl, mash bananas together using a fork until you have a mostly smooth consistency with few lumps.

In a medium bowl, combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a fork to whisk together evenly.

In a Kitchenaid or another bowl, combine brown sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. Mix on medium until combined then add egg replacer mixture and bananas. Continue to mix until fully combined.

With the Kitchenaid (or you and a spoon) on low, gradually add the flour mixture to your wet mixture. Immediately add chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

Scoop into muffin tins or prepared pan so each tin is 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Remove. Enjoy.

Serve:
These make a fantastic (mostly healthy) snack. They are also great with some So Delicious coconut (or other) ice cream.


Personally I like mine all on their own, washed down with some of that Yum-Mazing So Delicious Coconut Nog. Which happens to be my new favorite thing.


Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Potato Kale Soup with Quinoa

Oh my I have been horribly distracted from my dear blog this last week or so and I have missed it terribly!

I have been feverishly working on wrapping up my final projects for school, which are many and detailed. On top of that I'm launching a new business that ties into my schooling, this blog and our general way of life.

Oh and then there's the usual laundry, dinner, house, animals, husband, kid, me (me??) whatnot that's always there. Whew! A heck of a lot of things going on.

But I have been cooking! Oh yes! And I will get the recipes up here because there are some fun ones.

And you know what I have learned? Summer is to salad as winter is to soup. Am I the only one who hated those damn things on the SAT test? Ugh. But it is true indeed...

Salads of Summer prevail for maybe three months out of the year... if we're lucky. Soup though? Soup gets a whole bunch of months. And that's good because I love soup.


This one combines several of my favorite ingredients including, yes it does: kale. I love kale. Like, a ridiculous amount. It's almost obscene.

To round it out I also included some delicious leeks and red potatoes. Think Vicchysoisse. And, of course, one of my other ingredient lurves: quinoa, for a little protein.

The soup was slightly spicy, very filling and perfect for leftovers.

Yield: about 6-8 servings

Need:
3 small leeks, halved and chopped
2 cloves garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
6-8 red potatoes, quartered (or halved if they're small)
5 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
pinch red pepper flakes
1/3 teaspoon oregano
pinch rosemary
pinch thyme
pinch marjoram
1 1/2 cups water

3/4 cup dry quinoa
About 1-2 Tablespoons tamari
4-6 leaves kale, de-ribbed and chopped into bite sized pieces

Do:
In a soup pot, combine leeks, garlic and olive oil. Heat to med/high and cook, stirring until soft. About 2-3 minutes.

Add potatoes and stir then add broth. Reduce heat to med/low and add bay leaf, red pepper flakes, oregano, rosemary, thyme and marjoram. Cover and let cook until potatoes are tender, about 25-30 minutes. Check every 8 minutes or so and give it a stir.

Meanwhile cook your quinoa by bringing the 1 1/2 cups water to boil in a separate pot. Add quinoa and stir, cover and gradually reduce heat as quinoa soaks up the water. Don't for get to intermittenly stir it.

When done, turn off heat, remove lid and fluff. Set aside.

Add tamari and kale to your soup. Stir, ensuring kale is fully immersed in the soup. This will help soften it.

Taste your soup and add more tamari (or salt, if you like) as needed. When the flavor is to your liking, you're ready to serve.

Serve:
Start by portioning quinoa into the bottom of your bowls. Ladle soup over top, ensuring an equal amount of ingredients and broth.


You can serve alongside a green salad if you like, or bread, if you want extra carbs.

This is the perfect healthy meal to warm you up on the cold winter evenings.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Coconut Curry Tomato Soup

Rainy, freezing cold days, like the ones we have been having makes me crave my ultimate comfort food: tomato soup and grilled cheese. Or 'girled' cheese, if you're Noodle Nose.

Yes, the rainy days always make me want it. That and my cousin posted on Facebook that they were having tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner and that just tipped me over the edge.

Aside from being deliciously delicious, tomato soup is ultra versatile. You can make it into anything you want. You can go standard tomato, you can do coconut, pesto, spicy, chunky, the possibilites are endless!


I've made this one before, and if you look in the 'soup' section, you will see there are several other versions. It's a great way to play around in the kitchen. Even better if the rain is pouring down outside!

Need:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine or smashed
2 cans (14 oz) organic diced tomatoes
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 can coconut milk
2-3 Tablespoons fresh basil, julienned and sliced down the middle

Grilled cheese... the caramelized onion grilled cheese is my favorite

Do:
In a soup pot, heat oil on med/high and add onions and garlic. Saute on high, stirring, for about 3-5 minutes, until translucent and soft. Reduce heat and add tomatoes, curry, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander. Mix to incorporate, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile.... prep your grilled cheese!
After about 10-15 min of soup simmering, uncover, taste and add salt, as needed.

Add coconut milk and basil. Stir and let cook, uncovered for another 8-10 minutes.
If you have a hand blender (best investment ever!!!) immerse it into the soup and give it a blend. Note: you don't have to completely puree it... let it have a little texture.

If you don't have a hand blender, transfer into a blender and roughly blend; again, texture. Then transfer back into the pot.

Serve:
Ladle soup into a bowl, arrange bowl on a plate, cut grilled cheese and serve. If you like, you can serve a fresh green salad alongside, for some fresh fiber.

Enjoy, and stay warm!!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vegan Mediterranean Plate: Falafel Hummus and Greek Salad

The mediterranean plate is one of my favorite meals. In fact, I have a tendency to make a ton of falafel and freeze them so they're just ready to go.

Because it's not only filling, it is bursting with flavor and texture. And both are very important, in my opinion.

I also really like food I can eat with my hands. And food that makes me think.

I like having choices. Do I eat my falafel by itself? With hummus? Stuffed in a pita with salad? Salad first? Salad in the pita and hummus on the falafel? The possibilities are endless.


That makes it fun. Fun for you. Fun for the kids. Fun for the big kids.

Enjoy!


Yield: about enough for a family of four. Maybe some leftovers

Need:

For the Falafel:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

1/2 sweet white onion, chopped fine
1 Tablespoon roasted garlic (you can use plain garlic too, it's just stronger)
3 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/3 teaspoon salt
Splash of pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1/4 cup plus about 1/4 cup panko breading

For the Hummus:
1 can large white beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon tahini
Juice of 1 large lemon
Zest of same lemon
About 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, smashed and diced very fine
about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Maybe a bit more

For the Greek Salad:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
About 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped very fine
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt
Pepper
1 english cucumber, quartered and chopped into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 carton cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded, quartered and cut into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into about 1/4 inch pieces
1 head (or bag) butter lettuce or other lettuce mix
About 1/2 cup kalamata olives, drained and halved

Vegan pita bread (optional)

Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.

Prepare your falafel by combining chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper in food processor. Pulse to combine.

Put your mix into a bowl and add 1/4 cup of the panko breading and flour then mix to combine.

Form into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls then gently roll in panko. Place on baking sheet. Repeat for all falafel dough.

When your falafel is all formed, bake in oven for 8-10 minutes then rotate and bake another 5-8 minutes. Rotate again, bake and repeat until all sides of your falafel balls are toasty brown. Note: you can fry or pan fry your falafel balls too, I just like to bake when at all possible.


While your falafel is baking, prepare your hummus and salad.

For your hummus, combine white beans, tahini, lemon juice, zest, oregano, parsley salt and pepper in food processor. Put lid on and pulse to combine. While you are pulsing, gradually stream olive oil into food processor, creating a mostly smooth texture.

Taste your hummus, add salt and pepper as needed, pulse/blend again then transfer to a bowl when you have reached your desired flavor.

Prepare your salad by first making your dressing. In a lidded jar, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Seal and shake very well. Let sit.

In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and onion. Put your lettuce in another larger bowl. Just before service, shake your dressing again then drizzle on top of lettuce and vegetables individually. Toss to ensure even coverage.

Note: I like to toss them separately so when you plate, everyone is ensured an equal amount of everything.

Serve:
On a plate, arrange falafel, a dollop of hummus and vegan pita, if you want it. To arrange your salad, start by portioning lettuce onto the plate(s). Top lettuce with piles of dressing tossed veggies. Finish with kalamata olives.

You can also serve this all family style.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Eggnog French Toast

Woman of many hats is finding that her hats are so 'many' that they're falling off her head.


I have been so busy I haven't had time to sit down and tell you about the delicious new products So Delicious sent to me.
 
Coconut Eggnog, what? Oh yeah! And you know what else? Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk. Yes indeed. That stuff is so good I can't keep it out of Noodle's hands, straight up.
 
So this last weekend was another of those 'are you crazy?' physical challenge races. And when I say physical challenge, I am not referring to the Marc Summers 'you'll get slimed' if you don't finish in time. I'm talking about the climbing really steep walls, wading through drainage pipes, sliding down muddy mountains type of physical challenge.
 
Remember the Warrior Dash? Well, this weekend was the Gladiator Rock n' Run. Shorter mileage, more obstacles. Tough obstacles. And as if my back weren't enough (though it's much better), I now have bronchitis! So crazy me ran the race with bronchitis. And then, just for kicks, dressed up as Olivia Newton John so my Richard Simmons wouldn't feel left out. We're weird.
 
All that calls for a carb load breakfast. One featuring two of my favorite holiday items: pumpkin and nog. And So Delicious? You hit it out of the park with your coconut nog. Um. Yum. Not only is it great to drink with rum by itself or in your coffee, it makes a great addition to recipes because of it's thick consistency and deliciously nog flavor.
 
 
So I took a note from the gang at So Delicious and tried their eggnog french toast recipe included in my goody box. Except I took it one further and added pumpkin because I'm crazy like that. And it was equally as good. Crazy good.
 
Thanks guys!
 
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of So Delicious
Yield: about 8-10 slices french toast
 
Need:
1 ripe banana, smashed
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (canned or fresh)
1 1/2 cups So Delicious Coconut Nog
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
8-10 slices Dave's Killer Bread (The. Best. There is no other for us. Really.)
Earth Balance
Cinnamon Sugar (optional)
Syrup (optional)
 
Do:
In a bowl, mash banana really really well until you have a paste with very few lumps. Add pumpkin and Coconut nog and stir to combine.
 
Add cinnamon and vanilla and stir to combine again.
 
 
Heat your griddle to fairly high heat and add a pat of Earth Balance.
 
When griddle is hot. Dip the first side of your bread into your nog mixture. Flip and dip again. Before putting on griddle, gently shake/wipe some of the excess batter off. I found this helped with the cooking process.
 
Cook on one side until golden brown then flip and repeat.
 
 
Serve:
You can top your french toast with a light shake of cinnamon sugar or syrup, though I didn't think it really needed anything on top. Maybe a little more Earth Balance.
 
Serve with a little Smart Balance bacon and fruit and you're ready to conquer giant wooden walls, drainage pipes or taking your child to kindergarten.
 
Enjoy!
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