This past weekend was one of the few where I actually woke up early enough to be even relatively productive before noon. Sunday I was even awake early enough to eat breakfast as opposed to lunch as my first meal of the day. In honor of the rarity of this occasion, I made myself a quiche.
Vegan Vegetable Quiche with Hashbrown Crust
Makes 6-8 servings.
3 T olive oil, divided
2 cups frozen hashbrowns
12 oz extra-firm tofu, drained pressed
1/4 c water or milk substitute
2 T tahini
2 T curry powder (or 1 t tumeric if you don’t like curry)
1 T tamari
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/8 t cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 c mushrooms sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 c frozen spinach
Preheat oven to 350.
For crust: In a large skillet add 2 T oil and hashbrowns, cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned. Press hashbrowns into the bottom of a pie pan and up the sides.
For filling: In a food processor, combine tofu, water or milk substitute, tahini, curry, tamari, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper. Process until completely smooth. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 T oil, onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper. Cook until onions are soft and translucent and mushrooms have released their liquid. Add spinach and garlic and cook until spinach is thawed. Remove from heat. Add tofu mixture to vegetable mixture and fold until combined. Pour tofu/vegetable mixture into the prepared hashbrown crust. Bake 40-50 minutes until top is golden and interior is set.
I’ve been pretty obsessed with red lentils and daal for the past year (mostly in trying to replicate the awesome garlicky, lemony soup that one of my favorite Indian places makes) and I noticed on my last shopping trip that Trader Joe’s is now selling dried red lentils AND their seasonal organic canned pumpkin is back. So exciting. This soup is the happy marriage of the two. It’s particularly great for lunch because it’s super filling without being heavy.
Spicy Lentil Pumpkin Soup
Makes 4-6 servings
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T grated ginger
1 1/2 c dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
4 c vegetable broth
2 c unsweetened coconut milk (or other milk substitute)
1 can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 T Thai red curry paste
4-6 T Sriracha chili sauce
1/2 T sea salt
black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add garlic and ginger; sauté another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover to simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut milk, pumpkin, curry paste, and Sriracha. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
I’ve mentioned my fondness for soysage and peppers here before. Yesterday I felt like going a little more authentic so I decided to make my own polenta as a base. Turned out pretty lovely.
Soysage and Peppers over Polenta
Makes 3 servings.
4 T olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T dried onion flakes
4 c vegetable broth
1 cup coarse ground corn meal
2 T Earth Balance buttery spread (other other butter substitute)
3 Tofurky Italian Sausage links, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 T red pepper flakes
For Polenta: Preheat oven to 350*. Heat 2T olive oil in an oven safe pot over low heat. Add garlic and onion flakes; sauté until fragrant. Add vegetable broth and increase heat, bringing to a boil. When boiling, slowly add corn meal while whisking constantly until combined. Cover pot and place in over for 35-40 minutes, stirring once ever 10 minutes or so, to prevent lumps. Remove from oven and add butter substitute, stirring to melt and combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately topped with soysage and peppers.
For Soysage and Peppers: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté 2T olive oil, soysage, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes until browned, about 15 minutes.
A friend of mine frequently visits the Korean markets on Buford Highway, one of the few truly ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the A. I bribed him into picking me up some gochujang by promising this meal in return.
Vegan Kimchi Bibim Soba
Makes 3 servings. Adapted from Heart, Mind & Seoul
2 bundles soba noodles
1 c vegan kimchi, chopped
1 T red pepper flakes, divided
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 t sugar
5 T gochujang (Korean red chili paste)
2 T agave syrup
2 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 block firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 c crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 c spinach, shredded
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
Cook soba noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cold water until cooled. While the noodles are cooking, in a small bowl combine kimchi, 1/2 T red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and sugar. Set aside. In another small bowl combine gochujang, remaining 1/2 T red pepper flakes, agave syrup, and apple cider vinegar. Set aside. In a skillet brown tofu cubes over medium-high heat. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet add 2 T water and mushrooms, saute over medium-high heat until cooked, about 7 minutes. Toss noodles with gochujang mixture until evenly coated. Divvy up into serving bowls then garnish with kimchi mixture, browned tofu, mushrooms, spinach, and cucumber sticks.
Sorry, y’all. Sometimes the only name that comes to me is lame. This salad on the other hand, is awesome and takes all of 5 minutes to make.
Easy [Chick]peas-y Salad
Makes about 3 servings
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 t olive oil
1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss to evenly coat. That’s it. Done.
It’s truly unfair how easy and delicious these things are. Just ridiculous.
Vegan Thin Mints
Adapted from averie cooks. Makes about 20 cookies.
1 c vegan chocolate chips
1 T virgin coconut oil or unsaturated vegetable shortening
3/4 t mint extract
15-20 Ritz crackers (I used the reduced fat variety)
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a small sauce pan over low heat combine chocolate chips, coconut oil/shortening, and mint extract. Stirring until smooth and shiny. Remove from heat. Place one cracker at a time into the chocolate mixture, coating completely. Use a fork to remove the cracker, allowing excess chocolate to drip through the tines. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet and crackers (now cookies) in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes until chocolate sets.
I’m not sure this officially counts as a tart. Maybe it’s a pie. But chocolate cherry pie also seems to give the wrong impression. It’s really like a chocolate creme pie with cherries on top. Whatever it is, it’s super delicious. It’s also really easy, but be forewarned, it needs to set for about 24 hours so it’s not a last minute type deal.
Chocolate Cherry Tart
Adapted from the far more beautifully photographed mowielicious. Makes 8 servings.
16 oreo-esque sandwhich cookies (32 halves), filling removed
1/4 c vegan butter substitute, melted
3/4 c coconut milk or almond milk
7 oz. vegan dark chocolate
~20 fresh cherries, halved and pitted
Add cookies to food processor, pulsing until crumbs are small and mostly uniform. Add melted butter substitute and pulse to combine. Press cookie crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a shallow pie pan. (Place dish in the refrigerator or freezer to harden while completing the next steps.)
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine coconut milk and dark chocolate. Stir constantly until chocolate is melted and glossy. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, top with cherries. Return to the refrigerator and chill 24 hours before serving. (If you’re impatient, like me, you can eat some before it’s set for 24 hours. It will still be delicious but not very pretty.)
This is a weeknight workhorse at my house. It’s tasty, filling, and holds up well as reheatable leftovers. I usually serve it open face on a toasted hot dog bun.
Spicy Soysage and Peppers
Makes about 4 servings
2 T olive oil
3 Tofurky or other vegan sausage links, cut diagonally into bit-sized pieces (I’m partial to the beer brats)
1/2 green bell pepper coarsely chopped or cut into strips
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped or sliced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried basil
1/2 t red pepper flakes
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until sausages are browned and vegetables are tender. You may need to add more oil or other cooking liquid like vegetable broth if things start to stick.
After returning from a misadverturous trip to the grocery store only to realize that my vegannaise was residing in Billy’s refrigerator instead of mine, we decided that we too lazy and too hungry to bother going to get it. Necessity, the mother of invention, led me to concoct the spread, which turned out nice and smoky and a little spicy.
Vegan BLTs with Chipotle Spread
Vegan bacon (I used Tofurky smokey maple tempeh bacon)
1 cup cooked white beans
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, plus 1 t sauce
3 T olive oil
I won’t insult you’re intelligence by telling you how to make a blt. You guys got that one. For the chipotle spread: In a food processor combine the beans, lemon juice, chipotle, adobo, and olive oil and process until smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. Add more olive oil or lemon juice to reach the desired consistency. Add to your sandwich.
Throughout our relationship, my bf has steadfastly maintained that he does not like cooked spinach, which happens to be my all-time favorite. Last weekend we went to visit his parents in NC and as a side dish his mom, who is a wonderful vegan cook, made sauteed spinach with garlic. He liked it. I think he might have even called it velvety. So I’m definitely planning to take advantage of this new appreciation, or at least tolerance. This warm spinach salad was me testing the waters. The spinach here is somewhere between raw and cooked and bacon, even when it’s fake, always seems to help the cause. We both agreed it was delicious.
Warm Spinach Salad
Makes 2 small appetizer sized salads
3 T olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 strips Smart Bacon or other vegan bacon substitute, diced
1/4 cooked chickpeas,optional
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
1 t agave syrup
2 big handfuls baby spinach (about 3 cups)
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, and agave syrup and set aside. In a saucepan heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and sautee stirring occasionally until onions are transparent. Increase temperature to medium-high and add vegan bacon and chickpeas. Stir frequently while ingredients brown, the reduce heat to medium low. Add vinegar mixture, stirring to combine. Add spinach and toss slowly in dressing until just beginning to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Season with ground pepper and serve.