Saturday, April 18, 2015

Taco Salad

I made the Ranch Dressing (my last post) to use on my "clean out the frig" Taco Salad. I didn't get a pic of the ingredients that went into this salad because I wasn't sure what was going in. I usually clean out the frig on Saturday morning. I knew there was some  good things in there that could be turned into this salad:  taco meat mixed with refried black beans, an avocado, an ear of corn that had been grilled, etc. Here is what those humble leftovers transformed into - Taco Salad 
  • Chopped Romaine for two large salads
  • Taco meat mixed with refried black beans
  • corn sliced off the cob (1/2 ear per salad)
  • 1 avocado, chopped (1/2 per salad)
  • 1 tomato, chopped (1/2 per salad)
  • 10 black olives, halved (5 olives per salad)
  • Daiya cheddar shreds
  • Tostido chips for crunch
  • Salsa
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, etc
Put lettuce on the plates:

Top with taco meat/refried bean combo

Add corn that has been cut off the cob

Add the chopped avocado

Next comes the chopped tomato

Then the black olives

I top all of this Daiya shreds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, salsa and the ranch dressing. (I bet pickled jalapeno slices would have been a good addition.) Use your imagination. Finally add some crunch by using some type of tortilla chips or corn chips.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ranch Dressing

I wanted to make a vegan Ranch Dressing to go over a thrown together Taco Salad (check back this week for that recipe). I scoured the web and most of the recipes I found used a silken tofu for the base. I'm sure they are delicious, but I didn't have any and just kept looking around. I based this recipe on a few that used vegan mayo. Make this a hour or so in advance so it can sit in the frig and get all flavorful.
  • 1 cup Just Mayo
  • 1/2 cup SoyMilk
  • 2 tablespoons Tofutti Sour Cream
  • 1 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium sized bowl mix together all ingredients. Stir really well.

Pour into mason jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Enjoy!
I'll be posting a "Clean out the Frig Taco Salad" later this week that I poured this dressing all over.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Chick'n Enchilada Pasta

Don't you love a dish that taste amazing and cooks in only one pot! This is that dish. Ingredients go in at slightly different times and in under 30 minutes you have one amazing dinner and 1 dirty pot. And yes, under 30 minutes. So get all your ingredients out in advance and get ready for this tasty dish.
  • 1 (10 ounce) Ro-tel diced tomatoes and green chilis, not drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) mild red enchilada sauce (or homemadea0
  • 2 cups pasta (I used a shell shape)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn (if using frozen you don't have to thaw it first)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 package Gardein Chick'n Strips (don't use the seasoning packet if it came with one), slightly thawed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 package low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Garnishes: sliced green onions, extra cheese, sour cream, cilantro, pickled jalapenos

In a large skillet over high heat, combine the Ro-tel tomatoes, enchilada sauce, pasta, and the water.

While waiting for the mixture to boil, drain and rinse the black beans, cut the bell pepper and chicken pieces into large diced pieces. As soon as the pasta mixture starts to boil add the beans, corn, pepper, taco seasoning and chick'n to the skillet.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender and cooked through.

Add in the cheese, stir, and add in any additional toppings. (I chopped up cilantro and some green onions).

Let sit til cheese melts. Give it one more stir.

Now add whatever garnishes you want to your plate.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mushroom Alfredo Penne Bake

As you know I am a fan of casseroles, soups and one-pot wonders. This hearty, vegan casserole is simply amazing. If you like mushrooms I can't stress how much you need to make this dish. This is based on a recipe I found online that used chicken broth and several dairy products. Serve with garlic bread and/or a side side an amazing meal.
  • 1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 6-7 cups of florets)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 3/4 cups regular soy-milk
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 24 ounces fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine, divided
  • 1 block seitan, ground (you could also use a vegan ground beef product: Gardein, Beyond Meat, etc.)
  • 1 cup Daiya Swiss, shredded

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta for 5 minutes - it should still be a little firm. Drain, toss with a drizzle of oil, and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, grind the seitan in your food processor.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the cauliflower, and cook for 5 minutes until tender-crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked cauliflower to a blender with 2 cups broth, soy-milk, oil, salt, and garlic. Puree until very smooth. You might need to do this in batches.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the 3 tablespoons butter in a very large skillet. Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown.

Toss the cooked pasta, cauliflower sauce, and mushrooms together in a huge bowl. Add the remaining cup of broth to help the consistency stay saucy.

Transfer to a deep 9x13 baking dish.

Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered at 400 for 10-15 minutes. 

Serve with bread, salad and wine!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Strawberry Parfait

Fresh Florida strawberries are in everywhere. Plump, sweet and so yummy. I decided to make a simple parfait using cream cheese, lemon juice and graham crackers for dessert last week. This is my vegan version from a recipe I found online.  I submitted this recipe to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck.
  • 2 cups fresh Florida strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese, whipped (I used Follow Your Heart)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan plain yogurt
  • 4 graham crackers, crushed
  • 1 lemon juiced

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine whipped cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice.

Fold the yogurt into the cream cheese mixture.

In four wide-mouth glasses or dessert cups, evenly layer cream cheese mixture, strawberries and crushed graham crackers.
Serve chilled.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Vegan Pozole

I've only made this dish once before and it's been almost 20 years. I am not a big hominy fan but it's great in stews. I took 3 different recipes and put it all together to get this:

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 poblano peppers, (seeded if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1 jalapenos, seeded
  • 1 pound tomatillos 
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Cooking spray 
  • 1 Mexican beer
  • 2 loaves (1/2 a batch) homemade seitan, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 3 cans hominy, drained
  • 2 large zucchini, cut into half moons and then sliced in half
  • Radishes
  • Avocado (add 2 points for a quarter avocado)
  • Lime
  • Cilantro

Saute seitan in a large soup pot until brown on all sides, set aside.

In a blender combine the poblano peppers, jalapenos, tomatillos, onion, cilantro, oregano, cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper and 1 cup vegetable broth. Blend until smooth. Taste and make sure it is spicy (a little spicier than you like) and well seasoned. Add more jalapenos or poblanos if needed.

Reuse the same (empty) soup pot and cook the tomatillo mixture about 10 minutes. Add beer and return to a boil.

Add zucchini, vegetable broth, seitan and hominy. Cook about 30 minutes.

Serve in bowls and add your favorite garnishes – I used radishes, avocado and cilantro with a squeeze of  lime juice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chocolate Bourbon Pie

The classic Derby Pie made vegan. I have made this using pecans and I've made it using walnuts. Take your pick, it's awesome either way. The pie is best warm, so you may want to heat leftover slices in the microwave a few seconds before serving.
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan margarine
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 ready-made vegan pie-crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk together melted margarine, bourbon and vanilla.

Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk until just combined. This will be a pretty thick mixture.

Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. This is now a very thick mixture.

Spread mixture into prepared pie crust.
Bake for 50-55 minutes.

Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!