Recipes
 
 
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August 4, 2001

Greetings,

Veggies here, veggies there, veggies everywhere! If you are like me, you plant your own organic vegetable garden, and right about now you are starting to reap the rewards of your labor with an abundance of fresh veggies, herbs, and flowers. I just love gardening! Even though I've lived mostly in the suburbs, having a summer garden has been a constant part of my life, and I highly encourage others to try their hand at it. If you are not fortunate enough to have the space for a garden, then I encourage you to seek out local farmers markets to take advantage of what is being grown locally in your area. Freshly picked veggies have better flavors, colors, and aromas than those found in your local grocery store.

In this installment of recipes, I feature some of the many veggies and herbs that I have growing in my garden, such as beans, greens, squashes, peppers, tomatoes, basil, parsley, and rosemary. I also showcase a few of the fresh melons and other fruits that are at their peak of flavor and readily available during the summer months. Hopefully, they will inspire and encourage you all to get your "5 servings a day" of fruits and vegetables! As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)

 
 

Pepper Divider

 

Gingered Peach Tea Spritzers

2 cups water
1 tea bag of orange pekoe tea or other tea of choice
1 - 12 oz. can peach nectar
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup unbleached cane sugar
2 - 12 oz. bottles ginger ale

In a small saucepan, bring the water and tea bag to a boil, remove from heat, and set aside to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and discard it, and allow the tea to cool completely. In a pitcher, combine the brewed tea and the remaining ingredients, except for the ginger ale, and stir well to combine. Place the pitcher in the refrigerator and allow the mixture to chill for 30 minutes or more to allow the flavors to blend. Just before serving, gently stir in the ginger ale, and serve in ice-filled glasses.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Garden Green Goddess Dip

1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
8 oz. spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and destemmed
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup loose parsley, washed well
1/4 cup chives, sliced
1 T. freshly chopped dill
1 T. lime juice
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. hot sauce, of choice
1 - 8 oz. container plain vegan soy yogurt

In a non-stick skillet, saute the green onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the spinach and continue to saute until the spinach just wilts. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool completely. Transfer the spinach mixture to a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients, except the vegan yogurt, and process for 2-3 minutes or until smooth. Add the vegan yogurt and process well to combine. Taste and add additional salt, hot sauce, or lime juice, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, cover, and chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serve as an appetizer with raw vegetables, bread slices, crackers, or chips, or use as a condiment on sandwiches, cooked vegetables, or grains.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Butter Bean and Herb Cream Soup

6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 lb. butter beans, sorted, and rinsed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
2 T. freshly chopped dill
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, combine the water, butter beans, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the beans until tender about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pot of beans from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender or food processor, process the beans and their cooking liquid to form a smooth puree. Add the remaining ingredients and process a few times to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.

Serves 6

 

Pepper Divider

 

Fruit and Tender Greens Salad

1 T. lemon juice
1 T. water
1 1/2 cups Fuji apples or other apple of choice, cored, and diced
2 cups cantaloupe or other melon, cut into balls with a melon baller
2 cups peaches or nectarines, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 1/2 cups kiwi, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced
8 oz. spinach, triple washed, patted dry, destemmed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
6 cups Boston or Bibb lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced almonds
1 recipe Melon-Orange Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

In a large bowl, stir together the lemon juice and water. Add the diced apple and toss well to thoroughly coat the apples with the mixture to prevent browning. Add the cantaloupe, peaches, and kiwi, and toss gently to combine. In another large bowl, place the spinach and lettuce, and toss them together. Add the fruit mixture and almonds and toss gently to combine. Drizzle a little of the vinaigrette over individual servings.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Melon-Orange Vinaigrette

1 cup cantaloupe, cut into cubes
2/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/3 cup unbleached cane sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground ginger

In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients, and process for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use as a dressing for salads or fruit, or to add flavor to grains or vegetables.

Yield: 2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil

1 1/2 cups olive oil or safflower oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped rosemary
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients, place over low heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool completely. When the oil has cooled completely, strain it through an unbleached coffee filter or cheesecloth-lined sieve. Transfer the infused oil to a glass airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use to add flavor to marinades, sauces, salad dressings, or sandwiches, or in place of other oils in sautéing or grilling foods.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Black Olive, Onion, and Rosemary Focaccia

1/2 cup onion, finely diced
3 T. Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil (see recipe above), divided
2 T. freshly chopped rosemary
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted, and roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 - 1/4 oz. pkg. active dry yeast
1 t. unbleached cane sugar
3 - 3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 t. salt, divided
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cornmeal, divided

In a non-stick skillet, cook the onion in 1 T. Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil over low heat for 5 minutes, to soften. Add 1 T. chopped rosemary and garlic and continue to cook the mixture an additional 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the black olives, and set aside to cool. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and sugar, and set aside until bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the 3 cups flour, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir well to combine. Add the yeast mixture and cooled onion mixture and stir well to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead, adding additional flour if needed, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place a little of the remaining Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil in a bowl, place dough in the bowl, give it a twist, and turn the ball over to coat the other side. Cover, place the bowl in a warm place, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Using a little of the remaining Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil, lightly oil a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch pan, sprinkle with 3 T. cornmeal, and set aside.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down and transfer it to a floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times. Sprinkle the work surface with the remaining cornmeal and roll the dough in it to coat the surface. Transfer dough to the oiled pan, and stretch it, as needed, to fit the pan. Using your fingertips, make "dimples" across the top of the dough. Brush remaining Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil over the top of the dough, then sprinkle with the remaining chopped rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Allow to rise uncovered for 45 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Transfer the focaccia to a rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature and cut as desired.

Yield: One 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inch focaccia

 

Pepper Divider

 

Purple (Opal) Basil and Sunflower Seed Pesto

3 cups purple (opal) basil leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
4-5 cloves garlic
1/3 cup water
2 T. olive oil
1/4 cup vegan soy parmesan cheese or 2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
pinch of salt

In a food processor, place the purple basil leaves, sunflower seeds, and garlic, and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add the water and olive oil, and process until the basil is finely chopped and the mixture is well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and process the mixture an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use to add flavor to cooked pasta or grains, sauces, salad dressings, or sandwiches, or as a spread on bread or crackers.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Artichoke Hearts, Squash, and Peppers Panini Sandwiches

2 zucchini, prepared as in Garden Grilled Vegetables recipe (see recipe below)
2 summer squash, prepared as in Garden Grilled Vegetables recipe (see recipe below)
1 green or red pepper, prepared as in Garden Grilled Vegetables recipe (see recipe below)
1 orange or yellow pepper, prepared as in Garden Grilled Vegetables recipe (see recipe below)
1 recipe Black Olive, Onion, and Rosemary Focaccia (see recipe above) or other bread of choice
Purple (Opal) Basil and Sunflower Seed Pesto or Garden Green Goddess Dip (see recipes above)
1 - 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
6 slices vegan mozzarella-style cheese or other flavor of choice

Grill the slices of zucchini, summer squash, and peppers as instructed in the Garden Grilled Vegetables recipe. If using the Black Olive, Onion, and Rosemary Focaccia, cut it in half lengthwise, reserve half for another use, and cut the remaining half into 6 pieces. If desired, cut each piece of focaccia in half, as you would a bagel, and then grill the slices of focaccia (or other bread) lightly on each side. For each sandwich: spread a little Purple (Opal) Basil and Sunflower Seed Pesto or Garden Green Goddess Dip on the cut side of two slices of focaccia. Then on one piece of focaccia, layer a few pieces of each grilled vegetable, a few pieces of artichoke hearts, a slice of vegan cheese, and top with another slice of focaccia. Repeat the procedure for the remaining sandwiches and cut each sandwich in half before serving.

Serves 6

 

Pepper Divider

 

Marinated Chickpea and Roman Bean Salad

1 - 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 - 15 oz. can Roman beans, drained and rinsed
1 - 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
1 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
1 T. garlic, minced
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients, and toss well to combine. Cover and chill for 30 minutes to several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Toss the salad again before serving.

Yield: 6 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Citrus-Rosemary Marinade

2/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup Rosemary and Garlic Infused Oil (see recipe above) or olive oil
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. freshly chopped rosemary
2 t. garlic, minced
1 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, place all of the ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Use as a marinade for vegetables, tofu, or tempeh, or to saute vegetables, or to add flavor to grains or pasta. Stores in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Garden Grilled Vegetables

3 large carrots, sliced diagonally
2 zucchini, sliced diagonally
2 summer squash, sliced diagonally
2 large onions, thickly sliced
1 large eggplant, destemmed, and sliced
1/2 lb. green beans, ends trimmed
1 green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and cut into quarters lengthwise
1 red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and cut into quarters lengthwise
1 orange or yellow pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and cut into quarters lengthwise
8 Roma tomatoes, destemmed, and cut in half lengthwise
2 heads radicchio or Romaine or other lettuce, whole heads washed well and cut into quarters
2 bulbs fennel, washed well and cut into thick slices lengthwise
1 recipe Citrus-Rosemary Marinade (see recipe above)
1 recipe Garden Green Goddess Dip (see recipe above)
1/3 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice

Using one or more cookie sheets or casserole dishes, place the carrots, zucchini, summer squash, onions, eggplant, and green beans. Brush them with some of the prepared Citrus-Rosemary Marinade on both sides. Place them on a hot grill, grill them for 3-5 minutes or until browned on one side, carefully turn them over and grill the other side until browned and vegetables are crisp tender, an additional 3-5 minutes. Then place the Roma tomatoes, radicchio, and fennel on the cookie sheet, and brush them on all sides with the marinade, as well. Place them on a hot grill, grill them for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned or slightly wilted on one side, carefully turn them over, and grill the other side until lightly browned and wilted, an additional 2-3 minutes. Transfer the grilled to a large platter for service. In a small bowl, place the Garden Green Goddess Dip and soy milk, and whisk well to combine. Drizzle some of the dressing over individual servings.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Pronto Pesto Pasta and Veggies

1 lb. spaghetti or linguine pasta
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, washed well, cut in half, and sliced
1 T. olive oil
2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/3-1/2 cup Purple (Opal) Basil and Sunflower Seed Pesto (see recipe above)
3 T. nutritional yeast flakes or vegan soy parmesan cheese
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
6 cups spinach, triple washed, destemmed, and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups Roma tomatoes, destemmed, deseeded, and diced

In a large pot of boiling water, cook the spaghetti for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain well, return the cooked spaghetti to the pot, and set aside. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, place the walnuts, and toast over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove the walnuts from the skillet and set aside to cool. In the same skillet, saute the mushrooms in the olive oil for 3 minutes or until just tender. Add the soy milk, pesto, nutritional yeast flakes, and pepper, and simmer the mixture for 2-3 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add the cooked spaghetti and toss well to coat with the sauce. Roughly chop the toasted walnuts. Add the chopped walnuts, along with the remaining ingredients, and toss lightly to combine. Transfer to a large bowl or platter for service.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Vegan Pastry Cream

1/2 cup unbleached flour
2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice, divided
1/3 cup unbleached cane sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 t. vanilla

In a small bowl, place the flour and whisk in 1/2 cups soy milk, and set aside. In a small saucepan, place the remaining soy milk, sugar, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and whisk well to combine. Cook the mixture over medium heat, while whisking constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until thickened. Add the remaining ingredients, whisk well to combine, and cook the mixture an additional 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the mixture to a glass bowl. Place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming on the top. Place the pastry cream in the refrigerator for several hours to cool completely. Use as a filling for pies, tarts, pastries, or phyllo dough, or as a topping for desserts.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Sensational Sunflower Tart

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 T. unbleached cane sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup safflower oil
3 T. cold water
3 T. soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 recipe of Vegan Pastry Cream (see recipe above)
3-4 nectarines, unpeeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
2 clusters of fresh red currants or a handful of red raspberries
1/3 cup apricot preserves or jelly

In a bowl, using a fork, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, water, and soy milk. Drizzle the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well with the fork to combine. Form dough into a ball. Divide the dough, making one half slightly larger than the other. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Remove the larger piece of dough from the plastic wrap and place it between two pieces of waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to form an 11-inch circle. Peel off the top piece of waxed paper, flip the dough into a 9-inch tart pan, and peel off the remaining piece of waxed paper. Press the dough into the bottom and up the edges of the tart pan. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet. Using a long piece of aluminum foil, fold it lengthwise several times to form a foil collar that extends 1-inch above the rim of the tart pan, secure the collar around the outer edge of the pan, and set aside.

Place the remaining piece of dough between two sheets of waxed paper, and roll out evenly. Using a knife or leaf-shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into leaf shapes, and use the dull edge of a knife to make vein-like indentations on the surfaces of the leaves. Using a little water, moisten the upper edge of the dough in the tart pan, and pressing slightly, attach the leaves to the dough so that they extend up over the foil collar to form a decorative edge like the petals of a sunflower. Place the prepared tart shell in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour. Remove the chilled tart shell from the refrigerator, line it with a piece of aluminum foil, and place a layer of dried beans (for weight) over the piece of foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, remove the foil and beans, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow the tart shell to cool completely before carefully removing the foil collar.

Carefully remove the outer ring of the tart pan and transfer the tart shell to a large plate or pedestal. Prepare the Vegan Pastry Cream according to the recipe instructions. Spread the prepared pastry cream over the bottom of the cooled tart shell. Beginning at the outer edge, arrange the nectarine slices with the skin side facing up to resemble the petals of a sunflower, in a circular pattern. Repeat the procedure to form a second circle inside it. Place the currant clusters (or raspberries) in the center. Place the apricot preserves in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until melted. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the warm mixture over the slices of nectarine and currants. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yield: One 9-inch tart or 8 servings

 

Pepper Divider

 

Nectarine-Mango Sorbet

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar
1 1/2 lbs. nectarines, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 mango, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup orange juice
1 T. lemon juice

In a small saucepan, place the water and sugar, and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture to help dissolve the sugar, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a blender or food processor, place the nectarines, mango, and cooled sugar mixture, and process for 1 minute. Add the orange juice and lemon juice and puree the mixture until very smooth. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Or if you do not have an ice cream maker, place sorbet mixture in a plastic container, cover, and chill for 3-4 hours or until partially frozen. Process sorbet mixture in a blender or food processor. Return the mixture to the plastic container, cover, and freeze 3 additional hours. Repeat the processing procedure, transfer back to the plastic container, cover, and freeze until solid. Serve as an accompaniment to cakes, pies, desserts, or as a refresher.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 
 

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