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December 17, 2001

Greetings,

The winter celebrations and feasts are upon us once again, and it's time to get together with friends and loved ones to reflect on all the events of the passing year and exchange pleasantries and goodwill. Some types of celebrations feature elaborate decorations and pageantry while others simply pay homage to the wonders and bounty of the earth. One thing they all seem to have in common is the sharing of good food and usually lots of it, so this installment of recipes features some vegan suggestions for your winter celebrations. Refer back to the Nov. 28, 2001 installment for additional holiday treats (cookies, vegan fudge, candies) to bring to gatherings or give as gifts, as well. Many of the recipes can be prepared in advance and then finished just prior to guests' arrival to ease your workload and allow more time to spend with your guests. Enjoy your festivities! As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)

 
 

Pepper Divider

 
 

Soy Nog

1 Quart soy milk
6 oz. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
6 T. maple syrup
1/4 cup Amaretto, Southern Comfort, brandy, or alcohol of choice
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cardamom
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Chill before serving.

Yield: 5 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts

2 cups whole almonds
2 cups pecans
2 cups walnut pieces
1 1/2 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t. chili powder
1 1/4 t. garlic powder
1 1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)

In a large bowl, place the almonds, pecans, and walnuts, and toss to combine. In a small bowl, place all of the spices, stir well to combine, and set aside. In a small saucepan, place the water and sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil to dissolve the sugar and form a simple syrup. Continue to boil the simple syrup to the soft ball stage (240 degrees, use a candy thermometer). Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the spice mixture. Pour the spiced simple syrup over the mixed nuts and toss well to thoroughly coat the nuts with the mixture. Transfer the mixed nuts to a non-stick cookie sheet and spread them out to form a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until nuts are lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and set nuts aside to cool. Break the nuts into small pieces and store in an airtight container. Serve as a snack, or garnish for salads, grains, or rice dishes.

Yield: 6 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Herbed Crescent Rolls

3 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
2 T. arrowroot
3/4 t. salt
1 - 1/4 oz. pkg. dry active yeast
1/2 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/3 cup water
2 T. vegan margarine
1 T. liquid lecithin
1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
2 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. olive oil, plus additional for oiling pans and tops of rolls

In a large bowl, place the flour, sugar, arrowroot, salt, and yeast, and stir well to combine. In a small saucepan, place the soy milk, water, and margarine, and cook the mixture over low heat until it reaches 120 degrees. Add the soy milk mixture and lecithin to the dry ingredients and stir well to form dough into a ball. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface, and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the mixing bowl over the ball of dough to cover, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients and set aside. Using a little olive oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside. After the dough has rested, divide it in half and roll out each half to form a 9-inch circle. Divide the herb mixture evenly between the two circles of dough and spread it to form a 2-inch wide ring around the outer edge of each circle of dough. Cut each dough circle into 8 wedges.

To shape the crescents: starting at the outer edge, roll up each wedge of dough towards the point end, and press slightly on the point to seal edge. Transfer the rolled up wedge, placing the sealed point end down, on to one of the prepared cookie sheets and curve the ends of the roll to form a "U" shape. Repeat the rolling and shaping procedure for the remaining wedges of dough, placing 8 crescents on each prepared cookie sheet.

Lightly brush the tops of the crescents with a little olive oil, cover the cookie sheets, and place the shaped crescents in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours or until ready to bake. When ready to bake, carefully uncover the crescents and allow them to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes prior to baking. Bake the crescents at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 16 rolls

 

Pepper Divider

 

Tomato-Basil Soup

1 1/2 cups onions, diced
1 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup orzo pasta (or star-shaped or other small shaped pasta)
1 T. unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups spinach, triple washed, destemmed, and roughly chopped
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil
3 T. freshly chopped Italian parsley
garnish: soy parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes

In a large stock pot, saute the diced onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste, stir well, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, add the peas, orzo pasta, sugar, salt, and pepper, and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Add the spinach and fresh herbs and simmer the soup an additional 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend and the spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Garnish individual servings with a little soy parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes, if desired.

Yield: 2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

1 1/2 cups. pomegranate juice
2 T. water
2 T. orange juice
4 t. freshly chopped mint
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 T. toasted sesame oil

In a blender or food processor, place the pomegranate juice, water, orange juice, mint, mustard, and salt, and process for 30 seconds. While the machine is running, add both of the oils in a slow steady stream, and continue to process the mixture an additional 1 minute. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for 3-5 days. Serve on mixed green salads, fruit salads, and grains.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Avocado, Orange, Pomegranate, and Mixed Greens Salad

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
4 t. lemon juice
4 cups Boston or bibb lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups red-tipped loose-leaf lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
3 oranges, peeled, and cut into segments
1 pomegranate, seeds separated from yellow membrane
1 1/2 cups Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts (see recipe above)
Pomegranate Vinaigrette (see recipe above)

In a small glass bowl, place the diced avocado, drizzle the lemon juice over the top, and toss gently to thoroughly coat the avocado with the juice to prevent discoloration. In a large bowl, toss together all of the greens. Scatter the avocado mixture, oranges, pomegranate seeds, and Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts over the greens, and toss gently to combine. Top individual servings with the Pomegranate Vinaigrette.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cranberry Applesauce

3 lbs. apples (Gala, Red Delicious, or Golden Delicious), unpeeled, cored, and sliced
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup apple juice (or apple cider)
1/3 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
3/4 t. cinnamon

In a large saucepan, place the apples, cranberries, and apple juice. Cover and cook over low heat while stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the fruit is fork tender. Add the remaining ingredients and cook the mixture an additional 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Pass the fruit mixture through a food mill to remove the skins. Taste and add additional sugar, if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Georgia's Gingered Squash

3 1/2 lbs. butternut squash or other winter squash, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup water or vegetable stock
2 t. ginger, minced
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/3 cup peach jam (or apricot jam or orange marmalade)
2 T. Sucanat (or brown sugar from sugar beets)
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1/2 t. salt

In a large non-stick skillet, place the squash, water, ginger, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Cover the skillet, reduce to medium heat, and cook the squash for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Remove the lid, add the remaining ingredients, toss gently to combine, and cook the mixture an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Transfer to a large bowl for service.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Lickity-Split Scalloped Potatoes

1 T. olive oil, plus additional for oiling pan
8 cups red skin potatoes, washed well, unpeeled, thinly sliced, and divided
1 cup red onion, finely chopped, and divided
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, divided
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
paprika, to taste

Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) a 3-Quart casserole dish, and set aside. Layer approximately 2 cups of the sliced potatoes in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, 1 T. nutritional yeast flakes, and lightly season with a little salt and pepper. Repeat the layering procedure with the remaining potatoes, onions, and nutritional yeast flakes. Drizzle the 1 T. of olive oil over the top of the potatoes and then pour the soy milk over the top of the casserole. Sprinkle the top with a little paprika, to taste. Bake at 375 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Green Beans Almondine

water
1 cup whole raw almonds
2 lbs. green beans, ends trimmed, and strings removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 T. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 T. freshly chopped parsley
2 t. freshly chopped thyme

Begin by blanching the almonds. In a small saucepan, place 3 inches of water, and bring to a boil. Add the almonds and cook for 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside for 3 minutes to cool. Remove the almonds from the water, squeeze each almond between your thumb and forefinger to remove the skin, and set them aside for 5 minutes to dry and cool. Using a sharp knife, split the almonds in half lengthwise, and set aside. Place the green beans in a large steamer basket and steam for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Transfer the steamed green beans to a large bowl. Season the green beans to taste with salt and pepper, toss gently, and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, place the olive oil and halved almonds, and cook the mixture over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes or until the almonds are golden brown. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Pour the hot almond mixture over the green beans and toss well to thoroughly coat the beans with the mixture.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Roman-Style Artichoke and Asparagus Bake

2 T. olive oil, plus additional for oiling pan
2 lbs. asparagus, ends trimmed, and sliced diagonally into 2-inch pieces
2 - 14 oz. cans artichoke hearts, cut into quarters
3 cups. Roma tomatoes, destemmed, and diced
1 1/2 cups black olives, pitted, and cut into quarters lengthwise
1/3 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. soy parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

Using a little olive oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) a large casserole dish or roasting pan. Place all of the ingredients in the prepared pan and toss well to combine. Bake the mixture at 425 degrees for 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, stir the mixture, return the pan to the oven, and bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle additional soy parmesan over the top, if desired, before serving. Leftovers can be used for sandwich fillings or mixed with grains or pasta.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Radiant Beet and Kale Penne Pasta

1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 T. olive oil, divided
4 cups beets, peeled, and diced
8 cups lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale), or other kale variety, roughly chopped
1 T. garlic, minced
3 T. freshly chopped dill
1 T. freshly chopped thyme
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb. penne, rigatoni, or farfalle pasta
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes

In a large non-stick skillet, saute the onion in 1 T. of the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the beets and continue to saute the mixture an additional 7-8 minutes, or until the beets are crisp-tender. Add the kale and garlic and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the fresh herbs, salt, and pepper, continue to saute the mixture until the kale starts to wilt, and then remove the skillet from the heat. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the penne pasta until al dente. Remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the penne pasta well and return it to the large pot. Add the reserved cooking liquid, remaining 1 T. of olive oil, and nutritional yeast, and toss well to thoroughly coat the cooked pasta. Add the sauteed vegetable mixture to the pasta, toss well, and watch the pasta turn a vibrant rosy color. Transfer the mixture to a large platter or bowl for service.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Baked Breaded Tempeh Cutlets

3 - 8 oz. pkgs. tempeh
safflower oil, for oiling pans

Marinade:

1/2 cup tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
3 T. olive oil
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

Breading:

1/3 cup unbleached flour
3/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1 t. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup cornmeal
3 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. freshly chopped thyme
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. paprika
1 t. salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Begin by cutting each block of tempeh into pieces that are 2 inches wide and 1/4-inch thick. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) a casserole dish that is large enough to hold the pieces of tempeh in a single layer, and then place the pieces of tempeh in the dish. In a small bowl, stir together all of the marinade ingredients, and then pour it over the tempeh pieces. Place the casserole dish in the refrigerator and leave the tempeh to marinate for 20 minutes.

Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator, carefully flip over each piece of tempeh, return the casserole dish to the refrigerator, and continue to marinate the tempeh for 20 additional minutes or more. Remove the casserole dish from the refrigerator and bake the tempeh in the marinade at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, carefully flip over the pieces of tempeh, return the casserole dish to the oven, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the breading setup for the tempeh. Place the flour on a large plate and set aside. In a shallow bowl or pie pan, place the soy milk, lemon juice, and tamari, stir well to combine, and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken slightly. On a large plate, place the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine and set aside. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) two non-stick cookie sheets, and set aside.

When the tempeh pieces are completely cool, carefully dip each piece of tempeh in the flour, coating each evenly on all sides, and place them on large plates. Add any remaining flour to the breadcrumb mixture and stir well to combine. Carefully and quickly dip each piece of floured tempeh into the soy milk mixture, coating the pieces evenly on all sides, and then return them to the large plates. Then dip the coated tempeh pieces into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing evenly to coat on all sides, and return them to the large plates. After all of the pieces have been coated with the breadcrumb mixture once, return each cutlet to the breadcrumb mixture and press firmly to give each of them a second coating.

Place the breaded cutlets on the prepared cookie sheets. Using a little safflower oil, drizzle the top of each tempeh cutlet lightly with oil (or mist with oil). Bake the cutlets at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the breading is crispy and golden brown. Transfer the cutlets to a large platter for service. Leftovers make excellent fillings for sandwiches or wraps, or cut into cubes and add to salads, grains, or side dishes.

Yield: 24 - 2-inch wide and 1/4-inch thick cutlets

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cranberry Sorbet

1 1/2 lbs. cranberries, fresh or frozen
3 cups apple juice
2 cups water
1 1/4 cups unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
3 T. lemon juice

In a medium saucepan, place the cranberries, apple juice, and water, and cook the mixture over low heat for 3-4 minutes or until cranberries begin to "pop." Remove the saucepan from the heat. Pass the mixture through a sieve that is placed over a bowl, pressing on the mixture with the back of a spoon to separate the pulp from the skins. Discard the skins, add the remaining ingredients to the cranberry puree, and stir well to combine. 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

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cranberry Buckle

Batter:

safflower oil, for oiling pan
2 cups unbleached flour
2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3/4 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
1/4 cup vegan margarine
2 T. water
1 T. Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 T. orange zest
1/2 C. soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract
2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen

Topping:

1/2 cup unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
1/3 cup unbleached flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 cup vegan margarine

Begin by preparing the batter. Using a little safflower oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) a 9-inch square pan, and set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the sugar, margarine, water, egg replacer, and orange zest, and stir well to combine. Add the soy milk, vanilla, and almond extract, and stir well to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just blended. Gently fold in the cranberries and then transfer the batter to the prepared pan. To prepare the topping, in a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Using a fork, cut in the margarine to form a crumbly mixture, and then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: One 9-inch pan

 
 

Garlic Press

 
 
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