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June 8, 2001

Greetings,

Summer has almost arrived here in the Midwest, after many months of dreary and dismal weather and frigid temperatures. I, like many other Midwesterners, eagerly await the changing of the seasons and the opportunity to enjoy nature and all of its splendor, as the many living creatures and plants on this wondrous plant rejuvenate themselves. It truly makes you feel alive and a part of the big scheme of things. With the warm weather also comes the desire to eat healthier and lighter as a way of rejuvenating or revitalizing our own inner spirit and outer selves. So get out there and enjoy life to the fullest. This installment of recipes features some ideas for lighter meals which showcase the flavors of Asia, the Middle East, the western U.S., and even a few menu ideas for an afternoon brunch or casual summer dinner party. Feel free to mix and match the recipes to create other menu or theme combinations to suit your own personal tastes. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)

 
 

Pepper Divider

 

Sesame Vegetable and Soba Noodle Salad

12 oz. soba noodles
1/3 cup lime juice
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup Sucanat
1 jalapeno pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 T. ginger, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
3 cups spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and roughly chopped
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
1 1/2 cups carrot, julienned
1 1/2 cups red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups cucumber, peeled, and diced
1 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/3 cup sesame seeds, raw or toasted

In a large pot, cook the soba noodles in boiling water for 7-10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain the noodles well and transfer them to a large bowl. In a blender or food processor, place the lime juice, tamari, sesame oil, Sucanat, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic, and process for 1 minute. Pour the dressing over the cooked soba noodles and toss well to thoroughly coat the noodles with the dressing. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. Allow the flavors to blend for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

 

Pepper Divider

 

Thai Peanut and Veggie Lettuce Rolls

2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 cups spicy sprouts, broccoli sprouts, or other sprouts of choice
2 cups sprouted lentils or other sprouted beans of choice
1 1/2 cups carrot, shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup celery, diced
3/4 cup red pepper, diced
3/4 cup peanuts, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 recipe Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing (see below)
12-16 large loose leaf lettuce leaves, washed well, and patted dry

In a large bowl, place all of the vegetables, and toss well to combine. Drizzle to taste with some of the Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing and toss gently to thoroughly coat the vegetables with the dressing. To assemble the lettuce rolls: place a lettuce leaf flat on a cutting board or large plate, depending on the size of the leaf, place 1/3-1/2 cup of the vegetable mixture in the center of the leaf near the stem end. Fold the stem end over the filling and roll slightly, folding both sides of the lettuce leaf toward the center, and continue to roll to enclose the filling completely. Secure the rolls with a toothpick, if desired, and place the rolls seam side down on a large platter for service. Serve one or two rolls per person.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Spicy Thai Peanut Dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup lime juice
3 T. water
2 T. toasted sesame oil
1 T. maple syrup
1 1/2 t. garlic, minced
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

In a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients, and blend until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Quinoa and Spring Vegetable Tabouli Salad

3 cups water
1 tea bag of mint tea of choice
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 T. dried Italian seasoning herb blend
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. lemon pepper
2 cups cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced
2 cups tomatoes, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
3/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup radishes, quartered lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup black olives, sliced
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped mint

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and tea bag to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain off any of the remaining water from the quinoa and discard the tea bag. Transfer the cooked quinoa to a bowl and set aside to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, Italian herb blend, salt, garlic powder, lemon pepper, and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the cooled quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Cover and chill for 30-60 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Yield: 7 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Curried Chickpea Spread

2 - 15 oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed, and drained
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro

In a food processor, place the chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, curry powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt, and process until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer the curried chickpea spread to a bowl. Serve as a dip or spread for vegetables, crackers, pita crisps, or bread, or as a sandwich filling.

Yield: 4 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Stuffed Pitas with Curried Chickpea Spread

1 recipe Curried Chickpea Spread (see recipe above)
4 pitas, split in half
8 lettuce leaves, washed well, and patted dry
1 cucumber, sliced
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 cups spicy sprouts, broccoli sprouts, or other sprouts of choice

Begin by preparing the Curried Chickpea Spread according to the recipe instructions and set aside. To assemble the stuffed pitas: line each pita half with a lettuce leaf, then a few tablespoons of the Curried Chickpea Spread, and then layer the sliced cucumber, tomatoes, and spicy sprouts. Serve two pita halves per person.

Yield: 4 servings

 

Pepper Divider

 

Curried Chickpea Spread and Veggie Roll Ups

1 recipe Curried Chickpea Spread (see recipe above)
2 1/2 cups carrot, julienned
2 cups red onion, cut into half moons
2 T. safflower oil
1 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and julienned
1 cup orange or yellow pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and julienned
1 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and julienned
2 1/2 cups zucchini, julienned
1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
6 - 8-inch flour tortillas (white, whole wheat, or flavored)
chopped lettuce and tomatoes for garnish

Begin by preparing the Curried Chickpea Spread according to the recipe instructions and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, saute the carrot and red onion in the safflower oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the peppers and zucchini and saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender. Add the cilantro and parsley, stir well to combine, and set aside. To assemble the roll ups: place a tortilla on a cutting board or large plate, spoon approximately 1/3 cups of the Curried Chickpea Spread down the center of the tortilla, place approximately 3/4 cups of the sauteed vegetables mixture on top of the spread, and then roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling, leaving the ends open. Carefully transfer the roll up to a plate and garnish the plate with a little chopped lettuce and tomatoes for service.

Yield: 6 servings

 

Pepper Divider

 

Hacienda Garden Gazpacho

1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 serrano chiles (or other hot peppers), destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 T. lime juice
2 T. cane juice
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. ground cumin
1 t. Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce of choice
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
7 cups tomato juice
3 cups tomatoes, deseeded, and diced
2 cups cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced
2 cups jicama, peeled, and diced
1 1/2 cups green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups orange or yellow pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups green onion, thinly sliced
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 cup summer squash, diced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

In a blender or food processor, place the tomato paste, serrano chiles, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cumin, Tabasco sauce, salt, pepper, and 3 cups of the tomato juice, and process for 2 minutes to thoroughly blend the flavors. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the remaining tomato juice, and stir well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover and chill for several hours to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Serve chilled in chilled bowls. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Serves 8-10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Mixed Greens with Malibu Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing

1 cup mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup pineapple chunks
2/3 cup kiwi, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
2/3 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/2 cup shallot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 T. lime juice
salt and pepper
1 recipe of Malibu Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing (see recipe below)
8 cups mixed baby greens or other mixed lettuces of choice
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a bowl, combine the mango, pineapple, kiwi, red pepper, shallot, cilantro, and jalapeno, and toss gently. Add the avocados to the bowl, drizzle the lime juice directly over them, and toss lightly. Add 1/2 cups Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing and toss lightly. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the mixed baby greens evenly among 4 plates. Place 1 cup mojo-fruit mixture on top of the greens, sprinkle with 2 T. sliced almonds, and drizzle a little of the remaining Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing over the top.

Serves 4

 

Pepper Divider

 

Malibu Mango-Herb Mojo Dressing

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 t. ground cumin
2 T. freshly chopped basil
2 T. freshly chopped cilantro
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

In a blender or food processor, place the mango, apple juice concentrate, apple cider vinegar, and cumin, and puree until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 1 Cup

 

Pepper Divider

 

Wild West Rice Salad Sandwiches

2 cups water or vegetable stock
1/2 cup long grain brown rice, rinsed
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
2 T. Dijon mustard
3/4 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups fresh cut corn (or frozen thawed)
1 - 15 oz. can pinto or red beans, rinsed, and drained
1/2 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
1/2 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 - 4 oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
6 kaiser rolls (or other large rolls)
1 cup shredded vegan "mozzarella cheese"

In a medium saucepan, place the water, and bring to a boil. Add the brown and wild rice, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Transfer the rice to a large bowl, fluff with a fork, and allow to cool for 20 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture over the rice and toss gently to combine. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the kaiser rolls and vegan cheese, and toss gently to combine.

To assemble the sandwiches, begin by slicing the top 1/3 off each of the kaiser rolls, and set the tops aside. Using your fingers, remove some of the bread from the inside of each roll, leaving a 1/2-inch border from the crust edge (save the kaiser roll trimmings for use as breadcrumbs in another recipe). Divide the rice mixture evenly among the 6 kaiser rolls and then sprinkle each with some of the shredded vegan cheese. Replace the tops of each kaiser and transfer them to a large platter for service.

Yield: 6 sandwiches

 

Pepper Divider

 

Chilled Catalina Cantaloupe Soup

6 cups cantaloupe, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup orange juice
3 T. lemon juice
1 cup plain soy yogurt
2 T. brown rice syrup
Garnishes: edible flowers (such as pansies or nasturtiums) or thin slices of melon

In a blender or food processor, combine the cantaloupe, orange juice, and lemon juice, and blend well to form a smooth puree. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl and whisk in the soy yogurt and brown rice syrup. Cover and chill for several hours. Garnish individual servings with a few edible flowers or slices of melon.

Yield: 6 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Bitter Greens and Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

4 cups Boston lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
4 cups spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
4 cups curly endive, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
4 cups radicchio, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 cups watercress, washed well, and patted dry
2 cups mushrooms, cut in half, and sliced
2 cups cucumbers, peeled, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced
2 cups zucchini, cut into quarters lengthwise, and sliced
1 1/2 cups red onion, cut into half moons
1 1/2 cups celery, thinly sliced
1 recipe Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette (see below)

In a large bowl, place the Boston lettuce, spinach, endive, radicchio, and watercress, and toss gently to combine. Add the remaining vegetable ingredients and toss gently. Drizzle a little of the Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to thoroughly coat the vegetables with the dressing. Serve additional Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette for drizzling on individual servings, as needed.

Serves 6-8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette

3/4 cup lemon juice
3 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 T. garlic, minced
3/4 t. dried oregano
3/4 t. dried thyme
3/4 t. salt
3/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil

In a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, and process for 1 minute. While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil and process an additional 1 minute. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Use as a salad dressing or to flavor vegetables, cooked grains, or pasta.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Mushroom and Eggplant Cakes

1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/2 cup orange or yellow pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. eggplant, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup baby bella mushrooms or other mushrooms of choice, roughly chopped
2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. dry sherry
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 T. freshly chopped rosemary
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 t. paprika

In a large non-stick skillet, saute the onion and both types of peppers in the olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the eggplant and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the dry sherry and balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the fresh herbs, salt, and pepper, and continue to simmer the vegetable mixture until the vegetables are tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool. When the mixture is cool, transfer the mixture to a large bowl, add the flour and nutritional yeast, and stir well to combine.

Lightly oil a non-stick cookie sheet and set aside. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate, toss them with the paprika, and set aside. Divide the vegetable mixture into 12 portions. Using your hands, roll each portion into a ball, and flatten them slightly to form cakes. Press the cakes into the breadcrumbs, covering them evenly on all sides. Place the cakes on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat the procedure for the remaining vegetable mixture. Cover and chill the cakes for 2 hours or overnight. Bake at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown, flip the cakes over, and bake them an additional 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on the other side. Serve two cakes per person.

Yield: 12 cakes or 6 servings

 

Pepper Divider

 

Sunday Brunch Frittata

1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled, and diced
1 1/2 T. safflower oil
3/4 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
3/4 cup zucchini, diced
1 T. garlic, minced
1/3 cup green onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Roma tomatoes, deseeded, and diced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 lb. firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
2 T. arrowroot
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 t. agar-agar flakes
1 t. Dijon mustard
1 t. salt
1/8 t. turmeric
1/8 t. white pepper

In a non-stick skillet, saute the potatoes in the safflower oil for 5 minutes. Add the onion and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the red pepper, zucchini, and garlic, and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the green onion, tomato, and parsley, and saute an additional 1 minute to soften them. Remove the skillet from the heat. Lightly oil a 10-inch quiche pan or spring-form pan and set aside. In a food processor, place the remaining ingredients and process for 2 minutes or until it forms a smooth puree. Pour half of the tofu mixture into the prepared quiche pan, then all of the cooked vegetable mixture, and top with the remaining tofu mixture. Using a spoon, slightly swirl the two mixtures together, and then smooth the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until the filling is firm to the touch and dry on the top. Remove the frittata from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Yield: One 10-inch frittata

 
 

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