Recipes
 
 
 

December 20, 2000

Greetings friends,

There are so many different cultural celebrations associated with this time of year. But whether their focus is based on religious beliefs or the wonderment of life on Earth, most of them seem to be centered around a communal gathering and feast. For me personally, this time of celebration of friends, family, and traditions is also directly tied to the preparation of food. Preparing a delicious meal and sharing it with others provides some of the greatest pleasures in my life.

The recipes in this installment are suggestions for an elaborate family meal that is sure to please any skeptics of vegan cuisine. It celebrates all the warm thoughts and flavors that this time of year entails. I encourage you all to take the time to relax, reflect, and show your appreciation to your fellow living creatures and those you love. It is such a simple act, but its rewards can be tremendous for your overall physical and mental well being. 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

 

Cranberry Wassail

2 Quarts cranberry juice
2 1/2 cups apple juice
1/3 cup Sucanat
2 - 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 t. whole allspice
1 orange, sliced
8-10 whole cloves

In a large pot, combine the cranberry juice, apple juice, Sucanat, cinnamon sticks, and allspice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stud the slices of orange with the whole cloves and set aside. Strain the wassail to remove the spices. Transfer it to a punch bowl, garnish it with the orange slices, and serve warm.

Yield: 10 1/2 cups or Fourteen 6 oz. servings

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cream of Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Basil-Spinach Puree

6 red peppers, destemmed, deseeded, and cut into quarters lengthwise
olive oil
3 cups potatoes, peeled, and diced
2 cups red onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
2 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. chili powder
1 T. paprika
1 t. salt
1/8 t. white pepper
1/4 cup unbleached flour
4 cups vegetable stock, divided
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 recipe Basil-Spinach Puree (see recipe below), for garnishing soup

Place the red peppers, skin side up, on a cookie sheet. Using your fingers, coat the skins with a little of the olive oil. Place the peppers under the broiler and broil for several minutes or until the skin has charred and blackened. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, place the peppers in a brown bag, and allow them to cool in the bag for 15 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag, remove and discard the blackened skins, place the peppers on a plate, and set aside.

In a large pot, saute the potato, red onion, and celery in olive oil for 10 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, and white pepper, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables, stir well, and cook an additional 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat.

Transfer the roasted red peppers and sauteed vegetables to a food processor. Add 1 cup vegetable stock and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree back to the large pot, add the remaining vegetable stock and sherry, and simmer over low heat until heated through. Stir in the soy milk, taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed. Garnish individual servings with a drizzle of the Basil-Spinach Puree for added color and flavor.

Serves 8-10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Basil-Spinach Puree

3 cups packed spinach leaves, triple washed, destemmed, and patted dry
1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves, washed well, and patted dry
3/4 cup packed parsley leaves, washed well, and patted dry
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T. water
1 1/2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 t. garlic, minced

In a blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients and puree until smooth. Add additional water, if necessary, to thin the puree so that it will drizzle off the end of a spoon. Use to add color and flavor to soups, grains, pasta, or vegetables.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Festive Mixed Greens with Citrus Fruits, Fennel, and Cranberries

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
4 oranges (navel or blood oranges, or a mixture of each for added color), peeled
2 red grapefruit, peeled
1 large fennel bulb, fronds reserved, and thinly sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 recipe Cranberry-Cilantro Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
6 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 cups curly endive or frisee, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-size pieces

Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Over a glass bowl, segment the oranges and grapefruit, and squeeze the leftover parts to release any juice over the segments. Add the fennel and dried cranberries, drizzle 1/4 cups Cranberry-Cilantro Vinaigrette over the top, and toss gently to thoroughly coat everything with the vinaigrette. Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. In a large bowl, toss together all of the greens. Add the toasted pecans and the citrus fruit mixture, and toss gently to combine. Top individual servings with additional Cranberry-Cilantro Vinaigrette.

Serves 8-10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cranberry-Cilantro Vinaigrette

3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup red raspberry vinegar
2 T. shallots, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup walnut oil
2 T. maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro

In a blender or food processor, place the cranberries, vinegar, shallots, garlic, and mustard, and pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add the cranberry juice, walnut oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper, and blend for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth. While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil through the feed tube, and continue to blend until well emulsified. Add the chopped cilantro and blend an additional 30 seconds. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer the vinaigrette to an airtight container, store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Shake well before using.

Yield: 2 1/4 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Braised Brussels Sprouts

1 cup sliced almonds
2 lbs. brussels sprouts, washed
2 T. peanut oil or sunflower oil
2 slices ginger
3 T. unbleached cane sugar
1 t. salt
1/4-1/2 cup water

In a dry wok or large non-stick skillet, place the almonds, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove any tough outer leaves from the brussels sprouts, trim the ends, then cut each into quarters lengthwise, and set aside. In the same wok used to toast the almonds, heat the oil, when hot add the slices of ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes to flavor the oil with the ginger. Remove the slices of ginger and discard. Add the brussels sprouts, toss well to thoroughly coat them with the flavored oil, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and salt, stir well, and stir-fry an additional 2 minutes. Add a little of the water to the pan and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until the liquid cooks off. Repeat the procedure 1-2 more times or until the brussels sprouts are tender and lightly browned. Add the toasted almonds and stir well to combine. Transfer to a large bowl or platter for service.

Serves 8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Savory Potato Nests with Dilled Beet Filling

5 lbs. potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups vegan soy cheese, cheddar flavor, shredded
1/2 cup tofu sour cream
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. prepared horseradish
1 1/4 lbs. beets, peeled, and diced small
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. maple syrup or brown rice syrup
2 T. freshly chopped dill
2 T. freshly snipped chives
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes: tofu sour cream and freshly snipped chives

In a large pot, place the cubed potatoes, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and return the potatoes to the pot. Add the soy cheese, tofu sour cream, mustard, horseradish, and some of the reserved cooking liquid, and mash until smooth and creamy with a potato masher or whip with an electric mixer. Allow the mixture to cool.

Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside. Place a star tip in a large pastry bag. Transfer some of the potato mixture to the pastry bag. To form each "nest": in a spiral pattern, pipe a 4-inch circle, then pipe a decorative border all around the inside edge of the circle, and leave the center empty to form a cavity to hold the filling. Chill the potato nests while preparing the filling.

In a saucepan, place the diced beets, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until beets are tender. Drain well and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute the onion in olive oil, for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Add the beets and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well to combine, and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce is reduced to a glaze on the beets. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Cover, remove from the heat, and set aside.

Remove the potato nests from the refrigerator and allow them to warm up for 5 minutes. Then in batches, place each of the cookie sheets under the broiler for 4-5 minutes to lightly brown the tops of each potato nest. Carefully fill each of the browned potato nests with the warm beet filling. Using a spatula, transfer the nests to a large platter for service. Serve one potato nest per person. Individual servings can be garnished with a dollop of tofu sour cream and a few snipped chives, if desired.

*The potato nests can be preshaped and chilled ahead of time. The beet filling can also be prepared ahead but should be kept separately. Allow both of them to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, then simply fill the nests and place them under the broiler for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Serves 10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Triple Grain, Spinach, and Mushroom Pilaf

6 cups vegetable broth, divided
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup millet, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 t. salt
1 1/2 cups green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
12 oz. baby bella mushrooms, washed well, halved, and sliced
1 1/2 T. garlic, minced
2 T. sesame seeds
2 T. toasted sesame oil
6 cups spinach, triple washed, destemmed, and roughly chopped
1/3 cup freshly chopped parsley
2 T. freshly chopped thyme
2 T. tamari
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. cayenne pepper

In a saucepan, place 3 cups vegetable stock and pearl barley, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove from heat, drain off any excess water, and set aside. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, place the remaining vegetable stock, millet, quinoa, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the grains are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Drain off any excess water, leave the grains in the saucepan covered, and let sit for 5 minutes to allow the grains to steam.

In a large non-stick skillet, saute the green onions and onion in olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add the mushrooms and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sesame seeds, and saute an additional 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the toasted sesame oil and all three cooked grains to the skillet, and saute for 3 minutes to heat through. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to saute until the spinach wilts. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed. Transfer the pilaf to a large bowl for service.

Serves 8-10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Roasted Turnips with Maple-Mustard Glaze

4 lbs. turnips, peeled, and cut into 1-inch wedges
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 T. coarse-grain brown mustard
2 T. sunflower oil
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 T. fresh thyme leaves

In a large pot, place the turnips, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook the turnips in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain well and set aside. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a large baking dish and set aside. In a saucepan, place the maple syrup, mustard, sunflower oil, toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes to blend the flavors. Place the drained turnips in the prepared baking dish, pour the warm maple-mustard mixture over the turnips, and sprinkle with the fresh thyme. Bake at 350 degrees, basting the turnips with the sauce every 20-30 minutes to evenly coat them, and bake for 1-1 1/2 hours or until they are golden brown and very tender.

Serves 8-10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Squash and Peppers Sammartano

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups onion, diced
3 T. olive oil
1 1/2 cups orange, yellow, or red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups celery, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 T. garlic, minced
6 cups zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
6 cups summer squash, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, place the hot water and chopped sundried tomatoes, and set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate. In a non-stick skillet, place the pine nuts, and cook over low heat for 4-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the toasted pine nuts to a small bowl, and set aside.

In the same skillet, saute the onion in olive oil for 5 minutes to soften. Add both types of peppers and celery, and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute an additional 1 minute. Add the zucchini and summer squash, and continue to saute an additional 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender.

Drain the sundried tomatoes. Add the sundried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and the remaining ingredients, and toss gently to combine. Cook the vegetable mixture an additional 2 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, as necessary. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl or platter for service.

Serves 8-10

 

Pepper Divider

 

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Layered Tempeh Loaf

3 red peppers, destemmed, deseeded, and cut into quarters lengthwise
olive oil
2 - 8 oz. pkgs. tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup onion, finely diced
1 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. garlic, minced
1 - 10 oz. pkg. spinach, triple washed, destemmed, and roughly chopped
3 cups water
1/3 cup tamari
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup peanut butter
4 cups TVP (textured vegetable protein) granules
1 cup rolled oats
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
3 T. nutritional yeast flakes

Place the red peppers, skin side up, on a cookie sheet. Using your fingers, coat the skins with a little of the olive oil. Place the peppers under the broiler and broil for several minutes or until the skin has charred and blackened. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, place the peppers in a brown bag, and allow them to cool in the bag for 15 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag, remove and discard the blackened skins, place the peppers on a plate, and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the cubes of tempeh in a steam basket, and steam the tempeh for 20 minutes. Remove the tempeh from the steamer basket and allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Using your fingers, crumble the tempeh into small pieces, place it in a small bowl, and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, saute the onion in olive oil, for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the garlic and saute an additional 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the onion mixture to a plate, and set aside. In the same skillet, place the roughly chopped spinach, cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until just wilted, transfer to a plate, and set aside.

In a saucepan, combine the water, tamari, ketchup, and peanut butter, and bring to a boil. In a large bowl, place the TVP, oats, basil, oregano, thyme, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Pour the hot tamari mixture over the TVP mixture, stir well to combine, and set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Add the crumbled tempeh, sauteed onion mixture, flour, parsley, and nutritional yeast flakes, stir well to combine, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. To assemble each meatless loaf: place 3 cups of the tempeh-TVP mixture in the prepared loaf pan. Press it firmly to cover the bottom and sides of the pan, cover with 1/4 of the roasted red peppers, evenly layer half of the wilted spinach, cover with another 1/4 of the roasted peppers, top with another 2 cups of the tempeh-TVP mixture, and press down slightly to pack the layers down.

Repeat the procedure for the remaining loaf pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until heated through and browned on top. Allow the loaves to sit in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert them on to a large plate or platter, and slice each loaf into 8 pieces with a sharp knife.

*Leftover slices make an excellent sandwich filling.

Yield: Two 9x5x3-inch loaves or 16 slices

 

Pepper Divider

 

Potato Rolls

1 cup potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 T. unbleached sugar, divided
1/2 cup soy milk
1 T. lemon juice
3 T. safflower oil, plus additional for oiling the bowl
2 t. salt
3-3 1/2 cups unbleached flour, plus additional for dusting

In a saucepan, place the potatoes, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Reserve 1/4 cups cooking liquid and drain the potatoes. Mash the potatoes until smooth with a potato masher and set aside. Cool the reserved cooking liquid to 110 degrees.

In a food processor or mixer, place the reserved cooking liquid, yeast, and a pinch of sugar, and pulse a few times to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes or until foamy. In a small measuring cup, stir together the soy milk and lemon juice, and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken. Add the remaining sugar, reserved mashed potatoes, thickened soy milk mixture, 2 T. oil, and salt, and pulse a few times to combine. While the machine is running, gradually add the flour and continue to mix until it forms a ball.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead in additional flour to form a soft dough that is smooth and elastic, about 2-3 minutes. Drizzle a little safflower oil into a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, roll the dough around in the bowl to evenly coat it with the oil, and cover with a towel. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) two non-stick cookie sheets and set aside.

When dough has doubled, turn it out on to a floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into an 8-inch square and to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 2-inch wide strips, then cut each of the strips into 4 triangle shapes, thus yielding 16 pieces. Place the triangles on the prepared cookie sheets and space them 1 1/2 inches apart. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining oil. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap with oil, cover the rolls with the oiled piece of plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 15 minutes. Remove the piece of plastic wrap and discard. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 16 rolls

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cranberry, Pear, and Red Raspberry Galette

1 cup water
1/3 cup potatoes, peeled, and diced
1/2 cup warm soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 T. maple syrup
1 t. active dry yeast
1 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 t. salt
safflower oil
1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, and divided
4 cups firm pears (about 4 medium), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup fresh or frozen red raspberries
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 T. unbleached flour
Veganized Powdered Sugar

In a small saucepan, place the water and diced potatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well, reserving the cooking liquid for another use, and set cooked potatoes aside to cool. Transfer the cooled potatoes to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the warmed soy milk, 1 T. maple syrup, and yeast, and process for 30 seconds to combine. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.

Add both types of flour and salt, and process for 30-60 seconds or until the dough comes together to form a ball. Drizzle a little safflower oil into a large bowl, place the ball of dough in the bowl, roll the ball of dough around in the bowl to evenly coat it on all sides with the oil, and cover with a towel. Place the bowl in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a large cookie sheet and set aside.

When the dough has doubled, punch it down, and transfer to a floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 16-inch circle. Fold it into quarters, carefully transfer it to the prepared cookie sheet, and then unfold the dough to reform it into a 16-inch circle. Measure out 2 T. of the apple juice concentrate and set aside. In a large bowl, place the remaining apple juice concentrate, along with the remaining ingredients, and toss gently to combine. Place the filling in the center of the pastry circle. Fold up the edges of the pastry slightly, creating pleats here and there to keep the circular shape intact, and create a 3-4-inch wide border of pastry around the filling.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Brush the edges of the pastry with the reserved 2 T. apple juice concentrate. Return the cookie sheet to the oven, and bake the galette an additional 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the galette to sit for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large platter for service. Sprinkle a light dusting of Veganized Powdered Sugar over the top of the galette and cut it into 8 pieces.

Serves 8

 
 
 

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