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January 12, 2002

Greetings,

Well, it's time once again to close the books on the old year and welcome in the new year. For many people, the new year is an opportunity to make new resolutions regarding one's life, and is often seen as a time to rejuvenate and start anew. One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight, especially among the people that I encounter here in the U.S.. The media bombards us with a whole slew of wonder diets, "magic pills," and exercise gadgets, while ignoring the fact that the only real way to get in shape and be as healthy as we can be is by eating a well-balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise. In this installment, I feature recipes that are easy to prepare, low in fat, full of fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and I include quite a few raw recipes for those of you who follow a raw vegan diet. Hopefully, for those of you resolving to lose weight this year, it will start you down the path to good health. Enjoy! As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)

 
 

Pepper Divider

 

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

3 T. blanched almonds
1 cup water or apple juice
2 dates, pitted
2/3 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen, destemmed
1 banana, peeled, and broken into 2-inch pieces

In a blender, place the almonds, and process for 30 seconds to finely chop. Scrape down the sides of the blender container, add the water and dates, and process for 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and process an additional 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately

*Variation: substitute other fruit or berries in the recipe, as desired.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Raw Corn and Red Pepper Soup

3 cups cut corn, divided
2 cups water
1 T. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
2 T. freshly chopped cilantro
2 T. freshly chopped parsley

In a food processor or blender, combine 2 cups of corn, water, tamari, salt, and pepper, and process for 1-2 minutes to form a slightly chunky puree. Add the remaining corn, along with the remaining ingredients, and process for 30 seconds to blend the flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Yield: 1 Quart

 

Pepper Divider

 

Mushroom Miso Soup

1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms (or other mushrooms of choice), stems trimmed, and thinly sliced
2 t. safflower oil
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. ginger, minced
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2 cups Swiss chard leaves, roughly chopped
2 T. red miso (or other miso of choice)
1 T. toasted sesame oil
2 T. sesame seeds

In a large saucepan, saute the mushrooms in the safflower oil for 3 minutes. Add the green onion, garlic, and ginger, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the water and Swiss chard and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow to boil for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the miso and a little of the cooking liquid from the saucepan. Add the miso mixture and toasted sesame oil to the pot, stir well to combine, and remove the soup from the heat. Sprinkle sesame seeds over individual servings.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Dijon French Dressing

3 T. onion, finely diced
3 T. unbleached cane sugar (or white sugar from sugar beets)
1 T. garlic, minced
3/4 t. salt
3/4 cup lemon juice
4 t. Dijon mustard
1/4 t. paprika
1/2 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup water

In a blender or food processor, place the onion, sugar, garlic, and salt, and pulse a few times to combine. Add the lemon juice, mustard, and paprika, and process for 1 minute. In a measuring cup, stir together the safflower oil and water. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil-water mixture and continue to process until thickened. Transfer the dressing to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

Yield: 1 1/2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Fennel, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Bitter Greens Salad

8 oz. Jerusalem artichoke, peeled
1/2 t. lemon juice
water
3 cups chicory, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
3 cups romaine lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups dandelion greens, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
2 cups red oak leaf lettuce, washed well, patted dry, and torn into bite-sized pieces
8 oz. fennel bulb, thinly sliced, and fronds roughly chopped
1 cup carrot, julienned
1 cup cucumber, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1 recipe Dijon French Dressing (see recipe above)

In a small saucepan, place the Jerusalem artichoke, lemon juice, and enough water to cover, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, place the chicory, romaine, dandelion, and oak leaf lettuce, and gently toss to combine. When the Jerusalem artichoke is cool to the touch, julienne it, and add it to the bowl of mixed greens. Add the fennel, carrot, cucumber, celery, and parsley, and toss gently to combine. Drizzle a little Dijon French Dressing over individual servings.

Serves 6

 

Pepper Divider

 

Butternut Ambrosia Salad

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried currants
1 cup water
8 cups butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups Gala or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup orange juice
2 T. lime juice
2 T. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. toasted sesame oil
1 1/4 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. ground ginger
3/4 t. curry powder

In a small bowl, place the dried cranberries, raisins, and currants; pour the water over the top, and set aside for 20-25 minutes or until plump. In a food processor, working in batches, process the cubes of butternut squash to finely chop them. Transfer the finely chopped butternut squash to a large bowl and repeat the process with the remaining cubes of butternut squash. Add the apples, celery, green onions, coconut, walnuts, and sunflower seeds, and toss lightly. Drain the plumped fruits and add them, along with the remaining ingredients, to the bowl, and toss the mixture well to combine. Set the salad aside for 15 minutes or more, to allow the flavors to blend before serving.

Yield: 2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Marinated Black-Eyed Pea and Rice Salad

3 cups water
3/4 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed, and drained
3/4 cup wild rice, rinsed, and drained
1 - 15 oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed, and drained
1/2 cup. carrot, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1/2 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and finely diced
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 T. olive oil
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chile powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, place the water, and bring to a boil. Add the brown basmati and wild rice, stir, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, leave covered, and set aside for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam. Using a fork, fluff the cooked rice, and set aside to cool completely. Transfer the cooled rice to a medium bowl. Add the black-eyed peas, carrot, celery, green pepper, red onion, and parsley, and toss gently. In a small bowl, place the remaining ingredients, and whisk well. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine. Set the salad aside for 15 minutes or more, to allow the flavors to blend before serving.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Apples and Oranges Stuffed Pitas

1 cup Gala apples, unpeeled, cored, and diced
1 cup orange, cut into segments
1 T. orange juice
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/3 cup celery, finely diced
3 T. green onion, thinly sliced
3 T. almonds, roughly chopped
1/3 - 1/2 cup Dijon French Dressing (see recipe above), divided
1 1/2 cups spinach, triple washed, patted dry, and roughly chopped
4 - 6-inch pita breads, split

In a glass bowl, place the apples and oranges, drizzle the orange juice over the top, and toss gently to combine. Add the mung bean sprouts, celery, green onions, and almonds, and toss gently with the apple-orange mixture. Drizzle 1/4 cup of the Dijon French Dressing over the top and toss gently. Add the chopped spinach and enough additional Dijon French Dressing to moisten the mixture, and toss well to combine. Fill each pita bread half with 1/2 cup of the mixture and serve 2 pita bread halves per person.

Serves 4

 

Pepper Divider

 

Southwestern Sprouted Bean and Lettuce Burritos

1/4 cup dry black beans, sorted, and rinsed
1/4 cup dry red lentils, sorted, and rinsed
water
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/2 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/2 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/4 cup tomato juice
2 T. jalapeno pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 t. garlic, minced
1 T. lime juice, to taste
1/4 t. chili powder
1/4 t. ground cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 large leaves of red-tipped loose leaf lettuce, washed well, and patted dry

Begin by soaking and sprouting the black beans and red lentils, each separately, according to the instructions in the recipe for Sprouted Beans; it should take 3-5 days for the black beans and red lentils to sprout 1 to 2-inch long tails. Then place the sprouted black beans and red lentils in indirect sunlight for several hours to allow the creation of chlorophyll, causing the leaves (if present) on the sprouted tails to turn green.

Using 1/4 cups dry black beans and red lentils should yield between 3-4 cups when fully sprouted. Remove 1 cup each of the sprouted black beans and red lentils for use in the burrito filling and set the remainder aside for use in other recipes. Carefully rinse the sprouted black beans and red lentils in a colander to remove any of the loose hulls, which should sink to the bottom of the colander as you rinse. Transfer the sprouted black beans and red lentils to a medium bowl and discard the hulls.

Add the chopped vegetables, lime juice, chili powder, and cumin, and lightly toss the mixture together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss gently. Place 1/3 cup of the sprouted bean mixture in the center of each lettuce leaf, fold sides of each leaf towards the center, and then starting from the stem end of the leaf, roll to enclose the filling. Place seam-side down on a platter. Repeat for remaining lettuce leaves. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12 burritos

 

Pepper Divider

 

Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Almond Couscous

1 cup onion, diced
1 T. olive oil
4 cups broccoli, half small florets and half chopped stems, divided
1 1/2 cups red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 T. garlic, minced
2 cups water or vegetable stock
3 T. lemon juice
1 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
3/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

In a large saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the broccoli stems and continue to saute the mixture an additional 3 minutes. Add the broccoli florets, red pepper, and garlic, and continue to saute an additional 4 minutes while stirring often. Add the water, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the couscous, stir, cover, remove the saucepan from the heat, and set aside for 5 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the couscous while stirring in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings, to taste. Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature as a side dish or salad.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Black Bean Chili-Topped Baked Sweet Potatoes

4 large sweet potatoes, washed well (do not peel)
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 1/2 t. olive oil
1/2 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1/2 cup Roma tomatoes, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
2 t. garlic, minced
1/2 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 - 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed, and drained
1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce
hot pepper sauce, to taste

Using a fork, pierce the skins of the sweet potatoes in several places. Place an oven-proof rack on a cookie sheet and place the sweet potatoes on the rack. Bake at 400 degrees for 60-75 minutes or until the sweet potatoes feel soft when gently squeezed. While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the black bean chili. In a medium saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the green pepper and saute an additional 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the black beans, tomato sauce, and season to taste with hot pepper sauce, stir well to combine, and simmer the chili for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, to taste. Remove the saucepan from the heat. When the sweet potatoes are tender, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and leave the sweet potatoes on the rack to cool for 5 minutes. For each serving, place one sweet potato on a plate or in a bowl, split it open, ladle some of the black bean chili over the top, and serve.

Serves 4

 

Pepper Divider

 

Ancient Grain and Vegetable Patties

2 cups water or vegetable stock
2/3 cup millet, rinsed, and drained
1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed, and drained
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. dried thyme
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1 T. olive oil, plus additional for oiling cookie sheet
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms (or other mushrooms of choice), roughly chopped
1/3 cup carrot, finely diced
1/3 cup celery, finely diced
1/3 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 cup spinach or Swiss chard, triple washed, patted dry, and roughly chopped
3 T. quinoa flour or brown rice flour
2 T. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 t. hot pepper sauce
2 T. cornmeal

In a medium saucepan, place the water, and bring to a boil. Add the millet, quinoa, salt, basil, oregano, thyme, and pepper, stir to combine, and return the mixture to a boil. Cover the saucepan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the grains for 18-20 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a dry non-stick skillet, place the almonds and sunflower seeds and cook them over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Transfer them to a small bowl to cool. In the same skillet, saute the red onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the mushrooms, carrot, celery, and red pepper, and continue to saute an additional 5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp tender. Add the garlic and saute an additional 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Transfer the slightly-cooled grains to a medium bowl. Finely chop the toasted almonds and sunflower seeds and add them to the cooked grains. Add the sauteed vegetable mixture, along with the remaining ingredients except the cornmeal, and stir well to combine. Using a little olive oil, lightly oil (or mist with oil) a non-stick cookie sheet and set aside. Place the cornmeal on a small plate. Using a 1/2 cup measuring cup, portion the grain-vegetable mixture into 6 patties. Dust the patties on all sides with the cornmeal and place them on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve the patties plain or with your choice of condiments.

Yield: 6 patties

 

Pepper Divider

 

Cherry-Walnut Chews

6 oz. dates, pitted
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup dried cherries

Place the dates on a cutting board and finely chop them. Transfer the chopped dates to a small bowl. Using your fingers, mash the chopped dates to form a smooth paste. Finely chop, each separately, the walnuts and dried cherries, and add them to the mashed dates. Using your fingers, mash the mixture together to combine, and then roll the mixture into 1-inch balls. Store the balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 12-14 pieces

 

Pepper Divider

 

Gelled Strawberry Dessert

1 cup apple juice
1 cup black cherry or red raspberry juice
2 T. agar-agar flakes
1 t. vanilla
3 cups strawberries, destemmed, and sliced

In a small saucepan, stir together the apple juice, black cherry juice, and agar-agar flakes, and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer the mixture while stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes or until the agar-agar is thoroughly dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and set mixture aside to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a glass bowl, place the bowl in the refrigerator, and chill for 30 minutes or until partially set. Gently fold in the sliced strawberries, and chill for several hours or until totally gelled. Serve in small individual glass dishes.

*Variation - try substituting other types of fruit juice or sliced fruit, such as berries, cherries, apples, peaches, or pears. Citrus fruits and pineapple sometimes react differently with the agar-agar so trying mixing them with other types of fruit for proper gelling.

Serves 4-6

 
 

Garlic Press

 
 
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