Recipes
 
 
 

March 18, 2001

Greetings,

March 20, 2001 is the Great American Meatout, its focus is to encourage people to "kick the meat habit, at least for a day, and explore a more wholesome, less violent diet." Check out: www.meatout.org for more information about the event and to see what different organizations will be doing in your area of the country to spread the veg message. I also recommend checking out: www.pcrm.org, www.vrg.org, or www.vegsource.org for more information regarding the health benefits and advantages of a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle.

Most of what many American adults know about food and nutrition is based upon what we learned in school, which was basically the Four Food Groups model of eating. What I didn't know when I first learned about them was the fact that these guidelines were created by the meat and dairy industry (it's no coincidence that their categories come before the fruits and vegetables in the Four Food Groups), and that it was nothing short of an advertisement for their products. But dedicated doctors such as Dr. Neal Barnard and others associated with the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have developed a new Four Food Groups, comprised of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and legumes. No meat and no dairy this time! Many other medical and health experts agree that a completely plant-based diet is more beneficial to one's health, reduces the chances of developing many of the health concerns that plague our society today, as well as being fundamental in reversing the effects of many pre-existing conditions.

As a vegan (and a chef), I have, over the years, had many inquiries into my lifestyle and the philosophy behind it. During which I have heard the all too familiar phrase, "I'd give it a try, but I love cheese (or meat) too much, and I don't think I could give it up." I usually offer some examples of plant-based substitutions or alternatives, as well as a few recipe suggestions. Over the last two years, I have received many e-mails requesting recommendations and recipes for various dairy and meat alternatives, from visitors to this site. So, in honor of the Great American Meatout, this installment of recipes showcases some of my vegan versions of typical American "fast food" fare, such as soy-based burgers and non-dairy cheeses, and even ice cream! I hope that they will encourage and assist those of you who are making the transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet and healthier lifestyle. Go for it, you, your body, and all of the other creatures that share the Earth with us will be glad you did! As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)

 
 

Pepper Divider

 

Ultra Thick Chocolate Shake

4 cups frozen bananas, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
3 T. cocoa or carob powder
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla

Remove the frozen banana chunks from the freezer and allow them to thaw for 5-10 minutes to soften slightly. Place the banana chunks in a blender, along with the remaining ingredients, and process for 2-3 minutes to thoroughly puree and blend flavors. Serve immediately.

*Variation: add additional soy milk if you desire a thinner shake, or add almond or peppermint extract to vary the flavor, or add a little nut butter of choice for added flavor and creaminess.

Yield: 4 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Smoky Chipotle and Mushroom Chili

2 cups onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup green pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 cup red pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, destemmed, deseeded, and diced
12 oz. portabello mushrooms, roughly chopped
8 oz. button mushrooms or other mushrooms of choice, roughly chopped
2 T. garlic, minced
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. ground cumin
2 t. chili powder
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 - 15 oz. cans kidney beans, rinsed, and drained
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 T. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup water
2 T. dark miso

In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the green, red, and jalapeno peppers, and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add both types of mushrooms and garlic, and saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the chili powder, oregano, and cumin, and saute an additional 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except the 1/4 cups water and miso, and cook over low heat for 20-30 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together the 1/4 cups water and miso, then add it to the pot, and simmer the chili an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.

Serves 8

 

Pepper Divider

 

Soy Mayonnaise

1 - 12.3 oz. pkg. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, firm or extra firm
1 T. cider vinegar
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. unbleached cane sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/3 cup olive oil, grapeseed oil, or other vegetable oil of choice

In a food processor, place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, and process for 2 minutes to form a smooth puree. While the machine is running, drizzle in the olive oil, and continue to process an additional 2-3 minutes or until light and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed to suit personal tastes and usage. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Use measure-for-measure in place of commercially made mayonnaise in your favorite recipes.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Vegan Ranch Dressing

6 oz. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, firm or extra firm
1/4 cup Soy Mayonnaise (see recipe above)
1/4 cup green onion, finely chopped
3 T. water
4 t. lemon juice
1 T. freshly chopped parsley
1 T. freshly chopped dill
1 T. tamari, soy sauce, or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 1/2 t. garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients, and process until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use as a dressing, dip, spread, or mayonnaise substitute in your favorite recipes.

Yield: 1 3/4 cup

 

Pepper Divider

 

Creamy White Cheez Sauce

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 T. unbleached flour
4 t. cornstarch
1/2 t. dry mustard
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 T. safflower oil
1-2 T. sherry, optional

In a saucepan, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the soy milk and oil, and whisk until very smooth. Whisking constantly to avoid lumps, cook over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Flavor the sauce with a little sherry, if desired.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Baconless Bits

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 T. olive oil
1 T. maple syrup
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/4 cups TVP (textured vegetable protein flakes)

In a small saucepan, place all of the ingredients, except the TVP, and bring to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the TVP, stir well to combine, and set aside for 10 minutes to rehydrate the TVP. Lightly oil (or spray with oil) a non-stick cookie sheet. Place the TVP mixture on the cookie sheet and spread to form an even thin layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, stir, spread to an even layer, and bake an additional 8-10 minutes or until TVP is lightly browned and dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use in place of commercially made "bacon bits" on salads, baked potatoes, vegetables, or in your favorite recipes.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Baked Potatoes with the Works

6 russet or other baking potatoes of choice, washed well
1 recipe of Creamy White Uncheez Sauce (see recipe above), heated
1 recipe of Lemon-Dill Tofu Cream or Cilantro-Tofu Cream or commercial vegan sour cream OR
1 recipe of Vegan Ranch Dressing (see recipe above)
1 recipe of Baconless Bits (see recipe above)
sliced green onions

Prick the potatoes with a fork a few times and place the potatoes on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Remove the potatoes from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Split the potatoes open and top with your choice of (or all of) the suggested toppings.

*Variation: Add steamed and chopped vegetables, such as broccoli or peppers, or ladle your favorite vegetarian chili over the baked potatoes before adding the other toppings for a hearty side or main dish.

Serves 6

 

Pepper Divider

 

Non-Dairy Swiss Style Cheese

1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup agar-agar flakes
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup blanched almonds
1 T. safflower oil, sunflower oil, or other vegetable oil of choice
1/3 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. light or mellow miso
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. onion powder
3/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. salt

In a small saucepan, place the water and agar-agar flakes, and simmer over low heat to thoroughly dissolve the agar-agar flakes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, place the cashews, almonds, and oil, and process for 1-2 minutes to form a smooth paste. Scrape down the sides of the food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process for 1 minute. After the agar-agar mixture has simmered for 5 minutes, add the mixture to the food processor, and process an additional 2 minutes to thoroughly blend the flavors. Lightly oil a 3-cup mold, plastic container, or small loaf pan. Pour the cheese mixture into the mold, cover, and chill overnight. Unmold the cheese and used sliced or shredded in place of commercially made cheese in your favorite recipes, or enjoy with crackers, breads, or fruit. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

Yield: One 3-cup brick or loaf of non-dairy cheese

 

Pepper Divider

 

Non-Dairy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

8 slices whole grain bread or bread of choice
1 recipe Creamy White Uncheez Sauce, cooled or Non-Dairy Swiss Style Cheese, sliced or shredded
Spectrum Spread, non-hydrogenated margarine, optional

On a cutting board or work surface, place four of the slices of bread, and spread one side of each piece of bread with 3-4 T. Creamy White Uncheez Sauce or cover with slices of the Non-Dairy Swiss Style Cheese. Top each with the remaining slices of bread. Lightly spread some of the Spectrum Spread on the top slices of bread, if desired. Lightly oil a large non-stick skillet and place over medium heat. In batches, place the assembled sandwiches with the "buttered" side down in the skillet and lightly spread some of the Spectrum Spread on the top slices of bread. Cook each sandwich for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom, carefully flip over, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned on the remaining side. Transfer the grilled cheese sandwiches to a cutting board and if using the Creamy White Uncheez Sauce, allow to cool 1 minute before cutting in half for service. Repeat the cooking procedure for the remaining sandwiches.

*Variation: add fresh or sauteed vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, or sprouts when assembling the grilled cheese sandwiches, for added flavor.

Serves 4

 

Pepper Divider

 

Oven-Baked French Fries

1 1/2 lbs. russet or other baking potatoes of choice, washed well
1 T. olive oil
seasoning suggestions: chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper (for spicy), OR garlic powder and onion powder (for added flavor), OR fresh or dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil, parsley, etc. (for savory), OR as simple as seasoning salt, mixed herbal blends, or salt and pepper

Lightly oil (or spray with oil) a non-stick cookie sheet and set aside. Cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch wide sticks or "French fries" and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the top, sprinkle the potatoes with your choice of seasonings or seasoning combinations, and toss well to thoroughly coat the potatoes. Arrange the cut potatoes on the cookie sheet and spread to a single layer. Bake at 475 degrees for 15 minutes, stir, spread to a single layer again, bake 15 additional minutes, stir and spread to a single layer again, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until the French fries are crisp and lightly browned on all sides. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and sprinkle the hot French fries with additional seasonings or salt, if desired. Serve hot, plain or with ketchup, or for an extra special treat with Creamy White Uncheez Sauce or Vegan Ranch Dressing.

Serves 4

 

Pepper Divider

 

Tofu Nuggets

1 lb. firm tofu
2/3 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 T. lemon juice
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 T. dried parsley
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper

Wrap the block of tofu in a clean, lint-free towel, place it in a colander, and place the colander in the sink. Place a plate over the towel-covered tofu, them a heavy can or other weight on top, and leave to press for 30 minutes. Remove the tofu from the towel, cut into 1-inch cubes, and set aside. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a non-stick cookie sheet and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk and lemon juice, and set aside for 10 minutes to thicken. Place the flour on a large plate and toss the tofu cubes in the flour to thoroughly coat them. Remove the cubes of tofu from the flour and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients to the flour, stir well to combine, and set aside. Dip the floured tofu cubes into the soymilk mixture and then toss them with the seasoned flour mixture.

Place the tofu cubes on the prepared cookie sheet and spacing them so that they aren't touching. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned, flip over the tofu cubes, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned all over. Serve with a mixture of maple syrup and mustard, ketchup, or other dipping sauce of choice. Transfer any of the seasoned flour mixture that remains, to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for another use, or use as seasoned crumbs in your favorite recipe.

*Variation: for a spicier version, add 2 t. chili powder, 1/2 t. ground cumin, and 1/8 t. cayenne pepper, and serve with barbecue sauce.

Serves 4

 

Pepper Divider

 

Tempeh Portabello Burgers

2 - 8 oz. pkgs. multigrain tempeh, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
8 oz. portabello mushrooms, finely diced
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 t. dried basil
2 t. dried rosemary (crushed a bit with your fingers)
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup tamari or Bragg Liquid Aminos
safflower oil for frying
8 whole grain buns, split
lettuce, onion and tomato slices, or other toppings of choice
condiments of choice

Place the cubes of tempeh in a steamer basket, steam for 15 minutes, and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes to soften. Add the mushrooms and saute an additional 3-5 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir well, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside. Using your fingers, crumble the steamed tempeh into a bowl. Add the sauteed onion-mushroom mixture, basil, rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, and pepper to the tempeh, and stir well to combine. Add the flour, tamari, and remaining 2 T. olive oil, and stir well to combine.

Line a large cookie sheet with waxed paper. Using a plastic 1/2 cups measuring cup, portion out 8 burgers on to the waxed paper, and press the burgers with a burger press or your hands to flatten them slightly. Chill the burgers for 1 hour. Lightly oil a non-stick skillet with a little safflower oil. In batches, cook the tempeh portabello burgers until well browned on each side, about 5-7 minutes per side. Add more oil to the pan, if needed, to prevent the burgers from sticking. Serve on whole grain buns with your choice of toppings and condiments.

*Note: you can make these burgers in larger batches, pre-cook them, and freeze them for later use. Then simply reheat them in the oven or in a nonstick skillet until heated through.

Yield: 8 burgers

 

Pepper Divider

 

Non-Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups water
3 T. agar-agar flakes
2 - 12.3 oz. pkgs. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
1 1/2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 cup unbleached cane sugar (or brown rice syrup or maple syrup), or to taste
2 T. vanilla
1/2 t. salt

In a small saucepan, place the water and agar-agar flakes, and simmer for 5 minutes to thoroughly dissolve the agar-agar flakes. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the tofu to a smooth puree. Add the agar-agar mixture and the remaining ingredients, and process for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional sweetener or vanilla, if desired.

If you have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Or, pour the mixture into a large shallow pan, and place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture every hour or so to give it a smooth texture. When completely frozen, remove it from the freezer, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, process until smooth, and transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Return it to the freezer and freeze until solid. Serve as an accompaniment to cakes, pies, desserts, or as a refresher.

*Variation: if you don't mind the extra fat, adding a few tablespoons of a mild vegetable oil to the mixture before freezing will result in a rich and creamy texture. Feel free to experiment with the recipe by adding additional flavorings, or chopped fruit or nuts.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Non-Dairy Chocolate Ice Cream

3/4 cup unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup water
2 cups vegan chocolate chips
2 - 12.3 oz. pkgs. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
1 1/2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
2 T. vanilla
1/2 t. salt

In a small saucepan, place the sugar and water, and simmer for 5 minutes to thoroughly dissolve the sugar and form a syrupy consistency. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside. Place the chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler (over simmering water) and allow the chocolate chips to melt. Meanwhile, in a food processor, process the tofu to a smooth puree. Add the sugar-syrup mixture, melted chocolate chips, and the remaining ingredients, and process for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional sweetener or vanilla, if desired.

If you have an ice cream maker, transfer the mixture to the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Or, pour the mixture into a large shallow pan and place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture every hour or so to give it a smooth texture. When completely frozen, remove it from the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, process until smooth, and transfer the mixture to an airtight container. Return it to the freezer and freeze until solid. Serve as an accompaniment to cakes, pies, desserts, or as a refresher.

*Variation: if you don't mind the extra fat, adding a few tablespoons of a mild vegetable oil to the mixture before freezing will result in a rich and creamy texture. Feel free to experiment with the recipe by adding additional flavorings, or chopped fruit or nuts.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

Vegan Caramel Sauce

3/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
3/4 cup Sucanat
1/3 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1 T. water
1 T. arrowroot
2 T. vegan margarine
1 t. vanilla

In a small saucepan, place the soy milk, Sucanat, and maple syrup, and whisk well to combine. Cook over medium heat, while whisking occasionally, for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and arrowroot, and then whisk the mixture into the saucepan. Cook the mixture, while whisking constantly, an additional 2-3 minutes or until it thickens. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Serve warm as a topping for cakes, desserts, non-dairy ice cream or sorbet, or as a dipping sauce for fruit. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, and reheat as needed.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Vegan Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup cocoa or carob powder
2 T. cornstarch
1 1/4 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 T. vanilla

In a small bowl, sift together the cocoa and cornstarch. Transfer the cocoa mixture to a small saucepan and whisk 1/2 cups soy milk into the cocoa mixture. Add the remaining soy milk and maple syrup to saucepan and whisk well to combine. Cook the mixture over medium heat, while whisking constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until it forms a thick sauce. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Serve warm as a topping for cakes, desserts, non-dairy ice cream or sorbet, or as a dipping sauce for fruit. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, and reheat as needed.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

 
 
 

Garlic Press

 
 
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