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Archive for May, 2010

I found this tasty little recipe on the Dainty Vegetarian blog. These are light and oh so tasty. Betcha can’t eat just one!

Mexican wontons (modified by me to be nondairy; I also left out the onions)

1 package of wonton wrappers

8 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained

8 ounces cooked corn niblets

1 tomato, diced small

a handful of cilantro

1 handful of soy cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Mix all the ingredients, except the wrappers, in a medium bowl. Lay one wrapper on a cutting board. Place a small amount of mixture on the center of the wrapper. Wet your finger in water and run it along one corner and the adjacent sides of the wrapper. Fold the corner to the other and press down forming a triangle shape. Press the sides together to seal. Place the wonton on a greased cookie sheet, and repeat till the sheet is full.

Spray the top of the finished wontons with cooking spray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they are golden. Makes between 3-4 dozen wontons.

Serve warm with your favorite salsa (I used a fire-roasted salsa from Trader Joe’s – mmmmm!)

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This was an easily adaptable recipe from Cooking Light. I used a quart of SoyDelicious vanilla ice cream, and a 12-ounce bag of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and pitted cherries). Total ice cream smackdown.

It looked so inviting, even before the first cut. I loved the swirl ~

Berry ice cream pie

1/3 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons brandy

1 12-ounce package frozen berries (your choice – I used a medley I found at Trader Joe’s. The original recipe calls for cherries)

2 tablespoons margarine, melted

2 tablespoons honey

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

4 cups soy vanilla ice cream (softened)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Cool completely.

Combine margarine and honey in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs, stirring to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9″ pie pan. Bake for 8 minutes, then cool completely.

Place 1/2 cup of the cooled berry mixture in a blender, and puree til smooth. Place remaining berry mixture in an airtight container; cover and chill.

Place softened ice cream in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add pureed berry mixture, and gently fold in to achieve a swirl pattern. Spoon mixture into cooled crust. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top wedges with reserved berry sauce just before serving. Makes 8 servings.

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Whenever I go to our favorite Indian restaurant, I cannot order this dish, because they make it with milk. When I saw this on Eats Well With Others, I knew right away I could easily tweak it nondairy. Now I know what I’ve been missing! Yum.

Chicken tikka masala

marinade:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup plain soy yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

salt

tomato gravy:

1 tablespoon margarine

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 chili pepper, chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons paprika

salt

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

3/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup nondairy creamer

handful of freshly chopped cilantro

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl. Thoroughly mix until the chicken is nicely coated. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, when ready to prepare, you can either broil the chicken on a foil-lined pan, or grill.

Prepare the gravy: heat a large skillet to medium and melt the margarine. Saute the garlic and chili pepper until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Sprinkle the cumin, paprika, and a pinch of salt. Saute for another minute or two until the mixture turns into a paste-like texture.

Pour in the canned tomatoes, scraping the bottom of the skillet to deglaze and to release any bits stuck to the pan. Simmer uncovered for approximately 10-15 minutes on low heat, until the sauce begins to thicken. Then add the broiled/grilled chicken pieces and milk/creamer. Simmer for another 10 minutes, thickening the sauce and heat the chicken and cream through.

Serve with cilantro garnish, on rice. Makes 4 servings.

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These go down easy; not too sweet. Modified by me to be nondairy, from Cooking Light.

Blueberry-pecan scones

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons margarine, cut into small pieces

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted

cooking spray

1 large egg white, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons sugar

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut in margarine with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Gently fold in blueberries and pecans. Add creamer mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky).

Turn dough out onto a floured surface; pat dough into an 8″ circle. Cut dough into 10 wedges, and place dough wedges on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush egg white over dough wedges; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake scones at 375 degrees F for 18 minutes or until golden.

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As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I would be trying it soon. Not hard at all to make, but it tasted just a tad too sweet for us. I’m thinking that I did not let my sugar caramelize enough? Great way to enjoy tofu, and a healthy meal.

Braised tofu in caramel sauce (modified slightly)

1 1-pound block of tofu (I used extra firm)

1 cup sugar

5 shallots, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

freshly ground black pepper

baby bok choy (I used four)

1 cup brown rice

Slice the tofu in half lengthwise. Then slice each portion into two thick slices. Place the slices between paper towels to drain. Put something heavy on top to press out any excess moisture.

Dissolve sugar in 1/4 cup water and cook in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until small bubbles begin to appear around the edges of the pan. Carefully swirl the solution, but do not stir. Continue to heat until the soltuion becomes a golden caramel color, about 20-35 minutes. Carefully add 1/2 cup water to the mixture. Turn off the heat.

Transfer the caramel sauce to a wider saucepan, turn the heat to medium and add the shallots, cooking for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and stir again, cooking for about 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce. Simmer and stir until the mixture is viscous, about 10 minutes.

Set up your rice to be cooked, per package directions. During the last few minutes of cooking, throw in your bok choy so that it gets steamed.

Place the tofu in the sauce in a single layer. Simmer uncovered for 7 minutes. Using a spatula, turn the pieces over. Simmer for 3 or 4 minutes more. Plate the rice/bok choy; put the tofu over and pour the sauce over the whole mass of food. Top with freshly ground pepper. Makes 2 servings.

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Here is another recipe that has made the rounds on the internet – from Gourmet to Epicurious to Smitten Kitchen, probably just to name a few sites. Now, my version – I’ve made this non-dairy, added my own homemade tomato sauce, and (true confession) I did not make my own pasta dough. I used a package of wonton wrappers. Yep. This was outstanding.

Artichoke ravioli with tomato sauce

1 package wonton wrappers

Favorite Italian Calabrese tomato sauce

for filling:

2 tablespoons margarine, cut into pieces

1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 can artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 large egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water (the egg wash)

Heat margarine in a 12″ heavy skillet over moderately high heat. Then saute onion, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Transfer to bowl of food processor, then add soy cheese, parsley, yolk, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and pulse until mixture is coarsely chopped.

Drop a 1 1/2 teaspoon mound of filling onto each wonton wrapper. Brush egg wash around each mound, then fold in half over filling. Press down firmly around each mound, forcing out air (air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking).

Bring a 6-8 quart pot of salted water to boil. add ravioli, carefully stirring to separate, and adjusting heat to keep water at a gentle boil; cook until pasta is just tender (about 5 minutes). Transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander.

Plate ravioli (3-4 per serving) and carefully spoon your heated tomato sauce over the pasta. Makes 4 delicious servings.

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I love how recipes have a way of hopping around the internet. I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, who saw it on Gourmet. Hopefully, someone will see it here and want to try it. Good thing, too, ’cause it’s lip-smacking good. I added some bite-sized pieces of grilled chicken to mine, which worked quite well. I also didn’t realize I was a little short on my Kalamata olives, so I supplemented with some Israeli olives. (it worked!)

Pearled couscous with olives and roasted tomatoes

for the roasted tomatoes:

2 pints red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds)

3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup warm water

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

for the couscous:

2 3/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/4 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Halve tomatoes and arrange in 1 layer in a large shallow (1″ deep) baking pan, sprayed with nonstick spray. Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

Peel garlic and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.

Make the couscous: Bring the broth to a boil in a 3 quart heavy saucepan and stir in the couscous; then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 6 minutes.

Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, (grilled chicken, if you so desire), and salt and pepper to taste. Makes 6 servings.

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(Disclaimer: WARNING – may become addictive)

This is a pretty loose recipe. Use your favorite chocolate for melting (I used Whole Foods semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips. I find they have a par-excellent better chocolate flavor than almost any non-vegan chip I’ve tried). For the cheesecake filling, I found a great no-bake non-dairy cheesecake recipe here. And use the biggest, reddest, sweetest strawberries you can find.

Start this recipe a couple of hours before you’re ready to eat, as you need time for the chocolate shell to harden and get nice and cold. Plus you want to prepare your cheesecake filling and refrigerate that, too, for a couple of hours beforehand.

Eat these at  your own risk.

Chocolate-covered cheesecake-stuffed strawberries

1 quart of large, red, sweet strawberries (this will make you about 2 dozen little desserts), washed and patted dry

1 12-ounce bag of your favorite semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon canola oil

your favored non-bake cheesecake recipe (see mine below)

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.

In a medium saucepan, add the chocolate chips and the oil, and stir over medium-low heat until completely melted. Then, grab a strawberry by the stem and dip it in the melted chocolate, covering it 3/4 of the way towards the stem. Let any excess chocolate quickly drip off, then sit the strawberry on the waxed paper baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the strawberries. Place the baking sheet with strawberries in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile, prepare your cheesecake.

1 box extra-firm silken tofu

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons Tofutti cream cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons agar-agar flakes

3/4 cup almond milk

1/3 cup sugar

Place the tofu, lemon juice, salt, vanilla, and cream cheese in the bowl of your food processor, and process until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary.

In a medium saucepan, heat the almond milk with the sugar and bring up to a simmer. Add the agar-agar and lower the heat to just below simmer. Simmer until the agar-agar has completely softened and blended into the almond milk. This took 15 minutes for me. Remove from heat, let it sit for 1 minute, then add in a slow stream to the tofu mixture in the food processor, while pulsing til smooth and completely blended. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for a couple of hours, covered.

To stuff the strawberries: Cut off the stem of the strawberry, then take your knife and hollow out the inside. Take a healthy spoonful of cheesecake and fill the strawberry. Repeat til all strawberries are stuffed.


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I actually used Japanese eggplants for the recipe – they’re kinda pale purple and streaked with white. The flavors in this dish are delicious. I’m a real sucker for anything Middle-Eastern.

Lebanese style stuffed eggplant (as seen in Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen)

6 5-6″ long eggplants (about 6 ounces each)

1/2 cup long grain or jasmine rice

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons pine nuts

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups chicken broth

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

3/4 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon allspice

1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Hollow out each eggplant with a melon-ball cutter, working from bottom end and leaving about 1/3″ eggplant flesh along interior walls. Rinse rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.

Heat oil in a 12″ heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry pine nuts, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Saute onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6-8 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup onion mixture to bowl with pine nuts. Add broth, tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to skillet and simmer, uncovered, while stuffing eggplant.

Add rice, meat, allspice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to bowl with onion mixture and mix well with your hands.

Stuff eggplant with meat mixture, being careful not to pack tightly (rice will expand during cooking). Transfer stuffed eggplants to skillet with tomato sauce and simmer, covered, carefully turning once or twice, until rice is cooked through, 50-60 minutes.

If sauce is watery, transfer eggplant to a plate and boil sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3-5 minutes. Return stuffed eggplant to sauce. Squeeze lemon over dish and sprinkle with parsley before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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I just love risotto. This “spring” version has some of my favorite veggies in it. Dairy substitutions applied by me.

Asparagus, artichoke, and shiitake risotto

5 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 pound thin to medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4″ thick slices, leaving tips 1 1/2″ long

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 stick margarine

3/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into 1/4″ thick slices

4 jarred artichoke hearts with stems, drained and sliced into 1/4″ thick slices

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cut grated soy parmesan

Bring broth and water to a boil in a 4 quart pot. Add asparagus and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.

Heat oil with 1 tablespoon margarine in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat, then saute mushrooms, stirring constantly, until browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons margarine in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Ladle in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18-20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup soy parmesan, remaining tablespoon margarine, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in asparagus, artichokes, and mushrooms, then cover pan and let stand 1 minute. If desired, thin risotto with some of remaining broth. Makes 4 servings.

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