Veggie Cabbage Rolls

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I had never made, let alone eaten, cabbage rolls prior to this recipe. A minor challenge in making this is that I have nothing to compare them to.

This meal was made at the request of my partner who grew up eating this dish. Traditionally it is made with rice and ground beef. I found a recipe via Connoisseurus Veg that contains lentils and quinoa, which sounded delicious to me!

I liked this recipe, but I didn’t love it. It felt a little bland. I would like to try making it with veggie crumbles, and incorporate different herbs and seasoning. This recipe is still worth trying out. Like I said, I am not as familiar with this dish and am open to exploring it!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 3/4 c brown lentils
  • 3 c water
  • 1/2 c uncooked quinoa
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tbls oil
  • 1 Tbls red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbls tamari
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 jar pasta sauce

1. Boil the cabbage in water until outer leaves are tender

2. Cook the lentils in 3 cups of water; cook the quinoa in 1/2 cup broth

3. Saute onion in oil. Once the lentils and quinoa is cooked, add to the onion and stir in vinegar, tamari, and paprika. Let the mix cool

4. In a pan, add a layer of pasta sauce (I used my favorite jarred pasta brand)

5. Add lentil/quinoa mix to the roll, roll up like a burrito, place on top of pasta sauce. Once all rolls are in the pan, add another layer of sauce.

6. Bake, covered, at 350 for one hour

 

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Crispy Coconut Cauliflower Tacos

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I am so grateful for other food sites, like Splendid Table, that post amazing and inspiring recipes. These recipes are often the catalyst for my kitchen adventures. The Baja-Style Cauliflower Tacos are phenomenal. They have the perfect amount of heat; slight crunch from the panko/coconut breading, and a soft earthy flavor of the cauliflower.

While I did not make the slaw in the recipe, I opted for a similar one with a pre-made chipotle-tomato dressing. I also served the tacos with this delicious Tomato Rice.

I also changed the process of where I added the spice – I put most of the spice in the breading mix, leaving the coconut milk plain. The downside to this was if the breading fell off, the cauliflower was a bit more bland.

 
Ingredients

  • 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 c panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 head cauliflower (1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Corn tortillas, warmed

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix coconut, panko and spices in a bowl, set aside.

2. Whisk coconut milk. Dip the cauliflower into coconut milk mixture; coat well.

3. Once cauliflower is coated with coconut milk, roll in the seasoned panko/coconut topping. Place on a baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning cauliflower pieces halfway through.

 

Crockpot Curry Tofu

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I have been trying to find a great recipe for Butter Tofu, which is basically tofu in a rich curry sauce. Half Baked Harvest has a fabulous recipe. (*And, bonus, they just came out with a new cookbook!)

I made a few modifications, primarily substituting tofu for chicken. I used a very firm tofu in a vacuum sealed package. Since this cooks in a crockpot, the tofu has a generous amount of time to soak up the flavors in the sauce.

I would like to try this recipe again using vegan yogurt (I couldn’t find plain at the store). Also, if using dairy cream, I suggest adding that at the end. Mixing the cream in beforehand, then cooking for 8 hours caused my sauce to curdle.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

16 oz tofu, extra firm, cut into bite size cubes
1/2 onion chopped
1 Tbls butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbls freshly grated ginger
2 tsp curry powder
2 Tbls garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 14 oz can coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 c plain greek yogurt
1/4 c half and half

Optional Add-ins:

Wilted greens, roasted sweet potato, rice

1. In a bowl, whisk the spices, paste, coconut milk and yogurt; set aside

2. Saute the onion until tender

3. Add everything in a crockpot. I cooked mine on low for about 8 hours

4. Serve over rice (I added roasted sweet potato and wilted kale)

 

Espresso Chip Banana Bread

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My new favorite way to make banana bread is with instant espresso powder. The subtle coffee flavor pairs nicely with the banana, nut, and chocolate chips. If you aren’t a fan of coffee, this is an easy ingredient to omit. Although, I’ve had a few taste testers with aversions to coffee find the bread delicious so it’s worth giving it a try!

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1-2 Tbls instant espresso powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • one flax egg (1 Tbls flax with 3 Tbls water, let it sit for 5 minutes to thicken)
  • 1/3 c butter or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c walnuts/pecans
  1. Mix the bananas, espresso, sugars, vanilla, flax egg and butter; set aside
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. After a few stirs, add in 1/2 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans
  3. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes. Let cool before removing from the loaf pan

Rolled Eggplant Lasagna with Cashew Filling

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Baked eggplant, stuffed with cashew cream… could it get any better? I wasn’t able to get a photo once the sauce and cheese was added, but let me tell you, no one missed the pasta with this dish.

I took one large eggplant and thinly sliced it using a mandolin. Eggplants contain a lot of moisture and it’s best to salt the slices to help release some of the water. While the eggplant was sweating away, I made the filling. First, I sautéed some baby kale. Then, I made the cashew filling as follows:

  • 2 c raw cashews, preferably soaked for 4 hours
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 Tbls lemon juice
  • 1 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients until you get a creamy consistency.

Next, pat the sweated eggplant with paper towels; coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F until the slices are tender. Remove from oven, let cool. Spread with cashew filling and baby kale. Roll and place in a dish that has a foundation of pasta sauce. Cover rolled eggplant with remaining pasta sauce and top with cheese, if desired. Bake at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes.

 

 

Veggie Tostadas

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Veggie tostadas are great for evenings where you want a satisfying meal without a lot of work.

For these tostadas, I took a can of black beans, drained and rinsed them; then pulsed them in a food processor with water, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt until I got a smooth consistency. You could also buy ready made refried beans.

For the tortillas, I fried these in a little oil and let them dry on a towel.

In a separate pan, I sautéed veggies that I had on hand: onion, mushrooms, tomato, zucchini and corn. I added spices such as chipotle with a dash of salt. Once the veggies were cooked, I layered the tortilla – bean, veggies, cheese; then baked it at 400 F until crispy!

 

Butter Tofu Paneer

When I lived in South Africa, I had the ability to try some delicious Indian dishes. One of my favorites was the sauce to a butter chicken dish. I’ve been looking for a meatless option and came across this recipe. I followed the recipe very closely and it turned out wonderfully. I kept my tofu and sauce separate, then added them together in a bowl with rice and greens:

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Recipe that follows is from Vegan Richa with a few of my own modifications:

Ingredients:
  • 14 oz firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes
  • ½ tsp each of garam masala, paprika, salt, and turmeric
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1.5 tsp water (1/2 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
Butter Sauce:
  • 1 tsp coconut
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • Cashew cream made with with ¼ cup soaked (15 mins) cashews blended with ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ to 1 cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
Tofu Marinade:
  1. Mix spices, lemon juice, water, cornstarch, nutritional yeast and oil. Toss tofu in spice marinade. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the tofu cubes on parchment lined sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Butter Sauce:
  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden.
  2. Puree the tomato. Add to the skillet and cook until the puree starts to thicken
  3. In the same blender, blend the cashews and water until smooth.
  4. Reserve 1 tbsp of the cream for garnish. Add the rest of the cashew cream to the skillet. Add spices, salt and sugar and mix well. Use ½ cup water to rinse out your blender and add to the skillet. Mix and Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust spices as needed.
  5. In a bowl, add rice, greens (if using), tofu, and top with sauce

The Perfect Cornbread Muffin

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Perfect recipes are hard to come by these days and often involve rounds of trial and error to weed out the less than perfect recipes.

Once Upon a Chef has the best cornbread muffin recipe I’ve tried thus far. The muffins are moist and full of flavor. Each bite you get some sweetness from the honey, a little texture from the cornmeal, and richness from the butter. I also jazzed up 6 of the muffins by adding a little cheddar. I think they would be good with jalapeño or fire roasted corn!

Next time I bake these, I would like to replace the chicken’s egg and use a flax egg (1 Tbls flax, 3 Tbls water for one egg) and see what happens. You could easily swap dairy butter for non-dairy butter.

Recipe courtesy of Once Upon a Chef

  • 3/4 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1 Tbls baking powder
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbls honey
  • 3/4 c milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Add-ins like cheddar or jalapeño!
  1. Mix the dry ingredients, set aside
  2. Combine the wet ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the dry
  3. Stir until major clumps are gone, if using add-ins, add them in!
  4. I followed the main recipe and opted out of the muffin liner. Instead, I sprayed the muffin pan with cooking spray
  5. Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes

 

BBQ Pulled Jackfruit

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Veganizing recipes can be a frustrating and arduous process. When successful attempts come along, it’s cause for a celebration! I came across this recipe today and thought, “mmm.. that looks good, but how can I make it better?”

The answer: Jackfruit. If you don’t know what jackfruit is, I suggest you buy some, preferably canned as it’s easier to work with. As jackfruit becomes more mainstream, you should be able to find it nearby. I just spotted cans of jackfruit at Trader Joe’s last weekend.

You can incorporate jackfruit into most shredded beef/chicken/pork recipes (think: burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, rice bowls, tacos, and sandwiches!)

Within minutes I was sautéing some onion and green pepper. When the veggies were tender, I added them along shredded jackfruit to a slow cooker. The special sauce follows in the recipe below. Together, the ingredients simmered low and slow for several hours.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbls brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/3 c ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 Tbls apple cider vinegar
  • pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 can of jackfruit in brine (approximately 10 oz drained)
  1. Sauté the onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender (5-10 minutes)
  2. Mix the spices and liquids (water as needed) together to make a sauce
  3. Drain and rinse the jackfruit and shred the jackfruit with your hands or a fork
  4. Add the sautéed veggies and jackfruit to you slow cooker*, add BBQ marinade
  5. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for about 4 hours, then reduce to warm and eat when ready. You will likely want to add water along the way to  make sure the jackfruit stays saucy

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6. Serve on a bun or over rice and top with your favorite barbecue sauce!

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*Don’t have a slow cooker? No worries, follow this recipe and simmer all ingredients on the stove for at least an hour – making sure the veggies are tender and the jackfruit has absorbed some of the sauce.

Spaghetti Squash with Lentil Patties and Cashew Parmesan

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What a fun twist on the classic spaghetti and meatballs! I really enjoy working with traditional recipes and finding ways to get creative with them. This meal is completely plant based and is very easy to make.

First, I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400F until it was tender. Then, I set this aside to cool.

Then, I made the sauce – I used a jar of my favorite sauce and added some mushrooms that were sautéed in red wine and garlic, mmm!

For the lentil patties and parmesan, see the recipe below…

Lentil Patties

  • Olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbls flax plus 3 Tbls water)
  • 1 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1 Tbls Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbls tomato paste
  • 5 Tbls cashew parmesan (see below)
  • bread crumbs
  1. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until ingredients reach a dough-like consistency. I had to use about 1/4 c of breadcrumbs because my mixture was too wet
  2. Scoop about a tablespoon of the mixture and form into a patty. Add oil to a skillet and fry each side of the patty
  3. Once the patties have slightly browned, put them on a cookie sheet and bake at 350F for 15 minutes

Cashew Parmesan

  •  3/4 c raw cashews
  • 3 Tbls nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  1. Pulse everything in a food processor until you reach a desired texture.