Marinades & Dressings Make Food More Interesting

When you become a vegetarian or vegan, you might feel like you’ve given up the flavors that you once enjoyed on your favorite meat dishes.  That is not true, just about everything you may have once used as a marinade can also be used in your new lifestyle. My personal favorites are those asian marinades that involve miso, soy sauce (aka shoyu) and believe it or not there even exists a vegan oyster sauce in some markets.

Here is a simple miso marinade that you can try, that I have taken from one of my many vegetarian/vegan cook books. This one comes from “Gettin” Saucy” by Andrea Bertoli.

MISO MARINADE

Ingredients:

1/4 cup miso
1/4 cup mirin (or white wine)
2 Tbsp soy sauce (shoyu – use gluten free is necessary)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)

Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth and well blended. You can use a food processor if you want to. Then store for up to a couple weeks, this recipe will make about 1/3 cup of marinade, so if you need a lot, then multiple the ingredients accordingly to produce what you need for your meal.

This marinade can be used on tempeh (overnight), seitan or a extra firm tofu. If you use it on veggies, marinate for at least an hour. Grill or bake for 10-15 minutes.

Ratatouille White Bean Casserole [Vegan, Gluten-Free] | One Green Planet

If you’re looking for a cozy and hearty yet light dinner to share with your family and friends, look no further than this delicious ratatouille casserole.

Source: Ratatouille White Bean Casserole [Vegan, Gluten-Free] | One Green Planet

Brazilian Sweet Potato Stew


I found the original recipe for this stew in a publication by Vegetarian Times and made some modifications to fit my personal tastes.  It is a sweet stew, which can be easily made to be more savory based on your liking by spicing it up.  The prep time takes the longest, but to cooking time goes fast.  You can have this meal ready in 30 minutes.  I served my stew up with some mixed grain (white & brown) rice and some sauteed shishito peppers on the side.  It was delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 to 1 1/4 lbs.), peeled and diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 small hot green chili pepper, or more to taste, minced
  • 2 16-oz. cans beans, drained and rinsed – black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, etc.
  • 1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled and diced or 1 cup of diced frozen mango
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is golden, about 3 minutes.

Stir in sweet potatoes, bell pepper, tomatoes (with liquid), chili, 1 1/2 broth and all spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender but still firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Be sure to test your potato tenderness during this time to make sure it doesn’t over cook or become mushy.

Stir in beans and simmer gently, uncovered, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in mango and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot and with your favorite starch.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and please share your comments with me on how you spiced up your sweet potato stew.

Enjoy …

Tracy

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

I will admit, I am a chocoholic.  But I have lost the craving for the sugary sweet chocolates that you find in most stores now.  So, when I took a recent vegetarian cooking class I was so excited to see one of the recipes we would be learning was a vegan chocolate pudding and IT IS GOOD!

I posted a photo of this recipe in the making on my Instagram page (@newvegetarian) and now I would like to share the actual recipe with you.    You can vary this recipe to your personal taste, but I have to stress the importance of using only pure cacao powder, anything less will be a disappointment.

So here we go:

  • 1 large banana or 2 small ones
  • 1 ripe & soft avocado
  • 3-4 Tablespoons pure cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup plant milk – coconut, almond, soy or your own personal favorite
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, agave or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh fruit for garnishing (bananas, blueberries)

Combine all of these ingredients into a food processor or powerful blender until smooth as pudding.  Chill for an hour and serve with your favorite fruit topping.

Few notes, I have changed up the type of plant milk used and I will say I really like using coconut milk most of all, followed by cashew milk.  So, try different type of plant based milk and find your personal favorite.  Also, changing the type of sweeter changes the flavor as well.  I like using honey, but maple syrup is my second choice.  The agave is a little too thin and makes the pudding a bit more runny.  But you give it a try and see what you like best.  Also, don’t make too much at a time, it will keep up to a week at best.

As you can see this is a very simple recipe and once you can make in 10 minutes or less. I just love it myself and can have pudding anytime I want.

Enjoy …

Tracy

 

How To Roast Garlic …

Roasted Garlic

As much as I enjoy cooking and eating garlic, I have never attempted to roast my own at home.  Well, today was that day and I must say I am totally happy with the results.  If you have never tried it yourself, here is a quick and super easy way to make some home made roasted garlic for adding to your favorite spaghetti sauce, rice, or even just to spread on some hot, fresh bread and a little EVOO.  On my yum!

Here it is:

3-5 garlic bulbs – trim off the tops about 1/4 inches to expose the garlic cloves
3 tbsp of vermouth or dry gin
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

After you trim off the tops, place each bulb of a piece of foil.  Each bulb will be ultimately be individually wrapped and roasted in foil.  Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of vermouth or gin over each bulb, followed by a teaspoon of olive oil, then a bit of salt & pepper on each bulb.  If you want it sweeter, then drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of honey.

Tightly wrap each bulb and roast in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the cloves are soft and spreadable. Unwrap each bulb and enjoy.

Kung Hei Fat Choi – Ring in Chinese New Year With These 20 Vegan Recipes

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Chinese New Year is just around the corner and the meal planning is underway.  What are your plans to celebrate this incoming lunar new year?  2017 is the Year of the Rooster so let’s celebrate him and not eat him.

In reading my morning batch of emails I found one from Green Planet that has a number of vegan meal options to celebrate Chinese New Year.  It is a really good variety of recipes from spicy dishes to desserts. I am particularly interested in the Chinese Seaweed Salad, the Sweet and Sour “Chicken”, and the Lou Bak Gou (Turnip Cakes).  So these will be in the making for sure at my house.  You have 20 vegan recipes to choose from and try, so start exploring you pantry to see what ingredients you already have before you hit the grocery store.

Remember, if you are new to this vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, choose recipes that are easy to make and require the least amount of time.  It will make your transition much easier than getting ‘gung ho’ and taking on more of a cooking challenge than your are ready for.  Remember, as a new vegetarian or vegan, cooking should be exciting and most of all enjoyable to do. So, enjoy this process and I wish you all the best in this coming new year.

XOXO

Tracy

Ring in The Year of the Rooster the traditional way with this meat-free and fish-free Chinese dishes!

Source: Ring in Chinese New Year With These 20 Vegan Recipes

What is in Poultry Seasoning?

Have you ever wondered what spices are in poultry seasoning and is there a hint of poultry essence in it? Inquiring minds want to know, well at least my inquiring mind.  I am happy to say there is no poultry in it, do ground down chicken by-products added.  Yippee!

Well I threw out my bottle of poultry seasoning before checking what was in it and now I need some for a recipe I want to try.  I am happy to report that I do have a fix for my problem and I can make my own using existing spices I have in my kitchen, so no need for me to run out and buy some.  If you are interested in making your own poultry seasoning here is a recipe that you can pre-make and store in your own personal spice jar.  Imagine it your made this recipe with fresh dried herbs from your organic garden, how wonderful that will be!

Home-made Poultry Seasoning

Ingredients – 1 teaspoons of each:

  • dried rosemary
  • dried sage
  • dried thyme
  • dried marjoram
  • celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine all of the ingredients together and crush with a mortar & pestle, spice grinder or mini food processor. Store and use as needed for your future recipes.

Avocado & Citrus Salad Dressing

Are you tired of eating the same-oh same-oh dressings on your salads?  Looking for something fresh and lite?  This recipe has 3 of my favorite ingredients in it and it is an easy,  fresh and tasty gluten free dressing. It’s perfect on any salad, but also it is great as an alternative to salsa for your tacos or taco salads. By combining all of the ingredients all at once in your blender or food processor it will be ready in a few minutes.  Whenever possible use organic ingredients to keep your recipes clean and free of pesticides & chemicals.

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • ½ cup, loosely packed, cilantro leaves (no stems please)
  • 1 ripe, skinned and pitted avocado
  • ½ tsp himalayan salt or your salt of preference
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

Hope you like this dressing and find it to be A personal favorite as well.

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner – A MUST! – Easy Mushroom Gravy

Gravy!  What more do I need to say, you can’t have mashed/smashed potatoes without gravy, you can’t have stuffing without gravy, you can’t have thanksgiving dinner without gravy.  So, here’s a recipe to keep on the refrigerator because it will be used over and over again for anything you make that with a little gravy will be so much better.

You might need to run out for a few ingredients for this one, vegetable broth if you don’t make your own and some nutritional yeast, cornstarch or arrowroot and don’t forget the mushrooms.  It won’t be mushroom gravy without the mushrooms.

If you like mushrooms, you’ll enjoy this easy vegan gravy, which is great over seitan, tofu, rice, and especially mashed potatoes.

Source: Easy Mushroom Gravy

Planning Thanksgiving Dinner – Dish #4 – Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Balsamic Glaze

Brussel sprouts, I make a killer grilled brussel sprout recipe but for Thanksgiving I think I am going to do these in the oven.  The cook time is the same as the shepard’s pie and with my new double oven stove, I can have two dishes cooking at the same time and be extra efficient with my electricity use and the amount of time I spend cooking in the kitchen this year.  I AM SO EXCITED!

Another super easy recipe with ingredients I always have in the house, so the only thing I need to add to the shopping list for this recipe is a pound of brussel sprouts.  Thanksgiving dinner is coming together and it even appears to be shaping up to be much easier than I thought. All of this cooking could be done in about 2 hours, and no carving to do.  YES! I am liking this vegetarian/vegan thanksgiving planning.

Can’t wait, I am getting more and more excited as I pull the menu together.

Here is a simple to make and exciting change from the usual, plain brussels sprouts.

Source: Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Balsamic Glaze