Recipes, Veganism

Navy bean spread

Ingredients

1 cup dry navy beans, cooked

Finely chopped green onion

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt, to taste

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Water, as needed

Assembly

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. Add as much water as needed to make your desired consistency. I like a thick consistency that can be spread on bread or crackers.

Adjust seasoning, lemon juice, and nutritonal yeast to taste.

Recipes, Veganism

Tofu ricotta

Ingredients

1 package extra-firm tofu

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Dried basil

Salt (and pepper)

1 teaspoon white miso paste

Water, as needed

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Add a little water, if necessary, if the ricotta is too dry
  3. I don’t like pepper, but feel free to use it if you do.
  4. You could add some garlic to the ricotta; I prefer not to, I like the more delicate flavour without it, which is closer to the taste of original ricotta.
Recipes, Veganism

Vegan bangers and mash

I treated myself this weekend to an old classic: Bangers and mash. I used Montreal-based Gusta’s Italian seitan sausage, as well as Yukon Gold potatoes mashed with Becel vegan margarine and soy milk. I added lots of caramelized onions, as well as peas. At this time of the year, fresh peas aren’t available, but frozen do well. I sauteed the peas with the onions after the latter were caramelized. I topped this with a simple gravy, which is a combination of water, flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, gravy browning, and a touch of soy sauce.

Absolutely delicious.

Recipes, Veganism

Creamy chocolate custard

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Combine the cornstarch and water to form a paste.
  2. Mix together the cocoa powder and sugar.
  3. Pour the soy milk into a pan over medium heat. Although you can use other plant-based milks, soy milk works best for custards, as it thickens well (almond milk for example, does not), and does not impart a strong flavour (unlike oat milk or cashew milk, for example).
  4. Stir the cocoa powder and sugar gradually into the soy milk. I find a balloon whisk works well for this.
  5. Add the vanilla extract, to taste. I like to use a full teaspoon.
  6. Add the cornstarch paste.
  7. Whisk the milk until boiling point. It’s important that you stir constantly, as you don’t want any lumps to form.
  8. When the milk boils, remove from heat.
  9. Pour into individual containers of your choosing. The custard will continue to thicken.

My preference is to eat the custard when it’s still warm and a crust has formed, but it’s equally good cold. It will be thicker when cold.

Recipes, Veganism

Cauliflower bake

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The main ingredient in this dish is cauliflower. I added two other vegetables to the dish for extra texture and flavour, but this isn’t necessary.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cauliflower, cut into florets.
  • Broccoli florets
  • Fresh (or frozen) peas

Cheeze Sauce

  • 1 peeled and diced potato
  • 1 peeled and diced carrot
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups plant milk (soy milk works best)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp miso
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Preparation

  • Boil or steam the cauliflower and broccoli until tender. Set aside.
  • Boil the potato and carrot until tender.
  • Placed the cooked potato and carrot in a blender and add the remaining ingredients for the cheeze sauce. Blend until smooth.
  • Place the cauliflower, broccoli, and peas in an ovenproof dish and cover with the sauce, making sure to cover the vegetables completely.
  • Back at 350F (177C) for 20 minutes.

 

Recipes, Veganism

Carrot top pesto

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I bought a bunch of fresh carrots on Saturday from one of our local farmers’ markets and was inspired to make carrot top pesto, which is something I read in one of the Zero Waste communities to which I belong. In the past, I’ve always just composted the carrot tops; this recipe is an excellent way to combat food waste.

Ingredients

  • Carrot tops (the green leafy parts) of a bunch of carrots, chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic, or to taste
  • juice of half a lemon
  • Olive oil. I didn’t measure closely, but I think I used about 3 tablespoons
  • A handful of cashews (walnuts might work better, but I didn’t have any on hand)
  • Salt, to taste.

Method

  • You can blanche the carrot tops if you wish, but I kept them raw. Make sure they are well rinsed.
  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender. I used my Vitamix.
  • Blend until everything is smooth. You decide what texture you lie; if you want a smooth pesto, blend for longer; if a chunkier texture, just pulse. It’s really hard to pulse with a Vitamix so mine comes out smooth.
Recipes, Veganism

Lasagne roll ups

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I decided to forgo the usual “ricotta and tomato sauce” approach to lasagne in the recipe below. Roll ups are convenient, as I find it easier to control portion sizes.

Ingredients

For the filling

1 finely diced onion

3-4 diced garlic cloves

Cooked sweet potato, mashed

1 block extra firm tofu, crumbled

Finely chopped greens. I used collard greens, but you could easily use spinach, swiss chard, or kale.

Crushed tomatoes

Red wine (optional)

Dried basil and oregano

Topping

Tomato sauce

Shredded vegan cheese. I used Gusta, but any brand you like that can be shredded will do

Instructions

  1. Saute the onions until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the crumbled tofu and saute, making sure to distribute the onions and garlic thoroughly.
  3. Add the sweet potato and greens.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes. The filling needs to be thick, so add only enough tomatoes to achieve this consistency.
  5. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add red wine, if desired. I used a lovely local rose, which gives the filling a subtle flavour.
  7. Simmer for about minutes, stirring frequently.

To assemble

  1. Boil the desired number of lasagne noodles until al dente. I used six.
  2. Lay the cooked noodles flat on a towel or cookie sheet.
  3. Place the filling along the entire length of each noodle. Be generous with the filling.
  4. Roll each lasagne noodle.
  5. Place the filled noodles in a baking dish. Make sure the noodles are tightly packed so that they don’t lose their shape.
  6. Cover the roll ups with tomato sauce and grated cheese
  7. Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipes, Veganism

Yellow split pea soup

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced. I used a purple sweet potato this time; the flesh is white.
  • 1/2 cup dried yellow split peas
  • Enough vegetable broth to cover
  • Dried sage
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Saute the diced onion and carrots until softened.
  2. Add the peas, sweet potato, and sage
  3. Cover with vegetable broth. Don’t add too much broth, or the soup will be too thin. You can always add more broth if the soup becomes too thick.
  4. Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours.
Recipes, Veganism

Root vegetable soup

36189115_1999281686748843_5251876771074146304_nThis soup may not look pretty, but it certainly tastes good. I needed to use up some root vegetables that were starting to get soft, as well as some wilting kale.

Ingredients

  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 3-4 diced carrots
  • 1 diced white turnip
  • Chopped kale
  • Red kidney beans
  • A handful of dry rice
  • Vegetable stock
  • Thyme & sage
  1. Saute the onions, carrots, and turnip. Once browned, add the diced garlic
  2. Use enough stock to just cover the vegetables. If the soup becomes too thick, you can always add more stock.
  3. Add chopped kale, red beans, and dry rice
  4. Season to taste, and simmer until the vegetables and rice are cooked.

 

Recipes, Veganism

Vegan shepherd’s pie – of a sort

My contribution to my choir’s annual potluck supper this year consisted of a vegan shepherd’s pie. I use the term shepherd’s pie loosely, as the dish I prepared takes a view liberties with the classic definition.

The Filling

  • Gardein Beefless Ground
  • Diced onions
  • Diced garlic
  • Diced zucchini
  • Diced carrots
  • Peas
  • Salsa (I use the mild variety, but you can get as spicy as you like)
  • Tomato Paste
  • Dried oregano

I sauteed the onions, then added the zucchini and garlic and cooked until browned. I added the rest of the ingredients and simmered for about 45 minutes. I used the tomato paste to absorb any liquid, as the filling should not be runny.

Topping

  • Potatoes
  • Vegan margarine (I used Becel Vegan)
  • Soy cheese
  • Shredded vegan cheddar (I used Earth Island; known as Follow Your Heart in the U.S.)

Mash the potatoes with the ingredients above. Salt to taste.

Place the filling in a casserole and top with the potatoes. Bake until the top is browned.