Thursday, March 31, 2011

Creamy-Not Always Coleslaw-Dressing

That 'Not Always' part, I added myself. I wanted a homemade salad dressing that my husband will eat. He is still buying bottled dressings. And from Kraft of all companies. Ick! Anyhow, I was going through La Dolce Vegan who is the How it All Vegan authoress', and found this oh so simple dressing. Yes yes, it is meant for coleslaw, but where in the world of veganism is there a rule book that says this 'has' to go over shredded cabbage...yeah, just what I thought.

With that said, I loved this recipe. It has a wee bit of a bite to it, but best of all, my hubby loved it!!! So make it and love me for it later...and Sarah Kramer also.

3/4 cup vegan mayo
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T sugar (your choice, just not brown)
1 T fresh parsley, minced (we were out and it was still great)
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
 In a jar or dressing bottle, combine all thee ingredients. Shake well, with the cap on of course and pour on your favorite salad. Makes about 1 cup. My hubby liked this one, as did I, this one will definitely be made again, for sure.!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cucumber-Cilantro Soup

I am definitely making up for lost time. I am always scouring sites for recipes I can use when teaching my raw food classes. I happened upon this really great recipe on, of course, VegWeb. The ease to this recipe is scary. And that is what is all about for me at least in the raw world.

So many people want to try it, but feel if they do not have a $700 dehydrator, or a $600 blender, that they cannot go raw. Yes, it is great to have those items, but for those of us who cannot then it is still do-able for sure. In walks the Cooking Lady.

Think gazpacho when you eat this soup. It is cold but it could be served at any time of the year, and more so if you live in Florida. Try this and trust me, you will not regret it one little bit.

2 cups chopped cucumber (about 1 large cucumber)
1 & 1/4 cups water
1 avocado
1/2 cup cilantro
1 T lemon juice
2 t agave or any liquid sweetener
2 t apple cider vinegar(If you have not tried Braggs vinegar, then do so)
1 clove garlic (run through a garlic press)
1/2-3-4 t salt
Now here comes the complicated part. Put all ingredients in a food processor and process until ingreditinets become smooth.

That's it. Please make this. It is so simple and so enjyoable. You will not regret it.!

Best Vegan Mac & Cheese

What has to be thee ultimate comfort food? Macaroni and cheese, without a doubt. And I have been searching high and low for one that fits the bill. We were doing all right and doing with, but I had just not found that real gutsy, stick-to-your-ribs type of mac and cheese. Step back folks for I have found the perfect recipe. Oh no, I did not do this one on my own, for I am still dabbling with this veganism. But there is a cute story to go with this recipe (as with so many of my dishes).

I was at work (my local health food store) and I always look at what folks purchase. And when I see enough veggie stuff, the first question I ask them is, 'Who is the vegetarian/vegan in the house?' and they usually tell me...conversation started. So this one young woman came through and we started up a lively conversation and I informed her that the one dish I had not quite mastered as a vegan yet was mac & cheese. 'I have the perfect recipe for you.' she tells me. 'There is this site you have to go to and check it out.' And of course I ask which site and she tells me VegWeb. I tell her to stop right there, and that I already know which recipe she is talking about.

Right about that time we both quote the recipes title. Waaait for it: Best Vegan Mac and Cheese In The Entire World...Seriously. I am not kidding that is the title. And they are so correct. So many poeple have altered the recipe but I have not. Thee only thing I have done is cut back just a tad on the say sauce and thee oil. But other than that keep it as it is, unless you find you want to change it after you have made it a time or two.

I would be hard pressed for anyone not to go back for seconds or thirds for that matter. And when the kids go back for more, then you know you have a winner.

1&1/2 pounds macaroni (dry)(preferably elbows)

Cheese Sauce:
1 & 1/2 cups 'unsweetened' non-dairy milk
1 & 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
1 cup of oil
1 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari
1/4 (12 ounce) block firm (not silken) tofu
1 T garlic powder
1 T paprika
1/2 T salt (may eventually use less)
Dollop of mustard (Use whatever you have on hand)
Boil your macaroni according to package direction. While the pasta is boiling, make your sauce. Once the pasta is drained, pour into a large lasagan pan. Add all cheese ingredients to a blender or food processor and whirl until blended.

Pour cheese sauce over macaroni. Here is where it gets a little different. You will need to fold the sauce into the macaroni. Meaning that you to turn it over and over until it is thoroughly combined. This will take more than just a few stirs. Rotate the pan if you have to, but do it.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Yeah, you heard right 15 minutes. This dish is the Rachel Ray of healthy food.!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ginger 'Chicken'

Yeah yeah yeah, you all know I do not eat chicken. But when you are transitioning form eating meat to vegetarianism and then from vegetarianism to veganism, you still want that connection the things you remember eating. that does not mean you want to remember how those meals got to you plate, they were familiar to you and most of the times there were good memories involved around eating time (hopefully).

With that said, I found this little recipe quite by accident. At the health food store I work at, there is a rack of books that I browse through when it is slower. I take away tid bits of information from these cookbooks and sometimes I fall upon a recipe that piques my interest so much that I know that I just have to make that recipe. Well this is that recipe.

This one is not very complicated and if you are already on the road to health then thee ingredients will not come off as odd. I have all these items in my pantry 99% of the time.

I will, however, admit that this is a bit time consuming. So be ready to be in the kitchen. This is one of those meals that you make to show folks just how good vegan food can truly be. From beginning to end, you are looking at about 1&1/2-2 hours. that is from start to dinner table.

Please read thee instructions carefully. I did not on my first time. I did not ruin the dish, but it got better the second and now even the third time making the dish. I love this dish. But the one thing I have not done is change the spices. The spices you see here, give it a classic chicken feel/flavor. And if you are someone who is in the kitchen then you will recognize by name and then by smell the traditional poultry seasoning spices. Ahhh, the small of is intoxicating. Reminds me of Thanksgiving. Anyhow, on to the recipe.

I almost forgot, I found this in the How It All Vegan 10th Anniversary edition book. Excellent book. I can't wait to add it to my collection. Read on-make-eat-enjoy.

Mock 'Chicken':
1 cup wheat gluten 'flour' (may need to purchase at a health food store)
1 cup water

4 cups water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce (we use low sodium versions)
2 t onion powder
2 t dried sage
1 t dried thyme
1/4 t salt

Ginger Dish/Sauce:
3 3-inch pieces of fresh ginger, peeled into paper-thin coins ( I minced mine)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup soy or tamari sauce
2 t corn starch
1/4 cup water
2 green onions, finely chopped

In a medium bowl, stir together the wheat gluten flour and water until it becomes elastic. Knead for 5 minutes and set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring all the broth ingredients to a boil. Slice gluten into 1 inch chunks(or strips, whatever style you want is fine) and drop carefully into broth. Reduce heat, cover with lid and let simmer for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until broth has reduced.

In a large pot on medium-high heat, saute the ginger in oil for 3-4 minutes or until ginger starts to soften and change color. Add 'chicken' chunks and saute 2-3 minutes more, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add the say sauce, cover pot with lid, and turn down heat to medium. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce evenly coats the ingredients.

Once the 'chicken' is cooked, stir together the corn starch and water in a small bowl. Add to pot and stir together well until sauce is thickened. Place 'chicken' in a large serving bowl, garnish with green onions, and serve with rice. You can also add some steamed veggies and have a very colorful meal. Please enjoy, we always do.