Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ultimate Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese

Ultimate Baked Vegan Mac & Cheese

The ultimate of ultimates in comfort food has got to be Mac & Cheese! Everyone young and old, vegan or non-vegan LOVE Mac & Cheese and are always looking for a taste of this traditional dish. I have made it a few different ways and I happen to love a good Béchamel cheese sauce. It gives you that rich ooey gooey texture that Mac & Cheese is supposed to have. I also add a cheesy crunchy topping to just make the whole dish come together and keep you coming back for more. One of my sons all time favorites will hopefully be yours as well. Enjoy! 


Ultimate Vegan Mac & Cheese

Ingredients
-4 tablespoons vegan butter
-1/4 cup flour
-2 cups vegan milk, I used Almond
-1 1/2 cups grated Vegan Cheese, I used Daiya (Cheddar & Jack)
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
-Pinch Nutmeg
-Salt to taste, do not exceed 1/2 tbsp (too salty)
-2 1/2 cup uncooked elbow macaroni, cooked 8 minutes or to al dente, with a little bite to it
Topping

-1 cup grated vegan cheese, I used Daiya Cheddar & Jack
-3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs (optional, if you don't like a crumb top)
-1 Tablespoon vegan Parmesan 
-1/2 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
-Salt & Pepper, to taste
-1/2 tablespoon parsley (optional)
-1 Tablespoon oil 

Directions

Heat  oven to 375 Degrees

Heat a medium, deep skillet over medium heat. Add butter. When butter melts, add flour and combine. Gently cook, whisking flour and vegan butter together, until smooth and flour has had a chance to cook and slightly brown (tan color), about 3 minutes. Slowly add vegan milk that has been warm in the microwave for 2 minutes, continuing to whisk while adding. Gently bring vegan milk to a bubble while stirring frequently. Allow the vegan milk to thicken a bit, then stir in 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time. Season sauce with nutmeg, mustard, nutritional yeast, and salt &pepper. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Add cooked pasta to sauce and coat completely by turning over and over in the cheese sauce.  


Mac & Cheese
(You can eat it like this if you don't like it baked )



In a small bowl combine the vegan cheese, vegan Parmesan, nutritional yeast, panko bread crumbs, parsley, salt & pepper, lightly mix ingredients until cheese is separated and mixture is combined. Add Oil and mix again until everything is coated.

Transfer mac and cheese into a baking dish and top with vegan cheese and bread crumb topping. Place baking sheet in a 375 Degree oven for 20 minutes or until panko crumbs lightly brown and cheese melts. Take out of the oven and let cool until ready to serve, serve with salad or your favorite vegan proteins. Enjoy!


Pre-Baked Mac & Cheese


TIP

-If you like your Mac & Cheese more orange in color, Add all cheddar, I mixed and it makes it lighter. Completely your choice, either way its going to taste delish! Enjoy! 


-Amy 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Vegan Split Pea & Ham Soup

Vegan Split Pea & Ham Soup 
I have to admit that growing up Split Pea & Ham was NOT my favorite comfort food. My mom made it over and over again...and still I didn't like it. But sense I have been vegan I have seemed to warm up to this comforting delight everyone else but me liked. So re-doing the recipe over and over again and mixing it with my moms recipe, I have come up with a soup that cannot only satisfy vegans but meat eaters alike. Serve with your favorite crusty bread and salad. Enjoy!


Vegan Split Pea & Ham Soup 

Ingredients
-1 pound dried split peas
-1 field roast hot dog, cut in fours & chunked into small pieces
-1 oz of vegan bacon bits
-1 Tablespoons vegan butter
-2 Tablespoons oil, I used Olive
-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-2 celery stalks, finely chopped into thirds
-2 large carrots, cut into fourths and chopped
-3 small to medium garlic cloves, finely minced
-1 teaspoon salt
-3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
-8 cups water
-2 packets vegan ham bouillon 
-1 teaspoon vegan pork bouillon
-2 medium bay leafs
-1 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
-1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Directions

In a large pot, put oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, thyme, parsley, and red pepper flakes (if desired) and cook for about 3 minutes.  

Add vegan hot dog and bacon bits and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the dried peas and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, the bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender, about 1 hour. Add more water as needed, if the soup becomes too thick or dry for your taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with your favorite crusty bread and salad. Enjoy!

-Amy

Monday, January 28, 2013

Heavenly Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Heavenly Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream


I honestly can't think of anything more comforting than CHOCOLATE! Now as a certified Choco-holic, I can tell you that if I have a craving for anything, I go for the chocolate over anything else. I love the fact that you can also make so many different concoctions with it, cake has got to be by far the most decadent as far as chocolate goes. Now if you layer it three times over with the cake, frosting, and decoration than I think you have a marriage made in chocolate heaven. The name describes the experience and the experience is HEAVENLY! Enjoy...and I won't tell anyone you licked the spatula repeated!


Heavenly Vegan Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Ingredients

Cake

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating the pans
1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups plain vegan milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 cup shortening (your favorite) or vegan butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pans
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 "eggs", I used The Vegg (1 tsp & 1/4 water)

Optional
-3 Tablespoons prepared coffee, brings out the flavor in the chocolate 
(If not using the coffee, add 3 Tbsps more vegan milk) 


Frosting
(Makes around 2 cups frosting. If you need more, make more)

-1/2 cup vegan shortening or vegan butter
-2/3 cup cocoa powder
-3 cups powdered sugar
-6 Tablespoons vegan milk
-1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

Cake

Heat Oven to 350 Degrees

LIBERALLY grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans and set aside to use later.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the Crisco and sugars on high speed until light, approximately 5 minutes. Add The Veggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine the vegan milk, vinegar, and coffee (if desired). On low speed, add the flour mixture and the vegan milk mixture alternately one at a time, beginning with the vegan milk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix the batter only until blended. Scrap sides as needed through the process.

Pour the batter into the prepared and floured 9-inch baking pans, smooth the top with a spatula, and bake in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake springs cake. Cool to room temperature before frosting.


Heavenly Vegan Chocolate Cake


Frosting

In the stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the Crisco on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low (stir setting), add the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder and mix until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
With the mixer on low, gradually add the vegan milk and vanilla. Beat on low until incorporated, then beat on medium high until the frosting is airy and thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute, stopping  to scrape down the sides of the bowl. If you want more frosting for the cake make more, its all up to you and your tastes.


Vegan Chocolate Buttercream


Assembling the Cake

Transfer one of the cake layers, bottom side up, to a serving plate, 9-inch cardboard round, or cake stand. Spoon a third of the frosting into the center of the cake layer. Work an offset/regular spatula or wide butter knife in a gentle swirling motion and spread the icing into an even layer from the center toward the edges of the cake working your way around.

Carefully set the second cake layer on top of the first. Evenly spread another third of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake, this is your crumb layer, and it will be covered up after it sets. Place the cake in the refrigerator until the frosting on the outside is slightly hard, about 15 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and evenly spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake and decorate with whatever you want and/or design you like. Let rest or chill for a few hours or overnight and serve. Enjoy!

CAUTION
I cannot stress enough that the pans have to be greased and floured well, I have had it happen more times over, sticking and your cake breaks A very sad moment after you see a beautiful product. If it does break, you have frosting to save the day. Have fun, no one cries over broken cake...


Assembled & Decorated Cake


-Amy

Vegan Chicken & Biscuits

Vegan Chicken & Biscuits
Gravy is a very comforting thing...you eating it on a lot of different dishes and it gives you that homey comfort that goes along with holidays or even Sunday dinners. If you pair it with hearty ingredients and veggies you have yourself a winner. To top it off you add biscuits and you have a home-run  This recipe combines the comforting combination we all grew up with or at least ordered at diners and restaurants  It delivers a rich stew and a homemade biscuit that will having you fighting to NOT lick the bowl...I won't tell, we have all done it. Enjoy!




Vegan Chicken & Biscuits

Chicken Stew 
Ingredients

-4 vegan frozen chicken cutlets/scallopinis or patties (breaded or unbreaded is fine), diced (Gardein Brand)
-2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil but your favorite is fine)
-1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to your taste
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or more if desired
-5 cups vegan chicken stock
-3 Tablespoons vegan butter
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan milk (almond or coconut milk)
-2 large carrots, diced
-2 cups package frozen peas
-1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves, or 2 Tbsps dried

 (Biscuits below as followed)

Directions

Heat vegan chicken breasts up in microwave until defrosted. Place the vegan chicken aside until cool enough to handle, then cut the chicken into small chunks.

In a Large pot or Dutch oven, put in the oil and saute the onions over medium heat for 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the carrots to cook, and also add  salt and pepper at this point. Stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Then Add the vegan chicken stock to the veggie mixture. Simmer for 10 or more minutes, stirring until carrots are tender. Once tender add the cubed chicken, peas, and parsley, and mix well.

For thickening: Mix the flour and vegan butter in separate bowl, working with fork until the butter is mixed with flour completely or is the size of peas. Turn your heat up to high and add to the chicken and broth mixture and slowly blend into the pot until the butter pieces melt. You will see it thicken up rapidly. Once completely thickened, turn off heat and set aside. Serve with a biscuit and stew poured over top, garnish with parsley and serve.

Vegan Biscuits

Ingredients


-2 cups flour
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1 stick cold butter flavored Crisco, diced (I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes or more)
-3/4 cup soy milk
-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (you can switch it up and do other herbs, spices, etc.)
Egg Wash
-1/4 cup soy milk, small amount of cooking spray, or you can use The Vegg for brush it with. (directions for The Vegg as followed on instructions)


Directions

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you don't have a mixer you can do this by hand with a pastry cutter (for needing the Crisco and everything together).

Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the soy milk and combine on low speed until ingredients are combined, DO NOT over mix or you will have tough rocks on your hands. Mix in the parsley or other choices. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and with a rolling pin, roll out to about a 1/2-inch thick. Cut out circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, I use a drinking glass a lot. (Its about that size and I get 6 large biscuits out of it)

Place them on a cookie sheet or pie pan, if they are touching side by side in the pie pan that is fine. Brush them with "egg wash" (add salt and pepper, if desired) and place in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 or until golden brown and dough doesn't spring back. Serve with Vegan Stew and Enjoy!






-Amy

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Vegan Omelets

Vegan Omelets

When you are looking for something hearty and comforting for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner, omelets are a perfect meal for any three of those. It is versatile and can be switched up easily with just different fillings and toppings. I personally love anything with spinach and mushroom...add garlic and I am in heaven, but with this "egg" outside the skies the limit on what you want to fill it with. Serve with your favorite breakfast sides or even a salad and you are all set for any meal, any time of day. Enjoy!


Vegan Omelets
Makes: 2 Omelets


Ingredients

Egg Mixture

-Half a Block of Silken Tofu
-3 Tablespoon flour
-2 Tablespoon corn starch
-1/4 cup prepared Vegg
-Black pepper, to taste
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Oil or Vegan Butter to coat pan

Filling

-2 cups baby spinach
-1 cup baby mushrooms, your favorite
-1 large clove garlic, minced
-Salt & Pepper, to taste
-1 Tablespoon Oil or vegan butter
-1/4 cup vegan cheese, I used Daiya Cheddar
-2 Tablespoons vegan parmesan cheese, inside and topping


Directions

To make "Egg" Mixture
Place all your "egg" ingredients in blender and blend all of the ingredients until liquidized, lump free and smooth. You can also use an immersion blender. Set aside and wait for cooking. 

To make Veggie Mixture
In a small to medium skillet heat a pan with oil on medium high heat and add mushrooms and cook until slightly softened and golden, 5 minutes. Add garlic and seasonings and cook until garlic is fragrant  about 1 to 2 minutes. Once mushrooms and garlic are combined add your spinach and cook done until spinach is wilted and soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add if desire. Remove veggie mixture from stove and place in a side bowl and wait to use in omelet. 

To make Omelet
Heat a small to medium skillet with oil/vegan butter to coat the pan. Pour half of the smooth "egg" mixture into the center of the pan and use a spatula or spoon to spread it into a large circle evenly without breaking it. Cook for five minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom, flip to other side and cook until the other side resembles the first. 

Once both sides are cooked, pile your filling and vegan cheese on one half of the omelette and lightly fold the other half over. Press down light with you spatula and leave to cook few minutes or until cheese is melted. Carefully slid out of the pan onto your plate, sprinkle with more parmesan and/or herbs. Add more salt and pepper if desired and serve with your favorite breakfast sides. Enjoy!

-Amy 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vegan Black Bean & Chicken Enchiladas with Saffron Rice and Black Bean Puree

Vegan Black Bean & Chicken Enchiladas with Saffron Rice and Black Bean Puree


Sometimes comfort foods can be ones we get when we go out to eat, but sometimes we want to have those same flavors without leaving the house...okay or we don't want to get out of our PJ's. But never the less we still want those delish tastes and I have to say Mexican is one of those tastes that falls into that category. This recipe delivers that going out to dinner taste but without having to get out of those PJ's. It will be a recipe that you can switch up with different ingredients and will definitely have your family asking for it over and over again. You will have plenty of leftovers and you do not have to have a take-out container when you leave your table. Enjoy!



Vegan Black Bean & Chicken Enchiladas 
with Saffron Rice and Black Bean Puree


Ingredients

Enchiladas

-2 teaspoon oil (I used vegetable)
-1 Bag Vegan Chicken Strips (Gardein or Morningstar)
-1 teaspoon cumin (powder)
-1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
-1 teaspoon dried cilantro
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 cup canned black beans, drained
-1/4 cup water
-1 packet Goya soffritto season packet
-1 1/2 Tablespoons diced green chilies
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 1/2 cup for frying
-Half a large onion, cut into thin slices
-Half a large red pepper
-8 large soft tortillas
-2 cups vegan cheese, shredded (I used Daiya Jack & Cheddar flavors)
-2 cans enchilada sauce (I used 1 green & 1 red, your preference)


Saffron Rice

-3 1/2 cups vegan chicken broth
-1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
-1 packet Goya soffritto seasoning packet
-2 cups rice (I used white)
-1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
-1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
-1/2 cup green peas
-1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped green chilies

Black Bean Puree

-1 cup canned black beans, drained
-2 tablespoons chopped green chilies
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
-1/2 teaspoon cilantro
-2 Tablespoons water or chicken/vegetable broth
-2 teaspoons oil


Enchilada Directions


Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and stir in the vegan chicken strips, chilies, and seasonings (oregano, cilantro, soffritto packet, cumin, and garlic powder). Cook, stirring, until the mixture is mixed and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Stir in black beans and 1/4 cup water or broth, reduce the until water/broth cooks out. Once done, taste for salt and set aside for assembling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce and 1 1/2 tsp oil in a casserole or baking dish. Place your tortilla wrapped in a damp paper towel in microwave for 1 minute. Take tortillas out of microwave and set on side to assemble enchiladas. Spoon a heaping 1/4 cup chicken & black bean mixture onto the tortilla with 1 Tbsp cheese over top of the mixture, roll it up and put seam-side down in the baking dish, arranging them side by side in the dish.

Pour remaining enchiladas sauce and top with the remaining cheese. Bake until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Divide among plates and top with more cilantro, sour cream, and/or avocado slices ( if desired).






Saffron Rice Directions

Pour vegan chicken broth into a medium sized pot and place pot on stove over high heat. Add saffron, salt, oregano, cilantro, soffritto packet, and oil. Bring mixture to a boil and then add rice, let cook at a boil for 1 to 2 minutes and then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 15 minutes or until liquid has been fully absorbed and rice is no longer hard, stirring occasionally  Once cooked through, Stir in chilies and peas and place lid back on pot for 5 to 10 minutes. Before serving, fluff rice and taste for salt. Serve along side enchiladas.

Black Bean Directions

Mix black beans and chilies in a bowl and heat in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until beans are heated through. Add bean mixture to a food processor and blend until beans are smooth and no lumps are present, adding water or stock as needed. Add smoothed out bean mixture to a small frying pan with oil and add seasoning  Fry on high for 5 minutes or until the beans reduce and are thickened in texture. Once thickened add salt and pepper to taste. Serve along side enchiladas.

Enjoy

-Amy 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Recommended Product

Recommended Product


FIELD ROAST



“We encourage all to try them as they look to reduce their carbon footprints. Eating Field Roast instead of animal meat even one day a week will make a significant impact.”


“Our intention is to make real food, not fake meat substitutes,” 
Chef and Field Roast President David Lee


“Field Roast’s products are planet-friendly and they taste amazing,” 
David Steele, Executive Director of Earth Save Canada. 

ABOUT

Founded in 1997, Field Roast Grain Meat Company creates high-quality vegan/vegetarian foods that are based on European and Asian culinary traditions, and are made with the simple tenets of good cooking and traditional food making practices. It has an ever-expanding array of products.


PRODUCTS



Hot Dogs
Representing a savory combination of apples
and sage anchored with Yukon gold potatoes
with a subtle hint of hickory smoke.











Celebration Roast
A rich and savory sausage-style stuffing made from
Field Roast grain meat, fresh cut butternut squash,
mushrooms and granny smith apples seasoned with
a blend of rosemary, thyme and sage. We then surround
the stuffing with our most luxuriant grain meat seasoned
with rubbed sage, garlic and lemon juice.












Sausages
Smoked Apple Sage Sausage
Italian Sausage
Mexican Chipotle Sausage

Half Loaves




















Roasts

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Sometimes a chocolate chip cookie isn't enough...yes I said it. Sometime we want a little more out of our cookies to change it up a bit and sometimes dare I say it, maybe a little healthy too. These cookies combine the taste of a chocolate chip cookie but with the heartiness of a oatmeal cookie...plus the yummy addition of the coconut. Now a cookie is a cookie and we all want to indulge, just don't eat the WHOLE batch in one sitting...if can resist.


Vegan Chocolate-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies


Ingredients

-3/4 cup Butter Flavored Crisco
-1 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
-2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
-1 Tablespoon Vanilla
-2 large "Eggs", Egg replacer powder or The Vegg (prepared as followed on your directions)
-3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
-1 teaspoon Salt
-1 3/4 cups Flour
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-3/4 cup old fashion oatmeal
-1 6oz package Vegan Chocolate Chips or Chunks

Optional

-1 cup Pecans or Walnuts
-1/2 cup raisins

Directions

Heat oven to 375 Degrees

Combine Crisco, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla in electric mixer, beat at medium speed until blended. Add in your egg substitute and beat in. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in separate bowl. Once your ingredients are all in separate bowl, add and beat into the Crisco mixture until blended but not over beaten. Stir in vegan chocolate chips, coconut, and oats ( plus nuts and/or raisins at this point, optional).

Drop rounded measured cookie dough 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. For measuring I used a ice cream scoop, depending on your desired cookie size you can use a small or regular size scoop. If you don't have an ice cream scoop use a 1/4 cup measure or spoon.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes (half way through you can flatten them or leave them domed), Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet and then remove cookies to a rack to cool completely. Small 2 Tbsp cookies will take 8 to 12 minutes or so, until golden brown. All your missing it some ice cold milk alternative! Enjoy!


Before Baking


-Amy

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

Vegan Matzo Ball Soup

We all have our remedies for feeling better and getting over an illness, most think chicken soup but I think matzo ball. This has all the components of a chicken soup but heartier and so delicious, if you have never had this soup you will definitely be craving it over and over again...even if your not sick. A traditional favorite made vegan, eat by itself or have it will a salad and bread. You can't go wrong with this hearty delish soup. Enjoy! 



Vegan Matzo Ball Soup


Ingredients

Broth:
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-3 quarts (12 cups) vegan chicken broth
-2 stalks celery, plus a Tbsp of the leaves, cut celery into thirds and chopped. (Finely mince leaves)
-2 large carrots, cut in fourths and chopped
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-1 Tablespoon parsley
-2 to 3 sprigs thyme, minced finely
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste depending on how salty your stock is
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper

-2 cups vegan chicken, chunked up (optional)

Matzo Balls:

-4 to 5 "eggs" using The Vegg or The Vegan Egg
-1 tablespoon minced fresh or dried parsley
-1/2 cup matzo meal
-2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
-2 Tablespoons water or vegan broth (veg or chicken)
-1 teaspoon salt 
-Black pepper, to taste

Directions


Soup

Put the celery, carrots, onion, parsley, thyme, garlic, (vegan chicken if using), and salt & pepper in a large pot. Bring to medium-high heat and saute for 5 minutes. Add stock and cook until boiling reduce the heat to  low and Add matzo balls to soup mixture (that is NOT boiling, just a low simmer or the matzo balls will break up), cook until firm but tender and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Matzo Balls:  

Make The Vegg as directed. In a medium to large bowl, beat the The Vegg eggs, oil, and seasonings in a mixing bowl. Fold in the matzo meal and mix until fully incorporated. Store the mixture, covered, in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight (if over night the mixture may dry up, dehydrate with a Tbsp of hot water until mixture is workable). Take out and roll 1 Tbsp of dough into balls with damp hands. Cover and chill until ready to cook. 

Ladle soup into bowls, serve with bread and/or salad and enjoy! 

-Amy

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Recommended Website


Recommended Website 



Vegan Essentials is an online store located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. They have been in business since early 1998 and are one of the USA’s oldest cruelty-free retailers, filling the needs of vegans worldwide for nearly a decade. They are a vegan owned and operated store that specializes in only offering the highest quality animal-free products, and their mission is to offer unparalleled service and selection all in one location, making them a one-stop shopping destination for all things vegan.







Website: http://veganessentials.com/

Perfect Homemade Vegan Biscuits

Perfect Homemade Vegan Biscuits

I think growing up most of us had that grandma or even mother that always made biscuits from scratch and we still to this day remember them and wish to have that homey comfort food that would fill the house with delicious smells and always was fun to help make a mess with ...rolling pin and all. Now a days a lot of the biscuits are frozen and grandmas are long gone. Finding a decent vegan one is hard to do...if you can find any at all. But to make them isn't that hard, much harder than it looks and you can carry on those traditions that they used to "back in the day" and make grandma/mom proud for doing so. These beauties take as much time as popping them out of the freezer and turning the oven on but you get fresh in no time at all. Great for kids to help with too...Enjoy!


Perfect Homemade Vegan Biscuits


Ingredients

-2 cups flour
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1/2 cup cold butter flavored Crisco or vegan butter, diced (I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes or more)
-3/4 cup soy milk
-1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (you can switch it up and do other herbs, spices, etc.)
-1/4 cup soy milk for "egg wash" or you can use The Vegg for brush it with.


Directions

Heat oven to 400 Degrees

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you don't have a mixer you can do this by hand with a pastry cutter (for needing the Crisco and everything together).

Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Add the soy milk and combine on low speed until ingredients are combined, DO NOT over mix or you will have tough rocks on your hands. Mix in the parsley or other choices. Dump the dough out on a well-floured board and with a rolling pin, roll out to about a 1/2-inch thick. Cut out circles with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, I use a drinking glass a lot. (Its about that size and I get 6 large biscuits out of it)

Place them on a cookie sheet or pie pan, if they are touching side by side in the pie pan that is fine. Brush them with "egg wash" (add salt and pepper or extra toppings, sesame seeds, etc.) and place in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 or until golden brown and dough doesn't spring back. Serve with vegan butter, jam, or they go great with Vegan Stews. Enjoy!


-Amy


Different kinds, the possibilities are endless...



Vegan Chive Biscuits












Vegan Sesame Seed & Herb
















Monday, January 21, 2013

Recommended Product

Recommended Product


The Vegg

If you have looked through my recipes, you will see that I am a HUGE fan of The Vegg and the endless possibilities it has in so many vegan recipes that need an egg replacer. I find this one works fantastically! If you purchase this product, you are sure to be a repeat customer because you will NOT be disappointed. 

ABOUT:

The Vegg is a brand new edible egg-free product. It has just hit the market, making vegan eating even easier and tastier than ever before. The Vegg is a versatile egg yolk replacer that can be used (instead of egg yolks) in a wide range of recipes, and you can even use it straight as a liquid “yolk” for dipping (incredible delish).
Plus, every time you buy The Vegg, you can have an even greater positive impact because 10% of net sales will be donated to Compassion Over Killing.

INGREDIENTS: Nutritional Yeast Flakes, Sodium Alginate, Kala Namak, Beta-Carotene. 


DIRECTIONS:

Blend contents with one liter of water. (For Vegg users who wish to not mix all at once, use this conversion: Blend 1 teaspoon of The Vegg powder with 1/4 cup water equivalent to about two to three yolks!) 

*IMPORTANT NOTES: PLEASE BLEND!...DO NOT MIX BY HAND! BLEND WITH WATER OR OTHER LIQUID BEFORE USING! THE VEGG WILL NOT SET WITHOUT AN ADDITIONAL THICKENING AGENT!*

Where I Purchased

http://www.veganessentials.com/

(They have other US locations & Abroad sites as well)

The Vegg Website: http://thevegg.com/ 

Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli

I have said it once and I will say it again, soup is the ultimate comfort food for me. This soup fits that comforting qualities with hearty veggies and pasta/beans in a flavorful broth. This soup is great on a cold night in or serve to a crowd. It can be switched up with the different kinds of pastas you use and served with your favorite bread. Topped with some vegan parmesan cheese and call the troops for dinner and watch the pot disappear.


Pasta Fagioli


Ingredients


-2 tablespoons olive oil
-3 slices of vegan bacon (minced)  or 2 Tbsps vegan bacon bits
-1 big sprig thyme with several sprigs on it, left intact
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
-1 medium onion, chopped small
-2 large carrot, chopped
-1 rib celery, finely chopped
-3 large cloves garlic, minced
-2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
-1 cup canned tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes
-3 cups fresh baby spinach, left whole
-1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1 quart vegan chicken stock
-1 teaspoon imitation vegan pork stock powder or paste
-1 cup Israeli couscous or ditalini pasta
-Salt & fresh black pepper, to taste


For Serving
-Vegan Parmesan Cheese on top
-Crusty bread


Directions


In a separate pot cook pasta or your choice to al dente. 6 to 8 minutes for ditalini or as directed for couscous. Once pasta is cooked, set aside to add to soup. (You can cook the pasta in the soup but it will soak up the broth, if you want it thicker cook in or more soupy cook out. All your choice)

Heat a deep pot over medium high heat and add oil and vegan bacon, brown the bits lightly. Add thyme, parsley, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, chopped carrots, onions, celery, and garlic. Season vegetables with salt and pepper to and cook for 5 minutes. After, Add beans, tomato sauce, and stock & vegan pork powder/paste to pot and raise heat to high, bring soup to a boil and cook until vegetables are tender.

Remove thyme stems and bay leaves from soup and Add cooked pasta. Reduce heat to medium, Add spinach and cook in soup, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until spinach is cooked. Taste for salt & pepper and season to taste, if desired. Let soup rest and begin to cool for a few minutes. Ladle soup into bowls and top with vegan parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread on the side. Enjoy!


-Amy

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Vegan Baked Stuffed Shells

Vegan Baked Stuffed Shells

Nothing is better then something hot and bubbly out of the oven that makes your house smell of deliciousness and you family happy when they sit down to eat at Sunday dinner. This recipe foe-fills ALL those desires with a dish that make you look like you slaved in the kitchen all day. Your family and friends who are non-vegan or anyone new to the lifestyle will not miss the "real" cheese in this dish either. Serve with a nice salad and garlic bread and watch your family lick their plate. Enjoy!

Vegan Baked Stuffed Shells


Ingredients

-1 Jar of your favorite vegan pasta sauce
-1 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
-1 Container of vegan ricotta
-1 Tablespoon vegan Parmesan cheese
-1/4 cups vegan mozzarella, grated
-1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
-1/8 teaspoons onion powder
-1/4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
-1/4 teaspoons dried parsley
-1/4 teaspoons dried basil
-1/2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
-Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
-1 Tablespoon olive oil

Topping

-1 Tablespoon vegan Parmesan cheese
-1 cup vegan cheese, I used Daiya
-1/2 Tablespoon dried or fresh basil
-1/2 Tablespoon dried or fresh parsley
-Sprinkle of salt & pepper, to taste
-1 Tablespoon olive oil, drizzled on top after all the other toppings go on

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted & oiled water to a boil. Add shells to pot and cook as directed (about 8 to 10 minutes). Once they are done, drain and rinse with cooled water until completely cool.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees

Preparing the Shells:

Mix the vegan ricotta, vegan Parmesan, 1/4 cup vegan mozzarella, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices (garlic & onion powder, parsley, Italian seasoning, and basil) in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour a olive oil and little sauce into the bottom of a shallow medium sized casserole dish, so the shells don't stick. Fill shells with rounded spoonfuls of ricotta cheese mixture and arrange them seam side down in casserole dish. Top shells with remaining sauce, Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella, Parmesan, herbs, and olive oil, Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until cheeses melts and slightly browns. Let cool slightly before serving. Enjoy!


-Amy



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vegan & Gluten Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding Pie




Vegan & Gluten Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding Pie

I can't think of anything more comforting then chocolate. In my book I am set for life if I just have some chocolate to munch on everyday...but what if you have a dessert that is not only chocolate but triple chocolate and good for for! You would think I am crazy right?! Well this recipe is just that, it is made with avocados to make the pudding, the pudding is low in sugar because of the agave, and it is gluten free. This pudding recipe was redone after a Giada De Laurentiis recipe but made vegan and I use a little less cocoa powder. Together the recipe with the homemade crust gives you the ULTIMATE in chocolate heaven. Enjoy!

Ingredients

-1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, (I used good life mini chips)
-4 very ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
-1/2 cup agave
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon fine salt
-1 1/2 cups vegan/gluten free Oreo-type cookie crumbles, (about 2 to 3 rows of cookies in package)
-1/4 cup vegan butter, melted


-Vegan Whipped Cream & vegan chocolate chips, for garnish


Directions

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Place in microwave for 2 minutes. Stirring every 30 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth, set aside to cool slightly.

Place the melted chocolate, avocados, agave, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt in a food processor or kitchen aid blender with whisk attachment. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Spoon into bowl to chill in the refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight (can be prepared 1 day in advance, the texture will get thicker the longer it sits).





Crust

Heat Oven to 375 Degrees

In a food processor, Add vegan and gluten free Oreo-type cookies and pulse until crumbles are completely broken and no lumps. Add crumbles to a medium bowl and Add melted vegan butter, stir until evenly coated.

In a oven safe pie dish Add buttered crumbs and evenly spread around the dish packing down around edges and bottom until evenly coated. Place in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes and remove when done to cool completely. Once cooled completely, Add pudding into the shell in the pie dish and smooth evenly. Chill for a few hours or overnight to set. Garnish with vegan whipped cream and/or vegan chocolate chips and serve. Enjoy!




-Amy

Vegan Chicken Piccata


Chicken Piccata
Something that can be great about comfort foods is that they can be a quick fix but what can make them even better, is when the dish can also be a great crowd pleaser for any occasion. Served with pasta or by itself, this recipe delivers that triple threat with a delish sauce that will put a zing in your step and have you walking away satisfied and wanting more.


Chicken Piccata


Ingredients

-4 vegan chicken cutlets/scallopini, thawed (Gardein)
-Salt & freshly ground black pepper
-1/3 cup flour
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons vegan butter, room temperature, divided
-1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 cup dry white wine or 1 Tablespoon Grey Poupon
-1 Tablespoon capers, small pearl
-2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
-1/2 Tablespoon fresh parsley, for sauce


-Chopped fresh parsley, minced, for serving

Directions

Add flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a shallow plate. Dip each chicken cutlet in the flour and shake off the excess.

Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the vegan chicken and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Once done place them on the plate and set aside while you make the sauce.

For the Sauce

Over medium heat add you mustard or wine in the same pan you cooked the chicken, add the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and parsley, whisk until combined. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter and capers, whisk to combine. Dredge each cutlet into the sauce and place on top of a simple vegan buttered pasta or serve alone. Spoon the remaining sauce over the cutlet. Serve 1 chicken breast on each plate. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley. Enjoy!




-Amy

Friday, January 18, 2013

Vegan Latkes

Vegan Latkes
There is no better comfort foods then the ones you have special during the holidays. This recipe is one that is great for the holidays and on a regular night, they could also be made bite size for a party. You can enjoy them with or without a complete meal and you will guaranteed to make you family or just yourself very happy. They go great with condiments or plain. Mix it up once and a while and add different seasonings and different veggies (ex: sweet potato) and you have a whole new recipe and just as good. The skies the limit on variations. 



Vegan Latkes


Ingredients

5 Potatoes, peeled and cut in 4's
¼ cup Daiya vegan cheese, (flavor of your choosing)
6 to 9 "Eggs", for dredging and assembly, (I used The Vegg or The Vegan Egg-make as directed)
1 cup flour plus 3 Tbsps, divided
2 cup vegan bread crumbs or panko
1 Tablespoon of grated onion or green onion
1 Tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley 
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt & Ground Pepper
5 Tablespoons vegan butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Oil for Frying, Vegetable or Soybean 

For Serving

-Serve with vegan sour cream, apple sauce, or plain. 

Directions

For Potatoes

Fill a large pot with water three-quarters of the way up and salt and potatoes, season liberally (about 1 Tbsp). Bring water to a boil and then reduce to medium low and let cook until potatoes are completely cooked through (knife slides in and with no resistance), 20 minutes or so. Drain potatoes and set aside to cool for use with the seasoned veggie mixture.

For Seasoning Mixture

Heat frying pan over medium heat with 1 Tbsp vegan butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Saute green onion or onion and garlic until cooked down or translucent and fragrant, 5 minutes. 


For Assembly & Frying

In a mixing bowl combine cooked (cooled) potatoes, cheese, 3 eggs using The Vegg, 3 tbsp of flour, green onion/garlic mixture, parsley, salt & pepper to taste, and the remaining butter. You can mash by hand, with hand mixture, or kitchen aid mixture. 

On two separate plates add the 1 cup of flour on one and bread crumbs on another, for dredging the pancakes. As well as one on the side with the remaining Vegg.
Fill you hand with a heaping 3 Tbsps of the potato mixture, shape the pancakes in yours hands and flatten slightly to make patty. dredge them in flour and shake of excess. Dunk in vegg (egg) and then into the bread crumbs.

*editors note: its best to form into potato patties, chill until firm, dredge, and then fry. You get a more workable patty to fry.*

In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil to the pan, about 1 inch. You will be able fry when the oil reaches 350 degrees. Add latkes and fry 3 minutes or until golden brown all over. Add more oil if need throughout frying all the latkes. Remove latkes to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up excess oil, while hot season with a pitch more salt. Serve with vegan sour cream, apple sauce, or eat plain. Enjoy!

-Amy 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recommended Product


Recommended Product 


If you have been looking through the Blogs Recipes you will notice I am a HUGE fan of Daiya. Now this is a relatively new vegan cheese on the market and it is extremely popular with vegans and even non-vegans alike. If you don't have it in your area, check out the site to help locate it and give it a try. Comes in many different flavors, you will not be disappointed! Enjoy!








*Daiya products are free of dairy (casein, whey and lactose), soy, gluten, eggs, rice, peanuts and tree nuts (except coconut oil). They have our own production facility which eliminates the chance of cross-contamination with other pesky allergens, making their products 100% vegan.

Vegan French Onion Soup



Comfort food for me will be and always be soup. Now when you combine soup, bread, and cheese it is nothing but a winning combination. This soup is perfect on a cold night when you want to have something DELISH and hearty, it makes enough for you to have again and again...its a gift that keeps on giving! Serves well with your favorite sandwich or a salad. You will definitely be making this over and over again. Enjoy!


French Onion Soup


Ingredients

-2 Tablespoons olive oil, and more for topping
-1 Tablespoon vegan butter/margarine
-4 large onions, thinly sliced
-6 sprigs of thyme leaves, removed and minced
-1 large bay leaf or 2 medium
-1 Tablespoon dried or fresh parsley, and more for topping (optional)
-4 cups of vegan chicken broth
-4 cups of vegan beef broth
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1/2 cup red wine
-1/4 cup cola or 2 teaspoons sugar, (I perfer cola)
-1 teaspoons Salt, or to taste
-1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper

For Serving

-1/4 cup vegan cheese (I use Daiya: Havarti or Jack), grated, on each crock of soup
-1 small baguette or 1/2 large, cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

The Soup
Heat a large dutch oven or stock pot on medium heat and Add vegan butter and oil. Once melted, Add onions, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook down onions until translucent.

Sauteed Translucent Onions 
Add cola/sugar when the onions are translucent and continue cooking covered until onions are caramelized, around 20 to 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

Onions with Cola
Once the onions are done, Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes for wine to out.

Reduced Onions
Add your chicken, beef broth, and bay leaf to the pot and stir to combine. Cook on high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat once at a simmer to medium low heat, covered for 30 minutes.

Broth Added to Onions
Check for seasonings after cooked and adjust for you own tasting, more salt or pepper if needed and remove bay leaf.
Finished Soup
Baguette Croutons
While your soup is cooking, cut and arrange sliced baguette pieces (1/2 baguette) on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 to 3 Tbsps Olive oil. Sprinkle the croutons with Dried Italian Seasoning & Parsley flakes (1 tsp each), garlic powder (1/4 to 1/2 tsp, to taste), Salt (3/4 to 1 tsp, to taste) & Freshly Ground Black Pepper (to taste). Toss to combine and bake.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until croutons are dry, crispy, and golden brown around the edges.
Finished Croutons
For Serving
Place oven safe crocks with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of onion soup (depending on size of your crocks) onto a cookie sheet and top with 1/2 cup croutons and then your 1/4 cup vegan cheese each. Drizzle each lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste & parley so cheese will melt and brown evenly, the salt brings out the flavor in the cheese.

Pre-Baked French Onion Soup 
Pre-Baked French Onion Soup
Place in oven on low broil until cheese is melted and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and let rest until serving, 5 to 8 minutes or for how ever long you can resist. Serve with your favorite sandwich, salad, or eat by itself. Enjoy!



Finished French Onion Soup
-Amy