Categories: Entrees, Soups & Stews
Tags: Gluten-Free,Low Fat,Nut-Free,Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
Sometimes life pushes our limits. Sometimes just when I think I can't take anything more, it deliberately sets out to prove me wrong. I could choose to be sad, to wallow if you will, to hang my head down and just suffer. And there are times I allow myself to do just that. Mostly though, I do my best to take it all in stride and roll with the punches. I am so fortunate to have such a supportive husband who holds my hand as we weather through life's storms together, a family who is always there for me, and friends who remind me that we all have our battles. Every single one of us, without exception. When I take a minute to remember that, it puts things back into perspective. Food is one of the ultimate ways to not only comfort yourself, but comfort anyone who may need it. It is also an escape. Nothing like diving into a special recipe to forget about life for just a bit. This recipe is perfect. With a little prep work to distract you in the morning, this gets slow-cooked throughout the day, making your house smell divine, and at the end of the day you and your loved ones get to sit down to a piping hot bowl of homemade vegetable soup. Does it get better than that? This also makes a decent amount of soup, so maybe you can deliver a bowl to someone you know who needs comforting, or better yet invite them over. It's the little gestures of kindness that mean so much. Wishing you all comfort when you most need it. Peace
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 2 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 TBS canola or olive oil
- 2 lbs of frozen mixed soup vegetables, includes corn, carrots, peas, green beans, etc
- 32 oz vegetable stock or broth
- 2 cups of water
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 2 TBS Braggs Liquid Amino Acids
- 1 TBS red wine or Balsamic vinegar
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 tsp salt, more or less depending on your stock
- fresh ground black pepper
In a large nonstick skillet with deep sides, saute the onions, celery, and potatoes in the oil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally for about 8 minutes or until the onion is tender. Add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add the frozen vegetables and put a lid over the skillet, continue cooking another 6-8 minutes until the frozen vegetables are warm. Transfer to a slow cooker and turn on high.
Bring the pan back to the stove and add the stock, water, tomato paste, Braggs, vinegar, bay leaves, red pepper flakes, and salt, cooking over medium-high heat. Whisk gently to incorporate the tomato paste. Continue cooking until the mixture is bubbling, about 5-7 minutes. Then add to the vegetables in the slow cooker. Using a silicon or wooden spoon stir in a generous amount of black pepper, I usually add between 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Add the lid and let cook for about 6 hours over high heat, stirring occasionally. Serves 6-8. Please note that you can really use whatever vegetables you have on hand. In the past I have used squash, peppers, cabbage, lima beans, etc. so feel free to improvise.
Categories: Entrees, Sandwiches
Tags: Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
Several weeks ago, my sweet hubs and I ventured up to Bethlehem, PA for VegFest. It turned out to be a really fun and scrumptious adventure. Aside from having tons of vendors that sell conscientious and hand made jewelry, clothes, body lotions, etc. they also had many booths with charity organizations. We got to pet an adorable pig, who's tail would wag whenever people petted him, seriously adorable. We made donations, picked up brochures, and bought unique treasures. Now... let's talk about the food. There was a great offering of local food vendors serving up everything from pizzas to spelt soft pretzels. Of course Vegan Treats was there with a spread of beautiful sweets so varied and monumental, it was enough to make your knees week. Since we arrived early we indulged in a boston creme donut that elicited several moans. But the best part was that we had always wanted to try the vegan eats from the food truck "The Cinnamon Snail" and they were scheduled to come to the festival. They got there a little later than they expected... We were like hawks and spotted them the very moment they arrived and got toward the front of the line that was very quickly forming. We chatted with the people in line and really enjoyed our company during the short wait until the truck opened it's window and started to take orders. Their menu is ah-mazing and we had a terrible time trying to figure out what to get. We opted for the lemongrass five spice seitan sandwich and the ancho chili seitan burger. I tried not to drool as I told them what we wanted. The guys were geniunely nice as they took our order and we moved to the side to wait. Within a few minutes we heard our name called out and ran up to retrieve our order. My hubs and I split everything and eagerly dove in. Holy. Mother. of. the. Universe! Their food was not just good, it was breathtaking, orgasmic, and beyond delicious! I hope they have food trucks in heaven, seriously. If you are ever in the Northern NJ, NY city area you have to check them out. This sandwich is inspired by their flavorful, hearty, and beautiful food. It's perfect for the fall and winter... the beer and maple flavors kissed with the tangy and spicy horseradish is divine. The swiss chard adds the perfect bitter note and adds such gorgeous color to the sandwich. This is one of our favorites now and reminds us dearly of some of the best vegan food we have ever eaten... thank you Cinnamon Snail!
Beer-Braised Onions & Garlic:
- 1 - 1/2 large sweet onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 TBS canola oil
- 1 - 1/2 cups of beer, I used a pale ale, add more if needed
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan sour cream
- 1/4 cup Vegenaise
- 1/4 cup horseradish
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Maple Glazed Seitan:
- 3 TBS Braggs Liquid Aminos
- 1 TBS Balsamic vinegar
- 2 TBS olive oil, divided
- 1 TBS maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 12 oz of seitan, rinsed and patted dry
- 4 to 6 sub or torpedo rolls, 6" long, or 2 to 3 long sub rolls, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 large bunch of swiss chard, tough stems removed, sliced into 1" thick ribbons
- salt & pepper
First start with the beer-braised onions and garlic. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and some salt & pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden and soft. Add the beer and continue to cook until all of the beer has reduced down and there is not much liquid left in the pan. About 7-10 minutes. Add more beer if you like. Once reduced, remove from heat.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, squeeze the horseradish into your hands to get as much of the moisture out as you can. The combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, whisking gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Bring a large pot with an inch of salted water to a boil. Now start on the glaze, in a small bowl add all the ingredients except the seitan and 1 TBS olive oil. Whisk thoroughly until the maple syrup has dissolved. Preheat over med-high a large non-stick skillet with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the dried seitan and cook, stirring often until the seitan starts to turn golden, about 5-7 minutes. Then pour the glaze over top and cook, again stirring often, until the seitan starts to get crispy and all the glaze is absorbed, another 5-7 minutes. While the seitan is cooking, blanch the swiss chard for 4-5 minutes and remove from the boiling water. If you want to keep the bright colors, you can rinse with cook water to stop the cooking process.
Once everything is done, you can assemble the sandwiches. Smear the horseradish spread over top half of the cut rolls. Top the bottom half with a layer of seitan, then add a layer of swiss chard, and finally the beer-braised onions and garlic. Sprinkle on a little salt & pepper. Cut them carefully in half and enjoy! Makes 4-6 small subs or 2-3 longer ones.
Tags: Gluten-Free,Nut-Free,Refined Sugar Free,Vegan
Chilly nights have arrived here in eastern Pennsylvania. The leaves are starting to drift slowly from the trees, adding that fall tell-tale crunching sound to my daily walks. The leaves become exciting little creatures to my sweet dog, who must check out any unusually large ones, or ones that move a little in the wind. She has a very active imagination so now she has tons of excitement on her walks. Fall is here and it's time to warm up from the inside. This is the perfect creamy dip, served piping hot, it's comfort food at it's finest. One brisk day, it just so happened that we had a bunch of extra kale. We are addicted to kale in our house... finally something to crave that is actually good for me! But it does not stay fresh long in the fridge. So what to do with all the extra kale before the leaves start looking sad and droopy? I had a jar of artichokes and decided to try kale as a stand in for the traditional spinach. It works beautifully. This dip is unbelievably good... just like the creamy dip I remember from the old days, but packed with a little extra garlic flavor. One can never have enough garlic, and well, garlic and kale just belong together. So invite some friends over, warm up the tortilla chips, and uncork a bottle of wine... This is warmth worth sharing.
- 1 – 1/2 cup nondairy plain, unsweetened coconut milk, I used SoDelicious (don’t use canned coconut milk)
- 2 TBS cornstarch
- 2 TBS Earth Balance Vegan butter, melted
- 1 TBS nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
- 2 tsp agave syrup, light
- 1 tsp tahini paste
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 6 cups kale, leaves removed from stems, stems discarded
- 1 – 10 oz jar of artichokes in water (about 9 chokes), drained
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup Daiya vegan mozzarella shreds
- Water for Boiling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large deep skillet, bring a couple inches of salted water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, chop the kale leaves into 1/2” strips. Once the water is boiling, drop the kale into the water and cover. Boil for 5 minutes then empty into a colander to drain.
Next, combine all the ingredients from milk to black pepper into a food processor. Process for about one minute to combine. Then, while processor is running, slowly drizzle olive oil in. Let run for about 10 more seconds after the last drop of the oil is in, set aside.
Chop the artichokes by cutting them in half lengthwise, then cutting those pieces across into thirds. Squeeze as much water out of them as you can by hand and place into a large bowl. Next squeeze the blanched kale in your hands to get the water out, do this in batches and place into the bowl with the chokes. Add the minced garlic and mozzarella shreds, stir gently to mix. Now pour the sauce over everything and mix thoroughly to combine. Pour everything into a small casserole dish, mine was about 4”w x 8”d x 2”h. If it’s filled pretty close to the top, as mine was, place the dish onto a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil to catch any drippings. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until the top is just starting to brown and the middle and edges are bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes, serve with toasted bread or pitas, or tortilla chips. Serves 6-8 as an appetizer.