Posted by Noelle on May 20th, 2013
Categories: Sides
Tags: ,,,

This recipe is completely inspired by my first, but hopefully not last, visit to Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia. The hubs and I were celebrating our veganversary and wanted to go somewhere special. Special does not begin to describe Vedge. From the minute I walked in, my vegan heart skipped a beat. As we were ushered past the vegan bar and into the main dining room, the ambiance and decor came together like magic. Minimalist in it's style, yet warm from the ample glowing ceiling lights, with every detail of this historic building thoughtfully restored... all with a neutral palette which quickly draws your eye to the gorgeous food on the tables. That is the real star of this place. We sit down and are given the menu and the day's "dirt list" which is the daily farm-to-table special collection of vegetables. We quickly order beer and begin the hard task of figuring out what food to order. Kung pao cauliflower with peanuts, black vinegar, and cilantro or asparagus & garlic mustard soup w/ preserved lemon and pepitas? How about both. So the food arrives and we dig in. Food orgasms begin. Sorry but seriously, those vegetables were that good. So we order two more plates of veggies. Brussels sprouts, shaved and grilled with smoked mustard arrives. We moan our way through it, savoring every delectable bite. It dawns on me that I have never had vegetables coaxed to such beautiful perfection before. It makes me want to cry tears of joy. I need to take a moment... Needless to say there were many more plates of food and of course dessert, which will require a whole post on it's own. I left Vedge so impressed and so inspired. The hubs and I set out to create our own version of those Brussels sprouts that would be quick, simple, and easy... but still taste special. And here you have it. This truly feels gourmet. It would be a great side dish to impress dinner guests with, or to make the foodie in you sing... or to just celebrate this gift of life. Peace!

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Smoky Mustard & Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 TBS tahini
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 lb or more Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (depending on what saltiness you like)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Preheat a grill with a cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Next, make the mustard sauce. Pull all ingredients except the water into a bowl and whisk rapidly until combined. Slowly add water while whisking until the mixture becomes a thick creamy sauce. Add more water if needed to help thin it out a bit.

In a large bowl toss the Brussels sprouts with the canola oil, salt & pepper. Once grill and pan are heated, add sprout mixture and cook stirring and tossing frequently for 3 - 5 minutes or until the sprouts just start to get browned on the edges. Be careful not to overcook, you still want them to have some texture. Pile them neatly onto a serving platter and drizzle with mustard sauce and more fresh cracked black pepper. Makes 4 generous sides.

Posted by Noelle on March 24th, 2013
Categories: Entrees
Tags: ,,,,

It's been awhile since I have been able to post. I hope life has been good to you 🙂 It feels great to finally start reclaiming my life back after what seems like forever. Where have I been you ask? I have been helping close family members (yep, plural) battle serious illness. It's during this time you find out what you are really made of. I found out that my sense of humor never takes a vacation and that it might be my best weapon against the illness monster. The monster tried very hard to bring us all down... We didn't let it win. We aren't out of the clear yet so my postings will be a little sporadic, but as each week gets better and better I will be working on more recipes and posts.

This week's recipe is about simplicity. Time is precious. Now go hug your spouse, your partner, your kids, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your dogs, your cat, your iguana... you get the idea. Tell them you love them right now. Great, now back to the recipe. This is one of those recipes that you don't even have to get out of your jammies to make. We all have those days. This is about minimal time investment with a huge, delicious return. That sounds good right? Yep it sure is. So make this in the morning, after you have slept in, had your cup of coffee, and are functioning well enough to use a knife. Put it in your crockpot or slow cooker and just hours later you will have some amazing comfort food. This can be served with just about anything. I like mine with a baked potato or alongside rice with a kale salad. Let's see...you could stuff it into a pita, roll it into a wrap, or eat it straight up...Did I mention it's versatile? It also makes great leftovers. Over the long cooking hours the tempeh absorbs the bbq sauce, releasing it as you bite into the perfect juicy and meaty texture. It's easy, simple, comforting, delicious and most of all pretty healthy. My favorite combination 🙂 Peace and good health to you and yours.

Vegan BBQ Tempeh

BBQ Tempeh - Vegan

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of tempeh, 8 oz each, I used plain soy tempeh
  • 16-18 ounces of barbecue sauce, pick something healthy and tasty, mine was agave sweetened
  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of water

Directions:

Turn your crockpot on high. Cut the tempeh into 3/4" cubes. I cut it lengthwise into 3 longs strips and then cut those strips into 9 equal pieces. Place tempeh and sliced onion into the crockpot. Add barbecue sauce and water. Stir gently with a wooden or silicone spoon. Place lid on crockpot and let cook for 5-7 hours on high. You can stir occasionally, but it's not really needed. Serves 4-5.

Vegan BBQ Tempeh

Vegan Tempeh - Barbecue Crockpot

Posted by Noelle on November 11th, 2012
Categories: Desserts
Tags: ,,

This crumble is inspired by my trip to Ireland last year. In every little shop, cafe, and restaurant, they proudly display and serve their apple crumbles. They seem to come in several variations, but the one I stumbled on most often was apples paired with blackberries. They were baked in large white fluted quiche dishes and served by the generous slice, topped with sweetened whipped cream. Of course no slice is complete without a pot of strong Irish tea. Can you say heaven? This pays homage to those amazing Irish crumbles. One of the things I noticed is that their crumbs are big, not like what we usually see on our American apple pies...are you drooling yet? So I set out to make a vegan version that would rival any authentic Irish grandma's. Get your tea pot ready, make sure you have some vanilla ice cream in the freezer, and prepare to travel bite-by-bite to Ireland. If you close your eyes, maybe you can imagine the jagged cliffs rising out of the restless blue ocean, the lush green landscape dotted with grazing sheep and goats, and the sweet charming homes with thatched roofs and flowery window boxes. Síochán!

Ingredients:

  • 7 large honeycrisp apples, peeled and cored
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, I used grade A amber
  • 1 TBS + 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 cups blackberries, I used frozen
  • 2-1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick of Earth Balance vegan butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cup maple syrup, I used grade A amber

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, slice the apples in half horizontally, then in 1/3" thick slices vertically and put into a large bowl. Toss with lemon zest and juice. Add the 1/4 cup maple syrup, corn starch, and salt, stirring gently to combine. Next add the blackberries, if using frozen, do not let them thaw before you add them. Again, stirring gently to combine. Pour the mixture into a glass casserole dish. I used a 10.5"w x 1.5"d round quiche dish. Redistribute blackberries by hand if needed so they are evenly distributed. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to push the mixture down to minimize air pockets.

Next, it's time to make the crumble. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Add the cubed Earth Balance. Using your fingers, squeeze the flour mixture and the Earth Balance together over and over until everything is well incorporated. Clean your hands then pour the remaining maple syrup onto the flour mixture. Use a spoon to stir and fold in the maple syrup. You should start to get large crumbs. You want to stir until most of the flour mixture is moist and there is not much dry loose flour left. Use your hands to crumble the mixture on top of the apples and blackberries. I like my crumbles on the large side. They will get crisp in the oven and they are wonderful. Fill the top of the apple mixture with all of the crumble mixture. Do not press down, you want the crumbs to be free-form and loose. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving. This gets better the longer it sits. I cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it sit out on the counter. If you cover it with plastic wrap the crumble will eventually soften. This is best served warm with either vegan whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Makes 8 servings.