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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚ 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 4th, 2012
Categories: Entrees, Soups & Stews
Tags: ,,,,

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 πŸ™‚

Vegan Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Vegan Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.

Vegan Homemade Vegetable Soup

Vegan Crockpot Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup

Posted by Noelle on September 24th, 2012
Categories: Appetizers
Tags: ,,,

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.

Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Vegan Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.

Vegan Creamy Kale Dip

Creamy Vegan Kale & Artichoke Dip

Hot Vegan Kale and Artichoke Dip