Two Bean and Bulgar Chili

chili

I came across this recipe, while sifting through a drawer. It was a page torn from one of those little paperback supermarket cookbooks at the register called “Meatless Meals”.

There is a handwritten note beside the recipe, “Steve’s favorite 2005”. This little memory jog took me right back to that year when I first met the man who would become my husband, though neither of us knew it yet.

I am really glad this recipe was Steve’s favorite back in 2005, because that was long before we  became vegan. What an evolution together, over time, to a more compassionate lifestyle, a deeper enjoyment of food and a more humble appreciation for nature.

I am ever grateful for my husband’s love and support on my personal and professional journey, and I can’t imagine a better partner with whom to share the ride.

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Two-Bean and Bulgar Chili

1 tablespoon oil

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups water

1/2 cup uncooked bulgar wheat

1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce

3 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Method:

Saute in oil over medium-high heat, carrot, bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook and stir 4 minutes.

veggies

Stir in remaining ingredients, except beans. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 40 minutes, until bulgar is tender and flavors are blended, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

pot

Add drained beans and simmer 5 minutes until heated through. Serve with your favorite cornbread.

cornbread

 

Dinner in 15 Minutes Flat

Here’s a re-post from way back in 2012 when I first started this blog:

 

Ever wonder after a tiring day at work, what’s for dinner? Once in awhile I find myself wandering through my depleted larder without a plan. Today I found a large russet potato, waiting patiently in the dark cabinet.

All I needed to create a hot meal were a few veggies and a couple pantry staples. I created this sauce base to work with any stray veggies I have hanging around in the fridge. Tonight I had diced onions, mushrooms and frozen peas. I popped the potato in the microwave and while it cooked:

I sauteed the onions in a bit of water in a non-stick pan, then added the mushrooms and sauteed a few minutes to soften. I added a tablespoon of tomato paste from a tube (so handy to have around) then deglazed the pan with a cup of veggie stock. I added 2 tablespoons of tamari sauce and a bit of dried thyme, then thickened the whole deal with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water. I got a nice smooth, shiny sauce.

By the time my potato was ready for mashing, so was my sauce. I stirred in my frozen peas last, so they didn’t get all wrinkly. I mashed up the potato with soy milk, salt and pepper. Quick, easy, real food. In 15 minutes flat.

 

Vegan Mushroom Gravy

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Low-fat gravy?? How could that be? How about no-fat gravy? This gravy is so smooth and savory, but also light, therefore you can really feel good about pouring it over your favorite loaf or patty, mashers, biscuits or rice.

I am a firm believer in simplicity. I don’t get too fussy with small details and have little patience for long-winded recipes. So, I love The Happy Herbivore cookbook by Lindsay Nixon. The recipes are quick and easy, vegan and low-fat. Best of all, I downloaded the book to my Kindle for only five bucks!

Everyday Gravy

from “The Happy Herbivore” by Lindsay Nixon

1 cup water

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided

1/4 teaspoon of each: garlic powder, onion powder, ground ginger

8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered

1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1/2 cup soy milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Whisk together the first five ingredients in a non-stick skillet and bring to a boil. Add the garlic, mushrooms and Italian seasoning and saute until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes.

Shrooms

French Onion Soup

Macro

They said it couldn’t be done…but here it is, a veganized version of the classic French onion soup!

This recipe comes from Allison Rivers Samson, owner and operator of Allison’s Gourmet Online Vegan Bakery and Confectionary. She is famous for her ultra-decadent gourmet vegan chocolates and other sweets, but it doesn’t end there.

Allison is also the author of the “Veganize It” column for VegNews magazine.  Her recipes feature veganized versions of many comfort food favorites, like macaroni and cheese, lasagna, burgers–even Caesar salad! These recipes and so much more can be found here on her blog. I am a big fan of Allison’s work, both sweet and savory!

 Here’s a basic rundown of this deceptively simple, yet impressively elegant recipe:

Slice

Slice onions very thinly and sweat them in a large stock pot with a bit of salt.

Prep

The most critical step in this recipe is the caramelization of the onions. It is important to allow the onions to really cook down nice and brown. This is going to provide a very rich flavor to the soup.


Carmelize

Once the onions are done, the pan gets deglazed with a bit of white wine then vegetable stock and seasonings are added and the soup simmers for a few minutes.

Soup

Top with a toasted vegan cheese French bread slice and serve immediately!

Plate

Tempeh Picatta

Tempeh Picatta

Tangy lemon and capers in a savory butter garlic sauce over pan-seared tempeh. A very easy, enlightened version of the restaurant classic!

Tempeh has been a staple in Indonesia for over 2000 years. It is a highly nutritious fermented food traditionally made from soybeans and its high protein content makes it a wonderful substitute for meat. It is found next to the tofu in the grocery store. I like to use it in recipes that call for a “meatier” texture like for loaves and faux meatballs.

This recipe makes plenty of sauce, so it goes great with pasta or rice on the side.

Tempeh Picatta

from “Chloe’s Kitchen” by Chloe Coscarelli

1 8-ounce package tempeh, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons vegan margarine

2 tablespoons drained capers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

*In a large pot, place the tempeh in a steamer basket over enough water to reach the bottom of the basket. Cover and steam for 20 minutes, checking the water level periodically and adding more if needed.

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In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat and cook tempeh on each side for 5 minutes, or until nicely browned. Transfer to a plate.

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In the same skillet, heat remaining oil and saute onions until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly add broth to skillet so the oil doesn’t spatter. Reduce heat to medium and let the broth bubble down for 1 to 2 minutes.

Whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl and slowly drizzle it into the skillet, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Reduce the heat to low. Add lemon juice and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the tempeh back into the pan and turn over to coat and heat through. Turn off the heat and stir in margarine, capers and parsley until margarine is melted and well incorporated. Check for seasoning and serve immediately.

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*Note: Use this steaming method to remove any bitterness from the tempeh. If you use West Soy Brand tempeh, however, bitterness will not be an issue and you can skip this step!

Tofu Black Bean Quesadillas

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I’ve been working pretty hard the past couple of weeks, planning for a big upcoming event. This is where my diet tends to break down and food choices get kind of lax. Too tired to even think about dinner by the time I get to Sunday evening.

Sometimes, however, while rummaging around in the fridge I am hit with that second wind of inspiration. I thought about how I really enjoy scrambled tofu and how easy it is to flavor up with Indian spices and garlic. Tofu absorbs whatever you add to it. So I decided to flavor it with Mexican spices and see if I could make it like taco filling. It worked really well!

 I put it together with whole grain tortillas, leftover black beans, faux cheese, cilantro and green onions. This will make a great filling for tacos, casseroles, nachos or salads too. Dinner crisis averted!

Tofu Taco Filling

1 12-ounce package extra-firm tofu, pressed or squeezed well and crumbled

2 tsp. olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp. cumin

2 tbsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt ( or less depending on your taste)

1/2 cup water

Saute the onion in olive oil until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 30 seconds. Add tofu and sauté for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Add spices, salt and water to combine well. Cook and stir over low heat until moisture is absorbed. Check for seasoning and serve hot.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

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A vegan’s life is such bliss! To enjoy the bounty of the earth, without guilt, without hesitation, with compassion. Most vegans, in my experience, are very much in love with food.

As someone who has wrestled with weight and body image issues for most of my life, I can tell you, it is so gratifying to let that go–finally. As I become more fully conscious, through my yoga and meditation practice, more in touch with and in tune with my body’s needs, I begin to have a sense of what to eat and what not to eat, based on how it makes me feel–before and after.

One thing I have realized, my body does not like a high-fat diet. But, my palate enjoys a sweet tasting chocolate treat at regular intervals. Enter, the low-fat, vegan muffin. A nice compromise when deciding whether that vegan cupcake from Whole Foods, slathered with the greasy, weirdly dry icing is really worth it.

This, I can live with. These muffins are lightly sweet and wholesome tasting. Go ahead, eat two. It’s still gonna be less calories than the alternative. Please enjoy this recipe, borrowed from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking http://www.egglesscooking.com.

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Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins
5.0 from 3 reviews
Print
Prep time:20 Mins
Cook time:25 Mins
Yields:8 Muffins
Very easy to bake, these vegan chocolate chip muffins will become your “go-to” vegan muffin recipe.

WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 CupAlmond Milk
  • 1 TeaspoonApple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 CupUnsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 CupCoconut Oil
  • 1 TeaspoonVanilla Extract
DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 CupsWhole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 CupWhite Sugar
  • 1 TablespoonBaking Powder
  • 1/2 TeaspoonSalt
ADD-ONS:
  • 1/2 CupVegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 CupChopped Nuts (Optional)
SUBSTITUTES:
PROCEDURE:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C for 15 minutes. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside for about 5 minutes or until it curdles.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
  4. To it add the milk mixture, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract. Mix together until the batter is just moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  5. Scoop out about 1/3rd cup of batter in each muffin cup. Bake for about 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Mine was done in 25 minute
Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins
5.0 from 3 reviews
Print
Prep time:20 Mins
Cook time:25 Mins
Yields:8 Muffins
Very easy to bake, these vegan chocolate chip muffins will become your “go-to” vegan muffin recipe.

WET INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 CupAlmond Milk
  • 1 TeaspoonApple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 CupUnsweetened Applesauce
  • 1/4 CupCoconut Oil
  • 1 TeaspoonVanilla Extract
DRY INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 CupsWhole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 CupWhite Sugar
  • 1 TablespoonBaking Powder
  • 1/2 TeaspoonSalt
ADD-ONS:
  • 1/2 CupVegan Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 CupChopped Nuts (Optional)
SUBSTITUTES:
PROCEDURE:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C for 15 minutes. Lightly grease a muffin tin or line it with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the milk and vinegar and set aside for about 5 minutes or until it curdles.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.
  4. To it add the milk mixture, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract. Mix together until the batter is just moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, if using.
  5. Scoop out about 1/3rd cup of batter in each muffin cup. Bake for about 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Mine was done in 25 minutes.

Cheesy Broccoli Soup

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It’s still winter where I live, in sunny Florida. Happily, our little cold snaps are short-lived. This is great weather for curling up in a blanket with a hot bowl of nourishing soup.

This broccoli soup is refreshingly light as compared to the traditional butter, milk and cheese recipe many of us grew up with. It is thickened by the puree of vegetables, and lightly finished with a rich and flavorful blend of cashews, silken tofu and seasonings  combined to create a wonderfully cheese-like experience that compliments vegetables, nachos, pizza, tofu scramble, and many other dishes.

Broccoli Soup

  • 1 tbsp. Canola oil
  • 1 White onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds Broccoli
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp. Sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups Spinach leaves, fresh, packed
  • 1/2 recipe Cheezy Sauce (see below)
1.Trim and chop broccoli, including stems, reserving 2 cups of florets.
2.In a large soup pot, saute onions and celery in canola oil until transluscent, about 10 minutes.
3.Add broccoli, except reserved floret, and stir in stock, salt and pepper. : Cover and bring to simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes, until very tender.
4.Stir in spinach and continue to simmer until wilted. Puree with immersion blender until smooth.: Add broccoli florets and simmer until tender.
5.Drizzle individual servings with cheezy sauce and serve immediately. Yields 4-6 servings.

Cheezy Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cashews, raw
  • 12 oz. Soft, silken tofu
  • ¼ tsp. Garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. Onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. Turmeric
  • ½ tsp. Yellow miso
  • ½ tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp. Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Nutritional yeast
  • 3 tbsp. Water

Method:

1.In a small pot, cover the cashews with water, and boil for about 8 minutes to soften. Drain and let cool.
2.In a food processor, process cashews until they’re finely ground. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.