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from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Homemade Gnocchi
2 lbs russet potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of well-rinsed spinach
1 1/2 to 3/4 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400F.

Poke four or five holes all over the potatoes. Bake them (you don’t need a tray or foil, right on the oven rack is fine) for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size. Do a test after 45 minutes; they should be very tender (mine took closer to an hour). Use tongs to remove them; place on a cooling rack and let them cool completely. This could take half an hour.

Meanwhile, chop the spinach finely, and cook over medium heat in about 1/4 cup of water until it is completely wilted. Place in a strainer and press all the water out.

Remove the skins from the cooled potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and salt and mash very well. You don’t want to puree them, that will make the gnocchi sticky, just mash them until they have very few lumps. Fold the spinach in. Add the flour in handfuls and incorporate it into the potatoes. Once you’ve added half the flour you can turn the dough onto a floured countertop to work it there. Keep adding flour and lightly kneading the dough until a smooth, unsticky but not dry dough is formed.

Divide the dough into thirds and roll each portion into a rope that is about 1/2 inch thick. Use a pizza wheel or a knife to cut the ropes into 3/4-inch-long pieces. Now comes the fun part- flour your hands and use your thumb to roll each piece of gnocchi gently down the tines of a fork. Each piece should be able to do about half a roll before reaching the end of the fork so the final result should be that one side of the gnocchi has an indent from your thumb and one side has ridges from the fork.

At this point you can sprinkle with flour and freeze any gnocchi you aren’t using. To cook them immediately bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water liberally and cook the gnocchi in three batches. Within 2 minutes they should rise to the surface; let them cook just under a minute longer and remove them with a slotted spoon. Transfer them to a large plate so that hey aren’t putting any weight on each other, and sauce them as soon as you can. I like them with either a simple tomato sauce or sauteed briefly with pesto and veggies.
Serves 6-8

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
1/2 c tightly packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 c water
1/4 c almonds
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
a few dashes fresh black pepper
1/4 c chopped fresh basil

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a low boil, then turn the heat off and let soak for about 15 minutes, until soft.

Grid the almonds in a blender or food processor. Add the sun-dried tomatoes (with the water), garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and puree.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the basil. Let sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Makes about 1 1/2 cups

This was a really rewarding dinner for a day that I felt like challenging myself in the kitchen. Normally I don’t like something that’s so fussy, and I totally got frustrated with the tine-rolling segment (SO NOT THE FUN PART, ISA), but it was very much worth the while, especially when I was able to pull some out of the freezer a few weeks later for leftovers! I was a little uncertain about the texture of the dough and wondering when I should stop adding the flour, but I did pretty well with 1 3/4 cups of it. Kneading it was fun, and I felt like the spinach made my gnocchi a bit more festive, as well as healthy.
Let’s talk texture. Gnocchi isn’t for those who don’t like doughy things. These are SO DOUGHY, so toothy. So satisfying. I want to make all of the variations, but I try to save potatoes for special occasions- they just go down too easy. The texture of the pesto was a nice partner to the gnocchi- with a faint crunch of almondy goodness. Total perfection, this meal.
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from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

8 slices good, dark pumpernickel bread
8 tsp nonhydrogenated margarine
1 1/2 c sauerkraut
2 dill pickles, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound tempeh, cut into four equal pieces, then cut through the middle so that you have eight thin squares

For the Marinade:
1/2 c white cooking wine (I just used regular white wine- Chardonnay to be specific. Then gave the rest of the bottle to my mom because I think it’s yucky stuff by itself…)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed

For the Dressing:
1/3 c Vegannaise
2 tbsp ketchup
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp minced onion
3 tsp capers
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (or equivalent amount chopped pickles)
pinch of cayenne

Prepare the tempeh:
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the tempeh and marinate for at least an hour, turning once.

Mix all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

When the tempeh has marinated for an hour, preheat a grill pan over high heat. Cook the slices on the grill for 4 minutes on one side, until dark grill lines have appeared, then use tongs to flip them over and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes.

Prepare the sammich:
Spread a teaspoon of margarine on each piece of bread. Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Fry each piece of bread on the buttered side for 3 minutes, flip over and cook 1 minute more (it’s okay that the other side is dry).

Divide the sammich ingredients equally among four buttered-side-down fried bread slices. Smother in dressing, top each serving with another slice of fried bread, nonbuttered side down, cut in half, and serve. For that authentic Jewish deli look, stick a toothpick in each half. Makes 4 sammiches.

There’s a local franchise that makes a really similar sammich (isn’t it just so adorable that Isa refers to sandwiches as such, consistently? I think so too), and I saw this recipe and wondered if it would be as good. And it was! I am pretty new to pumpernickel, so that was different, but the sauce and the marinated tempeh are really close to the Cafe Yumm! version I love so much. I’m actually thinking it might be a good meal to share with my family when we go to the coast in a few weeks (vacation hurry up and get here!!!), because my dad always claims that he’s missing out when he eats vegan food. This might just cause him to quiet his sammich hole for just a minute. I’ll let you know.
I have to admit though, that I didn’t read the instructions very well for the sandwich construction. After making two sandwiches, but using all of the tempeh and dressing, I was wondering why the bread was so soggy, and why my tummy was so full so fast. OH HELLO DOUBLE STUFFED SAMMICH. So, expect your sandwich to be a bit thinner, a bit more manageable, as well as greater in quantity than TWO, if you actually follow the directions. I can assure you that it’s just as tasty either way. Promise.

adapted from Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (7.25-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, well drained
1 to 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas, preferably whole wheat
several handfuls of spinach
4 Gardein Chick’n Scallopini
4 tbsp Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

In a food processor fitted with the knife blade, or in a blender, process the beans, red bell peppers, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, and black pepper until smooth and pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 30 minutes, or overnight.

When it’s almost chow time, toss the Chick’ns onto a lightly greased nonstick skillet, cook the first side for a few minutes over medium heat, and flip over. Top each with a tablespoon of Daiya shreds, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the “cheese” is melty. Remove from skillet and set on a plate with a paper towel to cool. Cut each into 1/2-inch strips.

Prepare the wraps by placing the tortillas on a flat work surface. Spread equal amounts (about 1/2 cup) of the bean mixture on each tortilla, leaving a 3/4-inch border all around. Place a handful of spinach leaves (or, just two leaves if you wanted to follow the original recipe… I figured the more greens, the merrier) in the center of each tortilla. Place the “cheesy” Chick’n strips on the spinach leaves, and tightly roll up each tortilla from the edge nearest you, tucking in the sides and leaves as you roll. Makes 6 servings.

I found this while looking for recipes for sandwiches- I’m already fantasizing about what to serve guests at our toddler’s birthday party in a few months. I was drawn in by the beans and roasted red peppers. This recipe is probably too close to what we served at last year’s party to make an appearance at this year’s, but I still had to make it. This was so easy to make (as are all of the recipes I’ve made so far out of this cookbook), and lent itself easily to adaptation. It would be really good with some basil leaves mixed in with the spinach leaves, especially if you tone down the lemon juice a bit (I used just over a single tablespoon and tasted it more than the garlic, which I refused to limit to 2 cloves…). This really would make a great nibble for a play date in the park. Come on sunny days! Let’s have more than one in a row. Because spreading your picnic blanket on wet grass? Not so much.

from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and halved
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

Lay the Brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet; douse with the olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, add the chopped garlic, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt, using tongs and toss to coat. Return to oven, roast for 5 more minutes. Before you remove the Brussels sprouts from the pan, rub them into the garlic, and, when you serve them, sprinkle them with whatever toasted garlic remains in the pan. Serves 6

This was one of THREE recipes I tried from this cookbook in one weekend. It was so simple, and so divine. That last step- the sprinkling of the toasted garlic? Genius. After the weekend of amazing eats that Isa provided the road map for, I just had to order her new cookbook, Appetite for Reduction. I have all of her other cookbooks, so I thought I didn’t need another one. BUT I DO. Because this woman is responsible for so many of our good meals, a few pounds I’ve gained. And maybe this book will help take a few off. But I doubt it, because I can’t control myself around good food.
If you don’t have any of her cookbooks, I’m telling you, you’re missing out. She’s never failed me. EVER.

from The Supermarket Vegan by Donna Klein

6 (10-inch) flour tortillas (I chose whole wheat)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion (about 6 ounces), sliced into thin half-moons
1 medium red bell pepper (about 6 ounces), cored, seeded, and cut into thin strips
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tbsp chili powder, or to taste
1 c rinsed, drained canned pinto beans
6 tbsp prepared tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (Ich don’t think so)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Wrap tortillas in foil and place in oven 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, the mushrooms, garlic, and salt; cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to release their liquids, about 4 minutes. Add the chili powder and cook, stirring, until the liquids from the mushrooms have evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add the beans, salsa, black pepper, and cayenne (if using); cook stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cilantro, stirring well to combine. Season with additional salt and black pepper, if necessary.

To assemble, place one heated tortilla on each of 6 dinner plates. Spoon equal portions (about 1/2 cup) of the mushroom mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up each tortilla from the edge nearest you, tucking in the sides as you roll. Serve at once. Makes 6 servings.

Burrito night happens about once a week in this house. This was a really nice departure from our typical black beans with red salsa-laden go-to. I was intrigued by the mushrooms, as well as the green salsa. I found a locally made one, that has such a great flavor. It will definitely be making a regular appearance on burrito (as well as Daiya cheese nacho) nights to come. The mushrooms weren’t as weird as I’d expected them to be in a burrito. They went really well with the garlic, and lent themselves well to the wrappage. Red peppers were nice and mellow, and almost brought a sweetness to the burritos. I might add more garlic next time (I’ve been trying to take it easy on the garlic, especially when trying a new recipe). Of course, using cilantro is going to add another dimension of flavor to this dish, one that I need not explore. But if you’re into that sort of thing, go for it.
Oh, and about using the oven to heat those tortillas, why not save some energy and wrap them in a tea towel (or large cloth napkin like I did), set them on a plate, and zap them for 30-45 seconds? Works like a charm.

from The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah

1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c vegan mayonnaise
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp sweet or dill pickle relish
salt and ground black pepper

Put the chickpeas in a food processor. Pulse 6 times, or until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, celery, and relish. Stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, or transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 3 servings.

You might remember the saga of the stove, and how it died. Well, for a while we were restricted to microwaved, rice-cooker-cooked, or raw foods. Or takeout. Here’s a recipe that I found for one of the NINE dinners we didn’t have a stove/oven to use…
It’s a little creepy how closely this resembles a tuna salad sandwich. Who would’ve thought? I used a potato masher to smoosh the beans up (who wants to pull out the food processor for beans? You could also use a fork…) That caused our two cats came running over, circling me just like they used to in the height of our tuna eating days. The only way this sandwich differs from the fishy original is the lack of stringiness that the tuna brought, and the need to use a TON of mayo to cover up the fishy taste and dry texture. And not only to beans have protein, they have fiber! This recipe was so amazingly tasty and easy that I am making it again this week!

 

from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Omelet:
2 garlic cloves
1 pound silken or soft tofu, lightly drained
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp fine black sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 c chickpea flour
1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch

Filling:
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
2 tbsp capers
shredded vegan cheese (go for Daiya mozzarella style shreds!)

Chop up the garlic, if using, in a food processor. Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, olive oil, turmeric, and salt. Puree until smooth. Add the chickpea flour and arrowroot and puree again for about 10 seconds, until combined. Make sure to scrape down the sides so that everything is well incorporated.

Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Well-seasoned cast iron works great, or use a regular nonstick skillet. Lightly grease the pan with either cooking spray or a very thin layer of oil. Also, make sure that you use a large skillet, as you need room to spread out the omelet and to get your spatula under there to flip. Don’t use an 8-inch omelet pan or anything like that…

In 1/2-cup increments, pour the omelet batter into the skillet. Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to spread the batter out into about 6-inch circles. Be gentle- if there are any rips or holes, that is fine, just gently fill them in as you spread the batter.

Let the batter cook for about 3 to 5 minutes before flipping. The top of the omelet should dry and become a matte yellow when it’s ready to be flipped. If you try and it seems like it might fall apart, give it a little more time. When the omelet is ready to be flipped, the underside should be flecked light to dark brown. Flip the omelet and cook for about a minute on the other side. Keep warm on a plate covered with tinfoil as you make the remaining omelets.

To make the filling, preheat a large pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the olive oil. Add the broccolini and saute for about 7 minutes. Add the capers and saute until just heated through. Divide among the omelets, top with the “cheese,” and fold the omelet over. Sprinkle with a little extra sea salt. Makes 4 omelets.

I must say, I was a bit skeptical trying out this recipe. I’m not a HUGE fan of the tofu scramble, and have mostly limited my special brunch makings to the sweeter side of things since going vegan. But, in an effort to be adventurous (and because I have been craving brunch for dinner for months now, but am too grown up to eat a sugary dinner, wow), here we go.
First off, there were challenges. You’ll notice that my fabulous Daiya shreds are not melted. Not a fault of the “cheese,” but of my stove. I finished cooking the filling and had two of the omelets kickin’ it under their foil blanket, when ZZZZT, stove dies. Dead! We have to move this production to the electric griddle, mid-omelet. Did I mention that the oven died too? Yeah. So, while waiting for the griddle to heat up, the filling is cooling off. It’s ok though, because I found that in the future, I’d totally use the griddle anyway- though I did end up using more oil than recommended because I had trouble flipping that first omelet (making the first and third of the four NOT PRETTY AT ALL). They were still yummy though! And so was the filling. Capers? Oh my, yes. The recipe originally called for broccoli rabe, which apparently is a bit more on the bitter side. I’ve never had it, and my store didn’t have it either. The broccolini was tasty though, and offered a nice crunch.
And about the black sea salt- apparently it has a slightly sulfuric taste that reminds one of an egg yolk. Moskowitz recommends skipping it if you aren’t in to the taste of eggs. I’d try it (heck I’ll try any salt), but the reddish salt I had was tasty too. She offers all sorts of filling ideas, which I’m so excited to try, now that I’ve crossed over into the savory brunch dark side.

from The 4 Ingredient Vegan by Maribeth Abrams with Anne Dinshah

Barbecue Tempeh
1 package (8 ounces) tempeh, cut in half
1 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 to 2 c barbecue sauce

Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat down slightly to maintain a simmer. Add the tempeh, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir for about 7 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Cut the tempeh into 1-inch cubes and add it to the vegetables. Cook and stir for about 7 minutes, or until the tempeh starts to brown, adding up to 1/2 tablespoon more oil if it starts to stick.

Stir in 1 cup of  the barbecue sauce and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, adding more barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup at a time, if the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

New-Fashioned Greens and Black-Eyed Peas
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 large bunch collard greens, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
2 cans (15 ounces each) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1/4 c vegan worcestershire sauce
salt and ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the collard greens and cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Add the black-eyed peas and worcestershire sauce and mix well. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender to your liking. Season generously with salt and pepper before serving. Makes 3 servings.

I must admit, I kind of thought that being limited to four ingredients per recipe would make the recipes easier, and they do, just a bit, as far as prep work is concerned. I also thought that it might compromise the yumminess of the dishes. NOT SO. This was one of those meals where a sadness set in as I started to feel full. The texture of the tempeh was really good. I’ve never boiled it before! I think I might try it next time I make curry- it softened it up a lot, and seemed to make it more friendly toward the sauce. I used Annie’s BBQ sauce, and their worcestershire sauce is a staple in our fridge. Served atop a toasted mini-baguette, this was a heavenly sandwich.
Now, about those Greens and Black-Eyed Peas… they could become a regular in our house, but I’d always miss the BBQ tempeh partner in crime. I’ve never made collard greens because I was always afraid that I’d overcook them, but this recipe came out perfectly. The instructions have you seeking out a boil, and there’s not much in the way of liquid to boil, so just clear some greens and peas out of the way to see that shallow liquid in there, and you’re good.
Basically, of the two recipes I’ve tried from this book, we have two winners. So far, so good!

from La Dolce Vegan! by Sarah Kramer

1/4 c flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 c “milk”
faux chicken (recipe follows)
3-4 tbsp olive oil (I used canola)

In a shallow dish, stir together the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper. Set aside. In a small bowl, pour “milk” and set aside. Dip “chicken” into flour, then dip in “milk,” and then into the flour again. In a large frying pan on medium-high heat, fry “chicken” in oil until well browned on both sides. Makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

Faux Chicken
1 recipe basic instant gluten
Broth:
2 c water
1/4 c nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery seed

In a large saucepan, bring all of the broth ingredients to a boil. Slice gluten into 4-6 pieces. Drop carefully into broth. Reduce heat and cover with lid. Let simmer 50-60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until broth has reduced completely.

I’ve been eyeballing this recipe ever since I made my first batch of “wheat meat.” This was the type of recipe that really got me going for chicken when I was little- it is so reminiscent of the baked chicken my mom made as an alternative to fried. But it’s fried! This is probably the second thing I’ve fried- in my 30-plus years here on this earth; the first being a batch of donuts my sister and I cooked up on the d-low while my parents were out of the house. Naughty! Fried food was saved for special occasions, so it’s generally off my radar. I don’t even know how to properly dispose of the oil! I went easy on it for this batch, so that I could just send it down the drain with suds. There was definitely a resting period on some paper towels to eliminate the excess oil between frying pan and plate. Once it got to my plate, I couldn’t photograph it fast enough. Good thing it retained its heat! As I was eating it, I made sure to slow down and really savor every bite- it was DIVINE. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside… it’s going to be tough to resist making this each time it’s faux meat making day.
Now- about the recipes. I like to make my faux meats in big batches. Spending a few hours in the kitchen is a big commitment, so I want to get a lot out of it. I made eight batches this time! In two pots. I had a pot of “beef” and a pot of “chicken.” I’ve also tried the “ham” from this book, and it’s really REALLY good. Smoky and authentic. The faux “turkey” was really good in a Shepherd’s Pie that I made a while back.  The “fish” I didn’t much care for, but Mike liked it. (BTW of all my cookbooks, I’d say this one gets the most use. Really, if you’re going vegan cookbook shopping, this is the one for quick and easy yummies.) It’s pretty easy to divide up the basic instant gluten recipe among a few pots of broth, and I highly recommend doing it. You save SO MUCH money over buying seitan in the store, and the taste and quality is so much better.
Once you have your “chicken” breasts all ready to go, the fried “chicken” recipe is really easy, and fast. And to think I was always afraid of frying food. Just make sure you have some greens to balance out the guilt!

from Apron Strings

You’ll find the recipe here!

I’ve had this recipe printed out and lurking next to my grocery list for the longest time. But then the holidays got in the way, and then I wasn’t in the mood for cauliflower… but finally, the time came. It was a super cold day, and I felt a bit like I was coming down with a cold. Thankfully I didn’t- perhaps because of this soup? I busted out my big soup pot, as this was a recipe to be doubled. Again, so glad that I did! What a hearty bowl of soup to cozy up to. Mike had seconds, but one bowl was super filling for me. Perhaps it was the rice? I used a brown and wild rice mix, which was super yummy- adding some texture to this smooth soup. The funny thing about this soup is that it isn’t overly sweet potato flavored, nor is it cauliflowery. I’d say it’s mostly a savory curry veggie flavor, very mellow. I might even guess that there were garbanzo beans in it, if we were playing such a game. It’s pretty thick- I ended up needing extra broth to cover the veggies before I could simmer them, but that was easy enough. And Daiya cheese? Heaven. I didn’t have enough of the mozzarella style, so I did a mix of both mozzarella and cheddar style. Ungh. So glad there’s still some in the fridge; I know what we’re having for dinner tonight. Thanks for the great recipe, Lana!