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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 the May 2010 issue of InStyle, recipe courtesy of Ginnifer Goodwin & Linda Goodwin-Parkinson

1 medium head organic bok choy, washed, cored and dried
1 bunch organic green onions
2 3-oz packages Nissin Top Ramen Oriental Instant noodles (no need to use flavor packet)
2 1/2 oz organic sesame seeds
1 2-oz package organic sliced almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
garlic powder and salt to taste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 c organic sugar
1 package Gardein Crispy Tenders vegetarian “chick’n,” prepared as directed on the package

Chop bok choy into 1-inch pieces; add onions, place in bowl, and refrigerate.

Break up uncooked ramen noodles into bite-size chunks.

Saute noodles, sesame seeds, and almonds in oil, about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add garlic powder and salt. Cool and store in covered container.

In a small saucepan, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. Boil for 1 minute.

Combine all parts of salad and toss with “chick’n” pieces. For variety, try with chopped pimientos or mandarin orange wedges. Serves 6.

I’m just going to admit this right off the bat. It was the uncooked ramen noodles that caused me to tear this page out of the magazine. Sure, I LOVE everything I’ve tasted from Gardein, and I love a dark leafy green; and yes, the almond is my favorite food, but uncooked carbs will suck this girl in any day. It’s a guilty pleasure. I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of this salad- the flavors go together so well and the crunch paired with the tender of the crispy “chick’n” tender is just heavenly. That dressing though… sticky sweet! I used about half of it. And I’d highly recommend doubling or tripling the amount of bok choy, unless you find yourself unusually large heads of it in your marketplace. You can never get too many greens! My dad enjoyed this salad, and I might have mentioned before that he’s kind of a curmudgeon who is hard to please with salad, if he is even willing to try it. Of course, my favorite part is the crunchy ramen-almond-sesame action, and good thing for this salad, there’s plenty to go around.

I made this up for a quick Friday night meal.

whole wheat pasta of your choice, enough for 2 people
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch fresh asparagus, bases broken off and chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 c roasted garlic
3/4 c cashew cream
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 gardein chick’n scallopini, cooked according to package directions

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat and toss in your asparagus. We like it a bit crunchy still, so I didn’t cook it long before tossing in the other ingredients. If you like it a little mushier, feel free to put the lid on the pot so it steams and softens a bit. When it’s getting close to where you like it cooked, add the roasted garlic, cashew cream and sprinkle on the nutritional yeast. Lower the heat and keep stirring to combine the ingredients. Add the cooked pasta and stir it all up to coat. Serve with the chick’n, as you see fit. Serves 2.

This is a tasty, quick and easy weeknight meal if you happen to have both braised garlic and cashew cream kicking around in your fridge. In fact, if I had one, I’d make a batch of the other, just so I could make a meal like this. Of course, you can vary the ingredients (hello, broccoli!), and the amounts you use to suit the whims of your tastebuds… And honestly I am having a hard time remembering how much of each ingredient I used… that’s the great thing about cooking, as opposed to baking- you can adjust as you wish.
And can we take a moment to discuss those chick’n scallopinis? Wow. I am an ethical vegan, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes pine for my first true love, chicken. When my mom asked what I wanted for my third birthday, thinking I might ask for a doll or a pony, I told her I wanted chicken. I loved chicken more than most things in life. These “breasts” are the most comparable thing to chicken that I’ve found. We’ve tried a few of their products, all of them tasty. The marinara chick’n good stuff! Dang! Served up with fried polenta and a salad on the side? So good. I first read about the products in the Tal Ronnen cookbook, and was so excited when I finally found them in the freezer at our market. We’ll be tasting more of these…

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