Vegan & Gluten-Free APPLE CRISP

Because my spouse does not like pies, but really likes the crumble and the gooey stuff inside my apple pie, I came up with this sweet and scrumptious apple crisp. If the inners and the top are your things, then this crisp, with a dollop of vegan vanilla ice cream is the perfect end to your Thanksgiving meal.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-35 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients

TOPPING
1/2 cup GLUTEN-FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (I use King Arthur)
(I use all purpose flours with Xanthan Gum already in the mix.
If you don't then you will need to add it. When adding 
xanthan (zan-than) gum to a recipe, use about 1/4 teaspoon
per cup of flour. Blend it evenly into your dry ingredients before mixing.)
1/2 cup GLUTEN-FREE ROLLED OATS 
1/2 cup LIGHT BROWN SUGAR - PACKED (For a sugar-free recipe use coconut sugar instead)
1/2 tsp BAKING POWDER
1/4 tsp GROUND CINNAMON
1/8 tsp SALT
5 Tbsp VEGAN BUTTER - softened and chopped up

FILLING
4 GRANNY SMITH APPLES (5 cups)- peeled & chopped into small cubes
3 Tbsp VEGAN BUTTER - melted
2 Tbsp GLUTEN-FREE ALL PURPOSE FLOUR (with Xanthan Gum)
1 Tbsp LEMON JUICE
3 Tbsp CASHEW MILK (or any nut-milk)
1 tsp VANILLA EXTRACT
1/4 cup LIGHT BROWN SUGAR - packed
1/2 tsp GROUND CINNAMON
1/2 tsp GROUND NUTMEG
1/8 tsp SALT

Directions

  • PRE-HEAT oven to 375 degrees F
  • COAT 8X8 baking dish with cooking spray
  • In a medium bowl, COMBINE all the topping ingredients and mix until it forms small crumbles. If you have a pastry blade that might help.
  • REFRIGERATE the topping until later
  • In a large bowl, ADD the chopped apples
  • ADD the butter, flour, lemon juice, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, and spices and stir until completely combined
  • TRANSFER the apple mixture into the greased baking dish and spread evenly
  • SPRINKLE topping evenly over apples and pat down so that it covers nicely
  • BAKE for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  • COOL in the pans for 5-10 minutes before serving
  • STORE in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This crisp freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in over on 350 for 20 minutes.

Adapted from http://www.mamaknowsglutenfree.com

Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Toffee Matzo Bark for Passover

Being dairy-free, I love when Passover comes around because the desserts are among my favorites. I created this gluten-free vegan Matzo Bark as an alternative to all the cakes and macaroons that I make this time of year. If you want to make it Kosher for Passover, then make sure to get Shmurah matzo. You can top this with any type of nut or even cherries or cranberries. Let me know what you think.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Servings: 12-16

Ingredients

5-6 gluten-free SALTED MATZO-Style boards 
If making for Passover use Shmurah matzo
1 cup DARK BROWN SUGAR, packed
1 stick VEGAN BUTTER (Soy-free Earth Balance)
2 cups VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIPS (Enjoy Life)
1/2 teaspoon pure VANILLA
Pinch of SEA SALT
1/2 cup SALTED PEANUTS, smashed/finely chopped
1/2 cup ROASTED ALMONDS, chopped
Non-stick COOKING SPRAY
PARCHMENT paper

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F
  • LINE rimmed baking dish with parchment and SPRAY with non-stick spray
  • COVER the bottom of the baking dish with a single layer of matzo. Break the pieces if you need to make them fit.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, COMBINE sugar and butter, STIR frequently until it bubbles and boils. Be careful not to burn the syrup. BOIL for 1-minute stirring constantly.
  • ADD a big pinch of salt and the vanilla to the syrup
  • POUR the syrup over the matzo and SPREAD evenly with a heat-proof spatula
  • BAKE 7-10 minutes until toffee syrup is bubbling. Make sure to check frequently so that it does not burn.
  • REMOVE from the oven and immediately SPRINKLE the chocolate chips over the toffee and let it MELT for 1-3 minute from the heat of the syrup
  • SPREAD the melted chocolate chips evenly with a heat-proof spatula
  • SPRINKLE the nuts over the chocolate and PRESS gently so that they stick well
  • REFRIGERATE the sheet for 30 minutes to 1 hour until hard
  • BREAK the matzo boards into pieces and store in an air-tight container until ready to serve
  • STORE in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

30-minute Gluten-Free Spaghetti with Zucchini and Meatless Meatballs


This quick mostly store-bought ingredients meal helps me get through the week, especially by Wednesday night. Store-bought/ pre-made vegan meatballs or vegan Italian sausage adds a hearty chunkiness to the sauce. Zucchini is my Italian go-to add-in vegetable for pasta sauce but any vegetable or mix of vegetables will work (carrots, eggplant, squash…). With a few additions, jar sauce can taste like homemade in no time.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients

9 meatleass gluten-free/dairy-free meatballs or Italian sausage
1 pound gluten-free SPAGHETTI pasta noodles
2 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
2 medium ZUCCHINI, sliced
1 ONION, chopped
24 ounce jar of PASTA SAUCE (I like tomato & basil flavored)
1 tablespoon BASIL, if not using flavored sauce
1 teaspoon OREGANO, if not using flavored sauce
1 pinch KOSHER SALT, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER, to taste
Optional toppings:
Sprinkle of Vegan PARMESAN CHEESE

Directions

  • PREPARE PASTA (approximately 11 minutes)
    • In the appropriately sized saucepan for the amount of pasta you are cooking, BOIL water over high heat. COOK pasta according to the package.
    • Drain the pasta and save some of the water to use later in the sauce (like 1/4 cup)
  • PREPARE MEATBALLS (approximately 10 minutes to bake)
    • Follow the package directions for skillet cooking or baking of meatballs
    • SET ASIDE when done
  • PREPARE ZUCCHINI and SAUCE (while pasta and meatballs are cooking)
    • In a skillet over medium-high heat, ADD oil until hot
    • ADD zucchini and onions and SAUTE for 5 minutes until the zucchini is browned but not soft
    • ADD the pasta sauce to the skillet and bring to a BOIL
    • LOWER the head and let SIMMER for 8-10 minutes (Reducing the sauce thickens it and concentrates the flavors).
  • PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
    • ADD the meatballs to the sauce and toss to cover
    • USE the saved pasta water to extend the sauce if needed
    • Heat the mixture until meatballs are sufficiently warmed
  • PLATE up pasta and TOSS with sauce mixture
  • SERVE with a topping of vegan parmesan cheese if you like
  • STORE pasta separate from sauce in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. FREEZE sauce for up to 3 months. Pasta doesn’t freeze well.

Sweet & Sour Veggie Stir-Fry with Fried Tofu

I really enjoy the mix of sweet and sour flavors and this easy 30-minute veggie stir-fry highlights the flavor combination well. As you know if you have tried some of my other stir-fry tofu recipes, use extra firm cubes, dry them well, roll them in cornstarch and fry them in the wok for that perfect texture.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

SAUCE
Sweet & Sour Sauce
1 can (8 ounces) CRUSHED PINEAPPLE in 100% juice
(drain and retain juice)
1/2 cup packed BROWN SUGAR
1 tablespoon CORNSTARCH
1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/2 cup WATER
6 tablespoons APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
STIR-FRY
1 tablespoon cooking OIL
1 14-ounce block of extra firm TOFU, pre-cubed
1 10-ounce bag of mixed ASIAN Vegetables
2 tablespoons CORNSTARCH
Pinch of SALT
BASMATI RICE, per serving
Optional Toppings: toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions

Directions

  • PREPARE RICE according to package directions
  • PREPARE SAUCE
    • OPEN pineapple can and PRESS out the juice into a separate cup. SET aside
    • In a medium saucepan, MIX brown sugar and cornstarch
    • ADD water and the separated pineapple juice. STIR
    • STIR in the vinegar
    • BOIL over medium-high heat STIR continuously for 1 minute
    • ADD crushed pineapple and continuing stirring until thick
  • PREPARE TOFU
    • If using prepackaged extra firm cubes, DRAIN water from the package. PAT dry with a paper towel. SPRINKLE with a pinch of salt.
    • If using a block of extra firm tofu, DRAIN water from the package. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Place tofu on top of the paper towels and then cover with another layer of paper towels. PRESS gently to remove extra moisture. CUT tofu into 1-inch cubes. SPRINKLE with salt.
    • In a large bowl, PLACE 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
    • ADD dried tofu cubes to cornstarch and roll them around until they are evenly coated.
    • HEAT 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok (or large skillet) over medium heat. Roll oil around to make sure to coat bottom and sides.
    •  ADD coated tofu to wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown on one side. Do not stir for the first 2 minutes so that it can set. 
    • With a spatula, TURN and brown the tofu on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until it’s totally golden. STIR occasionally.
    • TRANSFER the tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
  • PREPARE VEGGIES 
    •  COOK frozen vegetables in the WOK according to directions on the package (usually steam for 6 or 7 minutes)
  • COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS
    • Return the wok to high HEAT
    • ADD tofu to the veggies in the wok
    • ADD sauce and using a large spatula TURN to coat everything evenly.  Season to taste.
  • SERVE over rice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions.
  • STORE in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

Sweet & Sour Sauce

This easy to make sauce is great with stir-fry or as a dip for shrimp and is free from all those extra chemicals they throw in the store-bought stuff.

Preparation Time: 2 minute

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 18 to 20 as a dip

Ingredients

1 can (8 ounces) CRUSHED PINEAPPLE in 100% juice
(drain and retain juice)
1/2 cup packed BROWN SUGAR
1 tablespoon CORNSTARCH
1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/2 cup WATER
6 tablespoons APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Directions

  • OPEN pineapple can and PRESS out the juice into a separate cup. SET aside
  • In a medium saucepan, MIX brown sugar and cornstarch
  • ADD water and the separated pineapple juice. STIR
  • STIR in the vinegar
  • BOIL over medium-high heat STIR continuously for 1 minute
  • ADD crushed pineapple and continuing stirring until thick
  • SERVE as a dip with seafood or chicken or use as a stir-fry sauce
  • STORE in an airtight container after cooled in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. Freeze up to 1 year

Kidney Chickpea Vegetable Soup

I’m stuck inside today because of winter storm Petra, with snow expected to be 8 inches before it turns to ice. So, I crafted this hearty vegetable soup full of vitamins and minerals for dinner. I paired it with my incredible vegan gluten-free grilled cheese sandwich, but it would go great with crusty french bread too. You can actually use whatever vegetables or beans you have in the cabinet so feel free to improvise.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
1 yellow ONION, diced
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
4 large CARROTS, peeled and sliced
4 CELERY stalks, diced
2 cups little RED POTATOES, scrubbed and cubed
4 cups VEGETABLE BROTH
4 cups WATER
1 15 ounce can of DICED TOMATOES
1 15 ounce can of KERNAL CORN
1 15 ounce can of GREEN BEANS
1 15 ounce can KIDNEY BEANS, drained and rinsed
1 BAY LEAF
1 teaspoon dried THYME
1/2 teaspoon dried ROSEMARY
1 15 ounce can CHICKPEAS, drained and rinsed
SALT and PEPPER to taste

Directions

  • GATHER and PREPARE all ingredients
  • HEAT oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat
  • ADD onion and garlic and SAUTE for 5 minutes
  • ADD celery, carrots, potatoes and SAUTE for another 5 minutes stirring frequently
  • ADD thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste
  • ADD broth, water, kidney beans, corn, green beans, and bay leaf and bring to a BOIL
  • When boiling, REDUCE heat, COVER, and SIMMER for 20 minutes
  • STIR in chickpeas and ADD more salt and pepper to taste and cook an additional 15 minutes
  • SERVE warm
  • STORE in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a week or freeze for up to 4 months

Vegan Savory Sweet Potato Mash

Here’s a savory vegan alternative to the usual sweet sweet potato side dish that you find at many holiday meals. This 30-minute mash is vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free and generally allergy free but it is well spiced and creamy, with coconut milk, vegan butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sage. Give it a try next time you are planning on serving potatoes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 large SWEET POTATOES
4 tablespoons Vegan BUTTER, melted
1/2 cup COCONUT MILK, warmed
1/2 teaspoon CINNAMON
1/2 teaspoon SAGE
1/4 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/4 cup BROWN SUGAR
SALT and PEPPER to taste
Sprinkle of PARSLEY

Directions

  • SCRUB, PEEL, and CUT potatoes into big even sized chunks. Chunks of similar size will cook at a more consistent rate.
  • PLACE potatoes in a medium pot and cover with COLD water enough to cover potatoes by about 1 or 2 inches
  • ADD a pinch of salt and bring to a BOIL
  • When the water is boiling, REDUCE heat to a SIMMER for 15 minutes until potatoes are fork tender (soft)
  • While the potatoes are cooking, in a medium saucepan on medium heat, MELT the butter
  • ADD sage and saute
  • WARM the coconut milk
  • DRAIN the potatoes in a calendar and then RETURN to the still warm potato pot
  • ADD the sage, butter, milk, spices and brown sugar mixture to the potato pot
  • MASH gently. I like to leave my potatoes chunky. Don’t over mash or the potatoes can become pasty.
  • ADD salt and pepper to taste

Ratatouille & Quinoa – Gluten-Free & Vegan

It has been snowing for the last 24 hours and it’s really accumulating out there (already about 8 inches). I needed something hearty and warm for when the shovelers came inside. My answer was a large pot of colorful, aromatic French vegetable stew over hearty quinoa. I make my Ratatouille in one pot on the stove and it is naturally gluten-free and vegan. For bread eaters, this might pair really well with some crusty French bread.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 25-30 minutes

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

1 EGGPLANT, peeled and cut into bitesize cubes
1 tablespoon EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 large ONION, diced
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
1/4 cup dry RED WINE
28 ounce can diced TOMATOES, with juice
1/2 cup WATER
1 BAY LEAF
1 teaspoon dried BASIL
1/2 teaspoon dried THYME
1/2 teaspoon dried OREGANO
1/2 teaspoon crushed RED PEPPER FLAKES
1/4 teaspoon ROSEMARY, ground
1 teaspoon SEA SALT, divided
1/2 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER, ground
2 medium ZUCCHINI, peeled and cut bitesize
1 YELLOW SQUASH, peeled and cut bitesize
1 RED BELL PEPPER, cut bitesize
1 YELLOW BELL PEPPER, cut bitesize
2 cups QUINOA, rinsed (plus 4 cups water to cook)
Pinch of PARSLEY

Directions

  • PREPARE EGGPLANT
    • PEEL eggplant
    • CUT off both ends and CUT the eggplant into bitesize cubes
    • PLACE the eggplant cubes into a colander and TOSS with 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to express excess water. SET ASIDE for about 20 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
    • RINSE before using
  • PREPARE QUINOA
    • RINSE 2 cups of quinoa in a mesh strainer under cold water
    • ADD rinsed quinoa to 4 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
    • REDUCE heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until there is no more water
    • Fluff before serving
  • HEAT olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat
  • SAUTE onion and garlic until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes
  • ADD red wine, can of tomatoes with all its juice, and the bay leaf. STIR until well blended.
  • ADD the basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and eggplant. MIX well and COVER tightly for 10 minutes over medium-low heat until eggplant is tender.
  • ADD zucchini, squash, bell peppers and STIR well. COVER again and simmer for another 8-10 minutes. Having a tight cover on your saucepan allows the liquid to recirculate back into the stew instead of getting lost through evaporation.
  • REDUCE HEAT and cook until vegetables are fork-tender. SEASON with additional salt to taste and STIR occasionally
    • The flavor will improve over time so you can REMOVE it from heat and let it sit for up to 3 hours on the counter
  • SERVE over quinoa with a pinch of parsley
  • STORE in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Roasted Maple Acorn Squash Delight

If winter had a taste, this quick, easy, and delicious side dish would be it. Who can resist maple syrup, brown sugar, and spices? Don’t be afraid of the acorn squash’s rugged exterior. With a sharp knife and a cutting board, you will master this veggie in no time. Leave the skin on, it’s soft and edible when roasted.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 ACORN SQUASH, cut in 1-inch slices
2 tablespoons VEGAN BUTTER, melted
1 tablespoon OLIVE OIL
1/4 cup pure MAPLE SYRUP
1/4 teaspoon CINNAMON, ground
1/8 teaspoon CLOVES, ground
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1 tablespoons BROWN SUGAR, more to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees F
  • WASH squash and pat dry
  • With a sharp knife, SLICE 1/4 inch off the stem and base ends of the squash
  • SET the squash down on the flat sliced stem end and CUT the squash in half from top to bottom
  • Using a large spoon, REMOVE the seeds and pulp from each half and discard/compost.
  • Lay each piece on its flat side and CUT 1-inch slices
  • In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, COMBINE the butter, maple syrup, oil, cinnamon, salt and cloves and heat for 30-45 seconds, until the butter melts. STIR well.
  • On a rimmed baking sheet, ARRANGE the slices in a single layer.
  • BRUSH the maple mixture over all the slices
  • TURN the slices with a fork and BRUSH the other side
  • SPRINKLE brown sugar on each slice
  • BAKE for 15 minutes and then flip each slice and bake another 15 minutes. You know they are done when they are well carmelized and tender.
  • SERVE warm
  • STORE in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days

Cocktail Sauce

Once you find out how quick and tasty this cocktail sauce is, you may wonder why you ever bought it in a bottle from the store. I pair it with my ‘Maryland My Maryland’ Crab Cakes or chilled shrimp for yummy appetizers.

Total time: 5 minutes

Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup KETCHUP
1/2 tablespoon LEMON JUICE
1 teaspoon HORSERADISH (more to taste)
1 teaspoon WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

Directions

  • In a small bowl, MIX all ingredients well
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.

Thanks to my friend, Linda Engle, for her recipe

Vegetables, Kale, & Quinoa Bake

I am always looking for ways to add kale to things. In general, I find kale a hard vegetable to eat, so I need to “dice it and spice it” to make it work for me. This casserole works with or without vegan cheese and I add different vegetables depending on what I have available. I’ve made this in less than 30-minutes with a 20-ounce package of frozen veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) and a 10-ounce package of chopped kale. I eat this as my dinner entree but it would work great as a healthy side dish for meat eaters too.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes (20 minutes if using frozen veggies)

Servings: 8

Ingredients

4 SWEET POTATOES, peeled and chopped small*
4 CARROTS, peeled and chopped small*
1 head BROCCOLI, chopped small*
2 teapoons of EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, divided
SALT and PEPPER to taste
1 cup QUINOA
2-1/4 cups WATER or VEGETABLE STOCK
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 ONION, chopped small
10 ounces KALE, ribbed and chopped
1 teaspoon CUMIN
2 teaspoons CHILI POWDER
1 cup VEGAN CHEDDAR CHEESE (optional)

*Or replace the vegetables to be roasted
with a 20-ounce bag of mixed frozen vegetables
(like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots).

Directions

  • ROAST FRESH vegetables
    • PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees F
    • LINE a baking sheet with aluminum foil
    • CHOP sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli into bitesize pieces
    • PLACE chopped veggies on the baking sheet and COAT with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. MIX well. (I use my hands to MIX the oil with the veggies to make sure they are well coated.)
    • COOK for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender and golden
    • REMOVE vegetables from the oven but KEEP THE OVEN ON
  • If using FROZEN vegetables, ignore the roasting instructions above and cook them according to the package then set aside until later.
  • PREPARE quinoa
    • Follow the package directions.
      • If you don’t have directions, here is how I cook quinoa: I rinse it well in a mesh strainer then COMBINE 2 cups of vegetable stock or water in a medium saucepan with 1 cup of quinoa.
    • ADD another 1/4 cup of liquid to keep the quinoa moist for when you bake it.
    • Bring to a BOIL then reduce heat for 15 – 20 minutes. You want some liquid left for moisture.
    • When quinoa is done, turn off heat and set aside.
  • PREPARE KALE MIX
    • CHOP onions, MINCE garlic, and CHOP kale
    • HEAT a large skillet on medium heat
    • ADD 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • ADD onions and SAUTE for 3 minutes
    • ADD garlic and SAUTE for another 2 minutes
    • ADD kale in batches, as much as your pan will hold
    • ADD a tablespoon of water for STEAM
    • COOK down kale and keep adding more kale and water until the kale has wilted to about 1/2 its original size. SAUTE as you go.
  • In a large bowl, COMBINE kale mixture, cooked mushy quinoa, and roasted (or cooked frozen) vegetables. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. STIR well.
  • SPRAY a large baking dish with cooking spray
    • NOTE on baking dishes: I use an 11 X 7 X 1-1/2 inch baking dish which holds 10 cups. Different size baking dishes require different amounts of time to cook. For example, if you use a 9 X 9 X 2, which is the same 10 cups as my 11 X7 X 1-1/2″, you should decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and increase the time to complete cooking to 40 or 45 minutes, This is because the set up in the 9 X 9 X 2″ is thicker so it will take longer. (This hint came from the simpleveganblog.com)
  • ADD the total mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly across
  • If you opt to use vegan cheese as a topping, sprinkle the vegan cheese across the whole mixture evenly
  • BAKE for 10 minutes minimum (until cheese has melted).

Butternut Squash Soup – Vegan & Gluten-free

Apples make this soup sweet while cayenne pepper and smoked paprika give it zest. This soup is simple to make in one pot, naturally gluten-free, and by using coconut milk, it’s vegan too. I was going to use fresh butternut squash, but I waited too long and it went bad, so I grabbed a few bags of frozen chopped butternut squash from the freezer and, voila, an easy and delicious winter delight was born.

Butternut Squash preparation: 1 hour if fresh or 20 minutes if frozen

Soup preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

4 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 large ONION, roughly chopped
2 large APPLES, peeled, corded, and roughly chopped
1 medium BUTTERNUT SQUASH (3 lbs) or 40 ounces frozen
1 tablespoon EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL (EVOO)
4 cups VEGETABLE BROTH
1 BAY LEAF
1 sprig SAGE
1/2 teaspoon KOSHER SALT
1/4 teaspoon ground BLACK PEPPER
1/8 teaspoon CAYENNE PEPPER
1 teaspoon NUTMEG
1 cup canned unsweetened COCONUT MILK (plus some for topping)
Sprinkle of SMOKED PAPRIKA

Directions

  • PREPARE butternut squash
    • If FRESH:
      • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F
      • CUT squash in half lengthwise
      • SCOOP out seeds and discard
      • SPRAY flesh with cooking spray and a pinch of salt and pepper
      • PLACE flesh side down in a baking dish and add 1/2 cup of water
      • BAKE about 1 hour, until flesh is soft
      • COOL until you can handle and then SCOOP out the flesh
    • If FROZEN:
      • PLACE frozen cubed squash in a microwave safe bowl and add 2 tablespoons of water per 10 ounces of cubes
      • MICROWAVE for 5 minutes per 10 ounces (time depending on the power of your microwave). You want the cubes to be soft not frozen.
  • HEAT the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat
  • ADD the onions and SAUTE for 5 minutes
  • ADD the garlic to the onions and SAUTE for another 2 or 3 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is tender
  • ADD the apples, butternut squash, sage, nutmeg, bay leaf, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and vegetable broth and STIR well
  • ADD the coconut milk and STIR until blended
  • Bring mixture to a BOIL and then turn off heat
  • REMOVE sprig of sage and bay leaf and discard
  • PUREE the soup directly in the pot using an immersion blender* to your desired smoothness.** Be very careful when working with hot liquid.
    • *If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Transfer the soup in small batches to a countertop blender and puree each batch until smooth. Be careful when filling the blender and make sure to put the top on because hot liquid can really hurt you.
    • **I leave some chunks of apple in my soup, just because I like it that way.
  • ADD additional seasoning to taste
  • SERVE warm TOPPED with extra coconut milk and a SPRINKLE of smoked paprika

Honey Garlic Shrimp with Red Quinoa & Vegetables

My goto protein for a quick 30-minute meal is shrimp. I buy bags of frozen shrimp whenever it’s on sale. Frozen shrimp defrost under cold water in less than 10 minutes. I like tail-on shrimp because it is fun to eat with your hands, but you can cut the tails off if you want to be fancy. There is no harm in using frozen vegetables to make this meal super quick and colorful.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 pound of fresh or frozen SHRIMP, peeled & deveined  
(26-30 large). I like tail on.
1 teaspoon GARLIC, minced
1/2 teaspoon GINGER, minced
1/4 cup HONEY
2 tablespoons Gluten-free SOY SAUCE
SALT & PEPPER to taste
2 tablespoons cooking OIL
1 cup dry RED QUINOA + 2 cups WATER = 3 cups cooked
Vegetable mix (fresh or frozen):
2 cups BROCCOLI florets
1 cup CAULIFLOWER florets, and
1 cup CARROTS, sliced

Directions

  • PREPARE the shrimp
    • if fresh, peel and devein
    • if frozen, thaw (10 minutes under cold running water). Peel and devein, if not already done.
  • PREPARE the marinade (while shrimp is thawing)
    • WHISK together garlic, ginger, honey, and soy sauce
    • DIVIDE marinade and set aside 1/2 for later
  • MARINADE shrimp with 1/2 the sauce for 15 minutes
  • RINSE and COOK red quinoa according to package directions (should take about 15 minutes)
  • CHOP and SLICE vegetables of choice (I used broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • STEAM vegetables for 8 minutes or until crisply tender
  • ADD oil to your wok or skillet over medium heat
  • SEAR shrimp in the oil and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes per side
  • RUB the shrimp in the sauce that is left in the pan to coat
  • SERVE shrimp over red quinoa with a generous side of vegetable and DRIZZLE remaining sauce over all

Butternut Squash Vegetable Soup

When it is cold outside there is nothing as comforting as a hot bowl of vegetable soup. Around here we just love soups of all kinds. I try to make soup on the weekends to carry us through a few chilly nights during the week. This hearty soup is full of seasonal goodness from kale and squash and packed with protein from chickpeas to make it a complete dinner. Try it alone or with a nice gluten-free/dairy-free grilled cheese sandwich.       

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 35 – 45 minutes

Servings: 8 as a main course 

Ingredients

4 tablespoons OLIVE OIL
2 large ONIONS, diced
6 CARROTS, diced
6 PARSNIPS, diced
4 stalks CELERY, diced (optional)
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
4 cups (1 whole) peeled BUTTERNUT SQUASH, in 1/2" cubes
4 cups KALE, coursely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ALLSPICE
1/4 teaspoon Kosher SALT (more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon CAYENNE PEPPER (more or less to taste)
4 sprigs fresh THYME
8 cups low-salt VEGETABLE BROTH
1 15-ounce can no-salt DICED TOMATOES
1 15-ounce can CHICKPEAS

Directions

  • PEEL and CUT the butternut squash into 1/2″ cubes (follow Simplyrecipes’ direction on how to peel and cut the butternut squash safely)
  • DICE onion, carrots, parsnips
  • MINCE garlic
  • WASH the kale and REMOVE it from the stem by laying the leaf upside down on a cutting board and cutting a V shape along both sides of the rib thereby cutting it free from the leaf.  CHOP the kale coarsely.
  • HEAT olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat
  • ADD onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften and turn translucent. STIR occasionally
  • ADD the garlic and cook for 1 more minute
  • ADD the butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, (celery if you want), allspice, salt, and cayenne pepper and stir until they begin to brown (about 10 minutes)
  • ADD the sprigs of thyme, broth, and tomatoes
  • Bring to a BOIL then reduce heat and SIMMER for 10 minutes (or until vegetables are tender)
  • ADD chickpeas and kale
  • SIMMER for another 10 minutes, until kale has wilted
  • REMOVE the sprigs of thyme before serving
  • STORE for 5 days in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer

Inspired by Ellie Krieger

Baked Zucchini Chips – Gluten-Free & Vegan

When I am out with friends at an Italian restaurant, I really miss having that tasty fried zucchini stick appetizer, so I  decided to make my own healthy gluten and dairy free version. The thinner you slice the zucchini rounds, the crisper they will be. These babies are baked, not fried, so eat as many as you would like. Try them with some warm marinara sauce and vegan parmesan cheese. MANGIA!

Preparation Time: 15-20 minutes

Cooking Time:  30 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 large ZUCCHINI, sliced very thin
1/4 cup CASHEW MILK (or any alternative nut milk)
SEASONING
1/2 cup gluten-free FLOUR (almond works nice)
1/2 cup NUTRITIONAL YEAST
1/2 teaspoon GARLIC POWDER
1/4 teaspoon HIMILAYAN SALT
Ground CAYENNE PEPPER to taste (1/4 teaspoon)
PARCHMENT paper
Paper TOWELS
Spray can of OLIVE OIL
Optional: Vegan PARMASAN CHEESE

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 425 degrees F
  • PREPARE ZUCCHINI
    • PLACE paper towels on a plate or flat baking pan
    • SLICE zucchini as thin as possible (1/4″ or less). You can leave the skin on.
    • LAY zucchini slices on the paper towels and SPRINKLE with salt
    • Let the slices sit for about 10 minutes to draw out excess liquid
    • PRESS rounds with a paper towel to BLOT up any excess liquid
    • PUT dried zucchini rounds in a bowl (call this Assembly Step #1)
  • While the zucchini is doing its thing to get out the excess water, in a gallon size plastic bag, PREPARE seasoning mix of flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to taste. (You can use a bowl but I find the ‘shake’ method covers nicely.) Set to the side. (Assembly Step #2)
  • POUR milk in a medium bowl (Assembly Step #3)
  • PREPARE a baking pan (I reuse the one I dried the zucchini on) with parchment paper (Assembly Step #4)
  • ASSEMBLE
    • MAKE AN ASSEMBLY LINE of all the ingredients starting with Step #1 the bowl of zucchini, Step #2 the bowl of milk, Step #3 the bag of seasoning, and finally Step #4 the baking pan
    • With a sharp fork (or a clean hand), DIP the dried zucchini in the milk
    • Then TOSS the milked zucchini into the seasoning bag and flip around until the slice is coated on both sides
    • With a sharp fork (or a clean dry hand) remove the zucchini slice from the seasoning bag and LAY it on the parchment paper in the baking pan
    • Repeat steps 1 through 4 until all the slices are coated.
    • LIGHTLY SPRAY each slice with olive oil, ensuring not to remove seasoning
  • BAKE for 15 minutes
  • TURN over each slice and LIGHTLY SPRAY again if needed
  • BAKE another 15 minutes until everything is golden brown. NOTE: cooking time will vary depending on how thin you sliced your zucchini rounds, so keep an eye on them so that they don’t get burnt. 
  • COOL the rounds on the parchment paper for a few minutes before removing
  • SERVE hot with your favorite tomato sauce and optionally sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese
  • Note: Try to eat them all while hot because they got soggy when they cool

Easy Garlic Tofu & Veggie Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is the quickest meal at our house, usually no more than 30 minutes. This recipe is healthy and flavorful while being simple to prepare. Make sure to use the extra or super firm variety of tofu and dry it well before cooking. I like extra firm tofu because It is easier to work with and has a more substantial texture in the dish. Use whatever veggies you have on hand: every time I make stir-fry it is a little different so don’t be afraid to improvise. Just remember that color is important especially in a stir-fry.  

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

SAUCE
4 cloves GARLIC, minced
1 tablespoon fresh GINGER ROOT, grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER
1/4 teaspoon SALT
3/4 cup VEGETABLE STOCK
1/4 cup gluten-free SOY SAUCE
1 teaspoon CORNSTARCH
1 teaspoon WATER

STIR-FRY
1 14-ounce block of extra firm TOFU, pre-cubed
2 cups CARROTS, sliced
4 cups BROCCOLI florets, chopped
1 cup EDAMAME or chopped GREEN BEANS
1 8-ounce can WATERCHESTNUTS, sliced
2 tablespoons CORNSTARCH
Pinch of SALT
1 tablespoon cooking OIL
BASMATI RICE, per serving
Optional Toppings: toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions

Directions

  • PREPARE SAUCE: In a small bowl, WHISK garlic, ginger root, pepper, salt, vegetable stock, soy sauce, cornstarch, and water. Let it sit so that the flavors blend.
  • PREPARE tofu
    • If using prepackaged extra firm cubes, DRAIN water from the package. PAT dry with a paper towel. SPRINKLE with a pinch of salt.
    • If using a block of extra firm tofu, DRAIN water from the package. Line a plate or baking sheet with paper towels. Place tofu on top of the paper towels and then cover with another layer of paper towels. PRESS gently to remove extra moisture. CUT tofu into 1-inch cubes. SPRINKLE with salt.
    • In a large bowl, PLACE 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
    • ADD dried tofu cubes to cornstarch and roll them around until they are evenly coated.
    • HEAT 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok (or large skillet) over medium heat. Roll oil around to make sure to coat bottom and sides.
    •  ADD coated tofu to wok and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown on one side. Do not stir for the first 2 minutes so that it can set. 
    • With a spatula, TURN and brown the tofu on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes until it’s totally golden. STIR occasionally.
    • TRANSFER the tofu to a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside.
  • PREPARE VEGGIES 
    •  Return the wok to high HEAT until lightly smoking (add more oil if needed). ADD broccoli florets, carrots, edamame, and water chestnuts, STIR and TOSS veggies frequently.  Veggies should be cooked but still firm (anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes should do it). Note: You can even use frozen mixed Asian vegetables, just follow directions on the package to cook.
    • TRANSFER the veggies to a bowl and set aside.
  • COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS
    •  Return the wok to high HEAT and ADD sauce mixture. STIR and COOK until sauce is boiling. 
    • ADD tofu and veggies to the wok and using a large spatula TURN to coat everything evenly.   Season to taste.
  • SERVE over rice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, seaweed, or green onions.

Heavenly Dutch Apple Pie – Gluten-Free & Vegan

Who can resist the all-time holiday favorite, Apple Pie? My gluten and dairy-free version is a hybrid between a pie and a crisp. I use a store-bought gluten-free graham style crust for the bottom (because crusts are not my best skill and I am all about uncomplicated cooking) and a home-made crumble for the top. Try a warm slice of sweet apple pie, all moist and sticky, with a scoop of dairy-free Vanilla Ice Cream. Now that is my definition of heaven.  

Prep time: 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 45-55 minutes

Servings: 1 pie (6 or 8 slices)

Ingredients

1 Gluten-Free PIE CRUST (I use MI-DEL allegen safe graham style)
Crumble Topping
3/4 cup All Purpose GLUTEN-FREE BAKING MIX (King Arthur Flour)*
3/4 cup LIGHT BROWN SUGAR, packed
1/4 cup granualated SUGAR
2 teaspoons ground CINNAMON
1/2 teaspoon ground NUTMEG
1/4 teaspoon Kosher SALT
1/2 cup (1 stick) Vegan BUTTER, chilled and cut into small pieces
Filling
5 or 6 large APPLES, peeled, cored and sliced thin
For crisp try HoneyCrisp or PinkLady or tart try Granny Smith
1/2 cup granualted SUGAR
If using tart apples, you may need more sugar
1 teaspoons ground CINNAMON
1/4 teaspoon ground NUTMEG
1/4 teaspoon ground GINGER
Pinch of SALT

*If using all purpose gluten-free flour instead of baking mix,
you will need to add 1/2 teaspoon of XANTHAN GUM.

Directions

  • MAKE the TOPPING
    • In a medium bowl, WHISK baking mix, brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Make sure to get the lumps out of the brown sugar
    • BLEND in chilled butter with a fork or pastry blender until you have a nice crumbly texture
    • REFRIGERATE the bowl for 10 minutes until firm
  • PREHEAT the oven to 375 degrees F
  • MAKE the FILLING
    • PEEL, CORE, and thinly SLICE apples
    • In a large bowl, COMBINE apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt
    • SET the bowl aside and let the juices combine while the topping is cooling
  • ASSEMBLE the pie
    • REMOVE the crumble from the refrigerator and BREAK UP any large clumps
    • PLACE the pie on a baking sheet to catch any overflow spills
    • DUMP the filling into the pie crust and MOUNT in the center. Make sure to pour all the juices in.
    • SPOON the crumble topping evenly over everything and don’t be afraid to use it all. PAT DOWN the crumbles gently with a fork (I use my hand) to make sure that it sticks to the filling.
  • BAKE
    • BAKE in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until the juices are bubbling out the sides and the crumble is evenly golden brown.
    • If using a regular pie crust, about 25 or 30 minutes into the bake, COVER the edges of the crust with foil to prevent burning. You don’t have to do this if you are using a graham style crust, as it doesn’t extend past the topping. 
    • Depending on your oven, you might need to ADD 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.
    • REMOVE the pie from the oven and let COOL completely for at least 1 hour before serving. Fruit pies continue to thicken as they cool, so you really want to allow it the time it needs to give you a perfect slice. 
  • STORE the pie covered at room temperature for several days or freeze.
  •    SERVING SUGGESTIONS
    • Warm the pie in the microwave
    • Serve with your favorite dairy-free vanilla ice cream


Happy Peanut Butter Cups – Gluten-Free & Vegan

Chocolate and peanut butter: two flavors that make me happy. I like to make these little happy treats for birthdays and other sweet times. The process isn’t too complicated and with only 3 ingredients, you can’t go wrong. Note that the quality of the peanut butter you choose will affect the overall taste of the dessert, so use good stuff (organic vs Skippy, for example).  I hope they make you happy too. 

Total time: about 40 minutes from prep to eat 

Servings: 10-12

Ingredients

7 ounces of Vegan CHOCOLATE MORSELS or SQUARES
4 tablespoons of COCONUT OIL
3/4 cup good quality PEANUT BUTTER
12 cupcake PAPER LINERS 

DIRECTIONS

  • PLACE 10 to 12 cupcake paper liners in a flat baking dish.
  • In a double boiler* on medium heat, MELT the chocolate with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. STIR occasionally until completely combined. TURN off heat but leave on the stove to stay warm.
  • In a small bowl, MIX peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil until well combined.
  • SPOON a small amount of the chocolate/coconut oil mixture into each cup; enough to cover the bottoms.
  • FREEZE the cups for a few minutes to set; 2 or 3 minutes should be fine.
  • Remove cups from freezer and DROP a small spoonful of peanut butter/coconut oil mixture on top of the hardened chocolate/coconut mixture in each cup.  FLATTENING with the back of a spoon. 
  • Then SPOON more chocolate/coconut oil mixture into each cup. If you want them to be like Reeses then put in enough chocolate/coconut oil mixture to cover all the peanut butter. I just drizzle chocolate on top for a pretty effect. 
  • FREEZE until ready to serve (at least 15 minutes to harden).
  • THAW to serve:  REMOVE the treats from the freezer about 30 minutes before you want to serve them. REMOVE the paper liners and place the naked treats in the refrigerator to thaw. If the treats get too soft they can lose their shape. If they do throw them back in the freezer for 5 minutes until they harden again.   

 *NOTE: Instead of a double boiler, I use a saucepan with about 1 inch of water in it with a heat safe bowl on top. Make sure that the bowl does not touch the water, as you want the chocolate to steam not boil. 

Mom’s Outrageously Good Gluten-Free Vegan Mac & Cheese

To me, Macaroni and Cheese is the ultimate American comfort food. My gluten-free and dairy-free version of this classic, similar to the original 1794 recipe by Elizabeth Raffald, is based on a creamy white mornay sauce. The secret is in the roux so don’t let it burn.  I recommend you spice the dish up a notch because Vegan cheese can be bland. We love it with sweet peas.   

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6 -8

Ingredients

1 16-ounce package of Gluten-free ELBOW MACARONI
2 cups Vegan CHEDDAR CHEESE (I use Daiya brand)
1 cup Vegan MOZZARELLA CHEESE (I use Daiya brand)
3 tablespoons Vegan BUTTER (I use Earth Balance brand soy-free sticks)
3 tablespoon Gluten-free FLOUR
2 cups CASHEW MILK (my favorite) or any milk alternative (Rice/Almond)
1/4 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER
1 teaspoon of GARLIC POWDER
1 teaspoon of ONION SALT
SALT to taste (warning Daiya cheese tastes salty to me so salt sparingly)
Gluten-free ITALIAN BREAD CRUMBS to cover the top
1/4 teaspoon PAPRIKA

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
  • COOK the macaroni a few minutes less than the instructions on the package tells you to (like 5 minutes instead of 8). The pasta will continue to cook when you bake it.
  • GREASE an 8X10 baking dish. I use a smaller baking dish then I think I need so that the recipe sets up nicely. 
  • DRAIN the pasta and place it in the greased baking dish.
  • MIX 1 cup of the Vegan cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of the Vegan mozzarella cheese into the pasta.
  • In a medium saucepan, MELT the butter over low heat. 
  • ADD the flour and WHISK continuously until gooey.
  • STIR in the milk*, pepper, garlic powder, and onion salt until mixture starts to boil and then stir another 1-2 minutes until it gets thick and bubbly. (*NOTE: Don’t let the sauce turn into a paste. You just want a thick liquid. Add more milk as needed.)
  • POUR the milk mixture over the cheese/pasta in the baking dish and mix thoroughly.
  • TOP the dish with the remaining cheeses, SPRINKLE with plenty of bread crumbs, and then DUST with paprika.
  • BAKE for 30 minutes. The top should be nicely browned and the cheese should be bubbly.
Mac & Cheese ready for the overn
Mac & Cheese ready for the oven

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins – Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free

Sometimes, I just crave a breakfast muffin. I like to heat them for 30 seconds in the microwave and then slather Vegan cream cheese on top. I tend to throw the kitchen sink of spices into these muffins so that the flavors of winter just explode in every bite. Adjust the spices and add-ins to match your mood.

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 18

Ingredients

1-2/3 cup All Purpose GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR
1/2 teaspoon CINNAMON
1/2 teaspoon CLOVES
1/2 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/2 teaspoon GINGER
1/4 teaspoon BAKING POWDER
1 teaspoon BAKING SODA
1/2 teaspoon SALT
3/4 cup HONEY
2 EGGS (or Vegan egg replacer)
1/2 cup melted Vegan BUTTER (I use Earth Balance)*
1 15-ounce can of PUMPKIN PUREE (not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
1/4 cup cold WATER
1/4 cup dried CRANSBERRIES or RAISANS
1/4 cup chopped WALNUTS
1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate morsels (optional)
18 Paper Muffin LINERS

*If you are watching your fat, you can replace butter with APPLESAUCE.

Directions

  • PREHEAT oven to 325 degrees F.
  • LINE 2 12-cup muffin tins to handle about 18 muffin cups.
  •  In a large mixing bowl, MIX all dry ingredients together well.
  • In the same bowl, ADD all the rest of the ingredients and just throw it on top of the dry ingredients. STIR to combine. (I use a wooden spoon but I guess you could use an electric mixer.)
  • SPOON the batter into the lined muffin cups until each is about 3/4 filled.
  • BAKE for 40-45 minutes. (About 1/2 the time if you are making mini muffins).
  • TEST for doneness by inserting a toothpick (or another tester) into the center of a muffin. If it comes out with only a few moist crumbs on it, then they’re done. 
  • COOL for 10 minutes before removing them from the tins. If the muffins are stuck to the tin you can run a knife around them to loosen. 
Pumpkin happiness on the rise
Perfect blend of spices and pumpkin

Storage: You can store the muffins at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze them for 3 months. 

Vegan 1 Pot Red Lentil Chili

The fantastic thing about this perfect protein-rich 1 pot winter dish is that even the die-hard meat-eaters in the family think it is the best chili they ever tasted (I never thought I would hear that!). This recipe couldn’t be simpler or more hearty and delicious.  There is no need to soak or precook the red lentils. Like with any good chili, I think it’s more flavorful the second day, so make a lot and refrigerate it.

Cooking Time: 40-50 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin OLIVE OIL (or Coconut)
1 medium yellow ONION, finely chopped
1 RED PEPPER, finely chopped
1 CELERY STALK, finely chopped (optional)
SALT and PEPPER, to taste
2 tablespoons GARLIC (4 cloves minced)
1 25-ounce can salt-free DICED TOMATOES (add your own salt to taste)
1/2 cup REFRIED BEANS
2 cups of WATER (more if needed)
1 1/2 tablespoons CHILI POWDER (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 teaspoon crushed RED PEPPER FLAKE (more if you like it spicy)
1 1/2 tablespoons ground CUMIN
1 teaspoon SMOKED PAPRIKA (this tastes different than regular)
3/4 cup dry RED LENTILS, rinsed, cleaned, and drained
1 15-ounce can BLACK BEANS, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can KIDNEY BEANS, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can CORN, drained
2 tablespoons MAPLE SYRUP (optional but brings our the favors nicely)
Serving Suggestions:
Top with Vegan CHEDDAR or MEXICAN MIX CHEESE, Shredded
Top with SCALLIONS, chopped
Serve with Gluten-Free Corn TORTILLA CHIPS

Directions

  • HEAT a large pot over medium heat. ADD oil.
  • SAUTE onion, red pepper, and celery for about 3 minutes stirring often. 
  • ADD garlic and STIR. ADD salt and pepper to taste. SAUTE another minute.
  • STIR IN diced tomatoes (with liquid), refried beans, and water. 
  • ADD spices: chili powder, red pepper flakes, cumin, smoked paprika. STIR completely to combine.
  • Bring to a BOIL over medium heat.
  • When boiling, ADD lentils, COVER, and lower to a SIMMER for about 15 minutes. ADD more water if the mixture is looking too think or dry. You want the lentils to cook completely and to get tender. STIR occasionally so that the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. 
  • ADD black beans, kidney beans, corn and more spices for your taste and maple syrup. STIR to combine.
  • SIMMER (not boiling) over medium heat so that you see little bubbles and then reduce to low for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.   
  • COOL slightly and then SPRINKLE Vegan cheese on top before serving.
  • SCOOP with your favorite tortilla chips. 

NOTE: This chili can last at least a week in your refigerator and freezes easily for several months. Just thaw and reheat on the stove. 

Pear & Brussels Sprouts Salad

With all the Romaine lettuce contamination scares in the United States, I decided to use Brussels sprouts as an alternative salad base. The maple-balsamic dressing and the pears make this salad so sweet and delicious that we literally fought over the bowl. I never thought I could learn to love those little ‘heads’ so much.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

Salad
1 pound of BRUSSELS SPROUTS, pulled and sliced
2 ripe PEARS, chopped
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries (CRasians)
1/4 cup PECANS, coursely chopped
Dressing
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin OLIVE OIL
1 tablespoon of MAPLE SYRUP
1-1/2 tablespoons of BALSAMIC VINEGAR
1 teaspoon DIJON MUSTARD
1/4 teaspoon SALT
1/8 teaspoon PEPPER
1/4 clove GARLIC, optional

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, prepare the salad dressing by WHISKING together the oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and mustard and then salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic if you want a little extra kick.
  • CLEAN the Brussel sprouts by cutting off the stalk end and then pull off and discard the tough outer leaves. SLICE the Brussels sprouts as thin as you like with a very sharp knife. I mix both ripped leaves and thinly sliced pieces for a nice texture. 
  • In a large bowl, MIX Brussel sprouts, pears, cranberries, and pecans.
  • POUR salad dressing over mixture and TOSS salad.

This recipe was inspired by “Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette” from Martina’s Kitchen Mix by Martina McBride.

Vegan Potato Latkes

By replacing eggs with tofu, these amazing potato latkes (pancakes) are the perfect fried dish to celebrate Hanukkah. I use two frying pans to keep the production line going. People start stealing them from the plate before I ever get them to the table. 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes a pancake/batch

Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

3 cups POTATOES (about 8 medium Yukon Gold or Idaho), drained well
1/2 pound firm TOFU, drained well
1 large ONION
1 teaspoon SALT
1/4 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER
1 clove GARLIC, optional
2 tablespoons gluten-free MATZO MEAL
1/2 cup Vegan BUTTER or other light oil for frying
Roll of PAPER TOWELS
APPLESAUCE or Vegan SOUR CREAM, optional

Directions

  • Using a fine or medium grater blade on your food processor,* GRATE the potatoes
  • DRAIN the grated potatoes really well before continuing. I put the grated potatoes in a big wire strainer over a large bowl. I then place a plate over the mixture and press down gently to express the potato starch
  • Using a medium grater blade on your food processor,* GRATE the onion (or finely chop if you prefer)
  • In a large bowl, ADD the onion to the drained potatoes and mix well
  • PROCESS or MASH the tofu until it is creamy with a few lumps
  • ADD the tofu to the onion/potato mixture
  • STIR in the seasonings and matzo meal
  • HEAT a small amount of the butter or oil in a large frying pan.  Let it get hot
  • SPOON (or I use my hands and make patties) the mixture into the frying pan and form pancakes. I usually get 6 to 8 pancakes in the pan at a time
  • FLATTEN the pancakes with a spatula
  • FRY each pancake for about 5 minutes over medium heat, then turn over until nicely browned on both sides. (I like my latkes dark and crisp, but my spouse likes them undercooked, so it’s up to your taste how long you fry) 
  • Layer paper towels on a plate or cookie sheet and place the cooked latkes on the paper towels to DRAIN. I make so many that I build a tower of draining latkes in paper towel tiers
  • Add more butter or oil as required to fry the next batch
  • Serve hot with applesauce or vegan sour cream

*To make latkes without a food processor, just grate the potatoes manually, chop the onions as finely as possible (or grate them too), mash the tofu, and follow the rest of the instructions above.

This recipe was inspired by Jennie Grossinger from “The Art Of Jewish Cooking,” personally autographed to my mother in 1958 by Jennie.

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

What would Thanksgiving be without a wonderful gluten-free and dairy-free vegan pumpkin pie? I usually make 2 at a time because it gets eaten so quickly (just double the recipe with no problem). Treat yourself to some vegan whipped topping to finish it off (they have so many varieties of dairy-free whipped topping these days, who can resist?)    

Cook Time: 75 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

1 15-ounce can of pure PUMPKIN PUREE (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup BROWN SUGAR (light brown sugar makes a nicer looking pie)
1 12-ounce packages of EXTRA FIRM SILKEN TOFU
1 teaspoon CINNAMON
1/4 teaspoon CLOVES
1/4 teaspoon NUTMEG
1/2 teaspoon SALT
1/2 teaspoon GINGER (I like ginger, use less if you don't)
1 9-inch unbaked gluten-free PIE SHELL
Vegan WHIPPED TOPPING (optional but a really good complement)

Directions

  • PREHEAT the oven to 435 degrees F
  • BLEND the pumpkin and brown sugar in a blender
  • ADD the tofu, salt, and spices and blend until smooth
  • POUR the mixture into the pie shell (I recommend putting the pie on a cookie sheet because the filling tends to run over the sides)
  • BAKE for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees F for another 60 minutes or until the filling has set
  • CHILL and server with vegan whipped topping