Tag Archives: vegetarian

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup and Vegan Red Lobster Biscuits

soup and biscuit

This soup from the Post Punk Kitchen is an old favorite and easily one of my favorite soups of all time. I’ve posted it here before, but it’s been a long time so I thought I would revisit. I’ve also changed my instructions slightly to cut out a couple of steps, making the prep time about 10 minutes.

biscuitsBut first. BUT FIRST. Let’s get to these biscuits. It’s been probably close to two decades since I’ve been to a Red Lobster. Something recently made me think of those biscuits they give you — salty, cheesy, flaky, bottomless baskets of delicious cheddar bay biscuits. PROBABLY not the healthiest thing on the planet, but making them at home helps. I found this recipe on the blog Amazeballs Eats.

claire biscuits Our resident tween, a self-appointed cheddar bay biscuit connoisseur, even said, “If you gave me a Red Lobster biscuit and gave me one of these biscuits, I wouldn’t know the difference. They are soooooo good.”

She always seems to like things she helped make more, but I can’t disagree. She was a great sous chef.

Do cheddar biscuits go with Thai flavors? I don’t know. But they were both good and nobody complained. Good enough for me.

Even the toddler ate some of the soup, which does have a bit of a kick in the background. She would eat a spoonful, say “hot,” push it away, then ask for more.

I’ve tried to add different vegetables over the years — it’s perfect as is. Sometimes I have to learn the hard way just to leave it alone. Also, don’t skip the cilantro and sesame oil garnish on this one. You might think it wouldn’t make that big of a difference, but you would be wrong. It completes the soup and is so much better than without. Now to the recipes!

Vegan Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Biscuit Ingredients
• 2 c. all-purpose flour — I’ve been using spelt flour a lot lately for a little extra health 🙂
• 2 tsp. baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp. sugar
• 3/4 tsp. salt (I put less in the biscuits and added to the buttery glaze that goes on top)
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
• 1 c. cheddar style shreds (I use and recommend Daiya)
• 1 c. plain unsweetened non-dairy milk (I went with almond)
• 1/2 c. vegan butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks), melted

Butter Topping Ingredients
• 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, melted
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp. dried parsley (I used 1 tsp. fresh, minced parsley)

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, garlic powder and cayenne. Stir in the cheddar style shreds; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond milk and melted vegan butter until the butter forms small clumps. (Ours never formed clumps, so we just went for it. It was fine. They were flaky and wonderful!)
  4. Add the almond milk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.
  5. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted vegan butter, garlic powder and parsley. Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

• 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
• 1/2 tablespoon(s) vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1-2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
• 1 tablespoon red curry paste (or more for extra spice! I probably added closer to 2)
• 1 15 oz. coconut milk unsweetened
• 3 cup(s) vegetable broth
• 3 tablespoon(s) lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon(s) sea salt
• 1 tablespoon(s) sesame oil
• 1/2 cup(s) cilantro, fresh

1. In a stock pot, saute onion and ginger in oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add curry paste and cook for another minute or so.

2. Add sweet potato, diced small, and stir for about a minute.

3. Add coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through.

4. Add lemon juice and salt. You’re ready to serve!

5. Once in bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with chopped cilantro (as much as you like).

 

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Quick Asian Mushroom Noodle Soup

I made this for a client today and, as I often do, decided to whip some up for myself when I got home. I had almost all of the requested ingredients on hand, so I got to it and it was ready to eat in less than 30 minutes — pretty good, especially for a hearty soup! I didn’t have any udon noodles and didn’t feel like boiling up any others, so I went without. I think I prefer it this way and won’t add noodles next time.

The version for my clients included chicken instead of tofu and spinach for the greens. I knew my box was arriving any time from Door to Door Organics, so I let it simmer until that arrived and added in kale. This could really be a kitchen sink soup though — I think just about any vegetable or even beans would be really good in here.  Also, because there’s no butter or oil involved, it’s really low fat (if not no fat) and if you used Bragg’s liquid aminos in place of the soy sauce, it would be salt-free too. It’s extremely flavorful and was so, so easy. Enjoy!

Ingredients
• 4 c. vegetable broth
• 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, low sodium or Bragg’s liquid aminos
•  2 tsp. grated ginger (I took about a 2-3 inch piece and minced it)
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2-3 c. mushrooms — any combo of white, cremini, shiitake, oyster, baby bellas
•  2-3 c. shredded cabbage, white or napa
• 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 pkg. baked tofu, cut into small pieces (I use Panda brand, made in Royal Oak — you can find it at the farmer’s market, Holiday Market, natural food stores, etc.)
• 2 oz. cooked udon noodles (optional!)
• 1-2 bunches green onions, thinly sliced
• 2 c. greens — spinach, kale, chard, etc.
• pepper to taste
• 1 Tbsp. Mirin (optional)

1. Cook noodles separately if you are using.

2. In a large pot, combine broth, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and tofu. Cover and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce to a simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Add in noodles (if using), green onions and greens. Simmer until greens are wilted, about 2 minutes.

Simple Vegan Stir-Fry

Stir-fry is one of those things that I love to make because it can change all the time. Other than a couple of things (like this salad) I’m rarely a creature of habit when it comes to food. My squeeze can eat the same thing every single day and be happy with it. I’m… not that way. With stir-fry, there are all kinds of different sauces, veggies and proteins you can put in it to change it up. This is a good basic recipe because I always have the items for the sauce on hand and you can make it only if you have a couple of veggies on hand too. Just when you think you don’t have anything to eat for dinner — voila!

Ingredients
• 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil (I usually use a combo of whatever’s handy — sesame, ginger, safflower, olive, whatever)
• 4 tsp. cornstarch
• 6 Tbsp. soy sauce
• 1 c. water
• 1+ tsp. ginger powder (or fresh ginger, see below)
• Any veggies you like!
• Red pepper flakes
• 1-2 cloves minced garlic (optional)

I first heat about 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok or large frying pan. I try to start small because we rarely need as much oil as it seems we will! For a little kick, I’ll sometimes sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and let them fry in the oil for bout 15 to 30 seconds.

If you are using a protein — whether it’s drained tofu, tempeh, chicken, etc., I’d do that first, remove it from the pan, add another tablespoon of oil and proceed as follows. Last night, I went for it with just veggies.

After the oil is heated (and pepper flakes in there, if using) I add minced garlic and saute quickly. Have your veggies chopped up and ready to go in! Last night when I made this, I couldn’t find my ginger powder that normally goes in the sauce mixture for the life of me, so I minced up about 1 to 2 Tbsp. fresh ginger and added it at this time too.

Next add your veggies. I try to add the ones that take a little longer to cook first — carrots, broccoli, green beans. Then add the others: onion (either chopped white or, as I had last night, green onions), mushrooms and softer vegetables. One thing I love about my market I normally go to is the items they have in bulk. I was able to buy one large carrot, a small handful of green beans, a small handful of snowpeas — that way you can have a little bit of everything.

Cook all your veggies until they seem tender crisp, but not quite done yet (not rocket science here — you can always cook as long as you need in the end). Whisk together the soy sauce, cornstarch, water and ginger powder (if using) and add to pan. Cook, stirring often until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. I usually find about 5 minutes is sufficient.

And that’s it! Once you have the veggies chopped, it takes about 15 minutes to make — coincidentally the exact same amount of time it takes to make a nice fluffy pot of quinoa to serve it over, so you don’t have to wait around 45 minutes for rice.

Vegan Black Bean Tamale Pie

Look at me! Two posts in two weeks! I’m really on a roll, aren’t I? I decided I better post this ASAP or my week will get away from me. I made this for a client last week and have been craving it ever since. I finally got around to it tonight.

This can be vegan or just vegetarian, depending on what kind of cheese, milk and eggs (or egg replacers) you use. I chose to make it vegan. This is a really simple dish you can make with a few things you can keep in your pantry. If you have a bit of onion and some kind of bell pepper, that’s about the only produce you need (although I think I did throw some minced garlic in tonight because I can’t seem to leave garlic out of anything).

This got high marks from my better half too — he couldn’t stop himself from taking extra helpings. It’s really rich and filling, kind of like eating chili with cornbread all in one dish. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser and very easy to adjust the heat — throw some freshly minced jalapeno or habaneros in the early stages to kick it up a few notches.

Ingredients
• 1 tsp. olive oil
• 1/2 c. chopped onion
• 1/3 c. green pepper (I used yellow because it was what I had)
• 1 15 oz. can black beans
• 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
• 1 c. corn canned, cooked fresh or frozen
• 1 1/4 oz. taco seasoning mix (or throw some cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. in and season to taste).
• 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
• 1 c. grated cheese (I used Daiya pepper jack style grated cheese)
• 1 1/4 c. milk (I used almond)
• salt and pepper to taste (Oops, I forgot this entirely today… it was fine)
•  2 large eggs, beaten or equivalent egg replacer (I used 3 tsp. egg replacer powder mixed with 4 Tbsp. warm water).
• Minced jalapenos or habaneros (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Throw your minced hot peppers in at this point too if you’re using.  (Just before the next step is when I threw in the garlic and cooked for 1 more minute).

2. Add undrained beans, tomato sauce, corn, taco seasoning or spices, 1/2 c. of the cornmeal and 1/2 c. of cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened and cornmeal is cooked through, approximately 15 minutes, then put in 1 1/2- or 2- quart casserole dish.

3. Meanwhile, heat milk with remaining 3/4 c. cornmeal in a small saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly (Well, close enough. I stirred it often…) until all of the milk is absorbed. Remove from heat. Slowly add eggs or egg replacer and stir in the remaining 1/2 c. of cheese.

4. Spread over top of bean mixture and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until top begins to lightly brown. Mine didn’t get that far, because there were hungry mouths to feed, but it was 40 minutes and good enough.

I can’t believe I waited this long to make this for my own family — I have a feeling it will stay in the winter-time rotation!

Vegan Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

I recently stopped by my favorite fruit and vegetable stand  to pick up a few things for dinner. I had glanced at a few recipes earlier in the day for stuffed acorn squash and knew I had most of the ingredients at home, so I just picked up two acorn squash, an onion, some mushrooms, some herbs and hoped for the best. Of course, I didn’t get around to making it, so when I had to run to my hometown this weekend I brought all the ingredients with me so I would have some “real” vegetarian food to eat while I’m here. I made it quickly when I got into town and, thanks to my early-riser nephews, I  have time to write this blog this morning.  🙂

There were several recipes for stuffed acorn squash that sounded good. Usually I end up combining several recipes, but when I came across this one on Healthy Crush: A Love Affair with Living Well, I realized I had all of the ingredients, so I decided  to make it verbatim.

This would be a great recipe for vegan Thanksgiving — it’s beautiful, it looks like fall and it tastes great. AND, there is a ton of extra filling so any meat-eaters could try it — it’s already gotten the thumbs up from 5 meat-eaters who tasted it last night. This recipe proves that eating healthy and eating vegan don’t have to be boring or bland.

Ingredients
• 2 large acorn squash
• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• sea salt and pepper to taste
• 2 c. quinoa, uncooked
• 1 med. yellow onion
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 1 c. chopped mushrooms (any variety)
• 1 pkg. organic tempeh or 1 c. chickpeas
• 1 c. chopped fresh basil
• 2/3 c. raisins (I used golden)
• 2/3 c. pine nuts, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds (I had pepitas on hand, so I went with those — I think walnuts would be good too)
• A few splashes of soy sauce or tamari
• A sprinkle of cayenne (mom’s not into heat, so she didn’t have any and I didn’t bring my own — so I omitted)
• A sprinkling of chopped fresh sage (I imagine jarred rubbed sage would be just fine too)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds. Place in oven-proof baking dish face up. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes.

2.  While the squash is baking — make the stuffing! First prepare quinoa according to package directions. Place 2 c. quinoa with about 4 c. water (I always do just under — maybe 3 1/2-3 3/4 c. water). Bring to a boil, reduce to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.

3. Dice/chop onions, mushrooms, garlic and tempeh and or chickpeas (I used tempeh because I had it on hand) and saute with a tiny bit of oil and a few splashes of soy sauce in a large saute pan. I actually started with the onions and garlic, then added in the mushrooms and tempeh. I sprinkled with salt and pepper, tasted and adjusted — adding a bit more soy sauce.

4. Add cooked quinoa to mixture and mix well. It seems like a lot — and it is. But the ratio ends up working really nicely together.

5. Add raisins, basil and nuts to the mixture.

6. At this point, the acorn squash should be just about done. (It really was perfect timing). Overfill with the mixture — I piled it as high as I could without it spilling over. If you’re aren’t vegan, Healthy Crush recommends topping with some goat cheese. I imagine feta or parm would be pretty good to. Place back in oven for 15 more minutes. The squash should be beginning to brown a bit and everything should be heated through.

7. Sprinkle with chopped/rubbed sage and dig in! There will be tons of stuffing leftover, but it’s delicious on its own too. If you like, the mixture will freeze easily for you to eat as a side dish another time.

Vegan Red Pepper Spaghetti Sauce and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I had a really, really long cook day today and barely had the will to get off the couch and make myself something for dinner after I got home. I was considering not eating at all, when I checked my e-mail to find a delicious recipe from my good friend Karyn in my Inbox and headed out to get a few things.

I got a little carried away at the store and decided to make a few things to feed my squeeze and I through the weekend.

I ended up making Inside Out Tempeh Asian Dumplings (right), Chana Masala with Brown Rice (top), roasted Brussels sprouts and the red pepper sauce (bottom).

I’ll get to the sauce in a second, but first I’ll explain how I do the Brussels sprouts since that’s not already on the blog like the others. It’s the easiest:

1. Trim the ends off of sprouts and clean them.

2. Cut in half if medium or large.

3. On a baking sheet, toss sprouts with a few cloves of garlic (sliced if large), 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil and whatever seasonings you like (tonight, I used Herbamare).

4. Roast in oven at 400 degrees, tossing every 10 minutes or so until they are kind of crispy and browning — about 30 minutes. And that’s it!

OK, now to the real deal. This recipe also was super easy AND delicious. I’m not sure where she got it, but it’s good. Thanks, Karyn!

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 Tbsp. Earth Balance or other vegan butter
• 3 garlic cloves, chopped
• 1 c. chopped red onion
• 3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
• ½ c. vegetable broth
• ¾ lb. spaghetti
• chopped fresh basil
• grated zest of a lemon

1. Heat oil and Earth Balance over medium heat. Add garlic,
onion and red peppers and cook until tender.

2. Then add broth. Cover and reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens.

3. Once the veggies are all tender ( based this on looks alone. I probably had it simmering for at least 20 minutes), transfer all sauce contents to a food processor or use a hand blender and process until pureed. I went the hand blender route and it worked just great. I made a mess because  the sauce was too shallow in the pot I was using (small is just fine!), but sometimes it’s just easier than all the transferring and whatnot.

4. Return to pan to heat before serving. Serve over pasta with chopped fresh basil and grated lemon zest. I think I might try this one on spaghetti squash too.

Veggie Salad with Fennel and Tomatoes

I’ve had a nearly daily salad for the last week, so I thought I would share. I don’t usually get into food habits like this — I like variety — but for some reason this is sticking with me. It totally fills me up and I feel great when I eat it.

It all started at the cooking class I held a few weeks ago with health coach Gail Wyckhouse of Holistic Techniques.  She prepared a salad with tomatoes and fennel with a light cider vinegar dressing. Without looking at it, I basically expanded that recipe, but it’s almost identical.

I chop and toss tomatoes, fennel, parsley, green onion and cucumber, add freshly ground salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and add a splash or two of apple cider vinegar then toss again.

Not only is the salad light, these ingredients have various health benefits, many of which Gail brought to my attention. Here are just a few:

• Apple Cider Vinegar: My grandmother once told me she used to sip cider vinegar every day as a kid because it was really good for you, so in high school I started doing so from time to time and my mouth tends to water whenever I smell it. (Weird, I know). Well, she turns 95 in a few weeks, so I guess she can’t be all wrong.

Turns out, apple cider vinegar is said to aid in relieving muscle pain, promotes healthy skin, soothes dry throats, helps control weight, promotes digestion and pH balance, helps remove toxins from the body and is good for the immune system.

• Fennel: This fragrant, licorice-tasting vegetable (Sounds weird, but it tastes great) is said to be good for digestion, promotes healthy eyesight, may help ease hypertension, increases milk flow in nursing mothers, and may ease coughs.

• Parsley: This flavorful herb is said to fight cancer, help reduce blood pressure, increase the processing of sodium and water while increasing potassium absorption, and helps inhibit the growth of fungi and bacteria.

• Tomato: Tomatoes are said to be great for the heart and other organs, are rich in antioxidants and are said to help prevent prostate cancer.