Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quick and Easy Enchilada Sauce

Want a quick and easy, creamy enchilada sauce, that doesn't contain MSG or dairy? I was super bummed to find out one of our favorite enchilada sauces contains MSG. So my husband came up with a brilliant idea. So here it is:
Creamy Enchilada Sauce

1 Jar your favorite salsa (we used a chunky green salsa)
1 package silken soft tofu
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.
ENJOY!! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Walnut-Mushroom Pâté

Pâté - a fancy dip - always sounded like something I would like to try.. or at least I did until I found out what it was made out of! Check it out here, if you don't already know what it is. In any event, it didn't sound appetizing. But this walnut-mushroom pâté is to die for! It is so rich and delicious. And best of all, it didn't make me gag when I read the ingredients list :) Now this is a dip for a fancy dinner party, or just whenever you feel like it.
I got the recipe from Veganomicon, but I had to change it just a little because I was lacking in some ingredients. As always, make it your own. 

Walnut-Mushroom Pâté
about 30 minutes plus chill time

3 Tbsp EVOO
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp salt (this is what the book calls for, but I added about 1 more tsp)
Fresh ground black pepper
8 oz cremini mushrooms, chopped *
3.5 oz shiitaki mushrooms (1 pkg), chopped *
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
up to 1/4 cup cold vegetable broth

*Veganomicon calls for 1lb of cremini mushrooms, but I didn't not have that much so I improvised. I suppose you could use whichever mushrooms you like* 

Heat 2 tbsp of the EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Next, add the mushrooms and cook for 7-10 minutes until they are very soft, don't let them burn.
While the mushrooms are cooking, use a blender or food processor and process walnuts until very fine.
Add the mushroom mixture to walnuts in the food processor, along with the balsamic vinegar, beans and remaining tbsp of oil. Process until smooth, adding the vegetable brother 1 tbsp at at time as needed. Should result in a smooth, thick and spreadable paste. Scrap mixture into an airtight container to chill for at least an hour before serving, to let the flavors meld. Serve with delicious crackers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

French Lentil Soup

This winter I'm looking for hearty, filling, tummy warming soups. And this one is a winner. This recipe comes from "Veganomicon - The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook", written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. French lentil soup with tarragon and thyme is so delicious they say, "this is the last lentil soup recipe you will ever need." And I agree! I did change their recipe slightly, because I can! Always feel free to play around with recipes, makes it more fun. A recipe is mostly a guideline (I'm still trying to learn that when I cook I can substitute sometimes). Have fun!!

French Lentil Soup
Serves 8

1 Tbs olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 can diced tomatoes (I used Italian style)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika (Hungarian preferably)
6 cups water or vegetable broth
2 cups French lentils (or they are also called brown lentils)
2 bay leaves
2 1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper

1. Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat
2. Saute the onion and carrots for about 10 minutes, until onions have browned a bit.
3. Add the garlic, tarragon, thyme, and paprika, and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, with the juice and stir to deglaze the pot.
4. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
5. Add the water, lentils, bay leaves, salt and pepper, then cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, about 45 minutes, or you have tender lentils.
If the soup is too thin, cook uncovered for a few more minutes *I had to cook for 10 more minutes uncovered to get to where I wanted it*, If it looks to thick, add a little water.
Serve and enjoy.

I tried some with tortilla chips, YUM!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Better than Tuna Salad

This is a recipe I tweaked a little, from the cookbook The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This really is better than tuna! It uses garbanzo beans instead of tuna, when these beans are chopped up they give a similar feel to tuna but without that unappealing fishiness.

Better than Tuna Salad
2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 cup eggless manyonnaise (I used Veganaise, but look for Trader Joe's reduced fat mayo, It is an eggless, dairy-free mayo)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste

Grind chickpeas in a blender, to small flaky pieces. 
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with chickpeas.
Season to taste.
You can make into a sandwich or serve a top some leafy lettuce. We used Dave's Killer Bread and made sanndwiches with lettuce and sprouts. Delicious.