Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vegetable Miso Soup (with Kabocha)

In my organic produce box, I received a kabocha squash. Kabocha is one of my favorite vegetables and Japanese cuisine is my favorite type of cooking. Usually, you see kabocha made as tempura or simmered lightly with sauce. The tempura kabocha is then sometimes made as a sushi roll too. I haven't really seen it prepared other ways and one squash makes a lot of food. I decided to use it two ways, but I still have half a squash left over! I may just simmer it or make tempura after all. This soup is really great on a cold day. It is very healthy and simple to make as well.

Vegetable Miso Soup (with Kabocha)

* Prep Time: 20 minutes
* Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 2-3 strips kombu*
  • 2 cups kabocha, seeds removed, skinned, cubed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 medium daikon radish, quartered round
  • 1 medium carrot, quartered round
  • 1 lotus root, quartered round*
  • 1/3 cup wakame, roughly chopped*
  • 1 cup spinach, stems removed*
  • 4 tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced

* Recipe:
  1. Soak kombu in 8 cups of water within a large pot for one hour. Remove kombu when done soaking. This is your dashi or Japanese soup base.
  2. Heat water over medium heat. Add kabocha, onion, ginger, daikon, carrot, and lotus root. Cook until vegetables become tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the miso with about 1/3 cup of the soup stock. Mix well to remove clumps. Add to the vegetable soup.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients: wakame, spinach, and green onions. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
* Note: Kombu is a type of seaweed used for dashi. You can find it at many health food stores or at any Asian grocery. Seaweed contains B12 that vegetarians and vegans must supplement as it is found basically only in animal products. So, wakame and kombu are good for you! But, do take a daily supplement of B12 along with your seaweed. I used a fresh lotus root, but feel free to buy a frozen bag instead. Wakame is another type of seaweed. Lastly, if your daikon radish has a lot of good looking greens on the tops, use those instead of spinach. If it doesn't, try spinach or any other dark leafy green like kale or turnip greens.

Just some quick photos above of some of the holiday presents I made. The goodies are raspberry jam shortbread cookies, earl grey tea shortbread cookies, chocolate espresso oatmeal cookies, and cream cheese brownies. The recipes were taken from Vegan Cookies Invade Your  Cookie Jar. I also made a pumpkin pecan raisin bread that isn't shown from Vegan Holiday Kitchen. The other photo has the card I got from one of my favorite card stock websites, Fenderskirts Vintage. The other card I made through Shutterfly with a picture of my two blind rescue cats, Lucy (left) and Popeye (right). The canned items are all made homemade by me. They are pear vanilla bean jam, roasted macadamia nuts with fresh organic herbs, a soy candle in an antique teacup, giardiniera, and pickles.

Friday, December 23, 2011


So, I got the idea of making a vegan paella one day and just sort of ran with it. This is what I came up with. I used short-grain brown rice instead of white rice for a more healthy option.


* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 2 cups short-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small Spanish onion, sliced 
  • 1 box (7 oz.) of chick'n strips*
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red pepper, sliced
  • 1 package (12 oz.) vegan chorizo*
  • 1 package (12 oz.) vegan shrimp*
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup dried lobster mushrooms, rehydrated, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried oyster mushrooms, rehydrated, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 small lemon, zested
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning*
  • salt and pepper, to taste
* Recipe:
  1. In a medium pot, combine vegetable stock, rice, bay leaf, saffron. Cook until rice is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. While the rice is cooking, in a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. 
  3. Once onions are cooked, add the chick'n strips, garlic, red pepper, chorizo, shrimps, peas, and mushrooms. Cook for another 10 minutes or so until everything looks nicely browned or tender.
  4. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients. Add to the pot and stir well. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. When rice is done, remove bay leaf and add to the pot with paella mixture. Stir well to combine. Serve with lemon wedge if desired.
* Note: For chick'n strips, I used Gardein brand. One could also use Morningstar Farms. For vegan chorizo, I used Frieda's brand Soyrizo. The vegan shrimp I used was VegeUSA brand. Lastly, Old Bay Seasoning is a seafood seasoning that is often use. You can find it at any grocery store in the spice section. It is great for faux crab cakes. Don't worry - it's vegan! 

As a side note, you could also opt to add celery into this dish or use regular white short-grain rice. The lobster and oysters mushrooms were added to give a more seafood-y taste (plus, I love fungi). You could opt to leave them out if you like or use a fresh variety of both.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chestnut Celery Root Soup

In my organic produce box, I received both fresh chestnuts and celery root, so I thought I would make a nice winter soup out of them.

Chestnut Celery Root Soup

* Prep Time: 15 minutes
* Cook Time: 45 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery root, peeled, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/2 cup roasted chestnuts, shelled, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, white parts, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk*
  • 1/2 dry white wine*
  • croutons, to top

* Recipe:
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium temperature. Add the onion, leek, salt, and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.
  2. Next, add the celery root, chestnuts, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, nutmeg, and tarragon. Cook until celery root is starting to become tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add in the vegetable stock and milk. Cook for another 30 minutes over low to medium heat or until celery root is completely tender.
  4. Add in the white wine. Cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  5. Puree the soup in batches. Serve with croutons and drizzled olive oil.
* Note: For non-dairy milk, I used flax seed milk. Use whatever you prefer. Make sure your wine is vegan.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of Ethiopian Diamond

Spinach, Lentil, & Potato + Carrot Sambusa
Yatkilt Watt
If you have never had Ethiopian food, you must try it! I always take guests to Ethiopian Diamond for their first taste of this delicacy. While there are other Ethiopian restaurants in the city such as Demera and Ras Dashen, I primarily go to Ethiopian Diamond. When I lived in Roger's Park, this was so close that I never really ventured further to Edgewater and Uptown to try the other two places. Ethiopian food is very naturally vegan-friendly. They serve food in a communal-style way. Everything is eaten with your hands by using a certain bread called injera bread (it is somewhat like crepe sourdough bread). Greens, potatoes, and lentils are a big component of vegan Ethiopian cooking. Another must is the Ethiopian spice mix, berbere. I have tried making injera on my own and it was a total disaster. Luckily, if you want to have your own Ethiopian feast at home, there are a number of African groceries in Roger's Park & Edgewater where you can buy injera.

Towards the end of the menu at Ethiopian Diamond, there is a whole page of vegetarian selections. They are all vegan! One can choose any of these entrees, a combination, or a "Taste of Ethiopia" for one or two people. To start, I love to get the veggie combo sambusa. If you've never had sambusa, they are basically like a flat, triangular samosa. The veggie combo includes the lentil, spinach, and the potato and carrot sambusa's.

Veggie Combo with Injera Bread
For entree's, I usually go with a friend and get two orders of the veggie combo. It is cheaper than getting the "Taste of Ethiopia" for two people. We get six of the seven options to choose from on the combo. The options we usually get are the yemisir watt (spicy red lentils), kik alicha (split peas in sauce), gomen (collard greens), tikel gomen (cabbage and carrots), yatkilt watt (string beans, carrots, and potatoes in sauce), and dinich alicha (potatoes and carrots in sauce). The seventh option is quosta (spinach). This whole dinner comes on a large platter a top of injera bread with a salad in the middle. I love the salad dressing at Ethiopian Diamond! They also bring extra bread to eat the dishes. My favorite is the gomen. I really love greens, though. My friend's favorite is the yemisir watt, but he loves spicy foods.

There is also a special dish on the vegetarian menu which I have never tried. It is the shimbra assa. It is chick pea dough that is formed to look like fish watt (stew). There is also the tofu tibs which is grilled tofu with vegetables in a sauce. I'm usually way too full for dessert, but I believe all the desserts have honey in them.

Tikel Gomen
Dinich Alicha
On Friday's and Saturdays, there is usually a live band playing Ethiopian music at the Broadway location. There is another location on Clark St. near the Howard Red Line stop (Ethiopian Diamond II).

I give Ethiopian Diamond a 4.5/5 stars. They loose half a star because it can be really busy sometimes and the wait staff suffers in service. If you get the chance to try Ethiopian food, I strongly recommend it! It is one of my favorite types of food, for sure.

Kik Alicha
ETA: Oddly enough, I decided to use my Groupon I had for Demera last night (was going to Drew's Eatery, but it has sadly closed). We had the veggie sampler sambusa which were spinach and lentil. They were more flaky than the ones at Ethiopian Diamond and the sauce was spicier. Overall, I think I liked Demera's more. The entree was similar to what I get at Ethiopian Diamond - a mix of six different dishes with a salad in the middle. I finally had shimbra assa! I really loved it. Definitely a fan. Overall, I prefer Ethiopian Diamond's entree dishes to Demera. The ones at Ethiopian Diamond are much more flavorful and robust. The salad dressing is better there too (I really like salads!). It wasn't bad by any means, just comparing the two, I did not prefer it. The Groupon came with a dessert, so we had a dessert sambusa. Be warned it comes with raspberry sauce and a load of white chocolate sauce and whipped cream which I didn't realize. I was told the sambusa was vegan, so I had a few bites of it with raspberry sauce. It was also very flaky like the appetizer sambusa's. It was filled with an almond paste type thing which was the perfect amount of sweet. I give Demera a 3.5/5 stars. If Ethiopian Diamond is super busy (which it tends to be on a weekend night) and you don't want to drive all the way to the Howard stop, I would check out Demera. Plus, The Green Mill is just across the way. Love that place!

Also, I stopped by Tai Nam Market last night after I wrote about how many mock meat options they sell in my previous post. Wow, Yelp was right! They had three freezers full of all kinds of faux meat. Be warned, some of it has eggs and whey powder in it. So, not everything is vegan, though it is vegetarian. I ended up getting a bunch of things because weird mock meats kind of make my laugh and hey, it's vegan. I got "chicken", "pork", and "shrimp". They also had vegan pork belly, salted fish fillets, tuna slices, etc. It is worth going there just to check out the crazy selection they have. Vegan mutton, anyone? It's there.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of Karyn's on Green & Karyn's Fresh Corner

One of my favorite places to dine in Chicago for a high quality all vegan dinner is Karyn's on Green. Ever since I heard about it opening, I've been pretty excited. The only other fancier restaurants that I can think of to go to that are specifically vegan-friendly are MANA food bar and Green Zebra (which I still have never been to, sadly). Of course, there are restaurants of upscale dining that can make vegan options (just call and ask, usually). For example, Charlie Trotter's has a vegetarian menu that can be made vegan upon request. The same applies for Vermilion (if you watch the Food Network, the executive chef, Maneet Chauhan, was featured on The Next Iron Chef and judges on Chopped), TRU, Coco Pazzo, and Crofton on Wells. If you really want to try something special and different, there is the art of molecular gastronomy. Chicago has two restaurants that feature this, Alinea and moto. They both can create vegan menus upon request. Be prepared to shell out the big bucks, though. For a 12-course tasting with wine pairing, tax, and gratuity, the average person spends $350 at Alinea. A 20-course meal is around $500. You could split this with a number of people; though, I'm not sure how full you'd be. Lastly, there is vegan afternoon tea at The Lobby in the Peninsula Hotel. This hotel is probably the loveliest in the city and is worth checking out alone. They have a nice jazz bar that I've been to before for some after dinner drinks. Another tea spot with vegan-friendly options is the Russian Tea Time restaurant. I've never been, but have been meaning to go for years now. One day! I would recommend placing reservations for all the above restaurants. Be warned, you'll be spending at least $100 at any of those restaurants if you include drinks.

Bread & Butter
While Karyn's on Green can be very expensive, if you cut out the alcohol your bill will probably be about $60-70 for two people. With alcohol and desserts, you are looking at about $125 (they do have organic liquor which is nice). It is the place to go for a vegan who wants to splurge, take someone out on a very nice date, or show an omnivore the classy side to plant-based dining.

Roasted Foraged Mushrooms
The menu at Karyn's on Green changes here and there (I believe it is seasonally). The menu sort of combines the other Karyn's restaurants, Karyn's Cooked and Karyn's Raw, plus added options. Karyn's Cooked is more like home cooked food (ex: barbeque pork and the crispy mixed basket) and Karyn's Raw is quality raw dining. For starters, I always like to begin with the roasted foraged mushrooms. They've changed this dish in the past year, though. It used to come with a sauce which it now desperately needs. While it is still enjoyable, the polenta that the mushrooms sit on is quite dry. The taro sticks give the dish a nice crunch, though. Of course, you're going to have to love mushrooms for this dish and I am definitely an avid fungi fan. This causes a problem for me because I always order this dish (despite I think it needs that sauce)! I have heard the aged raw cheese plate is to die for, so one day I will order that instead. Crossing fingers.

Butternut Squash Soup
Caesar Salad

My friend and I got soup and salad before our entree's. If you tell your waiter that you'll be splitting those, they will bring each out on two separate plates. For soup, we had the butternut squash. This was really good. In the past, I've had soups from this restaurant that have been way too salty. They have apparently fixed this problem. The oil drizzle adds a nice complimentary touch to the soup itself. Much like my problem with the appetizer round, I always get the Caesar salad at Karyn's. I really enjoyed Caesar salads prior to becoming vegan which I think is the root of my problem here. Again, I have found in the past that this dish can be salty, but the last couple times it has been perfect. The dressing is fantastic and you have to love those croutons. I have also had the chopped vegetable salad in the past. It was pretty good, but if you are looking for a special vegan salad, I would really recommend the Caesar salad (you don't see a vegan Caesar that often!).

Pumpkin Risotto
Marinated Portobello Steak

Ah, the entree round. I've had a number of the options on their menu on previous dining outings. This time, we tried the pumpkin risotto and the marinated portobello steak (my staple here - told you I have a fungi addiction!). The risotto was prepared beautifully. Creamy and perfect for fall weather. Since I took these pictures, they have modified the marinated portobello steak on their menu. As you see in the picture, it came with fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach. Now it comes with horseradish mashed potatoes and creamed spinach with the same balsamic reduction. I've had both version since they changed the menu (they deliver to me!) and was surprised they changed it. The previous version with fingerling potatoes was much better. The new version is okay, but I was sad to see it modified. Perhaps I have to try it at the restaurant to give it a better chance. Other entree menu items I have had are the crab cakes and the fra diavolo. The crab cakes are a nice meal. Not too dry and the sauce gives the crab cakes a great flavor boost. I've only had the fra diavolo once a long time ago and from what I recall, it was great as well. I'll have to try it again, though, since it has been a while! I've also heard the chicken legs are a real treat. Never had them, but definitely willing to try them one day too.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Any place that I can get a dessert cocktail that is vegan is the place for me. Karyn's not only has a small dessert libation menu, but fantastic sweets too. They used to have a chocolate cake with raspberry sauce and some kind of ice cream that was to die for. For our dinner, we had the pumpkin cheesecake. This was really tasty. I loved the ice cream that went with the cheesecake. The crumble gave the dessert an added crunch which it really needed due to all the creamy elements. A couple was having the doughnuts and coffee ice cream near our table and that looked very cute and yummy too!

If you can't tell from my review, I really love Karyn's on Green. It is one of my top five vegan restaurants in the city. The service can be spotty, though. I've had some really great waiters and some really snooty ones. I give the place a 4.5/5 because of this.
Raw Salad Bar
Karyn's is somewhat of a mini vegan empire here in Chicago. The owner has the three previously mentioned restaurants plus Karyn's Fresh Corner, Karyn's Inner Beauty Center, Karyn's at Home, and a book. The beauty center has organic spa services, holistic procedures, and lines of organic/vegan beauty products. Karyn's at Home is a meal service program.

BLT Sandwich
Karyn's Fresh Corner is where Karyn's Raw is located as well as the holistic wellness center, and a small market with a juice bar. The market has raw and organic products plus some of Karyn's food to-go. If you need some rather obscure raw items that you can't find at Whole Foods, this is the place to go (ex: detox items). They also have a raw salad bar and a juice/smoothie bar. It's a nice place to stop by for a quick pick-up lunch and an organic juice. The salad bar is $7.99 a pound or $12.95 for all-you-can-eat. I got the raw salad bar and a BLT sandwich (be warned, some of the breads the sandwiches are made of have honey in them, but they are marked). I have to say, I think I'm not a fan of raw sandwiches. I've had them from raw before and now from Karyn's and both times I have found them too acidic and just off tasting. I much preferred the raw salad and the juice. The juice was a lovely pick-me-up. I had the summer cooler, though the employee recommended the peaceful warrior.

Just a quick mention: There are a couple other juice bars in the city that I love. Peeled Chicago had a great cleansing Groupon a little while ago (3 day juice cleanse - all vegan and organic). I was just in about a week ago and they said they may be having one again soon, so be on the look out! Green Corner is also great. Newcomer Vegetarian Express also has vegan juice available. Kramer's Health Foods has a number of vegan options of their menu as well as a juice bar.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vegan Chicago: Restaurant Review of Urban Vegan Chicago

Before I being my review of Urban Vegan Chicago, I'd like to let you all know that they have a benefit going on throughout the entire month of December. If you order take-out or dine-in and mention Mercy For Animals, 20% of the proceeds go to MFA. This is a great opportunity for vegans (and non-vegans a like) to try out this newer restaurant in Chicago! It also helps with MFA's life-saving work in farm animal protection. Plus, it is nom.

I've heard many great things about this Thai vegan restaurant since it opened. I've been to and seen a few mock meat Asian restaurants before like ChuChai in Montreal (which I blogged about here), Golden Lotus in Oakland (there are a number of Asian restaurants in the Bay Area that specialize in faux meats), and Red Bamboo in NYC. Based off my previous dining experiences, I figured the place would be either fancier (like ChuChai and Red Bamboo) or sort of just a hole in the wall. It's the latter. That doesn't mean it is bad, it just means it is a small establishment and more reasonably priced! I would recommend making reservations because from how I counted, there are only 8 tables in the whole restaurant. It is also BYOB.

As far as having an Asian restaurant with an extensive mock meat menu, I'm glad Chicago now has one! It is definitely an interesting dining experience. If I wanted to get a veggie cashew stir-fry, I would just go to any Thai restaurant and tell them to hold the fish/oyster sauce and add in some tofu. I think the primary reason to go to Urban Vegan (or any of the other places I mentioned, really) is to eat the faux meat with vegan pride. It just isn't worth it to go for Buddha's Delight (other than to support a vegan restaurant). That being said, I'm curious as to what vegan meat company they use. There is always the ever popular May Wah based out of NYC. I'm pretty sure this is what Red Bamboo uses. The "fish" in the Tom Yum I had at Urban Vegan tasted a lot like the fillets they sell on May Wah. If anyone knows where Urban Vegan gets their mock meat, I'd love to know. I'm curious!

Grilled Veggie Dumplings
This isn't the best starting line for a review, but the food was cold which was really disheartening. I was looking forward to this dining adventure. I will go again to see if I receive a better experience as when I went, it was on a Sunday night and every table in the restaurant was taken. I'm assuming this had something to do with it.

The menu is very extensive. They have all the usual Thai foods gone vegan as well as veggie sushi, wrap, burgers, and smoothies. There is also a lunch and dinner combination menu. They include steamed brown rice, a spring roll, salad, and a choice of an entree with either tofu, soy chicken, seitan, pepper steak, or soy fish ($9.95/lunch and $11.95/dinner). Addition of bacon, shrimp, or chicken nuggets is extra ($11.95/lunch and $13.95/dinner). For those of you with gluten allergies, there is a wheat-free menu available.

Seafood Tom Yum Soup
For starters, my friend and I had the grilled veggie dumplings, the house salad, and seafood tom yum soup. The portions are big! The dumplings were about what we expected - your everyday vegan frozen dumpling that was grilled. I think next time, I'd like to try the crispy chicken or chicken satay instead. They sound interesting! The house salad was filled with lots of veggies and I went with peanut sauce for the dressing. There is also tahini and Italian dressing. I've never had a Larb salad before since they aren't vegan, but that's the next salad I'm going to try here. The tom yum soup with seafood was interesting, to say the least. I've had vegan fish fillets before and vegan shrimp... but never the fish in a broth. Personally, the best preparation I've ever seen of vegan fish was in a light sauce and the fillet slightly seared. The seaweed wrapped around it to be the "skin" gives it that fishy taste quality. Vegan shrimp, for me, isn't really worth it. It's chewy and doesn't add much to the mix.

Garlic Pepper Steak
Our dinner entree's were the garlic pepper entree with pepper steak and the pad won zen with soy chicken. The pepper steak was pretty good and it came with rice, though I would have appreciated a few more veggies tossed in there. I liked the pad won zen very much (it has more veggies), but it was cold which kind of ruined the appeal (was looking forward to hot noodles!). Next time, I think I'd like to try the P.E.T. (pumpkin, eggplant, tofu) and the wonton noodle soup (I've missed wonton soup since being vegan - it was my staple at Chinese restaurants since I was a wee one). 

Pad Won Zen (w/ Soy Chicken)
Overall, I think Urban Vegan is a nice change from the normal Thai vegan dining experience (no fish sauce! no oyster sauce! no egg! tofu!). I'm definitely going to come back and try it again. It seems to be doing great thus far and the Chicago vegan community loves it.

If you want to pick up mock meat in Chicago and make your own food, there are a couple of grocery stores in the city. I personally like the Uptown neighborhood stores to get this stuff. Broadway Supermarket is my favorite. If you go to the very back corner near the produce, you'll find all the veggie meats in the freezer. Golden Pacific Market has faux meats too. Lastly, Tai Nam Food Market seems to carry a lot of products as well, though I've never been (and now I must!).

Urban Vegan Chicago's Facebook Page here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vegan Thanksgiving Feast: Part Four

The last part of this vegan Thanksgiving feast. These are the rest of the sides I created for the meal.

Green Bean Casserole

* Prep Time: 15 minutes
* Cook Time: 45 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced into rings
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 3 cups portobello mushroom soup*
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp vegan Parmesan cheese*
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper, to taste
* Recipe:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and caramelize. Remove the shallots and drain on paper towel. Set aside until very end of recipe.
  3. In the remaining olive oil in the skillet, add the mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes until tender.
  4. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for another couple minutes.
  5. Place the mushroom mixture in a bowl. Set aside.
  6. Blanch the green beans. Set aside. 
  7. In a large bowl, mix the mushroom soup and flour. Whisk until lumps are gone.
  8. Add the soup and flour mixture to the skillet. Heat and bring to a bubble. Add the mushroom and garlic mixture, green beans, 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, parsley, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  9. In a large baking dish, spray with cooking spray. Add the green bean mixture.
  10. Top with the remaining 1 tbsp of Parmesan cheese. Baked for 20 minutes or until bubbling.
  11. Once removed, top with the caramelized shallots. Serve.
* Note: For portobello mushroom soup, I used Imagine brand. The Parmesan cheese I used was Galaxy topping. 

Greens Saute

* Prep Time: 10 minutes
* Cook Time: 25 minutes
* Ingredient:
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch collard greens
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 bunch turnip greens
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
* Recipe:
  1. Remove the center stems from all the greens and slice the leave into small ribbons.
  2. In a large pot, add the olive oil on medium heat.
  3. Add the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent. Next, add the salt and pepper.
  4. Add the kale, mustard greens, collard greens, and turnip greens. As they begin to wilt, add the vegetable broth.
  5. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the swiss chard. Simmer for another couple minutes. Serve.

Spiced Cranberry Sauce

* Prep Time: n/a
* Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
* Ingredients:
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar*
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 18 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
* Recipe:
  1. Heat the sugar and orange juice in a medium pot.
  2. Once the sugar begins to dissolve, add the cranberries and spices.
  3. Cook until the cranberries begin to dissolve and pop. 
  4. Remove from heat. Allow to cool so the cranberry sauce will thicken.
  5. Remove the cinnamon stick. Serve. 
* Note:  Make sure your sugar is vegan.
    Well, that's all. I hope everyone enjoyed Vegan Miss' four part Vegan Thanksgiving Feast! xoxo

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Vegan Thanksgiving Feast: Part Three

    These recipes are going to be the dessert and biscuits. I would have done these recipes last, but alas they happened to just be done before the others. The final part will be more sides.Those will be posted tomorrow! My friend helped me make this cheesecake. He has a beer brewing blog called Brew or Die! Chicago and his beers are vegan! Check it out.

    Pumpkin Cheesecake

    * Prep Time: 20 minutes
    * Cook Time: 10-15 minutes in oven, rest overnight
    * Ingredients (for crust):
    • 1/2 cup whole almonds
    • 1 pack (5 oz.) cinnamon graham crackers*
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar*
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup soy butter, melted*
    * Ingredients (for filling):
    • 1 14 oz. pack silken tofu*
    • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin pie filling*
    • 2 8 oz. packages vegan cream cheese*
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
     * Recipe (for crust):
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Grind almonds in a food processor.
    3. Add graham crackers, spices, and sugar to the food processor. Grind until smooth.
    4. Move the mixture in the food processor to a medium sized bowl and add the butter. Mix well.
    5. Pack into a 9 in. springform pan. Push the mixture up the sides.
    6. Bake the crust for 10-15 minutes.
    * Recipe (for filling):
    1. In a mixer with whisk attachment, blend the tofu and pie filling.
    2. Add a tablespoon of cream cheese at a time until smooth.
    3. Next, add both types of sugar and spices. Mix well.
    4. Pour into crust and let site overnight in the refrigerator.
    5. Serve with cinnamon and whipped cream (optional).

    * Note: I used 365 Organic brand. Make sure your sugar is vegan! For silken tofu, I used Nasoya brand. The pumpkin pie filling was Farmer's Market brand. Lastly, for vegan cream cheese I used Tofutti.

    Lemon Thyme Biscuits
    * Prep Time: 10 minutes
    * Cook Time: 15 minutes
    * Ingredients:
    • 1 cup non-dairy milk*
    • 1 tbsp distilled white vinegar
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt, plus more for sprinkling
    • 1 tsp lemon zest
    • 1 tsp fresh thyme, plus more for sprinkling
    • 4 tbsp soy butter, cold*
    * Recipe:
    1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    2. In a bowl, combine the milk and the vinegar. Set in the refrigerator. 
    3. In a mixer, blend the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, lemon zest, and thyme on a low setting.
    4. Spread out some flour for dusting on a surface.
    5. Add the butter to the dry ingredients in the mixer a tablespoon at a time. Mix on a low setting. 
    6. Lastly, add the non-dairy milk. Mix well but do not over knead.
    7. Take 1-2 tablespoons at a time and create balls by rolling in the flour dusted on the surface.
    8. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
    9. Using water, brush the tops of the biscuits. Add a bit of salt and fresh thyme to each.
    10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
    * Note: For non-dairy milk, I used almond milk. Use whatever variety you prefer. For soy butter, I used Earth Balance olive oil-based type. 

    Sage Brown Butter

    * Prep Time: 2 minutes
    * Cook Time: 10 minutes, 1/2 hour rest time (or more)
    * Ingredients:
    • 2 sticks (4 oz. each) of soy butter
    • 1/4 cup fresh sage
    • pinch of salt
    * Recipe:
    1. Over medium heat, melt one stick of butter. Let start to bubble.
    2. Add the sage and cook for 30 seconds.
    3. Remove the sage and dry on paper towels.
    4. Remove the butter from heat and let cool.
    5. When sage is cool, mince.
    6. Combine the other stick of butter with the melted, browned butter. Add the minced sage and salt. Mix well.
    7. Let set in refrigerator for at least half an hour.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Vegan Thanksgiving Feast: Part Two

    Part Two of the Vegan Thanksgiving Feast!

    Stuffing with Kale & Mushrooms

    * Prep Time: 20 minutes
    * Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours
    * Ingredients:
    • 1 loaf sourdough bread, chopped into small pieces, toasted
    • 1/4 cup leek, white parts, finely chopped
    • 3 celery stalked, finely chopped
    • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
    • 1 tbsp dried sage
    • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 4 tbsp soy butter*
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
    • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
    • 1/3 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
    • 2 "eggs", made by box instructions*
    • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1 tbsp pine nuts, minced 
    * Recipe:
    1. At 300 degrees, bake the pieces of bread for about 15 minutes, until toasted. Remove and set aside.
    2. In a medium skillet, combine 3 tbsp butter, onions, and leeks. Cook until onions are translucent.
    3. Add the celery, sage, thyme, mushrooms, kale, salt, and pepper. Cook until kale is wilted and mushrooms are tender.
    4. Add the vegetable broth and simmer.
    5. In a large bowl, combine the "eggs", bread pieces, parsley, and pine nuts.
    6. Add the vegetable-broth mixture from the skillet. Mix well.
    7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    8. Grease a baking dish with 1 tbsp butter. Add the bread crumb mixture. Use the remaining butter from greasing to spread over the top of the stuffing.
    9. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncovered and bake for another 15 minutes or until top is golden.
    * Note: For soy butter, I use olive oil based Earth Balance. I like Ener-G for egg replacer. 

    Mushroom & Seitan Savory Pie

    * Prep Time: 15 minutes
    * Cook Time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
    * Ingredients (dough):
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar*
    • 16 tbsp soy butter
    • 8-12 tbsp ice water
    • 2 tsp fresh thyme
    * Ingredients (pie filling):
    • 1 cup dried mushrooms, variety*
    • 1/3 cup cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/3 cup white onion, thinly sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine*
    • 1 cube "beef" broth*
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch, combined with water to form mixture
    • 1/4 cup plain soy yogurt*
    • 1/2 cup seitan, chopped*
    • 1 tbsp soy butter
    * Recipe (for dough):
    1. Place the butter in a small bowl and place in freezer.
    2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and thyme.
    3. Add the butter slowly and mix with a fork. 
    4. Next, add the water slowly until the mixture begins to clump together. Pinch some of the dough. If it stays together, then it is ready. If it falls a part, add more water and continue mixing.
    5. Form into a disk form and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in freezer until ready to make the pie.
    * Recipe (for pie filling):
    1. Rehydrate mushrooms in a medium pot until completely tender. Reserve 1 cup of mushroom water.
    2. In a medium skillet, add the olive oil and onions until translucent. Next, add the cremini mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
    3. Chop the rehydrated dried mushrooms and place in skillet. Cook for a few minutes.
    4. Add the white wine and seitan. Cook for another couple minutes.
    5. Combine the "beef" broth cube with the reserved 1 cup of mushroom water. Add to the skillet with mushrooms. 
    6. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cornstarch mixture and combine well. Cook for another several minutes.
    7. Lastly, add the soy yogurt and mix over low heat for 2 minutes.
    * Recipe (for building pie):
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Dust a space with all-purpose flour. Roll out the dough until thin enough to work with where it does not fall a part. 
    3. Line two small pie pans with dough. Cut off edges with excess dough.
    4. Roll out dough again and create top pieces for the pie.
    5. Add 6 tbsp or so of the mushroom seitan mixture to each pie pan with dough.
    6. Place top dough over each pie pan and using a fork, press down the sides of the dough.
    7. Create a plus sign or cross in the middle of both pies with the fork.
    8. Using soy butter, grease the tops of the pies.
    9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the tops are golden.
    * Note: Make sure your sugar is vegan. I found a dried mushroom variety pack at Whole Foods. Just make sure you have several different types such as woodland, morel, portobello, etc. Make sure your wine is vegan on Barnivore. For "beef" broth, I used Frontier brand. For soy yogurt, I used WholeSoy brand. Lastly, I used my own seitan recipe for this recipe. You could use Westsoy brand if you want or even meatless crumbles like Boca or Upton's Naturals

    Champagne Mushroom Gravy

    * Prep Time: 5 minutes
    * Cook Time: 25 minutes
    * Ingredients:
    • 1 cup portobello mushroom soup*
    • 1 cup champagne
    • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
    • 5 tbsp soy butter
    • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
    • salt, to taste
    • 1/4 tsp dried sage
    * Recipe:
    1. Place the champagne in a small pot over medium heat and bring to boil. Reduce to half its size.
    2. Add the shallots, salt, and 2 tbsp butter. Cook for another 5 minutes.
    3. Next, add the mushroom soup and sage. Mix well and cook for an additional several minutes.
    4. In a medium skillet, add the remaining 3 tbsp butter. When melted, add the all-purpose flour and combine well. 
    5. While continuously stirring, add the champagne mushroom broth a bit at a time.
    6. Keep stirring until sauce is thick similar to a gravy.
    * Note: For portobello mushroom soup, I used Imagine brand.  
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