VEGAN PECAN PIE
Thanksgiving is Thursday November 28th. That means itstime to start putting your menu together and buying items at the grocerystore. For me, life is short, so I think about dessert first. Justbecause youre vegan doesnt mean you cant enjoy something sweet after yourholiday dinner. So, how about pecan pie with no dairy or eggs? Thisrecipe is from local nutritionist Sara Sullivan who had one word for this pie,yum! Not only does it taste great, but it has many healthingredients. We start with pecans. The nut has 19 vitamins. Also, research from the USDA shows pecans are the most antioxidant-rich treenut and rank among the top 15 foods with the highest levels ofantioxidants. If thats not enough, walnuts are high in vitamin C andfiber. Dates are used in the crust and filling. They are high inomega 3 fats and help lower cholesterol. Now all you have to do is do alittle research and find yourself a whipped cream recipe with no dairy andenjoy that vegan thing.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CRUST
1 cuppitted medjool dates, packed
INGREDIENTSFOR THE PIE FILLING
1 cupmedjool dates, tightly packed, pitted, and soaked in warm water for at least anhour
cupplus 3/4 cup raw pecans, divided
cupmelted coconut oil
2 teaspoonsvanilla extract
Big pinch sea salt
To make the crust: Place the walnuts andpecans, sea salt, and coconut in a food processor and grind roughly. Add thedates and process until the mixture is thoroughly broken down and stickstogether when you squeeze a bit in the palm of your hand. Press mixture evenlyonto the bottom and sides of a pie plate. Drain the dates, reserving thesoak liquid. Transfer the dates to a high speed blender or powerful foodprocessor. Add the 1/2 cup pecans, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg,salt, and about 1/4 cup of the date-soaking water. Blend until the mixture istotally smooth. Pour the filling into the crust. Smooth the top over with aninverted spatula. Place in the fridge for at least four hours to set. Decoratethe top with the 3/4 cup pecans, and continue to chill till ready to serve.
RED CURRY FRIED RICE
This recipe contains leeks, a Chinese vegetable that, like garlic and onions, belongs to a genus called Allium. They fight cardiovascular disease, among other things. They look like oversized scallions.
That's not the only vegetable in this dish; there are also onions and carrots.
Onions contain vitamin C and are high in fiber. Carrots are a weapon to help slow down the aging process. They also help you fight cancer and strokes, and contain vitamin A.
Red Curry Fried Rice is a Thai dish. It is very healthy for you and tasty as well. We are not a mushroom-loving family, so we leave the mushrooms out. So this dish, minus the mushrooms, is a hit.
Curry can be spicy, so if you don't like food with a bit of a bite to it, you may want to add curry to taste instead of 4 teaspoons of it. Or you can always leave it out and add a spice or sauce of your own choosing. Then, of course, you would have to rename the dish.
Try some Thai with leeks and enjoy that vegan thing.
RED CURRY FRIED RICE
1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large leek, thinly sliced and rinsed
2 cups shiitake mushrooms trimmed and thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
4 green onions chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the onion, leeks, mushrooms and carrots and cook, stirring frequently for around 5 minutes. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Whisk in the curry paste and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the almonds, green onions and rice. Then cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
I have now been vegan for a year. In that time, I have had so many people tell me they are interested in trying some dishes with no animal products in them.
One of the most frequent comments I receive is how folks are having a tough time finding recipes. One a week in the Portland Press Herald is a great start, but what about the other six days during the week?
My wife and I basically started from scratch last year when it came to meals. We looked up recipes on websites and bought a few cookbooks to start. One resource you can tap into is the public library.
We just went a couple of weeks ago to the main branch of the Portland Public Library and found a virtual buffet of vegan cookbooks.
If you are just starting out on a plant-based diet, spend some time thumbing through the books and find one with some easy recipes.
We just picked up "The Vegan Family Cookbook." This is a perfect cookbook for folks just starting out with a vegan diet. The best thing about this book is the recipes are easy with not a lot of ingredients.
In the 313 pages, it has vegan beverages, breads, snacks, soups, salads, side dishes, breakfast ideas, main dishes and my favorite desserts. I thought with Valentine's Day coming up, we would find a dessert to surprise your sweetheart with.
Turn to Page 217, and you will find Chocolate Cookies. We added chocolate chips to this recipe and made them Sunday night. By the way, before you bake the cookies, make sure and chow down on some of the batter. The nice thing, there are no eggs, so the batter is safe to eat and delicious.
Do yourself a favor, check out this book at the library or the dozens of other vegan cookbooks available. Remember, "life is short, eat dessert first." Happy Valentine's Day everybody!
1 cups flour
cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon egg replacer powder (You can buy this at the store or go online and make it yourself.)
teaspoon baking soda
cup soy milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
3/5 cup vegan butter (we use Earth Balance)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, egg replacer, salt and baking soda.
In a separate bowl or food processor, cream together the sugar, vegan butter, soy milk and vanilla.
Stir the sugar mixture and flour mixture together.
Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Do not flatten.
Bake for 11 minutes or until done. Remember: Cookies will continue to bake when they are taken out of the oven.
Transfer to a cooling rack when slightly cooled.
Eat several cookies and then hide them if you want any later.
Before I became vegan, I was pretty boring when it came to fruit. I basically liked bananas, apples, grapes and cantaloupe. That was it! Then when I cut animal products out of my diet and fruit became a bigger part of what I ate, something strange happened. I started to sample new things and taste test and my taste buds began to change. I never thought Id see the day that I would be eating mangos, strawberries and kiwis and actually loving it.
I will never forget the day I walked into the kitchen and my wife told me we were having fruit pizza for lunch. I said, are you kidding me? Now dont get me wrong, I was slowly but surely increasing the variety of fruit in my diet, but on a pizza? Well, I didnt have much choice. Thats what was on the menu. My wife told me to just eat it and Id like it. So she put the pizza in front of me and I gave it a puzzled look. The pizza was just a piece of baked pita bread with peanut butter spread on top. Then it was topped off with some sliced mango, kiwi, strawberries, some thin white stuff that I later found out was shaved coconut and some green leafy stuff that I later found out was fresh mint. I seriously closed my eyes and took a bite thinking I was going to be grossed out. What I tasted was delicious. After my wife said I told you so, I asked for another one.
This is a simple dish that unlike a lot of other vegan recipes, is quick and easy to make. In the words of my wife and a line from an old cereal commercial, try it youll like it.
Thinly sliced mango
Thinly sliced kiwi
Thinly sliced strawberries
Whole wheat round pita bread
tbs shaved coconut for each pizza (you can buy this in a bag)
Organic peanut butter
Slice the fruit up. Bake the pita bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Spread about a spoonful of peanut butter on the pita bread. Cover the pita bread with the sliced fruit. Sprinkle on tbs of shaved coconut. Then put a pinch of fresh mint on top and serve.
The Patriots won't be in the Super Bowl, but I'm sure most of you will still watch some of the game or go to a party on Sunday. When you talk Super Bowl, you need to talk food. Yes, no doubt most of you will be pigging out while watching the Ravens take on the 49ers. Just because you're vegan or looking to eat healthy doesn't mean you need to go hungry on Super Bowl Sunday. There are plenty of delicious snacks you can devour while most other fans are eating chicken wings and hot dogs. How about nachos, but with no dairy or meat? It can be done and they can be yummy.
So you're probably wondering how in the heck can nachos taste good with no cheese? You still use cheese, but cheese made with ingredients like soy protein, solidified vegetable oil, nutritional yeast, thickening agar flakes, nuts, tapioca flour, natural enzymes, vegetable glycerin, arrowroot and pea protein. Sounds strange, but all mixed together it gives you a non-dairy product that is a pretty decent replacement, completely free of antibiotics and hormones. We have tried several brands of vegan cheese and I recommend you do the same, but we ended up with a brand called Daiya.
Make the nachos and don't tell your friends and family they're vegan. Just like most of the recipes I feature, they wont know the difference. I guarantee, this recipe will be a winner on Super Bowl Sunday. Eating healthy during a football game, it could be a first.
1 bag of your favorite tortilla chips (read the ingredients to make sure there are no animal products like milk)
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup of cooked brown rice
1 medium sized pepper diced
2 chopped jalapeno peppers
1 cup of diced olives
cup of chopped cilantro
cup of diced green onions
1 cup of vegan cheddar cheese sprinkled on top or even more depending on your taste (we use the brand Daiya)
Layer ingredients with chips on the bottom. Broil until the cheese melts on top. Let cool for a couple minutes and then sprinkle the chopped cilantro and green onions on top.
Serve with salsa and guacamole
Great meatless shepherd's pie
Comfort food is defined as a meal providing nostalgic or sentimental feeling. There are a few dishes that remind me of eating at Grandma's house. They are fried chicken, meatloaf, ham and shepherd's pie.
When I decided to become vegan last February, I thought my comfort food would be history. Boy, was I wrong.
I could still have my favorite dishes, but with just a minor change. Yes, you can have shepherd's pie with no animal products.
You still use the mashed potatoes and corn, but when you are vegan you don't use hamburger. That's when you try something called ground meat replacer. It sounds kind of gross, but it really isn't.
For the most part, meat replacement is typically made from textured soy protein or soy protein concentrate.
You can find this in most grocery stores in the produce section. Some of the most popular brands are Gimmie Lean, Ives and Smart Ground. Sometimes they are labeled as beef-style crumbles.
Still not persuaded to try it? My children love vegan shepherd's pie. My 12-year-old daughter actually just requested the meal for her birthday.
You really can't tell the difference between shepherd's pie with hamburger and meat replacer.
To top it all off, it is very healthy for you. Most brands are free of cholesterol and saturated fat and high in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12.
Give it a try. Comfort food has never tasted better or been better for you. Preparing and eating this would make Grandma proud.
4 medium potatoes, diced
2 tablespoon non-dairy butter/spread
cup almond milk
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
12 ounces faux ground beef-style crumbles (I like Gimmie Lean, Ives or Smart Ground)
1 10.5-ounce can Campbell's mushroom gravy (we don't use the pieces of mushroom, just the liquid)
1 6-ounce can of corn
Salt and pepper
Boil the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash with the non-dairy alternative. Season with salt and pepper.
In a medium pan, saute the onion in the oil until translucent.
In a medium bowl, mix the cooked onions, faux beef crumbles, mushroom gravy and corn.
Pour into a pie pan. Top the crumble mixture with the potatoes, spreading to the edges.
Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are browned and the crumble mixture bubbles out the edges.
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