Wednesday, February 27, 2013

White Bean & Herb Burgers

I love, love, love sandwiches.  There's just something awesome about stuffing a bunch of stuff between bread.  I like making vegan burgers with beans because it's great vegetarian protien component.  You can also freeze these so you have them on hand.  For toppings I used arugula tossed with lemon vinaigrette, tomato and of course avocado, just because I add it to everything and it's fantastic.  Next time I would try topping it with sauteed garlic mushrooms...mmmmm!  As for bread, it would be great on artisan bread but I just happened to have an everything bagle slim and although not that fancy, it was still great! 

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Makes 6 burgers


1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 15oz. can cannellini beans
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or gluten-free flour)
1/2 cup frozen shredded hashbrowns or cooked brown rice
Canola oil


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Optional step: lightly saute onion and garlic before adding to food processor.

Add onion, garlic and herbs to food processor and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add beans, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper.  Pulse several times until mixture comes together but is not pureed.  A few pieces of beans and texture is good in these.  Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and stir in breadcrumbs and shredded hashbrown pototoes or rice.

Divide mixutre in to 6 portions and roll into balls.  They should be equal size so make any adjustments then form into patties.  Lightly dust each one with flour on each side.

Heat lightly oiled skillet and cook each patty 2-3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Transfer to baking sheet and finish in the oven for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breaded White Bean Cutlets

Let's face it, just about anything breaded and fried is pretty tasty.  So this is my meat-free version of a the traditional chicken cutlet.  I do a quick pan-sear to get that golden crust and then I finish in the oven which helps get the chewy texture inside.  If you just fry them, that's fine but the texture inside will be softer but still delicious.  You can also opt to skip the frying and just bake them for a healthier option (instructions below).  I do this sometimes and while it's not quite the same, it's still very enjoyable.  Another favorite way to enjoy this recipe is to make them smaller into nuggets.  A great snack and perfect for dipping!
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Makes 6 cutlets


1 can canellinni beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup vegetable broth or water

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or another nondairy milk
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I also add in salt, pepper and nutritional yeast)

Canola oil or other high-heat vegetable oil


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

First, get yourself set up. For breading station, whisk almond milk and cornstarch together and add to a shallow dish.  I used an 8x8 baking dish.  Add your breadcrumbs to another shallow dish or a dinner plate will work.  Next get a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray, set aside.

Add all ingredients through soy sauce to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until most of the beans are mashed.  If there are a few pieces of beans that's ok.  Add vital wheat gluten and broth and stir.  Once it comes together, knead by hand for 1-2 minutes.  You will see the gluten strands start to form; this gives them a good texture.  Form into 6 cutlet shapes.

Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat with a good coating of oil.  While it's heating I like to do the breading of the cutlets.  Dip each into the milk mixture and then the breading, shaking off excess.  Set aside on a plate.

Test the oil by adding a drop of water and if it sizzles it's hot enough, if not turn heat up a bit.  Add 2-4 cutlets, depending on size of your skillet.  Cook until lightly browned on each side, about 2 minutes.  As they are done transfer to the baking sheet and once they are all done, bake in oven for 10-12 minutes.

Optional Baking Instructions: If you want to make them a little healthier, you can skip the pan fry and just bake them.  You won't get the same crisp, golden crust but they're still good.  When I go with this option I reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake about 20 minutes or until crispy, and I flip halfway through.  I also spray them with olive oil.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sundried Tomato Cream Pasta

Another delicious "I can't believe it's vegan" cream sauce.  I'm officially obsessed with cashews now that I've discovered just how rich and creamy they can make sauces, soups or anything.  With this the fresh basil really adds a lot of flavor that completnets the sundried tomato very nicely.  Another great addition to stir in at the end, kalamata olives or pine nuts.

Serves 2


1/3 cup cashews, soaked in water overnight
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes from a jar (drained of oil)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 - 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)
1/2 - 3/4 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked pasta, cooking water reserved
Fresh basil (optional but really amazing in this)


Heat olive oil in skillet and saute onion and garlic with a pinch of salt over medium heat until onion is translucent; about 3-5 minutes.  Add to food processor or blender with cashews, sundried tomatoes, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth.  Puree adding more broth as needed. 

Heat skillet over low-medium heat and add enough reserved pasta water to just cover the bottom.  Add in sauce and pasta, stir and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Add a tablespoon of pasta water at time to thin out if needed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Remove from heat, stir in basil, drizzle with a little oil from sundried tomatoes or just plain olive oil if desired and serve.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mega Vegan Breakfast Sandwich w/ Tempeh Bacon and Tofu Egg

You're probably going to have a hard time finding a vegan or vegetarian breakfast at a restaurant, so make your own!  I made mine with my homemade tempeh bacon, transformed my tofu scramble into tofu egg slices, vegan cheese, tomato, onion, and avocado because I add it to every sandwich!  I used a hearty Ezkiel sprouted grain english muffin with a smear of Earth Balance. You can also try swapping veggie sausage patty for the tempeh bacon for another tasty variation.


English Muffin (I like Ezkiel Sprouted Grain)
Slice of Extra-firm tofu (press as much water out as possible)
Tofu egg slices (recipe below)
Tempeh bacon slices (homemade recipe or storebought)
Vegan cheese (I used Galaxy Foods Vegan Mexican Shreds)
Sliced tomato
Thinly sliced onion
Mashed avocado
Earth Balance vegan butter
Hot sauce

Tofu Egg (makes enough marinade for about 1/3-1/2 block tofu)
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp olive or canola oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp black salt (optional - gives an eggy taste and can found in Indian markets or online)
Pinch of black pepper
Firm or extra-firm tofu, sliced about 1/8-1/4" thick

Tofu Egg Slices

Mix your tofu marinade ingredients in a bowl.  Lay tofu slices in a flat, shallow dish and pour marinade over it.  Let marinate an hour or longer.

Two cooking options 1).  stovetop in lightly oiled skillet, few minutes on each side. 2). In oven at 400 degrees on lightly greased baking sheet, about 5min on each side.  If I'm already baking tempeh bacon, I go ahead and throw the tofu slices on the same baking sheet with tempeh and then just take it out when it's done (the tempeh takes longer to cook).

While your egg is cooking, toast your english muffin with a smear of Earth Balance and some vegan cheese to get it all melted.  Then layer your ingredients and dig in!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Peanut Butter & Jelly Banana Muffins

My PB&J Banana Pancakes were so delicious I just had to turn them into a muffin.  I worked from my Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe with a few minor adjustments based on what I had on hand.  I didn't have any Earth Balance vegan butter so I figured I would make these without any added fat.  I had a Silk strawberry soy yogurt so I threw in that in lieu of the Earth Balance (applesauce is also a good sub for butter or oil in baking).  Since I was going healthy with these I used whole wheat and oat flour.  I'd say they turned out pretty great for a healthy little treat.  I'm also going to try baking this in a loaf pan and adding extra layers of jelly so stay tuned for that!

1/3 cup Unsweetened Almond or Soy Milk
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Flour (I use 1 cup Whole Wheat + 1/2 cup Oat Flour)
1/2 cup Quick Oats
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter, softened (optional: sub applesauce or soy yogurt)
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
3 very ripe Bananas (medium-large size), mashed
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Jelly or fruit preserves (raspberry or strawberry are my faves)
Peanut Butter Glaze
1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar
3 Tbsp almond milk
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin pan, set aside.

Mix lemon juice and soy milk in small bowl and set aside (this will curdle slightly).

Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl (flours, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon), set aside.

In another bowl add butter, sugars, mashed banana and mix with an electric mixer on low speed (or whisk by hand) for about a minute or two. Next whisk in the almond milk/lemon, and vanilla. Whisk together until mixed.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir until just combined (you don't want to over mix). Add heaping tablespoon full of mixture to muffin tins, should be about half full.  Next in each muffin tin add about a teaspoon of jelly to middle.  If you want more peanut butter flavor then add a bit on top of jelly (see pic below).  Then take remaining batter and dollop on top gently smoothing out.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.
While baking make your peanut butter glaze by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl.  You can adjust ingredients to taste. 
When muffins are done, let cool and then spread glaze on them.  Can be topped with chopped peanuts for crunch or a sprinkle of powdered sugar to make them pretty!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Vegetable Tofu Lo Mein

One of my favorite quick meals.  I get pre-cooked, seasoned tofu and chopped veggies off the salad bar at the supermarket to make it a lot easier.  I like to use brown rice spaghetti just because that's what I usually have at home but you can also use any of those Asian noodles.  I use about 2 oz. spaghetti, which is one serving, to make two servings of this dish becuse I prefer to load it up with veggies and tofu rather than pasta but go ahead and add more if you like. 
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Serves 2


Canola oil or cooking spray
3oz. teriyaki style pre-baked tofu, thinly sliced (I like the one by Wildwood)
2 cups or more chopped fresh vegetables (cabbage, bell pepper, onion, carrots, etc.)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water + extra tsp of soy sauce
2oz. spaghetti, cooked

For topping: Cilantro, green onion, chopped cashews, sriracha hot sauce


Heat oil in skillet and add tofu, cook over medium heat a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and set aside. 

Add vegetables, cook until softened; about 5-10 minutes.  While cooking, whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and broth together in a bowl and add to the cooked vegetables veggies.  Stir in and cook a few minutes longer.  Add in tofu and cooked spaghetti, stir.  Remove from heat and serve with desired toppings.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Buffalo Tofu Tacos

This tofu dish is not just for the vegetarians.  I've had people tell me they thought it was chicken.  You want to press as much water out as possible to get that chewy texture.    I use the TofuXpress and it gets all the water out so I'm left with a shrunken block.  Looks like less tofu but the texture is much better.  I end up with 1/2 block making about 2 tacos depending on how much you fill them.

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Makes 2-3 tacos


1/2 block extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
Buffalo sauce (note: some are not vegan)
Salt and pepper
Canola oil cooking spray

Shredded lettuce
Diced onion
Ranch Dressing (I like the vegan one by Organicville)
Taco size tortillas (either flour or corn)


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut your tofu in thin squares.  (By doing this rather than thick cubes, you will get crisper tofu).  Add to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add just enough buffalo sauce to lightly coat.  Gently toss together being careful not to break the tofu.

Lay tofu pieces in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet (or line with parchment paper).  Lightly spray with canola oil.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping halfway through. 

Toss baked tofu with more buffalo sauce and lay into tortillas with toppings.