Friday, May 16, 2014

Scalloped Potatoes with Fat free Vegan Cheese Sauce and Broccoli

Try this healthy and easy comfort-food dinner that hits the spot. 


  • 1-1 1/2 lb. baby potatoes, washed and thinly sliced (peeled if desired)
  • 2 c. frozen organic broccoli florets, thawed (or fresh is desired)

  • salt/ pepper/ paprika to taste

Place sliced potatoes in boiling water for 3 minutes. If using fresh broccoli steam those as well for about 3-5 min. (not necessary if frozen/thawed). Drain water and put aside.

While this is cooking, make cheese recipe and turn oven to 350 degrees.

In a casserole dish add half of the potatoes, then season with salt and pepper. Add half of the cheese sauce over the potatoes and smooth. Add all of the broccoli. Add last half of the potatoes and season with salt and pepper, then add the remaining cheese sauce. Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes and dig in!

Serve with chives, chopped tomatoes, v. sour cream, a bit of ketchup and or hot sauce. Excellent with chili as well.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Vegan Sushi with Teriyaki Tempeh and Quinoa

Wow. I have made vegan sushi before, but never have I strayed so much from traditional ingredients. I love this, it's a keeper. What makes it different? I used quinoa instead of rice and I discovered that I like the texture better for sushi (it's so malleable). I also used marinated and cooked teriyaki tempeh giving it more of a crispy texture than the teriyaki tofu I normally use. This was the first time, also, that they rolled up VERY easily. Here's how beautifully they turned out! 

Teriyaki Sauce
1/3 c. tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. raw sugar
1 T. minced garlic
1 T. minced ginger
1 t. dijon mustard
1/4 t. cayenne (optional)

2 carrots- halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 head napa cabbage- quartered lengthwise, sliced again lengthwise, thick parts removed
1 c. dry quinoa
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
sprinkle of turmeric 
1 pkg. tempeh, sliced in half, then each half sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch pieces
1 c. frozen mixed veggies (peas, corn carrots, etc.), thawed
sprinkle of sesame seeds (I use un-hulled for their higher calcium content)

1 pkg. nori sheets (8 sheets)
1/4 c. water

Whisk all ingredients together to make the teriyaki sauce. Marinate tempeh slices in about half of the teriyaki sauce and place in refrigerator while preparing other parts of the dish.

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Sprinkle the turmeric in as well. Once finished, drizzle in the maple syrup and stir.

While this is cooking, place the carrots and cabbage in a steamer basket and steam for 10-15 minutes or until soft. Cool a bit. Place on a towel, cover with another paper towel and press the moisture out. Separate carrots from cabbage pieces.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place marinated tempeh pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook for about 10 minutes. Turn over and cook about 10 minutes more. For crispier pieces, cook an additional 5 minutes. Cool.

Line a large cutting board or working surface with paper towels (to keep the work area dry). Have water in a shallow bowl ready and all other ingredients close by.

Place one nori sheet over paper towels. With a spoon, place a thin layer of cooked quinoa about an inch away from the bottom and top of the nori sheet. With the back of the spoon, spread and press evenly, reaching out to sides. Then place a single layer of cabbage. Try to make it fit the sides evenly and cover the quinoa.

Then add the carrots (about 4-5 pieces) and try to land them in the negative spaces (in between the thickest cabbage parts). Do the same with the cooked tempeh, then sprinkle a layer of the thawed veggies to fill in any dips or empty spots. Lightly sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Starting with the bottom, roll tightly (but not enough to rip) and evenly, tucking in the veggies as you roll up. When you get to the top, dab your fingers in the water and dampen the top of the nori sheet. Continue to roll until complete, then carefully bring the roll to a dry cutting board. 

Using a sharp knife, cut slices about an inch thick. Place in a platter and serve with remaining teriyaki sauce. Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Vegan Healthy Nachos

Wow!  Did you ever think you could make a dish like Nachos and have it be healthy and nourishing at the same time?  Ah, yes we can. I came across this recipe for nacho sauce from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook.  Now, I've created vegan nacho sauces before, but they've never been this tasty or this healthy.  What's the secret? One roasted red pepper! Brilliant. One red pepper has more Vitamin C than an orange, and it makes this nacho sauce vibrant with flavor, and healthy for our bodies.  If you have never roasted a red pepper before, you simply put it in the oven heated at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let it cool and remove the skin and seeds.  Enjoy!

Nacho Sauce (from the Forks Over Knives Cookbook: Find recipe here or below:)
one bunch or bag of your favorite greens, washed and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can of black beans (or refried black beans if you prefer)
One bag of low-fat or baked tortilla chips
1/2 c. salsa of choice
1/2 c. black olives (optional)
1 avocado, chopped and drizzled with fresh lemon juice (optional)
2 c. brown rice (optional)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro (cilantro)

Assemble on the plate: Bed of greens, rice, black beans, tomatoes, olives, avocado, nacho sauce and salsa.  Sprinkle with cilantro and crumbled tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Variation: Customize these ingredients as you like. Vegan sour cream, or jalapenos would also be great!

Nacho Cheese Sauce (courtesy of Forks Over Knives Cookbook)-

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes and then rinsed
1 TB. tahini
1 roasted red pepper (rinsed from jar or prepared from fresh)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 TB. tamari (or Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce)
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water

Healthy tip: By adding the greens to the plate first, you have more of the healthy stuff, leaving just enough room for a sprinkling of chips on top.  You still have all the flavor, and the kids still see all the chips. :)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Black-Eyed-Pea Soup with Quinoa

1 bag of black-eyed peas (2 c. dried)
3 2-3" pieces of kombu (or 3 bay leaves)
8 c. plus 1/4 c. veg. broth (see link for my video for homemade recipe)
1 red onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
2 T. fresh oregano (or 2 t. dried)
1 bunch spinach, de-stemmed and chopped
3 T. apple cider vinegar
the juice of one lemon
3 T. fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3 c. cooked quinoa

Soak beans in a large pot of water overnight with one piece of kombu.  Drain and rinse, reserving the kombu.

In a large soup pot, add 1/4 c. veg broth over med.-high heat.  When hot, add in this order as you chop; onion, garlic, green pepper, carrot, celery, and 2 remaining pieces of kombu.  Add tomato and oregano and cook a few minutes more.  Add beans and remaining broth and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that arises.  Reduce heat, cover, and cook for one hour.  

Add chopped spinach and apple cider vinegar and cook 15 min. longer.  Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook quinoa according to package directions.  Preferably, use additional veggie broth in place of water for improved flavor.

When soup is ready, add lemon juice, cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook an additional 15 minutes, then let cool a bit.  Remove kombu and puree with a hand-held immersion blender or in batches in a food processor.  Add quinoa and serve. MMMMMM

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tomato, Avocado and Greens Sandwich

Such and easy sandwich to make and it tastes gourmet!

2 slices pumpernickel bread (or dark rye)
Dijon mustard for spreading
Fat-free tofu sour cream (see recipe below)
1 thin slice of red onions, halved
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 tomato, sliced
1/4 avocado, sliced
one handful lettuce of choice, washed
one handful of sprouts

Toast bread if you like, then spread mustard on one slice, and tofu sour cream on the other.

Assemble and enjoy!

Tofu Sour Cream
(modified from RFD cookbook by Anne Gentry)
12 oz. silken tofu, 2 T. umeboshi vinegar, (or any vinegar), 1/4 t. minced garlic, 1 T. ketchup, 1 t. dry mustard, 1 t. dried dill
Blend all ingredients (except for dill), transfer to a container, mix in dill. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Spinach & Artichoke with Tomato & Basil Pasta

So this is the first recipe I have created since becoming a Food For Life Instructor last month.  My posts on the Vegan Family Meals blog will be less frequent as I am focusing on this new chapter in my life, but the recipes from here on out will reflect the nutritional guidelines of PCRM's award-winning program. So that means that my original recipes will be even healthier than before!  See if you can see what has changed (or more specifically has been omitted-hint hint).  BTW, this one is designed to be super quick and easy.  Enjoy!

1 1/2 c. marinara sauce
1/4 c. mushrooms, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained, rinsed and chopped
2-3 c. fresh spinach, washed
1/2 pkg. organic silken tofu, drained and rinsed
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. dried minced onion
1 t. dried oregano
1/3 c. fresh basil, chopped
1 c. organic soy milk or other nondairy milk such as hemp, coconut, almond, etc.
salt and pepper to taste
1 pkg. pasta noodles of choice

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 1/2 c. marinara sauce.  Add mushrooms, artichoke hearts and spinach and cook for 5 minutes.  Crumble in tofu, garlic powder, dried onion, oregano and basil.  Cook until heated through stirring occasionally.  Add milk and last cup of marinara sauce.  Cool slightly and puree with a hand-held immersion blender or in batches in a blender until smooth. Add more marinara for red sauce, or more milk for white sauce, until desired consistency is reached.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and keep warm until noodles are ready.

In a large pot of water, cook pasta noodles according to package directions.  Drain and rinse, then mix with sauce in a large bowl and serve.  Enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Apple Pie with Crumb Top

There's nothing like homemade apple pie, especially on the 4th of July. This recipe is from my mother-in law's kitchen and has been in her family for years.  I simply vegan-ized it and made a few adjustments to suit my tastes.  Enjoy all year round!

1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. vegan butter (smart balance)
3 T. cold water

5-7 granny smith apples
1/2 c. vegan sugar
3/4 t. cinnamon
1 T. flour
1 t. lemon juice

1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. vegan butter
2-3 T. fresh lemon juice

1c. raw cashews
1/4 c. water
1/4 brown rice syrup (or agave, or both)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. almond extract (optional but yummy)
1/4 c. safflower or sunflower oil (or veg. oil is fine too)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine flour and salt in a small bowl.  Add butter and blend with a fork, then mix with fingers until it resembles coarse crumbles.  Add water 1 T. at a time, gently mixing dough until it forms a ball.  Place on a lightly floured surface.  Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 10-11 inch circle. Place in a 9 inch pie plate.

Peel and slice apples very thinly.  Place in a large bowl and add sugar, cinnamon, flour and lemon juice.  Mix well and add into prepared pie crust.

Crumb Topping:
Make crumb topping by combining all ingredients together.  It should make a paste.  Take about a t. at a time and flatten in fingertips, then place across apples.  Keep doing this in a random pattern until evenly covered.  Apples will show through connected parts. 

Bake for 50 minutes.  If crust browns too quickly, cover with foil.

Cream Topping:
Place cashews in a blender or food processor fitted with an S blade and process until finely ground.  Add water, agave, vanilla, almond extract and process for one minute. Scrape down sides with a rubber spatula.  While the machine is running on low, slowly drizzle oil and process for 2 minutes or until mixture is very thick and resembles whipped cream.

Serve warm with your favorite vegan ice-cream.  Enjoy!

Non-vegan recipe credit: Anita Federman