Sage Dressing with Mushrooms and Water Chestnuts

This is a traditional sage bread dressing or stuffing enhanced with sautéed mushrooms and crunchy water chestnuts. Begin this recipe a day ahead of time to allow the bread to sufficiently dry.

Ingredients:
• 1 loaf (about 16 oz.) white or whole grain bread
• 2 T vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 ribs celery, diced
• 1 can (8 oz. with liquid) whole water chestnuts, drained and cut in half
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
• 1 T dry rubbed sage
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• ½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• ¼ cup (4 T) Better Butter (from this blog under “Miscellaneous Recipes”) or vegan margarine
• 12 oz. (3/4 lb.) cremini (baby portabellas); white mushrooms or a blend of mushrooms of your choice, cut into quarters or bite-size pieces
• ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
• 1 cup turk’y simmering broth (from preparing the Roast Brest of Turk’y in this blog; or vegan chik’n, mushroom or vegetable broth

Technique:
To dry the bread: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Cut the bread into ½-inch cubes and place in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets. Place in the oven for 1 to 1 and ½ hours or until the bread is dry to the touch – a very slight degree of moistness is okay. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let sit out overnight.

When ready to prepare the dressing, preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a large, shallow baking dish with butter or margarine and set aside.
In a large skillet, add the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the water chestnuts, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and continue to sauté an additional minute. Transfer to the mixing bowl.

In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and stir just until melted. Transfer to the mixing bowl, add the parsley and toss all of the ingredients together thoroughly.

Drizzle in half of the broth and toss thoroughly. Drizzle in the remaining half and toss until the dressing is evenly moistened. Transfer to the baking dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until a nice golden crust forms on top. Serve warm.

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Green Bean Casserole

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A classic holiday favorite.

Ingredients:
• 1 and ½ lbs. fresh green beans trimmed into bite-size pieces
or 2 cans (14oz. each) cut green beans, well drained
• 2 T flour (unbleached all-purpose wheat; rice or soy)
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 and ½ cups plain unsweetened non-dairy milk
• 1 T tamari, soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos™
• 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
• 3 T Better Butter (from my cookbooks) or vegan margarine
plus additional for “buttering” the casserole dish
• 1 and ½ cups finely chopped white mushrooms
• 1 and ⅓ cups French-fried onions (from canned – French’s™ are vegan) – or make your own, the recipe and technique follows this recipe
• sea salt or kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

Technique:
If using fresh green beans, steam or boil the beans for about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside in a large mixing bowl. If using canned green beans, drain them thoroughly and set aside in the mixing bowl.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly “butter” a casserole dish with the butter or margarine and set aside.

In a small dish, measure the flour, onion powder and garlic powder; set aside.

In a measuring cup, measure the non-dairy milk and add the tamari/soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce; set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter or margarine. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the excess liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms. Transfer the mushrooms to the mixing bowl with the green beans and set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium-low heat and whisk in the flour mixture. Continue to stir for about a minute. The mixture will be very thick and pasty. Don’t be concerned if the flour sticks to the bottom of the saucepan as it will loosen when the milk mixture is added.

Slowly whisk in the milk mixture until smooth, add a pinch or two of black pepper and bring to the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer an additional 2 to 3 minutes. The mixture will have a somewhat thin consistency; this is desirable as it will thicken when the casserole is baked. Taste and add salt to your liking and additional black pepper, if desired. Remove from the heat.

Gently toss together the cream mixture with the green beans, mushrooms and ⅔ cup French-fried onions in the mixing bowl. Transfer to the casserole dish.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling around the edges. Gently stir and top with the remaining ⅔ cup onions. Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.

French-Fried Onions

Ingredients:
• 2 or 3 large or 5 medium sweet yellow onions
• plain unsweetened non-dairy milk for soaking the onions
• 1 and ½ to 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt (try the first batch and adjust the salt to taste)
• ground black pepper
• pinch of cayenne pepper
• 1 and ½ cups unbleached all-purpose wheat flour
• vegetable oil for frying

Technique:
Mix the flour, salt, and ground peppers in a large bowl. Slice the onions and separate into rings. Soak the onions in the milk.

Heat about ½-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer.

Dredge the onions in the seasoned flour. Give them a good coating of flour. Place the onions into the hot oil in the skillet. Don’t try to do all the onions at one; just one batch at a time.

When the onions begin to brown around the edges, turn them over and cook an additional minute or so (they cook very quickly!) Remove the rings and lay them on a paper bag or paper towels to cool/drain. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container for topping your casseroles.

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Scalloped Potatoes Gratin

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Sliced potatoes are baked in a luscious, golden cheese sauce until tender and delicious! Parboiling the potatoes briefly before baking ensures that the potato slices cook evenly in the gratin.

Ingredients:
• 2 lbs. russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes) or 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
• 1 T Better Butter (from my cookbooks) or commercial vegan margarine
• 2 cups Golden Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)
• ¼ tsp dried thyme (optional)
• sea salt or kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper

Technique:
Peel and thinly slice the potatoes (about ⅛-inch thick). A mandoline works great for this, but watch your fingers! Place the slices in a large pot of salted water (2 teaspoons of salt is sufficient) so they do not oxidize (turn brown).

After all the potatoes have been sliced, bring the water and potato slices to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water begins to boil, set a timer for 1 minute. Immediately remove from the heat and drain the slices in a colander. DO NOT rinse with water! The potatoes will continue to cook slightly as they cool in the colander. Drain well and then place the slices on several layers of paper towels or a clean lint-free kitchen towel on your work surface. Pat them dry with additional towels.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Prepare the cheese sauce and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Next, “butter” a shallow casserole dish with the butter. Place a layer of potato slices in an overlapping pattern and season lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon a little of the cheese sauce over the potatoes and spread evenly.

Continue to layer the potatoes with a light sprinkle of salt and pepper and then the cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top with the optional dried thyme and bake uncovered for 45 minutes. If the top has not sufficiently browned,
set the oven on “broil” and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Watch
carefully so they do not burn. Remove from the oven and serve.

Golden Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:
• 1 and ¾ cup plain unsweetened soymilk
• 5 T tapioca flour
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast
• 1 T mellow white miso paste
• 2 tsp organic tomato paste
• 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp dry ground mustard
• ¾ tsp fine sea salt
• ½ tsp onion powder
• ¼ tsp ground white pepper

Technique:
Process the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Please note that the light golden color will develop as the cheese cooks. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring slowly and continually with a silicone/rubber spatula.

As the mixture begins to form curds, stir vigorously, scraping the sides and bottom of the saucepan with the spatula as you stir. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes bubbly, smooth and glossy. Taste and add salt as desired and/or additional soymilk to lighten the consistency to your preference. Reduce the heat to low to keep warm until ready to serve. Stir occasionally. The sauce will thicken upon cooling.

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Spicy Buffalo Tofu Drummettes

DSC08594-001If you’ve ever been “on the fence” about tofu because of its texture, these spicy nuggets may just change your mind. They’re pre-baked to give them a dense, meaty and slightly chewy texture before breading and frying. I’ve often heard that people have a difficult time getting breading to actually adhere to tofu. So I experimented with a batter that seems to work rather well. And voila! Spicy Buffalo Tofu Drummettes. I served them with a side of Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing from my Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook which can be purchased through this website. And they’re gluten-free!

Ingredients for the drummettes:
1 block extra-firm water-packed tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
2 T No-Eggy Mayo (from either of my cookbooks) or commercial vegan mayonnaise
3/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour, about 1 cup
vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for the sauce:
1/4 cup non-dairy butter (from either of my cookbooks) or commercial vegan margarine
1/4 red hot sauce (a thicker sauce, such as Sriracha, works best)

Technique:
Drain and slice the block of tofu lengthwise through the center to create 2 slabs. Lay each slab on its side and slice lengthwise down through the center to create 4 slabs total.

Thoroughly press the tofu until it is not releasing any more liquid. This is important: the drier the tofu, the better the texture of the finished dish (this can also be done with a tofu press using the whole intact block and the block sliced after pressing).

Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Now cut each slab into 3 drummettes. Try slicing on a slight diagonal, turning the knife slightly to left on the first slice and then slightly to the right on the second slice so the drummettes are irregular rectangles, for a total of 12 drummettes. This will give them a more natural and less uniform appearance. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and place the drummettes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the nutritional yeast, milk, mayo, salt and seasonings until smooth. In a separate bowl, add the garbanzo bean flour.

Dip each drummette in the milk mixture and then dredge in the flour and set aside on a plate. Replenish the flour as needed. Let the drummettes dry for about 10 minutes and then dredge them in the flour again.

In a skillet or wok, heat about ½-inch of oil over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Fry the drummettes in the hot oil for several minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter or margarine and whisk together with the hot sauce until smooth. Just before serving, drizzle the sauce over the drummettes in a bowl and turn the drummettes gently until they are thoroughly coated with the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately with the dipping sauce of your choice (i.e., vegan blue cheese or creamy ranch dressing).

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Instructions
  1. Drain and slice the block of tofu lengthwise through the center to create 2 slabs. Lay each slab on its side and slice lengthwise down through the center to create 4 slabs total.
  2. Thoroughly press the tofu until it is not releasing any more liquid. This is important: the drier the tofu, the better the texture of the finished dish (this can also be done with a tofu press using the whole intact block and the block sliced after pressing).
  3. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  4. Now cut each slab into 3 drummettes. Try slicing on a slight diagonal, turning the knife slightly to left on the first slice and then slightly to the right on the second slice so the drummettes are irregular rectangles, for a total of 12 drummettes. This will give them a more natural and less uniform appearance. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and place the drummettes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes. Remove to cool.
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the nutritional yeast, milk, mayo, salt and seasonings until smooth. In a separate bowl, add the garbanzo bean flour.
  6. Dip each drummette in the milk mixture and then dredge in the flour and set aside on a plate. Replenish the flour as needed. Let the drummettes dry for about 10 minutes and then dredge them in the flour again.
  7. In a skillet or wok, heat about ½-inch of oil over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Fry the drummettes in the hot oil for several minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.
  8. Meanwhile, melt the butter or margarine and whisk together with the hot sauce until smooth. Just before serving, drizzle the sauce over the drummettes in a bowl and turn the drummettes gently until they are thoroughly coated with the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately with the dipping sauce of your choice (i.e., vegan blue cheese or creamy ranch dressing).
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Cream of Brussels Sprout Soup

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This velvety, delicious soup makes an elegant first course or light supper. This recipe yields about 6 cups.

 

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Cream of Brussels Sprout Soup
This velvety, delicious soup makes an elegant first course or light supper. This recipe yields about 6 cups.
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Instructions
  1. If using fresh Brussels sprouts, trim the tough stems and outer leaves. Frozen sprouts should be thawed before using.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring the butter, chik'n broth, white wine, Brussels sprouts and onions to a rapid simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Partially cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender, cover and begin processing on low speed. Hot liquids can expand explosively if the blender is immediately run on high speed, so start on low and hold the lid on the blender with a dish towel for safety). Increase the speed to high and process until smooth.
  4. Return the purée to the soup pot and add the nutmeg and white pepper. Stir in the heavy cashew cream. Add salt to taste. Gently cook on low heat until heated through, stirring frequently. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped chives if desired.
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