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Warming Soup Recipes

This is the time of year when it’s often cold and dreary outside, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of soup to warm you up.  Did you know that making a pot of soup from scratch is actually very simple to do, and it’s oh, so healthy?  Try some of our recipes below and get cooking!

Pumpkin-SoupPumpkin Soup

Makes about 8 1-cup servings.

This sweet and creamy soup has just a hint of spiciness. It can also be made with puréed winter squash, yams, or sweet potatoes in place of the pumpkin. Read more

Mouthwatering Melon Recipes

melonsMelons are large, edible fruits with a thick yellow or green skin, and juicy, fragrant flesh. Since the flesh has such high water content, melons are low in calories even though they are so sweet to taste. They provide potassium, sulphur, Vitamins A and C and Folic Acid.

Watermelon is particularly high in lycopene, an antioxidant, and has iron as well, which makes it the star of the melon family nutritionally speaking.

All melons are particularly delicious in the summer months, at the peak of their ripeness. They can be eaten by the slice, cut into cubes or scooped into balls. They are delicious eaten alone or as part of a fruit or vegetable salad. Pureed melon can be served chilled to make an attractive summer soup.

Recipes:

Read more

Mexican recipes gone vegan

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, and because Mexican food is delicious but often loaded with cheese, we thought we’d share some creative vegan recipes for Mexican classic dishes.

Vegan Nachos

Serves 2-4

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 14 oz. package vegan ground “beef”
  • 15 oz. can of refried beans
  • 15 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • Taco spice blend
  • 1 3/4 cup grated vegan cheese
  • 1 large bag of plain tortilla chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
  2. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan on medium heat. Cook the vegan ground beef until lightly browned.
  3. Add the refried beans, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, chopped bell peppers, onion and the taco seasoning mix to the pot. Simmer and reduce for 10 – 12 minutes.
  4. While the ground mixture is simmering, arrange the tortilla chips in a shallow casserole dish.
  5. Next spoon the hot mixture over the chips and sprinkle vegan shredded cheese on top.
  6. Transfer to the preheated oven. Bake the nachos for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned.
  7. Serve the nachos hot from the oven along with a cashew sour cream and guacamole, as desired.

Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito

Makes 4 large burritos. This recipe is adapted from our cookbook, The Veg-feasting Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (tamari)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • ½ large red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 2/3 cup peas, fresh or thawed frozen
  • 1 package (14-16 oz) firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari and tahini and set aside.  Heat a little water in a skillet, preferably non-stick, over a medium heat.  Add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 mins. Add the garlic, zucchini, bell pepper and peas and sauté for 5 mins. Add the tofu, curry powder, turmeric and cumin and sauté for 5 more mins. Add the tamari-tahini mixture to the vegetables and tofu and heat through.

Remove from heat, add the cilantro, briefly stir to blend. Set out 4 large tortillas. Divide the scramble mixture between the tortillas in a strip on each, leaving enough tortilla clear to fold over the ends, and then roll into a burrito.

Serve with your favorite salsa and guacamole.

Yam Enchiladas

Yams are used often in cooking in Central and South America. They can grow quite large and may be sold in chunks in Latin American markets. What we call “yams” in this country are in fact a dark-fleshed variety of sweet potato. Although they’re not related to true yams, sweet potatoes make an acceptable substitute in recipes like this one.

Serves 6 to 8. This recipe is also from our cookbook, The Veg-feasting Cookbook

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 4½ cups tomato sauce, homemade or commercially prepared

Filling

  • 1½ pounds yam, peeled and sliced into
  • ¼-inch-thick slices (about 4½ cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15 –18 small white corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded almond or soy cheese
  • ¾ cup diced scallions
  • 6 tablespoons chopped black olives
  • 6 tablespoons diced green chiles
  • ¾ cup soy sour cream
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oven to 400°F. For the sauce, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and sauté until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt and bay leaf, stir to blend, and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the rice flour and the tomato sauce and whisk thoroughly. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 10 minutes.

For the filling, toss the yam slices with the cumin, garlic and olive oil. Bake on a baking sheet until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove the yam slices and reduce the oven heat to 350°F.

To assemble, pour one third of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch casserole and add one layer of tortillas. Spread half of the yams evenly in the pan, then sprinkle in half of the shredded almond or soy cheese, and half the diced scallions, olives and green chiles. Pour more sauce on top. Add another layer of tortillas, top with the rest of the yams, the rest of the scallions, olives, and green chiles, and cover with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top.

Cover and bake for one hour, then uncover and bake until the top is browned, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Cut and serve garnished with the chopped cilantro.

Nutritious Bok Choy Recipes

Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, although it doesn’t look much like the cabbages we’re used to.  Its texture is more like celery at the bottom and a leafy green such as spinach at the top.

Bok Choy is common in Chinese food, but rarely used in other cuisines.  It is extremely nutritious. It has a particularly high level of calcium, with 870mg per 100 calorie serving, and an absorption rate of 53%.  When you compare that to cow’s milk, which has only 188mg per 100 calorie serving, and an absorption rate of 32%, you can see that it makes a good addition to any diet.

To prepare bok choy, you can wash the leaves and stem, then simply steam or stir fry it.  Sprinkly a little soy sauce on if you like.  Alternatively you can chop it up and use it as you would any other vegetable, in soups, stews, curries or pies. Add this to as many of your recipes as possible, for a real nutritional boost!

For lots of great vegetarian recipes, see The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Recipes

  • Broccoli and Bok Choy with Baked Tofu
  • Spicy Thai Soup
  • Zippy Yams and Bok Choy
  • Macaroni with Creamy Tofu Sauce

Broccoli and Bok Choy with Baked Tofu


Makes 6 1-cup servings
This simple recipe is a delicious way to add healthful greens and soy to your diet. It is served with brown rice, but can also be served with pasta or grilled polenta.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
3 – 4 cups thinly sliced bok choy
2 tablespoons water
4 ounces baked tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 – 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
6 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet, then add onion and cook over high heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add broccoli and bok choy and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Stir in water, along with tofu, black pepper, and soy sauce. Cover and cook until broccoli and bok choy are just tender and tofu is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve over brown rice.


Spicy Thai Soup

Makes 6 1-cup servings

What a delicious way to enjoy healthy green vegetables!

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or more to taste)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup bite-size broccoli florets
1 cup packed finely chopped bok choy
1 green onion, finely chopped, including top
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Mix broth, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms and simmer 2 minutes.

Add broccoli and bok choy. Simmer until broccoli is tender but still bright green and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook.

Stir in green onion and cilantro. Serve immediately.


Zippy Yams and Bok Choy

Makes 4 servings

2 small yams, cut into bite-size chunks
1 onion, quartered and sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Thai chili paste
2 small heads bok choy, finely sliced
1 juice of 1/2 lemon

Put yams in a deep skillet and just cover them with water. Cover skillet and boil yams for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft when pierced with a fork.

Add onion and garlic and continue to simmer until about half of the water has boiled away.

Add vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, chili paste, and bok choy. Simmer until bok choy is soft. Sprinkle lemon juice over the mixture and serve.

Macaroni with Creamy Tofu Sauce

Makes 8 1-cup servings

Here’s a healthy version of a traditional “comfort food.”

8 ounces dry macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cups sliced mushrooms (about 3/4 pound)
3 – 4 leaves bok choy, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fortified unsweetened soy- or rice milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated, dairy-free margarine
1 pound firm tofu, crumbled

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook onion over high heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add bell pepper, mushrooms, bok choy, parsley, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook until mushrooms are soft and bok choy is just tender, about 5 minutes.

Combine non-dairy milk, onion powder, garlic powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, flours, and margarine in a blender. Blend on high speed until mixture is thick and smooth.

Add to vegetables, along with tofu and pasta. Stir to mix, then cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Veggie Burger Recipes

While many people enjoy a veggie patty bought frozen from the grocery store, it is not hard to make your own, and well worth the effort. Making your own veggie burgers can give you a lot of scope for experimenting with different flavors.

If you are planning on cooking it on the grill, you will want to ensure that your veggie burger holds together well. Potato starch (powder or flour) is a great ingredient to help bind the patty together, without using eggs. Cooking your burgers in a skillet or on a baking tray in the oven can allow you more leeway in its texture, which may be safer the first time you make them!

There are many veggie burger recipes available online, but here are two of my favorites:

Read more

Perfect Peanut Recipes

PeanutsAlso called groundnut, goober, or monkey nut, the peanut is the seed of a small leguminous plant, so it is strictly a legume and not a nut. Peanuts are rich in protein and monounsaturated fats, and provide reasonable amounts of dietary fiber. They also contain potassium, calcium, magnesium, and many other valuable nutrients.

While most common as a snack food in this country, they are used as major cooking ingredient in many Asian and African dishes, either whole or as a tasty peanut sauce.

Always try to find dry roasted, unsalted peanuts, either whole or as peanut butter, as many popular sources of peanuts are very high in salt and added fats.

The recipe below is from our own cookbook – The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Read more

Celebrating Ukrainian Vegan Food

We wanted to show our support for those suffering in Ukraine right now, by celebrating their traditional food, with a vegan slant to it. One dish which is common across central Europe and especially in Ukraine, and can easily be made vegan is Cabbage Rolls, known in Ukraine as Holubtsi. Cabbage is a common staple food, being readily available in that part of the world. It is also very nutritious, with high levels of fiber, folate and vitamin C, along with several minerals including calcium. While the traditional dish uses ground beef, this recipe replaces the beef with lentils, which are packed with protein and fiber, and avoid the saturated fat and cholesterol in beef.

Another common Ukrainian food is a traditional sausage. While there are many excellent brands of vegan sausages available in the store, we’ve found a recipe for you to make your own vegan sausages!

Brown Rice and Lentil Cabbage Rolls

Baked cabbage rolls

Recipe adapted from recipe by Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan

Ingredients:
  • 1 large green cabbage, whole
  • 1 cup cooked green lentils (1/2 cup dried lentils)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (3/4 cup dried rice)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, low-sodium (tamari if gluten-free)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (Split between filling and tomato sauce)
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Bring a large stock pot of water to boil. Cut out the core of the cabbage with a sharp knife. Place cabbage in pot and boil until leaves are tender and easily peel off (about 5-7 minutes). Turn off heat and carefully remove the cabbage and place on a cutting board. Pull the leaves apart (keeping them whole) and place on a paper towel lined surface.

While cabbage is boiling, heat a skillet on medium high heat with a little water, and sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, dried herbs, and spices to the pan. Heat an additional minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Stir in the cooked lentils and rice, and the dried fruit to the onion mixture. Stir in one tablespoon of tomato paste and soy sauce. Set aside.

To make the rolls, place one to two tablespoons of the mixture onto end of a cabbage leaf, tuck in the sides and gently roll, like a burrito.

In the same pan that made the onion mixture, add the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Heat on a medium heat. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, about 10 minutes.

You can serve the cabbage rolls directly, with some sauce poured over, or, for a more authentic flavor, cover the base of a baking dish with some sauce, place the cabbage rolls on the sauce, cover with more sauce, and then cover the dish with foil. Bake for up to 2 hours at 350 degrees.

Homemade Vegan Sausages

Recipe created by Elinor Kugler

Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
  • 2/3 cup of diced onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of tamari concentrate
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 Teaspoon of dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of vital wheat gluten
Preparation
  1. Bring 1/2 a pot of water to a boil, then lower the heat while we prepare our vegan sausages.
  2. Heat a saucepan on medium heat. Finely dice the onion, crush the garlic cloves then add them to the pan along with the olive oil. When the onion starts to sweat add the cooked chickpeas and give it all a good stir.
  3. Next, add the sea salt, black pepper, dry oregano, dried chili flakes, smoked paprika, and nutritional yeast, and stir well. Finally, add the tamari and take the pan off the heat.
  4. Transfer into a food processor and roughly blend with the cold water (see notes).
  5. Add the vital wheat gluten, mix until combined then knead for a minute.
  6. Next, divide your mixture into 6 balls and cut 6 baking paper squares, then place one ball on the baking paper square and shape it into a sausage.
  7. Next, roll your sausage and twist the ends like you would with a toffee wrapper, making sure the ends are tightly closed.
  8. Tightly arrange them inside a small pot and place a heat proof, glass bowl on top. This is done so they won’t move and fall apart when they cook.
  9. Fill the pot a 3/4 way full of the boiling water then lower the heat and let them simmer for 45-50 minutes.
  10. When ready, take them out of the water and carefully unwrap them. Heat a pan on medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the sausages on all sides until they’re nicely colored. This will also help remove any excess water that the sausages might have soaked up while cooking.
  11. Serve your homemade vegan sausages in a bun, on their own, with a salad, sliced in a pasta sauce, or in a super duper whoppa sandwich! The choices are endless!

Vegan seafood recipes

You don’t have to give up on the flavors and textures of fish when you go vegan.  In addition to vegan seafood products available in the stores, you can make your own.  Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Vegan tuna salad

tuna-salad-sandwichIngredients

  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, low-sodium, drained and rinsed (or 1.5 cups cooked garbanzo beans)
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1/4 cup low fat vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard of choice (optional)

Coarsely chop garbanzo beans in a food processor or mash beans with a potato masher. Do not over process the beans to a smooth consistency, you want it to have some texture.  Place beans in a bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill.

Note: Mashed tofu or cauliflower could also be used instead of garbanzo beans. Read more

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Here’s a special selection of Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes for the holidays:

Bryanna’s Squash with Wild Rice and Chanterelle Stuffing

almost-no-fat-holiday-cookbookfrom “The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook” by Bryanna Clark Grogan, reprinted with permission.  Serves 6

If you’d like to make a colorful stuffed winter squash the centerpiece and main dish of your vegetarian Thanksgiving, choose a large, meaty pumpkin; Boston marrow squash; turban squash; hubbard squash; banana squash; or the pale blue-grey New Zealand squash, which is my favorite. Read more

Interview with Better Bean founder

Hannah and Keith Kullberg

Better Bean is a product we love.  We asked them some questions to learn more about their products and how they got started.

How did your company get started?

Better Bean was born and raised in Oregon, starting with founder Keith Kullberg’s original recipe as a young college student at Oregon State University. Seeking a way to enjoy refried beans made with only plant-based ingredients, Keith developed a recipe that quickly became a favorite within his family years later. The only issue – it took nearly an entire day to prepare his beans from scratch!

Noticing that freshly prepared beans were not made available in stores, Keith and his daughters launched Better Bean in local stores and Portland farmers markets in 2010. Now sold nationwide, Better Bean strives to bring easy, tasty, healthy beans to all.

Tell us about the different products you have?

Better Bean offers a variety of freshly prepared, tasty bean products sold in the refrigerated section. Products range from various 15 oz beans, such as the Skillet Refried Red Beans, to 2.5 oz single-serve bean dips for snacking.

What makes your beans different?

We take care in every step of sourcing and making our beans. Starting with sourcing from NW regional farms that practice sustainable farming. These nutrient-rich beans are soaked to ensure their nutrients are available. We slow cook & infuse the beans with flavor from organic & regional vegetables. Finally, we add apple cider vinegar that further makes the beans easier to digest.

Can you tell us about the ingredients you use?

We source our ingredients from organic or sustainable farms as they grow better flavor. Our recipes are naturally delicious and nutrient-rich, not relying on sodium, fat, sugar (or worse, chemical additives) for flavor.

How about certifications?

All of Better Bean products are certified Non-GMO and Gluten-Free certified. In addition to these certifications, the product and facility are Soy-Free, Nut-Free, and Vegan. We know consumers value high-quality, organic products – that’s why Better Bean has recently added  2.5 oz single-serve bean dips that are both Certified Organic.

How can people use Better Bean products in their everyday life?

Beans are a delicious source of plant-based protein and can be a part of any meal! Whether you enjoy them as an appetizer with tortilla chips, as the star of your main course in a burrito bowl or tacos, or as a side dish that pulls the meal together – beans have a way of being extremely versatile.

Does Better Bean have any new news?

We are excited to announce Better Bean Uncanny Refried Black Beans are now carried by Imperfect FoodsBetter Bean from Wilsonville, Oregon, makes fresh, kettle-cooked, ready-to-eat beans sold in deli tubs. They are a long-time supporter of the Seattle VegFest.


Better Bean’s Uncanny Refried Black Beans & Dip

Better Bean’s Uncanny Refried Black Beans & Dip

Better Bean is happy to join a fantastic plant-based foods lineup from Imperfect Foods! Add a mixture of plant-based goodies to complement your produce order! Use code ‘BETTERBEAN’ for 30% off your first box from Imperfect Foods!

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