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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!

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:

Black Bean Burgers

Makes 6 moderate burgers, or 4 large ones

Ingredients:
• 2 slices of whole-wheat toast (or 1 cup breadcrumbs)
• 1 small onion – chopped
• 1 cup cooked brown rice
• 2 cups black beans
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 2 tablespoons ketchup
• ¼ cup potato powder (or more)


Preheat the oven to 350 F, or warm up the grill.

Put all the remaining ingredients except the potato powder into a Food Processor. Pulse and mix until
well combined. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl, and sprinkle in the potato powder, kneading it
into the mixture until you have a soft dough. Add as much powder as needed so that it holds together
well.

Split the mixture into 6 balls, rolled in your hand, then flatten them to the thickness desired. If cooking
in an oven, place them on a baking tray, sprayed with oil to prevent sticking. Bake for about 12 minutes,
then turn over and bake for 10 more minutes. Cooking times on the grill will depend on the heat of the
grill. Spray the grill with oil first to prevent sticking. Turn over the patties when lightly browned, to
brown on both sides.

Serve alone, with salads, or as a traditional burger in a bun with all the fixings.

Chickpea Burgers

Makes 6 burger patties

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed, or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup cooked bulgur or brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup potato flour, or enough to make a stiff dough
  • Vegetable oil spray

Place the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 2-3 mins, until the seeds become fragrant and begin to pop. Grind them in a small spice grinder and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Place the beans in a food processor and pulse until chopped, or coarsely mash the beans with a potato masher, leaving some chunks.

Add the chopped beans to the vegetable mixture along with the cooked bulgur or rice, soy sauce, curry powder, cumin, salt, coriander and cayenne.  Mix thoroughly.

Stir in just enough of the potato flour to form a stiff dough.  Knead for 30 seconds and form into 6 patties. Lightly mist a nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray. Cook the patties in the skillet over medium heat for about 2 mins, until the bottoms are lightly browned. Turn the patties over, and cook for 2 mins longer, until lightly browned. Serve hot.

Mori-Nu Tofu – a different kind of tofu

MjpegTOFU_Organic1Mori-Nu Tofu has been a favorite product at Vegfest for many years.  We caught up with the marketing manager to learn more about the product.

How is Mori-Nu Tofu different from other kinds of tofu?

The main difference between Mori-Nu ™Silken Tofu and other types of tofu is the style/type, texture, and the fact that it is shelf stable. Mori-Nu’s Tofu is velvety smooth, creamy, custard-like, and consistent in composition. The other types of tofu are often referred to as Momen Tofu or regular tofu.  They are more porous, firm, and rough in texture.

Mori-Nu Tofu is shelf stable (1 year from production) and packaged in a Tetra Pak box. The box is hermetically sealed, and the tofu is formed inside. This allows continuous protection from light, air, bacteria, and micro-organisms that cause spoilage.  There are no preservatives in Mori-Nu tofu.  It is Non-GMO Verified, certified Gluten-Free (by GFCO/GIG), KSA Kosher Parve certified, and is available in six varieties.

Read more

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

Best Barley Recipes

BarleyAdd some variety to your grains by experimenting with barley. Barley is considered the first grain to be domesticated and many consider it more digestible than other grains.

The most basic edible form is hulled barley, where the outer inedible hull is removed, but the bran and germ of the grain remain. Pearled barley is steam-processed to remove more of the bran. Most of the barley found in the typical supermarket is pearl barley. Although it is technically a refined grain, it’s much healthier than other refined grains because (a) some of the bran may still be present and (b) the fiber in barley is distributed throughout the kernel, and not just in the outer bran layer. Pearl barley cooks more quickly than whole grain barley.

Barley is rich in nutrients, especially in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help lower cholesterol and cut the risk of diabetes.  It provides minerals such as manganese, selenium and copper, plus B vitamins and protein.  Like wheat and rye, barley contains gluten, which makes it useful as a flour, but unsuitable for those with gluten sensitivities. Read more

Zippy Zucchini Recipes

Zucchini - white backgroundZucchini, also known as a courgette, is a type of summer squash.  Green or yellow in color, and shaped like a cucumber, this nutritious vegetable provides vitamin A, folate, potassium and manganese, plus antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Like all vegetables, they have plenty of fiber.

Choose smooth, firm zucchini, and if you’re growing them yourself, don’t let them grow too large, as they become fibrous.  You can store them in the refrigerator for several days, but use them before they start to soften and the skins become pitted.

Most famous, perhaps, in the classic French recipe, Ratatouille, zucchini are extremely versatile. They can be consumed raw, as sticks for dipping in hummus or salsa for example, or they can be sliced thickly for veggie kebabs or stews, sliced thinly and lightly fried with herbs, cubed and included in a stir-fry or even split in half, stuffed and baked in the oven. Adding them to muffins or baking zucchini bread is a great way to get young children to eat some vegetables unknowingly!

Recipes:

  • Zucchini Corn Fritters

  • Ratatouille

  • Tacos de Chayote

Read more

Succulent Strawberry Recipes

strawberriesFresh strawberries are the sweet red fruit of the strawberry plant. They are at their best fresh in the summer months, although imported strawberries can be found year round.  Frozen strawberries are always available and work very well in smoothies or desserts where a fresh texture is not so important.

Strawberries contain natural sugars and some dietary fiber, with plenty of vitamin C. Fresh strawberries are delicious but they don’t keep for long, so be sure to wash and trim them, then eat them as soon as possible.

It’s well worth the investment in organic strawberries.  Non-organic strawberries are grown with a large selection of pesticides, making them some of the most toxin-laden produce available.  Organic strawberries on the other hand, are allowed to ripen slowly in the sun, absorbing the nutrients of the soil.  The result is a firmer fruit, with less water content and much more flavor.

Read more

Crunchy Cashew Recipes

The following recipe is from www.nutritionmd.org reprinted with permission 

cashewsCashew Tacos

Makes 12 tacos

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped raw cashews

1 cup shredded lettuce

12 warmed corn tortillas or 12 taco shells

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 zucchini, chopped

1 cup fresh tomato salsa

Sauté cashews, zucchini, onion, garlic, chili powder, water, tomato paste, and salt until onion turns translucent. Add 1/12 of the mixture to each tortilla or taco shell, followed by lettuce and salsa.

 

Untitled-1The following recipes are from The Veg-Feasting Cookbook

Broccoli and Cashews over Millet

Light and delicate, millet is a nice, high-protein alternative to couscous. The combination of millet, cashews, and broccoli makes a substantial side dish.

Serves 5

Ingredients

2 cups millet

6½ cups water

2 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons mustard seed

1 large bunch broccoli, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup cashews, chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

 

Place the millet and 6 cups of the water in a medium saucepan, cover and cook over medium-high heat until the millet is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. While the millet is cooking,

heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. As the seeds fry they will begin to pop (like popcorn). When you no longer hear any seeds popping (a minute or so), add the broccoli, onion, the remaining half cup of water, cashews and soy sauce. Sauté the ingredients until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes. Serve the sautéed mixture over the cooked millet.

 

Cashew Coconut Date Cookies

You can use pre-ground cardamom for this recipe or grind your own, which will give it a more intense flavor. Break the pods open and crush the black seeds with a mortar and pestle. Be sure the dates you use for this recipe are fresh and moist. Organic medjool dates are particularly nice.

Makes about 40 cookies

Ingredients

1½ cups quick or old-fashioned oats, ground fine in a food processor, or oat flour

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1 cup natural unsalted cashew butter

3 tablespoons water

½ cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup natural granulated sugar (like Sucanat)

2/3 cup nonhydrogenated margarine

2/3 cup unsweetened grated coconut

½ cup finely chopped pitted dates

Approximately 40 cashew halves (optional)

 

Heat the oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl whisk together the ground oats, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the cashew butter with the water in a large bowl until smooth. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the sugar and margarine and beat until completely incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat on low speed just until completely blended. Stir in the coconut and dates.

Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheets. Press each dough ball gently with your fingers, and nestle one cashew half, if using, into each dough ball. Bake until the tops are lightly browned but the cookies are still slightly soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks

Provençal Vegetable Quiche Recipe

Untitled-1Here’s another delicious alternative to using eggs.  Silken tofu can be used in many ways, such as for a breakfast scramble, a chocolate pudding, or as in this recipe, a quiche.  This recipe is from our own Veg-Feasting Cookbook, which is packed with delicious recipes from around the world, all provided by local restaurants and Vegfest chefs.

Provençal Vegetable Quiche

By Chef Robin Robertson, Author, Presenter at Vegfest

Silken tofu is used instead of eggs and cream in this light and luscious quiche. Mediterranean spiced vegetables and a flaky crust make it a good choice for a light lunch or supper entrée served with a crisp green salad.

Serves 4 to 6

Crust:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chilled corn oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cold water, or more as needed

Filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, white part only, washed well and chopped
  • 1½ cups chopped zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh or canned tomatoes, well drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups drained and crumbled firm silken tofu
  • 1 cup soymilk or other dairy-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan-style nondairy cheese (optional)

To make the crust, combine the flour, corn oil and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. With the machine running, add the water and process until the mixture forms a ball. Flatten the dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to fit into a 10-inch quiche pan or pie plate. Line the pan or plate with the dough and trim the edges.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and the liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Stir in the olives, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, soymilk, mustard, cayenne and salt to taste. Blend well. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the crust and sprinkle with the Parmesan-style cheese, if using. Pour the tofu mixture over all, distributing it evenly.

Bake until the filling is set and the top is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

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