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
Recipe adapted from recipe by Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan
1 large green cabbage, whole
1 cup cooked green lentils (1/2 cup dried lentils)
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:
Mori-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.
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
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
It is a tradition at this time of year for many people to bake cookies. If you’d like to try baking healthier cookies this year, try some of the following from “Vive le Vegan” by Dreena Burton, reprinted with permission:
Double Chocolate Almond Explosion Cookies
(makes 8-10 large cookies, or 12 smaller ones) Read more
Add 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
Zucchini, 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!
Fresh 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.
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.
Light and delicate, millet is a nice, high-protein alternative to couscous. The combination of millet, cashews, and broccoli makes a substantial side dish.
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
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
Here’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
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup chilled corn oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold water, or more as needed
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.