Wild Rice Mushroom Soup

I love the flavor of this comforting soup. A great fall recipe full of mushroomy and creamy goodness! I adapted this recipe from a cookbook called The Vegetarian Collection.

The original recipe calls for two different types of mushrooms, dried and fresh. I think you can use whatever two types of mushrooms you like, use what you have on hand.

 

- makes 6 servings -

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cups sliced or chopped mushrooms. Use two types of mushroom.
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice (follow package directions or this link)
  • 1/4 cup plain (unsweetened) almond milk

 

If you plan on using some dried mushrooms, make sure you pre-soak them.

In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium high heat. Sautee mushrooms and 1/4 tsp of the salt until golden, about 5 minutes.

Add broth, cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.

mushrooms in broth

 

In a large saucepan heat remaining oil over medium heat and fry onions, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper and remaining salt, stirring often until very soft, about 10 minutes.

Add broth and 2 cups water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, wild rice and almond milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, enjoy!

mushroom soup with broth added

wild mushroom soup

Pure delish!! Definitely a new favorite. Serve it with a salad and you’ve got a great, healthy meal.

Chocolate Cheesecake, Vegan Style

If you haven’t yet visited the site mouthwateringvegan.com, you have to! This site has incredible recipes. Don’t let some of the terms she uses throw you off if you live in Canada/US, just Google them and you’ll find what it means. Most things she uses are common.

Here is her The Best-Ever Chocoholics “Cheesecake” that I made for a girl’s night I hosted. Girls like chocolate.

Ingredients for Cake Base:

  • 13 Digestive cookies
  • ½ cup of walnuts – the fresher the better, I used some older ones and they were a bit overpowering
  • ½ cup of vegan butter (like Earth Balance), or coconut oil melted
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp coffee powder (instant coffee)
  • 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar, or confectioner’s sugar powder
  • zest of an orange or tangerine
  • 2 tbsp Kahlua (I drank the leftovers with Almond milk and ice…)
  • a pinch of salt

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Method for Base

So, first grease an 8 inch tin, and line it with greaseproof paper (I used a square glass pan). Then break the digestive biscuits into a processor, and process until crumbs are formed. Next add the cocoa powder, the coffee powder and icing sugar – pulse for a few seconds.

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Now add the walnuts to the processor, and process for a few moments – we do NOT want them powdered.  Then add the melted vegan butter or coconut oil to the biscuit crumbs, and process for a half a minute.

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Next, add the zest and kahlua and process again for a few seconds.  Your base is ready to add to your tin – spoon this mixture into your lined container, and flatten evenly with your fingers and the palms of your hands.  Now place this in the fridge for an hour or so until cooled.  Now time to make your filling.

Ingredients for Filling

  • 1 packet (349g) Firm Silken Tofu
  • 125g dark chocolate, melted either in the microwave or bain marie
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powdered mixed with 50 ml of hot water (mix into a paste, and allow to cool for a few minutes)
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, or confectioner’s sugar
  • shavings of dark chocolate for topping and decoration

Method for Filling

Place the tofu into your processor, and add the remaining ingredients. Process gently for a minute or so, until the ingredients are well blended and smooth.

Spoon filling onto the biscuit base with a plastic spatula, and even out as best you can.  Now add shavings of your dark chocolate on top to decorate.

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Next, cover with foil and place in the refrigerator overnight. (I just put mine in the freezer for a few hours until it was firm)

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The pics aren’t so great this week, my regular camera was gone. But hopefully they still capture the deliciousness :)

Satisfying A Craving with Gardein Crispy Tenders

In my pre-vegan days, one of my faves was always chicken fingers with honey dill sauce. They are fried, crunchy and salty – come on, who doesn’t enjoy that!? Thankfully there are so many products out there to satisfy these cravings – you don’t need to break down and eat animal parts. I gave the Gardein Crispy Tenders a try. Craving satisfied!!

I find any craving you have – it’s all about the texture and nutrients!! We don’t actually crave meat, cheese, and eggs, we crave things like salt, fat, sugar, carbs, protein, etc. Get the true craving correct and it’s easy to satisfy :)

I made honey dill sauce to go with the crispy tenders from veganaise, dill, and honey/agave. Just spoon out a glob of veganaise, add a bit of honey or agave until it’s the right color, sprinkle as much dill as you like, and stir.

Crispy non chicken tenders

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These make me a happy girl!!

Tofu-Spinach Lasagna

Don’t let the title scare you, you can not tell this is made with tofu – this lasagna is great!! The two types of tofu blended become just like the texture of ricotta cheese – brilliant! Because of all the great texture, you don’t even notice the cheese missing. It is so satisfying!

They key to make the flavor great starts with a good, flavorful, rich pasta/tomato sauce. Start with this and you will have a great result. I got this recipe from the recipe section of the ADAPTT website.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lasagna noodles (I used brown rice lasagna noodles)
  • 2 10-oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 lb. soft tofu
  • 1 lb. firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy milk (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tsp. minced basil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups (2 jars) tomato sauce

Cook the lasagna noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside on a towel. Be careful not to let them stick together. If this happens, run warm water over them to separate. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

cooking brown rice lasagna noodles

Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible and set aside. Place the tofu, sugar, soy milk, garlic powder, lemon juice, basil, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

getting ready to make vegan ricotta

vegan ricotta

Check out that texture!

Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of noodles (use about one-third). Follow with a layer of half of the tofu filling and half of the spinach.

assembling vegan lasagna layers

Continue in the same order using half of the remaining tomato sauce and noodles and all of the remaining tofu filling and spinach. End with the remaining noodles, covered by the remaining tomato sauce.

tomato sauce layer

oven ready vegan lasagna

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Makes six to eight servings.

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Red Lentil Soup

This soup is SO TASTY. It’s probably my favorite! It’s comforting and creamy. I love using my hand blender to puree soups right in the pot. If you don’t have one just use a normal blender or food processor – just make sure you let the steam escape or the lid might go flying!

I adapted this recipe from one I found off All Recipes. The original used dairy products.

Serves 6.
Ingredients:

1/8 cup Olive Oil (can be less, whatever you want, but it’s a big pot of soup)
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled (if desired) and chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

Heat oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Stir and cook the apples and vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

sweet potatoes, carrots, apples cooking
Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable broth into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes.

Working in batches, pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot.

beginning to puree soup
very creamy soup after pureeing
Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Optional: Add water/broth as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency.

This makes a good sized pot of soup! I have been meaning to freeze some, but we always end up eating it all up during the week. I would think it will freeze  well.

Nacho Dip

I’m a bit behind on posting what I’ve been cooking. I made this vegan Hearty Nachos recipe I got off the Forks Over Knives website for the Superbowl. My favorite thing of all time to eat is nachos, so when I became vegan I’ve since been looking for something satisfying like this. This will become a regular appetizer of mine for sure!

From the website this recipe was on: These nachos are a meal in and of themselves. You can also use the versatile cheese sauce on potatoes, raw or cooked vegetables, and cooked whole grains and legumes.

Cheese Sauce:
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) – with these I think less is more, add a little at first, taste and look at the color, then add more if you need
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 TB. tamari (or Bragg’s liquid aminos or low-sodium soy sauce)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water

Bean Dip:
1 (16-oz.) can oil-free refried beans (plain pinto beans will work, too)
1 cup prepared salsa
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder

Garnishes (optional):
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (parsley or lettuce can substitute)
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
Baked unsalted tortilla chips

 

  • In a blender, combine cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water. Blend on high until smooth and set aside.

blender with cashews, tahini, roasted red pepper, nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, cayenne pepper, and water

cashew nacho cheese sauce

 

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place beans, salsa, and chili powder. Continue to stir while the mixture heats and combines. Once the beans are smooth, turn off heat.

combining refried beans and salsa

  • Spread bean dip evenly onto the bottom of a medium-sized serving bowl or baking dish. Smooth surface and sprinkle cilantro over beans. Pour some or all of the Cheese Sauce on top of the cilantro. You can serve the extra Cheese Sauce on the side for the rest of the meal or for dipping. Or you can halve the recipe.

pouring cheese sauce on top of beans

YUM! This was great and very filling!

finished nacho dip

There is really nothing bad in here. Could it be…healthy nachos?? My belly thanks the creator of this recipe :)

The Best Creamy Mac and Cheese – Ultimate Comfort Food

Everyone loves a big bowl of creamy noodles, don’t they? I can’t think of a better comfort food. Since becoming vegan I never thought I’d have something like this again. But then I encountered this recipe, thanks to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and her book called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. This recipe makes me do a happy dance!

Creamy Mac and Cheese

1 ¼ cups raw cashews
½ cup nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons onion powder
1-2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 ½ cups nondairy milk (I used unsweetened Almond milk)
3 tablespoons of a thickener such as cornstarch (this is what I used) or kudzu root
½ cup canola oil (I used 1/4 coconut oil, 1/4 canola)
¼ cup light (yellow or white) miso paste – get this in the Asian section of your grocery store, it’s a soybean paste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (around 1 lemon)
12-16 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked (I used brown rice macaroni)

Instructions:

Add the cashews to the large bowl of the food processor, and using the pulse button, finely grind the cashews. Don’t allow the cashews to turn into a paste. Add the nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in the spices.

mac and cheese dry ingredients in food processor
Combine the milk, corn starch, and oil in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to low-medium, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the cornstarch is dissolved.

With the food processor running, gradually add the milk-oil mixture to the cashew/nutritional yeast mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Next, blend in the miso and lemon juice.

mac and cheese sauce in food processor

Combine the cheese with cooked macaroni and serve. If you have leftover sauce you can pour it over broccoli or cauliflower (or whatever else you want to sauce up!).

prepared vegan mac and cheese

delicious vegan mac and cheese

*Drool*

Any vegan or otherwise must try this! It delicious, and of course, way healthier than any chemical filled processed box of KD crap you buy at the store.

Vegan “Meatballs”

Whenever I am craving something I used to eat as a non-vegan, I just do a Google search for a vegan alternative. I came across this recipe for Vegan Meatballs (Mushroom “Neat” Balls).

I’ve had this recipe saved on my computer and have been wanting to try it. So I did, and wow…worth the wait and effort for sure!!

Ingredients for Neat Balls:

  • 2 2/3 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 lb. cremini or baby bella mushrooms (should make 2 cups when finely chopped)
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 vegan egg (EnerG egg replacer works great)
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup almond/nutritional yeast mix (half nutritional yeast, half finely milled almonds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions for Neat Balls

  • In a large saucepan, bring broth to a simmer over high heat. Add rice, reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir almost constantly during las 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer to large bowl.
  • In food processor, pulse mushrooms in batches until finely chopped.
  • In large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2-3 mins. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 3-5 mins. Add to bowl with rice; let cool.
  • Preheat oven to 400F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Add vegan egg, breadcrumbs, almond/nutritional yeast mix, parsley, salt and pepper to cooled rice mixture and mix well. Form mixture into about 24 oval-shaped nuggets, each about 2 by 1.5 inches.

raw vegan meatballs

  • In clean large nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium high heat; tilt to coat bottom. Add half the nuggets and cook until browned on all sides, about 2 mins per side. Turn nuggets over onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining nuggets. Bake until nuggets are browned and firm, around 15 mins.

grilling vegan meatballs

oven baked vegan meatballs

The recipe (link at the beginning of this post) included a tomato sauce, which I’m sure would be great with these as well. Instead I made my sweet and sour sauce.

Sauce:
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple chunks, with juice
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar*
*Or reg. cider vinegar and replace the last ½inch of the measuring cup w/ apple juice
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

I threw this in my slow cooker on high before starting the meatballs. You could easily heat it for a while on the stove top as well.

Mixed the sweet and sour sauce with some cooked brown rice, topped with “meatballs”. YUM!

sweet and sour vegan meatballs