Thursday, December 22, 2011

20 vegan christmas recipes plus apron contest winner

My Brown Rice Christmas Maki are red, green – and lean.
It's almost 60 degrees in Philadelphia today– not exactly Christmas weather. But warm or cold, Christmas is coming. Despite my best efforts at staying organized, I am still trying to figure out what to cook for the upcoming Christmas festivities.

For those of you who are, like me, still finalizing your holiday menus, I've compiled a handy-dandy list of 20 of my Christmas-friendly vegan recipes. Four from my "Feast of the Seven Grains" menu in Celebrate Vegan appear today on the Today Show web site – so cool that vegan is finally going mainstream. Happy, healthy holidays, everyone!
  • Congratulations to VegieGail, winner of the retro apron. Gail, please email me and tell me your mailing address.
Appetizers and Sides
Brown Rice Christmas Maki  [Today Show]
Gussied-Up Tabbouleh  [Today Show, scroll down]
Darling Brussels Sprouts 
Lemony Raw Kale Salad
Insanely Thick and Comforting Squash Soup

Polenta-Kale Cutlets with Basil Aoïli  [Today Show, scroll down]
Pink Ribbon Risotto 
Thai-Centric Mac & Cheese [, video plus recipe]
Seitan with Apples, Quince and Onion [Today Show, scroll down]
Millet-Crusted Mushroom-Leek Pie [Girlie Girl Army, scroll down]

Banana-Spelt Bread [Today Show, scroll down]
Tartlettes au Citron [Girlie Girl Army]
Pumpkin-Swirl Cheesecake [Grid, scroll down]
Blood Orange Cupcakes with Easy Dark Chocolate Ganache [Grid]
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake [Today Show, scroll down]

Italian Mojito

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

oh my darling brussels sprouts

Cranky Brussels sprouts meet nicey-nice clementines
It seems you can't enter a supermarket this time of year without facing a mountain of crated clementines – and buying a box or two. Part of their appeal is that clementines look and taste like little balls of sunshine – especially important during these cloudy, dreary months. While recovering from my surgery and trying to build back my appetite, these petite orange gems have consistently appealed to me: super sweet, easy to peel, and loaded with healing vitamin C.

I'm not one for cutesy recipe names. But I hope you'll indulge me just this once as I pair the sweet clementine with the cantankerous Brussels sprout. Even though Brussels sprouts can be assertively bitter, a shot of clementine juice subtly tempers and brightens the strong flavor of these mini cabbages. These make a great side, but I also love them served at room temperature, tossed in a green salad. This is a low-fat recipe.

Hint: To quickly juice the clemmies, wash your hands, put on an apron, and give them a gentle squeeze. Speaking of aprons, don't forget to enter my retro apron giveaway contest!

Darling Brussels Sprouts [Clementine-Infused Brussels Sprouts] 

  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • About 1/2 cup clementine juice [From about 4 clementines]
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup veggie broth, white wine, or water, in order of preference
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a 9 x 13 inch roasting dish. Let marinade sit for about 10 minutes, while you clean the Brussels sprouts. [You can make the marinade up to a day before. The longer it sits, the better.]

Toss the sprouts in the marinade, mixing well and ensuring all sprouts are covered and glossy. Bake for 20-30 minutes, checking every 5 minutes until sprouts are tender crisp. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

cute retro apron apron giveaway!

"Wearing this apron makes me feel like kicking Anthony Bourdain's ass – politely, of course!"

Sorry, no recipes today, kidlets. Truth is, since I had my surgery, I haven't had much of an appetite, although it is finally beginning to reappear. But since it's the season of giving, and my blog supporters have been very, very nice,  I thought another giveaway might be in order. [Thanks for all your well wishes, by the way.] is a très cool fashionista online store, chock-full of vintage-inspired and classic women's dresses, aprons, and accessories.  I love how well edited this site is; check out this sexy pencil skirt, for example, and this va-va-voom shift. You can even choose clothing based on your body type by answering a few quick questions. Clothes come is sizes ranging from XXS to XL, and Shabby Apple even offers a 10% off coupon if you sign up for their email. They are also very, very nice because they offered to sponsor this giveaway.

To win the Strawberry Shortcake apron pictured above, you need to do two things (both, not one or the other ):

1. Browse the Shabby Apple site and list, as a comment, the one item on the site you would ask Santa for.
2. "Like" Shabby Apple on Facebook.

Sorry folks, but this contest is only open to those with US shipping addresses.

Good luck. I'll announce the winner in a few days, and will hopefully, by then, will have some new recipes to share.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

stuffed poblanos with tamarind-maple lentils and contest winner

Not your mama's stuffed pepper
Sorry I've been off the grid. Mid-week, I had a procedure done in the hospital for my ginormous fibroid. I stayed overnight and have been recuperating at home for the past several days. Since my appetite has gone on vacation and I've been in a bit of pain, I haven't been cooking much [thank goodness for smoothies and Satsumas!]. But I'd like to share a recipe I created before my surgery for Stuffed Poblanos with Tamarind-Maple Lentils. I think I'll be making it often.

When it comes to heat, poblano peppers can be hit or miss. Sometimes, they taste as mild and sweet as bell peppers, and sometimes they are hotter than a hoochie mama in Daisy Dukes and stilettos.  I thought that stuffing poblanos with a sweet [apples or quince, sweet potatoes and maple syrup] and sour [tamarind, lime] lentil mixture would complement every segment of the poblano heat spectrum. This is also a pretty dish to serve up: deep green peppers punctuated with umber lentils, sparks of orange sweet potatoes, purple peppers and sunny yellow cheese.  [Oh, the phytochemicals!]

Stuffed poblanos, just out of the oven.
It's also flexible. You can use bell peppers instead of the poblanos. You can also make the lentil mixture on its own as a side dish or Sloppy Joe recipe. And if you skip, or reduce the amount, of Daiya cheese, this recipe can be very low fat. Although this recipe is a bit time-consuming to make, if you like complex Southwestern food, it's worth the effort.

Before I hand over the recipe, I'd like to announce the winner of the Ovega contest. Congratulations to ....drumroll!.... DREAMINITVEGAN! Please email me and tell me your address.

Stuffed Poblanos with Tamarind-Maple Lentils
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1 quince or apple, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 poblano peppers, seeded, gutted. Dice the tops finely and set aside
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Daiya Pepper Jack cheese [optional but wonderful]

Serves 6

Cook the lentils and apple or quince in the vegetable broth: Cover, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes or until all water is absorbed and fruits, potatoes and lentils are soft. [If they're soft and still liquidy, feel free to just drain the excess water.] Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment [for easy clean-up later].

In a large, non-stick saute pan, heat oil over medium. Add diced pepper tops, garlic, and onion. Cook until soft, about 5-10 minutes, adding a bit of water and/or salt to the pan, as needed, if oil dries out. Once soft, add the cooked lentil mixture to the pan and mix well with remaining ingredients, except for the Daiya cheese. Stuff the peppers with the mixture. Arrange on the cookie sheet and top with cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

omega-3-rich millet recipe and giveaway contest

A sunshine-yellow, gluten free side, rich in omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids. You hear a lot about them in the media, because most Americans are deficient, but what are they. exactly? Omega 3s are basically good fats that support brain, eye and heart health. They are essential to the anti-inflammatory process.

Most people [are primed to] think that omega-3 fatty acids come from fish. Wrong! Fish get their omegas from algae. Most of the salmon that Americans consume actually comes from fish farms. Ironically, even though these farm-bred salmon are touted as good sources of omega-3s, they never even enjoy as much as a nibble of the power-packed algae that supplies omega 3s.

Lots of vegan food sources of omeag-3s exist. Personally, I'm not into algae, but I do add Green Superfoods Powder and ground flaxseeds to my smoothies. [Remember: you need to grind the flax or the beneficial omegas will right pass through your system with the rest of the seeds] Ground flax is also a nice nutty topping when sprinkled over salads and vegan gratins. Walnuts, soybeans and tofu are also excellent omega-3 sources, as is purslane–but it's rarely available here.

This wintry omega-3 millet recipe gets its flavor – and a boatload of phytochemicals–from an earthy triumvirate of mushrooms, and its sunny yellow disposition from a spoonful of turmeric. Did I mention that it's low fat? And if you're interested in trying a vegan omega-3 supplement, scroll down for the giveaway contest details...

This millet makes a tasty foundation for the Blackened Tofu in Isa Chandra Moskowitz' Appetite for Reduction, my latest obsession
oh! Mega-3 Mushroom Millet
  • 1/2 cup dried mushrooms [eg, porcini, oyster, black]
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, chopped [eg, cremini, shiitake, oyster]
  • Extra water, broth or white wine for low-fat sauteeing
  • 1 cup millet
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Serves 4-6

  1. Soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for at least 15 minutes. Set aside. [Do not toss water.]
  2. Heat oil in a large casserole over medium. Saute garlic, ginger and shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. If they start to dry out, sprinkle with a bit of salt, and add 1 T of water, broth or white wine to reconstitute. This keeps the dish low in fat.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms. Cook until soft. Again, continue adding more liquid as needed to water saute.
  4. Add soaked mushrooms, soaking water, broth, millet, edamame and turmeric. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Stir in parsley and fluff with a fork. Top with toasted nuts.
Ovega 3 Giveaway Contest
Ovega-3 is a vegan supplement that contains omega-3s in the form of DHA and EPA. The good folks at Ovega sent me some samples to try, and I'm hooked [pun kinda' intended]. I like the fact that I can get my daily dose of brain-boosting DHA and cardioprotective EPA in just one tablet.

Ovega-3 would like to give a bottle of their supplement to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment. Please make sure there's a way I can contact you, either via email or a blog. I'll pick one lucky winner late next week.