A Cruelty Free Holiday – Vegan Holiday Basics

A Cruelty Free Holiday – Vegan Holiday Basics

 What would the holiday season be like without our favorite family traditional foods?  That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it?  Finding time with our loved ones to talk and enjoy the foods we grew up loving and savoring for the fall?  My Mom has the most beautiful set of China that only sees the light of day on 2 days each year.  Thanksgiving and Christmas need to have a special menu for those times together.  Special for all.  These basic dishes I’ve put together have all the flavors of fall without the cruelty and expense of slaughter.  Baked, buttery potatoes.  Creamy Slaw salads.  Flakey crusts dripping with piping hot berries in syrup.  Why bring animals into that mix when the food is so fine without them?    Take a look:   Sliced Red and Sweet Potatoes with a touch of Sweet Peppers.   Adapted from a family tradition from both my husband and mine’s youth, it bakes up in minutes, has endless variations for veggies and will last the week while you rest your feet and enjoy your guests.  Christmas Rice – Wild Rice with Spinach and Pomegranates    Brussels Sprouts with Radicchio in a Brown Mustard Orange Glaze  …

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Potato Salad Chixen Pot Pie – featuring @BeyondMeat + Food for Thought

Potato Salad Chixen Pot Pie – featuring @BeyondMeat + Food for Thought

This post is linked to the Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck event. Have you ever heard of the idea that fruits and vegetables can resemble the human organs that their nutrients benefit the most? Here’s a quick look if you’ve missed it along the way.  In reality, there are just so many different health benefits that come from eating Brussels Sprouts (remembered the ‘s’ Rika! ) that it really does throw the whole “fresh foods vs. body part benefit theory” right out the window.  But, it’s still a nice thought, if only for a few seconds of your day, that fruits and veggies are somehow color coded for ease of use for us. I, for one, have much better things to do with my time than to contemplate it much longer.  But wouldn’t that be pretty cool if it were true?  I’m wondering now which body part looks like a big chunk of dark chocolate?     I am sure that a variety of different fresh foods are the best way to go.   I think that was my thought when I made up this ‘Potato Salad Pot Pie’.  I think I was trying to get all of them into one dish…

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Spiced Up Tomato-Potato Salad

Spiced Up Tomato-Potato Salad

 I’m beginning to hide Kale in all kinds of places.  This tangy spiced up version of a healthier potato salad has all the great flavors of what I remember Mom’s Miracle Whip version.  It uses a little jalapeno to give it some bite and vegan mayo for the sauce.  I like keeping my potatoes fairly large when I make a salad like this.  Of course, I could probably eat a bowl of potatoes with just salt and pepper on them, but this is much better than just that of course.  I mixed in cherry tomatoes which give the salad it’s sour tangy hint and also add the slight liquid of the tomato juice to keep it from being too heavy in the summer heat.  I also liked how the crunchy celery blends with the wilted kale for a variety of textures apart from just big chunks of potato.  You can adjust the mustard up or down.  I’m somewhere in between on this recipe with mustard.  I want that vinegar background but I also want some heat and some saltiness.  I think the proportions a well-balanced but of course, test the sauce before mixing it in with the vegetables so that…

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Southwestern BBQ Vegetable Hash with @BeyondMeat Crumbles

Southwestern BBQ Vegetable Hash with @BeyondMeat Crumbles

    My first attempt at using Beyond Meat products went so well yesterday.  I can’t wait now to try out all their other non-meat products in my recipes.  It was kinda weird using ‘meat’ again?  The taste in this hash was spot on.  I originally planned on mixing up just a simple vegetable spicy hash with potatoes, onion and some yellow squash I needed to use.  This turned out much more tasty with red beets, celery, Southwestern seasonings, a tiny touch of liquid smoke, and of course, the Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles.  I purchased this 11 oz. bag at Whole Foods Grocery.  They were on sale for $4.99 which made them comparable to what a package of lean ground beef would have been for the recipe anyway.  11 grams of protein per serving.  The product’s main component is pea protein.  Who’d a thought?  A very tasty alternative to meat I’d say.  I can’t wait to use this ‘Feisty’ Beyond Meat in chili and Sloppy Joes.  And if I had known the southwestern flavors would be so good, I most likely would have picked up some chips to scoop up my hash with.  It really is a perfect Mexican dish as…

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7 Layer Root Vegetable Roundup

7 Layer Root Vegetable Roundup

    One of my childhood Sunday dinner memories is watching Mom carry a big, rectangular Pyrex glass pan, choke full of love, over to the center of our table.  She’d hold tight on either side with oven mitts to keep from scorching her fingers.  What was in that steaming hot pan? Sliced potatoes, layered with onion, a little salt and pepper and margarine,  baked to a tender deliciousness with a crispy, browned top. Such a great dish.  And my new Veganized version is ideal for a meal full of comfort, memories and the flavors of earthy, rich root vegetables.    I’ve been perfecting this childhood memory quite a bit lately in its plain potato with onion version.  I’ve tried caramelizing the onion before spreading them throughout the layers.  Adding a little red pepper flakes (no not me?)  Each time I’ve made this in the past few months, I’ve given an old classic a new twist.  This month, I found a fabulous service that delivers fresh veggies to my doorstep each week.  (Thanks again Gena for the heads up on From The Farmer DC) With these deliveries comes a need to make good with, and appreciate what you’ve been blest…

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Yet Another Tomato Soup…. & Crispy Veggie Jerky

Yet Another Tomato Soup…. & Crispy Veggie Jerky

Oh no………..it’s warmer outside now and she’s still making Soup…….what the ….?  But wait!!  This one has a twist.   So here’s the real story on my crispy spicy veggie jerky discovery.  Last week, I bought a bunch of salad veggies.  Saturday, I had some time and used the salad veggies to make a soup so they wouldn’t spoil in the fridge.  And Monday, I blended all the remaining soup up, added some more tomato paste, and spread the whole mess onto 3 trays to dehydrate.  Oh wait.  I may have added a little more red pepper flakes to the spread too.  Dehydrated for a few hours and then flipped the hardening spread over to get them nice and crispy.  After about 10 hours, I had the most deliciously crispy, spicy, crunchy snack.  And all from a bunch of old raggity spoiling veggies last week.   Life is good sometimes!   You must try this.  Don’t have a dehydrator?  Just use your oven on it’s lowest temp and keep an eye on it that it doesn’t burn.  Oh, did I mention that your whole house will smell like the Pizza Guy just showed up with a pippin’ hot crusty Italian…

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Vegan ‘Cheezy’ Potato Casserole

Vegan ‘Cheezy’ Potato Casserole

    This potato casserole has been handed down from my husband’s family now to my family for decades of holiday meals.  Unfortunately, there is almost Nothing nutritious about the original recipe.  I felt the need to finally come up with a Vegan version that I could enjoy for the holidays.  My new version is admittedly still very processed with store bought Vegan cheeses but with my work schedule this month and my close proximity to no less than 5 health food grocery stores, I’ve splurged on convenience and taste for this recipe re-do. So before you start wincing about the store bought ingredients in my version, I’ll share just how ‘un-healthful’ the traditional family recipe is: 2 pounds diced potatoes, 2 cups sour cream, 3 cups of cheddar cheese, 1 can cream of chix soup, 1/2  pound of butter and some cornflakes.   Yea.  Delicious and heart-horrible to say the least. My version came out slightly less tasty.  But you can eat half the pan if you’d like without much guilt at all!  

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Annie’s Potato Cauliflower Soup

Annie’s Potato Cauliflower Soup

First off, the winner of the Puro Coffee Giftpack is….. Judy Thomas!  Snowing here today and it is definitely time for a big bowl of steaming, healthy hot soup.  I first saw this soup a few weeks back on An Unrefined Vegan and I had to give it a try.  I am a huge Corn Chowder fan and this one fell into that line for me just perfectly.  I did leave my potatoes cubed instead of creaming all of them.  Other than that, Annie’s recipe was perfect for me.  Creamy without the cream.  Filling without leaving you bloated and sleepy.  It has a texture that cries out to be a wonderful meal on its own and then an even better left-over side dish with a big salad or more veggies.  A few red pepper flakes will wake it up and leave you asking for seconds.  Winter soups are so soul satisfying. You can fill up the pot with some wonderful seasonal vegetables, a little non-dairy milk, some seasonings and you’re in business for a quick and easy satisfying meal. I tend to make huge batches of soup so I can serve them up for a few meals and then freeze…

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Summer Corn Chowder with Spicy Croutons

Summer Corn Chowder with Spicy Croutons

  With the heat of summer upon us, who wants a hot soup of all things?  Well, I do sometimes for my dinner with a side salad.  This light veggie filled soup uses summer vegetables with a light and mildly flavored broth to fill you up without weighing you down on a steamy summer evening.  Pair a bowl of this Corn Chowder up with some sliced veggies with dip and a icy cold beverage and you’ll have a wonderfully nutritious summer meal that doesn’t leave you standing over the stove for hours waiting for the flavors to meld.  You’re not going to boil this one away for hours like traditional chowders or feel stuffed from a heavy cream version like traditional chowders. Fresh summer corn on the cob, a few potato chunks, some diced beets and sliced cucumbers are all this soup needs. And the crunchy spicy croutons make a great topping to meld in with flavors from the broth as well. The croutons can help use up some stale bread from those humid summer days as well.  Homemade croutons are so delicious and easy to fry up in minutes.  Or dehydrate a few bread slices if you’re really trying…

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Iron Skillet Potato Cake with Chives

 These potatoes, a very common recipe, will make even the most picky dinner guest behave well enough to be offered seconds……….. My husband and I were both raised with similar potato dishes from Moms who most likely found the recipe in Good Housekeeping magazine at  some point and made it into a family basic.  Often requested and definitely enjoyed by all.  I cooked these up in a skillet but they’ve been made more often than not stacked up in a glass Pyrex pan and baked in the oven until they are toasty brown on the edges and deliciously tender underneath.  They’re also perfectly acceptable with sliced onion layered between the potato.  Or any of a gazillion different variations thousands of families have developed over the last 100 years.  Here’s just one version I made up today: Iron Skillet Potato Cakes with Chives 10 – 12 Red Potatoes sliced thin, rinsed, chilled in ice water and dried 1/2 Cup Olive Oil Tbs. Fresh Rosemary Sprigs (optional) Toasted Onion Powder Salt & Pepper Fresh Chives for garnish Heat half of the Olive Oil in the bottom of an Iron Skillet pan on medium heat.  Arrange half of the potato slices in a spiral around the…

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Mom’s Stove Top Sliced Potatoes with Onion

Mom’s Stove Top Sliced Potatoes with Onion

When our Thanksgiving this year did not include my Mom’s traditional dinner……….., the one I’ve eaten annually for 4 decades,  I started having cravings for traditional dishes that always reduce stress, are always inexpensive, and relatively easy to fix. My Mom’s sliced potatoes with onion recipe fit the bill for our weekend at home. The weather is turning colder and it’s time to enjoy some home cooked meals. Mom’s Sliced Potatoes with Onion:                                         1.   Slice 8 – 10 White Potatoes into 1/4  inch slices.   2.  Store sliced potatoes in an ice water bath for 1 hour (to reduce browning and starch)  3.  Slice 2 medium onions into slices or dice.   4.  In a large fry pan, arrange alternating layers of drained, dried potato slices and onions.  5.  Season each layer with salt and pepper.  6.  Place about 4 Tbs. of vegetable spread or Olive Oil onto the top layer.               7.  Cover pan allowing a vent for steam to release and cook potatoes on medium- low heat for approximately 30 minutes…

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Tsahob Soup – Yellow Veggies with Black Beans

Yellow vegetables provide us with Beta-Carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C Yellow Veggies are Packed with Nutrients  Read more here:http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/2011/03/29/10-reasons-to-eat-orange-and-yellow-fruits-and-veggie These bright-colored fruits and vegetables contain zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, vitamin C and beta-carotene, which is vitamin A. Tsahob Soup –  Yellow Veggies with Black Beans Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 3 Medium size Yellow Beets, washed, peeled, sliced 1 Medium Sweet Potato, peeled and diced 1  Potato, Cubed 3 Medium Yellow Squash 1 Can Low sodium Corn 1 Yellow Apple, Cored, Diced 2 Cups filtered water 3 Tbs. Olive Oil 1 tsp. Sea Salt 1 tsp. Black Pepper 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes 1 tsp. ground Tumeric 1 Vegetable Bullion cubes 1/2  to 1 cup of  Non Dairy Milk to adjust desired thickness of the soup. 2 Cans Black Beans, rinsed well In a large pot, heat Olive Oil and add in all the fresh vegetables.   Stir to saute for about 15 minutes on medium high heat. Add in all other ingredients except the Black Beans and the Non Dairy Milk.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. After the potatoes have softened, spoon the soup in batches to a blender or food processor and puree…

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Sweet Potato Stew – V, GF

Sweet Potato Stew – V, GF

I recently had my recipe for Sweet Potato Cheesecake featured on Kolor Blind Magazine in an article promoting the One website. Post A Sweet Potato Recipe And Save A Life! One is  promoting Sweet Potatoes to bring attention to so many problems with World Hunger.  Take a minute and check out the site for more information on how you can help or submit a Sweet Potato recipe of your own! This stew was inspired by many of the’ One’ Sweet Potato Recipes I found after posting one of my favorites from Averie Cooks, Roasted Carrot and Red Pepper Peanut Soup. I  love Averie’s but with the cold weather starting , I wanted to make a chunky veggie soup with a creamy base, &  keep it Dairy Free. Sweet Potato Stew – Vegan & Gluten Free 1 large or 2 small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks 16 Oz. Bag of Frozen Vegetables ( I used one that had Green Beans, Okra, Corn & Onions) 1 Can of Corn 1 (29) oz. Can of Tomato Sauce 1 (14.5) oz. Can of Diced Tomatoes 1 Celery Stalk chopped 1/2 Cup diced Carrots 2 Cans of Organic Black Beans, rinsed and drained 2…

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Dairy Free Corn Potato Chowder

You can throw this one together in under 30 minutes: Ingredients1 28 oz package of  frozen ‘Obrien’s Style’ Hash browns (cubed potatoes w/ onion and peppers)1 cup water or vegetable or chicken stock1 medium Red Potato cut in large cubes (optional)1 Jalapeno or Red Pepper sliced thin2 Cans of Corn drained1/2 tsp. Black Pepper1 tsp. Sea Salt1 Chicken Bullion cube (omit if using vegetable broth instead of water)1/4 cup lentils (optional, but a great source of folic acid ladies)1 Pint Soy Creamer In a medium size sauce pan, heat 1/2 of the hash brown potatoes with the water to a boil for about 5 minutes or until the water has reduced down and the potatoes have absorbed almost all of it. First half of the hash brown bag cooked and mashed.  This will thicken the soup since this is a dairy free option. Mash the potatoes until smooth.  Add in all remaining ingredients and heat another 10 minutes bringing back to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer.  Add in bacon or ham or chicken even to make a main dish.Serve with crackers, bread, or as a side dish.  Even better the following day heated back up.  …

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