Easy At-Home Vegan Recipes

(as featured in APNM's Making Tracks Magazine)

Kale chips are all the rage now—with good reason. This deep green, low calorie, nutritional powerhouse is a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins A, Folate (B), C, K, and minerals, and makes a great alternative to potato chips. Don’t be surprised by how quickly this snack will be devoured!

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Sort through the kale, removing stems. Place kale leaves into a very large bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, thoroughly mix olive oil, Parma cheese, and pepper.
Pour the mixture over the kale and toss to coat all the kale.
Line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. Distribute the kale evenly between the baking sheets, spreading it as evenly as possible, in as thin a layer as possible. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until kale is crispy. When done, remove from oven and let cool for ten minutes before serving.
*Note that bagged kale is chopped small. For bigger, potato chip size kale chips, use two bunches of fresh kale and chop into bigger pieces.

• 1 10-ounce bag of chopped, fresh kale*
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 3 TBS Parma** vegan parmesan cheese
• sprinkle of finely ground pepper
• baking parchment
** Parma is a delicious brand of vegan parmesan cheese. If necessary, substitute with your favorite brand of vegan parmesan cheese.

Adapted from a recipe for Corn Chowder in The Conscious Cook by renowned chef, Tal Ronnen, this delicious meal makes use of a summer staple, corn. Organic ingredients are always preferable. Serves six.

• 4 TBS high quality cooking oil (coconut
oil makes a wonderful sautéing oil)
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 1 stalk celery, diced
• 1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
• 5 to 6 cups vegetable stock
• 1 dried chipotle pepper, diced
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• 2 potatoes, cut into small chunks
• 1 bag frozen corn (equivalent to about 6
ears of corn)
• 2 TBS minced fresh chives (or dried and
rehydrated)
• 1 ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
• black pepper, to taste
• 1 ½ cups cashew cream*

In a large soup pot (cast iron works well), make a soup base by sautéing the
onions, celery, carrots, red bell pepper and chipotle pepper with oil for several
minutes, and then add the vegetable stock. Add the potatoes and thyme, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until potatoes are done (15-20 minutes). Smash the potatoes against the side of the pot to create a thicker soup. Add the corn, chives, salt and pepper, and cashew cream, and cook on low for
10 more minutes. Serve with kale salad (see Making Tracks Spring 2015 edition) and your favorite bread for a hearty and healthy meal.

*Cashew Cream
Rinse about 1½ cups raw cashews, add enough cold water to cover them, cover the bowl and soak for about 8 hours in the refrigerator. Drain the cashews, rinse again, then place in a food processor with enough cold water to cover them by one inch and blend until very smooth.

...

For this sweet and tropical dish, be sure to have a wok, two large, heavy bowls, apron, and splatter screen on hand before you begin. Serves two.

• 1 package (14-16 oz.) Extra Firm tofu
• 1/3 cup high temperature oil (safflower,
peanut, or canola)
• 1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped
• 5 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped
• 1/2 tsp peeled and chopped ginger root
• 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
• 4 TBS plum sauce
• 1 cup jasmine rice (prepared)

Drain tofu and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Using cheesecloth or paper towels, line bottom of first bowl and place tofu squares on lining in a single layer. Top with more cheesecloth/ paper towels and tofu in layers until all tofu is drying in the bowl. Place second bowl on top of the contents in first bowl. Let sit for at least 1/2 hour. Drain the pineapple, setting juice aside. Heat oil in wok on high heat (or 350 degrees if using electric wok). Inspect tofu cubes—they should be completely dry. If not, repeat towel-drying process. Gently add tofu cubes using a slotted spatula. [Note: be sure tofu is completely dry! Water droplets in hot oil can be a dangerous splatter hazard.] Place splatter screen on wok and cook for five minutes, gently agitating contents of wok to avoid sticking. Flip tofu using spatula until golden brown. Remove from wok, cover, and set aside. Reduce heat to medium (300 degrees in electric wok) and add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir fry for two minutes. Add pineapple, fry for two minutes. Remove wok from heat. Add plum sauce and pineapple juice to wok contents, stir. Add tofu squares and stir. Serve over jasmine rice.

 

 

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Eating kale and other foods rich in antioxidants is a great way to give your system a “spring cleaning,” eliminating excess free radicals that can damage healthy cells. Just a cup of kale has the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Although kale is a winter green, it is usually available in early spring and often year round. Several varieties can be used including curly kale, Tuscan kale, and dinosaur kale, which has large, dark blue flat leaves, an interesting bumpy texture, and a nuttier flavor. Super food, super simple!

Toss dry salad ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Mix salad dressing separately and toss in with salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly for at least five minutes to allow the avocado and dressing to fully coat the kale. Let salad marinate for thirty minutes before serving. Add salt sparingly as kale has a naturally, slightly salty flavor. Top with toasted bread cubes or croutons (optional).

Salad
• 8 oz. shredded kale
• 1 cup shredded carrot
• 1 ½ cups diced avocado
• 1 ½ cups diced tomato
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Dressing
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
• 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
• ½ tsp cayenne pepper powder (more to taste)
• pinch of red pepper flakes


Vegan Holiday Treats: Haystacks and Peanut Butter Cups

Haystacks ~ no holiday candy is easier or more delicious than these morsels. Shown decorated with candied lavender and gel.

• 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
• 3/4 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut
• candy mold trays

Using a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate chips, add the shredded coconut and mix well. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, drop mixture into candy mold circles and press down to fill mold.

Refrigerate until hardened (about 2 hours). Remove from refrigerator when ready to eat. Place each candy in a candy paper and store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Cups ~ adapted from a recipe at allrecipes.com. Shown decorated with cake gel and peanut half.

• 1 11.5 oz. pckg. vegan chocolate chips
(divided into two equal portions)
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

Fill a small muffin tin with candy papers. Using a double boiler, slowly melt half the chocolate chips. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, drop a dollop of chocolate into each paper, drawing the chocolate up the sides of the paper to create a “cup” of chocolate that is evenly coated on the paper. Be sure the chocolate sticks to the sides of the paper and that it’s not too thick on the bottom. Fill approximately 2 dozen papers using this method. Refrigerate until the chocolate is firm.

In a small bowl, mix together the peanut butter, salt, and confectioners’ sugar (the mixture should be fairly stiff). Melt the other half of the chocolate chips in a double boiler. Remove the chocolate “cups” from refrigerator, drop a small spoonful of peanut butter mixture into each “cup”. Then using a small spoon, drop a dollop of melted chocolate on each candy, spreading it to the edge of the paper to cover the peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate until firm, remove from muffin tins, store in covered container in refrigerator. Enjoy!

 

Green Chile Stew

Take advantage of seasonal roasted green chiles in this hearty fall dish. Serves six to eight.

• 1 32-ounce container of vegetable broth
• 2 cups water
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 cup onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup baby carrots, chopped
• 3 potatoes, diced
• 1 13-ounce container of Bueno Hatch
Autumn Roast Chile (or fresh roasted
green chiles)
• 2 ounces protein of your choice (tofu,
vegan ground beef)
• 2 cups uncooked rice
• 1 TBS olive oil
• salt, to taste
• pepper

If using tofu, drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels, then cut into cubes.In a large soup pot, heat the tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and tofu or ground “beef” until lightly browned. Next, add vegetable broth and water, bringing everything back to a simmer. Add the chile (entire contents of container), carrots, rice, and potatoes.Continue to simmer on low. Cook for about 40 mins (check to make sure the potatoes and carrots are soft). If rice is not yet done, add additional broth or water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a salad or tortillas (for extra carbs and
energy) and enjoy!

 

Fresh Corn & Pepper Pasta Salad

• 14 poblano chili peppers (1 lb)
• 1 fresh jalapeño pepper
• 8 medium tomatoes (2 lb), coarsely chopped
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/3 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds
• kernels from 4 ears fresh corn, raw
• 1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
• 3 garlic cloves, minced• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/4 cup olive oil• salt, to taste
• 12 oz short pasta (ie.gemelli or rotini)
• Garnish: more fresh cilantro leavesPlace

Place poblano peppers on their sides and broil on the rack of a broiler pan in oven about 2 inches from heat. Roast peppers, turning them with tongs, until skins are blackened, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer peppers to a bowl, then cover and let steam 10 minutes.Peel poblano peppers, discard seeds and ribs, then coarsely chop. Chop jalapeño pepper and omit seeds for a less spicy salad. Transfer both types of peppers to a large serving bowl and stir in tomatoes, oregano, and cilantro. Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over moderate heat, stirring until puffed and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes (seeds will pop as they puff). Transfer seeds to a small bowl.Add half of corn to skillet and dry-roast over moderate heat, stirring frequent-ly, until browned in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to pepper/tomato mixture. Cook remaining corn in same manner, add it to pepper/tomato mixture.Dry-roast onion in cast iron skillet, turning frequently until browned but still slightly crisp. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Stir into pepper/tomato/corn mixture.Cook garlic and cumin in oil in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir into pepper/tomato/corn mixture. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain. Add pasta to mixture and toss. Season with salt and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Butternut Squash Soup

This rich, luscious soup will turn out best if you use locally grown, organic ingredients. APNM Executive Director, Elisabeth Jennings, provided the recipe. She says,"I eagerly await fall produce each year so I can make this soup!" Serve with a green salad and fresh bread for a satisfying fall meal. Serves six to eight.

  Butternut Squash Soup
   
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil (grapeseed works well: it's a high-quality, high-heat oil)
  • 1 small-medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • 1 bottle of your favorite, organic, white table wine
  • 2 - 3 cups vegan broth (you can make your own using finely diced carrots, celery, garlic, and any available greens, or try Rapunzel brand, no-salt bouillon cubes)
  • 1 small, fresh bunch sage, chopped, OR 3 - 4 tablespoons dried sage, to taste
  • 4 - 6 slices of bread, cubed
  • 1½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • Black pepper to taste, but don't be afraid to use quite a lot

Using a thick-bottomed, cast iron Dutch oven (preferably), saute onions in oil over medium heat until onions are very brown and carmelized (the carmelized onions are a very important component of the soup's flavor). Stir in squash and cook for a few minutes. Then add white wine until squash is almost covered. Leave Dutch oven uncovered and cook down until the liquid is reduced by almost half. Add broth until squash is covered more than 1 inch. Let cook until squash is cooked through. Add fresh sage and bread, salt and black pepper. Transfer the soup to a food processor/blender, or puree the soup right inside the Dutch oven using a hand mixer on low speed. Serve immediately, while piping hot.

* - To cube and peel the butternut squash, use a sharp knife and cut the squash in half along the short dimension. Place the flat side down on a safe cutting board, and - while always keeping your hand safely above the knife entry point - slice down to take off the peel. You can also remove the peel by using a sharp potato/vegetable peeler.

 

Spinach Lasagna

Springtime is the perfect time to prepare a luscious lasagna, and incorporating fresh spinach bumps up the veggie value even more. Recipe from APNM Executive Director, Lisa Jennings. Bon appetit!

  Spinach Lasagna
   
  • 1 lb. tofu, crumbled up like cottage cheese (either use a fork to mash, or just crumble with your fingers)
  • 4-5 tablespoons soy mayonnaise (I prefer Veganaise brand)
  • 1 tablespoons chopped (or dried) parsley
  • 1 teaspoons crushed garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 2 cups loose spinach, finely chopped
  • 5 oz. shredded soy cheese (I prefer Daiya brand "mozzarella style shreds")
  • ¼ teaspoons crushed red pepper (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste (don't be shy with the black pepper)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 package lasagne noodles
  • pasta sauce of your choice (about one quart), either from a jar or homemade (you can also add diced zucchini to the sauce to make it tastier and to add more vegetables to the dish)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl combine the tofu, soy mayonnaise, parsley, garlic powder. Mix well and then add spinach, ¾ of the soy cheese, red pepper, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast. Mix well and set aside. Cook lasagne noodles to "al dente" consistency. In a glass baking dish, layer as follows (you should be able to make 2-3 layers of tofu mixture between noodles):

-pasta sauce on bottom of pan
-lasagne noodles
-spoon tofu mixture generously on noodles
-more pasta sauce
-layer with more noodles
-tofu mixture
-more pasta sauce
-noodles
-tofu mixture
-pasta sauce
-noodles
-pasta sauce

Top the whole dish with an additional sprinkle of nutritional yeast and the remaining soy cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until bubbling. Enjoy with a green salad and your favorite bread.

 

No-Bake Lemon Truffles

Eating raw is becoming a healthy new trend, and can be an especially good approach to dessert time. These mouth-watering lemony truffles are so easy and don't even require an oven. You can adjust the sweetness level by decreasing or increasing the amount of tart, fresh lemon. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

  No-Bake Lemon Truffles
   
  • 1 cup finely shredded coconut (unsweetened, raw)
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • Zest of 13 small lemon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon finely ground sea salt
Mix dry ingredients (shredded coconut, almond meal, lemon zest) thoroughly in a large bowl. Blend remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. If coconut oil is semi-solid, use a fork to blend and press the oil into the liquids. You can also mix with an electric mixer on its lowest setting. Pour liquid mix into dry and blend with a fork until the mixture is sticky and able to form into balls. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, form mixture into balls. The bigger the balls, the fewer the recipe will yield. The photo shows balls made with a round teaspoon measuring spoon, and yielded about 28 pieces. Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet (or use a non-stick cookie sheet), cover with plastic wrap or wax paper, and refrigerate for one hour. The truffles are then ready to serve.

 

Avocado Bean Salad

For a perfectly light yet filling summer salad, try this easy-to-assemble dish. The tomatoes, peppers, and avocado combine perfectly with the black beans and lime vinaigrette. With fresh bread, this is a satisfying summer meal. Recipe from APNM Board President, Anne Coller.Serves four.

  Avacado Bean Salad
   
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup small diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lime juice (2 limes)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 ripe Hass avocados
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, and jalapeno pepper in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, garlic, and cayenne pepper and pour over the vegetables. Toss well. Cut avocados in half. Remove the pit by tapping a knife into it and gently twisting the pit out. Use a paring knife to criss-cross cut the avocado into ½-inch cubes and scoop out of the skin just before mixing into the salad. When you are ready to serve the salad, fold in the avocados and cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

 

Coconut Curry Stew

APNM's Executive Director makes this warming and luscious soup to comfort family and friends on a cold winter evening. Serve with warm bread for a satisfying meal. Serves six to eight.

  Coconut Curry Stew
   
  • 3 tablespoons high-temperature cooking oil (grapeseed oil works well)
  • ½ to ¾ medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 10 fresh kale stems and leaves, chopped (keep lower, thicker stems separated from chopped leaves)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 veggie bouillion cubes (Rapunzel brand, unsalted)
  • 1 small can or jar Red Thai chili paste (vegan: read labels, some contain fish)
  • 1 organic sweet potato, washed well and cut into approximately 1" cubes (leave skin on)
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 can organic coconut milk (lite, if preferred)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Using as many organic ingredients as you can, make a rich broth by heating the oil in a thick-bottomed Dutch oven (cast iron is the best), and then add diced onions. Let them brown well but not burn. Add diced garlic, celery, carrots, and the kale stems (only). (The kale leaves will be added later). Let cook until soft. Add 4+ cups water, red lentils, and two veggie bouillon cubes diced up. Then stir in red curry paste and add the sweet potatoes (cubed) and cook. As things cook, you might have to add more water. Once lentils and sweet potato are cooked, add the rest of the kale, fresh cilantro, and lime juice to cook just a few minutes. Turn off the burner and add the coconut milk (never boil coconut milk). Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Sizzling Fabulous Fajitas

APNM's Executive Director adapted this mouth-watering and 'hot-hot-hot' recipe for fajitas from PETA's 'Cooking With PETA' cookbook. "Everyone always wants this recipe after they taste these; they are absolutely addicting!" As always, use as many organic, local ingredients as you can for optimum flavor.

  Coconut Curry Stew
   
  • Juice of 2 limes (4 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (leave the seeds in for more 'heat')
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (powdered)
  • 1 lb. tofu cut in long, thin strips, or any faux meat (Gardein brand faux chicken works great)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into long, thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into long, thin strips
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into long, thin strips
  • 1 small red onion, sliced (optional)
  • 4-6 large corn or flour tortillas
  • Oil for frying: use a high-quality, high-heat oil like grapeseed oil to fry
  • Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, salsa

Mix together the lime juice, olive oil, garlic, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, chili powder and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Gently stir the tofu into the marinade, coat well, and refrigerate and let marinate for a few hours. Once the tofu has marinated, heat a large cast iron frying pan on medium-high heat, drizzle about one tablespoon high-heat oil on the pan, add the tofu (leaving the rest of the marinate in the bowl to use with the vegetables later), and brown tofu well, gently turning regularly to make sure all sides are browned. While tofu is browning, put sliced vegetables in the leftover marinade, toss well. After the tofu has browned, transfer it to a bowl. Keep heat on the frying pan and add another tablespoon high-heat oil. Quickly cook the vegetables on medium-high heat, reserving the final portions of marinade for the dish at the end. Once the vegetables are nearly cooked, add the tofu/faux meat to the pan, drizzle the marinade over both, and cook for a final few minutes to heat all. Pile grilled veggies and tofu/faux meat on top of warm tortillas, top with your favorite salsa and lettuce, fold up, and prepare to light up your taste buds!