Lemony Garlic Potato Salad

Ingredients:

6 large yukon gold potatoes (about half of a 5 pound bag)
2 lemons, juiced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup chopped parsley

Directions:

Boil the unpeeled potatoes until a fork inserted into them does not meet resistance. While still hot, cut into pieces and place in a large bowl. Add all ingredients except the parsley and mix to combine. When the potatoes have cooled a bit, add the parsley and mix to combine. 

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Eggless Salad

Ingredients:

2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 bunch of scallions, thinly sliced
1 14 ounce container organic extra firm tofu, lightly pressed (don't allow all of the water to drain--press for about 5 minutes)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon black salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup unsweetened organic soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Crumble the tofu into a bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the non-dairy milk/olive oil/salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients to combine. Mix the non-dairy milk and olive oil in a separate cup. Pour over the tofu mixture and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:

½ cup aquafaba (this is the liquid that is in a can of beans—I used garbanzo)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. With an electric hand mixer on medium, whip the aquafaba until white and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract and stir. Stir in coconut, sugar and salt. Use a tablespoon to measure a mound of cookie dough and squeeze gently to hold the mixture together. Place the mounds on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, 15-20 minutes.

Notes:

My husband loves coconut macaroons and missed them once he went vegan. I could tell when he bit into his first cookie that this recipe was exactly what he was looking for. The dough will feel a little crumbly when you are forming the mounds, but it will hold together well when baked.

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Chimichurri Sauce

I eat a pretty simple diet and many nights prefer to have some pan fried tofu with rice. I compliment it with a chimichurri sauce, putting a nice dollop on the rice and drizzling the sauce over the tofu. Here are a few tried and true recipes that are delicious!

Ingredients:

Variation 1 – scallions and fresh herbs

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
3 scallions, sliced—including the green part
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped mint

Variation 2 – roasted peppers and fresh herbs

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted then ground
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 ½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup roasted red pepper, cut in small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch finely chopped parsley

Variation 3 - lime and fresh herbs

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime - juiced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves of garlic
1 bunch chopped parsley
1/2 bunch chopped basil (1/2 ounce / 3/4 cup)
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro

Variation 4 - citrus and fresh herbs

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
1 lime - juiced
1 lemon - juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic - minced
3/4 cup chopped mint
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped chives

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a container and shake to combine.

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Cruelty Free Thanksgiving Dinner

Hello friends. A very long time ago when I was a teen, I decided to go vegetarian. My first Thanksgiving without turkey gravy was torturous! I made it through the holiday but fell off the wagon the following year and started eating poultry again. This was in the early 80s and in my naivete, I believed there weren't any good options to celebrate the holiday without harming another living creature. Fast forward to now...I have been vegan for 5 years after being a vegetarian for over 25 years and the world has changed quite a bit. There are so many amazing options available in the store along with recipes by amazing chefs like The Gentle Chef.

Our household is a mixed home--we have vegans, vegetarians and the lone meat eater. For Thanksgiving, our entire menu is vegan except that my husband prepares some chicken or turkey for my step-son. I absolutely guarantee you that these recipes will satisfy you regardless of your dietary preferences. You will find that it is very easy to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in a cruelty free way--without harming the animals or harming your own body. Enjoy!

"Turkey"

We purchase the Field Roast Celebration Roast with Traditional Bread Stuffing and Gravy. We crave this year round...it is that good.

You can't go wrong with anything made by Field Roast. Tofurkey has some options as well, but I prefer the texture and flavor of the Field Roast products.

One year, I made a seitan "turkey breast" from The Gentle Chef. It was pretty darn good, but I was the only one in the family that was vegan at the time and it was a huge "breast". If you like to make things homemade, this is a great option and not very difficult to make.

Mashed Potatoes

We make two versions. The standard mashed potatoes and made by boiling about 5 pounds of potatoes that have been cut into 1 inch cubes. Once the potatoes can be pierced easily with a fork, drain the water and save a cup of the water that the potatoes were cooked in--it will be a little starchy. Hand mash the potatoes and add a stick of vegan "butter" (I like Earth Balance). You can then add a little of the potato water until the potatoes are the consistency that you like.

My favorite version of mashed potatoes is a recipe that my mom always made. I learned recently that it was shared with her by her friend Donna. Here is the veganized version.

Gravy

So, as I mentioned above, gravy was the toughest thing for me to give up. There are actually some great dry vegan gravy packets that you can purchase at the grocery store for when you are in a rush. This recipe is not at all complicated and it will literally knock your socks off--it is that good! None of your guests will miss the "real thing" when they are presented with this.

Vegetable Side Dishes

I really can't resist making a lot of sides. Vegetables are the star of the show in our house.

My daughter loves this simple carrot dish. Tarragon is anise-flavored and used a lot in French cooking. I can't resist pearl onions, peas and dill and this dish is a hit with me. We also make a roasted cauliflower.

Stuffing

I am from Pennsylvania and we call it stuffing. Those in the South might call it dressing. I keep it simple with this recipe. You can really use any brand of packaged stuffing mix, just read the ingredients to ensure it is vegan. The next day, you can make stuffing croquettes. 

Cranberry Sauce

I never really liked cranberry sauce until my friend Laura gave me this recipe. This is quite good! 

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Persian Eggplant Stew

Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ cups tomato sauce
1 ¾ cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

Cut the unpeeled eggplant lengthwise into 1 inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for about 20 minutes to remove the moisture and bitterness.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, salt, cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg and sauté. Add tomato sauce, water and lemon juice, reduce heat and let simmer for 35 minutes.

Wash the salt off the eggplant and pat dry with a towel. In a separate skillet, heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the eggplant for about 5 minutes on each side until golden. Add the eggplant to the saucepan containing the other ingredients and combine.

Notes:

Serve over rice.

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Cabbage Salad

Ingredients:

1 medium head of green cabbage, cored and cut into medium dice
½ cup finely chopped parsley
1 bunch scallions (10), diced (both white and green parts)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper

Directions:

Toss the cabbage, parsley and scallions in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, garlic and salt and mix to combine. Add olive oil and whisk. Season with pepper. Pour the dressing on the salad and mix to combine. Allow the salad to sit for 15 minutes so that the cabbage softens.

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Frito Corn Casserole

Ingredients:

3 cans of corn, drained
½ red onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
¼ cup Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
10.25 ounce bag of Fritos Corn Chips
Frank’s RedHot

Directions:

Combine corn, onions and bell pepper.  When ready to serve, add mayo, Fritos and Frank’s to taste.

Notes:

This stuff is addictive!

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