Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring Dining

I visit my parents every weekend. Since Easter always falls on a Sunday, we decided to go whole hog (no Easter ham pun intended) for the day and made up a number of dishes, much like we've done for Thanksgiving.

Maple Glazed Tofu

1/4 c. maple syrup 
2 T. soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t. garlic salt
1/8 t. ground black pepper
1 package extra firm tofu, drained and sliced

Mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper. Place the tofu in a shallow baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once. Preheat oven to 400.  Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake uncovered 20 minutes.

I added more of the sauce before baking. My son complained it made the tofu too sweet. This was not a problem for me. ;)

Broccoli With Cashews

1 package frozen broccoli spears
1/4 c. coarsely chopped cashews
1 T. vegan butter
2 t. finely shredded lemon rind

Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain. In a small skillet, cook, stirring constantly, the cashews in melted butter for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon rind. Pour over broccoli spears.

Corn, Okra and Tomatoes

1/3 c. vegan butter
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 package frozen corn kernels
2 c. frozen cut okra
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper

In a large skillet, saute the bell pepper, onion and garlic in the butter for 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Roasted Spring Vegetables

1/2 lbs. carrots, cut diagonally in 1/2" pieces
2 lbs. asparagus, ends snapped off and spears cut in half
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Line two baking pans with foil; place carrots in one and the asparagus in the other. Toss each with 1 T. olive oil, 1/4 t. salt and 1/8 t. pepper. Bake carrots in the oven with the tofu. Remove the tofu and bump up the oven temp to 450. Stir the carrots and add the pan of asparagus to the oven next to the carrots. Roast the veggies about 10 minutes until they are lightly browned.

My mom added some cinnamon glazed sweet potatoes and a second dish of regular white potatoes to the mix.

Now dine in style. Break out the nicer dishes and pile on the deliciousness.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crumbles Pie

Is there anything really simpler than throwing ingredients into a pie shell and baking it? The answer would be no, there isn't anything simpler. It's just a matter of combining the right ingredients to make a tasty dish. And, let's face it, even that isn't hard!

Crumbles Pie

One package vegan beef crumbles
One onion, chopped
2 t. chili powder
1 t. oregano leaves
One can tomato soup
One can sliced carrots, drained
One can kernel corn, drained

And here is the truly difficult part - mix everything together and pour into a pie shell. I actually threw some leftover veggies from the fridge into the mix, too. You can make a topping if you'd like, but I went for quick and simple. Bake in a 400 oven for about 15 minutes, or until piecrust in nicely golden.

Now wasn't that hard? No? I didn't think so, either. Now enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kielbasa and Potatoes in Foil

My dad is German, so I grew up eating sausage. You know how when you get sick, you seem to most remember the last food you ate, and feel even worse? That's what always happened to me with sausage.

And yet, I became vegan and wanted sausage. Go figure. Which is why it pleases me enormously that when those oddball cravings hit, I can either make my own, or more likely, pick up a package of Tofurky or Field Roast sausages.

So the other day the hubs wanted to grill out. Whenever he is so motivated, he always asks me what I'd like him to throw on the grill. Well, that aforementioned oddball craving tickled my tastebuds, so I told him that's what I wanted.

Kielbasa and Potatoes in Foil

For the Kielbasa, we used Tofurky and grilled it according to package directions.

Five large potatoes
One onion, sliced
4 T. vegan butter
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. caraway seeds

Wrap all the ingredients in a double thickness of heavy duty foil. Place the packet on the grill over medium hot coals and cook about 35 minutes. Check for tenderness and put back on if the potatoes aren't soft enough. Watch out you don't burn the potatoes!

I like to slice the sausage and serve it with a German mustard.

And the best part? No icky feelings afterward! Must be that whole cruelty-free thing, huh?


Monday, April 9, 2012

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything...

or so said William Shakespeare. I guess he was right. There is something about the season of spring that brings with it renewal, and in that sense, a spirit of youth.

Which is probably why I like whimsy sometimes when I cook. Take these two recipes, for example.

Butterfly Pasta Salad

One package bow tie pasta (but I used bunny and egg shaped pasta)
1/3 c. chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. red bell pepper, chopped
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
3 T. sliced black olives
One can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. pine nuts

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and rinse with cold water. Add the remaining ingredients to the pasta, stir to mix it up nicely, cover and chill. Enjoy!

Mini Tarts

2 packages of little graham cracker crusts (or make your own)
One container vegan cream cheese
1/2 c. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1-1/2 c. vegan whipped dessert topping

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the lemonade and mix well. Fold in, gently, the whipped dessert topping. Spoon into little crusts and refrigerate until set. Top with little candy eggs.

Don't fall for the regular non-dairy whipped toppings. They aren't really non-dairy.

Fun foods for your spring holiday celebrations!
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