Butternut squash+cashew mac and cheese

You can check out the original recipe at Oh Dear Drea!

My adapted version, which I shared in my demo, is down below.

1/2 small red or yellow onion – chopped or thinly sliced
1 cup (~2 medium) carrots – roughly chopped
1 cup butternut squash – roughly chopped/cubed
1 1/2 yellow-flesh potatoes – peeled & roughly chopped/cubed
1/2 cup raw cashews (raw, whole or pieces)
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 to 2 cloves garlic
a pinch of turmeric (optional, mostly for coloring)
salt & pepper to taste
1 package (12-16 ounces) of your favorite pasta
Note: I start making the sauce in a separate pot as soon as I set the pasta water on to boil. If you want to use the same pot for everything, start making the sauce when you drain your pasta.
Prepare pasta as directed on package, and set aside.
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, warm a teaspoon or two of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown.
Add to the pot: the potato, carrots, and butternut squash. Fill with enough water to slightly cover the vegetables and bring to boil. Add a generous amount of salt. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer until all the vegetables are soft (about 10- 15 minutes, depending on the size of your vegetables)
While your vegetables are simmering, combine and blend: cashews, oil/butter, garlic, lemon juice, and turmeric. You want to make sure to puree the cashews first because you want them as smooth as possible. Add a bit of the simmering vegetable water to add moisture, if necessary. Blend blend blend. Slowly, begin to add nutritional yeast and a bit more of the vegetable water and continue pureeing. Once the vegetables are ready, begin blending them into the sauce. Add more of the vegetable water, as necessary. Don’t just pour everything in all at once. Patience and step taking is key so that you are left with a creamy mixture, and not creamy vegetable soup. Only add water in as necessary. Once everything has been mixed and your “cheesy” sauce has been made, add salt and pepper to taste. Combine sauce and pasta, serve hot, and enjoy. :)
Recipe printed with permission from Oh Dear Drea

Spicy mac and cheese

Serves 4-6

Note: Some people like their pasta to have a lot of sauce, and some do not. Let this guide you when deciding how much pasta to cook. Gluten free substitutions are included in the ingredient list below.

12-16 ounces uncooked macaroni or other small pasta (regular or gluten free)
2 cups reserved pasta water
1/2 cup raw cashews
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all purpose or sweet rice/mochiko flour (if making gluten free)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion granules
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon fine grain salt

Prepare the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Remove two cups of water from the pot – this is where a Pyrex measuring cup comes in handy! Drain the pasta and return it to the pot; cover to keep warm.  If using gluten free pasta, rinse under very hot water a couple of times to remove excess starch. Lightly oil if necessary to prevent the pasta from sticking.

Combine the reserved cooking water with the cashews and blend until no grit remains. Add the rest of the ingredients (nutritional yeast through salt) and blend on high speed until completely smooth. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Transfer the sauce to a large, heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Adjust heat to keep the sauce at a low simmer and whisk continually until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the sauce to the cooked pasta and mix gently until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve hot.

Prep time: 5 minutes  | Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Adapted from Vegan Diner, by Julie Hasson

Monika’s coconut rum banana cake!

Here’s Monika’s recipe for the coconut rum banana tea cake from our brunch and canning demo:


Coconut Rum Banana Tea Cake
(click on the title ^^ to view the recipe on her site)
wheat free (but not gluten free)

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The trick to this loaf cake, I believe, is to purée – not mash – the banana. No rustic lumps and bumps for this batter; a smooth slurry makes all the difference. A dark, large grain sugar is preferable for sprinkling on top but not necessary. The demerara this recipe calls for will fill all the nooks and crannies of your batter, giving the top of this bread a nice bit of caramel-y, sugary crunch. A fine grain natural sugar tends to melt along the edges and crisp up down the center of the bread and tastes just as good. I suspect sucanat would be too dry. Lastly, frozen bananas are fantastic in this recipe.

§ § §

3 large, overripe bananas
2 cups spelt flour (I use 1 cup each of whole and white spelt)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of fine grain salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened yogurt
3/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon apple cider or distilled white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon rum (dark or light, your preference)
1/2 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon demerara or turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F / 180C with a rack in the center. Line a standard-size loaf pan with parchment paper or lightly oil.

In a blender or food processor, purée the bananas and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the oil, yogurt and sugar until fluffy. Add the vinegar and rum, and beat to mix well. Add the banana purée and the flour mixture alternately, about 1 cup at a time, beginning with the banana and beating to just incorporate. Use a spatula to fold in any flour that has not been absorbed, and stir in the coconut. Do not overmix.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, and sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes; then turn the loaf out of the pan and allow it to cool completely.

I suspect this loaf will keep, wrapped well, for a few days; however it never lasts more than 36 hours in our house. I find it best the second day, cut thick, lightly toasted and dotted with homemade vegan banana butter.

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 60 minutes

from WindyCityVegan – reprinted with permission from Monika Soria Caruso

Sage-Infused Pear Butter from the canning demo!

Sage-infused pear butter

5 pounds pears
juice of one lemon
1 1/2 to 2 cups turbinado sugar (granulated sugar will work, but changes the flavor)
1/2 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
2 large sprigs fresh sage
canning jars, rings and lids

Yields: approximately 1 & 1/2 pints

1. Peel core, and coarsely chop pears.
2. Place in wide pot with 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer until pears are just soft.
3. Sauce the pears with an immersion blender right in the pot. Alternatively, sauce them in a standing blender, then transfer back to the pot.
4. Put the heat on low and add sugar. Stir until sugar melts.
5. Add the ground white pepper and whole sage sprigs. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Be sure to cover with a lid or splatter shield.
6. Boil, stirring frequently when it begins to thicken. It will take about 35-45 minutes to reach a spreadable thickness. You will know it’s done when you can glide your stirring spoon across the bottom of the pot and see the bottom for a second or two before the butter melts back over itself.
**Just when you begin to cook the sauce down you can prepare you canning pot and sterilize your jars.
7. Once desired thickness is reached remove the sage sprigs.
8. Fill jars and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes. Store in a cool, dry place for up to one year.

Any jars that did not seal need to be stored in the refrigerator and used within a week.
Refrigerate after opening.

And here’s New York Style Crumb Cake!

Here is the recipe for the New York Style Crumb Cake from yesterday’s brunch. It is from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli. This is definitely my new favorite baking book!

Crumb topping:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon white or apple-cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To make the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted vegan butter and toss with 2 forks, as if you were tossing salad, until it appears crumbly. The crumbs should be the size of small peas.

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together nondairy milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.

Fill the prepared pan with batter and evenly sprinkle with the crumb topping. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry with a few crumbs clinging to it. Let cool, and EAT!

*for a gluten-free cake , substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All-Purpose flour is a great product. For a gluten-free crumb topping, substitute with gluten-free flour.

Here is the Swiss Chard Frittata from this weekend’s brunch!

This is so easy to make and delicious hot or cold. It is great for brunch, dinner, or anytime.

Swiss Chard Frittata
by IsaChandra
Serves 4
Time: 45 minutes || Active time: 20 minutes

The deep earthy taste of swiss chard is intensified with garlic that is thinly sliced instead of minced, for a sweet mellow taste. Use red swiss chard if you can find it because it leaves pretty fuschia flecks in the frittata. This recipe is from Vegan Brunch.

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch of red chard, rough stems removed, chopped well (about 4 cups)
2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 pound firm or extra firm tofu
1 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (use tamari if gluten free)
1 teaspoon wet mustard (dijon or yellow, whatever you got)
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
several dashes fresh black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over low-medium heat. Add the oil and the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. What you’re doing here is “blonding” the garlic, it’s ready when it’s turned a light amber color.

Add the chard, oregano and and turn the heat up to medium high. Saute for about 5 minutes, until chard is completely wilted/ Add splashes of water if needed to get the chard to cook down. Turn the heat off.

While the chard is cooking, prepare your frittata base. Give the tofu a squeeze over the sink to remove a little of the water. Use your hands to crumble and squeeze it in a large mixing bowl, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese (about 3 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients to the tofu and mix well. When your chard is ready, incorporate it into the tofu. Be sure to get all of the garlic, but if there is any moisture in the pan try to avoid adding it to the tofu. Taste for salt.

Lightly grease an 8 inch pie plate and firmly press in your frittata mixture. Bake for 20 minutes, until firm lightly browned on top. Let cool for about 3 minutes, then invert onto a plate and serve.

Shiitake Dill Frittata recipe from our small batch canning demo/brunch

with thanks to the brilliant Isa Chandra Moskowitz!

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard (I use dijon)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
several dashes black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Preheat oven to 400.
Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat. Saute the garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your frittata base. Give the tofu a squeeze over the sink to remove a little of the water. I use my tofu press since we like our frittata drier. Use your hands to crumble and squeeze it in a large mixing bowl, until it has the consistency of ricotta cheese (about 3 minutes). Make sure to mash it really well, leaving no large chunks. Add the soy sauce, mustard, turmeric, black pepper, yeast, and dill to the tofu and mix well. When the mushrooms are ready, incorporate the mushroom mixture into the tofu. Taste for salt.
Lightly grease an 8-inch pie plate and firmly press your frittata mixture into it. Bake for 20 minutes or longer depending on desire firmness. Let cool for about 3 minutes, then invert onto a plate, if you like and serve.

Tempeh Bacon

By Matt Props, Ninth Street Bakery vegan chef

(serves 4)

1 package Tempeh, sliced thin
1/2 cup Soy Sauce (I prefer a low-sodium Tamari if available)
2 tbsp Liquid Smoke
3 tbsp Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
Few splashes of Hot Sauce (optional)

First, slice your tempeh into thin, long strips. Place slices in bowl or dish suitable for marinating. Whisk all remaining ingredients together and pour over tempeh slices. Let marinate for approximately 5-6 minutes. Heat large skillet over med-high heat (smaller skillets will work fine if you fry tempeh slices in a few small batches). Add a few tablespoons of any high-heat oil and allow to coat the surface of the skillet thoroughly. Once surface is sufficiently coated, carefully place tempeh slices into skillet, making sure they are not overlapping. Saute each side for around 3 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy. After both sides are finished frying, turn heat to low and pour a few tablespoons of remaining marinade over the slices. Turn heat off and allow to set for a few minutes before serving. If desired, place slices on paper towel lined plate to soak up any remaining oil .
*amazing served as a Tempeh Lettuce Tomato sandwich with caramelized onions and fresh avocado.

Cauliflower Cocktail a.k.a. Vegan Shrimp Cocktail

Recipe from Mary McDougall via “The McDougall Newsletter”

I got the idea for this recipe from a comment that I saw on the internet about a restaurant in Virginia that serves a dish like this as an appetizer instead of shrimp cocktail. I have modified the recipe only slightly to make it a bit easier and to contain less sodium. This is really fun (and delicious) to eat and is a great conversation starter when served as a party appetizer. I just felt I had to share it with all of you because it is something you may never have seen, much less tried, if I didn’t write about it.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Servings: variable

3 quarts water
½ cup Old Bay Seasoning mix
1 onion, quartered
3 whole peeled garlic cloves
¼ cup lemon juice
1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
Cocktail sauce, chilled (see tips below)

Place the water in a large pot and add the seasoning mix, onion, garlic cloves and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer at a low boil for 10 minutes. Remove onions and garlic from broth with a slotted spoon and discard. Return liquid to a boil. Addcauliflower, turn off heat, cover and let rest for 8-10 minutes. Drain at once and spread cauliflower in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool for a few minutes on the counter. Place uncovered in refrigerator to finish cooling. Serve with chilled cocktail sauce to dip the cauliflower florets into before popping into your mouth.

Cut the cauliflower into florets that can easily be dipped once and then popped whole into your mouth. Test the florets for tenderness while they are in the hot water; you don’t want them to be too soft, nor too hard, usually about 8-10 minutes is perfect.
The cauliflower may be prepared one to two days ahead of time and covered and refrigerated until serving. It may be served chilled or at room temperature, whichever you prefer.
There are many varieties of cocktail sauce available in most supermarkets. Be sure to choose an oil-free and fish-free variety, and feel free to spice it up a bit more by adding some horseradish and vegan Worcestershire sauce to taste.

“Cheesy” Kale Soup

from www.drfuhrman.com

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 15 minutes

1/2 cup yellow split peas
1 onion, chopped
5-6 button mushrooms
2 cups carrot juice
15 ounces no-salt tomato sauce
1 1/2 pounds kale (I used chopped, de-stemmed dinosaur)
1/4 cup cashew butter (or ½ cup raw cashews)

Instructions for the pressure cooker:
In pressure cooker, cover yellow split peas with water (about 2 1/2 cups) and cook on high pressure for 6-8 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients except cashew butter and cook on high pressure for 1 minute.

Release pressure and blend soup with cashew butter (I used an immersion blender).

You could make this on the stove; you will just need to cook longer. I usually double the split peas and mushrooms and reduce the onion. I sprinkle nutritional yeast on top when serving.