appetizer · dessert · nutritional yeast · super bowl · super bowl party · vitamix

Vegan Super Bowl Party 2013

The Super Bowl is just around the corner and its time to start thinking about what to bring to the party.  For one, you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb.  I brought cayenne kale chips to a party last year and was on the receiving end of furrowed brows.  Needless to say the chips were good, people couldn’t quite make the leap to kale chips with all the meat and cheese on the table.

On the other hand, you do want to make something that will stand out for its unique taste and memorable ingredients.  The Super Bowl embodies American flare and exuberance.  Everything is over the top, and everyone participates in some way.  Go beyond setting out a crudite tray with hummus and chips and salsa.

Finally, the Super Bowl, like a tailgate, is about sharing.  Be mindful of how much you make, even though you may be the only one eating it, because people want to try new things.  Im sure if you follow these recipes, everyone will remember your dish over Beyonce’s halftime show.  Maybe you’ll start someone down the path to healthy, plant based eating.  Enjoy! (check Twitter @holdthepigskin the night of the game for my pictures)

The Menu:

Tomato Queso Dip
Buffalo Tempeh Wings
Chocolate Kale Chips

Additional items at the Vegan Super Bowl:

Bobby is making Caramelized Onion Buffalo Tarts and potentially BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches
Chris is making some sort of Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip (the link is a google image search of Vegan Buffalo Chicken Dip.  Your mouth will water…)
I can convince my mom to make Guac to go with the Queso dip below and maybe some other dessert (love you mom!)

Tomato Queso Dip (adapted from Fresh from the Vegan Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained 
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Grind the cashews in your spice grinder until powdered, about 30 seconds.
    Image from godairyfree.com
  2. Place the tomatoes with juice in your blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the ground cashews, nutritional yeast, mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt, and blend until smooth.
  3. Lightly oil the insert of the slow cooker or spray it with cooking spray, and transfer the queso mixture to the cooker.
  4. Stir in the water until well incorporated (use less for a thicker dip, you can add more later if it thickens too much).
  5. Cover and cook on Low, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours, or until the mixture is thick and hot. If the mixture isn’t thick after 2 hours, turn the setting to High, remove the lid, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes longer.
  6. When ready to serve, spoon about 1/3 cup of the queso into a small bowl, stir in the lemon juice, then stir the mixture back into the slow cooker.
  7. Taste, add pepper to taste, and adjust the seasonings, if needed.

Image from 28cooks.blogspot.com
Sriracha-Habanero Tempeh Wings (adapted from donteatoffthesidewalk.com)
Ingredients
  • 2 8 oz packages of tempeh
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbp thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 and 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 1 and 1/2 cup sriracha
  • 5 or 6 habeneros, diced (with seeds!)
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, boil about three cups of water. Cut the tempeh into four equal blocks, then cut those blocks into triangles, and carefully slice the triangles in half lengthwise. Put the tempeh in the boiling water and cover, for about fifteen mintes or until tempeh is softened. Pour the pan into a colander and rise with cold water. Allow the tempeh to cool enough that you can handle it.
  2. While the tempeh is cooling, make the sauce. In a large pot, melt margarine and briefly sautree the habeneros.  Add the siriacha and set aside.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Make your assembly line for the wings. Put your soymilk in the first bowl, your flour and spices in the second, and your panko in the third. At the end of the line, have a greased baking sheet waiting.
  5. Take a triangle, and dip it in the milk, then coat in flour. Then another quick dip in the milk before thoroughly coating it in the bread crumbs and placing it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the tempeh.
  6. Spray the tops of the wings with cooking spray, and bake in the oven for ten minutes. Remove, flip over, and bake for ten more. Just before you take the wings out of the oven, heat the sauce over a medium heat until just warm – there’s no need to boil it, we’re just trying to make sure the sauce isn’t cold.
  7. When you take the wings out, immediately transfer them to the pot and coat in the sauce. Serve immediately.
  8. Optional Cooling Sauce (for the faint at heart): 1/3 veganiase, 1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley and 1 tsp garlic powder mixed together.
Image from cookingchanneltv.com
Chocolate Kale Chips (adapted from cookingchanneltv.com <<< apprently they have a new vegan cooking show?!  UPDATE: Here are some free vegan cooking videos on the website)
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cashews, preferably soaked in water for 1 to 2 hours (no need if you have a vitamix)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup cacao or dark chocolate powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla powder (liquid is ok)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 large bunch of curly kale, washed, stemmed and torn into palm-size pieces (make sure they are dry)
  • 1/4 cup extra-fine shredded coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add the coconut palm sugar, cashews, agave nectar, cacao powder, coconut oil, vanilla powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper to a high-speed blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. In a large mixing bowl, pour the chocolate sauce mixture over the kale leaves. Using your hands, massage the chocolate mixture into the kale leaves until each one is evenly coated. Fold in the coconut flakes and hemp seeds.
  3. Transfer the coated kale to the cookie sheets and bake about 20 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet, flip the kale leaves and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Watch them very closely, as they may burn quickly if left in the oven a few moments too long. Remove the kale chips from the oven when crispy. Allow to cool a bit, then serve.

dessert · seitan · thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is about two things: food and football.  I debated doing a Thanksgiving post because its usually eaten indoors and not in a parking lot, but the distinctions from tailgating end there.  You gather around with friends and family to eat a lavish meal, watch football, drink a few drinks and have a good time.  Just like a tailgate! 

I’ll be the first to confess that this is my first vegan Thanksgiving.  Last year I made an exception to the rule and ate turkey and all the fixins.  But this time around I was determined to give it a go plant based.  Plus I had a road game Sunday in Dallas (nothin says Thanksgiving like an almost win against the Cowboys) to allow me to cook from home and test out some new recipies.   

I pulled recipes from one of the most respected and creative vegan chefs around to create a complete feast.  Isa Chandra Moskowitz is a personal hero of mine for her endless pursuit of delicious food.  Her show, Post Punk Kitchen, spawned a book, which spawned a blog, which spawned many more books, is an inspiration to vegans everywhere.  Here’s the menu: Seitan Roast Stuffed With Shiitakes And Leeks, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes with Golden Gravy (from Chef Chloe) and Pumkin Pie (from Kathy at Lunchbox Bunch.  This Thanksgiving post has nothing on hers).  Enjoy!

Seitan Roast Stuffed With Shiitakes And Leeks
For the filling:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (rough ends removed)
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut into thin half moons (these smell so good fresh – AR)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (again, I like Ian’s brand)
1/4 cup vegetable broth (store bought or make your own!)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the seitan:
3 cloves garlic
3/4 cup cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained (fresh or canned)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vital wheat gluten (this stuff is the key to seitan. See my Seitan Ribs post for more info)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed or finely chopped
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
1 teaspoon dried sage, crushed between your fingers
Several dashes fresh black pepper

First prepare the filling:
1. Preheat a large pan, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Saute the mushrooms and leeks in oil until soft, about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic and thyme. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring often.
2. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs and toss to coat. Cook the mixture, stirring very often, until the breadcrumbs are toasty and the mixture is relatively dry. This should take about 5 minutes, and the breadcrumbs should turn a few shades darker.
3. Drizzle in the broth and lemon juice and toss to coat until moist. If it still seems dry drizzle in a little extra olive oil. Set aside until ready to use.

Prepare the roast:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a food processor, pulse the garlic until well chopped. Add the beans, broth, olive oil and soy sauce and puree until mostly smooth (a few pieces of bean are okay, but they should be no bigger than a pea.)

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, herbs and spices. Make a well in the center and add the bean mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts coming together to form a ball of dough. Knead until everything is well incorporated.
3. Now we’re going to roll out the seitan and form the roast. Place two pieces of tin foil (about 18 inches long) horizontally in front of you. The sheet further from you should overlap the closer sheet by about 6 inches. This way you have enough foil to wrap around the whole roast.
4. On a separate surface, use your hands or a rolling pin to flatten the seitan into a roughly 12 x 10 rectangle. If any pieces rip, don’t worry about it, just use a pinch of dough from the ends to repair any holes.
5. Place the filling in the lower 1/3 of the seitan rectangle, leaving about 2 inches of space at both ends.  (Or you could do one thin layer and the filling would be more dispersed.  I might try this next time) Make sure the filling is compact, use your hands to form it into a nice, tight bundle.
6. Now roll! Roll the bottom part of the seitan up and over the filling. Keep rolling until in it’s in a log shape. Now pinch together the seam and pinch together the sides to seal. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it will snap into shape when baking.
7. Place the roll in the center of the tinfoil and roll up like a tootsie roll, making sure the ends are tightly wrapped. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 60-90 minutes. Rotate the roll every 20 minutes for even cooking.
Unlike anything I’ve ever made!

Green bean casserole

4 cups green beans (1 lb), fresh or frozen (ends chopped if fresh)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cups creamy mushroom soup (one box) (Imagine brand)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
fresh black pepper
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable broth powder (optional)
6 oz can of fried onions, divided

1. Bring a pot of water to boil for the green beans. When ready, boil for about 7 minutes then drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium-high heat, saute onions in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 7 minutes more.
3. Mix the flour into the mushroom soup until very few lumps are left. Add to the pan along with the salt, peppers, and, if using, the nutritional yeast and vegetable broth powder. Stir often for about 10 minutes, until thickened.
4. Preheat oven to 375. Add the green beans to the pan and use your spatula chop them up a bit into smaller pieces (roughly in half). Mix in half of the fried onions. Transfer to an oiled casserole and top with the remaining onions. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until browned and bubbly. For yummiest results, let cool for at least 1/2 an hour before serving.

The Casserole was a huge hit

Mashed potatoes 

3 pounds yukon gold potatoes
1 head garlic
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk at room temp
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt (plus more for the water)
Several dashes fresh black pepper

1. Cut off top of garlic and drizzle with oil.  Wrap in foil and bake for at least 30 minutes at 400.
2. Cut potatoes into about 1 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a pot and cover with cold water. Spinkle about a teaspoon of salt into the water. Cover and bring to a boil.
3. Once boiling lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 12 minutes, until fork tender. Drain potatoes, then place back in the pot. 
4. Do a preliminary mash with a potato masher, just to get them broken up. Add milk, garlic, salt and pepper and mash until fluffy. You may want to add a bit more milk, if needed. Taste for salt and pepper and serve!

Golden Gravy

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 cup flour
2 cups water
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onion until soft. 
2. Add nutritional yeast and flour, and stir for about 1 minute. 
3. Add water, soy sauce, thyme and garlic powder. Continue to cook, whisking continuously, until mixture is very thick. 
4. Transfer gravy to a blender and purée until smooth. Adjust seasonings, and add salt and pepper to taste.


Pumpkin Pie

1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews
1 cup maple syrup
1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces) (or use fresh puree)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

One standard vegan pie crust (I used Wholly Wholesome brand)

1. Soak about one cup of raw cashews in about 2 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl (over night or for a few hours if using a Vitamix)

2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
3. Drain the water from your cashews. They should be very soft to bite and a slight purplish dark hue. This is normal. Add 1 1/4 cups of cashews to your food processor – or even better, a Vitamix or high speed blender.
4. Add pumpkin to blender. Next, add in the maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Blend on low -> high for about 3-5 minutes until the mixture is completely creamy. If your mixture is a bit thick for some reason – you can add in a few teaspoons of either water, maple syrup or even non-dairy milk. After blending, do a taste test and add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt if needed.
5. Pour your mix into a par-baked vegan pie shell (I toast my raw pie shell in the 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes). You can buy a frozen crust or make your own per instructions linked in recipe above.
6. Bake pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes – or until the edges look fluffy and a darker caramel orange tone. Use a toothpick in center if unsure. The tooth-picked filling should come out slightly wet – but very thick and dark. It is important to remember that your pie will firm up significantly upon cooling and chilling in the fridge.
7. Remove pie from oven. Cool on counter for at least 30 minutes. Then place in fridge until ready to serve. At least 2 hours cooling and/or chilling time is my preference. A warm pie will be tasty, but still a bit “wet” to slice.
8. I serve chilled with a spray of Soy Whip on top! 

You would never know its vegan