When I decided to write a burger recipe, I wanted to make sure that it was recipe-worthy. And when it comes to burgers, the best burger is a simple burger. I’m a sucker for onions and knew they would be a great addition. I started with a pack of Impossible Meat and some brioche buns. I sautéed red onion and red cabbage, which I seasoned with garlic and red pepper flakes!
I finished the burger by lightly toasting the brioche and slathering it with spicy mayo. It was divine. You can add slow roasted peppers, pickled vegetables, guacamole, or add coconut bacon. The truth is there is no wrong way to make a burger!
You can use whatever protein you want. Whether it’s made out of beets and quinoa, or a Beyond meat, follow these easy steps to build a better burger!
This is an easy step-by-step guide to building a delicious burger!
1 package of Impossible Meat or other plant-based burger
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup vegan mayonaise
Prep brioche by lightly brushing the inside of the buns with olive oil. Set aside.
Form burgers into the size patties you want, and season each side with salt and pepper.
Warm a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat. When heated, add oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onions to the pan. The key to caramelizing is cooking low and slow. When onions start to soften after 4-5 minutes, add cabbage, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt. Cook until onions and cabbage have caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the pan. Set aside.
In the same pan, increase heat to medium-high. When warmed, add burgers to the pan. Using a spatula, immediately begin to move the meat around in the pan. Moving them around helps the burgers form a crust and keeps them from sticking to the pan. Cook each side for about 3-4 minutes. If using vegan cheese, add it when you flip the burger.
If using cheese, turn heat to medium-low and cover the pan; this will help melt the cheese. Check after 2-3 minutes.
Place buns in toaster or oven and toast until lightly crisp. Add mayonnaise to the inside of both the top and bottom bun.
Using tongs, top burgers with onions and cabbage.
When brioche is toasted, add the burger and other toppings.
If you’ve been around me for a while, you know that I love Mexican food. It is hands down my greatest joy and my greatest weakness. We were in Colorado on vacation a few years ago, and we had Mexican food 9 out of 11 days! These enchiladas are an homage to my grandma, whose enchiladas were (next to her biscuits and gravy) my most favorite meal.
Grandma’s enchiladas were pretty basic—ground beef, diced onion, and tomato sauce with cheese. They were simple but divine. These are a little bit more complex but equally delicious. These are a staple in our house and one of my daughter’s favorite foods! I like to dice a little extra sweet onion and use it as a garnish and avocado, sour cream, and salsa. I’m getting hungry just thinking about them.
You can use a store-bought enchilada sauce if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to make it. But I have to warn you it will not be as good! I like to double it and then refrigerate the remainder. It’s good on tofu eggs, burritos, tacos, nachos, and of course, these enchiladas! I like the addition of the Impossible Meat because it reminds me of my Grandma’s recipe. You can easily skip it if you are avoiding plant-based meats. I would, however, add another can of beans. These enchiladas also freeze well. Just assemble them and then freeze. Enjoy!
If you make them, please tag me on Instagram and let me know how you like them!
3 tablespoons flour (I used brown rice flour for a GF sauce)
16 oz vegetable broth
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
pinch of cinnamon
1 lime juiced
Daiya Cheddar Cheese block, grated
Vegan Sour Cream
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a small bowl, mix flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt & pepper, and cinnamon.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup vegetable stock to a boil. Slowly, add dry spice and constantly whisk until the mixture is smooth and fragrant for about one minute. Add tomato paste and stir well until combined. Slowly add broth and whisk until smooth. Add lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. When warm, add onion and sauté until translucent—about 7 minutes. (If the onions begin to stick, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir).
Add garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Add plant-based meat if using: Cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add black beans and stir well to incorporate.
Add canned tomatoes, spices, and add 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Wrap tortillas in a wet cloth or paper towel. Put on a microwave-safe plate and warm in the microwave for one minute. Keep tortillas wrapped while assembling.
Add ranchero sauce to a pie pan or other deep bottomed plate.
Add one cup of ranchero sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 12 pan, coating the pan evenly.
Remove one tortilla and dip it in the ranchero sauce. Place tortilla in 9 x 12 pan.
Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling (depending on your shells’ size, you may want to add more or less).
Add 2 tablespoons of Daiya cheese.
Carefully roll the tortilla and place seam side down.
Repeat with remaining tortillas if you run out of space using another pan. I fit 8 to a pan (6 side by side and then two end to end at the bottom of the pan). I used a smaller 8×8 pan to fit the rest. I covered them with wrap and froze them for later.
When you have finished assembling the enchiladas, pour the rest of the ranchero sauce over them and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Carefully remove foil. Turn oven to broil and cook for 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. DO NOT WALK AWAY!
Remove from oven and serve with avocado, salsa, cilantro, and sour cream!
*I like Daiya block style cheddar and grate it myself. I NEVER use pre-shredded vegan cheese because they add an anti-caking ingredient that simply ruins the taste of the cheese.
**I used Impossible Meat because it has a great texture and flavor. You can also use Gardein beef crumbles, or Hungry Planet beef. You can also skip the meat if you’re not a fan of meat substitutes, but you may want to add an additional can of beans. I would add a can of pinto beans with my black beans for variety.
These freeze well. When I know I’m going to use them I remove them from the freezer and refrigerate overnight. Always be careful putting a frozen, or super cold glass pan in the oven. They can break.
It’s nice to be back in the kitchen! I’ve been super busy the last couple of weeks, and I am excited to be working on a few new recipes. Before I became a vegan, one of my favorite things to eat was fish at the local VFW hall on Fridays during the Lenten season. Though I’m not a Catholic, there are a few of their traditions that I really enjoyed! I tried using hearts of palm and other substitutes for fish. However, using banana blossoms has proved to be hands-down the best option! I like to add a bit of ground seaweed to the beer batter, which gives it a nice fishy flavor. I also love the minty mushy peas as a side! And last we cannot forget the chips! Large russet potatoes cut into thick batons and lightly fried make this girl super happy! 😋
Banana blossom, also known as a “banana heart,” is a fleshy, purple-skinned flower, shaped like a tear, which grows at the end of a banana fruit cluster. They are very flakey, making them a perfect substitute for fish. The family to whom banana belongs is called Musaceae as banana blossom, represent a valuable source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, minerals, fatty acid content, flavonoids, saponin, essential and non-essential amino acid, tannins, glycoside, and steroid. Banana flower is also a good antioxidant source.
There is a little bit of prep that needs to be done ahead of time. So be sure to read through the whole recipe first. You can make the peas and tartar sauce as early as much as a day ahead. This is a perfect meat-free meal that even your fish-eating friends will love! Enjoy!
There is some prep for this recipe. You will want to rinse the banana blossoms and get them in the freezer while you make the other ingredients. Make the peas and tartar sauce first. And then make potatoes and the fish last.
1 cup rice flour (used as pre-coat; can use regular flour if needed)
1 teaspoon kelp powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup beer (I used an IPA)
3/4 cup seltzer or sparkling water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Malt vinegar, for serving
4 russet potatoes, sliced each into 8 wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons garlic powder)
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt, (adjust to your tastes)
1/2 teaspoon black cracked pepper
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley (garnish)
Vegan Tartar Sauce:
¼ cup (58 g) vegan mayo
1 tbsp (10 g) minced cornichons (small pickles)
2 tsp (20 g) caper, roughly chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) white vinegar
½ tsp dijon
1 tsp (2 g) fresh dill, chopped
Pinch salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate immediately.
Bring 6 cups of generously salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the frozen peas and mint and cook for 4 minutes—Reserve 3 tablespoons of the hot cooking water. Drain the peas and mint and return to the pan. Immediately add butter, lemon zest, and cooking water—season with salt and pepper. Roughly mash the peas with a potato masher or food processor. Cover and set aside. You can use the peas in rough purée form, but if you want a very fine, smooth purée, push the mixture through a fine sieve. (I like to save about 1/4 cup of whole peas to add to puree).
Preheat oven to 400°. Wash the potatoes (I did not peel mine) with cold water to remove some of the surface dirt and dry well. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, slice each half in half again and then slice each half in half again. You should have a total of 8 slices per potato. Blanch the potatoes in hot (not boiling) water for 10-12 minutes to release their starches. You can skip this step, but your potatoes will not be as crisp.
Drain potatoes, shaking well to remove excess water. Lightly pat them dry and add potatoes to a medium-size bowl. Add olive oil and toss well. Combine spices in a small bowl and sprinkle over potatoes. Toss well to coat. Place potatoes cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet or in an *air fryer. (Depending on the size of your pan, you may have to use two baking sheets. If so, rotate pans when you pull them to flip the potatoes at the halfway baking point, about 30 minutes)
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and, using a spatula, carefully flip the potatoes. Rotate pans if you used more than one.
Return to oven and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. (You can reduce the oven to 200° and keep potatoes warm while fillets cook).
Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
Heat oil in a dutch oven or wok to 345° F. Turn oven down to 200° F. Whisk together flour, baking soda, kelp powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour in the beer, sparkling water, and lemon juice and mix just until combined (do not over-mix). Keep the batter refrigerated until ready to use.
Drain the banana blossoms, then shape them into filets. Wrap the blossoms in clean kitchen towels and squeeze out all of the brine.
Cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
Remove from the freezer and sprinkle the blossoms with salt and pepper. Coat the blossoms in rice flour and then dip into the batter to completely coat. Carefully swish the blossoms partway into the oil for a few seconds before completely releasing. Once the coating starts to set on the first fillet, you can add another battered fillet into the oil. Fry until the blossom is puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 5 minutes for thin fillets or 7 minutes for thick fillets, and then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cook the remaining fillets and sprinkle with salt.
To serve, reheat the mushy peas if necessary. Serve the fish with chips, mushy peas, and malt vinegar on the side.
*If using air fryer bake at 390°F for 12-15 minutes. You will have to do this in batches so whey they’ve cooked you will need to place them in a low (200°F oven) to keep warm.
Gnocchi is an Italian pasta made from potatoes. I love gnocchi, it’s so yummy, and there are some delicious freshly pre-made packages out there! Be sure to check, though, because some varieties do contain eggs. There are so many ways you can make it, too. In the spring, I love making it with fresh basil pesto and toasted pine nuts!
This savory mushroom and spinach version is simmered in a rich and creamy Cashew Béchamel! It is a perfect weeknight meal taking only 20 minutes and a handful of ingredients! Yup! Folks will think you spent all afternoon on it! I won’t tell if you won’t! 😉 I will be working on a simple, from-scratch sweet potato gnocchi in the next week, so stay tuned!
1 teaspoon each dried parsley, sage, thyme, and rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
Add cashews to a sauce pan and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
While cashews are boiling, clean mushrooms and cut into 1/2 slices.
Peel and slice onion in half widthwise, and then Julienne.
Peel garlic clove, crush with the back of a knife and mince.
Warm skillet over medium heat. When warm, add oil. When the oil has warmed to a shimmer, add onion and garlic. Sauté over medium heat until onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add sage, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Sauté until mushrooms have softened and onions are translucent. Add spinach and cook until spinach has wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add gnocchi to boiling water and cook until gnocchi begins to float, about 3-5 minutes.
While the gnocchi is cooking, add cooked cashews to a blender with 1 1/4 cup water. Add garlic powder and salt. Blend until smooth.
When gnocchi is done, drain water and add to onion/mushroom mixture, add cashew béchamel sauce. Simmer over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken. Taste for seasoning.
I’ve been on a French food kick lately. To me, the rich, flavorful, savory cuisine exists in a completely separate dimension in the food world. Every night for a week, I made a different dish, a Mushroom Bourguignon, a Ratatouille, and a Leak and White Bean Cassoulet. My final dish was this delicious Potato Galette.
Originating in Norman times – when it was known as a gale – the term galette simply refers to a ‘flat cake’ filled with either sweet or savory thinly sliced ingredients. However, depending on what part of France you’re in, it can mean something totally different. In Brittany, a galette saucisse is basically a crepe. The galette de rois, is a cake made for Epiphany, or the end of the Christmas season, and is made of two circles of puff pastry sandwiching a frangipane (almond-flavoured sweet pastry cream ) filling. Each comes with a crown and always has a trinket, called a fève, or bean, baked into it. This galette Bretton is essentially a pie made without a pan and uses fines herbs (pronounced feen), a mainstay of French cuisine, a blend of tarragon, chives, chervil, and parsley.
This savory galette is a perfect meal for a cold winter’s day!
2 1/2 cups Organic All-Purpose Flour (To make gluten-free use Bob’s Gluten All-Purpose Free Flour add ¼ tsp xanthan gum for every cup of flour used)
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks or 3/4 cup) vegan butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 to 8 tablespoons of ice cold water*
2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions
10 ounces Russet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed in 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 medium potatoes)
2 medium leeks (white and light green parts, cut into half-moons and rinsed well)
8 ounces cremini mushrooms (wiped clean and quartered)
1 cup vegetable broth (roughly)
4 Tablespoons Fines Herbs
Pepper, as desired
2 cups cashew cream
4 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Flour
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and preheat the oven to 400°F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar together. Cut in the butter using a fork, kitchen sheers, or pastry blender until it is grainy and reaches the consistency of sand. Add the ice cold water, starting with 5 Tbsp, and mix it with your hands until uniform. The dough should be moist but not soggy. Add remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time if still crumbly. Form the dough into ball and divide in half. Cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
To make the galette: Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium pan (I used a 10-inch cast-iron skillet) over medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides-about 5-7 minutes. Remove to a bowl.
In a the same pan, add in about 1/2 c of vegetable broth. Once heated, add the sliced onions, mushrooms and thyme and cook down, stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes. You will need to add more vegetable broth (1-2 tablespoons at a time) as time passes to prevent burning, but they KEY to perfect caramelization without oil is to only add more broth and once all of the previously added liquid has completely cooked off. Once onions are done, add potatoes and garbanzo bean flour, and cook for one minute. Making sure to mix well. Add in cashew cream and mix until combined.
Once the dough has chilled, roll each dough out into a rough circle, about 1/3” thick. Transfer it to the lined baking sheet.
Divide mushroom/potato mixture over each pastry, leaving about 1” around the edges of the pastry. Sprinkle with more fines herbs and pepper as desired. Fold in the galette crust. Pleat about every 3 inches. I used 2 tablespoons of *aquafaba mixed with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to brush the crust.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the pastry is crispy and golden brown. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
*Be sure the water is ice cold so that the butter does not melt while mixing.
*Aquafaba is the viscous water that comes from a can of legumes such as chickpeas.
I love a good chili recipe. For a little bit of effort, you get a massive bang for your buck! This version is the fourth and final incarnation. The addition of the cocoa powder initially went against my traditionalist chili mentality. But a friend of mine insisted that I add it at least once. I was oddly skeptical at first but utterly amazed by the complexity added! Much like salt and pepper, the cocoa powder enhances the flavor of the other spices! I promise you’ll love it!
This chili is a family favorite! It comes together perfectly and quickly! The addition of the cocoa powder adds a depth of flavor to the beans, tomato sauce, and chili powder making the chili itself taste richer!
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped into small pieces
4 cloves of garlic, pressed (or finely minced)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup of chili powder
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2/ tbsp cumin
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
Warm dutch oven over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, then add oil. Once oil is warmed, add onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add spices, coating vegetables well. Cook for about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase heat, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes. The longer the chili cooks, the more flavor it will have. So, if you’ve got the time, let it very gently simmer on the stove for an hour or even up to 2 hours. If you cook it for several hours, you may need to add in just a bit more broth or water.
Once ready to eat, take off of the heat and garnish with some vegan sour cream, green onion, avocado, etc.
I am in love mushrooms, but my favorite mushrooms are big juicy portobellos. Add in some thyme, red wine, and onions, and I’m all yours.
When immature and white, this mushroom may be known as common mushroom, white mushroom button mushroom, cultivated mushroom, table mushroom, and champignon mushroom. When immature and brown, it may be known variously as Swiss brown mushroom, Roman brown mushroom, Italian brown mushroom, cremini/crimini mushroom,chestnut mushroom, and baby bella.
When marketed in its mature state, the mushroom is brown with a cap measuring 4–6 inches. This form is commonly sold under the names portobello mushroom, portabella mushroom, and portobella mushroom. Thank you, Wikipedia. Who knew?
I wanted to add a portobello mushroom recipe to my cookbook but lamented on the best way to prepare them. I got out my handy dandy cast iron, but then I remembered that I had my little-used Cameron stovetop smoker. Within minutes I had fired up my gas stove, added some portobello mushroom caps and cherry wood chips, and 25 minutes later, I was floating in mushroom heaven. And no worries if you don’t have a smoker. If you have a medium pot with a lid, a steamer basket, some foil, and some wood chips, you’re set! Just so you know, there may not be a lot of variety, but you can buy wood chips at almost any grocery store.
Finally, I went back and forth between topping it with a simple red wine sauce, or a cabernet demi-glace, aka a Marchand de Vin Sauce. I opted for the latter. It didn’t disappoint, either. With just a tang of the sherry vinegar marinade shining through the cherry wood’s mild and fruity smoke, it was the perfect balance of flavor. I didn’t make my own demi-glace, but you certainly can. I will work on that recipe next!
Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Add mushrooms to a shallow baking dish or a gallon size ziplock bag and top with marinade. Set aside and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.
While mushrooms are marinating, make the demi-glace.
Warm a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat.
Add butter. When butter begins to foam, add shallots, salt, and white pepper and bouquet garni. Sauté until shallots have softened, about 5-7 minutes.
Add vegetable stock, demi-glace, and wine.
Stir well and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the stock has reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
If using a smoker, add wood chips to the bottom of the smoker. If using a pan to smoke, jump down to the notes section.
Place the drip tray on top of the wood chips inside the smoker base. Spraying the tray with non-stick vegetable spray, or place a sheet of aluminum foil to make for easier clean-up.
Place the wire rack on top of the drip tray. Remove mushrooms from the marinade and arrange them on the wire rack. Slide lid closed.
Smoke for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Remove bouquet from demi-glace and taste for seasoning. Carefully remove mushrooms from the smoker and transfer them to a cutting board.
Slice mushrooms into 1/2″ slices. Plate the mushrooms and spoon 3-4 Tbsp’s of demi-glace over the top.
Never wash mushrooms with water! They are like a sponge and soak up water lowering the flavor. People think it’s dirt that’s on them, but it’s peat moss, and it’s all pasteurized. Portobello’s are usually pretty clean, but I use a mushroom brush for other types.
A bouquet garni is simple to make. Place herbs together in a small stack and tie stems together with a short bit of kitchen twine. Tie it tightly, as the herbs will shrink as they cook.
If pan smoking:
Place a double layer of foil in the bottom of a medium pot. Place wood chips on top, in a little mound. Place strainer basket over top. Place mushrooms in the strainer basket.
Place the pot on the stove and turn to medium high or high heat. Leave uncovered until you see smoke. When you see smoke, tightly cover. Wait 30 seconds, then turn heat to medium.
I love all things, New Orleans. It is a city near and dear to my heart, and it is unlike any other place in the US. New Orleans has its own language (the YAT dialect), music (the birthplace of jazz), and its own food (Creole and Cajun). And when it comes to gumbo, the great debate in the Big Easy is Creole gumbo vs. Cajun gumbo! My favorite is both the Creole and the Cajun style. A typical Creole roux is made from butter and flour (as in France), while a Cajun roux is usually made with lard or oil and flour. This is partly due to the scarcity of dairy products in some areas of Acadiana (Acadia + Louisiana) when Cajun cuisine was being developed.
Creole and Cajun dishes are both built on the “holy trinity.” An aromatic base of sautéed bell peppers, onions, and celery, it is Louisiana’s version of mirepoix, or the mix of carrots, celery, and onion used in French cooking. The trinity was a result of the region’s strong French influence. Creole food, on the other hand, has its roots in Caribbean cuisine. Okra itself is an African ingredient incorporated into Creole dishes. Filé, or ground sassafras leaves, is a gumbo thickener, similar to cornstarch today, and comes from Native Americans. These have all become staples of Louisiana food and essential parts of the Louisiana cooking puzzle.
They key to a good roux is to cook it “low and slow.” Keep the heat just south of medium heat and stir often. A good gumbo roux will take anywhere from 8-10 minutes to make. You’re looking for a nice chocolate color. I like to serve this over rice with a huge slice of my cornbread! As is the case with most gumbos, this dish is best prepared either early in the day it is to be served, or even the day before, thereby allowing time for the flavors to marry. When reheating, stir often!
In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil , add the okra and sauté over medium high heat for about 10 – 15 minutes or until all the “ropiness” is gone. This step may take a little longer if fresh okra is used. Frozen vegetables are usually plunged into boiling water and blanched before freezing, so they are partially cooked.
Place oil in a large (8 quart) heavy bottomed non-reactive Dutch oven type pot. Add the flour and, over a medium high fire, and make a dark brown roux. As soon as the proper color is achieved, add the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally until tender.
During this process, allow the vegetables to stick to the bottom of the pan a bit, then scrape the bottom with a metal spoon or spatula. This allows some of the natural sugars in the onions to caramelize, rendering great depth of flavor.
Stir in jackfruit and sausage, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften.
Add Voodoo Spice Mix, bay leaves, and filé. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is thick and the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.
This recipe is one of my favorites. Admittedly, a lot is going on here. Part savory and part sweet, the complexity of spices makes for a simple yet flavorful combination. Most recipes using pumpkin ricotta are strictly savory. This recipe, however, has a sweetness that lingers for a bit in the background. I love how the pumpkin mixes flawlessly with the sage’s earthiness, and how that combination balances perfectly with the aromatic baking spices and sweet maple syrup. Served with my cashew béchamel sauce, this would be a perfect recipe for anyone wishing to do something a little different for Thanksgiving. No Turkey? No Problem! Also, this pairs very well with either red, or white wine. I would serve this with a nice oaky chardonnay.
Part savory, part sweet, this recipe covers all the bases! Some recipes do not have you press the tofu. Pressing the tofu removes an additional 1/2 cup of water, and this prevents it from being too runny.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Be sure not to overcook! Drain and set aside.
After the tofu has been pressed, crumble and add to a food processor. Add nutritional yeast, fresh sage, oregano, dry sage, vegan parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Pulse until ingredients begin to combine into a ball stage. Remove from the food processor and add to a medium-size bowl. Fold in pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and baking spice mix—taste for salt. Mix well.
Give the pasta noodles a good rinse (they might be a little sticky). Shake off excess water. In a 9″x12″ glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of béchamel sauce on the dish’s bottom.
Carefully remove a conch shell and place it in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze each pasta shell until it opens. Using about 2 Tbsps of filling, fill each shell until your pan is full.
Drizzle with remaining 1 cup béchamel sauce, being sure to coat all of the noodles well. If using, top with additional parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn oven up to broil and carefully watch until the parmesan cheese has melted and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. (Be careful not to walk away from a broiler as it can burn very quickly).
Let cool and plate. Drizzle shells with remaining béchamel sauce from pan.
Taste for salt and pepper.
*Be sure to check your pasta label for eggs.
UPDATE:**I walked away from the broiler one hour after writing this. Sheeshhh.
Growing up in a southern family, eating black-eyed peas was a part of every Sunday meal at our house. I don’t quite remember, but I think Grandma just opened a can of beans, threw in a ham bone, and called it dinner! My recipe has evolved over the years, and this one is my favorite! This vegan version pays homage to my New Orleans side of the family, and its creole influence lends a rich, creamy, and super smoky deliciousness!
Though called a pea, black-eyed peas are a variety of the cowpea and are technically a bean. In the South, this dish is referred to as Hoppin’ John, and while a traditional Hoppin’ John is made with bacon, a ham hock, or fatback, this vegan version uses liquid smoke.
It is customary to make black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity for the New Year in southern culture. Served with greens (collards, mustard, or turnip greens, which vary regionally), the peas represent coins, the greens represent paper money. Cornbread is often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.
Serve over rice, with a piece of cornbread, and enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget the hot sauce!
I like to use dried beans because most canned black-eyed peas are simmered in a ham broth. Or they contain Disodium EDTA, which is a preservative used to promote color retention. It is synthesized from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, and sodium cyanide. EEK! But you can use canned beans in a pinch, or if you don’t want to wait! When I used canned beans of any kind, I like to use the Eden Organic brand.
Rinse dried black-eyed pea beans, pick through and discard any debris or bad beans. Add beans to a stockpot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 1-2 hours.
Warm a large, heavy skillet (I use cast iron), add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is shimmering, add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and jalapeños, sauté the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Add voodoo seasoning mix. Sauté until mixture has softened, about 3 minutes.
Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf.
Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and add the beans to the pot.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
At this point, if using, add collard greens, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally,
Cook until beans are tender and slightly thickened.
Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery.
Remove the bay leaves.
Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, seasoning, and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion.