Posts by ethnic vegan

michelle’s spring rolls

Michelle, mother of five and a great vegan cook, submitted this recipe. You can set out the ingredients and let your guests make their own spring rolls.

2 oz. dried bean thread noodles or rice thread noodles
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
12 large rice-paper wrappers (8-inch round or larger)
2 cups baby spinach leaves (or other hardy greens such as kale or romaine lettuce), cut in thin strips
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
8 oz. baked, seasoned tofu, cut into 1/4-inch sticks
12 fresh basil or mint leaves
Peanut sauce for dipping

1. Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 5 minutes or until softened. Drain well and set aside.

2. Remove and discard the seeds in the cucumber by scraping a spoon on the center of each piece. Cut each piece into thin strips.

3. Fill a large bowl (at least several inches larger than the rice wrappers) with warm water. Soak one wrapper until soft and pliable, 20-30 seconds. Remove the rice wrapper from the water and lay flat on a counter or cutting board. Place 1-2 tablespoons of spinach leaves along one edge of the wrapper. Place an equal amount of noodles over the spinach. Top with 1 tablespoon of carrot matchsticks, several pieces of cucumber and tofu, and a basil or mint leaf.

4. Roll the wrapper, starting with the filling side, folding the ends over the filling as you roll and forming a tight cylinder. Serve with small bowls of peanut sauce for dipping.

rosemary focaccia bread

If you’ve never made homemade bread, this is a good introductory recipe. It’s easy! The dough needs time to rise, so save this recipe for a leisurely afternoon. Use fresh rosemary for the best (and most fragrant!) results.

4 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package (.25 ounce) active dried yeast
2 tsp. salt
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Additional olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt for sprinkling
Extra sprigs of fresh rosemary for garnishing

1. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil, rosemary, and garlic until aromatic. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together water, active dried yeast, and salt. Add olive oil, rosemary, and garlic and stir. Add 4 cups of flour and stir until combined. Knead the dough in the mixing bowl with your fingers for about 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough is soft, not sticky. If it’s still sticky, knead in extra flour until the dough is soft.

2. Cover bowl tightly and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour. (I like to preheat the oven on the warm setting, turn the oven off, and let the dough rise in the oven with the door slightly open). Gently poke the dough with your finger. If your finger imprint remains, it’s ready.

3. Brush oil on a 10″ x 12″ rectangular baking pan. With oiled fingers, stretch the dough evenly over the baking pan. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 400°. Brush top of dough with olive oil and decorate with rosemary sprigs. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

strawberry tofool

Maybe you’ve heard of a classic dessert called a fruit fool? Sue found an English recipe for strawberry fool that dates back to 1764! The basic recipe consists of berries and an equal amount of cream, with sugar added. After blending well, the consistency is similar to a pudding. Some modern recipes use cream and yogurt. Sue came up with this veganized version. YUM. Try it. It’s easy and fast.

1 12-oz. package SILKEN tofu
12 oz. fresh strawberries (or 12-oz. package frozen strawberries, thawed)
1/2 cup agave nectar

Blend in a food processor; chill. That’s it!

indonesian rice salad

Sue worked hard this week to create the Asian-inspired dressing for this salad, a perfectly blended balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and tart flavors, with none overpowering the other. Her husband loves it.

dressing:
2/3 cup orange juice
3 Tbs. peanut oil
1 Tbs. sesame oil
3 Tbs. tamari
2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. dry white wine
1 tsp. sugar or agave nectar
1/4 tsp. garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of white pepper

salad:
2 cups cooked rice
Small bunch of green onions
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
1/2 medium zucchini, julienne sliced
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup cashew halves
1 8 oz. can water chestnuts, sliced
1/3 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Place dressing ingredients into small mixing bowl and mix well with wire whisk.

2. Slice green onion bunch in half, and discard dark green half. Chop onions and place in large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and set aside.

3. Pour dressing over salad ingredients, mix well, and refrigerate.

indonesian noodle salad

7-oz. package wide-cut noodles
1 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. sesame oil
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
8 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced
1-2 jalapenos, veins and seeds removed, minced
Dry roasted peanuts

1. Place noodles in pot of boiling water; cover. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl combine sugar, oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Blend with a whisk and pour sauce over noodles.

3. Mix cilantro with green onions and jalapenos. Combine with noodles and top with a handful of peanuts.

spicy coconut soup

Fans of Thai food, rejoice! This colorful soup is quick and easy.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp. red curry paste (read labels; the Thai Kitchen brand red curry paste is vegan) or more to taste
4 cups vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 12-oz. bag baby spinach leaves, larger leaves torn and stems removed

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until onion is translucent but not browned (about 5 minutes). Add red curry paste, broth, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add zucchini and continue to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add spinach leaves and cook until leaves are wilted. Serve with a cool salad.

mango dessert topping

If you’re fortunate enough to have an Asian market nearby, check the produce section for good deals on large quantities of mangoes. Serve this tasty topping over your favorite frozen vanilla soy or rice dessert.

2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tbs. vegan margarine
12 cups sliced mangos (about 8 large mangoes)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Add margarine; stir until blended. Add sliced mangoes and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mangoes are tender and turn a caramel color. Serve over your favorite frozen dessert.

best ever vegan oat nut date bars

Our friends at The Vegetarian Site claim that this is one of their favorite desserts of all time. Try it and see for yourself!

filling:
3/4 pound dates, chopped
1/2 cup unrefined sugar
1 cup water
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup walnuts, chopped

crust:
1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1/3 cup applesauce
1/3 cup vegan margarine (never hydrogenated)
1 cup unrefined sugar

1. In medium saucepan, combine dates, sugar, and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened (approximately 8 minutes). Remove from heat and cool. Add lemon juice, vanilla, and walnuts.

2. In separate mixing bowl, sift flour, salt, and baking soda. Add oatmeal, applesauce, margarine, and sugar. Combine well. With wet hands, press half of the oatmeal mixture into a greased 13x9x2-inch or 11x11x2-inch pan. Spread with filling. Cover with remaining oatmeal mixture.

3. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature and cut into squares. Refrigerate if desired. Enjoy!

More vegan recipes from the Vegetarian Site are available here.

watermelon ginger lime slushy

ginger syrup:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
4″ piece ginger

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan; stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Allow syrup to cool before using. Store extra ginger syrup in the refrigerator so that you can make a slushy on a moment’s notice!

slushy:
10 ice cubes
3 cups watermelon, seeded and chopped
3 Tbs. lime juice (preferable freshly squeezed)
1/4 cup ginger syrup

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

mom’s sweet & sour pepper slaw

dressing:
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt

slaw:
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup jalapeño pepper, minced
6 cups coleslaw

1. Place dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a whisk and set aside.

2. Combine slaw ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour dressing over slaw, tossing to coat.

“sausage” & lentils

Greg Lawson kindly allowed us to post his version of this classic recipe. If the vegan products aren’t available in your area, you can order them from The Mail Order Catalog, VeganEssentials, or Pangea. You can also use vegan meat substitutes you may have on hand.

2 Tbs. olive oil
4 slices Lightlife brand vegan bacon, diced (or 2 strips Primal Strips brand jerky, hickory flavored)
3 Yves brand vegan sausage links
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced fennel bulb (optional)
1/4 cup diced carrots
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 bay leaf
1 cup brown lentils
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1.5-oz bag Stonewall’s Jerky (mild or wild)
1 stick Vegi-Deli brand Quick Stix (any flavor), cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces and halved crosswise
3 cups vegetable stock (add more stock or water if you desire, but this should not be a soup)
A shot of wine if needed (for the pan or for the cook)

Heat the olive oil. Place the vegan “bacon” in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes, and remove from the pan. Brown the “sausages” in the hot oil until golden (2 to 3 minutes per batch). Remove from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions, fennel (if desired), and carrots to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaf and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lentils and stir for about 1 minute. Return the browned sausages and bacon to the pan; stir in the thyme, hot pepper flakes, tomatoes, Stonewall’s Jerky, Quick Stix pieces, and vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cook 50 to 55 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and have soaked up most of the liquid. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Serve the lentils and sausage with whole-grain mustard and crusty bread.

tomato and coconut milk rice

Michelle, an excellent vegan cook, submitted this recipe. She’s busy introducing Missourians to exotic vegan dishes via vegetarian cooking demos. Thanks, Michelle!

2 Tbs. peanut oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small hot pepper, such as habanera, seeded and chopped (you may want to wear gloves)
1 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the onion and pepper until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains are evenly coated with oil, about 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, and salt and bring to a simmer.

2. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add more water or coconut milk and increase cooking time by a few minutes if the rice is not quite tender.

3. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the crushed pepper. Cover and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

thumbprint cookies

One of our favorite cookies!

1 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

1. In a mixing bowl, beat the margarine, sugar and almond extract at high speed for about 2 minutes. Stir in flour and salt; don’t overmix. Chill for about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350º. Roll cookie dough into small balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Place a thumbprint in the middle of each. Bake for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill indentations with jam. Return to oven and bake for about 5 more minutes.

3. Remove from oven and cool.

vegan moussaka

Moussaka is a layered eggplant casserole that traditionally contains lamb or beef and a rich dairy-based sauce. Although Greece seems to be the birthplace of moussaka, many other regions of the world claim their own versions, including the Middle East, Ethiopia, and Eastern Europe. Our version uses broiled eggplant instead of fried and includes a creamy vegan sauce.

1 large eggplant
2 Tbs. olive oil plus additional for brushing eggplant
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup red wine
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz. vegan cream cheese (we used Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese)
1/2 cup of your favorite non-dairy milk

1. Oil an 8 x 8 baking pan; set aside. Heat the broiler. Trim both ends of the eggplant and cut 1/4″ lengthwise slices (peeling the eggplant is optional). Place slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Slide baking sheet under the broiler and bake until slices are nicely browned. Turn slices over, brush with olive oil, and brown the other sides. Remove from oven and set aside.

2. While browning eggplant, heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add next 8 ingredients (red wine through black pepper); stir to combine. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine vegan cream cheese with soy milk. Stir occasionally until cream cheese is melted.

4. Place half the eggplant in the baking dish. Spoon half the tomato sauce over the slices. Repeat with remaining slices and sauce. Spoon the cream cheese sauce over the casserole. Place baking dish in oven under broiler until top is nicely browned. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes. Serve with a green salad.

Variation: If you like to cook with meat substitutes, add a vegan beef or sausage to the tomato sauce mixture.

pasta salad with tofu

Baked tofu is a good way to incorporate isoflavones into our daily diet. It’s pre-cooked, pre-seasoned, and therefore instant (fast and easy), healthy food.

2 1/2 cups rotini pasta, cooked al dente and drained
15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
2 1/2-oz can sliced black olives, drained
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
4 oz. baked tofu, tomato-basil flavor, cubed
1/3 cup vinegar and oil salad dressing (or balsamic vinegar and olive oil combined)
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix cooled pasta with remaining ingredients. Chill.

lemon ginger stir fry

This is not your ordinary stir fry, but don’t let the exotic flavor fool you: It’s simple enough to serve on a weeknight.

2 Tbs. canola oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. fresh ginger, minced
1 Tbs. sesame oil
1 Tbs. grated lemon rind
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbs. agave nectar
3 Tbs. tamari
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. water
3 tsp. cornstarch
2 cups zucchini, halved and sliced
1 12-oz. package of your favorite frozen stir fry veggies

Jasmine or basmati rice

1. Heat canola oil in medium saucepan. Add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, combine next nine ingredients (ginger through cornstarch) in a medium bowl. Set aside.

3. Add zucchini and frozen stir-fry veggies to saucepan. Cook for 2 minutes. Add stir fry sauce and cook for about 4 minutes. Serve with jasmine or basmati rice.

homemade refried beans

Rebecca Valencia says that her children love these homemade refried beans. If you like spicy food, add cumin or jalapeños to the saucepan.

1/2 lb. dry pinto beans
1/2 cup of kidney beans
1 handful of Navy beans (or Great Northern beans or other white beans)
Water
Salt
1 – 2 Tbs. olive oil

1. Pour the beans into a crockpot and fill to the top with water. Cook on low for about 9 hours or on high for 5 or 6 hours. When the beans are tender, add salt to taste. Pour the bean broth into a bowl and set aside.

2. Pour the beans into the blender. Gradually add the bean broth and puree the beans. Don’t add too much water-the beans will be soupy instead of thick and creamy.

3. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the pureed beans and cook until heated through. Serve with your favorite Central or South American dishes, or refrigerate and reheat for a later meal.

roasted root vegetable casserole

This two-for-one recipe yields a second dinner with a minimum of extra time and ingredients. Serve the roasted root vegetable casserole on the first night. On the second night, place the leftovers in a big soup pot, add a couple items, and enjoy a tasty dinner stew.

3 large white potatoes
2 yams
1 large yellow onion
1 large turnip
1 large rutabaga
5 carrots
2-3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350°. Peel all vegetables (you can scrub potatoes and leave skins on), cut into 1-inch cubes, and place in a large roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle spices over veggies and mix well. Add 1/2 cup water to roasting pan. Bake for 1 hour uncovered, then cover and bake for an additional hour. Serve with a colorful salad and a crusty loaf of bread; sit back and enjoy the compliments!

Day 2: Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

In a large soup pot, put leftover roasted veggies, a 10-oz package frozen cut green beans, and a quart of vegetable broth. Add just enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

uncle bill’s fresh spicy salsa

Thanks to Rebecca Valencia for submitting her Uncle Bill’s salsa recipe.

2 yellow chile peppers
1 (or 2) jalapeno peppers
4 or 5 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
1/2 bunch of green onions, minced
1/2 lemon
Pinch of salt

1. Prepare the chile peppers by removing the seeds and stems and mincing. For a spicier salsa, reserve some seeds and add to the mixture.

2. Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Squeeze the fresh lemon juice over the ingredients and add a pinch of salt. Serve with chips, on vegan tacos, or as a salad dressing!

quick okra

I’m a big okra fan, especially when it’s cooked with traditional Indian spices. Thanks to Rebecca Valencia for this recipe!

12 oz. fresh or frozen okra, cut into small (1/4″) pieces
1 medium onion, sliced thin
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. red chili powder
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala
2 green chilies, sliced and seeds removed
A squeeze of lemon
Salt to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir-fry onions until lightly browned. Add red chili powder, coriander, cumin, turmeric, and garam masala. Stir and cook for a few seconds.

2. Add the okra and the green chilies. Add a dash of lemon and salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes or until the okra is cooked but firm. Serve hot with white rice or Indian bread.

raw indian red curry salad

Thanks to Suresh Chandra and Kapil Sharma for this salad recipe. Sharma says that his mother makes a similar salad all the time in India. The flavor combination of ginger, onion, curry, and lemon makes this a tantalizing salad!

Romaine lettuce
1 medium white or red onion
4 Roma tomatoes
1 large piece of fresh ginger
Red Indian curry powder
2 lemons

1. Arrange this salad on a large plate or several small plates instead of mixing in a bowl. Place a layer of lettuce on the plate. Slice the onion in circles (not quarters). Slice the tomatoes in circles. Place a layer of the onion circles on the bed of lettuce. Place a layer of tomatoes on the layer of onions.

2. Cut the fresh ginger in 1/4″ matchsticks. On each tomato, arrange 3 strips of ginger like spokes on a wheel connecting at the center of the tomato. Garnish other strips of ginger creatively on the salad.

3. Cut the lemons in half. Set aside one half to squeeze on the salad. Place the open faces of the other three lemon halves flat on the cutting board. Cut into 1/16 sections, then cut the sections into small pieces. Arrange the lemon pieces on the salad.

4. Sprinkle the red curry powder over the entire salad. Squeeze the fresh lemon half over the top to allow the curry powder to seep into the vegetables. Enjoy!

chai tea

Nothing warms you up on a cold winter day like this spicy Indian tea. Thanks to Rebecca Valencia for this recipe!

1 green cardamom pod
1 clove
1 cinnamon stick
1/4″ ginger root, peeled and sliced thin
2 bay leaves
1 – 2 cups water
2 Tbs. Darjeeling tea
2-3 Tbs. agave nectar or sugar (to taste)
1 1/2 cups of your favorite non-dairy milk

Place first 6 ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add Darjeeling tea, sweetener, and soy milk or rice milk. Serve hot (or iced in the summer!).