Slowcooked refried bean dip with mushrooms and spinach

A very simple, flavourful dip with lots of greens,
garnished here with some scallions, sriracha and a white miso, sesame spread.

Ingredients

1 large, 6″ portobello mushroom, stemmed and cut 1/4″ dice
2 cups shredded green cabbbage (I use cole slaw mix)
3 scallions, minced, 2″ – 3″ reserved for garnish
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/2t dried, ground cumin
1/4t dried, ground coriander
1/4t dried red chilis (or to taste)
1/4t coarse sea salt
1 cup refried beans
1T cashew butter
1T lemon juice
1 cup vegetable stock
2T tomato passata (or puree)
2 cups packed spinach, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper/red chili to taste

Optional: Add more cashew butter to taste and
application. Garnish with scallions, sriracha, a sour cashew cream, etc. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh bread, whatever you like. If you don’t make your beans from scratch with a little dried kombu, you may want to add a small piece with the stock. Remove it before adding the spinach.

Method

Warm your slowcooker on high. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, herbs, spices, and sea salt. Cook on high for about 2 hours until the cabbage is well wilted. Add everything from the refried beans up to and including the passata.

Reduce heat to low and cook another 3 – 4 hours or so, until the dip has thickened, stirring periodically. Slowcookers vary depending on the size and exact heat. Use the colour and thickness as a guide.

When the dip has thickened, add the spinach and toss to combine. Let cook another 10 minutes or so to wilt the spinach. Remove from heat. Add the nutritional yeast.
Season to taste. Garnish and serve warm.

Red lentil, coconut milk and sea vegetable spread

Simple, savoury and rich, this makes for a luxurious addition to fresh bread, socca, with seitan, tofu and other dishes. Shown here with breaded eringi mushroom crostini and lightly wilted spinach.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 2″)
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I use full fat)
1T fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T nutritional yeast
1T nori flakes
2t purple dulse flakes
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Optional: You can also make this on the stove top or bake in a ceramic dish, but both require more attention. If you want to keep the spread close to white, stir more frequently. If you’d like a fond, don’t stir as much. Sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, capers, and other high flavour ingredients would also make nice additions.

Method

Warm a slowcooker on high. Add everything up to and including the sea salt. Cover and cook on high, stirring periodically, reducing until you have about 2 1/2 cups — expect several hours depending on your slowcooker. When reduced, remove from heat. Remove the kombu. Add the nutritional yeast, nori, and dulse. Stir to combine.

Let stand to cool uncovered about 30 minutes. Season to taste. Spoon out into an appropriate dish, cover loosely and chill 30 minutes. Pour off any condensed water, cover tightly and chill overnight to setup. When ready to serve, adjust the seasoning to taste depending on use and enjoy.

 

 

Whiskey, triple sec and fleur de sel salted butterscotch

(Plated here with a chocolate cashew and white miso frozen dessert, dark cherries in agave and a little coconut oil, and a ‘cup’ of melted bittersweet, fair trade chocolate).

1T of coconut oil
1T of agave nectar
3/4 cup of whiskey* (scotch is traditional)
1/4 cup of triple sec*
1t of black strap molasses
1t of lemon juice
1/2 cup of unsweetened soy milk
1t of corn starch dissolved with 2t of water
1 good pinch of fleur de sel

In a pot with a lid, warm the coconut oil and add the agave for 3 minutes.
Add the whiskey, triple sec and lemon juice.
Bring to a light boil and let simmer for 2 minutes.
CAREFULLY light the pan (this produces a lot of fire).
Let the alcohol burn off, and use the pot lid to put the fire out if necessary.
Simmer on low until reduced to syrup (about 1/4 cup).
Add the soy milk and molasses.
Simmer on low until reduced to about 1/2 cup.
Add the dissolved corn starch, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens.
Add fleur de sel to taste.

If your soymilk curdles or separate, reduce and then puree before thickening with corn starch.

*It’s rare, but not all whiskey or triple sec is produced without using animal products at various stages of production.

Lemon, artichoke and caper spread

When they are emulsified with olive oil, artichokes take on a very fluffy texture, making this a very flavourful alternative to oil-heavy spreads. Shown here with lightly breaded seitan.

Ingredients

2 artichoke hearts, quartered (about 1 cup)
2t of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1T of lemon juice
2T of olive oil
2t of capers
2t of garlic, minced
1T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the oil to heat on medium high, add the sea salt and the artichokes.
Saute until the artichokes are very light browned.
Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice, remove from heat and let stand about 10 minutes to cool.
Puree with the remaining ingredients in a high speed blender, adding the olive oil very slowly to ensure proper emulsification.
Chill covered for about 30 minutes, and then season to taste.

Fluffy whole wheat pancakes with raspberry compote

These are a fluffy style of pancakes with warm, sour raspberries. The recipes makes about 8 small to medium sized pancakes.

Ingredients

For the pancakes
2 cups of flour
2 1/4 cups of vanilla plant milk*
1/4 cup of sugar**
2 tablespoons of baking powder
Vanilla extract to taste (1/4 teaspoon or so)
1/4t of sea salt inch of sea salt
Plant-only margarine as necessary (not more than 1/4 cup).

For the raspberries

2 cups of raspberries (reserve half)
2T of agave nectar
2t of lemon juice
1T of corn starch dissolved in 1T of water
Additional agave nectar to taste

Make the compote first.
Heat half the raspberries in the pan on medium with the lemon juice, agave and sea salt.
Cook until the berries are soft and have produced a syrup (about 10-15 minutes).
Add the remaining berries and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Whisk the corn starch with the water, and add to the raspberries slowly and stirring continuously until thickened.
Let stand to cool and spoon over the pancakes when they’re done.

To make the pancakes, combine the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients (except for the margarine), and then the dry and the wet ingredients together.
Whisk thoroughly to combine into a smooth batter.
Heat 2T of the margarine in the pan on medium high until a small drop of water sizzles.
Ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the pan and lightly smooth out to the volume of the pancake..
Fry on one side until lightly browned (the pancake will start to bubble through — usually 2-3 minutes).
Carefully flip and fry until lightly browned on the other side.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Repeat until the batter is used up, adding 2t of margarine to the pan between pancakes.

The pan temperature for pancakes is very important. You may need to adjust the temperature to suit your pan for the best results. You can keep your pancakes warm in a very low oven in an oven proof dish.

*Soy milk will provide a denser chew, while rice milk, a fluffier pancake.

**The compote will be lightly sour with raspberries. With a sweeter berry, you may want less sugar in the pancake. Many white table sugars are still refined using animal bone charcoal. Organic sugar, beet sugar, agave nectar and other sweeteners make good alternatives.

Polenta fries with tomato basil aïoli

A nice alternative to deep frying, the corn meal crisps up quite nicely. Replace the corn meal with whole grain teff for quicker, more nutrient dense versions (simmer for only 20 minutes).

Ingredients

For the polenta
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1/2t of coarse sea salt
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
2T of unsweetened soy milk
2T of olive oil (or coconut oil, if you prefer)
1T of garlic, minced
1/4t of dried ground turmeric
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the aïoli

1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk
1t of lemon juice
1T of sesame seed butter
1T of garlic, minced
1T of fresh basil, minced
2t of tomato passata (or pureed tomatoes if that’s what you have)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Make the polenta first, then the aïoli.

Bring the water and sea salt to a soft boil in a pan with a lid.
Add the corn meal slowly, stirring as you go.
Reduce heat to low and cook for roughly 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
The polenta will be done when it’s quite thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, turmeric, soy milk and any additional seasonings.
Stir thoroughly to combine.
Let stand five minutes to cool.
Spoon the polenta into a lightly oiled (or nonstick) 3″x9″ baking dish, and smooth the top with a spoon.
Let cool for about 30 minutes uncovered in the refrigerator to setup.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Carefully turn out the polenta, cut into twelve slices.
Generously oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little corn meal.
Add the polenta and bake turning every 8-10 minutes or so for about 30-40 minutes — until the fries start to lightly brown and the outside is lightly crisp, Ovens vary. Use the texture and colour as a guide.
Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with the aïoli.

While the polenta bakes, make the aïoli.
Blend the soy milk, sesame seed butter, lemon juice and garlic in a high speed blender with a pinch of sea salt (I used an immersion blender).
Next, slowly add the oil in a dribble while blending so that it will emulsify correctly.
Mince the basil and add it to the aïoli, stirring to combine.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the flavours mingle.
Add the passate in drips when ready to serve.

Peanut sauce, salsa and other dips do well this dish. The aïoli also makes a nice spread for sandwiches and other uses. For a creamier fry, blend the polenta for a minute in a high speed blender once it’s cooled and before putting it into the baking dish.

Grilled tofu braised in red pepper, cauliflower rosé with red sweet potato and kale colcannon

A luxurious sauce for tofu that will also work with seitan, mushrooms, as a pasta sauce and other dishes with a reimagination of traditional Irish side dish.

For the tofu
1 block of extra-firm, high quality tofu (approximately 1/2 lb)*
1/4 cup of olive oil
2T of tamari
2T of agave nectar
1T of lemon juice
1T of garlic, minced
1/4t of coarse sea salt

For the sauce
2T of cooking oil
1T of garlic, minced
2 cups of cauliflower florets
1 red pepper, roasted and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of passata (tomato puree)
2T of nutritional yeast
2T of arrowroot powder whisked with 1/4 cup of water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the colcannon
1 large red sweet potato (about 2 cups)
2T of cooking oil
1/4t – 1/2t coarse sea salt (to your taste)
2 cups of chopped kale
1t of white vinegar
1 scallions minced, leave about 2″ – 3″ of green for garnish

Instructions

Make the tofu and roast the vegetables first. Make the sauce, and then the colcannon.
Slice the tofu length-wise into four pieces.
Press the tofu if you have a press or wrap in a clean kitchen towel and lay something heavy on your tofu (e.g., a cookie sheet and then something heavy to distribute the weight effectively for about 15 – 30 minutes or as directed by your press).
Whisk the marinade ingredients until well-combined.
Then with marinade and marinate covered for at least 30 minutes, turning at least once.**
When ready, remove the tofu from the marinade and preheat the oven to 450F.
Grill the tofu on a clean oven rack for 10 minutes or so each side (if you prefer not to grill directly on a rack, use an oiled cookie sheet).
Look for light grill marks and the tofu will lightly brown). Ovens vary; use the colour as a guide.
Spoon 2t of marinade onto each slice and cover consistently.
Repeat for the other side when you turn them.
Perforate the red sweet potato in a few place with a fork.
Lightly oil the potato and roast until fork tender (about 40 minutes).
Lightly oil the red pepper and roast until lightly charred (or use the standard stove top method if using a gas stove).
When done, remove the pepper from the oven.
Reduce the oven heat to 350F and turn the potato over.
Let the pepper stand 15 minutes to cool, and then peel, core, seed and chop.
Bring the cooking oil to heat on medium high.
Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add the cauliflower and red pepper and saute for 7-8 minutes.
Add the stock and deglaze the pan.
Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft but not mushy.
Add the passata and puree the cauliflower and red pepper until smooth.
Return to a low simmer.
Add the nutritional yeast.
When the tofu is ready, remove from the oven and add it to the sauce.
Cover and simmer/poach the tofu in the sauce for until ready to serve (about 45 minutes to an hour).
Once the sweet potato is fork tender, remove it from the oven and let stand to cool 15-20 minutes.
When cool, preheat the oven to 400F.
Peel and mash the potato.
Mixed with the kale, sea salt, scallions, vinegar and olive oil to thoroughly combine.
Add to two ramekins and bake for about 20 – 30 minutes until the potatoes are lightly browning.
Remove the ramekins from the oven and let cool about 5-10 minutes.
Remove the sauce and the tofu from head at the same time and let stand.
Remove the tofu.
Return the sauce to a light simmer.
Whisk the arrowroot and water.
Add the mixture to the sauce, continuously stirring until thickened.
Add the tofu to the plate.
Spoon sauce over thoroughly.
Garnish with scallions.
Carefully turn out the colcannon from the ramekins.
Season to taste and serve.

(1) You can marinate the tofu before grilling, but it simmers for a long time in a thick sauce. The quality of the tofu makes a big difference to how it tastes in a dish.
(2) The longer the tofu marinates, the more it will absorb the flavours of the marinade. 30 minutes is enough, but 1-2 hours is better.

Oyster mushroom sauce with fresh passion fruit

A simple but elegant and satisfying sauce that combines two very complementary flavours and textures. Shown here over pan-fried seitan.

Ingredients

1T of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1/4 pound of oyster mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1/2 cup of vegetable stock
1 passion fruit
2t of corn starch dissolved in 1T of water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Instructions

Bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium-high.
Add the oyster mushrooms and saute for 5-7 minutes.
Add the stock and simmer for another 3-5 minutes.
Add the corn starch, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens.
Remove from heat, add the nutritional yeast, stir to combine and set aside to cool.
Slice the passion fruit carefully and spoon out the seeds, removing any pith from the seeds as necessary.
Season the mushrooms to taste and plate.
Garnish with about a tablespoon of passion fruit.

Kale, cashew and walnut pesto

A simple, mostly raw pesto, heavy on the greens. Pictured here with a maple and tamari roasted tofu, red
potatoes and heirloom carrots.

Ingredients

2 cups packed baby kale
1/4 cup fresh basil
1T fresh garlic, minced
1T lemon juice
2T cashews
2T walnuts
2T olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Soak the nuts in warm water for at least an hour.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree
until smooth.
Let stand 30 minutes before using.
Seasons to taste.

 

 

Orange mushroom gravy

A simple, flavourful gravy seasoned with ginger, mustard ad other nuances. Good with roasted vegetables, tofu, tempeh and other foods. Pictured here with tofu, and roasted Brussels sprouts, carrots and potatoes.

Ingredients

1T cooking oil
1/4t coarse salt
1 scallions, minced
1T garlic, minced
100 grams cremini mushrooms in 1/8″ slices
1/4 cup orange juice
2 cups mushroom stock
2T orange marmalade*
2t tamari
1T balsamic vinegar
1t prepared brown mustard
1 pinch cloves
2t fresh grated ginger
1T scant of tapioca flour dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium high in a frying pan with a lid.
Add the scallions and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms to the pan and saute for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms start to lose their moisture and the pan starts to brown.
Add the orange juice and deglaze the pan.
Add the renaming ingredients except for the tapioca flour and related water.
Stir until thoroughly combined.
Reduce to medium low and simmer until reduced to about 1 cup.
Whisk the tapioca with the water until dissolved.
Stirring constantly, slowly add the tapioca mixture until thickened.
Season to taste and serve immediately.

*Choose a marmalade made with organic sugar or other sugar that hasn’t been bleached using animal bone charcoal.