Spinach and walnut pesto

A simple, rich pesto heavy on the greens. Pictured here with seitan, sauerkraut and kamut.

Ingredients

2T olive oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
2T walnuts
1 cup packed spinach
2t lemon juice
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
1T nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

In a food processor, grind the walnuts with the oil and sea salt.
Add the remaining ingredients, and puree until smooth.
Let stand 20 minutes, season to taste, and serve.

Artichoke and millet mousse with capers and lemon

A simple side dish that takes advantage of millet and artichoke chemistry to produce an airy, creamy texture. Pictured here with roasted tofu, sauteed kale and a light tomato sauce.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water
1/4t coarse sea salt
1/2 cup millet
1 cup artichoke hearts
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
2T nutritional yeast
1T lemon juice
1T pickled capers
1t prepared brown mustard
1/2T fresh garlic, minced
2T olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a small sauce pan with a lid, bring the water and sea salt to a boil.
Add the millet, cover, reduce temperature to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until the water is fully absorbed.
Remove from heat, and let the millet fluff for 5 minutes.
With a food processor or immersion blender, puree the cooked millet with the remaining ingredients except the olive oil until smooth.
Slowly dribble the olive oil into the mix while continuing to blend to emulsify.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes to cool and setup.
Season to taste and serve.

Sauerkraut, sesame white sauce

Ready in seconds and highly flavourful, this mostly raw sauce provides a nice alternative to more involved stove-top sauces. Pictured here with a rice paper burrito, baby spinach and tomatoes.

Ingredients

2T unpasteurized sauerkraut
1T of the sauerkraut’s pickling vinegar
2-3T nutritional yeast
2T sesame seed butter pureed
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Puree all the ingredients, season to taste and serve.
Start with 2T nutritional yeast but add more to your taste.
Use cashew butter and reduce the vinegar for something a little milder.
Add garlic or 1/2t white miso for even more flavor.

Smoky, spicy tomato sauce with smoked paprika and red Thai chili

A simple red sauce for those times when you want to add some bright colour and strong flavour to the plate without making it too heavy. Pictured here with seitan, stir fried spinach and mashed purple yam.

Ingredients

1T cooking oil
1/4t coarse sea salt
1t smoked paprika
1/2t red Thai chili paste (or to taste)
1 cup passata (or tomato puree)
1/2t coconut sugar
1t tapioca flour dissolved in 1T cold water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

In a frying pan, bring the oil and coarse sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the chili and the paprika and fry for 2 minutes.
Add the passata and coconut sugar.
Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5-7 minutes until reduced by about half.
Add the tapioca mixture slowly, stirring continuously until thickened.
Remove from heat, season to taste and serve.

Smokey red miso, overnight oat spread

A rich spread for crackers, wraps, pita, potatoes or other similar foods, here served with sliced ripe red pear, baby kale and spinach greens, and crackers.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sauerkraut vinegar (use unpasteurized)
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/2t coarse sea salt
1T heaping smoked paprika
1/2t garlic powder
1t turmeric powder (or to taste)
2T red miso
1/4 cup walnut butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2T agar agar flakes
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Grind the walnuts in a food processor until they have the consistency of nut butter.
Add the oats and grind until they have the texture of ground coffee.
Add the sauerkraut, vinegar and walnuts and grind until well mixed.
Add 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, puree, and let stand 20 minutes.
Add a second 1/2 cup of soy milk and puree.
Cover and set aside for least 8 hours (or overnight).
When the oats are ready,in a small pan with a lid, bring
the last 1/2 cup soy milk to a simmer.
Whisk in the agar agar flakes, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add all of the remaining ingredients to the oats and puree as smooth as you can get it.
Add the oat mixture to the soy milk and puree again.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture is quite thick.
Remove from heat and least cool 15 minutes uncovered.
Transfer to a container with a lid, cover and chill for at least 4 hours to setup.
Serve with the pear and greens, sliced apple, with sauteed mushrooms or other rich and flavourful foods.

Red pepper and pineapple salsa

A simple, mild but full-flavored salsa. Shown here with slow-cooked tofu, fresh baby greens and brown rice.

Ingredients

1 cup red pepper
1 1/4 cup fresh pineapple
1/2 cup tomato
1/4 cup onion (I use finely chopped scallion)
1t minced garlic
1t lime juice
Sea salt to taste

Optional: Grill the red pepper and pineapple, add fresh cilantro, mint, minced green or poblano pepper, add more tomato or tomatillo, cayenne, habanero or jalapeño pepper — whatever you like to round out the flavours.

Directions

Seed, core, and mince the red pepper. Mince the pineapple. Seed, cored and finely chop the tomato. Finely chop the onion. Add the options you like. Add the sea salt and let sit a few minutes for the flavours to mingle. I like mine a little chunky, but you can either dice for something chunkier or pulse blend for something smoother.

Sesame seed aoili

Shown here with a pinch of smoked paprika and herbes de Provence, this is a simple, flavourful alternative for those moments when you just want a little spread for your sandwich or to add a little extra flavour and body to salad dressings. No need to blend up a block of tofu or try to get soy mik and a cup of oil to emulsify.

Ingredients
2T sesame seed butter (as opposed to tahini — I use a fairly traded brand)
2T unsweetened soy milk
1T white pickling vinegar (or to taste)
1t lemon juice
1/2t fresh garlic, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1-3t cold water
Coarse sea salt to taste

Optional: Add red Thai chili, more garlic, black pepper, fresh tarragon, basil, dill, dried herbs,ginger, black salt, turmeric, nutritional yeast, curry powder, toasted sesame oil, za’atar spice mix, or any number of other flavours. Replace the sesame butter with cashew butter for something a little sweeter.

Note: Pickling vinegar is normally double strength white vinegar. You can use regular white vinegar, but you may need additional seed butter (and skip the water) to balance it out in terms of flavour and consistency. Other plant milks — even water should work, but depending on what you use, colour, consistency, keep time may all vary.

Directions
Mix the sesame seed butter with the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, and soy milk until the sesame thickens and becomes fluffy. This will take a minute or so of mixing. The sesame will change colour and become smooth and creamy. You can also blend the mixture with the garlic as well (garlic is an emulsifying agent). I usually don’t bother with a quantity this small. Add the coarse sea salt and 1t cold water, and mix.

At this point, the flavor will be quite sharp. Add any additional flavours you like, stir to combine, and then let stand at least 5 minutes. Add cold water 1 teaspoon at a time till you get the consistency and flavour that suits your. If you make it too thin or you find the taste too sharp, add additional sesame seed butter and continue to adjust — although the flavour will mellow with more stand time and it will further thicken if refrigerated.