vegan recipes

Spiced Applesauce Cake -Vegan

Spiced Applesauce Cake

This is a favorite recipe of mine. The cake is moist, lightly spiced and very easy to make. I shared it with my goddaughter yesterday and she loved it. The applesauce adds moisture and flavor.

I used olive oil in the recipe, because Gwen is vegan. You can make this recipe with butter instead. The spices work so well together. Sometimes simple is the best. Before someone asks, it is not a misprint, there are no eggs in the recipe. The cake rises just fine without them.

I wish I remembered where this recipe came from. I have a piece of flowered stationery, a little crinkled around the edges, creased from being folded many times, with the recipe written on it. It is not my handwriting. I would love to credit the source of this wonderful recipe.

Spiced Applesauce Cake

2 c. unsweetened applesauce

½ c. butter, coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil

2 c. sugar

3 c. flour

1 T. baking soda

½ t. salt

1 t. each cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg

¼ t. cloves

1 c. raisins or chopped nuts

Heat together applesauce and butter until butter melts. Cool down a bit. If using coconut oil, also heat up the applesauce. For other oils, just use room temperature applesauce and mix with the oil. Preheat oven 375 and grease 9×13-inch pan. Stir all ingredients together bake 30 minutes. Cool in pan.

Sunny Spring Salad

Sunny Spring Salad

Today’s recipe is a tasty vegetarian salad that is as satisfying as it is pretty.  The color is bright, just perfect after several days of chilly weather. If it doesn’t feel like Spring outside, it can feel like Spring inside.

When I say split peas, what comes to mind? Split pea soup? GREEN split pea soup?  Years ago my dear friend, Dale Gallis, turned me on to yellow split peas.  I started making soup from them, but also use them in salads.

The yellow split peas are combined with carrots, sweet onion, sweet peppers and fresh herbs,  then tossed with a simple combination of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. You can serve it right away, or let the flavors blend in the fridge for a bit. I served my salad over a mix of Spring greens.

Yellow  (or green) split peas cook to al dente in about 20 minutes, so they are a quick option, too. Much shorter cooking times than other legumes.

Sunny Spring Salad

1- 1 1/2 c. raw yellow split peas

salt

1 carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2 c. chopped sweet onion

1/2 c. chopped sweet pepper

1/2 c. chopped parsley

1/2 c. snipped chives

1/4 c. olive oil

1/4 c. cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

6 c. mixed Spring greens

Rinse peas and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and add a little salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until peas are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Combine peas with carrots, peppers and onion and toss well. Add parsley, chives, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Chill until ready to use.  Serve on greens.  Serves 3-4.

Cook in simmering water until tender
Rinse in cold water after cooking
Combine peas with other veggies

Combine peas with other veggies

Broccoli with Hummus

Broccoli with Hummus

When you think of hummus, I bet you think of it as a dip. It is a great dip, paired with some pita bread or fresh veggies. But hummus can be more than a dip. I love to toss hot veggies with hummus. I especially like to do this with broccoli. I started doing this years ago for a friend who was vegan. The hummus was a nice substitute for butter or a cheese sauce.

You can use homemade hummus, but store bought is fine, too. Hummus is made from chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a few seasonings. Of course, you can make all sorts of variations. You just combine the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Doesn’t get much simpler. I prefer to make my own, so I can flavor it the way I want.

One of my favorite combinations is hummus with broccoli. The flavors work great together. You just toss hummus with hot, freshly cooked broccoli. So yummy.

Since I had some cauliflower,  I added some of it to the dish as well.

So the next time you have some hummus around, try tossing it with hot, cooked veggies for a fun side dish or an easy vegetarian main dish.

Steamed Broccoli with Hummus

1 lb. fresh broccoli, you can also use cauliflower or a combination

1/2 c. hummus, homemade or store bought, recipe follows

Cut broccoli into long spears, peeling and trimming tough stems. Steam until just tender. Warm hummus over low heat or in a microwave and spoon over the cooked broccoli. Toss to coat evenly. Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main course.

Hummus

1 can garbanzo beans, drained- or about 2 cups cooked chick peas

1/4 c. olive oil

2 T. lemon juice

2 T. tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 cloves garlic

salt and hot pepper sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Adjust seasonings. Chill. Serve with pita bread, crackers or fresh vegetables. Also nice spread in a pita bread with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. Freezes well.

Ratatouille Salad

Ratatouille Salad

I had all the ingredients for ratatouille, a lovely French vegetable stew. I had eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, onions and fresh herbs. But I was in the mood for a salad. I decided to use the same ingredients that I would use for the ratatouille, but transform them into a salad. It came out quite nice. I could see serving it on toasted bread, or using it like a dip. It reminded me of caponata, in a way.

I decided to cook the eggplant and onion, but leave the rest of the vegetables raw. I also decided to leave the skin on the eggplant. I did not salt the eggplant beforehand. The eggplant was fresh and tender- I saw no need for peeling or salting, but you could do both, if you like.

I always have roasted garlic on hand. I make a big batch and store in smaller containers in the freezer, until needed. The directions for roasting garlic follow the recipe. If you don’t have roasted garlic, you could add several cloves of garlic, peeled and minced. I invited a neighbor to try it- and she ended up taking the rest home.

Ratatouille Salad

1 medium eggplant, cubed. I had about 3 cups of eggplant.

3 T. oil

½ t. salt

1 medium onion, sliced

2 T. roasted garlic*

½ c. red wine vinegar

1 med. zucchini, cut in matchstick pieces, about 3 cups

1 sweet pepper, seeded and diced

1½ c. diced fresh tomato, seeded, if desired

Dressing:

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

1/3 c. olive oil

2-3 T. honey, or to suit your taste

2 T. chopped parsley

1 t. chopped basil

2 t. thyme leaves

Hot sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

In skillet, heat oil and saute eggplant until tender and just starting to brown. Season with salt. Remove from skillet and set in a mixing bowl. In same skillet, saute onion and cook until wilted and tender. Add the garlic and vinegar to the skillet and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. While liquid is cooking down, place remaining veggies in mixing bowl with the eggplant. When most of the liquid is cooked off, place onion in mixing bowl with eggplant mixture.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk to combine. Pour over the eggplant mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasonings. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 6-8 as a side.

*Once you have roasted garlic on hand for cooking, you will wonder how you did without it before. I get large amounts of freshly peeled cloves. Place the peeled garlic cloves in a roasting pan and pour a generous amount of olive oil over the garlic. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 until garlic is tender and golden. This will take at least 30 minutes, but up to 40 minutes. It depends on how much garlic you are roasting. Be careful not to burn it. Once cooled, place the garlic cloves, and oil, in small freezer containers. Store in freezer.

Peanut Soup- Vegan

Peanut Soup

My goddaughter was in town for an unexpected visit. It is always a joy to spend time with her. I was planning dinner for us and wanted to make it special. Gwen is vegan, and this peanut soup came to mind as a perfect first course.

It’s a simple soup with a creamy texture and just a hint of heat. You could make it spicier, of course. Gwen likes spicy foods, so I knew she would like it. She even added extra hot sauce to hers.

If your only experience with eating peanut butter is on a sandwich or in cookies, you might be surprised at just how good this soup tastes. I have made it with almond butter, but still prefer it made with peanut butter. This is a vegan recipe, but you could use chicken stock, if you like. It freezes well, too.

Peanut Soup

2 c. chopped onions
1 T. oil
cayenne pepper to taste
1 t. grated fresh ginger
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. chopped sweet potatoes
1 c. chopped white potatoes
5 c. vegetable stock or water
1 c. tomato sauce
1 c. smooth peanut butter
1 T. sugar, optional
1 c. chopped green onions

Sauté onions in oil until tender. Add seasonings and carrots and sauté 3 minutes more. Add potatoes and stock and simmer until vegetables are tender. Puree soup in blender in batches until smooth. Return to pot and add tomato sauce and peanut butter. Add sugar if soup is not sweet enough. I never add the sugar, but some people do. Warm gently and serve with green onions on top. You could also top with chopped peanuts, for a little crunch. Serves 6-8.

Pea Sprout Stir Fry

Pea Sprout Stir Fry

Pea Sprout Stir Fry

I’ve been sprouting seeds and loving it. Made a tasty stir fry with some pea pods I had in the freezer, onions, sweet peppers and pea sprouts. It ended up tasting pretty darn good. I find when I stir fry veggies I eat more of them. More than a side dish, I can almost make a meal out of them served over rice or pasta.

 

Pea Sprout Stir Fry

2 T. oil

 1 onion, sliced thin

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 c. pea pods, fresh or frozen

2 c. pea sprouts*

1 c. sliced sweet pepper

1 T. soy sauce, or to taste

 1 T. hoisen sauce

1 t. sesame oil

hot pepper sauce to taste

In skillet or wok heat oil and stir fry onion over high heat until wilted. Add garlic and pea pods and stir fry 2 minutes longer. Add pea sprouts and peppers and stir fry a few minutes longer, just until sprouts are tender. Add seasonings and serve. I like this over rice. 3-4 servings.

* If you don’t have fresh pea sprouts, mung bean sprouts would also work in this dish.

Fresh Pea Sprouts

Fresh Pea Sprouts

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