Vegan Pan Fried Dumplings

I love making these, number one because they are so good and number two because it’s fun. This would be a great weekend project for the kids.

This recipe is simple, but needs to be followed quite closely. Be sure to arrange all the ingredients, before you begin preparing the dish. 

 
This should allow you to make 15 to 24 dumplings. You may freeze any leftovers that are uncooked, and the skins will keep well in the refrigerator or freezer.

Ingredients

 
Dumplings:
1 package of Dumpling Skins. Easily found at any Asian market.
½ cup each of fresh Bean Sprouts, Bamboo Shoots and Bok Choy. All finely chopped.
8 oz of Extra Firm Tofu, crumbled. A few pulses in a small food processor is perfect.
1/4 cup Green Onion, finely chopped
1 inch piece of fresh Ginger, chopped very fine or grated.
½ tsp Sugar
1 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp. Corn Starch
 
Dipping Sauce:
4 Tbsp. Light Soy Sauce
3 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp finely chopped Green Onion
2 tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
Chili Paste, optional

1-2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, for frying.

Begin by finely chopping all of the ingredients to stuff the dumplings. The ingredients must be finely chopped so they can cook properly. Mix all dumpling ingredients and allow to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Longer is okay.

 
Take a dumpling skin and lay it flat, then add about 1-1 1/2 tsp of filling, wet the edges of the skin with water and fold over, crimping with your finger. Set aside and continue. You may also use a dumpling press, which is easy to find at any Asian market. Make as many as you want, as they freeze very well. 
 
After the dumplings are stuffed, heat a non-stick pan with the oil and then add the dumplings to the hot oil, with their flat side down. Put as many in as will fit, leaving a little room for expansion. Brown the bottoms over medium heat, being sure not to burn them. Then carefully pour in 3 to 4 Tbsp. of water, quickly cover and cook on medium/low heat for 10 -15 min, or until all the water is absorbed.
 
Remove carefully and serve with the dipping sauce and hot chili paste if desired.
 
Makes 15 to 25 dumplings

Linguini with Lemon and Walnut

I’ve always been a big fan of crudo sauces that require no cooking. While not a 100% follower of raw food, I do appreciate the healthy qualities. 

This is a wonderfully light and healthy pasta. The lemon, parsley and walnuts work very well together.

Ingredients 

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1 tsp Chili Flakes
1 tsp Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 lb Linguini, Fusilli or Farfalle would be good choice as well.
1 cup Italian Parsley, coarsely chopped.
1 cup Walnuts, Pecans or Macademia nuts, coarsely chopped.
Parmesan Cheese to taste. I like the Go Veggie brand to keep it vegan.

Combine lemon juice, olive oil garlic, lemon zest and chili flakes and slightly emulsify and allow to rest for 30 minutes. I find this takes the edge off the raw garlic.

Preheat your oven to 350F and then toast the walnuts or pecans for 7-8 minutes. Watch them carefully so they do not burn.

Start you water for pasta and when boiling add a generous tablespoon of sea salt. Add your pasta and cook until just al dente.

Drain and combine with all additional ingredients and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Pimento Cheese – A Southern holiday classic

If there is anything more truly southern  than pimento cheese, I’m not sure what it is. This stuff is the real deep South deal. Right up there with fried chicken, sweet tea and biscuits. 


The beauty is that you have so many variations of the basic recipe, that you can add most anything, so be inventive. I’ve given you a basic recipe as a starting point.

Serve it on crackers, make a stunning cheese and tomato sandwich, use it for grilled cheese. It\’s amazing stuff.

And yes, it can be veganized by substituting the cheddar with a non dairy option like Daiya and using a vegan Worcestershire Sauce and mayonnaise.

Ingredients

8 oz finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
8 oz finely shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1 – 1 1/2 cups of Mayonnaise
2 tsp grated Onion
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
4 oz of chopped Pimentos
1 small Garlic clove, crushed
1/8 tsp ground Red Pepper
1-2 tsp fresh Lemon juice

Combine all ingredients by folding them together until incorporated. Adjust for flavor and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. Then mix well and transfer to individual ramekins or a suitable serving bowl.

Allow 30 minutes to come up to room temp and serve with crackers, crudités, sliced baguettes or whatever you like.

Makes about 4 cups

Latkes – A Hanukkah Tradition

As part of Hanukkah, Jewish families make latkes or potato pancakes and serve them with sour cream and applesauce. They are amazing. 

Additionally, they make wonderful canapés when topped with smoked salmon and a little creme fraiche. Add a tiny silver of fresh chive and it’s epic.

Ingredients 

3 lbs of Russet Potatoes, peeled and grated.
1 Egg, lightly beaten.
1 small Onion, finely grated.
1 small Shallot, finely grated.
3 Tbsp Matzo Meal
1 tsp Salt
Peanut Oil for frying.

Grate and drain the potatoes in a dish cloth or cheese cloth. You want them dry. Add in all other ingredients, except for the oil.

Heat your oil in a large sauté pan until hot, form your latkes into 3-4 inch patties and gentle slide them into the oil.

Fry until they are well browned, and then turn. A fish spatula is perfect.

Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce.

Vegan Filet of Fish

How about a vegan Filet of Fish? I have to admit that years ago when I still ate McDonalds, the Fillet of Fish was my favorite. So, I thought, can you make a vegan version? 


The answer is yes, and it honestly tastes much better, is vastly healthier and has that same comfort food fix. And kids love them. 

 
Ingredients 
 
4 Gardein Fishless Filets
4 Rolls, white or whole wheat
1/2 cup Daiya Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Veganaise Tartar Sauce
 
Preheat the oven to 425F and put fish filets into a foil lined baking sheet. Cook for 11 minutes then remove from oven, sprinkle your Daiya Cheddar on top and put back into the oven for an additional 1 minute. 
 
Remove from oven, spread the tartar sauce on each side of the roll. Place one filet per roll and serve immediately. 

Vegan Potato and Leek Soup

I love a good soup and potato soup is a particular favorite. Sadly, most are not vegan and can be very rich. I created this recipe and after a few dry runs have perfected it into a wonderful hearty, but still very healthy winter soup.

The key to really concentrating the flavor is the finishing off in the oven. I find my Le Creuset is perfect for this. In this updated version, I have added some carrots, celery, mushrooms and shallots. It really gives it a richer flavor. I find that the shiitake mushrooms really boost the umami. Enjoy!

Ingredients 

2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1/2 cubes. You may peel if you prefer, but the result is richer when you don\’t. 
1 cup Carrots, chopped
1 cup Celery, chopped
4 Tbsp non dairy Spread, like Earth Balance
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Shallot, sliced
2-3 Leeks, halved, cleaned and sliced into 1/4 inch slices. Use both green and white bits. 
1 cup of Shiitake  Mushrooms, sliced and cut into 2inch pieces 
4 cups Vegetable Broth, low sodium
2 sprigs fresh Thyme
1/8 tsp Marjoram 
1 Bay Leaf
1-2 tsp Sea Salt, depends on the saltiness of the broth.  
Freshly ground Black Pepper 

Prep your potatoes and put into a bowl of cold water. 


Prep your leeks and add your butter to a heavy pan, which is lidded and can be placed in the oven, and bring up to a simmer. Add the garlic and sauté just until just slightly golden. 


Then add the leeks and gently sauté. Give them about 10 minutes, but don\’t brown. Leeks can go bitter if they brown. Add the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for 5 mintues.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add all your remaining ingredients, except the potatoes and the broth. Sauté gently until it is aromatic, then add the potatoes and lightly sauté for 3-4 minutes. 


Add your broth and bring up to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes. Then put on a tight fitting lid and put into the preheated oven for an additional 30 minutes. 


Remove from the oven and take out the thyme stems and bay leaf and use a hand held immersion blender to blend and soup and thicken it. Serve with warm crusty bread or home made croutons. 


Note: If you do not have an immersion blender, you can transfer the soup in a few batches to a food processor. Barring that, you can also use a potato masher, but the soup will be a thinner consistency. 

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I really enjoy mashed potatoes, and garlic mashed are a particular favorite of mine. That being said, I have had more poorly prepared garlic mashed potatoes, than I care to remember.

So, what is the problem? I’d say in most cases, it’s two issues. Too much garlic and/or poorly prepared garlic. My method is simple and delivers a rich garlic flavor, without the bitter bite. The key is the milk.

Ingredients

2 – 3 lbs of Yukon Gold potatoes or similar, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch pieces.

1/2 cup or 8 Tbsp Earth Balance spread or butter.

6 large cloves of Garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of your knife.

3/4 cup of Soy milk or whole Milk

1 1/2 Tbsp Sea Salt

Lots of freshly ground Black Pepper

2 Tbsp fresh Chives, minced.

Put the cut potatoes into a large saucepan and fill with water. Bring it up to a gentle boil and add 1 Tbsp of the salt. Cook until tender and a bit softer than normal boiled potatoes.

Once the potatoes are on the stove. Combine all the milk, garlic and black pepper into a medium/small saucepan and gently simmer You can not over cook the garlic.

Drain the potatoes and put them back into the hot saucepan. Add the garlic mixture and hand mash. Once it’s well incorporated, fold in the butter, salt and chives and serve immediately.

Options

Add some non dairy Parmesan cheese on top just before serving.

Add 1 Tbsp Chili Flakes

Add 2 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning.

Vegan Enchiladas Verde

This is from a fellow blogger at Tastetickler and is a delicious, easy to prepare dish. Sort of a version of my enchilada pie. I like the addition of the butternut squash and I have veganized it.

Ingredients 
4 cups (32 oz) Salsa Verde

18 small Corn Tortillas, cut it half
1 1/2 lbs Butternut Squash, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 – 14.5oz can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups Daiya shredded Pepper Jack and 1 cup Daiya shredded Mozzarella to finish. 
Toppings:Chopped Cilantro, non dairy Sour Cream and sliced pickled Jalapenos for topping.
Preheat the oven to 375 F
Spread 1 cup of the salsa verde in a 9 by 13″ baking dish and top with tortillas.Top with 1 more cup of the salsa, 1/3 of the butternut squash, 1/3 of the beans and 1 cup of the cheese, spreading evenly.
 
Repeat the layering two more times reserving the final 1 cup of cheese. Cover with foil
Bake for 1 hour until the squash is tender. Uncover and sprinkle with the reserved 1 cup of cheese. Broil close to the heat until the topping is bubbly. 
 
Remove and let stand for 10 mins and decorate with the toppings and serve.  

Savannah Red Rice – Low Country Cooking

This is a dish that is a staple throughout the low country region of South Carolina. I have had many different variations but this one is my personal favorite. If you want it to be a bit milder, you can leave out the cayenne pepper.

It’s easy to make and can be served as a main or a side dish. 

Ingredients

½ cup Onion
½ cup Green or Red Pepper
¼ cup Celery
4 Tbsp Butter/Non Dairy substitute or 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 package of Field Roast Sausage, or smoked sausage if your want meat.
1 tsp. Cayenne

Freshly ground Black Pepper
2 tsp Salt
2 cups of medium grain Rice
1 14.5oz can of diced Tomatoes
1 cup of Water
Sauté onion, pepper and celery until translucent. Add spices and sausage and brown until well caramelized.You may leave the sausages whole or cut them into pieces.
Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes until all grains are well coated. Add tomatoes and water and bring back to a boil. Cover and cook on lowest heat for 20-25 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Serve in shallow bowls with hot sauce and a cold beer.

The Dreamsicle Martini, a vegan cocktail with a kick.

I’m always trying to come up with fun vegan cocktails and while most are not too hard, however, the ones containing cream as an ingredient can be a bit more challenging. This one took a while, but it’s done, and it’s very good.

As it is refreshing and sweet, it can be deceiving. Be warned, it has a little kick.

Ingredients

3 shots Three Olives Cake Vodka
1/2 shot Cointreau
1 shot So Delicious Creamer
3/4 cup OJ

Add all to a shaker with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a well chilled martini glass and garnish with an orange peel.