The Raw Cooked Vegan

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beluga Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

Vegan Mofo Month

Black Beluga lentils are so delicious and they worked wonderfully in this stuffed tomato dish. I seasoned the stuffing with a bit of garam masala. It went perfect with the lentils and bread.

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices commonly used throughout India. It should be used in small quantities, otherwise it will overpower the dish. There are many kinds of garam masala mixtures depending on the brand you purchase. I found one that I love at my local health food store in the bulk spice section.

In this recipe, I used Campari tomatoes, which range in size, comparable to a golf ball, or larger like a clementine orange. You can also use cherry tomatoes.

Beluga Lentil Stuffed Tomatoes

15 to 20 Campari tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
5 inch long piece of crusty french loaf, cut or torn into small bits
1/2 cup cooked black Beluga Lentils
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 TBS olive oil
3 TBS Earth Balance spread
2 TBS cream sherry
2 TBS water
1 tsp dried parsley (if using fresh, stir in with bread crumbs)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp garam masala
2 TBS pepitos, toasted
2 TBS currants, rinsed and drained (opt)
Black pepper to taste
Sesame seeds to garnish

In large skillet, heat olive oil and Earth Balance over medium heat until melted. Add onions and celery. Stir until it starts to soften. Add parsley, rosemary, salt, thyme, sage and pepper. Stir. Add cream sherry and cook a little longer, until onions are starting to brown. Add cooked lentils and garam masala. Add torn bread crumbs and coat well. Stir in pepitos and currants. Add water to moisten together.

Remove from heat and taste for any extra seasoning (salt or pepper).

Prepare tomatoes by cutting off the top (stem side), then scoop out the seeds with a spoon to hollow out. Spoon stuffing into each tomato and serve.

A great appetizer to bring to a party or serve at your holiday get-together!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Balsamic Caramelized Cipollini Onions

Vegan Mofo Month

A good friend of mine had a bag full of Cipollini onions. She was intending on pickling them, but had not got around to it and kindly gave them to me. I was intending on pickling them too, but my need for speed got the best of me. I wanted to eat them right away! 

Oh, they were so very delicious. My daughter and I ate every one of them (sorry, friend, I would have brought you some, but we devoured them right after I took the photographs).

I promise to make them again, in an even bigger batch! Definitely a five star rating in my book.

Balsamic Caramelized Cipollini Onions
1 pound of Cipollini onions, outer layer peeled, left whole
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup aged Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup cream sherry
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
2 TBS olive oil

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add onions, salt and pepper and cook about 10 or 15 minutes until slightly brown. Add cream sherry, stirring to coat all onions.  

While onions are cooking, heat a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and Balsamic vinegar. Bring to boil, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved.

Add balsamic mixture to hot onions in onion pan. Keep heat to medium and cook until liquid is reduced and thickened.

This would be delicious over any dish!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Millet Pilaf with Leeks and Cranberries

Vegan Mofo Month

Millet is a wheat-free, whole grain. It has a slight nutty taste and depending on how you cook it, it can resemble the texture of rice, cous cous, or porridge. It's simple to cook and can be substituted in dishes that call for any of the above.

The idea for this recipe came from something I saw in Vegetarian Times in a recipe that called for Farro. I decided that leeks would be a nice touch instead of onion and I seasoned it with just hints of coriander and allspice. This is a perfect side dish, or you could stuff a cooked squash with it for a beautiful main course.

Millet Pilaf with Leeks and Cranberries

1 cup of dry millet, rinsed (makes 3 cups cooked)
2 and 2/3 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 TBS olive oil

1 and 1/2 cups chopped leek
1 and 1/2 cups packed kale, veins removed and chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 TBS olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of coriander
pinch of allspice
fresh ground pepper

In a medium sauce pan, heat water, 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1 TBS olive oil over medium high heat. Add rinsed millet and cover, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for at least 20 minutes.

While millet is cooling, heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 TBS olive oil. Chop leeks and add to pan. Stir, cooking leeks for about 10 minutes. Add chopped kale and season with coriander, allspice, salt and pepper. When kale starts to wilt, add minced garlic and simmer another 5 or 10 minutes. Turn heat off and add cranberries.

Take a fork and break up millet to resemble cous cous.
Transfer millet to large serving bowl. Add leek and kale to millet and mix well. Add toasted pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil if desired.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hearty Vegan Chili

The weather here in sunny Florida has given us a taste of fall, if only for a few days. The early morning temps were hovering around 64 beautiful degrees, which I consider officially fall.

Just to give you a mental image, after getting in my car late this afternoon, I had to crank the air up full blast after the sun heated it to 98 plus degrees. But this evening, I entered my 76 degree house and pretended it was chilly outside once again. What better food to make on a chilly day than chili? 

This is perhaps a success story of vegan chili. I LOVE chili and have made several prior attempts at a vegetarian version, which ended up being choked down by me and only me. HOWEVER...this version, my family actually liked it! This recipe is definitely going to be in my future cookbook because it is great!

Hearty Vegan Chili

1 24oz jar/can of strained organic tomatoes, no salt added
1/3 cup water
2 small onions, sliced thin
5 mini red and yellow bell peppers, or 1 large, chopped
1 can organic red kidney beans, mashed
1 medium russet baked potato (cooked), diced
1/2 cup your favorite mild or spicy salsa from a jar
2 tsp sea salt, divided
2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS olive oil, plus 1/2 TBS
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large stock pot, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, cumin, 1 tsp sea salt and chili powder.

While onions and peppers simmer, drain and rinse kidney beans and transfer to medium bowl. Add remaining 1 tsp sea salt, pepper, smoked paprika and 1/2 TBS olive oil. Mash beans with a potato masher or fork until mostly creamed (you will still see some portions of beans with skin).

Add mashed bean mixture to simmering onions and peppers. Stir, breaking up bean mixture. Add minced garlic. Cook another 5 minutes. Stir in cooked diced potato. Add strained tomatoes, water and salsa. Let simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let set, covered for half an hour.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Berry Vegan Pie

Vegan Mofo Month

I was so craving pie and this is my attempt at it without having a plan. I would have definitely used a ready-made pie crust, but there was no sign of one in my house. So I fell back on my galette crust as a make shift one for this pie. I was impatient, so I didn't chill the crust and just plopped several pieces of dough on the top layer. Well, it worked well enough...I got a delicious pie!

Berry Vegan Pie
10oz frozen mixed berries
1 cup frozen whole cranberries
1 and 1/2 cups natural sugar
1 TBS corn starch
1 TBS cold water
2 tsp lemon juice
2 TBS chia seeds (natural thickener)
Double frozen pie crusts-thawed, or galette crust recipe (doubled)

If you use the galette crust recipe, I recommend baking it in a spring form pan.

In a strainer, rinse mixed berries and cranberries under running water. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Heat berries over medium heat, stirring until they start to steam. Stir in sugar and let simmer for 10 minutes, crush cranberries with a spoon against side of pan.

Mix corn starch and water together until smooth. Add to berries. Add lemon juice and simmer another five to ten minutes until mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Set pan aside and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour cooled berry mixture into prepared crust. Cover top of berry mixture with second prepared crust, trimming edges. Poke holes in top if crust completely covers pie.

Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Chill.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Cream of Coconut Biscuits

Vegan MoFo Month

Moist, flaky biscuits! I had no idea what I was doing or how these would come out, but I was pleasantly surprised when they were delicious!

My first thought was to find a basic recipe, 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, etc. Then my thoughts wandered to that creamed coconut box in my cupboard. Yes, coconut would give it the fat to make it moist! So voila!

I used 100% organic creamed coconut. No fillers, nada. It looks like a big block of shortening, with separation of the oil from the coconut meat. The oil, which is very white, is soft and can be scooped out first. The coconut meat is hard and can be softened with hot water, or grated into the recipe. Ideally, you can add 1/2 cup hot water to both and cream all of it together.

By the way, this is really inexpensive. You can find it on Amazon if you cannot locate it in your local stores.

Cream of Coconut Biscuits
2 cups unbleached organic flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 (7oz) box of creamed coconut
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 (more or less) vanilla or plain almond milk
1 tsp white vinegar

Empty creamed coconut into medium bowl. Add hot water and stir until combined.
In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add the 1 tsp vinegar to the almond milk.
Add creamed coconut and almond milk to flour mixture. Mix thoroughly until a non-sticky dough forms (add more almond milk if too dry).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thick and cut biscuits out with round cookie cutter or use an upside down cup. Line biscuits on parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, then flip and bake another 5 to 6 minutes.