The best friend makes homemade peanut butter cups for the Hubs every year for Chrismakkah. This year she made a dozen dark chocolate vegan ones for me and a dozen milk chocolate ones for him. His were gone in just over a week. They are SO good. And as I learned this evening, SO easy to make. And if you have learned anything on this blog, it should be that I LOVE easy!
I made some for the folks at work and some for the fam who are descending upon us this week. Going to guess they won’t last past the weekend.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cups
Melt your favorite vegan (non dairy) chocolate. (I did this in the microwave. Double boiler would also work great, but again. I’m lazy…)
Add about a teaspoon to your little wrappers (make sure they are solid enough to hold the weight of the melted chocolate, ask at the store if you aren’t sure) and push the chocolate up the sides until the entire interior of the cup is covered.
Toss in the fridge.
Warm a cup of all natural (organic if you have it) peanut butter. The ingredients on the container should be PEANUTS. NOTHING else. Stir it up (and you CAN add a few teaspoons of powdered sugar if you are so inclined) and spoon a teaspoon or so into each cooled cup. Toss back in the fridge.
Use the rest of the chocolate to add more to the top of each cup and make sure the topping chocolate makes contact with the edges of the cup to form a seal. Toss back in the fridge.
Thanks you BFF, but don’t think this lets you off the hook next year!
Hubs came home from work and stated that he had a late lunch and wasn’t overly hungry. Since me and the kid were sitting down and actually eating together (and I’m not going to lie, that doesn’t happen too often) he decided to just sit and have a few bites with us. Vegan’s sheppard’s pie I told him. Hmmm he said.
Before I knew it, his plate was clean and he was getting up (I assumed to put the dish in the dishwasher) and he helped himself to some more!! (so much for not really being overly hungry!) “It’s really good” he says.
Yes. Yes it was!!!
This is the recipe that I roughly used.
I used my favorite Gardien beefless ground round and Tofutti Brand vegan cream cheese. I forgot the soy milk (oops) so that’s optional.
The kicker for the potatoes is that I used a ricer. I just find that the perfect light and fluffy mashed potato comes from those that have been smushed through a ricer. Give it a try!!
Vegan Sheppard’s Pie
5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons vegan cream cheese substitute (such as Tofutti ®)
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped (I didn’t have carrots, but did add in some diced mushrooms which added a great meaty-ness)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tomato, chopped (I used one can of organic tomato paste instead)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning ( I didn’t have this so I tossed in whatever I saw. Basil, oregano, etc)
1 clove garlic, minced, or more to taste
1 pinch ground black pepper to taste
1 (14 ounce) package vegetarian ground beef substitute
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar-style soy cheese (I skipped this as I felt the top layer had enough processed ingredients, but go for it!)
1. Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low, and boil the potatoes until tender, about 25 minutes; drain.
2. Stir the vegan mayonnaise, soy milk, olive oil, vegan cream cheese, and salt into the potatoes, and mash with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy. Set the potatoes aside.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), and spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion, carrots, celery, frozen peas, and tomato until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the Italian seasoning, garlic, and pepper.
5. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and crumble the vegetarian ground beef substitute into the skillet with the vegetables. Cook and stir, breaking up the meat substitute, until the mixture is hot, about 5 minutes.
6. Spread the vegetarian meat substitute mixture into the bottom of the baking dish, and top with the mashed potatoes, smoothing them into an even layer. Sprinkle the potatoes with the shredded soy cheese.
7. Bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and slightly browned and the casserole is hot, about 20 minutes.
I am tempted to call this Magic Avocado Salad because it disappears so flipping quickly that it’s almost like magic!! It is also one of the easiest and quickest salads out there. And look! It’s very pretty.
Here’s what you do.
Take a can of organic black beans and rinse (or if you are a much better cook than I, use fresh beans, a cup or more depending on how beany you would like it to be). Layer on about a dozen organic baby tomatoes, quartered and de-seeded. Add one red pepper sliced and chopped and about 1/4 cup of diced red onion. Finally add 2 or more avocados, cubed. Drizzle on a mixture of the juice of one lime, 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 1/4 cup good quality EVOO and about a tsp of salt.
Eat. Quick. I have served this 3 times this year at various events and all 3 times I have gotten the dregs at the bottom of the bowl. Or better yet, cut the recipe in half and just eat it yourself! The Hubs was moaning that he didn’t even get any at Chrismakkah. Looks like I will be making it again this week. Mmmmmmm.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m Jew”ish” and the Hubs is most definitely not. But we both embrace the holidays. What’s not to like about 8 nights of gifts, chocolate and fried potato goodness? He is a BIG fan of latkes and I use to make them the traditional way with eggs, but decided that they were going full vegan this year. And they were great! He would have preferred them thinner, which is doable, but would have taken a while longer to fry since less would have fit in a pan, and let me tell you, when you are frying up say 4 dozen latkes, you don’t give a rat’s ass what your Hubs preference is 🙂
Give them a try! Serve with apple sauce, sour cream or vegan sour cream of your choice, or with an sprinkle of extra salt which is my personal fav.
I use this recipe from Vegnews, but there are lots of variations out there. Find one that appeals to you. Also, I tripled this for our annual Chrismakkah party, yes tripled. My hands will smell like onion until New Years.
- 1-1/2 pounds russet potatoes
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced ( I left this out. Not a traditional addition and why mess with perfection?)
- 1/4 cup flour (you can use pretty much anything here, I used white whole wheat but any GF should work nicely as well!)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Safflower oil, for frying
What You Do:
- Peel and grate potatoes, then place in a colander and set over a large bowl. Using your hands, squeeze out excess liquid from the potatoes. Pour off liquid and place potatoes in bowl. Grate onion and add to potatoes along with parsley, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat a thin layer of oil. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten it before gently placing it in hot oil. Make three or four more potato pancakes this way, and add to skillet without crowding pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once, about 8 minutes total.
- Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain, then transfer to an ovenproof platter and keep warm in oven until all pancakes are cooked.
Think chickpea pot pie with a hashbrown crust. Oh yes. You had me at pot pie. One of my favorite blogs featured this recipe and I knew I had to try it. The Hubs was even impressed. Took it for lunch the next day and everything! Win.
I used fresh shredded potatoes, but the recipe does mention frozen. I don’t even know if you can buy pre shredded hashbrowns frozen, but it literally takes five seconds to shred potatoes in the food processor, so just go for fresh. I also think you could use green beans in place of the asparagus and make all sorts of other swaps or additions and the end result would still be awesome.
Asparagus and Chickpea Casserole
To make this gluten-free, substitute 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch for the flour.
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, diced
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk or other non-dairy milk
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 cups frozen hash brown potatoes or 5-8 ounces raw potato, shredded
- smoked paprika, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil or spray a 2-3 quart casserole dish.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Give it a quick spray of oil, if desired, and add the onions. Cook until onions soften, 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, mushrooms, and garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until mushrooms exude their juices. Add the asparagus and two tablespoons of vegetable broth, cover pan, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until asparagus is bright green and beginning to become tender.
- Whisk the flour into the cup of vegetable broth. Add it, the milk, nutritional yeast, thyme, and basil and heat until bubbly. Add the chickpeas and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with an even layer of potatoes. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, if desired, and smoked paprika.
- Bake until casserole is bubbly and top is lightly browned, 25-45 minutes (frozen potatoes will take longer than fresh). If top does not completely brown, place it under the broiler for a few seconds.
The Hubs hates cauliflower. Hates it. Won’t eat it. Just “doesn’t like the taste”. I take this as a personal affront. Somebody has to stand up for the cauliflower! The Kid on the other hand will eat it raw. Just like me. So when I saw this recipe I thought, hmmmmm, they both love mushrooms, maybe I can get away with it!? Spoiler alert! He really liked it! Said it was great (too much pepper, but that’s okay, totally my fault) and would like to have it again. Woo. Yay sneaky veggie inserting mommy. Forgive the craptastic photo. Hanukkah Harry is bringing me an SLR. Photos to improve greatly shortly!
Creamless Mushroom Soup
Soup – puree:
1 medium white cauliflower, boiled or steamed until tender
4 cups mushroom broth
3/4 of the roasted mushrooms
1-2 sprigs of the roasted rosemary
salt + pepper to taste
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, quartered (button or crimini work too)
8 ounces portobella mushrooms, sliced (2 large)
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
*woody stems removed from all mushrooms*
salt + pepper (to taste)
2-4 sprigs of rosemary
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
optional: additional spices like cayenne or thyme.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Toss the prepped mushrooms with the oil, vinegar, rosemary and spices.
3. Lay mushrooms flat on a baking sheet. Roast at 425 degrees for about twenty minutes – or until they begin to caramelize around the edges. After roasting, they should still be moist, yet fully cooked and flavorful to eat on their own.
4. While mushrooms are roasting, you can boil or steam the cauliflower. You should be able to break the cauliflower with a fork after boiling.
5. Add the cauliflower and about 2 cups of mushroom broth to a Vitamix or blender. You could also use an immersion blender or food processor. Blend on low until the cauliflower is smooth. Add in about half of the mushrooms. Do a taste test. Add more of the mushrooms into the soup. About 1/4 cup of the whole roasted mushrooms should be left for garnishing the serving bowls. Blend in a few of the tender ends of the roasted rosemary – toss any woody stems. You can also add in additional flavorings: cayenne, roasted garlic, nutritional yeast..
6. Continue adding in broth and mushrooms and spices (salt and pepper to taste) until you reach a texture and flavor you like. I used about 3 cups of broth. You may want more for a thinner texture. (You could also thin out with some non-dairy milk if you’d like. This will make a much denser, creamier soup.)
7. Pour warm soup into serving bowls and garnish with leftover mushrooms.
So about a month ago I saw a bag of organic golden beets at my local discount grocery store. I grabbed them of course. I LOVE golden beets. LOVE.
Naturally I forgot all about them. Fail. Luckily they were still good and I roasted them up (400 degrees for 45 minutes or so) and made the most beautiful salad ever. The beauty of this salad is that you can add almost anything to it! I went with spring mix for the greens, grape tomatoes, mandarin slices, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries and lightly salted roasted cashews. Second failure was that we were out of my favorite dressing so I MacGuyvered a quick dressing out of equal parts good quality balsamic, EVOO and about two tablespoons of maple syrup. It was delish!
Make this salad. It’s sooo good.