Monday, August 29, 2016

Quick Fixes: Fast Vegan Snacks and Suppers

I. Wasabi Edamame Hummus with Watercress



Get your protein and leafy greens in one creamy, piquant bite with a dollop of our ultra-healthy, verdant hummus. At Cafe Drake HRV we enjoy as a dip with chips and raw veggies, spread thickly on toasted bread for open-faced sandwiches and even tossed with cold noodles for an unexpected pasta salad. Honestly, we just devour it with a spoon sometimes. Dump all of this in a blender: 12 oz. of shelled edamame (briefly cooked according to package directions), juice of 1 large lemon, 1-2 t. powdered wasabi, 1-2 T. hot Chinese mustard (the prepared kind, not the powder), 1/4 cup tahini, 1/4 cup vegetable broth, 1 t. salt and a large handful of rinsed and roughly chopped watercress. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender container as needed. If absolutely necessary add more vegetable stock to aid in blending, only one tablespoon at a time. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired; you can toss in more salt, mustard, wasabi powder, whatever you like and just re-blend for a few seconds.




II. Eggplant Parmesan Stacks


So what happens when we're desperately craving Eggplant Parmesan at Cafe Drake HRV but can't even contemplate the multi-step process making it requires? The answer is a whopping plate of nearly as satisfying Eggplant Stacks. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. while slicing crosswise 1 large or 2 smaller regular eggplants. Brush a baking sheet with oil and place the sliced eggplant on it. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the eggplant and bake 10 more. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Arrange a few of the eggplant slices in a wide circle in the middle of the same baking sheet. Sprinkle with vegan or regular grated mozzarella and a few roughly chopped cherry tomatoes. Festively strew some basil leaves and a few chopped oil-cured black olives on top. Season with salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Repeat until all of the eggplant has been stacked and finish with more grated cheese. Return to the oven and bake for about 15 more minutes or until the tomatoes are just breaking up and the cheese is fully melted. Run under a hot broiler for 1 minute to brown the cheese. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving hot with garlic bread or spaghetti marinara. Optional garnishes include more basil leaves and a few rinsed capers.



III. Pizza, Ridiculously Fast



(above photos) It doesn't get much faster or simpler than Pizza Margherita, and yet the minimalist creation always satisfies on a deep, primal level. The best tomatoes and freshest, most fragrant basil you can find are the true keys to success. At Cafe Drake HRV we roll out prepared whole wheat pizza dough and bake it for a few minutes, unadorned, before proceeding with toppings. This prevents a soggy crust and lends extra crispiness to the browned edges. Yum. Vegan mozzarella is shredded over the crust and layered with sliced, ripe tomatoes. After baking, the pie is finished with fresh basil leaves from the garden, a drizzle of olive oil and some crushed red chilies.

This darker, denser pizza is actually perfect for fall meals, evoking the forest floor with dense, meaty portobello mushrooms and woodsy herbs like rosemary and thyme. Tofu chevre, basil pesto and sliced red chilies add flavor, freshness and heat!



IV. Falafel From the Box Mix!

Falafel mix from the supermarket is one of the easiest quick fixes for a hungry but tired home cook IF you skip the laborious and messy deep frying finale. Instead, spray a baking sheet with cooking oil, prepare your falafels and spray them well with more oil. Bake for about 25 minutes in a 375 degree F. oven until brown and crisp around the edges. Flip halfway through the cooking process. Cooking time may vary depending on the consistency of the mix so check frequently to make sure the patties aren't burning or drying out too much.


While the falafel patties are baking, you'll have the time - and free hands - to whip up a salad and tahini sauce.







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