Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Enough Already with Tacos and Quesadillas. Never!!

A batch of slow-cooker lentils, seasoned with ancho chilies and Latin spices, can be extended over several meals without ever getting boring. Above, we combined a few of the legumes with vegan cheddar and corn tortillas for a quick quesadilla dinner.

The quesadillas, hot from the frying pan, are topped with roasted broccoli, tofu sour cream and guacamole.

(above): Portobello and Pepper Tacos are sided with leftover ancho lentils, salad and pico de gallo. Make your own time-saving, ultra-economical batch of slow cooker lentils and eat with ease this week. Our rudimentary Crock Pot Lentils recipe (with multiple adaptations anticipated) begins with rinsing 2 cups (1 16-oz. bag) of brown lentils in water, draining and placing them in a crock-pot. Add a couple of peeled and chopped carrots, 2 diced onions and 1 can of tomatoes (14 oz. size and use all the juice). Stir in 2 cups of veggie or chicken stock along with at least 3/4 t. salt, a couple of grinds of black pepper, 1 t. ground cumin, 1 heaping t. ancho chile powder and smoked paprika to your taste. Cover and cook on HIGH setting for 3 hours or on LOW for 6-7. Add more salt if needed at the end of cooking.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sesame Tofu Loaf + Smothered Vegan Burritos and Borracho Beans

Don't be put off by the murky photography or overwhelming beige-ness of the Sesame Tofu Loaves pictured above. Light and airy, beneath a crispy crust lies a moist interior loaded with veggies and protein-rich tofu. Brighten your plate's palette by topping slices with a colorful apricot glaze and serving alongside a green salad.

Our recipe will make one regular sized loaf or two smaller. If using mini loaf pans it's generally a good idea to bake at 25 degrees lower. Begin by spraying with cooking oil loaf pan (or pans). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl mash 1 14-oz. package of firm or extra-firm with a fork or your clean hands. The final texture should resemble ricotta cheese. Stir in and combine well with the tofu: 1/2 cup wheat germ or ground rolled oats, a heading handful of chopped parsley, 1 T. onion powder, 2 T. soy sauce, tamari or Braggs Liquid Aminos, 2 T. nutritional yeast (optional), 1 T. whole-seed mustard, 2 cloves minced garlic and lots of black pepper. Transfer the fully mixed ingredients to the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle at least 3 T. sesame seeds evenly over the surface. Return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Allow the loaf to cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve in slices with your favorite topping or condiment. The loaf pairs exceptionally well with a dollop of hot Chinese mustard.

Burritos become the ultimate comfort food when dressed with a warm tomato and chile salsa. Above, a Sweet Potato and (No) Carne Asada Burrito with Romaine and Radish Salad and Borracho Beans. You'll find the recipes in the Cafe Drake HRV archives by clicking on the links: Seitan (No) Carne Asada; Borracho Beans; Yucatan-Style Habanero and Tomato Salsa

The icing on the burrito is a healthy dollop of homemade Tofu Sour Cream, a vital ingredient to keep handy in vegan kitchens. Grab the recipe HERE.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Speedy and Simple: More Weeknight Vegan Meals at Cafe Drake HRV

Pita Pizza with Spinach, Jerusalem Artichokes and Cashew Cheese

Another Roasted Cabbage Wedge Salad, this one topped by fried tofu, ancho chile salsa and toasted pumpkin seeds.

From the freezer to the frying pan, homemade vegetarian kielbasa served with jarred sauerkraut, hot mustard and delicata squash.

A frequent go-to quick meal at Cafe Drake HRV: Tostados with Refried Beans (again, canned), vegan cheddar, two salsas and pickled jalapenos.