Dill’ish Slaw

When I think coleslaw, I think of either Kentucky Fried Chicken’s version or my Grandpa’s – both delicious. (Does anyone else ever wonder how KFC packs so much coleslaw in such a tiny container?!) And while coleslaw is associated with many childhood memories for me, it’s a side dish I rarely eat as an adult. I mention that as a disclaimer because this recipe from The Yiddish Kitchen is quite good, but I have no idea if it tastes like coleslaw because it’s just been so long since I’ve had the real thing. All of you coleslaw conneusiers will have to let me know how it stacks up!

Dill-ish Slaw

Adapted from The Yiddish Kitchen

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup low-fat vegan mayo (I like Hampton Creek)

2 tbsp honey

1-2 tsp dried dill (or 1/4 cup fresh)

1/4 tsp celery seed (I omitted)

1 medium head cabbage, shredded (I used 2 bags of pre-shredded red and green cabbage)

2 large carrots shredded (I used about 3/4 bag pre-shredded)

1/4 onion thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients except cabbage, carrots, and onion.

Once dressing is well combine and smooth, toss in cabbage, carrots, and onion. With clean hands, you can also combined with your hands to really help the flavors and juices marry.

Enjoy right away or, for the best flavor, let sit overnight covered in the fridge.

NOTE – This is not a mayo heavy slaw, so don’t be afraid to use the mayo here. If you’re worried about that though, you can add more cabbage or carrots to have the slaw be less saucy

“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette + Other Good Salad Dressings

My grandma used to say for a good meal, she just needed a good salad and good bread.  When I think about dinner with my grandparents, it always included a salad, and it always included a Mrs. Bernstein’s salad dressing.  But aside from that salad dressing, my favorite dressings were always ones my mom made.  That’s probably why I also love making my own salad dressings. Though, I still have a few favorite store-bought dressings I love, because let’s honest, who has time to always make their own dressings?!

This salad dressing really is “magical.”  I would never think to add cumin to a salad dressing, let alone applesauce or maple syrup, but this is really good.  I omitted the miso because I don’t eat soy.  I don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like with the miso, but the final product how I made it below is great! The only downside to the recipe is it makes just 4 servings, so you’ll need to double the recipe, if you want enough to enjoy throughout the week.  Bon apetit!

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“Magical” Applesauce Vinaigrette

adapted from Plant Powered Families

serves 4 (1 serving = 2 tbsp)

INGREDIENTS 

1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce

1/4 rounded tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp stoneground mustard (or dijon)

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 -1.5 tbsp maple syrup

freshly ground pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend together until smooth. Adjust for seasonings.  Add a little more maple syrup for a sweeter dressing OR add a couple teaspoons of water for a thinner dressing.

NOTE – you may need to double batch to make it easier to blend in the blender or food processor.

 

OTHER GOOD SALAD DRESSINGS

(store-bought + vegan/gluten-free/soy-free)

Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinaigrette (I’ve found it at Whole Foods + Ralphs)

Maplegrove Fat-free Balsamic Dressing (I’ve found it at Gelsons, Ralphs, + Walmart)

Follow Your Heart Low Fat Balsamic Dressing (I’ve found it a some Gelsons + some Whole Foods)

 

Sweet Potato Kugel

Cooking is the easiest way for me to zone out. I think that’s why I like making new recipes so much – I can focus on something and completely forget everything else going on around me. And, when there’s a day that I can go spinning and cook new recipes- well, that’s the ultimate. 

I read about this Sweet Potato Kugel recipe on a holiday round up from the cooks that authored The Yiddish Kitchen. I made bagels from their cookbook a few months ago, and I completely forgot about this kugel. I didn’t grow up on kugel like most. Actually, I was so particular, I would only eat it at my friend’s mom house, because then I knew it would be good! Anyway, this recipe is super easy and simple.  I even found precut sweet potatoes at Trader Joes to make the recipe even easier to make. You could certainly use regular sugar (the color will likely be different if you do) and you could use full-fat coconut milk, which probably makes it taste even more like the holidays. Enjoy!


Sweet Potato Kugel

Adapted from The Yiddish Kitchen

Serves 8,12,16, or 25 – depending on how you cut it 

INGREDIENTS

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rubble or noodles with a spiral slider or vegetable peeler (or 1.5 pkgs of Sweet Potato Ribbons from Trader Joes)

3 tbsp olive oil 

Canola oil for greasing the pan

1 cup canned lite coconut milk (or full-fat, canned)

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease an 8×8 inch casserole dish. Then, in a skillet, heat the sweet potatoes in the olive oil over medium heat for about 6-8 minutes, or until sweet potato softens. 

While the sweet potato is cooking, mix all the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring well to combine. Once the sweet potatoes are ready, remove them from the heat and incorporate into the egg mixture. 

Next, pour the mix into the prepared casserole dish and bake for about 30-50* minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Slice and serve warm. 

*the recipe says 30-40 minutes, but maybe because I used lite coconut milk instead of full fat, it took more like 50 minutes. After 35 minutes, I kept adding 5 more until it was set – the center took the longest time to do so. 

Two [Vegan] Ranch Dressing Recipes

I generally prefer vinegar-based salad dressing but there are definitely days when I crave something a little more savory.  I’ve found two great Ranch dressing recipes, that just happen to also be vegan. What I love about these recipes, is that even if you’re not vegan, you can just swap out the Vegan mayo with an egg-based one and it still tastes great.

Creamy Ranch Dressing

serves about 12 (1 tsbp = 1 serving)

adapted from here

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Vegan Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Non-dairy Milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)

2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 tsp Dried Parsley

1-1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Dried Dill

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (might be OK longer, but haven’t tried yet)

Wall Street Restaurant’s Pareve Ranch Dressing

makes about 16 servings

adapted from here

INGREDIENTS

2 cups mayonnaise (can use vegan or traditional)

1/2 cup white vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp sugar (regular or coconut sugar tastes fine)

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 tsp dried dill

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

“Healthy” Cookie Butter

Though I’ve yet to try the Cookie Butter some friends have raved about at Trader Joes, when I saw this recipe, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make it myself and enjoy a somewhat healthier version.  You probably wouldn’t believe me that the base is made from garbanzo beans, but they are!  This tastes like cookie dough, and has the texture of hummus.  My favorite part of this recipe is that it tastes great even without the chocolate chips, and because it has Sunbutter in it, it tastes similar enough in a PB&J – a great sub for Sunbutter, with added protein!

Vegan Cookie Butter

adapted from this recipe

Makes about 16 servings (2 tbsp = 1 serving)

INGREDIENTS

1 15oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp. sunflower seed butter

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 cup coconut milk* (or other non-dairy, would prob also work with any milk)

1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 tbsp. – 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips** (optional; I use less for kids, more for adults)

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small food processor, combine all ingredients, except chocolate chips, and blend until smooth.
  2. If adding chocolate chips, remove mixture from food processor and put in a small bowl.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

 

*We like So Delicious Coconut Milk that comes in a box

**We like Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Umami Sundried Tomato + Almond Burgers

My favorite thing about cooking is experimenting with new combinations of ingredients. When I saw this recipe, I was so intrigued by using unsoaked almonds and sun-dried tomatoes together, let alone in a veggie burger recipe. To date, these are some of my favorite veggie burgers. I’ve tried plenty of recipes that end up tasting OK, but these are so different. The sun-dried tomatoes totally make these and the almonds give it a great texture. The other thing that surprised me was how versatile they are – they tasted great with hummus in a wrap, and great with our favorite Hampton Creek Truffle Mayo. They’d probably also be great with caramelized onions. Let me know if you find another topping for them!


Umami Sundried Tomato + Almond Burgers

Adapted from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes

Makes about 20 slider size burgers 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups raw almonds

1-1/2 tbsp tomato paste

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 small garlic cloves, cut into quarters

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)

3/4 cup sliced green onion

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced (not packed in oil, if hard – soak in warm water for a few minutes before using)

1-1/2 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor, add the almonds, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, garlic, balsamic vinegar and coconut aminos. Purée until nuts are very fine ground. Do so enough so that the almonds release some oils so patty mixture can be somewhat sticky.
  2. Add the green onions and sundried tomatoes and pulse until mixture becomes dense and starts to hold together.
  3. Add the quinoa (or brown rice) and pulse until well incorporated.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (We made burgers as we needed them, over the course of 3 days, refrigerating the mixture we didn’t need).
  5. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scooper, make slider size patties and carefully place in pan. Cook for a few minutes in each side. (NOTE- These have great texture but can become dry and crumbly is overcooked).
  6. Enjoy in a wrap, with a burger bun, or plain.

Broccoli Waldorf Salad

This is probably the easiest recipe I’ve made in awhile. Prep requires some chopping and assembling and that’s it! The recipe says this serves 2, but we felt it’s better with about 6 servings because the dressing makes it pretty indulgent. I think it might also taste great with a vinegar-based dressing but not quite sure which one yet. Let me know if you have any ideas! Enjoy!


Broccoli Waldorf Salad

Adapted from Easy Vegan Breakfasts & Lunches

Serves about 6

INGREDIENTS

Salad

2 cups broccoli florets, raw* 

1 stalk celery, chopped

2/3 apple, cored and chopped

1/4 scant cup red onion, chopped fine

1/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Dressing

1/2 cup veganaise (we use soy-free or Hampton Creek, could also use any mayo or plain yogurt (vegan or dairy))

1 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 lemon)

1-1/2 tsp agave

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put all salad ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and gently stir together. Set aside. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. 
  3. Pour dressing over salad and stir until coated. 
  4. Serve as a side salad, in a pita, or in a wrap (we like Bfree brand quinoa and chia wraps-they sell them at Ralphs)
  5. Salad can keep for up to 3 days in the fridge. 

*I used florets that come in bags you can steam in the microwave. Frozen won’t work here. You could certainly also use fresh broccoli sold in bunches. Surprisingly, the broccoli becomes softer when mixed in with everything. I also tried to pick broccoli pieces that had short stalks, so it would be easier to eat. 

Creamy Spinach Quesadillas (Vegan + GF)

As summer is quickly becoming fall, I’m on the search for new recipes for our “fall menu” at home.  This Creamy Spinach filling recipe, is really good!  It tastes like spinach artichoke dip, but not quite as rich.  Years ago, Trader Joe’s had Spinach Tofu eggrolls (they’re now discontinued), and this tastes very similar to that.  It’s good cold and warm, and is SUPER easy to take for lunch.

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Creamy Spinach Quesadillas

adapted from Easy Vegan Breakfasts and Lunches

serves 6

CREAM SAUCE

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked 4-8 hours in water)

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

FILLING

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

gluten-free tortillas (we like Potapas)

DIRECTIONS

Put all the cream sauce ingredients in a small food-processor or high speed blender.  Mix until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

To make the filling, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onion.  Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding the garlic and spinach.  Cook them for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the cashew cream sauce and cook until it thickens and has a creamy consistency (about 2-3 min).

Heat a small nonstick pan.  Place tortilla in for a few seconds, then spread some filling over half the tortilla and fold over the other half.  Flip after about 1 minute.  Enjoy!

NOTE:  You can keep leftover filling and make the next day.  I made mine in the microwave, heated for about 30 seconds.

 

Lentil Tacos w/Carrot-Jicama Slaw

These lentil tacos are so simple.  What takes the most time is prepping all the vegetables, and after that, it’s a cinch. It took about 45 minutes to make, start to finish, which is a bit long for a weeknight meal, but it was definitely worth the wait. I got the recipe from vegan cookbook, Thug Kitchen – which I’m putting out there, is not for the faint of heart.  If it were a CD, it would definitely have the label for “Parent Advisory Lyrics.”  That said, if you can look past the word choices in the recipe descriptions and look at the recipes, they are pretty great. I actually can’t believe how little of what I made is left – that’s how much everyone liked it!  I suggest prepping the vegetables ahead of time, to make cooking this recipe even easier.  We enjoyed without the salsa the author suggested, and I’m sure that makes these tacos even better.  Even your meat-loving friends will love these!

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Lentil Tacos with Carrot-Jicama Slaw

adapted from Thug Kitchen

makes 6-8 tacos, or more if using mini tortillas

INGREDIENTS

3 cups water

1 cup black beluga lentils

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

8 oz. mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)

3 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp apple juice (the unfiltered kind)

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 lb jicama, cut into small matchstick pieces

1 carrot, cut into small matchstick pieces

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into small matchstick pieces

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

pinch of sea salt

Your favorite corn tortillas

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook the lentils with the water until boiling.  Once boiling, simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender, but not mushy.  Drain extra water.
  2. In a large pan, heat olive oil and add onions.  Cook until translucent.  Add mushrooms and cook another 3-5 minutes.  Add coconut aminos and lentils and stir.  Add garlic and apple juice, stir and cook for a few more minutes.  Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Stir in to combine.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the jicama, carrots, and cucumber.  Mix in apple cider vinegar and lime juice. Salt to taste.
  4. Assemble tacos and enjoy!

 

 

 

Shrimp Burgers turned Salmon Burgers

My new favorite cookbook is Katie Lee’s Endless Summer.  The pictures alone make me want to go on vacation, and the recipes are even better.  I created a Salmon Burger recipe based on her Shrimp Burger recipe, and they are SO good.  We’ve been making them almost every week!  I make them slider size and I haven’t met one person yet who doesn’t like them.  To make things easier, I also have the fishmonger take the skin off and cube the salmon for me, to make putting it in the food processor that much easier.  At first, I was hesitant to try the sauce from the recipe, but this one actually compliments the burger really well. These are sure to be a hit at your house too (and for the little ones, are also great cut up in lunch boxes, with a little ketchup for dipping).

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Salmon Burgers 

makes about 19 slider-sized burgers

recipe adapted from Endless Summer

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. salmon, skin removed + cubed

1 egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup gluten-free panko (or regular)

2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2 tbsp. lemon juice

salt + pepper to taste

2-3 tbsp. canola oil (use 1 tbsp. per batch of burgers in the pan)

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise or vegannaise

1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Hamburger buns or dinner rolls (for sliders) – We like Udi’s Gluten-free Classic Dinner Rolls

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large food processor, combine salmon, egg, gluten-free panko, scallions, garlic powder, lemon juice, about 1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper.  Pulse until well combined.  Some chunks of salmon are OK, but most should be chopped up fine.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tbsp of oil.  For each batch of burgers in the pan, add 1 tbsp of oil or less if you don’t think it needs it.  You don’t want them to stick.
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, make slider size patties.  For bigger burgers, 2 scoops work well.  Carefully place each burger in the pan as you are forming them.  After a few minutes, turn them over.  They should be a light brown color.  They’re done when they feel slightly firm with a spatula. If you like more well-done, cook a little longer.  Don’t worry if the outside looks brown when you remove from the pan, those still taste great, and are not burned.  (I find the first batch usually has a lighter brown color when cooked on the outside than later batches)
  4. As burgers are done cooking, place them to cool on a plate lined with a few paper towels to drain the oil.  Repeat process until all burgers are cooked.
  5. While burgers are cooling, mix mayo and Old Bay seasoning.
  6. To assemble burgers, use your favorite buns (or dinner rolls – we like those for sliders), and put about 1/2-1 tsp. of sauce for each burger.  Eat open-faced or as a burger.  Enjoy! (They keep about 2 days in the fridge)