Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Avocado Crab Crostini {Vegan}

Day 243.

Yes, I'm going to try to make vegan crab. Yes, it scares me a little. No, I couldn't find anyone else's recipes to adapt or inspire me about mock crab. So let's all hope for the best here.

Avocado Crab Crostini
Adapted from Avocado Crab Crostini.
Ingredients
  • 1 box of firm tofu, frozen, thawed and water pressed out
  • 1 teaspoon kelp granules
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup vegannaise
  • 2 avocados, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup "bacon" (Mushroom Bacon Bits or Black Forest Bacon Strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 french baguette (about 16 inches long)
Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a small bowl. Slice the baguette into rounds about 3/4 inch thick. Brush each round with olive oil and lay on a baking sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until baguette rounds are toasty and golden in color. Set aside.

Freeze your tofu ahead of time. Thaw and press out water. Shred thawed and pressed tofu with a fork, into a large bowl. Gently mix in kelp granules, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, vegannaise and 1/2 of one avocado, mashed.

Stir in remaining ingredients (except baguette).

Stir with a large spoon until the mixture is combined.

Serve in a large bowl with multiple spoons and a plate of the baguette rounds.

The Results
This was definitely different. I'd never attempted mock crab before. Nor could I really find much out there for mock crab recipes. But, I'd heard that kelp granules can give tofu a "fishy" flavor, so that's where I started. The lemon juice and nutritional yeast also added to the crabbiness. I really liked the flavors of the avocado and bacon.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, Gold Star Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beef Chimichangas {Vegetarian}

Day 242.

If you haven't noticed, we love Mexican food. So I'm always looking for new Mexican recipes to try. Kelly @ OAMM posted this delicious-sounding beef chimis recipe that relies on vinegar and tons of yummy herbs to bring out flavor. So, of course, I had to convert it and give it a try. I didn't have to change much to make it veggie-friendly. I reduced the amount of "beef" a tad and changed the veggies to roasted corn salsa just because I had some leftover.

Beef Chimichangas
Adapted from Beef Chimichangas.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups ground beef substitute
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 cups roasted corn salsa
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion or scallions
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, preferably organic
  • 8 tortillas
Directions
In a large bowl, mix "beef," garlic and spices. Stir in rest of ingredients, except tortillas. Place 1/3 cup beef into tortilla, fold, place seam-side down in foil pans. Repeat until ingredients are gone. Preheat oven to 450. Bake for about 30 minutes until crispy. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with toppings of choice.

Results
My husband and liked these chimis a lot. Yummy and nicely different from your standard chimis, though. Bug (our 2-year-old) is kind of sensitive about vinegar, and the combination of the hot sauce and vinegar was too much for her. If your kids are similar, I'd suggest reducing the hot sauce a bit and adding it back to the adult portions later, if desired. I think the "beef" just doesn't absorb the vinegar as well as real beef.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the TableSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pesto Chicken {Vegetarian} and Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up

Day 241.

I'm over at OAMM again today with Slow Cooker Vegan Pesto Chicken. I topped mine with the optional potatoes, 1/2 onion, 3 cloves garlic, Italian seasoning and a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The Results
I don't think my husband is going to be fooled by this one, like he can be with "meaty" spaghetti sauce, but I do think it's really good. And I love the complete layered dinner. The potatoes turned out really well.

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays. If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com
Today's Meatless/Vegan Monday meal is Beyond the Peel's Carrot Pappardelle Pasta.
So creative, simple, and gluten-free, France's carrot "pasta" is a great idea.

Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.
Next week, a reader recipe that was linked up this week will be highlighted on Meatless (Vegan) Mondays. Each week you link up or comment, gives you an opportunity to be featured the following week. Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?


Veggie Converter 365
This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Cravings, Menu Inspiration Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend, Recipe Sharing Monday, Made By You Mondays and Monday Mania.

Menu Plan Monday August 29

I had a wonderful time in August having the whole month planned, so I've decided to do so again for September. I might change things up along the way, but a plan for the entire month is incredibly handy.


Highlights from August:

Thursday, Sept. 1 Day 244
Plum-Balsamic Chicken (VeggieConverter original recipe) 

Friday, Sept. 2 Day 245
Slow Cooker Creamy Mexican Chicken, veggie-converted

Saturday, Sept. 3 Day 246
Race Car Sloppy Joes, veggie converted

Sunday, Sept. 4 Day 247
Creamy Avocado BLT Pasta Salad, veggie-converted

Monday, Sept. 5 Day 248
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins @ OAMM

Tuesday, Sept. 6 Day 249 
Buffalo Chicken Rolls, veggie-converted

Wednesday, Sept. 7 Day 250
Macaroni and Cheese for the Crazy Cooking Challenge

Thursday, Sept. 8 Day 251
Leftover Creation

Friday, Sept. 9 Day 252
Bell Pepper Chicken Alfredo, veggie-converted

Saturday, Sept. 10 Day 253
Chicken and Zucchini Quesadillas, veggie-converted

Sunday, Sept. 11 Day 254
Bell Pepper Egg Rings, adapted

Monday, Sept. 12 Day 255
Spooky Apple Cheddar Pizza @ OAMM
Tuesday, Sept. 13 Day 256

Wednesday, Sept. 14 Day 257
Indian Butter Chicken, veggie-converted

Thursday, Sept. 15 Day 258
Leftover Creation

Friday, Sept. 16 Day 259
Zucchini Burgers, veggie-converted

Saturday, Sept. 17 Day 260
Thai Chicken Pizza, veggie-converted

Sunday, Sept. 18 Day 261
Monday, Sept. 19 Day 262 
Secret Recipe Club ... find out what I choose to cook on reveal day!

Tuesday, Sept. 20 Day 263
Cranberry-Pistachio Chicken @ OAMM

Wednesday, Sept. 21 Day 264
Creamy Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Corn, veggie-converted

Thursday, Sept. 22 Day 265
Leftover Creation

Friday, Sept. 23 Day 266
Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich, veggie-converted

Saturday, Sept. 24 Day 267
Apple Chicken Quesadillas, veggie-converted

Sunday, Sept. 25 Day 268

Monday, Sept. 26 Day 269 
Stuffed Acorn Squash @ OAMM

Tuesday, Sept. 27 Day 270
Taco Corn Fritters, veggie-converted

Wednesday, Sept. 28 Day 271

Thursday, Sept. 29 Day 272
Leftover Creation

Friday, Sept. 30 Day 273
Spaghetti Fritters, veggie-converted

This post is linked at·Menu Plan Monday.

Don't forget to check out Meatless (Vegan) Mondays

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tofu Scrambler {Vegan}

Day 240.
Veggie Converter 365
Ah, yes. yet another, "thank goodness I cooked all those meals before we left for vacation so all I have to do is take stuff out of the freezer," kind of days. I absolutely love warming up freezer meals on Sundays. Yes, most people like lazy Sundays, but, for our family, it's actually more like the Thursday of our week (due to my husband's non-standard work schedule). By this time, the kids have usually worn me out, and without the occasional freezer meal, we might eat more PB&J's and mac & cheese than is considered healthy. This dish was featured in this month's OAMM Vegetarian Menu.

Tofu Scrambler
Adapted from Tofu Scrambler .
Ingredients
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 ounces firm tofu, pressed and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or less, to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth
  • 1 teaspoon House seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Directions
Add a bit olive oil to a pan and add chopped peppers and mushrooms. Cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two until mushrooms have darkened in color.

Stir in the tofu, sprinkle it with curry powder and ground red pepper, and pour the vegetable broth over it. Cook on medium-high, turning gently, until most of the liquid is evaporated and tofu is hot and browning. Stir in House seasoning to taste along with nutritional yeast, if using. Keep warm until ready to serve.


The Results
What a delicious Sunday brunch. Simple but perfectly spiced. We really enjoyed this dish.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays, Savory Sunday·and·Potluck Sunday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pizza Meatloaf Cups {Vegetarian}

Day 239.

Meatloaf is always a challenge to convert into a meatless meal. These "pizza" meatloaf cups seemed like a good bet because it doesn't rely so exclusively on the meat for the taste (much like my other successful meatloaf conversion: Cranberry-Blue Cheese Meatloaf). To adapt this recipe for the beef substitute and enhance the "pizza" flavor, I increased the pizza sauce, Italian seasoning and cheese and added pepperoni to half our pizza meatloaf cups. The flavor enhancers should make up for the lack of fat in the "meat." 

This was easy to prepare, super kid-friendly and a simple muffin-size serving. Any leftovers would freeze great and reheat easily in the oven. 
 
Pizza Meatloaf Cups
Adapted from Pizza Meatloaf Cups.
Ingredients
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten*
  • 1 cup pizza or pasta sauce
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups Lentil and Rice Ground Beef Substitute
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded*
  • 12 slices vegan pepperoni (optional)
  • Additional pizza sauce for serving, if desired
*Vegan converter: egg substitute and Daiya vegan mozzarella can be substituted, if desired
Directions 
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.
Mix egg, sauce, breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. Mix into "beef." Using an ice cream scooper, scoop meat mixture into muffin tin cups, filling about halfway. Using your thumb (or a spoon), press a well into the center of each mini meatloaf. Fill with about 1 tablespoon cheese each and mash the sides of the meatloaf down over the cheese. Top each center with pepperoni, if desired.

Bake 15-18 minutes, until cheesy center is gooey. Cool about 5 minutes and serve.

The Results
Oh yummy. The kids and I loved these. They tasted like meaty little pizza bites to me. I loved them. And our youngest (a 1-year-old) gobbled down two in as many minutes. The meat-eating husband said "it isn't meatloaf." So, his image of meatloaf is still wrapped around the meat. Understandable.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pita Pizzas {Vegan}

Day 238.

I just love Pam's kid-friendly recipes at OAMM. She's so creative and they're always simple for kids to help make (not to mention that they love to eat them). This pita pizzas recipe is one of those "Duh, why didn't I do that already?" kind of things for me. I've made Bagel Pizzas, Buffalo Chicken French Bread Pizzas and Pizza Bagel Bites, but never pita pizzas. It's definitely a winner whether you make your own pitas or not. I've been meaning to try my hand at pita bread for a long time, so I used this yummy recipe as an excuse.

Pita Pizzas
Adapted from Pita Pizzas.
Ingredients
Directions
Spread flat pita bread with pizza sauce. Sprinkle with desired pizza toppings, then cheese. Broil 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. 


The Results
These are really yummy. And so simple. We actually liked ours best with just plain pasta sauce. The bolognese was a little too complex for the simple pizzas.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Black Bean and Green Salsa Corn Muffins {Vegetarian}

Day 237.

I almost made these muffins a couple weeks back after I made Love Cakes. But, for whatever reason, I didn't get around to them. When I had some leftover black beans from Monday's Taco Bowls, (and still had Green Salsa in the freezer) I new what I would make for Leftover Creation day.I absolutely love corn muffins. And, of course, black beans and Green Salsa. So I'm really excited to try this creation.

Black Bean Green Salsa Corn Muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup masa
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup lime buttermilk (1 tablespoon lime juice in just under 1 cup milk, let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Green Salsa
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
Directions
Preheat oven to 450 and grease muffin tins for 18 muffins.

Combine dry ingredients (first five ingredients through salt). In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients (all remaining). Add wet ingredients to dry. Stir just enough to combine.

Using an ice cream scooper, scoop corn muffin batter into muffin tins (about 3/4 full). Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from tins and cool on a wire rack. Serve with extra green salsa, sour cream or butter, if desired.
The tiny helping hand insisted her
partially-eaten muffin needed
to be in the photo.

The Results
Wow. These are fantastic. Bug, our 2.5-year-old, asked adamantly for seconds immediately upon finishing the first. She then wanted that muffin to be included in the photo. So I'd say these are definitely kid-friendly. (She helped me mix the muffins, too.) It's like a whole meal in a tiny muffin, with all the food groups. The green salsa, while not a dominant flavor, makes the corn muffin super flavorful. So, instead of a somewhat dull cornbread flavor, the whole muffin has a mild hint of roasted tomatillo. Yum.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Grocery Cart Challenge and Ultimate Recipe Swap.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Homemade Pita Bread {Vegan}


Pita Bread
Adapted from Sesame Seed Pizzas
makes 12 pitas
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm water + more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • cornmeal
Directions
Combine flours, oil, yeast and salt in a food processor. Turn machine on and add 1 cup warm water.  Process for 30 seconds, adding more water until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch.  If it's dry, add 1-2 tablespoons water and process for another 10 seconds.

Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

When dough is ready, lightly flour your hands and the work surface. Form dough into a ball and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a small ball.  Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with a little flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.  Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.

Roll each ball less than 1/4-inch thick, using flour to prevent sticking as necessary. Dough should sit for 20 minutes before baking. When all the disks are rolled out heat oven to 350.  Spray a baking sheet and sprinkle on cornmeal. Set sheet on middle rack of oven.

Slide as many disks as will fit on each sheet pan (I got 6 onto each of 2 large pans) into the oven using a pizza peel or large spatula.  Bake until lightly browned and puffed, then flip to the other side. They should puff up a bit when ready. Bake 5-7 minutes.
 

Zucchini Boats {Vegan}

Day 236.

I absolutely love zucchini. And then you tell me I can make it into a cute little boat and stuff it with more yummy summer veggies? Sold. Most of these veggies came from my CSA box since my garden went in a little late this year. But if your garden was on-time, this would be an excellent way to use those fantastic fresh vegetables that are ripening up around now. This is another of my freezer meals from the OAMM Vegetarian menu that I pulled out in our continued vacation recovery saga. So simple to prepare the day of serving or ahead of time to freeze and reheat.

Zucchini Boats
Adapted from Zucchini Boats.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup quinoa
  •  4 large zucchini
  • 3 cups chopped spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese substitute
  • rice wine vinegar (optional)
Directions
Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, and scoop out the center, reserving the scooped portion for the filling.  Put the zucchini on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 degrees for 10 minutes until soft.

While your zucchini is cooking make your quinoa.  Put quinoa in a pot with amount of water listed on  package directions.  Bring to a boil.  Cover with a lid, and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. While quinoa is cooking start preparing the veggies. In a large pan put the oil, onion, and garlic. When onions are soft, add mushrooms and the zucchini you scooped out at the beginning.  After mushrooms are soft, add spinach and tomatoes. Once spinach is wilted, remove from heat.  If desired, add a dash of salt and a splash of rice wine vinegar to taste and stir in. Stir in Parmesan cheese substitute.

Fill each zucchini boat with the quinoa veggie filling. Sprinkle the tops of each boat with the rest of the cheese.  Flash freeze. And cover with plastic wrap to ensure that they stay together when in freezer.

If freezing, place in freezer bags and freeze at this point. To serve: Heat in oven at 350 for 20 minutes, or until zucchini is tender to touch.        


The Results
These were delicious. The kids didn't eat their boats, but loved the filling. I am unashamed to say I gobbled mine up boat and all. The boats are so creative and the filling is fantastic.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, Gold Star Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomato Bhindi {Vegan}

Day 235.

I'm over at OAMM again today with Tomato Bhindi. This delicious Indian-spiced pan-fried okra uses fresh tomatoes and okra from the garden. It's a great slightly spicy summer treat.

The Results
I absolutely adored this dish. It's one of those Indian dishes I wasn't sure if I could quite do justice at home. But it worked out great. I love the garam masala the subtly spicy sauce. It's more of a flavorful spice than a hot spice. And, of course, tomatoes and okra are such a great combination in various food genres. I'm a HUGE fan of fried okra and this is a nice break from that. The okra is pan fried. So while it's not as crunchy, it still has that delicious caramelization.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the Table, Tuesday Night Supper ClubSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul, Tasty Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Taco Bowls {Vegan}: Secret Recipe Club and Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up

Day 234.

Such a busy, busy day today. I am absolutely delighted to be participating in the Secret Recipe Club today. This is my first "normal" reveal day. As those of you who follow the blog may remember, I participated in a special reveal on Thursday after Connor's Cooking was left out on reveal day. Raina's blog was full of awesome recipes and I was able to whip up her yummy Lasagna Cups on short notice. But with today's secret recipe blog pal, I enjoyed an entire month of perusing recipes.

It was a tough choice to make. There were several recipes I could  have chosen and a few that would've been a big challenge to convert into vegetarian or vegan meals (like sun-dried tomato meatloaf). But, in the end, one just spoke to me through its creativity.

These aren't just standard run-of-the-mill tacos. No, siree. It's like a taco salad I can make easily at home in tiny little taco bowls. Yum. And so surprisingly simple. Now for the reveal, the blogger pal I was assigned is Amy of A Little Nosh. Amy is a working mom and has a super tiny urban kitchen. So her struggle is creating real food with serious time and space constraints. "My goal is to give you real tips on how to get a good, healthy dinner on the table in a timely manner," Amy says.  I think we can all empathize with her on both fronts. I don't know if I could ever have a large enough kitchen (though thankfully we're in the 'Burbs so mine is not quite as tiny as Amy's).

Taco Bowls
Adapted from Taco Bowls.
Ingredients
Directions
I opted to do my taco bowls a little different from Amy's. After seeing her post, I saw several other taco bowls around Pinterest and opted for the more open taco bowls I found on various sites.

Preheat oven to 375. Spray bottoms of two 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray. Sprinkle a bit of water on each tortilla and stack onto a plate. Top with another plate and microwave for about 1 minute. Separate tortillas. Spray both sides with cooking spray. Press tortillas into muffin tin bottoms, resting each between four cups of the muffin tin. Three tortilla bowls will fit in each muffin tin, placing one in each of the upper corners and the third in the bottom center. If you don't have two muffin tins, don't worry, the baking time is really fast, so just do a couple of batches.

When tortilla bowls are ready, bake for 8-10 minutes at 375. Meanwhile, put a bit of olive oil in a pan and brown sofrito and garlic. Add taco seasoning and broth, stirring until well mixed. Add "beef," beans and corn and stir. Cook about 5-10 minutes on medium until heated through.

Remove tins from oven and let bowls cool for a few minutes.

Place bowls on plates. If desired, put about a tablespoon of cheese in the bottom of each bowl (this will create a melted cheese barrier and keep the bowl from getting soggy; refried beans would also work).

Add a scoop of "beef" mixture to each bowl. Top with desired toppings.

Results
These are incredibly fantastic. Amy's recipe was excellent and, beyond the switch to vegan meat, I only made minor adjustments in order to give more flavor to the vegan meat. I absolutely adore the tortilla bowls themselves and will definitely be using the technique in the future for other recipes. The mix of corn and sofrito in the meat is excellent. I highly recommend this recipe and please stop by and check out A Little Nosh.

Meatless/Vegan Monday Link-up
To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays. If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com

Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.

Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?




Veggie Converter 365


This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Cravings, Menu Inspiration Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday, Gallery of Favorites, Make a Food-e Friend and Monday Mania.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Apple Walnut Rhubarb Muffins {Vegan}

Veggie Converter 365Day 233.

Today was definitely another "Thank goodness I have food in the freezer," kind of day. I don't know about you, but we seem to need to take a vacation from our vacation and then take another week to get back into all of our routines whenever we get home. Top that off with the fact that the kids picked up a summer cold and these muffins were an absolute delight. For some reason, when they're sick, the kids want nothing but carbs. Not juices, broths or soups like we adults seem to like, but bread. Lots and lots of bread. After days of trying to get them to eat various non-bread items, I decided they could just have a hay-day as long as the bread had some other food groups mixed in. Enter the apple walnut rhubarb muffins. Whole wheat bonus, fruits (apple), vegetables (rhubarb) and extra protein (walnuts) in their carbs. Win.

Apple Walnut Rhubarb Muffins
Adapted from Apple-Walnut Rhubarb Muffins.  
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 12 ounces applesauce
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 4 cups apples, chopped (about 4 medium)
Directions 
Preheat oven to 350.

Mix dry ingredients. Beat wet ingredients together in mixer. Add dry ingredients to wet. Fold in the walnuts, apples and rhubarb. Pour into two 12-cup muffin tins.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.

The Results
The kids went absolutely nuts for these. And we adults loved them also. What a great combination. I've only ever had strawberry-rhubarb pie, but I'm starting to think apple-rhubarb would be yummytastic, too. And, of course, I love the whole wheat pastry flour as always. It's a heartier muffin than you might be used to and is so delicious.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays, Savory Sunday·and·Potluck Sunday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chicken Chow Mein {Vegan}

Day 232.

In another somewhat brilliant choice on my part, I planned a long-made freezer meal for today. I knew I'd be exhausted from BlogHer. So, I dug out this Chicken Chow Mein for dinner. It was a very simple recipe and is sure to be kid-friendly.

Chicken Chow Mein
Adapted from Chicken Chow Mein.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups mock chicken cubes (I used Quorn)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 sliced bell pepper (I used orange)
  • 4 ounces sliced mushrooms 
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 can baby corn
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • Chow mein noodles or white rice
Directions 
In a large pan, put sesame oil over medium heat and saute all the mock chicken and vegetables for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and soy sauce to taste. Leave on medium heat and cook another 10 minutes. Serve over chow mein noodles or white rice. 


The Results
This was sadly pretty bland. We added some red pepper flakes to ours. The kids actually adored it as-is. We used our leftovers to create some fried rice (added a little egg and a lot of various Asian spices) and liked it much better.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday , Simply Delish and Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Raspberry Kiwi Smoothie {Vegan}

Day 231.

I actually made this recipe about six months ago and froze it. It was the perfect meal to have for a quick brunch when I returned from BlogHer and didn't have any fresh foods in the house. It was so simple to pull this out of the freezer and serve. I also think this would be excellent in a foodsaver "pop" created like the Homemade Yogurt Tubes. Our kids really love the fruit-only frozen tubes, especially when they're sick and this would be a great, easy (and cheaper) way to make them at home.

Raspberry Kiwi Smoothie
Adapted from Raspberry Kiwi Smoothie
Ingredients
  • 1.25 cups fresh raspberries, frozen (use flash freezing method)
  • 1 cups blueberries, frozen (use flash freezing method)
  • 1.5 cups cranberry juice
  • 2/3 cups soy milk
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, fresh, grated
  • 1 banana
  • 6 kiwis, peeled
Directions
Blend all ingredients except kiwi and banana. When smooth, add in fresh fruit. Blend lightly and serve. I actually blended it all together without the ice cubes and froze it. Upon thawing, I intended to add the cubes, but liked the rich flavor without and kept it that way. I imagine both ways are tasty though.

The Results
This was absolutely delicious. I though the kids might think it too strong, so I thinned theirs down a bit. So, of course, they preferred the un-thinned version and ended up sharing my glass. This makes an excellent breakfast or snack.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Broccoli Four Cheese Lasagna Cups {Vegetarian}: Secret Recipe Club

Day 230. 

Normally, I would not post my Thursday Leftover Creation until, well, Thursday. But when Amanda of The Secret Recipe Club wrote to say someone was left out of Monday's Secret Recipe link-up (whoever was supposed to post a recipe from her blog did not do so), I thought it might be fun to do a recipe from Connor's Cooking instead of my usual Leftover Creation. I perused the blog and found a ton of recipes I'd like to try. But with the limitation of the special Connor's link-up being held today, I needed something I already had most of the ingredients for in the house. Since I just got back from BlogHer in San Diego, that was a bit of a tough call. The house is filled with freezer meals I prepared before I left. But as for ingredients...not so much. Then I saw this fantastic-sounding and (bonus) already-vegetarian recipe: Four Cheese Veggie Lasagna Cups that I somehow had nearly all of the ingredients for. Win. And, double bonus: I used leftover pasta sauce and parmesan substitute from the Grilled Polenta. So, it's still a leftover creation. And we'll be having our leftovers from the leftover creation for lunch tomorrow.

Broccoli Four Cheese Lasagna Cups 
Ingredients 
  • 12 ounces (1 can) flaky layers (I used Grands Jr.) refrigerated biscuits
  • 12 ounces (1 bag) steamers frozen broccoli and cheese sauce
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pasta sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese*
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated*
  • 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded*
*Vegan Converter: use vegan cheese substitutes in equal amounts

Directions 
Preheat oven to 350.

Microwave broccoli steamer bag according to package directions. Meanwhile, separate biscuits (10 in my case) and press each biscuit into bottom of a muffin tin and press up the sides of each cup to form a biscuit bowl.

Mix broccoli, tomatoes, pasta sauce, salt and garlic in a medium bowl.

Mix ricotta, parmesan, parsley, Italian seasoning and half of mozzarella in a small bowl. 

Press a spoonful of ricotta mixture into each biscuit. Top with veggie mixture. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until filling is hot and biscuit is golden brown. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife along the outside of each biscuit and carefully remove. Allow to cool an additional 10 minutes and serve warm.

The Results 
Wow. These really do taste like lasagna. No noodles, but somehow the biscuit tastes noodley. Mine were a little sloppy (I might've overdone the increase in the diced tomatoes a tad) but were super tasty. The kids loved these. My husband's only note was that it might be better with fresh broccoli because the steamer bag stuff is a little bland. A win overall.

Grilled Polenta Cakes {Vegan}

Day 229.

I really like polenta. Which is a little odd I suppose since I abhore grits (yes, I know, a bit sad since I live in the South). But, with grits, I think it's primarily a textural thing. They don't really have much taste other than the butter or cheese they're often drowned in. My husband tells me I just haven't had good grits. But I digress. With polenta, the texture is much firmer, and I like it. So I thought I'd give these polenta cakes a shot.

Polenta Cakes
Adapted from Grilled Polenta Cakes.
Ingredients
  • 1 tube polenta, removed from casing, cut into 1/2-inch slices, and patted dry with paper towels
  • Approximately 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce
  • 1 cup grated parmesan substitute 
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • Cracked pepper
Directions
Brush both sides of the polenta cakes with the olive oil, and set aside.

Heat a grill pan until really hot. Lay the polenta cakes in one layer on the pan, and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side or until both sides are golden and crunchy and have grill marks.

Remove the cakes from the grill and let cool on a baking rack.

Just before you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the grilled polenta cakes on the baking sheet. Place a heaping tablespoon of your favorite tomato sauce on each slice, then add a generous amount Parmesan to each. Bake for 15 minutes. (We actualy skipped the baking step and just warmed our sauce in the microwave).

Garnish with fresh chopped basil, kosher salt, and cracked pepper, and serve warm.

The Results
The kids absolutely devoured these. I was kind of surprised. I wasn't sure whether they would like polenta. But then again, it is topped with pasta sauce, which they both adore.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, What's on the Menu Wednesday, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Recipe Link Party, Foodie Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday and No Whine Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zucchini Fritters {Vegan}

Day 228.

I love zucchini. And, let's be honest, fried things are just yummy (in moderation, of course). I love fried okra and vegetable tempura. This promises to be tasty.

Zucchini Fritters
Adapted from Zucchini Fritters.
Ingredients
  • 6 zucchinis (about 7 cups), shredded
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 portions egg substitue
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella (vegan, if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered vegetable bouillon
  • House seasoning, to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 cloves of garlic, halved
Directions
In a large bowl place the shredded zucchini, flour, "eggs," cheese, bouillon and House seasoning. Mix together well.

Heat a large frying pan with about 1/4 inch of vegetable oil and the garlic. Using a teaspoon carefully place the zucchini mixture in the oil. When one side is golden, carefully turn over the fritter, turning only once.

Place the fritters on a platter lined with a paper towel.

Results
Wow. These are incredible. The veggie bouillon flavor and the crispy fried zucchini are absolutely fantastic. This is a definite repeat. I thought, "hm, that sounds like it could be pretty good." But, no, it's not just pretty good, it's fantastic. I absolutely love this.

This post is shared at·Tuesdays at the TableSlightly Indulgent TuesdayTasty Tuesday, Delectable TuesdayTempt My Tummy TuesdayDelicious DishesReal Food Wednesday, Recipe of the Week, Hearth and Soul, and Tasty Tuesday.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pear Gorgonzola Pizza {Vegetarian}

Day 227.

I got into the pear-gorgonzola-walnut combination in college. A friend worked at a local Italian restaurant and it was featured one day as the chef's special dessert. I've been addicted ever since. I'm over at OAMM again today with Pear Gorgonzola Pizza.

The Results
I really should've made two of these. This was absolutely fantastic. I need another one.

To participate this week here on Veggie Converter, you will be able to comment or link your Meatless Monday meals while I post my Meatless Monday challenge to myself, Vegan Mondays. If you're a vegetarian or vegan blogger and would like to be featured for Vegan Mondays, link up, or contact veggieconverter@gmail.com

Now for the link-up rules: post your link to a meatless (vegan or vegetarian, or even an attempted meatless) recipe that you've posted on your blog.

Please join the Meatless (Vegan) Monday link-up. What Vegan or Meatless Monday Meal is your family having today?



Veggie Converter 365


This post is shared at·Mouthwatering Mondays, My Meatless Mondays, Cravings, Menu Inspiration Monday, Just Another Meatless MondayHomemaker MondayMeatless MondaysMingle Monday, MMMmonday, Mangia Monday,Make a Food-e Friend and Monday Mania.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Love Cakes {Vegetarian}

Day 226.
Veggie Converter 365Back when my husband was still in the wooing stage (when we were dating), he was super sweet and looked for new vegetarian restaurants in our area to take me to. The Flying Biscuit was one of the restaurants he found and we both fell in love with it. We almost always order the same thing. The Eggceptional Eggs, black bean "love cake" topped with eggs and with a side of potatoes. If I'm not into a big meal, I get the "Side of Love," which is simply the Love Cakes that are found at the bottom of that pile of eggs. They are incredibly fantastic. And, if you feel like cheating, you can buy the green salsa instead of making your own. But this recipe the green salsa recipe is super, so I suggest making your own at least once. It's really pretty simple.

Love Cakes
Adapted from Love Cakes.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cooked black beans (or 2 15-ounce cans) 
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup masa de harina (this is in most grocery stores now in the Mexican food section)
Garnishes:
  • 1/2 cup Green Salsa 
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup slivered red onions
Directions
Rinse and drain black beans in a sieve.

In a small sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil over medium heat. Cook onion, garlic, cumin, and salt until onions are translucent. Place drained beans and onion mixture in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until well combined. Gradually add masa, allowing mixture to absorb it before adding more. Test dough by rolling it in the palm of your hand. Keep adding masa until dough doesn't stick to your hand and holds the shape of a ball.

Divide dough into 16 small balls and flatten into cakes. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Saute cakes until lightly browned on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Top with Green Salsa, feta cheese, and slivered red onions.

The Results
So delicious and so surprisingly simple to make. This is one of our absolute favorites. I highly recommend you make some (especially if you don't live near a Flying Biscuit). They are incredible.

What are you having for Sunday Brunch, Breakfast or Lunch?

This post is shared at Penny Worthy Project, Cookbook Sundays, Savory Sunday·and·Potluck Sunday.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pear and Squash Bruschetta {Vegan}

Day 225.

I <3 bruschetta, a lot. I've only ever had tomato and pesto bruschetta topping. But this seemed interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. It called for smoked mozzarella, so I added a bit of liquid smoke to the cheese.

Pear and Squash Bruschetta
Adapted from Pear and Squash Bruschetta.
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash (1-1/2 pounds)
  • 2 yellow onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 3 ripe pears, cored and cut into half-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pound loaf sourdough bread
  • 1/4 pound Daiya vegan Mozzarella
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Pumpkin seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
Directions
Peel squash. Combine squash trimmings, onion and carrots in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes or until liquid is flavorful, adding additional water to keep about 3 cups liquid in pan. Strain. Reserve liquid. Discard solids or reserve for another use I put mine in a batch of Easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Broth.

Scrape seeds from squash and discard. Cut squash into 1/2-inch cubes. Heat olive oil and butter in a large shallow pan. Add sage and fry for 30 seconds or until crisp and fragrant. Remove sage with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towel and reserve for garnish.

Add squash and pears to pan. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until just starting to brown. Add 1 cup of the squash stock and cook until reduced. Repeat, using about 3 cups stock. Pears and squash should be soft but still hold shape. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, slice bread into 1/2-inch slices. Toast in 350 oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Spoon warm pear-squash mixture onto each bruschetta. Sprinkle liquid smoke over cheese. Sprinkle bruschetta with cheese. Drizzle with pumpkin seed or olive oil if desired. Garnish servings with fried sage.

The Results
I ended up reserving about a cup of the broth for another use as the pear-squash was soft before I could reduce the last cup. This is pretty good. Kind of an interesting combination. Not my favorite, but good.

This post is shared with What's for Lunch Wednesday , Simply Delish and Muffin Tin Monday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cheesy Green Bean Skillet {Vegan}

Day 224.

We love green bean casserole around here. But, in the summertime it's just a bit too creamy. So this cheesy green bean skillet sounds like a great stand-in. And, bonus, I can make it in my rice cooker. No hot oven and so simple.

Cheesy Green Bean Skillet
Adapted from Cheesy Green Bean Skillet.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon House seasoning
  • 1 cups cheddar cheese (Daiya vegan, if desired), shredded
  • 2 cups green beans or snap beans, fresh
Directions
Place all ingredients, except green beans and cheese, in rice cooker. Set to brown rice setting. About 30 minutes before cycle completion, place beans in steamer tray. Continue cycle. Stir in cheese about 5 minutes before completion. Serve.

The Results
Have I told you how much I love my rice cooker? Well, I do. Cheesy and delicious, and so simple to make. Loved it.

This post shared at Fat Camp Friday, Crafty Friday, Friday Favorites, Potluck FridayFrugal Fridays, Foodie Friday, Fresh Food Friday and I'm Lovin' It.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Creamy Cucumber Vegetable Dip {Vegetarian}

Day 223.

The kids loved the Cucumber Breakfast Spread so much that we had to use it as a vegetable dip, too. Broccoli, carrots and Sweet Potato Chips were their favorite items to dip.

Creamy Cucumber Vegetable Dip
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cups yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 cups cucumber, diced finely
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoons dill
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno, chopped finely (optional)
Directions
Combine all ingredients and use as dip for chopped veggies. Store in refrigerator for up to one week.

The Results
In answer to every question about what she wants for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Bug has said "dip please" today. I think that means she likes it. It is super delicious, I admit.

This post is shared with Simple Lives Thursday, Tip Day Thursday, Frugal Food Thursday, Recipe Swap Thursday,Recipes I Can't Wait to Try, Things I Love Thursday, It's a Keeper, Full Plate Thursday, Grocery Cart Challenge and Ultimate Recipe Swap.