Some starter recipes
Vegan cooking often doesn’t require a lot of new recipes. Salads, pureed soups, vegetables, rice, smoothies, cereals, granolas, pastas and other dishes are often either already vegan or very easily adapted to be vegan. But here’s a few to get you started. You may need to get some of these ingredients from your local health food store.
Tahini cheese spread
This is a simple combination of great tasting ingredients into a simple spread, goes well on bagels, with pasta, on vegetables and sandwiches.
¼ cup of sesame seed butter (also called tahini) or macadamia or cashew butter if you want something creamier
¼ cup of nutritional yeast
1-2 tablespoons of water*
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Sea salt (start with a pinch, but add more to taste)
Put everything in the small bowl except the water, and mix until well combined. The spread should be about the consistency of room temperature margarine). Add water until you have the right consistency (it should spread easily; add a little more if necessary), then add a pinch of salt. You’re done. Double or triple this recipe if you want leftovers.
Vince’s deli-style ALT sandwich
That’s avocado, lettuce and tomato and it’s delicious.
2 slices of vegan bread (your choice, but rye is nice!)
½ fresh ripe avocado
1 dash of liquid smoke
1 dash of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of lime juice
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
½ small red tomato
2 leaves of lettuce (your choice, but romaine is nice)
Pit, peel and thinly slice the avocado and tomato. Coat the avocado slices with the lime juice. Sprinkle the avocado with the sea salt, garlic powder and liquid smoke (a little liquid smoke goes a long way). Layer the avocado with the sliced tomato and the lecttuce on the bread as you would any other sandwich. You’re done! If you’re going to pack this sandwich, mash the avocado with the lime juice or use guacamole instead. If you can’t find liquid smoke, try smoked salt. Toss some thinly sliced pickles in for extra flavor. Add a little tahini cheese if you like.
Chick pea, avocado and baby spinach salad
This is an amazingly easy, beautiful, tasty and vegan alternative. A great side dish or lunch. Or toss it with rice or pasta for a great light dinner.
1 16oz can of chick peas (drained)
2 ripe avocados, pitted, skinned and coarsely chopped
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
For the dressing:
Juice of 2 medium-sized, ripe limes
1 tablespoon of cilantro, minced
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper)
½ teaspoon of cumin, ground
Dash of liquid smoke (or smoked salt)
Sea salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Begin by preparing your dressing by whisking together the dressing ingredients. Peel and chop the onion and the avocado. Add the chick peas, chopped avocados, spinach and red onion to the large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Let stand 5 minutes. Taste and add salt or additional seanoning if you like!
Spaghetti with spinach, arugula and walnut pesto
This pesto is a beautiful bright green, is full of nutrition and goes well with spaghetti or other pasta, on pizza, or even as a sandwich spread.
½ package of vegan spaghetti or other pasta (about ½lb) and water to boil it
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/4 cup packed baby arugula
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Prepare the spaghetti according to the instructions. While waiting for your water to boil, wash and stem your greens. Put all of the ingredients except for the spaghetti into a food processor or blender (or mince very finely with your knife, or grind all together with your mortar and pestle). Blend until smooth. Taste and add salt if necessary. When the pasta is done, drain and toss thoroughly with the pesto. Never pay $5 for a tiny jar of nonvegan pesto again!
Red hot red lentil, kale and sweet corn chili
This is a simple and filling dish with lots of flavor. It’s not as spicy as it pretends to be.
3 cups of water, brought to a boil
1 cup of dried red lentils
1 cup of canned corn (drained)
2 cups of packed green kale leaves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
½ teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (if you like it hot!)
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
Bring your water to a boil in a small pot with a tight fitting lid on high heat. Add the lentils, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are done. When the lentils are done, prepare the kale and spices. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Mince the kale leaves. In a frying pan, heat the oil until hot (a drop of water should sizzle, but if the oil smokes, it’s too hot). Add the garlic, ginger and other spices. Stir frequently for 2 minutes and reduce heat to medium. Add the lemon juice and the kale. Add the corn. Stir-fry the kale for 3-5 minutes until wilted. When the kale has wilted, add the lentils to the mixture. Add the tomato paste, peanut butter and sea salt. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Return to heat and heat through. Taste and add salt if necessary or additional seasonings if you like and serve!
Blue velvet blueberry sorbet
A great summer dessert, you can make this nonfat ice any time.
2 cups of frozen blueberries
1-2 tablespoons of water
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
If your blueberries are uncooperative with respect to blending, you can add vanilla soy milk 1 tablespoon at a time for a blueberry sherbet or add a combination of 1 tablespoon of water, 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of agave to keep it more like sorbet.
Add your blueberries and the agave nectar to the medium-size bowl. Blend with a hand blender until creamy and smooth. You can also use a food processor if you have one. Dish out quickly before it melts. Try strawberries or mixed berries if you like!
Recipes copyright (c) Vincent Guihan
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