Daily Vegan Lunch for 31 December, 2013: Eggplant Parmesan

It’s the last Daily Vegan Lunch!  No. 365!!

vegan eggplant parmesan IMG_3932
This recipe uses a modified version of tofu parmesan from Jo Stephaniak’s Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, which I highly recommend.

“Normal” eggplant parmagiana at Olive Garden is 850 calories per serving, which is fairly staggering. It gets worse because there are 35 grams of fat in that serving, the majority of which are coming from carcinogenic cheese!  Now we see the reason vegans are an average of 40 pounds lighter than everyone else.

This recipe only gets fat from tahini (sesame seed butter) and from greasing the pan for the crunchy eggplant cutlets, which you don’t technically need to do.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium sized eggplant, cut into slices

1 tablespoon egg replacer plus 1/4 cup water OR 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 1/2 cup of water.  If using flaxseed meal, blend it in the food processor for a smoother consistency.

1.5 cups breadcrumbs or panko
1 tablespoon fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

FOR THE PARMESAN:

1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 cup firm tofu
2 tablespoons tahini or cashew butter
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the egg replacer or flaxseed meal with water, set aside in a small bowl.

Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, herbs, and salt and spread the mixture on a plate.

Cut the eggplant into 3/4 inch slices and coat first in egg-replacer or flaxseed wash, then coat with breadcrumbs as thickly as possible.

Lay the cutlets on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the parmesan sauce.  Combine onions, arrowroot, tofu, tahini, nutritional yeast, water, and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until liquified and completely smooth.

Transfer the liquid to a small pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened, 3 – 5 minutes.

Take the eggplant cutlets out of the oven, flip them over, and spoon thickened parmesan on them.  Put them back into the oven for about 10 more minutes.

Serve with cooked spaghetti and marinara sauce.

My husband said he really liked these.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 23 November, 2013: Broccoli and Cheez Potato

vegan broccoli cheez potato IMG_3711
INGREDIENTS:

Per potato

1 potato of any kind, washed
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli florets, chopped small
1 cup cashew cheez

DIRECTIONS:

Make the cheez sauce in the blender from this recipe, which refrigerates well and can be used on everything from nachos to cheez fries to mac and cheez.

Pierce potato with fork several times and microwave it on high for approximately 4 minutes and 30 seconds.  How long you microwave depends on the size of the potato and the type.  I find red potatoes like the one here cook the slowest whereas golden potatoes cook fast no matter what their size.  Russets are also on the slow side.  Alternately, pierce the potato and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes.

Combine the onion and broccoli florets in a small bowl and a tablespoon of water.  Microwave 30 seconds.  Alternately, cook the broccoli and onion on the stovetop in a small pan with a tablespoon of water on medium-high heat until water boils off and broccoli is bright green, about 3 minutes. Strain off any remaining water.

Let the potato cool and split it down the middle.  Mix in the room temperature cheez sauce and broccoli onion mixture into the potato as you mash it; salt to taste.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 20 November, 2013: Grilled Pepper, Spinach, and Cashew Cheez Sandwich

grilled pepper and spinach cheez sandwich IMG_3705
INGREDIENTS:

Per sandwich

2 slices bread (I used sourdough)
1.5 cups roasted red bell pepper (I used Italian ones from a can) or fresh tomato slices
2 cups fresh spinach leaves

3/4 cup cashew cheez

Oil for frying

CASHEW CHEEZ INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cups cashew pieces
1/4 cup raw onion
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 a lemon’s juice
1 cup oats
2 cups water
1 roasted red bell pepper (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons miso

DIRECTIONS:

Combine cheez ingredients in a high speed blender OR if you don’t have a high speed blender, use cashew butter instead of cashew pieces and pre-cook oats in water in microwave for 2 minutes, then combine and blend in normal blender.

This makes enough cheez for 4 servings.

Put spinach in a bowl and microwave 30 seconds.  Alternately, wilt it in a small pan on medium heat with a teaspoon of water for 3 minutes.

Spread both slices of sandwich bread with about 1/4 cup or so of cheez.  Add slices of bell pepper and wilted spinach.

Oil a griddle on medium heat and fry the sandwich for about 2 minutes on one side or until golden brown and toasty.  Then flip and fry for 1 more minute.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 7 November, 2013: Taco Casserole

I made this for my How Do We Get A Vegan Restaurant in Naperville informal potluck. It was a big hit.

vegan taco casserole

IMG_3664

IMG_3665

1 bag of corn chips (I also used some regular corn tortillas briefly fried in oil)
1 large tomato, chopped or 1.5 cups
1.5 cups black olives, sliced
1.5 cups onion

Bean stew

Cashew-oat nacho cheez

FOR THE BEAN STEW LAYER:

About 2 cups black, kidney, pinto, or chili beans from a can, not drained
1.5 cups vegetable broth or V8
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons taco seasoning

FOR THE CASHEW OAT NACHO CHEEZ LAYER:

3/4 cups cashew pieces
1/4 cup raw onion
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 a lemon’s juice
1 cup oats
2 cups water
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 teaspoons taco seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the nacho cheez: combine all nacho cheez ingredients in a high speed blender OR if you don’t have a high speed blender, use cashew butter instead of cashew pieces and pre-cook oats in water in microwave for 2 minutes, then combine and blend in normal blender.

For the bean stew, combine beans and onions in a small pan with taco seasoning. Fry until onions are translucent and taco seasoning is fragrant. Mix broth with 1/4 cup flour. Pour over bean mixture and stir until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Grease a casserole dish or dishes by wiping with olive oil. Layer chips, nacho cheese, bean stew, onions, olives, and tomatoes in one large casserole dish or two small ones, I used my big 13 x 9 casserole. How many layers depends on how thin you spread each one. I ended up with 3 layers of chips, 2 layers of beans, and 2 layers of nacho cheez. It’s not an exact science.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Pour 1.5 cups of veggie broth or V8 into the casserole and bake for 20 more minutes.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 7 October, 2013: Tempeh Bacon and Cream Cheese Sandwich

vegan tempeh bacon cream cheese sandwich

TEMPEH BACON INGREDIENTS:

1 package of tempeh, sliced thinly
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
5 drops liquid smoke

Oil for frying

DIRECTIONS:

Mix soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke in a bowl. Soak each piece of tempeh in the liquid for a few seconds and turn over, soaking for a few more seconds. Fry the tempeh bacon slices in a little oil on medium heat. Turn over after they brown, about 2 minutes each side.

I used homemade vegan cream cheese made of cashews and almond yogurt to assemble this sandwich with a little chopped onion. There are also good store brands of vegan cream cheese like Tofutti’s one.

Daily Vegan Lunch for 22 September, 2013: Loaded Baked Potato Skins

vegan baked potato skins

INGREDIENTS:

6 medium-sized Yukon Gold or russet potatoes (russets require longer cooking time)
1 recipe Best Ever Cheez
1.5 cups chopped green onion or chives
Liberal sprinkles of vegan baco-bits

DIRECTIONS:

Wash and prick potatoes with a fork several times (to avoid exploding potatoes) and bake potatoes for 30 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees. Alternately, prick the potatoes and microwave them for 3 – 5 minutes per potato depending on the potato’s size.

Allow the potatoes to cool and make the cheez sauce.

Once potatoes are cool, cut them in half and carefully scoop out the insides of the potato, leaving about 3/4 inch of potato and the skin. Save the inside potato mash for later use. I put mine in soup. Broil the potato skins at 400 degrees for 5 minutes on each side, scooped hollow side and normal skin side.

Fill each potato with a heaping tablespoon or so of cheez sauce. Sprinkle with chives or green onion and baco-bits.

Daily Vegan Lunch for September 9, 2013: Caprese Salad

vegan caprese salad

INGREDIENTS:

6 cups kale (I used baby kale) massaged or fresh spinach leaves
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup olives, pitted and sliced

2 cups basil leaves

6 blobs buffalo mozzarella, chopped roughly

DRESSING:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar plus 2 tablespoons olive oil or

2/3 cup prepared balsamic vinaigrette

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Chop basil leaves.  Massage and shred kale and toss to mix thoroughly with basil.  Mix with chopped tomatoes and olives, then gently add buffalo mozzarella balls and sprinkle with oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper before serving.