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Hummus Lasagna

A wonderful dish for a holiday meal or anytime you are feeding a full table.  This recipe comes from our cookbook, The 30-Day Vegetarian for the Hummus Lasagna with the substitution of a new product I found called  Butler Soy Curls for the middle layer.

  • hummus lasagna4 Cans Organic Garbanzo Beans
  • 3 Red Bell Peppers Organic
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 1 Head of Garlic
  • 1 Large Eggplant or 2 Medium Eggplants
  • 1 TBL Tahini (sesame paste) optional
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Package 16 Ounces Whole Grain Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 Package Vegetarian Steak Strips (or Butler Soy Curls)
  • 2 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1 16 ounce Jar Organic Tomato Sauce

Prepare fillings

If you like, you can prepare the fillings the day before and keep them in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble your lasagna.  Seed the three sweet red peppers and place in a large roasting pan along with eggplant, garlic (whole) and sweet onion (outer layer peeled and cut in half.)   Roast at 425° for about 1 hour, or until the eggplant is very soft and the other vegetables have taken on good color.

Eggplant Hummus
Carefully split the hot eggplant in half and scoop out the pulp making sure to keep all of the liquid inside.  Slice the bottom off of the roasted garlic and press each clove out and into your food processor along with the eggplant pulp, 2 cans of drained garbanzo beans and 1 TBL Tahini (you can substitute 1 TBL nut butter or omit).  Process until mixture is very smooth.  The consistency should be similar to a ricotta cheese filling in a traditional lasagna.

Veggie Steak Filling
Rinse steak strips under warm water in colander for just a minute or two (this removes some of the seasoning so that we can add our own unique flavors and it will permit the frozen strips to thaw partially to make cutting easier.)  Or if you are using Butler Soy Curls, rehydrate 1 package in about 2 cups warm water.  Transfer veggie meat to cutting board and slice into small pieces.  Chop one sweet onion and sauté with olive oil in fry pan along with veggie steak.  When the onion begins to caramelize, add the fennel and continue to cook for another minute or two.

Red Pepper Hummus
Place the roasted red peppers and the sweet onion in the food processor along with 2 cans of drained garbanzo beans.  Process until smooth.  I find that most canned beans have ample salt, but you may want to add a pinch of salt at this stage after taste testing your hummus purées.

Assemble Lasagna

Prepare lasagna noodles according to package.

To assemble, place a thin coating of tomato sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan and top with a single layer of noodles.  Spoon all of the eggplant hummus on top of pasta and sprinkle just a scant amount of tomato sauce over top.  Place the second layer of noodles down on top of the hummus and press gently to even out the filling.  Spoon all of the steak strip filling into the pan and top with tomato sauce once again.  Make sure you reserve a set of unbroken lasagna noodles for the top layer!  Select another set of noodles for your next layer and cover with the red pepper hummus filling.  Sprinkle with tomato sauce and lay the final layer of noodles on top of your filling, pressing down gently to make sure filling is well distributed.  Spoon a final coating of tomato sauce atop lasagna.  Cover with foil and bake in a 350° oven for 45 minutes, remove foil and continue baking for another 15 minutes.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Veggie Turkey Roast with Stuffing

seitan turkey roast with stuffingFor some of us the Holidays just wouldn’t feel the same without a big stuffed roast.  I tried lots of imitation Tofurky in my day but none gave me the feeling of my Grandmother’s home cooking, so I made my own.  This seitan roast is similar to the Veggie Corned Beef recipe that you will find in my cookbook, but it is specially seasoned to replace a traditional stuffed turkey.

Boiling Stock

  • 8 Cups Water
  • 1 Sweet Onion (quartered)
  • 2 Sliced Carrots
  • 4 Stalks Sliced Celery
  • 1 TBL Salt

Veggie Turkey

  • 5 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten
  • 2 TBL Dried Minced Onion
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Marjoram
  • 2 ½ Cups Water
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil (or melted butter or margarine)
  • Cheese Cloth and Two Strings
  • Bread Stuffing (see recipe for Stuffed Tofu Roast the full recipe is printed in the INFO sidebar to the left of the YouTube video)

Baste

  • 1 Stick Butter or Margarine (or Olive Oil)
  • 3 TBL Honey
  • 2 TBL Soy Sauce

Place your water, aromatics (onion, carrots, celery) and sea salt in a large pot for your stock, cover and bring to a slow simmer.

Meanwhile, place the Wheat Gluten in a large mixing bowl and add the dried onion, salt and spices.   Add your water and oil all at once to the mixing bowl of dry ingredients and quickly stir with a wooden spoon until it a large stiff ball has formed.  Take your seitan dough out of the bowl and kneed on a well oiled cutting board for 10 minutes.  The dough will be much more elastic than regular bread dough, but don’t skip on the kneading because this is what will give the turkey breast the proper texture.

Form the dough into a loaf  keeping in mind that it will expand some during cooking and it must fit inside your stock pot. Wrap the loaf loosely in a double layer of cheese cloth making sure you leave about an inch all around so that the seitan can expand during cooking.  Tie the veggie turkey at both ends and gently slip into your simmering stock.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Carefully remove the boiled roast from your stock pot and cut away the strings and cheese cloth.  Scoop your prepared bread stuffing into a large roasting pan and place the boiled roast on top.   Combine your baste ingredients in a small bowl and brush a thin layer on top of your roast.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour, basting again every 15 minutes.

Gravy Tip:  I serve this roast with a simply pan gravy that I make with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms and the broth left over from the seitan simmering stock.  I thicken with a little roux and use my hand blender to puree.  Served with homemade mango and fresh cranberry relish it fulfills our memories of Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house back in the day.

Stuffed Tofu Roast

Faux Gumbo

Gumbo is said to have been around since the early 1800’s (Wikipedia: Gumbo) and at its origin was a combination from the French bouillabaisse (fish soup) with influences from the Spanish (holy trinity) as well as African slaves (okra).  In its widest interpretation gumbo is a stew-like  dish with a combination of meats, chicken, seafood, tomatoes, onion and bell peppers.  Personally I just like the word … Gumbo.  But then again it could just be a very confused childhood cellular memory of an old cartoon series. 😉

In any event, at my house, Faux Gumbo translates into a hearty meal that transforms a variety of leftovers into an epicurean potage. Served on top of rice or pasta, it is an excellent way to stretch your food dollar.

The goal here is to use what you have on hand along with some fresh foods that will kick up your creation to leftover havens unknown!  In my case, we had a few veggie sausages from Sunday breakfast, as well as some O’Brian potatoes from the same meal, a couple of veggie hot dogs from lunch, some left over roast from Sunday supper, plus 1 green pepper, 1 sweet onion, 3 carrots and a half a head of cabbage.

What?  No okra?  As I said, this is a FAUX GUMBO.  My deepest of apologies to the diehard New Orleans purist.

To assemble your dish, slice your vegetables and sauté over medium heat until tender.  Next add your meats and continue to warm through.

Instead of tomato, I happened to have a half cup of left over marina that I used for homemade spelt pizza the day before yesterday.  In addition, my garden has some fresh baby basil this week, and I couldn’t help but add a handful of herb to this dish right before serving.

Tonight we served our fresh stew atop a bowl of buttered bow-tie pasta.  It may not have been even a faint whisper of the classic Cajun creation, but it was certainly good eating and the best value for our food budget this week!

Pasta Frittata

Since writing the 30-Day Vegetarian, I am so pleased to see a variety of new pastas on the shelves of even the mega-marts that make eating whole grains more mainstream than ever before.  In chat this week with a social networking friend, I learned that even Barilla pasta has a new variety called Plus that combines traditional Semolina flour with a blend that includes Lentils, Chickpeas, and event Spelt!  Yay!!  fAt 10 grams of protein per serving and 4 grams of dietary fiber this is one kicked up pasta plate.

Find yourself with left over pasta, how about a quick and easy Pasta Frittata?frittata

  • 1-2 TBL Olive Oil
  • ½ cup Sliced Mushrooms
  • 2 cups Cooked Pasta
  • 1 cup Frozen Green Peas
  • 6 Eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup Shredded Cheese

In an oven proof cast iron skillet sauté your shrooms in 1-2 TBL Olive Oil over medium heat for just a minute or two.  Add your cooked left over pasta and toss lightly in pan.  Sprinkle in your green peas and let heat for a moment as you beat your eggs, then pour eggs into the pan and top with your shredded cheese.

Place skillet in oven at 350° for 20 minutes.  If you don’t have an oven proof skillet, you can cook this right on the stove top by placing a cover on the pan and cooking on low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are set.

Serves 4

Sweet Cabbage Rolls

sweet cabbage rolls(Found on page 47 of The 30-Day Vegetarian)

This vegan twist on good old fashioned home cooking has a sweet creamy flavor from the almond milk white sauce.

  • 1 Cup Brown Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • ½ Cup Raisins
  • ½ Cup Almonds (Slivered)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • Spices (e.g. Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander, Salt, Pepper)
  • 2 TBL Margarine or Butter (if desired)
  • 8 Napa Cabbage Leaves

Bring water to boil and add rice, raisins, almonds and salt. Simmer 30-40 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Add spices and margarine to warm rice. Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Spoon rice mixture on the large end of cabbage leaf and roll to close. Place bundles in casserole dish.

  • sweet cabbage roll21 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 2 TBL Margarine (Optional)
  • Turmeric and Cumin to taste
  • 2 TBL Potato Starch Mixed with ¼ Cup Almond Milk

Bring to a boil the almond milk and water in sauce pan. Add spices and the corn starch slurry. Stir over medium heat until mixture again reaches a boil and has the consistency of a medium white sauce. Pour over cabbage rolls and bake in a 350º oven for 25-30 minutes. (Serves 4-6)

Lemon Chiffon

lemon chiffon good contrastStill working on my gluten free, high protein line of cakes, I tried a new dessert this weekend for lemon festival fans!  This light lemon chiffon uses garbanzo beans as the base which harmonize with the lemon and dates in this dish to make a perfect medly.

Cake:

  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans (drained)
  • 9 Dates
  • Juice from one Fresh Lemon
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla

In your mixing bowl, beat cold egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Meanwhile in your heavy duty food processor, puree the beans, dates and lemon juice until they are completely blended.  Add your baking powder and vanilla and continue to blend for another minute.

Gently fold your bean mixture into your egg whites and scoop the batter into two round cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350° for 50 minutes.

Frosting:

  • 1 Tub Firm Tofu (drained)
  • 3 TBL Honey (or if you prefer pure maple syrup)
  • Juice of 3 Fresh Lemons
  • 1 Lemon Sliced (for decoration)

In your heavy duty food processor beat the tofu, honey and the lemon juice until smooth.   Unlike the frosting on the chocolate torte which masks the taste of the tofu instantly, the lemon in this dish will need time to permeate the flavor of the frosting.  Transfer the frosting to a covered bowl to chill in the refrigerator while your cake is baking and it should be perfect by the time you are ready to serve.

To assemble, frost cake when it is completely cooled.  Place about one third of the frosting in the middle of your cake .  This batter is a bit on the thin side, so you may want to pour it over the top and allow it to gently run down the sides of your cake.  Decorate with slices of lemon and chill until ready to eat.  Serves 8-10.

Chocolate Torte Video!

Check out our new video for the Chocolate Raspberry Torte (ok, we didn’t have any raspberries on hand, so we used strawberries and called it Chocolate Berry Torte 😉

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

chocolate raspberry torteOk, in my previous bean cake creations I mention that these low sugar, gluten free natural treats were something to dance about if you had food allergies or other dietary restrictions and could not partake of normal cakes and other decadent desserts.  But this new torte changes all that.  My new recipe for Chocolate Raspberry Torte wins the prize for mainstream indulgence! Everyone will love this cake and feel good about themselves in even overdoing it — just a smidge of course 😉

What makes this cake so different?  Part of the success of this recipe  is the angel cake quality of the batter. More like a soft sponge cake, this recipe uses whipped egg whites to create a light melt in your mouth treat.

And check out the stats on this new creation based on data entered into the Spark Recipe’s Calculator http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp … one slice of this cake is only 120 calories, 2.8 grams of fat, 7.6 grams of sugar yet still boasts 3.8 grams of dietary fiber and an amazing 8.6 grams of protein!  You simply can’t beat this cake for the perfect balance of Ooohs and Aaahs.

Cake:

  • 6 Egg Whites
  • 1 can Pinto Beans (drained)
  • 9 Dates
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla

In your mixing bowl, beat cold egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Meanwhile in your heavy duty food processor, puree the beans and dates and baking powder until they are completely blended.  Add your vanilla and continue to blend for another minute or so.

Gently fold your bean mixture into your egg whites and scoop the batter into two round cake pans that have been lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly.

Frosting:

  • 1 Tub Firm Tofu (drained)
  • 3 TBL Pure Maple Syrup
  • 4 TBL Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
  • ½ Cup Fresh Or Frozen Raspberries

In your heavy duty food processor beat the tofu and maple syrup until smooth, gradually add the cocoa powder and continue to process until you have a rich and creamy chocolate frosting.

To assemble, frost cake when it is completely cooled.  Place about one third of the frosting in the middle of your cake and top with half of the raspberries.  Next frost the top and sides and decorate with remaining berries.  Chill until ready to eat.  Serves 12.

Gluten Free Banana Cake with Walnut Dream Frosting

banana walnut dreamI get a lot of people asking me about gluten free cooking.  My book, The 30-Day Vegetarian does have many gluten free meal ideas, but when it came to cakes I had been at a loss to replicate the moist and light texture within a whole foods paradigm.  That was until I discovered BEAN CAKES!

My family and I simply loved the chocolate bean cake recipe that we created on Father’s Day, so I have been experimenting on what flavors complement various bean varieties to come up with more gluten-free as well as guilt-free desserts!

While the Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting hit the spot, I wanted to make a new cake that would be even lower in fat and completely dairy free!

Introducing my newest in a line of gluten free not-so sweet desserts is my banana walnut dream that uses tofu to make a rich creamy frosting.  Let me be up front, if your body can handle the high sugar coma of a traditional frosted supermarket cake and your waist line can afford the extra cargo, then this light version of banana nut cake may not be your cup of tea.  But if you are like me and the friends I know who are looking for ways to reduce fat and sugar in their diet and have been missing dessert because of it for some time … well sacrafice no longer!  This cake not only is good for your waist line at only 220 calories and 5.8 grams of fat, it has 10 grams of dietary fiber, only 1.5 grams of sugar and a whopping 11.8 grams of protein per serving!! (Calculations based on information entered into  http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp Serves 16.)

With this much protein and low sugar, I don’t feel bad about having a slice of this cake for breakfast!

Banana Cake

  • 2 can Navy Beans (drained)
  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Apple (cored)
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs

In your heavy duty food processor, puree beans, bananas and apple until you have a smooth batter.  Add your baking powder and continue to process as you add the eggs one at a time.

Pour batter into two parchment lined cake pans and bake in a preheated 400° oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Cool cakes completely before frosting.

Walnut Dream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Walnut Pieces
  • 2 Bananas
  • Juice from 1 Lemon
  • 1 TBL Honey
  • 1 Brick Firm Tofu

In your heavy duty food processor, process nuts until you have a smooth nut paste.  Next add your bananas and the juice of one lemon and continue to process until light and fluffy.  Add your honey and tofu and puree until your frosting resembles a traditional butter cream.  The firm tofu really helps to keep this frosting thick and delicious, you will be amazed at how well it spreads over your cooled layer cake.