Introduction To Vegan Cooking

Many people these days are striving to eat healthier with less processed foods and less meat and dairy products. Becoming Vegan, or someone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, can be challenging to get started. Here are some recipes to get started, whether someone is planning to be vegan or just have some meat and dairy free recipes on hand. As an added bonus, these recipes are all Kosher, Soy-free and GMO free as well.

This recipe is a great way to have your oatmeal on those busy days. These muffins can be made ahead of time and frozen or they keep at room temperature for up to 5 days. This recipe is ideal for almost endless variations.

Easy Oatmeal Muffins

You need: 

  • ¾ cups organic applesauce
  • ½ cup almond milk, or milk alternative of your choice
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup organic maple syrup, or agave syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp organic cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups organic oats, rolled, not steel-cut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ cup diced apple
  • ¼ finely chopped nuts of your choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the first 9 ingredients, add in oats and baking powder stir until combined, Mix in the diced apples and nuts if using. Stir until thoroughly combined and let batter rest for about 20 minutes.

Greased a 12 cup muffin pan with non-stick spray or alternatively use a silicone muffin pan. Divide batter evenly between the muffin cups, this batter doesn’t rise much so there is little worry of overfilling. Bake for approximately 23 – 25 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool before removing from pan.

Easy Variation:
Substitute pumpkin puree for the applesauce and replace the chopped apple with the same amount of vegan chocolate chips. Add ¼ teaspoon ginger in addition to the cinnamon, this makes a delicious fall oatmeal recipe.

Portobello Mushroom and Roasted Red Pepper Paninis

You need: 

  • 3 – 4 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • ¼ cup organic olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary (or herbs of your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 4 split Sourdough Rolls or 8 pieces thick sliced sourdough bread
  • Olive oil for brushing the bread

Combine olive oil, vinegar, shallots, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Place mushrooms gills up in a dish with side, pour the olive oil mixture over them and let sit for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour. Grill or broil mushrooms until tender. Meanwhile, divide peppers among 4 pieces of bread. When mushrooms are cooked through, remove from heat, slice and place on the bread with the peppers, top with remaining bread or roll tops and brush with olive oil. Place in panini press and toast until outside is browned and crisp. Cut in half and place on plate. Serve with Vegan Au Jus.

Vegan Au Jus

For this easy recipe you need: 

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • Pepper and salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan; heat till boiling and the onions are rehydrated.

Black bean Burgers

Everyone craves a yummy burger in the summer. These burgers will hit the spot on those Saturday afternoon barbeques.

  • ½ sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cans black beans, mostly drained, reserve some liquid
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper flakes
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs

Serving Suggestions:
Hamburger buns (toasted), Lettuce, Tomatoes, Avocado, Onion, Condiments of your choice

In a food processor, add the onions and garlic, pulse until finely chopped. Add 1 can of black beans, and remaining ingredients and process until mostly smooth, adding some of the reserved liquid if necessary to blend ingredients. Place mixture in a bowl and add the second can of beans and mix together, leaving some of the beans whole for texture. Divide into 4 – 6 patties and cook over medium low heat until crispy on the bottom, turn and crisp the other side as well.

Remove from heat and place on toasted buns and add desired toppings.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry with Basmati Rice

There are times that you need something spicy, rich and creamy. This Curry recipe will fill that spot with ease. You need: 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup lentils, any kind
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, such as Thai Kitchen
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • Cilantro chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked Basmati Rice

Heat the oil over medium heat, add the onion, sauté until onion is soft, add garlic and spices, sauté for another minute or two. Add the broth, coconut milk, potatoes and lentils. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer approximately 35 minutes or until the lentils and potatoes are tender.
Serve over basmati rice. Top with chopped cilantro.

Quick Meal

You need: 

  • ½ can black beans
  • ¾ cup of cooked rice
  • ¼ – ½ of one avocado, diced
  • Cilantro chopped
  • Hot sauce, if desired.

Heat the beans and rice in the microwave, top with avocado, cilantro and hot sauce, if desired.

Chocolate Dipped Mango Coconut Bars

Everyone craves a little get-away now and then, these bars will take you straight to the tropics.

You need: 

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, NOT coconut milk drink
  • 1 chopped fresh mango
  • Coconut flakes
  • Vegan chocolate chips
  • Coconut oil

Mix coconut milk and mango in a food processor, blend until smooth.
Pour the mixture into Popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips, stir in 1 teaspoon coconut oil per cup of melted chips. Pour mixture into a deep narrow container with enough room to be able to dip the Popsicles into the chocolate. Dip Popsicles quickly and sprinkle with coconut flakes. Be sure to work fast as the chocolate will harden rapidly.

Bon Appetit! 

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