Charcuterie (pronounced shahr-ku-tuh-ree) is the art of assembling an assortment of fruits, nuts, cheese, and vegan deli meats. You can create any charcuterie plate with your personal preferences. Here is my example, but enjoy creating a charcuterie board that appeals to you. Charcuteries are perfect for serving with cocktails, or for snacking while watching your favorite game.
To make the nut trail mix:
Set oven to broil. Place one pound of mixed raw nuts on a roasting tray. It should only take two to three minutes but watch the nuts so they don’t burn. Let the nuts cool completely. Then add a half a cup of chopped dried apricots and a half a cup of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips.
To make the cheese ball:
In a food processor, add one 8-ounce tub of vegan cream cheese. Then roughly chop one bunch of green onions and add. Next, add one cup of Daiya mozzarella shreds, and about a half a cup of Daiya provolone cheese. Chop roughly one jalapeño and pulse until all ingredients are incorporated. Place cheese mixture on cling wrap and form into a ball. Place the cheese ball in the refrigerator for an hour and then roll the cheese in your favorite chopped nuts. I used chopped walnuts.
The plate has pitted Kalamata olives, pitted organic red grapes, and Late July Classic Crackers.
Warning: These cookies seem to disappear quickly. Here is a flavorful cookie recipe that is perfect for my gluten-free friends. The best part, no rolling or cutting out of dough, but you do need to chill the dough before baking, These cookies are super-duper tasty and very easy to make.
2 ¾ cups of Almond Flour
½ teaspoon of Almond Extract
1 ½ teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
1 package (8-ounces) of Miyoko’s vegan butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon of Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer mixed with two tablespoons of water (follow directions on the package for one egg replacement)
1 ½ cups of sugar
Using a blender with the dough paddle. Mix sugar and butter, and both extracts thoroughly. Then add the egg replacer. Last, add the almond flour and mix for a couple of minutes.
Place the dough in a freezer bag and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Scoop cookie dough by one rounded tablespoon onto a parchment-lined pan. I use a tablespoon scooper that is similar to an ice cream scooper.
Allow dough to sit at least one to two inches apart on pan. They will need room to spread. — Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies have a little color on the bottom.
Let the cookies cool on the tray for a minute, and then gently move to a cooling rack.
Fall is heating up with lovely root vegetables. Two root vegetables that star include carrots and turnips. Carrots are exceptionally nutritious and have many health benefits. Most importantly, carrots are delicious and naturally sweet. Turnips are low in calorie density and loaded with vitamins. Below are a roasted carrot and turnip side dish, or follow the second recipe and make a carrot and turnip soup.
Roasted Carrots and Turnips Recipe
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
16 ounces of turnips peeled and diced (2 – 3 large turnips peeled and diced)
16 ounces of carrots peeled and diced
4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons of grainy mustard
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves chopped finely
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (the leaves only)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
In a bowl, combine maple syrup, grainy mustard with rosemary, thyme, and olive oil.
Add carrots and turnips to the bowl and thoroughly combine.
Place root mixture in a pan and cook for an hour. A tasty side dish.
Would you rather have a Soup?
Carrot and Turnip Soup Recipe
¼ cup of flour
¼ cup of Miyoko’s vegan butter
32 ounces of vegetable broth
Roasted Carrot and Turnip Recipe Above
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (add less or more for your taste)
In a pot over medium heat, add the vegan butter and when it has melted, add the flour. Stir and cook the flour for two minutes. Then add about a cup of the vegetable broth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Stir in another cup of broth and the roasted carrots and turnips. Then add the rest of the broth. Let cook for another five minutes.
Next, use a hand-held immersion blender to smooth out the carrots and turnips, or transfer soup to a heat-safe blender. Blend the soup until it has a creamy appearance. Taste to see if you need more red pepper flakes.
I’m rooting for you to have a fun-filled fall. Compassion always.
As a child, my family would drive to the post office and pass a bread factory, where the scents of fresh bread engulfed the air. Nothing says the holidays are near like the aroma of fresh bread baking in the kitchen.
Below is a simple bread recipe that is beautiful to enjoy with friends or as a holiday bread.
Tips on Yeast: I used active dry yeast in this recipe, which requires letting the yeast rise.
Tips on proofing: Cover the dough with cling wrap and not a towel to keep a hard skin from forming on the dough. The dough should double in size for the first proof. When proofing the second time, the dough is ready when you gently push, and your finger shape stays in place, and it does not pop out.
1 ¾ cups of bread flour (Measure your flour by spooning flour into measuring cup and do not pack into a cup. Use a knife to level off extra flour.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
¼ cup of warm water
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 package of Active Dry Yeast (Not Rapid Rise or Instant Yeast)
½ cup of lukewarm water
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (plus a little extra for the bowl)
Place flour and sea salt in a mixer with a dough hook.
Place sugar and ¼ cup of water in a glass measuring cup and stir until sugar dissolves. Then, add one package of yeast. Stir. Let the yeast mixture sit for five to fifteen minutes. Yeast is ready when it has doubled in size, and it has risen to the half cup measurement. Add to flour mixture with another half a cup of warm water and one tablespoon of olive oil.
Start the mixer on a slow mixing speed, so you don’t flour the kitchen, then as all ingredients incorporate, turn the mixer up to medium. Stop the mixer every so often to push the flour into the wet ingredients. When the mixture is elastic, it will look like the photo below. It takes anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes mixing.
Then take a dab of olive oil and spread around the inside of a large bowl. Place the dough into a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Use cling wrap to keep the dough from developing a skin. Place the dough in a warm spot to proof for two hours or until the dough has doubled in size. My microwave is above the oven, and I let the oven warm-up and then turn it off. My microwave is lightly warm, NOT HOT, and I like to use it to proof bread. Do not turn the microwave on, or proof dough in a hot oven.
When the dough has doubled in size, place on a lightly floured surface, I use a clean kitchen towel, sprinkled with flour. Cut the dough into three equal sections. Roll each piece of dough to 20 – 24 inches. Then pinch all three together. Braid the dough like you would braid hair. Place olive oil on the outside of an oven friendly dipping bowl and use it for the center. Gently place the dough around the bowl and pinch the dough together on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with cling wrap and proof the dough a second time for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place a pan filled half-way with warm water on the bottom shelf of your oven. Read why to do it here and the science of steam in bread baking.
A wellington as a centerpiece for any meal is exquisite. This veggie wellington will not disappoint your guests and is full of love and compassion for friends and family. It will take a bit of time, but all things delicious are worthy of your time. Let the children join in by asking them to create the leaves or other holiday toppings.
Ingredients: 1 – 16 oz. package of baby spinach leaves 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil 1 onion chopped finely 1 teaspoon of finely minced garlic (2 cloves of garlic) 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme (no stems) 1 teaspoon of sage 1/2 teaspoon of pepper 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1 – 16 oz. package of sliced baby bella mushrooms 2 ounces of pine nuts 2 ounces of vegan jack cheese chopped into tiny squares 1/2 cup of chopped roasted chestnuts 1 package of Pepperidge Farms frozen puff pastry (two sheets of pastry) 1 tablespoon of unsweetened almond milk
To begin, put the frozen puff pastry out on the counter to thaw. Then gather a large pasta pot and fill half-way with water and place on the stovetop to boil. As the pot of water begins to boil toss in all of the spinach and cook for one minute. Then drain the spinach in a colander and let cool.
In a large pan, add olive oil and onions and cook on medium heat for five minutes. Then add the garlic, sage, thyme, salt/pepper, and roasted chestnuts. Next, place the sliced mushrooms into the onion and garlic mixture and cook for five minutes. Then take pan off of heat and set aside while the ingredients cool to room temperature.
Take pine nuts and place under broiler for about a minute or two but be sure and observe them or they will burn.
Take the cheese and dice into tiny squares.
Take some clean kitchen towels or paper towels and get as much water as possible out of the spinach. Then add the spinach, pine nuts, and cheese to the mushroom mixture and taste to see if it needs more salt/pepper.
Dump all ingredients onto cling wrap as shown and set in the refrigerator for an hour.
Pat yourself on the back. Take a break and put your feet up. You have almost finished.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
After your 30 minute break, roll out one sheet of puff pastry on a floured surface. Then sprinkle a little flour on top of the pastry. Roll out pastry to 15″ x 11″. I used a ruler to measure. Then use the other sheet of puff pastry to cut out leaves or additional toppings.
Then add your veggie stuffing and seal ingredients together like a burrito with the seam on the bottom and overlapping. Tuck the extra pastry at each end under as shown below.
Using a pastry brush, place a light coating of almond milk all over, and add the decorative toppings. Then give the toppings a light coat of the almond milk. Carefully put veggie wellington onto parchment lined baking tray and Place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. If the ends begin to brown, cover them with foil as the rest of the wellington cooks.
Don’t worry if your wellington leaks a little. It is still one of the most stunning and delectable dishes ever!
The Taco Diner (TD) offers a vegan dish that won’t disappoint. The vegan bowl is a combination of warmth, yet full of greens. The Taco Diner is part of the M Crowd restaurant group, which includes Mi Cocina, The Mercury, and Taco Diner. There are six Taco Diners in the DFW area.
If you are visiting the DFW area and are vegan, you can find a satisfying meal at the TD. If you are like me and need a break from cooking, then TD is a treat. The service is excellent, and the ingredients are tasty and fresh. The atmosphere is comfortable, as you settle into your table or booth and enjoy a relaxed lunch or dinner. You can even try their authentic guacamole tacos. They make every effort to accommodate your culinary plant-based appetite.
Below is their website where you can view the menu and all of the locations/hours.
This Italian Shake n’ Bake is filled with veggies and vegan Field Roast Italian Sausage. I love this dish because it is a buffet of vegetables.
1 – 12 ounces bag of organic green beans
1 organic red bell pepper diced.
1 – 10 ounce bag of organic baby carrots
1 large red organic onion sliced
1 bag of frozen Stahlbush Island sweet potatoes diced
1 package of Field Roast Italian Sausage (Take off casing and slice)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 to 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (2 teaspoons if you like spicy)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cover a large baking pan with aluminum foil.
Use a large freezer bag and place green beans with red bell pepper in bag. Add 1 tablespoon of EVOO to bag and 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning. Seal bag and shake thoroughly to coat beans. Place green beans on the baking pan.
Repeat coating of vegetables and sausage by shaking each in the bag with EVOO and Italian Seasoning. Then line up each on the pan.
Sprinkle all with green chives, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Then drizzle 1/4 cup of EVOO evenly over all vegetables and sausage.
Bake for 16 minutes uncovered. Then bake 16 minutes covered and finally bake another 16 minutes uncovered.
Warning: Your kitchen will be an aromatic room of flavors.
The freezer is my friend. I tend to cook for the masses, which causes a lot of leftovers. The French mashed potatoes that I made in July were ready for a makeover. I took them out of the freezer and created Colcannon potatoes.
Colcannon is an ancient dish served initially on Halloween, and these potatoes are rich in Irish and Celtic history. Initially, these potatoes used cabbage and the first syllable ‘col’ derives from the Irish ‘cál’ meaning cabbage. Colcannon potatoes can be made with kale, spinach, or cabbage, and are rich with non-dairy milk and vegan butter. Onions and spinach give this dish flavor.
The recipe is going to vary on the amount of mashed potatoes.
4 servings of mashed potatoes (either pre-made or fresh)
Optional: If needed unsweetened non-dairy milk, and Miyoko’s butter
Step 1: In a large pan, sauté onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil for about three minutes.
Step 2: Add spinach to the onions and garlic and cover pan for one minute.
Step 3: When the spinach has wilted add mashed potatoes and combine.
Step 4: Add unsweetened non-dairy milk and butter if needed. However, my mashed potatoes were so creamy that I did not have to include. Stir until potatoes thicken up as water from the spinach evaporates.
I wish I knew more about cooking with the spices from India. This dish is my first attempt at a curry. My taster said that it was not as spicy as the Indian restaurants. From the food that vanished off his plate, that was a good thing. Although, I love the spicy flavor in Indian cuisine. If you know how to make this recipe more authentic, send me your secret.
Plus, I wanted to share a Raita recipe with you to go along with my Naan bread. However, my attempt was a fail. I tried with fresh cashews, and next time I’ll use vegan plain yogurt. If you cook a lot then you know, like with any art, there are sometimes failures. Mistakes are how an artist grows.
Vegan Potato Curry Recipe
2 Pounds of Organic Golden Potatoes (skinned and cut into bite size pieces)
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Medium Diced Onion
4 Cloves of Minced Garlic
2 Teaspoons of Cumin
1 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Garam Masala
4 Teaspoons of Curry Powder (Mine was Mild)
1/4 Teaspoon of Ginger Powder
1 Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Salt
14 Ounce Can of diced Tomato
10 Ounce Bag of Organic Frozen Peas and Carrots
1 Package of Gardein Beefless Crumbles
1 Can of Coconut Milk
In a microwave-safe bowl place crumbles and frozen vegetables and cook for five to six minutes.
Place peeled and cut potatoes in a large pot with water that covers them. When the potatoes begin to boil, set the timer for fifteen minutes. When the potatoes are finished cooking drain them in a colander.
While potatoes cook take a large pan and add extra virgin olive oil, onions, and garlic and cook on medium for five minutes. Then add all your spices. (I gather up all my spices before cooking and add them all at once.) Stir to mix in with onion and garlic.
Then add tomatoes, crumbles, vegetables, and combine.
Add coconut milk, and turn up the heat to medium-high. Once the mixture is heated, turn down the temperature to low and add potatoes. Gently mix everything. Careful not to break potatoes. Serve over cooked rice.
Street vendors found in Mexico are selling ‘Antojitos’ (little cravings). Mexico has one of the most comprehensive street food cultures in Latin America. Mexico Street Corn is a favorite. In Mexico, one can discover ‘elote’ (corn on the cob), and the vendor spreads the cheese mixture on the cob. The recipe below eliminates the cob, and can easily be a main meal or side dish. Below the corn goes with my SLT (Seitan Bacon, Lettuce, and tomato) sandwich.
Vegan Mexican Street Corn Recipe
24 Ounces of Frozen Organic Corn
1/2 Cup of Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise
1/3 Red Onion
2 Green Onions
1/3 Cup of chopped Cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/3 Cups of Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan
1/4 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
Step 1: In a large bowl, place frozen corn. Microwave corn for five minutes.
Step 2: Chop the red onion, jalapeño, green onion, and cilantro finely.
Step 3: When the corn is at room temperature, add the veggies and all of the other ingredients and combine thoroughly.