Category Archives: celery

Baba Ghanoush — Naturally Vegan, and a Cinch to Prepare!

You’ve most likely had hummus, but have you tried its sweeter, lighter cousin, baba ghanoush? Baba ghanoush is a lot like hummus, since it has a tahini base. However, instead of adding garbanzo beans, this recipe utilizes roasted eggplant. The result is equally delicious. Our light but zesty meal is easy to make, and perfect for warm summer nights. You can serve it with gluten-free pita bread or with gluten-free toast points sprinkled with thyme, olive oil or vegan butter, and a bit of granulated garlic. We feel confident that you’ll love this dish either way.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized eggplant
2-3 cloves minced garlic
juice of one large lemon
4 tablespoons tahini
sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro, parsley or basil (We used basil, yum!)
small amount of water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

roasted gluten-free pita bread
regular gluten-free bread
chopped thyme
chopped garlic or garlic salt
olive oil or vegan margarine/butter such as Earth Balance
sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini, green or red peppers, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and place in a large, flat pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and olive oil and broil in oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully so the slices don’t burn! They should be pulpy and slightly browned. Peel skin from eggplant and either eat, compost, or discard.

Cut the eggplant pulp into small pieces and place in a blender or food processor. Add the tahini, a dash of sea salt, herbs, lemon juice, and combine thoroughly. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit of water until it becomes creamy and smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Serve with sliced vegetables of your choice, and gluten-free bread or toast points. To make toast points, slather bread with a liberal amount of olive oil or vegan butter/margarine. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and granulated garlic. Broil in oven until the toast is brown and slightly crispy around the edges. Cut the toast in half and serve!

This recipe serves 2-3 people. If you have more guests, feel free to increase ingredient portions accordingly. Great as either a main or a side dish. Get creative! You can add falafels, hummus, or other Middle Eastern cuisine to make a larger meal. Keeps well in your refrigerator for several days. Homemade baba ghanoush is so much more delicious than the store-bought variety! Once you’ve prepared this version, we feel confident you’ll agree.

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Red Beans and Cauliflower “Rice”– Vegan, Gluten-Free, and So Easy to Make!

Sometimes, you want to whip up a delicious, filling vegan meal without a lot of fuss and expense. Maybe you have less than an hour to prepare a dish that your whole family — or table of friends — will love. Never fear! This stellar red bean-based dish utilizes cauliflower “rice.” In other words, the finely shredded cauliflower looks like rice, and its texture is quite similar. You and your guests will be amazed! The whole process is much easier than you might think. Here’s how:

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green, red, or yellow bell pepper
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
3 15-ounce cans of red beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, avocado, sliced jalapenos, chopped arugula, chopped tomatoes, salsa, diced scallions, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add chopped onions. Fry onions on medium heat for about five minutes until they become translucent. Add chopped pepper and celery and continue frying for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are cooked through. The aroma will be heavenly! Meanwhile, place cauliflower chunks in food processor and grind them until they attain a granulated, slightly powdery consistency. You won’t believe they aren’t actually rice! Add the cauliflower “rice” to vegetables, along with the red beans and spices. Fry for another 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently. You can adjust the seasoning level according to your individual tastes. We like ours spicy, but you may feel differently. Experiment and enjoy!

This delightful dish pairs well with gluten-free corn tortillas and an almost endless variety of toppings. We garnished ours with sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, and thin slices of jalapenos and were delighted with the results. Other topping choices include chopped tomato, scallions, salsa (homemade is best) and chopped arugula. Use your imagination! You can also enjoy this dish with gluten-free, vegan beer or wine (check www.barnivore.com to see if your beverage is vegan).

Your simple, but scrumptious meal will serve 4-6 hungry people. You can store it in your refrigerator, reheat the leftovers, and enjoy them for a couple of days. They will taste just as delicious as before! The dish is amazingly filling and satisfying, and your guests will be delighted by its robust flavor. You’ll want to make it again and again! Be sure to save room for dessert.

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Potato and Vegan Sausage Soup: Hearty and Delightful

We are obsessed with soup this winter and have been trying out various varieties—for our own comfort as well as for the readers of this site. A warm, nourishing broth is a must for these cold, dark January days. We especially love potato soup and were thrilled to discover this simple but delicious recipe. It’s inexpensive and only takes about 45 minutes to prepare.

You can use any kind of potato your heart desires—russet, red or white. You might even try the recipe with sweet potatoes. We created this soup with red potatoes, a favorite of ours. The addition of vegan sausage makes the dish hearty and delightful. The coconut milk adds a subtle but creamy sweetness. Try it, we think you’ll love this soup as much as we do.

INGREDIENTS
½ cup vegan butter or margarine (we used Earth Balance, and it worked great)
2 small onions, diced
2 chopped stalks of celery
3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds (for color and variety, buy a bunch of multi-colored carrots. Our bunch had yellow, orange, and purple!)
8 cups water
2 cups vegetable stock
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt (NOT the iodized variety!)
1 ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
4 sliced vegan sausages (check labels to make sure there is no wheat or soy sauce, which contains gluten).
Dried parsley, oregano, and/or cilantro for topping

INSTRUCTIONS
Melt butter or margarine in large soup pan and add onions, carrots, and celery. Sautee for about 10 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add potatoes, water, vegetable stock and spices and simmer for about 15 more minutes. A wonderful aroma will fill your kitchen! Ahhhhh……

Add coconut milk and sausages and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, until all vegetables are completely cooked through. You can do a taste test to make sure that none of them are hard. Don’t let them get mushy, though! Remove pan from stovetop and serve in the most colorful bowls you can find. Sprinkle liberally with dried spices, and/or a dash of hot sauce, if you dare. Or try some grated vegan cheese.
potato soup

We like this soup with a side salad and a loaf of fresh, gluten-free bread. Your guests will agree. Serves 8 people. If you have fewer guests, freeze the soup or refrigerate for up to four days. Stay warm!

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