Category Archives: garlic

Herb Tofu Scallion Spread is Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Delicious on Crackers or Bread

You’ve undoubtedly had the disheartening experience of going to a potluck and encountering a slew of dairy-based dips and spreads. This can be frustrating if you’re doing your best to follow a vegan, gluten-free diet. Don’t despair! Here is a delicious, creamy spread you can make from tofu that tastes just as good as the dairy-based variety! Even your non-vegan friends will love it. They may even beg you for the recipe. The spread is healthy, since it utilizes basil and Italian parsley, herbs that are rich in vitamin C. The tofu adds protein and calcium. Much healthier than your average spread, and so easy to make!

INGREDIENTS

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 14-ounce package of firm tofu, drained
2 teaspoons white miso (make sure it doesn’t have soy sauce, which contains wheat)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

black olives
capers
sliced zucchini
salad mix
carrot sticks
gluten-free crackers or bread

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan on medium setting. When oil is hot, add chopped garlic and fry for about one minute. Pour in scallions and red pepper and continue frying for about 2-3 more minutes, until the scallions are bright green. Remove from the burner and set aside.

Crumble tofu into a blender or food processor. Add the basil, parsley, sea salt, lemon juice, miso, and water (try less than 1/4 cup of water at first, then add more if mixture is too thick). Pour in the scallion/red pepper/garlic mixture and continue blending until your mixture is creamy and frothy. Scoop mixture out of the blender or food processor and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.

Serve with crackers, wedges of gluten-free bread, and condiments like black olives, capers, salad mix, carrot sticks, zucchini slices, etc. Really, the possibilities are endless. You can make an entire meal out of this tofu spread if you so desire. It’s much heartier than you might imagine.

Serves about 4 people, depending upon whether you transform this spread into a main dish or serve it as an appetizer. You can cover leftovers and store them in your refrigerator for up to three days. You don’t need to tell anyone that it’s made from tofu — unless you feel like it, of course. Your friends will be astonished! You’ll want to make this simple but elegant spread again and again.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Pasta Puttanesca is Spicy, Hearty, and Delicious

Autumn is well underway, and our desire to devour pasta dishes continues in earnest. Pasta puttanesca is a traditional Italian dish that tastes great, even without the addition of anchovies. It’s hearty, filling, delicious, and so easy to make. Though most pasta puttanesca recipes utilize thin spaghetti noodles, we had some dried, gluten-free fettucine noodles in our kitchen and decided to use those instead. We were delighted by the results. You don’t need many ingredients to make this wonderful meal. It’s super inexpensive! In fact, you probably have most of the ingredients in your cabinet or refrigerator already.

INGREDIENTS

1 large jar of spaghetti sauce (approximately 26 ounces) or equivalent amount of diced tomatoes
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 cup capers
1 tablespoon Kalamata olive brine (from your container of olives)
1 tablespoon caper brine (from your container of capers)
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
fresh ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
8 ounces gluten-free noodles of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large saucepan, combine spaghetti sauce, olives, capers, caper juice, olive juice, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Simmer at low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes until ingredients are thoroughly blended. An incredible aroma will fill your kitchen! Make sure to stir your sauce frequently so it won’t stick or burn.

As the sauce simmers, boil your pasta noodles in a separate, large pan. Drain in a colander and set aside. Toss with a bit of olive oil so they won’t stick as they cool.

Turn off the heat and remove sauce pan from burner. Stir in the chopped parsley leaves and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with a bit of ground pepper and sprinkle with sea salt if desired. The sauce will already taste salty, so you might not need any more. Use your best judgement! Pour sauce into the pan with the noodles. Stir until combined, making sure the noodles are well-coated with sauce.

Serve with a sprinkle (or two, or three) of additional chopped parsley for extra zest and visual excitement. This dish serves four hungry people. We like to serve our pasta puttanesca with a nice green salad and a chewy loaf of gluten-free French bread (with vegan butter, of course!) You can store leftovers in your refrigerator for a couple of days. You know what they say about tomato-based sauce dishes — they taste even better the next day. Bon Appetit!

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Italian Fettucine is So Easy to Make!

One of the things we missed the most after we decided to pursue a vegan, gluten-free diet was Italian food. The cuisine is hearty and delicious, but most restaurants serve it with huge dollops of cheese (not to mention pasta made from whole wheat flour and eggs). What’s an Italian food lover to do? Fortunately, October happens to be mushroom season where we live. Chanterelles were on sale at our local supermarket for an insanely low price, and we had a brainstorm. After some deliberation, we were able to whip up this simple, but elegant dish. It’s inexpensive, a cinch to prepare, and will fill you up on a chilly autumnal evening.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chopped chanterelle mushrooms
1 cup chopped white mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (not iodized)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup fresh chopped Italian parsley (If you have trouble finding Italian parsley at your supermarket or co-op, try this dish with chopped basil, instead! Yum!)
Pinch or two of hot pepper flakes
Pinch or two of fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup water
3 cups cooked, gluten-free fettucine (we used a brown rice variety that turned out perfectly!)

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the mushrooms, sea salt, olive oil, garlic, parsley, water, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper into a large saucepan and cook at low heat for 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook, or the mushrooms will get mushy. They should retain a slight springiness.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan according to package directions. Add a splash of the cooking water to the mushroom mixture and drain the rest of the pasta. Pour the noodles into the pan with the mushroom mixture and stir gently until everything is thoroughly combined and all the water has evaporated. Turn off the burner, remove your delectable concoction from the stove and toss the mushrooms and the pasta together a couple of times to remove excess moisture. Scoop onto plates and serve! If you have any vegan mozzarella or parmesan cheese, you can sprinkle it on top. Otherwise, you’re going to be just fine without it.

This wonderful dish serves 3-4 people. It’s great by itself as a light dinner. For a more robust meal, add a salad and/or a loaf of gluten-free bread. Maybe some gluten-free beer or red wine? Go wild! Leftovers store well in a covered container in your refrigerator for up to three days and taste great reheated. We’re quite sure they won’t last that long.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potatoes With Avocado/Pea Puree and Spiced Chickpeas is an Amazing, Filling Meal

No vegetable is more synonymous with autumn than the sweet potato. We love these hardy, delicious vegetables with vegan butter and a bit of pepper, but they are so much more versatile than you might think. Our recipe looks and tastes exotic, but it’s incredibly easy to prepare. This dish is packed with protein and vitamins, and the ingredients are inexpensive. The combination of avocado, peas, chickpeas, and tahini creates a flavor explosion that will linger in your mouth after you’re done eating your meal. You just have to try our recipe, and you’ll know exactly what we mean.

BASE INGREDIENT

4 medium-sized sweet potatoes, baked until soft or steamed on a rack in the Instant Pot at high pressure, manual for 15 minutes.

AVOCADO/PEA PUREE INGREDIENTS

1 cup green peas (either fresh or frozen will do, but thaw frozen peas to room temperature first)
1 large avocado
1-2 chopped garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper
Water for consistency

SPICED CHICKPEA INGREDIENTS

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
Pinch of chili flakes
Dash of sea salt

MAPLE TAHINI DRESSING INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (not pancake syrup!)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 minced clove garlic
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
Dash of sea salt
Dash of fresh ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Prepare spiced chickpeas by placing them in a saucepan with onions and spices. Saute on medium heat until chickpeas are thoroughly cooked (but not burned) and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. Place pea and avocado puree ingredients in blender or food processor and combine thoroughly, adding water for consistency if necessary. Finally, prepare your maple tahini dressing by combining all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Whisk until the mixture is creamy.

Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and layer with avocado/pea puree. Ladle a generous helping of spiced chickpeas on top. Garnish with a liberal dollop of maple tahini dressing. Place your creation on a large plate and dig in. You won’t believe how good this meal tastes, with its amazing mélange of flavors!

This hearty dish serves 4 hungry people. It’s great all by itself, or with a side salad and/or a loaf of gluten-free bread. You are extremely unlikely to have leftovers, but if you do, place them in a secure container and refrigerate. You can reheat your meal tomorrow for a quick and satisfying lunch! Enjoy.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free West African Peanut Stew for the Win!

There’s nothing quite like stew on a chilly fall night. It warms and comforts you, fills your belly, and gives you the vitamins you need to fight off colds. Really — what’s NOT to love about stew? This hearty West African peanut variety is packed full of vitamins and protein, since it contains peanut butter, collard greens, sweet potatoes, garlic, and other nutritious ingredients. On top of that, it’s delicious! Try it, we feel confident you’ll agree.

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 medium-sized sweet potato
1 medium-sized red onion
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup peanut butter (natural, please! No sugar!)
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 bunch fresh collard greens
dash of sea salt

OPTIONAL GARNISHES

cooked brown rice
chopped peanuts
chopped cilantro
drizzle of sriracha

STOVE-TOP INSTRUCTIONS

Grate fresh ginger. Chop onion into small chunks and mince the garlic. Place ginger, onion, and garlic into a large soup pan. Place the pan on stovetop and cover the bottom with the olive oil. Fry the mixture at medium setting for about 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent. You’ll love the aroma! Chop the sweet potato into 1/2 pieces and add them to the pan. Sprinkle in the cumin and red pepper flakes.

Continue frying for approximately 5 minutes. Do not burn! Add more olive oil if necessary. Add the tomato paste, sea salt, vegetable broth, and peanut butter, and stir everything together until thoroughly combined. Turn the heat up and allow mixture to boil. Then turn the heat down again and cover the pot.

Let the mixture simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sweet potato chunks soften. Meanwhile, remove the ribs from the collard green leaves and cut the leaves into strips. Add to the broth and continue simmering for approximately 5 more minutes. Finally, take a wooden spoon or a spatula and press the sweet potato pieces against the inside of the pot, allowing them to turn into pulp and fall back into the broth. This will add thickness to your stew.

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS

Follow stove-top instructions, only use the saute function on your Instant Pot until the ginger, onion, and garlic are done (onions become translucent), then add the chopped sweet potato, cumin, and red pepper flakes and saute for another 4-5 minutes.

While this is sauteing, remove the ribs from the collard green leaves and cut the leaves into strips.

When the sauteing is done, turn the Instant Pot off, add the collard green strips, tomato paste, sea salt, broth, and peanut butter, and cook on manual (high pressure) for 10 minutes. Let natural release

WHEN SOUP or STEW IS COOKED:

Serve with a scoop of cooked brown rice, some chopped peanuts, a dash of sriracha, and/or chopped cilantro. You can add more sea salt if necessary. Divine! This dish serves 4-6 guests, depending upon how hungry they are. Cover any leftovers and keep them in your refrigerator. Your stew will taste even better tomorrow. Stay warm, and happy autumn!

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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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Corn, Tomato, and Cannellini Bean Salad is a Cold But Nourishing Summer Meal

When the weather is this hot, who feels like cooking? On the other hand, we tire easily in the heat and need nourishment more than ever. Such a conundrum! Fortunately, we have discovered a recipe that is incredibly simple and quick to make. The entire process takes about fifteen minutes! You’ll love the delightful simplicity of this delicious, protein-rich meal. The addition of gluten-free garlic/sage toast makes it more filling. Great for potlucks or a quick at-home meal.

SALAD INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans (also called “white beans”)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (try different colors for a visual sensation!)
1 ear fresh sweet corn
large handful of fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

TOAST INGREDIENTS

Olive oil or vegan butter/margarine such as Earth Balance
8-10 pieces of gluten-free bread
1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, shredded and chopped (remove those stems!)
2-3 minced cloves of fresh garlic, or garlic salt to taste (make sure salt is not iodized)

SALAD INSTRUCTIONS

Drain beans thoroughly and pour into a large mixing bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cob and add to bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, shredded basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with sea salt (not the iodized variety!) and fresh ground black pepper. Toss the mixture until it’s thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and place it in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours until chilled enough to eat.

TOAST INSTRUCTIONS

Slather 8-10 pieces of gluten-free bread with vegan butter or margarine, or drizzle with olive oil. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and sprinkle dried sage on top. Add minced garlic or garlic salt to taste. Place the cookie sheet in oven at low broil setting. Broil for 2-3 minutes until bread is brown and slightly crispy around the edges. Do not burn! Remove from oven and allow excess oil to drain. Cut bread in half and arrange artfully on a plate.

Spread liberal amounts of salad across your toast and dig in! You’ll be in heaven, and your guests will be, too. This nourishing dish serves 4-6 people, depending on everyone’s appetite levels. Be sure to hydrate with fresh water! Of course, there’s always room for gluten-free, vegan beer or wine, if that’s your sort of thing. And maybe some fresh gazpacho! (See last week’s recipe). Happy summer! Have fun and stay cool in the heat.

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Nothing Says Summer Like Strawberry Gazpacho!

Cold soup is manna to your throat on a hot summer day. When the outdoor temperatures soar, appetites often plummet. However, you don’t want sunshine to cause you to sacrifice good eating or proper nutrition! This vegan, gluten-free recipe is incredibly easy to make (and inexpensive!), and you won’t have to spend hours slaving over a hot stove. The addition of strawberries to the traditional gazpacho recipe makes the dish sweet and extra-zesty. You can top the soup with gluten-free croutons and/or sliced strawberries if you’d like to get fancy. Here’s how:

SOUP INGREDIENTS
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (We used red. Any color will do).
1 cup chopped cucumber, peeled
2 cups chopped strawberries
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable broth (make sure it’s wheat-free!)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

CROUTON INGREDIENTS
3-4 slices gluten free bread, chopped into cubes
3-4 springs thyme, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
olive oil for pan (about 1 tablespoon)

SOUP INSTRUCTIONS

Place all soup ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend on medium setting until thoroughly combined. If mixture is too thick, add additional vegetable broth. It should have a nice, creamy consistency and appealing color. That’s really all there is to it! Pour into container, cover securely, and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Serve with croutons and/or additional sprigs of thyme.

CROUTON INSTRUCTIONS

Cut your gluten-free bread into small chunks and dice garlic. Chop the thyme into tiny pieces. Coat the bottom of a small pan with olive oil and fry the garlic until it’s slightly browned. Add the bread cubes and continue frying until they begin to turn brown. Make sure not to burn! Add the thyme and fry for another 2-3 minutes until bread is golden brown and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Remove bread from pan and allow excess olive oil to drain. Sprinkle croutons and/or sliced strawberries on top of your gazpacho and serve!

This magnificent dish serves 5-6 people. It pairs well with a small salad or an additional loaf of gluten-free bread. For a festive experience, serve outdoors with a pitcher of lemonade, a glass or two of vegan white wine, or a mug of gluten-free beer. Your guests will love this summery meal, and you will, too. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days, but don’t wait that long to consume it! Have a lovely summer, and stay cool!

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