Category Archives: sauce

Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi: A Simple But Elegant Meal With an Indian Flair

You’re faced with a dilemma: you want to eat an elegant international meal, but you don’t have much time and/or cash on hand. What’s a hungry gourmet to do? The answer is simple — whip up a platter of our vegan, gluten-free Pepper, Peanut, and Potato Sabzi! Though it looks deceptively like a simple, stir-fried dish of potatoes and peppers, once you experienced your first bite, you’ll know there is something special going on. The exotic flavor comes from the addition of cumin and fennel seeds, spices that are popular staples in Indian cuisine. The peanuts add protein, and the potatoes are hearty and filling. Just perfect for these chilly autumn nights!

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large russet potato, chopped
2 medium-sized bell peppers, chopped (red is best, but you can also use yellow, orange, or a combination)
1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT iodized!)
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about half a lime)

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

chopped cilantro
hot sauce
extra lime juice
tortillas
cooked basmati rice

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat setting (cast iron is best). Add the cumin seeds and cook for a minute or so until they start to turn brown. Stir in the fennel seeds and onion and continue cooking for about 4-6 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently!

Stir in potato and distribute evenly across the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften. It’s okay if they’re a bit browned in spots. Stir in the sea salt and bell pepper. Cover the pot again and cook until peppers are cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Ideally, the peppers should be lightly charred on the bottom, but not burned. You can peek occasionally to make sure.

Stir in the peanuts and lime juice and cook, uncovered, for another couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the burner, and ladle the contents onto several plates. That’s all there is to it! You can garnish with hot sauce, cilantro, extra lime juice, or whatever your heart desires. Also, this mixture can be served over basmati rice or corn tortillas if you want to get really fancy. But it’s perfect all on its own!

Serves 3-4 guests. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and taste great reheated. We guarantee that you’ll love this inexpensive but exotic and delicious meal.

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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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Eat Hearty With Our Vegan, Gluten-Free German Potato Salad (Stovetop and Instant Pot Recipe Included!)

Fall is coming on strong! We don’t know about you, but we’re craving some carbs! It’s best to stick to the healthy kind, like organic potatoes. Recently, we found ourselves with a small sack of red potatoes — don’t ask how THAT happened — and wanted to do something fancier than just boiling them and slathering some Earth Balance over the top. So we modified a German potato salad recipe, substituting tempeh bacon for the animal variety, and were wowed by the results! We purchased smoky bacon tempeh from the supermarket, and discovered that it imparted the delicious flavor that is so essential to German potato salad. Try this dish, we think you’ll be impressed by its authenticity.

INGREDIENTS

6 cups sliced red potatoes (you can use small white ones, as well, or a mixture)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/4 cup stock water (from boiling potatoes)
1 package tempeh bacon strips

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice potatoes into 1/2 inch disks, cover with water, and boil on stovetop, or place in steamer basket over water in Instant Pot and cook on manual for 3 minutes and natural pressure release. The potatoes should be tender, but not too soft. Meanwhile, fry the tempeh strips in a bit of olive oil until they are crispy but not burned. Remove from pan and set on a paper (or cloth) towel to drain off excess oil. Combine vinegar, mustard, onion, liquid smoke, and black pepper in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Crumble in bits of tempeh bacon. Scoop 1/4 cup of water from the top of the boiling potato pan, or take 1/4 cup water out of the bottom of the Instant Pot once potatoes are cooked, and add to mixture. Stir some more until everything comes together.

Remove potatoes from stovetop or Instant Pot and drain excess water by placing them into a colander. Shake off any remaining water and pour the potatoes into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir with a large spoon. The mixture will smell divine! You’ll be able to tell when it’s done, because it’ll look delicious and you’ll want to dig right in.

German potato salad is best enjoyed hot! You can serve it all by itself, or with a side of gluten-free bread. It’s a great addition to potlucks! This dish is super-hearty, due to the winning combination of potatoes and protein-rich tempeh. Serves 4-5 hungry people. It keeps well in the refrigerator, securely covered, for 2-3 days. Warning — you may find yourself sneaking into the kitchen for late-night snacks! We feel confident that you’ll enjoy this autumnal favorite as much as we do.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Casserole is Delicious Any Time of Year!

When we think of sweet potatoes, we usually envision Thanksgiving dinner. However, this vitamin-packed, naturally sweet vegetable is great during any season. Did you realize that sweet potatoes are high in fiber, and filled with vitamin C, potassium, vitamins B3, B5 and B6, copper and magnesium? They’re one of the most nutritious foods you could ever place inside your mouth. And so good! If you have leftover applesauce, this recipe is a great way to utilize it. You can take this casserole to a Fourth of July potluck as a side dish, or serve it at home with a salad and/or loaf of gluten-free bread. The possibilities are endless! For a festive touch, we used purple sweet potatoes for our recipe, but you can use the more common orange ones, as well.

INGREDIENTS

4 cups sweet potatoes (approximately 4 small or 2 large)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt (NOT the iodized variety)
pinch of ground nutmeg or cloves
1 cup chopped pecans
extra pinch of cinnamon for topping

INSTRUCTIONS

Wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and roast in your oven at 450 degrees for 1 hour until thoroughly soft. Remove from oven and cut in half. Allow the pieces to cool. Scoop the softened portion from the skin and discard or eat the skin. Place sweet potato pulp in blender or food processor with the applesauce and combine thoroughly. Melt the coconut oil in a pan on your stovetop and pour into mixture. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg (or cloves), and salt and continue blending. Your mixture should be smooth and creamy, but not runny.

Ladle the mixture into a square baking pan and sprinkle chopped pecans across the top. Be sure to spread them evenly. Add a sprinkle of extra cinnamon if you desire. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes until the casserole bubbles slightly around the edges, and the pecans are a dark brown color (but not burned).

Remove from oven and allow to cool on your counter. Serves 4-6 people as a generous side dish. This casserole is so sweet, you can even enjoy it as a dessert! Pairs well with a side of vegetables, salad, brown rice, quinoa, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. If you have leftovers, cover tightly and keep them in the refrigerator. Delicious whether hot or cold! And don’t forget the gluten-free beer or wine. Every day is a reason for celebration! Bon Appetit.

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Celebrate Warm Spring Nights With Grilled Millet/Buffalo Sauce/Ranch Sandwiches!

Usually, when we think of millet, we envision birdseed. However, this crunchy, high-protein grain is delicious as a sandwich spread when it’s combined with spicy buffalo sauce and creamy vegan ranch dressing. The consistency is slightly cheese-like, and the flavor is out of this world! You can make the buffalo sauce as mild or spicy as your heart desires. It takes only about 20 minutes to whip up this dish. A perfect choice if you’re in a hurry! The ingredients are inexpensive, if you’re on a budget, your meal won’t break the bank.

BUFFALO MILLET INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup uncooked millet
1 cup water
1 tablespoon hot sauce (we used Aardvark Sauce, our favorite)
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vegan butter (we used Earth Balance) or olive oil
pinch or two of sea salt and garlic powder

BUFFALO SAUCE
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1-2 teaspoons melted vegan butter or olive oil

RANCH SAUCE
1 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (we used almond, but coconut is great as well)
1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

ADDITIONAL SANDWICH INGREDIENTS
Red pepper strips
chopped cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine millet ingredients in medium-sized saucepan and cook for 15-20 minutes until all water is absorbed. Meanwhile, prepare your sauces in separate bowls. Mix together buffalo sauce ingredients, adjusting spice levels to your taste. Prepare ranch dressing by mixing together all ingredients, adding extra milk if mixture is too thick. You’ll most likely have some left over after you’ve made your sandwiches, so it will double as an excellent salad dressing.

Take a piece of gluten-free bread and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Pack cooked millet mixture on top, and then sprinkle with a liberal helping of buffalo sauce. Layer on red pepper slices, and cover with a generous amount of ranch dressing. Press another piece of bread on top to make a sandwich.

Fry sandwich in olive oil on stovetop on medium heat setting until golden brown on both sides. Remove from burner and serve hot. Cut sandwich in half if it’s too messy to grasp. You’ll love the creamy texture and surprising heartiness of this delicious meal.

Serves 2-3 hungry people. This dish pairs well with a small salad (use some more of that ranch dressing!) and, of course, gluten-free, vegan beer or wine. You’ll be surprised and delighted to discover how much you like eating millet. Bon appetit!

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Celebrate Barbeque Season With Tofu/Melon/Pepper Skewers

It’s May already, which means the official beginning of barbeque season! Some of you might be catching whiffs of your neighbor’s meat-based cuisine and wondering what on earth you can cook that didn’t come from an animal. Fear not, because we’ve got you covered with these delightful tofu/melon/pepper skewers! The marinade is light but zesty, due to the inclusion of red pepper flakes, and the heat from your grill will impart a subtle crispiness to the tofu. You won’t even miss the meat, and your carnivorous friends may even ask you for a bite or two. Make sure they ask nicely.

INGREDIENTS
I block (14 ounces) tofu
1 red, yellow, or green pepper
¼ melon of your choice
½ red onion
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Dash of sea salt

SWEET CHILI LIME DIPPING SAUCE
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Pinch of sea salt

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS (For skewers)
Cherry tomatoes
Pineapple chunks
Tempeh pieces

INSTRUCTIONS
Cut tofu, pepper, onion and pepper (and other ingredients, if desired) into large, bite-sized chunks. Mix tamari, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and sea salt in a small bowl. Put tofu chunks in marinade and let them sit for approximately half an hour. Afterward, remove tofu from marinade and place on skewers, alternating with peppers, onion, melon, and any other vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle additional tamari mixture on top. Vegetables and tofu should be pressed together on skewer, but not too tightly.

Place skewers on grill and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently. Tofu should be slightly browned and a bit crispy around the edges. Vegetables should be soft but not mushy. Remove from grill and serve with dipping sauce. You can serve this tasty dish by itself, or with a small salad and/or loaf of gluten-free bread. We put ours on a bed of fresh arugula and served it with a dab of light, zesty lemon dressing, and it tasted great. We think you’ll agree.

Serves 2 hungry people, or 3-4 not-so-hungry people. We know from experience that the dish pairs exceptionally well with vegan, gluten-free beer. Hopefully you can enjoy this fun meal on a warm evening, while seated in your yard while the last rays of sunshine beam onto your plate. Bon appetit, and relax –it’s almost summer!

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Be the Hit of Your Vegan Barbeque with Tofu and Chickpea BBQ Sandwiches

Vegan barbeques aren’t as unusual as they used to be. Lots of folks love the conviviality of these events, as well as the trademark smoky taste of the cuisine. However, once you give up eating animal products, it can be challenging to find acceptable substitutes for your childhood favorites. Have no fear, because we’ve discovered a great vegan barbeque offering! These tofu/chickpea sandwiches have an appealing texture, similar to pulled pork or sloppy joes, but without the grease or the guilt! Chickpeas add protein and density, and the sauce – oh my. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.

INGREDIENTS
1 12-ounce block extra-firm, organic tofu
2 teaspoons olive oil (for pan)
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (also called garbanzos), drained and rinsed
6-8 gluten-free buns
Coleslaw for topping (Your easiest bet is to buy bagged, pre-shredded coleslaw, then add a bit of Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo), a pinch or two of celery salt, and a small amount of finely chopped red onion).

BBQ SAUCE
1 teaspoon olive oil (for pan)
1 small scallion, chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon tamari (not commercial soy sauce, which contains wheat)
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Heat olive oil in pan on stovetop and cut half of the tofu block into small cubes. Crumble the other half directly into pan and add the cubed tofu. Fry for 5-10 minutes until tofu is golden brown. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pan and sprinkle shallots and garlic inside. Fry 2-3 minutes until shallots and garlic are cooked through and slightly browned. Add the remaining barbeque sauce ingredients and stir continuously until combined (approximately 5 minutes). Add tofu and chickpeas and continue stirring for another 4-5 minutes.

Remove from pan and ladle onto slightly toasted buns. Top with coleslaw and a couple of pieces of lettuce. You’ll be wolfing this meal down in no time! For best results, serve with gluten-free beer. Serves 6-8 hungry guests. You’ll all be planning your next barbeque before the sandwiches are even gone!

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Vegan Tempeh Reubens: Gluten-Free, Rich and Creamy Without Meat or Dairy!

Sometimes vegans get a craving for a hearty meal. Many of us grew up eating meat and dairy products, but later ditched them due to health, philosophical and/or humanitarian reasons. Still, we often miss familiar comfort foods, and long for the taste of….well, not meat, exactly, but something equally filling. Reubens are one of those comfort foods that went by the wayside when we gave up a carnivorous diet — until now. When you bite into one of these vegan, gluten-free tempeh reubens, you will be astonished. Robust flavor without the greasy aftertaste or the guilt! Tempeh is protein-rich and packed with vitamins, and sauerkraut is great for digestion. This dish is healthy, simple to make, inexpensive, and delicious.

INGREDIENTS FOR MARINADE
½ cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (check label, make sure there’s no wheat)
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder

RUSSIAN DRESSING INGREDIENTS
¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon pickle relish
2 tablespoons ketchup (make sure no wheat is added)

OTHER INGREDIENTS
1 8-ounce package tempeh
4 slices gluten-free rye bread (we used Canyon Bakehouse, very flavorful!)
4 slices vegan cheese (we recommend Chao, it melts easily)
½ cup sauerkraut

Combine marinade ingredients in a deep dish and cut tempeh in half, then slice lengthwise to make four pieces. Soak tempeh for 20-30 minutes until well-seasoned. Fry slices in olive oil on stovetop until brown on both sides. Pour leftover marinade over the top while cooking and allow it to simmer until absorbed. Remove tempeh from pan and set aside.

Combine ingredients in small bowl for Russian dressing. Fry rye bread in pan on both sides until lightly browned. Remove from pan and spread all four slices with a generous layer of Russian dressing. Pile on tempeh, cheese slices, and a dollop or two of sauerkraut. Put slices together to create two sandwiches and return them to the frying pan. Adjust stovetop to medium heat seating. Fry sandwiches on both sides until bread is dark brown and cheese is melted. This should take no more than five minutes. Remove sandwiches from pan, pile them on a plate, and dig in!

Serves 2 hungry people, but you can increase the amount of ingredients for a larger party. This meal pairs well with gluten-free, dark beer or red wine (check www.barnivore.com to make sure your alcoholic beverages are vegan). You’ll want to make this tasty dish again and again! Enjoy!

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