Loaded Vegan Chili

Loaded Vegan Chili

I love a good chili recipe. For a little bit of effort, you get a massive bang for your buck! This version is the fourth and final incarnation. The addition of the cocoa powder initially went against my traditionalist chili mentality. But a friend of mine insisted that I add it at least once. I was oddly skeptical at first but utterly amazed by the complexity added! Much like salt and pepper, the cocoa powder enhances the flavor of the other spices! I promise you’ll love it!


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Loaded Vegan Chili

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Description

This chili is a family favorite!   It comes together perfectly and quickly!  The addition of the cocoa powder adds a depth of flavor to the beans, tomato sauce, and chili powder making the chili itself taste richer!


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Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped into small pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, pressed (or finely minced)
  • 1 cup vegetable broth 
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup of chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2/ tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of oregano

Instructions

  1. Warm dutch oven over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, then add oil.  Once oil is warmed, add onion and bell pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add spices, coating vegetables well. Cook for about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Increase heat, and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes. The longer the chili cooks, the more flavor it will have. So, if you’ve got the time, let it very gently simmer on the stove for an hour or even up to 2 hours. If you cook it for several hours, you may need to add in just a bit more broth or water.
  5. Once ready to eat, take off of the heat and garnish with some vegan sour cream, green onion, avocado, etc.
  6. ENJOY!

Vegetable Demi-Glace

Vegetable Demi-Glace

One of the first things you learn in culinary school, or in any professional kitchen worth its salt, is how to make the five classic French “Mother Sauces.” I am a sucker for these sauces, with my favorite being the béchamel. This white sauce is versatile and can be used in various pasta dishes or as a drizzle over roasted vegetables. It also serves as a base for my other favorite sauce, the Mornay, aka the béchamel sauce plus cheese. I love a good vegan fondue. But enough about the white sauces. We are here to talk about the classic brown sauces, and my friends, this is a labor of love.


Sauce Espagnole and demi-glace are both rich brown sauces, but the latter derives from the first. After a Sauce Espagnole has been made, it can easily be used in a 1:1 ratio with brown stock, then reduced by half and finished with wine—resulting in an intensely flavored demi-glace sauce. It can be stirred into soups, stews, and risottos. 

A demi-glace is a brown stock reduced by prolonged simmering combined with an Espagnole sauce or one of the five classic mother sauces of French cuisine. A classic demi-glace is made with veal, but beef and poultry is sometimes used. But we are using a combination of hearty vegetables! The “demi,” meaning half, signifies that the reduced stock (glace) is combined with the Espagnole sauce in a half-and-half ratio. 

You can use whatever you have on hand—provided you combine sweet vegetables with more savory plants for balance. Use too much of the sweet stuff, and the demi could become way too sweet and syrupy.


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Vegetable Demi-Glace

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: Approx. 2 hours 30
  • Total Time: 58 minute
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Reduction
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegan

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Ingredients

Vegetable Stock:

  • 1 small eggplant, washed and shaved with mandolin
  • 1 celery root, thick sliced
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and sliced (white parts only) 
  • 1 large stalk celery, sliced in half length-wise
  • 2 large carrots, sliced in half length-wise
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced root to stem
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms (cut mushrooms in half)
  • 1 medium onion, medium slice
  • 1 head garlic, sliced in half (don’t worry about peeling)
  • 1 lemon, washed and sliced in half width-wise 
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 6 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (sherry or cabernet is preferred)

Instructions

  1. Toss vegetables and peppercorns in a large bowl with tomato paste, coating well.  Oil bottom of pan—this step is optional but will prevent sticking.   Transfer to a deep hotel pan or other deep (at least 4″ oven safe pan.  Place vegetables in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check your veggies every 20 minutes or so, stirring and rotating as needed to prevent edges from burning. 
  2. After roasting remove from oven.  Add wine, scraping any brown bits. These caramelized morsels of concentrated juice, called the fond—literally, the foundation—will enrich the stock from the bottom of the pan.  Carefully, add 6 cups water to vegetables and return to oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Strain the stock through a sieve into another pot, pressing the vegetables with the back of a ladle to extract all the juices.
  4. Over high heat, combine 1 part Espagnole to 1 part Vegetable stock, boil for 10 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes

* I used this 4” deep hotel pan. 

Vegan Sauce Espagnole

Vegan Sauce Espagnole

Sauce Espagnole is a basic brown sauce, and is one of Auguste Escoffier’s five mother sauces of classic French cooking. Typically made from stock, mirepoix, and tomatoes, and thickened with roux. This easy and basic brown sauce can be used as a base for other French sauces.

According to Alan Davidson, in The Oxford Companion to Food, “The name has nothing to do with Spain, any more than the counterpart term “allemande” has anything to do with Germany. It is generally believed that the terms were chosen because, in French eyes, Germans have blonde hair and Spaniards have brown hair.”

It is also easy to freeze and use as needed! This simple recipe is an adaptation of the great Thomas Keller.


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Vegan Sauce Espagnole

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch (Adapted from Thomas Keller)
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x

Description

Basic brown sauce that can be used in a variety of ways. 


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Ingredients

  • ¼ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup canned tomato purée
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • ¼ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
 

 


Instructions

  1. In a heavy-bottom saucepan set over medium heat, cook the carrots and onion in the butter with a pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add the flour, and cook the roux, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until golden brown in color, 6 to 10 minutes.
  3. Using a whisk, add the hot stock in a fast stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add the tomato purée, garlic, celery, peppercorns, and bay leaf.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often to make sure the bottom doesn’t scorch. Reduced the liquid by about one-third, until sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  5. Pour sauce through a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids.

Notes

*Can easily be frozen and thawed when needed. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 cups

Cherry Smoked Portobello Mushrooms with a Marchand de Vin Sauce

Cherry Smoked Portobello Mushrooms with a Marchand de Vin Sauce

I am in love mushrooms, but my favorite mushrooms are big juicy portobellos. Add in some thyme, red wine, and onions, and I’m all yours.

When immature and white, this mushroom may be known as common mushroom, white mushroom  button mushroom, cultivated mushroom, table mushroom, and champignon mushroom. When immature and brown, it may be known variously as Swiss brown mushroom, Roman brown mushroom, Italian brown mushroom, cremini/crimini mushroom, chestnut mushroom, and baby bella.

When marketed in its mature state, the mushroom is brown with a cap measuring 4–6 inches. This form is commonly sold under the names portobello mushroom, portabella mushroom, and portobella mushroom. Thank you, Wikipedia.  Who knew? 

I wanted to add a portobello mushroom recipe to my cookbook but lamented on the best way to prepare them. I got out my handy dandy cast iron, but then I remembered that I had my little-used  Cameron stovetop smoker. Within minutes I had fired up my gas stove, added some portobello mushroom caps and cherry wood chips, and 25 minutes later, I was floating in mushroom heaven. And no worries if you don’t have a smoker. If you have a medium pot with a lid, a steamer basket, some foil, and some wood chips, you’re set! Just so you know, there may not be a lot of variety, but you can buy wood chips at almost any grocery store. 

Finally, I went back and forth between topping it with a simple red wine sauce, or a cabernet demi-glace, aka a Marchand de Vin Sauce. I opted for the latter. It didn’t disappoint, either. With just a tang of the sherry vinegar marinade shining through the cherry wood’s mild and fruity smoke, it was the perfect balance of flavor. I didn’t make my own demi-glace, but you certainly can. I will work on that recipe next!


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Cherry Smoked Portobello Mushrooms with Cabernet Demi-Glace

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Description

The key to this recipe is the marinade.  Mushrooms are highly porous so you don’t need to marinade them long.  I also use a great mushroom brush to remove any dirt.  


Scale

Ingredients

  • 45 Portobello mushroom caps, brushed with stems removed.

For the Marinade: 

  • 1/3 cup dry sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp smoke paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp steak sauce (I like this one)

Red Wine Demi-Glace:

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • One bouquet garni made from 1 celery stalk, 2 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 fresh parsley sprigs, 1 bay leaf * (see note section)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock  
  • 1/4 cup classic roasted vegetable demi-glace
  • 1/2 cup cabernet sauvignon 
  • 1 tsp salt kosher
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper ground

Instructions

Marinade:

Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Add mushrooms to a shallow baking dish or a gallon size ziplock bag and top with marinade. Set aside and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. 

While mushrooms are marinating, make the demi-glace. 

  1. Warm a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add butter. When butter begins to foam, add shallots, salt, and white pepper and bouquet garni. Sauté until shallots have softened, about 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Add vegetable stock, demi-glace, and wine. 
  4. Stir well and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil. 
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the stock has reduced by half, about 20 minutes. 

Mushrooms:

  1. If using a smoker, add wood chips to the bottom of the smoker. If using a pan to smoke, jump down to the notes section. 
  2. Place the drip tray on top of the wood chips inside the smoker base. Spraying the tray with non-stick vegetable spray, or place a sheet of aluminum foil to make for easier clean-up.
  3. Place the wire rack on top of the drip tray. Remove mushrooms from the marinade and arrange them on the wire rack. Slide lid closed.
  4. Smoke for 20 minutes over medium heat. 
  5. Remove bouquet from demi-glace and taste for seasoning. Carefully remove mushrooms from the smoker and transfer them to a cutting board.
  6. Slice mushrooms into 1/2″ slices. Plate the mushrooms and spoon 3-4 Tbsp’s of demi-glace over the top.  
  7. Enjoy! 

Notes

Never wash mushrooms with water! They are like a sponge and soak up water lowering the flavor. People think it’s dirt that’s on them, but it’s peat moss, and it’s all pasteurized. Portobello’s are usually pretty clean, but I use a mushroom brush for other types.

A bouquet garni is simple to make.  Place herbs together in a small stack and tie stems together with a short bit of kitchen twine.  Tie it tightly, as the herbs will shrink as they cook.  

If pan smoking:

Place a double layer of foil in the bottom of a medium pot. Place wood chips on top, in a little mound. Place strainer basket over top. Place mushrooms in the strainer basket.

Place the pot on the stove and turn to medium high or high heat. Leave uncovered until you see smoke.  When you see smoke, tightly cover. Wait 30 seconds, then turn heat to medium.

Mushroom Lentil Faux Gras

Mushroom Lentil Faux Gras

I am a sucker for French food and French wine. To this day, my favorite cookbook is still Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” A few years ago, I bought a vintage 20th edition copy released in 1971, the year I was born. The book has what looks to be wine stains across its pages, likely from the valiant efforts of another brave epicure hoping to recreate her world-famous bourguignon. I say valiant because if you’ve never seen Julia’s bourguignon recipe, let me just say it is a three-page lesson in patience. But alas, I digress.

The very first vegan cooking class that I taught was Vegan France. This recipe, along with my mushroom bourguignon, were two of my favorite recipes I shared with the class. A traditional molded foie gras is made with goose liver. It is salty and savory, and let me just say when I was a meat-eater, one of my favorite indulgences.

This recipe is an adaptation of Rebecca Leffler’s recipe from her vegan French cookbook. This “faux” gras is made with mushrooms, french green lentils, rosemary, thyme, walnuts, cognac, and a beet puree added in for color. Sure to satisfy even the most die-hard fin gourmets, I like to serve it with nice French Bordeaux and a traditional Pain de Campagne Bon appétit!


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Mushroom Lentil Faux Gras

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch (Adapated from Rebecca Leffler)
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minute

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Ingredients

  • 24 medium-sized (200g, about 2 cups) button mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
  • 2 small onion peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 cups (800g) cooked green lentils
  • 2 cups (280g) toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 4 tablespoons liquid aminos or tamari
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh sage or flat leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
  • 2-teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 34 tablespoons beetroot puree (recipe below)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean. Remove stem end and slice them.

 

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet or wide saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, sage, and Cognac/brandy and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and cooked through, another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

 

  1. In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, brown sugar, and cayenne. Scrape in the cooked mushroom mixture and process until completely smooth. Fold in beet puree. Taste. Add salt, pepper, additional cognac, soy sauce, or lemon juice, if it needs balancing.

 

  1. Scrape the pâté into a small serving bowl, top with a thin layer of vegan butter if using, and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.  (If you’re making it on the fly, feel free to freeze it)

 

For Beetroot Puree:

 

  • ½ pound roasted red beets
  • ¼ cup Grapeseed oil
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • ¾ teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¾ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of black pepper

 

Place beets, Grapeseed oil, shallots, 1 tablespoons water, cilantro, vinegar, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a blender, and process until blended, about 5 seconds. Add beets, and process until smooth, about 40 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Stir in black pepper.

 


Spicy Louisiana Style Jackfruit Gumbo

Spicy Louisiana Style Jackfruit Gumbo

I love all things, New Orleans. It is a city near and dear to my heart, and it is unlike any other place in the US. New Orleans has its own language (the YAT dialect), music (the birthplace of jazz), and its own food (Creole and Cajun). And when it comes to gumbo, the great debate in the Big Easy is Creole gumbo vs. Cajun gumbo! My favorite is both the Creole and the Cajun style. A typical Creole roux is made from butter and flour (as in France), while a Cajun roux is usually made with lard or oil and flour. This is partly due to the scarcity of dairy products in some areas of Acadiana (Acadia + Louisiana) when Cajun cuisine was being developed. 

Creole and Cajun dishes are both built on the “holy trinity.” An aromatic base of sautéed bell peppers, onions, and celery, it is Louisiana’s version of mirepoix, or the mix of carrots, celery, and onion used in French cooking. The trinity was a result of the region’s strong French influence. Creole food, on the other hand, has its roots in Caribbean cuisine. Okra itself is an African ingredient incorporated into Creole dishes. Filé, or ground sassafras leaves, is a gumbo thickener, similar to cornstarch today, and comes from Native Americans. These have all become staples of Louisiana food and essential parts of the Louisiana cooking puzzle.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!


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Spicy Louisiana Style Jackfruit Gumbo

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Description

They key to a good roux is to cook it “low and slow.”  Keep the heat just south of medium heat and stir often.  A good gumbo roux will take anywhere from 8-10 minutes to make. You’re looking for a nice chocolate color. I like to serve this over rice with a huge slice of my cornbread! As is the case with most gumbos, this dish is best prepared either early in the day it is to be served, or even the day before, thereby allowing time for the flavors to marry. When reheating, stir often!


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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, miced
  • 1 can drained picked through green jackfruit
  • 1 pack vegan andouille sausage
  • 1 quart vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 16oz. can chopped tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pickapeppa sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (liquid aminos)
  • 2 Tbsp Voodoo Magic Creole Spice Mix
  • 2 Tbsp Filé powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups sliced okra

Instructions

  1. In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil , add the okra and sauté over medium high heat for about 10 – 15 minutes or until all the “ropiness” is gone. This step may take a little longer if fresh okra is used. Frozen vegetables are usually plunged into boiling water and blanched before freezing, so they are partially cooked.  
  2. Place oil in a large (8 quart) heavy bottomed non-reactive Dutch oven type pot. Add the flour and, over a medium high fire, and make a dark brown roux. As soon as the proper color is achieved, add the onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally until tender.
  3. During this process, allow the vegetables to stick to the bottom of the pan a bit, then scrape the bottom with a metal spoon or spatula. This allows some of the natural sugars in the onions to caramelize, rendering great depth of flavor.
  4. Stir in jackfruit and sausage, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften.
  5. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, okra, Worcestershire, Creole mustard, pickapeppa sauce, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, and soy sauce.
  6. Add Voodoo Spice Mix, bay leaves, and filé. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the broth is thick and the veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.
  7. Remove bay leaves. Taste for seasonings.
  8. Serve over rice, and enjoy!  

Vegan Clam Chowder

Vegan Clam Chowder

Years ago, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Newport, Rhode Island. I  loved it there and can’t wait to go back someday.  As a foodie, of course, my first mission was to find the very best clam chowder I could find. So every restaurant I went to, I ordered their clam chowder.  The winner was from a restaurant called the Black Pearl. Their version had a perfect balance of creaminess, texture, and flavor that I’ve never forgotten. 

Now that I am a vegan, of course, I refrain from seafood. But my love for clam chowder has never faded! And I don’t think I’m the only one!  The most downloaded recipe on my blog with nearly 7,000 views is my vegan lobster bisque recipe made with lobster mushrooms! So it occurred to me that maybe it was time to try my hand at a vegan version of clam chowder.

My recipe is made using oyster mushrooms instead of clams and seasoned with dulse flakes and a delicious vegan fysh sauce. I promise you’ll be in bisque heaven! 


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Vegan Clam Chowder

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x

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Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced ( or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 6 oz oyster mushrooms, small dice 
  • 3 small russet potatoes, small dice
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, thyme sprigs leaves removed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups veggie stock 
  • 2 Tbsp Fysh sauce
  • 2 Tbsp dulse flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dill weed

    Cashew Cream 

    • 1 cup raw cashews
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • dash white pepper
    • 1 cup water

      Instructions

      Make Cashew Cream—Add cashews, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, white pepper, and 1 cup water to a high speed blender, blend until smooth.  Set aside. 
       
      Warm dutch oven over medium heat.  Add 2 Tbsp vegetable stock, onions and celery.  Sauté until onions become translucent, about 7-8 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Season with 1 tsp salt.  
       
      Add mushrooms and thyme. Sauté on medium heat for 6-8 minutes, adding additional vegetable stock 1 tbsp at a time if vegetables begin to stick. Deglaze pan with white wine.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until wine is absorbed.  
       
      Add potatoes, vegetable stock, fysh sauce, dulse flakes, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.  Bring ingredients to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.  
       
      When potatoes are done, add cashew cream sauce and dill weed.  Stir well.  Taste for seasonings.  Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
       
      Serve with croutons or oyster crackers.  

       

      ENJOY! 

       
       


      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
      • Calories: 531
      • Sodium: 96g
      • Fat: 16.2
      • Saturated Fat: 3.2
      • Carbohydrates: 71.3
      • Protein: 22g
      • Cholesterol: 0

      Kombu Veggie Stock

      Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

      Vrksasana (Tree Pose)

      This has been a challenging year for all of us. For me, the year began with my father passing away from Parkinson’s disease. A few months after that, Covid hit, and the whole world fell apart. Thank God for my yoga practice. It has kept me grounded, patient, focused, and strong. I am working on a cookbook, homeschooling my two youngest kids, and just finished a half-marathon that I began training for in mid-summer. With so many things on my plate, being grounded and balanced are keys to life for me.

      Tree pose is one of the best ways for me to find my footing! Trees have long been considered symbols of longevity, strength, courage, and determination. They show us how grand we can be if we stick to our goals. One little seedling can become a mighty oak tree with enough determination and focus. Trees are also a sign of peace, growth, and reliability, providing a link between God or spirituality and the Earth.

      Holy men called sadhus would meditate in this posture for long periods of time as a practice of self-discipline. This ancient, reliable pose is often the first balance posture you learn, since it’s relatively simple and strengthens your legs and spine and opens your thighs and hips. When you practice balancing poses, you learn some practical lessons in how to get grounded, find your center, stay focused, and steady your mind. Plus, the process—falling and trying again—helps develop patience and persistence, humility, and good sense of humor.

      1. Stand firmly with your feet planted on the ground, back straight, and gaze forward. Put your arms by your side. Be sure to distribute your weight evenly across the soles of both feet.
      2. Slowly shift your weight onto the left foot, then bend your right knee upward. Rest your right foot along your inner left calf, or reach to grasp your right ankle and guide it to your thigh. Find a comfortable place to rest your foot, either above or below the knee, just not directly over it. Do not lock the standing knee.
      3. Either keep your hands on your hips or bring them together in a prayer position at chest level. Choose your Drishti, or a point directly in front of you to focus your attention and gaze.
      4. As you settle into Tree pose, press the right foot into the left leg, and the left leg into the right foot. This will help you find equal pressure and ensures that your hips are squared toward the front.
      5. When you are stable and steady, breathe in and raise your arms overhead with your fingertips pointing to the sky. You can stay here with palms facing each other, fingertips splayed, or choose to bring the palms together in an overhead prayer position.
      6. Take 5-10 breaths, the lower your foot and repeat on the other side.
      7. Don’t worry if one side is more comfortable than the other one. That’s why it’s called a yoga practice! It’s not uncommon for the body to be unbalanced or off-centered. The goal is to work on strengthening and balancing both sides of the body.
      8. Namaste!

      Easy Vegan Whipped Cream

      Easy Vegan Whipped Cream

      When I first became a vegan, I couldn’t find a non-dairy whipped cream anywhere. Now you can buy it pretty much anywhere, but it costs a small fortune, and my last two cans quick working with half of the cream still in the can. While making the sugar whipped aquafaba for my cornbread recipe, it occurred to me that if I added cream of tartar, vanilla extract for sweetness, that I would have a vegan whipped cream!

      If you’re looking for an easy whipped cream recipe for a yummy Thanksgiving pie, I’ve got you covered! Be sure to add this to your dish right before serving. The whipped cream will deflate after a few hours, but you can re-whip it again and again and it will come back to peaks in 2-3 minutes.


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      Easy Vegan Whipped Cream

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch

      Description

      Looking for an easy and inexpensive whipped cream?  If the answer is yes, this recipe is for you! 


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained, reserve liquid
      • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar

      Instructions

      Drain garbanzo beans and keep the liquid (aquafaba). Set beans aside for another use. Add aquafaba to a mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer).  Mix on high for 5 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam.  Add cream of tartar, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.  Mix for a few minutes more until soft peaks begin to form, about 3-5 minutes.  Taste for sweetness and adjust to preference. Do not overmix, or the whipped cream will fall and flatten out. 


      Conchiglioni with Pumpkin Sage Ricotta

      Conchiglioni with Pumpkin Sage Ricotta

      This recipe is one of my favorites. Admittedly, a lot is going on here. Part savory and part sweet, the complexity of spices makes for a simple yet flavorful combination. Most recipes using pumpkin ricotta are strictly savory. This recipe, however, has a sweetness that lingers for a bit in the background. I love how the pumpkin mixes flawlessly with the sage’s earthiness, and how that combination balances perfectly with the aromatic baking spices and sweet maple syrup. Served with my cashew béchamel sauce, this would be a perfect recipe for anyone wishing to do something a little different for Thanksgiving. No Turkey? No Problem! Also, this pairs very well with either red, or white wine. I would serve this with a nice oaky chardonnay.


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      Conchiglioni with Pumpkin Sage Ricotta

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 20
      • Cook Time: 20-25
      • Total Time: 2 minute
      • Yield: 6 servings 1x

      Description

      Part savory, part sweet, this recipe covers all the bases!  Some recipes do not have you press the tofu.  Pressing the tofu removes an additional 1/2 cup of water, and this prevents it from being too runny. 


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 1 (16 oz) package of organic Conchiglioni Pasta, or other egg free large shell pasta
      • 1 (12 oz.) package of extra firm organic tofu, pressed
      • 3 Tbsp (6g) nutritional yeast
      • 3 Tbsp fresh sage, minced (do not omit, and dice a little extra for garnish)
      • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
      • 1/2 tsp dried sage
      • 1 tsp sea salt 
      • 1/8 tsp black pepper
      • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan, plus additional 1/4 cup for topping
      • 1 lemon, juiced (2 Tbsp juice)
      • 1 tsp baking spice mix (can also use pumpkin pie spice mix)
      • 3 Tbsp organic maple syrup
      • 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
      • 2 cups cashew béchamel 

      Instructions

      Preheat oven to 350°

      Cook pasta according to package directions.  Be sure not to overcook!  Drain and set aside.

      After the tofu has been pressed, crumble and add to a food processor.  Add nutritional yeast, fresh sage, oregano, dry sage, vegan parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

      Pulse until ingredients begin to combine into a ball stage.  Remove from the food processor and add to a medium-size bowl.  Fold in pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and baking spice mix—taste for salt.  Mix well. 

      Give the pasta noodles a good rinse (they might be a little sticky).  Shake off excess water.  In a 9″x12″ glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of béchamel sauce on the dish’s bottom.

      Carefully remove a conch shell and place it in the palm of your hand.  Gently squeeze each pasta shell until it opens.  Using about 2 Tbsps of filling, fill each shell until your pan is full.

      Drizzle with remaining 1 cup béchamel sauce, being sure to coat all of the noodles well.  If using, top with additional parmesan cheese.

      Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn oven up to broil and carefully watch until the parmesan cheese has melted and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. (Be careful not to walk away from a broiler as it can burn very quickly).

      Let cool and plate.  Drizzle shells with remaining béchamel sauce from pan. 

      Taste for salt and pepper. 


      Notes

      *Be sure to check your pasta label for eggs. 

      UPDATE:**I walked away from the broiler one hour after writing this. Sheeshhh. 


      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 6
      • Calories: 224
      • Sodium: 390
      • Fat: 4.3g
      • Saturated Fat: 0.6g
      • Carbohydrates: 34.5 g
      • Fiber: 2.8
      • Protein: 13.6 g
      • Cholesterol: 0
      Pumpkin Sage Ricotta

      Invictus

      Invictus

      When I was a kid, we moved around a lot. And I mean, a lot. For instance, when I was in the 5th grade, I went to 2 different schools in one week. I won’t go into all the reasons why we moved. But between mom’s restless nature and money issues, I lived in a total of 18 different houses until I left for college. No joke. Every time I started to establish firm roots, I was plucked up and planted someplace else. Sometimes I was lucky enough to be in the same school district. Other times, I was not. And like flowers in a garden, you either learn to adapt and become so strong that nothing can kill you or you wilt and die.

      So it’s not hard to imagine there were some real gaps in my education. I was a good student and usually enjoyed school. But I always felt like I was either behind or ahead of everyone else and mostly kept to myself. I left home at sixteen when they decided to move again and lived with friends until I graduated a semester early. Looking back now, I’m surprised that I did as well as I did. I also realized moving around a lot was an education in and of itself. Making me more flexible and resourceful, I learned to assimilate into any new situation quickly, how to ask for help when I needed it, and grew to be so damn determined to be the master of my fate and the captain of my soul.

      Little did I know that one day, because of a global pandemic, I would homeschool my kids, and many of those gaps would begin to fill in. One of the best things about being my kid’s teacher is that I can take my time and stick with a topic until they have fully assimilated it, which is critical for my son, who has high functioning autism. While his IQ is somewhere north of 130, he struggles with learning new material, which makes school a problem for kids like him since they are allowed only so much time to learn the material. In elementary school, his grades were not excellent, but not bad. They were also not predictive whatsoever of his actual intelligence. They say that gifted kids also have a learning disability. So while he could memorize a 32-page book word for word, he couldn’t tell you the context of the story or its meaning.

      As with a lot of spectrum kids, reading comprehension is a significant issue for him. And it remained his biggest issue until he got to middle school, where things changed for the worse. You see, the other critical components of Aspergers kids are that they struggle with peer assimilation and social cueing. For example, something that you or I may just “pick up on” won’t even register with him. So he often speaks out of turn and talks about subjects that seem random and out of place. To him, what he’s saying makes perfect sense, but to others, not so much.

      Unfortunately, this cognitive deficit led to relentlessly bullying, which often left him in tears. He ate lunch alone and developed a strategy for choosing which corridors to walk down to avoid his tormenters. His teachers saw him withdraw, and his grades began to plummet. Never one to run from problems, I decided to hire a private tutor, set him up with a private counselor, had a girl removed from two of his classes, and sought a resolution with the other bullies from the school counselor and the 6th-grade principal. Just as things seemed to turn the corner, covid hit. And when I became his teacher, the real heartbreak set in when I realized just how far behind he was. So I put everything else aside and took on the role of a full-time teacher.

      It goes without saying that when you are a teacher, you have to know the material before you can teach it.  So for weeks before starting school and every night afterward, I became a student again.  In some subjects, I am re-learning material that I’d forgotten.  But in other subjects, I am learning things I never knew.  And I have to say it’s pretty cool.  I certainly appreciate the knowledge that I’m gleaning, way more than I did when I was a kid. I also kept my youngest child at home too.  She is just the opposite of her brother.  A social butterfly, often bored in school because she isn’t being challenged enough. 

      And I am teaching them so much more than math and reading, science, or social studies.  I’m teaching them to think critically and not believe everything they see, read, or hear.   I am teaching them that the victors write the history books, but there is always more to the story.  We are learning about poets, artists, and activists.  We take field trips to the art museum and hike through the woods.   Cooking is science class, and math is everywhere we look. 

      When he was young, a school counselor told me that my son had a limited learning capacity and would likely never go to college. I am proud to say that he is catching up, and not only is he doing well, he is flourishing. He will begin taking dual credit college courses in two years and will graduate from high school with an associates degree. But most importantly, he’s happy and knows that by putting in the hard work, he can learn. He also knows that no matter how hard it is, and no matter how bad it gets, life can always get better. My 2nd grader is doing 3rd-grade work now and has taken over, reading to me every night. I’m pretty sure that if I’ve ever had a life’s purpose, I’ve found it in teaching my kids.

      And in case you don’t know Invictus, here it is.

      Out of the night that covers me,
            Black as the pit from pole to pole,
      I thank whatever gods may be
            For my unconquerable soul.

      In the fell clutch of circumstance
            I have not winced nor cried aloud.
      Under the bludgeonings of chance
            My head is bloody, but unbowed.

      Beyond this place of wrath and tears
            Looms but the Horror of the shade,
      And yet the menace of the years
            Finds and shall find me unafraid.

      It matters not how strait the gate,
            How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate,
            I am the captain of my soul.

      — William Ernest Henley

      Voodoo Magic Creole Spice Mix

      Voodoo Magic Creole Spice Mix

      The end all be all of the spice mixes! I use this in so many recipes that I get in a panic when I start to run dry! It keeps well in an air tight container for up to six months. I use it in my gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and my black-eyed pea recipes! When I use this mix, it replaces the salt in all my recipes.  


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      Voodoo Magic Creole Spice Mix

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch

      Scale

      Ingredients

      1. 3 tablespoons paprika
      2. 2 tablespoons onion powder
      3. 2 tablespoons garlic powder
      4. 2 tablespoons dried oregano
      5. 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
      6. 1 tablespoon dried basil
      7. 1 tablespoon dried thyme
      8. 1 tablespoon black pepper
      9. 1 tablespoon white pepper
      10. 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
      11. *3 tablespoon kosher salt (optional)
       
       

      Instructions

       

      Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Store in a mason jar for up to 6 months.


      Creole Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

      Creole Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

      Growing up in a southern family, eating black-eyed peas was a part of every Sunday meal at our house. I don’t quite remember, but I think Grandma just opened a can of beans, threw in a ham bone, and called it dinner! My recipe has evolved over the years, and this one is my favorite! This vegan version pays homage to my New Orleans side of the family, and its creole influence lends a rich, creamy, and super smoky deliciousness!

      Though called a pea, black-eyed peas are a variety of the cowpea and are technically a bean. In the South, this dish is referred to as Hoppin’ John, and while a traditional Hoppin’ John is made with bacon, a ham hock, or fatback, this vegan version uses liquid smoke.

      It is customary to make black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck and prosperity for the New Year in southern culture. Served with greens (collards, mustard, or turnip greens, which vary regionally), the peas represent coins, the greens represent paper money. Cornbread is often served with black-eyed peas and greens, represents gold.

      Serve over rice, with a piece of cornbread, and enjoy! Oh, and don’t forget the hot sauce!


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      Creole Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 2 hours
      • Cook Time: 25 minutes
      • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
      • Yield: 6 servings 1x

      Description

      I like to use dried beans because most canned black-eyed peas are simmered in a ham broth. Or they contain Disodium EDTA, which is a preservative used to promote color retention. It is synthesized from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, and sodium cyanide. EEK! But you can use canned beans in a pinch, or if you don’t want to wait! When I used canned beans of any kind, I like to use the Eden Organic brand.


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 4 cups dry black-eyed peas
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 large onion, diced
      • 1 red bell pepper, diced
      • 2 ribs celery, minced
      • 4 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1  jalapeno pepper, minced
      • 2 (15-ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes 
      • 5 cups vegetable stock 
      • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
      • 1 tbsp voodoo magic spice mix*
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/8 tsp liquid smoke
      • 1 bay leaf
      • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
      • Tabasco, parsley, and green onions, for garnish

      Instructions


        • Rinse dried black-eyed pea beans, pick through and discard any debris or bad beans. Add beans to a stockpot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Cover and let sit for 1-2 hours.
        • Warm a large, heavy skillet (I use cast iron), add 2 tbsp oil. When the oil is shimmering, add onions, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and jalapeños, sauté the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Add voodoo seasoning mix. Sauté until mixture has softened, about 3 minutes. 
        • Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, and bay leaf.
        • Drain the soaked beans, rinse, and add the beans to the pot. 
        • Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
        • At this point, if using, add collard greens, and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally,
        • Cook until beans are tender and slightly thickened.
        • Add more stock or water if the mixture becomes dry and thick. The texture of the beans should be thick, somewhat creamy but not watery.
        • Remove the bay leaves.
        • Taste and adjust for seasonings with pepper, seasoning, and salt if needed. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with green onion.
        • Add lots of Tabasco and enjoy it! 


      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 6
      • Calories: 210

      Herbed Vegan Goat Cheese

      Herbed Vegan Goat Cheese

      I adore Julie Piatt, aka Sri Mati. She is the author of “This Cheese is Nuts” and is also what you might call my spiritual mentor. She is a peace-loving hippie momma and a vegan. And she has created the best vegan version of goat cheese or chèvre that I’ve ever had. I make this recipe at least 2-3 days before I want to use it. I think the longer it has to sit and ferment, the better.


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      Julie Piatt’s Macadamia Nut Herbed Goat Cheese

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch

      Description

      If you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t fret. You can use your oven on the lowest setting (mine is 150°) and bake for 1 hour.  Because I make a lot of vegan cheeses I always keep acidophilus caps in the fridge.  Also, I think it goes without saying that you do have to open the capsules before using, but I’ll say it anyway!  


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 2 cups raw macadamia nuts
      • 1 capsule acidophilus (3-billion active-cultures strain)
      • 1/2 tsp. + 1/8 tsp Celtic sea salt 
      • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
      • 2 tsp refined coconut oil (make SURE it says “refined”)
      • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
      • 2 Tbsp za’atar, or other herb combo such as thyme, oregano, marjoram

      Instructions

      1. Add everything but the za’atar to blender.  Blend on medium speed until smooth.  Depending on your mixer this could take anywhere from 45 seconds to 3-4 minutes.  
      2. Transfer mixture to the center of cheese cloth.  Gather the edges and tie off each end with string.  Place in dehydrator and dehydrate at 90° for 24 hours.  If you do not have a dehydrator you can achieve something similar in a low oven at 170° for one hour.  
      3. Once aging is complete remove cheese from the cloth  including the rind, and add to stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy.  
      4. Adjust seasonings to taste.  She recommends adding the remaining 1/8 tsp, if too mild.
      5. Turn cheese out onto clean workspace and divide in half.  Roll 1/2 of the cheese inside wax paper until it forms a nice even log.  Repeat with the other half. 
      6. After the logs have set roll in herb mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  
      7. Serve

       


      Stuffed Acorn Squash

      Stuffed Acorn Squash

      Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Mostly because I get to see family, eat until my heart’s content, and then lay around like a slug watching football until it’s time to go to bed. But being a vegan means I always have to bring my own food! Every year I tell myself I’m going to make something different, and every year I come back to this same recipe! I LOVE this dish for Thanksgiving. It is not only delicious, but it’s also a show stopper! Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” And I get enough compliments on this dish to last me until Valentine’s Day!

      The basmati mixed with the sweet cranberries and spicy vegan sausage is simply delicious! If you don’t want to use the Field Roast Farms sausage, you can use Crimini mushrooms instead. The vegan goat cheese is super simple to make, and I usually double the batch. I use half the cheese for this recipe (I also use it in my Mushroom Wellington recipe). And I use the other half of the cheese rolled in herbs as my holiday appetizer. You will need to make the cheese a day in advance. But if you don’t want to make your cheese, Miyoko Schinner makes a Classic Chive Double Cream Cheese that is divine and you could easily substitute.


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      Stuffed Acorn Squash

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 15
      • Cook Time: 45
      • Total Time: 1 hour

      Description

      Usually, I avoid using vegan “meats” from the grocery store. Typically they are highly processed and contain ingredients that I can’t pronounce. But this Field Roast Farms sausage is made 100% from fresh fruit and vegetables! Crafted from apples, Yukon gold potatoes, onions, garlic, sage, and ginger, it is the perfect “meat” for my vegan meal!  If you wish to avoid the sausage, you can easily use diced crimini mushrooms instead!  Do be aware this sausage is not gluten free. 


      Scale

      Ingredients

      For the roasted acorn squash:

      • 2 large acorn squash
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • Pinch of salt and black pepper
      • Pinch of thyme

      For the filling:

      • 1 tablespoons olive oil (can use vegetable stock, if oil free)
      • 2 Field Roast Smoked Apple & Sage Sausage links, cases removed and diced
      • 1 large yellow onion, diced 
      • 1 1/2 tsp garlic (about 3 cloves)
      • 1 1/2 cup prepared rice (I used white basmati)
      • 1 tsp dried thyme 
      • 1 tsp oregano
      • 1 tsp garlic powder
      • 1 tsp dried parsley
      • 1 cup herbed vegan goat cheese
      • ¼ teaspoon salt
      • Pinch of black pepper
      • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish)
      • ½ cup dried cranberries
      • 1/2 cup vegan parmesan (I use Follow Your Heart)

       


      Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 425° degrees. Wash and dry squash. Slice squash in half from tip to stem and scoop out seeds.
      2. Place the squash halves flesh side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and pinch of thyme. Roast flesh side down until almost done, about 25-30 minutes. Remove squash from oven and set aside.
      3. While squash is cooking heat medium size skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or stock, if oil free) to pan.  Once the oil begins to shimmer add diced onion, sausage, and dried cranberries. Add 1 tsp each thyme, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley. Sauté until onions are translucent and sausage has browned about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
      4. Add prepared rice.  Stir until rice is warmed through.
      5. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the vegan goat cheese. Season with salt and black pepper. 
      6. When done, remove squash from oven and reduce heat to 350°.  
      7. Divide mixture between squash halves.  Top each squash with vegan parmesan cheese and return to oven.  Bake for an additional 30 minutes.  
      8. Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm.

      Notes

      The sausage mixture can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.   

      Southern Style Collard Green’s

      Southern Style Collard Green’s

      When I was a kid, I hated eating my greens. The only green things I would eat were canned peas and canned green beans. Kale wasn’t a thing, and I would have rather died than eat Brussels sprouts. I refused to eat broccoli or spinach and never even considered eating collard greens. My mom would make spinach out of a can, and I clearly remember gagging it down. But as it happens with many of us, when I got older, my green food repertoire grew as I grew, and now I can’t get enough of them! These collards are no exception! I crave them sometimes with a big old piece of cornbread and a glass of wine!

      For a true southern style meal, these collards pair very well with black eyed peas and cornbread! I love the heat of the red pepper flakes and the smokiness of the paprika. They also pair extremely well with a nice Sauvignon Blanc! Enjoy!


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      Southern Style Collard Green’s

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch

      Description

      Collards are cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage. They are also very nutrient dense! They are high in fiber, iron, calcium, and manganese! 


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • 1 onion, thinly sliced
      • 4 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 15-oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
      • 2 large bunches of collard greens, stems removed, and leaves very thinly sliced (removing the stems is optional)
      • 2 cups vegetable stock
      • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, but recommended)
      • Sea salt
      • 2 tablespoons liquid aminos
      • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika + more to taste

      Instructions

      1. Warm oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
      2. Sauté onion until translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
      3. Stir in the tomatoes, and simmer for about 3 minutes. 
      4. Add the chopped collard greens, 1/2 tsp sea salt, vegetable stock, and red pepper flakes, stir well. Reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook until tender, about 25-30 minutes.
      5. Remove from heat, stir in the liquid aminos and smoked paprika. Season to taste.

      Notes

      *If you don’t have smoked paprika you can also use 1/8 tsp of liquid smoke. 

      World’s Best Cornbread

      World’s Best Cornbread

      I love cornbread! I loved my Grandma’s cornbread most of all. But her recipe contained eggs, buttermilk, and wheat flour. I tell ya, being gluten-free and vegan is no easy task! There are so many obstacles to overcome that you either feel like giving up or just settling for the substandard pre-made crap you can find in the grocery store. So with Grandma’s cornbread out of the question. I sat out on the arduous journey of creating my recipe. As many of you gluten-free folks may know, gluten-free can mean dry, chalky, and dense. And on the vegan side of things, no eggs and no buttermilk can mean your bread falls completely apart, or it merely refuses to rise! So, what is a girl to do? After making some delicious banana muffins and using aquafaba in my chocolate chip cookies, I decided to combine the two and make cornbread! The result was the BEST cornbread ever. Sorry, Grandma.

      Anyway, this recipe pairs well with my Gumbo, Chili, Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens, and it hangs well just by itself! I love to add diced jalapeños to mine! Just be sure to let it cool for at least 5-10 minutes! I hope you enjoy it!


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      World’s Best Cornbread

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 5
      • Cook Time: 25-35
      • Total Time: 11 minute

      Description

      This unbelievable GF vegan cornbread uses aquafaba in place of eggs and Bob’s Red Mill GF flour blend! Simply amazing! The key to this recipe is also using fine grind cornmeal like this one. 


      Scale

      Ingredients


      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and lightly grease a standard 9-inch round cake pan or 8×8-inch baking dish and dust with gluten-free flour. Shake out excess and set aside. (I also think you could use an 9-inch cast iron skillet, but it wouldn’t come out as easily and will likely have to be served directly from the pan).
      • In a liquid measuring cup, measure out non-dairy milk and add vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside.
      • Add chickpea brine to a medium-mixing bowl and begin whipping until loose peaks form. Then add sugar in a little at a time and beat until the texture is glossy and white and semi-firm peaks form.
      • Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then add non-dairy milk mixture and oil and whisk once more. Finally, add the whipped chickpea brine (with sugar) and gently whisk/fold in until a thick but pourable batter is formed.
      • The batter should be thick but pourable. Add more cornmeal or gluten-free flour if too wet or non-dairy milk if too thick. 
      • Add batter to prepared cake pan and bake on a center rack for 25-35 minutes, or until the edges are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean.
      • Let cool completely in the pan – set on a wire rack to speed cooling process. To remove, run a dull knife around the edge of the cake pan to loosen, then slice and serve. Alternatively, place a plate on top and quickly invert. It will be upside down so flip onto another serving platter to get it right side up.

      Notes

      *Any good GF flour blend will work.  Just make sure that it contains xanthin gum (used as a substitute for wheat gluten) as it is a binder for GF flour. 

      Keywords: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Cornbread

      Vegan Queso Blanco

      Vegan Queso Blanco

      Sweet dreams are made of cheese! I think I’ve mentioned this a few times, but the most challenging part of being a vegan was giving up the cheese. I even went so far as to create and teach a vegan cheese class! I adore this vegan Queso Blanco! It is so yummy and so easy to make. I put it on everything from my enchiladas to making a delicious mac-n-cheese. Mostly, I stand around with a plate of warm tortilla chips and dip until my heart’s content! I hope you love it as much as I do!

      The other great thing about this recipe is that it is cholesterol-free, yep 100% plant-based, and no oil! Serve this dip piping hot, and don’t be surprised when it disappears quickly! Easy to re-heat with just a tablespoon or two plant-based milk and microwave on medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir, and add 30 seconds as needed until warm!

      Vegan Queso Blanco

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      Vegan Queso Blanco

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 10
      • Cook Time: 5
      • Total Time: 20 minutes
      • Yield: 4 cups 1x
      • Category: Vegan Cheese
      • Diet: Vegan

      Description

      This oil-free vegan queso is ready in less than 15 minutes! So yummy, you can add as much or as little heat as you want by skipping the jalapeños or doubling them up! Enjoy!

       


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, if not using high powered blender
      • 1 onion, diced
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
      • 1 cup vegetable stock
      • 1 cup plant-based milk (I use Oatly oat milk)
      • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
      • 1 tbsp lemon juice
      • 1 tsp cumin
      • 1 tsp garlic powder
      • 1 tsp tapioca starch (for a gooey consistency)
      • 12 tsp salt
      • 1 (4 oz) can pickled jalapeños with juice
      • 1 can tomatoes with green chili’s, like Rotel
      • Dash turmeric for color, if desired

      Instructions

      1. Warm a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp vegetable stock and onions. Sauté onions until done and translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Remove onions from pan, and add to blender. Add all remaining ingredients except the Rotel tomatoes, if using. Blend until very smooth. If using a Vitamix, about 45 seconds on high.
      2. Transfer to a saucepan and put on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat until desired consistency, continually stirring so as not to burn the bottom. 
      3. Taste and add extra salt if desired. Pour vegan queso into a serving bowl and stir in the 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños and drained can of Rotel if using. Garnish and serve.
      4.  

      Notes

      Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge about 5 days. When reheating, add additional unsweetened plant-based milk, if desired, to thin to desired consistency.

      You can use chicken broth instead of vegetable if you’re not vegan.

      I use a Vitamix and love it.


      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 12
      • Calories: 101
      • Fat: 7g
      • Protein: 3g

      Keywords: Vegan Queso Blanco

      Cousin Sara’s Savory Vegetable Pot Pie

      Cousin Sara’s Savory Vegetable Pot Pie

      My cousin Sara and her husband are expecting their first baby! They have both recently dabbled in a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle and said they felt really great! Because they want to continue their journey Sara reached out for some recipes. We talked about how our western plates are the exact same, a meat, a vegetable, and starch. So, what does one do when the meat is not on the plate? We make our veggies come front and center! I hope you love this Sara! Love to all three of you! Can’t wait to see the new bundle!

      This, my friends, is the ultimate comfort food. I simply love a good pot pie, and let me tell you this one doesn’t disappoint. The key for me in the one is the pickapeppa sauce. If you’ve never heard of it before it is made from cane vinegar, onions, sugar, tomato paste, sea salt, peppers, raisins, ginger, mango concentrate, cloves, thyme, garlic, black pepper, orange peel. It’s rich and adds a depth of flavor I’ve never seen before. Subsequently, I use it in my vegan gumbo, and it is a game-changer!

      The other great thing about a veggie pot pie is that you can use any vegetables that you have on hand! I loved the addition of green beans and parsnips in this recipe! You can make the filling in advance and/or double the filling and freeze the half you don’t use! I also prefer to use fresh herbs if possible!

      Vegetable Pot Pie

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      Savory Vegetable Pot Pie

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 20
      • Cook Time: 25
      • Total Time: 45 minutes
      • Yield: 6 servings 1x

      Description

      Savory vegan vegetable pot pie!  Loaded with veggies, this is the ultimate comfort food! 


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 2 tablespoons vegetable stock
      • 1 onion, chopped 
      • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
      • 1 clove garlic, minced
      • 2 large carrots, diced 
      • 2 parsnips, diced
      • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
      • 2 stalks celery, sliced 1/4 inch wide
      • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped into 1/2 inch pieces
      • 3 cups vegetable broth
      • 1 cup plant-based milk
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage
      • 1 teaspoon oregano
      • 1 teaspoon rosemary
      • 1 teaspoon thyme
      • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
      • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
      • 1 tablespoon pickapeppa sauce (do not omit)
      • 1 pre-made piecrust

      Wash:

      2 tablespoons coconut oil and 1 tablespoon maple syrup, mixed


      Instructions

      Preheat oven to 425°.  

      Heat vegetable stock over medium heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Cook onions, mushrooms, and garlic in stock for 3 to 5 minutes stirring frequently. Stir in carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and celery.  If the vegetables begin to stick, add additional stock one tablespoon at a time if needed.  

      Add spices and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in green beans. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables and cook 2 minutes, until the white disappears (the vegetables will seem dry). Slowly pour in the milk, adding a few splashes at a time, stirring constantly, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, and pickapeppa sauce. Bring to a low boil.

      Continue to let bubble until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring very often and scraping a spatula along the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking. Then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are barely tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. 

      Roll the pie dough into a circle large enough to cover your cast iron pan. Brush the edges of the cast iron with the coconut oil and maple syrup wash, then lay the dough over the top to overhang the sides. Trim the overhang to a 1/2 inch larger than the edge of the pan. Gently press the dough onto the sides of the pan so that it sticks, then brush all over with the remaining wash. With a sharp knife, cut five slits in the top.
      Carefully place the cast iron in the oven. Bake until the pie is hot and bubbly on the inside, and the crust is deeply golden, about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan 180 degrees F halfway through. Let rest a few minutes. Serve hot.



      Nutrition

      • Calories: 467

      LG’s Smoky Beer Cheese Soup

      LG’s Smoky Beer Cheese Soup

      I’ll be honest. I love cheese. It was, in fact, the most challenging thing for me to give up as a vegan. As a result, I even created and taught a class around the art of vegan cheese making. Years ago, when I first went plant-based, the vegan cheeses at the store always fell flat. The texture was off, and the taste was subpar, at best. Fast forward to now, my friends. I am so happy to say that Daiya has come up with a Farmhouse Style block cheese that is extremely good and quite impressive!

      I serve in on my charcuterie boards, and many of my non-vegan friends are amazed at how delicious it is! It looks like cheddar, feels like cheddar, and tastes like cheddar! That said, I had never really used it in a recipe until now! It was everything I’d hoped it would be! It melts exceptionally well and adds a rich depth of creamy goodness! Very pleased, and I think you will be, too! This soup is for you, Lisa G. I hope you like it!


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      LG’s Smoky Beer Cheese Soup

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 10
      • Cook Time: 20
      • Total Time: 30 minutes
      • Yield: 6 cups 1x
      • Cuisine: Soup
      • Diet: Vegan

      Description

      Delicious smoky cheddar beer soup!  Serve it in a bread boule, and voila, you are in cheese heaven!  


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
      • 2 carrots, finely chopped
      • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
      • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and chopped
      • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
      • ⅛ tsp liquid smoke
      • One 12-ounce bottle lager or pilsner
      • About 2 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
      • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1 cup plant-based milk
      • 1 package of Daiya Cheddar Farmhouse Style block, coarsely grated
      • Salt and freshly ground pepper
      • Bread Boule, for serving

      Instructions

      In a dutch oven, bring ¼ cup veggie stock to a simmer over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, shallots, and jalapeno, cook until tender, about 7 minutes.  Add more stock 1 tbsp at a time, as needed, to prevent sticking.   To the dutch oven add the flour and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned about 2 minutes. Whisk ½ the beer and all the stock into this roux until incorporated and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 8 minutes. Add the milk, and cheddar cheese, and the remaining beer and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender, or blend half of the soup in the blender, then add the remaining soup, and blend until smooth.   Stir in the liquid smoke and season with salt and pepper. Add a few tablespoons of broth if the soup is too thick. Serve the soup with french bread!


      Notes

      I used a Belgian style farmhouse ale, and it was delicious! You can use Daiya’s Farmhouse Jalapeño Havarti, or their Smoked Gouda, for this recipe as well.


      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 1 cup
      • Calories: 300
      • Fat: 14
      • Saturated Fat: 2
      • Carbohydrates: 31
      • Fiber: 5g
      • Protein: 13

      Grandpa Joe’s Vegan Irish Stew

      Grandpa Joe’s Vegan Irish Stew

      When my Grandpa Jack was a boy, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents. His grandpa was a man named Joseph Still. Old Joe came over from Ireland when he was in his 20’s. He played a juice harp (harmonica), smoked a corncob pipe, and had such a thick brogue that only a few around him could understand what he was saying! He liked to dance and was quite a character, from what I hear. I would love to have met him! So this recipe is dedicated to his memory!

      Traditionally, an Irish stew (aka Guinness Stew) is made with lamb. I used hearty Crimini mushrooms for this recipe, but I think the Guinness and potatoes still qualify the stew as Irish. Regardless, it is absolutely delicious. Not too heavy, but still extremely filling. In southern Ireland, carrots are added, and some cooks venture so far as to add turnips! Enjoy!


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      Vegan Irish Stew

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 15
      • Cook Time: 30
      • Total Time: 45 minutes
      • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
      • Category: Soups, Stews
      • Cuisine: Irish
      • Diet: Vegan

      Description

      This vegan Irish Stew reminds me of being a kid!  My mom always made hearty soups and stews this time of year.  The savory flavor of this soup is amazing and will warm you to the bones!  


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 1 onion, diced
      • 2 stalks celery, chopped
      • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots and/or parsnips (3 to 4 carrots or parsnips)
      • 3 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 pound whole crimini mushrooms, diced
      • 1/4 cup tomato paste
      • 1 16 oz Guinness stout
      • 4 cups Edward & Sons Not-Beef Natural Bouillon Stock (or use vegetable stock)
      • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
      • 2 bay leaves
      • 1 Tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
      • 2 tsp dried thyme
      • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
      • 2 Tbs corn starch or arrowroot powder
      • 1 Tbs water (to make a thickening slurry)
      • fresh parsley for garnish

      Instructions

      • Dice onions and add to a Dutch Oven. Soften onions in a few tablespoons of water.
      • Add chopped celery, carrots/parsnips – saute for 6-7 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  About 30 seconds. 
      • Clean mushrooms and medium dice, add mushrooms to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Stir in tomato paste and add the stout. Stir well and simmer 1-2 minutes. Add stock and potatoes. Add Worchestershire sauce and seasonings, bring to a  boil. Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 20-30 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Mix corn starch and water.  Bring stew to a strong simmer and stir the slurry into the stew to thicken.  Stir well. Garnish with fresh parsley and peas, if desired.


      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 6
      • Calories: 233

      Tuscan White Bean & Kale Soup

      Tuscan White Bean & Kale Soup

      This soup has long been a family favorite. It is my go-to soup when someone is sick, or if I want to make a soup on the fly, I always have all of the ingredients on hand. Starting with the holy trinity (carrots, onion, and celery), I finish the soup using curly kale vs. the flat Lacinato or dinosaur kale. But if you don’t like kale, feel free to use spinach or cabbage in its place.

      It’s the perfect winter soup because it’s rich in fiber, but not calorically dense making it ideal for the less active chilly days ahead.

      The recipe also makes a big batch so that you’ll have plenty left over for lunches throughout the week, or you can freeze the rest for a rainy day. Enjoy!


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      Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 15
      • Cook Time: 35
      • Total Time: 50 minutes
      • Yield: 4 Servings 1x

      Description

      This Tuscan White Bean Soup is made with a ton of veggies and the most flavorful broth!  Enjoy!  


      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 1 cup carrots, sliced
      • 2 stalks celery, diced
      • 1 small yellow onion, diced
      • 3 cloves garlic minced
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • 1 zucchini, medium diced
      • 1  28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
      • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
      • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
      • 1 tsp dried basil
      • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
      • 4 cups vegetable stock
      • 1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
      • 1 large kale leaf, chopped
      • 1/ 2 cup chopped, parsley

      sea salt & fresh pepper to taste


      Instructions

      1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. 
      2. Stir in carrots, celery, and onion, Season with sea salt & fresh pepper and stir well. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
      3. Stir in zucchini, tomatoes, smoked paprika, oregano, basil, and thyme,  and cook for another minute or so, stirring frequently.  
      4. Stir in beans and stock and simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water (I add up to 2 cups of water) as needed
      5. Stir in kale and parsley, remove from heat and let sit for five minutes covered to wilt the kale
      6. Serve warm

      Notes

      • If you don’t have kale or aren’t a fan, you can swap kale for spinach.
      • Use organic vegetable stock for more depth of flavor. 
      • Store soup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or freeze.

      Nutrition

      • Calories: 128 C

      Keywords: Soup, Kale Soup, Tuscan White Bean Soup

      Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

      Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

      Fall is my favorite time of year!  I love all things autumn, including the reprieve of cooler weather!  Cool-weather means warm food, and this soup is a family favorite!  I always keep the queso dip around, so for me, this whole meal is on the table in 25 minutes!  No dairy and no oil. This soup is better for you than Panera and tastes just as good.  You can also add a diced potato to this recipe and make a yummy broccoli potato soup! I hope you enjoy it! 

       


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      Vegan Broccoli Cheddar Soup

      • Author: Stephanie Bosch
      • Prep Time: 5 minutes
      • Cook Time: 25
      • Total Time: 30 minutes
      • Yield: 4 Cups 1x
      • Category: Soup
      • Diet: Vegan

      Description

      Fall is my favorite time of year!  I love all things autumn, including the reprieve of cooler weather!  Cool-weather means warm food, and this soup is a family favorite!  I always keep the queso dip around, so for me, this whole meal is on the table in 25 minutes!  No dairy and no oil. This soup is better for you than Panera and tastes just as good.  You can also add a diced potato to this recipe and make a yummy broccoli potato soup! I hope you enjoy it!


      Scale

      Ingredients

      1 head of organic broccoli, coarsely chopped

      1 onion, diced

      2 cloves garlic, minced

      ½ cup shredded carrots

      1 stalk celery, finely diced

      1 cup cashew queso

      4 cups vegetable stock

      ¼ cup water

      Salt and pepper, as desired


      Instructions

      • Heat dutch oven over medium heat. Saute onion and celery in ¼ C water until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  
      • Add carrots and broccoli, and stir. 
      • Add the vegetable stock into the veggie mixture. Gradually pour queso while stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer; cook until thickened, and vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.

      Notes

      To add potato, peel and medium dice one russet potato.  Add to carrots and broccoli mixture, and simmer as directed. 

      Creamy Polenta with Portobello Mushrooms and Red Pepper

      Creamy Polenta with Portobello Mushrooms and Red Pepper
      Last night my husband had a zoom client meeting that included a wine tasting from Napa Valley. The manager of Amizetta winery in Napa (St. Helena, to be exact) walked them through two wines. My job was to make a great meal that would pair well with a bold Cabernet and a Merlot. The first thing that came to mind, of course, was portobello mushrooms! These steaky mushrooms are versatile and hold up well to the deep complexity of the cabernet and the soft tannins of the merlot. So yummy! I couldn’t decide between creamy polenta or polenta cakes, so I made both.

      Mushrooms:
      1 tbsp olive oil
      1 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced to ¼” slices
      1 medium onion, diced
      1 red bell pepper, diced
      2 tsp garlic, minced
      1 tsp thyme
      1 tsp basil
      ½ tsp red pepper flakes
      1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped
      ½ cup red wine
      Salt and pepper to taste

      Polenta:
      I used a store-bought San Gennaro Polenta, a traditional Italian
      1 cup vegetable stock
      2 tbsp nutritional yeast

      Warm medium skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil has heated and begins to shimmer, add onion and bell pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Remove pepper/onion mixture from pan and add to a mixing bowl. If necessary, add more oil and then add mushrooms and spices to the pan. Saute for about 5-7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and add salt and pepper. Add spinach and cook until spinach has wilted. Add pepper/onion mixture to pan and heat through until warm.

      Polenta:
      While the mushrooms are cooking, crumble ½ of polenta into a saucepan and add vegetable stock and nutritional yeast. Simmer over medium heat until most of the stock has evaporated, and the polenta is smooth. I used a potato masher to help break down the polenta. Take the other half of the polenta and slice into ¼” pieces and add to a well oiled warmed skilled. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until sufficiently browned.

      To plate: Add creamy polenta to a plate, top with browned polenta slices, then top with the mushroom mixture—salt and pepper to taste.

      The Mad Dash to the Middle

      The Mad Dash to the Middle
      It is no secret that our educational system here in the US is far behind its peers. Our investments in healthcare and education have not only fallen short, but they have also fallen short to our detriment. We are ranked 27th in the world, both in health and education. We are 38th out of 71 countries when it comes to math scores and 24th when it comes to science. While countries like Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and the Netherlands currently lead the way, the US continues to fall behind consistently. If the government does not like spending money on education, does that mean should just settle for living in a society where knowledge and power are only afforded by the rich? Suffering of course are the anxious poor wanting more of what they rich have, yet always receiving less? I suppose this is the curse of capitalism, but that is a topic for another day.

      Under Trump’s tutelage, the current head (cough, cough) of the Department of Education Betsy Devos, supported $5.6 billion in cuts from its fiscal budget. Thankfully he backed away from his attempt to cut federal aid for the Special Olympics program. But I guess it was a little harder to sneak that one past. Sneak past whom. I’m not sure. Education and healthcare are not topics much-lamented over here in the US.

      I don’t want to bash a broken educational system. But like our healthcare system, I no longer wish to be a part of it. This year, with the help of a dedicated community of self-educators, I will begin the academic instruction of my children. Now, this may sound like a lofty aspiration, or even a slow descent into madness; either way, I have no reservations about my decision. I do not want my children happily educated in the middle of a substandard bell curve, so they can graduate and be chewed up and swallowed into the belly of a capitalistic beast.

      On our way to dinner the other evening, we saw a woman standing on the side of the road with a broken-down minivan. She looked tired and hot, maybe about twenty-five years old. She had taken her baby out of the warm car and sat her carrier on an even hotter concrete, while a two-year-old boy was making a run for it every time she turned her back. We passed by, and without a word, my husband circled back around. When we got to her, she was sobbing. It turns out she was a single mom living at a weekly rental motel. She had reached her limit. She was not just crying; she was sobbing. The weight of her life was taking its toll. The weight of driving across the state with no air conditioning, crying babies in the back seat, and just enough gas from her step-dad to get them home took its toll. Well, almost home. She was grateful, embarrassed, tired, scared, on her last leg. I don’t think I’ll ever forget her. Her greatest sin? She was poor and likely “uneducated” poor. She was trapped. And I can’t help but recoil knowing that we are considered a modern industrialized society. Imagine the poor, illiterate women in developing countries; it’s mindboggling.

      But man, or woman, poverty and lack of education are conscious means of control. My mom always used to say, “they can take the house, or your car, they can even take your life, but they can’t take your education.” Not exactly sure who “they” are…so we’ll call them “the man!” But she was correct. Education teaches literature, math, science; this is true. A well-rounded, solid education should also teach you to think for yourself, to question everything, not to believe everything you hear or see, to examine and reflect upon everything. That will be my goal here on my homeschool page, to be the teacher and the student.
      I am looking forward to this new journey.

      Cauliflower Vichyssoise with White Truffle Oil

      Cauliflower Vichyssoise with White Truffle Oil

      Here is another summer soup for your palate!  Like a traditional vichyssoise, this soup can be served either hot or cold. It is so rich and satisfying it definitely leaves you wanting more! You’re welcome.

       

       

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