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!
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!
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
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.
Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently and being careful not to burn the garlic.
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.
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.
Once ready to eat, take off of the heat and garnish with some vegan sour cream, green onion, avocado, etc.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Strain the stock through a sieve into another pot, pressing the vegetables with the back of a ladle to extract all the juices.
Over high heat, combine 1 part Espagnole to 1 part Vegetable stock, boil for 10 minutes or until reduced by half, stirring occasionally.
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!
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.
Warm a medium-size sauté pan over medium heat.
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.
Add vegetable stock, demi-glace, and wine.
Stir well and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the stock has reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
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.
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.
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.
Smoke for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Remove bouquet from demi-glace and taste for seasoning. Carefully remove mushrooms from the smoker and transfer them to a cutting board.
Slice mushrooms into 1/2″ slices. Plate the mushrooms and spoon 3-4 Tbsp’s of demi-glace over the top.
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.
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!
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
3–4 tablespoons beetroot puree (recipe below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wipe the mushrooms clean. Remove stem end and slice them.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Looking for an easy and inexpensive whipped cream? If the answer is yes, this recipe is for you!
1 can garbanzo beans, drained, reserve liquid
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
Drain garbanzo beans and keep the liquid (aquafaba). Set beans aside for another use. Add aquafaba (I use all of what was in the can) 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.
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.
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.
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.
*Be sure to check your pasta label for eggs.
UPDATE:**I walked away from the broiler one hour after writing this. Sheeshhh.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
Once aging is complete remove cheese from the cloth including the rind, and add to stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy.
Adjust seasonings to taste. She recommends adding the remaining 1/8 tsp, if too mild.
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.
After the logs have set roll in herb mixture and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
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.
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.
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)
Preheat oven to 425° degrees. Wash and dry squash. Slice squash in half from tip to stem and scoop out seeds.
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.
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.
Add prepared rice. Stir until rice is warmed through.
Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the vegan goat cheese. Season with salt and black pepper.
When done, remove squash from oven and reduce heat to 350°.
Divide mixture between squash halves. Top each squash with vegan parmesan cheese and return to oven. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley. Serve warm.
The sausage mixture can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.