Cannellini Bean & Kale Quiche

One of my friends brought over a cannellini bean and spinach dip for Thanksgiving which was amazing, and I thought, this would be a good creamy filling for a quiche! Most recipes use silken tofu to get that consistency but I found the beans were just right. And having lived in France for 2 years, I miss quiche and have never tried to make a vegan version. I even made the crust from scratch, which was surprisingly easy and cheaper than a store bought crust.

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 7 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp soy milk

Preheat oven to 400. Put all ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix with a fork until all the flour is dampened, then press the dough against the bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate, making sure it’s even and there are no holes. Cover with foil and bake for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 4 minutes until the dough is set.

For the filling
  • 1 cup cooked cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1 12 oz jar artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup daiya mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • paprika
  • salt

Bring the temperature of the oven up to 425. In a processor, add all the ingredients except the onions, pepper, and mushrooms. Process it up until it’s creamy. Saute the remaining ingredients in a saucepan with some olive oil until the onions start to get translucent, about 4 minutes. Layer the bean mixture and onion mixture in the pie crust, adding a sprinkle of daiya cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

Bon appetit!

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Dilled Spaghetti Alfredo

A spontaneous weeknight dish that was super satisfying and comforting. We wanted spaghetti but were at a loss for what kind of sauce to use. But thanks to the versatility of nuts, voila a delicious creamy sauce with a little herby kick!  And everyone knows about the powers of quinoa. I always opt for quinoa noodles if I have the chance, for all the added nutritional benefits.  The ingredient list is a little long, but most was all stuff I had lying around in my cupboards and which every vegetarian probably has on hand.

Vegan Dilled Spaghetti Alfredo (makes about 4 servings)

For the sauce (makes about 3 cups):

  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup dill
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt, black pepper, paprika, and a pinch of nutmeg

Process everything up until creamy.

For the pasta, you’ll need:

  • 4 oz of quinoa spaghetti
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced
  • tempeh crumbles (I know I use these in like every recipe but they’re so good!)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup of daiya mozzarella cheese
  • olive oil
  • a splash of white wine (for deglazing)
Start by cooking the onions in some olive oil over medium heat until they start to get soft and translucent. Add the green pepper and cook another 5 minutes. Add a splash of wine to deglaze and let it cook uncovered another 2 minutes. Add the onions and peppers to the tempeh crumbles and cook another minute. Toss all the remaining ingredients together with the spaghetti and about 1/2 of the sauce (more if you like it saucier!) Warm over low heat until the cheese melts. Sprinkle some sauce on top and serve!

The $5 Challenge Dinner

I decided to take the $5 Slow Food Challenge and cook an easy, healthy, vegan, and most importantly, CHEAP meal for a few friends this weekend. This is a recipe from a previous post, Mexican Pizza but with black beans this time, and some leftover corn on the side. I chose it because it was the cheapest thing I could think of to make from scratch without having to buy too many ingredients, and everyone loves pizza (duh.) Plus, it went perfectly with my new Mexican tablecloth that I just got while on vacation last week!

The goal was to spend less than $25 to feed five people, and I was actually under budget if I don’t count the spices and olive oil that were already in the cupboard. The flour, cornmeal, and yeast were bought in bulk from the Bushwick Food Coop, which is why they’re so cheap. It pays to join a local coop!

I froze the bananas and put them through my champion juicer on the homogenizer setting to make a custard for dessert. I know not everyone has a juicer, but you could also just use a food processor or blender to make a creamier pudding.

Here’s a recap of what I spent, including for dessert:

  • 3 bananas – $0.93
  • 2 green peppers – $1.91
  • 1 bunch of cilantro $1.79
  • 1 avocados – $2.00
  • 1 bag black beans dry – $1.29
  • 1 tomato – $0.88
  • 1 bag yellow onions – $1.99
  • 4 ears corn – $2.67
  • 1 block tempeh $2.00
  • 1 cup cornmeal  – $0.36
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour – $0.68
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast – $0.12
  • 1 can tomato paste – $1.29
  • 1 bag daiya cheddar cheese shreds – $4.49

And my total was just $22.40 (plus pizza leftovers for breakfast and lunch yesterday!) I did my best to use organic, local stuff, but I don’t get my CSA share until Wednesday so I went to my local grocery store for the veggies. Surprisingly, they had a small selection of local vegetables.

So all and all, success. And Paul got to toss the pizza dough.

Look how happy everyone is to eat a $5 vegan dinner. Take that, value meals!

Red bean and Tempeh Sausage Mexican Pizza

Hurricane pizza! I’ve been stuck inside all weekend because of hurricane “Irene.” Luckily we didn’t really feel any bad effects and just got to spend a weekend at home cooking and veggin out (sorry for the bad pun.) Since there was no going out to the grocery store to buy a pre-made crust, this one is made from scratch but was surprisingly easy, and cheaper.

And I had a few visitors surprise me as I was peeling the husks off the corn: caterpillars! That’s what you get from fresh local corn without pesticides. Good thing I ate the corn right away or they would have eaten all my kernels! But those sneaky guys left plenty for us.

I used red beans for the base because I just happened to have a batch in the fridge that I made a few days ago in the pressure cooker (see my recipe here.) But you could just as well use black or pinto beans.

The tempeh sausage is from a recipe I really like and use a lot from the Post Punk Kitchen. You can use them in a lot of different ways and add or leave out any spices you want.

Serves about 3, or 7-8 slices

Cornmeal pizza dough (adapted from this recipe, without the sugar)

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups unbleached whole wheat flour plus more, if necessary
  • 1 cup cornmeal, plus more for dusting pan
In a large mixing bowl combine yeast with water and whisk. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour and mix well. Add the 1 cup of cornmeal and all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. Transfer the dough over to a floured work surface and knead dough for about 5 minutes, adding enough additional flour if needed until the dough is elastic and not too sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 2 hours.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into 2 portions (for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness. If you save the dough, just keep it covered with a towel in the fridge. If it’s too dry or hard when you take it out, just add some water and knead it until it’s the right consistency.

For the toppings

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small green bell peppers
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of tempeh sausage crumbles
  • 1 1/2 cups of red beans
  • 3 ears of corn, husks removed and dropped in boiling water for about 4 minutes, and kernels removed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup daiya pepperjack cheese
  • olive oil
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 450º. Cook the onions slowly in the olive oil with a little salt on the stove over medium-low heat for about 7-10 minutes so they begin to get soft and slightly caramelized. Add the green peppers and cook for another 4 minutes, stirring often.
Now you’re ready to assemble the pizza! Add layer of beans, followed by the tempeh, onions and peppers, corn, tomatoes, and cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and put in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the crust is golden around the edges. Garnish with cilantro.

Grilled Zucchini, Chioggia Beet and Daiya Pesto Quesadillas

I still can’t get over the fact that I finally found a vegan cheese that I like and that actually melts and is creamy, so naturally I’ve been putting Daiya on everything! And basil galore from the CSA means lots of pesto lately. Put those two things together in between some corn tortillas with some yummy end of summer veggies and you have a super easy weeknight meal, which is even easier if you have a sandwich press or george foreman grill. I have never had one of these but I just moved in with my boyfriend, who has one and it’s so great! It sounds kind of lazy to cook veggies on it but it grilled the zucchini perfectly (works well with eggplant too.) Plus you get those pretty grill marks without having to have a fancy backyard with a grill!

Here’s what I used. This makes about 5/6 quesadillas (I used the Ezekiel Sprouted Corn tortillas which are kind of small though so maybe less if you use bigger ones.)

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into thin 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 medium chioggia beet, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Daiya cheese (I used the mozzarella one)
  • corn tortillas
  • splash of lemon juice
  • pesto (see my recipe here)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the beets in a pot with enough water to cover them and a splash of lemon juice and bring the water to a boil. Bring heat to medium and allow the beets to simmer for about 25 minutes until they’re tender and you can poke them with a fork. Run under some cold water and let them cool off.

While the beets are cooking, combine about 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Brush both sides of the zucchini slices and put on the grill, turning over once, until they have nice grill marks and are kinda soggy (about 3-4 minutes per side.)

Spread some pesto on a tortilla and layer zucchini, beets and cheese. Fold the quesadilla in half and put it on the grill until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.