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Vegan Cream of Potato Soup


This post is sponsored by The Little Potato Company.

This vegan cream of potato soup is lush, satisfying, and full of hearty chunks of potato. It's everything a great bowl of cream of potato soup should be, vegan or not! Its simplicity lets the flavour and velvety texture of Creamer potatoes shine. Enhancing simple ingredients is key to a cream of potato soup that's charmingly laidback, not bland or boring.

a bowl of vegan cream of potato soup

Cream of potato soup is a classic and endlessly adaptable soup. Having a go-to recipe that you can make your own is essential. If you haven't already found yours, I hope you find that this recipe is "the one"!

Sometimes veganizing cream-based soups and sauces can be difficult to get just right. The easiest and most obvious option is to substitute non-dairy milk for cream. Depending on the brand and type of non-dairy milk, sometimes there's a vague sweet or vanilla-y flavour, even with plain unsweetened varieties. It's mild, but it quietly whispers, "This soup is vegan, isn't it?". It's something you want to avoid in any case, but in an understated soup like cream of potato? It's essential.

Combining a couple of elements to thicken and add creaminess tastes more subtle and doesn't take away from key flavours. For cream of potato soup, that's easy. Just blend some of the Creamer potatoes into the soup. Using Creamer potatoes, cashew cream, and a roux + broth to thicken and add creaminess, you can use less of each. That makes for a base that doesn't taste vegetable broth-y, nutty, or vanilla-y with that hint of sweet. It will taste like potatoes though, this is a potato soup after all.

Coming back to the simplicity of cream of potato soup: the potato prep. Using Creamer potatoes cuts the usual potato preparation down to: opening a bag of Little potatoes and dumping them into a pot. Easy.

a bowl of vegan cream of potato soup and a bag of Little potatoes

Little potatoes are pre-washed. Their skins are nutritious but also thin and delicate — no peeling required (even in recipes where potatoes are mashed or blended, like cream of potato soup!) They're measured, right down to the millimetre, so that every Creamer in the bag is cooked to tender potato-perfection, all at the same time.

I used The Little Potato Company's Blushing Belles but I'd also recommend Boomer Gold in this recipe. But you can experiment with any of their varietals if you like! Check them out on the Little potatoes' Products Page.

Making the soup:

To start the cashew cream, soften raw cashews before blending them. Since I lack the foresight to plan meals ahead of time, I don't soak raw cashews overnight. Just measure them into a bowl and cover them with plenty of boiling water (so that it stays hot). Set them aside to soften while you start cooking the soup. (Boiling the cashews on your stovetop affects the colour and texture more than this "quick soak" method.)

Simmer the Little potatoes until they're just tender and then set them aside. In the same pot, sweat the mirepoix + garlic with vegan butter or oil. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute or two before gradually adding your favourite vegetable broth.

adding vegetable broth to the soup

Blend the softened cashews with water (for cashew cream, use a 1:2 ratio) until creamy. Add some of the Creamer potatoes and blend them briefly. They don't need to be perfectly smooth, don't over blend them! How many Creamers you blend into the soup is up to you. Blend a quarter of them for a creamy soup with lots of hearty potato chunks, or up to a third for a thicker, potato chowder consistency.

Blending the cashew cream with a quarter of the cooked potatoes.

Chop the remaining Creamer potatoes into nice, chunky pieces and add them to the pot. Give the soup a stir, a taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt to bring out the flavours and white wine vinegar to brighten them up.

a bowl of potato soup with garnishes
Garnishes optional! A swirl of cashew cream, a drizzle of olive oil, and chopped herbs adds a little elegance to this casual potato soup.
Serving Suggestion:

For a nourishing lunch, serve a hot cup of potato soup with some grainy crackers and a big ol' veggie sandwich or side salad. For something a little cozier and relaxed, ladle up a hearty sized bowl and serve it with a crusty buttered baguette.

More vegan potato soup recipes: Little potatoes logo

This post is sponsored by The Little Potato Company.

The Little Potato Company has a new Easy Peazy Recipe Seeker Tool! It's perfect for deciding what to have for dinner tonight. My favourite feature is the "Goes with" filter to find recipes that go with tofu or veggies. Thanks for supporting the brands that support I Love Vegan!

Print Vegan Cream of Potato Soup
  • Author: Brittany Mueller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe Description

This vegan cream of potato soup is hearty and satisfying. It's everything a great bowl of cream of potato soup should be, vegan or not! Its simplicity lets the flavour and velvety texture of Creamer potatoes shine.

Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup (100 grams) raw cashews (plus boiling water for soaking)
  • 1 ⅓ cups (330 ml) water
  • 1.5 lbs (680 grams) Blushing Belle or Boomer Gold Little Potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (or any neutral tasting vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup (120 grams) chopped onion
  • ½ cup (75 grams) chopped carrots
  • ½ cup (60 grams) chopped celery
  • ¾ tsp (3.75 ml) salt
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp (17 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (750 ml) vegetable broth 
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) white wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, cover cashews with boiling water and set aside to soften.
  2. Add Creamer potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer potatoes for 15 minutes, or until they're just tender. Drain and set aside. 
  3. Add drained cashews and water to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. Add ¼ to ⅓ of the boiled Creamer potatoes (depending on your desired consistency) and blend. Avoid over blending.
  4. When the remaining potatoes are just cool enough to handle, chop them into eighths or quarters.
  5. In the same pot used to boil the potatoes, add vegan butter, onions, carrots, celery, and salt. Cover and cook over low heat until tender. Do not brown. Add garlic, cover, and cook for another 2 minutes.
  6. Turn heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the vegetable broth, stirring as you go to prevent lumps. 
  7. Stir in the blended cashew/potato mixture. Add the chopped potatoes and white wine vinegar. Cook on medium-low for 5 minutes. If desired, adjust consistency with water or vegetable broth. Adjust seasoning, adding salt, pepper, and white wine vinegar to taste.

Keywords: vegan cream of potato soup, vegan potato soup, vegan potato chowder

The post Vegan Cream of Potato Soup appeared first on I LOVE VEGAN.

translate | Fri, 19 Mar 2021 06:30:00 +0000

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread


Close up, bird's eye view of a sliced loaf of vegan chocolate zucchini bread on a speckled white plate that showcases the chocolate chunks embedded into the top of the chocolatey loaf.

This vegan chocolate zucchini bread is sweet, rich, and decadent with a fine, moist crumb. Once it's baked, cooled, and given some time to settle in an air-right container, the "crust" is soft, delicate, and almost sticky - like a muffin top or a Starbucks loaf.

There is an entire zucchini hiding in this loaf, but upping your vegetable intake is not this recipe's purpose.

The zucchini's role? Moisture. (And using up zucchinis after you've already eaten them grilled, baked, roasted, sautéed, spiralized, and you can't bring yourself to eat anymore of them.) Zucchinis are cheap and plentiful in the summer. Where I live, it's an affordable vegetable year round. Making zucchini bread is the ideal way to make use of any of those monstrous, late-harvested zucchinis that aren't ideal for other cooking methods.

Left: Bird's eye view of ingredients required to make vegan chocolate zucchini bread on a teak wood cutting board on a marble countertop - a grater, half of a grated zucchini, grated zucchini, and dark chocolate chunks. Right: Decadent chocolate batter topped with grated zucchini that is yet to be mixed in.

Vegan zucchini bread is incredibly easy to make. Preparation takes 15 minutes and then you're ready to pop it in the oven. It freezes beautifully so you can make extra and freeze a few loaves for later.

Left: Close up of a parchment paper lined loaf pan filled with chocolate zucchini bread batter with a sprinkling of dark chocolate chunks down the center. Right: A close up bird's eye view of the fully baked vegan chocolate zucchini bread.

Best tips for making this vegan chocolate zucchini bread
  • Don't squeeze the liquid from the zucchini, that's the key to the bread's moisture! If your zucchini is very dry, give it a quick soak in water before shaking out any excess moisture using a strainer. (Don't squeeze it though, just shake out as much as you can.)
  • Use natural cocoa powder. You can not substitute Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa in this recipe. (More on that below if you're interested ↓)
  • Once you've mixed up your batter, immediately transfer it to a loaf pan and put it in the oven to bake. Don't mix the wet ingredients into the dry until you've preheated your oven and prepared your loaf pan (and your toppings - if using). Once you've mixed the wet with the dry, baking soda's chemical reaction is immediate. You want that reaction to happen as the loaf bakes, not while it sits on your countertop!

Close up shot of chocolate zucchini bread on a round teak cutting board being sliced with a wood-handled serrated bread knife,

"Natural" cocoa powder vs. Dutch-processed (or alkalized cocoa powder)

It's essential that you use natural cocoa powder in this recipe. Baking soda (the leavener in this zucchini bread recipe) is alkaline and requires acidity to do its job. By nature, cocoa powder/chocolate is acidic. Dutch-processed cocoa is treated to be alkaline (you may also see it labeled as "alkalized cocoa powder"). Without natural cocoa powder's acidity, your chocolate zucchini bread won't rise properly!

Natural cocoa powder is lighter in colour and its flavour is rich, chocolatey, and bitter. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is deeper and darker in colour and has a milder flavour.

From big brands, Hershey's and Fry's are good examples of each type of cocoa powder. Hershey's is a natural cocoa powder, Fry's is an alkalized cocoa powder. For this recipe I used Camino's natural cocoa powder (they sell both types). They're a Canadian brand that makes organic, fair trade chocolate products and other baking ingredients.

Close up of a sliced loaf of vegan chocolate zucchini bread on a light sage green and white checked kitchen towel. Typography reads: Zucchini Bread - I Love Vegan.

Notes and Substitutions:
  • Before baking, give your zucchini bread a tempting, "Instagram-y" look by sprinkling roughly chopped chocolate chunks down the center of the loaf.
  • Or top with chopped pecans or walnuts instead!
  • Any non-dairy milk will work. I tested the recipe with both oat milk and cashew milk.
  • Gluten free baking is not my forte so I can't guarantee that using gluten free flour will work. But if you want to experiment with making this zucchini bread gluten free, I'd love to hear how it goes! (If I were to give it a shot, I'd start with a gluten free all-purpose flour blend (rather than using a single ingredient flour.)

Bird's eye view of a loaf of vegan chocolate zucchini bread being sliced with a wood-handled serrated knife. The loaf is on a small piece of parchment paper on a round wooden teak cutting board on a marble countertop.

More vegan recipes like this:

Print Close up, bird's eye view of a sliced loaf of vegan chocolate zucchini bread on a speckled white plate that showcases the chocolate chunks embedded into the top of the chocolatey loaf. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread 5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: Brittany Mueller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe Description

This vegan chocolate zucchini bread is moist, sweet, and decadent. Preparation takes 15 minutes and then you're ready to pop it in the oven! Freezer-friendly.

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (125 ml) non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp (15 grams) ground flax seed
  • 1 cup packed (155 grams) grated zucchini (approximately 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 cup (225 grams) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) canola oil
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (30 grams) natural cocoa powder (do not substitute with Dutch processed/alkalized cocoa)
  • ¾ tsp (3.75 ml) baking soda
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • Dark chocolate chunks or chocolate chips, to taste (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine non-dairy milk and flax. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, natural cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix and set aside.
  4. Once the milk and flax seed mixture has thickened slightly, add the grated zucchini, sugar, canola oil, and vanilla to the bowl.
  5. Once the oven is preheated, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Immediately transfer the batter into the parchment lined loaf pan. If desired, top with chocolate chunks. Immediately put the loaf in the oven and bake for 70 minutes (or until the loaf is cracked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.)
  6. Transfer zucchini loaf to a cooling rack. Wait until cool to slice the loaf. Store in an air-tight container.
Notes

If your zucchini is very dry, give it a quick soak in water before shaking out any excess moisture using a strainer. (Don't squeeze it though, just shake out as much as you can.)

Keywords: vegan chocolate zucchini bread, vegan zucchini bread

The post Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread appeared first on I LOVE VEGAN.

translate | Sun, 04 Oct 2020 21:02:09 +0000

Vegan Broccoli Crunch Slaw


Vegan broccoli slaw salad and a serving spoon in a wooden serving bowl.

Broccoli slaw is a classic summer salad to serve at potlucks and barbeques. This vegan version retains all of the texture, colour, and contrasting flavours of the original. It's an easy crowd-pleaser that takes less than 35 minutes to toss together.

A sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing and a blend of broccoli florets and slaw are the base of the salad. Roasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, crispy tempeh bacon bits, and red onion add flavourful pops of nuttiness, tart sweetness, smoky savouriness, and bite.

An unmixed bowl of ingredients to make vegan broccoli slaw salad.

Preparing the poppy seed dressing takes just 5 minutes in a blender. Blitz the onion with white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the oil to make an emulsion and add a touch of vegan mayo for extra creaminess. Finish off the simple dressing with a spoonful of poppy seeds.

A spoon inside of a jar of vegan poppy seed dressing.

Adding vegan bacon bits is optional. To make crispy vegan bacon bits, pan-fry the tempeh in a generous amount of vegetable oil. Once both sides are browned, break the strips into bits and continue cooking them until they're crispy. Once the "bacon" bits are cooked, drain off the excess oil. Using vegan butter/margarine or too little oil makes for a softer texture. Lightlife's Smoky Tempeh Strips are my go-to for vegan bacon bits and BLT's.

I use a store-bought broccoli slaw mix because it's much easier and more convenient than making it from scratch. It's a colourful combination of shredded broccoli stems, red cabbage, and carrots.

Ungarnished vegan broccoli slaw salad.

Finish up the vegan broccoli slaw by tossing the florets, slaw, cranberries, sunflower seeds, "bacon" bits, and onion together. Mix in the remaining poppy seed dressing. (Maximize flavour by massaging some of the poppy seed dressing into the tops of the broccoli florets.) Just before serving, garnish the broccoli salad with an extra sprinkle of sunflower seeds and bacon bits.

Vegan broccoli slaw salad in a wooden serving bowl sitting on a marble countertop.

Broccoli Slaw Tips and Substitutions:
  • If you won't be serving the salad to a group of people, don't mix the dressing into the broccoli salad right away. It'll last longer if you dress individual portions just before serving.
  • Mellow the red onion so it doesn't overpower the rest of the salad.
  • Soak the chopped onion in salt water and give it a rinse before adding it to the broccoli salad.
  • Swap out the dried cranberries. Add some raisins (golden sultanas are a great option) or dried currants instead. Some chopped apple is another option that adds sweetness and crunch. Choose a super crisp, slightly tart variety like Pink Lady or Honeycrisp.
  • Swap out the sunflower seeds. Add some green pumpkin seeds or chopped almonds instead. Choose salted and roasted nuts/seeds for the best flavour and crunch!
  • Use a natural sweetener in the poppy seed dressing. Natural sweeteners with caramel notes (like maple syrup or coconut sugar) compliments the Dijon mustard in the dressing beautifully.

Close up of a wooden serving bowl full of vegan broccoli slaw salad.

More Vegan Summer Salads

Print Vegan broccoli slaw in a wooden serving bowl. Vegan Broccoli Crunch Slaw

  • Author: Brittany Mueller
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: Salad
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Print Recipe Description

This vegan broccoli slaw salad is full of texture and flavour. Broccoli florets, slaw mix, roasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, smoky tempeh bacon, red onion, and a tangy-sweet poppy seed dressing.

Ingredients Poppy Seed Dressing:
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1 ½ tbsp (21.5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) *coarse sea salt, more to taste
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) canola oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegan mayo
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) poppy seeds
Broccoli Crunch Salad:
  • 3-4 slices (60 grams) tempeh bacon (optional)
  • Canola oil, for pan-frying tempeh bacon (optional)
  • 4 cups (340 grams) broccoli florets
  • 4 cups (1 - 340 gram bag) broccoli slaw, packed
  • ½ cup (70 grams) dried cranberries
  • ½ cup (70 grams) roasted, salted sunflower seeds, plus more for topping
  • ⅓ cup (50 grams) chopped red onion, soaked in salt water and rinsed (optional)
Instructions Poppy Seed Dressing:
  1. In a blender, add white wine vinegar, sugar, onion, Dijon mustard, and sea salt. Blend on high for 20 seconds. Turn speed down to minimum and very slowly drizzle in the canola oil. After incorporating the canola oil, continue blending on low for another 30 seconds. Add vegan mayo and poppy seeds, and blend on minimum until mixed well. Set aside.
Broccoli Crunch Salad:
  1. Optional: Heat canola oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add tempeh bacon strips. Cook tempeh strips until browned, flip, and cook the other side. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break the tempeh into bits. Continue cooking until the tempeh bits are crispy. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add ⅓ of the poppy seed dressing to the broccoli florets. Work the dressing into the tops of the florets.
  3. Adding to the broccoli florets and dressing, mix in the broccoli slaw, tempeh bacon bits (reserve some for topping, if desired), sunflower seeds, red onion, and dried cranberries.
  4. *Add enough of the remaining poppy seed dressing to coat the salad. Add more dressing to taste. Chill.
  5. After the salad has chilled, taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Top with extra sunflower seeds and tempeh bacon bits.
Notes

*If using fine sea salt, start with 2 tsp and add more to taste.

*Dress the salad just a few hours prior to serving.

*If you are not serving the entire salad at once: Combine all of the ingredients but do not mix in the poppy seed dressing. Dress individual portions of salad before serving.

Keywords: vegan, broccoli slaw, broccoli salad, vegan broccoli slaw, vegan broccoli salad

The post Vegan Broccoli Crunch Slaw appeared first on I LOVE VEGAN.

translate | Wed, 08 Jul 2020 05:01:56 +0000

Vegan Italian Pasta Salad


Vegan Italian pasta salad in a dark wooden bowl with salad tossing spoons.
Summer is the time for big batch salads! Potato salad, Greek salad, and pasta salads like classic macaroni or this vegan Italian pasta salad are great for summer.

Close up of fusilli pasta, tomatoes, and herbs in vegan Italian pasta salad.
This vegan Italian pasta salad is quick, easy, and full of flavour. Fusilli pasta, fresh herbs, a colourful array of summer tomatoes, tofu "feta", olives, pepperoncinis, red onion and a basil dressing. It's perfect for summer barbeques and picnics.

A carton of colourful mixed summer tomatoes.
It takes less than 35 minutes to throw together. Make the basil dressing and prepare the tofu while the pasta boils. Prepare the rest of the vegetables while you marinate the tofu and chill the pasta. Once the pasta is cold, toss everything together and you're done!

Vegan Italian pasta salad ingredients in a mixing bowl.

5-Minute Basil Dressing

The tangy basil dressing is based on the vinaigrette in our Greek salad recipe. Just throw everything into a blender and blitz until the dressing is a creamy light green with plenty of basil flecks throughout.

Vegan Italian basil salad dressing in a jar.

Tips for Flavourful Pasta Salad
  • Cook the pasta longer than the directions suggest. Al denté is ideal for hot pasta dishes, but for pasta salads you want to slightly overcook the pasta. The pasta firms up a lot once it's cold.
  • Don't rinse all the starch off the pasta. Give it a super quick rinse with hot water, just passing it under the water once or twice. It'll help the dressing cling to the noodles but it won't pick up so much that it makes the salad dry.
  • Always mix the dressing into the pasta while it's hot and then chill it.
  • Corkscrew pastas like fusilli or rotini are ideal because they have lots of surface area to pick up the flavourful dressing.
  • Soak raw onions in salt water and then rinse. This tames the onion flavour so it doesn't overwhelm the whole salad. If you like a lot of onion flavour, just add more!

Vegan Italian pasta salad in a dark wooden bowl.

Customization Ideas

This vegan Italian pasta salad recipe is a great base for you to customize to your liking. Spinach, bell peppers, pickled jalapenos, green olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes are all great options.

More Vegan Summer Salads

Print Vegan Italian pasta salad in a dark wooden bowl with salad tossing spoons. Vegan Italian Pasta Salad 5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Brittany Mueller
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes + chilling time
  • Yield: 12 cups
  • Category: Sides, Salads
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Print Recipe Description

This vegan Italian pasta salad is quick, easy, and full of flavour. Fusilli pasta, fresh herbs, a colourful array of summer tomatoes, tofu "feta", olives, pepperoncinis, red onion and a basil dressing. It's perfect for summer barbeques and picnics.

Ingredients Basil Dressing:
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) canola oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) water
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) *coarse sea salt
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) garlic powder
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) onion powder
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) sugar
  • ⅛ cup (30 ml) *fresh basil, add more to taste
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) dried basil, add more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
Vegan Italian Pasta Salad:
  • 1 lb (454 grams) fusilli pasta
  • 175 grams (½ block) firm or extra-firm tofu, *pressed and broken up into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp (4 grams) nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 cups (400 grams) chopped cherry tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup fresh herbs (I use basil and flat-leaf parsley), packed and chopped
  • ⅓ cup (35 grams) Kalamata olives, chopped
  • ⅓ cup (55 grams) chopped red onion, soaked in salt water and rinsed
  • ¼ cup (4-5) chopped pickled pepperoncinis (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, but add an extra minute to the cooking time. The pasta should be just slightly overcooked (past al denté). While the pasta boils, prepare the dressing.
  2. Add all of the dressing ingredients (oil, vinegar, water, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, sugar, fresh basil, and dried basil), to a blender. Blend on medium-high speed until the dressing is a creamy light green with plenty of fresh basil pieces flecked throughout.
  3. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a large bowl. Immediately toss the hot pasta with ⅔ of the dressing (enough to liberally coat). Chill.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the *tofu with nutritional yeast. Stir in the remaining dressing and chill.
  5. Once the pasta is cold, mix in the tofu and dressing mixture, tomatoes, olives, chopped herbs, pepperoncinis, and red onion. Chill. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.
Notes

* Be sure to use coarse sea salt. If using fine sea salt, start with a 1½ tsp. Taste and adjust the dressing with more salt as needed. The dressing should still taste strong and salty to adequately season the large volume of pasta.

*If needed, you can prepare the dressing without fresh basil. Increase the amount of dried basil to 2-3 tsp, add more to taste.

*For best flavour and texture, press as much moisture out of the tofu as possible. I like to slice it up before pressing it to increase the surface area. After that, I break it up into small pieces and briefly press it again (using my hands) to further remove excess moisture.

Keywords: pasta salad, vegan pasta salad, italian pasta salad

The post Vegan Italian Pasta Salad appeared first on I LOVE VEGAN.

translate | Fri, 26 Jun 2020 22:41:55 +0000

Vegan Lemon Bars


Vegan lemons bars on parchment paper.

These vegan lemon bars have a simple shortbread crust and a tangy-sweet lemon layer topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. This pretty spring and summer dessert is quick and easy to make. They need just 45 minutes of active cooking time (plus time to chill).

Vegan lemon bar on a cooling rack.

A typical non-vegan lemon bar recipe uses eggs to thicken and colour the lemon layer. In this vegan version, cornstarch thickens and sets the filling and a touch of turmeric adds the lemon yellow colour.

A bit of coconut milk in the lemon layer rounds out the flavour and makes the filling an opaque, creamy yellow. It offsets turmeric's slightly greenish-yellow colour and cornstarch's translucency as a thickener. The bars end up looking like lemon bars (that happen to be vegan) rather than vegan lemon bars. This is great when you're serving someone who's skeptical of vegan baking.

(If you want to, you can swap out the canned coconut milk and use non-dairy milk instead. I prefer using coconut milk but oat, cashew, or soy milk will work too.)

Lemons in a teal bowl.Pouring the lemon layer over the vegan shortbread crust.

Most lemon bars are baked twice - first to cook the crust, and second to set the lemon filling. In this recipe you bake the crust while you make the filling on your stove top - like lemon meringue pie filling. Making the filling on your stove top saves time, ensures you don't over bake the crust, and prevents the lemon layer from soaking into the crust. The lemon layer sets as the bars cool.

Vegan lemon bars on a cooling rack.

Preparation Tips
  • The lemon bars will absorb the dusting of powdered sugar as they sit. Cool the bars uncovered to prevent condensation from forming on top and wait to dust them until you're ready to serve them.
  • For sharp, clean edges, chill the bars before slicing and wipe your knife clean between each cut.
  • Thoroughly clean the lemons before you zest them.
  • When adding the turmeric, less is more. The colour will strengthen as the filling cooks.

A stack of vegan lemon bars on parchment paper.

Print Vegan Lemon Bars 5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Brittany Mueller
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes + chilling time
  • Yield: 1 (9x13) pan
  • Category: Desserts and Baking
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Print Recipe Description

These vegan lemon bars have a simple shortbread crust and a tangy-sweet lemon layer topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Ingredients
  • Approximately 3 lemons, zested and juiced, divided
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
Shortbread Crust
  • 1 cup (230 grams) vegan butter
  • ½ cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 2 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour
Lemon Layer
  • ½ cup (125 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (35 grams) cornstarch
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) canned coconut cream or full fat coconut milk*
  • 1 cup (215 grams) sugar
  • ½ cup (115 grams) vegan butter (like Earth Balance or Melt)
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • Pinch turmeric
Instructions Shortbread Crust
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together vegan butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Gradually mix in the flour to create a soft dough. Do not over mix.
  4. Press the dough into the bottom of your baking dish.
  5. Bake the crust for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Prepare the filling as the crust bakes.
Lemon Layer
  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch to make a slurry. Make sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the coconut milk and add the sugar, vegan butter, lemon zest, and salt.
  2. Turn heat to medium and stir until the sugar and butter melts. Whisk in the turmeric, adding a small pinch at a time, until you achieve a light yellow colour.
  3. Cook the filling, whisking constantly. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to prevent lumps. Cook the filling until it's thick and slightly translucent (about 15 minutes total). Once the filling begins to bubble, test it for doneness by stirring it and quickly removing your whisk - once the lines from your whisk stay visible for 7-10 seconds after pulling it out, the filling is thick enough.
  4. Pour the lemon filling over the shortbread crust. Set bars aside to cool slightly before chilling, uncovered. Once chilled, slice lemon bars. Dust with powdered sugar just prior to serving.
Notes
  • *Canned coconut milk can be substituted with creamy non-dairy milks such as oat, cashew, soy, (or light canned coconut milk/coconut milk in a carton that's intended for drinking).

Keywords: vegan lemon bars, vegan lemon squares

The post Vegan Lemon Bars appeared first on I LOVE VEGAN.

translate | Fri, 19 Jun 2020 00:25:29 +0000

Vegan Greek Salad with Tofu Feta


A serving of vegan Greek salad in a small wood bowl on top of a walnut counter top.

This vegan Greek salad has everything you'd expect! Cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, onion, and crumbled chunks of punchy, flavourful tofu feta marinated in a simple Greek salad vinaigrette.

For best flavour, allow plenty of time for the tofu feta to marinate. Overnight will do, but you can marinate the tofu for up to 72 hours. The tofu feta gets firmer and more flavourful the longer it marinates.

A bowl of torn, pressed tofu marinating in Greek salad dressing and chopped vegetables, tomatoes, and pitted olives on a wooden cutting board.

Preparing the vegan Greek salad: Marinating the tofu feta and preparing the vegetables.

Greek Salad Dressing

The Greek dressing is simple: oil (and optionally, vegan mayo), vinegar, water, sea salt, oregano, garlic and onion powder. Canola oil (or another neutral vegetable oil) and white vinegar make for a clean flavour and sharp tang. A touch of vegan mayo adds a hint of creaminess which helps to change plain tofu into flavourful tofu feta.

A bottle of Greek salad dressing and fresh vegetables on a wood cutting board.

Vegan Greek salad vinaigrette.

Making Vegan Tofu "Feta"

Transform mild tofu into a punchy vegan alternative to feta cheese by removing the water and replacing it with the briney Greek dressing.

Choosing tofu:

I use medium firm (or "traditional") tofu. Before pressing it, medium tofu is silky and full of moisture. Afterwards it's firmer, spongy, and ready to soak up plenty of the flavourful marinade. A good quality firm pressed tofu works really well too, but some brands of firm tofu can have a slightly grainy texture which isn't ideal for making tofu feta.

Prepared vegan Greek salad in a large yellow Pyrex serving bowl.

Pressing the tofu:

Press the tofu to remove as much moisture as possible but don't let it crumble into bits.

Cut the tofu into rectangles to increase the surface area for quicker pressing. Lay the tofu between layers of paper towel and clean kitchen towels. Top with a few heavy books or use a cutting board to make a flat surface for awkwardly shaped heavy objects. When the tofu feels dry and just barely begins to crumble, it's ready.

(To minimize waste, let the kitchen towels absorb the moisture from the tofu. A sheet of paper towel provides a barrier between the tofu and kitchen towel.)

Medium-firm tofu cut into rectangles laying on a kitchen towel. Top row shows pressed tofu (dry to the touch and barely beginning to crumble). Bottom row shows silky, unpressed medium-firm tofu.

Top: Medium-firm tofu pressed until it's dry to the touch and just barely beginning to crumble. Bottom: Before pressing, medium-firm tofu is silky and full of moisture.

Marinating the tofu feta:

Tear the pressed tofu into small uneven chunks. If you've used medium tofu, the texture will be almost chewy now. Mix in some nutritional yeast and top with enough Greek dressing to submerge the tofu.

For optimal texture (and flavour), marinate the tofu feta for as long as possible. The tofu feta gets firmer over time. Overnight is the minimum but I aim for 48-72 hours.

As it marinates, taste test the tofu feta from time to time to decide when it's flavourful enough for you.

A bowl of pressed, crumbled tofu marinating in Greek salad dressing.

Pressed medium tofu, torn into small uneven chunks and topped with Greek salad dressing. The tofu will firm up more and more the longer it marinates.

Preparation Notes

The tofu feta and Greek dressing are the key parts of the recipe but feel free to adjust the ratios and cuts of the vegetables to suit your preference. I prefer my Greek salad to be heavy on the cucumber with halved tomatoes and sliced olives.

Add Greek dressing and tofu feta to the salad just before serving. Once mixed, the dressing begins to break the vegetables down (especially the cucumbers) and they lose their crisp texture.

To prepare individual servings, dish up desired portion of undressed salad and add tofu feta and Greek dressing to taste.

If you're preparing the salad in advance for a potluck or gathering, you can leave the tomatoes and olives whole and cut the other vegetables into large pieces for more longevity.

Two individual servings of vegan Greek salad served in small wood bowls on top of a walnut counter top.

Print Vegan Greek Salad 5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: Brittany Mueller
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes + marinate overnight
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Marinating
  • Cuisine: Vegan
Print Recipe Description

This vegan Greek salad has everything you'd expect! Cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, onion, and crumbled chunks of punchy, flavourful tofu feta marinated in a simple Greek salad vinaigrette.

Ingredients Greek Salad Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) *coarse sea salt
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) garlic powder or garlic salt
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) onion powder
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) sugar
  • ½ tbsp (7.5 ml) dried oregano
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) cracked black pepper
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) canola oil
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) vegan mayo (optional)
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) water
Tofu Feta:
  • 1 (1lb/454g) block medium or firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp (12 grams) nutritional yeast flakes
  • Half of the prepared Greek salad dressing (above)
Greek Salad:
  • 2 cucumbers, quartered and chopped
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or whole
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • ½ of a small red onion, sliced
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives, whole, halved, or sliced
  • Prepared tofu feta and marinade (above)
  • Remaining Greek salad dressing (above)
Instructions Greek Salad Dressing:
  1. In a jar with a lid (or a medium-sized bowl) combine sea salt, garlic salt, onion powder, sugar, oregano, and black pepper. Add canola oil, vinegar, mayo, and water. Shake or whisk well.
Tofu Feta:
  1. Cut tofu into rectangles.
  2. Press the tofu between layered kitchen towels and top with a heavy, flat-bottomed object. Leave tofu to press until it appears dry and some pieces just begin to crumble (about 30 minutes to 1 hour).
    (You may need to swap in fresh, dry kitchen towels if they become saturated before the tofu is finished pressing.)
  3. Use your hands to tear the pressed tofu into small, irregular sized chunks - do not crumble.
    In a food storage container with a lid (or a medium-sized bowl) gently mix tofu with nutritional yeast. Shake or mix Greek salad dressing before pouring ½ of it over the tofu (or enough to fully submerge the tofu).
  4. Marinate overnight, or even longer (up to 72 hours). Taste test as needed to check for desired flavour and firmness.
Greek Salad:
  1. Prepare vegetables. Optional: halve tomatoes and halve or slice olives. Transfer vegetables into a large bowl.
  2. Just before serving, add the tofu and marinade to the salad. Crumble some of the tofu if desired. Add extra Greek dressing to taste. Serve immediately.
Notes

* Be sure to use coarse sea salt. If using fine sea salt, start with a 1½ tsp. Taste and adjust the dressing with more salt as needed. The dressing should still taste strong and salty because it's seasoning a lot of raw vegetables.

Storage: Store tofu feta and dressing separate from vegetables. Once the dressing is mixed with the vegetables they begin to break down and lose their crisp texture.

Preparing individual servings: Dish up desired portion of undressed salad and add tofu feta and Greek dressing to taste.

If you're preparing the salad in advance for a potluck or gathering, you can cut the vegetables larger and leave the tomatoes and olives whole for more longevity. Add the dressing and feta to the vegetables shortly before serving.

Keywords: vegan Greek salad, tofu feta, vegan feta

The post Vegan Greek Salad with Tofu Feta appeared first on I LOVE VEGAN.

translate | Sun, 17 May 2020 18:48:15 +0000
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