Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup


Vegan Italian Wedding Soup
During these long-long-long...did I say long...cold months? Great to come home after a tiring day working, to have something comforting. Comforting to help keep you cozy and warm at night. Soup is a natural winner! With it's hearty ingredients and rich steamy broth you are all set for a warm up. This recipe shows you how to make a traditional and beloved soup that has everything you would want from a comforting soup. Traditional called Italian Wedding Soup. The term "wedding soup" is a mistranslated of the Italian language phrase "minestra maritata" ("married soup")," which is a reference to the fact that green vegetables and meats go well together. Seeing that this recipe is a vegan remake I think the recipe lives up to it's famous name. It's filled with veggies and vegan meatballs in a flavorful broth. These ingredients definitely go well together and will make anybody ask for seconds! Easy to make and makes plenty to put in the freezer for quick reheat meals on the go. Serve it along side your favorite crusty bread and remember to go back for seconds...or thirds, your body will thank you for the warm up. Enjoy!

Vegan Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients


For the meatballs:

1 package (tub) LightLife vegan ground sausage
1/4 cup vegan bread crumbs
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dill (fresh or dried)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tablespoon vegan Parmesan 
1-2 green onions, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons vegan milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the soup:
2 Tablespoons oil (your choice)
1 medium yellow onion
2 large carrots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 stalks celery (plus leaves), cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 large clove garlic, minced finely
10 cups vegan chicken stock
1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
1 cup small pasta, such as tubetini or stars
16 ounces baby spinach, washed 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees

Meatballs
To start, place the ground vegan sausage, bread crumbs, vegan milk cornstarch garlic, parsley, green onion, dill, nutritional yeast, vegan Parmesan, salt, and pepper in a bowl and combine gently with a fork (or your hands).

*This step is fun off the kids to help with, messy but fun!

With a Tablespoon, roll and drop vegan meatballs onto a greased sheet pan.



*They don't have to be perfectly round.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, until cooked through and lightly browned. Set aside.





Soup
Chop and prepare the vegetables for the soup. 

Among the veggies: 3 garlic cloves, 1 for soup & 2 for meatballs
Carrot
Celery with Leaves
Onions
Washed & Prepped Spinach
In the meantime, for the soup, heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and herbs and saute until softened, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.



Add the vegan chicken stock and bring to a boil.



Once the veggies in the soup have become tender. Add the pasta the simmering broth and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the pasta is tender.







Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer for 1 minute. Taste for salt and pepper.



Stir in the fresh spinach and cook for 1 minute, until the spinach is just wilted.




Ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle each serving with extra vegan Parmesan. Serve along side your favorite fresh crusty bread. Great served after a long day and freezes perfectly for quick on the go reheat meals. Nothing better than a homemade soup from the heart. Enjoy!

Ready to Serve Soup

-Amy

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vegan Maple Whole-Wheat Bread


Vegan Maple Whole-Wheat Bread

I think most comfort foods are either served on bread or on the side with a dish. Bread is an indulgent treat and a favorite for anyone that brown bagged it in school. With this recipe you get two big loaves of whole wheat bread that can be served with your favorite stews or made into a delish sandwich of your choice. The beauty of making your own bread is insuring that it is fresh, completely vegan, and you know there are no preservatives. It is a labor of love but the results don't lie. When you know what goes into scratch made items, you feel better about what is going into you body. Serving your love ones something wholesome and at the same time, nutritious. This recipe goes great with vegan butter and jam, vegan lunch meats, or along side a big bowl of stew. A perfect recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Enjoy!

Vegan Maple Whole-Wheat Bread

Ingredients


3 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 envelopes active dry yeast (1/4 ounce each)
Around 4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
Around 4 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 Tablespoons salt
1/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup Vegetable oil, plus more for bowl and pans

Directions

Microwave 3 1/2 cups of water for about 1 to 2 minute in a microwave measuring cup until it reaches 110 degrees. Put yeast into the measuring cup, add about 1 teaspoon of the sugar to the yeast into the warm water. Whisk and let sit for about 10 minutes, the yeast foams up and double.


Attach the dough hook to your Kitchen Aid mixer and add 4 cups of the whole-wheat flour, the wheat germ, flax, and salt to the mixing bowl; turn the mixer on stir speed speed and mix together. 


Add the warm water and yeast mixture and the oil and incorporate the mix.



Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn to speed 2 and begin to add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough cleans the sides of the mixer bowl and clings to the hook. Continue kneading on speed 2 for about 2 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky.




Turn the now semi-formed sticky dough onto a floured work station and knead lighting until formed into a large less sticky ball. 



Spray top of dough and sides of mixing bowl with a light coat of non-stick spray or oil, turn the dough over and spray the top. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place into a warm, draft free spot for about 1 hour or until doubled. I used my oven that is not on.


After the hour has passed, punch down and turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Separate into two pieces, cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. When 10 minutes are up, uncover and flatten into a rectangle and roll up. Pinch the seams together and tucking in the ends. Spray two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray or grease with oil and place the shaped loaves into the pans. Cover the tops of each loaf evenly with oatmeal. Put in a warm spot and allow to rise for 30 to 45 minutes more. 



Bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.

*If tops are browning too quickly during the last 30 minutes of baking, tent with aluminum foil. 

When the bread is ready to come out of the oven, remove and transfer pans to a wire rack, and let cool 5 minutes. Once 5 minutes have passed, turn out the loaves onto the rack to cool completely before serving. Serve with your favorite bread dishes, perfect for a morning breakfast with vegan butter and jam. Enjoy!

Ready to Serve Bread

-Amy






Monday, March 17, 2014

Vegan Red Velvet Pound Cake


Vegan Red Velvet Pound Cake
What's better then pound cake? Not much...a moist and buttery cake all in one. A perfectly old fashion dessert that has been served for as long as I can remember. It strikes a nerve in our hearts for the memories we have with it. Whether you enjoyed it shortcake style with strawberries or by itself while standing in front of the fridge...What? Oh you know you have do that too! This recipe shows you how to make that old fashion dessert, but with a new spin. This new pound cake recipe combines the love of red velvet, with the moist and rich taste with a creamy glaze all over. You will be going back for seconds and wondering if it's okay to eat it for breakfast...I won't tell if you do, I promise. Don't forget that this recipe makes two loaves, great to share with a loved one or as a nice homemade gift. Serve after dinner with an adult beverage or serve to the kiddos with vegan milk. However you serve it, you will be sure to walk away from your plate happy tummy. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup vegan butter or shortening, at room temperature
1/3 cup vegan sour cream
2 Tablespoons vegan cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons The Vegg with 1/2 cup hot water (Equal to 4-5 Eggs)

3 cups flour
1/3 cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup vegan milk with 1 3/4 tsp vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vegan friendly red food coloring (beet juice), to desired color

Glaze
2 cups organic confectioner sugar 
4 Tablespoons vegan milk
2 Tablespoons vegan cream cheese, softened

Directions

Hear the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans.

Cream the vegan butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.



With the mixer on medium speed, add the vegg, vegan sour cream, and cream cheese .





Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the vegan buttermilk mixture and vanilla. Add the flour and vegan buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.







Only you have it mixed, add in the red coloring and cocoa powder and mix well to combine.






Once you are ready to bake, divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops.



Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let them cool before removing them from the pan. Once cooled down, let them cool completely on a rack.


Glaze
Combine the confectioners' sugar and the vegan milk in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. 







Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides. Set to rest and let the glaze harden. 



Once the cakes are set up, cut to serve. Pair with an adult beverage or a big glass of vegan milk. Refrigerate and enjoy again and again. Enjoy! 

Ready to Serve Pound Cake