Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you follow my Facebook, you’ll know that Sundays are my roasting days.  I’ll pick up various veggies at the market and spend the day roasting to have a ready made supply for the week.  The veggies vary depending on what looks good and what I’m craving, but usually always include potatoes and onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts.  Sometimes I add spices, sometimes they are plain.  Sometimes I add oil, other times I leave it off.  Today I was in a garlicky mood, so I pressed some garlic to kick it up a notch and it turned out very well…not that any kind of roasted Brussels Sprouts would be bad in my opinion.  I also did the same with the cauliflower today and made the correlating recipe found here.

Alt=”Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Brussels Sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
  • 10-15 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place Brussels Sprouts and pressed garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil and toss well to coat.

3. Spread Brussels Sprouts in one layer on a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from oven, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss. Place the baking sheet back in the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle another pinch of salt and toss.

(Serves one if you’re me, but yields approximately four cups/servings)

Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe Card

Alt=”Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Oil Free Asparagus Soup

Lately I have become a bit lazy with my eating habits.  I was on work travel, then came home with a killer ear infection, which led to a loss of hearing, ringing, and some pain.  Then hubby was gone on work travel for a week.  Between juggling two kids and doctors appointments to try to figure out this whole ear thing, and working full time, I turned to frozen Amy’s meals, processed snack foods, and pretty much all the vegan junk food that was easy and fast.  Not really the best idea when you are trying to heal your body.

I had an ENT appointment that eased some of the ear trouble and decided I really needed to get back on track.  My body was craving fruits and vegetables.  I could almost hear it screaming, “What the heck are you doing to me,” every time I popped something in the microwave.  In the grand scheme of things, my life is not that hard…my problems miniscule in comparison with what others deal with, but I did know I needed to get back on track.

I wanted something clean and pure, so when I passed a display of perfect asparagus at the market, it clicked.  If you follow my Facebook, you may remember I made this once and forgot to clean the asparagus first and ended up with dirt soup.  Don’t make that mistake.  Clean your veggies!  Hauled back to the store to get another bunch and started over.  I didn’t want to add any more than I had to to this soup so I opted for an oil-free recipe.  The onions and garlic are sautéed in water.  I also used an oil-free vegetable broth.  If you can’t find one, no worries, just use your favorite brand.  After just one bowl, my body felt energized and happy.  It is so easy to make, it may just be a staple in my fridge.  I haven’t experimented with freezing and re-thawing yet, but I’ll update if I do.

Alt=”Asparagus Soup”

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces, yields approximately 4 cups
  • 2 cups oil free vegetable broth
  • salt, to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium non-stick pan, add 3-4 tablespoons of water and the chopped onion.  When the onion begins to soften, add the garlic.  Continue to sauté until fragrant and soft. Add another tablespoon of water if the pan becomes dry.  Do not let onions brown.

2. Add the asparagus and broth to the pan, stir and cover for approximately 5-10 minutes, until asparagus are cooked through.  Stir occasionally.

3. Remove pan from heat and place contents into a high powered blender or Vitamix, reserving one or two pieces of asparagus for garnish if desired.  Blend on high until soup is smooth and creamy.  Salt to taste.

(Yields approximately four cups.  Two large servings, or four small servings)

Asparagus Soup Recipe Card

Alt=”Asparagus Soup”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Herbed Pasta Florentine

My husband and I have been traveling so much for work lately that our fridge has been fairly bare.  I didn’t want to order out and I sure as heck wasn’t going to venture to the grocery store in rush hour with kids in tow to try to put together a family dinner.  The alternative?  I took a quick look at the few things we had in our fridge and pantry, then threw together a meal on the fly.  Sometimes the unplanned really surprises you!  It has carbs, is creamy and garlicky, has the brightness of fresh herbs, and the smokiness of roasted tomatoes…so pretty much the best of all worlds.  Add some vegan bacon and you’ve got a pasta carbonara!  Pair with some garlic bread and you’re in garlic-carb heaven!

Alt=”Herbed Pasta Florentine”

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces penne, uncooked
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cubes Edward and Sons Not-Chicken Bouillon, (or your favorite bouillon cubes)
  • 20 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 drops liquid smoke
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon earth balance
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (approximately 1 tablespoon chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Add 6 cups of water and 4 bouillon cubes to a medium pot and bring to a boil. When boiling vigorously, add the pasta and reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally.

3. In a medium bowl, toss halved tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, liquid smoke, and salt. Once the oven is preheated, place the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes until they begin to break down, flipping halfway through. Turn the oven to a high broil and brown for 2-4 minutes until a small char is achieved.

4. In a large frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance and increase heat to medium high. Add minced garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add chopped sage, rosemary, and thyme and sauté for another 2 minutes.

5. Monitor pasta to see when the desired texture is achieved then remove from heat. Do not drain. Add 1.5 cups of the boiling broth to the frying pan along with the spinach and nutritional yeast. Sauté until spinach is wilted and the sauce becomes creamy. Remove from heat.

6. Drain the remaining pasta. Add the pasta and roasted tomatoes to the frying pan and toss to coat. Serve.

Alt=”Herbed Pasta Florentine”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Bacon

There are lots of different vegan bacon recipes circulating around, but I wanted to share my version.  Mostly, the differences are in the marinade.  I never found one that I really loved, so I just kept experimenting.  I opt to bake mine for a healthier version, however you can certainly fry them in a pan to get that extra crispiness, although you can certainly achieve a crispy piece of bacon from baking.

Eat it plain.  Make a BLT.  Crumble it to get bacon bits as a salad topper.  This stuff is versatile.  I am working on a pasta dish now that can easily be translated into a ‘carbonara’ by adding bacon (recipe forthcoming).  There are some vegan bacon bits you can buy at the store, however a few are made from coconut…and taste like coconut…not the desired taste for bacon, or they are made from a long list of chemicals I can’t pronounce.  I just prefer to make my own.

Alt=”Vegan Bacon”

Alt=”Vegan Bacon”

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Eggplant, peeled and quartered longways

Marinade

  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • cup brown sugar
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 6 drops liquid smoke

Directions:

1. Trim the top and bottom of the eggplant and peel it. Divide the eggplant into four quarters cutting longways. With a mandolin slicer, carefully slice a quarter of the eggplant into thin strips. Set aside onto a papertowl and pat dry. Repeat for the remaining three quarters.

2. While the eggplant is setting, prepare the marinade. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well until the sugar has been fully dissolved.

3. Dip each slice of eggplant into the marinade and lie flat in a 9 x 13 pyrex dish. Repeat for all slices, layering on top of each other. Pour the remaining marinade over the top, close the lid and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, occasionally shaking the container to mix up the settled marinade.

4. When you are ready to prepare, preheat the over to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil and lay each slice flat. Do not overlap slices. This may take 2 to 3 separate batches. Bake until slices are crisp, flipping occasionally. Baking times differ with the thickness of the slices and individual ovens. Some take 10 minutes, others 20. Watch carefully to remove at the correct time.  Alternative cooking option:  fry in a frying pan over medium high heat in oil to desired crispness.

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing

First of all, when your ingredients look like this, you know you’re onto something amazing…

Alt=”Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing”

This salad is so beautiful.  The fresh beet flavor really shines and is enhanced with the light sesame dressing.  A truly divine plant-based dish!

The prep work is hard and can get messy…those red beets can make your kitchen (and your hands) look like a murder scene!  I am prepared now, though, and line my workstation with paper towels and use gloves while grating.  Your hard work will pay off, though, when you finally get to sit down and enjoy a yummy bowl of goodness

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 3 medium red beets, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 2 cups)
  • 3 medium golden beets, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 2 cups)
  • 4 medium carrots, washed, trimmed, peeled, and shredded (yields approximately 1 cup)
  • 2 cups kale, washed and chopped
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted, white and/or black

Dressing

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, grated or finely minced

Directions:

1. Make the sauce first to allow time for the flavors to meld. Grate the garlic and shallot over a small bowl.  I prefer to grate, which allows them to dissolve into the sauce, but it you don’t have a grater or microplane, a fine mince will do.  Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Stir well.

2. Wash all veggies to remove any dirt. Trim, peel, and shred the beets and carrots. Place the shredded veggies in a cheesecloth or paper towel and squeeze to drain excess moisture. Trim and chop the kale. Slice the green onions. Place all veggies into a large bowl and toss to mix well.

3. Pour the sauce over the salad and toss to coat the veggies. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Alt=”Rainbow Beet Salad with Sesame Dressing”

Did you make this recipe?  Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a Greek baked casserole with layers of pasta, meat sauce, and béchamel that is savory with a hint of sweetness.   It is one of my all-time childhood favorites and brings back memories of going into Detroit’s Greektown for a big family dinner when our Greek relatives came into town.

Creating a vegan version of this recipe as a bit harder than you’d think.  Sure you can replace the meat for vegan meat, but creating that distinct pastitsio flavor is tricky.  And how to find a way to replicate that creamy melt-in-your-mouth béchamel is even more challenging.  Usually, I don’t have an issue swapping out ingredients for others, for instance, using rice milk instead of almond, but for the success of this recipe it is imperative that you use the ingredients listed.  Not just any old egg replacer will work here, you need to have the Follow Your Heart VeganEgg.  You also need a beef flavored bouillon, rather than a veggie flavored.  I recommend the Edward and Sons, since that is always my go-to.

Pastitsio truly is a labor of love.  If you have the time, you need to try this vegan version of a Greek traditional classic.  I hope you enjoy.

Alt=”Vegan Pastitsio”

Ingredients:

Pasta

  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, dried
  • 1 egg Follow Your Heart VeganEgg, prepared

Meat Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • 6 cups vegan beef crumbles
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup diced tomato, canned
  • 2 ½ cups crushed tomato, canned
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 cubes not-beef bouillon, Edward and Sons
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Bechamel Sauce

  • 1 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 3 ½ cups non dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • 2 pinch salt
  • 4 eggs Follow Your Heart VeganEgg, prepared

 

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and reduce heat to medium low. Remove from water when the pasta is al dente, as it will cook longer in the oven.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the meat sauce. Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and onion and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the parsley, beef, fresh tomatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon, cinnamon, clove, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover and stir occasionally for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. To begin the Béchamel, bring a medium sauce pan to a medium heat and add the Earth Balance. Once fully melted, remove from the heat and whisk in a tablespoon of flour at a time. You should end up with a small tacky ball of dough once all the flour is added. Place the pan back on the stove at medium low. Slowly whisk in the milk a half cup at a time. Add the nutritional yeast, nutmeg, clove, and salt and stir well. Remove from heat and place in the refridgerator.

5. Prepare 5 Follow Your Heart VeganEggs, setting one aside.

6. When the Béchamel has cooled down, slowly whisk in 4 Follow Your Heart VeganEggs. Be careful not to add the eggs to the mixture if it is still hot. Although they are not ‘real’ eggs, they will still curdle at high heat.

7. Add the one VeganEgg that was set aside to the cooked pasta and stir well. Place the pasta in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

8. Pour the meat sauce over the pasta creating an even layer that covers the pasta.

9. Pour the béchamel over the meat sauce creating an even layer that covers the meat sauce. Sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg and clove on top.

 

10. Carefully place the uncovered casserole onto the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, or until the sides are bubbling and the top begins to brown. Place a baking sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips.

11. When the pastitsio is finished baking, cover and refrigerate. Once cold, cut into squares and reheat to serve. Pastitsio is traditionally chilled before cut into squares to maintain the structure.

(Serves 12)

Vegan Pastitsio Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Pastitsio”

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Cabbage Soup

I love this time of year. Families are bundling up and heading to the pumpkin patch, jumping in piles of fallen leaves, taking wagon rides in adorable costumes…it’s fall!  I don’t know about where you are, but here it seems that our hot and humid weather has turned cold and wet overnight.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the changing seasons and all that comes with it, but it sure is nice to get home, change into pajamas, and warm up.  Some prefer a fire, or a blanket, or a cup of hot chocolate, but since all I do is think about food, I prefer a nice hot bowl of soup.

Cabbage rolls are the epitome of comfort food, but sometimes I am just too darn lazy to do all that work.  Enter cabbage soup.  Same great flavors, simply deconstructed and much easier.  Pretty much you just throw everything into the pot till it’s done.

You can enjoy the soup in its pure veggie form or add the optional sausage for a more traditional cabbage roll flavor.  For me, it depends on my mood.  I used the Lightlife Veggie Sausage which comes in a 14 ounce tube.  When browning, you need to break it up into small pieces with your spatula which does require a bit of work, but worth it in my opinion.  I have tried many vegan sausages, but I really like this one a lot.  First, the flavor is very good.  It also browns well and has a good texture.  Most importantly, it maintains moisture when it cooks, unlike many other brands that can become dry and harden.  You can certainly substitute your favorite brand, some already come in crumbles to save you some work.

Alt=”Cabbage Soup”Alt=”Cabbage Soup”

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped into 1 – 2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce, canned
  • 2 cups crushed tomato, canned
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cubes not-beef bouillon (I use Edward & Sons brand)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown rice, dry

Optional

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 ounces vegan sausage, approximately 2 cups crumbled

 

Directions:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil to medium high and add the onion. Sauté until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. To the pot, add the cabbage, tomato sauce, crushed tomato, tomato paste, water, bullion cubes, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice, stir, and re-cover allowing the soup to simmer for another 30-40 minutes or until the rice is cooked and cabbage is soft.

2. Optional: Heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat in a medium frying pan. Add garlic and sauté until soft. Add vegan sausage and sauté until golden brown. Set aside.

3. When the rice is cooked and cabbage is done, remove from heat and remove the bay leaves. If you prepared the sausage, add to the soup and gently stir. Serve hot.

Cabbage Soup Recipe Card

Alt=”Cabbage Soup”

 

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Grilled Eggplant Sliders with Garlic Horseradish Aioli

As promised, more tailgate food.  Although, I suppose these sliders are not just for tailgates, as they would be just as good at a backyard barbecue…or anytime you have access to a grill really.  Easy to mass produce and quick to make, these are perfect to serve when expecting a crowd…and they disappear quickly.

My family was checking out a new ‘country store’ that opened down the street a few weeks ago.  It has a large aisle full of spices, in which, of course, I spent way too much time.  I saw the powdered horseradish and knew immediately what I wanted to do with it.  I love how the aioli came out, creamy and garlicy with a bit of a horsey kick (I know, I’m lame, but still laughing at my dumb joke anyway).  It pairs very well with the eggplant.  The slider itself is very plain…bread, arugula, eggplant, aioli.  It’s not topped with a whole lot of stuff, simply because it doesn’t need it.

I recommend grilling only one side of each piece of bread.  I love a toasted sandwich, but hate when it is overdone, which is easy to do when toasting both sides of a thinly sliced french bread.  It can feel like eating a sandwich between to crostinis, not what I’m going for here.  By toasting one side, you get the crispness on one side, but the other stays nice and soft and warm.

Mayo or Miracle Whip?  Everyone has their own opinion.  Vegan mayo is no different.  Different brands can taste completely different, in fact for years I thought I didn’t like vegan mayo.  Every one I tried I didn’t care for.  Until I found ‘the one’.  I love Earth Balance Olive Oil Mayo and almost never use anything different.  The kind of mayo you choose really really makes a difference.  Choose wisely.

I included my own basting sauce recipe, but you can probably use a variety of different sauces depending on what you prefer.  I’ve used bottled barbecue sauce in a pinch.  Just as long as it pairs with the aioli, you’re good.  Happy grilling!

Alt=”Eggplant Sliders with Garlic Horseradish Aioli”

Ingredients:

  • 1 french baguette
  • 1 cup arugala
  • 2 baby eggplants

Eggplant Basting Sauce

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • cup soy sauce
  • cup water
  • ½ tablespoon roasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon agave nectar
  • ¼ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • pinch salt

Garlic Horseradish Aioli

  • ¾ cup vegan mayo (I use Earth Balance Olive Oil Mayo)
  • cup non dairy milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons horseradish powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • teaspoon tumeric
  • pinch salt

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients for the eggplant basting sauce in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

2. Combine all the ingredients for the aioli in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

3. Wash the baby eggplant and trim off the tops and bottoms. Cut 1/2 inch steaks. Repeat for the second eggplant. Each eggplant should yield approximately five 1/2 inch steaks.

4. Slice the baguette into twenty 1/2 inch thick slices.

5. Lubricate the grill with sesame oil and heat to medium high. Place the eggplant steaks on the grill and generously brush with the basting sauce. Flip the steaks and generously baste the other side. Flip and baste every few minutes until the steak is done. It will be softened, but not mushy, and have crisp dark grill marks. Meanwhile, lightly toast one side of the bread on the grill.

6. Place a dollop of aioli on each of the non-toasted sides of two slices of bread. To assemble the slider, place one slice of bread toasted side down, top with the arugula, eggplant, and the other slice of bread. Repeat for the remaining nine sliders. Skewer the sliders with a fun or decorative toothpick. Serve on a platter with the remaining aioli for dipping.

(Makes 10 sliders)

Grilled Eggplant Sliders with Garlic Horseradish Aioli Recipe Card

Alt=”Eggplant Sliders with Garlic Horseradish Aioli”

Alt=”Eggplant Sliders with Garlic Horseradish Aioli”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Vegan Calamari with Creamy Old Bay Sriracha Sauce

Football season is upon us…finally!   I love college football and everything that comes with it, especially tailgating.  Tailgating = eating ALL the food.  You should fully expect a slew of vegan tailgate recipes in the next few months.  This one is my favorite, hands down, no question.

This tastes so much like real calamari, it’s incredible.  Trumpet mushrooms are very versatile and have thick meaty stems with a mild neutral flavor that lends itself perfectly to this recipe.  The stems can easily be manipulated to form the ‘O’ (see below).  Cutting the ‘O’s can take a little extra prep time, but sooo worth the labor of love.

The calamari flavor primarily comes from the breading.  The nori and garlic powder add a fishy oceany (I know…not a word) taste.  In the instructions, I suggest to begin frying at medium high heat, as opposed to high heat.  By doing this, the mushrooms cook a bit longer in the oil creating a more rubbery texture that mimics real calamari.  If it comes out too rubbery, increase your heat setting.

I have paired the calamari with a yummy creamy old bay sriracha dipping sauce that is super easy to make.  After living in Maryland for a few years, I can’t help pairing ‘seafood’ with old bay, but there are so many sauces that would work here.  My husband requested either a cocktail sauce or sweet and sour for next time.

Enjoy!

Alt=”Vegan Calamari with Old Bay Sriracha Sauce”

Ingredients:

Calamari

  • 4 trumpet mushrooms, washed
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 ½ cups non dairy milk
  • 10 ounces panko bread crumbs
  • 1 sheet nori
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil

Old Bay Sriracha Sauce

  • cup vegan mayo
  • ¼ teaspoon sriracha
  • ¼ teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

1. Wash the trumpet mushrooms carefully removing all dirt.  Pat dry.   Slice the stems into 1/2 inch thick coins. Set the caps aside. With a sharp knife, carefully create a calamari ‘O’ by removing the center of the stem. The ‘O’ ring should also be 1/2 inch thick. If your mushroom stem is very large, you may be able to get two ‘O’s from each coin.  Although the ‘O’ may seem too thick, it will shrink when frying to the perfect size.

2. Repeat step one for all the mushroom stems and set aside in a large bowl adding the small coins created from the center of each ‘O’ and the caps.

3. Place the bread crumbs, nori, garlic powder, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until the nori and parsley are finely chopped.

4. To prep your fry station set out three bowls, a large pot, paper towel, salt, and tongs. In one bowl, place the flour. In the next bowl, add the milk. In the last bowl, place the bread crumb mixture. Pour vegetable oil into the pot until it is approximately 1/2 inch deep. Lay out paper towel to drain the calamari.

5. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Test the heat level by tossing in a bread crumb. If it begins to bubble, the oil is ready.

6. Place one mushroom in the flour bowl and toss to coat. Then place the mushroom in the milk and dunk until fully wet. Finally, place the mushroom in the bread crumb bowl and cover with the mixture. Move the mushroom to the side of the bread crumb bowl. Repeat until 8 – 10 mushrooms are ready to fry. With the tongs, carefully move the mushrooms from the bowl into the oil. Fry until golden brown, turning occasionally.  By frying over medium high heat, as opposed to high heat, the mushrooms cook longer creating a more rubbery texture that mimics real calamari.  If it comes out too rubbery, increase your heat setting.  Remove from the oil, place on the paper towel and salt to taste right away. Repeat until all mushrooms are fried.

7. For the dipping sauce, combine the mayo, sriracha, old bay, and garlic powder in a small bowl and whisk until fully mixed.

Vegan Calamari with Old Bay Sriracha Sauce Recipe Card

Alt=”Vegan Calamari with Old Bay Sriracha Sauce”

Alt=”Vegan Calamari with Old Bay Sriracha Sauce”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!

Creamy Vegan Roasted Corn Chowder

Soup in the summer?  Hell, yeah!  I am infamous for my love of soup and try to have one in the fridge at all times.  I am also infamous for my love of corn.  I have been known to go to a $30 a plate all-you-can-eat brunch buffet and come back with a giant plate of corn.  Yeah, hubby was less than thrilled with that.  The best part?  I seemed to have passed that love down to my 2.5 year old.  Love it.

It can sometimes be tricky getting a creamy texture in a vegan soup without adding a non-dairy creamer or non-dairy sour cream, which can add a lot of fat.  This recipe allows the veggies to create it for you by blending half and adding it back.  The roasted corn gives a lot of depth and smokiness as well as the oh-so-good sweetness you’d expect from a corn chowder.  Add a pop of color from the zucchini and red pepper, and voila, a beautiful yummy bowl of goodness.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red potato, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk ( I use Enriched Organic Rice Dream)
  • 2 cubes vegetable bouillon ( I use Edward & Sons Non-Chick’n Bouillon)
  • ½ zucchini, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • ½ yellow summer squash, chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 tomato, gutted, peeled and chopped into 1/4th to 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • pinch pepper
  • chives, to garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shuck and rinse corn. Rest an ear of corn vertically in a large bowl and carefully cut the corn off of the cob. Repeat for all ears. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the bowl and stir well. Place the corn on a large baking sheet and spread evenly into one layer. Stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, bake for 50 minutes or until the corn is tender and some are browning slightly. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft, stirring often. Do not let the onion or garlic brown.

3. Add the potato and red pepper and sauté for another 2 to 4 minutes.

4. Add water, milk, bouillon, zucchini, squash, and corn. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low. Take 4 ladles of the soup (a little less than half) and place in a high powered blender or vitamix. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth. Pour the liquid back to the soup pot. Add the tomato and stir well.

6. Add the salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time, tasting in between to season appropriately. I used 2 teaspoons, however this will vary depending on your choice of bouillon. Do not over salt. Add a pinch of pepper. Stir well. Garnish with chives and serve.

(Serves 8)

Creamy Vegan Roasted Corn Chowder Recipe Card

Alt=”Creamy Vegan Corn Chowder”

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you!