Loaded Avocados

Loaded Avocados

“Loaded Avocados with Tofutti Chipotle Crema”

This is a guest post by Bianca Phillips.

Perfect for any fiesta . . . get a load of these “Loaded Avocados!”

What you’ll need . . .

Loaded avocados:
3 ripe but firm avocados
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

For the crema:
1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tsp. onion powder

How to make it . . .

Split the avocados, remove the pits, and place them rounded-side down on a plate.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook on medium-heat for 2-3 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 10 minutes to allow the mushrooms to cook down and the onions to begin to caramelize. Add the garlic, and saute a couple more minutes or until mushrooms and onions are soft.

Add the black beans, water, nutritional yeast, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until heated through and most of the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, peppers, and onion powder. Blend until smooth.

To serve, spoon about a cup of the bean mixture over the avocado halves. Drizzle with chipotle crema and top with salsa.

Serves 3.

Visit Bianca at www.vegancrunk.blogspot.com.

*Note: This is NOT an official recipe from Tofutti Brands, Inc.

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Vegan Seitan and Butternut Squash Casserole

Vegan Seitan and Butternut Squash Casserole

Vegan Seitan and Butternut Squash Casserole

This is a guest post by Betsy DiJulio, author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.

A creamy fall casserole that is special enough for a holiday feast but easy enough for a weeknight meal. The sweet potato chip topping is an updated nod to the vintage “church cookbook” casserole genre.

What you’ll need . . .

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

4 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise into quarters, and then finely diced

Sea salt

2 cups butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 cups seitan in bite-size pieces (*preferably homemade)

10 ounces of frozen green peas, thawed

1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise (try my recipe for vegan mayo)

1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1-4 ounce jar pimentos, drained

1 tablespoon salt-free multi-purpose seasoning

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

Freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces sweet potato chips (I use Terra brand), crushed (I use a small rolling pin)

How to make it . . .

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a large casserole dish. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion, celery, and a pinch of salt. Saute, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to skillet and heat. Add butternut squash and another pinch of salt, and saute, stirring only occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until some of the surfaces are caramelized. Transfer squash to bowl with onion and celery. Add seitan and green peas. In a small bowl, fold together Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, vegan mayonnaise, flour, pimentos, multi-purpose seasoning, sage, and pepper.

Pour over vegetables, and seitan, gently fold together until well, combined, and lightly mound into into casserole dish. Sprinkle evenly with crushed sweet potato chips, and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, covering if edges begin to brown too quickly. Allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

*My secret to the most tender, most flavorful seitan is to season both the seitan dough and the cooking liquid, to use plenty of liquid in the dough, and to NOT knead the dough as long as most recipes call for or it will become very tough. Knead only until ingredients are well-combined; less than 3 minutes.

Yield 6 servings.

Visit Betsy at www.TheBloomingPlatter.com.

*Note: This is NOT an official recipe from Tofutti Brands, Inc.

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Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Cheesecake

Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Cheesecake

“Vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Cheesecake”

This elegant-but-easy (stupid easy!) dish is the perfect way to use up leftover mashed sweet potatoes. Although leftover sweet potatoes are almost unheard of in our house! But after a recent dinner party, we had a little remaining. So this luscious cheesecake was what we whipped up. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, or sliced thin for an appetizer.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Chip Crust:
1 1/2 cups sweet potato chips “crushed” in food processor to yield 1/2 cup or slightly more crumbs
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray. Using a fork, combine the crumbs and butter in a small bowl until butter is completely incorporated. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over bottom of the pan, and then gently press to mostly cover the bottom. Refrigerate while you prepare filling.

Ingredients:

Filling:
12 ounces extra firm tofu, gently pressed (not silken)
8 ounces Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mashed and seasoned sweet potatoes (be sure these have the full complement of vegan butter, sour cream, sea salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups chilled kale pesto (use my delicious Kale, Pepita, and Sage Pesto recipe below or one of your own)

Topping: 1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, 1 tablespoon per each of 8 slices
Garnish: Roasted pepitas
Optional Sidecar: Small clusters of red grapes

Preparation:

Place all ingredients, except pesto, topping and garnish in the bowl of a food processor, and process until thick, smooth, and completely combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.

Gently spread half of filling evenly over crust, being careful not to disturb the crumbs. Top with pesto, spreading evenly, and finish with a final layer of remaining filling, spreading gently to seal to edges of pan. Bake cheesecake in center of oven for about 35 minutes or until edges are set and top appears dry; some minor cracking is to be expected. (If your mashed sweet potatoes were very moist, you may need to cook up to an additional 5 minutes.)

Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before you plan to serve (or heat slices about 30 seconds in microwave), as it is best at room temperature or with some of the chill removed. Loosen edges with a thin knife blade before removing outside ring from spring form pan.

Slice and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a few roasted pepitas. Alternatively, spread the sour cream over the top of the cheesecake and sprinkle with the pepitas before slicing, especially if presenting the entire cheesecake at the table.

Serve, if desired, with small clusters of grapes on the side.

Ingredients:

Kale, Pepita, and Sage Pesto:
6 cups roughly chopped, lightly packed fresh kale
3/4 cup lightly roasted and salted pepitas
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons rubbed sage
Sea salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 to 3 teaspoons maple syrup
3/4 cup olive oil

Preparation:

Place all ingredients except olive oil in bowl of food processor and pulse until very finely chopped, almost a paste. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until all ingredients are completely combined, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary. Adjust seasoning if desired and chill, covered.

Yields 8 servings.

Created exclusively for Tofutti Brands, Inc. by Betsy DiJulio over at The Blooming Platter.

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Spinach Three Bean Dip & Enchilada Filling

Spinach Three Bean Dip & Enchilada Filling

This is a guest post by Betsy DiJulio, author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.

“Spinach Three Bean Dip & Enchilada Filling”

This recipe is ultra-flexible and non-vegan approved!

1 1/2 cups Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1 1/2 cups vegan mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 envelopes (1 box) dry vegetable soup mix
2-9 or 10 ounce boxes frozen spinach, thawed, and moisture squeezed out
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can white beans or dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Pinch coarse sea salt to taste

In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients, separating strands of spinach with your fingers as you add it. Check for salt and add a pinch to bring out flavors if desired.

Serve cold with your favorite dippers. Or, roll up inside tortillas, place in an oiled pan, top with your favorite homemade or prepared salsa verde or enchilada sauce, bake about 20 minutes and serve topped with more Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, and the garnish if your choice. I like a slice of lime and a few toasted pepitas. You can use any beans you prefer, even all of one kind.

Visit Betsy at www.TheBloomingPlatter.com.

*Note: This is NOT an official recipe from Tofutti Brands, Inc.

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Middle Eastern Pomegranate & Eggplant Melange

Middle Eastern Pomegranate & Eggplant Melange

This is a guest post by Betsy DiJulio, author of The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes.

“Middle Eastern Pomegranate & Eggplant Melange”

This versatile Middle Eastern-inspired mash-up is equally addicting as a creamy dip, stuffed in a pita or baked pepper, or piled atop a grilled flatbread.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion (or 1/2 of a medium), diced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium eggplant, stemmed and diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine (a Merlot is nice)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Optional: 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses or tamarind syrup (available at Middle Eastern/Mediterranean markets)
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
Optional: 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste; available on the international aisle of grocery stores)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Zest of 1 large lemon

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add eggplant, garlic, and another pinch of salt plus a pinch of pepper, and sauté, still stirring frequently, until some color develops, about 3 minutes.

Add wine, balsamic vinegar, and optional molasses or syrup, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until eggplant is fairly soft. Mash firmly with a potato masher. Stir in tomatoes and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Mash the mixture again.

Add Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, and optional tahini, and cook, stirring, until melted and completely combined. Stir in all remaining ingredients until heated through and flavors are well-combined. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve as a dip, stuffed in a pita or baked pepper, or piled atop a grilled flatbread. Garnish, if desired, with olives, fruit (fresh or dried), fresh herbs, nuts, etc.

Optional garnish: olives, fruit (fresh or dried), fresh herbs, nuts, etc.

Yields 6 servings.

Visit Betsy at www.TheBloomingPlatter.com.

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