Green Chilies Casserole

Green Chilies Casserole

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

“Green Chilies Casserole”

A favorite from my mother’s kitchen remade Betsy’s way!

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large orange or red bell pepper
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional, but yields a beautiful “cheesy” taste)
8 ounces crumbled tempeh
1 8-inch yellow squash, diced
8 cups loosely packed chopped kale
1 15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
8 cups corn chips, coarsely crushed by the handful (I used Xochitl Organic White Corn Chips)
16 ounce jar salsa verde
7 ounce can chopped green chilies
1 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream + additional for garnish
Optional garnishes: chimichurri sauce and/or sprigs of fresh cilantro

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a large casserole dish. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, sea salt, and pepper, and saute, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes or until softened. Then add in order the following ingredients, sautéing and stirring about 3 minutes between each: bell pepper and garlic, spices and tempeh, yellow squash, and kale. Kale may require a couple more minutes of cooking time. Then stir in remaining ingredients and heat through. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and bake for 20 minutes, covered. Serve garnished as desired.

Yields 6-8 servings.

Visit Betsy at www.TheBloomingPlatter.com.

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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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Vegan Tacos with Chipotle Tofu

Vegan Tacos with Chipotle Tofu

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

“Vegan Tacos with Chipotle Tofu”

Believe it or not, this recipe was inspired by a “bean bowl” I enjoyed from a southwestern concession at the Atlanta airport.

I ordered their orange tofu version with grilled veggies, black beans, cilantro, and salsa, and the combination was outstanding, and not just because I was starving for something fresh on a day of travel!

I love to saute tofu—but you could also bake or even grill it—for stuffed soft tacos, the aforementioned bean bowl, a burrito, an enchilada, or however your heart desires.

Vegan Tacos with Chipotle Orange-Marinated Tofu
Chipotle Orange-Marinated Tofu (recipe follows—prepare the day before you plan to use)
1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu (chopped)
1 can rinsed and drained black beans (I like to have these ready to go in advance, and I like to saute a small onion in a tablespoon of oil, add beans, heat through, and lightly mash leaving some beans whole)
8 6 inch corn tortillas
Approx. 2 cups tightly packed fresh, raw, stemmed kale leaves, finely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
Chipotle Orange Sour Cream (recipe follows)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
Approximately 5 tablespoons lightly salted and roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Lightly warm each tortilla shell in a dry skillet over medium-high for a few seconds on both sides. Fold and place two on each serving plate, folds touching. Fill each with 1/8 of the beans, kale, tofu, and tomatoes. Drizzle with Chipotle Orange Sour Cream, and tuck in 1/8 of the tofu leaves. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve immediately.

Chipotle Orange-Marinated Tofu
Juice and zest of one large navel orange
Juice and zest of one medium, lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chilies in adobo), or to taste (it’s got some heat!)
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt to taste (don’t skimp!)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
14 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed and drained between paper towels, and cut into 12 cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients together, except tofu and oil, in a non-reactive bowl or carton, taste and adjust seasoning, add tofu, turn over a couple of times, and marinate over night, covered, turning occasionally if you think about it. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high, add tofu cubes and half of marinade (reserve remaining marinade), and saute without disturbing two to three minutes on one side or until lightly golden brown.

Flip, and cook two to three minutes more on the opposite side. (It is not necessary to brown all 6 sides.) Check, occasionally to make sure that tofu isn’t browning too quickly but, if it is, adjust the heat. When cool enough to handle, cut each cube into quarters.

Chipotle Orange Sour Cream:
Reserved Chipotle-Orange Marinade
1/3 to 1/2 cup Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Whisk together an refrigerate, covered, until serving time. Yields 8 overstuffed tacos (2 per serving)—eating in the airport optional.

Visit Betsy at www.TheBloomingPlatter.com.

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

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