In our March weekend of classes at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, we were given The Saucy Vegetarian by Jo Stepaniak, a favorite vegan cookbook author and inspiration. One of our assignments was to choose a recipe from the book and to make it this past month. It was a difficult process as there are so many wonderful recipes for sauces and dressings in Jo’s book, but I decided to take the easy route and make a dressing that incorporated ingredients I had on hand. I also was intrigued by trying a dressing that used sesame oil, as that has never been an oil option I considered for a salad dressing. I chose the sesame cilantro vinaigrette which featured ingredients like sesame oil, cilantro, and fresh lime juice (along with a few more) that came together smashingly! It was tangy, refreshing, and had a very nice savory flavor. I served it over a romaine salad with carrots and toasted pumpkin seeds. Divine!
Natural Kitchen Cooking School
Tuxedo Cat Dinner, Gluten-free, Lunch Ancient Harvest, balsamic vinegar, cream of broccoli soup, Jo Stepaniak, mac and cheese, Natural Kitchen Cooking School, pumpkin seeds, salad, shiitake bacon, spinach, Vegan Vittles 0 Comments
As a lover of macaroni and cheese, it’s always exciting to find a new vegan recipe. We made a vegan baked mac & cheeze adapted from Vegan Vittles by Jo Stepaniak in our latest Natural Kitchen Cooking School class. The recipe got its creamy texture, natural coloring, and nutritional value from cashews, nutritional yeast, and pimientos. In addition to the spices included in the recipe, I added fresh onions, garlic, and cayenne pepper to give it an extra punch of flavor. The cheeze sauce alone can be used for numerous other dishes, such as nachos, or in a small slow cooker for dipping crudites, bread, or crackers. The possibilities are endless!
For the pasta, I used Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Shells. Simply amazing! It is difficult to tell that these shells are gluten-free and they held onto the cheeze sauce like you’d expect them to. The pasta was baked in a 4 ounce ramekin, which made it not only adorable to eat, but also helped to reduce the chance of overeating (as you will want to keep devouring this cheezy goodness)! The dish was garnished with gluten-free bread crumbs, paprika, and parsley.
I served the mac and cheeze alongside cream of broccoli soup topped with shiitake bacon and a spinach salad with english cucumbers, toasted pumpkins seeds, and balsamic vinegar. This is one meal you won’t want to miss! In the words of Corey from Say Anything, “Get ready for greatness, Lloyd!”
For our “Sauces, Dressings, and Condiments” weekend at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School, we were challenged to come up with our own dressing based on the formula in The Saucy Vegetarian by Jo Stepaniak.
Since I had an abundance of parsley in the fridge and a lovely Blushing Peach Balsamic Vinegar by F. Oliver’s (a local oils and vinegars business) in the cupboard, I decided to make this simple salad dressing.
Parsley Peach Balsamic Viniagrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Blushing Peach Balsamic Vinegar
1 TB Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
handful of fresh chopped parsley
Blend all ingredients in a regular blender or with an immersion blender. Serve with your favorite salad or entree.
This was a tangy, sweet, and refreshing dressing to change up the basic oil and vinegar dressings most of us are accustomed to. I’d definitely make it again with some variations with the green herbs added to it. Enjoy!
One of my favorite meals to date since I have been attending the Natural Kitchen Cooking School has been this one. I do not eat nearly as much pasta as I used to back in my college days. Many weeks can go by when I don’t touch the stuff at all since my palate has become more sophisticated and I have learned to do more than just boil water. So the fact that this dish has tickled my fancy says quite a lot.
For our weekend of “Dressings, Sauces, and Condiments,” we were in for a real treat. Some of my earlier experiences with gluten-free pasta were not very positive. Getting the chance to try Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta really changed my opinion of GF noodles. If I didn’t know they were GF, I would have never guessed they were.
I have made many pesto recipes since going vegan, but I have never considered using peas. I do not usually even like peas, so it was a surprise to find myself liking this dish as much as I did. The pesto consisted of pine nuts, olive oil, peas, miso, basil, and a couple of other ingredients. For this recipe, I was too cheap to buy the pine nuts, so I replaced them with slivered almonds. No harm, no foul. Still delicious, creamy, and packed with vitamins A and C. When we made this dish in class, I liked the pesto so much that I literally licked my plate clean. Too good for words!
One of the best (and simplest) recipes to come out of this weekend’s class was for shiitake bacon (from a recipe adapted from Alexandra Jamieson’s Delicious Vitality blog). Neither myself, nor Mr. Tuxedo Cat have any love for mushrooms. We avoid them at all costs usually. This fakin’ bacon is no joke. It’s salty, crispy, very bacon-like, and multifaceted. We have used it on many different dishes since I started making it and Mr. TC even commented that this was his favorite food I’ve made to date and made my tuition all worth it. This is a huge compliment coming from him!
The last recipe we made to complement the meal was cashew parmesan. This “cheese” consisted of only raw cashews, nutritional yeast, and salt. It was a great topping on the pasta and one I plan to use on pizza in the near future. It provided another complexity, depth, and crunch to the finished dish.
This is a meal to make for guests, gluten-free folks, or anyone that loves a great pasta dish. Superb!
An amazing dish we recently made at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School was a korma recipe adapted from The Indian Vegan Kitchen Cookbook by Madhu Gadia. I generally do not cook much Indian food as it’s usually too spicy for me. But this dish was excellent (if you just keep the cayenne pepper to a minimum). It was a hearty stew made with veggies like green beans, cauliflower, peas, and carrots. Cashews, almonds, and coconut milk really rounded out the flavors and gave it a creamy consistency. The recipe called for raisins, but I used currants instead. Even though I didn’t have the fresh ginger necessary, ground ginger worked well as a substitute.
I served it over brown rice with a side of sauteed kale. I would definitely make this dish again and would reconsider making some other Indian dishes, with some alterations in spices and heat level.
Overall, we’d rate this dish as 3 1/2 out of 5 carrots on the veganlicious scale.