ONLINE EXTRA — VEGETARIAN DELIGHTS: Cashew Cream Fettuccine Alfredo with Sauteed Spinach and Cheese Crisps . . . Miso Caper Glazed Salmon . . . Sweet Potato Gnocchi, etc.
By: Herald Staff Report,
Cashew Cream Fettuccine Alfredo with Sauteed Spinach and Cheese Crisps
1½ cups shredded vegan cheese
1 14-ounce package brown rice fettuccine
1 teaspoon neutral-tasting oil
3 tablespoons nondairy butter
2 large shallots, finely chopped
3 cups baby spinach, tightly packed
1 ½ cups unsweetened almond or soy milk
1 cup soy milk creamer
2 cups cashews
¾ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for salting the pasta water
½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon light miso paste (nonbarley)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon dry mustard
3 tablespoons arrowroot powder, plus 2 tablespoons water, whisked to form a slurry
Prepare the cheese crisps: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the cheese on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, 12 to 14 minutes. Set aside to cool completely then break into large uneven pieces to garnish the pasta.
While the cheese is baking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the instructions on the package, generally 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and run the pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again, and return to the pot, tossing with the oil to keep the pasta from sticking together. Set aside in a warm place.
Heat a shallow skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the skillet then add the shallots, cooking until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove the shallots using a slotted spoon, leaving the butter in the pan. Set the shallots aside in a small bowl.
Add the spinach to the skillet and cook over medium heat until just wilted, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Toss the spinach with the fettuccine.
Prepare the Alfredo sauce: In a blender or food processor, combine the almond or soy milk, creamer, cashews, sea salt, black pepper, miso, lemon juice, nutmeg, dry mustard and the cooked shallots. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium heavy-bottom pot and heat over medium heat until warm, 4 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the arrowroot slurry, whisking until the sauce thickens slightly, then remove from heat.
To serve, add sauce to fettuccine and spinach and toss to coat. Serve warm with one piece of cheese crisp per serving.
Note: This recipe is gluten-free.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 693 calories, 14 grams protein, 84 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fiber, 34 grams fat (7 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 6 grams sugar, 715 milligrams sodium.
Miso Caper Glazed Salmon
¼ cup capers packed in brine
¼ cup white miso
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons agave syrup
½ cup mirin
2 pounds salmon filet, pin bones removed
In a medium bowl, crush the drained capers with a fork. Whisk in the miso, olive oil, agave and mirin.
Slice the salmon filet into 8 pieces and marinate the salmon with the miso-caper mixture in a covered dish or resealable bag for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the salmon on the baking sheet and bake until the salmon is opaque and flakes easily, 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 362 calories, 24 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, 22 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 62 milligrams cholesterol; 6 grams sugar, 429 milligrams sodium.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
1 1-pound russet potato
1 1-pound sweet potato
1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as necessary
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
10 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
½ teaspoon dried sage
Ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pierce potatoes all over with a sharp paring knife and bake until knife can be easily inserted into centers, about 1 hour. Let stand for 15 minutes, peel, and mash with a potato masher. Let cool slightly.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Stir in egg, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup Parmesan with a rubber spatula. Add flour and give mixture a few turns with the spatula to form a rough dough, then turn dough onto a floured countertop and knead, adding more flour as necessary, to get a smooth (but slightly sticky) dough.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. On a lightly floured countertop, roll dough pieces into 1-inch-thick ropes. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces and place pieces on prepared baking sheet. (To give gnocchi classic indentations — optional — hold a large fork, upside down, over each one and then press on each dumpling with tines as you roll it toward you.) Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 6 hours before cooking.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, sage, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until they’ve released their liquid, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cover to keep warm.
Add half of gnocchi to pot and cook until they float to surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to skillet. Repeat with remaining gnocchi. Heat through, toss with remaining 2/3 cup Parmesan, season with salt, black pepper and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.
Indonesian Rice Noodles with Long Beans and Seitan
2 tablspoons canola oil
8 ounces seitan, chopped into bite-size pieces (see note)
8 ounces fresh long beans, chopped into 1-inch pieces (see note)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
4 large shallots, chopped
1 large fresh red Thai or serrano chili, chopped, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch peeled fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 medium limes (1 zested and juiced, 1 quartered), divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
6 ounces dried rice vermicelli
¾ cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons. soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark miso (see note)
1 teaspoon molasses
½ cup fresh Thai (or regular) basil, julienned
¼ cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. In a wok or large frying pan over high heat, warm the oil. Add the seitan, beans, carrot, shallots, half of the chile, the garlic, ginger, lime zest, ground coriander and turmeric. Stir-fry until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Taste and add more chilies, if desired.
Cook the noodles in the boiling water according to the package directions. Drain and rinse them.
In a cup or medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, soy sauce, miso and molasses. Add the mixture to the vegetables and bring everything to a boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Add the drained noodles to the pan, coating them well with sauce. Cook until the sauce is thick and clinging to the noodles. Add the basil and serve, topped with the peanuts and with lime wedges on the side.
Note: Can’t find long beans (also called Chinese long beans or yard-long beans)? Substitute fresh green beans. Seitan is made from wheat and is protein-rich, with a meatlike texture. It’s located either next to soy in the refrigerated section or in the freezer of supermarkets; in Asian markets it’s found in cans labeled “mock duck.” Miso is a soybean paste, located in the Asian section of the supermarket.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 304 calories, 11 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 590 milligrams sodium, 40 grams carbohydrates, 56 milligrams calcium, 13 grams protein, no cholesterol, 5 grams dietary fiber.
Lentil Chili with Bulgur and Anchos
1 cup lentils, soaked and rinsed
4½ cups vegetable stock or water
1 medium carrot, chopped
½ cups chopped onion
1 bay leaf
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 large dried ancho pepper, toasted and crumbled (see note)
1 14-ounce can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
½ cup bulgur (see note)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
Put the lentils in a soup pot. Add the stock, carrot, onion and bay leaf. Over high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the bell peppers and ancho to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes then check the lentils for doneness. They should be very soft. Add the tomatoes, bulgur, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt.
Simmer chili for 15 minutes more to bring the flavors together and finish cooking the bulgur, adding more water or stock if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.
Note: Bulgur is the wheat kernel that’s been steamed, dried and crushed. It adds a chewy texture to this dish and can be found in the grains aisle or in the natural foods sections of the supermarket. To toast a dried pepper, place it in a dry pan over medium high heat for a few moments, then crumble it.
Yield: Serves 5.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 243 calories, 2 grams fat (no saturated), 596 milligrams sodium, 47 grams carbohydrates, 99 milligrams calcium, 14 grams protein, no cholesterol, 13 grams dietary fiber.
Coconut-Vegetable Curry with Cashews
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 cups unpeeled eggplant, diced in ½-inch cubes
15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups ½-inch cauliflower florets
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup green beans, cut in ½-inch lengths
2 to 3 teaspoons minced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
13.5-ounce can regular or light coconut milk
½ cup coarsely chopped, roasted, unsalted cashews
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, until they are a shade darker, 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and chickpeas; cook, stirring, over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, onion, carrot, green beans, jalapeno, ginger, curry powder, garlic, salt and turmeric. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until the sauce has thickened and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Spoon the curry into a large bowl or over a platter of rice. Sprinkle with cashews and cilantro and serve.
Note: This colorful curry is delicious served with black Forbidden, Bhutanese red or brown jasmine rice. Feel free to vary the vegetables with the season.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6.
Grilled Eggplant Cannelloni with Ricotta
2 large globe eggplants
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup olive oil
½ yellow onion, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1½ pounds Roma tomatoes, chopped
8 to 12 fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch hot red pepper flakes
2 cups whole milk ricotta
1 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
Salt, freshly ground pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Slice off the eggplants’ green caps, then cut each eggplant lengthwise into six 1/3-inch thick slices. Discard the first and last slices, which are mostly skin. Sprinkle generously on both sides with salt; let stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat a grill to medium, 375 degrees. Pat eggplant dry, then brush with olive oil on both sides. Place the slices directly on the hot grill and cook, turning once, until nicely grill-marked and pliable, 3 minutes per side.
For the tomato sauce, heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add onion and garlic; saute until the onion softens and begins to color, 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they soften and collapse into a sauce, about 10 minutes, depending on ripeness.
Puree the mixture or pass it through a food mill. Return the puree to the skillet over moderate heat. Tear the basil in half and add it, along with the crumbled oregano, hot pepper flakes and salt to taste. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and tasty.
For the filling, blend the ricotta, ½ cup pecorino, parsley and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Choose a shallow baking pan large enough to hold the eggplant rolls snugly in one layer. Spread 1/3 cup tomato sauce in the dish.
Spread a generous 2 tablespoons filling on each eggplant slice. Carefully roll each slice, like a jelly roll, and place, seam side down, in the baking dish. Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup pecorino. Bake until lightly browned and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Yield: Serves 4.
Quick and Casual Mediterranean Veggie Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 bunch kale, spinach or other greens (3 to 4 cups)
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper
Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and jalapeno. Saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Add greens a handful at a time, stirring until they start to wilt, about 3 minutes.
Add garbanzos and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and flavors have blended. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 474 calories, 19 percent of calories from fat, 10 grams fat (1 gram saturated, 4 grams monounsaturated), 24 grams protein, 77 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams fiber, no cholesterol, 213 milligrams sodium.
Vegan ‘Clam’ Chowder
4 cups whole raw cashews, rinsed under cold water
Put the cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to soak overnight.
Drain the cashews and rinse under cold water. Place the cashews in a high-speed blender (this will need to be done in a couple of batches) and add enough water to cover by an inch. Puree until completely smooth. If needed, pass the cashew puree through a fine strainer to remove any coarse bits; the final “cream” should have the smooth, thick consistency of heavy dairy cream. This makes about 3 cups cream (consistency will depend on the amount of water added while blending, and can vary from just over 2 cups to about 3½ cups; thin as desired).
4 pieces kombu seaweed (about 5 by 8 inches)
2 quarts water
Combine the kombu and water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook 40 minutes. Strain. This makes about 5 cups kombu broth, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The broth will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 10 days.
1 tablespoon small hickory chips
1 heaping cup diced king trumpet mushrooms
Prepare the stovetop smoker: Spread the chips in the base of the smoker, directly over the burner. Place the drip pan (if using) over the chips, and a rack on top of the drip pan. Place the diced mushrooms on the rack (be sure to use a rack fine enough so the mushrooms don’t fall through) indirectly over the chips (do not place the mushrooms directly over the chips, as this can cause them to oversmoke and turn bitter). Cover the smoker with the lid, leaving the smoker open only a couple of inches. (If you do not have a commercial stovetop smoker, you can substitute by using a heavy roasting pan, a cake rack and heavy-duty foil to cover the pan as a lid.)
Heat the smoker over medium heat just until you see smoke escaping through the opening. Close the smoker entirely and gently smoke just to infuse the mushrooms with smoke flavor, not to cook, 3 to 5 minutes. Be careful not to oversmoke or the mushrooms will become bitter.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup diced white onion
½ cup diced celery
1 cup peeled and diced baking potato
1½ cups kombu broth
Smoked king trumpet mushrooms
1 teaspoon lemon juice, more to taste
½ teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce, more to taste
2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
Heat the oil in a medium-sized soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and potato and sweat, stirring frequently, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the broth, cashew cream and smoked mushrooms. Reduce the heat, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes to develop and marry the flavors. The cashew cream will thicken as it cooks, and you will need to add water from time to time to thin and adjust the consistency. We added about 3 cups water as the soup cooked.
Season with the lemon juice, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. This makes a generous 2 quarts soup.
Note: This recipe calls for a commercial stove-top smoker; a heavy-duty roasting pan with a rack and lid can be substituted. This recipe uses small hardwood hickory chips or shavings; the chips are available at select cooking stores and are widely available online. Kombu (dried seaweed) is available at Asian markets and well-stocked supermarkets.
Yield: Serves 12.
Approximate nutritional analysis per servings: 290 calories, 8 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 22 grams fat (4 grams saturated), no cholesterol, 3 grams sugar, 200 milligrams sodium.
Curried Lentils with Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes
1 cup brown lentils
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1 garlic clove, grated
2 bags baby spinach (8 to 10 cups packed)
1 cup small cherry or grape tomatoes, stemmed
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup plain low-fat yogurt, optional
Bring a medium saucepan half full of water to a boil. Add lentils and cook, uncovered, until just tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender, 5 minutes. Add curry powder and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add lentils, spinach, tomatoes and mint and cook, stirring, until hot, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the walnuts over the lentils and serve with a dollop of yogurt.
Yield: Serves 4.
Twice-Baked Potatoes with Poblano Chilies and Queso Fresco
2 large russet potatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 poblano chiles
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup crumbled queso fresco, mild feta or soft fresh goat cheese
2 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained, blotted dry and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup shredded Monterey Jack or Manchego
Preheat a large baking sheet in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Lightly brush cut sides of potatoes with oil. Arrange the oiled potato, cut sides down, in a single layer in the hot pan. Roast for 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and roast until tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 10 minutes more. Leave oven on.
Meanwhile, char the poblanos on all sides over an open flame. Wrap in foil. When cool, rub off the charred skins, split peppers, discard stems and seeds. Chop the chilies finely.
Holding the hot cooked potatoes with an oven mitt, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, leaving a thin layer on the skins. Set skins aside. In a large bowl, mash the potato flesh, chilies, sour cream, queso fresco, sun-dried tomatoes and cilantro with a fork. Taste and add salt if needed.
Arrange hollowed-out potato halves on the baking sheet and fill with potato mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake until cheese melts and potatoes are heated through, about 10 minutes. These can be made several hours ahead and reheated before serving.
Yield: Serves 2 to 4.