Gluten free

Vegan "Chicken" Southwestern Soup

Spicy “chicken” Southwestern soup, topped with avocado…you had me at avocado! This soup has just the right amount of spice, packed with black beans, corn, and shredded jackfruit, it is hearty and so delicious. And did I mention how quick and easy it is to throw together, making it perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner! Bake up a pan of our  Perfect Vegan Cornbread , and you are sure to have a meal that leaves everyone full, warm, and satisfied!

Spicy “chicken” Southwestern soup, topped with avocado…you had me at avocado! This soup has just the right amount of spice, packed with black beans, corn, and shredded jackfruit, it is hearty and so delicious. And did I mention how quick and easy it is to throw together, making it perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner! Bake up a pan of our Perfect Vegan Cornbread, and you are sure to have a meal that leaves everyone full, warm, and satisfied!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can jackfruit in brine

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 can corn, drained

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes

  • 1 small can green chiles

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder

  • 1/2 chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • juice from 1 lime

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish

  • 1 avocado for garnish

  • optional: a few splashes of hot sauce

  • optional: tortilla strips for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Drain jackfruit and finely chop the pieces, or I find it faster and easier to just shred the pieces of fruit between my fingers. If you have never used canned jackfruit before, the pieces are kind of triangular shaped and soft. They easily come apart resembling shredded meat. Be sure to find jackfruit in brine vs jackfruit packed in syrup.

  2. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium/hight heat, and add 1 - 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the diced onions, can of green chilies, and the jackfruit to the pot. Let the veggies sauté until the onions become soft.

  3. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, seasonings, cilantro, and lime juice to the pot. Stir well and lower the heat to low. Cover the soup and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. Taste and add more salt, pepper, or other spices if you feel like you would like more.

  4. While soup is simmering, dice the avocado and some extra cilantro for the garnish.

  5. To serve soup, top with diced avocado, more cilantro, and crispy tortillas strips if you like. You can also stir in extra hot sauce or vegan sour cream.

Serves 4 - 6.

Savory Cranberry Vegan Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes

I often make meatballs wth thawed  Beyond Meat Burgers . They work very well as a meat substitute in all kinds of recipes other than just using them as burgers. Once thawed, they can be used just as you would ground meat. This particular recipe is sweet, tangy, and savory. The sauce screams holidays, and would make a perfect alternative to a traditional holiday meal. The cranberries, onion, and savory spices make such a beautiful sauce for the meatballs, and wonderful topping for the mashed potatoes. You can just as easily use a bag of frozen plant based meatballs, but I really encourage you to try a batch using the  Beyond Burgers!

I often make meatballs wth thawed Beyond Meat Burgers. They work very well as a meat substitute in all kinds of recipes other than just using them as burgers. Once thawed, they can be used just as you would ground meat. This particular recipe is sweet, tangy, and savory. The sauce screams holidays, and would make a perfect alternative to a traditional holiday meal. The cranberries, onion, and savory spices make such a beautiful sauce for the meatballs, and wonderful topping for the mashed potatoes. You can just as easily use a bag of frozen plant based meatballs, but I really encourage you to try a batch using the Beyond Burgers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch plant based meatballs (Use frozen or follow recipe below)

  • 1 can whole cranberry sauce

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoons Vegetable Better Than Bouillon

  • 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons tapioca or corn starch

  • salt and pepper to taste

Mashed Potatoes:

  • 4 - 5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter

  • 2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese or plain vegan yogurt

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • a few splashes of plant based milk

Meatballs:

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  1. For the meatballs: If using frozen, bake to package instructions. If making meatballs with Beyond Meat Burgers, put sliced bread into a blender or food processor, and break them down to crumbs. Combine bread crumbs, thawed Beyond Beef patties, flax egg, and dried thyme in a bowl. Mix well. Form meatballs with a small scoop or spoon and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

  2. While meatballs are baking, thinly slice the onion. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add a few teaspoons of oil or vegan butter. Drop the onions in and sprinkle with a little salt. Let onions cook until they become translucent and soft. Add the cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir well and reduce heat to low.

  3. In a bowl, whisk together the water, Better Than Bouillon, and starch. Add to the pot of cranberry sauce and stir. Allow sauce to simmer and thicken while the meatballs finish baking. Once the meatballs are done baking, add them to the pot of cranberry sauce and let them simmer along with the sauce while you prepare the mashed potatoes.

  4. Bring another large pot of water to a boil, then add the diced potatoes. Let potatoes boil until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork. This should take about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes and return them to the pot you boiled them in. Using a hand masher or an electric hand mixer, begin to mash the potatoes. Add the butter, cream cheese or yogurt, salt and pepper. Begin adding milk, just a few tablespoons at a time, until the potatoes are your desired consistency.

  5. To serve, scoop some potatoes onto a plate and top with meatballs and sauce. Garnish with fresh time or parsley flakes.

Serves 4 - 6.

"Chicken" Divan with Jackfruit

To be honest, I had never even heard of Chicken Divan until I was married and my husband introduced me to this southern classic. It was a staple and favorite in his house growing up! It is traditionally a creamy, cheesey, chicken, and broccoli comfort food that is often served with rice. Since going vegan we haven’t been able to have this dish in years, so naturally it was one that needed veganizing! Using jackfruit in place of the chicken works very well as long a you cook the brine flavor out of the jackfruit first. I took the suggestion of my friend Mike who said his grandmother always added curry powder, and he was right! It is a delicious addition! So if you have never heard of this dish, or have had it in the past and miss it, go ahead and try this vegan version. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! And thanks to my mother in law, Debbi, for introducing me to this southern classic!! We wouldn’t have this vegan version with you!

To be honest, I had never even heard of Chicken Divan until I was married and my husband introduced me to this southern classic. It was a staple and favorite in his house growing up! It is traditionally a creamy, cheesey, chicken, and broccoli comfort food that is often served with rice. Since going vegan we haven’t been able to have this dish in years, so naturally it was one that needed veganizing! Using jackfruit in place of the chicken works very well as long a you cook the brine flavor out of the jackfruit first. I took the suggestion of my friend Mike who said his grandmother always added curry powder, and he was right! It is a delicious addition! So if you have never heard of this dish, or have had it in the past and miss it, go ahead and try this vegan version. I think you will be pleasantly surprised! And thanks to my mother in law, Debbi, for introducing me to this southern classic!! We wouldn’t have this vegan version with you!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of jackfruit in brine

  • 1 head of broccoli

  • 1 cup vegan sour cream or plain yogurt (I use Kite Hill plain almond milk yogurt)

  • 1 cup vegan mayo

  • 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds

  • 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon, plus 3 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 cup cashews

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch

  • 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion

  • 2 teaspoon curry powder

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (use whatever bread you have laying around, gf works fine too)

  • 2 tablespoon melted butter

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Drain jackfruit. Chop or use hands to break up the pieces to resemble shredded meat.

  2. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the Better Than Bouillon and 3 tablespoons of water. Next, add in the jackfruit, and allow to cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. Cooking the jackfruit like this will help cut down on some of the brine flavor it has.

  3. Wash and chop up the head of broccoli. Add it to the pot with the jackfruit, and allow the broccoli to cook for 3-5 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Once it’s done remove the pot from the heat, set aside.

  4. Put the cashews in a microwave safe container. Cover them in water and microwave for 3 minutes. Place the 1/2 onion into a high speed blender or food processor and blend until it is broken down. Drain the water from the cashews and add them, plus the 1 cup of fresh water, nutritional yeast, starch, and lemon juice to the blender with the onion. Process until the mixture is completely smooth. Transfer mixture to a sauce pan and heat on medium/low heat, whisking the whole time, until the mixture begins to thicken into a thin pudding consistency.

  5. Pour the cashew mixture over the jackfruit and broccoli. Add in the sour cream, mayo, curry powder, cheddar shreds, salt and pepper to taste, and stir until combined. Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking pan.

  6. In your blender or food processor, break down the soft bread into crumbs. Stir in the melted butter and spread the mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake the casserole for 35 - 45 minutes on the middle rack of your oven.

  7. Serve “chicken” divan as is, or over rice, and sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.

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Tofu Japchae (korean sweet potato noodles)

Japchae is a savory Korean noodle dish, made with sweet potato starch noodles. You can easily find these noodles at your local Asian market or online. This dish is pretty quick, and easy, making it a great week night dinner!

Japchae is a savory Korean noodle dish, made with sweet potato starch noodles. You can easily find these noodles at your local Asian market or online. This dish is pretty quick, and easy, making it a great week night dinner!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 package Japchae (sweet potato) noodles, available at asian markets.

  • 1 package extra firm organic tofu

  • 1 can straw mushrooms, or you can use a few cups of any fresh mushroom you like. I just love straw mushrooms.

  • 1 zucchini

  • 1 carrot

  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves

  • 1 small white onion

  • 3 green onions

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos or soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • A few teaspoons sesame oil cooking

The sauce

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 3 tablespoons hot water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Fill a 9x13 baking dish with hot tap water. Soak the noodles in the water for 20 - 30 minutes.

  2. Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or a few paper towels, and stack a few books on top for 15 - 20 minutes to remove the excess water.

  3. Once tofu is done being pressed, cut into 1 inch by 1 inch cubes.

  4. Cut all the vegetables, except the green onions into small matchstick sized cuts, including the mushrooms.

  5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add all of the spinach and allow to cook just until wilted. Once wilted, move spinach to a colander and run cold water over it for a minute. Wrap the rinsed spinach in a clean kitchen towel then squeeze until no more liquid comes out. Remove the now ball of spinach from the towel and chop it up. Set aside.

  6. In a wok, or large skillet, heat a teaspoon of sesame seed oil and add the tofu, 3 tablespoons aminos, and a teaspoon of garlic. Cook until the tofu begins to brown. Remove from pan and place on a plate.

  7. In a small bowl whisk the ingredients for the sauce, first adding the sugar, then the hot water to help dissolve it, then the remaining ingredients.

  8. Drain the noodles, and with a clean pair of kitchen scissors, cut the noodles in half. They are very long and much easier to work with if cut.

  9. Add another teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan or wok you cooked the tofu in, along with all the vegetables except the spinach and green onions. Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

  10. Once the vegetables begin to soften, add the noodles and half of the sauce. Allow to cook for about 5 - 7 minutes, using tongs to move the noodles around the pan to avoid having them stick. Check the noodles after 5 minutes to make sure they are done. After the noodles seem done, add the tofu back in along with the chopped spinach, and remaining sauce. Heat for a few more minutes, just long enough to rewarm the tofu.

  11. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and sesame seed to serve.

Serves 4 - 6.