Costume SuperCenter

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 tsp kosher salt
dash of pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
2 TBL lemon juice
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (curly)
8-12 small cherry tomatoes (use half red and half yellow), sliced in half
1 cup chopped cucumber (English goes well)

Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Once done, transfer to a bowl to cool until ready to use.

Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add quinoa and gently toss to combine. Serve with Yves Lemon Herb Chicken Skewers (shown) or Gardein Beefless Tips.

Serves 4
Tip: Whole Foods will special order Yves skewers for you. Just call it in to your store using the grocery department. I order a case, which is only 8 packages (2 skewers each) and keep in the freezer until ready to use. Took 1 day for my order to come in. Give them your number and they will call you once the product is in the store. Try my Madame Curry recipe.

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1 package Nate’s frozen vegan meatballs
1 14oz can jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBL Dijon mustard
1/2 cup red wine

In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce, brown sugar, mustard and wine until combined. Place frozen meatballs in large skillet and pour sauce over meatballs to cover. Simmer on low, covered, for 30 minutes.

Vegan meatballs are not as firm, so be careful if you move them around in the pan and when you remove them from the pan. Serve over a bed of long grain white rice. Or, you can let cool slightly and serve alone on individual mini plates with a toothpick or mini fork.

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Olive oil
1 1/2 cups soy crumbles
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 6 oz package of Lightlife Smoky Tempeh Strips Fakin’ Bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces
1 can (14-15 oz) baked beans, with juice (I used Whole Foods 365 organic original)
1 can (14-15 oz) kidney beans, with juice
1 can (14-15 oz) butter beans, with juice
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar (light)
1 tsp salt
2 tsps vinegar
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard (French’s)

In a large kettle, add 1-2 TBL olive oil over high heat, then add in onion and soy crumbles. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a medium skillet, add in 1-2 TBL olive oil over high heat, then add cut tempeh bacon and fry, stirring on occasion, for 4-5 minutes to lightly crisp the pieces.

Add the beans with juice, and remaining ingredients to onion/soy crumble kettle.  Add in tempeh bacon to kettle mixture as well. Stir to combine. Pour mixture in a casserole or baking dish, about 9X13, and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Serve in bowls and garnish with Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream and sliced scallions. Serves 6

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½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats
¼ cup Earth Balance, softened
¼ cup brown sugar
4 cups frozen berries (used mixed or any of your favorites)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, Earth Balance, and brown sugar until combined. In a 8” or 9” baking dish, lay in frozen berries. Crumble flour oat topping over the berries to cover. Place a piece of aluminum foil under the pie dish to catch any spills. Bake for 65 minutes. Serve warm garnished with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream or some SoyaToo Rice Whip or Soy Whip topping.

*can make in individual ramekins if preferred.

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2 medium acorn squashes, halved and seeded
2 tsp olive oil, plus 1 TBL
12 oz package of frozen soy crumbles
ground cinnamon
ground nutmeg
2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, pressed through a garlic press
3/4 cup bulgur wheat (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
2 cups water
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup fresh italian (flat-leaf) parsley, chopped
2 TBL toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squashes, cut side down, in a casserole dish or on a cookie sheet. Bake until soft, about 40 minutes.

Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a large pan over high heat. Add in frozen soy crumbles, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg, and 1 tsp of salt. Stir and cook for a few minutes until heated. Transfer to a dish and set aside.

Add 1 TBL of olive oil to the same pan over medium to high heat, and add in onion. Cook until slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir. Add remaining teaspoon of salt and the bulgur and stir to combine. Add in water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low-medium, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork, then add in soy crumble mixture, raisins, parsley, and pine nuts and stir to combine.

Scrape out baked squashes, leaving 1/4-inch-thick bowls, and fold scooped squash into the bulgur soy crumble mixture and mix well. Place squash bowls on pan and fill each with an even amount of the mixture. Bake 14 minutes until warmed and tops are slightly browned.

Substitutions page

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2 cups soy milk (plain or vanilla)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
3 TBL light brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh berries

In medium saucepan bring soy milk to boil. Add quinoa and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, until most of the soy milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.

Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Simmer, covered, until almost all the soy milk has been absorbed, about 8 more minutes.

Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh berries. Add in optional items to customize to your liking, such as ground flax seed, nuts, earth balance, sprinkle of brown sugar or a splash of soy milk. Use almond milk instead of soy.

Makes 2 cups

Costume and Party SuperCenter

3/4 cup brown rice
1/4 cup wild rice
2 tsp sea salt
1 bunch of asparagus, rinsed and bottom ends cut off and discarded
1 TBL olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
6 cups vegetable stock
2 TBL scallions, finely chopped
1 TBL fresh italian parsley, finely chopped
1 TBL soy sauce (use tamari)
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
fresh ground pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, add water, brown and wild rice, and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Steam asparagus for 2 minutes until tender but still crisp. Drain and rinse with cold water. Once cooled, cut into 1 inch pieces, keeping a few tips for garnish.

In a large saucepan, add olive oil, celery, onion, carrots, and thyme. Cook for 4-6 minutes on low heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Add in vegetable stock and cooked rice. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool a few minutes.

Pour small batches of mixture into a blender (fill only half way). Be sure to leave half of the room since heated ingredients pressurize. Place blender cap on and cover with a towel while holding down cover. Use blend and puree cycles until smooth. Pour into pan and repeat process until all is blended.

Add cut asparagus, scallions, parsley, soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, and freshly ground pepper to blended soup and stir to combine. Simmer to re-heat and serve in bowls with asparagus tip garnish and a dollop of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream.

Serves 6

This recipe is hearty yet on the bland side. I like to spice up my individual bowl by adding in 1-2 shakes of additional hot pepper sauce. If you are one who prefers a completely smooth soup, then add in the asparagus, scallions, and parsley to the blender and puree with the broth/rice mixture. Serve with a side of crusty bread.

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3 slices day old sandwich bread (cut off crusts and break bread into pieces)
1/2 cup dairy-free parmesan cheese (Galaxy Foods Vegan brand)
2 TBL flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 egg replacer (Bob’s Red Mill 1 TBL egg replacer whisked with 3 TBL water)
1 package Gardein Chick’n Scallopini (remove from freezer as you gather ingredients)
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 TBL Dijon mustard
3 TBL dairy-free butter (Earth Balance)

In a food processor, add bread, parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper and pulse until fine crumbs. Place on a small plate.

Prepare egg replacer and pour onto another small plate. Dip each Gardein chicken piece in the prepared egg replacer so it is lightly covered, then cover with bread crumb mixture, pressing so crumbs adhere.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBL olive oil and 1 TBL dairy-free butter (Earth Balance). Place 2 pieces of breaded Gardein in pan and cook about 3 minutes each side, pressing down gently with a spatula to brown all crumbs. Repeat with final batch being sure to re-coat pan.

In a small pan, add lemon juice and 1/4 cup water and cook for 1 minute over low heat until steaming. Add in Dijon and whisk. Turn off heat and add in 1 TBL dairy-free butter (Earth Balance) and whisk until melted and combined. Divide sauce into 4 small ramekins for dipping.

Plate each Gardein piece over fresh baby greens and serve with a side of the lemon-mustard sauce.

Tip: If you love sauce, then I recommend doubling the sauce ingredients.

Costume SuperCenter

1 cup vegetable broth
1 TBL tamari (soy sauce)
1 TBL brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp Asian sesame oil
1 package of firm tofu, drained, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1×1/2-inch cubes (I like House brand)
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 green onions (scallions), sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
1 TBL minced, peeled fresh ginger (or use frozen Dorot cubes)
8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced

Combine broth, tamari, brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well blended and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil over high heat. Add cubed tofu and stir fry, turning frequently, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl once done. In the same large skillet, add in carrot, red pepper, green onions, garlic, and ginger and stir fry until tender yet crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir fry for 3 more minutes.

Add in the broth mixture and the cooked tofu cubes and stir fry until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 3 more minutes.

Serve over brown rice, long grain rice or quinoa.

Serves 4

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Brazil Nuts (raw)
Macadamia Nuts (dry roasted unsalted)
Marcona Almonds (roasted and salted, can use other almonds, but these are my favorite)
Cashew Pieces (roasted and unsalted)
Walnuts (raw pieces)
Pecans (raw and unsalted pieces)
Sunflower Seeds (raw and unsalted)
Pumpkin Seeds (raw and unsalted)

In a medium size bowl, mix together all nuts and seeds, using 1/4 cup each. You can always add in a little more of what you enjoy most. Eat a handful as a snack for a quick protein energy boost.

You can also add in raw pepitas and pistachio nutmeats (dry roasted, unsalted halves & pieces).

Trader Joe’s has a wide variety of nuts and seeds at reasonable prices. I get my pumpkin seeds at Whole Foods.

The Story of Nuts:
Many people avoid nuts because they are high in calories and fat. Nuts are a great source of protein and do contain fat, but this is the type of fat you want in your diet. Nuts provide unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), delivering omega-3. Eating nuts can help lower the risk of heart disease. Nuts provide many vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. They contain fiber, vitamin E, selenium, folic acid, copper, magnesium, boron and the amino acid arginine, which boosts the immune system and lowers elevated blood pressure levels. The plant sterols in nuts help to reduce cholesterol absorption from fatty foods.  Some nuts, like pecans, walnuts and almonds, contain tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin, the happy feel-good hormone, which can help against depression. Here are a few of my favorites:

Almonds – this nut comes in many varieties and can be used in all sorts of recipes. Almonds are probably the most nutritious of nuts, delivering magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin E, zinc, and lots of protein.

Brazil Nuts – a provider of selenium, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals that can attack healthy cells and increase the risk of heart disease and various forms of cancers, like breast, lung, bowel, and prostate. Rich in zinc and magnesium, Brazil Nuts are great for anti-aging.

Cashews – provider of a high iron content, as well as zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and are rich in protein and carbohydrates.

Macadamia Nuts – this nut has the highest level of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) over any other nut, but can lower harmful blood cholesterol.

Pistachios – you can buy the ‘nutmeats’ already removed from the shells, or in a shell, but then you have to work for the nut. Pistachios are high in iron, protein, fiber, and magnesium and make a delicious topping on roasted butternut squash.

Walnuts – this is the only nut high in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid, so eating these after you consume fatty foods help disperse the saturated fats and lower triglycerides. Saturated fats come from animal protein and dairy products, so cut these out of your diet to be a true vegan.

You can consume from 1-2 oz of nuts per day. It is best to mix so you consume a variety and take advantage of the benefits each nut provides. Always look for nuts that are raw and unsalted. Store nuts in the refrigerator to keep fresh.  

Buy nut butters and seed butters (my favorite is Sunflower Seed Butter Trader Joe’s), but read ingredients to make sure you are buying unsaturated fats (mono and poly). The butters will have the oil separated, so you will need to stir to combine before each use. Some need to be refrigerated, so read the container.

Allergies can be an issue for some, so know what you cannot eat if you do have allergies. An allergy from nuts can result in a skin rash or hoarseness in the throat.

A mix of nuts makes a delicious and satisfying movie-going snack. For sweet and salty, I like to add in a few chocolate chip vegan morsels along with a couple of pretzels broken into pieces. Get creative!