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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Vegan White Bean Soup

I  missed a week on my post series that I thought I might try, oh well. Life gets in the way with two jobs and family. In my book, they are lucky that they even get fed sometimes.

I did however create a menu for the entire month of November so I can easily plan our meals and shop by what is coming up the next week. As much as I hate to cook, I really enjoy reading recipes and eventually trying some of them out. It takes me about an hour and a half to two hours to go through my stash of recipes and plan the entire month, but I have a great sense of accomplishment once it is finally over. Saturday morning is the best time for me to do this because I can get up early and spend about 2 hours uninterrupted.  And even though I am a vegan I do cook regular dinner in my house for the rest of my family. I always make sure that Monday is meatless and purely a vegan dinner. And I probably only cook meat twice in the week, the other days it will be a combination of a vegan or regular dinner. I will break them....slowly...{grin}.

Today I was up for a vegan lunch so I decided to make a White Bean Soup. I love all of the vegetables that go in to this soup and I have adapted it from a Wegman's recipe based on what I had in my fridge and cabinet at the time. I had a last spurt of shelly beans from my garden that accounted for the equivalent of one can of beans so that was really cool to use up that last of the garden veggies. In this recipe I used butter beans, garbanzo beans, fresh shelly beans and great northern beans (because they were the only white beans I had).




VEGAN WHITE BEAN SOUP

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp earth balance butter
1 red onion
1 stalk celery
1 carrot peeled, or like 10 baby carrots
10 cloves garlic, peeled
5 fresh tarragon leaves (like 1 tbsp. chopped)
3 potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
4 cans of white beans of your choice, undrained(15.5 oz - cannelini, butter, great northern, garbanzo, etc.)
2 cans water
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Put onion, celery, carrots, garlic and tarragon in food processor and mince
2. Put olive oil in stock pot, add minced vegetables and saute 15-20 minutes until softened

3. Add earth balance butter and diced potatoes and cook 8-10 minutes until softened.

4. Add undrained beans and water to vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Stir and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5. Mash or use an immersion blender to lightly break up some of the beans and potatoes to desired consistency.
                         If you are not sure what an immersion blender is, this is what mine looks like. It is a must have for soup making.

6. Serve, garnish with chopped parsley, avocado or other garnish of your choice.




Monday, November 3, 2014

Vegan Cheddar Garlic Biscuits

I was feeling the need for a twist on our normal dinner biscuits and decided that since I know my family loves the cheese things from like Red Lobster and Ruby Tuesday, I thought, well I am sure I can replicate that in to vegan deliciousness. Bisquick is vegan by design, so even the regular biscuits can be made vegan by swapping out the regular milk for rice or soy milk (I always go with the rice milk because to me, it looks and tastes most like milk and does not alter the other flavors in a recipe like soy sometimes can). And the name might be a misnomer because the vegan cheese I used was Monterrey Jack by Vegan Gourmet (followyourheart.com)(they sell it in a block in the cold case in my local Wegmans). But oh man, these were just too good not to share.

As an aside, this is the same company that makes Vegenaise. They also make vegan shredded cheddar but local store does not carry that because they instead carry Daiya cheese which I am sorry, is just not good - actually downright icky. The follow your heart product is far superior in my opinion so I went with their block cheese and just shredded it myself.

This is a super easy recipe and will take about 20 minutes start to finish.


Vegan Cheddar Biscuits

1 1/4 c. Bisquick
1/3 cup rice milk
1/2 c. shredded vegan Monterrey jack cheese (from Vegan gourmet)
1/4 c. earth balance , melted
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

This recipe made 7 nice size biscuits, double it if you know you will not be able to resist them to the following:
2 1/4 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. rice milk
1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees

  1. Prepare cheese block by shredding on the larger grated side of your hand grater until you get about a 1/2 c.
  2. Mix bisquick, rice milk and shredded cheese together until dough is mixed but still lumpy.
  3. Drop by large, oversize tablespoon size blobs on baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 450 for about 12-15 min or until tops of biscuits are golden brown.
  5. While biscuits are baking, melt the butter in microwave. Remove and mix in the garlic powder and parsley.
  6. When biscuits are done, remove from the oven and brush generously with the melted butter.
  7. Serve and enjoy!