At the end of this week the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah begins. The Eight days of Hanukkah will entail gifts, time spent with loved ones, prayer, and the lighting of candles.  But on top of all this celebration, there are of course delicious traditional meals. For many on Hanukkah, there is a tradition of eating fried foods, especially in Olive Oil. For this week’s recipe we have put together a great vegan version of latkes or potato pancakes, which are often served at Hanukkah dinners. This way you can make your holiday meal ethical as well as suitable for your vegan/vegetarian family members. For some Ethical Hanukkah gifts, check out these great Eco-Friendly, Fair Trade, and other Ethical Gift Guides. Happy Hanukkah from AP!!

Vegan Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 15 Minutes

6 Peeled and Grated Potatoes (any kind)

1/2 Cup Unbleached Flour or Vegan Matzo Meal

2/3 Cup Oatmeal

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Chopped Medium Yellow Onion

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Pepper

1/4 Tsp Baking Powder

Peel the potatoes and finely grate them. Also, finely chop the onions and place both ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the flour/matzo meal, salt, pepper, and baking powder into the bowl. In a separate bowl combine the oatmeal and hot water until soft enough to eat. Once the oatmeal is soft enough, mix it into the other bowl. In a large frying pan, heat up the oil at a medium heat. Form the mixture into small patties and fry in the olive oil until golden brown on both sides. You can soak up some of the excess oil with a towel if you choose and now they are ready to serve with Vegan Sour Cream or applesauce. If you want to add a little more flavor to your latkes, try adding in some carrots, spinach, or broccoli. Or if you are feeling even more adventurous, try making them with sweet potatoes instead!

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The Autumn leaves have almost all fallen from the trees and it is that time again to prepare for the rush of holiday season. This week’s vegan recipe of the week is Thanksgiving themed. With the feasting holiday approaching it is important to have vegan options to the traditional standbys. Whether you are attending a dinner and want to impress your omnivore relatives or if you are cooking an entire vegan feast, the traditional recipe for stuffing is essential to the Thanksgiving menu. This week we have a recipe for Vegan Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing. So enjoy the fall send off in vegan style!

fruit and nut stuffing Photo By scaredy_katVegan Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing 

5 Cups of Stale or Toasted Vegan Bread

1-2 Cups of Wild Rice

2 Cups of Chopped Celery

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Vegetable Broth

3/4 Cup Chopped Cranberries

3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

3 Tbls of Earth Balance Vegan Margarine 

1 1/2 Tsps Thyme

1 Tsp Sage

1 Tsp Rosemary

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Fully cook the wild rice before hand.  Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large pan heat up the margarine and cook the onions, celery, and cranberries for about 15 minutes or until soft and tender.  Add in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. In a large  bowl mix the bread crumbs, rice,walnuts, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour hot mixture over the dry ingredients and mix. Grease a pan with margarine and  pour mixture into pan. Dot the top with extra margarine and cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until the top is crispy. Serve with Tofurkey and other Thanksgiving dishes.

BBQ season is fast approaching and its time to dust off those grills and pull out the side dish recipes! This week’s recipe is the Great American BBQ Classic known as Macaroni Salad. I am not sure of the history of this salad, but know it often played a part in my summer gathering Americana. And if you are unfamiliar with Macaroni Salad, it makes for a great side at any BBQ, party, or even just on the dinner table. So as the summer approaches, be sure to get your hands on this very tasty and very vegan Macaroni Salad!

Vegan Macaroni Salad

Prep Time: 15 Minutes     Cool Time: 3 Hours

1 24oz Bag of Elbow Macaroni
1 cup Vegenaise
2 Tbsps of Yellow Mustard
1 Tbsp Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 Stalks of Celery
1 Yellow or White Onion
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Carrot (optional)
1/2 Cup Sweet Relish (optional)

In a large pot boil water to cook the pasta. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add in the entire bag of pasta. Cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. While the noodles are cooking chop up the celery, onion, bell pepper, and carrots (if using) into small pieces. Drain the pasta and run cool water over it a few times, to cool the noodles down. In a large bowl, add in the chopped veggies and stir. Next add in the Vegenaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and relish (if using). Mix all ingredients up until it is well combined. You may need to add more salt or pepper, depending on your taste buds. If you need to serve immediately, place the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes and it should be cool enough. But if you have planned ahead place the salad in the refrigerator and let it cool for about 3 hours.

This week is a special treat for all you vegan recipe hunters! This week’s recipe is the very first one I have ever written! I wrote the following recipe for my Mother when I was at the tender age of 5. And every year for Mother’s Day I make her this very soup, well as long as we are in the same state! It is simple and she loves it (I mean she has to, she’s my Mother). So I recommend, you make this soup for your Mom, Grandma, Wife, Sister, or Friend this weekend to celebrate all the lovely mothers in our lives. And if you do not get the opportunity to make it for Mother’s Day, please try it out another time. So in honor of the lovely Mrs Williams, here is my childhood recipe. Happy Mother’s Day!

Gina’s Mother’s Day Vegetable Soupdscn53078

4 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 Large Potato
2 Stalks of Celery
2 Large Carrots
1 Large Zucchini
1/2 Large Onion
1 Clove Chopped Garlic
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Salt

In a large pot pour the vegetable broth and water in. Chop all vegetables into medium chunks, except for the onion and garlic, which should be chopped finely. Add the potatoes in and bring the pot to a boil for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to a low setting and let simmer. Add in the carrots, zucchini, celery, and onions. Also add in the garlic, oregano, pepper, and salt. Let the soup simmer for about an hour. Feel free to add more spice to it, it it doesn’t meet your taste (especially salt and pepper). Also, garnish with fresh parsley if you choose.

The weather is starting to cool and the leaves are changing color. This means our diets usually shift to items more hearty. During the fall we begin to crave soups, chilis, pastas, and of course the autumn standard: Squash! This week we would like to share a favorite healthy and low carb main dish! Spaghetti squash is a type of squash, whose insides resemble pasta! This is a fun dish to make with kids (although you might want to hold the red pepper) and will be a family favorite. Also, spaghetti squash can be used as a replacement in dishes that require pasta, rice, or potatoes, if you are trying to manage your carb intake. This is the season for all things squash, so head to your local farmer’s market or grocer and pick up yours today!

Spicy Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 1 hour 10minutes

1 Spaghetti Squash (see pictures below)
2 Tbls of Olive Oil
1 Small Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
2 Tbls of Tomato Paste
2 Pounds of Ripe Plum Tomatoes or 1 28oz can of tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 Tbls Dry Red Wine
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 tsp of Oregano
1/4 Cup of Fresh Basil
Salt and Pepper to taste

First preheat the oven to 375 and poke many small holes in the squash. Place the squash on a cookie sheet or tray and cook for 1 hour. About a half an hour into the baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Stir in  the tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, red pepper, oregano, salt, and pepper. Let the mixture simmer on the stove for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

By this time the squash should be ready. Take it out of the oven and when it is cool enough to touch, split it lengthwise in half with a serrated knife. Next with a a large spoon scoop out the seeds from the center of the squash. With a fork, gently scrape the hearty party of the squash, this will cause it to break up in strings, resembling pasta. Scoop the now stringy squash into a large mixing bowl (you may not need all the squash depending on the size you get) pour the mixture from earlier and the fresh basil. Toss and serve! Trust us this is a great fall recipe and a wonderful new classic dish! If you are feeling risky, try mixing in other veggies such as artichokes, olives, bell peppers, and zucchini!

This week’s recipe is Raw Chocolate Mousse which makes a terrific summer dessert for cookouts, dinner parties, or just to enjoy at home! The recipe has only 4 simple ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make! You may be shocked by the main ingredient: AVOCADO!! But trust us, by the time you have finished you won’t even remember you have put them in! The avocados replace the cream and oily taste normally put into mousse by milk products. It makes for a healthy and creamy vegan dessert. We know raw food can be a bit scary and avocado isn’t normally associated with desserts, but once you take one bite of this you will be pleasantly surprised and will impress your guests!

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • 4 Ripe Organic Avocados
  • 1 Cup of Sweetener (Agave Nectar or Evaporated Cane Juice)
  • 1 Tbls of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup of Organic Fair Trade Cocoa Powder (or Carob)
Slice each avocado open and scoop out the insides. Place the inside in a food processor or blender. Next add the sweetener, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Blend or process the mixture until fully blended. The mixture should be smooth and the color of chocolate. You can instantly serve the mousse, however we recommend you let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve in cups with fresh fruit or mint. Some of our favorite fruits we like to add are strawberries, raspberries, bananas, and sometimes pineapple! Now put your fears behind and delve into this delectable, healthy, and cooling summer dessert!
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