Spiral Onion Rolls

spiral onion rolls
Spiral Onion Rolls

These rolls are equally good served with a holiday dinner or dunked into hot soup or stew. The onions in the filling are first caramelized with pears or cherries and then seasoned with thyme, rosemary, and nutritional yeast.

As with most rolls, you can’t make Spiral Onion Rolls in time for a weeknight dinner, but you can definitely get them prepared on a day when you are at home. You will be rewarded for your efforts with a kitchen filled with the scents of simmering onions, herbs and freshly baked rolls. Your house will smell like comfort and happiness.

To make Spiral Onion Rolls, start by caramelizing onions with chopped up pears or Continue reading “Spiral Onion Rolls”

Vegan Fruitcake

Vegan Fruitcake

First, I have to fess up. We didn’t use the Vegan Italian Sausage recipe from my last post when I made stuffing for Thanksgiving. Why? Because my dear husband did the grocery shopping before Thanksgiving, and he came back with STORE-BOUGHT SAUSAGE!! Was it low in fat? No! Was it low in salt? No! But I used it because he wanted me to. He said he  liked my sausage, but he just wanted to splurge.

I would prefer Chris to be 100% committed to eating oil-free, and he knows this. I try not to look disappointed by his choices because I know he feels pressured by my reaction.  I try to be non-judgmental, and I try not to worry.

Not that I don’t splurge occasionally. I do make desserts. During the rest of the year, I don’t make desserts very often, but we have desserts around during the holidays.

I have been making fruitcakes for Chris since I made one as his groom’s cake.

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Vegan Pepper Bread Stuffing with Italian Sausage

Pepper Bread Stuffing
Vegan Pepper Bread Stuffing with Italian Sausage

We love this stuffing recipe, and I have been making it for years, even though this is only the seventh year that I have been making a vegan version. Vegan Pepper Bread Stuffing with Italian Sausage is spicy and flavorful, and it is always the centerpiece of our holiday meals. Although it is time-consuming to make, you can make the bread and sausages ahead of time or make a version that is more convenient by buying bread and sausages.

Way back in 1991, I made stuffing for a turkey by roughly following the recipe for “Cajun Poultry Stuffing,” as published in Peter Reinhart’s book, Brother Juniper’s Bread Book. Even at that time, I didn’t make the recipe as written, as I omitted many of the ingredients containing animal fat. But I was kidding myself; I was stuffing a bird, and all the turkey fat was absorbed by the stuffing!

When we started following a plant-based diet, we couldn’t give up holiday stuffing, so I found a sausage recipe online, modified Peter Reinhart’s recipe some more, and came up with something a bit disappointing. I feel like I finally have a share-worthy recipe, and the last hurdle was figuring out how to make a good sausage.

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Tofu Scramble with Spicy Grilled Vegetables

Tofu Scramble
Tofu Scramble with Spicy Grilled Vegetables

When we get together with family and friends for breakfast, and we’re not in a hurry, I usually make tofu scramble. This is partly because it’s always delicious, but it’s also because there are helping hands to chop up all the vegetables, and chatting with people in the kitchen is always fun.

I’m usually easy to please when it comes to tofu scrambles, but not always. Once I ordered a tofu scramble for brunch, and the server gave me a plate of tofu cubes fried in oil. It was at a restaurant trying (not too hard) to accommodate vegans.

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Spicy Mexican Beans with Grilled Vegetables

Spicy Mexican Beans with Grilled Vegetables
Spicy Mexican Beans with Grilled Vegetables

You don’t need oil to grill vegetables that already contain a lot of moisture, which is the case for the vegetables in Spicy Mexican Beans with Grilled Vegetables. That’s a good thing for anyone who wants to cook food that’s healthy for our hearts. We don’t even bother to spray our grill with oil before using it, though that does mean that we leave behind stuck bits of tomatoes. If you don’t want your tomatoes to stick, spray your preheated grill before you add your vegetables. Either way, you will add sweetness and complex flavors to your meal by grilling.

Start the recipe by marinating the mushrooms in a lime juice mixture. Then grill all the vegetables. Even the kale goes on the grill for a short period of time when all the other vegetables are almost done.

Once you have grilled the vegetables, remove the seeds from the chiles if you want to reduce their heat. Often you can do this simply by pulling off the stem ends; most of the seeds will come along with the stems. For those stems that seem determined to stay attached, chop them off mercilessly, and scoop out whatever seeds come free. Use a spoon to do the scooping so you don’t wipe your eyes later with spicy fingers. I suggest that you don’t worry about the seeds that seem determined to remain inside the chiles. After all, you are just cooking, not performing a quantitative science experiment. The people who eat the food you prepare should be grateful for your efforts anyway,  and they might even enjoy the color contrast of a few seeds.

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