Dec 12, 2014

vvp - enchiladas with lime sauce

It’s that time of season again – it’s Virtual Vegan Potluck Time. I say that like I’ve been doing it for years, but the truth is this is the first time I’m participating, mainly because I just didn’t realize what it was!

Basically VVP is a day in the year when a bunch of blogs get together (as close as blogs can get) and “link” up. The blogs agree to post about a dish – a soup, a main or a dessert – and on each blog post there is a link to the previous blog post and a link to the next blog post (see below at the very bottom of this post). 

Picture lining up all the blogs in a row – in order from appetizer to dessert – and linking them up, as in a chain. You go from one blog to the next to the next via the link, until you get to the delicious end. And because the blogs are thusly linked, it doesn't matter where you start because you can always follow the links backward or forward.

Virtual Vegan Potluck is hosted by Ann Oliverio, from An Unrefined Vegan blog and we are so very happy she is taking the time to set this up! If you are ever interested in joining her weekly on her Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck, don’t hesitate! It is too much fun! There every week you link up your blog post with a recipe on her blog (which is mirrored on Canned Time’s and Bunny Kitchen's blog).

My offering for VVP this season is in theme with citrus, which is the featured ingredient this time around. I use lime in my sauce in the recipe below and the dish is from my cookbook, Everyday Vegan Eats.

In fact, it is a great time to pick up your own copy of Everyday Vegan Eats for a few reasons:

1) It has great holiday recipes, such as Holiday Roast, Green Bean Casserole with homemade fried onions, Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Casserole, Flaky Buttermilk Biscuits, Chocolate Chip Cookies (for the old man with the white beard), Rugelach Cookies (for anyone!) and the list goes on.

2) The other reason not to miss getting your hands on Everyday Vegan Eats, is that the new year is right around the corner and that means resolutions and new beginnings. The New Year is probably the biggest time of year when people give vegan a try and this cookbook will make sure you stay vegan.

It is full of comfort food that does not compromise on taste. Nachos with really good (really good!) cheese sauce, Country Fried Portobello (or Seitan), French Toast that is moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, Caramel Sauce, Tofu Bacon, Po’ Boys, and again, the list goes on and on. If you know someone who will give veganism a try this coming year (or if you want to have awesome vegan food for yourself), this is the book you need.

And now, from Everyday Vegan Eats, I offer my recipe for Cheese and Spinach Enchiladas with Cilantro-Lime Cream Sauce. Enjoy!

Spinach and Bean Enchiladas


Spinach, beans and a little vegan cheese are rolled in corn tortillas. Enchilada sauce smothers the casserole and a drizzle of cilantro-lime cream sauce complete it. It’s great served with Mexican Red Rice and Beans (recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats) or Refried Beans with Tomatoes (recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats). Or keep things simple and serve with a crisp green salad with Mexican Ranch Dressing (recipe in Everyday Vegan Eats). Recipe published by permission from Everyday Vegan Eats by Vegan Heritage Press.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, and salt. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden, 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chili powder. Transfer half of the onion mixture to a large skillet and set aside.

Return the saucepan to medium heat. Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup water and whisk until smooth. Stir in the remaining water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until it thickens, about 15 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning and set aside.

Heat the reserved onions in the skillet over medium heat. Stir in the beans, spinach, and 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese and 3 tablespoons of the reserved red sauce. Mix well, remove from the heat, and season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Transfer 1 cup of the red sauce to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Heat the tortillas between 2 damp paper towels in the microwave for 1 minute or heat each tortilla in a large skillet over medium heat. Fill a tortilla with 2heaping tablespoons of bean mixture, roll it up and place it seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with all the tortillas. Ladle the remaining red sauce over the filled tortillas. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve with the cream sauce.

Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce
Makes 1 cup


Blend the cashews in a dry personal blender until the nuts are finely ground. Add the milk, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon more milk. Set aside.

Now go follow the links! Click "Go Back" to see the blog before this one, Create Mindfully, or "Go Forward" to the next blog, VGNVGF, for the first dessert entry!

Nov 14, 2014

"vegan casseroles" + blendtec giveaway

That season of giving is right around the corner, and my next few posts will be about presents you might want to give...or get! I'll start with this book right here....

"Vegan Casseroles" by Julie Hasson is out! Yes, the brand new cookbook by Julie is now available from Running Press. It is full-color with great photos throughout.

The amazing thing about this blog tour is that Running Press and Julie are giving away a BlendTec 725 Designer Blender via Rafflecopter. You read that right! On top of the grand first prize, 5 people will also win a copy of Julie's new book, "Vegan Casseroles: Pasta Bakes, Gratins, Pot Pies and More."

As of this writing, "Vegan Casseroles" is the #1 selling book in the casseroles category on Amazon. Way to go, Julie!

I had the pleasure of cooking from this creative cookbook a few weeks ago and I'm here to share. Julie's book contains chapters for Appetizers, Skillet Casseroles, Old Favorites, Pasta Casseroles, Vegetable Casseroles, Dessert Casseroles and Basics. In essence, Julie covers it all.

I'll share a recipe with you in a bit, but first I want to show you a few of the recipes I made from it.

Here is Julie's Zucchini Basil Lasagna. As a great cook, Julie knows the wonderful pairing of basil and zucchini:

Then I made Cinnamon-Sugar Cheesecake Casserole because, well, I have children and I let them look through the book. This dessert is a testament to the book's devine-sounding desserts chapter.

I altered the recipe a bit because I couldn't find the topping ingredient, so I wound up using puff pastry on the top and graham crackers on the bottom. This casserole didn't last long at all!

Now it's your turn! Here is a recipe from "Vegan Casseroles" by Julie Hasson that I have permission from the publisher, Running Press, to publish.

NOTE: I had originally posted the recipe for Baked Penne with Pumpkin Cream Sauce, but I just noticed that Chic Vegan posted that recipe (HERE), so I wanted to offer a different dish from the book.

Reprinted with permission from VEGAN CASSEROLES © 2014 by Julie Hasson, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Photo by Felicia Perretti.

Baby Greens with Cashew Cream Sauce (Gluten Free)

One of my favorite dishes growing up was creamed spinach. I haven’t had the dairy version in years, but this is a perfect re-creation, with a combination of baby kale, chard, and spinach, bathed in a creamy cashew sauce. I adapted the original recipe from Whole Foods Market. Feel free to substitute chopped kale for the baby greens blend.
Serves 2 to 4 as a side

1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk or other nondairy milk
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

6 cups mixed baby greens (such as kale, chard, and spinach) or chopped kale or other dark, leafy green In a blender, add the soymilk, cashews, nutritional yeast, granulated onion, and miso and purée until smooth and silky.

Heat the oil in a large, nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until they just turn golden. Add the cashew cream mixture to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Stir in the greens, folding them into the sauce until they begin to wilt. Continue to simmer, stirring often, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little bit of water.

Tip: If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can skip the soaking step for the cashews and just use them dry. Add a little extra water to blend if needed.

Now is the time for you to enter to win the BlendTec Blender or a copy of Julie's Vegan Casserole book. Contest open to US residents. Contest ends December 11.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 11, 2014

daily dose of art

Last week I teamed up with Paulina Costancia of Daily Dose of Art for a week-long feature of sauces. I made the last round of sauces, inspired by Tex-Mex flavors, to round off her weekly series.

Check out the other sauces from bloggers around the web who participated.

Saucery 1: Raw Food Center, raw sauces
Saucery 2: Ananda Marga Wellness Center
Saucery 3: Greendot, Wakame Vinaigrette
Saucery 4: Little Boy Blue Vegetarian House, Filipino Style Chili Sauce

Sep 30, 2014

burger wrap-up

Day 20 Vegan MoFo. This is it! This is the last post for Vegan MoFo 2014. Congrats to all who made it this far, and congrats to all who started in the first place. It can be pretty intimidating, especially if you aren’t a daily blogger (does anybody blog daily?)

My last post is not another burger post, but rather a round-up of five of our favorite burgers from this MoFo and tips on how to make your own vegan burgers.

Our Top Five Faves from this month, in no particular order:

Schnitzel Burger. This was the only burger that was fried and was made out of seitan. There is nothing else needing to be said, as basically anything fried would taste good, but then make that fried something a seitan, add a dill-horseradish sauce AND serve it on a homemade pretzel bun? Forget ‘bout it! This definitely makes our Top Five.

Rou Jia Mo (Chinese Burger). This one didn’t get a lot of hit action for some reason. It didn’t seem to appeal to too many of you. You have no idea what you’re missing. You HAVE to make this burger, from bun to finish. I guarantee love at first bite. The sauce/broth is nothing short of amazing and I am not the least bit surprised that this is a street food of unparalleled love in China.

Pizza Burger. Another one with a homemade “bun,” this one made out of focaccia. Even if you make the focaccia and not the burger (read: eat it alone in the back of the kitchen quietly so no one is the wiser and comes to pilfer your treasure), you are still way ahead of the game. Make the sausage-style burger and the sauce for it, and you have died and gone to pizza heaven. Decadent!

Eggplant Sriracha BBQ Burger. An elusively simple burger to make in the sense that the burger patty is nothing more than grilled eggplant. But that is just the start of the magic. It is then based with Sriracha BBQ Sauce and served with a Zucchini Slaw to cool things down. Do not forget the mayo! It ties everything together and is the host of the party. Told you it is simple, but the sum is so much more than the parts. Said that before, but with burgers, this is the #truth.

Thanksgiving Burger: all the holiday fixings on a single burger. Admit it, we all have our perfect bite at Thanksgiving – a bit of stuffing, a little cranberry sauce, some green bean casserole, a little gravy – and then we shovel it all in our mouths. Now you can stuff to contention and not feel as though you have crossed some sort of social divide. Eat your Thanksgiving meal! One complete bite at a time. The way the Feast was meant to be enjoyed.

Tips to Making Your Own Burgers:

The Bun:

You can use any bun you like but make sure to toast it. And I’m not talking just any old way. Lightly butter the buns and toast them in a skillet or grill pan over medium heat. That is the best way to toast your buns for your burgers.

Think outside the bun! I used all “burger” type buns because of the theme (lest someone mistake my burger for a sandwich!) but you have no such restrictions. Use lettuce leaves, lavash, tortillas, bread slices, whatever you have handy or you desire.

The Sauce:

All burgers need a sauce, whether it as simple as vegan mayo or ketchup or as complex as a BBQ sauce. But you can do better than ketchup, can’t you? Mix that ketchup with the mayo and add some grated onion and sriracha. While moderation is always best (please, don’t make a 40-ingredient sauce), get creative and add a few things: spicy, sweet, creamy, tangy, etc.

The Veggies:

Contrasting the hot burger, cool veggies are always a welcome addition. Your veg can be a slaw, a lettuce leaf, a slice of onion, a tomato slice, pickles, cucumbers, shredded cabbage, whatever you feel would make the burger complete. Try to match your veggies with your burger patty – napa cabbage on an Asian burger, etc.

The Burger Patty:

As I’ve demonstrated this month, your burger patty can be anything, from a cauliflower steak, to a cabbage steak, to tempeh and tofu and beans and anything that can be mashed, flavored and formed into a burger. All you really need is a binder for a patty, if you mash up ingredients such as veggies and beans.

Your binder can be: gluten flour, nut butters, seed butters, bread crumbs, oat flour (or other flours), flax meal, soaked chia seeds, etc. Anything that becomes sticky and acts like glue. Get the ratio of “food glue” to delicious burger filling right and you’ve got a burger that won’t fall apart, won’t become mushy and won’t be hard as a rock, but WILL be full of flavor.

Which brings me to flavor: over flavor the filling because once you sauté it or grill it, it tends to mute the seasonings. This includes salt. Don’t go overboard, but don’t produce a bland burger, either.


Yes, you need a theme. Otherwise what on earth will you make? A theme is your starting point. It can be a region, a country, a style of burger, a flavor, a dish you want to make into a burger, etc. Making an Asian-inspired burger will start your journey with an Asian vegetable or flavor profile, such as teriyaki sauce, sriracha or Thai basil.

Recreating a meal into a burger, such as making your favorite curry Burger-fied: start with a coconut-curry sauce and make your patty from there: perhaps a cashew-tofu-veggies-Thai-curry-paste burger patty. 

The theme is your starting point from which you will draw your map. Don’t veer too far off-course, and you’ll find your way to your burger destination.

Thus ends Vegan MoFo 2014 for me! I’ll be reading and chatting with you all over the coming weeks. Thanks for all the support and enthusiasm! It’s been a blast!


I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan FridaysWhat I Ate Wednesday and Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck. 


Sep 29, 2014

nothing fishy burgers

Day 19 Vegan MoFo is the final burger in this burger marathon and it is my Nothing Fishy Burger. This is in lieu of salmon burgers, crab cakes and other sea animals, that are best left in the ocean and not piled onto a sandwich.

This burger utilizes oyster mushrooms, which have an awesome texture for this type of a filling and it is accented with a hint of seaweed. I use my absolute favorite sea vegetable: dulse flakes. They are just a reminder of the sea instead of a harsh sea flavor, and therefore, they are perfect for the uninitiated.

I top this burger with a Caper-Relish Sauce, which is a kicked-up tartar sauce (because we can't have any repeats this month!) thanks to the capers and chipotle peppers. To cool things down, the Cucumber Slaw is a welcome addition for its effect and it's crunch.

I've made a crab-cake like sandwich before: Crabby Cakes, HERE, which we loved, too. Those are made with tofu and these Nothing Fishy Burgers are soy free. Oh, the choices!

Now that the burgers are all done, what will tomorrow bring, the final Vegan MoFo Day of 2014? A Round Up, of course, and ...perhaps some tips and advice on how to make your own vegan burgers. Let me, one whose made the mistakes, let you in on a few tips of the trade.


Nothing Fishy Burger
Makes 5 burgers
3 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
1 large onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt and black pepper
1 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed
2 teaspoons dulse flakes, divided
¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs, divided
¼ cup chopped parsley
Cucumber Slaw, recipe below
Caper-Relish Sauce, recipe below
5 burger buns, toasted

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and season with salt and black pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes and remove from skillet to a large bowl.
2. In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil, increase heat to medium-high and add half the mushrooms. Cook, stirring infrequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to work surface and chop well, but do not mince. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and mushrooms.
3. Add the chopped mushroom to the large bowl with the onions. Add 1 teaspoon dulse, mayo, Old Bay, ½ cup bread crumbs and parsley. Mix well and season with salt and black pepper. Divide into 5 portions and form into burgers. Handle them carefully. Just like crab cakes, these are delicate and will fall apart if handled with a harsh hand. Gentle dredge each burger in the remaining bread crumbs.
4. Heat the skillet again, add a little oil the remaining dulse flakes and cook them until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
5. Assemble the burgers by spreading the bottom bun with the sauce, adding a burger and topping with the slaw. Serve.

Cucumber Slaw
½ large cucumber, cut into julienne strips
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne strips
1 tablespoon white vinegar (such as white balsamic or coconut vinegar)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
½ teaspoon natural sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Sti well. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper

Caper-Relish Sauce
¼ cup vegan mayo
¼ cup vegan sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon sweet relish
2 teaspoons minced chipotle
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well and season with salt and black pepper.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved

california burger

Day 18 Vegan MoFo is all about the state I reside in, at the moment: California. We tend to move around a lot, although not as such as my family did in my adolescence, which was up to twice in one year, at times.

This burger has everything going for it that you've come to expect from a California type sandwich: sprouts, vegan bacon, avocado, tomato and a homemade burger patty.

This patty is a variation of my Better Burger Patty, which I'm trying to perfect. This patty omits the beets (athough it is an omission I only made because I didn't have fresh beets) and uses Marmite instead of a homemade beef-style seasoning.

As for the bacon, use whatever vegan bacon you like. I used my Tofu Bacon (page 36) from Everyday Vegan Eats because we love it so much - crispy, crunchy, salty, smoky. Perfect on this burger.

The sauce is Avocado-Cilantro Sauce that makes use of the other half of avocado that you thinly slice for the sandwich.

Our kids love the California Club Sandwich (EVE, page 83) from Everyday Vegan Eats, and I figured I'd make it into a burger because, why not?

Note: I was supposed to publish this last night. Grr! I'll add two post today or tomorrow to finish my MoFo on a high note!


California Burger
Makes 10 burger patties. Makes 4 burgers, with the other 6 freezing well.
1 (14-ounce) package tofu
6 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
3 teaspoons yeast extract spread (such as Marmite)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup chopped onions
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 cup vital wheat gluten flour
½ cup steak sauce (such as A-1)
8 strips vegan bacon
Avocado-Cilantro Sauce, recipe below
½ avocado
1 cup sprouts
4 tomato slices
4 onion slices
4 leaves lettuce
4 burger buns, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 230-degrees F. Combine the tofu, mayo, yeast extract, mustard, onions and salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the gluten flour and pulse until the dough comes together. Transfer to a large bowl and knead until gluten threads form. Divide into 10 portions and form each portion into a burger patty. Arrange the burgers in two baking dishes. Spread 1 teaspoon of steak sauce on each side of the burgers. Cover the dishes tightly with foil and bake for 2 hours. Cool the patties throroughly before using.
2. Heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium heat. Oil the burgers with oil spray and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Baste with more steak sauce, flip and continue to cook until golden, another 2 minutes. Baste, flip and cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Assemble the burgers by spreading sauce on the bottom bun, adding a tomato slice, an onion slice, adding a burger patty, adding a few slices of avocado, topping with sprouts and adding the top of the bun. Serve.

Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
½ avocado
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
¼ cup vegan mayo
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a personal blender. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Sep 24, 2014

irish burger

Day 17 Vegan MoFo burger is an Irish Burger!

These burgers are made with cabbage steaks that are rubbed with horseradish and dusted with corned seasoning and then roasted. It is then topped with melted cheese.

The second layer is sauerkraut and crumbled homemade tempeh-bacon.

The third layer is fried potatoes - because you can't have an Irish burger without potatoes! Finally the sauce is made of relish, mustard and grated onion - a twist on the traditional 1,000 Island dressing that graces a Reuben.

This burger has a lot of action happening, but it all comes together in one magical sandwich.


Irish Burger
Makes 4 burgers
5 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
1 large Russet potato, cut into julienne strips
1 head cabbage (about 1 pound), cut into ½-inch slices
Prepared horseradish, as needed, about 2 tablespoons
Corned Spices, recipe below
½ cup shredded vegan cheese
1 (8-ounce) package tempeh, finely chopped
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Special Irish Sauce, recipe below
1 cup sauerkraut
4 burger buns, toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F.Toss 1 tablespoon of oil with the potato strips on a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 20 minutes and set aside.
2. Arrange the cabbage slices on an oiled baking sheet. Spread 1 teaspoon of horseradish on each cabbage slices. Sprinkle the Corned Spices over the top of the slices. Roast the cabbage in the preheated 400-degree oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Add cheese over the cabbage steaks and continue to bake until the cheese melts. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tempeh and cook until golden about 4 minutes. Add the tamari, yeast and cook until the tamari evaporates. Remove from heat and stir in the paprika. Set aside.
4. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet and cook the baked fries in batches until crisp. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and black pepper.
5. Assemble the burgers by spreading about 2 tablespoons of sauce on each bottom bun, add a cabbage steak, tempeh bacon, ¼ of the sauerkraut and ¼ of the fries. Top with the top buns and serve.

Corned Spices
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon dill seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Pinch ground clove
Sea salt and black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder or personal blender. Blend until finely ground.

Special Irish Sauce
½ cup vegan mayo
½ small onion, grated
2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
Sea salt and black pepper

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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