Mini Potato Kugels

I love that all the food we cooked for this year’s Passover Sedar, we cooked as a family! Such a sweet day with the four of us! Most of the recipes we made were also great for year round.

In searching for some kiddo & adult friendly Passover recipes I found this one for Mini Potato Kugels. They are perfect little cups of fried onions and potatoes, so really yummy handheld hash browns 🙂 My kids really liked them (even raw as we were making them) and pressing them into the muffin tins! Plus it was super fun for both of the kiddos to take turns pressing the on/off switch on the food processor to grate these.

I was also inspired because this is one of Mayim Bialik’s recipes and LOVE all things Mayim! True to form it was great 🙂

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Mini Potato Kugels

5 medium potatoes, grated
1 large onion, grated
3 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon potato starch

Salt, to taste (somehow I missed that this was not in the recipe, so notice the salt I sprinkled on top 🙂 but best to add to the mixture first!)

  1. Grate the potatoes, and then drain the liquid from them.
  2. Saute the grated onion in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add paprika.
  3. Mix onions into the potatoes and add potato starch and 1 more Tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Push into greased muffin tins, filling each muffin space all the way to the top, and spritz with a little more oil.
  5. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Matzo Squares

Passover dessert is not really known for being so great (think dry flour less cardboard), but these were awesome! Chocolate & Peanut Butter to me is always a winning combination 🙂 Not everyone eats peanuts/legumes during the holiday so you can always substitute Almond butter and I’m sure would be amazing too! Also to make this as a Non-Passover dessert you can use graham cracker meal or maybe even try coconut flour! mmmm ideas!

My dear friend Lisa posted these on her site and I’m so happy, and so was the rest of my family! YUM!!!!!

Chocolate Peanut But

Chocolate Peanut Butter Matzo Squares
recipe from lisasprojectvegan.com

1 1/4 cup organic natural peanut butter (room temperature)
4 tablespoons Earth Balance (1/2 stick, softened)
1 cup vegan powdered sugar
1 cup of matzo meal (approx 3 sheets processed)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
coarse sea salt (optional)

Combine the peanut butter and Earth Balance.  Use a hand mixer and if it gets to tough, use your hands.  Work the powdered sugar in 1/2 a cup at a time.  When that is thoroughly combined, add the matzo meal and 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.   Combine well.  Lightly grease a small square pan (mine is a 8×8 baking pan) and set the mixture in by really pressing it down firmly so it is even.   Melt together 1/4 cup of the peanut butter and the other 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.  Pour it over the top of the crust and spread it out evenly.  If using sea salt, sprinkle on (I did so on half) Place in the refrigerator to set (at least an hour.)  Cut into squares and serve!  Enjoy!

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Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs with Sriracha Mayo

Happy Passover! If you celebrated the last two nights, I hope they were joyous ones!! We are stuffed, exhausted but had a great time!

This year I made a bunch of new dishes (and some old favorites!!)  and they all came out super deelish!! I wanted to concentrate on some kid friendly dishes that I knew the adults would love too. We had fun as a family cooking these up together. So sweet 🙂

This one was a perfect appetizer for Passover or really any party 🙂 It was a hit both nights and we are super happy to have some leftover! I doubled the recipe to make sure we would have enough and will do next time since they everyone loved them!

Mashed Potato Quinoa

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs with Sriracha Mayo
recipe adapted from http://brazenkitchen.com

Mashed Potato Quinoa Puffs

1 lb. potatoes
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cups very finely chopped greens such as lacinato kale, swiss chard or spinach
1-3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread
¼ cup almond milk or rice milk
Salt and pepper to taste
vegan mayonnaise
Sriracha
ketchup
lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Steam or boil until soft. Drain.
  3. Mash the potatoes well or put it through a ricer.
  4. Once the lumps are gone, add all the ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Using a tablespoon, form into 1 inch balls or using two tablespoons, form the into rough “quenelles” or oblong discs. (I used a mini ice cream scoop/cookie scooper)
  6. Drop into parchment lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the puffs and bake for another 15 minutes.

Sriracha Mayo

  1. Mix Sriracha and mayo to your desired spice level
  2. Kick up with some ketchup and lemon juice.

 

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade

I love Gena’s site and have always been happy with how her recipes come out! We love Polenta in our house, so not surprising when I saw this one I had to try! I am such a sucker for appetizers too, they really are always the best part of any meal or party! I made these for several gathering and parties and they were always a hit. Enjoy!!!

You can prepare the polenta up to 2 days in advance, and the tapenade up to 3 days. On the day of your party, simply broil the polenta squares and top them with the tapenade. The polenta can also be used as a base for many different seasonings. Try & play around 🙂

Just a couple of past polenta dishes and I am sure many more to come: Creamy Polenta with Barbecue Seitan SauceVegan Creamy Polenta with Sausage and PeppersMushroom and Kale PolentaPolenta & Shallot SquaresPolenta with Nectarine-Blackberry SalsaPolenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato SauceSlow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Polenta Vegetable Casserole.

Polenta Squares with

Polenta Squares with Sun-Dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade
Recipe from http://www.choosingraw.com 
Serves 22 (recipe can easily be halved)

Polenta Party Squares

6 cups vegetable broth (low sodium if possible)
2 cups polenta (yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 batch sun-dried tomato and walnut tapenade

Bring the polenta, salt, and broth to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer. Using a long wooden spoon, continually stir the polenta until it has thickened (approximately 25-30 minutes). When the mixture is very thick and is pulling away from the sides of the pot, stir in the pepper and thyme.
Oil a 15.25 x 10.25 baking sheet (or line with parchment paper). Spread the polenta mixture evenly over the sheet with an inverted knife. It should be about as thick as the edge of the pan itself. Allow it to cool, and then transfer to the fridge for a few hours.
Preheat your broiler. Cut the polenta into squares (you should get about 22). Return them to a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Place under a broiler for 8 minutes, or until they’re lightly toasted. You can alternately bake them at 375 for twenty-five minutes or so. Top each square with a tablespoon of tapenade, and serve.

Sun-dried Tomato and Walnut Tapenade

3/4 cups sun-dried tomatoes (not oil soaked)
2 cups water
2/3 cups walnuts
2 small cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Boil the water and pour it over the tomatoes. Allow them to soften for 20 minutes. Discard most of the water (keep a half cup in case you need to thin the tapenade).
Grind the walnuts in a food processor fitted with the S blade until they’re finely ground. Add the tomatoes and garlic, and pulse to combine. Add the lemon, sea salt, pepper, and rosemary.
Run the motor of the food processor and drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. If the mixture is still very thick, drizzle in some of the soak water from the tomatoes until it reaches the desired consistency. You’re aiming for the consistency of regular tapenade, or a thick pesto.

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Apple Cider Caramel Dipped Apples

No I am not joking with this! SOO good! This is one of those awesome desserts that no one would believe is actually vegan 🙂 Perfect for this beautiful Autumn Apple Season!

I whipped up the caramel sauce, sliced some apples and deelish!

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This is just a basic recipe that you can then play around with for many variations.

  • You can change up the cider to another liquid (chai, vanilla soy, pear juice, coconut milk, tea, etc)
  • Use 1 tsp to up to 3 Tbsp corn starch – the more you add, the thicker the sauce will become. (I am going to use more next time since as it warms up out of the fridge it became a bit runny – see picture below)
  • The lemon juice is optional but really complimented the warm apple cider flavors quite nicely.

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Vegan Apple Cider Caramel sauce
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com (love this site!!!)

1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup vegan shortening (I used Earth Balance shortening sticks)
1 cup vegan dry sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1-3 Tbsp corn starch (I used 1Tbsp – next time more – see above)
1 tsp ginger powder
Dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp lemon juice
pinch of salt (opt’l)
1 tsp molasses (opt’l)

1. Dissolve the corn starch into the cider.
2. Add the cider/starch to a sauce pan with the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil – stirring constantly. When the bubbling becomes intense, reduce to medium heat and continue stirring until the mixture thickens a bit. Optional – use a food processor or (better) an immersion blender to add some air into the sauce.  If you don’t have anything to whip the caramel with it will still turn out fine – just a bit less airy.
3. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. Once chilled, use sauce as you wish in recipes!

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

My kids are Obsessed with Spanakopita so naturally I had to make some at home. It was hard to save them some 😉 but we did manage it. I have made this since without the puff pastry because the filling is just so good on its own. Also love my veganized version with tofu, no one would even notice, it is just so good!

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Spanakopita – Spinach Pie

2 – 10 ounce packages frozen spinach, thawed
1 pound extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 teaspoon dill
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup walnuts, ground​
​2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
pepper, taste
1/4 cup olive oil
dashes of nutmeg, thyme, marjoram, basil and oregano
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, quartered and chopped (cleaned super well!)
4 scallions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed (or phyllo dough)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Saute the onion with a little salt in olive oil until translucent. Add in the leeks, garlic and scallions, season with salt, and continue to saute until translucent.
  3. Combine the spinach, tofu, dill, lemon juice, walnuts, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, olive oil & spices together and mix well.
  4. Combine onion mixture with the spinach/tofu mixture.
  5. Line a baking sheet with ether parchment paper or aluminum foil. Unfold puff pastry and place on baking sheet. Spread the spinach mixture over the pastry, leaving a border of one inch all around the edges. Keep the spinach flat; do not pile high. Cover with the second sheet of pastry that has been slightly flattened to one inch bigger than the first sheet. (This ensures all the spinach will be covered). Press edges together with fingertips, making sure mixture is sealed well. Brush just the top with non-dairy milk, Cut a few slits in the top with a sharp knife to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Can be served hot or at room temperature.

You have options for the extra filling. You can use it like a dip, eat it with a spoon or take another sheet of puff pastry and made deelish spinach pinwheels!

For the pinwheels: Unfold the pastry sheet on the work surface. Top with the spinach mixture. Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices onto 2 baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove the pastries from the baking sheets and let cool on wire racks for 10 minutes.

Rosemary White Bean Dip

I have made this dish now a few times and every time I prepared it a bit differently and every time it came out deelish!! Super easy, super yummy, healthy and everyone will love it!

I am really into cooking dried beans lately instead of using canned ones. I found this insanely easy technique of just soaking them and cooking them on low for 4+ hours in a crock pot! Done, easy peasy!! Beautiful! You will never have to use canned beans again unless you are in a pinch!!

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3 variations:

  1. red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  2. roasted garlic blended in & saved some full roasted cloves for garnish
  3. fresh garlic blended
Rosemary White Bean Dip
adapted from MarthaStewart.com
  • baguette or crackers
  • 2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed & drained OR 1/2 lb dried beans, soaked & cooked
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • (optional) fresh or roasted garlic

If using baguette, slice 1/2 inch thick, brush with olive oil, and cook in a 350-degree oven until lightly toasted.

In a food processor, combine cannellini beans, olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice and garlic (optional). Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Add 2 teaspoons rosemary and pulse until combined. Season with salt & pepper and Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little oil.

CSA Love – Garlic Scape Pesto

We are LOVING our first summer being part of a CSA. A super awesome surprise box of beyond fresh veggies every week 🙂 What a great present to have! Before joining the CSA I had never had a garlic scape before. Garlic scapes are the beautiful bright green stems and unopened flower buds of garlic. I heard that if you place them in water, their flowers are beautiful!! (but then your house will also smell of garlic!). They have a mild-strong garlic flavor, depending, and can be used a variety of ways, often times just in place of garlic itself. You can find them early summer at farmer’s markets and they are quite the gem!

I decided to try making a pesto with them. I ended up adding a bunch of baby spinach to tame down the powerful garlic flavor, but in the end it was DEELISH! We used it to make pesto pasta, sautéed greens (from the CSA), as a condiment in wraps and even the babies Loved it as a dip with baby carrots. Image

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup pignoli nuts + some for garnish
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigian (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Puree everything together, scraping down the sides to incorporate everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with pignoli nuts. Simple and delicious.

For Pasta – Just boil 1 lb of pasta and combine with Pesto.

For Sauteed Chicory – Boil Chicory for about 5 minutes to remove some of the bitterness and then saute with pesto. Amazing!! A CSA Fave!!!

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For Baby Beet Greens – Chop up, saute the stems first till they soften a bit and then add the greens and mix with pesto. (enjoy the beets with this or on their own)

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Mushroom Gravy

Just reading the name of this recipe makes my mouth water with how good it was!!!! To me this was perfect date/impress/romantic/thank goodness for leftovers food.

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Coconut Mushroom Gravy
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
makes 8-9 cups (lots of leftovers – half recipe to serve just a few, but if you are like me make the whole thing!)
Risotto:
4 ounces coconut milk
8 ounces almonds, sliced
2 cups scallions, sliced (1 bunch)
16 ounces quinoa, dry (about 2 1/2 cups) – rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp herbed sea salt

Gravy:
8 ounces coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, pinch salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
a spoonful of cooked quinoa risotto
1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
add a splash of water if you’d like a thinner gravy

1. Using a large pot – bring your water and a pinch of salt to a strong boil. Add the rinsed quinoa. Cover with a small vent and allow to boil for 10-12 minutes on med-high heat.

2. When the ten minutes is up, remove the lid completely from the large quinoa pot. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Add in: all your almond, scallions and a splash of coconut milk. Also grind in some fresh pepper.

3. Stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down a bit. The ingredients will begin to absorb more of the liquid and a thick risotto will begin to form.

4. Next add in the nutritional yeast, maple syrup (just a splash), garlic powder and risotto mushrooms. Continue folding the quinoa until a moist thick consistency forms. Like a very thick oatmeal. Turn heat off and begin spooning the quinoa out of the pot and into a serving/storage bowl. You can also begin plating your quinoa.

5. In the same pot, you will make the gravy. It’s OK if some of the quinoa ( a few spoonfuls) remains in the pot. This will help to thicken your gravy.

6. For gravy: add all the gravy ingredients and stir on medium until sauce thickens. Allow saffron to bloom. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over top plated quinoa – or transfer to a gravy serving bowl.

7. Plate your risotto and then add the gravy. Garnish with fresh pepper and plenty of mushrooms from the gravy. ENJOY!!

Plated Risotto

Plated Risotto

Risotto

Risotto

Gravy

Gravy

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites

I have always loved to entertain but haven’t had the space in so long, especially the last year with 4 of us in a 1-bedroom apartment! But now that we have moved and have a bit more space, we are able to have more people over. And that means fun food for me 🙂 We are still new here but expect to see a bunch of party appetizers/HD’s/1-biters in the near future!

These were super good and went fast! They are a bit gooey to work with so next time I might add more thickener but no one was complaining 🙂 My mom tried them out and brought them right away to a party that weekend. See below for her changes as well.

With Chocolate - to us this really wasn't optional :)

With Chocolate – to us this really wasn’t optional 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites
recipe from namelymarly.com

1 cup Rice Chex
1 cup potato flakes
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened Vegan Butter (aka, Earth Balance margarine)
1 cup powdered sugar (less if you used sweetened peanut butter)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 – 2 cups dark chocolate chips, plus more for melting and dipping

Pulse Rice Chex and instant mashed potatoes in a food processor until fairly pulverized. It doesn’t have to be flour-like, but in the neighborhood.
Add the peanut butter and softened Vegan Butter. Pulse for a few more seconds until everything is blended.
Add the powdered sugar and ground flax seed and pulse a few more times to mix it together.
Transfer the dough into a medium lidded bowl. Add the chocolate chips and stir so they’re evenly incorporated.
Put the lid on the bowl and place it in the fridge for a minimum of an hour so the dough firms up a bit. (makes it so much easier to work with!) Take tablespoon size pieces and roll into balls.

Optional – Double Boil chocolate and dip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Naked Balls

Naked Balls

My mom’s changes:

She used some almond butter also, instead of all peanut butter, added about 1/4 cup extra potato flakes to make a thicker batter,  used ground sunflower seeds and fiber one instead of chex. She didn’t dip into chocolate- just put a dollop of melted chocolate on each and swirled a little with back of my spoon.
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