My first attempt at using boxed cake mix minus the eggs was a success. Substitute applesauce for the oil and JUST EGG made from plants. I also added 2 teaspoons of baking soda. A little lighter and more airy than bakery style. Filled with a cocoa and maraschino cherry cream topping – dairy-free by RICH’S!
Boiled yellow potatoes, pan-fried with an herb-spice mix in a light sesame seed oil till crusted and burnt on most surfaces with tender centers. Plus SESAME BARBECUE HOME FRIES made from leftover Burnt Fries, or you may want to do the barbecue from the beginning. One is a breakfast dish, the other a small plate or appetizer. Restaurants don’t always have to make the same Home Fries all the time. Mix it up now and then!
Make the veggie dog more healthy while at the same time up-ticking the price by making it gourmet-style, downtown-style, country-club accessible. But it needs to be worth it to justify the price. This is – if done as instructed.
You can use any veggie dog or sausage you want.
Any bun you want as long as it fits the ingredients.
Animal-free and good taste and texture of course.
Apply the relish and or veg mayonniase to the inside of the bun. I like both.
Cradle a lettuce leaf onto the bun. I used hearts of romaine.
Squirt some mustard onto the leaf.
Lay that steamed or pan-fried veggie hot dog into the cradle.
Top with sliced or chopped red onion, diced sweet fresh red pepper, vegan parmesan cheese.
I used Follow Your Heart Parmesan Cheese.
You know it and I know it. That is some grandiosity of a mean clean veggie making machine of a hot dog. On a bun.
You can’t get much better than this. Lots of new techniques applied to an old-time favorite salad. Macaroni has a new place in the heirarchy of pasta salads. You don’t even need the dressing, in fact some of you will want to forego it. Or, half with dressing, half without. Either way, it made it to the moon and back!
Baked beans aren’t just for service as main or side dish. They make good sandwiches too. Make your own baked beans or use canned. I made a deluxe knife and fork sandwich using a recent VEGGIE POT BEANS recipe I developed. Over the top. It sure was good though.
To start you have to have the beans which I had. Here they are:
A hearty pot of baked beans and veggies. Smoky, sweet, salty, spicy, acidic. Textured with reconstituted vegetable protein to increase nutritional content and uptick the chew factor. You don’t need ground pork or bacon with these beans. The textured vegetable protein sauteed with seasonings create the chew and flavor you expect!
Makes 23 cups
VEGGIE POT BEAN KNIFE AND FORK SANDWICH
> Use an English muffin or a Thomas’ Nooks and Crannies Bagels (it’s essentially a larger, lighter bagel style English muffin), lightly toasted and spread with margarine.
> nut butter; I used fresh ground almond butter here
> spicy brown mustard mixed with a little light-colored vinegar till smooth to make a saucy texture
> Veggie hot dogs, sliced in half from end to end, then in half crosswise, pan-fried in a little oil till hot – I used LIGHTLIFE JUMBO SMART DOGS
> LIGHTLIFE meatless SMART BACON, thawed and pan-fried according to package instructions in a little oil, followed by a little maple syrup, being careful not to cook too long, otherwise it will stiffen beyond use
> lettuce leaf (I used hearts of romaine
> sliced ripe tomato
> 3-4 sweet or dill pickle chips (your preference)
> slice of room temperature veggie cheese (I used Tofutti mozzarella)
> fresh parsley garnish
Make beans and heat till very hot.
Spoon a little bean mixture on center of serving plate to hold the toasted muffin in place.
Place 1 toasted muffin half on top of bean mixture.
Spread evenly with a little nut butter
Top with 3 meatless hot dog pieces and drizzle with a little more mustard sauce.
Drizzle liberally with a little mustard sauce.
Top with lettuce.
Top lettuce with cooked bacon.
Top with pickle.
Top bacon liberally with hot bean mixture.
Top with tomato slice.
Top with slice of veggie cheese softened at room temperature.
(Optional) Broiled in desired for a couple minutes without wilting everything else.
If you work in a restaurant and are accustomed to deep frying your side dish potatoes, think roast. Low calorie, low fat, high flavor and texture properties! Your customers will want these for the main dish. So why not offer a main dish and a side dish option?
Also serve as an appetizer plate with toothpicks and a dipping sauce. Dipping Sauce suggestions? Horseradish dairy free sour cream, barbecue, tartar sauce will all work! Listen for the raves!
All grilled cheese sandwiches don’t have to meet the melt requirement, whereby the cheese oozes and drips. Sometimes, hot and soft is just as acceptable, especially when using a thicker sliced cheese. Bring it to room temperature before pan-grilling it and soft will be just as enjoyable.
To help bring the internal temperature of the sandwich high enough to soften the cheese, place a flat cover onto the bread itself in the fry pan and press down on it to flatten the sandwich, then cover it with a larger cover over the entire pan, trapping the heat.
If you’re using a steak and sausage tough-skinned bun, the bun will harden and not wilt as it might do with a more flimsy bread style.
For this soft melt I used the heels (ends) of a sturdy whole grain deli bread.
It works for me and it works quicker, so it doesn’t take so long to cook the inside.
Give it a try to see what you think.
Note: Many vegan cheeses produce a melt, but don’t produce the appearance of a dairy melt. That’s why sometimes with lasagna or pizza a shredded vegan cheese will still present as shreds after being baked, even though when you bite into them, they clearly are melted. Here we go for soft, especially when piling other ingredients onto the sandwich.
The frozen veggies of the day are broccoli, cauliflower and carrot. Add water, flavor concentrates – in this case mushroom base and poblano pepper concentrate – plus a few seasonings, diced celery and you have a creamy rich soup once blended. We add the celery after the soup is blended for a texture contrast! Topped with a Sweet Mustard Drizzle!
1-1/4 lbs. fresh pablano chilies, or 4 X-lg., washed and drained
1-1/3 lbs. fresh hatch chilies, or 10 lg. (also called green chilies), washed and drained
Place all peppers on wire rack over large baking sheet. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes, turning once halfway through.
The hatch chilis will roast quicker than the pablanos if they’re small. If that’s the case, then remove the hatch to a board, then finish roasting the pablanos.
Remove from oven, place in paper bag to wilt (a few hours at room temperature).
Prep peppers separately.
Remove from bag, pull off stems, slit up sides and remove seeds.
Stack pepper planks, cut in half from end to end, then cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide segments. Place in covered container till ready to use in a recipe. Or cut them any shape you want.
Notes: Remember to keep pablanos and hatch chilies separate. You can use them both in the same recipes. It’s just easier to keep them separate till you decide what to do with them.
We’re not charring the peppers and chilies here. We’re roasting them, which means soften the flesh and skins, but don’t let the skins get charred or dried so much that they peel off. Some peeling is fine, but not much. We want the skins on, but a tender-soft texture throughout.
Charring peppers and removing the skins is for another recipe and requires a higher more direct heat.
These hatch chilies are hot. The people at the market where I bought them said they were the same as green chiles. Not the same chilies I’ve had. Green chilies are more like Anaheim peppers. These are hot – so hot that when Steve took a small handful of pieces as a snack he spit them out. Market employees don’t always know what they’re talking about. Maybe green chilis come in different heat scales.
Although the pablano peppers have some heat, they can be used more liberally in recipes.
Experiment. Use in all kinds of salads, soups, chilis, rice, potato or bean main dishes, sauces. Like I say – experiment.
I’ll let you know when I use these. It’s always better to roast them instead of lose them if you don’t have an immediate plan.
Although I often steam asparagus, especially when I’m looking for a crisper, bright green texture and appearance, the best way to make sure every nook and cranny of the tips are sanitized properly is to boil them. I know nobody likes to do that, but it does produce a cleaner, stronger asparagus flavor, and with food-borne illnesses being more prevalent in vegetables than they once were, it’s always good to prep your veggies accordingly.
I found that cooking fresh asparagus is like cooking fresh fish. Do it the day or the day after you purchase them. The tips go bad first, and you might not notice it unless you smell them, which most people don’t do. Fishy means bad, just like it does with fish and mushrooms. If that happens, cut the tips off, wash the remaining stalks after you cut the bottom third off and place in boiling water to cook till tender, but not mushy.
If cooked too long they produce a gelatinous coating that oozes from the surface of the stalks. This is good for soup, because it naturally thickens it, but not good if you want to serve the asparagus tender-crisp for salads, or in stir-fries and sautes.
Although many restaurants char their whole asparagus spears on a grill, most do it after par boiling and refrigerating them. If placed on the grill raw, then the asparagus get dried out and stalky. They’re still okay, especially when swabbed with garlic oil, salt and pepper, but the stalky quality isn’t ideal texture-wise. Then of course, you also risk the tips being spoiled. If you’ve ever had tips that appear shrunken and black, chances are they spoiled. A glass or two of red wine and who cares? Later you will, but probably won’t blame it on the asparagus tips.
Always wash asparagus thoroughly. This is where you examine the tips to make sure they’re fresh. If buying them in a sealed plastic wrap, look carefully at the tips to make sure they’re the same color green as the stalks and the buds are closed tightly. If the buds are loose and dark and shrunken pass them up. Don’t think you can make them better – you can’t.
When you get them home, poke holes in the wrap if you’re leaving them refrigerated overnight. Standing them in water won’t help anything. Buy them one day, use them the next. That’s the rule. That’s as long as you go.
When boiling, it’s imperative that the tips be submerged in the boiling water. Cover and let the stalks steam as they boil. It doesn’t take long – a few minutes tops. Drain immediately. Rinse under cold water if you’re prepping them to use later. Drain, place in covered container and refrigerate till ready to use.
Remember, no more than a day, even if you pre-cook them.
I packed up the sauerkraut on March 3rd, 2018 and stopped the fermentation by refrigerating it on the 1st of April 2018. Although I expected the flavors to stay the same after refrigeration, they did deepen somewhat in acidity since I refrigerated it. Nice though, not too acidic.
In fact, I would call this minced sauerkraut delicate – a delicacy I like. It’s not that I don’t like the stronger tasting sauerkrauts, it’s that I like both and now I have another option. I suspect that when somebody markets a sauerkraut relish, it will be a lot stronger tasting.
The texture was crisp, but not raw-feeling on the palate. Perfect for me.
Maybe packing it tightly, which I didn’t do in order to keep the tiny bits covered with brine creates more fermentation. Maybe the hand-pressing/squeezing of the cabbage contributes to the fermentation. No matter how clean the hands, it’s not the same as a metal blade doing the squeezing as was done with my minced sauerkraut via a food processor. The human skin contributes something, I just don’t know what. When my ribs heal, I’ll try the hand method and compare results.
For now I’m enjoying my delicate minced sauerkraut on veggie burgers and veggie hot dogs – and sometimes straight out of the jar as a spoon snack. I also drink the brine when the sauerkraut is gone. Hope that’s okay. It should be.
This was our Easter dinner believe it or not. And wow what a burger. BOCA ORIGINAL VEGGIE CHIK’N PATTIES pan-fried, topped with Tofutti Dairy-free cheese and cooked till melted, served with red onion slice and fresh tomato on a lightly toasted potato bun spread with Ball Park Mustard and veg mayo. Top the tomato slice with minced sauerkraut and we were in sauerkraut and veggie chick’n burger heaven.
You don’t have to be Slavic, Germanic or Baltic to like sauerkraut, even though I’m all three and then some.
Doesn’t everybody like sauerkraut?
The big news to me recently was that sauerkraut isn’t pickled. I just naturally assumed it was due to its pickled taste. No vinegar though, just fermented cabbage.
More big news was that lots of people are making their own. Really? Why? I guess it’s like anything else, homemade usually tastes best. But more than that, lots of people are concerned about what’s going on in their digestive system and what they can do proactively to make things run smoother. Eat fermented foods is what I’m hearing.
Now I’m not a big fan of fermented anything, since I associate fermentation with bacteria and foamy moldy stuffs. But I drink beer and eat tofu and used to eat cheese. Yeah, but all those are done under strict controls and guidelines, leaving no room for error. Let me loose with fermenting anything and I could unwittingly poison myself. Besides, I’m a big fan of refrigeration so foods don’t spoil, so why would I leave food out knowing it was going to essentially spoil? And then eat it?
I’ll leave it to the experts. I don’t have all that equipment anyway. Fermenting crock pots, or something like that, and weights and next thing you know I’m operating a factory out of my little apartment. No thanks.
Still, I’m intrigued over something so mundane that everybody is doing it – and making a food that I happen to like. How difficult could it be? I have this small cabbage with nothing to do. I search for a jar big enough with a lid, but everything’s in use except a few small jars.
When I want something it’s usually now, not tomorrow or next week. My cabbage is ready and I’m ready to do something with it.
I do a little research. Man, I didn’t know people squeezed the cabbage with their hands till it bleeds water – for twenty minutes? Did I get that wrong? I have a couple cracked ribs I’m still recovering from. I have trouble opening a jar and still scream when I cough, and my jars are small. How do I fit shredded cabbage into something so small and keep it covered with salted water, without a weight?
I do know from making coleslaw that you usually can’t keep it overnight without the water from the cabbage seeping into the dressing, watering it down while the cabbage becomes limp. Yeah, but I’d have to wait overnight. Do I refrigerate it while I wait for the cabbage to bleed its water?
Okay. I have to find a way to make the cabbage bleed its water without squeezing it. My ribs won’t let me squeeze.
Use the food processor. Mince the cabbage. Make minced sauerkraut. Yeah. I like the idea. Top your veggie dog or burger with minced sauerkraut, sort of like relish. I can do that with small jars.
I remove outer leaves from a small green cabbage, remove the core, cut the cabbage into something like quarters, then slice it into strips about 3/8 inch wide.
Place in food processor and process till evenly finely chopped, scraping insides of bowl a few times.
Transfer to large bowl and add about 2 teaspoons pink Himalayan salt, then using potato slammer, press lightly (because my ribs hurt) and stir to evenly distribute and melt the salt. Let set about 1/2 hour is what I did till cabbage bleeds its water.
Make sure my jars and lids are clean, which they are. Transfer minced cabbage into jars, then evenly divide up the liquid from bottom of bowl and pour into the jars.
Now, I don’t have quite enough liquid to cover the cabbage, so I add filtered water pretty much to the top – since cabbage floats, and I don’t have weights.
I cap the jars, wipe the outsides clean and dry.
Label the jars with the date, then set them out on the bar counter to do their thing.
Next day I look and nothing appears changed. Next day after that same thing. Next day after that I lift the jars thinking I should maybe shake them to be sure all cabbage bits are covered with water. I am surprised to find the jars dripping in water, all over the bar counter and down the bar wall. They looked the same though, so where is the water coming from? The lids are screwed on tight. Are the jars broken and I didn’t see it? So much of it. The green cupboard mat they were setting on was soaked.
I figure I needed another jar, which I had, so I took some cabbage from each of the three jars to make a fourth jar, then I topped it with salted filtered water, cleaned them all up, recapped, cleaned all counter surfaces and wall and let them to their thing again.
In a few days I noticed that all the liquid had been absorbed by the cabbage bits, so I added more salted water. That’s when I went internetting again to see what I was doing wrong or what my next step should be, and if it was okay to expose the fermenting cabbage to air by cracking the lid a bit. I came across a ‘make your own sauerkraut in jars’ website and I guess all that happened was predictable.
Holly said to start tasting after a week to see if it tastes okay and that some people like it at that stage. Or you could go on for a few weeks, then refrigerate up to a year.
I tasted my ‘kraut and it had a mildly acidic pleasing taste and a crisp but not raw texture, so I figured I’d let it go for a while longer to see if it becomes more acidic. I also added a little more salt to each jar and shook them up to evenly disperse it.
That’s where I am now. No visible mold or bad smell.
My contribution to sauerkraut is the minced part. I’ve never seen it, though that hardly means nobody has ever made it. I’m making it and publicizing it. This is my new condiment for veggie hot dogs and burgers.
Check out the website below to learn more about making sauerkraut in a jar so you don’t have to do the trial and error thing like I did.
I don’t deep fry anything. I don’t like the dangers it presents in a small living space, but also the high fat content. I reserve my deep fry cravings (if you can call them that) for eating out. This is, however, one of the ways I pan-fry tofu at home. Give it a try! The coating is gluten-free!
Makes 1 package of tofu planks – 10 for this recipe.
Bring to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff.
The original recipe on the package calls for 1-3/4 cup water for 1 cup rice. Now that I’ve done it two ways. I prefer the way with 1/4 cup water less per 1 cup rice.
3 c. water
2 t. salt
2 c. rice.
Bring water, salt and rice to boil in saucepan. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook 40 minutes, stirring midway through and returning cover to complete 20 minutes longer. Remove from heat and fluff.
The original recipe on the package calls for 4 cups water. I tried it two ways and preferred less water with the recommended cooking time of 40 minutes.
Both rice colors maintained their firmness on the first chew, while plumped sufficiently to make the subsequent chews tender.
All you need is an electric coffee bean grinder and 5 spices. 5 Spice is somewhat like curry. Everybody who uses it has their own combination and amounts of spices they prefer. This is mine! Hope you like it!
If you serve main dishes at your restaurant, chances are you serve baked potatoes. Even if you don’t serve breakfast, you can still utilize your leftover bakers by offering this skillet main dish as a special!
Pink lentils, although smaller and thinner than the garden variety light brown lentil, absorb more water quicker, fluffing up more like rice than legumes.
The first time I saw these in the market, many years ago, I was awed. Wow. Pink legumes. Of course I had to have some, only to be disappointed to see them lose their salmony pink color to a yellow pea hue when cooked. Actually more beige than yellow. But they are tender, they are flavorful and they blend into velvet smoothness when processed in a blender, not requiring any oil to achieve that smoothness.
When adding pink lentils to a soup broth the texture will feel rough. It’s only when you blend them that the smooth emerges. So that’s how I would recommend serving them. Test them out though and see for yourself. Maybe with the right veggies the rough texture of the lentils, when left whole, won’t matter. We’re not talking tough here. Pink lentils are tender. They just have a rough mouth-feel. That’s probably why most chefs add oil to the mix, and then blend some, not all, of the lentils to help with that rough feel throughout the soup.
Normally we don’t garnish with dried herbs, because the rough feel on the mouth throws the texture achievement of the entire dish into chaos.
However, there is a way to utilize the potency of a dried herb by turning it to powder. We use paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg et al as garnish and they’re all powdered. Now we powder the dried herbs. We’re already familiar with powdered sage and rosemary. All we need to do is find a way to powder them at home – and then grind others as well. You can’t do this in a blender or food processor. They won’t turn out. You must use a good quality coffee grinder.
When grinding dried herbs into a powder, fill the well of the coffee grinder, process till powdered, then sift through a wire mesh strainer over a bowl several times to remove all the residue bits.
Don’t try to push all the material through the strainer. Instead, shake softly back and forth not letting hard bits escape through the holes by you forcing them through with a rough shake. Discard the residue bits from bottom of strainer.
Place sifted powdered herb into a jar with a lid and use when wanted.
Powdered herbs are useful for adding to a dish just before serving by stirring till it disappears into the dish. It creates a more potent flavor profile. Just be sure that you want the added flavor and only sprinkle lightly to keep from overpowering the overall flavor achievement.
I used dried mint as the herb I wanted to powder. And it worked nicely in the dish in which I used it. Occasionally when I want a mint flavor in a dish I usually don’t have any fresh on hand. Now I can improvise with powdered mint.
Get out your coffee grinder and clean it up – no coffee grounds visible in the well, not even one. We’re going to grind and pulverize some seeds, then make a mix out of it, to use in a variety of applications – for home or restaurant.
For restaurants with leftover baked potatoes – or home chefs who want to uptick your skillet potatoes – try this version of home fries and/or potato salad. It works great!
Makes 9 cups
2-1/2 lbs. russet potatoes – the kind you find in the grocery in 5 and 10 pound bags – scrub under tap water, place wet on oven rack and bake at 400 degrees till fork-tender (long-pronged fork slides in and out easily when inserted into middle of potato), cool in refrigerator till ready to use; or use already baked leftover potatoes – mine went for 65 minutes in the oven – when cool, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (do not peel).
Cook 6 ears sweet white and yellow corn in boiling water in covered pot for 10 minutes. Turn heat off and let set for 10 minutes longer. Drain. When not too hot to handle, cut kernels from cobs and set aside.
Let’s make some Soft-Fri Potatoes:
2 T. grape seed oil
1 lg. sweet onion, diced
1 t. pink Himalayan salt
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. mild curry powder
1 t. garlic powder
1 c. fresh squeeze orange juice
1 pinch of saffron threads
1/2 c. diced sweet red roasted pepper
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley garnish (optional)
In extra-large skillet, over medium heat, melt grape seed oil.
Add onion and cook till partially wilted.
Add potato cubes all at once plus 1 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat with oil, then saute till edges of potatoes begin to soften.
Add corn all at once. Stir to distribute.
Add smoked paprika, curry, garlic, orange juice and saffron, then stir to mix well without smashing the potatoes.
Salt and pepper to taste, then cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes.
Add roasted pepper dice, adjust for salt and pepper again, then remove from heat.
Either serve right away as home fries with a parsley garnish, or chill for service later. You can reheat or serve cold. I prefer cold, but I must say that I alternate between hot and cold with these. They’re just plain good no matter the temperature.
When served as a potato salad, you may prefer to add veggie mayo – that tastes great too. Add the mayo just before serving if that’s the route you take. I like the low-fat method (hot, warm or cold), since I’m cutting back and these potatoes satisfy without the added fat.
To date, Rich’s is the only company I’m aware of that sells dairy-free soy-based liquid that can be whipped into the equivalent of dairy whipped cream. Check out their website to see where you can purchase it. It’s sold frozen, so look in the frozen foods department of your grocery store.
All you do is thaw it first. If you’re in a hurry and it’s frozen, then plug the sink, fill it with hot tap water and place the container in the water, turning every few minutes till it’s thawed. It doesn’t take long.
Pour it into a deep bowl and whip with beaters or a whisk. I’ve done both on many occasions and the beaters work faster.
Then use as directed in your recipe.
If desired, use a vanilla or other flavored extract. Or just use plain if adding to savory recipes.
It’s a great product, which I use every now and then for a special whipped cream effect in desserts and savory recipes. Two teaspoons of liquid or two tablespoons of whipped equals 25 calories – not bad eh?
A hot and sour cauliflower soup with spinach, leftover baked potato and carrot ribbons floating with udon Japanese noodles and cilantro oil in a white miso, garlic, coriander and smoked paprika broth! The best hot and sour soup I’ve ever tasted!
A new approach to the noodle soup – the broth is in the solid ingredients. Plus meat, meat and more meat. Where’s the meat? In the blackeye peas and wild rice. Animal eaters won’t believe there’s no animal in this soup. Plant-eaters won’t believe there’s no fake meat in this soup!
Steamed baby carrots sauteed till charred. Briefly cooked in a glaze made from Goya Cream Of Coconut and fresh squeezed lime. Topped with toasted coconut! Ever have juicy carrots? These are them! Best carrots we ever had!
It’s not that difficult to make a holiday dessert that’s fairly healthy for you! Great texture, great taste, and fills you up without remorse! Silk Nog, golden raisins, cocoa, pineapple, pumpkin, spice and everything nice! Happy to you!
Chocolate Mousse can’t get easier than this. Perfect for restaurants that want to serve a small, elegant dessert, requiring little time and only two ingredients. Your dining guests won’t believe this mousse isn’t made from egg whites in the French tradition!
Makes as much as you want
Rich’s Whipped Non-Dairy Topping, I used 2 cups liquid
dark unsweetened cocoa powder, as desired
Pour Rich’s Whipped Non-Dairy Topping in bowl. Whip with wire whisk till it forms stiff peaks. This will take a few minutes, so take your time. Transfer to refrigerator to chill overnight.
The next day the whipped cream will be thicker. Don’t immediately stir it.
Add dark cocoa powder to taste, stirring and folding it into the whipped cream till evenly distributed. Use as much as you want.
Transfer to very small dessert dishes or small souffle cups.
Draw a flat knife over the top to create a flat, even surface. Refrigerate till ready to serve.
Notes: Once assembled and refrigerated, this mousse will last several days. It won’t separate.
It needs no additional whipped cream for topping.
The whipped topping is already sweetened, so it needs no more. It needs no vanilla either. It’s all about the chocolate, and it is so good!