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Zucchini Fettuccine with Fresh Tomato Salsa
MAKES 4 SERVINGS
This raw side dish is low in calories, a breeze to prepare, and fabulous fare on a hot summer night. The zucchini strips really do look and taste a lot like fresh pasta.
2 medium to large zucchini
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
10 to 14 leaves fresh basil, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional, see note)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄8 to 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Shave the zucchini lengthwise with a vegetable peeler to make the “noodles.” Put the zucchini in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, basil, oil, and garlic and toss gently until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
NOTE: For an oil free version, omit the olive oil
Arugula-and-Walnut Pesto Pasta
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
Arugula adds a peppery bite to this pesto without overwhelming the flavors of the other ingredients, and the wheat germ adds extra nutrition and a subtle crunch. This recipe is special enough to serve to guests yet is also quick to prepare. Serve it with crusty whole-grain bread and a simple romaine salad for a satisfying meal.
1 pound whole-grain pasta
21⁄4 ounces (3 cups, lightly packed) baby arugula
1 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 to 2⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
3 small tomatoes, cut into wedges
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the pasta. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but firm.
Meanwhile put the arugula, basil, walnuts, oil, wheat germ, water, garlic, and salt in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the blender jar or work bowl as needed. (Depending on the size of your blender or food processor, you may need to process the mixture in batches.) Season with pepper to taste.
Drain the pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. While it is still piping hot, add the arugula mixture and toss gently until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a large, shallow serving bowl and arrange the tomato wedges around the edge. Serve immediately.
NOTE: The arugula mixture can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance. Just store it in a covered bowl in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temperature before mixing it with the pasta
Garden Vegetable Gazpacho
MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
4 stalks celery, with leaves, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, quartered
1⁄3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, lightly packed
1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari
1 clove garlic
Several grinds freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh basil, for garnish
Put the tomatoes, celery, onion, parsley, basil leaves, vinegar, oil, chili powder, optional brown sugar, tamari, and garlic in a large bowl and stir to combine. Put half of the mixture in a blender and process until slightly chunky. Pour into a large bowl or pitcher. Repeat with the remaining mixture, then stir the two batches together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours before serving.
About 30 minutes before serving, chill four to six bowls or mugs. To serve, ladle the gazpacho into the chilled bowls. Garnish with a bit of chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil if desired. Serve immediately.
NOTE: For a low-fat version of this gazpacho, omit the olive oil.
Autumn Apple Crisp
MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS
Featuring a crisp and sweet oatmeal topping, this is one of my favorite recipes to make all year 'round. My grandmother had a big, beautiful apple tree in her backyard, and every fall she made a variety of desserts from its bounty of apples. One of my favorites was her apple crisp. This “veganized” rendition is true to the delicious texture and taste of her version. Top it with vegan ice cream if you like. Any leftover crisp is nutritious enough to serve for breakfast, doused liberally with nondairy milk.
4 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
3 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
1⁄3 cup vegan margarine, at room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted roasted sunflower seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10-inch square baking pan or 12 x 9-inch casserole dish with vegan margarine.
Put the apples, raisins, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and stir gently until well combined. Transfer to the prepared pan, spreading the mixture in an even layer.
Put the oats, margarine, optional sunflower seeds, brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium bowl and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Using your hands or a rubber spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the apples.
Cover and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the apples are soft. Uncover and bake for about 10 minutes, until the topping is crisp. Serve warm or at room temperature. Covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator, leftover crisp will keep for about 5 days.