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Mushroom and Summer Squash Risotto
Makes 2 to 3 servings
2⁄3 cup diced onion
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, chopped
3 cups filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
1 vegan bouillon cube, crumbled
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup peeled and diced yellow summer squash
Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, for garnish
Put the onion, mushrooms, 1⁄2 cup water and crumbled bouillon cube into a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes, or until soft. Add more water, 2 tablespoons at a time, if needed, to prevent sticking.
Decrease the heat to medium-low (or low) and add 1 cup of the water to the onion-mushroom mixture. Stir in the rice, cover and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the water is almost absorbed. Stir the risotto thoroughly; add 1 more cup of water, cover and cook for 8 to 10 more minutes, or until the water is almost completely absorbed.
Stir the risotto again, then stir in 1⁄2 cup water and the squash. Cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until the squash is very soft and water is almost fully absorbed. Stir again. Remove the risotto from the heat, cover and let stand for 7 to 10 minutes to allow the remaining water to be absorbed, stirring one last time. Garnish with parsley; serve warm.
Romaine and Tomato Salad
Makes 4 servings
1 medium head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup Creamy Dijon Dressing, plus more as needed
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 grape or cherry tomatoes
Put the romaine in a large bowl. Add the dressing and gently toss to coat. Taste, and add more dressing, salt and/or pepper, if desired. Garnish with tomatoes and serve.
Creamy Dijon Dressing
Makes 1½ Cups
1 cup filtered or spring water, plus more as needed
¾ cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 scant tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
¼ teaspoon brown sugar or maple syrup
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
Put all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator, leftover dressing will keep about 2 days.
Julieanna’s Easy Caprese
Makes 2 to 4 servings
2 large heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into ½-inch thick slices
1⁄3 cup fresh basil leaves
4 ounces organic soft regular tofu, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons reduced balsamic vinegar
Layer the tomato slices on a large plate. Evenly place the basil leaves over the tomatoes, followed by the tofu slices. Drizzle the vinegar over all. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Julieanna’s Note: You may use your favorite regular balsamic vinegar as is, or try reducing it. Pour at least triple the amount of vinegar called for in the recipe in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until at desired thickness, at least 20 to 30 minutes. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leftover reduced vinegar will keep for up to one week.
Recipe from The Vegiterranean Diet reprinted with permission from Julieanna Hever and Da Capo Lifelong Books.
Blueberry Cheeze-Cake Squares
Makes 9 Squares
1⁄3 cup raisins
1⁄3 cup raw almonds
1⁄3 cup raw unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1 block (14 to 16 ounces) extra-firm regular tofu
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 heaping tablespoons apricot preserves mixed with 2 teaspoons water
1 cup fresh blueberries, washed and patted dry
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the crust, put the raisins, almonds and coconut in a high-performance blending appliance and process into a smooth dough. Put the dough on a piece of parchment paper (on a solid surface) and place another piece of the parchment over the top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into about an 8-inch square. Transfer the dough onto an ungreased, 8-inch square, nonstick baking pan. Press the dough mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
To make the filling, put the tofu, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour the tofu mixture over the crust. Spread in an even layer and smooth the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Put the pan on a wire rack. Carefully run a table knife around the perimeter of the cheeze-cake to ensure it does not stick to the side of the pan.
Immediately spread the diluted apricot preserves evenly over the top of the cheeze-cake, using a pastry brush or small spoon. Arrange the blueberries in a pretty pattern on top of the preserves, pressing down lightly so they adhere. Cover the pan loosely and refrigerate 1 to 3 hours. Cut into 9 squares and serve. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leftover squares will keep for 24 hours.