Food

Jazzy Vegetarian Recipes: All-American Summer Meal Made Vegan

OPB | July 16, 2013 7:15 a.m.

Contributed By:

Laura Theodore, host of "Jazzy Vegetarian"

Laura Theodore, host of "Jazzy Vegetarian"

Joe Orecchio

Summer is finally here and it’s time for warm weather food and fun under the sun! I love entertaining outdoors throughout the season and so I am always creating new recipes to please guests whether they are vegans, vegetarians or carnivores.

Serving tasty plant-based meals that incorporate both the look and flavors of traditional fare is first and foremost on my mind this year. My husband and I like to host small gatherings and often invite city-dwelling friends to spend the day with us. This year I have come up with a festive and foolproof menu that is sure to please even the most discerning foodie at your summer soirée.

This tempting and easy-to-prepare menu salutes the classic burger and fries meal. The star of the party is my robust tasting Mushroom-Nut Burger. For years I tried and tried to come up with a great-tasting vegan burger substitute and this burger has a hearty texture and full-bodied taste that stands in magnificently for the meat-based version. When paired with a sandwich bun and all the classic burger fixings, this burger is a winner!

But what would a burger be without fries? My Confetti Oven Fries are a mouthwatering mix of russets and sweet potatoes that turn into delicious “fries” when coated with a bit of olive oil and baked in the oven. On the side, Pretty Purple Coleslaw features pretty purple cabbage adding a beautiful color to this delectable meal. If you’d like to pair a frothy shake with your burger and fries, my Banana Milk-Less Shake will fill the bill-of-fare by providing a classic thick and frosty treat! Last but not least, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies impress with their delightfully chewy texture and super chocolaty taste.

Celebrate summer with healthy, fabulous food that is totally jazzylicious!


Mushroom-Nut Burgers

Joe Orecchio

For years I tried and tried to come up with an easy way to make a great-tasting burger substitute. When paired with a whole-grain bun, this burger has a hearty texture and robust taste that stands in magnificently for the meat-based version.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1½ cups lightly packed, fresh, soft whole-grain breadcrumbs (from about 3 to 4 large slices) (see notes)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • ⅓ cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium tamari or ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a medium baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Put the breadcrumbs, Italian or all-purpose seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Put the walnuts in a blender and process in pulses until they resemble coarsely ground flour. Add the walnuts to the bread crumbs and stir gently to incorporate. Put the mushrooms, onion and tamari in a blender and process to a chunky purée. Add the mushroom mixture to the walnut-bread crumb mixture and stir to incorporate.
  4. Place a 3-inch cookie cutter ring on the parchment. Pack one-quarter of the mushroom-breadcrumb mixture into the ring and press it firmly and evenly into the ring to form a “burger.” Gently remove the ring. Repeat with the remaining mushroom-breadcrumb mixture. Flatten each burger slightly with the back of a flat spatula.
  5. Bake for 18 minutes. Flip each burger and bake for an additional 15 to 25 minutes, or until the burgers are slightly crisp and golden.
  6. Serve on sandwich buns, topped with lettuce, tomato, sweet onion, mustard and catsup.

Chef’s Notes

Gluten-free option: To make gluten-free breadcrumbs, use your favorite gluten-free bread in place of the whole-grain bread.

To make fresh breadcrumbs, put 3 to 4 large slices of whole-grain bread in a blender and process into coarse crumbs.

Recipe from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics (BenBella Books)



Confetti Oven Fries

David Kaplan

Craving French fries? This tempting mix of russets and sweet potatoes turns into delicious “fries” when tossed with a tiny bit of olive oil and baked in the oven. Fun food at its best!

Ingredients (Serves 2-4)

  • 2 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • ½ to 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or all-purpose seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the potatoes into matchsticks or shoestrings; the thinner they are, the crispier the fries will be.
  3. Put the potatoes, olive oil, Italian or all-purpose seasoning, chili powder and garlic powder in a large bowl and toss gently until the potatoes are evenly coated.
  4. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Sprinkle with salt and stir gently to coat. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until soft inside, slightly crisp outside, and browned along the edges. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics (BenBella Books)



Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

David Kaplan

Chewy and chocolaty, these tasty treats will surely satisfy your cookie cravings. If nuts are not part of your diet plan, simply leave them out. These baked delights will still be delicious!

Ingredients (Makes 20 to 24 large cookies)

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips (grain-sweetened variety works well)
  • 1½ cups fresh apple purée (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons nondairy milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Put the flour, maple sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the pecans and vegan chocolate chips, and stir with the whisk to combine. Stir in the apple purée, vanilla extract and nondairy milk and mix just until incorporated. If the dough seems overly wet, stir in a bit more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Alternately, if the dough seems overly dry, stir in a bit more nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. For each cookie, drop about 2½ tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly using the back of a flat spatula. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges.
  4. Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack. Cool for about 10 minutes.

Chef’s Note

To make the apple purée, peel and core 3 very large or 4 medium apples. Rough chop the apples. Put the apples in a blender and process until the consistency of smooth applesauce is achieved. Be careful not to liquefy! 

Recipe from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics (BenBella Books)



Pretty Purple Coleslaw

David Kaplan

Purple cabbage provides a beautiful color to this twist on a traditional favorite. If you prefer, you can substitute green cabbage and it is still delish!

Ingredients (Serves 4/Nut free)

  • 4 cups grated purple cabbage (about ½ medium head)
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 3 heaping tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds or gomasio, for garnish (optional) 

Directions

  1. Put the cabbage, carrots, vegan mayonnaise, mustard, sugar and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Season with pepper.
  2. Cover and chill 2 to 4 hours. Before serving, sprinkle the top of the salad with sesame seeds or gomasio, if using.

Recipe from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics (BenBella Books)  



Banana Milk-Less Shake

Joe Orecchio

This delicious and quick-to-prepare shake will truly curb cravings for a classic-tasting thick and frosty treat!

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 3 very large (or 4 small) frozen bananas (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled vanilla-flavored nondairy milk, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more nondairy milk or maple syrup, if desired.
  2. Pour the mixture into pretty glasses and serve at once.

Chef’s Note
To freeze a banana, peel and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces, and put them in a resealable freezer bag. Seal and freeze for at least 12 hours before using.

 Recipe from Jazzy Vegetarian Classics (BenBella Books)                 

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