Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cherry Pomegranate Gardein Beefless Tips Over Cauliflower Mash

Another quick and easy weeknight meal. A simple and nutritious cauliflower mash is the base for the beefless tips in a cherry pomegranate savory glaze. The sauce/glaze has red wine, pomegranate balsamic vinegar and Crofter's Organic Europe Superfruit Spread.

The plan for this complete meal is to start the cauliflower mash once you get home. While the cauliflower is cooking you can start the beefless tips. You can also steam some green or broad beans in the time it takes everything else to cook. It only takes about 20  minutes start to finish.

Gardein has soy and gluten. To make it soy-free use seitan. To make it gluten-free you could use chunks of pressed tofu, chopped mushrooms, or even kidney beans in place of the Gardein.

Cauliflower Mash

Serves 4 to 5 (Cut this recipe in half if you don't want any leftovers.)

1 head cauliflower, chopped into medium pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 to 1 cup Unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot add cauliflower and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Pour into a colander to drain off water and then return to hot pot with the Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk.

Puree with an immersion blender adding more coconut milk if needed. They should be thicker than what's in this picture. I used my vitamix this time and it was very smooth. I actually prefer it a little lumpier - it mimics mashed potatoes better that way.

Cherry Pomegranate Gardein Beefless Tips

Serves 2 to 3
3/4 cup red wine (I used Trader Joe's Nouveau)
2 tablespoons Crofter's Organic Europe Superfruit Spread
2 tablespoons pomegranate balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic)
1 package Gardein Beefless Tips
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saute pan add wine, superfruit spread, and balsamic. Heat over medium high heat and whisk to incorporate the ingredients as it reduces by half. This will take about 10 minutes.

Add the beefless tips and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The sauce will reduce more during this and you can add more wine to thin if needed. You can keep it saucy or let it reduce to a glaze depending on your preference.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Penne with Fresh Peas Topped with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

This is an easy dish to throw together on a busy week night. It's a perfect place to use up some fresh summer peas and any leftover dried tomatoes you have on hand. I like to add some extra nutrition by using whole wheat pasta and flour. 
You can use any pasta you have on hand instead, just make sure to add the fresh peas in the last 5 minutes of cooking. It's also ok to substitute the nondairy milk that you have on hand. I prefer the So Delicious Coconut Milk because it is already has such a great thick texture.

This recipe is listed on Pennywise Platter, check out some of the other yummy recipes.
Penne with Fresh Peas Topped with a Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Sauce
soy-free and gluten free * with suggested substitutions
Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) minced sun-dried tomatoes
    (I used the food processor since mine were really dry)
  • 2 cups Unsweetened So Delicious Coconut Milk
  • 7 ounces whole wheat penne (* use a gluten-free pasta)
    (about 1/2 a box)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh shelled peas, rinsed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour (* use a gluten-free flour or cornstarch)
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
Fill a large pot half way with water, cover and bring to a boil. By covering you slow the evaporation of the water and can buy some time for the sauce if needed.
Heat the oil over medium heat then add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. (You can use a non-stick pan and leave out the oil if you are reducing fat and/or calories in your diet.) Add milk and sun-dried tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add pasta to boiling water now.
The pasta will cook about 12 minutes. After it cooks for 7 minutes, add the peas. The pasta and peas should be tender in about 5 minutes.
Once you add the peas to the pasta, go ahead and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the flour over the sauce mixture. Raise the heat and mix using a whisk. The sauce should thicken, but you can add the other 1 tablespoon of flour if needed. Mix in mint and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Strain the pasta and peas together in the strainer, then mix the pasta and peas in with the sauce in a pan, pot, or serving bowl. Top with extra lemon zest and a sprig of fresh mint.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I'm glad that you've found my newest blog, Busy Vegan. In the past year I have been using my slow cooker more than not since I was writing my first book The Vegan Slow Cooker.

I'm not ever going to stop using my slow cooker but I need a place to put my non-slow cooker recipes. Plus I really need some incentive to start menu planning again.

I'm working on some basic menu planning and pantry info that I will be posting soon. I'm planning on posting my weekly menus along with updates on how I did and what didn't work so well that week.

I'm still writing for my other vegan blog, Healthy Slow Cooking, so stop by there for some slow cooker recipes and tips.