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Recipes from Vegan Planet

Vegan PlanetHere’s a small sampling of recipes from Vegan Planet.

Belgian-Style Seitan Stew with Dark Beer

This adaptation of the hearty Belgian stew known as Carbonnade a la Flamande is made with seitan which absorbs all the flavors of the rich sauce. Serve over noodles and wash it down with more of the beer that was used in the stew.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound seitan, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (or a natural sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the seitan and cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.

3. Stir in the sugar and cook uncovered until onions are caramelized, stirring frequently, about 10 more minutes.

4. Add the flour and stir 1 to 2 minutes to cook out the raw taste. Stir in the beer, molasses, mustard, vinegar, thyme, and bay leaf. Add the stock and salt and pepper to taste and simmer until the sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Add the reserved seitan and simmer until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes longer. Remove the bay leaf and taste to adjust seasonings.

Serves 4

Pan Bagna

Pan bagna, or “bathed bread” is a layered vegetable sandwich that is popular picnic fare, since the sandwich must be prepared in advance and weighted down in order for the bread to soak up the flavors of the other ingredients. Crusty Italian bread is a must, and large round loaves are typically used. Slices of grilled Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, or other vegetables can be added, if you like. The cannelini beans are added for substance, although a few thin slices of firm tofu can do the trick instead — layered with the vegetables, it soaks up all the surrounding flavors.

  • 3/4 cup cooked cannelini beans
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 loaf crusty Italian bread (round, if possible)
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 6 marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
  • 1 large ripe tomato, sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped black or green olives
  • 1/4 cup vinaigrette dressing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a food processor combine the cannelini beans and the pesto until well blended.

2. Using a serrated knife, cut the bread in half horizontally. Remove some of the inside of the loaf to make room for the filling.

3. Spread the pesto-bean mixture inside the bottom half of the loaf and top with layers of the bell peppers, artichoke hearts, tomato slices, and olives. Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Place the top half of the loaf on top and wrap the entire sandwich tightly with film wrap. Place it on a platter and top with another plate weighed down with some large canned goods or other weight. Refrigerate it this way for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap the sandwich and cut it into wedges or slices.

Serves 4

Cranberry-Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Bejeweled with bits of cranberry and studded with walnuts, these tempting oatmeal cookies will disappear before you know it. Other dried fruits and nuts may be substituted if you prefer.

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup corn oil
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar or natural sweetener
  • Egg replacer for 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup soy milk or other dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

3. Lightly oil two baking sheets. In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, egg replacement mixture, soy milk, and vanilla, mixing until blended. Add the reserved dry ingredients along with the oats, cranberries, and walnuts and stir until well mixed. Drop by the spoonful onto the prepared baking sheets.

5. Bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 30 cookies

Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie

Since leftover mashed potatoes are often the inspiration for making a Shepherd’s Pie, I thought that the ultimate version should feature filling ingredients that are readily available and easy to use — hence the use of veggie burgers. Simply thaw them long enough so that you can chop them and they work like a charm, adding great taste and texture, enhanced by the ground walnuts. If you prefer, chopped seitan or tempeh may be used instead of the veggie burgers, just be sure to sauté them first in a little olive oil. Use the extra-rich “Mashed Potatoes and Company” on page 204, or your favorite mashed potato recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup Basic Vegetable Stock (page 000)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 3 vegetarian burgers, thawed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, tamari, vegetable stock, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer to thicken slightly, about 1 minute.

3. Spoon the filling mixture into a lightly oiled 2-quart baking dish. Stir in the chopped burgers, the peas, and the walnuts. Taste to adjust seasonings.

4. Spread the mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake until hot and bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

Mahogany Eggplant

Tender slices of Japanese eggplant are steeped in a flavorful tamari broth which imbues it with a rich mahogany color. Serve this dish over freshly cooked rice. Small Japanese eggplants are used, but regular eggplant may be substituted, if necessary. To prepare this dish on the grill, grill this eggplant brushed with a small amount of the sauce and heat the remaining sauce separately to top the grilled eggplant.

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 3 Japanese eggplants, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sake or dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste
  • 1/4 cup water

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the eggplant in batches and cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, scallions, and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tamari, sake, sugar, chili paste, and water and simmer for 1 minute, stirring to blend.

3. Add the reserved eggplant, tossing to coat with the sauce. Cover and simmer until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes.

Serves 4

Tuscan White Beans with Garlic and Sage

The people of Tuscany are sometimes called “bean-eaters” owing to their prolific bean preparation repertoire. Among their classic recipes is a simple sauté of white beans, garlic and sage in olive oil. This is delicious as a topping for bruschetta or pasta. Cooked chopped greens such as escarole or rapini may be added to the saute, if you like.

  • 2 tablespoons or more extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 10 fresh crumbled sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini or other white beans or two 15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the sage and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds longer.

2. Add the beans and simmer over low heat, stirring to coat the beans, until the beans are hot, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little extra olive oil, if desired. Serve hot.

Serves 4