Saint Patrick's Day Stout, Seitan and Cabbage Casserole

Saint Patrick's Day Stout, Seitan and Cabbage Casserole

Despite being part Irish, my family never really did anything to celebrate St. Patty’s day while growing up. There was no Irish soda bread, no corned beef and cabbage, no colcannon. Since it’s turned into a bit of a foodie holiday, I wanted to make something to celebrate my Irish heritage this year, but there were no family recipes to veganize. I came across an interesting dish in Better Homes and Gardens and it seemed perfect for converting. It’s not really a casserole in the traditional sense, but I wasn’t sure what to call it, and since it’s a casserole dish, I decided to roll with it. If you’re unfamiliar with seitan, it’s a wheat meat that can often be found next to the tofu in the grocery store.

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Vegan Chocolate Bliss Cups Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Bliss Cups Recipe

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and what better way to celebrate than with some chocolate. This raw cacao mousse is easy to make and it's rather healthy, and absolutely no one will know that it's made with avocados unless they see you make it. If you don't want to splurge on raw cacao, regular cocoa powder can be used, but cacao has so many health benefits that it's probably worth the extra cost, especially since it's a special occasion. 

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Meatless Monday – Easy Weeknight Dinner Cooking Class

Meatless Monday – Easy Weeknight Dinner Cooking Class

Join Dianne Wenz (that’s me!) as she cooks up a quick and easy weeknight meal using easy to find grocery store ingredients. I will be making an Asian-inspired salad, a vegetable noodle stir-fry, and a healthy no-bake dessert. You’ll be able to try everything, and you’ll go home with all of the recipes so you can make them for your family in your own kitchen.

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Meatless Monday – Mulled Wine

Meatless Monday – Mulled Wine

You would think that all alcohol is vegan, but the truth is that some of it isn’t. Some beers and wines are filtered using gelatin or isinglass, which is the dried swim bladder of a fish. There are many, many beers and wines that are vegan though, and the website Barnivore is a good site to check for info. There are so many different brands in the world that it’s impossible it keep a comprehensive list, so if you’re really worried, the best thing to do is ask the company. I recently met a wine rep who tried to tell me that all wine was non-vegan, so while most winemakers are now savvy to what's vegan and what isn't, there is still a learning curve.

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Meatless Monday - Chocolate Mousse Pie

Meatless Monday - Chocolate Mousse Pie

Not only is the Christmas season the most wonderful time of the year, it is usually also the most unhealthy. Indulgent dishes and sugary sweets are usually the only foods on the menu at holiday parties and family gatherings. This raw chocolate mousse pie is made with . . . 

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Meatless Monday – Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Meatless Monday – Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup

Last year I created it a Curried Pumpkin Peanut Soup recipe using roasted pumpkin. It was a big hit with people, but some told me that they just didn’t have time to chop and roast a pumpkin. I hear ya – sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in a day. I’ve reworked the recipe so that it uses canned pumpkin puree, rather than roasted pumpkin. 

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Meatless Monday – Savoring the Shore Cookbook

Meatless Monday – Savoring the Shore Cookbook

Born in an effort to help with Hurricane Sandy Relief, Savoring the Shore is a community cookbook full of recipes that celebrate the Jersey Shore. Some recipes are signature dishes from local restaurants, some are family recipes that have been passed down for generations and others are fresh twists on classic New Jersey fare. 

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Meatless Monday - Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Meatless Monday - Pumpkin Baked Ziti

Thanksgiving can be a tough holiday for those who don’t partake in meat, but with some careful planning, it is possible to get through the day relatively unscathed. Even though pasta isn’t traditionally thought of as a Thanksgiving dish, it’s been showing up on the table more and more throughout recent years and it’s a safe meatless option. The pumpkin and pecans in this recipe give it a fall feel, and the tofu ricotta tastes close enough to the “real” thing that even omnivores will enjoy it.

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Meatless Monday – Spicy Coconut Kale

Meatless Monday – Spicy Coconut Kale

It used to be that kale was one of those weird foods that only “health nuts” and vegans ate, like chia and mung bean sprouts.  But in the last year or two, kale has really taken over and has become quite the trendy veggie - so much so that my friend Deana thinks it has “jumped the shark."

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Meatless Monday – Lentil Stuffed Eggplant

Meatless Monday – Lentil Stuffed Eggplant

This recipe was inspired by a bunch of small eggplants I received in my Purple Dragon Co-op share a few weeks ago. I wanted to something different than the usual grilled eggplant or pasta dishes, so I decided to hollow out the veggies and fill them with a meaty lentil mixture. This recipe will work with larger eggplant as well - just use 2 of them rather than 4.

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Meatless Monday – Vegan Chocolate

Meatless Monday – Vegan Chocolate

From Mark Bittman’s transition to mostly vegan, to Gwyneth Paltrow’s emphasis on vegan meals in her new family cookbook, more and more people are realizing they can enjoy the benefits and satisfaction of a vegan diet without having to commit to plant-based eating at every meal.  Thanks to Fran Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, either full- or part-time vegan eating can include rich, sinful-tasting, and delicious chocolate desserts.

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Meatless Monday – Roasted Kabocha Soup

Meatless Monday – Roasted Kabocha Soup

Now that it’s the middle of October, we’re deep in the heart of pumpkin season! For a twist on traditional pumpkin, I used a kabocha squash in this dish. Kabocha is also known as Japanese pumpkin and is one of the more popular members of the squash family due to its strong yet sweet flavor and moist, fluffy texture. This soup is perfect for chilly fall evenings.

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Meatless Monday – Pumpkin Curry

Meatless Monday – Pumpkin Curry

Autumn is here! The air is crisp, leaves are changing color, and warm and hearty stews are on the menu. This is the time of year that every starts talking about adding pumpkin to just about everything they consume – coffee, oatmeal, soup, hummus, pasta sauce – you name it, you can pumpkinize it. This pumpkin curry recipe combines two of my fall food loves – warming curry and the hearty pumpkin.

 

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Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Zucchini harvests are usually pretty large at this time of the year, forcing cooks to hit the kitchen looking for creative uses for the summertime squash. I love to make zucchini “pasta” with my spiralizer, turning it into long, spaghetti like strands. I also love pesto, and this dish combines both of those loves.

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Meatless Monday - The Killer Vegan Pop-Up Brunch

Killer Vegan Brunch.jpg

As a vegan, eating breakfast out in the world can be difficult. It’s easy to whip up a batch of pancakes without eggs and cows’ milk at home, but most chefs haven’t quite mastered the art of dairy-free flapjacks just yet. Luckily, we now have the Killer Vegan Pop-Up Brunch.

Killer Vegan will soon become New Jersey’s first and only all vegan diner and deli, and once they’re able to open in their own space, they will be located in Union NJ. For now, they take over Lalibela in South Orange every other Sunday.

The Killer Vegan brunch is an all-you-can eat buffet that features some of the best breakfast food in New Jersey – vegan or otherwise. The buffet includes, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, French toast, fried plantains, rice and beans, steamed greens, soy bacon, meatless sausages, tofu scramble and hashbrowns. Coffee, tea and juice and also included.

Janelle Soto is the owner and brains behind Killer Vegan, and the seed for the dinner was planted in the early days of her activism. “My desire was to open a space that was comfortable to vegans and non-vegans with regards to food and setting. I would not only contribute to my community - vegan and local - but, more importantly, I would be helping animals”, she says. Before 9/11, Janelle ran a vegan food cart outside the World Trade Center where she fed between 300 to 400 people daily, most of whom were not vegan or even vegetarian. The success of the food cart only cemented her desire to open a brick and mortar establishment.

Once it opens, Killer Vegan will serve up Latin, Italian and American comfort food. Everything will be made in house, using organic and fair-trade ingredients. Janelle has enlisted the help of Chef Alfredo, who brings with him over 15 years worth of experience in the industry. Janelle will be doing the baking and Alfredo will be doing the cooking. It will be Janelle who decides the menu, with Alfredo’s help.

The opening date for Killer Vegan will depend on funding. Money raised at the pop-up brunches goes towards opening in their own space, as does money raised in their IndieGoGo campaign, which ends later this week.

Like Killer Vegan on Facebook for updates or contact them through their website for any further information. The Killer Vegan Pop-Up brunch takes place from 10:00 to 2:00 on the first and third Sunday of every month at Lalibela Ethiopian Resturant, located at 261 Irvington Avenue in South Orange NJ.