Steaming vegetables is one of the best ways to prepare them – it leaves almost all of the flavors and nutrients intact and doesn’t add any oil. But if you don’t happen to own a steamer of some kind, it’s still super easy to make wonderful steamy veggies! All you need is some parchment paper.
First chop and rinse whatever vegetables you’d like to make, I went with a nice green blend of broccoli, asparagus, and snap peas (I also added a sprig of rosemary and some chopped onions):
Then without drying them (you want a little moisture to make steam) lay them out in one-serving piles on a long sheet of parchment (you want to be able to fold the parchment in half right over your veggies) – you can also add some seasoning at this point, and I’d appreciate it if you could get it all over your counter like I did, it just makes me feel better.
Next, fold the parchment in half right over the vegetables.
Then begin wrapping the parchment by folding the edges in from the corner, like so:
It doesn’t have to be gorgeous, but try to make sure your folds are tight enough that they won’t pop open or let the steam out. You should end up with a little packet that looks like a calzone:
Pop that right into the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes or so, depending on how soft you like your vegetables, and then carefully remove it – the parchment will have puffed up a bit and gotten slightly brown. Set out on a plate or counterop and slice open – be careful, steam will come out when you cut it. You can then serve it right in the paper, calling it “légumes en papillote” if you want to be fancy.
If you really like steaming vegetables (and why wouldn’t you? It’s awesome!) you may want to invest in an electric steamer so you don’t have to go through tons of parchment paper. I like this one from Amazon, personally.
It seems like everyone is obsessed with bacon lately, doesn’t it? I don’t quite get it – I mean, I like bacon as much as the next gal, but I don’t know that I think it’s the best food in the world or anything. That being said, I do love a good BLT! This recipe definitely fills that craving. You’re not going to be passing this stuff off as real bacon, but it’s got a great smoky, salty, crunchy thing going on that works really well on a sandwich, and could also be great crumbled over a salad or next to a tofu scramble.
First you need to slice some tempeh up as thin as you can – I slice mine down the long side and then cut it in half, but it doesn’t really matter, just depends on how long you want your slices to be.
Then mix together some soy sauce, spices, and a touch of agave or other sweetener if you want the sweet smoky flavor, and marinate the tempeh in the sauce for 10-30 minutes. (You can skip the marinating if you’re in a hurry.)
Pour the tempeh AND all of the marinade into a pan over medium-high heat, and cook until the sauce has evaporated and the tempeh is nice and charred on both sides – the time it takes can vary so just keep checking and flipping it until it’s nice and crunchy.
That’s it! To make a BLT just spread some mayo on bread and then add slices of tomato, lettuce, and some fresh avocado if you’re feeling feisty.
Spinach and artichoke dip is pretty much one of my favorite things – my family has actually texted me pictures of themselves eating it at restaurants simply to make me jealous.
Unfortunately it’s also just packed with dairy products and a ton of fat, so I had to go a long time without eating it. My tastebuds were very sad about this…but my waistline was very happy about it. (Those two just don’t agree on anything) But now peace can finally be restored!
This spinach and artichoke dip is not only vegan, it’s actually really low fat, too. But as always, the most important thing is that it is delicious. I’ve taken it to several parties and it has been met with pretty unanimous approval from my decidedly omnivorous friends. It’s fairly quick to whip together, too, which is always nice.
Chop up some artichoke hearts pretty fine (I use the canned kind, make sure they are in water, not oil! You can also use fresh or frozen, just defrost them first)
In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté onions, spinach and artichoke until the spinach is nice and wilty and the onions are translucent or lightly browned.
Set spinach, onion and artichoke mixture aside, then combine soy milk, flour, oil, salt, garlic powder and onion powder in the skillet, whisking frequently over low or medium heat until it thickens slightly – this should only take a minute or two.
Combine flour mixture and vegetables in an oven-safe casserole, mixing thoroughly.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes, until it is thoroughly heated and the top is starting to darken slightly. Serve warm with baked tortilla chips or vegetables.
To make ahead, just prepare the mixture but don’t bake it – you can store it in the fridge for a day or so and then bake it for about 20-25 minutes just before serving. This is one you can go ahead and try to pass off to people without telling them it’s vegan (and low fat and gluten free) – just serve it and watch as it gets devoured!