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Mushroom Lentils

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Lentils. They're tiny little disks of nutritional gold, but they don't boast much in the way of flavor. This is easily remedied with the right ingredients and cooking methods. It doesn't take much effort to turn them into something as enjoyable as they are healthful.  Mushrooms and lentils really like each other. When they get together some serious culinary magic happens.  Ingredients 1 cup. fancy dried mushrooms (if you can find one with morels, all the better) 2 chile costeno, sub guajillo or puya, tear off top and empty most of the seeds 1/3 cup dry lentils 2 cups water, ore was needed 5 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbl olive oil 1 1/2 tbls salt 1 tsp black pepper  Add all to a pot. I like to tear the tops off of the dried chilies and dump out most of the seeds. Try to leave them mostly whole though. They're easier to avoid and discard once the cooking is done. They're not really good to eat in this state.  As far as the dried mushrooms go, I found an interesting mix

Cauliflower and Kidney Bean Salad

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  Roasted cauliflower is a thing of beauty. Never boil. Never steam. Never use any cooking method other than roasting to prepare your cauliflower! Not really. Just kidding.  But roasted cauliflower is absolutely the best way to prepare it.  This bland vegetable is magically transformed into a delectably nutty, texturally pleasing vegan treat.  The craziest part is that it's really easy.  Just cut it up into bite size pieces. Add a little oil and a lot of salt and pepper.  Roast it hot at 450 F until golden brown. The time varies depending on the amount of oil used and the water content of the cauli.  15-25 minutes usually is what it takes. Let it brown. That's the important part.  Toss it with some beans, minced jalapeno and a little hot sauce. That's all it needs. It's that good. 

Crispy Tofu Cubes

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  Twice cooked tofu marinated in soy sauce and spices has a pleasing texture on the outside and a soft center.  Drain your tofu, the cut your block of extra firm tofu into 1 inch cubes. Store uncovered in the fridge overnight to allow it to dry out.  Line the bottom of the container with a folded over paper towel to soak up excess moisture. Marinade Ingredients 2 tsps soy sauce 1 tbl hot sauce 1 tbl olive oil 2 tsps salt 1 tsp black pepper 1 tsp cayenne 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp italian seasoning Use a tightly sealed container to soak the tofu in the marinade for a 1/2 and hour and then invert the container and soak another half hour. Baste the tofu with a spoon to ensure it soaks up all the marinade. It should be almost entirely absorbed by the time you go to cook it.  Broil on high for 15 minutes. Once you turn off the broiler leave it in the hot oven for 15 more minutes. Then crisp in a skillet on each side. 

Easy Vegan Queso Sauce Recipe

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  I always have a lot of fun creating vegan sauces using tofu and the food processor.  If there's one thing I've learned from so many years of watching TV cooking shows, it's that the sauce ties it all together.  Just because we eat vegan doesn't mean we should go without that very important component that makes all the other parts sing.  Using tofu makes sauce creation easy. No cooking is required and the sauces will never break or split.  Once again, vegan cuisine proves superior.  Recipe Ingredients 1/2 package silken firm tofu 1 jalapeno, deseeded 1 serrano, deseeded 6 cloves garlic 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, ground 3 tbls nutritional yeast powder or flakes 1/4 cup hot water 1 tbl hot sauce 1 tbl olive oil 1 tbl turmeric 1 tbl salt 1 tsp black pepper Grind the sunflower seeds in a coffee or spice grinder until they are dust.  Heat water and salt. You can use the microwave. I actually used some of the water from cooking pasta. So that's also an option.  Add remaini

Broccoli Chimichurri Recipe

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  This is a whimsical one where I was going for a riff on classic steak and chimichurri.  I used baked potato and a chili pepper and broccoli puree. It's cute, but it's also a really tasty plant based composition.  Ingredients 1 medium crown of broccoli 1/2 package silken firm tofu 1 tbl nutritional yeast 1 jalapeno  1 serrano 1/4 cup olive oil 6 cloves garlic 2 tbls white vinegar 1 tbl salt Roast the broccoli and peppers whole on a sheet tray in the oven at 425 F for 10 minutes.  Add all ingredients to your food processor and puree until a chunky smooth texture is achieved.  Enjoy it with baked potato steak medallions.  

Three Pepper Tofu Sauce

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Just looking for different flavors and textures.  This sauce is basically just an amalgam of interesting ingredients that I had available to me. I figured let's see what happens.  It's as tasty as it is beautiful. Pretty easy to make too.  If I've learned nothing else from the insane amount of cooking shows that I watch, it's that a good sauce or puree ties everything together and finishes the dish.  Try this one the next time you're looking for something new.  Sauce Ingredients 1/2 package silken firm tofu 1 poblano, chunked 1 jalapeno, chunked 1 serrano, chunked 6 cloves garlic 1 tbl spicy mustard 2 1/2 tsps salt 1/2 tsp cayenne 1 tbl olive oil Water In a medium sauce pot bring to a simmer the peppers and garlic in the water and then allow to continue at a simmer for 10 minutes. Use enough water to cover the ingredients by 1 inch.  Add remaining ingredient to your food processor.  When the pepper mixture is done simmering use a slotted spoon to add the peppers and

Vegan Red Bean Sauce Recipe

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The quest for good sauces compels me. I love to mess around with combining and pureeing beans with various flavor enhancers.  The results are usually pretty satisfying.  It's a pretty simple way to get some elaborate results.  The classic sauces tend to be fraught with butter, cream and other animal products.  I just fiddle around with getting equally exciting sauces from plants.  This one is a keeper.  Sauce Ingredients 1 can red beans, rinsed 3 cloves garlic 2 serrano peppers, mostly deseeded 1 jalapeno, mostly deseeded 1/3 cup water 2 tsps soy sauce 2 tbls olive oil 1 tbl caraway seed 1 tbl salt 2 tsps black pepper This is pretty easy to make. Use a small sauce pot to simmer all, but the red beans. Bring up to a simmer and then let it go for 10 minutes.  Add beans to your food processor. A pitcher blender might work as well. Haven't tried it.  Pour hot simmered mixture over the beans.  Puree until smooth.  It's a quick and tasty little sauce. It's kind of a fusion of