Vegan Matzo Ball Soup AKA Seitan and Dumpling Soup

Growing up, I loved matzo ball soup. It’s surprisingly hard to make matzo balls vegan though. If anyone has a good recipe, let me know. My friend Sarah sent me a recipe for a dumpling soup that was vegan, and it’s really, really yummy! Though it’s a little different than matzo ball soup, it definitely satisfies the craving. Sarah makes hers more like a stew, but I modified her recipe a bit to be as close to the matzo ball soup that I remember. This is definitely comfort food, but still a healthy meal. Perfect for a sick day or a cold rainy day…well really for any day!

As a side note, before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share a link. I don’t usually post anything political on this blog, but I wanted to share a video I created at my last job about Edie Windsor called Edie Takes on DOMA. Her case is being heard by the Supreme Court today. If you don’t already know the details, take a few minutes to watch this video. It gives a quick background on her situation. If you’re up for a longer watch, check out another segment I made about the Defense of Marriage Act, called Married But Not Equal. It goes through a few of the many ways that DOMA negatively affects LGBT couples. Okay, that’s it for the politics. I just wanted to share some background info in case anyone was interested. Now on to the recipe!

Soup Ingredients

1 box of Manischewitz Matzo Ball & Soup Mix or 6 cups of vegetable broth
1 bag of mini golden potatoes (about 2 cups) or 2-3 potatoes cubed
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 shallots
olive oil for sauteing
4-5 carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 container of seitan
Black Pepper
Dried Basil
Dried Thyme

Dumpling Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegan butter
3/4 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon dried or fresh dill (use a little more if using fresh dill)

Directions

  • If you’re using Manischewitz Matzo & Soup Mix, you only need the soup packet, not the matzo ball packet. Follow the directions on the back of the box for just the soup mix. It will tell you how much water you need for the mix you bought. If you’re using broth, bring the broth up to a simmer in a soup pot. I like to use the Manischewitz soup mix because it creates a broth that is similar to chicken broth, but it’s vegan.
  • If you’re using whole potatoes, peel and chop them. If you’re using mini potatoes, they’re already bite size, so there’s no prep work. Add the potatoes to the simmering broth.
  • Chop the onions and shallots, and press or mince the garlic. Saute them in a little olive oil until the onions are translucent. Peel and chop the carrots. Chop the celery. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, and celery to the simmering broth.
  • While the soup simmers, make the dough for your dumplings.  In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the vegan butter using a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the soy milk and dill, and stir until the dough is combined.
  • Add the dough in rounded tablespoonfuls to the simmering broth. Sprinkle in dried thyme, basil, and black pepper to taste. Allow the dumplings to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover the pot and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
  • While the dumplings are simmering, saute the seitan in a little bit of olive oil. Add the seitan to the soup at the end, right before serving.
Advertisements

Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

As promised, I am back and I have vegan breakfast recipes to share! In my last post I mentioned that February is “National Hot Breakfast Month”. When I first went vegan, breakfast was one of the more challenging meals to veganize, especially at restaurants. Everything seems geared towards eggs, dairy, and meat… omlettes, sausage, bacon, pancakes, french toast, the list goes on. Now breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I’ve realized there are lots of vegan possibilities.

This recipe is one of my favorites. It goes perfectly as a side to tofu scramble, a recipe I’ll share in a later post. These are really easy to make, with little prep time, though they do take a while to bake. If you start them first, they’ll be done by the time you prepare your other breakfast dishes. They’re perfect if you’re having company over for brunch!

Ingredients:

2 potatoes (you can scale up or down based on how many people you’re feeding)
olive oil
paprika
salt
black pepper
garlic powder
1 or 2 shallots
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of fresh thyme

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Thoroughly wash the potatoes. Slice them in thin, even slices so the potatoes cook evenly.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil so the potatoes don’t stick. Lay the potatoes out on the pan in a single layer, overlapping them slightly if you need to.
  • Season the potatoes with paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. I do this by eye. You can adjust how much you use based on how seasoned you like your potatoes. I tend to season them pretty generously. Flip the potatoes, and season both sides.
  • Thinly slice a shallot and sprinkle the slices on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the leaves from one sprig of rosemary and one sprig of thyme on top.
  • Bake the potatoes for about 1 hour at 425°F. Flip them halfway through baking. When they are soft in the middle and crispy and golden on the edges, they’re finished. Enjoy!

Seitan Stew AKA Vegan Beef Stew

It’s been quite wintry the past couple days, as in the windchill was 8° yesterday! It seemed like a perfect day for a seitan stew. I like to call it seitan stew because…well, that’s what it is, but it most closely resembles a vegan version of beef stew for those who are trying to vegan-ize an old favorite. This stew is hearty, simple, pretty healthy, and perfect comfort food for a cold evening. I served it with a side of vegan cornbread from Whole Foods. So good!

 

Ingredients

4 shallots
1 yellow onion
6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
olive oil
2 cups sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
3 potatoes
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable stock
12 oz. of seitan – 1 pack
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
salt
pepper
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/3 cup of water

Directions

  • Slice the shallots, chop the onion, and press or mince the garlic. Saute them in a little olive oil in a large soup pot.
  • Add the sliced carrots and celery to the soup pot and saute with the shallots, onion, and garlic for a couple minutes.
  • Chop the potatoes into bite sized cubes.
  • Add the vegetable stock to the sautéed veggies in the pot. Add the potatoes and bay leaves, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Bring the pot up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer for 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft.
  • While the stew is simmering, saute the seitan in a little olive oil so the edges are golden and crispy. Add the seitan to the stew for the last 5 minutes of simmering and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix 1 tbsp of arrowroot powder in 1/3 cup of water until dissolved. Stir this into the stew to thicken the broth. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Happy Hanukkah! Vegan Potato Latke Recipe

Since today is the first day of Hanukkah, I thought potato latkes would be the perfect recipe to share with you! I love potato latkes, but hadn’t had them in a long time. I’d never tried making them vegan, but they came out really well. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not, I advocate for making potato latkes during the holidays and throughout the year. They’re just so good!

This recipe originally came from About.com by contributor Jolinda Hackett. I made them with a side of vegan sausage and this was a really yummy meal!

Ingredients

4 Russet potatoes or about 3 pounds
1 yellow onion
1 tbsp EnerG Egg Replacer Powder mixed with 4 tbsp water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
vegan butter
apple sauce
Tofutti vegan sour cream

Directions

  • Grate the potatoes into a large bowl. You can use a food processor if you have one strong enough for potatoes. I tried to use my blender, but it didn’t work. As a side note, potatoes turn pink when you grate them. It’s strange, but just a natural chemical reaction. Here’s more info if you want to know why this happens.
  • Drain off some of the excess liquid from grating the potatoes.
  • Finely chop your onion and add to the grated potatoes.
  • Mix 1 tbsp on EnerG Egg Replacer Powder with 4 tbsp of water until well combined. Add it to the grated potatoes.
  • Add the salt, pepper, flour, and baking powder to the bowl and mix until everything is well combined.
  • Heat up a skillet over medium high heat, and add your vegan butter. Drop the potato mixture into the pan, about 1/3 – 1/2 cup per pancake and flatten them down. Cook until they are golden brown and then flip to cook the other side, making sure the potatoes in the middle are cooked all the way through. Add more butter when you flip the pancakes if needed.
  • Serve right away with applesauce or Tofutti vegan sour cream. They are best when they’re hot off the skillet.

Holiday Recipe – Potato Leek Soup

Ready or not, the holidays are coming up quick! Over the next week and a half I’ll be posting some recipes for you as you plan your holiday menus. Hopefully you will be inspired and add one of these recipes to your repetoire!

My dad inspired me to make this soup after telling me about the Potato Leek Soup he was making last week. This soup would be a great way to start a meal, or it can even be a meal in itself. It’s pretty hearty and feels like comfort food, but it’s actually pretty healthy. With the richness of most holiday food, this is a great addition to balance out your menu.

Ingredients

2 leeks
1-2 shallots
1 yellow onion
5 cloves of garlic
vegan butter
3 Russet potatoes
1 box of vegetable broth (about 4 – 4 1/2 cups)
2 cups of cauliflower
1 cup of soy milk
ground black pepper
salt
thyme
rosemary
chives
vegan bacon

Directions

  • Chop the onions, shallots, press or mince the garlic, and slice the leeks. Use the white and light green parts of the leek, but not the darker green top part.
  • Saute the onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks in some vegan butter. My favorite is Earth Balance but Smart Balance also makes a vegan butter that’s not bad.
  • In a soup pot, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Peel and chop the potatoes into even size chunks. Add the potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, and leeks to the simmering broth. Let it simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.
  • While the soup simmers, in a separate small pot steam the cauliflower until it’s soft.
  • Blend the cooked cauliflower with the soy milk until it’s smooth. This is what I’ve decided to call cauliflower cream. It basically helps thicken the soup up while leaving more potato chunks.
  • Once the potatoes are soft, ladle out about half of the veggies and some of the stock. Blend this in with the cauliflower cream until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the blended mixture back into the remaining soup. Stir well and add ground black pepper, salt, dried thyme, and dried rosemary to taste.
  • Pan fry the vegan bacon in some vegan butter. I use Smart Bacon by Lite Life. Break up or chop the vegan bacon strips into small chunks.
  • Chop a few chives. Ladle a serving of soup into a bowl and top with the chopped chives and vegan bacon. Serve with a roll or thick bread.

Vegetable Bean Soup

This past weekend the fall weather really settled in. It seemed like the perfect time to make a big pot of soup. This is one of my generic vegan soup recipes that changes a little bit each time I make it. It’s good for using up any leftover veggies from other meals or frozen veggies you might have in the freezer. Feel free to add your own favorites! It’s a very thick chunky soup, more like a stew. It’s really filling and stands on it’s own as a meal on a chilly day.

Ingredients

1 quart of vegetable stock
3 cups of water
2 – 3 potatoes depending on size
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 – 3 carrots
1 yellow squash or zucchini
1 leek
2 cups green beans
2 cups uncooked pasta
1 can of kidney beans (interesting blog post about kidney bean toxicity)
1 can of Great Northern beans
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
powdered garlic
dried oregano
black pepper
sea salt

Directions

  • Bring vegetable stock and 3 cups of water to a boil in a large soup pot. I recommend using a bigger one than I used in the photo, because mine was almost overflowing by the end!
  • Chop the potatoes, carrots, onion, and celery and add them to the boiling stock. You can saute the onions ahead of time if you want, but I didn’t. The potatoes take the longest to cook, so I try to get them in first.
  • While that boils, chop the yellow squash or zucchini, and the leek, and snap the green beans in half or thirds. Set these ingredients aside.
  • Add 2 cups of uncooked pasta to the boiling stock.
  • Drain and rinse the kidney beans and Great Northern beans and add to the pot.
  • Once the potatoes have started to soften a bit, add the leeks, squash, greens beans, peas, and corn. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Let it simmer until the potatoes and squash are fully cooked. The entire boil/simmer time from adding the potatoes until it’s finished is about 1 – 1.5 hours. I know it’s done when the potatoes are soft enough to easily stick a fork into and the squash is fully cooked.
  • Add garlic powder, dried oregano, ground black pepper, and ground sea salt to taste. I don’t have specific amounts because I add a little, then taste the broth, then add a little more until I like it.
  • Remove from the heat, let it cool a little bit, and enjoy!
One other modification you can try is adding some vegan sausage at the end. I used Field Roast, Grain Meat Co. Smoked Apple Sage Sausages. I heated one up separate from the soup, sliced it up, and added it to my bowl. It made a tasty addition!