VEGGS BENNY (vegan)
12 asparagus spears, trimmed
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 block (10 oz/300 g) medium or soft tofu, cut into 8 slices, about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices of your favorite vegan cold cuts (I like Tofurky), sliced into bacon-like strips
4 English muffins, halved
1 recipe Ritzy Hollandaise
- In a large bowl, combine asparagus and olive oil; toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet, and roast in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender but still crisp.
- While your asparagus is roasting, heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add tofu and a pinch of salt and pepper. (Don’t be shy with the salt: tofu literally has no flavor, so salt with conviction!) Cook for 10 minutes on each side, flipping once, until tofu starts to brown on the edges, just like an egg would. Set aside.
- Heat the same pan you used to prepare the tofu over medium-high heat. Lightly fry cold cuts for about 3 minutes, flipping once, until heated and slightly crispy. Congratulations, you’ve just made vegan bacon!
- Place 2 English muffin pieces on each plate and top first with cold-cut bacon slices, then tofu egg, followed by asparagus spears. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce and add a sprinkle of cayenne and chopped chives. Serve immediately.
RITZY HOLLANDAISE (vegan)
makes 1 -1/2 cups
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1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup soft silken tofu
1/2 tsp black salt or sea salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1-1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup vegan butter, melted
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- In a blender, combine almond milk, tofu, black salt, nutritional yeast, mustard powder and turmeric. Blend on high until smooth. Add lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add cayenne and pepper; pulse until well combined.
- Remove the plug in the lid. While the blender is running, slowly add vegan butter through the hole in the lid and blend until smooth. Check the taste and consistency of hollandaise and adjust salt, pepper and lemon juice, if necessary.
To ensure that the butter does not separate from the rest of the sauce, you want to make sure that you are adding melted vegan butter at a comically slow pace. If you think you’re pouring slowly, go even slower.
The hollandaise sauce will keep for 5 days in the fridge and for 1 month in the freezer. It can easily be reheated on days that you’re feeling extra lazy. To reheat, whisk in a small saucepan over low heat for about 5 minutes, until heated through.
PUMPKIN SAGE SOUP (vegan)
High powered blender
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large white onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp dried sage
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 yellow-flesh potato, peeled and diced
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
4 cups water
6 cups pumpkin purée (fresh or canned)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh sage leaves (optional)
- In a large stock pot, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes, until translucent. Add coriander, chili powder, sage, celery, carrots and potato; sauté for 5 minutes, until the potato starts to stick to the pot.
- Add bouillon cubes, water, pumpkin, lemon juice, 2 tsp (10 mL) sea salt and 1 tsp (5 mL) pepper; stir to combine. Bring to a boil; immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly.
- In three batches, carefully transfer soup to blender. Remove the plug in the lid and blend on high, until completely smooth. Transfer back to the stock pot, warm over medium heat and season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh sage leaves, if desired.
If you’re a spice freak like I am, drizzle some spicy chile
oil over the top before serving, then sprinkle with red pepper flakes.
To make pumpkin purée: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut a large pumpkin in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for about 45 minutes, until skin is dark and flesh is soft. Remove from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes and scoop flesh from skin with a spoon.
GLUTEN FREE GINGERSNAPS
makes 36 cookies (1 per serving)
Electric hand mixer
2-inch (5 cm) cookie cutter
2 baking sheets, lightly greased
1 1⁄2 cups sorghum flour
2⁄3 cup whole bean flour
1⁄3 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
3⁄4 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
1 1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp ground cloves
1⁄2 cup butter, softened
1⁄3 cup packed brown sugar
1⁄2 cup light (fancy) molasses
2 tsp finely grated gingerroot
1 tbsp cider vinegar
- In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, whole bean flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, using electric hand mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, molasses, gingerroot, vinegar and egg. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until just combined. Divide dough into thirds. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Flatten slightly into a disc and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator. Discard plastic wrap. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Roll out to just under 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) thick. Cut out circles with cookie cutter, rerolling scraps as necessary. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Place cookies 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time in top third of oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until tops crack slightly. Let cool on baking sheets on racks for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
If the dough sticks to the cookie cutter, dip cutter in a saucer of sorghum flour or return dough to the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. Watch cookies carefully while baking: a couple of extra minutes can cause them to burn on the bottom.
GLUTEN FREE FRENCH ONION SOUP
makes 8 servings
Eight 1 1⁄2-cup (375 mL) ovenproof bowls or ramekins
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp sorghum or teff flour
8 cups GF beef broth
8 thick slices GF bread, cubed
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add vegetable oil and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until soft and transparent.
- Stir in sugar and cook, stirring frequently, for 50 to 60 minutes or until onions are deep golden brown.
- Stir in sorghum flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Gradually stir in beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Place ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Evenly top each bowl with bread cubes and sprinkle with Swiss cheese and Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheeses are bubbly and lightly browned. Serve.
This soup can be made ahead up to the end of Step 3. Let cool, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat over medium heat until steaming, then proceed with Step 4.
Don’t try to rush when browning the onions. The longer and slower they are cooked, the richer and deeper the flavor of the soup. The length of time to brown can take longer; it all depends on the size and the shape of the saucepan.