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Someone I work with, Elia, (author of  feedyoursister.blogspot.com), saw my piece about Candle 79 and lent me her copy of The Candle Cafe Cookbook.  I thought it was only fare to share, so below are a series of recipes to take you through a day!  I don't know when you are entertaining next, but vegan or not, these should all be hits with your family or friends.  For nearly 150 additional great recipes, you should go pick up a copy of your own ~ this is just a "taste"!

Vanilla-Cinnamon French Toast
1 lb, silken tofu
1 1/4 c vanilla rice milk
4 1/2 tsp agave nectar (organic please)
3 3/4 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6-8 slices sourdough or spelt bread (you can certainly use a gluten-free bread if need be)
Coconut butter or safflower oil, for cooking the french toast
Fresh strawberries, blueberries or blackberries (optional)
Confectioners' sugar (optional)

In a blender container, combine the tofu, rice milk, agave nectar, cinnamon, and vanilla and blend on high speed until smooth.  The consistency should be fairly liquid, so add additional rice milk if necessary.  Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl.  Add the bread slices and immerse both sides of the bread in the batter until soaked through.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat some butter or oil.  Cook each side for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the bread begins to brown lightly.  The toast should feel slightly crispy before removing from the skillet.  Serve with fresh berries and confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Caesar Salad with Herbed Croutons and Nori Dressing
2 heads, romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces, placed in a large bowl and set aside (make sure to wash it carefully and then pat it dry)

Herbed Croutons
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 c day old 1-inch bread, cubed (you can use gluten free if you need)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the bread cubes with the olive oil mixture until well coated.  Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove and set aside to cool.

Nori Dressing
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c soy milk
1/2 lb silken tofu
1 TBSP capers
1 TBSP dijon mustard
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 TSBP shoyu or tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 sheet of nori, shredded (Nori is the seaweed used to wrap sushi)

Place the olive oil, soy milk, tofu, capers, mustard, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.  Add the shoyu or tamari soy sauce, hot sauce, garlic, and shredded nori and pulse again until smooth.  Toss the salad and dressing together.  Add the croutons and toss again.  You can top with toasted dulse, a sea vegetable, if you like.

The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Black Bean Burgers
4 c black beans (dry, not canned)
1 c peeled and diced carrots
1 c peeled and diced onion
3/4 c diced red bell pepper
3/4 c diced green or yellow bell pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 TBSP chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 c chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 c chopped cilantro
8 whole wheat buns
sliced tomato and lettuce for garnish

In a large saucepan, simmer the beans in 5 cups of water for 35 minutes.  Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
In a large bowl, mix together the carrots, onion, peppers, salt, 1 tsp olive oil, and cornmeal.  Stir in the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, chickpea flour, lemon juice, and cilantro.  Stir in the black beans and form into patties.  Add a bit of the reserved cooking liquid to the mixture to moisten if it is too dry,  or if you prefer a smoother-textured burger, blend half of the mixture in a blender until smooth and combine with the remaining mixture.
In a skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil and cook the burgers for about 3 minutes on each side.  Serve on whole wheat buns with a slice of tomato and lettuce.

Mushroom Risotto
1/2 c dry white wine
2 c vegetable broth
2 TBSP soy margarine
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 c thinly sliced white mushrooms
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, seeded, deveined, and thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c arborio rice
4 TBSP grated soy mozzarella cheese

In a saucepan, combine the wine, broth, and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil, then simmer over very low heat.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the soy margarine.  Add the garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, black pepper to taste, and rice and stir until well coated.  Add 1/2 c of the simmering broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Continue adding the liquid in 1/2-cup increments and stirring until the rice has absorbed it all.  This will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.  The rice is done when it is creamy, not soupy.  It will be tender, not mushy, and will retain its bite.
Divide the risotto among 4 large soup bowls, sprinkle with the grated mozzarella, and serve at once.

Bitsy Brittles
1 c oat flour
3/4 c rolled oats
3 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt (fine-grained)
2 TBSP safflower oil
1 1/4 c brown rice syrup
1/4 c maple syrup
1/2 c walnuts
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c pitted and finely chopped dates

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl, whisk together the oil, brown rice syrup, and maple syrup.  Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir well to combine.  Fold in the walnuts, raisins, and dates and mix well.  Set aside for about 20 minutes.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of batter for each cookie, spaced an inch apart, onto the baking sheets.  Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned.  Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks.

These can be shaped, while warm, into tuilles and filled with non-dairy ice cream or sorbet or can be broken into pieces, like peanut brittle over pudding or mousse.  Or...you can just eat them...



 

Veg and the City