Leslie Cecere, of  Port St. Lucie, Florida, presents you with her amazing culinary art in the realm of vegan food preparation. Every week she will share one of her exquisite and delicious (we're not kidding or exaggerating) recipes and well as advice and tips on healthful living.  You can email any question or suggestions to her at recipes /at/ comeandreason /dot/ com.


Southwestern Rice & Pinto Bean Salad

submitted by Katherine Figel

This salad is an easy, colorful side dish which provides good flavor and protein. It can be paired with roasted vegetable to complete the meal.

LIVING CAESAR DRESSING

While planning an Italian themed, vegan potluck, I was on the hunt for an authentic tasting recipe for Caesar Salad Dressing.  I discovered this one in Dreena Burton's "Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating."  It is amazing! This recipe makes enough dressing for one large head of romaine.

Equipment :

blender or food processor

Ingredients :

1/4 cup raw cashews (or raw sunflower seeds) (see note)
1/8 cup raw pine nuts (or raw sesame seeds) (see note)
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tsp mild miso or 1/2 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp kelp granules (such as Maine Coast Sea Seasonings brand)
1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 cup water (or more to thin as desired)

Directions:

  1. Using a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until very smooth.
  2. Toss this dressing with torn romaine leaves, along with raw pumpkin seeds (my favorite!), pine nuts, or croutons. (Try the simple Garlic Herb Crouton recipe, below.)


This dressing will thicken after refrigeration. You can thin it by adding 2-3 tsp water.  When thick, it makes a great veggie dip!

Note: If…

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CAROB SHAKE

My love for (or should I say 'my addiction to') chocolate began in the womb!  Mom was beyond nauseous during her entire pregnancy with me. Dairy Queen chocolate milkshakes brought her great relief. So.... she (or should I say 'we') consumed one daily!  Oh, what creamy comfort! When I made the decision to cut out dairy and refined sugar and chocolate, I resigned myself to the fact that those yummy milkshakes were a thing of the past. :(  That is... until I found this little gem in "The American Vegetarian Cookbook" by Marilyn Diamond. Thank you Marilyn!!!

Equipment :

blender

Ingredients :

1 cup almond, soy, or rice milk
2 tsp carob (I usually use raw carob, it has a milder flavor but Chatfield's brand is also delicious)
1 1/2 to 2 frozen bananas (depending on the thickness you desire)
sweetener to taste (see note)

Directions:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.

This recipe might serve 2, but I can drink the whole batch down in one setting!

Note: I've found additional sweetener unnecessary if the bananas are nice and ripe before freezing.

If you like, use a tsp or 2 of honey or maple syrup. …

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QUINOA PORRIDGE

Are you familiar with Quinoa (keen-wa)?  This tiny little seed is packed with nutrition.  It provides all eight of the essential amino acids, making it an unusually complete protein source among plant foods.  It is gluten-free and easy to digest.  Quinoa has a mild nutty flavor and a fluffy texture.  Cook it like rice and season it, add it to soups and salads, or try this recipe for a hot, nutritious, delightfully delicious breakfast!…

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HUEVOLESS RANCHEROS *

When people go vegetarian or vegan, they're bound to discover tofu. My first attempts at cooking with tofu were not exactly successful. It always came out bland and squishy or kind of rubbery. Needless to say, I wasn't a very big fan.  But, I kept experimenting and my persistence paid off.  This is one of my favorite tofu dishes.  When I make this, I usually serve it for dinner, but it's a nice treat for Sunday morning breakfast, too!…

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SPLIT PEA SOUP *

Split Pea Soup is part of the cuisine of many cultures.  It is most often prepared with ham hocks, sausage or bacon.  This extraordinary vegetarian version contains no added fat, no cholesterol and the flavor is fantastic!  It's easy to make on the stove or in a slow cooker.…

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ZUCCHINI PASTA with MARINARA SAUCE *

If you love pasta but are looking for ways to cut back on refined carbohydrates, give this recipe a try. The "noodles" are made by thinly slicing raw zucchini into long strips. The easiest way to make raw zucchini noodles is to use a spiral slicer, sometimes called a "spiralizer," but a vegetable peeler will work as well. Toss these "noodles" with your own favorite sauce or try this quick and easy raw marinara. Serve with the Living Caesar salad for a light and healthy Italian meal.…

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