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Appetizers & Side Dishes

Basic Bean Spread


2 cups cooked pinto beans

1/2 red onion, chopped

4 large cloves garlic

2 Tbs. barbecue sauce

2 tsp. minced jalapeno peppers (fresh or jarred)


Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Then store spread overnight in a covered container in the refrigerator to let flavors blend. Makes about 2 cups.

Caper & Garlic Dip


8 oz soft tofu, drained

2 tsp. minced fresh tarragon (or 1 tsp. dried tarragon)

2 tsp. minced fresh chives or green onions

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. capers, drained

1 Tbs. stone-ground prepared mustard

1 large bell pepper (green or red)


In a food processor or blender, puree tofu. Stir in tarragon, chives or onions, garlic, capers and mustard. Cut off top of pepper. Remove and discard seeds. Fill pepper with dip. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 1-1/4 cups of dip.

Cashew Sour Cream


2 cups water

6 Tbs cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 cup hot water

2 cups cashews

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbs. sea salt

2 tsp. onion powder


Mix the 2 cups or water with the cornstarch or arrowroot and boil on the stove until it thickens. Cool slightly. Blend the hot water and cashews well. Add the lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and onion powder to the cashew liquid. Add this to the starch mixture and combine thoroughly. Cool before using.

Country Style Gravy


½ cup clean raw cashews

½ cup hot water (more if necessary)

2 tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. nutritional yeast

½ tsp. "chicken" seasoning (such as McKays)

2 Tbs. cornstarch or arrowroot

Salt to taste

½ tsp. smoke flavor

2 Tbs. soy sauce

Water to make 2 cups


Blend cashews and hot water in blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thick.

Crockpot Taco Sauce


10 large tomatoes, peeled

5 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tsp. salt

2 large onions, chopped

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 Tbsp. honey

1 Tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 to 3 jalapeno peppers (optional)

1 Tbsp.  wheat Flour

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. wine vinegar


Place all ingredients except flour, oil, and vinegar in crock pot and stir well. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove cover and turn to high setting for last hour to reduce excess moisture. Before removing sauce from crockpot, stir in flour, oil, and vinegar. Allow to cool. Pour 3 cups of sauce at a time into blender container and blend until smooth. Makes 8 cups

Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 onions, minced

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons dried currants

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

1 tablespoon dried dill weed

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 (8 ounce) jar grape leaves


1 Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Saute onions until tender. Stir in rice and hot water to cover. Cover and simmer until rice is half cooked, about 10 minutes.

2 Remove from heat and stir in tomato paste, currants, pine nuts, cinnamon, mint leaves, dill weed, allspice and cumin. Let mixture cool.

3 Prepare a large pot by placing an inverted plate on the bottom; this protects the dolmas from direct heat when steaming.

4 Rinse grape leaves in warm water; drain and cut off any stems. Place about 1 teaspoon of the cooled rice mixture in the center of a leaf. Fold in the sides and then roll into a cigar shape. Place in prepared pot. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

5 Pour in just enough warm water to reach the bottom of the first layer of dolmas. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes, or until rice is totally cooked. Check the water level often and add more as necessary.

Greek Olive Dip


1 Tbs. lemon juice

1 cup pine nuts

2 Tbs. capers

¼ tsp. pepper

1 clove garlic

½ tsp. thyme or basil (or 1 tsp. fresh)

1 cup Greek olives

1-1/2 to 2 cups parsley, chopped


Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Great served on bagels, crackers, pita, etc. If you don't like olives, try this anyway-you'll love it!

Green Beans with Hazelnut-Lemon Dressing


1 lb green beans, cut--cooked until crisp-tender

toast 1/2 c chopped hazelnuts (or almonds)

add 1 T lemon juice

1 t minced fresh parsley

1/2 t dried basil

1/4 t salt


add to drained beans and toss to coat.

suggestion: use a pan spray to aide toasting or sauteing

Hummus-Filled Cucumber Cups


1 clove garlic, minced

16 cooked garbanzo beans, reserve liquid, rinse and drain

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. dark sesame oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives

3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

1 large or 2 medium seedless cucumbers, unpeeled

Mint sprigs for garnish


In food processor, combine garlic and garbanzo beans; process until beans are coarsely chopped. With motor running, add olive oil and lemon juice through feed tube; process until almost smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl if necessary. Add sesame oil and salt; process until well blended. Stir in olives and mint. Cover; chill at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.

Attractively score cucumber lengthwise with tines of fork. Cut crosswise into ½" slices. Using a metal measuring teaspoon or melon baller, scoop out a small indentation in each cucumber slice and spoon heaping teaspoon hummus into each cucumbercup. Arrange on serving platter. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 1 hour before serving. Garnish platter with mint sprigs if desired. Makes 32.

Marinated Olives


8 oz green olives, pitted (about 1-1/2 cups)

1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried

3 Tbs. fresh mixed herbs, such as thyme, oregano, chives, sage, or 3 tsp. dried

1 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. black peppercorns

1 Tbs. coarsely chopped garlic

1/4 tsp. salt

3 medium bay leaves

1x3" piece of lemon peel

Olive oil to cover


Put olives in medium bowl. Add rosemary, herbs, fennel seeds, paprika, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, and garlic and mix thoroughly. Pack seasoned olives into a pint jar, layering them with bay leaves and lemon peel. Pour oil over olives to cover, then tightly cover jar. Refrigerate for at least 4 days, shaking occasionally.

To serve, drain olives, discard peppercorns, bay leaves and lemon peel. Serve at room temperature.

Melty UnCheese Sauce


½ cup clean raw cashews

½ cup water (more if necessary)

8 oz pimentos

6 Tbs. nutritional yeast

4 Tbs. arrowroot or cornstarch

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. onion powder

Water to total 4 cups

3 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. garlic powder


Blend cashews and hot water in blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Simmer until thick, stirring constantly (5-6 minutes).

Serve over potatoes, veggies, tortilla chips, etc. For fondue or a spread, increase cornstarch to 6 Tbs.

Moms Brown Potatoes


2 cups vegetable oil

5 medium potatoes, cut into small cubes

garlic salt to taste

1 tablespoon dried parsley


1 Heat the oil in a deep fryer or large, heavy saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2 Deep fry the potatoes until golden brown. As you remove the potatoes from the oil, sprinkle them generously with garlic salt and parsley.

Makes 4 servings

New Fashioned Cabbage Rolls



2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onions

28-oz can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with liquid

½ cup sweet vermouth or apple cider

2 Tbs. lemon juice

3 oz tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste


2 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

4 oz mushrooms, chopped

2-1/2 cups cooked wild rice

½ tsp. paprika

½ tsp. dill seed

½ cup chopped dried fruits, such as raisins, apples, apricots, peaches or pears

2/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 medium head green cabbage (about 1-1/2 lbs.)


SAUCE: Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add onions and sauté until transparent. Add tomatoes, vermouth or cider, lemon juice and tomato paste. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 cups.

FILLING: Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are transparent. Add mushrooms and cook briefly, about 4 minutes. Don't let mushrooms get soft and turn gray. Stir in the rice, paprika, dill seed and dried fruit. Cook until fruit softens, about 10 minutes. Stir in walnuts and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Core the cabbage and place in a large kettle of boiling water. Parboil 5 minutes. Meanwhile, spread about 1/3 of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a large casserole.

Remove cabbage form pan, drain and cool slightly. Carefully peel off 16 cabbage leaves. If inner leaves are too stiff, place them back in the boiling water for 1-2 minutes until pliable. Put 2-3 Tbs. of filling in center of each cabbage leaf. Roll up leaf, tucking in sides as you roll, and place each packet seam-side down in a layer in the casserole. Cover layer with sauce. Continue rolling, layering and adding sauce until you've used up the filling.

Cover and bake 45-60 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove from oven and let stand about 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Serves 6.

Notzarella Cheez


2 cups water

2-1/4 tsp. lemon juice

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/3 cup rolled oats

¼ cup arrowroot

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. Italian seasoning

1-1/2 tsp. onion powder

3 Tbs. tahini

1-1/2 tsp. sea salt


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute. Pour into a saucepan and heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Blend with electric mixer to remove any clumps. This can be frozen, then quickly grated and sprinkled over dishes such as pizza

Parmesan Cheez


1 cup sesame seeds

¼ cup lemon juice

1-1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbs. onion powder

3 Tbs. Schilling's Vegetable Supreme seasoning


Mix all together. Sprinkle on a cookie sheet. Cover with a piece of waxed paper. Roll out thin. Remove waxed paper. Put in a 200 degree oven for 2 hours. Grind fine and store in a covered container in a cool place.

Pepita Chili Snacks


1 pound pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels)

3 Tbs. each lime juice and soy sauce

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. each black pepper, garlic powder, and thyme

12 oz whole-wheat chex-type cereal

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl or pot, combine pepitas, lime juice, soy sauce, and cumin. Toss to coat evenly. Add cereal and toss again.

Spread mixture out on a nonstick baking sheet. Spray lightly with oil and sprinkle with salt and cayenne, if desired. Bake 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway through, until toasty and lightly browned.

Pimiento Cheez 1


¼ cup agar

1 cup water

¾ cup cashews

¼ cup pimentos

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. corn oil

2 Tbs. lemon juice


Soak agar in water about 5 minutes and boil gently until clear. While agar is boiling, place nuts, pimentos, salt, onion powder, and oil in a blender and whirl until smooth. Add the hot agar and whirl ½ minute. Add the lemon juice and mix for only a second. Pour immediately into a mold and set in the refrigerator to cool.

Variation: For a cheez sauce or spread, use only half the agar. Use cooked potatoes instead of cashews.

Pimiento Cheez 2


¼ cup agar

1 cup water

¾ cup cashews

¼ cup pimentos

1-1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion powder

2 Tbs. sesame seed

3 Tbs. nutritional yeast

Dash garlic powder

Dash dill seed

½ tsp. corn oil

2 Tbs. lemon juice


Soak agar in water about 5 minutes and boil gently until clear. Place other ingredients-except for oil and lemon juice-in a blender with the agar and whirl. Add oil slowly. Add lemon juice last. Pour immediately into a mold and set in the refrigerator to cool.

Variation: to use as a cheez sauce or spread, use only half the agar. Use cooked potatoes instead of cashews.

Pizza Cheez


½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. garlic powder

2 cups water

1 Tbs. corn oil

1 tsp. mustard


Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk in the water. Cook over medium heat while whisking until it thickens and bubbles. Cook 30 seconds more and remove from heat. Whip in oil and mustard. Add 1 cup or more of water to make a thick, smooth sauce that will pour easily. Pour on pizza, and for the last few minutes of baking, broil the pizza for a few minutes until the cheez is speckled. Makes 2-1/2 cups.

Spiced Rainbow Fries


1 medium russet potato

1 medium sweet potato

1 medium turnip

1 medium parsnip

1 medium or 2 small beets

4 cloves elephant garlic

1-1/2 Tbs. canola, safflower or peanut oil

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut vegetables and garlic into French fries.

In a small bowl, combine oil, chili powder and garlic powder. Lightly coat potatoes, turnip, parsnip and beets with oil mixture.

Place oiled vegetables on baking tray; bake 30-40 minutes. About halfway through baking time, turn fries and scatter garlic over them. For crispier fries, place under broiler 1-2 minutes before serving. Salt to taste. Serves 4 to 5.

Spicy Tortilla Chips


6 corn tortillas

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 Tbs. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of each tortilla with a small amount of oil. Using scissors, cut each tortilla into 6 wedges. Combine garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl, then sprinkle on one side of tortilla chips. Place chips on large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until crisp. Serves 6.

Sunflower Pate


1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup olive oil

1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari

1 large potato, peeled and sliced

1 cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 or 2 cloves garlic (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)

1 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs of sage, basil, oregano, or marjoram


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Pour into 2 greased 6"x3" loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until set. Cool thoroughly, and carefully remove from pans after loosening edges with a knife. Wrap well in plastic. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in freezer for up to 3 months.

Sunny "Sour Cream"


2/3 cup sunflower seeds

2-3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. onion powder

¼ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup water


Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. To make a salad or sandwich dressing, you can blend in some tomato or avocado.

Note: the color of this recipe may be brownish. This can be adjusted by using food coloring. Last time my mom made this, she used fresh lemon juice and the color was fine.

Tofu Cottage Cheez


1-1/2 cup firm tofu

¼ cup tofu mayonnaise

2 Tbs. plus 1-1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. soy sauce

¼ tsp. garlic powder

Pinch paprika


Mash all ingredients together.

Tofu Ricotta Cheez


6 cups firm tofu, pressed

½ cup lemon juice

4 tsp. Sucanat

2 tsp. sea salt

¼ cup corn oil

4 tsp. basil

1 tsp. garlic powder


Mash tofu. Mix other ingredients into the mashed tofu.

Tofu Sour Cream


1 pkg. Silken tofu (firm or extra-firm)

1 Tbs. vinegar

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 clove garlic

Pinch salt, optional

Pinch sweetener, optional


Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Triticale Herb Bread


1 cup warm (110-115 degree) low-fat milk or soy milk

1 cup warm (110-115 degree) water

2 pkg. active dry yeast

3 tbs. honey

3 Tbs. safflower oil

1 tsp. salt

1 egg, beaten, or equivalent substitute

2 cups triticale flour

3 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp. each: dried chives, dried dill, sesame seeds


In a mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Let stand for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast is dissolved. Stir in the salt and beaten egg. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir together. Make 1 well in the center and pour in the wet mixture. Work together just until well blended, using a wooden spoon at first and then well-floured hands. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board. Knead gently for 5-7 minutes, adding a bit more flour if necessary for the dough to lose its stickiness.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Shape into loaves and place into two lightly oiled loaf pans. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for 45-50 minutes, or until they feel hollow when tapped and are nicely browned. When cool enough to handle, remove from the pans and cool on a rack.

Zesty Tomato Relish


4 large tomatoes, chopped

2 T fresh lemon juice

1 t sweet basil

2 small onions, minced

1 t celery seed

1 t salt

8 - 10 pitted dates, chopped (or 1 - 2 T other sweetener)(op)


Combine all ingredients and simmer about 15 min, stirring frequently.

Variation: add mung bean sprouts, and serve over cooked brown rice, then top with slivered almonds.