Ginger and Caramel Cheesecake

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Serves about 8-16

Pre-heat oven to 350F.

1 container of Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Cookies
1 stick of Earth Balance, melted

In a food processor, blend about 3/4 of the cookies and the melted margarine till it becomes a fine crumb. Press into 4 mini non-stick springform pans or one large.

1.5 containers of vegan cream cheese (12 oz)
11 oz silken tofu
2/3 c granulated white sugar

Blend together till creamy.

1/8 c lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cornstarch

Whisk together in a small bowl, then add to tofu mixture. Blend again for a couple minutes. Pour mixture evenly between the mini tins or onto the one big crust and then back for about 35-45 mins (till golden-tinged on top). Remove from oven and let cool for 2 hours.

1 c granulated white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c coconut cream (the hard stuff off the top of the can – easiest way to get this is to refrigerate the can for a few hours)

In a heavy-bottomed pot (at least medium-sized, because you don’t want to deal with boiling-over caramel), add the sugar and salt and heat on high, continuously stirring with a wooden spoon until it becomes completely lumpy (about 10 mins). Reduce heat to medium and keep stirring till most of the lumps have softened and you have a sort of soft, gooey clump of melted brown sugar (about another 10 mins). Add the coconut cream (carefully – a couple tbsp at a time – because it will boil up and splatter) and kept stirring till the lumps are gone (or at least mostly gone) (about another 10 mins). 

Once the cheesecakes have cooled you can either

- pour the hot caramel directly onto them, then cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight. The caramel will appear to harden while it’s cooling, but something in the cheesecake filling will re-liquefy it completely in about 48 hours, so it’ll end up a nice, gooey sauce or

- spread the caramel out on to parchment or wax paper and let it harden (only takes a few minutes) then break it up into chunks and sprinkle over the cheesecakes before serving or

- a combination of both of the above.

 

 

Cauliflower and Broccoli in a Rich Makhani Gravy

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This is such an easy Indian recipe from Vegan Richa – great for a tasty weeknight dinner, and comes together very quickly.

Some changes I  made:
– subbed 1 tsp of ground fenugreek for the leaves
– subbed half a can of fire-roasted tomatoes for fresh, and skipped the simmering time
– skipped the cashews and used a whole can of coconut cream (full fat)

Spaghetti Bolognese

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1 Field Roast meatloaf
2 tbsp oil

Heat a skillet on medium for about 5 mins. Chop up the meatloaf into rough chunks and pulse in a food processor till you get a nice chunky consistency. You can sub any type of fake beef for this (Trader Joe’s does a good one; so does Gardein; Field Roast italian sausages also work). Add the beef to the pan and brown for a few minutes. Remove and set aside.

2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp Earth Balance
1 large yellow onion, diced
3-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c dry white wine, sake or vodka
1 can crushed or diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can regular diced or crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper
dried basil 
dried oregano

Heat the oil and margarine in the same pan, on medium, while you prepare the onions and garlic. Toss them in the pan and saute till translucent and soft. Deglaze the pan with the wine/alcohol then add both cans of tomatoes, as well as the basil and oregano (about 1.5 tsp of each, but I just liberally sprinkle them on). Add salt and pepper now and season again at the end after tasting. Reduce heat to med-low and leave uncovered – but I recommend a splatter-guard. Simmer for about 30 mins.

Add the browned “meat” back in the pan, mix well and serve with linguine or spaghetti and some vegan parmesan.

Basic Alfredo Sauce

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This is a Chloe Coscarelli recipe, via Your Vegan Mom, and is a great staple sauce. I initially planned to make exactly to the recipe, but realized at the last minute I had no miso on hand. So instead I subbed in 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, a splash of Braggs’, and I used white pepper instead of black. It tasted rich and comforting.

One note – don’t add the sauce to the pasta till ready to serve, as the pasta will absorb it really quickly and you’ll have gluey mess on your hands.