{Take-Out Thursday} Melitzanosalata also known as Baba Ganoush

By Best of the Veg On January 26, 2012 · 12 Comments · In Dip, Greek, Vegan


2 large eggplants
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more as needed
3 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Tahini or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Wash your eggplants and then use a fork to prick the eggplants evenly all over. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until they are completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.

Remove from the oven, let cool, and peel off and discard the skin. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.

Taste and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary.

Serve with pita chips or sliced baguette.

Enjoy the eggplants smoky benefits of extra fiber, potassium, and vitamin Bs.

Storage: Melitzanosalata /Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.

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    Chinese New Year Vegetarian Dumplings

    By Best of the Veg On January 23, 2012 · 9 Comments · In Asian, Holidays

    Happy Chinese New Year! Start the New Year off with Dumplings which symbolize wealth plus they are delicious!

    You will need

    1 package dumpling wrappers

    Small bowl of water

     Dumpling Filling

    4 dried shiitake mushrooms

    1/2 pound bok choy

    1 small can Water chestnuts, minced

    1 medium carrot, shredded

    Fresh ginger, peeled and minced

    1 tablespoon scallions, sliced

    3 tablespoon sesame oil

    2 tablespoons soy sauce

     Ponzu Dipping Sauce

    2/3 cup fresh lemon juice, more to taste

    1/3 cup fresh lime juice, more to taste

    1/4 cup rice vinegar

    1 cup good-quality soy sauce

    1/4 cup mirin

    1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions

     In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight. Strain. Just before using, you might add a small squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. Covered and refrigerated, ponzu will keep for at least several days.

     To Make the Dumpling Filling

    Combine boiling water and mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes or until soft. Drain. Place the mushrooms and water chestnuts in a food processor; pulse until minced. Add mushroom mixture, carrot, ginger, scallions, sesame oil, soy sauce, and stir well.

    Working with 1 wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers to keep them from drying), spoon place one heaping tablespoon of dumpling filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Using your fingertip, wet the outer edge of the dumpling wrapper with water. Bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching edges together to seal.

    Arrange dumplings in a single layer in a vegetable steamer coated with cooking spray. Steam dumplings, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the dumplings from steamer; set aside, and keep warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dumplings.


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    Chik’n Stroganoff

    By Best of the Veg On January 16, 2012 · 6 Comments · In Morning Star Chick Patties, Russian

    A healthy & delicious spin on the famous beef stroganoff with pappardelle.


    2 Morning Star Chik’n patties

    4 ounces pappardelle pasta

    2 tablespoons vegan butter spray

    1 ½ flour

    ½ cup vegetable broth

    2 tablespoons vegan sour cream

    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    Salt & Pepper, to taste

    ½ teaspoon paprika

    1 garlic clove, minced

    ½ tablespoon chopped parsley


    Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Reserving ½ cup pasta water.

    Follow oven directions for the patties.

    First, make a roux by melting butter. Add flour and using a wooden spoon stir until smooth. Add broth and Dijon mustard and bring to a low boil. Add sour cream and stir until smooth. Season with paprika and salt & pepper. Add parsley at end.

    To Serve

    Spoon some sauce onto each patty and if desired top with parmesan cheese and mushroom of choice. Toss pasta with remaining sauce. Plate the pasta with the patty and Enjoy!

    {Serves 2 ~ 375 calories per serving}

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    {Take-Out Thursday} Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo

    By Best of the Veg On January 5, 2012 · 7 Comments · In Comfort Foods, Italian, Vegan

    The Original Way

    The most simple and delectable dish to make real Italian style. A perfect blend of rich, creamy sauce and perfectly cooked pasta that you can dive right into and enjoy the traditional Italian flavors.


    1 pound dried Organic Spinach Fettuccine

    ½ pound Earth Balance vegan butter

    3 ¼ cup Vegan Parmesan cheese substitute

    Pinch of ground nutmeg


    Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt and add pasta. Cook according to al dente directions.

    Meanwhile, cut butter into pats. Drain pasta, but reserve 1 cup of starching pasta water. Place pasta back into pot, add butter, and toss. Sprinkle parmesan and nutmeg over the pasta and add ¼ cup at a time of the pasta water. Using 2 large wooden spoons or forks, gently toss the pasta with the butter and cheese, adding more pasta water as needed. This will create a smooth sauce. Work from the edges and continue to mix the pasta, butter, and cheese until fully melted and the noodles are coated with the thick sauce.

    Serve immediately on warm plates and enjoy!

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    New Years Dinner

    By Best of the Veg On January 2, 2012 · 3 Comments · In Creole & Cajun, Holidays, Vegan

    We started 2012 with a Cajun tradition, but put a healthy vegan spin on things. This year is all about being healthy and eating what’s good for us!

    Cajun Black Eyed Peas over Rice

    You will Need

    1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight

    1 32 ounce box vegetable broth

    1 onion, chopped

    1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

    1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

    2 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped

    2 bay leaves

    Salt & Pepper, to taste

    1 Tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning

    A few dashes of Tabasco Worcestershire sauce

    Crystal hot sauce, to taste


    Place all ingredients into a crock-pot on low all day (8 hours) Season as needed. Serve alone or over Boiled Cajun Rice


    Vegan Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

    You will Need

    12 leaves cabbage (1 head)

    ¾ cup Boiled Cajun rice

    1onion, minced

    2 tablespoons dried sweet bell peppers

    1-package Yves meatless vegan grounds

    2 teaspoons dried thyme

    ½ teaspoon celery salt

    Salt & Pepper, to taste

    1 Tablespoon Cajun seasoning

    2 Teaspoons fresh lemon juice

    2 Teaspoons Tabasco Worcestershire sauce

    Hot sauce, to your liking

    Red Sauce for topping the cabbage rolls


    With a steamer basket, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Steam cabbage leaves for about 3 minutes – you only need to have the leaves become pliable so they can be rolled. Drain and allow to cool so they can be handled. Shred or finely chop the remaining cabbage from the head, and place it on the bottom of a large casserole dish.

    In a large bowl combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Assemble the cabbage rolls: lay a cabbage leaf out on a cutting board, and trim out the hard stripe from the core. Place a large spoonful of the mixture onto the cabbage leaf and roll, egg roll fashion, tucking under the ends. Place the wrapped rolls on top of the shredded cabbage and top the entire thing with Red sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

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    Spinach Artichoke & Sun-dried Tomato Crostini

    By Best of the Veg On December 23, 2011 · 6 Comments · In Holidays, Vegan

    The perfect vegan holiday appetizer that anyone will enjoy! My parents aren’t vegan and before I knew it the entire dish was gone. Warm gooey spinach & artichoke dip served with warm sliced French baguettes, what gets more comforting than that? This delicious dip is perfect for an appetizer or any get together.


    1 baguette, sliced on a diagonal

    Extra virgin olive oil

    2 tablespoons vegan butter

    1 small onion, finely chopped

    2 garlic cloves

    ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes

    Salt & Pepper

    1/2 cup vegan cream cheese

    1/4 cup vegan sour cream

    1 (12 ounce) jar artichokes, drained and chopped

    1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained

    6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

    1 cup Vegan/Veggie Italian cheese blend

    ¼ cup vegan/veggie parmesan cheese

    1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped, divided


    Pre-heat oven to 400º. Place the bread on a baking

    sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

    Add bread to the oven during the last 7 minutes of dip time.

    Place all remaining ingredients into a casserole dish. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

    Serve on warm crostini slices topped with remaining tomatoes and Enjoy!

    Note: For the vegan cream cheese and sour cream, I used Tofutti brand.

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    Mouth-Watering Wordless Wednesday

    By Best of the Veg On December 14, 2011 · 6 Comments · In Mouth-Watering Wordless Wednesday, Vegan

    Mouth-Watering Vegan Falafel Gyro

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    Google Friend Connect to Google+

    By Best of the Veg On December 9, 2011 · Leave a Comment · In News

    With the news about the Google Friend Connect (GFC) widget being removed from non-blogger blogs in the New Year, I created a Google+ page for all my followers on both Best of the Veg & Cajunlicious to continue seeing my blog postings in one convenient place!  So head over to my Google+ page, which includes both Cajunlicious and Best of the Veg blog post and add it to your following circle! There are some great things coming soon that you don’t want to miss out on!

    Thank you for being a friend and follower of Best of the Veg, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you all! See you soon on Google+. If you need an invite please leave a comment with your email address and I will send you one.

    You can also keep up with my blogs by clicking on any of the icons on the left hand side under Connect with Me

    In the meantime click on the Google+ icon below where you can view all Cajunlicious & Best of the Veg post


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