Breaded Zucchini Bites

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easy and delicious recipe for a zucchini side dish

 Zucchini is a favorite of many vegans because it takes any flavor so readily and it wears many different outfits! You can turn a zucchini into just about anything depending on the seasonings you add. These "bites" are delicious and somewhat crunchy, which adds interest to any meal. You can serve these with anything you want, including mashed potatoes, rice, baked sweet potatoes, etc.

1 large zucchini, cut lengthwise, then cut it in small chunks
1/2 cup tofu, drained
1/4 cup raw sliced almonds
3 Tbsp. fine cornmeal
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (you can make your own by toasting your own bread and pulverizing it in a food processor or blender)
Salt to taste
3/4 cup plain soy, almond or rice milk
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika powder
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1/2 stalk celery
Olive oil or Rice bran oil (rice bran oil has a higher cooking point than most oils, so you can safely use it for baking and cooking without the harm of "frying.")

In a blender, process tofu, parsley and celery till smooth with a little bit of the milk, just enough to get the machine running. Scrape into a bowl.
Add all the rest of the ingredients to form a thick batter.
Oil a cookie sheet with olive oil or with rice bran oil (its boiling point is the highest in any oil so that your food will be cooked but not "fried") and after coating your zucchini chunks in the batter mix on both sides,
place them on the cookie sheet. Bake at 350º F till golden brown. After 10 minutes of baking turn, and watch them carefully till golden on both sides. They will be a little crunchy.

Yield: Serves 2
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Cheesy Tofu Scramble

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This is a super simple but very tasty tofu scramble. You can serve it as is, as a side dish for mashed potatoes, or fill pita bread halves with it and top it with a sauce of your choice. You can also have it with toast for breakfast, delicious if you add some diced tomatoes. You can use it as a substitute for egg salad, just chop some tomatoes, onions or anything else you might like into it and you're set. Enjoy!

½ cup sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
¼ tsp. Garlic powder
1 tsp. Onion powder
1 tsp. Nutritional yeast (not baker’s yeast)
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
Salt to taste
1 Tsp. Sweet paprika powder
½ cup water
¼ cup raw almonds or raw cashews (wash the cashews!)
¾ cup plain soy milk
1 cup tofu

Place all the ingredients except the tofu and the milk, in the blender and process till smooth.
Pour into a skillet and add 1 cup tofu, drained and cubed. Add the milk and cook till tofu is
Soft and fluffy. Serve as you wish!

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Deliciously Vegan Zucchini Croquettes

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easy, vegan, delicious, free zucchini recipe

Croquettes are a wonderful side dish to add to almost anything you're making, such as rice, mashed potatoes, baked yams, boiled sweet potatoes, etc. The beauty of these is that they are so tasty, they are almost like finger food, and you can also slice them into pasta or into a tortilla wrap or a quick pita sandwich.
The cream that seasons these croquettes also make a wonderful salad dressing and topping for pita sandwiches!

1 zucchini (large) washed and cut into very small pieces
For Seasoning Cream (which make a delicious dressing also):
1 cup tofu
1/2 cup sweet red pepper (we used Bell cut into pieces and seeded)
1/2 cup almonds (raw)
Salt to taste
1 cup soy milk (plain or unflavored)
1 Tbsp, cornstarch
1/2 tsp. sweet basil (dried)
1/4 tsp. dill (dried)
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. sweet paprika powder
1 cup water

Additional ingredients for croquettes:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

To make the cream:
Drain tofu and cut into small pieces. In a saucepan, boil the tofu with 1 Tbsp, cornstarch in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Dump the tofu into a blender or food processor and add the rest of the ingredients for the cream or dressing, process till creamy. (By the way, this is a delicious dressing for potato salad, a great spread for sandwiches, a wonderful topping for pitas full of veggies, for baked yams, etc.)

Preparing the croquettes:
In a bowl, chop the zucchini really small, if you haven't done it already. Add the 2 additional Tbsp. of cornstarch and the flour, wet the contents with the cream until you have the consistency of a soft dough that will not fall apart on you.  Form the croquettes of any size you prefer.

How to cook your croquettes:
There are three methods:
1- You can "paint" a skillet (barely) with olive or rice bran oil (rice bran oil has higher smoke point —482 degrees Fahrenheit verses 360 degrees for Olive Oil, and it will not alter the flavor of your food) or grapeseed oil, if you like. And you will just drop the croquettes into the skillet and cook one side until set and then flip over and continue cooking until golden brown.
2- You can bake them at 350º F (watching them closely) and flipping them once until golden brown on both sides.
3- You can cook them in a cured cast iron skillet with no oil but making sure you keep flipping them fast so that they will not burn on you.

Yield is according to the size you choose to make them! If you choose to make them a medium size, the yield will be 8.


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Eggplant Patties

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A different way to make a side dish with eggplant. It's easy and it's very savory!

1/2 eggplant, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/4 tsp. coriander powder
1/4 tsp. cumin powder
Pinch oregano. powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt to taste
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup tofu (soft, drained and mashed)
1/2 cup cornmeal (fine)
1/2 cup non-dairy, plain-flavored milk, adding it little by little so that the mixture will not be runny
Optional: Olive oil

In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Add the tofu and the milk, little by little, making sure you have a firm mixture that will not fall apart.
You can cook these in one of two ways:
1- Paint a skillet with barely a coating of olive oil and cook drop the patties into the skillet by large tablespoonfuls. Wait till they are set before filling.
Cook on both sides till golden brown. (About 20 minutes, approx. 10 minutes per side, but that really depends on your stove.)
2- You can bake them at 400º F for approximately 20 minutes, flipping them once, and watching them to make sure they do not burn.

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Cream of Lentils Gravy

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Not all gravies are made equal. Did you know that cream of white beans or cream of lentils could be a delicious and hearty gravy for your next heap of mashed potatoes? Oh, yes, and a tremendously tasty gravy at that! Here is an easy and delicious recipe for this kind of gravy.

2 cups lentils
1 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, peeled)
1/2 cup sweet peppers (green)
1/2 cup sweet peppers (red)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, peeled)
1/4 tsp. coriander, powder
1/4 tsp. cumin, powder
1/4 tsp. oregano powder
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sweet paprika powder
1 medium tomato, ripe
3 cups water
Cook till everything is soft. It is too dry, add 1/2 cup water.
Process all in the blender till smooth.

Put the lentils in a pot and barely cover them with water. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, till they begin to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till they are the lentils and the tomato are  soft.
Use instead of a gravy over mashed potatoes, baked yams, boiled sweet potatoes or to top plain brown rice.

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Tasty Cauli-croquettes

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Delicious vegan cauliflower croquette recipe

These cauli-croquettes are super tasty and make a very versatile side-kick for a variety of dishes, from plain brown rice, quinoa or millet, to mashed potatoes! You can even cut them into pieces and add them to a pasta toss or a savory burrito. Enjoy!

2 cups cauliflower thinly sliced and cut into small pieces
1 cup red bell peppers cut into strips
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
Salt to taste
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. onion powder (in other words, increase the onion flavor to your liking, up to 1 full Tbsp. of onion powder if you are super onion lover)
Olive oil

In the blender, process the red bell pepper with 1 cup of water.
Scrape into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients except the cauliflower to form a thick batter.
Add the cauliflower and mix well, Heat up a skillet barely painted with olive oil and drop the mixture
by large spoonfuls into the hot skillet. (If you don't like to use oil to cook, you could use a cured hot cast iron skillet, but you must be quick to flip them as soon as they set on one side, otherwise they will burn!)
Cook till golden brown on both sides.

Yield: 10 medium size croquettes.

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Vegan Potato Cakes

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These were the product of a desire to make potatoes (a really beloved staple at our house) wear a different appearance and have a different taste, and it turned out to be a really tasty experiment! These cakes are quite savory and a few of them, with a nice fresh salad and a light dessert will make a delicious meal!

6 potatoes, boiled
1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables, thawed
4 Tbsp. cornstarch
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
Olive oil to taste (3 to 4 Tbsp. Use cold pressed, virgin olive oil)

Boil the potatoes, peel and mash, adding the olive oil to soften. If you don't use oil, use vegan sour cream to taste, to form a soft mash to which you will add the seasonings, salt and cornstarch, incorporating them well.
Heat a skillet barely painted with olive oil (you could also use a cast iron skillet that has been cured, but you have to watch the cakes wish a sharp eye and flip them constantly, until they are done or they will burn. Keep the stove burner on low heat if using this method!)
Take large spoonfuls of the potato mixture and press them gently into the skillet, add smaller tablespoonfuls of the thawed vegetables, press them into the potato and cover with more potato mixture. Leave until it sets and flip gently over. Continue cooking until golden brown on both sides. (About 10 minutes on each side or until golden.)

Yield: Depend on the size you make them. If you make them of a regular size, the recipe yields 6 cakes. if you make them a bit smaller, you will have more.

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