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Recipes from NAMI Staff

Swiss Chard Gratin

Ellen’s Cauliflower “EZ Mac and Cheese”

Mom's Granola

Banana-Chocolate Chip-Nut Bread


Swiss Chard Gratin

Submitted by Ellen Ioanes

This recipe is adapted from an original by Alice Waters. Similar to creamed spinach, this version is a low-fat, heart-healthy vegan dish which can accompany any holiday meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ bunches chard (Swiss or rainbow, either will do)
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil PLUS
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • ½ cup soy or almond milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly-grated nutmeg
  • Ground pepper

Equipment:

  • Baking dish
  • Sheet pan

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Wash the chard very carefully and thoroughly. It can hang on to a lot of dirt and grit! Remove the leaves from the stems. Save half the stems and slice them thin.
  • Bring two quarts of salted water to a boil and cooked the sliced stems for two minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook until tender, about three minutes. Drain and cool. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the stems and leaves and coarsely chop them.
  • Toss together the breadcrumbs and the olive oil. Toast on a baking sheet in a 350° oven, stirring now and then, until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Heat 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan (I just use the same pot in which I boiled the chard) and add the diced onion. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about five minutes. Stir in the chard and season with salt. Cook for three minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well. Then add the milk and nutmeg and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk if the mixture gets too thick. The chard should be moist but not floating in liquid. Taste and add salt if needed.
  • Butter a small baking dish. Spread the chard mixture evenly in the dish and dot with the remaining butter, cut into bits. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Bake in a 350° oven until the gratin is golden and bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

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Ellen’s Cauliflower “EZ Mac and Cheese”

Submitted by Ellen Ioanes

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups uncooked pasta
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
  • 1.5 cups non-dairy milk (I like soy the best)
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg

Instructions:

  • In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and Earth Balance on medium until they melt. Add the cauliflower and turn up heat to medium-high. Cook the cauliflower for ten minutes, stirring frequently. You want to develop brown, caramelized spots on the cauliflower for a really rich flavor. After ten minutes, add the grated carrot, nutritional yeast, miso, and one-half cup water. Simmer on medium heat until the veggies are very, very tender. At this point, you can start adding the soy milk by quarter cups if it looks like the vegetables are burning.
  • While the vegetables are cooking down, boil six cups of salted water. When the water is boiling, add your pasta and cook until done. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • When the vegetables are finished cooking, season them with salt, pepper and nutmeg to your taste. Working in batches, blend the vegetables until they take on a smooth, creamy consistency. You may add more soy milk if you need to, but be sure to adjust the seasoning. When your veggies are completely smooth and blended, add them to your pasta, toss to coat, and eat some mac and cheese!
  • You can also add fresh spinach and tomatoes to this dish to make it even more veggie-centric. And if you prefer baked, casserole-style mac and cheese (which some of us do!), simply put the sauced pasta into a large casserole dish, cover the top with breadcrumbs, and bake at 350° F for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbly.

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Mom’s Granola

Submitted by Ellen Ioanes

This recipe makes a lot of granola. It’s a great snack to have around the house (although it’s super-addictive!). Packaged in a decorative jar, it makes a great holiday gift. Of course, it’s perfect on top of Greek yogurt for a healthy, energizing breakfast. You can use whatever nut and fruit combination you prefer—this is just how I’ve always made it.

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups whole rolled oats
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup honey, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar (the last two options are vegan)
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
  • ¾ cup unsalted cashews or pecans (or a combination of the two)
  • 1/3 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup chopped dried apricots
  • ½ cup chopped dried Black Mission figs
  • ½ cup dried sour cherries

Equipment:

  • Jelly roll pan (a large, flat pan with raised edges all around)
  • Spatula
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Small grater
  • Pint measuring cup

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the mixing bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, almonds, cinnamon and salt. Grate in the nutmeg and mix thoroughly with the spatula. Then, in the measuring cup, measure out the oil, then add the honey and molasses (this sequence keeps the honey from sticking to the measuring cup and ensures that all of the liquid gets in to the oat mixture). Blend the oil/honey/molasses mixture slightly with a fork, then add it to the oat mixture, making sure it is evenly distributed.
  • Spray the jelly roll pan with cooking spray, then spread the oat and honey mixture evenly over it and place it in the oven. Bake the oat and honey mixture for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Be sure to stir the mixture every five minutes so that it browns evenly. When the mixture takes on a golden-brown color, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • While the oat and honey mixture cools, chop the figs and apricots into ¼ inch cubes. Combine the figs and apricots with the cherries, seeds, and cashews or pecans and stir. When the oat and honey mixture is completely cool, break it into clusters by scraping it off the pan with the spatula or a knife. It should break and lift from the pan easily. Add the clusters to the fruits and nuts and stir. Enjoy with yogurt or milk, or on ice cream (or just by the handful). This granola will keep for 2 weeks in an airtight container.

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Banana-Chocolate Chip-Nut Bread

Submitted by Ellen Ioanes

This recipe originally appeared in Gourmet magazine, but I found it through one of my favorite food blogs, The Wednesday Chef. I have adapted it to make it healthier and provided vegan alternative ingredients and directions where applicable.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan, OR ½ stick non-hydrogenated margarine (I like Earth Balance vegan buttery spread)
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs OR 2 flax “eggs”*
  • 1 1/4 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 2/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt OR soy yogurt (vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (Ghirardelli makes dairy-free chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped

*Flax “eggs”: Many vegan recipes use flax seeds as a binder for cookies and cakes. To make one flax “egg”, finely grind one tablespoon flax seeds in a food processor. Combine the ground flax seeds with 2 and a half tablespoons of water. Whisk with a fork until the mixture reaches a gelatinous, egg-like consistency. I like to add ground flax seeds to everything because they are so good for you and add a rich, nutty taste to desserts and cookies. Alternatively, you can use silken tofu as binder as well. To replace one egg, blend ¼ cup silken tofu in a blender, then add to the rest of the wet ingredients. Both replacements have great health benefits; flax seeds are a great vegan source of essential omega-3 fatty acids, and tofu is full of great soy protein. You can’t lose!

  1.  Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Butter a loaf pan or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together flour, wheat germ, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Beat together softened butter or vegan spread, applesauce and the sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs (or egg replacements) 1 at a time until blended. Beat in bananas, yogurt (or soy yogurt), and vanilla (mixture will look curdled).
  4. With mixer at low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chopped nuts and the chocolate. Pour the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top.
  5. Bake until loaf is golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool loaf in pan on a rack 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely.

 

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