“Meat” Puffs a la Syl

“Meat” Puffs fresh out of the oven

I love being vegan.  I love the food, and honestly, there are not too many things that I miss from my pre-vegan days.  If I were to list the few things that I do miss, they would all come from my childhood memories – delicious things that my mother made that were most definitely not vegan.  I have tried over the past few years to recreate these recipes.  Some are just not happening – like her delicious clam dip.  Big sigh!  But that’s okay, because I am having lots of success with other ones.  For example, this recipe for “meat” puffs.  I would make the original ones with my mom every year for Thanksgiving.  We would make a huge amount, she would leave them on a hot tray, and we would devour them all day long.  Yummm.  They were so great!  I must admit that I had forgotten about these puffs until very recently when I was perusing my mother’s recipe box, wondering what else I could veganize.  I have to say they came out perfectly, and, even if my memory is not serving me well and they are different from the original, these are awesome in their own right.  Maybe one day I’ll get that vegan clam dip…

“Meat” Puffs a la Syl

  • I large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T evoo
  • 2 – 8 oz cans water chestnuts, diced
  • 1 not-beef bouillon cube (I love Edward & Sons)
  • 3 T vegetable broth
  • 2 pkgs boca crumbles
  • 1 pkg puff frozen puff pastry

Defrost puff pastry at room temperature for 40 minutes.

Preheat to 350.

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil over medium high heat until translucent.  Add water chestnuts and frozen crumbles and cook a few minutes more.  Meanwhile, place the bouillon cube and broth in a small, glass bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir well.  Add the broth mix to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes more.
Once the pastry is defrosted, roll out to thin a bit.  Then cut into 2-3 inch squares.  Place 1 T filling in the center of each square and fold the corners in to create a square puff shape.  Place seam side down on a lightly sprayed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Makes about 20 puffs.

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Iced Lemon Drop Cookies

Iced Lemon Drop Cookies

These are not like any ordinary lemon cookie.  They came out so perfectly and actually tasted like little cakes.  I kept them in the fridge and they were cool and refreshing.  They freeze well also.  Easy to make and delicious, even without the icing!!  Enjoy!

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 1/3 c nondairy milk
  • 1/2 c vegan butter
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1 T ground flax mixed with 2 T water
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • for the icing
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 T nondairy milk
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • shredded coconut – optional

Preheat to 350.  Stir 2 t lemon juice into milk and let sit 5 minutes.  Beat vegan butter. Add half the flour, sugar, flax with water, baking powder, baking soda, zest and milk mixture.  Beat until well combined.  Beat in remaining flour.  Drop teaspoon size balls onto lightly oiled baking sheet.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Let cool.

For the icing – combine lemon juice, milk and sugar.  Spoon onto cooled cookies.  Sprinkle shredded coconut over top if desired.

Creamy Cucumber Noodles

Creamy Cucumber Noodles

I love pasta and the creamier the better!  However, I don’t love carbs.  So I decided to try to make a creamy, delicious pasta out of the cucumbers from my garden, and I can’t believe how wonderfully it came out!  It is so simple to make, just as satisfying as “real” pasta, and very nutritious!  You’ve really got to try this!

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t sugar
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T earth balance spread
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 t dried dill
  • 1/4 c cashew cream (see below)

Peel the cukes, slice them lengthwise, and remove the seeds with a spoon.  Then, using a vegetable peeler, peel them so that you create paper thin slices.  In a large bowl, combine the salt, sugar and vinegar.  Add the “noodles,”  toss gently and let marinate for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, melt the earth balance in a skillet and then add the shallot and cook on medium high for 5 minutes.  Drain the noodles and add to the pan. Decrease the heat to low and stir with a wooden spoon.  After a few minutes, add the dill and the cashew cream and cook another few minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Cashew cream – place 1/4 cup cashews in a blender and just cover with water.  Blend well and keep adding water 1 T at a time if needed to get the consistency of heavy cream.  If your blender is not the best quality, like a vitamix, you may want to soak the cashews overnight first.