Cucumber Cups- Vegan with Roasted Corn Salad and Vegetarian with Goat Cheese and Pickled Beets

Cucumber Cups- Vegan with Roasted Corn Salad and Vegetarian with Goat Cheese and Pickled Beets

This is actually a recipe for two different types cucumber cups; one is vegetarian with goat cheese, pickled beets, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, celery and arugula. The other is vegan with a corn salad made of Tofutti cream cheese, roasted corn, purple sweet peppers, red onion, celery and heirloom tomatoes. Cucumber cups make great finger food for parties and gatherings. I will admit, these are a little time consuming to make, but so worth it. All of the ingredients can be prepped the night before, just make sure to keep the salad separate from the cucumbers. Otherwise, you’ll end up with watered down, soggy cucumbers (gross!). One cucumber will make about 10 cups. this recipe is for 20.

What you will need:
a mandolin slicer and a melon baler (if you don’t have either, a knife will work just fine.)

Vegetarian Cucumber Cups with Goat Cheese:
1 large cucumber
1 1/2 c arugula
1 jar of sliced, pickled beets
about half a package of small heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced with a mandolin
fresh dill
fresh parsley
2 oz goat cheese
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Cut cucumbers to about 3/4- 1 inch thick (you won’t want them any larger than that. It’ll make them harder to eat as finger food. Ask me how I know). Use a melon baler or knife to hollow out the cucumber bowl, making sure to take as much cucumber off of the sides of the bowl, while still keeping the bottom in tact (this is also very important. the thicker the sides of the cucumber, the harder it will be to eat).

Then, in a salad bowl, combine arugula, dill, parsley, goat cheese, red onion, celery and balsamic vinegar and and mix until everything is coated in goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. Place into cucumber cups and top with a pickled beet slice and heirloom tomato halves. Arrange on a plate and serve.

Vegan Cucumber Cups with Roasted Corn Salad:
1 cucumber
2 ears of sweet corn
2 spoonfuls of Tufutti cream cheese (about 1/3 of the package)
1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced with a mandolin
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced with a mandolin
about half a package of small heirloom tomatoes, cut into 4ths
fresh dill
juice of half a lemon
a tsp or less of extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit, and roast both ears of corn for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. While the corn is roasting, prep your cucumbers as explained in the recipe above.

In a salad bowl, combine Tufutti cream cheese, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil and mix. Then, add sweet pepper, celery, heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and dill. Once the corn has cooled, remove the kernels with a knife and mix all of the ingredients together. Fill cucumber cups, arrange on a plate and serve.

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Spicy Black Bean Chipotle Hummus

Spicy Black Bean Chipotle Hummus

This recipe for black bean chipotle hummus is SPICY, so it’s not a recipe for the weak! Sweet bell peppers and cucumber “chips” complement and tone down the heat of this dish. They’re also a great alternative to pita (which, of course, is great with this hummus, too).

Here’s what you will need:
food processor or blender
1 can of black beans drained and rinsed
1 can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 jarred sweet roasted red pepper
1 garlic clove
3 oz canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tbs tahini
1 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/3c water
juice of half of a lime
a large pinch of fresh cilantro
a pinch of sea salt

For dipping:
sweet bell peppers
cucumber “chips”
celery

In food processor, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into bowls and serve.

Spicy Pineapple Habanero BBQ Tofu (Vegan!)

Spicy Pineapple Habanero BBQ Tofu (Vegan!)

This recipe is great for summer BBQ’s and potlucks. It’s a slow cook recipe that allows the sugars from the pineapple and BBQ sauce to caramelize the outside of the tofu while the inside stays moist and chewy. It’s also the recipe that convinced my mom that tofu is not a horrible, non-edible, awful thing.

What you will need:
2 lbs. extra firm tofu
1/8- 1/4 c pineapple habanero sauce (add more or less depending on how spicy you want it) this is the sauce I used: http://www.robertrothschild.com/product/product-details.aspx?prodid=561
1 18 oz. bottle of BBQ sauce
1/4 c nutritional yeast (if you don’t have nutritional yeast, you can leave it out)
sriracha to taste
olive oil for pan frying

This recipe is a little time consuming. It will take a at least half an hour to prep and 2 hours to cook.

For this recipe, you will need to freeze and thaw tofu to give it a more “meaty” texture and to help it absorb the flavors of this dish better. Read my post on how to do that here: https://theveggieslaughterhouse.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/how-to-freeze-and-press-tofu-for-its-best-texture-and-flavor-absorption/. Follow the directions on how to prepare the tofu, then pan fry in olive oil. This step is very important because it prevents the tofu from drying out in the oven. Then, mix together the BBQ sauce, nutritional yeast, sriracha and pineapple habanero sauce in a bowl and completely coat the tofu in it. Arrange on a non-greased cooking sheet with just enough space between the pieces of tofu so they’re not touching. Cook for two hours at 300 degrees without turning the tofu over. Remove from oven and munch!