Zoodles with Turkish Tomato and Avocado Sauce

Zoodles
Zoodles with Turkish Tomato and Avocado Sauce | veganblondes.com

When the temperature starts to rise, we try to avoid cooking as much as we can. This recipe is perfect for a hot summer day, not only because it’s raw and refreshing, but more specifically because it takes about 15 minutes to make! It tastes and looks like summer, and Fruit Bliss® Turkish Tomato Halves add the perfect touch of sunshine!

  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • ½ cup kale leaves, torn
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 1 avocado, pitted and quartered
  • ½ cup Fruit Bliss® Turkish Tomato Halves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Using a spiralizer, a mandolin, or a cheese grater, make noodles with the zucchini. Set the zoodles on paper towels while you prepare the sauce.

In the bowl of a food processor, place all of the other ingredients, except the tomato halves. Process until a smooth consistency is obtained. Add the tomato halves and pulse a few more times. Taste and adjust seasonings. Bon appétit!

Karine

Sesame-Stuffed Eggplant

Eggplant
Sesame-Stuffed Eggplant | veganblondes.com

I’m learning how to cook Indian food, as you probably know by now! My Mother-in-law is such a joy to cook with, and she shares quite the treasures! I had never eaten those Sesame-Stuffed Eggplant before we made them together. She said they are usually served when company comes, or at dinner parties. But they are so cute, I might make them more often than that. Note that the stuffing could also be used with small bell peppers, or any substantial chile. Anaheim peppers come to mind. They look and taste beautiful, and besides the handling of the nuts, they’re not long or hard to make at all. This recipe gave us 9 mini eggplants, so you can double or reduce the recipe accordingly.

  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, toasted
  • 8-9 small Indian eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons butter (I used Miyokos Creamery), melted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 heaping teaspoon garlic-ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Put the toasted nuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until reduced to a powdery meal. Remove to a medium bowl.

Add the salt, chili powder, garam masala, garlic-ginger paste, turmeric, onion, cilantro, and curry leaves. Mix well with your hands.

Add the butter by teaspoonfuls and mix well between each addition, until you obtain a sticky mixture.

Cut the eggplant as below, in four segments, making sure to keep the stem intact:

Eggplant
Eggplants cut in four segments, keeping the stem intact.

Stuff the eggplant as below:

Stuffed Eggplant
Stuffed Eggplant

Add the oil to a medium skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the stuffed eggplant and sear on all sides. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15-20 minutes, turning them as they cook, for even results. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and serve warm. Bon appétit!

Karine

Mushroom Curry

Mushroom Curry
Mushroom Curry | veganblondes.com

Ah, curries! My mother-in-law is visiting us in Arizona and I always take the opportunity, when she’s here, to cook with her and write down her recipes to pass down the future generations. It’s always such a treat, and every time, I feel like she’s letting me in on a major secret!

Indian cuisine is one of the most intricate and evolving types of cuisine, thanks to its 8,000-year history, characterized by various cultural groups and regional traditions.

This curry satisfies my cravings for Indian food and for mushrooms, two of my favorites. It is quick to make, and can be served over rice or any other grain. I like it served over sorghum, a gluten-free grain, native to Africa, and used extensively in Indian cuisine.

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 heaping tablespoon garlic-ginger paste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped small
  • 1 lb mushrooms, chopped small
  • 1 heaping teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or red chili flakes
  • 3/4 tablespoon garam masala
  • Fresh cilantro, to garnish

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick, and sauté 1 minute. Add the onion and turmeric, and sauté until the onion is caramelized, about 7-10 minutes.

Add the garlic-ginger paste and sauté one more minute. Add the tomatoes, stir well, cover, and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add the mushrooms and stir. Add the salt and chili powder and mix well. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender, but with a little bite.

Add garam masala, turn off the heat, and done! Serve with some fresh cilantro.

Bon appétit!

Super-Quick Broccoli Gratin

broccoli gratin
Super-Quick Broccoli Gratin | veganblondes.com

Are you in a rush? Do you always wonder what to cook as a side dish? Are you on the market for a new broccoli recipe? We’ve got the perfect thing for you! Not only is this broccoli gratin fast and easy to make, it’s packed with flavor and you’ll need  only five ingredients, including salt and pepper! You could also add some vegan cheese on top, but it’s completely addictive without!

And psst! The leftover broccoli florets are also wonderful on top of a big bowl of kale and farro!

  • 1 large head of broccoli (about 2-2 1/2 lbs), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vegan mayo
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the broccoli fleurets, the olive oil, and the sea salt and pepper (to taste). Spread the florets in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the mayo with the mustard. Drop dollops of sauce over the broccoli florets, so that they all benefit from the sauce.

Pop in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until the broccoli is tender, but still crisp, and a nice golden char starts to appear on the sauce. That’s it! Bon appétit!

Karine

Maple-Jalapeño Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts
Maple-Jalapeño Glazed Brussels Sprouts | veganblondes.com

This is a quick and easy way to eat Brussels sprouts, but it is also so decadent, you might want them for dessert! These Brussels Sprouts are easy and quick to make, and the leftovers are also great the next day with some spelt (or any other grain) and some Dijon-Garlic Vinaigrette. You can use a milder pepper if you want less kick!

  • 2 jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

In a small saucepan, combine the chiles, maple syrup, butter, and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove the chiles with a slotted spoon, reserving them for serving. Continue simmering for an additional 5 minutes, until the glaze thickens a bit.

Spread the Brussels sprouts halves on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the glaze. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 20-25 minutes, basting with the glaze 2-3 times, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of your sprouts. Serve topped with the reserved jalapeños. Bon appétit!

Karine

Armenian-Spiced Stuffed Eggplant with Millet and Fruit Bliss® Apricots

Stuffed Eggplant
Armenian-Spiced Stuffed Eggplant with Millet and Fruit Bliss® Apricots | veganblondes.com

We took our inspiration for these stuffed eggplants from an Armenian soup called vospapour. It is a soup generally made with lentils, dried fruits, and walnuts, the perfect canvas for our juicy apricots. We decided to turn the soup into a stuffing for eggplant. So we went with millet for the consistency and let the flavors take form along the spice mixture, which includes cinnamon, allspice, cayenne, cumin, and turmeric. The addition of fresh pomegranate seeds, which are in season now, takes this dish to the Holiday level!

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  • 1 cup millet, cooked according to package directions
  • 8 small eggplants or 4 large ones
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups pureed tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Fruit Bliss® apricots, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • To serve: fresh cilantro leaves and pomegranate seeds

Cook the millet in water, according to package directions.

Set your oven to 375˚. With a sharp-edged spoon, scoop out the flesh from the eggplants, leaving a ¼ inch shell. Place the eggplant shells into a large baking dish (you might need two), drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Add about 1/8 inch of water at the bottom of the baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending if you are using small or large eggplants. Remove from the oven, transfer eggplants to a plate and let cool. Chop the eggplant flesh into small cubes.

While the millet is cooking and the eggplant shells are roasting, heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the pureed tomatoes, eggplant cubes, red bell pepper, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and spices, and mix well. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender. Add the cooked millet and the apricots. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes, to allow the flavors to blend well. Stuffed the eggplant shells with the millet and apricot mixture, garnish with the cilantro and pomegranate seeds and serve. Bon appétit!