Vegan recipes sweeten New Year and simplify preparing meals

Bowl of fresh peaches
Bowl of fresh peaches

We can all benefit from simplifying the everyday task of meal preparation.

Vegan recipes do just that. There is nothing complex about these recipes.

And they are sure to sweeten your New Year with health and happiness.

Sweet potato maple noodle kugel

1 pound rotini pasta
1 cup cashews
3 cups mashed sweet potato (2 large sweet potatoes)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon miso
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Wheat germ

Roast or boil the sweet potatoes. Boil water for the pasta and cook pasta. Mash the sweet potato.
Blend the cashews until only a few small pieces remain. Add the mashed sweet potato, maple syrup, miso, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice. Purée.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Sauté the onions in oil and salt until browned, about 10 minutes. Add potato purée. Cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
In a large baking dish, mix the pasta and potato sauce. Sprinkle wheat germ on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until browned.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving

Summer peach pie

Yields 2 9-inch pies

5 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread
1 cup cold water
6 tablespoons vodka
6 1⁄2 cups of ripe peaches (about 7 peaches)
1⁄2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Mix the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the buttery spread into the mix into small pieces. Add water and vodka, and stir until a dough forms. Separate into four dough balls; cover each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Score the peaches with an X on the bottom of each. Simmer peaches for about 2 minutes until the skin appears to start peeling away. Make a large bowl of ice water. Take peaches from simmering water to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. When peaches are cool enough to touch, peel and chop into bite-size pieces.

Add sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon and zest to the peaches. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the dough or press into pie plates. Fill each pie crust with peach filling. Roll out extra dough onto the top of each pie. Create holes for steam. Bake pies at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Chill in the refrigerator about 2 hours before serving.

Orange-glazed tempeh

1 package tempeh
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup fresh orange juice (about 3 oranges)
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coriander
3 cloves garlic, minced

Cut tempeh into 8 strips. Steam for 10 minutes to remove bitter taste. Then sauté the tempeh in the olive oil until golden, about 5 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, combine orange juice, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and coriander. Pour the sauce onto the tempeh, and then add the garlic. Simmer until the sauce had thickened to a glaze, about 10 minutes. Serve.

Emma Shulevitz is the owner of 7 Layer Catering, a Washington-area kosher vegan catering service.

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