Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Vegan Fudge

Oooh, this fudge is creamy, rich, smooth and sweet. Basically, it's everything you ever dreamed chocolate fudge could be. And no one will believe that there's no dairy, butter, or evaporated milk in here.

It can be a bit soft, though, especially if you add the optional marshmallow fluff, so keep it well refrigerated.

makes one 9-inch x 9-inch pan

4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
½ cup nondairy milk
2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
½ cup vegan chocolate chips
1 cup cut up vegan marshmallows or ½ cup Ricemellow Creme (optional but sooo good)
½ cup chopped nuts

Spray a 9-inch x 9-inch baking pan well with nonstick spray and set aside. (For holiday gift giving I used seven well-sprayed foil baking cups.)

Sift the powdered sugar and cocoa powder together into a large mixing bowl, add the chocolate chips, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat the nondairy milk and margarine to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. When the milk is at a steady, strong boil, pour it over the powdered sugar mixture and stir well with a wooden spoon until everything is well combined and the heat has melted the chocolate chips.

Stir in the vanilla, then fold in the marshmallows or Ricemellow Creme and the nuts.

Spread the fudge out into the prepared pan(s) and refrigerate for a day or more to solidify.

Variations: One inspired cook used soy nog for the nondairy milk with great results.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Limas with Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts

A lovely celebration dish for the holidays, filled with sweet chestnuts and hearty Christmas Lima Beans. Christmas Limas are also called Chestnut Limas, because they have the nutty flavor and potato-ey texture of a chestnut. They are lovely, large beans with white and burgundy swirls that you can still see after the beans are cooked.

These Brussels sprouts are finely shredded and almost disappear into the dish -- a nice way to be sneaky with them if you or your family don't normally like them.

serves 6

1 cup dried Christmas Lima Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned, ends removed, and leaves finely shredded
One 7 oz. package vacuum packed chestnuts or 20 fresh chestnuts, roasted and peeled
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Soak the lima beans overnight in water to cover. Drain, rinse, and place in a medium saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil and reduce heat; simmer until the beans are tender, about 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain, reserving some of the bean broth.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts leaves and cook, stirring, until the greens are tender and beginning to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add the beans, chestnuts, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and a ½ cup of bean broth. Stir together and simmer until the liquid has cooked away and everything is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.