Summer Entrées to Please a Crowd!

All summer long, I love to entertain family and friends with a jazzylicious mid-day meal. Here are three fabulous entrées to serve for brunch, lunch, or even a light supper!


 

 

Zucchini Summer Quiche

SERVES 6

 

CRUST

1 cup garbanzo bean (chickpea) flour

3 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini

3 tablespoons cold nondairy milk, plus more as needed

FILLING

2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash

14 to 16 ounces  firm or extra firm regular tofu, drained

1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon maple syrup

⅓ cup diced sweet red pepper

2 tablespoons minced onion

3/4 cup shredded vegan cheese

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a 9-inch pie plate.

To make the crust, put the garbanzo bean flour in a medium bowl. Add the tahini and the cold nondairy milk. Mix together using a pastry cutter or fork until the dough begins to form into chunks the size of large peas. Pull the dough together with your hands. If it is still too crumbly to form into a ball, add more of the cold nondairy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 3 tablespoons.

Form the dough into a ball and place it in the prepared pie plate. Gently press the dough evenly over the bottom and partway up the sides of the pie plate. Bake the crust for 7 minutes. Put the plate on a wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.

While the crust bakes, cut 10 to 12 very thin slices from the center of one zucchini and set aside for garnish. Using a box grater, shred enough of the remaining zucchini to equal 1½ cups (lightly packed). Put the 1½ cups shredded zucchini in a fine meshed strainer and place it over a medium bowl. Let the shredded zucchini stand for 10 minutes to drain excess liquid.

Meanwhile, put the tofu, Italian seasoning, turmeric, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper in a blender and process until smooth.

Before removing the zucchini from the strainer, press it gently with your hands to push out any excess liquid. Put the zucchini and maple syrup in a large bowl and stir gently to coat. Add the red pepper and onion, and stir to combine. Add the tofu to the zucchini mixture. Add the vegan cheese and fresh pepper, and stir gently to combine. Pour the tofu mixture into the crust. Smooth the top.

Cut the reserved zucchini slices in half and press them into the top of the quiche in a decorative fashion. Sprinkle the paprika in an even layer over the top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the center is set. Put the pan on a wire rack and cool for at least 60 minutes before slicing into wedges. May be served warm or refrigerated and served chilled.


 


Not-So-Crabby Cakes with Classic Cocktail Sauce

Makes 8 Cakes


CLASSIC COCKTAIL SAUCE


¼ cup catsup

1½ tablespoons prepared horseradish, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

“CRABBY” CAKES

2¼ cups lightly packed fresh soft bread crumbs (see note)

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use 1/8 teaspoon for less heat)

¼ teaspoon dulse flakes or granules (optional, see note)

1 cup firmly packed grated zucchini

½ cup minced fresh onion

3 heaping tablespoons sesame tahini, plus more as needed


BREADING


2/3 cup lightly packed fresh soft bread crumbs

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

¼ teaspoon sea salt


GARNISH


4 lemon wedges


Put all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Taste and add more horseradish, if desired. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper


To make the cakes, put 2¼ cups bread crumbs, mustard powder, marjoram, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, cayenne pepper and dulse (optional) in a large bowl and stir with a large spoon to combine. Add the zucchini and onion and gently stir to combine. Add the tahini and stir well, mixing it into the zucchini mixture until completely incorporated. If the mixture still seems dry, add 1 more heaping tablespoon of tahini.


To make the breading, put 2/3 cup bread crumbs, 2 teaspoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon sea salt in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add an additional teaspoon of olive oil if the bread crumbs seem dry.


Scoop up ¼ cup of the zucchini mixture and form it into a cake. Dip it in the breading mixture to thoroughly coat both sides. Put the cake on the prepared baking sheet. Gently press down on the cake to compress it slightly. (This will help it to hold together while baking). Continue in this manner to form a total of eight cakes.


Tent loosely with foil and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cakes begin to get golden around the edges. Flip the cakes and re-tent with the foil. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until slightly golden. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until the cakes are crispy and golden brown. Put the pan on a wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. The cakes will be slightly soft. To serve, carefully transfer the cakes, using a flat spatula, onto individual serving plates.


For an appetizer, serve one cake per person; for a main course, serve two to three cakes per person, with Classic Cocktail Sauce on the side and garnished with a lemon wedge.


Chef’s Note: If you cannot find dulse flakes or granules, you may use nori instead. Put a ½ sheet of toasted nori into a blender and grind into coarse crumbs. Proceed with recipe as directed.





Mock Tuna Salad

Makes 2 servings

 

1 block (about 8 ounces) tempeh, cubed

1 sheet toasted nori (see note)

2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. Place the steamed tempeh in a medium bowl and mash it using a potato masher or large fork; set it aside to cool. While the tempeh cools, place the nori in a blender and process into coarse crumbs. Add the nori to the mashed tempeh. Add the vegan mayonnaise, Dijon, all-purpose seasoning, turmeric and salt. Add pepper to taste. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, or until completely chilled.

Serve on a bed of crisp lettuce, or make an open-face sandwich by taking one slice of whole-grain bread and topping it with a generous portion of the mock tuna. Garnish with tomato slices and fresh sprouts, if desired.

Chef’s Note: Nori sheets are generally sold as “sushi nori” and can be found in health food stores or the natural foods isle of some supermarkets.