Coconut Spiced Kugel

This is our entry for Vegan Iron Chef Challenge #3: coconut. This was actually much more difficult of a challenge than last week’s. Not to complain, but coconut is already an integral ingredient in many sweet and savory dishes from around the world, and coconut milk is a common vegan sub for dairy. Anyway… we tried to make something fun and tasty and new to us, so here is our version of (gluten-free, vegan) Coconut Spiced Kugel.

8 oz gluten-free spaghetti, broken into fourths
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
2 ener-g egg replacers, whipped
1 tsp cardamom
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 medium apple, chopped into thin, 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup tart dried cherries
2 TBL simple syrup (we had this on hand from another recipe; you could use maple syrup or agave, etc.)
1/4-1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
extra simple syrup for drizzling on top

Preheat oven to 400 F. Prepare a round 8-inch casserole dish with Earth Balance on the bottoms and sides.

Cook noodles about 4 minutes and then remove from heat. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine egg replacer, coconut milk, vegan cream cheese, and spices. Add noodles, apples, and cherries. Add simple syrup to taste. Pour mixture into prepared casserole dish. Top with coconut flakes and extra sweetener.

Bake 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 F for an addition 15-20.

Edit: This was especially good reheated with mozzarella Daiya on top!

Mexican Torta Sliders for Banana and Coffee Iron Chef Challenge

This is our first Iron Chef challenge, so yay! The challenge was to use bananas and coffee in an unexpected way and without the help of a standard recipe.

For the beans:
1/2 cup very strong coffee
1 can black beans, drained
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a small pot, saute garlic, shallot, and jalapeno in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, then add beans and coffee. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and add spices. Cook 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Mash the beans and continue to cook another 5 minutes, or until the beans are thickened to your liking. Taste for salt and pepper.

For the banana-cilantro mayo:
1/2 medium banana
2 TBL tahini
1 tsp garlic
2 TBL apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
black pepper

Blend ingredients together until smooth and whipped.

Put it all together:

Additional ingredients: mozzarella Daiya, sliced black olives, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes

On a baguette or other sandwich roll type bread, spread banana mayo on one side and add lettuce and tomato. On the other half, add coffee-black beans, black olives, and Daiya. Carefully put sandwich halves together.

Serve with sweet potato fries!