Chile Sin Carne

CONTEMPLATING CHILEAN CUISINE WITHOUT MEAT may seem like swimming in a sea without fish, but by abandoning the meat, one can turn the country’s national dishes deliciously vegan and make them even more visually captivating. Chilean dishes are already colorfully peppered with an abundance of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fresh fruits. Because Chileans love these wholesome, plant-based foods as much as vegetarians do, it is easy to veganize many national dishes while retaining their unique character.

Chile is a skinny string bean of a country approximately 2,700 miles long and only 250 miles at its widest, but it is blessed with abundant sunshine and a pleasant Mediterranean climate in the lush central portion of the country. Familiar produce such as apples, pears, nectarines, peaches, plums, grapes, green beans, carrots, onions, bell peppers, and garlic thrive in this verdant central region, along with indigenous foods like beans, potatoes, squashes, and tomatoes.

Corn, called choclo, is so ubiquitous that it appears on the table in some form almost daily. Chilean cooks use squashes like butternut and kabocha instead of flour or cornstarch to thicken soups and stews. Pebre, a cilantro salsa, is one of many items that accompany everyday meals, while humitas, the Chilean version of tamales, are frequently eaten as starters.

Empanadas, meat-filled turnovers, are popular not only in Chile but throughout South America. Substituting legumes, tofu, or tempeh for the meat, chicken, or seafood in such recipes often works splendidly. For dishes that are naturally centered on Chile’s abundant varieties of beans, or porotos, simply leaving out the meat makes the dish more wholesome, tastier, and often brilliantly colorful.

The native Indians cultivated hot chilies and concocted a unique spice blend called Merquén.Chileans enjoy a jalapeño or two to lend subtle heat to numerous dishes, but they rarely prepare fiery foods like those of Mexico.

Because Chile is a delicious melting pot of many cultures, the country’s cuisine is a harmonious intermingling of indigenous foods with dishes introduced by the Europeans, who began settling there during the 1500s. The Spanish came first and introduced Moorish herbs and spices. Italians contributed pasta and ices, Germans brought their famous dessert recipes, and the English introduced teatime. French, Yugoslav, Swiss, and more recently, Chinese and Japanese contributions have added still more diversity to Chile’s cuisine.

This impressive cultural fusion has resulted in an uncomplicated approach to food with homestyle dishes that seem familiar, especially to Americans with sophisticated palates. Chileans have a family-oriented culture where many relatives live in one household or very close by so they can spend time eating together. Ingredients for these daily meals are plucked from the family’s own gardens or purchased from the multitude of farmers’ markets that dot the countryside. Eating out at a restaurant is a rarity and saved for special occasions. More often, homemade Chilean meals resemble the recipes that follow.

SOPA DE POROTOS CON PANCITOS(CREAMY WHITE BEAN SOUP WITH CROUTONS)

(Serves approximately 6)

Ultra-thick, mellow, and creamy, this is the perfect soup to bring comfort and warmth on a cold, windy, or rainy day. I bake the croutons rather than frying them in butter the traditional way.

Before Cooking
2 cups white beans, such as cannellini, Great Northern, navy, or Peruano Water to cover the beans

Pick over the beans and discard any small stones or broken beans. Rinse the beans, cover them with 3 inches water, and soak them for 8 hours.

When ready to cook
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 cups unpeeled kabocha squash or peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 medium carrots sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Additional 1 cup water to sauté vegetables
  • 1 cup unsweetened soymilk or nut milk
  • ½ teaspoon Merquén, optional
  • Salt or freshly ground black pepper
  • Drain the soaking water and place the beans into an 8- to 10-quart stockpot. Add the vegetable broth, water, and bay leaves and partially cover the pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer for 1-11/2 hours or until the beans begin to soften. While the beans are cooking, combine the squash, carrots, onions, garlic, cumin, and paprika in a large, deep skillet. Add approximately 1 cup of water and sauté the vegetables over high heat for approximately 8-10 minutes or until just softened. If needed, add small amounts of water to prevent burning.

    When the beans have cooked for 1 hour and are beginning to soften, add the cooked vegetables and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

    Purée the soup in a blender in batches until creamy or use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the stockpot. Add the soymilk and Merquén, if using, and season with salt or pepper.

    To Make the Croutons
    2 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toast the bread cubes on a baking sheet for 12 minutes or until they are very dry. Remove, cool, and set aside.

    TO SERVE

    3-4 Tablespoons chopped parsley

    To serve, spoon the soup into bowls, sprinkle each with parsley, and add a few toasted croutons. Pass the remaining croutons around the table.

    Total calories per serving: 321 Fat: 2 grams
    Carbohydrates: 59 grams Protein: 19 grams
    Sodium: 186 milligrams Fiber: 13 grams


    ENSALADA DE CEBOLLA (SWEET ONION SALAD)

    (Serves 4)

    Chilean cooks devised a clever method of taming the stinging bite of onions and turning them into a deliciously refreshing salad. By soaking thinly sliced onions in water with sugar for a few minutes, you can enjoy them without suffering their clamorous wrath.

    • 1 large sweet onion, cut into very thin half-moon slivers
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar (Use your favorite vegan variety.)
    • Water to cover
    • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
    • ½ cup diced red bell peppers
    • ⅓ cup plus 2 Tablespoons well-packed chopped fresh parsley, divided
    • ¼ cup lightly packed chopped cilantro
    • 1-2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

    In a large, deep bowl, combine the onions, sugar, and water to cover. Set aside to soak at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.

    While the onions are soaking, combine the lemon juice, bell peppers, 1/3 cup parsley, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and pepper in another large bowl. Transfer the onions to a large strainer and rinse. Drain completely and add them to the lemon juice mixture. Mix well, transfer to an attractive serving bowl, and garnish with the remaining parsley.

    Note:To turn this salad into pickled onions (escabeche de cebolla),marinate the soaked and rinsed onions in red wine vinegar anywhere from overnight to three days. The onions can then be included in other dishes or enjoyed as a simple accompaniment to any meal.

    Total calories per serving: 73 Fat: 4 grams
    Carbohydrates: 11 grams Protein: 1 grams
    Sodium: 299 milligrams Fiber: 1 grams

    ENSALADA DE RUSA (RUSSIAN SALAD)

    (Serves 6)

    Rainbow colors make this Russianstyle salad irresistibly inviting, while the varied textures and tastes provide captivating flavor. Because this salad is composed mainly of cooked vegetables, allow time to prep and cook the various components before introducing them to the salad bowl.

    • 2-3 medium potatoes, unpeeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
    • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
    • 1 ¼ cups fresh green beans, cut into ¾inch lengths
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Water to cover vegetables
    • 1 large beet , peeled and diced
    • 1 cup frozen peas
    • ½ cup water
    • 1 celery rib, chopped
    • ½ cup chopped walnuts
    • ½ cup chopped vinegar cucumber peels
    • ½ cup vegan mayonaise
    • ½ -1 fresh jalapeno, finely minced
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish

    Combine the potatoes, carrots, green beans, and salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Cover vegetables with water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and then simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Pour the cooked contents into a large strainer, drain well, and place the vegetables in a large bowl.

    Place the beets into the same saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to medium-high, and cook for 6-8 minutes or until the beets are fork tender. Drain well and add the beets to the large bowl.

    Place the frozen peas into a 1-quart saucepan with the 1/2 cup water and boil uncovered for 1 minute. Drain well and add the peas to the large bowl.

    Add the celery, walnuts, pickles, mayonnaise, jalapeños, salt, and pepper and mix well. Transfer the salad to an attractive serving bowl or platter and garnish the top with chopped parsley.

    Total calories per serving: 223 Fat: 13 grams
    Carbohydrates: 23 grams Protein: 6 grams
    Sodium: 466 milligrams Fiber: 5 grams


    SALPICON (POTATO SALAD WITH FAUX GROUND ‘BEEF’)

    (Serves 6)

    This familiar, family-style salad is how Chileans use leftovers and can vary depending on what they had for dinner the day before. If you have leftover cooked vegetables, use them instead of zucchini, corn, and peas— the recipe will be just as delicious. Standing in for the beef strips usually featured in Salpicon is crumbled tofu, faux ground meat,or your choice of beans.

    • 1 ½pounds unpeeled potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Water to cover potatoes
    • ½ pound zucchini, chopped
    • Kernels cut from 1 ½ ears fresh corn or 1½ cup frozen corn
    • 1½ cup frozen peas
    • 1 cup water
    • 12 ounces crumbled firm tofu, 12 ounces faux ground ‘beef,’ or one 15-ounce can of your favorite beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 tomato deseeded and diced
    • 1 avocado, chopped
    • ½-1 cup chopped onions
    • 2 large leaves romaine, Boston, or green leaf lettuce, chopped
    • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 3 Tablespoons chopped parsley

    Place the potatoes and salt in a 2-quart saucepan with water to cover. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and boil gently for 4-5 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain, rinse the potatoes in cold water, and place them into a large bowl.

    Combine the zucchini, corn, peas, and water in a 3- or 4-quart saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water and add the vegetables to the potatoes.

    Add the remaining ingredients, except for the parsley, and mix well to distribute the vegetables and dressing evenly. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled

    Total calories per serving: 307 Fat: 15 gram
    Carbohydrates: 37 grams Protein: 11 grams
    Sodium: 164 milligrams Fiber: 9 grams


    ENSALADA DE POROTOS GRANADOS(BEANS, SQUASH, AND CORN SALAD)

    (Serves 5)

    A colorful dish of intense gold and bright red, this salad can be served hot or cold. It’s a homey mélange of familiar ingredients that reflect the influence of Spanish settlers while incorporating indigenous foods like beans, squash, and corn.

    Serve the recipe with a bowl of Pebre (Recipe follows.) on the side and add hearty spoonfuls to the top of each serving.

    • 1 lb frozen lima beans
    • Water to cook the beans
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 3-4 medium tomatoes
    • ½ teaspoon dried basil
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¾ lb butterbut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
    • One 15oz can whole cron kernels, drained
    • ¾ teaspoon salt

    Cook the lima beans in a 2-quart saucepan following the package directions. Set aside and reserve the cooking liquid. Combine the onions, olive oil, and garlic in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until the onions are soft and transparent. If needed, add small amounts of water to prevent burning.

    While the onions are cooking, cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and use a small knife or a spoon handle to scoop the seeds into a bowl. Gently squeeze the tomatoes to extract the juice and add it to the bowl. Set the seeds and juice aside for a future soup or sauce.

    Dice the deseeded tomatoes and add them to the skillet along with the basil, oregano, and pepper. Raise the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for approximately 2 minutes or until the tomatoes are almost puréed.

    Reduce the heat and add the squash, corn, salt, lima beans, and 1/4 cup of the lima bean cooking liquid. Simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If needed, add small amounts of water or lima bean liquid to prevent burning. The mixture should not be watery.

    Variation: To turn the salad into a traditional early summer soup, purchase 21/2-3 pounds of fresh (not dried) green lima beans, fava beans, or French flageolets in the shell. Cook them in an 8- to 10-quart stockpot with 3-4 cups of water for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Prepare the remaining ingredients as directed above and add them to the cooked beans.

    Total calories per serving: 290 Fat: 7 grams
    Carbohydrates: 52 grams Protein: 11 grams
    Sodium: 585 milligrams Fiber: 10 grams


    PEBRE (CILANTRO AND ONION SALSA)

    (Makes approximately 2 cups or sixteen 2-Tablespoon servings)

    While Chileans embrace a variety of salsas, pebre is their go-to condiment. When refrigerated, it keeps well and is quick and easy to prepare.

    • 1½ cups chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 cup finely chopped onions
    • ¾ cup water
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 8 teaspoons white wine or plain vinegar
    • ½-1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
    • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
    • ¾ teaspoon salt

    Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    If stored in a covered container and refrigerated, the salsa will keep for 1 week.

    Total calories per serving: 35 Fat: 3 grams
    Carbohydrates: 1 grams Protein: < 1 gram
    Sodium: 110 milligrams Fiber: < 1 gram


    BERENJENA CEVICHE CON MERQUÉN QUINUA (EGGPLANT CEVICHE WITH SPICED QUINOA)

    (Serves 8-10 as an appetizer or 6-8 as a main dish)

    Ceviche, a marinated fish delicacy, is a favorite dish throughout Latin America. Chile, with its impressively long coastline, enjoys an abundance of fish frequently served as ceviche.

    During some wild kitchen experiments, I found that eggplant is a perfect stand-in for the fish and makes a succulent ceviche. This Chilean treatment puts quinoa into the spotlight and introduces Merquén, an indigenous spice blend. Because the dish is best served well-chilled, prepare it the day before and serve it either as a first course or a main dish with vegetables and salad on the side.

    QUINOA AND RICE LAYER
    • Vegetable oil to prepare pan
    • 1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed in a fine strainer
    • 1 cup short grain brown rice
    • 4 cups water
    • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
    • 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
    • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon Merquen

    Line the base of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides.

    Place the quinoa in one saucepan and the brown rice in another. Add 2 cups of water with 3/8 teaspoon salt to each. Cover the saucepans and bring each to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat on each to low. Cook the quinoa for 20 minutes or until it is soft and all the water is absorbed.Cook the rice for 35 minutes or until it is soft and all the water is absorbed.

    While the grains are cooking, prepare the ceviche layer (below). When finished, keep the pots covered and set aside for 10 minutes. When the grains are cooked, combine them in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, cilantro, pepper, Merquén, and remaining salt and mix well

    CEVICHE LAYER
    • One 1-pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 3/8-inch cubes
    • 3/4 cup diced red bell peppers
    • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
    • 2 scallions, finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon Merquén

    Place the eggplant pieces into a colander with a dish underneath. Salt the eggplant and toss to distribute the salt evenly. Set aside for 30 minutes.

    Fill a 2-quart saucepan halffull with water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Blanch the eggplant pieces in batches for 1 minute and use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked eggplant to a large bowl.

    Add the bell peppers, lime juice, scallions, olive oil, salt, and Merquén and mix well. Set aside to marinate for 15-20 minutes, tossing frequently.

    To assemble the dish, pack the quinoa and rice mixture firmly into the prepared springform pan. Spoon the ceviche layer over the top and chill for several hours or overnight.

    GARNISH
    • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
    • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
    • 1 jalapeño, sliced on an angle

    To serve, place the springform pan on a large serving platter, loosen the edges with a knife, and remove the springform collar. Garnish the base of the dish with cilantro, sprinkle with corn kernels, and top the ceviche with jalapeño slices.

    Note: Sodium calculations below do not include salt used on the raw eggplant in the ceviche layer.

    Total calories per apetizer-sized serving: 223 Fat: 3 grams
    Carbohydrates: 46 grams Protein: 6 grams
    Sodium: 415 milligrams Fiber: 6 grams

    Total calories per entree-sized serving: 297 Fat: 4 grams
    Carbohydrates: 61 grams Protein: 8 grams
    Sodium: 553 milligrams Fiber: 9 grams

    MERQUEN

    Makes approximately ⅓ cup or 16 teaspoons)

    A spice blend created by the indigenous Mapuche Indians of Chile, this seasoning mixture is made from smoked, dried cacho de cabra (horn of the goat) peppers that are crushed into flakes and blended with ground coriander, cumin, and salt. Then, it is used to perk up soups, sauces and salsas, potatoes, and even chocolate.

    While this merquén recipe is only a homegrown substitute, it combines cayenne and smoked paprika to mimic the smoked pepper flavor well. I added ground (rather than crushed) spices, making it easier to bring pizzazz to a dish with just a pinch or two of this spice blend.

    • 4 teaspoons ground cayenne
    • 4 teaspoons smoked paprika
    • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 2 teaspoons salt

    Combine the spices in a small bowl or custard cup and stir well to distribute the flavors evenly. Enjoy in place of your favorite seasoning blend.

    Total calories per teaspoon: 6 Fat: < 1 gram
    Carbohydrates: 1 gram Protein: < 1 gram
    Sodium: 292 milligrams Fiber: < 1 gram

    PASTEL DE CHOCLO (‘MEAT’ AND ONION CASSEROLE WITH CORN PUDDING TOPPING)

    (Makes 8 hearty servings)

    This well-loved dish is the Chilean counterpart to shepherd’s pie. While the traditional casserole is made with a layer of seasoned ground beef and a layer of chicken, this lighter version with mushrooms and tofu makes the dish far more healthful. In place of mashed potatoes, Chileans spoon a layer of ground choclo (corn)over the top before baking the casserole. The result is a delicious blend of complex sweet and savory flavors. Be sure to invite friends to dinner to enjoy this sumptuous dish.

    • ¼ cup raisins
    • Warm water to cover raisins

    Place raisins in bowl and cover with water to plump. Set aside.

    COOKED TOFU LAYER
    • 4 ½ cups chopped onions (Start with approximately 3 medium onions.)
    • 1 pound extra firm tofu, crumbled
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • ½ cup water

    Combine the onions, tofu, garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper in a large, deep skillet. Add the water and sauté the mixture over high heat, stirring frequently, for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the onions are soft and transparent. If needed, add small amounts of water to prevent burning.

    Spread the tofu mixture over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and wash the skillet.

    MUSHROOM LAYER
    • ½ pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 Tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 20 black olives, cut in half lengthwise or coarsely chopped

    Combine the mushrooms, soy sauce, and lemon juice in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Distribute the mushrooms over the cooked tofu layer.

    Drain the raisins and spread them over the mushrooms. Top with the olives.

    CORN TOPPING
    • 6 robust ears of fresh corn on the cob or 6 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels, divided
    • ⅔ cup plain or vanilla soymilk, divided
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
    • 2 Tablespoons water
    • 1 Tablespoon sugar (Use your favorite vegan variety.)
    • Paprika to dust top of casserole

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

    If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs. You will have approximately 6 cups. Place half of the fresh or thawed kernels and half of the soymilk into a blender and process until fully puréed. Transfer the mixture to the deep skillet. Add the remaining corn and soymilk to the blender and purée. Transfer to the skillet and add the salt and pepper. Cook the corn mixture over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until gently bubbling.

    In a small cup, combine the cornstarch and water and stir well to form a runny paste. Add the paste to the bubbling corn and stir for 1 minute or until the mixture is lightly thickened and pudding-like.

    Pour or spoon the corn pudding over the olives and raisins and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the sugar over the top, dust lightly with paprika, and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

    Note: If desired, use 8 ounces of soy-based faux ground ‘meat’ in place of the mushrooms.

    Total calories per serving: 249 Fat: 6 grams
    Carbohydrates: 43 grams Protein: 12 gram
    Sodium: 446 milligrams Fiber: 5 gram

    POROTOS QUEBRADOS(GREEN BEAN AND PUMPKIN STEW)

    (Serves 6-8)

    A tasty side dish with a thick, stew-like consistency, this flavorful vegetable medley features the famous three sisters— squash, corn, and beans. Many home cooks prepare this cherished stew, and each has a different take on the balance of seasonings that make it taste just right.

    • 2 ½ pounds kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin, not peeled
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups water
    • ½-1 teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
    • ½ teaspoon paprika
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cups fresh corn kernels or one 15.5-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1 pound green beans, washed and cut into 1-inch lengths
    • Cluster of parsley sprigs
    • 2 slices orange

    Using a firm, heavy-duty chef ’s knife, cut the squash or pumpkin into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.

    Combine the onions, garlic, and olive oil in a large, deep skillet and sauté over high heat for approximately 3 minutes or until the onions are soft and transparent. Add the squash, water, salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook for approximately 12-15 minutes or until the squash is very soft and beginning to break down. Check frequently to make sure there is sufficient water to prevent burning. Add the corn and green beans, cover, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the beans are softened.

    Transfer the stew to an attractive serving bowl and garnish with the parsley and orange slices at the edge of the bowl.

    Total calories per serving: 165 Fat: 3 grams
    Carbohydrates: 35 grams Protein: 5 gram
    Sodium: 216 milligrams Fiber: 7 grams

    KUCHEN DE MANZANA(APPLE CAKE)

    (Serves 6)

    When Germans settled the southern region of Chile approximately 200 years ago, they packed their treasured family recipes for desserts, cakes, and tarts for their journey to the New World. Eventually, many of their sweets, including kuchen, became interwoven into more traditional Chilean cuisine.

    The kuchen can also be made with fruits other than apples, such as pears, peaches, berries, and whatever the season generously bestows. Every home baker has a favorite way to prepare this dessert, perhaps with differing measurements for similar ingredients. If you like more or less cinnamon or sugar or wish to include raisins or orange zest in place of lemon, give it your own special touch to create a delicious and unique kuchen.

    DOUGH
    • Vegetable oil to prepare baking dish
    • 1 cup well-mashed firm tofu
    • ½cup softened nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
    • ¼cup sugar (Use your favorite vegan variety.)
    • ¼cup water
    • Zest of 1 lemon, finely minced
    • ¼ to ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour

    Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish.

    Combine the tofu, margarine, sugar, water, zest, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add the flour and then stir and mash the ingredients to form a soft dough.

    Spoon the dough into the baking pan and use the back of a spoon to press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.

    FILLING
    DOUGH
    • 3 large Granny Smith apples, each peeled, cored, cut into 8 wedges, and sliced
    • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • ¾ cup sugar (Use your favorite vegan variety.)
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spoon the mixture over the dough layer.

    TOPPING
    • ¼cup sugar (Use your favorite vegan variety.)
    • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 2 Tablespoons softened nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Combine the sugar, flour, margarine, cinnamon, and vanilla in a small bowl. Use your fingers to mix the ingredients well and to form fine crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the apple filling layer.

    Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil, shiny side down, and bake another 10 minutes to soften the apples. Cool the kuchen, cut into portions, and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

    Total calories per serving: 574 Fat: 21 grams
    Carbohydrates: 91 grams Protein: 8 gram
    Sodium: 206 milligrams Fiber: 3 grams