Monday, December 19, 2011

I have been so busy with homeschooling that I rarely have time to blog, sadly enough! I have been cooking and got these pics uploaded. Since I am so limited on time these days, I have decided to post my favorite recipe out of this bunch - if you would like a recipe for one of the other dishes, leave me a comment and I will be happy to post!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Lemon Asparagus Fettucini

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Vegan Danish Puff

Vegan Danish Puff (this dish is traditionally full of butter and eggs so I was thrilled when it turned out just as delicious as the original!)
1/2 cup earth balance
1 cup flour
2 T water
1/2 cup earth balance
1 cup water
1 t almond extract
1 cup flour
egg replacement for 3 eggs (I used EnerG)
Agave and walnuts (I am a vegan who uses honey so I used honey but agave would also work)

Heat oven to 350. Cut 1/2 cup earth balance into 1 cup flour. Sprinkle 2 T water over mixture. Form into a ball. Divide ball in half. On ungreased cookie sheet, pat each ball into a strip. Strips should be 3 in apart. Heat 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water to rolling boil in saucepan. Remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla and remaining flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and beat in egg replacements until smooth and glossy. Spread evenly over the 2 strips on the cookie sheet. Bake for 1 hr or until topping is crisp and brown. Drizzle with agave and chopped walnuts. Cut into pieces and serve.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Orange Muffins

A slightly modified version of a Post Punk Kitchen recipe, these were pretty yummy! I didn't have any orange juice so I subbed soy milk for the orange juice. I am sure they are extra fabulous with orange juice! The recipe can be found at Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Broccoli Cheeze Soup

This soup is downright delicious! It's a bit time-consuming because you have to make the cashew cheese but it's well worth it. I made the cheese a few days before. I also only added 8 cups of broth. Next time I would perhaps add only 6-7 because even with 8 cups, the soup is pretty runny. I also only put about 3/4 of the soup in the food processor so there were a few chunks of veggies left in each bowl. Very delish and my fam loved it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green Tomato Salsa,..Nacho Cheesy Sauce...Buffalo Tempeh Salad..."Fruit Cake"

I have had a bowl of green tomatoes in my fridge for longer than I care to admit (picked from my plant - the sudden change in weather caused a halt in the ripening of my tomatoes and I didn't want to throw them away). I also had a couple of jalepenos that I needed to use. I found a recipe on a blog I follow called Kansas City Mamas (it's actually a couponing blog!) for a green tomato salsa. I have been wanting to try it and finally got around to making it yesterday - perfect timing for our dinner of burritos. I failed to take a pic of the burritos but managed a so-so pic of the salsa. It was very delicious. I totally modified the recipe so it only vaguely resembles the original!

Green Tomato Salsa
10 small green tomatoes
2 jalepenos, stems removed (for spicier salsa, leave the seeds intact; for milder salsa, take the seeds out)
1/2 t salt
1 T dried minced onions
1 t garlic powder
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until well minced - don't puree it but blend it enough to ensure mixture is well chopped. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for a later use.

Once again found a delicious-looking recipe in The Happy Herbivore - love that book!! This nacho cheese sauce turned out really good and went perfectly with our burritos as well.

Nacho Cheese Sauce (adapted from the Happy Herbivore)
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3T rolled oats
½ t each onion powder and cumin
¼ cup mild salsa or taco sauce
2t yellow miso
2t cornstarch
1t lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Transfer to saucepan and cook until thick. Add lemon juice.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for ages too! Buffalo Tempeh Salad - very yummy indeed! Check out the recipe at

My father-in-law just had a birthday but he doesn't eat gluten or sugar so coming up with a special dessert is next to impossible. Therefore, I decided to make him a "fruit cake"...literally. I layered pineapple, clementines, pears, apples and grapes and topped the creation with a candle. Pretty cute if I do say so myself :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creamy Veggies and Dumplings

Growing up, one of my very favorite meals was Chicken and Dumplings - my mom makes the most amazing Chicken and Dumplings. It was a treat, not something she made very often. It was full of delicious veggies, chicken and fluffy dumplings. Wow! Of course it was not vegan or anywhere close to it but yesterday I decided it was time I figured out a vegan version. A challenging feat I know! The good part is that the soup itself with the veggies and dumplings were always my favorite part - the chicken was good but not necessarily the heart of the meal for me. So, I didn't even attempt to come up with a substitute for the chicken. I stuck to the delicious spice blend, yummy veggies and delicate dumplings. The original recipe also has sour cream in it, lending a creaminess to the dish. However, when the dumplings are placed on top of the soup to cook, they impart an involuntary creaminess to the soup - the milk and flour in the dumplings seep into the soup and create an amazingly creamy consistency and flavor. I was thrilled with the results and it tasted very much like the original...sans the chicken!

Creamy Veggies and Dumplings
5 cups water
4 t faux chicken boullion (I like Better Than Boullion brand)
2 t salt (I know it sounds like a lot but it's perfect in taste)
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
1 large onion, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups quartered button mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh chopped
1/4 t dried marjoram
Combine all soup ingredients and bring to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, mix together the dumplings. Recipe below.

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 t salt
1 T dried parsley
2 t baking powder
3/4 cup soy milk
3 T vegan butter
Mix flour, salt, parsley, baking powder. Cut in butter. Add milk and stir until mixed and sticky. Drop large spoonfuls of dough on top of soup. Cook for 10 miinutes. cover and cook additional 10 min. Serve.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Delicious Vegan Meatloaf!

I have been thoroughly enjoying the Happy Herbivore cookbook from the library - what a fabulous book! Unfortunately, it was due and I couldn't renew so I had to take it back yesterday. Oh well, it's definitely going on my Christmas list! I have made several meatloafs on our veganizing journey and a couple have turned out pretty good, a couple only mediocre and a couple downright dreadful! I was a little apprehensive to try this one but it looked so good I just had to give it a go. So glad I did. Probably the best one yet! It was delicious. It was also my first try at using Lightlife Gimme Lean. Love that stuff!

Cajun Meatloaf (adapted from Happy Herbivore)
1small onion, minced
3 minced garlic cloves
1 14 oz package gimme lean beef
3T steak sauce
2T mustard
1T vegan Worcestershire
1T Cajun seasoning
¼ cup water or hot sauce or combo
1 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pan. Place onion, celery and garlic in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Transfer to loaf pan and pat down. Use foil to make a tent over loaf pan. Bake for 1 hr and then uncover and bake additional 10-30 min until browned and firm. Cool 10-20 min.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hearty Oatmeal Bread

I usually make the and recipe for wheat bread to use for toast and sandwiches but this time I decided to try a new bread recipe. It turned out very yummy - a hint of sweetness, nice outer crust with a tasty soft center. We had it as toast this morning and it was delish.

Oat Bread (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
4 1/4 cups flour
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups water
1 package instant dry yeast
2 T canola oil
1 T vegan butter

Combine 2 cups of flour with yeast. Set aside. Heat oil, butter, sugar, and water. Cook on low until sugar dissolves. Add to flour/yeast mixture. Use dough hook on a mixer to begin mixing flour mixture. Gradually add oats and 2 more cups of flour. If mixture is too sticky, add additional 1/4 cup of flour. Mix for about 5 min. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Divided dough in half and place in 2 greased 9in loaf pans. Cover and let rise additional 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 30-40 min or until golden brown.

Vegan Javenese Chick-Un

Javenese Chicken was a delicious meal my mom made when I was growing up. It began as a very easy meal - basically cooked chicken tossed in a creamy sauce made of cream of celery soup and cream of chicken soup and a few added ingredients. This concoction was served over a bed of rice and topped with pineapple, coconut, nuts, raisins, tomatoes, cheese, and crunchy chow mein noodles. The recipe evolved over the years to a slightly healthier version of homemade cream soups (instead of canned) and the chow mein noodles were nixed due to their hydrogenated oils. Here we are, many years later and in need for a vegan revision of the recipe. Thankfully the outcome was pure success - the vegan counterpart was incredible! Quite a simple dish and abounding with flavor.

Vegan Javanese Chick-Un
1 package Gardein Scallopini, cut into small cubes
1 T canola oil
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 1/4 cups faux chicken broth
2 t cracked black pepper
2 t curry powder

Heat oil in pan and add Gardein. Cook until browned. Set aside. Heat butter in a saucepan. When melted, whisk in flour. Slowly whisk mixture while adding the soy milk. Keep stirring, making sure no lumps form. Add broth and continue to whisk until thick and bubbly. Add pepper and curry powder. Spoon sauce over hot rice, top with a spoonful of Gardein. Top with following toppings.

Cut pineapple
Chopped nuts
Fresh diced tomatoes
Crispy wontons
Shredded coconut

Monday, October 24, 2011

Terriyaki Tofu and Hearty Oatmeal Bowls

I made a delicious Terriyaki Tofu the other night. It was super easy and very flavorful served over a bed of sticky rice. I simply drained, pressed and sliced one block of extra firm tofu into about 16 pieces (I made them fairly small so they would bake nicely and create that chewy texture faster). I baked the tofu slices on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray for about 20 min, flipping once - at 400 degrees. When the tofu was browned, I removed it from the oven and tossed it with terriyaki sauce. Perfect consistency and delicious flavor! I used this homemade terriyaki sauce recipe from the Whole Foods website (revised a tad).

Terriyaki Sauce

1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 T cornstarch mixed with 1 T water
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan except cornstarch/water mixture. Heat until bubbly. Combine cornstarch and water until past forms. Slowly add to saucepan and stir constantly until thickened.

The boys and I have been fighting colds recently and for breakfast the other day, I was having a hard time thinking of anything yummy to make that would feel good on scratchy throats. I also wanted to make something with as little added sugar as possible since we were under the weather. I decided to make oatmeal without the brown sugar. Instead, I topped our bowls with a bit of vegan butter, a splash of almond milk, a handful of raisins a a couple of Earths Best Graham Cracker sticks. Though the graham sticks have some sugar in them, the amount is minimal with how many I put in each bowl and the sugar in the raisins is natural sugar rather than refined table sugar. The boys loved the oatmeal. This was a treat my mom and grandma used to make when we were kids - on special occasions. Worked perfectly!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thai Lettuce Wraps

With a couple adaptations, this recipe was a winner! The picture was taken very quickly and consequently didn't turn out so great. Hopefully the general idea is presented!

Thai Lettuce Wraps (adapted from Vegetarian Times)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1/2 t brown sugar
Blend ingredients and set aside.

2 cups pressed, drained, crumbled tofu (I actually use Central Soy Hot and Zesty and I had also frozen it so it crumbled beautifully)
2 cups peeled carrots cut into matchsticks
1 T oil
2 T minced fresh ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
1 t minced dried onions
1 t soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 t sugar
1 t chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1/4 t brown sugar

Heat oil in skillet. Add tofu, ginger, garlic and carrots. Cook until tofu starts to brown and carrots are crisp tender. Add remaining ingredients and cook until liquid has mostly evaporated - about 5 minutes. Serve filling in large lettuce leaves, drizzled with above sauce.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Choclate Zucchini Muffins

I am enjoying some new recipes from the Happy Herbivore. All of her recipes are made without added fat - actually a few recipes call for things like chocolate chips but are optional. These muffins were amazingly moist and delicious despite the lack added oils. Amazing!

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (adapted from Happy Herbivore)
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 t vanilla
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips

Mix flour through cinnamon. In separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients except choc chips. Add wet ingredients to dry and use mixer to blend well. Add chocolate chips. Divide batter into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 350 for 18 min.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Vegan Cake Doughnuts, Tuscan White Bean Pizza and Mexican Pizza

I cut the sugar, left out the raisins, and omitted the topping from this cinnamon bread recipe but it was still delicious! The original recipe was full of sugar, had raisins which my hubby and one son don't like and was topped with additional sugary topping so I decided to modify it to be a bit better, though I am sure the original recipe is quite tasty! Very soft and moist bread. Yum!

Cinnamon Swirl Bread (adapted from Urban Vegan
3 cups flour
1 T instant yeast
1 T soy flour
1 1/2 t cinnamon
scant 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
1 t salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup warm water
In large bowl, mix all ingredients. Place in oiled bowl, cover with damp towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. While dough rises, combine 1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar and 1 t cinnamon. Set aside. When dough is risen, form it into an 8x12 in shape. Sprinkle sugar cinnamon mixture over the dough. Roll up jellyroll style beginning at the short edge, tucking ends under and pinching slightly. Place in oiled 9in loaf pan. Cover with damp cloth again and let rise an hour. Preheat oven to 350. Bake risen loaf for 35-45 min or until lightly browned.

I have to admit, I really love doughnuts. Unfortunately, they are so unhealthy that I rarely indulge in their yumminess. I do enjoy making them sometimes and actually feel a tad better when I eat them because there are Jo hidden ingredients and at least I don't totally submerge them in oil! These were super yummy cake doughnuts.

Vegan Cake Doughnuts (modified from Better Homes and Gardens)
3 1/4 cups flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
2/3 cup soy milk
1/4 cup earth balance, melted
substitute for 2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 t vanilla
In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/4 t salt. In a separate bowl, combine milk and butter, and egg substitute. Use elecgtric mixer to beat dry ingredients combined with wet ingredients until well combined. Add remaining flour and mix well. Cover bowl and chill 2 hours. Turn dough onto floured surface and cut out doughnuts with a 2 1/2 in doughnut cutter. Heat a Dutch oven with enough oil to cover bottom of pan (about 1/2 inch)and fry doughnuts for 1 min on each side or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Toss in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar or top with glaze.

I decided to try a couple of new pizza recipes this week and they turned out to be yummy results! I started.with a recipe from Vegan on the Cheap but of course modified as usual. I also came up with a completely new recipe for the Mexican one. My kids really loved them and never mentioned the fact that they were cheeseless pizzas! I was actually really surprised at how much they loved them!

Tuscan White Bean Pizza (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
1 recipe pizza dough (any recipe will work and I don't have time to type mine out:-))
3 garlic cloves minced
3 t oil
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 yellow zucchini or green zucchini
3/4 cup pizza or pasta sauce

Place dough on a pizza pan and press to desired thickness. Heat oil and add minced garlic. Cook until golden. In bowl, combine garlic oil, beans, salt, pepper, and broth. Mash beans until smooth. Spread pizza sauce over pizza crust. Spread bean mixture over pizza sauce. Top with fresh basil and sliced zucchini. Cook at 425 for 15-20 min or until crust is browned.

Vegan Mexican Pizza
1 recipe pizza dough
1 1/2 cups refried beans
1/2 cup taco sauce
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups guacamole
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips

Place dough on pizza pan and press to desired thickness. Spread beans over crust. Spread taco sauce over beans. Top with cilantro and green onions. Bake at 425 for abougt 15-20 min or until crust is browned. Top slices with guacamole and tortilla chips.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crispy Quinoa Cakes and delish Waffles

This was another Vegetarian ones recipe that I wanted to try but it was not vegan. I didn't have any spinach either so added zucchini instead. I basically re-created the entire recipe so it hardly resembles the original. The results were tasty - lacking only a sauce to top the crisp parties with. They were a bit dry on their own. I made up some remoulade to send with the cakes in my husband's lunch tomorrow. Weshall see how that tastes!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 T flour
1 1/2 T tahini
1 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup grated sweet potato
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup smoky cheese (see recipe in smoky grilled cheese post)
1 t minced dried onions
1 T chopped cilantro
1/4 t garlic powder
1 t salt

Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Form large spoonfuls into patties. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 25 min or until golden.

I love waffles! I always have. I recreated a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens to fit our veganizing lifestyle. Super yummy!

Perfect Vegan Waffles
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 wheat bran
1 T baking powder
replacement for 2 eggs (I used EnerG)
1/2 t salt
2 cups soy milk
1/3 cup oil

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir well. Heat waffle iron and cook. Serve with a bit of butter and maple syrup or jam.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Homemade Apple Pie...Fresh Salad Wrap...New Menu

As I have mentioned in recent posts, I haven't had the time to do as much experimental cooking or new recipes since we have started our homeschooling journey - thus the great reduction in the number of weekly posts!Our current school unit is all about Apples, though, and I thought I would share the delicious recipe for the apple pie we made yesterday. Keith made his own mini-pie - both turned out fabulous! We used some of the apples we picked at a local orchard which made the experience even better!

Vegan Apple Pie (adapted from an Amelia Bedelia book!!)
1 double pie crust, uncooked
8 cups apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (we used Jonathons)
1/2 cup flour
scant 2/3 cup sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 t cinnamon
butter for dotting

Place half of rolled pie crust in 9in pie plate. Combine apples, flour, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and toss until well coated. Pour into prepared pie crust. Dot with vegan butter. Top with second pie crust and crimp edges to seal. Make 3-4 slits in top of crust for steam to escape. Bake at 400 for 40 min or until golden brown.

Yesterday I didn't have much in the way of leftovers for lunch so I threw together this wrap - super tasty and super easy! My kind of meal for sure! I enjoyed it with some delicious apples from our orchard outing on Monday. All I did was take a flour tortilla and spread about 3 teaspoons creamy dill dressing over the surface (see recipe below). I then took about 1/2 cup leftover salad (romaine, carrots, red pepper, celery, peas, and tomatoes) and sprinkled it on top of the dressing. I topped it off with half of a sliced avocado and folded it in half. Yum!

Creamy Dill Dressing
1/2 cup vegan mayo (I used homemade tofu mayo)
2 t dried dill
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t sea salt
3/4 t fresh cracked pepper
Combine all ingredients until well mixed.

I have revised my menu - I made the Spaghetti Con Salsa Fresca last night and though it was fine, it wasn't anything blog-worthy. I made the grilled tofu as well but forgot to take pictures. Basically my thought on that - grilled tofu is absolutely delicious! Turns out with a nice smoky flavor and chewy delicious texture - served with any sauce or rub, it's a winner

Friday, September 16, 2011

I started a post a while back and never got around to finishing it! So, it is showing up as an "old" recipe and is below the most recent posts - check it out! It was super yummy :-)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Smoky Grilled Cheeze Sandwiches

I was completely excited about trying this recipe - I got this book from the library and it has great pictures and recipes. This cheese is amazing! It is super easy and tastes delicious. My entire family - yes, including my 2 1/2 yr old and 5 1/2 yr old - loved this meal. An absolutely delicious vegan grilled cheese - not chewy like a normal grilled cheese but ooey and gooey and fabulous!

Great Smoky Mountain Cheeze (adapted from Vegan Diner)
1/2 cup water, divided
2 t agar powder
1 (12.3 oz) package silken extra firm tofu
1/4 cup plus 2 T nutritional yeast
3 T canola oil
1 1/4 t sea salt
1 t smoked paprika
1/2 t granulated garlic
1/2 t granulated onion
1/2 t regular paprika
2 T plus 2 t cornstarch

Combine agar and 1/4 cup water, wisk, and set aside. In separate bowl, combine remaining water and cornstarch, wisk and set aside. Combine remaining ingredients in food processor and whirl until smooth and silky. Add agar and cornstarch mixtures to food processor and whirl a few more times. Transfer mixture to saucepan and heat for 2-3 minutes for the agar to totally dissolve. Return mixture to your washed food processor and whirl for 20 seconds until completely smooth. Pour into a greased loaf pan. Place a piece of wax paper over the top of the cheese and lightly press down. This will prevent a skin from forming on top. Refridgerate until set. This can be sliced or spread.

Smoky Grilled Cheezy Sandwiches (adapted from Vegan Diner)
8 slices of french or sourdough bread (I used sliced Kaiser buns as I was out of sliced bread! Worked perfectly!)
Homemade Great Smoky Mountan Cheeze (see above)
1 large tomato
Vegan margarine

Take 2 slices of bread and spread margarine on one side of each slice. Spread 2-4 T cheeze over the unbuttered sides of the bread and top with tomatoes. Press cheeze sides together and place in a heated skillet. Cook until browned, flip, and brown opposite side. Enjoy

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cheesy Seitan Meetballs

These veg meetballs were an adapted version of a recipe I found in Vegetarian Times - the recipe was vegetarian but not vegan. Actually, I modified the recipe so much, it isn't really at all like the original but it at least started there! I wasn't sure if they were going to turn out but they actually were very yummy. Serve with spaghetti and pasta sauce for a tasty main dish (I forgot to take a picture of the original meal so this is a picture of the leftovers, not so pretty, but at least gives the general idea!)

8 oz. seitan (I used boiled seitan, pulsed in the food processor to make coarse crumbles)
1/2 cup nutty cheese, crumbled (I flavored mine with fresh basil - see recipe below)
1/3 cup panko
1/2 cup diced onion
1 T lemon juice
2 t flax seed mixed with 2 t water
1/2 t dill
1/2 t salt
1 T fresh minced parsley
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t baking soda
oil for panfrying

Combine all ingredients except oil in food processor and pulse until well mixed and a bit "squishy". Transfer contents to skillet and heat for 3-4 min (this allows the mixture to meld together and become a bit sticky in order to stick together into balls). Remove from heat and cool slightly - just until it is cool enough to handle. Form into balls and panfry until golden on all sides.

Nutty Cheese (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
1 oz agar agar powder
2 cups water
2 cups raw cashews, finely ground into powder
3 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 t fine sea salt
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
Prepare loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray. Place the agar agar in water and bring to full boil. Boil for 5 min. Stir often to prevent boiling over. Place remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the water-agar mixture and whisk until creamy and smooth. Quickly pour into oiled loaf pan and refrigerate until set.

Chorizo Pasta

I bought some Soy Chorizo at Trader Joes and have been itching to try it. I couldn't find a recipe I wanted to try so I came up with one on my own. This turned out quite yummy. The chorizo is a definite score - no funny faux meat taste.

Chorizo Pasta
3/4 cup crumbled soy chorizo
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T oil
1 can corn
1 lb penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
2/3 cup marinara sauce
1/2 t salt
2 t chili powder

Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook until golden. Add chorizo and cook until browned. Add corn, salt and chili powder. Cook until heated through. Toss cooked pasta with marinara sauce. Add chorizo mixture to pasta and toss. Serve.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Colorful Dilled Potato Salad

I haven't done a good job of making the items on my posted menu - my hubby has been working an insane amount of hours and I haven't been cooking anything too fun most days! Just simple, fast meals. I have posted a new menu though, with a couple added items. I did make the Herby Polenta and it was ok but not blogworthy. I have made a few standby favorites (Chick-un Tacos, Taco Salad) but nothing new to blog about. However, I did make a potato salad yesterday to serve at our Labor Day festivities today and it turned out really yummy. We are headed to my parents' today to join up with my sister and family for a day of BBQ and fellowship. On our menu: Grilled Tofu, Dilled Potato Salad, Fruit Salad, Succotash, and Vegan Chocolate Cake. Yum!

Colorful Dilled Potato Salad
4 med-large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 cup chopped peppers (I combined red, yellow and green)
1/3 cup sliced olives
1/2 cup petite peas, thawed
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1/4 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1/2 t dried dill
1/2-1 t fresh cracked pepper

Combine dressing ingredients (mayo through pepper). In a bowl, combine veggies and toss with dressing.

Have a great Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Edwards and Sons Product Review

This review can also be found to the right of the screen but I figured I would feature it here first. Enjoy!

I was completely thrilled when a wonderful representative from Edwards and Sons recently offered to let me review some new products. When I first tried Edwards and Sons wonderful offerings (several months ago), I was delightfully pleased with EVERY SINGLE item! Delicious! Needless to say, I was eager to try the Canned Organic Grapefruit, Canned Cremini Mushrooms and Canned Portobellas when they arrived in the mail the other day. Once again, I have been thoroughly pleased! I loved mushrooms soooo much but my family isn't fond of them so I don't eat them nearly enough! This was the perfect opportunity to whip up a simple meal for myself (my hubby was working and I made sandwiches for the boys!). I threw together some mashed potatoes (a bit of butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper transformed some boiled potatoes). Next I lightly sauteed my little can of creminis in a tad of butter, salt and fresh cracked pepper (I know, sounds redundant!). I piled the mushrooms on a mound of potatoes and dove in! They were amazingly fabulous - chewy, flavorful, and downright yummy. They didn't need a fancy or exotic dish to shine - they were wonderful with just a little added flavor and a mild partner (the potatoes!).

I tried the grapefruit yesterday - it was gorgeous! I opened the can and thought I must be staring at oranges, not grapefruit! The segments were perfect and bright orange - surrounded by slightly sweet, 100% grapefruit juice. Yummy! If you like your grapefruit sweet, I would recommend a light sorinkling of sugar as these tender segments are bittersweet - just like a grapefruit should be in my opinion! What a wonderful thing to have in the pantry all year round!

The portobella mushrooms were just as delicious as the creminis! I was so excited to try them in a skillet of seitan stroganoff yesterday and they were fabulous. It was so nice to pull out the can, open it, and add them without any cleaning, chopping or extra cooking needed! Just a quick stir into the stroganoff and the dish was complete. Yum!

"Beef" Stroganoff

1 package Gardein beef tips, each piece cut into 3rds or 2 cups chopped seitan
1 large onion, diced
2 T olive oil
6 T nondairy butter
6 T flour
1 1/2 - 2 cups unsweetened soy milk (depending upon desired thickness)
2 t faux beef boullion
2 t vegan Worcestershire
2 t ground black pepper
3/4 t garlic salt
1-2 cans Edwards and Sons portobella mushrooms
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
Hot cooked noodles

In large skillet, heat oil. Add onions and cook 3-4 min or until starting to brown. Add Gardein. Cook until onions and Gardein are nicely browned. Sprinkle with pepper and garlic salt. Stir to combine. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in flour to form a roux. Slowly add milk until desired thickness is achieved. Add boullion and Worcestershire and stir to incorporate. Add sauce Gardein and onions. Add more milk if sauce is too thick. Stir until bubbly. Add mushrooms and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream. Serve over hot noodles.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Easy Cornmeal Scrapple, Product Review, New Menu and More!

I haven't been real successful in getting back into the routine of blogging this week! I have been very busy getting our house and routine back to normal after our 2 week vacation and my blogging has taken the back burner. I have a couple things to post and a couple updates to share so here it goes!

A week from tomorrow, I will be starting on an exciting journey - homeschooling my 5-yr-old! We are so excited and a little overwhelmed too! This means, my time to do things like blogging will be greatly reduced. I will still be posting regularly but not nearly as frequently as I have done in the past. Still look for new and delicious recipes though, as I will be working on finding fast and easy dishes that will be doable in our new schedule!

I have posted a new menu! Since my time in the kitchen will be more limited in upcoming days, I will be making a lot of recipes that I have tried in the past - and therefore I won't be posting as many new ones. Thus the short list of new items on the menu!

I just received a new package of goodies from Edwards and Sons! Look for a new product review in the next few days. Just look under product reviews at the right of my blog!

I got to enjoy a fun vegan sandwich from a little restaurant in San Diego one of the days we were on vacation. The shop was called Devine Pastabilities and they had a very fun and delicious creation. It was a sub roll stuffed with penne, vegan meatballs, spinach, garlic and marinara sauce. Very funny combo but super yummy!

Yesterday I tried a new breakfast recipe that turned out so good! I modified the recipe to make it even easier. The recipe comes from my beloved Urban Vegan cookbook!

Easy Cornmeal Scrapple (adapted from Urban Vegan)

3 1/4 cups veg broth
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1 t sage
1 t fennel seeds
1 1/4 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
14 oz breakfast style vegan sausage

Bring broth to boil. Combine cornmeal, flour and spices. When broth is boiling, slowly whisk in dry ingredients and stir until smooth and creamy. Continue to stir for about 5 min. Meanwhile, slice or crumble sausage into a skillet and cook until browned. Add browned sausage to cooked cornmeal mixture. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 T oil. Drop large spoonfuls of the cornmeal mixture into pan and cook on each side until browned. Serve.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm Back!

I am back from vacation - we had a fabulous trip to California and Oregon but it's also great to be home! I did take some pictures of some of the vegan delights I tried but I am still in the process of getting pictures uploaded. I did take a picture (and have it uploaded!) of a delightful fruit salad I made at my Aunt's house in Lewiston, CA. We picked cups and cups of wild blackberries while we were there and this salad shows of their beauty. I also got the privilege of gathering apples from my Aunt's tree and chopping them into this salad as well. Yum! I am working on putting together a menu of delicious new items but it is yet to be completed! Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Away for a bit...

I haven't had anything fun to post recently as I am making simple, thrown-together meals in an attempt to empty my fridge of all contents! We leave this Friday for California/Oregon - woohoo! I actually made the Bulger and Bean Burritos but they were nothing to write home about. They were pretty yummy but not outstanding. It was the first time I had cooked with bulger and it was nice and chewy...but alas, not blog-worthy!

You might see a couple of posts during our journey as I am sure I will find some fun and delicious vegan delights along the way - especially since California is one of the healthiest states in the nation :-) See ya when I get back! Happy Cooking!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My little chef made his own version of the summer pasta the other night - he doesn't like tomatoes so he improvised with a few extra ingredients. His recipe is posted on his cooking blog...check it out!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tempeh Turnovers...Creamy Fettucini Alfredo...Fresh Tomato Pasta

Yet another very delicious Urban Vegan recipe here! This dish was ridiculously easy, fast and delicious - my kind of meal!! The flavor of the soy milk definitely made it's appearance in the sauce - a year ago, I probably would have passed on making it a second time. But alas, our taste buds have done a lot of transforming over the past year+. The nutritional yeast gave the creamy/silky/cheesy flavor of alfredo and the other simple ingredients made for a rich and delicious sauce. The picture looks sooo boring! I made my crispy zucchini spears (recipe shared a few days ago) with this, so though we all had a big pile of zucchini with the pasta, the picture looks like we had no color or nutrition on our plates!

Fettucini Alfredo (adapted from Urban Vegan)
1 lb fettucini (I actually used whole wheat linquini because it's what I had!)
1 T cornstarch
1 1/3 cups soy milk
6 T Earth Balance
2 T nutritional yeast
1 1/4 t salt

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Dissolve cornstarch in milk and set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and stir until smooth. Add milk and salt and cook until thick and bubbly. Toss with cooked pasta.
I was looking through my binder of recipes last night, looking for something fun to cook for dinner. I have a binder filled with recipes I have found in magazines, acquired from friends, etc and it's always fun to thumb through it and find something new to try. This pasta recipe looked yummy and I had all the ingredients on hand. I was able to use a fresh tomato and basil from my garden and it turned out soooo good! The absolute perfect summer pasta dish. Super easy and fabulously delish!!

Summer Pasta (adpated from Better Homes and Gardens July 09)
10 oz dried linguini, cooked according to package instructions
2 T oil
4 cloves minced garlic
2/3 cup fresh basil, chopped (plus additional for garnish, if desired)
3 small fresh tomatoes, chopped small (I made mine into very petite dice as my hubby only likes tomatoes if they are very small in cooked dishes)
1/2 cup faux chicken or veg broth
1 t sugar

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden - don't overcook. Add tomatoes and basil adn cook 2 min. Add broth and sugar and cook until tomatoes soften. Season with sea salt and pepper. Toss sauce with pasta, sprinkle with extra chopped basil and serve.
We have recently discovered that through the acquiring of new tastes or the correct pairing of ingredients - probably a combination of both - that we like tempeh. If cooked properly, its nutty flavor and nice consistency are actually quite delicious (the first couple of times I made it, we weren't all that impressed and I didn't buy any for several months). I saw a recipe for tempeh pastries that had a Jamaican spice flare. Unfortunately, they weren't really all that delicious. They were fine - edible for sure - just not incredible. Dipped in chutney, they are ok. I was kind of disappointed - thus my reasoning for not taking the time to post the recipe.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Meat and Cheese" Enchiladas

This really isn't the greatest picture...sorry. From looking at my blog, you know photography isn't my strong point :-) However, despite the not-so-good picture, these enchiladas turned out super yummy, the best vegan ones I have made. AND my hubby said he likes them better than the traditional family recipe I used to make that had actual meat and cheese in them - wow! The last time I made enchilada sauce, I froze some as the recipe makes a ton. As you saw from a couple days ago, I made Nutty Cheese, so I had that sitting in my fridge waiting to be used in something delicious. I had whole wheat flour tortillas and some Lightlife Smart Ground handy as well. These ingredients all made for a ridiculously easy meal and thankfully it turned out fabulous! I served the enchiladas with my Cumin Dusted Sweet Potato Coins and a big salad. I have listed all the recipes involved in this meal - you can use store-bought enchilada sauce if you want to speed up the process but this sauce really is the best I have ever made. You can also substitute homemade ground seitan for the Smart Ground - it will work just as well.

"Meat and Cheese" Enchiladas
6 whole wheat tortillas
1/4 of a recipe of Nutty Cheese, Mexican style
2 cups enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups ground meat substitute

In a skillet, heat 3 t oil. Add meat sub. Cook until browned. Season with 2 t cumin, 1 t garlic powder, 2 T chili powder, and 3/4 t salt to taste. Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Take one tortilla at a time and fill with meat sub and nutty cheese. Roll up and place in pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Save some nutty cheese for the topping. Top rolled enchiladas with sauce and remaining nutty cheese. Bake at 400 for 15-20 min or until sauce is bubbling.

Nutty Cheese (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
1 oz agar agar powder
2 cups water
2 cups raw cashews, finely ground into powder
3 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 t fine sea salt
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
Prepare loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray. Place the agar agar in water and bring to full boil. Boil for 5 min. Stir often to prevent boiling over. Place remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the water-agar mixture and whisk until creamy and smooth. Quickly pour into oiled loaf pan and refrigerate until set.

Enchilada Sauce (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
¼ cup chili powder
1 T paprika
1 t garlic powder
1 t cumin
¼ t chipotle chili powder
3 T canola oil
2 T flour
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 ½ cups veg broth

In a saucepan, heat oil. Add flour to form paste. Add spices. Add tomato sauce and broth. Stir to combine and create a smooth silky sauce. Simmer for 15 min, covered.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Farmers Market Bounty...Amazing Potatoes...Tofu Tikka Masala

I found a fun cookbook at the library recently and this was the first recipe I tried. The spice mixture on the tofu looked delicious but upon looking at the sauce ingredients, I wasn't sure it would have much flavor. I had already started the recipe though and proceeded with it. Thankfully, it turned out very yummy. In this first picture, you will also see the cauliflower I got from the farmers market - it was kind of funny looking, with a purple hue but it was incredibly delicious! (recipe to come)

Tofu Tikka Masala (adapted from Taste of the East)
1 14oz package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 16 pieces (strips or cubes)
1 1/4 t cumin
3/4 t chili powder
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
1 garlic clove pressed
1 t peeled and minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup vegan yogurt (I didn't have any so I subbed 1/2 cup soymilk mixed with 1 t cider vinegar)
Combine all ingredients in a bag and marinate for 30 min- however long you want! Heat oven to 375 and bake tofu for 15 min. In a saucepan, combine following ingredients and heat thoroughly:

3/4 cup soy creamer
1 1/2 T tomato paste
1 t lemon juice
pinch of cardamom and cinnamon
1/4 t salt
3 T minced fresh cilantro

Remove tofu from oven and place in pan of sauce. Heat through. Serve over rice.

I whipped up some Nutty Cheese the other day - making one batch a Mexican flavor with cumin and fresh cilantro from my garden and one batch an Italian flavor with fresh basil from my mom's garden. I haven't made this recipe for quite a while so it will be fun to experiment with it in some new recipes.

Nutty Cheese (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
1 oz agar agar powder
2 cups water
2 cups raw cashews, finely ground into powder
3 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 t fine sea salt
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
Prepare loaf pan by spraying with cooking spray. Place the agar agar in water and bring to full boil. Boil for 5 min. Stir often to prevent boiling over. Place remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the water-agar mixture and whisk until creamy and smooth. Quickly pour into oiled loaf pan and refrigerate until set.

The boys and I headed to one of the local farmers markets this past Saturday and we hit the jackpot on veggies! I got some of the most amazing deals ever!! I spent a whopping $5.50 and got 2 zucchinis, 3 huge cucumbers, about 3 lbs of green beans, a small head of cauliflower, a purple cabbage, and an aloe vera plant! I was thrilled. The green beans weren't pretty and the farmer told me I would really have to pick through them and clean them and that he would give me a good price because they weren't a great crop. He gave me 3 boxes for a dollar! I jumped at the chance, figuring that even if I had to throw out half of them, it was still a great price. Turned out that I threw away maybe 5 or 6 out of the whole bunch - I roasted them and they were delicious!

My parents live in a little town called Marshall - they love living in a small town, which is something I just don't get! I love to visit them there and we always have a blast doing "small town" things like walking to the square, picking peaches in a friend's orchard, or observing the fact that wherever they go, they run into fifteen people they know! LOL. Ok, so maybe that's an exaggeration! We were out visiting them on July 4th and my mom shared some of the bounty she had received from friends in their church - freshly dug potatoes from the garden of these friends! They were all different sizes, mostly small, covered with dirt - truly, right from the ground. I was so excited to try them out. My mom suggested they would be delicious boiled up with some salt, pepper, and butter - simple flavor so as not to mask their fresh deliciousness! I did just that the other day, along with several other taste delights. I scrubbed those beautiful potatoes, then boiled them in salted water. Next I tossed them with sea salt, fresh parsley from my mom's garden, and some cracked pepper and a bit of vegan butter. I must admit, these were the most amazing potatoes I have ever sunk my teeth into. They were creamy and delicious - wow! Along with the potatoes, I made Chili Lime Corn and Tofu (that I made a few weeks ago), roasted green beans (from the farmers mkt), and crispy zucchini sticks which turned out fabulous - a made-up recipe I came up with. A wonderful meal if I do say so myself! So, thank you David and Jackie, for sharing your delicious potatoes with my parents and thank you Mom for passing some along to us!!

Crispy Zucchini Sticks
2 zucchini of yellow summer squash, cut into sticks
1 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 t sea salt
1 t pepper
1 t garlic powder
1/2 cup soy milk
1 t dijon mustard
1 T flax meal

Combine cornmeal and spices in one bowl. In another bowl, combine soy milk, mustard and flax. Dip each stick in milk mixture and then in cornmeal mixture. Place sticks on greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 15 min or until browned. Serve with marinara sauce

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack
I was going to try a recipe for herbed scalloped potatoes and at last minute decided to do something fast and easy. I made up the recipe and it was yummola! I layered sliced russet potatoes in a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and then sprinkled with coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper, basil, rosemary, paprika, and garlic powder. Then I baked them at 425 fr about 45 minutes. They were crisp and very flavorful!

My thrown-together salad today - after discovering I had no leftovers for lunch!

Tamale Fixings

Tamale Fixings
Plain pintos (for Keith), pintos, corn and onions; corn, jalepenos and Daiya; mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and chard

Making these was a bit time-consuming but kinda fun! They didn't turn out as good as I had hoped - the outer tamale part (not the filling) just wasn't as flavorful as tamales I have had in restaurants. I have another recipe I will try for the dough next time. Tamales are one of my favorite foods so I won't give up on this one!

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes
I modified one of my favorite pancake recipes to make it vegan and then I added blueberries. Turned out quite yummy. Soymilk sours and thickens well - very similar to buttermilk. I have been really impressed with it's ability to substitute for real buttermilk.

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

Egg replacement for 1 egg
1 1/4 cups soured soy milk (put 2 T vinegar into a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add enough soy milk to equal 1 1/4 cups)
2 T canola oil
1 cup flour (I wouldn't recommend whole wheat or whole wheat pastry - it really takes away from the fluffiness of these pancakes)
1 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
Blueberries, optional

Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Heat griddle pour about 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Sprinkle blueberries on pancakes after ladling onto griddle. Cook just until golden on both sides.

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein
Overall, this was fabulous! However, I don't think the seitan added much so I would just leave it out next time. The lo mein also needed about double the sauce so I would simply do that next time for added flavor. This was especially spicy and yummy with some Sriracha drizzled on top. I made our favorite veg egg rolls to go with this and it was truly a Chinese treat!!

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

I really did my own thing for this recipe so I am just going to outline the instructions and include the sauce recipe. I heated oil in a large skillet and added 3 minced cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of half-moon cut onions (I was out of green onions but next time I would use green onions as I like them a lot in Chinese food) and about 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots. After about 5-6 minutes, I added about 1/4 lb of whole green beans. I cooked these veggies until tender. Meanwhile, I cooked a 16oz package of chow mein noodles. Once the veggie mixture was cooked, I poured the sauce on the veggies, heated through and tossed with the noodles. Next time I would double the amount of sauce and have adjusted amounts below to reflect double recipe.

Sauce (Source:Adaptable Feast)
3 T soy sauce
3 T rice wine (I used 3 T rice vinegar and 1 t sugar as I didn't have any rice wine)
3 t sugar
4 T black bean garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients and toss with above mixture.

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth
Pretty yummy. I found that steaming the wontons worked much better than the recipe suggestion to boil them. The broth was very mild and a bit too mellow for us. Still pretty yummy though. I added extra veggies to the wontons and scallion to the broth. The seasoning in the wonton filling was quite tasty!

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth (Source: Vegan Yum Yum)

(As usual, I modified several things so it's not exactly the recipe in Vegan Yum Yum!)

1 cup chopped broccoli
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1 T oil
1 t fresh ginger, minced
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1/2 t hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 t hot Chinese mustard
2 T plus 1 t soy sauce
4 cups water ( I think this might have been more flavorful had I used vegetable broth or faux chicken broth???)
6 slices fresh ginger
1 T mirin (I used a splash of cooking wine as I didn't have mirin)
1 1/2 t sugar
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
16 wonton skins

For filling: Heat oil in skillet and add broccoli, ginger, garlic, carrot, onion and cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add chili sauce, mustard, 1 t soy sauce and stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make wontons, take one skin and place in diamond shape. Fill with 1-2 t filling. Fold in half to make a triangle and moisten edges with water and pinch sides to seal. Set triangle in front of you with point up and take the 2 side points and bring them together in front to cross. Set aside and prepare remaining wontons. When finished, place wontons in a steamer basket and steam over pot of boiling water until translucent.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine remaining ingredients (except wontons) and simmer 10-15 min.

Place 3-4 wontons in bowl and ladle broth over wontons. Serve.