Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Carved by my husband and two wonderful children. :)

I cleaned the seeds, seasoned, and roasted them. Fun for everyone, and the seeds turned out pretty good too.

For anyone curious, I tossed the seeds with 1 tablespoon melted earth balance, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp garlic salt. Roasted the seeds at 300 degrees for 30 minutes stirring halfway through cooking time.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Local Pizzeria added some Vegan

Veggie loaded Pizza
items to the menu. This is what was left of our small pizza.  It was just enough Daiya to hold the vegetables to the crust.  Delicious.

I have been trying to get our local pizza places to offer vegan pizzas for more than a year and was finally able to find one that was willing to give it a try.  Thank you, 575 Pizzeria!  We now have at least one place we can go out to eat in this town.  They haven't altered their menu, yet.  If you go in just ask for vegan cheese instead of their regular. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Banana Walnut Muffins

Banana Walnut Muffins
We had 4 very ripe bananas and everyone has been craving something sweet.  A new recipe was called for.  The scent wafting from the oven so delicious, reminding me of banana breads from childhood.  Could these muffins possibly measure up?  Yes, I believe they do.

1/2 cup Coconut Sugar
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp Flax Meal combined with 3 Tbsp Warm Water)
1/2 cup Light Olive Oil
3-4 Very Ripe Bananas (mashed)
1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Spelt Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/3 cup Walnuts (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Use cupcake liners or grease muffin tin.  Mix sugar, oil, and flax mixture until combined.  Stir in mashed bananas until smooth.  In separate bowl, combine flours, salt, and baking soda.  Add wet ingredients to dry.  Mix until smooth.  Stir in walnuts.  Spoon batter into muffin tin.  Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.  Remove muffins to wire rack to cool.  Eat warm or cool completely and store in airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Mitch Tofu Sandwich

The Mitch Tofu Sandwich with Potato Salad

This is another offering from Spiral Diner and Bakery in Fort Worth. You don't have to worry about making sure your food isn't cross-contaminated, because everything is vegan. I loved it. My husband was equally happy with his "Ate" Layer Burrito. VegBoy was happy with his nachos and grilled cheeze and VegGirl rounded out the group with her toast with raspberry compote and vegan sausage.

If you live close to Fort Worth it is definitely worth the drive. Don't forget to grab a slice of cake for dessert. (If you aren't allergic to almonds.) If you are allergic refer to my birthday cake post and custom order your dessert.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My birthday..

Chocolate Cake from Spiral Diner

We were in the Dallas/Fort Worth area for appointments and visiting with friends. I called ahead to order a cake so that I wouldn't have to figure out a way to transport a homemade cake without ruining it or eating it in the two days we would be there before my birthday. The cake was delicious and enjoyed with friends. We were very happy to be able to have a cake made with fair trade organic chocolate. We had to special order because the frosting is usually made with almond milk, but they were more than happy to substitute soy milk in the frosting and keep it almond-free.

So, if you are ever in the area on your birthday or just a day when you need cake, give them a call. Check out the website. Their menu is extensive and I will be posting a picture of the meal I ate there later this week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Road trip muffins

Peanut Butter Cranberry Muffin

We had to take a 7 hour drive. No convenient vegan places to stop along the way. The kids don't like sandwiches. This muffin would help keep their bellies full. The addition of rice protein powder would help give these more nutritional punch while my usual mix of flours ensures familiar texture and taste. You can substitute whichever nut butter you have on hand if you don't like peanut butter. I am allergic to almonds, but almond, cashew, or sunflower seed butter should be fine. You might even try tahini. Let me know how it works out.

Other snacks were muffin sized mushroom onion tofu quiches, my own version of Crispix Mix, home roasted sunflower seeds, and cashews. We took along the individual drink boxes of So Delicious Chocolate Coconut Milk and lots of water. Fruit or juice at least would be available along the way.

3 Tbsp Warm Water
1 Tbsp Flax Meal
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
1/4 cup Demerara Sugar
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
1/4 cup Unsweetened Rice Protein Powder
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
3/4 cup Spelt Flour
3/4 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2/3 cup Dried Cranberries (Blueberries would be even better)

Whisk together the water, flax, peanut butter, sugar, coconut milk, oil, and protein powder. In separate bowl combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Stir wet ingredients into dry until well combine. Add dried fruit and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Spoon into greased muffin tin. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Take muffins out of tin and allow to cool on wire rack. Store in air tight container after cooled completely for road trips or eat while warm in the comfort of your home.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vegan Tex-Mex

Black Bean Enchiladas with Vegan Queso Sauce and Spanish Rice

This recipe does require some prep work. I used a one pound bag of dried black beans and made beans my usual way with a little vegetable bouillon, lightly seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic, and salt. Then I turned the beans into Chili by draining the liquid, sauteing onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Adding the drained black beans, and tomatoes, green chile peppers and corn. So far that was two meals, but I wanted to stretch it a little further. I diced some fresh zucchini. Put the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle salt over it to drain off the excess liquid. Saute the zucchini with minced onion, garlic, and pepper. Add the chili and you have an excellent enchilada filling.

For a sauce I used the following

2 cups Vegan Mushroom Broth
1/2 cups Water
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Tbsp Earth Balance Margarine (soy free if you are allergic to soy or just double the Olive Oil)
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Flour
1 cup Red Star Nutritional Yeast

In a large spouted bowl or very large liquid measuring cup combine broth, water, coconut milk, and soy sauce. In a small bowl have oregano, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper measured and waiting. Have the flour and nutritional yeast measured and separate from everything else.
In a large saucepan heat oil and margarine over medium heat. Add flour and stir continuously to prevent lumps. Let the mixture bubble while stirring for about a minute, then add liquid and spices. Continue stirring until smooth and thickened. Add nutritional yeast continue stirring until mixture is smooth and thickened like a gravy. You can use the sauce immediately or refrigerate for later use.

Making the corn tortillas is very easy as long as you have a tortilla press and a cast iron griddle.

2 cups Masa Harina
1&1/4 cup Warm Water
1/2 tsp Salt

Stir water into the masa and salt. Knead dough with hands for about 2 minutes. Divide dough into 12 balls. Cover with damp towel. Bring griddle up to temperature. If a cool drop of water dances when dropped on the griddle it is ready. Press tortilla and place on griddle. Cook 1 minute on each side and place in a towel lined tortilla warmer. Repeat until all tortillas are waiting in the warmer.

For enchiladas fill tortillas with black bean and zucchini mixture. Top with queso sauce. You can heat on plates or roll all the tortillas with filling topping with queso, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until warm and bubbling. If you are having trouble rolling the enchiladas, you can put a layer of queso on the bottom of a casserole pan, place a single layer of tortillas over the sauce, pour filling over the tortillas, layer remaining tortillas, and finish with a layer of queso sauce. Bake at the same temperature and for the same length of time. As a casserole or as enchiladas it is still delicious. I will post the Spanish Rice recipe later.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Sometimes you just need the comfort of a warm bowl of oatmeal. This is made special by the addition of spiced Apple Cider. VegDad makes spiced cider a few times a year and after we are tired of drinking cider, I love to use the leftover for making oatmeal, apple butter, apple cakes, apple pies, etc.


2 cups Water
2 cups Spiced Apple Cider
1 cup John McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal
1 Granny Smith Apple, Diced
1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces

Pour water and cider into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Sprinkle in oats while stirring and lower temperature to medium. Stir in apple and nuts. Cook, stirring occasionally lowering temperature as needed to maintain a simmer, 30-35 minutes. Add a small amount of agave or demerara if desired.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vegan Meat Loaf, known by my kids as veat loaf..

If you are like me, you always have a small amount of beans or chickpeas leftover after your cornbread is gone. It isn't enough to be worth making another batch of cornbread, but you don't want to waste it. This recipe is a good way to get rid of those leftovers while enjoying the nostalgic flavors of meatloaf without the actual meat. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and gravy, if desired. VegDad likes his loaf served over mashed potatoes, biscuits, corn and green beans with gravy over the top.

I call it Neat Loaf. :)

Whatever you decide to call it, I hope you will try this for dinner.


1/2 cup Cashews
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
1 Large Carrot, peeled and grated
1 Celery Stalk, diced
1 cup Mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups Mixed Cooked Beans (I used Chickpeas, Black-eyed Peas, and Pinto Beans)
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 to 1/2 cup tomato sauce, as needed
1 heaping Tbsp flax seed meal
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
2 TB ketchup
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Marinara Sauce


Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the cashews into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté vegetables in the olive oil until tender. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more flax seed meal and rice as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan, spread marinara sauce over loaf, and bake for 1 hour, or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

We had a visitor over the weekend. Jason loves peanut butter, so VegDad suggested I let him try the peanut butter ice cream I had made last month. I got the ingredients together and put the ice cream base in the refrigerator Friday night, so when he arrived on Saturday I would be ready to make the ice cream. He liked the ice cream and asked me to post the recipe, so here it is.

Modified from the Peanut Butter Ice Cream Recipe in Lick it! by Cathe Olson.

1 can (14 oz) Full Fat Coconut Milk *
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk, Unsweetened
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Demerara Sugar or Agave Syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

I prefer making this right before I am going to serve it while the ice cream is still like soft serve. If you have more than you need, put the remainder in a freezer container and freeze. When you pull the ice cream out of the freezer, you will have to let it soften before you can scoop.

* I use Native Forest Unsweetened Organic Coconut Milk Classic

I have used this ice cream as the filling in carob chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. It was delicious. This would also be good with swirls of your favorite vegan fudge or caramel sauce.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Waffles with coconut cream and fresh cherries


I like having waffles for breakfast on special occasions. This is a recipe for a double batch of waffles. You can put half or more of these in the freezer, so they are ready and waiting for your next special day. The coconut cream will not last that long, but you can use it to top desserts, vegan sundaes, or coffee. My can of coconut milk didn't separate so I could only whisk it to soft peaks. It was still tasty, even if it wasn't quite as pretty. You can replace half of the oil in this recipe with mashed banana, pureed pumpkin, or applesauce. My kids need the extra fat and calories so I just use the oils most of the time.


3/4 cup Warm Water
1/4 cup Flax Meal
2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1&1/3 cups Spelt Flour
2/3 cup Coconut Flour
8 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3&3/4 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk, Unsweetened
1/2 cup Demerara Sugar
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Light Olive Oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Pecan Pieces

Stir together the warm water and flax meal and set aside to let gel. In a large mixing bowl combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Add demerara sugar into the flax mixture and stir until combined. Add oils and stir again. Measure coconut milk and add to dry ingredients along with flax mixture and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Fold in shredded coconut and pecans. Add dried fruit if desired. Cook on preheated waffle iron according to manufacturers suggestions.

While your waffles are cooking you can grab a can of coconut milk out of the refrigerator and make a whipped coconut cream topping if you like.

If the Cream has separated to the top of the can carefully spoon the cream into a cool glass bowl. Whisk with vegan powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peak or stiff peaks depending on which you prefer and whether your coconut milk was separated. I used 1/4 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla. I would not have needed as much if the cream had separated, if you had better luck with that, use half the amount of sugar and taste to see if it needs more.

Top waffle with coconut cream and fresh fruit of choice and savor your special day.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chickpea Potato Curry

Chickpea Potato Curry with Rice

Everyone agreed this was better after an addition of raisins. I will try to make it again with raisins and naan bread on the side. VegDad was very impressed with the curry. This recipe might not be as child friendly as my others, my kids were not all that thrilled with the curry experience although, the raisins made it slightly more palatable for them.

Chickpea Potato Curry

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Small Onion (diced)
2 cups Chickpeas (cooked & drained)
2 Medium Potatoes (diced)
8 oz. lite coconut milk
1/2 cup sweet peas
1/2 Tbsp Hot Madras Curry Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/8 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 cup raisins

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until golden in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chickpeas, potatoes, coconut milk, peas, and seasonings. Simmer stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add raisins and serve over rice or with naan or chapatis.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another delicious muffin

Pineapple Pecan Cream Cheese Muffin

I had frozen pineapple, pecan, and partial containers of vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese. I could not waste these precious ingredients, so the idea for these muffins was born out of my efforts to utilize every scrap of food. I'm okay with that since it can lead to the utter deliciousness that is these muffins. My children devoured their muffins in minutes.


1 cup Unbleached All Purpose or White Wheat Flour
2/3 cup Spelt Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
1/8 cup Sour Cream Substitute or Plain Vegan Yogurt
1/8 cup Cream Cheese Substitute
1/3 cup Demerara Sugar
1 cup + 2 Tbsp So Delicious Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Pineapple Chunks cut into small pieces
1/3 cup Pecan Pieces

Grease or spray muffin tin with oil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Measure flours, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized mixing bowl. Set aside. Measure sour cream substitute or yogurt and cream cheese into a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a fork. In liquid measuring cup combine coconut milk, sugar, oil, and vanilla.
Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients stir together, then add cream cheese mixture, stir until combined. Stir in pineapple and pecans. Spoon into muffin tin. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tofu strips over fried rice..

Tofu Strips

Now this recipe takes serious commitment and planning.  I wasn't even going to post it.  My husband and children insisted that the effort was totally worth waiting three days for the tofu to be ready.  I know what you are thinking, "She has lost her mind if she thinks I know what we are having three days ahead of time."  Don't worry, it doesn't have to bee that organized.  If you know at some point during the week you are going to want fried rice, you can have the tofu already pressed and in the freezer, or thawing in the refrigerator, or soaking in the marinade.  See, totally uncomplicated.  This tofu is completely worth the effort.

14 oz Block of Firm Tofu (Not Silken)

1/8 cup Toasted Sesame Oil
1/8 cup Soy Sauce
1/8 cup Lemon Juice
2 tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce

First, you press all the liquid out of the tofu with a tofu press.  Leave tofu in the press in your refrigerator for one day.  Pour off the liquid and move tofu into a freezer bag.  Place in freezer for at least one day, but should be fine for up to a week.  Thaw in refrigerator for one day.  Press again for two hours, pour off liquid.  Pour marinade ingredients over tofu and allow to marinate for four hours in the refrigerator.  When ready to cook pour excess marinade into a bowl to use when sauteing vegetables and rice.  Cut tofu into strips.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes flip all the strips and bake for another 15 minutes.  Serve over veggies and rice.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Paula Deen's Cheese Biscuits (Vegan style)

Vegan Cheddar Biscuits

Before I was vegan I was loved cheddar biscuits, I finally decided to try Daiya Shreds Cheddar Style Vegan Cheese. My family and I loved the results.  These biscuits would go nicely with the potato crusted frittata or with mashed potatoes, gravy, and what my kids call veat loaf.

I skipped the drenching the biscuits in butter/Earth Balance.  In my opinion, they are tasty enough without the extra fat.  If you like yours buttery, by all means melt a tablespoon or two of Earth Balance margarine to brush over them.

Vegan Cheddar Biscuits

1 cup Unbleached All Purpose or White Wheat Flour
1 cup Spelt Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Demerara Sugar
A Few Grinds of Fresh Black Pepper
1/3 cup Non-Hydrogenated Shortening
1/2 cup Daiya Shreds Cheddar Style
1 Tbsp. Lime Juice
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk or Non Dairy Milk of Choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a medium sized cookie sheet and set aside.  In a glass measuring cup, stir together lime juice and coconut milk.  In a large mixing bowl combine flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, and pepper.  Cut in shortening with fork or pastry blender.  When the flour and shortening mixture resembles the texture of bread crumbs.  Stir in cheddar shreds, then stir in coconut milk until thoroughly moistened.  Spoon biscuits onto the cookie sheet.  Brush with margarine if desired.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Makes 8 biscuits.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Muffins, again. :)

Naturally Orange flavored Coconut Pecan Muffins

I don't know what it is exactly, but the last few days recipes have just been popping into my brain. I have been coming up with something new every day.

It has been so hot here that I have been doing most, if not all of my baking at night. These muffins were the result of a 1 AM brainstorm.  My family loves them and has deemed this recipe blog worthy.  High praise, indeed.  I hope that you will like them as much as we do.

Orange flavored Coconut Pecan Muffins

3/8 cup Warm Water mixed with 1/8 cup of Flax Meal
1/3 cup Demerara Sugar
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened (or Non Dairy Milk of Choice)
1/3 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Extra Light Olive Oil (or Canola Oil)
1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour (or White Wheat)
2/3 cup Spelt Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/2 cup Pecan Pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together the warm water and flax meal and allow to gel while you gather the other ingredients.  Stir in demerara, then coconut milk, orange juice, and oil.  Set aside, and measure flours, baking powder, salt, coconut, and pecans into a medium sized mixing bowl.  Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until well combined.  Spoon into lightly oiled muffin tins.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are nicely browned and set in the middle.  Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool, then eat or store in an airtight container.  This recipe should make 12 normal sized muffins.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Potato Crusted Frittata

Potato Crusted Frittata

Last night I decided to alter my tofu scramble slightly and add a shredded potato crust to make a frittata.  I loved the results as did my husband, the children were only slightly less receptive due to the visible chunks of vegetables.  They did both enjoy the flavor after overcoming their initial reluctance to try it.

This is definitely a recipe that would work equally well with a salad for a light dinner or with fruit for a satisfying breakfast.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as we have.  Without further ado here is the recipe.

Crust Recipe

2 Medium Potatoes
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Light Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare an 8x8 casserole dish with Light Olive Oil.  Thoroughly wash potatoes.  Shred potatoes.  Place shredded potatoes into a colander in the sink.  Sprinkle with Kosher Salt.  After a few minutes squeeze liquid from the shredded potatoes and rinse.  Squeeze again and move shreds into prepared pan.  Salt and pepper to taste and gently turn the shreds until all are seasoned and lightly coated with oil.  Press shreds into pan to form a crust.  Bake 20-30 minutes until crust starts to turn brown around the edges.  Set aside to cool while you saute the vegetables and puree the filling.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Frittata Filling

1 Block of Firm Silken Tofu (Well drained)
1/3 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
4 Tbsp. Corn Starch
2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp. Tumeric
1/4 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. Light Olive Oil
3 Carrots (peeled and chopped
2 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
1 Small Onion (diced)
1/4 of a Large Bell Pepper (diced)
1/3 cup Black Olives (sliced)
1 cup leftover rice

The carrots, garlic and 1/3 of the chopped onion will need to be sauteed separately from the bell pepper and remaining 2/3 onion that you will be layering on to the crust.

Add 2 Tablespoons of Light Olive Oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  Let the oil warm up before adding the diced bell pepper and 2/3 of the diced onion.  Saute until veggies soften slightly, then remove the bell pepper and onion to the casserole dish on top of the potato crust.  Sprinkle the slices of black olive over that.

Saute carrots, garlic, and remaining onion until soft.  Allow to cool slightly before placing in food processor or blender with tofu,  coconut milk, corn starch, nutritional yeast and seasonings.  Pulse until smooth add rice and pulse briefly to incorporate.  Pour into waiting casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set in the middle.  Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cool, Creamy, and Delicious

Vegan Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

My husband has been craving the Cherry Cream Cheese Pie he remembers from the summers before we went vegan. Our kids are less picky just wanted something sweet and cool. Today, I realized I was up to the task with a little help from Mama Pea with a vegan version of sweetened condensed milk. It looks like the old pie, it smells like the old pie, and yes, it tastes like the old pie. You can't see it, but I am definitely doing a victory dance here. As always, my non-dairy milk of choice for the sweetened condensed is So Delicious Coconut Milk. You are lucky I was able to get a camera shot of this it is disappearing fast.

Next time, I might try adding another 4 oz of Cream Cheese substitute or using full fat canned coconut milk instead of So Delicious for the non dairy sweetened condensed milk to try for a thicker consistency, but the taste was awesome, as is.  Seriously, you should try it right now.

Vegan Cherry Cream Cheese Pie

1 pkg. Extra Firm Silken Tofu (well-drained)
8 oz. Vegan Cream Cheese Substitute
1 batch Mama Pea's Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute (Found here)
1/3 c. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (9 oz)
1 can Low Sugar Cherry Pie Filling

Combine first 5 ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth. Pour into crust. Chill for 3 hours. Top with pie filling. Chill until set.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

VegGirl's Birthday cake..

was fruity and fun.  I used Pomegranate-Cherry Juice for the liquid.  The cake was frosted with a love cherry frosting, made by cooking down a half cup of frozen cherries and using the liquid to flavor and tint the vegan butter cream frosting.  Not as popular as the orange cake, although the frosting was a big hit with the birthday girl.  I am thinking I will use straight cherry juice or a cranberry raspberry juice next time.

Cherry Pomegranate Cake
2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 cups Pomegranate-Cherry Juice
2 cups Demerara Sugar
2/3 cup Canola Oil
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Lime Juice

Grease and flour 9x13 pan.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt.  In separate bowl stir together demerara sugar, juices, oil, and vinegar.  Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk to combine.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.  Allow to cool completely before frosting or sprinkling with powdered sugar.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

No, it isn't scrambled eggs..

Tofu Scramble

but it was delicious.  Everyone cleaned their plates and that is a definite vote in favor of keeping this recipe.  Next time, I might try making it the night before and leaving it in the refrigerator to cook the next morning.  The kids were completely unaware of the pureed vegetables hidden in the tofu.  The rice gives the texture and appearance of scrambled egg without the cholesterol or cruelty.

If your kids don't object to visible vegetables some diced peppers, onions, and tomatoes would be a tasty and nutritious addition to the scramble.

Tofu Scramble
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Onion (diced)
2 Carrots (thinly sliced)
12 oz Block of Firm Silken Tofu (drained, preferably with a Tofu Xpress)
1/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (Unsweetened)
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 1/2 cups Cooked Rice

In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion and carrot in olive oil until softened.  After vegetables are softened, pour vegetables and remaining ingredients except rice into a blender or food processor.  Blend or process until smooth.  Pour tofu mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl and combine with rice.  Stir until rice is completely coated.
Pour or spray oil onto a small nonstick skillet, place on burner set at low medium heat.  Scoop approximately 1/6 of mixture into the skillet, and press with spoon or spatula to smooth.  Allow to cook for 2 minutes, then turn mixture over in pan and begin stirring like scrambled eggs.  Cook for another 3 minutes stirring occasionally.  Scoop onto plate and serve warm with toast or biscuit and fruit salad or orange juice.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pretzel Buns, I do love them.

Pretzel Buns

I love bread, can't get through a day without it.  I try to make it healthier, by using spelt flour, and demerara sugar instead of the more refined sugars. This recipe is highly addictive, so try not to make it too often.

Pretzel Buns adapted from this recipe
SERVES 12 , 1 dozen pretzel rolls

    * 1 1/3 cups Warm Water
    * 2 tablespoons warm So Delicious Coconut Milk
    * 2 1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
    * 1/3 cup Demerara Sugar
    * 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Spread, melted
    * 2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
    * 2 cups Spelt Flour
    * Kosher Salt or Pretzel Salt
    * 2 quarts Cold Water
    * 1/2 cup Baking Soda

   1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix a 1/3 cup of the warm water with the yeast and let stand until foamy.
   2. Add the remaining cup of warm water along with milk, sugar & melted butter and swirl to dissolve the sugar. Mix until a nice pliable ball of dough is formed.  Add more flour if necessary.
   3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured table and knead for 2 minutes. Roll into a 2 foot long log and cut into 12 even pieces. Cover dough with plastic wrap and a damp cloth, let sit for 10 minutes.
   4. Pat dough into rolls or buns and arrange on a lightly floured surface about an inch apart and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes.
   5. Preheat the oven to 425°. Place baking parchment paper onto 2 baking sheets.
   6. In a large stockpot, bring the cold water to a rolling boil and add baking soda.
   7. Drop two rolls into the boiling water and boil for no more than 30 seconds, turning once. Carefully remove with slotted spoon or spatula and hold above pot and let drain. Sprinkle with salt. Repeat  until all dough has been boiled and salted.
   8. Arrange rolls on the parchment covered baking sheets and bake on the upper and middle racks of the oven for about 8-10 minutes, or until browned all over; shift pans from top to bottom and back to front halfway through, for even baking.
   9. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a rack.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Another Good Muffin day..

I like to give the kids a good snack and sometimes muffins just fit the mood.  These are sure to please and I hope you will like them as much as we do.

Lime and Coconut Muffins
yields 12 muffins
1 cup All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Spelt Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/3 cup Tofutti Sour Cream Substitute or Plain Non Dairy Yogurt
2/3-3/4 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk (until it is the right consistency)
2/3 Demerara sugar
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Lime Juice
1 tsp Vanilla
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper liners.
Combine flours, baking powder, salt and coconut in a large bowl, using a whisk to blend together.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream substitute, coconut milk, sugar, canola oil, lime juice and vanilla. Pour into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups.
Cook in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wraps, Veggie Tacos, and Burritos, oh my..

Teff Flour Tortillas

Tortillas.  I vary my recipe depending on what flour I have on hand.  This time I had run out of spelt and forgotten to add it to the grocery list.  I did have Teff flour.  Dare I try it? :) You know me,  I had to.  My kids and husband loved them and wanted another batch the next day.

1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 cup Teff Flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 cup Nonhydrogenated Vegetable Shortening
2/3 cup Warm Water

In a large mixing bowl stir together flours, salt, and baking powder. Add shortening and cut in with a pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles sand.  Pour in water and stir together with fingers to form a stiff dough.  Knead for a minute to form a smooth ball.

Divide dough into 8 pieces, roll into balls, and let rest for 10 minutes.  Dust counter with flour and roll out the dough into very thin circles with a rolling pin.

Heat cast iron griddle over medium heat while rolling out tortillas. 

Place rolled dough onto griddle and cook until bubbles start to puff up in the dough and edges look dry.  Flip and grill another 1-2 minutes.  Place cooked tortilla in a towel lined tortilla warmer.  Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The kids wanted something different..

Cherry Muffins
this morning. I had been wanting to experiment with creating a vegan muffin recipe, it was a win = win scenario.
I worried that they wouldn't be perfect especially when we got the phone call that my father-in-law was coming over to see the kids as I was stirring in the cherries, just before putting the muffin batter in the muffin tin.  What would I do if they flopped?  :)  Luckily, the muffins came out beautifully.  More importantly both VegBoy and VegGirl voiced their approval.  So, before I forget the measurements I am posting the recipe.

Cherry Muffins
1/2 cup Frozen Pitted Cherries (cut into quarters and leave in a colander while you prep the other ingredients)
1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Spelt Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 cup Non Dairy Milk
1/4 cup Non Dairy Sour Cream substitute or Non Dairy Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/3 cup Demerara Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease muffin tin and set aside.  Sift flours, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl.  In liquid measuring cup whisk together non dairy milk, non dairy sour cream, oil, and vanilla.  Measure demerara sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl, pour liquid ingredients over sugar and whisk to combine.  Stir in dry ingredients, adding a little more non dairy milk if mixture is too dry.  Stir in cherries.   Spoon into prepared muffin cups and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let muffins cool slightly then remove from tins to wire rack.      VegGirl insists these are best warm with a cold glass of orange juice on the side.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We have a winner...

My son wants the orange cake with blueberry frosting for his birthday party.  It was very tasty and I will probably try using cranberry juice, cherry juice, pomegranate juice, pineapple juice, etc. in future cakes.  It should be just as tasty.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Latest attempt at a new cake recipe

VegBoy wanted me to make an orange cake with Blueberry Frosting.
I adapted the frosting by using Earth Balance instead of butter and organic vegan powdered sugar instead of regular powdered sugar. 

The cake I made as follows.

Orange Cake
1 & 3/4 cups  Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 & 1/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
2 cup Orange Juice
2 cup Demerara Sugar
2/3 cup Canola Oil
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Lemon Juice

Grease and flour 9x13 pan.  Preheat oven to 350 F.  Whisk together flours, baking soda, and salt.  In separate bowl stir together demerara sugar, orange juice, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice.  Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk to combine.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

First attempt on the cake recipe..

It didn't have enough coffee flavor in my opinion.  I do plan to test steaming coffee beans in the coconut milk then straining out the beans leaving the coffee infused coconut milk to add with the coffee to give it more flavor and if you want to try it that way, let me know if that solves the problem. :)  I will be posting a Chai Oatmeal cake recipe tomorrow or the next day. 

Coffee Flavored Cupcakes
 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Spelt Flour
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1 cup Demerara Sugar
1/2 cup Coffee
1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 cup Canola Oil

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease muffin or canoe tins; or Grease and Flour 8 inch square pan.  Sift together dry ingredients.  Stir sugar in to wet ingredients.  Add wet to dry and stir until combined.  Spoon into muffin tin or pour into cake pan.  Bake cupcakes 15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Bake canoe tin 17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Bake cake pan 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Countdown to VegBoy's 9th Birthday!!

He is wanting a new and different cake.  I will be posting at least two possibly three cake recipes in the next week.  Anyone feeling the need to try them with us and give feedback will be appreciated.  I will have to make enough on party day to feed about 20-30 adults and kids.  Most of these guests will be non-vegans forced or encouraged to eat vegan at the party.  I am disallowing them from bringing non-vegan food as I feel it would be cruel to make him watch them eat things that he can't have on his birthday.  For those who are thinking I should give him a break and let him have whatever he wants on his special day, he has seizures that are much more severe and frequent when he is exposed to even tiny amounts of animal proteins.  For whatever reason, his body can't process them at all. 

VegBoy has requested my vegan nacho casserole for his birthday meal, I will use homemade seitan instead of the TVP since my younger sister is allergic to soy.  I will have guacamole and salad, to go with the casserole.

So if my non-vegan friends and family want to try these recipes and let me know which ones are most successful I will appreciate your feedback. :)  For those who are interested, I have found this blend of flours give a depth of flavor to the vegan recipe and are more effective in satisfying the taste buds of non-vegans or those transitioning to vegan diets.  If you are in the mood try your own flour blend, you could substitute wheat for the spelt if you like.

My usual cake recipe for reference is modified from a Depression Era cake

1 1/2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Coconut Flour
5/8 cup Cocoa Powder (Fair Trade, USDA Organic)
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 cups Demerara Sugar
1 cup Warm Coffee
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2/3 cup Canola or Extra Light Olive Oil

Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan.  Preheat oven to 350. Sift flour blend, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda into a bowl; set aside.  In a separate bowl combine warm coffee with sugar, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla, and oil.  Stir until sugar begins to dissolve then add liquid ingredients into dry.  Stir with a spoon until all ingredients are combined.  Pour into prepared pan.  Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely and frost with favorite frosting or dust with vegan powdered sugar.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I needed a good bread, fast..

Vegan Garlic Biscuits

to go with my salad for lunch.  So I decided to get a little creative with my biscuit recipe.  We all like the biscuits so I decided to post the recipe before I forget the precise measurements of the ingredients I used.  Yes, I measured instead of randomly sprinkling ingredients until it looks and smells right.

Biscuits     Makes 12 biscuits
1 cup Spelt Flour
1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/8 tsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1/3 cup Vegan Shortening
3/4 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Prepare cookie sheet with a thin coating of oil.  Stir together dry ingredients add shortening.  Use pastry blender or fork to cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in coconut milk until dough forms.  Knead for a minute to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.  Flatten dough on counter fold into thirds.  Repeat.  Roll out dough and cut with biscuit cutter.  Place biscuits on cookie sheet.  Bake 13 minutes.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Vegan Pizza, anyone?

Vegan Pizza with Tofurky Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, Onions, and Black Olives
I am sorry I haven't posted before this, but I have have created what may well be the Holy Grail of Vegan food.  Yes, a creamy, cheesy sauce equally delicious over pasta or pizza.  I was originally trying to veganize the Bow-Tie Festival sauce from Carrino's and I have to admit this sauce comes close enough that you might feel guilty eating it if you didn't know it was vegan.  I tried it with pasta and mushrooms and loved it.  I was intrigued.  Would this sauce work over pizza?  Could it possibly maintain it's flavor in the oven at 425 degrees? The answer? Yes, yes it can. So I ask you to trust me and try it.  Just once with pasta, mushrooms, and veggies or over your favorite pizza crust for vegan pizza.  You may just find the taste you have been missing.  I know I have.


2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Slices Lightlife Smart Bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 Tbsp Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 & 1/2 Tbsp Red Star Nutritional Yeast
3/4 Cup Vegan Mushroom Broth
1 Cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/8 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Heat olive oil in large skillet over low medium heat.  Add garlic and bacon, sauté until bacon begins to crisp.  Transfer bacon and garlic to a bowl.  Add flour and nutritional yeast into skillet stir until smooth, then slowly add mushroom broth.  Stir until smooth and mushroom broth has reduced by half, add coconut milk and seasonings.  Continue to stir over medium heat, add bacon and garlic back into the skillet.   Let sauce reduce by half if using for pizza.

Or add pasta, mushrooms, and your favorite veggies and let the pasta absorb the excess liquid if using for pasta sauce.

For our pizzas I added Tofurky Italian Sausage sliced thin, black olives, onions, and mushrooms on top of my homemade marinara sauce.  I put cheese sauce on the crust, spread marinara over that, added toppings then finished by drizzling more cheese sauce over the top.  Bake according to directions for your crust or adapt this crust to your liking.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Day came early..

Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
For my kids this year. They have really been missing doughnuts. I hate frying anything. Last time I deep fried something was ten years ago. I wanted to try an onion blossom. I was wearing shorts and sandals as I carefully dropped the onion into the bubbling oil. Yes, I can hear you laughing now. I can even laugh a little now myself. At the time however, I was less than amused. I was quite certain I would never fry again.

Two kids and ten years later, I finally decided to give frying one more try.  I think it turned out pretty well.  No one was burned in the making of these doughnuts and the taste was excellent.  This might not be the healthiest snack, but as a rare treat they aren't too bad.

Modified again by VegMama, Modified by Pastrybrush, Original Source: Cuisine at Home, October 2008 Issue, page 31
Pumpkin Spice Doughnuts
1/4 cup Applesauce
1 tbsp Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream
1 cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup Demerara Sugar
1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
3 tbsp Earth Balance Margarine, melted
4 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (1 & 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, 1/4 tsp All Spice)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 & 1/2 cups sifted All-Purpose Flour
1 & 1/2 cups sifted Spelt Flour
1/2 cup sifted Coconut Flour
Vegetable oil, enough to fry in

Whisk apple sauce and tofutti sour cream together in a large bowl until frothy.  Add pumpkin, sugar, coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut sugar, and margarine; whisk until combined.  Stir in baking powder, pie spice, salt, and baking soda.  Fold flour in gradually until a stick dough forms, you might need to add a little more to get the right consistency; cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat 2″ oil to 370°F in an electric skillet, deep fryer, or straight-sided pan over medium heat.
Pat out dough on a well floured surface to 1/2 inch thick, then cut with a 3″ and 1″ biscuit cutters dipped in flour.  Transfer doughnuts and holes to a floured baking sheet using a spatula that has been dusted in flour.  Fry doughnuts and holes in batches in the oil until browned, about 2 minutes, turning once (holes cook faster).  Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  Finish with sugar or glaze

Apple Cider Glaze

1/4 cup Spiced Apple Cider
Pinch of Salt
1 cup Powdered Sugar
heat cider and salt in small saucepan over low until hot.  Off heat, whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Dip cooled doughnuts in glaze and let stand about 5 minutes.

Ice Cream in the cold..

Yes, I know that it is below zero outside.  My kids wanted ice cream to go with the banana chocolate chip cake I was making yesterday.  I couldn't find a vegan recipe for Caramel Pecan Ice cream, and you know that is the only kind that would go perfectly with the banana cake, right?  So, here is the recipe for the best ice cream ever, according to us anyway. :)

The cake recipe is here.  I made the following modifications 3/4 cup all purpose flour 3/4 cup spelt flour and 1/4 cup coconut flour to make it healthier.  I also used So Delicious Coconut Milk instead of soy milk because that is what we usually have.

Caramel Pecan Ice Cream
         Makes enough to fill a 32oz container.
2 cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread

3/4 cup Brown Sugar

1 14 oz can Coconut Milk (classic not light)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans

In a small saucepan over medium heat, stir together buttery spread, brown sugar and So Delicious Coconut Milk.  Continue to stir until all the sugar and margarine are melted and the mixture starts to develop small foamy bubbles.  Remove from heat and let cool while you retrieve a heat safe bowl scrape canned coconut milk into bowl. Add vanilla, then pour in heated mixture.  Whisk until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours.  Follow your ice cream makers directions for freezing and adding pecans.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

We all scream for ice cream..

I was very worried that making vegan ice cream would be very difficult and require strange and hard to find ingredients.  It doesn't.  I recently purchased Lick It! Vegan Ice Creams by Cathe Olson.  I tried her recipe for Mint Ice Cream.  At the last minute, I decided to add chopped chocolate chips.  I use Sunspire Dairy Free and Gluten Free Chocolate Chips.  I have to say if this recipe is any indication you should run, not walk to the nearest bookstore and order a copy today.  Every member of my family loves this ice cream.

I will be posting a new recipe in the next few days.  Don't get out in the cold, stay home in front of your ice cream maker.  :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

I always loved a good casserole.

I have to admit I have missed casseroles, especially the cheesy Mexican casseroles.  I have found a solution to this craving and it is good.  The sauce takes a little longer than your standard dump from a soup can type casserole, but in my opinion it is totally worth it if you have leftover textured vegetable protein (TVP) and beans already made.  For a soy free version use two types of beans or beans and seitan, instead of the TVP.

Vegan Nacho Casserole

2 cups Vegan Mushroom Broth
1&1/2 cups Water (For Queso only add 1/2 cup of water or it will be too soupy)
1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Tbsp Earth Balance Margarine (soy free if you are allergic to soy or just double the Olive Oil)
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Flour
1 cup Red Star Nutritional Yeast
1 14 oz Can Ro-Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
optional 3 Tbsp Diced Onion

In a 9x13 inch casserole dish layer Corn Chips, Taco Seasoned TVP, and Beans, then another layer of chips, tvp, and beans.  Finish with a final layer of chips.  Set aside to make sauce.

In a large spouted bowl or very large liquid measuring cup combine mushroom broth, water, coconut milk, and soy sauce.  In a small bowl have your oregano, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper measured and waiting.  Have the flour and nutritional yeast measured and separate from everything.

In a large sauce pan over medium heat melt margarine into the olive oil and then add flour.  Stir continuously to remove lumps.  Let the mixture bubble until it seems to thicken then add liquids and seasonings.  Continue to stir for 10 minutes or until the sauce has the viscosity of a Thanksgiving gravy.  Add nutritional yeast and stir for another 5 minutes.  The mixture should be more like a thick gravy at this point add your Ro-Tel and onions.  Pour sauce over casserole and bake at 375 F for 20-30 minutes or until heated through and bubbling not dried out.

I serve mine in bowls with salad on top.  We really like the cool crunch of the salad with the warm moist texture of the casserole.  Feel free to have the salad on the side or add guacamole if that's how you roll.  Mmm Guacamole, I think I might try that myself next time.

I didn't mention it before but it is good with pinto bean, black beans, probably even garbanzo beans.  Whatever leftover beans or canned beans should be fine as long as you drain off the excess liquid before you add them in.  You can also use the sauce with or without the Ro-tel for nachos that my kids insist are excellent.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Posole on a cold night.

Posole about forty five minutes before done.  When it is ready you mostly just see the hominy on top.
I like to think this is the perfect way to warm up on a winter night. 

I love spicy food, so Mexican stew is right up my alley.  Making this one vegan, simple.  I eliminate the pork and the chicken broth from the traditional recipes, then add mushrooms.  Easy right?  My family, however does not love spicy, in fact they actively avoid spicy foods.  The solution?  I made a very lightly spiced stew and added Cholula Hot Sauce and extra chiles to my bowl.  Everyone happy with one pot of soup and batch of cornbread, priceless.

 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 Celery Stalks, chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
6 oz. Portobella  Mushrooms, sliced into chunks
8 oz. White Button Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp. Chili Powder (Add 1 tsp if you like yours spicy)
1/2 tsp. Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
6 Cups Water
2 cubes of Vegetarian Bouillon
16 oz. can Stewed Tomatoes
14 oz. can Ro-tel Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles
2 Tablespoons Chopped Green Chiles (Choose Jalepenos if you like spicy food, Poblano if you don't)
2 lbs. Bag Frozen Posole  (I used Bueno Posole Uncooked Hominy, Nixtamal)

Pour Oil into medium Stewpot over medium heat.  After pan and oil are heated add chopped onions and saute for 3 minutes.  Add celery and garlic, saute for 4 minutes then add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes.  Add seasonings, and remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for 2 hours stirring occasionally.  Serve with cornbread.

You can add a salad or cooked greens to go with this soup for a complete meal.  Spicy or mild this is an excellent soup. My son asked for seconds, and he was very excited to have leftovers the next day for lunch.  My daughter ate hers more reluctantly, but did finish her bowl both meals. The recipe made enough for me to put 4 servings in the freezer after the four of us ate it for two meals.  I am planning to try to cook off the remaining liquid and use the rest as a tamale filling, but that is an experiment for another day.

Monday, January 10, 2011

This is for you, Candi.

I promised I would post my recipe after I finished tweaking it, sorry that it took so long. My family dived into these brownies like ravenous wolves on meat.  Watch your fingers when serving them to young chocolate fiends or you might end up needing band-aids.  I hope you will like it as much as we do.

Vegan Brownies

1/2 cup Earth Balance Margarine, melted (use Soy Free Earth Balance for a soy-free version)
1/2 cup Canola Oil
2 cups Demerara Sugar
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Unsweetened
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2/3 cup Spelt Flour
1/3 cup Coconut Flour
3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (Please use Fair Trade Cocoa Powder)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9x13 inch baking pan.  Stir together first 5 ingredients in a medium sized bowl or large liquid measuring cup. Set aside.  Sift dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, then stir in sugar mixture.  Stir until thoroughly combined and pour into prepared pan.  Smooth batter with a spatula to make the surface as even as possible.

Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let brownies cool 10 minutes before slicing.  Should make approximately 20 brownies.

I took advantage of the cold weather to whip up a batch of my Mushroom Posole.  I will try to post that recipe tomorrow.  Stay warm, and try the brownies, you won't regret it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Husband wanted me to post this...

He has been singing the praises of Green Smoothies to everyone we know since we first tried one last May. We have been drinking green smoothies for breakfast everyday since then, except for the horrible week we had to return our Blend-Tec blender for repairs. Trust me, we were not thrilled to part with our beloved blender and even less happy to have to suffer through the days without our green smoothie fix. Happily, the blender was repaired and returned to us and we were back in the smoothie groove in no time.

Greens Guide Is a great spot to learn about a few of my favorite greens for adding into smoothies.

They also have some starter green smoothie recipes to try so you can see what you like best. Green Smoothie Recipes

With our Smoothies I rotate the greens we use every week. We also try out different fruits whenever we find some. Kiwi is my son's favorite addition. But our basic recipe is

4 bananas chopped and frozen overnight
1 granny smith apple peeled if not organic (Use your favorite variety of apple)
1/2 cup pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen not canned)
1/2 mung bean sprouts
2 cups greens (collard, baby spinach, kale, mint, basil, etc. try different blends)
16 oz. spring water
optional 8 oz. So Delicious Coconut Milk

Put into high powered blender and blend until smooth. Makes enough for 2 adult servings and 2 child size servings. If your blender is small you might have to blend in batches.

See not scary at all. ;)
Some people do not do as well with fats like coconut milk mixed in. We haven't had any problems with it and the kids prefer the taste and texture with the coconut milk.

My first steps

As a new vegan reworking your old recipes can be a difficult process.  You have to find the right substitutes for your old non-vegan ingredients, this can be filled with pitfalls of disappointment when the finished product doesn't turn out just the way you want.  This took some time and effort but the cornbread tastes just like I remember from my pre-vegan days. :)  Recipe Adapted from Southern Buttermilk Cornbread recipe in Betty Crocker's New Cookbook


Vegan Cornbread
1 1/2 cup Organic Corn Meal
1/2 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons ground Flax Seed
6 Tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup Demerara Sugar
1/4 cup Light Olive Oil
1 1/2 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/2 Tablespoon Lime Juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Combine corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium sized mixing bowl, then set aside.  Stir ground flax seed into hot water and let sit for a few minutes, while you grease a 9x9 square baking pan.  Add demerara sugar into the flax mixture and stir to dissolve sugar crystals.  Add remaining liquid ingredients and pour into the corn meal.  Whisk until well combined and pour batter into prepared pan.  Place pan in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  When done invert cornbread onto wire rack and let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Now, typically I will be posting pictures with my recipes, but I didn't get a picture before everyone grabbed a slice.  Better luck next time.