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Showing posts from 2011

5 Spice Banana Bread with Orange Butter

I'm sure by now, you all realize that I love banana bread. If I could put a ring on it I probably would.

It's the holiday season and apparently I tend to lose track of time this time of year. Christmas really snuck up on me! When I woke up on Christmas Eve and realized I had neglected to plan Christmas morning breakfast, a whole string of four letter words spewed out of my mouth.  Luckily, I almost always have over ripe bananas just waiting to baked into bread, muffins, cakes and cookies. As I say to my daughter "Yep! We're have banana bread, AGAIN!"

3 ripe bananas
1/2 cup Apple Pear Butter
2 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbl vanilla extract
1 Tbl Chinese 5 Spice
1 Tbl orange juice
Preheat oven to 350Mash the bananas with a fork. Add the apple pear butter and stir. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and 5 spice. Mix the wet with the dry and add vanilla and orange juice. Pour into a loaf pan and bake for …

ApplePear Butter

I love apple butter and apple sauce. It makes for a wonderful egg substitute in baking, a great side dish to any meal at any time of the day and it's great as a spread on my favorite breakfast breads and muffins. I always keep some on hand in the fridge. You never know when you'll need it!

2 lbs apple (about 5 apples)
1 lb of pears (about 4 pears)
Juice from half of a lemon
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbl maple syrup
Cut apples and pears into 1-inch chunks. Place in a medium saucepan with juice, cinnamon and ginger. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until fruit is very soft, about 30 minutes. (if you cut fruit smaller, it will cook in about 20 minutes)Stir in maple syrup and continue to simmer until very thick, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. During the last 15 minutes, stir more frequently to prevent sticking and burning. Mash with a fork or, for a smoother consistency, puree in a food processor. Ser…

Santa's Cookies

Since the 1930s, children have left cookies and milk on a table for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. My household isn't much different except for that our Santa is vegan which means we make homemade vegan cookies on Christmas Eve and Santa enjoys those with a tall glass of Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk.

Here's Santa's favorite :)

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp Torani Sugar Free Vanilla syrup
1 Tbsp. Karo
1/4 cup Apple Pear Butter
Cinnamon and sugar, to coat
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients (make sure they're blended well). Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using your hands form the dough into a big ball. (If it sticks together well, then it's the right consistency. If not, add a bit of water and mix it well.) Form the dough into cookie-sized balls and roll them into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each ball…

Pumpkin Hummus

Hummus is a seriously addictive food. And when you add in a special twist? Even more so. I ate this straight up with a spoon, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Of course, it also works well with the usual suspects – veggies and crackers, spread for a sammich, etc.

I love this dip. I have had a long time affair with the sexy combination of sweet and heat. The creaminess of the chickpeas coupled with the sweetness of the pumpkin, along with a little kick of heat make for one crazy combination of addictions.

I take advantage anytime I can make a dish with a squash like pumpkin; it is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and magnesium, plus it has anti-inflammatory properties. I heart anti-inflammatory foods!

Here's what you need:
2 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup pureed pumpkin
¼ cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 heaping tbsp tahini
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
Place chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, water, and tahini in a food processor. W…

Maple & Brown Sugar Candied Pecans

This is a product of one of those evenings when all I want to do is spend the night in my kitchen. I noticed I had a big bag of raw pecans leftover from Thanksgiving and decided to give a snack a whirl. I'm pleased as punch with the results and plan on giving this batch away as a Christmas gift. Next time I make these I think I will add some cayenne.

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 lb raw pecans
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 325combine sugar, paprika and salt until no lumps are visibleIn a separate bowl, coat pecans in maple syrup. Add sugar/spice mixture and toss to coat. Spread single layer on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.Cool.

Chana Masala Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Every once in a while, a recipe comes along that makes me say, ‘Wow, I did good’. This recipe is brilliantly simple, tasty and hearty enough for a main dish. The contrast of sweetness and spice provides heavenly, multi-layered flavours.

2 sweet potatoes
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp garam masala
½ – ¾ cup crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup water
2 cups cooked chickpeas
¼ tsp salt
splash of lemon juice In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and continue sauteing to briefly cook, 1-2 more minutes.Add the spices to the onions and fully coat them, cook 1-2 minutes longer. Stir in the tomatoes, water and chickpeas. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding more water if you prefer. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt and lemon juice.Preheat oven to 425°F. Prick the sweet potato…


On a cold and rainy day, there's nothing quite as comforting as a big warm pot of food. Brazilians have a cure for cold and rainy days; it's an all-day dish called feijoada, their national dish. Its a combination of slow simmered black beans, various types of meat, bay leaves and other spices, with wine or beer. The vegan way, of course, involves some substitutions, but its still incredibly rich, comforting and delicious, especially with sides of rice and braised kale.

The real, "from scratch" recipe takes several hours, given that you use dried beans to get a luscious broth. But I do a short-cut recipe that captures most of the appeal of the original without the many hours of stirring. I definitely recommend trying the traditional recipe, however- many vegans cook books offer awesome versions. I'm sure we all suffer from the same ailment known as time and to make this dish as traditional as possible you NEED time. In my case. I don't have time and I think my…

Miso-Tahini Tacos

I shamelessly recreated this dish from a small burrito joint here in town. This copy cat recipe couldn't have made me a happier little vegan. I know I usually "highly recommend" my dishes but this one is hands down my favorite of all time! It may not seem like much but remember it's all in the sauce. Use this sauce on anything and everything.

Here's what you need to make the sauce:
2 tbsp sesame tahini
3 tbsp miso
1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
Whisk all ingredients until smooth. Add more miso for extra thickness, if desired, or water to thin to desired consistency. Set aside.Here's what you need for assembly:
2 corn tortillas
black beans
red cabbage, shredded
carrots, shredded
sunflower seeds
miso tahini sauce
sriracha, to taste
Warm tortillas and layer ingredients: black beans, cabbage, carrots, sunflower seeds Garnish with cilantro, miso tahini sauce and sriracha

The Best Cookies Ever!

This is not speculation my friends, this is a fact. In a taste test performed by me in my kitchen with no other cookies up against it, I found these to be the best cookies I have ever eaten.  These cookies are light, soft, super fluffy, and spiced with allspice, cinnamon, and ginger.

Let me tell you something else spectacularly wonderful about these cookies. They are as healthy as a cookie can get. I hesitate to call things healthy just because they aren't fattening, especially cookies, but these are actually good for you. The pumpkin is a great source of carotenoids, lutein, and xeaxanthin!


I don't know what any of these things are, but I do know that they fight against free radicals! And Pumpkin is high in fiber. No big words needed there.

Because of the use of pumpkin, there is not as much of a need for fat. There is only about 1/2 cup of oil in the entire recipe, bringing these bad boys to a grand total of 100 calories per cookie! Throw in some chocolate chips and ad…

Cinn-A-Pear Smoothie

If you don't know about The Diet Zone: click here.

This is a great stand alone breakfast smoothie but I like my baked goods, so I pair it with any muffins I have in the house. Despite being high in sugar, this smoothie is very low in saturated fat, has no cholesterol, it's low in sodium, high in calcium, high in dietary fiber and high in vitamin B12. Each serving gives you all that for just 145 calories.

Ingredients: makes 3 servings
1 cup light soymilk
1/2 cup soy yogurt vanilla flavored
2 pears, quartered and cored

1 banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Place the ingredients into a blender. Cover, and puree until smooth. Pour into glasses to serve.

Persimmon-Banana Muffin and The Diet Zone

The only thing standing between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the DIET ZONE.

In the past, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, is known as my strict "diet" time.  I really buckle down on the feeding opportunities, which leaves this blog really unattended (I don't do too much creative cooking when I'm trying to lose pounds... I know tofu and brussels sprouts is the way to go in my case.)

This year, I'm trying a different approach. Have you ever heard the old saying "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper."? Well, that's what I'm going to do. In the morning for breakfast, I will try to have my highest calorie meal with the most carbs. This will get me fueled for the day and will give me all day to work it off. For lunch I will take a step down in calories and will do my best to eliminate carbs (on occasion, I will indulge in some squash). I will eat a very light dinner that will contain less than 200 calori…

Vegan Chick'n Wellington

Thanksgiving; my favorite holiday. I love the food and any excuse I can find to make unhealthy, fatty dishes. Any excuse I can find to fill my plate with nothing but carbs and get away with it with little guilt. That is why you won't find any of my dishes that I created on this site. I don't promote eating that way but on this one very special holiday I bask in my fatness. This year for Thanksgiving, I opted out of my usual Tofurkey and MomChef came up with this amazing dish. It's a little incoherent but we kept up with what was going on as much as possible (we were also making disgustingly amazing mashed potatoes, sensational stuffing, extra sweet pecan pie, creamy layered pumpkin cheezecake, green bean casserole, whipped butternut squash with vanilla, baby peas and pearl onions, sweet rolls and golden mushroom gravy). So suffice it to say, things were crazy and I tried my best to keep up.

Puff Pastry
1 package Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
1 yam, peeled and sl…

Brussel Sprout-Squash Casserole

Unlike most people I have met, I love brussels sprouts. I usually don't do much more than throw them in the oven "naked" and bake them until they are near brown. After that I inhale them like popcorn. I think they might actually be my favorite food. It's very rare that you open my fridge and don't see cooked sprouts ready to be eaten and raw sprouts ready to be baked. It's not unusual for me to polish off a pound or two a day.

Obviously baked "naked" brussels sprouts aren't that interesting to blog about so I decided to spice them up a bit so I could give you guys a new post to try out. After it was all said and done, I decided that while I liked this concoction I prefer my boring way much more. If I were to make this dish again, I might add some crunch on the top...maybe some pecans or walnuts.

Anyway, I do suggest you try it out if you feel so inclined.

1 pound of brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed, and scored
1 1/2 cups winter squash…

Squash and Bean Casserole

Filling, warming, perfect for a cold winter day. These flavors blend so well together. I highly recommend trying this out.

1 large acorn squash
3 cups water
1 cup grits
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbs oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cups kidney beans, cooked
1 Tbs of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
1 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs soy sauce
Preheat oven to 350Quarter squash. Remove seeds. Place on baking sheet, cut side down. Bake for approximately 45 minutes. Let cool. Mash. Set aside.Bring water to boil. Add grits slowly. Turn down temperature to low. Stir continuously until grits thicken. Add salt and oil. Stir briefly. Total cooking time should be around 7 minutes. Pour immediately into oiled casserole dish. Set aside. Saute onion with oil in pan until translucent. Add remaining ingredients, adding a small amount of water, if needed. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour over grits.Layer the squash over the bean mixture. Bake at 350 until heated through, approximately 20 minutes.

Balsamic Glazed Chickpeas and Collard Greens

This quick-fix meal for two is perfect for a lazy Sunday. It's a complete meal that's light and satisfying. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare and has around 220 calories per serving. Its a staple in my household.

1 bunch of collard greens
1/2 large red onion, chopped
4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.In a deep pot, saute the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onio…

Fudgy Blackberry Brownies

These brownies are ridiculously fudgy. They have to be since I put "fudgy" in the name.They have triple chocolate power--in the form of melted chocolate, cocoa and chocolate chips. And they have double berry power--in the form of triple berry spreadable fruit and plump, fresh blackberries, adding a tangy contrast to each sweet bite. The berry-chocolate combo is not the most popular one, but it should be!

2/3 cup plus 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips10 oz triple berry jam (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry)
1/4 cup soy milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blackberries (which I got in my Bountiful Basket)

Preheat the oven to 325. Grease a 9X13-inch baking panMelt the 2/3 cup of chocolate chips. To melt use a double broiler or create your own: Heat a small pan of water over high h…

Hot Chocolate

I am trying to kick this "Junk Food Vegan" addiction I have; which is why I just HAD to make some hot chocolate. I know that sounds ridiculous to you, the reader, but research has shown that the consumption of hot chocolate can be positive to one's health. A study has shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine and tea, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. It sounds like a stretch but I'm running with it.

I love hot chocolate but can't remember the last time I had a mug; which I guess means, I love the idea of hot chocolate. The idea of sitting by the fire with my daughter on a chilly winter night making "Rockwell" Family memories makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I know you're jealous...

Here's what you'll need to enjoy a warm mug of happy memories:
2 1/2 cups dairy free milk
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne …

Apple Cake

This apple cake is so moist and fluffy. It's hard to believe that its a vegan cake! This make 9 servings of cake, each serving packs about 180 calories. 

3 tablespoons Softened Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G (in place of 1 Egg)
2 tablespoons Water
3 tablespoons Soy Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
3 cups Peeled And Diced Apples, about 3
1/4 cup Chopped Nuts (I used 1/8 cup Walnuts)

Preheat oven at 350F for 15 minutes. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.Whip together Ener-G, water, soy milk and vanilla extract until nice and foamy.Add the Ener-G mixture to the creamed butter/sugar and beat everything together with the hand mixer until thoroughly combined. This mixture looks creamy like a white sauce.In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. …

Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins

ANOTHER banana recipe...Thanks Bountiful Baskets. These muffins are so tasty. This recipe makes about 18 muffins at about 125 calories a piece.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup Light Brown Sugar (I used the Splenda blend)
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Mashed Bananas (about 2 medium size)
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Soy Milk (I used Silk Pumpkin Spice)
1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Water
3/4 cup Vegan Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350FIn a small bowl stir together the milk and vinegar; set aside. The mixture will curdle in about 5 minutes.In a large bowl combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.In another bowl mix together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, curdled milk mixture and vanilla.Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and combine together. Add water as needed to get the right batter consistency. I added about 2 tablespoons of water because the batter was a bit t…

Yam Stew

On Friday, a friend of mine offered me some collard greens from their garden. There are many etiquette related reasons why a good Southern gal would NEVER turn an offer like this down, but etiquette aside, I REALLY LOVE COLLARD GREENS. The next day I picked up my Basket Bountiful and I had tons of yams and immediately knew I was making this. I made something similar to this before but somehow the photo has been deleted. Please consider this a modified version of African Sweet Potato Soup.

This is a complete meal. With no meat at all, one serving of this stew has about 13g of protein. That's 25% of your daily intake. Its also:
Low in saturated fatHigh in dietary fiberHigh in manganeseVery high in vitamin AHigh in vitamin CIngredients:
4 cups of Better Than Bouillon Stock
1 onion, chopped
2 cups peeled and diced yams
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 cups chopped collard greens
1/2 black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce

sriracha to taste

Heat 2 …

Curried Purple Hull Peas

Oh how I enjoy the challenge of walking into my kitchen and making dinner out of what I can see. No looking up recipes. No running to the store for the 2 ingredients I'm missing. I literally start throwing stuff in a pot and see what happens.
What happened tonight was perfect! I was craving Indian food (what's new?) and my pot gave me a delicious Indian inspired cuisine. I wrote everything down as I was throwing ingredients in so I could grace you with it's presence if it proved worthy.
Note: I didn't have coconut milk, ginger or cilantro on hand which, in retrospect, is the only thing that would have made this dish better (if I could just toot my own horn a bit).

1 package or 2 1/2 Cups of frozen purple hull peas, cooked according to package
3 cups bean cooking liquid

1 bay leaf 1 Tbsp olive oil 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 cup diced plum tomatoes (I cut up around 8 small tomatoes that measured at a cup) 1/2 cup soy milk 1 Tbsp curr…

Cream of Broccoli Soup


•3 medium broccoli stalks, peeled, and florets (about 6 cups)
•4 cups vegetable broth
•1/2 cup loose chopped parsley
•1/2 tsp powdered or crushed dried rosemary
•1 tsp dried powdered or crushed dried thyme
•2 Tbsp olive oil
•2 cloves garlic, crushed
•1/4 cup diced yellow onion
•2 Tbsp flour
•2 cups unsweetened soy milk
•1/4 tsp salt or to taste
•Fresh ground black pepper

1. Peel broccoli stems. Chop stems and florets into small pieces
2. Chop parsley, reserving 2 Tbsp to mince as a garnish
3. Place broccoli into stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender - about 5 minutes
4. Peel and crush garlic cloves, dice onion. Sauté on medium heat in 1 tsp olive oil for 10 minutes. Add to pot
5. Place broccoli, liquid, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and salt in blender or put solids through a foodmill, or mash and strain. Puree until smooth. Set aside
6. Heat the olive oil in the soup pan. Add the flour and cook on low for ten minutes.
7. Stir in milk with a whisk, br…

Holiday Cookie Bars

This is for special occasions only in my house. VERY RICH! (and not so healthy)

Ingredients: 1/3 cup extra-firm silken tofu 1/3 cup vanilla soymilk 1/3 cup unbleached sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/4 cup margarine 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup flaked coconut 3/4 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips Preheat the oven to 350F and spray a glass 8×8-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. In a blender, puree the tofu, soymilk, cornstarch, and sugar until completely smooth. Put the margarine into a bowl and melt it in the microwave (or do this on the stove and pour into a bowl). Add the graham cracker crumbs and mix until well-moistened. Pour them into the prepared baking dish and press evenly to cover the bottom of the pan. Pour the tofu mixture over the crust. Sprinkle with the nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips, and press it all into the dish firmly with a fork. Bake for about 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into about 16 ba…

Curried Lentil, Potato and Cauliflower Soup

If a soup can be light and hearty at the same time, this is it! A perfect winter soup recipe.

1 1/2 Tbsp light olive oil1 large onion, chopped6 cloves garlic, minced2 stalks celery, trimmed & diced1 cup green lentils, rinsed6 cups water2 bay leaves2 large potatoes, scrubbed and diced1 can salt-free diced tomatoes, undrained2 tsp good quality curry powder, or to taste1/2 tsp ground turmericPinch of nutmeg2 1/2 cups finely chopped cauliflower pieces2 cups finely chopped fresh spinach leaves OR 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantroJuice of 1/2 lemonSalt and freshly ground pepper to tasteHeat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, celery and garlic. Sauté over medium-low heat until translucent.Stir in turmeric, curry powder and nutmeg, and sauté for 1 minute.Add the lentils and bay leaves. Cover with 6 cups waterBring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutesAdd the potatoes and tomatoes, and simmer until the p…

Banana Nut Bread

Today is the day I pick up my Bountiful Basket for the week. It's also the day that I throw together a bunch of ingredients (I like to call them recipes) so I can use them up before they a) go bad or b) get replaced with new foods. 

Even after making a few batches of my BanCranBerry Muffins, I still feel overrun by bananas. So I'm making more banana bread. Originally, I had planned to give this loaf away to some friends of mine and co-workers but it's so delicious that I simply can't. They've got the next loaf.

I recommend mixing all ingredients with a wooden spoon. I feel like hand mixers tend to make my breads and muffins gummy. If you'd like to make this recipe as muffins, just bake for a shorter time, like 18-22 minutes.

2 large very ripe bananas
1/4 cup of leftover PearSauce (or applesauce)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup …

Gardein Chick'n and Dumplings

Anyone who grew up in the south knows your pallatte can not go too long with out having some chicken dumplings. I have managed to go six years or so since my last tasting of this dish...I'm sure that will never happen again! Thank you Gardein for making such yummy stuff!

1 Cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Egg replacer to replace 2 eggs (I like to use Enger-G Egg Replacer for these)

Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside for at least 5 minutes. Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg replacer and soy milk mixture together. Pour the liquid in the dry ingredients and stir gently. Mix just until combined.

2 Tablespoons margarine (like Earth Balance)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Cup carrot, chopped
1/2 Cup celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/4 Cup flour
6 Cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy cream or milk
1 package Gardein Chick…

Avocado Spread

I swear by this spread; It's an answer to vegan prayers. Recently, I have found myself bored with the usual hummus on my sandwiches and such. I needed a change and what a yummy change I've found.

You'll need:
1 avocado
1 clove of garlic smashed
1/2 teaspoon of mustard
A pinch of salt

Smash it all up to the consistency of your liking and never eat a boring sammich again!

I know simple, right? It'll add the spark you and your food's love life has lost.

Cornbread Muffins

The perfect compliment to any meal, even breakfast!

What you need:

nonstick spray
2 cups plain soy milk
2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 cups plain yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper liners. Pour and whisk milk and vinegar together in a small mixing bowl until blended. Let sit while you mix the other ingredients.

2. In a larger mixing bowl, mix the cornmeal, baking powder and salt together until well blended. Then pour oil into the milk mixture, and whisk until frothy.

3. Mix the liquid with the dry ingredients until you have a rather thin, almost soupy mixture. (do not worry, it will firm up just fine in the oven)

4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for approximately 20 minutes. My muffins did not brown very much, so you may have to taste test occasionally through the baking process to get the consistency that you want.

Red Beans and Rice

You can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl!

This is really simple to put together and then you just walk away and forget about it until it's time to eat. It's delicious, filling, chock full of nutritious ingredients and just perfect for these cooler fall and winter nights!

What You'll Need:

 1 cup of long grain brown rice (Note: You could use white rice if you wanted to, but brown is much healthier.)2 cups of dried red kidney beans that have been soaked overnight1 medium red onion, chopped1 medium bell pepper, chopped2 stalks of celery, chopped6-8 garlic cloves, minced1/2 cup of chives, chopped (Note: I used dried chives this go around, but you can use fresh as well.)1-2 tablespoons Cajun or Creole Seasoning1 tablespoon of smoked paprika1 teaspoon of sea salt (Note: Omit this if your seasoning contains salt.)4 cups of water 

 What You'll Do: In the bottom of your slow cooker spread the rice out in an even layer. Next ad…

Quinoa Corn Chowder

My daughter has been requesting that I make "Corn Soup" for about 4 months now. For one reason or another, I have not been able to make this happen for her (it was too hot for soup originally and as soon as it started cooling down, I wasn't receiving corn in my Bountiful Basket. I did, actually make her some "Corn Soup" when I was in my "raw week", but she didn't care for it because "it wasn't cooked and it was cold").

The stars finally aligned: I have around 10 ears of corn from my basket (as well as potatoes, red bell peppers and nearly every ingredient you'll find listed below) and the high today was 65, perfect soup weather for me is a range between 45 and 65.

Here's the long list of stuff I used:
3/4 cup quinoa1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil2 medium potatoes4-5 ears fresh corn on the cob4 cups vegetarian soup stock or water2 celery stalk, diced1 lg red pepper, diced3 cloves garlic1 tsp minced ginger1 tsp ground coriander1 tsp paprik…


This week's basket of fruits and veggies from Bountiful Baskets, brought me pears among other amazing goodies. I am not too familiar with creating warm dishes with fruit but it's getting chilly out, so warm dishes are a must!

This pear sauce is similar to applesauce but totally different, considering I don't particularly care for applesauce. The next time I have Sunday Morning Pancakes, I'm going to top them with this pear sauce instead of maple syrup.

What I Used:

4 -5 large pears, cored and coarsely chopped, with skins still on (about 4 cups) 2 tablespoons honey (Technically, not vegan. I rarely use Honey and when I do, I never feel guilty about it)1 teaspoon vanilla Cinnamon, to sprinkle on topWhat I Did:
Cook pears over medium-low heat, covered, for a few minutes until they start to release all their juices. Then uncover and continue to cook until pears are soft.Mash or puree to get your desired texture - I like to leave it kind of chunky.Stir in honey and vanilla, m…

BanCranBerry Muffins

When life gives you mushy bananas, make banana bread (or muffins)!

The riper the bananas, the better the bread, so finding several overripe bananas on your kitchen counter should not be a hardship  but an opportunity to make a treat for your friends and family. I happened to have 1 cup of a dried cranberry and dried strawberry mix that I got from the bulk foods section of my local grocery store, so I thought I would mix some in the batter. The result was incredible: The bananas make the bread extremely moist and lightly sweet, and the cranberries and strawberries add a fruity surprise to every other bite.

Here's What I Used:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 large bananas, mashed (depends on how banana-y you like it)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberry-strawberry mix, dipped in water for 5 minutes to soften, then drain
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top (this ma…

Jazz Up that Can of Soup

Fall has finally arrived here in Boise and so has my appetite for soup!

Here's an idea for making that can of soup in your pantry delicious and exciting!

This is a very easy way to add excitement and flavor to other wise bland canned soup.

Pâté Chinois - Celebration of Life

Today, September 30th 2011, would have been my grandmother's 78th year of life, if she hadn't left us so early. My mother, daughter and I celebrated her life tonight with her favorite dinner, pâté chinois.

Pâté chinois is a French-Canadian dish similar to shepherd's pie and is pronounced "pate sinwa" (although she called it "pushanwah").

It is made from layered ground beef mixed with sautéed diced onions on the bottom layer, canned corn for the middle layer, and mashed potatoes on top.
There are many variations but this simple recipe was the only way to make "pushanwah", according to Grammy.
It should be obvious that only thing to do to make this vegan is use your favorite mashed potato recipe and vegan crumbles, like Boca.
Here's what I put in my mashed potatoes:
5 potatoes
1/2 cup vegannaise
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbs of vegan cream cheese Salt and pepper to taste

Traditionally served with ketchup, at least in my ho…

Reuben Sammich

This all started this morning when I went to a retail store that has a special section for obscure gourmet foods. I love looking through the section and reading about all the foods, even the canned meats and cheeses. While browsing through this morning, I ran across some traditional German pumpernickel bread and of course I wanted to buy it and try it! The only thing I could think to make with this bread was a reuben sandwich. I've actually never tried one or made one; However, I have watched my boss order one (that counts, right?! Yes or yes?). I did some research this afternoon and this is what I came up with. I feel pretty confident about it. If you are in the mood for a sour-salty meal this is your best bet.

P.S. Don't judge a book buy it's cover. It ain't pretty but it sure is tasty!

For the Sammie:
4 slices pumpernickel bread
4 tsp vegan margarine
3/4 cup sauerkraut
1 dill pickle, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado sliced
Vegan swiss cheese
8oz of tempeh, cut into 2 equal piece…


These little guys (falafel, I mean) are popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. I've transformed these traditionally fried "patties" into a healthier baked version.

Get Yourself Some:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp Coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp baking powder
Salt and pepper

And Then:
Preheat to 350

Place all ingredients in a food processor process until the mixture forms a firm paste.

A) divide the mixture into walnut-size pieces, roll into balls in your hands and then flatten them slightly. Roll in a little olive oil and bake for 30 minutes

-OR-If you're going to make a wrap/gyro

B) I like to spread the mixture on a cookie sheet lined with foil. It makes for a slimmer sandwich, that's easier to eat.

I like my falafel all wrapped up with hummus as my spread, lettuce and a great cucumber salad:
just chop some cucumber, tomato a…

Vegan Omelette for One

I've never been a big breakfast eater. In fact, most of the time I skip breakfast and don't even miss it. Lately, I've been trying to change my ways since finding out that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight than people who skip it. In addition to speeding up your metabolism, eating breakfast has also been shown to improve your memory. I've decided to become a breakfast person.

I have found traditional breakfasts foods (I.e. Oatmeal, cereal, fruit, etc.) leave me less than satisfied. I'm immediately hungry for more. And again at 10:00. And again at 12:00! (what's new, right?) However, non-traditional breakfast foods (i.e. edamame, chickpeas, even leftovers from dinner, etc.) that balance carbs with proteins keep me satisfied, but not stuffed, for hours.

If you loved my Mini Crustless Quiches, you'll love this because it's based on that one. But unlike the quiches, the omelette takes literally minutes to prepare, if you already ha…

Chickpea and Broccoli Casserole

This is a nice healthy veggie-ful meal, especially if you have a to do list a mile long, since all the ingredients go in one pan. After the prep work you bake it for an hour, while you blast through that to do list (or kick back and update your blog).

3 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced 3 large carrots, grated (about 2 cups) 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups) 2 tbsp thinly sliced chives 3 tbsp olive oil 1 c of vegetable broth 1 tsp salt sriracha, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas well, using a potato masher or a firm fork; it takes about 2 minutesn to get the right consistency. Add the vegetables and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and mix, then add the oil and mix again. Finally, add the vegetable broth and salt, and mix one last time. Transfer all ingredients to a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.
My condiment of ch…

Black Eyed Pea Patties with a Chipotle Remoulade

Let me preface this recipe with a quick, harmless confession. I have a meat crush on crab cakes. There, I said it! Every time I see crab cakes on a menu have a fleeting thought of, "Oh I wonder what those taste like...". It only lasts a split second, but it's there.
This recipe is not what I imagine crab cakes to taste like but it was good nonetheless. Paying homage to my Southern heritage, this is basically a combination of cornbread and black eyed peas, crunchy on the outside, but moist and punctuated with whole black-eyed peas inside. Be careful not to over cook them; They will turn out very dry and will need some "moisturizer", my 6 year old's suggestion. I like my food spicy and if you do too, I'd suggest making this chipotle remoulade (or a spicy cocktail sauce) to accompany the not-so-krabby patties. If you have a sensitive palate, may I suggest a vegan tartar sauce or ketchup (the ketchup was also my 6 year old's suggestion). 

1 medium onio…