Thursday, December 30, 2010

Old Fashioned Meetloaf

I have never used TVP in my 6 months of vegan cooking. From what I have read, it is a processed food and not all that nutritious. One book I was reading explained the added ingredients in TVP but when I bought it in bulk at Whole Foods yesterday, the only ingredient listed was soy flour. I really wanted to make a meatloaf and some meatballs for my January menu - I was missing them! The first vegan meatloaf I made used chickpeas and gluten and it was dreadful. From what I have heard and read, TVP is very meat-like so I decided to try it. Even if it isn't the best thing for us, I figured it might satisfy the desire for meatloaf or meatballs without the meat and the ensuing migraines for my hubby. It is not an ingredient I will use often because of it's processed nature but I think I may splurge and use it every so often for such times as these! I must say, I was skeptical after my first meatloaf attempt back in June. However, I was very pleasantly surprised! It was actually really good, very meat-like and everyone enjoyed it. Definitely satisfied my meatloaf craving. Be careful not to overcook it - I think I cooked it a bit too long and there was a bit of a dry crust around the outside of the loaf so the end pieces were a bit tough in spots. I will certainly make this again and can hardly wait to try spaghetti and meatballs later this month.
Old Fashioned Meetloaf (adapted from Comfy Inside)
3 cups TVP granules
2 1/2 cups hot faux beef broth
2 T soy sauce
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T olive oil
1 t ground pepper
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1/2 t cumin
1 cup ketchup plus extra for spreading on top
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten

Preheat oven to 350. Reconstitute TVP with broth and soy sauce. In a skillet, saute onion and garlic until browned. Mix onions into TVP and add remaining ingredients. Press mixture into loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Make sure you press hard on the dough so it holds together. Bake 20 min. Remove from oven, brush with ketchup (instead of brushing, I spelled Keith's name on the top - he thought mom was funny!). Bake another 25 min. Slice and serve with ketchup.

Crispy Tofu Fries...not the best...and family Sausage Crepe Redo...also not our fav...oh dear! :-(

Just so it is clear I am still cooking, I thought I would post this pic even though it wasn't the best (since I haven't been posting as many new recipes lately!). I had high hopes for this recipe for baked, crispy tofu but it had very little flavor. I will need to doctor the leftovers for sure. The rest of the meal was great - Oranger Than Thou Carrot Coins, Ginger Curry Potatoes, and Jasmine rice (all recipes posted in previous months). I would have to say this was one of the very few recipes from 500 Vegan Recipes that we haven't liked. Oh well!
Sausage/Cream Cheese Mixture
Vegan Crepes

For Christmas Eve, we have had a tradition of making a family favorite - Sausage Crepes. Seriously, these are fabulous! Crepes filled with a mixture of onions, sausage, spices and cream cheese, baked and then topped with a sour cream/butter mixture. I decided to try my hand at veganizing the recipe as this is the first vegan year for us. Unfortunately, they didn't live up to the original. They weren't terrible and if we weren't comparing the meal to the original recipe, they probably would have been fine but they just didn't cut it. Perhaps coming to the sad realization that there are just some recipes that can't properly be veganized - or maybe just need to do some more experimenting. The problem was the sausage - I made a seitan sausage and combined a couple recipes - it was just a bit weird. I decided I needed to post the recipe so I could at least show that I worked really hard to make them (and once again, to prove I really have been cooking!! :-) ).
Finished Product (minus the topping that is added after baking)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Spicy Seitan Sandwiches

Unfortunately, I took the Candle Cafe Cookbook back to the library and forgot to write down the recipe!These spicy sandwiches were delicious - rubbed with a spicy mixture of herbs and spices and then pan fried befor being layered on hoagie buns with tomato, carmelized onions and mayo.

Minestrone at it's best!

After celebrating with both sides of the family, when Monday rolled around, I was pooped! I spent the entire day organizing, taking decorations down, getting rid of stuff, and finding new spots for our Christmas treasures. I actaully got a lot accomplished! Knowing that my day would be full of "to-dos" I decided I needed a very easy meal. For Christmas, my mom made me a bundle of jar mixes and I was excited to try them out (this is one of my favorite gifts!). The day was rather dreary starting out and chilly too so what better mix to try than minestrone? The house was filled with delightful aromas as the soup bubbled on the stove and I worked on other things. When it came time to eat this pot of goodness, our tastebuds were joyful :-) Seriously the best minestrone I have ever had! Thanks Mom for a delicious meal - what a treat! (recipe to come!)

½ cup dried split peas
1 cup dried kidney beans
8 t faux beef boullion
16 cups water
2 t dried basil
2 t dried oregano
2 t dried parsley
1 T salt
1 t pepper
2 cups elbow macaroni
4 carrots diced
4 stalks celery diced
1 chopped onion
2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
Bring water to a boil and add peas, beans, boullion and spices. Simmer 1 ½ hrs. In separate pan, saute veggies in small amount of oil until tender. Add veggies and tomatoes and cook 5 min. Add macaroni and cook until pasta is al dente, about 25 min. Serve.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Samosa Pie and Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

I modified this recipe and used phyllo dough instead of a pie crust. The recipe needed salt and I think it would have been better with some sort of sauce as it was a bit dry. Overall it was yummy and very much a meal-in-one (though I did make some cabbage slaw to the side for some added veggies). We topped our slices of samosa pie with peach-apple chutney I made this summer which added a lot of spicy goodness to this dish.

Samosa Pie (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
1 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
1 T canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 t grated fresh ginger
1 T curry powder
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t salt (needed a lot more in my opinion)
1/4 t ground cumin
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup thawed frozen peas
3 sheets Phyllo dough
Preheat oven to 400. Steam potatoes for about 10 min. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, carrots and potatoes. Cook until softened - about 7 min. Stir in ginger, curry, coriander, salt, and cumin. Remove from heat. Add chickpeas and peas and mix throroughly. Line a pie plate with 2 sheets phyllo. Sread veggie mixture over phyllo. Place one more sheet of phyllo over the pie and fold in edges of bottom sheets (mine kind of fell apart because it wasn't defrosted enough and was crumbly). Bake until phyllo is browned and crisp - about 20 min. Serve with chutney.
I was looking for something new and yummy to try for our Life Group Christmas party and Keith picked these out for me. The recipe was from a Taste of Home so it took some veganizing but they turned out fabulous. The recipe called for peanut butter in the filling but I was out so I used almond butter. Still perfectly yum!

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies
1 cup vegan butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
egg substitute for 3 eggs
1 t vanilla
3 cups flour
2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
5-6 T almond milk

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg substitutes an beat well. Add vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Shape into 1-in balls and place 2 in apart on greased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork. Bake at 375 for 7-8 in or until golden. Cool. For filling, combine all ingredients and beat until smooth (add 4 T of milk to begin with and add more if needed to create spreadable mixture). Spread filling on half of cookies and top with remaining cookies.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas baking, risotto, peanut pasta, oatmeal muffins and lentil-rice burgers

Chistmas Spritz Cookies

Spritz Cookies (adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar)
1 cup vegan butter
2/3 cup sugar
pinc of salt
2 t vanilla
3/4 t almond extract
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup almond milk
Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet and set aside. Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and almond extracts and beat to combine. In separate bowl, mix flour and cornstarch. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to form soft dough. Mix food coloring into dough if desired. Use dough in spritzer according to spritzer instructions. Bake 3-5 min (may take more time depending on size of spritzer).
Pumpkin Risotto - I was running low on faux chicken broth and veg broth and I happened to come across this recipe for risotto in an old issue of Cooking Light. It used beef broth which I subbed with faux beef. A few weeks back, I got 4 free small jack-0-lantern pumpkins from Whole Foods and after making roasted pumpkin seeds, I really didn't want to waste the rest of the pumpkins. I researched it a bit and most of the artcles I read said they are completely edible - just a bit stringy and watery. These were pretty small so they weren't really all that stringy. The pumpkin worked great in this recipe. The recipe called to use parmesan which I subbed with vegan parm. I wouldn't recommend doing that. I loved the risotto except for the strong flavor of vegan parm. Just a bit much. I would make this again but without the parm. Very creamy and flavorful!
Peanut Penne - A very tasty dish. I made egg rolls to go with it - I use any excuse I can to make egg rolls!

Penne-Wise Peanutty Pasta (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 green onions chopped
2 t grated fresh ginger
4 oz silken tofu, drained
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1 T ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t crushed red pepper (we actually sprinkled this on top and used a lot more than 1/2 t!)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened soy milk
12 oz penne
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 cups small broccoli florets

In a food processor, combine garlic, green onions and ginger until well minced. Add tofu, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, kechup, sugar, and soy milk. Blend until smooth and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Halfway through cooking time, add carrots and broccoli to pasta and water. Cook until veggies and pasta are al dente. Drain.

Pour sauce over pasta and veggies and heat thoroughly. Serve.
Oatmeal Muffins - this was a recipe I made years ago and I decided to veganize it. Yummy, slightly sweet, and filling.

Oatmeal Muffins
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t baking soda
egg substitute for 1 egg
5/8 cup soy milk plus 2 t apple cider vinegar - mix to curdle
6 T canola oil
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Fold wet into dry. Divide evenly among 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 20 min.
Lentil-Rice Burgers - A very simple recipe with few ingredients. Quite delish on a toasted bun with tomato and bbq sauce.

Brown Rice and Lentil Burgers (adapted from Candle Cafe Cookbook)
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown rice
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 chopped onion
1 t sea salt
1 t chipotle chili powder

In saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil. Add lentils, reduce heat, cook until soft. About 15 min. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boil, add rice, reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is tender. About 40 min. Set aside. In a saute pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onion until browned. Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine rice, lentils, onion mixture, salt and chipotle powder. Mash slightly to help hold mixture together. Make burger-sized patties and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 15 min. Serve on buns with tomato and bbq sauce.
Chewy Ginger Cookies - A recipe I have made before but this time I veganized it. Fabulous results!

Chewy Ginger Cookies (adapted from Taste of Home)
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
egg subsitute for 1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
1 t vanilla
2 cups flour
1 t each cinnamon, ginger, baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground cloves
Cream oil and 1 cup sugar until smooth and creamy. Add egg substitute, molasses and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to creamed mixture. Roll into 1-in balls; roll in remaining sugar. Place 1 1/2 in apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 375 for 8-10 min or until lightly browned.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Breads, Cookies, and More!

I made a family favorite recipe - Chicken Divan - into a vegan meal a few months back and though it was yummy, it really didn't resemble the original. I decided to try again. This time, it was much closer to the original and very tasty. It is very similar to the way I made it last time but I used Gardein Crispy Tender instead of the Scallopini and instead of add it to the broccoli and sauce, I cooked it separately and topped the broccoli/sauce with the tenders when I plated the meal, preventing the "chicken" from getting soggy. Very yummy!

"Chicken" Divan Revamped
(this makes a small casserole dish - if you are having company, I would suggest doubling the recipe)
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup flour (plus more if sauce isn't thick enough - should be a thick white sauce)
2 cups unsweetened soy milk
4 t faux chicken boullion
2 t curry powder
3/4 cup Veganaise
1 package Gardein Crispy Tenders
3 cups blanched broccoli spears
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 T vegan butter
1/2 t salt
1 t curry powder
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Whisk in flour to form paste. Slowly whisk in the milk, being careful not to let lumps form. Stir until smooth and bubbly. Add boullion and curry powder, stirring to incorporate. Remove from heat and stir in Veganaise. Set aside. Place Crispy Tenders on a baking sheet and cook according to package instructions. Remove from oven and cut into bite-sized pieces. Coat 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Cover bottom of dish with broccoli. Pour sauce evenly over broccoli. Melt remaining butter. Add bread crumbs, salt and curry powder. Sprinkle mixture over casserole. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 min or until casserole is lightly browned and bubbly. Sprinkle Crispy Tenders over cooked casserole. Serve over rice.

In a word, delicious! Fabulously creamy and full of zesty lemon flavor. The recipe called for fusilli and green beans but I used what I had which happened to be penne and broccolini! A certain make-again!

Penne with Potatoes, Broccolini and Lemon Basil Creme (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
1 lb white potatoes, peeled and diced
12 oz broccolini, cut into 3rds
12 oz penne pasta
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 cup water
3 T fresh lemon juice
2 T olive oil
zest from 1 lemon
1 T nutritional yeast
1 t dried basil
1/2 t oinion powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk

Steam potatoes for about 5-7 min or until tender. Add broccolini and steam additional 3-5 min or until broccolini is just tender but still bright green. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package insructions. Use food processor to grind cashews to fine powder. Add remaining ingredients (except pasta and veggies) and blend until smooth. Pour sauce into pan and heat thoroughly - about 7 min. Add pasta and veggies to sauce and stir to coat evenly. Serve.

These little morsels are a family favorite - growing up, it was not Christmas at our house without Meltaways! I decided to try a vegan version this year and they were a great success! Taste just like the originals!

1/2 cup vegan butter (I used soy-free Earth Balance)
1 cup sifted flour
3 T powdered sugar
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
additional powdered sugar for rolling cookies in

Cream butter and sugar together. Add flour and mix until crumbly mixture forms. Add nuts and stir to fully incorporate. Chill for at least an hour. Remove from fridge and roll Tablespoons of dough into balls. Place on cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 350 for 20 min or until lightly browned. Cool 5 min. Roll balls in powdered sugar. Let sit 5 more minutes and roll in sugar again. Enjoy!

I have been making all my own bread recently and have been enjoying freshly baked bread almost daily! I used to make this recipe years ago - it's from a cookbook called 1000 Classic Recipes (not a vegan book). This recipe happened to be vegan so I didn't have to do any improvising! These loaves are delightfully crusty on the outside and delightfully soft on the inside.

French Bread
1 T active dry yeast
2 cups lukwarm water
4 cups flour
1 T salt

Dissolve yeast in water. Add salt. Slowly add flour, stirring after each addition. Use dough hook on mixer or knead by hand for 5 min. Shape into a ball, grease the top and let rise until doubled in size - about 2 hours. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into long loaf and place on greased baking sheet. Let rise additional 5 min. Score tops of loaves diagonally. Place a pan of boiling water on the bottom oven shelf. Bake loaves at 400 degrees for about 40 min or until crusty and golden.

I like the flavor of a pizza crust recipe I use and decided to use it for rolls. They turned out great!

Crusty Rolls
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 t sugar
1 1/4 t salt
2 T olive oil
3 cups flour
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 t instant yeast

In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over the water. When yeast is dissolved, add sugar, salt, baking powder and oil. Slowly add flour, using a mixer to incorporate. Use a dough hook to knead about 5 min. Cover with damp towel and let rise 45 min. Take about 2 tablespoons of dough and form into a ball and place onto greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake at 400 for 7-10 min or until lightly browned.
Tempeh takes some getting used to and I am still not entirely sure how much I really like it. This dish turned out pretty yummy with lots of creamy curry flavor. My hubby quite liked it - he is not such a big fan of tempeh but he enjoyed this.

Curried Chikenless Salad Wraps (adapted from Vegan Planet)
1 12oz package tempeh, poached and cooled, crumbled
2 t minced dried onions
3/4 cup vegan mayo
1 T chutney
2 t curry powder
1 t lemon juice
1/2 t sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Pita or flatbread

Combine all ingredients except bread. Stuff into pita or flatbread and serve.

A Martha Stewart recipe transformed to fit the vegan lifestyle! These cookies call for sour cherries too but I never have those on hand. Don't have to say a whole lot about chocolate chip studded chocolate cookies! Yum!

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 1/4 cups canola oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
egg substitute for 2 eggs
1/4 t vanilla
12 oz vegan semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, cream oil and sugars until creamy. Add egg substitute and vanilla. Add flour mixture to wet mixture. Mix lightly. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of dough on prepared sheet. Bake at 350 for 8 min.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Acorn Squash Ravioli With Herbed Butter...Homemade Crescent Rolls

I really love making pasta - more specifically raviolis. Well, I take that back. I love eating fresh pasta - so I have accepted the great deal of labor involved in making it! I found a recipe in a Family Fun magazine for Butternut Squash Ravioli and it looked delicious. I completely redid the recipe, veganizing it and using the ingredients I had on hand. So, I claim the recipe as my own now - since it is really nothing like the original! Thanks to Family Fun for the idea :-) The first bit caught me a bit by surprise - the filling was sweet - I didn't expect the squash to be quite so sweet! However, after the initial surprising flavor, I was hooked. I absolutely loved these little pasta bundles. They were a lot of work but well worth it. The herbed butter was incredibly flavorful and paired just perfectly with the sweet raviolis. Yum!

Acorn Squash Ravioli With Herbed Butter
2 cups peeled, cubed acorn squash
2 T vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup vegan parmesan
1 t coarse sea salt

2 1/2 cups flour
3 t olive oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 t fine sea salt

8 T vegan butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme and oregano picked from my sister's garden!)
4 garlic cloves minced

Heat the oven to 400. Spread the squash on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake 20-30 min or until tender. Put cooked squash into bowl and mash with a potato masher. Add cream cheese, parmesan and salt and mix well. Set aside.

For the pasta, combine flour and salt. In separate bowl, combine water and oil. Add wet to dry. Add more water if mixture does not hold together and form a tacky dough. Use a dough hook or knead on a floured surface for 5 min. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let sit for 30 min. Roll dough out on floured surface - roll as thinly as possible with out stretch dough to the point it shrinks once removed from rolling surface. Use a large biscuit cutter or drinking glass (about 2 1/2 in in diameter) and cut out rounds from the rolled dough. Set aside on a floured plate or surface. Continue until all dough is used.

Take 2 dough rounds and place about 1 T of filling onto one round. Top with a second round and pinch the edges to encase the filling. Use the tines of a fork to further seal the raviolis. A small amount of water can be used to moisten the edges before pressing together. Set aside and repeat with remaining rounds and filling.

Heat 2 large pots of water until boiling. Divide the raviolis between the 2 pans. Cook raviolis for 18 min. Removed raviolis from pots with slotted spoon and place on plates lined with paper towels to drain excess water.

While raviolis are cooking, combine butter, herbs and garlic in small saucepan. Heat until sizzling. Reduce heat and cook until garlic is lightly browned.

Place several raviolis in a large bowl and drizzle herb butter over the top.

I must admit that I love Pillsbury crescent rolls - though I have not purchased them in years due to their terrible ingredient list! I decided to search for a copycat recipe and I found one by doing a Google search. I was very pleased with these pretty little rolls. They weren't as soft and chewy as store-bought ones but they were equally yummy in my oppinion and they certainly didn't last long in my house!!

Crescent Rolls (adapted from

4 1/2 t active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar shopping list
1 ts salt
Egg substitute for 2 eggs (I used EnerG)
1/2 cup vegan butter
4 cups unbleached flour
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the sugar, salt, egg substitute, butter and half of the flour into the yeast mixture.
Add the remaining flour blending until smooth. Scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl and cover with a cloth dampened in warm water. (The cloth should feel wet, but not be so wet that water drips onto the dough.) Let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F.), until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Divide the dough in half, rolling each half into a 12-inch circle 1/4 inch thick. Roll up each wedge beginning at the largest end. Place, point side down, on a greased baking sheet. Curve to form crescents. Cover and let rise until double, 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are a rich golden brown.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A pretty tasty dish. Original recipe called for making croquettes and frying these. I tried this method and it proved to be quite a pain. I decided to cut down on fat and increase the ease of the recipe by turning this into a casserole. My pictures of it turned out a bit blurry so it only gives a general idea. Sorry!

Walnut Millet Casserole (adapted from Vegan Planet)
1 cup millet
1 ½ cups cubed acorn squash (peeled)
1 onion, diced
3 cups veg broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup ground walnuts
½ cup bread crumbs
Combine millet, squash, onion, and broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until ingredients are soft and all broth is absorbed. About 30-45 min. Lightly mash mixture with a potato masher. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Combine walnuts and bread crumbs. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake at 400 for 15-20 min until heated through and lightly browned. I served this with mushroom gravy. My husband liked it with ketchup! It would also be yummy topped with mustard sauce.

Mushroom Gravy (Adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes - recipe actually called "Soppy" but that doesn't sound yummy to me so I changed the name!)
2 T vegan margarine
8 oz button mushrooms (my fam doesn't like mushrooms so I pulsed in a food processor to mince them)
1 cup diced onions
2 cups faux beef broth
2 T soy sauce
2 T steak sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 t black pepper
1 t dried parsley
2-3 T flour mixed with 1/4 cup water to make slurry
Melt butter in frying pan. Add mushrooms and onions an saute until onions are translucent. Add broth, soy sauce, steak sauce - deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 min. Stir in yeast, pepper, and parsley. Simmer 5 more min. Slowly stir in slurry until desired thickness is reached. Remove from heat.

Mustard Sauce (adapted from Veganomicon)
(My adjusted version - I just can't make a recipe exactly as written! I always have to tweek it! I get that from my mom and sister :-) ). End result:Fabulous!!
2 T cornstarch
3/4 cup faux chicken broth (recipe called for veg broth but I was out)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 cup sherry cooking wine (didn't have any so left it out!)
1 T olive oil
1 T soy sauce
1/4 Dijon mustard plus 1 t mustard seeds (recipe calls for whole-grain Dijon but I didn't have any so this is how I improvised)
2 T lemon juice (called for 1 T but since I didn't use any wine, thought I would add a tad extra lemon juice)
2 T capers (with brine)

Combine cornstarch and broth and set aside. In small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Slowly whisk in cornstarch mixture. Cook until bubbly and thickened. Serve over chickpea cutlets.

Veggie Potpie...composed of Thanksgiving leftovers!

This meal was one that made me feel happy in every aspect! I was looking for a good way to use up several leftovers in my fridge to create a tasty meal. Thankfully, this creative adventure produced scrumptious results and was loved by the entire family. I started with some leftover mashed potatoes, leftover succotash, and leftover pie dough. I wanted to make a potpie but I would normally use carrots, diced potatoes, celery, onions, corn, mushrooms in a potpie and I had zero of those ingredients (need to make a grocery run!!). So, I decided I would give the ingredients I had a go and threw them all together in a pie plate. First, I pressed the mashed potatoes into the pie plate. Next, I heated about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and added about a tablespoon of dried minced onions and 2 minced garlic cloves. Then I added the succotash. Next, I whisked together 1/2 cup flour with 2 cups faux chicken broth to make a thick sauce and poured it into the veggie mixture. When that was thick and bubbly, I poured it over the mashed potatoes. I rolled out the small amount of pie dough I had leftover and placed it over the veggies. Then I baked the whole thing at 400 for about 15-20 min until golden brown. I served it up in big soup bowls. Did I mention how yummy it tasted and how everyone loved it?! A definite happy meal!

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Muffins

These muffins turned out delicious and had some nutritional value in them as well - bananas, oatmeal and flax!

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Muffins
1 1/3 cup white flour
¾ oats
1/3 cup sugar
2t baking powder
½ t salt
1 T flaxmeal mixed with 3 T water
½ cup rice milk
¼ cup oil
3 overripe bananas
½ cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup chocolate chips

Combine flour through salt. In separate bowl, combine flaxmeal mixture, milk, oil and bananas. Fold into dry ingredients. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Distribute evenly into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 for 15-18 min.

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

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

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

Tamale Fixings

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

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

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

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

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

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

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

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

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

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

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

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

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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