Friday, January 28, 2011

Vegan Biscuits...Everything Wrap

My family has a fabulous biscuit recipe that we have been making for years and I have since veganized it with delicious results. However, this morning I was in the mood to try something new and thus made Whole Wheat Biscuits from the Kind Diet...sort of! Of course I rarely make a recipe as instructed so the recipe that follows closely resembles her recipe but it is a bit different. They were absolutely yum and very crisp and crumbly. I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful oil working in this recipe - I am used to making biscuits with shortening. I must say I am loving this oat flour kick I am on! Well, I am just trying to use up the contents of my pantry and oat flour is one of the items on my shelves. So, I have been using it a lot lately. Yum!

Vegan Biscuits (adapted from Kind Diet)
1 cup all purpose flour (I would have used whole wheat but I am out of it)
1 cup oat flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

Combine flours, baking powder, and salt. Mix in oil and butter. Pat into circle about 2 in thick. Use biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Bake at 450 for 10-12 min.

I was trying to figure out what I was going to have for dinner tonight and looking at a fridge with no leftovers (except minestrone soup I made at lunch which I didn't want to have for dinner) - imagine! I had enough bits of different things that I pieced together for the kids but me? Hmmm - took some thinking. I had a few potato fries leftover along with some sauteed onions. I also had some avocados needing to be eaten and a few mushrooms that looked enticing. So, I heated up the potatoes and onions, put the mushrooms (sliced) in a dish and drizzled some chili oil on top along with a sprinkle of garlic salt and popped those in the oven too. I heated a tortilla, sliced an avocado and pulled a jar of jalepenos from the fridge. On the heated tortilla, I layered the potatoes, onions, avocados, mushrooms, and jalepenos. Sounds sooo weird in combination but oh my goodness...INCREDIBLE! It was so good I couldn't even believe it. I served it with a mound of steamed carrots and cauliflower and a dollop of homemade mayo sprinkled with curry powder for dipping. One of the best meals I have made all week :-)

Vegan Granola Bars

These granola bars are so versatile - you can really add whatever you want. I made some with a sprinkle of white chocolate chips for my kiddos and another pan with semi-sweet choc chips for my hubby. Turned out pretty yum.

Vegan Granola Bars (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes - I have adapted so many things though that I think this might be my recipe now~)
8 t flax meal
3 T warm water
4 T brown rice syrup (or other liquid sweetener - I use honey sometimes even though it's not vegan. For those who have browsed my site know I still use honey sometimes. I don't see it as a health risk...)
1 t vanilla
4 T coconut flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dry oatmeal

Coat loaf pan with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix flax and water. Stir. Add brown rice syrup and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Fold in coconut, oatmeal and chocolate. Press into loaf pan. Bake 20-30 min. Let cool. Cut into bars.

Just a note, I made the burritos that I have listed on my menu but forgot to take a picture! Ahh! They were fabulous and are a slightly modified version of Morgan's Beans ( So yummy wrapped up in a tortilla with jalepenos, lettuce, and whatever else you like to stuff a burrito with! Visit Morgan's site for her exact recipe. My modifications are as follows:

Crockpot Pintos

2 cups cooked pinto beans
1/2 cup water
1 T minced dried onion
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaves
1/2 Tbsp. cumin
1/2 tsp dried coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
pinch of pepper
2 T extra virgin olive oil

To Make: Add all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on low 3-4 hours.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vegan Jam Surprise Muffins...Vegan Cheezy Crackers...Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

These turned out really yummy. I am out of whole wheat flour but have some oat flour on hand which has 3 grams of fiber in each serving so it is better than white flour! And it works really well in most things. Very yummy in this recipe. I used a variety of jams - homemade peach butter, mango-passion fruit jam, and blackberry jam.

Jam Surprise Muffins
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
4 T flax meal
6 T water
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup soy milk
1 t vanilla
jam of choice
Preheat oven to 400. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, mix flax and water. Let sit 2-3 min. To flax mixture add oil, milk and vanilla. Add to dry mixture. Divide among 12 muffin cups. Place a dollop of jam in the middle of each muffin. Bake 15-20 min or until golden.

I am constantly trying to come up with good snacks to make for my hubby and my kiddos. I modified this recipe a bit because I didn't have all the ingredients. They are slightly cheesy in flavor, due to the miso I think. These crackers are seriously delicious - the only problem is they are a bit higher in fat than I would like them to be. Next time I would greatly reduce the amount of fat in the recipe and replace it with additional milk probably to help the dough stay together (I have put my modifications below). These were a hit and made enough for several days of snacks for all three boys!

Savory Cookies All' Italiana (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)
1/4 t Italian seasoning
1 T white miso
3 T oil
1 cup flour
1/4 cup oat flour
1/4 cup oats
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 T vegan shortening
6 T unsweetened milk
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Use a mixer to add wet to dry until tacky dough forms. Divide into 12 portions. Press down on each portion to form a thin patty, using flour if needed to prevent sticking. Place on greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining portions. Bake at 350 for 12-15 min or until lightly browned.
I made these cookies when I tried a month of veganizing couple years ago. They are so delicious! Melt-in-your-mouth goodness!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from...oops I am not sure which cookbook. I copied a page out of a book and not sure which one!)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/4 t sea salt
1 cup flour
3 T cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 -2 1/2 T agave or more maple
1 t vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
Preheat oven to 400. Combine wet ingredients. Combine dry ingredients. Use mixture to add wet to dry. Fold in chocolate chips. Place spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. B ake 8-10 min.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rice and Bean Sliders...Seitan Sausage...another one of Keith's creations!

A couple months ago I made some lentil rice burgers from the Candle Cafe cookbook. They weren't overly exciting but they were pretty good. I froze some of the mixture as the recipe made quite a few burgers. I am glad I did because they made an easy meal for us yesterday! I doctored them quite a bit and made some pretty tasty sliders. I have copied the recipe for the burgers so you don't have to find the previous post. This recipe will make quite a few burgers. I have adapted the toppings to reflect making the entirety of the burgers (rather than the small amount I made with my leftover burgers). I served the slider with a simple coleslaw and some baked tortilla chips and guacamole. Yum!

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
small buns for serving
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 slider-sized patties and place them on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 15 min.


BBQ Mayo
1/3 cup vegan mayo
2 T bbq sauce
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
Mix all ingredients and spread over buns.

Baked Onions
Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut up 1 large onion and place slices on baking sheet. Bake at 405 until onions are browned and crispy. Toss with hot sauce of choice (I used a chipotle hot sauce).

Take small bun and spread 2 t bbq mayo over both halves. Place a lentil burger on top and top with a mound of onions. Serve.

Baked Tortilla Chips
Spray 10 corn tortillas with cooking spray. Cut into wedges. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 10 min or until crispy. Serve with guacamole.

I really wanted to make breakfast burritos yesterday morning but didn't have any wheat gluten to make seitan bacon crumbles, no tofu for scrambled tofu, no peppers - I was out of so much!!I did, however, have some boiled seitan in the fridge. So I got creative and was so pleased with the results. I think this is the best sausage I have made.

Seitan Sausage
3/4 cup boiled seitan, pulsed in food processor until resembles coarse crumbs/burger-like consistency (this is hard to measure unless it is cut up so just estimate)
1 t canola or olive oil
1/2 t dried sage
1/2 t fennel seed
1 1/2 t ketchup
1 t liquid smoke

Heat skillet and add oil. When oil is hot, add seitan and cook until browned - 5-7 min. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined and heated throughout.

My creative Keith-boy asks to make a creation every time I enter the kitchen. Though I love his budding creativity and love for cooking, it can become a bit exhausting! I did, however, let him come up with his own lunch yesterday. His creation consisted of a crushed tortilla that was baked and sprinkled on a small bun. He then cooked a vegan hot dog with some mayo, mustard, ketchup, and bbq sauce and put that on his bun. Pretty funny! He ate it all and his little brother had a few bite too :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Potato Kale Soup and Breadsticks...Mu Shu Veggie Rolls

Not that photography is my strongpoint anyway but these pictures really didn't turn out good at all! But, they are better than no pictures so...I have posted them anyway :-)
This soup is slightly like my vegan version of Zuppa Toscana but I think this had a little more flavor. Very mild, warm, perfect with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper and hot breadsticks. I put mine in my crockpot so it would be ready when we got home from church. My house smelled delish and all I had to do was throw in the kale, pop the bread in the oven, and put together a quick salad. Perfect!

Potato-Kale Soup (adapted from Cooking Light Oct 02)
 2 tablespoons vegan butter
 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
 1 garlic clove, minced
 7 cups faux chicken broth
 4 cups coarsely chopped peeled potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1 bay leaf
 6 cups chopped fresh kale (about 3/4 pound)
 1 teaspoon dried basil

Place butter, onion and garlic in crockpot and turn on high. "Cook" in crockpot for 10 min, allowing butter to melt and mix with onions/garlic. Add remaining ingredients except kale. Stir and let cook 3-4 hours on high. Add kale. Cook additional 10-15 min (depending on how done you like your kale). Serve topped with a sprinkle of crushed red pepper if you like a little spice.

Soft Breadsticks (adapted from recipezaar)
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place warm water in bowl along with yeast. Allow to dissolve. Add remaining ingredients. Use dough hook to knead dough for 5-7 min. Cover and allow to rise 1 hr. Form into breadsticks or rolls. Bake at 400 for 10-15 min or until lightly browned.

I have made mu shu veggies for years and though I oftentimes added chicken, the rest of the recipe didn't really need veganizing. It is simple, low in fat, full of veggies and very yummy! I used to serve it in tortillas since I didn't want to take the time to make Chinese pancakes (like are served with mu shu at Chinese restaurants). This time I decided to use rice wrappers instead. Worked perfectly! Cheaper and lower in fat than tortillas, I will definitely use these again!

Mu Shu Veggie Wraps
4 cups chopped veggies of your choice (I used cauliflower, onions, cabbage, carrots)
1 T sesame oil
2 clovoes minced garlic
2 t Chinese five spice powder
2 t ground ginger
1/2 t salt
1 T soy sauce
hoisin sauce
rice papers (soaked according to package instructions)

In large skillet, heat oil. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are tender. Add remaining ingredients except hoisin and rice papers. Cook until veggies are tender. You can add a bit of water if the veggies aren't getting done or are sticking to the pan. We like our veggies on the crisp-tender side - you can cook them as long as you like though. Working with one rice paper at a time, take a soaked paper and spread 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce over the surface. Place large scoop of veggies into middle of wrapper. Roll up. Repeat until all filling is gone - the number of rolls will depend on how big you want them to be. As I was making mine, I turned my oven on low and placed my rolls on a plate as I completed making them. This kept them warm and also dried the rice papers out a bit as they get pretty soft and wet during the process of making the rolls. They were perfect this way. Serve with additional hoisin if desired.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Potato Kale Cakes with Horseradish Cream and Baked Onions

I have been working hard on creating recipes that do not require specialty ingredients are are very penny-wise, in addition to being low in fat (thus my menu theme and the items on it!). I made up this recipe and I must admit, it turned out pretty tasty! It was easy, cheap to make, low in fat, and I had everything I needed on hand. The baked onions were especially delish!!

Potato Kale Cakes with Horseradish Cream and Baked Onions

Baked Onions
1 large onion
oil for brushing
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper

Slice onions into rings. Spread on cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Use pastry brush to brush oil on onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 415 for 20 min or until crisped and brown.

2 cups cooked potatoes
2 cups cleaned, cut kale (try to cut this pretty small or else it will be more difficult to form patties)
1 T vegan butter
3 cloves minced garlic
2 t spicy brown mustard
1 t sea salt
1 t fresh black pepper
In a skillet, heat butter. Add kale and garlic and cook until garlic barely starts to brown and kale becomes bright green and slightly tender. Add potatoes to kale mixture. Cook 2-3 min. Remove from heat. Mash mixture and add remaining ingredients. Form into 4 large patties (or small ones if you would rather). Place patties on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 415 for 15 min.

Horseradish Cream
1/4 cup vegan mayo
1 t spicy brown mustard
2 t vegan horseradish

Combine all ingredients and set aside.

Place potato patty on plate, spread thin layer of horseradish cream over patty and top with a mound of baked onions. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


After getting about 7-8 inches of snow yesterday, we are happily stuck inside...but I am getting a bit tired of this nasty weather. Ok, not a bit, a LOT! I don't have much in the way of snacks right now and needed to make some for the hubby and the kiddos. I decided to put a new spin on some granola bars and try out a new recipe for crackers as a salty snack. Both turned out pretty nicely and have been well-received by my family!

Peanut Butter Crackers (loose adaptation from 500 Vegan Recipes)
1 1/2 t soy sauce
1 t hot chili oil
1 t canola oil
2 T peanut buttr
1 T tahini
1/4 cup oat flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
3 T cornstarch
1/8 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk

Preheat oven to 350 and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cream together soy sauce, oils, and peanut butter and tahini. In bowl, mix remaining ingredients exept milk. Mix wet ingredients into dry alternately with milk to form tacky dough. Roll out to 1-2in thickness between 2 pieces of wax paper. Use cookie cutters or slice into pieces with a knife. Place crackers on baking sheet and bake 12-15 min or until lightly browned on bottom.

Coconut Granola Bars
8 t flax meal
3 T warm water
4 T brown rice syrup
1 t vanilla
4 T coconut flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup oats
1/4 cups roasted and chopped almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
Coat loaf pan with cooking spray. Heat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix flax and water. Stir. Add brown rice syrup and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Fold in oats, nuts, and coconut. Press into loaf pan. Bake 20-25 min. Let cool. Cut into bars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kylea's Healing Soup...and my fellow chef!

I was feeling a bit off this morning...actually have been feeling a bit off a lot recently. Not sure why, just not myself healthwise - not sick at all, just a little blah. So, for lunch today I decided I needed to make something super easy, light, calming on my tummy and low in fat. I used Alicia Silverstone's recipe for her Healing Soup and Nabeyaki Udon Soup as a jumping board for what I wanted to add (and hence the name Kylea's Healing Soup :-) ! ). Then I just totally made it up from there! It was perfect for my "blahness"! When I mentioned I was going to make some soup, Keith (my 4 1/2 yr old) begged me to let him cook lunch. I agreed to let him create his own soup if he would be willing to eat it. He was beyond thrilled! We had so much fun in the kitchen together! His soup actually turned out quite tasty and his little brother was quite fond of it as well! Keith then asked to eat his soup with chopsticks! Too funny! He drank the broth when he was done with his chopsticks - cleaned off the entire bowl! His soup consisted of faux chicken broth, edamame (which he patiently popped out of the pods prior to cooking!), cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, orzo, spaghetti noodles, italian seasoning, onion powder, a splash of soy sauce and fresh minced ginger. An interesting combo but pretty tasty!

For my soup, I soaked 5 shitake mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water for about 15 min. Then de-stemmed them and chopped them into pieces. I poured the soaking liquid into a pot along with one more cup of water and added the shitakes, 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1 t chopped fresh ginger and 1/2 cup sliced green onions. A few months ago I received a sample box fro Edwards and Sons (see review at right of the blog) and one of the samples was miso soup mix - basically a packet of powder that you add to water. When I tried it the first time, it was a little too bland and I mentioned in my review that it might be good when I needed a mild soup if I was sick. Even though I wasn't sick, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out another packet. So, I added 1 packet of miso soup mix to the water. I let this cook about 10 min. Then I added 1 cup sliced cabbage and 1 cup chopped celery. In a separate pot, I cooked some spaghetti noodles (I think this would have been even better with rice noodles or udon noodles but I didn't have any so spaghetti worked fine). I placed about 1/2 cup cooked noodles in my bowl and ladled the soup over them. Then I put about 3 splashes of soy sauce on top and sprinkled the whole bowl with Gomasio. Seriously yummy, mild yet flavorful, and full of veggies. This will be my new chicken soup!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Upcoming menu...

I have found in recent weeks that I am making meals with far too much fat in them! In upcoming menus (starting with this week's menu) I will be focusing on lower-fat meals. This is NOT to say they will be fat-free (as I believe most fat-free dishes are also taste-free unless they are naturally fat-free!), just lower in fat. I oftentimes find myself using extra fats as a way of ensuring the vegan dishes I make are flavorful and enjoyed by my family members! In addition to the focus on lower fat meals, I will also be focusing on meals that are affordable and do not require lots of special or expensive ingredients. See my upcoming menu at the right of my blog. Enjoy!

Crusted Seitan Wraps with Sweet Mustard Slaw...Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Cookies

I needed a quick and relatively simple dinner idea so I made up these wraps. They were very tasty. I used a new seitan recipe as I am out of nutritional yeast. I found a recipe that doesn't require it - I think it turned out pretty well. Next time I would probably dip the seitan in something like a milk or sauce mixture before dipping it in crumbs - it was hard to get the crumb mixture to stick. I sliced the seitan very thin and then pressed it into panko crumbs mixed with some homemade seasoned salt. Then I pan-fried it. Meanwhile, I heated some flour tortillas and whipped up some slaw. For the slaw, I sliced cabbage and mixed it with some vegan mayo, mustard and some honey (for those who are stricter in their veganizing, you could sub brown rice syrup or agave instead of the honey. I still use honey in some things). To assemble the wraps, I layered the seitan and slaw and drizzled with bbq sauce inside the tortilla. Very tasty. The downside was the fact that the seitan was fried. In my new menu, you will see there are no recipes with fried dishes. See the menu section for what's coming up!
I really need to stop finding yummy dessert recipes and work on that sweet tooth of mine...ahhh! These cookies were absolutely delicious. Very chewy and yummy. Yet another keeper from Joni Newman!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Cozy Inside)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup original almond milk
1 T maple syrup
1 t vanilla
baking powder
1/2 t baking soda

Combine all ingredients and mix until goopy dough forms. Heat oven to 350. Drop spoonfuls of dough on greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 min. Make sure you space your cookies - these really spread out.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Orange Chip Scones

Absolutely delicious! Original recipe called for topping these with icing - I didn't think they needed any extra sugar so didn't make any. Perfect without the added sugar!

Orange Chip Scones
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 cup sugar
4 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
4 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped
1 T grated orange zest
1 cup canola oil
1 cup soymilk (pour 2 t vinegar into cup measure before soymilk - fill remainder of cup with milk to form "buttermilk")
4 T flaxmeal mixed with 6 T water
1 t orange extract

Mix flours, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix oil, milk,orange extract flax "eggs". Add wet to dry. Stir just to combine. Stir in zest and chocolate. Drop 1/4 cup-fuls of batter onto greased baking sheet to form 24 scones. Bake at 350 for 18-22 min.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

My little cook...

Keith has been enthusiastically helping me out in the kitchen these days, asking me to let him make up recipes and cook them. I have indulged his sweet creativeness and I thought I would thrill his little self by posting some pictures of his creations.

"Chipomtle Yum" (Keith's way of saying chipotle yum!)
"Carrots Chipomtle"

Curried Veggies and Onion Koftas...Fried Raviolis...Chocolate Coffeecake...Southwestern Bean Stacks...

Decided to try this recipe instead of the Curried Tofu and Veggies - looked yummier. It was! The Onion Koftas didn't cook as they were supposed to but were delish none-the-less! Next time I would simply sprinkle the onion koftas on top of the curry instead of serving them to the side. The flavors paired perfectly together!

Assorted Veggies in Cashew Gravy (adapted from the Asian Vegan Kitchen)
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
4 carrots peeled and sliced
3 potatoes peeled and diced
1 cup petite diced tomatoes
1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
1 t chopped ginger
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t minced ginger
½ t turmeric
1 cup water
1 t sugar
2 t lemon juice

Cashew Paste
3 T cashews
2 T coriander seeds
2 t cumin seeds
3 cloves
½ t black peppercorns

For paste, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until paste forms. Add 3 T of water to the paste and pulse until combined. Set aside.

Heat large skillet with oil. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook 3 min. Add carrots and potatoes. Cook until veggies are crisp tender. Add cauliflower. Cook until all veggies are tender. Add tomatoes, turmeric, water, and cashew paste. Stir until bubbly and sauce is thickened. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir. Serve over rice.
Onion Koftas (adapted from the Farmers Market Cookbook
1 1/2 lbs onions, sliced
1 t salt
1 t each coriander and cumin
1/2 t turmeric
3/4 cup chickpea flour
1/2 t baking powder
oil for frying
Place onions in a colander, add salt, toss, then lay on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Let stand 20 min. Pat onions dry with more paper towels. Place onions in bowl and add remaining ingredients. Heat oil in skillet and place onion mixture across entire bottom of pan to form a sort of pancake. Fry 5-7 min until browned and then flip over and brown other side. Break off chunks of onions to serve atop curry.
The raviolis I made that didn't turn out so great (which my hubby actually really liked...:-))- needed to be redeemed so I breaded them, fried them and served them with chunky marinara. Okay, pretty fabulous! I am not posting the recipe for the Pumpkin Kale Raviolis as I still wasn't all that fond of the flavor combo. However, this method would work with any raviolis - it is not, however, very healthy seeing as how they are fried!!
Chocolate Almond Coffeecake - need I say more?! Found this recipe in an old magazine and it looked so good. Totally not vegan, so I redid the recipe. It turned out so yummy - this will be a make-again for special occasions! Next time I think I would perhaps leave out the extra butter, flour and sugar from the topping and simply sprinkle the top with nuts and chocolate chips - the cake is rich and sweet on its own and I think would do just fine without those additional calories and sugar.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake
1 3/4 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 t vanilla
6 T flax meal mixed with 9 T water
1 cup vegan sour cream

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Spread in a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray.

1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T flour
2 T vegan butter
1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
Combine all ingredients until crumb mixture forms. Sprinkle over cake.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.
Southwestern Bean Stacks - YUM!

Southwestern Bean Stacks

Bean Patties
2½ cups black beans
1 T cornmeal
1 T chili powder
1 T dried minced onions
2 t cumin
1 t garlic powder
1 t salt
1 T oil
1 T ketchup

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until pureed and smooth. Form patties out of the mixture – depending on how big you make them, this will make 4-6 patties. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 15 min.

Chipotle Mayo
½ cup vegan mayo (I made my own – see recipe below)
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced

Combine mayo and chili until well incorporated. Set aside.

Jalepeno Ketchup
½ cup ketchup
2 T chopped jarred jalepenos

Combine ingredients. Set aside.

Crispy Onions
1 large onion, sliced
2 T cornmeal
3 T flour
Scant ¼ t baking powder
½ t salt
canola oil
Combine all ingredients except canola oil. Heat skillet over medium heat. Pour oil in pan to cover complete surface. Spread onion mixture over entire bottom of skillet to form an onion “pancake”. Cook 5-7 min or until browned on bottom. Flip “pancake” over and brown on other side, about 5-7 min. Remove from heat.

Take bean patty and spread chipotle mayo over surface. Top with a generous dollop of jalepeno ketchup. Cut about ¼ cup onions from onion “pancake” and pile on top. Serve.

Migraines and the vegan diet...update

If you have glanced at my profile, you might have noticed that one of the main driving reasons to our family joining the vegan world was to try and alleviate my husbands relentless migraines. In the past we had tried multiple remedies, ranging from conventional medications (totally ineffective) to chiropractic care (a wonderful addition to our lives and one we still regularly use but not a remedy for the migraines), natural supplements (ineffective), taking Juice Plus+ (whole food supplement - in short, fruits and veggies in a capsule --- effective in reducing them and greatly improving overall health but not effective in eliminating the migraines)...nothing worked totally and completely. Over the years, we have been able to pinpoint his main triggers - dehydration, consumption of foods containing nitrates/nitrites (a preservative found in preparred meats such as bacon, smoked sausage, lunch meat etc), lack of sleep, overexertion (during workouts mainly), and stress. For the most part, we were able to stay on top of these triggers but the migraines continued. Sooo - we converted to a mainly vegan diet. As we continued eating vegan, the migraines faded almost completely. Most times my husband would eat meat (as a treat), a migraine would emmerge. Time progressed and the pattern continued - when he would enjoy a meal containing meat while at work or at someone else's house, he would get a migraine. Every once in a while, a migraine would be caused by one of his other triggers unavoidably (lack of sleep or high stress). The connection has been amazing. My husband agreed to try the "vegan thing" for a week - we are now on month 6! He is vitually migraine-free and we are loving the vegan lifestyle. I am learning more and more how to make things that our family loves and we are all enjoying good health. Though diet can be a challenging area to change, it is integral in every health condition! Every health challenge will be affected positively by the way one eats - it may not cure the problem but it will improve it to some extent. More on this in a later post! AND for those who don't believe a change in diet is possible, my husband is living proof that even meat-eaters can learn to love this way of eating. He comes from a family of meat-lovers and he has always loved meat too. He now eats meat as a treat a couple times a month but loves eating vegan the rest of the time...I never thought I would say that! For now, suffice it to say, our diet transformation has been more than worth it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Breakfast Burritos and Spaghetti and Meetballs

This recipe turned out pretty good for meatballs. Used up the last of the TVP I bought. I tink TVP is a nice meat substitute for things like meatballs and meatloaf - more meat-like than some. However, it is highly processed so won't be a main ingredient for us. I have just listed the meatball recipe - you can use any sort of pasta and pasta sauce to go along with this recipe.

Meetballs (adapted from Cozy Inside)
2 cups TVP
1 3/4 cups faux beef broth
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T oil
1/2 cup gluten
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t each pepper, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder
additional oil for pan-frying
Recontitute TVP by heating broth and adding TVP. Use fork to stir. Cover and let sit 10 min. Fluff with a fork. In a skillet, heat oil and add onion and garlic. Cook until tender. Remove from heat. Add onion mixture to TVP and add remaining ingredients. Form balls 1 1/2 in in diameter, squeezing hard to tightly form them. Heat skillet with oil and pan-fry until golden brown on all sides.

These were pretty good but I like my usual breakfast burritos better (using seitan bacon crumbles, potatoes, salsa, peppers). The tofu eggs were pretty good and Braedon (my 21 mo old) loved them! The TVP sausage wasn't real flavorful and didn't add much to the flavor in my opinion. Below is the recipe for the eggs and sausage - other ingredients you would need would be pan-fried potatoes, salsa, peppers - basically whatever else you would want in your burrito.

Tofu Eggs (adapted from Cozy Inside)
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T oil
2 T vegan sour cream
pepper to taste
1/4 t each turmeric, cumin, ground mustard, seasoned salt

In skillet, heat oil and add garlic and onions. Cook 5 min. Add tofu by crumbling into pan. Saute 5 more minutes. Stir in spices. Cook 5 more min. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream.

TVP Sausage(adapted from Cozy Inside)
1 cup TVP (rehydrated with 7/8 cup veg stock)
1/4 t each cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
1/2 t each oregano, pepper
1 T each soy sauce, ketchup
splash of hot sauce

After rehydrating TVP, add ingredients except ketchup and hot sauce to skillet. Cook for 5 min or until browned. Remove from heat and stir in ketchup and hot sauce.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Salsa Rolls and Taco Soup......Crispy Orange Tofu and Asian Slaw

I made up a taco soup with the ingredients I had on hand - turned out pretty good topped with tortilla chips and avocados. I sauteed an onion and couple cloves of garlic in a bit of oil. I had leftover echilada sauce (about 2 cups) from making the Mexican Shepherds Pie and added that to the onions. Then added 2 cups faux chicken broth, teaspoon of cumin, teaspoon of salt, tablespoon of chili powder, some leftover TVP from the breakfast burritos and 2 cups of pinto beans. Pretty yum. Made Salsa Rolls to go with it. They were good but prob wouldn't make them again simply because I like some other recipes better.
Salsa Rolls (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cut heated water
1 T canola oil
1 T agave (I used honey because that's one non-vegan ingredient I still use!)
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup white flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 T gluten
1 t fine sea salt
1 1/4 t yeast

Combine salsa, water, oil, and agave. In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add wet to dry. Knead 8-10 min. Coat with small amount of oil. Cover and let rise 90 min. Punch down dough and divide into 12 rolls. Cover and let rise additional 30 min. Bake at 375 for 15-20 min or until browned.
I was really excited to try the Crispy Tofu with Orange Dipping Sauce (my picture doesn't show the dipping sauce) from Kind Diet but was a bit disappointed in the lack of flavor. I think it needed some salt and the tofu just wasn't crispy. It was chewy but not crispy. THe picture in the book looks fabulous! I marinated and baked my own tofu as the recipe called for using baked tofu and I didn't have any. I wouldn't make this again but we enjoyed it enough to say it was a yummy dinner. Recip can be found at I made an Asian slaw to go with it and it was pretty tasty. The only thing I would do next time would be to add some raisins to it. It needed a bit of sweetness and I think raisins would pair very nicely with the other flavors. Asian Slaw (adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 t curry powder
1/2 t each salt, garlic powder, ground ginger
1/3 cup water
2 T each oil and water
Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.

7 cups sliced cabbage (or part cabbage, part shredded carrots)
1/2 cup slivered, toasted almonds
1/2 cup raisins (my suggestion for next time I make it)

Mix cabbage, nuts, raisins with dressing.

Pumpkin everything!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread - delish bread! Not pumpkin-y at all. Just yummy!

Pumpkin Yeast Bread (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup heated soymilk
2 T oil
1 1/2 cups white flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 T gluten
2 T agave
1 t fine sea salt
2 t yeast

In bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, agave and oil. In large bowl, combine remaining ingrediens. Stir wet into dry ingredients. Knead for 8-10 min. coat with small amount of oil. Cover and let rise 90 min. Punch down dough. Press into a prepared loaf pan. Bake at 375 for 15. Cover with foil and bake 15 more min.
Pumpkin Quick Bread - this recipe needs salt! I have added it in the recipe I have posted. Very moist and yummy otherwise.

Pumpkin Bread (adapted from Kind Diet)
5 cups pureed pumpkin
2 cups coconut crystals (or sugar)
egg substitute for 2 eggs
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup oil
1 t vanilla
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
3 t baking soda
3 t baking powder
1 T cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
2 t sea salt

Mix pumpkin, milk, sugar, "eggs", oil, and vanilla. In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add wet to dry ingredients. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 45min-1hr.
Pumpkin Bagels
Several months ago I got 4 small jack-o-lantern pumpkins free from Whole Foods after Halloween. I intended to roast the seeds as our fam likes them for snacks. I researched the use of the actual pumpkin flesh from these types of pumpkins and found that it is totally edible, though messy to prepare and watery in consistency.I decided to cook it all up and puree it rather than wasting it. Even though they were free, I had a really hard time just throwing them out. It was a lot of work but totally worth it. The pumpkin isn't very flavorful so is great for things like baking but not so great for things like pumpkin soup (sadly, I learned this from first-hand experience!). With the snowy weather yesterday, it was a perfect day to stay inside and I baked up a storm! I will post recipes ASAP but prob won't have time this morning! Also made Pumpkin Kale Raviolis but don't have a pic yet as they haven't been cooked. Keep an eye out for those soon! (Actually not! I made the mistake of prepping the raviolis yesterday and then cooking them today - no a good idea. Even though the filling wasn't hot or anything, there was condensation on the saran wrap today and the raviolis were really soft. I decided to still try them out but they fell apart in the water so there were spots with holes that let filling out. So, they didn't have much flavor. Very disappointing since they are so much work to make! The ones that did have the filling still mostly intact weren't my favorite in the area of flavor. I only cooked a few once I discovered this so I am going to coat the rest with breadcrumbs and spices and fry them and serve with marinara and see if they are better that way. If they are good, you will see a post soon :-) ).

Pumpkin Bagels (adpated from 500 Vegan Recipes)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup heated soymilk
1 T vegan butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 T gluten
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t fine sea salt
1 3/4 t yeast

In bowl, combine pumpkin, milk and butter. In large bowl, combine remaining ingrediens. Stir wet into dry ingredients. Knead for 8-10 min. coat with small amount of oil. Cover and let rise 90 min. Punch down dough. Divide into 8 portions. Roll into balls. Take each ball and flatten with your palm. Press your index finger through middle to make a hole and twirl bagel around your finger until hole is about 1 inch wide. Heat water to boiling in large stockpot. Add bagels, 3 at a time and boil 30 seconds on each side. Remove and place on greased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining bagels. Bake at 400 for 20 min or until lightly browned.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mexican Shepherds Pie...Jerk Seitan and Coconut Rice

I have been wanting to try this Mexican Shepherds Pie for quite a while but have continually waffled on whether or not to do all the work to prepare it! I finally decided to make it the other night. It was pretty good but a ton of work so probably wouldn't make it again. My hubby liked it fine but it wasn't a favorite for him. It was pretty tasty the next day but again, not fabulous enough to make again. I whipped up some guacamole to spread on top which added a lot to it's goodness. The recipe calls for a TVP "meat" topping but I didn't think it added much flavor. I would use seitan chorizo crumbles if I were to make it again as I think they have much more flavor. That's what I have listed here.

Mexican Shepherds Pie (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)

For crust:
2 cups masa harina
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 t chili powder
Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9x13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Set aside (I halved the recipe so my picture shows me using a pie plate).

For potatoes:
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup nondairy sour cream
2 T nondairy butter
1/2 t each cumin, coriander, garlic powder
1 T minced dried onions
Boil potatoes until tender. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Mash. Set aside.

1 recipe seitan chorizo (recipe follows)
1 1/4 cups enchilada sauce (recipe follows)

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

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

Seitan Chorizo Crumbles (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
½ cup vital wheat gluten
2 T nutritional yeast
½ t fine sea salt
1 t ground cumin
¼ t cayenne pepper
½ t paprika
2 t chili powder
½ t dried minced onion
2 T water
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T ketchup
1 T canola oil
Combine dry ingredients. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add wet to dry until crumbly dough forms. Heat skillet and add a bit of canola oil to coat the pan. Fry crumbled mixture until browned.

Top masa crust with chorizo crumbles, then enchilada sauce and spread potatoes on top. Bake at 400 for 25 min.
I was looking forward to trying a marinated seitan recipe - it just looked super yummy and I had all of the ingredients on hand as well as some Seitan O Greatness already made so this was a perfect choice. THe spice blend was different and I must admit, not my favorite. It had an almost bitter taste. However, the seitan soaked up the flavors of the sauce perfectly and the consistency was so meatlike it was amazing. I will definitely be experimenting with some other marinated seitan recipes - this worked so well. My hubby really liked it. The coconut rice was very yummy - very mild, subtle flavor but delicious. I plan to use the rest of the rice to serve with the Curried Tofu and Veggies on my menu. I made a yummy sauteed cabbage to go with this meal and of course some sweet potato fries ( a favorite in our house!).

Jerk Seitan (Adapted from Vegan With a Vengeance)
3 T minced dried onion
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 1/2 T ginger, chopped
3 T lime juice
3 T soy sauce
2 T olive oil
2 T maple syrup
1 T dried thyme
1 t ground allspice
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cayenne
1 t ground or freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups seitan, cut into strips

Prepare marinade by combine all ingredients except seitan in food processor and blending until smooth. Pour into a ziptop bag and add seitan. Marinate for an hour.

2 t oil
1 onion, sliced

In skillet, heat oil. Add onions and saute 5-7 min. Add seitan strips and cook until onions are tender and seitan is browned. Add remaining marinade and heat thoroughly. Serve over rice.

Coconut Rice with Toasted Coconut (Adapted from Vegan With a Vengeance)
2 cups jasmine rice
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup waer
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 t salt
grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Combine all ingredients except coconut in large saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer 20 min or until tender. Let sit 10 min. Meanwhile, heat skillet over medium heat. Add coconut and toast until browned. Sprinkle over prepared rice.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vegan Crab Cakes with Spicy Remoulade..."Pepperoni" Pasta with Tofu Feta...Chocolate Peanut Muffins...Flatbread...Hot Rolls

My hubby finished up his vacation time yesterday so the past couple of days I have been cooking up a storm, knowing that starting today, my creativity in the kitchen will need to be a bit simpler and less time-consuming since daddy won't constantly be home to help with the kiddos! I have had a blast trying out lots of new recipes (and enjoying several favorites a second time around!
I was going to try out a recipe from Vegan Dad's website but then decided his recipe for Chickpea Cakes didn't look as exciting as I originally did so I set out to make up my own recipe, trying to create a sort of mock crab cake. I was so impressed by how these turned out! They were easy, very flavorful, and low fat into the bargain! I also modified a recipe I found online for remoulade and it was fabulous on the cakes. Very yummy!

Mock Crab Cakes
1 28-oz can chickpeas (I actually used some that I had cooked and frozen)
2 t toasted nori
1/2 t garlic powder
2 t minced dried onions
2 t Old Bay seasoning
1 T flour
1 T cornstarch
2 t olive oil
panko breadcrumbs

Combine all ingredients except panko in food processor and process until smooth - a few lumps are fine. Make mixture into 6 round cakes, squishing together well or the cakes will crumble. Press each cake into a dish of panko crumbs to create a crunchy coating. Place cakes on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake at 425 for 20 min or until golden. Serve with remoulade (see below)

Spicy Remoulade
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1 T ketchup
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t minced dried onion
1/2 t minced dried parsley
1 T capers with brine
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t sea salt
Combine all ingredients until well mixed.

Another made-up recipe! I made a recipe of Seitan O Greatness the other day but I made 2 "logs" (simply dividing the dough, not making a double recipe) and I added the spices recommended for making "pepperoni" in Newman's cookbook Cozy Inside to one of the logs (leaving the other as regular seitan). The flavor of the "pepperoni" log was pretty tasty, even slightly reminscent of pepperoni (notice I did say "slightly"!). I was at loss for something fast and easy for last night's dinner so I made up a pasta toss using some of this "pepperoni" and it turned out pretty tasty.

Vegan Pepperoni (I have combined 2 recipes here to create this one)
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/8 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 t salt
1/2 T plus 1 t paprika
1/8 t cumin
1 T cracked fresh pepper
1 t garlic powder
1/2 T fennel seed

3/8 cup water
2 T tomato paste
1/2 T soy sauce
1 T olive oil
1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce

Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly. Knead a few times. Form into a log and wrap tightly in foil. Bake at 325 for 45 min, turning once during cook time.

"Pepperoni" Pasta
1 T olive oil
1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup black olives
3/4 cup sliced vegan "pepperoni"
1 roma tomato finely chopped
1 lemon
1 t lemon zest
1 T vegan butter
crushed red pepper for sprinkling
Tofu Feta for topping(see recipe below)
3 cups cooked ziti

Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and onion and cook until browned - about 10 min. Add olives, pepperoni, and tomato. Heat through. Toss cooked pasta with butter, sprinkle of sea salt, zest and juice of 1 lemon. Divide among 4 small bowls or 2 large bowls. Top each pasta serving with pepperoni mixture. Sprinkle with crushed pepper and a large spoonful of tofu feta.

Tofu Feta (500 Vegan Recipes)
14 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
3 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 T dried basil
2 T capers
Salt and pepper to taste
Crumble tofu into a bowl until it resembles feta. Add remianing ingredients and mix together with your hands.
I tried out a new muffin recipe and really liked it - I chose it primarily for the lower amount of sugar used - I find that most muffin recipes call for far too much sugar.

Chocolate Peanut Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
4 T flax meal
6 T water
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup soy milk
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanuts
Preheat oven to 400. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, mix flax and water. Let sit 2-3 min. To flax mixture add oil, milk and vanilla. Add to dry mixture. Fold in choc chips and peanuts. Divide among 12 muffin cups. Bake 15-20 min or until golden.
These are great for making small pizzas or for wrapping around sandwich fillings. Recipe can be found at Newman's blog

A tad of sweetness and a lot of soft goodness! Makes a ton of rolls - about 40!

Hot Rolls (adapted from Keeping Good Company)
2 packages yeast
1 t sugar
2 cups warm water
2 t salt
4 T sugar
6 T canola oil
6 cups flour
Combine yeast, 1 cup water and 1 t sugar. Let stand 10 min. Add remaining ingredients. Using a dough hook, knead for 3 min. Cover and let rise 1 hr. Pinch off pieces of dough to make about 40 rolls - roll into balls. Place on greased cookie sheets and let rise 1 hr. Bake at 425 for 15-20 min or until golden.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Southern Fried Tofu Fingers - YUM!!!

Joni Marie Newman (author of my very favorite cookbook - 500 Vegan Recipes) has scored again! I got her cookbook "Cozy Inside" for Christmas - it definitely predates her 500 book and isn't nearly as extensive or professional in my opinion but I still love it! Unfortunately, she has a few comments that are rather crass and some words that should not be found in a cookbook but none-the-less, I have enjoyed the recipes so far. Remember the Crispy Tofu Fries from a couple days ago? They needed some major doctoring so I decided to try this recipe with the remaining "fries". Wow - absolutely yum! It just doesn't seem possible that tofu can taste this delicious! I served them with BBQ sauce and honey mustard. Keith, my 4 1/2 year old, loved them and ate more than I did! I have adjusted the recipe to incorporate more of the seasonings and the original recipe had very small measurements of spices and I think they were better with more. I should have made a double recipe because they were gone before anyone was full! That's what I get for making them with the leftover portion from another meal :-) So, this will be made again for sure. The flavor can be transformed easily by serving various dipping sauces - probably would be delish dipped in a honey sesame sauce or a peanut sauce...

Southern Fried Tofu Fingers (adapted from Cozy Inside)
1 block extra firm tofu (of course I used my wonderful TofuXpress for this!), drained and pressed and cut into sticks
2 cups flour
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t garlic powder
1/ t onion powder
1/2 t black pepper
1 cup coconut milk (I think these would have been fine if dipped in another non-dairy milk like almond or soy. I used my coconut cream mixed with water)

In a flat dish, place milk. In another flat dish, add flour and seasonings. Dip sticks of tofu in milk, then flour, then milk, then flour. Heat skillet with 1/4 inch of oil. Fry tofu sticks until golden on both sides. Place on paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve with dipping sauces of your choice.

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.