Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my sweet 5 yr old Keith Daniel! I can hardly believe my little boy has gotten so big! We have had a couple celebrations over the last couple days (allowing me to post a picture of the cake I made him even though it is before 5am on his bday - no I didn't feed him cake for an early breakfast! :-) ). Love you, sweet boy!

I used the cupcake recipe for Golden Vanilla Cupcakes and turned them into a cake as Keith wanted a cake, not cupcakes! The cake was pretty yummy (recipe can be found at

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thank you to Michelle at lovinlivinvegan and veganfueledmom for awarding me! I have greatly enjoyed discovering new fellow vegan bloggers recently!

The rules for this award are:
1. Make a post & link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

My Random Things:"
1. I get up at 4:30 am to have my quiet time
2. I was a missionary kid and lived in Zambia, Africa from the time I was 11 until I graduated from high school.
3. I hate winter!
4. I love coffee (a little too much!)
5. I was homeschooled for most of my life and plan to homeschool my own kiddos (starting this September!)
6. I went to boarding school in Kenya for 4 years.
7. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor but have been taking a break from practice since my second baby was born in 2009.

And I am awarding these great bloggers now! Thanks for the fun blogs everyone!
Vegankiddo (is that allowed? I just created this for my 5 yr old! He wanted his own blog!)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tortilla Soup...Crunchy Asian Slaw...Orzo Casserole...Lemon Broccoli Pasta

An incredibly simple soup that gets thrown in the crockpot to simmer while delivering delicious smells throughout the kitchen.

Crockpot Tortilla Soup
4 cloves minced garlic
1 medium chopped onion
1 t hot sauce (like Tabasco)
2 chopped jalepenos
2 8oz cans tomato sauce
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups faux chicken broth
tortilla chips
avocado or guacamole

Combine all ingredients in crockpot except chips and avo. Cook on low 4-6 hours. Top each bowl with tortilla chips and avocado.
A not-so-exciting orzo dish...I sauteed onions and garlic in a tad of oil until tender. Then I added some spinach and some white wine and lemon. I cooked my orzo until tender and then tossed it all together with a sprinkling of salt and cracked pepper. Unfortunately, it was totally tasteless!but I was able to transform it the next day into this...I made the alfredo sauce from Creamy Broccoli and Mushroom Casserole (you can search this in my blog and find the full recipe, not just the sauce. In case you are looking for a good orzo dish, this is the one to try!)and threw in the boring orzo I made. It was delicious. I sprinkled it with some bread crumbs mixed with a tad of oil and some garlic powder and Italian herbs. Great results.
Alfredo Sauce (Vegan Yum Yum recipe)
1 cup soy milk
2 T Earth balance
2 T soy sauce
2 T tahini
1 T lemon juice
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup raw, unsalted cashews
2 T cornstarch
2 t dijon mustard
2-4 cloves garlic

A twist on Morgan's Buffalo Wrap that turned out absolutely perfectly! Yuuuummmmm! Very low fat to boot!
Morgan's recipe called for boiled seitan that is dipped in flour and pan-fried. I tried it this way the first time I made it. When I tried it again, I had some seitan-o-greatness made so I sliced that into strips, heated it in the oven and poured the hot sauce (I have a chipotle "wing" sauce that I used - spicy but yummy!) over it. This took away the frying step and the cosistency was much more like chicken in my opinion. I liked it much better with the baked seitan, although the boiled is still tasty. It also calls for using mayo to make the dressing (which works great) but I have used whatever I have had on hand, including cream cheese (Tofutti non-hydrogenated) or a mixture of unsweetened soy milk and cream cheese or unsweetened soy milk and mayo. The dill gives the sauce an incredible flavor. The original recipe also calls for butter to be added to the hot sauce. I don't think this adds anything other than fat so I have chosen to leave it out alltogether. So, here is my recipe adapted from the original.
Buffalo "Chicken" Wraps (adapted from Morgan's Buffalo Wraps)
1/2 cup vegan mayo (or sour cream or cream cheese)
1/4 cup soymilk
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp garlic powder
cracked black pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients until smooth

Buffalo Sauce:
1/4 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce (or another spicy chipotle or pepper sauce)

1 1/2 cups sliced baked seitan, heated (like seitan-o-greatness)or if using boiled seitan, dip it in some flour and lightly pan-fry it

Chopped lettuce and shredded carrots

To Make the Buffalo Wraps:
Take a tortilla or wrap and spread 1 T dressing over surface. Place several seitan strips on top. Drizzle hot sauce over seitan. Top with chopped lettuce and shredded carrots. Roll up and enjoy!

A delicious new recipe for slaw - sprinkled with peanuts. Easy and tasty!

Crunchy Asian Slaw
4 cups sliced cabbage
1/4 cup Asian dressing (recipe below)
1/4 cup peanuts

Toss all ingredients and serve.

Asian Dressing
2 T sugar
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 t sesame oil
1/4 cup oil
3 T vinegar
Combine all ingredients until well combined.
I'm back! It has been a very long week of prepping for the kids' consignment sale and I finally dropped off my load of baby stuff yesterday morning (what a relief to be done from the prepping but what a sad moment of letting go too!). I have been cooking, but not many new and exciting things, unfortunately! I have made a few yummies and you will see pics here. Watch for recipes to come (if you don't see a recipe posted yet but would like it right away, post a note and I will get it on here ASAP - otherwise, recipes will be available very soon!). You will also notice, my new menu will soon be posted so stay tuned - I am trying to catch up on a bunch of stuff right now, in addition to the fact that my oldest son turns 5 on Monday and we have lots of family celebrations this weekend. So, bear with me! :-) Happy Cooking!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I feel sad to not have any fun posts to share - I have been ridiculously busy preparing all my baby stuff for a kids' consignment sale next weekend. I just found out about it so I have been prepping tags, ironing, sorting, etc etc!! Wow! Didn't know it would be so much work to take the plunge and finally say we are officially done with having babies :-( Braedon will be 2 in less than a month so I decided it was time to make some room in our basement and get rid of all our baby things. All of that to say, I have been relying on easy meals and leftovers and have nothing fun to report! I will be back to regular blogging as soon as I can - for now, I figured a cute picture of my boys would be a good stand-in :-) Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Earth Burgers

I was so excited about these burgers - they looked super yummy. I wasn't overly thrilled with them though. I have discovered that I really don't like the taste of soy flour unless it is greatly disquised. I have used it in baking as a replacement for eggs (Urban Vegan recipes call for it frequently as such) and it is generally ok. However, the flavor of the soy flour in these burgers was much too strong for me so it wasn't my fav. I added a couple of ingredients from another burger recipe. I think the other burger recipe (Bacon Avocado Burgers)in its entirety would have been a lot better. Bummer! Oh well, I will have to try those another time. This burger recipe an be found at - as can the Bacon Avo Burger I want to try. I added some ketchup, A1 and "bacon" bits to the Earth burger recipe (components of the Bacon Avo Burger). They were edible, just not my favorite flavor. Braedon, on the other hand, loved these and downed a whole burger on his own :-) Guess who gets the leftovers?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Kaleidoscope Taco Salad

I had several bits and pieces of leftovers in my fridge today but not enough of anything to really make a meal. Soooo, I made a rather unconventional taco salad. Ok, so it was a downright weird combo of ingredients but it was fabulously delicious! And I had the satisfaction of using lots of bits and pieces of food in the fridge (I love creating something out of funny odds and ends!). When I was trying to think of what to call this dish, all I could think of was garbage nachos or garbage taco salad - and both of those sounded revolting but I needed to call it something! So, I decided that a kaleidoscope described it perfectly - lots of different colors and shapes all put together to form something grand! Ok so I am a dork but it was good and I like the name :-) Here is what was lining my fridge shelves that I pulled out to use for this salad:

buffalo sauce from the "chicken" wraps
vegan rach from the "chicken wraps"
Morgan's beans
brown rice
sour cream (homemade that I had added a little garlic salt and curry to for some veggies)

So, I heated the beans and rice and got busy whipping up some slaw. I sliced cabbage and then mixed it with diced tomatoes, chopped jarred jalepenos, sour cream, ranch and buffalo sauce. Once heated, I put the rice and beans in a bowl, topped with the slaw and some guacamole and served it with tortilla chips. Like I said, weird combo but seriously delicious! And now there is more room for more delicious dishes :-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

I decided to make up a bundle of Valentines goodies for my boys and had lots of fun doing so! I made dried pineapple in my dehydrator (my hubby's favorite but I have never made it before - we have tried it at Whole Foods but it is soooo expensive!), granola bars, peanut/pretzel/chocolate clusters, fruit and nut trail mix, honey roasted chickpeas, and bagel chip/pretzel snack mix.

I love to make fofars (previous post) and I use Gardein beef tips for the filling. However, Gardein (as much as we love it) is quite pricey at $3.99/package. I had some baked seitan log in the fridge just asking to be used, along with some leftover pie dough from the last time I made fofars. I decided to attempt a new and revised version of the famed fofars. I heated a bit of oil in a skillet and threw in a chopped onion and about 3 cups diced potatoes (I figured adding a good amount of potatoes and onions would expand the mixture quite nicely, eliminating the need for the bulk of the filling to be "meat"). I cooked those until almost done and then threw in about 1 cup diced seitan (I wouldn't recommend boiled for this - it's too spongey. Use a baked seitan).
I generously doused this mixture with freshly cracked pepper and some salt. I then poured this mixture into a pie plate and topped it with my leftover pie dough that I had rolled out. I baked for about 20 min at 400 until the crust was browned and then served it with a mixture of ketchup/A1 like we do with fofars. It was delicious and every bit as good as it's Gardein counterpart, not to mention much cheaper. And by making this into a one-crusted pie, I eliminated the need of rolling out each circle of dough like I do when making the original fofars. Needless to say, this will be made time and time again I suspect!

I made tostadas out of leftover beans I made the other day (modified version of Morgan's beans - see previous post). I simply brushed my corn tortillas with canola oil, sprinkled with a tad of garlic salt and broiled them on each side until crispy. I made a Mexican slaw and guacamole and also chopped up tomatoes. These were fabulous! That pot of beans makes a lot of meals and each time we eat them I can't get over how deliciously flavorful they are! Since I have already posted the recipe for the beans, I will just post the slaw recipe.

Spiced Mexican Slaw
2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup vegan mayo (I used homemade)
1 t cumin
2 t chili powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 t minced dried onion
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt

Combine all ingredients and stir well.

This was another of Morgan's recipes (Littlehouseofveggies) which I tweaked a bit. It was quite delicious and the "ranch" was so flavorful. I would modify a few things next time and have typed the recipe as such. I was in a hurry (as frequently happens!) to get dinner on the table for 3 very hungry boys so the picture is terrible and I also didn't fill the wrap with as much as I would have liked. Next time I would mix cabbage with the ranch and serve it that way. It needed something else (recipe called for lettuce, tomato and carrots I think) and I think cabbage would give it a good crunch factor and also add lots of good nutrition. A definite make-again.

Buffalo "Chicken" Wraps (adapted from Littlehouseofveggies)

Vegan Ranch Slaw (what I would do next time)
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1/4 cup soymilk
2 t dried parsley
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp garlic powder
cracked black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
Combine all ingredients. Set aside

Spicy Buffalo Sauce:
1/2 cup Louisiana Hot Sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
Combine ingredients and set aside.

2 cups thinly sliced seitan (I used homemade boiled seitan)
1 cup flour
1 t garlic salt
1 t pepper
1/3 cup soy milk
oil for pan frying

Combine flor, garlic salt and pepper in shallow bowl. Pour soy milk into separate shallow bowl. Dredge seitan slices into milk and then flour. Heat oil (just enough to cover bottom of skillet) and pan fry strips until golden on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Toss seitan with buffalo sauce. Take a tortilla or wrap. Layer seitan and ranch slaw on wrap and roll up. Eat with extra hot sauce if desire

These cookie were delightful - very fudgy and moist and chewy. So yummy! Recipe to come...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mexican Spiced Seitan and Pinto Burritos...Vegan Crackers...Sausage Pasta...

Still trying out lots of snacks for my boys. Keith isn't fond of these but Braed and hubby like them. After making them I immediately packaged them into serving sizes so it is easy to throw one container in my husband's lunch box each day (which is pictured here).

Cheezy Quackers (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oat flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 t black pepper
1 t fine sea salt
4 T vegan butter
1/4 cup soy or almond milk, unsweetened

Combine flours, yeast, pepper, and salt. Cut in butter. Add milk until soft dough forms. Dust cutting board with flour and roll out dough to 1/4 in thick. Use a small biscuit cutter or cookie cutter of choice to cut out crackers. Bake at 350 for 15-18 min, depending on thickness.
This is a recipe I have made before - it's a veganized version of a Rachel Ray dish. I made it a bit differently this time and it was fabulous. One of the main things I did differently was I used a different type of sausage and I also used tofu sour cream instead of tofu ricotta for the lemon spiked topping (sorry, forgot to take picture of the finished product so it is not pictured). I was running low on time and the ingredients for tofu ricotta and tofu sour cream are very similar. I didn't like the tofu sour cream very well (as a sour cream substitute) so I decided to try it out in this recipe - perfect! Here is the revised recipe.

Sausage and Broccoli Pasta With Lemon Spiked Tofu Ricotta
1 lb ziti pasta
zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 T olive oil
1 ½ cups vegan spicy sausage, sliced (recipe below if you want to make your own)
3 cups broccoli cut into florets
1 onion, chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, sliced
1 ½ cups water
1 cube faux chicken boullion
1 recipe tofu sour cream (see below)
crushed red pepper for sprinkling

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Add broccoli for last 3-4 min of cooking. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, garlic and sausage. Cook until browned. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Add water and boullion to pan. Stir until starts to simmer. Cook for additional 3-4 min. Add juice and zest of 1 lemon. Add pasta and broccoli and stir. Stir sausage into pasta. Combine tofu sour cream with juice and zest of remaining lemon. Spoon pasta into bowl, top with a generous scoop of sour cream and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper.

Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausages (adapted from

Makes 8 links
2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 t seasoned salt (I use homemade)
2 tbsp granulated onion
1 to 2 tbsp fennel seed, optional (I used 1 T)
2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional (I left these out because I figured too spicy for kids)
1 tsp ground smoked paprika (didn't use bc I didn't have any but I am sure it would be yummy!)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups cool water*
1 t garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk together the water, garlic, olive oil and soy sauce and using a fork, gently stir into the dry ingredients. Stir just until ingredients are mixed. If dough mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon of water or as needed.
2. Scoop 1/2 cup dough mixture at a time and shape into logs. Place logs on piece of aluminum foil and roll up, twisting ends. Bake at 325 for 30-40 min or until firm.

Tofu Sour Cream (Source: 500 Vegan Recipes)
7 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
¼ cup raw cashews, ground into fine powder
1 T lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
1 T white miso
1 T canola oil
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth.

I love burritos and one of the things that makes the burrito especially delicious (IMO) are the beans. You can have plain, boring beans or you can have beans that require little else to make a great burrito! Morgans beans are some of the best beans I have made. The first time I made them, I only had cooked beans and made the recipe with those. This time I had dry beans and with a slight tweaking of the recipe, I made this pot of goodness. Allowing them to cook all day in the crock pot makes the best flavored beans. Yum! Buttery and full of flavor. I modified the recipe in that I use minced dried onions and garlic powder instead of fresh onion and garlic. I also omit the oil from the recipe and leave the beans whole instead of mashing them.
I also made some Mexican spiced seitan and we filled our tortillas with beans, seitan, salsa, homemade sour cream (not my favorite - I think I need to stick with Tofutti on this one), and guacamole. Yum! A quick and easy dinner.

Mexican Spiced Seitan
1 1/2 cups seitan, pulsed in food processor until coarsely crumbled
3 t oil
1 T chili powder
1 t garlic salt
2 t cumin
1 T dried minced onion

Heat oil, add seitan and spices. Cook until browned.

Modified Version of Morgan's Pintos (LittleHouseofVeggies)
1 16 oz bag dried pintos
5 cups of water
2 T minced dried onion
2 t garlic powder
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1 t sea salt
pinch of pepper

To Make: Add all ingredients in a crock pot. Make sure that you have enough water that your beans are covered by a few inches. Cook on low about 10 hours (you can just let it cook all day), or on high for about 5-6 hours.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Vegan Biscuits and Gravy....Homemade Oat Flour...Veggie Lasagna

I was surprised at how good this gravy was. I sprinkled faux bacon crumbles on the biscuits and topped with the gravy. Next time I would just leave the bacon crumbles off - they didn't add much. I also made a vegan omelet that was...well...yucko! I tried to like it but the flavor was weird and the consistency was mushy. I tried to use the remainder in a breakfast burrito yesterday because I hate to waste stuff but again, just not good. Oh well - had to give it a try! I used my own biscuit recipe (which you can find in earlier posts) and I won't post the omelet recipe as it wasn't good!

Biscuit Gravy (adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes)
3 T vegan butter
¼ cup flour
2 cups faux chicken broth
1 t black pepper

Melt butter over medium heat. Slowly stir in flour to make a paste. Slowly stir in broth, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Cook until thickened. Stir in pepper.

I have found that I really like using oat flour in recipes instead of all purpose. It has more fiber than white flour and is not as heavy as whole wheat so it is a good compromise. I bought some several months ago and have experimented with it - however, it is pricey if you buy it at Whole Foods so I decided to make my own. I used it yesterday in breadsticks - fabulous! So, I will be grinding my own from now on! All you have to do is put oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Very simple!

Morgan at Littlehouseofveggies posted a delicious-looking lasagna recipe so I gave it a try yesterday. It was pretty good but not incredibly good. It lacked flavor which I was surprised at. I didn't use eggplant because my family isn't fond of it. I added onions. I probably wouldn't make it again but I will enjoy the leftovers this week without complaint!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

So, I had to try these cookie delights looked so yummy and looked like an attempt at a vegan oreo recipe. I made a half batch because we did not need a full batch of cookies sitting around!! I didn't have any soymilk left so I used coconut - though they didn't taste like oreos (partly because I didn't cut them thin enough and partly because they were coconutty!) but they were delightful! A half recipe of cream was enough for a full batch IMO - I don't like lots of frosting on anything! So, of course that meant I needed to make another half batch a few days later to use up the leftover cream! And I also used soymilk and cut the cookies thinner. They were good the second time too! They are a little like oreos but only slightly. The second batch didn't get crispy at all so not sure what happened there. Regardless, they are very tasty morsels!

Soy Milk's Favorite Cookies (adapted from The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur)
Cream Filling:
3/4 cup veg shortening
3/4 t vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients until smooth and creamy - add the sugar gradually as you may need a little more or less to make it the perfect consistency. My shortening was super hard because it is sooooo cold here and I used a bit less than 3 cups.

1/2 cup veg shortening
1/3 cup vegan butter
1 cup sugar
3 T maple syrup or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup soy milk
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 t baking soda
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 t salt

Cream shortening, butter, and sugar until smooth. Add remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. If too crumbly, add a bit more soy milk. Roll into a log and freeze about 15 min. Slice into 1/8 in slices and put slices on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for 8-10 min. Watch carefully not to let them burn. After cooled, spread 1 t cream filling on one cookie and top with another. Repeat with remaining.

Variation: I had leftover cookies so I spread a little peanut butter on one and topped with another. Fabulous! Dare I say, perhaps better than the original recipe?!

In my pre-vegan days, I loved corndogs. Not that I ever ate them really - except on very rare occasions. Actually I can't remember the last time I would have had one. Except I did make them at home a couple times with refridgerated cornbread dough and hot dogs. Anyway - they have always been something I liked but never really ate :-) When I came across a vegan version, I just had to try them. I have made vegan hotdogs that were delish, but nothing like real hot dogs (thank goodness!). I tried a different recipe for the "dog" this time and it was actually a spicy sausage link recipe recommended for use as part of the corn dog. So, I gave it a try. The sausages were so flavorful - they had a lot of fennel which I love but it was too strong for Keith. They were not overly bready or "gluten-y" like some gluten-based recipes. I would use the sausage recipe for other things that call for sausage - I really liked it. I modified a Martha Stewart recipe for baked corn dogs and it turned out pretty yummy too. Again, only slightly reminiscent of corn dogs but I really enjoyed them and my hubby liked them too. Yay!

Spicy Italian Vegetarian Sausages (adapted from

Makes 8 links
2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1 1/2 t seasoned salt (I use homemade)
2 tbsp granulated onion
1 to 2 tbsp fennel seed, optional (I used 1 T)
2 tsp coarsely ground pepper, preferably freshly ground
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp dried chili flakes, optional (I left these out because I figured too spicy for kids)
1 tsp ground smoked paprika (didn't use bc I didn't have any but I am sure it would be yummy!)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups cool water*
1 t garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients. Whisk together the water, garlic, olive oil and soy sauce and using a fork, gently stir into the dry ingredients. Stir just until ingredients are mixed. If dough mixture is too dry, you can add another tablespoon of water or as needed.
2. Scoop 1/2 cup dough mixture at a time and shape into logs. Place logs on piece of aluminum foil and roll up, twisting ends. Bake at 325 for 30-40 min or until firm.

Corn Dogs (adapted from Martha Stewart online)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting sausages
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2/3 cup milk
4 T ground flaxseed mixed with 6 T water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
8 vegan sausages
Ketchup and mustard, for serving (optional)
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Make a well in center; add milk, flax mix, and oil. Mix just until combined.
2.Insert an ice-pop stick into one end of each sausage, leaving a 1 1/2-inch handle. Dust with flour; tap off excess. Using additional flour to coat hands, take dough and mold around the sausages until completely encased. Place on sheet; bake until golden, 20-25 minutes. Serve with ketchup and mustard, if desired.

This is a Korean Beef recipe that has long been a family favorite. I was determined to make a vegan version of it. My first attempt didn't turn out very nicely so I tried again with some changes to the cooking method and it was really yum. Even though it isn't the same as the original, it is a good substitute and we enjoyed it with veggies and sticky rice. Mmm!

Seitan Bulgogi
2 1/2 cups thinly sliced seitan (I used a seitan o' greatness-like recipe for this - the firm baked kinds works best. I wouldn't recommend using boiled seitan for this)

4 T sugar
8 T soy sauce
8 T sliced green onions
4 t minced garlic
dash of pepper
1 t plus 1 T toasted sesame seeds
2 T sesame oil
Combine marinade ingredients and add seitan. Marinate 2 hours (or more if you have time). Remove from marinade and reserve marinade. Place seitan strips on a grill rack and bake at 400 for 15 min. Turn slices over and bake additional 15 min. Remove from oven. Meanwhile, cook remaining marinade for 15-20 min over low-med heat. Serve seitan strips with marinade.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Raw Flaxseed Crackers, Veggie Wrap...Keith's Cookies...Smoky Joes Tweaked

I have been relying on some old favorites the last couple of days and thus haven't had much to post. Keith has of course been whipping up creations almost daily and has taken some pictures of his works of art! He made a cookbook for me the other day with recipes he made up (and daddy wrote dow for him!) and he really wanted to try one today. I found one that was at least a possible success - his recipe was a combination of flour, coconut flour, salt, suga and milk and was called Yummie Yum Yum Yum. Though I tweaked the measurements a bit, this was pretty much his recipe. He made cookies out of it! Too cute - a bit odd but really not bad and the boys both like them!

I have been so into wraps lately so that's what I made again for lunch today! I roasted some potatoes and onions sprinkled with sea salt and a bit of oil at 430 for about 20 min. Then I thickly sliced some mushrooms and threw them on top of the potatoes and onions and cooked 10 min. Then I tossed some sliced green peppers on top of that and cooked an additional 7 min (I like my peppers still crisp and bright green when cooked). I used this as filling in a tortilla along with some sliced jalepenos and tomatoes. Delightful!!

Amber over at Almostvegan is a raw food chef and has sparked my interest in raw food. I checked out a couple books at the library to see if any recipes would be doable with my pantry items! I decided to try these flaxseed crackers. They are quite tasty - perhaps a bit strong and I had to adjust the recipe a bit as the mixture was way too runny but overall they turned out great. Braedon loves them (thus the adorable picture of him with one in hand!).

Flaxseed Crackers (adapted from Raw Food for Real People)
1 ¾ cups flaxseeds
½ cup chopped cauliflower
4 one-inch pieces of ginger
3cloves minced garlic
½ t cayenne
½ cup soy sauce
dash of curry powder and cumin
3 T cold pressed olive oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro
4 cups water
Put 1 cup flaxseeds in a bowl. Put remaining ingredients in blender. Blend well. Add blended mixture into flax. Let sit 10 min or until thick and spreadable. Transfer 2 cups mixture to Paraflex sheet of dehydrator. Repeat with remaining mixture and sheets. You want mixture to be about ¼ in thick on each sheet. Put trays in dehydrator for 3-4 hours or until tops are dried. Flip crackers over and dry additional 6-8 hours or until crisp.

Several months ago I made a recipe called Smoky Joes - kinds of a spicy take on sloppy joes made with crumbled seitan. It was so good. I didn't have any seitan made so I made the same recipe with black beans last night - very yummy! I tweaked the recipe a tad from the first time I made it. This would also be great with pintos. I debated about posting this picture as it is an especially bad picture (I forgot to take a pic before we ate so this was the bowl of leftovers!) but I figure a picture is always nice with a recipe - so I am sorry it's so bad but here it is!

Smoky Joes (adapted from Vegan on the Cheap)
1 1/2 cups black beans
1 T olive oil
2 T dried minced onion
1 t garlic powder
1 T soy sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 T tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 t brown mustard
1 T chili powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t liquid smoke
1/2 t salt
1/4 t black pepper
In a large saucepan, heat oil and add the onion and garlic. Cook until tender, about 10 min. Add the seitan and brown. Stir in remaining ingredients and turn heat to low. Simmer 10 min to allow flavors to blend. Serve in tortillas.

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.