Monday, November 28, 2011

Cranberry Orange Muffins

A slightly modified version of a Post Punk Kitchen recipe, these were pretty yummy! I didn't have any orange juice so I subbed soy milk for the orange juice. I am sure they are extra fabulous with orange juice! The recipe can be found at Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Broccoli Cheeze Soup

This soup is downright delicious! It's a bit time-consuming because you have to make the cashew cheese but it's well worth it. I made the cheese a few days before. I also only added 8 cups of broth. Next time I would perhaps add only 6-7 because even with 8 cups, the soup is pretty runny. I also only put about 3/4 of the soup in the food processor so there were a few chunks of veggies left in each bowl. Very delish and my fam loved it!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Green Tomato Salsa,..Nacho Cheesy Sauce...Buffalo Tempeh Salad..."Fruit Cake"

I have had a bowl of green tomatoes in my fridge for longer than I care to admit (picked from my plant - the sudden change in weather caused a halt in the ripening of my tomatoes and I didn't want to throw them away). I also had a couple of jalepenos that I needed to use. I found a recipe on a blog I follow called Kansas City Mamas (it's actually a couponing blog!) for a green tomato salsa. I have been wanting to try it and finally got around to making it yesterday - perfect timing for our dinner of burritos. I failed to take a pic of the burritos but managed a so-so pic of the salsa. It was very delicious. I totally modified the recipe so it only vaguely resembles the original!

Green Tomato Salsa
10 small green tomatoes
2 jalepenos, stems removed (for spicier salsa, leave the seeds intact; for milder salsa, take the seeds out)
1/2 t salt
1 T dried minced onions
1 t garlic powder
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until well minced - don't puree it but blend it enough to ensure mixture is well chopped. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze for a later use.

Once again found a delicious-looking recipe in The Happy Herbivore - love that book!! This nacho cheese sauce turned out really good and went perfectly with our burritos as well.

Nacho Cheese Sauce (adapted from the Happy Herbivore)
1 cup soy milk
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3T rolled oats
½ t each onion powder and cumin
¼ cup mild salsa or taco sauce
2t yellow miso
2t cornstarch
1t lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until smooth. Transfer to saucepan and cook until thick. Add lemon juice.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for ages too! Buffalo Tempeh Salad - very yummy indeed! Check out the recipe at

My father-in-law just had a birthday but he doesn't eat gluten or sugar so coming up with a special dessert is next to impossible. Therefore, I decided to make him a "fruit cake"...literally. I layered pineapple, clementines, pears, apples and grapes and topped the creation with a candle. Pretty cute if I do say so myself :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creamy Veggies and Dumplings

Growing up, one of my very favorite meals was Chicken and Dumplings - my mom makes the most amazing Chicken and Dumplings. It was a treat, not something she made very often. It was full of delicious veggies, chicken and fluffy dumplings. Wow! Of course it was not vegan or anywhere close to it but yesterday I decided it was time I figured out a vegan version. A challenging feat I know! The good part is that the soup itself with the veggies and dumplings were always my favorite part - the chicken was good but not necessarily the heart of the meal for me. So, I didn't even attempt to come up with a substitute for the chicken. I stuck to the delicious spice blend, yummy veggies and delicate dumplings. The original recipe also has sour cream in it, lending a creaminess to the dish. However, when the dumplings are placed on top of the soup to cook, they impart an involuntary creaminess to the soup - the milk and flour in the dumplings seep into the soup and create an amazingly creamy consistency and flavor. I was thrilled with the results and it tasted very much like the original...sans the chicken!

Creamy Veggies and Dumplings
5 cups water
4 t faux chicken boullion (I like Better Than Boullion brand)
2 t salt (I know it sounds like a lot but it's perfect in taste)
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
1 large onion, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups quartered button mushrooms
2 cloves minced garlic
1 T dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh chopped
1/4 t dried marjoram
Combine all soup ingredients and bring to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, mix together the dumplings. Recipe below.

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 t salt
1 T dried parsley
2 t baking powder
3/4 cup soy milk
3 T vegan butter
Mix flour, salt, parsley, baking powder. Cut in butter. Add milk and stir until mixed and sticky. Drop large spoonfuls of dough on top of soup. Cook for 10 miinutes. cover and cook additional 10 min. Serve.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Delicious Vegan Meatloaf!

I have been thoroughly enjoying the Happy Herbivore cookbook from the library - what a fabulous book! Unfortunately, it was due and I couldn't renew so I had to take it back yesterday. Oh well, it's definitely going on my Christmas list! I have made several meatloafs on our veganizing journey and a couple have turned out pretty good, a couple only mediocre and a couple downright dreadful! I was a little apprehensive to try this one but it looked so good I just had to give it a go. So glad I did. Probably the best one yet! It was delicious. It was also my first try at using Lightlife Gimme Lean. Love that stuff!

Cajun Meatloaf (adapted from Happy Herbivore)
1small onion, minced
3 minced garlic cloves
1 14 oz package gimme lean beef
3T steak sauce
2T mustard
1T vegan Worcestershire
1T Cajun seasoning
¼ cup water or hot sauce or combo
1 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pan. Place onion, celery and garlic in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Transfer to loaf pan and pat down. Use foil to make a tent over loaf pan. Bake for 1 hr and then uncover and bake additional 10-30 min until browned and firm. Cool 10-20 min.

Crispy Herbed Potato Stack

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

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

Tamale Fixings

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

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

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

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

"Buttermilk" Blueberry Pancakes

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

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

Veggie and Seitan Lo Mein

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

Veggie Seitan Lo Mein

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

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

Chinese Broccoli Wontons in Ginger Soy Broth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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