Saturday, February 26, 2011

Skillet Corn Bread

Skillet Corn Bread (Veganomnicom: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook)

I find most corn breads a bit dry and crumbly but this version is very moist and rich in flavor. It almost tastes like a dessert.   I added scallions, corn and red pepper to this recipe but you can add green pepper/ hot peppers/regular onions – anything that sounds good.

2            cups soy milk
2            teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2            cups cornmeal
1            cup all-purpose flour
¼           cup sugar
2            teaspoons baking powder
½            teaspoon salt
1/3          cup oil

1            cup fresh or frozen and partially thawed corn kernels
2            scallions, chopped
½           red pepper, chopped
1            tablespoon oil

Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Saute’ the corn kernels, scallions and red pepper in oil for about 5 – 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Don’t wash the pan; you’ll pour the batter right into it in a bit.

Corn Bread:  Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a measuring cup and set aside to curdle as you prepare everything else.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Create a well in the center and add the soy milk mixture and oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix together until just combined; some lumps are okay.  Fold the corn/pepper/onion mixture into the batter.

Pour the batter into cast iron skillet. Skillet is already oiled from cooking the corn mixture. Bake for 30-32 minutes.  Let cook before serving.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Brussels Sprouts with Tempeh Bacon

Brussels Sprouts are a very good source of many essential vitamins, fiber and folate. They are especially high in Vitamin C.  C'mon .....  give them a chance.

Brussels Sprouts with Tempeh Bits

1            bag Brussels sprouts (trim leaves and halve)
3            slices Tempeh Bacon, cut into large or small bits
3            tablespoons soy butter
1            large shallot, sliced
2            garlic cloves, minced
2            teaspoons lemon juice
1/2         teaspoon salt
¼           teaspoon ground black pepper

Fry Tempeh bacon bits, and set aside.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the Brussels sprouts. Cook until crisp tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain.

In large sauce pan, melt soy butter.  Add the shallots and garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add the sprouts in 1 layer and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.  Add fried Tempeh bits, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mac and "Daiya" Cheese

Kevin is not a huge Mac and Cheese fan, I know, can you believe it?  I, on the other hand, could have it for breakfast and be a very happy gal.  Finding a vegan Mac and Cheese that is creamy and flavorful is no easy task and I’m always on the look out for a new recipe to try.  Kevin and I  discovered a new brand of non dairy cheese, Daiya, that we really like.   I like a Mac and Cheese that is creamy and also has a crunchy top, and this recipe achieves that.  Instead of using regular bread crumbs I used Panko (which is a little crunchier) and mixed with olive oil and soy parmesan cheese.

Mac and "Daiya" Cheese
(4 servings)

8     oz. pasta
3     cups Daiya style shreds
3     tablespoons vegan butter
2     cups soy/rice/nut milk
1     tablespoon nutritional yeast (health food stores carry, gives cheesy flavor)
1/4  teaspoon black pepper
1/2  cup Panko crumbs or regular bread crumbs
1/4  teaspoon paprika
       pinch nutmeg (optional)
1/4  cup vegan parmesan cheese
       olive oil

Cook pasta according to package. Drain throughly when done. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the cheese sauce while oven is warming. In a small pot, melt the butter. When melted, add the pepper and nutritional yeast. Stir in the milk.  Add the cheddar, and cook over low/medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Stir in the macaroni and mix together.  Transfer to an 8x8 casserole dish.  

Mix bread crumbs with parmesan cheese, paprika and desired amount of olive oil.  Sprinkle bread mixture on top of M&C.

Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pepper Beefless Steak

Peppers were taking over my kitchen so I scoured the internet for a pepper stew recipe and came across a Pepper Steak recipe that sounded fast and easy. I replaced the meat with Trader Joe's Beefless strips, replaced yellow pepper with an orange pepper and bumped up the garlic.

Pepper Beeffless Steak
Pkg. Beefless Strips (Trader Joe)
tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
tablespoon cornstarch
tablespoon brown sugar
teaspoons sesame oil
teaspoon red pepper flakes
tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
orange or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
cloves garlic, finely chopped
Hot cooked rice
Combine soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes in medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add beefless strips and toss to coat; set aside.
Heat wok or sauté pan over high heat about 1 minute or until hot. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil into wok/sauté pan and heat 30 seconds. Add bell pepper strips, stir-fry until crisp-tender. Remove to large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and add beefless mixture to wok/pan and stir fry until browned. Remove strips to bowl with bell peppers.
Add onion to pan and stir fry about 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking for 30 seconds. Return peppers, beefless strips and juices to pan. Cook until heated through. Spoon rice into serving dish and top with pepper mixture.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chickpea Cutlets: Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

We make this dish several times a year and usually bake the cutlets making them crispy but you can also pan fry. The sauce we made this time around is a mustard gravy (below), but you can top with a lemon/butter/caper sauce or even a red pasta sauce.

Chickpea Cutlets
1 c. Cooked Chickpeas
2 T. Olive Oil
½ c. Vital Wheat Gluten
½ c. Plain Bread Crumbs
¼ c. Vegetable Broth or Water
2 T. Soy Sauce
2 Coves Garlic, Grated
½ t. Lemon Zest
½ t. Dried Thyme
½ t. Hungarian Paprika
¼ t. Dried Rubbed Sage
Olive oil for Panfrying
Mash the chickpeas together with the olive oil until no whole
chickpeas are left. Add remaining ingred. and knead for 3 min.,
until strings of gluten have formed.
Divide cutlet dough into four equal pieces. Knead each piece in
your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each
one into a roughly 6x4 rectangular shape.
Preheat oven to 357 degrees, lightly oil baking sheet. Brush
both sides of each patty with olive oil, place on baking sheet and
bake for 20 minutes. Flip patties and bake another 8-10 min. till firm
and golden- brown.
Mustard Sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 cup vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup sherry cooking wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup whole-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon capers
Mix the cornstarch with vegetable broth in a measuring cup and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the garlic and thyme in the oil for about a minute. Add the white wine cornstarch mixture and soy sauce, and raise the heat to high. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat to medium and simmer, to reduce for about 4 minutes. Add the mustard, lemon juice, and capers. Stir often, using a whisk. Once the sauce is bubbling, lower the heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes. The sauce should be on the thick side. Let cook a bit before serving.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies: Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

This recipe is from our favorite cookbook Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. If you are looking to buy just one Vegan cookbook, this is our recommendation.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip-Walnut Cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup canola oil

1 ½ cups sugar

4 teaspoons ground flaxseeds

½ cup soy milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoons almond extract

¾ cup vegan chocolate chips

¾ cup walnuts, chopped small

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate large bowl, mix together the oil and sugar. Add the flaxseeds, soy milk, and vanilla, and mix well.

Fold in the dry ingredients in batches. When the batter starts to get too stiff to mix with a fork, use hands until a ball of dough forms. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts, and mix with your hands again. A bit messy, but worth it.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and flatten into disks about 1 ½ inches in diameter. Place about an inch apart on cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

Kevin and I are always craving PF Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps, so I started searching the internet to see if anyone had discovered the recipe. I found the following recipe from The only adjustments I made were omitting the Oyster sauce and replacing the Tofu with Tempeh. Oh, I forgot, I couldn’t find Cellophane noodles so I used crunchy rice noodles instead.

P.F. CHANG'S VEGETARIAN LETTUCE WRAPS (copycat recipe) (4 servings)

The cooking sauce is from the meat recipe but is enough for two batches of the veggie version so go ahead and make the full recipe and reserve half for another batch. Save in a jar and store in the fridge until needed. **I used all the sauce for one block of Tempeh.


1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 tablespoon oyster sauce

2 tablespoon. water

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoon cornstarch


1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoon dry sherry

2 teaspoon soy sauce

2 teaspoon water


1 cup baked tofu, diced

2 tablespoon peanut oil plus 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, mixed

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

1 Tbsp. Chinese chili sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 green onions, minced

1/2 small or 1/4 large red onion, minced

1/2 can bamboo shoots, diced (buy the canned strips)

1/2 can water chestnuts, diced


Cellophane noodles, prepared according to package directions

Iceberg or green leaf lettuce

SPICY SAUCE (optional)

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard (e.g., Coleman's)

1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce

In small dish, mix the dry mustard and water until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Set aside.


TO MAKE THE COOKING SAUCE: Mix the cooking sauce in a bowl and set aside.

TO MAKE THE MARINADE: In medium bowl, combine sherry, soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and water. Mix well.

TO PREPARE THE TOFU/TEMPEH: Stir tofu into the marinade. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes. Tempeh: Chop into small pieces then marinate.

Heat wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mixed oil and stir fry tofu for 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

Add the ginger, garlic and onion; stir-fry for about a minute.

Add bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

Return tofu to wok/skillet. Add cooking sauce and cook until thickened (about 2 minutes).

TO SERVE: Place prepared cellophane noodles onto a platter. Pour tofu mixture over them and serve with lettuce and Spicy Sauce.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes

Mom’s Scalloped Potatoes
4 cups potatoes, medium sliced
1 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons pepper
2-3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons onion (minced)
2 Tablespoons butter (in pieces)
1 ½ cup almond or soy milk
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Spray or oil bottom of casserole dish. Slice potatoes and assemble one layer of potatoes on bottom. Sprinkle with ½ the salt, pepper, flour, onion, butter pieces and milk.
Add final layer of potatoes along with the rest of the salt, pepper, flour, onion, butter and milk.
Note: I originally used 2 T. flour and 2 cups milk and it was too much liquid. If you use more milk -- add more flour. Less milk, less flour. 
Bake 30-45 minutes, doing a fork test at 30 minutes to see if potatoes are soft -- but not turning mushy.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

This should make enough filling for 4 Portobello Mushroom caps. The dressing is from Alex Guarnaschelli (food Network). She grilled Portobello Mushrooms then poured the dressing over top. Since I served the mushrooms as a entree not a side, I added the stuffing and topped with the dressing.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
olive oil
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 zucchini, chopped
¾ cup button mushrooms, chopped
¾ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon salt
pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds or pine nuts
Rub dressing on Portabella mushrooms and drizzle on the inside. Let marinade while cooking stuffing.
Cook quinoa as directed, set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add minced onion and sauté until soft, add garlic, zucchini, mushrooms and spices.
Saute for 5-8 min. Add quinoa and seeds.
Stuff mushroom tops with filling, cook in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
Top with dressing.
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (+ 2 T. oil for roasting garlic)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
In a small bowl, toss the garlic cloves with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Wrap the garlic cloves in tinfoil and place on the tray in the center of the oven. Cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 20-25 minutes in a 350 degrees oven.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the balsamic with the ¾ cup olive oil and mustard. Remove the garlic from oven. Squeeze the garlic pulp out from skins and whisk it vigorously into the dressing.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Berry Crisp

Frozen blueberries and cranberries were getting a little too comfortable hanging out in our freezer, so we thought it was about time to put them to good use. Since the sugar content is pretty low in this dessert, Vanilla soy ice cream works as a good topper. **We found "Purely Decadent-Dairy Free" to be our favorite brand -- found at Whole Foods , Food Patch in Ferndale and Nutra Foods in Royal Oak.

Berry Crisp

1 cup blueberries (or 2 blueberries/2 cranberries)

3 cups cranberries

½ Tablespoon cornstarch

¼ cup evaporated cane sugar

pinch of salt


½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup quick oats

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

pinch dried ginger (optional)

¾ chopped walnuts or pecans

½ stick soy butter, cubed

drizzle of Agave for top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Toss berries, cornstarch, sugar and a pinch of salt together.

In separate bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and nuts. Add butter and mix by hand into crumbles/chunks. Mix until it is crumbly.

Add the berry mixture into 2-quart baking dish. Top with crumb mixture. Drizzle with Agave (optional). Bake for 40 minutes.