Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mongolian BBQ Portobello Mushrooms

Stuffing or grilling always seems to be the most obvious way to serve up Portobello Mushrooms but we are always looking for new ways to use them.  The original recipe called for Seitan but we preferred to use a vegetable instead and because the Portobello Mushroom is so dense we thought it was a good replacement and could stand up to the sauce.  We aren't big snow pea eaters so we threw in some Edamame instead, turned out to be the perfect combo.

Mongolian BBQ Portobello Mushrooms
Adapted from Chloe Coscarelli recipe
2 large servings

1/4         cup hoisin sauce
1/4         cup water
1            tablespoon soy sauce
1            tablespoon agave
1            teaspoon lemon juice
1-2         teaspoons chili sauce
1            clove garlic, minced
1-2         tablespoons canola oil
2            teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/8         teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-3        large Portobello Mushrooms, thickly sliced

            edamame (soy beans)
            green onions, sliced
            rice, cooked
            fresh cilantro

In a small bowl, make the sauce by whisking together hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce, agave, lemon juice, chili sauce, minced garlic, fresh ginger and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and lightly stir fry the sliced mushrooms.  After the mushrooms start to release their juices, add the edamame and green onions.   

Heat the sauce in a small saucepan until it starts to thicken.  Add sauce to mushroom mixture.  Serve over rice.  Dress with fresh cilantro.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Breakfast Scramble

Breakfast Scramble

There's really not an official recipe for this but I thought it looked pretty so I wanted to include it on the blog.  We diced up some potatoes, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, then baked in a 375 degree oven until crispy.  While the potatoes were cooking, we diced up a green pepper, onion and garlic and sautéed in a skillet.  In a small skillet we fried up some Gimme Lean vegan patties.  Once potatoes were done, we transferred to the skillet and topped with the patties.  As far as seasoning goes, we just used salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and a bit of cumin.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Raw Chocolate Walnut Fudge

This is a great idea for a hostess gift or an addition to a Holiday basket.  I put a few in a pretty wrapper to give to my parents along with Pumpkin Cranberry Loaf and a few good books they can enjoy throughout the long winter.    ****Check out Angela's web-site, it is packed with great recipes and information.  She also has a cookbook coming out next year that is already on my "wish list"

Raw Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Squash and Bean Burritos

The farmer's market had lots of various kinds of squash available and butternut is one of our favorites.  Instead of soup, we thought we'd try something with a bit more gusto and since we love Mexican food, we tried this combo out.  Roasting the vegetables really brings out the flavor and natural sweetness.

Squash and Bean Burritos

**Depending on the size of squash, your measurements may differ.

1 & 1/2            cup Squash (butternut is preferred) – mine was very small
-       clean and dice into small pieces
1                       bell pepper (I used orange), dice into same size as Squash
1                       large red onion (Cut into quarters) – dice after roasting
1                       tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
1                       teaspoon cumin
1                       tablespoon brown sugar
                         Salt and Pepper

1                      15 oz. can of beans, pinto or black
1 & 1/2            cup cooked brown rice
                        flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, for roasting squash, pepper and onion.

Dice squash and pepper.  Quarter onion and place all vegetables in a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add chili powder, cumin, brown pepper, salt and pepper.  With a large spoon, mix until all the vegetables are covered.  Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 15-20 minutes.  Take out and return to mixing bowl.

Add cooked brown rice and pinto or black beans to vegetable mix.  Sprinkle more chili powder, salt and pepper if needed.

Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet or microwave.  Heat filling in a skillet then fill the flour tortillas.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Potato-Fennel Soup

We have lots of snow on the ground here in Michigan, so a warm, soothing bowl of soup really warms the belly and the toes.  We love coming in from shoveling snow and having a big pot of soup on the stove just waiting for us to dig in.

Potato-Fennel Soup
Modified Food Network Magazine Recipe – October

3            large leeks
1            large bulb fennel, diced
3            large carrots, diced
1            shallot, diced
              salt and pepper
              olive oil
2            tablespoons vegan butter
2            pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6            cups vegetable stock
1 & 1/2       cups nut or soy milk
1/4         cup chopped fresh parley or dill  **I used dill

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Halve the leeks lengthwise, then thinly slice and rinse.  Put the carrots, leeks and diced fennel on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Toss to mix.  Roast in 400 degree oven until golden, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the vegan butter in a Dutch oven or pot over medium high heat.  Add diced shallot, cook 2 minutes.  Add the potatoes and 2 cups of the vegetable stock.  Cover and cook until tender, 15  minutes.  Add 3 more cups broth and the nut/soy milk; bring to a boil.   Working in batches, transfer to a blender and puree; season with salt and pepper.

Add the roasted leeks, fennel, carrots and chopped herbs.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fried Tempeh with Tomato Cream Sauce

The soy creamer replaces regular cream and gives the sauce a slightly sweet taste, if you like the sauce creamier, just add more soy creamer.

Fried Tempeh with Tomato Cream Sauce

1 & 1/2            cups frozen lima beans
1 & 12             cups frozen peas
                        salt and pepper
2                      tablespoons vegan butter
1                      tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1                      block Tempeh
                        olive oil & vegan butter for frying
1                      medium shallot, minced
2                      tablespoons white wine vinegar
2                      tablespoons tomato paste
1/4                   soy creamer (to replace heavy cream)
1                      tablespoon hopped fresh tarragon, parsley or dill

Combine lima beans and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium heat; bring to a simmer, then cover and cook until almost tender, about 7 minutes.  Add the peas, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cover and cook until the peas and beans are tender, about 5 more minutes.  Drain and return to the pan.  Add 1 tablespoon vegan butter and the parsley; stir to coat.

Meanwhile, slice the block of tempeh to make thinner then cut into four pieces.  Add vegan butter and oil to frying pan and fry tempeh until golden brown.

To make sauce, heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter in another saucepan over medium heat; add the shallot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add the vinegar and boil until reduced by half, about 2 more minutes.  Stir in the tomato paste., then add the soy creamer and 3/4 cut water and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes; stir in the herbs.  Drizzle over the tempeh and serve over the bean mixture.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Your dog or friend's dog will go nuts over these home made biscuits.  Why not make a double batch, have your kids pitch in then package up and give to neighbors or local animal shelters -- tails will be a waggin!

Peanut Butter Dog Treats
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis recipe

            vegetable oil cooking spray
2          cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
1/2       cup old fashioned oats
1          tablespoon baking powder
1          cup low sodium vegetable broth
1          cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
1/4       cup soy parmesan (optional) for dusting

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.  Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with baking mat.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats and baking powder.  Stir in the broth and peanut butter until mixture forms a crumbly dough.  Press the dough together to form a ball.

On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough for 30 second until smooth.  Roll ou the dough into a 10-inch circle, about 1/2-inch thick.  Using fun cookie cutters, cut out cookies and place on the prepared baking sheet (keep using scraps to re-roll)
Sprinkle with soy Parmesan.  Bake until light golden, 20 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Next time I make these I'll use Almond Butter, as in the original recipe but I'm a big fan of peanut butter so it's nice to have a couple of options.  These are more like an energy bar than a cookie and are great to take on the road as a healthy snack.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies
Adapted from recipe  -  magenta512 (Chocolate Almond No-Bake Cookies)

1/2               cup nondairy milk
1/4               cup cooking oil (can use less if peanut butter is oily
1/4               cup raw sugar or more (originally recipe calls for 1 & 3/4 cups)
1                  tablespoon maple syrup
4                  tablespoons baking cocoa
1/2               cup peanut butter (I used nutty)
3                  cups oats

Mix the milk, oil, sugar, maple syrup and cocoa together in a saucepan.  The consistency of the mixture will change to liquid as the sugar dissolves.

Heat on low until the mixture comes to a soft rolling boil.  Let boil gently for at least 3 minutes. Stir periodically to keep chocolate from burning.  Add the peanut butter and stir until it dissolves into the mixture.

Turn off the heat and add the oats.  Fold oats into the chocolate mixture until all the oats are covered.  The mixture shouldn’t be runny.  If runny, you need to add more oats.   Drop spoonfuls onto a cookie tray/wax paper/tin foil and let cool to room temperature.  If you just can’t wait, pop in the fridge to cool.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Pasta isn't one of Kevin's favorite meals but he actually asked me to make this pasta dish again a week after I made it for the first time.  Double it up and make a big pot for girls night or book club with a big side salad and a loaf of bread to accompany it.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
Adapted from Pioneer Woman recipe

12          ounces pasta of your choice (I used Rigatoni)
4            tablespoons vegan butter
1/2         whole large onion, finely diced
3            cloves garlic, minced
2            jars (12 ounce) Roasted Red Peppers, drained and roughly chopped
              kale (chopped up) a few big leaves, stems removed
1            cup vegetable stock
1/2         teaspoon salt, more to taste
              freshly ground black pepper
              few splashes of nut or soy milk (I used almond)
              soy parmesan cheese, to taste
              parsley, minced for garnish

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Melt 2 tablespoons vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, until hot.  Add Kale for another 1-2 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender.  Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will be some texture to the peppers.)

Heat the other 2 tablespoons vegan butter in the skillet, over medium heat.  Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet.  Add the vegetable broth, salt and pepper, and stir until heated.  Splash in the nut/soy milk and sprinkle in desired amount of soy Parmesan.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.    Add more soy parmesan if needed and garnish with fresh parsley.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fancy Green Bean Casserole

If you missed out on making Green Bean Casserole for Thanksgiving, you may want to try this version for your upcoming Holiday spread.  It's a fresh twist on the original canned Green Bean Casserole recipe.  I still used the store bought fried onions, why mess with what works.

Green Bean Casserole
Adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli recipe

              Kosher salt
1            pound string beans, ends trimmed, halved
4            tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
1            pound white mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 & 1/2    teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
1            teaspoon Dijon mustard
4            garlic cloves, minced
2            tablespoons all-purpose flour
1            cup vegetable broth (start with a little less than add more as needed)
1/2         cup vegan cream of mushroom soup (Whole Foods - Imagine Portobello Mushroom Soup) – more if needed
1            cup vegan sour cream
1            can store bought fried onions (I used Trader Joe’s brand)

Bring 6 quarts water to boil in a large pot.   Fill a large bowl halfway with ice cubes and add some cold water.  Set a colander squarely inside the ice bath.  Then colander will keep you from having to pick the ice out of the beans.

Beans:  When the water boils, add 2 tablespoons salt and the green beans.  Cook until the beans yield slightly when pierced with the tip of a knife, 4 minutes.  Using a strainer, remove the green beans from the hot water and transfer them to the colander inside the ice bath.  Swirl the beans around in the bath so they cool quickly.  Drain and set aside.

Mushroom base:  In a 10 or 12” cast iron skillet or other ovenproof skillet, over medium heat, melt the vegan butter and add the mushrooms. Season with salt, 1 teaspoon of the cayenne (if using), and the mustard.  Stir to blend and cook until the mushrooms give off most of their liquid, 3-5 minutes.  Using a whisk, add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the flour.  When all the flour has been incorporated, add the vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil.  Taste for seasoning.  Stir in the mushroom soup and sour cream and simmer gently.  Continue cooking over low heat until the mixture thickens, 3-5 minutes.  You should have about 2 cups. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Assemble:  Stir the green beans into the mushrooms.  Simmer on the stove over low heat until green beans become tender when pierced with tip of a knife, 10-15 minutes.  Mix in 1/4 of the can of fried onions then top the rest of the mixture with the onions leaving some of the green beans exposed in the middle.  Transfer skilled to oven for approximately 10 minutes to give the casserole that baked 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day After Thanksgiving Smoothie

After a day of stuffing ourselves with way too much Celebration Field Roast & gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and apple pie, we thought it might be a good idea to start off our day with a light and refreshing smoothie.  This way we won't feel so guilty when we dive into the leftovers and do it all over again!

There are no measured amounts just a list of ingredients we used.

       Red Apple
       Frozen Pineapple
       Frozen Blueberries
       Broccoli Stem
       Trail Mix

Monday, November 25, 2013

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole


If you're looking for another side dish to add to your Thanksgiving table, this casserole might just be the one.  I love that the veggies are all mixed together with the rice, leaving room in your oven or on your stove top for yet another side dish.  To me, Thanksgiving is all about the side dishes!

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole
Adapted from Pioneer Woman recipe
Serves 12

2            cups uncooked wild rice
8            cups vegetable stock, more if needed for thinning
3            heads broccoli, cut into small florets
1            pound White Button or Crimini Mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2         cup (1 stick) vegan butter
1            whole medium onion, finely diced
2            whole carrots, peeled and finely diced
2            stalks celery, finely diced
4            tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2         cup nut or soy milk
1            teaspoon salt, more to taste
1            teaspoon black pepper
1            cup Panko Breadcrumbs

Add the wild rice into a medium saucepan with 5 cups of the vegetable broth.  Bring it to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan.  Cook the rice until it has just started to break open and is slightly tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Set it aside.

Meanwhile, blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into boiling water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until bright green and still slightly crisp.  Immediately drain the broccoli and plunge it into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.  Remove it from the ice water and set it aside.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the vegan butter.  Add the onions and the mushrooms and cook, stirring them occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid begins to evaporate. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color.

Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables and stir to incorporate it, then cook for about a minute.  Pour in the remaining 3 cups of broth and stir to combine.  Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the nut/soy milk, stirring to combine.  Let the mixture cook until it thickens.  Season with the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Add half the cooked rice to the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish, then lay on half the broccoli.  Using a ladle, scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spoon it evenly all over the top.  Continue with the rest of the sauce, totally covering the surface with vegetables.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegan butter, then pour it into a separate bowl with the panko breadcrumbs.  Toss the mixture together to coat the breadcrumbs in vegan butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top.

Cover with foil and bake the casserole at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Sprinkle on the parsley after you remove it from the oven.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup

My beautiful Basil plant has finally said goodbye ….. but not without providing me with just enough leaves to make this soup.  Thank you Mr. Basil!

Creamy Basil Zucchini Soup
Adapted from magazine recipe

1            tablespoon olive oil
1            large yellow onion, chopped
2            lbs. zucchini, sliced 1/4” thick
4            cups vegetable stock
1            cup loosely packed basil leaves, plus more for garnish
2            tablespoon vegan sour cream for garnish
1/4         tsp. chili powder, plus more for garnish
            ***I added 4 tablespoons vegan cream cheese to the mixture in the blender

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook another 2 minutes; then add vegetable broth and 1 cup basil leaves.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.

Puree the soup in batches in a blender.  Add vegan cream cheese if using.  Add chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.

Divide into soup bowls, add garnish.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin-Chia Pudding

Instead of overloading on pies this Thanksgiving, I'm planning to make this Pumpkin pudding to go alongside my mom's homemade apple pie.  Seems like a perfect combo to me.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Friday, November 15, 2013

Portabello Stroganoff with Farfalle

Portabello Mushrooms, another great find at the local Farmer's Market. My mom found this recipe in the newspaper so I thought it sounded like a nice alternative to stuffing them.

Portabello Stroganoff with Farfalle
Darlene Zimmerman/Detroit Free Press – veganized

2            tablespoons vegan butter
2            cups chopped onion
2            cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2            tablespoons olive oil
7            cups cubed (1”) portabello mushrooms (about 4 large caps)
1/3         cup red wine
1 & 3/4     cup vegetable broth
2            tablespoons cornstarch
1/2         cup vegan sour cream
1            tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2         teaspoon dry mustard
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/4         teaspoon ground pepper
5            ounces pasta
              parsley for garnish

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter over medium-high heat and sauté onion until tender and lightly caramelized, about 6 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to sauté 30 seconds.  Remove onion mixture from pan and set aside. Heat remaining tablespoon vegan butter and olive oil in same skillet; add mushrooms and sauté until water released from mushrooms evaporates, about 6 – 8 minutes.  Add wine and cook until it evaporates.  Add sautéed onion mixture back to skillet.

In a small bowl, combine the broth and cornstarch and stir to dissolve cornstarch.  Add to skillet, stirring constantly until sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream, vegan Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Remove skillet form heat, stir in the vegan sour cream mixture and combine thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Serve Stroganoff over pasta.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts

Fresh Butternut Squash from the Eastern Market was the inspiration for this soup.  I highly recommend serving with the toasted walnuts - pure deliciousness!

Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts

8            cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 lbs)
1 & 1/2  teaspoon olive oil
3/4         teaspoon salt, divided
1/2         teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
              cooking spray
4            cups warm nut or soy milk (I replaced 1 cup w/soy creamer)
1            can vegetable stock  (14-ounce)
1/4         cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine squash, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender.

Place half of the squash, half of the nut milk, and half of the broth in a blender, process until smooth.  Pour pureed mixture into a large saucepan.  Repeat procedure with remaining squash, milk and broth.  Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not bring to a boil).  Stir in remaining salt and pepper.  Top with toasted walnuts. (put walnuts in small frying pan and toast over medium heat on stove top).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cinnamon Crisps

Ever have left over tortillas?  We always seem to have them in our fridge and we thought this was a great idea for a sweet snack.

Cinnamon Crisps:
Adapted Ree Drummond recipe

1/2              cup sugar
1                  tablespoon cinnamon
6                  flour tortillas
1/4              cup vegan butter, melted

Preheat the oven o 350 degrees.

Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush both sides with the belted vegan butter.  Sprinkle both side of the tortillas generously with the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes, and then allow them to cool to room temperature.

Break into large pieces and set aside.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Vegan Cheese

With so many combinations of vegetables and legumes for soup creations, it's no wonder soup recipes dominate our food blog.  From Fall to Spring, we attempt to make one pot of soup a week then store in the fridge for easy dinners.  A big bowl of soup and a slice of your favorite bread make the perfect cold weather dinner.  Ya can't go wrong with soup!

Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Vegan Cheese  modified

2            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1            small onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1            stalk celery, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1            medium carrot, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
3            sprigs thyme
              salt and freshly ground pepper
1            cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
4            cups vegetable broth *I used a bit more broth, seemed too thick
1/2         head cauliflower, cored, trimmed and cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
3            ounces vegan cheese of choice  (about 1 cup)

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add onion, celery, carrot and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.  Add lentils and broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover an simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Stir in cauliflower, increase het to medium high and simmer just until cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Remove thyme and season with salt and pepper.

***I added the vegan cheese directly to the soup and melted.  The original recipe calls to preheat broiler with rack 6 inches from heating element. Divide soup among 4 broiler proof ramekins or soup bowls.  Top with cheese and broil until golden and bubbling, 3-4 minutes.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


This humus is way better than store bought hummus and so easy to make.  Use this recipe as a base then add other flavors if you want to kick it up a bit.

Ina Garten – “How Easy Is That” cookbook

2            cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved (15.5 oz. can)
1/3         cup tahini or sesame paste
4            teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
6            tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
8            dashes Tabasco sauce
2            teaspoons kosher salt

Place the chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of the reserved liquid, the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, Tabasco, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until coarsely pureed.  The hummus should be moist and thick; add more lemon juice or reserved chickpea liquid to thin, if necessary.  Cove and refrigerate for several hours for the flavors to blend.  Taste for seasoning.