Monday, April 24, 2017

Vegetable-Couscous Salad

Vegetable-Couscous Salad
Serves 6-8

1            cup Israeli Couscous (it’s bigger than regular but I used regular)
3            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for sautéing.
freshly ground pepper
1/2         red onion, chopped
2            red bell peppers
1            medium zucchini, medium diced
1/2         teaspoon cumin
1            15-oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4         cup green goddess dressing ( I found a vegan dressing recipe on-line,
                                                but any vegan dressing will work)

Cook couscous according to package.

In large sauté pan, heat oil and add diced red onion, cook a few minutes then add red bell peppers, zucchini and cumin.  Cook until vegetables are tender but not too soft. 

Transfer cooked couscous to large bowl, add cooked veggies, drained chickpeas and dressing of your choice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Eat warm or cold.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pepper Pasta

The original recipe calls for roasting the peppers but I prefer to sauté them on the stove top.  I like to keep them a bit Al Dente.   I kind of played around with the ingredient measurements as I went along and found I liked it a bit spicier than I normally would.  The sweetness of the peppers go nicely with a little kick of red pepper.

Pepper Pasta

2            peppers, one red and one orange, long slices
1/2         yellow onion, sliced in half circles
3            small garlic cloves, minced
1            14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4-1/2   cup reserved pasta water
1/4          cup vegan parmesan cheese (home made)
1-2          tablespoons tomato paste
               red chili flakes – how ever spicy you like it
               salt and pepper to taste
1/2          cup fresh basil, cut in small pieces, added at end of cooking
               olive oil for sauting
12           ounces noodles of your choice

Add  olive oil to large sauté pan.  Over medium heat, add sliced yellow onion.
Saute until soft, add minced garlic for a minute then add pepper slices.  Saute
until peppers start to soften. 

Add diced tomatoes, vegan parmesan cheese, tomato paste and red pepper flakes to taste. 

Add some of the pasta water to create a nice sauce.  Once pasta is cooked, add to
Sauté pan, check seasoning and add Basil off the heat.  Serve drizzled with olive oil.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Fruit and Nut Granola

The nice thing about Granola is that you can get as creative as you want.  Add your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruits -- maybe even a little dried coconut.  We kept a big batch in a glass container and used as a snack or on top of some vegan ice-cream.

Fruit and Nut Granola
Adapted from Mary McCartney cookbook
Makes approx. 1 and 1/2 pounds

5              cups rolled oats, preferably old-fashioned (not instant) oats
            ***Muesli from Trader Joe’s (has seeds and fruit and nuts)
10            brazil nuts, roughly chopped (I used Pecans left somewhat big)
1/2            cup sunflower seeds, roughly chopped
1/2            cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped (or any other seeds)
8               dried apricots, chopped
1/2            cup raisins
1/3            cup dried cranberries


3              tablespoons sunflower or cooking oil
5 & 1/2    tablespoons maple syrup
5 & 1/2    tablespoons Agave

Preheat the oven to 300F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In large mixing bowl, combine the oats, brazil (or Pecan) nuts, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds,  Set this aside while you make the syrup.

To make the syrup, pour the oil, maple syrup and Agave into a small saucepan and heat gently until warm but not bubbling, stirring well until all the ingredients are mixed together.  Do not let bubble or burn. 

Drizzle the syrup over the oats, nuts, and seeds and mix together so that all the Ingredients are lightly coated.

Spread the mixture evenly over the 2 baking sheets, as that is about 1/2 “ deep.  Bake for 30-20 minutes, taking it out of the oven 2 times during baking to stir the granola and then return it to continue baking.  When it’s ready it should be evenly golden brown.

Take the granola out of the oven and mix in the apricots, raisins, and cranberries.

Set the granola aside to cool completely, then store in an airtight container and keep in a cool dry place until needed (will keep 2-3 weeks stored like this)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Parsnip Soup with Coriander and Parsley

This is a nice, light springtime soup that can be served as a starter or a full on meal with a chunk of your favorite bakery bread.  I added a touch of Turmeric to add extra color.

Parsnip Soup with Coriander and Parsley
Adapted Food Network Magazine recipe, Alex G.

2            tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
1            onion, thinly sliced
1            teaspoon coriander seeds
1            cup fresh parsley, leaves chopped and tender stems reserved
Kosher salt
6            medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
2            medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
2            cloves garlic, minced
1/2         cup orange juice
1            tablespoon molasses
1            cup vegan milk (replaces cream in original recipe- can use soy creamer )
1            tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
olive oil for drizzling

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the vegan butter, onion, coriander seeds, parsley stems and a generous pinch of salt.  Cook , stirring , until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the parsnips, carrots and garlic, season with salt and cook, stirring until slightly softened, 5-8 minutes.

Add 7 cups water, the orange juice and molasses to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes.

Stir in the vegan milk into the soup and return to a simmer.  Working in batches, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth; thin with water if the soup is too thick.  Stir in the ginger and chopped parsley leaves and season with salt.  Serve drizzled with the olive oil

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake with Blueberries

Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake with Blueberries

1 and1/4            cup defrosted, frozen blueberries made into a puree
3/4                     cup cacao powder  (health food store/whole foods)
1/2                     cup sugar
1                        tablespoon baking powder
1                        teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4                     cup unsweetened shredded coconut (for topping)
                          handful of slightly defrosted frozen blueberries (for topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Puree defrosted blueberries.

Stir together the cacao powder, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

Add the blueberry puree and vanilla.  Whisk until everything is combined and no
Lumps of cacao remain.

Spread evenly into a 6” pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.

Let the cake cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.  It is very delicate when warm, so to be sure it comes out cleanly, you can chill the cake first.

Top with coconut.  Serve warm or cold.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

No Yeast Dinner Rolls

I had a need for last minute dinner rolls that didn't require yeast and found this recipe on the web.
Many people in the comment section thought it was too salty, but we liked it but also added some garlic salt, dill and vegan parmesan to the mix.  I also topped it with a little melted vegan butter and home made vegan parmesan and brushed it on about 2 minutes before the end of cooking.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vegan Parmesan Cheese

This is my favorite recipe for vegan parmesan cheese and only requires 4 ingredients.  This stuff is so good and can be added to soups, pastas and my favorite, POPCORN!  Visit her blog and look around, she has many great recipes as well as a cookbook worth ordering.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Minimalist Baker
makes one cup

3/4       cup raw cashews
3          tablespoons nutritional yeast (can be found at health food store or Whole Foods)
3/4       teaspoon sea salt
1/4       teaspoon garlic powder

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix/pulse until a fine meal is achieved.  Store in refrigerator to keep fresh.  Lasts for several weeks - but good luck keeping it that long.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Asian Tofu and Squash Salad

Asian Tofu and Squash Salad
Adapted Food Network Recipe

1            14-oz  pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4” cubes
3            tablespoons rice vinegar
2            tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1            tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/4         cup olive or vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons for cooking squash
8            ounces mushroom, sliced (I used raw – recipe says to bake w/squash)
4            cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1            5-ounce package mixed Asian Greens(I used Romaine/spinach)
2            cups snow peas, trimmed and halved (I used radishes instead)
1/2         cup coarsely chopped salted roasted cashews

Put a baking sheet in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  Put the tofu cubes on a clean kitchen towels in a single layer; let drain and pat dry.  Make the dressing:  Whisk the rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and 1/4 cup oil in a large bowl.  Set aside. 

Toss the mushrooms (unless using raw) and squash with the remaining 2 tablespoons  oil, a pinch of slat and few grinds of pepper in a separate large bowl; spread the vegetables on the top hot baking sheet.  Pat the tofu dry and add to the same bowl along with 3 tablespoons of the dressing; toss, then spread on the bottom hot baking sheet.  Roast, switching the baking sheets and tossing the vegetables and tofu halfway through,  until the squash is tender and the tofu is golden, 18-20 minutes.  ****Next time I will spray tofu baking sheet with non-stick because tofu stuck a bit to pan.

Add the greens, snow peas/radishes, and cashews to the bowl with the remaining dressing; toss.  Divide among  bowls, top with the roasted vegetables and tofu.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Barbecue Jackfruit and Pineapple Quesadillas

The original recipe listed BBQ chicken and I thought BBDQ Jackfruit would be a great replacement and super healthy.  Since it takes a little bit of time to prepare the Jackfruit, I made it a day before making the Quesadillas.  If you have extra Jackfruit, just put it in a bun with some pickles and lunch is served.

Barbecue Jackfruit and Pineapple Quesadillas
Adapted Ree Drummond recipe

1/2       pineapple (I would not recommend defrosted frozen pineapple)
            salt and pepper to taste
            prepared Jackfruit (Recommend preparing day before)
            (I make with canned Jackfruit in Brine – Not Syrup)

            extra BBQ if desired but should have enough on the premade Jackfruit
            vegan butter for frying
8          small flour or corn tortillas
1          jalapeno, sliced
            shredded vegan cheese
            Cilantro for topping
            Vegan sour cream for topping
            Salsa for topping

Cut the pineapple into 8 wedges and cut off the hard core and the outer skin.
If grilling:  Thread the pieces of pineapple onto wooden skewers and grill over medium-high heat, turning once or twice during the grilling process.

Heat the pre-made Jackfruit in a skillet.

Now assemble the quesadillas.  On top of 1 tortilla, place some BBQ Jackfruit, some pineapple chunks and some sliced jalapeno. 

Drizzle additional BBQ sauce, if needed.  Sprinkle with vegan cheddar cheese.

Heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter in a large skillet.  Top the quesadilla with the second tortilla.  Brown on one side, then carefully flip the quesadilla and brown the other side.  Make sure all the vegan cheese is melted.  Repeat to make the rest of the quesadillas.  Then serve with vegan sour, salsa and cilantro.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Broccoli Almond Sweet-and-Sour Tofu

We love ordering Asian take-out food but sometimes it's nice to just stay inside, enjoy our kitchen and make our own. Here's a pretty simple recipe -- make sure your tofu is nice and crispy!

Broccoli Almond Sweet-and-Sour Tofu
Vegan Yum Yum cookbook by Lauren Ulm

1            tub extra firm tofu, pressed
2            teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer plus 4 teaspoons water, mixed
1/4         cup cornstarch or arrowroot
1/4         cup peanut or canola oil
1/2         cup sliced almonds  (I used more)
1-2         cups steamed broccoli
            sesame seeds for garnish

Sweet-and-Sour Sauce

3 & 1/2  tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4         cup plus 1 tablespoon water
2            tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
2            tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2            teaspoons ketchup
1            teaspoon molasses
1/4         teaspoon ginger powder
1/2         teaspoon salt
            pinch Cayenne pepper (not in recipe)
1 & 1/2     tablespoons cornstarch plus 2 tablespoons water, mixed.

Slice the tofu into triangles or small cubes. Smaller is better for this recipe, since smaller pieces won’t have a tendency to break up when you toss them, and they have a bigger surface-area-to volume ratio.

Toss the tofu with the egg replacer/water mixture until coated.  Then toss in cornstarch until each piece is coated and dry, adding more cornstarch if needed.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok.

While the oil is heating, make the sweet-and-sour sauce.  In a small saucepan, mix rice vinegar, water, sugar, tamari, ketchup, molasses, ginger powder, and salt and whisk over medium heat until the sugar and salt is dissolved.  Add the cornstarch/water mixture and whisk until the sauce thickens.  If you leave the sauce unattended now, it will thicken and burn, so keep an eye on it.  When thick, turn off the heat and set aside.

Place the tofu in the hot oil, being careful not to burn yourself.  You don’t want the tofu to be crowded or the pieces will stock to each other, so fry it in batches if needed.   Fry for 3-5 minutes until golden on the bottom, then gently turn and brown the other side.  Right before you’re going to take the tofu out, add the almonds.  Let them fry in the oil for 30 second – no longer.  They should barely change color.

Drain the oil from the tofu and almonds and place in a large bowl.  Pour the sauce on top and gently toss to completely coat.  The sauce should be thick and sticky; it shouldn’t pool at the bottom of the bowl.

Serve immediately with fresh steamed broccoli, adding sesame seeds on top.  (Alternatively, add the broccoli in with the tofu before tossing with the sweet-and-sour sauce – this is what I did).

Monday, March 6, 2017

German Apple Cake

German Apple Cake
The Joy of Vegan Baking CB by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

3            apples, peeled and cut into slices
1/2         cup nondairy butter
1/2         cup granulated sugar
1/2         cup unsweetened applesauce
2            tablespoons nondairy milk
1 & 1/2   unbleached all-purpose flour
1 & 1/2   teaspoons baking powder


1/4            cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2            teaspoon cinnamon
1/2            teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9” spring form pan.

To make the cake, cook the apples in a little bit of water on the stove or in microwave until they’re just a little soft but not mushy.  If using micro, no longer than 1 & 1/2 minutes.)  Set aside

With an electric hand mixer or by hand using a wooden spoon, cream together the butter, and sugar.  Add the applesauce and non dairy milk.  Finally, add the flour and baking powder, and stir until just combined.

Add the batter to the prepared pan, and arrange the apple slices in a circle on top of the cake.

To make the topping, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and sprinkle over the apples, covering the top of the cake.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before unmolding from the cake pan.

****To make this cake completely fat-free, use 1 cup applesauce and eliminate the non dairy butter.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa

Garlic Pineapple Stir-Fried Quinoa
Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking CB by Dana Shultz

1 & 1/4            cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed  (I used 1 cup and saved the 1/4 cup)
1 & 1/2            cups water
3                      tablespoons toasted sesame oil or coconut oil
1                      cup diced green onion ***I used regular onion
1                      cup green pepper (not in her original recipe)
3                      cloves garlic, minced
1/2                   cup peas, fresh or frozen
2/3                   cup roasted, salted cashews (I used 1/2 cup)
2/3                   cup diced pineapple  (I used more)
                        Sprinkling of red pepper flakes (not in her recipe)


1                        tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4                     cup soy sauce or tamari
4-5                     tablespoon maple syrup (or substitute organic brown sugar)
3-4                     tablespoons salted natural peanut butter, or almond butter

Add the quinoa and water to a large saucepan.  Cook over high heat until boiling, then reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Set aside.

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Once hot, add the sesame oil, green onions, green pepper (if using) garlic, and 1 tablespoon sauce.  Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add the peas, cook for another 2 minutes.  Raise the heat to medium.  Add the cooked quinoa and two thirds of the sauce  (reserving the rest for serving).  Stir to thoroughly coat.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the cashews and pineapple.  Stir to coat.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.  Chopped green onion or cilantro for garnish.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Creamy Broccoli + "Cheddar" Soup

Creamy Broccoli + “Cheddar” Soup
Adapted recipe from Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking CB – Dana Shultz

Serves 4

2            tablespoons olive oil
3            cloves garlic, minced
3            cups cubed butternut squash
Pinch     salt and pepper
2            cups unsweetened plain almond milk (or other nut milk)
2            cups vegetable broth
1/2         cup nutritional yeast
3            cups broccoli, loosely chopped
1/4         teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2         teaspoon garlic powder
1/2         teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1-2         tablespoon maple syrup

1/4         red pepper flakes
2            tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot starch, for thickening

Heat a large pot over medium heat, add olive oil, and butternut squash and pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook approximately 5 minutes then add garlic, careful not to burn garlic.  Cover and cook 4 minutes.  If browning too quickly, turn down heat.

Add the almond milk, broth, and nutritional yeast.  Season once more with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring to a low boil. 

Add broccoli, nutmeg, garlic powder, vinegar, maple syrup, and red pepper flakes (optional).  Cover and let simmer 5-6 minutes. 

Scoop out about 1 cup broccoli using a slotted spoon.  Set aside for a later use.

Transfer the soup to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend the soup in the pot.  Add the cornstarch for thickening (Optional)  ** I used arrowroot.  Puree until creamy and smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Return the soup, if using blender.  Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat to thicken, add the broccoli reserved from earlier and heat for a few minutes.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cauliflower Stir-Fry With Toasted Peanuts

Cauliflower Stir-Fry With Toasted Peanuts
Food Network Magazine

1            cup jasmine rice
1            head cauliflower, cut into florets
3            tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1/4         cup salted roasted peanuts  (I used almonds)
1            cup snow peas, trimmed (I used Edamame)
1            yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
2            tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
2            scallions (white parts sliced, green parts cut into 2-inch pieces)
1/3         cup sweet Thai chili sauce
1 & 1/2            teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4         cup fresh cilantro

Preheat the broiler.  Cook the rice as the label directs.  Meanwhile, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper; spread on a rimmed baking sheet.  Broil, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and tender, about 10 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.  Add the peanuts and cook , stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.  Remove to a small bowl and a slotted spoon and season with salt and pepper.

Add the snow peas (or Edamame), bell pepper and ginger to the skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 1-2 minutes. Add the scallions (white and green parts) and cauliflower; toss.  Add the chili sauce and soy cause and continue to cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are glazed, about 2 minutes.

Fluff the rice with a fork; top each serving with the stir-fry, toasted peanuts and cilantro.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tuscan Bean Soup

Tuscan Bean Soup
Ree Drummond - Adapted

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced **I used 3 big cloves
1 medium onion, diced 
One 6-ounce can tomato paste 
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, plus more if desired
1 teaspoon dried oregano 
3/4 cup dry white wine 
One 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes 
Three 14.5-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed  **I made with 2 cans
6 cups vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch kale, plus more if desired
           ***I added several tablespoons of vegan parmesan
Plenty of torn fresh basil, for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes, getting lots of flavor in the bottom of the pot. Stir in the red pepper flakes and dried oregano; cook and stir for another 30 seconds.
Pour in the wine and whisk, scraping the bottom of the pot a bit as you go. Allow this to bubble up and reduce, cooking until the wine is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, then the beans. Pour in the vegetable broth. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.  ***I also added vegan parmesan cheese
Rinse the kale and tear it into chunks. Stir it into the soup (it'll shrink quite a bit, so don't be afraid when you first add it!). Simmer the soup for another 5 minutes, tasting and adding salt and pepper (or even more red pepper flakes) as needed.
Transfer the soup to a large serving bowl.

Recipe for homemade vegan parmesan – I love this stuff!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cilantro Lime Slaw

I don't have an official recipe for this, just the ingredients I used from some fridge leftovers.
Some people dislike Cilantro but I'm not one of them, the more cilantro the better!

Red Cabbage
Green Onions
Sugar (just a tablespoon)
Lime juice
Vegan Mayo
Salt and Pepper

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Kale and Artichoke Chicken-less Casserole

I added a bit of vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream to make the casserole a bit richer.  I've also included a link to home made vegan Parmesan cheese - it's delicious.

Kale and Artichoke Chicken-less Casserole
Adapted from Valerie Bertinelli recipe

2            bunches kale, tough center stems removed, chopped into 2-inch pieces
2-3         tablespoons olive oil
1            pkg. chicken-less strips (I used Trader Joe’s)
              salt and pepper
1            small onion, finely chopped
2            tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 – 1  cup vegan milk (I used almond milk)
1            cup vegetable stock
1            cans artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4         teaspoon cayenne
4            tablespoons grated vegan Parmesan
            ****1/4 – 1/3 cup vegan vegan cream cheese (Trader Joe’s) –optional
            **** couple dollops vegan sour cream = optional
2            tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Bring large pot of water to boil.  Add the kale and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.  Drain, squeeze out any moisture and dry very well.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in nonstick skillet over medium  heat.  Cut up chicken-less strips into smaller pieces.  Brown and sauté then set aside.  ***I used a bit of soy cause to season.

Reduce the heat to medium.  Add another tablespoon of oil if the skillet is dry, then add the onions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring 1 minute.  Slowly pour in the vegan milk while stirring constantly to dissolve the flour, then stir in the vegetable broth.  ****Add vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese if using.  Stir in until creamy.

Simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add the kale, artichokes and cayenne, then add the chicken-less strips.  Cook about 4 minutes.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of the vegan Parmesan.

Preheat the broiler to high.  Spray 8” baking dish. Top with the Panko and remaining tablespoon Parmesan.  Broil about 3 inches from the element until golden brown in spots, about 3 minutes.