Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Feast!

This picture is missing the mushroom gravy and the yorkshire puddings, but I'm going to include the recipes for those as well.

Lets start with the mushroom gravy - you can make this hours ahead and reheat it. 

1 container of white mushrooms finely diced
1 shallot finely diced
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 Tbsp corn starch.
2 Tbsp port
Dash of olive oil
Pepper to taste

Cook the shallot in the olive oil until translucent.  Then add the mushrooms and cook until the liquid is gone.  Deglaze the pan with the port.  Mix the vegetable stock and corn starch before adding to the pot.  Then simmer until it thickens, add ground pepper as desired.

Balsamic Brussel Sprouts
Fresh Brussel Sprouts (as many as you want)
3 Tbsp Brown Suggar
Balsamic Vinegar
Ground Pepper

Cut the ends off the sprouts and slice in half.  Place in a baking dish, lightly coat with balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle in the brown sugar.  Toss to coat, sprinkle with ground pepper.  Put aside to cook with the Yorkshire puddings.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes
1 bag assorted baby potatoes (red, white, purple)
2 purple sweet potatoes - peeled and diced to the size of the baby potatoes
1 Tbsp diced fresh rosemary (use dry if you don't have your own rosemary plant)
ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil.

Toss potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper.  Cook at 325 for 15 minutes before you add the Seitan to the oven (leave them in while it cooks).

Seitan Roast
I got this recipe from and made some modifications

2 cups vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon rosemary - I used fresh
1 tablespoon sage - I used fresh
1 tablespoon thyme
1-1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 celery stalk, minced
1/2 small onion, minced
Head of garlic, roasted
Cooking Broth:
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup water
1/2 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 tablespoon liquid smoke

Combine the wheat gluten, flour, nutritional yeast, herbs, onion, celery and garlic.  In another container combine the broth, water and soy sauce.  Mix the wet into the dry and knead until mixed.  Divide into two small roasts and place in pan.  Pour half of the cooking broth around it and bake at 325 for 50 minutes.  At the half way point, check to see if it needs more broth, if so, add to the pan. (this means your potatoes cook for 65 minutes).

Once the Potatoes and Roast are done, take them out of the oven and cover.  Put the brussel sprouts in the oven and turn it up to 450.

Yorkshire pudding
Take a muffin tin and put 3/4 tsp vegetable shortening in each spot.  Place the tin in the oven while it heats to 450.

In a bowl combine:
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 heaping Tbsp chick pea flour
1/2 tsp salt
to this add 1 cup to plain soymilk. 
Whisk - this will be a thin bater.
Take the muffin tin out of the oven and half fill each of the spots.
Bake for 25 minutes (with the brussel sprouts).


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Chocolate Amaretto Mousse

I received a recipe for a chocolate merlot mousse and as my wife can't have merlot, I had to change things up.  As such, I thought I'd use amaretto instead.

If you're like the flavor but not the alcohol, simply heat the liquid above 150 to remove the alcohol.

5oz of chocolate chips melted (vegan of course)
1 1/2 cups of silken tofu (almost all of a container)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
1 tsp vanilla extract

Once the chocolate is melted, combine all ingredients into a blender.  Once combined, pour into four dishes and chill for a minimum of four hours.  Then.... enjoy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rootbeer Float Cupcakes!

You never know what you're going to find on the Internet.  The other day I wandered across the link for this and today while Hurricane Irene rages up the East Coast (just a little wind and rain where I am) I thought, why not try these.  The recipe originally comes from Bittersweet blog's cupcake recipe.  I have made some slight modifications to the recipe.

I'd suggest you visit that site, and then return.

When it suggests soymilk in the ganache, I used chocolate instead of just plain or vanilla and instead of maple syrup, I used agave nectar.  Be warned, the ganache recipe makes about 3 or 4 times the amount you need for the cupcakes, so plan on using/eating some extra ganache.

These are very tasty, though strong flavored.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Health update

I first went vegan for health reasons, after reading the Engine 2 Diet as a way to lower my cholesterol.  In the first three months I lost 35 pounds and my cholesterol dropped 64 points.  Well, now 2 1/2 years in I had another phyiscal and my cholesterol has dropped a total of 140 points!  Doc says I'm very healthy and things look great.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lack of posts

To anyone reading, sorry for the lack of posts since mid-June.  It's been a very busy summer with lots going on.  I'm still vegan and still eating lots of yummy food, but mostly repeats of recipes already posted here.  I hope to post something soon.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Laotian Pun Tofu

Years ago I worked with a woman who was Laotian and the couple of times she and her husband had us over, she made this wonderful finger food, using lettuce as the food container.  So after a quick Google and then putting my own spin on it here it goes.

1 large seedless cucumber peeled and finely diced
3 tomatoes finely diced
3 scallions cut into thin rings
lots of mint (I took the leaves off of 12 or so stalks in the garden).
2 packages of extra firm cubed tofu (you could buy it uncubed, this just saves time)
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
Juice of two limes
1 cup Kikkoman Ponzu (essentially lime flavored soy sauce)
10 drops sesame oil
1/3 cup Tamari
1/4 cup sugar
4 Tbsp Hoison sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil

Optional: Alfalfa Sprouts

Remove the mint from the stalk, rinse the leaves, dry them and then slice them into fine shreds.

Toss the cucumber, tomatoes, scallions and mint together and let sit.

Put the tofu (drained) into a ziplock bag with 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup Ponzu, 2-3 drops of Sesame oil and 1 Tbsp Hoison and let marinate for a couple of hours

Meanwhile in a pot combine the juice of the limes, the rest of the vinegar, Ponzu, Tamari, 1/4 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp of Hoison.  Heat over medium heat until it starts to boil and reduce to a low simmer, reducing my 1/3.  Then remove from the heat and let cool.

Then once the tofu has marinated, in a large skillet heat the olive oil and about 7 drops of sesame oil.  Once hot, add the tofu and marinade, stirring often, until the marinade has cooked off and the tofu starts to brown.  Remove from heat and cool.

Once cool, stir into the vegetable mixture.

To serve: Take leaves of your favorite lettuce, tear a roughly palm sized piece.  Put a dollop of the mixture on the lettuce, drizzle with a little bit of the sauce, fold the lettuce over and enjoy.  For a little extra punch, add a pinch of Alfalfa Sprouts to your wrap.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tamales redone

Sorry no picture on this one.  Almost two years ago I made portabella and black bean margarita tamales.  These were so much better.

2 cups Masa flour
1/2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix all of these ingredients together, this will create a nice dough, kind of like what you'd have for cookies.

The filling can be anything you'd like.  I made half of mine with taco seasoned TVP, black beans and mexican corn.  The other half I made with yellow and red peppers and onion that I cooked down in a pan with some cumin and finished with about 2 tbsp of lime juice and 1/2 tsp cumin.

Take a sheet of parchment paper about 9 inches from the roll and tear it off.  I then rolled thsi up and cut it into thirds.  Take each third and put a thin layer of dough on it from one edge to about 1" away from the other, leaving 3 inches or so at the other end. 

Put some filling on it, then tightly roll and fold the extra parchment paper up.  Then place into a pot (I took the top half of my pasta pot and had it on the side).  Once they are all rolled, put water in the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil and steam for 30 minutes.  Make sure the pot doesn't run dry.  I placed a pyrex measuring cup in steamer section to make up for the empty space.

Serve with some salsa and guacamole.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Empanada Hash

After last night's empanadas were made I had a healthy amount of filling left over.  I put it in a container and put it into the fridge.

This morning it was calling me... so with a light spray of cooking oil in the skillet over medium high heat I made myself some nice hash for breakfast.  Now ideally it would have had some potatoes in it, but I wasn't going to cook potatoes just for this and I didn't have any already made.  So the next time I make empanadas, I need to also cook up a couple of potatoes.

Cook on medium heat scraping the pan occasionally to get all the good crispy bits up off the bottom of the pan.

Dark Chocolate Truffles!

I was looking for some new recipes to try and I found myself at  When I first entered the word vegan, one of the first recipes to come up was chocolate truffles.  With only four ingredients, this just seemed far too interesting to ignore. 

I'm already thinking of tinkering with this.. a different coating... adding mint extract to it or possibly even something more potent.

3/4 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup cold water
1 lb semisweet chocolate
cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. 
While that is happening, place the cashews and water in a blender and blend on high for two minutes.  Stop the blender, scrape it down and then blend again for another minute.  This will result in a heavy cream like liquid.

Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat and let it cool a bit.  While still stirrable, gently mix in the cashew cream.

Once it is all combined, chill for at least two hours.

Using a spoon, scoop out some of the chocolate mixture, roll into a ball and drop into a bowl with cocoa powder.  Roll around in the powder and then plate.  Keep chilled once made.

Decadent and yummy!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Refriend beans

No picture on this one (see the Empanada recipe). 

1 yellow onion (diced)
1 29oz can Pinto beans (drained)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup or more of water

Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onions until lighly golden.
Add the pintos and use a masher to mash them (I still had some chunks in mine).  Add the water and seasonings

Continue to cook over medium heat stirring.  I used my stainless pan which allows me to use the stainless spatula and scrape the pan.  If it starts to dry out, just add extra water. 

These were far superior to what you can find already made in a can.


I've been sleeping fitfully recently and so I was up quite early yesterday.  There was nothing on the television and I ended up on Planet Green watching an episode of Emeril Green.  What hooked me was that he was cooking vegetarian.  So I watched, took some notes and then veganized his recipe along with my own twist.  So I present to you, my take on Emeril's vegetarian empanadas.  I served this with garlic green beans and home made refried beans.  I'll post the refried beans on their own recipe.

The salsa:
1 mango peeled and diced
3/4 of a seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red onion finely diced
juice of one lime
1/8 tsp Hawaiian red salt
Mix all of these in a bowl and place in the fridge and let chill for 24 hours.

The dough:
You're going to need two 8oz containers of vegan cream cheese, 12 tbsp of Earth Balance, 2 1/2 cups of flour and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Have the cream cheese and Earth Balance at room temperature and using the paddle blade of a stand mixer combine at medium high speed until well blended.  Then reduce to slow speed and slowly add the flour and salt.  Once the four ingredients are combined, divide in half and turn each half out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead gently and then flatten each into a disc and wrap individually in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 3 hours.

The filling:
1 pound of shitake mushrooms with the stems removed
1 vidalia onion sliced
1 serrano pepper, seeds removed
1/4 cup golden raisens
1/2 bottle of stuffed green olives
1 Tbsp drained capers
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
3 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put all of these ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well minced.  This may take two or three batches.  While doing this, heat some olive oil in a large skillet.  Once heated, add all of the filling and cook for 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.

Remove from heat and let cool.

Take the dough from the fridge after it has chilled 3+ hours, flour a surface and roll out to a 1/8" thickness.  Then cut circles from the dough (I used a margarita glass).  Place a spoonful of filling in the middle of each circle, use some olive oil to moisten half the circle and then fold in half, keeping the filling inside.  Press the edges together and then use a fork to press the edge together.  Transfer to a baking sheet and continue until all of the dough has been rolled out and filled.  (I ended up with a little extra filling).

Lightly brush each empanada with olive oil and bake at 450 for 15 minutes

Plate 2 or 3 at a time and place a dollop of salsa across them.

I ended up with about 35 empanadas and they were delicious!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pad Kao Saparod - Thai Pineapple Fried Rice

This recipe originally came from via Facebook.  I took the recipe and modified it a bit.  No picture unfortunately as I had to rush to get it to the table.

4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions chopped (small)
12 baby carrots cut into small rounds
1 block of firm tofu drained and cut into 1/2" cubes
1 cup frozen green beans cut into 3rds
1 can chunk pineapple drained
3-4 cups cooked rice
1 tsp salt
12 chives finely minced
soy sauce as needed

Heat the vegetable oil in a stainless steel skillet over high heat.  Add the onions and garlic and cook until golden brown.
Add the carrots and green beans, stirring often until cooked.
Add the tofu and cook another 7-8 minutes.
Add the pineapple, salt,  and rice, stirring often for 8-10 minutes
Add a splash or two of soy sauce and stir together before serving
Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of chives

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies

A friend of a friend mentioned "no-bake cookies" in a recent Facebook comment.

After asking about them, I got a recipe which turned out to be amazingly easy to veganize.

This recipe made 21 fairly large sized cookies.

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup chocolate soy milk
1/4 cup vegan butter
a pinch of salt
3 Tbsp baking cocoa
3 cups oats
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter.

Place the sugar, soy milk, butter, salt and cocoa all in a pot, still well and bring to a boil.

After a minute, remove from heat, stir in the peanut butter until melted.  Then add the vanilla and oats.  Stir to combine and then drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Once cool, enjoy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fish Fingers

I'm a big fan of the television show "Doctor Who".  The new season started tonight and so I knew that dinner had to be special for the kids.  When this version of the Doctor started off last season he ate Fish Fingers (sticks) and custard.  I'm not quite that crazy but I wanted the Fish Fingers.  I knew that I needed a starch as well, so why not bake some "Daleks" (one of the arch-enemies of the Doctor) and the peas, well those are "Slitheen eggs".

I found a recipe on good and then modified it

You will need the following:
3/4 cup of plain soymilk
1 block of firm tofu, drained but not pressed
1/4 cup hemp seeds, ground (I used a mortar and pestle)
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 cup dulce flakes (seaweed - if you don't have dulce, grind up some nori)
1 tbsp corn starch

Heat the oven to 400

Mix the corn starch into the soy milk in a bowl.
Place the tofu largest side down, then cut 1/2" slices in the "short" direction.  Once those are all cut, put them on their large side and cut them in half. 

Soak the tofu in the soymilk/corn starch mixture.

Mix all of the other ingredients in a pie plate.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper

Dredge each piece of tofu in the mixture and place on the parchment.  Once they are all dredged, bake for a total of 20 minutes, flip them over around 10 minutes.

If you want some tartar sauce as well, mix in the following ratio: 1 Tbsp relish to 2 Tbsp vegannaise with  1/2 tsp onion powder.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Potato Latkes

So I'm not quite sure what happened, but I thought hmmmm maybe I should make some latkes.  So I did a search, found a recipe, and then did what I always do, which is to take it and then modify it in my own way.

So, here you go.  This recipe turned out 12 latkes of roughly palm sized.

2 lbs of potatoes peeled and grated
1 medium onion grated
1 1/2 tsp Adobo
1 tsp freshly grated pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 /4 cup flour

Peel the potatoes and grate them into a bowl.  Squeeze the liquid out of the potatoes with your hand and move the potatoes to a different container.  Add the onion, Adobo, pepper, garlic powder, baking powder and flour. 

Use your hands to combine all of this together.

Heat the oven to 275 and heat a large fry pan over medium heat.  Add some vegetable oil to create a light layer.

Create 3-4 palm sized pancakes from the bowl and place them into the heated oil.  Turn once it starts to turn golden brown.  Once both sides are browned, move to a plate in the oven (on paper towels to drain the oil). 

Add additional oil as needed.

Serve with apple sauce and/or "sour cream"

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Today I was going to a party and needed a dish to bring.  Along with a batch of the "Angelic Potatoes" (see August 2010), I wanted something a little more substantial.  So... after some looking I found a recipe in "Vegetarian Recipes" by Better Homes and Gardens and made a couple of changes to it. This is my version of the recipe.
2 Green Bell Peppers - largely diced
1 Red Bell Pepper - largely diced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper - largely diced
2 medium yellow onions - diced
1 large red onion - diced
8 cloves of garlic - finely diced
4 stalks of celery diced
1 cup dry red lentils
1 cup dry brown lentils
2 cans diced tomatoes - drained
1 can whole black olives drained
1 jar pimento stuffed green olives - drained and sliced
4 cups veggie stock
3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot and then add the peppers, onions, garlic, and celery and cook until tender. 

Add turmeric and stir to mix in.

Add the lentils and veggie stock, bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender (add more stock if needed).

Add the tomatoes, olives, and peas and cook for another 10-15 minutes. 

You can serve this over rice or by itself - people really enjoyed it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Seitan Bourgogne

Traditionally this is a beef dish, but hey, I'm not eating meat. This recipe came to me from the fine people at

This recipe calls for 6 medallions of seitan. If you already have these, you're ready to start on the next part, if not, you're going to need to make a batch of seitan and for that I suggest following this recipe.
6 Medallions of seitan
6 medium sized carrots sliced
2 medium onions largely diced
2 cups from a bottle of dry red wine (I used a cabernet sauvignon)
3 cups vegetable broth
3 garlic cloves finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp corn starch
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Sautee the seitan medallions in a little bit of oil over medium high heat, until golden brown on each side (2-3 minutes per side). Remove the seitan and set aside
Add the garlic to the pan and sautee for two minutes
Add the wine, broth, onions, carrots, and bay leaves to the pan and bring  a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 30 minutes, reducing by 1/3.
Add the seitan, some salt and pepper, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove the seitan from the pan. Remove 1/2 cup of the liquid from the pan, add the corn starch and stir until smooth. Add this liquid back into the pan and stir to combine and cook until slightly thickened.
Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or noodles.

Seitan - the other non-meat

Seitan is one of the staples of the vegan world. It replicates the shape and texture of meat. Easy to make and very versatile. I made my most recent batch to use in dinner.

2 Cups of Vital Wheat Gluten
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/4 cups water or veggie stock
3 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos

Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, then add the wet to the dry. Mix vigorously. When it forms a stiff dough, kneed 10 - 15 times.

Let the dough rest for five minutes and then kneed again a couple more times. Let rest for another 15 minutes.

In a pot combine four cups water and 1/4 cup tamari and bring to a boil.

Cut the seitan into cutlets and slowly place them into the broth. Reduce the broth from a boil down to a simmer, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove the seitan from the broth and drain (I place mine on cooling racks in a baking sheet.

Once cool place in a container and store in the fridge.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Green Gumbo

While reorganizing the home office I came across an older cookbook "Vegetarian Recipes" by Better Homes and Gardens from 1993 (I realize it isn't that old, but at almost 20 years it certainly isn't on the cutting edge of veg cuisine. I opened it to a random page and saw the recipe for "Green Gumbo" and my first thought was - yeah, I'm going to make that. This is green (as you can see in the picture). Really green. So you'll be getting some calcium, iron and other good things all packed into one bowl of yummy. I did modify the recipe (as often happens) as I felt it needed a couple of things. So what follows is the recipe for the dish I made based upon their original recipe.

1 package of chopped frozen spinach
1 bag of watercress (I thought this was some English thing, I was surprised to find that I could buy it here) chopped roughly
2 medium onions largely diced
5 cloves of garlic finely diced
2 stalks of celery diced
1 yellow bell pepper largely diced (the recipe called for a green one, but I didn't want that strong a flavor)
1/2 package of fake bacon chopped into small pieces
2 heads of broccoli chopped into small florets 2 parsnips peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 cup water
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cajun seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 can small white beans rinsed and drained
2 cups or more of rice (I used freshly cooked jasmine)

In a large pot combine the spinach and watercress and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, break the spinach up and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the greens pressing the liquid out of them. Reserve the liquid. Set the liquid and the greens both aside.

While that is cooking in a small fry pan cook the bacon pieces and remove from heat.

In the same pot as the greens were cooked, stir together the flour and the oil until smooth. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes stirring constantly with a whisk.

Reduce to medium heat, stirring until the flour/oil turns to a reddish brown.

Add the onions, pepper, and celery. Cook and stirl over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until tender.

At this point I added another 1/2 cup or so of water to help it avoid burning. Add enough water to the reserved liquid to make 2 1/2 cups. Add the liquid, reserved greens, salt, red pepper, cajun seasoning and black pepper to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the broccoli, bacon, and parsnips. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Add additional water if it seems too thick. Stir in the beans until heated.

Ladle gumbo over a serving of rice.

This had a sweet flavor to it. Consider adding more cajun seasoning or cayenne if you are looking for a little more kick.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

German Food!

Schnitzel and Spaetzel! I saw a recent episode of Sandra Lee's show on Food Network which featured German food and my first thought was... I need to make this! This dinner had two major pieces to it: the Schnitzel and the Spaetzel.

I'm going to include both recipes here (modified from the ones that Sandra has on food network)which means that this will be a long entry.

Lets start with the schnitzel first as it can be kept warm in the oven (at 200) after you cook it. You are going to need the following ingredients:
1 package of Tempeh
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup of bread crumbs (I used panko)
2 eggs worth of Energ-G egg replacer
olive oil
1 package of mushrooms (pre-sliced if you want to save time)
1/3 cup vegan sour cream
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
3 cloves of garlic - diced
1 Tbsp vegan worcestershire sauce
2 cups of veggie stock

Turn the tempeh on edge and cut it into two long pieces, roughly 1/4" thick. Then cut these two long pieces into thirds, with the result of six pieces that are almost square in shape. Soak these in the veggie stock for about 15 minutes.

Save the stock for the mushroom gravy.

Heat enough oil to cover a medium frying pan over medium heat. Set up three bowls: one with the flour, one with the two eggs worth of replacer mixed with two additional Tbsps of water and the third with the breadcrumbs.

To the flour mixture add a healthy pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. To this I also added a quick shake of onion powder and garlic powder (don't they belong in almost everything?).

Dredge each piece of tempeh first in the flour, then in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs and place in the pan. I was able to fit all six pieces in my pan at once.

Cook until the bottom side is golden brown and flip (10-15 minutes). Once done, remove from the pan, place on paper towels and keep in the oven at 200 degrees.

In the same pan add the garlic (and a little more oil if there is none left). Once lightly golden, add your mushrooms and cook down until most of the moisture is gone.

Add one cup of the veggie stock and reduce by a third. Add the worcestershire sauce and stir. Remove from the heat and add the sour cream. Stir to combine and serve over the pieces of schnitzel.

I would make the gravy last, while your spaetzel is cooking to avoid over cooking the gravy or having it cool too much.

Spaetzel - these are essentially small (very small) dumplings. Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
2 large eggs worth of Ener-G egg replacer and water
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and both powders. In another bowl mix the egg replacer and then mix the egg replacer in with the dry ingredients and stir together until combined in a batter.

Over high heat, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, pour half of the batter into a colander and hold the colander over the pot of water. (don't let the colander get into the water).

Use a spatula to push the batter through the colander into the water. Once all the batter is through, use a slotted spoon to remove the floating dumplings onto a baking sheet.

Once all of the dumplings have been removed, repeat with the second half of the batter.

Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a pan over medium high heat and quickly pan fry the dumplings until they are golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper while the dumplings are in the pan.

I served this with some freshly steamed broccoli and some sauerkraut.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mac and Cheese

This recipe was listed on VegWeb as "the best vegan mac and cheese in the entire world....seriously" so I had to give it a try.

Credit goes to Beep_I_am_a_robot on VegWeb. This doesn't end up with the over the top "cheese" flavor of boxed Mac n Cheese but has a nice smooth texture and a rich, slightly nutty flavor.

I don't have a picture here either as it was devoured very quickly. You will want a box of elbows or small shells cooked and drained (we ended up with some small shells, some elbows and some penne that was cut up).

Put the pasta into a casserole dish (my dish was sprayed with cooking spray first). In a blender combine the following:
1 1/2 cups plain soymilk
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
1 cup water
1 cup oil
1/3 cup tamari
1 block firm tofu
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp Vegesal (if you don't have this just use salt)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
a couple of dashes of turmeric.

Blend until smooth. Then pour over your pasta and stir to combine. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes until the top starts to get golden and crispy

Caesar Salad

Recently I made a quiche (.see the recipe) and it was incredibly yummy. I made a caesar salad to go along with it.

I felt this recipe needed something but everyone else was really happy with it. Perhaps some vegan parmesan would give it that final thing.

I don't have pictures of the salad but here is the recipe.

2 cloves garlic diced finely (you can go with 3 if you like garlic)
1 lemon juiced
1 tsp (you will want more) vegan Worcestershire Sauce (I like Annie's)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
dash of salt (I used black indian salt which has a slightly "eggy" smell/flavour to it)
2 heads of Romaine, rinsed, dried and torn into small pieces.

Mix all of the ingredients (except the lettuce!) in a food processor, slowly adding the olive oil while it mixes).

Taste on a piece of lettuce and adjust as needed

Monday, March 21, 2011

Whole wheat spaghetti with pesto sauce

I got this recipe in my email today from It sounded good so... this was tonight's dinner. The recipe calls for "salt to taste" and I would suggest a healthy dose of salt. I also modified it so what follows is the adjusted recipe:

1 bunch basil leaves (about 2 1/2 ounces)

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 avocados pitted and peeled

Juice of one whole lemon

3 cloves garlic (cut into chunks)

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt to taste (you will need to make a couple of additions here)

black pepper to taste (fresh ground here)

Put this all in the food processor and mix until blended. Toss with freshly cooked whole wheat pasta. Yum.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Florentine Quiche

This was accompanied with a caesar salad and a wonderful warm rosemary boule.
The recipe comes from and I then modified from there.
Their recipe makes one, I found that I had enough to fill two pie crusts.
I bought two vegan pie crusts at Whole Foods. You could obviously make your own, but I didn't have the time.
Two pie crusts
2 medium onions diced
3 cloves of garlic diced
1 1/2 packages of silken tofu drained
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 packages of frozen chopped spinach thawed
1/2 package of "bacon" cut into small pieces and cooked
Cook the onions and garlic in a little oil over medium heat until golden.
Place the tofu, tomato paste, turmeric, garlic, salt and pepper all into a food processor and pulse until combined.
Mix the tofu mixture, spinach and bacon all together in a bowl.
Spoon the filling into the two pie crusts and lightly cover with Daiya
Cook at 350 for 50 minutes.
Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


These aren't the same cupcakes. Sure, they are also based upon a recipe that won a season of Cupcake Wars on Food Network (the most recent season - congratulations Doron Petersan). The original recipe called for carmelized bananas and some banana frosting but that just sounded icky to me. So... I present to you Chocolate Cupcakes with a Chocolate Ganache Frosting, lightly covered with shaved dark chocolate.

1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup seltzer water
1/4 cup coffee brewed strong and cooled
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider).

Preheat the oven to 325
Into a medium bowl, sift the four dry ingredients.
Into another bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together.
Add the dry to the wet and gently whisk together - don't over mix. The batter will be wetter than most cake batters.
Into twelve cupcake liners, spoon the batter out, filling each liner 3/4 full.

Bake for 20+ minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Let sit and cool completely.

For the frosting you will need:
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of chocolate chips

In a double boiler heat the milk to steaming (but not boiling). Whisk in the chips until they melt.

Take each cupcake and dip the top into the ganache, covering it completely. Let cool until almost solid.

Take a chilled dark chocolate bar and use a vegetable peeler to shave off pieces of chocolate. Lightly dust each cupcake with shavings.

These turned out amazingly moist and people were VERY happy with them.

Chickpea chili

A co-worker gave me a recipe for this excellent dish (thanks Donna!) and I just had to share.
This comes from Cooking Light magazine.
The original recipe called for dried chick peas, but I just used canned and it was fantastic.
1 can chick peas, drained
2 Tbsp olive oil divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
5 cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth/stock
2/3 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives
1/2 cup golden raisens
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and crushed
4 cups chopped and peeled butternut squash
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
6 cups hot cooked couscous
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet at medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute stirring constantly.
Add the tomato paste, cumin, salt, red pepper, cinnamon and turmeric and saute for another 2 minutes stirring constantly.
Place the onion/garlic mixture in your crockpot. Add the can of chickpeas and stir.
Add broth, olives, raisens and tomatoes, cover and turn to high. Let cook for four hours.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the squash and saute for 5 minutes. Add the squash to the crockpot and cook for an hour, continuing to cook on high for another hour.
Add the thawed peas and cook for one more hour on high.
Serve 1 cup chili over 1/2 to 3/4 cup of cooked couscous.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Vegetable Kichdi

This is a recipe from Linda McCartney's book "Linda McCartney on Tour - over 200 meat-free dishes from around the world". The recipes often need a little bit of veganization as they tend to have eggs and dairy in them, but it's no big deal.

This recipe can give your spice rack/shelf a workout so make sure you have what you need before you give this a try.

1 cup basmati rice
1/3 cup red lentils
2 tbsp soy margarine
1 tbsp cumin seeds (I didn't have these and just used powder)
5 peppercorns crushed (I didn't crush but did a coarse grind from the peppermill)
4 whole green cardamoms
4 cloves
1 inch of cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric powder (what I used) or a pinch of saffron strands
2 large onions chopped finely
2 inches of fresh ginger grated
1 large potato diced
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 - 1 cup each cauliflower and broccoli florets
2 1/2 cups water
roasted cashews (finished the recipe and realized I didn't have these so I used slivered almonds)
salt to taste

In a large frying pan: heat the butter and fry the spices over medium heat. When they start to sizzle add the chopped onion and ginger and fry until golden brown (the turmeric will make them VERY golden).

Add the veggies, rice, lentils, water and pinch or two of salt. Stir and simmer covered for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked, adding more water if needed. Stir and serve sprinkled with roasted cashews (or almond slices).


Sure this is an easy veganization of an existing recipe, but they are such a staple here at my house I feel that I need to put this recipe up.

I took the recipe from The Joy of Cooking and made a few tweaks.

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
mix all of these together in a bowl

in another bowl:
1 1/2 cups soy milk
3 tbsp vegan margarine
2 eggs worth of Ener-G egg replacer (prepared)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the wet into the dry and gently whisk together.

Spoon roughly 1/3 cup of batter onto a griddle or large fry pan that is already at medium heat (water drops should dance on the surface). Once the batter has bubbles through it and they are staring to pop, flip. The first two or three always are pale for me, then the others are great.

If you want to add chocolate chips or fruit, drop that onto the pancake batter when it is first placed in the pan.

For a truly decadent treat, replace the soy milk with chocolate soy milk, add 2 tbsp of baking cocoa and add chocolate chips!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Truffle Torte - Take Two

Okay so after I got over the dog destroying my first attempt... I got the gumption to try again (along with another container of Earth Balance). So... here is the recipe I made, based upon one at VegWeb. However, I found the caramel to be too liquid. When I make it again, I'm going to need to add some kind of thickener (corn starch?) to make the caramel layer more substantial on it's own.

1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 lb soy margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecans toasted and chopped
1 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup soy milk

For the crust: Pre-heat oven to 350. In a medium bowl mix flour, oats and sugar. Cut 1/2 lb soy margarine into small cubes and mix into dry ingredients with a fork until crumbly. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, cool

To make the caramel, in a small saucepan melt 1/4 lb soy margarine. Stir in brown sugar, stir constantly until sugar is smooth and melted. Slowly stir in 1/4 cup soy or almond milk. Stir until smooth and shiny. Pour caramel over cooled crust. Sprinkle pecans in an even layer over caramel. Place in the fridge or other cold place (not the freezer) for approx 20-25 minutes or until caramel thickens. Again, I found the caramel to still be a tad too liquid when I was done, I think this needs to be thicker.

The Chocolate Truffle part! Either in a double boiler, or making one by placing a bowl over some water in a medium pot, bring the water to a simmer and mix 1/4 pound of the soy margarine with the chocolate. Stir gently until melted and combined. Then stir in the 1/2 cup soy milk until smooth. Pour the chocolate over the caramel/pecan layer slowly and carefully so as to not disturb the pecans too much. Give the pan bottom one or two gentle taps on the counter to help even out the chocolate. Put this in a cool place (again not the freezer) until the chocolate sets (1-2 hours) This is a very rich dessert - cut small slices!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Caramel Pecan Chocolate Torte - DENIED!

I was going to make a Caramel Pecan Chocolate Torte from a recipe I found on VegWeb. I spent an hour or so making the crust, then the caramel filling and put it out on the breezeway to cool down and to let the caramel set.

Then the dog got out there and licked half of the caramel away.

So... this will have to be attempted at some other time when I have the patience to try it again (and another tub of Earth Balance).

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I had a desire for pierogies and too often the store brands have milk in them. I can understand that if they have potato and cheese filling, but why do they have milk when they have just potato and onion? I looked for a recipe, found one online and made some modifications to it. The original was on So... here is the recipe:

2 Cups of flour
5/8 cup of warm water (or 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together (I used the Kitchenaide)

Let sit in a covered bowl for thirty minutes.

Roll out to 1/8 of an inch (if you can).

Cut out circles (I used a pint glass). Put a spoon of filling (see below) into the middle each circle, pull the dough over and use a fork to crimp the edges together.

Once they are all made, put them into boiling water until they float, then move them to a pan over medium heat that has some oil in it and cook until golden brown on each side. Serve with some vegan sour cream for extra yumminess.

Filling: I peeled and boiled some potatoes, while that was happening I took one finely diced onion and 2 cloves of finely diced garlic and cooked those with a little olive oil. I then added about 1tsp salt and some pepper to the onions and garlic. Drain and mash the potatoes once tender and add the onion/garlic mixture to it.


I got this recipe from You Won't Believe It's Vegan! I was looking through it today, came across the recipe and after the recently making some pierogies that turned out well I thought... why not try this.

The recipe calls for 4 large potatoes to be peeled and boiled, I instead peeled and boiled about 10 or so medium to small red potatoes. (I know, what a rebel!)

Boil the potatoes, when done, drain (keep the water) and then mash, setting aside covered to stay warm.

In a medium drying pan add some olive oil and over medium heat add:
5 or 6 cloves of garlic finely diced
cook these until golden brown then add
1 can of seitan chopped into 1/4 or so inch squares (I get my seitan this way at the Asian grocery store). Cook until heated and then add
1 1/2 heads of broccoli. I took each floret and quartered it.
The recipe said to just cook for 2 minutes but I didn't want really crunchy broccoli in my knish so I left it on medium, added a little of the reserved potato water and then put a lid on it until the broccoli was just starting to get tender, then turn off the heat.
Mix in half of the mashed potatoes and add 1/2 tsp salt (recipe calls for salt and tamari but that's a lot of sodium) and then I also added some ground pepper.

Meanwhile... to the other half of the mashed potatoes (I put them in my kitchenaide mixer at this point) add:
1 tsp salt
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp Spike seasoning
2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of potato water and start the mixer
You will need to add more water to get a soft, dough but it depends on how wet your potatoes are. I probably ended up around 3/5 of a cup but I wasn't really tracking it.

On a well floured surface roll the dough out to roughly 1/4" thickness and cut into 4-5 inch squares. Take a 1/2 cup measure and place that much filling in the center of one of the squares. Fold the corners into the middle pinching the edges together and place seam down on a baking sheet. Recipe says it will make 12, I got 7 though they were a little larger.

Recipe suggests spreading 1/4 cup of oil across them and then baking for 20-25 minutes. I wanted to avoid extra fat so I just used cooking spray. If you go longer than 25, the dough will start to get tough.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lentils, Buckwheat and veggies

I wanted to make a nice stick to your ribs kind of dish and I had both lentils and roasted buckwheat, so here is what I put together:

1 large onion largely diced
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks diced
5 cloves of garlic diced

put all of this in a little olive oil in a pot until the celery and onions start to get tender.

Add 5 cups of water and 1 tbsp of mushroom bouillion powder (don't have that - use veggie boullion)
Add 1 1/2 tsp of Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 cup of red lentils
1/2 cup of lentils
1 cup of roasted buckwheat
1 can of diced tomatoes undrained

Heat over a medium heat until it starts to bubble and then lower to a simmer, cook until the lentils and buckwheat are tender.

Then add 2-3 pinches of salt and 4-5 grinds of black pepper

This was yummy

Sunday, February 13, 2011


When I heard that Chloe Coscarelli (a vegan baker/chef) had won Cupcake Wars and that she had shared her award winning recipe with VegNews, I knew I had to try it. The first time I tried these I followed them exactly. This time I put my own spin on them - so here you have my modified version of her recipe:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup - 1 cup chocolate soy milk (start with 3/4)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

Sift the dry ingredients together, whisk the wet ingredients together and then whisk them all together. IF the mix seems too dry, slowly add more soy milk (up to 1/4 cup)

Place into paper cupcake liners inside a 12 slot cupcake pan. Fill each liner 3/4 full and bake for 17-20 minutes - until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are baking you can work on the filling.

1 Can of coconut milk (chilled)
1/2 bag vegan chocolate chips.

In a double boiler melt the chocolate chips.
Open the can of chilled coconut milk (dont' shake it). The coconut cream (the fat) will be solid on top. Scoop this out and put into a large bowl. If you get some of the coconut milk as well, that's fine.
To this add 1/4 cup agave nectar. Use a whisk and whip until small peaks start to form. Stir in the melted chocolate and continue to whisk until the chocolate cools. This then needs to be put in a cool pace until it starts to firm up (you won't want it hard, just firmer (more like a mousse or pudding).

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a pastry bag with a small tip and squirt the filling into each cupcake.

You can now make the chocolate glaze for the top.

the other 1/2 bag of vegan chocolate chips along with 1 tsp coconut oil in a double boiler until melted.

Using a spoon carefully pour this on the top of each cupcake. I then garnished with a little bit of sweetened shredded coconut.

Spring Rolls

The key to these are the spring roll wrappers. I got mine at a local Asian grocery store. While you are there get some cellophane noodles. Mine were made from sweet potato.

You'll need about 5-6 of the wrappers.

I used some Napa Cabbage, Bok Choi, carrots, scallions and some tofu.

Press the tofu block (you won't use all of it.
Peel two carrots and cut into matchsticks
Wash and dry the Bok Choi/Napa Cabbage and starting from the bottom of the stem make thin slices. You will end up with a pile of hard white stem pieces, then some with the leafy green and then thin slices of the leafy part.
Slice the scallions into very thin strips

Heat some olive oil in a pan, bring it to a medium high heat and start cooking the white parts of the cabbage and bok choi along with the carrots. As these start cook, at the other parts of the bok choi and cabbage that are half white/half green and as all of that is almost tender, add the remaining green parts.

While all that is cooking, boil some water and throw in the cellophane noodles. When they are done, drain them, and toss them in the same pan with the veggies.

Pour some tamari (use soy sauce if you don't have any) - maybe 1-2 tsp into the pan, along with 1 tsp mirin and 1 tsp hoison sauce. Stir this all together and then take the pan off the heat.

Take a cutting board and lightly spray with some non-stick cooking spray. Cut four pieces of tofu that are twice the size of the carrot matchsticks.

Soak one of the spring roll wrappers in water (it starts as a firm sheet). In the water it will become very soft. Carefully lift this out of the water and lay on the cutting board in a diamond. Take maybe 1/2 cup of the filling out of the pan and lay this across the middle of the diamond (between points). Add the four pieces of tofu on top of the filling. Told the two side points as far in the middle as you can. Lift the bottom point of the diamond up over the middle filling and then roll it completely up.

Cut the roll in half and put it on a plate. Continue this process until you are out of filling.

I then plated mine with some kim chi and a little bit of chili sauce (vietnamese). You can also serve this soy sauce.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Months and months

so am I still vegan - hell yeah. Am I still cooking? hell yeah. Why aren't I posting recipes on here? Good question. So to any and all people reading this, I'm going to work on posting more recipes and pictures of the yummy things I make.

Later today I'm making some spring rolls and some kind of dessert to bring to a party. I will post pictures and recipes for both later