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!