Friday, December 30, 2011

Vegan Donuts

I got a donut pan for Christmas.


I also got a new camera. Can you tell? The camera takes stills and videos, but alas, the donut pan is a unitasker. My policy for a long time followed Alton Brown's "The only unitasker allowed in my kitchen is a fire extinguisher!" No room! Well, until I get sick of trying to find a place to put it, we will be making donuts. I found this recipe from Oh, She Glows! I did make some changes (added chocolate to icing) but kept everything else pretty much the same. The kids love the new unitasker!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Spicy African Peanut Stew - slow cooker


There are good slow cooker recipes and there are bad ones. This one was pretty good. It didn't taste like it was made in a crock pot and since I was at work I didn't have to smell it all day.

Very easy to put together and did most of it the night before. I just cooked on low all day. Did you see there are potatoes in it? Takes forever to cook, don't believe the directions. Result was pretty good and the consistancy was perfect. Hope to make it again if Mark doesn't realize there is peanut butter in it...he this it is weird. Recipe is here.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ziti with Sun Dried Tomato Cream Sauce


Didn't I post something pasta with a tomato cream sauce? I couldn't find it anywhere. Oh well, as a result I had to use this recipe.

My links are acting weird. Sorry about that.

With all those little grape tomatoes we got from out CSA, I dried them into dried tomatoes. I guess they weren't sun dried because I didn't actually use the sun. I used my brand new dehydrator, and then I used the oven after it broke. :( Here I was thinking I was all cool for being smart in how I preserved the excess, but then I ended up with little baggies in my freezer full of dried tomatoes. I made the above recipe not really expecting much, but it was delicious. I thawed my dried tomatoes by soaking them in olive oil and then used that oil in the recipe. I had just a bit more oil then called for, so I just added that as well. Mistake. My one complaint with this was that is was too oily! Served it with a salad and it was a great meal. I have a feeling that all those little baggies of dried tomatoes will get used up soon!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spanish Quinoa


Another Peas and Thank You...sorry about that. Needed something to go with my sweet potato and black bean burritos. I could tell by reading between the lines that Mama Pea isn't a big fan of quinoa. I guess I know how she feels. Its ok, but not my favorite. However I really liked recipe. I am not sure it was suppose to, but it turned out really creamy. I would definitely make this again.

Here is the link:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tempeh Chili


Shannon and I were discussing what big fans of tempeh we are. Any other fans? It is cheap, pretty natural, and doesn't taste like tofu. Peas and Thank You had a chili with tempeh and I had a package in my fridge that needed to be used.

This one was pretty easy to put together. I started chopping about 5:15, the chili was simmer by 5:30 (I do have pretty good knife skills) and we ate at 6pm.

For veggies, it was actually pretty low, just a half an onion, a jalapeno, garlic, a little celery, feel free to add extra peppers, hot or sweet, but the tempeh and beans does make it very hard. A good weeknight chili.

Tempeh Chili
makes 4-6 large bowls

1 8oz package of tempeh, grated
1/2 cup diced onion
1 stalk celery
1 jalapeno
2 tsp minced garlic
2 2/3 TB chili powder
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp basil
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 cube vegtable boullion
1 cup veggie broth
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper
assorted toppings: cilantro, lives, sour cream, cheese

1. Lightly spracy a large stockpot with cooking spray and place over medium high heat.
2. saute tempeh crumbles, onion, celery, and jalapeno until softened. Add garlic, chili pwder, oregano, cumin, basil, and saute for 1 min.
3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20-45 min.
4. Serve.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Black Bean Soup


I made this recipe on Friday. It is a crock pot recipe so I assembled it the night before and had it cook all day. So, let me go ahead and say, that there have been many times that I follow the recipe and my beans don't cook. You just have to be careful. I usually go all out. I soaked my beans the night before and I let them cook from 7am to 5:30 pm. They were NOT overcooked if you know what I am saying. I have made it before and for a crock pot recipe, it isn't bad. I served it with Cowgirl Cornbread from Peas and Thank You. That was ok. I'd stick with the one from Post Punk Kitchen.

Instead of the cumin crema, I used some smashed avacado. I tried making the crema with vegan sour cream and let me just say, don't. ;)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Apple sauce

We went apple picking a few weeks ago and although I had the best intentions to make multiple things with my apples, after they had been sitting on the counter for WEEKS, I had to get them gone. I made one batch of apple sauce and it was so good, I made another. I actually made homemade apples sauce last year and was not impressed. This one was much better. You start with a bunch of apples, peeled, sliced, cored, and chopped. Luckily, I borrowed a gizmo from my neighbor. I actually haven't given it back yet and I really need to. I also owe her money.


You then put the apples in a pot with some lemon juice, apple juice, and a cinnamon stick and cook for 20-30 minutes. I may have also added some salt. Once the apples are soft, I added some honey then blended with my immersion blender. If you don't have one, GET ONE! Here is before:


And after:


Yeah, about 3-5 pounds of apples makes enough apple sauce for, well, me, Mark, James and Andy. And then it is gone. But still good. Here is my original source.

Two for October

I have actually been cooking. Some. It has been a tough fall. Mondays and Wednesdays I teach until late and don't cook. Tuesdays and Thursdays is soccer and I don't really cook. Mark has been out of town and well, notice a tread? I have made a few vegan dishes recently and wanted to share. One, biscuits by peas and thank you.


I can't imagine why on earth I decided to make these biscuits one morning. I do love biscuits, but I am the only one. I made them for me. We also had them with dinner I am pretty sure.

Another one, and this is a favorite, butternut squash soup. I could make this every week. So yummy, easy, healthy and filling. I serve it with homemade bread from my bread machine and call it a dinner.


And lastly, well, I think I am going to do a separate post for that sauce!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegan Hot Chocolate

Oh, who doesn't like the fall. Pretty leaves, football, cooler temperatures and anticipation of three great holidays over the next three months. I love it. My kitchen works the hardest it does all year over the next three months.

And who doesn't like hot chocolate to warm up. kids love it. And so do I. But I like the real kind with milk and chocolate- no cocoa powder and no mixes! yech!

Here's a vegan version:

Makes 1 serving

1 C Soy milk (or your fave non-dairy milk-I like vanilla soy)
2 1/2 T vegan chocolate chips

Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Its done when its nice and steamy and all the chocolate is melted.

I've got a couple variations I'm working on and will post later.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Nacho Mmm Sauce


Here is another Mmm sauce. Let me just say that last week, I made 3 different Mmmm sauce and had a bit of each one in a single day. Mmmm. I did make the nacho one and had hopes of making some mmmmm nachos. It was ok. I dribbled some on some chips and put them in the oven. The chips got soggy, but it was still good.


I did like it better as a queso:


The chips in the picture are sweet potato tortilla from Trader Joe's.

Tofu Dippers and Noodle Salad

So, I was intrigued by this post for Tofu Dippers on Peas and Thank You. I do have to pack Andy's lunch and he doesn't eat sandwiches. Yet. He is just going through a real picky phase. He really does like meat and he really does like sauce so I was hoping he would be willing to try these dippers. I was following the links to the sauces and wanted to try the peanut Mmmm sauce. Well, that link actually also contained a noodle stir fry. Don't mind if I do.


As for the tofu dippers. They were a no go for Andy. James liked them, but he likes everything. He did NOT like the peanut sauce. I liked the noodle salad, the peanut sauce, but to me, the tofu dippers just tasted like...burned tofu. If you added enough sauce it wasn't too bad!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cashew Pineapple Stir Fry

This is another one from Peas and Thank You. And This is another one that I couldn't find the original recipe. I would type it in, but thought it was just ok.


I don't know, I just find it hard to make a good stir fry at home. Everything just ends up tasting soy saucey. (The one exception is the Veggie Udon Noodles. Need to make that now that the CSA is slowing down). Anyways, I was a little disappointed with this recipe. It was okay. The combo of pineapple, cashews, and tofu was interested, but after awhile, just got old. I won't make this again.

I did want to give you a "good" recipe, so here is my latest "Kerri bar" (lara bar knock off). I call them almond cookie bars.

In a food processor, process 1.5 cups of almonds until resembles "wet sand". Then add 1.25 cups dates, splash of vanilla, pinch of salt and process. Add scoop of almond butter and water TB by TB until the "dough" collects on one side. Press into a saran wrap lined toasted oven pan and chill until firm. Cut bar out, place into a snack bag, bring with you to class and gulp down on the way to the potty after refilling water bottle between classes if you can get away from the students asking you for a course ID for the millionth time. THERE IS NO COURSE ID. Good times!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Eggplant "Parmesean"

I really love that Fat Free Vegan Blog, but don't tell her, I am trying to play it cool and not let my Lively Kitchen Blog Crush know.


Was looking for an eggplant parm recipe and of course, there is one at Fat Free Vegan. This is really not an eggplant parmesean recipe. This is more a creamy tomato sauce with eggplant in it. To be honest, I feel the eggplant took away from the recipe. And I really love eggplant. However, the sauce, oh! The Sauce, the creamy tomatoey sauce was just wonderful. I did not make a new batch of sauce and instead used some I had previous made and canned. The cheesey sauce came together pretty quickly and was very nice. I did make one major sub, I used real parm cheese. I'm ok with it!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Would you believe these are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and (refined) sugar-free? My mother found this cookbook called "babycakes" by Erin McKenna and thought I might like it. She knows I'm always up to a challenge and like trying new things. Babycakes NYC is a bakery in New York (also Orlando and LA) that is dedicated to vegan and gluten-free baking. They are also certified kosher.

This is the first recipe I've tried from it and they were wonderful. They were simple to prepare and I already had the ingredients at home. I did however use real pumpkin that I had frozen from last year's garden, instead of using the canned like the recipe called for. Super moist and not so many spices that it leaves a bad aftertaste.

Give them a go . . . .

makes 12

2 C Bobs Red Mill Gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
1 t xanthan gum
1 t salt
1 T ground cinnamon
1 T ground ginger
1/2 C coconut oil (melted)
2/3 C agave nectar (I used the dark)
2/3 C rice milk
2 T pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 C canned unsweetened pumpkin puree (I used real pumpkin)
1/2 C hot water

Preheat oven to 325. Grease the muffin tin with a little coconut oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (1st 7 on the list). Add the oil, agave, ricemil and vanilla and stir until the batter is smooth and thick (mine was a little lumpy, but smooth enough). Fold in the pumpkin and hot water until both are evenly distributed. (Oh, and squeeze out as much of the liquid from the real pumpkin as you can, before adding it).

Pour 1/3 C batter into each cup. Bake the muffins for 22 minutes on the center rack, rotating the tin 180 degrees after 10 minutes. Finished muffins will be soft to the toucha dna toothpick isnerted in the center will come out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the tin for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temp up to 3 days.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mexican Chocolate Chia Pudding

Have you heard about these Chia seeds?


I got this bag at the local Ingels. That store is really amazing. I had heard about these Chia seeds, not only from my blog crush, but from a recent book, Born to Run. The book starts off explaining how most of us humans are not made to run long distances, but then towards the end explains how we can all run long distances. Since I had recently quit running and starting teaching step aerobics, this book interested me. Not only does this book goes against the grain in a lot of the running lore it talks about, it also advocates a vegan diet. Why? Because a)whole food, vegan diets are more easily digested so you can eat more, and b) since they are more easily digested, you can train more. I don't think that will help me. I get super super sick on mile 9 of a 13 mile run no matter if I am eating gel, beans, hummus, gatorade, tomato soup, or nothing. That is why I quit. But it was so weird to read about our plant based diet without expecting it. Again. And it was so weird for my running partner, who later borrowed the book from me, to hear the benefits of a plant based diet. Again.

At any rate, they do discuss the diets of different long distance runners and some of them come from Mexico, where these chia seeds are found. Well, it peaked my interest, and they had them a freaking Ingels. It was like it was meant to be!

Chia seeds, I think, are the same things that grow on your Chia pet. Not my Chia pet, I never had one, but if you did, I think this was what you were growing. In the book, it talks about the energy obtained after the Chia seeds.


I started off small. A little pudding. You can do a lot with Chia seeds. You can put them in your water bottle for extra energy, or you can combine them with cocoa powder, sweetener, and almond milk for a pudding. Guess which one I picked? I followed this recipe and made it twice. The first time I let it chill for only an hour. This it what the pictures are from. After an hour, I checked it, was impressed it did thicken up, but it wasn't not at all like I picture. Hmmm, well, oh well. I'll just have another bite. And another, and another. Before I knew it, the whole bowl of pudding was gone.


The seeds do swell up a bit, which cause the thickening of the pudding, but the seeds are still there. If you would like to try some, I still have most of a bag.

The second time I made this, I added some ground red pepper and some salt as well. I also let it chill longer. Again, a nice snack, but stretching it if you wanted a pudding.This is not a low calorie dessert. The recipe calls for 4 TB of chia seeds. At 60 calories each, that is 240 calories just in chia seeds. Add the sweetener, cocoa, almond milk, and it ends up about 300 calories. Appropriate for a post dinner snack, but not for weight loss. But still, a whole food. Good, tasty. Will probably make again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Heaven sent . . . .

I made these Chocolate Cherry Cashew Bars last night and shamefully, I ate two of them right away. I thought really hard about just hiding them in the fridge and not telling DH that they were there, but my conscience got the better of me. Oh so good. I could have just stood at the counter and eaten half the pan.

These are spectacular, super easy and would be a good project to make with your kids. Its from the Peas and Thank You website. Find the recipe here.

"sun-dried" tomatoes

I've been trying really hard to use only the ingredients I have in the house, so as not to waste any of it. Given my plethora of veggies from our CSA I had an opportunity to get creative.

It was actually quite rewarding. I didn't shop all week - nor did we eat out. I just carefullly managed our leftovers vs. making new things. I'm very proud of myself for not taking any shortcuts. If I was missing an ingredient, I improvised. Ordinarily I would have run out to the store and just gotten it. But no- I didn't allow myself to do that this week.

So why didn't I think of drying my tomatoes earlier? And who doesn't love sun-dried tomatoes. They are certainly a luxury to add to your salad, pasta or whatever. And they cost a fortune. I did (shamefully) have to throw quite a few tomatoes into the compost a couple of weeks ago. I just couldn't get to blanching, peeling, seeding, chopping and freezing them. When you're 20 weeks pregnant, standing in front of the kitchen counter for an hour half processing 10 lbs of tomatoes is no fun. Especially when you'd rather be laying down in bed.

So I gave it a go. This is the cheater method, but it works.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Two recipeas

I am double posting from my monthly challenge blog.

Thanks to the heat, my CSA share has dropped off dramatically. I am really not all that upset by it. It is nice to have a break, and to not have tomato guts all over my kitchen. Not only that, but I can make whatever I want, without having to include peppers, eggplant, or tomatoes in every recipe. FREEDOM!!! Finally got to make a few more recipes from my copy of Peas and Thank You. These are, well, Americanize Ethic, but I'll go ahead and count them.


The first one was Thai Veggie Burgers. I am having trouble finding a link to the recipe, but no worries, I was actually kind of disappointed in this recipe. I think there were two faults in this. It suggested using veganase as a condiment. Really, it needed a kick ass peanut dressing. Also, it calls for broccoli slaw. I have this thing about broccoli. I like it, but I don't like it in stuff. To me broccoli overwhelms the taste of any other ingredients, and I felt the same here. The good thing about this recipe was the texture. Michelle posted a similar burger but it was more old fashioned savory. If you are looking for a veggie burger this is a good one. Unfortuately, her "husband approved burgers" were consumed by my husband apparently when he was having a bad digestive day and he blamed it on those burgers. No way. They were great!


Next thing was Chipolte Lime Tacos. You marinade tempeh and then cook. I really liked this one. Tempeh is my new thing! You grate the tempeh and then marinade it. YUM!



The kids love the choices of what to top their tacos with. Well, it is usually cheese.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cashew Veggie Korma

My favorite Indian dish is chicken Korma. But since I've been on the vegan kick, I naturally had to find a vegan version - very difficult to do. The traditional dish, aside from having chicken, has a cream/yogurt base to it.

But leave it to the Post Punk Kitchen to develop a recipe. I thought it was pretty close the original thing. You can find the recipe here.

I made only half the recipe and it still made alot. I ended up giving some of it away because it was just too much for DH and I to eat.

Although the recipe is long, it really wasn't that difficult to put together. I think I had it done during nap time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Pesto Pasta Dish

I love Pesto! There is just something about that basil-y, garlic-y sauce. However, not so healthy. Hard to make into a satisfying and healthy meal. Well, one of my easy fall backs is to put it over pasta. Duh. Tasty, but not satisfying. I use whole wheat pasta, and that helps. The next step is to slice some cherry or grape tomatoes and serve them with it. Serve it with a healthy salad and it ends up being a nice meal. I used the roasted eggplant pesto I made before.


Served the salad with orange cucumber dressing and egg (not vegan, but I get with my CSA)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls


I feel that this blog sometimes needs a little balance between all the fruits and veggies and very obviously healthy stuff to show that you definately can have treats by eating a plant based diet. I am happy to show that balance. I have made this recipe several times. My only change is that I don't add the peanut butter chocolate chips, mainly cause I can't find natural ones. However, this is a good cookie. YUM! Since I have been such a fan of this blog, I recently bought the Peas and Thank You book. What did I do as soon as I got it, made this same recipe. Still good.


How to put eggplant on a pizza


So, I have all this eggplant. But I wanted to make pizza. How could I do both? I actually thought over this for about a week, but finally came up with something. Just by doing some searches, I found this recipe for an eggplant pesto. This person found out they could use eggplant to substitute for the oil. The color isn't all that great, but the flavor is good! It really did taste like pesto. I used this pesto as the base and then topped it with sliced tomatoes. Happy pizza night everyone!

Vegan Wontons

These are time-consuming - but this recipe makes enough to freeze and eat later, and eat later, and eat later. I usually end up with about 100 wontons. You can fry them in a tiny amount of oil (just to coat the pan); use them for wonton soup; or steam them. And they are sooooo good!

I like them fried or steamed with sweet chili sauce - the best we've found is the Ginger People's Sweet Ginger Chili sauce (at Whole Foods of course). Here they are with some edamame.

Here's the recipe and I've included some tips...

Vegan Wontons
1 brick extra firm tofu
1 bunch fresh spinach (1 bag)
1 can bean sprouts
3 tbsp sliced green onion
2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. ginger, finely diced
1 tsp. five spice powder
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ginger powder
1 tsp. crushed sesame seeds
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
2-3 packages of wonton wrappers (usually found in the produce section)

Press/drain tofu for 20 minutes

2. Blanch spinach by placing in boiling water for 2 min, removing and putting in an ice bath. Drain by squeezing in a towel. Cut spinach into small pieces.

3. Blanch the bean sprouts the same way. (You can even use the same water). Do NOT Cut!

4. Add spinach, tofu, bean sprouts, and all other ingredients except wonton wrappers to a large bowl. Mix well using your hands.

5. Put the stack of wonton wrappers on a floured cutting board, keeping a wet paper towel over the open package. Place a small bowl of water on the cutting board.

Lay out a piece of wax or parchment paper on top of a cooling rack. This is where you'll place the finished wontons. Here's a sample setup: (The caffeine and children's book are optional)

6. Place small tbsp of filling in the middle of a wrapper. Use your finger to wet two sides of the wrapper, then fold the wrapper in half forming a triangle. Press to seal and eliminate air pockets.

7. Fold two corners together and use a bit of water to seal the corners together.

8. Freeze or cook immediately. To cook: Fry in a small amount of vegetable oil; steam in a steamer basket; or add to broth for soup. If fried or steamed, try serving with sweet chili sauce.

If freezing - once you fill up one cooling rack, place the whole rack in the freezer - that way each wonton freezes individually and they don't stick together. Lay out another piece of wax paper and when that one is full, place it on top of the other in the freezer. It usually takes about 30 min for them to freeze solid - then place them into freezer bags. I usually put about 16 in each bag - enough for 2 servings.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Banana Pepper Relish

I don't put every recipe I try on this site, although it might seem like I do. I try at least one new recipe a week, so I come across many, and some are complete bombs.

We've been getting so many banana peppers in our CSA boxes and I really didn't know what to do with them so I made some relish. But I haven't seen anything on Vegan Orange about how we've been using our banana peppers so I'm throwing this one out there.

Now, I'm not a fan of anything pickled or pickled-tasting, so I'm leaving it up to you all to determine if you think this is a good recipe. My husband liked it. And he would tell me if the recipe wasn't good or if he thought it needed something else.

Banana Pepper Relish

2 C banana peppers, finely chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
1/2 T kosher salt
3/4 C cider vinegar
1/2 C-3/4 C sugar
1/4 t mustard seeds
1/4 t cayenne (optional)

Combine chopped peppers and salt in a large bowl. Let stand two hours. Drain.

Combine sugar, vinegar, and mustard seed and cayenne (if using) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and dissolve the sugar.

Reduce heat and add peppers and simmer 10 minutes. Allow to cool and store in the fridge.

Vegetable Curry

Okay. I've been lazy. I've been hanging onto this recipe for months, wanting to type it up and post it for you all. I just never sat down to do it. Too much typing. But Kerri inspired me with her last curry recipe.

We love curry in our house. We'd put curry on our Cheerios if we could. The only drawback is that your house smells like curry for 3 days after you make it. I think this recipe makes it worth the price you pay. I've been making ever since we turned over the vegan leaf in January. Its one of our favorites. Relatively easy to put together if you are organized. And only about 30 minutes of cook time.

I wish I were this fabulous cook who could survey the things in my pantry and just make up something fabulous. But alas, I'm not. My cooking talent stops at being able to follow a recipe. This one comes from my all-time favorite cookbook "The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2011". There isn't a recipe in this book that I haven't liked. The biggest downside about it is that there isn't much that vegan, much less vegetarian. But I digress. Here it is, I hope you like it as much we do (BTW, if anyone out there knows of a good Koorma recipe, please send it my way!):

Vegetable Curry
Servings: 4-6

2 Tbsp. sweet or mild curry powder
1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 onions, minced (about 2 cups)
12 oz. Red Bliss potatoes (about 2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, ribs, seeds, and flesh minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor until nearly smooth with 1/4-inch pieces visible
1 1/4 cups water
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (8 oz.)
1/4 cup coconut milk

Toast the curry powder and garam masala in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the spices darken slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the spices from the heat and set aside.

Heat 3 Tbsp. of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and the potatoes are golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. (Reduce the heat to medium if the onions darken too quickly.)

Reduce the heat to medium. Clear the center of the pan and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and the garlic, ginger, chile and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring constantly, until the spices coat the florets, about 2 minutes longer.

Add the tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and 1 tsp. salt; increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and the cream; continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Adjust the seasoning with salt and serve immediately, passing the condiments separately.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Eggplant Chickpea Curry

I am stealing this from my other blog:


For full disclosure, last year was the first year I had ever tried eggplant. I think my sister actually tricked me into eating some one time, but last year, I knowingly cooking and ate eggplant.

It was freaking del-licous!

Some of the time. I think eggplant is one of those tempermental vegtables. But still, I was looking forward to getting some more eggplant in my CSA share. Last year, it was black beauties. This year, Japanese. Both delicious, but apparently the japanese is more plentiful! I used some up in this recipe of an indian curry. I was just craving something ethinic, and this was a perfect dish of easy, but Indian. I may make again if I have a lot of eggplant.

The eggplant breaks down to more of a sauce for the chickpeas. It was really good! I just served it with brown rice and some naan. Leftovers were even better!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watermelon Sorbet

I'm sure most people don't need to find something to do with that huge watermelon we got in our CSA box this week.

My kids like watermelon, but we can't eat the whole thing. I've been making watermelon sorbet for a few years now and its how I use some of it. Its very refreshing when its 100 degrees outside.

Watermelon Sorbet
makes about 1 1/2 Qts

Abt 6 Cups cubed, seeded watermelon
1 Cup simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Puree watermelon in food processor. Measure 4 cups of puree and add to the simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir well and freeze in an ice cream maker until pretty frozen. It should at least have the consistency of a slurry.

Store in the freezer.

Simple Syrup
1 C sugar
1 C water

Bring to a boil, then simmer until the sugar dissolves. Cool to room temp, then refrigerate until ready to use. Can make it several days ahead of time.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Allergen-Free Granola Bars

So I'm doing some experimenting with Allergen-Free baking. I found this recipe on the Whole Living website (there is a video too). My daughter goes to school with a little girl who has celiac disease and I want to be able to send her to school with treats that all the kids can enjoy.

This is my first experiment with peanut-free, tree-nut-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, diary-free and egg-free baking. This was a good recipe to start out with because it was super simple. I was able to find all the ingredients at Ingles. They were quite delish. After 24 hours left defenslessly against two kids, a husband and a babysitter, there are only 4 left (okay, they can't take all the blame, I think I had 3 of them).

FYI, These were a little soft when left out on the counter, but nice and chewy. Rice Crispies now makes a gluten-free product. Bob's Red Mill makes Gluten-Free oats (I'm finding out that even though oats are by themselves gluten-free, there is a risk of cross-contanimation if they are processed in a facility that may also process products with gluten). The mini-chips are by Enjoy Life. The honey is an organically grown honey I bought from the farm that provides my CSA box.

I will definitely be doing more allergen-free experimenting in the future - stay tuned!

Makes about 16 bars

Nonstick cooking spray
1 3/4 cups gluten-free quick-cooking oatmeal
1 1/4 cups gluten-free crisp-rice cereal
1/2 cup mini gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey

Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; line baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.

Place oatmeal and rice cereal in a large bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, oil, and honey. Place over medium-high heat; bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add to oatmeal mixture; stir until oatmeal mixture is fully coated and well combined.

Evenly pour oatmeal mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with chocolate chips. When mixture is cool enough to touch, press down into pan. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 (1-by-4-inch) bars. Granola bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, and frozen up to six months.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Veggie Wraps with Mmmm Sauce

I feel like eating a plant based/whole foods diet is a bit more difficult, because all of the popular condamints, well, you have to make yourself. It would be such a PITA, if it wasn't so freaking delicious, am I right?

My blog crush's blog crush made an Mmmmm sauce. (she actually wrote a whole freaking vegan cookbook that comes out at the end of the month if you are interested. When is our cookbook coming out?) I have been wanting to try it, but waiting for the perfect excuse. With all the eggplant we have been getting, I decided to grill some veggies and used them for a grilled veggies sandwich dinner. I used the Mmmm sauce as a curry/creamy/cheesy addition to the sandwich.


With bread it was good. So good, that I ran back to the grill to put more veggies on. I repeat the meal this week, but roasted the veggies in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.


To be honest, I came home from body pump. Vaccuumed. Cut up the veggies. Put them in the oven. Took a shower. And then they looked a little black. Maybe less that 20 minutes. I then took the Mmmm sauce out of the fridge from the week before. Mmmm. I then made a wrap. A key part of this wrap is the torilla. No offense, but I have decided that you cannot buy a decent tortilla in the grocery store in this area. I buy mine from Trader Joes and freeze them. Buying a bunch from super taco would also be acceptable. Pile all ingredient in a tortilla, roll up, and enjoy (with a napkin).



Monday, July 11, 2011

Asian Lettuce Wraps

This is one of my husband's favorites. This recipe is my adaptation from a meat recipe I found on It uses lentils instead of beef and the lentils are prepared a-la-Snobby Joes (see Veganomicon). I always liked getting the Asian lettuce wraps from the Rainforest Cafe, and PF Changs has a similar entree, but neither are as good as my vegan version below (in my humble opinion). It also makes a decent leftover.

I recommend having everything set out so everyone can fill their own wrap to their liking.

For the filling:
1 C lentils, cooked
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

For finishing touches and assembly:
16 Bibb lettuce leaves
Asian chile pepper sauce
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 bunch green onions, chopped
shredded cabbage
bean sprouts
chow mein noodles (for crunch)
sugar snap peas

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

Cook the lentils in 4 C water according to package instructions and set aside to cool (this can be done in advance). Cook the onion in olive oil, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, sesame oil and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in the lentils. Continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.

Serve the lettuce leaves, chopped water chestnuts, green onions, chili sauce, sprouts, peas, noodles and shredded cabbage and allow the guests to fill each leaf with their choice of filling and toppings. Wrap the leaf up like a burrito and munch away.

Fresh Garden Salsa

I didn't really measure any of the ingredients, and making salsa from scratch is so flexible you can really adjust the ingredients to your taste.

Here is what I did, and it turned out to be so good, it didn't even last one meal between the 4 of us.

Fresh Garden Salsa

3-4 fresh tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped (blanched and peeled too if you want, but I didn't do it)
1/2 t salt
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1 very small onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic
bunch of cilantro
a splash or two of lime juice

Seed, peel and chop the tomatoes a couple of hours in advance. Place in a covered bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow the juices to drain.

When ready to prepare, drain the tomatoes. Squeeze the extra juices out if necessary. Combine tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic and cilantro in a food processor and give it a couple of pulses until it has the consistency you want.

Remove to a serving bowl and add the lime juice and serve with chips.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jane's Vegetarian Chili

This is a great chili, I made it for the Superbowl this year. Even though the title says its vegetarian, its acutally vegan. It has great chili flavor and is very easy to put together. It keeps very well.

Jane's Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups water, divided
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add 3 cups water and next 8 ingredients (through cannellini beans), stirring to combine.

Combine remaining cup of water and tomato paste in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until blended. Stir tomato paste mixture into bean mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls.

Burrito/Taco filling

Sorry I don't have a picture. I'll try to remember to put one on the next time I make this. This is the basic recipe I use to make my burrito filling at home. Its based off of another recipe I found online. I adapted it a bit, because I didn't really care for the original, but I like the concept of the vegan bean taco filling.

Unfortunately when I adapted this recipe, I didn't write down the measurements. And each time I make it and fail to measure what I put in. It does manage to come out pretty good each time though. The measurements listed below are just a guess, so please adjust seasonings to your tastes. This filling should be thick, but spreadable. You don't want it to leak out of the burrito shell or squirt out the back side when you bite into it.

I'm not very good at making up recipes, so go easy on me with your comments if you don't like it or have suggestions.

Black Bean Taco Filling

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bell pepper, diced
2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed, drained, and mashed
1-2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2-1 C salsa or water (optional)

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and pepper; cook until tender. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in mashed beans, spices and salsa or water. Mixture should have a thick, spreadable consistency without being too gloppy. Cover, and cook until heated through.

To serve, spread on a tortilla and top with favorite toppings.

Eggplant Parm

So, here is another vegetarian recipe. This is one of our favorites, because the eggplant is baked, not breaded and fried. Most of the time I double the veggies and layer it more like lasagna.

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese

Combine oil and garlic; brush over both sides of eggplant slices. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes; turn. Bake 5 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Place half of the eggplant in a greased 1-qt. baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the basil and Parmesan cheese. Arrange tomato slices over top; sprinkle with remaining basil and Parmesan. layer with half of the mozzarella cheese and the remaining eggplant; top with remaining mozzarella. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

Bow Tie Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, and Basil

This is ridiculously easy and a perfect weeknight dinner. Literally, you can be eating in 15 minutes. We have this in our house probably once a week.

Its from Cooking Light.

YIELD: 4 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

4 cups hot cooked bow tie pasta
4 cups halved cherry tomatoes (about 2 pints)
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped pitted niçoise olives
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Red wine vinegar (optional)

Combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Sprinkle vinegar over each serving, if desired.

Roasted Artichoke Salad

Whenever I make this, my husband looks at it and says "It might choke Arty, but its not going to choke Stimey!". Its from the Little Rascals. Don't ask me. He thinks its a funny artichoke joke.

This recipe is from Ina Garten. I have included my own modifications to it however. At this moment I am boycotting Ina Garten, because she refused to grant a dying kid his wish to cook with her - twice! (very uncool, Ina). But since I found this recipe a while ago, and I've made some of my own modifications, I continue to use it. Just no new Ina Garten recipes.

When I make this, I usually just throw it together without measuring, so the ingredients for the salad are just a guess. Its great anyway, you can modify as you like. I've also made this without roasted the artichokes and its great. Goes together so much quicker if you don't have to roast them. Serve it with a side of pasta or baguette.

Roasted Artichoke Salad

2 bags frozen artichoke hearts
2 T capers, drained
2 T black olives, sliced
2 roasted red peppers, chopped (jarred is fine)
1/4 C red onion, coarsely chopped
2 T fresh parsley,
1/2 pint

1 shallot, minced
1-2 T lemon juice
1 t dijon mustard
3 T white wine vinegar
1/4 C basil leaves
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Toss the artichokes in olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Spread the artichokes onto a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Place the minced shallot, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process for 5 seconds. Add the basil leaves and process into a green puree. With the processor running, slowly pour olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube until the ingredients are finely pureed and it has the consistency of dressing. Set aside.

Place the roasted artichoke hearts in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Add the capers, red peppers, red onion, parsley and tomatoes and toss gently. Let stand for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Marinara Sauce

I never used to make good spaghetti sauce. That is until I found this recipe. Its super simple, goes together quickly and there are some successful variations that follow. And chances are good you already have all the ingredients in your pantry. Next time I try this I'm going to use the fresh tomatoes I got in my CSA box.

Its from Veganomicon, one of my favorite cookbooks.

Marinara Sauce
Makes about 5 cups

2 t olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried oregano
1/2 t salt
several pinches freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the oil and garlic, and saute for about a minute, until fragrant. Do not let it burn. Add the remaining ingredients, cover, and raise the heat a bit to bring it to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

Roasted Red Pepper:
Add a chopped roasted redpepper along with the tomaotes. Blend the sauce when done cooking if you like.

Increase the oil to 1 tablespoon and saute 1 cup of thinly sliced mushroom before ading the garlic.

Roasted Garlic:
Decrease the minced garlic to 2 teaspoons. Add a whole bulb of peeled roasted garlic to the sauce halfway through the cooking process. Blend the sauce when done cooking.

Add 1/2 cup of chopped black olives to the sauce about hlafway through the cooking process.

Carmelized onion:
Increase the oil to 1 tablespoon. Sweat 1 cup of finely chopped white or yellow onions for about 15 minutes. To sweat, keep the heat low and cover, stirring every few minutes, the onions should not brown. Uncover and cook for 15 more minutes at higher heat until browned and carmelized. Proceed with the recipe.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ratatoullie AND Vegan Ranch Dressing


What to do with all this eggplant? I did make a ratatoullie last year and like it. My neighbor Becky always brags on her recipe so I just had to try it. Luckily, she did not suspect I would share it with the WHOLE WORLD. The one difference between the recipe I tried and Ms. Becky's was that her recipe grilled the veggies. Or roasted. I roasted at 400 for like 30 minutes. Maybe more. Maybe less. I can't remember.


Once the veggies are roasted, you pour over a vinegrette and then add it to the pasta. It was delicious! So glad I tried this recipe.


2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, pressed

2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

Vegetables and Pasta

5 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise

1 medium eggplant (1.5 pounds), cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 large green peppers, stemmed, seeded and quartered

1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

1 pound uncooked penne or rigatoni pasta

grated fresh parmesan cheese

For dressing, combine vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package.

Prepare grill for cooking over medium heat. Prepare vegetables and brush with oil.

Grill onion 10-12 minutes and tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and pepper 6-8 minutes, uncovered.

Remove vegetables from grill and vut into bite-sized pieces. Place vegetables in large bowl and drizzle with dressing. Serve over pasta and top with grated cheese and parsley.

Yes, there is parm cheese on my picture. It was BOGO at the BILO and I am a weak, weak, human being.

So, now for this vegan dressing. Now, it didn't taste like a ranch dressing, but it was still a good dressing and very creamy. The soaked, raw, cashews really do a lot. I get my raw cashews at Trader Joe's. More dressings to come!


Raw Ranch Dressing (Yields ~3/4 c)

1/2 cup cashews, soaked for at least two hours
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp dried oregano
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp fresh dill
2 tbsp fresh parsley

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender (or regular blender, that is what I used)