Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vegan Pie Crust

This pie crust I found here, but I made my own adaptation because I didn't have margarine (we are non-margarine eaters in our house). For good information, be sure to read to original. I did not reprint all the info, because its alot to type. I just included my own adaptation below.

It was simple to do, super flaky, stood up well to a high moisture pie and tasted great. I'm generally not a fan of pie, mostly because I don't like the crust (too soggy, edges are burned, bland or bitter flavor). But I have to admit, this crust was a huge success! I love it and I will use it again. Blueberries are coming into season and I'm already looking forward to some blueberry pie! If you are nice to me, I'll share it with you!

A few rules of thumb when making any pie crust:
1) Handle the dough as little as possible
2) Resist the urge to overmix
3) Be sure your liquids are ice-cold

makes two 9-inch pie crusts

2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 t salt
3/4 C Coconut Oil (find it at Ingles in the baking aisle or at Bloom in the gluten-free section)
1/2 C vegetable shortening
1/4 C ice cold water
3 T ice cold vodka

Combine flour sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor (just give it a quick pulse or two to combine). Add the shortening and coconut oil and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse sand - about 3-5 pulses if I remember correctly (you will have a few larger pieces of fat-that's okay). Resist the urge to overmix (the larger pieces or fat in the crust are what makes it flaky).

Drizzle half of the chilled water and vodka over the mixture and gently toss with your fingers (or do what I did and just give it a pulse in the processor). Drizzle the other half in and toss again (just one more pulse). Some parts may seem wet, and other parts dry. Thats okay.

Dump the dough out onto your counter. With as little handling as possible, compress the dough with your hands. Cut the dough in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and shape into a 4" disk. Refrigerate for one hour or freeze up to 6 months.

When you are ready to bake, cut two pieces of parchment paper to 12 inch by 12 inch size. Roll the dough out between the two sheets until its about 12-inches in diameter. Peel the top paper off, invert the crust over your pan and gently lay into your pan. Peel the other paper off and gently with your hands, work the crust into the corners of the pan.

If you have a few holes, patch them gently with scraps or push the dough together. Cut the dough overhanging the edge of the pan to leave a 1/2" overhang. Gently fold the outer edge underneath the crust. Flute the edge with your fingers or a fork. Prick the shell with a fork on the bottom. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

Unbaked Pie Shell (see the striations of shortening and coconut oil?)

If you are prebaking the crust, cut a piece of parchment paper about 12"x12" and place it in the shell. Fill the shell with pie weights or dried beans. Bake at 425 degrees. I always use a pie sheld, because for some reason, my crust always gets too dark on the edges, but you don't have to.

Place the shell on a cookie sheet and place on the lowest rack setting. Bake for 15 minutes, the remove the paper and the weights. Rotate the pie 180 degrees and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before filling.

Fully baked pie Shell (Golden brown)


I know this is slightly off topic - but we do have to buy the ingredients for all these wonderful recipes somewhere....

So, I want to give a shout out to the Clemson Ingles. I am so excited that they keep adding new products so I don't have to drive to Greenville!! I (along with others, I suspect) have been making product requests at the front desk when I can't find something that I would buy there if they carried it.

A short list of some the new helpful products I saw today:
- Vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese (in the produce section with the tempeh and tofurky)
- Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil (baking aisle)
- Soy yogurt (with the yogurt)
- Coconut milk (dairy section)

Some of these may have been there for a while, but I requested the sour cream and cream cheese about a month ago and have been actively looking for them. The others I just happened to notice today.

Now, I'm on to requesting Coconut milk yogurt and Amy's quarter pound veggie burgers!!

Maybe if we take time to share the items we would like be able to buy locally and help each other by making requests they will show up on the shelves!

Banana Ice Cream

Kerri told me about this super easy recipe - it's here. It's frozen bananas, blended into ice cream. No dairy.

We've made it twice now and the kids have gobbled it down both times. Last time we made it with absolutely no milk - just let the bananas thaw a little bit before adding to the food processor. A little cinnamon and vanilla and voila! Dessert!!

Since it's starting to really warm up, I thought I'd post it. Plus, I have a cute picture of a certain missy trying to lick the remnants of her ice cream out of her bowl.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oh My! Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups!

I checked out The Kind Diet from the library. I have heard good things about it. It is an interesting read. Glad I got it, but not sure if I will use a lot of things from it. I tried a couple of recipes, one of them being these chocolate peanut butter cups. I am a hug fan of chocolate and peanut butter and these looked awesome.

The recipe has you heat up the peanut butter mixture and add it to muffin cups. Then you melt the chocolate and spread it on top. I really couldn't get mine to spread in an even layer, so they ended up really an opposite peanut butter chocolate cups. Darn. After assembly, you put it in the fridge to let it set.



Oh my!


I think I made these on saturday. Mark doesn't like peanut butter desserts so I was going to post them and invite everyone to come over and have one. However, they were all gone on Tuesday.

Maybe I will make another batch this week. Maybe I will tell you...maybe I won't!

Red Beans and Rice


I made this recipe pretty much right after "the change". As I was making Mark commented "I love red beans and rice!" Really? Well, okay. At any rate, this is a good recipe with lots of smoky elements. The directions say to cook until the beans start to disintergrate, but I have never gotten them to do that. I have even tried the fancy smancy non-generic beans. Jennie - you will have to weigh in on how authetic this recipe is!

Real Louisiana Red Beans and Rice

1 pound dry red kidney beans (if you're in Louisiana, only Camellia brand will do)
4 cloves garlic
1 very large onion (about 2 cups chopped)
4 ribs celery
1 large bell pepper (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4-1 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons chopped chipotle pepper, in adobo (this is not traditional but lends a smoky taste; substitute another tsp. of Liquid Smoke seasoning if you prefer)
1/2-1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
salt, to taste
cooked rice, to serve

Tip: Start off lightly with the red and black pepper and Tabasco sauce; you can always add more at the end.

Cover the beans with water 2 inches over beans and soak overnight. Or, bring beans to a boil for one minute, remove from heat, and soak for at least an hour. Drain beans and rinse.

Put the beans back in the pot and cover them with water 2 inches above level of beans. Put over high heat to begin cooking while you prepare the other ingredients.

You're going to want to chop the garlic, onion, celery, and bell pepper very finely, and the fastest and best way to do this is in a food processor. I throw the 4 peeled cloves of garlic in first, and then add the onion, quartered, and pulse until finely chopped. Add this to the pot on the stove, and then do the same thing with the celery and bell peppers, adding each to the beans. Add the remaining ingredients, except the salt and the rice.

When the beans reach a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring every now and then, until they are completely tender and falling apart. This can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending upon the age of your beans. (Add more water as necessary to keep them hydrated.) When they are completely tender, add the salt to taste, and check the seasonings. Add any additional spices you want, and cook for at least 10 more minutes, until sauce is thick and beans are disintegrating. Remove the bay leaves, and serve over rice.

Note: If your beans are old, they may never disintegrate, or at least not in time for dinner. What you have to do is take out a bunch of them, mash them up well, and add them back into the pot (or use a hand blender right in the pot). Then proceed as though they had fallen apart on their own. I won't tell anyone if you don't!

I served it with brown rice cooked in the oven. If you don't have a rice cooker, I highly recommend this method!


I also served it with cornbread. I think some of you have been trying to find a good recipe. I use this one. I like it. It is a little denser than non-vegan cornbread, but I really like it. I don't add all the maple syrup it calls for. Why do people from the north think that us in the south add sugar to everything?


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Warm Provencal Salad

I'll have you know that I rarely turn on daytime TV. But a while back, I think when both of my children were still taking two naps, I flipped on the Rachael Ray show. Normally she bugs me, but I guess at the time I just felt like chillin in front of the tube for a bit.

It just so happens that she had a pretty good recipe she was demonstrating that day. Find the original here. The original contains chicken, but I didn't need to modify it much to make it vegan.

When I cook, I like to have everything mise-on-place, so I can just crank it out when Nick walks through the door. Therefore, I've rewritten it the vegan way below, with my adaptations to make it a bit easier to put together at crunch time. After the prep work has been done (which may take about 30 minutes), it should go together in about 15 minutes.

Also, as its written, it makes a ton - more than 2 adults and 2 toddlers can eat and I don't think it keeps all well as a leftover. I recommend halving the recipe.

This is one our faves:

2 pounds baby white or yellow potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
4 small onions, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
8-10 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2-2/3 cup EVOO, divided
Salt and pepper
1 pound trimmed green beans or asparagus, halved
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup black pitted Nicoise olives
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
A small handful of fresh sage leaves
A small handful of fresh tarragon (or a teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons dried marjoram
1 cup flat leaf parsley, loosely packed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cups arugula
1 baguette

In advance:

Slice the onions and potatoes and trim the greens. Nuke the potatoes until they are about 3/4 of the way done. This will dramatically shorten your cooking time. Toss is a bowl with the onions, garlic, a little EVOO to coat. Set aside until approx 15 mins before dinner time. (FYI, if you don't know how to crush garlic, peel off the skin, lay it on the counter and lay the side of a chef's knife on top. Give it a hard whack with the heel of your hand. It crushes easily.)

Set the trimmed greens aside in a different bowl.

In your large serving bowl (it sounds like we're using alot of bowls, but its not really all that bad) combine the arugula, tomatoes and olives. Set aside.

In a small food processor, combine the the shallot, herbs and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Pulse-chop to finely chop the mixture, then stream in about 1/4-1/3 cup EVOO to form a pesto-like sauce. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

About 15 mins before you are ready to eat, fire up your broiler.

Place the potatoes, onions and crushed garlic on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper and place in the oven. Broil for about 5-10 minutes (depending on how your oven cooks), flipping them to achieve browning on all sides.

Toss your trimmed greens with EVOO to coat and season with salt and pepper. When potatoes are about 3-5 minutes from being done, toss the greens on the tray and allow to broil with the potatoes.

When the veggies are done, add them to the arugula mixture in your serving bowl and toss with the dressing. Serve with a crusty baguette.

Yumm-o (did I just write that?)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Vegan Pancakes

Amy H asked for this recipe. It is a great basic recipe. I usually double it and make it Saturday mornings, our little "pancake day". Andy loves them! It is from Vegan with a Vengance by Isa Chandra Mosokowitz.


1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (have used part whole wheat with good results)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional, but I'd do it!)
2 TB canola oil or other
1/3 cup water
1 to 1 1/4 cup rice or soy milk (I use unsweetened almond)
1 tsp vanilla
2 TB maple syrup

Preheat skillet. Add oil if necessary.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. I just stir with a whisk. In a separate bowl (or measuring cup), combine all other ingredients. Add wet to dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix, a couple of lumps are ok.

Cook pancakes until browned on bottom and bubbles form on top, about 4 minutes. Flip pancakes and cook until browned and barley firm to touch. Transfer to another plate. Repeat with remaining batter.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mushroom Bolognese Pasta

Way back when, like 3 months ago, I considered it one of my life's greatest work to find an awesome bolognese sause. Sadly, I now cook vegan at home and that purpose has been unfulfilled. I did come across this recipe on my cooking light message board (a message board can be considered social networking pre facebook). I love my message board. It literally taught me how to cook and be a foodie. At any rate, I made this recipe last week with good results.


The sauce ends up definately looking pretty meaty. Taste is pretty meaty, texture is a bit off, but not much. I used 1 box of whole wheat pasta. The next night I needed to bring a dish for a dinner at James's school, made a whole nother box and used leftover sauce for that. And on both occations had leftovers for lunch. Andy likes sauce, liked this. James doesn't like sauce, so he gets plain pasta.

Mushroom Bolognese Sauce


It's from Yasmine's Le Sauce blog---a a vegetarian blog that I have really been enjoying:


1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery ribs, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil, separated
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 lb crimini mushrooms, trimmed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 dried red chili, crushed
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbs tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 c madeira wine
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1L tomato puree
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

In a food processor, pulse the onion, carrot and celery together into small pieces. Add 2 tbs of oil to a large pot and heat over medium-high heat. Transfer onion, carrot and celery mixture to the pot. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, stir and sauté for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, add 1/3 of the mushrooms to the food processor and pulse coarsely. Add another 1/3 of the mushrooms to the chopped mushrooms and pulse again. Add the last 1/3 and pulse until roughly chopped. The first batch will be almost pureed and the last should be mostly large pieces.

Transfer the mushrooms to the pot and add 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper. Stir and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates.

Add the remaining tbs of oil, the garlic, chili, marjoram and thyme, and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sugar, stir and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the madeira wine and red wine vinegar and stir. Cook for one minute to allow some of the alcohol in the wine to cook off.

Add the pureed tomatoes and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.

To serve, ladle some sauce over cooked linguine or parpadelle and mix to coat the noodles well. Serve pasta onto individual plates and add a little sauce to the top of each. Drizzle with olive oil and/or shaved parmesan, if desired.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Overnight Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a good winter time breakfast. Our house is drafty and cold and it is nice to have something warm to start your day with. Now that it is warmer, I am not eating this as much, but I wanted to record how I make it so I can remember for next year.

Overnight Oatmeal

Combine 1/2 cup steal cut oats and 1 cup water. Let sit overnight.

The next morning, add 1 cup vanilla sweetend almond milk and a healthy pinch of kosher salt and simmer for 20 minutes. In this batch I also added 1 cub pureed strawberries and 1 TB brown rice protein powder.

After 20 minutes, mix well. Spoon half into a bowl and add 1 TB nut butter of your choice.

The result:


Put the remaining in a tupperware to heat in the microwave tomorrow.

Nutritional information incase you are like me and need to put the DIET part into vegan diet:

313 calories, 13 g fat, 15 g protein.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Simple Mustard Greens

First time we tried mustard greens we wanted to keep it simple.

1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp EVOO--extra virgin olive oil
1 lb mustard greens, washed well and torn into large pieces
3 tbsp veggie broth
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sesame oil

-in a large skillet sautee onions in EVOO over medium heat until they start to turn golden brown--5-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook 3-4 more minutes. Add greens and broth until greens are barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.

We served this with pinto beans and cornbread.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Good Reads . . .

Okay, I know this blog is for sharing recipes, but would it be okay to post a few good reads on the vegan subject? Kerri, feel free to take down my post if you think its not right.

Here are some sources about healthy living that may raise your awareness about how our food choices affect our lives, the planet, and the farmers who grow what we eat.
I have read them all and find them interesting on many levels.

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People who have Lived the Longest, Dan Buettner, National Geographic (Reprint 2010)

Food, Inc (DVD - Magnolia home entertainment) PG, 2008 (find it at Oconee Public Library - not sure if Picken's has it)

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, Michael Pollan, Penguin, 2007

In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, Michael Pollan, Penguin, 2009

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study on Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health, T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II, PanBella Books, 2006

A good online resource where you can find local sources for farms, CSA's, farmer's markets . . . .

And for those of us who occassionally indulge in meat products: www.eatwild.com

Amy H.

Zucchini "Crab" Cakes

We love this recipe! I initially found it here - and just made two easy substitutions to "veganize" it.

We don't keep eggs in the house usually - so I'll use egg replacer or flax seed meal with water to substitute for the egg. Any binding agent will probably work.

And instead of butter, I use whatever we have - smart balance or earth balance sticks.

One note - if it seems really sticky and wet before you make the patties - add additional bread crumbs to help firm up the patties.

Tempeh Bacon

This is the recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance and it is awesome! It's not going to be "like" bacon - but it sure takes the place of bacon for breakfast and in BLTs.

3 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce or tamari
1/3 cup Apple Cider
1 tsp Tomato Paste
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke
1 (8oz) package of tempeh
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Combine first four ingredients in wide shallow bowl and mix with a fork until tomato paste is dissolved.

Cut the tempeh into thin strips (1/4 inch or thinner) lengthwise. Rub the strips with crushed garlic, then add the garlic to the marinade. Add the strips to the marinade, turning occasionally for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add strips and cook for 4 minutes on each side - they should be very brown but not burnt. Flip them over and pour any remaining marinade on them - then cook for about 3-4 minutes. Cook until both sides are evenly browned. Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Healthy Hoppin' John Recipe

Amy, this is the recipe that we talked about. Still working on the cornbread recipe. Jennie, you inspired me to share as well, because you were also looking for ways to use kale. BTW--miss you!

-1 15 ounce can black-eyed peas, rinsed
-8 cups roughly chopped kale leaves (about 1 small bunch), remove tough stems
-1 cup instant brown rice
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
-1 tablespoon EVOO--y'all know, extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 tablespoons tomato paste
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-around 14 ounces of vegetable broth
-2 tablespoons your favorite vinegar
-1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne red pepper...to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, tomato paste and rice. Cook until onion softens--around 3-5 minutes. Add kale and garlic until kale begins to wilt--just a couple of minutes. Stir in broth, vinegar, paprika or ground cayenne red pepper and salt. Bring to boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer until rice is done--15-20 minutes. Stir in black eyed peas and heat for 1 minute.

If you want to use smoked paprika and can't find it, try tienda.com

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

Some of you may have seen this already since I posted in on facebook, but wanted to post it here too, since this page is becoming my go-to spot for many of my favorite vegan recipes :) And I apologize for the fact that I never post my own original recipes - that's because I don't have any of my own vegan recipes! I guess as a chef I am just not that creative. So I find other recipes that look interesting, and I modify them to make them vegan, or sometimes to make them yummier. So for this one, I modified as follows:

  • Instead of using chicken broth, I used vegetable broth (to make it vegan)

  • I could not find canned unsweetened coconut milk but I did find a carton of it in the dairy section with the soy milk, almond milk, etc.

  • I added a can of black beans (drained) to add some protein; could also use kidney beans or white beans or whatever you have

  • I probably added more than the recommended cup of rice, just to make it a little heartier

  • I cut, boiled, and pureed the sweet potatoes instead of using chunks

  • I added some cumin and curry, just for more flavor

I was a little nervous about this recipe because Rob and I are not fans of coconut, but I needed to use some sweet potatoes, and I like to find new ways to use kale, so thought I'd give it a shot. It does not taste coconutty at all. I was very pleasantly surprised at how much we both liked it!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Frozen Coffee Drinks, Anyone?

Here is a fun treat I like to make for myself. They are like what you'd get at Mickey D's or Starbucks, without all the empty calories and the 60 cent surcharge Starbucks tacks on for the soy milk :{

8-10 coffee ice cubes
1/2 C soy milk
2 T sugar free chocolate syrup or other sweetener of your choice (optional)

Give it a whirl in your blender until the large cubes are completely blended. It should have the texture of a slurry. Adjust sweetness to taste.

I hope you like it!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chili Cookoff!

Many of you know that I entered the FHPC Chili Cookoff. I did not expect to win, but just to support a good cause. I called my chili "Vegan Orange" Black bean and barley chili. I really like this chili because it is easy to put together (although it takes an hour to cook) and the barley really gives it a meaty texture. I meant to take pictures of the contest, but all I took was this while it was cooking:


The recipe I used was based on this one. I multiplied it by three and have a bit leftover. I added a little bit more spice in the form of jalapenos, chipotle powder, and my dad's chili powder. It ended up with a nice spice, but the lady who asked, "is this spicy?" did not seem offended. I served it with fritos, green onions, and non-dairy cheese.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Easy Veggie Udon


This is one of those recipes that is really easy, really cheap, and really good. I have made lots of asian inspired dishes and they usually end up tasting very soy saucey. This one is so simple, and the taste is subtle, but pretty close to what I have always gone for. By really easy, I mean we got home from the park at 5:30 and this was on the table by 6pm. By really cheap, these are all normal ingredients and I usually have them on hand! The exception is the udon noodles.


The first time I made this, the only udon noodles I found were like $4. Forget that. I used linguine. This time I did find the udon for $2 and got it, but still they look just like linguine.


I even think I liked the linguine better.

I served mine with a side salad and sprinkled toasted seasame seed for extra crunch.


Easy Veggie Udon. Source is here

This recipe is Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Protein-Free, and Optional Gluten-Free

8 Ounces Udon Noodles (may substitute other noodles in a pinch; for gluten-free I recommend Eden’s all buckwheat soba noodles or rice noodles)
3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil, divided
3 Carrots, peeled into large shreds using a vegetable peeler
3 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
12 Ounces Mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 5-Ounce Bag Baby Spinach Leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or Wheat-Free Tamari, divided
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
Salt to taste (I used around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon, but I would start with a dash or two and work your way up)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste or a Few Pinches of Crushed Red Pepper
Cook the noodles according to the package directions.

While those are boiling, heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil over medium-low heat (I do a lower heat to protect the flavor of the oil, but you can up it to medium if you are really hungry).

Add the carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute just until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, and saute for just a couple of minutes, until those leavese start to wilt.

Turn off the heat, and stir in the noodles, garlic powder, remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, and any add-ins (see below), tossing well to ensure everything is coated with those flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in big bowls.

Monday, April 4, 2011

You Wouldn't Believe this was any Good . . .

if you didn't try it. Should I tell you whats in it? Your reaction might be the same as mine, when I first saw the recipe - "Who thinks this stuff up?" The chicks who wrote Veganomicon, that's who. But really, this is VERY good. I was quite surprised that I liked it. So here it goes.

Shredded Parsnip and Beet Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

2 C Pineapple Juice
1/4 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C grapeseed oil
2 T agave nectar or maple syrup
1 clove garlic, grated with a microplane
1/4 t salt

1 lb beets, peeled and shredded
1 lb parsnips, peeled and shredded
1/2 C mint, coarsely chopped

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Add the shredded beets and parsnips and thoroughly mix into the dressing.
Let macerate for 15 minutes. Add the mint and mix again. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

This has the texture of coleslaw. I will have you know, I am not a fan of either coleslaw or beets, but after discovering this recipe, we are now learning to be friends.

What brought me to try it? I overwintered parsnips, and they were ready to harvest a couple of weeks ago. I needed a recipe and saw this one. I'm glad I went out on a limb.

Oh - you can find Agave Nectar at Bloom in the gluten-free section or at Ingles in the baking aisle.

Summer Squash and Zucchini with Basil

1 lb yellow squash
1 lb zucchini
1 tbls non-dairy butter
1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large ripe tomato, diced--or I have used canned diced tomatoes
2 tbls chopped fresh basil
Seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds and set aside. Heat non-dairy butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add squash, zucchini, onion and garlic. Cook until you've reached your favorite tenderness. Then add tomato and basil, stir and heat through. Season! My Mother-in-law loves this side dish! I changed it some to take out any dairy, but noone will notice! **if you use canned tomatoes, make sure to drain well

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Processed Foods

In my life eating vegan, I find I am using my appliances more, especially my food processor. I am really glad that I have one and I hope everyone else has one too! Yesterday, I used my food processor to make 4 different recipes:

Vegan power bars:


Rinsed it out and then used it to make the batter for falafel (can't find the recipe, it is from the author of veganomicon, let me know if you need the recipe):



And also the tahini dressing for the falafels. Mark was broken hearted that there was no tzkiki sauce:


And then for good measure, I made Amy H's tangy white bean dip:


My food processor enjoyed a nice warm bath in the dishwasher and a nap.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yet another vegan mac and cheese

I know that there have been other recipes posted before, but I read about this one on my blog crush's blog. She said it was good, so I had to try it! It touts itself as a no-nutional yeast mac and cheese. I had extremely high hopes about this recipe while assembly. I made it up during naptime, and then baked it right before dinner.


My confidence started to waver at this point, so I decided not to take any pictures of the entire meal. Really at this point, it was Mark's comments that are inspiring me to point this. He ate it without hesitation. He knows that I am cooking vegan, and usually with recipes like this he immediately demans, "what's in this?" He just dove right it, and it wasn't until he was halfway done when he finally mentioned, you mean there is no cheese in this. Personally, I did think it was pretty good, I think I didn't use the correct amount of pasta and too much mustartd, but I am looking forward to trying it again. The kids didn't like the bread crumbs.


Edited to add: Hey Amy H - my blog crush actually did a whole post on a ode to collard greens. I am not a fan of cooked greens, but I actually bought a bunch today to try some wraps. Link is here.