Monday, December 28, 2009

Reindeer Munch

This is a cute little treat that I make around the holidays and give to friends and family in decorative bags! It's very very yummy and pretty easy. The hardest part of this particular recipe is getting the chocolate even over all of the cereal, but I have a trick... put the mix in a ziplock bag and shake shake shake! This sweet snack mix is also good for parties!
• Box of Crispix cereal or similar (about nine cups in a box)
• Package of dark chocolate chips
• 1/2 cup peanut butter
• 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In a double boiler melt down chocolate then add peanut butter (I use chunky but smooth is fine too) and mix well.
chocolate and peanut butter coming together
Start adding the cereal about two cups at a time and mix well, after all the cereal is incorporated then take mix and put in large gallon ziplock bag and shake then add the powdered sugar and shake some more, if it seems clumpy open the bag and break apart and close and shake again!
before ziplock
in ziplock
You get the point there will be a lot of shaking, shake until it looks evenly coated with chocolate and sugar! Let cool and enjoy!
Super yum!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Bread

This is a variation on my Mothers zucchini bread recipe. I find the chocolate chips really give it a new attitude! I use Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips and love them! If I add things to breads such as nuts or chocolate chips I like to place a row of them on the top so potential eaters know what they are getting into! This recipe is enough to make two loafs so prepare two loaf pans by greasing the bottoms and sides so you can remove the bread after it cools!
• 3 cups flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 2 cups shredded un-peeled zucchini
• 4 1/2 tsp "Energ" egg replacer dissolved in
• 6 tbsp water
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup chocolate chips
• 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

dry ingredients about to be mixed

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then add the egg replacer and oil, mix well, next add the zucchini and mix again. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts if you want them. Pour half into each greased pan,
ready for the oven
and bake at 350 for about an hour, check after 40 minutes, if the bread is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean you are done let cool and enjoy!
my bread just loafing around... and cooling!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vegan Beer Burgers

I hear meat eating friends talking about beer burgers and I think I bet I can maybe a vegan version, well I did and they were tasty! Not to mention easy! The only problem I had was to get the correct amount of beer so the Gimme Lean had the correct texture, but I have it figured out now!
Made for two burgers
• 1 cup Gimme Lean
• 1 medium onion diced
• 1/2 cup beer
• 2 tbsp bread crumbs
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• dash of salt
• for garnish thinly sliced tomato and some lettuce
• a bun of your choosing, I am using the Whole Foods 365 whole wheat sesame buns
For the topping I am using my Super Secret Vegan Sauce from my blog posting on March 25, 2009: Vegan Rubin Sandwich

Prepare the Super Secret Vegan Sauce and refrigerate

Next mix the Gimme Lean, onion, salt, pepper and garlic together I found using my hands works well, all be it they will get very sticky so have a towel handy.
Thanks Gimme Lean for making Vegan burger making easy!

Now add the beer and mix again then after that is mixed well add the bread crumbs, the picture below is before the beer has been mixed in.
the beer just poured in
If the burger feels to loose add more bread crumbs, it should be a little loose but not fall apart in your hands. Preheat a skillet over medium with about one tablespoon of oil so the burgers do not stick. Over medium heat they will have to cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side,
when flipped they should have a even brown color as seen on the burger on the right in the pic below, the other i flipped to soon to illustrate the difference.
almost yum time!
Prep your bun with sauce, lettuce, tomato and vegan cheese if desired, I love onion rings with a burger, so I was baking those as I was preparing the burgers! Build and enjoy!

Successful Vegan Beer Burgers for the YUM!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pasta with Spinach and Veggie Meatballs

This recipe is a great quick meal if you happen to have left overs they warm up well! The veggie meatballs are my recipe previously in my blog, I always make a double batch and freeze some. This is also a good recipe for kids that don't always want to eat green things because the spinach cooks down they don't even know it is in there! You can chop the spinach to be "hidden" even more for picky eaters.
• 3 cloves garlic minced (more or less depending on your love of garlic)
• 1 medium onion chopped fine
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1/2 tsp pepper
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 28 oz crushed tomatoes (I use canned from our garden but store bought is fine too)
• 8 oz tomato paste
• 1 bunch of spinach washed and dried
• about 8 veggie meatballs
• box of pasta of your choice
Start the pasta water and bring to a boil as you are doing the sauce, when it boils add the pasta, keep an eye on it when you are doing the sauce! Heat a large sauce pan over medium with the olive oil, then add the garlic and onion, cook until onions become transparent, about 4 to 5 minutes, make sure you stir this you don't want the garlic to burn. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir well, add the salt, pepper, and sugar (we add the sugar to add to the sweetness of the tomatoes, its a trick I use in pasta sauce too). Add the tomato paste and stir well. When the sauce is thickened with the paste add the spinach.
spinach added
The spinach will have to be cooked down for about 5 minutes, it should look something like the picture below.
spinach cooked down!
Make sure you are keeping an eye on the pasta, it should be about done, feel free to drain it and let it sit for a few minutes in the strainer.
Add your veggie meatballs! And cover if they are frozen like mine are they will have to re-warm for about five minutes covered.
Veggie meatballs added
Add the pasta and stir, feel free to serve with soy cheese or vegan parmesan and garlic bread!
Dinner time YUM!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Chickpea Cutlets from the "Veganomicon"!

The Veganomicon is a great Vegan cook book, one of my all time favorites! I am looking for other protein packed main dishes and what better than chickpeas! This is almost directly out of the book the next attempt at these I will modify the ingredients a bit more for a different flavor but liked the texture, look and taste of these for sure! The recipe is doubled for leftovers!
• 2 cups cooked chickpeas
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1 cup vital wheat gluten
• 1 cup plain bread crumbs
• 1/2 cup vegetable broth
• 4 tbsp soy sauce
• 4 cloves of garlic minced
• 1 tsp lemon zest
• 1/2 tsp thyme
• 1 tsp hungarian paprika
• 1/2 tsp sage
Mash chickpeas and oil, I used a potato masher, you want to make sure there are no whole chickpeas it will resemble a paste. Add all other ingredients and first mix until all ingredients are combined then knead until the gluten becomes a bit stringy. I prefer hand kneading it will take about three to five minutes.
ingredients on top of chickpeas
about to be kneaded
Form into cutlets about 6 by 4 inches and 1/2 to 3/4 thick, this will make six or so depending on how thick you make them. I chose to bake my cutlets at 375 for 20 minutes then turning and baking for another nine. The Veganomicon also recommends frying instead of baking but I chose to bake so I could spend time making my other sides! This was served with caramelized brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes!
Super Yum!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spook-tacular Ghost Cookies

This is a fun recipe to do with kids! It's pretty spooky but fun! The cookie itself is a cake like cookie and the white frosting is white Almond Bark, but any vegan white chocolate will do! You can cut the cookies down as well to make smaller cookies as I have prepared them it made twelve.
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/3 cup baking cocoa
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 4 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer dissolved in
• 6 tbsp water
• 3/4 cup vegan butter
• 1/4 cup water
dry ingredients mixing
dough mixed ready to be formed
Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add honey and dissolved Ener-G Egg Replacer. Then add the vegan butter, mix again then add the water sparingly, you might not use the full 1/4 cup. You want the dough to be tacky but not to sticky. Form into long triangles, about 1'' thick as seen below.
formed ready for the oven
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes at 375 let cool completely. Place on parchment paper after cooled, melt Almond Bark or white chocolate to a smooth constancy easily spreadable. Cover cookies fully, and place two dark chocolate eyes!
let cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is one of my favorite breakfast foods. Either with some peanut butter, almond butter or tofu cream cheese and sprouts! Bagels are super easy to make and I think homemade tastes better than store bought for sure! They are great hot out of the oven or kept in the fridge or freezer and toasted later. I did the math and it costs about 20 cents to make a bagel at home, now if that is not a savings I don't know what is!
• 4 cups of bread flour
• 2 tbsp salt
• 2 tsp instant yeast
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 2 tsp sunflower oil you can also use vegetable oil if you like
• 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup war water, about 80 to 85 degrees
Although it's not necessary because I use instant yeast I dissolve the yeast in 1 1/2 cups of warm water and add the sugar after about two minutes. So the yeast has something to eat! Take the flour and salt mix together add the oil and mix in the wet water yeast sugar mix. If the dough seems a little dry add another 1/4 cup of water. Knead on a floured surface for about ten minutes. After kneading cut the dough into 8 balls and let rest for about 15 minutes!
dough balls resting
Put some water in a large pot and set on medium heat to boil. Take each dough ball and roll out into about a 6 to 7 inch cylinder, take the cylinder and connect the ends to make a circle bagel shape, it takes a bit of practice but don't give up on it they still taste good even if they are miss-formed!
rolled bagel
They now have to rest again for another 15 minutes. Now pre heat the oven to 425. After they are done resting you need to boil them them on each side for one minute if you want to put toppings such as sesame or poppy seeds put the seeds in a shallow dish and place bagels in after they are boiled! Cook for 9 to 11 minutes and then turn over and cook for another 9 to 11 minutes, until golden. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before enjoying!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Peanut Butter Dog Treats

I do my best not to eat processed food and I try to the same for my companion animals. This particular recipe is one of Vivian's favorites for sure! I usually make a big batch and give them to Vivian's doggie friends as well. They seem to be a big hit will all four legged creatures of the canine variety! Plus they are super simple to prepare and keep well in an air tight container!
• 1 cup whole-wheat flower
• 1 cup corse ground corn meal
• 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
• 1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth but chunky is good too)
• 1 tbsp baking powder
cut out in fun shapes!
Combine dry ingredients and mix lightly, then add the soy milk and mix well, then add the peanut butter and mix again. If the mixture seems to sticky for rolling with a rolling pin add a bit more flower up to 1/4 cup. Roll to 1/2 inch thick, and cut out with cookie cutters. I use little bones and stars but if you don't have access to them you can hand cut into squares or other shapes as well. Bake at 375 for 18 to 20 minutes.
ready to enjoy and made with love!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Baked Tofu, Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Potatoes In Under 30 Minutes

Lets face it not everyone has hours to spend cooking or baking a tasty vegan meal! This is one of my favorite go to meals when I am busy. It is packed with protein and vitamins and did I mention its super tasty!
By far the star of this show is the Brussels Sprouts, I can't get enough of these little guys. And I get asked often how do you cook them. There are many different ways to add them to any meal but I prefer the method explained below. It not only cooks them all the way through (it is the worst to bite into a half cooked sprout), and it also brings out the natural flavor of this amazing veg!
I do however have to apologize for the pictures, I was timing myself on the preparation of this meal and neglected photo mastery!
prepared as a meal for two
• 1 brick tofu (extra firm)
• 4 to six medium potatoes
• 1 pound brussels sprouts
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1/4 cup butter
• 1 cup white cooking wine
• 4 tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 3/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Dice potatoes and toss with 4 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper, place on baking sheet and into oven. Then cut tofu into nine equal squares or there about and place in a shallow baking dish with two cloves of garlic minced, the water and the soy sauce. Place in the oven with the potatoes. The potatoes will take a bit longer to cook that is why they went in first. The potatoes will take about 25 minutes and the tofu about 20.

Tofu ready for the oven

Next prep the sprouts by cutting the bottom of them off to expose the tender part, then de-leaf any loose leafs, and cut in half as seen below
looking good sprouts!
Then melt your butter in a pan be careful not to burn it after butter is liquified add the sprouts. What will happen next is that the sprouts will start to caramelize where they are making contact with the pan. This is a bit tricky because you don't want them to burn but you want to them to brown down nicely. Turn them over so both sides can get a bit cooked, about five to seven minutes into this process add the cooking wine and cover. This will kind of steam the inside of the sprout, and make them tender but the outside will be nice and browned. And the best thing is they are cooked all the way through no tough sprouts here!
sprouts just placed in pan
Prepare the Road's End Organics Herb Gravy as directed on the package. And drizzle over tofu and you are ready to serve!
There it is 28 minutes and change for a great vegan meal!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Late Summer Veg and Pasta

This is a pretty simple dish that uses the fresh veg that we have right now. It is what I like to call a two dish meal, meaning that you boil pasta in one and in another cook the veg that is it, clean up is a breeze! You can use any veggie you happen to have the combo below is my favorite but feel free to experiment!
• 1 box angel hair pasta
• 2 medium to large tomato
• 2 medium summer squash
• 2 green pepper
• 2 red pepper
• 2 medium onion
• 1 handful of sun dried tomato
• 5 cloves of garlic
• 3 tbsp olive oil
• salt and pepper to taste

Dice all veggies as seen below
Start the water for the pasta. Take the oil and let it heat up in your pan. Press or mince garlic and let that cook with the onion until the onion is soft and kind of translucent. As seen below.

Don't forget about your pasta water when it comes to a boil put the pasta in! Then add the rest of the veggies to the other pan. As seen below
The vegetables will take about as long to cook as the pasta which is about 9 to 11 minutes. If the veggies get done before just put them on low heat and place a cover over the pan. When pasta is done and drained mix with the vegetable mixture, as seen below.

Plate and enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Breaded Tofu Nibbles

Tofu is a chameleon, it can take on the taste of anything and I have turned it into a lot of things! This is a simple recipe that lets the tofu be itself for the most part with a little help from Japanese Panko flakes and some back up from a few spices.
• about 6 ounces of panko flakes
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 1/2 cup water
• 2 tbsp corn starch
• 2 tbsp spicy mustard, or any of your choice
• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
• one brick tofu
Cut the tofu into eight rectangles. Then take the first three ingredients and place into a shallow bowl. Now take everything else and place in another shallow blow. The mustard mixture will be the first thing you dip the tofu in, make sure its good and moist. Then dip into the panko mixture make sure its fully covered. After that place in a baking dish, and cook for about 30 minutes at 350. Enjoy as a side dish or a main, if you are eating as a main dish I suggest green beans as a perfect side!

the two mixtures
dipped in flakes!

ready to enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vegan Walnut Orange Coffee Cake

This is for a little end of summer party with some friends. It is a great mix of summer flavors and autumn hardiness! Coffee cake is so versatile and yummy feel free to experiment with variations on this recipe and get back to me if you come up with something great!
• 1 cup quick-cooking oats
• 1 1/2 cups orange juice
• 1/3 cup vegan butter
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 3 tsp egg replacer dissolved in
• 4 tbsp warm water
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 3/4 cup flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/2 cup walnuts
• 1 tbsp orange zest (grated orange peel)
• 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup vegan butter
• 3 tbsp orange zest
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
• 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

dry ingredients in mixer

wed ingredients added
Mix oats and orange juice in a small bowl until softened and set aside. In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars, then add the egg replace and vanilla until well combined. Next add the flour about a half cup at a time then add the baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the oat mixture in next that you previously set aside. Finally add the walnuts and orange peel. Pour into a greased 13'' by 9'' pan, bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
cake done
topping ready!
When your cake is almost done about five minutes or so left start on the topping. Put sugar butter, orange zest and juice in a small sauce pan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and walnuts. Broil for about two minutes or until topping is browning nicely. Enjoy!

finished and yum!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Super Summer Yummer Salad

This is one of my favorite times of year! Not only is it nice and warm and flip flops are a must but summer gardens are in full production! And we have to find creative things to do with all the garden gives us.
Super Summer Yummer Salad is a cold salad perfect for a warm day, its easy prep and refrigerates well so make it in the morning and enjoy it in the afternoon, and don't worry if you have leftovers they are good the next day for lunch. Word of warning, I love garlic so my Pesto mixture is full of garlic if you want to cut the garlic down you may do so by a clove or so remember garlic becomes more potent as it sits so what might taste a bit to spicy today might turn into super garlic tomorrow!
• aproximently 8 ounces of fresh basil, about the amount you would buy in the store
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 4 tbsp olive oil (2 used in pesto the others in the salad mixture)
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 box pasta (your choice, bow ties are pretty fun for this salad)
• 3 to 5 fresh tomatoes depending on size
• 12 to 16 oz vegan mozzarella or cows milk mozzerella (if you are using vegan I suggest Vegan Gourmet by Follow Your Heart)
Start by boiling the water for the pasta, you want the cooked pasta to be cool when you put the toppings on it so feel free to do this first or prep the topping and place in the fridge. On to the Pesto: clean and de-leaf the basil and place in to your blender or food processor along with 2 tbsp olive oil and blend until the leaves are in small pieces. Then chop your garlic and add along with the salt and pepper to taste. If the pesto seems a little dry feel free to add a bit more olive oil. Remove from your blending tool and set aside.
Pesto ready!
Next dice tomatoes and cheese separately. Put pesto cheese and tomatoes in large mixing bowl, and mix well with a spoon.
mixed and ready for pasta
After your pasta is cooked and cooled mix into the mixing bowl a small amount at a time for even distribution over pasta, add the other 2 tbsp olive oil for ease of mixing.

in the middle of mixing.

Serve with garlic bread and enjoy!

Super Summer Yummer Salad