Tuesday, December 30, 2008

vegan lasagna

our traditional christmas dinner is lasagna, and for years my mother and i have stood side-by-side in the kitchen on christmas morning assembling our italian dishes. this was the first time i attempted a vegan one, which brought on quite a few changes - from the mozzarella to the ricotta to the parmesan. below is my recipe. also, i tend to like my lasagna really saucy, so just make modifications to the amounts as you prefer.

  • 12 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 6 cups mom's mushroom pasta sauce**
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 large head of broccoli florets, steamed
  • 16 oz. vegan mozzarella, shredded
  • 6-8 tablespoons vegan parmesan
  • 1 batch vegan ricotta (see recipe below)
**if you don't have a favourite sauce, add mushrooms to this recipe

for the ricotta:
  • 12 oz. silken tofu
  • 6 oz. tofutti sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 5-8 baby spinach leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste
to make the ricotta, blend tofu, sour cream, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor. after mixture is creamy (add more oil or lemon juice if necessary), mix the rest of ingredients in by hand. chill until ready to use.

to assemble lasagna:
in a 8x11 glass or ceramic casserole dish, spread about 2 tablespoons of the sauce in the bottom of the dish to prevent noodles from sticking. place 3 noodles across the bottom, then use a spoon to spread about 1/3 of the ricotta evenly. now layer about 1/4 of the sauce in the dish, followed by 1/3 of the spinach and the broccoli. sprinkle a mozzarella layer and a parmesan layer, and then place another set of noodles in the dish. repeat the process, building up the lasagna until you have used up all ingredients. make sure to save enough sauce and mozzarella for the final top of the dish.

a few notes: make sure you buy vegan lasagna noodles (no egg). also, for the mozzarella, i used veganrella this time as i often have a hard time getting fyh vegan gourmet cheeses to melt. veganrella's cheddar cheese is really good, but the mozzarella was just average. i think next time i will try using tofutti mozzarella slices... just a thought.

bake lasagna at 375
°f for about 45 minutes. the top cheese layer should be browning and the sauce should be bubbly. makes 6 large pieces of lasagna.

Friday, December 19, 2008

creamy potato soup

as i mentioned in my last post, i'm a sucker for crock-pot cooking in the winter. i think it's because i'm home more, and have time for all-day-cooking recipes. this next recipe is the first time i have ever made homemade soup (besides cabbage). gasp, i know! i worked out quite nicely, though - creamy and flavourful.

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes
  • 5 cups potatoes, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons hickory bacon salt
  • 2 tablespoons bragg's aminos
  • 14 oz soy milk
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
wash and cube potatoes into bite sized pieces. dissolve the bouillon cubes in 8 cups of boiling water. put all ingredients except milk/flour/corn starch into a crock pot. stew on high for 8 hours or more. about 45 minutes before serving, put milk, flour and corn starch in a contained and shake vigorously. add to the soup and cook for 45 mins-1 hour.

i served with imitation bacon bits on top.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

smokey white bean chili

winter definitely gets me in the mood for crock pot cooking. this year i decided to switch up my typical chili recipe, and went for a smokey white bean flavour. it turned out rather good, i thought, for an ad-libbed recipe.

  • 2 ½ cups cooked great northern beans
  • 3 cans (14 oz/ea) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons hickory bacon salt
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
cook white beans according to directions on bag. put everything in a large crock pot. turn temperature to high and let stew for 6-8 hours. be sure to stir every once in a while so nothing burns, especially when you are closer to the 6 hour mark.

serve with cornbread. yum!

Friday, December 12, 2008

black bean, rice & veggies bowl

a hearty dish made from random things in my pantry. it turned into a hodge-podge meal that's part mexican, part veggie medley. i used westpac asparagus stir fry veggies. fresh would be better, of course, but frozen is what i had.

  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/8 cup cilantro, finely minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 bag of frozen veggies (about 6oz)
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1/3-1/2 cup salsa
cook rice, beans and frozen veggies. then mix all ingredients except salsa in a large bowl. add salsa last, adding in enough to coat the ingredients like a dressing.

make about 3 or 4 medium-size bowls.

Monday, December 8, 2008

seitan holiday roast

when i was vegetarian, we would buy the quorn turk'y roast for thanksgiving meals. since that isn't a vegan option, i opted to get my hands wet and create a homemade 'faust' this year. not to mention, it was the first time i ever worked with seitan. i used the very basic ingredients from vegan with a vengeance, but apart from that, it was a miss v creation. not too shabby, i must say.

for the roast:
  • 2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, sage & rosemary mix
  • 1½ cups veggie broth
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 celery stalk, minced
  • 1/8 small onion, minced
for the broth:
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, sage & rosemary mix
  • 1/2 celery stalk, minced
  • 1/8 small onion
optional: 4 baby red potatoes

for the roast, mix up the the first four dry ingredients. for the spice mix, just throw in whatever tastes good - i used thyme and sage as they remind me of thanksgiving flavours. mix the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. for the onion and celery, i used a magic bullet to mince them up as i didn't want large chunks in my roast. slowly combine the wet into the dry ingredients, kneading as you go. knead for at least 2 minutes, and then divide into two small roasts.

put the roasts into a 1.5 quart baking dish. if you want, cut up the baby potatoes to bake with the roasts. mix up the broth ingredients, and pour half into the baking dish with the roasts. bake at 395°f for about 25 minutes. at this point, most of the broth will have evaporated. pour in the second half of the broth and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 340°f. serve warm.

as a side note, i cut my roasts into slices before i baked the second time. this allowed the juices to really get in and marinade the roast. but that's completely optional.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

fresh cider cucumbers

so i'm still full from thanksgiving feast-week. and the jeans are starting to reach that all too critical tightness - when you know it's time to lay off the heavy meals for a while. here is a cider vinegar cucumber "salad" that i've been eating for light lunches. i had something similar to this at my aunt's house over the summer, but there were onions in it (which if you read my blog, you know i don't like). but i've never had better cucumbers!

  • cucumbers, washed and sliced
  • raw apple cider vinegar (bragg's)
my aunt mixes one part vinegar to one part water, but i prefer a stronger vinegar taste. cover the cucumbers and let chill for several hours.

drain the vinegar before serving and enjoy the guilt free eats!

Monday, December 1, 2008

blog mom's zucchini custard pie

don't let the zucchini part fool you - this pie is delicious. a faithful reader of mine, lynn, sent me this recipe to try. she has supported my blog since the very beginning, sending me emails of encouragement and comments on my recipes. i now affectionately call her 'blog mom,' and she convinced me that this zucchini pie recipe would knock my socks off. she was right - it was a perfect sweet treat for the holiday and got rave reviews from everyone!

the original recipe called for 1 cup of evaporated milk and 1¼ cups sugar... below is what i used as substitutes. thanks lynn!!

  • 2 cups zucchini, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup soy milk, mixed with 4 tablespoons soy milk powder
  • 2/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 egg replacer (i use ener-g)
  • 2 tablespoon softened vegan butter
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 nine-inch pie shell
boil the cubed zucchini until tender. drain and put in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to cool. drain again. in a food processor or blender, combine zucchini, soy milk mixture, sugar, agave nectar, butter, flour and vanilla. blend until creamy.

i did not make my own pie crust because of time restraints, but be sure and check that your store-bought ones are vegan. pour the mixture into a pie crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. bake at 325f° for 60-70 minutes or until a knife comes out clean (i ended up baking mine for about 80 minutes). the end result should still be creamy and custard-like.

blog mom noted that the 1/2 teaspoon measurements on the cinnamon and nutmeg weren't nearly enough, and that i should sprinkle the entire pie generously. moms know best, because this was what really set the pie off and gave it a gooey crème brûlée type taste.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

poor girl's cheesy green bean casserole

we are on pantry clean-out mode. i get this way every couple of months - i refuse to go major grocery shopping until we've finished off everything edible that's left in our house. i created this little recipe and thought it would be a perfect cheesy green bean casserole for holidays!

  • 2 cans french style green beans
  • 1 tablespoons sriracha (or more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons roasted potato blend
  • 1/2 sleeve saltine crackers (wheat preferably)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup water
drain the green beans, and crumble a half sleeve of saltine crackers. mix all ingredients in an 8x8 casserole dish. i used half a pack of concord's roasted potato seasoning (original recipe). also, be careful with sriracha sauce - it is super spicy and those saltines soak it right up. i tend to love really spicy foods - but when i'm cooking for others (pot lucks, holidays, etc.), i ease up a bit.

pop it in the over for about 15 minutes on 350°f.

to be honest, i would have preferred to add soy milk instead of water to give it a more creamy taste. but it wasn't in our pantry so it didn't make it into this recipe.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

raw carrot salad

i made this for a mid-day snack. i was feeling raw, and didn't want to spoil my dinner. perfect!

  • 1 pkg. baby carrots (6oz.), hand chopped
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw mustard
  • 3 tablespoons nama shoyu/braggs aminos
mix it all up and enjoy the healthy. i make raw mustard by grinding up a couple tablespoons of yellow mustard seeds with a dash of raw apple cider vinegar and water. of course, you can use regular mustard if you aren't worried about eating raw. it makes about two servings of a lite snack. i also think it would make a nice side dish for dinner.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

tony soprano sandwich

i was craving an old-school italian meatball sandwich. but, i really didn't feel like making meatballs, so i made a sloppy 'meat' sandwich instead. it might look like a modified sloppy joe, but it tastes way more tony soprano-like to me.

  • 1 hoagie bun
  • 1 cup cooked tvp (about 1/2 cup dry tvp)
  • *or 1 cup boca crumbles
  • 1 8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
cook the textured vegetable protein with half the water according to package (about 1/4 cup). add the tomato sauce, water, spices, and peppers to the tvp. heat the mixture for about 2 minutes on med. temperature. toast hoagie if desired, and stuff with tvp mixture.

and if you are a kraut nut like me, i think it complements this dish nicely.

Monday, November 10, 2008

roasted apple butter

i used up the last of our apple bounty to make apple butter. i found a roasted applesauce recipe in vegan with a vengeance, but (of course) wasn't cool with all the sugar involved. i'm sure the original recipe is tasty, but i think apples are already sweet, so i opted for the less caloric approach and pretty much modified the whole thing. also, this turned out decidedly more apple butter than applesauce, because it was thick and could be spread on toast (which i did a lot of).

  • about 10-12 small golden delicious apples
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • cinnamon to taste

preheat oven to 350f°. peel, core and chop the apples into medium size chunks. spread apple chunks in single layer in 9x12 baking/casserole dishes (i used two for 12 apples). drizzle with agave and sprinkle with cinnamon, then gently toss so apples are evenly coated. bake the apples for about 15 minutes, turn once, and bake for 10-15 minutes more. pull out the dishes and let cool. i used a potato masher for one of the dishes, but then my arm got tired. so i used a magic bullet for the other half. makes about 2 pints.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

chickpea, sun dried tomato & artichoke salad

i posted a feta recipe in my last post, and that yumminess found a home in this recipe. i'm always looking for new ways to mix up chickpeas, and this sort of just came together. i think it would be great for a potluck or holiday dinner, as this recipe makes quite a bit. and if you haven't tried miso mayo, you should give it a shot. it definitely has a unique flavour, but in small amounts, it's pretty dang tasty!

  • 1 ½ cups dry chickpeas (about 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 ¼ cups sun dried tomatoes (preferably not oil-packed)
  • 1 can (14oz.) artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cups black olives, sliced
  • 6 oz. vegan feta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup miso mayo, original
combine all ingredients except feta in a large bowl. if you prefer, you can mix up the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl and pour over the mixture. i take the lazy way and just throw all the dressing components in with the rest of the salad, stirring as i go. add the tofu last since it will be the most delicate and susceptible to crumbling. toss gently a few times after adding the tofu. chill for at least two hours, really letting the flavours meld. serve up just like a pasta salad.

as a side dish, i think this would serve about 8 (or more if they are super-small-helping types of folk). :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

vegan feta

this is a recipe that i used to make a vegan feta. it's combination between a recipe in the uncheese cookbook and skinny bitch in the kitch. ok, so it's not feta, but it's not terribly too off in taste...

  • 1/2 pack of silken extra firm tofu (about 6oz)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, or fresh garlic (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
drain and gently squeeze excess water out of tofu. cut into small tofu cubes - the size of feta chunks. put cubed tofu in a bowl. whisk rest of ingredients in a separate bowl and pour on top of tofu. stir gently once or twice to make sure it is evenly coated, and chill for at least 1 hour.

use within a day or two.

Friday, October 31, 2008

general tao's tofu & veggies

the original recipe is one of vegan folklore on vegweb.com. i made some serious modifications to the recipe, partially because the original calls for so much sugar. i do realize that general tao's sauce is sorta sweet anyway, but i just couldn't bring myself to do it. so, although vegweb was the inspiration, below you will find miss v's own less sweet general tao's tofu & veggies.

  • 1 container of extra firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1½ tablespoons sesame or coconut oil
  • 1½ tablespoons ginger (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1-1½ tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup vegan hoisin sauce
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) vegetable stir fry medley (or more)

tofu prep:
gently squeeze tofu to drain initial water, and then press to rid it of excess moisture. to press: place two layers of papers towels on a plate, place tofu on towels, and another two layers of paper towels on top. put on another plate, an top with a can of veggies or something for a weight. so basically, you will have plate-towels-tofu-towel-plate-weight. let stand for about 15 minutes. after pressing tofu, cut tofu into 1-inch cubes, and freeze. this gives the tofu a firmer and 'meatier' texture. be sure and thaw for at least 4 or 5 hours prior to making recipe.

after thawing, place tofu on paper towels again to remove some moisture that will drain off. on a large plate, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. put tofu cubes on plate and press into cornstarch. sprinkle the other 2 tablespoon of cornstarch on top, and gently roll tofu around until it's lightly coated. heat sesame or coconut oil in wok on 350 (medium-high heat).
drop tofu in and let brown on each side for about 4 to 5 minutes. after about 20 minutes of browning (if needed), turn the heat up to 400 (high) and crisp up the tofu. pull out and place in bowl. if you follow the tofu prep instructions, you should have nice crispy cubes, *scarily* similar to chicken.

in wok on 350, heat ginger, garlic, chili oil, rice vinegar, agave nectar, chili garlic sauce and soy sauce. after about 30 seconds, put in the vegetable medley (i use asparagus stir fry). then add in about 1 cup of a pepper strips medley. after stir frying veggies for about 5 minutes, add the vegetable broth and hoisin sauce. turn up heat to about 375 and cook for about 7-10 minutes, until sauce has thickened. turn off wok, and immediately drop tofu in and stir up.

top with sesame seeds and serve with rice. i add additional siriacha sauce to my bowl because i like a lot of heat. so although it's not as sweet as traditional general tao's, this is soooo good and to me it tastes exactly like chinese take out. total kitchen time is about an hour, and i'd say it serves about 3-4, depending on the appetites involved.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

simply cinnamon apples

we went to an apple festival earlier this month, and got all these wonderful organic and locally grown apples. it reminded of how simple 'recipes' can be so awesome.

we had so many....

  • 2 golden delicious, cored and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1-2 tablespoons cinnamon

stir, eat.

if you are feeling on the non-raw side, pop the bowl in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds. it tastes just like the yummy insides of an apple pie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

potato enchiladas

a few years ago, i bought a can of potatoes, and it changed my potato life. they are in the canned vegetable section, and just look like baby peeled potatoes. they are super quick to heat up and throw in anything (like my previous kraut & potato recipe). i used them here to make potato enchiladas.

  • 1 can whole potatoes
  • 1/2 can re-fried beans
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons burrito or taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 block (5 oz.) vegan gourmet pepper jack cheese
  • 14 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 4 or 5 8" whole wheat tortillas
  • vegan sour cream & black olives (optional)
in bowl, mash up potatoes, beans, onion powder, garlic, burrito seasoning, nutritional yeast, and salsa. heat up each tortilla in the microwave for about 10 seconds right before you fold them up - it makes them more flexible for rolling. put two scoops of the potato mixture into the middle of the tortilla and fold one side over the mixture. then fold in the sides, and finish rolling up the enchilada. continue with the rest of the tortillas.

place the enchiladas in a glass baking dish, and pour enchilada sauce over the top. spread the shredded pepper jack cheese over the top, and add the black olives if you want. bake in the oven at about 360f° for about 15-20 minutes... pull out when the cheese starts to melt and the enchilada sauce is bubbly. use a spatula to serve, and top with sour cream if you please!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

kraut potato medley

i'm going to hermann, missouri at the end of this month for octoberfest, and it has been putting me in mind of my favourite german food: sauerkraut. i made this the other morning when i was craving some sort of breakfast scramble, and the leftover sauerkraut from my pizza was calling my name.

  • 1 can whole potatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) sauerkraut, drained well
  • 1½ tablespoons onion powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegan bacon bits
slice up the potatoes into round coins about 1/4 inch thick. cook on high in a non-stick skillet until they start to brown a little on the edges. i don't use oil or butter as i try to keep things healthy when i can, but that might speed up the browning process if you don't care about that stuff.
add everything else to the skillet and continue to cook - about 5-10 minutes until everything starts to get crispy. in this picture, i used tastefully simple's bacon bacon... but i've also grown quite fond of j&d's hickory bacon salt (be careful - the original and natural flavours aren't vegan). it's 0 calories - woot!

Friday, October 17, 2008

lentil paella-jambalaya

although this dish doesn't have any large chunky vegetables, it very much reminded me of the veggie paella i had in spain a few years back. but i also thought it was sort of jambalaya-y with the cajun spices. whatever you want to call it, it was bowl-licking good.

  • 1 ½ cups cooked green lentils (approx. ¾ cup dry)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 vegetarian bouillon cube
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 bag frozen pepper strips (or 1 ½ cups fresh)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons zatarain's creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

after cooking lentils according to package, heat olive oil on medium in large skillet. in a separate saucepan, dissolve veggie bouillon cube in three cups of water. after oil has heated in the skillet, add the lentils, garlic, and onion powder (or real onions, if you can stand them). sauté the lentils for about 4-5 minutes, then add about 1/4 cup of the veggie broth. toss in in the tomato, jalapeno, and pepper strips (i prefer fresh peppers, but i only had frozen on hand). continue sautéing for about 3-4 minutes more, then add the rice, remainder of broth and zatarain's seasoning.
simmer about 5 minutes, stirring often. once the water is about 80% absorbed, turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes more.

voilà - you should have a a nice lentil paella-jambalaya.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

kraut spring rolls

i have a confession. i have an unnatural obsession with sauerkraut. i didn't actually try it until about two years ago, and i've been scarfing it down in massive quantities ever since. maybe i'm making up for lost kraut time, but i could (and often do) put it on everything.

place one spring roll wrapper on a flat plate and run warm water for about 10 seconds over each side (until it feels flexible enough to roll). if it softens too much it will tear easily, so make sure it retains a little bit of its starchiness. on the same plate, place half of the ingredients near one side rice paper and make a small fold over them. fold in the sides, and then finish tightly rolling up the rest of the roll. it's sort of a burrito style roll, if you know what i mean (i always forget to take pictures of the process). repeat with the other wrapper and remaining ingredients.

for the sauce, i prefer 1 part rice vinegar to 1 part nama shoyu/soy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

cabbage soup

i got sick this past week. i was hungry all the time, but i wanted something warm, comforting and easy to swallow. oh, and easy to make since i didn't have much energy. i made a cabbage soup that served all my needs.

  • 1 pound cabbage, shredded (i use dole coleslaw mix)
  • 1 6oz. can tomato paste
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube (i use knorr)
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cajun seasoning
  • 3 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoon onion powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1½ cups textured vegetable protein
  • *(or boca ground crumbles)

in a large stock pot (approx. 8 qt), bring everything but the tvp to a boil. lower temperature to medium low, cover, and let simmer for about 40 minutes. add the textured veggie protein and cook for another 15 minutes. check the water level often and add more water or spices if necessary.
makes about 6 hearty bowls of soup (which equals a lot of leftovers if you are trying to kill a cold).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the apple carrot juice

i made this juice a few times over the summer, but i hadn't touched my juice machine in about two months. however, thanks to maggie at dog hill kitchen, i'm now the proud owner of everyday raw by matthew kenny. thanks maggie! - go check out her blog here.
as i was saying, i was re-inspired to make juice. although this recipe is not in his book per se, i'm posting it because it was one of my first juice experiments (note the super-simplicity), and because i'm excited to try out some new raw recipes!

  • 4 granny smith apples, cored
  • 3 carrots, peeled
core and chop up the apples to fit in your juice machine, then stick the carrots through.

as you can probably tell by my recipes, i don't like things that are super-sweet. i love using granny smith's for their tartness, but feel free to substitute your favourite apple.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

sichuan green beans

this recipe was inspired by a spontaneous late night dinner at bolings, a fantastic chinese restaurant in kansas city. two days later i was at the asian super market buying sichuan peppercorns and chili oil.

  • 1 pound of green beans
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground sichuan pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)

steam green beans for 5-7 minutes - they should still reserve some of their crunchiness. heat peanut and chili oil along with garlic and ginger in a wok at about 350f° (medium-high). drop in green beans, and stir fry for about 5 minutes. add in the rest of the ingredients, and continue to stiry fry for about 10 minutes more. top with sesame seeds and serve (with rice if ya like).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

creamy baked pasta

in my last post, i mentioned that i don't buy a lot of faux cheese products, but i do sometimes splurge. i say if you are gonna do it, do it up big! so here is a triple threat - complete with vegan sour cream, cream cheese, and mozzarella. i don't make these types of recipes too often - a girl has to watch her waistline - but i certainly enjoy treating myself with warm comforting dishes every once in a while.

  • 16 oz. whole wheat mostaccioli
  • 3/4-1 whole green bell pepper
  • 3 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 6 oz. tofutti 'sour cream'
  • 4 oz. tofutti 'cream cheese'
  • 5 oz. vegan gourmet mozzarella (shredded)
cook and drain pasta according to instructions on box. make pasta sauce by combining tomato sauce, paste, water, garlic, onion, italian seasoning (i use penzey's spices) and salt/pepper in a medium sauce pan. heat on medium-high until sauce starts to simmer aggressively, then lower heat to medium-low, cover, and let it simmer lightly for about 15 minutes, stirring often. this will be a thicker sauce since it is going into a casserole type dish. add in the softened cream cheese and sour cream, and heat on low for about 5-10 minutes until you have a nice creamy red sauce.

now the fun begins.

in a 9x11 glass casserole dish, use about three tablespoons of the sauce to coat the bottom (prevents sticking). layer 1/2 of the mostaccioli in the dish, then layer 1/2 sauce, 1/2 green pepper and 1/2 of the mozzarella. then repeat with the other half of the ingredients.

pop in the oven at 350 f° for about 25 minutes, until the sauce starts to bubble and the cheese begins to melt. pull out and cool around 10-12 minutes before trying to serve, although in my house we only make it about 5 minutes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

taco salad deluxe!

i don't buy a lot of the fake cheese/sour cream products because i usually try to make foods that taste just as good without the faux substitutes. however, every once in a while i'll splurge and if i buy the sour cream, you can bet i'm making a lot of mexican dishes. behold, the taco salad deluxe.

  • handful of yellow corn tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup refried beans (make sure they are veggie - no lard)
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 big dollops of tofutti 'better than sour cream'
  • 2 spoonfuls of chopped green pepper
  • black olives, sliced
  • jalapenos
so this is one of those recipes that doesn't really have measurements. i sort of gave approximations on how much i use, but really you just pile everything in a bowl in the amounts that you like.

i like to mix it all up and make a creamy salsa-y bowl of goodness, but eat how you see fit. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

chocolate almond pb2 vegan biscotti

ok, this is the first real 'sweet' treat i've posted, and to be honest, most people won't find it that sugary sweet. although it's still yummy, i promise! i love coffee, and nothing sets off a nice cup of java like a biscotti cookie. for those of you unfamiliar with this crunchy twice-baked treat, give it shot. you won't regret it.

mix dry ingredients:
  • 1 and 3/4 cup whole wheat graham flour (i use hodgson mill)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened organic cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup pb2 (peanut butter powder - sub peanut butter if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds (i use non-roasted and hand chop)

in a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup softened vegan butter (i use earth balance lite)
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

i slowly combine the wet into the dry, and mix with a spatula. after dough starts bind a little, i hand-knead until i have a 'batter'. it's much stiffer than cookie dough - but it should stick together, even if it still feels a little crumbly. you could always add a little more butter if it's falling apart too much. so once i have a dough, i break it in half and lay out two separate flat slabs on a greased baking sheet, about 1/2-3/4 inches thick. (see pic below) in this case, i didn't grease the sheet, but used foil instead.

traditionally, you are supposed to bake once before you make the first cut, but that's never worked for me (they fall apart). so i cut into biscotti strips about an inch wide, and bake at 350 f for about 25 minutes. pull out, and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. then turn the biscotti on their sides (see first pic), and bake for another 20 minutes.

once they have cooled, store in an air-tight container. to eat, dip in your favourite cup of coffee. they have just a hint of sweet almond cocoa peanut butter, but not too much of any one flavour. hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

zucchini & white bean bird's nest

my garden is on it's last legs as the summer comes to an end. i got to experiment with lots of zucchini recipes this year as they were one of the more plentiful crops in my back yard. while making this recipe, i noticed that when i mixed up the zucchini strips they tended to bind up in a nest-like pattern, hence the name.

  • 1 half zucchini
  • 2 cups cooked northern white beans
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/8 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/8 cup nama shoyu (or soy sauce)
  • 1/8 cup asian sesame dressing

use the julienne blade on a mandolin to cut 1/2 zucchini into strips. mix up the rest of the ingredients and marinate the zucchini and white beans for at least 30 minutes in the mixture.
i made this once with newman's own low fat sesame ginger dressing, and once with kraft light asian toasted sesame. both were equally as good, so just just pick (or make) your own favourite asian dressing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

breakfast burrito #1

i'm not a huge fan of typical breakfast foods, so it was never really hard to give up the eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. every once in while though - especially after a late night :) - i really crave something hearty in the morning. breakfast burritos have become one of my favourites. this is one of many recipes to come.

  • 1/2 pkg. of firm or extra firm tofu (about 6 oz.)
  • 3/4 cup mixed bell pepper strips
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 10 black olives
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 8-inch wheat tortillas
  • jalapenos (optional)

cut tofu into cubes and place in non-stick skillet on med-high to high. season one side with garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and salt & pepper. tofu can be pretty crumbly, so i like to cook it on one side without stirring until it browns. then flip, season and brown the other side. after about 7-10 minutes of browning the tofu, add the peppers and continue cooking the mixture until peppers are tender. warm up the wheat tortillas and divide the tofu mixture and rest of ingredients between the two.

roll up and chow down. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

raw tomato and corn bisque

i'm not a huge fan of 'cold' soups, but i can do okay with room temperature. when i make raw soups, i usually eat it up right away, or if i have to chill it, i usually let it stand out of of the fridge for about 45 minutes to bring the temp up. of course, that's just personal taste. this recipe made about 2 decent-size bowls of soup and was really filling!

  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 5-6 sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
  • 1 cup fresh corn
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

throw everything but corn in a magic bullet or food processor and blend. add corn. eat.

Monday, September 15, 2008

sushi with sunflower seed pate

my friend first taught me how to roll sushi a couple years ago, and it has become one of my favourite things to make and to eat. granted, it takes a little more work to make your own, but it's rewarding and if you get a group of people together to make it, it's like a little party! this was a spontaneous sunday night dinner a couple weeks ago.

rolling sushi isn't difficult, but it's better learned by video or in person. if you don't know how to roll, just check out some online videos on youtube. in the future i might post several pictures of the rolling process.

we made two different kinds of rolls:
  • avocado and shiitake mushroom
  • sunflower seed pate and carrots
  • *(also a couple of 'left-over' rolls of all the ingredients)

    for the pate:
    • 3/4 cup soaked sunflower seeds
    • 2 tablespoons nama shoyu/soy sauce/braggs aminos
    • 2 tablespoons tahini
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 1/8 cup carrots
blend all the pate ingredients up in a magic bullet or food processor. it should be a paste/pate type texture, so you may need to adjust accordingly. for the rest of your ingredients, you'll want to slice them up into strips so they roll up nicely. we also used kelp and dulse flakes (and sometimes sriracha sauce) to give the rolls extra flavour. i should have taken pictures of our pre-roll layout, but i totally forgot. i'll do that the next time.

combine flavours as you see fit!

Friday, September 12, 2008

pretty in pink green smoothie

this is a tasty watermelon and kiwi green smoothie with a bit of ginger zing. i added the greens to it after the picture because it turns a murky brown colour. honestly, i didn't want to call it 'murky brown green smoothie' - how appetizing is that? :)

  • 1/4 of a seedless watermelon
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 or 4 ice cubes
peel the watermelon, kiwi and ginger and cut up into cubes. drop in the blender with water and ice. you need less water than with most green smoothies because watermelon is so juicy. after it starts to smoothie-ize in your blender, add the greens and blend again. :) makes about a quart of filling smoothie.

Monday, September 8, 2008

(un) cheesy julienned zucchini

i made up this yummy and simple little side dish, and i swear that it tastes like cheesy zucchini! you may notice that i almost never use real onions in my recipes... i always use onion powder. my reasoning is that i don't like the texture of onions, and i really don't like a strong onion-y taste. for me, a little dash of onion powder is enough to set off the taste, but i imagine most people would want to use real onions.

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 -4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

put the zucchini through the julienne blade on a mandolin slicer. in a skillet pan, heat up the sesame oil on medium, then add the zucchini slices. after a few minutes, add the nutritional yeast and onion powder and turn up to high. saute the zucchini for a bout 10 minutes until tender.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

white bean and veggies in asian peanut sauce

i have been in love with PB2 - a healthier powdered peanut butter - for about the last 4 or 5 months. in the midwest, it can be found at most hy-vee stores with a nature section, but check out their website for other places to purchase it. it's about 53 calories per serving - compared to about 190 for regular peanut butter. it also has about 85% less fat. recently i came across a blog called megan's munchies where readers were challenged to come up with creative recipes using the powdery goodness.

thanks to megan who chose my recipe as one of the winners!

for the peanut sauce:
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons nama shoyu or braggs (less for braggs)
  • 1/3 cup pb2
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 1-2 teaspoons siriacha sauce (based on heat preference)
for the base:
  • cook 10 oz northern white beans (according to package)
  • marinate northern white beans overnight in peanut sauce
  • steam your favourite stir-fry medley (i used birds eye - asparagus stir fry mix)
  • marinate veggies with beans at least 4 hours

after marinating, heat up the bean and veggie mix (i microwaved mine for about a minute on medium heat - you could also gently heat on the stove). then serve with rice or over a bed of zucchini pasta (see the pics above).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

easy turkey sammy

i have been craving sandwiches all summer... we finally went shopping this past weekend and snatched up some smart deli turkey slices (in most produce sections). the very next day we made up some great tasting faux turkey sandwiches that hit the spot.

  • 1 hoagie, toasted
  • nayonaise or vegenaise
  • stoneground mustard
  • 2 slices smart deli turkey
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 piece tofutti vegan american cheese slice

i prefer nasoya nayonaise and westbrae natural stoneground mustard. seriously, the mustard makes the sandwich. stack the rest of the ingredients and chow down. :)

Monday, September 1, 2008

roasted cajun chickpeas

you can find recipes for roasted chickpeas on plenty of great recipe sites, including vegweb. i used the one from the fatfree vegan kitchen, slightly modified of course. i started with dry chickpeas, but (after soaking overnight) i simmered them for about 35 minutes instead of 10 minutes. i made two batches - one with cajun seasoning and one with taco seasoning... i did use the lime juice as she suggests, but i didn't add any extra salt and i thought they were seasoned just right.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

flowering zucchini with raw pesto

i haven't made a lot of raw dishes lately as i have been working with limited ingredients. however, my garden provided me with a fresh zucchini and tomato, so i decided to whip up something. the pesto doesn't taste exactly like regular pesto, but it's definitely similar in taste. the ingredient list below serve about one as a main dish - i made it for lunch.

  • ½ medium size zucchini
  • 1 medium size tomato, chopped
for the pesto:
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, soaked 15 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons cold press olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

i used the flat blade on my spiral slicer to make the zucchini into flowering strips. i chopped up the tomatoes and placed on top. for the pesto sauce – i put the rest of the ingredients in my magic bullet and whipped up. i don’t like a lot of olive oil, so i added some water. as you can see, my pesto is a bit thick, so you could add more olive oil if you like. if you aren't worried about eating 'raw', you could just use a store-bought pesto... but i recommend trying your hand at making it fresh. there are any number of recipes on the internet.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

tangy lentil salad

still working on the pantry clean-out and more determined than ever to eat all these ingredients that seem to carry over months after months. these lentils were leftover from the sloppy lentil burrito recipe and made a nice, tangy salad.

  • 1.5 cups cooked lentils (about 3/4 cups dry lentils)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
just mix everything together. allow the mixture to marinate for at least 30 minutes or so. then serve on a bed of lettuce (2 cups romaine lettuce pictured above). it has a zip and is very tasty.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

baked zucchini boat

my typically fruitful garden has been successful at producing only one thing this year: zucchinis. good thing i love the hell out of them. here is a recipe for a stuffed baked zucchini boat... they were pretty tasty, and definitely on the low-fat side. the pic didn't turn out that great... sorry. :(

  • 1 zucchini (boated)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce (the 8oz cans)
  • (boated) zucchini innards
  • 1/4 cup shitake mushrooms
  • 2-3 tablespoons old world seasoning (i use penzey's spices)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup rice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ev olive oil

after scooping the zucchini insides out, chop it up into cubes and mix all the ingredients (except olive oil) together. spice as much you like, then fill the hollow zucchini boats up with the mixture. brush the outside of the zucchini boats with the evoo. place on a baking sheet, and bake about 40-45 minutes on 365. the outside zucchini should be softer, but not roasted.

the recipe listed was for about one medium-size zucchini, halved.

eat up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

sloppy lentil burrito

we've been slowly cleaning out the pantry, freezer and fridge, so recipes have been quite an experimental hodge podge around here. luckily i found a bag of green lentils, and was able to throw together a vegan sloppy joe, instead wrapped up in a yummy wheat tortilla.

  • 2 cups cooked lentils (1 - 1.25 cup dry lentils)
  • 1/2 can chili beans (in chili sauce)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce/nama shoyu
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
    • *(or 1/2 jalapeno)

read lentil package for cooking instructions. while lentils are cooking, heat up chili beans. once cooked, drain as much chili sauce as possible (without washing it off) - if you don't discard some of the sauce, your sloppy joe will be extra soupy. throw half of the can of beans, a little of the chili sauce, and the jalapenos (if using) in the magic bullet or food processor. drain the lentils, then add the chili bean paste, about 6 oz. of tomato sauce, and the rest of the ingredients back in the saucepan and simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.

wrap in a wheat tortilla and serve up with some sea salt & vinegar chips. makes about 4 burritos.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

tomato fusion juice

it has been a slow week for 'food' recipes, as i spent the past week consuming only juices and smoothies. i decided it was a good detox to end the summer with. i created several juices that i love, and was surprised at how tasty they were! this one is from mid-week, and tastes like a better version of v8 (i think).

  • 7 medium sized tomatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 2-3 celery stalks

chop up veggies into sizes that will fit in a juicer (i use a ge juice extractor). less expensive models will run about $40-$60. i have a few listed in my vegan kitchen supplies. they are great for those just starting - the more expensive models can be really expensive.
juice the tomatoes, then carrots and then celery.

Friday, August 15, 2008

cantaloupe green smoothie

i've read that it's the official 'green smoothie day' today, so in honor of that, i decided to post another green smoothie recipe that i've recently been enjoying. i love going down to the city market on the weekends and scoping out all the wonderful produce they have - at such great prices! when i'm driving home with a car full of new and interesting foods (and lots of my old favourites), i often find myself dreaming up new recipes for the following week. however, there is something to be said for sweet and simple - this next recipe is just that.

  • 1/3 ripe cantaloupe
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or more if desired)
  • 1.5 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 ice cubes
throw everything in the blender and whip it up. add more water as necessary. i use agave nectar to give it just a little sweeter flavour - you could substitute stevia if you don't have any. makes about 20oz. of green smoothie.