Vegan since 1975, I decide to answer the question, "What DO you eat?" These posts tell about some meals and recipes my family and I have enjoyed over the years.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Vegan Cranberry Loaf

This VEGAN CRANBERRY LOAF with orange and walnuts reminds me of my Aunty, who would serve one every year when we visited. It was quick to mix up and an hour to bake. I made two in medium sized oiled loaf pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3 ½ cups – whole wheat pastry flour ( or 2 cups pastry and 1 ½ cups white flour)
½ cup -- granulated organic sugar
1 Tbl + ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp -- salt
½ tsp-- cinnamon
1 cup -- chopped walnuts
1 cup -- leftover cranberry-raisin relish, and chopped orange rind (I used my vodka-infused rind, so it was wetter – otherwise you can just chop up an orange, removing the seeds, of course) about half and half.
½ cup -- sunflower oil
2 cups – water

Mix together the dry, and mix together the wet. Mix both together and pour into two oiled loaf pans, baking vegan cranberry loaffor one hour.

If you can’t eat it all at once, it would freeze well for later guests.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Barbecue Tofu

It’s easy to make BARBECUE TOFU. Just mix up the following sauce in a measuring cup, pour it over quarter inch thick slabs of tofu, bake it in a preheated 425 degree oven for half an hour on one side, flip, and a quarter hour on the other. Serve with rice, greens, and corn.

½ cup – tomato sauce
½ cup -- water
¼ cup -- olive oil
¼ cup – apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup – organic sugar
2 Tbl – tamari
1 Tbl – molasses
1 Tbl – onion powder
½ Tbl – garlic powder
¼ tsp – allspice
Sprinkle of red pepper, and black, if you want it

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mince Moons

Whether as Mince Pie or Mince Moons, vegans can enjoy this traditional treat with no fear of anything scary lurking in the mix. It is easy to prepare, and, if it lasts, can sit out for several days with no problem. My daughter named the little pies Moons, because they are crescent shaped. A lattice crust is pretty to weave on the Mince Pie.

Filling for One Deep Dish Pie
1 ½ cups – raisins (I used to chop them, but have decided it's not necessary.)
4 – apples, pared, cored, chopped
1 – organic orange, juiced, and then rind chopped finely
½ cup – cider

Cover these ingredients and simmer until the apples are very soft. Then stir in:

¾ cup – Sucanat (brown sugar)
½ tsp each – cinnamon and clove powder or allspice
3 Tbl. Finely crushed pretzels or crackers, or arrowroot powder (this last is to help it bind, but I like the way the crackers fool the eye and make you wonder, “What is that??”

This mixture can be made ahead. I often make it and the pumpkin filling on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and then it is easy to fill pie shells and bake them the night before.

For the MINCE MOONS: roll out crust (look elsewhere on this blog for my crust recipe), and use a five inch round thing (I happened to have a crumpet tin, but a plastic container would work) to cut out as many rounds as you can. Bunch the remaining dough with some more dough and do it again. I had about eleven of the rounds altogether. Spoon a bit of the filling (heaping tablespoon) on one side, fold the circle in half, and press it together. You can bend them into crescent shapes. Bake at 425 degrees for thirty minutes.
For the MINCE PIE: roll out one crust, lay it in a pie plate, and fill it with the filling. You can pour four Tablespoons of brandy over it at this point if you want, but it isn't necessary. With the second crust, cut it in half inch wide long strips. Lay down one across the width of the pie. Lay another across it perpendicularly. Then weave more strips in, lifting the alternating strips so you get a latticework. It really isn't hard, and I will leave it to you to figure out. Crimp the edges together to neaten it up. You can bake this the same as the mince moons, at 425 degrees for half an hour, or until just beginning to brown slightly. Or you can bake either of them in a preheated 450 degree oven for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for twenty minutes. Your choice.

I feel like I only made the one pie filling but still had enough for the moons and a flatter mince pie. If you double the recipe, you could freeze half of it for a later holiday pie.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cacao Nib Cookies

I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies, but I only had some organic cacao nibs on hand. Would they work? It turns out they did. Cacao nibs are not at all sweet, but have a strong chocolate flavor. Someone wondered what the little nuts were in these cookies. I thought they meant the rolled oats, but they showed me the little brown nib. I pulled out my foil package of Frontier Cacao nibs to show him what they were.

These roasted bits of the whole cacao bean are full of flavonoids and antioxidants, which, not to bore you, are just generally good for you. They help in the release of seratonin and endorphins in your body, which will improve your mood, and they are a good source of A,B,C, E, beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc, iron and calcium. They also taste good, along with the other ingredients in these CACAO NIB COOKIES.

Dry ingredients
2 cups—whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup—rolled oats
½ cup—Sucanat
½ cup—cacao nibs
2 tsp—baking powder
½ tsp—salt
½ tsp—cinnamon
Wet ingredients
¾ cup—sunflower oil
¼ cup—maple syrup
2 Tbl—water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the dry ingredients. Add in the wet ingredients. Adjust the wetness until everything is moistened, but it is still a thick moldable mass. Form into eighteen balls and bake on two cookie sheets for fifteen minutes. You could also try pressing them down, instead, but I liked the little round balls. They would cook faster if they were flatter, keep in mind.

Cacao nib cookies are a good alternative to chocolate chip cookies if you don't have chocolate chips, or are looking for a healthier alternative.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Pie and Walnut Cream

VEGAN PUMPKIN PIE is appropriate for Halloween, and is certainly necessary later on in November for Thanksgiving. I've made this vegan version for years, and nobody complains it isn't as good as other pumpkin pies. I'd like to think it is better. A lot of vegan pumpkin pies utilize tofu, but this one doesn't. If you have a soy allergy, you could substitute a rice or nut milk for the soy milk. You could use a can of pumpkin, but I like to cook up some squash or pumpkin for a fresher taste.

It is called vegan pumpkin pie, but many years I've made this pie with buttercup squash, a squat, green skinned, orange-fleshed squash with a rich flavor. However, one of my sons thinks he doesn't like squash, but will eat vegan pumpkin pie (a much friendlier name), and another son insists pumpkin pie should be made with pumpkin.

So this year we bought an organic pie pumpkin, which is smaller and sweeter than the big ones. Today I washed it and cut it horizontally through the middle,discarded the seeds (somewhat guiltily, because they can be roasted and eaten, but I don't like them much), and then placed the two halves cut side down on a cookie sheet to bake for an hour at 350 degrees. When I took it out of the oven it had been sitting for an hour in there without the heat on, and the skin peeled away easily. What was left were two perfect orange halves that looked like they had been molded in a special pan. I thought they looked like they should be served that way with something interesting filling the center, but I will leave that for someone else to do.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Pear Pie the Organic Way and How to Make Vegan Pie Crusts

A generous local organic farmer was kind enough to give me a bag of pears this past week, which I promptly turned into two PEAR PIES. I believe they were Yellow Bartlett pears, and they were very easy to cut in half, remove the centers, and cut into thick slices. I looked in Joy of Cooking for some ideas of how to flavor pear pies. My memory from a child was that pear pie involved some kind of creamy stuff around it, but I think that's just how my mother made it, and I don't remember it fondly. Yet, pears struck me as being a little more bland than, say, an apple, so I knew it would need to be perked up in some manner.

There was a recipe for baked pears that gave me some guidelines. I ended up adding a little cinnamon, lemon, sugar, chopped walnuts (the part I probably wouldn't have thought of on my own) and a few dribbles of the remains of the lemon-infused vodka. That seemed to do the trick, as the little chewy bits of walnuts were a nice foil to the mushy pears, and the lemon and cinnamon did their perking jobs.

Two Organic Pear Pies
½ peck of organic pears (about 16)
½ cup organic sugar
1 organic lemon, juiced
½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl lemon infused vodka, or maybe some white wine
1 cup organic walnuts, chopped

2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 cups organic white flour (with the germ added back in—you can buy it that way)
½ tsp salt
1 cup organic sunflower oil (or enough to turn the flours into crumbly mixture)
up to ½ cup of water (or enough to be able to form dough into a soft pliable ball)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Coral Mushrooms

I finally identified some edible mushrooms out in the woods behind my house yesterday afternoon. They seemed to be Coral Mushrooms, and since they weren't bitter (yes, I tasted a tiny bit), did not bruise brown, and weren't gelatinous at their base, they passed the test. Some were white and some were tan. All grew along a woodsy path, attached to rotting branches. I left some behind in hopes they will continue producing.

Always check an expert source before ingesting any wild mushrooms. A few weeks ago I had found loads of what I hoped were small puffballs, but, alas, they were poisonous. My first hint was when they were dark purple when I broke them open. My second was when a friend's mushroom expert friend confirmed their identity. I had also researched them online. In other words, this is not something to take lightly.

A sure sign these coral mushrooms were fine: all of us who ate them last night suffered no ill effects. And we made sure that not all of us ate them—so somebody could explain what had happened to the rest of us, had the worst happened.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Vegan Pancakes

Making a vegan pancake is just as easy as making any other kind of pancake. The good thing about vegan pancake batter is you can throw all kinds of healthful ingredients in, if you want, and nobody will be the wiser. The basic batter can be changed and adapted to what you have on hand. Blueberries or bananas are always a welcome addition, or ground seeds or nuts. I used up the yogurt that separated (because I didn't follow my own recipe...), and every pancake was gobbled up. We like to eat our vegan pancakes with applesauce, organic Smart Balance and syrup.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Zucchini Lasagna

I wanted to make a lasagna last night, but didn't have any wide lasagna noodles—but I had a lot of zucchini to use up. Hmmm. I'd made a large pot of tomato sauce, and I decided to layer up what I had on hand. I had seven people to feed, so I wanted a large amount of whatever I came up with.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Quick Blueberry Smoothie

Nothing could be easier in the summer than a QUICK BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE. When it's hot out, you want to just eat (or drink!) and go. We picked some organic blueberries yesterday and I poured most of them into freezer ziplock bags and placed them in the freezer. I don't wash them first, so they don't stick together. I figure any germs will be frozen by the time I use them. It's worked for me, over the years...

1 cup--frozen blueberries
1--peeled ripe banana
3 cups--soy milk
2 scoops--vanilla Total Soy Protein Powder

Blend the blueberry smoothie ingredients all together. Add more liquid if the blender is having trouble moving the contents. Vary the ingredients according to what you have around. I always buy ripe bananas when I see them, peel them, and place them in the freezer for future smoothies. Other berries, like raspberries or strawberries, are also delicious in smoothies.

You can sneak a few other nutritious ingredients into your blueberry smoothie when nobody is looking. I like to add flax oil, liquid lecithin, sunflower seeds, raisins--whatever you're trying to get into your family without them complaining too much.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Roasted Ratatouille

There was a recipe for ROASTED RATATOUILLE in a section of my newspaper and I had everything but the eggplants and onions growing in my garden. I like when that happens. I went to my local organic farm stand to buy the eggplants, and picked up some onions, garlic and sweet corn while I was at it. The recipe said to use thyme to season it, but I ignored them and used basil instead. I also didn't have enough cherry tomatoes, so cut up some of my larger tomatoes.
2 eggplants, cubed
2 onions, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into pieces
2 zucchini, cubed
12 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
large handful of fresh basil
¼ cup—olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups—cherry tomatoes or cubed tomatoes

Friday, July 29, 2011

Creamy Crunchy Vegan Layer Dessert

If you don't feel like pie and you don't feel like cake, maybe you'd like some
CREAMY CRUNCHY VEGAN LAYER DESSERT? It's got raspberries, chocolate, vanilla and that crunchy layer, so there's a lot to love.

Crunchy layer
4 cups puffed cereal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup sunflower oil
½ cup agave syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
(or use a graham cracker crust)

Chocolate layer
2 bars of dark chocolate

Pudding layer
3 cups soymilk
½ cup organic sugar
1/3 cup organic cornstarch (arrowroot powder makes a less pleasing pudding)
¼ tsp. salt
1 TBL. vanilla

Raspberry layer
1 pckg. frozen raspberries or 2 cups fresh
¼ cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eating from Our Garden

I haven't been posting much lately because we are just eating variations on the same things, it being summer and our eating from our garden. I thought it might be useful to see some of the daily pickings. There are the burgeoning garden greens, some for steaming, some for the salad. There are now summer squashes coming in and several kinds of string beans. We like these sauteed in olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, cooking until they are wilting and beginning to brown, and then adding some garlic at the end. We all love pasta with vegan pesto (see my recipe in the archives), so I usually make enough for lunch the next day. Tonight I quickly pickled some kidney beans I'd canned and served those, too. I also made yet another batch of my creamy miso dressing (see recipe under condiments). Anyhow, I just thought I'd better post something so everyone knows we're all still eating even when I'm not writing about it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

VEGAN STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE is easy to make, and up where I live it is now or never. My fourteen year old twins are picking berries for a nearby organic farm, and they tell me the season is almost over.

I've already mentioned how to make tofu whipped cream—look at my archived recipes for that, under chocolate pudding. I am finding I like the whipped cream with a can of light coconut milk blended in with it, too. It makes it taste less like soy. You can either thicken it with more oil (or use regular coconut milk), or you can try to thicken it with a teaspoon of guar gum. I suggest mixing it into the dry sugar before blending it with the wet ingredients, to keep it from clumping. Oh, what the heck—I'll give you the recipe again.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm adding ingredient lists to all my recipes

If you haven't noticed yet, I am going back and adding ingredient lists to my recipes. Are there any you would like me to get to sooner rather than later?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mojito Frozen Dessert--Vegan Style

It was a hot and humid day when I came upon a yummy looking recipe for Mojito Frozen Dessert, which I decided to veganize. I changed the crushed pretzel crust into a granola crust, and I used Tofutti cream cheese, and Morinu tofu to make a whipped topping. Everything else was pretty much the same. Just be sure to have at least three limes and a small bunch of fresh mint on hand. This is a simple dessert to make when you are hot and some guests are coming later that night. Make it several hours before you serve it, as it has to freeze up first. 

1--springform pan
1 cup--granola
1/8 cup--sunflower oil
1 Tablespoon--maple or other syrup


1--cake pan and some plastic wrap
1 cup--crushed graham crackers or pretzels
2 Tablespoons--Smart Balance or oil
1 Tablespoon--syrup


1--8 ounce container Tofutti cream cheese
1--12 ounce aseptic Morinu tofu
3/4 cup--organic sugar
large handful--fresh mint leaves
2--organic limes
1/4 cup--sunflower oil
1 teaspoon--vanilla
water as needed to move mixture in the blender

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Productive Day

After a few hot and humid days, today was cool and seemed to prod me into productivity. I had started the sourdough last night, so in the morning I made four loaves and two large pizzas, topped with my homemade tomato sauce, to which I had added crumbled homemade soysage and cooked dandelion greens, green onions, oregano, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and pepper.

I made three liters of soy milk, and turned the first batch into nine cups of soy yogurt.

I used some of the soy pulp in the roast gluten.

I made some granola.

And I also pressure canned the kidney beans I'd soaked overnight, adding in some carrots and white sweet potato to some of the jars when I started to run out of beans. Maybe that will be the beginning of a soup some night months from now.

Later I made a frozen creamy lime and mint dessert, but I will save that for another post.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creamy Vegan White Sauce for Pasta

After my son told me his friends didn't like beans or chickpeas, I was wondering what to make for dinner last night. I figured a bunch of boys would eat pasta, and I wanted them to have some protein and  vegetables, too. I decided to disguise the protein by making a CREAMY VEGAN SAUCE for the pasta.

2 cups--chopped cooked greens
1 can--straw mushrooms
small bunch--green onions, or 1 small chopped onion
5--chopped garlic cloves
1/2 Tablespoon--tamari, or to taste

Creamy White Sauce
1 package--Morinu tofu
1/2 cup--nutritional yeast
1/4 cup--unbleached white flour
2 Tablespoons--light miso
1 Tablespoon--dark mustard
1 Tablespoon--vegan Worcestershire sauce
1-- chopped garlic clove
3 cups--water

large pot--boiling water
1-2 packages--pasta (I used linguini)

I got a large pot of water heating up for the linguini. I needed enough to cook two packages.

I then started with the vegetables, which for us these days means dandelion greens. My oldest son seems to enjoy going out and picking them every couple of days, and then we cook them, pour off the bitter water, and then cook them a little more--about twenty minutes in all. This takes away some of the nutrition, but most of the bitterness is gone. I had some already cooked, so that was a good start.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vodka Infused Tea Cakes--Lemon or Orange

These VODKA INFUSED TEA CAKES can also be made with fresh organic lemons and oranges, but a couple of months ago I washed and sliced into thin rounds several of each, layering them separately in tall jars with organic sugar sprinkled between the layers, and covering them with vodka. In a few days the vodka had become a very fresh tasting liqueur, and the sunny looking jars made me happy every time I opened the cupboard, their yellow and orange brightness a fine contrast to the drab end of winter. I used up the liqueur, was left with all the sugared fruit, and I knew what I wanted to make with them.

Equipment Needed
2 oiled--loaf pans
1 large--sheet pan
chopping or grating device
juicing device
measuring devices

3 1/2 cups--organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup--organic sugar
1 Tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon--non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon--salt

1 cup--organic lemon or orange rind, with lemon or orange juice added in (have 3 of each on hand if they are small)
1/2 cup--organic sunflower oil
2 cups--water

1/2 cup--organic sugar
1/2 cup--fresh organic lemon juice or orange juice, or 1/2 cup lemon liqueur plus 1/2 squeezed lemon or 1/2 cup orange liqueur plus 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Liqueurs, if desired--make a few weeks ahead of time, when you see a good price on organic fruit
1 or 2 tall quart glass jars
3 thinly sliced--organic oranges or lemons
1 cup--organic sugar
2  quarts vodka

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wood Ear Mushrooms and Collards served on Whole Wheat Linguine with Free Form Tofu on the Side

Eating organically can cost more, though I like to think the health benefits pay for themselves in the long run. However, there are places to find cheaper products if you look around. In our area there are several businesses that sell overstocks, hurts and out-of-date products. One of them is Ocean State Job Lot. I don't go there often, but the last time I did, I stocked up on organic noodles, semolina and whole wheat in various shapes for $1.25 a pound, considerably less than the buying clubs I belong to even when they are on sale. I also found a variety of fancy dried mushrooms for $2.00 a package. These can be soaked and produce a large quantity for the money. All of these were perfectly fine, and weren't even out of date.

Last night I thought I would try to use the strange looking WOODEAR MUSHROOMS. They were a dark grey curly jumble, and appeared to be cut in long strips, as if they were a type of pasta themselves. Unsure of their taste and texture, I threw caution to the wind and soaked them in water to cover, heating it somewhat and then walking away for about half an hour.

1 package--organic whole wheat linguine
large pot--boiling water

Woodears with Greens
1/2 package--woodear mushrooms (1 package makes a LOT)
warm water to cover (reserve for later)
5 large--collard green leaves
3 chopped--green onions
5 large chopped--garlic cloves
1/4 cup--arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch
1 Tablespoon--olive oil
1 teaspoon each--vegan Worcestershire sauce, toasted sesame oil, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon each--tamari and sweetener

1 package--extra firm tofu, squeezed, if needed
1 Tablespoon--olive oil
1 teaspoon each--turmeric, nutritional yeast, tamari and paprika

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stinging Nettles, Rice and Steamed Carrots and Yam, Sauteed Onions and Chestnuts over Soysage

STINGING NETTLES used to scare me, but now I look forward to running into a patch of them. Of course, it's essential to wear long pants and gloves to avoid their formic acid filled prickers. I pick their tops off when the plants are about eight inches to a foot high, bring in a big bowl of them and fill it with water. I use a ladle to push them down and then pour off the water, saving any insects that might come off. Save them for what? Just to save! Put them outside again, of course.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homemade Soy Yogurt

I decided a couple of months ago to try to make SOY YOGURT with the soy milk from my soy milk maker. I like a certain brand of vanilla soy yogurt, but twenty four ounces of it costs $3.49 when it isn't on sale. Now I can make nine cups of it using only half a cup of commercial soy yogurt, and at last I think I have, after four versions, perfected my recipe.

The only odd ingredient is guar gum, which I have mentioned before in the miso dressing recipe. It is a vegetable gum which thickens and creates a smooth mouth feel. A little goes a long way.

1--soy milk maker
1--insulated cooler
1--towel for the bottom of the cooler
1--warm jacket or blanket to cover cooler
3--Quart jars filled with hot water to heat the cooler
4--clean pint jars with lids or plastic wrap to cover yogurt
1--sauce pan

1/2 cup--dry soybeans in 1 liter of water, made into hot soy milk in soy milk maker
2 cups--cold soymilk
1/2 cup--organic cornstarch
1/2 cup--organic sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon--guar gum
1 teaspoon--vanilla
1/2 cup commercial soy yogurt with live culture, or a couple of vegetarian capsules opened up, with dry live culture (still to be tested, but I think it will work)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day Breakfast in Bed

The three boys still at home brought me up a small bowl of home made soy yogurt to buy them some time until their final preparations were delivered to me. The orange juice didn't make it into the photo, as it was thought of too late.

Roma hot beverage with soy milk and maple syrup, home made sourdough toast with scrambled tofu, blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and apple sauce, and some kind of vegan sausages.

I hope our neighbor doesn't miss her flowers...but thank you, boys, for another tasty meal! That's it for breakfasts in bed this year.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Try roasting the beets

The family thinks they don't like beets, but when I roasted some chopped up golden beets tonight, along with carrots, onion and turnips, olive oil, seasoned salt and balsamic vinegar at 350 degrees for about forty five minutes, stirring them now and then, they liked them fine. I roasted the vegetables on the lower rack while my sourdough bread was cooking on the upper rack.

I served the roasted vegetables with roasted potatoes, leftover home- made baked beans, and steamed collard greens. Sometimes the simpler dinners taste the best.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's Lovely Bread Pudding Again

When you've got some stale bread or bread ends stashed in the freezer for future use, a good use of it is to make BREAD PUDDING. We had some last night for dessert, but it is also a yummy snack on a cold day.

4-6 cups--stale bread, broken into pieces
1 quart--soy milk
1/2 cup--raisins
1/2 cup--sunflower oil
1/3 cup--Sucanat
1 1/2 teaspoons--cinnamon
1 teaspoon--vanilla
drizzles of--oil and maple syrup or sugar

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banana Bread

The next time you see overly ripe organic bananas on sale, buy a bunch or two and make some BANANA BREAD. You can also peel some and freeze them for use in making smoothies. They are sweeter and more easily digestible when the skins are beginning to turn brown and show no more green. Brown spots on the skin are a good thing. If any bad spots are on the banana itself, just scoop them off.

wet ingredients
2--ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup--water
3/4 cup--Sucanat
1/2 cup--sunflower oil
1 teaspoon--vanilla

dry ingredients
2 cups--whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 Tablespoon--non-aluminum baking powder (like Rumford)
To make banana bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil a medium sized loaf pan, though this could also be made in a cake pan, if that's all you have. Just cook it for a shorter amount of time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Birthday Breakfast in Bed

My fourteen year old twins made this breakfast and took a picture of it before serving it to me in bed this morning. Pancakes (leftover batter from yesterday featured some of the first trial of homemade soy yogurt, whole wheat pastry and unbleached flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and some water) with applesauce and agave syrup. Scrambled tofu with homemade sourdough toast with Organic Smart Balance spread and Eileen's Fuchsia Pickled Onions. Orange pieces, orange juice. Good job, boys!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Condiments--Yummy Piquant Miso Dressing and Eileen's Fuchsia Pickled Onions

Plain rice and beans is all very well, and anyone would be happy to have a bowl of them if they were starving, but if you add a few CONDIMENTS to your meal you might enjoy it a little more.

My boys loved an organic creamy miso dressing that had been available at our grocery store, but then it was discontinued. I tried once before to duplicate it, and it wasn't quite right, but this time they liked it. I also was referencing my memories of another discontinued nutritional yeast dressing which I am missing, so I changed a few of the ingredients to try to mimic that, as well.

The only odd ingredient is guar gum, a vegetable source product that I get from one of my buying clubs. The good thing about guar gum is that it thickens something like a dressing, so that you can add more water and less oil, making it lower in fat. I also used liquid lecithin, which is an emulsifier that helps to distribute the fats in the blended product. I had some flax oil in my refrigerator so I used some of that, too, for its omega 3 content.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tomato Okara Gluten Roast with Quinoa, Kale and Sweet Potato Fries

I had to leave before the dinner was served last night, but the TOMATO OKARA GLUTEN ROAST with Quinoa, Kale and Sweet Potato Baked Fries was still good when I got home. The photo was taken by one of my three sons, who told me last night that it looked like something-unmentionable-on-a-vegan-blog. My partner said he liked the texture better than the usual roast gluten. My other sons rated it a seven out of ten. Their two friends ate it and didn't complain. I was happy to get rid of the okara (soy pulp) left over from making two batches of soy milk. After a while, one gets tired of soysage, and I am not yet ready to add it to my compost pile, but my freezer is filling up with it, and a friend who has been taking it (free protein source!) is also getting sick of soysage. I am always looking for new ways to use it up.

Pretty much follow the roast seitan recipe found elsewhere on this blog. To four cups of gluten powder add the dry seasonings—I used garlic and onion powder, red pepper, turmeric and cumin—and to one and a half cups of soy pulp (or blended beans, I suppose, if you haven't any pulp) add a fifteen ounce can of tomato sauce, an eighth cup of tamari, and enough water to mix the gluten into a a ball with no dry parts. Knead it all together and add water as needed. Flatten it into a large glass baking dish that's been oiled, and pour two more cups or so of water to which another eighth cup of tamari has been added, or to cover. Bake at 350 degrees for one and a half hours.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sauergluten with Red Cabbage

Sometimes I want a stronger, more flavorful meal than the children like, or will even try, and this SAUERGLUTEN WITH RED CABBAGE scared them into eating ramen noodle soup with their friends last night. Initially stung, I soothed my wounds with the pleasing thought, “All the more for me!”

My inspiration was a recipe in Brother Ron Pickarski's Friendly Foods cookbook. I had every intention of following it to the letter, until it came to the part where I was supposed to let it marinate for twenty-four hours. I wanted it for dinner, so that wasn't going to work for me. Also, I had already planned ahead, by roasting my seasoned gluten the day before, so that was about as forward thinking as I wanted to be.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Miso Mushroom Gravy

MISO MUSHROOM GRAVY is good on brown rice. Miso was thought to protect against radiation sickness in Japan after the atomic bombings. Some people have found it helps them after radiation treatments. It is also a delicious salty condiment with the added benefit of friendly bacteria, and should be added at the end of cooking when the gravy is warm, not hot.

1/2 pound--mushrooms
2 Tbl--olive oil
1/2 cup--whole wheat flour
1 tsp--garlic powder
1 tsp--nutritional yeast
2 1/2 cups--hot water
1/4 cup--red or other miso
1/2--juiced lemon

Serve on brown rice, with greens, salad and tofu.

Heat a kettle of water.

Slice half a pound of your favorite mushroom. I used white. In a frying pan, saute the mushroom slices in two tablespoons of olive oil until they are limp and slightly reduced in size.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bean Soup With Dulse

We got home late tonight, but I wanted something to eat, and to use up the leftover navy beans I hadn't used in the baked beans, so I made A BEAN SOUP WITH DULSE.

Saute one large chopped onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, adding in a bulb of chopped garlic, half a teaspoon each of cumin seeds and turmeric, and half of a crumbled red pepper, or a quarter teaspoon red pepper. I also added half a teaspoon of horseradish powder because I saw it and had forgotten I had it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Baked Beans

This time the BAKED BEANS turned out fine. I soaked too many navy beans and my pressure cooker was so full I decided to just boil them for two hours. At that point the beans I was going to use to make the baked beans were done enough. The remainder I pressure cooked for another twenty minutes to make sure they were soft enough. They can be used in a soup in the next couple of days. My enormous amounts aren't necessary for smaller, less hungry families, so I will give a recipe that fits into normally sized cookware and stomachs.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hot and Cold Chili and Cornbread

I get inspiration for meals from seeing what other people are cooking, making my own version up. That's the fun part of cooking. I saw a couple of recipes for CHILI, so decided to make one myself.

Saute two large chopped onions and about seven chopped garlic cloves in two tablespoons of olive oil. Start with the onion first, later adding the garlic, as it cooks faster. Throw in a teaspoon of cumin seeds and if you like hot foods, a chopped dry hot red pepper, or some red pepper flakes.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Outer Crunch Tofu, Biscuits, Gravy, Collards, Carrots, Peas

I'm also posting photos and mentioning what I had for dinner at Vegan Home Cooking on Facebook, so look on that page for additional information of meals I didn't post here, and "like" it, if you do...

This TOFU was cut in large rectangular pieces and dipped in whole wheat flour, nutritional yeast and some seasonings (garlic powder, salt and basil), then roasted at 425 degrees on an oiled cookie sheet, with a spray of oil over the top. Turned after thirty minutes, roasted another fifteen. Had a nice crunch. Might have had more flavor if the tofu slabs were marinated first. I'll try that next time.

The GRAVY was made with the leftover flour I dipped the tofu in, stirring it over heat with some olive oil, adding some more nutritional yeast, and slowly whisking in hot water. Added tamari and then lemon juice at the end of cooking.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Split Pea Soup and Boston Brown Bread

I was going to make some SPLIT PEA SOUP last night and thought I would make some cornbread to go with it, but then I saw a recipe in my binder for BOSTON BROWN BREAD and thought I would try that, instead.

For the soup, in a large pot saute one large chopped onion in two tablespoons of olive oil, adding in five sliced medium sized carrots, three cubed potatoes, and eventually around five minced garlic cloves.

Add four cups of rinsed green split peas. They may clump together, but once you add in the water, it will be fine. Add twelve cups of water. Cook this for longer than you think, depending on how fresh the peas are. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. The peas should begin to break down from the shape of peas into pea mush by the time they are done. Maybe I didn't have it cooking at a hot enough temperature at first, but it took about an hour and a half. I would think usually it would take under an hour.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sweet and Sour Tofu and Vegetables

SWEET AND SOUR TOFU AND VEGETABLES is a quick and easy dish to prepare that is colorful and filling, served with rice and some greens. This dish served five.

Use a rice cooker to cook up two cups of jasmine rice with four cups of water, with a bunch of chopped collards in the steamer above.

In a bowl mix together two tablespoons of organic corn starch in two tablespoons of water, adding most of a fifteen ounce can of organic pineapple chunks and juice. I let the boys drink and eat some of it. Also, I only had rings, so I chopped them up.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

I never made a SHEPHERD'S PIE before, vegan or otherwise, but somehow I got it into my head yesterday that I wanted some. I consulted my Fannie Farmer cookbook to see what was in it normally, and then I just substituted what I wanted to use instead. One member of the family remembered it from cafeteria lunches as having a layer of corn under the potatoes, so you could do that if you wanted to, but it's not what I did. This didn't take long to make, but I had all the required ingredients on hand.

Most problematic for those of you without a constant supply of soy pulp from making soy milk every few days would be the soysage, which is made with the left over soy pulp. I was thinking it could also be made with partially cooked beans, though I haven't tried that yet. I was picturing soaking and cooking some beans for about half an hour, then grinding them in a food processor, before using them in the soysage recipe.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cherry Mousse Tarts

 It's President's Day and I wanted to make a cherry pie again (see last year's recipe), but my buying club out-of-stocked my frozen cherries today, and when I stopped by the co-op they didn't have any fresh, frozen or canned. All they had was organic Tart Cherry Juice, so I bought some of that and while driving home tried to think how to use it to make a pie. Something gelled with agar flakes, also known as kanten, a seaweed product? Or a pudding made with arrowroot powder or organic corn starch?

I decided in the end to make CHERRY MOUSSE. I made eight little pie tarts and two big glasses of mousse.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Vegan Sushi How to Make It Video

Last night I made some VEGAN SUSHI which isn't hard to do. Sushi means pickled rice and doesn't require any animal products.

I like this meal because it only uses two pans. The tofu can be fried in a cast iron pan, and the sushi rice can be cooked in a rice cooker with the vegetables steaming above it, or it can be cooked in a saucepan with the vegetables right on top of it. The vegetables will rise up to the top as the rice cooks, and then can just be pushed aside to access the rice when assembling the sushi.

My tofu, though extra firm, fell apart during cooking last night. This wasn't so bad, as it was hidden within the confines of the nori wrapper during assembly. I cooked the tofu strips, or in my case, pieces, in olive oil and seasoned it with tamari.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cinnamon Sticky Buns

The children and I used to make CINNAMON STICKY BUNS years ago when the oldest were young and we had a weekly Education Bakery, wherein we baked cookies on Wednesday and started the dough for these buns, then made bread on Thursday and drove the finished products around to sell to workplaces and friends. These buns were always our top sellers.
To start the dough, first cook a cut up large peeled potato in two cups of water. You will need one and a half cups of potato, so estimate how big a potato you will need. Remove one cup of the potato water and when it is warm to the inside of your wrist and doesn't burn you, dissolve a tablespoon of baking yeast and a tablespoon of sweetener in it. I had run out of yeast, so I only used about two teaspoons, and that seemed to work fine. I also used rice syrup as my sweetener. Stir and let sit for ten minutes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Red Lentil Soup

Raymond said the RED LENTIL SOUP was the best soup ever the other night, and though I didn't write down the proportions, I assured him I had at least written down the ingredients so I could duplicate it again some day. But now I seem to have lost them. But how hard could it be to remember? This soup will be a yellowish tan color, not red, when cooked, unfortunately, and reminds me more of a yellow split pea soup consistency than of a lentil soup.

Saute one large chopped onion and eight sliced carrots, five cubed potatoes and two stalks of chopped celery in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Start off in the most huge pot you have so you don't have to transfer everything later on, like I did.
Throw in several sliced garlic cloves and about three cups of dry red lentils that have been rinsed. They clump together after rinsing, but they will behave once the water is poured on them. Pour in about four quarts (sixteen cups) of water. I did say to use an enormous pot.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dandelion Greens, Baby Bok Choy, Linguine and Sauteed Tofu Cubes with Tamari

They aren't growing around here, yet, but there were huge bunches of DANDELION GREENS at my co-op the other day. This is a very mild green supposed to be good for your liver in the spring, but I couldn't wait. It's reassuring to know there is something edible right in your yard or a nearby vacant lot, if it comes to that, once it gets to be spring. Even when they are older they are still pretty good if you boil them twice and discard the water each time. Otherwise, when young, just steam them until they are limp and still bright green. I submerged them for about five minutes or so in the big pot of boiling water I later used to cook the linguine, and then tossed them with a bit of lemon juice, olive oil and a touch of tamari. They aren't bitter when young, and I think the texture and taste is better than spinach.