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.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Vegan Burritos

There’s not always time for an elaborate vegan meal. There are some fallback easy to cook nutritious vegan foods to fill the belly. Burritos are one of them. I had to work all day (from home), so I started soaking some white beans early in the day. They hadn’t gotten bigger after a few hours, so I heated them and let them soak some more. Then I poured off the water and added fresh water. I put them on the back of the stove to simmer for a few hours. Another way to do this, if you couldn’t check on them during the day to stir them and add more water, because you work outside the home, would be to use a slow cooker -- to have your beans hot and ready when you return, after soaking them overnight. Or, of course, open and heat a can of beans!

I stir-fried some kale and onions. I dry-roasted some sesame seeds and salt to make gomasio. I chopped up some tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado. I heated whole wheat tortillas in the toaster oven until they were soft. None of this took very long. I added seasoning to the white beans (see previous post recipe for whitebean soup). I assembled my burrito, adding a dollop of Creamy Miso Dressing (see previous post recipe) on top of the beans, kale and onions, tomato and avocado. I sprinkled it with gomasio. I took a picture. I called the boys to come and make their own. They heated up some rice and added that to theirs, as they wanted an even more hearty meal. We all ate and were happy. Healthy vegan meals can be made without a lot of effort.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Samosa Style Pasties/Pastries

One of my daughters said she couldn’t make pie, so I wrote down the recipe again and mentioned she could make it sweet or savory – which led to my wanting to eat a SAMOSA. The crust was easy to make. I made a double recipe and rolled out two big crusts. Then, because I don’t attend to the fancy details of life, I cut them into random blocky shapes. I got about five per crust – ten in all.

Now, for the filling. But, oh! There were no potatoes in the house. What to do? I began by sautéing a large onion in olive oil. I sprinkled on some tamari. That’s always a good start. I opened a can of green peas and dumped them in. But I still needed something more substantial. Luckily I had made some of the okara patties the night before -- the ones seasoned with Indian spices and basil, instead of cilantro. They also had carrots, onions and peppers in them, and a bit of tomato sauce with big chunks of oyster mushrooms in it. So: plenty of fodder for a samosa. I threw it all in the pan.

I had to contain myself to keep from spooning too much of the filling onto the pastry shapes. I found it easiest to rest the flattened dough shape on my palm, with the center cupped down. That gave me a better idea of how much filling to glop in the middle. Then I folded the sides up to the center and pinched it closed. I placed all the samosas on one baking sheet and baked them in a preheated oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tofu Quiche

TOFU QUICHE is pretty easy to make. I think I have a better recipe than this, but I was in a hurry last night, so I just sautéed some onions, blended up the tofu and seasonings, pressed a crust into a quiche pan (a pie plate will do) and baked it for 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Serve with some greens or a salad.

1 bottom crust
1 onion – chopped and sautéed in olive oil
1 package – tofu
1/3 cup – nutritional yeast
2 Tbl. – arrowroot powder or cornstarch
1 red pepper – minced
1 Tbl. – tamari
1 Tbl. – vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbl. – balsamic vinegar
1 Tbl. – brandy or 1/3 cup white wine

Make one crust and press it into a quiche pan or pie plate. I added a little nutritional yeast and gomasio (toasted sesame seeds and salt) to my dry ingredients. I also added too much oil, so I’m not giving out THAT recipe.

Saute the chopped onion until just beginning to brown. Spread on the crust.

Blend the other ingredients as best you can. You will have to be stirring from above, carefully. I, as usual, managed to chip off the end of my bamboo spoon. I guess it added some roughage to the meal. If you add a tad of water, it might make this easier, but I wanted to keep it thick and spreadable.

Spread the smooth tofu mix on the onions. Bake at 375 for forty minutes.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vegans who Draw

Check out the new Paper 53 Tumblr theme and notice whose blog is being featured this month, among a few others:

bethany c. knowles' vegan doodles

Friday, August 31, 2012

Vegan Doodle

Besides cooking vegan food, I also like to draw. Lately, I've been drawing on my iPad with my finger, using the Paper 53 app. This is my latest drawing of a typical dinner in our house. To see more of my drawings, go to

Paper 53 gives weekly prompts, and this week it was Bon Appetit. Of course, I had to illustrate a vegan meal...

You can also follow me me on Twitter @bethanycknowles, where I post both daily doodles and occasional vegan recipes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sweet 'N' Salty Cashew Tofu

My fifteen year old son Dean made dinner the other night and said I could use his recipe for SWEET ‘N’ SALTY CASHEW TOFU for my blog. We all liked it, so I will.

Cut tofu into cubes and fry in olive oil in a cast iron pan on high heat, stirring just enough so it doesn’t burn. Once the tofu becomes chewy on the outside, add the cashew mix (see below), lower the heat to medium, and stir constantly. Once the flavors have merged, turn off flame and serve warm.

Cashew Mix
½ cup – cashews, chopped (or not, as in my photo)
1 Tbl. – tamari, to taste
1 Tbl. – nutritional yeast
2 tsp. – water
1 tsp. – gingerroot powder (or fresh, minced gingerroot)
1 tsp. – red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 ½ Tbl. – fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. – agave nectar

I served this with pesto rotini and  tomatoes from our garden.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vegan Crock Cheeze made with Tofu

My friend Eileen offered me some of her vegan sister Denise’s Crock Cheeze. Thicker than a dip, it reminded me of the soft cheese in brown ceramic crocks my friend Biffy and I used to eat after school when I would visit her family’s restaurant. The crocks were set out along the bar in the darkened room, and we would sit on tall stools while slathering the cheese on crackers.

This vegan cheeze was not orange colored, but it had the same texture and tang. What was in it? I had to know! Denise kindly emailed me the recipe, which came out of Jo Stepaniak’s 1997 vegan cookbook, Vegan Vittles. The cheeze turned out to be tofu-based, not nut-based, as I thought it might have been.

I doubled the recipe, as Denise recommended, and I added red pepper, since my paprika was kind of old and brown looking. Note to self: buy some fresh paprika. Next time I might add some turmeric, for its yellow color. I also think some roasted red pepper would be a nice addition.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Peanut Tofu Sauce

I only had one block of tofu last night which had to be stretched to feed several people. Peanut butter came to my rescue. I mixed a few things together to come up with a peanut tofu sauce that went nicely over some linguine. I found it to be a very filling meal. In fact, I ate way too much of it and ended up rolling around in pain between my fellow Stargate Atlantis rerun-watchers, who were less than sympathetic. Still, it tasted good going down.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Some Good Reasons to Eat a Vegan Diet

My daughter posted this graphic on Facebook. It is from Culinary Schools and makes the information a little more accessible. Check it out:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pickle Juice Tofu

Have you ever had a jar of pickle juice and wondered what to do with it? Cube up a package of tofu and dump it in the juice. Let it sit for a while -- up to a few days (or hours). Oil a shallow pan and strain the tofu out of the juice, distributing it into the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with tamari and roast it at 425 degrees for forty minutes. This would be a good dish for someone who likes pickles, but doesn't think they like tofu. The tofu tastes like pickles. It's still tofu...but better. This would probably also work well in a toaster oven.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Okara Patties with Cilantro and Chaat Masala

Having experienced some success with my previous Okara Burger, I thought I would try again to make an Okara Patty, hoping for a stronger flavor. My older son’s friend yelled up the stairs to me that it was the best burger he had ever tasted. The twins even came around and tried them out – and ate every morsel. Success! I won’t have to compost the okara anymore!

The amounts and types of flours, vegetables and seasonings that you use can be entirely changed to suit your taste buds: this is just what I did this time around. I can picture corn, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms…even zucchini being great additions. I used Chaat Masala (also called Spiced Salt, though it doesn't always contain salt) because I happened to have ground some up another day. Mine is not as complex as others – although I can’t remember exactly what I included in it – and I adapted it from a spice mix recipe in The Spice Box cookbook. Curry powder would also work.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tofu Salad

One thing led to another while making dinner last night, and one of the things was TOFU SALAD. One of my sons was making guacamole, and I had gotten a green salad ready – adding radishes, arugula, chives, sorrel, mizuna, baby kale and cilantro from the garden to a big head of red lettuce. 

I had cooked some potatoes for a potato salad, and the pan of hot water was still sitting there, so I threw some lamb’s quarters on top of the potatoes to steam. They volunteer in the garden and are a good substitute for spinach. They, like spinach and chard, do contain oxalic acid, which binds with calcium, so are not my favorite green for that reason, since I eat greens for their calcium content, but they are fine occasionally, and are very mild tasting and not as slimy as spinach. I dressed the greens with lemon, olive oil and salt.

I made a marinade for the potato salad, including olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, tamari, vegan Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, Smokey Serrano hot sauce, chopped onion and celery. I mention this because I used some in the tofu salad, which I turned to making, next. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Vegan Okara Burgers

This might not be too interesting to anybody who doesn’t make soy milk, but if you do, you are always on the lookout for something to make with the okara, or leftover soy pulp, resulting from straining the soy milk. Okara is still full of nutrition and fiber, so it seems a shame to compost it.

OKARA BURGERS  are not hard to stir up, they use up the okara from making three batches of soy milk – which I do at least twice a week – and they are an easy dinner for a hot summer day, along with some salad and noodle or potato salad. You don’t need to serve okara burgers on a bun, but I had some around, so I did.

These can be made with various vegetables, but I used what I had on hand. This recipe makes sixteen burgers, and you can then easily freeze them for a later time – a gift to your future self, who is most likely too hot to cook. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Vegan Romesco with Cauliflower

My son remembered a delicious spread we bought once called Romesco, looked up a recipe, and sent it to me. Hint, hint.

The photo shows an open-face sandwich I made with my VEGAN ROMESCO SPREAD WITH CAULIFLOWER, some roasted tempeh strips, cucumber, radish, tomato and green onion and arugula, with roasted onion to the side. This spread is very flavorful and filling. Although maybe that was because I ate several scoops of it before I constructed my sandwich…it was that good.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Peanut Noodle Salad

I needed a lot of NOODLE SALAD for a picnic party and had already made potato salad. I wanted something that tasted different. I had cooked up a lot of spiral noodles the day before and refrigerated them. There was a gallon and a half of them, waiting to be doctored. Somehow I got it in my mind to make a sort of PEANUT NOODLE SALAD with a Thai theme. 

In a big bowl mix the following ingredients:

3 Tbl.—crunchy peanut butter
¼ cup – toasted sesame oil
¼ cup – rice vinegar
¼ cup – olive oil
1 Tbl. – tamari
1 tsp. – agave syrup
1 tsp. – Harry’s Habenero hot sauce
2 inch piece – peeled and grated fresh ginger (remove the hairy bits)
1 clove – fresh garlic
Small handful – fresh cilantro, chopped
½ cup – raisins
1 carrot – grated

Stir in approximately twenty-four cups of the cooked rotini or spiral noodles, or try some other pasta, if that’s all you have. This tasted good enough that I was asked a couple of times what was in it. Luckily, I had written down what I was throwing in the bowl. You can save any leftover marinade in a jar for a week or so to use for another batch, if you don’t have a huge pan to cook up as many noodles all at once, like I did. Noodle salad, hot weather and easy dinners go very nicely in the summer.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Birthday Vegan Brunch, Dinner, Cake

I can't give the recipes for any of these meals because I had no part in them. The four children at home took over the preparation and cleanup while I lolled around and waited to be served.

The brunch consisted of a potato pancake/hash browns patty, home fries, sweet potato and onion, some kind of vegan sausage, scrambled tofu, toast with Smart Balance, hot Roma and cold mimosa. All very tasty.

Dinner was very yummy. They looked up the recipes for Spanish rice, Sweet and Sour Sesame Tofu, and Oven Baked Kale, which turned out to be crisp and chewy all at once. Again, yum!

Dessert was a cake called Boston Cream pie. A one layer vanilla cake (flavored with almond extract in this case) was sliced horizontally in half and filled with vanilla pudding. It was topped with melted dark chocolate and ringed with blueberries.My favorite! I had some for breakfast, too.

Thank you, children, for making my birthday so special. (I enjoyed the calls from the farther-flung, too...!)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vegan Deviled Eggs Will Fool The Eye
My daughter sent me a link about making VEGAN DEVILED EGGS and I had to see for myself. I never really liked eggs much, so these are a little too close for comfort for me to enjoy, but luckily I was able to foist most of them off at a party last night. They weren’t hard to make at all, once I got the two special ingredients. I had everything else on hand.  I made up a batch of unsweetened soy milk to start off with, and I had Morinu tofu for the centers.

The original recipe found here used grams, but my partner converted the measurements for me. I am also doubling the whites and halving the yellows, as I needed more of the first and less of the second. But other than that, I have to give a tip of my hat to the creators of these uncannily egg-like reproductions.
Black salt is an Indian mineral salt containing sulphur compounds which lend it the characteristic smell of hard boiled eggs. It is also called Kala Namak and is used in the Indian spice mixture Chaat Masala. Agar powder is derived from seaweed. You can use your favorite mayonnaise substitute. I used Nasoya’s Nayonnaise.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE is a special treat to serve guests or take to a party. It can be made in varying amounts and is very simple and forgiving, in that the proportions and ingredients are not set in stone. There are four components: the whipped Soyatoo topping; the raspberry sauce; the chocolate mousse; and the crumble cookie bottom. You don’t have to make all of these parts but, if you do, they go together nicely. You will need a small pan and a larger pan to fashion a type of double boiler with which to melt the chocolate, and you will need a blender or food processor to whip the mousse together.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fried Sweet Potato With Onions

Guest Post Written By: Dean - Retronaut42

I woke up wanting to fry up some potatoes, but when I couldn't find any in the house, I decided to substitute in sweet potato instead. The fried sweet potato with onions turned out to be delicious, and the cayenne pepper left a satisfying after-taste!

Estimated preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

You will need:
a medium pot
a medium cast iron or fry pan

    1 medium sweet potato (or a yam will do)
    1 large onion
    1 and 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    salt to taste
    ground cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
I used an all-purpose spice mix, but you can simply use the following:
    1 pinch dried celery flakes
    1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
    1 pinch dried garlic
    1 pinch dried coriander
    1/2 tsp pinch dried parsley
    1/2 tsp dried oregano

Set a pot of water on stove at high heat, sprinkle some salt to taste in the water. Cut the sweet potato in half, leaving the skin on, and place both halves in the water. Let the sweet potato cook until it is soft when poked with a fork.

While the sweet potato is cooking, peel the onion, and cut into long thin slices, removing the very center pieces. Place the sliced onion into the cast iron or fry pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper to taste, and the all-purpose spices. Cook at a medium temperature while stirring until all the ingredients mix together. Once the onions start to brown, turn the temperature down to a low heat, and continue cooking and stirring every once in a while until the sweet potato is ready.

Once the sweet potato is finished cooking, remove it from the pot of water with a utensil. Dice the sweet potato, leaving the skin on if desired. Place the sweet potato and 1/2 tbsp olive oil in the pan with the onions, and cook together until the flavors start to merge.

Serve the sweet potatoes and onions while they are still warm on the side of breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Serves: 2-3

Dean, or Retronaut42, loves food, writing, video games, and is interested in becoming a programmer. You can find most of his work at Gamer's Ramble, but you could also check out his blog at Retronaut Blog.