Sneakily delicious dishes that bring all the omnivores to the yard! Look for the cookbook in 2010!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lazy Lunch

A lazy lunch today: baked potatoes smashed onto the plate and topped with melty Earth Balance, velvety cheese sauce, lightly steamed broccoli, creamy Tofutti Better-Than-Sour-Cream, and freshly ground sea salt and black pepper. On the side, a healthy dose of Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Come read about the Supertoddler's first adventures with plating {and about some yummy Johnnycakes!} on the 1000 Vegan Recipes blog.

Drunken Spaghetti with Tofu

Drunken Spaghetti with Tofu, served with vegetarian "beef" steak {yuck!!} and scallion pancake {yum!!}, both impulse "let's try this!" purchases from my last trip to the Asian market.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chickpea Noodle Soup - the cure for the vegan cold

In my household, most of the time we are healthy. I mean, being superheroes and ninjas must provide us with a heartier constitution. However, today we are dying of the plague or something equally drastic.

Being the mom, I braved the wind and cold to gather supplies, and selflessly came home and made Chickpea Noodle Soup, pausing to lean against the counter every few minutes. Okay, so maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but I do feel pretty awful.

Before making the soup I looked at a few recipes online, but nothing stuck out for me, so I decided to just go for it and wing it. Boy oh boy am I glad I did.

Chickpea Noodle Soup
Serves 6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8oz mushrooms, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 cups chickpeas {15oz can drained and rinsed}
8 cups water
3 tbsp Better Than Bullion No Chicken broth paste
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 lb linguine or other pasta
1 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
fresh black pepper

1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, and cook until caramelized. Add garlic and sautee until golden brown.
2. Add mushrooms and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated and they are cooked through. Add carrots, celery and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
3. Add chickpeas, water, broth paste, and peas. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and nutritional yeast, and cook until pasta is tender, about 12 minutes.
4. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh black pepper, and serve with crusty bread.

Panfried Veggie Cutlet over Jasmine rice with Pan Gravy

A relatively quick lunch today. I had some veggie cutlets in the fridge that needed to be used, so I breaded them in panko and pan fried them, and served them over Jasmine rice with a quick pan gravy.

Upon telling a friend about my lunch, I realized that not everyone knows how to whip up a gravy in a pinch. I had very few ingredients on hand today, and I was still able to make something delicious. Here is the basic gravy "pattern" that I use:

Basic Gravy
Makes about 2 cups.

1 small onion, diced
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 tbsp flour
2 cups hot water with 1 tbsp Better Than Bullion "No Beef" stock paste dissolved in it

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sautee until golden brown.
2. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, and whisk in the flour to make a bubbly paste. Cook for 1 - 2 minutes.
3. Pouring slowly, incorporate the broth mixture with a whisk, making sure to stir constantly to avoid lumps.
4. Bring to a boil to thicken, and simmer until ready to use.

At this point you can add any seasonings you want. Today I added a bit of rosemary and some garlic powder. Also, if you have them on hand, mushrooms are a great addition to this gravy. Just add them at the start, with the onion.

This is really so versatile. It can be made with any stock you want {although I like to make sure it's a "strong" stock}, and any aromatics {onions, garlic, shallots etc}.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars

This is one of my creations. This rich, creamy, and decadent dessert is akin to an apple crisp on top of a cheesecake on top of a shortbread cookie, with caramel drizzled over the whole thing. It is a crowd pleaser, and never fails to disappear from its serving dish, no matter where I take it.

I would give you the recipe here, but it's going to be in my upcoming cookbook, and a girl has to have her secrets. Like my mom told me "Nobody's going to buy the whole friggin' ice cream truck if you're giving away the popsicles for free!" Or...maybe that wasn't my mom. Maybe I heard it on a movie.

In any event, stay tuned. I promise I'll share another recipe soon!

Banana-Walnut Cake with "Cream Cheese" Frosting

Decadent, elegant, and delicious; read about this stellar dessert on the 1000 Vegan Recipes blog.

Garden Scramble

Robin Robertson's take on the classic tofu scramble, blogged in detail here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nachos -- Mmmm Trashy!

Look on the bright side -- when your originally planned dinner is an epic failure, at least you have a perfect excuse to eat trashy vegan nachos instead!

Salty crunchy tortilla chips with Smart Ground Mexican-Style "ground beef", homemade "cheese" sauce, homemade guacamole, and Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, with smoked paprika sprinkled down over everything. Yes, they were as good as they look, and amply satiated my 2-week-long nacho craving.

Teriyaki Tempeh

Unfortunately, not as good as it looks. Read about what the Ninjahusband refers to as The Tempeh of Epic Sadness here. Dinner fail!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Penne With Peanut Pesto

A quick dinner of penne tossed in a creamy succulent peanut pesto. Read more about it here.

Great Stuffed Pumpkin

Hi, Supertoddler here. My mom made stuffed pumpkins today for her 1000 Vegan Recipes project, and they were awesome! Go here to read more about them. I'd tell you more, but my mouth is full of pumpkin. Om nom nom nom...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

White Cupcakes - Coconut Variation

Read my enlightening theory on cupcakes over at the Cooking from 1000 Vegan Recipes blog.

Asian Peanut Slaw

I'm not much of a salad girl, I'll confess. It's not that I don't like them, it's more that I feel the return on investment for my time spent making them is sub par. One exception is coleslaw. I love coleslaw in all its forms. I'll admit it. It makes me sad to see all those little ramekins headed back to the kitchen at restaurants, neglected on the plates of people who see it as a "lesser food form". Coleslaw is DYNAMITE.

My favorite coleslaw variations definitely tend toward the exotic. Okay, so Asian coleslaw isn't exactly exotic, but I can pretend, right? This is my new favorite, fresh shredded vegetables, crunchy noodles, and salty peanuts in a tangy sweet & sour peanut sauce that just will not quit. It is even good enough to bear the Ninjahusband stamp of approval. And because I'm so nice and fabulous and cute and everything, I'll share the recipe with you here and now.

Asian Peanut Slaw
Serves 8

2 packages of Ramen noodles, spice packets discarded {yuck!}, crushed
1 bag of cabbage coleslaw mix {14 oz}
1 carrot, grated
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
cilantro, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, mix together the noodles, cabbage mix, carrot, and green onions.
2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and peanut butter.
3. Pour the dressing down over the cabbage mixture, add the peanuts {reserving a few for garnish} and toss until well coated.
4. You can eat this right away, but it's even better if you can let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two. Whenever you decide to serve it, garnish it with the reserved peanuts and cilantro.

Creamy, Crunchy Fruit-and-Nut Sandwiches

Blogged about lunch today on the 1000 Vegan Recipes blog. Go check it out there!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Artichoke and Chickpea Loaf with Hollandaze Sauce

For the 1000 Vegan Recipes project. Read about my "loafventures" {har} here.

1000 Vegan Recipes -- a project

Five other vegans and myself have banded together to cook our way through Robin Robertsons's 1000 Vegan Recipes. Our blog, only set up last week, has been gathering momentum daily. We now have a couple dozen followers, an official mention on Robin Robertson's blog, and a little spot written about us on

As I make, photograph, and blog about recipes from that book, I'm not going to post them here. However, I will post a photo and a link to my post, so you can visit that blog and read my post there if you feel so inclined. I didn't want to cause any redundancy, or create any more long-windedness than that which I am already prone to.

By the way, I am beyond excited about this project. Just sayin'.

Veggie Planet Stir Fry

Last September I visited a friend in Boston for one glorious and relaxing week. She lived right off Harvard Square, and one lazy morning we visited Veggie Planet for brunch. I chose the Homefry Tofu Scramble, and I was not disappointed. It wasn't quite a scramble, but more of a tofu stir fry, taking full advantage of delicious butternut squash that was in season.

Upon arriving home to Utah, I was still thinking about the scramble, and I knew I had to re-create it for myself. After several tries, I came up with the following version which is very close {and possibly even better? Blasphemy!}. I roast the potatoes and butternut squash because I feel that method of cooking brings out the best characteristics in both.

Veggie Planet Stir Fry

1⁄2 lb white potatoes {about 2 medium}, peeled and chopped
1⁄2 lb butternut squash {about 1⁄2 small}, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1⁄2 lb broccoli, cut into bite­size pieces
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp lemon juice
1 lb tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into cubes
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 lb ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2. Toss potatoes and squash in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and cumin. Spread evenly on a foil-­lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes, stirring half­way through baking time.
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Boil broccoli for 3 – 4 minutes, until just tender. Remove promptly from heat, drain water, and toss with lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in a large saute pan. Add tofu cubes to the pan, and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 10 – 12 minutes. Remove tofu with a slotted spoon and set aside.
5. In the same saute pan, cook onion over medium to medium high heat until tender and starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes longer, until garlic is golden and fragrant.
6. By this time your potatoes and squash should be finished. Return tofu to the saute pan, and add broccoli, potatoes, squash, and chili powder. Cook for 5 minutes to combine flavors. Remove from heat and add raw tomatoes {salted and peppered to taste}. Serve immediately, either plain or over rice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Almost Irish Crock Pot Stew

A simple delicious stew from Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Served with crusty bread it was a quick, hearty, and filling meal, not to mention a wonderful thing to come home to.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Creamy Broccoli and Potato Soup

Creamy Broccoli & Potato Soup was the perfect October dinner, especially when served with a crusty loaf of artisan bread from the local bakery.

It makes me want to figure out how to make a Broccoli & Potato Cheese Soup {vegan of course}. I see some experimentation in my future!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving

Monday was Canadian Thanksgiving. I am originally from Canada and have celebrated every year since moving to the US, regardless of being “in the wrong country”.

This year’s celebration {my 9th annual!} included greek olive tapenade, paprika hummus, muhammara, and marinated and broiled shiitake mushrooms with carrot butter pate for appetizers.

The main meal was panko-breaded and pan-fried seitan perched atop a bed of rosemary mashed potatoes, with wild mushroom gravy flowing down over the top. On the side there was a deconstructed green bean casserole {complete with homemade french fried onions}, savory mashed yams, cornbread stuffing with apples and walnuts, and homemade tangerine cranberry sauce.

Dessert was a thin slice of homemade apple pie topped with mini scoops of coconut milk ice cream, next to a thin slice of double layer pumpkin cheesecake drizzled with celestial cream sauce.

Overall, the meal was a smashing success, but I’m glad it’s over again until next year….

Monday, October 12, 2009

Peach Bundt Cake

This was one of the top 10 most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. It’s a recipe from The 100 Best Baking Recipes, and that book is worth the purchase for this recipe alone.

The cake was tender and moist without being crumbly, and studded with sweet little peach gems. In the middle was a layer of pecans/brown sugar/cinnamon that really took the cake over the top.

This will definitely become a go-to recipe for me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tomato and Avocado Soup

Homemade chunky tomato and avocado soup is perfect for a day where you're feeling under the weather. It was a snap to put together in the blender, and then just took a little heating on the stove. I can see this being really versatile, blending other vegetables and herbs into the soup to suit your own tastes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Maple Baked Beans

Dying of the plague today, or something similar. When I rolled into the house from work, I was glad that I’d had the forethought to put some Maple Baked Beans in the crock pot before I left this morning.

Oven roasted potato rounds and baked beans over whole wheat biscuits for dinner. Not pretty, not exciting, but functional.

Going to go overdose on Vitamin C and head to bed soon.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Maple Banana Bread

You’ll come to realize through reading this blog that I am an opinionated person, with opinions on many things. One of those things is banana bread. I am sick to death of recipes that yield dry, crumbly, or doughy-in-the-middle bread. Even worse are the recipes that have so much sugar that the bread is practically a dessert. If I wanted banana cake I would make banana cake {mmm…maybe with a sour cream/cream cheese frosting…but that’s another post}. When I want banana bread I want it moist, evenly cooked, healthy but delicious, and with the natural sweetness of the bananas shining through.

I came up with the following bread. It is healthy and hearty, moist and tender, sweet and perfect with pats of Earth Balance melting down over its warm happiness.

Maple Banana Bread
Makes 1 loaf.

3 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup canola oil
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 x 4 loaf pan generously.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together bananas, maple syrup, canola oil, apple sauce, milk, vinegar, and vanilla until well combined.
3. In a small bowl, sift together baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and flour.
4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Pour into loaf pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

This bread is a great jumping off point for the addition of chocolate chips, nuts, or even peanut butter {sub 1/4 cup of peanut butter for either the applesauce or the oil}. I’ve also made it with 1/2 cup of cocoa powder stirred in to make “chocolate banana bread”.

It also doubles REALLY well. I tend to get overzealous when buying bananas {you never know when your 2-year-old is going to demand 3 bananas in a single day!}, and therefore frequently find myself with 6 bananas that are past their prime. Usually by the time I get around to making banana bread, I have enough bananas to make two loaves. One for us, and one for a neighbor or friend. Or…two for us. Because really, this bread is flippin’ delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Shells

This afternoon I made the Chocolate Peanut Butter Shells from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes — yum! They are so delicious, but very rich.

The chocolate dough was a dream to work with, but the peanut butter dough was a pain in the butt. However, I chalk that up entirely to my own stupidity. I got overzealous and started mixing the peanut butter filling ingredients before reading the directions. Do you know how hard it is to combine a bunch of peanut butter with a bunch of powdered sugar? I’ll give you a hint — VERY. I’m sure it would have been much better if I’d slowly added the powdered sugar, as the author so helpfully suggests. D’oh! In the end, it all came out okay, though.

Hurry Up Alfredo

I made Hurry Up Alfredo for dinner tonight, from the new Vegan Yum Yum cookbook. And, I hate to say it…but my faith in the author is shaken. It looked NOTHING like alfredo sauce {it was pink!} and tasted NOTHING like alfredo sauce. I’ll admit that it was yummy, and we did snarf it {the Supertoddler especially!}, but I was really hoping for some good alfredo.

I read the recipe over at least 10 times, trying to figure out what I did wrong. The Ninjahusband finally said to me “Sweetie, unless she knows about some sort of blond soy sauce and white paprika that we don’t know about, there is no way that sauce is going to come out white…” And of course, he’s right.

It was quick, and it was yummy, so definitely make it {the recipe is on her blog at} — but don’t expect it to taste or look like alfredo.

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

I had the opportunity to pull out The Urban Vegan yesterday for the first time since getting it. The first recipe that caught my eye was in the desserts section {naturally}, this beautiful Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake.

The cheesecake was perfect, with a texture akin to standard New York cheesecakes, however I failed to put it in a water bath while baking {or rather, the recipe failed to mention the necessity of doing so} and the top came out horrifically cracked.

Oh well, no harm, no foul, and definitely not something that a can of cherry pie filling can’t fix!

Curried Mushrooms and Roasted Kale

Dinner last night was a lucious, creamy, and perfectly spiced Thai-style mushroom curry over Basmati rice, with crispy roasted sesame kale on the side. The recipe was adapted from one found in Robin Robertson’s Vegan Fire and Spice. The curry was so delicious, I think it’s going into regular meal rotation. Yum!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mac n' Cheese

Mac n’ Cheese! This is one of the best vegan mac n’ cheese recipes I’ve tried — and believe me, I’ve tried a lot. The sauce is a little reminiscent of potato cheese soup, but it’s still really really good. It actually tasted really cheesy. The recipe is from Quick and Easy Vegan Comfort Food. I’m excited to try other recipes from this book!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Coconut Lime Bars

Coconut Lime Bars from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes.

I made these tangy little beauties for a family gathering, and they were a hit. I came home with little but crumbs in the bottom of the pan. I was expecting that they might be more creamy, they were more “gel”y than I’d anticipated, but it wasn’t a bad thing. I think I would definitely make them again.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Polenta with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil

We got back from vacation today a little worse for the wear. The last thing I felt like doing was cooking, but with a little family to feed and this little blog to update, I knew I had to press forward.

To me, comfort tastes like polenta. If I have a tummy ache or just need comforting in some way, I make myself a big cozy bowl of polenta and top it with whatever I have on hand.

Tonight I used coarse polenta, and topped it with sundried tomatoes and basil chiffonade, with a couple of pats of Earth Balance melting down over the top.

Batgirl’s Tip: I buy the massive jars of sundried tomatoes from Costco. They are only about $8 a jar, they keep a long time in the fridge, and they spruce up any wrap, hummus, or bowl of polenta you can throw at them.