Monday, November 26, 2012

Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

This recipe came from raw chef Russell James. It doesn't require a dehydrator, but dehydrating nuts makes this more digestible. We made this for Thanksgiving and everyone enjoyed it. Finding a 7" pan was somewhat challenging, but we found a flan pan which did the trick. The consistency was perfect, which I would suspect came from the lecithin which we purchased at Whole Foods.

The recipe says it makes one 7” cheesecake, however we had more which we used muffin tins for mini pies.


1/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 cup pecans*
1/4 cup oat flour
7 apricots, diced
1/2 cup raisins, diced
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp coconut butter

- Grind all ingredients in a food processor.
- Press into the cheesecake pan.
*Soak the pecans for 4 hours, then dehydrate them at 105 degrees F for 10 to 12 hours, to make them more digestible and less heavy.


1 3/4 cups cashews, soaked for 20 minutes
1 cup diced pumpkin flesh
1 cup carrot juice
1/4 cup honey or coconut nectar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp lecithin
Pinch salt
1 vanilla pod scrapings
1/2 cup melted coconut butter
2 tsp allspice

- Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Pour over base.
- Set in fridge and allow to set for 4+ hours, preferably overnight.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Vegan Anzac Cookies

1 cup rolled oats
¾ desiccated unsweetened
1 cup white flour
2/3 cup raw sugar
4 oz Earth Balance
1 tbsp agave
½ tsp baking soda
1-3 tbsps water
1, 10 oz. jar of strawberry jam or preserves
1 tbsp honey (or if they don't eat honey, more agave can be substituted)
and instead of the strawberry jam we used raspberry- but it is dependent on whatever is preferable to the baker

1. Preheat oven to 300F.  In a big bowl, mix oats, flour, sugar & coconut together.

2. In a little bowl, melt agave, honey, and butter together.

3. Mix baking soda with melted butter and syrup. Then add that to the dry ingredients.Add water sparingly if needed.

4. Place 1 Tablespoon of mixture on parchment paper lined cookie sheets (allow room for spreading). Flatten with fingers and indent slightly in center, creating a crevice for jam. Add a small spoonful of jam in each crevice. Sprinkle with coconut as a garnish if desired.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, checking periodically. These cookies have a tendency to brown really fast. Let cool completely and devour.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tempeh Reuben Sandwich

Traveling around the country, one of the staples of a vegan menu will reveal a Reuben sandwich converted. Chicago, Omaha, Manhattan, Sarasota, all boast a delicious vegan option. Which city has the best you ask? Sarasota, is the answer. Yes, a local restaurant provides a great sandwich. The best, I must admit, comes from my kitchen.

From me to you, I provide the best Tempeh Reuben Sandwich in which you can make yourself, any time you want it. You're welcome.

As most great meals start, this one requires you to sauté garlic and onions in a bit of oil. I prefer to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Once the onions are good and clarified, add sliced tempeh with the onions and garlic. Cook each side 4-5 minutes making sure there's enough oil in the pan that nothing burns.  Towards the end, I added a touch of tamari to the pan to add a bit of flavor, but use sparingly. 

Sauerkraut was found at our local Whole Foods. We made our own Russian dressing using Veganaise, pickles, ketchup, and a bit of fresh lemon juice. We tend to eat most dinners like this with sweet potato fries. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are vegan, gluten free, muffins of awesome. A few weeks ago we made a box of sugar cookies that were really good, so after reviewing the ingredients, it was obvious what we had to do. We've been experimenting with different flours. The sugar cookie recipe called for white rice flour which is our new go-to flour for baking.

1 3/4 cups white rice flour
1/3 cup raw sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp mixed egg substitute (I use EnerG egg)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp nondairy milk (I use almond milk unsweetened)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (use 3/4 -1 cup for more prominent flavor)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg replacer and salt in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly.
2. Combine the milk, softened peanut butter and vanilla extract (wait to mix in the vinegar). Stir well.
3. Next, mix in the apple cider vinegar and then quickly mix in the chocolate chips and immediately pour the batter into the muffin tin and bake 15-20 minutes, until knife comes out clean.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Quinoa and Black Beans

The past few weeks have been full of quinoa recipes. More of my friends are requesting I make this for them for all different events and functions. The more I make, the more I'm requested to provide another one for something else. The variations are endless, and I enjoy every new concoction created. This recipe has been my favorite so far. It's simple, and I get to use my own, grown, hot peppers. Substituting sweet peppers is OK if you're not into heat.

I came across a variation for this recipe when I was nonchalantly looking up "best quinoa recipes" on Google. Admitting that probably doesn't help my cool factor, but I'm ok with that considering I'm an awesome vegan cook!


1 cup quinoa
1 cup black beans 
2/3 cup vegetable stock
2-3 hot peppers (diced)
1/2 large red onion (chopped)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
1-2 tblsp Peanut Oil

I have a habit of cooking quinoa by itself. You can cook it all together, or not.

Cook quinoa, and beans separately and set aside. In a large skillet with oil sauté garlic, then add onions and cook until soft. About half way through, add the peppers.  Introduce the beans, mixing well and slowly add the broth. Simmer for about ten minutes. Add quinoa, mix well and cook for another two to three minutes, folding often. Serve whenever, it lasts about five days in the refrigerator.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quinoa Dinner Macaroons

Our friend had emailed a link for Quinoa Pizza Balls, and then Eco-Vegan Gal posted them on her Instagram feed. I knew it was time to try these, but I was lacking most of the ingredients. Using the macaroons in the name came about by not making nice rounds with the ingredients, but also provided character to the end result. We enjoyed them for dinner, by themselves, but plan on making a sauce to dip them in.

Quinoa Dinner Macaroons
2/3 cup quinoa, dry
2 cups vegetable broth or stock
2 cups black beans, cooked
35 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp agave
garlic powder
salt, to your taste

Bring broth and quinoa to boil, lower and simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F, line cookie sheets with parchment, or spray with nonstick spray.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mash the beans with a potato masher or large fork until almost smooth. Add all ingredients, and combine well.

Scoop blobs (about a tablespoon of mixture each) on cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven 35 minutes. Serve immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to 5 days. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crazy for Quinoa!

Called the Mother Grain by the Incans, this was a staple in the diet of that civilization. Quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is a protein rich seed which is also high in unsaturated fat and lower in carbohydrates than most grains. It has an exceptional amino acid profile and the highest protein content of all grains, along with amaranth. Quinoa is gluten free.

Seven cups uncooked quinoa.
Please excuse the lack of updates in the recent month. I have literally been busy cooking quinoa! Weddings, birthdays, pot-lucks, all in hand with a new quinoa dish. So, in today's post, I'm going to focus on this super food.

Cooked Quinoa
For each cup of uncooked quinoa, add two cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with fork, cover and set aside for a few minutes. This can be put in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Water is just one basic liquid you can use when cooking quinoa. For most of my recipes, I like to use vegetable broth in place of the water. Fruit juices can also be used to add a different flavor depending on what you're making. One recipe I've seen called for one cup mango juice, one cup coconut milk, to one cup quinoa! Adding slices of mango to that would make a great side or dessert dish.

Quinoa and Veggies
 A favorite dinner of mine has been incorporating quinoa with frozen vegetables and sautéed onions. This takes less then 30 minutes and is full of flavor and healthy nutrients.


Heat peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat, add diced onions and cook a few minutes. Add a cup of frozen veggies and cook until you can't see any frost on them. Add Tamari and cook about five - six minutes, then incorporate cooked quinoa (as much as desired). Drizzle toasted sesame oil and serve.


Quinoa can be included in so many different variations of dishes. Consider using black beans, sautéed onions, and sautéed green peppers and hot peppers. Or, quinoa with ANYTHING! Don't fret if you can't come up with other recipes, we'll be sure to post more in the coming weeks.

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins

As you might have seen in the Crazy for Quinoa post, we've come to love and greatly respect quinoa. So much so that we eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (not every day of course). We even found ways of making it for sweeter dishes and baked goods. MAKE THESE!

Blueberry Quinoa Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour (or flour of your choice)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp agave
1 tsp stevia
2/3 cup almond / coconut milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg (replacer)
1 cup blueberries


1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 12-muffin tin
2.Whisk together the whole wheat flour, quinoa flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl then stir in the cooked quinoa.
3. In a separate bowl combine the oil, milk and egg then stir into the dry ingredients.
4. Fold in the blueberries and spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
5. Bake for about 21 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blackened Tempeh Caesar Salad

The caesar dressing recipe came from Veganomicon. A main ingredient used is silken tofu, but next time I plan on substituting with soaked cashews. Any opportunity to eliminate a processes soy product is an ideal way to start creating unique, and more healthy variations. 

One Head Romaine Lettuce
Nutritional Yeast

Blackened Tempeh Ingredients

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground dried thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano

Dressing Ingredients

1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3/4 cup silken tofu
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 heaping tablespoon capers
4 teaspoons caper brine
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Crouton Ingredients

1 Baguette
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Dried Basil
Olive Oil


For the dressing, process almonds in food processor until ground, set aside. Blend garlic, tofu, and oil until creamy. Add lemon juice, capers, caper brine, sugar, and mustard powder until well blended. Add salt and lemon to taste. Add mix with almonds and blend to combine. Cover and let chill in refrigerator up to an hour.

The croutons are simply small cubes of bread sprinkled with the ingredients then put in the oven at 200 degrees until crispy. It's really simple, just cut up the bread, add the ingredients and mix well, then lay out on a baking sheet in the oven.

Blackening anything is really easy. I have a favorite mix here. The tempeh was cut in strips, then the seasoning was thrown all over it. Put in 2 tbsps of olive oil in a medium pan. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned tempeh strips and cook until done.

Cut the romaine in pieces to your liking, toss in a large bowl with croutons and dressing. Plate the salad and add the blackened tempeh on top, sprinkle nutritional yeast to finish.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Potato & Leek Soup

Leeks are a good source of dietary fiber, folic acid, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin C. They are easier to digest then onions.


3 large leeks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium potatoes, chopped
4 cups vegetable bouillon
2 cups almond or coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt / pepper
ground nutmeg (garnish)


Heat oil and sauté garlic and leeks on low-medium heat for about five minutes. Meanwhile, prepare two bouillon cubes in four cups of water in a large pot, bring to boil then set aside. Once leeks and garlic are ready, add to bouillon, add potatoes, salt, pepper. Put back on heat, bring to boil, then lower to a simmer and cover for 30 minutes.

The potatoes should now be tender. Either use an immersion blender, or add to food processor until smooth. While mixing, incorporate milk and cream. Serve with a pinch of nutmeg.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vegan Carrot Cake

Natalya outdid herself (again) with dessert for a family get-together. Her mother loves carrot cake, as does her brother so she decided to make this for a birthday dinner. I was lucky enough to help with frosting the cake after it cooled, then we put it in the refrigerator overnight. Everything about this cake is awesome. I highly recommend bringing this for family functions.

Vegan Carrot Cake

Cake Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 shakes of cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups finely-shredded carrots
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 egg substitute (Ener-G)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 shakes of nutmeg
2 shakes of cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting

3 ounces Better Than Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Vegan Butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Zest from 1 orange
Juice from 1/2 orange


1. Grease 8in cake pan.
2. Stir together dry ingredients.
3. Mix in the carrots, egg subs, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla.
4. Beat until well mixed.
5. Stir in the nuts.
6. Bake at 325 F for about 40-50 minutes , or until a fork comes out clean.
7. Let Cool.
8. Once the cake is at room temperature, mix all frosting ingredients together, add small amounts of zest and juice at a bit at a time to taste. Frost cake.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Raw Cookie Dough Bites

A wonderful, quick and easy dessert recipe everyone will love. The original recipe calls for walnuts. We like them either way, just make sure to ask guests if they have any nut allergies before serving.


2/3 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts
2/3 cup raw oat flakes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips

In a food processor, mix the almonds, macadamia nuts, oats, cinnamon and salt to a fine meal. Incorporate the agave nectar and vanilla.

Add the cocoa nibs (or chocolate chips) and pulse just to combine.

Roll the cookie dough into balls (about 1 tbsp each) and place them on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Place the pan in the freezer for about an hour to firm up. Store in freezer.

Source: A Dash of Compassion

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quinoa Spinach Cakes

This recipe requires at least five hours prior to serving. I was able to get it on the table for dinner, but some nights we eat later than others. It is a spin on a dish that typically requires eggs. Utilizing the amazing benefits of flaxseed, this is an all round healthy and delicious meal.

Quinoa Spinach and Semolina Cakes

1/2 cup quinoa
10 ounces baby spinach
3/4 cup semolina (finely ground)
1 tblsp onion (minced)
*2 eggs (substitute equivalent)
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1. In a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the onion until soft.  Add the spinach and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach to a strainer and let cool slightly; press out any remaining liquid and finely chop.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually whisk in the semolina until very smooth. Cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the semolina thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the semolina from the heat and stir in the quinoa. Season with salt and pepper and let cool for 15 minutes.

4. Stir in egg substitute and spinach into the quinoa mixture and spread in an ungreased 7-by-11-inch pan; it will be about 2 inches thick. Let cool at room temperature, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

5. Preheat the oven to 250°. Cut the chilled semolina mixture into 12 squares. Put the panko in a shallow dish and season with 1 teaspoon of salt. In another shallow dish, whisk egg substitute with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of water. Dip the cakes into the mixture and turn to coat, letting the excess drip off. Coat the cakes in the panko and shake off excess crumbs.

6. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add half of the cakes and cook over moderately high heat until golden on both sides and on the edges, about 6 minutes; adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the cakes from burning. Drain the cakes on a paper towel–lined plate, then transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the skillet and cook the remaining cakes in the remaining olive oil. Serve hot.

* To replace one egg: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds / 3 tablespoons water (or other liquid)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vegan PIZZA!

There really is nothing better then making your own pizza (correctly). I make pizza two different ways. The one I usually make is a cast iron pizza, the second is a traditional oven baked pizza. There's no need for ANY cheese to enjoy a delicious pizza.

Sarasota Vegan Pizza
black olives
*tomato sauce
nutritional yeast
pizza dough
unbleached flour

Most of the ingredients were from our garden, which gave this an awesome taste. I highly encourage you to always use fresh, local, organic produce to get the most nutrient rich, and tasty whole foods available.

For the first time, I actually used a rolling pin to stretch out the dough. I had a rectangular 9"14" pan I wanted to cook this on, so the traditional pizza stretching wasn't necessary.  Set the oven to 350 - 375 degrees, once preheated, put in the pizza. After about ten minutes, take the pizza off the pan and set directly on the rack for another 5-7 minutes.

* The tomato sauce was a simple mix of tomato paste, tomato sauce, chopped tomato, salt, pepper, powdered garlic, onion powder, dried oregano, raw unrefined sugar.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Raw Apple Crepes with Lemon Kreme

Raw dinner took a turn when using our new dehydrator. This recipe does require dehydrating. We had another couple over for dinner, one of which is vegetarian. This is ridiculously easy to make, and ridiculously delicious!

Raw Apple Crepe w/ Lemon Kreme and dehydrated Pear

Apple Crepes

1 cup cored and diced apple
½ cup flax meal
2 tablespoons agave syrup
½ cup water, or as needed

• Dehydrate for 4 to 6 hours at 110°F

Lemon Kreme

1 cup cashews
½ cup lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ cup filtered water, or as needed

• Place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth, adding only as much water as needed to create a thick, smooth kreme.

The above ingredient list is enough for two people. I doubled the recipe when having guests over. Make sure to have at least two crepes per person. One 14"x14" dehydrator tray will provide enough for two people. You must use Paraflex dehydrator sheets for the crepe mixture.

Source: Phyo, Ani (2010-05-28). Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mexican Millet

Millet is something popular amongst countries such as Africa and India. It is a small grain which has been cultivated in East Asia for more than 10,000 years. This food is totally new to me, and I really had no idea what to do with it. Its nutritional value is high in energy, protein, fiber, magnesium, and contains B6 vitamins as well as other important things.

This recipe is a spin on spanish rice. It is good as a side, or a healthy, tasty snack. I found myself nibbling on this (hot and cold) whenever I wanted something to snack on.

1 cup millet
1 small yellow onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/3 cup tomato
3 tblsp tomato paste
1 jalapeño (seeded / minced)
2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp cumin
2 tblsp peanut oil

Heat oil and sauté onions until transparent. Add jalapeño and garlic until soft. Stir in millet until golden brown. Pour in vegetable broth and add tomato paste, salt, cumin, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature an simmer 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Raw Tacos

In this recipe, I was following 'Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food (p. 146)'.  This book also initiated researching food dehydrators.

To make both of the items below, place in food processor separately. It's really that easy. Will last in the refrigerator 5 - 7 days.

raw cheese (view previous ravioli recipe)

1 tsp garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Brazil nuts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water

taco meat

1 cup walnuts
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos

As pictured, avocado, tomato, and olives were added to the taco 'meat' and 'cheese' inside romaine lettuce. Two are very filling. Do not eat this if you have an allergy to nuts!  The more we eat raw, the less I see it necessary to use an oven or stove top. My dehydrator is scheduled to arrive Tuesday. No one carries them in town, so I ordered it on Amazon.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Raw Cheese Ravioli

Admitting that cooking beans and rice has gotten somewhat boring makes a creative get, well, creative. When thinking of how to change things up a bit, I turned to a few raw ideas. My pantry has accumulated some interesting things, and I decided to put my creative cooking mind to good use. After doing a bit of research, I went all in raw territory. Eating raw is not only vegan, healthy, and extremely delicious, its also EASY and very fast!

raw cheese

1 tsp garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Brazil nuts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup water

Chop the garlic, cut up the nuts a bit and mix all in a food processor.


1 beet (thinly sliced)

The beet should act as the 'wrap' for the cheese, then topped with the marinara. That's it! I know, I know, it doesn't sound very good if  you aren't a beet fan. As my grandmother always said, "You'll never know unless you try!" ... don't let her down!

Cherry Tomato Marinara

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
2 teaspoons dates (or raisins)
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried rosmary
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until done. You'll know it when you see it. I have to admit, I didn't have enough tomatoes. We used many from our garden for guacamole. I did have about a cup, and the other half I substituted red pepper. It came out a bit more tangy then I would have preferred.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Vegan Cauliflower & Red Potato Curry

It was getting late and my stomach starting grumbling a bit. I wasn't really sure what would come about, but I instinctively started cutting up red potatoes. That was followed by preparing multiple pots with water for boil. The outcome was an incredibly flavorful success.

1 can Coconut Milk
8-12 Red Potatoes (small)
2 cups Cauliflower
1/2 large Sweet Onion
1/2 cup tofu (left overs)
1 cup basil
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup rice
salt / pepper

The cauliflower was in the freezer, so I boiled that and quartered potatoes in separate pots. Meanwhile, I heated a large skillet with oil and sautéed chopped onion until transparent.  The tofu isn't necessary, but it needed to be eaten, so I tossed that in with the onions before they became over cooked.

At this time, it is important to season what is in the skillet. I used about a teaspoon of curry powder.  Cook and stir for a few minutes, add drained cauliflower and potatoes, add another few pinches of curry powder and stir. Let cook for a few more minutes. Now add coconut milk, simmer for at least ten minutes. Stir in cut up basil.

Best served with rice. If you have read recent posts, I cook brown rice ahead of time and freeze it. So, I threw in frozen rice about five minutes after I added the coconut milk. Traditionally, curry is served "over" white rice.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate-Coconut Truffles

The more we eat vegan, the more we consider going raw. Desserts from raw sources are especially appealing.

1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup coconut (shredded)
2 1/4 cups cocoa powder

Using a hand mixer, blend coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the shredded coconut, blend until smooth. Stir in 2 cups of cocoa powder. Chill in refrigerator for at least 10 minutes. Make balls from mixture, roll in cocoa powder. Store in refrigerator.

The colder these are when serving, the better. I recommend serving with a fruit sauce, something with raspberries would be really good.

Vegan Tuna Salad

Tuna salad is something I enjoyed on an every-now-and-then basis. Draining the canned goods smelled really awful. This recipe is for everyone, and smells great! It is full of nutrients, tastes amazing, and is quickly put together.

I make a habit of pre-cooking beans and freezing them. This makes meals like this one go a lot faster, and provides food that isn't from a processed source sitting in preservatives. Canned beans are good, depending on where you purchase them. 

1 1/2 cup garbanzo beans (cooked)

1/4 cup vegenaise

1 tsp. dill pickle (minced)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/3 cup onion, chopped

1 tsp. soy sauce

salt / pepper

Directions: mix all ingredients together. Eat immediately, or let chill in refrigerator for an about an hour. You may want to alter the ingredients based on your taste, and adding 1/2 tsp. kelp powder will make it taste more like real tuna. 

It is shown with a coleslaw and a vegan bun. Bread is not necessary. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vegan Breakfast Sandwich

This recipe was first discovered from the Strong Hearts Cafe located in Syracuse, NY. They were shown on the Vegan Zombie making what they called their "egg 'trick' muffin'. I altered the ingredients a bit to be enough for two sandwiches, and used a different sausage product then what they called for. We used a vegan white bun as shown below. 

2/3 lb firm tofu
2 vegan breakfast sausages
1/2  cup nutritional yeast
3/4  tsp turmeric
3/4  tsp garlic powder
3/4  tsp onion powder
1/2  tsp salt
vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients together and coat pressed tofu rounds. Break apart sausage links (I used tofurky sausage links) and form rounds as best as you can. Cook coated tofu rounds and sausage patties in oil until browned. 

We tried to incorporate a cheese (pictured) but it was tasteless and not even worth mentioning. The original recipe called for Daiya cheese, but we're not big fans of that so we stopped buying it. This sandwich is really great without it. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Garden Update (May 10)

With a lot of sun, love, and water, our garden is growing and sustaining. Our raised garden bed provides a lot of good whole foods for our strict lifestyle. I failed to take pictures of our awesome spinach and lettuce, which we eat regularly. Tall and green is the first sight when approaching our garden, followed by an abundance of beautiful flowers and succulent vegetable and herbs.

zucchini squash


mint (front) / asparagus (back)

tomatoes and zucchini squash

hot peppers (left) / sweet peppers (right)


leeks (left), stevia (right)





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Growing Hot Peppers

A good friend started making his own hot sauce. He even bought bottles and created labels, more for the novelty and creativity then the selling and distributing. I was lucky to get a bottle, and now I put it on everything. Another friend gave me more material for another 32 sq ft of raised bedding, which I immediately put together. With the extra space, I decided to start growing peppers for my friend making the hot sauce.

It shouldn't take too long to start seeing some growth. I'll be sure to take some updated photos to flaunt our amazing plants since we started. In the photo above, you can get a peek at newly sprouting spinach, and leeks.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vegan Pancakes

1 cup white flour (whole wheat flour will make pancakes less fluffy)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 cup + 1 tbsp vanilla coconut milk
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and pour with 1/3 cup measuring spoon onto greased pan.

For raspberry pancakes add an extra 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 raspberries into batter and whisk until blended.

Pictured (counter clockwise starting with bottom right) plain pancake, raspberry pancake, raspberry chocolate-chip pancake, and plain chocolate-chip pancake.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Portobello Burger

This burger has great potential of converting carnivorous beasts that survive on dead flesh into vegans. Reminiscing over the juiciness of this beloved dinner last night has made me drool all over myself.  Dear reader, go now, and make this immediately. 

balsamic vinegar
aioli (veganaise + chopped garlic) 
vegan bread / bun

Marinate portobellos in balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil for about twenty minutes. Grill on both sides for at least 5-6 minutes each side. Devour and relish in the glory of the portobello burger! *MISSING* Caramelized onions.

Vegan Jiaozi (Gyoza)

This is something that everyone will like. It can be served as an appetizer, snack, or a whole meal. The filling is the best I've had, however the wraps are something that gets better with practice (and patience).

This dish can be baked, pan fried, or boiled. I chose to pan fry these, and the following day we baked them. Both ways are awesome. The wraps were difficult to get right, but the more I make them, the better they'll get. I recommend searching on YouTube for the best way. 


unbleached white flour


protein crumbles
salt / pepper

Mediterranean Crepes with Tofu

Breakfast just got to the point where the word, "good" doesn't necessarily apply. We stopped eating out because our foods are so much better then overpriced restaurant meals! This recipe came about from attempting to make crepes for dinner. Miserably failing is stretching it, but Natalya persisted and perfected the crepe!


Sundried tomatoes
Soft tofu
Black olives
White onion
Nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper

Whole wheat crepe:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp canola oil

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Vegan Cheesecake!

I'm not the baker in the house. Natalya is the one with the sweet tooth, but I do indulge. Now that we're on the Vegan path, sweets have taken on a new direction. Cheese is obviously something greatly missed (in consideration to texture and taste), but this recipe, and the Mac&Cheese recipe make up for it.

This is not New York Style Cheesecake. It is however, really really good. It was later topped with strawberries (not pictured), but it was so good we ate it before I could take a picture of it!

12 oz soft tofu
1/2 cup coconut milk (vanilla)
1/2 cup agave nectar
vanilla extract (splash)
1 graham cracker crust (9 inch prepared)

Blend tofu, coconut milk, sugar, vanilla extract and agave (more the blended the better). Blend until smooth and pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about an hour. Then put it in the refrigerator over night. 

If you prefer sugar over agave, use 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of maple syrup.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vegan Spinach Tofu Scramble

There are many ways to prepare tofu. Previous posts show the tofu crumbled, this post has it cut into cubes. It was a leftover item, but basically the tofu was pressed, then marinated in a simple vinaigrette dressing and baked in the oven with garlic. For this breakfast's dish, I simply put the tofu into small cubes.

Olive oil

Cook onions in oil until transparent. Add all other ingredients and cook until spinach is the way you prefer it. Easy as that! The hardest part is preparing your tofu, unless you use something like Twin Oaks products (which we typically use for breakfast).

Friday, April 6, 2012

Vegan Ragu

Quick, fresh, healthy, and most of the ingredients can be plucked from your garden. I'm a big advocate on buying locally, but a bigger advocate on growing your own foods. Coming home from work doesn't entice me to immediately start getting to work in the kitchen, but since we do have to eat, I decided to do the prep for this prior to going out. When we returned home, all the flavors were melded together and ready to be reheated and tossed with gluten free pasta. 

onion (chopped)
garlic (minced)
oregano (torn)
basil (torn)
tomatoes (diced)
mushrooms (sliced)
pepper (diced)
protein crumbles (store bought)
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Sautee garlic and onions in oil until cooked through. Add peppers and cook until soft, then add mushrooms, oregano, tomatoes, and (vegan) protein crumbles. Simmer for about ten minutes and add basil. I then covered and took off the heat. 

We do not eat white pasta that contains gluten. There are some great options at stores like Earth Origins and Whole Foods. Also, be careful of the protein crumbles you use. Most of them contain eggs or milk! The package should say Vegan, but always check the ingredients. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegan Aloo Gobi Curry

Not sure how to change the author in blogger, but Natalya made this curry. We had a guest and everyone really enjoyed this. I for one am very impressed with her curry skills! We used rice that I had had in the freezer. Just add water, in a pan and cook until hot and not too wet.

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 1 teaspoon cumin
* 4 diced Roma tomatoes
* 2 cups coconut or almond milk
* 2 tablespoons ground coriander
* 1 tablespoon salt
* 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
* 1 tablespoon chili pepper
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 6 new potatoes cubed
* 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces
* 2 cups garbanzo beans, drained
* 2 tablespoons garam masala

Rice and bread for serving

1. Heat oil in a large pot on medium-high heat and add onion. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes, then stir in garlic and cumin. Continue to cook until onion begins to brown.
2. Stir in tomatoes and coconut/almond milk and the coriander, salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Stir until mixture begins to boil, then put in the potatoes, cauliflower, and garbanzo beans. Blend well. Reduce heat to low.
3. Boil potatoes for approximately 10 minutes until tender. Add to curry. Sprinkle in the garam masala, stir, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve over rice and with bread or vegan naan. Voila!

Our Raised Bed, Vegetable & Herb Garden

We've been busy growing our own fresh vegetables and herbs. Lettuce, squash, potatoes, asparagus, mint, basil, strawberries, and tomatoes are a few things growing in our raised bed and various pots. This is a 4'x4' bed with organic soil. I am planning on creating another 4'x4' raised bed to go along side it. 

First I have to finish the plans for my compost tumbler!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vegan Sloppy Joe!

Natalya made this, and seems to be keeping the recipe a secret from me. Perhaps its because I liked it so much, she's afraid I might make it too often! We bought those sweet potato fries, but I plan on making them in the next few weeks by scratch. 

Monday, March 26, 2012