Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tempeh Bacon Black Pepper Waffles

These delicious waffles are sweet, smoky, salty, and peppery. A generous pouring of real maple syrup is a must. Sounds great right? Well it is. Plus they are very filling due to the tempeh which is high in protein and fiber. Not a bad way to start the day. I veganized this recipe from the Joy the Baker Cookbook. I bought pre-made tempeh bacon for this, but you could make your own the day before. I prefer the Lightlife brand myself.

This makes a lot of waffles – it will serve 4 hungry people. Since there is only two of us, we usually end of freezing half of the cooked waffles. You can then re-warm in the oven or toaster. Bonus breakfast!

Tempeh Bacon Black Pepper Waffles
Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook

For the tempeh bacon:
6 oz package tempeh bacon
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle the tempeh bacon with the black pepper, patting the pepper into the tempeh before turning over and sprinkling the other side. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool a bit, then chop into bite-sized pieces.

For the waffles:
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup packed brown sugar
Ener-G egg replacer for 4 eggs
½ cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ½ cups soy milk + 2 tbsp vinegar (mixed and allowed to sit for a few minutes)


Preheat your waffle iron (we use a Belgian style). In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just incorporated. Fold in the tempeh bacon. Try not to overmix. Cook according to your waffle iron’s instructions. Serve with lots of real maple syrup!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Curry + Cauliflower

Tonight was Indian night at our house. I made two dishes, the first was a Red Kidney Bean Curry from Smitten Kitchen. I followed the recipe except I did not use 1/3 cup oil as called for. That is a ridiculous amount of oil IMHO! I used about 1 tablespoon and it was just fine. This was a nice simple mild curry and I served it with a dollop of coconut cream, but you could use your fave vegan yogurt. I liked this recipe but I think next time I will double the spices to give a more strong curry flavor.

Next up is a Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower. When I first saw this recipe on My New Roots, I knew I had to make it. If you follow the link and see her amazing pictures, you will want to make it too. And you won’t be sorry because this cauliflower was wonderful! I could have eaten the whole head myself! I used full fat coconut milk instead of yogurt. If you are going to try this route, put the can of coconut milk in the fridge the night before. When it’s time to make the marinade, take the can out of the fridge, but don’t shake! Spoon the thick cream off the top and add it to the other ingredients.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

T is for a Traditional Thanksgiving

Hi there. Long time no talk! Just wanted to come back from a long hiatus to show off our Thanksgiving dinner. For the past several years I have done more experimental stuff but this year I really wanted to return to the traditional foods I remember from my pre-veg days. So everything above is the usual awesome fare, with one obvious exception. There was mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, green beans almondine, and to top it all off, mushroom gravy. And for the main dish, something new to me, the Seitan Roast Stuffed with Shiitakes and Leeks from Post Punk Kitchen. Holy turkey that roast was great. The seitan had the perfect chewy texture plus how can you go wrong with a mushroom and leek filling? It may have to become the new family tradition. What made it even more wonderful is that half the meal was made by my BF’s mom. She was kind enough to veganize some of her traditional recipes so that everyone could enjoy them. And enjoy them we did. Everything was delicious!

Time to sign out and enjoy the last few hours of the long holiday weekend. I’ve got a few future posts planned so hopefully (no promises) I can get back into the habit of regular posting.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Peanut Butter Bread with Chocolate Chips

Yum yum! Since I found this recipe a few months ago, I have made this many many times. It has become quite the household favorite.  This is a really easy snack or dessert to make; you can have this ready to go by the time your oven comes to temp. Plus it’s relatively healthy too. This uses whole wheat flour and has no added oil! Yet it is wonderfully moist. The original recipe comes from Chocolate Covered Katie. If you are looking for healthy desserts that actually taste good, Katie is your lady! So take some time to check out her wonderful blog!

Normally you should let quick breads like this cool completely before cutting, but for a special treat, slice when still warm and slather with some Earth Balance. When still warm, the crust is still a bit crispy, and the inside is soft and warm. Heaven!

Peanut Butter Bread with Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp salt
1 ½ cups soy milk
2 tbsp soy yogurt (or applesauce)
½ cup peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
Large handful non-dairy chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients until well combined. In a smaller bowl, whisk together wet. Pour wet into dry and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn loaf out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sloppy Jenns

This is my take on Sloppy Joes, made with tempeh. This is just fun food! Plus it’s super easy to make and well suited for hot summer days when you want to spend minimal time over that hot stove. Serve this up with a salad and you’ve got a nutritious and satisfying meal. I served this with the Southwest Slaw from Sexy Vegan Cookbook.

Sloppy Jenns
Makes 4-5 sandwiches

2 tsp canola oil
1 medium onion, diced small
1 green bell pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, pressed
8 oz package tempeh, crumbled
15 oz can tomato sauce, minus ¼ cup
¼ cup barbeque sauce
2 tsp chili powder
½ tsp ground paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
Few drops liquid smoke
Hot sauce, to taste
Salt & pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes.  Add crumbled tempeh and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to a simmer. Heat  on medium-low heat for 20 minutes (or more), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Serve in bread or buns.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Music in the Meadow at Animal Place

We interrupt this shamefully long blogging break to bring you news of a wonderful upcoming event! The Animal Place Farm Sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA is having its second annual Music in the Meadow event! I was lucky enough to attend this last year and had an amazing time. It was lovely to spend the day having a picnic lunch and socializing with all the wonderful animals! It had been a long time since I had been so close to animals like pigs, cows, and goats (my personal favorite!) and I was kind of childishly excited about it. I can’t wait to go again this year!
The event will also feature vegan food and craft vendors selling their awesome wares, plus live music, a free vegan goodie bag, and lots of happy animals. So let me tempt you with pictures of some of these cuties while you consider signing up for this fundraiser that supports all the important work that the dedicated folks at Animal Place do for our animal friends.

Childish excitement
Music in the Meadow
Animal Place
17314 McCourtney Rd
Grass Valley, Ca
Saturday, September 22, 2012  11 am to 5 pm

P.S. Stay tuned for a new recipe post later this week!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Creamy White Soup with Sausage & Kale

This soup is inspired by the Zuppa Toscana served at Olive Garden. I haven’t tried their version in many years but I remembered it was a good combo: Potatoes, sausage and kale. I upped the ante by using leeks instead of plain old onions. I also added white beans to make this even more white and hearty. I loved how this turned out and I am always happy to have a new way to use my new favorite veggie sausage: Field Roast. Of course you can use your own fav sausage if you like.

 Creamy White Soup with Sausage & Kale

2 tsp olive oil
3 medium leeks, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup soy milk or soy creamer
1 package Field Roast Italian Sausage, chopped
1 bunch curly kale, chopped
15 oz can navy beans, rinsed and drained
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add potatoes, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, brown sausage in a little bit of oil on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, breaking it up into smaller pieces as you cook it. Remove from heat and set aside.

Back to the soup: remove bay leaf and turn off heat. Add soy milk or creamer. Using an emersion blender, puree until smooth.

Add sausage, kale, navy beans, and black pepper. Simmer gently on low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add salt to taste. Serve with extra black pepper at the table.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sriracha Peanut Butter Fudge + Variation

Yes, you read that right. I put sriracha in fudge. Why not? Sriracha is an asian hot sauce, and peanut butter is often used in asian recipes. Makes sense to me. So how was it? Pretty awesome, if you ask me. When you first take a bite, you mostly just taste super sweet peanut buttery goodness. But as the silky fudge melts into your tongue, the heat starts to make itself known. Then your mouth and throat is pleasantly warm and tingly. It’s fun!

I made half of this recipe with sriracha, and the other half I left plain and then topped with melted chocolate and coarse sea salt. If you try this, don’t leave off the salt! It really pulls the whole thing together.

I should admit here that I had a problem with this setting up properly (still tasted great!), but I know what I did wrong and the directions below should get you the right result. You can always refer to the original recipe (linked below) to make sure.

Peanut Butter Fudge Two Ways
Adapted from Allrecipes

½ cup Coconut Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup non-dairy milk
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

3-4 tsp sriracha

1 ½ oz non-dairy chocolate chips
Coarse sea salt

Melt margarine in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add brown sugar and non-dairy milk. Keeping heat on medium, bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter.

Place powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Pour peanut mixture over the top. Beat until smooth with an electric mixer.

Line two 8x4 inch pans with parchment or plastic wrap.

Pour half of batter into one pan.

Add sriracha to remaining batter and beat until well mixed. Pour into second pan.

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Spoon melted chocolate on top of plain fudge and spread evenly. Sprinkle with sea salt.

Refrigerate fudge for at least an hour. Cut while still cold.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Black Pepper Fettuccine with Chardonnay Sauce

When I saw this recipe in the Jan/Feb issue of Vegetarian Times, I knew I had to make it. First of all, I have been to  the Ravens restaurant and the food was amazing. Secondly, I have recently discovered a great appreciation of all things black pepper. (My favorite potato chip is Kettle’s Salt & Black Pepper). Thirdly, the BF loves cream sauces so I knew it would be a winner (it was).

I simplified the veggie prep a bit by leaving off the spinach and red pepper called for. Instead of grilling my asparagus, I roasted it. I also used quite a bit more pasta than the original recipe; I had a feeling the sauce was too much for the measly 3 oz of pasta called for.  Lastly, I soaked my cashews in water for an hour beforehand so that they would blend up extra creamy.

This meal was absolutely delicious – the cashews gave the chardonnay sauce a wonderful silky creamy texture and made it pretty filling too.

Black Pepper Fettuccine with Chardonnay Sauce and Roasted Asparagus
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

1 cup cashews
½ cup water
½ cup soy milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 cup Chardonnay wine
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 ½ tsp ground black pepper

12 oz linguini (or fettuccine)
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed

Cook pasta according to package directions.

To make sauce: Soak cashews in water for an hour or so. Drain, then add to blender with ½ cup water and soy milk. Blend until very smooth. This may take several minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat Chardonnay over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup.  Stir in cashew mixture and remaining sauce ingredients. Keep warm on low heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

When pasta is done, toss with sauce. Serve with asparagus on top.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tahini Veggie Stir-Fry with Sriracha Tempeh

Yum! Last night I threw together this easy stir-fry with the veggies I had hanging out in the fridge.  For the protein I made tempeh marinated in a tamari and sriracha sauce and then broiled it for some nice browning. I tied it all together with an asian-inspired tamari-tahini sauce. Served it all over brown rice garnished with green onions and extra sriracha. I liked how this turned out and the BF was pretty ecstatic about it. Success! I can actually cook without recipes. Awesome.

The instructions look kind of complicated but it all comes together pretty quickly. To save time, you could start your tempeh the night before. Enjoy!

Tahini Veggie Stir-Fry with Sriracha Tempeh

8 oz package tempeh
¼ cup tamari
2 tbsp water
1 tsp roasted sesame oil
2-3 tsp sriracha
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp peanut oil
1 large onion, diced large
2 carrots, sliced
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 head romanesco, chopped (or broccoli)
½ head green cabbage, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced (for garnish)

3 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp water

Slice tempeh into four pieces. Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish. Toss tempeh with marinade and let sit for at least one hour, or overnight.

Place marinated tempeh on baking sheet. Pour a little extra marinade on top. Broil for five minutes, then flip, adding more marinade. Broil for another 5 minutes.

Stir Fry:
Chop all veggies ahead of time. Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add romesco and sauté for 5 minutes. Add cabbage and sauté for a few more minutes, or until veggies are tender crisp.

Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add to skillet, along with the tempeh. Heat for a few more minutes, or until sauce is thickened.

Garnish with green onions and serve with extra sriracha at the table.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Leek, Tofu, and Almond Stuffed Portobellos + Wheatberry Salad

Mmmm Mmmushrooms. This is one of my favorite stuffed mushroom recipes. These mushrooms come from Moosewood Cooking for Health. They are filled with a mixture of sautéed leeks, slivered almonds, grated tofu, and a little thyme and tamari for seasoning. Pretty simple really, but yummy and satisfying. 
I served this with a quick wheatberry salad I threw together. I cooked up some wheatberries the day before to save time. Then to the cold grain I added dried cranberries, walnuts, baby spinach, and diced red onion. To dress, I used 1 tablespoon olive oil, the juice of a small lemon, and salt and pepper. And it was great. I just love love the chewiness of wheatberries!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mac and Cheese Tease

Ok. It’s like this. This Mac and Cheese is freaking amazing! This is one of the best Mac and Cheese’s I have ever had. Notice I did not say this is one of the best VEGAN Mac and Cheese’s I have ever had. This baby needs no such distinction. It can stand with the rest of them. For reals.
This is not your mother’s mac and cheese. This mac and cheese is gourmet. It’s fancy. It has spices and fresh herbs and a decadent roux sauce. This mac and cheese tastes like cheese without any modern trickery. No Daiya here, no Tofutti. This is just real food and it’s real good. Not only that, but this is a baked mac and cheese. So it has that sublime crunchy carmelized goodness on the edges and some crunchy toasty breadcrumbs on top. Underneath that is a treasure trove of chewy noodles and just the right amount of creamy cheesy sauce. Hell yes.

Now that I have built this up I should admit that I will not be posting the recipe here. The creator of this beautiful beast deserves all the credit, and maybe your hard-earned dollars. The price of the book is worth it for just this recipe alone. This is the Bajan Macaroni Pie from Caribbean Vegan. Well done Taymer Mason, WELL DONE.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mini Break Weekend: Monterey

Last weekend the BF took me to Monterey for my birthday. It was just lovely! The weather could not have been nicer – high 60’s and sunny. Nice! We stayed in a beautiful B&B called Old St Angela Inn. I was really happy with this hotel! It was located a block from the ocean and about ½ mile walk (along the coast) from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The rooms were very charming and we had an ocean view. I was even able to fill up on vegan fare at their breakfast buffet even though I did not make a special request. Sweet!

Old St. Angela Inn

The first day we walked around on the coastal trail. It was a beautiful day.
We also drove out to Carmel to Gallery 21, a gallery dedicated to the work of Eyvind Earle. I absolutely adore his work and had not had the pleasure of seeing any of his paintings in person. I hope to one day buy one of these prints for my own home!
Gallery 21
On Sunday we walked over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and spent most of the day there.  I hadn’t been to the aquarium in several years so I was excited to be there again! My favorite part is the jellyfish, but we also saw sea otters, penguins, and a new seahorse exhibit.

After a long day at the aquarium, we stopped for dinner at Tillie Gort’s Café. This is a very vegetarian friendly restaurant and they even have vegan baked goods! I had the tofu scramble, which had tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions. This was served with black beans and brown rice. I also added some tortillas and salsa on the side (I was very hungry). The food was amazing - this was one of the better tofu scrambles I have had. For dessert we had vegan carrot cake! Since this is one of my favorite cakes I was stoked that it was one of the options. They also had a vegan chocolate cake.

All in all it was a terrific trip!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vegan German Chocolate Cake

It was my birthday yesterday! So I made myself a vegan version of my favorite cake – German Chocolate Cake! (BTW, my second favorite is Carrot Cake).  I had a lovely birthday weekend as well, which I will be posting about in the next few days. But on to the cake! What could be better than a moist, chocolate cake covered in toasty coconut and pecans? I can’t think of anything. The cake portion I got from allrecipes HERE. The changes I made were to double the recipe and bake in two 9 inch round pans for 35 minutes. I also reduced the salt a tad, to about ¾ tsp for a double recipe.  And the best part is below: The Frosting!

Coconut Pecan Frosting
Makes enough for a 2 layer 9 inch round cake

2 ½ cups sweetened coconut
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
¾ cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
12 tbsp vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
¾ cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Spread coconut and pecans on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Stir, then bake for 5 minutes more.

In a large saucepan, melt sugar and margarine on medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until frosting is very thick and sticky. You should not see any liquid at the bottom of the pan.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so, then frost cake while frosting is still somewhat warm.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Tomato and Leek Linguini + Pesto Tofu

This is a super easy dinner perfect for a weeknight meal. The sauce for this pasta comes together in the time it takes to boil the noodles. Pretty nifty, eh? Plus it’s pretty delish if you really like leeks, which I do. I served this pasta with a locally made pesto tofu, which I talked about in this post. I prepared the tofu very simply by spraying with olive oil, dusting with freshly ground pepper, and broiling for 5 minutes on each side. I also dusted everything with vegan parmesan, which I hadn’t really tried before. While it doesn’t taste exactly like dairy parm, it does fill that void by adding some salty savory seasoning. Yum!

 Tomato and Leek Linguini

12 oz linguini
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 medium leeks, sliced (3-4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
28 oz can diced tomatoes
Vegan parmesan (optional), to taste

Boil linguini according to package directions.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add leeks and sauté for 10 minutes or so, or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for a minute or two more. Add thyme, salt, pepper, and tomatoes (with juice) to the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Once pasta is done, add drained pasta to pan with the sauce and mix well.

Serve dusted with vegan parm, if desired.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pad Thai with Broccoli and Tofu

I just love a good peanut sauce, don’t you? I remember a time when I didn’t like peanut sauces but that changed after I started making them myself at home. Can’t really explain that one but so it is. Anyway, this is a favorite dish in our house ‘cuz it’s just good stuff! This sauce is sweet and salty, with a special tang from the lime juice. Admittedly, this is probably not a very authentic Pad Thai. At least it’s not like any I’ve had at Thai restaurants, if that’s any indication. Doesn’t mean it’s not delicious though!

Pad Thai
Adapted from Vegan Table

1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
12 oz linguini (or other pasta)
¼ cup peanut butter
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/3 cup lime juice (or lemon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 large head broccoli, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced

Combine tofu with tamari and rice vinegar in a small dish and toss to coat. Allow to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Cook noodles according to package directions.

In a small bowl, combine peanut butter, sugar, tamari, lime juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high heat. Add tofu and cook until brown on most sides,  Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, reduce heat to medium. Add broccoli and a tablespoon or two of water. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Remove cover and add green onions. Saute for a minute or two.

Once noodles are cooked and drained, add tofu, noodles, and sauce to the pan. Continue to cook and toss for several more minutes, or until most of the sauce has been absorbed. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Brownies

A few days ago I made some fantastic brownies but I forgot to take a picture of them. For some reason I feel like it is necessary to have a picture, but is that really true? I mean, you probably know what a brownie looks like. So just imagine a moist and fudgy brownie with a crackly top while you read on!

I decided to forgo the picture requirement because I was so pleased with how these came out and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to post about them. At first bite, these brownies are just what they should be: incredibly moist and fudgy with a chewy edge. But then you notice your mouth starts to warm and you experience a wonderful tingling warm sensation. If it were hot out, you might even sweat a little. But it’s the dark days of winter and this is exactly what you needed. Something to dispel the cold from the inside. That is what Mexican chocolate can do for you.

You will notice there is quite a bit of cayenne in these bad boys but I don’t think it’s overwhelming. I have a medium tolerance to spicy and I think these are perfect. In fact these don’t taste spicy, they are more of a sensation, as I described above. Pure pleasure!

Mexican Chocolate Brownies

2 tbsp ground flax seeds
6 tbsp water
½ cup Coconut Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Dagoba 73%)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup white flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
½ cup non-dairy chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

In a small bowl, combine ground flax seeds and water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add margarine and chocolate. Microwave in 30 second increments until completely melted. Add sugar, vanilla, and flax seed mixture and mix well.

Sift in remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment and lightly grease. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with crumbs (not wet batter). Do not over bake unless you prefer cakey brownies!

Cutting tip: Let brownies cool completely, then place in freezer for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pumpkin-Corn Enchiladas + BBQ Tempeh Salad

Brrrr! It’s cold today, and finally finally raining. While a big cold salad may not seem that appealing in the winter, it’s what I eat a lot of this time of year. But I usually serve it with a hot bowl of soup so I think it evens out. This time I did something a little different.

Before I get to these rolls of deliciousness: the salad. This is one of my favorite salad combos. It is BBQ tempeh (homemade), red onions, avocado, and corn. During summer I will sub tomatoes for the avocado.

These enchiladas are kind of on the light side so I thought they would be good companion to the salad.  They are also incredibly easy to make so they are perfect for a quick weeknight dinner! The original recipe calls for topping with cheese, but I honestly don’t think they need it. If cheeseless enchiladas are good enough for Isa, then they’re good enough for me! (She has a fantastic potato-kale enchilada in Veganomicon.) But if you don’t share my take-it-or-leave-it attitude towards cheese, feel free to smother these babies!

Pumpkin-Corn Enchiladas
Adapted from This Can’t Be Vegan

1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
15 oz can pumpkin puree
8 oz frozen corn (no need to defrost)
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
12 corn tortillas
1 ½ cups salsa verde

In a small skillet, sauté onions and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes, or until softened.

In a large bowl, combine onion/garlic mixture with all other ingredients except tortillas and salsa verde.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Briefly heat tortillas in microwave to make them more pliable.

Roll at least ¼ cup filling into each tortilla. Get as much filling as you can in there; you may have leftovers if you don’t really stuff them. Place in baking dish. Once all enchiladas are assembled, pour salsa evenly over the top.

Bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes.

It's a Cinder enchilada!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Appetite for Soup

It’s soup season! Tonight is supposed to be the coldest here so far this season, so it was a great time to bust out this wonderful stew. This stew from Appetite for Reduction is amazingly hearty and creamy while still remaining healthy and low-fat. The secret? Split peas (or in my case red lentils) that melt into the stew, giving it body and substance. This is everything you want from a pot pie, except without the fatty crust (not that I don’t like fatty crusts). This makes it perfect for January, when like many people, I am trying to get rid of that little bit of extra holiday chub. I served this with a side salad of escarole, pistachios, and dried cranberries.

Veggie Potpie Stew
1 tsp canola oil
2 medium leeks, sliced
½ pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp dried sage
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
½ cup red lentils
3 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 ½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes, diced
½ pound carrots, sliced
¾ cup water
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a soup pot. Add leeks and sauté for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, sage, thyme, and salt and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots and return to a boil. Simmer, covered, on medium heat for 30 minutes, or until potatoes and lentils are tender.
Mix water and flour in a small bowl and add to pot along with the peas. Simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes. The stew should thicken quite a bit. Salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Catch up: Cooking by the books

Here are some dishes I made during November and December. Since I pretty much followed the recipes, I won’t be posting them here but instead a quick review.

First up, Black Pepper Tempeh from Super Natural Everyday. This Asian-style dish was extremely flavorful; very spicy and very sweet. I do not recommend serving it alone as I did here. This dish needs a grain or something to temper the intense flavors here, such as brown rice or potatoes. I also think this would make a great filling for an Asian style wrap along with “cooling” vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers.

Next, the Mushroom Burgers from the Happy Herbivore Cookbook. I really liked these burgers, the spices were great and they held together well. I served these with the sweet potatoes fries from Trader Joe’s. Love these fries! You can find them in the freezer section.

Next is the Chesapeake Tempeh Cakes from Vegan Brunch. Holy crabs! These are absolutely amazing, I have made them many times before. My only complaint is that they are a bit crumbly and don’t always stick together well. Not sure how to solve that one but I don’t really care because they taste so great. I served these with the Maple-Mustard Glazed Potatoes and String Beans from Vegan with a Vengeance, except instead of green beans I used cauliflower because that’s what I had on hand.

Lastly but certainly not leastly, the Pasta de Los Angeles and the Broiled Blackened Tofu from Appetite for Reduction. I love these two recipes and I think they go perfectly together. This meal is now in heavy rotation at my house. The pasta is tossed with tomatoes (I use canned in winter), cilantro, black beans, and spinach, and seasoned simply with lime. The tofu is a wonderful dry rub made up of Cajun spices and then broiled at high heat. I love the chewy texture of this tofu. I will be using this method to make other spice blends with different flavor profiles in the future because it’s such a great idea!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mount Tamalpais + Vegan Pizza Review

Today we took a day trip out to Mount Tamalpais (north of San Francisco) for some hiking and sightseeing. We could not have picked a better day; the weather was absolutely gorgeous: high 60’s and sunny with a gentle breeze. The weather doesn’t get much better than this in the Bay Area! We did some hiking around the mountain and eventually drove/hiked all the way to the top for some amazing 360 degree views of the bay and peninsula. Fantastic!
From the top of Mt Tamalpais towards San Francisco

Stinson Beach

Every great day should end with a great meal! By doing a quick search on I found there was a vegan-friendly restaurant in Mill Valley called Tony Tutto Pizza. I’m so glad we found this restaurant. This pizza proves that you don’t need cheese to make a great and satisfying pizza. We ordered two pizzas: the #2, which had red onions, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, and herbs, and the Puttanesca, which had olives, capers, and basil. These pizzas were fresh and delicious, and I loved the crust.  All together there were 7 vegan pizzas on the menu, and as far as I can tell the rest of the pizzas were all vegetarian. Awesome! We will be back.
246 East Blithedale Ave
Mill Valley, Ca
(415) 383-8646