Edamame Guacamole

I think I may have just replaced my favorite guacamole . . . well, maybe I won’t go that far, but this is pretty darn delish. The addition of edamame is ideal–for taste and for the fact that there are 16 grams of protein per cup of these cute, little soybeans. This is great for dipping or for using as a sandwich condiment . . . or grab a spoon and start eating—I won’t judge! :)

INGREDIENTS:

1 C edamame, thawed if frozen

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

1/3 C white onion, chopped

1/8 C lime juice (you may need a little more for thinning the dip)

1 C packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/2 tsp garlic salt

DIRECTIONS:

Throw it all in the food processor! That’s about it. You can add more lime juice if it’s too thick. Enjoy!

Spinach Fettuccine with Creamy Pesto Sauce

This is such an easy meal to whip up when you have very little time. I typically keep prepared pesto in the freezer for such times and of course, I still I have the huge block of cashew cheese that is conveniently stored in the freezer as well. Done in less than 25 minutes!

INGREDIENTS:

12-14 oz spinach fettuccine, cooked

1-1/2 Tbs cornstarch

2/3 C non dairy milk (not rice milk–too thin)

1/3 + 1 tsp vegetable broth

1/3 C prepared basil pesto

2 Tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Cashew cheese, shredded (Optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Whisk in cornstarch, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in milk and broth. Add pesto and whisk thoroughly. Return to low to medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. I added the 1 teaspoon of broth here to thin out the sauce just a little. Ladle sauce over individual bowls of pasta and top with cashew cheese. Enjoy!

Almond Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I love almond anything. I even love anything almond-scented. This cake was a breeze to make and has a cake/cookie consistency. In fact, the dough is very cookie dough-like, so don’t be alarmed–it’s supposed to be that way! A slice of this is perfect for dessert or with that morning tea or coffee.

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

1/2 C  Earth Balance margarine

1 C sugar

3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

4 Tbs water

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp  almond extract

1/4 C Tofutti sour cream

2 C flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp soda

1/4 tsp salt

Strudel:

1/2 C brown sugar

1 Tbs flour

2 Tbs butter

Glaze:

1/2 C powdered sugar

1/4 tsp almond extract

2-3 tsp non dairy milk

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer and water; set aside. In a large bowl, cream together margarine and sugar. Add “egg” mixture to butter mixture and combine well. Add vanilla and almond extracts and stir well to combine. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour and sour cream to the butter mixture, but do it alternatively; starting and ending with the flour. The mixture will resemble cookie dough.

For the strudel, chop up the butter, add the brown sugar and flour and use a pastry blender to make it crumbly. Grease a bundt pan and sprinkle 1/3 of strudel in the pan. Next, take take 1/2 of the dough and using your hands, spread it somewhat evenly in the pan, on top of the strudel. Add another 1/3 of the strudel, then the other half of the dough. Sprinkle with remaining strudel.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and the nondairy milk. Drizzle over warm cake and enjoy!

(It will most-likely look like an over-grown doughnut)!

Recipe: Adapted from cooks.com

Feast On This!

How to NEVER Get Cancer

I know I’m not alone when I say that I have seen way too many friends and loved-ones die of cancer. It needs to stop. Can it? The origin of many cancers are unknown. So how do you avoid getting it, or seeing another family member be taken away because of it? According to Prevention and Dr. Thomas Sellers, PhD, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, “As many as 70% of known causes of cancers are avoidable.” Here’s a list of ways to never get cancer–in addition to exercising and avoidance of tobacco products, of course (from the President’s Cancer Panel):

1. Filter Your Tap Water: It’s considered safer than even bottled water. Be sure to store the filtered water in stainless steel or glass containers since BPA can leach from plastic bottles.

2. Stop Topping Your Tank Off: One last squirt from the pump after the nozzle clicks off can spill fuel and foil the pump’s vapor recovery system, designed to keep toxic, cancer-causing chemicals out of the air and your lungs.

3. Marinate Meat Before Grilling: Well, first off, this reiterates why we shouldn’t eat meat. I include this one because not only is it on the list, but to hopefully let my wonderful non-vegan friends and family see my point (because I love them)! Processed, charred, well-done meats can contain cancer-causing heterocyclic amines, which form when meat is seared at a high temperature, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which get into the food when it’s charcoal broiled. “The recommendation to cut down on grilled meat has really solid scientific evidence behind it,” says Cheryl Lyn Walker, PhD. If you do grill (boo! hiss!) add rosemary and thyme to the poor dead animal’s marinade for an hour before cooking. Rich in antioxidants, the spices cut the HCAs by as much as 87%. Just remember, that’s not a 100%, nor just red meat. It goes for poultry, pork and other meats.

4. Caffeinate Every Day: Now this one I can really get used to! I do love me an almond milk latte often. People who drank 5+ cups of coffee a day had a 40% decreased risk of brain cancer, compared to people who drank less in a 2010 British study. (Better trade that tea for coffee, Brits)!  It was also found that it reduced risks of cancers of the pharynx and mouth by nearly 50%. Start brewing!

5. Water Down Your Risks: Drink at least 8 cups of water or other liquids to reduce the risk of bladder cancer by diluting the concentration of cancer causing agents in urine.

6. Load up on REALLY Green Greens: I really love this one, too! The greener the veggie, the more magnesium you’ll absorb. It has been shown to lower the risk of colon cancer in women. Munch on 1/2 C of cooked spinach and get 75 mg of magnesium–20% of your daily allowance.

7. Snack on Brazil Nuts: A great source of selenium, an antioxidant that lowers the risk of bladder cancer in women.

8. Burn Off This Breast Cancer Risk Factor: Moderate exercise such as brisk walking 2 hours a week cuts risk of breast cancer 18%. Fat produces its own estrogen (a known contributor to cancer), so fat-burning exercise is vital!

9. Ask Your Doc About Breast Density: Women whose mammograms have revealed breast density reading of 75% or more have a cancer risk 4-5 times higher than women with low density scores. Researchers think that the denser the breast, higher levels of estrogen are present. This also goes back to #8–exercise.

10. Skip the Dry Cleaner: So that favorite silk blouse of yours? Yea, learn to either hand wash it or spot clean it with white vinegar. A solvent known as perchlorpethylene that dry cleaners often use, may cause liver and kidney cancers and leukemia.

11. Head Off Cell Phone Risks: Another good reasons to use your hands-free device. It keeps the radio frequency energy away from your noggin, however, evidence as to whether or not cell phones cause an increase in brain cancer risk is inconclusive. Despite this, a number of review studies suggest there’s a link.

12. Block The Sun With Color: When it comes to avoiding skin cancer, it was found that blue and red fabrics offered significantly better sun protection against the sun’s UV rays than white or yellow ones did. And wear a hat! It has been found that those with melanoma on the scalp or neck die at almost twice the rate of people with the cancer on other areas of the body.

13. Eat Clean Foods: How often have you heard this one? Well, it’s a biggie. Hormones and antibiotics in meat are suspected of causing endocrine problems, including cancer. Make sure you buy organic fruits and veggies as much as possible, too. “At least 40 known carcinogens are found in pesticides and we should absolutely try to reduce exposure,” says Sellers.


Wise Words from a Fellow Vegan

I came across this lovely blog by Dr. Stanley Sapon who has been a vegan since 1976. He put together A Philosophy of Vegan Values that I thought I’d share with all of you.

  • Vegans see life as a phenomenon to be treasured, revered and respected. We do not see animals as either “The Enemy” to be subdued, or the Materials for Food, Fabric or Fun that were put on Earth for human use.
  • Vegans see themselves as a part of the natural world, rather than its owners or its masters.
  • Veganism recognizes no expendable or superfluous species that humans are free to hurt or destroy. Species of life-forms need not justify their existence, nor plead for protection from extinction on the grounds of their potential usefulness as food or medicine for humans. We continue to be burdened and misguided by adages such as “A weed is a plant we have not yet found a use for.”
  • Veganism acknowledges the intrinsic legitimacy of all life. It rejects any hierarchy of acceptable suffering among sentient creatures. It is no more acceptable to torment or kill creatures with “primitive nervous systems” than those with “highly developed nervous systems.” The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it be the life of a clam, a crayfish, a carp, a cow, a chicken, or a child.

  • Veganism understands that gentleness cannot be a product of violence, harmony cannot be a product of strife, and peace cannot be a product of contention and conflict.
  • Vegan ideals encompass much more than advocacy of a diet free of animal products, or a fervent defense of animal rights. Veganism excludes no sentient being–animal or human– from its commitment to compassionate, gentle benevolence. To show tender regard for the suffering of animals, yet treat humans with callous contempt, is a disheartening contradiction of Vegan principles.
  • John Muir, talking about the natural environment, once observed “Every time I bend down to pick something up, I find it is connected to something else.” There is an equivalent “ecology” to our behavior. Everything we do connects to something else; every action touches on the world around us, either close at hand and noticeable, or far away and unperceived, immediate in its effect or distant in time.
  • If Veganism has a prime value, it is simply that life-respecting compassion overrides individual issues of custom, convenience, comfort or cuisine.
  • If there is a single article of faith, it is that commitment to Vegan values will bring us closer to a world in which the fate and fortune of a planet and all its life forms do not hang on the judgment or the generosity of one species.
  • If there is one single concept that both generates and sustains the meaning and the power of the Vegan world-view, it is found in the word mindfulness. As Vegans, we strive to be thoughtful, aware and concerned about the impact of our choices, our actions and our decisions. The fruit of this awareness is inner peace, the quiet strength of ethical confidence, and an uplifting sense of fulfillment.

“The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.”

-Michael Klaper

Savory Tofu and Sauteed Apples

This was a very sweet and savory meal—the flavors meshed so beautifully together. I made enough for leftovers, but the recipe can easily be split in half. The original recipe is from Whole Foods, but I deviated off their version a little.

INGREDIENTS:

Marinade:

4 Tbs balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs agave

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

The rest:

2-14 ounce pkgs extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

1 med onion, sliced thin

5 large mushrooms, cut quartered

1 large carrot, sliced thin

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

5 Grannie-Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Parsley, garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, agave nectar, garlic, oregano, thyme, sea salt and pepper in a mixing bowl.

Cut tofu into 16 equal slices.

Pierce the tofu in several places with a fork to allow the flavor of the marinade to penetrate. Pour balsamic mixture over tofu and marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Transfer tofu to a shallow 15-inch baking pan. Add onion, mushrooms and carrots. Pour balsamic marinade over tofu and vegetables, brushing to coat everything.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the tofu and continue to bake an additional 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare apples. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the margarine. Add the apple slices and sauté until tender and lightly browned but not mushy, about 10 to 15 minutes.

The original recipe says to serve apples alongside the tofu as a side, but I highly recommend eating them together–very, very good! I also served Near East brand pilaf, Mushroom and Herb flavor:

Enjoy!

Vegan New England Chowder

I have had this recipe from Weekly Vegan Menu bookmarked for some time now, and since today was drizzly and cold, it was about time I made it. I changed a couple of things like using button mushrooms instead of oyster and pureeing 1/2 the soup for a more chowder consistency. The flavors in this soup are spectacular and was perfect for a day like today.

INGREDIENTS:

2 T olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/2 a bell pepper, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

4-6 C mushrooms, diced

1 C corn

3 C vegetable stock

3 C russet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke

2 C nondairy milk (soy or almond)

1/4 C cornstarch

1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Tofutti sour cream (optional)

Vegan cheddar, shredded (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. I recommend having all your ingredients out, chopped, and ready to go before starting:

In a large soup pot, heat the oil and add onion, garlic, bell pepper, thyme, basil, and oregano. Once they are hot and on high heat, add the mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes.

While this is happening, roast the corn in the oven for 10 minutes.

Add the potatoes, then the stock, Old Bay, Liquid Smoke, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to the pot. Cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the nondairy milk and cornstarch and add to the pot along with the corn. Bring to a simmer, but not a boil. Taste for seasoning. Here, I added (in batches) half of the soup to my food processor and just pureed a little; just enough to still be a bit chunky. I then added it back to the pot and mixed it with the un-pureed soup for the perfect chowder consistency. Top with a bit of cheese and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Waffles with Blueberry Sauce

The other night I made Field Roast with Blueberry Sauce and had some leftover sauce. That called for morning waffles. This is a healthy, hearty waffle that will stick to the ribs. I highly recommend doubling the recipe if feeding more than 2 people–as it is, it only makes about 4-6 small waffles. It’s a simple recipe where everything just goes in the blender and you’re ready to go!

INGREDIENTS:

2 C water

2 Tbs sugar

1 C quick-cooking oats

1/4 C cornmeal

4 Tbs ground flax seed

1/4 C cashews

2 Tbs cornstarch

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Sauce:

2 Tbs sugar

2 Tbs rice vinegar

2 Tbs white wine

2/3 C blueberry juice

1-2/3 C vegetable broth

3/4 C fresh blueberries

2 Tbs cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

For the waffles: Blend all ingredients in a blender for 1 minute. Let sit for 10-15 minutes to thicken up. Spoon 1/2 cup (or what is recommended for your waffle iron). Spread out a little with a spatula. I had the oven on warm and kept the waffles warm as I made them. In the meantime, I reheated the blueberry sauce in a small saucepan over med-low heat. If you’re using leftover sauce, it will have a jelly like consistency, so add a smidge of water. Stir it occasionally. The sauce itself doesn’t take long to make: In a large saucepan, add sugar and about 1/8 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Add rice vinegar when the sugar changes color. Boil again and add the white wine. Reduce to a syrup, then add the blueberry juice and reduce to half, about 4 minutes. Add broth and boil to desired consistency–you will probably need to mix the cornstarch with about 1/8-1/4 cup of water and then add to the sauce to thicken. Add blueberries and taste for seasoning. The sauce yields about 2 cups. Enjoy!

Recipe source: The Joy of Vegan Baking

Feast On This!

Who’s the Happy Vegan?

Just this year, Nutrition Journal published a report that vegetarian diets are associated with healthy mood states. Huh? That’s right, vegetarians and vegans are apparently happier than omnivores.  Hmmm . . .so that’s why meat-eaters are so groucy. . . ;) Well, what the researchers found is that vegetarian diets exclude fish, the major dietary source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), critical regulators of brain cell structure and function. Omnivores diets low in EPA and DHA are linked to impaired mood states in observational and experimental studies.

It was thought that meat-eaters would be less prone to depression and low moods because of the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, but veggie-mites scored lower on the tests for depression. So really, they have no idea why. Fascinating. Perhaps its what VegNews theorized in their latest issue: It was the “knowledge that a vegan diet does not contribute to the unnecessary suffering of animals” that contributes to the participants’ good moods. I’ll go with it.


I Love You, Jamie Oliver


I have had quite a crush on British cutie, Jamie Oliver ever since I watched his Food Revolution. I love what he has done to instigate change in school lunches. Even though his meals include animal products, I still have that “bad-boy-I-know-he’s-no-good-for-me” crush on him. He is, after all, the one person who has taken on the daunting challenge of overhauling the atrocious excuses for school lunches.

Well now. . . I have even more reason to drool over him. He’s going to launch a vegetarian/vegan cookbook! Oliver said that 60-65% of his recipes have been vegetarian or vegan but that fans have pushed for a meat-free cookbook.

“Often I get cornered out by vegetarians who are going to knock me out with a cucumber,” said Oliver. “I’m like “dude, look in the back of the book. Open up the index and there’s all these little v’s.” And they’ll go “Oh, right, but we want out own book.” For many years I just felt like, “C’mon, stop being so sensitive.” But actually this year we’re going to bundle all of my vegetarian recipes and vegan recipes into one big massive, mammoth book and give ‘em that book. Because it’s right. You know, in the old days there wasn’t so many vegetarians and now there’s many. Vegetarian as a general concept is a brilliant thing,” Oliver added. “We’ve got to stop eating so much meat. We are eating too much meat.”

I hope he truly feels this way and is not out to just cash in on the growing numbers of vegetarians he’s talking about.  Maybe in the end, it’s all about making a buck. However, in the meantime, I will give my British cutie the benefit of the doubt and be first in line to buy his new cookbook (I know. . .so blinded by my foodie crush).

Check out an interview with Oliver discussing this new and highly anticipated venture at Mother Nature Network.


“We don’t need to eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could.”

-James Cromwell

Product Review: Amy’s Rice Macaroni with Dairy Free Cheeze

When I saw that this product made it as a readers’ fave in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, I did a tentative happy-vegan-food dance. It sounded promising, especially since it’s made with Daiya cheese. Plus, it’s gluten-free. So I picked one up for $3.69. It was practically burning a hole through my reusable grocery bag on the way home. I couldn’t get it in the microwave fast enough. Then the moment of truth . . .

I did a full-fledged, unadulterated, happy-vegan-food dance like no other. Never in my life would I have thought there’d be a delicious vegan mac and cheese that rivals that of the real deal. Unbelievable. Even The Husband was hovering, hoping that I would share more than just the one tiny bite I had given him. No way.

Oh, man. Good stuff. It took me a few minutes to recover and wipe the cheeze from my face–I was not above licking the cardboard dish clean, nor am I embarrassed to admit that. It was creamy and tasted just like the real thing. You can cook it in the oven for 25-30 minutes (I had no patience for that) or in the microwave for about 4 minutes.

Alas, like everything delicious, it comes with a price. One 8-ounce container brings with it 520 calories (I better go for another run today), but it’s actually comparable to regular mac n’ cheese. Total fat: 22g, 5g of saturated fat and no trans fat Sodium: 740mg, Carbs: 72g, Protein: 8g, but hey, NO cholesterol! :) Overall, with no dairy, no soy and no gluten, it’s an indulgence I can handle every once in a while. (Glad I bought two)!

Pasta with Marinated Mushrooms and Cashew Cheese

I have been making this dish for years, usually using vegan Parmesan or mozzarella, but since I have a huge hunk of cashew cheese, I decided to use that (which by the way, shreds beautifully). This dish also makes great leftovers for the next day’s lunch. The amounts of each ingredient isn’t specific, but dependent upon how much you want to make.

INGREDIENTS:

Pasta

mushrooms, sliced

tomatoes, chopped

red wine

minced garlic

olive oil

cashew cheese, shredded

Earth Balance margarine

Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Marinate the mushrooms in some red wine and let sit 15-20 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile heat olive oil and garlic in a small saute pan, then add mushrooms. Saute a few minutes—I don’t like to cook them until they’re shriveled. You may have to drain some leftover marinade.

Drain pasta and add 1-2 tablespoons of Earth Balance to pasta pot and coat the drained pasta. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and combine well. Season with salt. Serve with cashew cheese and enjoy!

Hard Cashew Cheese


When I made this block of cheese, I was wondering what in the world am I going to do with that much cheese?! It wasn’t hard to figure that out once I tasted it. Eat it! The recipe is from The Vegan Table and her Creamy Macaroni and Cashew Cheese recipe, but with just one alteration: agar flakes. You can find these flakes in the Asian section of most grocery stores, but be prepared to spend a little. One 1-ounce package (you’ll need 1-1/2 packages) is about $8. But, it does make one big block of cheese. I’m sure halving the recipe would be fine.


I think this recipe is an excellent base for a block of cashew cheese, but we found that it just needed a little extra punch. Next time I will add some vegan Worcestershire sauce and perhaps some minced onion. It needed just a bit more saltiness. It’s a delicious mild cheese and easy to slice and would be fantastic on sandwiches or even on nachos. Really, anything you can think of needing some cheese, melted or not, this would work—even shredded.

INGREDIENTS:

1-1/4 C raw cashews

1/2 C nutritional yeast

2 tsp onion powder

1 to 2 tsp salt, to taste

1 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp white pepper

3-1/2 C nondairy milk

1 C agar flakes

1/2 C canola oil

1/4 C light (yellow or white) miso

2 Tbs lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Place cashews in a large-sized bowl of the food processor and finely grind–just don’t let the cashews turn to a paste. Add nutritional yeast, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and white pepper. Pulse three more times to blend in spices.

In a heavy saucepan, combine milk, agar flakes and oil. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease heat to low-medium, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

With the food processor running, gradually add milk mixture to cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Next blend in miso and lemon juice. It won’t take long for the sauce to start thickening up. Transfer to a mold. I used a glass bowl, but plastic would be fine, too. In fact, it may work better.


Let it harden in the refrigerator for a few hours—after 3 hours, it still wasn’t quite ready, so I left it over night.

It did not stick to the sides of the mold at all, but there was a tiny bit of liquid on the bottom acting as a suction and the cheese wasn’t budging. I inserted a straw in the middle of the cheese, took it out, creating a hole and then turned it upside down over a cutting board. It came right out. With a plastic mold, you could probably squeeze the sides enough to loosen it enough. Enjoy!


Gooey Chai-Spiced Brownies

I can’t remember the last time I made a batch of brownies. I was craving them, however, I didn’t want just any ordinary brownies, so I added some chai spices. With only 5 minutes of prep time and about 25 minutes to cook, they make a quick, go-to dessert for last minute guests.

INGREDIENTS:

1 C flour

1 C granulated sugar

1/4 C cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 C water

1/4 + 1 Tbs C vegetable oil

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cardamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cloves

1/2  tsp fennel seed

1 C dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves, and fennel (basically all the dry ingredients) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the water, oil, and vanilla and add to the dry mixture. Combine well.

Stir in the chocolate chips and pour into a lightly greased 8″ baking pan. It will have a thick pudding-like consistency.

Bake for 25 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

Vegetable Soft Tacos/Fajitas

Between school, tae kwon do practice, errands,  and well . . . life, I love meals that make themselves. Ok, well,  they don’t exactly make themselves, but pretty close.  I had lots of veggies to use up, so fajitas/tacos were perfect. I added lime juice and cilantro for a flavorful combination. I served them with some warmed refried beans topped with vegan cheese for some protein.

INGREDIENTS:

1 small summer squash, cut into 2″ pieces

1 small zucchini, cut into 2″ pieces

1/2 large onion, cut into 2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2″ pieces

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 avocado, sliced

1-oz pkg fajita seasoning

1/8 C water

1/8 C lime juice

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Salsa

Vegan cheddar, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

Flour tortillas, warmed

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion.

Saute covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Combine the fajita mix with the water and lime juice. Add to the vegetable mixture and combine well. Stir in the cilantro.

On a warm tortilla, layer on some sour cream, veggies, avocado, salsa, and cheese. Enjoy!

Field Roast Sausage and Vegetable Hash

When I began to make this, just throwing stuff together, I wasn’t planning on posting it, but then I tasted it and damn, I knew I had to share it. Even The Husband called it hands-down the best, most phenomenal breakfast burrito/hash he’s ever had. Wow. Now that my “chef-ego” is inflated, here you go:

INGREDIENTS:

2 Field Roast sausages, Italian flavor

3 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1/2 a large onion, diced

1 small zucchini, sliced then quartered

1 C sliced mushrooms

2 Tbs olive oil

vegan cheddar, shredded

Flour tortillas, warmed

Garlic & Wine seasoning, to taste (So this is a blend that we got from The Melting Pot a million years ago and here’s what’s in it: salt, soya flour, garlic, sherry wine flavor, cracked pepper, select imported spices, citric acid, and parsley).

DIRECTIONS:

Saute the potatoes in the olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until they just  start to soften. Add the green pepper, onion, and zucchini. Over medium heat, cover and let saute for about another 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft. Season with the garlic blend and then add the sausage (I just tear it apart into small pieces) and the mushrooms. Season again with the garlic blend and cover another 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are just softening.

Scoop some onto a warmed tortilla and add a little cheese. YUM! Enjoy!

Kale, Chard, and Tofu Calzones

When I said I was making calzones tonight, The Husband joked, ‘Oh, yeah, those nine pounders?’ Ok, yes, these calzones typically run a little big. I should call them “No Joke Calzones.” They’re a little different than the other calzone recipe I’ve made by adding the same tofu mixture that I use for lasagna and stuffed shells. I had some leftover tofu mixture so I just threw in the freezer—I’ll use add it to a batch of lasagna at some point. This is also a great recipe for sneaking in some extra veggies, especially for the kids—they’ll never know!

INGREDIENTS:

Dough: (from Vegan Planet)

1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast

3/4 C warm water ( I found that I needed another 1/2 cup)

2-1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

Pinch of sugar or natural sweetener

1 Tbs olive oil, plus more for spreading

The Tofu mixture:

1-14 oz pkg extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

1/3 C nutritional yeast

1 C fresh basil (I also threw in a tablespoon or two of fresh rosemary)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 Tbs lemon juice

The rest:

4 C chard and kale, chopped (you can also add in some spinach)

1-3.8 oz can of sliced black olives

6 mushrooms, sliced

1-1/2 C vegan mozzarella cheese

1 jar marinara sauce

DIRECTIONS:

To make dough: Place yeast in a small bowl. Add 1/4 C of the water and stir to dissolve. Set aside for 5-10 minutes. To make the dough in the food processor (like I did), combine the flour, salt, and sugar, pulsing to blend. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture through the feeding tube, along with the olive oil and as much of the remaining 1/2 water (I needed another 1/3 C in addition to the 1/2 C) as necessary to make the dough hold together. To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 C water until well combined. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl. Spread a small amount of oil on top of the dough, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Use immediately or store for up to 8 hours in the refrigerator or for 3-4 weeks in the freezer. Make sure it is tightly wrapped in plastic.

To make tofu mixture: Add tofu, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to a food processor and process well until the mixture resembles ricotta cheese.

Preheat oven to 375. Punch the dough down and divide it into fourths. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece into a 1/4″ thick circle. Divide the filling equally between the dough circles, leaving a 1″ border around the edge. I layered on some tofu mixture, greens mix, olives, mushrooms, and cheese.

Fold over one side and roll up the bottom part and press with a fork to seal the edges.

Place on a baking sheet lined with foil that is slightly greased. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

In the meantime, heat the sauce in a small saucepan. Ladle a scoopful on top of each calzone and add a bit of cheese. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Olive Bread

This bread reminds me of Christmas. Love it. I love this bread for many reasons: a.) it was fast and easy to make, b.) no need for yeast, c.) no kneading required and d.) it’s delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

4-1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer

6 Tbs water

1-1/2 C flour

3/4 C whole wheat flour

2-1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1 C nondairy milk (I used almond milk)

1/4 C olive oil

1/3 C finely chopped walnuts

1/3 C chopped pitted black olives

1/3 C chopped sundried tomatoes

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease an 8 or 9-inch loaf pan. In a food processor, whip the egg replacer and water together until thick and creamy. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, rosemary, basil, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg replacer mixture, nondairy milk, and olive oil.

Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until dry ingredients are moistened. Add the walnuts, sundried tomatoes, and olives; fold in just until the pieces are distributed. The batter will be stiff and sticky.

Scrape batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 5-10 minutes before taking out of the pan, then let cool completely on rack. Enjoy!

Recipe source: The Joy of Vegan Baking