Lemon Poppy Seed and Cranberry Bread/Cake

Vegan MoFo, Day 30!!

Well, it’s the final day of Vegan MoFo! I can’t believe I blogged everyday this month except for one stinkin’ day! Oh well—it was definitely a fun challenge, but I’m a little relieved at the same time.

This cakey bread is not overly sweet since I just used agave as a sweetener, so icing it will definitely give it more of a sweet punch. You can also make this in a 9×5 loaf pan, or two smaller loaf pans, making it more of a bread than a cake. I like having options. :)

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 C almond milk

1/3 C poppy seeds

3/4 C agave nectar

3/4 C Earth Balance, softened

3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 4 Tbs water

2 Tbs lemon juice

1-1/2 C flour

1/2 C whole wheat flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 C dried cranberries

Icing:

About a cup of Confectioners’ sugar

2-3 tsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a bundt pan. Whisk together egg replacer powder and water; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk. Once it begins to boil, remove from heat and stir in the poppy seeds; set side. In a large bowl, cream together butter and honey until smooth, then add egg replacer. In a small bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Take half of the flour mixture and add it to the butter mixture and combine well. Add milk mixture, then the rest of dry ingredients. Stir in the cranberries. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

Turn oven down to 300 and bake another 7-8 minutes, or until it is golden brown.

Let it cool slightly on a rack, then transfer to a large plate.

To make the icing, combine sugar and lemon juice, add more of either ingredient to reach desired consistency. Once bread is cool, or just slightly warm, drizzle with icing. Enjoy!

Recipe: Adapted from Beyond the Moon Cookbook

 

Porcini Mushroom Pasta with a Cream Cheese Sauce

Vegan MoFo, Day 29

I can’t believe I went this far into Vegn MoFo and missed yesterday! It was a busy day of Christmas shopping then an evening of margaritas and a taco bar at the neighbor’s. We made tacos with Boca crumbles, Tofutti sour cream, Daiya cheese, vegetarian refries . . .it was great! So tonight, I went with something easy and quick. The recipe came with the Pappardelle’s pasta, but I made some alterations.

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz porcini mushroom fettucini

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1/2 C green onions, sliced or 1 large leek or 1/c C yellow onion (I used green onions since I had a ton left over from last night’s taco bar)

3 oz Tofutti sour cream

3 Tbs Earth Balance

1/3 C almond milk

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs minced onion or 2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to instructions. In a medium saucepan heat Earth Balance and garlic. Add mushrooms and saute 5 minutes; add green onions. Saute another 3-4 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and mix until thoroughly melted and combined.

Add almond milk and combine well. Season with minced onion, salt, and pepper.

Ladle over individual servings of pasta and enjoy!

Cabbage Rolls

Vegan MoFo, Day 27

I had such high hopes for this dish, but frankly it was a disaster. Well, the journey to the end result, that is. The first red flag was that the cabbage had been sliced, so the leaves weren’t very usable. So I opted for romaine leaves and the second red flag was that they had gotten frozen in the fridge, so some of them were damaged. Did that stop me? Of course not, but it wasn’t without some colorful language. It was like a horror movie. I knew I should have turned around from the ominous signs in the  kitchen and got the hell out of there. But I stayed. I fought. And crawled out from the carnage a hour later. There had to be a easier way. Iceberg lettuce. I think that would have worked so much better. No horror movie re-enactments necessary.

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 C rice, uncooked

1 C vegetable broth

1/2 red bell pepper, diced small

1/2 small onion, diced small

1-1/2 C shiitake mushrooms, diced

1 Apple-Sage Field Roast sausages, torn into small pieces

1/3 C walnuts, chopped

8-10 large iceberg lettuce leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sauce:

1/2 tsp dried marjornam

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

4 green onions, or 1 large leek, chopped

4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1/2 C vegetable broth

1/2 C sherry

2-4 Tbs flour

DIRECTIONS:


Preheat oven to 300–just to keep stuff warm. In a medium skillet, cook the rice in the vegetable broth. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic. Add bell pepper and onion. Saute for 3 minutes, then add the Field Roast and shiitake mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms soften, then stir in the cooked rice.

So here is where the Wes Craven-esque stuff started to happen. I couldn’t get the cabbage leaves apart in one nice piece. I was able to get a few unscathed leaves, so I steamed them for just a couple of minutes to soften them a little. I didn’t have enough, so I pull out some (half-frozen) romaine lettuce which wouldn’t cooperate and roll up well.

I did the best I could . . .

I placed each roll in a 9×13″ pan, covered with foil, then placed them in the warm oven. To prepare the sauce, heat the margarine in a small saucepan, add the leeks or green onions. I had about 3 shiitake mushrooms leftover, so I diced them up and added them then, too. Combine the flour, marjoram, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then whisk into the saucepan. Immediately add the broth and sherry and whisk thoroughly. Add more flour, if needed, to reach a desired consistency. Serve with rolls with sauce ladled over them.

So the end result was good, but the process was so much more painful than it needed to be. Have you ever tried a similar recipe?  Have any suggestions?

Pineapple Salsa

Vegan MoFo, Day 26

Happy Black Friday. As for me, I’m staying far away from the maddening crowds; safe at home.

My mom made this salsa—the recipe is actually from a friend and it won first place in a recent salsa contest. One bite and you’ll see why!

INGREDIENTS:

1 can pineapple rings, drained

1 medium red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped fine

1 chili pepper of choice, such as an anaheim

DIRECTIONS:

Grill the pineapple rings about 5 minutes on each side. Chop up and combine with the other ingredients. So easy! Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

Vegan Thanksgiving Brunch

Vegan MoFo, Day 25

Happy Thanksgiving!

About a week and a half ago, we had our first vegan Thanksgiving dinner, so today, we had our first vegan Thanksgiving brunch. As much as I love vegan food, particularly breakfast foods, today wasn’t all about the food. The last few months for us have given us many reasons to be thankful for what we have. Earlier this month we lost a friend to cancer. She left behind a husband and two young daughters. Another friend is battling leukemia, while a blogging friend shared her own family’s tragedy of nearly losing her nephew to drowning. Unfortunately, it often takes these situations to make us appreciate what we have, one of which, is our health. So it was a day of thanks and remembrance—served with delicious vegan food!

The star of the show was Stuffed French Toast:

INGREDIENTS:

1 loaf French bread, sliced 3/4″ thick

8-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

1/2 C walnuts, chopped

Batter:

3 tsp Ener-G Egg replacer + 4 Tbs water

1/2 pkg of Silken Tofu (which worked perfectly since I used the other half to make the hash brown casserole)

1 C almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

Cream together the cream cheese and pineapple. Stir in the walnuts. If making this step the night before (like I did), add the walnuts the next day, just before using. Otherwise, they’ll get too soft. To make the batter, combine the egg replacer powder and water in the food processor and process until fluffy. Add tofu, milk and vanilla; combine well and transfer to a shallow bowl. Basically, create sandwiches with the French bread and the cream cheese filling.

Dip each “sandwich” in the batter to cover each side. Preheat a flat griddle on the stove and  use some cooking spray. Brown each side as if making a grilled cheese. I then transferred them to a plate in a warm oven until ready to eat. Top with some Earth Balance and syrup.

I also made my favorite hash brown casserole:

I also made vegan cheese danishes that I made before, but this time, used cranberries for the filling.

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz Tofutti cream cheese

1/2 can cranberry sauce with whole berries

1 Tbs sugar

3 Tbs Earth Balance, melted and cooled

DIRECTIONS:

Cream everything together. I used the food processor, but I recommend using a mixer—I pureed it a bit too much.

Click HERE for the danish recipe.

We also had a great fruit salad with an agave-lime dressing. (I’ll get the recipe posted soon)

For dessert, my mom made Vegetarian Times’ Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Isn’t it gorgeous?! My mom has always made beautiful and delicious pies. The taste and consistency was outstanding and sure tasted like pumpkin pie to everyone. It was the perfect ending to a perfect brunch.

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving has been filled with thanks, love and amazing food!

Wild Rice-Stuffed Portobellos

Vegan MoFo, Day 24

I have been dying to make these for a while now. They did not disappoint. I used about 2 cups of cooked wild rice for five mushrooms, but the recipe makes enough for six. Also, I recommend using vegetable broth when making the rice—keep in mind, the rice will take about 45 minutes to cook. Typically, I steam or slightly saute the mushroom caps before stuffing them, but this time I decided not to—and I’m glad. They came out perfect; not soggy or too soft. When looking for portobellos for this dish, try to pick out ones that are very bowl-shaped. They’ll flatten a little as they bake, so the curvier, the better. (I like that, curves are good)!

INGREDIENTS:

6 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and de-gilled

2 C wild rice, cooked

1 red bell pepper, diced small

3 large green onion, diced

1/2 a can of artichoke hearts, diced small

1 Tbs Earth Balance

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 C vegan mozzarella, shredded

1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the margarine and garlic until hot. Add bell pepper, green onions, and artichokes. Saute 3-5 minutes and add rosemary, salt and pepper.

Saute another 5-7 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Add the cooked rice to the bowl and combine the two mixtures.

Place the portobello caps on the baking sheet—upside down. Sprinkle some vegan mozzarella inside the caps, then spoon the rice mixture into each cap evenly.You can season with some more salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Top with remaining cheese and bake, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

 

Vegan MoFo, Day 23

No, those are not edible switch plates. This may be the most boring post ever, but I had an extremely busy day and didn’t have time to get a post together for the 23rd day of Vegan MoFo. Instead, my friend, Kerrie (who also happens to be my crafting sole mate) came over and we were in craft-haven, getting ready for a Holiday/Craft Mart coming up (benefiting a local writer’s studio. . .)

We did, however, munch on vegan fare as we worked: Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers, and my famous, quick lunch of a vegan chick patty with a Tofutti cheese slice and Vegenaise on a toasted English Muffin. Also good on it are tomato, lettuce and vegan ranch dressing.

Kerrie was adventurous to try it (and I think she liked it), but wasn’t too keen on the almond milk in her tea or latte. :(   Hey. . . she was open to trying it all and that’s a big step!

So I apologize for the lame post, but being the competitive person I am, I had to post something and not have ONE day—this far into Vegan MoFo—that I don’t post. (Yes, I will sleep better tonight). I know, so lame. Until tomorrow, enjoy our decoupaged delights:

Cheddar and Rosemary Crackers

Vegan MoFo, Day 22

Monet, at Anecdotes and Apples Cores, made some cheddar and rosemary biscuits that had me salivating! They also reminded me of an old recipe for crackers that I made a million years ago. I will however, try her recipe (and veganize it), but for now, enjoy some amazing crackers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

3-ox Tofutti cream cheese

1/2 C Earth Balance margarine

1 tsp sweet red chili sauce

1-3/4 C flour

2 Tbs sesame seeds

4 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

Salt, optional

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325.  In a food processor (with the dough blade) combine the cheeses. Add the butter.

Add the chili sauce, then flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Once combined, add sesame seeds and rosemary.

Divide dough in half and roll out. Now, you can decide how big you want to roll them out. I wanted to make tiny nibblers, but you’re welcome to make larger crackers. Once you made that big decision, wrap in plastic wrap and chill. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 20-25 minutes, but if you have extra time, go ahead and just refrigerate them. Slice them as thick or as thin as you want. I find that somewhere between 1/8″ and 1/4″ is best.

Place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with a smidge of salt, if desired.

Bake for about 10 minutes—just don’t let them get too browned. The bottoms will a little, but taken them out before the edges brown. Enjoy! (Thanks for the inspiration, Monet)!

 

Chipotle-Lime Pasta with a Cream Sauce and Avocado

Vegan MoFo, Day 21

I picked up some Pappardelle’s Whole Wheat Chipotle Lime pasta and since it has a bit of kick, I figured a cream sauce would be ideal to go with it. I also had an avocado on-the-verge of being tossed, so it all came together beautifully!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz Chipotle Lime pasta

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

2 Tbs flour

1 C almond milk

2 Tbs Vegan Parmesan cheese

1 tsp lime juice, plus a little more for thinning, if needed

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, diced

1 avocado, diced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta 10-12 minutes, or until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat margarine and garlic. Whisk in the flour. Once the flour is thoroughly combined, whisk in the almond milk, then the sour cream and Parmesan. Stir in the lime juice, mushrooms, cilantro, and green onions. Add more lime juice, if needed.

Ladle the sauce over single servings of pasta and top with the diced avocado. Enjoy!

 

 

Vegan Jambalaya

Vegan MoFo, Day 20

This has always been a favorite with the fam and so when I looked at the Tofurky Kielbasa sausages in the fridge, I knew it was meant to be. I usually make biscuits to serve under the jambalaya, but I forgot, so I used some rosemary and sesame seed saltines. If you don’t have a lot of time, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are vegan and a quick option.

INGREDIENTS:

1-14 0z pkg (4 sausages), diced

2-14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes with juices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped (I used a red onion, but any variety is fine)

1-1/2 C vegetable broth

1/2 C white wine

1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 C white rice, cooked

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

Cajun seasoning (1 tsp is fairly mild. For more of a kick, add more, a 1/4 tsp at a time)

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste

Crackers or biscuits

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet, heat the oil and garlic. Add the bell pepper, onion and sausage. Saute about 10 minutes, or until the sausage begins to brown and the peppers and onion soften.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, combine the tomatoes and broth; bring to a simmer. Transfer the sausage mixture to the tomato mixture and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add the seasonings, parsley, and wine; simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Just before serving, stir in the rice and enjoy!

Feast On This!

Vegan MoFo, Day 19

Friday sneaked up on me. Normally, I’m waiting for it, but I woke up and suddenly realized what day it was. I usually write my Feast On This post Thursday nights, so you’ll have to bear with me this a.m.; I haven’t had my cup-of-joe to get my Vegan MoJo on for Vegan MoFo yet. . . so here goes.

Gee . . .Another Recall


2,600 pounds of full-cooked, ready-to-barf-eat turkey breast was recalled in Texas because it may have been contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a potentially deadly bacteria. Lovely. The four different products by the New Braunfels Smokehouse, were distributed nationwide and each has a UDSA Inspected mark on them. Way to go.

The FDA just made their third cheese recall of the month. In Washington state, several varieties of Del Bueno Mexican-Style cheese was found to also contain listeria.

Earlier this month, Gorgonzola cheese was recalled from Cosco stores because of E. coli.

It is absolutely staggering the amount of food recalls in the United States just this year—we only hear about some of them. People have gotten sick. People have died. Some people could still have these products at home, unaware of the recall. Check out an earlier post regarding recalls. Visit the Recall page of the FDA’s website for a comprehensive list of recalled products. With the amount of meat and dairy recalls that continue to pile up, why do Americans take the risk?


Fat=Taste?

(I try not to post dead animals on my blog, so here’s a fake dead animal)

What food do you consider to have more taste? Meat? Veggies? Dairy? Since going vegan, I have found for myself that food has so much more flavor and taste. I never was a huge meat-eater before and never understood that thrill people claim they get when eating a steak. Peter Springberg, MD, a fellow NCW member, wrote an interesting post the other day regarding fat, taste, and beef burgers, entitled Even More Fat for our Taste Buds. The post is based on a Wall Street Journal article about celebrity chefs’ quest to make the most expensive, fattiest, and tastiest burger. Two burgers were featured in the article, one costing $39, and another a whopping $60! I guess compared to the cost of a triple bypass, it’s nothing.


“If you knew how meat was made, you’d probably lose your lunch.”

-K.D. Lang


Tasty Harmony

Vegan MoFo, Day 18

Doesn’t that look wonderful! They are Asian Lettuce Wraps that my favorite restaurant makes (and they happen to be the only vegan restaurant in town). They are amazing! Tasty Harmony is a fabulous restaurant downtown that seems to always be packed when we go there. Thanks to them, I’ve discovered jackfruit tacos, sea vegetables, and an incredible nondairy raw key lime pie!  I love to bring meat-eaters there because it’s impossible not to love their food!

Photo: Feasting Fort Collins

So if you ever find yourself in Downtown Fort Collins, CO, hit up Tasty Harmony. If not, try my own version of Asian Lettuce Wraps.

Cashew Cheese Nachos

Vegan MoFo, Day 17

The Sixth Grader loves nachos and loves cashew cheese, so this is an ideal after-school snack for him. I still had some cashew cheese in the freezer,  so I left it in the zip lock and placed it in some warm water for about 10 minutes. It’s best if it’s still a little frozen for grating it. I recommend using the microwave—at first I used the oven on a low broiler, but the chips were browning before the cheese was melting.  Other ingredients to try: tomatoes, salsa, or refries.

INGREDIENTS:

Tortilla chips

Hard cashew cheese, shredded

Green onion, sliced

Black olives, sliced

Avocado, diced

Tofutti sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

I like to have a layer of chips, some cheese, then another layer of chips and the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle on the green onions and olives. Zap in the microwave for about a minute, then add the avocados and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Buttered Party Mix

Vegan MoFo, Day 16

So easy! And a great way to grab some protein. You can sub in pecans if you’d like—I’m just not a big fan. These are for an artist reception at the Northern Colorado Writers Association that is tonight. I’m also bringing my favorite hummus. The artist happens to be my mother-in-law, watercolorist-extraordinaire.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, melted

1 Tbs garlic salt

1/2 tsp cayenne, or more for taste

1 C raw, unsalted cashews

1 C raw, unsalted walnuts

1 C raw, unsalted almonds

1/2 C sunflower seeds

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl, combine the nuts, garlic salt and cayenne. Add the margarine and thoroughly combine. Layer onto the lined baking sheet and bake for about a half an hour. Stir and flip over the nuts. I know, that’s not easy, but you’ll be able to tell which side is which since the cooked side will be dry-looking. Bake another 20-30 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to an air tight container if not eating right away. Enjoy!

Vegan Gravy

Vegan MoFo, Day 15

Thanksgiving leftovers are a given. We had some Field Roast leftover, so I made some vegan gravy to go with it. Luckily, we had some Israeli Couscous left, so I heated that up, too. Everything was even better the second time!

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbs olive oil

2 C vegetable broth + some for thinning

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 green onions

4 mushrooms, diced small

1 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1/4 C flour

1 tsp soy sauce

4 tsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp sage

Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and add the garlic and green onions. In a large bowl, combine the broth and flour with a whisk; combine thoroughly. Add to the saucepan, along with the nutritional yeast, sage, salt, pepper, margarine, and soy sauce. Season with salt, pepper and heat to a boil. Add more broth, if needed and reduce heat once gravy is thickened. Ladle over a Field Roast slice and enjoy!

My First Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Mofo, Day 14

That’s right, Thanksgiving. No, you didn’t just skip a week and a half, we celebrated Thanksgiving early with The Husband’s side of the fam because they were going to be gone over T-Day. So for our first vegan Thanksgiving, I brought a Field Roast for the veg side of the table. I think I picked it up for sale for $17.99. It comes frozen, so all you have to do is thaw it in the fridge overnight and then bake it at 475 for 45 minutes.

It’s stuffed with hazelnuts and cranberries, wrapped in a flaky pastry dough. It tastes much like their Celebration roast, but I will say that it did need some kind of sauce or gravy. Otherwise, it was fantastic!! Loved it!

We had all the other trimmings, too (only veganized). My mother-in-law made some mashed potatoes without milk and butter for us, as well as some separate stuffing. The sweet potatoes were cooked to perfection with some brown sugar and I brought Israeli Couscous. We came, we drank, we ate, we napped.

INGREDIENTS: HAZELNUT CRANBERRY
ROAST: Filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, cranberries, crystallized ginger (ginger, cane sugar), toasted hazelnuts, naturally flavored yeast extract, barley malt, organic wheat flour, dried apples (non-sulphured), granulated garlic, onion powder, ginger juice (ginger, citric acid), yellow pea flour, toasted sesame oil, lemon juice, sea salt, spices, irish moss (sea vegetable) extract, red wine, tomato paste, black pepper, garlic,
natural hickory smoke flavor with tortula yeast , rubbed sage, rosemary, natural liquid smoke and paprika.

PUFF PASTRY: Enriched wheat flour, water, expeller pressed palm oil and sea salt. Contains: Hazelnuts.

Product Review: Tofurky Beer Brats

Vegan MoFo, Day 13

This doesn’t seem like the time of year to be eating brats, but that’s ok, because I think they actually taste better when prepared on the stove; they tend to get dried out on the grill–even though the package says grilling them is the recommended cooking method. I opted to brown them in some olive oil (briefly) then added a bit of water to the pan and covered them for about 5 minutes. They turned out great and it took less than 10 minutes.

We then layered on some sauerkraut that I heated in a sauce pan, Dijon and ketchup, onto a bun and enjoyed! So these are quite healthy compared to a real brat. When people give you a hard time about not getting protein from a vegan diet, show them labels: Johnsonville Beer Brat has 11 grams of protein, whereas Tofurky’s has 27 grams! The cancer-licious brat has 23 grams of fat and our (non GMO) brat has 13 grams. That alone is a huge difference. When it comes to saturated fat, the real thing loses again (no surprise) with 8 grams, while Tofurky has 1 gram. Wow. Should I go on? YES! Let’s talk cholesterol. The veggie brat has NO CHOLESTEROL and the Johnsonville one has 50 mg. There’s even more iron in the Tofurky brat. You also get 5 grams of fiber with Tofurky and no fiber with the animal-based one.

Why would anyone want to eat a real brat? The taste is virtually the same and even if it is a little different, the health risks are just too high–it makes no sense to me. Overall, we were quite impressed. I also picked up Tofurky’s Kielbasa sausages, so I’m looking forward to trying those.

Feast On This!

A Veggie A Day Keeps The Colds (and Cancer) Away

It’s that time of year. Cold season. Although we can’t always avoid getting the traveling crud, there are ways to boost your immune and shorten the length of the cold or flu. And guess what? They’re all plant-based. No surprise there. Experts tend to agree that it’s best to avoid supplements and go straight for the real thing. For example, eat an orange rather than popping a supplement since you’ll also get magnesium, potassium, folate, B6 and antioxidants.  Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants that are also key in fighting many cancers.

Vegetables:

  • Leafy Greens–Spinach, Swiss Chard, Mustard Greens & Kale: are loaded with antioxidants. Steam some kale and spinach and add a little Earth Balance, which has lots of Omega-3.
  • Broccoli, Green Peppers & Cauliflower: High in Vitamin C.
  • Orange Veggies–Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Squash and Pumpkins: are loaded with Beta carotene which turns to Vitamin A, that is rich in antioxidants (which is also cancer-fighting).

Fruits:

  • Apples: contain antioxidants and insoluble and soluble fiber to help the bowels run smooth (always a good thing)
  • Kiwi, Oranges, Grapefruits & Cantelopes: High in Vitamin C and A and oranges and grapefruits are actually cheaper in the winter.
  • Blueberries and Raspberries: Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin B.
  • Strawberries: 8 berries supply 160% of your daily value of Vitamin C, as well as 170 mg of potassium.

Other Good Stuff:

  • Onions, Garlic, Leeks, & Chives: loaded with Vitamin C, potassium, chromium and selenium.
  • Ginger: Strong in antioxidants and helps with digestion and circulation.
  • Whole Grains, Quinoa, Barley & Amaranth: packed with fiber, zinc, and B vitamins.
  • Seeds: Lots of Vitamin E

Tips to Staying Healthy

  • Stick to organic: free of chemicals and contain more nutrients.
  • Avoid processed, canned or frozen food (With the exception of vegetables—steam or microwave them) but even avoid canned soups–they’re not fresh and are full of sodium.
  • Keep away from excess sugar. If you need a sugar fix, eat some strawberries.
  • Make some soup with vegetable broth, ginger, spinach, and green onions.
  • Eat some hot salsa or sprinkle some cayenne on steamed veggies to clear the sinuses.
  • Chew (and swallow) a garlic clove to cure a cough—some people swear by it. Just don’t breath on anyone.

Bottom line, stick with fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, and avoid hard-to-digest and processed foods. Don’t forget to drink tons of water and only 100% juice with a low sugar content. Then boil some fresh ginger, pour it through a strainer into your favorite mug, add a bit of fresh lemon juice and settle in with a good book!


Meat consumption is just as dangerous to public health as tobacco use… It’s time we looked into holding the meat producers and fast-food outlets legally accountable.
-Neal Barnard

Ranch Bread

Vegan MoFo, Day 11

Happy Veteran’s Day!

It also happens to be the first snow of the season:

And you thought ranch flavor was just for salads or dips. It’s for bread, too! This recipe is so simple—I used the basic quick bread recipe that I used for the green chili bread. It’s a great basis for quick breads–just add some of your favorite flavors and seasonings.  I served this with the Cheezy Kale and White Bean Soup and it made a great fall meal.

INGREDIENTS:

3 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp chives

1/2 tsp dill

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1 C almond milk

2 Tbs olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, parsley, chives, dill, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add the sour cream, milk, and oil; combine well and transfer to the loaf pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then slice and enjoy!

Cheezy Kale and White Bean Soup

Vegan MoFo, Day 10

Kale is my drug. I love it. This soup is great for fall (or even a cool summer evening) and easy to throw together. It’s hearty without being overly filling.

INGREDIENTS:

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large leek, chopped

2-15 oz cans great northern or cannellini beans, drained

8 C vegetable broth (or 6 cups broth, 2 cups of water)

1/2 C white wine

1/2 C fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbs lemon juice

4-5 C fresh kale, torn or chopped

1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

White pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

I just filled my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup of kale to the top–so about 5 cups

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and leek and saute until slightly browned. Add the beans and parsley and saute 4-5 minutes.

Add the broth, kale, lemon juice, and white wine. Let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper. 5 minutes before serving, add the cheeze. This is strictly an optional ingredient—you can also just sprinkle a little cheeze on individual servings. Enjoy!

Seitan Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce (and a Field Roast Sausage Thrown In)

Vegan MoFo, Day 9

That’s right, I had to throw in a Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage link—I had a lonely one in the fridge, and these are enchiladas, after all. It was the piece de resistance. This recipe is based on one my sister used to make all the time, but with *gasp* chicken and *gasp* again, half-and-half, so I was determined to veganize it. If you’re not big on seitan, try some other filling options: ground meatless crumbles and refries, portobellos and onions, or bell peppers and zucchini. Either way, I think you’re love the creaminess and cheezyness of this classic dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkgs. seitan, beef or chicken style, chopped into 1″ pieces (or other filling of choice)

1 Field Roast sausage link, Mexican Chipotle flavor, crumbled

1-4oz can diced green chilies

1 C Tofutti sour cream

1/8 C almond milk

1 C  fresh cilantro

1 C black olives, sliced

3 green onions, sliced (white and greens parts)

1-1/2 C vegan cheddar and/or vegan Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded, divided

2-16oz jars of 505 Green Chili sauce, choose your level of hotness

11 flour tortillas (I know, I tried to make it an even number, but it just didn’t happen)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine seitan, Field Roast, chilies, cilantro, sour cream, almond milk, and 1/2 C of the cheese. Pour 1/2 of on jar of the green chili sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking pan. Spread evenly. Fill each tortilla with about 3-4 tablespoons of the seitan mixture and fold over to make a burrito.

Lay folded side down.

Sprinkle a little cheese on the enchiladas, then layer rest of green chili sauce on top–spread evenly. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top, then layer on green onions and olives.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then enjoy!

Product Review: Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix

Vegan MoFo, Day 8

I picked up this dairy-free, gluten-free cake mix in Boulder a while back. In fact, Lillabee is a Boulder-based company. In addition to having no dairy or gluten, this cake mix is soy-free and all natural, meaning non-GMO. When I picked up a bag, I didn’t realize that the recipe requires 2 eggs, but thankfully, Ener-G Egg Replacer came to the rescue!

Lillabee’s aim is to provide delicious baked goods you make at home that are allergy-friendly. Other products include: Fudgy Brownies, Anytime Muffins, and Perfect Pancakes/Waffles.

So included in the bag is a sugar mixture (about a cup’s worth), the baking mix and directions:

Required ingredients: 2 eggs (3 tsp egg replacer + 4 Tbs water), 6 Tbs Earth Balance margarine, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 C non dairy milk, 2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and an 8″ cake pan or muffin pan. It was a breeze to throw together–about 5 minutes using the mixer, then 45 minutes in the oven.

It smelled quite delish as it baked! I let it cool for about an hour and then sliced it up. It was wonderful! Very sponge-y and sugary and quite delightful. You can also add things to the batter before baking it, like blueberries, or other fruit.

So where can you find this decadent vegan dessert? If you live in Boulder (or close by) you can purchase it at Dish Gourmet and Caffe Victoria. But you can also order directly from Lillabee.  I was very impressed and next time we’re in Boulder, I will definitely pick some more up.

Cheddar and Green Chili Bread with Cream Cheeze Spread

Vegan MoFo, Day 7

I love making bread and sometimes I’m in the mood to put the time and effort into kneading, rising, kneading, rising it, but there are days I just can’t be bothered with that. And today, I had a weird inclination to combine green chilies and cheeze and this quick, simple bread magically appeared in my oven. It was that easy. Great served with veggie chili!

INGREDIENTS:

Bread:

3 C flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs dried minced onion

4-oz can diced green chilies

2 Tbs olive oil

1-1/4 C almond milk

1-1/2 C vegan cheddar, shredded (or vegan pepper jack cheeze)

Spread:

4-oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 Tbs fresh cilantro, minced

1/8 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp lime juice

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9″ loaf pan. In a food processor, combine flour, baking powder, minced onion, and salt. Add the cheese and chilies. While the machine is running, add the almond milk and oil. Combine thoroughly and then transfer to the loaf pan. Use a spatula to even it out.

Bake 40 minutes. Insert a toothpick or knife in the center to assure it’s done. It smells wonderful as it bakes!  To make the spread, combine all ingredients well. Spread some of the cream cheeze mixture onto a warm slice of bread—it’ll melt in your mouth!

Enjoy!

Easy Flatbread

Vegan MoFo, Day 6

How many times have you gone to make a panini or quesadilla and you find there’s no bread? Happens all the time, right? ;) Well, have no fear, an easy, tasty flatbread is here! The original recipe, from Vegan Planet uses cumin, but I decided to use garlic salt and dried basil. It also called for frying them in a pan, but I opted for baking them.

INGREDIENTS:

2 C flour

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 C water, or as needed (I needed just a smidge less)

Olive oil for brushing

2 Tbs sesame seeds

Garlic salt

Dried basil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Using a mixer, combine the flour and salt. Add the water little by little until the dough holds together. Knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic and set aside. Divide the dough into 6 pieces.

Shape the dough pieces into balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each ball to 6″ in diameter. Brush lightly with oil, the sprinkle with sesame seeds, garlic salt, and basil. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake 8-10 minutes.

The Sixth Grader made a type of grilled cheese with Tofutti slices:

The Husband made a couple of quesadillas in the oven using Daiya cheese, onions, and salsa:

And I went with the panini maker using roasted red pepper, Vegan Rella, and some jarred olive tapenade:

Enjoy!

Feast On This!

Vegan MoFo, Day 5

A Vegan Thanksgiving

I’m coming up on a year of being vegan. I actually went veg after Thanksgiving last year. Not because I wanted to gorge myself one last time on some poor dead bird,  but because I didn’t discover Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Diet, until after T-Day. I felt her book did a fantastic job of explaining the concepts of veganism in all aspects: health of your body, the health of the environment, and the health of animals. I read the book in a day and as they say, the rest is history.

I’ve learned over the course of a year, that converting recipes to a healthier, yummier (vegan) version has been quite easy, so I have no fear when it comes to making a vegan Thanksgiving. In fact, besides the dead bird, most of the traditional dinner is comprised mostly of veggies. Yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing, that green bean casserole, cranberries . . . c’mon, all that can easily be made vegan.

Cloe Coscarelli has a few ideas on how to have a thankful holiday vegan-style with Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms, Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Toasted Hazelnuts, and Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

I’m not sure what I’ll be bringing to the table yet, but those recipes look outstanding.

What’s your vegan Thanksgiving look like?


 

The UNhappy Meal

For many, many reasons, please, please do not feed your kids McDonald’s (or any fast food for that matter). San Francisco (who leads the nation with the Meat Free Mondays campaign) agrees with me and has banned the fat farm fast food joint from putting toys into their Happy Meals. In an effort to combat childhood diabetes and obesity, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors made the bold move on Tuesday and “i’m lovin’ it.”

“This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children’s health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment.”

Eric Mar, SF Supervisor

By December 1st, Micky D’s has to either make their Happy Meals contain 600 calories or less, include fruits and vegetables, and the beverage without excess fat and sugar, or the toys are history. McDonald’s was pissed.

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement. “Getting a toy with a kid’s meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald’s.”

Oh, boo-hoo. Get over it and start thinking about the kids that eat this crap. They need to take this as an opportunity to help feed kids a healthier meal. This reminds me of the segment in Food, Inc., where a family of 4 could only afford to eat off the McDonald’s Value Menu and were slowly becoming diabetic, obese and just plain unhealthy.

I’m anxious to see how this plays out if other cities will follow suit.

Source


“Dear Lord, I’ve been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us… a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird… a social being… capable of actual affection… nuzzling its young with almost human-like compassion.  Anyway, it’s dead and we’re gonna eat it.  Please give our respects to its family.”

-Berke Breathed, Bloom County Babylon


Colorful Kale and Potato Casserole

Oh my gosh, this was delicious!! The flavors of the Field Roast sausage and Vegan Rella, really made this dish. This was the first time I used Vegan Rella’s cheddar flavor and like the mozzarella variety, I was in love at first bite. It is truly the best-tasting vegan cheese out there and it melts like it’s nobody’s biz. Combined with the Field Roast, there’s no need to add any other seasonings, which is always a time and money saver!

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil

1-1/2 C red potatoes, diced small

1-1/2 C kale, stemmed and chopped

1 Field Roast sausage link, Mexican Chipotle flavor, crumbled

1 C cracker crumbs

1 large tomato, diced

1-1/2 C Vegan Rella, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. In a large skillet, heat some olive oil and cook the potatoes until they begin to soften and brown. Add the Field Roast and kale and cook a few minutes more, covered, until the kale starts to wilt. Layer the crackers on the bottom of a pie plate and sprinkle some cheeze on the crackers. (Vegan Rella can be pretty sticky, so don’t knock yourself out trying to spread it too much).

Transfer the potato mixture to the pie plate and spread evenly.

Sprinkle on the rest of the cheeze and then the diced tomato.

Cover and bake for 10 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before digging into it. Enjoy! (And btw, thanks, Field Roast for the FB shout out–as you know, I LOVE your products and I’m hoping to get my local health food stores to carry more of them)!

Tofu in Tahini Sauce

Vegan MoFo, Day 4

I know, a very monochromatic meal! The recipe called for mixing half the sauce with the rice, or other accompaniment, but feel free to omit that step, especially for a less beige result. I also recommend adding some steam asparagus and/or mushrooms, or broccoli. This is simple and the sauce is rich and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

1-14oz pkg firm tofu, drained and pressed

2 Tbs olive or peanut oil

1/3 C chopped peanuts, cashews, or a combination of both

Toasted sesame seeds

Sauce:

1/4 C soy sauce

1 Tbs tamari

1/4 C tahini

2 Tbs rice wine vinegar

2 Tbs brown sugar

1/2 tsp hot pepper sesame oil

1/2 a small white onion, chopped

1/3 C water

Salt, to taste

Accompaniment:

1 C Arborio rice (risotto)

1 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

1-1/2 C water

DIRECTIONS:

I recommend making the sauce first so that you don’t have to pan-fry the tofu at the same time. In a food processor, combine all of the sauce ingredients and puree until smooth. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, margarine, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover tightly with a lid for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil. Slice the tofu into 7-8 steaks, then slice each diagonally in half. Add to the pan and fry each main side until golden brown.

Pour sauce over tofu and coat each piece of tofu.Remove from heat and stir in nuts. If using, add steamed (or roasted) veggies of your choice. Serve over rice, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!

Recipe: Adapted from Epicurious

Latin-Inspired Coleslaw

Vegan MoFo, Day 3

I have become enamored with coleslaw this year. I guess it’s because we’ve received so much cabbage from our CSA, and before, I never really gave cabbage that much thought. I’ve made regular coleslaw and Asian coleslaw, so of course, it was only natural to make a Mexican-style one. This is great on its own, or wrapped in a tortilla.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 C carrot, shredded

1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 C fresh cilantro, slightly chopped

3 large green onion, chopped (both white and green parts)

1 Tbs pimento, diced

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/2 C Vegenaise

1 Tbs almond milk

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C vegan cheddar shredded (or vegan pepper jack for an added kick)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, and green onions. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, Vegenaise, almond milk, lime juice, liquid smoke, pimento, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add the sour cream mixture to the cabbage mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in cheeze. Enjoy!


It’s Election Day!

Vegan MoFo, Day 2:

In the spirit of Election Day, I thought I’d bring up politicians and veganism. You wouldn’t exactly say they go hand-in-hand, but you might be surprised. We already know that Bill Clinton has joined the veg side, but what about other current leaders?

Dennis Kucinich, House Representative, US Congress, Manmohan Singh, 14th and current Prime Minister of India, Coretta Scott King, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, current President of India, Dr. Kenneth David Buchizya, former President of Zambia, Andrew Bartlett, Senator in Australian Parliament, Bernie Goetz, NYC Mayoral candidate, Wilson Goode, former Mayor of Philadelphia, Dr. Janez Drnovsek, 2nd President of Slovenia, James G. Abourezk, US Congressman, Sofia of Greece, Queen of Spain, Anne Campbell, British Parliament member.

And what about some of these oldies: Benjamin Franklin, Mahatma Gandhi, Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Annie Besant, political activist in England and India, Andrews Jacobs, US Congress, Sir Stafford Cripps, British Labor Party politician, General William Booth,  British Founder and 1st General of Salvation Army, Lamartine, French writer, poet and politician, Martin Luther, German theologian, Augustinian monk and ecclesiastical reformer, Willem Drees, former Dutch politician and Prime Minister . . .

So how does veganism and politics collide today? Obviously through legislature and activism—mostly animal rights and the practices of meat and dairy producers. But what about food in general and world hunger? Did you know that there is enough grain grown in the world to feed the world? But 40% of it goes to feeding the animals that will eventually be slaughtered. Whether we like it or not, we need politicians to make change.

Regardless of your candidates’ diet choices, make your voice heard and VOTE today!


Happy World Vegan Day!

Today kicks off my Vegan MoFo quest to blog everyday in November about all things vegan. We got an early start to the festivities last night with an all-vegan Halloween party with family and friends. When it comes to entertaining, our guests never go hungry or thirsty for it’s an opportunity for me to stuff them with vegan goodness. Last night was no exception.

The Menu

Vegetable Chili

Party Cheese Ball

“Cheddar” and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip

Spinach Dip

Avocado Chimichurri Bruschetta

Olive tray

Spicy Wonton Cups (see below for recipe)

Mexi-Roll-Ups (see below for recipe)

Spicy Wonton Cups:

INGREDIENTS:

30 wonton wrappers, Twin Marquis brand (egg-free)

2 Field Roast sausages, Chipotle flavor,

1 small onion, chopped

5 large mushrooms, quartered

3 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped

Vegan mozzarella, shredded

DIRECTIONS:

You can make this recipe earlier in the day to make things easier–which was a lifesaver! To make the wonton cups: Preheat broiler to high. Lightly grease a  muffin pan. I made medium-sized ones, but these work really well with the mini-muffin pan. Place a wonton wrapper in each muffin cup:

Spray the cups with a little bit of cooking spray and put under the broiler for about 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to brown.

Meanwhile, break up the sausage into large chunks and throw into the food processor. Add the onions and chop up until pretty fine. Transfer the sausage mixture to a skillet, then add the mushrooms and roasted red pepper to the food process and process until fine, then mix in with the sausage mixture.

Preheat oven to 375. Heat mixture in the skillet thoroughly, then fill the cups evenly with the mixture and sprinkle on some vegan mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake about 15 minutes. If making ahead, refrigerate the sausage mixture and cover the wonton cups until ready to use.

Mexi-Roll-Ups

INGREDIENTS:

4 flour tortillas

8 oz Tofutti cream cheese

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

(2) 2-1/4 oz black olives, diced

4 oz can mild green chilies

4 large green onions, sliced thin

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese and cilantro and spread 1/4 of the mixture onto 1 tortilla. Layer on some olives, green onions, and green chilies.

Roll up and if not using right away, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Otherwise, slice the roll and lay on a platter.

The Look

That’s right. Pedro and Napoleon. The Husband could also pass for a very tan Burt Reynolds or a Hispanic Ken doll. After making him dress as Marilyn Monroe a few years back for Halloween, I owed him, so it was my turn to cross-dress.

The Sixth Grader and I went a little nuts with the fake cobwebs:

By the end of the night, Pedro was ready to pass out . . .

Hope everyone had a great Halloween and Happy World Vegan Day!