Friday, November 16, 2012

Crock Pot Bow Ties and 'Cheese'

I was craving my Mom's mac and cheese today.  I put this together, and it turn out to be this rich, creamy dream of a dinner... with lots of leftovers.

In your crock pot, add and stir together:
250 g whole wheat bow ties (about 8 oz)
2 cups shredded vegan cheddar
4 cups soy milk
1 cup shredded vegan mozzarella
2 cubes of veggie bouillon, crumbled with your fingers
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika

Let cook for 1 hour.  Stir, and check to see if the pasta is tender.  If not, stir and check every half hour.  Mine took 1 1/2 hours to cook.

Next time, I'm adding chopped broccoli. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Grilled 'Cheese'

Joy and trumpets!  Vegan cheddar cheese that melted!

I ordered mild cheddar style Sheese from Le Monde Vegan and tried it for the first time.  It tasted great.  I will never go back!

This afternoon, I used it to make a grilled 'cheese' sandwich, using vegan margarine and whole grain vegan bread.  Awesome.  Topped it off with a cup of homemade vegan veggie-lentil soup, and felt like I'd hit the jackpot.

Individual Pumpkin Spice 'Cheesecakes'

Perfect for Fall entertaining!  So elegant!

Crumble a few vegan graham crackers or other dry, vegan cookies into the bottom of 4 pretty, little bowls.  I used my favorite cookies in France, called Speculoos.

In a food processor, blend until creamy and smooth:
275 g (10 oz) firm silkened tofu
1/4 cup maple syrup 
1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and a tiny pinch of ground cloves)

Pour mixture over crumbs.  Chill and serve.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vegan World

I just received my first order from Un Monde Vegan today.  Lots of yummy vegan cheeses to try... and 'faux gras'.  That's funny stuff!  I couldn't be happier.  Everything came well packaged and on ice.  Fast!

There website is  I have no connection to them at all.  But I will be ordering from them again soon.

Mashed Potato Cakes

This is in honor of my mother, who used to make a non-vegan version of these when I was growing up.  It's the perfect way of getting rid of leftover mashed potatoes.

Prep some breading by mixing some bread crumbs, some nutritional yeast (if desired), parsley, salt and pepper in a dish.

Heat some oil in a frying pan.  Oil your hands.  Spoon some vegan mashed potatoes into your hand and form a patty.  Bread both sides, then cook in oil until golden.

Serve with plain soy yogurt.  

You can also get creative with this by adding other ingredients or toppings as you want.  Chives, spring onions, mustard, etc.  So good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

This is now my very favorite vegan meal.  No joke.  I could live on this.

Lentils take the place of the meat in this dish, making it rich and filling, perfect for a cold night's dinner.

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Make vegan mashed potatoes, using vegan milk and butter.  I had leftovers.

Also, if you are not able to find canned cooked lentils in your grocery, you will need to precook a cup of dry lentils following package instructions.

Saute until tender:
1 diced onion
2 carrots, peeled and chopped 
1 stalk celery, chopped

Add the lentils, a small can of corn (if desired), 2 tbsp tomato paste, and a tbsp of soy sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until a thick gravy forms.  Spoon this into a medium sized baking dish.  Top with mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast (if desired) and parsley.  

Placed dish on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 20 minutes until the top is golden and the filling is bubbly.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

These were very easy to make, and a very nice snack on a Fall day.

Preheat oven to 185 C (350 F).  Flatten refrigerated vegan pizza dough into a rectangle.  Butter surface with vegan margarine.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Roll up from long side for small rolls (in photo), or from short side for large rolls.  Cut into 1/2 inch pieces, reshape into rounds, and place on an ungreased baking sheet cut side down.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until golden.  Let cool.  Top with a drizzle icing made by mixing powdered sugar with a tiny bit of soy milk.

You could add raisins if you'd like.  It's all good.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Roasted Veggie Pasta

This was so easy to make.  I just chopped up some veggies I had leftover from the week, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper and thyme, and roasted while the pasta cooked.  Very yummy, and the kids loved it.

Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).  I chopped an eggplant, 3 tomatoes, and an onion, but use what you have.  Also, add a few pealed cloves of garlic.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Spread out on a baking sheet, and roast for about 20 minutes until they are all carmelized and yummy looking... like this.

Pick out the garlic and smash with a bit of salt until it forms a paste.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water until al dente.  I used whole wheat spaghetti for extra nutrition.  Drain, and toss with veggies and garlic paste.  Top with nutritional yeast.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


My 7 year old son said, "Mama, I'm bored!  Can we make fudge?"  Why yes.  Yes we can!

You will need:
3 1/2 cups of superfine sugar (if you only have regular, blend it for a minute in your food processor)
4 oz (115 g) vegan chocolate, chopped
1 cup soy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp vegan margarine, plus more for greasing the pan

Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

Combine the sugar, chocolate, cream, and salt in a saucepan.  Cook on medium, stirring constantly until the sugar and chocolate are melted.  Stop stirring, and let continue to cook until it reads 240 F (115 C) on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and carefully stir in vanilla and margarine.

Let sit 5 minutes.  Then beat with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes (yea, I know, this is how you work off the calories).  Pour into the greased pan.  

Let cool for 30 minutes.  Precut.  Then let cool completely.  Yum!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These worked!  And, seriously, my kids didn't know the difference!!!

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).  

Whisk 2 tbsps finely ground flax seeds with 6 tbsps of warm water.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix:
1/2 cup (125 g) vegan margarine, softened
2/3 cup (150 g) sugar
1/2 cup (150 g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Add flax seed mixture and mix well.

Then sift in:
2 1/4 cups (330 g) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder

Mix just until blended.  Do not over mix.  By hand, add 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips and mix in.

Drop by tsps onto a non-stick baking sheet.

Bake for about 7 minutes until the edges are golden.

Bean, 'Cheese', and Veggie Fajitas

These were amazing and so filling. 

Just heat a can of beans with its juice, add 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and 1/2 cup of fajita sauce from a jar.  Meanwhile, saute sliced green and red pepper, and onions in veggie oil until tender.

Fill tortillas with beans, peppers and onions, chopped tomatoes, and sliced avocado.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Vanilla Maple Cream

I veganed-up the standard Libby's pumpkin pie recipe.  Tasted like home!

In a food processor, blend until smooth...
1 cup soy milk
300 g (10 1/2 oz) silkened tofu

Mix into...
1 can (15 oz, 425 g) of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Pour into an unbaked vegan pie crust.  Bake at 200 C (400 F) until a knife to the center comes out clean... around an hour.

For the cream, blend on highest speed...
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup veggie oil

Slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup more oil.  
Add 2 tbsp maple syrup and 1 tsp vanilla.

Pepper Pad Thai

This was very good!  Nice Asian flavors, kicked up with hot peppers and lime juice.  

Cook rice noodles following package directions.  

In a wok, saute firm tofu, red peppers, onion, and grated ginger in veggie oil until the tofu is browned a bit and the veggies are crisp tender.  Add some mince garlic and saute another minute.  Toss in the noodles, a pinch of red pepper flakes, soy sauce to taste, and the juice of a lime.  Saute another minute.  Add chopped cilantro and peanuts and toss before serving.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cream of Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Warm, creamy health in a bowl!

Saute 1 chopped carrot, a little bit of leek, and 1 sweet potato in a drizzle of olive oil until the leeks are tender.  Add a small palmful of fresh flat leaf parsley.  Saute for another minute.  Cover well with veggie stock, and simmer until the veggies are tender.  Add a half cup of soy milk, salt and pepper.  Blend and serve hot.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Spice Latte

Yum!  Add a tiny pinch of ground cloves, a half pinch of ground ginger, and a small pinch of ground cinnamon to your latte (made with soy or other vegan milk) for a way to welcome Fall.

Okinawan Soba Noodles with Tofu and Veg

Did you know that the people of the Ryukyu Islands, which includes Okinawa, are 6.5 times less likely to die from breast cancer? This is attributed in large part to their healthy diet. In honor of breast cancer awareness month, we made a traditional Okinawan lunch today. Soba noodles with tofu, carrots, broccoli, leeks, garlic, ginger, kale, mushrooms, lime juice, soy sauce and fresh basil. Served with hot green tea with soy milk and fresh mango, it was awesome. And I call the fact that the kids ate more than they threw at me a victory.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Make Your Own Frozen Bean Burgers

Such a healthy and yummy food to keep in your freezer.  Great for busy days.

I made a large batch of my 'cheesy' bean burgers, then separated them on a baking sheet.  I placed them in the freezer for an hour, then dropped them into a freezer bag.  Now, I have healthy bean burgers whenever I want.

I reheat mine in the microwave for about a minute.

Tomato, Corn and Red Onion Salad

Fresh and yummy!  And my husband ate it all!

Toss 1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved, with 1/2 cup corn, and 2 tbsp minced red onion.  Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.  Serve either cold or room temp.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Week in an Hour

So, in this wild stab at not eating entire jars of peanut butter at a time because I DO NOT feel like chopping another veggie...ever... no, really... ever.... I tried something new today. It took an hour, and it was pretty cool. Now vegan lunches and dinners for the next week are in my freezer, my kitchen is cleaned up, and the knives and cutting boards are away... for a week! And I will not be a total food loser like last week.


I made a spreadsheet in excel with a list of meal ideas for the next week across the top. On the right, I made a list of every ingredient I needed to make those meals, one per line, then carried it across. At the bottom, I listed the extra items I'll need the day of. I shopped for only what I needed. (Right column. Saving money.) I labelled 10 large plastic bags with the name of the meal on them, and lined them up on the counter. Turned on some tunes and started chopping and dropping each ingredient, one by one into the bags that needed them. Less that an hour later, I had a freezer full of joy.

What can I eat if I'm traveling to France? Help!

I get this question a lot.  Let me try to address it, once and for all, here.

You can buy vegan foods except for vegan cold cuts, vegan cheese, non-dairy coffee creamer, non-dairy sour cream, and non-dairy whipped cream, in the average grocery store.

There are health food stores with better options out there.  My favorite is BioCoop.  (See my post about this.)  They have vegan hot dogs, sliced cold cuts, spreadable cheeses and such.

The French, as a culture, have not heard of veganism (vegetalien), and will think you nuts.  They will be 100 percent certain you are about to drop dead of this nightmare diet of yours, and will argue with you non-stop until they've saved you.  It is better to say that you are a vegetarian (vegetarien).  Then add that you are allergic to eggs and dairy.

I would 'piq-nic' for most of your meals to make sure you are eatting vegan.  You can get gorgeous produce here, and some ready made foods, like hummas, packaged preped quinoa,   olives, and, of course, bread, easily enough.  Some of my favorite vegan packaged foods are listed on my blog as well.

In restaurants, bakeries, etc., good choices include...
Pain (French bread)
Salade verte (green salad)
Frite (fries)
Vin (wine!)
Legumes (veggies)
Salade de fruits (fruit salad)
Pomme au four (baked potato)
I'll work on expanding this list as I think of things.

Word to love:
Lait soja (soy milk)
Lait almond (almond milk)
Lait avoine (oat milk)
Soja (soy)
Legume (vegetable)
Levure nutritionnelle (nutritional yeast)
100% Vegetal (a label you will see on products showing that they have no animal products in them

Words to avoid:
Lait (milk)
Creme (cream)
Beurre (butter)
Eggs (oeufs)
Yaourt (yogurt)
Miel (honey)
Viande (meat)
Poulet (chicken)
Dinde (turkey)
Volaille (poultry)
Boeuf (beef)
Lapin (rabbit)
Poisson (fish)
Saumon (Salmon)
Thon (tuna)
Crevette (shrimp)
Homard (lobster)

Feel free to copy this down and carry it with you to show people in restaurants.  It may result in a vegan meal, though I offer you no guarantees.  There is also the small chance you will be asked to leave by an unhappy chef.  It says, "I am a vegetarian.  I am also allergic to dairy products, including milk, butter, cream, cheese, and eggs.  Would you please recommend a meal for me?  Thank you!"

Je suis végétarien. Je suis également allergique aux produits laitiers, comme le lait, le beurre, la crème , le fromage et les œufs. Souhaitez-vous recommander un repas pour moi, s'il vous plaît ? Je vous remercie!

I hope that this helps.  And I really hope you love my adoptive country!  Bon appétit!

"Ham, Egg, and Cheese" Breakfast Sandwich

I toasted 2 slices of my beer bread from yesterday, added some vegan margarine, then scrambled up some cheesy eggs (see previous post) and sauteed vegan ham.  Put it all together for a hearty and messy breakfast.

Some Vegan Cookies (Biscuits) I've found in France

I took the time today to hunt through the 'biscuit' aisle at the local grocery store.  I found that two of my favorites are vegan.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Beer Bread! Super Easy!

I love this!  So easy and great!  The beer acts as the yeast, and there is no kneeding necessary!  Soft center.  Crunchy crust.  Perfect for sandwiches!

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F).  Spray loaf pan with Pam.

Sift together:
2 cups flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder

Stir in one beer.  Spoon into pan.  Bake 1 hour, or until golden.  Cool on wire rack.

Soft Scrambled "Cheesy Eggs"

I was missing my favorite morning breakfast from before becoming a vegan.  I decided that today was the day to do something about it.  I am so glad I have leftovers for tomorrow!

Blend until smooth:
275 g (10 oz) silkened tofu
1 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional flakes
2 tsp tahini
3 tbsp flour

Heat skillet.  Add a touch of veggie oil and margarine.  Pour in as much as you'd like (save the rest in the fridge.)  Scramble as you would eggs.  I added a slice of vegan ham to the pan as well.  Eat hot.

English Muffins

Great breakfast!  Found that my favorite whole wheat English muffins are vegan.  Topped with margarine and jam for a filling breakfast.


Vegan!  I will be doing a lot with these!!!

Baked Sweet Potatoes

So easy, good and good for you!  Just bake sweet potatoes in oven until tender.  Slice open and top with vegan margarine, salt and pepper.

My Rice Cooker

I seriously could not live without this thing.  My brother got me hooked.  Mine is extra big, and has a steamer basket that you can use at the same time you are cooking your rice.  Yep!  Veg and rice, cooked at the same time in one easy step.  And it switches to a warmer setting when it's done cooking.  Hassle free.

Ratatouille by Cassegrain

Vegan!  Score!  Yessssss!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Easy Bread Baked in a Dutch Oven

My kids and I walked by a field of wheat this past weekend.  I explained to my 6 year old son that wheat is used to bake bread.  He said he wanted to try that.  So I found this amazing recipe on another's blog (see link at bottom), and we baked bread together yesterday.  Super good. 

And he chased me with dough hands!

4 Ingredient Individual Chocolate "Cheese"cakes

My name is Lucinda Segneri.
You killed my diet.
Prepare to die.

Oh.  My.  These are so great, and super easy to make!  You'll see!

Crumble a few vegan graham crackers or other dry, vegan cookies into the bottom of 4 pretty, little bowls.  

In a food processor, blend until creamy and smooth:
275 g (10 oz) firm silkened tofu
1/4 cup maple syrup
100 g (3 1/2 oz)  MINUS a little bit to shave on the top! Melted vegan chocolate (I use the microwave to keep it simple)

Pour mixture over crumbs.  Shave the remaining chocolate on top.  Chill and serve.

Perfect to entertain!  So elegant!  (If you don't inhale it over the kitchen sink like I did.)

Chocolate Pudding Cups

Very creamy and rich!

In a small sauce pot, whisk together:
2 cups soy milk
4 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (deepens the chocolate flavor, optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 maple syrup
1/3 cup cacao powder

Heat on medium, stirring constantly, until it thickens.  Pour into 4 small plastic containers with lids.  Chill and enjoy. 

Spinach "Feta" Pasta

So delicious and full of iron!

Cook whole wheat pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, sautee some spinach and garlic in olive oil.  Sprinkle in a tiny bit of ground nutmeg, black pepper, and corse salt.

Toss all together with some crumbled herbed firm tofu (I use the back of a fork to do this).

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Cheesy" Black Bean and Veggie Tacos

Oh, yum!  Crunchy goodness!

Drain most of the liquid out of a can of black beans.  Simmer in a sauce pan.  Stir in 1/3 cup nutritional yeast.

In a frying pan, saute sliced onion, green pepper, and red pepper in veggie oil until tender crisp.  Sprinkle with taco seasoning.

Chop up a tomato and an avocado.  Heat up some taco shells.  Assemble and eat.

You could also add salsa, vegan sour cream or vegan cheese (I added some shredded vegan cheddar that I made earlier today.  See last post.)

Cheddar "Cheese"

Don't tell anyone.  I'm pretty sure I can be arrested for this here in France.  ;)    It tastes good, looks right, it shreds, but only softens when heated.  I have yet to solve the melty puzzle.

Here is what you will need...

1  1/2 cups water
Agar-agar - 5 packages of 4 g each (or 3 tbsp)
A small saucepan
A whisk
350 g (12 oz) jar of cashew nut puree ("butter", or make your own by blending raw nuts)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Juice of one lemon
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
A mixing bowl and spoon
A plastic container and lid to act as a mold

In the saucepan, bring the water and agar-agar to a boil, whisking mixture to blend.  Lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until the agar-agar is melted and the mixture is thickened.

Mix this and all the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour into the plastic container sprayed with Pam.  Cover and chill until firm.  

Turn out onto a serving plate.  Keep covered with plastic wrap when storing.  Will keep about 5 days in fridge.

Biocoop - French Vegan Heaven!

I finally got up enough courage to drive into the city, unload my Jedi-obsessed 6 year old son and hyperactive 2 year old twins and check out a store called Biocoop.  So glad I did!  Vegan meats and cheese, goji berries, agar-agar, and everything else I could think of!  I will definitely be going back!

A picture of today's contraband....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012