Thursday, March 29, 2012

Vitamin C Fruit Salad

Toss some kiwi, clementines, and some julienned candied ginger together.  Amazing!

Guacamole and Chips

I was so hungry at lunch, with no time to cook for myself.  I had 2 nice avocados on the counter, and a packet of Old El Paso seasoning.  Mashed it up, added some chips, and ole!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roasted Carrots and Caramelized Red Onions

This is a traditional veggie dish from the South of France.  Love it.

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).  In a large bowl, toss pealed chopped carrots, chunks of red onion, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.  Spread on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender and the onions are caramelized.  

Rice Pilaf

Very quick, easy, child friendly, and it makes 5 large servings.  Perfect for vegans, and as a side dish for non-vegans.

In a kettle, boil a few cups of water.  In a medium sauce pan, heat a few tbsp of olive oil.  Add 1/2 diced yellow onion, 1/2 cup frozen green peas, and 1 cup of basmati rice.  Stir to coat everything well in oil.  Saute, stirring frequently, until the rice is a little browned.  Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper to taste.  Add 2 cups boiling water and 1 vegan vegetable bouillon cube.  Stir, cover and reduce heat to low.  Don't touch for 20 minutes.  Stir and serve warm.

Maple Brown Sugar Granola

A yummy, heart healthy snack.... and I bet it would be awesome as a cereal with cold milk.

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).  In a bowl, mix 1 cup oats (or a combo of oats and raw nuts), 3 tbsp brown sugar (lightly packed), and a pinch of salt.  Add 3 tbsp good maple syrup.  Stir well.  Spread onto a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir.  Place back into oven.  Turn oven OFF.  Leave for half and hour.  Let cool, then toss with your favorites (nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips), or leave plain.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

Seriously, my life will NEVER BE THE SAME!  I was so sick of trying vegan ice cream recipes, one after another, than included banana.  Don't get me wrong.  I love bananas.  But if you put them in ice cream, let's face it.  You have banana ice cream.  This, ... well this is the greatest way in the history of the planet Earth to get your protein and calcium.

1 cup vegan milk (soy, almond...)
1/2 cup soy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp vegan cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Freeze, eat, melt faster than your ice cream.

Easy Pancakes

I happily found that my favorite pancake mix is vegan.  Worked a little magic on the ingredients to add, and voila!

1/2 cup vegan pancake mix
1/3 cup vegan milk (soy, almond...)
2 tbsp applesauce
1/2 tbsp veggie oil

Heat skillet on medium high.  Mix ingredients.  Test skillet by tossing in a few drops of water.  If they bubble right away, it's ready.  Take off of heat for a second and spray with Pam.  Fry off your pancakes, flipping over when the edges look dry, and there are air bubbles on the surface.  Top with light vegan margarine and maple syrup.

Where does a girl get Aunt Jemima and Pam in France?  I found the mix in the international section of my local grocery store.  I ordered the Pam from an online American store in Toulouse (, but it was almost 8 euros a can.  Ouch!

Mommy tip, make two batches, yours, and one following the directions on the box for your non-vegan family.

I will be making these again, adding things like blueberries, or chocolate chips!  So good!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chop and Drop Soup

So yummy and good for you!

Fill a tea kettle with mineral water high in calcium.  Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat a few tbsps olive oil on medium high.  Start chopping and dropping your favorite veggies into the pot, stirring occasionally.  Go for lots of color.  Mine included red onion, carrots, canned corn, red peppers, canned crushed tomatoes, and cabbage.  Add one can of your favorite beans for protein.  I added white beans.  Pour in enough boiling water to cover the veggies.  Add one vegetable bouillon cube, some salt and pepper.  Top with parsley.  Simmer until veggies are tender.  Serve with whole grain bread.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cold Cereal

I found this awesome vegan cereal by chance.  Jordan's Country Crisp.  So good.  With pecans and maple syrup.  Just added soy milk.  This cereal has more than 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per serving.


I had leftover cheese sauce from my mac and cheese. I decided to try it on nachos.  It was BETTER than the mac and cheese.

Preheat your oven to 200 C (400 F).  Sprinkle tortilla chips on a baking sheet.  Add some beans (black or red kidney), some veggies (I added corn, avocado, diced tomato), and the cheese sauce.  Bake for 10 minutes until bubbly.  Add some salsa and guacamole (if you like), and some shredded lettuce (I didn't have any.)  Top with vegan sour cream if you can find it (I couldn't.)  Serve hot.

Tomato Basil Pizza

Joy!  I found out that the refrigerator pizza crust in my local store is vegan.  So good!

1 package pizza crust
A few tbsp of vegan pasta sauce
Thinly sliced tomato
Shredded fresh basil
Sprinkling of nutritional yeast
Drizzle of olive oil

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).  Top crust with sauce, tomatoes, basil, yeast, and oil.  (I also added diced red peppers because I was craving them.)  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

Mommy tip.... bake two, and add cheese to the other for your non-vegan family.

Southeast Asian Noodle Salad

So easy and yummy!  Make extra.  Leftovers are even better.

Boil whole wheat spaghetti in salted water.  Five minutes before the end of the cooking time, toss in your favorite veggies.  I used leeks, broccoli, and carrots, but things like bean sprouts and pea pods would be awesome.  Cook until pasta is al dente.  Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix...
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
A tiny pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 1/2 lime
3 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sugar (yea, I know, but you need it... trust me)
1 1/2 tsp veggie oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Add pasta mixture.  Toss well.  Chill in fridge.

When ready to serve, toss again, then top with scallions, chopped peanuts and your favorite fresh herb.  I used mint because I had it in the fridge, but basil or cilantro would be awesome.

Mommy tip....  Make extra pasta and veg with yours.  Toss it with olive oil and parmesan.  Serve as a side dish for your non-vegan family.

Sweet Fruit Salad

So yummy and refreshing.  And when you're done, you have fresh squeezed oj in the bottom of the bowl!

Peel and chop up one pear, one banana, and whatever fruit you like.  Section an orange on top, then squeeze out the juice into the bowl.  Stir and serve cold.  

Blueberry Sojade

I LOVE this stuff!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sauteed Gnocchi

Yummy and filling, and can be made for you and your non-vegan family at the same time.  Just toss their servings with cheese.

Cook gnocchi according to package directions.  Sautee them in olive oil until golden.  Season with s&p.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Toast

A great way to start the day!

Toast whole wheat bread, top with light vegan margarine, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Delish, and so, so sweet!

Preheat oven to 200C (400 F).  Wash a very large sweet potato well.  Place it directly on the rack in the middle of your oven.  Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a fork pierces it easily.

Carefully remove potato, slice it lengthwise, and scoop out center into bowl.  Smash in 1 tsp light vegan margarine, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Will easily serve 2.

One Minute Mug Brownie

So great!  You will never know this is vegan.... seriously!

In a small bowl, mix...
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp veggie oil
2 tbsp water

Sift in...
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa (check label to ensure it's vegan)
1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (trust me, you need this to bring out the cocoa flavor, you will not taste it)
and a pinch of salt

Stir just until blended.  Spoon into mug.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp powdered sugar.  Serve warm.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Strawberries in Chocolate Sauce

Mix 2 tsp agave syrup with 1 tsp vegan cocoa until it resembles Hershey's chocolate syrup.  (It will taste like it too!)  Drizzle over fresh strawberries and serve.

Mocha Frap!

My new favorite drink!!!!  Unbelievably great!

1/3 cup vegan milk (soy, almond...)
1 cup cold coffee
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vegan cocoa (check label)
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 ice cubes

Blend milk on high speed for 1 minute.  Add the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT ice, and blend well.  Add ice, and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.  (Special note, if I still lived in the States, I would top this with non-dairy whipped cream.  Alas, no luck there.)

Mac and 'Cheese'

This is almost as good...

Elbow macaroni
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 cup vegan milk (soy, almond...)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric

Boil macaroni in salted water until al dente, then drain.  Meanwhile, heat oil in small pot.  Add flour, stir to remove lumps, and cook for a minute until bubbly.  Add milk and rest of ingredients.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Mix into macaroni and serve.

Traditional French Breakfast

I had a very traditional French breakfast this morning... toasted French bread, vegan margarine, and apricot jam.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quick French Bread Pizza

This was ready in 15 minutes.  And I made non-vegan pizza for my family at the same time.  

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).  Slice French bread in half and place on baking sheet.  Top with vegan pasta sauce (I used Barilla Basilico).  Add finely diced veggies (I used shallots, red peppers, yellow peppers and garlic).  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until golden.

Veggie Lo Mein

This was awesome!

Boil whole wheat pasta in salted water until al dente and drain.  Meanwhile, saute your favorite veggies (I used carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger) in hot oil until crisp tender.  Add 1/2 tsp of sesame oil, a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes, and 1 tbsp soy sauce.  Toss in pasta.  Add more soy sauce to taste as desired.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup

I have been so hungry for ice cream!  This was a nice alternative.

1 medium banana
3/4 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup vegan milk (soy, almond...)
1/2 powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix in blender and freeze.  

To serve, mix...

2 tsp agave syrup
1 tsp vegan cocoa

...and drizzle on top.  Sooooo good!

Bean Burger

I had been wanting to try a burger that was not soy based, but I couldn't find a bean burger recipe that I liked.  So, I took a little of this and a little of that, and it turned out well!

1/2 cup beans, mashed (I used red beans because I had extra in the fridge.)
1/4 cup veggie (I had corn in the fridge too, but use your imagination... onions, peppers,...)
1 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp mustard
2 tbsp flour
s&p to taste

Mix together and form into patty.  Fry in a touch of veggie oil with any cooked veggies you'd like on top (I did onions).  Serve on whole grain bun or bread, topped with raw veg and sauces you like.

Chocolate Dipped Fruit

I'd like to say that this is delicious, but, unfortunately, I have no idea.  My children at it all before I could get one bite.

Chop a small plate of your favorite firm fruit (oranges, bananas, strawberries...)

Melt 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (check label to make sure they are vegan) in a microwave safe bowl, 15 seconds at a time until melted, stirring between.

Dip fruit and enjoy!

Roasted Creamy Garlic Potatoes

Oh... man....
Good luck with this one.  If you can stop yourself from eating the whole thing, you are a stronger person than I.
Mommy tip - make two, one vegan, one not.  Makes an incredible side dish for non-vegans too using 'whipping cream' or half and half instead of soy cream.

500 g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
200 ml (little less than a cup) soy cream 
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).  Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into baking dish.  Bake for about 40 minutes until golden brown.  Yum.

German Cabbage and Apples

My German friends, Stefan and Regina, made this for me once.  Fell in love.  I could eat the whole pot.  Be careful, though.  It stains clothing like nobody's business.

1 small head of red cabbage, shredded
2 apples, pealed and finely chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

Add everything to a pot.  Add water until just covered.  Boil to death.  Enjoy!

Morning Grits

I embraced my Virginia roots this morning and made grits with vegan margarine and S&P.  Where does a girl in France get grits?  From an on-line American store in Toulouse.  Loyal customer here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Iced Mint Green Tea with Calcium

Soooo good.  And good for you!  Use mineral water high in calcium for extra nutrition.  For example, Evian has 78 mg/l of calcium.

Add 4 cups boiling water to 2 mint green tea bags, like Twinings (or 2 green tea bags and several leaves of fresh mint).  Mix in sugar to taste if desired.  Stir and let steep until cool.  Serve over ice.  Keep extra in the fridge for a refreshing pick-me-up.

Fast Tomato Basil Whole Wheat Pasta

After a very busy day, I needed a quick meal I could cook for both me AND my kids.  This was brilliant, and on the table in 15 minutes.  (I just tossed cheese on top of the kids' dishes.  They are non-vegans.)

Cook whole wheat pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.  Drain.  Toss with jarred vegan tomato basil sauce (my favorite is Barilla Basilico).  Sprinkle with nutritional yeast (for a 'like parmesan' experience), if desired.  

Cran-blueberry Spritzer with Calcium

I love using mineral waters to help get the calcium I need.  This drink is one of my favs!

Mix 1/3 cup cranberry blueberry juice with one cup high calcium sparkling water.  I love to use a brand called Salvetat in France (253 mg/l), but others, such as Perrier (147 mg/l) are very good as well.  Just check the label.

Red Bean and Corn Soft Tacos

I was in the mood for Mexican this afternoon.  I already had a package of opened tortillas and some taco seasoning, so I assembled this healthy vegan lunch.

In a small saucepan, heat one small can of red beans, one small can of corn, and 1 tsp taco seasoning.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, saute your favorite veggie (onions, peppers, mushrooms...) in oil (a reminder that rapeseed oil is a vegan source of omega 3, if you can find it).

Chop up your favorite fresh veggie on the side (tomatoes, lettuce, avocado...).

Fill a vegan tortilla with the bean and corn mix, top with sauteed veggies, with sauces such as salsa or guacamole if you like, then with fresh veggies.

Super Easy Cappuccino (No Machine!)

I miss Starbucks so much.  We live in a little village near Lyon, and I seldom get the time to go into the city for a cup of good Joe.  Here is my super easy, vegan alternative.

Brew 1-2 shots of espresso, or one cup of very strong coffee.  Fill your cup 2/3 full.  Add sugar to your taste, plus the tiniest touch of vanilla if you like.

In a separate cup, heat 1/4 cup vegan milk (soy, almond...) for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Place the cup of a stable work surface.  Using a balloon whisk, 'foam' the milk by rolling the handle of the whisk rapidly between your palms for a minute or so.  Add foam to coffee.

Top with a dusting of your favorite vegan cocoa.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Easy Cinnamon Croissants with Icing

I was going crazy today for cinnamon rolls from back home.  I just had to do something!  And these turned out wonderfully.  My 2 year old twins liked them too.

1 can refrigerator crescent rolls (check label, in France, I use Sara Lee and they are vegan)
1 tbsp vegan margarine, softened
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
2 tsp vegan milk (soy, almond...)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven following package instructions.  Separate each croissant and place flat on work surface.  Spread with a very thin layer of margarine.  Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon sugar.  Roll up and form into crescent on baking sheet.  Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar.  Bake until golden.  Let cool slightly.  Mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Drizzle over warm croissants.  Serve immediately.