Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chunky Guacamole

In a medium bowl, mix:
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
the juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
a drizzle of veggie oil (optional, I didn't)

"Cheesy" Lasagna with Fresh Basil and Spinach

YUM!  I took a tip from the French on this one.  They do not use ricotta in their lasagna.  They use a bechamel.  So, living here, where vegan cheese is non-existent, I whipped up this lasagna with what I could get.  By the way, be careful with the lasagna noodles.  They usually will have egg in them.  I had to get mine from the UK.

Preheat oven to 185 C (350 F).  

In a food processor, pulse...
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic, peeled
... until crumbly.

In a small sauce pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil.  Add 2 tbsp flour all at once, and stir rapidly to eliminate the lumps.  Cook until bubbly.  Add 1 cup vegan milk, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Spread a little bit of jarred marinara sauce on the bottom of a medium casserole dish.  Add 2 noodles, uncooked.  Top with half of your milk mixture.  Top with half of the bread crumb mixture.  Top with half of the remaining marinara sauce.  Add 2 more noodles, the rest of the milk mixture, most of the bread crumb mixture (save a little for the top), and the rest of the marinara.  Sprinkle with the rest of the crumbs.

IMPORTANT!!! - Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Take out, remove cover, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Fruit Plate

I do this after almost every lunch and dinner for my family.  We finish the meal with a plate of fresh fruit, ready to eat.  Healthy, and the kids attack it like a pack of crazy monkeys.  Building great habits!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Roasted Eggplant

This was so simple and good!  My husband and I agree that we will try it next time with some minced garlic on it, too.

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).  Wash an eggplant and slice it lengthwise.  Brush the cut surface with olive oil.  Place into an oiled baking dish.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.  Roast for half an hour.  

Caramelized Potatoes and Onions

My Danish friend, Anne, says that the way to make a house smell like home is to throw some onions in a frying pan.  She may just have something there!

Peel and dice potatoes and onions.  Saute them in a frying pan with some olive oil, fresh flat-leaf parsley, salt and pepper until caramelized.  If the centers of the potatoes are still firm, add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan and cook until evaporated.  Repeat this step until the potatoes are tender.

Mocha Mix

Stir some into hot or cold soy milk for a yummy jolt.

Mix 1 part sugar, 1 part vegan cocoa, and 2 parts instant espresso powder in an airtight container.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Miso Soup

So warm and yummy, and very easy.

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a light boil.  Add a miso cube and a palm full of your favorite veggies (I used carrots and scallions).  Let cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are tender.


Enjoy a lunch straight from your childhood.  Just use whole grain bread to boost the nutrition and fiber.

Morning Oatmeal

This a warm and yummy start to the day!

In a small sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup oats and 1 cup soy milk to a simmer.  Add a tiny pinch of salt and your favorite flavorings (I used a small drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon).  Let simmer a few minutes until thick.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Instant Mashed Potatoes

Let's face it.  Who has time to always cook a meal from scratch?  I don't.  Tonight, I needed something fast and easy.  These were yummy.

Mix 1/4 cup soy milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/3 cup instant potato flakes (check the package to be sure they are vegan) in a microwave safe bowl.  Nuke on high for about 1 minute.  Stir, top with salt, pepper and margarine to taste.

Note to self:  Mix rest of package with 1 cup milk and 1 1/4 cup water for the family.

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Very yummy!

Toss chopped tomatoes and sliced avocado with bottled balsamic vinaigrette.

Soba Lo Mein

I could seriously eat this every single day....

Cook soba noodles in boiling salted water until they float, about 4 minutes.  Drain.

In the meantime, saute your favorite veg (I used scallions, carrots, fresh ginger, and garlic) in a little veggie oil until crisp tender.  Add noodles and soy sauce to taste.


This very spicy cold soup is a kicker.  It is really good, but a little goes a long way.

In a large bowl, mix...
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
4 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated
3 cups of tomato or veggie juice
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 olive oil
1/2 tbsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Let sit in the fridge for a few hours.  Serve cold with crusty bread.  This also makes an awesome Summer appetizer, serves in little glasses.

Tofu Yakitori

I used to love Japanese chicken yakitori.  I decided to make my own version with tofu, and it was wonderful.  Just cube tofu, place on a stick (previously soaked in water if you are going to cook on a grill), and pour yakitori sauce over it to marinate for at least an hour in the fridge.  Fry with a little oil (or grill) on each side for a few minutes until golden.  Fight the urge to pour the remaining marinade over top while cooking, as this will stick and burn horribly (you can only imagine why I know this :).

Peanut Butter Toast

A warm breakfast from my childhood, only with healthier whole wheat toast.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Baked Glazed Blueberry Orange Donuts

Yummo!  Make them any flavor you want.  These here are blueberry orange, but go nuts people.

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

In a large bowl, sift together....
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Mix in...
1/2 tsp of orange or lemon zest, if desired
1/3 cup vegan milk (I used almond this time)
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 tbsp melted margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla
...just until blended.

Spray donut pan with Pam.  (My pan is non-stick, so I didn't do that with the first batch.  BIG mistake.  Epic.)  Spoon mixture into pan until 2/3 full, and smooth out with back of spoon.  Top with a sprinkling of any ingredients you like.  I used blueberries, but chocolate chips or nuts would be awesome.  Bake until the top just starts to brown.  Remove from oven.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Remove from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

In a large bowl, mix....
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)
1/8 cup vegan milk
1 tbsp fruit juice (I used OJ)
1 tsp vanilla

Drop donuts into bowl and turn over three times.  Remove to wire rack over baking sheet.  Do not do this over your laptop.  (My laptop is now delicious.)

Pesto Génois

I promise you, if you make this for ANYONE, even your non-vegan friends, they will kiss you square on the lips.  And, your kitchen will smell like Heaven!!!

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In your food processor, pulse chop...
2 tbsp pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
...until fine.

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
...and pulse until fine.

Through the feed tube, with the machine running, drizzle in....
1/2 cup olive oil
... until well incorporated.

Add 1/3 cup nutritional yeast and blend.  (For non-vegan friends, use parm.)

Stir desired amount into hot pasta and yum.  Store unused pesto for up to one day in a plastic container with a very thin film of olive oil on top to protect the color.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easy "Cheesy" Bean Soft Tacos

Very yummy and filling!  Add a beer for perfection. 

Heat a can of red kidney beans, with the liquid, in a sauce pan.  Add 1 tsp of taco seasoning, and 1/2 cup nutritional yeast.  Stir until thickened.

Spoon beans onto soft tortillas.  Top with your favorite veggies (corn, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, ...) Add some salsa and guacamole (make sure it's vegan, the crazy French add cheese sometimes) if you like.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pasta

My new favorite way to eat eggplant!  And I "mommified" it for my non-vegan kids by tossing their servings with parm.  They gobbled it up and asked for more!

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).   In a large bowl, toss until well combined....

1 eggplant, pealed and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 medium tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 medium onion, sliced into wedges
2 cloves garlic, smashed with side of large knife and pealed whole
A healthy dose of olive oil
S & p to taste
A sprinkling of parsley, basil, thyme.
A very light sprinkling of oregano (too much can be overpowering)

Spread veggies out onto a baking sheet into a single layer.  Roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook whole wheat penne in salted boiling water until al dente.  Drain.

Pick out garlic and place in small bowl.  Add 1/2 tsp salt and turn into paste with back of spoon.  Add to pasta and stir well, letting that garlic paste infuse the pasta.  Add veggies and a good drizzle of olive oil to pasta and toss well.

Top with nutritional yeast for that like parm experience.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Japanese Marinated Tofu with Soba Noodles and Veg

Yum.  Just yum.  I made enough for leftovers, but my husband (a non-vegan) ate it all.

In a medium bowl, mix...
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
a pinch of red pepper flakes

200 g (4 oz) firm tofu, cubed

Toss to coat.  Place bowl in fridge for at least one hour.  

In a wok or large frying pan, saute your favorite veggies (I used onion, broccoli, carrots, and red peppers) until they start to get tender.  Add the tofu with it's marinade and saute for a few minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook soba noodles in boiling water until they float (about 4 to 5 minutes).  I found soba at a French store called Le Grand Frais, but if you can't find it, just use whole wheat spaghetti and cook according to package directions.

Drain pasta and toss with tofu and veg mix.  Eat hot.

Awesome Chocolate Cake

This turned out very well.  And my husband (who is not wild about chocolate) and my kids gobbled it up too.

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).

Sift together....
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder (check label)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp instant espresso powder (trust me!  it brings out the chocolate flavor and you will not taste it)
1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup veggie oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cider vinegar (I know!  Weird, right?)
1 cup water

Mix just until blended.  Pour into a 9 inch square pan that you've sprayed with Pam, or coated with a little oil.  Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Let cool, and sprinkle with powdered sugar (icing sugar).

Monday, April 2, 2012

One Pot Lemon Broccoli and Rice

So easy!  Pour 1 cup of basmati rice into a medium sauce pot.  Add 2 cups water, a handful of broccoli florets, half of a lemon (squeezing juice into pot first), some parsley, and s&p.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, drop heat to low, and time for 20 minutes without touching it.  When the timer dings, remove lemon half and fluff with fork.  So good, and high in vitamin C!

Easy Crunchy Sweet Salad

I tossed bagged salad greens, seedless grapes, chopped walnuts, and bottled balsamic vinaigrette together for a yummy lunch.

Chocolate Croissants

I was craving butter filled 'pain au chocolat', chocolate filled croissants, this morning.  I used vegan refrigerator crescent dough and vegan Lindt chocolate squares to bake off an amazing breakfast.  Just wrapped the chocolate inside the croissants and baked them off until golden.