30 December 2009

Barley and Cranberry Chili

I cannot wait for a day off, I cannot wait to prepare dinner while still in my pajamas, I cannot wait for the new year! Until then, here is a little somethin' to fill the tummy and not stress out the brain. I got the recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes and added cranberries to it. It was tasty but next time I make it I think I will add a little more broth, as my friend David said, "It was very good, but was more like beans and rice then chili," and so it was...

28 December 2009

Coconut Date Rolls and Pecan Date Balls

These are super easy to make and a healthy fiber filled snack to boot! I have been buying coconut date rolls for a few years and whenever I pick them up I think to myself, "I can make these," and I never do. Today I purchased a package of Medjool dates and did just that. I even used pecans for a nutty version.

Coconut Date Rolls

1 lb. Medjool Dates, pitted
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Put dates in food processor until completely blended then roll into coconut and Enjoy!

You can use any kind of nut to roll the dates in, or even cocoa. Yum!

27 December 2009

Punk'in Pecan Flaxy Pancakes

I love pumpkin, I really do. I would be happy if I could eat pumpkin everyday for the rest of my life. I would have pumpkin pasta, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin soy yogurt, stuffed pumpkin and so on. Unfortunately pumpkin is not available year round, so while the season is young I buy fresh sugar pumpkins and as the season comes to an end I empty the shelves of my Trader Joe's of the canned organic pumpkin. I was a little late on grabbing my canned pumpkin this year and could only snag two! Horrifying, I know, but I have come to terms with this and decided not to hide the pumpkin in my cupboard to only use on the most special of occasions, instead I popped open a can and declared that everyday is a special occasion! I decided to use the wee bit of my pumpkin for a delicious breakfast that would determine the direction of my day, and with pumpkin pancakes in my belly, I knew the remainder of the day would be awesome! And so it was...

Punk'in Pecan Flaxy Pancakes

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup ground golden flax
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 T. canola oil
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups rice milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon hazelnut extract
2 T. raw agave nectar
1/4 cup raw pecans

In a large bowl combine flour, flax, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Then add pumpkin, water, rice milk, vanilla extract, hazelnut extract and agave. Mix to combine but do not over mix because rubbery pancakes will be the dreadful outcome. Fold pecans into batter. If pancake mixture is too thick add a bit more water until desired consistency is obtained. Heat skillet and coat with olive oil or canola oil, flick water on skillet and if it sizzles it is ready! Using a spoon or ladle pour pancake batter onto skillet and when batter begins to bubble, flip and cook opposite side. wallah! You now have yummy pancakes to chase away the boring breakfast blues.

26 December 2009

Focaccia Bread

Oh, the perils of cooking a Christmas meal, so much to do, so many pallets to appeal to and so much to clean up after! I was on the verge of skipping the Christmas meal altogether until on Christmas Eve my sister said she would like to eat a vegan meal instead of the traditional turkey and ham my grandparents cook. She is new to the realm of vegetarianism and veganism and has really been rethinking her eating habits. Since I am always overly pleased to feed people vegan food and watch as their pre-conceived notions of the vegan diet melt away with their first delicious bite, I agreed to host dinner at my place. The only problem with whipping together a last minute Christmas meal was we had not gone grocery shopping and nothing was open!

After pacing around the house and wearing a circle shaped hole into my floor's carpet, I had exactly one idea. We need bread! Everyone eats bread on holidays, right? I don't know if that is necessarily true, but for the sake my sanity, I decided it was so. I felt very lucky that just five minutes beforehand I had unwrapped my present from Tim and had received the Chicago Diner Cookbook, and right in the first few pages was an easy and tasty focaccia bread recipe. I was all over that recipe in a heartbeat.

The rest of the meal came easy after that, chickpea cutlets from the Veganomicon, some delicious colorful chard, curried peas and carrots, rosemary mashed potatoes and gravy and an easy mousse for dinner. My sister was pleased, I was pleased and most of all we were stuffed! Although I am a ridiculously obsessive planner, I do enjoy the occasional last-minute meal.

Chocolate Peppermint Mousse on top of White Chocolate Macadamia Pudding

24 December 2009

Peanut Butter Doggie Snacks

Timmy and I do not have children, nor do we want children. They are fine to wave to from a far distance, but up close scare the bejesus out of us. Instead we have dogs and cats; wonderful, adorable dogs and cats. As any great pet owner would do, we spoil our furry children. Our chihuahua Ellie Mae owns a wide assortment of dresses and shirts (yes, we are those kind of dog owners) and our precious dog Adelaide has enough squeaky balls to fill one of those ball prisons people lock their children in at Chuck-E-Cheese. It is their sweet demeanor and full adoration they give us that prompts Tim and I to keep on spoiling them up until their tail-wagging last days. This includes baking them delicious dog biscuits and cakes. Since it is Christmas, I have baked some goodies for the entire family's doggie children. We will have some fat, happy and sleepy pups in our home tonight.

From our kids to yours...

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 cup unsalted, creamy peanut butter
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 T. molasses

Pre-heat oven to 350
Mix whole wheat flour, cornmeal and flax until just combined. Add peanut butter, molasses and non-dairy milk to flour mixture until a thick dough forms. Roll out onto a floured surface then cut out fun doggie shapes. Bake 20 minutes.

Store in an air-tight container, will keep for a little over a week.

23 December 2009

White Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Nut Cookies

As promised I put my white chocolate chips to good use. Up next, maybe some white chocolate fudgey goodness?

22 December 2009

Faux Chicken and Dumplings

Living in Tempe or as I like to say 'Tempeh" Arizona, it doesn't really get too chilly here. I have not experienced many cold days that have frozen me down to my marrow, but the last few days (today especially) have been a wee bit cold for my thin Arizona blood. Last night as I stood in the kitchen shivering, I contemplated making a blanket of biscuits to keep me warm, but after weighing the pros and cons of biscuit blankets I settled on some good ol' comfort food. Chicken and Dumplings to be exact. My grandmother made these for me as a child and I would wait in the kitchen for her word of completion to be the first to chow down on this tasty meal. As an adult my diet has changed pretty drastically and chicken is definitely not on my menu. So what to do? Tofu? Seitan? Tempeh? Gardein chicken pieces? No, none of those. I decided on Soy Curls. If you have not tried these little gems, I suggest you pick them up on your next shopping adventure.

This was my first attempt at Veganizing this classic meal but I think it turned out very well.

1/2 stick Earth Balance
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup Soy Curls, pre-soaked
3/4 cup flour (I like mine thicker, you can use 1/2 cup for a thinner version)
1/4 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
6 cups of veggie broth
1 to 2 Bay leaves

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup rice milk
1 T. parsley
2 T. olive oil

Soak Soy Curls in hot water for 10 minutes. In a skillet melt butter and toss in onions and carrots and sautee until tender. In a large saucepan bring veggie broth, salt, flour and bay leaves to a boil. While the onions are cooking make your dumplings. In a large bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder and parsley. Add olive oil and soy milk and mix with fork until you have a sticky dough. Add onion mix, soy curls and dumplingd to boiling broth, lower to a medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it, because mine got a bit bubbly and threatened me with boiling over but I gave it a slight stir with a spoon and all was well.

21 December 2009

Seitanic Stir-fry

Timmy and I make good dinners when standing side by side in our orangey kitchen. We got these freeze-dried wheat gluten chunks from Loving Hut in Phoenix and have been soaking them in Bragg's Liquid Aminos and tossing them into our stir-frys. They are delish and super inexpensive. kick*swear*

I just got these today, shipped from Food Fight! in Portland

I plan to use these for good, not evil. Unless you count sinful cookies as evil...


I love food, I mean I REALLY love food. I work at Trader Joe's and stare at food all day. I share recipes and hug old ladies. At home I bake goodies and hug puppies. I have been Vegan for about two years now and really I am learning new tricks of the trade daily. My future goal is to do as my Grandmother once did and own a bakery, a Vegan bakery. Although she is a traditional baker she has come to enjoy the wonders of a good vegan cookie, pie or cake. She gets teary-eyed whenever I state that she is my biggest influence, my favorite friend and my hero, so hopefully she has a tissue near by if reading this. I hope I do everyone right by this blog. I hope to entertain, help those with deep rumbleys in their tumbleys and share some wonderful and tasty recipes.