Saturday, October 26, 2013

Way Awesome Vegan Pancakes

I've been working hard to perfect my pancake recipe so that they are light and fluffy and taste good, too. I think we finally have a winner.  There are ways to "veganize" most any recipe, and I've been just substituting in vegan milk and whole wheat flour. But the 'cakes were a bit tough. I think we have a good one now, though.

One note about flour:  don't buy cheap flour!  There are many ingredients that you can buy generic or dollar store versions and recipes turn out just fine. Flour is not one of those ingredients. But a good brand flour for your baking needs. You will see a difference.

I make a triple batch.  My family eats about 1 1/2 batches for a weekend meal, then the rest are cooled and frozen in a large ziplock baggie for quick and easy breakfasts during the school week.

1/2 c. white flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 c. soy or almond milk with 2 T. apple cider vinegar added (let sit to sour the milk)
1 t. vanilla
1 T. oil

Whisk together all dry ingredients and then add all the wet ingredients.  Whisk together until well blended, then let batter sit for 10 minutes.  Heat a fry pan to medium high, spray with non-stick cooking spray and cook pancakes until browned on each side. (The pancakes are ready to turn when the edges look dry and the bubbles stop appearing.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I tried a recipe similar to this at my favorite grocery/health market, but I felt like it needed something more. So I've experimented a little bit and now have a recipe that I really, really love. A little sweet, a little spicy, very filling and works great as a main dish or side. Simple to make, too.  Hope you enjoy it!

Notes:  The ingredients are approximate amounts since sweet potatoes are never the same size. Canned will NOT work in the recipe.  The sweet potatoes need to be cooked just until they are tender enough to eat, otherwise they get mushy in the salad as you toss it together. I made a double batch (so used a large bag of frozen corn and 2 sweet potatoes). The dressing can also be altered to your tastes by adding more vinegar or sweetener as you like. Keep in mind that the corn and sweet potatoes are already sweet, so don't go crazy with the agave/honey. My daughter likes to eat this like salsa on chips, I like it on a bed of greens. It would also be good with rice I think.

Toss together the following:
1 large (or 2 smaller) sweet potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled to just tender
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) black beans, cooked and rinsed
1 bag frozen corn (or 3-4 ears fresh corn off the cob)
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1-2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters

Dressing, whisk together:
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. agave nectar (or honey)
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
Slowly whisk 1/4 c. olive oil into dressing ingredients.  Taste and adjust seasoning and sweetness as desired.

I also added chopped jalapenos to mine, but I didn't add them to the entire salad.

Toss all ingredients together and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or overnight) before serving. Serve with fresh jalapeno and/or more cilantro.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vegan Baking Mix

I saw a recipe the other day that called for Bisquick, but I didn't have any. So I threw together the ingredients for homemade baking mix that can be used the same way.  The advantages to making it at home are that you can control the salt and you can make it using whole wheat or even an all-purpose gluten-free flour.

(store in refrigerator in a zipper baggie)

6 c. Flour (white, whole-wheat or gluten-free)
3 T. Baking Powder
2 1/2 t. Salt (optional)
1/2 c. Crisco OR Butter Crisco OR Coconut Oil (softened)

Mix all dry ingredients and then cut in the oil until well combined.  Use as you would Bisquick in any recipe.

Vegan Pancake Bites (AKA Pancakes to Go)

These are pancakes you bake in muffin tins.  So maybe we should call them Puffins? Or Mancakes? No. Panuffins? Mufcakes?  I'll have to work on it.

Anyway, these are pretty good. And with the syrup cooked right in, you can grab and go with these and not worry about the sticky mess.  I made some this morning with bananas and some with blueberries. You could add apples, peaches, strawberries, really anything you would put on top a pancake. I suppose you could even do vegan bacon or sausage that has been pre-cooked. My family loved these.

Banana and Blueberry Pancake Bites

(makes about 1 dozen)

1 1/2 c. Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 T. Baking Powder
1/2 t. Salt
3 T. Coconut Oil (softened) or Butter Crisco

Stir flour, baking powder and salt together.  Cut in the oil or Crisco until incorporated and no big chunks of oil remain.

Add in:
1 c. almond milk (or soy or coconut or your favorite plant based milk)
3/4 c. pure maple syrup

Stir until combined well, then scoop into muffin tins that have been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Fill muffin tins about 1/2-3/4 full, leaving room to top them with fruit or other toppings.  Place 1-2 tablespoons fruit or other toppings on muffins if desired.

Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Baking time will vary depending on toppings.  Using frozen fruit will take a couple minutes extra.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lentil Burger Hash

No real recipe today, just a photo of a recipe gone wrong that actually turned out REALLY well.  I visited a friend the other night and she made lentil burgers. Only the burgers didn't hold together and we ended up with hash instead.  We ate it over greens the other night and this morning I served it beside scrambled tofu for breakfast. I loved it!  My husband also loved it.  Very tasty and filling and works in a variety of recipes. Don't panic if your cooking doesn't always turn out the way you wanted.  Maybe something better is in the works instead! : )  Take chances and be adventurous in the kitchen!

Thursday, June 20, 2013



(I'm posting this here just so I have it handy. I actually used more garlic and basil than it called for, and I added in a couple tablespoons of dark balsamic vinegar. To make it vegan, I just eliminated the cheese. I also cut back on the oil by about half. Turned out great and I want it in a place I can find it. I'm copying it here as it was posted on Facebook so you have the original.  Thanks to LOSE IT WITH LYNN for the post!)

Blow your MIND" Tomato Basil Pasta! - No Straining, just Stirring

Throw it all in the pot, INCLUDING the uncooked Pasta, and cook! - Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. The starch leaches out of the pasta and makes a rich, warm sauce for the noodles. The other ingredients cook right along with the pasta

12 ounces pasta (I used Linguine)
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid ( I used zesty red pepper flavor)
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish


Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.

Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .

Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Crustless Tofu Quiche Recipe (Vegan and GF)

(makes about 6-8 depending on your veggies, easily doubled for a family brunch or get-together)
Eggless tofu quiches served with toast and cabbage coleslaw
“Egg” Part
1 12.3-ounce package firm tofu, pressed and drained of water
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch 
1 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder and/or your favorite seasoning salt for “egg” dishes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 T. vegan butter or vegan cream cheese
1 T. cooking wine or lemon juice

Use a food processor or just mix and mash with fork until smooth. I found this does NOT work in a blender. It messes with the texture a little bit.

Veggie Part
Saute a mix of your favorite veggies—about 2 - 2 1/2 cups total.  My in-laws loved a little green onion, green and red pepper, mushroom and spinach.  I did asparagus, chive and roasted red pepper today.  Vegan cheese can be combined in the mix or added on top for the last few minutes of baking.

Fold veggie mix into “egg” mix until combined. Taste and season as needed.

Preheat oven to 375. Divide mixture into muffin tins sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.   These do not rise up, so fill them completely and shape the tops. When you put them in the oven, immediately turn oven down to 350.  Cook 30-35 minutes depending on oven and fillings. They will start to brown lightly on top.  I brush them with a little melted vegan butter for the last 10 minutes to get a golden top. Remove the quiches from the muffin tins using a rubber scraper, careful to not puncture or tear the quiche.

I’m sure this mixture can be used in a traditional quiche pie crust, but I haven’t tried it to know how long to cook it. Let me know if you try it.