Monday, December 10, 2012


I rolled out pizza dough (from a tube) and seasoned it with pizza seasoning.  Then I topped it with chopped olives, pineapple, roasted red pepper, green pepper and onion.  Then I rolled it back to the shape of a loaf of bread and baked it at 350 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes.  Sliced and served with pizza sauce for dipping.  Big hit with the child care kids today! : )  Would make a good appetizer for parties. Use your favorite pizza toppings!


Super simple, just a few ingredients and a real FAVORITE at our house!!  Quick and great for guests.  Easy to make in bulk for a large crowd. This dish is good if you have vegetarians/vegans and meat-eaters sharing a meal.

8 oz dried large bow-tie pasta, cook according to directions
olive oil for browning sausages
4 links Vegan Italian sausage links
1 large jar roasted red sweet peppers, drained
½ c  veggie broth
¼ t   ground black pepper
¼ c   fresh parsley

Cut sausages into 1 inch pieces. Cut sweet peppers into 1/2 inch pieces.  In a large fry pan, cook sausage and sweet peppers in olive oil over medium-high heat until sausage is brown.  Drain well.  Add the broth and black pepper to the meat and peppers.  Bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes (a slight reduction).  Remove from heat and pour over cooked pasta.  Add parsley and toss gently. 
Note: I have made this with fresh red peppers, too, and it is very good. But I prefer the flavor of the roasted peppers.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Shiitake Noodle Bowl

I made miso soup and added in cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and extra spinach and green onions.  Then we served it over noodles.  You can use soba, rice noodles, glass noodles, or fettuccine or even just use rice.  It was very yummy and warm and hit the spot today.  We also made some veggie spring rolls for the side.  I added hot chili garlic sauce to mine for some heat.

Not an official recipe sicne I just added as I went. So these are approximate amounts.

My daughter enjoying her noodle bowl with her new giraffe chopsticks! : )

Shiitake mushrooms (about 2 cups, sliced)
Green onion (about 4, chopped)
Spinach (about 1 cup, chopped)
Cabbage or other cabbage like product (about 1 cup, chopped)
1/2 cube of firm tofu cut into small squares
4 c. veggie broth
2 t. miso dissolved in hot water
2 t. soy sauce
2 t. rice vinegar

Simmer all together and then serve over noodles that have been cooked according to package directions.

This was very mild, so feel free to spice it up a bit with more soy, miso or rice vinegar, or add in fresh ginger, garlic, or whatever you like.  My kids liked it "plain" while I liked it with some heat.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Vegan Egg-less Salad Sandwich with Spinach

VEGAN EGG-LESS SALAD (traditional)
1 brick firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 c. vegan mayo
2 t. yellow mustard
1/4 c. chopped green onion (or other onion)
1/4 c. chopped red pepper
1/4 c. chopped celery
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. celery salt
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 T. pickle relish (optional)

While tofu is draining, stir all other ingredients together. Gently toss together with the tofu.  Refrigerate 30-60 minutes before serving. Good on a green salad, on toast or bread for a sandwich, on crackers or stuffed into a tomato or pepper.



3 T. dried parsley
1 1/2 T. dried dill weed
2 T. onion powder
2 T. dried chives
1 1/2 t. salt
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. ground pepper

Stir all together for basic seasoning mix.  This can be used in the dip and dressing recipes as is, or you can put it in the food processor or coffee grinder to make a finer seasoning for cracker snacks.

1/4 c. vegan mayo
1/4 c. vegan cream cheese
2 T.  ranch seasoning mix

Stir all together until creamy and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

1/4 c. vegan mayo
1/4 c. vegan cream cheese
2 t. dried dill weed
1 T. ranch seasoning mix
1-2 t. fresh squeezed lemon juice

Stir all together until creamy and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

3/4 c. vegan sour cream
2 T. unsweetened, unflavored soy or almond milk (or more to desired consistency)
1 1/2 T. ranch seasoning mix

Stir all together until creamy and smooth.  Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

1 package oyster crackers
3 T. vegetable oil
2 T. ranch seasoning mix (that has been slightly processed so no large pieces of parsley and chives remain)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Toss crackers, oil and seasoning mix all together and lay out on a cookie sheet pan.  Bake for 5 minutes, stir once, then bake another 5 minutes.  Great as a snack or served on salads and soups.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vegan Corn Chowder and Curry Corn Soup

(The curry corn soup is a re-post from last year, but I thought I'd add these together to make it easier to find them.)

Corn Chowder with chives
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
2 large potatoes, diced
3 c. vegan unsweetened milk (you can use coconut milk to change the flavor in this, too)
3 c. veggie broth
16-oz bag frozen corn
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, saute garlic, onion, celery and red pepper in olive oil just until softened. Add in the potatoes, broth and season.  Let come to a boil, turn heat down and simmer until potatoes are soft.  Add in milk and corn and cook over medium until heated through. Taste and reseason as needed.  Do not boil once the milk and corn are added. Serve topped with chopped green onion or vegan sour cream.  Also good with cayenne if you like a little heat.

1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 5 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
3 1/2 c. coconut milk (I used Silk--find it with other milk)
16-ounce bag frozen corn
2 t. curry powder
¼ t. Thai red curry paste (optional, use as you like)
1 t. salt, or to taste
½ c. minced fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a small soup pot. Add the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the bell pepper. Sauté over medium-low heat until softened and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, corn, curry powder, the green parts of the scallions. If using the curry paste, dissolve it in a small amount of water before adding to the soup.

Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.

Top with cilantro and serve.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fruit & Granola Breakfast

My son insisted I buy a pomegranate at the store last night. So this morning I made a fruit salad and served it up with pumpkin seed and flax seed granola. YUM!  HAPPY SUNDAY ALL!

Friday, November 16, 2012


I am very excited to have Thanksgiving every year.  It is a great day to celebrate all that we've been given in this world and to really appreciate the love we share. I've had a few people ask me how you can have Thanksgiving without turkey?  Do you just eat salad?

There are so many easy and wonderful dishes for this holiday.  I've put together a menu using some recipes from friends, some of my favorite from the past (veganized, of course), and a few new additions.

Since this is PRE-Thanksgiving, I am not posting pictures of these.  If you make them, send me a pic and I'll post it here.

I hope you have a truly blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!!


Appetizers: Fruit with Dip, Veggies with Dill Dip, Olive platter, Crackers
Beverages: Hot Cranberry Tea, Cranberry Cosmo, Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
Salads: Broccoli Salad with raisins, Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Spiced Pecans, Brussels Sprouts Pasta Salad
Mains and Sides: Sweet Potatoes with Maple-Orange Glaze, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Casserole, Baby Red Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Greens and Beans, Bread
Desserts: Pumpkin Coconut Ice Cream Pie, Fresh fruit with Whipped Coconut Cream


1/2 container of Vegan cream cheese
1 t. vanilla
2 T. brown sugar
Mix all ingredients together until creamy.  Use for dipping berries, apples, bananas, grapes, pineapple, mango, etc. etc.

1/2 container of vegan cream cheese
1/4 c. vegan mayo
1 T. dried dill
1 t. sea salt
Juice from 1/4 fresh lemon
Cracked black pepper to taste
(I also like to add just a small bit of fresh or dried garlic, although if you make the dip ahead of time it can get overwhelming. It is optional.)
Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. Use for dipping raw veggies such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, sweet peppers, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

(thanks to Susie for this one--it is one of my favorites for the holidays and makes the house smell so good while it is warming)
Make in a stock pot or crock pot for holiday parties.
1 container cranberry juice
1/2 large can of pineapple juice
small frozen orange juice concentrate
juice from 1/2 a lemon
3/4 c. sugar/sweetener, water to fill
3 cinnamon sticks. Put it all in the pot or crock pot on low and simmer a few hours before get-togethers. Do not boil. Smells so good and is warm and comforting. (I have actually added tea bags to this before, too.)

Source: Alton Brown (love him!!!)

1 oz. coconut rum
1/2 oz. Kahlua
3/4 can pumpkin pie filling
2 oz. milk
Blend all of the ingredients together with ice. Can be served as is, or in a graham-cracker rimmed glass.

BROCCOLI SALAD with raisins
(Thanks to Maria for this one. I veganized her recipe.)
In a large bowl, toss together
1-2 heads Broccoli and/or Cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
1 c. raisins
1/2 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. vegan bacon bits
For the dressing, stir together 1/2 c. vegan mayo, 1/2 c. sugar and 1-2 T. cider vinegar (taste as you go to make it as sweet as you prefer)
Toss dressing with other ingredients and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

For the salad:
Baby spinach
Sliced strawberries
Sliced white mushrooms
just a few slivers of finely sliced red onion
Toss all together

For the pecans:
2 c. pecans
2 T. vegan butter
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. orange zest
1 c. sugar
3/4t. vanilla
Place the pecans in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring and watching to be careful they do not burn. Add in butter and spices and stir until butter melts.  Stir in sugar and vanilla and cook until the sugar is thickened and glazes the pecans.  Spread out on wax paper to cool.

For the dressing:
1 c. seedless raspberry preserves
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. olive oil
 1/4 of a red onion
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Process or blend all together until combined.  This may separate if you make it in advance, so I usually put mine in a lidded jar so I can shake it at the last minute.

To serve, toss salad ingredients all together with the dressing and top with the pecans.

I use this same recipe, only I leave the dressing cold instead of hot and I blanch the pasta and sprouts in ice water to serve as a cold salad.

SWEET POTATOES with Maple-Orange Glaze
2-4 large sweet potatoes or 2 large cans sweet potatoes
Steam or bake sweet potatoes ahead of time, peel, and cut into large chunks. Place sweet potatoes in baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

(approximate amounts based on 4 large potatoes)
1 c. orange juice
1 c. real maple syrup
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. vegan butter
1 t. cinnamon (or to taste)
Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce until it is thick enough to coat a spoon. Drizzle glaze over sweet potatoes and bake until potatoes are heated through.

1 can vegan cream of mushroom soup OR 2 cups homemade mushroom cream gravy
1 t. soy sauce
3-4 cans of green beans (cut or French cut) or 1 1/2 pounds fresh, steamed to crisp tender
1 can French's French Fried Onions (or other brand of crunchy onions) DIVIDED.
Fresh cracked black pepper

Reserve about 1/4 of the fried onions for topping the casserole.  In a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray, stir the beans, soy, soup, pepper and 3/4 of the onions together.  Bake at 350 (or so) for about 25 minutes.  Top with reserved onions and bake another 5 minutes until they are crispy.

(Homemade mushroom gravy can be made with a simple flour and vegan butter roux, Better than Bouillon mushroom base and any unsweetened vegan milk.)

I've tried and tried to come up with my own version of corn casserole, but this is the best one I've had. My whole family loved it.  You should really check out this great blog!

Boil baby red potatoes (cut in half) until soft.  Toss together with a little freshly minced garlic, melted vegan butter and fresh parsley.  You can serve this as small chunks of potatoes or you can make them into a great garlic mash by adding just a little unsweetened milk and mashing together.

zest from an orange
1 c. orange juice
1 c. sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
12 oz. cranberries
Add orange zest, orange juice, sugar and cinnamon sticks to a pot.  Cook over medium heat until sugar is all dissolved.  Add the cranberries and cook until they pop open (these splatter, so cover loosely). Remove cinnamon sticks.  Pour mixture into your serving bowl and refrigerate at least 4 hours (overnight is better) for perfect consistency.

Using 2 T. olive oil, saute together 1 clove minced garlic and 1/2 chopped onion just until soft. Stir in 1 can white beans and 1 T. balsamic vinegar or cooking wine. Add 1-2 bags of fresh baby spinach and toss together until just wilted but still holds its green color.  Season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Serve with crushed red pepper.
(feel free to mix up your favorite beans and favorite greens)

Make ahead of time!

(changed slightly, but credit is due to Cathe Olson's book Lick It!)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1 can pumpkin
1/2 c. soy milk (vanilla or unflavored/unsweetened)
1/2 c. real maple syrup
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
2 t. vanilla
Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Cover and refrigerate a couple hours before freezing in ice cream maker according to directions.

If you can find vegan graham crackers, make a graham cracker crust for ice cream pie!
16 Graham squares
1/4 c. melted vegan butter
2 T. sugar
Mix all together and press into a pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes until all set. Let cool before filling with ice cream.  Then re-freeze until set.  

1 full-fat can coconut milk
Pour milk into bowl and refrigerate overnight.  The cream will separate from the clear liquid.  Carefully take the cream out and avoid getting any clear liquid.  Whip with a mixer until whipped cream texture (this may take 5-10 minutes depending on your mixer).
Serve with desserts or fresh fruit for dipping.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Yup, you read that right. Corn dog muffins.  They taste like corn dogs but they eat like muffins.  I am the world's coolest child care provider when I make these! : )  Actually, my hubby loved them, too!

1 package of Jiffy corn bread mix
1 egg replacer (I use 1 T. ground flax in 1/4 c. water)
1/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 T. melted vegan butter or oil
1 T. agave nectar or maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix everything together to make a batter.

Add to the batter:
3-4 vegan hot dogs, cut up
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh, or canned if drained)

Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.  Fill tins 3/4 full.  Bake about 18-20 minutes (using frozen corn make take a little longer).  Serve with a drizzle of mustard and/or ketchup on top.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Vegan Hashbrown and Sausage Scramble

I've been asked to make a breakfast casserole for a swim meet this weekend so I'm testing out a few recipes.  I found some for actual casseroles that you bake up and then end up needing to be cut into serving sizes.  But I wasn't too impressed.  Then I started thinking about my favorite pre-vegan breakfast options. 

I always loved those skillet platters at the restaurants.  They taste great at about 2:15 in the morning when you've been kicked out of whatever establishment you were cruising the night before. : )  Anyway, the skillet idea inspired me to make a simpler dish.

I made a simple tofu scramble with vegan sausage and hash browns.  Then I made a ranchero sauce for the side. I loved it and the child care kids loved it.  It even tasted good sober!  Amazing.

I browned up some GimmeLean ground sausage.  Then I made the tofu scramble by melting a little vegan butter in the fry pan (same pan, I actually left the sausage in it and just added tofu to it).  I crumbled in extra firm tofu and cooked it until it started to brown.  Then I seasoned it with a shake of turmeric (for color), Lawry's seasoning salt, onion powder, salt and pepper.  I layered the "eggs" and sausage in a casserole pan.

Then I used the same pan to cook up my hash browns (as directed on the package) and just put them on top of the scramble.  This was good with shredded hash browns, but I think the next time I'll use country style potatoes.

For the ranchero sauce I sauteed up some green peppers and onion in the fry pan and then added in roasted red peppers and a little pre-made red enchilada sauce I had leftover from the weekend. There are a million ranchero sauce recipes on the web or you can use your favorite salsa or taco sauce.

Easy and yummy.  I think if I make this for my own family I will add in spinach, peppers and mushroom, etc. etc. to the scramble.  But I was trying to make a "plain" version for the test. 

Good stuff!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Meal Plan

This week's meal plan is listed here. A few notes. I provide in-home child care, so I list all snacks and lunches. My day care kids eat mostly vegan, but do occasionally have cheese or yogurt products. My family eats vegan. I always offer fresh fruit and a veggie tray with each meal or snack. We drink soy milk, water or decaf tea.

I try to make my meal plans DO-ABLE for anyone. I use products that I can buy in my small town grocery store and I make foods that I can handle while running around to swim practice, soccer, meetings, and personal training clients. We have a busy life, but we make every effort to sit together to eat all meals. Proper planning helps to make that happen. Otherwise, we would all eat separately. It also helps me to use up what produce we have on hand so I have minimal food waste. We save a ton of money when we stick to a food plan, so I try to do these weekly.
So many of these items can be cooked once and then used for leftovers or frozen for a future meal.  Think about cooking more than you need.  If you have good containers or ziplock type baggies, many items can be saved in meal-size packaging for future use.  This saves time, money and it really helps when the non-cooks in the house need to eat a healthful meal.  They can just heat up something quickly or grab leftovers.  This keeps us from running to local fast food places for greasy, unhealthful and expensive food.
Meals this week that are good for freezing: baked potato soup, pancakes, chili.  Meals good for the frig/leftovers: bean salad, mac 'n' cheese, sweetened couscous (I make a big enough batch for about 3 days), Brussels sprouts pasta (great the next day as a cold salad), chickpea salad (great to make ahead for a quick lunch with pitas, bread, buns, or greens).
Happy vegan cooking!
Breakfast or  Morning Snack
Afternoon Snack
Cinnamon Toast
Veggie Pizza, colorful bean salad, strawberries
Peanut snack mix
Sloppy Joes, Sweet potato fries, salad
Open House at school
English Muffin/Cereal
Granola bars
Baked potato soup, peas, blueberries
Mac ‘n’ Cheese (cheese sauce) w/ Sauteed mushrooms, kale
Fruit choice
Chik’n patty, rice and veggies, apple slices
Bagels w/peanut butter
Yogurt w/fruit
Bean burritos, fresh fruit, corn
Blueberry Muffins
Tofu Scramble, Toast, fruit salad
Make muffins
Work mtg
Broccoli cheese rice, veggie dippers, fresh fruit
Graham cracker sandwich, fruit choice
Italian Sausage (vegan) Pasta, veggie dippers
Soccer game
Soccer party
Open house
French toast dippers, fruit salad
Chickpea salad sandwiches, leftover fruit, veggie, soup, etc.
Chips and salsa
Chili, jalapeno corn bread
Swim Meet
Bagels w/peanut butter, fresh fruit, granola snacks at meet
Popcorn, smoothies, leftovers
In freezer: white bean enchiladas, refried beans, cabbage soup, chili
Frozen veggies, fruit for smoothies, potatoes and sweet potatoes


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegan Reuben Sandwich

Just a short post tonight.  Had a couple meetings and needed a quick and easy supper when we got home.  I'll post it quickly before my hubby and I finish up the 6 loads of laundry that need folded tonight.  To make it super quick I used Tofurky slices and saurkraut from a jar.  I mixed the sauce last minute and threw it all together in about 5 minutes. We had veggie dippers and fresh fruit on the side.

My son loved this sandwich!  He had a huge mouthful and said, "Momb, oo gob a pub dis on da bog!"  I'm pretty sure that if he had manners and talked WITHOUT a mouthful of food that would translate to, "My dearest Mother, this sandwich is simply divine.  I insist you blog about it immediately.  Oh, and you look particularly beautiful tonight. Have you lost weight?" He's such a great kid!

Marble Rye Bread, then with sauce and vegan cheese, then with meat slices and saurkraut.
2 slices of rye bread, buttered on one side
1 T. vegan Thousand Island Dressing (2 parts vegan mayo mixed with 1 part each ketchup and relish)
3 slices vegan lunch meat (I used Tofurky peppered turkey and Tofurky mushroom)
1/4-1/2 c. saukraut
vegan cheese to taste
Place bread butter-side down on a griddle.  Layer on sauce, meat, saukraut and cheese.  Place top slice of bread on top with butter-side up.  Grill (like a grilled cheese) over medium heat until golden brown and crispy on each side.

(Ignore his hair--he just got out of swim practice)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Meal Plan

This week's meal plan is listed here. For those new to the blog, WELCOME! and a few notes. I provide in-home child care, so I list all snacks and lunches. My day care kids eat mostly vegan, but do occasionally have cheese or yogurt products. My family eats vegan. I always offer fresh fruit and a veggie tray with each meal or snack.  We drink soy milk, water or decaf tea.

I try to make my meal plans DO-ABLE for anyone.  I use products that I can buy in my small town grocery store and I make foods that I can handle while running around to swim practice, soccer, meetings, and personal training clients.  We have a busy life, but we make every effort to sit together to eat all meals. Proper planning helps to make that happen.  Otherwise, we would all eat separately.  It also helps me to use up what produce we have on hand so I have minimal food waste.  We save a ton of money when we stick to a food plan, so I try to do these weekly.  I apologize this one is posted  few days late, but you get the idea! 


Breakfast or  Morning Snack
Afternoon Snack
Cereal or Bagel
PBJ Picnic in the Park
Rice Cakes with cream cheese or jelly
Tofu and Shitake stir fry, rice, garlic green beans
Drain tofu
Blueberry Pancakes, fruit
Painted bagels
Veggie Patty, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, blueberries
Cinnamon Popcorn and raisins
Pita Pizzas (veggies and vegan sausage, vegan cheese)
Pizza prep
Cereal or Pancakes
Banana Muffins
Tomato Soup, breadsticks, broccoli and carrots
Celery and PB or apples
Taco Casserole (with refried beans and corn cake), Spinach salad
Make crockpot beans
Muffins or cereal
Animal crackers, raisins
Tortilla roll-ups, spinach salad, veggie dippers
Fruit choice
Reuben sandwiches, sweet potato steak fries, kale
Pancakes or cereal
Orange slices
Veggie fried rice, Edamame, fruit salad
PB Muffins
Chili, corn bread, any leftover fruit/salads
Make PB muffins
French Toast dippers
Chickpea Salad pitas OR cucumber sandwiches
Veggie Dippers
Muffins or French Toast Dippers
Leftovers, popcorn, veggie tray