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.

Pasta Asparagus with Lemon Cream Sauce

I live in a great little town with great people who randomly stop by my house and deliver asparagus!  A good friend of mine surprised us with a visit the other day, and it was so good to have some time to sit and visit over a cup of coffee. (You know who you are--I LOVE YOU!)

Well, my friend brought me 4 big bunches of asparagus and I needed to find something to do with it. I sent my son to the computer to look up recipes. He found one that looked really yummy, but it wasn't vegan. So I worked my VeganGirl magic and Veganized it! (Insert flash of lightning and superhero music here.)

This recipe is not SAUCY. It has a very light coating of the sauce on the pasta and asparagus. The sauce may seem very lemony and tart at first taste, but once tossed together with all the ingredients it will mellow out. If you want more sauce, just double or triple the sauce recipe.

My kids and hubby loved this recipe. We decided to call it Spaghetti Asparagus with Lemon Cream Sauce. My daughter calls it Skabetty Scare-i-bis. So cute! Whatever you call it, it's easy and yummy. So give it a try!

(NOTE: this recipe would also be great with fresh green beans instead of the asparagus)

1 box of your favorite pasta (OR 1 lb. fresh pasta) cooked according to directions
2 bunches asparagus, cut into 1" slices (on the diagonal) and steamed to crisp-tender

2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 cup veggie or no-chicken broth
Zest from one lemon, divided in half
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons vegan cream cheese
Fresh Basil, Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Saute the garlic in a couple tablespoons of the broth just until softened, then add the broth, half the lemon zest, all the lemon juice and the cream cheese. Whisk until combined and simmer lightly for 2 minutes. The sauce will not thicken much--it is meant to be a light sauce.  Toss sauce, basil, salt and pepper together with pasta and asparagus.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil if you prefer. Top with the rest of the lemon zest.
I also had crushed red pepper to top mine.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Assembled, but not cooked yet
served up with jalapenos

(Makes a deep 9x13 or a nice 11x14 pan for a large group)

1 c. TVP
1/4 c. (or one package) taco seasoning
1 c. boiling water
2 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 small can diced chilies
1 small bag frozen corn (about 3 cups), thawed
1  14 oz. can enchilada sauce (your favorite, red or green, hot or mild)
1 large bag frozen Tator Tots

Shredded vegan cheese, olives, green onions, jalapenos, etc. for topping, optional

Stir boiling water into TVP and seasoning and let sit 5 minutes.  Then add the black beans, chilies and corn to the TVP mix. Spray the pan with non-stick spray and then pour in about 1/4 c. enchilada sauce.  Put TVP/bean/corn mixture on top and spread evenly.

Top with a large bag of Tator Tots, then drizzle remaining enchilada sauce over tots.  Top with vegan cheese and other toppings if desired.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.  Check to make sure mixture is hot in the middle and tots are cooked through.  (Time may vary depending on how deep your dish is and how evenly your oven cooks.)

Top with onions, jalapenos, vegan sour cream, etc. as you serve it.


1/3 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
1  14 oz. can lite coconut milk
1 t. vanilla
2 bananas, sliced
1/2 c. sweetened flake coconut, optional

Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and coconut milk until creamy and no lumps remain.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick and bubbly.  Cook 2 minutes more.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and bananas and coconut flakes. Immediately pour into serving dishes and let cool.  Top with additional coconut and banana slices right before serving.  Serve with cookies or crackers if desired.

This recipe can also be used as a pie filling.  Top with coconut whipped cream.

1 can full fat coconut milk
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Pour coconut milk into a glass container and then refrigerate until the fat separates from the coconut water.  Carefully take off the white coconut fat and place into a separate bowl.  Do not use the coconut water in this!  (I save it and use it in smoothies.)  Whisk together the coconut fat, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (like homemade whipping cream).  Use as you would whipped cream or whipped topping.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


With love to my dear friend, Brigette!  She made a special effort to make these as a treat for my vegan kids when we visited her house.  What a great way to make us feel welcomed and loved!! 

I sent my husband to the store for milk and bananas and he came home with the ingredients for these and left them conveniently on the counter for me.  I took the hint!

1 package chocolate cake mix (check box to make sure it is vegan)
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 bag mini chocolate chips (vegan)
2 c. soy milk (soy works best in this)
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top.

Mix cake mix, pudding mix, chocolate chips and soy milk together until batter is thick and creamy. Spread batter into a 9 x 13" cake pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray and lightly floured. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until done. Cool completely before sprinkling on powdered sugar.

Quinoa Salad

1 c. quinoa, soak for 15 minutes, rinse and drain
3/4 c. cold water
Bring quinoa and water to a boil in saucepan, turn heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer 20 minutes, then turn off heat and let cool for 10-20 minutes. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Toss a variety of chopped veggies into chilled quinoa. I used the following:
1/2 c. cucumber, chopped
1 small can sliced olives
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 c. edamame
1/2 c. sliced carrots

Whisk together Dressing and toss with quinoa and veggies:
1/4 c. olive oil
2 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 t. Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Serve over a bed of kale or other greens.

Easy Roasted Ratatouille

This dish is so easy and yummy and versatile.  Eat it up as is, or serve it over pasta.  Layer the veggies all nice and make it a "fancy" dish for guests.  It is fresh and healthy and we love it here. Try it!

2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. cooking wine (or your favorite Chardonnay)
1 white or yellow onion, cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Chinese eggplant, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 sweet green pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1-2 c. sliced baby portabella mushrooms (optional)
Fresh thyme, basil and parsley, chopped finely
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Easy method:  I put all ingredients in a bowl and toss together until olive oil is evenly distributed. Then I spread it on a baking sheet and baked at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Serve with pasta or bread.

Fancy method:  Layer or stand the slices on edge in a nice pattern in baking dish that is sprayed with non-stick spray. Then drizzle olive oil, wine and herbs over the top.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Orange Cookies

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. vegan butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 T. ground flax mixed in 1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice
1 T. orange zest
cranberry sauce (optional)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In a separate bowl, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add egg substitutes and orange zest to butter sugar mixture and mix well.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend until combined.  Drop by spoonfuls on a baking sheet.

OPTIONAL: Press the middle of the dough with your thumb and fill with 1 t. cranberry sauce in the middle.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-12 minutes. These do not get very browned, so be careful not to burn them.  Cool on a rack before serving.

Friday, January 11, 2013


(makes 12-18 biscuits depending on size)

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 c. soy milk
1 T. ground flax dissolved in 1/4 c. water
1/4 c. vegan butter or butter flavored Crisco, softened
1 t. grated lemon peel
1 c. frozen blueberries

1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 t. grated lemon peel

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Add 1 T. lemon juice to the soy milk and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, combine the flax, butter or Crisco and lemon peel.  Stir the soy milk mixture into other wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened, Carefully fold in blueberries.

Drop by tablespoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.  Let cool 10 minutes, then glaze.  (I also sprinkled mine with powdered sugar at the end.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I've seen all sorts of information for cashew cream as a "staple" of vegan eaters.  I thought maybe I was missing out since I never really ate it and thought I would give it a try.

I've used the cashews in my nacho cheese sauce but hadn't just made cream with them. Well, it turns out it was super simple and super versatile.

As a vegan, we miss out on a lot of those "creamy" foods that are normally made with cow's milk--cheeses and Alfredo sauce and creamy soups. But this cashew cream turned out very creamy, had a great texture, and the flavor can be modified to make whatever you please. 

Today I added Italian seasonings, nutritional yeast and a can of diced tomatoes to make a creamy tomato sauce for some bow tie pasta.

I'm going to test it tonight on my family with some creamy green chili sauce with some Mexican style foods.

As I use it in various recipes I'll post those and link to this.  Give it try. I was very pleasantly surprised!

In the blender:
1 c. raw cashews, soaked in water in the refrigerator overnight
Just enough cold water to cover them
Blend for about a minute, scrape the sides of the blender and then blend another 2 minutes. My blender made it creamy enough without texture left, but if your blender isn't that powerful you may want to then put the cream through cheesecloth to separate out any nut meal left.
More water will give you thinner cream and less will make it thicker.  

Monday, January 7, 2013


1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed and cubed
2 T. oil or veggie broth
1 t. sesame oil
2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
1 small onion, diced
1 t. grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
3 c. brown rice, cooked according to directions and cooled
1 c. carrots, diced
1 c. frozen or fresh peas
1 small can water chestnuts, sliced
1 small can bamboo shoots
(Or other vegetables of your choice)

Add the oil, sesame oil and soy sauce to a large fry pan and heat until hot. Add tofu and stir-fry over high heat for a 2 minutes per side.  Add in onion, ginger and garlic and stir-fry 1 minute more. Add in rice and veggies. Cook until heated through. Taste and season with white pepper and more soy sauce if needed. Serve with chili-garlic or other hot sauce of your choice.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie

I bought some almond butter at Trader Joe's over the break and was trying to find some ways to use it. My son suggested a smoothie, so we came up with this one and it is pretty yummy! Feels like eating a milkshake, but not so bad for you.

In the blender, combine until smooth:
1 cup almond or soy milk (or your fav plant-based milk)
1 T. almond butter
1 banana
1 t. cocoa powder
1 t. agave nectar (optional--I used it when we used unsweetened soy, but I left it out when we used the vanilla soy)
1-2 c. ice