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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Peach Blackberry Basil Crumble

Peach Blackberry Basil Crumble

While shopping at farmers markets, when I lived in SA-I picked up the blueberry infused balsamic vinegar. Shopping last week at the local farmers markets in COS, I picked up peaches, blackberries and basil. At that moment, I was inspired for what I was making for my potluck. This is the perfect dish that screams summer and will be the talk of anywhere you take this.... Never a bite left to take home ~_^

4 peaches, peeled and chopped
4 cups blackberries (2 pints)
2 tbsp blueberry infused balsamic vinegar
1 large handful of basil leaves, chopped
1⁄4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup – or more, depending on tartness of your berries

1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine the above in an oven-proof casserole dish, mix
and set aside.

5-6 tbsp flour
3 heaping tbsp brown sugar
1 stick cold earth balance

Cut butter into flour and sugar, then rub with your fingers to make a chunky,
crumbly mixture (not uniform). Sprinkle it over the top of the fruit, bake 30
minutes until golden and bubbly.

Adapted from Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6; Gluten Free; Vegan

To make this tastier, instead of the vegetable broth, use no-chicken bouillon. The first time I made this it had little flavor....

Sweet Potato Topping

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/4 lb)
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 Tbs. earth balance
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg


1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 leek, white part thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 turnips,diced (1 cup)
1 carrot, diced (1 cup)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped (2 tsp.)
1/4 cup white wine or water
1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
3 Tbs. vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)

1.) To make the Sweet Potato Topping: Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potato, cover and boil 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, and return to pot. Mash with milk, margarine, cinnamon, and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Set aside.

2.) To make filling: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and leek, and saute 5 to 6 minutes, or until leek is soft. Add turnips, carrots, thyme, and rosemary; cook 2 to 3 minutes more, or until carrots begin to soften.

3.) Add wine, and cook 30 seconds to deglaze the pan. Stir in beans and broth. Cover, and simmer 10 minutes, or until carrots and turnips are soft. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

4.) Remove thyme sprigs from Filling, and discard. Pour Filling into 2-or3-qt. casserole dish. Spread Sweet Potato Topping over Filling. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if using.

5.) Place casserole dish on baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until filling bubbles and cheese is melted. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

6.) Frozen Cooking Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cover casserole, and place on baking sheet. Bake 60 to 75 minutes, or until filling bubbles and top is golden. Remove foil during last 10 minutes of baking. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Per 1 cup serving: 129 cal.; 4 grams prot.; 3 grams total fat (1 gram sat. fat); 20 grams carbs.; 1 mg chol.; 176 mg sod.; 5 grams fiber; 5 grams sugar
Vegetarian Times: January 2010

White Bean and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

White Bean and Arugula Salad with Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

If you don't like dill, substitute with thyme or parsley. Serve with crusty bread, and you have a light meal to compliment the summer heat.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp minced fresh dill
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 bunches arugula, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, rinsed and drained
1 yellow bell pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced
vegan Parmesan cheese for garnish

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, dill, garlic, and salt and pepper. Add the arugula, beans, and yellow pepper and toss to combine.

2. Garnish the salad with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve.

Found:; Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley

Artichoke and New Potato Packets with Pesto

Artichoke and New Potato Packets with Pesto
Serves 4; 30 minutes or fewer; Gluten Free

Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible for this recipe to ensure they cook evenly.
This is a great recipe to try with different types of pesto. In the blog you'll find lots of different ones (I'm going through a phase right now!)....

8 oz. new potatoes, thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 12 oz. pkg. frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (2 cups)
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen baby peas
2 medium leeks, white and green parts chopped (1 cup)
3 Tbs. prepared pesto
3 Tbs. vegan Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place 4 16-inch lengths of aluminum foil on work surface. Fold foil in half from short side. Unfold. Shape corners and edges of one half into semicircular "bowl" with 1/2-inch sides. Coat insides of foil with cooking spray.

2. Arrange overlapping slices of potatoes in oval shape over bottom of each packet. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and drizzle each with 2 Tbs. broth.

3. Combine artichoke hearts, peas, leeks, and pesto in medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Divide artichoke mixture among packets. Fold other half of foil over ingredients, and seal edges in overlapping folds until packet is sealed. Transfer to baking sheet, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

4. Transfer packets to serving plates. Let each person open packets slowly and carefully-escaping air will be hot. Sprinkle with some basil and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Per packet serving: 237 cal.; 11 grams prot.; 8 grams total fat (3 grams sat. fat); 31 grams carb.; 9 mg chol.; 266 mg sod.; 10 grams fiber; 6 grams sugars

Adapted from Vegetarian Times May/June 2010

Broccoli and Lavender Pasta

Broccoli and Lavender Pasta
Vegan, Serves 8

This is a great sauce for lavender pasta. I made this for my mom on mother's day a few years ago, and she ended up loving it! I was talking to a local vendor out at the farmers market today, and they have lavender pasta.... So, for those in SA, Shayne Sauce sells it and for those in COS Pappardelle's sells it...

1 lb. dry lavender pasta
2 cups broccoli florets
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil, then add the dry pasta. Cook according to package directions, drain, and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Place a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the oil and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked pasta, broccoli, lemon-olive oil sauce, and toasted pine nuts. Toss until well coated and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
Serves 8; Vegan

1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (I used fresh)
2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup quinoa (for a kick cook it with some curry powder- 2 Tbs.)
1 large or 2 small Patty Pan Squash
1 1/2 cups Daiya pepper jack cheese, divided
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed (I used Polbalmo Peppers)


1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.

2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.

4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

Nutritional Information
Per 1/2 stuffed pepper: Calories: 279, Protein: 14g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 36g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 518mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: 9g

Friday, June 29, 2012

Tomato Basil Bisque

Tomato Basil Bisque
Vegan; 2 hrs.

1 small beet, trimmed and peeled
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 cups vegetable broth
12 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped, or 1 15-oz. can whole tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup cubed tofu
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Basil leaves, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Put the beet on a baking sheet and bake until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When cool enough to handle, chop and set aside.

3. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, and celery. Sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the broth, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and oregano and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool.

5. Transfer the soup, the cooked beet, and the tofu to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. This may have to be done in batches. Return the soup to the pot, gently reheat, and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with a whole basil leaf and serve at once.

From The Candle Café Cookbook
by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza with Barbara Scott-Goodman

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Indonesian Tofu Stir-Fry

Indonesian Tofu Stir-Fry
Courtesy of The Orchard

For the Indonesian Sauce:
1 1/2 cups tamari
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp. freshly chopped garlic
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter
Water sufficient to give it a smooth, sauce-like consistency

1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender. Add the water and blend until smooth.

To Assemble:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 block tofu, pressed and cubed
Vegetables of your choice

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Sauté the tofu and vegetables.

2. Add enough of the Indonesian sauce to cover, plus a few extra Tbsp. Cook until reduced and thickened.

3. Serve over rice or tossed with soba noodles.
Makes 4 to 6 servings

Found through website

Lentil Artichoke Stew

Lentil Artichoke Stew
Vegan; Serves 6

This aromatic, fiber-packed, and tasty Middle Eastern dish is great served alone or over brown rice or pasta. Using fire-roasted tomatoes is not necessary, but gives the stew a delicious smoky flavor.

1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 cup dry (uncooked) red lentils (3 cups cooked)
1 bay leaf
2 cups waterjuice of 1 lemon
2 24-ounce cans chopped tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted), undrained, or 6 cups freshly chopped tomatoes plus 1 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups quartered artichoke hearts (1 9-ounce frozen package or 1 15-ounce can)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Heat broth in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden. Add garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add dried lentils, bay leaf, and water to pan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add lemon juice, tomatoes and their liquid, artichokes, and crushed red pepper (if using). Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add salt and black pepper, or to taste.

Nutrition Information
Per serving (1/6 of recipe): 176 calories; 1 g fat (0.1 g saturated fat); 4.9% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol
11.7 g protein; 34.3 g carbohydrate; 7.5 g sugar; 10 g fiber; 560 mg sodium123 mg calcium; 6.3 mg iron; 28.6 mg vitamin C; 238 mcg beta-carotene1.8 mg vitamin E

Found: This recipe is a preview from the upcoming NEW EDITION of The Survivor's Handbook: Eating Right for Cancer Survival.

Brown Rice, Vegetable & Herb Gratin

Brown Rice, Vegetable & Herb Gratin
Serves 4; Vegan; 1 hour

What is great about this recipe, is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I used mushrooms and yellow squash for carrots and baby corn cobs.

1/3 cup brown rice (I used 2/3 cups)
2 tablespoons earth balance
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 carrot, chopped into matchsticks
1 zucchini, sliced
2 3/4 oz. baby corn cobs, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs (I used mint, basil, parsley and oregano)
1 cup grated Daiya mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons whole-wheat bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the rice in a saucepan of boiling water for 20 minutes. (It took mine about 35 minutes. Besides the baking, this is the longest part of the recipe.)

2. Lightly grease a 3 3/4 cup ovenproof dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

3. Heat the butter in a skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until softened.

4. Add the garlic, carrot, zucchini, and corn cobs and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

5. Mix the rice with the sunflower seeds and mixed herbs and stir into the pan.

6. Stir in half of the mozzarella cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

7. Spoon the mixture into the greased dish and top with the bread crumbs and remaining cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese begins to turn golden. Serve at once.
Variation: Use an alternative rice, such as basmati, and flavor the dish with curry spices, if desired.

Found and adapted from: What's Cooking Vegetarian by Jenny Stacey

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Smashing Corn Casserole

Smashing Corn Casserole (from Christina Pirello)

This truly deluxe casserole is a snap to make and a hit with everyone who has tasted it. It blends the sweet taste of fresh corn, tangy roasted red peppers, rich sesame tahini, sweet squash and the nutritional kick of beans.

1 cup cooked black beans, smashed with a fork
1/3 cup sesame tahini
soy sauce
yellow corn meal
spring or filtered water
2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
several clean corn husks
1 red pepper, roasted and diced
2 cups (approximately) pureed pumpkin or winter squash
pinch sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Puree the beans with tahini and season lightly with shoyu. Set aside.

2. Mix corn meal with salt and enough water to make a thick paste. You will need about 1 1/2 cups of this mixture. Fold in corn kernels. Set aside.

3. Line a lightly oiled, deep casserole dish with several clean corn husks, allowing them to hang over the sides a bit.

4. Begin layering (like lasagna) by spreading some corn meal mixture on the husks. Add some of the bean mixture, pureed squash and sprinkle with a bit of the red peppers. Continue layering until the dish is full, but be sure to end with corn meal on the top. Fold the husks over the casserole and press into the topping to hold them in place.

5. Cover and bake for 35 minutes, until firm. Remove the cover and return to oven to brown the top slightly. Serve immediately.


Kale Lasagna Diavolo

Kale Lasagna Diavolo
Vegan; 1 hr. 20 min

In honor of MLK day, I'm hoping that most of you will have time to make this dish. My whole family loved it, and left me 2 slices. I made it in an 8x11 glass baking dish. So, I made more then the recipe calls for.

Warm up a winter evening with a spicy lasagna that gets hearty texture from chopped kale. Soy yogurt mashed into a traditional "ricotta" tofu mixture gives it flavorful tang.

1 tsp. olive oil, plus more for oiling pan
1 8 oz. bunch kale-stems removed (I ran out of kale, so I added spinach to this mix)
1 package of tofu, pressed (I added a garlic and bell pepper seasoning to it)
1/4 cup soy yogurt
2 cups prepared tomato puree (I used 1 15oz can diced tomatoes and 1 8 oz. can contadina sauce and pureed it together using my blender-came out to 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
6 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained or 6 no-cook lasagna noodles (I used 9 noodles)
1/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat 8 inch square baking pan with oil.

2. Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Thoroughly wring out kale, then chop. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and set aside. (I did not season.)

3. Mash together tofu and 1/2 tsp. garlic and bell pepper seasoning, black pepper (1/4 tsp.) and soy yogurt in bowl, set aside.

4. Heat 1 tsp. oil in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook 15 seconds, or until fragrant. Add tomato puree and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes, or until thickened.

5. Spread 1/4 cup sauce in prepared baking dish. Place 2 lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Top with half of tofu mixture, half of kale, and 1/3 cup sauce. Top with two more noodles, remaining tofu and remaining kale. Top with remaining lasagna noodles and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake 40 minutes, or until cheese has melted and lasagna is bubbly.

Per 1 cup serving: 183 cal.; 14 grams prot.; 5 grams total fat; 3 grams sat. fat; 21 grams carbs.; 13 mg chol.; 450 mg sod.; 2 grams fiber; 5 grams sugars

Found: Adapted from Vegetarian Times Jan./Feb. 2011

Spring Rooted Vegetable Bake

Spring Rooted Vegetable Bake
Vegan; 15-20 min prep. time; 1 hour bake time
Serves 6-8

In my quest to invoke the flavors of spring, I found the perfect recipe the other day. I used small, farmers market fresh veggies, so please modify and enjoy to suite your taste! Serve with some crusty bread and on a bead of arugula. P. S.-This is perfect for Easter! Happy Easter and Earth Day Everyone.....

4 beets, diced (tear the beet tops to add-about 4)
2 turnips, diced
5-6 carrots, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, diced
6-8 red potatoes, diced
1 15-oz. can black beans (rinsed or you can make your own)
1/3 cup white wine (I used Bonterra-Chardonnay)
1 Tbs. thyme
1 Tbs. fresh mint leaves torn
2 pinches of rosemary (I did large pinches since I like rosemary)
vegetable broth drizzled over the vegetables (I think 1/3 cup)
extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the dish)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9x13-3quart casserole dish with olive oil.

2. Place all of the diced/chopped vegetables in the dish and pour in the wine, mint, rosemary, thyme and beet tops and stir together until coated with the olive oil. (Add more if needed.) Drizzle with the vegetable broth and stir again.

3. Bake for 45 minutes to and hour; the veggies should be tender to a fork pierce. (The time will vary depending on how large or small you dice the veggies.) Allow to cool, but serve warm.

Spicy Spinach Frittata

Spicy Spinach Frittata
Serves 8; Vegan

Frittatas are a popular menu item for breakfast and brunch. Have your own dining-out experience by making this dish at home. It's hearty, filling, and can easily be doubled for family or friends. Feel free to substitute the spinach for kale as it contains more bioavailable calcium.


1 pound raw spinach, kale, or other leafy greens
1/4 cup soy creamer or other nondairy milk
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 button mushroom, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow squash, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
lime and crushed red pepper to garnish


Remove spinach leaves from stems. Reduce spinach until it is thoroughly wilted by sautéing in a large pan on medium heat with the soy creamer and vegetable broth. Once spinach is reduced, add red bell pepper, mushroom, yellow squash and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.

Preheat oven to 375 F while potatoes and garlic are cooking.
Purée half the tofu with turmeric, salt, black pepper, and chipotle powder in a food processor. Crumble the other half. Combine puréed tofu, remaining crumbled tofu, and spinach-veggie mixture in a 6"x6" baking dish and mix thoroughly. Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow frittata to set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Found and adapted from

Hawaiian-style Sweet and Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers

Hawaiian-style Sweet and Sour Roasted Pineapple and Bell Peppers
Serves 6; Vegan

This tropical medley is a fresh alternative to a vegetable side dish. To stretch it into a main dish for four, serve it with tofu and over steamed rice.

3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 medium red bell pepper, cubed (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges (1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. dark or light brown sugar
1 Tbs. sweetened coconut flakes, optional
1 Tbs. lime juice


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange pineapple cubes, red bell pepper cubes, and red onion wedges on ungreased rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with toasted sesame oil and vegetable oil, sprinkle with brown sugar, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Toss to coat.

2. Roast pineapple mixture on center oven rack 30 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning once. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sweetened coconut flakes, if using, then drizzle with lime juice. Remove to serving bowl and toss well to combine. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nutritional Information
Per 1-cup serving: Calories: 108, Protein: 1g, Total fat: 5g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 17g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 3mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 12g

Found: Vegetarian Times May/June 2010

Maple-Glazed Tofu on Pumpkin Seed Couscous

Maple-Glazed Tofu on Pumpkin Seed Couscous
Serves 6; Vegan

Sorry to be SO late on this, but we're just beginning to get settled from the drive. I'm not sure how this is going to taste, since I don't have anything in the kitchen yet. So, hopefully, this comes out yummy.... If not, one out of the many is not bad! ~_^

Maple-Glazed Tofu
2 10-oz. pkgs. extra-firm tofu
2 tsp. cracked black pepper
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup maple syrup

Pumpkin Seed Couscous
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium carrots, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds

To make Maple-Glazed Tofu:

1. Place tofu between two plates and set heavy pot on top. Drain 10 minutes, and pat dry. Cut tofu into 3/8-inch-thick slices. Combine pepper, thyme, and salt in small bowl. Coat tofu slices with pepper mixture, and set aside.

To make Pumpkin Seed Couscous:

2. Bring broth, carrots, edamame, olive oil, and salt to a boil in covered saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in couscous and cover. Let steam 5 minutes, then fluff with fork.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil and maple syrup in large skillet over medium-high heat until bubbling. Place tofu in pan, and cook 3 minutes. Turn, and cook 3 minutes more, spooning thickening sauce over tofu.

4. To serve: Stir pumpkin seeds into couscous. Spoon onto plates, and top with Maple-Glazed Tofu.

Per SERVING: Calories: 577, Protein: 26g, Total fat: 26g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 71g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 444mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: 27g

Found: Adapted from Vegetarian Times

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Circus Demo and What Happens Behind the Curtian

While I was driving home from San Antonio, my friends and group that I volunteer with (Pikes Peak Animal Rights Team) was doing a peaceful demonstration in front of the Ringling Brothers Circus. For those of you who aren’t aware of the heinous abuse that happens behind the scenes, I hope that this opens your eyes.

On the morning of Saturday, June 10 a whistleblower witnessed an elephant being hit 6 times with the full force of a bullhook or electric prod out of ignorance and stupidity, hate and fear (take your pick). This elephant was chained by 2 of his/her legs and had moved to miss one of the blows, but was still unable to miss all of them. The Ringling Brothers Circus had been fined $270,000 USD from the US Department of Agriculture for a similar incident last year. The Circus performs at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, and while my friends were passing out copies of an article that was written up about a similar beating last year, it happened again. Sickening, is only one of the words that we have used. PPART was able to pass out all of the coloring books raising awareness to kids and getting 40 people to watch a pay-per-view (we pay them $1) of Behind the Scenes: The Saddest Show on Earth, raising awareness to adults.

There are things that we all can do as a community, taking prompts form other localities. In Los Angeles they are celebrating Elephant Awareness Day August 3, 2012. In 1998 the Thai government designated March 13 as National Elephant Day. Fulton County (Georgia) has banned bullhooks like other counties in Florida, South Carolina, New York, Kentucky, and Indiana; and Dane County, Wisconsin banned elephants performing all together on June 7th of this year with a vote of 23 to 9. Peru has banned all animal performing zoos. Stamford, CT; Hollywood, FL; Boulder, CO; and Pasadena, CA have all banned all animal acts, including rodeos. How did all of this happen? It’s people like me and you, being moved into action. Writing our representatives, becoming vocal and making our voices heard.

Here are some facts:

From 1994 to 2005, there have been at the very least 31 elephants that have died of premature deaths in the circuses with other animals, such as lions and horses who have died untimely; with 24 elephants dying at the hands of Ringling Brothers since 1992.

Researchers have warned that African elephants will face extinction as early as 2020 if anti-poaching measures are not strengthened.

National Elephant Appreciation Day is September 22.

Ringling Brothers Circus had an annual profit of $150 million USD in 2009 and currently profits have been between 500 million to 1 billion USD.

Raspberry Blueberry Glaze

Raspberry Blueberry Glaze

Instead of frosting, I made this very light flavorful glaze for Bruce's cake. Perfect for the summer heat and so simple!

1/2 cup of each raspberries and blueberries
2 cups sifted powder sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a dash of salt
1/2 tsp. of hemp milk

1. Puree raspberries and blueberries in a blender. Set aside.

2. In a bowl, combine sifted powder sugar, vanilla, salt and hemp milk. Add berry mixture and combine. Evenly pour over cake, and garnish with whole berries and mint (optional).

Classic Vanilla Cake (Vegan Style)

Classic Vanilla Cake (Vegan Style)
45 minutes bake time

I made this for Bruce on Father's Day, and of course he loved it! In fact, I'm not sure if the boys even got to have any of it. To make it moist in the higher altitude I needed to put one cup of hemp milk instead of the 3/4 cup. Instead of frosting, I made a raspberry blueberry glaze (recipe to follow).

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1 1/2 tsp. egg replacer
1 cup hemp milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one 9 inch round cake pan with oil and dust with flour. Set aside.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Cream sugar and margarine with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes, or until fluffy. (Mine looked more like little course balls of fluff.)

3. Stir egg replacer into 1/2 cup of water (I always mix it in my measuring glass cup). Add to sugar mixture, and beat until combined. Combine hemp milk and vanilla in bowl. Reduce mixer speed to low, and alternate adding flour mixture and hemp milk mixture, ending with hemp milk mixture. (Do not over mix.)

4. Fill cake pan and bake 40-45 minutes, or until center comes out clean. Cool.
**Note- You can make this recipe as cupcakes bake for 16-19 minutes.

Found: Vegetarian Times March 2012

Lime-Cucumber Dill Salad

Lime-Cucumber Dill Salad
Vegan; 30 minutes

So, this is a twist on a classic summer salad. Bruce and I were shopping at the Farmers Market (I'm not sure which one, still learning the city ~_^ ) and picked up some fresh dill. Well, knowing that he was wanting something light, I asked if he could pick up some cucumbers. For those of you growing your own, here is a great recipe-super fast! **As an update - I added tomatoes to this and it's perfect for the Texas summer heat!*

2 cucumbers (2 pounds)
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons fresh
the juice from 1 lime, plus the zest (add less depending on your taste)
crushed red pepper (add as much or as little depending on your taste)


1. Slice the cucumber lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice thinly.

2. In a colander, toss the cucumber with the salt and let it sit and drain for 20 minutes. Press the liquid out of the vegetables and rinse well with cold water.

3. In a medium bowl combine the vinegar and sugar and stir well. Add the cucumber and the lime juice including zest and toss to coat. Stir in the dill and crushed red peppers.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Love Story: How my boyfriend went vegan

Since we were driving to San Antonio, Bruce, the boys and I had to drive through a HUGE agriculture/farming area of Texas. Bruce was driving this part of the trip (bless him-the worst part of the drive), and going through Happy Texas was not very happy! He was shocked of the smell and was even more shocked of seeing the pasture land with no cows or chickens grazing or pecking, doing all of the natural things that farm animals are meant to do.

When we got back to Colorado Springs, Bruce and I watched The Greatest Speech by Gary Yourofsky the same day that he gave up dairy. Bruce watched the VERY GRAPHIC parts of the speech, even when I had to leave the room in tears. I looked at him, and told him "see why I'd been trying to get you off of dairy". He leaned over and kissed me thanking me for loving him so much, and helping him find a healthy place.

Keeping on the same note, we watched Forks Over Knives that same night. Now he's wanting to read The China Study. I told one of my friends about this, and her take is that there is "no turning back", he will be changed (for the healthier) forever. He even had his business partner to watch the movie, who loved it so much he watched it again with his daughters.

Bruce has had the rose colored glasses removed and talks about it to EVERYONE, he feels that if people knew what was happening they would go veg and be more respectful of where their food comes from. For Bruce, since we have been dating, his cholesterol went from 200+ to 135 and he weighs the same as when he was in college (he's in his late 40s). He is more in-tuned with his body, listening to it when eating whole foods gives him energy and processed carbs (even as healthy as I cook) makes him sluggish.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce
Vegan; 30 minutes or fewer; Serves 4

I made this last night, and it was a HUGE success! Grant and Max both had 2 servings, and Bruce liked that it was the lightest Alfredo sauce that he has ever had... This recipe is SUPER quick and VERY kid friendly! I guess this will be one of the few repeat recipes, since I try to keep it fresh for all of you....

12 oz fettuccine or pasta of your choice
2 cups hemp milk (or non-dairy)
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp. Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds
4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
ground black pepper, to taste
ground nutmeg, just a few pinches (to taste-no more then 1/8 tsp.)
2 cups vegetables of your choice (I used broccoli, mushrooms, yellow squash and sweet bell peppers) chopped and steamed

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Steam veggies together.

3. Place in a large nonstick sauté pan (I used my cast iron skillet) non-dairy milk and garlic. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add the Daiya cheese, continue cooking until the "cheese" melts and the sauce thickens. Add nutmeg and black pepper.

4. Stir in pasta and veggies, tossing gently and serve.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Natural Beauty Within....

While in San Antonio, TX last week, I got to rediscover a great city along with visiting friends. Bruce had never been to San Antonio and it goes without saying that his kids hadn't, either. Getting to be a tourist, we hit the farmers market (for me), and I got to see Christopher my vendor for vegan lotions and soaps.

Chris and I started talking about how there is SO much lead, animal by-products, not to mention the truly nastiness that some will add to "enhance" whatever you want enhanced. Getting back, I got to purchase my favorite product that he has. Organic Lavender Shea Butter, Bruce tried it and instantly loved as well.... For the air in Colorado being SO thin and dry, I find that I have to slather myself in this to stay moisturized...

When I ran out during the winter, I used my bottle of sweet almond oil (I still use it, just yesterday in fact)! The sweet almond oil is perfect for eye make-up remover that is NOT a petroleum base and not tested on animals. (Look at the label, if you are shopping outside of the cooking isle.)

These are just some of the products I use and LOVE!!!!

Organic Lavender Shea Butter ($20.00) for a 6.7 oz
(this will last me 3 months using it everyday)
Hempsense Organics 210-385-0720

Sweet Almond Oil
Now Solutions
Can be found at most Whole Foods in the beauty isle.

Witch Hazel and I add a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil as my face astringent. You'll spend some money on the essential oil, however it will last you at least a year (maybe longer). I use mine in my laundry too, so I go through it faster.

My favorite exfoliate is corn meal and lavender buds. The steam releases the fragrance of the lavender buds and the cornmeal is all natural. (Make sure you buy from the bulk bin to get more for less, since you'll be able to use this in the kitchen and make sure you look for organic cornmeal.)

I know that lavender is my favorite sent, what is yours? Roses, make some rose water for a face astringent. If taking a relaxing bath add some petals to your bath water.

Be sure you have a brick and heat-safe stainless steel or glass quart bowl ready before you begin.

2-3 quarts fresh roses or rose petals
Ice cubes or crushed ice

1. In the center of a large pot (the speckled blue canning pots are ideal) with an inverted lid (a rounded lid), place a fireplace brick. On top of the brick place the bowl. Put the roses in the pot; add enough flowers to reach the top of the brick. Pour in just enough water to cover the roses. The water should be just above the top of the brick.

2. Place the lid upside down on the pot. Turn on the stove and bring the water to a rolling boil, then lower heat to a slow steady simmer. As soon as the water begins to boil, toss two or three trays of ice cubes (or a bag of ice) on top of the lid.

3. You’ve now created a home still! As the water boils the steam rises, hits the top of the cold lid, and condenses. As it condenses it flows to the center of the lid and drops into the bowl. Every 20 minutes, quickly lift the lid and take out a tablespoon or two of the rose water. It’s time to stop when you have between a pint and a quart of water that smells and tastes strongly like roses.

Adapted from Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbs for Natural Beauty, by Rosemary Gladstar.
Rose Water recipe found through

Simple Black Bean Burgers

Simple Black Bean Burgers
Vegan; 30 minutes; Serves 4

What took the longest to make, when I made this for dinner a couple of weeks ago, were the sweet potato fries. I served these with chipotle mayo and some melted Daiya cheddar cheese on toasted rolls. Bruce loved the burgers and said they tasted just like and had the same texture as a hamburger.

2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup sweet bell pepper, diced (I used a combination of red and yellow)
1 jalapeño, minced
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (I used fresh, and added a little more)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour (use what you have on hand, I used gluten free all purpose)
2 cups of black beans (I use 2 cans)

1. In a saucepan over medium heat with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mash black beans, sautéed vegetables and bread crumbs mixing well. (I needed Bruce to mash the ingredients with his hands. This is great for kids to help with.) Season with cumin, cilantro, and salt; mix again. Shape into patties, then coat in flour.

3. Place in pan over medium heat with remaining oil. Cook each patty for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden (lightly) browned.

Papaya Smoothie

Papaya Smoothie
Serves 2

This is my go to smoothie when I have an upset stomach. For those who know me, I tend (like most women) to internalize my stress, that comes out in a sour stomach or where I can't eat anything. The ginger in this helps with that....

1 cup cubed ripe papaya (if you can find frozen, keep it on hand)
6 frozen strawberries (this helps thicken the smoothie)
1/2 cup soy milk (I use hemp)
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 tsp. light agave nectar
1/4 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.

Rosemary-Cheese Biscuits

Rosemary-Cheese Biscuits
Vegan; Makes about 1 dozen

I make these when I make the Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili. Super easy to make, these are great to take on picnics or to an afternoon potluck. Try out different cheeses to give some variety. I've done pepper jack for a spicy kick....

2 cups flour (use a gluten-free all purpose if needed/wanted)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup earth balance
1 cup non-dairy milk (I use hemp)
1/2 cup vegan cheddar cheese
1 Tbsp. crushed dried rosemary
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 Tbsp. dried sage
1 Tbsp. rubbed thyme

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand. Drop by tablespoon onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Original recipe found

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Breaded Broccoli and Tofu

Breaded Broccoli and Tofu
Vegan, 15 min

Now that broccoli is in season here in Colorado Springs, hit those farmer markets and try this recipe out! Bruce is not a fan of broccoli, and he had 3 servings of this.... I served this with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes that is located in the blog. It made a perfect light meal, and the tofu helped make the meal feel complete. Happy Cooking Everyone!

2 cups of broccoli, chopped
1 package of firm tofu, pressed (see notes) and cubed
3 Tablespoons earth balance
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned and Panko)
1/3 cup ground cashews (I added garlic red bell pepper seasoning to it)
Salt and pepper to taste


1: To press the tofu, place between 2 plates and place a can of beans on top. Continue to prep.

2: Clean the broccoli well and put them in boiling water for about 5 minutes to blanch them. Rinse and set aside.

3: In a large cast iron or sauté pan, melt half of the earth balance and half of the olive oil.

4: Add the chopped garlic and tofu. When tofu is golden add the broccoli.

5: When the broccoli is browned and "crispy", add the bread crumbs and the rest of the earth balance and olive oil.

6: At the last minute, add the cashew mixture until golden brown as well.

7: Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve!

Enjoy! They are really, really good.

Apple Yellow Squash Sandwiches

Apple Yellow Squash Sandwiches
Vegan; Serves 2

So humor me here, I promise this is really good. Bruce came home for lunch to my surprise, and was famished. Currently I'm between temp assignments, so even if he does make it home, I'm at work. Well, since I was getting myself cleaned up from unpacking and cleaning-just getting back from San Antonio there is a lot to do. Having this on hand, and making some fresh hummus (the last batch was eaten on the way to San Antonio), this turns into a quick gourmet sandwich.

1/2 yellow squash, sliced
1 Fuji apple, sliced thin
Vegan pepper jack cheese slices
spinach or any green
4 slices rosemary sourdough bread, lightly toasted

1. Heat apple slices and squash slices in a skillet, just until heated through and fragrant. Spread hummus on the slices of bread, add spinach (if using), pepper jack cheese, apples and squash. Slice in half and serve with fruit or chips.

Squash-Rice Casserole

Squash-Rice Casserole
Vegan; 1 hour 15 min prep and cook

This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light. Bruce loved it, and couldn't stop talking about it for days. While he described it to one of colleagues, it was lost in translation.... You decide, kids might like this due to it being cheesy....

8 cups of a combination of sliced yellow squash, zucchini and butternut squash (about 2 1/2 lbs.)
1 cup chopped onion (I used a little less, about 1/4 cup)
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup not-chick'n broth
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
3/4 cups soy yogurt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (divided)
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt (the original recipe called for 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
egg replacer for 2 eggs (follow instructions for what you use/have on hand)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain; partially mash with a large fork or potato masher.

3. In a large bowl, combine squash mixture, rice, cheddar cheese, soy yogurt, 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and egg replacer in a bowl; gently stir. Spoon mixture into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Spicy Tomatillo Banana Pepper Salsa

Spicy Tomatillo Banana Pepper Salsa

While I was visiting friends in San Antonio, TX. I was able to hit my usual farmer market (Legacy Oaks) and got caught up with my farmers. Mr. Estrada (one of my favorite people) had the banana peppers, tomatillos and the tomatoes. Bruce got to go with me, and asked what I had in mind, well.... I wasn't expecting the salsa to be the kind of spicy that you feel in your ears, but his oldest finished the half that was mango free. My friends liked the mango version, even with the heat level.

1 pound small sweet tomatillos, shucked
1/2 pound banana peppers, seeded (save some of the seeds-to taste)
1 pound cherry tomatoes (I used an orange variety that was more sweet then tart)
1 habanero pepper, seeded
1/4 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. lime juice
salt to taste

**NOTE: To cut the heat add 2 mangoes (which I had to, so I could leave for friends) or 1 cup pineapple and cut the salsa recipe in half.

1. Heat a pot of water and add tomatillos. They will change to a lighter green-white color, remove before they burst. Depending on size, this can take up to 15 minutes.

2. Pulse in a blender or a food processor tomatillos, banana peppers (some seeds) and tomatoes. Add habanero pepper, onion, cilantro and lime juice, pulse again.
** Add the mango or pineapple if using, and pulse