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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Vegan Chick-fil-A Sandwiches

Vegan Chick-fil-A Sandwiches
Vegan; Serves 4

This is for the people out there that are trying to have a smaller carbon footprint, needing something that is kid friendly (that are transitioning to a kinder lifestyle) or are boycotting for support of gay rights! I've found this posted on several sites including The Kind Life and PETA....

4 vegan chicken cutlets (try Gardein Chick'n Scallopini)
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened soy or hemp milk
1/4 cup pickle juice
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
3 cups peanut, canola, or vegetable oil, for frying
Olive oil cooking spray
4 buns
16 dill pickle chips

1. Defrost or thaw the chicken cutlets if frozen.

2. Combine the soy milk and the pickle juice in a bowl and mix well. Set aside.

3. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, dry mustard, and powdered sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

4. Warm the peanut oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Dip a "chicken" cutlet into the wet mixture, coating evenly on all sides. Toss into the flour mixture and coat generously. Repeat with the remaining cutlets and set aside.

5. Place one cutlet in the frying pan using a pair of tongs. Flip occasionally to ensure even cooking. Allow to cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until the outside is crisp and golden brown. Allow to drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining cutlets.

6. Lightly spray the buns with the cooking spray and place in a frying pan over low heat until slightly toasted.

7. Place 4 pickle chips on the bottom half of each bun, then top with the fried "chicken." Serve immediately.

Strawberry Mousse Cupcakes

Strawberry Mousse Cupcakes
Vegan; Makes 16

Speaking of birthdays, I made these a few years ago for mine. So, these were my "Stuck in the Middle with You" cupcakes to with my Quentin Tarantino themed party. These turned out really good, my non-veg friends were very impressed! I warn you, there are a lot of steps-so worth it!

For the Cupcakes:

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. organic sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

2. Mix the vinegar and soy milk together and set aside.

3. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.

4. In another bowl, stir together the soy milk mixture, the canola oil, and the vanilla extract and add to the dry ingredients, mixing well.

5. Fill each cupcake liner about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Let cool in the cupcake pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the Strawberry Filling: (This part can be cut in half, I had WAY too much left over)

2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup organic apple juice
1/4 cup organic unbleached granulated sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup water

1. Place the strawberries and apple juice in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the strawberries soften.

2. While stirring, slowly add the sugar. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add to the saucepan. Heat until thickened, being careful not to boil.

3. Remove from the heat. While still warm, blend briefly with a hand blender, creating the consistency of a very thick purée. If you do not have a hand blender, use a traditional blender instead.

4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until jelly-like.

For the Strawberry Mousse:

1 cup vegan margarine
1/4 cup nonfat soy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4-5 Tbsp. prepared strawberry filling
5-6 cups organic powdered sugar
1 drop red food coloring (optional)

1. Beat the margarine until creamy. Add the soy milk, vanilla, and strawberry filling and mix well. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the food coloring, if desired. Beat for 5 to 10 minutes.

To Assemble:

1. Cut a cone-shaped piece out of the top of each cupcake. Fill with 1 to 2 teaspoons of the strawberry filling. Replace the cupcake top and frost with the strawberry mousse.

Found: PETA

I'm So Blue Mashed Potatoes

I'm So Blue Mashed Potatoes
Vegan; Serves 4

While shopping at the farmers market on Saturday, I was able to find more of my favorite blue potatoes. Since it's Grants birthday, and needing a kid friendly side to go with the portabella mushroom steaks, I made these. Several years ago, I made these for a holiday dinner-the color is a beautiful blueish purple.... Loosely use the measurements below, every taste is different.

1 pound blue potatoes, scrubbed and semi skinned-cut into large-medium chunks
(I like to leave some of the skin on, so they don't fall apart-more rustic)
1-1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1-1 1/2 cups hemp milk
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1-2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons rosemary
sea salt and black pepper to taste (I used 2 pinches of sea salt)

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain.

2. In a large bowl, combine vegetable broth, hemp milk (a little at a time, about 1/2 a cup) with the potatoes. (I used my hand mixer, since my potato masher is in storage.) Using a hand mixer, on the lowest speed mix until liquid is gone. Add earth balance, rosemary and garlic. (Here is where you taste it to see if you need to add more, to get the flavor and texture you want.)

Serve warm and enjoy!

Braised Zucchini Wheels with Sesame-Mint Pesto

Braised Zucchini Wheels with Sesame-Mint Pesto
Vegan; Serves 4; 30 minutes or fewer

I made these for a potluck, when I lived in San Antonio. Everyone was impressed at the presentation of these little yummy wheels. I ended up making more (almost tripling the recipe), so my time was longer then 30 minutes...

Braising—simmering ingredients in a small amount of water in a shallow pan—keeps zucchini's texture firm but tender, rather than turning the vegetable into mush. This technique also works well with a prepared pesto if you're short on time.

1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I did half plain and half Italian seasoned)
1/3 cup whole almonds
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbs. fresh mint leaves
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. sesame seeds
4 medium zucchini (2 lb.), cut into 5 wheels each

1. Pulse breadcrumbs, almonds, garlic, mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest in blender or food processor until coarsely chopped. Add oil and sesame seeds, and pulse several times to make chunky pesto.

2. Score an X in each zucchini wheel to within 1/2 inch of bottom, making sure not to cut through. Gently pry each wheel open, and stuff with 1 heaping tsp. pesto. Place zucchini wheels snugly in single layer, stuffing-side up, in medium saucepan. Add 1 cup water, cover pan, and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook 20 minutes, or until zucchini are tender. Serve hot, with cooking liquid drizzled over top.

Found: Vegetarian Times July 2009

Frozen Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake

Frozen Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake
Vegan; Raw; Gluten Free; Serves 8

I made this for Grants birthday. Super easy to make, your food processor will be used a lot. Grant liked it, however depending on where you live-the cake to be more like a ice cream cake may stay more frozen then thawed.... I took it out an hour before, but it was still more frozen-still very yummy! Bruce loved it, too! I garnished it with strawberries covered in vanilla coconut yogurt and then frozen.


1 cup(s) almonds
1 cup(s) Medjool dates
1/4 tsp. sea salt

3 cup(s) raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight and drained
1 cup(s) strawberries
2/3 cup(s) coconut oil
2/3 cup(s) agave
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 cup(s) strawberries
1 tbsp. agave
1/4 cup(s) orange juice


1. To make the crust, pulse almonds, dates, and sea salt in a food processor until well combined and crumbly. Press the crust into the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan.

2. For the filling, combine cashews, strawberries, coconut oil, agave, lemon juice, and vanilla extract in a food processor or high-speed blender until smooth and well combined. Pour the mixture on top of the crust and spread evenly.

3. To make the topping, add strawberries, agave, and orange juice to blender. Blend until smooth and pour on top of the 'cheese' layer. Freeze overnight.

4. Take the cake out to thaw for about 40-50 minutes before serving. You'll want to cut it when it's still semi-frozen.

Found from a reader of The Kind Life

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Zucchini Vegan Parmesan Crisps

Zucchini Vegan Parmesan Crisps
Vegan; Serves 4

When I made these last week, I tossed them in a sun dried tomato pasta. To compliment both, I added artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes and as the sauce I made an olive oil, garlic and earth balance lemon sauce. Bruce loved it with the rosemary sourdough bread toasted with earth balance with some garlic powder.....

1 lb. zucchini or squash (about 2 medium-sized)
1/4 cup vegan shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (heaping)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil and spray lightly with vegetable spray.

2. Slice zucchini or squash into 1/4 inch-thick rounds. Toss rounds with oil, coating well.

3. In a wide bowl or plate, combine breadcrumbs, vegan Parmesan, salt and pepper.

4. Place rounds in Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides of each round, pressing to adhere. The mixture will not completely cover each round, but provides a light coating on each side.

5. Place rounds in a single layer on baking sheets. Sprinkle any remaining breadcrumb mixture over the rounds.

Bake for about 22 to 27 minutes, until golden brown. (There is no need to flip them during baking -- they crisp up on both sides as is.)

Adapted from Ellie Krieger's recipe in The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life

Cajun Chickpea Patties

Cajun Chickpea Patties
Serves 4

I made these for Bruce and the boys when they got back from Florida. Bruce missing my cooking, loved these and what was even better-the boys liked them too! In this household, we tend to like things spicy so you may have to adjust the heat. I served these on toasted buns with the chipotle mayo and for a side made a cucumber and tomato salad. (That was not a big hit with the boys.)


1 tbsp oil
1/4 cup diced onion
3/4 poblano pepper, diced and seeded
2 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp adobo sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

1. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Saute onion, and poblano pepper for 5-7 mins, until softened. Remove from heat.

2. Place chickpeas in a food processor along with the onion mixture. Pulse until chickpeas are no longer whole, but dont process them too much. Place chickpeas in a bowl and add spices, hot sauce, and parsley. Mix well. Add flour and cornstarch and mix well.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan over med/med-hi heat (around 350 degrees). Shape chickpea mixture into 4 patties and fry in batches, about 2-3 mins per side, or until crispy and browned. Flip a few times if they are browning too quickly. If you have trouble forming the patties, add some more cornstarch to hold it all together.

Adapted from Vegan Dad Blog

Cumin and Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Cumin and Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4; Vegan; Gluten Free

I made this for a potluck last week, and it was a huge hit. Super simple to make, the longest part of this is the roasting time. I added a few things to the original recipe, so I’ll add stars to them. Happy Eating!

1 large sweet potato or garnet yam (1 ¼ lb.), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
**¼ onion, coarsely chopped (those who follow me, know I never put the amount of onion called)
Original calls for 1 large yellow onion (about 2 cups)
**1 jalapeño seeded and chopped
**1 tsp. Safflower oil (I added a little extra, the potatoes were drying out)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 lime, halved
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or coat with cooking spray. Toss sweet potato, onion and jalapeno with oil on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with cumin and paprika, and season with salt if desired. (I didn’t add salt, I added lime zest instead.) Squeeze juice of half lime over the sweet potato mixture. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour (mine took 42 minutes), tossing halfway through cooking time.

2. Remove vegetables from oven; squeeze juice of remaining ½ lime over top, and sprinkle with cilantro.

Per 1 cup serving: 135 cal.; 3 grams prot.; 2 grams total fat (<1g sat fat); 29 grams carb.; 0 mg chol.; 36 mg sod.; 5 grams fiber; 10 grams sugars

Found: Vegetarian Times Sept. 2012 2nd place winner in readers contest

Monday, August 6, 2012

Friendship Day and What That Means...

Friendship Day and What That Means....

Yesterday was Friendship Day and going through my ho-hum day without Bruce and the boys, I worked on the blog, talked with my mom-the usual. Well, I got on Pinterest and was so moved by some of the pins; not in a good way!

The severe abuse that some will do to themselves is one thing, but to afflict that abuse upon a living earthling is horrifying! We, as man, need to understand that we DO NOT have the right to torture others who have the right to live and want to live. To say the least I was upset and in tears, trying to figure out how to write about this. Fortune came up to me, sensing I was upset (and as I write this I have tears) wanting to comfort me. He and Choxie are truly family members and it pains me to know that they could have suffered the same fate had I not adopted them.

I do everything in my power to show them love, to keep them safe and to give them the structure to know how much I care. So much so, that my day usually starts at 4:15am during the week to walk them for 30-45 minutes. If you are like me, you’ll want to hug your four legged furry babies after seeing these. That’s the natural response I had and did! I don’t want to live in a country that thinks that this is wrong, but gives a slap on the wrist for the crime that has been committed. I’m not going anywhere, and I know that I’m not alone. If you have the time, donate your time to a rescue or a shelter. Sometimes it can just be your talents or the fresh energy they need. If you can’t, but you can donate money-then do it. Or, maybe you can find the room and want to adopt instead. Think of how many new friends you can make. Think of how many will see you lead by example and be inspired to make a difference. If we all make a difference then hopefully we won’t see images like these and someday friendship day will be celebrated everyday…..

Non-Dairy Cheese Cake

Non-Dairy Cheese Cake

Bruce loves this with strawberries, and Grant really liked this too.... My favorite topping is raspberries, it compliments the lemon so wonderfully! My sister in law would always ask for this as the dessert during holidays.... ~_^


2 8oz. containers of plain non-dairy cream cheese (I like Follow Your Heart)
1 cup organic sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
dash of vanilla (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1 graham cracker crust
Fresh Fruit topping of your choice (raspberries, blueberries or strawberries are all good)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine ingredients until smooth and pour into the graham cracker crust. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow to cool at room temperature then chill in the refrigerator until firm. This take several hours or overnight. Cover with fruit topping and serve.....

Found: PETA

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers
vegan, makes 10 poppers

I made these last month for a pot luck, and everyone LOVED them... I made about 40 of them to make sure there were plenty for people to enjoy. If you make as many as I did, please wear gloves, my fingers were burning for days after. ~_^

5 large jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and halved

cheese mixture:
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup Daiya cheddar cheese shreds

Flour Mixture:
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
dash of chipotle powder
pinch of salt and pepper

Panko Bread Crumbs

small flat bowl of hemp milk (about 1/4 cup)

1+ cups olive oil


1. Prep your jalapenos by halving them and carefully removing the seeds. Set aside.

2. Get your "breading" station set up. You will have a bowl for each of these: cheese mixture (fold the shreds into the cream cheese), flour mixture, panko crumbs, soy milk.

3. Start prepping your jalapenos. Here is the method: stuff with cheese, roll in milk, roll in flour, back in milk, roll in panko crumbs, set aside. Pressing the panko crumbs into the wet cheese layer really helps. Continue this process until all the jalapenos are stuffed and breaded.

4. Pour your oil into a large pot over med-high heat. Test the oil for heat-readiness by dropping one panko crumb into the oil - if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. If you can get by with cooking all your poppers with 1 cup of oil, great. But if you want a more saturated "fry" you may need to add more.

5. Pan-fry each jalapeno popper for about 90 seconds on each side. Flip with care.

6. Transfer poppers to a paper towels to cool for a few minutes before serving.


Oatmeal Banana Energy Bars

Oatmeal Banana Energy Bars
(Makes a 9 inch square pan)

2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup flax seeds (ground or crushed)
4 Tbs Rice Protein Powder
1 cup vanilla rice milk (Pacific)
6 Tbs egg replacer (like Ener-G or Flax Seed jel)
2 bananas- ripe and pureed (or sub fruit/pumpkin puree, equal to 1 cup)
1/2 cup applesauce- unsweetened
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (omit if adding chocolate)

Add-ins if desired
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or carob chips
1/2 cup nuts of choice, crushed
1/2 cup dried fruit (cranberries are a good choice)
Replace 1/2 fruit puree with peanut, almond butter or cashew butter

1. Preheat oven to 350

1. Mix all ingredients together (well), and place in prepared 9 inch square pan. Bake for approx 40-45 minutes. Cool and slice into desired size bars. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator. For travel, we simply remove bars and wrap them in a cloth napkin secured with a safety pin, string or band.
**Note: Make fruit purees (pumpkin, zucchini, apple, banana, prune, fig, etc.) and store in the freezer in 1 cup portions, then the desired flavor can be pulled out and used in baking and cooking.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

The secret to getting this moist and perfect, is using really ripe bananas. Bruce and his youngest love this. In fact his youngest detests bananas and he will eat 3/4 of the loaf by himself. My family gets their own loaf for each family member. My brother doesn't share and my sister in law never gets a slice. My friends love this, the same Jason won't share with Angela. Enjoy this recipe, it's a keeper......


2-3 bananas sliced
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons organic canola oil
egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup (2 Tablespoons) non-dairy milk-I use Hemp
1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour loaf pan, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. In a large bowl beat bananas with a hand mixer. Add egg replacer and liquid ingredients and mix. Combine dry ingredients to the wet, folding in walnuts if using and pour into greased pan. Bake for 1 hour.

Fruit and Nut Bars

Fruit and Nut Bars
Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free
Makes one 6 x 10 pan, makes about 8 bars

1 cup dried fruit of choice (cranberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, cherries, strawberries) home dried in low heat dehydrator is best to remain food integrity. You want the fruit to remain tender, not crunchy if you're going to use it in this recipe.
1 cup dates (whole- roughly chopped and pitted)
2/3 cup Raw almonds
2/3 cup Raw cashews
2 tsp. finely grated citrus zest (lemon, orange, lime-I use a combination)
3-4 drops almond extract if desired

1. Spray or oil pan, set aside.

2.Place fruit, dates, zest and extract in food processor/blender/Vitamix and process until you have a smooth paste. Pour into a bowl and set aside. Pulse nuts in blender until finely chopped but not pureed/mushy.

3. Combine nuts and paste. Mix well (fingers work best). Transfer to prepared pan, smooth and allow to sit until firm. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.

The Art of Composting.....

The Art of Composting….

When I was living in San Antonio, I had a composting pile that was really nutrient rich. It really didn't take long for the earth worms to find their way, and make it even better… My potted plants flourished from the compost, and my trash output went WAY down. It was a sad moment when I had to give the pile to Mother Nature, and move to Colorado.

Now that Bruce and I are settled, we've established a new composting pile that has had to be emptied out 3 times. This last time, I found the first earth worm and was really excited. Bruce had told me that he's never been successful at composting.

So here it is: a list of items that can be composted. Between this and recycling there is little to go into a landfill.

Of course here are the basics:

veggie/fruit food scraps (excluding onion and garlic-they can kill the good microbes)
cotton balls/q-tips (cardboard handle)
plant trimmings/fresh flowers/dried flowers
coffee grounds/tea bags
stale crackers/tortilla chips/potato chips
stale/moldy bread

Things that surprised me (that make sense):

insides of the vacuum bag/dryer lint
pencil shavings
paper muffin/cupcake liners
fireplace ash
wine coorks (not plastic)

Things I had NO idea about:

cooked pasta
booze (wine/beer)
non-dairy/soy "milk-dairy"
dog food (dry)/rawhides
old masking tape
paper towels/napkins
toilet paper/paper towel rolls (shredded first)
pizza/cereal boxes (shredded first)

Make sure that you cover the "food" items with dirt, plant trimmings or the vacuum bag contents. You can attract flies or vermin; plus it will smell. Don't forget, if you use Method quick wipes, they are compost-able too... Happy composting!