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Friday, October 26, 2012

Cardamon Oatmeal Fig Cookie

Cardamon Oatmeal Fig Cookie
yields about 16 cookies

By replacing the cinnamon and raisins, and using figs and cardamon you find yourself with spicy and earthy flavors in your mouth! Finding this recipe was a blessing, since I had figs in the fridge that were going to turn at any moment. Bruce loved these and in fact, I offered one to my boss and he liked it! My boss is the "we have to eat meat" kind of guy, so there you go.....


2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
2/3 cup gluten-free flour mix, such as Bob’s Red Mill (or all-purpose flour)
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 T coconut oil, melted
2 T unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup fresh figs, stems trimmed and chopped into chunks (use at least one cup)

1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg replacer, baking soda, salt, cloves, cardamom and oats together until thoroughly combined.

2. In a smaller bowl, mix together the brown rice and maple syrups with the coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together. Fold in the fig segments. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

3. Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheets, keeping in mind that these cookies will spread out (so don’t crowd them together).
Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies have firmed and are golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Found: Keepin' It Kind

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seitan Gyros

Seitan Gyros
Vegan; 30 minutes or fewer

After having a REALLY hard day (started with a root canal at 7:30 am and ended with picking my car up from the shop, with work in between)! I was not really wanting to do a gourmet meal, so this was SUPER quick.... I served these with Falafels to make the meal feel more complete. Grant did mention that this was his favorite meal, so endorsed from the pickiest eater!

1 package of Seitan
1 cup of spinach
1 tomato sliced
4 pieces of naan bread, heated (worked just like pitas)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and heat up the naan.

2. Over medium to medium-high heat, cook the Seitan. I bought mine in strips, so all I had to do was start cooking....

3. Place toppings in naan (just like a taco) and serve with the vegan Tzatziki Sauce!

Tzatziki Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce

When you're craving Greek food, one simply cannot forego the Tzatziki sauce. I made this last night to go with the Seitan Gyros, and even Grant said "this is his favorite dish, and really likes the sauce." This took the longest....

1 cup cucumber, finely diced or minced
1 cup soy yogurt
1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1 oven roasted garlic clove, minced (I had left over from the pizza)
1/2 a large garlic clove, minced (I had this left over, too)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of parsley (I used dry)
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/8 teaspoon of dill
1 pinch of sea salt
a dash of Cayenne pepper

1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and chill until ready to use....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tools of the Trade & How to Care for Them

Tools of the Trade & How to Care for Them

Alright, for those who have followed me for a while. I haven't posted one these in about a month or so. Well I've found some tips that are worth sharing and I'm excited (I'm a kitchen nerd~that's right I own it!)....

How to clean cast iron: We ALL know how using soap is bad for cast iron, and this is one of the main reasons people protest to using them. And we've ALL had someone we love use soap on our cast irons. I've had to re-season mine once or twice...

Scrub your cast iron with coarse salt and a soft sponge. The salt is a natural abrasive and will absorb oil and lift away bits of food while preserving the pan's seasoning. Rinse away salt and wipe dry. FINALLY!!!! I've been doing this for about a month, and IT WORKS!!!!!

How to re-season:

1. Wash the cookware with warm, soapy water and a stiff nylon brush. Rusty? Scrub it with steel wool. Rinse and dry thoroughly.

2. Apply a thin, even coating of vegetable oil to the entire surface of the pan (inside and out) using a paper towel. Set pan aside.

3. Place aluminum foil on the bottom rack of your oven to safeguard it from oil drips. Heat oven to 350°F.

4. Place the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven. This will allow the oil to drip down and coat the entire pan. Leave the pan in the oven to “bake” for one hour.

5. Turn off the oven and let the pan cool in the oven, or remove it with mitts and place it on a wire rack to cool for an hour. Store your newly re-seasoned pan uncovered in a dry place.

Cutting Boards: Since moving to Colorado, my beloved cutting board was splitting. I later found out that Bruce was not drying it after cleaning it.

Well, one should always completely dry the cutting board after using. If you do find yours splitting, add some sweet almond oil to it and moisturize the board.

Clean your cutting board with hydrogen peroxide. Let everything bubble for a few minutes, then scrub and rinse clean. This helps kill bacteria that might be in deep cuts in your board.

Monday, October 22, 2012

White Pizza

White Pizza
Vegan; 1 hour 10 minutes

I made this last night for more me then Bruce, but he LOVED this! He may not even have to fight with me to make it again! The longest part is the oven roasting the garlic, and trust me, it's worth it! Humor me on the coconut cream, you cannot taste coconut. I cheated with the pizza dough. I did post a recipe, but I found fresh vegan pizza dough at Whole Foods and all you have to do is roll it out! Saved me some time, since Bruce and I have only had yesterday to ourselves....

Roasted Garlic Coconut Cream
1/2 head garlic
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (I used the packed in oil, so I didn't have to re-hydrate)
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
a few sprigs fresh thyme
a few sprigs fresh rosemary

1. Chop the top (of garlic) off to make them easier to extract later. Place them in aluminum foil and cover with a little olive oil. Roast at 375F for about an hour until light golden brown.

2. When they are cool enough to handle you can pop the cloves out with your fingers. Mince them and blend them with the coconut milk and set aside. (I plan on using the other cloves in a different dish.)

3. Turn the oven up to 475F. Lightly flour a large baking pan, then sprinkle the top of the dough and your hands. Lightly flour the dough again if needed and press out to a large oval, slightly thicker around the edges. (I used my rolling pin to get the right size.)

4. Lightly pour the cream across the crust, then dress with the sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, rosemary and bits of fresh thyme. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges and the cream is starting to bubble.

Cut up and enjoy immediately!

Basic Vegan Pizza Dough

Basic Vegan Pizza Dough

Make any type of vegan-pizza with this basic dough. If you’re entertaining a crowd or just want to prepare extra dough for freezing, double the recipe (pizza dough freezes very well for up to a month).


1 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose bread flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for greasing bowl)

1. In a measuring cup, place warm water. The water should be warm to the touch but not too hot (water that is too hot will kill the yeast; and water that is too cold will not activate it).

2. Sprinkle the yeast into the water, add sugar, and stir gently until both ingredients dissolve (about 1 minute). When yeast is mixed with water at the proper temperature, a smooth, beige mixture results.

3. Let stand for 5 minutes, until a thin layer of creamy foam covers surface, indicating that the yeast is effective. (Note: If bubbles have not formed within 5 minutes, discard mixture and start over with a fresh package of yeast).


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate Seeds

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate Seeds
Vegan; Raw; 15 minutes; Serves 4

This dessert is more spicy then sweet. The boys drizzled maple syrup on their portions, and used less cinnamon than the recipe called for. Another great topping is vanilla almond non-dairy ice cream (had friends over that loved this!)... I picked 2 pomegranates up originally for Bruce to enjoy fresh squeezed pomegranate juice with some organic vodka.

3 pears, cored, peeled and sliced into wedges
1 pomegranate, skin and membrane removed
1 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/3 t. cinnamon
2 Tbs. ground almonds
4 sprigs fresh mint, sliced for garnish

1. Place the sliced pears and pomegranate seeds into a bowl. Toss with lemon juice to coat. Combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a small cup or bowl, then mix into the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to blend the flavors. Serve in individual dishes, and garnish with a sprinkling of chopped almonds and a sprig of mint.


Mixed Dal with Tomato Tarka

Mixed Dal with Tomato Tarka
Vegan; 1 hour and 30 minutes

So, humor me here. Bruce loved this and amazingly enough, so did Max. Grant, I had to mention that "if you're full, then you don't get dessert.". That worked! Since it has been crazy in the house, with football, hockey and Bruce traveling. I wanted a nice dinner where we sat at the table like a family.... Well worth the wait, I may have cut a step out still resulting in a tasty meal!

1/2 cup yellow split peas
1/2 cup green split peas
3 Tbs. melted Earth Balance (I used about 2 Tbs.)
2 Tbs. fresh grated ginger (finding my ginger expired, I used powdered), divided
1 tsp. turmeric
4 cups baby spinach
1 tsp. salt (I omitted)
2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/4 onion, chopped
1 tsp. garam masala
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, diced
cilantro leaves for garnish, optional

1. Rinse and drain the split peas; place in a large bowl and soak for 30 in hot water. Cover and set aside.

2. In a large sauce pan (I used my large cast iron skillet) combine drained pea mixture 1 Tbs. of Earth Balance, 1 Tbs. of ginger, tumeric and 6 cups of water; and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about an hour, or until the peas are very soft. Wisk with a fork to break up the peas, this didn't take very long. Add spinach, salt (if using), cover and simmer for 10 more minutes.

3. While the peas are cooking, heat the remaining Earth Balance in a small skillet over medium heat. Add cumin seeds; cook for about 30 seconds or until brown (darker). Add onion, garam masala, and cayenne pepper and 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are soft and begin to brown. Stir in garlic and remaining ginger; cook for one minute. Add tomato, and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

4. Stir tomato mixture into split pea mixture. Season with pepper, if desired and garnish with cilantro if using.

I served this with some garlic naan. Enjoy!

Adapted from Vegetarian Times November 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tatale (Ripe Plantain Pancakes)

Tatale (Ripe Plantain Pancakes)
Vegan; about 30 minutes

Since Bruce and I had a Saturday morning without having to make a mad dash out the door to football, I decided to make these for him. This recipe comes from Ghana, so I adapted it for what I had in the kitchen. If you want use rice flour for the corn meal and replace the whole wheat flour with cornmeal! I also served these with strawberry candied jalapenos....

3 or 4 large over-ripe plantains, about 1 1/2 lbs. after peeling), or about 3 cups when sliced
1/3 onion, or shallots, minced or finely chopped
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 t dried ground red cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
3 t fresh grated or ground ginger
about 1/4 cup of oil for pan frying
1/4-1/2 t salt (optional)
1 cup of water

1. Cut the ends off, slice them into slices about 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. Traditionally these would then be pounded in a mortar with a wooden pestle, however, I mashed mine with a fork (since my potato masher is still in storage). It should not be completely smooth.

2. Stir in the grated ginger, cayenne pepper and onions. Add the cornmeal and wheat flour. Add the water and stir again.

3. Over medium-high heat, heat a heavy frying pan or griddle as you would for regular pancakes (my cast iron skillet worked perfect). I used enough oil to coat the pan, then drop the batter onto the griddle (either small, like "silver dollar" pancakes, or somewhat larger, say using 1/3 to 1/2 cup batter).

4. As soon as the tatale is firm enough to turn without breaking, carefully turn it over with a pancake turner and press the turner down firmly on the pancake to flatten it. Continue doing this every few minutes while the pancakes cook.

5. Drain the pancakes on paper towels and add a little more oil to the pan for each batch of tatale. Avoid stacking them--spread them out to drain, and serve them on a large platter. The tatale can be made in the morning and kept warm in a low oven, but will become tough if heated too long. A better alternative is to zap them briefly in the microwave to heat them before serving them.

**NOTE**It's good to let the mixture sit for 20 - 30 minutes before you cook the pancakes. The batter can actually be made a day ahead and refrigerated until you're ready to cook the tatale.

Original Recipe Found: BetumiBlog

Monday, October 8, 2012

Butternut Squash Alfredo Sauce

Butternut Squash Alfredo Sauce
Vegan; Serves 4

In honor of fall and it being cold outside, this is one of those perfect comfort foods! I paired this with a white wine and added crushed red pepper....

2 1/2 cups hemp milk
2 cups butternut squash puree (I made mine the same night, so oven roasted for 30-45 minutes)
1 cup shredded style cheddar Daiya cheese
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Soy Free Spread

1. Set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil and Earth Balance, add onion, saute until soft and opaque, about 1-2 minutes. Add hemp milk, butternut squash, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.

2. Whisk vigorously or use a hand held immersion blender to blend until smooth, cook for 4-5 minutes. Then add maple syrup and Daiya cheese, stir until smooth. Take off the heat.

3. Add to pasta and enjoy! (A spinach or a garlic parsley pasta would be wonderful with this). I served it with some crusty garlic bread.....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Date Paste

Date Paste

This recipe yields roughly 2 cups of Date Paste. If you think this may be too much then you can freeze half of the batch. I find that using a ziplock baggy will allow you to break off the amount that you need. Date paste will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer! Found from The Chalkboard Mag.

Step 1: Prepping your Dates:

1. Soak 40 dates in warm water until your Dates are tender/soft. Remove your dates from the soaking water. Remove the seeds by hand – make sure to get all of them!

Step 2: Making your Date Paste

2. Combine dates with 2 Tbsp Water and puree in a food processor until smooth.

No-Bake Energy Bites

No-Bake Energy Bites
Vegan; Raw; Gluten Free

I made these for Bruce, since he left out of town this morning. These are great snacks for on the go, and really easy to make. Since it has been crazy in the house lately! Between work, cleaning, hockey practice, football practice, and my own extra curricular activities-it has been CRAZY!!!!

1 cup uncooked oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or ground almonds
1/2 cup carob chips (optional)
2/3 cup date paste
1 tsp. vanilla


Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls.

Tomato Tofu Feta Open-Faced Sandwich

Tomato Tofu Feta Open-Faced Sandwich
vegan, makes four slices

Last week, when Bruce was leaving for out of town, I made these for a light brunch. Since we had tomatoes that needed to be used, this was the perfect recipe! Bruce LOVED it and I know that I'm going to have repeat this recipe!

4 slices rosemary sourdough bread, toasted
1 large heirloom tomato, sliced into half moons (or a few small)
1/2 cup tofu feta (recipe in blog)
2 handfuls of mixed greens or herb salad
white wine vinegar
white pepper over top - to taste


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place bread on a cookie sheet, and place 2 tomato slices on each slice. Top with tofu feta and drizzle with white wine vinegar. Add white pepper and toast till heated through, about 10 minutes.

3. Serve over greens on plate and enjoy!