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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Raw Pistachio Macaroons

Raw Pistachio Macaroons
Gluten Free; Raw; Makes 50

I made these for a potluck over the weekend, and everyone LOVED these. So much that I had a lot of requests for it, so I hope you enjoy! These are super easy and great for potlucks or just to impress your friends. Hope you enjoy!

3 cups raw pistachios
3 tablespoons coconut flakes (plus extra for garnish)
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
2/3 cup agave
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Clean the pistachios from their outer shell, in a food processor blend them into flour.

2. Mix everything in a big bowl using a spatula. In a shallow bowl, place the extra coconut flakes (about 1/2 cup). Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in the extra coconut flakes, put in the fridge for 24 hours.

3. Serve garnished with coconut flakes and fresh fruits.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

To The Finer Things~ Wine Tips in the Kitchen

To The Finer Things~ Wine Tips in the Kitchen

I mentioned this tip to a few friends, and realized that most didn't know to do this. So, I'm posting these here to share with everyone.... A good rule of thumb is: if you won't drink it, don't cook with it!

1. Let me start off with, Bruce and I really enjoy a nice glass of wine. There have been a few times that we've gotten a bottle of red that has turned before we could finish the bottle, or that we couldn't drink at all since it was just really bad wine. Never fear~ If you pour the wine into ice trays, you can freeze them and use it in dinner instead of drinking with dinner.... ~_^

** Sauces and marinades are great for this!**

2. For sweet whites (I'm not a fan), I use them in chutneys and adding a spicy kick to offset the sweetness. Or bake into a fruit compote, so you have the flavor baked into the fruit.

**Some good fruits are apricots, pears, and plums**

Friday, January 11, 2013

Black Cherry Phyllo Tarts

Black Cherry Phyllo Tarts
Vegan; Makes 12 tarts

So, this is the rest of the dessert recipe that I served last night. These little tart are super impressive. Just remember to spray your muffin pan before you put the phyllo sheets in them, or (like me) you'll have a difficult time removing them and may have a few tasty causalities... ~_^

Here I used organic black cherries from a jar (Red Hills Fruit Company). Phyllo dough will dry out quickly, so having a damp surface will help delay that. Also, it is really a delicate medium; so please don't get discouraged. I've ripped and destroyed more sheets, but they're still good to use. I'll post some tips on using the ripped pieces...

5 sheets of of Phyllo dough
1/4 cup of ground almonds
1/4 cup of Turbinado sugar
4 Tablespoons of Earth Balance (melted)
1 cup black cherries, (drained if from a jar, reserve 1/4 cup of syrup)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sugar

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine Turbinado sugar and ground almonds, set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, mix reserved syrup, almond extract and sugar. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. On a damp surface (I use a large cutting board), lay out your sheets of phyllo dough and cut into 12 squares (as even as possible). Brush melted earth balance on a square of phyllo and sprinkle with ground almond and turbinado sugar mixture. Repeat with all 5 squares, then gently press square phyllo dough into a lightly sprayed muffin pan. Add cherries (I was able to get 3 large cherries into each tart). And repeat steps with remaining phyllo dough pieces, util the pan is full and the cherries are gone. Sprinkle the tops of the tarts with extra ground almond, sugar mixture.

4. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Or until the edges of the phyllo dough turns golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from the pan. Spoon Coconut Vanilla Custard into each tart and serve.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Coconut Vanilla Custard

Coconut Vanilla Custard
Vegan; Gluten Free; 10 minutes

I made this last night to go with the dessert I'm serving tonight for a girls night (I'll post all 3 parts, then you make it or just mix 'n' match). Bruce is out of town, and well, I'm not the greatest cook when he's not around. In fact, I don't cook at all. Hey, sometimes a girl needs a break (and not when she's sick)... Here the Coconut milk and Vanilla Almond milk create the perfect balance of not an over power of sweetness.

1 cup coconut milk, divided
1 cup vanilla almond milk
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1. Over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup of coconut milk to a boil.

2. In a large mixing cup or a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the vanilla almond milk and remaining coconut milk (3/4 cup). Add to heated milk, whisking to avoid clumping. The custard should begin to thicken in about 5-8 minutes and remove from heat. Allow to cool and refrigerate until need or ready to enjoy.

Chickpea Flatbread

Chickpea Flatbread
Vegan; Gluten Free

When I made this, I think my cookie sheet was too large. So, if you happen to be like me and have several cookie sheets in different sizes, use a medium one. Mine came out thinner then I would have liked, super tasty. I'll measure the one that I'll use next time, so that way there should be no confusion as to what "large" or "medium" mean. This recipe goes great with any pesto recipe....

2 1/2 cups chick-pea flour (also called gram or garbanzo flour)
3 1/2 cups fresh cold water
2 teaspoons black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
A pinch of salt
Vegan Parmesan Cheese

1. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the flour. Add the water gradually as you whisk the flour to keep any lumps from forming. Once all the water has been added, mix until completely smooth and add salt and pepper as desired (just not too much salt and this recipe doesn't need much).

2. Let the mixture stand on the counter for 3 hours or so. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently skim off any froth that forms on the surface of the mixture with a slotted spoon. Prepare a large rimmed cookie sheet by pouring the olive oil onto the bottom (if you can, do not be shy or skimpy here with the olive oil, it is wonderful in this recipe).

3. Once the oven is hot, pour in the batter, making a layer about (1/4) inch deep. Careful, this is going to move a lot when you pick it up! Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until golden. 5 minutes before pulling out of the oven, sprinkle with vegan Parmesan cheese. Remove from the oven when done and let cool a little before cutting & serving.

Found: In Pursuite of More

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tofu Steaks

Tofu Steaks
Vegan; 30 minutes; Serves 3

1 14 oz. package of tofu, drained and pressed
1 clove of garlic, minced
flour for dusting (if making gluten free, use brown rice flour), about 1/4 cup
3 Tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, white pepper and salt (to taste)
2 Thai dried peppers, crushed
Olive oil, to coat the pan (about 2 Tablespoons)
Vegan Worcestershire Sauce, to coat pan (about 2 Tablespoons, omit to make gluten free)

1. Drain the tofu and place in a sieve with a weighted plate on top to remove as much liquid as possible, leave for 30 minutes. Slice into 3 pieces.

2. In a shallow dish, combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, minced garlic and crushed Thai pepper. Dust tofu in mixture .

3. Heat the oil and vegan Worcestershire sauce in a pan to a high temperature. Add the tofu and turn when crispy. Serve with Mushroom, Radish, Persimmon Chutney and some garlic bread....

Adapted from:

Mushroom, Radish, Persimmon Sweet Chutney

Mushroom, Radish, Persimmon Sweet Chutney
Vegan; 15 minutes; Serves 4

Bruce and I received a bottle of wine for Christmas. Like so many of our friends who know that we like our spirits, however, this one got us a sweet white. It tasted more like pure sugar, then a wine that we would pick. Well, since I refuse to waste anything I told Bruce that I can cook and bake with it. So, I'll be posting a few recipes and tips on how to use wine that has either turned vinegar or just not drinkable....

3 large button mushrooms, sliced thin
3 large radishes, sliced thin
1 persimmon, chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 small garlic cloves, minced (or 1 large one)
1/4 cup sweet white wine
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 dried Thai peppers (you need the heat to balance the sweetness)
black pepper to taste

1. Over medium heat, combine sweet white wine and olive oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant.

2. Add radishes and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the oil and wine take on a pinkish hue. Add mushrooms and Thai peppers, for another 5 minutes.

Serve over tofu steaks, or toss into a salad.....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Marinated Portobellos With Cashew Cheese and Pesto

Marinated Portobellos With Cashew Cheese and Pesto
Vegan; Makes 3 servings; Gluten Free

This recipe takes a little bit of prep, but it's SO worth it! From the cashew cream (soaking the cashews), to making the pesto~ the prep is easy and the presentation is a beauty for any table.....

For the Mushrooms:
1/2 Tbsp./tsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari (use gluten free)
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. dried basil
6 portobello mushrooms, stems removed

1. Combine all ingredients, except for the mushrooms, in a bowl and mix well.
Coat each portobello with the mixture, and then place on a plate. Pour the remaining mixture over the mushrooms. Set aside until ready to bake.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

3. Line a baking sheet with tin foil, place the mushrooms on the pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

4. Remove mushrooms from the oven, fill with cashew cheese (recipe in blog), and top with pesto (recipe in blog). Bake for an additional 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

For the Cashew Cream~ See Recipe in Blog....

For the Basil Pesto~ See Recipe in Blog....

Found and modified from PETA

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Twice Baked Butternut Squash

Twice Baked Butternut Squash
Vegan; Omit the breadcrumbs to make Gluten Free

During the feast over Christmas I made these.... Since I was sick and couldn't taste anything, I wasn't sure how these came out. However, now that I have my taste buds back-I LOVE these!!!! I top mine with a little Chipotle Cayenne Vegan Parmesan Cheese for the extra kick that we love in the house!

2-3 small or 1-2 large butternut squash
1/4 small onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup plain soy yogurt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon thyme

1. Cut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membranes
place face down on a cookie sheet, add about 1/4 inch water and bake at 350 for 40-75 minutes (depending on the size of the squash), then remove from oven and allow to cool until they are comfortable to hold in your hand.

2. Scoop out the cooked squash into a mixing bowl and return the hollowed out skins to the baking sheet, hollow side up.

3. In a saute pan, cook the onions, garlic and pepper in the olive oil until softened (about 7-10 minutes) then add to the mixing bowl add cumin, mustard, and soy yogurt.

4. Fill the skins with the mixture, top with breadcrumbs and sprinkle with thyme
bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through and breadcrumbs are toasted.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Daiya Mac 'N' Cheese

Daiya Mac 'N' Cheese
Vegan; 23 cups

I made this as a side dish for the kids during Christmas... I know it was a hit, since a friends daughter had 5 cupcake servings. I added a tip to make this more adult friendly, but this is a perfect dish for kids and adults.....

3 cups non-dairy milk of choice- I used Hemp
2 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
8 oz (1 bag) Daiya Cheddar
3 cup whole wheat elbow macaroni or shells
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon salt
pepper as desired
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
12-18 muffin liners and muffin pan

** To make adult, add 1 garlic clove minced, 1/4 onion, diced and 1/2 cup peas. Throw in some crushed red pepper to give a perfect kick.**

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Cook pasta according to package directions

3. In a medium saucepan, heat 2 cups of the milk over medium.

4. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup milk and cornstarch, whisk until smooth. Add the milk with the cornstarch to the milk on the stove and whisk. Continue to cook over medium. Add salt, celery salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.

5. Now add the Daiya and stir. Allow Daiya to melt and cook another 5 minuted to thicken. Add the cooked macaroni to the cheese sauce. Mix well and spoon into lined muffin pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Leftovers: you can freeze these in freezer bags and pull a couple out as you need them.

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Yield: Makes 12-16 Servings

Crust Ingredients:
1 Cup Almonds
1 Cup Pre-Soaked Dates
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
pinch of sea salt

Cheesecake Layer Ingredients:
2 1/3 Cups Pre-Soaked Cashews
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil, liquidfied
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar, or Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon (about 1/4 cup)

Blueberry Topping Ingredients:
1 Cup Blueberries
1 teaspoon Almond Extract
1/4 cup sugar


1. Pre-soak cashews and dates separately overnight.

2. In a food processor, combine dates, almonds, shredded coconut and lemon zest. Press into a springform pan.

3. Combine filling ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth. Pour filling on top of crust and spread out until smooth. Cover with foil and freeze overnight. The freezing process will re-harden the coconut oil and set up the cake. After it is frozen you can refrigerate and it will be ready to serve after about one hour. Even though you have to freeze this cake to set it up, it is not a frozen cake… once refrigerated, it takes on an extremely similar texture to a regular old cheesecake.

4. Topping: Combine berries, extract and sugar in a small bowl. Place on a slightly frozen cheesecake and let set for a few hours. Serve and Enjoy!

Portobella Mushroom Cheesesteak Sandwiches

Portobella Mushroom Cheesesteak Sandwiches
Vegan; 30 minutes or fewer; Serves 2

I made these for brunch one late morning for Bruce and me. These are also great as a lunch, very light and filling.... You may even be able to sneak them past the hard core carnivores! Happy Eating!

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 extra-large portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. red wine (about 2-3 cubes)
salt and pepper to taste
1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 large onion, thinly sliced
4 slices vegan pepperjack or mozzarella cheese
2 sub rolls, sliced lengthwise (don't completely cut the top from the bottom, though!)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes, or until softened and browned. Add wine and increase heat to high. Cook until liquid has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add green pepper and onions; cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Top vegetable mixture with cheese slices. Once cheese has melted, remove from heat.

2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

4. Divide veggie mixture into sub rolls. Wrap each cheesesteak tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and unwrap carefully....

Mini No-Meat Loaves

Mini No~Meat Loaves
Vegan; 1 hour total

I made these to be part of the Christmas Day feast. They came out great, but only last for a few days as left overs. They get to be really dense, so at a certain point you feel like you're eating a hockey puck.... Honestly, these were great the first two days... (I doubled the recipe, so there would be enough for everyone!)
Inspired by a meatball recipe in The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions

1 cup tomato sauce
4 Tablespoon almond butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 very finely diced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire

Glaze: combine the following in a small container:
1/2 cup organic ketchup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Vegetable broth saute the onion and garlic until the onion is nearly translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Whisk tomato sauce, almond butter and Worcestershire together. In a separate bowl Mix dry ingredients together including spices. Combine the dry and wet ingredients with a wooden spoon, then add the sauteed onions and garlic.

3. Lightly spray half or place a parchment cupcake liner of a 12 cup muffin tin, this will make 6-8 mini “meat” loaves. Press the mixture into the tins, then top each mini “meat” loaf with some of the glaze. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from muffin tins and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Cashew Queso

Cashew Queso
Vegan; 10 minutes

When I make this, Bruce is the salsa maker... I get him to make a fresh salsa and that's what I add to the recipe. If you don't have time for fresh, it's fine to use a jar (please check the label). You don't want to eat a lot of GMOs or something filled with preservatives! I've made this a few times already, and get great reviews!

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours. The soaking is key, so don’t skip this step!
1/2 cup salsa
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast – you can find this in the bulk bins at your natural food store. Don’t leave this out – it won’t taste right without it.
2 cloves garlic


Drain the cashews, then toss all of the ingredients into your blender or food processor. Blend until it’s smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the carafe, as needed. Have patience – if you keep blending, this will get a smooth texture!

Read more:

Happy New Year....

Happy New Year....

I hope everyone had a happy new year and bright holiday season! I was sick for Christmas, and I'm now back with the living! I plan on being a better blogger this year and keeping up with new recipes and keeping all of you informed with current events (food and animal related).... Lets make 2013 a brilliant year! Starting in February I'll be doing a vegan cooking class monthly in Colorado Springs~