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Monday, March 25, 2013

Not What You Remembered Ratatouille

Not What You Remembered Ratatouille
Vegan; 30 minutes; Serves 2-4

I just made these, and even the boys liked the dish. Bruce told me, that his ex used to make this totally different. Getting the idea for this from Everything Vegan Baking Cookbook that one of my beautiful friends gave me for a birthday present. All of that being said, this is loosely from the Everything Vegan Baking cookbooks. I had the vegan puff pastry on hand, so please check the blog for the recipe. I, also, used a lot of left over veggies. So, like I've said~use what you have on hand and make the dish your own!

1 zucchini, sliced in 1/4" rounds
1/2 yellow bell pepper sliced into 1/4" strips
1/4 onion, sliced into 1/4" strips
2 organic tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
3 mushrooms, sliced 1/4" strips
4 radishes, sliced in 1/4" rounds
1 large garlic clove, minced
4 radishes, sliced in 1/4" rounds
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon fresh parsley
1 sheet of vegan puff pastry (see recipe in blog)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. To make the Ratatouille, combine veggies and spices in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Place the veggie combination on a shallow glass casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes. This will allow the puff pastry to remain flaky and crisp.

3. Roll out puff pastry and arrange ratatouille on puff pastry, making almost a nest, keeping a 1" border. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve with a salad for a more complete meal.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Vegan Zucchini Lemon Cupcakes

Vegan Zucchini Lemon Cupcakes
Makes 16 cupcakes

I made these for Bruce's birthday (which had passed). It's been a busy month, again, not an excuse! However, what Bruce does like, is how it turns into a celebration through the month, and not just one day. I had to adapt this recipe (original came from Fragrant Vanilla Cake) since it called for ingredients that I don't have and one that I had never heard of. I'm including the frosting recipe, but Bruce liked having the lemon curd on and in the cupcake.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup pastry flour
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup grated green zucchini skin
1 cup pureed zucchini
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquidfied
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans

Curd Filling:

1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp organic lemon zest
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp plain coconut yogurt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut oil, liquidfied


3 8 oz pkgs non-dairy cream cheese
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line cupcake or muffin pan with parchment cupcake liners. Whisk flour, baking soda, and sea salt together in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, syrup, juice and zest, coconut milk, vanilla extract, zucchini, and pecans together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes completely in pan on rack for about an hour.

2. To make the filling, combine agave nectar, cornstarch, and sea salt in a medium pot, and whisk until combined. Add the juice, zest, coconut oil, coconut yogurt, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium high heat whisking constantly until thickened to a curd or pudding like consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl. Let chill in the fridge until very cold, at least an hour.

3. To make frosting, whip cream cheese until smooth, then add agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt and beat until smooth.
To assemble cupcakes, take an apple corer and remove the middle of each cupcake. Fill cupcake hole with lemon curd, and allow to set for about an hour before frosting. Frost with cream cheese frosting and top with either toasted coconut shreds or toasted pecans.

Oven Roasted Red Cabbage

Oven Roasted Red Cabbage
Vegan, Gluten Free

So humor me, Bruce did and he found this to be quite a satisfying meal. This was made with all of the left overs from the spring rolls, since I hate food going to waste.

1/2 a small head of red cabbage, sliced (they look like patties)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1-2 apple(s), skinned and chopped
2 teaspoons of minced fresh ginger (I zested)
2 teaspoons of cardamom
crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a shallow glass baking dish, place the cabbage, garlic and half of the balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt to bring the flavors together. In a small bowl combine the apple, ginger, cardamom and crushed red pepper. Combine apple mixture to the tops of the cabbage and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cabbage is tender.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls
Vegan; Raw (Almost); Gluten Free

I made these last week and the boys LOVED them. These are really easy to make, I will tell you right now that the rice paper doesn't keep too nicely. Mine have really become brittle, I guess the dry air in Colorado. Anyways, there are ideas listed below, so the sky is the limit!

1/3 head of red cabbage, finely chopped
1 cup Udon noodles (to make gluten free use a rice or gf noodles)
1/4 cup fresh herbs (use cilantro, basil or mint, your choice)
1 zucchini, julienned
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated (optional)
juice from 1/2 lime
soy sauce or dipping sauce of choice
I added slices of pan fried tofu to each roll (omit to make raw)
slices of seaweed

Other Ideas:
1/2 cup bean sprouts
5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup carrots, grated or julienned


1. To make this easy, if you have a food processor use it. I used mine with the red cabbage, ginger and zucchini to shred evenly. Squirt with lime juice and set aside.

2. Pan fry tofu slices, or skip to make raw.

3. Submerge spring roll wrappers in hot water until pliable, about 15 seconds. Layer with noodles or rice, about 2 tablespoons of cabbage mixture, tofu, seaweed and I used mint on wrapper and wrap your spring rolls. Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Myth Behind Dairy

Myth Behind Dairy

Here it goes. I've been trying to figure out the best approach to write this, and haven’t really been that successful. The myth about dairy and the truth of how I feel are really very distorted.

I used to be like everyone else out in the world, addicted to cheese and thought that there wasn't harm being caused to the cows or the goats. Well, that thinking is SO far from truth and here’s why….

When you see a mother breast feeding her baby, what do you think? Do you think that they are developing a bond? Do you think about the science behind it? A mother feeding all of the nutrients that she has to her newborn? To understand a mothers bond to her newborn; is to understand and see that ALL animals have a bond when fed their mothers milk. What one may fail to see and understand is that a female has to be pregnant and give birth to produce milk for her young. This is across the board, cows, tigers, women and goats. Well, when you drink cow or goat milk, you rob their children, their young to drink and grow to obtain the milk for human consumption. Man is the only species that has continued to drink milk after weaned from our mothers. Most of us have heard about being lactose intolerant, or are ourselves. Well, the reason is due to us ALL losing the bacteria in our guts that helps break down the lactose in milk (regardless of what species).

The moral issue at hand is: if a mother has to give birth to produce milk and this is true for all mammals, then what happens to the babies that are born to these mothers. If you’re a cow or a goat, you get one day. If you’re a female cow or goat, you live in a pen or stall and are abused until you’re old enough to be raped and suffer the process all over again. If you’re a male, then you’re sold for your flesh.
The environmental issue at hand: if I call myself an environmentalist, then I am contributing to the greenhouse gasses. I allow companies to poison my body and the planet. One can buy organic, one can make sure that the cows are not pumped with antibiotics and rBGH. You still purchase milk that is not local and still highly processed. Is that healthy for you or the environment?

The health and some may call the yuck issue: Somatic Cell Count – Google it! Turning dairy cows into milk machines has led to epidemics such as mastitis (udder infections). According to the USDA, 1 in 6 dairy cows in the United States suffers from clinical mastitis, which is responsible for 1 in 6 dairy cow deaths on U.S. dairy farms. This level of disease is reflected in the concentration of somatic cells in the American milk supply. When a cow is infected, greater than 90% of the somatic cells in her milk are neutrophils, the inflammatory immune cells that form pus. The average somatic cell count in U.S. milk per spoonful is 1,120,000. [But as the dairy industry points out, the accumulation of pus is a natural part of an animal’s defense system. So pus itself isn’t a bad thing, we just may not want to have it in our mouth.]

The Compassionate Vegan

The Compassionate Vegan

I feel like I need to let everyone in on why the blog hasn't been updated frequently. Drum roll, Please..... The excitement is that Bruce, some friends and I are building an online community that will be a social network for vegans, vegetarians and the veg curious. There will be a social network, all of my recipes, a what's in your fridge tool, vegan living, activism and vegan health. We will be including a mentor program, so if you need a sponsor or would like to be a sponsor let me know.

We're turning the organization (since we now have our EIN) into a non-profit that will educate those who want to learn about vegan living, including animal rights and sustainability.

All of that being said, now all of the back paper work is moving forward. While we do this all of our outreach has continued on. I've started doing cooking workshops (like a home ec. class), our tabling events are going to start in May and we still have the plant strong classes. All Free, and that's the way we will continue to survive. With donations and some funding through VegFund.

Hope you are all excited to be apart of this and I'm happy to announce: Coming Soon

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Organic Blue Corn Nachos

Organic Blue Corn Nachos

Making the cheese sauce for this is what took the longest. But, if you make it ahead of time, you will have a quick snack or light meal made. There are no measurements in this recipe, so make as little or as much as you want.

Black beans
Chipotle powder to taste
Cayenne pepper to taste
Chili powder to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste
Organic blue corn chips
Tomatoes, diced or quartered

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a medium skillet, heat black beans and spices with 1/4 cup water over medium heat. Stirring occasionally until fragrant. Allow to thicken.

3. In a casserole dish layer chips, tomatoes, beans and cheese sauce. Bake until heated through, about 5 minutes and serve warm.


Nacho Cheese Sauce~Vegan Style

Nacho Cheese Sauce~Vegan Style

I made this last night, for Bruce and one of his long time friends that came in from out of town. So here it is, his friend pretty much told Bruce "No, you can't like that vegan stuff." Maybe phrased differently, but yes. Anyways, last night even his friend went back for more tasty bites.... I put this over black beans, tomatoes and organic blue corn chips.

1 cup cooked and mashed butternut squash (mine was small, so it came out to be half of the squash)
3/4 cup plain coconut yogurt
3/4 cup water
1/4 onion finely chopped
5 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 cup raw cashews
3 Tablespoons tapioca flour
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Occasionally scraping the sides to push closer to the blades.

2. Transfer to a heavy medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick and creamy. About 2 to 5 minutes, it took me 3 minutes.

Store in a covered container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Adapted from: Artisan Vegan Cheese