Monday, October 22, 2012

Apple Pie

I love pie but have always struggled with making a great crust, even when I wasn't vegan.  My mom always has great luck with her crusts, so I asked for pointers. It was hard for her to trouble shoot until she came to my house and we made a pie one day. I used her traditional crust recipe with my whole wheat pastry flour and it wouldn't roll out without cracking.  This is something I was used to seeing so it wasn't as frustrating for me.  Then she said something offhand about maybe its the whole wheat flour and that made sense.  It is more dense and dry.  With this information, I made another attempt at a crust. This time I would split the flours (I will not give in completely to white flour!) And the results were amazing.  I got a crust that rolled out with no problems without having to completely give up on whole grain goodness.


1 1/4 C Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 1/4 C Unbleached White Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 C Earth Balance (chilled)
1/2 C Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening (chilled)
1/2 C Ice Water

Combine flours and salt. Cut in butter and shortening until crumbs form.  Add in ice water and stir with fork until it forms a ball.  Cut in half and wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Apple Pie Filling

7-8 Apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
2/3 C Organic Cane Sugar
2 Tbs Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
dash salt

Preheat oven 425. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and stir.  Remove crusts from refrigerator only when you are ready to immediately roll them out.  Roll out bottom crust and place in pie plate. Add filling and dot with Earth Balance (optional)  Roll out top crust, lay on top of pie and seal.  Cut in small vents.  Now take a splash of dairy free milk (I used soy) and add it to a small sauce pan with 1 Tbs sugar and heat until sugar dissolves.  Brush the top of the pie with this mixture and bake 15 minutes at 425, then turn down to 350 for 45 minutes.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vegan Chopped: Can't Beet Strawberry Chiascake

I haven't felt well lately, but seeing the dessert round for The Post Punk Kitchen's Vegan Chopped event sure put a pep in my step. So I headed to my local farmers market today and scooped up strawberries, red beets, almonds, walnuts and dates.  For the few things the market didn't have, and were not in my pantry, I headed to the store. As per the challenge, we were required to use the following 4 ingredients: red beets, mango, shredded coconut and crisp rice cereal.  I'm pretty good at improv when it comes to breakfast, lunch and dinner, but for desserts, I search for a recipe.  This put me a little outside my comfort zone and I was glad for the challenge. Thank you to Isa Chandra Moskowitz, my chef idol, for a fun activity on this hot Sunday. 

1/4 C  Shredded Coconut
1/4 C  Almonds
1/4 C  Walnuts
1 Tbs  Maple Syrup
2        Dates (pitted)
2 tsp   Cocoa Powder
1/8 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch  Salt
1/2 C   Crisp Rice Cereal

Add all ingredients except cereal and blend until mixture starts to stick together. Add in cereal and pulse until chopped into smaller but still visible bits.

1/2 C   Cashews (soaked at least 1 hr)
2Tbs   Chia Seeds + 1/4 C water for soaking
1/3 C   Beets (peeled and chopped)
1    C  Strawberries (chopped)
3        Dates (pitted)
1 tsp   Vanilla
2 Tbs  Lemon Juice

Add chia seeds to 1/4 C water and allow to soak about 5 minutes while getting other ingredients together.  Add all ingredients to a high powered blender ( I used my Vita-Mix.)  Blend on high until very smooth,   stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides.

At this point, you may assemble in whatever manner you wish. This should be enough for a small springform pan, but you may have to double the filling... I have not tried that. What I did was use silicone liners to make the cute shape and filled the cups 3/4 full of filling and put them in the freezer for about and hour. Once the filling was firm inside the cup, I filled the rest with the crust mixture, pressed it down, and popped it back in the freezer for another 30 minutes. Another way in which you could assemble this chiascake would be by pressing the crust into a pie plate, adding the filling and freezing for about an hour.

2       Mangoes (Peeled and Cubed)
2 Tsp Vegan Margarine
1 Tbs  Brown Sugar
1/4 C   Strawberry Lemonade (easiest to make in a juicer or you can try vita mix)
1/2 tsp Arrowroot Powder

Add mango cubes, margarine, brown sugar and lemonade into a small sauce pan over med heat.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes lowering heat if necessary.  Turn heat off and blend into a puree. Leave the puree in the pan and use a hand blender.  Return to low heat and whisk in arrowroot powder until smooth.  Cover the mango topping, and place in your refrigerator to cool. Once you are ready to serve the chiascake, add mango topping and enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Coconut Blueberry Oatmeal

It's been a while since I have posted on here.  I hadn't made anything new in a while and wasn't very inspired by my purchases at the farmer's market.  I was just going through and buying my usual produce, red leaf lettuce, red and sweet potatoes, onions, strawberries, avocados, zucchini, tomatoes and basil.  The last few weeks I kept passing over the blueberries because they are kind of expensive.  But yesterday I just couldn't.  They kept staring at me and saying, "Take me home and eat me!"  So I did, and I am.  I am enjoying this bowl of blueberry deliciousness as I type this.

3/4 C   Light coconut milk
1/4 C   Water
1/2 C   Rolled Oats
1/3 C   Blueberries
2 Tbs  Coconut
2 Tbs  Brown Sugar
1 tsp   Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
pinch  Salt

Serves 1-2

Add all to small pot and bring to boil.  Reduce immediately to simmer and cover.  Allow to cook 10 min.  Top with coconut, almonds, dried blueberries and other fruit, seeds or nuts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oil Free Tacos

Even though I enjoy spending hours scouring my cookbooks and the internet for fun, intricate recipes with long lists of ingredients, to make special meals, I also love a quick and easy recipe too.  This is a very basic taco that I love to make in the morning for breakfast when I don't want the normal breakfast food. Did you know most countries don't eat dessert for breakfast like we do? Americans have coffees that might as well be a hot milkshake, pastries, donuts and don't even get me started on the added sugar in most cereal.  And if you aren't feeling the sweet stuff, you end up heading to the artery clogging greasy mess of eggs and bacon with buttery toast. We all know that isn't the right way to start a day but its easy and comfortable to most people. Well I am here to offer you a yummy alternative that has a little bit of sweet with protein and veggies to fuel your day and that can be made quickly that also refrigerates well for leftovers.  Pair with some fresh squeezed fruit juice or a smoothie. This is a very basic recipe, so feel free to change it up with what you have on hand or prefer.

1/2 C Water
2   C Sweet potato (cubed)
1   Tbs Taco Seasoning
2   Cans Organic Black beans (rinsed)
     Salt and Pepper to taste
     Corn Tortillas

In a deep large frying pan, add in water, turn heat to med high and cover. When the water starts to boil, add in sweet potatoes and seasoning, return lid and allow to steam about 5 minutes or until almost tender. Check on occasion to make sure there is a little water at the bottom, this will prevent sticking.  Add in black beans and allow the potatoes to finish cooking.  While this is finishing, in another pan, warm your tortillas. There is no need to add any oil.

Once the filling is done, add to your tortillas and top with lettuce, fresh guacamole or tomatoes.  I like to make a quick guacamole with avocado, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder and diced tomatoes.  Another yummy dairy free topping is a little Tofutti Sour Cream. Most people can't tell the difference between this and dairy sour cream.  You can find it at your local Co-Op or in the health food section of a lot of grocery stores. Mind you, this I do not consider a "health food" but a little on top of all those veggies certainly won't hurt ;)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Banana Oatmeal made with Homemade Almond Milk

I always loved oatmeal as a kid, but it was the instant packets full of sugar and no real fruit or anything actually healthy.  In efforts to be healthier and also have a quick, easy breakfast, I tried some recipes and tweaked them until it turned into this creamy, sweet, bowl of yum!

Almond Milk

1 C Presoaked Almonds (2-12 hours in the fridge)
3 C Filtered water

Add almonds and water to a blender.  Blend on high for about a minute. Now the next step is optional depending on what you are using the almond milk for and that is the straining. You can either use a cheesecloth or a very fine mesh strainer.  (What you are straining out is almond meal and is usable in many things. One thing I use it for is my homemade granola bars, which I will post a recipe for soon.)  Put in a covered glass jar like a mason jar.  This will last in the fridge for about 2 days. It will separate but just shake it.

Banana Oatmeal

1/2 C Organic Rolled Oats
1    C Almond Milk
1/4  t  Salt
1       Ripe to very ripe Banana (mashed)
1/2  t  Cinnamon (nutmeg, cardamom and cloves are great too)
1/2  t  Vanilla

Put almond milk in a small saucepan, warm to a boil and turn down to simmer immediately.  Add in oats and salt.  Cover and cook on low 10 min.  Add banana, cinnamon and vanilla. Stir and enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tempeh and Dumplings

When you think about making huge changes to your diet, you automatically think of all the things you won't be able to have. Well that is no longer a valid excuse! I have managed to veganize almost all of my favorite recipes and that includes my mom's Chicken and Dumplings. With the help of Tempeh, a traditional cultured soy product, this meal has a protein with a wonderful bite.

1/4 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Onion (chopped)
1/2 C Celery (chopped)
1 pkg Tempeh (cut in 3/4" slices, pre-steamed to reduce bitterness)
3-4    Carrots (cut into sticks)
1       Bay Leaf
1/4 C Whole Wheat Flour (or more for thicker gravy)
1/2 t   Salt
1/2 t   Pepper
6 C   Vegetable Both (Rapunzel vegan vegetable bouillon w/ sea salt & herbs)


1 C   Whole Wheat Pastry/All Purpose Flour
2 t    Baking Powder (aluminum free!)
1/2 t  Salt
1/4 C Earth Balance
3/4 C Soy, Almond or Hemp Milk

Preheat oil in large skillet on med/high and then sauté celery and onion until translucent.
Add carrot, tempeh and bay leaf; cover and cook until carrots are tender.
Combine flour, salt, pepper and broth separately getting broth to desired thickness.
Add to pan and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.
Combine dry ingredients for dumplings by sifting or whisking together.
Cut in Earth Balance and stir in milk.

Drop spoonfuls of dumpling mixture into pan; cook uncovered 10 min, cover for another 10 min.


This blog has been living only in my head for far too long. I have come up with every excuse to not start it. But with the push from a friend, I have decided to put all of those excuses aside and just start it. I don't consider myself a writer by any means. This is just a place for me to share all of the vegan information I have learned on my path. This blog will have recipes and information on living a healthier, less processed, more compassionate lifestyle. Whether you are vegan or just want some vegetarian options in your life, I think you will enjoy what I have to share. So welcome to my new little spot :)