Nourishing the mind, body, and soul along the vegan highway.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vegan Cheesecake Swirl Fudge Brownies, Creamy Potato Leek Casserole, "Meet"loaf, and Apple Granola Muffins

Well, I am alive, but it has been a rough week. I had a back injury in June of 06, which has been giving me grief. I have not been able to sit long and do the posting. I have just not been able to get it together. Then tonight the family requested Tofu Fish Sticks. They are awesome! I posted about them a bit ago. Anyway, got everything ready and began to cook. When I reached into the fridge and to get the main ingredient realized I only had Med Firm Tofu. Well, surely that will work. No big deal. RIGHT!, lets just say "NOPE" good things did not come of it. They just fell apart into mush. Thank God for Gardenburger's Vegan Chik'n Patties. So that is my week so far. I figure only good things can come of from now on. Ok, enough complaining. Even though I have not posted I have been cooking and taking pictures . So enjoy the picture show. hehehe

Here are Bryanna's Vegan Cheesecake Swirl Fudge Brownies from one of her newletters.
They look so pretty here. They just came out of the oven and are cooling. I omited the orange zest because DH does not like orange and chocolate mixed and added 1 extra Tablespoon of sugar to the cream "cheeze" topping. DH likes things a bit sweeter.

I greased the pan real GOOD with Earth balance just like Bryanna said, yet when these sweet little yummies were cooled they refused to come out of the pan. Thus you get this! You might say ugly, but let me tell you. You can also say delicious! Next time I will maybe flour the pan too, or use Pam instead of Earth Balance.

Here is my Creamy Potato Leek Casserole, which I got from Dreeena's book, The Everyday Vegan. BB, my DD, liked them as did I, but mine turned out a bit dry. We easily remedied this by putting a tiny bit of Earth Balance on them when we ate them. I made 2 smaller dishes instead of one large one.

I usually make Magic Meat Loaf from Jen's website, but I was going through Bryanna's newsletter and decided to try her recipe. Here is a picture of it before it is cooked. I did cut the recipe in half and it still made 2 small loaves.

Just came out of the oven! I was trying to get the top a little crunchy and it worked. Oh, I put ketchup on the top before baking and it gave it a nice flavor.

Here is dinner before gravy. You can see the Potato Leek Casserole, cauliflower, corn, "meet"loaf, and yellow squash. As you can see we are out of green veggies. It is definatly time to shop.

With gravy and a green salad to brighten things up.

It has been a Bryanna week. I love her tofu scramble seasoning. It is the best around, but that is my opinion and I have not tried any others. yet. I am open minded. lol.. I learned how to make supremes from citrus fruits by watching the show, "Iron Chef American" on the food network channel. I just love how easy it is especially when eating grapefruits. I eat a grapefruit every morning and there is just no mess. You cut off both ends and then cut away the peel exposing just the flesh of the fruit. Then you cut down just inside the membranes that divide the fruit and there you have it a cute little fruit segment. No fuss, just yummy little supremes. Oh, and I really only like those Texas red grapefruit. They are like eating candy!

Last but not least here are some Apple Granola Muffins thanks to Alex Jamieson, Author of "The Great American Detox Diet". I emailed her and asked if I could post her recipe and on my blog. She was very kind and said share away. If you haven't read her book it is very easy reading packed with tons of information and great recipes.

Apple Granola Muffins
From Chef Alex Jamieson
Author of “The Great American Detox Diet”

1 ½ cups unbleached spelt flour
½ cup whole spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups vanilla, plain soymilk or apple juice
½ cup date sugar
¼ cup melted coconut or extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 med apple, chopped
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 Tbs. quick oats

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with extra virgin olive oil or spray
Sift the flours, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix well.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the soy milk or apple juice, sugar, oil, and vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it. Use a large spoon or rubber spatula to combine the ingredients. Stir and fold rather than beating: do not over mix. The batter should be lumpy, not smooth.

Carefully fold in the apples and walnuts.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup about two-thirds full.

Sprinkle the oats on top of the muffins.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the muffins are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of them comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to rest in the tin for 5 minutes before removing them.

I have used regular spelt flour and they come out great. I have also substituted almond extract for vanilla.
I usually cut the recipe in half, which makes 6 regular muffins or 18 mini muffins. Minis are always fun. I cook the mini’s for about 12-15 min.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"Meatball Sub"

Ok, I am a very happy person and am going to be a very busy cook. I got my Vive la Vegan in the mail today. I have been visiting blogland and everyone has been making such wonderful recipes from Dreena's book. Whooo weeee

Ok, calm down Sheree' it is only Thursday. ;o) Below is a picture of my "meatball sub". I previously posted about the Vegan lunch box recipe for the Lentil and rice meatballs, which are a hit in this household. I know the picture is not the greatest, but it is taste that counts. I only had some sprouted wheat hot dog buns so they became the foundation for the subs. Leftover spaghetti sauce from the freezer and FYH mozzarella cheese was the topping.

I let the meatballs simmer in the sauce while I lightly toasted the buns. Once I put them together I put them under the broiler to have the cheese melt. Delicious! Served along side was a simple salad of mixed greens, baby spinach, grape tomatoes and dijon dressing. Yellow squash is a main stay right now in our house. This year it is as sweet as sugar!

FYI - The hotdog buns we buy are only 2 pts for the entire bun on WW. I think they are made by Alvarado. We can only find them in our Whole Food Market. There are 2 near our home. One of them has them fresh and the other has them in the freezer section. We usually buy 2 or 3 packages at a time so we don't run out. They are fantastic.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tofu Fish Sticks, Coleslaw with Pinenuts

I feel accomplished! I feel thrilled! Yeepee! I make scrambled tofu all the time. I make cookies and muffins with tofu all the time, but never, and I mean never, have I been so adventurous to make baked, broiled, grilled, or fried tofu. I had put TOFU FISH STICKS, from Jen's cookbook, Vegan Lunch Box, on this weeks menu, but had not yet built up the courage to really make them. Granted I do eat tofu cooked by others, but was nervous about cooking it myself. While blogging I found Made in Alaska's blog. Her blog was my inspiration. Thanks Alaska! She gave me the courage and directed me to another recipe for a tofu fish marinade to try. Well tonight was the big night. Though determined, in my mind I was thinking, "Will the family eat it?" "What will I do if they won't?" and finally "Who cares!" I am making TOFU FISH STICKS! I had the time of my life doing 2 recipes at the same time. Jen's recipe, which you can find here : and the other one I adapted from the Tofu Fish Sandwich recipe in, Cookin' Southern Vegetarian Style. . Both were a big hit, but the marinaded ones were the favorite. Needless to say I made ten good size pieces and only 2 are left. BB, our daughter, loved them. DH tasted them and said her prefered the marinated ones. Me, I ate 5 of them, which included both kinds. What can I say they were so good! The light ones are from Jen's recipe. I also made coleslaw, which looks very bland without carrots, next to spud puppies, and yellow squash. I do like Jen's breading better, but the marinade gives them a delicious taste. Next time I will join the two together. YUMO!

As far as weight watcher points Jen's recipe is 1 point per ounce of tofu fish stick. The other is 2 points per ounce.

Here is the recipe for my adapted version of Tofu Fish Sticks

Marinated Tofu Fish Sticks
Adapted from Cookin' Southern Vegetarian Style

8 oz of firm tofu
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons of kelp granules
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
1 teaspoon of granulated garlic
1/4 cup canola oil

Mix all the ingredients together. Slice your tofu into pieces around 1/2 an inch thick. Place them in the marinade cover and refridgerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat the over to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (Don't you just love this stuff) and lightly mist with olive oil. Place the cornmeal on a plate. Take the tofu slices out of the marinade and place in the cornmeal one at a time. Once well coated place on them on the cookie sheet so they are not touching. Bake for 15 minutes, turn and bake 15 more or until they are crispy. Mine did not want to crisp quickly enough so I turned on the broiler and watched them carefully for about 2 -3 min. Enjoy!

Weight Watcher points 2 per ounce.

(OPPTIONAL) Next time we make these, which my daughter says will be often, I will use this marinade and Jen's breading (it is to die for).

Coleslaw with Pinenuts

2 T. soy creamer

2 T. vegan mayonnise

2 t. sugar

1/2 t apple cider vinegar

Mix together until well blended.

Slaw Ingredients:

3 cups shredded cabbage,

1 carrot grated,

1 apple pealed and grated

roasted pinenuts

Add to the sauce, mix well, refridgerate for a couple hours before eating so the flavors can meld.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lentil & Rice Meatballs, Mashed Potato Casserole

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. It is a bit sad that it is almost over, but just think, another one is just 5 days away. :o) Today I went to the dark ends of the freezer to plan this weeks menu. It seems like I always have frozen leftovers hiding in there. I took out some of my spaghetti sauce and figured that would be good with Jen's Lentil and Rice Meatballs

Her recipe calls for whole wheat flour when I went to the fridge to get my flour I discovered my container was empty. I needed to grind some wheat, but my sweet Yogi was taking a nap (he is feeling under the weather) so I adapted her recipe to what I had on hand. I used whole wheat pastry flour and wheat germ in place of the whole wheat flour. I also had no Italian seasoning so I used a mixture of dried oregano and basil. The substitutions worked out perfect. These little guys are awesome. There are enough to have spaghetti and "meatballs" one night and "meatball" sandwiches with melted Follow Your Heart mozzarella another night. Cool! 2 days down.

I also found that I had some cabbage that needed to be used. I went to this new site I found. While looking for cabbage I found this recipe that sounded good and low and behold it uses 6 cups of shredded cabbage. This recipe looked good, but I wanted to cut down on the fat and and use nutritional yeast for sure.

"Mashed Potato Casserole with Cabage"
Adapted from cookie with Kittee

6 Yukon Gold potatoes (618 grams)

6 cups shredded cabbage

2 oz Earth Balance

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sliced scallions

black pepper

3 Tbs. nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 425° F. Lightly oil a 3 quart baking dish.
Cook your potatoes as you would for regular mashed potatoes just until they are fork tender. Drain the well, add Earth Balance, salt, and mash away. While the potatoes are cooking, add your shredded cabbage to a pot of boiling water and cook until tender. About 8-10 minutes. When the cabbage is done, drain well and set aside. Add the scallions, cabbage, and 2 Tbs of the nutritional yeast. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Spread mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle the top with the last remaining Tbs of nutritional yeast.

Bake uncovered for 30-50 minutes or until the top is golden.
Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Weight watcher points below. I weigh everything in grams (so much easier)

7 pts each serving size (290.25 grams)
4 pts each serving size (193.5 grams)
3 pts each serving size (145.12 grams)
2 pts each serving size (110.16
2 pts each serving size ( 96.75 grams)

I had some tonight with my dinner and this casserole is beyond good. DH who does not care for cooked cabbage even liked them. Thank you kittee!

Enjoy and hug a furry friend.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Chili and Corn Muffins

After last nights attack of the ants, which ruined my plans for Susan's Thick and Hearty Pinto Bean Chili, was going to stop me today. After a few road blocks, ants again and a store run I was finally able to get started. This recipe is so fun to make. I have never used dried chilies before and had no idea how they would come together. Let me tell you all comes together fine and it is fun to watch these hard, dried, and shriveled up peppers come to life. My first step was to cook up some pinto beans. I so much prefer them over canned. Better taste and no sodium. I followed the recipe as it is written and did not need to add the sugar, which is optional. I forgot to toss in some red pepper flakes or cayenne, but I think it came out wonderful as is. Along with it I made a mixed green salad with tomatoes and Dijon mustard salad dressing and Jalapeno Corn Muffins courtesy of the Vegan Chef. I cut the muffin recipe in half and they came out wonderful and spicy.

I encourage everyone to try Susan's chili it is fantastic.

The chili comes out to 2 points per cup on Weight Watchers

Jalapeno Corn Muffins
Chef Beverly Lynn Bennett

2 T. water
2 t. Ener-G Egg Replacer
1 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/4 cup safflower oil1 cup unbleached flour1 cup cornmeal
3 T. unbleached cane sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
2 jalapeno peppers, destemmed, deseeded, and diced

Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a muffin pan and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and egg replacer for 1 minute or until very frothy. Add the soy milk and oil, whisk well to combine, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper, and stir well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just enough to mix. Add the jalapenos and lightly fold them into the batter. Fill the prepared muffin cups 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Yield: 12 muffins

These muffins come out to 3 points on Weight Watchers

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ant attack means Gardenburger

Today my DH and I came home to find an ANT ATTACK. The kitchen counters, sink, cabinets, stove everything crawling. All for an oatmeal pan in the sink from this morning. Good Grief, Charlie Brown. DH took care of the little dudes and I went to cleaning up the mess. Once done, I was too fed up to care about cooking. This qualifies as an emergency!!

Ok, I don't usually use many processed faux meats, but they are in the freezer for a quick meal or emergency. I have fallen in love with the Gardenburger Vegan Chikn patties. (NOT ALL GARDENBURGER PRODUCTS ARE VEGAN) Not for the taste or texture of chicken, which really grosses me out, but because they are good and I don't think they are anything like chicken. A couple weeks ago I came across a new product from Gardenburger. They are breaded cutlets and they are vegan. So I bought some and stuck them in the freezer. This was the perfect time to try them out. I had some leftover spaghetti sauce and some FYH mozzarella cheese. Sounds good to me. I plopped those "cutlets" into the broiler, topped them with sauce and cheese and YUMO! My DH said they taste like Chicken Parmesan. I don't know since I have never had it, but it was a delicious dinner. I added some cooked carrots purple and orange. Emergency is over and tomorrow I am making some chili and muffins. Enjoy everyone!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Yeepee! Vegan with a Vengeance was waiting for me at the library. I wasn't allowed to renew it since I had had it checked out so long. What is a girl to do? My plan, re-order it and hope I get it. The plan worked. Now I get it for another 3 weeks! yeepee! I love this book and that book and the other book. My sweet Yogi laughs at me everytime another notice comes from the library telling me another book is in. Anyway, back to food. I was given some Meyer lemons from my neighbor and figured I better use them before they go bad. This is my reasoning for picking this recipe. I cut the recipe in half because too many goodies are not good or this family. lol I substituted some of the unbleached flour for whole wheat pastry flour, unsweetened applesauce for part of the oil, and agave nectar for the sugar. I got them all mixed up, actually folded since we don't want chewy muffins (over mixing muffins makes them rubbery) and realized I had forgotten the nectar. Late folding of the nectar only made them a little chewy. They smell devine. The whole kitchen smells lemony. The lemon in the picture is one of the Meyer lemons after zesting. Our sweet daughter says, "Mom the lemon is naked!" We laughed of course and then enjoyed the muffins. By the way they are only 2pts on weight watchers.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Macaroni and "cheese", patties, cupcakes, chowder, spaghetti, & collard greens

Hi everyone, I am back. For some reason I had time to visit many of your blogs, post messages, and make new recipes, but ran out of time to update my own blog. Here I have a 3 day weekend and what do I do? Run out of time. I had all the intentions in the world to blog early today. Right! It is now 7:24pm and the clock is not going to stop ticking so I figured I better get something posted so people knew I was still alive.

Now that I am going to try and get some typing done, my fur kid, Kelly decides to come and join in the fun. She always wants attention. Pet me momma, love me momma. What is a momma to do, but love her. I am so easily won over. Now if she will just move to the chair next to me I would be able to get a lot more done. She thinks my desk is her throne. Thank goodness, she is finally happy in the chair next to me. Back to food!

This is what happens when you try to visit your favorite blogs and ignor what you have under the broiler. I got so carried away reading everyone's wonderful recipes that I forgot about my "Breakfast Patties", which was to be part of tonights dinner. Well, at least one of them survived, but just barely Our daughter, BB, came home for dinner and I showed her the really burnt one. She tasted it and said, Yum carcinogen burgers! lol As you can see below at least the rest of dinner was a success. With some added green beans and avocado and tomato salad we could enjoy!
BB says plating is everything mom. Nicely done Brandie!

We had a modified version of Susan's Macaroni and "cheese". Thank you Susan!

Here is my version of Susan's Baked Macaroni and "Cheese"
Original Recipe by Susan Voisin
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 can great northern beans drained and rinsed
6 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. yellow mustard
2 Tbsp. Roasted tahini
ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
2 Tbsp Earth Balance
6 Tbsp of dried bread crumbs
a shake or 2 of paprika

Preheat oven to 350.
Cook macaroni until almost tender. Drain, and pour into a large bowl. Combine the beans, yeast, tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and onion powders, salt, mustard, and tahini in a food processor or blender. I let this blend quite a while in my food processor, you want it very creamy. Pour the sauce over the macaroni and add the peas. Mix until well combined. Pour into a greased casserole dish. I used an oval one about an inch and half deep or so.

In a small bowl mix together the melted Earth Balance, bread crumbs, and paprika. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the macaroni and bake for 15-20 minutes. Then broil for about 5 min to make the topping get crusty.

For our family this makes 6 good size servings.
6 serving = 5 pts on Weight Watchers
8 serving = 4 pts on Weight Watchers

I got this great book called, "The Great Amreican Detox Diet". I don't know if any of you saw the documentary Super Size Me, about the nutrition of McDonalds food. It is a very eye opening movie for any fast fooders. Anyway the book is written by Alex Jamieson, the wife of the man in the movie. She is a vegan chef and has some great recipes and a great web site. These are her Breakfast Patties. They have brown rice flour, oats, onion, sage, thyme, nuts, brown rice, mushrooms, broth and tamari in them. They are really good! My girlfriend says they taste like Thanksgiving because of the sage and thyme. My honey and I like them on bread with mustard and mayo. She suggests freezing them individually, which I have done and they warm up nicely under the broiler.



I am so excited. I have been on the waiting list with our library for the book "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World for about 3 months. I know that many of you have already been making these by the dozens and I thought it would never be my turn. I think I am going to make one of these a week. Yes! I will make each and everyone. My family is trying to shrink our waist lines so I cut the recipe in half, 6 cupcakes we can handle. For my first attempt at Vegan cupcakes I chose the "Sexy Low-Fat Vanilla Cupcakes. Here they are in the beginning and wonderful looking stages. (Oh, by the way the recipe was really easy to cut in half)

After 22 minutes, success!

Pretty little treasures!

The recipe said to frost the cupcakes use your choice of fruit spread and then a small amount of the icing, topped with your fruit. In the book they have these wonderful little teasures frosted with raspberries and white icing. At the Farmers Market on Friday I bought some killer strawberries and figured I would use them on my cupcakes. Of course, once I am making them I realize I have no strawberry jam, spread, preserves, anything strawberry. But wait, I do have blueberry and fig. Some how fig just didn't sound like a good mix with strawberries so blueberry it is. I also added some vanilla to the icing, which turned it an off white color. So as far as "Sexy" cupcakes, I don't think mine are very sexy, but they sure do taste good!

Baby, it's cold outside!

Today was really cold! I am sure that for many of you this is mild weather, but here in Southern California 40 degrees in the day time is really cold. Last night it got down to the low 20's. We had water pipes breaking, crops freezing, and gas and eletric bill rising. I enjoy the cold weather. I love Montana in the winter. We were there a couple years ago in the dead of winter and I love it. I don't particularly like San Diego, but I doubt there will be any moving for us. Back to yummy, warm soup. I got out one of my e\Ebay finds,"Table for Two" by Joanne Stepaniak. Corn & Potato Chowder is just what the doctor ordered. It is a basic chowder of potatoes, red bell pepper, carrots, onion, celery, and veggie broth or water ( I used "No Chicken Broth) my daughter is in love with the stuff. To get the creamy texture you puree half of the potatoes and add a small amount of soy milk. I added a cup of corn to the soup when it was done for some more texture. I think it is was rather bland, but with some added curry, salt, and pepper it turned out pretty good. My sweet Yogi liked it and I liked it. Our daughter did not like it. I used Silk plain soy, which is sweetend, so it didn't have that savory quality we were looking for. I will use unsweetened soy milk next time I make it. Her recipe says it makes about 1 1/2 quarts. Mine only made 3 1/2 cups. Weird... since I followed the recipe to a tea. Even making only 3 cups mine came out to 4 points per cup on weight watchers.

We were due for spaghetti or lasagna. Spaghetti won out. I have used the same recipe for the past 26 years. I found the main recipe in an old Mennonite cookbook and have adapted it to our tastes and use lentils in place of meat. Along with the spaghetti we had steamed green beans and garlic toast, of course! This sauce is only 2 points per cup on Weight watchers.

Sheree's Spaghetti Sauce
In a large skillet saute' the following ingredients:
1 T. olive oil ( I cut this down and saute' in veggie broth)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of cooked lentils
Once the veggies are begining to brown add in:
2 cups of tomato sauce
3/4 cup of tomato paste
1 Tbls of vegan worcestershire sauce
1 cup of veggie broth
1/4 tsp of oregano, basil, thyme, and cumin.
salt and pepper to taste

Let simmer for about 45 min so the flavors can meld. The longer it simmers the yummier it gets. I use my hand blender to puree most of the lentils into the sauce. This freezes well and is easily doubled.

I was in the mood for some collard greens. Of course my mom makes them the southern way with lots of bacon fat. (Gross) I have never eaten them that way and I am happy for that. I found this recipe on in his old newsletters. I think I next time I will cut back on the amount of vinegar. It really over powers all the other flavors. I ate it, but next time I will make some changes. Along with the collard greens we had lentils, steamed cauliflower and yellow squash, potatoes, and brown vegan gravy. My daughter asked me if I put butter in the potatoes cause they were so yellow. No, just good old Yukon Golds. Love them!

Popeye's Collards
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low-sodium soy sauce
6 cups washed and chopped collards, stems removed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onions; cook, stirring, until transparent, about 2 minutes.
Add Bragg’s/soy sauce.
Add the collards; cook, stirring, until the collards are wilted, about 2 minutes.
Add ½ cup of water; simmer, covered, 10 - 15 minutes.
Cook until desired consistency.
7Drain, add vinegar and serve

Greg Hottinger, MPH, RD

So here it is, my past week in a flash. Thanks for visiting and I hope you all have a wonderful week. I will try and not get behind again. This is too much work at one time.
Enjoy life and hug a furry friend!

Friday, January 5, 2007

French toast and sausage

Friday is finally here. I am so happy. I have not been able to cook much this week and I am feeling withdrawls. Most of the leftovers are gone, which means I get to CooK!!! *dancing around and around* Can you tell I am excited? I love to cook. I love to cook healthy. I love to experiment and try new things. *Happy, Happy, Happy* Anyway most of you know that my sweet Yogi is an omni. This week he has been so patient eating meatless meals most nights that last night he said he would be having chicken tonight, which left me to figure out a meal for one since BB was out running errands or with friends.

I had a potato that was in the beginning stages of growing little white eyes so I knew that was to be on the menu. Fried potatoes with orange, yellow, and green bell peppers made the cut. Isn't it funny how one lonely potato became the inspiration for the entire meal. Fried potatoes make me think of breakfast and breakfast makes me think of pancakes. I had some veggie bacon in the fridge, but was trying to save that for something else. So where do us veggie bloggers go when in search of what to cook? The good old WWW.

I have had some TVP in the cupboard for quite some time and wanted to use it before it became stale so in search for a sausage recipe I went. I found this Breakfast Sausage recipe at the site. They are good hot, but so so when cool. When they come out of the pan they are nice and crispy, but as they cool they loose some of their charm. I followed the recipe except for leaving out the molasses. I think next time I will add the larger amount of cayanne or add red pepper flakes to help give it more of a kick. Still all and all a good quick recipe. Now for the pancakes. Hmm I always eat pancakes, but have never eaten Vegan French toast. You see I never cared much for real French toast so I figured I don't like any kind of French Toast. Well, no time like the present to try and find out for sure. Oh My Goodness. This is my first attempt at vegan French toast. I am happy to report that it is to die for. The conclusion Yogi and I came to is, I don't like eggs so why would I like regular French toast when it is just bread dipped in eggs. Right On! I love French toast vegan style. I know many of you have a recipe for it, but the one I used came from, "Table for Two (meat-dairy- free recipes for two) by Joanne Stepaniak. I love this book. Sometimes you get tired of cooking for 8 or 10 and this book is wonderful. The most any recipe makes is for 4 sevings.

1/2 cup (120 ml) TVP
1/2 cup (120 ml) boiling water
1/2 cup (120 ml) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) oat bran
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed sage
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle ( I use my coffee grinder)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon black strap molasses
Canola oil

Put the TVP into a medium mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it.
Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the TVP to absorb the water.
Add the whole wheat flour, oat bran, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sage, fennel seeds, pepper, salt, and cayenne to the TVP and stir well.
Stir in the water, tamari, maple syrup, and molasses and stir the patty mixture well.
Lightly coat the bottom of a skillet with canola oil and warm over medium-high heat.
Drop the mixture from a tablespoon to make patties 2 inches ((5 cm) in diameter and flatten them slightly so they will cook evenly. Fry 1 to 2 minutes on each side until nicely browned. Remove the patties to a dish lined with paper towels and fry the next batch. Makes 10 to 13 patties.
That is all for tonight. Everyone thank you for visiging and have a great night.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Tennessee Corn Pone dinner

It has been a really long day. I was so tired when I got home from work I didn't even want to think about cooking dinner. Yogi was a trooper as usual and had left over Blackeyed peas, corn cob muffins, and salad thanks to our daughter, BB who made the salad. I just didn't want leftovers, but was to tired to think of what to cook, let alone turn on a gas flame and be resposible for setting the house on fire. Have you ever had one of those days? When all else fails go to the place you love most, Vegan blog land. It was not long before I spied what looked to be a fantastic quick meal. If you haven't been on Jennifers site: you are really missing something. She is another one of my favorite places to go for inspiration. I went to her recipes and *BAM* right between the eyes, her Tennessee Corn Pone was the winner. I followed the entire recipe except for adding 1/4 cup of frozen corn to the pan before pouring on the topping. I used Amy's Vegetarian chili instead of chili beans and let me tell you, dinner was grand. I did cave and have leftover squash and green beans, but in our house those are not leftovers, those are staples. I did steam some yams while the corn pone was cooking. Thank you Jen for saving me from leftovers.

Wow! I sure took a bad picture of my dinner. What a messy plate. I was so hungry by the time I heated the veggies and steamed the yams I failed to make my plate eye pleasing. Sorry all! But it sure was tummy pleasing. Now as you can see below, BB did a much better job in making her dinner look wonderful and she did a great job on the salads too. Thanks BB!

BB is not crazy about yams unless they are cooked with lots of brown sugar and marshmellows, but she put that lonely slice of yam on her plate for the visual effects. I put a bit of Agave on it hoping it might make it past her lips, but no way! Hey she eats her vegetables and just about everything I cook, so what more could a parent ask for .

On New Years Eve we had some fantastic Vegan cookies that we get at our Whole Foods Market. I didn't get the name on the site when I wrote about them so here they are. They are made by the Alternative Baking Company. I am not sure if you can order them online, but they are awesome!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Potato, Bean, Chard soup and lentil pizza

Well, the dogs survived another New Years Eve. Fireworks just scare the poor kids to death. Yogi and I spent most of the evening together playing on the computers. He did his window shopping for photography items and I surfed for vegan recipes. We laughed and had a great time. It was pretty much a junk food night for Yogi, although he did have a quesadilla. Remember he is an Omni, but trying hard to eat more vegetarian. I commend you honey! I made a french bread pizza (with Follow your heart vegan cheese) and had the best chocolate bar. It was vegan from Whole Foods and it was so good. Dark Chocolate with almonds. YUMMY! Finally a few minutes before midnight we quit surfing the net and moved to TV land. After a New Years Eve smooch, a call to our kids, we went in search for Dick Clark. Of course, if he was on we missed it. Then came the popcorn and these great Vegan cookies that we buy at Whole Foods. They are not fat free or sugar free, but we love them. I really enjoy the Chocolate chip, coconut, and macadamia nut. Yogi likes the Peanut Butter ones. Next time I get them I will post the information for everyone.

My husband, Yogi (his nickname) has decided to try very hard to stick to NO MEAT MONDAYS. I am very proud of him. Cheese does not count to him so for dinner tonight he had Amy's Cheese Enchiladas. Sorry no pictures of frozen foods here. I made Spanish Potato, Chard, and Bean soup from Madhur Jaffrey's Cookbook, World Vegetarian. Yogi does not like Chard. I followed the recipe pretty much except for cutting back on the oil and using veggie broth to saute' the onions, potatoes, and chard. She also says to add a teaspoon of olive oil to each bowl when served. I also deleted that from my version. I used navy beans, Yukon Gold potatoes, and rainbow chard. The Yukon potatoes hold up so nicely in soups and stews. Hey mom, look, I am using the blue dishes you got me, how long ago? Thank you , Mom! They are really beautiful.

I also made Susan's Pioneer Corn Bread from My sweetheart found me this iron skillet muffin pan that forms the muffins into little corn on the cobs. I put a lil scoop of Earth Balance on the plate too, so cute. You should all check Susan's site for her little cactus cornbreads. Now they are incredibly cute. Swapmeet here I come! One can always hope. Yogi and I loved this recipe. They come out so light and yummy. Our daughter was too full from eating leftover potatoes, veggies, and vegan gravy to eat them, but said they smelled really good.

When I made the little lentil pizza's last night I didn't take a picture, which gave me no choice, but to make them again so everyone could enjoy them as much as I did. A couple days ago I made some Lentil sloppy Joes (thanks again to Susan), well, there were leftovers. I wondered if I could change them from BBQ flavor to Italian to make pizza and I am thrilled to report that YES, YOU CAN! I picked up a wonderful French baguette at the store and it just cried out to me, "PIZZA". I sliced it in half, spread some of the leftover lentils on each side, sprinkled it with some granulated garlic, added some chopped up yellow and orange bell peppers and topped it with some Follow Your Heart Vegan Mozzarella Cheese. This stuff is great! It doesn't have the texture of regular cheese, but has a wonderful flavor and it melts. Next time I think I might add a few sprinkles basil and red pepper flakes to spice them up even more. I really enjoyed it! Lentils. are so versatile.

Happy New Year to all!