Tuesday, December 28, 2010


This has to be my favorite stew recipe and my favorite recipe from Veganomicon. I did not include the TVP chunks because I try to stay away from processed food as much as possible. I served it over brown rice with some freshly baked French rolls. The perfect meal for a cold winter night...comfort food to the max!

I am assuming most of you own a copy of Veganomicon? If not, I urge you to run out and buy it. Even though it has been out for awhile, I have not come across a cookbook that I enjoy as much as I do this one.

Time : 45 minutes
Serves 6

* 2 Tb olive oil
* 1 large onion, cut into medium size dice
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 tsp tarragon
* 1 tsp caraway seeds
* 1 tsp salt
* Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup red cooking wine, water, or vegetable broth
* 2 bay leaves
* 1/2 cup French lentils, rinsed
* 1 cup peeled, sliced carrots ( about 1/2 inch thick )
* 4 medium sized potatoes ( about 1 1/4 pound ) peeled, and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
* 1 ( 15 ounce can ) tomato sauce
* 3 cups water
* 1 cup TVP chunks ( I did not include this )
* 1 cup frozen or canned and drained lima beans ( green peas are fine also )
* 1 ( 15 ounce can ) kidney beans, drained and rinsed ( 1 1/2 cups )

1. Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onions in the oil until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, tarragon, caraway seeds, salt and pepper. Saute until the garlic is fragrant, about a minute more.

3. Deglaze the pot with the red wine.

4. Add the bay leaves, lentil, carrots, potatoes, tomato sauce, water, and TVP chunks. Mix together. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

5. Remove the bay leaves. Add the lima and kidney beans and cook until heated through.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Apple Cranberry Pie

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great Christmas. Please forgive my absence but I've been going through some things at home and it has made it very difficult to blog. I feel so bad because I didn't do my usual step by step pictures for this post. But I promise to go back to my usual blogging starting tomorrow.

I love the idea of this pie because it is a great twist to one of my already favorite desserts, apple pie. I adore the fruit combination of cranberries and oranges, so I knew adding this to apple pie could only make it better. The added toasted oats on top, gives it a nice crunch but please do make sure to keep your eye on it while it bakes. I was running around preparing Christmas' dinner and didn't notice that the top was beginning to burn. I would say, let it bake no longer than 30 minutes and then cover it loosely with foil to prevent that from happening.

Printer Friendly Recipe Here

Crust ( From Veganomicon )
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tb sugar
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp baking powder
* 1/3 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
* 1/4 cup cold water, plus 2 Tb if needed
* 2 tsp apple cider vinegar


* Juice of 1 orange
* Zest of 1 orange
* 5 cups of peeled, sliced apples ( about 5 apples )
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 tsp cinnamon

* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 Tb oats
* 2 Tb vegan butter, melted
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Prepare the crust by following the directions here.

2. Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together in a medium bowl.

3. Making the toppings by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

4. Add filling to cold pie crust and scatter the toppings over the filling.

5. Bake at 400 F until the juice in the center of the pie is bubbling, about 1 hour. ( If the crust or toppings is becoming too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil ).

6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Korean Style Barbecue Tempeh over Noodle Salad

We all know my dislike for tempeh but this one I can actually do. I don't know if it was baking it in a marinade for an hour and a half or marinating it again in a rich Korean style barbecue sauce that did the trick. The result of doing this was that the usual taste of tempeh disappeared and was replaced with a sesame, slightly spicy flavor.

I also loved the udon noodle salad. I could eat a whole bowl of this alone. But do make sure when purchasing the kimchee that it is vegan. I had to go to two different Asian markets to find a kimchee that did not contain fish. I really need to learn how to make my own though. Maybe that's something I can accomplish in 2011.

This meal did take awhile to make, so my suggestion would be to make some of it ahead of time. I baked my tempeh the night before and that greatly did help to reduce the things I needed to do the day of.

Anyone else a big fan of Korean food?

Serves 6

Korean Barbecue Sauce
* 2 tsp Spanish paprika
* 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
* 3 Tb white miso
* 2 Tb toasted sesame oil
* 2 tsp sesame seeds
* 5 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 Tb peeled and minced fresh ginger
* 1/2 bunch scallions, white part only, minced
* 1/4 cup tamari
* 2 Tb unrefined sugar
* 1 cup vegetable stock or water
* 2 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water

Noodle Salad with Citrus and Kimchee
* 1 ( 16 ounce ) package rice vermicelli, or cooked soba or udon noodles
* 1 1/2 cups peeled and supremed orange, grapefruit, and lime segments
* 1 cup kimchee, drained and julienned
* 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and julienned
* 1 cup mung bean sprouts
* 1/2 bunch scallions, green part only, thinly sliced
* Juice of 2 limes
* 2 Tb tamari
* 1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Sautéed Baby Bok Choy
* 2 tsp vegetable oil
* 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 1 tsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
* 12 ( 2 to 3 inch long ) baby bok choy leaves, halved lengthwise
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
* Sesame seeds, toasted
* 1 recipe Baked Marinated Temeph ( see below )
* 2 Tb sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish
* 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
* 1/2 cup peeled and supremed citrus segments, for garnish

To make the barbecue sauce
1. Place the paprika and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and mix in the white miso to make a Korean chile paste. ( Store refrigerated indefinitely. )

2. Heat the sesame oil and sesame seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Toast the sesame seeds in the oil for 1 minute, stirring often.

3. Add four-fifths of the minced garlic, and the ginger and scallions. Saute for 2 minutes, or until starting to brown.

4. Add the Korean chile paste mixture, tamari, sugar, and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Add the cornstarch slurry to thicken. Remove from the heat and add the remaining minced garlic. Let cool to room temperature. ( Store refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. )

To make the noodle salad
1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a saucepan. Place the noodles in a large bowl. Cover with the boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and let cool under cool water. Drain well.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the citrus, kimchee, cucumber, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, lime juice, tamari, and sesame oil. Add the rice noodles and toss well. Reserve until needed.

To make the bok choy
1. Place a skillet or wok over high heat. When very hot, add the oil, and then the onions, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 30 seconds, or until lightly browned. Add the bok choy and salt. Saute, tossing the mixture often, for 2 minutes, or until the bok choy just begins to wilt.

2. Add the sesame oil and sesame seeds, and toss. Transfer the bok coy to a platter. Keep warm.

To make the tempeh
1. Preheat the grill or broiler. Place the barbecue sauce in a large baking dish. Add the tempeh and cover with barbecue sauce. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Grill or broil the tempeh for 2 minutes per side, or until the sauce caramelizes on the tempeh.

Remove from the heat. Slice the tempeh diagonally into 1/2 inch wide pieces.

Baked Marinated Tempeh

Serves 6
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 1 quart vegetable stock or water
* 1/2 cup tamari
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tb Dijon mustard
* 1 tsp dried sage
* 2 tsp dried thyme
* 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
* 2 tsp pure maple syrup
* 6 ( 4 ounce ) pieces tempeh

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the wine, stock, tamari, garlic, mustard, sage, thyme, nutmeg and pepper flakes together in a bowl.

2. Place the tempeh in a baking pan and pour the marinade over the top.

3. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until the tempeh absorbs the marinade.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tofu Tortas

This is my last test recipe from Kim Barnouin's new cookbook. I did make some changes though, like cooking the tofu, adding guacamole and using my own refried beans recipe.

I see her tortas as a step up from what we all know tostadas to be. Stacks of baked tortillas, filled with sweet corn, tofu, cheese, guacamole and tomatoes.

This would be great to serve at a party or on a stay at home Friday night. They're also so fun to assemble and would be the perfect opportunity to get your kids involved in the kitchen. I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Printer Friendly Recipe Here

Makes 4 Servings

* 1 ( 14 oz ) package silken tofu, drained and crumbled
* 1 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
* 1/2 package vegan taco seasoning or to make your with the recipe I used
* Salt and pepper, to taste
* 1/4 onion, diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced

* 2 cups refried beans, canned or homemade
* 12 corn tortillas
* 1 cup vegan Cheddar cheese, shredded
* Pico de Gallo salsa and guacamole

1. Combine the tofu and taco seasoning in a medium bowl. Mix well.

2. Heat 1 Tb of canola oil in a medium skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and saute for 5 more minutes, or until slightly translucent.

3. Add the tofu mixture and corn and saute for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through. Remove from pan and set aside.

4. To prepare the tortillas, you can either fry them on the stove or bake them at 400 F for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Make sure to coat each tortilla with oil before baking.

5. To prepare the tortas, spread the beans on one tortilla and top with another tortilla. Spoon more beans on top of the second tortilla and top with the tofu mixture and guacamole. Place the third tortilla on top and top with pico de gallo salsa and cheddar cheese. Repeat to assemble the remaining tortas.

Serve immediately.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Native Foods Restaurant Review

I had the opportunity of eating at Native Foods last night for free, thanks to my good friend who wanted to take me out for dinner. I've been wanting to try Native Foods for awhile now and when I saw a video that they opened a new location on VegSource, I knew I just had to rush over and see how good there food was.

Native Foods has seven different locations; Aliso Viejo, Costa Mesa, Culver City, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Tustin and Westwood.

I ate at the new Culver City location and found their restaurant to have a really warm and welcoming feel. Their prices are a little high, at about $12 a person but trust me they make up for their prices in the quality of food.

I went with four other carnivores and all of them questioned if it was really mock meat. This is definitely the place to take all your meat loving friends, to prove to them that vegan food is just as good, if not better than what they are used to eating.

Here is what we all ordered....

Chicken Run Ranch Burger with a side of salad

Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with a side of fries

Portobello and Sausage Burger with a side of sweet potato fries

Scorpion Burger

Rockin' Moroccan

Just posting these pictures is making me so hungry! Amazing food..everyone in So Cal should definitely go try this place. They've been around for 15 years, I don't know why it took me so long to finally make it over. Oh and if it's your first time there, make sure you let them know and you'll get a free drink!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Curried Chickpea Cakes

Here's another recipe from Kim Barnouin's "Ultimate Everyday Cookbook." This recipe stood out to me because we all know how popular Veganomicon's chickpea patties are. I wanted to see which I would prefer better.

After making these, I've decided that I love both! Veganomicon's patties are one of my favorites but are best served with mashed potatoes and veggies. Whereas these can go great on a bed of lettuce or served in pita bread. Both very different in taste but equally as good. My favorite part was the basmati rice that got incorporated in the patties..yum!

* 1 ( 15 ounce ) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1/3 cup sliced green onions, both white and light green parts
* 1/3 cup light coconut milk
* 2 tsp evaporated cane sugar
* 2/3 cup breadcrumbs, plus 1/4 cup for coating
* 1 tsp curry powder
* 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/2 tsp ground cumin
* 2/3 cup brown rice, cooked
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or toasted sesame oil, for pan searing

1. In a large food processor, combine the chickpeas and green onions. Pulse until combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

2. Add the coconut milk, sugar, 2/3 cup of the breadcrumbs, curry powder, nutmeg and cumin. Stir together with a wooden spoon until well combined.

3. Stir in the brown rice and salt.

4. Mold into 10 mini patties.

5. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chickpea cakes to the pan in batches and saute until there's a nice golden sear on the bottom. Flip and sear on the other side as well. Continue with the remaining cakes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories : 170
Fat : 7 grams
Saturated Fat : 1 gram
Cholesterol : 0 mg
Carbohydrates : 23 grams
Fiber : 3 grams
Protein : 4 grams

The Veggie Grill Restaurant Review

This past weekend I went down to a little outdoor shopping center to take my boyfriend's nieces ice skating. I was so surprised to see a vegan restaurant located right in the shopping center and I just had to try it out.

When looking through their menu I noticed that Irvine wasn't the only city there were located in. They are also located in Los Angeles, El Segundo and Santa Monica. The Veggie Grill was recently named one of L.A.'s top 10 new restaurants. Doesn't it make you so happy when you see a vegan restaurant doing so well? I know it does for me : ]

For my lunch I ordered their Santa Fe Crispy Chickin' with a side of sweetheart fries. The sandwich blew me away at how close their mock meat tasted like the real thing. It reminded me a lot of Gardein and is definitely something I'd reorder next time I eat here.

I also ordered a small bowl of Bean Me Up Chili, which came with a side of flax seed chips. The chili was okay but not that great. I think I disliked it so much because it wasn't spicy at all..it was a little on the plain side, but at only $2.50 I really can't complain.

Has anyone else eaten at Veggie Grill? If so, what are your thoughts on their food?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tofu Saag with Brown Rice

I recently won a copy of Kim Barnouin's new "Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook." So for this week I would like to test out some recipes from the book.

I chose to do the tofu saag first because I've never eaten Indian food before. This dish is packed with vitamins and has a really sweet but savory flavor. Although it's mostly made with spinach, feel free to change up the recipe and add mustard greens to it as well.

So far I am liking her new book because I've noticed that all her recipes are simple and quick to make. Next time you're at your local bookstore, stop and take a quick look at this cookbook. I don't think you'll be disappointed : ]

Printer Friendly Recipe Here

Makes 6 Servings

* 2 Tb grapeseed or vegetable oil
* 1 yellow onion, chopped
* 1/4 cup vegetable broth
* 1 pound spinach, stems removed
* 1/3 cup light coconut milk
* 2 tsp ground cumin
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1 ( 8 oz ) package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
* Salt and pepper, to taste
* 2 cups freshly cooked brown rice

1. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes.

2. Add the broth and spinach, cooking until the spinach begins to wilt.

3. Add the coconut milk, cumin and cinnamon, and simmer 7 minutes.

4. Pour the mixture into a blender or the work bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

5. Transfer the mixture to a large saucepan and place over medium heat. Gently add the tofu and cook 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over hot brown rice.

Nutritional Information Per Serving
Calories : 190
Fat : 7 g
Saturated Fat : 1g
Cholesterol : 0 mg
Carbohydrates : 25g
Fiber : 6 g
Protein : 7g

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Soyrizo Calzone

Pizza or calzones? I am going to have to say that calzones are my favorite! The place that I like to go to eat calzones is at Whole Foods. Unfortunately whenever I go, they are always sold out. So I figured if I've made pizza before, I should be able to make calzones.

In my opinion, they were really easy to make but do require a little bit of time to make because you have to wait for the dough to proof. If you are not a fan of soyrizo, feel free to add any of your favorite veggies instead. I hope everyone gives this recipe a shot!

* 1 package dry active yeast
* 1 cup warm water
* 1 Tb vegan sugar
* 3 cups bread flour ( I used 1 1/2 cups white flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour )
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1 tsp salt
* water, for sealing the calzones
* cornmeal, for dusting

* 1 1/2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese, shredded
* 1 package of Soyrizo, prepared as directed on package
* Pizza sauce ( I used this recipe )

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Stir gentle to dissolve and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, until foam appears.

2. Pour the flour in slowly, mixing with a wooden spoon while adding. Add the olive oil, sugar and salt and stir again to combine.

3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 to 10 minutes, until a smooth dough has formed. Form dough into a round a place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil.
Cover with a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm area until double in size, about 45 minutes.

4. When ready, knead the dough gently and divide it into 4 pieces.

5. Sprinkle each piece with flour, knead, cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

6. To assembly the calzones, preheat oven to 400 F. Roll each piece of dough into 10 inch circles.

7. Spoon a little of the filling into one side of the dough and brush the outer edge with water to help form a seal.

8. Fold dough over to enclose the filling and form a large turnover.

9. Roll the edges with your fingers to close tightly and prevent leaking. Repeat with remaining rounds. Cut a few slashes in the top to allow steam to escape during baking.

10. Sprinkle a pizza peel or a baking pan with cornmeal and carefully transfer each calzone. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let the calzones cool for about 10 minutes before serving.