Saturday, October 29, 2011

Refreshing Kale and White Bean Soup with Lemon

I whipped up this soup quickly this afternoon and I'm quite pleased with the flavor. The lemon and herbes de provence are quite refreshing.

Ingredients (serves 6 or so):
Olive oil
6 cups water
3 veggie bullion cubes
1 medium onion
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
1 small zucchini
1 bunch kale 
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) cannellini beans (white beans)
1 lemon
herbes de provence
1 small ripe avocado for garnish


1. Dice the onion, carrots, and celery and saute in about 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large soup pot. Once these ingredients are softened, add 6 cups of water and the vegetable bullion (or just use six cups vegetable stock). Turn the heat down and let the stock simmer.

2. Strip the kale leaves from the stalks and discard the stalks. Rinse the kale well in a colander and rip the leaves into bite sized pieces. Add to the soup.

3. Rinse the beans and add to the soup.

4. Cut the zucchini into bit sized pieces (I typically cut them in half, then half again, and then chop them). Add to the soup.

5. Add herbes de provence to taste. I used about 3 teaspoons or so.

6. Zest a lemon into the soup and then squeeze half a lemons worth of juice in as well.

7. Simmer on medium heat until the kale is soft and the zucchini is cooked.

8. Serve with a few slices of avocado and a squirt of lemon.

Vegan Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple "Buttercream" Frosting and Toasted Walnuts

I'm going to a Halloween party tonight and wanted to bring something festive for autumn. These are very pumpkin-y, which I love, and they were quick since I used bisquick as the base for the cupcakes. Hopefully everyone will enjoy them as much as I have!


Cake (makes about 24 cupcakes):
3 cups original Bisquick
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup soymilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla
egg replacer for two eggs

1 package (16 ounces) vegan confectioners sugar (such as Hain Organic Powdered Sugar)
3-4 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
brown sugar


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 24 medium muffin cups or line with foil or paper baking cups.

2. Beat all cake ingredients together with an electric mixer or stand mixer on low speed until combined, then on medium speed for about four minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Fill muffin cups about halfway.

3. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (it may take a bit longer, but start checking for done-ness at around the 15 minute mark. Cooking time varies by oven and altitude). They are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean/when the cake is starting to pull away from the edges of the pan/when you can press the top of the cakes lightly with your finger and they feel springy. Immediately remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

4. To make the frosting, put the confectioners sugar in your mixing bowl and add the margarine (which should be room temperature or slightly softened). Begin beating the sugar and margarine together on low speed at first so the sugar doesn't make a huge mess. Once its crumbly, increase the beater speed. Gradually add the maple syrup until you reach a fairly stiff and creamy consistency. You may need to adjust the measurements--making frosting isn't always an exact science, and you need to adjust it to meet your own taste and consistency requirements. Add more confectioners sugar if it's too thin. Add more margarine (or shortening) if you want it fluffier. Add more syrup if it's too thick. If the frosting isn't "maple-y" enough, you can add maple flavoring too. I don't like an overpowering maple flavor, so the syrup alone worked for me.

5. Frost the cupcakes, generously. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon on top.

6. Preheat the oven to about 450 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake about 5 minutes, then turn, sprinkle on more cinnamon and sugar and bake another 5 minutes, until toasted. Keep a close watch on these, they burn very easily. Like everything else, cooking time varies by oven and altitude. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

7. Once the walnuts have cooled, sprinkle a few pieces (5-7 or so) on top of the cupcake for garnish. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Battered Seitan Nuggets

I'm not sure exactly why, but I was seriously craving some battered, fried food today. I happened to have a package of seitan in the fridge, so I whipped up a quick batter and ended up with the most spectacular, sinful-tasting seitan nuggets known to man.

Seitan (homemade or packaged) cut into 1-2" chunks
2/3 cup Bisquick
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Egg replacer for 2 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup soymilk
Oil for frying


1. Heat up your deep fryer (or, alternately, fill a small saucepan with a few inches of vegetable oil and heat it until it reaches between 350 and 375 degrees F).

2. In a shallow bowl, mix together the Bisquick, spices, egg replacer, and soymilk. The batter should be the consistency of cake or pancake batter (not too thick but not runny either).

3. Dredge the seitan chunks through the batter to cover them, and drop in the oil. Allow to cook until golden brown.

4. Drain on a paper towel or brown paper bag, and blot if necessary.

5. Savor the awesomeness.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tempeh Cutlets Proven├žal

Oh man, this is a great recipe from the January 2009 Vegetarian Times magazine. Really rich flavors and not hard to make at all, plus it was quite a colorful dish. I made it with a side of orzo and broccoli, but it would be good with rice too. The only change I'm making to the recipe is that I'm doubling the ingredients for the sauce--while there was enough to cover both pieces of tempeh satisfactorily, I found myself wishing I had more sauce to put on the pasta I served it with, and plan to make it with twice as much sauce next time. If you're not making it with a side of rice or pasta, the original amount of sauce should be fine (and in that case, halve all ingredients aside from the tempeh)

1 8-oz. pkg tempeh, cut widthwise into two cutlets
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons herbes de provence
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 large red bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
1/2 cup smooth tomato sauce
4 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2-1 cup fresh basil, chopped

1. Place tempeh slices in large baking dish. Bring wine, herbes de provence, oil, garlic, and pepper to boil in a small saucepan. Pour over tempeh, cover, and refrigerate four hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove tempeh from marinade, and place on baking sheet, reserving the marinade. Spray top of cutlets with cooking spray and bake 15 minutes until golden on edge. The flip, spray the other side, and cook for 15 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile, strain reserved marinade into small saucepan. Bring to boil and add bell pepper. Simmer 5-7 minutes until pepper is softened and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add tomato sauce, capers, sugar, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes until thick, then stir in basil.

4. Place tempeh on plates and divide sauce between servings (and, in this case with the sauce amount double what was called for in the original recipe, onto some rice or pasta).

Super delicious and pretty fancy!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Decadant Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whoa, I made these a few weeks ago for a party and they are the most decadent, soft, chewy cookies I think I've ever made. I found the recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine, and just substituted as necessary to make it vegan. The addition of a nice ripe banana makes all the difference in the world. I don't bake cookies that often, but I plan to make these for every holiday party I'm attending this year.

1 cup regular flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) vegan margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
egg substitute for 1 egg
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large, mashed ripe banana
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 package of vegan chocolate chips (or 1 chopped up vegan chocolate bar)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the flours, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. With an electric mixer, beat the margarine and sugars together until they're fluffy, then add the egg replacer and vanilla and keep beating. Then add in the banana and mix everything together well. It might take a little while to get the banana to fully blend with everything. Add in the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the rest of the ingredients.

Once the cookie dough is all mixed up, drop 1.5" spoonfuls of the dough onto a cookie sheet (I lined mine with tinfoil because I like to avoid doing dishes when possible; you could also use parchment paper). Space them about 2 inches apart so you don't end up with one big cookie. Bake for about 12-13 minutes, until golden brown, and rotate halfway through. They will be a bit soft when you take them out, so let them cool a bit on the cookie sheets before scooping them off onto wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 days, or freeze them if you can't eat all 3 dozen in a day or so (they keep well in the freezer...even though I made these for a party, I made sure to save myself a few [ok more than a few] and kept them in the freezer to enjoy through the week. they are good frozen or thawed out). These are sooo good.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quick and Easy Tofu Veggie Pot Pie

Today was cooold out, and the wintery temperatures got me in the mood for a nice pot pie. Any excuse to turn the oven on and get some more heat up in this apartment! Anyway, I just sort of made this up with the ingredients I had on hand, but it came out well and didn't take very long. Its not a traditional pastry pot pie, but man is it delightful!

3/4 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon corn starch
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sour cream
1/2 block tofu, cut into small (1/2") cubes
1 cup carrots, cut into relatively thin medallions
1 cup broccoli, in bite sized pieces (frozen is fine)
Any other vegetables your heart desires (peas, corn, and potatoes would have been lovely if I had had them on hand; as long as the total quantity of vegetables isn't more than 2-3 cups. don't want to overflow the casserole dish.)
2 cups bisquick
1/2 cup soy milk
egg replacer for 2 eggs.


Combine 3/4 cup soy milk with the corn starch, soy sauce, nutritional yeast and sour cream in a casserole dish. Whisk until well combined. Add in tofu and vegetables, and mix. In a separate bowl, mix the bisquick, 1/2 cup soymilk, and egg replacer until it forms a dough. Cover the vegetable/tofu mix evenly with the dough. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, uncovered, until the top of the dough is a light golden brown. Enjoy hot!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Jamaican Lentil Stew

So I've been on the hunt for a nice, healthy autumn-y soup...something rich and creamy and perhaps with some pumpkin. I was poking around on and found this awesome recipe for Jamaican Lentil Stew, which has creamy coconut milk, pumpkin, and lentils. I just finished making a batch of it up and I'm totally blown away--the broth is silky and thick and the ingredients meld wonderfully. I made a few substitutions just based on what I had around, which I put in parentheses.


1 medium onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 inch piece gingerroot, grated

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons ground coriander (I didn't have coriander [I know I should!] so I used tangine spices, which included cinnamon, cumin and some other spices I'm forgetting)

1-2 teaspoon ground cumin (adjust according to taste)

1 (13 ounce) can coconut milk (I used lite coconut milk because I am trying to watch my figure, which is to say, I didn't want to feel like I couldn't eat cookies because the coconut milk in my soup was fattening)

4 cups vegetable stock

4 ounces split red lentils, washed and drained (I actually used 8 ounces, or a full cup, because this didnt seem like nearly enough lentils. I also had to use green lentils because thats all the Kroger has)

1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch chunks

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

1/2-1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste (optional)

black pepper, to taste


Make a thick paste by mashing the ginger and garlic together with a pestle and mortar or a small bowl and the heel of a wooden spoon (I actually just used the garlic press to press the garlic and the ginger since I have neither mortar nor pestle to my name and it worked fine). Saute the onions in the vegetable oil until theyre transparent, then add the garlic ginger paste and saute for another 2 minutes or so; lower heat and stir constantly to avoid burning the paste. Add the spices and saute for a minute more. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, lentils, sweet potato and pumpkin puree. Simmer over medium-low heat for 40-50 minutes or until sweet potato is soft and almost melting into the stew, stirring occasionally. Before serving, stir in the red curry paste if you are using it or adjust seasoning with black pepper. I'm totally sold on this soup, and I'm looking forward to eating it this week for my lunches.