Monday, March 29, 2010


Here are a few things I made for myself - my stepmother cooks up a storm and I couldn't ask her to prepare something special just for me.  The matzo ball recipe is from The Candle Cafe cookbook, as well as, the gefilte fish.  The cauliflower-leek kugel with almond cream is from Vegan with a Vengeance.

These matzo balls held up soo well!  They are made from grated potato...

The gefilte fish "batter" before being formed:
in the steamer:

 With horseradish!

Kugel out of the oven - the almonds make the whole dish - super yummy!
inside of kugel...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spaghetti and Beanballs!

Beanballs from Veganomicon :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Whole Wheat-Flax Bagels!

I'm a bagel fanatic!  I could live on them if I could!  :)  I wanted to find a bagel recipe that I could tweak and make it super healthy and full of fiber!  Below you'll find the original recipe and what I did is in red.
My breakfast this morning - toasted w/ Earth Balance & vegan cheese

Original Recipe:

Vegan Bagels

1 cup warm water (+ more if needed, I used about 1/4 cup more)
3 cups unbleached white flour (2 cups whole wheat, 1/2 cup white flour, 1/2 cup flaxseed meal)
2 tbsp. vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons vegan granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon yeast
sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Bread Machine Directions:

1. Except for sesame seeds, place all ingredients in bread machine and set for normal white vegan bread. (You may also add whatever seasoning you'd like for a flavored bagel at this step.)

2. Let the machine knead once and then turn off the machine and set a timer for 20 minutes.
3. Cut into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1 inch thick, wet ends and stick together. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

4. Fill a wok (or whatever you use) with about three inches of water. Place vegan sugar in this water and bring to a boil. Add bagels for 1 minute, turning them as they boil. Drain.

5. Return dough to the greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake at 550 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until desired browning occurs.  I baked mine at 400 degrees and kept an eye on them so they didn't burn... just bake until they're nice and brown.

Manual Directions:

1. Add warm water to a small bowl. Sprinkle on 1 package active dry yeast; do not stir. Cover with a saucer and allow to proof for 5 minutes. Stir and allow to proof for an additional 3 minutes. Mixture should be frothy. If it isn't, discard and start over.
2. In a bowl, mix together flour and salt. Mix in yeast-water mixture and lightly knead in the bowl. Cover and set aside to allow dough to rise, about 1 hour. (You may add whatever seasoning you'd like for a flavored bagel when adding the flour and salt.)

3. Cut into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1 inch thick, wet ends and stick together. Transfer to a greased cookie sheet, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.

4. Fill a wok (or whatever you use) with about three inches of water. Place vegan sugar in this water and bring to a boil. Add bagels for 1 minute, turning them as they boil. Drain.

5. Return dough to the greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake at 550 degrees F for 15 minutes, or until desired browning occurs.
Serves: 8
Preparation time: 1 hr

Cowboy Cookies

These cookies were from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar... my friend said they were "incredible".  I subbed 1/2 the white flour for whole wheat... they have oatmeal, vegan chips, flaxseed meal, coconut, walnuts (I didn't have pecans). I thought the brownies were good from the cookbook, but these blow the brownies away! LOVE them!!

Matzo Ball Soup

This was a recipe from Christina Pirello's cookbook and it was amazing!  The matzo balls held together so nicely!  You can make your own vegetable stock or buy a good quality, low sodium stock and add some vegetables to it if you like and some fresh dill.

1 1/2 cups matzo meal (whole grain is available in some stores)

12 ounces silken tofu
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sparkling water
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, finely minced

6 cups Vegetable Stock
3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2-3 tablespoons sweet white miso
2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Make the matzo ball mixture first, as it has to chill for at least an hour before proceeding with the recipe.

Place matzo meal in a mixing bowl. In a blender, puree tofu, oil, sparkling water and salt and pepper to taste until smooth.

Fold tofu mixture and parsley into matzo, mixing until well-combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour, but overnight is the best.

When you are ready to make the soup and finish the matzo balls, bring a pot of water to a boil with a generous pinch of sea salt. Remove the matzo mixture from the fridge and form into balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place prepared matzo balls on parchment and continue forming until all the matzo mixture is used. Carefully drop the matzo balls into the boiling water, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the matzo balls for 35-40 minutes; try not to uncover the pot before 35 minutes are up.

While the matzo balls cook, make the soup. Combine ingredients in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. You may strain the veggies out of the soup and serve only the broth, which is traditional, but I love to keep the vegetables in the soup. Remove a small amount of hot broth and dissolve miso. Stir into soup and simmer over low heat for 3-4 minutes.

To serve, ladle 3 matzo balls into individual serving bowls and spoon soup over top. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately. Makes 5-6 servings

Vegetable Stock:

1 onion, cut lengthwise into thin slices

Several green onions or a small leek, cleaned and diced

2 cloves garlic, unpeeled

Sea salt

8 or 9 cups spring or filtered water

1 or 2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup diced button mushrooms, brushed clean and left whole

1 or 2 bay leaves

2 fresh parsley sprigs

Fresh or dried basil or rosemary sprigs (optional)

Add onions, garlic, salt and about 1/2 cup of the water to a soup pot over low heat. Simmer about 15 minutes. Add the

remaining water and other ingredients and bring the stock to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, about 1 hour.

Pour the stock through a strainer, pressing as much liquid as you can from the vegetables before discarding them. Makes

about 6 cups

Friday, March 12, 2010

Stuffed Red Peppers

I've been craving stuffed peppers like crazy for some reason -- peppers aren't really one of my favorite foods!  I dislike green peppers and I really only like roasted red peppers.  But, these stuffed peppers were fantastic!  I've been experimenting with sweet brown rice and thought it would be perfect for "stuffing" into something since it's sticky.  It was perfect for these peppers!

Before Sauce:
Topped with Sauce:
Right out of the oven:

I used 6 peppers and cut them in half and stuffed each half.  You can stuff the whole pepper if you'd like too.

I used:
sweet brown rice, cooked
fresh spinach
fresh garlic
mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
fresh dill/flat leaf parsley
nutritional yeast, optional
onion powder/garlic powder (I'm a garlic freak! LOL)
juice of 1/2 lemon
Tomato sauce to top peppers. 

I used a homemade marinara I made during the week.  You can sweeten it a little bit if you like with a little brown sugar.  You can also make a sweet and sour sauce by adding a little apple cider vinegar & brown sugar to the sauce and mix well.  In a pinch you can add ketchup to your tomato sauce for a sweet/tangy sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a little oil or tomato sauce on bottom of pan so peppers won't stick.

Mix all of the above together and taste for seasoning.  Fill each pepper and arrange in pan.  Top with tomato sauce and cover with tin foil.  Bake for 30 minutes or until peppers are tender. 


I made a double batch of brownies from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar yesterday!  OMG - is all I have to say!  They were moist, chocolately and delicious!!  I did sub half the white flour for whole wheat and they still were perfect!!  I added in a small amt. of vegan chocolate chips and a few walnuts.  Kenny loved them and he's hard to please - especially with brownies and my friends at work loved them too!  :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Look what I got today!!

I got a wonderful surprise in the mail today from my wonderful friend, Fiona.
I can't wait to go over the recipes in them tonight!  I already saw a black and white cookie recipe I want to try!  Thank you sooo much!! :)  Be on the look-out for new recipes from these beauties!

Peanut Butter Cups

I've been craving peanut butter cups for awhile now and thought about making my own!  Soo simple to make!  I just melted 3/4 of a bag of vegan chocolate chips (I bought mine at Whole Foods) in the microwave and added the melted chocolate into silicone muffin cups.  Then I added a nice size tsp. of peanut butter on top of the chocolate and then covered the p.b. with more chocolate... stuck the muffin cups in the freezer and after about 15 minutes they were solid and delicious!  *You can also use regular paper muffin liners.

Next time I'm going to make them in mini muffin cups - so they're just the right size - I found these to be bigger than I wanted.  I'm also thinking of making some filled with all-fruit raspberry preserves. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Lentil Shepherd's Pie

I got this recipe from a vegan cooking group on
These are my pics:

This is the recipe:

Lentil Shepherd's Pie with crimini mushroom and garlic sauce

2 1/3 cups dry lentils
1 cup coarsely ground walnuts
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, diced *(I left this out)
1/2 head of green cabbage, finely chopped  *(I used savoy cabbage)
handful of fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried, sweet basil
1 tsp ground thyme
couple of pinches of kelp powder (optional; don't use too much or the food will taste muddy)   *(left out)
ground pepper to taste

6 - 8 large potatoes (I used Yukon gold), peeled and chopped *(I added in 2 sweet potatoes)
3 tbsp vegan margarine
splash of milk  *(I used plain soy milk)
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, handful of grated vegan cheese *(left out)

Place the lentils in a pot and add water until they are covered by an inch or so. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 35 - 40 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil and add the onion. Saute for a few minutes, then add the carrot and parsnip. Saute another few minutes, then add in the garlic and cabbage. Cook, stirring occassionally, until the veggies begin to brown a bit. Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir well, and let cook until much of the liquid has evaporated off - maybe ten minutes or so.

Meanwhile, set a large pot of water on to boil. Add the potatoes, return to a boil, and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Strain and mash with the margarine, milk and other ingredients, as desired.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread the cooked lentil mixture into large casserole or 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press down slightly so that it is compacted, but don't mash it. Top with the mashed potato mixture. You can get fancy and score the potatoes with a fork or use a piping bag to create pretty designs if you like. Dot the top with a little more vegan margarine or lightly brush with oil. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the pie is golden. Let stand for five minutes before slicing.

Serves 6 - 8, freezes beautifully for future meals.

While the pie is baking, make the sauce.

Savoury Mushroom Garlic Sauce

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms (any mushrooms will do, these are just my favorite)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp flour
1 1/3 cups water or vegetable stock
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp dried sweet basil *(I used fresh flat-leaf parsley instead)
salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the mushrooms in the oil until they release their juice. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Sprinkle with the flour and stir until everything is coated and the flour begins to sizzle. Add the water or stock in a slow, steady stream, stirring the whole time. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened. Serve over shepherd's pie, or anything else you desire. It's great on thick slices of whole grain toast, for instance.