Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sweet Potato Cakes with Sage and Caramelized Onions

These little sweet potato cakes are lightly fried making them crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.  The caramelized onions pairs well with the sweet potato as does the sage.  They're great just by themselves or you can form into large patties and eat them as a veggie burger.  They would be great on rich brioche bread or if you're vegan, look for a similar soft bread without the butter and eggs.  Potato roll?  Mmmmm...
Makes 12
1 medium sweet potato
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
1-15oz. can white beans, such as great northern or cannellini
1/2 cup bread crumbs (plus more for coating)
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil for frying
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  pierce sweet potato a couple times with a fork.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes.  Once cooked and cooled, scoop sweet potato flesh from skin, transfer to a bowl and stir until mostly smooth, a few small chunks is fine.  Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet, add onion and saute for 8-10 minutes over medium heat.  Add garlic and sage, saute 2 minutes. Remove from heat , set aside.
Add beans and onion mixture to a food processor and pulse several times until combined but do not puree.  Transfer the bowl with the sweet potato, add bread crumbs and stir.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer bowl to fridge for 20-30 minutes (chilling will help the patties to hold together).
Form into small patties and cook over medium heat in a skillet coated oil, about 4-5 minutes per side.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pasta with White Wine Mushroom Sauce

This one is for the mushroom haters.  I know because I used to be one.  Cooking mushrooms in ways like this converted me.  It truly is quite an amazing flavor.  The addition of white beans adds protein to make it a complete meal on it's own but you can easily leave out if you like.  splurge and drizzle with truffle oil at the end.  Truffle oil is a pricey addiction, but well worth it.

2-3 cups bowtie pasta
Olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp reduced- sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Italian cheese blend (optional)
1 cup baby arugula
Truffle oil for drizzling (optional)

Cook pasta according to package, set aside.
Add enough olive oil to just coat bottom of a large skillet.  Heat over medium for 1-2 minutes, then add onion, garlic, mushrooms, and sprinkle with salt.  Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are softened.

Stir flour into the mushroom mixture.  Add broth, soy sauce, wine. 
Let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add pasta, beans, cheese, and stir.  Remove from heat and serve topped with arugula and drizzle with truffle oil if using.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

The biggest selling point of this soup recipe is not only amazing flavor, but only 6 ingredients not counting the pantry staples (oil and S&P).  The addition of potato lends a velvety consistency and the apple brings some sass to the party (tip: you can also use 1/4-1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce). Splurge and add the coconut milk for the creaminess.  It's worth it. 

And here's the video of me making the soup.



1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound cubed butternut squash (about 2-3 cups)
2 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium apple, cored, peeled and diced
1-32oz. carton vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup light coconut milk (optional)


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion with pinch of salt and cook until translucent (about 3-5 minutes).

Add squash, potatoes, apple, and vegetable broth.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until squash and potatoes are tender.  About 20-25 minutes. Tip: cut your squash and potatoes the same size so they will be done in the same time.

Let the soup cool for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a blender or food processor and puree.  Return to the pot and stir in coconut milk, if using.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Apple Oatmeal Cookies


1 cup quick oats
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt

1/2 cup apple sauce
6 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Ener-G egg replacers
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 small apple, peeling and chopped


Mix dry ingrendients in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, add butter, sugar, and brown sugar.  Mix until totally combined (a spatula works best).  Add the remaining wet ingredients and whisk until everything is incorporated. 

Working in batches, add some of the dry ingredients into the wet and mix.  Repeat until everything is incorporated.  Stir in the apple.  Transfer to the fridge to rest at least an hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop tablespoon size of the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Indian Spiced Chickpeas with Spinach

 A simple and easy to prepare dish of chickpeas incorporating some Indian flavors. Not only super flavorful but also packed with nutrients!  In fact, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas contains 12 grams of fiber, 26% of the daily recommended iron for women and a whopping 14.5 grams of protein!  Pair with rice and you've got yourself one filling meal!

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Serves 2


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1/2 frozen chopped spinach
1 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions with a pinch of salt.  Cook 3-5 minutes, then add garlic, turmeric, cumin and coriander.  Cook 2 minutes.

Stir in remaining ingredients, reduce heat and simmer on low for 8-10 minutes or until it has thickened.  Remove from heat and serve over rice.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ribollita - A Tuscan Vegetable and Bread Soup

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1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
32 ounces vegetable broth
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
2 cups chopped kale
1 (15-ounce) can canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
2 cups cubed sourdough bread (preferably day old)


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes with juice and mash slightly with potato masher or back of a spoon.  Add broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. 

Stir in kale, beans, basil, and bread, cook additional 10 minutes and remove from heat.  Recommended to let it sit for a few hours before serving as this allow the soup to become even more flavorful.

Tip: If you're planning on freezing, leave the bread out and just add it in when you plan to serve.  You can also leave the bread out all together and it's still a delicious soup!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Warm Me Up Tortilla Soup

Serves 4-6 

1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
Pinch of salt
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeno (optional)
1 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes w/ green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
2 Tbsp cornmeal mixed w/ 2 Tbsp water
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Add oil to a large saucepan and heat for a minute over medium heat.  Add onion, pinch of salt and saute 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic, jalapeno (if using), cumin and chili powder.  Let cook for a few minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes, corn and bring to a boil.  Then turn down heat to low, stir in cornmeal mixture and let simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes. 
Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes to cool.  Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree.  Add back into the pot along with black beans and stir.  Serve topped with avocado and tortilla chips.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Chocoholic Chip Cookies

I would have to say that the cookie is my favorite form of dessert.  It's handheld, you get all the flavors in one bite, and bonus, they're easy to make.  These cookies really bring the chocolate.  If you're a fan of crispy-edged corner brownies, then you'll like these.  They're very brownie-like but slightly crisp all around the outside so you get that in every bite!

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1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 stick Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips


Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl, set aside.

Add the almond milk and vinegar to a small bowl, set aside for a few minutes.

In a separate bowl, add vegan butter and both sugars.  Stir to mix well.  Add vanilla and almond milk/vinegar mixture. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined.

Working in 2 or 3 batches, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once everything is incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips.

Place the bowl of batter into the fridge for an hour.  Batter can also be refrigerated overnight - just removed it from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop tablespoons of batter and drop onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  (tip: keep a glass of water to dip spoon into in between every couple scoops and this will help prevent batter from sticking to your spoon).

Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Why do brussels sprouts get such a bad rap?  Roast them and they're quite delicious. 


2 cups brussels sprouts, quartered
1 shallot, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Salt and peper


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl toss brussels sprouts and shallots with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Guilt-Free, Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

Thank you, thank you frozen banana for creating a faux ice cream that's heavenly.  It's guilt-free and so easy to make!  First and foremost, your banana is the sweet in this recipe is so make sure it's ripe to the point of being slightly spotted.  The more ripe the more sweet it will be.  The peanut butter and cocoa amounts can be adjusted to suit your tastes but be careful not to add too much almond milk or you'll end with a smoothie.  If that happens, simply add some more frozen banana slices or pop it in the freezer until it firms up.  I like to top mine with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. 
You can watch me make it in this video or see recipe below.

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1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp almond milk


Add banana, peanut butter, and cocoa to a food processor.  Turn on and then add 1 tablespoon of almond milk through the feed tube.  The mixture should start to come together.  Stop and check it, scraping down the sides if necessary.  Add additional tablespoon of milk if needed.  End product should be like soft serve ice cream.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Perfectly Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower may not be the most exciting of vegetables, but when you simply roast it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and maybe a little garlic, it's a whole other story.  This roasted cauliflower is not only delicious on it's own, it's great in pasta.  It acts as filler, adding volume to to your dish without taking away from the other flavors.  Perfect with a pasta and marinara, pesto, or just olive oil and lemon.


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a bowl toss cauliflower with just enough olive oil to thoroughly coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Halfway through mix up the cauliflower so they will all get evenly browned. 


Add chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder in the last 5 minutes, so the garlic doesn't burn.

Add pine nuts in the last 5 minutes, again so they don't burn.

Sprinkle with parmesan or pecorino romano.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tastes Like Chicken Tofu

I say this tastes like chicken because that's exactly what many people have said when they've tried it.  The tofu itself is flavorless, so the key is to slice it really thin so you have a ratio of coating/seasoning to tofu in each bite.  The thinner you slice it, the crispier it will get which makes it even better.  This tofu is great to eat like nuggets with a dip, on salad, on a sandwich, or paired with sides (picture with Summer Tomato Bruschetta over pasta).

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Serves 2


1/2 block tofu, drained and pressed
3 tbsp bread crumbs
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Canola oil

Variation - add Old Bay (dee-lish!)


Slice your tofu thinly into squares about 2 inches.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a shallow dish. give it a taste and adjust to suit taste. Add each tofu square and coat thoroughly, pressing mixture into the tofu. If you have trouble getting it to stick, try lightly spraying or coating with just a bit of oil.

Add enough oil to cover bottom of a non-stick or cast iron skillet. Heat over medium-high heat for a few minutes until a drop of water sizzles in it.

Add your tofu and cook 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned and crisp.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Does anyone need a reason to whip up a batch of the most perfect cookie?  I certainly don't.  These cookies are really soft, almost like those old school Keebler soft batch chocolate chip cookies but way better.  These are also great made as blondies (see below for variation). I also lightened up the recipe by using applesauce in lieu of some of the vegan margarine.  Want to make them even a little healthier?  Use whole wheat flour. This may lighten them up a little bit but make no mistake, they are still just as delish!   

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Makes 10-12 cookies


1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Ener-G egg replacer (1 1/2 tsp egg replacer +2 Tbsp warm water)

1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more if you want them super chocolatety)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the egg replacer in a bowl and set aside.

Add flour, baking soda, salt to a mixing bowl and whisk everything together.

In another bowl, add butter, applesauce, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Whisk everything until thoroughly mixed.  Add egg replacer and stir.

Fold wet ingredients into the dry.  Once it's just mixed together, add chocolate chips and stir. 

Drop by tablespoon onto a lightly greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake 12-15 minutes.

To make as blondies (aka bars):
Spread batter into a greased 8 or 9 inch metal baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool and cut into squares.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lemon Tahini Dressing (oil-free)

An easy to whip up oil-free dressing that goes great on salad, rice, veggies, baked potatoes, sandwiches, endless possibilities. I always have these ingredients on hand, even the lemon juice and garlic.  Buy a couple lemons, juice them and freeze it ice cube trays.  However, if you don't have the lemon juice, you can also use red wine vinegar but adjust the quantity to taste.  I always have garlic in the freezer too.  I peel the cloves, put them in a plastic bag, and toss in the freezer.  Then just grate a frozen clove on a microplane.  Make as little or as much of the dressing as you need.  Store in the fridge 2-3 days.

Makes 2-3 servings


2 Tbsp tahini paste
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1 garlic clove, grated on microplane
Salt and pepper to taste (try pinch of white pepper if you have it)


In a small bowl mix tahini and water until it comes together.  Add lemon juice, garlic, and stir.  Consistency should be like heavy cream or coconut milk, not too thin.  Add salt and pepper and make any adjustments to suit taste.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tofu Rancheros

This makes a nice hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner!  If you don't want to make the ranchero sauce just simply top with your favorite store-bought salsa.  For the beans I happened to have a black bean dip (it was fat-free!) so I served with that. You can either eat in the the corn tortillas like tacos or use tortilla chips and eat like nachos! For an extra bonus top with guacamole or sliced avocado.

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Serves 2


1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
½ block firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 cup chopped veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, corn, whatever!)
Salt and pepper to taste

Salsa or Ranchero Sauce (recipe below)
Refried beans, black beans, or a bean dip
Corn tortillas (recipe for homemade)
Cilantro for garnish


In a medium bowl, mix the nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin, and garlic powder.  Stir in the soy sauce; it will look like a paste.  Crumble the tofu and mix until the tofu is thoroughly coated. Mashing with a fork helps incorporate all the flavors into the tofu but leave some chunks.

Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray or vegetable oil and heat for one minute over medium heat. Add the tofu mixture and peppers, onions, mushrooms (I like to start with them the veggies and tofu separately in the skillet and then halfway through mix them). Cook for 5-8 minutes or until vegetables reach desired tenderness.  Serve topped with cilantro and salsa with beans and corn tortillas on the side.

Ranchero Sauce
1/2-1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp chopped jalapeno
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper

Heat a skillet for a minute over medium heat.  Add a just enough broth to cover the bottom and add onion and bell pepper and a pinch of salt.  Cook 3 minutes, add cumin, garlic, and jalapeno and cook for a minute, adding more broth as needed.  Add tomatoes and their juices.  Cook 10-15 until tomatoes are softened.  Let cool and puree in a blender, add any extra broth if needed.

Tofu and veggies just starting to cook.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Old Bay Roasted Chickpeas

I absolutely love roasted chickpeas.  They're great in salads, wraps or just for snacking.  Not only are they versatile, but so simple to make.  You just need to toss with a little oil and your favorite spices.  Try cumin and chili powder for a Mexican flavor or just some garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I happen to love Old Bay so recently I gave that a shot and they were pretty amazing!


1 cup or half can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp olive oil
Old Bay Seasoning (I use the less sodium), as much as you want


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Toss chickpeas with oil then sprinkle with Old Bay.  Mix with your hands, getting the seasoning evenly distributed. Add more seasoning if desired.

Place in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until desired crispiness is reached; shake the pan halfway through. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Homemade Corn Tortillas

When you can't find good corn tortillas without unecessary additives and preservatives, there's only one option: make your own!  It's really pretty easy, I promise.  It requires 3 simple ingredients, masa (corn flour), water, and salt.   I found the masa in the supermarket with the other flours.  The brand I bought, Maseca, had instructions for making tortillas on the back of the package which was helpful.  Even more helpful were the videos (see below) on their website.  They're in Spanish but luckily they have subtitles. One thing to note is that they use a tortilla press, something I do not own.  So I put the balls dough, one at a time, between two sheets of plastic wrap and used a can of beans to roll them out.  No, they were not anywhere close to being perfetly circular in the end, but they tasted great, were functional, and best of all, they didn't break when folded into a taco.

Video #1: Preparing the masa

Video #2: Making the tortillas

Recipe (my adapted version)
Makes 16 tortillas
Two cups Maseca
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 1/4 cup water
A large mixing bowl

Mix Maseca corn flour, water and salt in a large bowl.

Mix by hand until a smooth consistency has been created and does not stick to your hands. Shape into a ball and divide into 16 portions and roll into balls.

Cover a large cutting board with plastic wrap. One by one, place a ball of dough on top, press down to slightly flatten it.  Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and roll out with a rolling pin (a can works too).  Carefully peel off when done.  You don't want them to break.

Place in a pre-heated ungreased skillet and cook for about 1 minute on each side.  Place them on between damp cloths or paper towel to keep from drying out.

When reheating you can place them in aluminum foil and heat in the oven at 350 degrees 5-10 minutes.  You can also wrap them in damp paper towel and microwave them for 15-20 seconds.  Both of these methods allow them to steam, preventing them from getting dry.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Tomato Bruschetta

Serve this on crostini, pasta, salad, pizza or just eat with a spoon.  It's always delicious! 


2 tbsp olive oil (preferably a higher quality)
1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered (remove some seeds if desired)
1 small handful basil leaves, cut into thin strips


In a large bowl whisk olive oil, garlic, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Add tomatoes and basil, give a quick stir and voila.  Fresh tomato bruschetta!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Frozen Chocolate Coconut Banana Bites

These make a tasty little treat that's perfect for satifying a sweet craving without going over board.


Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Splash of almond milk
Sliced banana, frozen (1-2 hours)
Unsweetened coconut


Place chocolate in a small bowl with a tiny bit of almond milk and microwave 20-30 seconds, stir and repeat until melted. Add more almond milk if needed. 

Place some coconut in a small dish.  Dip your sliced bananas in the chocolate and then coconut.  Then place chocolate side up on a parchment lined plate or baking sheet.  Freeze an hour and then eat!  Transfer any leftover to tupperwear to keep in the freezer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

ChocoBanana Protein Smoothie

It's Hemp History Week (June 4-10) so why not enjoy a smoothie with hemp protein!  Hemp contains easily digestible protein, fiber, and Omega-3.  I love the hemp seeds on salad or oatmeal but decided to give the protein powder a shot (I bought the Nutiva brand).  It's definitely got an earthy flavor but in this smoothie that is masked by the banana, cocoa, and peanut butter.  Try slicing the banana and freezing for an hour to make the smoothie thicker.  It's not only delicious but quite filling.  I'll definitely be trying this is different smoothies.


3/4 cup almond milk
1 banana, sliced
1 Tbsp hemp protein
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp peanut butter
crushed ice (optional)


Add all the ingredients to a blender and and blend until smooth.  Add ice for a more frozen consistency.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tempeh Bacon

Vegan BLT with Avocado

So maybe this doesn't taste exactly bacon but it sure is a lot close than you would expect.  I am now pretty obsessed with tempeh bacon.  It makes a fantasic vegetarian and vegan B.L.T.

Makes 2-3 servings


3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp cumin
1-2 Tbsp. water
1/2 package tempeh, thinly sliced (the thinner the crispier they'll be)

Oil for brushing


To make the marinade, whisk all the ingredients, except tempeh, in a small bowl. Give it taste and make any adjustments.  Now gently dip each slice of tempeh in the marinade.  Lay in a shallow dish and pour or the remaining marinade over top.  Refrigerate for at least an hour (if you can do it overnight they will be even more tasty).

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay tempeh slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (this worked much better than directly on a greased baking sheet).  For extra crispness: mix a little oil with the left over marinade and brush on the slices.  You can also skip the oil and just brush the marinade.  Bake 8-10 minutes, flip over and brush again.  Bake another 8-10 minutes, or until crispy and browned.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Perfect Pancakes Done Vegan and Healthy

I have a lot of favorite breakfast foods but I think pancakes might be my all time fave.  It's taken some time and tinkering, along with a whole lot of pancake eating, to get my recipe just right.  Not only are they vegan, but also healthier using whole wheat flour and no oil!  It was worth the wait!

Some tips from my successes and failures with pancakes:

DO sift the dry ingredients.  It makes them lighter, less chewy.
  For the flour I typically use whole wheat pastry flour and sometimes sub in 1/3 cup oat flour (optional).
DO mix your wet ingredients thoroughly before combining with dry. This helps with the following...
Do NOT over mix your batter. DO let it sit at least 10 minutes. It's hard to wait, I know, but the the batter must rest.
DO heat your skillet.  10 minutes over low heat is ideal.  So VERY IMPORTANT!
Cook over medium-heat, no higher.  They will burn too fast.
If adding any fruit, add on pancakes JUST BEFORE flipping.  Adding too soon can weigh down,
you want those delicate pancakes to rise and be light in texture.
DON'T overcrowd the pan.  Leave plenty of space around the pancakes.

Makes 4-6 pancakes


1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce


Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl (you can use a mesh strainer to do this).  Add the rest of the ingredients to another bowl and whisk or stir to thoroughly combined.  Add the the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just mixed.  Do not over mix.  Let batter sit at least 10 minutes.  If it's too thick after standing you can a tablespoon or two of milk.

Now make sure to heat your skillet (cast iron works well) over low-medium heat for a few minutes.  To test, drop a little water on it and if it sizzles.  Spray with cooking spray and turn heat up just a bite to medium.  Pour a small amount of batter into into skillet to form pancakes.  Don't overcrowd.  Cook about 3-4 minutes until small bubbles begin to form.  If adding any fruit, add now then flip and cook about 3 minutes longer.

Favorite Variations:

Banana Nut: Add a pinch or 2 of cinnamon to the dry ingredients.  Add thinly sliced banana to pancakes before flipping.  Top with syrup and walnuts or pecans.

Maple Cinnamon: Add a some maple syrup and sprinkle of cinnamon to a small dish and microwave about 10-15 seconds, drizzle over cooked pancakes before serving.

Blueberry or Strawberry: Heat fresh or frozen blueberries or strawberries, optional: stir in a little jam (any berry flavor).  Pour over pancakes.

Just Peachy: Heat fresh or frozen diced peaches, stir in a pinch of each cinnamon and brown sugar.  Pour on pancakes and sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Blueberry topped pancakes

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Teriyaki Tofu and Pineapple Tacos

Just a couple things about this recipe, if you don't have a tofu press then simply place the block of tofu on a plate with papertowls underneath and on top of it, place another plate on it and put something heavy on top (canned things work well).  Let it sit as long as you can (30minutes or more) to get out as much water as possible, changing paper towls as needed.  If you want to take a shortcut you can certainly buy a teriyaki sauce to marinate it in.  If it's a thick sauce you may want to put the tofu with it in a plastic bag with it and squeeze out all the air to make sure the tofu gets coated and soaks up as much as possible.  Other than that this is an easy to make tofu recipe that's very versatile.

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Makes 6 tacos


1/2 cup water
3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp mirin (cooking rice wine)
1 Tbsp grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped

1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup diced pineapple
2 cups shredded cabbage
chopped cilantro
Asian hot sauce like Annie Chung Gochujang Sauce (optional)
Corn tortillas


Whisk mairnade ingredients together, pour into a dish and add tofu.  Thoroughly coat the tofu.  Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Remove tofu form marinade (you can reserve to spoon ovre tofu later) and place on a lighly greased baking sheet in one layer.  Bake for 15 minutes then flip flip them over and bake additional 10 minutes or until golden brown and lightly crisp.

While tofu is cooking, add cabbage to a skillet with a little water or cooking spray and cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes.  Add pineapple and cook 2 mintue longer. 

To serve, add some tofu to a torilla, top with cabbage, pineapple, cilantro and hot sauce if using.

Pressing tofu with Tofu Xpress