Saturday, September 20, 2008


plain old waffles!

we make waffles pretty much every weekend and every weekend i say "i'm going to write down this recipe!" but today's were pretty special, so i'm finally doing it. no picture, because we ate them too fast. but this is what i do every weekend, although sometimes i halve the recipe if we don't want waffles on sunday, too, or i don't want leftovers. i love to put extra waffles in the fridge to have for breakfast or snacks during the week. the batter keeps well for a few days too, so you can just fire up the waffle maker over the next few days if you want fresh waffles on a bleary monday morning.


2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder (see note below)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups soy milk
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla

combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl or large measuring cup and add to the dry, mixing well until only very small lumps remain. cook as per your waffle maker's directions.


* mix and match your flour!! today i used half quinoa flour and half white flour. sometimes i use one cup of whole wheat flour and the rest white. the quinoa mix is my new favorite.
* decrease sugar to 1/4 cup or replace with 1/4 cup agave nectar. (i like my waffles sweet.)
* replace some of the nondairy milk with fruit juice.
* add a teaspoon of cinnamon.

this recipe makes 6 or 7 belgian waffles. i bet it makes twice as many regular waffles.

NOTE: i use aluminum-free baking powder. i highly recommend you do, too, if only for taste reasons, because there's less of a potential for that metallic taste that can sometimes happen with lower quality baking powder.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

iron skillet pot pie

i recently bought a cast iron skillet because i've heard such great things about them, and that they can be as great as nonstick, when properly seasoned. i have one nonstick pan i'm phasing out of use, so this cast iron skillet will be its replacement. i love that they can go in the oven, too!

this is a veggie pot pie base covered in biscuits and baked in the oven. i will tell you up front you'll have to find your own biscuit recipe, and i highly recommend the one from the joy of vegan baking, because it's the absolute best biscuit recipe i've ever found. the whole book is fantastic. that said, here's how to make the rest of the pot pie:


2 cups cold water
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh thyme
6-8 white mushrooms, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and diced,
1 cup chopped carrots (i used baby carrots)
1 cup frozen peas
2 cubes vegetable bouillon, or use 2 cups broth instead of water.


gently warm the cast iron skillet to low and then medium-low heat. mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside. in olive oil, sautee the garlic and mushrooms until the mushrooms release their juices. add the thyme, potato, and carrots and saute until the potatoes start to turn a little golden. add the water or broth with cornstarch mixture, and stir until it starts to boil (you may need to increase the heat for this, or just be patient), then add the bouillon, if using it. once the mixture starts to thicken, add the frozen peas and turn down (or off) the heat.

make your biscuit dough and drop biscuit-sized lumps evenly over the skillet, and bake the biscuits in the skillet, on the pot pie mix, according to the recipe's directions (keeping in mind that most skillets can't be used over a certain temp in the oven). you may need to adjust the cooking time by a couple minutes.


variation: my husband loved this, but said it needed corn. i suggest adding a cup of frozen corn to this mix, which i will do next time.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

zucchini waffles

my mother-in-law's garden is overflowing with delicious vegetables!

she told me i can use zucchini and summer squash any way i'd use any other squash i decided to put that challenge to the test. yellow zucchini keep these waffles from getting too dark or greenish, and they crisp up on the oustide and stay moist on the inside. they're so delicious!

this recipe makes a LOT of waffles, so you might want to halve it. i love leftover waffles for breakfast or snacks the next day, so i'm happy to have leftovers, or you can do what we also do, and store extra batter in the fridge for fresh waffles all week long.


2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
1/3 cup brown sugar (or regular for less color)
2 cups vanilla soymilk
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cups pureed yellow zucchini


mix all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add the liquid ingredients, mixing well until only tiny lumps remain. fold in the pureed zucchini and mix just until blended.

cook according to your waffle maker's directions.

in my experience, waffle batter will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

note: i pureed my own zucchini by washing the zucchini, chopping off each end, and throwing chunks into my food processor. since zucchini isn't really that moist (at least ours isn't, it's been a really dry summer), i added 2-3 tablespoons of water to keep the blades going. you may need to adjust the liquid in your batter accordingly if you do this too, or don't have to do it.

note #2: this recipe works great with pumpkin! you just might want to add a touch more oil, up to 1/3 cup.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pesto Alfreda Sauce

i'm slacking with the photos here! i need to fix that.

we have a very wonderful basil plant this year, and for awhile, it was growing like crazy. when i decided to try and make a pesto, i realised i simply couldn't stomach all of the oil that usually goes into it. (won't you be glad when i can finally stop cooking low-fat and stop catering to my gall bladder?) so i decided to try my hand at an alfredo sauce with a basil twist.


1/4-1/2 cups Earth Balance margarine (your preference, more or less)
2 cups soymilk
1 package Extra firm tofu (Mori-nu)
a handful of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp onion powder
2-3 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
3 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast


melt the margarine over med-low/med heat in a medium sauce pan. while it's melting, blend the tofu in a food processor with the basil leaves and all remaining ingredients until smooth and creamy (and green). add to the melted margarine and continue to heat until thick and saucy.

this was great on pasta, but also on a "white" (or green) pizza later in the week. next time i make it, i may omit the basil, or cut it in half. it was a little powerful with tofu basil ricotta on top, and i've learned too much basil isn't always a good thing. still, it was really delicious, and it was awesome to prove that dairy is not required to make a delicious creamy sauce like this.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

low-fat cooking

i'm thinking i will start sharing some general cooking tips, tricks, and ideas in between recipe posts.

because of some previously-mentioned gall bladder pains, i've started being more careful about the fat added to dishes. while most of what i cook is naturally low-fat, i thought i'd give you all some tips for cutting down on the fat in foods. i promise you probably won't miss it! not only are these tips good for lower fat cooking, but they will often save money and are just generally healthier.

  • when sauteeing garlic (or anything else), just cut the oil in half. a little oil helps bring out flavors and aromas in many herbs and spices (and garlic), but if a recipe calls for 8 tbsp, i bet you could get away with 4. or less. once the cooking gets started, add a little water or broth to keep foods from adhering to the pan and keep the foods moving.
  • invest in a high quality food-grade oil spritzer. misting oil until your pan is lightly coated is better than pouring oil from the bottle into the pan. you can also mist oil onto the top of food before it's flipped, and will cut down on sticking. this also saves money since you wont need to buy any more of that spray-oil in the aerosol cans!
  • when baking, substitute unsweetened apple sauce or mashed banana for oil. not only are you ditching the fat, but you're adding healthy fruits! and we all need to enjoy more fruits. if you're leery about giving up all the oil, try switching just half of it out. it'll cut the amount of fat in your cupcakes in half!
  • switch to a non-trans fat variety of your favorite margarine and shortening. my favorite is Earth Balance. you're still eating fat, but it's tasty and delicious fat that won't cause nearly the same damage as trans fats.
  • just forget about it. pancakes don't need butter. fresh veggies don't need butter! mashed potatoes should be drowned in nearly-fat-free mushroom gravy, not butter! try it. if you make tasty, delicious, fresh food, i promise it won't need to be drowned in fat.

so i hope your gall bladder isn't as angry as mine. but if you're looking to cut down on fats, maybe this will give you some ideas when you're in the kitchen.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Quick and Healthy Sugar Free Breakfast Cookies

i tend to change this recipe a little each time i make it, but i've decided i like how this came out.


2 medium bananas, mashed
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup flax seed meal
3 cups oats
1/4 cup olive oil (this can be decreased to limit fat, just increase water content)
1/2 cup dried berries (I use mixed, or cranberries)
1/2 cup slivered almonds or chopped walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp agave nectar


Preheat oven to 350f.

Mix everything into a big bowl! (Mash the bananas first, and add everything else to save on dishes.) Shape dough into bars on a greased cookie sheet, making the bars about 1/3-1/2 inch thick. Make into cookie shapes for breakfast cookies, rectangles for bars, or pack into a cookie sheet and cut after they’re done baking. I prefer breakfast cookies, but these will make traditional “bars” really well.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the edges brown.

Makes about a dozen large breakfast cookies, or six bars.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

roasted veggies

while this isn't technically a recipe, it's still darned tasty-- and really easy. i've been trying to keep some gall bladder pains under control until i can get things situated (the joys of being uninsured in america), and consequently i've renewed my interest in eating lots of delicious veggies and low-fat foods.

this was my first attempt at cooking beets myself! i'm proud of how they came out and they were requested a second night! here are roasted beets and carrots, with asparagus.

roasted root veggies

in this photo, beets and carrots were roasted! i peeled and cut the beets into about 2cm cubes (give or take), and drizzled with a little olive oil and maple syrup in a glass baking dish. i salted them with sea salt, and tossed them to mix. i baked them at 400f for 45 minutes, turning half-way through. i cheated with the carrots since they were leftover steamed plain carrots-- 5 minutes before the beets were done, i tossed these in to re-heat them. make sure the beets are fork tender (but will still be firm) before serving.

i've since tried this with beets, carrots, and parsnips-- the parsnips take on the color of the beets when roasting together. if you'd like, roast stuff separate, and toss together before serving to keep the colors vibrant. but the purple is pretty and i don't mind.

roasted asparagus

i chop the ends off asparagus and give them a good washing. lay them in a glass baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil, salt with sea salt, and toss a bit with tongs. roast at 400f for about 20 minutes, flipping with tongs half-way through.

i served the asparagus, beets, and carrots with pomegranate bbq tofu from vegan with a vengeance, a huge favorite around here. (the bbq sauce is good on the asparagus, too!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


it must be something leftover from my childhood, but a pasta dinner just isn't the same without the "shakey cheese" on top. i'll go without and still enjoy it, but there's something about that fatty salty topping, that's just awesome.

so here are some recipes. i'll update this as i discover more. :)

tofu shakey cheese


1 block of tofu, frozen and thawed, pressed (I used trader joe's extra firm)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried basil crumbled between your fingers
1/8 c. nutritional yeast
2 tsp olive oil


in a small mixing bowl, add the tofu, lemon juice, salt, garlic, and basil, and squish with your hands till it's pretty well mixed and crumbly. add the nutritional yeast and olive oil and mix with a fork. store in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple weeks before it gets iffy.

variation: using unfrozen tofu makes this much moister and is a great pizza topping, stuffed shell/manicotti filling, or lasagna ingredient.

not-the-parm 1


1/4 cup peeled almonds
1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp sea salt


grind almonds in mini food processor until coarse crumbs remain. add the other ingredients and process until crumbs are small to very small. transfer to spice jar with a shaker top and store in the fridge. makes about a half cup.

not-the-parm 2


1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt


put the walnuts in a food processor and chop until they resemble crumbs or coarse crumbs. add the nutritional yeast and salt, and pulsate a couple more times to mix. i recommend keeping the mixture in the fridge; in there, i think it'll last indefinitely. makes about a cup.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

chocolate mint bundt cake

tasty and delicious!


1 1/2 cups soymilk
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
4 generous tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups flour


preheat oven to 350f and grease a bundt pan. mix wet ingredients, sift in dry. mix well. bake 37-40min, until a toothpick comes out clean.

for the icing:

melt 12 oz. vegan chocolate chips in a double boiler, add 1/4 cup soymilk and 1 tbsp peppermint extract. allow cake and icing to come to room temperature before frosting. cake is moist, so take care not to break up the cake.

store cake covered in fridge to keep the ganache/icing from melting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

sugar-free carrot mini-muffins

i was trying to think of a witty or at least more descriptive name for these guys, but nothing comes to mind. they're pretty healthy, as far as these things go, since they use date sugar in stead of regular sugar or artificial sweeteners, have carrots in them, and can be made whole wheat for extra awesomeness. i opted to use white flour because my newfound love of fiber is probably going to backfire on me soon and i don't want to overdo it. (date sugar is ground up dehydrated dates, which are my new favorite food.)

my apologies for the lack of picture, but they seem to have been eaten too quickly for me to get a good one!


1 cup soymilk
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup minus 2 tbsp date sugar
1/3 cup pineapple juice
1 cup shredded carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
1 tsp orange zest (i buy it in the spice section instead of making my own)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg (fresh or not)
1 1/3 cup flour


preheat oven to 375f, and spray a mini muffin tin with oil. then mix everything up! in the interest of laziness, i mixed everything in one bowl in the order above (first letting the vinegar curdle the milk a bit). if you are fancier and less lazy than me, you can mix the wet ingredients together, and then sift in the dry. mix well, and spoon into mini muffin tin. bake for about 18-20 min, until a toothpick comes out dry. cool for a moment and then transfer to wire rack.

makes 24 minis! (if you want full-sized muffins, it should make about a dozen, and double the cooking time.)

variations: add 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, and/or chopped walnuts. to make them less healthy, they'd be awesome with a crumb topping or cream cheese frosting!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

chickpea salad sandwich


1-15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp onion powder
3 tbsp vegan mayonaise
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sweet relish
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
dash black pepper

good hearty bread for sandwiches
lettuce, tomato, other fixins


mash the chickpeas with a potato masher until no whole beans remain. add the rest of the ingredients (through black pepper) and mix with a fork until well blended. (feel free to season more to taste, too.)

smother on bread with lettuce and tomato, or whatever makes you happy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


this was an attempt at rescuing a broken recipe a friend tried to use. i had a sweet tooth and it was a good excuse to attempt vegan brownies. pre-vegan days, i was not a cake brownie fan, but preferred them fudgey and gooey and practically oozing into your mouth from your hands. i'm still hoping to find that someday in a vegan treat, but in the meantime, these aren't too bad. they're cakey but extremely moist. they'd probably do well drizzled with a raspberry or strawberry sauce, peanut butter frosting, or turned into a cake or torte. however, in the interest of simplicity at 2am, i just sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top and left them on the counter as a treat for my hard-working fiance when he gets home.


1/2 a 12oz aseptic package tofu (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup soymilk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder


preheat oven to 350f. grease an 8x8 pan and dust the bottom with cocoa.

in a blender, puree the tofu with the soymilk until smooth. if you have a really great blender, throw in all the other ingredients and go to town. if your blender isn't that brave, scrape out the tofu mixture into a large mixing bowl, add the other ingredients, and mix well. it'll be pretty thick. pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. a toothpick inserted will not come out clean, but it'll be obvious when the center isn't batter any longer.

cool on a wire rack, and remove from pan before cutting, or cut away. i actually don't seem to own an 8x8 brownie pan that's sufficient for brownies, so i used one of my good cake rounds, and wasn't going to carve it up with a knife-- hence the wire rack. you do what makes you happy :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008


this is my almondy version of the popular chocolate hazelnut spread. another photo-less post, simply because, well, i'm lazy. and you can imagine what a bowl of melty chocolate looks like. i will say that my only complaint about how this recipe turned out was that the almonds did not turn to a paste or almond butter consistency like i wanted it to, but i am not sure if that's the fault (or nature) of the almonds, or my failing food processor, because it was making some terrible noises!

this was my test recipe for a "how stuff works" project for my teaching physical science class. if it came out more like that commercial spread, i'd likely have used it, but it was kind of gritty. tasty, but gritty. so i'll just make hummus for my physics class. :)


1 cup skinned almonds
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
10 tbsp almond oil


grind up the almonds in a food processor until pasty (or at least powdery). add the extracts, sugar, and cocoa, and about half the oil, and puree until pasty and chocolatey. use a spatula to scrape the sides occasionally. add the rest of the oil a little at a time (you may not need to add it all), until you've reached a consistency you like.

serve with graham crackers! i'm sure this would also be great warmed as a fondue for fruits and pound cake and other delicious things.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

tofu scramble

i don't have any photos of this, but it's probably my favorite breakfast food, along with a good waffle and some sausage. it's a great weekend breakfast, and the leftover scramble is awesome when reheated for breakfast the next day. it's great in tortillas too for breakfast wraps. there's a ton of variations, so i'll post some at the bottom. here's the bare bones recipe:

one block drained and sorta pressed firm/extra firm tofu
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp olive juice
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

spice mix:
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika (i like hungarian best)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
dash of pepper


over medium heat in a large skillet, sautee the garlic for about a minute, then add the spice mix stirring well for about a minute. crumble the tofu into the skillet (i prefer larger chunks, they'll break as you're cooking anyway, but do what you wish). try not to mash the tofu up, but give it a good toss and stir to coat it all with the spices, garlic, and oil. depending on how much water was left in your tofu, you'll need to cook it for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. if it looks really dry or sticks too much, add a splash of water to deglaze the pan a bit.

once cooked, add the lemon juice, and nutritional yeast.

i'm from new england, so i prefer my tofu scramble smothered with ketchup. feel free to do something classier, like salsa, or minimalist, and eat it plain.


i hate onions. you probably don't. add half a chopped onion to the garlic, and caramelize the heck out of it. alternately, you could add onion powder to the spice mix.

i love peppers. add half a washed, seeded, and diced bell pepper of your favorite color to the garlic, and continue as usual. live dangerously and use more pepper if you're into it.

i love mushrooms, too. add three or four good sized chopped white or crimini mushrooms to the garlic and sautee until they release their juices.

carrots rock. if you're not as lazy as i am, grate a large one or handful of baby ones in a food processor and throw it in towards the end.

if you have some vegan sausage on hand, crumble it in with the tofu, and make breakfast goulash. (i'm sorry i lack witty names for these things.)

serve it with tater tots-- or just cook some tater tots and throw them in with the sausage and toss it all together. this combo, along with peppers and mushrooms, is my personal favorite. with ketchup, of course.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

tooner noodle casserole


12 oz small noodles (i used quinoa mini shells here)
3 tbsp margarine
1/4 c flour
2 c vegetable broth
1 1/2 c soymilk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
dash fresh black pepper
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas
2-4oz cans mushrooms (use fresh if you have them, sautee in oil)
1 1/2 c frozen peas
about 1/2 c bread crumbs (i use panko)


preheat the oven to 350f, and lightly spray a 9x13 glass baking dish (or deeper smaller casserole dish). start the pasta cooking, and start on the sauce. (when the pasta is done, just put it back in the pot and leave it until needed.)

mash the chickpeas in a large bowl with a potato masher and set aside.

in a large saucepan, melt the margarine over medium heat, add the flour and stir until the flour is absorbed. add the broth and bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened. turn the heat down to low, add the soymilk, lemon juice, soy sauce, spices, and nutritional yeast, and whisk. add chickpeas, peas, and mushrooms, and stir well. add the mixture to the cooked pasta and mix well.

pour into baking dish, and cover with bread crumbs (add more or less to suit your tastes), and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

if you'd like to actually have this resemble some kind of semi-fishy taste, you could add a tablespoon or so of dried kelp or hijiki or something like that. personally, i've never been a fan of tuna, but i just love comfort food casseroles and pasta dishes, so i left out the fishiness and modified some other recipes i've found in the past to get this.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

warm nacho dip

i don't know what to call this sauce. i feel like a derivative of "cheese" is implying that the sauce is trying to imitate cheese or dairy. if i call it "creamy" that also seems to imply it is dairy-like. i wouldn't call it "rich" but that's the next best word that came to mind. however, i think for something good for nachos, it's really not as rich as a fat-laden dairy-based food. in fact, i think it goes down quite nicely.

that said, this *is* my own version of a nutritional yeast-based sauce that some may say is trying to do a cheese imitation. however, i assure you, it is not. nutritional yeast is usually an acquired taste, and if you go into it thinking it's going to be vegan cheese, you're going to be disappointed. but if you take it for what it is, a warm nacho-esque dip or sauce that happens to be vegan and have a hint of tomato, i think you'll like it.

here it's shown with a soft warm pretzel (and boy was it yummy comfort food!), but it'd be great for tortilla chips (either to dip, or poured over the chips with refried beans and some peppers and olives), or even with rice or pasta.

1 cup water
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
Generous dash of garlic powder
Generous dash white pepper
Small pinch mustard powder (less is more, you can add more later)
2 tablespoons margarine
equal amt salsa, diced tomatoes, picante sauce, enchilada sauce, etc



in a small saucepan, whisk the flour and water. turn the heat up to medium, add the nooch yeast and spices, and whisk until the sauce bubbles and thickens (depending on your tomatoy-addition, you may want to let it get pretty thick so it doesn't thin out too much). stir in margarine until melted. remove from heat and sample a smidge of it. if it's "lacking" something, it's probably mustard powder or garlic powder, so go ahead and do what you like with it. add your choice of salsa or tomatoes (or whatever you're into). i always use mild, and in this picture it was picante sauce. if you like chunky tomatoes and/or spicy hotness, have at it. (or divvy it up and make half mild and half hot if you have a diverse crowd.)

this makes a generous amount of dip. when all is said and done, it's probably about 2 or 2 1/2 cups. i am pondering making a double batch of this and putting it out in a mini crockpot for our next party. i'll let you know how it goes.

by the way, yes that *is* a halloween plate in the photo, and yes it *is* february. don't judge.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

pizza dough!


1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1.5 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2.5 cups flour


yes, i know it's lengthy, but i've worked hard to make this dough awesome, so i wanted to share everything i could remember!

"proof" the yeast. (mix water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes. it should be foamy and stuff afterwards, indicating your yeast is alive. if it's not foamy or bubbly, chuck it and try again with new yeast.

add in the salt, oil, and flour till it's all or mostly in the mix, and turn onto a floured surface. knead it well with floured hands for about 10 minutes. don't tire yourself out right away, because 10 minutes can be a long time, but don't be lazy either! work the dough well. if it seems too "sticky" work in a little more flour at a time (you may need to add up to a half cup more), and if it's too hard and stiff, you can try wetting your fingertips and working in some water a few drops at a time. eventually this blob of flour, yeast, and water will magically transform into pizza dough. it will just kind of become sticky-tacky and smooth and lovely. it'll be like you've created a masterpiece. form your masterpiece into a little sphere.

in a bowl (i use the same bowl because i hate doing dishes, but a clean bowl actually works better), roll your ball in a couple teaspoons of olive oil (this is not necessary but it makes it more tasty and delicious, i promise, and it also makes it easier to get out of the bowl later), cover the ball in the oily bowl with a wet cloth, and sit it someplace warm for about an hour. if your kitchen gets really cold in the winter like mine does, you can turn the oven to 200f and set the bowl on the center of the stovetop, or put it on top of your fridge, or just risk it and let it sit for 90 minutes instead.

when you come back, your dough should have doubled in size. roughly. don't go nuts over exact proportions, because you're just going to do the best part ever at this point:

make a good strong fist, haul back, and *punch* your dough ball to deflate it. seriously. put energy in it. it's great stress relief. and while you've destroyed something awesome, it's all in the name of making something more awesome: pizza dough.

turn your deflated dough onto a floured surface (or not-- it's pretty greasy), and knead it for about a minute or so to get it back to being "dough-like."

now it's ready to use, or ready to store. cut your ball in half to make two roughly 12-14" pizzas. you can store the dough in an airtight container (i use zippered plastic bags) in the fridge for a few days, or freeze it. i rarely do either-- usually when word gets out there's fresh pizza dough made, we're having pizza RIGHT NOW.

to turn your dough into a pizza, flour the counter top, flour your fingers and a rolling pin, and take your half-ball of dough and start molding and stretching it into a little circle. if you're really hardcore, you won't need a rolling pin, but i am not that hardcore. once you've got a good circle started, start rolling it onto the counter in all directions, spreading it out evenly until you get to your desired thickness. the dough isn't going to rise too much more in the oven, so go ahead and make it as thin or thick as you like. i like mine really really thin, so i go until i worry about it stretching apart.

sprinkle some corn meal on your baking pan-- i HIGHLY recommend a pizza stone for this, but if you don't have one, a baking sheet or cookie sheet will do fine-- and lay your dough out on that. if you don't have cornmeal or dont want to use it, a little bit of flour will do fine too. technically spray oil will also do, but you may not want the extra fat and grease.

top with toppings, and bake at 500f (or as high as you're comfortable making your oven go) until the crust is browned.

ps: your pizza may not be round. don't worry. it'll still taste delicious!

potential futures for this dough:
breadsticks (cover with garlic salt and olive oil!)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

the cookbook post!

i will try to keep this one up to date and linked somewhere, but i've been asked about my favorite cookbooks. i feel like if i tell you all my secrets you will never read my blog! but information should be free and all that open source crap, so here you go:

i apologize for the amazon links... i don't totally endorse amazon, but it's the best way i could find to link you to an image, so when you support your locally owned bookstores, you'll know what you're looking for.

The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. i love to bake. i LOVE to bake. i can't say it enough and i'm always interested in vegan recipes for baking (it means less work for me if I don't have to veganize it). i haven't made a single thing i haven't enjoyed out of this cookbook. not only are there plenty of delicious and delectable treats here, but there's a huge variety of them, from healthy bran muffins to very sugary and guaranteed to satisfy cravings for chocolate and peanut butter bars. the drop biscuit recipe is the best i've ever found, and it's great that something so simple can be so wonderful. i admit, i like my waffle recipes a bit better than those here, but the ones here are healthier! every time i page through this book, i find something new and interesting and delicious.

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. This was actually the first vegan cookbook I bought. I've technically bought others, but the recipes were weird and foreign and disgusting-sounding so I gave up on vegan cookbooks for years. However, I love cupcakes. There's a reason this is the chubby vegan blog. So I bought this to get a feel for what a vegan treat could be (and not the weird and creepy dairy-free/egg-free/flavor-free overpriced stuff I knew so well at natural foods stores)... and I think I made three batches of cupcakes in three days. I was bringing them over to where I now live, making everyone eat them. I was packing the cookbook in my duffel bag when I visited for the weekends, so I could make more. Seriously... these cupcakes were my crack.

So between the cupcake crack and the great writing style of the authors (Isa writes with Terry Hope Romero), I invested in their first cookbook...

Vegan With A Vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. There's a lot of good stuff in here. And a lot of stuff I haven't even tried yet, but it looks delicious. It's also a great starting point for making my own versions of things I only knew in non-vegan ways. Like waffles and muffins and pancakes. I do own a container of Ener-G egg replacer, but there's a LOT to be said for being able to cook with "normal" ingredients that don't require a trip to some specialty store 2 hours away when you don't live near specialty stores or major metropolitan areas. One of my first recipes out of there is still one of my favorites: black-eyed pea and quinoa croquettes with mushroom sauce. I absolutely love croquettes. And the mushroom sauce has evolved into my mushroom gravy that I can't get enough of. It's delicious! Also good is the BBQ pomegranate tofu, chickpea broccoli casserole, carrot cake, pizza dough, tofu basil ricotta, tofu scramble, and pumpkin waffles. Pure love, I'm telling you.

Veganomicon, by Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. This one's new and hasn't grown on me yet, but the sheer magnitude of recipes in this book make it worthy of mentioning. There's a good recipe for hummus (honestly, you can find hummus recipes anywhere online, so don't buy the book for that), including a lower fat/lower carb cauliflower hummus version. seitan cutlets are tasty and quicker than making seitan, but I still prefer seitan. There are a LOT of helpful tips and tricks and how-to's in there that other cookbooks are lacking. It's a great book, but it's too new for me to really be attached to it yet.

Oh, and for what it's worth, you oughtta also know the site that started all the above trends and awesomeness, the Post Punk Kitchen!

The Fat-free Vegan Kitchen blog is one of my favorite resources for recipes. I usually know something found here is going to be really tasty. Truth be told, though, I usually prefer the deviations that have some fat in them. ;)

The Vegan Cooking Community on is a great resource for recipes, tips and tricks, and reviews of products and recipes.

Vegan Yum Yum blog has some really amazing recipes and foodporn. Delicious stuff!

breakfast sammiches!

honestly? i don't miss those fast food restaurant breakfast sammiches because of the nastiness that they contain, but i miss the warm squishy salty chemically-flavored yumminess, as well as the plain old fun and simplicity of eating one.

but no eggs, dairy, or pork, please.

the "eggs" and bakon here are the leftovers from a failed attempt at tofu benedict (or bernaise, i think), a sauce that i had no right serving to anyone, but my trooper of a man ate two servings. maybe if it's perfected someday, you'll get to subject your own partners to it. ;)

so here goes:

seitan bakon ingredients:

seitan, cut into rounds, counting on two slices per sammich

for the marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

seitan bakon directions:

preheat oven to 350f. spray a glass baking dish with oil, and lay the seitan rounds in it. mix the marinade well in a small bowl, and spoon half-to-two-thirds of it over the seitan. bake for 15 minutes, flip, add the rest of the marinade, and bake 15 minutes longer. it'll be firm and slightly crispy, but not brick-like.

note: i used very moist seitan from a batch that didn't come out so hot. if you have nice firm not-so-moist seitan, you may only need to cook this for 10 minutes a side. check after 10 minutes and see how crispy your seitan is doing.

tofu ingredients:
extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (if you like it chewy, freeze it first)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce

spices (mix in a little bowl):
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of salt

tofu directions:

slice the tofu however you like, about 1/4-1/2" thick. i like to cut the block in half (the "short" way), and then slice the halves into bit square slices. figure one large slice or two smaller slices per sammich, so you can store unused and uncut tofu in fresh water for a week or two. spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat at medium (or a little lower). lay the tofu slices in the pan, drizzle with a little soy sauce, and sprinkle with half-to-two-thirds of the spice mix. cook until they start to get crispy, or at least firm up, flip them, and sprinkle with the rest of the spice mix. (you don't have to, they'll have plenty of spice at this point, but i like the flavor). flip at will till they seem done. it'll probably take about 20 minutes.

sammich assembly:

if you like real food, toast your muffins to your preferences, stack two slices of bakon on the bottom, one or two slices of tofu on that, and top off with the half a muffin.

if you're like me, assemble the sammich on an untoasted muffin, and stick it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. smother tofu in lotsa ketchup and enjoy! :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

chocolate pudding!

this was pretty quick, and pretty tasty. it set up really thick after few hours in the fridge, so i suspect decreasing the cooking time would make it thinner, if that's your preference.

2 cups soymilk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch (i packed it in pretty well, more thickening)
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract

directions:whisk everything but the extracts in a medium saucepan and heat on medium until the mixture starts to bubble. it'll thicken quick, so take it off the heat. add extracts.

ladle into ramekins or dessert dishes, or beaker mugs, as you see fit... makes 4 1/2-cup servings, but i only got 3, because of how much the pudding stuck to the saucepan and ladle and whatnot.

we're all pudding lovers, so next time i'm doubling the recipe.

variations: i think this may work really well and faster with chocolate soymilk vs. plain, and omit the cocoa, but that'll have to be tested another day. this came out like a dark chocolate taste, and wasn't terribly sweet. i'm sure splenda could be used instead of sugar, for a lower calorie recipe (and even try unsweetened soymilk, with increased powdered sweetener). chocolate extract may add to the choco flavor goodness.

also: perhaps vanilla soymilk, more vanilla extract (or vanilla beans!), and a little extra cornstarch for a vanilla variety.

the possibilities are endless and i LOVE pudding!

original recipe slightly modified from "Vegan With A Vengeance" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


seitan is one of those fabulous and awesome "meat substitutes" out there. i don't even like to call it a meat substitute (or fake meat or any of that) because i think it's so fabulous that it doesn't need to pretend to be something it's not. it's seitan! and it's delicious!

it can be served as the protein of any meal, as it is high in protein, low in fat, and not so bad for carbs. (various sources say a 1/3 cup serving has roughly 150 calories, 23 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, no cholesterol, and about 0.5 g fat. the recipe i use has nutritional yeast, which is loaded with b vitamins.)

so here's the recipe i've been using, modified from a few others i've found around the net and in my cookbooks.


2- 2 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable broth (or water, usually i top off the measurement with water if i run out of broth that's usually in the fridge)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp grated lemon peel (dried)

about 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder (or equivalent cubes)


in a large mixing bowl, mix the first three (dry) ingredients together with a fork. in a smaller mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients, garlic, and lemon peel. mix it up well (with the same fork even), and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until all the wet and dry ingredients are incorporated. this shouldn't take much work.

turn the mixture onto the counter and knead for about 5 minutes. you don't have to knead quite as violently as one might knead bread, but definitely give it a workout. you want to get all the gluten to do its gluteny job, and become stretchy and firm and have some "meat" to it. it should be kind of like mutant bread dough when you're through. roll the dough into a log (about 10-14" long or so). let it rest while you get the broth ready for cooking it:

in a large pot, fill it up with water, add the bouillon, and set on the stove. the colder the water is the better.

cut the seitan log into about 6 pieces. i like to use a very sharp knife because it results in more consistent pieces in the end, but using your hands is fine, too. drop into the pot and set the heat to high. when the water boils, turn the temperature to low, cover, and let sit for an hour. after an hour, turn the heat off and let the seitan cool in the liquid. you can technically use it for whatever you want after the hour is up, but it seems to firm up a little better if you let it sit and cool with the liquid.

store in its own liquid in the fridge for up to a week. i hear you can freeze it but i've never tried it.

if you can take the time to mince fresh garlic, and use tomato paste instead of ketchup, and freshly grated lemon zest, you're much more hardcore than i am, and it may or may not make a difference. i mean, fresh is always better, but we go through it so quickly at our house that i end up trying to whip up a batch late at night so we can eat it the next day.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

pumpkin cheesecake cups

ingredients (for the crust):

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp margarine, melted
2 tbsp sugar

ingredients (for the cheesecake):

1 cup (8 oz) vegan cream cheese
1 pkg tofu in aseptic container (like mori-nu)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg


preheat oven to 350F. line cupcake pan with liners of your choice.

for the crust:

mix crust ingredients together until blended, and put about 1/8 cup in the bottom of each cupcake liner, and press down the crust with another cupcake liner, or bottom of a shot glass, or something similar.

for the cheesecake:

in a blender or food processor, mix the first 7 cheesecake ingredients, through the vanilla, until extremely smooth and creamy. put about 2 tbsp of this mixture in the bottom of each cheesecake wrapper. it's okay if it's not completely level, because the end result won't be level either.

to the remaining mixture, add the rest of the ingredients, and blend until extremely smooth. divide mixture among the cupcakes (about 1/2 cup per cupcake liner), and leave the mixture heaping in the middle. (it will flatten when baking.)

bake for 30-35 minutes, until tops look set (slightly drier than how they started). allow to cool (preferably on wire rack) and then transfer to the refrigerator. they're edible after a few hours (3 or 4) but they get positively amazing after setting overnight in the fridge.

modified from the fat free vegan blog.

apple cinnamon waffles

apple cinnamon waffles
these came out darker than i expected but they're pretty tasty.

1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup oats (i used regular, but quick-cooking would be better)
2/3 cup cinnamon apple sauce (or plain and add more cinnamon)
1 1/2 cup soymilk
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sugar (optional, i like mine sweet)
3 tbsp vegetable oil (i use canola)

mix the wet ingredients together well (electric mixers are great, but i hate doing dishes), and then add the dry. let the batter sit for a few minutes to get the oats good and soggy before making per your wafflemaker's directions.

i quartered my waffle up and dipped it in maple syrup, but i think they would be delicious just plain and dusted with powdered sugar. they were almost donut-like with a crispy outside and soft inside.


i used chunky cinnamon applesauce made by my lovely partner's mother. i suspect i would adjust the spices and sugar a bit if i used regular apple sauce from a jar.

these waffles cook at a much lower temperature than most other waffles i've made. if you can decrease the temperature, definitely do so. if you have trouble cooking them all the way through with your waffle iron without burning the outside, you might want to turn these into apple cinnamon pancakes instead.

Monday, January 7, 2008

meatloaf pie?

super seekrit super filling lentil quinoa dinner pie! (created 12.08.07)

prep time: about an hour and 15 minutes (if quinoa and lentils are already cooked)
(9 servings)

modified recipe from the magical loaf studio.

¾ cup cashews
about 12 baby carrots, ground in food processor
1 cup peas+carrots mix
3 cups cooked lentils
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 TB flaxseed meal
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. dried sage
few dashes fresh cracked pepper
2 TB nutritional yeast flakes
3 TB olive oil
2 TB ketchup
2 TB soy sauce

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and washed, cut in small chunks
½ c margarine
¼ c milk (I use soy)


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

Grind the cashews into small pieces using a food processor (or a knife). Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Grate/grind baby carrots, and add to the cashews. Add everything else to the large mixing bowl. Mix together well, adding liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (I did not need to add any liquid, but would have used vegetable broth if I did). Add more flax or quinoa as needed if the mixture seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare mashed potatoes. Chop potatoes in small pieces and boil until fork tender (about 20 minutes). Drain and add margarine and milk. Mash with a masher or electric mixer.

Cover bottom layer in square pan with mashed potatoes and return to the oven for another 30 minutes. (Bump up the temp halfway through to 400ºF or so to make sure the potatoes brown a little bit.)

Serve squares covered with a small amount of mushroom gravy. (Mushroom gravy recipe comes from Vegan With A Vengeance)


hummus + love
Originally uploaded by broken dolly
so the first post is going to be a recent creation and a simple one. i'm going to work on posting my photos and recipes that i've already created as well as new stuff :)


1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tbsp tahini
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
dash of fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
about 1/4 cup water

throw everything but the water into a food processor, turn it up to high, and walk away for a few minutes to tidy up a bit. add a splash of water and continue to mix well. scrape the sides if you need to with a rubber spatula. add a little more water until you like the consistency.

variation: before adding more than a splash of water, add one roasted red pepper (either from a jar, or roast one yourself for 20min at 425F).

season to taste with more pepper, salt (if you use it), tahini, or lemon juice. add more garlic if you like it that way.

serve with chopped veggies, pita or flat bread, put on a slice of bread or a bagel, whatever. makes roughly 1 1/2 - 2 cups of hummus.