Saturday, December 1, 2007

5-minute microwave brownies

I've been totally out of commission with a terrible HORRIBLE INSANE cold!!! I've either not been cooking or been cooking only soups, which isn't that exciting to put up all in a row.

However, now that i have my sense of taste back, i was really craving something chocolatey and warm. When it started raining, and Evan was out of the house, i knew it was time to whip something up. This is a recipe inspired by one i found on veg web, with some unique twists and scaled down to be a sweet treat for 2 people, or sinful decadence for one person.

5-minute Microwave Brownies
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tbsp oil (i used canola, olive is a bit too strong for this)
4 tbsp soymilk (vanilla or plain)
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
handful chocolate chips to your taste
sprinkle of powdered sugar (for the end)

1) Mix the sugar, flour, and cocoa powder till even in color.
2) Add the molasses and oil and mix well. You should have little crumbles in a very dry batter.
3) Add the vanilla extract and soymilk, wisking or mixing till to get a smooth consistency similar to that of a cake batter. Add more soymilk if batter is too thick.
4) Mix in the chocolate chips to your liking.
5) Pour mixture into a microwave safe bowl, with some room to rise, left uncovered.
6) Microwave on "high" for about 3 minutes, depending on your microwave power. When brownie gives slightly to pressure in the center and comes back, it's ready.
7) Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

This is great for someone who's been watching those singe serving microwave brownie commercials. The molasses in the brown sugar and the extra added molasses in the batter gives it a rich, dark chocolate, smoky taste which i love.

- If you choose to omit the molasses, be sure to add some moisture in, like substituting mashed banana or 2 tbsp of applesauce.
- Coming out of the microwave, it will be HOT!!! So please use hotpads and let it cool a little before handling or if you're around children.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Now that it's been getting cold here, i've been busting out my winter recipes. This involves a lot of soups and kassroles. This is one of my favs, and adaption of Omni Evan's mom's recipe.

Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 tsp olive oil
3 cups broth
2 tbsp earth balance (optional)
1 cup soymilk
1/2 tsp of thyme
dash of black pepper

1) Fry onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.
2) Add broth, spices, and broccoli and bring to a simmer.
3) Reserve 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the soup, getting as many broccoli pieces as you can in the cup. (this will determine how chunky the end resulting soup is)
4) Add soymilk and heat through.
5) Blend the soup with a hand blender or in a blender till smooth in consistency.
6) Add back to pot, and stir in the cup of reserved soup and broccoli chunks.
7) On low heat, melt the EB and serve immediately with crusty bread.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

MmmMmm Gravy

So this is the gravy that i use in basically everything that will taste good with gravy on it. It takes a few minutes, but i make a lot at one time and freeze it in ice cube trays to use later, and believe me, it's well worth it. (Just be sure to let your guests know what it is before they get some ice for their drinks...)

MmmMmm Gravy
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3-6 cloves of garlic minced very well
2-3 slices of yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
4 tsp nutritional yeast
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 or 6 white mushrooms, sliced (optional)
extra flour or cornstarch (optional)

1) Cook onion and garlic in oil on med heat till onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant
2) Add flour, yeast, and soy sauce to make a paste, stirring to combine
3) Slowly wisk in the water, bring to a boil
4) Lower to a simmer and add mushrooms if you like, and spices
5) Pour over everything!!!

-After you take the gravy off the heat, wisk in 1-2 tbsp of Earth Balance for richness and a glossy sheen.
-When you add your flour, be sure to cook it for a few minutes to get that powdery taste out of the way.
-The longer you cook your flour, the darker the gravy, just be sure to keep stirring!
-When making "white" gravy, like for 'chick'n fried steak" or biscuits, substitute the soy sauce for some vegan broth. You'll get a lightly colored gravy with a simple rich flavor.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Creamcheese Frosting

This is a great frosting, soft, sweet, and tangy like real cream cheese! Be sure to cool your cakes and brownies before frosting, cause this stuff will melt when warm.

Creamcheese Frosting
1 tub Toffutti Better Than Cream Cheese
3 cups powdered sugar

1) Beat the cream cheese and the powdered sugar together on low or medium speed. You can actually do it by hand, just add the sugar in increments and incorporate before adding more.
- You can add a few spashes of soymilk if it's too thick or too hard to work with.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Zuppa Toscana

So, i'll be the first to admit that there's not anything really Tuscan about this recipe. However, i was trying to recreate Olive Garden's Toscana soup, so i thought since i changed most of the ingredients, i might as well keep some of the name. Although, there's not much Tuscany in their recipe either. In any case, it turned out great, i highly recommend this dish for those dark cold nights of winter.

Zuppa Toscana
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
2-3 small white potatoes, cubed
2 tofurkey italian spiced sausages, small cubed or crumbled (or whatever you like for a sausage substitute)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or more if you like it spicy
1 pinch kosher salt
5 cups of water + boullion or 5 cups of stock
1 cup soymilk
2 tbsp earth balance
4 large bunches of kale, sliced relatively thin

1) Cook chopped onion, garlic, and cubed italian sausage over medium heat in the olive oil with the red pepper flakes and salt till onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant.
1) Add diced potatoes and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.
3) Add the water and boullion, or 5 cups of broth, whichever you are using.
4) Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and coook for 20 minutes.
5) Add in the soymilk and earth balance and heat through.
6) Toss in the chopped kale and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring.
-Serve immediately in big bowls with some crusty bread-

- I find that the italian tofurkey sausage has enough spices, but if you don't want spicy, leave the peppers out. Be sure to add the salt though, even just a pinch makes a world of difference.
- Sometimes 6 cups of liquid is too much, so you can just simmer the soup on low to reduce some of the liquid to your tastes.
- Usually this soup isn't as great the next day since the kale gets all greenish/brown from the breaking down of cell walls, so i suggest cooking a large pot of it to share with family, or halving the recipe for a smaller amount.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

'More Than Just Pasta' Salad

This pasta salad makes veggies the main dish. With persimmon and chopped kale, it's more than just your average potluck pasta salad.

1 red bell pepper, minced
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 persian cucumber (or 1/2 regular cucumber), chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 kale stalks, chopped
2 persimmon, cubed
3 cups rotini pasta, cooked
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup good quality olive oil
1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp vegenaise (optional)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp vegan sugar (or to taste)
1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

1) Chop all veggies and cook pasta.
2) Blend the dressing together till glossy and creamy.
3) Toss the pasta and veggies together with 1/2 of the dressing.
4) Pour second 1/2 of dressing and toss right before serving.

I love adding some dried cranberries or sprinkling some ground flax on the top. This was the perfect post-yoga dish.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Vegan Resources and Information

Want to be better informed? Looking for nutritional advice? More info on veganism, fun facts and the TRUTH about vegans? Check out these amazing sites!

International Vegetarian Union
The Vegetarian Resource Group
Tree Hugger
Veg Blog
Veg Family Magazine Online
Vegan Health Organization
Vegan Outreach
Vegan Porn (Don't be fooled, it's just NEWS!)
Vegan Society
Vegan Wolf (Great list of ingredients to avoid)
Vegan World Order

Monday, October 8, 2007

Vegan Shopping

Vegan shopping is the best! Get that check book ready!

Alternative Outfitters
Herbivore Clothing
Secret Society of Vegans (Shhh!)
Vegan Essentials

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Vegan Product Reviews

We all see them in the supermarket, and i've got the balls to try them. Some are great, some are not so great, but i try to be honest!
HIT= must have
MISS= save your $$
RISK= buyer beware

Book: La Dolce Vegan
Follow Your Heart: Original Vegenaise
Galaxy Foods: Rice Slices
Tofutti: Better Than Cream Cheese
Tofutti: Better Than Cream Cheese (Non-Hydrogenated)
Tofutti: Better Than Sour Cream
Earth Balance: Buttery Spread

Vegan Friendly Restaurants

With veggie and vegan eating on the rise, i can't possibly list them all! Use these great resources to find veggie, vegan, and vegan friendly eats!

Happy Cow
Veg Dining
Veg Guide
Vegetarian Reource Group

Friday, October 5, 2007

Vegan Recipe Site Index

These sites are non-blog, vegan recipe overload! Deeeeelicous!

Random Girl
The Cat Tea Corner
The Post Punk Kitchen
Squirrel's Vegan Kitchen
Veg Cooking Database
Veg Family Magazine's Recipie Index
Veg Web
Vegan Cooking
Vegan Chef
Vegan Food
Vegan Wolf
Vegan World Order
Vegetarian Women (vegan adaptable)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Vegan Blog Index

WOW! We have such an amazing vegan community, keep it coming guys!

A Decadent Conspiracy
B36 Kitchen
Beans and Greens
Bean Vegan
Candi's Vegan Photo Journal
Cooking With Roxy
Celine Yum
Cheezy Vegan
Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan
Eat Peace Please
Eats Like A Bird
Food Snob (vegan baker)
Fueled By Popcorn
Have Cake, Will Travel
Kaji's Mom (vegan transition)
Let's Get Sconed
Live It Up Vegan
Megan the Vegan
Notes From the Vegan Feast Kitchen
Savoring the Moment
Shmooed Food
Speed Vegan
Supper and the Single Girl
The Fat Free Vegan
The Vegan Diet
Tofu N Sproutz
Tropical Vegetarian Family
Two Peas, No Pod
Veg Bitch
Vegan Cook-Along
Vegan Ice Cream
Vegan Lunch Box
Vegan Yum Yum
Vegan Vice
Vivacious Vegan
Voluptuous Vegans
What do vegan's eat?
What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?
Yeah, that Vegan Sh*t!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Our BBQ a few weeks ago was a blast, and i've had the idea for a pineapple upside down cake with buttercream frosting rolling around in my head. What a great vegan treat to top the non-vegan meats (my friends are omnis). I won't tease anymore, so the recipe follows below!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1 1/4 cups flour (i used 1 cup white and 1/4 whole wheat)
1/2 cup vegan sugar (i used turbinado)
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 bottle of maraschino cherries or 6-8 real cherries (pitted)
1 20 oz can pineapple slices in unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup pineapple juice reserved from can of slices
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 spring-form pan or angel food cake pan
non-stick spray (or whatever you use)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and set aside.
3) In separate bowl, mix pineapple juice, applesauce, and vinegar.
4) Take pan and spray with non-stick spray all the way up the sides too.
5) Lay pineapple rounds in a design on the bottom of the pan (this will be the top, so make it look pretty! Cut pineapple slices into chunks and arrange around whole slices for extra pineapple-ocity.
6) Take cherries and arrange in pineapple holes and evenly through the top so every slice gets some.
7) Sprinkle pineapple and cherries evenly with brown sugar.
8) Quickly mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Batter will foam up nicely.
9) Pour into pan immediately and bake for about 30-35 minutes or till center is firm.

And yes, my cake is in a frying pan, i forgot that i hadn't a platter large enough to serve it. Ghetto vegan AWAY!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007



Roasted Garlic Hummus


Sheppie Pie
Crispy Sweet & Sour Seitan (Vegan Yum Yum)

'More Than Just Pasta' Salad
Noodle Casserole

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Zuppa Toscana

Thick and Hearty Cornbread

Pineapple Upside Down cake
Rice Puddin'

The Seitan O Greatness (The Post Punk Kitchen)
Creamcheese Frosting
MmmMmm Gravy

Monday, October 1, 2007


Can i know more about you?
Uh, sure? I was born and raised in Hawaii, and came to California for college in 2001. I grad in 2005 and decided to stay here for a while. I live in Pasadena, LA, CA, with my wonderful boyfriend and crazy kitty. I love to cook, and sing opera loudly while doing it. I became a veggie when i started working for Greenpeace in 2005. I became vegan early in 2007 and it's been wonderful! I have a BA in British Literature from Occidental College, work at a yoga studio, am a freelance editor and writer, and sing professionally with the Angeles Chorale. And my pin # is ****.

Why are you vegan?
Ahh the ULTIMATE question... I'll keep it short, but i must preface it by saying that I do not belive it is wrong to eat animals, i believe it's OK to eat animals. BUT, and that's a BIG BUT, i am not ok with the way animals are treated in the meat industry. Phisiologically humans are designed to eat meat, AND plants, but i don't agree with the quantity of meat and the quality of conditions the animals are forced to live in order to provide it. Until we can learn to treat all animals ethically, including the ones we choose to eat, i will NOT eat them ot use their products!

How can i get on your links list?
Recipies are the key, i want my site to have something you see and can make immediately. If you have a vegan blog/site with recipies, just email me and after reviewing the recipies (i.e. if they look good) i'll add you to the list! If you have a veggie blog that can be adapted to vegan (most can using simple ingredients, egg replacers and such) then email, i'll take a look and add you!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Sheppie Pie

Everyone has their own recipe for sheppie pie. I love to make this in a ceramic dish and toss it in the toaster oven at 350 degrees for an hour, and not heat up that whole damn oven.

Ready for cooking:

Shepherd's Pie

3 lg russet potatoes
1/2-3/4 cup soymilk
2 tbsp Earth Balance
1 pkg Good Grounds (or other soy grounds)
1 onion chopped
3-4 cloves garlic minced
1 cup frozen corn (loosely packed)
1 cup frozen peas (loosely packed)
1 cup gravy (Recipe located HERE)
Salt and Pepper
Shallow ceramic/glass baking dish
Foil (yeah, i know...)

1) Boil potatoes till tender, drain, mash with the soymilk, Earth Balance, and a dash of salt and pepper.
2) Prepare gravy. (recipe to follow soon!)
3) Sweat the onions (or carmelize if you have the time) in a large skillet)
4) Crumble good grounds over onions and stir to combine, turn heat to low/medium low.
5) Add frozen corn and peas, heat through.
6) Pour gravy into the skillet, stir, make sure there's gravy throughout ground and veggies.
7) When heated, pour ground mixture into shallow ceramic/glass baking dish.
8) Spread mashed potatoes on top, making sure they're even and everything is covered.
9) Cover with foil and bake in toaster oven at 450 for 1 hr or regular oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

If you're feeling special, sprinkle some shredded "cheese" on top for the last 10 mins of baking...

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Noodle Casserole

I make this with Tuno brand mock tuna and it's so tasty, but you can also leave it out (esp if you're scared of it) and it's still quite nice. We had an unusually cold day and this dish was perfect for it. With toasted breadcrumbs on top, it's time to crank up the ac in LA and pretend it's January.

Noodle Casserole
1 can Tuno (you can omit if you want)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4-1/2 cup sliced pitted black olives
Rotini or penne pasta, enough for 2 large or 4 small servings
2 cups soymilk
2-3 tbsp Earth Balance or margarine
1-2 tbsp flour
1 cup shredded vegan cheese OR 1/2 cup nutritional yeast + 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
breadcrumbs or crushed croutons
salt and pepper

1) Boil pasta.
2) Heat milk and butter in saucepan, gently bubble for 10 minutes to reduce liquid.
3) Slowly add cheese (or yeast) till melted.
4) Wisk and sprinkle in flour to desired thickness, add a dash of salt and pepper.
5) Combine drained pasta with cheese mixture.
6) Stir in drained tuno, peas, and olives.
7) Dump everything into a casserole dish and cover with breadcrumbs.
8) Bake at 350 till warm and bubbly (about 20-30 minutes).

DON'T BURN THE MILK! If you do, wash it out and start over.
Sprinkle the flour as you wisk, don't dump it in at once, you'll end up with a huge lump of blesh. (that's a technical term)
Cook the flour after you wisk it to get rid of the powdery taste. Just a few minutes of stirring over the heat will do it.
I toss the casserole dish in the toaster oven when i don't feel like heating up the big oven and go for a bike ride. 20 min on 350, and it's perfect.

Thick & Hearty Cornbread

Saturdays are reserved for Omni Evan and i to spend time with each other. This means of course, that we sleep late, roll out of bed around 11 and feel too lazy to cook up a storm. So i pulled out our cast iron pan (unused from the days of bacon) and whipped up this thick and hearty cornbread recipe. It sticks the ribs, isn't exceptionally sweet, and satisfies the tummy all day long.

The Dry
1 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal (yellow or even blue!)
2-3 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
good pinch of salt

The Wet
2 tbsp ground flax
2 tbsp water
1-1 1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 4 oz container of unsweeted applesauce

1 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/3 cup frozen or canned corn kernels

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2) Put Earth Balance in skillet, pan, or whatever you'll be baking in
3) Place skillet in oven to heat
4) Mix The Dry
5) Separately mix The Wet
6) Combine the two, stirring till moist and combined (batter will be thick)
7) Fold in the corn kernels and mix evenly
8) Carefully take skillet out of oven, use pastry brush or paper towel to spread melted EB up the sides
9) Pour in batter, cook for 17-20 minutes


I love serving this warm with some Earth Balance on top. It could work well as a dessert too, warmed up with some "ice cream" on top or with maple syrup. I packed some up for our hike later that day and it kep exceptionally well. Be sure to cut it like a pie so everyone gets a piece of the crust!

Tested Recipe: Crispy Sweet and Sour Seitan

When i saw this on Vegan Yum Yum, i knew that the Seitan O' Greatness would be perfect. I decided to go with the garlic sauce, as i am a garlic fiend! Here is the original recipe. (I apologize for the poor pic quality, my camera is very retarded.)
Starting the sauce, ooh look at all that lovely garlic! I added some red pepper flakes for kick and a dash of onion and garlic power for some more flavor. Cause you know, you can never have too much flavor.

Frying up the seitan in the peanut oil, it's so fragrant. The oil is the only part i don't like of the recipe. I'll try frying with some water next time, cause i had to drain them on a lot of paper towels.

The finished sauce, thick and glossy. I subbed arrowroot powder for cornstarch as i have a pound of it. The garlic released some great oils as it heated, and i added another dash of red pepper.

With some carrots and broccoli added right in, topping of sesame seeds.

This was really good, the perfect blend of spicy and sweet. I realize now that i used sushi vinegar instead of seasoned rice vinegar but it still came out great. I had to drain the seitan a lot to get the oil off, and i forgot that my vinegar had msg in it (i got it in chinatown, what should i expect!?), but this will be in my regular rotation for sure.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Tested Recipe: Tip Top Tofu Loaf

Got this recipe from La Dolce Vegan. Due to copyright protection, i can't post the recipe, but i can tell you that it contains olive oil, tofu, onions, garlic, ketchup, tamari, dijon (i omitted this, bleh, mustardo), parsley (i used cilantro), pepper, oats, and tahini. Here's some lovely pr0n shots:

I glazed the top with some ketchup and vegan worcestershire sauce, per the usual meat loaf. It turned out alright. Omni Evan liked it more than i did, but i think i crubled the tofu too much and it was bland. Next time, i'll cook up a nice gravy and crumble the tofu less or use some gimme lean for meaty heft.
Overall i'm not too impressed. C+

Monday, January 1, 2007

The Seitan O' Greatness

This recipe has taken over the internet in a matter of days, and for a good reason, no boil seitan is a dream come true. This is my second run of the Seitan O Greatness.

Original Recipe:
1.5 cup vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp allspice
3/4 cup cold water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce)
1-3 cloves garlic, crushed well

(1) Preheat oven to 325°.
(2) In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Wisk well until mixed.
(3) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for several minutes.
(4) Form into a log (6-8" long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends.
(5) Bake for 90 minutes.

When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way.
I tweaked the recipe by adding some liqid smoke, more minced garlic, and onion powder. Here is a shot after a few minutes of kneading and shaping. It started to turn my hands and cutting board orange!

All demure and wrapped up in tin foil...

I used my toaster oven just like SusanV from the Fat Free Kitchen. If you look closely, you can see my reflection on the left, ready to chomp on the tinfoiled (ouch!) seitan.

After 90 mins in der toaster oven, i've never been to delighted to see a warm steaming brown log.

I didn't wait until it fully cooled to slice a yummy piece off. This is absolute perfection, i can see stews, stir frys, sammiches, and the like in my near future.