Sunday, September 14, 2008

Apples, I'm home.

In the adapted words of Eminem, "Guess who's back, back again? LP's back, tell a friend." 'Cause it feels so empty without me. :-P

I haven't been writing in here this summer because my life has been hectic . Also, my digital camera and I spent some time apart, but now we are reunited in rainy, drainy Oregon.

This summer I moved into a beautiful house with two gorgeous gardens. In the backyard, there is an apple tree with more apples than I know what to do with. But, in an effort to use as many as possible, I decided to make applesauce. It was easier than I thought it would be, and the applesauce is better than any I've ever tasted - and I've tasted a LOT of applesauce.

Here is the food porn you've been waiting for:

3-4 pounds of peeled, cored, and sliced granny smith apples (I only quartered my apples because they were small)
4 strips of lemon peel
Juice of 1 lemon
teaspoon of nutmeg (I actually may have used a little less - so use as much as you want!)
1/2 cup of vegan sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup water

1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot (careful not to get a ton of lemon seeds in the pot; they are a pain to pick out). Bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until it is mushy enough that you can easily mash the rest with a potato masher. Make sure to stir it occasionally.
2. Remove from heat. Remove lemon peels. Mash it!
3. Make sure to eat some while it is still hot. Hot applesauce is delicious!

If I do this again, I'll probably use less sugar, but only a tiny bit less. Mmm, I hope I do this again!

I'm going to eat more applesauce now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Two Bean Squash Chili

I am sorry I haven't updated in ages. I've been dealing with several crises. One of the milder versions of my current crises is that I am in California and my digital camera is in Oregon. So, I apologize for the lack of food pictures in this post.

I'm currently staying at my parents house, and my rent for my vacation stay is being paid in yummy vegan meals. This makes life easier for my parents because neither of them has had to cook a meal in the last few weeks or so - unless you count my mother's frequent chopping assistance. I hate peeling/chopping garlic, so I talk her into doing it.

Cooking for my parents' taste buds forces me to change certain parts of my diet. For instance, tonight I made chili. When I'm cooking for myself in Oregon and I think, "I want chili tonight!" usually I end up with a pan of roasted green chili, zucchini, and corn that is so spicy it makes my friends weep. However, my dad isn't fond of spiciness, so tonight I settled on a mild version of bean chili that one might find on a menu at some place like Marie Calendars, if Marie ever decided to go vegan. This recipe doesn't even have any real chili in it - just spices. And, to my surprise, it was still pretty good.

I found my inspiration for the recipe here when I was choosing which farmers' market to visit on Saturday. Of course, I changed just about everything in the recipe.

Warning: This makes enough food for about 7 people. You might want to cut the recipe in half.

Two Bean Squash Chili


1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 large onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch squares
1 can corn, drained
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 12 ounce can diced stewed tomatoes
1 24 oz. can kidney beans
1 15.5 oz. can black beans
lime for garnishing


1. In a 5 qt. sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Stir constantly until the onion becomes somewhat clear. Add squash, spices, salt, pepper, and let cook 1 minute.
2. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let simmer for about 7 minutes.
3. Stir in tomatoes and their juice, beans, bell pepper, corn, and 1/8 cup water. Reduce heat to medium low, and let simmer about 12 minutes or until the squash is your desired texture. Remember to stir periodically.
4. Garnish with lime, and serve. Be careful; it's hot!

You should serve it with some vegan corn bread. I didn't, but I wish I did. If anyone makes this, you should take pictures, send them to me, and I will add them to my post. I'll give you credit, of course. Otherwise, if I make this again when I'm reunited in Oregon with my camera, I'll add some pictures.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pan-fried beet, radish, and zucchini spring rolls

I realized I still had some sweet and sour sauce that Megan from The Sisters Vegan left at my apartment. I thought, "Hmm, what should I do with this yummy sauce? Oh! Spring rolls!"

Then I just had to look in my fridge to decide what to put in them. I decided on beets, radishes, zucchini, and lemon juice. I also added ground ginger and miso spices. There really isn't a recipe for this. I just food processed everything, rolled the spring rolls, and then pan-fried them. I used store-bought wrappers, so I don't have a recipe for that either. I am laaazy today (it's midterms week), and this was a spur of the moment dinner choice.

They turned out fantastic. Check them out:

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "What the hell is going on with this plate?" Well, I painted it at Brush Fire, and I realize some of the music notes are upside down. They're dancing! Now, back to vegan food pictures:

Yuuuum. K, I'm gonna go eat more.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hilarious illustrated book

This is not a recipe, but I saw this illustrated book on The Sisters Vegan, and you all should read it. It is mildly offensive to omnivores, but it is thee funniest thing I've seen all day.

Thank you, Megan and Kelly!

Lemon blackberry muffins

This morning I wanted some muffins. So, I made a recipe out of what I had in my kitchen. They turned out surprisingly tasty. Mmm.

Lemon blackberry muffins

3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup vegan margarine
egg replacer equal to 1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup soy milk
+ 1 tablespoon soy milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine all ingredients. Mix. Add the extra tablespoon of soy milk if the batter seems a little too thick. I had to do this.
3. Spoon into muffin cups. These muffins rise quite a bit, so leave about a quarter of an inch between the top of the batter and the brim of the muffin tin.
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until you poke them with a knife and it comes out clean. These muffins don't really brown on their tops, so you need to check on them with the knife trick.

You may want to add a little more lemon, depending how much you like citrus flavors. Lemon is probably my favorite flavor. I wish these were more lemony. Maybe lemon zest would be a good ingredient. Oooh, or maybe a lemon glaze? I don't usually like glazes on my muffins because it makes them too sweet, but it might be tasty.

I think these turned out well for being spur of the moment. Yummy afternoon breakfast.

Root beer float cupcakes

These cupcakes are worth making simply because you will probably have to go to a brewing shop to get cupcake ingredients (grocery stores rarely carry root beer extract). If you have a sense of humor, telling people you are going to a brewing shop for baking supplies will probably make your day. It sure made mine.

I am not going to type the recipe because it is posted here. It won ninth place in's "Top 10 Recipes, 2008." The recipe can also be found in My Sweet Vegan.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was that I used carob in the ganache rather than chocolate. I'm allergic to chocolate. The ganache was delicious though!

Unfortunately, their frosting recipe wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I think it could have used a little more soy milk. Just a tiny bit! Or maybe this recipe would have been good with a cream cheese frosting? I'm not sure. I will experiment next time.

I gave the cupcakes to basically everyone on the top floor of my apartment complex, plus their friends. Everyone liked them. I liked them too, and I was impressed that the tops weren't stiff, like so many vegan cupcakes. Mmm, their texture was excellent.

By the way, root beer extract has the best smell out of pretty much everything on the planet. Perhaps I will use it for perfume.

By the way, I made that plate in my ceramics class last summer. Ain't it sweet?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Blackberry pudding

Last night I threw a dinner party for friends who participated in Vegan Challenge Week. I made fried rice for dinner and blackberry pudding for dessert. The two dishes don't really go together, but I really wanted some pudding! I've made the pudding a few times, and it always tastes like heaven.

Ignore the olive bowl. I had so many people over for dinner that I was reduced to using some pretty weird dishes. Also, my counters were soooo messy from cooking for everyone that I had to take this picture on the floor of my kitchen. Haha, gross, but it still looks tasty, right?

How it all Vegan!'s "Anything Goes" fruit pudding

1 cup soft tofu (I usually use firm tofu with my food processor, but that's just because I usually have firm tofu in the fridge. It just means I need to food process it a little longer.)
2 1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 cup vegan sweetener
dash of salt

3/4 cup "Anything Goes" fresh or frozen fruit (It's your choice, but I used frozen blackberries. I've made it with raspberries and blueberries also. So far, blackberries are my favorite.)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

In a blender or food processor, blend together all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Chill well before serving. Makes 2-4 servings.

This pudding is one of my favorite spring and summer foods. If Oregon ever warms up, I'll start making this a lot more frequently. It was a little out of place yesterday because it was hailing all day, but people enjoyed it anyway!

Vegan lasagna

Forgive me! Forgive me for not posting for a month, and forgive me for the poor quality of the photo in this post!

I've done a lot of cooking lately. Last week was Vegan Challenge Week* at the University of Oregon. I'm the co-director for Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and I have been BUSY. Last Tuesday I gave a vegan food demonstration where I made lasagna and Da Bomb Cookies. The cookies came out even better than they did the first time I made them. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture (oops!), and I also did not take a picture of the lasagna I made. Luckily, I made a practice lasagna a few days before the demo, and I took pictures of that one.

Vegan Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients for sauce:
olive oil
1/3 cup onion
3-10 cloves garlic, depending on your taste (I love garlic)
2 cans large of crushed tomatoes
1 bell pepper
salt to taste
Italian spices, marjoram, dried basil, paprika, and red pepper flakes to taste. I like a lot of red pepper and marjoram, but you may want less.
and, honestly, whatever else you want to put in it. Sometimes I put olives in the sauce. Sometimes I add some wine. Sometimes I use balsamic vinegar or lime/lemon juice to add a little more flavor. You don't really need any tomato paste because lasagna sauce is supposed to be rather saucy, but I guess that depends on how chunky your crushed tomatoes are.

Instructions for sauce: Use a large saucepan. Fry the garlic and onion in oil until the onion becomes slightly transparent. Then, add the tomato sauce. Stir it up, and then add the rest of ingredients. Keep stirring until the sauce is heated all the way through.

I've gotten really into making sauces from scratch, but I didn't have time for that when I was making the lasagna. At some point, I'll make tomato sauce from scratch and leave some directions on here. It's so much fun and it tastes 1,000,000x better! But, for now, this will do. It's a lot better than buying a can of Ragu or something - yuck!

Ingredients for tofu ricotta:
1 pound extra-firm tofu
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 clove garlic
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
4 tablespoons rice/soy/nut milk, or until the cheese is the texture you want it to be.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
handful of spinach or basil (I use spinach because I hate fresh basil, but it still adds the aesthetic quality of basil)

Instructions for tofu ricotta: Cut the tofu into 1-2 inch cubes, then grind it up in a food processor. You may need to add the milk for this. Then, add everything except the spinach/basil, and food process it until it is all mixed in. Then, stir in the greens! And you've got yourself some cheese! Taste it and make sure you don't want to add anymore salt or something before you apply it to the lasagna.

Other ingredients for lasagna:
LASAGNA NOODLES! I honestly forgot to buy these when I got groceries, and I had to walk back to the store in shame to buy them. So, don't forget the noodles!
Any veggies you want to put in it, really. In my practice lasagna, I used chard and kalamata olives. I always put the bell peppers on top because I think it makes it look pretty, but there are already bell peppers in the sauce, so I don't put them in the layers of the lasagna. In the demo lasagna, I used spinach, kalamata olives, and portobello mushrooms for the layers. Then, I still had the olives and bell pepper on top.

Instructions for lasagna:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Boil the noodles. Drain them. If they stick, you can pull them apart by running cold water over them.
2) Layer the lasagna however you want. If you are using mushrooms, fry them in oil and garlic beforehand. I use raw spinach, but some people cook that beforehand also. When layering your lasagna, please make sure there is a lot of sauce on the bottom of the pan so it doesn't stick. And make sure you have lots of sauce on top as well because otherwise the noodles will get too crispy in the oven.
3) Bake it for 25-30 minutes with aluminum foil over the lasagna.
4) Then, remove the aluminum foil and bake for aother 15-25 minutes, or until the edges of noodles are slightly browned and the sauce is bubbling. Keep an eye on it because the baking times really very from oven to oven.
5) If possible, let it cool for a few minutes before you cut it. This will keep the layers from falling apart when you are transporting it to your plate.
6) Enjoy!

By the way, you can use the cheese for LOTS of other dishes. I use it for manicotti. It might be good in crepes. You could change a few of the seasonings and maybe use it in place of feta on salads, etc. There is just a lot of stuff you can do with it, so it is a great recipe to have. The recipe here is a slight variation from Vegonomicon's tofu ricotta. They don't put any vegan milk in their recipe, and I changed a few of the measurements.

Also, I fed the practice lasagna to my nonvegan neighbors. One of them said, "WOW! I didn't know vegan food could taste good!" His comment made my week.

*Vegan Challenge Week was in honor of Earth Week. SETA got people to sign up to go vegan for the week, and we hosted events to make a vegan diet easier for students who agreed to participate. It was a lot of fun, and hopefully the participants got a lot out of it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

These cookies really are da bomb.

I realize I haven't written about many vegan foods that are fatty enough to make anyone feel guilty. That is going to change right now. I give you Da Bomb Cookies.

Da Bomb Cookies Recipe

1/3 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water
1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 pinch of salt
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup carob chips*

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2) Combine sugar with all wet ingredients, stir. Then stir in the dry ingredients. Add a little more olive oil, water, or maple syrup if you need to, but be careful not to get it too wet, oily, or sweet. I added a TINY bit of oil and maple syrup just to get the dough to stick together a little more.
3) Drop tablespoons of the dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

*Personal Note: I am allergic to chocolate. You will never see chocolate in my recipes, but go ahead and use vegan semisweet chocolate chips if you prefer. Although, I gave some of these cookies to friends who don't often eat carob, and they couldn't tell the difference. These cookies are THAT good. If you use real chocolate, you may want to use a little less maple syrup because the cookies may get overpowered with sugar.

Honestly, my measurements were "one small handful sunflower seeds, one normal handful raisins, one HEAPING handful carob chips," but I think the measurements given in the recipe are probably close.

These are some of the best vegan cookies I have ever tasted, and definitely some of the best cookies I have ever made. My nonvegan friend, Nick, agrees.
Seriously, make this recipe. NOW.

I adapted a recipe that I found on for Chocolate, Sunflower, Cranberry Cookies in order to better serve my taste buds. I have never tried the original, but I've got to say my version is better. There are three reasons why my version must be better: 1) Maple syrup makes the guilty pleasure THAT much more flavorful and the recipe deliciously moist. 2) Raisins > Cranberries. 3) My sunflower seeds/raisins/carob chip ratio is more targeted toward what people really want when they bite into a cookie than the faux-healthy gimmick of keeping the proportions equal, like in the original recipe.

If I make this recipe again (and I will), I will probably use vegan margarine instead of olive oil. If you try this, let me know how it goes. Maybe you will beat me to the punch.

These cookies really are DA BOMB. They will raise your spirits if you are going through finals - or whatever stressful situations people out in the real world encounter. Eat them. You will feel better.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mushrooms, greens, noodles, and miso. Mmm.

In the spirit of cooking instead of doing homework, I tried Veganomicon's Udon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Kale in Miso Broth. Of course, I changed the recipe quite a bit. Here's what I made:

Udon with Shiitake Mushrooms, Portobello Mushrooms, Kale, and Cabbage in Miso Broth

2-3 servings udon noodles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 onion
5 shiitake mushrooms (that's all I had)
1/4 portobello mushroom
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ginger
2 cups water
3 tablespoons red miso
2 cups kale
2 cups cabbage
2 teaspoons soy sauce

1) Cook the udon noodles according to the directions on the package. After they are cooked, drain and rinse with cool water until you are ready to use them.
2) While the udon noodles are cooking, preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and mushrooms in oil for 2-3 minutes (Veganomicon suggests 7 minutes, but I hate gushy mushrooms). Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1-2 more minutes.
3) Add the water, miso, and soy sauce. Bring to a gentle boil and let the miso break up. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the kale & cabbage. Toss the veggies around until the kale and cabbage look wilted. Don't over cook the veggies! Then, add the noodles and stir it around in the broth for about 2 minutes.
4) This is the best part: Serve and enjoy.

I had two servings. I am full and happy now.

Yummy Monday Morning Pancakes

Finals are coming up, and - like most Americans - I gorge when I am stressed. On Monday I woke up early to do the reading that I avoided all weekend. However, instead of reading, I made delicious carob pear pancakes. They didn't do much for my grade on the pop quiz, but my taste buds were quite satisfied.

Okay, this is a little embarrassing: this is another recipe that I got from You can find the recipe I started off with here. However, in case you haven't noticed, I almost never stick to a recipe. I don't even stick to recipes the first time I make a particular dish, and I've made these pancakes dozens of times. So, here is my recipe:

Yummy Red Pear & Carob Pancakes In My Tummy

1 ripe red pear, chopped
1 small handful of vegan carob chips
1+ cup flour*
1 tbsp sugar (okay, to be honest, I use a little more than that, but I don't measure)
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup vanilla soy milk (you can use original if that is all you have)
2 tbsp olive oil

*I start off with 1 cup of flour in the bowl, but I add a little more after all the ingredients are mixed together. Just add flour until the mix is the consistency you like.

Basically, I put everything in the bowl and stir it together. If you want to be responsible, you might want to mix the dry ingredients together first and then add the soy milk and oil.

Then, heat an oiled frying pan to medium. When measuring the size of your pancakes, be careful! This batter EXPANDS when it is on the pan. You'll end up with one HUGE pancake if you aren't careful. I usually use my 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop up the batter and plop it onto the frying pan. Make sure to see how much the first pancake will expand before adding another pancake to the same skillet.

Oh, and flip the pancakes when the bubbles start to pop. You'll want to flip them earlier - we all get a little excited - but try to resist. It's worth the wait for them to be golden!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

First blog posting with vegan quiche recipe

Sooo. I've been meaning to start this blog for a while, but I kept forgetting to take pictures of the vegan goodies I made. However, yesterday I made a vegan quiche for the second time, and I finally took pictures. Although, if you notice, I took them after I ate a slice. I couldn't resist.

Vegan Quiche of Goodness

Ingredients for Tofu Mixture

about 10 oz. firm tofu
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
pepper to taste
1/4 cup soy milk

Ingredients for vegan "cheez"

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon oil
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon soy sauce

Veggie ingredients

1/4 cup onion
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 portobello mushroom
1/2 red bell pepper

Other ingredients

1 pre-made pie crust
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Sautée onion in olive oil. Add veggies. Cook for a few minutes, but don't let them get soggy or mushy. Remember, the veggies will warm with the rest of the quiche in the oven! Set aside.
3. Combine ingredients for "cheez" in small saucepan. Whisk it! Then, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Stir constantly for 2-4 minutes, or until thickened.
4. Use a food processor to chop up the tofu mixture. Add "cheez" sauce and purée for a few more seconds in the food processor. Then, take the blade off your food processor and stir in the veggies with a wooden spoon.
5. Spoon the entire mixture into the pre-made pie crust.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until you can stick a knife in the middle and have it come out clean.
7. If you can handle it, let the quiche cool out of the oven for about 5 minutes. This helps it solidify and it will be easier to cut. Otherwise, dive in and eat the mush! It will still taste delicious.

Really, you can use any veggies you want for this quiche, but this is the recipe I used. My best friend suggested adding spinach to the existing recipe.

Unfortunately, I can't take credit for this entire recipe. I got the idea from this recipe on Vegan Broccoli Quiche Recipe
Obviously, my recipe is quite different from the original. I added the vegan "cheez" recipe from La Dolce Vegan! (except I divided the recipe in half) because I thought it would be tasty and closer to the flavor of conventional quiche. I also changed the spices quite a bit, and the veggies, etc.

Anyway, this quiche is absolutely phenomenal, and I hope you try it. It sounds a bit complicated, but it honestly isn't difficult to make - especially if you have someone else doing the chopping.

I am confident in making this recipe my first contribution to the land of vegan food blogs. Enjoy!