Sunday, January 30, 2011

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake

A long while back a good friend of mine Kaleena made my family one of  these delicious cakes. So I have to thank her for giving me the idea of making it vegan. I have played around with a basic recipe a few times and have found a good way to make this cake cruelty free. It has a great balance of moistness and fluffiness. As well as having a crystallized cinnamon sugar coating.  I hope you enjoy this as much as my family.

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 cup organic sugar
1 tablespoon of butter for greasing your cake pan

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup softened vegan butter
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of sugar and tablespoon of cinnamon.  Grease your bundt pan with a little butter then dust the entire inside of the pan with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. I usually use about 1/3 off the mixture a good way to do this is to hold the pan over the sink and turn it to its side while spinning it slowly, this will get it more evenly coated.Save the remaining sugar and cinnamon mixture and set everything aside.

In another small bowl mix together the milk and vinegar. Set it aside for about 10 minutes to let it curdle.Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat just the butter on medium speed for one full minute. Add the white sugar and mix for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl and blade and add the brown sugar. Mix for 2 minutes until the mixture looks light brown and uniform in color. Add the milk mixture and beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the apple sauce. beat well.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of  the cinnamon sugar mixture over top the cake. Spread the rest of the batter into the pan and sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 1 hour  before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely. aside.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mock Tuna Casserole

On my last grocery list I planned for a few casseroles because my twins just switched over to solids.  I want them to be able to enjoy dinner with us. I figured this would be a great way to do that since they still don't have all there teeth.


4 tablespoons vegan butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups re-hydrated TVP
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3-4 crumbled roasted seaweed sheets.
1/4 cup flour
2 cups veggie broth
1 1/2 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 box macaroni pasta 
salt and pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

1 cup French fried onions


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your pasta in a medium sized soup pot. Heat 1 tablespoon vegan butter in a skillet. (I used my cast iron) and  add the onion, celery and mushrooms. Saute for a few minutes, until tender then add the TVP, soy sauce and crumbled seaweed.  Keep cooking for about 10 minuets mixing every so often. At this point the pasta should be done. Strain the pasta and set aside. In the same pot, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter over low heat. Stir in the flour and whisk for a few minutes. It will get thick. Start adding the broth bit by bit, whisking all the while and bring to a boil. Add the milk little by little and continue to stir and simmer.  Add the mushroom/celery/onion mixture and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and paprika and pasta. Stir gently to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9x13 baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Uncover and spread French fried onions over the top and bake for another 5-6 minutes or so or until the top is browned and crispy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vegan "Chicken" Salad and Vegan Curried "Egg" Salad

I whipped up a large batch of both of these for the twins birthday party and even my parents who turn their noses up at my vegan food enjoyed them both. I practically had to force my mom to eat the curried "egg" salad made with tofu because she thinks she hates tofu.(I just feel that she hasn't had it prepared correctly) After she ate it she said she liked it better than the faux chicken salad...go figure.

"Chicken" Salad made from TVP

2 cups re-hydrated TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
1/2 cup vegenaise
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped celer
3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
salt n pepper to taste

Mix all together and refrigerate till ready to serve. Use less or more vegenaise if you prefer. Serve on whole wheat finger rolls for a party or normal bread for your everyday lunch.

Curried "Egg" Salad

1 lb firm pressed, drained, and crumbled tofu
1/2 cup vegenaise
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked potatoes (I used russet but any would work)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
6 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
3-4 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1/2 cup almond slivers

Again mix all together and adjust vegenaise to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve on bread of choice.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Jenni's Party Sangria

I just love making this when we have gatherings. It is really simple and always a hit. Personally I am a wine lover anyway so this is just a fun way to spice it up.

You will need

1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime
12 oz any lemon lime soda
1 cup rum
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large bottle of Merlot

Slice your orange, lemon, and lime. Toss into your pitcher and add the soda, rum, juice, and wine. Mix and cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let it sit in your fridge for at least 24 hours. This helps all the flavors meld. Also the longer you let it sit the more fermented it gets. One time I made this for a girls night and had some left over and it was sitting in my fridge for three or four days. We had a friend come over to chill and watch movie and he got pretty drunk off this stuff. Good times!

Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Strawberry frosting and Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Frosting

So these were Hadley's and Radley's First Birthday Cupcakes. My twins turned one on January 19th and we had there Birthday party yesterday. I must say they were both so yummy.

Hadley's Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Strawberry Frosting

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup non dairy milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/4 cup oil
2 teaspoon rum extract (I actually thought I was putting in strawberry extract but accidentally grabbed the rum, One of the best accidents I've made in a while.)
2 cups strawberries, chopped
Preheat oven to 350° F and line cupcake pans. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream margarine and sugar together until fluffy. Add applesauce. Combine the milk with the vinegar and let stand for ten minutes. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla into the margarine sugar mixture. Then add the flour mixture gradually. Mix in the strawberries. Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes.

Chocolate Strawberry Frosting

1/2 cup vegan shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance or vegan margarine
3-3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon strawberry extract

Cream together the shortening and butter for 3 minutes.  Add extract, cocoa powder, and  coconut milk then beat another 5-8 minutes.  Frost cooled cupcakes or cake.

Radley's Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Frosting
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup natural unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan shortening
1 cup
1 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together. Mix the milk and vinagar together and let sit for 10 minutes. Add graham cracker crumbs, peanut butter, milk, shortening, apple sauce, and vanilla. Beat mixture with electric mixer on low until moistened, and then beat on medium for 2 minutes. Fill you cupcake pan 2/3 of the way full and bake for 25- 30 min.

Banana Frosting

1/2 cup vegan shortening
1/2 cup Earth Balance or vegan margarine
3-3 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons banana extract

Cream together the shortening and butter for 3 minutes.  Add extract and  coconut milk then beat another 5-8 minutes.  Frost cooled cupcakes or cake.

This is a great base frosting. The coconut milk really helps to fluff up the frosting and since it does not have a strong coconut flavor it takes on the flavor of anything you add. If you do want a coconut flavor I would add coconut extract and some dried shredded  un-sweetened coconut.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing and Pizza Dough Bread Sticks

 I try to make all my sauces and dressings from scratch myself, in an attempt to eat less processed food. Often what I come up with taste better than anything you can buy on a store shelf. So to me it's worth the extra time and effort. Here is a pretty good dressing I like to use. It is really more of a summer dressing but I was craving it.

For the Dressing:

1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tea spoons cornstarch
1/2 cup soft tofu
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Directions: In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients except the tofu and sesame seeds. Bring mixture to a simmer or medium-high heat, stirring often until it thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring every so often to keep from getting gelatinous. In a small mixing bowl,beat the tofu with a whisk until creamy. Once the orange mixture is cool add to the tofu and whisk until blended well, then add the sesame seeds. I save all my jars and reuse them for dressing and sauces.

Pizza Dough Bread Sticks:

1 package of pizza dough. I usually use Trader Joe's or Pepe's
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garlic powder
nutritional yeast

Directions: Tear small pieces off  and roll them between your palms while pressing. Lay them out on a baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Bake according to package temperature until they are puffed up and golden.

For the salad I used and organic herb mix and tossed in whatever veggies I had at the time. I topped it with some grilled vegan chickn' cutlets that I cut in to strips. I'm not sure of the brand they were given to us from our friends who took a trip to New York and came back stocked up on vegan goodies. They were pretty tasty though

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Vegan Omelette

Warning: This recipe can be a little tricky. Not that it is difficult to prepare...that part is very simple. The folding and lifting of the omelette is the tricky part. Yours may not come out in one piece but it all tastes the same in the end. Also bare in mind that this will not taste similar to an omelette that is made with eggs. This recipe is more of a crispy tofu scramble. My family enjoyed it very much and I will be sure to make it again.


1 lb extra firm tofu drained and pressed
1/2 onion minced
5-6 cloves fresh minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh dill chopped (or other herb of your choice)
2 teaspoons turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon or less of oil
Daiya cheddar cheese 
Vegetable/filling of your choice. I used mushrooms and bell pepper.
Toppings of choice if desired. I used salsa and cilantro.


With a cheese grater grate your block of tofu. The longer you can get the strands the better. This technique is what helps meld and hold the tofu together. Once you have it grated you will want to add the onion, garlic, herbs and spices. Mix together as gentle as you can. You don't want the tofu strands to get smashed. In a non-stick skillet on medium heat the oil. spoon in the tofu mixture and press down gently. Sprinkle the top with cheese and add your topping. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. Very carefully fold in half. and continue to cook for a few more minutes. When it's done your best bet is to slide it out of the skillet. If for some reason you can't slide it out then use a spatula to transfer it to your plate. You may need to cut it in half to keep it in one piece.  Either way it will still taste amazing. Good Luck!


 This makes a great brinner (a.k.a. Breakfast for dinner) We usually start our day with coffee and munch on fruit, and veggies in the morning. I rarely ever cook breakfast, maybe a few times a year. So we love having brinner. For some reason we think it taste better at night.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Authentic Beef-less Fajitas

These are the best fajitas I have had since I left California Six years ago. Partly because they are vegan but also because authentic Mexican food is hard to come by in Maine. (For those of you who don't know me personally I was born and raised in the High Desert of So-Cal. I lived there for 20 years until I moved here to Maine.) There were dozen's of  locally owned Mom'n'Pop Mexican eatery's in my area. Since I have moved  the most authentic Mexican food I have had, are the dishes I have prepared myself. Unfortunate the only Mexican restaurants in Maine are very Americanized. At least all the ones I have been to. So If your your like me and have been missing that south of the boarder flavor you must give this a try! They really hit the spot. I may be a white girl but I promise you will not be disappointed.


1 package of vegan beef strips. I used Trader Joe's Beef-less strips. (They are pre-seasoned so give them a good rinse.)
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 3 limes
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 cup minced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (I used 1/4 but it depends on how spicy you like it. If you can't handle spice very well I recommend using just a dash of chili powder.)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon turmeric


Wisk together all the ingredients with a fork and then add the beef-less strips. Cover, refrigerate, and let marinade for 2 day. Seems like a long time to wait but it will be well worth it.


1/2 red onion sliced
1/2 red bell pepper sliced thinly
1/2 green bell pepper sliced thinly
Fresh cilantro
Fresh lime juice
Fresh Salsa
Small flour tortillas

Heat your electric skillet on a medium low heat. Drain the Beef-less strips from the marinade and toss in the skillet. You want to slow cook them for about 20 minutes. You don't want them to brown just steam them. Raise the heat and toss in the onion and peppers. Continue to cook until the beef-less strips are browned and the peppers are tender.  If it starts to get to dry squeeze in some lime juice. I used a panini press to warm my tortillas. Scoop the fajita mix into your warm tortilla and top with fresh salsa and cilantro.
If you give this a try I would love to know what you think.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tempeh Kale and Tomato Wraps or "TKT's"

This is one of my family's dinner staples. Partly because they are quick and easy to make but mostly because they are delicious and healthy. This time I used the garlic and herb wraps from Valley Bread pictured below. They were really good and I enjoyed them. The only down side is that they have about 18g of carbs. So they are not the healthiest option. We usually use whole wheat wraps. Sometimes we use bread and grill it which is very good as well. Or and even healthier option would be to omit the bread/wrap all together and wrap it in a large leaf of kale. Kale is by far my favorite off all the greens. So you will see that I use it quite often. I don't recommend using iceberg lettuce only because it doesn't have much nutritional value. Being vegan I try to get as much nutrients from my food as possible. Also we always use the Lalibela Farm tempeh. (It is the best tempeh I have ever had and it's local.) However when we went to whole foods this week they were all out so we settled for the Trader Joe's brand. Trader Joe's tempeh is good, it crumbles easily which is not always a good thing. I guess it depends on how you are using it. Something like this where you want clean slices it is not the best.

Marinade for the Tempeh

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup Red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium vegan soy sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1 package tempeh sliced into 1/4 inch thick strips.

Mix together all the ingredients in a shallow container or bowl. Add the tempeh, if for some reason the liquid does not cover the tempeh add some more broth and vinegar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. I always let it marinade over night.

For the Wrap

Wrap/bread of your choice
Nutritional Yeast (optional)


I used an electric skillet to cook the marinaded tempeh. I reason I chose it is because you do not have to use any oil to cook the tempeh, also you can slow cook it which really helps to bring out the flavor. If you do not have one any skillet will do. Cook until golden brown using tongs to turn the pieces. Spread your vegenaise on your wrap, sprinkle with nutritional yeast, and add your kale and tomato slices. When your tempeh is done toss that on top and fold each side of the wrap and roll.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tofu and mushrooms with peanut sauce


1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 lb extra firm tofu, drained and pressed and cut into triangles
1/2 onion coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper coarsely chopped
7 baby bella mushrooms quartered

For the Sauce

1/2 cup chunky unsweetened peanut butter
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 onion finely chopped
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons curry powder

Directions: In a well seasoned cast iron skillet on medium heat the oil. Add the tofu and cook until golden.  Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside. Once your tofu is cooked well add the onions, cook until translucent. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms. continue cooking until tender, Then pour the sauce over and reduce the heat let simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Serve hot over rice.

Vegan Tamales

   I have been making vegan tamales since I became a vegan years ago. I Love tamales not just because they are delicious but for many other reasons too.  Tamales are a traditional Hispanic meal. On Holidays and special occasions the entire family will participate in making tamales. It is considered a family tradition in the Hispanic culture. I appreciate and admire their culture very much. Being born and having lived in California for 20 years I was exposed to a lot of  authentic Mexican food and miss it very much. One of my favorite smells is the smell of steaming tamales filling my home. Isn't it awesome how certain smells can trigger past memories. So making tamales is my way of remembering and reminiscing the amazing food and experiences I had in California. Tamales are fairly easy to make but you should plan on spending a few hours in the kitchen because they are time consuming. I guess by now you may be be wondering why I am doing a cooking blog on cooking when my blog is centered on crafts. Well my friend Kaleena asked me if I would do a guest post for her on her cooking blog and I loved the Idea. So I would like to say Thank You to Kaleena for letting me share my favorite recipe her and her followers. I hope you enjoy making tamales as much as I do.

You will need 

Corn Husks
A few large bowls
A large/tall steamer pot
Or if you don't have a steamer insert  you can do it the Mexican way and use a large/tall pot and a disposable aluminum casserole pan flip it upside down and punch a bunch of holes in it with a fork or knife. Personally I like to use a knitting needle. Hows that for being crafty and frugal in the kitchen! P.s. don't throw it away you can save it and use it to steam practically anything!

For the Masa
4 cups Masa Herina or Masa Flour
1 cup softened vegan margarine
1 tbs baking soda
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste
approximately 3 cups HOT water.

For the Filling
1 box Spanish rice and diced tomatoes
1 jar tamatillo salsa
1 package of Soyrizo  ( I used Melissa's)
1 package of Field Roast Mexican Chipotle style sausage (Chopped)
2 cans chopped green chilies

(makes approximately 30)


       First you will need to boil  6-8 cups of water. While you are waiting for the water to boil you will want to separate and clean your corn husks. I usually only use about half of the package. Once you have them separated and cleaned place them in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over them. You will want to let them soak for at least an hour. ( Tip: Often the corn husks will float above the water level so I will place another large bowl on top of them with a few canned goods inside the bowl to way it down. This will ensure that all the husks get submersed in the water.) Set aside.
       To prepare the filling you should start by making the Spanish rice according to directions. In another large bowl or pot you will want to add all the filling ingredients and mix together. Once the rice is finished cooking you will add that to the filling and mix well. Set aside.

       To prepare the masa  you will want to start by adding the cup of softened butter to a large bowl. Personally I like to mix in the butter with the masa flour first. it will get crumbly. Then I add the spices and baking soda and Hot water but add just one cup of water at a time. I enjoy using my hands to mix the masa but you can use a spoon or a mixer.  ( Tip: You may not need to use all the water the end result of the mix should the the consistency of really thick peanut butter and easy to mold.)

        To assemble the tamale you will want to take a corn husk and lay it flat. You can spread on the masa with a spoon or you can use your hands. Again I prefer my hands though. You will want to use about 2 tbs of masa mix and spread it from the top but leave room at the bottom to fold.  You will want the mix to cover about 2/3 width wise. Then you will add a scoop of the filling and fold the husk. (see pictures below.)

         ( Tip: Some of the corn husks are smaller you can take two small corn husks and layer them together to form a bigger husk. Don't get to technically thought they do not each have to be identical with exact measurements. You can make every one a different size it does not matter.)
Once you have all of your tamales assembles you will want to place them in the steamer pot. Leave at least an inch of space between the tamales and the water level in the pot. You do not want them to touch the water. Cover pot with a lid but leave room for steam to escape and steam for 1 hour and 15 minuets to and hour and a half. Once done you should allow to sit for at least a half hour before eating! Enjoy

          A few more things before I go. Tamales are excellent reheated the next day. They are one of those few meals that are even better after they sit over night. Also if you end up with any filling leftovers (I always have some) save it for taco night! It makes a great taco filling as well. Again Thanks to Kaleena and to her followers I really enjoyed doing this guest post!