Monday, November 21, 2011

MIA again!

I know, I know, I've been MIA for way too long!.. Mea culpa! Life just got busy and after Vegan MoFo was over I just slacked posting!
I'm thinking I might try it on a weekly basis instead of daily.. We'll see if that works better!

But for now, let me make it up to you and post a lot of pics and recipes at once! :)

First the savory dishes! 

An online friend of mine told me about Isa's Mac 'n Shews and being a big fan of comfort food but especially anything that involves baked pasta, I had to immediately try it! [Thank you, Christine, for telling me about it! :)]
It requires a bit more prepping time and if you don't like the taste of Sauerkraut, you can skip this one right away.. but I absolutely loved it!!! (Not to mention my Hubby who wouldn't stop raving while eating it! *lol*)

The more I'm cooking any of Isa's dishes, the more I'm thinking this woman doesn't ever create something that doesn't taste good! Seriously, she's my hero! :) Thank you, Isa, for constantly coming up with awesome creations!!!

Next we have simple Mushroom Stroganoff which I've come up with after combining a few vegan Stroganoff recipes.

~*Simple vegan Stroganoff*~

*1/2 onion (big one, otherwise 1 whole)
*2 tsp minced garlic
*1 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
*5 oz (about 2 caps) Portobello mushrooms, diced
*1 c veggie broth 
*10 oz vegan sour cream (I used Silken soft tofu with a splash of lemon juice)
*Salt and pepper to taste

-Sautee onion and garlic until soft
-Add diced mushrooms and let simmer for ~10 min
-Cook pasta according to the package
-Add broth, simmer again for another 5-10 min
-Take off the heat and add vegan sour cream (tofu w/lemon juice)
Done! =)

We didn't have any no-egg 'egg noodles' available nor did I have any other kind but Rigatoni in the house..
It was still mighty tasty! ;-)

Next is a Lentil Loaf which recipe I've come across on a vegan (& vegetarian) forum. The person who posted it, mentioned she got it from following site The Magical Loaf Studio which is really cool as you can pick and chose your own ingredients and create your recipe! [Thank you for sharing, Catnip!]

~*Lentil Loaf*~ 

1/2 cup pecans [I used walnuts as I had no pecans]

2 TB olive oil
One onion, diced
One large garlic clove, minced
One large carrot, peeled and grated
One cup mushrooms, cleaned and chopped [I used a red bell pepper instead as I had no mushrooms]
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1 heaping TB flaxseed meal
1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes

Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 TB soy sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).
Grind the pecans into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Sautee any vegetables you've chosen in the olive oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist). Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.
Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.
Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

It was awesome!!! Any lentil lover will love this dish, I guarantee it! :)

Now on to the sweet dishes! 
Finally I had some successes again! The disastrous Lemon bunt cake still fresh in my mind, it was a huge relief! ;)

Sticky Cinnamon Buns, who doesn't love them!?  I found them here Vegan Baking and though mine looked rather 'unprofessional' compared to the pics on the site, they were freakin' awesome and drool worthy!!!

I only made a few with walnuts and raisins after my family requested to have them 'pure'! *lol* I liked either version!

And last not least a vegan German Applecake I fell in love with instantly!
The recipe is from 'The Joy of Vegan Baking' by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, only slightly alternated.

~*German Applecake*~
Ingredients [cake]:
3 Apples peeled and cut into slices
1/2 cup non dairy butter (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/2 unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp non dairy milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. lightly grease 9 inch round pan. mix butter & sugar. Add applesauce & milk. Finally add flour & baking powder. Stir until just combined.
Add the batter to pan and arrange apple slices in a circle on the top of cake. Mix together the 3 topping ingredients and sprinkle over cake.
Bake 30-40 minutes, wait 15 minutes before unmolding from cake pan.

I served it with coconut milk (cream), which was originally supposed to be whipped cream consistency but I didn't prep it in advance (1 day before in the fridge) so it had to be rather runny... The taste was still out of this world!!!
Now, I hope you'll enjoy all those posted recipes and forgive me my lack of posts these previous weeks! ;)
Guten Appetit! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sweet things

I don't think I've mentioned it, but my Hubby was gone for almost 1 week (lucky guy got to visit Germany.. though it was for medical reasons so I guess I really shouldn't envy him too much!..) and thankfully the days flew by quickly! He's coming home tonight and of course I had to bake something in order to celebrate his return! (Not that one really needs a reason.. but it's always nice to have an extra special occasion, no? ;-) )

Anyway, I recently read on Meet the Shannons an entry about a Lemon Bundt cake and I was immediately intrigued! I love the fresh taste of lemon in cakes, so it was clear I'd make it soon! Today, 3 days later it is done and while I know that my glaze looks pretty sloppy.. being too impatient to wait any longer for the cake to cool down any more.., I'm hoping it'll be good!
[I can't tell you yet if it is since we'll have to wait for Hubby to come home first -which will be in the evening.. *sigh*- but given the fact that I have yet to come across something that doesn't taste good from MTS's site, I'm really looking forward to test it tonight! ;-) ]

You can find the recipe here Lemon Bundt Cake
(thank you, Anni, for sharing it with us!)

And because I was in the baking mood in general, I also did 2 more 'projects', one of which failed miserably *blush*
It's Isa's Marbled Banana Bread that I somehow ruined completely!..
I don't know what I did wrong.. I know I somehow tweaked the recipe a bit by using coconut oil instead of canola but the rest stayed the way it was and yet, this is my horrible outcome (yes, I'm not too proud to also show you my failed results! *lol*)

You can see, it's not even done! Even though I added another 30 min baking time!.. Oh well.. maybe next time?..

The good thing is, shortly after a failure there seems to follow a success again!
I had some left over pumpkin puree that I wanted to put to good use and being on the sweet/baking trip, I figured, why not make Lindsay's (from Happy Herbivore Pumpkin-Raisin Oatmeal Cookie =)


Pumpkin-Raisin Oatmeal Cookies 


·                     ¼ cup raisins
·                     6 tbsp canned pure pumpkin
·                     ¼ cup pure maple syrup
·                     ½ cup raw sugar
·                     ½ whole banana, mashed
·                     2 tbsp non-dairy milk
·                      cups rolled oats
·                     ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
·                     ¼ tbsp pumpkin pie spice
·                     ¼ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, maple, sugar, banana and non-dairy milk together. In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice together and then transfer it into the wet mixture. Stir a few times then add raisins. Continue to mix until combined. It may look too dry initially, but keep stroking, it will incorporate perfectly. Drop spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch and spring-like.

I hope I got you in the mood a bit to bake for yourself? ;-)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hail Seitan!

 I can't believe I haven't blogged about Seitan yet! (Not that I'm blogging since such a long time already but still.. *lol*)
Anyway, Seitan, also sometimes called 'Wheat meat' [though no vegan I know calls it that, maybe it's more like a description for omnis?] is made from the gluten of wheat.
It can be boiled, baked, steamed.. and once it's cooked also fried.

I've only tried boiling it twice and I can't remember who said it... but it was somewhere online where it was described as 'mock brain'.. and that alone lets me gag a bit!.. The texture was spongy and yes, it really did remind me of a small brain (not that I ever saw a live one thankfully!)...
Needless to say, that method was given up quickly, but that didn't mean that I surrendered!!!

I came across Susan V's (Fat Free Vegan) post about the Seitan Pepperoni and had to try it! [Already a few years ago actually! ;-)]
Since then I've made it every couple of months when the craving hits to actually sink my teeth into something hardy in my sandwich and now that I have another vegan in the family who gets tired of PB&J sandwiches for lunch, I'm hoping we're having more options this way now! :)

One can actually see the red pepper flakes in the slice. Next time I might use a bit less..
It's quite spicy ;-)

Anyway, long story short, here's the recipe 
(all credits go to Susan V. -see link above!)

Seitan 'log' :)

Perfect snack on Triscuit crackers and some Granny Smith apple slices.

Your creation with this style of Seitan is endless!!! Thinly sliced on pizza, cut in strips for stir frys, etc.
The best [for me] is on sandwiches with mustard, some veggies.. yum!

Guten Appetit! =)


Monday, October 31, 2011

Spooky Carrot cupcakes

Happy Halloween everyone! =)

In order to celebrate Halloween and getting my sweet tooth fix on, I had to bake another round of cupcakes today! No, it's not containing pumpkin this time.. but carrots! :D 

I turned to Isa Chandra's wonderful Vegan Cupcakes take over the world
and found the perfect recipe!
Since I grated a bit too many carrots, I doubled the recipe and just altered a few ingredients a bit.
I only got 18 cupcakes out of everything though, not as one would think 24.. Maybe the cupcakes are supposed to be smaller than I make mine.. either way, they taste great! Moist and fluffy!

Instead of re-posting the recipe, I can simply tell you that a Google search led me to this site Carrot Cake Cupcakes  (in case you don't have the book -which I'd really recommend to get! ;-) ).

The frosting was leftover from the cookies last week. Look here =)
It worked perfectly and the kids were happy to see more Halloween-ish colors, of course!

The eyeballs weren't vegan but used for my son's sake, so me and my girl just picked ours off and gave them to him! ;-) [Weren't so many left anyway! *lol*]

Modifications to the original recipe:

~* Spooky Carrot Cupcakes *~
 18 servings

*2 c of carrots (instead of 1c )
*1/2 c soft Silken tofu instead of soy yogurt
*a bit less than 1/3 c of coconut oil (instead of vegetable oil)
*1 c vegan sugar [2/3 white, 1/3 brown]
*1 1/4 c all purpose flour, unbleached

The rest stays unmodified! ;-)


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another cupcake, another pumpkin! :)

I've made these cupcakes twice already and can't believe I've missed to blog about them!!! They are soo good, you'll love them!
They're Isa Chandra's Pumpkin Pie Brownie recipe, just adapted into cupcakes. =)

 Now have a look at how they turned out and tell me you're not drooling! *lol*


After! ;-)

I couldn't tell you the nutritional value right now, I have to do the math..
But I'd say if you have 2 (you can't stand on one leg! *lol*) you'll be fine!
It's a fairly healthy treat compared to what else is out there for Halloween!

Guten Appetit! =)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hurry up Alfredo!

Two blog posts in a row today, wow, I know! *lol*
It's actually bed time for me here in Italy, but before I catch my 'beauty sleep', I just have to post about another awesome success of tonight's dinner!!!
Other online vegan friends have told me so much about that 'Hurry up Alfredo' sauce already, but due to the lack of cashews, I was never able to make it!..
...Until today since my shipment from finally came in! *yay*
I immediately got to work... and what can I say!? It tasted phenomenal!!! [Very much approved and raved about by the Hubby, which is always a great sign!]

Credits go to Vegan Yum Yum
A big "Thank you!"

If you'd like the recipe, just click on the link to VYY's site and you'll see it!
I know, it'll for sure be a staple in our house from now on! =)

Guten Appetit & gute Nacht! :)

Dinner rolls with a twist

 I absolutely love bread in any form! (Carbs in general actually; pasta, pizza, potatoes.. bring it on! *lol*) There's nothing better than the smell and taste of a fresh baked bread or roll. ;-) 

In my vegetarian days I found a recipe for dinner rolls that were absolutely delicious! (Well.. I probably wouldn't think so now anymore due to the heavy butter taste.. But aside from that they were nice and fluffy and just yummy!) 
Since having become a vegan I never attempted to make them again but was thinking I should try one day!..
Sure enough, Vegan Dad already came up with an awesome recipe which I had to try ASAP! (He's got tons of other great recipes!!!) 

I cut the amount in half as I didn't need so many rolls but left the original recipe intact otherwise. They tasted amazing!!! Soft and fluffy... seriously, who needs eggs and butter!?

If you'd like the recipe, please just follow my link by clicking on 'Vegan Dad'! =)

Credits go to Vegan Dad
[Clearly my rolls aren't as beautiful looking as his *blush*, but the taste was great none the less!]


Waiting for a treat! =)
-And yes, believe it or not, Tommy [on the right] actually eats bread, rolls, chickpeas and any other kind of bean! He's not a normal cat! *lol*

Monday, October 24, 2011

Skinny Pumpkin Oatmeal Squares

After having tried Lee's Pumpkin Peanut butter Oatmeal Squares almost as soon as she posted the recipe, I had it in my mind to play with the recipe a bit. I absolutely love them!!
But I admit, I wanted to cut the calories & fat per square down a bit as 1 is never enough for me (what a glutton I am, I know! *lol*) but 2 would be too much with almost 500 calories! 
Yes, I know, if I'd keep it to just 1 square it would be fine as a snack or quick breakfast on the go.. But I wanted to alter it a bit none the less, for those days where I want to eat 2 and don't have to feel guilty! ;) so here it goes:

~* Skinny Pumpkin Oatmeal Squares *~ 
Makes 12 smaller squares

*1 c pumpkin puree
*1 c almond milk (or any other plant milk)
*2 c oats 
*1 Tbsp coconut oil 
*1/2 c sugar (brown)
*1 tsp vanilla extract
*1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
*1/2 c dark chocolate chips [optional]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C)
Line a 8x8 [or 9x9] square cake pan with wax paper and spray with oil.
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until everything is mixed well.
Pour into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. 
Let it cool before slicing it.

Nutritional info
per square (1 out of 12)104 calories, 2.4 g fat, 1.2 sat fat, 23 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 2 g protein

If only cutting it into 9 squares: 139 calories, 3.3 g fat, 
1.6 sat fat, 30 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 2.6 g protein

 Guten Appetit! =)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thai dinner and cookies

No, those 2 things don't go together in one meal!  But I made them in one day and both were a great success!!!
Actually, I know, I'm long overdue with posting another recipe, so here goes a little overload! ;-)

With Halloween coming up next week, I felt it was time to make some festive cookies -much to the delight of my two kids! *lol*
I've been using this recipe for vegan sugar cookies for a few years now, long before I even became a 'fullgrown' vegan and it never disappointed!
It's from 'Vegan Family Favorites' by Erin Pavlina, another great vegan cookbook!

I've modified the recipe a bit since I actually love using coconut oil in baked goods (I get the 54 oz Nutiva organic extra virgin coconut oil) and it looks as follows.

~* Modified Vegan Sugar Cookies *~


*3/4 c coconut oil 
*3/4 c sugar
*Egg replacer for 2 eggs (flax seeds or Ener-G)
*1/4 tsp vanilla extract
*2 1/2 c flour
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp baking powder

*2-3 Tbsp soy, almond or any plant milk
*Dash of salt
*1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*1 1/2-2 c powdered sugar
*3 Tbsp coconut oil or vegan butter [I've done frostings without this and it worked just as well!]
*Add coloring if you wish


1) Mix oil and sugar in a mixing bowl, add vanilla and egg replacer
2) Sift flour and baking powder, add the salt
3) Gently mix dry ingredients with the wet ones until it forms a soft dough
4)Cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge between 2-4 hrs or even over night. [You might have to take it out a bit in advance before wanting to make the cookies as the dough will be hard as a brick!]
5) Preheat oven to 350 F degrees (180 C)
6) Roll out dough to desired thickness and use cookie cutters to form shapes
7) Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for ~8-10 minutes. Let them cook on a rack.

Once the cookies are cooled, beat the frosting ingredients; adding the milk until it's reached the desired consistency.
Spread it on the cooled cookies, adding sprinkles or other deco, 
done! =)

Fresh out of the oven :)

I didn't take pics of the frosted cookies as they honestly didn't look soo pretty anymore after my kids got their hands on with decorating them in purple and orange frosting *lol*, but the taste was good and they had fun, that's all that matters, right? =)


Next I have to post about my great Thai dinner, which was a first for me!
Believe it or not, I never ate out in a Thai restaurant before! (I was once in Thailand as a child, but honestly can't remember and doubt at that age I ate anything else but hamburgers and fries..*blush*)
I was always intrigued when I read about Peanut Noodles so I finally grabbed a package of Phillipine 'Pancit' noodles and created a dish!

 ~* Spicy Peanut Noodles with Smoky Tofu *~


*1 Package of Pancit noodles
*1/2 c Peanut butter
*1 Tbsp sesame oil
*1 Tbsp soy sauce
*2 Tbsp lime juice
*2-3 Tbsp chili garlic sauce 

*1 Package firm tofu, drained & pressed [I had mine frozen and then defrosted]
*1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
*2 Tbsp sugar
*2 Tbsp soy sauce
*1/4 tsp liquid smoke
*1 Tbsp nutritional yeast


1)Soak Pancit noodles for 5-10 minutes in a bowl of cold water.
2) Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan, add the soaked noodles, fry for a few minutes
3) Prepare the peanut butter sauce with the sesame oil, lime juice and garlic chili sauce.
4) Once the noodles are fried, toss with the spicy peanut butter sauce.

For the tofu:
1) Preheat oven to 425 F (~220 C) degrees 
2) Cut the tofu in strips length-wise so that you have slim 'cutlets'
3) Mix the lemon juice, sugar, soy sauce, liquid smoke and nutritional yeast together and brush each 'cutlet' from both sides carefully
4) Place on a baking sheet covered with a nonstick mat [I assume parchment paper would work as well] and bake for ~20 minutes, then flip them and bake for another 10 minutes.
The cutlets should be brown but not burned, obviously.

The tofu absorbed a lot of the marinade, so it might be advisable to actually double the recipe! 
I'll have to play around with it and see how I can create some form of 'glaze'.. (If you know how, please share your secret with me!!! :) ) Over all it was really tasty and I look forward to having it on my sandwich tomorrow, together with some eggplant that I roasted today as well!

I served the tofu together with the Pancit noodles as well as some sugar snap peas and my husband wouldn't stop raving about it! :D

No pics of the entire dish, the family was too fast and hungry! =)