Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vegan peaches

Ornamental front yard space doesn't always have to be made up of plants that don't produce more than just good looks.  A peach tree is beautiful and look, free breakfast in August!

I have nieces who have said to me, "We don't eat vegan food" which I find hilarious.  Everyone eats vegan food, the problem is all the other food we eat that isn't.

Organic fruit for breakfast without any cream or sugar, just homegrown peaches.
Every tree has good and bad characteristics to consider when designing a landscape. Naysayers will point out that a fruit tree is messy and more work to mow around when the fruit is dropping, but I think the good things outweigh the bad things and I look forward to many years of enjoyment watching the spring blossoms peak out and now the fruit as it ripens.  In the fall it will turn a lovely color. (I don't plant apple trees anymore because a good organic farmer can do it so much better. My apple trees are always buggy which is bad for the local farmers as my problems can spread to become their problems.)

But peaches, now those seem to be something I can grow without chemical sprays and they have not had any disease or pest problems. Knock on wood.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Scallops recipe for plant based people

My first attempt at Pan Seared Vegan Scallops

I tried out a scallop recipe from "Vegan Homemade" last night that was just fantastic:

Her photo is what grabbed me.  Believe me, the results of my first attempt tasted wonderful and lived up to her photo.  Thanks Erin!

I wanted to try to create a meal that was the essence of Coquilles St. Jacques, which was a popular entry at a restaurant I worked at years ago.  In between attending Olympic College and WSU I worked for a year in a restaurant at a Navy base as a hostess in the Officer's Club.  I learned how to fold napkins fancy, properly serve coffee and water and occasionally chatted up the chef.  (He told me what I was doing wrong with my weepy meringue.)  I have to admit, I was kind of in awe of the chef's knowledge and now that my daughter is about to graduate from PICA in Vancouver, I couldn't be prouder!

The most memorable dish from that restaurant was how they served scallops—in a tangy wine sauce with mushrooms served in a ramekin that was topped with piped mashed potatoes and then lightly broiled.  On the rare occasion that my husband and I ate at the Enlisted Club (same restaurant kitchen) Coquilles St. Jacques is what I always ordered.

Now that we don't eat fish or any other critters I was hoping to find a way to mimic scallops and Erin's solution to use mushrooms was genius.  I couldn't find the exact type of mushroom in my local market which was too bad since it would have made things a lot easier.

I found a recipe for Coquilles St. Jacques on Food Network that was written by Emeril Lagasse and sounded similar to what I had tasted at the Navy Restaurant. See

I exchanged some items in Emeril's recipe for vegan versions and lowered the fat, otherwise I pretty much followed both their recipes so no need to risk plagerizing.

But I can't help showing off some photos!

Marinate overnight or all day.

If you can't find King Trumpet Mushrooms, use the most pristine white button mushrooms you can find.
I cut off the stems and the rounded tops, then trimmed all around to create that cylinder look that scallops have. (Bonus, I saved all the trimmings and sautéd them at lunch—piled them on a tortilla spread with hummus—wow and yum.)
Seared over high heat in non-stick skillet after marinating 8 hours.

White wine sauce with celery instead of onions, no butter or cream.

Vegan scallops placed back into the sauce before serving.

Button Mushroom Scallop
We enjoyed these over boiled blue potatoes with side dishes of salad and pan roasted beets.  Nice combo if I do say so myself.  Blueberries simmered in a little white wine and agave nectar for dessert. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dad would be proud of Mom's tomatoes!

Today I am having a tomato, spinach and hummus sandwich for lunch.
Plant based lunch options don't have to be complicated.
Thanks for the tomatoes mom!

Tomato and Spinach Sandwich

Friday, July 11, 2014

Butter Bean Recipe

Here is a quick recipe for making a can of butter beans into something special.

1 can butter beans
1 teaspoon vegan butter (optional)
3 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon "not chicken bouillon"
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest (just a couple of swipes across the skin with a zester/grater)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or juice from 1/2 lemon

Lemon Parsley Butter Beans

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas, only not. Plant based no added fat, vegan

Today I made them with lots of celery, shredded cabbage, navy beans and baby spinach leaves and chia seeds.
I love sour cream enchiladas and so I set out to make a recipe that is very low fat and vegan for heart-health.  This is my favorite enchilada recipe and the one most closely resembling sour cream chicken enchiladas.

Stir together and set aside (this represents what would have been the "meat":
1 cup soy curls (break into small pieces) soaked in 1 tsp. "not-chicken" bouillon and 1 cup hot water

Combine white layer and set aside:
2 cups chopped celery
(Note:  this is an easy recipe to sneak extra veggies into such as broccoli or spinach so add some to the white layer or between layers if your kids won't eat them otherwise)
2 teaspoons cumin
dash pepper flakes
1 package soft silken tofu
1 can (4 oz) mild green chilies (double this if you really like green chilies)
1/2 cup Tofutti Non-Dairy Sour Cream
1 teaspoon white vinegar

Combine red layer and set aside:
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15 oz)
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
The textured vegetable protein, now softened.

2 large cans enchilada sauce or make your own from scratch
Corn tortillas (or fat free whole wheat if you prefer)
1/4 cup soy or rice cheddar cheese shreds (optional)

Pour 1/4" layer of enchilada sauce in bottom of a deep 9x13"pan.
Layer tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce in the bottom of the pan.
Spread 1/2 red mixture
Another layer of tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce
Spread all the white mixture.
Another layer of tortillas dipped in enchilada sauce
Spread remaining ted mixture.
Pour any leftover enchilada sauce over the top (You probably won't have any left.  No worries)
Spread soy cheese shreds over top.
Bake 350 f. for about 45 minutes or until bubbly hot.

Sour Cream Enchiladas made without dairy, meat or oil.

If you aren't allergic to onions, feel free to add them in with the celery.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lemon Hummus

Lemon Hummus

Plant Based Recipe, no oil, no tahini:

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh garlic
Juice and zest from one large lemon
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon each sage, dry mustard powder, dry parsley

Process until smooth.  Refrigerate.
note: I accidentally left out the garlic last time I made this and it was still very good and even more lemony

Friday, May 16, 2014

Pesto change-oh, pesto made with kale and no oil

This is a bright, lemony sauce to use on whole grain pasta for those dinners where you want pasta, but not tomato sauce.  A pesto sauce made from a 'whole-lotta' kale and lemon but without the olive oil traditionally found in pesto sauce so it won't hurt your heart.  

Kale Pesto Sauce

5 large curly kale leaves, rinsed and torn to make about 3 cups or enough to fill your food processor bowl
12 fresh basil leaves, or a handful, or about 1/3 of those fresh bunches they now sell in the produce section--sans roots
4 tablespoons walnuts
2 tablespoons pine nuts
zest and juice from one lemon (in that order to make it easy on yourself)
2 large cloves garlic
1/3 cup water

Combine all ingredients in food processor and zip around for about 30 seconds.  Toss with hot pasta. This makes enough for one pound of pasta prepared according to package directions.

Whole grain penne pasta with kale pesto sauce, fresh diced tomato and vegan parmesan

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Plant based Chocolate Soufflé, low fat, eggless

Plant based Chocolate Souffle prior to baking in 10 oz. ramekin
Three plant based chocolate soufflés baking in 1" water bath

Plant based chocolate soufflé in 10 ounce ramekin fresh from the oven

Plant based chocolate soufflé baked without water bath (not as high and light)
Wouldn't it be nice to have an arsenal of traditional SAD (standard American diet) recipes that have been converted into a plant-based version?  No oil, butter or shortening and no animal products so no cholesterol!  This is just one of many recipes you can find for free on this blog.   Happy times.

I used this recipe to make 4 soufflés but next time I will make 8 smaller ones (I found this dessert to be very good but too rich in this large size).


7 ounces vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1 block Silken Soft Tofu
5 tablespoons agave nectar
3 tablespoons liquor of your choice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup Bird's Custard Powder (some say this may not be vegan)
1/4 cup cake flour or oat flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes if making 4 large servings, 25 minutes if making 8 small servings.

This recipe is derived from:

Note:  6 oz. deep ramekins can be found at

Bird's Custard Powder, bought from Amazon in the USA lists the following ingredients:
Cornflour, Salt, Colour, Annatto; flavouring.
Produced in the UK.