Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Silk Crunch Cherry Pie, low fat plant-based version

Cherry Pie with oatmeal topping
I have been listening to Katie Herzig singing, "Hey Na Na" a lot lately--it cracks me up.  Very Cherry Pie-ish.
I used to have a cookbook with a recipe for "French Silk Peach Crunch Pie" that was basically peaches swimming in custard with a crumb topping.  Delicious but fattening and now that we don't consume milk products, not that appealing anymore.
I wanted to capture that same fruit and cream texture though, in a plant-based diet version with fresh pie cherries from our local farmer's market.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F then turn down to 350 degrees when you put your pie in the oven.
Bake your pie for 40-50 minutes, or until center is set.


Start with the lowest fat pie shell you can find or make.  "Wholesome Organic Whole Wheat" is good but has 8 grams of fat per slice--so use sparingly.  Like birthdays, holidays, or not at all.


2 1/2 cups pie cherries, pitted
1 box Mori-Nu Soft Silken Tofu
2/3 cup date sugar
1/4 cup rice milk
1/3 cup corn starch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Mix everything together except cherries in a blender then stir in the cherries before pouring into an unbaked pie shell.  Top with crunchy topping:


1/4 cup oats
1 Tablespoon date sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla powder
a pinch of cinnamon
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until set, cool on wire rack. (In case you didn't see the same message at the beginning because you were in such a hurry to make pie.)

If you would like to make a plain cherry pie without the tofu filling:

Alternative filling:

3 cups pie cherries, pitted
2/3 cups date sugar
pinch salt
1/3 cup cornstarch

Stir together, pour into unbaked pie shell and top with crunchy topping.  Bake 40 minutes.
Yummy served with non-dairy low fat ice cream.  You really should be sitting on a swing out on the porch when you eat this if you can.

Lemony Wheat Berry and Garbanzo Bean Salad

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cans garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped fine
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 large kale leave, sliced in thin ribbons
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest from
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon basil paste, or 1/4 fresh bunch chopped
  • several grinds of black pepper
Prepare wheat berries by simmering in the water and salt until tender. This could take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 1/2 hours. Drain and cool to room temperature. 
Prepare dressing by combining lemon juice with oil drizzle while whisking in small bowl or measuring cup.
Place all ingredients in large bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Makes about 8 cups of salad.  Will keep in refrigerator for 2 days.

Recipe for Pressure Cooker Seitan with no added fat, vegan

"Chicken" Seitan

1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Chicken flavored Vegetarian Bouillon
2 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/2 teaspoon Poultry seasoning
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 cups water, at room temperature

Mix all ingredients together, knead for a couple of minutes and let sit for twenty minutes.
While this is resting place broth ingredients into pressure cooker and bring to a boil without the lid:

6 cups of water
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons Chicken flavored Vegetarian Bouillon

Divide dough into ten equal pieces about the size and shape of a small biscuit, drop into boiling broth then cover and seal pressure lid. Simmer for twenty minutes. Take off the burner and let it depressurize before removing lid.
Keep these in the freezer to use in recipes in place of meat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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
1 tsp. miso paste

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

Monday, February 20, 2017

Plant based (and vegan) Chili, Non-fat, No Onions!

Vegan chili over pasta with nutritional yeast and flaxseed meal sprinkled over the top 
This is a repost with slight recipe adjustments/simplifications.

I have a hard time with onions and a slight allergy to bell peppers so here is my chili recipe which I can't seem to get enough of.....

Vegan Chili, No added fat, No Onions!

1 cup mushroom broth
1 1/2 cup diced celery
1 large can tomato puree
2 cans (13 oz typical) diced tomatoes
1 can white kidney beans
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 bag frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup dry textured vegetable protein beef flavor (TVP)  or other vegan meat substitute (optional)

Simmer for 30 minutes or at least until hot and bubbly.

Makes enough for several people or several days.
Serve 1 cup over 1/2 cup prepared couscous, quinoa or whole grain pasta.
We also like to make our own tortilla chips by buying the most whole grain and least fat type available at our local market, cutting into triangles and baking in the oven (about 15 minutes at 375 on parchment) with a little taco seasoning or cumin sprinkled on top.  Whole wheat tortillas work well and don't get as tough as corn tortillas.

Note:  Use beans that you like, don't limit yourself to what I have listed or traditional pinto type chili beans if that isn't what you enjoy eating.

Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass makes good cooking music for this.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Vegan Lemon Soufflé

I want to make this again!

1 package Mori-Nu Soft Tofu
5 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of one lemon, two if you want more lemon flavor
5 tablespoons sugar, or your preferred sweetener
2 tablespoon almond milk
1 tablespoon egg replacer powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tall soufflé ramekins, 10 ounces each prepared by spraying with a light coating of cooking spray oil, then dust with fine confectioners sugar.  Place in pyrex 9x13 pan.  Pour boiling water between ramekins to a depth of 3/4" or about halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Lemon Souffle,  after 6 minutes of baking
Vegan Lemon Souffle,  after 40 minutes at 350 fahrenheit 

Blend ingredients in a strong blender such as a Vita-mix.  Pour into prepared ramekins, bake for 45 minutes in the water bath.  Take a picture.  Devour with a friend.

Vegan Lemon Soufflé , an earlier attempt that looked great but was too wet inside (I bumped up the cornstarch and decreased the almond milk)

Note:  If I had tall 6 ounce ramekins, that would be my preference but baking this recipe in typical 6 ounce ramekins results in soufflés that do not puff up, see top of last photo.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

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.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lemon Snowdrop Tea Cookies, no eggs or dairy butter

One of my favorite cookie treats are little lemon cookies covered in powdered sugar that are available for sale at gourmet kitchen shops and gift shops.  I just love them. But I can't see buying enough in little bags for big prices to be able to share at Christmas time so I set out to figure out how to make these lemony delights.
After about 4 or 5 attempts and tweaking, this is a recipe that makes me very happy.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.


1 3/4 sticks vegan butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup almond flour
3/8 tsp lemon oil

Place first four ingredients into
mixing bowl and mix together until creamy.
While this is mixing stir dry ingredients together in separate bowl:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
18 tsp. salt

Add dry ingredients to butter/sugar mixture while mixer is operating at it's lowest speed.
Turn up and only mix until everything is combined.  Don't over-mix the dough.

Scoop with a 1 tablespoon size scooper or roll into balls about the size of a small walnut and place on cookies sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack until just warm, then roll in the lemon powder/sugar mixture coating both top and bottom. Set back on wire rack to finish cooling.  These freeze well.

Powdered Sugar to Lemon Powder ratio: 1/4 cup powdered sugar to 1/8 cup lemon juice powder
Use this mixture to coat the cookies.