Monday, January 1, 2018

Dutch babies made without eggs, or Puff Pancakes for the Plant Based Diet

Take out of the oven at 35 minutes and dust with powdered sugar and lemon zest.
Dutch Babies are a unique pancake that celebrates the egg and what it can do under the right circumstances.  Normally it puffs up to several times the size of the batter in a hot oven.
We used to make them a lot when our daughter was young and loved the taste and the show of them.  After we stopped eating things with a face or a mother I never even tried to make one but it is one of the breakfast items I have missed.  The new egg replace product, "VeganEgg" is so different that I just had to try and make Dutch Babies again—but I was skeptical that it would work.
Fortunately, it turned out surprisingly well.

Place 4 individual ramekins (4 inch diameter each) in oven and set temperature to 425.
After batter is ready, remove ramekins or pull out oven rack to where you can pour the batter into them. Place 1 tablespoon vegan butter in each ramekin right before pouring in the batter along with a quick spray from your can of spray canola or other oil to coat the inside of each ramekin.

Wet ingredients to be placed in Vitamix or other really good blender:

2 cups non-dairy milk (I used cold coconut milk or almond milk from a carton—not the canned variety)
2 ounces soft silken tofu (or regular tofu blended with some of the non-dairy milk from this recipe in a microblender such as a Magic Bullet)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Then sprinkle in the dry ingredients and blend immediately:

1/4 cup VeganEgg powder
1/2 cup flour such as Bob's 10 grain or coconut flour, or your favorite type
2 tablespoons Low Fat Bisquik
3/4 teaspoon salt

Pour 1/4 of the batter into each hot ramekin as quick as you can after placing the vegan butter and a bit of spray oil in each.  Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the heat down to 375 and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven. Dust with powdered sugar and a squirt of lemon juice.

Alternate Recipe without Bisquik:

Dutch Baby Pancake for One 

1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon soft tofu
1/4 teaspoon each—vanilla and almond extract

Blend in Magic Bullet (mini blender), then add dry ingredients all at once and blend again:

1 tablespoon VeganEgg
3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour, or your favorite flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt.

Cook same as above.

Batter will be thick like cake batter.

After cooking for 12 minutes
This is as tall as it ever achieved, but taking it out of the oven too soon results in a raw and doughy center.  It will deflate a little as it continues cooking.  Too bad.

20 minutes

Plant based Dutch Baby—I should have photographed them right when they came out of the oven.  This is about 10 minutes later.

Serve with real maple syrup, or your favorite.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sour Dough Bread from a no-knead beer recipe

Sour Dough Bread made with flaxseed meal and whole wheat

This recipe doesn't turn out like a dense brick!!!

Ramona's Starter (altered slightly to what I had in the pantry which wasn't the rye flour called for).
2 cups potato water
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup "Better For Bread" white flour
2 teaspoons yeast
Large jar and cheese cloth with a rubber band to keep it in place.

Place starter ingredients into large jar and stir to combine, let sit at room temperature for about 4 days or until it smells nice and sour.  Add 1/4 cup each whole wheat flour and tap water every other day and stir.  (After the 4th day I kept this in the refrigerator except for when I added the new flour and water, after which I left it on the counter for a few hours.)

Today I had enough to try and make a loaf of sour dough bread.  I have used the "No-Knead" bread recipe with great success in the past, but I have never been able to turn it into a whole grain bread that isn't the consistency of a brick.  I thought using a real sour dough starter might help—and it did.

Recipe for Sour Dough Bread:

2 cups bread flour ("Better For Bread")
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon sweetener, such as raw sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
     Toss the dry ingredients together and then add the wet:
1 cup sour dough starter (Ramona's recipe or your favorite recipe)
1/3 cup beer
1 1/2 cups warm water with 2 teaspoons yeast stirred into it

Stir it all together until it forms a nice, sticky ball.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled.  I have found that leaving the dough very wet results in a much better texture and softness to the final loaf.
Place an oiled sheet of parchment into a medium sized skillet and punch dough down, shape into loaf and place it in the paper lined skillet on top of your stove.  Let rest until doubled in size, then make a slit in the top of the loaf and dust with flour.
While the bread is rising, place a large iron dutch oven (or iron camping pot with lid) into the oven and heat to a temperature of 500 degrees f.  Let the oven and pot get up to this temperature for 30 minutes.
When the loaf looks like it is doubled, open the hot oven, remove the lid and use the paper to transfer the dough to inside the dutch oven.  Put the lid back on, shut the oven door.  Set the timer for 30 minutes and turn the oven temperature down to 400 degrees f.
When the timer goes off, remove the lid and continue to bake for another 20 minutes.

Cool loaf on wire rack before cutting.  Good luck with that.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Stuffed Mushrooms, Vegan No-onions

One of my favorite appetizers during the holidays, or when dining out before we started eating only plants and no added fats was Stuffed Mushrooms.  I used to make them with cornbread stuffing and sausage, or crab and bread crumbs with cheese.

Now I make them with polenta and Smart Dog Vegan Sausage (it only takes one sausage for the entire batch so try not to freak out about the fat in that boy).  And they are fabulous!
Here they are, just starting to cook in a skillet with brown rice and Vegan Not-Beef Broth.

Recipe for Stuffed Mushrooms, plant-based with no added fat


12 large mushrooms, stem removed and use melon baller to remove most of insides

Hollow out the mushroom caps

Filling ingredients:
2 slices polenta, 1/4" dice to make 1/3 cup or so
1 Smart Dog Vegan Sausage, 1/4" dice (or homemade vegan sausage)
2 stalks celery, 1/4" dice
2 tablespoons brown minute rice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Bragg essential amino's
2 tablespoons Daiya dairy free mozzarella shreds
2 tablespoons mushroom broth
1/2 cup of mushroom remains, 1/4" dice
1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Stir ingredients together, stuff into hollow mushrooms and place in non-stick skillet with lid and 1 cup of broth and simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat.  Or bake at 350 in a shallow dish, covered, for about 30 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Done stuffing and ready to cook!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Vegan Pot-stickers, Plant-based No Added Fat

Vegan Pot-stickers without frying
Alton Brown has a recipe for Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings that I used to create the Pot stickers, but I removed the egg, sesame oil, scallions and red pepper for health and allergy reasons.  If you aren't allergic to onions and peppers then add the pepper and scallions back in (2 tbsp Each).

Filling ingredients:
1/2 pound firm tofu, pressed to remove excess water
1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
A few drops sesame oil, optional
1 tsp Ener-G egg replacer powder
Dash each of salt and pepper

1 package of round dumpling skins, also called gyoza (preferably twin dragon brand)
Small bowl of water for wetting fingers

First step:
Press the 1/2 pound of tofu to remove excess water by taking 2 or 3 paper towels and folding into a pad the same size or slightly larger than your block of tofu.  Put the tofu on the paper towels and make another pad of paper towels to put over the top.  Place a plate or other flat surface on this and then weigh it down with a can of something, like a 32 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, etc.
Let this sit for at least 20 minutes while you gather the other ingredients together and toss them into a large bowl.  After the tofu has been pressed, slice into 1/4" cubes and toss with other ingredients.

Next step:
Heat two large heavy non-stick skillets to medium, without oil.  While these are warming up, make your potstickers by placing one skin on a flat surface and mounding about 2 teaspoons of the filling mixture onto it.  Wet your finger and run it along 1/2 the circumference of the skin, then fold that half to meet the opposite edge and pinch the edges together to shut it tight.  Now you should have a dumpling or potsticker that is in the shape of the letter "D".
Continue to make these while listening to your favorite jazz music, for cooking I like Steve Tyrell and Diana Krall.  Even if it is not Friday.
When you have enough to cover the bottom of a skillet, spray that skillet with a really light coating of olive oil spray before placing potstickers in it.  (*I have found that the canned Olive Oil Spray by Crisco puts out a much finer mist than Pam!  Who knew?)  Immediately cover with lid and make some more potstickers for the other pan.  If anyones else is home they will eat them as fast as you can make them is why I suggest two pans instead of one.  Also, you don't want to be standing there all day over one measly little pan.
After a few minutes, when the top looks transluscent and if you lift the corner of one and see a golden brown color, add enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan, about 1/8" deep.  Immediately place lid back on and steam until water has evaporated.  Remove the potstickers from the skillet and onto a plate.  Keep them warm by inverting a second plate over the top.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Plant-based Diet Christmas Cookie Recipe

Holiday Cookies for the plant-based foodie!  No added fat, no eggs, little sugar!

If you like the pinole pizzelle recipe, you will probably like these.  Think "toasted corn" with a hint of mint and chocolate.  If you want them more chocolate and less corn, replace the masa harina flour with oat flour and add more Hershey's Dark Cocoa Powder.

1/2 cup pinole corn flour, 
2 tablespoons oat flour, 
3 tablespoons Hershey's Dark Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup almond milk, plus enough additional to make into a smooth batter
2 tablespoons date sugar
1 tablespoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon chocolate extract (or vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients and drop a tablespoon of the batter onto each hot pizzelle press iron, close and bake until steaming stops, about 45 seconds.  You may have to apply a very light spray oil to the press before each batch.  Remove from press, place on wire rack to cool and decorate with melted 72% dark chocolate and crushed candy canes.

Hint:  Melt chocolate in a ziplock sandwich bag placed in a bowl of hot water.  After chocolate has melted, dry off the outside of the bag and snip the corner to add chocolate piping to the cookies.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Chickpea Cutlets for the plant based diet

Chickpea Cutlets served on a bed of fresh spinach ribbons with oven roasted baby new potatoes and a lima bean, carrot and mushroom gravy.  Who thought plant-based could be so good?
There is a recipe for chickpea cutlets posted at by Emily Souliere that came from "Veganomicon" By Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  The original recipe had olive oil as one of the ingredients and then fried.
This is a version of that recipe, but without the oil or frying in my attempt to follow the advice of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn in his book, "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease".


1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup plain nonfat whole grain breadcrumbs
1/4 cup non-fat vegetable broth
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves diced fine
1/2 teaspoon vegetarian "Not-Chicken" bouillon
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon hungarian paprika
1/4 teaspoon dry sage

Mash the chickpeas until no whole ones are visible, I use a potato masher. (If you use a food processor, be sure to just pulse and not over mix or you will end up with a texture which is completely wrong.)
Add remaining ingredients and knead for three minutes.

Divide dough into four equal pieces and flatten into a
shape resembling a flattened piece of chicken breast, about 4"x6".

Heat nonstick skillet to medium hot and arrange cutlets to cover
the bottom of the skillet. Flip after they have browned (about
4 minutes).  Set cutlets aside and brown two cups of sliced mushrooms in the same skillet.
Add two cups of mushroom broth. Simmer until thickened and place cutlets back into pan. Heat through.
Note that if you let these sit too long in the mushroom broth while you are waiting for that certain someone to finally get home from work, there won't be any broth left.  The patties will have soaked it all up.  Just saying.

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Meatloaf for the plant-based diet, no added fat

Low Fat Meat-less Meatloaf

The first step is to turn on the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.


1/2 cup boiling water with
1/2 cup dry TVP granules, or beef flavored TSP and set aside while you get everything else going.

In a food processor, combine the following:
(or you can make this entire meatloaf without a food processor by dicing everything very fine but it may need a bit of water to make everything stick together)

1 cup diced tofu
1/2 cup walnuts 
1/4 cup flaxseed meal whisked with 1/3 cup hot water
1 teaspoon hot sauce such as Sirachi 
1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon paste, or "not-beef" flavor powder
2 tablespoon fresh parsley—don't skip this
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce—don't skip this
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Pour into very large bowl along with:

1/2 cup chopped celery 
1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup finely sliced or shredded carrot
1 cup of dry breadcrumbs (if you are out, put three slices of whole grain bread through the food processor and use that instead, or oatmeal or soda cracker crumbs)
3/4 cup vital wheat gluten
rehydrated TVP

Roll up your sleeves and stir it all together with your hands (don't forget the TVP—I can't tell you how many times I forget that….) Knead for a couple of minutes to get the gluten forming.
Form into a loaf shape and place in one large or two medium sized bread pans (lightly spray-oiled).

Brush the top with the super-fantastic-extra-special red sauce (really, don't skip this part):

8 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons brown sugar or date sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Bake for  75 minutes, remove from oven and let sit for 20 minutes before devouring.  If you want it done quicker, use two smaller pans. If baking as two medium loaves adjust the time down to one hour.