Friday, May 8, 2015

Plant based Waldorf Salad

Plant based Waldorf Salad
Re-post for summer:

I have always like collecting recipes and one time I found myself alone with my mother-in-law's cookbooks. In a book that came with her Sharp microwave oven I found a fantastic recipe for a Chicken Waldorf Salad made with bacon and mayonnaise and a pound of chicken meat with enough garlic powder to send the whole flavor sensation over the top.  It was soooo good.
I have kept that recipe in my own collection for the past 25 years although of course I never made it often and now I don't make it at all.  Yesterday was another hot, and I mean really hot day so I was in the mood for a cold dinner.  Here is a lightened version of that Chicken Waldorf Salad Recipe for my future self and anyone else who would like to try it.

Recipe for Not-Chicken Waldorf Salad


  • 1 cup Butler Soy Curls (rehydrated in not-chicken broth) and diced to 1/2" or vegan chicken type meat product by Quorn
  • 1 cup grapes, cut in half
  • 6 large kale leaves, rinsed and sliced into thin ribbons and chopped to 1"
  • 1 crisp fresh apples diced 1/2"
  • 1 cup chopped celery 
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (original recipe called for 3/4 cup--yikes!)

Place everything into large bowl and toss with dressing.  Chill for an hour before serving.

Salad dressing:
  • 1/8 cup Miracle Mayo or your favorite non-fat vegan mayo or cashews processed in magic bullet (mini food processor)
  • 6 oz. vegan yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Two cloves fresh minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • dash black pepper

Alternative ingredients:  butter lettuce instead of steamed kale, cold peas, dried cranberries, forego the soy curls, add chia seeds.  Top salad with flaxseed meal.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Soft Ginger Cookies, no eggs or added fat

Let's make it again! Sometimes I like to revive recipes by bringing them back up to the top in case you missed it the first time around.

This is a non-egg version of a Fat Free Ginger Snap recipe by David Lebovitz.   These make delicious soft ginger cookies.
Plant based soft ginger cookies

1 cup, packed brown sugar
1 individual size container unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup mild molasses
2 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons egg replacer powder mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup finely-chopped candied ginger

Additional sugar (about 1/4 cup date sugar) mixed with a big pinch of cinnamon and coriander for rolling the cookies or pressing with a coated flat bottom cup or glass.
1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, applesauce, and molasses for five minutes at medium speed, with the paddle attachment.
2. Meanwhile sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.  Also, chill a large cookie scoop and flat bottomed glass or mug by placing in the freezer.
3. After five minutes, stop the mixer, scrape down the sides, and add the egg substitute. Beat another minute.
4. With the mixer at its lowest speed, add the dry ingredients until completely incorporated, and mix on medium for one minute more.
5. Stir in the chopped candied ginger. 
6. To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
7. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
8. Pour some spiced granulated sugar in a shallow baking dish. Scoop the cookies into balls (about the size of an unshelled walnut) and plunk them down into the sugar, and dip a flat bottomed glass/mug in the sugar and press or tap down the cookies.  Bake for 9 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Makes about 44 cookies.

Ginger cookies hot from the oven.

This makes such a sticky dough that I wash the cookie scoop and glass/mug in between each sheet of cookies and refreeze while each batch bakes.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quiche pi for pi day

Inspired by the recipe book, "Betty Goes Vegan 500 Classic Recipes for the Modern Family" by Annie and Dan Shannon.

For pi day of the century, we are having quiche for breakfast and pizza pie for dinner.
The quiche recipe found in this book is the base for what we made this morning. We omitted the onions and olive oil and I didn't have the smoked vegan cheese called for.  I also added 2 cups of browned mushroom slices in the bottom of the pie shell along with a layer of fresh baby spinach leaves.  I substituted celery for the onions and bumped up the nutritional yeast and added mustard  and India salt to the filling.

1 whole wheat pie shell
2 cups mushrooms browned without oil in hot, non-stick skillet
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 cup finely diced celery
Layer above in pie shell

Topping, set aside for after placing filling over above ingredients:
1 5 ounce package temper bacon, browned in skillet and crumbled
2 tablespoons vegan cheese shreds
smoked paprika and chives to be sprinkled over after baking

For filling to be placed in food processor:
1 16 oz package firm silken tofu
1 tablespoon soy creamer
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
dash onion powder
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon Brown Mustard
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 T. of which for folding into filling at end
1/4 teaspoon cumin—rounded, don't be skimpy
1/2 teaspoon miso paste
1/4 teaspoon India salt for eggy-sulfur flavor
1/4 teaspoon turmeric—don't go crazy
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees f.
Let sit for 10 minutes after coming out of the oven.
Happy pi day.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Rebecca's Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Recipe

The other day my daughter wanted to make cookies just for fun and asked her husband what kind he wanted.  He described Snickerdoodles and she was so disappointed, yet came up with a wonderful vegan recipe on the spot!  Low fat, full of good pumpkin fiber…what more could you ask for in a delicious sweet at the end of the day?

Plant based, no added fat Pumpkin Snickerdoodle

1 smaller can pumpkin (13 oz?)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp orange extract
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Dusting mix: vanilla sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Combine all ingredients in paddle mixer until well mixed, drop cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet using a 3 tablespoon scoop. Flatten with a flat bottom glass sprayed with oil and dipped in sugar dusting mix. Bake at 350 fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chicken noodle soup, only not

Sometimes, especially during the winter months, I like a simple bowl of chicken noodle soup for lunch.  That's a bit of a problem since we no longer eat meat so I want to share this successful recipe as a way to satisfy the need for a soup similar to Campbell's but without animal protein.

Brown rice pasta with celery and soy sausage bits in broth.

3 1/2 cups water
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon, No-chicken flavor
2 tablespoons sausage flavored TVP, dry
2 cups dry brown rice pasta
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, diced—optional
a dash of dried parsley

Bring water and broth to boil, add bouillon and TVP and pasta in a 3 quart saucepan.
Simmer for 5 minutes with the lid off, then turn off the heat and add the vegetables and parsley.  Let sit for 8 to 10 minutes with the lid on.
When the pasta is perfect so is the soup—not too al dente and not too soft.  Just right.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Vegan Almond Chicken

Soy curls made to taste like Almond Chicken on a bed of steamed kale

Do you ever find yourself remembering a great meal at a restaurant from years ago, and develop a craving?  We used to like to go to this very typical American-Chinese restaurant in Spokane that served Chinese food the way we liked it, the tackier the better.  Sticky, bright red sweet and sour sauce, bright yellow lemon chicken, you get the idea.  My favorite item on their menu was Almond Chicken.  It was something I never figured out how to make at home (and probably would have cringed at how unhealthy it was anyway).  I found myself wondering how to re-create the essence of what I liked about this dish without re-creating the bad stuff—the animal protein and the greasy gravy.

God Bless Soy Curls.  

A plant based version of the standard American Chinese Restaurant "Almond Chicken"

1 cup              soy curls
1 cup              boiling water
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, No Chicken Base
2 tablespoons Sliced almonds
1/4 cup almond flour
(or grind up your whole almonds with a food processor)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup bread crumbs (whole grain, dry)
1 cup water
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup almond milk, lowfat
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
1/2 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, No Chicken Base
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1 tablespoon Miso paste
1 bunch steamed kale 
1.  Dissolve 1 teaspoon of bouillon in 1 cup of boiling water and pour over soy curls to dehydrate.  Let sit for 15 min. or longer while you prepare the other ingredients.
2.  Toast sliced almonds in small skillet until golden brown, set aside to use as topping.
3.  Toast 1/4 cup almond flour (ground almonds), then combine with flaxseed meal and bread crumbs.
4.  Drain broth from soy curls and reserve.  Dredge soy curls in almond flour mixture.
5.  Toast coated soy curls in medium-hot skillet until browned on all sides.  Set aside in warm oven.
6.  Combine sauce ingredients (1 cup water, 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, garbanzo bean flour and 1/2 teaspoon bouillon) in blender or Magic Bullet.
7.  Pour sauce ingredients into skillet and bring to simmer, cook until thickened.  Remove from heat and add almond extract and miso paste, stir to combine.
8.  Place 1 cup of steamed kale or brown rice and 1/4 of the soy curls on each plate, cover with the almond sauce and sprinkle toasted sliced almonds over the top.

8.  Remember to close your eyes with each bite, sigh and be happy and grateful to be alive.  Bless the cook.  Don't bother wiping the grin off your face.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pot Pie Filling over Baked Potatoes

The other day while walking through the freezer section of Yokes, our local market, my daughter mentioned that one of the foods she misses (now that we don't eat meat) is Chicken Pot Pie.  I agreed and mentally filed it away as a recipe to someday turn into a vegan dish.
Nearly Chicken Pot Pie Filling over a baked potato

Pot Pie Filling Recipe, plant-based with no added fat

(First bake 2 or more large potatoes for an hour at 375, or until fork tender.  Let rest for a few minutes wrapped in foil)

2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic 
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 fresh carrots, sliced thin
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon Not Chicken Bouillon 
pinch each of sage, Bragg 24 herb seasoning, dried parsley 
dash black pepper

Brown mushrooms in large skillet, then add the carrots and cook for a couple of minutes.  Combine water with cornstarch and bouillon in a small measuring cup, whip to remove lumps.  Place all remaining ingredients including cornstarch and water mixture into skillet and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes or until thick and bubbly.  (In my opinion frozen veggies don't need to be "cooked" for long, just "heated" so they keep their nice color and texture, so please don't overcook).

Spoon filling mixture over the prepared baked potatoes. Take a picture.

Optional:  If you really want something in this to taste like "chicken meat", I recommend using soy curls chopped into bite size nuggets.  Just add 1 cup soy curls and 3/4 cup more liquid, broth or water.
Optional toppings:  nutritional yeast flakes and flaxseed meal

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies

Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies, enlightened a bit

When I was a child one of the Christmas cookies my Mom would make each year was something she called, "Pomander Balls", a no-bake cookie made from crushed Nilla Wafers and melted chocolate chips together with sugar and orange extract.  The recipe has since been a favorite of most of our extended family and especially of my husband and daughter.
I wanted to try and create a version without chocolate chips since I am avoiding fat and oil.
This is my version of Pomander Balls, which I respectfully re-name "Chocolate Orange Truffle Cookies" since they aren't exactly the same.

In a food processor combine all the ingredients:
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp Grand Marnier
1 tsp orange extract
1 cup pecans
2-3 cups original Grape Nuts cereal, not the flake kind, processed to a fine crumb

Blend everything together and shape into balls about the size of a walnut or about 3/4" diameter.  Roll in more powdered Grape Nuts or chopped pecans.
Store for up to 4 weeks in airtight container in refrigerator.  If they seem dry, occasionally sprinkle with more Grand Marnier as they mature.
Good luck having any at Christmas unless you hide them.

Note:  The goal is to have a crumb mixture that holds together when squeezed so you may have to bump up the moisture by adding more of any or all of the wet ingredients.  Today I had to add a lot more moisture because the air is so dry. Makes about 32 cookies.  (Hard to tell since someone kept snitching as I was making.)