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.

Friday, September 1, 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.

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 food.com 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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Vegan Blue Cream Cheese

Vegan Blue Cheese
There is a recipe called "Spirulina Blue Cheese" in a cookbook called "Everyday Raw" by Mathew Kenney that is just wonderful and worth the price of the book!

It's made with cashews as the nut base.

I make it, love it, and the next time I go to make it I can't remember where I found the recipe, which book, website, etc. so I am posting this to remind myself where to go and look it up when I need it.
I have the book on Kindle so it is hard to copy the page...

Oh, and the other thing that is worth the price is to purchase a nut milk bag to make this in.

PB2 Granola

Plant based Granola, before baking

This is a lower fat recipe for granola than most I have found published. I am replacing some of the fat and oil with applesauce and by golly it works!

I bought a lot of PB2 powder and wanted to use it in an energy snack that didn't have too much sugar or fats.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup PB2 powdered peanut butter, I used the cocoa flavored variety
2/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds
1/3 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried blueberries or cranberries
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 tablespoons oat bran
1/4 cup wheat bran

Stir dry ingredients together and then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients as a drizzle while you continue stirring.

Wet ingredients:
Combine 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup applesauce and 2 teaspoons vanilla

It works well to heat the liquids together for a few seconds in the microwave to make the mixture more fluid. All ingredients together will seem fairly dry but keep stirring and eventually it will all become sticky.  When you no longer see dry pockets it is ready to bake.

PB2 Granola
Spread out on cookie sheet that has been lined with lightly oiled parchment.
Bake for 1 hour at 275 degrees fahrenheit. This will make approximately 2 1/2 lbs. of dry granola.
It works great as a breakfast cereal.

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.