Saturday, October 3, 2015

Cinnamon Rolls, or October Sweet Rolls

I have been craving cinnamon rolls for a couple of weeks now and wanted to find way to create a version that didn't have butter or vegan margarine but still tasted great.  I had the idea to use ground nuts as the fat in the gooey insides along with ground dates and talked to my daughter, the pastry chef about it this morning.  She recommended I use pumpkin puree as a spread over the dough.  I combined our two ideas into a new invention which I like to call, October Sweet Rolls.

This isn't a low fat recipe, just lower than my old standard cinnamon roll recipe which called for lots of butter, loads of sugar and even heavy cream poured over the top.  Geez, those don't even sound good now.

Ingredients for the dough:

1 cup near boiling water
1 cup cold rice milk
     —Combine, make sure it isn't too hot and then add:
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 cup better for bread flour
2 cups whole wheat plus enough additional to make into a not too sticky dough
Mix until smooth dough forms, let rise until double in warm location.

1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, organic "Ceylon" type to get the health benefits
1/2 teaspoon vanilla to be added after cooking
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese to be added after cooking.

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup figs
dates, about 8 pitted
2 teaspoons flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, organic "Ceylon"
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place walnuts, figs and dates into a food processor and grind to a fine crumb, then toss with remaining dry ingredients. Set aside. (Note: I used a Ninja for this but had to divide this into 4 parts to complete the task.)

Place first four wet ingredients into a 2 or 3 quart saucepan, stir over medium heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce the moisture.  Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Place vanilla and cream cheese in small blender (like a Ninja) along with half the pumpkin puree mixture. Pulse to combine. Then stir in remaining pumpkin mixture. Let cool to just warm.

Roll out dough to form a large rectangle, about 16"x24".  Spread pumpkin puree mixture to cover dough.  Sprinkle dry nut crumbly mixture over pumpkin. Roll tightly to form 24" loaf. Slice into 1 1/2" rolls using dental floss to cut.

October Sweet Rolls, ready for the rise before placing into the oven.
A new take on cinnamon rolls.

Place rolls into prepared glass casserole pans so that they have room to expand. (Prepare by coating with coconut oil and a light dusting of brown sugar on the bottom of each pan.)
After they rise to double, bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

PB2 Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe for the plant based sweet tooth

The trick to keeping the fat level low in these cookies is to use PB2 powder and make the cookies small. The icing on top is important to intensify the flavor.
This recipe will make 18 small cookies.
Plant based peanut butter cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f).


4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
5 tablespoons date sugar
3/4 cup PB2 peanut butter powder
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tbsp egg replacement powder plus 2 tbsp water, beat until frothy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Raw sugar for rolling, plus a dash of salt

Stir all ingredients together until just combined, don't over mix.
Roll each rounded spoonful of dough in a plate of sugar (add a dash of salt to the sugar before rolling). Bake 10 minutes, cool on wire rack. Drizzle with icing.

PB2 Icing Recipe
5 teaspoons powdered sugar
5 teaspoons PB2 powder
1 1/2 teaspoons soy creamer or non-dairy milk (or more if needed for smooth consistency)

This recipe make about 16 cookies this size, flattened with fork dipped in flour.

Monday, August 17, 2015

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.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Rebecca's Bugs Bunny Dinner Salad

Bugs Bunny Salad
Best Served with Warm Hearty Bread

Grilled Garnish
Grilled Pineapple
Grilled Carrots
Grill over high heat. Reserve, warm, separately.
Cold Garnish
Caramelized Limes
Juice limes over avocado slices, and salt generously.
Hot Element
Black Beans
Taco Seasoning
Sweat minced garlic until translucent, adding black beans and taco seasoning and stirring until fragrant. Chop pecans roughly and add. Sautee until pecans are toasted and beans just start to fall apart. Reserve over low heat.
Cold Element
Carrot Greens
Fresh Mango, diced
Mince the herbs finely and coat fresh mango. 
Bitter greens
Chop into bite-size pieces and toss together with salt and pepper. If serving guests with differing tolerances for bitterness, keep bitter greens separate.
Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette
At last minute, put all elements except for the carrot in a bowl, tossing until well mixed and evenly coated. Top with salt and pepper, and garnish with whole carrot. Rub the carrot with dressing for shine, if desired.

Rebecca made us such a good salad the other night we asked her to write down everything so we could keep the recipe! It was Bugs Bunny's birthday and how perfect to have a carrot on top.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Plant based Red, White and Blue Fourth of July Cake without eggs, oil or butter

Fourth of July Menu from early in our plant-based life:

We are going to have hummus and raw veggies, and BBQ Soy Curls in a spinach wrap with coleslaw, baked beans, pasta salad, spinach salad with dried cranberries and for dessert—red, white and blue cake (if you aren't allergic to watermelon that would be a superior healthy dessert option).

Alternate menu: Portabello mushroom "burger patties", Quinoa Salad, Corn on the Cob, Asparagus.

Cake made from a mix without eggs and oil.

Red, white and blue cake (a dessert for the holiday--not something you should eat a lot of)
2 lbs fresh blueberries
1 lb fresh raspberries
1 package white cake mix, dry (this could be replaced with flour, baking powder, sugar and dried non-dairy milk—I will have to work on that—but in the meantime…
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup water
1/8 cup egg replacer powder
1/3 cup rice milk, or your favorite non-dairy milk

  1. Coat a 9"x13" pyrex baking dish lightly with crisco olive oil spray.
  2. Pour all but 1/2 cup of the fresh blueberries into the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Combine all the other ingredients except for the raspberries, using a mixer set on medium speed.  Scrape sides of bowl halfway through mixing.
  4. Pour batter over blueberries and bake at 350 degrees f until toothpick comes out clean, about 32 minutes.  
  5. Let cool on wire rack.
  6. Make a white frosting using 3 Tbsp. Tofutti sour cream, 1 Tbsp. rice milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar and a pinch of salt.  Adjust sugar and/or milk until you have a nice consistency.  (Goal: to look like traditional frosting but without all the fat of butter or shortening.)
  7. Frost the cake, using a thin layer, just enough to act as "glue" to keep the berries from rolling around.  Place the raspberries in stripes and the blueberries in the corner—just like our beloved American Flag.
  8. Take a bow as you serve it at the family 4th of July barbecue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

What to do with all that Steak Seasoning now that you are on a plant based diet

Garbanzo beans heated through with some steak seasoning
Other seasonings that work well to turn a can of garbanzo beans into a healthier snack than chips are to add freeze dried lemon grass, oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and black pepper.

Other snacks if you are like me and like to munch, munch, munch:  popcorn that has been microwaved in a popper by Miracle Ware (Progressive International).  Fantastic!!!!  No oil and no carcinogenic fumes from a bag.

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.