Archive for November, 2010

Black Friday Meals!

Couldn’t wake up for the black Friday deals today, so instead I decided to make some black friday meals! I know what you’re thinking… yesterday was Thanksgiving, how can I be making more food?! There’s always time.

First let me explain to you what I had for my vegan Thanksgiving dinner at the family’s house:

Lentil Loaf smothered in vegan gravy (recipe follows)


Baked chickpeas

Steamed green beans

Earth Balance buttered mashed taters

Salad with balsamic vinaigrette and black olives

and for dessert warm apple crisp literally from oven to plate!

The vegan lentil loaf was a creation from many different recipes: The Vegan Table’s Old Fashioned Lentil Loaf, The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook’s Lentil loaf, and Whole Foods Market’s Celebration Lentil Loaf

Thanksgiving Lentil Loaf

Serves 10-12

2 cups lentils, dry

2 cups quinoa, cooked

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

8 garlic cloves

10 oz. mushrooms (we used white)

1/4 cup (unfortunately a little less) red onion

2/3 – 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

2 tsp. fresh sage

1/4 tsp. each of thyme, paprika, and onion powder

1 Tbsp. olive oil


Put the lentils in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; lower the heat and simmer, covered, until all the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, saute all the vegetables with the oil in a skillet until crisp tender, they will cook the rest of the way through in the oven.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Press firmly into a large (16X9) baking dish…

and bake in a 350 F oven for 35-40 minutes or until set and darkened on the top.

Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.


… I want to tweak this recipe, it was very filling and great tasting, but it needed moisture.  I wanted to add some onion, but we were all out, and that would have definitely added some great moisture.  Also, a half cup of vegetable broth added along with bread crumbs may add the needed moisture to counter the dry breadcrumbs.  All in all though I gave this a thumbs up!!


Today we made a great apple cake!! This was based on another recipe I saw in The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

Applebutter Cake

Serves 6

1/2 cup oil

1 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups apple butter

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. each nutmeg and ginger

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup raisins, rehydrated

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped


Mix the oil and the sugar in a bowl until well incorporated;

add the applebutter and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix together with a whisk, all the dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat/mix until smooth.

Pour into a lightly oiled and floured 9X13 pan (or a loaf pan)…

and bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes.  Let cool on a drying rack then enjoy plain or with a little bit of vegan buttercream on top!!

Another black Friday meal we had today was leftover kale soup…

What a great start to the day 🙂

Now it’s time to join all the shoppin’ crazies out there and get our shop on! The runners high from yesterday’s Volvo 5K is still with me!!  Here we go…


November 26, 2010 at 10:48 pm 1 comment

Vegan Thanksgiving! Friendsgiving!!

Finally… the night has come for everyone to get together and eat delicious food!  Vegan Thanksgiving! Cravings have been fulfilled.

The vegan feast included:

Homemade hummus from Noelle (with some sliced peppers, cucumbers, celery and carrots)

Sweet potato casserole from Julie (a definite hit… it barely lasted the first 5 minutes)

Quinoa salad, roasted brussels sprouts, and cutie cupcakes with frosting turkeys from Staci (she has outdone herself!!)

Roasted butternut squash and apple soup from Meg (complete with toppings: toasted coconut, toasted cashews, and sliced green onions)

Green Bean casserole and pumpkin pie from my mom!

Gingerbread biscotti from Betsy

Spinach salad(s) – one with tofu, barley, cherry tomatoes and corn plus another with slivered almonds, strawberries and mandarin oranges from my sister Nichole and her lovely vegan friendly boyfriend Jarod 😉

Vegan Shepard’s Pie and stuffing


The vegan shepard’s pie came out much better than I imagined!  A great comfort food that was much heartier and healthier than the original!  It was adapted from the recent Veg News magazine and also The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook


Root Vegetable Shepard’s Pie

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

12 oz. mushrooms (any kind, I used baby bellas)

2 1/4 cup gravy (recipe follows)

3/4 cup peas (fresh or frozen)

3/4 cup dried green lentils

Root vegetables:

3 medium Macomber white turnips

2 medium rutabagas

4 medium parsnips

4 medium yukon gold/yellow potatoes



Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onion, carrot, peas and mushrooms, cook until softened.

Add the lentils and gravy and let simmer until the lentils are somewhat softened; they will finish cooking in the oven. Put in to a large casserole dish (or two large pie dishes like I did).

Directions for root vegetables:

Wash turnips well and chop into evenly large chunks.  Be careful with this, the turnips are very tough to chop!

Boil the turnip cubes in enough water to fully cover; cook until fork tender, about 10-12 minutes.

Drain, let cool slightly, then peel the cubes of their skin with either a knife or your hands.

*follow this same method for the rutabagas and parsnips

*peel the potatoes, then follow this boiling method

each time using the same water (just keep it boiling and have the next product ready) and then place the all the cubes in the same bowl with an added 2 Tbsp. or Earth Balance butter and 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast.

Lightly spoon-mash the root vegetables so that the cubes are still defined, yet mashed.

Top with the root vegetables, spray lightly with canola spray and bake at 350 F for 40-50 minutes until heated through, bubbling and slightly browned on top (if it starts to brown too early cover with tin foil).


Vegan Gravy

Makes about 2 -2 1/4 cups

2 cups vegetable broth or water (I used vegetable broth)

3 Tbsp. soy sauce

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder dissolved in 3 Tbsp. water

1/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened original



Bring the vegetable broth (or water) to a boil with the soy sauce, thyme, nutritional yeast, and salt and pepper; turn heat to low.

Dissolve the arrowroot into the 1/4 cup water;

add, whisking constantly, to the lightly simmering vegetable broth mixture.  Cook, still on low, until thickened.

Whisk in the almond milk and heat until thickened.

*Always taste before serving!




Hearty Vegetable Stuffing

Serves about 15

2 french baguettes, either diced or roughly chopped

1 (or more) cup cornbread, either diced or roughly chopped

7 Tbsp. Earth Balance (I know… 7 is a lot… but so isn’t 15 servings!! Of course you can use less.)

1 large onion, chopped

3 medium carrots, chopped

4 large celery stalks, chopped

1 Tbsp. fresh chopped sage

1/4 tsp. of each the following:



garlic powder



Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 cups (or more, I needed more…) vegetable broth



Place the prepared bread onto a baking sheet and place into a preheated 400 F oven; cook until dried out and golden.  Set aside.

In a large skillet heat the Earth Balance and add the onion, carrots, celery, herbs, and salt and pepper; cook until softened and slightly browned.

Add the bread to the skillet (or as much fits).

Place any dried bread that didn’t fit in the skillet into a buttered baking dish; then add the bread and carrot/celery mixture to the top.

Pour in the broth until the bread is moistened, the more moist the better.

Bake the stuffing, covered with tin foil, in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes; remove the foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until the color deepens.

This is the greatest stuffing I’ve had in a while! And no turkey was harmed in the making!


Great success!  It definitely was an awesome time! I’ll hopefully get some updated recipes soon for the Sweet Potato Casserole and the Gingerbread Vegan Biscotti!! I’m so thankful to everyone who came to hangout, eat and bring their own creations of amazing vegan food!



Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

November 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm 4 comments

Forget Thanksgiving… Ryan made Moo Shi!!!!

The other night Ryan and I went to Asia Bistro for the first time to try it out… he was in the mood for some Chinese food (we never go to Chinese food because I somewhat dislike the feeling you have to deal with after… 😉 you know…) and I was in the mood for some sushi!  Overall, I’m not sure I would choose to go back, unless it was just to hang at the bar and drink amazing Asian cocktails!!!

Let me get to the point here… Ryan got Moo Shi shrimp and he would not stop oohing and aahing the whole meal… I really wanted to try!! So he decided to make me some, vegan style!  That’s really a great thing to come home to after a 7 hour day made up mostly of organic chemistry!

We watched two videos from epicurious the other night to get excited and get ideas of all the vegetables we could use!  Here they are:

Part one (ignore the pork please)

Part two (bad pork)

Ryan is so clever and he loves to cook (the best of both worlds) so he decided to stop at Trader Joes on the way home from work and grab some vegetables.  He decided on a bag of fiery roasted peppers and onions in the frozen isle and a bag of broccoli slaw mix in the produce isle.  Both only involved  delicious, nutritious vegetables!  Let me put the details in the form of a recipe…


Moo Shi Pancakes

Serves 4

3 cups AP flour

I’m most definitely going to try to tweak this to work with whole wheat flour only, but hey sometimes you just have to splurge with that white flour (as long as it’s organic)!!

1 cup boiling water

1/2 cup cold water

Sesame oil (as needed when rolling out the pancakes)



In a bowl, mix together the flour (sifted or not sifted, it’s up to you… we did not) and the boiling water until absorbed.  (Ryan used the chopsticks just like in the video and it came out amazing, so if you have ’em, try it!)

Add in the cold water and, with your hands, knead until a dough forms.  Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and set aside somewhere to rest.

Rest for 20 to 30 minutes.  Plan your time… make the dough then rest it while you prepare everything else!

After the dough has rested, flour your surface and knead it until smooth.  Form into a long cylinder and cut with a sharp knife into even patties.  Working with only a few pieces at a time, keeping the rest covered with plastic wrap, roll out into pancakes.  (Follow the video technique if my explanation is confusing…)

Rub a little sesame oil on to one of the pancakes, place another one on top, sandwiching the oil between. Roll out the pancake, sandwiched together, until thin.

Place in a heated and lightly oiled wok or sauté pan.  Cook until the pancake feels hardened and turns brown in a few spots, flip, keeping the pancakes still sandwiched together.  Cook until crusty, and a little browned.


Remove from the pan; peel the pancakes apart!  Two pancake in the time it takes to cook one!  Genius!!


Repeat process until all the dough is cooked.

Moo Shi Vegetables

Serves 4

1 bag Broccoli slaw

1 bag frozen fiery peppers and onions (or just plain peppers and onions)

6 garlic cloves

1 fresh onion

8 oz. mushrooms (any kind; we used white)

2 tsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. chile oil (or for a spicier dish try using 1 tsp. chile oil and 1 tsp. sesame oil)


Now what:

Add the oil to the already heated pan.  Do not heat the oil too high; most sesame oils are for maximum heat of 350 F.

Sauté the mushrooms, garlic and onion for a minute or so, you’ll want all the vegetables to be somewhat al dente.

Add the bagged mixes and cook until heated through and tender (to your liking).

Once cooked it’s time to have fun!  Play with your food!!

Put some pancakes on your plate and as much vegetables as you want…

Betty is just SO excited!!

And so am I!!!

Ryan knows how to treat the moo shi right… taco style…



Let us know how it goes!! I can’t wait to try this again!

November 19, 2010 at 2:54 am 1 comment

Thanksgiving (take one)

So excited to start trying out some Thanksgiving recipes! Julie ad I are hosting a little Thanksgiving-Friendsgiving shindig and we need our recipes to be perfection! Last night I tried out a vegan green bean casserole recipe that I found on Fat Free Vegan Kitchen (love this blog)!

I’m stubborn in life and also stubborn with cooking so I am never a great follower of recipes… but I will try to re-write the recipe the best I can!!

Homestyle Green Bean Casserole

Prepare the Beans:

2 quarts water 
(enough to fully cover the beans)

1 tablespoon table salt

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and snapped in half

Bring the water to boil in a large pot. While it’s heating, snap the beans. Add the salt and beans to the boiling water. Cover and cook for 6 minutes (No more, no less for the perfect al dente crunch).

Drain beans in a colander, and then submerge under cold water for a minute to stop the cooking. Let them drain in the colander, shaking every now and then to get off all the water. Set aside.

For the Mushroom Cream Sauce:

10 ounces mushrooms (I bought an 8 oz. precut package of shitake and the same for white; I used all of the shitake and about half of the white)

5 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch cayenne pepper (I wasn’t sure what to expect with this being added, but it was definitely a delightful surprise… don’t add if you don’t like heat!)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons flour

3/4 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon dry sherry

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Chop the mushrooms into tiny cubes. Drizzle in about 2 tsp. of olive oil in to a large stainless steel sauté pan; heat over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are slightly soft and darker in color.

In a separate, small mixing bowl, whisk the flour into the vegetable broth until completely dissolved; add to the mushrooms along with the sherry.

Simmer, stirring, until mixture thickens. Add the unsweetened almond milk and simmer until thick, about 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the beans.

For the Onion Topping:

2 slices whole grain bread

1 tablespoon Earth Balance

Sprinkle of salt and pepper

1 4-oz. container of crispy onions (I used an all-natural brand from Whole Foods that may be on the expensive side, but you definitely get what you pay for: Lars Own; Imported Crispy Onions)

Put the bread, Earth Balance, salt, and pepper into a food processor and pulse until crumbly.

Now put it all together:

Put the green beans into a casserole dish (any shape or size as long as it fits) and top with the bread mixture and the crispy onions, making sure to spread them out evenly so there will be no fighting over the topping!!

Bake, covered with a piece of tin foil, at 425 F for about 8 minutes, uncover and continue cooking for 7 minutes more, or until the top is a darker shade of brown and the entire dish is bubbling like mad!

Now, let sit for a few minutes to thicken… I know this is hard with that terrific smell and all… but trust me it will make it worth your while to wait a tad bit longer… Now ENJOY!!!

(Note from “If you are not serving this right away, refrigerate the topping separately; bring to room temperature before sprinkling the topping on the casserole and baking for about 20 minutes or until hot throughout.”)

I do declare… this VEGAN green bean casserole was a hit with the fam! Meat Eaters and Veg’s UNITE!!! Thanksgiving is almost here!!!!! ❤


AHmazing fall time side note: Treat Cupcake Bar in Needham, MA (yes, that’s right… I said cupcakeBAR!) has an incredible seasonal cupcake right now…

Pumpkin Spice (vegan and gluten free) everyone must try!!

November 16, 2010 at 7:11 pm 3 comments

Snow in November??

Nothing scares me more than snow in November… I didn’t even want to open my eyes when I heard news that there may be flurries in the area early this morning! Luckily I missed the view of snow and just took Betty out in time before the rain/wind storm!

Though November means it’s almost December and that means the end of the school semester… I want time to stop! I love the fall!  There’s nothing better than 40-50 degree days and cozy cool nights for being cozy with your loves!!



Since I’ve been bundled up and cozy all day (and had some leftover coffee from the other morning… yes I it takes me a few days to finish one cup of coffee…) I thought it appropriate to make some yummy fall hot coffee!


Pumpkin Pie Hot Coffee

guided by my obsession blog ohsheglows

For 2 servings:

1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or any dairy free milk)
1/2 cup homemade pumpkin purée

1 tbsp. Sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. Pure vanilla
3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground nutmeg
Sprinkle cardamom
1/2 cup extremely strong coffee or you could probably use 2 shots of espresso


Combine the milk, sugar, and pumpkin in a saucepan and cook on med-low, stirring, until dissolved.

Add everything else but the coffee and bring to a gentle simmer (right before boil).

Add the coffee/espresso and heat through. ENJOY!!



Mine had lumps of pumpkin in it because it was homemade (which I kind of enjoyed),

but  to avoid lumps you could strain it into the mug.


Please, please, please don’t forget “waste not, want not

Always try to use every bit of food! Which, when it comes to the pumpkin, that is very easy to do…


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Serves 2-4

(unfortunately, or should I say fortunately, for me I am seed crazy and will eat this in one sitting)


All of the seeds from the pumpkin

(I used a small sugar pumpkin which gave about 2/3 cup of seeds)

1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

sprinkle of garlic powder, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper

a touch of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper


Toss seeds completely with all the ingredients, making sure to coat each seed.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until lightly browned and crispy.

Let cool then stir them around to make sure they all became toasted.

Go to town now!

Top your salad, meusli, rice, or just eat them all while watching Two Days in Paris on Netflix… yes… incredible Sunday night last night! Yay!

November 8, 2010 at 8:08 pm Leave a comment

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