Thursday, February 15, 2018

Vegan Apple Cranberry Cake

I was very happy to find this blog while looking for apple/cranberry cake, much easier process than scouring through all of my cookbooks.  The only thing I might do next time is add a sweet crunchy, crumbly topping - fancy it up a little.

Apple Cranberry Cake
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup almond milk room temperature
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced apples  (I diced my apples and used about 1 and 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen, chopped in food processor
  • ***I added chopped almonds, about 1/2 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9 inch round cake pan. I use a thin smear of coconut oil and light dusting of flour on the cake pan to prepare.
  3. Whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together and set aside.
  4. In another bowl whisk brown sugar, sugar, and safflower oil.
  5. Add vanilla to sugar and oil mixture and whisk.
  6. Add dry ingredients to sugars, oil and vanilla mixture.
  7. Fold together dry and wet ingredients until about half way combined.
  8. Add half the almond milk and partially fold.
  9. Add the remaining almond milk and fold ingredients until just combined (do not over mix).
  10. Add apples and chopped cranberries, folding in until just combined. **and nuts if using
  11. For a tender cake do not over mix.
  12. Use spatula to pour batter into a 9" prepared pan.
  13. Bake at 350 degrees 50 minutes turning cake in the oven if need be half way through.
  14. Allow cake to completely cool before removing from pan and placing on a cooling rack.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Spinach and Artichoke dip

I love, love, love, Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking cookbook by Dana Shultz.  It has a good variety of recipes and the pictures are amazing.  My version on the dip came out less creamy than her picture but I can always add more Almond milk.  This would be good as a Crostini topping.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Dana Shultz

***Raw cashews require soaking.  Either Soak the cashews for 6-8 hours in cool water or pour boiling water over them and let rest uncovered at room temp. for 1 hour (which is what I did).  Drain well and use as instructed.

3            tablespoons vegan butter (or avocado oil)
5            cloves garlic, minced  (2 T.)
3/4         cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
8            ounces vegan cream cheese (Trader Joe’s carries) if you don’t have
              vegan cream cheese, add another 2/3 cup cashews but might not be as
1/2          cup unsweetened plain Almond milk or soy milk
4-6          tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1/2          teaspoon each sea salt, and black pepper, plus more to taste
1            14 oz. can artichoke hearts, well drained and chopped
1            pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry in a thin towel
1/4          cup Vegan Parmesan for topping

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Heat a large oven-safe cast-iron or metal skillet over medium heat.

2.  Once the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the garlic.  Saute for 1-2 minutes or until just golden brown.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Set aside.

3.  To the bowl of a blender or food processor, add the cashews, garlic, vegan cream cheese, remaining 2 T. olive oil, and almond milk.  Puree to a cream. 

4.  Add 4 T. nutritional yeast to start, plus the salt and pepper.  Blend once more.

5.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.  The dip should be cheesy in flavor and well salted, so consider adding remaining 2 T. nutritional yeast and another 1/3-1/2 salt.  Set aside.

6.  Add the artichokes and spinach to the skillet used earlier.   Pour all the cheesy sauce over the artichokes and spinach.  The mixture will look sauce-heavy, but that’s the idea.  Stir to combine  (Mine was not saucy but I didn’t mind the firmer texture).

7.  Sprinkle the top with Vegan Parmesan for additional texture/flavor.  Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until warmed through.

8.  Serve warm with assorted veggies, tortilla chips or crackers.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Vegan Cheddar Biscuit-Topped Barbecue Pot Pie

Since this dish has a few steps to it, I decided to make it on a nice snowy Saturday, when I could sip on my coffee, watch the birds outside the window and enjoy the cooking process.

I added a bit more BBQ sauce than the recipe asked for because I find that the pie topping seems to absorb some of the liquid.

Vegan Cheddar Biscuit-Topped Barbecue Pot Pie

1            pkg. vegan strips (Whole Foods)

Biscuit Topping

2            cups all-purpose flour
1            tablespoon baking powder
1/2         teaspoon baking soda
2            teaspoons sugar
1            teaspoon garlic powder
1/2         teaspoon salt
6            tablespoons (3/4 stick) vegan butter, cold and cut into pieces
1            tablespoon melted unsalted vegan butter for brushing toe tops of the biscuits
1            cup vegan milk w/dash of vinegar to create buttermilk
4            oz. vegan cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup)
1            tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives


2            teaspoons olive oil
1/2         teaspoon salt
1/4         teaspoon ground black pepper
5            tablespoons vegan butter (1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon)
1            medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3            celery stalks, chopped (about 2 cups)
3            large carrots, chopped (about 2 1/4 cups)
1            cup button mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
3            garlic cloves, minced
1            cup frozen green peas, thawed
1            cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (I didn’t use)
1/2         cup all-purpose flour
2            cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4         cup soy or nut milk
1/4         cup barbecue sauce  (I used 1/2 cup)
2            tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for serving.

You can use the mock chicken strips as is or sauté in a little bit of vegan butter, just to brown then set aside.

1.    Pour 1 cup of vegan milk and a dash of vinegar and set aside.
For the biscuit topping, in a bowl of food processor, pulse the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, garlic powder and salt.  Add the cold vegan butter pieces and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and resembles cornmeal, about 7 pulses.
2.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and add the vegan milk mixture.  Using a rubber spatula, stir just until combined.  Stir in the vegan cheese and chives.  The dough will be wet and lumpy.

3.  Turn the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work service and knead it 3-4 times, just until it comes together.  Dust a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough into a 7 x 10 “ rectangle, about 1” thick.  Using the rim of a drinking glass or biscuit cutter, cut 8 rounds (I made mine a bit thinner and cut approx. 11) of the dough.  Place the biscuits on a parchment paper-lined plate and refrigerate while you make the filling.

4,  For the filling, spray a 9x13” baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Set aside.

5.  In a large pot, melt the vegan butter over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, carrots, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft 6-8 minutes.

6.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add the peas and corn.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are completely coasted, 2 minutes.

7.  Slowly add the broth and the 1/4 vegan milk and bring mixture to a gentle boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, 4-6 minutes.  Stir in the barbecue sauce and parsley.

8.  Add the vegan strips, toss to coat, and transfer the mixture to the baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the dish from the oven, top with the biscuits, and brush the tops of the biscuits with melted vegan butter.  Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.  ( put the broiler on for a few minutes)

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Red Beet and Quinoa Salad

Red Beet and Quinoa Salad

Beets:   I used packaged Trader Joe’s Beets and they were perfect.

If using raw beets:

1            bunch beets, trimmed and scrubbed
1            tablespoon olive oil
1            teaspoon kosher salt
              freshly ground pepper

To prepare the beets, adjust the oven racks so one is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Rip off a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil big enough to enclose the beets.  Put the beets on the foil and season with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Seal the beets in the foil and put the packet on a baking sheet.  Roast the beets for about 1 hour 10 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a fork.  Remove the beets from the oven and let cool with the foil packets open.  Peel the beets, wearing thin rubber gloves if you don’t want to stain your fingers, cut into 1/2” cubes.


            Balsamic Vinaigrette  (recipe below)
1            small to medium head radicchio or other greens (I used finely chopped Kale
                                                                        because it holds up to the dressing)
1            cup quinoa, cooked and cooled to room temp.  makes about 3+ cups.
1            cup toasted hazelnuts  (heated in dry sauté pan for a few minutes)
              vegan cheese optional

Add all the ingredients together and mix or add to Kale first and let sit, then add the
rest of the ingredients.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1          medium or large shallot, minced
1/2       cup plus 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
            juice of 1 lemon
1          tablespoon kosher salt
2/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil

Combine the shallot, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside for 5-10 minutes to soften the shallot.  While whisking slowly, add the olive oil in a steady stream.  The vinaigrette will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Spicy Tofu Bowl

We’ve been ordering some fantastic Bowls at our favorite restaurant and I tried to
Replicate the Bowl that Kevin prefers.  When plating, I like to start with a layer of
Rice, then form rows with the other ingredients.   Finish by added a couple dollops of dressing on each side of Bowl.

Our Bowl contained the following but you can add or delete anything you’d like.
Smoky Black Beans,  Spicy Tofu,  Guacamole, Brown Rice, Romaine lettuce, Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing.

Spicy Tofu Bowl

Smoky Black Beans
Cooking Light Site

2            tablespoons olive oil
1            tablespoon minced garlic
1/2            teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2            teaspoon ground cumin
2            (15.5 oz) cans reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4            cup water
1/2            teaspoon kosher salt
3            tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4            cup chopped fresh cilantro (I didn’t have fresh so used cilantro paste)
            I added a dash of vegan liquid smoke and 1 green onion

Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-low.  Add garlic, paprika, and cumin; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add beans, 1/4 cup water, and salt; cook until warmed through, 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.  Just before serving, stir in juice and cilantro.

Spicy Tofu

1 x 16 oz.            firm tofu, well-pressed
1/4            cup corn starch
1/2            teaspoon garlic salt or powder
1/2            teaspoon mustard powder
1/4            teaspoon black pepper
1-2            tablespoons oil for pan-frying
1/4            cup vegan butter
1/3            cup hot wing sauce or hot sauce (I used a hot/sweet sauce)

Press as much liquid out of the tofu as possible and pat dry with paper towel.  Dice into small cubes. 

In shallow pan or plastic bag, combine the corn starch, garlic salt, mustard powder and black pepper.  Carefully add the tofu, gently tossing to make sure that all sides of tofu are well coated with the corn starch mixture. 

Heat the oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium heat, using a non-stick pan if you have it to reduce the amount of oil needed.  Add tofu and pan-fry on all sides just until it is just lightly golden brown. Once the tofu has cooked, remove it from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, heat the vegan butter over very low hat.  Once it is melted, ad the wing sauce, stirring just until combined well.  Add the cooked tofu, gently turning to coast well on all sides with the wing sauce mixture.

Whole Foods carries Vegan Blue Cheese Dressing but I made my own from the following recipe.  There are many versions on-line.

Vegan Blue Cheez Dressing

2            tablespoons raw cashews ( I had some soaking in fridge)
4            ounces extra-firm tofu
1            garlic clove, peeled
3            tablespoons lemon juice
3            tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2            tablespoons tahini
1            tablespoon water
2            teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
1 and 1/2   teaspoons Dijon mustard
3/4            teaspoon white vinegar
1/2            teaspoon sea salt
            You may crumble some tofu and all at very end if you like a chunkier

***After this sat in the fridge for a few hours, it became very thick so I just added water.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a high-powered blender.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Maple-Roasted Tofu

Since the Farmer's Market is nearing the end of its Butternut Squash bounty, I've been trying to incorporate it in a variety of dishes.  Love the sweetness of this one!  I topped it off with Franklin Five Pointe Spice that I purchased in Nashville -- it is a mix of bourbon barrel sugar, coffee, cocoa powder, cinnamon, coriander and ginger.  It is the crown jewel of spices!

Maple-Roasted Tofu
Melissa Clark CB

1            pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
1/4         cup maple syrup
2            teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4         teaspoon good chile powder  (I used 1/2 teaspoon)
3            tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1            medium butternut squash, peeled, trimmed, seeded and cut into 1” cubes
              salt as needed
              ground pepper, as needed
1            tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
2            teaspoon soy sauce
1/2         teaspoon sherry vinegar, plus more for drizzling
1/2         cup fresh cilantro leaves or chopped fresh basil leaves
              sliced scallions (white and green parts) for garnish

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice the tofu into 1” slabs.  Pat them very dry with paper towels and arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  Cover the tofu slabs with more paper towels and let them sit while you make the sauce.

Combine the maple syrup, ginger, and chile powder in a small saucepan, and simmer until the syrup thickens and reduces by a third, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the olive oil.

Place the squash on a rimmed baking sheet and toss it with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper, the sage, and half of the maple syrup mixture.  Spread the squash cubes out into an even layer, place the baking sheet in the oven, and roast, tossing the squash occasionally, until golden brown, about 45 minutes. 

Once the squash is in the oven, add the say sauce and sherry vinegar to the remaining maple syrup mixture.  Remove the paper towels from under and over the tofu, and sprinkle the top of the tofu slabs with salt.  Brush half of the soy-maple mixture over the tofu.  Add the baking sheet of tofu to the oven and roast it for 20 minutes.  Then turn the pieces over, brush the tops with the remaining soy-maple mixture, and cook for 15-20 minutes longer.

Toss the squash with the cilantro.  Transfer it to a plate and top it with the tofu.  Garnish with sliced scallions and drizzle with more sherry vinegar.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Banana Cake

You can enjoy this as a Banana Bread without the icing, but i was looking for something a bit sweeter.  The icing I used didn't firm up so it was on the thinner side, but still added the touch of sweetness I was looking for.  I had to add nuts to the cake so I chose walnuts which gave it some nice texture.  Next time I might add coconut to the frosting for even more texture.

Banana Cake
Genius Kitchen by annh53182
2            cups flour
1 and 1/2     teaspoons baking soda
1/2         teaspoon salt
1            cup sugar  (I used a bit less)
1/4         cup oil
4            ripe bananas, mashed
1/4         cup water
1            teaspoon vanilla
            ** I added 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
            ** I added vegan cream cheese frosting

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil, then add bananas.  Add water and vanilla, stirring to combine.

Add the flour mixture, stirring just until wet. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Frost cake when cooled.  This frosting stays creamy.

Frosting – if using.

8            ounces non-dairy cream cheese (Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods)
2            teaspoons vanilla extract
1            cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Combine the vegan cream cheese, vanilla and confectioners sugar in a food processor and pulse all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Or use a hand held mixer.