Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cinnamon Coconut Milk Yogurt Fruit Dip

I use to make this recipe with cow’s milk yogurt, but haven’t made it in a long time.  Until, that is, our most recent summer visit to Connecticut.  My sister needed something to bring for ‘snack day’ at work.  I gave her a few options, and wouldn’t you know… she loved the sound of everything.  So I chose my old favorite and it was settled.  I was in the kitchen for the rest of the evening preparing snack for tomorrow’s ‘snack day’. Oh don’t feel bad - we all know the kitchen is my favorite room to be in!

The Results? When she came home from work the next evening, she was so excited to tell me how much people loved the snacks.  Especially the fruit dip she brought! I was beaming as she told me how they ate every last bit.  They even resorted to dunking the brownies in the dip when the fruit was all gone! Not a bad idea actually.   

Anyhow, I was so thrilled about my sister’s reviews, that I decided to make it again for an upcoming family BBQ.  Only this time, I ‘veganized’ it by using the coconut yogurt.   The results? Well, when I went to pick up my plates at the end of the day – there was nothing left.  That’s a great sign! 
Now I really don’t believe we need to add sweeteners to fruit - it’s already so sweet and delicious by itself!  But sometimes, I like to change things up a bit and make them even more special.  Well, this is the dip that does it!  Enjoy. 

What you need:

1 cup of coconut milk yogurt
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Lots of fresh fruit

Mix ingredients well and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Serve with lots of fresh fruit.
*If you can’t find coconut milk yogurt you can substitute with soy yogurt.

**If you are interested in making a simple homemade raw vegan coconut yogurt, here is a link from a newly discovered favourite blog that’ll tell you how.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

I wanted to make something special for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.  People just expect cake or cupcakes at a party but I wanted to create something people would not expect.  I’d been craving Strawberry Shortcake for a while and since strawberries are in season this time of year it seemed like the perfect choice.  But how was I going to make this traditional dessert, vegan.  That was my mission and I successfully completed it.  It doesn’t just look amazing it, tastes amazing.

What You’ll Need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. cold vegan margarine (we like Earth Balance), cut into small pieces
2 Tbs. sugar
3/4 cup cold soy milk or almond milk
1 pint strawberries

Cashew Crème (recipe follows) or other vegan whipping cream

What You’ll Do:
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Put flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix.

Cut the vegan margarine in small pieces into the flour mixture.

Using your hands work in the butter into the flour mixture.

When the mixture has become the texture of sand it is ready to add the soy or almond milk.  Mix large spoon.

Place the dough on a lightly floured workspace and gently kneed to a soft consistency. You may need a little more flour if it is too wet.

Now roll your dough to a 3/4-1 inch thickness and cut out your biscuits, should make 10-12 medium sized biscuits Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, clean the strawberries, set a few aside for garnish. Chop the remaining strawberries.  No need to add sugar to the chopped strawberries, they are naturally sweet.

When the biscuits are ready, remove from the oven and allow them to cool. 

Assemble your shortcakes by slicing each biscuit in half and placing in on an individual plate. Place a generous amount of strawberries on the bottom piece of shortcake. Add the part and top with Cashew Crème or other vegan whipping cream or vegan ice “cream”.

Garnish with sliced berries.

Cashew Crème

What You’ll Need:

4 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for about an hour and rinsed
1 lemon juiced
Pinch sea salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup agave
1 1/3 cup water (+/-)

What You’ll Do:

Blend Cashew Creme ingredients in Vitamix until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust as needed. Remember that salt and lemon juice bring out sweetness. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but if you need it a bit sweeter, try adding a tiny bit more sea salt or lemon juice.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Braised Red Cabbage and Apples with Dijon Mustard Marinated Tempeh

I had this dish at Holy Cow, a local restaurant here in Eugene. It was so beautiful and delicious that I attempted to recreate it. It turned out great! The flavors are simple yet amazing. It does take a bit of time, but it’s completely worth it.

What you’ll need:

1 garlic clove, smashed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large head of red cabbage (about 2 pounds), cored and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1-2 Gala or Fuji apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider
2 whole allspice (optional), crushed
1 1/2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar

For Mashed Potatoes

Soy Milk
Earth Balance
Salt and Pepper

What you’ll do:

Cook garlic in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add cabbage, apple, cider, allspice (if using), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

Add vinegar and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

In the meantime you can prepare you mashed potatoes. No recipe necessary (I assume).

Dijon Mustard Marinated Tempeh

What you’ll need:

½ pound plain tempeh
½ cup apple juice or locally pressed apple cider
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar

What you’ll do:

Cut tempeh into 4 even rectangles. Then slice each one in half horizontally, re-stack each half and cut into triangles. Repeat with the 3 remaining pieces.

Place tempeh triangles into a baking dish in a single layer

Place the apple juice, Dijon mustard, tamari, oil and vinegar into a bowl and whisk until emulsified. Pour over tempeh and allow to marinate for 30 minutes or longer.

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake tempeh for 30 to 45 minutes or until the marinade has been absorbed and the top is golden brown.

To assemble:

Place a scoop or two of the mashed potatoes in the center of the plate. Spoon the braised cabbage and apples around the outside of the mashed potatoes. Add the tempeh triangles into the mashed potatoes. Your guest will be so impressed with the artistic look and delicious flavors.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Apricot Chutney

After a recent weekly trip to a new favourite restaurant in Sofia, a couple of friends decided that I needed to figure out how to make the Apricot Chutney to accompany my Chapatis when preparing Indian meals at home. So, here it is…

What You'll Need:

Dried Apricots - 450 grams (about 16 oz), finely diced
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Honey - 1 1/4 cups
Apple Cider Vinegar - 2 cups
Fresh Root Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Salt - 1 tsp
Golden Raisins - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups

What You’ll Do:

Put the dried apricots and Garam Masala into a medium pot and add the honey, vinegar, ginger, salt, raisins and water. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the chutney has thickened to a fairly stiff consistency, spoon it into 2-3 clean jars and leave it to cool.

Store it in the refrigerator.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

J and J Pad Thai

Jaime has always been great at experimenting with Asian foods, so when she told me we’d be making Pad Thai for dinner - I wasn’t surprised. The end result was incredible! Consequently, Pad Thai has turned into a family favourite. It’s so simple and pleasing. So if you’re one of those individuals who always orders Pad Thai when dining out, or you just love Asian recipes, then this one is for you!

What You’ll Need:

8 oz. dried Pad Thai rice noodles, OR enough for 2 people (linguini-width)
Tofu cut into cubes and fried
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Chinese cabbage or Bok Choy, roughly chopped
Broccoli, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
Fresh coriander/cilantro
1/4 cup ground (or well-chopped) peanuts (OR substitute cashews or slivered almonds)


3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste (available at Asian/East Indian food stores)
1/4 cup hot water
3 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce, we like Braggs Liquid Amino (or gluten-free soy sauce)
1/2 to 2 tsp. chili sauce (to taste), OR 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar or 2 palm kernels
3 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter


3-4 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable stock
lime wedges for serving

What You’ll Do:

I like to make my sauce first so it’s ready when everything else has been cooked. Start by dissolving the tamarind paste in the hot water. Add the other sauce ingredients and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add as much or as little chili sauce as you prefer, but don't skimp on the sugar (you’ll need it to balance the sourness of the tamarind). Reserve.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Soak noodles in the hot water for 6-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Tip: Noodles are ready to drain when they are soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little bit "crunchy". The noodles will finish cooking when they are fried.

Place your wok (or large frying pan) over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus the garlic and onions. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance. Add broccoli and carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add the Bok Choy plus the stock. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until Bok Choy is bright green and slightly softened. Add fried tofu.

Now add the drained noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute using 2 utensils and a tossing motion (like tossing a salad).

Add a little more sauce and continue stir-frying in the same way for 1-2 more minutes, or until the noodles begin to soften and become sticky. Reduce heat to medium if noodles begin to stick and burn.

Add the bean sprouts plus the remaining sauce. Stir-fry to incorporate everything together for 1-3 more minutes, or until noodles are done. Noodles are cooked to perfection when they are soft but still deliciously chewy and a little bit sticky.

To serve, scoop noodles onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with the green onion, coriander/cilantro, and ground nuts. Add wedges of fresh-cut lime on the side. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vegan Waffles

(Courtesey of TripWow TripAdvisor)

Why are you still buying frozen waffles when you can make them yourself? It really is quick and easy. Short on time? Then make ‘em a weekend tradition. You can look forward to fresh homemade waffles weekly and then freeze the extras to pull out when you are in a rush. Just eight ingredients and a few stirs of the whisk and you’re ready to go!

What You'll Need:
3 teaspoon of Energizer Egg Replacers mixed with 4 tablespoons water, this is equal to 2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups soy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What You'll Do:
Preheat waffle iron. Beat egg replacers in large bowl with a whisk until well mixed. Mix in flour, soy milk, oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

You can purchase a waffle iron just about anywhere, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy's, their everywhere. Prices range from about $20 - $150. Mine was an engagement gift purchased from William-Sonoma over 14 years ago and still works great. Thank you Gulie!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet Rice and Mangos

Recently we had some new friends over and I wanted to make something special for our Asian themed evening. My son wanted Sweet Rice with Bananas (yes, we’ll get that recipe up soon) but I wanted something a bit more refreshing. So I decided to replace the bananas with mangos. I switched the Banana Sweet Sticky Rice recipe up a bit and came up with this light and sweet delectable treat. It so simple and delicious, I just know you are going to love it as much as we did.

What You’ll Need:

1 cups uncooked sweet rice 2 cups water
1 can (13.5 oz) of coconut milk (cream and all)
¼ cup sugar
2 mangos, peeled and sliced

What You’ll Do:

Combine the rice and coconut milk in a rice cooker and cook. Should only take about 10-15 to cook.

Mix the sugar into the hot rice. Portion the rice into 4 bowls. Top with mango slices. Enjoy this sweet refreshing treat. Your guests will rave over it, mine did.

Friday, March 25, 2011


We're excited to share this week's recipe with you, which is a guest post from my friend Sarah-Kate.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 


Baking granola makes me think of my mom. She made this recipe often when we were kids, one of her many gifts of homemade, wholesome food while I was growing up. When I moved out on my own I asked her for the recipe, and have adapted it a bit over the years. I make it quite often and eat it almost every morning with yogurt. The great thing about granola is you can make it differently every time, depending on your mood and what you have in the cupboard: substitute whatever kinds of seeds, nuts & dried fruit you like best. It’s always healthy and delicious.

What you’ll need:

Combine in a large bowl:
7 cups thick rolled oats
1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
½ cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
½ cup unhulled sesame seeds
½ cup wheat germ
½ cup flaxseed meal
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 – 1½ cups diced dried fruit (my favorites are apples, apricots, dates, and cranberries (which you can leave whole) – if you use raisins, add them after the granola is baked)
½ teaspoon salt
2 generous teaspoons cinnamon

Combine in a roasting pan:
¼ - 1/3 cup safflower oil (or any other vegetable oil will work)
½ cup water
½ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put roasting pan with wet ingredients into the oven at 350 degrees for about 3-4 minutes. Take it out and pour in the mixed dry ingredients. Stir well until the dry ingredients are evenly coated.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring from the bottom every 7 minutes or so. Cool, then enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Carrot Apple Grapefruit Ginger Juice

 This juice is so good, it doesn't need an intro.  Just go make it. Really.

What You’ll Need:
3 carrots
1 grapefruit
1 pink lady apple
1 inch long chunk ginger
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

What you’ll do:

Peel grapefruit. Cut carrots and apple into chunks. Cut chunk of ginger.

Throw all into your juicer or Vita-Mix. Blend until mixed -unless you want to make crackers with the pulp.  If you do, read the note below.

*If you decide to reserve the pulp for raw cracker dough, then you might want to blend the carrot and apple first, strain and reserve pulp, then add the rest of the ingredients to your carrot apple juice, blend, then strain again.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Salad Rolls

Salad Rolls are a healthy alternative to spring rolls. They make a great appetizer, snack or the perfect lunch. I made these this weekend and they turned out just great. Quick and easy with so much flavor. What more could you ask for?

The great thing about salad rolls is really you can add any veggies (or even fruit) that you like. So what are you waiting for? Get moving and make some salad rolls!

What You’ll Need:

1 package of baked tofu (I liked the teriyaki one)
1 cucumber, remove the seeds and cut into thin strips
2-3 medium carrot, shredded
1 mango, cut into thin strips
Salad greens
Large round rice paper wrappers
Dipping Sauces of choice (I like the Sweet Chili sauce and Plum sauce) or better yet stay tuned for our peanut sauce

What You’ll Do:

Soften 1 rice paper wrapper by immersing in warm water until soft (about 10-20 sec), carefully remove and place flat on a large plate or cutting board. Be careful not to let the paper fold on itself when removing the wrapper from the water.

Place veggies in the middle of the wrapper, making sure not to add too much. Roll rice paper as you would a burritos, tucking in the sides, it should stick to itself easily. Repeat for the remaining wrappers.

Cut in half and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vegan Banana Bread

I haven’t had banana bread in years. It’s just not one of those things I ever think about making. But, I had a few over ripe bananas and my freezer was already well stocked with frozen bananas…. so I figured -why not?

All of my old recipes called for milk and eggs, so I made a few modifications and came up with a new version that is just as tasty. This version still had to go through the same old trusted and true taste test procedures though, my kids! I called my ‘taste testers’ to the kitchen to report for duty. Two thumbs up!

What you’ll need:

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (2-3 bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable Oil
Ener-G, 5 tablespoon water + 3 1/2 teaspoon powder)
1/3 – 1/2 cup vegan-buttermilk - combine 1/2 cup soymilk with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar.
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Mix bananas, oil, and buttermilk in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine the banana mixture with the large bowl containing dry ingredients, and stir well. Add the Ener-G Egg Replacer, and stir well again. If using walnuts add them now.
Pour into a greased 9x5 inch bread pan.
Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a knife in the middle comes out clean.

Variation: Add chocolate chips for a banana chocolate chip treat.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yellow Split Pea Dahl...Not Really

So Jaime moved to Bulgaria and left me with a jar of yellow split peas. What was she thinking? I remember her making a dahl and having me trying it, but she didn’t leave me with the recipe. Now what’s a girl to do? Glad you asked. Here’s the answer: try out a few yellow split pea dahl recipes and combine them to make this simple delicious Indian cuisine. Perfect. I do love a good challenge.

What you’ll need:

1 cup yellow split peas, uncooked
2 cups water with one vegan bouillon cube or vegetable broth
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
¼ cup peas
1 1/2 tsp cumin, whole seeds or ground
2 whole cloves
dash pepper, to taste

In a large pot, place the peas and water or vegetable broth, and bring to a slow simmer. Add the turmeric, cayenne and salt, and cover. Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a large skillet or frying pan, heat the onion, cumin and clove in the margarine. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until onion is soft. Add the onion and spices to the split peas, mix and simmer for at least 5 more minutes.

Add a dash of pepper and more salt, if desired, and serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Romaine 'Tacos'

Romaine lettuce leaves have a perfect boat like shape and are ideal for holding a generous scoop of my favourite guacamole. While I eat 4 -6 of these 'tacos' for a meal, they would definitely make a tasty light lunch or appetizer as well.

What you'll need:
Organic fresh Romaine leaves
Mangos (preferably Champagne/Atulfo)
Onions or scallions (or both)
Sea Salt
Jalapeños( optional )

Cut your Avocados and mash to desired consistency. Depending on your own preferences, mince your veggies to a size of your liking, then throw 'em all in a bowl. (See links below for Mango and Avocado Cutting tips and photos). Slice limes in half, and use a fork to juice them - directly into the bowl. I would start out with one half a lime, and add more as your taste buds require. Mix well, add salt and Jalapeños to taste. Fill your romaine shells and enjoy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Growing up on the east coast gave me the opportunity to experience many diverse ethnic cuisines. As a child, Greek Diner’s became one of my favorite places to frequent. My grandmother used to bring me (regularly) to ‘Penny’s Greek Diner’ in Norwalk, CT. We went there so often that eventually the owners had no need to take our order - they just brought out our meals.

Later on in life when I began dating my husband, my grandma just had to invite him along to our special Greek Diner. Wouldn’t you know he quickly discovered his favorite dish too- ‘Spanakopita’, Greek Spinach Pie. He shared with me (reluctantly) and it became my favorite as well.

After moving to Oregon, we actively sought out Greek restaurants to test their versions of our favorite dish, but none compared. Many disappointments later, we realized we needed to learn how to make this specialty on our own to satisfy the cravings. Thankfully, Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook, had just the recipe we were looking for. We’ve made some modifications, but our version is originally adapted from her recipe. So here it is - an old time favorite that my children and all of my friends seem to enjoy just as much as we do.

What you’ll need:

1-2 Tbs Olive oil
About 2 cups of chopped onions
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbs basil
1 Tbs oregano
2 pounds of fresh spinach, stemmed and chopped
5-6 cloves or garlic, minced
3 Tbs flour
About 1 pound feta, crumbled
1 cup of cottage cheese
Black pepper
Phyllo - defrosted
Additional olive oil for Phyllo

What you’ll do:
Pre-heat oven to 375. Oil a 9X13 baking dish.

Heat olive oil in a large sautépan. Add onions, salt, basil, oregano and sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add spinach a handful at a time, cook for about 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic.

Sprinkle in flour, stir in and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in cheeses. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place a sheet of Phyllo in the oiled dish. Brush lightly with oil and add another sheet. Continue this process until you have 6-8 sheets, this will give you a nice crisp bottom layer. Add half the filling, spreading it evenly over the entire sheets of Phyllo. Then add 6-8 more layers of Phyllo followed by the remaining filling. Layer the remaining Phyllo over the filling. Oil top and cook uncovered for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve hot and top with Tsaziki.