Sunday, October 17, 2010

World's Easiest Vegan Lasagna

While I thought I had already come up with the best vegan lasagna ever, I think I might have done better with this one. It is not only easier, but tastes just like I remember (the non-vegan versions tasting). But seriously, this is the lazy vegan's lasagna. There is almost no chopping (only garlic), there is no sauteing or simmering, and there is minimal cleanup.

Easiest Tastiest Vegan Lasagna
adapted from Classic Tofu Lasagna in 1000 Vegan Recipes

1 package extra firm tofu
1 package firm tofu
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 heaping tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
8 oz oven ready (no boil) lasagna noodles (I used American Beauty brand), 12 noodles
2 jars Barilla Tomato Basil pasta sauce
1/2 package Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds **
1/4 cup vegan parmesan (optional)

Squeeze the tofu with your hands to remove any excess water. Crumble it into a bowl and add the garlic, nutritional yeast, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Mash everything together with your hands or the back of a large spoon. Place it in the refrigerator for about an hour for the flavors to meld.

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9x13 casserole.

Spoon a thin layer of pasta sauce in the bottom of the dish.
Add 3 noodles. Spread 1/3 of the tofu mixture, a sprinkle of Daiya cheese, and then a layer of sauce. Optionally, tear 2-3 fresh basil leaves over the layer.
Repeat 2 more times. Add 3 noodles and top with some sauce. Sprinkle top with (optional) Vegan parmesan and Daiya cheese.

Layer 1 - Sauce
Layer 2 - 3 noodles, 1/3 tofu mixture, sauce, daiya
Layer 3 - 3 noodles, 1/3 tofu mixture, sauce, daiya
Layer 4 - 3 noodles, 1/3 tofu mixture, sauce, daiya
Layer 5 - 3 noodles, sauce, vegan parm, daiya

Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes. Allow it to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

** Look for this at Whole Foods

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vegan Cake Batter Ice Cream

I used to love that damn fattening cake batter ice cream at Coldstone before I went vegan. I'd get it mixed in with brownies. Occasionally I still find myself thinking about it. I decided it was time to fix that. I saw this recipe and decided to veganize it and improve it with the Wheeler Del Toro method (heat the milks and sugar and add arrowroot powder to it to thicken).

Vegan Cake Batter Ice Cream

Here is the new recipe:
Vegan Cake Batter Ice Cream

1 cup Silk regular or vanilla creamer
3/4 cup unbleached sugar
2 cups almond milk, DIVIDED
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
1 cup vegan cake mix **

Whisk the Silk, 1 3/4 cup Almond Milk, and granulated sugar over medium heat until it boils. Add the arrowroot powder and it will thicken slightly. Stir in the vanilla and cake batter. It'll be really thick. Cool for several hours in the refrigerator till cool. It will be even thicker now and will look like pudding. Stir with a whisk to mix and loosen the batter. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl and churn as directed by your machine. Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place into a freezer proof container and freeze for at least 4 hours.

** I used Dunkin' Hines Moist Deluxe Yellow Cake mix. As far as I could tell from looking at the ingredients list, it looks vegan. Let me know if you think otherwise. There are a few different cake mixes that look vegan that would work for this (white or yellow).

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Butternut, and Sausage

I saw broccoli rabe at Whole Foods yesterday when I ran in for a quick trip and I was excited to see it since it is rare around here. It was floppy looking, but I decided to try to find a good bunch anyway.  I added it to the weeks menu in my head for the next day's shopping trip (worrying that it wouldn't be there when I went back today).  Of course, I went today and it was nowhere to be seen.  So, I asked and luckily they had some in the back... and it was beautiful!


I found this recipe on Food TV, but of course I had to make some adjustments to make it vegan.


Here is the modified version:

Pasta with Broccoli Rabe, Butternut, and Sausage

* 2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* Extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt
* pepper
* 1/2 bunch broccoli rabe, tough lower stems removed, cut into thirds
* 1 Apple Sage Field Roast Vegan Sausage, cut into 1/2-inch dice
* Pinch crushed red pepper
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 cups pasta (I used wacky mac - see pic below)
* 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan (I used Parmezano Sprinkles from the Uncheese Cookbook)
* 1/4 cup green pumpkin seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss the pumpkin with olive oil salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a sheet tray and bake in the oven until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and reserve.

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Set up a bowl of well-salted ice water.

Drop the broccoli rabe into the pot of boiling water, swirl it around, remove from the water, and immediately plunge into the salty ice water. Reserve the boiling water to cook the pasta in. Remove the broccoli rabe from the ice water, squeeze out excess water, and reserve.

Get 3/4 cup of the broccoli rabe water for use below before boiling pasta.

Add the pasta to the reserved boiling broccoli rabe water and cook until the pasta is al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water (yep, you'll need a second measuring cup). Drain, rinse, and set aside.

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and add the vegan sausage, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Bring the pan to a medium heat and cook the sausage until browned. When the sausage is browned add the roasted squash and 3/4 cup of the broccoli rabe cooking water. Simmer until the water reduces by half.

Add the pasta to the pan with the sausage and squash. Add the broccoli rabe and about a 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Cook until the water has evaporated and the sauce clings to the pasta. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the vegan parmesan. Toss or stir vigorously.

Divide the pasta between 2 serving dishes, sprinkle with a little more grated parm, and top with toasted green pumpkin seeds.

Here is a pic of the butternut before baking because it is so pretty:


And a pic of the pasta because it's wacky:


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Taco Salad Mexican Stromboli with Cheddar Teese

I was the lucky recipient of some free Teese vegan cheese from Chicago Soy Dairy and I promised them I would make something interesting with it. This turned out to be more challenging than I imagined because after years of being vegan, I realize that the only time I pull out vegan cheese is when I am making a pizza. Vegan cheese in my hands means pizza on the brain.

First I tried to veganize a family recipe for Chicken Green Chili Tortilla Casserole. I should have known this one was doomed to fail when my mom told me the ingredients incuded Chicken, Velveeta, and a can of mushroom soup (I know, call me a food snob). Anyway, you can see it here. I'm not going to bother with the recipe for that as it didn't turn out so good. It was not the fault of the teese, it was just too much mush.

Then I had a bright idea to make a Mexican Stromboli. I already had the ingredients in the house because I had planned to make a taco casserole. This turned out surprisingly great. Here is a pic and the recipe follows:

Taco Salad Mexican Stromboli

Taco Salad Mexican Stromboli with Cheddar Teese
Serves 4

Pizza dough *

1 T Canola Oil
1 small bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 jalepeno, minced
1 clove garlic, minced

1 T Canola Oil
1 pkg Boca Crumbles
1 pkg taco seasoning
1/2 cup water

~1 cup pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tube Cheddar Teese (about a cup grated)
1/2 T soy milk
1 eggs worth of any egg replacer**

Topping Ingredients:
lettuce, sliced
avocado or guacamole
vegan sour cream

If you are making your own pizza dough, make it according to directions and set it aside. Once the dough is ready to go, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven for a long time (30 min+ while you are making the fillings). The pizza stone is optional but ensures more even heating and a better crust on the bottom. Get out a small baking sheet or pizza pan and cover it with foil. Grease the foil with a little oil.

In a non-stick skillet, heat a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and jalepeno. Cook, stirring occasionally, till softened and slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Move the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat a tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. If you pan is already really hot, you might want to let it cool down a little. Add the boca crumbles and stir frequently for about 7 minutes. If it starts to stick too much, add some of the water. Then, add the taco seasoning and the rest of the water. Cook for a few more minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Set aside.

Roll out the pizza dough to a 14"x10" rectangle. Spread about 1/2 of the boca mixture on it. Make sure you leave an inch all around with no fillings on the edges of the dough. Then, grate the Teese over the boca mixture. Sprinkle about 1/2 the vegetable mixture over that. Then add the beans. You will have boca filling and veggies leftover. Sorry about that. Use the leftover fillings to make a nice taco salad for lunch the next day.

Brush one long edge with egg replacer. Then starting with the other long edge, roll the dough up. Pinch and seal the ends as you roll. When you finish the seam will be on the bottom. Carefully move the roll to the baking sheet. Brush with soy milk to make it shiny and brown when done. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Cut into about 4 pieces and top with vegan sour cream, salsa, guacamole or avocado, lettuce, and cilantro.

* I used 1/2 a pizza dough recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance but replaced 1 cup of flour with Whole Wheat flour.
** I used Bob's Red Mill, but a ground flax seed water mixture will probably work fine too. It's for sealing the edge.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 Natural Flavors are vegan

I emailed to find out if the Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast tea at contains dairy and got a response that all of their "natural flavors" are vegan. He is checking into whether the imitation bacon bits used in some of their teas are vegan. I will update if I hear more on that.

Can you tell me if flavors like Buttered Cinnamon Raisin Toast contain any dairy (the natural flavors is unclear)? Also, are there any animal products in your imitation bacon bits?
Thanks, Kristin


Thanks for your interest in our products. All of our natural flavors (including—believe it or not—the bacon flavor, are 100% vegan and certified Kosher). I know I was stunned by this at first myself (How can you have natural butter and bacon flavors that are vegan?) but the manufacturer explained to me that these are natural bacon-like and butter-like flavors, so I guess that’s that.

So, you have nothing to fear from the flavors themselves. As far as the bacon bits go, I should be able to answer your question, but unfortunately, I cannot. We grabbed some imitation bacon bits from the grocery store to give the blend a little color, and I don’t have the jars any more. I don’t THINK there were any animal products in them, but I couldn’t tell you with absolute certainty. Next time we re-blend it, I will pay closer attention.

Let me know if you have any other questions,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pull-Apart Wheat Dinner Rolls

I've been searching and experimenting for a long long time to get the perfect dinner roll recipe. This is it! It is a home on the table on a special occasion and it is also great with a warm mug of soup or stew. These rolls are super soft and they taste fantastic. The recipe makes a lot, so you can pull them apart, cool, and then freeze remaining rolls for another night (if there are any left over).

Pull-Apart Wheat Dinner Rolls

This recipe is originally from nstemple on Veg Web. I've modified it to make corrections and to give the bread more softness.

Maple Wheat Pull-Apart Rolls


1 1/2 cups warmed unsweetened soy milk (microwave about 30 seconds)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 pkg. instant yeast (quick-rise)**
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups unbleached white flour***
1 teaspoon salt
Oil for brushing

In a large bowl, combine soy milk and maple syrup. Add yeast and stir to dissolve. Cover and let sit until bubbly, about 5 minutes.

To yeast mixture, add canola oil, whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour, and salt. Stir until well mixed.

Generously flour a work surface with some the remaining flour and place dough on it. Knead dough, gradually incorporating remaining flour (until the dough you've incorporated enough that the dough doesn't stick to your hands). The kneading will take 10 to 12 minutes. By the end of this time the dough should be slightly sticky but it should not stick to your hands (add a little more flour if it does). Place dough in a large oiled bowl, turn dough in bowl to coat with oil, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place. Let rise until doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.

Lightly oil an 9"x16" glass baking pan. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces, shape into round balls, brush lightly with oil, and place in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm place, and let rise until until doubled, 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake rolls until golden brown, 20 minutes.

** High Altitude - use less than a package. I didn't measure it, I just left about a 1/2 tsp in the package.
*** This will depend on the dryness of your flour. I live in very dry climate, so my flour is very dry. You may need more.

Pull-apart Wheat Dinner Rolls

Friday, January 8, 2010

Baked Mac and Cheeze

The recipe below is from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.

---x-posted over at Cooking from 1000 Vegan Recipes---

I've had a favorite vegan macaroni and 'cheese' recipe for years (New Farm Cookbook recipe) and have been quite dedicated to it. I see new recipes for macaroni and 'cheese' all the time and have not been able to bring myself to try another. I sometimes even buy ingredients to try another recipe and wind up making the old standby. Well I finally did it. I made a different recipe.

I tried the Baked Mac and Cheeze and you know, I loved it. I still like my old recipe too, but I cannot decide which one I like more. This recipe is less creamy (and probably a lot healthier) but it tastes great. It has a little onion in it which gives it a nice flavor and also has a healthy dose of cayenne for a big kick. I think I might use just a tad less cayenne next time, but otherwise, I would not change a thing. This recipe will probably now be the go-to macaroni and 'cheese' recipe for a while. It was time for a change.

I used whole wheat breadcrumbs for the topping.

Vegan Macaroni and 'Cheese'

Served it with broccoli.

Vegan Macaroni and 'Cheese'

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Seitan Noodle Casserole

The recipe below is from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.

---x-posted over at Cooking from 1000 Vegan Recipes---

I recently bought some seitan from a local natural foods store. I didn't realize till I got home that it was shaved seitan (cut very thinly). I had no idea what to do with that, so I stuck it in the freezer. I was looking through the book looking for something to make and saw the Seitan Noodle Casserole {p 316}. It looked perfect for the seitan in the freezer. I made this last night for dinner and thought it was just ok. I expected it to be creamier than it was (more like a tetrazzini). It tasted fine, but I'm not sure I'd make it again.

Seitan Noodle Casserole

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tahini Dressing

I'm guest posting over at Cooking from 1000 Vegan Recipes this week, so you'll see that all my posts will be cross posted over there. The recipe below is from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.

---x-posted over at Cooking from 1000 Vegan Recipes---

I love tahini in just about anything. I especially love tahini in salad dressing so I had to try out the Creamy Tahini Dressing {page 102} and I definitely was not disappointed. The tahini really shines in this dressing and makes me look forward to our nightly dinner salad. I did think that it was missing an element of sweetness so I might add a dash of agave nectar to it next time.

Creamy Tahini Dressing

The only change I made to this recipe was to mix the dressing in the Vita-Mix instead of mixing by hand. The salad is green leaf lettuce, dried cranberries, and gomasio.