Sunday, December 30, 2012

Food That Did Not Make the Codex This Week

I've decided to post photos of foods and links to recipes we made this week that did not make the Codex.

Vegan Eggnog Pudding in Raw Ginger Cookie Cups

Single-Serving Pumpkin Microwave Cake

Vegan Christmas Dinner: Tofurky Roast with potatoes, carrots and onions, Gravy, and Mashed Potatoes


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cookbook Review: 30 Day Vegan Challenge

This book spent less than a year on the bookshelves, which is really too bad. It has a lot of excellent reviews, so I'm not sure why it came off the shelves in such a short time. I managed to get an e-book version from my local library. I had been reducing my meat intake for about a year, became vegetarian, and then read this book. I first read it cover to cover, and then I used it for my first 30 days of being vegan as a guide.

The days are split into different topics to help educate the new vegan on many aspects of lifestyle choices, nutrition, and animal rights. The challenge lies firmly in the ethical vegan camp. Yes, there are health benefits to becoming vegan, but it's for the animals that Colleen Patrick-Goudreau challenges people to become vegan. 

There were many full color photos of the food, many recipes, and a guide at the end of the book for suggestions of what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the 4 weeks of the challenge. 

I tried many recipes in this book. Some were good, some were not. The levels of difficulty ranged from easy to difficult. Unfortunately, Ms. Patrick-Goudreau does write on the assumption that you have been cooking for yourself for some time and can throw stuff together with a just a skeleton of an idea of a recipe. This may or may not work for some people.

About a year after this book was published, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau started a multi-media program by the same name, The 30 Day Vegan Challenge. It's a fantastic program and worth the cost. I began during an initial offering of $20. I think the regular price is $35. For all the recipes you get, the support, and guidance, if you are vegetarian, this is worth taking a look, if you are considering going vegan, this is worth taking a look, and if you are related to someone who is vegan, this is worth taking a look.

The topics by day are:

Upon Sign-up – Welcome Message from Colleen
- Day 1 – Taking “Vegan” Out of the Box
- Day 2 – Stocking a Healthful Vegan Kitchen
- Day 3 – Reading Labels
- Day 4 – Getting to Know the Grocery Store
- Day 5 – Eating Healthfully Affordably
- Day 6 – Trying New Foods
- Day 7 – Making the Time to Cook
- Day 8 – Starting the Day off Right: A Bevy of Breakfast Ideas
- Day 9 – Eating Out and Speaking Up
- Day 10 – Packing Lunches
- Day 11 – Rethinking Meat Cravings: Fat and Salt Taste Good
- Day 12 – Discovering there IS Life After Cheese
- Day 13 – Cutting out the Middle Cow and Getting Calcium Directly from the Source
- Day 14 – Plant-Based Milks
- Day 15 – Putting to Rest the Great Protein Myth
- Day 16 – Better Baking without Eggs
- Day 17 – Strong Like Popeye – Increasing Your Iron Absorption
- Day 18 – B12 - A Bacteria-Based (Not Meat-Based) Vitamin
- Day 19 – Finding Abundant Options while Traveling
- Day 20 – Skipping the Middle Fish: Getting Omega 3s from the Source
- Day 21 – Keeping Things Moving with Fiber
- Day 22 – Demystifying Tofu: It’s Just a Bean
- Day 23 – Special Considerations for Particular Groups
- Day 24 – Eating by Color
- Day 25 – Eating Confidently and Joyfully in Social Situations
- Day 26 – Finding Harmony in a Mixed Household
- Day 27 – Compassionate Fashion: It’s Cool to Be Kind
- Day 28 – Understanding Weight Loss – Part One – Calorie Reduction
- Day 29 – Understanding  Weight Loss - Part Two – Calorie Expenditure
- Day 30 – Keeping it in Perspective: Intention Not Perfection
- Wrap Up and Reflection

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Onion Strings

I'm going through the Codex to find what I can make vegan. For my birthday, I thought onion strings would go well with my BBQ sandwich. So I took Ree's Onion Strings and easily changed it to vegan by making 1 alteration.

1 whole Large Onion
2 cups Coconut Milk (So Delicious)
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Canola Oil (enough to create a decent fry depth)
Black Pepper To Taste


  1. Slice onion very thin. Place in a baking dish and cover with coconut milk and soak for at least an hour. The longer the better - be sure your onions are well separated for soaking.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
  3. Heat oil to 375 degrees.
  4. Grab a handful of onions, throw into the flour mixture, tap to shake off excess, and place into hot oil. Fry for a few minutes and remove as soon as golden brown.
  5. Repeat until onions are gone.
Other Details:

  • Be sure your fry oil is fresh for these.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

White Bean Burger Patty

A great alternative to frozen patties, bean burgers are not difficult to make. I highly suggest giving them a try. You can double the recipe below. I got the original recipe at Florida Coastal Cooking.

1 cup cooked white beans, such as butter beans or great northern (I used canned)
1/6 cup rolled oatmeal
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning 
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp olive oil


  1. (Made mine in toaster oven - worked great.) 
  2. Preheat broiler to high.  
  3. Process the oatmeal to a powder in a food processor.  
  4. Mash  beans and oats together and add seasoning, salt and oil in a medium bowl; divide in half; shape into burgers by hand.  Spray burgers with cooking spray, place on baking sheet and broil about 5 minutes per side or until browned.

Other Details:
Original Recipe

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Cookbook Review: Real Stew

We found Real Stew in the in the clearance bin at Half Price books. We should have just left it there. It seemed like the recipes were good and interesting, but they weren't. We tried a few recipes from this book and assuming that most recipes are representative, they were a lot of effort, with a lot of ingredients, and not very good. It was a big disappointment.

The book is about 388 pages, in brown and yellow and no photos of the stews. A good cookbook really should show photos of at least some of its recipes. This just has drawn pictures of various types of dutch ovens and pots to make stew in.

Overall, we don't recommend this cookbook.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dessert: Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Ryan made these one evening to use up the cream cheese he had purchased. They were a hit and he's made them a couple times. He found this recipe at Pinch of Yum.


Cookie Dough:
1 stick butter, unsalted (1/2 cup), softened
½ cup white sugar
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt 
½ cup rolled oats
1 cups chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling:
1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Make the cookie dough: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Cream the butter, sugars, and peanut butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture in with the butter and sugar, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips.
  2. Make the cheesecake filling: Cream the cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Press half to two-thirds of the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Pour the cheesecake filling over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough and sprinkle over the top, OR roll it into a flat layer and place it over the cheesecake layer.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until tops is lightly browned and cheesecake layer is set. Serve warm or cold and store leftover bars in refrigerator.

Other Details:

  • Original Recipe
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Serves 16

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Side: Baked Sweet Potato Chips

I made these Baked Sweet Potato Chips twice in 2 weeks they were so good! The first time I hand cut and had inconsistent sizes, leading to some not-quite-done and other over-done chips. The second time I used the food processor to cut evenly sized chips, which worked out much better. I used the "medium" slicer, but I think I'd use the smallest size next time. I saw this recipe at the Minimalist Baker.

2 large sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 300º.
  2. Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes and slice them as thin as you wish. You want consistent sized slices. Keep the skins on.
  3. Toss your slices in a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Lay out in a single layer on baking sheets and bake for 1.5 to 2 hours, flipping about every 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. You may also need to rotate your pans around depending on your oven. Be careful not to burn – they tend to go from light brown to dark brown rather quickly so check often.
  4. Remove once crisp and slightly golden brown. They shouldn’t be too dark.
  5. Serve immediately as they are best when fresh. Will keep for a day or two after cooking.

Other Details:

  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 1/2 - 2 hours
  • Serves 3 (or 1) 
  • Original Recipe

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping

These are fantastic pumpkin muffins! The streusel topping is very good, the muffins are dense and yummy. I ate 2 straight out of the oven and several more throughout the day. The kids really enjoyed them as well. I adapted the recipe from May I Have That Recipe.


1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk 
2 tbsp flax meal
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup sugar in the raw
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Streusel Topping:
1 tbsp coconut oil at room temperature

2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp flour

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with foil liners and spray them lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine almond milk and flax meal. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Add almond milk/flax mixture and mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt and walnuts. Slowly add to pumpkin mixture, whisking gently until just incorporated. Set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine streusel ingredients, mixing gently with your fingers or a fork.
  6. Spoon batter evenly in muffin cups. Sprinkle tops with streusel mixture. Bake at 350ºF until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Other Details:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 20-25 minutes
  • Yields 12 muffins
  • Original Recipe

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dessert: Peanut Butter Frosting

I had this frosting on my birthday cake. The cake could be more chocolatey, but the frosting was fantastic! 


1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp soy milk


  1. Whisk or blend together all ingredients until smooth and creamy, adding more or less soy milk to achieve the desired consistency. 

Other Details:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Brown Sugar Jack BBQ Sauce

I wanted to make my own barbecue sauce for my barbecue sandwiches. Jack Daniels sauces are usually popular, so I made this one.

1 cup ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup Jack Daniel's Tennesse Whiskey
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons (vegan) Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons Tabasco® sauce


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 30 minutes, or until slightly thickened. 
Other Details:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Entree: BBQ Sandwich

This is a vegan BBQ sandwich. I had my first pulled "pork" sandwich at Portage Bay Cafe. The consistency was very true to a pulled pork sandwich. I wasn't a fan of their sauce, but I took note of the description and decided to give it a go on my own.

First, you need young green jackfruit. The ripe jackfruit is a fruit like any fruit and is sweet and often served for dessert. However, I found at Uwajimaya the canned young green jackfruit in brine. You can also find it on amazon.

Second, you pick your favorite BBQ sauce. I made a Brown Sugar and Jack Daniels Stillhouse Sauce. I think having some acidity is key. This sauce ended up being slightly too sweet on the jackfruit, so I still need to find the right one. This aspect is so individual, that it really does matter on your own taste.

2 cups barbecue sauce of your choice
2 cans of Young Green Jackfruit, drained and rinsed


  1. Combine sauce and jackfruit in a slowcooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so. Eventually, the fruit start to fall apart.
  2. Use forks to "pull" the jackfruit.

Other Details:

  • Serves 4

Monday, December 10, 2012

Promised Pumpkin Pancakes

Awhile ago, I made some Lazy Morning Pancakes from The Lotus and the Artichoke. I was pining for some pumpkin pancakes, and felt this recipe could easy be modified. I mentioned this multiple times and it took a couple months, but I finally did it. Here's my original recipe for these Promised Pumpkin Pancakes. 
Ingredients at the ready!
Wet ingredients into dry.
Ready to eat!
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp chickpea flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar in the raw
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 2/3 cups soy milk (or a nut milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp canola oil


  1. Mix all dry ingredients (flours through cinnamon) in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add remaining wet ingredients into the dry. Whisk until batter is mostly smooth.
  3. Heat a cast iron griddle, if you have it, or your favorite pancake pan over medium heat. (My gas stove was hot enough at medium-low, but some ovens may need medium-high.)
  4. Oil the griddle with a few drops oil rubbed in with a paper towel or use cooking spray (my preference). Re-oil between pancakes. The pan is hot enough when a drop of water sizzles on the surface.
  5. Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter onto the pan. 
  6. When bubbles form consistently on the edges and in the center of the pancake, check underside to see if it is ready to flip. This should occur within about 2 minutes at the appropriate heat. Too hot and you'll have a black rather than golden brown surface without the interior of the pancake cooked through.
  7. Flip the pancake over and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  8. Transfer finished pancake to a plate in a warm oven to keep warm until serving.
  9. Serve with powdered sugar, nuts, and/or maple syrup for the Perfect Promised Pumpkin Pancake.

Other Details:

  • Makes about 10 pancakes.
  • Can be frozen and toasted & reheated in microwave later.
  • These are the ingredients I used. I used King Arthur's Unbleached All Purpose Flour. You could substitute granulated sugar for sugar in the raw or a nut milk for the soy milk. I used canola oil, but a vegetable oil would also work fine.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pumpkin Shake

I love pumpkin. You may be able to tell by all the pumpkin that appears on this blog. I also love to try pumpkin shakes. I used to drink pumpkin shakes during the season. I especially liked Culver's pumpkin shake and would reward myself after an 8 mile or longer run with one.

Now I have a pumpkin shake recipe for at home! I made one of these and the boy tried it and also loved it. It does require just a bit of prep. But it is so well worth it! This is another recipe from The Family Kitchen.

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree, unsweetened
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
a few pinches of salt
1 cup soy milk ice cubes, vanilla
May need additional liquid soy milk for blending.


  1. Add all ingredients to blender. Close lid and turn blender on low. If necessary, slowly pour in soy milk until the blend starts moving. Add in small splashes to keep a super thick texture. 
  2. Taste your shake and add more sweetener or salt as desired.

Other Details:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vegan 5 Can Chili

This is the vegan version of the 5 Can Chili Enhanced posted last year. This is an easy, 10 minutes to make recipe. The key is to find components you like. I ended up with a slightly spicier than I prefer chili because I didn't realize the components were that spicy. The ingredients are straight forward. 

1 can (15 oz) vegetarian chili 
1 can (15 oz) mixed veggies, drained
1 can (11 oz) whole kernal corn, drained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies


  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients, heat through, about 5-10 minutes.

Other Details:
  • Makes about 4 -1 cup servings.
  • We like Rotel's diced tomatoes and green chilies, but I couldn't confirm they are vegan.
  • Because this is vegan, obviously check that all the components are vegan. The chili and the tomato soup are the two items you need to be most careful.