Category Archives: Vegetarian

Fakin’ CheeseBurger (Vegan)

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It’s summer. Flame broiled burger smells are in the air, and you are still eating burgers off a grill from the frozen food section of the local IGA? I’m sorry to break this to you, but you’re doing it all wrong. Take a few minutes, whip up your own burger and revel in the excitement that is all of the ordinary and none of the animal. Veggies, you know what I mean.

This recipe comes to you courtesy of The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet (so far this book has proven to be true to the title).

Ingredients:

  • 1 C TVP granules
  • 1 scant C veggie broth
  • 1/4 C imitation bacon bits, store-bought or homemade
  • 1 C vital wheat gluten flour
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 C nutritional yeast
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil (I got away with 1/8 C)
  • 1/4 C bbq sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • oil for frying/grilling

Directions:

In a large micro-safe bowl, mix together the TVP granules and the broth, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and microwave for 5-6 minutes. Alternatively, bring the broth to a boil, pour over the TVP, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Add the bacon bits, flour, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, peanut butter, maple syrup, oil, bbq sauce, salt and pepper to the bowl. Knead together for 5 minutes or so, then let sit a few minutes to thicken up.

Form into 4-6 patties. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

Cook as desired. Panfry, grill or bake in a 350 oven until cooked through with a crisp-ish outer coating. They freeze well.

How do I overnight oats? Let me count the ways….

My first encounter with overnight oats contained chia seeds which I love in smoothies, but loathe in anything that is required to set and then eat or drink. the consistency is well, cha, cha, cha, chia…and if you are a child of the 80’s then you will know exactly what this means – gel-like, icky, sticky and gross.

This recipe and countless variations becomes breakfast at least 4 days a week. With an unlimited amount of creations you can concoct with this base, it is sure to become a morning staple in your home too. I put these oats together at night before bed, pop in the fridge, then grab while I’m running out of the house like my hair is on fire in the AM. I eat them at the office while I’m checking email and making coffee.

Overnight Oat Base:

  • 1/3-1/2 C rolled oats ( I use Bob’s Red Mill, thick cut ) – not instant here – if you like it a little runny opt for less oats
  • 2/3 C any non dairy milk ( my go to is unsweetened almond milk )

Typically I add:

  • 2 T PB2
  • 1 sliced banana ( just before I eat the oats )

My next fave is:

  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 T reduced fat coconut
  • 1 C sliced strawberries (just before I eat the oats)

I also really love:

  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 C blueberries (just before I eat the oats)

Sometimes I even get really crazy and add:

  • 2/3 C unsweetened chocolate almond milk ( instead of the unsweetened plain milk in the recipe above )
  • 2 T Chocolate PB2
  • 1 sliced banana

Directions: combine oats and any add in EXCEPT fruit, then pop in the fridge overnight. 6 or so hours they are ready to consume. Add fruit before eating. If you add fruit the night before the water escapes into the oats and make them watery and icky. A very technical term, icky.

Pictured below is the “really crazy” variety minus the banana. My fave jar to use is pictured. Seems to be the perfect size for 1) the spoon and eating and 2) the oats for soaking in the milk.

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VOTE! Virtual Vegan Potluck: Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

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UPDATE: The potluck is over, but the voting for faves just started! Below find my entry in the Virtual Vegan Potluck then click on over to cast your vote for Veg Bon Vivant for salad winner!

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I’m part of a GLOBAL plant-based potluck today. Doesn’t that sound super impressive? Over 170 of my virtual vegan friends have committed to participation in Virtual Vegan Potluck, a twice-a-year, orderly, and yummy way to expose their blog followers to new recipes and new vegan blogs. I am so excited about the blogroll itself I can hardly stand it. New reading! My “dish to pass” is a salad. A tried and true salad that never has leftovers and leaves everyone shocked that they just ate Thai food. Hey, eat more veggies while you are at it.

I relish all of the different flavor combinations that comprise regional foods and on occasion I like to make up my own recipes from the most awesome parts of other recipes.  I love peanut sauce in Thai restaurants; however it is not good for you. At. All. I modified a recipe I found online cutting out the non-veg ingredients, pinched a little of the fat (bye-bye oil) and yet maintained a “dressing” consistency suitable for a salad instead of satay duty. Paired with a few of my fave salad ingredients including the beloved soba noodle, I dropped in a spicy protein too to give you a delightfully filling and portable salad that could hold its own at a REAL potluck. Hello summer!

Peanut Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
  • 1 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp to 1 T chopped, ground, or pre-chopped ginger (test along the way)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • drizzle of toasted sesame oil (keep it to less than a tsp)
  • big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tsp-1T of hot sauce, your choice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water

Salad:

  • 1 package soba noodles prepared according to package instructions
  • 2 carrots, peeled, grated
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 C crushed peanuts or cashews, toasted
  • a handful of bean spouts per salad
Mix dressing ingredients together in the food processor, let set 10-20 minutes to develop in flavor intensity, reserve 1/4 C dressing for topping salad.  Shred cabbage, toss with chopped radishes and grated carrot, mound in 3-4 salad bowls.  Toss soba noodles in the peanut sauce until coated nicely, divide and add to cabbage salad, top with 1/4 C reserved dressing and crushed peanuts or cashews and fresh bean spouts.  Serve immediately.

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Well you know how a potluck works right? So that was JUST my dish to pass, scoot on over to the next blog for another delish salad and start filling up that plate! Just make sure you save room for dessert….I went through the blogroll today and down the line are some vegan desserts you will not want to miss!
Click “go forward” for the next salad from Yum for Tum or depending on how you found this post, you might have missed the one before me at Mojo Central. Happy potluck!
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Pictured with salad ginger/garlic/soy marinated baked tofu (recipe below):
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, sliced in half (thickness wise) and pressed (after pressing 20-30 minutes, cut into pieces about the size of a pinky finger-sorry, that’s kinda gross!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
Marinate tofu in mixture of the ingredients above for 30 minutes to overnight. Bake tofu on a foil lined, lightly greased, rimed baking sheet at 375 or grilled until firm in texture, turning every 5-10 minutes.  Serve with the salad.
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Sometimes you just need chocolate cupcakes…like at 11pm for example

The title is true. Sometimes you just need chocolate cupcakes….like at 11pm for example. I posted this delish cake recipe some time ago and then a few nights ago when a chocolate cupcake craving hit…well, I made cupcakes at 11pm.

The cupcake recipe can be found here: Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes [this late night craving wanted coffee/chocolate so I added 1 T espresso powder to the chocolate batter for an espresso chocolate cupcake]

For the “frosting”:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1-2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Smash the ripe banana in a large bowl with vanilla. Gently whisk in powdered sugar until you reach your desired frosting consistency. Pop in the fridge. Will keep for up to one week. Bonus, tastes really good on toast.

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Virtual Vegan Potluck: Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

vvpLOGO

I’m part of a GLOBAL plant-based potluck today. Doesn’t that sound super impressive? Over 170 of my virtual vegan friends have committed to participation in Virtual Vegan Potluck, a twice-a-year, orderly, and yummy way to expose their blog followers to new recipes and new vegan blogs. I am so excited about the blogroll itself I can hardly stand it. New reading! My “dish to pass” is a salad. A tried and true salad that never has leftovers and leaves everyone shocked that they just ate Thai food. Hey, eat more veggies while you are at it.

I relish all of the different flavor combinations that comprise regional foods and on occasion I like to make up my own recipes from the most awesome parts of other recipes.  I love peanut sauce in Thai restaurants; however it is not good for you. At. All. I modified a recipe I found online cutting out the non-veg ingredients, pinched a little of the fat (bye-bye oil) and yet maintained a “dressing” consistency suitable for a salad instead of satay duty. Paired with a few of my fave salad ingredients including the beloved soba noodle, I dropped in a spicy protein too to give you a delightfully filling and portable salad that could hold its own at a REAL potluck. Hello summer!

Peanut Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (brown) rice vinegar
  • 1 T tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp to 1 T chopped, ground, or pre-chopped ginger (test along the way)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • drizzle of toasted sesame oil (keep it to less than a tsp)
  • big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tsp-1T of hot sauce, your choice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup hot water

Salad:

  • 1 package soba noodles prepared according to package instructions
  • 2 carrots, peeled, grated
  • 4 radishes, chopped
  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 C crushed peanuts or cashews, toasted
  • a handful of bean spouts per salad
Mix dressing ingredients together in the food processor, let set 10-20 minutes to develop in flavor intensity, reserve 1/4 C dressing for topping salad.  Shred cabbage, toss with chopped radishes and grated carrot, mound in 3-4 salad bowls.  Toss soba noodles in the peanut sauce until coated nicely, divide and add to cabbage salad, top with 1/4 C reserved dressing and crushed peanuts or cashews and fresh bean spouts.  Serve immediately.

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Well you know how a potluck works right? So that was JUST my dish to pass, scoot on over to the next blog for another delish salad and start filling up that plate! Just make sure you save room for dessert….I went through the blogroll today and down the line are some vegan desserts you will not want to miss!
Click “go forward” for the next salad from Yum for Tum or depending on how you found this post, you might have missed the one before me at Mojo Central. Happy potluck!
go_forward-300x243go_bck-300x257
Pictured with salad ginger/garlic/soy marinated baked tofu (recipe below):
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, drained, sliced in half (thickness wise) and pressed (after pressing 20-30 minutes, cut into pieces about the size of a pinky finger-sorry, that’s kinda gross!)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 2 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
Marinate tofu in mixture of the ingredients above for 30 minutes to overnight. Bake tofu on a foil lined, lightly greased, rimed baking sheet at 375 or grilled until firm in texture, turning every 5-10 minutes.  Serve with the salad.
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Roasted Veg Mini Pizzas

Shocked that I might be full after just half of this serving size. I continued to eat of course until I was stuffed of this goodness. Another yummy Happy Herbivore meal plan recipe that will now be a weekly staple at the Wonderful residence: Roasted Veg Mini Pizzas (serves 1)

  • 2 whole-wheat Pita Pockets
  • 1/2 C marinara sauce
  • 1 C zucchini
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 1/2 T nutritional yeast or vegan parm
  • sliced black olives (optional)

Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce over the top of each pita. Not too much or you will just have soggy bread, icky. Top with squash, tomato and onion. Bake in 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes (check at 5) until everything is warmed and browning slightly. I placed my pitas directly on the oven rack to get a crispy “crust.” Sprinkle with olives, nutritional yeast, or vegan parm (shown in photos). Don’t forget the Frank’s Red Hot!

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418 calories for 2 pita pizzas, 4.8g fat, 77g carbs, 24g fiber, 20g sugars, 30g protein.

Chana Palak Masala – Easy for YOU to say!

I talked about the Happy Herbivore meal plans a few weeks ago in a post and I will again sing the praises that just $19.00 a month can bring you a little more peace into a crazed life by just telling you what to do and when to do it. I often like it when there is ONE area of life I don’t have to make yet another decision during they day and Lindsay Nixon is my beacon of hope in that regard.

Sometimes I look at a recipe in the meal plan and think, how in the world will that taste good? Fortunately I’m kinda brave and will mostly eat anything, this recipe surprised me at 1) how few calories it has, 2) how filling it is, 3) it really is delicious and 4) you can eat take-out like food at home in under 30 minutes.

Enough of my blabbering, here’s the recipe (2 servings):

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 oz peeled whole or diced tomatoes (canned)
  • 15 oz chickpeas (canned), drained and rinsed
  • 10 oz frozen baby spinach (fresh okay too)
  • 1 C low sodium veg broth or water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (or double it with fresh)
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional, but use it…it makes it better)
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Make magic:

In a large pot, saute’ onions and garlic with a few tablespoons of water, instead of oil. Once the onion is translucent, add spinach, chickpeas, tomatoes with juices and broth. Cover and cook over medium until the spinach cooks down [I used frozen and didn’t drain and it came out fine]. Uncover and break up tomato bits. Add all spices except garam masala, add lemon juice at this point. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 garam masala and cook for 2 more minutes more. Taste, adding additional garam masala if desired plus salt and pepper if needed. Turn heat off and allow to sit for 5 or so minutes. The dish will thicken as it stands. Start to finish, this took me about 30 minutes. I served about 1/4 of this recipe over brown rice.

Per serving: 283 calories, 58g carbs, 3g fat, 10g fiber, 7g sugar, 12g protein

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Butternut Black Bean Tacos

I could eat tacos every. single. day. Honestly.

Tacos as we know them in the Wonderful residence, typically are born from whatever is leftover in the fridge, or what can be tossed together before it goes bad in the fridge. I had a few onions that were about to sprout and take over the cupboard, so I used those for the base of these tacos. PS: anything on a tortilla tastes good. Knock yourself out in your own kitchen.

  • 2 C butternut squash mash (pulled from freezer) – okay to use from freezer section at store-cubed is fine too; heck use sweet potatoes if you want
  • 2 C black beans, cooked (pulled from freezer) – okay to use canned
  • 2 large yellow sweet onions
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • corn or flour tortillas, your choice
  • topping [obviously pickled jalapenos, arugula, salsa, and taco sauce]

Saute onions in olive oil until transparent or bronzed. Add smashed or cubed butternut squash and black beans to this mix along with all spices. Warm through. Serve on a tortilla.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friends Jon and Kolene over at VeganGR are always making vegan chocolate chip cookies and slipping them into non-vegan events with great results. By great, I mean no one can detect the damn difference between the vegan chocolate chip cookies and “normal” chocolate chip cookies.

I’m not wild about any butter/margarine substitute, so I took a crack at an Earth Balance free recipe posted on the Post Punk Kitchen instead. I was not disappointed. The texture was a little crazy, but not in a bad way. The tops of these guys were like crackly almost, flaky certainly, but honestly, a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth in a cruelty free way.

A little bonus: in using canola or veg oil, you don’t have to fight that battle of getting the butter/margarine “room temperature” which ultimately ends up in me making margarine soup in the microwave because I don’t have the patience to zap it slowly and/or I didn’t plan to make cookies at 9am that morning and now it’s officially an emergency at 10pm to get a cookie crammed into my pie hole before I hit the hay. Don’t pretend you have not experienced this same emergency before. It’s a real problem.

Makes two dozen two inch cookies or about 16 three inch cookies

  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/4 white sugar
  • 2/3 cup canola oil (it’s a lot, I know…but no other oil is used)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (I used Arrowroot and still had sound results)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips (vegan)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease two large light metal baking sheets.

Mix together sugars, oil, milk and tapioca flour in a mixing bowl. Use a strong fork and mix really well, for about 2 minutes, until it resembles smooth caramel. There is a chemical reaction when sugar and oil collide, so it’s important that you don’t get lazy about that step. Mix in the vanilla.

Add 1 cup of the flour, the baking soda and salt. Mix until well incorporated. Mix in the rest of the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. The dough will be a little stuff so use your hands to really work them in.

PPK directions: For 3 inch cookies, roll the dough into about ping pong ball size balls. Flatten them out in your hands to about 2 1/2 inches. They will spread just a bit. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes – no more than 9 – until they are just a little browned around the edges. I usually get 16 out of these so I do two rounds of eight cookies. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

For 2 dozen two inch cookies roll dough into walnut sized balls and flatten to about 1 1/2 inches and bake for only six minutes.

I found however, it took a little longer to produce a cookie that was cooked through. Check on them every minute or so to insure you don’t burn ’em until they are to your liking.

Grand Rapids Magazine Goes Vegan

It’s about damn time. A full feature on the vegan community in Grand Rapids. Cheers to all of my friends that landed within the pages of the spread. Want to know what’s going on in veg eats in West Michigan? Check out the March edition of Grand Rapids Magazine to find out how/where you can embrace a cruelty free lifestyle without traveling too far from your front door.

Vegan Spread

 

 

Oh, check it out!

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Photos courtesy of Jon Dunn/Kolene Allen, VeganGR.

Ceci-Roasted Red Pepper Soup

New Year’s Eve is for two things:  1) resolution making and 2) drinking, heavily.  The day after your first thought:  1) resolving to not EVER drink again….like for real this time, ever.  Right?  So for your hangover cure I did a little research and decided that one of my fave soups can be your cure for what you overdo on NYE.

Nutrient-rich foods that are good to eat with a hangover are bananas, red peppers, broccoli, nuts, and oats. A banana smoothie is an excellent choice, as it acts as a natural antacid as well as replenishing vitamins and minerals. To make one, blend together one ripe banana, one a half cups of nondairy milk, and two tablespoons of honey or agave (for those of you that are strict vegan).

This soup is great.  Protein, vitamins, sits on stove all day without getting icky so you can eat when you get that small window of opportunity when you feel “better” than you did when you woke up at Noon.  Tastes excellent with saltines…see, it’s like perfect.  Take care.

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 1 medium size onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. rosemary, dried
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 c. tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 c. vegetable broth
  • 1 (15oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Cut out the stems of the peppers and discard along with the seeds. Stand the peppers in a small baking pan to roast the peppers for 35-50 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool, additionally, I removed the skin, then cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Saute the onion in a large pot in very little oil (or none at all if you like) for 5 minutes until translucent.
  5. Add garlic, rosemary, salt, and black pepper to pot and saute for another minute.
  6. Mix in tomatoes (canned are okay here too, let’s be honest you aren’t going to cut up tomatoes hungover) and stir for another minute.
  7. Add coriander, vegetable broth, and chickpeas and stir.
  8. Bring contents of pot to a low boil and cook covered for 15 minutes or all day…whatever you need/want.
  9. Add the roasted peppers.
  10. Blend half the soup with an immersion blender OR blend about half the soup in a blender, being careful not to let the steam build up in the blender while you are blending, add the blended soup back to the pot.
  11. Let soup sit for a few minutes, taste for salt, and serve.

Adapted from Appetite for Reduction; shown here with bread and goat cheese (omit goat cheese for vegans).

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Vegan Baked Oatmeal

I’m on a little oatmeal kick recently…well, at Costco I bought about a zillion RAW oatmeal packets that come together in a jiffy and have quinoa, chia, flax, oats and great taste without all the sugar that Quaker has.  I came across this idea from a friend’s Facebook page today while procrastinating.  I made it and LOVE it.  If you are a non-oats person because of the texture of hot or cold oatmeal, this will cure you of your oat-phobia (yes, of course that is a technical term).  A quick, warm breakfast on a cold day is possible.  Try it for Christmas morning so you can dedicate time to your gifts and not the prep of your breakfast.  With this in your belly in the AM, it’s basically permission to eat cookies for the other two meals of the day.  Cheers!

Baked Oatmeal

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond or coconut milk (any nondairy milk should work here, I used unsweetened nonflavored almond)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds (any nut will work)
  • 1/2 cup dried Michigan cherries (or other dried fruit of your choice)
  • 1 large un-peeled Honey Crisp apple, grated (apple should be firm)
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup (you choose, but use natural, not a syrup made with artificial sweeteners-Agave is a good sub here)
  • Cooking Spray

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Coat a 3 quart (large) casserole dish or baking pan with cooking spray
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl
4. Place mixture in the casserole dish
5. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes

Feel free to toss Chia or Flax in there too…a little sprinkle won’t hurt.

*Makes 6 1-cup servings (divide other servings into small containers for a quick grab-n-go breakfast next week for work!!!)

Sriracha Tofu

Tofu glazed srirachaBorn from boredom as most delicious things are.

Are you ready for the recipe?

Smoking hot pan. Canola and sesame oil splashes. Drop cubed and pressed tofu into pan. Brown on all sides. Toss in one turn of mirin cook till evaporates. Toss in two turns of tamari and one inch of chopped ginger. Cook till tamari evaporates. Add as much Sriracha as you can tolerate cook one more minute and remove from heat.

This photo has wilted kale underneath that was just kale and about a teaspoon of evoo cooked together till wilted-toss in some garlic if you are feelin’ feisty.

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Because there is NO way you are sick of pumpkin yet, right?  This recipe is a blend of 3-4 Spark People recipes for pumpkin pancakes.  The combo of baking soda and baking powder give you fluffy and lighter pancakes despite the heavy pumpkin and whole wheat flour (you could sub white too I suppose).

  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup mashed, cooked pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white if necessary)

Combine soy milk with the tsp vinegar in a separate bowl. Give it 5 minutes to curdle – you have just created vegan buttermilk. Stir together pumpkin, spices, water and soy milk in mixing bowl. Add in remaining ingredients and stir JUST UNTIL MOIST, NO LONGER or your batter will become flat, dense and lifeless, like your ex-husband. Let sit 5 minutes to rise and lightly stir again. Let rest 5 more minutes and cook them up as you would regular pancakes.

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Vegan Pancakes

I’ve tried many recipes for vegan pancakes, all have left me feeling full, but had a texture that was flat, and dense-unpleasurable.  Apparently Isa had the same problem.  So, puffy pillow pancakes were born.  So far, I can’t argue with this recipe.  It’s everything a vegan pancake should be…including normal.

  • 1 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 C almond milk (or soy milk)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 1/2 T canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center.

Measure the milk into a measuring cup. Add vinegar and ground flax seeds, and use a fork to vigorously mix the ingredients until foamy. This will take a minute or so.

Pour the milk mixture into the center of the dry ingredients. Add the water, canola oil and vanilla and use a fork to mix until a thick, lumpy batter forms. That should take about a minute. It doesn’t need to be smooth, just make sure you get all the ingredients incorporated.

Preheat the pan over medium-low heat and let the batter rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly coat the pan in oil. Add 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake, and cook for about 4 minutes, until puffy. Flip the pancakes, adding a new coat of oil to the pan, and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Pancake should be about an inch thick, and golden brown.

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Adapted from PPK

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

A Thanksgiving miracle…two blog posts in one week.  I dare you not to put this on everything at your Thanksgiving meal.

Pretty great dressing or dip.  Pretty good FOR you too.

Enjoy.

In a food processor or blender, blend the following until pureed:

  • 2/3 C. maple syrup
  • 1/3 C. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse mustard
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1 Tsp pepper
  • Slowly add 1 C. extra virgin olive oil.

I served mine over just about everything from quinoa and chickpea bowls, to brussels sprouts to a salad of roasted squash, onions, apples and pears (shown).  Try it out at Thanksgiving dinner.

Courtesy of Jen & Company, a food and fitness blog.

Butternut Coconut Rice

Good use of leftovers here.  Had brown rice, marinated tofu, and roasted butternut squash in the freezer, so just had to chop up some ginger, garlic and shallots.  Had this dish on the dinner table in under 20 minutes.  YUM!  This rice dish freezes well after you put it together too-add some more veg broth and coconut milk, maybe a little curry powder and you have soup.  So many possibilities.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c brown basmati rice (I used pink rice)
  • 2 c water
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 lbs butternut squash
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 c sliced shallot
  • 1 tbl minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c light coconut milk
  • 1/4-1/2 c veg broth (I just used water)
  • 1 tbl freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:

  1. Cook rice (add rice, water and pinch of salt)-I pulled this pre-made from the freezer
  2. Preheat oven to 400, bake squash for about 45 minutes-you could microwave this too if you are in a big hurry
  3. When squash is cool to handle, preheat a large skillet over med-high heat. Sauté shallot in the oil for about 7 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, lime zest, red pepper flakes and salt, saute for 2 minutes, turn heat to low
  4. Scoop the flesh out of the squash into the pan, add the coconut milk. Mash into a creamy consistency. Add rice and stir well. Add 1/4 c veg broth (or water) and mix well. You can add up to another 1/4 c of brother to get a creamier consistency if you want. Add lime juice, salt if needed and enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Appetite for Reduction, my most used and abused vegan cookbook.  Go get it.

Tamarind Tempeh BBQ with Sweet Potatoes

If you haven’t already been ruined by the appearance of sweet potatoes in just about everything except for your toothpaste, do give this recipe a try.  It’s bbq like all vegans truthfully do miss when no longer eating meat.  Isa delivers another recipe that kicks total ass, it’s all things bbq should be…sticky, tangy and satisfying.  Track down tamarind paste at an ethnic grocery or just stop working do damn hard and order it from Amazon.com already.  It will be on your doorstep in two days which is actually less time then it would take you to drive around until you found it anyway.  Happy lip-smacking.

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp arrowroot dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate (Indian spice)
  • 3 tbsp of agave or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • 12 oz Tempeh cut into 3/4 inch chunks
  • 1.5 pounds sweet potatoes also cut into 3/4 chunks

Spray a 9X13 inch glass casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray. Avoid glass. In medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Make sure the tamarind is dissolved. Place the sweet potatoes and tempeh in the prepared pan. Pour the sauce over them and use your hand to coat well. Let marinade for an hour at least. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cove the pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and toss out the foil. Flip the tempeh and sweet potatoes, making sure to scrape the bottom with a spatula in case anything is sticking. Bake for another 30 minutes, flipping everything once. The sweet potato should be tender but not mushy, the sauce should be thickened and coating everything. Serve.

Number of Servings: 4

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Talkin’ Tempeh

I recently found an article, it’s an oldie but a goodie.  I liked so much I thought I reproduce a part of it for you, my faithful followers.  I get bored of tofu this and tofu that and sometimes I just want something toothsome and jerky like.  This texture usually helps make my TLTs a little more BLT if you know what I mean.  Tempeh while it’s my newest taco go-to…it’s still an odd vegan duck.  Here are some ways to break it in a little, making it less weird and more yum.  Give it a try.

Methods To The Madness
Tempeh is so so versatile, it takes to just about any cooking method you throw its way. Here are a few methods, along with recipes, to get you started. But feel free to use some of your favorite marinades in place of these. All of the following recipes are for 8 ounces of tempeh and serve 2 to 4 people.

Basic Baked Tempeh
This marinade of basic pantry ingredients works well with any of the cuts of tempeh. Try sandwich slices or serve slabs over a salad or alongside mashed potatoes, gravy and greens.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Here’s what you do:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place tempeh slices on sheet in a single layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping once. Spoon extra marinade over tempeh a few times during baking.

Hot Sauce Grilled Tempeh
This tempeh is excellent served with sauteed greens and mashed sweet potatoes. Use a cast iron grill for best results indoors.

  • 8 oz tempeh, in slabs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup Louisiana hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, if you like a little extra heat)


Here’s what you do
:
Mix together ingredients and marinate tempeh for at least an hour or up to overnight.

Preheat a greased grill pan over medium-high heat. To grease it, brush lightly with olive oil or if you have a spray bottle of olive oil, that works, too.

Grill each side for 5 minutes, until dark grill marks appear. When the second side is almost done, spoon some of the marinade over the tempeh and let cook for 30 more seconds.

Sauteed Tempeh With Chard
I’m kind of cheating here because when I serve this for dinner I call it “sauteed,” but when I serve it for brunch I call it “scrambled.” Either way, it’s wonderful paired with roasted butternut squash. For this recipe, cubed tempeh is perfect.

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz tempeh, cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 a cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme, or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 4 large leaves Swiss chard, or any leafy green, torn into pieces

Here’s what you do:
Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Saute in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until lightly browned. Add red bell pepper, and red onion and drizzle in remaining tablespoon of oil. Saute for about 5 minutes, veggies should be softened but still have a bit of crunch.

Add garlic and thyme, saute for two minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Add swiss chard and saute just until wilted. Serve immediately.

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles
These are perfect for topping pizza or serving over pasta. No need to steam the tempeh for this recipe.

  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried margoram or oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon extra olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Here’s what you do:
In a saute pan, crumble the tempeh and add enough water to almost cover it. Over high heat, steam the tempeh until most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Drain the remaining water, add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Tempeh Bacon
Tempeh bacon is great alongside scrambled tofu and home fries, served over a salad or make a TLT with some vegan mayo – Veganaise grapeseed mayo is a favorite. Use tempeh strips for this.

8 oz tempeh
Marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • To cook: 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Here’s what you do:
In a wide shallow bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Add the tempeh slices and marinade for about an hour.

Preheat a large heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Pan fry the tempeh in oil for about 7 to 10 minutes, flipping occasionally and adding more marinade as you cook. Tempeh is done when it is browned and crispy to your liking.

Bears, [Vegan] Beet Cupcakes, Battlestar Galactica

Vegan.  Low-fat.  Cupcake.  I know.  It’s like a dream.  This variation of the classic Southern recipe gets its beautiful color from beets rather than red food coloring-though they are mostly purple, not really red, and would make a stunning hair color…which has me thinking of a new shade.  Anyway, you are here for cupcakes…

For the beets.  I roast a ton of veggies on Sundays for the week so these were leftover and had to be used from that roasting process.  I roasted them at 400 in tin foil balls for about 45-60 minutes, let cool a little de-skinned, left in a baggie in the fridge for a few days, then for this recipe I pureed them in my food processor and it was just over the two cups needed for this recipe.  The original author of one of the recipes I picked over to make this one boiled then grated, then processed in a blender.  To each her own.

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 2 C unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2½ C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • ¼ C natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ C vegetable oil
  • 2 T pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 large red beets, about 12 ounces, pureed (you should have about 2 cups of beet puree)

FOR THE ICING:

  • 1 C vegan margarine (a nonhydrogenated brand is best), at room temperature
  • 1 C vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 T pure vanilla extract
  • 8 C powdered sugar

OR

This chocolate ganache – which is what I used instead

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.  Mine made exactly 2 and a half dozen.

MIX THE BATTER

Combine the milk and the vinegar in a large mixing bowl, and set aside to curdle. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. After the milk mixture has curdled, add the vegetable oil, vanilla, and applesauce to it, and stir. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix with a hand mixer until no lumps remain. Fold the pureed beets into the batter by hand with a rub­ber spatula until just combined.

BAKE THE CUPCAKES

Fill the lined muffin pans until each cup is three-fourths full of batter. This recipe should make 2 to 2½ dozen cupcakes. Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, transfer the cupcakes to a rack, line six compartments of one of the pans with paper liners, fill, and bake the remaining batter.

MAKE THE ICING

Combine the vegan margarine and vegan cream cheese and beat until thoroughly mixed and creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar, 2 cups at a time, and incorporate into the creamed mixture. Once all the sugar has been added, scrape down the bowl and beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

ICE THE CUPCAKES

Place the cooled cupcakes on a serving tray.

METHOD I:

Using a spatula or a butter knife, spread 2 rounded tablespoons of icing onto the top of each cooled cupcake, swirling to cover the surface of the cupcake.

METHOD II:

Place an icing tip inside a pastry bag. Fill the pastry bag half full of icing. Squeez­ing from the top of the bag, force the icing through the tip onto the top of the cupcakes, swirling the icing around the top of each cupcake.

Serve at room temperature, and refrigerate any leftovers. Will keep for up to four days, refrigerated.

Thanks to many beet cupcake recipe makers before me…I was able to make a great recipe from many other great recipes.

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Lentil Sloppy Joes

It’s tailgating season that means…Sloppy Joes.  Last year I posted a recipe using TVP which fooled the meat-eaters for sure, this year I’ll be taking Lentil Sloppy Joes.  Very similar recipe, as I finally got the flavor right, so now, moving on to lentils.  These have a bit of a kick to them, so easy on the chipotle en adobo if you like things a little more mild.  I think dijon, brown, or whole grain mustard would be a great sub for the peppers if you want a kick but no heat.  We shall see how this goes.

Filling:

  • 2 C dried lentils, your choice of lentil
  • 6 C water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 head garlic

So this part cooks itself.  Take your lentils, give them a hearty rinse under cool water until the water runs clear.  Dump them into your slow cooker with the water, bay leaves and head of garlic with top cut off (keep it intact, so you can drag it out later).  Depending on your lentil, your water will absorb completely, or you will have to strain them before combining with other items below.  Either way, you want to cook your lentils until they are al dente (like pasta), not mush.  For me, in a slow cooker cranked up to high, it was just 3 hours.  I cleaned the house while they cooked.  When they are done, drain the excess liquid from the lentils, toss the bay leaves and garlic, then return the lentils to the slow cooker pot, you will finish cooking this dish in the slow cooker after you assemble the items below.   Next…

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/2 C coarsely chopped bell pepper (your choice of color)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 4-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1 T packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 2 whole chipotle en adobo, chopped finely
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4-6 large hamburger buns or rolls or 10-12 slider buns

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet (I used a wok) over medium-high heat.  Cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic through until the bell pepper is tender (8-10 minutes).

Stir the remaining sandwich filling ingredients together in a medium bowl.  Add this mix to the cooked and DRAINED lentils in the slow cooker, stir until the mixture is well combined.  Set the slow cooker to high for faster results or low if you have all day and let the mixture thicken.

To serve, spread filling onto a bun and enjoy.

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Vegan Pear Ginger Muffins

Sometimes what I make is determined by what is available in my kitchen at the moment (then I don’t have to go to the grocery store).  So many pears lately hanging around, hence, vegan pear ginger muffins found their way into the oven.  I was delighted at how little sugar went into these and how they still managed to be slightly sweet, not over- or underwhelming.  The pear makes a for a great break from squash and pumpkin during the fall months.

(make 18 muffins, or 12 muffins and 1 small loaf of bread)

  • 3 C whole grain flour
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C brown sugar, packed
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ C unsweetened almond or soy milk
  • ½ C canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 pears, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C crystallized dried ginger chopped fine

1. Preheat oven to 400° and line a muffin tin with paper cups.

2. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the wet. Stir until just combined.

3. Fold in the chopped pear and pour batter into prepared pan or cupcake wrappers.  Bake for about 20 minutes, check to see if they are done with a toothpick, you don’t want to overbake else they become dry.

These freeze brilliantly.  I don’t know if I’d let them go longer than about a month, but they will get you through a few weeks of breakfasts nonetheless.

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Many thanks to Gosh, that’s so vegan for the inspiration on the muffins.  I was all pumpkin’d out and pears hit the spot.

2 Green Smoothies

I went on a juice fast about a month ago for five very, very long days.  Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of not chewing any of my foods, but I do love smoothies regularly.  Here are a few recipes I came away from Sip with for Green Smoothies.

 Good Morning Green Smoothies

  • 10-16 oz cold filtered water
  • 2 cups spinach (If you are new to green smoothies start with spinach.  In time, switch to 1/2 spinach 1/2 kale, and then try all kale.)
  • 1-2 unpeeled apples
  • 1 banana
  • 2 stalks celery
  • small handful of parsley  (parsley can over power the smoothie, add more or less depending on your taste for the plant!)
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 grapefruit
(use a whole orange if grapefruit is not an option due to certain medication interactions)
blend in high speed blender with a few ice cubes
*start with 10 oz of water and add more as needed*
  • 10-16 oz cold filtered water
  • 2 cups spinach and kale mixed (one or the other is fine too)
  • small handful parsley
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cucumber
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple
  • 1 banana
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 T lemon juice
blend with ice
Enjoy!
serves 2
photo:  Sip
A girl and her blender

It’s true…

I was reading “A vegetarian or vegan may show up at your cookout.  Do not be alarmed” and it got me thinking about the perils of parties for vegans/vegetarians as well as the stresses of having someone show up at your house and you don’t know exactly what to cook for them.

Let me tell you what stresses me out.  People who have parties that are worried about cooking for me.  I know, you are already freaking out about me visiting your house and how it affects your menu.  So I’m telling you to not worry, at all, about me.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that a handful of hosts have thought about my dietary choices, but let me let you in on a little secret about vegans:  we are already full OR are bringing our own dinner.  No matter what you do.

I’ve been putting fear in the hearts of many hosts for many years.  I’ve been a vegetarian for a long while but only recently, in the last 1-2 years have I made an effort to cook vegan at home.  I tell my friends at VeganGR, that I’m vegan-ish.  I try to eat vegan all of the time, but I am not always successful.  So, I will say that as a rookie veg, I have shown up to a few BBQ’s with a humble side dish and hope for the best, but that is just silly.  Why should you go out of your way as a host to make a veg main dish materialize?  That’s a lot of effort to learn a new style of cooking, and frankly, I mean this in the nicest way possible, you probably won’t get it right anyway.  There are so many people with varying dietary needs out there:  Gluten Free, Gluten Free Vegan,HFC S Free, Vegan, Organic, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Dairy-Free Omnivores, Raw, people with food allergies that you are never going to get it right dead on without far more effort than any of us “weirdos” actually expect.  We are used to fending for ourselves.  Really.

So while I really appreciate the effort.  Focus on having a stress-free time as a host-worry about the guy who will complain about his burger being overdone or steak underdone and by all means, the chicken…please cook that through and don’t let the juices contaminate the whole party.  You have enough to worry about.    You are already providing us with beer (I hope) and a venue in which to gather with our friends.  Vegans are typically very, very skilled at ferreting out scraps and bites to eat here and there…also, you can rest assured we will have brought something delish to share that your meat-eating friends will also like.  Plus, you have always wanted to try that Seitan/Tofu/Tempeh thing anyway…so I’ll treat it like an educational project if you are willing to try something new.  I’ll craft something delicious to share, have already eaten in preparation for limited noms, or I’ll just drink the night away with these here potato chips and rolls.

Thanks for thinking of us.  We know it’s a pain in the ass that we are different, but we won’t make you also be different just to hang out with us.  I’m just hoping I brought enough of my good stuff to share, as it is usually met with equal parts “I must try this to see if I like it” and “I must try this to mock them about only eating tree leaves and shoots, [only to find out] wait- it’s friggin  delicious.”

So, my dear friend, thank you for hosting, chill out and please be sure to buy some craft beer.  While I won’t complain about the food…I will certainly complain about there only being Bud Light in the cooler.

Wahoo! Ride ’em Cowboy Cookies [Vegan]

Today is Saturday and that means football!  These are a tailgating favorite.  You could dump just about anything you wanted into these in terms of chip, or chip-like substance.  Sub different flavored chocolate chips, use toffee chips, peanut butter chips if you like (the later will flip your cookies from vegan to vegetarian).  I like these because they come together in a flash and the only person that I’ve found that doesn’t like ’em is my friend Andrea and that is because she is allergic to coconut (which is a horrible thing to be allergic to).  I scooped a few out before the coconut so she wouldn’t miss out 😉Image

photo:  Hell Yeah It’s Vegan

Ingredients
  • 2 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1½ c vegan butter
  • 1½ c granulated sugar
  • 1½ c light brown sugar
  • 1/2 c applesauce (this subs for your egg and oil)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 c vegan chocolate chips, Ghiradelli brand is accidentally vegan
  • 3 c rolled oats
  • 2 c chopped pecans, toasted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Measure coconut into a small bowl and stir in 1 tbsp warm water and 2 tbsp sugar; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whip the butter until fluffy, add sugars and cream together until smooth.
  4. Add applesauce and vanilla and beat.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, powder, soda, and spices.
  6. Add to wet ingredients and beat until well mixed.
  7. Fold in the coconut, nuts, oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
  8. Use an scoop to form balls of dough for jumbo cookies, and flatten slightly.
  9. Bake on greased sheets for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.

Adapted from Hell Yeah It’s Vegan and Vegan Cookies Invade the Cookie Jar by Isa