Photos MAY BE temporarily down due to photobucket probems!! SORRY

Monday, April 27, 2009

Black beans in crock pot

I got this from my daughter--not sure where she got it---we used it in a taco salad recipe as pictured--adding olives, baked herbed rice, avocados,onions, and tomatoes and salsa

1 lb dried black beans (2 cups) sorted and rinsed
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large bell pepper, chopped (1.5 cups)
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
5 cups water
2 Tb olive oil
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno chili
1 tsp salt (I added less I think)
3 cups hot cooked rice, for serving
I added more jalapeno pepper, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp coriander seed

Mix all ingredients except rice in 3.5-6 quart slow cooker
Cover and cook on Hi 6-8h or until beans are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaves
Serve beans over rice.

Breaded and baked Tofu with or without Barbecue sauce

This was great and we later added Barbecue sauce , but it is good just by itself

1 pound of firm or extra firm tofu

1/3 cup of Brown Rice bread crumbs (for me--these are gluten free)

1/2 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

(1-2 tab ) of nutritional yeast OPTIONAL--I didn't use--I forgot

Slice the tofu into 2 slices. Press out the water for about 20 minutes--or just hand press it to get water out.

Mix the above dry ingredients and dredge the tofu in it; cut the tofu into cubes and dredge the other sides in the dry ingredients. Spray baking sheet with pam (or whatever) and lightly spray the tofu. Bake 375 degree F. for 15 minutes, turning. Then bake another 15-20 minutes.

PS. You can then eat as is or place in some Barbecue sauce in an iron skillet until warmed through or until they absorb the flavor.
We had this with some grilled vegetables and rice

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Green Bean/ pine nut mixed green salad

This was yummy. You lightly saute some fresh green beans with some garlic and pine nuts.
Sprinkle this over a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and black olives. We used a Balsamic dressing over all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sauteed Spinach with or without pasta

I had some wonderful spinach at a restaurant in Columbia, SC this weekend. It had garlic and sun dried tomatoes. They probably used butter--not sure. I just used:

5 ounces of fresh baby spinach (comes in a plastic box)
couple of tab. of sun dried tomatoes packed in oil (comes in a jar)
a tablespoon or so of minced garlic (from a jar)
a few spritz of olive oil
salt and pepper

I put these in my iron pan and cooked until the spinach was wilted.

We then used the above sauce, which was really wonderful. (It is expensive , but you only need a few tablespoons of it on an individual bowl of pasta because of the fullness of the flavor) This product had a wonderful consistency and used Imported Italian tomatoes, Italian olive oil, fresh basil, fresh onions, fresh garlic, sea salt and spices. It is distributed by DZA Brands, LLC in Salisbury NC.

I used this wonderful gluten free ziti type pasta--this is one of the best gluten free pasta products!

Baked Italian Style Tofu

Well , I started by cooking the tofu in larger pieces, but I wanted it to get crispier so I ended up cutting them into smaller cubes as in the top picture. (My hubby said this tastes similar to chicken , HA--not sure about that!
I cooked them at 425 for about 35 minutes. I took some firm tofu and sprinkled it with balsamic vinegar, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. I did add some fresh basil and oregano too. This would have been good with a little olive oil too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Baked Herbed Rice served with Ratatouille

We had herbed rice over which we served some ratatouille and added bit of soy sauce (in individual portions). It was very good and the house smelled wonderful too. I found the recipe for the rice from vegweb however I was using a different recipe for the amounts for the rice. I used-- brown rice 1 1/2 cups rice and 2 3/4 to 3 cup water and I happened to use minced dry onion and fresh herbs. {also I cooked it at 365---I then found out I had left part of the water out so I had to add it and then a bit more!! so the more accurate amount may be the one below--however I like having more Rice and it did work fine when added the water that I had forgotten plus a bit more. Also I ended cooking it 70 plus minutes.

Baked Herbed Rice from

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

2 1/2 cups water (I used more--see above)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup brown rice (I used more-see above)
1/4 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 finely chopped parsley
1 minced green onion (I used dried minced onion--but fresh would be good)
2 table spoons olive oil (I just did a few spritz or squirts of olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. (I did 375)

Prepare a baking dish with the olive oil. Add green onion and bake until golden. I just used the minced dried onion and threw it in with the herbs.

Add the thyme, parsley, and sage. Sprinkle the pepper and salt. Add the rice and water. Stir in the garlic powder. Bake covered for 40-50 minutes or until the rice is tender.
Serves: 4-6
Preparation time: 60 minutes

For the ratatouille:

I just cut up some yellow summer squash, 2 zucchini squash, a red bell pepper, a green bell pepper, an onion, a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, a small broccoli crown some fresh basil , fresh oregano and 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. I spritzed it with a tiny amount of olive oil, and then I sprinkled it with balsamic vinegar. Baked it at about 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.

We add some soy sauce to each individual serving---putting the rice in the serving bowls and topping with the ratatouille and soy sauce.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter Story Cookies

This is the cookie recipe that My daughter used with her daughter for Easter--it came out well--not sure where she got it from!

Easter Story Cookies
(to be made the evening before Easter)

1c whole pecans
1t vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1c sugar
ziplock bag
wooden spoon
mixing bowl
wax paper
masking tape

Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important to do first thing!)

Place pecans in ziplock bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients have not been very appealing. Add 1 cup of sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat ingredients with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity God sees in those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop small spoonfuls onto cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet into the oven, close the door, and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of masking tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 & 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Pasta with Roasted Tofu and Brussels Sprouts

I forgot to take a picture, but I really loved the flavor of the Brussels sprouts with the tofu --it would be good even without the pasta. I liked the recipe just as it was, and hubby liked it with some added basil pesto. I got this recipe from:

Roasted Tofu and Brussels Sprouts

2 cups Brussels sprouts (use frozen petite or baby ones I probably used 3 cups)
1 block extra firm tofu (cubed)
4 oz whole wheat pasta (1/2 box) (or gluten free for me:I did reg. for hubby etc)
5 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
1 tbs lemon juice (I might use more of this next time)
2 tbs olive oil (be as liberal, or cut back as much as you like)
salt and pepper (to taste)
hubby liked added basil pesto

On a baking sheet, place the Brussels sprouts and tofu cubes, put them into a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the tofu and Brussels sprouts begin to brown. NOTE: MINE TOOK LONGER SINCE I DIDN'T THAW THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS--I ENDED UP TURNING ON THE BROILER FOR A FEW MINUTES. Cook the pasta. In a large pan, over low heat add the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and just allow the garlic to infuse the oil for 5 minutes or so. When they're ready, remove the Brussels sprouts and tofu and add them to the oil. Add the pasta as well. Stir to combine and serve!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Herbed Polenta with beans and bok choy from fatfreevegan

This was a flavor filled recipe from . Who in turn got it from someone else!! I loved the flavor of the polenta because it had tons of fresh herbs.

I used the hodgson mill yellow corn meal to make the polenta. One mistake I made is that I put it into hot water---if you do that it lumps up. So make sure you put it in cold water BEFORE HEATING. The picture below is the polenta before broiling or frying it. IT IS GOOD TO MAKE THE POLENTA AHEAD OF TIME, REFRIGERATE IT AND THEN BROIL IT.


Herbed Polenta with Beans and Bok Choy

Since the polenta is so flavorful, I kept the seasoning in this vegetable and bean sauté very light, allowing the freshness of the ingredients to shine.

1 recipe Herbed Polenta, below
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped (or a combination of colors)
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth (I DIDN'T HAVE ANY--I USED WATER AND STILL GREAT!)
6 ounces baby bok choy, sliced
1 14-ounce can kidney or cannelloni beans, drained (or beans of choice) (USED NORTHERN BEANS)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Optional: Vegan Parmesan

Make the polenta according to the directions below. After polenta is firm, cut into cubes and either broil them on an oiled baking sheet or brown them in a non-stick pan, turning after one side is brown. Keep warm until ready to serve.

In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, until it softens. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and add a sprinkle of salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mushrooms soften. Add the broth, bok choi, beans, and basil, stir well, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, until bok choy is wilted but still bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in vinegar. Serve atop polenta cubes, sprinkled with vegan Parmesan, if desired.

Herbed Polenta (from Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look by Jill Nussinow)

Jill reserves half the basil and parsley to sprinkle on top of the polenta after cooking, but I stirred it all in at the beginning.(I ALSO STIRRED THEM ALL IN) She also includes 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil but notes that it is optional; I left it out. (I JUST COOKED IT ON TOP OF THE STOVE USING FRESH HERBS FROM MY GARDEN....NOT THE DRIED)

4 1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped basil (I used 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

Bring the water to a boil in the cooker. Stirring, sprinkle the polenta into the water. Add the garlic, salt, bay leaf, half of the basil and parsley, the oregano and rosemary. (I JUST COOKED ON TOP OF THE STOVE FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES )Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Immediately lower the heat to maintain pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure come down and release any remaining pressure after 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir the polenta well. If the polenta seems too thin, simmer while stirring for a few minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining herbs and serve as is or pour into pie pans to cool. When cool, cut into slices or brush with oil and pan sauté or grill.

Makes about 5 servings.

GF cinnamon roll coffee cake (improved with no dairy)

For the flour:  ACTUALLY this recipe isn't that good.

1 & 1/4 cup of bean flour (soy or chickpea --I used soy flour)
1 cup of cornstarch
1 cup of tapioca flour
1 cup of white or brown rice flour


4 cups flour (of the above flour mixture)
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup vanilla soy milk (or soy milk + vanilla)
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown or unprocessed sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground flax seed (can use a coffee grinder to grind it)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (actually , I used one of those little individual serving boxes)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
applesauce for top

Stir 1 1/2 cup flour & yeast set aside.
Heat up some water (1/4 cup or so) and pour the ground flax seed into it, then set aside.
In saucepan, heat milk, 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup sugar, and dash of salt until warm (120-130 degrees) and the mixture is thoroughly mixed (no honey/sugar remains clinging to the bottom of pan when you tilt it)
In a bowl, combine the remaining flour, the heated mixture, and the flax-seed + water, the 1/4 cup of applesauce, then beat until very smooth.
Add the flour and yeast to the mixture, and stir with a spoon.
Cover and allow to rise until double the size (1 1/2 hour or so)
Spread into a glass baking pan. (7 by 12)
Sprinkle with the brown sugar, Cinnamon, raisins, and chopped nuts. Spread some applesauce lightly over the topping, mixing it slightly with a spatula.

Let rise for 30 to 40 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 F , until done (around 30 to 40 minutes--watch carefully)

Friday, April 10, 2009

seven fruit salad

This always gets eaten up fast whenever I bring it to a social function. You can make different combinations of the fruit. It makes ten servings (or more).

1 can (29oz) reduced sugar sliced peaches, DRAINED
2 cans (11 oz each) Mandarin oranges, drained
1 can (20 oz) unsweetened pineapple chunks or tidbits DRAINED
1 cup cherry pie filling (regular with sugar) You can use more if desired
1 cup halved fresh strawberries (or frozen sweet ones)
1 cup green grapes (optional)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.

combine the drained fruit, stirring gently. You can mix and match depending on how sweet you like it or what fruit your family likes. If you prefer it sweeter you can use the fruit that has sugar added. Ps. if you accidently get to much juice in the fruit mix you can add some cornstarch to thicken it.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rigatoni or ziti with creamy tomato sauce

This was so tasty inspite of my pictures being very bad!!! I always forget to take the pictures until we are almost done eating it all!! Then I scramble and don't take my time on the photo!!
Serves 4

12 ounces of rigatoni or ziti (I used gluten free)
a dash of olive oil
3 cups of chopped portebella mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup of red wine
1 & 1/2 cups of light tomato sauce--we used Bertolli organic with olive oil, basil & garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra firm tofu crumbled
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more to garnish
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

Cook pasta according to directions on box.
While pasta cooking heat a small amount of oil in my iron skillet (1 tsp)--add mushrooms and salt and cook 3 minutes. Add wine and cook 3 more minutes.

Stir in tomato sauce, black pepper, tofu and basil heat and stir until well blended.

Pour sauce over individual servings of pasta. Serve immediately and garnish with more basil.

Butternut Squash Salad

Picture is a bit blurry--but we loved this! And such a quick way to cook the squash. You have to cook and cool it for the salad. This had wonderful flavor. I never thought of having squash in a salad. I found this at

Butternut Squash Salad
Serves 4

½ Roasted butternut squash
4 cups mixed greens
1/3 cup spicy pecans (I just used regular pecans}
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup Litehouse Blue Cheese crumbles {I did not use this because it has gluten}
½ cup Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette, Raspberry Walnut, Pomegranate Blueberry, or Cranberry {I used Paul Neman's lite Balsamic Vinaigrette)

Cut squash in ½ lengthwise, remove seeds. Put in microwave 8 minutes, covered. Remove skin and cut into ½" cubes. Cool squash. Layer mixed greens, squash, spicy pecans, dried cranberries, and Litehouse Bleu Cheese crumbles. Pour over Litehouse Balsamic Vinaigrette

Tuscan Bean and Cabbage Soup

This had a wonderful flavor due to the spices and the vegetable combination. I found this in a book by Barbara Cousins, called Vegetarian Cooking Without. Looks like lots of good recipes--this is the first I have tried, for lunch today! It cooks up quickly!! Note:--use two cans of cannelloni beans if you want a thicker stew. (substitute Northern beans too)

1 large onion
12 oz cabbage
1 large (me --two small) zucchini
1 garlic clove (minced or crushed)
1 tab olive oil (me --1 tsp)
1 can cannelloni beans (she says you can also use lima or butter beans)NOTE: use 2 cans if you like a thicker soup--you can mash the extra beans to thicken the soup!
3/4 cup fresh or frozen green peas
6 & 1/4 cups of good vegeable stock (I only had 3 cups--but added water)
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 bayleaf
2 tab chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper(freshly ground) to taste

1. Dice the onion, cabbage and zucchini, and crush the garlic clove.
2. Place the onion and garlic in saucepan with olive oil --cook 5 minutes (I used 1 tsp of olive oil and 1/4 of a cup or so of water). Add cabbage and zucchini and continue cooking and stirring until softened.
3. Drain the beans and add with peas, vegetable stock, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and bayleaf. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add the extra can of mashed beans if you desire.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.