Monday, November 30, 2009

Lasagna with Soy

This is a delicious child-friendly lasagna! I've used some shortcuts to save money and time, but feel free to do everything from scratch, if you desire. The olives I bought whole and sliced myself to save money, and the sauce is store-bought to save time since making lasagna is time-consuming enough. The brand I chose does not have corn syrup. (My husband is hypoglycemic, so we need to watch that closely. Now, our whole family does not eat or drink anything with corn syrup for health reasons.) I made it on Saturday night, and my two older blessings have been eating up the leftovers for breakfast and lunch ever since!

This is a picture of the whole lasagna.

This is a picture of a square of the lasagna. Notice all the goodies inside.

Lasagna with Soy


1 box of lasagna noodles
1 tsp. canola oil
1 package of SmartGround, original style
2 - 12 oz. boxes of silken firm tofu
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley (we used flat style from our garden)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 bunch spinach
1 can of whole olives
2 jars of Classico Fire Roasted Tomato spaghetti sauce
1 cup of Vegan Gourmet cheese, cheddar style, grated finely


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and put your top rack into the second position from the top. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water until you can handle them with your hands. While the water for the noodles is heating to boil, prepare the rest of the lasagna fixings. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the SmartGround when ready. Cook until it browns, then set aside. In a medium bowl, mash the tofu with a fork and stir in the parsley, salt, pepper, onion powder and oregano. Set aside. Wash the spinach thoroughly and tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Discard stems (or put them in your compost like us). Drain and slice the olives into thirds. In a 9x12 baking pan, pour 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom and spread around. You are now going to make three identical layers with the noodles and other ingredients. Start off with three rows of noodles to cover the sauce. If you are using a more narrow noodle, you will have to adjust the rest of the amounts accordingly. Spread 2 Tbs. of soy on each noodle, followed by three Tbs. of the tofu mixture on each noodle. Layer a blanket of the torn spinach leaves on the tofu, followed by a 1/4 cup of the olives spread over the spinach. Pour one cup of sauce on top of that. Follow with two more layers exactly like this one. On top of the third layer, add one more layer of noodles. Cover this with 1 and 1/2 cups of sauce, making sure all the noodles are covered (or else you'll get dried out noodles). Sprinkle with 1 cup of cheese and top with the rest of the olives. (You will have leftover sauce and noodles for another meal.) Bake for 40 minutes, then turn on the broiler for five more minutes to melt the cheese. Let set for five minutes or so before cutting. Feeds at least five hungry vegans. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Savory Bulgur Dressing

Tonight, I thought I'd show our menu and pics of our Thanksgiving dinner and feature the recipe of our Savory Bulgur Dressing. This was actually a recipe of my father's that I've tweaked over the years to make it mine. When my oldest daughter (now 12 years old) was a toddler, we decided to have Thanksgiving at our home and have one holiday where our child could eat whatever was on the table. The last few years, I've let each family member pick a dish that they would like to have on the table; sometimes it's been traditional, sometimes not. So this year's menu is:
Tofurky Feast (picked by my 9 year old daughter)
Potato Salad (picked by my 12 y.o. daughter-we almost always have this!)
Savory Bulgur Dressing (picked by me)
Cranberry Sauce (picked by 12 y.o.-she likes whole berry, but I also got jellied)
Black-eyed Peas (picked by my husband, who also prepared them)
Fried Cabbage (picked by my husband)
Strawberry Tart (picked by me)
Pumpkin Pie (picked by me)
My three year old son went along for the ride. I realized later that he didn't pick something, but next year I'll make sure he does. A note on the cabbage: my Arkansas-bred husband likes fried cabbage to slide down his throat. He thinks chewing it is over-rated and unnecessary, and to get this way, it has to be an unnatural brown. So, I was happy to still have recognizably green cabbage hit the table this year. Anyway, on with the pics and recipe. Hope you like it!

This is a picture of the Savory Bulgur Dressing.

This is a picture of our Thanksgiving table. The green cabbage is in the front right corner of the table. The object in the back right corner is a scarecrow we made last month. You can make out the legs of my nine-year old daughter in the back left corner.
These are our Thanksgiving desserts. The little white pumpkin is my nine-year old's pet pumpkin, Pumple, and she was very happy that Pumple was going to be famous by having its picture in my blog.

Savory Bulgur Dressing:

1 Tbs. canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 bunch of celery, sliced small
1 pound of white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 cup of parsley leaves, chopped (we used flat parsley from our garden)
1 can of black olives, drained
2 cups of bulgur
2 and 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of pepper


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Heat the oil on medium heat in a large non-stick pan that has a lid. Saute' the onion and celery until tender, about ten minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for five more minutes. Add the parsley and olives and stir. Add the bulgur right to the pan and the broth, with the salt and pepper, and stir thoroughly. Put on the lid and place in the oven. Bake for one hour. Feeds a whole bunch of hungry vegans!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Potato Haystacks

This is another incredibly easy recipe to make. All you basically need are potatoes and a little oil. However, before I give the directions, I need to make a few notes about it. The amount of oil is really up to your taste. My husband likes to joke that since he was raised in Arkansas, his mother liked to make deep fried lard. So, his tolerance of oil is extremely high. Most people don't salivate at the sheer thought of their dinner being soaked in oil, but he does. Anyhow, I recommend starting off with the amount of oil I list and then add more if you so choose. I would also use a non-stick griddle to help limit the need for oil. I list suggested time amounts for cooking, but those can be adjusted as well, depending on how hot your burners get over several minutes. For some reason, one of mine gets consistently hotter even though I don't adjust the heat upwards. So, to prevent burning, I lower the heat slightly and adjust the cooking time. I also use two griddles to speed up the cooking process and a food processor to speed up the grating time. If you find your potatoes are not sticking together, either add more oil or cook longer on the side that needs to stick together. We enjoy these with breakfast, but you can eat them whenever it pleases you. With that, here goes.

Potato Haystacks


3 large baking-style russet potatoes
Canola Oil
Ketchup (optional)
Salt and Pepper (optional)


Wash, then grate or shred the potatoes with their skin on either with a hand grater or in a food processor. Put the potato strands in a colander and rinse thoroughly under cold water, and drain. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot add a small handful of the potato to the oil. You want as much entanglement as possible, so don't try to straighten out the strands. You should end up with a pile about the size of a medium pancake. Fit four or so on your griddle and heat for 10 minutes. Don't move them while they are cooking. Take a pancake spatula and carefully flip over each pile. Cook on this side for about eight minutes, checking for browning. It is okay when you first flip if there are loose strands on top, for they haven't been cooking as much as the bottom. You do want the bottom to be sticking together, though. Add a teaspoon more oil and cook a little longer, if the potatoes aren't sticking together. As you continue cooking your haystacks, adjust time and temperature, if you are seeing them begin to burn. Add the two tablespoons of oil to the griddle for each batch of four haystacks you cook. Enjoy with ketchup and salt and pepper, if you wish. Feeds at least five hungry vegans. Kid friendly!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

This is a delicious, moist coffee cake that I recommend you make the day before to give it time to rest. The liquid used is orange juice, which gives it a light, citrusy flavor. I've put in a substantial amount of cinnamon for my husband's taste buds. The streusel comes out thick and sweet,with the edges slightly chewy-hard...yummy. We eat this for breakfast, but you can enjoy this as a dessert, if you wish.

Apple Streusel Coffee Cake

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup peeled, chopped apples
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 Tbs. melted vegan margarine

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 softened vegan margarine
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1 and 1/2 Tbs. Ener-G Egg Replacer
6 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbs. orange juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a tube cake pan, like Bundt, including the tube, with a non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel ingredients, except for the melted margarine. Mix well and add the margarine, stirring until well coated. Set bowl aside. In a second medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda; mix well. In a large bowl, using an electric blender, blend softened margarine and sugar. Add the egg replacer, water and vanilla and continue blending until well mixed. Alternately blend in the flour mixture and the orange juice into the sugar mixture, taking a couple of turns with each. Spoon half of the batter into the cake pan, and top with half of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the cake batter on top of the streusel, leaving the remaining streusel in its bowl. Bake the cake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and top with the remaining streusel. Bake for 35 minutes, so an inserted toothpick comes out clean (sticking it through the batter, not the top layer of streusel). Cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, take a butter knife and gently run it around the edge of the cake, including the tube, to loosen any stuck streusel. Put a large plate over the top of the pan and invert cake - it is now upside down. Take your serving platter and place on cake, and flip once again. Your cake is now right side up. Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle over the top of the cake in a zigzag pattern. If you are eating the cake right away, let it set for at least ten minutes to let the glaze slightly harden. Feeds at least five hungry vegans. So good!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pigs 'n Blankets

I wasn't sure what to name these lovelies. They could have been Piggie-free Pigs 'n Blankets or No Oinks Here, but I stuck with the simpler version. These are very easy to make and definitely kid-friendly. My littlest blessing preferred the broccoli over everything else, though. Hope everyone in your home likes these, too!

Vegan Pigs 'n Blankets
2 - 3 pkgs. vegan hot dogs (totaling at least 15 hot dogs, depending on the brand)
2 pkgs. refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bring a medium pot of water to boiling. After it boils, turn off the heat, and add the hot dogs. Let sit for two minutes, then drain. Separate the rolls into their triangles, and roll individual hot dogs up into the rolls. Bake for 13 minutes. Easy as that. Serve with mustard, steamed veggies and fresh fruit. Makes 16 pieces to serve at least five hungry vegans.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Breakfast Burrito

This yummy burrito is normally served at breakfast, but you can serve it for the occasional dinner. I've taken a typical fast food breakfast and made it animal-friendly. Hope you like it!

Breakfast Burrito
Burrito-sized flour tortillas
Two 12 oz. pkgs. extra-firm regular tofu
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
2 tsp. Tumeric
Salt and Pepper to taste
Canola Oil
One 30 oz. can of vegetarian refried beans
Two pkgs. of your favorite vegan "bacon" (We used SmartBacon by LightLife.)
Your favorite salsa (We used Herdez, medium.)

In a medium pan, heat one tablespoon of oil on medium high heat. Drain water from tofu and break up into big chunks into pan. Take potato masher or fork and mash it up, stir occasionally. When tofu begins to firm after a few minutes, add seasonings. When seasonings are well blended, turn heat down to medium to finish cooking. You don't want any water left in the pan from the tofu. In a flat skillet or griddle, heat very limited oil on medium heat. Lightly fry vegan bacon. If using SmartBacon, you might need to gently take the backside of a butter knife to loosen the pieces from each other. After a minute or less, flip the vegan bacon. Drain on paper towels. Heat beans in small pot on medium low heat to warmed through. Slightly to one side of the tortilla, spread a heaping tablespoon of beans, a couple of tablespoons of tofu, a tablespoon of salsa with a little salt and pepper if you wish, and one slice of vegan bacon. To roll the tortilla, fold over the side where the food is, fold up the bottom slightly, and finish rolling from the side. This should keep things from falling out, but keep a fork handy! Have some fruit and more vegan bacon on the side. Feeds at least five hungry vegans.