Friday, March 30, 2012

Maple-Glazed Seitan Roast

Here is a twist on the savory seitan recipes that I have put out so far.  This one is sweetened with allspice and has a nice maple syrup glaze to finish it off.  It can be sliced thin or a little thicker, depending on your tastes.  I drizzled mine with mustard when I was ready to eat, and the leftovers would be great cold in sandwiches.  The texture is tender and firm but not rubbery, and the taste got a thumbs up from the family.  I tried Vegan Dad's method of adding a bit of oil and baking in foil.  This roast recipe has taken several tries and tweaks before I was comfortable posting it, so I hope you like it too.

Maple-Glazed Seitan Roast sliced, on serving platter

Right before being wrapped in foil for steaming

Resting before slicing, after being baked

Close-up of those slices

Partnered with sauteed veggies, the roast makes a complete meal

Maple-Glazed Seitan Roast


1 cup slow-cooked red beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup maple syrup  (I had on hand maple agave syrup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. allspice
1 Tbs. onion powder
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups gluten flour
2-3 Tbs. maple syrup for glaze
Non-stick spray 


Blend all the ingredients from the beans through the pepper in a blender.  Pour into a large bowl.  Stir in the gluten flour and mix until combined well.  Knead for a couple of minutes to ensure there are no dry or wet spots.  It should have the same general feel all throughout.  Shape into a large ball and wrap completely in aluminum foil.  Steam for one hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  When roast is done steaming, transfer to baking pan; keep it in foil for now.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Take roast out and unwrap from foil.  Spray baking pan with non-stick spray.  Place roast back on pan.  Glaze roast with maple syrup with a basting brush.  Bake for another fifteen minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes before slicing.  Place roast on cutting board and with a large serrated knife, slice thinly or thickly, depending on your tastes. Letting it rest a few more minutes will make it even easier to achieve super thin slices.  Nice taste and texture.  Drizzle with mustard and serve with veggies. Feeds five hungry vegans.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bountiful Pasta Salad with Beans

In our home, pasta salads can be a side dish or, if they're full of enough goodies, be the main dish.  There are two main beans that I think go well in green and pasta salads: garbanzos and kidneys - although any kind of bean can be the basis for a good salad.  Sometimes in my pasta salads, I'll kick up the protein a bit by adding one of these beans.  In this salad, I used garbanzos.  I also love to fill my salads chock full of a variety of crunchy, flavorful ingredients.  This salad is no different.  Don't forget, when you add the raw veggies to hot pasta, they blanch just enough to be tender.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Bountiful Pasta Salad with Beans


1 lb. small pasta (this time I used two seven oz. bags of small stars)
2 cups broccoli, chopped small
2 green onions, sliced
1 cup red cabbage, chopped small
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, in water, halved lengthwise
1 15oz. can black whole olives, drained
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup of  salad dressing - I like to use Italian style for this
Salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions.  While pasta is cooking, prepare your vegetables and beans.  Drain the pasta and put in a large bowl immediately along with the veggies and beans.  Stir well.  Add the dressing and stir again.  Season to taste and stir.  Chill for at least two hours before serving, or if you're in a rush, you can serve this warm.  Be sure to chill in a non-breakable bowl.  Feeds five hungry vegans.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Mustard Win

Noelle from Opera Singer in the Kitchen had a giveaway a couple of weeks ago for gourmet mustard.  We had our choice of flavors if we were to win, and I just told her to surprise me.  Well, I won, and and she surprised me with three great flavors that arrived just a couple of days ago.  I'm definitely a classic yellow gal, but on the rare occasion I do venture out with Dijon.  Other than that, I'm not into trying a lot of different flavors, but I have to tell you: these were delicious!  So good.  I kept squeezing dollops on my finger to taste.  I received two flavors by Saucy Mama: Smoky Garlic and Tarragon Lemon, and a yellow one by Suzie's.  I made SmartDogs (and fries) for dinner, so we all could try them, and we all loved them.  I will definitely continue to use the the garlic and the tarragon flavors until they are gone.  Thank you, Noelle!  Be sure to check out her blog, if you are unfamiliar with her.

Left to right: Smoky Garlic, Tarragon Lemon and Yellow

Same order as above in my tri-cut dog.  Yummers!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Loaded Cinnamon Rolls

When we have our pick of cinnamon rolls on a platter, don't we always look them over, searching for the one that has the most icing or cinnamon?  When I make them at home, the gooiest ones always get picked first, leaving the ones with the least icing or cinnamon behind, only to be eventually be eaten by G, who is our family's official food cleaner-upper.  So, when I made them again a few days ago, I thought, they are all going to be wanted and desired, yes!  There's enough cinnamon and icing on these to satisfy any roll-craving lover.  Also, I used my pizza dough to make these.  Why not?  It's an easy dough, and it makes for a quick breakfast.  No waiting two hours for a second rise, and the end result is light, not heavy.  I have no idea how this may differ from other cinnamon roll doughs, but this works perfect for us.  Give it a try.

Loaded Cinnamon Rolls



2 pkgs. or 1 and 1/2 Tbs. of active dry yeast
2 cups of warm water
4 cups of flour
1 and 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 Tbs. vegan or raw sugar
Flour for rolling
 Non-stick spray 

 5 Tbs. vegan margarine, melted and divided
1/4 cup vegan or raw sugar, divided
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon, divided

2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs. and 1 milk


For the Dough:  In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water.  Let rest for ten minutes.  Combine the remaining dough ingredients in with the yeast/water mixture and mix well.  Cover bowl with a damp towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets with non-stick spray and set aside.  Dip your fist in some flour and punch down the dough.  Divide the dough into two large balls.  On a large, lightly floured area, put one of the dough balls, and sprinkle the top of it with flour.  Roll out to a large rectangle, roughly eight to nine inches wide and at least twelve inches long. 

For the Filling:  Spread half of the melted margarine on the first rolled out dough with a pastry brush.  Sprinkle half of the sugar over the margarine.  Top with one tablespoon of the cinnamon.  Make sure you spread and sprinkle as evenly as possible.  We want these to be yummy with every bite.  Starting at the short end, roll up the dough.  Cut into seven to eight pieces.  Lay them cut side down on one of the baking sheets.  Repeat with second ball of dough.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Set pans on baking rack to cool for about ten minutes before icing the rolls.

For the Icing:  Mix the sugar and soy milk together in a small bowl. With a spoon drizzle the icing over the rolls, making sure to cover them thoroughly.  Eat immediately.  You can freeze these as well; just don't put the icing on first. Reheat in oven, then ice them.  Makes fourteen to sixteen rolls.  Feeds five hungry, happy vegans.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easy Vegetable Fried Rice

Here is an easy way to use up leftover rice.  I always make a big batch of rice because JK likes it for lunches, and I also like to use the leftovers in soups or other dishes.  The veggies in this dish are usually those that you may have on hand at any given time.  Enjoy!

Easy Vegetable Fried Rice


1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 head of green cabbage, chopped small
3 carrots, chopped very small
4 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 green onions, sliced thin
2 to 3 cups of leftover rice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce or another favorite sauce; this time I used: OrganicVille Island Teriyaki sauce, which is also gluten-free


Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add all the veggies and cook for five minutes or so, until fork tender.  Add the rice, and stir well, breaking up any clumped up, cold chunks.  Cook for another five minutes or so, until the rice is heated through.  Don't stir constantly, but let it sit for a minute or so to slightly crisp and brown, and then stir.  Once well heated, add the sauce and stir.  Cook for another minute or so, and then it's ready to serve.  Very tasty.  Feeds five hungry vegans.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

GR's 12th Birthday and Cookies 'n' Cream Cake

GR's birthday was a few weeks ago, but for various reasons, we didn't have her party until this last Saturday.  What is fun about this birthday is she turned 12 on February 12th of 2012.  Pretty cool, huh?  So, following tradition we have the food with which we celebrated on display below.  The recipe for the cake is at the bottom.  Basically, I used the cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and doubled it.  I also used special dark cocoa, instead of regular, and I upped the amount of vinegar.  I doubled the amount of cookie crumbs in the frosting, and I used whole cookies as garnish, instead of halfsies.  I changed the wording slightly to match my personal style.  We've made the cupcakes many times, but she wanted to try them as a cake.  It was so good, perfect for my girl.

Cookies 'n' Cream Cake partying down

On her actual birthday, GR picked Jimboy's Tacos for lunch.  So, here's my veggie burrito sans cheese along with their fries.  Since her birthday fell on a Sunday, she also brought in cupcakes I made for her Sunday school class.

We went out to dinner at that great Thai place that we all love but apparently whose name I got wrong the last time I wrote about them.  So, I put in a call to Mom, and when she calls me back, I'll update this properly.  This is our deep fried bean curd with dipping sauce.

My delicious bowl of Tom Kha: coconut milk soup

My Yum Tow Hu: tofu salad with medium spice - outstanding!

Hot tea, of course.  This took me at least five tries to upload this.  Does anyone hate Blogger as much as I do?

GR wanted to make her own birthday dessert on her actual birthday, so she made these creative, unique chocolaty cookies!  She loves being in the kitchen.

Here are the cakes cooling.  I actually forgot to mix in the cookies with the batter, so I kind of squished them on it before baking.  They still turned out great.

Here's a close-up of that yummy cake

GR blowing out her candles with JK looking on.  This was her first ever party at a park.  As a Winter baby, she's always had them indoors, except for the one time we celebrated a half-birthday just so she could have one outside.  The weather has been so dry, we decided to risk it this year, and it worked out great.  JK is wearing two of the prizes earned in a scavenger hunt I made for the kids: his hat and his bubble necklace.

Yes, 99 Cent store didn't have black decorations like GR wanted, so she went with green instead.  Here's a slice of cake.

What the cake looked like after it was mercilessly hacked into.

Cookies 'n' Cream Cake
For the cake:
Non-stick spray
Flour for dusting
2 cups soy milk
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 cups flour2/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 cups of vegan sugar
2/3 cup canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. chocolate extract
2 cups of coarsely chopped Newman O's with white cream centers
For the frosting:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup vegan margarine, room temperature
3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1 cup cookie crumbs, Newman O's processed in food processor
11 cookies for garnish
For the cake:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two round cake pans with non-stick spray.  Shake around a tablespoon of flour or so in each pan to coat the spray.  Shake out the excess flour.   Set aside.   In a large bowl, whisk together the soy milk and vinegar.  Set aside as well - this is your "buttermilk."  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour through salt ingredients.  To the buttermilk, add the rest of the ingredients, except the cookies - sugar through chocolate extract.  Whisk until well blended.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with an electric blender until well mixed, starting on low speed and working up to medium speed.  Stir in the chopped cookies.  Divide batter between the two pans.  Bake for 40 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans on cooling rack for fifteen minutes, then remove from pans to finish cooling.
For the frosting:  When the cakes have completely cooled, make the frosting.  In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and margarine.  Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until well blended.  Add the vanilla extract and the soy milk and blend on medium speed for three to five minutes, until thoroughly mixed and fluffy.  Stir in the cookie crumbs.  Frost the top of one cake with a nice spread of frosting.  Then add the other cake on top.  Frost the sides first, smoothing with your knife or spatula as you go along.  You'll want enough frosting for the top to create a secure foundation for the cookie garnish.  As you frost the top, spread some extra frosting out to the edge of the cake.  When the cake has been frosted and before the frosting has set, line up your cookies around the edge.  Use the extra frosting to secure the front and back of each cookie, just slightly packing them in.  You don't want the frosting to go up the cookie; keep it subtle.  A fun recipe and delicious to boot.  Feeds five hungry vegans and some friends and family.

Friday, March 2, 2012

G's Silver Dollar Pancakes

I normally make my own pancake syrup, but I did my big grocery shopping yesterday and picked up a bunch of bargain syrups at Grocery Outlet.  There was no corn syrup, colorings or artificial flavorings in them, and they were organic, so I really stocked up on them.  Next time I go, they may be all sold out.  Anyhow, with a huge stash of syrup in the pantry - Maple Agave, Blueberry, and Cranberry flavors - the Blessings were all hankering for pancakes this morning.  G works from home on Fridays, so we all pressured him into making them.  I cook every meal, so it's a nice treat when someone else does it...once a year or so, sigh.  He immediately started looking for Bisquick, which I haven't had in a couple of years (see, I told you he doesn't make pancakes that often), and when he couldn't find it, he began to panic and tried to withdraw from his forced commitment.  But, we wouldn't have it.  So, poor G made pancakes from scratch and did a great job!  He made up the recipe as he went along, refusing to look at my recipe; it was a matter of his male pride. I was actually surprised he wasn't pouring his characteristic sweat from his forehead whenever he cooks or chops; it seems to be such a stressful job for him.  Whenever he does make pancakes, they are always this cute little size, and I just had to pass them on to you.

G's Silver Dollar Pancakes


2 cups flour
1 rounded Tbs. baking powder
2 Tbs. EnerG Egg Replacer
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups soy milk, divided
1/4 canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Extra canola oil


In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour through salt.  Stir in one cup of milk. Add the oil and stir.  Then, add the second cup of milk and stir.  Add the vanilla extract and mix well.  Let set for ten minutes.  Heat a little oil in the bottom of a pan on medium heat, enough to swoosh around (according to G) - about a teaspoon or so.  Using a tablespoon size spoon, the larger ones in your spoon set, scoop batter a spoonful at a time onto the hot pan.  Cook until you see the top of them drying out (huh?), or lightly browned on both sides.  Serve hot with your favorite syrup.  Feeds five hungry vegans.