Thursday, April 29, 2010


This recipe is from The Accidental Vegan.

It was cheap and easy and the kids and I loved every bite.

Serves 6

1 pound Asian noodles or spaghetti (I used gluten free rice spaghetti, tastes better actually, lighter)
1 TBSP olive oil (I used safflower)
1 onion, chopped (I used 1/2 of a red onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP grated ginger (I used fresh)
2 carrots, grated
1 small napa cabbage, shredded (I used red because that's what I had in the fridge)
3 TBSP soy sauce (I used low sodium)
2 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp raw sugar (I used vegan cane sugar)
(I added a can of drained mandarin oranges just before serving)

Bring a pot of salted water to boil over medium high heat, add the noodles, cook, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes, until al dente. drain well. (I omitted the salt and cooked for 6 minutes per the packages instructions)

Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-low heat, add onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 5 minutes, until onion is soft. Add carrots and cabbage and saute for another 5 minutes. Stir in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar, and cook for a minute longer.

Remove veggies from wok with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the sauce. Turn the heat to low and add the noodles. Toss them with tongs or chopsticks for 3-5 minutes, until they absorb all of the liquid. Return the veggies to the wok, toss with the noodles, and serve.


P.S. I need a wok if anyone wants to buy me one. ;o)

Macaroni and Cheese

I was so tired the other night and I wanted to make something quick for the kids for dinner. I had picked this up at the store a while back thinking it would be perfect to have on a day when I was feeling that way.

It wasn't the same as traditional boxed mac n cheese. But it was dairy free. Everyone liked it. Even myself. The best part, I made a cheap, quick, kid friendly dinner. We had it with salads.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Green Bean and Almond Salad

8 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise

10-12 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters

1/4 cup slivered almonds

2 TBSP red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried dill

1/2 tsp sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil, then add the green beans and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water.

Put the green beans in a bowl and stir in the tomatoes and almonds. In a separate small bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, dill, and salt and whisk until emulsified. Pour the dressing over the green beans and mix well. Season to taste with pepper, and more salt if you like. Let stand for at least 10 minutes for the flavors to develop, and serve at room temperature.

This was so fresh and tasty.


Curried Squash Soup

This soup was so good. My husband even liked it and he is such a picky eater.

I halved the recipe. It normally serves 6. Half the recipe served 4 of us and I have leftovers.

Here is the original recipe:

2 acorn squash

4 cups veggie stock or water

2 carrots, cut in chunks

1 onion, quartered (I used red)

1 parsnip, cut in chunks (I didn't have one, so I used an extra carrot)

1 TBSP grated ginger

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp sea salt

1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used a bottle of lemon juice)

I always microwave the squash first for 4 minutes to soften. Let the squash cool. Then cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut the squash into pieces that will fit in your steamer. Steam for 30-40 minutes, until very soft.

Meanwhile, bring the stock to a boil, then stir in the carrots, onion, parsnip, ginger, cardamom, and salt. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are barely tender.

When the squash is soft, scoop out the flesh, stir it into the soup, and simmer for another 10-15 min.

Drain the veggies, reserving the liquid. Transfer the veggies to a food processor or blender and puree them, adding stock as needed. Whisk the puree back into the broth, stir in the lemon juice, and serve hot.

My kids gobbled it up.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Creamy Light Fettuccine

This is a great recipe for “alfredo sauce” I got this recipe off this website.

    12 oz. dry fettuccine or your choice of pasta
    1 pint soy milk
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    6 Tbsp. vegan cheese, grated
    4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
    Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    400 g vegetables of your choice (such as carrots, broccoli or peas), chopped and steamed

• Cook and drain the pasta.
• Place in a large non-stick sauté pan along with the soy milk and garlic. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add the vegan cheese.
• Continue cooking until the ‘cheese’ melts and the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley and black pepper. Add the steamed vegetables, toss gently and serve.

I also added crushed red pepper because I’ve been addicted to it lately!! This was a great dish and made 4 servings so I was able to freeze individual servings for future meals on the go!



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pita Sandwich with Flaxy Hummus and Oven-Dried Tomatoes

I made this for dinner tonight. My 11 year loved the tomatoes. I cooked the tomatoes last night because they take so long. The recipe comes from Vegan Lunch Box.

I served it with cucumber spears (I leave the skin on when the cucumbers are organic), lemon soy yogurt topped with thawed frozen blueberries, and sharkies.

When you buy soy yogurt look for the vegan symbol. Some soy brands have hidden dairy ingredients.

I got the sharkies here. They were so good. Better than standard bad for you fruit snacks in most stores.

Recipe for Oven Dried Tomatoes

6-8 medium size plum tomatoes
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Preheat oven to 250 F
Halve tomatoes and toss with other ingredients.
Place cut side up on a baking dish. Roast until shriveled but not burnt for 3-4 hours. Cool completely and store in an air tight container.

Recipe for Easy Hummus

1 (15 oz can chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 TBSP Tahini
2 TBSPs Freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used the bottled kind)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used 1/4)
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Blend it up in food processor or blender. If it's too hard to blend, add a little of reserved liquid.

Pita Sandwich with Flaxy Hummus Recipe

1/2 piece of white or whole wheat pita bread (I used a whole piece of whole wheat)
3 TBSP Easy Hummus or store bought hummus
1 tsp ground flaxseed
sprouts, lettuce or baby spinach (I used baby spinach), Oven Dried Tomatoes, black or kalamata olives (I used kalamata.

Mix hummus and flaxseed. Place an even layer of hummus on bread. Add other ingredients. The author filled the pita bread, I liked making whole sandwiches out of them.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2 Vegan Friendly Places at San Tan Village

San Tan Village is an outdoor mall in Arizona.

They have 2 vegan friendly places that I went to today.

Kona Grill is one and the food was delicious. My only complaint, nothing on the kids menu is vegan. The 1 vegetarian meal is macaroni and cheese. More places should take a lesson from Pita Jungle. They have the healthiest kids menu around. My 2 year old ate edamame and miso soup. I had the vegetarian roll and the portabello mushroom minus the pesto sauce.

Then we went to Leonidas Chocolates. I went in for organic hot tea. The selection was huge. I asked the woman working there if they have any vegan treats. 3 of their ice creams are vegan and many of their chocolates are. We split a dark chocolate bar and it was so good.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Healthier Approach to Frozen Pancakes

I didn't love these, but my kids did. But I don't love any frozen pancake or waffle very much. These are much healthier than your typical frozen breakfast item, especially if served with real maple syrup. So I figure if my kids like the healthy version, then that is fantastic. I prefer my own pancake recipe, so I will stick with those in the future. But if you are looking for something quick and easy, reach for these and lego of the others.


Pomegranate Cafe

Pomegranate Cafe is located in Ahwatukee. They are all organic and the menu changes depending on what fruits and veggies are in season. They buy from local farmers too. They have the most amazing teas.

We went their on my birthday for breakfast. All of their desserts are vegan. For breakfast my son and I split the breakfast tacos. You can have them made with eggs or tofu. All of their eggs are farm fresh, cage free and antibiotic free.

I highly recommend. They are also located next to a hot yoga studio.


Sunday, April 18, 2010


Tonight we had family dinner at my parents home and they made ribs, corn and coleslaw for dinner. Well my sister brought me over my own ribs to eat!!


Oh my gosh!!!!!!! They were DELICIOUS!! They looked just like the ribs everyone else had. 

They are also vegan for my vegan eating bestie that might be craving ribs :)



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Can a Vegan Eat Chicken?

YES! A vegan CAN eat fried chicken. If it's Morning Star Farms Chikn Strips!

The recipe comes from PETA's Vegetarian Starter Kit.

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups unbleached white flour (I used whole wheat)
4 TBSP nutritional yeast (optional, but I used it, it's tasteless and such a great supplement for vegans)
3 TBSP yellow mustard.
1/2 cup water
2 TBSP baking powder
1 lb mock chicken (try morningstar farms chikn strips)
3 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I used 2 b/c I was out and it was just fine)

Mix together salt, onion powder, pepper, garlic powder, flour, and nutritional yeast in a deep bowl. In a separate bowl, dilute mustard and the water. Add 1/3 cup of the flour mixture to the mustard mixture and stir. Combine the baking powder with the remaining flour mixture.

Dip chunks of the mock chicken into the mustard batter, then drop into the flour mixture to coat with the desired amount of "crust". Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat (or use a deep fryer) and fry until crispy and golden brown, turning as needed.

I challenge you to try this and see how it compares to real chicken. It's actually better tasting. No fatty pieces, no veins, no worrying about sanitizing the kitchen afterwards or cooking it through. Oh, and the best part, no one died for me to stay alive.

I ate so much I feel like I am full from thanksgiving dinner. Delicious. My 11 year old had seconds. My 2 year old said, "mmm".

A shot out to 2 websites.

Both of these are on the plate with the "chicken" and they were delicious.

Quick Sweet and Sour Cucumber Pickles

Curried Acorn Squash


Quinoa Salad

I love all of the health benefits associated with quinoa. I finally cooked it for the first time last weekend. I served it to a bunch of carnivores and they loved it. They even had seconds. I served it with a romaine salad, pita bread and hummus.

Both recipes come from Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way.

1 1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup orange juice
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 tsp grated orange rind
salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
6 red leaf lettuce leaves
5 TBSP pine nuts, toasted

In a colander, rinse quinoa thoroughly and drain. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil, stir in quinoa, and return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes, till liquid is absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, red onion, red bell pepper, cucumber, and basil.

In a small bowl, combine orange juice, vinegar, orange rind, and salt and pepper. Whisk in oil. Pour dressing over quinoa and toss well. Arrange each serving on lettuce and garnish with pine nuts.


1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tahini (found in the ethnic food section of your grocery store)
1/2 lemon, juiced (no seeds)
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything into your blender or food processor and mix till smooth.

An authentic Greek person told me the hummus was delicious!

Hot Crock Conglomerk

This is from Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way. I served it with asparagus in olive oil and garlic powder.

1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup barley
1/3 cup brown rice
1 large onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 carrots, sliced
1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 oz) can low sodium tomato sauce
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water
tabasco sauce to taste (optional and to be used after cooking)

Combine everything in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. Divine!


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bitchin' Breakfast Burrito

This was so filling. It comes from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

My husband is the worlds pickiest eater, and he loved it.

14 - 16 ounces frim or extra firm tofu, crumbled with hands or fork (make sure you drain it well)
2 cloves garlic, minced.
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
8 ounces vegan breakfast sausage, crumbled (morning star is so good I kept rereading the back to make sure it wasn't actually meat)
1 russet potato cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 (15 oz) can black or pinto beans, drained (I used black)
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies drained ( I forgot to buy any)
4 whole wheat tortillas
4 oz vegan cheddar or jack cheese, shredded (I skipped this b/c I wasn't in the mood)
1 1/2 to 2 cups salsa ( I used mild)

In a large bowl, combine tofu, garlic, yeast flakes, tamari or soy sauce, turmeric, salt, and pepper. set aside

In a skillet, melt 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat. Add sausage and cook according to package directions. Transfer sausage to tofu mixture.

Add 1/2 tabelspoon coconut oil to skillet and melt over medium heat. Add potato and cook 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and chiles, stir until heated through.

Stir in tofu mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally 3-4 minutes.

Place mixture and some salsa in tortilla and fold it if you can. I bought tortillas that were too small. Oops. It still tasted great!


Blueberry Pancakes

Yes! A vegan can eat pancakes.

Peta has a vegetarian starter kit.

This recipe comes from them.

I tweeked it a little.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour (I think white flour is so bad for us, so I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour)
3 Tbsp sugar (vegan cane)
3 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups vanilla soy milk
3 Tbsp canola or safflower oil (I used safflower)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

combine dry ingredients in a bowl and sift together. add soy milk and oil. Mix till smooth.

Ladle on to hot griddle, add frozen blueberries, cook for 2-3 minutes per side.

serve with fresh blueberries (and strawberries!)

So good. It was made even better with the maple syrup that my uncle brings me annually from New York.



Sarma is an Armenian food. It's also known as Stuffed Grape Leaves.

My uncle was in town last week and taught me how to make these.

First you have to make the stuffing:

1 cup chopped onions sauteed in 2/3 cup olive oil until light brown.

Mix in 1 1/4 cup water
1 cup rice (washed and drained 2 times)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons annanoukh (dried and crushed mint leaves)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Aintabe red pepper (cayenne)
1/4 cup (1 oz) pine nutes
1/4 cup tomato paste
Mix together and cover.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes on very low heat until all water is absorbed.
Let stand 15 minutes or more.

Take a jar of grape leaves, rinse and drain. Snap off stems.

Once your stuffing is cool enough to work with you can roll your sarma.

Place the grape leaf vein side up. Place a spoonful of stuffing on the leaf.

Tuck the bottom in and roll it up like a burrito.

Place the rolled sarma in a large pot, keep them tightly side by side.

Pour juice over the tops of tightly packed sarma:

3 cups of water
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice and
1/2-1 teaspoon salt.

Place a heavey plate over the sarma, place a cooking rock on top of the plate to prevent the grape leaves from opening during cooking.

Bring to a boil.

Simmer about 50-60 minutes. Drain any extra juice. Remove the oil from the top of the juice with a spoon and sprinkle over the sarmas. Let them cool in the pot, then chill in the fridge if you want. Or they are very yummy warm.


Thursday, April 8, 2010


Today I made my own hummus! I accidentally burnt some of the chickpeas because I decided to use fresh and not canned. I forgot they were boiling. Oops. So I used the non burnt ones. But it gave it a smoky flavor. Still good, but not great. My 11 year old said, "well mom, you keep practicing and eventually it'll be perfect".

I got the recipe from, "The Accidental Vegan".

I posted a picture of tahini because I had no idea what it was. I love learning about new ingredients, finding out what they are used for, and where to buy them.



Yes! A vegan can still eat tamales!

This place has vegan tamales and they were divine.

Broken Heart

Today I read this and it broke my heart. I just don't understand this world sometimes.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Healthy Living

Many people have told me that they just don't care about the animals and that is why they will keep eating meat. Well, I don't understand that one bit. If they were living healthy, happy lives I could understand. But when animals are being abused in ways that we would never allow our cats and dogs to be, it is not okay. You can read more about the ways animals suffer for food here.

But, if you really truly don't care. Then how about caring about yourself and your internal organs? Here are 3 links you can read on your own about meat based diets and the health risks.



Heart Disease

Pizza! Vegan Style!

Yes, you can eat pizza when you are vegan. My 11 year old said, "Mom, this is so good! Did you know, there are kids at school who think that eating healthy doesn't taste good?! But it does taste good! And they will not be healthy when they get older, that sucks".

So we had pizza, smoothies, and steamed veggies for dinner. And we gobbled up every bite. Next time I need to buy 2 pizzas. These boys eat a lot!

The Smoothies came from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch. They were so freaking good. I used organic frozen fruit (berry blend) and organic soy milk. So easy. My 11 year old said it was like eating ice cream and my 2 year old said, "mmmm, mama, that very good!".

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tofu lettuce wraps

I ordered these at PF Changs. These are PHENOMINAL I would never know I wasn’t eating chicken. As a matter of fact, I though I was for a minute until I used my fork to “dissect” a piece and it was indeed tofu.

These were so good that my meat eating friends gobbled them right up!


PF Changs has a very nice vegetarian selection, as well as any dish can be substituted with tofu!!


Better Than ‛Beef’ Stroganoff

    1-lb. bag egg-free pasta
    1/2 cup onion, chopped
    1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    1-lb. pkg. Morningstar burger crumbles
    1 10 1/4-oz. can Franco-American mushroom gravy
    2 4 1/2-oz. cans sliced mushrooms, drained
    1/8 tsp. garlic powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/8 tsp. salt
    1/2 carton Tofutti “Sour Supreme”
    3/4 cup white cooking wine (optional)

• Cook the pasta in boiling water until the desired tenderness is reached.
• In a large skillet, brown the onion in the oil. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
• Drain the pasta, and serve the sauce over the noodles.


This entire meal took me 30 minutes to cook. We had steamed broccoli on the side. It was delicious, my meat eating sister really enjoyed it. This was the first time I used Morning Star crumbles, and I LOVED them, they were EXACTLY like eating ground beef!!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Quick and Easy-sort of

Dinner tonight is from Vegan Lunch Box. The title of this meal is Quick and Easy 6.

Vegan Deli Slice Roll-Ups (SUPER easy). Just take vegan deli meat (I used Italian style) and add some vegan cream cheese. Very tasty.

Corn Tires (you slice corn on the cob, whatever, pain in the ass, I just cooked it normally).

Melon balls (my mom had a melon baller and it was fun for about 30 seconds, I just sliced up a seedless watermelon)

Pumpkin Carob Chip Muffins (she recommends using canned pumpkin, but not the pie filling type, or canned pureed butternut squash. I opted for the squash because I couldn't find the canned pumpkin. I also used vegan chocolate chips because I couldn't find dairy free carob chips. This was a lot of ingredients but very easy. Part of the ingredients are flax seeds too, which makes me smile. Oh, and they were DELICIOUS! There are a lot of ingredients, but simple to make, so if you want the recipe, please let me know.


Spinach Salad

Dinner last night came from Saving Dinner the Vegetarian Way.

The salad contains all organic ingredients. Spinach, red onion, black beans, mandarin oranges, & sauteed pecans. The dressing is made with balsamic vinegar, vegan cane sugar, salt and pepper to taste, this was heated till sugar was dissolved.

We had it with Tex-Mex Quesadillas. I used whole wheat tortillas, a combination of Follow Your Heart Vegan Cheddar Cheese and Daiya Italian style cheese. I put a little salsa on the cheese and toasted them on the stove. They were so freaking good. And of course the kids loved them.


Carly's Bistro

My mom and I decided to check out Carly's Bistro for lunch this week. She is not a vegetarian or a vegan. But she does like fresh and healthy food.

I was pleased to see that they had a vegan selection. The tomato soup and the hummus wrap were vegan. They make the pasta salad with or with out cheese. My 2 year old ate almost all of the soup.

The food was delicious. The atmosphere and the service was very good too.