Monday, December 17, 2012

Seitan Dumpling Stew with RECIPE!

Food does not have to be pretty to taste damn good. This was never more true of the simple but delicious stew that I made yesterday. It is one of those things that you look at in the pot and raise an eyebrow, but after one taste Jason proclaimed it was the best that he ever tasted. The best part was it was super simple! I love things that taste great and are simple to make.

So here it is, my Seitan Dumpling Stew. All my fellow Hobbits (and everyone else) enjoy!!

Seitan Dumpling Stew

Serves 6

1 onion
6 stalks of celery
4-5 carrots
2 packages of ‘beef’ seitan, 8 oz each (I used Trader Joes Beefless Beef Strips)
1 white sweet potato, medium (about 8-12 oz)
8-10 cups of water
1 package (8 cubes) of No-Beef Bullion

1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
½ cup of vegan butter
1 cup of UNSWEETENED vegan milk

Dice the onion, celery, carrots and seitan.
Add to a pot over medium heat and cook until the onions are translucent.
Dice and add the sweet potato and water.
Turn heat to medium high and cover, waiting for it to boil.
In a clean bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt and baking soda.
Add the milk to this mixture.
Once the soup is boiling, add the cornmeal dumplings by teaspoon fulls.
Cover pot, reduce heat back to medium and boil for 20 minutes.
Remove cover and enjoy.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Muffin Addict and Oat Bran Muffins with a Recipe!

I created a monster. It happened one early Saturday when my friend Suzzi and I were out hitting yard sales and suddenly, we were both hungry! Luckily we were right by Trader Joes so I stopped by to get bran muffins. These were dense, bran-rific, and slightly sweet. I had them before, but after one bite, Suzzi was addicted. She passed that addiction onto her boyfriend Geoff, but that addiction comes with a hefty price tag. Seriously, those things are not cheap. Therefore, she said that since I created her madness, I come up with a version she could make.
I did. And I promised her the recipe in a blog. And then my life became insane.

Well, here it is. These bran muffins are not exactly like they are at Trader Joes, but they are awesome and tasty. They are also a lot less expensive. You’ll also notice that these are oat bran based. These are gluten free, and you can vary the berries.



Oatmeal Bran Muffins

Makes about 18 muffins

18 muffin papers
1-2 muffin tins (2 will make your life better)
1 ½ cups of vegan milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup of apple sauce
¾ cup oat bran
¾ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup of gluten free baking mix
1 teaspoon xantham gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 large apple, core removed, finely diced
1 cup berries, such as black berries, fresh

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a cup, combine the vegan milk and apple cider vinegar.
Set to the side.
In a bowl, combine the oat bran, rolled oats, corn starch, gluten free baking mix, xantham gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Stir until combined. Add the fruit and toss gently in the flour.
Add the vegan milk mixture and apple sauce.
Gently combine.
Spoon into muffin tins, filling each paper about 3/4ths full.
Bake 20 minutes, cool, and enjoy.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Soy Whip Review

Soy Whip Review

Price:  $5-5.50, depending on store

What: Vegan Whip Cream

Why: It’s Vegan Whip Cream!!

Rating: 3 (out of 5 stars)

If someone can look you in the eye and tell you they don’t like whip cream, beware this person because they have no soul! Seriously, whip cream is one of those things that most of us have many fond memories of. When I was a chubby teenager, the very thought of a mound of fluffy white whip cream goodness melting into my hot chocolate was enough to make my toes curl (and then I wonder why I was chubby…) But when I became vegan I was worried that my days of having those happy whip cream moments were all behind me.

When I first discovered Soy Whip I was a college student. It was a financial commitment to buy a can, but it was SO worth it when I would get home from taking a stressful test, place a huge mound of whip cream on the back of my hand and eat it off (what? Less calories that way and more control than just squirting it in my mouth). Back then, the flavor was amazing and you could use it right out of the refrigerator.

Now, the flavor is still amazing. Soy whip is one of those products that mimics the non-vegan version perfectly. It is amazing and a half! However, in the last year especially I have to admit I have gotten very frustrated at how the product actually comes out of the can. In order to get it to work at all you have to take it out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you want to use it, and then try. If it does not come out, you have to wait some more. Calorie control? Maybe, because by the time you are done and can get some out, you’re over it. Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn’t work at all. You invest in a can and none comes out at all! This happened to us this thanksgiving. My wonderful mother-in-law got dairy whip cream for the family ‘muggles’ (non-vegans), and soy whip for us. Unfortunately, then none came out. Our desert was just berries, which was tasty, but we were pretty let down. I got another can after that, and only some came out before it just froze up.

I really hope that Soy Whip resolves the problems that they have with the can, because they flavor is amazing. But just know that it can be a frustrating adventure.



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baking Without Eggs, a Bad Kitty Tip!

Welcome to Tip Tuesday! Today I am in the process of baking more cookies than I have in decades. It is all for a good cause, which is supporting VegCo, the new vegan superstore which is going to open soon (hopefully in Phoenix). So far, my cookies have been tasty, a little rustic, and wonderful. But in the process, I developed my favorite way to replace an egg in baking to date. Best of all, it likely uses things that you already have around the house.

Just combine 1/4 cup of vegan milk with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix or whisk until slightly frothy. Use in place of 1 egg.

I have been using this all day and it works wonderfully! It is the best binder for baked goods, does not create an odd taste or texture, and is inexpensive.

Hopefully this helps. Happy holidays and back to baking for me!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Root Beer Marinade and Cranberry BBQ Sauce with RECIPES!

All sliced with lots of Cranberry BBQ sauce!!

Ok, people. It is Saturday and that means it is time for a recipe! I know that Thanksgiving is over, but the holidays are in full swing. Christmas and New Years will both be here before any of us know it, so there are still occasions when you will be making and eating those vegan roasts, such as Tokurky.

As I stated in my last post, if you don’t do SOMETHING with these little seitan footballs, they can be a little heavy and dull. Fortunately, it is easy to invest just a few ingredients and a little time to turn them into something special.  This last week I made my vegan roast a little extra special with a root beer marinade (Yes, THAT root beer) and a homemade cranberry BBQ sauce. It was a little out of the ordinary, but for the most part vegans are more comfortable with the non-traditional foods than others.

If you’re up for just a little work in the kitchen, these recipes are pretty awesome!

Root Beer Marinade for a vegan roast

Enough for 1 vegan roast

9 X 4 glass bread pan
2 bottles of high quality root beer
1 cup diced shallot or 1 cup diced red onion with 4 cloves of minced garlic
½ a red bell pepper, diced
½ a green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon whole yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt

 Dice the shallot or dice the onion and mince the garlic.
Dice the bell peppers.
Bash the mustard, coriander seeds, and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or grind quickly in a spice grinder and add.
Add the vegan roast to the pan.
Add the shallot, bell pepper, and spices.
Carefully use the root beer to fill the pan up about 1 inch from the top of the pan.
Place plastic wrap on top and allow to marinade about 6-8 hours.
Turn it over and marinade on the other side an additional 6-8 hours.
Remove plastic wrap and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake for 1 hour.
Carefully, turn your vegan roast over, and cook the other side an additional hour.
Remove vegan roast and serve.

Cranberry BBQ Sauce

Makes about 2 cups
1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp white peppercorns  
1 cup of minced shallots
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 package of fresh cranberries, about 12 oz
1 cup of juice, such as apple, grape or orange
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

In a pan over medium heat toast the coriander seeds for about 30 seconds until you start to smell them. Remove from heat.
In a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle grind the mustard seeds, peppercorns, and coriander until powdered.
Mince the shallots and garlic.
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the shallots.
Cook until translucent.
Add the garlic.
Cook for about 30 seconds until you smell the garlic.
Add the juice, cranberries, brown sugar, spices, molasses, sea salt, and fresh nutmeg.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the cranberries pop.
Reduce heat to low then simmer and cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, mash or puree.
Cool and serve.  




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Today's Tip: How to cook a vegan roast!!

A vegan roast with my Asian Orange Mariade in the glass dish
Today’s tip is for cooking those vegan roasts. You know, the Turkey-less Turkeys from Trader Joes or everyone’s favorite little football, the Tofurky roast? Many of us will eat these with gusto tomorrow, but cooked improperly these can be bland and dry.

The first time I ever cooked one of these, it was a disaster. I was a decent home cook, but I had just turned vegan. I had no idea what to do with this little seitan oval my mom bought me so I would have a holiday, too. I stared at it, then dusted it with salt and pepper before placing it on a baking sheet and placing it in the oven. What I got out of the oven two hours later was about as tough as a shoe, and had about that much flavor. Luckily, the potatoes turned out ok, and I managed to pour enough of the gravy that came with my Tofurky over everything to manage chewing through it all.

After I met Jason, I learned the great Tofurky (or Field Roast, or Trader Joes Turkey-less roast) secret… you have to marinade! Marinade that faux ‘bird’ overnight with liquid and whatever herbs and spices you love best. Jason makes an infamous nut brown ale roast with herbs, and I make one with root beer! I have also used orange juice and veggie stock.

Start off with a glass bread dish, about 9 X 4. Place in your thawed vegan roast, and then enough liquid to come within an inch of the top. Add your spices and herbs, cover, and allow to marinade about 4-6 hours. Then, flip it over so the other side is submerged and repeat this process.

The next day, remove the cover and roast on 350 degrees for 1 hour, flip the roast again, and cook an additional 1 hour. You are done! Reserve any remaining liquid to spoon over slices of your roast. This will give you a moist, delicious roast to enjoy this holiday.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Orange Asian Vegan Roast Marinade RECIPE and new blog schedule!

Tested with Trader Joe's Turkey-less Roast

Hi everyone! I have been taking some time to make some amazing food. That is what it is all about, right? And yes, I am still working away on my cookbook. Even making and testing 7 extra recipes every week can be a ‘challenge’ (read as a huge pain in the tush and calves, because your legs take a beating with the extra kitchen time). That being said, the food I have been creating is the best of my life! More often than not I’ve been eating away and thinking “Did I really make that? Yes, I did!”
On top of all that I have been working on some special holiday recipes. The first is here, a marinade for all those vegan ‘roasts’ out there. Trader Joes has a Turkey-less Turkey, and then there is the infamous Tofurky, and Field Roast has one as well. Hopefully, by this time next year, we will all be shopping at Vegco here in the valley, but until then, you can still have your roast shipped through or just run to the store. Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Trader Joes all have vegan options for you!

But once you have that little football shaped lump of seitan, what do you do with it? If you feel like something a little out of the norm, here is the roast for you. Thaw your roast, use this to marinade overnight, then bake the next day!

We will get to the recipe in a moment, but I am reformatting the blog. I think I am going to go to a schedule, roughly as follows:

Tuesday: Tips and Tricks! Basically, this is a place to share what is going on, what new things are working in my life and kitchen, and whatever else is going on.

Thursday: Reviews! What new foods or books are out there, or even cleaning products? A place to talk about fun vegan things.

Saturday: Recipes! Isn’t this why you keep coming back?

So without further ado, here is the recipe!!


Orange Ginger Marinade for a vegan roast

Makes enough for 1 vegan roast

1 glass 4X9 pan 
4 cups of orange juice (fresh as possible)
2 inches of ginger, sliced thin
8-12 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup of soy sauce
½ cup diced onion
8-12 star anise, whole
1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon red chili flakes  
1 vegan roast, such as Tofurky roast or Trader Joes Roast


In the glass pan, combine all ingredients.
Add the thawed Tofurky or Field roast and cover.
Refrigerate overnight for best results.
In the morning, cook the Tofurky for 2 hours in the liquid on 400 degrees.
Allow to cool and slice.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tofo Foo Yong, Osso Buco and Mustard Miso Crusted Tofu! Oh My!!

Every once in a while, you create something epic. It might be a sentence you compose that truly relates your view, a game you write that make your players curse you forever, or a combination of eye shadow that could make Baby Jesus weep at the eleganza! (Ok, maybe, that is just me). This last Sunday, I created some really wonderful food. I made six dishes that were all complex, wonderful and had great taste and texture.

Pictured above is the Osso Buco I made, slowly roasting it for two hours. The smells of veggies, white wine, tomatoes and seitan drifted through our house and outside, creating a shield of great smells around our house. It was a beautiful thing to sniff, and even more beautiful to taste.

I also made Tofu Foo Yong. For those missing Egg Foo Yong, this had a perfect taste and texture. A touch of black salt gave it a hint of egginess and they were bright and fluffy little cakes with straw mushrooms, celery, and green onions. They relished their splash of soy sauce and I served them with rice scented with toasted sesame oil, green onions, and green onions. Oh, the joy!

I was also particularly proud of the Mustard Miso Crusted Tofu with Crushed Peanut Topping. I served it over a bed of Raisin Curry Rice, and it was a joy to nibble on. Between Jason, Eleanor and I, it quickly disappeared.

Most of all, I was proud I actually took the time to write out all these recipes. I am back to work on my first book, which will feature comfort food from all over the world, but will have a lot of Southern recipes. After all, a girl does not get curves like mine without feeding them….  

So enjoy the pictures, while I get back to work. I do want to update the blog. What would you all like more of? Would you like reviews? How about book teasers? More recipes and if so, what? Let a girl know.

Talk to you soon,


Saturday, November 3, 2012

A look back on Halloween and a salsa recipe!

Happy Halloween (3 days later).
A lot of years in the past, my place was THE place to be for Halloween. I have found memories of being in my late teens and early twenties as I spent the better part of the year creating props for my haunted house. I was still living with my mom, and every year the theme was a little different. One year it was spiders taking over, one year zombies (before everyone did it), and one year X-Files. There were life sized ghouls made out of thrift store clothes and scavenged wigs, there were massive hairy spiders and tens of thousands of baby spiders for the spider year, and homemade gravestones. It was epic.
This year, Halloween kind of crept up on our family. Eleanor moved down, but getting ready and having Jason gone both contributed to the precious holiday just sneaking up instead of shouting in. Still, we had fun the way Jason and I know best – we asked friends over and headed into the kitchen. Working side by side we made a ton of great Mexican food. I made the guacamole and salsa. I made a variation of the salsa that our friend Eric likes best. I served it all in the coffin that I found at a yard sale for $10. It was the only Halloween decoration I put up this year, but it held some great stuff!!
If you want to make the salsa, here is the recipe.
Smooth Red Salsa (Cooked Version)
Makes about 4 cups
2 cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes (15 oz) or 4 cups of fire roasted diced roma tomatoes with juice intact
½ of a large red onion diced, about 1 cup
6-8 cloves of garlic
2-3 jalapeno peppers, stem removed only
1 chipotle in adobo
About ¼ cup of lime juice (2-4 limes)
½ bunch of cilantro (about 1 cup loosely diced)
Salt to taste
With a food processor or blender, blend the tomatoes, red onion, garlic and peppers.
Process until mostly smooth, but still has a small amount of texture.
Transfer to a small pot and simmer on the stove on medium low to low for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This allows all the flavors to combine and the garlic and onions to acquire a more ‘mellow’ flavor.
Remove from heat and allow to cool at least 20-30 minutes.
Mince the cilantro and add to the cooled salsa with the fresh lime juice and salt.
Taste the salsa. Add more lime juice or salt as needed.
Cool completely and serve.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cooking with Love (Wild Mushroom Soup with RECIPE!)

Blogger will not let me post this picture with the right rotation, so sorry if it looks odd

Hello to all you Bad Kitties out there!

Life has been crazy as usual. Now, my husband is back home for a while, and with the love of my existence back with me, I am super excited to get back in the kitchen!! After all, I am Scottish and Italian, so nothing says ‘I love you’ more than feeding someone.

I think that is something I have learned over the last few months – food has to come from a place of love. The recipes have to be written with love, and created with intent… not just the intent of having something. There is a place for those recipes, but even they can be crafted with love. Yes, falling in love in five minutes is possible, just as anyone who has gone bar hopping in Tempe.

Getting back to making carefully crafted comfort food has been fun. Now, I have a few recipes under my belt and I get to share those with you. My lastest creation is a Wild Mushroom Soup. It has wild rice and beef seitan, with a salty broth, so all you really need is a hunk of bread to make this the perfect fall meal.

Hopefully this will inspire you to get in the kitchen and get creative.

Hugs and talk to you soon,

Queen of the Bad Kitties


Wild Mushroom Soup
Makes about 4 servings
1 medium onion
1 cup of diced shitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup of diced oyster mushrooms  
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
6 cloves of garlic
1 package of ‘beef’ seitan, 12 oz
8 cups of water
1 package of dried wild mushrooms, 1.7 oz (Trader Joes)
1 cup of wild rice
6 cubes of bouillon, a combination of mushroom and ‘beef’ or just no-beef  
6-8 bay leaves
Sprigs of thyme

Dice the onion.
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add the onions.
Cook until caramelized.
While waiting, dice the shitake and oyster mushrooms.
Mince the garlic.
Dice the seitan.
Set all to the side.
After the onions are caramelized, add the olive oil.
Once the oil is hot add the oyster and shitake mushrooms, and cook until the start to reduce in size and turn golden.
Add the garlic, cooking for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the water, bouillon cubes, seitan, wild rice, bay leaves, and wild dried mushrooms (crumble them first if they are too large).
Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes until your rice is tender.
Remove from heat.
Garnish with sprigs of thyme.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut Pear Soup with Recipe!!

Hi everyone! I am getting ready to do a little travel! Those who know me best will laugh that faced with teaching a nearly impossible class, the thing I am the most nervous about is actually driving in an unfamiliar city. I know, but it’s me.

This is an odd time of year in many ways. Here in Phoenix it has been verging on 100 degrees. I am still wearing t-shirts and staring wistfully at long sleeves. Yet, in Colorado where my friend Anne lives, it snowed Monday and was in the 30’s. Some of us are wishing for cool weather, and some of us are freezing and wishing for things to warm up.

Here is a soup I whipped up that should be good for warm weather falls, cool weather falls, and all temperatures in between. It is silky, smooth, and just a little sweet.

Butternut Pear Soup

Serves 4 large servings

1 medium butternut squash

1 package of vegan sausage (I used Tofurky Italian Sausage)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion

4 cloves of garlic

8 cups of vegetable broth

4 medium ripe pears (I used Bartlett Pears)

1 large bunch kale

Salt and pepper to taste


In a 375 degree oven, place the whole butternut squash and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until it can be easily pierced by a fork.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, then remove the top and bottom, and peel the shell away.

Scoop away any insides and seeds from the squash. Chop the remaining squash into large cubes.


In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Slice and add the sausage.

Brown until slightly crisp, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Dice the onion, and add it to a soup pot over medium heat.

Allow to cook until translucent, then add the garlic.

Cook an additional 30 seconds, or until you can smell the garlic.

Add the broth and the squash cubes.

Take the pears and remove the core, but add the rest to the soup.

Simmer for about 30 minutes Blend until smooth.

Slice and add the kale and sausage.

Add salt and pepper to taste.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Calabacita Pizza Casserole with RECIPE!

To all the Bad Kitties out there!

How is everyone! It has been fun and busy over here. I am in the process of starting a third blog (I know, I know) and I have been working on content for that. It will be dedicated to two of my other great loves, make up and crafting. I am also finally getting the tail end of the great waterpipe explosion cleaned up in my room, and lastly, I am working slowly on unpacking our very full kitty room so it can get turned into a studio. When you add in the fact I am on a diet and getting ready for my second great travel class, (to Akron Ohio) it has been busy! I have still been in the kitchen, making great food for myself and my family. Recently, Jason and I have been trying to cut down on our gluten, and having many gluten free days. I the process of this, I devised this great casserole. You could easily make this, feed your family, and have left overs for lunch.

If you do not have a large family, and having a 9X13 sized pan of anything is daunting, then I suggest that you cut the amount of ingredients in half, and just use an 8X8 baking dish.


Calabacita Pizza Casserole

Serves 6-8

4-6 cups of cooked quinoa
6 cups of vegetable broth
1-2 large yellow crookneck squash
1-2 large zucchini
3 large ‘beefsteak’ tomatoes
1 cup of vegan chorizo
1 can of diced tomatoes, 15 oz
1 can of tomato sauce, 15 oz
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1 cup of vegan cheese, shredded (I used Daiya)

In a pot, combine the vegetable broth and quinoa.

Use a medium heat until simmering rapidly, then turn down and allow to cook, about 15 minutes until the broth is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked.

Meanwhile, slice the zucchini and squash into rounds.

Slice the tomatoes into rounds, discarding the very tops and bottoms.

In a bowl combine the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes with the oregano.

Line a 9 X 13 baking dish with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the cooked quinoa in the bottom of the baking dish.

Top with a layer of the yellow squash, then a layer of the tomatoes, then a layer of the zucchini.

Top with the chorizo. Spoon the tomato sauce over the top so it makes an even layer.

Top that with the vegan cheese, and place in the oven.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the squash is tender to being pierced with a fork, but not mushy.

Allow to cool, then cut into slices and serve.




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chorizo Broccoli Baked Potato with RECIPE!

Sometimes, you just need a dinner that is a little sinful. After all, life is about being alive. That means that there are those moments when you want to go big, or go home. This twice baked potato is my creation for those moments.
This uses soy chorizo. I recommend the brand from Trader Joes if you can get it. It is both delicious and inexpensive. I also used Tofutti Sour Cream, Earth Balance butter, and Daiya cheddar if you want the exact brands.
Chorizo Broccoli Baked Potatoes
4 servings
4 large russet potatoes
½ package or 8 oz of vegan chorizo
¼-1/3 cup of plain vegan coffee creamer
½ package or 4 oz of vegan cream cheese
2 tablespoons vegan butter
2 cups of lightly cooked broccoli florets
1/3 cup of vegan cheese, such as Daiya Cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash your potatoes and place on a cookie sheet. I also cover mine with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle. Being careful not to go through to the other side, scoop out the middle of the potatoes, leaving a shell on all sides except the top. Place all the scooped out potato into a bowl then add the vegan chorizo, butter, cream cheese, cheese (shredded) and mash until light and fluffy. Carefully stir in the broccoli, then use the mixture to refill the scooped out potatoes. Replace them on the cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for an additional 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quadruple Caramel Cupcakes!

All Packaged Up for the Party!!
What inspires you?

I love being surrounded by inspiration, but I find it in many places. The urge to get in the kitchen and make something fabulous can be triggered by tasting something wonderful in a restaurant, seeing a beautiful picture in a cookbook, or in the pages of a worn recipe booklet from the 1940’s. However, a cool retro apron can make me want to bake, or the colors of the new fall make-up from Kat Von D can inspire a new cookie creation.

Right now, I am working on a host of new desserts. Some of them are full calorie, and some are low calorie. Some are quick for when you need that fix in a hurry, and some are complicated. I will start posting those up soon.

In the meantime, maybe this will give you some inspiration! Everyone knows I catered a wedding a few weeks ago, but it is high time that you see some pictures! These are my quadruple caramel cupcakes. They were a rich caramel cake, filled with a spiced caramel flan, topped with a sweet, rice caramel butter cream, and topped with a homemade salt and pepper vegan caramel. Love! More than anything this creation reminded me that my dream is to open a bakery some day. I would love to see someone bite into one of these!

Off to finish my baking and recipes for my cooking class tomorrow. If you happen to be in the Phoenix area, I have a dessert class going, and it will be 9/20/12 at 3pm and there will be samples of everything! Hope to see you there!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Sweet Lime Kabobs with RECIPE!

Kabobs on the Grill

I’m back!


Sorry everyone about the break. I had a huge wedding cupcake project to do (which turned out quite well) and then I needed some creative time off. Now I am back to creating great recipes and providing inspiration.


This weekend I created a bunch of meals that last well in the refrigerator, are easy to prepare, and tasty! One of these were kabobs marinated in a tangy, sweet lime sauce. The recipe is super simple.


You will need –


1 package extra firm tofu

1-2 zucchini

1 package of crimini mushrooms

½ a yellow onion

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

Kabob sticks (I used 4 ½ inch sticks) (you will need about 12-15)


1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons agave

¼ cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


2-3 cups cooked quinoa


A small grill, such as a hibachi


Combine the vegan Worcestershire sauce, agave, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Wash your vegetables and cut them into thick chucks. You don’t want anything to be small or delicate when it will be on the kabob, or it can easily fall off.  Skewer your veggies on the sticks, and marinade in the sauce. Light up the grill if needed so it can come to temperature. Cook the quinoa if needed. Once the grill is ready, grill your skewers!! Save any leftover marinade, and use it to dress the quinoa. Cook the kabobs for about 10-15 minutes, so the vegetables are slightly tender, and the tofu is cooked. Remove from heat and serve on a bed of the dressed quinoa.



Saturday, September 1, 2012

Almond Mexican Vanilla Burbon Cupcakes

Hi Everyone! What have you been cooking up in the kitchen? I did a whole class on grains with Jason this last Thursday, finished the meal service for this week, and now I am going to get started making the cupcakes. What cupcakes? I am catering a wedding and a reception. All told, I developed 7 new cupcakes, including the one pictured – Almond Mexican Vanilla Burbon. The filling is a cinnamon Mexican vanilla flan, the cupcakes have ground almonds as part of the flour, and the frosting is cinnamon Mexican vanilla.


Now anyone who wants to tell me that vegan food is tasteless can officially kiss my… cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mango Pudding - a low calorie treat, with RECIPE

Sometimes, you just need something to eat for breakfast or dessert or anytime, really, that is refreshing, filling, a little sweet and a little sassy. For me, that is my mango pudding. I know the rest of the country is starting to cool down, but here it is over 100 degrees still. Yesterday I went on a nature walk with my wonderful husband and got a sunburn… yes, at the very end of August. It is still the time of year when light food is the order of the day.


For those of you who feel like I do, here is my favorite new recipe! I just had it for breakfast and I feel wonderful and ready to get on with the day.


Mango Pudding

1 12 oz package of light firm silken tofu

2 cups of cubed peeled mango

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 tablespoons agave nectar


Blend all ingredients until completely smooth, and then for an additional minute (to add air and make it light and fluffy). Refrigerate at least 2 hours before eating, then enjoy!!


Quick, easy, tasty, with a nice boost of protein and fiber. Love.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Food Review: Sophie's Kitchen Vegan Calamari

Vegan Calamari
Sophie’s Kitchen
Price at Whole Foods $5.99
Stars: 1 star
At a recent expedition to Whole Foods with my wonderful husband, I happened upon this vegan calamari. I was both intrigued and excited. There are two meats that I have not found a good substitution for – calamari and buffalo. Thinking that I perhaps found at least one of those, I spent my $5.99 + tax on a box and rushed home with it. I prepared it according to the directions on the package, (using the oven, not the microwave) and used some of my favorite marinara sauce for dipping purposes. I was very excited, and then I bit in.

With calamari, you want it to be a little rubbery, but I had to check to see if I was actually eating rubber bands. It was that bad. After several chews, I managed to get the first ring swallowed, and it hit my stomach with the velocity of a cannon ball shot at maximum speed. I thought the first one was a fluke, so I kept going. Each and every ring was a new revelation in gastronomic horror. By the time I was done with one serving, I felt like I had swallowed every pebbles of gravel. I didn’t want to waste the rest, so I ended up finishing off the rest of the box, but never again.
Jason later said that it was a repackaged Asian brand, or he was reasonably sure it was. I don’t know what it was other than A: bad and B: traumatic. I also know what else it is. It is never coming into my house again. Save yourself this horror and stay away from Sophie’s Kitchen Vegan Calamari.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rekindling the Spark with Your Veganism

Finding inspiration when you first start something is easy. Everything about the new activity or hobby is new. All the sights and smells are exciting, and every success fills you with the endorphins of falling in love. That is what happened to me when I became a vegan. As the only vegan I knew, every time I made something edible with one of my handful of vegan cookbooks was a triumph. I spent time in the grocery stores wandering up and down the aisles, trying to find packaged food that was vegan. It was scary and wonderful all at the same time. Every new bite made me feel excited and rebellious.

Time passed. I met other vegans. I married one of them, and our household is an all vegan establishment. Having two vegan chefs at home with tons of kitchen toys, a large bedroom converted into a pantry, and two refrigerators filled with ingredients means that if I can dream it, within a handful of hours, one of us can have it done and on the table for sampling. It is both wonderful and it can be a tricky thing at the same time. I am no longer a vegan on a honeymoon with everything new and heady. I am now in a long term relationship with veganism and I have to find a way to make it work.

Recently, to gather some inspiration and catch lightning in a bottle again, I drove down to Whole Foods. It was a 45 minute drive from my current house, and my husband waited patiently as I strolled down every aisle. I checked packages for some new things to try, picked up some old foods I had not bought since I learned to make them better, and fell into the nostalgia of excitement.  Quickly, I was that new vegan again, trying stuff for the first time. I loaded up the cart, and headed home.

That was earlier this week and the excitement is still there, and still contagious. I am thrilled to try new recipes, to make better versions of some of the things I grabbed that were just awful, and that creativity even makes me want to do some sewing. Being creative is something that often snowballs from one realm to another with me.

So if you are reading this as a new vegan, hold onto this time. This time is special and you will look back on it with fondness. If you are reading this as an accomplished vegan, take some time and do something you only did as a newly minted vegan. Make a date night with your lifestyle and find that spark, even if you think it is not missing. You’ll be glad that you did.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Food Review - Mint Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans

I am so excited and happy. I have this routine when I am at Trader Joes (almost every day) and there is a new dark chocolate product. It might look delicious, it might smell divine, but when I am asked if I want a sample and I check, I sadly learn that it contains dairy. It is DARK chocolate, people!! Keep the cow utter extract out of it! ***Public service announcement – for those who did not know, milk is expressed comes from the chest of a mammal. Yep. Gross. ***

Today, I noticed the new minty espresso dark chocolate covered coffee beans. It was 115 degrees outside and I wanted nothing more than to sample and enjoy just a few minty beans. I have a compulsion to check the labels of almost all food, so I checked and I was VERY happy to discover that I could, in fact, enjoy these!! Imagine my delight and joy. I was even able to have a sample in the store. Delicious is the first word that comes to mind, but it falls short of explaining how awesome these are. They have the complexity and non overt sweetness of dark chocolate, with a bright burst of refreshing mint. In the middle of it all is a small nugget of coffee bean you can crunch for a bit of texture and tannic, dark flavor. The only small drawback it the chocolate itself does have a slight waxy texture, but it is not horrible or overpowering. It is only there.

If you are looking for a bright treat for these summer months, I recommend these. If you keep them in the refrigerator you can grab a bean or two for a low calorie dessert, or a little chocolate fix.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Madelyn's Magical Dressing with RECIPE!

Cracking the Code

When I became vegan, I needed to change the way that I ate. I got rid of many of the old, bad things I used to eat and sought out new alternatives. One of those things I found was my favorite salad dressing. It was a miso mustard Dijon. It was sweet, tangy, and wonderful. It felt alive and though I was broke, and it was $5 a bottle, I bought it by the case. You have never seen anything as sad as the poor UPS man lugging a heavy, heavy box up to your door, wanting to know what was inside, and you tell him it is salad dressing. I think I destroyed two people’s souls doing this.

For over 5 years, I have tried to recreate that recipe. One year ago, they changed the formula. It was no longer ‘my dressing’ but some foreign stuff that was not the same. It didn’t have the same magic that made me pour dressing over salads, dip raw cauliflower in it, and have to really fight the urge to just drink it by the sweet, sweet glass full.

Then, last night, a miracle happened. I decided to make something close, because I wanted to munch on some cauliflower and I didn’t have any type of dressing. It had been a year since I tried to crack the recipe code, and this time I was not really trying. I just was trying to come up with something good. I made it exactly. And I do mean exact. I even figured out the calories and it was exact, which makes me think I might have cracked the company formula. Now I can make it myself, it is fresh and delicious. I also cleaned out a balsamic bottle that was almost empty so I will even have a pretty bottle to store it in. Yay!

If you also love tangy sweet salad dressings, here is the formula.

Madelyn’s Miso Dijonaise

¼ cup white miso
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp yellow mustard (organic preferred)
2 tbsp maple syrup (grade B preferred)
½ teaspoon – 1 teaspoon of black poppy seeds

Combine and whisk until smooth. Store in the refrigerator after creation. One TBSP has 45 calories, but adds a LOT of love to salads and raw veggies.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Hi everyone! I know it has been a few days since I updated. I taught a few classes, went on vacation for a few days, got back tonight and cut the tar out of my finger. Luckily, it was not near any of the food I was cooking, but I still had to step out of the kitchen and let Jason clean up and finish. He was both kind and a gentleman about it. He helped me with my finger and then took over all the cleaning for the day.

So I wanted to let you know that I have not forgotten about my beautiful blog. When I can type again normally (might be a few days) I’ll  get some new items posted.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette WITH RECIPE

Tomorrow I am teaching a class on sandwiches for the Wellness Community! It is fun driving out to the north west part of the valley and visiting our friends in Sun City.

Sandwiches are one of the foods I get the most requests for, and yet I love them. They can be simple or complex, portable or needing a fork and plate before you even think about going there. They are complicated in form and construction, (like me!)

Of course, little touches make a huge difference. I think a lot of us know that we can put salad dressing on simple sandwiches to give them a bit of ‘punch’, but how much more awesome is it to make your own salad dressing?

Here is a simple little salad dressing that can go on sandwiches, salads, or be a dip for veggies.

Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 small bottle

½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1-2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar or agave

½ teaspoon pepper

Blend together and enjoy on sandwiches or salads. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.