Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Super Easy Bean Soup with RECIPE!!

Sometimes, you just need something delicious, nutritious, and quick. For me, that has always been my four ingredient bean soup. I ate this when I was first starting my vegan adventure, and I still make it at least once a week. The nice part is that it is quick, tasty, reasonably inexpensive, and delicious. When I make this for Jason, I leave out the onions.

The picture is of my soup topped with a sprinkle of Daiya while I was munching down at Starbucks. That is the amazing thing – you can take tasty food with you no matter where you go! I have a little insulated bag to transport my munchies, but that is not necessary, just convenient.

So here you go, and feel free to laugh – my super easy bean soup.

Super Easy Bean Soup

1 15 oz can of refried beans

1 4 oz can of diced green chilies

1 16 oz jar of salsa

½ a small onion.

Dice the onion. Remove all other ingredients from their cans or jars. Add everything to a soup pot and heat over medium low until warm. Cook for an additional 10 minutes to cook the onion slightly. Top with a small amount of vegan cheese if desired.

There you have it, one of my easiest recipes. Enjoy!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Baked Potato Soup with RECIPE!!!

Hi Everyone!

Here it is Monday and I am just now checking in again. Jason was traveling again and when that happens, it gets a little harder to get online. Hopefully everyone has been well and is having fun.

Today, Jason and I started incorporating more and more raw food into our diet, but it was also the day that I made the food for the meal service. Therefore, I made cooked food today. Yes, I did taste it all, but I tried to not pig out or eat more than a tasting bite. I only failed once, and that was my baked potato soup.

It is the right combination of rich, creamy and delicious. When you take the time to top it with some extra delights, it is actually good for you comfort food – the best kind!

Baked Potato Soup

2 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes

1 medium onion

8 cups of vegetable broth



Vegan bacon (homemade or store bought)

Sliced green onions

Daiya cheese or other vegan cheese

Heat a medium sized soup pan over medium heat. Dice the onions and potato, add to the pot with the veggie broth and allow to simmer away. It should cook for at least 30 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender. Blend using either an emersion blender, or cool slightly and use a conventional blender, removing the lid occasionally to release the steam. Once smooth, allow to cool slightly, as you prepare the toppings. The vegan bacon should be cooked, crisped, and diced. The green onions should be sliced. The vegan cheese should be shredded. Add some of each of the three toppings onto each bowl of soup. For extra protein, use a lot of tempeh bacon.

This dish is simple, tasty, and amazing! Try out a nice pot tonight!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Delicious and NOT Decadent


With it being full summer swimsuit season, it always pays to have tasty elegant snacks that taste delicious and yet are easy on calories. One of my favorite foods is peach cobbler. I mean, who does not love that southern sticky mass of peachy, spicy goodness, especially when you throw on some vanilla soy ice cream and it melts a little…

But what if you could get all that taste with very little work and almost no calories? Peaches are in season, and this does depend on getting great peaches. They should be a little sweet, a little tart, have some give, but some firmness. In other words, if you get peaches that are the epitome of summer, make this snack.

Take 1 or 2 peaches and cut into slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. If you want a little extra protein, sprinkle on some walnut pieces. That is it. Really. I promise. However, it tastes just like a cobbler and is wonderful.

Enjoy this hot summers day,


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Vegan Brunch

Sometimes best made plans just don’t work. That was the case when we tried to see Batman this morning. Jason and I arrived early, tucked in, and realized the theater was filling up fast. Then our friend Eric sent a text saying it was sold out and he couldn’t get in. Jason and I did not hesitate. We got refunds, took off with Eric and headed home.

While the guys set up their new D&D Dungeon Command board game, I started making breakfast. I made tofu scramble with freshly roasted jalapenos, hash browns with sweet onion and browned in harissa oil, and peaches tossed in cinnamon and nutmeg, sprinkled with walnuts. That and a few bottles of different hot sauce made for a fine and impressive meal.

Even better, instead of spending the morning seeing the lastest Hollywood blockbuster, we had a homey vegan brunch and played games with our dear friend. I got to do a little reading while I hung out with the guys. It was relaxing, good for us, and good for the environment.

The next time I think about just going to the movies for something to do, I am going to look and see what I can whip up in the kitchen, and who I can invite over…

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burritos with RECIPE

Hi Everyone!

Last time I talked about the burrito class I did at the Wellness Community. This is another one of the recipes that I made there, a delicious black bean sweet potato burrito. The recipe featured below is very much on the mild side, but for my family I like to spice this up quite a bit. You can do that by adding hot sauce or salsa, extra chili powder, or even chopping up a chipotle in adobo and throwing it in! Of course, I also know that sometimes people can be very, VERY sensitive to hot tastes after things like chemo, so you can leave the chili powder out of this one as well. Always tailor your recipes to your taste.

This burrito also freezes well. For more of my musings on making your own frozen burritos to snack on at later point, please check out my previous blog. I will not retorture those who have read them before.

Tomorrow, we are off to see Batman, but I know I am making some of my superduper greatly awesome breakfast scramble! I will try to post up some pics and maybe even a recipe.

Black Bean Sweet Potato Burrito
Makes 2-3 burritos
1 15 oz can of black beans or two cups of cooked beans
1 medium sweet potato
½ a medium sweet onion
1 ear of sweet corn or ½ cup of sweet corn
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ancho powder or other chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
A small amount of broth
2-3 tortillas

Dice the sweet onion. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook until the onion is caramelized. Add a small amount of broth to deglaze the pan. Dice and add the sweet potato, beans, and corn. Add the paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the sweet potato is tender. Remove from heat, and roll up in a tortilla.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

White Bean Oregano Burritos with RECIPE

Hi Everyone!

Today I taught at the Wellness Community. I love that place, and I always learn more than I teach there. Today we made three different burritos and a salsa. Burritos are great. Not only is the one listed below healthy, low fat, tastes great, but it also freezes well. When I was in college I would make up a batch of burrito filling, like the one below, roll up burritos and then freeze them. Then on exam days or when I did not have time to make a great healthy lunch, I could grab one with some fruit and run out the door. By lunch it defrosted and I could munch on it. If you do not want to premake your burritos, freeze leftover filling in individual baggies. Then, you and take one out of the freezer, pop it in the fridge the night before and the next morning, roll your burrito. Hopefully all that gives you some ideas for eating healthy and happy on the go.

The following recipe is quick, easy, and tasty. I would pair this with a tangy salsa such as cholula. Enjoy!

White Bean Burrito

Makes 4 burritos

1 15 oz can of white beans, or two cups of cooked beans
½ a red onion diced
2-3 carrots, diced
1 can of diced mild green chilies or 1 roasted poblano chili
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, minced
1 heaping tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
A small amount of broth
4 Tortillas 

Drain and rinse the beans. In a pan, heat the diced onions and carrots. Once the onions are translucent and the carrots start to sweat, add the beans. Add a small amount of the broth to keep the beans from sticking. Add the paprika, salt and pepper. Seed and mince the pepper if needed, add the peppers. Once the carrots are slightly tender, mince and add the fresh oregano. Cook another minute, then remove from heat. Roll up in a tortilla and enjoy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Making Pepperoni

When I first became vegan, I ate a lot of meat. I grew up on a farm, and it was kind of a way of life. Stopping that cold, and living in a house full of meateaters, I found a lot of mock meats in my grocery basket. Ok, it was my mom’s grocery basket, but I put them there. They were expensive, didn’t always taste great, but they were well within my comfort zone. I also ate lots of beans, so don’t give me too much hate. Still, the one time I tried to make seitan was horrible, so I just bought it. It was tastier and easier.

This last week I made ‘pepperoni’. It actually turned out pretty darn good, with fine texture and a great tangy taste. The full recipe will be in this issue of the Vegan Culinary Experience as ‘Sundried Tomato Pepperoni’ and if I have time, I will make a version without the tomatoes. It was tasty, it had good texture, and I made it from scratch.

Now, I am so excited to make more and better vegan sausages. Now I walk past the mock meats in the store, and I know I can make those better and tastier at home. Look for some more recipes as they start to be created, but have a little patience, because none are done yet. Well, except for the pepperoni and that will be in the magazine.

It is great what you can do with a little experience, a lot of creativity, and a ton of bravery. Go boldly into your kitchen and think about a muggle (non-vegan) food that you used to love. Then, get in the kitchen and make your own version. Just because your first attempt doesn’t work, doesn’t mean it never will. If I believed that, there would not be any pepperoni in the next pizza issue.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vegan Grocery Shopping from Home

Today is my day for getting things done. I have a great many things I need to do, including write out the recipes for my cooking class Thursday, get the groceries for my cooking class tomorrow morning, cook no more than three pizzas then do the recipes for them, clean house, and oh yeah, get both of my blogs done. Oh! I forgot that I also need to return a book to the store, do my daily studying, and do some yoga.

Because I have such an extensive ‘to-do’ list, it made me really wish I was back on vacation. I have to admit, it was nice being able to just go for a hike in Oxbow in July. It was also nice being in a place where vegan isn’t a dirty word.

Well, I am not on vacation, do I did what every other American does when faced with a thousand deadlines. I started window shopping online. Oh, come on, you know that you do it too, otherwise, not so many sites would be blocked from work servers.

Two sites that I have always enjoyed, and relied on heavily when I was the only vegan that I knew were Food Fight Grocery http://foodfightgrocery.com/ and Vegan Essentials http://veganessentials.com/. These are great places to shop for food because everything there is vegan, it is shipped to your house, and it is owned by other vegans.

I HIGHLY recommend that if you are new to being vegan, or even if you are a seasoned pro, take some time and look around these sites. They can inspire you for what is available. I remember when most seitan that you could buy came in odd blue cans. Those are still out there (yay?) but there are a TON of other options, too! Do you miss ham and eggs for breakfast? Tofu scramble and veggie ham can hook you up. Want vegan doughnuts but no Voodoo around? Well, make your own or check out the ones from Larsen Bakery on Vegan Essentials. You can do this wonderful journey of veganism. You can, and these places can help.

So if you are bored, have some extra time, or just want to get excited about what is new in the world of vegan groceries, give these websites a try. While you are there, just remember to give your cart an edit before you check out, or start coming up with a very cute story to tell your husband as to why 12 pounds of Daiya is at your doorstep. Not that I am speaking from experience…

Monday, July 9, 2012

Vacation Food, with a RECIPE!

Greetings from the Bad Kitty Bakery and the Cute Kitty Café!

When you go on vacation and come back, you are struck with a very sudden, very preseient thought: I wish I was still there. At least, that has been my thought since I left Portland, OR for the 111 degree heat of the valley. I am happy to be back with family and students, but… perhaps I do want to be back playing in the Hood River, gathering moss to decorate the bases of my figures. Maybe it is just me.

The delicious food at Native Bowl, plus some random vegan chili from Whole Foods

I was touched by the delicious food at the Native Bowl in Portland, so I knew that making something like it would be a way for me to relive my vacation a bit. This is my first crack at something similar to their tasty slaw. I like it a lot – perfect for summer BBQs or adding to a sandwich!

Smokey Coleslaw

Serves 4

1 16 oz package of shredded coleslaw mix

1/3 cup reduced fat vegenaise

1-2 teaspoons of agave syrup (I use raw)

1-2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

¼ to ½ teaspoon of chipotle powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix. Eat chilled alone or on a sandwich!

Love, love, love. However, if you do not like spice, keep the chipotle down to a ¼ teaspoon. If you like the heat, feel free to kick it up a bit, but this is a very powerful spice. It will get hot, quickly, so be warned!!

Above is a picture of the Native Bowl that inspired my recipe. If you’re in Portland, check them out!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

To Portland and Back Again... a Chef's Tale.

Hi Everyone!

I am just getting back in the swing of things from a decadent vacation to Portland, OR. I used to live there, many moons ago… like 20 years worth of moons ago. When I left, the city was full of skinheads. Now, they are gone and the city is full of some interesting fashion statements and lots of yummy food!!

We ate our way through Portland. We stopped at vegan food trucks, ate vegan doughnuts, and even went to Food Fight, the all vegan grocery store! I have to say that was my favorite food part of the trip. It is amazing to be able to buy whatever you want without checking a single label! I love it and plan on supporting them by doing some online shopping until I can get back there. If you want to check it out, the link is http://www.foodfightgrocery.com. Still, already I am planning on trying to get back there next year in person. Good times.

Another great experience was going to the Native Bowl food truck. I was really surprised. The food was simple, but gooooooddddd.  Oh yes, I am dreaming of going back for one of those bowls, and they inspired me to try out a few new flavor combinations. If you want a better idea of what my experience was like, check out their website http://thenativebowl.com/.

I know I will get some hate on this, but Sweetpea Bakery was not great. http://sweetpeabaking.com. I grabbed four items (along with Eleanor and Jason) and none of them were things I would get again. The snickerdoodle was not great, and tasted like flour and butter. My brownie had raw sugar granules in it… and it was not supposed to. I need to be selective about my calories, so I won’t be spending any more there.

Lastly, if you happen to be planning a trip to Portland, or if you live there, you have to check out the River Gorge Fruit Row. There is fresh fruit (including seconds if you feel like canning) of all types, fresh from the trees. There are also wineries that have $5 tastings that are amazing! Six wine tastes for $5? Count me in! We grabbed two bottles of our favorites, and went to play with the baby alpaca. It was amazing and fun to connect with nature.

So now that I am back, I am getting back into the swing of creation. Look for me to get my mushroom melt recipe up in the next few days, and I made an amazing, light peanut stew today. I need to write the recipe down for that one, because it is African inspired, but very Madelyn.

Thanks for the understanding on my not posting for a week, but I am back now! Beware! Bwah-ha-ha!!