Monday, August 26, 2013

Layered Tex-Mex Lasagna-Forks over Knives cookbook

This serves 6-8...I halved it and used an 8X9 Pyrex dish.

Tomato Sauce:
Two 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
3 Cups water
1/4 Cup cornstarch
3 T chile powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

4 Cups mashed cooked pinto beans (I used canned)
1 Cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 Cups frozen corn kernals, thawed (I used canned)
One 2 1/4 ounce can sliced black olives, drained, optional
1 to 2 T chopped green chiles, optional
10-12 corn tortillas
salsa, optional
tofu sour cream, optional

To make the sauce, Put all ingredients for the sauce into a saucepan.  Mix well with a whisk until well combined.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Taste and add more chile powder if desired.  Set aside.

To assemble the casserole: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put the beans, green onions, olives (I used the olives as a garnish since my husband doesn't like them), and green chiles into a large bowl and mix gently until well combined.

Spread 1 1/2 Cups of the sauce over the bottom of a oblong nonstick baking dish (I went ahead and sprayed my dish with non-stick spray). Place 3-4 corn tortillas in the bottom of the dish.  Spread half the bean mixture evenly over the tortillas.  Place another 3-4 tortillas over the bean mixture, then spread the remaining bean mixture over the top.  Cover with 3-4 more tortillas, and then pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas.  Cover the baking dish with parchment paper, then cover with aluminum foil, crimping the edges over the baking dish.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the baking dish from the oven and let the lasagna rest for about 15 minutes before cutting.  Serve with salsa and tofu sour cream, if desired.

I used black olives, tomatoes and tofu sour cream as a garnish.  I served this with corn on the cob, asparagus, Portobello mushrooms and sugar snap peas.  Really easy recipe and tasted great!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kale Brownies- My son found this recipe online and with help from his girlfriend, made them for me and my husband.


3 C loosely packed kale or spinach leaves (spinach was used in ours)
1/2 C applesauce (sugar free was used)
2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 C water
3 T ground flax
3/4 C vegetable or coconut oil
1 C coconut flour (whole wheat flour was used)
3/4 C cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 C xylitol or sugar (stevia was used)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, or grease well.  Blend together the first 6 ingredients.  If using coconut oil, make sure applesauce and water are not cold.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.  Pour wet into dry and stir until just evenly combined, pour into the prepared pan, then use a full sheet of parchment paper or wax paper to press down firmly until the batter evenly covers the pan.  Bake 19-20 minutes.  Pat down hard with a pancake spatula or another sheet of parchment paper.  Let brownies sit 15 minutes before cutting into squares.  They taste better the next day, so make them in advance if possible. 


1/2 C cocoa powder
2 T pure maple syrup or agave
1/2 C virgin coconut oil, melted

Mix the frosting ingredients to form a sauce.  Spread over the kale brownies, then refrigerate or freeze 10-20 minutes.  The sauce will transform into chocolate frosting.  These brownies will melt and need to be kept refrigerated.  They are high in fiber and Vitamins A, C, and K, cholesterol-free, vegan, low in sugar or sugar free and also offer Omega 3's.

These were quite good! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vegan Enchiladas-recipe by Vegangela, with Angela's consent.


8 corn tortillas (this recipe actually made 12)
1, 19 ounce enchilada sauce (I used La Victoria)
vegetable oil (I used non-stick spray)
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 package (14 ounce) silken tofu
1 T nutritional yeast
salt and pepper
Optional toppings: sliced green onions, sliced black olives, avocado, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, fresh cilantro.

In medium saucepan, heat the enchilada sauce over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 T oil in frying pan on medium-high heat.  Saute onion until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Using a food processor or immersion blender, blend the onion mixture with the tofu and nutritional yeast.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a few tsp of oil on medium heat, and once hot, dip the tortilla in the oil until it is soft.  Drain it on a paper towel. (I just sprayed a skillet with non-stick spray.) Pour small amount of enchilada sauce into a pie plate. Dip the tortilla in the enchilada sauce and place on plate.  Spoon small amount of tofu mixture onto the tortilla.  Roll and place in 9x13 baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat until all tortillas are filled.  Pour remaining sauce on top of enchiladas and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Add optional toppings and serve. I topped with green onions, cilantro, vegan sour cream, avocado,
 and diced olives.
I served this over cooked greens (kale, spinach and shredded cabbage),  with baked veggies and corn on the cob, as a side. 

Very good...will definitely make these again! 

Orange Pan-glazed Tempeh-101

1 C freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
1 T freshly grated ginger
2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1 1/2 T mirin
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra firm tofu)
2 T olive oil
1/2 lime
handful of cilantro leaves

Put the orange juice in a small bowl.  Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp.  Add the tamari, mirin and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic.  Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin, bite size pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.  *I like to bring some water to a boil, add tempeh and boil for about 15 minutes, before using in recipes.  This will help whatever you are cooking it with, to take on the flavor better and also to lift some of the bitter flavor out of it.*

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath.  Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden.  Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a thick glaze.  Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tempeh from time to time. 

Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top.

I served this over cooked greens (kale, spinach and shredded cabbage), with baked squash, baked veggies, and corn on the cob,
as a side.  Loved it!

Pistachio-Crusted Maple Dijon Tofu-recipe by Vegangela/ Shared with Angela's consent.


1 block firm tofu, sliced into 6 equal pieces
1/4 C maple syrup
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 C shelled pistachios

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
Place tofu on foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  In a bowl, stir maple syrup with curry powder and Dijon.  Coarsely chop pistachios and set them aside.  Spoon half of maple mixture over tofu, then sprinkle with pistachios.  Spoon remaining maple mixture over nuts. Bake in center of preheated oven for 15 minutes. 
I served this with grilled asparagus, grilled Portobello mushrooms, fruit and green beans.  *See green bean recipe below*
So easy and tasted great!

Herbed Green Beans with food

1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and sliced
water for boiling
1/4 tsp salt
3 T margarine (I used non-stick spray instead)
1 1/4 C cranberries (I used about a cup of dried cranberries)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 T marjoram
salt and pepper to taste


Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1/4 tsp of salt.  Add the green beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Remove the beans and rinse under cold water.  Melt the margarine over medium low heat and add the beans.  Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy your green beans with fresh parsley and marjoram.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lori and Eddie go Vegan!

About a month ago, my husband and myself decided to try a Vegan way of eating.  I can see the eyebrows raising and the private messages flying!! ;)   Eddie had already cut all dairy out, about 6 months ago, thinking it may help his allergies, which it has.  We had kind of lost our taste for meat and noticed the last couple times that we had chicken, it just didn't taste very good.  After watching a couple of very good documentaries, "Forks over Knives" and "Vegucated", I decided to cut dairy, animal products and animal byproducts. As many of you know, I love coffee.  No, I really LOVE coffee!  The thing I was most worried about was finding a non-dairy creamer that I would like and could still enjoy my coffee...ha ha!  I found that Silk, who makes the almond milk that we use, also makes a coffee creamer.  It took a couple times for me to get used to it, but I really like it now.  Just a few days after cutting dairy out of my diet, I no longer had to use OTC products that I needed for some bowel issues.  This tells me that I may have had a slight allergy to lactose. 
The question we get asked the most are, "How do you get enough protein?"
People don't realize how much protein there is in vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.  One cup of broccoli has 2.62 grams of protein.  One cup of mushrooms has 2.03 grams of protein, while a cup of asparagus has 4 grams of protein!  One cup of spinach has 5.35 grams of protein.  We have always eaten huge amounts of vegetables and now along with beans, tofu and other soy options, such as seitan and tempeh, we are getting plenty of protein.  One thing to remember in regards to protein, is that plant based proteins lower cholesterol, while animal proteins raise cholesterol. 
"A plant-based diet is a very simple one.  It consists of avoiding anything that came from a source that ever had a face or a mother.  In other words, avoiding all meat (including fish), dairy and eggs.  What you do eat are the very best foods that Mother Nature offers: grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.  Often relegated to side dishes by a meat-devouring American public, these foods actually create the best-tasting and most nutritious meals possible."  Quoted from Dr. John McDougall/ Forks over Knives.
We feel good and I have to say, slightly empowered!  I'm having fun trying out new recipes.  Thank goodness most of them have tasted really good.   I used to think that Vegans were weird...I guess I'm one of those weirdos now...ha! 

Thai Seitan Stir-Fry/ 101 Best Vegan Foods Cookbook

1 package (8 ounces) seitan, drained and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded (I omitted this)
3 cloves garlic
1 piece (1 inch) peeled fresh ginger (I used a tsp of ground ginger)
1/3 C soy sauce
1/4 C packed brown sugar (I used Stevia instead)
1/4 C lime juice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
3 T vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 C broccoli florets
4 C lightly packed baby spinach
1/4 C shredded fresh basil
3 cups hot cooked rice
3 green onions, sliced diagonally
1/4 C peanuts, chopped
*I also added a small can of sliced water chesnuts

Place seitan in a medium bowl.  Combine jalapeno, garlic and ginger in food processor.  Process until finely chopped.  Add soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, red pepper flakes and salt.  Process until blended.  Pour mixture over seitan, stir to coat.  Marinate at least 20 minutes at room temperature. 
Heat oil in wok or large skillet over high heat.  Add onion, bell peppers and broccoli.  Stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and seitan is hot.  Add spinach in two additions, stirring until beginning to wilt after each addition.
Stir in basil just before serving.  Serve over rice.  Sprinkle with green onions and peanuts.

Loved this!  I served it with a side of grilled asparagus and Portobello mushrooms. 

Polenta with Rice and Beans-Forks over Knives Cookbook

Polenta Crust:
2 C boiling water
3/4 C polenta (also known as corn grits)
1/4 tsp salt

1 C low-sodium, no-fat vegetable broth
One 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small diced onion
1 C short grain brown rice
1 T chile powder
One 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium salsa
1 avocado, mashed
4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp garlic powder

For the polenta crust: Bring the water to a boil and whisk in the polenta and salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, for 10-12 minutes until the polenta pulls away from the side of the pan.  Dump the cooked polenta into a large pie dish (I used an 8x10 pyrex dish) and spread evenly over the bottom and sides of the dish.  Set aside.
Combine the broth, tomatoes, onion, rice, and chile powder in a rice cooker or saucepan.  Cook until all liquid is gone and the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
After the rice is cooked, stir in the black beans.  Spread the rice-bean mixture evenly on
the polenta crust.  Spread salsa over the rice-bean mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the avocado in a small bowl with the lemon juice and garlic powder.  Slice the pie, and put a dollop of avocado mixture (about a tablespoon) on each slice before serving.

This was really good and easy to make.  I added a few more black beans on top before serving.  I served this with baked veggies, baked sweet potatoes topped with Tofutti sour cream, grilled asparagus and grilled Portobello mushrooms.

Strawberry Tarragon Dressing-Forks over Knives Cookbook


4 C strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1 medium shallot, minced  (I use minced onions instead and just sprinkle some into the blender.)
1/2 C balsamic vinegar
1/2 t freshly ground white pepper
1/2 cup agave nectar or brown rice syrup
1 T dried tarragon
1 t salt

Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.

This dressing is delicious!  I tried a new variation yesterday and used 2 C of strawberries and 1 large peeled orange.  It's also good on baked veggies.

Product Watch

Corn grits, also known as Polenta.

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Seitan- Used in stir fry.

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Tofutti Sour Cream

Product Watch

Silk/non-dairy Coffee Creamer