Delicious & healthy vegetarian/vegan dishes with an international flair!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Cookies

I haven't made cookies in YEARS!! Since I began a high-raw diet high in fresh fruit, I naturally indulge less in baked sweets. But I do enjoy them from time to time. Especially making them and sharing with friends.

I was craving cinnamon so googled "whole wheat cinnamon cookies" since I intentionally don't have any white flour in the house. I found this recipe. I modified it to make it even healthier and with Marga's help, baked some fab cookies!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

1 c. muscovado sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/2 cup softened coconut oil
3 T. milk
1 T. orange rind
1 t. vanilla extract
1 egg, beaten
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 T. organic white sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the muscovado sugar, baking powder, salt, soda, nutmeg, coco oil, milk, orange rind, vanilla, and egg. Blend well. Stir in flour. Cover and chill for 30 to 60 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with floured cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart.

Combine the 2 T. sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over cookies.

Bake cookies at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Let stand one minute. Remove from cookie sheets and cool.

Makes about 36 cookies.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Vegan Banana Nut Muffins

I got a real hankerin for some warm & sweet comfort food during these cool December days. As luck would have it, I came across this recipe yesterday during one of my frequent recipe browsing jaunts: Vegan Banana Muffins

It seemed fairly simple, and I had the ingredients on hand. Of course, I tweaked the recipe :P

Vegan Banana Nut Muffins

4 ripe bananas

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. coconut oil

1 t. vanilla extract

1 t. cinnamon

3/4 t. cardamom powder

1/8 t. clove powder

3/4 t. salt

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1/2 c. chopped nuts

1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease or place liners in tin for 12 muffins.

Mash bananas in a bowl.

Add oil, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, & cardamon and mix.

Sift flours, baking powder, and baking soda together. Add to the banana mixture. Mix well.

Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until muffins are done and slightly browned on top.

In my opinion, they came out really nice. Soft, cake-like texture with the spices adding a zippy flavor. The nuts and choco chips gave it a satisfying crunch. YUM!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Italian: Pasta w/ faux Alfredo Sauce

I am not a vegan although I do try to keep my consumption of dairy to a minimum. My sister, who is a vegan, recently raved about a vegan alfredo pasta sauce she had that was made with cauliflower. I googled "cauliflower pasta sauce" and found a simple recipe that I had to try.

Cauliflower Pasta Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Josh Lerner at

1 head cauliflower, broken into large pieces
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1-2 cups vegetable stock
1-2 T. ghee or butter or vegan margarine
1-2 T. olive oil

freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/4 c. chopped parsley

1/4 c. breadcrumbs

Steam the cauliflower pieces for 10 minutes, or until soft.

Heat the oil and ghee in a frying pan and saute the onion for 2 min.

Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Add the salt and pepper, stir, and saute for another minute.

Remove from the heat.

Blend the cauliflower, onion and garlic mixture, and 1 cup vegetable stock in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Add more vegetable stock and continue blending until the sauce is the desired consistency.

Serve over Italian pasta - highly textured pasta with lots of nooks and crannies works best, to catch the sauce. Top with breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley.


I, of course, added sauteed veggies (spinach, crimini mushrooms, & red bell pepper) to this dish as well. It was super delish!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Crockpot Veggie Lentil Soup

Soups are the perfect fall meal. And super easy made in a crockpot. This veggie lentil soup is perfect served with whole grain bread.

Veggie Lentil Soup

1 cup dry lentils

4 cups water or veggie broth

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

2-3 baby potatoes, cut into 1" chunks

1 carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/4 t. ground oregano

1/2 t. ground thyme

1 t. dried basil

1/2 t. cumin

1 bay leaf

1/8 t. black pepper

2 t. Spike

Juice of 1 small lime

Add the lentils, water or broth, spices, onion, and garlic to the crockpot and cook on low overnight.

The next morning, add the crushed tomatoes, potatoes, celery, & carrot. Slow cook for another 5-6 hours.

Stir in the lime juice before serving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Italian: Pita pizzas

Pizza is an all time, all around favorite. Everyone who eats with me are always happy to have a pizza night. I won't deny it, I get hit with the pizza cravings every month or so and homemade pizzas are the way I get my fix. I like to make 'em from scratch- from the whole wheat crust to the herb-rich tomato sauce. And in a future post, I'll share this time-consuming endeavor. Sometimes, though, I just want a quick fix and skip the homemade crust altogether. Instead, I use locally made whole grain pita bread for the crust and make a shortcut pizza sauce.

Shortcut (No-Cook) Pizza Sauce (for 3-4 pita pizzas)
16 oz can of tomato puree
1 t. garlic powder
1 t. onion powder
1 t. Italian seasoning
1/2 t. dried basil
1/8 t. black pepper
1/8 t. dried red chili flakes
1/2 t. Spike all-purpose seasoning

Blend all ingredients, pour into a sealable container, and store in the fridge overnight to let the flavors marry.

Pita Pizzas
3-4 pita rounds (lightly brushed with olive oil on one side)
1 batch Shortcut Pizza Sauce
2-3 c. grated mozzarella cheese
2-3 c. toppings of your choice (I used portabella mushrooms, purple onion, red bell pepper, and black olives)

Place the pita breads on a pizza pan with the oiled side down.
Spread the sauce on each round.

Sprinkle on a thin layer of cheese.
Sprinkle on the toppings.
Sprinkle on a top layer of cheese.

Bake for 15-20 min (depending on how crispy you like your crust)

Cut & enjoy!! I love to top my pizzas with jalapeƱos.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mediterranean: Goat cheese stuffed mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite ways to enjoy mushrooms. They are also a great hit at parties. If you've been to a party at my house, you've probably tried 'em. Over the years, I have experimented with the stuffing, with cheese and without. I have found that a filling with soft goat cheese works the best.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

12 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed & set aside

1/4 c. bread crumbs

1/4 c. goat cheese

6 sundried tomatoes soaked in oil

2 T. chopped toasted almonds

1/4 c. basil leaves

1 small red bell pepper, cored, deseeded, & roughly chopped

1/8 t. black pepper

1/2 t. Spike seasoning or 1/4 t. salt

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8x11 baking dish with PAM cooking spray.

Blend all ingredients, except mushroom caps, in a food processor. Don't over process, you want it a bit chunky.

Brush the mushroom caps with olive oil. Stuff each cap with a generous amount of the goat cheese mixture. Place in baking dish.

Bake uncovered for 20 min.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Asian: Stir-fried chard w/soba & tofu

This meal has become a favorite of mine likely. Deliciously simple and loaded with nutritious greens and fresh ginger.

Stir-fried chard w/ soba noodles & tofu
  • 1 t. toasted sesame oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, minced
  • 3-4 dashes of black rice or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into slivers
  • 1 head of chard, chopped into thin ribbons
  • 2 servings of soba noodles, pre-cooked and tossed with a splash of sesame oil
  • 2 servings of firm tofu, cubed & stir-fried in sesame oil until browned
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onion
  • 2 T. toasted sesame seeds
  • fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Asian hot sauce of your choice
In a wok or large skillet, heat sesame oil over high heat.
Add garlic & ginger, stir fry for about a min adding a dash of vinegar when it begins to stick.
Add the carrot and a couple of dashes of vinegar, stir-fry for 2 min.
Next add the chard and a few splashes of tamari. Cook for 1-2 min.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the pre-cooked tofu & soba noodles. Splash in a little more tamari.
Toss everything together and stir until the noodles are well heated.
Serve hot. Garnish with green onion, sesame seeds, a touch of lime juice, and hot sauce for an extra kick!