Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Soy Chorizo Corn Chowder

My niece posted a conventional Chorizo Corn Chowder recipe on her Facebook page, and I knew this would make a truly great vegan offering since I could use the vegan (and soy-based) Soyrizo product. I was right...this is really good. (Thank you Anne!) I've tweaked her recipe a little for what I had on hand. I've nearly doubled the recipe since you will not be able to stop eating it and it's perfect for one package of the Soyrizo.

1-2 Tbs olive oil (or water for lower fat)
1 red pepper (I didn't use a pepper, but 1/4 tsp chili powder)
1-2 onions chopped
Salt and pepper

2 bags frozen corn (or equal amounts fresh)

6-8 cups veggie stock
1 package Soyrizo (vegan soy chorizo)
3-4 potatoes, cubed

1 cup milk alternative

Optional toppings:
Chopped Cilantro
Vegan margarine
Tortilla Chips
Vegan sour cream

  • Saute onion and red pepper (if using) with salt, pepper and olive oil. Add veggie stock, one bag of the corn, Soyrizo and potatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Scoop out about half the potatoes with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  • Use an immersion blender or transfer carefully to a blender and blend to desired chunkiness.
  • Add the last bag of corn, the potatoes you took out and the milk. 
  • Simmer all until warm, but do not boil.
  • Top with desired toppings or set several out for your guests to choose. This would also be great with a nice crusty bread or a corn bread.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
(Sorry for being inexact--I never really measure!)

1/4 to 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup to 1 cup milk alternative
1/2- 1 fresh orange
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/4- 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie spice (or combo of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
1 Tbs agave nectar (a couple of dates would work, too)

1/2 tsp vanilla
Blend and enjoy! 

Grate a little nutmeg on top if you like. 
Fancy version: vegan whipped cream on top!

You can make this with almost any mixture of fruits. I happened to have mango on hand and thought the orange would really brighten it. I've also made it with just pumpkin and milk.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple iSmoothie

The Apple iSmoothie in recognition of Steve Jobs' passing. (Serves 1)

8 oz soy milk
1 McIntosh apple (cut up)
1/2 banana
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 TBS agave nectar
 a few ice cubes

Mix in blender until smooth.

Like his products: this iSmoothie is complex in its construction, elegant in its design and very user-friendly. It works on many platforms (meaning you can use soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, etc.) but you may crash if you use cow's milk. And someone will try to copy it, make an inferior product and sell it to the masses.

That's a PC Smoothie (Pretty Cruddy).

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Doughnuts, Veganism, Alicia Silverstone and Das Racist

Ok, this is just too weird.

I'm not too sure where to start this story.

I'll begin in Portland where I was attending the first ever Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference last week.

On one of our out-of-the-hotel vegan foodie haunts to Voodoo Doughnuts (a whole tray of vegan doughnuts to choose from ... even "creme" filled ... I know, heaven, if there is such a place, is filled with cruelty-free vegan creme filled doughnuts, vegan corn-dogs and just-deep-dried tater tots and comfortable pleather shoes), our family heard a tune being blasted in the glowing pink-walled just-a-touch-too-hot (is that a velvet portrait of Kenny Rogers on the wall?) doughnut shop. The lyrics were simple. The metre was rap.

"I'm at the Pizza Hut. I'm at the Taco Bell. I'm at the cah-h-hm-bination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell."
"I'm at the Pizza Hut. I'm at the Taco Bell. I'm at the cah-h-hm-bination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell."

Now sing that again. And again. And again. And for about 5 more minutes. You got it. You got it. You got it.

I'll be the first to admit that I hate rap. (I hate to wrap, too. Presents that is. Is there a connection?)

But this song struck a chord. Granted, just one chord. Over and over.

My darling husband and darling daughter were with me getting doughnuts. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are their two favorite places in the whole darn world. Yes, you can get vegan things (hold the cheese) at TB, but PH, well, not so vegan. We're waiting in line with our newly found vegan-foodie friends Cheryl and Kathy (vegan cookbook author) at this hot and stuffy hipster* joint (go look it up, I had to)  when I tell my family to "Listen to this song, I think it will have special meaning for you!"

Oh yeah, new family favorite.

The next day involves a twelve hour drive home to Sonoma County and some googling on my iPhone to learn about the song and its creators, the duo "Das Racist." Silly me, I thought they might be German. (I took two years of German in college.) Come to find out, it's slang for "That's Racist." Pronounced "Dass" not "Dahss." Which is really quite close to how it might be said in German, "Das ist racist." I have no idea how to say "racist" is German.

Fast forward to tonight, when we are just too bored to watch TV anymore (The Soup=Funny. Chelsea Lately=Chuckles, but Tacky. OMG, the Kardashians are on=Just Tacky. Let's google Pizza Hut/Taco Bell again.

We watch some pretty funny YouTube takes on PH/TB, but then I read that Das Racist is coming out with a real album on iTunes on September 13 and one cut has already been released. Once on iTunes, I see that there are a few free podcasts available with interviews.

One such podcast not only includes Das Racist, but an interview with actress and vegan cookbook author Alicia Silverstone. I only happen to write a blog, The Vegan Reduction Project, that includes her book. (APM: The Dinner Party Download. Episode 46.) How is it that the Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell song is so linked to veganism?

I like Pizza Hut. I like Taco Bell. I like Veganism. I like Voodoo Doughnuts. I like Alicia Silverstone.  I like a combination of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and Veganism and Voodoo Doughnuts and Alicia Silverstone.

I like Pizza Hut. I like Taco Bell. I like Veganism. I like Voodoo Doughnuts. I like Alicia Silverstone.  I like a combination of Pizza Hut and Taco Bell and Veganism and Voodoo Doughnuts and Alicia Silverstone. 

*The whole hipster thing..I just have to say, even though I turned 50 this year, I was doing hipster stuff before I knew what is was. Ironic, huh? And THAT in itself is the definition of hipster. I served PBR  (that's Pabst Blue Ribbon in hipstese) at my birthday party this year, while dressed in my best 50's dress/crinoline/short poofed hair. I've been a vegan for almost two decades (when these 20-something vegan hipsters were still being bottle-fed cow-dairy formula), and I own two totally retro fondue pots. Which I serve vegan cheese fondue in. AND I've been blogging since BEFORE the term "blogging." OMG, I'm an old hipster. Now I know how all those old hippies feel out here in West County. 

"Turn on, tune in, drop out." Oh, what hipster said THAT?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Home-Grown Smoker

We walked over to the Home-Grown Smoker food cart in downtown Portland (just 2 blocks from our hotel) which was staying open late just for conference attendees. After wolfing down a cupcake and a couple of glasses of champagne (and some "Cheese" and crackers) at the opening reception, I managed to have a few bites of these. All sooo good, but this poor tummy is full! Forgive the quality of the photos–I used my iPhone.

SloMoFoMo (Soy Curls in BBQ + Sweet Potato Fries)

 Chili-Mac (enough for two people, by the way!)

Coconut battered deep-fried oreos. You heard me.
And chocolate dipping sauce.
Yeah, it was way over the top, but I had to, really didn't I?
It's not like I live in Portland...
You should know you get 4 with an order. 
Two somehow disappeared before I could photograph them.

Vida Vegan Con Opening Reception

The Vida Vegan Con opening reception: champagne, cupcakes, Heidi-Ho Cheese and crackers.

Gluten-free cupcakes...


Vida Vegan Con

We're here! Well, we've been here in Portland for a few days now, eating our way through all the vegan and veg-friendly restaurants and bakeries. I knew I'd be gaining weight on this trip, so at least I feel like it's worth it! (Vegan: corn dogs, soft serve, lasagna, cornbread, pizza, doughnuts, pastries...the list goes on and on.) I promise to upload photos, hopefully tonight. I've been taking tons, just having either Wi-Fi issues or "lap-top brain is full" issues.

Come eat or spend money at these places if you are in Portland or visit their websites:

The first three are at the "vegan mini-mall"
Herbivore: 1211 SE Stark, Portland, OR 97214 • 503-281-TOFU (8638)
Food Fight Grocery: 1217 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR  97214 | Phone: 503-233-3910
Sweetpea Baking Company: 1205 SE Stark Street, Portland, OR 97214 (503) 477-5916

Around the corner and down the street:
The Hungry Tiger Too:  207 SE 12th St. Portland (Vegan Corn Dogs!)

On Alberta Street, a ways away, but so worth it:
Back to Eden Bakery : 2217 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR 97211
Pie Footwear:  2916 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR 97211
Bella Faccia Pizzeria2934 NE Alberta St. Portland, OR 97211

Friday, July 29, 2011

Choriza Pizza

Vegan. Gluten-free. Yummy. Easy. One pan.

Cornbread base
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup gluten-free flour mix + 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
(or 1 cup regular flour)
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup vegan milk
1 egg replacer
1/4 cup vegetable oil  (or 1/8 cup oil + 1/8 cup apple sauce)

1/2 cup or more corn kernels (can be fresh or frozen)
1 package Soy Chorizo
1/2 cup or more of vegan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients of cornbread base. Combine wet ingredients. Mix the two. Pour in lightly greased 8x8 pan.

Spread corn on top. Spread soy chorizo on top of corn. Layer cheese on top of chorizo.

Bake for 20-30 minutes. Let sit a few minutes before serving.

You can make this easier to make if you use a packaged vegan or gluten-free cornbread mix, but this one is pretty easy as it is.

 I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free Flour Mix and Daiya Cheddar Cheese.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Vegan Gourmet Tostada Part II

 Another easy tostada to make:

Chive-talkin' Tostada

Makes one

Corn tortilla
Tomato Sauce (I used my own Green"Red" Sauce)
Daiya Cheese (mozzarella)
Chopped walnuts
Chopped fresh chives
Chopped fresh basil
Cut up cooked yam or sweet potato

Layer on the ingredients. Putting the cheese on last helps it all to stay on the tortilla. Toast in oven or toaster oven until cheese is melted.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins

This recipe is based on the Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes found in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I made it gluten-free and substituted what I had on hand. Here's my version.

Pumpkin Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins

1 cup of canned Pumpkin Pie Mix
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
(I used 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Flour Mix and 1/2 cup Millet flour)
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (not needed if using regular flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup sugar

Makes 12 muffins
Preheat oven to 350 F
  1. Mix Pumpkin, oil, sugar, milk and vanilla. 
  2. I sifted in the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Stir together with a  fork, but do not over-stir.
  4. Fold in chips and nuts.
  5. Fill muffin cups two-thirds full.
  6. I sprinkled a little sugar and chopped nuts on top.
  7. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Check with toothpick for doneness.
With these ingredients, the muffins were very moist and took forever to bake, easily 5-10 minutes longer than the recipe suggested. I made regular size muffins as well as mini-muffins, which take about half the time to bake. Don't over-fill, especially the mini muffins. They are a little crumbly and a big "muffin-top" doesn't hold up well. But eating your mistakes in this regard is not bad thing!

Next time I will reduce the oil and add some apple sauce instead.

The original recipe called for plain canned pumpkin, but all I had on hand was a canned pumpkin pie mix so I reduced the original sugar from 1 cup to 2/3. (I think I could reduce it further, either way.) And I left out the 1/2 tsp cinnamon. The original recipe also called for regular wheat flour, but I needed to make it gluten free so I used what I had left and added the xanthan gum. I also reduced the chocolate chips from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.

My family (including the finicky 9 year-old) loved these muffins as did my organizer friends at my meeting. I'm making these again very soon!

It's truly a toss-up whether these are muffins or cupcakes. I opted not to icing them, but just sprinkle some sugar and chopped nuts.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chavomondo Milkshake

Raw version, serves 1-2
1/4 cup almonds (soak first if you like)
7 oz water
1 avocado
1-2 Tbs raw cacao powder
1-2 Tbs raw agave nectar
2-3 ice cubes

Optional ideas

Soak almonds first in water for an hour, if you like, then drain. Place in blender with 7 oz water and blend until smooth. You can now choose to strain out the almond pulp if you want a very smooth milkshake or keep it in for more fiber and protein.

Add avocado, cacao and agave nectar, blend until very smooth.

Ahh...chocolatey raw goodness! (This doesn't have to be raw. You could use any prepared non-dairy milk, regular cocoa powder and any kind of sweetener. I can see this being very tasty with coconut milk, a little mint at the holidays or even cinnamon and nutmeg.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Miner's Lettuce Salad with Orange-Sesame Vinaigrette

Miner's Lettuce (AKA Indian Lettuce), is a wild lettuce found here in California and in my back yard. It is totally edible and is even showing up on the menus of shi-shi restaurants around town. (See below for info on where you can buy seeds to grow your own. Mine reseeds itself, although we have reduced its habitat in our yard since we have landscaped!)

Isa's Chandra Moskowitz's Orange Sesame Vinaigrette couldn't have been easier to make (I used orange juice instead of fresh squeezed oranges and had some lovely fig vinegar instead of red wine vinegar.) I normally don't like vinaigrettes, but this one doesn't have too much vinegar and the orange juice really sweetens it. The toasted sesame oil really makes the flavor pop.

Of course if you can't get your hands on Miner's Lettuce, you can use any kind of lettuce you like!

The salad is my recipe:

Miner's Lettuce Salad

2 cups Miner's Lettuce
2 cups chopped Romaine
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (pine nuts or sliced almonds would be fab)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (dried cherries would be good)

1/2 Recipe of Orange Vinaigrette

Indian Lettuce/Miner's Lettuce
Claytonia perfoliata

You can buy a packet of Miner's Lettuce Seeds from Larner's Seeds in Bolinas, CA for only $5.50. Be sure to check out all the other native plants and flowers they have seeds for!

Interesting Native American salad trivia: Native Americans would eat this green like a salad as we do today. Instead of a fancy dressing from a bottle or recipe from a cookbook, they would just let ants crawl all over their greens. From the Almaden Wildflowers website:

"Lettuce? Yes, you can eat it--raw in salads or boiled like spinach. Early settlers and Indians collected and ate it. It is said that California Indians used to place it by red ant hills to pick up formic acid as a dressing. I would be worried that the ants would eat it. I rarely pass the young plants without pulling off a leaf to nibble on. It tastes a lot like raw spinach to me, not as delicate as lettuce. It has none of the peppery kick of the the somewhat similar garden plant (weed?) nasturtium Tropaeolum majus, which is also in the Purslane family."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bell Pepper Soup Diane

The original recipe for this raw soup if from Kristen Suzanne's Easy Raw Vegan Soups. I used yellow bell peppers for this recipe. The bottom picture is the same recipe with an avocado added. I liked both of them, but of course it was much more smooth and rich with the avocado. I would call this "Yellow Gazpacho."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pad Thai

This was my first attempt at Pad Thai at home. It came out pretty well, I think. I enjoyed it and it wasn't that hard. You just have to remember to buy the sprouts and use them before they go bad!

Recipe coming soon!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Avocado Smoothie

Makes 2 smoothies
1 avocado
1 cup non-dairy beverage
1-2 tbs agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla

Whir in a blender. Drink up! Oh...the smoothness...the richness!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chocolate Cranberry Blossoms

This is a recipe from the blog of Meghan Telpner, Making Love in the Kitchen. It was fairly easy to make, although I have some suggestions after trying this myself. (Just melt the coconut oil and mix with chocolate. Take it off the heat very quickly. Mine cooked too long and got fudge-y.) This was my first attempt at a confection like this.

You can visit her blog at this link to see the recipe. (And find all the other goodness she has there!)


Changes I made:
  • I used agave syrup instead of honey.
  • Be sure to "just" melt the coconut oil and mix in the chocolate, do not overcook, it will become very thick and not pourable.
  • I was only able to make six Blossoms, but maybe I could have made the 12 if the chocolate had stayed pourable. It still worked and they tasted great.
This is a perfect recipe to try if you are hoping to impress a vegan. We so rarely get to eat desserts that we haven't made ourselves because they contain dairy, egg or other animal products. This is even gluten-free. I think you could even use all raw ingredients and melt the coconut oil in a bath of hot water to keep it "legally" raw.

The green you see here is a chocolate mint I have growing in my yard. I didn't use it in this recipe, but thought it would make such a pretty addition.

Tornado Soup

It's called Tornado Soup because I made this on the day a tornado touched down in Santa Rosa, about 10 miles from where I live. And because you whir it up like a tornado in a blender. And it's so fast to make!

Makes 2-3 Servings
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup water or non-dairy milk of choice
2 tbs powdered veggie stock
1 tsp salt
2 green onion, chopped (One for the recipe, one for garnish)
1 cup spinach
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 Tbs dried basil
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut cream or milk
few drops of hot sauce
1 Tbs soy sauce

Just put all these ingredients in a blender (a Vita-Mix works really well, of course) and blend until smooth. This could easily be a raw recipe using fresh ingredients. I heated mine in the microwave by the cup before I ate it. You can also heat the whole recipe on the stove or whir for 5 minutes in a Vita-Mix to get it hot.

You could also make this in a pot on the stove and use a hand blender to get it creamy.

This is a nice cup of zippy soup to warm you on a cold, tornado-y day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Green Potato Soup

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day! I don't even measure or use a recipe for this soup anymore. Just throw stuff in–it's bound to turn out great!

(Based on two recipes from the McDougall Cookbooks.)

Green Potato Soup

1 onion
2 tsp oil or water
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups of water + dry veggie stock or
6 cups veggie stock
5-6 potatoes. cut into cubes
couple big handfuls of spinach

a little salt
a little soy sauce
a little vegan margarine when served
wild sorrel for garnish

Saute the onion in water or a little oil. Add the garlic, saute a little longer. Add the water+veggie stock  or veggie stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add spinach and cook a few minutes. Use a hand blender to blend the soup in the pot or transfer (carefully) to a blender and whir it up! If you like a few chunks, take some potatoes out before you blend and put back in after you have blended. Also great without the spinach, but not as fun for St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mixed-Berry Smoothie

Serves 3
8 oz soy or other non-dairy milk
1 banana
1 cup mixed frozen berries
2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs agave nectar
2 tsp maca powder
1 Tbs ground flaxseed
1 Tbs cocoa powder
Blend all ingredients. Serve.

TTS–Tofu Tossed Salad

Tofu Tossed Salad

Cubed Smoked Tofu
4 cups Romaine or combo of lettuces
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup yeast flakes

Dressing of choice
(I used a bottled Sesame Ginger)

Toss it!
Pour on a bit of dressing!
Toss again!

Friday, March 4, 2011


I hadn't made a stir-fry in a long time and this one came together so nicely! I already had some rice made and had plenty of veggies in the fridge. This is a throw-it-together dinner if there ever was one.

Cooked Brown Rice
Firm tofu (cut in triangles)
Sugar snap peas
sliced carrots
chopped or torn kale
olive oil
coconut oil
sesame seed oil
soy sauce
ginger powder
garlic powder

I browned the tofu in some soy sauce (I use reduced sodium wheat-free Tamari) with a little olive oil. I could have used some coconut oil here for more flavor. Set it aside. Then in true stir-fry fashion, I fried the carrots first (longest to cook), then the snap peas, then the kale, all the while throwing some garlic or ginger powder on top, along with a little sesame oil. (I made this dish without the usual gresh garlic and onions since a family member is having a sensitivity.) Once the kale had reduced volume, I threw in the rice. It was sticking to the pan a little and that's when I realized I could be using some coconut oil for a real zip. Get it all heated through, put the tofu back in, heat a little longer and serve.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference

I'm goin' to Portland!

All you veganites out there...
are you going?

Vida Vegan Bloggers Conference
August 26-29, 2011
Portland, Oregon