Archive for June, 2010


It’s summertime and people are out grilling and gathering around tables laden with food.  Problem is, there usually aren’t many vegan options.  These veggie dawgs will be a hit at your next gathering and are, as always, entirely vegan.  I had a few goals when I set out to make these veggie dawgs:  First, they had to contain some actual vegetables in order for me to call them a bonafide “veggie”dawg.  Second, I wanted to improve the texture and flavor of regular seitan dogs and create one that was less “bready” in nature.    Third, as always, I wanted them to be more nutritious.  I believe I suceeded on all three counts and hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.


Veggie Dawgs

Dry Ingredients:

1¼ cups vital wheat gluten

¼ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup garfava flour

½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped  [400°F for 10 minutes on a sheet pan]

1 T Bill’s Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

1 T dry mustard

1T sweet paprika

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

½ tsp dried sage

¼ tsp sea salt

⅛ tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

½  block silken tofu

½ cup finely grated carrot

1 onion, sliced

½ cup cooked garbanzo beans

½ cup amber beer

1 ½ T walnut oil

1 T tamari

1 T vegan Worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced


Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a pan and brown the onions over medium heat.

Add the following to a food processor and blend until homogenous:  tofu, browned onions, walnuts, carrot, garbanzo beans, garlic, tamari, Worcestershire and beer.

In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk together well.

Mix the wet into the dry and knead with your hands until fully homogenous.  Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized portions.  Place 8 foot-long pieces of aluminum foil on a surface in a stack with the short edge facing you.  Place one dough portion along the bottom edge, a few inches from the end, and mold into a sausage shape that is bun-length long [@ 5 inches].  Using the foil, roll the dough into a cylindrical tube and twist the ends once completely rolled to form the tubular sausage shape.  Repeat the process for the remaining dough portions.

Steam in a steamer basket for 30 minutes.  Let the veggie dawgs cool and then either reheat in a pan or on a grill.






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Cherry Barbecue Tempeh with Long Beans and Carrots

There is something elementally satisfying about a great barbecue sauce.  This dish will be a favorite, for both its ease and its flavors.  Plus, it’s rich in tart cherry juice that is so good for you and helps to relieve your aches and pains after a long day.


One package tempeh, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 bunch Chinese long beans, snapped into bite-sized pieces.  [If you cannot find long beans, green beans would work perfectly as well.]

4 carrots, cut into a thick julienne

Sesame seeds, for garnish

Sliced almonds, for garnish

For the Sauce:

1 cup hoisin sauce

2 cups tart cherry juice

¼ cup white miso

¼ cup sake

¼ cup double-concentrated tomato paste

¼ cup tamari sauce

2 tsp chili garlic sauce

1 tsp sesame oil


Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan and bring to a low simmer.  Add the tempeh and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.

Steam the green beans and carrots for 5 minutes until the vegetables are cooked yet still retain a bite.  Transfer to a large bowl and combine with the sauce and tempeh.  Mix gently.  Garnish with sesame seeds and almonds.  Serve over brown rice or udon.

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This was an entirely decadent endeavor from start to finish and an event so rare, I cannot remember the last time I made something so indulgent.  Our friend Marti came over for dinner the other night and I decided that she would be the perfect specimen upon which to test a wicked chocolate dessert.  She loved it,  so it went into the recipe vault and earned a post here. 


Chocolate Cheesecake with a Citrus-Nut Crust


2 cups non-dairy creamer [I used So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer]

1 cup plain non-dairy yogurt [I used Nancy’s Soy Yogurt]

1 cup simple syrup* [1:1 sugar to water dissolved over heat], or agave nectar

1 recipe homemade tofu at curd stage [which is what I used for this] or 2 blocks firm regular tofu

1 ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder [I dig Dagoba], sifted

1 tsp espresso powder

2 oz organic cornstarch [@8 tablespoons], sifted

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup mixed raw nuts, ground [I used ½ cup cashews and ¼ cup each sunflower seeds and hazelnuts]

zest of one orange

[*Agave syrup is my go-to sweetener of choice and I would have used it in this recipe except that my friend is allergic to agave.  For this reason, I used a simple syrup solution as a substitute.  If you do choose to use agave rather than the simple syrup, you may want to begin with adding half a cup and tasting for sweetness.  If it is sweet enough, simply add half a cup of creamer to make up the volume lost.  If you prefer it sweeter, then add the full cup of agave.]


Place nuts and orange zest into a food processor and grind until crumbly.  Add a wee bit of agave or other liquid sweetener at a time and pulse until the nuts hold together.  Press the nuts into the bottom of a sprayed [I use an aerosolized coconut oil] 8-inch springform pan.  Place in the refrigerator.

Crumble the tofu and place in a cheesecloth.  Squeeze until all the liquid is removed.  Transfer to a blender and add the yogurt, simple syrup or agave, vanilla extract and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Set aside.

Add creamer to a pan on the stove and slowly add the cornstarch and cocoa powder while the creamer is cold, whisking until it is fully incorporated and there are no lumps.  Add the expresso powder.  Heat to a simmer, whisking continuously and making sure to rake the bottom of the pan to bring up any settled layer.  Continue to cook until well thickened.  Transfer to the blender containing the tofu mixture and blend until silky smooth.

Pour the contents of the blender into the springform pan and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to set.  Overnight would be best.

Hazelnut cream


½ cup hazelnuts, soaked for at least an hour in water

½ cup cashews, soaked for at least an hour in water

½ cup non-dairy creamer

simple syrup or agave nectar, to taste

pinch of salt

a couple grates of fresh nutmeg


Drain the nuts and place into a blender.  Add creamer and salt.  Blend until smooth.  Add sweetener to taste and grated nutmeg.

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Teriyaki -Tempeh Fried Rice


4 cups cooked/leftover long grain brown rice

1 package tempeh

½ a pineapple, cored and cut into ½ -inch slices

4 spring onions, chopped

2 baby bok choy

½ cup edamame

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly

2 cups teriyaki sauce

1 T ginger, cut into a small dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

sesame seeds, for garnish


Cut tempeh into bite-sized pieces and marinate overnight in the teriyaki sauce. 

Transfer the tempeh with the teriyaki into a pan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover.

Grill the pineapple until it has sear marks.  Break into bite-sized pieces and set aside.

In a large pan or wok add a bit of coconut oil and stir-fry the spring onions, garlic and ginger until fragrant.  Add the bok choy and bell pepper.  Once they soften slightly, remove and set aside.  Add more coconut oil if necessary and place the pan back on the heat.  Add the rice and edamame and stir-fry until hot.  Add the tempeh with teriyaki and almonds.  Return all the cooked vegetables and pineapple to the pan.  Stir until well mixed.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

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This dish was the result of another farmer’s market excursion.  It’s still early in the season but a produce stall had some lovely baby turnips with greens attached and a neighboring vendor sold us some Walla Walla spring onions.  The mushroom vendor had the most gorgeous fresh and local morel mushrooms that we decided to splurge and indulge ourselves in this treat.  Here in Washington state, organic pears and apples abound and, as you’ve noticed by now,  make a frequent addition to our meals in some form or another. 


Mushroom, Turnip and Pear Ragout


½ lb morel mushrooms

1 bunch baby turnips with greens

2 large Walla Walla spring onions, sliced

1 red pear, quartered and diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

½ cup vegetable broth

Coconut oil


Cut the morel mushrooms in half and lightly dust with a little bit of whole wheat flour [this will create a gravy later on], salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Remove the turnip greens and wash.  Chop the greens and set aside.  Cut the turnips into quarters and set aside.

Add a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil to a hot pan and add the sliced onions.  Sauté until the onions are softened.  Add the garlic and turnips.  Continue to cook over medium heat until the turnips begin to caramelize.  Add the pear.  Once the pear has caramelized, add the morels.  Mix well and turn often to fully expose the mushrooms to the pan.  Once the mushrooms begin to wilt, add the broth and  turnip greens and cover.  Simmer until the broth has thickened into a gravy.  Season with salt and pepper.

This was wonderful served over some soft polenta.

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This sauce is a wonderfully thick, rich and quick version of  Mexican mole that was inspired by a gift.   Recently, a friend of ours went to Santa Fe, New Mexico and upon her return, she gave us some incredible artisanal drinking chocolate that she had purchased from the Kakawa Chocolate House.  [Thank you, Marti!] 

Later, as I was drinking it, all I could think about was how I could  integrate this savory and spicy chocolate into food.  This sauce was the first thing that came to mind because I love the combination of  pumpkin and chocolate.  The only problem was that I had to wait for more to arrive before I could start tinkering about in the kitchen.  You see,  I had to order more since it had all disappeared.  In order to prevent the problem from reoccuring, I ordered two bags; the chocolate is just that good.


Chili Chocolate and Pumpkin Pasta Sauce


1-15 oz can pureed organic pumpkin [I use Farmer’s Market Organic ]

1 cup hot water

4 dried guajillo peppers, deseeded

4 roma tomatoes

1 onion, halved

4 cloves garlic

¼ tsp cumin

2 tsp dried Mexican oregano

2 tsp no chicken bouillon

2 T Walnut oil

1 ball  Kakawa artisanal chocolate [I used the Chili Chocolate Elixir blend for this]

Salt and pepper to taste

Pumpkin seeds, for garnish

Golden raisins, for garnish

1-15 oz can organic black beans, drained and rinsed, for garnish


Place the guajillo chilis in a hot dry pan.  Toast each side, careful not to burn.  Transfer to a bowl and add 1 cup hot water to rehydrate.

To the same hot dry pan, add the onion halves and tomatoes.  Blacken the sides.  Transfer to a blender.  Add the guajillos and soaking liquid, garlic and pumpkin puree.  Process until the sauce is smooth.  Transfer to a pot and bring to a simmer on the stove.

Add the cumin, oregano and bouillon.  Continue to simmer for a few minutes and then add the chocolate.  Reduce heat.   Whisk the chocolate into the sauce.  Cover and let sit as you cook the pasta.  Just prior to serving, add the walnut oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Serve over pasta [I used chewy Udon noodles] and garnish with black beans, pumpkin seeds and golden raisins.

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Red Quinoa Salad

Quinoa, though often called a grain, is in fact, a seed.  It is a fabulous source of protein and contains all essential amino acids.  The cold-pressed flax seed and walnut oils offer healthful Omega-3s, while the dried tart cherries are chock full of anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.  This salad is perfect for a light summertime lunch or as a side dish at a picnic or barbecue; I’ve actually eaten leftovers of it for breakfast.


1½ cups organic red quinoa

1 bunch asparagus

2 oranges, sections cut into supremes

½ cup dried tart cherries

Juice and zest of one lemon

1 T flax seed oil

1 T walnut oil

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Chive blossoms, to garnish


Add the quinoa to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15 minutes.  Drain in a colander and cool to room temperature. 

Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with Chive or other edible flowery blossoms.

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