Archive for the ‘recipes revisited’ Category

Why didn’t I know this sooner?

There is such a thing as rich, vegan ice cream that isn’t as expensive as shoes?  Check out this recipe from

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

By Hannah Kaminsky | August 6, 2012

Conjure the rich sweetness of hot cocoa in a frostier form with this tempting ice cream treat.

Calling any sort of ice cream “hot” is a bit of a misnomer, but forget the temperature connotations and consider the decadent, wintery drink on its own. Rich, bitter chocolate coats the tongue while fluffy, gooey marshmallows add lightness and balance the whole concoction brilliantly.

Makes 1 quart

What You Need:
2-1/2 cups chocolate non-dairy milk
1 ounce unsweetened baker’s chocolate, roughly chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon maca powder (if unavailable, substitute malt powder or barley malt syrup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped vegan marshmallows

What You Do:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm chocolate milk. Add chocolate, whisking occasionally until completely melted and smooth. Meanwhile, in a separate dish, combine sugar, cocoa, arrowroot, maca, and salt, and stir well to evenly distribute.

2. Slowly sift dry ingredients into milk, whisking vigorously to break up any clumps that may form. Continue to cook gently, stirring every few minutes, until the mixture comes to a boil and has thickened in consistency. Remove from heat, then add vanilla. Let cool to room temperature before moving the base into the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.

3. Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chopped marshmallows in the last 5 minutes. Transfer ice cream into an air-tight container. Place in freezer for at least 3 hours before serving, until solid enough to scoop.

Photo: Hannah Kaminsky


Easy Black Bean Salad

This salad is so delicious.  We ate it as a side dish one night, for lunch the next day, and as a snack with crackers on day three.  It’s super good for you, totally vegan, and comes together in about 10 minutes.  Great for hot summer days.

This is what you need. I got this out of the Forks Over Knives book you see in the background.

Black Bean Salad

2 cans of black beans, rinsed well (if you don’t rinse them well, they’ll turn the salad grey)

1 large tomato, diced

1 bag of frozen corn

1/2 red onion, diced

the juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

Mix all the ingredients and serve!  It doesn’t get any easier than that!

It makes a great side dish for anything grilled.



The Grilled Cheese that Won a Grilled Cheese Contest

Aurora Borealis Vegan Winner

The Award-Winning Aurora Borealis

  • 2 slices thick rustic sourdough bread 
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan butter 
  • 3 tbsp Daiya Mozzarella Shreds 
  • 3 tbsp Tofutti Cream Cheese 
  • ½ peach, peeled and soaked in a combo of 50/50 brandy and simple syrup 
  • 1 pound of berries 
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • ¼ cup orange juice 

Berry Reduction Sauce 

  1. Mash berries with sugar and juice and let set for at least an hour.
  2. Pour berry mixture into a small pot, place over low heat, and lightly simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by almost half.
  3. Strain out large bits and seeds (optional) and refrigerate in a glass jar (keeps for about a week).

The Sammich

  1. Melt one tbsp of Earth Balance and maple syrup in a nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Drop one side of the bread into mixture and remove. Then add another tbsp of the Earth Balance and syrup in the pan and place the dry side of the bread into the mixture. 
  3. Leave the bread on the heat and grill until the sugar has caramelized and is golden brown.
  4. Flip the bread and immediately add the Daiya cheese on ONE slice of the hot side of the open bread and smear the cream cheese on the other slice of hot bread.
  5. Slice the peach and stick onto the cream cheese.
  6. Stick the two open sides of bread together and continue to grill, flipping once, until both sides are crispy and middle is hot.
  7. Cut in half and drizzle with Berry Reduction.

Yep, the ingenius folks at entered a grilled cheese sandwich in the Grilled Cheese Invitational contest and won 3rd place.  This was not a vegan contest, yet the vegan choice took home a prize.  I can’t really explain why I’m so proud, but I am.  I don’t even need the Berry Reduction Sauce—just give me the cheese on a couple of pieces of fried bread.  WoOt, WooT!

Eat Pizza and Feel Good About It

Mothers, do you know that feeling you get when you make a delicious and nutritious dinner?  That feeling that makes you feel like the love child of Mother Theresa, Benjamin Franklin  and Martha Stewart?  Contrast that to the feeling you get when you’ve given your kids crap that you know you shouldn’t and you start saying things to yourself like “one night’s not going to kill them” or “for pete’s sake, I can’t do everything perfect”?

Put this on the schedule for Friday night.  You won’t have leftover food or regret.  Vegetable Pizza!

This is not my pizza. I got the picture from It looks like my pizza.

I know, I know.  I should take my own pictures!  My pizza was prettier anyway.  My pizza had more color.  Orange carrots, red and green bell peppers, black olives, green broccoli. It was gorgeous.  I could have worn it to work it was so impressive.  And, my pizza was a super easy, veganish delight.

Roll out a couple of tubes of refrigerated pizza dough or make a batch of your own if you’re so inclined.  (If your homemade dough recipe is easy, please share it with me.  I look for dough recipes online, but I’m just not sure about them.  I’d love to have one that I know a normal person makes.  That does, of course, assume that you’re a normal person…) I lay one crust on top of the other because they get flimsy under the weight of all my vegetables.

For the sauce, mix one packet of Ranch seasoning (vegan-ish–I’m sure there are some milk solids in there or something) with 1/2 c of veganaise and 1/2 cup of Tofutti sour cream.   Sprinkle the sauce with 1 cup of grated Follow Your Heart Mozzerella cheese.

It's about $4 for 10 oz., but you can make it last for a while.

Here’s a tip about vegan cheese:  it doesn’t taste like the real thing.  Don’t expect it to.  Don’t eat it plain and then whine that it’s not good.  Cook with it.  It melts fine and tastes creamy.  On this pizza, it’s perfect.

Now, the fun part.  Chop up every vegetable you have in your house that looks pretty, tastes good, or cooks nicely.  Definitely include carrots, bell peppers of any variety, broccoli, and black olives.  Your pizza has to be gorgeous or you’ve failed.  But, look around your kitchen for mushrooms, banana peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, pineapple, spinach, or whatever else.  You really can’t mess it up.  If it tastes good with ranch dressing, it’ll taste good on this pizza.

Next time I make it, I’ll take a picture of it to show you.  And, judging from the way my family scarfed it down Monday night, I’ll be making it again real soon.  Here’s the recipe in a pdf so you can make it too:  Vegetable Pizza

Let’s Have Soup for Dinner

I made this soup last night pretty quick, and it was awesome.

This picture is from But, my soup looked just like this, I promise!

I’ve always considered Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup to sound like something pretty difficult, but it certainly wasn’t.

First, cut a butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Put it cut-side-up in a baking pan.  Let 4 granny smith apples join it the exact same way, except peel it first.

You have to use granny smiths, or it won't be as good.

You can put this into a hot oven (425) for an hour or you can put this into a cooler oven (300) for a couple hours.  I opted yesterday for the cooler oven because I wanted to get some other things done.  The good news is that once you’ve done the roasting, you’re about 15 minutes from having dinner on the table.

When you think your squash and apples look pretty soft, chop up a medium-sized onion.  In a soup pot, saute the chopped onion in 3 tablespoons of oil, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper.  It will smell fabulous.  (If you’re having company or if you want to show off to neighbors, now is the time to invite them in.)

This is cardamom. Use it ground, of course. Don't leave it out. It's the cardamom and cinnamon combination that makes this soup great.

Turn the heat off your onions.  Scoop the flesh out of your butternut squash, and add the squash guts and apples to your onions.  Transfer all of the mixture to a mixing bowl.  (You’re going to blend up the soup in a blender and put it back into that soup pot to warm up for serving.)  If you’re vegan, you’ll need 5 cups of vegetable stock.  If you’re vegan-ish, you’ll need 5 cups of water and 5 cubes of chicken bouillion.  Blend a scoop of the mixture, 1 cup of water and a bouillion cube on high in blender or food processor until it’s smooth.  Pour it into the soup pot.  Repeat this process until all ingredients have been blended.

Heat your soup on the stove until you’re ready to eat.  Our soup last night went great with a veggie pizza.  Even my kids loved it, and a couple of them are ungrateful bastards!

Here’s a better copy of the recipe, if you’d like to see it:

Squash and Apple Soup

A Vegetable Even a Meat-eater Should Try

I don’t think everyone in the world has to be vegan.  I don’t even think that everyone in the world should be vegetarian.  But, I do think everyone in the world is missing out if they don’t eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables, grains, and rice.  The whole reason we originally tried to go vegan was so that we could discover what we were missing.  Boy, have we ever.

So let me introduce you to a vegetable I had never had until we went vegan-ish last year:  Rutabagas.  Don’t stop reading—rutabagas are cheap, delicious, relatively easy to prepare and last for weeks without being refrigerated.  Plus, they are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and provide phenomenal nutritional value.

In case you’re like me and you didn’t grow up eating rutabagas, here’s what one looks like when you buy it at the grocery store.

Doesn't it just look healthy?

You’ll need to cut the ends off it and peel it to prepare it.  It’s not hard to peel though.  I just take my potato peeler to it.  It’s crunchier than potatoes.  Even when it’s fully cooked, it’ll be firm.  I like that about rutabagas.  They never get mushy.

If you’re interested in trying out some rutabagas for yourself, here’s an easy recipe:

Roasted Winter Vegetables

I promise this tastes better than it looks. I suck at food photography.

1 pound of diced rutabaga

½  pound of baby carrots

½  pound of broccoli florets

2 large onions, chopped in wedges

¼ c olive oil

The juice of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon of fresh, snipped rosemary

2 teaspoons each of sea salt and black pepper (more to taste)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place vegetables in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Mix oil, lemon juice, and rosemary together in small bowl and drizzle the mixture over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover the dish tightly with either a lid or aluminum foil and bake for an hour.  Uncover and bake for another hour or until vegetables can be pierced with a fork.

For best results, let vegetables chill in the fridge overnight and reheat and serve the next day.  They’re always better after the flavors have sat for a while.  I like to have this one in the oven while I make another dinner on the stovetop.  Then the next night I serve these veggies with rice.

I sprinkled a little curry over all of it.

You can add just about any vegetable you want too.  I used fennel, parsnips, turnips, cauliflower, garlic, potatoes, and even apples before.  I mean, what doesn’t go well with lemon and rosemary?

By the way, cruciferous vegetables are superfoods.  They’re high in vitamins A, C, K, folic acid and fiber.  In fact, “about 100 calories worth of cruciferous vegetables provides about 25-40% of your daily fiber requirement,” according to research conducted by the George Mateljan Foundation.  Guess what?  They’re a great source of protein and they have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is the building block for those elusive Omega 3’s.  All this for less than $1.50 a pound!

You don’t have to roast them with other cruciferous veggies though.  Here’s two websites that feature great recipes of rutabagas all by themselves.

Rutabaga Fries from


Roasted Rutabaga from

I hope you’ll enjoy experimenting with rutabagas as much as we have!  Mangia, Mangia!

Vegan Recipe–Stuffed Acorn Squash

This recipe is hearty enough to be your main dish.  Pair it with a green salad and a glass of chardonnay and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

Rob’s Stuffed Acorn Squash

4 acorn squash, cut in half and cleaned out

I'm a cook, not a photographer. This is better than I made it look.

2 tablespoons vegan butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves pressed garlic or 2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tsp allspice

¼ tsp ground ginger (optional)

1 tsp salt (more or less, to taste)

½ tsp pepper (more or less, to taste)

2 cups water

½ c brown rice

1 c dried cranberries

1 c pecan pieces

Place acorn squash, cut sides up, on shallow baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

In 2-quart pot over medium heat, brown onions and garlic in butter for 10 minutes.  Stir in spices and salt.

Add 2 cups water to onion mixture and bring it to a boil.  Add brown rice and cover lightly.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  When water is absorbed, stir in cranberries.

Remove acorn squash from oven. Loosen acorn from with a spoon so it will be easier to eat. Spoon rice mixture into each acorn half.  Top with pecans.

Return to oven on low broil for 3 minutes or until pecans are toasted.  Serve hot.

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