Sunday, April 27, 2008

Moo-less Chocolate Pie

moo-less chocolate pie close
This is from a very simple recipe from the Food Network, and it was soooo easy to make and really really good. I've already taste-tested this and it was a hit with vegans, vegetarians, and even omni's.

The ingredients are really simple and easy, and it was fun to make too. It only took 20 minutes, from the start of setting up, to finishing. So this is quick as well.

moo-less chocolate pie wide
The recipe:
2 cups chocolate chips (dark chocolate is the best in my opinion, and almost a requirement if you are vegan)
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
1 block silken tofu
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon agave nectar (I prefer raw agave nectar,which is a delicious honey substitute)
1 prepared chocolate wafer crust

Place a small metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Melt the chocolate and coffee liqueur in the bowl. Stir in vanilla.

Combine the tofu, chocolate mixture, and honey (agave nectar) in the blender jar. Liquefy until smooth. If you find it is a bit too thick or rich, add a few splashes of plain soy milk to loosen it up.

Pour the filling into the crust and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the filling is set. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Roasted Stuffed Peppers with Kale & Quinoa

stuffed pepper
This is a favorite dish, and always a hit at family gatherings and other social events featuring food. It is fairly simple to make, and very rewarding when you are enjoying the fruits of your labor!

It takes me roughly 2 hours to make this, but that's because I'm not the quickest at chopping the ingredients, although I'm getting better! With more practice, it should only take around an hour and a half or slightly less.

Nutritional Information

  • 1 serving: Calories 171; Carbohydrates 15g; Cholesterol 0mg; Dietary Fiber 3g; Fat 11g (Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 2g); Potassium 285mg; Sodium 304mg

stuffed pepper ingredients



  • 3 medium red, green, or yellow bell peppers (I prefer a mix!)

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground sea salt & pepper, to taste


  • 8 ounces kale, (6 cups lightly packed), trimmed

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3/4 cup cooked short-grain brown rice, or my preference, quinoa (see Tip)

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated vegan Mozzarella cheese

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, divided (see Tip)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • To prepare peppers: Preheat oven to 400°F. Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving them attached. Remove the seeds. Lightly brush the peppers outside and inside with oil; sprinkle the insides with salt and pepper. Place, cut-side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until peppers are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly. Turn cut-side up.

  • To prepare filling:

1. Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Stir in kale, cover and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water; squeeze dry. Finely chop.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and chopped bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until onion is golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Stir in the kale. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Stir in rice (quinoa), vegan cheez, 2 tablespoons pine nuts and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the filling among the pepper halves. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons pine nuts.
3. Add 2 tablespoons water to the baking dish. Cover the peppers with foil and bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Serve hot.

  • Tip: To toast pine nuts: Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. (Or spread in a small baking pan and bake at 400°F for about 5 minutes.) Tip: To cook brown rice: Place 1 cup brown rice, 2 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt, if desired, in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cover; cook over low heat until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

**Please note this is an update from an older post, which I had originally posted on my other food blog that is no longer around.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Veggie Power Pizza

veggie pizza top
Veggie pizza......the very definition of great taste. Simple and satisfying, and you'll feel like a million bucks when you're done.

I've made different variations of this pizza before, and they keep getting better every time I make this dish. It is very easy and quick....30 minutes and you are ready to dig in.

veggie pizza statueFor this one, I added fresh organic...





and for the pièce de résistance.........asparagus and sun dried tomatos.

Keeping with the ease of this dish, put as much or as little of the various ingredients as suits your taste. I didn't add any mushrooms because I'm not a big fan of those, but I'm developing a taste for them, slowly but surely. I usually go with 4 or 5 spears of asparagus; that will drape the pie quite nicely. Depending on the crust, I usually recommend baking it for about 10 minutes to thicken it up a bit, and once you've placed all the ingredients, pop it in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, and its done. Don't forget to steam the veggies a bit too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Sprouts Day 4
So aside from my new favorite burger recipe, I've found a new hobby: growing my own sprouts. Its quite fun and easy, and incredibly nutritious. You truly are eating living food. Just imagine taking in all the vigor and power of life (prana, as the yogis say) in those little sprouts, the ability to (literally) break through a wall to grow and live. Its a great food, and tastes great too.

How did I grow my sprouts? Very easily, in about 5 days.

I ordered a sprouting jar, screen, and starter seeds from, and included in the kit are the instructions for growing the sprouts.

Sprouts Day 2Basically, it goes like this:

Soak the seeds in water for 8-12 hours.

When they've had their soak, wash them off and put them in the sprout jar and give them a good rinse again, ideally on the "spray" or "shower" setting of the faucet.

Keep the jar out of direct sunlight, at an angle (as seen in the picture at left), and rinse them every 8 or so hours. The rinsing is important, as it oxygenates them, and that's what helps them to grow healthy and delicious.

That's it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

German Potato Soup

potato soup
This wonderful and hearty soup is a variation on my Oma's (German for Grandmother) Old World potato soup recipe. Passed on through many generations, I'm very happy to put my own spin on this traditional meal. Paired with some good German rye bread, and this is some hearty eatin'!


1/2 Onion

1 clove Garlic

2 tablespoons Flour

5 medium-size Potatoes

2 cubes Vegetable Bullion or Vegetable Broth

2 Celery stalks, small

2 Carrots

1 Bay Leaf

Salt & Pepper according to taste

Pinch of paprika

1 Vegan Italian Sausage


Sautee the onion in olive oil till glossy.

Add the flower and garlic, and a bit of paprika.

Add 1 cup water to the sautee, and stir so it doesn't clump up.

Add the potatoes, chopped into squares, 4 or 5 cups of water, and the celery and carrots.

Add salt and pepper and a bit more paprika, along with the bay leaf.

Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.

Finally for the last 15 minutes (for a total of 45 minutes), add the chopped vegan sausage.

Guten Appetit! (Good Appetite!)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Native Foods Meetup

Greek Gyro

I went this afternoon to the monthly vegan meetup at Native Foods in Costa Mesa. It was slightly awkward, as nobody was really intermingling with people outside of the clique, but we ended up having a great time after all.

I brought my buddy Matt for his first vegan restaurant experience, and we met up with my other friend Alia (who introduced me to the wonderful world of veggies). Another latecomer joined us at our table, and we sat there for over 2 hours talking! It ended up being a great time. I got a new dish this time, the Gyro Wrap (pictured above), which was seitan "gyro meat", quinoa, cucumbers, and carrots in a hummus/mayo sauce. It was really tasty!

After that, I swung by a local camera shop to look at cameras and it looks like I found a good camera in my price range. So I'll be having better quality pictures soon, hopefully! After the camera store, we went to the gigantic Whole Foods in Tustin, and.......bumped into Alia there. Nice coincidence!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sprouted Chickpea Burger

chickpea burger

I've been getting into sprouts and sprouting lately, and I came across this recipe in Yoga Journal so I had to try it.

The chickpea burgers turned out so well, and so delicious, I can't wait to make them again. The recipe makes about 10-12 burgers, so I ended up giving many away to friends and family, all to rave reviews.

The recipe:

2 1/2 cups sprouted garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

4 tablespoons soy or bean flour (I used egg replacer)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2/3 cup water

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 onion, diced

Zest of 1 large lemon (the skin)

1 cup broccoli or alfalfa sprouts, chopped

1 cup bread crumbs

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1. Steam the garbanzo beans until tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Combine the beans, flour, and salt in a food processor. Purée and add water as needed until the mixture is a very thick, slightly chunky hummus.

3. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs, stir, and let sit for a few minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. You can always add more bread crumbs or water to firm up or moisten the dough if need be.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Form dough into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Add four at a time to the oil, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes until the bottoms
begin to brown. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Cool the patties on a wire rack until ready to serve.