Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Quinoa or Millet “Crumbles” (ground beef substitute without soy or gluten)

January 2, 2011

One of the hardest things for me, is that all of the pre-made vegan crumbles (Boca, Morningstar, etc.) are soy and gluten based. I like having some non-bean texture in my tacos, and something other than “just veggies” on a pizza or pasta dish. This recipe is adapted from the recipe “Walnut Wheat Crumbles” in the cookbook “Tasty Vegan Delights.” It works equally well with millet or quinoa, though millet takes longer to cook initially, and I like the flavor of quinoa better, as well as it being a complete protein.

This recipe doubles easily (and if you have room for more pans in your oven, could be multiplied even more, though I can only fit a double recipe in my vita-mix at a time.) It’s a good recipe to start in the morning on a day when you’ll be home most of the time, and won’t need the oven for anything else. I usually start it around lunch time, and stir the crumbles in the oven every hour or so, until I go to bed, then I turn off the oven and leave the pans in overnight. By morning they are done!

Quinoa Crumbles


  • 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces, or meal (meal is less expensive, and we’ll be pulverizing it anyway, but I usually get walnut pieces)
  • 4 1/2 cups of water (divided into 1 cup, 1 cup, and 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 3t garlic powder
  • 1t  salt (I use sea salt that still has the minerals in it for better nutrition and flavor)
  • 2 cups quinoa (or millet)


  • In your vita-mix combine the nuts and 1 cup of water, and blend on high until smooth.
  • Add another 1 cup of water, and the onion powder, garlic powder, and salt, and blend to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a pot (a single recipe needs about a 3 quart pan, and if you double it, keep in mind it does foam, and it does expand, so make sure your pot is big enough!
  • Add the last 2 1/2 cups of water, and bring the mixture to a boil.

    Boiling on the stove...don't let the light color fool you, these will be nice dark brown crumbles!

  • Add the quinoa or millet and cook until most of the water is absorbed. (When it starts to look like a porridge or oatmeal consistency.) Quinoa took about 20 minutes for me, and the millet took a lot longer.
  • Remove the mash from the heat, and let it cool for a while (about 1/2 an hour or so) and it will thicken more
  • Divide the mixture into a couple of pans: Cookie sheets with a lip edge work well, but large (9″x13″ or so) casserole dishes work too. If you have only smaller pans, us more of them. You don’t want the mixture to be too deep in each pan.

    Here they are, still quite wet, but looking a bit more brown.

  • Put the pans in the oven at 200*
  • Stir every hour our so, flaking and fluffing the crumbles as they dry. If you have pans on multiple racks you’ll want to rotate them as well (move the ones from the bottom to the top, and vice versa.) Do this for about 6 or 7 hours. They should really be getting darker brown and crunchy.
  • Turn the oven off, leave the door closed, and go to sleep. In the morning, you’ll have perfect crumbles. Divide them into freezer bags, and freeze them.
  • A single batch makes enough for the equivalent of 2# of “browned ground beef.”

    A generous 2 cups of crumbles is just about equal to a pound of "browned ground beef"

Using them:
I prefer them to have a bit of crunch, so I don’t add a lot of liquid back to them. If you use them in a recipe that has liquid already (like chili) there’s no need to reconstitute them at all. I recommend adding them towards the end of the cooking time.
If you want to reconstitute them (say for sloppy joes or tacos):

  • Put 2 cups of crumbles into a small pot.
  • Choose a liquid you’d like to use (water is fine, but for more flavor you might want to use broth or soup. For tacos I use salsa!) You’ll need up to 2 cups of this liquid.
  • Add the liquid a little bit at a time, stirring it in.
  • When the crumbles are the consistency you like, stop adding liquid, and use them in your recipe!

I use them crunchy in “nacho” type dishes, stir them into chili just before serving, or mix them into homemade tomato sauce the last minute or so of cooking.

I made a double recipe, and so packaged it into 4 "pound" packets of about 2 1/4 cups each. Don't forget to label them! They're ready for the freezer now (or to use!)

This recipe could easily have other seasonings put in from the beginning, if you know you’re going to use it for a specific type of dish. I think if I found a “smoke” flavor that was safe for me to eat, adding that would make these work as a “bacon bit” type crunchy topping for baked potatoes or salads. I do that with them as they are anyway. Let me know your favorite ways to use these crumbles, or your favorite variations. Enjoy!


Gingerbread, just in time for Christmas!

December 21, 2010

For those of you who like gingerbread, here’s a recipe my husband made, that I can eat! (I’m actually not a huge fan of gingerbread, but this was good.) I’m sorry the picture is tiny and harsh, he took the picture for me with his camera, and I’m having issues getting pictures off of my camera, but I think I have a couple of it sliced, and if I get them I’ll add them to the post. He also further altered it to make me a birthday cake, and while definitely a dense cake (no angel food here!) it’s very moist. When I get him to cough up those alterations as well, I’ll post those too!


  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1 cup All purpose, gluten free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 Tablespoons Earth Balance (soy free! They DO make it.)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 3 teaspoons “Ener-G” egg replacer mixed with 4 Tablespoons of water (or egg replacement of your choice to equal 2 eggs)
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup almond milk + 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup hot water


  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • Grease a loaf pan then line the pan with parchment paper, including the sides. Let it hang over a bit to give you “handles” to take it out later. Also grease the paper (just where the batter will end up touching, not your “handles.)
  • Combine the dry ingredients well (the first 11 ingredients on the list) thoroughly in a bowl, and set aside.
  • Combine the butter and sugars into a bowl and whip with an electric miser until fluffy.
  • Add the Ener-G mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, and mix some more until that is also combined.
  • Add the molasses and curdled almond milk to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
  • Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time, incorporating it before you add more.
  • Finally add the hot water and mix some more.
  • Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan (you’ll need to spread it out, but don’t worry about getting it perfectly flat.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle comes out clean.
  • Let it cool, then lift out, and eat!

This recipe was inspired by this one (which isn’t vegan, but is gluten free.)

Vegan Latkes, without soy or gluten

December 3, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while because typing is an issue at the moment. Long story short – a tendon injury on my right wrist/thumb. I have a few recipes to put up as I can type more, but this one just couldn’t wait. Growing up with Jewish grandparents I loved latkes, but never tried to make them. There was always someone else to do it! This year I decided to make them, and sought a recipe. I found this one at, and with a few changes (and added details) they came out perfect…unfortunately they were eaten as I cooked them, so the proof is in my stomach, and we don’t want a picture of that!

Just in case the link doesn’t work, here is the recipe, copied exactly from that website:

This vegan latke recipe uses an egg replacer to make traditional potato pancakes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • approx 3 pounds of potatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 “eggs” (use Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • oil for frying


Grate the potatoes into a large bowl, or, if you have a food processor, it works well for this task, just process until fine.

Add remainder of ingredients, except oil, and combine well. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and drop potato mixture onto pan in small amounts, flattening to form pancakes.

Cook until golden brown, then flip. Be sure the potatoes get cooked all the way through. Serve with applesauce and enjoy!

A change, and some details to make it easier:

  • Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix absolutely works in this, as does the Ener-G egg replacer. The cooking instructions were a bit vague, so to clarify (for you to benefit from my burnt and raw tries)
  • Use a heavy frying pan (the cast iron worked beautifully!)
  • Get it hot, and get the oil in the pan hot before trying to cook these.
  • Once the pan is heated, I turned the heat to “3” on my electric stove.
  • Squeeze excess water out of each “blob” before putting it in the pan. (A serving spoon heaped is about the right size…the size you’d use for a side dish, not a large cooking spoon…a bit bigger than a tablespoon)
  • Drop the blob into the hot pan, and smush it together into a pancake shape and thickness.
  • Cook the one side until the edges start to brown (you can see that before lifting the latke)
  • Flip carefully, and brown the other side, peeking after a minute or so.
  • Make sure you keep enough oil in the pan to keep them from sticking, and to help fry them.
  • I was out of applesauce, but pear sauce worked just as well, and my husband likes them with tomato soup (which since it’s the canned name brand type, has gluten…why, I don’t know.)

So have a happy Hanukkah with latkes! 🙂

Black & White Cookies!

November 8, 2010

Today was a dreary, cold and rainy day, and I wanted cookies, so I handed my husband the “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” book he’d gotten me for Christmas last year, and asked him to pleeeeeaaase make me cookies. He agreed (YAY!!!) and decided to try making the Black & White cookies, soy and gluten free. (Such a sweet husband…he remembered that when we met I used to always get Black & White cookies…it’s a NY thing I think.) First he substituted Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour for the flour in the recipe. He also used my doTerra essential oils instead of lemon and orange extracts. He substituted soy milk for almond milk, and mixed up the batter. It smelled right, so onto a cookie sheet and into the oven the first 3 went. This is one of the resulting cookies from that batch. If you know Black & White cookies, they are very cakey…a soft chewy cookie.

Very much NOT a cakey cookie

They came out crunchy, crispy and crumbly. The flavor wasn’t bad, but the texture was very far off. Perhaps it was the gluten free flour, or the fact that we’re at a high altitude (about 5000 feet) but these were not turning out to be what we were hoping for. Now I can’t take credit for the fixes, as that was all him, which resulted in an entirely different recipe all together, and it definitely worked! So this may have to be a “Vegan, Soy & Gluten Free at High Altitude” Black & White Cookie Recipe!

Ingredients for the Cookies:

Directions for Cookies:

  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment, or use two silicon baking sheets.
  • In a small bowl combine Ener-G egg replacer with water.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the almond milk and lemon juice and let curdle for 1 minute.
  • Add the oil, sugar, vanilla, lemon, and orange to the almond milk mixture and whisk well.
  • In a large bowl (I never said this was a one dish recipe…it made lots of dirty dishes!) mix together the dry ingredients except for the xanthan Gum (that would be the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
  • Gently pour the wet ingredients (from the medium bowl) into the dry ingredients (in the large bowl.) Stir thoroughly. Add the xanthan gum and Ener-G “egg.” Mix well.
  • Use an ice cream scoop (or a 1/4 cup scoop) to plop the cookies on the sheet. Leave some space (maybe 2″ between them) as they mostly puffed UP and not OUT.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes until cooked through. (The toothpick trick works well for this – if you insert a toothpick in the middle of the cookie and it comes out doughy, they aren’t done yet!)
  • Remove the cookies from the oven, and flip them onto a cooling rack (or a wooden cutting board…since we don’t have a cooling rack) and let them cool while you make the icing.

Cookies starting to be iced

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 4c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c (plus a few table spoons “just in case”) boiling water
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 2T carob powder
  • 1t salt

Directions for Icing:

  • Pour 1/4c of the boiling water into the powdered sugar in a medium bowl, and whisk together. Add the 2 drops of vanilla. Mix until it’s a thick glaze.
  • Spoon this glaze over one half of each cookie.
  • There should be some icing left. To that add the carob powder and salt, and whisk well.
  • Spread this glaze over the other half of the cookie.
  • Let the cookies sit for a few minutes to let the glaze set.
  • Now they’re ready to eat! (And they don’t store very well, but if you keep them in an airtight container, and cool, they do ok for a couple of days.)

    All done! (but one's missing...)

So, the cookie recipe started out as being from “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” but evolved much. The white icing is exactly from their book (but it IS a standard glaze recipe) and the carob is ours. Let us know what you think!

This made about 12 cookies, and I can usually only eat about half of a cookie at a time, so it could be 24 servings easily!

My husband caught me eating my cookie...yummy!

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

November 1, 2010

So pretty in a jar, ready to share with friends!

In the last post I said that I thought the roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower (or either alone) would make a good soup. Here’s the yummy recipe I made. I was in a hurry so didn’t take a lot of pictures (in fact I only took one, of the soup in a jar ready to go to our friends house for dinner!) There weren’t any leftovers either 🙂



  • This works best in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender, but if you don’t have one, you can add the ingredients to the liquid more slowly.
  • Put the Roasted Broccoli and nut milk in the blender and puree on high until smooth
  • Add the cashews and sugar and blend again until smooth.
  • If you have a Vita-mix, your soup is now nice and warm and ready to eat!
  • If you don’t have a Vita-mix, pour your soup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through.

This made 2 quarts of soup, and 4 of us finished it as a light dinner with salad. It tastes very different from traditional cream of broccoli soup in a good way!

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

October 26, 2010

Roasted to sweet goodness!

A friend of mine brought over a full grocery bag of fresh broccoli and cauliflower the other day, and so I decided to make a recipe I came up with the last time I had an abundance of fresh broccoli! The last time, I figured this out because I’d also had a lot (like 20#!) of cherry tomatoes that were starting to go soft, and I’d roasted them, so I figured why not try roasting broccoli? Now broccoli and cauliflower are closely related, so mixing them seemed to be just fine. The amount I had filled two 9″x13″ baking pans, and could easily be halved. I do plan on trying to make a blended broccoli soup with the leftovers, so I’ll let you know how that goes.


  • 3# of broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
  • 1 head of garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 1t salt
  • 1t pepper
  • 1/4c lemon juice
  • 1c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2c (or more!) of any one or combination: slivered almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (optional but gives a nice crunch, and I like to include nuts or beans in most recipes to give it more substance)


  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Wash and trim the broccoli and cauliflower florets, then dry thoroughly. If they are wet they’ll steam and not end up with the crunchy roasted texture.
  • Toss the broccoli and cauliflower florets with the chopped garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Spread the broccoli and cauliflower floret mixture in baking dishes in a single layer. You don’t want to stack the florets as they won’t roast well. Use multiple pans if necessary.
  • Roast in a 425* oven for 20 minutes
  • Toss the roasted broccoli and cauliflower with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and nuts or seeds

I like it as is, or topping a baked potato. I think it would make a good soup as well. It really gives the broccoli and cauliflower a different flavor than the usual boiling or steaming does. Even stir frying doesn’t match this. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please share you comments!

Chopped and ready to be prepared for roasting!

Easy Tostadas and Instant Guacamole

October 23, 2010

Tostadas with Daiya cheese, instant guacamole, and tomatoes

Dinner tonight was very uninspired, and uses Daiya cheese again. I swear I don’t eat it that often, but this week I seem to. Once my Organic Acres General Store order comes I’ll have the raw cashews I need to make cheese, then you’ll see! (Of course I have to finalize and PLACE the order first!

Instant Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • dash of lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic from a jar (or 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped)


  • Mash ingredients together and use anywhere you want guacamole, like on Easy Tostadas!

Easy Tostadas Ingredients:

  • Corn Tostadas (don’t forget to check if they’re made with soybean oil!)
  • Cheese (Diaya cheddar, mozzarella, or both!)
  • Any of your favorite toppings such as
    Re-fried Beans
    Fresh tomato
    Sliced olives


  • Turn oven on to 350* (It won’t need to preheat all the way, but it will get warm while we put together the tostadas)
  • Optional: Spread re-fried beans on tostada before putting the cheese on
  • Spread desired amount of cheese on each tostada shell
  • Put the tostada shells on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes to let the cheese melt
  • Remove from the oven, add your desired toppings, and enjoy!

I usually eat about 3 tostadas for a meal, my husband usually eats 4. He doesn’t like guacamole, so a single recipe of Instant Guacamole works perfectly for my 3.  He likes salsa and I don’t usually, so it works out. Here are some variations we like:

Easy Tostadas with refried beans and tomato

This one has the re-fried beans under the cheese, and is topped with salsa (Instant Mexican Pizza!)

What are your favorite combinations?

Lentil and Carrot Soup in the Crock-pot

October 22, 2010

Healthy and Easy Lentil and Carrot Soup

Last nights dinner was a super easy soup that is very versatile. It came about due to an abundance of carrots in my refrigerator. To buy the organic carrots you had to buy five pounds, which is a lot of carrots! So I was thinking about what to do with the carrots that would be easy and healthy. I don’t really like carrot soup, and I don’t have enough room in my freezer right now to freeze them. I do like soup with carrots in it though, so I thought about what would give it substance (since I don’t like soup that has no bite to it.) I have lentils in the pantry always, so that made sense, an then for an added depth of flavor, onions (of which I have too many as well!) The recipe below fit perfectly in a 3 1/2 quart crock-pot. This could easily be adjusted for a larger pot. If you purchase broth to use in the soup, make sure to read the label carefully. They often include soy ingredients, and even wheat ingredients. I make my own veggie broth a lot of the time too. (Another post for another day!)


  • 1#Lentils (about 2 cups) (sorted and rinsed)
  • 1# Carrots (about 4 average sized) (chopped)
  • 1 Large onion (about 1/2 pound) (diced)
  • Salt to taste (1/2 to 1 teaspoon is what I use)

Optional ingredients:

  • 1 16oz can of corn (drained)
  • 6 cups of unsalted vegetable broth


  • If desired, caramelize the onion in a hot frying pan (with or without oil.) I did not do that this time because I didn’t want to do extra dishes, but if you do it gives a much better flavor to the soup.
  • Place the lentils, carrots, and onion in the crockpot. Add 6 cups of water (or vegetable broth for more flavor)
  • Do NOT add the salt yet, it will toughen the lentils!
  • Cover your crock-pot and set it on low for 6 hours.
  • After the 6 hours are up, you have a few options, and this is where it gets to be fun!

Option 1: Stir in salt to taste and serve!

Cooked Lentil and Carrot soup (chunky)

Mmmm...chunky soup!

Option 2: Add the salt and take a stick blender to it and make a blended soup! (If you don’t have a stick blender you can use a regular blender but be very careful when blending hot items…the lid needs to be vented!) I don’t really like broth so blending it makes me eat everything, and I don’t lose the nutrients that have leached into the water!)

Blended into thick soup goodness!

Option 3: Blend the soup (or not) and add the can of corn for a burst of color, texture and sweetness!

Blended soup with corn

Option 4: Get creative! Cooked grains could be mixed in (I like brown rice in just about everything, and I have a fool-proof way of cooking it perfectly every time! ) Stewed tomatoes, salsa, mushrooms…the variations are limitless. Post your favorite ideas!

This recipe made about 3 quarts of soup, which is about 6 servings for me.

Welcome to Vegan Without

October 21, 2010

It’s dinner time, and you are sick of salads, stir fries without substance, and dry “rice bread” that leaves much to be desired. The standard vegan standby of a frozen “veggie meat” meal is out because almost all of them contain soy or gluten (or both!) and you are not able to eat either.

First I’d like to mention Sunshine Burgers, because they are vegan, as well as soy and gluten-free. If you can get them, they are yummy, but a bit soft as far as texture. Unfortunately they aren’t available where I live now, so I must be creative. Of course we still lack something to eat the burgers on, so I hope to be experimenting with rolls in the near future.

Now for a dinner that is easy, healthy, and yummy: Roasted eggplant over pasta.

This recipe uses a couple of convenience items that you may or may not be able to get locally. You need pasta, and there are several gluten-free pastas out there. Most are rice or corn-based, and have varying textures. My favorite is a quinoa based pasta by Ancient Harvest. The bite sized shapes have a very small window of “readiness” where they aren’t crunchy anymore but aren’t mush. The spaghetti is much more forgiving, and even my husband who loves plain white pastas likes this one. You may be able to find it in a health food store, but it is also available online.

This recipe also greatly benefits from cheese. Later I’ll cover how to make your own cheese, but for now, Daiya mozzarella works really well. Even people who eat “real” cheese like it. It melts, has some stretch, and a good flavor.


  • 1 pound of your favorite gluten-free pasta
  • 2 medium eggplants washed and diced into 1″ cubes
  • 1 quart of your favorite pasta sauce (we’ll make our own another day)
  • 1 8 oz bag of Daiya mozzarella cheese
  • Salt to taste


  • Spread the eggplant cubes no more than 2 cubes deep in a large baking dish (9″x13″) and sprinkle with salt. You don’t need a lot of salt, but if you don’t use any the eggplant ends up being very bland.
  • Place in a 450* oven for 30-40 minutes until the eggplant is soft and starts to brown.
  • While the eggplant is roasting, prepare your pasta according to the package directions, then drain.
  • Toss your pasta with a small amount of sauce to keep it from drying out and sticking.
  • Pour the rest of the sauce over your roasted eggplant in the baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and roast for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.
  • Serve the eggplant over pasta.

A yummy dinner that is easily multiplied or divided based on your needs. When I make this my husband and I get 3 meals each out of it, so it’s about 6 servings.

I appreciate feedback, so please leave comments, especially if you make the recipe. Thank you!