500 Vegan Recipes: Biscuits & Gravy

Posted by Nina on Nov 12, 2009

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When I was a kid my grandmother, aunt, and I would go to Bob Evans after church and have a big plate of biscuits and gravy.. they were the closest thing to my great grandmothers that we could find in the city.. I have missed those days.. I didn’t turn to vegetarian food because I hated the taste of sausage and chicken, I turned to it because I have a passion for animals.. so I sometimes still long for good old fashioned biscuits and gravy.

Well my friends, I am happy to say that the gravy recipe is.. well.. amazing. It tastes just like the super rich sausage gravy that I remember only it’s not swimming in quite as much oil (or lard for that matter)! The gravy is rich and smooth and when you add the faux sausage it simply becomes heaven in your mouth! My biscuits tasted great but my oven.. it makes cakes like bread, bread like rocks, and brownies never bake.. so forgive my weird looking biscuits.. as soon as I can convince my husband that we need a new oven, I’ll have normal biscuits.

I know I am a month behind on the Veganmofo, but October was such a busy month for me, just blogging was hard! So I’m dedicated to November being my Veganmofo, that is the Vegan Month Of Food for those not in the know! :)


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500 Vegan Recipes: Seitan en Croute

Posted by Nina on Nov 8, 2009

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What could be more delicious than a seitan loaf? A seitan loaf encased in flaky, buttery, pastry, that’s what! Don’t be surprised if this month is largely dedicated to 500 Vegan Recipes! It’s one of my newest cookbooks and I really can’t put it down! Let me start by telling you that this is the best seitan recipe I have ever tasted! Yes, ever!

Celine told me that this is one of Joni’s recipes and she was kind enough to share the recipe on her blog! So, what does that mean? It means that YOU can try this recipe before you buy the book! and I am pretty sure, if you try this recipe, you WILL buy the book! Yes, it’s that good!

Quote from Joni’s Blog

The Recipe:

2 cups (288 g) vital wheat gluten flour
1 cup (120 g) whole wheat flour
1/4 cup (30 g) nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (235 ml) beef flavored vegetable broth (or plain veggie broth)
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons (50 g) tomato paste
1 tablespoon (45 g) prepared stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 sheets vegan frozen puff pastry

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4).
Have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat such as Silpat.
In a large mixing bowl, mix together, gluten flour, wheat flour, nutritional yeast, parsley, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix together broth, oil, soy sauce, tomato paste, mustard, and liquid smoke.
Add wet to dry and knead together until well incorporated and until moist dough forms.
Let rest 20 minutes.
Thaw puff pastry according to package instructions.
Form into a loaf (similar to a meat loaf shape) and place in the center of the baking sheet.
Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Increase the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C, or gas mark 5).
Cover the loaf entirely with one of the pastry sheets, tucking the edges underneath the loaf.
Slice the other sheet into 10 even strips for weaving. Weave the strips, on the diagonal across the top of the loaf. Tuck loose ends under the loaf.
Sprinkle a little paprika and parsley on top for color.
Return to the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until pastry is fluffy and golden brown.

Yield: 1 loaf (about 8 servings)

Go take a peek at her blog, her photos are much better than mine!


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500 Vegan Recipes: Morning Fuel

Posted by Nina on Nov 6, 2009

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It’s no secret I have been struggling with energy for a while now. Dieting seems to suck the energy right out of me and no matter how healthy I eat and how much I exercise it never seemed to come back to me… until now!

No, I am not talking about diet supplements, I am not talking about herbal energy pills.. I am talking about this kick ass recipe from 500 Vegan Recipes. It takes me all about 1 minute to make in the morning and it is just delicious! All you need is a hand full of ingredients and a blender. As a Vegan, I can pretty much assure you that you do have all these ingredients on hand and everything is fresh and amazing.

It makes a decent sized mug full of ‘fuel’ and comes out to a light pudding consistency or more of a smoothie/frostie blend if you freeze some of your ingredients first. You can lighten the calorie count by using light/reduced fat ingredients.

It has some protein, some fruit, and chocolate. Seriously, why wouldn’t you try this?! It keeps me full for at least 4 hours… even Slimfast couldn’t do that! and the energy doesn’t burn off or crash like energy drinks will. This is going to be my daily breakfast for a long while I think! It’s seriously that amazing!!!

I have made 2 recipes from this book (see next blog post ;) ) and it is just kick ass! The only thing I can find to complain about (and it’s hard!) is the lack of photos, BUT, I’m not bothered by that since the authors have made a very public flickr stream where you can see not only them but real people posting images from the recipes of this book. Go look if you are a visual learner! I wouldn’t take down a star or even half a star for lack of photos because its amazing. Every recipe looks delicious!

Go now, and buy this book!


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East Coast Coffee Cake

Posted by Nina on Sep 25, 2009


When Vegan Brunch came out I was in such a rush to get it and then I never really used it. I have only made one recipe from the book so I don’t think it’s fair to give a review of the book just yet, you’ll have to come back another time with that. I thumbed through the book looking for a brunch recipe that I had the ingredients for and that looked amazing.. I decided on the vegan east coast coffee cake. I didn’t make any additions to the recipe but I will in the future. It tasted more or less of your standard coffee cake. Next time I make it, I plan to use a slightly different topping, a little less flour, and add some walnuts or chopped pecans. Over all the recipe was great and it does go well with coffee! It was heavy like a pound cake, sweet but not too sweet, and surprisingly pretty filling! I think it needs a little tweaking before it becomes a family favorite but I think that is pretty standard with any recipe.


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Vegan Pad Thai

Posted by Nina on Sep 23, 2009


I’m still singing the praises of Vegan Planet. I am not kidding when I tell you that I turn to this book all the time for dinner recipes because it is that awesome! I wanted some pad thai but didn’t want to go out and order it somewhere and have it dripping in fat and oils.. so I turned to Vegan Planet and found this amazing recipe! It has all the flavors of the take out stuff with a lot less fat and a ton more flavor! It was ridiculously easy to make and soooooo good to eat. When I say that Vegan Planet is a book everyone should have on their bookshelves, I truly mean it!!


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Vegan Planet: Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie

Posted by Nina on Jun 8, 2009

I’m often asked “how can you stand to give up meat since it adds so much flavor to food rather than just life on rabbit food?” and the truth is.. I never eat bland, boring food. Vegetarian living is much more than just salads and tofu. You can make every recipe vegetarian if not vegan, you just need to know a few basics and tweak the recipe to taste and viola! you have a fantastic animal friendly recipe.

The newest addition to my home has been Vegan Planet. Words cannot even begin to express how much I love this book. I have now made 4 or 5 recipes and all were absolutely fantastic. I was blown away by how easy, healthy, and amazing these recipes were. I am super calorie/fat conscious and these recipes fall within my dinner guidelines and all were satisfying. I never left the table hungry nor was I starving just an hour or two later. Portions are decently sized, the food is sooooo delicious, and I never made a single thing so far that I wouldn’t serve to a meat eater in fear that they would choke and snub the dish. I’d proudly serve each and every single dish.. in fact, I plan to.

The most recent for me was the Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie. I used my own recipe for the mashed potatoes and added only a single green pepper and then just prepared the recipe as is. AMAZING. My recipe ended up bing 418 calories, 11g of fat, 17g of fiber, and 16g of protein per serving. I was thrilled when I ran to Robin’s website and found that she listed the recipe!! so I can share it with you!

Ultimate Shepherd’s Pie

Since leftover mashed potatoes are often the inspiration for making a Shepherd’s Pie, I thought that the ultimate version should feature filling ingredients that are readily available and easy to use — hence the use of veggie burgers. Simply thaw them long enough so that you can chop them and they work like a charm, adding great taste and texture, enhanced by the ground walnuts. If you prefer, chopped seitan or tempeh may be used instead of the veggie burgers, just be sure to sauté them first in a little olive oil. Use the extra-rich “Mashed Potatoes and Company” on page 204, or your favorite mashed potato recipe.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup Basic Vegetable Stock (page 000)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 3 vegetarian burgers, thawed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup ground walnuts
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, tamari, vegetable stock, thyme, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and simmer to thicken slightly, about 1 minute.

3. Spoon the filling mixture into a lightly oiled 2-quart baking dish. Stir in the chopped burgers, the peas, and the walnuts. Taste to adjust seasonings.

4. Spread the mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with the remaining oil. Bake until hot and bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4

If you only own one Vegetarian/Vegan cookbook.. this one should be the one.


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Grilled Uncheese Lunch

Posted by Nina on Jun 4, 2009

This was a wonderful lunch! I’ve had the Uncheese book for awhile but I have never made anything from it.. but this sounded too good to be true! It was fantastic! I can’t wait to try more.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich from the Uncheese book & blueberry tea.

WW: 2pts!


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Vegan Chai “Cheese” Cake

Posted by Nina on Jan 22, 2009

Recipe is from My Sweet Vegan. Testing my hand at some food photography. I’m not so impressed with this pic but the recipe is awesome!.

Click to view larger.


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Vegan Strawberry Blondies

Posted by Nina on Jan 22, 2009

Butterscotch Blondies recipe is from My Sweet Vegan. Testing my hand at some food photography.

Click to view larger.

I can’t decide which photo I like better..

Click to view larger.


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SPOILER! Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows

Posted by Nina on Sep 25, 2007

I have to say.. though I enjoyed the book, I was very disappointed. I know lots of people who loved the book, some even think its the best of the series.. I on the other hand think its the worst of the series and feel let down and just…. well lets just say I read ahead of the HP:RA in all of the books — except this one. This one took me from July – September to finish because I just was NOT into the book at all.

If you haven’t read the book yet — WTF! What kind of HP fan are you!!?? — I am putting my thoughts (spoilers) behind the cut.

1. Dumbledore
She spends 6 books making this man into an amazingly influential, a hero if you will.. and the only one Harry pretty much sees as a father and then she spends the entire 7th book making him look ‘less himself’ and it just doesn’t work well for me. It felt disconnected for me and it just wasn’t…… Dumbledore. At least not as I had grown to know and love him. It was like she spent the whole book breaking him down to human and then in the end tried to build him back up in a few pages it was just… not working.

2. Snape
I always believed Snape would turn out to be a good guy because I believed in Dumbledore THAT much. I could see the Snape & Lily love connection in the 5th book when Harry saw into his memory of his mother protecting him against his father.. <– KNEW that was coming. His death was kind of lame… killed by Nagini at Voldemorts orders thinking he could win over the Elder wand…

3. Voldemort
He died because Harry used the EXPELLIARMUS! — need I say more?

4. Deaths
Almost all of the deaths in the previous 6 books have all been meaningful.. all of the deaths in this book were lame and useless. It’s pretty much like ‘everyone dies–the end.’ L-A-M-E. I had high hopes for Snape & Voldemorts deaths… and I felt almost robbed by how they died. I didn’t even find any of the deaths ‘interesting’……………. pretty much all of them died in cross-fire or back fired spells… and that includes Voldemort.

5. Hermione & Ron’s Love Scene
WTF.. ONE kiss that kind of sucked was all they got?? Well, we know they end up with Rose & Hugo so we know their love scene happened somewhere else but.. I would liked to have seen MORE of their relationship than just the implied one…

6. 19 Years Later
What the hell happened to George or all the other Weasleys? What did Harry do the day AFTER the battle? What was it like when he finally reunited with Ginny? What happened with Luna Lovegood?? or anyone else for that matter?? What the hell kind of ending is that?!!?

I dunno.. like I said, I am just over all disappointed. I know some of you really enjoyed it.. I wish I had enjoyed it as much as I hoped I would :(


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