Tag Archive | Recipe

Quick Vegan Recipe: Vegan Mock Ham Salad

Vegan Mock Ham Salad

Vegan Mock Ham Salad

I call this one Mock Ham because of the pinkish tinge created by the red bell peppers and purple carrot.

It can be difficult and down right sad to be a vegan at lunchtime, there are few vegan delicatessens to frequent when you need to nosh. My mock salads have become a staple in my eating and really are versatile and quick.
I own a Ninja food processor and have no idea how to use half of the attachments, but I love the food processor part.

As always most of my ingredients come from Trader Joe’s and are organic, a few come from Whole Foods.



  • 1 can of garbanzo beans
  •  1/2 red bell pepper sliced
  •  1 purple carrot cut in rounds
  •  2 tablespoons of “vegan” mayo (or you can use silken tofu)
  • 1/3 cup of natural pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon of Penzey’s Sweet Curry (or dijon mustard)

Here’s the quick and simple – chuck it all in the food processor and pulse a few times until it reaches a chunky but creamy consistency. Be careful, over processing results in a hummus like spread which is also good as a dip! I slather this on bread with tomato and spinach, or place a top some power greens for a salad (sometimes I lightly dress the greens with balsamic vinaigrette).

Makes 3 servings. This comes in at approximately 150 calories per serving.

Vegan Quick Recipe: Red Lentil Dal

Red Lentil Dal

Red Lentil Dal

With three kids and three adults to organize life around and prepare meals for they have to be quick to prep if I want to eat.

I purchase all of my organic produce, etc. at Trader Joe’s, but anywhere you like to shop will do!

1. Dried red lentils (1/4 cup)
2. 1/2 cup water
3. 1 tablespoon (more or less for your taste) of Penzey’s Sweet Curry Powder
4.pinch of salt (to taste)

I combine the first 4 in a saucepan, cover and heat on high until boiling, then simmer. Within 7 -10 minutes the lentils are ready for part two, the water is almost completely absorbed.

5. one purple carrot sliced in rounds
6. one half of a red pepper diced
7. 1/4 cup water

I added the rest of the ingredients into the pan and cook until all liquid is absorbed and the lentils are really soft. Serve immediately, or refrigerate – you can even eat them cold.

Makes: 1 serving of lentils at approximately 130 calories.

Gluten Free Vegan Lemon Basil Scone Recipe and @SwirlzCupcakes Back Up Plan

I have always wondered what makes a cupcake not a muffin and what makes a muffin sound healthier than a cupcake.  Are muffins just cupcakes without frosting? When I try to get all crunchy mama and make healthy cupcakes I wind up with what could be aptly described as muffins with frosting, and that isn’t a good thing.

So if muffins can be dense or light why not push the envelope of muffin making with deliciously light flavor combinations, or around my house happy mistakes.  I wish there were some sort of Baking Wars home game version so I could challenge myself to use crazy mismatched ingredients I would never dare dream to combine in my mixer. Instead, I have my moments of inspiration when I merely am out of ingredients and too lazy to go get some at the store.

My goal was to make some cupcakes but I was out of Earth Balance vegan sticks so I had to make due with the Basil Olive Oil in the house please also not my goal was to make cupcakes but the batter came out more dry, like scone dough so I rolled with it- literally and rolled scones out to cut. I think the problem was due to converting my recipes to gluten free flours.


  • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour (I Used TJ’s premixed bag)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast / 4 Tbsp Water    
  • 1 tsp Xantham Gum (Bob’s Red Mill Bag costs $12 but you use very little per recipe and it does help Gluten Free Baking)
  • 1/4 cp Basil Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cp Water
  • 1/4 cp Agave
  • 1 tsp lemon peel powder (from Penzey’s)

I simple combined all dry ingredients and then the wet ones folded into the dry ones. I rolled into a log shape, then cut on angles to make triangular scones.  Baked on an ungreased (airbake) cookie sheet at 350 until golden brown.Izzy Age 1

I wish I had photos to share of these, they looked and smelled delicious.  Their taste really was not displeasing, it was savory and I prefer sweet. For some reason when I attempt gluten free scones I get the consistency correct, but my regular scones come out terrible.

Truth be told when we want a delicious vegan cupcake that I don’t have to bake we hit up the grocery store and pick up Swirlz cupcakes. While they do not do cheap cupcakes, they do create delicious cupcakes.  At $4 per mini cake creation I definitely take my time to savor each morsel, it slows down my munching and increases my awareness of flavor.  My two favorite vegan flavors they create are Peanut Butter Chocolate and Vanilla Vanilla.  Their Red Velvet leaves a great deal to be desired, starting with what exactly makes it red velvet? It is brown and tastes less bold than their Double Chocolate.  They also make a Vanilla on Chocolate cupcake. They are sold frozen and my family has been known to chow down on them in this state. It can definitely be less messy to allow children to eat frozen cupcakes, but for me they are also delectable defrosted in the fridge overnight.  Of all the vegan cupcakes on the market, gluten free and regular, Swirlz really has improved their product and I find it to be on

e of the best. The frosting isn’t too sweet and there is just the right amount.  Their cakes are moist and a little dense but still have some spring to them.  Vanilla vegan cake, especially gluten free, is very hard to prepare well but they nail it. Izzy loves their Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes – she undertakes the eating of them very seriously – just look at that face when I asked her to share with me.

Mango Coconut Tofu with Cilantro Chutney Vegan Recipe Share

I try not to eat out too much but there is a wonderful Indian restaurant in our town OMango that does fast, fresh and light Indian fare.  I am not a big fan of spicy or hot food, nor do I like oily or fried and OMango delivers! The prices are reasonable too, especially when they are running specials, but it is still eating out and unfortunately adds to the waistline while depleting the wallet lining.

DSC03857 Lightbulb moment! I will make my own Indian Cuisine at home.  Fail moment three weeks ago when I try to make my own dosa recipe and ruin a frying pan with some sort of globby mess. But I will not be stopped from creating cuisine worthy of my pallet in my own home.

I attempted again and wound up with what you see on page left.  This was my first homemade dosa attempt that worked (the texture was a little off), with homemade mango chutney and curried vegetables.

Fast forward and after a two time 3000 mile trip to Portland and back last week I gained 5 lbs.  It could be from sitting and sleeping in a car with three kids for 32 hours, it could be all of the delicious gluten free vegan food to be found in Portland (think mecca of munchies!) who can say, but I need to reign in the calories which means portion control.

Now, to some purveyors of fine Indian food what I am about to write next might be the epitome of faux pas akin to the mom who grabs a box of Duncan Hines to make homemade brownies for the bake sale, but yes I bought a Dosai mix made by the company Swad at my favorite grocery store, Caputo’s. And yes, it worked like gang busters! Finally a decent dosa I could photograph and replicate.

At first I was put off that the measurements for mixing were given in milliliters but then I realized my measuring cup has mLs marked off so 350 mLs of water later, and 15 minutes after mixing, my bowl was full of a fluffy bubbly kind of pancake batter. The first two attempts definitely failed big time, the suggestion of using a teaspoon of edible oil in the pan was not helpful.  I decided to treat these like pancakes and went for the Earth Balance spread, warmed the skillet, melted the “butter” and then ladled and spread 75 mL of batter onto the skillet (or approx 5 tbsp full). Success, even success times two!

While I wrestled with the carbohydrate portion of the meal the protein and the condiment were simple to make so I share below my personal recipes for Mango Coconut Tofu and Cilantro Chutney, enjoy!

Mango Coconut Tofu

  1. Diced tofu (I used one serving size)
  2. Diced Red pepper (I used 1/2)
  3. Diced tomato (I used 1 vine ripe small)
  4. 1 tsp cumin
  5. salt and pepper to taste
  6. 1 tsp oil (I used olive oil infused with basil)
  7. 2 mangoes (I used Manila)
  8. 1 can coconut milk (I used low fat)
  9. 2 tsp ajwain seedsDSC03893
  10. 2 tsp amchur powder
  11. 1/4 cp agave

Start by stir frying ingredients 1-6 together in a warm skillet (oil goes in first, then tofu, then veggies)

In a blender place ingredients 7-11. Peel and chop mangoes (the riper the better and you can probably omit the agave then) place them in a blender, add ingredients and blend until creamy.  Pour desired amount of sauce over the tofu mix and cook 5-10 minutes.

Cilantro Chutney

  1. Fresh Cilantro (I used roughly 2 bundles, cut the stems off)
  2. 1/4 cp apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/2 cp white wine vinegar
  4. 1/4 cp agave
  5. 1 tsp cumin

Simply blend all ingredients together until smooth or slightly chunky if you prefer.

Vegan Pizza Party Dinner Recipe

I’ve been in the mood for pizza lately.  Even though in the past I would buy my whole grain vegan pizza from Whole Foods it still is not the healthiest thing to eat, and they slowly raise the price by $1 every few months it seems.

After this morning’s brunch debacle I decided to include my older son in the process a bit more.  I asked if he would like to make a homemade pizza, and he agreed. I got the following ingredients together

IMG_0343Whole Wheat Vegan Crust 

  • yeast packet
  • 2 1/4 cp whole wheat flour (I buy it from Trader Joes)
  • 2 Tbs Agave (I picked it up at TJMaxx oddly)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil (I also use TJs)
  • 1 cup warm water (read yeast packet for how warm)

I brought the water to parboil on the stove, dumped the yeast into a mixing bowl along with the olive oil, agave, salt and buy that time hot water.  I mixed them all up until frothy.  Then I added 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing, and finally finished with the 1/4 cup, kneading the dough on my counter.  I covered the dough with the bowl for 15 minutes.  Then, flouring my surfaces I rolled my ball of dough out into a largish circle. Sadly I don’t own a pizza tray so I had to use a cookie pan – my pizza was a bit more rectangular.


  1. Rinaldi Marinara
  2. Spinach
  3. Orange Bell Peppers
  4. Fresh Oregano
  5. Daiya Shredded Mozzarella
  6. Daiya Havarti (for my half I like a little kick).

IMG_0341 I assembled the pizza with sauce first, then the peppers, then the spinach and oregano and finished with cheese to weight down the spinach. Popped this in the oven at 425 for 18 minutes until brown (your oven may differ use a spatula to check the bottom side).

The overall opinion was SUCCESS! My sons prefer no sauce so you can see a photo of their pizza as well there in the oven. The total cost for 2 pizzas for a family of 6 was roughly $5 in overall ingredients used.

Having your children in the kitchen with you is a key ingredient in getting them to eat new things.  The more they help prepare, the more they are willing to try.  Pizza is a great way to get children to try new vegetables and sauces.  You can make an adult and a kid pizza at the same time with little extra effort or cost. Help them get the crust ready, let them roll it out and then provide some chopped topping choices for them to sprinkle on their own pizza.  I even allow my children to help me chop vegetables.  My 11 year old I allow to chop on his own while supervised and my 4 year old I allow to help by holding the knife with me when I cut.