Category Archives: Vegan

Broccoli–Oven Seared Sensation

Do you have broccoli haters in  your life?  Want to “wow” them with a new treatment that actually makes them long for you to prepare broccoli?  All you need to accomplish this great feat is: a blazing hot oven, smidgeon of salt, sugar and an even smaller smidgeon of pepper.  Are you intrigued?  I hope so.  Broccoli is on the super food list; finding a great way to present it to your dubious eaters is a task worth pursuing.  Don’t you agree?

Roasted Broccoli

One large bunch of broccoli

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

Oven prep:  put rack at lowest position; place a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack; turn oven to 500 degrees.  Yes, preheat to 500 degrees.

Cut broccoli stems off tops ( separate the tree tops from the trunks)

Peel the stems to remove tough outer sheaf.

Slice into 1/2 inch widths.

Place broccoli pieces into a large bowl. Mix oil with sugar and salt and a dash of pepper and drizzle over broccoli.

Toss with spatula to coat with oil.

Remove HOT pan from oven and quickly dump broccoli onto pan, spreading out the pieces.  It will SIZZLE!

Return to oven and bake for 9 minutes, until broccoli is nicely browned.

Serve to your broccoli haters….they will be amazed at the sweet, mellow flavor of this much maligned vegetable.


This recipe is just one of the reasons I renewed my subscription to Cook’s Illustrated.


This recipe is linked to Fight Back Friday @



Filed under Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Side Dishes, Vegan

Seed Bread–Step by Step

Here’s the post I promised–a step by step tutorial on making whole grain seed bread.

First up, gather your supplies:


8 x 4 loaf bread pans

Plastic wrap or cotton kitchen towel

Large rising bowl

Heavy Duty mixer with dough hook or very, very strong arms

Kitchen thermometer

Rolling pin or dowel

Dough scraper


2/3 cup steel cut oats

1 tablespoon salt

4-5 cups good quality whole wheat flour, freshly milled, if possible

3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons each black, golden & brown sesame seeds, flax seeds

2 tablespoons vegetable oil & flax seed oil (or all vegetable oil)

3 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey if preferred – not vegan)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 ounce raisins


The night before you are planning to bake:

Place 2/3 cup steel cut oats in saucepan

Measure in 1 tablespoon salt

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil; pour boiling water over oats.  Cook on low heat until thick, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the stove.

Next up–the seeds!

4 tablespoons sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons  of each of the following: black sesame seeds, brown sesame seeds, golden sesame seeds, & flax seeds

Mix together

Stir seed mixture into oatmeal

Cover and let sit overnight.

If you can, mill whole wheat berries into flour

If you don’t have that option, choose the best quality, “fresh” whole wheat flour you can find i.e. don’t use the local supermarket’s dusty bag of whole wheat flour.  Whole wheat flour becomes rancid and does not behave well when it sits on the shelf for months.

Soak 1 ounce of raisins in 1/2 cup water for 15-30 minutes, until raisins are plumped (you can do this step the night before at the same time as the oats)

When nicely plumped, pour water and raisins into blender and liquify.

Pour into seed/oats

I am sure you are thinking by now:  “I see why Dave’s Killer Bread” is over $5 a loaf”

To the oat/seed/raisins, add

2 tablespoons good quality vegetable oil

2 tablespoons flax seed oil

3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey

Warm 1/2 cup water to 110 degrees.  Stir in 2 teaspoons dry yeast and let sit 5 minutes until foamy.

Using a heavy duty mixer with dough attachment:

Measure 3 cups whole wheat flour into mixing bowl


3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten

Blend oat and yeast mixtures into flour on low.

Not very promising.  But wait! Give the flour time to absorb your oat/seeds.  About a 15 minute rest, at least.

Then adding somewhere between 1-2 more cups of flour, knead the dough with your machine.

When properly kneaded, it will look very rustic but clear the sides of the bowl.

Plop it on your counter

Now give it the finishing turns to make a lovely ball.

Place ball in large rising bowl

Cover with a damp cotton dish towel

Place in a warm location and let rise until doubled. One to one and half hours.

Doubled dough does not fill in when you poke it 🙂

It sighs instead.

Do this one more time, deflate, round into a ball and let rise once more.  It will take half as long this time.


Cut in two with a dough scraper (if you don’t own a dough scraper, I would hurry and get one.  They are an inexpensive, invaluable tool for all sorts of scraping you do in the kitchen)

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutesThe 10 minute rest relaxes the dough so the next step is easier–roll the round into a rectangle

Using your dough scraper,  tightly roll the rectangle into a loaf

Tuck in the ends

Place in prepared 8 x 4 loaf pans (spray with PAM),  place in warm rising area, and cover with plastic wrap or wet towel

Let rise until beautifully doubled in pan

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for35- 45 minutes.  The loaves will be a deep golden color.  Leave loaves in pans to cool for 2-5 minutes on a rack, then flip onto rack to cool.  The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Your reward.


We would LOVE any feedback on this recipe.  What worked or didn’t work for you!

This post is linked to Pennywise Platter and Monday Mania


Filed under Breads and such, Eating well, Vegan

Vegan Peanut Sauce

Are you a fan of Thai food?  Peanut Sauce?  This post continues my search for easy, make-ahead Vegan food.  I started with an online recipe and expanded it to include more texture and flavors.  It was beautiful to make.  Hope you enjoy the pictures and are inspired!

Vegan Peanut Sauce with Rice Noodles

2 TB coconut oil (or other vegetable oil)

2 shallots

1/2 red and yellow pepper

5 large mushrooms

3 celery stalks

2 carrots

1 cup natural peanut butter, chunky or smooth

4 TB brown sugar

1 TB soy sauce

1/2 lime

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 to 1 cup hot water

Hot sauce to taste

Rice noodles, soaked in hot water until soft

Chop shallots.

In medium pan, on medium heat, melt coconut oil.  Saute shallots.

While shallots are cooking, dice peppers.

Add to onion

While peppers are softening in oil, chop celery

And carrots

Add both to onions and peppers

Measure peanut butter

Pour in soy sauce and brown sugar

Slice mushrooms.  When you are satisfied your vegetables are soft, in go the mushrooms.

Partially cover with lid

Cook briefly, until mushrooms are the way you like them…soft? Still some chew?

Squeeze lime to juice into peanut butter mixture

Stir together and “dump” into vegetables.  The peanut butter will melt as it heats.  Continue to stir until the vegetables are well coated.

Now for the creamy finishing touch…fold in coconut milk

Whisk gently until velvety, adding hot water as needed.

Pour over softened noodles and serve.  If you want more “heat”, add hot sauce.

For a non-vegan option, add chopped, grilled chicken

Although there are many ingredients, the prepping does not take long and you do it as you are cooking.  From first chop to mouth in less than 45 minutes.  You can’t get take-out in that time, can you?


This post is part of Fresh Bites Friday @


Filed under Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Main Dish, Vegan

Vegan Whole Grain Seeded Bread

If you live in the Pacific Northwest,  you have certainly heard of the story of Dave’s Killer Bread.  Son of a baker, Dave came into his legacy late in life after a rather storied past.  He has ingeniously used that story,  together with terrific baking skills, to market a wonderful line of vegan friendly, whole foods bread.  “WOW”. That is what most people say when they eat his bread.  It’s also terrifically expensive.  I am going on a baking journey to find his secrets and have ‘Dave’s bread on demand’.   I have scoured the internet for ideas and have only found one “genuine” Dave’s recipe–for his “Sin Dawgs” i.e. cinnamon bread roll.  Some help, but only the barest.

UPDATE:  Here’s the complete recipe link!

Here is my first attempt…no recipe, just pictures of my first two loaves.

I started with my favorite, “tried and true” Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book Oatmeal Bread recipe.  Using the steel cut oats from his ingredient list, I added 2 tablespoons of each of the seeds listed.  I let the seed/oat mixture sit overnight.  My whole grain recipe calls for two risings and then shaping for another rise.

I cut the dough in half

I rolled out each piece until the dough mounds were about 3/8  inch thick

Using a dough scraper

I rolled the dough into a tight loaf, tucking in the ends

Gently I lifted the dough into the  8 x 5 loaf pans and set them in a warm location (in this case, the oven stove top)

Covered it the pans with a damp cotton towel

Then it was a waiting game…until the dough has doubled in size

Baked at 350 degrees in just 35 minutes I had these loaves to admire!

Although we were pleased with the bread, I have some work to do on the recipe.

More to come!



Filed under Breads and such, Vegan

Vegan “Cheese” Casserole

This was going to be Vegan Mac and Cheese post until I realized that rice noodles were the only vegan pasta I had on hand.  I have been attempting to expand my vegan cooking/baking I do for my vegan son.  Mostly, it’s been Bean Enchiladas for ages.  Lately, I have been filling the enchiladas with not only beans but sauteed tofu, onions and chopped red pepper.

But I digress.  I did some research of recipes online for vegan mac and cheese and found a recipe that used not only nutritional yeast (a common favorite for the “cheese” taste) but sweet potatoes.  I was intrigued.  It passed my son’s taste test so here’s the recipe with my changes, comments and pictures.

Vegan “Cheese” Casserole

6 TB nutritional yeast flakes

1 1/2 cup soy milk

3 steamed and mashed sweet potatoes

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon pepper or, to taste

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/2 cup chopped onion

Rice noodles, approximately 12 ounces

Crumb Topping

1 cup Panko

1/4 cup vegan margarine

1 teaspoon veggie seasoning

Measure soy milk and add to a medium mixing bowl.

Add nutritional yeast, vinegar and pepper

Press garlic to mince

Chop onion.  The next time I make this, I will saute the onion in oil to soften and mellow the taste.  An improvement suggested by the recipient.

Whisk onion into yeast mixture

Steam sweet potatoes.  I am a huge fan of the microwave steam bags; easy and FAST.  Remove peels.

Mash until creamy

Soak rice noodles in hot water until soft

Melt margarine in small saucepan.  Add Panko and seasoning.

Mix until Panko is thoroughly coated

Stir softened noodles into sauce

Coat noodles

Place in baking dish.  I found these small foil pans at the Dollar Store.  They are the perfect size for small meals, made ahead.

Top with crumbs

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until nicely browned.

I liked this picture so much, I had to add it at the beginning and end.

More vegan recipes to come! 🙂


Leave a comment

Filed under Eating well, Lunch, Main Dish, Uncategorized, Vegan

Falling for Sweet Potatoes

“Sweet potatoes” Do you think of Thanksgiving dinner, whipped up with marshmallow topping?  Or have you joined the foodies who are always finding a new way to add these nutrition power houses to your diet?  In 2008, Cook’s Illustrated published a recipe for roasted sweet potatoes that changed how we most frequently eat sweet potatoes, forever.  With their science editors and multiple testings, they came up with a method that insures, every time, perfectly tender, over-the-top sweet potatoes.  They are even good cold from the frig for a healthy snack!

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes

Trim ends, peel and slice into 3/4 inch rounds

Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

2 tablespoons oil…..I used coconut oil, which out of my cupboard, looks like this:

Into my microwave for 10 seconds to liquify.

Pour oil over potatoes and stir to coat each slice.

Line a baking sheet with foil , spray with PAM and spread slices on sheet.


Cover tightly with foil.


Place in cold oven on middle rack and turn oven to 425 degrees.  Bake 30 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and carefully remove foil covering.

Place back in oven for 15 to 25 minutes until golden brown on top.

Remove pan from oven and flip slices over.  Return to oven to brown remaining side, 18 to 22 minutes.

When you love the way they look :); take the pan out and let them cool 5-10 minutes.


Who knew healthy could taste so good?






Leave a comment

Filed under Eating well, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, Vegan

Walnut Pesto (Crema)

Another recipe lurking around my files has been Walnut Crema….a pesto made with walnuts and red onion instead of basil and Parmesan cheese.  The pictures were lovely and it sounded so intriguing….and I am always looking for new offerings for my vegan son.  I was pleased with the results.  Some of the ways to use crema:  as a substitute for mayo, on pasta, as a dip or spread akin to hummus or on your next pizza instead of tomato puree. Feeling adventuresome?

Walnut Crema

Simple ingredients:

1 1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onion

Kosher salt

Fill a large pot with water; add 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil.

Add walnuts to steam basket, if you have one…….or you can just put the walnuts directly into the water.

Place basket into boiling water and blanch for 10 minutes, or until walnuts are tender.

Remove basket and drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.  Blanching removes the bitterness of the walnuts.

Dice the red onion.

Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan.  Add onion and a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.  Saute until golden brown, approximately 7 minutes.

Combine the sauteed onion, walnuts and reserved cooking liquid into food processor.

Process until creamy.

With the processor running, stream in remaining olive oil.

It should resemble hummus. If it seems a bit thick, add a little water.

Let sit at room temperature, covered, for two hours.

Although not a vegan serving option, we spread it on whole grain bread, sprinkled with cheese AND


A taste sensation.


Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, Eating well, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dishes, Vegan