Monday, December 26, 2011

Feliz Navidad

We enjoyed our annual traditional tamale feast this Christmas! Please see last year's blog for full details on how to make these amazing Vegan Tamales! The Salsa Fairy visited us too this year, the perfect accoutrement for our tamales.

For Dessert we enjoyed Christmas Cookies (see last year’s post for recipe) and Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
from The Joy of Vegan Baking page 92 (I made some modifications)

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 tsp Ener-G-Egg replacer
6 tbs water
16 ounces nondairy cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree

Graham cracker or pecan.(I used graham crackers)

I added caramelized pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Combine all ingredients and mix with a hand mixer.
Pour into prepared crust
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
Then reduce to 325 and bake for 20 minutes
Let cool and top with pecans.....


Happy Festivus!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Real Men Aren’t Afraid of Tempeh

Tonight my hubby is cooking! J Thank you A.P. and The 30-minute Vegan cookbook for this awesome and quick recipe. He modified the tempeh enchilada recipe into a Tempeh Enchilada Casserole:

What you need:
1/2 yellow onion diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1/2 red, 1/2 yellow, 1/2 orange bell peppers diced
2  8 oz packages of Tempeh*
1 can of Hatch Enchilada sauce (or make your own. Beware most sauces contain chicken broth so read labels. Hatch is a very common brand sold almost anywhere)
And some added spices:
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 garlic cloves crushed

What you do:
Mix all of this in a large bowl. Use your hands to break up the tempeh into little bits.

Grease the bottom of a 9X13 casserole dish.

Create a layered casserole by alternating layers of corn tortillas and tempeh mix.

Dip the corn tortillas in enchilada sauce and place in the bottom of the dish. Spoon some of the tempeh mixture across the tortillas, add another layer of tortillas, add more tempeh, then add one more layer of tortillas and one more layer of tempeh.

And optional toppings:
IF you want a cheesy topping --- then top with Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese.
Sprinkle with chopped green onions and black olives.

Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Dig in!

Adults: 2 thumbs up!
Children: 4 thumbs up!

*For those who don’t know, Tempeh is naturally fermented soybeans and therefore like Edamame packed full of fiber and protein. It is sold in the refrigerated aisle by all the tofu products, however it has a very different texture than tofu, more firm and nutty. Just like my husband. J (he doesn’t read my blog)….

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Turtles for Sea Turtles!!!

I love making turtles. So easy and delicious!
All you need are pecans, vegan caramel, and some vegan dark chocolate. I use raw or the spicy pecan halves from Trader Joe’s. I buy my vegan caramels online through JJ’s Cocomels (although you could make your own – many recipes online). Most dark chocolate would work, I use the semi-sweet chocolate chips from Trader Joe’s.

Melt your caramels in the microwave or on the stovetop. Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave. Next, arrange your pecans on wax paper and then top with caramel, then chocolate….. Let cool and devour!

This year while eating your turtles, think about saving some sea turtles!!!
There are many conservation groups, rescues, and charities focused on helping these beautiful sea creatures.
If you would like to help out, you can search online or visit my favorite Sea Turtle Rescue: the Sea Turtle Restoration Project at


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mega-Bean Soup!! (more like Stew)

I decided to take the basic Lentil Soup recipe and add some more super beans and super grains!!!! This resulted in a delicious and hearty stew! So easy to assemble and perfect for that cold winter day (even in Arizona!).


1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup brown lentils
½ cup red lentils
¼ cup black beluga lentils
½ cup yellow/green split peas
¼ cup black eyed peas
¼ cup mung beans
¼ cup wild barley
½ cup wild rice

10 cups of vegetable stock
3 cups of water
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chili pepper
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
½ cup parsley
1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped


Sauté the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and olive oil in your soup pot.
Then add the vegetable stock and water.
Add all the beans and grains (make sure to have rinsed them first)
Cook for approximately 1 hr (till all beans and grains are tender)
Then add spices, tomatoes, and parsley
Serve hot!

Adult: 2 thumbs up
Kids: 4 thumbs up