Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vegan Coconut Banana Berry Buckwheat Muffins

Bomb buckwheat muffins! Buckwheat is a very healthy grain. I cut down on the fat in this recipe by using light coconut milk and replacing some of the oil with applesauce. Also, I tend to add a shake of clove and nutmeg to recipes that call for cinnamon. I think it rounds out the taste, try it!

0.5 cups ground oats (I ground it mortar and pestle style with a whisk, not efficient but it works)
1 cup all purpose flour
0.75 cup buckwheat flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon
3 mashed ripe bananas
1 cup sugar
0.5 cup canola oil
0.5 cup applesauce
0.25 cup coconut milk
0.75 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs (I use Ener-G)
1 cup-ish of your favorite berries, I used a frozen mix

Mix the wet ingredients plus sugar, then mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine until just mixed, then add the berries. Fill a greased muffin tin with the batter, leaving about 1 cm at the top. These don't poof up much. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or so. Check them regularly, they're done when the sides start looking nice and brown and the top of each muffin is firm to the touch.

Unique and awesome muffins!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Soft Peanut Butter Banana Cookies!

I adapted a more traditional peanut butter cookie recipe, and they came out all fluffy, soft and delicious! However, the dough was a lot stickier so that made it difficult to make those cute fork lines in the cookies. Try adding more flour if you have problems with this.

2 cups flour
0.5 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
0.5 cups maple syrup
0.25 cups brown sugar
1 mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup peanut butter (Maranatha is the BEST)
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon

Mix wet and dry ingredients in separate containers. Combine and mix until just blended. Don't over mix as this affects the proteins in the flour (maybe I'm a biochemist, what of it?? hehe) and can make the cookies overly chewy. Make balls of dough approx. 1 inch diameter and place on a lightly greased or non-stick cookie sheet. Silicon sheets work great! Make little fork marks in them and add toppings, if you'd like. Bake at 350F until lightly browned on the edges. I don't like to list bake times because ovens are so varied, but check them after 7 minutes or so.

Try these tasty adornments:
  • add chocolate chips, the texture of these cookies is perfect for them!
  • or drizzle chocolate on top after the cookies have cooled
  • roll the balls of dough in sugar
  • put some shredded coconut on top
These went fast, especially the coconut ones!!! Enjoy.
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Monday, January 14, 2008

Macaroni and chReese

...also known as Mac & Chreese, is a staple of my diet. Its a soy free, vegan macaroni and cheese alternative that's actually pretty tasty, if you make it right. It's nutritional yeast and flour based, so Mac & Chreese is fairly healthy as well. Its sold in typical macaroni and cheese package format, but to save money I buy the chreese product in bulk. I always make it with whole wheat pasta, or this high protein 7-grain pasta.

To prepare, I generally follow the instructions. I'd advise adding a swig of good olive oil and extra milk product to make it creamier, a more realistic macaroni and cheese texture. I prefer almond milk, but rice milk works as well. Be aware that these milk products are very sweet, and this will affect the taste of the mac & chreese. Add salt, garlic, and/or more chreese powder to compensate if it gets too sweet. Try both the mozzarella and the cheddar!
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Spreadable Oil

I read somewhere that olive oil will solidify if you leave it in the fridge for a bit. So, I put a bit of first cold pressed oil into the refrigerator, and voila out came spreadable olive oil. Its not quite the same as margarine, but with a little bit of salt it could be adequate.

Make sure the oil you use says "first cold pressed" on the bottle. The oil is darker and greener than the cheaper stuff commonly used in cooking. First pressed oil comes from the initial pressing of the olives so has a great deal more flavor. This won't make any difference as far as solidifying is concerned, but the taste is so much better!
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Saturday, January 12, 2008


mmmmmm pancakes.

1.5 cups all-purpose flour, I like white whole wheat flour best
3.5 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unrefined white sugar
1.25 cups milk product (I prefer almond)
1 mashed ripe banana
2 tablespoons canola oil
pinch of cinnamon

Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. You may want to add more milk to thin out the batter. Heat the griddle on medium to medium-high, oil it up, and add pancake batter. About 0.25 cups batter per pancake works well. Makes moderate servings for 3-4 people.
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Friday, January 11, 2008

Meat substitutes

A couple of high-protein, soy free vegan meat options.

Amy's breakfast patties taste a lot like smart bacon to me. They get a little gross and chewy around the edges if they're overcooked at all, but otherwise Amy's kitchen delivers. Check out the California burger on the same page, also soy free though I've never tried them.

Sunshine burgers are sunflower-seed based and have a very unique flavor. They're fatty, but the flavor is fairly light and appetizing. Doesn't taste quite like any other burger I've tried.
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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

No Soy Sauce

Its sushi-making time!!!! My favorite soviet vegan and I are making sushi tomorrow, so I've been trying to make a soy sauce substitute. Here's my first attempt:

0.5 cup balsamic vinegar
3-4 cloves garlic
1 cup molasses
1.5 t salt
garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, coriander to taste

Very roughly chop the garlic cloves and add them to the balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Let sit overnight so the garlic flavor infuses. Add molasses, salt, and spices according to taste. 1 t or so of onion and garlic powders, and just a pinch of turmeric and coriander. Mix well and enjoy!
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chocolate Avocado Pie

Rich, loaded with healthy fats, and soy-free, this pie is easy and uniquely delicious!

pre-made graham cracker crust, chocolate or regular

or try

1 small package of graham crackers (10 cracker sheets), try Hain chocolate grahams or these
2 Tablespoons of oil (light flavor, like canola. Avoid vegetable, its mostly soy oil!)

Crush graham cracker with rolling pin, mix with oil and press into pie pan. Bake at 375F for around 8 minutes.

2-3 ripe avocados
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8-12oz vegan chocolate (watch out for soy lecithin!) , try the products here or here
1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Blend avocado until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Melt chocolate in a double broiler or over very low heat. Add between 8 and 12 oz of chocolate and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, to taste. Blend well with avocado and pour into crust. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
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Monday, January 7, 2008


One of my favorite foods lately is quinoa. It's a grain, but unlike most grains it contains all of the essential amino acids. In other words, its a great source of protein! Quinoa is also a significant source of potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Plus, its suitable for both soy and gluten-free diets. It's found in cold and hot cereals, as a raw grain, and in some more unusual products. Here are some that I have tried:

quinoa smoothie I tried the pina coloda, pretty tasty

Quinoa Corp. They offer many quinoa products. I recommend the Quinoa Flakes as hot cereal with a bit of rice milk, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Plain quinoa can be a protein-rich substitute for rice. I've had it in soup and its quite delicious.
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Friday, January 4, 2008

Hidden Soy

I've come across many websites with listings of soy derivatives, here's a summary of hidden ingredients you may find in vegan foods.

Guar Gum
Gum Arabic
Hydrolized (Vegetable) Protein
Mono and Diglycerides
Natural Flavors
TVP (textured vegetable protein)
Vegetable Oil
Vegetable Broth
Vegetable Gum
Vegetable starch
Vitamin E

Most people with soy allergies can tolerate many of these ingredients. Soy oil, for example, has a negligible concentration of allergens and only the most sensitive individuals will react. Vitamin E and MSG are also distant derivatives and won't give most people any issues.
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