Monday, June 20, 2011

Sausage gravy and biscuits

I'd never tried sausage gravy and biscuits when I was a meat-eater. The dish just never appealed to me. So of course, a year after going vegan, all of the sudden it looks delish! I googled and found this recipe.

I mostly followed the recipe, with a few changes. I used almond flour instead of regular flour for the biscuits since my boyfriend is trying to cut some carbs. The biscuits turned out pretty yummy. Not deliciously fluffy, but tasty in their own way. I tried the biscuits with regular flour another time and that was delicious too (though not as healthy!). I did find the gravy to be too rich (it calls for 6 tbsp of olive oil!) and it gave me a bit of indigestion. I made it a second time with half oil and half soy milk and it was much better. So my recipe stands as this:


2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup earth balance
3/4 cup plain soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
(1 tsp xanthan gum if using gluten free flour)

3 tbsp olive oil+3 tbsp soy milk
1/2 cup flour
32 oz soy milk
1/2 tube of Gimme lean sausage (this is my fave)
Pepper to taste

For biscuits, preheat oven to 400*. Add vinegar to soy milk to create "buttermilk". Combine flour, baking powder, margarine and sea salt until just combined and crumbly. Add "buttermilk" to flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not over mix! Press the dough out 3/4" high (use more flour if necessary to prevent sticking) and cut out biscuit shapes. Bake 400* for 10-13 minutes.

For the sausage gravy, brown sausage in a pan, set aside. Cook the oil and flour to create a roux. Preheat your soy milk a little (warm, not hot). Pour half of it into the roux and whisk, adding more milk as needed. Add sausage and season to taste. Serve over biscuits.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Super fast, super easy Minestrone Soup

Sorry, no pic for this one. I've made this several times since the cold weather set in, but neglected to take pics. For the same reason I all but abandoned this blog....too darn busy!

So you want a big pot of yummy soup but don't want to spend an hour making it? Here's a fast and easy way to make minestrone. This is a hearty soup that really doesn't need anything else. It's a meal in itself.


2-3 cups of vegetable stock OR 2-3 cups of water and enough bullion cubes to season it
2-3 cups of tomato juice
1 can of beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag of mixed veggies
1 cup of dried pasta
1 onion (optional)

If you want onion in yours, start by heating some oil in your pot, then chopping the onion and sauteing it for 7 minutes or so. Then add your broth or water and bullion cubes, and tomato juice and heat to boiling. Use more stock and juice for a more "soupy" soup and less for more of a "stew". Add your pasta and cook until almost done. Then add your bag of veggies and the can of beans. Pepper to taste. Cook until pasta is done and veggies and beans are heated through.

Easy peasy! It won't win awards, but it sure does hit the spot!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mexican Pizza

I've tried a few cheese-less pizzas and to be honest, I miss the cheese! So even though cheese-less pizza is tasty, it doesn't really satisfy me in the way I want it to. But this pizza was completely new to me. I never "expected" anything out of it. So the fact that it doesn't have cheese is no big deal. It's great! Even my omni boyfriend loves it.


Pizza crust (packaged or homemade)
Refried beans
Any variety of toppings:
Lentils or Boca crumbles cooked in taco seasoning

Bake the crust for a few minutes. Mix 1/2 a can of beans with about 1/2 cup of salsa. Spread it over the crust like sauce. Top it with your favorite toppings (except lettuce) and finish cooking according to the crust directions. Top with lettuce and serve.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Beans and Cornbread

It isn't very photogenic but it's oh so good! An ultimate comfort food and cheap to boot, everyone needs a good recipe for this classic so here's mine.



2 cans of beans (any kind or a variety), drained and rinsed, OR 3 cups of cooked beans
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 roma tomatoes, diced and seeded
4 slices of mock ham, chopped (optional)
1-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste


1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cornmeal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp milled flax seed + 2 tbsp water, mixed
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/8 cup canola oil

In a large saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in a little oil over medium. Add the mock ham and heat through. Mix in beans and about 1/8 cup of water (enough to make it very slightly soupy) and stir. Add chopped tomatoes and maple syrup. Season to taste, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes. For cornbread, heat oven to 400*, mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until just moistened. Pour into a greased muffin tin (makes about 6) and bake 15-18 minutes. Place cornbread muffins in a bowl and spoon beans over top. Makes about 3-4 servings.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I threw together a veggie lasagna tonight using the mozzarella Daiya cheese. It was pretty good, but I'm not that great with lasagna. I've made maybe 5 in my life. Ok, so I'll remind you not to put a layer of noodles on the top without putting sauce over it. It's dry. It's hard to chew. But the rest of it was pretty good. I made a small lasagna in an 8"x8" casserole dish so you'll want to double this if you make a full size one.


4 lasagna noodles
1/2 jar of pasta sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, shredded
1/2 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup Boca crumbles (optional)
1/3 cup of Daiya cheese (or less)

Break each noodle in half. Boil them until tender. Drain and set aside. Saute the veggies in oil until softened, add Boca crumbles and sauce, heat through. Layer the noodles, sauce mixture, and cheese in a casserole dish. Makes about 3 layers. Bake in a 375* oven about 30 minutes.

The Boca crumbles really weren't necessary. They tasted fine but I didn't feel like they really did anything for me. I'll leave them out next time. I used about 1/3 cup of cheese for the entire thing but even that much seemed like a little too much. Maybe 1/4 cup would be better. I used the veggies I had on hand but of course you could experiment. For those of you that like them, I'm sure mushrooms would do well in this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

This is something I'd never even tried until after I went vegetarian. I guess it's a common meat dish, sometimes called "Hamburger Pie". I'm surprised I never tried it because it seems like *exactly* the type of dish I would have loved as an omni. Not to mention super cheap and would have been great those times I had $8 for a whole week of groceries plus what was left in my pantry. Oh well, I'm over it. It's not like it's really healthy or anything so I wasn't missing out on much in all those years. This came from Living Among Meat-Eaters.

1 cup dried lentils
1 large yellow onion
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil for sauteing
1 tsp mixed dried herbs (marjoram, thyme, basil, ect)
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce OR 1 15 can of stewed tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper
4 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed
nutritional yeast

Cook lentils until tender, drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 350*. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil until softened. Add herbs, tomatoes, soy sauce, and lentils. Salt and pepper to taste, stir. Spoon mixture into a lightly oiled baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes over top, drawing fork over the surface to make ridges. Sprinkle paprika and nutritional yeast flakes over top of potatoes. Bake 45 minutes.

The only thing I change about this recipe is that I increase the amount of veggies and use different ones sometimes. I added zucchini once, which was good, and my boyfriend requested cabbage the next time, so we'll see how that goes. I also omit the soy sauce. I find it plenty salty and flavorful enough without it. Other people may like it with the soy sauce though. Sometimes I put the nutritional yeast on it, sometimes not. If it's not your thing, just leave it off.

This is a good, hearty meal, but holy starch! Save it for a once in a while meal. ;-)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I don't cook all the time!

Some people may see this blog and think I must cook all the time! But I actually don't. Not even every day. For example, I might have a smoothie for breakfast, a bowl of cereal for a snack, a sandwich and fruits and veggies for lunch, and leftovers or take-out for dinner. I probably cook 5 times a week. So this is a post about all the OTHER stuff I eat.

For breakfast I love my smoothie, but sometimes I save it for a snack and eat typical breakfast food instead. I love pancakes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, cold cereal, and fruit. I might actually cook breakfast (pancakes and maybe hashbrowns) once every other week. I've recently gotten addicted to Cascadian Farms Cinnamon Crunch cereal. It's a great substitute for Cinnamon Toast Crunch but I have to watch my intake. I'd eat a whole box in one day if I let myself! I love regular almond milk poured over cereal.

For lunch I generally have half a peanut butter sandwich on Arnold's bread (the slices are larger, which is why I only have one piece), a TON of fruits and veggies, some dip, and maybe a treat, like a fruit leather or cookie. I can load up a full-sized dinner plate for about 500 calories. This (and my smoothie) is how I manage to get about 10-12 servings of fruit and veggies a day. It takes a while to munch through all of that produce, so I always feel satisfied by the time I'm done. Unlike with the Cinnamon Crunch cereal, which I inhale in about 90 seconds and still always want more. I'm addicted to Annie's Goddess Dressing. It has plenty of calories though, which is why I measure it out (yes that's a medicine cup you see in the first pic!).

Aren't they lovely lunches?

Sometimes I'll have salad too, but I'm not a huge salad person. When I do eat one, I make it good. Not iceburg lettuce and dry carrot sticks. I load it up with all sorts of veggies, beans, and nuts. On this salad I have a Quorn Chik'n pattie which I no longer eat because it has dairy. Their plain (unbreaded) ones are dairy-free though (but still have egg). There's tons of other protein packed vegan meat substitues you could use to make an entree salad though. I love Bacos! they always make a salad seem complete, they have only 30 calories per serving, but have 3 g of protein. A well-planned salad can pack almost a full day's worth of protein without a ton of calories. This one had 600 calories and a whopping 35 grams of protein!

And in case you are wondering, it doesn't take me long at all to prepare my veggies. I generally cut, wash, and store everything that day I buy it. It seems to help most stuff last longer that way anyway. I keep my carrots and celery in upright containers with water in them. I remove stems from grapes and wash and store them right away. I love a snack of cold grapes! I buy huge amounts of broccoli because I eat so much of it. Usually 3 heads per week. I cut and store it immediately in baggies. I eat it raw but also use steam it (I'll never be able to go back to using frozen broccoli!). I also cut and freeze my berries and bananas days in advance so I can just reach in the freezer and grab what I need (plus a smoothie just isn't the same if the fruit isn't frozen). It takes maybe half an hour to prepare a week's worth of veggies.

Hope that helps any aspiring vegetarians! It's not as hard as it seems to go without meat (or all animal products for that matter). You have to REALLY appreciate plant foods though. I've been trying all sorts of new things. Can you believe I had my first nectarine only 2 weeks ago!? There's always a ton of just have to troll the produce department and see what's available. Enjoy each and every bite and allow yourself a splurge once in a while. Those chewy chocolate raspberry cookies are the perfect end to ANY meal!