Tag Archives: Vegan

Recipe: Vegan Zucchini Muffins and Zucchini Recipe Resource!

Finely Shredded Zucchini.

I love Zucchini, and it seems to be one of those garden veggies that simply thrive no matter where I’ve seen it grow around the Pacific Northwest. I prefer the delicate young ones for eating with pasta, or on the grill. Once they get bigger and tough skinned, the only way I like to eat them is in a baked goodie. So, this recipe has been a staple for a few years now. Once we discovered our daughter could no longer eat eggs and dairy, I modified it to this current one. These muffins are just as tasty! I think muffins last about 2-3 days before they need to get tossed in the compost bin. But, we never have them sitting around here that long. I’ve also frozen them and found they are delicious once thawed out. Okay, onto the recipe:

Recipe: Vegan Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients

– 1.5 Cups Flour (I like to use a 1:3 ratio of Refined and Whole Sprouted Spelt Flour)

– 1/4 Cup Sugar (Regular, Sucanat, or Turbinado is great)

– 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

– 1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

– 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

– 1 Cup Finely Shredded Zuchhini

– 1/3 Cup Applesauce (unsweetened, plain or with Cinnamon)

– 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

– 1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

– 2/3 Cups Water

Mix the wet ingredients with the dry.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and in a separate bowl mix the wet, then combine. You can fill lined or greased muffin tins – this recipe makes 12 regular sized muffins, or 24 mini-muffins. It also fills a 9×13 Cake sheet for making cake like bars (I’d recommend lining it with Parchment paper first). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Feel free to add a cup of crushed Walnuts or Pecans. Dried Currants or Cranberries are another nice addition to this recipe. I’ve also successfully used Brown Rice Flour or Whole Grain Flour, but find a ratio with Refined Flour suits our tastes. And, I’m happy to share that you can substitute the Apple Sauce for 1/4 Cup Butter, or 1 egg for the 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice if you want. This recipe is really an easy, flexible one that can be modified for whatever dietary sensitivities you may have.

Mini Zucchini Muffins ready to eat!

Zucchini Lovers Recipe Resource:

I was delighted to find a local blog, Seattle Seedling, with a whole page dedicated to Zucchini Recipes! There’s 13 and counting recipes from Zucchini Risotto to Chocolate Chip Cookies (I never would have thought of that).

p.s. Shared on Simple Lives Thursday – recipe, real food info round up.

Recipe: Applesauce Cookies

Applesauce Cookies with Currants.

After researching vegan cookies, I came up with this recipe. It is egg-less, and butter-less, but tastes light and is surprisingly soft. You can easily make these more crisp by baking longer. And, since it is so simple, it lends itself well to whatever additions you want. I have thought that crushed Walnuts, Pecans or slivered Almonds would be tasty extras. But, our Little Miss can’t digest them very well, so I haven’t tried them yet.

I have enjoyed these as a classic cookie flavor using only Vanilla and as a light Lemon variation with Currants. Below is the recipe with the modifications depending on what you’re taste buds want.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 Cups Flour

– 1/4 Cup Sugar (or Sucanat)

– 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

– 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

– 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

– 3 Table Spoons Ghee or Coconut Oil (Vegan friendly)

– 1 Tablespoon Vinegar or Lemon Juice

– 1 Tablespoon Vanilla or 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

– 1/4 Cup Applesauce

Pulling the dough up around the shapes is easier.

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl mix together wet ingredients (if making Lemon Cookies, add the Lemon Zest too). Add wet ingredients to the dry and blend until the dough becomes soft like play dough.

You can roll the dough out onto a floured surface and use cookie cutters for fun shapes. When doing so, I’ve found it helpful to roll the dough onto Parchment paper, then cut shapes and then pull the dough up off the surface. Otherwise it can be tricky to transfer onto a cookie sheet. These only take 15 min to bake depending on how thick you want them.

Or you can simply shape Table Spoon sized dough balls and place onto the cookie sheet to bake. These take about 20 min to bake depending on how soft you like your cookie.

This recipe yields about 12-36 cookies depending on size.

Enjoy with a cup of Tea or your favorite beverage!

p.s. Let me know if you try other ingredients and how it turned out.

Recipe: Carrot Basil Soup

Basil Carrot Soup with Zucchini

I love the smell of Basil. And, Carrots are one of my favorite vegetables. These are the two reasons for creating this soup recipe.  It works as a great base to add complimentary vegetables, and if you chose to add fat and protein, all you need to do is add some Ghee, Butter, Chicken or Beef stock. From start to finish, it takes about 30 minutes or a little longer when you add extras. I chose to add Zucchini to my last batch, and it was so yummy!

Basil Carrot Soup Recipe

Ingredients:

– 3 Cups chopped Carrots (about 6-8 Carrots)

– 3 Cups Water

– 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

– 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

– 1 Tablespoon Freshly Diced Basil

– 1 Teaspoon Salt plus more to taste

Wash, peel and chop Carrots into 1/2 inch rounds, and place in a sauce pan to boil with 2 cups water. Once the Carrots are soft enough to puncture with a fork (about 5-10min), let cool for 5 minutes. Add to a Blender with residual Water, and add one additional cup of Water before blending on High for about 2 min. Depending on you blender, you may need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix the Carrots and blend to create a smooth texture. Once you get it to your liking, return the mixture to your sauce pan or pot, turning the heat onto a Medium-High setting. Add Salt and Herbs and let simmer until you are ready to eat. Enjoy with homemade, fresh Bread or Crackers!

The recipe yields 2 large bowls or 4 small bowls of soup. You can easily multiply the ingredients to make a larger batch.

This is a great recipe for experimenting – let me know what delicious variation you discover!

p.s. I have successfully added left over rice for more substance, and frozen Peas to cool it down quickly for eating.

p.s.s. I love this recipe enough that I also shared it on The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Recipe/Food round up.


Recipe: Garden Green Salad

Garden Green Salad

April will always remind me of my Grandma. Her birthday would be this month. She was an avid gardener and practiced edible landscaping before it became popular. But, she was not a fan of salads, and referred to them as “rabbit food.”  I love salads, so I dedicate this month’s recipes to my Grandma the gardener and salad avoider.

While my efforts to get my kids to eat more vegetables consumes my research time and experimentation, it is easy for me to share these salad recipes. Salads are like treats to myself. Before we began our “eat more vegetables” quest, I was the only one who ate salads. Now, my husband does to set a good example, and even enjoys them (some more than others). You can expect a new salad recipe every Monday.

Garden Green Salad

Ingredients:

– 4-6 leaves of Romaine Lettuce (about half a head)

– 2 Stalks Celery

– 1/2 Cup Peas

– 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley (Italian shown in the picture)

Italian Herb Dressing

– 1 Table Spoon Olive Oil

– 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

– 1/4 Teaspoon Dried Oregano

– 1/2 Teaspoon Salt (or just add to taste)

First, wash produce. Chop or Dice up Lettuce, Celery and Parsley to desired size (I usually like to dice up the Celery) and place in a bowl.  Either add the fresh Peas, or thaw some frozen Peas by steaming for only 2-3 minutes in a sauce pan, then rinse with cool water before adding to the salad (this avoids wilting the lettuce). Now, you’re ready to make the dressing.

Dressing: Mix Olive Oil and Salt together, then add the dried herbs. I usually like to grind the Thyme and Oregano first, but you can add them directly to the Olive Oil. Mix well and drizzle onto the salad.

Yield: This recipe makes 2 large plate fulls, or 4 small dinner salads.

Additions: You could add some Parmesan or Romano cheese to the salad, or any other that would compliment the Italian flavor of the herbs. To create more of a meal, I’d also recommend adding some meat like Beef or Poultry.

Let me know if you discover any other delightful additions!

p.s. Shared this recipe on The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Recipe/Resource Roundup.

Recipe: Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes and Frosting

Ready to Paaaaarty!
Ready to Paaaaarty!

I believe there are no true substitutes for Eggs or Butter, but this recipe proves that you don’t need them to have a moist, tasty cupcake.  Since our daughter cannot eat good ‘ole Eggs and Butter, I’ve been experimenting with Vegan Baking. I found the initial recipe at myvegancookbook.com, but modified it to this one. In the past 2 months, we’ve enjoyed 4 Birthday celebrations, and I’ve used this recipe to bring a dozen cupcakes to each event so that our Little Lady doesn’t miss out (in her eyes it is not a party without cake or cupcakes!). Some folks who aren’t on such a diet, loved the cupcakes – not knowing they were Vegan!

This recipe usually takes me about 30 min from start to finish. Once the cupcakes are in the oven, I make the frosting, then set it aside in the refrigerator until the cupcakes are cool enough to frost. The best part about this recipe, for me, is that they store in the refrigerator up to 2 days and taste wonderful! I even think they’re better sitting for several hours before eating. Now, onto the recipes…

From the oven: Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Vegan Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

– 1.5 Cups Flour (I used refined Spelt Flour, you could use Wheat based Cake or refined flour)

– 3/4 Cup Sugar

– 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

– 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

– 3/4 Cup Water

– 1/3 Cup Apple Sauce

– 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar

– 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees – In a mixing bowl, blend together dry ingredients enough until combined.  In a separate mixing bowl, blend together wet ingredients, then place into the dry ingredient mix. With a spatula, combine until the batter is mixed, but still lumpy.  Pour a heaping Tablespoon of batter into cupcake papers, filling one dozen – each one being about 3/4 full of batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until they look fluffy. You can check to see if they are done by inserting a toothpick in the center and if it comes out clean, they’re done. Let rest on a cooling rack, then frost and enjoy!

Notes:

– I’ve made this recipe over a half-dozen times now, and have found that adding Ghee in replacement of Apple Sauce works too.

– A 50/50 ratio of Whole Grain flour and Refined Flour works just as well, but yields a denser cupcake.

Vanilla Coconut Oil Frosting

Coconut Oil Frosting

Ingredients:

– 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

– 2 Cups sifted Powdered Sugar

– 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

First, sift powdered sugar into a mixing bowl, or measuring dish – I like to use a Pyrex 2 quart measuring vessel since it has a 2 cup marker, and acts as a mixing bowl.  Add Coconut oil and Vanilla, then blend on Medium until the frosting starts to look smooth. It will not become completely smooth, but have a grainy finish depending on the temperature of your kitchen. That’s okay, because as they sit waiting to be eaten, the oil softens and you get a creamy, light flavored frosting.

Extra fun: I like sprinkling some Raw Sugar, or Turbinado Sugar onto the top of them as a finishing touch, as you can see in the top photo. You could add sprinkles or Shredded Coconut for added flavor and looks.

Classic Cookie Cutter Crackers

My 2-year-old assistant cutting out crackers.

My kids and I love crackers.  They are super easy to make, and a fun way to use cookie cutters.  We’ve modified a recipe from my mom many times – from using butter to Ghee to Olive Oil. You can use regular refined flour for a classic, buttery taste.  Or you can use a whole grain flour. I have found that a 50/50 ratio of whole grain and refined flour makes for a better texture and taste. The whole grain flours tend to create a heavy, hard cracker with a dense taste.  At our house, we tend to use a mixture of Refined Spelt Flour and Sprouted Whole Grain Spelt flour. Also, if you want to add some herbs or spices to the crackers, a refined flour provides an open canvass without the distracting flavor of the whole grain.

In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, we made some cute heart shaped crackers.

If you want to use Olive Oil, just scroll past this first recipe and find it below. And, if you’d like to know how to make Ghee, the recipe is here. Now, onto the recipes!

Classic Cracker Recipe

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour, plus 1/2 cup for rolling surface
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 3 Table Spoons Ghee (or Butter)
  • 1/2 Cup Water

– Mix dry ingredients

– Add Ghee and with your hands, blend together with the flour mixture until it starts to look a little bit like corn meal.

– Add water and mix with a spatula until a ball starts to form, then use your hands to knead in the remaining flour.

– Break the dough ball in half, and set aside one half.

– On a flour surface, roll out the dough, flipping it over and adding flour as needed to prevent sticking to your rolling pin.  Once the dough is flattened out to less than 1/8 inch thick (or thicker depending on your taste), you’re ready to use the cookie cutters!

*My kids LOVE to use cookie cutters. So, at this point I usually place the rolled out dough onto a sheet of parchment paper, set it on the kitchen table and let them cut out the crackers. This works for us to transfer onto a cookie sheet for baking. You can do this or simply pick up your shapes off your rolling surface and place onto a cookie sheet when ready.

–  Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and poke each cracker with a fork.  This will help reduce the amount of bubbling that occurs during baking.

– Sprinkle with salt and place in the oven.

– Bake crackers for 15 minutes or until lightly golden colored, then remove and transfer the parchment paper onto a cooling rack.

– Repeat for the rest of your dough. I usually get 5 cookie sheets full of crackers from this recipe, but it really yields a variety of crackers depending on your cookie cutter size. You can also ditch the cookie cutters and use a pizza slicer to cut your crackers out quickly.

Enjoy!

Vegan Olive Oil Version

Olive oil is a delicious alternative to butter or Ghee. It creates a lighter flavor cracker. Because of the delicate nature of Olive Oil, you need to bake the crackers at a lower temperature for a little bit longer. I have found the dough to be a bit more tough when rolling out – it gets rubbery.  As a result, I usually cut out shapes, then bake the negative dough result as is without trying to blend it with the other dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/3 Cup Water

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees

– Blend dry ingredients.

– Add Olive Oil and Water.

– Blend with a spatula until a ball starts to form, then knead in remaining flour. The dough should have a “play dough” like texture and hold a shape.

– Break dough ball in half.

– On a floured surface, roll out one half of the dough, flipping the dough over and adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

– Cut out with cookie cutters, and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

– Poke crackers with a fork, and sprinkle with salt.

– Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until slightly golden.

Enjoy!

Tasty Options: You can add any dried herbs in a 1 Teaspoon quantity or more depending on your taste.  We really like using Thyme and Basil. If you’re using spices, remember that with some, a little goes a long way. We’ve found that just a 1/2 Teaspoon of Powdered Onion is plenty for a nice taste that isn’t too overbearing.

Let me know what you discover or like best about this recipe – I love feedback.

Recipe: Zucchini Dip

The finished dip!

In an effort to create a diary free dip, I came up with this recipe.  It also works wonderfully as a sauce on pasta, sandwich spread.  The best part is that it is made of a vegetable!

Ingredients:

1 Medium Zucchini

1 Table Spoon fresh squeezed Lemon juice

1 Table Spoon Olive Oil

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1 Handful (just shy of a cup) Cilantro Leaves (the less stem the less potential for stem strings in the sauce)

Prep:

Wash and cut the Zucchini into 1 inch or smaller rounds, place in blender. Add washed Cilantro leaves, Olive Oil, Lemon Juice and Salt.  It may fill up the blender to about the 3 cup level.  Blend on high for about 2 minutes or until smooth, and you will have about 1/2 cup of fresh raw dip.  You can add more or less of these ingredients to suit your taste.

Yields: 1/2 cup fresh dip. You can simply multiply the ingredients to produce more.

Shelf Life: Keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 days or until it starts to turn from a bright green to yellow. Since it’s so easy to make, we usually eat it up within 2 days.

Enjoy!

p.s. Shared on the Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Recipe/Food Health fest from dozens of Bloggers!