Sunday, October 29, 2006

blueberry scones

This was the first scone recipe I ever made, which I adapted from a non-vegan recipe I had saved for ages. Be sure to follow the order of directions. The dough will be thick. If you wait until the end to add the blueberries, it will be difficult to incorporate them, and you don't want the blueberries to get mashed in the process.

Blueberry Scones

1 cup flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. margarine*
1/4 cup "milk"
cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (400 if using a glass pan). Line baking pan with parchment paper or lightly grease with margarine (parchment paper works best for this).

Stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the blueberries. Add the oil and "milk" and mix until just combined. Divide dough into four portions on the baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar. Bake for 12 minutes.

*If you don't have margarine on hand (or to make the mixing easier), you can omit the margarine and add another tablespoon of oil instead.


Friday, October 27, 2006

pumpkin cookies

'Tis the season for pumpkin recipes! These are very moist and soft cookies. I sort of added this and that together, and it turned out very nicely! They have passed the taste test for even those who don't like pumpkin (myself included!)

I grind the walnuts and raisins because my son doesn't like big chunks of stuff in his cookies, so you still get the benefit of the ingredients and a nice added texture without "lumps"!

Pumpkin Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. allspice
3 Tbsp. applesauce
1/2 cup pumpkin
3/4 tsp. vanilla
4 Tbsp. margarine
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a food processor, grind together the walnuts and raisins until ground, approx. 15 seconds on high. Set aside. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add walnut/raisin mixture and combine. Add wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes.


Monday, October 23, 2006

our favorite yummy, yummy macaroni and cheese

My 4 year old daughter named this recipe. She originally wanted it to have 3 "Yummy's" but it was a little too long to write on my recipe card!

I have several different vegan macaroni and cheese recipes, but this particular one I concocted seems to be everyone's favorite.

Our Favorite Yummy, Yummy Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb. cooked pasta shapes (large elbows, shells, etc.)
3 Tbsp. margarine
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 1/2 cups "milk" (soy/rice milk)
1 cup shredded vegan cheese (cheddar/monterey jack blend)
1/2 tsp. mustard

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, garlic, onion and turmeric. Set aside. Melt the margarine in a saucepot over medium/low heat. Once melted, add the flour/spice blend and whisk in pot until combined. Then add 1/2 cup of "milk" and whisk until smooth (no lumps!) After it thickens a bit, add another 1/2 cup of "milk" and whisk. After a few minutes, add the remaining 1/2 cup of "milk" and whisk for several minutes until it thickens a bit. Then add in the cheese and mustard and whisk regularly for about five minutes or so, until the cheese has melted into the sauce.

Pour sauce over freshly cooked noodles.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

peach cobbler muffins

This amazingly delicious recipe is reprinted with permission from the May 2006 issue (James and the Giant Peach) of Literary Child magazine. It is now one of my all-time favorite muffin recipes!

This recipe calls for one of those jumbo 6-muffin tins. While I do have a 6-muffin tin, it's just normal sized, not the large kind. So I halved the recipe. I also used frozen peach slices because I'm lazy. Since my muffins were smaller, I used one peach slice per muffin, and cut it in half before putting them into the muffins, so they wouldn't stick out too far. (To avoid confusion, the recipe below isn't my halved-recipe...I have printed it as it originally appears in the magazine.)

These muffins are super delicious...according to each of my kids: "Great!", "Perfect!" and "Beautiful!" (And in case you're wondering, the dark spotting on the muffin top is cinnamon.)

Peach Cobbler Muffins

2 firm (unripe) peaches, sliced
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp. soft butter or margarine
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk (or rice/soy milk)
1 tsp. vanilla
extra cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and cut each peach into 6 slices. Combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Batter will be thick.

Spoon batter into lightly greased (large 6-muffin) muffin tins. Place 2 peach slices into each muffin. (They will be taller than the batter.) Sprinkle tops of muffins with cinnamon.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in pan. Then cool muffins on wire rack.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

healthy breakfast cookies (sugar-free)

I whipped these up one morning because I was bored by the prospect of making oatmeal. They're super easy and quick to make. Plus they're healthy and the kids love them. Who wouldn't love cookies for breakfast!? (This recipe makes approximately 18 (1 1/2 inch) cookies.)

I'll occasionally add 1/4 tsp. of mandarin extract for a touch of citrus flavor.

Healthy Breakfast Cookies

2 mashed bananas
1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins
2 cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Combine the ingredients in the order they appear above. Mix until well combined. Drop cookies onto baking sheet and press down slightly with fingers, if desired. (Cookies will not spread). Bake for 15 minutes.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

oaracopuwape balls

Pronounced "Oar-ah-cop-uh-wah-pee". It will take a few practice runs verbalizing it, but you'll soon have it memorized! I created this recipe the other day, wanting to give my kids a fun, new, healthy snack. The name is comprised of the first two letters of each of the ingredients. My kids love silly words like this, and it instantly became both a favorite snack and favorite word to say!

I won't lie to you...this recipe takes some hand muscle and patience to pack together into balls that are firm enough not to fall apart. To make it easier on yourself, you can probably just add some more peanut butter or drizzle in some pure maple syrup. If you do, and find that after chilling them, they're still sticky, you can always roll them in some ground nuts, coconut or cocoa powder. I prefer snack balls that don't leave the kids' hands sticky, so I always make these following the recipe below.

Oaracopuwape Balls

1 cup quick oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup coconut (unsweetened), shredded
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup walnuts
6 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Combine the oats and coconut in a bowl. In a food processor, grind the raisins, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and peanut butter until it forms a cohesive sticky mass. Then you can either throw the oats and coconut in the food processor and blend with the sticky mass or just combine in the bowl with your hands. The mixture will be similar to breadcrumbs.

Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. (Don't skip this step! If you serve them right away, they will crumble apart when bitten into. They need to firm up a bit in the fridge.)

Makes approx. 24 (1-inch) balls.


Friday, October 13, 2006

fettucine with sundried tomato pesto

I created this recipe the other night when I didn't have the ingredients for another recipe I wanted to make. I wasn't sure it was going to fly with all three kids, but sure enough, it did! Gotta love it when the kids love something new!

You can use fresh basil in place of the dried, and if you do, you will want to use about three times the amount. All I had on hand was dried, so that's what I used, and it came out fine!

This dish is also delicious cold (so reheating the leftovers is up to you)!

Fettucini with Sundried Tomato Pesto

1 lb. fettucini
8 sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 (12.3 oz) box silken tofu
6 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Cook fettucini according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.

Rehydrate the tomatoes in a small bowl of hot water for about ten minutes. In a small saucepan, lightly toast the pine nuts for just a couple minutes, stirring frequently. (Don't overcook.)

In a food processor, blend together the tomatoes, pine nuts, tofu, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper for several minutes. Once well blended, slowly drip the olive oil through the top holes of the food processor while blending. Continue to blend for several more minutes. Toss with cooked pasta.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

orange coconut strawberry scones

I have a thing for scones lately, and luckily my kids like any and all versions I try! Last year my obsession was different types of biscuits, the year before...muffins! This is the year of the scone for me, my friends. So you can expect to see a lot more where this came from.

To chop the frozen strawberries, I just throw them in my mini-food processor for several seconds. I use the one that came as an attachment with my's a really wonderful attachment to have for those quick and tiny jobs. When deciding how many strawberries to use, it will depend on the size of the strawberries. Generally frozen strawberries are on the small size, so you can use more, but if they're large, use less.

Orange Coconut Strawberry Scones

1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2-3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup margarine
2 Tbsp. grated coconut
1/3 cup orange juice
4-8 frozen strawberries, grated or diced
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or 375 if using a glass pan). Lightly grease a baking pan with margarine, or line with parchment paper (the parchment paper works best).

Combine dry ingredients and fruit. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Distribute dough into four portions on baking pan. Flatten slightly with fingers so dough is about 1 - 1 1/2 inches high. Bake for 16-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

raisin walnut balls

Better than candy! Quick, easy, delicious and nutritious. What more could you want in a snack?! These will keep in the fridge for quite awhile, but I can't really say just how long, as ours don't ever last more than a day. These are a great snack on their own, or as a special treat to accompany your popcorn on movie night! This is one of those recipes that your kids are gonna want to help out with. There's just something about rolling sticky stuff into little balls that brings kids running!

So you have an idea of the size, the raisin walnut balls in the photo are kid-bite-sized (less than an inch). They are sitting on a children's play tea set saucer.

Raisin Walnut Balls

1 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts

In a food processor, mix the raisins and walnuts until they become a solid, sticky ball. Roll into individual balls (kid-sized-bites are good). Let cool and solidify a bit in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

baked oatmeal

My kids love this recipe, but they are also happy with just plain 'ole oatmeal. I, however, can't eat that mushy stuff. So when I get a hankering for some oatmeal, this is the only way I can eat it (aside from oatmeal cookies). So it's a special treat for my kids when we have baked oatmeal for breakfast.

The consistency of this oatmeal isn't mushy like regular oatmeal, yet not as solid as an oatmeal cookie. (You can use either regular or quick oats for this recipe.) You can't really see the raisins too well in this photo, but they're in there!

Baked Oatmeal

3 cups oats
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
6 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce*
1/2 cup oil
1 cup "milk"
margarine (for greasing baking dish & optional topping)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 2-quart glass casserole dish with margarine.

In a bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer to the casserole dish and cover. Bake for approx. 35 minutes.

Serve warm, as is, or topped with margarine.

*Instead of applesauce, you can use another egg replacement (equal to 2 eggs).


Friday, October 06, 2006

garlic linguine

Don't be afraid of the garlic in this recipe. Once cooked in the sauce, the garlic turns sweet. All of my kids love this recipe and actually fight over who gets the most garlic chunks! I adapted this recipe from one I had that was slightly more spicy. This dish has just the right amount of flavor, spice and a touch of sweetness (from the garlic) for young kids!

Quick will seem like there isn't nearly enough sauce for all that pasta, but trust me, once it's tossed together, it's the perfect amount!

Garlic Linguine

1 lb. linguine
6 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
dash of cayenne pepper

Cook linguine according to package directions (al dente is always best).

Peel garlic cloves and crush thoroughly with a fork, so you have small chunks (don't mince). Saute garlic with the olive oil for just a few minutes. (Don't let the garlic brown.) Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss sauce with cooked pasta.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

citrus pear walnut bread

To say that my kids go gaga over this bread would be putting it mildly. They inhale the entire loaf in minutes and ask for more! The mandarin extract is what makes this loaf smell and taste deliciously citrus-y. For a more subtle bread, you can lessen or omit the extract, and call it plain old Pear Walnut Bread. (I haven't made it that way, so I can't vouch for the outcome.) Oh, and just so you have an idea, this is a very sweet and moist banana-bread type bread, rather than a dry and dense sandwich-loaf type bread.

Citrus Pear Walnut Bread

2 chilled pears (approx. 1 1/2 cups when grated)
1 cup walnuts, ground
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. natural (unsweetened) applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. mandarin extact
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
margarine (to grease pan)

Place oven rack so that it's in the lower third of the oven, but not on the bottom most rung. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch glass loaf pan with margarine. (If all you have is an aluminum pan, increase the preheated oven temperature to 350 degrees...and note that cooking time may differ.)

Peel the pears and then grate them. (2 pears should yield approx. 1 1/2 cups when grated.) Set aside. In a small food processor, grind the walnuts until they resemble crumbs (about 15 seconds). Set aside.

In a bowl, stir together all dry ingredients plus the ground walnuts.

In a separate (small) bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until the oil is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add the pears and whisk a few seconds more. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined.

Scrape batter evenly into loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes. (Or until toothpick comes out clean.)

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out bread. Then let it cool completely on a rack before cutting.

Oh, and remember to grab a piece for yourself before you let your kids at it!


Monday, October 02, 2006

zucchini raisin cookies

It's not too often that you get to incorporate vegetables into your dessert. But zucchini's the sort of vegetable that can get away with being the star of a cookie. And for kids leery of their veggies, it just may lead them to be interested in other zucchini recipes, once they've had a pleasant experience with this versatile vegetable!

Plus, it makes a darn pretty cookie!

Zucchini Raisin Cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup grated zucchini (with skin)
2 Tbsp. natural (unsweetened) applesauce
4 Tbsp. margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Combine all dry ingredients. Then add raisins and grated zucchini and combine. Next, add the applesauce and margarine and mix until incorporated (best if done with hands).

Bake for approx. 13 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.

(Makes about 14 medium sized cookies.)