Monday, October 31, 2011

Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes

Here is a yummy way to start you Halloween day. Every once in while it is fun to splurge on a pancake breakfast especially for the holiday’s. These pancakes were a hit with my son and my husband. Hope you and your family enjoy them too! Happy Halloween!


1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil plus about 2-4 tbs extra for frying pan
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice

Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well with a wire wisk. Heat your large frying pan to medium low and pour in about 2 tbs vegetable oil. Once oil is hot pour about 1/4 cup of pancake mix in as many circles as you can fit. Let them cook until the top part starts to bubble and look like it is cooking too. (hint if they are not ready they will be hard to flip). I noticed that they cook for about 5-8 minutes before I flipped them. Once they look cooked flip them and cook on the other side for about 3-4 minutes. Then they are ready to serve.

yield about 8 pancakes

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Hazelnut Oatmeal

This is my new favorite breakfast. Oatmeal is always a good breakfast choice because it is high in fiber which helps keep you full until lunchtime. By adding pumpkin and hazelnuts you are benefiting from protein and anitoxidents which will really help you get through the day. Besides that fact that pumpkin and cinnamon are perfect flavors for a cold autumn breakfast.


1 cup of water
1/2 cup of organic quick oats
1 pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup of organic pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1-2 tbs of honey or agave syrup to taste
2 tbs hazelnuts chopped

In a small pan bring water and salt to boil. Once boiling add oats and pumpkin puree. Reduce to medium and let simmer for about 5 minute stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon and nutmeg after a about 2 minutes of simmering. Just before you take the oatmeal off the burner add honey and 1 tbs of hazelnuts. Stir together then pour into a bowl. Top the oatmeal with the rest of the hazelnuts and it is ready to serve.

yield 1 serving

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Baked Couscous with Cheese and Veggies

This my my twist on baked macaroni and cheese. It is a vegetarian dish but I swapped out macaroni for whole wheat Isreali couscous and added twice as manny veggie as couscous to make it a little on the lighter side. I also left butter out of my recipe. This is a great side dish for a hearty fall or winter meal.


2 cups cooked Isreali whole wheat couscous (follow the instructions on the box)
2 cups asparagus steamed and chopped small
2 cups broccoli steamed and chopped small
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 of one onion chopped small
4 cloves of garlic minced
1-2 tsp of salt to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 pinch of crushed of red pepper
1/2 cup of coconut milk (or soy milk or regular milk)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese or 3 wedges of laughing cow cheese
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup monterey jack cheese shredded
1 cup of sharp white cheddar shredded
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Cook couscous and steam veggies in separate pans while you make bechamel sauce. In a large pot saute onion and garlic in olive oil on medium for about 8 minutes till onions have softened. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce to low and add milk, nutmeg and mascarpone cheese stirring until cheese and milk have come together then add parmesan, monterey jack cheese and sharp white cheddar leaving a small amount to top the dish. Once sauce has come together stir in cooked couscous and steamed broccoli and asparagus. Stir everything together well and pour into a medium size casserole dish. Top with bread crumbs, remaining cheese and a little drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.

Yield 6-8 servings

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Black Bean Chili

I just love having a pot of soup or chili sitting on the stove and warming up the house on a cold day. This hearty vegan chili is perfect for the the cold months ahead. It is full of protein and fiber and lots of yummy flavors. My husband recommends adding flank steak for the meat eaters but he thinks it tastes pretty meaty as is.


1-2 tbs olive oil
1 white or yellow onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 cup yellow or orange pepper chopped
2 green onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1-2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
2 tbs fresh or canned jalapeno chopped
1 tbs tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 vegetable bouillon cube
3 15 oz cans black beans
2 15 oz cans refried beans
2 bays leaves

Topping ingredients:
1/2 an avocado per person
1/2 a green onion per person

In a large stock pot saute green and white onion, celery, pepper and garlic in olive oil. Season vegetables with salt, pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper and cumin. Saute for about ten minutes on medium low until vegetables are softened. Add jalapeno and tomato paste and stir together for a minute or two. Pour in red wine to scrape the pot and let simmer for another minute. Add vegetable broth and a bouillon cube for added flavor. Add beans and bay leaves and bring to boil and reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes or longer if you have time. Remove the bay leaves, plate soup, and top with avocado and green onion.

This chili is good refrigerated for up to 3 days and frozen for up to a month.

Yields 8 servings

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Portabella Pizza

This pizza recipe is bread free and a healthy alternative to satisfy any pizza craving. My husband just loved this dinner. The fun thing about making these pizzas at home is that you can put your own twist on it by adding your favorite toppings. I choose onion, peppers and olives for my toppings but feel free to swap those for whatever you prefer on your pizza.

2 large portabella mushrooms cleaned and stems removed
1 cup of marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups of shredded monterey jack cheese or vegan cheese
1 tbs parmesan cheese or vegan parmesan
1 tbs dried oregano
1/4 cup yellow pepper chopped
1/8 cup white onion chopped
1/8 cup kalamata olives chopped

Arrange mushroom caps on a cookie sheet filling both with marinara sauce to desired amount. Top with half of the cheese amount. Add pepper, onion and olive toppings. (This is where you can add you own favorite toppings). Cover toppings with remaining cheese and sprinkle parmesan and oregano on top for extra flavor. Put in the oven at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Serve on top of your favorite salad.

Yield 2 pizzas

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chayote and White Bean Soup

Chayote is a tropical squash indigenous to Mexico. It’s peak time of year is September through May. Many describe the squash as a vegetable like pear. It is very tasty and works well a variety of dishes. Chayote’s are packed with anti-oxidents and vitamin C making this a perfect dish for the flu season. This soup is hearty and flavorful with three different onions, and white beans to make it creamy. It is a vegan soup but feel free to add parmesan cheese for the vegetarians or chicken for the meat eaters.


3 chayote’s peeled and seeded and chopped in 1 1/2 inch cubes
1 yellow onion chopped
2 leeks chopped and cleaned of sand
3 green onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste about 1 tsp each
1 pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 cup beer
1 15 oz can cannellini beans
1 bay leaf

In a large stock pot saute chayote’s, yellow onion, leeks and green onion on medium. Add salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and garlic. Saute for about ten minutes until the chayote’s break apart easy and onions are translucent. Add beer and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Once the beer has reduced a little, add beans, broth and bay leaf. Cover and let simmer on medium low for about 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove bay leaf and blend until everything is smooth and creamy. Then it is ready to serve.

Yields 4 servings

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Today is a cloudy rainy day calling for some fall comfort food. Pumpkin bread came to mind and after several attempts I have finally made up my own delicious pumpkin bread recipe. The bread itself is actually vegan but I love to add the good old fashioned chocolate chips to it which are made from milk. So you can use your own variation here. Cozy up with some spiced pumpkin bread and a hot cup of tea.


1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 cup flour
1 tbs water
1 tbs vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp ground allspice
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Combine all ingredients together in a mixer. If you decide to use chocolate chips add most of them into the batter reserving about a handful to sprinkle on top. Put into two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for about 55 minutes. Let sit for about ten minutes then serve.

Yields 2 loaves