Monday, August 22, 2011

vegan sausages- improved!!

homemade sausage w/ sauteed onion and peppers on a hoagie roll, and curried potato salad
I've really enjoyed vegandad's sausages, I've made them several times and enjoyed the satisfying meaty texture. The past couple times I've made them, I decided to start playing around with some additions/omissions.... (I LOVE playing with recipes) and well, the recipe keeps getting better and better! Today I used garbanzo beans instead of the pinto called for in the original recipe, and added in grated onion, the addition of the onion keeps them moister and allows for a much improved texture. I've definitely also upped the spices considerably. With the garbanzo beans coarse-ness, I think we've found that these are  the best sausages yet. Here's what I did:

homemade sausages

1/2 c. garbanzo beans
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
1 c. bean cooking liquid (or veggie broth or water)
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic-crushed
1/4 c onion- grated
1 1/2 tsp fennel seed- crushed
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp rosemary
1 1/4 c. vital wheat gluten

-turn rice cooker onto "steam" setting, allow to heat up
-crush/mash beans until none are left whole, stir in all liquid ingredients, then add spices, then add vital wheat gluten-- dough should be very moist and spongy
-cut 6 square pieces of aluminum foil
-separate dough into 6 even pieces, form log shapes, then wrap up in foil, twist in edges into seal off
-steam for 35 min
-allow to cool in fridge, then cook in variety of ways (in frying pan, on grill, chopped up in stir fries, etc..)

 Tonight I fried the sausages in some onions and peppers, and ate my hoagie with lots of ketchup. The hubby said mustard is only way to go... we agreed to disagree and stuffed our happy faces :) :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

homemade bagels with roasted garlic and herb cream cheez

When I woke up yesterday morning and looked in my fridge, it looked really sad and empty, so I spent my saturday catching up on a lil cooking. We're a lil broke right now, so going to the grocery store and stocking up wasn't really an option. So I cooked a big pot of chickpeas to last the week, I also saw that we're completely out of bread, and we had some silken tofu and roasted garlic to use up. I decided to make some bagels and  make up some cream cheez.

A couple months ago I found --> this recipe on, I've made these bagels three times now. The first time, I used white flour and chopped up sundried tomatoes, they were AWESOME. The second time, I tried to make them healthy, I used whole wheat flour... and well they were kinda torture bagels, sooo dense and chewy and really not enjoyable at all. So this time, I went with white flour again, and they came out chewy and bagely and perfect :) I added some flaxseeds on the top, mostly because I didn't have any other seeds on hand. Great recipe, but I definitely suggest going with white flour.

For the cream cheese, I looked in The Uncheese Cookbook, I didn't really have all the ingredients for the cream cheez listed in the book, so I took the general idea and created my own cheez. Here's what I did:

Herb and Roasted Garlic Cream Cheez

1 c. silken tofu
1/3 c. raw cashews
1/2 head roasted garlic
1 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp salt
1 Tb rice vinegar
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp dried dillweed
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1 Tb nutritional yeast

-blended all up in a food processor, then chill in fridge 

This has a much lighter texture than vegan cream cheese that you can buy at the store, but quite tasty and I thought it tasted great on the bagels :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

steve martin is vegetarian!?!

Huffington Post- Vegetarian Comedians <-- great list of vegetarian/vegan celebs. I had already known about a bunch of people listed, but I'm super excited to find out that Steve Martin AND Bill Cosby are vegetarians. I love both of those guys! Especially Steve Martin, ahhh swoon... and he plays Banjo too!

clothes swap party, with lots of vegan yummy treats **peppermint patties**

hummus platter, with chips, crackers and salsa
 Yesterday, I hosted a bunch of my ladies for a clothes swap. Swap parties are a lot of fun, its a great way to get rid of cute clothes, jewelry, bags, shoes and other stuff, and you get cool stuff from your friends :) My friends always dress so cute, and I love to grab the stuff they don't want anymore. I had a blast yesterday hanging out with wonderful ladies, adorable new (to me) clothes and eating yummy treats. I made a lil snack station with goodies to keep everyone full and happy.

I made a lil hummus platter, with assorted chips and rice crackers. I didn't make the hummus, it was store bought Sabra roasted garlic. We love this brand of hummus in my house, so creamy and decadent!

veggie pizza

 I also put together one of my veggie appetizer pizzas. This is super yummy and always a hit. I love how colorful it is. It's basically cresent roll dough, covered with a creamy cheesy topping and veggies. Recipe --> here
lemon squares

I made some lemon squares, recipe from The Joy of Vegan Baking. I feel like I've blogged about this cookbook a lot, but it's so dependable. These tasted just like lemon bar I remember my mom making, buttery cookie layer on the bottom, and tangy gooey lemon filling on top. Yum! I found the recipe posted online --> here. You should probably just buy this book though, if you like vegan desserts, it's the best!
peppermint patties

The snacky that got all my ladies the most excited were these peppermint patties I made. They were very convincingly "york." The recipe is easy and pretty simple. Disclaimer: yes, I actually bought corn syrup to make these, super gmo... but so yummy and I really didn't eat that many!! And everyone who has tried them, loved em. So I think it's okay to use corn syrup once in a blue moon, right?
I found the recipe on, recipe for the patties --> here

p.s. my friend nicole also blogged about the swap --> here

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

knitting project :) baby turtle

this has been keeping me busy lately. i love knitting and especially making toys. this pattern for knit turtle consisted on many lil pieces. making all the pieces was fun, but sewing them all together was a bit of a pain in the butt. i procrastinated on this project for a long time, and im so happy i actually finished it. the recipient of this toy was our cute lil niece and she seemed to approve of it. i know i'm super happy it came out cute!!

does anyone have a cute pattern for a toy owl? i would LOVE to make one of those

Monday, August 8, 2011

pizza night!!!

It's been so nice to be cooking again :) Tonight we had a pizza night.. although it was definitely too hot and humid to have the oven on, we braved it and enjoyed some yummy pizza with family. This first pizza was a "german pizza," I got the idea from a recipe on (I love that website!), I followed the recipe pretty closely. I used my regular pizza dough recipe, topped it with some mashed potatoes (yukon gold+vegenaise+salt+pepper), sliced homemade sausages (pretty close to this recipe.. I love these sausages, but have added my own flare, of course), sauerkraut and cheddar daiya cheese.
This is a great idea for a pizza, so hearty and yummy. The hubby LOVED and we'll definitely make it again.

This pizza is topped with basil, red onion, garlic, tomato slices and daiya mozzerella. Pretty yummy, but not as good as the german guy :)