Red chard where have you been all my life?

February 3, 2011 at 9:28 am | Posted in cooking, Life, vegan, vegetarian | Leave a comment
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I have been trying to make dinners that consist of a vegetable, a protein, and some sort of bread and/or a second vegetable. Last night I cooked Red Chard for the first time. Absolutely beautiful and tasty.  This was the first time I have cooked Red Chard, I have cooked White Chard in the past, but I think I prefer the red. It had a real nice taste and texture, and paired well with the skillet pasta with red sauce I made as the main course. Greens are so simple to cook and so tasty. So far my favorite greens are Collards and Turnip greens. They are so delish it makes me question why the only green I ate growing up was Spinach? I enjoy my greens with salt, pepper, Tabasco, and a little Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar.

Skillet Macaroni and TVP


2 cups prepared tvp “beef”

Large pinch of hing

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped fine

    1 cup elbow macaroni

    1/2 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce

    1 cup broth

    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

    salt and pepper

    1/2 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese


  1. Cook TVP in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat about 3 minutes.
  2. Add oil, red pepper, and hing in skillet and cook, covered, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add macaroni, tomato sauce, broth, and oregano to skillet and bring to boil.
  4. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve.

Basic Vegan Ground Beef


1 cup TVP
1 cups water
3 to 4 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 to 3 tablespoons oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
a couple shakes of liquid smoke (optional)


1) Place dry TVP in a skillet and cover with water and about 2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce. The water should completely submerge the TVP.

2) Cook over low-medium heat until the water is completely absorbed.

3) Add the oil, seasonings and more Braggs, if desired. Fry over low-medium heat until the chunks are firm and the mixture resembles ground beef.  Stir occasionally to make sure that it cooks evenly and does not stick.

Please note that these measurements are approximate, feel free to adjust as you see fit. The same method should work for any amount of TVP, just keep in mind that it will double/triple in size once the water is added.


Down home American cooking.

January 9, 2011 at 6:02 am | Posted in cooking, utah, vegan | Leave a comment
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Meatloaf and mashed potatoes with gravy. To me, that is about as American as it gets. Well, my husband had a craving for mashed potatoes with Isa’s Corn Gravy and I wanted some tempeh but was too lazy and impatient to make any that night so I made (un)meatloaf instead. This is some freaking delicious and healthy meatloaf. I made some minor changes to the recipe to make it resemble the one I grew up eating. Instead of garlic/onion powder I used hing and I substituted out the ketchup for the same amount of pasta sauce. (My mother would never put ketchup in her meatloaf, never.) I also added about a half teaspoon of liquid smoke in an effort to make it taste more meaty. It was nice and subtle. Next time I am going to try adding Worcestershire sauce and see what happens.

Recipe by Bryanna Clark Grogan from “The Fiber for Life Cookbook”, also reprinted in “No More Bull!” by Howard F. Lyman

Yield: One 10-inch round loaf or one 9 x 5-inch rectangular loaf

2 C boiling water

Vegetarian bouillon for 4 cups broth (optional)

1/2 C ketchup

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 C textured soy protein granules

1/2 C oat bran

1/2 C wheat or rice bran

1/4 C ground flaxseeds

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or roasted sesame oil (*I have omitted this before; no problem*)

1 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

1 tsp each: garlic granules, onion powder, and dried thyme (or other herb of choice) (Vaishnavas, sub out the unofferables for a large pinch of hing)

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Ketchup, tomato sauce or barbecue sauce as topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, dissolve the bouillon in the boiling water. Add the ketchup and soy sauce. Add the soy protein and let stand 5 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid is all absorbed. Add the remaining ingredients, except the topping. Mix well. Pack into an oiled 10-inch shallow glass casserole, or a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Spread the topping sauce over the top evenly. Bake for 45 minutes.

Oh, I had the pleasure of stopping by Cakewalk Vegan Bakery in Salt Lake City yesterday and I picked up the most delish eclair. Yes, Virginia, there is a vegan eclair! The eclair was amazing, and the filling was to die for. I regret only picking up one.

And the product I am reviewing this week is Roads End Spicy Nacho Chreese Dip. I was over at Cakewalk Bakery on Xmas eve with my husband picking up our holiday treat boxes order and I saw this dip and felt inspired to pick it up. They only had one bottle left so I took it home with me. It was so delicious. Nachos are my comfort food of choice and I really really like to dip my jalapeno kettle chips in nacho cheese dip also. This stuff rocks. You must buy some now. It tastes great and it has a great texture and the spicy flavor is actually spicy. I can pronounce most of the ingrediants too which is an added bonus. It is basically a thick nootch based sauce with jalapenos. Yum.

****** out of 5 (Yes, six out of five!)

Green Tomato Adventure Time!

October 27, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Posted in Animal Rights, cooking, utah, vegan | 2 Comments
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We just had our first snow fall last night. I woke up this morning and the grass was all white. I am still not used to snow, nor do I like it (at all) but I have to admit that it looks very pretty. Due to the cold weather we picked all the green tomatoes out of our garden as we wouldn’t loose them to the freezing night temperatures. I decided to make “baked” fried green tomatoes as it sounded healthier than the fried ones I grew up eating. I was not impressed. They sucked actually. Lucky for us I made a ton of them and stored some for later use which I fried in oil the following week and we were very impressed. If you have more green tomatoes than you can eat in one sitting I highly recommend baking the ones you won’t eat right away and storing them in the freezer or fridge for future frying action.

Baked "fried" green tomatoes with steamies. Blah.

This time I fried the green tomatoes and served them with Collard Greens and faux beef from the Asian Market in SLC. The faux beef smelled like it was Asian spiced, but we were happy eating it and nope, no Asian spicing to be found. Good stuff, quite versatile. I highly recommend it.

I was scrolling through recipes on and I found this Skillet Beef and Macaroni recipe that begged to be veganised. It was something to do with the fact that I had all the ingredients at home to create a vegan version of it. So, I did. Also, it’s been pretty cold lately and I wanted something filling and hearty to eat. My husband enjoyed it, but he said it needed some veggies on the side as it was too heavy for him. I agree, but I have to admit I was feeling much too lazy to cook the Kale in the fridge. Here is a link to the veganized version of the recipe.

The item I am reviewing today is Daiya Vegan Mozzarella. Damn good stuff. It melts, it stretches, and omg, it even tastes like cheese. This stuff is awesome and will help me kick my cheese addiction. Here is a good link on why cheese is so addictive. Really, seriously, cheese is addictive and after I gave it up I had cheese related dreams for almost a year. And if you think you are helping animals by being a lacto-veg that’s a nice sentiment and a good start but it’s not reality. Dairy cows end up slaughtered and become cheap hamburger meat for fast food restaurants while boy calfs either become veal or end up in a dead pile. There is no animal sanctuary for exhausted under producing dairy cows. For more information click this link.

Now it’s time to read and relax and try to get over this cold.

Leftover un-meatloaf and more health Mex!

October 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Posted in cooking, vegan, vegan mofo | Leave a comment
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My vegan journey has been a tasty one, but only on my third attempt. Attempt one at being vegan was (very) short  lived and unsuccessful because I had no idea how to eat vegan and I wasn’t even that good at being vegetarian back then. Attempt number two was because I had ended up in the hospital and veganism seemed the only way to not end back up in there. That attempt was unsuccessful because I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to be vegan. I rebelled against the fact that I had to do it for my health. I guess I’m just a rebel, lol. This third attempt is working because I made the choice myself. I want to do it because it’s better for me and the animals.

That meatloaf I posted a little while ago reincarnated well as a meatloaf sandwich. Something that I never ate as a meat-eater growing up.  Well, I was impressed at this filling lunch.

I used Veganasise and Follow Your Heart cheddar. The cherry tomatoes are out of our garden.

I also made more temping tempeh tacos using Whole Foods marinade recipe. (I double it).  I served the tacos with a side of organic canned black beans (Back to canned beans. Working full time sucks sometimes.), homemade pico de gallo, and homemade feta cheese.

Since I had a bunch of leftover salsa and corn tortillas I made Chilaquiles. I used my homemade cooked salsa and more of the vegan Feta.

More classic vegan cooking at our house. I think we must eat baked taters stuffed with steamed vegetables and cheeze sauce at least once every other week. I am really getting into steaming red bell peppers.

I am very exited for fall cooking and Vegan MoFo in November. I will also be doing more devotional posts as Kartika starts next Friday.

Un-meatloaf and other goodies.

September 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Posted in cooking, vegan, vegetarian | 3 Comments
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A few days back I posted that I had made the Vegan Feta recipe out of The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook. It came out great! It looks like tofu but tastes like cheese! Yippie! So I used it to sub for Queso Fresco in the Zuccchini and Plantain Tacos I made the other day. I served them with Vegan Feta and Pico de Gallo.

I also made some Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos earlier in the week.

Garnished with avocado, Soy Supreme Sour Creme, and Chipotle Salsa.

Last night I made the first meatloaf recipe out of the “Loafs” chapter in No More Bull! by Howard Lyman. It was soooo good! It did come out a little dry but I was quite satisfied. There are a few little tweaks I plan on making to the recipe to make it taste more like the one I grew up on but over all I have to recommend this as a fool proof recipe.

TVP mixture.

Two types of bran, ground flax seeds, and spices mixture.



Un-meatloaf served with a side of steamed veggies.

I have wanted to do some ratings of new food products. This is my first food review for Purely Decadent vegan ice cream. I rated the Mocha Almond Fudge flavor. This is made of coconut milk not soy so it’s creamy and the flavor reminds me of dairy ice cream I grew up eating.

rating: **** stars out of 4 stars

The name says it all....

Seitan Tacos and Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers

March 29, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Posted in cooking, vegan | 1 Comment
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When I moved to Tijuana at 19 years old I was already a vegetarian so I never got a chance to eat a lot of the street tacos outside eating whole bean tacos (they are good, don’t knock them!) but I made sure I took many good looks at them. I don’t really know why, but I did and now I am really happy that I did as I was able to recreate chicken tacos using seitan. I was really pleased with the results and plan on making them again and again.

Sauteeing homemade chicken seitan.

After homemade taco seasoning was added.

They tasted so good I amost forgot to photograph the end product.

I still had some fresh corn tortillas leftover so the next day I made vegan chorizo and tofu scramble and we had tacos again.

Chorizo taco goodness.

Later that week I wanted to make stuffed bell peppers. I make them at least once a week but I wanted to mix it up, make them a little bit differently so I made them Southwestern style with corn and beans added in and served them with Tots. What a good dinner that was.

Why buy beans when you can make beans?

I threw in some enchilada sauce for flavor.

Red bell peppers are my fave. So sweet!

The finished product.

The tots were a great side. 🙂

I really enjoyed the southwestern experiment but my fiance prefers the chorizo stuffed peppers. I will keep experimenting till I get it just right, but for a first try these were pretty good even if they were a bit spicy- even for my tastes. Note to self- don’t dice up and add home grown chili peppers to everything. Perhaps next time I will saute the tvp mixture before I stuff the peppers with it too. I was planning on it initially, but I forgot.

Please stay tuned for more cooking experiments! Until next time, I have a quick question for you the reader. Do you use tvp and or seitan? Do you make your own seitan if you use it? What do you like to use tvp and seitan for? I am new to using these items and am curious what you do with them.

TVP sausage crumbles

December 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Posted in cooking | 2 Comments
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Haribol! Sorry I haven’t posted in a long time. I have just been really busy. I just got a membership at Golds Gym and have been spending a lot of time there. I went early this morning to yoga and got my ego checked as I found out just how out of shape I really am. I was unable to do asana’s that I have been able to do for years! Anyways…when I came home this morning I was starving and was craving cheese grits with sausage and a glass of OJ. So, here’s the recipe for the sausage I made.

TVP Sausage Crumbles

Ingredients :

2 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari

1 teaspoon sage

1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke

½ teaspoon hing

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

salt to taste

1 cup boiling water

1 cup TVP

2-3 tablespoons canola oil


In a bowl mix together the first nine ingredients.  Bring water to a boil and pour over mixture.

Pour in the textured soy protein, mix with a fork, and let stand for 10 minutes.   Fluff with a fork.  Taste to see if more seasonings need to be added.

Put oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add mixture, and fry until well browned. (you may need to add extra oil if the pan becomes too dry).

Serves: yield: 1 1/2 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

This is some good faux sausage as it has all the flavor elements of sausage. To make cheese grits like I did this morning just melt some margarine into the grits and put salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast to taste and top with a bunch of sausage. To make it real southern style mix it all up together. Sorry I don’t have any pictures of my breakfast. I have been slacking on charging my camera batteries.

TVP Stuffed Acorn Squash

December 5, 2009 at 5:55 am | Posted in cooking | Leave a comment
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I bought 2 acorn squash on an impulse by at Maceys the other day and I have never eaten acorn squash before. I knew I wanted to stuff them and bake them, but stuff them with what? I decided I wanted to stuff them with TVP and apples but could not find a recipe. Only recipes for the squash stuffed with tempeh. I found a recipe on Recipezaar for TVP Crumbles and adapted it to make it vegetarian and diced up an apple I had in the fridge. The resulting dinner was delish.

TVP Crumbles

Here is the recipe for the tvp crumbles I used:

  1. Bring water to boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add bouillon, Liquid Smoke, and 1 tsp oil.
  3. Add TVP, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Turn off heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Drain any excess liquid.
  6. Heat 2 tsps oil in a frying pan. Add TVP, and saute` until lightly browned.

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