Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celebrating the Sabbats as a Vegan; Yule

Celebrating the Sabbats as a Vegan; Yule

(originally posted on Enchanted Forest) by me.

Yule is probably the one holiday during the year that I feel most connected to, due to my upbringing. It was a time that my family gathered, seeing members we hadn't seen very often during the year. Playing catch up and just generally spreading cheer and love. I don't think very much has changed with my Yule menu since I turned vegan (from vegetarian) so much as how I make it has changed. Here's the foodstuffs:

Main Course: Lentil and millet loaf ( adapted from: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/thanksgiving-recipes.aspx )

Condiment: Mushroom Gravy (also adapted from: http://www.mercyforanimals.org/thanksgiving-recipes.aspx )

Side: Mashed potatoes

Side: Sesame & ginger green beans

Salad: Warm kale & sun dried tomato salad

Side: Cranberry & orange relish

Dessert: Pumpkin pie (adapted from: http://www.alisacooks.com/2009/11/05/dairy-free-soy-free-pumpkin-pie/ )

Dessert: Yule log (taken from: http://www.veganfamily.co.uk/yule.html )

Main course: Normally I do a Tofurky, its quick, its easy - it tastes delicious... but I wanted something different this year. I did a test run of this great lentil & millet loaf... I don't want to say "meat" loaf because that would be misleading as it is not really meat-like at all. However it is a wodnerful loaf with grains and legumes and veggies that tastes amazing! Especially with the mushroom gravy that we'll be making.
Lentil Millet loaf


3 cups of cooked lentils

3 cups cooked millet

3 cups steamed brown rice

1 cup whole wheat bread, crumbled

1/2 cup dry oatmeal

1/2 cup almonds ground fine

approximately 3/4 cup of tomato juice

1 Tbs of oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small carrot, chopped small

1/2 cup chopped zucchini

1/2 cup chopped yellow squash

1 cup chopped canned tomato

1 heaping Tbs of sage

salt to taste


This is enough to make two loaves, so if you're only eating for two cut it in half.

Preheat oven 350°, lightly oil two bread loaf pans.

Lightly sauté onions, garlic & veggies in oil, add water to "steam" if they need to be softer.

Combine all the ingredients and mix well, if not holding its shape well enough add vegetable broth or water (a tablespoon at a time).

Scoop the mixture into the pans and bake for approximately 1 hour until browned on top.
Mushroom gravy


8 Tbs vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic -- squashed and minced

2 slices yellow onion -- chopped

4 white mushrooms, chopped

5-8 Tbs all-purpose white flour (if you want it more watery, use less. Less watery, use more)

4 tsp nutritional yeast

3 Tbs tamari (you can use Braggs Liquid Aminos instead - but Tamari tases soooo good!)

2 cups "chick'n" broth (Edward & Sons is my fav)

1/2 tsp sage

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Directions: On medium heat in a deep pan, saute the garlic & onions in the vegetable oil until translucent. Add tamari, nutrtional yeast & flour to make a roux (I like to mix flour & nutritional yeast before pouring it in). Once evenly distributed and all flour is saturated slowly add chicken broth and mix in well. Add mushrooms & remaining spices and cook until thickened.
Mashed Potatoes

Make mashed potatoes as you normally would - except add a dollup of vegan margarine & vegan sour cream! Or you can fry up a little bit of minced garlic and stir it in. The idea is to not stirl the potatoes too much because they lose their "fluffiness" and become sticky instead. I don't really care either way - mashed potatoes are AWESOME. Nomnomnom.
Sesame Ginger Green Beans

1 pound of green beans, ends removed & cut in half

1 one inch by one inch piece of ginger peeled and sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup (more or less is preference) sesame seeds

2-3 TBSP of tamari or liquid aminos

2 TBSP sesame oil

In small frying pan, place sesame seeds (in a dry pan!) roast over medium heat until fragrant & lightly browned, stirring frequently as they do burn quickly. Set aside.

On medium heat in a large frying pan, place oil, garlic, ginger & green beans, cook until color is brightened, but bean is still slightly crisp. Add tamari & toss, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Warm Kale and Sundried Tomato Salad


1 bunch kale

2 TBSP sundried tomatoes, crushed

1/4-1/2 cup water (depends on pot size and amount of kale)

1 TBSP olive oil

1/2-1 TBSP hot sauce (Like Franks Red Hot)


De-stem all of the kale (its easy to just take thumb nail down the stem or you can cut it out). Chop into bite sized pieces. Place in cool pan, drizzle with oil & massage the oil into the kale leaves to coat. Sprinkle with crushed sundried tomatoes, water & hot sauce. Cover, cook on medium heat until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and cook until water is gone. Be careful not to burn! Serve warm.

Cranberry and Orange relish


1 bag of raw cranberries, rinsed and sorted (remove any bad mushy ones)

2 sweet oranges or 4 clementines, rinsed & chopped with rind, de-seeded

1/2 cup maple syrup (or more to taste)
Place cranberries & oranges (separately or together if they will fit in yours) in a food processor and chop finely. The orange my turn mushy - but thats ok! Mix together, add maple syrup & let sit in fridge for 10 minutes to half an hour. Serve.
Pumpkin Pie


1/2 cup Organic Brown Sugar

1/4 cup Organic White Sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

2 EnerG "eggs"

1 15oz can of pumpkin (WITHOUT spices!!)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup coconut milk
1 graham cracker crust (I purchased mine already made, you can easily find a recipe online to make one yourself, like this one: http://vegetarian.about.com/od/desertrecipes/r/grahamcrust.htm )

Directions: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine all dry ingredients, add the egg, pumpkin & vanilla. Mix well. Fold in milk. Pour into crust, bake 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350° and bake another 50 minutes. Let cool an hour before cutting! May still be a bit jiggly before it sets.

Yule Log

I pretty much followed the exact recipe from the link above, so I don't feel the need to repeat it. The only thing I changed was that I sprinkled some coconut over the frosting instead of more sugar. I also think it would be ADORABLE to whip up a batch of vanilla frosting, split it in half - dying one half red & the other green... and making holly leaves and berries as a decoration!
Remember, intent. Cook with magical intent, infuse your foods with nothing but happiness, peacefullness & prosperty. I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, regardless of what you celebrate. Blessed be.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shopping day!

Michael & I visited a whole bunch of grocery stores and spent a little money on some groceries today... which is kind of exciting. Especially when its mostly shopping for the holidays. I picked up a Tofurky for the Thanksgiving dinner being held at my Mother-In-Love's house this week. I also picked up some Gimme Lean Sausage for my stuffing so it will taste just like mom's! YAY! I also bought some millet which is going to be in one of the recipes I hope to make for Yule. I'm pretty excited.

Anyway, for lunch I had a Dr. Praeger's California Veggie Burger - which, btw... is my absolute favorite veggie burger ever. Not joking. It is actually made out of vegetables. There are chunks of carrots and peas in it. FABULOUS. I highly recommend them. I fried mine in a little bit of veggie oil and then smothered it in lightly fried green onions, romaine lettuce and a quick sauce I whipped up that involved vidalia onion mustard, mayo & tahini. I was also too lazy to make real coleslaw so I chopped up some cabbage and carrots and green onion and drizzled a home made slaw sauce over it (really fast and easy - mayo, white vinegar & maple syrup!).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What a day!

I didn't like oatmeal until recently in life. I think I mentioned it in my confessions blog awhile back. There is something relaxing however, to have a big bowl of hot mushy oatmeal smothered in fruit and maple syrup that makes a chilly morning bearable. I particularly love blueberries and peaches which is what I had this morning. Probably would have been wonderful with some coconut milk - but didn't think of it at the time.

I followed breakfast up with some painting, then had lunch - a stirfry with some fake pork stuff. I made a really interesting sauce to go on top... sweet chili sauce, vidalia onion mustard and almond butter... I liked it and would make it again.

I followed THAT up with some yard work... and by that I mean - FINDING the yard under all of the leaves that fell out of my hickory tree. Oh goodness... and then! MORE PAINTING! What fun! The room looks very different and I love it!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Internet Censorship! Really important guys!

Please take the time to read about the bill that is trying to be made into law involving internet censorship. This will seriously affect all of us - regardless of whether or not you watch youtube, look at facebook or have a blog. An average citizen can be put in jail for 5 years under this law. We have first amendment rights and this law would seriously put that at jeopardy. Please sign and pass this on to friends!

To visit, click the censorship bar above.


So, I have a million food photos I want to post, but that will have to wait until another day. I was able to gather some cilantro, a green bell pepper (on an expired plant) and some kohlrabi greens today... (I also have a picture of the two bags of ORGANIC sprouting beans I scored at a THRIFT STORE! Yes it says .49 cents!) I wanted something yummy and filling. What I really REALLY wanted was Chipotle. Anyhow, since I wasn't getting that I dug up some rice, and found a can of black beans (that I FORGOT TO USE - doesn't matter, still tasted good) and THIS recipe for Chipotle style rice...(which I didn't exactly follow) and voila, lunch. NOM.

Also, I decided it was time to attack the house. I've been living in a cave for the better part of a year and decided its time to paint some walls, get some light in here! I'm far from done (considering I started less than 4 hours ago) but I already feel a million times better. Really.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Celebrating the Sabbats as a Vegan: Samhain

I know this is a bit late. This year I didn't plan on doing a full menu because I was supposed to hang out with a few fellow witches, when the hostess fell ill the day before (bless her poor heart). So, while I did have a few things in mind, I had nothing solid.

I came across a really nice little article about traditional Halloween meals... in Ireland. I'm ok with that, since here in the US we're too busy stuffing our face with candy to make a feast. I'm really glad I came across it because it taught me something new and forced me to TRY something new which turned out completely awesome.

So here it is:

Main dish: Colcannon
Side dish: A simple salad if you want & Roasted butternut squash
Dessert-ish: Fruit scone & Apple cake

I know the menu is short... the Colcannon is a warm, hearty comfort food that has starch, veggies AND (faux) meat in it... and really doesn't need to have a whole feast surrounding it (in my opinion).

Colcannon was based on THIS recipe. I pretty much followed the recipe, I did use almond milk instead of soy. The only other thing I changed was the seitan. My significant other came home and said "I have a surprise for you." I'm always suspicious when he says that... and slightly hopeful its a kitten (I need a kitten like I need a broken leg). He handed me a funny green package of what looked to be PORK RINDS. I nearly smacked him with it... lucky for him I read the fine print "Vegan Pork Slices, imitation pork".

The brand is VegeUSA(I find this insanely ironic considering it is a product of Taiwan) and they are dehydrated imitation pork pieces, made from soybean protein, starch, wheat protein, "vegan fiber(uh?!)", and soybean oil. It actually tasted pretty good in the colcannon considering its apparently traditionally made with pork! It was such a funny coincidence that he just happened to bring it home. Unfortunately, I don't know what to do with the rest of it since I didn't even eat pork when I was a meat eater.

Sometimes when I'm particularly lazy I will heat up some (instant) mashed potatoes and throw veggies in it... often, leafy greens like kale. So to find out that there is actually a dish that NORMAL people eat that is kind of similar, I was pretty stoked. Would have been REALLY tasty with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds on top too. SO YAY! COLCANNON! *big heart*

For the roasted butternut squash, I prefer mine VERY "bland". Ie: I do not use sugar on my squash. I cut it in half (I leave the seeds in until done - and then toss or eat them, whatever...they've got a great nutty taste), I roast it cut face down at 350 for like, an hour and a half and then I may or may not add vegan margarine and salt. Thats it. I eat it cold, I eat it for breakfast... I love squash, but I don't love to have the flavor drowned in syrupy sugary sweetness. For those of you that like that sugary sweetness - cut, scoop out seeds (boil them in salted water for a couple minutes and then roast!) add a glob of margarine in the center and sprinkle on the maple syrup or honey or vegan brown sugar and then bake as directed above. Check occasionally for burning (and if getting too brown cover with aluminum foil).

If you're going for a salad I would recommend something light and simple. However, if you're trying to stick to "in season" stuff and have extra kale, a raw kale salad is wonderful. There are lots of different ways to make kale salad, you can google and find one with your favorite ingredients. my favorite way isn't quite "traditional" ie: some of the ingredients are not local... Here is a great video recipe for how I like to make it. Avocado, yum.

OK! Onto the desserts! So, I have never had, much less made, an apple cake. However, I think this one turned out pretty good! I followed the recipe, I threw in a handful of wonderful dried cranberries (I wish I had had other dried fruit, but used them all in the scone below) and sprinkled with walnuts. I REALLY wish I had roasted the walnuts and THEN mixed them in, because the ones on top were AMAZING. This was wonderful for breakfast too. I pulled it out when it was still the TINIEST bit moist. Also, pan size really does matter... I used a round cake pan, and it did overflow a little. Luckily, I had it on a pizza stone... (maybe not luckily).

As for the scone, I made two of these because they are SO DARN AWESOME. I think I posted the first try last post. Well I made another, everything was the same (chocolate, coconut, walnuts) except I added about 1/4 cup of dehydrated fruit (that I had re-hydrated with some hot water). I can't remember if I drained all of the water or not, but it made for a MUCH more moist scone than the last one, more cake like I guess. I think I ate the whole thing. I don't recommend that, be good to yourself and give some to a friend or neighbor.

I wanted REALLY badly to make a pumpkin pie(I mean, come on... Samhain, pumpkins... correlation?), but currently lack the ingredients to do so... however a friend suggested THIS Pumpkin Tart recipe that she made for Thanksgiving last year.

Anyway - the other stuff I've made, but didn't add to the menu was home made sugar free applesauce, which was AMAZING. You can find that recipe HERE. As well as the banana bread I mentioned in the last post, but this time I added some oatmeal to it, which made it incredibly moist and delicious.

Anyway, I hope you guys had an amazing Samhain/Halloween and I hope this upcoming year is amazing for each and every one of you! If you have any questions about this blog and wonder why its not laid out like my other Sabbats post, don't hesitate to leave a response below.

Also, I'm blaming big corporations for my sweet Christmas cactus' confusion and early bloom... (since there has been CHRISTMAS music playing at the mall since Nov. 1st).