Sweet and Tangy Baked Beans

These baked beans are incredible. No joke. And they happened to already be vegan! My mom always made baked beans this way when I was growing up. When I had just plain beans out the can at my friends’ houses, I would think why? why would you eat something so boring? Michael loves them too. I could make these everyday and he wouldn’t complain. I could go on and on, but please make them for yourself and see. 

This recipe makes 6 serving.

Baked Beans
55 oz can vegetarian baked beans 
8 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp mustard powder 
Salt and Pepper, to taste as needed 
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Make sure you work in the mustard powder, painful to bite into a pocket of that stuff. 
Baked for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. 
It it cool slightly before serving and then enjoy! It’s a great summertime treat, I took a big tray (made 3 times the amount) to a family picnic. I love it with a juicy Tofurky Brat

Deep Dish Pizza

Do you know how to make a food blogger very happy? Buy her a new stove!!!!

As you can see from the rust ring, the old
stove hadn’t been moved in over 60 years.

As I mentioned before, we moved into Michael’s grandparent’s old house and inherited all the old stuff that came with it. Including the original stove from the the 50s. It’s a nice stove and still works, but as Michael put it, “People have landed on the moon since this stove was made.” There was a good sale on end of the year clearance stuff at a local appliance store so we checked it out.

We got a GE 30″ Free-Standing Gas Convection Range, for around 45% off. It was delivered Friday and I was so excited! Finally burners that don’t need a lighter to light! A stove with a digital display and a working timer!

So for our inaugural meal, I decided to make a vegan deep dish pizza. I used a lot Daiya mozzarella, Tofurky Italian sausage, and lot of veggies. I made it in a 9×9 casserole pan since I don’t have a deep dish pan (and couldn’t find my cake pan). I like the square shape, the corner pieces had a crunchier crust.

Deep Dish Pizza
1 red onion, diced
1 cup white mushrooms, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 meatless Italian sausage, diced (I used Tofurky)
1 ball of pizza dough (try my recipe)
1 cup of pizza sauce
1/4 cup cilantro leafs optional
1 cup fresh Spinach
1 cup dairy-free mozzarella cheese ( I used Daiya)
Red pepper flakes, optional

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degree.

Saute the red onions in a little olive oil until they soften.

Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to release their water.

Add the bell peppers. Cook until all the veggies are soft and slightly golden. Set the veggies aside.

Lightly brown the diced Italian sausage, set aside when done.

Lightly oil your baking pan.

Roll the pizza dough the shape of our pan (big enough to have it go at least half way up the sides too) and about 1/8 inch thick.

Place the dough in the pan and work it in gentle so it covers the bottom and the sides.

Spoon half the pizza sauce on to the dough.

Sprinkle on the cilantro, if using (it’s Michael loves it on everything).

Place the spinach in an even layer on top.

Now evenly spread the veggie mixture.

Then the diced sausage.

Pour on the rest of the sauce.

Lastly, sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes until the sauce starts to bubble.

Turn the oven to broil and bake for 5 more minutes or so, until the cheese starts to get slightly golden (remember that vegan cheese does not get all bubbly, it will just burn).

Let this cool for a few minutes before you cut, it will be so much easier and stay in one piece.

Sprinkle with a little more cilantro and red peppers flakes if desired.

It’s not quite like an authentic Chicago deep dish, but that is probably for the best. As good as they are, they are insanely unhealthy. Michael pretty much inhaled this pizza, didn’t care that it was vegan at all. He was sad when I told him we finished the whole pan!

This was a great inaugural dish for my new stove. Can’t wait to make more delicious vegan food with it!

Tamale Pie

I have no real story or reason behind the recipe. I had dry pinto beans, I had masa, and I had fresh organic veggies. So I made a tamale pie. I decided to make it more like dumplings on top instead of a solid crust, just trying something different.

Tamale Pie
2 cups dry pinto beans
6 cups water
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
2 zucchini, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 sweet gypsy peppers, diced
2 cups masa harina
Salt
About 3 cups water

Rinse the dry pinto beans.

In a large pot, add the beans, 6 cups water, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for one and a half hours, or until the beans are almost soft and most of the water is absorbed. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next add the zucchini, onion, bell peppers, and sweet peppers. Stir well and let if cook covered 30 minutes. Now the beans and the veggies should be all soft.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the masa and salt. Add a little water at a time until the dough reaches a moist play-dough-like consistency.

Pour the bean and veggie mixture into the baking pan.

Tear off small chunks of the dough and cover the top of the bean and veggie mixture. It’s okay if not every spot is covered.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the masa is slightly golden.

I topped mine with homemade guacamole, try one of my Guacamole 3 Ways recipes. And all the veggies (but the onion) were organic from the box delivery I mentioned in Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad post.

Vanilla Apple Pie

What does a nerd do when it is her day off and Pi Day? Make a Pie to celebrate!

Speaking of work, you may have noticed that I have not been posting as much lately. I got a new job, and it is great but very busy. I will get better about posting as I settle in more. Michael started a new job too, so I decided to make us both something special tonight for all our hard work.

I thought a pie for Pi Day would be nice, but a giant pie for the two of us is just impractical. So I made two mini pies. Michael requested chocolate or apple pie, and I went with apple because it is easier to make.  My parents went on a trip to Mexico a few weeks ago, and my mom send me some Mexican vanilla extract, and I have been wanting to use it all week.  I thought it would be a nice addition to classic apple pie.

Vanilla Apple Pie
1 pie crust, frozen or homemade (I used frozen)
4 Fuji apples, pealed and cubed
1.5  tbs vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbs cornstarch
Pinch of salt

If using frozen pie crust, let it thaw first.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray two small ramekins with cooking spray.

Roll out the pie crust on a well floured surface. Cut circles out of the pie crust that are a half inch larger than the radius of the ramekin. It’s okay if they are not perfectly round and there should be left over crust pieces.

Press the crust circles into the ramekins, reshaping them to fix it if need be. Make sure you press them in firmly and seal the edges as best you can.

In a small bowl, mix together the cubed apples, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt. Taste and adjust as necessary to your tastes.

Fill each ramekin with half of the mixture. They should be filled to the very full.

Take the remaining crust pieces and shape them into two circles large enough to cover the top of the ramekins with some overlap.

Now cover the ramekins with the pie crusts and seal the edges firmly. I crimped the edges with a fork to  make sure it seals properly and to make it look pretty.

Cut a small X on the top.

Sprinkle the crust with a little extra sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and the filling starts to bubble up.

Let cool and enjoy a piece of 3.14159265….that’s as far as I know off the top of my head!

"Cheesy" Rice

Awhile ago I saw something on Pinterest that said mac and cheese comes out creamier if you cook the noodles in milk. I thought why not try it with rice? I added some nutritional yeast and veggies, and ended up with a big pot of creamy and cheesy rice.

This makes 4 servings.

“Cheesy” Rice
1 cup of rice
2 cups soy milk
1 tbs vegan butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup of frozen veggies (I used the standard carrots, corn, and peas mix)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pot, add the rice and soy milk.  Cover and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Watch it so it does not burn. Add more liquid if necessary to keep it from burning. Try not to open the lid too much though.

Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and add the butter. Mix together well.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and frozen veggies. Cooked until the veggies are heated through.

Add the veggies to the rice and mix together well.

Season with salt and pepper.

This is a basic recipe, feel free to add any veggies, seasonings or anything else you like!

Copycat Wienerschnitzel Chili

In celebration of the Giants making it to the World Series, I told Michael I would make him whatever he wanted to eat during the game. He eagerly requested I make a version of Wienerschnitzel‘s chili cheese dog and chili cheese fries. So I did some research on the web and found a copy cat recipe. I made a few small changes, and used soy protein crumbles instead of ground beef for mine. This recipe is proof that vegans don’t just eat boring salads!

This make 4 servings of chili, enough for chili cheese fries and a chili dog for two people.

Copycat Wienerschnitzel Chili
1/2 of tube of Lightlife Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style
3 cups of water
1/8 cup corn starch
1/4 cup flour
1 tbs tomato paste
4 tbs chili powder
5 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tbs white vinegar2

In a skillet over medium heat, crumble up and brown the ground beef.

In a small bowl, whisk together the water, corn starch, flour, and tomato paste.

Add to the browned ground beef crumbles.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce is at desired thickness.

Put the chili on some fries and a hot dog—or anything else you want! And don’t forget to add a little vegan cheese too.

This was soooo good. And WAY healthier than the real stuff.

Bac’n Mac and Cheese

Guess what other American classic is actually vegan? McCorkmick’s Bac’n Pieces! It is made from soy. Once again, it is a processed food and needs to be eaten in moderation. But it can provide that “meaty” flavor to your favorite dish on occasion. I decided to add them to my mac and cheese, along with some veggies.

I have posted a recipe for mac and cheese awhile ago that uses Daiya Cheese and nutritional yeast. This recipe only uses nutritional yeast because I was trying to cut down on calories and processed ingredients.

Bacon Bits Mac and Cheese
8 ounces macaroni
1 small onion, minced
2 carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 cup nutritional yeast
2 cups soy milk
1 tsp mustard
1 tbs soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
In a large pot, sauté the chopped onions, carrots, and celery in the 1/4 cup of butter.
Once the veggies are soft, add the nutritional yeast. Mix together until it makes a lumpy paste.
Now add the soy milk, mustard, and garlic. Whisk to get the lumps out.
Add the cooked macaroni and the Bacon Bits.  Mix it all together and season to taste.
Now you have bacon mac and cheese without all that cholesterol!

Sloppy Joes

This morning that commercial for an “unsloppy joe” recipe came on. Michael and I both turned to each other said we wanted sloppy joes for dinner.

Don’t bother with pre made sauces in a can. Sloppy joes are just as easy to make on your own. It is really just tomato paste and seasoning. I used Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style in place of beef. And I added bell peppers for more nutrition.
This makes about 4 sandwiches.
Sloppy Joes
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño, minced (optional)
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tbs agave
1 and 1/4 cup  water
Salt and pepper to taste
Buns or Rolls
Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute the chopped onion and bell peppers until tender.
Add the jalapeños and “ground beef”.  Cook until heated through.
Add the tomato paste, agave and seasonings. Mix together well.
Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly.
Serve on the rolls or buns.
I made coleslaw with a light vinaigrette as a side dish. This was exactly what we wanted, so good!

Curry Ramen

Holy cow, I am 25 years old today! It feels like just yesterday I posted my recipe for the cupcakes I made for my birthday last year. I also can’t believe how much has changed in just a year! I graduated, moved to California, and am dating an amazing man who I am planning a happy life with. I am so grateful to finally have my (almost) adult life. Michael’s birthday was last Sunday, and since our birthdays are only five days apart, we had a joint party last Saturday. My past five birthdays have either been gone horrible wrong (try getting chased down the streets of Melbourne drunk by a British guy dressed as a ninja while you are wearing an alien costume) or just me. So it was very nice to celebrate with friends for once.

Thank you Mrs. Reddy for the lovely cake! 
So, for my birthday I decided to post a recipe for one of my favorite lazy weekend lunches: Curry Ramen. It’s a more adult version of the classic college staple. I have talked about how to jazz up your basic package of ramen before, but this is kicking it up several notches. It combines the goodness of a big bowl of noodles, the creaminess of curry broth, and you even get some nutrition from the vegetables. 
This recipe makes 2 servings but can easily be multiplied. 
Curry Ramen
4 cups water
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tps of ginger, minced
2 packages of Oriental flavored ramen (make sure you get one that has no meat flavorings)
1/2 tbs curry powder
1/4 tbs cumin
1/4 tbs turmeric
1 cup frozen vegetables (I use peas, carrots and corn)
1 can coconut milk
1/2  block of extra firm tofu, drained and chopped into bite-size pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, to taste
Mince the garlic and ginger.
In a large pot, add the water and the minced garlic and ginger. 
Cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the flavor packet from the ramen noodle package and add to the pot.
Add the curry powder, cumin, and turmeric.
Add the frozen veggies. Cook for a few minutes until no longer frozen. 
Add the noodles. Cook as long as the directions on the package indicate. 
Turn off the heat and add the coconut milk and tofu. Stir to combine. 
Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Divide into two bowls and garnish with cilantro. 
Now enjoy your grown-up ramen—even if you are laying around in your pajamas watching TV like  a little kid I plan to do this weekend.

The Gilroy Pizza

We are slowly starting to get the house into shape! We have TV but no internet yet. We will hopefully have it soon and then I will get back to posting regularly.

The other day Michael’s boss bought them Jake’s Pizza for lunch and he brought the leftovers home. There was one called the Gilory Special and it looked amazing. Ranch, mushrooms, sausage, chives and tons of garlic! I just had to make a healthier vegan version. I took off a few ingredients and used Annie’s Lite Goddess Dressing instead of ranch—and of course used vegan cheese and sausage.

For those of you not from Northern California (oh, it hurts my little Oregonian heart to say that I live here!) Gilroy is a city in southern Santa Clara County that is famous for its garlic crop. It grows other produce like mushrooms, artichokes and tomatoes—hence the name and toppings of the pizza.

The Gilroy Pizza
1 pre-baked pizza crust (try my recipe)
1/4 cup of creamy salad dressing (try a ranch or I used Annie’s Lite Goddess)
2-4 cloves of garlic minced, depending on taste
1/2 cup vegan mozzarella (I used Follow Your Heart)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
1/4 of marinated red pepper, sliced
1/4 ground vegan sausage (I used Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage)
Chives, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the pre-baked pizza crust on pizza pan.

Spread the dressing over the crust.

Sprinkle on the garlic.

Cover with mozzarella.

Add the mushrooms, artichokes, and red peppers.

Crumble on the sausage.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until the heated through and the mushrooms are cooked. Once again, this is vegan cheese, it lacks casein so it will not get all bubbly. It will melt a little bit but will quickly burn if you leave it in too long.

Like my nifty 50s linoleum floor?

It’s creamy, it’s garlicky, and it’s full of veggies. What’s not to love!