Sunday, December 11, 2016


Best Blog Tips

I devised this recipe for moist and delicious whole wheat muffins for my second cookbook, "The (Almost) No Fat Holiday Cookbook", but it didn't make the cut. It is, however, well worth making and is one of my husband's favorite treats. We like them simply served warm with a little vegan butter, but they can also be served as small individual "puddings"-- a quick and easy dessert topped with a sweet lemon sauce (see recipe below).

Printable Recipe

Makes 10-12 (Depending on how large you like them)

For a fat-free recipe, omit the oil and use 8 oz. of tofu. They will still be nice and moist, but may dry out more quickly.

Liquid Ingredients:
6 oz. medium-firm tofu OR firm to extra-firm silken tofu, drained well
1/2 cup molasses (I use "fancy molasses", but you can use a dark type, if you prefer.)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup oil
6 T. water
Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
6 T. oat flour (you can grind oatmeal in a DRY blender until fine)
1 T. ground ginger
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped small

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the liquid ingredients together in a blender or with an immersion/stick blender until smooth.

Whisk the dry ingredients together well in a medium bowl. Pour in the liquid ingredients and mix briefly. Add the crystallized ginger and mix briefly just to distribute evenly. Spoon the batter into muffin cups that have been greased with cake release (see my homemade version) or lined with muffin cup liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes (check the center of one with a toothpick after 20 minutes). Cool the pan on a rack for 5 minutes before loosening the edges of the muffins carefully with a thin knife and turning them on their sides in the muffin cups to cool.

Bryanna's Lemon Pudding Sauce-- to serve on the warm muffins as a dessert option
1 cup water
1/2 cup light unbleached organic sugar
1 T. cornstarch
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp. grated lemon zest

Heat the water, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small saucepan and stir over high heat until it thickens. Boil for 1 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and lemon zest.


Sunday, November 27, 2016


Best Blog Tips

I'm trying to use up all the great vegetables I have around-- especially the lovely local winter squash.  I love winter squash.  I actually eat it for breakfast sometimes (very satisfying!).  Last night I had a chunk of Hubbard squash and some cooked brown basmati rice in the refrigerator that I wanted to use, so I decided to make a tian, which is a type of vegetable gratin from Provence (named for he earthenware vessel of Provence used both for cooking and serving), sometimes made with the addition of rice.  It makes a great side dish or a main dish, if you like.

To add nutrition, I used my creamy, fat-free white bean flour based Béchamel sauce (see this blog post for more info), with a small amount of vegan cheese, to hold it together, instead of the more common and sometimes copious amounts, of dairy cheese and cream-based sauce.  

The ingredients for this recipe are few and simple, but, together, made a delicious and nutritious dish.

Printable Copy

4-6 servings

1 Tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
2 tsp dried, crumbled sage (not powdered)
3 cups grated peeled winter squash (such as Butternut, Hubbard, etc.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley (this can be omitted, if you don't have any)
3 cups cooked long grain brown rice, such as brown basmati
1/2 cup grated melt-able vegan cheese, such as Daiya Mozza or "Smoked Gouda", or your favorite kind
Fat-Free, Creamy Vegan White Bean Flour-Based Béchamel (Make ahead):
2 cups non-dairy milk of choice (use Original type-- I use soy milk)
1 tsp vegan chicken-style broth powder or paste (I like Better Than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Base)
1/4 cup white bean flour (or white urad dal flour)-- see below
1/4 tsp salt
1 pinch grated nutmeg
freshly-ground pepper to taste

Freshly-milled white bean flour-- you can use navy beans, Great Northern, cannellini or white kidney beans.  This batch was made with navy beans. If you can't find white bean flour to purchase look for white Urad Dal flour where ingredients for Indian cooking are sold (which includes some large supermarkets).
To make the Béchamel Sauce:

Place all of the Béchamel ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth. I cook the sauce in the microwave, in a large Pyrex batter bowl. I cook it on 100% power for three minutes, then whisk it then repeat for 3 minutes more. Microwave a bit more if necessary. If you prefer, you can cook it in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce boils and thickens.

To make the casserole:
Set oven to 400 degrees F. Oil an 8-cup shallow gratin or casserole dish.

In a wide heavy skillet, stir-fry pan or sauté pan, heat the vegan butter or olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the sage and grated squash.  Sauté until the squash has just softened.  I only sautéed it for 3 minutes, but it may take longer if you grate it more coarsely.  You don't want it mushy. Immediately stir in the chopped garlic and parsley (if using).

Combine the sautéed squash in a large bowl with the cooked brown rice, cheese, and the pre-made Béchamel Sauce.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and place in the oven.

Bake for 25 to 25 minutes, or until a bit of a crust forms on top.  Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/4 of recipe): 365 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 488.3mg sodium, 712mg potassium, 63.2g carbohydrates, 8.5g fiber, 7.4g sugar, 10.8g protein, 10.4 points.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/6 of recipe): 243 calories, 53 calories from fat, 5.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 325.5mg sodium, 474.7mg potassium, 42.1g carbohydrates, 5.7g fiber, 4.9g sugar, 7.2g protein, 6.9 points.


Monday, November 21, 2016


Best Blog Tips

I'm so sorry for not blogging for so long!  I have not been terribly inspired in the last few months, so have been taking a bit of a blogging vacation. On top of that, I have had the worst cold of my life for the last three weeks-- very tired from waking up coughing at night. But, I'm on the mend, finally.

One wonderful addition to our life-- I have a great-grandson!  Here he is with me just after he turned 4 months old:

I have been working on a few things and hope to post them soon.  In the meantime, I made some muffins yesterday.  I used to make muffins quite often, but I don't do much baking these days.  We have to watch our calories and fat. But Brian expressed an interest in carrot cake all of sudden, so I suggested carrot muffins instead of cake. (I happen to have a huge bag of carrots in the house and have been trying to use them up, so it sounded like a good idea.)

I like muffins that are low in fat, but moist. The crushed pineapple helps with that and I think using the aquafaba as an egg substitute also helps. We loved them, and I hope you do, too.

Printable Recipe


Yield: 10 muffins

Dry Mix:
1  cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1  tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 cup brown sugar
Wet Mix:
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 cup aquafaba (cooking liquid from cooking chickpeas, or liquid from canned chickpeas)
3 Tbsp oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Additional Ingredients:
8 oz. crushed pineapple, drained thoroughly
(NOTE: If you have only canned pineapple slices, use 6 slices and shred with a fork; drain thoroughly.)
1 1/2 cups grated raw carrot, squeezed by hand to remove juice.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

Turn the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease 10 muffin cups with cake release, or line with unbleached paper cupcake liners.

In one bowl, mix together the Dry Mix ingredients with a whisk.

In a larger bowl whisk together the Wet Mix ingredients thoroughly.  Pour in the Dry Mix and stir gently.  Add the pineapple, grated carrots and raisins (and optional nuts, if using). Mix just enough to distribute the ingredients evenly.

Distribute the batter evenly between 10 prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center of one muffin comes out clean.

Place the muffin tin on a rack for a few minutes, then carefully loosen the muffins from the cups and turn on their sides.

Nutrition Facts (without nuts)
Nutrition (per muffin): 215 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 248.2mg sodium, 332.6mg potassium, 42.5g carbohydrates, 2.9g fiber, 25.4g sugar, 3.1g protein, 6.3 points.

Nutrition Facts (with optional nuts)
Nutrition (per muffin): 254 calories, 72 calories from fat, 8.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 248.3mg sodium, 358.4mg potassium, 43.3g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 25.6g sugar, 4g protein, 7.4 points.


Friday, October 14, 2016


Best Blog Tips

This recipe came about in my kitchen two days ago when I was trying to think of something yummy to do with 2 cups of homemade vegan "sweet crema" that I had made for Thanksgiving dessert but never used, and some leftover vegan sour cream (both items made with silken tofu).  I thought about ice cream right away because both of these low-fat items are so nice, creamy and rich-tasting. But I wasn't sure if there was such a thing as Sour Cream Ice Cream.  However, it sounded possible, so I looked it up.  And, yes, there is such a thing as Sour Cream Ice Cream. The two recipes I found were egg-free, which is a good start for a vegan interpretation. One contained sour cream, whole milk yogurt and whole milk.  The other contained sourcream, 1/2 and 1/2, and heavy cream.

So, with some skepticism, I used my "sweet crema" (I'll post the recipe another time) and the leftover Tofu Sour Cream (recipe here) with some soymilk.  But it turned out to be absolutely delicious!  Topped with dribbles of the easy Brown Sugar Sauce (recipe below)...mmm, mmm!

NOTE: There's no need to make two additional recipes in order to make the ice cream recipe. To create a "from scratch" recipe (see below), I combined the ingredients for my "sweet crema" and 1/3 of my Tofu Sour Cream recipe, along with all of the additional ingredients.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 8

16 oz extra-firm silken tofu (1+1/3 MoriNu 12 oz. shelf-stable cartons)
1 cup creamy original soymilk (I use Silk Organic Original), or other creamy non-dairy milk (NOT full-fat coconut milk)
(NOTE: If you prefer, you can use your favorite commercial vegan creamer, such as So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer)
3/4 cup light-colored unbleached organic granulated sugar
4 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Instant Clear Jel or UltraGel (OR 1/2 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum)
(NOTE: the above ingredients help keep the ice cream from getting icy)

1 tsp lemon oil or 2 tsp. finely-grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/8 tsp salt

Crumble the tofu into a blender and add all other ingredients.  Blend until VERY smooth.  Chill mixture until it is very cold.

Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker. I use a Cuisinart ICE-30BC 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker and this recipe took about 20 minutes freezing time.

Spread the mixture into a 2 quart rectangular glass or ceramic baking pan or a rectangular 2 qt. freezer container. Cover and freeze for several hours before serving-- preferably overnight.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 119 calories, 11 calories from fat, 1.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 136.5mg sodium, 140.8mg potassium, 21.7g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 20.3g sugar, 5.1g protein, 3.3 points.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
This isn't a real caramel sauce.  In that type of recipe, you must actually caramelize white sugar. But, believe me, this short-cut version is delish!

1 cup brown sugar (light brown or regular-- your pick)
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup creamy non-daiiry milk (I use Silk Organic Original) OR vegan creamer such as So Delicious Original Coconut Creamer
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Keep whisking gently for about 5 minutes, or until it thicken. Remove from heat. Serve warm or refrigerate. The warm sauce will harden a bit when dribbled over ice cream.

To reheat, microwave briefly at low power.

Nutrition (per 1 Tbsp serving): 55 calories, 17 calories from fat, 1.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25.7mg sodium, 39.4mg potassium, 9.2g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 9g sugar, less than 1g protein, 1.6 points.


Monday, October 3, 2016


Best Blog Tips

A couple of days ago, our neighbor and friend, Noni, gifted us with with some fresh leeks and celery from her garden.  I love leeks and use celery regualrly, but I was astonished at the dark green color and intense flavor of this homegrown celery. And so many leaves, which are so full of flavor.

(TIP: If you only have access to storebought celery, choose the greenest you can find and use all of the celery tops and leaves, and the inner stalks with leaves, augmenting with chopped stalks if necessary.)

I immediately decided that we would have a leek and celery soup with white beans for dinner.  I would also use much more celery than I usually do. The soup is simple and fairly quick to make, and makes a satisfying, warming autumn meal.  I hope you enjoy it.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 6

2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups thinly-sliced white and light green parts of cleaned and trimmed fresh leeks
4 cups thinly-sliced fresh celery leaves and upper and inner stalks with leaves
4 1/2 to 5 cups thinly sliced cleaned and trimmed leek greens
6 cups rich vegan broth (I like Better than Bouillon No-Chicken Vegan Broth Paste)
4 cups (or 2/ 19 oz. [540 m cooked white kidney beans, or cannellini beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1  bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp vegan basil pesto
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
smoked hot paprika
extra-virgin olive oil or dark sesame oil

Heat the oil in a soup pot over high heat.  Add the white and light green leek parts and stir witgh a wooden spoon until wilted.  Add the celery and stir til wilted.  Now add the green leek parts and stir again until wilted.  Add a sprinkle of salt.  Turn the heat down to Medium, cover and cook about 10 more minutes, stirring every few minutes and turning the heat down if it starts to stick.

Add the broth, beans, bay leaf, and thyme. Stir and bring to a simmer over high heat.  Turn down to a low simmer, cover and cook about 20 minutes.  Stir in the pesto and taste for seasoning.

Ladle into soup bowls, drizzling each with a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil, or dark Asian sesame oil.  Sprinkle with smoked hot paprika and serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 279 calories, 47 calories from fat, 5.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 795mg sodium, 1059.5mg potassium, 47.3g carbohydrates, 10.7g fiber, 6.7g sugar, 14.8g protein, 8.2 points.


Thursday, September 22, 2016


Best Blog Tips

Homemade veggie burgers, veggie "meatballs" and veggie "crumble" ready for the freezer

Homemade veggie burger cooked in a counter-top grill
I have been working on this burger mix for a while now, and I am now confident that it's ready to share!

We are not really fond of soft, not to say mushy, veggie burgers.  We like them "meaty" (and I've been a vegan for about 27 years).  Sometimes we buy veggie burgers, but I wanted to invent an easy and inexpensive homemade mixture that could also be used to make a "veggie crumble" for things like Shepherd's Pie and taco filling, as well as veggie "meatballs", which I have always been fond of-- there are so many ways to sauce them and flavor them.  It seems that all the world loves meatballs!

I started with an old recipe from one of my early books, but simplified, multiplied and amplified (in terms of taste).  The results were excellent in the end, and I love having tasty homemade vegan burgers, "meatballs", and veggie crumbles in the freezer for quick meals.

The recipe looks long, but that's only because I've given directions for forming and cooking each type of product you're making, as well as three different cooking options.  It's really a very simple recipe.

Veggie "meatballs" simmered in vegan broth with tofu sour cream and homemade pesto

Printable Recipe

Servings: 14-16
Yield: about 61 ounces
The mix (before cooking) weighs about 61.4 ounces.  This amount can be made into eight 4.5 oz. burgers + two 12.6 oz. bags of burger "crumble" OR 24 meatballs (1 oz. each)-- or 1 bag of "crumble" and 12 "meatballs". OR you can make it all into 60 "meatballs", OR approximately 5 portions of "crumble", OR 13 large burgers. The recipe can be multiplied.

3 cups dried textured vegetable protein granules (TVP, or textured soy protein granules, or soya mince) 
3 1/3 cups boiling water
Flavoring Mixture:
9 Tbsp (1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs)  soy sauce or Tamari (TIP: I prefer not to use Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which is overly salty and expensive, and lacks the umami kick of a real fermented soy sauce/shoyu, or tamari)
4 1/2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
4 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp dried marjoram (or 1/2 marjoram and 1/2 basil)
1 1/2  tsp onion powder (TIP: I grind dry onion flakes in a spice grinder-- tastes better, lasts longer and doesn't go rock-hard like purchased onion powder)
1 1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Last Additions:
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten powder
1 1/2  cups cooked or canned (rinsed and drained) black or pinto beans, mashed coarsely with a fork (NOTE: I haven't tried brown lentils yet, but they would probably work as well.)

To make the Basic Burger Mixture:

In a large bowl, mix the textured soy protein granules with the boiling water and let set while you organize the other ingredients.

Whisk together the ingredients for the Flavoring Mixture.  Stir into the soaked soy protein mix. To thoroughly cool the mixture (which is necessary to prevent the gluten from clumping into "strings"), spread it out on a shallow baking pan and refrigerate until cool.  If you are in a big hurry and have a large freezer, pop the pan in there, but check it regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't freeze.

When the mixture has cooled off so that it is cool to the touch (it doesn't have to be cold), add the vital wheat gluten powder and the mashed beans, and mix well. (I use my hands.)

NOTE: This Burger Mixture can be refrigerated for several days, or even frozen for a few weeks, if you aren't ready to form and cook it.  You can multiply this recipe as you like to make larger quantities for the freezer.

Forming the Burger Mix:

The mix will weigh about 61.4 ounces.  This can be made into eight 4.5 oz. burgers + two 12.6 oz. bags of burger "crumble" OR 24 meatballs (1 oz. each)-- or 1 bag of "crumble" and 12 "meatballs". OR you can make it all into 60 "meatballs", OR approximately 5 portions of "crumble", OR 13 large burgers.

Form the burgers by weighing out 4.5 oz. portions, forming them into balls and then pressing into burger shapes.

Form the "meatballs" by weighing out 1 oz. portions and forming compact balls.

To make the Veggie "Crumble", press each portion of the mixture flat onto a parchment-lined pie plate.


I prefer to cook the products in the microwave oven-- it saves energy. I place the products in parchment-lined Pyrex pie plates or square Pyrex baking dishes. Cover with a Pyrex pot lid that fits (they are easy to find in thrift stores).  But you can also bake or steam the products-- see the directions for different methods below.

Method #1, Microwave:
FOR BURGERS:  I microwave 3 or 4 burgers at a time for 4 minutes, then flip them over using a small silicone cookie spatula (see photo); cover and cook 3 or 4 minutes more.

Carefully use the small spatula to transfer the burgers to a platter or cookie sheet to cool.  They are delicate at this point, but will firm up when cooled.  Keep refrigerated for several days, or freeze.  Cook refrigerated or thawed burgers in a lightly-greased skillet, or on an outdoor or counter-top grill, using medium to medium-high heat.

Before cooking

After cooking
FOR "MEATBALLS":  Cook using the same method as for the burgers, keeping a bit of space between the "meatballs".  Cook for 3 minutes on one side, turn over and cook for another 3 minutes.  Transfer the balls to a platter or cookie sheet to cool.  They are delicate at this point, but will firm up when cooled.

When cooled, compress the balls further with your hands-- they will expand when cooked in liquid or a thin sauce.

Keep refrigerated for several days, or freeze. I coated the 12 meatballs lightly in flour and simmered them in about 1 cup of "chicken-y" broth at medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the broth reduced to about 1/2 cup; then added vegan sour cream and some homemade pesto-- delicious!

The "meatballs" are tender and moist. You can use your imagination when saucing them-- or improvise using the recipes of many cuisines.

FOR THE VEGGIE "CRUMBLE": This is great to use in "meat loaves"; chile (which we had tonight), taco filling, Shepherd's Pie, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, etc., in place of commercial vegan hamburger replacements, such as Yves "Ground Round".  Press about 12 oz. of the Burger Mix into a parchment-lined Pyrex pie pan, cover and microwave as for the Burgers.  When thoroughly cool, crumble with your fingers and Keep refrigerated for several days, or freeze.

Before cooking

After cooking
Crumbled and ready to cook with or freeze

Method #2, Steaming:
FOR BURGERS AND VEGGIE "CRUMBLE: Steam the burgers, or large "patty/ies" of Veggie "Crumble" (see above), on metal or bamboo steamer baskets over simmering water for 20 minutes. (Make sure to spray the steamer basket with oil first, or line with cooking parchment with a few holes poked in it).  Handle and cool as directed above under microwave directions.

FOR "MEATBALLS": "Meatballs" should only take about 10 minutes steaming, as directed above. Handle as directed above under microwave directions.

Method #3, Baking:
FOR ALL THE PRODUCTS: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place a shallow pan of hot water on the lowest rack. Place whichever shape or product you are making on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with foil, not touching the tops of the patties, but sealed around the edges of the pan(s).  When the oven comes up to temperature, bake for 20 minutes. They will cook in their own steam. Handle and cool as directed above under microwave directions.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 149 calories, 27 calories from fat, 3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 604mg sodium, 143.8mg potassium, 12.6g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 18.2g protein, 3.9 points.


(This type of product is called "Soya Mince" in the UK and other British Commonwealth countries.)

Bob's Red Mill Organic TSP

Now Foods Textured Soy Protein Granules-Certified Organic

***If you live in Canada, in a city with a "Bulk Barn" (a Nova Scotia-based bulk food store chain), you can order 10 kg bags of "Minced TVP" at a very reasonable price (even if your store doesn't stock it), and it keeps very well.  It is a product from Grain Process Enterprises in Scarborough, Ontario, which was listed on the "Oh She Glows" blog under "Organic Wholesalers":


Sunday, September 4, 2016


Best Blog Tips

You might have noticed that I've taken a break from blogging recently.  This was primarily due to a summer of many visitors, but also some lack of inspiration.  However, I hope that the autumn will bring some of that back.  To be truthful, I've been working on a few cooking projects, which I will be reporting on soon-- an easy homemade hamburger replacement that can be made into crumbles, burgers and "meatballs"; an easy, creamy homemade soy yogurt; some bread discoveries.... stay tuned.


We had the following dish for dinner tonight.  It's an old favorite that I somehow have never posted before. It's a one-dish meal that's creamy, spicy and delicious. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

Printable Copy

Serves: 6

1  lb dried penne rigate
2 lb. cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp chile flakes
28 oz can tomatoes in thick juice (whole or diced-- if they are whole, mash them up roughly)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vegan cream (sometimes I simply blend 3/4 cup silken tofu with 3/4 cup vegan milk until smooth)
vegan Parmesan substitute, homemade or store bought (we like Go Veggie! or EarthIsland/Follow Your heart brands)

Boil the penne in plenty of salted water for about 10 minutes or til al dente.  Drain and cool with cold running water. Set aside. ENERGY-SAVING NOTE: We save energy by boiling water in an electric kettle and pouring it over the pasta in a large pot.  You only need about 2 qts.  Bring it back to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Place the cauliflower florets on a large cookie sheet and spray with a bit of oil; sprinkle with salt. dribble about 1/2 cup water into the pan.  Place under the broiler on the third rack down.  When the florets begin to brown turn them over, spray with a bit more oil and sprinkle with a bit more water and broil again until they are just tender.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile flakes and turn the heat up to high.  Stir the garlic briefly (don't burn it!) and then add the canned tomatoes and thick juice, and the salt.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium and cook for several minutes, until they reduce a bit.  Add the cauliflower and stir.  Then add the vegan cream and stir thoroughly.  Simmer gently for a few minutes, then stir in the drained penne and heat gently.

Serve immediately with vegan parmesan.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 436 calories, 64 calories from fat, 7.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 374.7mg sodium, 770.7mg potassium, 73.9g carbohydrates, 7.9g fiber, 11.5g sugar, 13.8g protein, 11.4 points.


Monday, August 15, 2016


Best Blog Tips

There is an abundance of yellow plums on our island right now, it seems.  I was gifted with a bag of them and we couldn't eat them all.  I decided to make chutney out of the remainder, but I didn't really want to make the usual British/American-style sweet and vinegar-y type with dried fruit in it. I wanted one that had Indian spices in it and a little heat.

I came up with one that we really love!  It's easy to make and is a great accompaniment to samosas, dosa (Indian grain and bean crepes) and any number of other yummy, snacky items. It contains NO vinegar-- the acidity in the plums is just perfect.

I cooked down the chutney in an open Pyrex batter bowl in the microwave. I've made small batches of jam and marmalade this way and it worked well. It also saves energy (appliances like microwaves take less energy than stove burners). But you can cook it on the stovetop if you prefer.

I'm sure that purple plums and other soft fruits could be used in this recipe, as well.

Printable Recipe

Yield: 5 half-pint jars
The flavoring is a tadka-- tempered spices quickly in hot oil. Oil-fried spices are said to have a brighter and fresher aroma than dry-roasted spices. PS: Next time I'm going to try adding the tadka after cooking down the chutney and see if it makes a difference in flavor.  Will report back.

1/4 cup liquid oil of choice
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp chopped pickled (sliced) jalapeno peppers
Other Ingredients:
6 cups chopped pitted golden (yellow) plums
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2  cup light-colored organic unbleached sugar
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2  Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp ground turmeric

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the mustard and fennel seed.  When it begins to pop, turn heat to Low and add the cumin seeds and chopped jalapeno peppers.  Cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Mix together the chopped pitted plums and both kinds of sugar in a microwave-safe  2 qt. batter bowl.  Stir in the ginger, salt, turmeric and the tadka.

Microwave the mixture on High for about 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture and microwave for about 10 more minutes, or until the mixture has thickened, the seeds are suspended evenly in the mixture (rather than mostly floating towards the top), and the level of the mixture is at about 5 cups.

IF YOU PREFER TO COOK THE CHUTNEY IN A POT ON THE STOVETOP, heat to boiling in a medium pot, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer the mixture until it has reduced to about 5 cups and has thickened.

Pour into sterilized half-pint jars and screw on the caps. I froze mine, but they can be water-bath canned for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 Tbsp. serving): 41 calories, 14 calories from fat, 1.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 96.3mg sodium, 56mg potassium, 7.1g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 6.3g sugar, less than 1g protein, 1.2 points.