Category Archives: Recipes

Cooking great food

No-fat Vegan Lemon & Cream Cake

No-fat Vegan Lemon & Cream Cake

Here is a light little cake that you can whip up very quickly with Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Cake Mix and a few other ingredients.  This recipe calls for a simple lemon syrup to be poured over the warm cake, so if you make cupcakes, you will need non-stick cupcake baking pans.  Don’t use papers, the syrup will saturate them, making more mess than you will want to deal with.

No-Fat Vegan Lemon & Cream Cake

Cake

1 pkg. Bob’s Red Mill Vanilla Cake Mix
3 TBSP Flax Meal
Juice and zest of one lemon
1 C water
1 3.9 oz. container of Mott’s peach/apple medley (or 1/2 cup applesauce)

Syrup

1/2 C sugar
1/2 C lemon juice (juice of one lemon)

Stir ingredients in a large bowl with a mixing spoon until completely mixed.  Pour into a non-stick 8 x 10 inch pan or cupcake pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes (or 20 minutes for cupcakes) or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Meanwhile, while your cake is baking, make your syrup.  Cook the juice and sugar on medium high in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and let cool until the cake is ready.  Cool your baked cake 5 minutes, then fork lightly all over and pour lemon syrup evenly across the cake.  Allow the cake to cool completely.   You may glaze this with either a Lemon or Vanilla Glaze.

Lemon Glaze

Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar and 2-3 TBSP of lemon juice until smooth.

Vanilla Glaze

Stir together until smooth 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and 2-3 TBSP of vanilla soymilk or non-dairy milk of your choice.

Linguine with Truffle-dried Tomatoes and Braised Cabbage

Linguine with Truffle-dried Tomatoes and Braised Cabbage

Weekly trip to the market.  Sale items: Giant cabbages, flats of very large ripe tomatoes, Washington state apples.   What do all these things have in common?  Well, combine them with linguine, peas and some rich truffle-infused salt, and you will know that this recipe is far better than the sum of its parts.  The parts take a little effort though, so have patience and you will be rewarded!

You will need to make some Truffle-dried Tomatoes and some Braised Cabbage with Washington Apples and Onions. Truffle salt imparts a very subtle richness to the tomatoes that really makes them special for anything they are used in. I use the salt in both the tomatoes and in the pasta water, and it truly changes the experience of this dish, so splurge if you can.  If not, you can replace with regular salt and you’ll still have a tasty entrée.  I’ve used a nice black truffle-infused salt that I buy in small quantities at my local Thriftway, but you can find it online at Amazon, Saltworks, and many other sources. I like to buy in small quantities for freshness and affordability, so look at your favorite specialty foods market.  Once you have these parts, you can quickly assemble this entrée for a cold autumn evening.  Serve with a nice glass of full-bodied red wine or pour some crisp non-alcoholic San Pellegrino Limonata in a beautiful glass and enjoy with your loved one.

Linguine with Truffle-dried Tomatoes and Braised Cabbage

1/2 lb. dried linguine
1-2 tsp. black truffle infused salt (or plain sea salt)
1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes or home-made truffle-dried tomatoes (about 24 pieces or 2 whole tomatoes, cut into 12 pieces each)
4 C braised cabbage with apples and onions, warm
1 C fresh or frozen peas
1 C toasted walnut pieces or textured vegetable protein
salt and pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Bring a pot of truffle-salted water to a full boil.  Cook your pasta until al dente.  Add your peas during the last minute.  Remove from heat and drain, reserving about one cup of the pasta water.  In a large serving bowl, gently toss the pasta with the braised cabbage and dried tomatoes, adding the reserved pasta water as desired.  Test your seasoning, adding more truffle salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with toasted walnuts and parsley.  I sometimes offer a small dish of crunchy textured vegetable protein to sprinkle on top with a spoon for those that want a little more protein.  It adds a great crunch to the dish, but is optional.

Braised Cabbage with Washington Apples and Onions

Cabbage is on sale this week for $.33/lb.  I love a great autumn braise of cabbage, and because I live in the “Apple state”, and I have easy access to Walla Walla Sweet onions, I’m set.  This recipe is my no-fat vegan adaptation of an old favorite recipe from Jamie Oliver’s Cook With Jamie cookbook.  It is a nummy dish on its own, but is also a nice ingredient in other recipes.  For example, try this Linguine with Truffle-dried Tomatoes and Braised Cabbage.

Braised Cabbage with Washington Apples and Onions

1 TBSP fennel seeds
1-2 C vegetable broth
1 large Walla Walla Sweet onion, peeled and sliced
2 good Washington eating apples, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
1 red or green cabbage, core removed and chopped into irregular chunks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 C nice balsamic vinegar
1/4 C sugar or maple syrup
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Use a large soup pot, because you will have a lot of volume to start until your vegetables cook down.  Turn on the stove to high and add the fennel seeds, letting them toast for 30 seconds or so.  Add your broth, onions, apples and cabbage, and bring the pot to a full boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook, stirring every 10 minutes or so for about 45 minutes.  Add the balsamic vinegar, sweetener and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cover and continue cooking on low for another 30 minutes. Your mixture should be cooking way down to a soft delicious mash, or as Jaime Oliver says, “a gorgeously sticky-sweet cabbage dish that you’ll want to eat immediately, straight out of the pan”.  You will have quite a bit of liquid in the pot, so remove the lid now and turn up the heat to let most of that liquid boil off.  You’ll need to tend the pot, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the remaining liquid has reduced to a delicious syrupy consistency.  Test your seasoning again, adding more sugar or salt/pepper as needed.

Truffle-dried Tomatoes

Truffle-Dried Tomatoes

My final harvest of the season is always a bittersweet event.  In October, I harvest seeds from all over my garden and dry them for next year’s flower beds.  I snip all the remaining basil, thyme, and mint and gather the green tomatoes off the vines for bag ripening.  My kitchen is strewn with plates of herbs drying in the cupboards, and bowls of seeds on the table and counters with paper scraps identifying the color and habit of this or that poesy.    I clean and freeze fruit, and prepare batches of chutney and jam.  It is great way to preserve the flavors of summer, but also an opportunity for reflection (remember that warm day we picked these plums?) and projection (these climbing nasturtiums might do better on that south wall next year).   I’ve had some inquiries on how I dry my ripened tomatoes, so I thought I’d give you the instructions.  I love to make them with specialty salts, which is an endless experiment because there are so many fantastic salts available now.  You can, though, just use regular salt or none at all, and you will have intense sweet dried tomatoes to improve the flavor of almost anything you are cooking this winter.  You will need an oven with a dehydrate setting or a temperature setting of 140 degrees, or you can get a counter top food dehydrator for $50.00 that will work just fine.

Truffle-dried Tomatoes

2 large garden tomatoes, sliced into 12 pieces each (or the equivalent volume of halved cherry tomatoes)
1 tsp. of black truffle sea salt (or plain salt)

Cut your tomatoes each into 12 wedges.  Lay them on a broiler pan and set the drip pan underneath.  Sprinkle each wedge very lightly with your salt.  A little goes a long way, so just a pinch for each wedge.  Set your oven to dehydrate or 140 degrees and dry for 12-15 hours.  Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.

Vegetable Polenta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

I have a wonderful friend who gifted me with a bursting bag of home-grown tomatoes every color in the rainbow.  Hoping to extend the bounty over time, I dried a thick layer of these little sugar disks overnight in my dehydrator, but ironically, the outcome was so delicious, sweet, succulent, that I had to wrap them into an amazing sauce and eat them all the very next day.  I discovered a great no-fat polenta; whipped up this fresh herb, sun-dried tomato ragu and garnished with a herb & garlic “creme”.  I really have to credit the amazingly sweet dried tomatoes with the huge flavor in this dish.  Frieda’s organic polenta is fabulous too.  Try it!!

Vegetable Polenta with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Fresh Herbs

1/2 C vegetable broth
1/2  red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 large fresh tomato, diced
1 TBSP Carlita Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa
1 16-ounce package Frieda’s Polenta (Original, Sun Dried Tomato, or Wild Mushroom)

Minced green onions, chopped cilantro or Italian parsley for garnish

Simmer the first 8 ingredients for 15 minutes over medium low heat.  Slice the polenta in  1/4 inch slices and brown in a non-stick pan on medium high heat.   Spoon 1/2 C sauce onto each plate. Place 4 polenta slices on the sauce and garnish with garlic cream, minced green onion and chopped cilantro or Italian parsley.

Garlic creme

2 oz. firm or silken plain tofu
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 TBSP fresh cilantro or parsley
1/4 C plain non-dairy milk (soy or rice)
Salt and pepper to taste

Process all ingredients in your food processor until the consistency of thick cream.  Serve with polenta.

Ginger Pear Lemon Marmalade and Three Plum Chutney

Ginger Pear Lemon Marmalade

I just had a bumper crop of fruit off my trees this fall.  Result? I’ve done  some spicy experiments with homemade jams and chutney, Of course, no fat or animal products used!  Here are my two favorites.  They are quick, easy and amazingly tasty. Try the marmalade on Dave’s Good Seed Bread toast or use instead of the orange marmalade in your “Aussie Bites”.  Use the chutney as a sweet & savory sauce for a vegan pizza. Try not to eat these luscious jams by the spoonful, though, or you’ll have to start a new batch before you know it!

Ginger Pear Lemon Marmalade

7-8 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 C sugar
2 whole lemons, seeded
1 C coarsely chopped crystallized ginger

Put the chopped pears, sugar and 1/2 C of the chopped ginger into a saucepan. Quarter the lemons and remove all the seeds. Chop the lemons into 1/4 inch pieces, including all rind, pulp and juice.  Add all to the pear mixture and bring to a boil on the stove.  Reduce heat and simmer on low 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the sugar has caramelized and the mixture is a golden honey color.  Remove from heat and add the remaining 1/2 C chopped ginger and cool to room temperature.  If you want something very special, stir in  a bit of Cointreau or Brandy.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to one month (it isn’t going to last that long, though).

Three Plum Chutney

1 ½ C Quartered fresh or frozen plums
3/4 C coarse chopped prunes
1/2 C raisins
3/4 C chopped red onion
1/2 tsp Ras el Hanout spice
2 tsp whole seed mustard (any oil-free brand)
2 tsp Kozlik’s Amazing Maple mustard
2 TBSP plum preserves
½ C brown sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer and low, stirring occasionally, until thick and caramelized (about 2 hours).  Cool completely and pour into a clean container. Refrigerate for up to 4 weeks.

No-fat Vegan Chocolate-Walnut and Pear Tart

No-fat Vegan Chocolate-Walnut & Pear Tart

It is harvest time for beautiful, juicy pears, and I’ve got pear trees laden with fruit this year. There are so many delicious possibilities for fat-free and vegan pear dishes.  I’ve recently seen some amazing online recipes for Chocolate-Pear confections, but all of them share common ingredients that I do not eat: butter, milk, cream. I enthusiastically took on the challenge, and today I present an absolutely sumptuous fat-free dairy-free tart that you can serve proudly to anyone you know.

This tart is more accurately a pie, so it is deep, moist, and should be served in thin slices.  For the crust, I’ve adapted the wonderful pie crust from “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” that is built on apple juice and grape nuts.  I’ve added some unsweetened cocoa, creating a crisp hearty frame for the deep chocolate filling.  I’ve used a great gluten-free chocolate cake mix from Bob’s Red Mill and enhanced it with ground walnuts, resulting in a super moist center studded with vanilla-poached glazed pear.   Enjoy this and share it with your friends.  They’ll probably hug you, and their healthy hearts will thank you!

Chocolate-Walnut and Pear Tart

Crust

1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
3 TBSP frozen apple juice concentrate
1 1/2 C Grape Nuts cereal (not flakes…they have oil)

Stir the ingredients together until well mixed.  Spoon all into a 9″ pie plate, pressing crumbs up the side to form a crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until beginning to brown on the edges and crisp.  Cool for 5 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Filling

1 C shelled walnuts
1 1/2 C Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix
1 TBSP flax meal softened in 3 TBSP of water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 C vanilla soymilk (or any non-dairy milk)

Grind the walnuts for about 1 minute in your food processor.  Add the cake mix and pulse until mixed.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix 30 seconds until fully mixed.  This will be a fairly thick batter.  Pour into the cooled crust.

Poached Pears

2 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, halved
1/2 C sugar
1 TBSP vanilla
1/4 water

Put all ingredients into a sauce pan and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Drain the pears and slice into 1/8″ thick pieces.  Press into the filling, fanning out somewhat for a pretty look.  Bake the tart for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  If you wish, brush the pears with a bit of apple juice concentrate to glaze them. Return to oven and bake another 20 minutes or until a knife barely comes clean.  Do not over bake – you want this to be moist and fudgy.