San Francisco Fab Cakes



Since we’re all about making things from scratch, we’ve really been enjoying The Homemade Vegan Pantry by Miyoko Schinner. And since we got a soy milk maker a couple years ago we’ve been making soy milk regularly and then wondering what to do with the okara, which is the leftover pulp from making soy milk. We use it for baking and granola but I was happy to find a few recipes in The Homemade Vegan Pantry that include okara, like these San Francisco Fab Cakes. They’re sort of a mock crab cake and they’re really delicious! And our 52 cookbooks list is finally growing again.


Eggplant Parmesan


We’ve been getting plenty of eggplant from our CSA and found that this Eggplant Parmesan recipe from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen was super easy to make and really delicious. Rather than breading and frying the eggplant, it’s broiled and then layered with tomato sauce, bread crumbs and a faux mozzarella sauce made from cashews. The only issue I had with the recipe was that the cooking times seemed too short. The eggplant was pretty toothsome at first but after covering it and cooking it longer it was melt-in-your-mouth perfect. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to make it again before the eggplant is gone for the season!



Cracking Open a Few Old Cookbooks


Here’s some digging into the cookbook archive to catch up a bit on the 52 cookbooks effort. First up, something we did with the bok choy we’ve been getting from our CSA.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Roasted Peanuts from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

3 Tbs. raw peanuts

2 tsp. oil

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 1/2 lbs. bok choy

2 Tbs. oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbs. minced ginger

2 Tbs. soy sauce

1 tsp. cornstarch  mixed with 3 Tbs. water

Fry peanuts in oil until golden then set aside. Chop bok choy into bite sized pieces. Heat oil, stir-fry bok choy, add garlic and ginger, add soy sauce and cornstarch slurry. Coarsely chop the peanuts with red pepper flakes and add to bok choy.

We had this over rice with some fried tofu and it was fabulous.


No picture of this one but it was a nice way to use up a green cabbage. Despite the name this book is not particularly vegan-friendly. Case in point: this cabbage recipe calls for duck fat. Well, it was easy to substitute Earth Balance.

Braised Green Cabbage from Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters

1 green cabbage, quartered, cored and thinly sliced

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

3 Tbs. Earth Balance

1 Tbs. cider vinegar

1 bay leaf

1 apple

1/2 c. water

salt & pepper to taste

Cook onion in fat, add cabbage, vinegar, bay leaf, salt & pepper and water. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Grate the apple, add it to the pan and cook another 5 minutes.



Pizza Shop Breadsticks with Sneaky Momma’s Tomato Sauce from Vegan Lunchbox by Jennifer McCann

The tomato sauce has kale, red pepper, and carrots so I figured this was a good way to get the kids to eat some extra vegetables. The bread sticks were rolled in a sesame seed/nutritional yeast mixture, also upping the healthiness a bit. You could do this with any bread recipe and any pasta sauce recipe. I thought it would be fun for the kids and though they weren’t totally sold on it, I thought it was fun.


Aquafaba Sweetness


Clockwise from top left: Fried Doughnuts, Sweet Whipped Topping, Lemon Meringue Pie, Swiss Buttercream

We were thrilled to have an opportunity to test recipes for Zsu Dever’s newly released Aquafaba book. We tested a mix of sweet and savory recipes and they were all delicious. It’s amazing to think that the water we were draining off our chickpeas all these years could be so versatile. Since receiving our copy of the book we’ve tried a few more recipes and have yet to be disappointed. In fact the Swiss Buttercream is our new favorite cupcake topping. It’s light and fluffy and not overly sweet.

This past weekend we went to Carter Mountain Orchard to pick apples. In addition to apple picking their specialty is apple cider doughnuts. Unfortunately these are not vegan. Aquafaba to the rescue! We wanted to bring a treat for the kids and the Baked Apple Cider Cake Doughnuts were perfect. Especially with the addition of some leftover Swiss Buttercream we had on hand after making cupcakes for a birthday party. The big kid has been bringing these for lunch this week and loves them.


On another note, I started the year with the idea that we’d try at least one recipe from 52 different cookbooks this year, an average of one per week. I’ve fallen hopelessly behind on this effort but this will certainly count. We’ll see how many more we can add before the end of the year and maybe we’ll keep at it into next year.


Fig Apple Crisp


It’s apple season! And that means it’s also fig season. Four years ago we planted a tiny fig tree in our yard and finally this year we’re getting a decent amount of fruit. Yesterday I combined the figs with some local apples from Carter Mountain Orchard to make a simple crisp. For the filling I used about a pound and  a half of apples and about a half pound of fresh figs, then I just added a tablespoon of flour and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. The topping was 3/4 c. rolled oats, 1/4 c. flour, 2 Tbs. canola oil, 1 tsp. agave, and another 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. I think some nuts would be good in the topping so next time I’ll add some chopped walnuts. Then bake in a covered baking dish at 375° for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!


Whole Grain Butternut Squash Waffles


It’s been a busy summer, during which time we’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging, but we’re back with a fun recipe and announcement. On Saturday, September 24, we’re giving a demo at the Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival. If you’re in or around Charlottesville next weekend, come downtown to the Ix Art Park and catch our demo starting at 1:15 PM. We’ll be making these scrumptious butternut squash waffles with butternut squash applesauce.

We make waffles frequently because that’s what our kids have for breakfast almost every morning. And you might not think of waffles as a good way to get kids to eat vegetables but we often put a veggie of some sort in our waffle batter for just that reason. We often make them with spinach but we thought butternut squash might be better for the demo. Plus it’s nice to include seasonal vegetables. Right now we have a huge butternut squash patch growing out of our garden that was totally a volunteer from seeds that must have been in our compost. We’ve been using these squash in a variety of dishes, including waffles.

Whole Grain Butternut Squash Waffles


1 c. unbleached white flour
1 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. rolled oats, ground into a coarse flour in a blender or food processor
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 3/4 c. cooked, pureed butternut squash (or a can of pureed pumpkin)
1/4 c. canola oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract

What you do

In a small mixing bowl, stir the vinegar into the soy milk and set aside. In a larger mixing bowl, mix together the flours, ground oats, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Whisk squash, oil, maple syrup and vanilla into the soy milk mixture. Gently fold these wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Cook in a waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Note that you can also make this into a pancake batter by adding about 1/4 c. more of soy milk; then you can cook as pancakes in a skillet.

Butternut Squash Applesauce


2 c. peeled and sliced apples (about 2 large or 4 small apples)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 c. pureed butternut squash
1/4 c. maple syrup

What you do

Puree everything together in a blender or food processor.

Baked Bean Nachos


We’ve been making nachos for dinner regularly these days. I think this is in part because we joined Costco earlier this year and the two items we most commonly get there are a huge bag of organic tortilla chips and a big bag of avocados. In addition to the chips and guacamole, we usually add a tofu and black bean mixture and some sort of vegan cheese sauce. In this version we changed it up by adding fried seitan and “baked” beans. The beans were based on a recipe from Robin Robertson’s slow cooker book that we made in the Instant Pot. We’ll have to do this more often because it was all quite tasty!