Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I hope that everyone has had a great holiday season! I really can't believe how crazy busy things get this time of year.

I'm loving having my kids off from school for the holiday break. My daughter has a friend visiting for the week, and her boyfriend is over a lot, so it's been fun cooking for more than just our four. I've definitely been cooking up a storm, which includes lots of home baked treats (like the cinnamon rolls above and the yummy coffee cake crumble from Everyday Dish). So that I don't sound like all I make is sweets, I've also made a slew of soups, stews, beans and salads too.

I've been working hard on perfecting the sausage recipe, which I'm completely thrilled with! Hopefully we can film the segment soon so we can hurry up and get it on Everyday Dish. Can I just say how fun it is to have flavored sausage links to slice up and throw into recipes?! We made a couple of different flavors, which were also really delicious sliced up and served with dipping sauce.

I'm trying to get as much cooking in as I can, because I think we're going to give our kitchen a little makeover soon, which means it will be out of commission for a week or two (or as long as it takes Jay and I to do it ourselves). Nothing too major, but we've been wanting to add some color to it and would love to paint our cabinets. I promise to take some pictures once we get started.

Happy Holidays!!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Bread And More

I'm always looking for new and delicious ways to incorporate a variety of whole grains into my diet. Truth-be-told, I'm also a fan of quick breakfasts, because I'm always rushing around in the morning and need something that will stick with me for a few hours. I've played around with granola recipes for years, but finally have developed a recipe for one that tastes great, is high in fiber, low fat and makes a large batch at a time. The recipe is on Everyday Dish (click here for the recipe), and I highly recommend you bake up a batch. Feel free to play with the fruit/nut/flavor combos any way you like. It's called Not Your 1970's Granola. Believe me when I say that, because I remember the 70's granola of my childhood.

My friend Heather gave me the idea to add millet to it, which gives it a really nice additional crunch and nutrition boost to 'bout.

Next up, homemade bread. Bread is so easy to make from scratch and is so much better than store-bought. You can also customize it any way you like, by adding fresh or dried herbs for a savory version. Although I love crunchy rustic breads, I also love American-style soft breads for sandwiches or French toast. Here's a recipe that I make often, which is a veganized oat bread recipe from King Arthur. It's very delicious and easy to make. I make mine in my beloved Bosch mixer, which is excellent for bread and heavy doughs. You can also make it by hand, in a bread machine or even in a large food processor. Oh, and you can substitute some whole wheat flour for some of the all-purpose flour (about a cup or so), though it will make the bread a little heavier and less fluffy (but a little more nutritious). I sometimes also throw in about 1/2 cup wheat germ to the recipe as well. If you do add the wheat germ, you might need to cut back a touch on the flour.

Adapted from a King Arthur recipe

3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
1 cup rolled oats (old-fashioned oats)
2 tablespoons Earth Balance, softened or oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast*
1 1/4 cups lukewarm soymilk (or 1 1/4 cups warm water plus 3 tablespoons soymilk powder)

*If you use active dry yeast -- dissolve it in the warm milk before combining with the remaining ingredients.

Manual Method: In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine all of the ingredients, mixing to form a shaggy dough. Knead dough, by hand (10 minutes) or by machine (5 minutes) till it's smooth. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow it to rest for 1 hour; it'll become quite puffy, though it may not double in bulk. Shape as directed below.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients (except the fruit) into the pan of your machine, program machine for manual or dough, and press Start. About 10 minutes before the end of the second kneading cycle, check dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or water; finished dough should be soft and supple. Add the raisins or currants about 3 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle. Shape as directed below.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, and shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap or a slightly damp clean kitchen towel, and allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, till it's crested 1 to 2 inches over the rim of the pan.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking. Yield: 1 loaf.

Rising bread before baking

Freshly baked bread

I've also been playing around with a grain mill, which is really awesome and I will post about soon. There is nothing cooler (or healthier) than freshly ground flour. I've done white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, regular whole wheat, rice and bean flours. Yes thats right, you can grind dried beans into flour. It's really amazing. The dried bean flour can be used for quick soups (black bean, split pea, white bean, etc...), as sauce thickeners (think white bean flour) and any other recipe where it might call for chickpea or garbanzo bean flour. Very, very cool.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Now that the book is done, I'm having such a fun time cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. I've been playing with homemade soy milk recipes, baked goods and the big one today...gourmet vegan sausages. Once I get the recipes down, I promise to take some pictures.

The soy milk is something that I've played with off and on for a while. I'd prefer to have homemade over store bought as it's much healthier (and cheaper too). The only issue I have with it is the slightly beany flavor, but I know that it's just something you have to get used to. So I've been trying to play around with different flavorings to see if I can make it a little more palatable. Actually, my husband really likes it and even dips his cookies in it. Go figure. I guess I'm a harder sell.

The sausages that we made tonight are amazingly delicious! As soon as we get the recipes perfected we'll film them for Everyday Dish. Jay made one tonight that I can't stop eating it's so good. I find it so cool to be able to make sausages at home. I love creating whatever flavor combinations strike my mood, and they taste so much better than what you can buy in the store. I'm thinking grilled sausage and peppers are definitely on tomorrow's menu. They should freeze well, which will be nice to throw in soups and stews.

The funny thing is, even with all the cooking we've been doing, getting dinner on the table can still be a big challenge. It seems that the kids are either coming or going right as I need to start cooking dinner. Between driver's training/ed, diving lessons, school clubs, orthodontist appointments, my daughter's job... it's never ending. The best solution I've found so far is to cook up big pots of soup, beans, etc... That way I can get several meals out of each pot. Hummus is a favorite, as well as minestrone, dal, white beans, lentil soup... I try to remember to soak my beans the night before, and then pressure cook them (or the soups) in the afternoon. So much for creative dinners.

Makings of a quick soup, minus the celery, onion, garlic and spices

Hopefully things will slow down a bit in the next couple of weeks. Anyone else in the same dinner boat?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cranberry Parfaits

Since we have gallons of cranberry sauce in our fridge, I've had to get creative. My favorite so far are cranberry parfaits, a delicious combination of creamy rice pudding and cranberry sauce. So, so good! Cook up a batch of rice pudding and layer the cooled pudding in glasses with cranberry sauce. Wow! I used the Red Wine Cranberry Sauce recipe on Everydaydish and the Creamy Vegan Rice Pudding from this blog. You've got to give this dessert a try.

I've also got a couple other ideas for "the sauce" if you're in need. It's delish with soy yogurt and granola for breakfast, stirred into oatmeal, blended into a smoothie, shaken with chilled vodka and a twist of lemon or lime, tossed with shredded carrots and served as a salad (this idea was courtesy of Trader Joe's), spread on ginger cookies (my daughter's contribution), stirred into a salad dressing or vinaigrette, on a Tofurkey sandwich, dolloped on top of pancakes or waffles or as an ice cream topping. Oh, I also forgot to add that it freezes well too, so there's always that option.

Although I had every intention of photographing our Thanksgiving meal, it didn't happen. Everyone started digging in as I was putting the food on the table. My family is certainly not shy about eating. Fortunately, I was able to snap a couple pics of some of the dishes while we were cooking. Everything was delicious and worth the three days that I spent in the kitchen. Now I want to eat nothing but soups and salads for the next month.

Mashed yams with sautéed apples, bourbon maple syrup and crushed ginger cookies (before baking), that my brother and I made. This is definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Vegan pumpkin pies (Bryanna's recipe). One was baked in a gingerbread cookie crust (the pie on the left), which completely stuck to the pan. I guess I didn't grease it well enough. The other pumpkin pie was baked in a traditional oil crust. They were both very good.

I needed a dessert for the night before Thanksgiving, since everyone was arriving at dinnertime. So thanks to Deirdre Jean for her suggestion, I made the Lower-Fat Chocolate Bundt Cake from Veganomicon. Deidre said it needed a topping, so I glazed it with chocolate ganache. The cake was fabulous, moist and devoured in no time. Since we had a mixed bag of eaters (mostly omnis at our vegan Thanksgiving), I was hoping that chocolate would seal the deal. It definitely did. We also had Bryanna's amazing award winning chili, but that was eaten before I could get a picture.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I'll start posting some yummy soups and stews. It's definitely in the air now, at least around our house.

I hope that everyone had a fantastic holiday!


Friday, November 16, 2007

Cranberry Sauce

Believe it or not, we were able to squeeze in a Thanksgiving segment this week. It's really thanks to all of the hard work by my husband Jay. I don't know how he does it, but somehow he does and then it magically appears on our website.

We filmed my favorite cranberry sauce. Now, before you start thinking "oh, just cranberry sauce", think again. This one has sangria flavors, which in my opinion takes cranberry sauce to a whole new level. Red wine (or port), cranberries, lemon and orange. It's so good. In fact, the entire pot of sauce that we made while taping the segment, quickly disappeared before I even had a chance to refrigerate it. My kids came home from school and immediately started eating it out of the pot. If you're worried that my kids were eating an alcoholic sauce, don't. The alcohol cooks right out. You can find the recipe and segment here.

I've also been trying to figure out what our Thanksgiving menu will be. Every year I think that I'll change things up. Every year my daughter protests that I can't change a single thing. I've decided that this year I'll jazz up our traditional menu. For the mashed potatoes (made creamy with plain soymilk and a little Earth Balance), I'll spice them up with finely minced garlic and parsley (whizzed in the processor). This might not seem like much, but the flavor of finely minced fresh parsley and garlic is amazing. Fresh, bold, vibrant... The magic ingredient that my French grandmother stirred into all of her dishes.

Yams are another favorite around our house. I usually roast the yams in a 400°F oven until they are just soft. Once cool, I peel and cut into thick slices. I layer the yams with sliced apples that I've sauteed until soft with apple cider and spices. Then I make a sauce, reducing apple cider, brown sugar (or maple syrup) and spices. I pour the sauce over the yams and apples, sprinkle with more spices and cover and bake until bubbly and soft (basting yams as needed with the juices). I think I almost like this better when made the day before and re-heated on Thanksgiving. This year I think I'll punch it up with a little bourbon and orange or tangerine zest. It's also amazing sprinkled with gingerbread cookie crumbs.

Also on the menu will be either green beans or roasted brussel sprouts and a salad with greens, sliced persimmons, candied pecans and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. Oh, and in place of stuffing this year, I'm going to make wild rice with dried cranberries, wild mushrooms and toasted chopped hazelnuts. I'm full just thinking about all of the food. Oh, I forgot that I'll also make one of Bryanna's seitan roasts, because I love it so much on sandwiches with cranberry sauce. I'll also make her amazing gravy (wheat-free), which we've nicknamed "crack gravy" (it's really addictive). I'll add shitake mushrooms and a splash of sherry to the gravy too. I was going to make roasted butternut squash and shallots as well, but I think that might be overkill. Can you tell how much I love this holiday?

My brother loves to put together an appetizer spread, to pre-stuff us before the meal. I think we might have crostini with Caviart (a really good vegetarian caviar) and Tofutti sour cream. Anyone who thinks that vegans are deprived should think again.

Oh, I forgot the desserts. Should anyone have any room left, I'm going to make Bryanna's pumpkin pie and a mixed berry crumble, which I like to bake in a large cast iron skillet. It's a really fun presentation. For the crumble I cook together frozen mixed berries (blueberries, boysenberries and raspberries) with a little water, sugar and cornstarch to thicken. Once thickened and glossy, I scoop it into the skillet and top with a crumble topping (flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and a little melted Earth Balance). I bake the crumble until the topping is golden brown. Voila, easy as pie!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Pumpkin!! And A Very Long Post

I had every intention of posting these recipes last week. It obviously didn't happen. I wound up getting knocked down with the flu, so there really wasn't any cooking going on in my house. In fact, it was strange to have absolutely no desire or inclination to get in the kitchen (or get off the couch for that matter). We somehow survived on veggie noodle soup and spicy tofu stew from our favorite Korean restaurant.

Needless to say, I'm all better! And, fortunately just in time to start thinking about Thanksgiving. Because of the setback last week, we weren't able to film Thanksgiving recipes like I'd hoped to for Everyday Dish. So, I'll post a few of my favorite recipes here later this week, in case anyone is looking for some new recipes or twists on old favorites. The two pumpkin recipes I'm posting today would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

The first one is pumpkin hummus. I know that sounds a little strange, but I promise you that it's delish. You can call it pumpkin spread or pate if you prefer, which certainly gives it a more sophisticated flair. I love to serve it with crostini (thin slices of toasted baguette rubbed with fresh garlic and brushed with a little olive oil) and candied spiced pumpkin seeds. I don't have a written recipe for the pumpkin seeds, but I'll tell you what I do. I take pepitas (or shelled pumpkin seeds -no white outer shell) and heat them in a large non-stick skillet (I know, I know, but non-stick works so well here). Once the seeds start getting warm and a bit toasty (but not too much), I sprinkle on a couple tablespoons of sugar. Let the sugar melt for a minute or two, and then start tossing or mixing the seeds so that they get nice and coated with the melted sugar. At this point you can add another tablespoon or two of sugar. Once the seeds are toasted and candied, sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground pepper (and a touch of ground chipotle or cayenne pepper). Transfer seeds to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. I sprinkle them directly from the skillet onto the paper. These seeds are also excellent tossed in a salad.

You can find the pumpkin hummus here. There's also an Everyday Dish segment on the pumpkin hummus. The only change I made to the recipe was to mix in a drop or two of toasted sesame oil to the finished hummus. It gave it a bit more of a smoky flavor. Yum!

For the pumpkin cakes, I had been craving a really good full flavored cake, loaded with spices and pumpkin flavor. I started by taking my tried and true recipe, and experimenting with different egg replacers for the eggs. They didn't all work well. I tried flax, soy yogurt, egg replacer and soy milk. I was only happy with two of them. The version using Bob's Red Mill egg replacer for the eggs worked very well. It was a nice dense cake, which I really liked. But, I also really liked the version with soy milk, which was a little more cakey and a little less dense. In addition to adding the soy milk, I also increased the baking powder and omitted the baking soda. Since there wasn't buttermilk (soy milk with vinegar) in the recipe, this worked out very well, and the cakes rose beautifully. I do recommend baking the batter in small tins, whether mini loaf pans or mini bundt pans, etc... It keeps the cakes nice and light. Oh, and I wouldn't suggest substituting applesauce for any part of the oil. I tried, and wasn't happy with the results (neither were my kids).

Autumn Spice Pumpkin Cake
Preheat oven to 350°F

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Scant 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin (solid pack)
2/3 cup plain soymilk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped candied ginger or 1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries or chocolate chips

1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
2. In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, pumpkin, soymilk, canola oil and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Don't over mix batter. Stir in candied ginger or raisins.
3. Spread batter into greased and floured mini bundt or loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean and top of cake springs back when lightly pressed. Little miniature bundt cakes will take about 25 to 35 minutes to bake. Miniature loaf pans about 25 to 35 minutes.
4. Remove cake pans to a rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove cakes from pans and finish cooling completely on a rack.
5. Dust cooled cakes with powdered sugar before serving or drizzle with vanilla glaze or chocolate ganache.

Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbsp soy milk or orange juice
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, soy milk and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
2. Spread or drizzle icing over cakes. This icing needs to be made just prior to using, as it will harden quickly. If icing is too thin, add another few drops of soy milk or juice. If icing is too thin, stir in a little more powdered sugar.

Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup soymilk

1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and soymilk. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from oven and stir mixture until smooth. If necessary, microwave mixture for another 10 seconds or so, but do not overheat (chocolate will burn).
2. Spread or drizzle warm ganache over cakes.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Vegan Holiday Festival

If anyone is going to be in the Portland area on Saturday, November 3rd (tomorrow), you've got to come check out the Vegan Holiday Festival. This is the second annual VHF, and can't be missed. There's a full schedule of events, including great cooking demos, diy crafts, yoga, music as well as many hip and cool vegan companies to check out like Herbivore, Food Fight, Veg News Magazine, Blossoming Lotus and many others. I'm so excited to be a part of the festival. I'll be doing a cooking demo from 2 to 3, with lots of delicious samples. Pumpkin is on the menu!

I also have a link for a radio interview that I did this week on Kink FM. I had a great time talking with the DJ's, which was condensed down for the podcast. The link is here. There's also a great interview with Brendan Brazier, best-selling author and professional Ironman triathlete.

The radio station is also doing a poll for everyone's favorite vegan and veg-friendly restaurants in Portland. Log on to the site and cast your vote if you have a favorite!

As soon as the festival is over, I'll post the recipes on the blog. I mean really, can you ever have enough pumpkin recipes? I don't think so!

I'm hoping that I'll have some time next week to tape a couple of Thanksgiving recipes for the Everyday Dish cooking show. I don't know about everyone else, but I always love to try new dishes for Thanksgiving. It's my absolute favorite holiday. Besides the awesome food, it's about friends and family getting together and enjoying a lovingly prepared meal. Truly, what could be more incredible than sharing food (even if some of your relatives drive you crazy). We usually have a pretty big group for Thanksgiving, with lots of family flying in for the big feast. And, no, turkey is not the center of our meal (or any part for that matter). Instead we celebrate the bounty of amazing locally grown food from the Pacific Northwest. Wild mushrooms, greens, cranberries, hazelnuts... I could go on and on.

Have a great weekend! Hope to see you at the Festival.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I'm Back!

Wow, I can't believe that it's been so long since my last post. I've been out of town traveling a bit, and it feels so good to be home.

The first trip I took was to Washington DC. What a spectacular place to visit. I wish I had more time to explore all of the museums and monuments there. I was actually in DC for instructor training for The Cancer Project. They are a non-profit organization advancing cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research. The Cancer Project is an amazing group that offers free cooking classes across the country. I am so excited to be a part of their organization.

I met some very cool people at the training from all over the country. It was so much fun to be with a group of fellow vegans. We really only had one night to play, and so before exploring DC we all had the same destination in mind. Sticky Finger's Bakery! OMG, it was so good! We ordered a number of different items, and dug in with forks. Pretty healthy of us, huh? Of course I forgot my camera at home, so unfortunately I don't have any pictures. Let me just say that the vanilla cake was unforgettable!

It was my first time in DC, and it was truly incredible seeing everything up close. I was really in awe. So much history right in front of my eyes. I didn't have much time to sight see, though we did get a quick tour one night after we had digested our Sticky Finger's meal. I look forward to going back to DC and sight seeing.

After getting back from DC, I flew down to LA for five days. My brother just opened a small cafe in Silverlake, California. Silverlake's a very hip and cool area in LA. He wanted some vegan items on the menu, and I happened to be his go-to vegan chef. Sometimes it pays to have a vegan chef for a sister.

The proud owner of Lunchbox

His shop is so cool, the kind of place that you want to frequent for your morning cappuccino or soy latte. The food is delish! I especially loved the vegan sandwich with white bean spread and arugula on an awesome fresh baked ciabiatta roll. He's also got paninis, homemade soups, salads and baked goods (with lots of vegan options). Oh, did I mention that he also has fresh baked vegan cappuccino cookies? Yum! His place is called Lunchbox, and is located at 2912 Rowena Ave, Los Angeles, CA. Just in case you need directions for that morning cup o' joe, vegan cookie or sandwich, the number is (323) 663-9900. His shop shares a space with Zanzabelle, a hip little gift shop.

My brother's dog Sam (my dog-nephew)

So that I don't completely bore you, I'll talk about the LA restaurants in my next post. Until then....Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Rice Pudding

I've always been a pudding person, and rice pudding is no exception. It's so quick and easy to make, I never mind throwing it together spur of the moment. I often make a double batch, because my kids love the leftovers for breakfast. I have a basic recipe which I use as a blueprint, and then will often vary it depending on my mode. Sometimes it's vanilla all the way, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Other times it's chai spice or pumpkin or almond. I love the versatility. It really is endless.

Here's my basic rice pudding recipe, just in case you're in the mood.

Julie’s Creamy Rice Pudding
Makes about 4 cups (6 to 8 servings)

2 cups water
1 cup medium grain white rice (such as Cal Rose or sushi rice)
1-1/2 to 2 cups non-dairy milk (hemp, almond or soy), can be vanilla or plain
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and rice and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
2. Add milk and sugar to cooked rice, stirring well. Return saucepan to stove. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, for 15 to 20 minutes or until very thick and creamy. If pudding is too thick, thin with a little more milk until desired consistency. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract or paste. Let rice pudding cool slightly before serving. If desired, sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving.

For variations:
Almond, add 1/2 to 1 tsp almond extract in place of the vanilla
Raisin, simply toss in a handful of raisins when first cooking the rice. This will plump them up nicely (or add in with the "milk")
Pumpkin, stir in a little canned pumpkin puree with the "milk". You'll want to add pumpkin pie spice too, or ground cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg to taste.
Chai Spice, substitute unsweetened brewed chai tea as part of the "milk" -maybe 1/2 cup or so (or to taste). You can also add some additional ground spices for extra flavor
Ginger, stir a handful of finely chopped candied ginger in at the end of cooking (maybe a 1/4 cup or so)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A New Addition

No, I'm not expecting, but I do have some exciting news. We've just added a vegan cooking store to our Everyday Dish website (market.everydaydish.tv). We've been looking high and low for the best in cooking and kitchen equipment, from Bosch mixers to high powered and personal blenders, juicers, grain mills, bread machines, soymilk makers, pressure cookers, dehydrators and much, much more. Everything you need for cooking healthier meals. We're even carrying handmade vegan dishes! We'll be adding new products all the time, so if you're just curious or are looking for a new appliance, come check us out. We also offer free shipping on orders over $100.00.

Monday, October 1, 2007


We're always trying to get creative with dinners around here, which isn't always easy. You know the drill, kids, work, driving kids back and forth to lessons, sports, school events, etc... I usually start the week with the best of intentions, scribbling down recipe ideas, looking through clipped recipes and cookbooks I've been wanting to try. But then life happens and we're lucky to get a nice soup and salad on the table.

We'll I managed to get some creative meals on the table recently, which were all fairly easy to make.

This first shot is veggie sushi. Jay is an expert sushi maker, and makes awesome rolls. But he's practicing tough love these days, and if you want to eat you gotta get rolling. You have to work for your sushi around here.

The yellow sushi is something we found at our local Asian market. It's soy paper, and comes in different colors. They're supposed to be naturally colored, but I preferred this light yellow to the bright pink and green shades. The sushi is filled with different combos of spicy tofu, chopped toasted cashews, daikon radish, carrot, cucumber, avocado and daikon sprouts. Delish!

This second shot is of spicy green beans with chili and garlic. There's an awesome recipe for them in Bryanna Clark Grogan's Chinese cookbook. We fight over these babies, they're so good.

This picture is of one of my kids favorite dishes. It's Agedashi tofu. So, so good! My daughter has turned many of her friends into tofu lovers after trying this dish. The recipe and video are here, so give it a try.

I've got all kinds of things in the works over the next couple of weeks, but I will try and post when I can (and tell you all about them). Until then, go make Agedashi Tofu!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

And The Winner Is...

Meg Wolff. Congratulations Meg! If you can send me an email at blog@everydaydish.tv with your address, I will mail it right off to you.

And, for everyone else who entered their name into the mixing bowl, I'm going to do another drawing in the next month or so. So check back often. I love doing giveaways.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Appliances And A Giveaway

I absolutely adore kitchen appliances and gadgets. I'm definitely a junkie. I love the stuff -from the cooking catalogs stuffed in my mailbox to the stores in the mall, I love to see what's new. I know, maybe one day I should check myself into some sort of appliance rehab where they make you do without and cook only with your hands.

One of the things that I love about appliances, is that they really help speed things up in the kitchen. Two appliances that I use all of the time is a rice cooker and a pressure cooker. The rice cooker does a beautiful job of brown and white rice, but also polenta, barley, mixed grains, black rice, wild rice, you name it. It's a no-muss, no-fuss machine. You simply add your grains and water and turn the machine on. What could be simpler than that? This is a great way to incorporate more grains into your diet. Of course you'll notice that my rice cooker is promptly siting next to a crock of white sushi rice (so much for whole grains). I do on occasion make white rice too.

I find that a great ratio for cooking rice in the rice cooker is 2 cups rice to 3 cups water. Although my rice cooker has a brown rice function, I like the way it comes out on the sushi rice setting.

Another appliance that I love is my pressure cooker. It cooks beans in a flash, as well as soups, vegetables, dals, risotto, stews, chili and the like. I mean, who doesn't like garbanzo beans cooked in 16 minutes flat? The only thing I have to remember is to soak the beans the night before. I LOVE LOVE LOVE pressure cookers! Apparently it's great for cooking cheesecakes, bread puddings and other desserts too. I honestly haven't tried any desserts in mine yet.

Pressure cookin' garbanzo beans.

Garbanzo beans, soaking away overnight.

Now, for the giveaway. I've got another copy of the Everyday Dish DVD, so all you have to do is put your name down in the comment section, and I will add your name to the pot. One entry per person. Anonymous comments have to include a first or last name.

I will randomly select a winner by putting all of the names in a big mixing bowl, and will announce the winner here on the blog. Once the winner is announced, they will need to email me within 2 days, or I will have to randomly select another winner. I’m not sure when I will announce the winner, so check back often.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bon Appetit

Magazine articles are such a funny thing. They are often written a good 6 months to a year in advance. Actually, books work the same way. My pie book isn't scheduled to be released until September of 2008. So you're always working on projects that are way off in the future.

This is what happened with an article on Fall desserts that I wrote for Bon Appetit. I think I must have worked on it close to a year ago, so I had completely forgotten that it was coming out in October. Last week the new issue came in the mail, and it wound up sitting on my dining room table for several days. I finally picked it up the other night and started flipping through it. I noticed a picture of a pumpkin cake in the beginning and thought "hmmm, that cake looks familiar. Well duh, it was my recipe! That'll teach me to pay a little more attention.

The magazine did a beautiful job with the photos and layout. It makes me wish I had a food stylist at home when I cook. If I could just train my kids, right?

If you get a chance, check out the magazine. Alas, the recipes in the article aren't vegan though several could be veganized. Now I'll just have to come up with a decadent vegan butterscotch pudding. Yum!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Catching Up

We managed to squeeze in a couple of quick trips right before school started. These first couple of photos are from a camping trip that we took in an area called Bull Of The Woods in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Usually when we camp, we look for camp grounds with amenities. This time, it was a little different. My husband had just bought us a tent trailer off Craig's List and wanted to test it out in a remote spot.

It was in a beautiful area with some gorgeous hiking close by. Everything was absolutely perfect until we went to leave. We couldn't get Jay's car to start. That's when the word "remote" really begins to hit home. Nothing like a little adrenaline rush to jump start your day. But, after about an hour or so, Jay got the car started and we were on to our next destination.

This is a pic of our "remote" camp spot. We kind of resemble the Clampett's, don't you think?

Here we are resting at a forest service lookout. It's tough when you're the shortest one in the family.

Before going home, Jay wanted to head over to a campground (with amenities) near a favorite hot spring of his. We set up the tent trailer and enjoyed our little camp site next to the river. The fun really started though just after we fell asleep, as it began pouring rain (and I mean pouring). This was when we discovered that our tent trailer wasn't water proof. Fortunately we didn't get too wet, and thought it might be a good time to head home (and get a new canvas for the trailer).

The following week we snuck in a quick trip to Boise. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet up with Vicki, but we did have a chance to see some old friends, eat a lot of food and enjoy the very hot weather. One of my food highlights during the trip was Java, where I had an awesome bowl of oatmeal with steamed soymilk, sliced bananas and cinnamon. Oh, and the coffee was great too. I wish I had a picture, but the camera never made it out of the car.

Here's a picture though of Noah entertaining himself at The Flying M, while Jay and I enjoyed our iced tea.
I hope everyone had a great summer and got at least a few quickie trips in too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Back To School

I can't believe that it's back to school time already. But sure enough, my kids were up at 6 this morning, ready to start a new school year. They actually seemed excited too, which is a very good thing.

Back to school also means back to packing lunches. Yes, I know that my kids are old enough to pack their own lunches, and they do for the most part. What is challenging though is having the pantry and the fridge full of easy to pack lunch box food. Although I try to make most of the food from scratch, I still need to fill in with some store bought goodies.

One product that I had that privilege to try recently is Zen Soy puddings and soy milk. This stuff is yum with a capital Y, and is perfect for packing in school lunches. The puddings come in four different flavors -chocolate, chocolate vanilla swirl, banana and vanilla. The chocolate and chocolate vanilla swirl were my favorites. If you're a big banana fan, then you will probably love the banana as it's rich with banana flavor.

Zen Soy also makes small cartons of flavored soy milk, which are absolutely delish and perfect for the lunchbox. My personal favorite is the cappuccino flavor (are you surprised?), although the chocolate and vanilla flavors were very good too. Once my son tasted the soy milk, he quickly finished the rest of my stash. Both the puddings and the individual cartons of soy milk are perfect for school (or office) lunches. I also love the fact that the puddings are low fat (only 1 gram) and run 100 to 130 calories. Now if I could only find a better hiding place for the chocolate puddings, so I could have my own stash of treats.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Ultimate Reuben Sandwich

I think that this is one of my new favorite meals. Not the potato chips (although Kettle Chips are really yummy), but the sandwich made with corned seitan. All I can say is that it's amazing! The recipe for the seitan was generously shared with us by vegan chef Brian McCarthy. The recipe and video are up on our Everyday Dish site here. If you are a reuben sandwich lover you've got to go run to your kitchen and try this recipe. Now!

I apologize for not being a better blogger over the past few weeks (okay, month). I have finally turned in the manuscript for my pie book (Yeah!), so I can now start to turn my focus back on savory foods (and maybe a few desserts too).

Enjoy the recipe, and I'll be back soon with some fun new food as well as a few product reviews that are long overdo.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies

I was away this last weekend at the PPK gathering, and brought a batch of these cookies. They were gobbled up fast, so I thought it would be a good time to post the recipe again. They really are that good! And did I mention they're vegan too?

The cookies have a nice coffee punch, with a hint of cinnamon. Soft and chewy, they're actually even better the second day (if they last that long). If you worry about caffeine, you can use decaf, but there's only 2 tablespoons in the whole recipe, and it makes a lot of cookies. They would probably be wonderful with a handful of toasted pecans too. The cookies freeze well, which I love because then I have them on hand for a quick treat. What can I say but, start baking!

Julie's Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies
Preheat oven to 350°F
Makes about 30 large cookies

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup canola oil
2-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
Egg replacer for 2 eggs (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)*
1/3 cup soy milk or other non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla
2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned)
2 cups chocolate chips or chunks

1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, coffee powder, espresso, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
2. In bowl of stand mixer, beat together oil, brown sugar, egg replacer (mixed with water*) and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture to oil mixture, beating just until mixed. Add soy milk, beating until mixed. If dough is too dry, add an additional tablespoon of soy milk. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips (dough will be pretty stiff).
3. Scoop mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets, lightly press tops of cookies with hand and bake in preheated oven for 14 minutes, or until puffed and slightly cracked on top (but still soft to the touch). Let cookies cool on baking sheet completely before removing.

*Make sure to blend egg replacer with necessary liquid before adding to batter.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Soul Food

It's not always easy to get creative with dinner, especially after you've been baking pies all day. But a girls still gotta eat, and so does her family. Here's something that I made last night, and actually remembered to photograph before we dug in.

I decided to try my hand at Susan's Barbecued Ribz from the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. Let me just say that they are AMAZING! So, so good! They're also very easy to make, especially if you have a grill or cast iron grill pan. Don't double the recipe though, that was where I ran into a few little problems. Follow the recipe exactly. I also used smooth peanut butter and lots of BBQ sauce. Oh, and the Ribz are even more amazing the next day, after being chilled overnight.

To go with the Ribz, I cooked up some greens and some Mac & Cheeze (it was a Southern dinner after all). For the Mac & Cheeze, I used some brown rice penne pasta from Trader Joe's (love the stuff, but you could also use regular macaroni) and topped it with a variation of Bryanna Clark Grogan's Melty Chedda Cheeze recipe. It was a really delicious dinner. Thanks Susan and Bryanna for some awesome recipes! Here's my sauce recipe for you.

Julie's Version Of Bryanna's Melty Cheeze Sauce
makes about 2-1/2 cups

2 c. water (or you can use 1 cup water and 1 cup plain unsweetened soy milk)
2/3 c. nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon taco seasoning, optional
1/2 teaspoon sweet (Hungarian) paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimenton)
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons light miso
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 cup water or plain unsweetened soy milk to thin (or more as needed)
1 to 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (I use the whipped organic)
Salt to taste

Place the water, yeast, cornstarch, flour, taco seasoning, paprika, pimenton, garlic, salt, miso and lemon juice in blender, blending until smooth. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until sauce is very thick.

Whisk in water or soy milk and Earth Balance, stirring until smooth and is thin enough to use as a sauce. Add salt to taste and drizzle immediately over cooked pasta and serve.

**This sauce is also really good on nachos. If using for nachos, use 1 to 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (or to taste) and add a little ground chipotle, cayenne or chopped Jalapenos for heat.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Pie And Recipe Testers

Any bakers out there? I'm finishing up the manuscript for my pie book, and am wondering if there's anyone interested in testing some pie recipes. Let me know if your interested, either by email or posting here on the blog. Thanks!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Icy Treats

As soon as the temperature begins to sore, I start wanting, no craving, icy cold treats. Ice cream is always a nice fix and I certainly eat my fair share, but it can also be pretty caloric to eat throughout the day. This is where ice pops come in. You can make them in any flavor, quickly make bunches at a time and they can be very virtuous. They also cool you down quickly, making you forget for that icy moment, just how hot it is outside.

As promised, I have several quick and delicious recipes that will fill your freezer full of these icy treats. If you're really short on time, you can simply pour your favorite fruit juice directly into the molds for single flavor pops. Look for the pop molds online, at kitchen stores or even at grocery or dollar stores (the molds in the photo are from Tovolo). So what are you waiting for? Get freezing!

Iced Tea Lemonade Pops
These are very refreshing.

2 cups boiling water
2 to 3 tea bags (herbal, green or black)
2 cups lemonade or juice of choice
Sugar to taste

1. Place tea bags in boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes, or until temperature has cooled down slightly (if using green tea bags, only let mixture a couple of minutes or flavor can get too strong and grassy tasting).
2. Fill a large pitcher half full with ice. Pour brewed tea over ice. Top with lemonade, stirring well. Add sugar (or desired sweetener) to taste, stirring until dissolved.
3. Pour iced tea into pop molds. Place in freezer until frozen solid. If using paper cups, insert a popsicle stick into semi-frozen mixture. Continue freezing until solid.

Variation: You can substitute bottled unsweetened black or green tea for the hot water and tea bags.
Copyright © 2007 Julie Hasson

Mango Orange Vanilla Pops
Similar to a 50/50 bar, but better!

2 cups mango vanilla soy cream (Double Rainbow brand vanilla soy cream with mango sorbet, softened just enough to scoop easily
1-1/4 cups fresh orange juice
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In jar of blender, add ice cream, orange juice and vanilla. Blend on high until smooth. Mixture should be consistency of cream.
2. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid. If using paper cups, insert a popsicle stick into semi frozen mixture. Continue freezing until solid.
Copyright © 2007 Julie Hasson

Pina Colada Pops
These are so good! You'll feel like you're in the tropics.

1 pint coconut sorbet, softened just enough to scoop easily
1 cup pineapple juice

1. In jar of blender, add sorbet and pineapple juice. Blend on high until smooth. Mixture should be consistency of cream.
2. Pour mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid. If using paper cups, insert a popsicle stick into semi frozen mixture. Continue freezing until solid.
Copyright © 2007 Julie Hasson

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Icy Treats Coming Soon...

Sorry I haven't been posting much. I'm buried in recipe editing, but I promise to post tomorrow. I'm making some fun and icy treats tomorrow morning on AM Northwest (Channel 2 in Portland), and will post the recipes and photos on the blog. Should I take my camera down to the station and snap some pics too?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Berry Picking, Pie & Vegan Cookies

One of my favorite things to do is go berry picking. It's something that I look forward to each year. So last Saturday I dragged my hubby and son and went berry picking. We also had friends in town visiting from Boise, and they were dragged along too. Fortunately my son (who's 13), still loves picking berries. My daughter, on the other hand (who is 16 and still at camp), thinks that berry picking is one of the worst forms of torture inflicted on children.

So off we went to the West Union Gardens to fill our buckets and tummies. Their no spray berries were amazing, and just what I needed to help finish the recipes for my cookbook. The boys helped me pick about 20 pounds or so, and looked like they could have picked all day.

Here I am with my berry buckets, skipping down the path. You've got to love thorn-less berry bushes.

Then, as we were leaving, we saw the most adorable little girl, who looked like she was enjoying the berries as much as we were. We just had to snap her picture. As it turns out, this gorgeous little girl also happens to be vegan (let's hear it for healthy vegan children!). Her parents recognized me from the demo that Bryanna and I did at Vegfest. Small world.

On another note, if you happen to be in the Portland, Oregon area this Saturday (July 7th), stop by the Herbivore store at 2:00 for a vegan cookie fest.

I leave you with an easy berry pie recipe, perfect for the 4th of July. If anyone makes it, I would love to see your pictures.

Julie's Easy Berry Pie

4 cups fresh berries
1 9-inch pastry crust or crumb crust, baked and cooled (homemade or store-bought)
1 cup fresh or frozen berries
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp water

1. Place the 4 cups berries in cooled crust. Set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Slowly whisk in water until smooth. Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen berries and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously. Cook and stir until mixture is thick. Continue cooking 1 more minute and remove from heat. Whisk in additional 1 tablespoon water and spoon hot topping over berries in pie shell. Let pie sit until filling is cool. Cover and refrigerate for four hours before serving.

*You can include some fresh, sliced and peeled fresh peaches for part of the 4 cups fresh berries

**If you're looking for a good store-bought vegan crust, look for the Wholly Wholesome brand. They taste great and don't have any hydrogenated oils.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Vegan Camping

What could be sweeter than a week of camping? Once our kids were safely off at camp, my husband and I decided that a camping trip was in order (and long overdue!). So we packed up our car with an obscene amount of food, 1 tent, 2 sleeping bags, 1 air mattress, 1 camp stove, a lantern and our dog Bruno and headed off for a week of adventure.

Our first stop was in Eugene for lunch at Cafe Yumm. My veggie burger was indeed yummy, served with their special yumm sauce. I wish we had more time to try some of the other veg restaurants in Eugene.
Then we were off to Crater Lake (with a few of quick stops at hot springs along the way).

Bruno loves posing for pictures.
Now onto the food. Like I said, we brought an obscene amount of food. Here's a shot of our stuffed food bin.

We brought all of the essentials: coffee, tea, whole grain bread, instant oatmeal, gnocchi, pasta, tomato sauce, nuts and dried fruit, tofu, veggie hot dogs, veggie chili, lentil soup, lots of fruit and veggies, hummus, nut butter, cherry jam, hazelnut milk, smoked Tofurkey slices, Vegenaise, mustard, Braggs... Basically, the essentials ; )

Here's Jay making his Firecracker Tofu. It was really good!

Here's another Jay dish. The picture doesn't do it justice. It was one of my favorite dinners -Gnocchi with a tomato basil mushroom sauce. I think he also put some veggie meatballs in there too. It was delish!

Two things we learned on this trip:

1. If you plan on enjoying wine with your dinner, don't buy your bottle openers at the dollar store.
2. Don't forget to pack mosquito repellent. No matter how much you might hate spraying yourself with poison, it sure beats a thousand mosquito bites.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding anyone? I know that pudding is something you either love or hate. Personally, I love it. Pudding is comfort food at it's best.

When my husband and I were first dating, he would sweetly say "tapioca", and I would bound to the kitchen to whip him up a batch. I later learned that he wasn't even a pudding person, but having someone willingly whip up a batch at the drop of a hat, made him appreciate it's finer points (and mine too apparently).

This weekend my daughter had her wisdom teeth out, and could only eat soft food. The first thing she uttered after awaking from anesthesia was "tapioca". Of course you can't buy ready-made vegan tapioca in the market, so as soon as I got her settled in bed I started cooking.

Although my pics are a bit dark, the pudding was delicious. I adapted a recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan and made my daughter very happy (or as happy as she could be given the circumstances). I guess you could call the pudding vegan penicillin.

Tapioca Pudding

3 cups plain or vanilla soymilk
3 tablespoons Bird’s Custard Powder
3 tablespoons Minute or instant tapioca
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to soften tapioca. Place saucepan over medium low heat and, whisking continuously, cook mixture until thickened. This will take about 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

Scoop pudding into a bowl. Let pudding cool and refrigerate pudding until firm.

*If you can't find Bird's Custard Powder, I believe that you can substitute an equal amount of cornstarch. Look for Bird's Custard Powder at grocery stores, specialty markets & Cost Plus World Market.

Recipe adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan