December 24, 2015

Veggie Pot Pie with Be'If Schmeat ~ Warm, Comforting, and Simple

It's been really cold and rainy this last week. We had a really huge wind storm the other day. I was in the house and listened as branches hit the house. It was really loud. Don't think I've worried about a storm for a long time. It was a little scary. The lights flickered a few times, but nothing major happened.

I thought about how grateful I am to be home with electricity and my slippers.  I thought, an old fashioned pot pie sounded good for a such a cold rainy day.  I didn't need to go anywhere, I have some puff pastry in the freezer and it can be made with just about any veggies on hand. I had some basics on hand, but any veggies added to this would make a great filling:  broccoli, mushrooms, yams, and leeks.

So, I took a tour through my fridge to see what I had on hand. I usually always have some celery, onions, carrots, as those are staples on my shopping list.  I have some peas in the freezer.  At first I thought I'd make it with just veggies as I didn't have any extra firm tofu or tempeh.  What I did have was some seitan roast.  It's called Be'IF and it's a seitan roast made in Portland, OR, The Homegrown Smokehouse and Deli.

Check it out if you're in Portland. There are a variety of "Schmeat's" made a the Smokehouse. There's quite a variety to choose from as well as a the same great menu as the food truck on Mississppi. Homegrown Smoker BBQ.

This is how it happened...

Vegetable Pot Pie with Be'If
    * 2 cups diced seitan, optional - If you don't have this, that's OK
    * 6 cups veggie stock or water (I used low sodium vegetable broth)
    * 1 cup yellow onion, diced

    * 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
    * 1 cup Crimini mushrooms, quartered
    * 1 cup diced potatoes
    * 1 cup green peas
    * 3/4 tsp thyme, minced
    * 3/4 tsp sage, minced
    * 3/4 tsp sea salt
    * 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
    * 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
    * 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
    * 1/3 cup flour, (wheat or spelt works well)
    * 1/3 cup vegan margarine such as Earth Balance

    * 1 puff pastry sheet rolled out to by 12x10 inches


Preheat oven to 375º.
To make a roux, melt the vegan margarine in a saute pan, add flour and whisk constantly until light brown in color. Cool and set aside.
In a large pot or skillet,  cook onions for 3 minutes stirring constantly and adding veggie stock 2 TB at a time time when onions begin to stick. Add carrots, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add stock, potatoes, and mushrooms,  and simmer for 8-10 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Whisk in nutritional yeast flakes, peas, tamari, and diced seitan, if using.  

Add the roux a bit at a time and continue to cook as sauce begins to thicken. Once mixture is cool, pour into individual ramekins, glass pie pan or small casserole dish. Cover mixture with puff pastry (be sure to leave a small excess of pastry for folding and fluting of the edge) and seal edges. Cut small slits in the top of crust.

Bake at 375º until crust is golden brown and filling mixture is bubbling. Enjoy

December 13, 2015

Caramelized Onion Upside Down Cornbread

This is a fun recipe, a full meal in one slice of flavorful Onion Upside Down Cornbread.  The onions are perfectly caramelized,  the cornbread is light and the broccoli adds a nice touch. It's really pretty when it comes out of the pan. From a distance the whole dish looks like cinnamon rolls. In fact, when Scott came home from work Friday and saw it on the stove-top he said "Yum, cinnamon rolls tonight". Nope, something quite different.

I saw this recipe online while looking for some interesting polenta ideas. I decided I could veganize it pretty easily. I recently bought some wonderful stoneground polenta made from heirloom Abenaki corn from Lonesome Whistle Farm.  It's much more colorful than the usual polenta we buy at the market.  I ground it a little finer into more of a fine cornmeal with my Vitamix. If you make this cornbread, yours will probably turn out a little more golden brown then mine if you are using the conventional bright yellow cornmeal.

This is what happened when I made this recipe without the dairy products asked for in the original recipe. 

Vegan Onion Upside Down Cornbread

   Original recipe by Demetra Overton - Sweet
You will need a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet for this dish. 


2 Onions, sliced thin, about 1/4"
4 TB toasted sesame oil (I used sesame oil because I like it, you can use olive oil)
1 1/2 cups of fine ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour, I used an heirloom wheat. For gluten free cornbread, use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 TB baking powder
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
Egg Replacer for 4 eggs (I used EnERG egg replacer, it's a tapioca and potato starch blend)
1/2 cup filtered water to mix with egg replacer
16 ounces silken tofu soft or firm, drain and rinse the tofu before using.

Preheat oven to 400º

Slice the onions into rings leaving the rings in order.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and place the onion slices in the hot oil, cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Dice remaining onion pieces and set aside.

While the onions are cooking, mix the batter.  In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients:  cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Mix the egg replacer with filtered water and whip until it's foamy. I like using this egg replacer when baking as it whips up like frothy egg whites.

Next, crumble the tofu into the egg mixture and blend together into a batter.  Toss this mixture with the chopped onion pieces and the chopped broccoli.

Add the broccoli mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. You might have to get in with your hands and mix this a bit. It's a pretty thick batter.  Pour the batter over the onions.
Bake the cornbread for about 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cornbread cool for about 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully flip the pan over and remove the cornbread from the pan.

We enjoyed it with some sweet potato kale stew.

December 4, 2015

Vegan Fusion Cooking Workshops Santa Cruz, CA May 16-20, 2016

Come learn to play with your food in Santa Cruz, CA.  Learn how easy it is to  to cook great vegan meals with or without a recipe. We'll cover all aspects of vegan cooking from appetizer to dessert,  raw, cooked, and fermented. Most recipes are gluten free, and can be adapted for most preferences and allergies. This one week raw and cooked vegan cooking workshop will transform your life in the kitchen.

Please join Vegan Fusion Certified Teacher Deb Kay in Santa Cruz, CA for a 5-day Vegan Fusion Cuisine Immersion into the world of vegan cooking and raw food preparation.

The dates are Monday, May 16th to Friday, May 20th, 2016.
Prepare to transform your life and take your cooking abilities to the next level!

Experience greater confidence in the kitchen
Save money by learning how to prepare more delicious and healthy cuisine on your own
Learn new tips and tricks that will greatly enhance your culinary abilities
Connect with others who share a similar interest in vegan and raw foods
Deepen your knowledge of the healing qualities of vegan foods
Discover new ideas for presentation that will transform an ordinary meal to a gourmet experience
Whether you are an experienced chef, looking to get a job in the vegan restaurant industry, or simply a curious foodie interested in deepening your knowledge of vegan foods, you can learn from a pro how to prepare healthy world-class vegan cuisine!

Day 1 Vegan Soups/ Salads & Dressings
Day 2 The World of Grains and Beans/Tofu, Tempeh & Seitan Dishes
Day 3 Casseroles and Sauces/Wraps, Spreads, Sandwiches and Rolls
Day 4 Vegan Desserts/Raw Cuisine 1 Smoothies, Pates, Pasta & Pudding
Day 5 Raw Cuisine 2 Elixirs, Soups, Plant Cheeses, Ravioli, Parfaits & Ice Cream/Raw Cuisine 3 Nut and Seed Milks, Granola, Pizza, Tacos, Live Pies

Tuition is $675/Person

Reduced tuition for dishwasher position available $250

For more information and registration email or

Follow this link for Pictures of past Vegan Fusion class with Deb

Cobbler - with a secret ingredient - Zucchini

December 2, 2015

Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie - Simple Vegan & Gluten Free

A simple recipe post today ~ Vegan & Gluten Free

Four Ingredient Pumpkin Pie


Pumpkin Pie with Coconut Whipped Crème

1 1/4 cups raw soaked cashews
1 cup maple syrup
1 can organic pumpkin puree (16 ounces) (or use fresh puree)
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Blend all together until smooth.
Bake with or without crust - 400º for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350º bake for about 35 minutes more.
OR: Don't bake at all and scoop into small serving bowls and call it Mousse.
**You can buy Pumpkin Pie Spice or use a combination of: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, & cloves. Omit anything you don't like. Remember this is an "easy" recipe.

Here's a quick and tasty crust.

Pie Crust

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pitted dates (packed)
1/3 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons nondairy milk
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
For the crust, use a food processor to process the rolled oats and dates into a fine, crumbly texture. Add the almond butter and process for about a minute. Add the nondairy milk and salt. Pulse until the mixture comes together without crumbling. If its not holding together, add more nondairy milk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Transfer to a pie plate. Press mixture into pie plate evenly around the base and up the sides. Set aside.


Coconut Whipped Cream


1 14 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk (use top firm part only)
1/3 cup organic powdered sugar, maple syrup or agave may be substituted, texture might be thinner, but just as delicious
¼ cup raw cashews, soaked two hours in filtered water and drained well
1 tsp Vanilla bean (scrape inside) or 1 tsp vanilla extract
Place can of coconut milk into refrigerator for 4 hours.  Open and remove thick part on top to use in recipes.  Reserve rest for other uses.
In high speed blender, blend cashews and coconut to smooth, add powdered sugar, blend to thick and fluffy, stir in vanilla.
Chill 2 hours or overnight.
Use within 2 days