Monthly Archives: October 2012

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Arroz sin leche

This is my first time participating in Virtual Vegan Potluck! I was stumped what to make for a while that would be easy but tasty. One of my friends on Facebook who is Peruvian suggested I do arroz con leche (rice pudding).

Since I’ve never made a rice pudding and a quick Google search showed me I had all the basic ingredients to make it, that’s what I’ve brought to the table for this virtual potluck. I added a few little twists of my own, such as cranberries instead of raisins, and, of course, without actual milk. šŸ™‚

rice pudding

Autumnal Rice Pudding

In a saucepan, stir together the following:

3 c cooked brown rice
3 T sweetener (I just used plain sugar)
3 T vegan margarine
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 c non-dairy milk (I used soy, but any will do)
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c dried cranberries (you could use other dried fruit)
Pinch salt

Heat to boiling and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes (more or less depending on the consistency you’re going for). Mine was thick enough to be moulded.

Serve with a dash of nutmeg, walnuts, and extra cranberries for garnish if desired.

Return to An Unrefined Vegan * On to Veggie V’s Vegan Adventure

Categories: dessert, nut-free, recipes, vegan, virtual vegan potluck | Tags: , , | 22 Comments

Wrapping Up MoFo 2012

Well, this past month has been an adventure. I’m kind of ready to stop thinking so hard about my menus and just cook more spontaneously again, as I usually do (and not have to write a blog post about every meal I make… it’s fun, but time-consuming.)

Things I’ve learned from Betty Crocker:

  • She uses a LOT of saturated fats. I reduced the fat by half pretty consistently and still felt that it was a lot. I think that oil could be used to good effect instead in most of the recipes.
  • There’s actually a fair amount of stuff in the cookbook that is adaptable and good. There’s also a lot I’d never bother with. But this project has inspired me to expand my horizons. I’d like to try veganising more of the recipes in days to come.

I had a lot of fun all the same, and I’m already tossing ideas around in my brain trying to decide what I should choose as a theme next year. šŸ™‚

Categories: challenges, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Leave a comment

Happy Fall!


Fall has arrived.

Yesterday GooGoo helped me rake leaves.

I turned this part of our driveway into an obstacle course of leaf piles. (Good thing it’s a circular driveway, or we’d have a time of it getting out.)

It’s really hard to get a picture of this goofball.

Dance of the Rake

Tonight we went on a walk and GooGoo had fun looking at the water.



Categories: GooGoo, Mrs Pine Nut | Leave a comment

Vegan MoFo #23: Creole Wieners

As I was digging something out of our big freezer the other day I noticed my Tupperware container of homemade vegan sausage that I made several months back was sitting in there, so I decided to ask Betty what to do with sausage. (I usually just completely gloss over the pig section, I must admit.) There were two options that were doable and only one that looked actually like it could be good (and easy, because the other one involved making a sub for cream of mushroom soup). This was it.

I honestly don’t remember what sausage recipe I used; I’m pretty sure it was Vegan Dad’s. Whatever recipe it was, my sausages were a bit larger than the typical hot dog, so I sliced them up to make this. I served it on brown rice with a side of the Creole Lima Beans you read about yesterday.

It was very tasty. My only complaint is regarding the sausages: they simply weren’t flavourful enough, but that’s not directly relevant to this recipe.

creole wieners

This recipe was originally found on page 55 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

1 tsp liquid smoke
2 T olive or other veggie oil
3 c finely chopped onions
1 16-oz can whole tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb vegan sausage, either homemade or purchased
4-6 T bacon crumbles

Fry onions in oil and liquid smoke until tender. Add tomatoes with their liquid and salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Add sausages and simmer 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve as is or on rice.

Categories: challenges, entrees, lunch, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegan MoFo #22: Creole Lima Beans

I love lima beans.

Mr Pine Nut kindly tolerates my love of lima beans.

I paired these with Creole Wieners for our lunch today, but I’ll share that recipe tomorrow.

5467y <—cat’s contribution to this post

I’m honestly not quite sure what qualifies this to be “Creole” (or tomorrow’s recipe, for that matter). The tomatoes is as close as it gets. There are no special seasonings nor sea creatures called for in either recipe, so I really have no idea. At any rate, I very much enjoyed it. The buttery, melty texture and flavour of lima beans cannot be beat.

creole lima beans

This recipe was originally found on page 167 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

1 8-oz can stewed tomatoes
10 oz frozen lima beans (I just used the full 16-oz bag – I don’t think they sell 10 oz bags any more. Your call.)
3/4 c chopped celery
1/2 tsp salt

Heat ingredients to boiling, separating beans with a fork; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 5 minutes.

Categories: challenges, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012, vegetables | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Happy 1st Blogiversary to Me.

It’s been a year since I took the plunge into veggie blogdom.

Over the last year, we’ve had 3594 views.

Over 50 countries visited. Top five: US, Canada, UK, Australia, and Sweden.

Most popular post: my review for Vegan Pie in the Sky

Most bizarre search terms: “popped beach ball” and “death by spinach 2012”

What to expect in the coming year: After the holidays (translation: starting in January of 2013) I’m planning to start a more organised set of weekly themes, and not solely about food. I plan to have a crafty post once a month and a book-inspired recipe every month as well, interspersed with regular food posts and cookbook reviews. I’ll post in more detail about that later when I have the schedule all worked out.

I’m still very much open to your suggestions as well: what do you want to see more of here?

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Vegan Mofo #21: Savoury Rice Blend

Today it’s raining, sunny, cloudy, and windy. Not usually all at the same time, but with some definite overlap. Fall and its fickle weather is here for sure. We had fun this morning watching a squirrel who apparently has decided to winter underneath our unfinished house. He was stuffing his face with nuts and whatever else he could find and then darting up under our bay window (it’s not closed off yet) to get under the house. I anticipate Mr Pine Nut will be finding nut hoards galore when he goes under there to install our radiant floor heating.

This is a green onion. Not a leek. A green onion. Pretty much all my green onions are about this size or bigger.

At any rate, I decided to try this recipe. I’m getting a little burned out on the Betty Crocker MoFo project, quite honestly. Fortunately, I have made most all of the recipes that I originally planned to do; this one was one I chose after the fact because some of the ones I originally chose seemed blah. So, you may or may not see any further MoFo posts from me this month, now that I’ve done the minimum of 20 that is req’d.

So, the recipe. I was very much pleased with the earthy savouriness of this dish. It seems to whisper “Thanksgiving dinner side dish” to me. It tastes very much like a storebought Rice-a-Roni type deal, just minus all the extra junk or animal-derived ingredients they might throw in. This is definitely something I’m going to make again.

My only beef with the recipe was the length of time it took to cook, because Betty Crocker says to bake it for a total of close to 2 hours. Next time, I’m going to just cook it in a skillet until almost done (maybe 20-30 minutes?) and then pop it in the oven for 15 minutes rather than the other way around, just to add that extra baked dimension. I had it in the oven for at least 50 minutes after cooking it in the electric skillet for 15 minutes or so and it was still chewy: edible, but the wild rice especially was still not fully cooked. (Just by the way, I’ve rewritten the instructions below to reflect these changes that I’ll make next time.) Also, Mr Pine Nut and I demolished the entire pan; if you’re wanting to feed more than two double the recipe. This single recipe really didn’t make very much.

Savoury Rice Blend

I served it with curried zucchini and freshly-made flatbread.

This recipe was originally found on page 228 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

1/4 c uncooked wild rice
1/2 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped onion
1 T olive oil
2 1/2 c chickenlike broth
1 T dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
3/4 c uncooked brown rice

Cook and stir wild rice, celery, and onion in oil in a pan (I used my electric skillet) until onion is tender. Add broth and heat to boiling. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook until liquid is almost completely absorbed, perhaps 20-30 minutes.

Transfer into ungreased 2-qt casserole and bake at 350 until liquid is completely absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Categories: challenges, holiday, lunch, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Vegan MoFo #20: Split Pea Soup… or Chunky Baby Poop?

When I was growing up, my mom used to buy cans of split pea soup because she liked it. I didn’t like peas of any kind, especially from a can*, and I declined to ever eat that green slop until I got older.

Like a lot older.

Like, probably not until I even left home older. I think I was 24 when I left home. (Math is not my strong point.)

AT ANY RATE, I like it now, even though there’s really no way to make it NOT look like chunky baby poop.

We both really enjoyed this soup; GooGoo just picked the fakey bacon off the top and asked for carrot sticks instead. I’m not really going to force poop soup on a child who’s willing to eat raw carrots, so she had about 3 carrots for lunch instead. And some bread.

split pea soup

Split Pea Soup

This recipe was originally found on page 125 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

8 c water
1 lb dried split peas (about 2 1/4 c)
1 T liquid smoke
1/2 c chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1 c chopped carrots
1 c sliced celery

Heat peas and water to boiling; reduce heat.

Stir liquid smoke, onion, and salt into peas. Cover and simmer until peas are tender. (An hour, give or take.)

Stir carrots and celery into soup and simmer until they reach desired tenderness.


*We visited an elderly lady one time for dinner and she served us canned green peas as part of the meal. I was really fascinated by the way they squished so easily with a fork. My mom leaned over and whispered to me that it was really rude to squish my peas. I couldn’t comprehend how it could possibly be wrong to squish** peas.

**Squish is a fun word to say. It also starts to look weird after you’ve typed it three times.

Categories: challenges, entrees, lunch, recipes, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Leave a comment

Vegan MoFo #19: Stuffed Green Peppers

I’ve only made stuffed peppers once or maybe twice before, and it was early on in our marriage, and I honestly don’t remember much about them except that we weren’t really thrilled with them.

But, I thought I’d give it another whirl when I saw a recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook for stuffed peppers. I was a little alarmed when I saw you were supposed to steam the peppers for x amount of minutes before baking them for an hour. Positive there would be absolutely nothing left of nutritive worth after that much cooking, I decided to eliminate the steaming part and only do the baking part.

The end result was a pepper that was still quite crunchy, which was nice from a nutrition standpoint but not so nice from an ease-of-eating standpoint. We had to pull out the vegan equivalent of steak knives – our nice, sharp paring knives – to cut up the pepper and eat it. Mr Pine Nut and I both agreed that it was okay, not out of this world, the filling was good, having to cut the pepper not so good.

I think peppers must have increased in size since 1978, too. I used 1 1/2 times the filling called for for the amount of peppers. (Granted, I did pick the biggest ones the store had, since they were charging per pepper, not per pound. *cough*)

stuffed green pepper

Stuffed pepper in all its glory.

This recipe was originally found on page 38 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

6 large green peppers
1 lb ground “beef” (about 2 c of non-taco bulgur beef)
2 T chopped onion
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 c cooked rice
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
3/4 c mozzarella-type vegan cheese such as Daiya, or drizzle with a nut cheese sauce, or omit entirely

Cut thin slice from stem end of each pepper; remove seeds and membranes; rinse.

Stir together ground “beef” and onion in a skillet with a little oil until onion is tender. Stir in salt, garlic powder, rice, and 1 cup of the tomato sauce.

Stuff each pepper with the above mixture. Stand peppers upright in an 8×8″ baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over peppers. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and cook 15 minutes more. Sprinkle or drizzle with vegan cheese of choice and serve.

stuffed green pepper and cat

InquisiCat+Pepper. Because the internet was about to implode if I didn’t give it another cat picture.

Categories: challenges, entrees, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Vegan MoFo #18: Bulgur Pilaf

It’s been an insanely busy day today. (I’m writing this about a week before you’ll read it.) We’ve been halfway living between trailer and house since Lou Who was born: Mr Pine Nut has been working and we’ve been sleeping over at the house, while we eat and cook over here in the trailer.

The problem is, it’s starting to get pretty cold over there at night, and doesn’t warm up at all until afternoon, so Mr Pine Nut isn’t too happy working over there and I don’t think it’s good for Lou Who to sleep in such a cold environment. So, this morning we rather out of the blue decided it was Time to Move Back Into the Trailer Full-Time. This involved rethinking a lot of things, because now we have four of us to get in beds. We set up the dinette bed for Lou Who and me, and Mr Pine Nut and GooGoo will be on the twin beds he and I used to sleep in before. It’s going to be interesting. But, I’m okay with it. I know that it needs to be this way and I’m going to try to make the best of it. (Remind me of this in a couple months.)

So now, let’s discuss food.

bulgur pilaf


This was a seriously easy dish to make. It’s all done in one pan and it doesn’t call for very many ingredients. And it’s amazingly tasty. GooGoo usually won’t touch food with green pepper and onion, but she had three helpings. I’m pretty sure this will become a staple around here.

This recipe was originally found on pageĀ 228 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

2 T finely chopped onion
2 T chopped green pepper
1 T olive oil
2Ā  c chickenlike broth
1 c uncooked bulgur wheat
1/2 tsp salt

Cook and stir onion and pepper in oil until tender. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes.

Categories: challenges, lunch, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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