Where have I been?

After two years of silence, I’ve decided it’s time to officially move on. This blog was a great place for me to vent my creative cooking adventures during a challenging time in my life, and I’m planning to leave it here since it still gets a fair amount of hits, and I’m glad if my recipes are helpful to people. But it has become clear that I’m not coming back in any permanent sort of way, and it’s been over 3 years since I posted the recipe for German Chocolate Rolls that inspired me to make this blog in the first place, so I feel like my duty to the world at large is done.

If you want to keep in touch with me, you can sign up for my newsletters here or view the newsletter archives here. I’ve been doing one a month since January of this year and it seems to be working well.

I’ll also update my social media links on my About Page, and I’m always open to questions about cooking and food! I am not an expert, but I’m happy to share whatever help I can in your journey to vegan or vegetarian cooking. Just comment with any Qs you may have, and I’ll respond as soon as I can!

Thank you for being great readers and I wish you all the best.

-Mrs Pine Nut

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Vegan Needs MysteryBox GIVEAWAY!!!


HI Everyone,

Just thought it was time to do a GIVEAWAY for my wonderful fabulous readers and hopefully some new ones as well 🙂 Just wanted to thank you all for reading and supporting my Blog 🙂 Your comments and kindness are what pushes me and inspires me to get up and write everyday 🙂 thank you 😀

This Giveaway Starts TODAY and ends on Saturday OCTOBER 17th.. winners will be announced on Sunday October 18th and Prizes will be sent out the following week.



I will be giving away TWO  SURPRISE MYSTERY BOXES!!! full of products ( vegan& cruelty-free)

Mystery Box #1 : will have 7-9 Items in its… makeup, skincare & snacks ( cruelty-free & Vegan)

Mystery Box #2: Will have 5-7 items in it…. Makeup and skincare ( cruelty-free & Vegan)

Why Mystery Boxes??? I just love mystery boxes… its like christmas! you never know what you…

View original post 199 more words

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Vegan MoFo 2015: My Favourite Nutrient

11 Focus on a nutrient.


So, I remember as a kid we’d be driving home from shopping and I’d be reading aloud the ingredients on the cat food bag, as one does, and I came to RIBOFLAVIN and I read it “RIBO-FLAAHHHHHVIN”.

Not correct, perhaps, but it’s way more fun to say RIBOFLAHHHHHVIN.

So, I just learned today that riboflavin is another name for vitamin B2. (Let’s face it, I may be an intelligent adult, but I just eat food, and don’t usually pay a ton of attention to the nitty gritty details of nutrients.)

Some top riboflavin sources for a plant-based diet are soybeans, spinach, beet greens, tempeh, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, and almonds.I’d kind of like to talk about almonds. I love almonds. Almond Item #1: Yesterday I went to Grocery Depot and in their 3 for $1 energy bar box, I found these:Dark-Chocolate-Cherry-Nut-Bar-300x258I am *not*, by any means, a supporter of paleo eating, but being a sucker for anything chocolate-cherry I decided to try them. The first ingredient is almonds, and they are super delicious. (I’m not sure cave men would have used brown rice syrup and evaporated cane syrup to bind together their almonds and sunflower seeds and dried bing cherries, but whatevs.)

Almond Item #2: When I was little almonds were my favourite nut, and I think some friends and I cracked some into a paper cup and then did some sort of high-falutin’ parade through the living room holding high our paper cup full of shelled nuts. And then we ate them.

Almond Item #3: Forms of almond that I do *not* like: almond extract, almond butter.

Almond Item #4: I’m going to link you to a yummy recipe to sugar plums. It calls for honey, but brown rice syrup would be my choice as a sub. The rest of the ingredients are fine. I made them years ago and really liked them, and considering that was before my taste buds readjusted to “weird vegan food”, that’s a pretty good recommendation. 😉


Categories: dairy-free, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Vegan MoFo 2015: Something Blue

10 Something blue.

Um… well. Blue food calls to mind those gross candies that are radioactively blue and leave your tongue, teeth, and lips disturbingly chilly-hued.

Here’s me in early 2000 sporting blue-lollipop-stained teeth:


and lips:


Yeah. I’ve outgrown those lollies. (And I’ve also graduated from pale blue flannel granny gowns to other kinds of sleepwear.)

But I’ll never outgrow blueberries. One of my favourite recipes calling for blueberries is Baked Oatmeal, and I already mentioned blueberry muffins in my childhood meal post the other day. I have also been known to eat astounding amounts of fresh blueberries, because, well, YUM.

But few things top a good crisp or pie made with blueberries.

Page 260 of my 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook is well-used, well-marked, well-stained. It’s the page that has THE best apple crisp recipe, like, ever.

This is my criterion for a crisp: The fruit needs to be unsweetened and un-spiced, and stand on its own. The topping needs to be the magic layer where the sweet spiciness happens, and there has to be plenty of said topping. So I always double – or at least one-point-five – the crisp part of the recipe.

Here’s my veganised, already-doubled crisp topping based on the Betty Crocker cookbook.

In a bowl, combine:
2/3 c brown sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Then add:
2/3 c vegan margarine of choice (I use Nucoa)

Using your fingers, crumble the dry ingredients with the margarine until nice and crumbly and evenly mixed.

Heat your oven to 375 and lightly spray a 13×9 pan. Here are the proportions for my favourite crisps.

Blueberry (blackberry, raspberry, other-berry, cherry): 3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries, sprinkled with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (omit lemon juice with anything other than blueberries)
Apple (pear, nectarine, peach, plum, etc): 4 cups sliced tart fresh apples, arranged in pan neatly

Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the fruit and bake for about 30 minutes. The fruit should be bubbling and the crisp should be golden brown. Serve warm with cold nut-or-soy milk. Mmm.

[Footnote: YES, it’s lame that I didn’t, like, MAKE a blueberry crisp to take a photo of for this post, but I don’t HAVE any blueberries at the moment besides dried ones, and I’m lazy, so. Yeah.]


Categories: dessert, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: | 1 Comment

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 5: Best Sandwich Ever

5 Best. Sandwich. Ever.

This is going to be kind of a ramble about Sandwiches I Have Known, so here goes.

When I was growing up, I hated sandwiches with meat or leaves or cheese and stuff like that, including tuna fish (although when I was in my early-mid 20s I loved tuna fish). It was PB&J all the way, despite my cooler friends making fun of me for eating such a juvenile sandwich as a teenager. “Peanut butter is gross! It like sticks to your throat! Ew.” So I enjoyed my PB&J alone.

There was a sandwich filling I also liked that our minister’s wife made. It was cream cheese with chopped olives and that paper-think Carl Buddig type meat chopped in. I’ve wanted to try veganising that but haven’t ever gotten around to it.

Anyway, after I got married, for some reason or other we got a leek, and for some reason or other I just happened on a whim to make a sandwich on rye bread with a slice of good tomato and some thinly sliced leek. Oh was that ever delish.

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.45.14 PM

But, you what? My favourite sandwich is STILL a PB&J. If loving PB&J means I’ll be forever a kid, then so be it. NOM. To me, a toasted whole-wheat English muffin eaten open-face with chunky peanut butter and raspberry jam Cannot Be Topped.


Categories: sandwich | 3 Comments

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 4: Weird Food Combo That I Love

4 Tell us about a weird food combo that you love.

I ONLY EAT NORMAL FOOD. *skulks about, shifty-eyed*

However, I frequently say my husband has zero taste buds. He has gained some notoriety with some of our friends over the years because of his interesting concoctions. A few weeks ago, while the girls and I were happily enjoying our granola and smoothies, I looked over and watched in mild and mounting horror as I saw my husband pour raw oats and a bit of granola into his bowl, and then topped it with – I’m not even kidding – cold leftover cooked cereal, beet chunks, and smoothie.

Then last night, I gave the girls potato soup for supper and they wanted plums on the side, so I pitted some plums. Next thing I know, GooGoo has forked up her plum and is dipping it in her soup, “because it’s HOT”, and “I want my plums in my soup”. Pretty soon Lou Who decided she also Had to Have Plums Chopped Into Her Soup, because It Was Too Hot. At first I was like… no… and then sigh… and then I chopped plums into their potato soup. And as they snarfed it down with abandon I thought in my head WHOSE CHILDREN ARE THESE WHY ARE MY CHILDREN EATING PLUMS IN POTATO SOUP. And then I remembered my husband’s beet chunk raw oat smoothie cold cooked cereal… thing… and I understood. Sort of.

But here’s something I do that people tell me is weird, even though as far as *I* am concerned, it’s perfectly normal: savoury french toast.


This past Sunday for breakfast, I made french toast and tofu bacon, and I spread mayo on the french toast and ate bacon on it. It was astoundingly fabulous. I’d like to try a lemon-dill french toast sometime, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Yet. 🙂


Categories: breakfast, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: | 2 Comments

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 3: Quick, Easy, and Delicious

3 Quick, easy and delicious.

I’m usually pretty good at getting lunch on the table by noon, our scheduled lunchtime. When it comes to supper, though, I tend to be a little less organised. Supper is at 5.30, and sometimes it’s 5 when I realise, “Oh, um, maybe I better fix something.” It’s our lightest meal of the day, which helps. So, what do I make when I have only half an hour?


*Whip out some muffins. If I preheat the oven right away and don’t waste time mixing them up, I can generally have those ready in half an hour. And who doesn’t like muffins? I’ll frequently serve them with popcorn and fruit of some kind. The ones above are piña colada muffins – recipe here.


*If I don’t have time for muffins, I’ll often do popcorn and a smoothie. I posted about smoothies here and also here. Usually I do not bother with a recipe for smoothies, because smoothies, like soup, are one of my catch-all, whatever-I-happen-to-have-around kind of things – but my absolute favourite smoothie recipe *ever* is Sarah Matheny’s Sunrise Smoothie from More Peas, Thank You. About once a year I’ll buy some mangoes for that and it is SO HEAVENLY.

Happy granola is happy.

*If I don’t have time for popcorn and a smoothie, I’ll bring out the granola (assuming any is made – usually I have it), rolled oats, and dried fruit, and we’ll have that with milk or fruit sauce or yogurt or whatever happens to be available in the fridge at the time.

I posted a granola recipe here some time ago, but I have a new favourite that is now my standby! Here it is, adapted slightly from Give Them Something Better.

Note: If you’re gluten-free, you can use gf oats and a gf flour blend in this to make it suitable!

In a big bowl, combine:
12 cups of rolled oats
1 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c unsweetened cocoanut
1 1/2 c nuts, chopped (my fave is sliced almonds, or a blend of almonds+cashews, but any will do, including sunflower seeds if you’re broke)

In a smaller bowl, combine:
1 1/2 c water
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c oil
2 T vanilla
1 1/2 tsp salt

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. I use my hands to mix up the granola, because that’s how I roll. Then I pack it into two glass 13×9 baking dishes (packing it seems to help it be chunkier after the first stirring, which I love). Bake at 300 and stir every 20 minutes until done. It’ll usually be about 2 hours.

A lot of times I’ll double this and freeze half until we need it. It freezes wonderfully and makes my life a bit less complicated. If you do this, you’ll want to make sure you rotate your pans when you do your stirring.


Categories: breakfast, recipes, vegan, vegan mofo 2015 | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 2: Meal From My Childhood

2. Recreate a meal from your childhood.

I had a hard time deciding what meal to choose, but finally I decided on a meal that brings me many good memories: chicken soup with blueberry muffins.

I have no idea how that particular combo came about, but somehow it did, and as with most of my mom’s meals, main dishes were always paired with a particular side (such as green peas+kraft mac and cheese+fish sticks, or homemade mac and cheese with ham+canned green beans).

When she made chicken noodle soup, she always made a big batch, and we would eat it for dinner with freshly-baked blueberry muffins, and then she’d put the rest in a glass gallon jar in the fridge and we’d get a couple more meals out of it.

I’ve already posted the blueberry muffin recipe here.

For the chicken soup, I haven’t found a recipe yet that *quite* smacks of the yummy one my mom used to make. Zsu Dever’s Comforting Noodle Soup in Everyday Vegan Eats is one of my favourites, and Sarah Matheny’s Tofu Noodle Soup (pictured below) from More Peas, Thank You is another – closer to my mom’s soup, especially in appearance.

Tofu Noodle Soup

My mom used tricolour rotini a lot in her soup, and the baked tofu chunks in this one add a lovely meatiness to the soup. I’ve made this soup for my mom, and she really liked it too, despite not being a fan of tofu! Score!


Categories: lunch, soup, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015, vegetables | 1 Comment

Vegan MoFo 2015, Day 1: My Breakfast

1 Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.

Ever since the early days of my pregnancy with Lou Who, Mr Pine Nut has cooked breakfast almost every single morning. In those days, I was too tired to drag myself out of bed early enough, and after she was born, the routine had been well-established, and I am so thankful that I don’t have to think about that meal, too. (I do often make Sunday breakfast, which is generally more like a brunch.)

Sometimes the breakfasts he makes have been inedible. Like the time he sneaked some lentil flour in when I had a lentil aversion during the abovementioned pregnancy, thinking that I’d surely never notice. Nice try! 😉 But with few exceptions, he feeds us well. 🙂

Generally, he has an informal rotation of potatoes in varying forms, hot cereals, pancakes, and waffles. He doesn’t use recipes, so the breakfast table is always a testing centre for his experiments. But we are willing guinea pigs, and as I said, he does well.
This is what he made us this morning: a mixture of millet and oats (he grinds the whole grains with water in a blender before cooking). I topped mine with walnuts and dried cranberries, and had some cantaloupe afterwards.
Categories: breakfast, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2015 | 2 Comments

2015, a Recipe Odyssey: July Edition

Well, this has been a whirlwind month. We went to Spangle, WA for Restoration International‘s Northwest Family Retreat. It was great. It was my fourth time going, and the first time that I felt like a normal human being and actually thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Things are starting to come on in the garden, too. I’ve been picking blackberries almost daily this week. Green beans are on, but I keep forgetting about them. Oops. We harvested one cauliflower so far. Tomatoes are coming on and the cabbage is putting on heads. The sunflowers are blooming.

But also my little Lou Who (who will be three next week – THREE!) is blooming. About three days ago I decided it was Time to Use the Potty, and she has not only done all her business in the toilet (barring a couple puddles on the floor the first day and one yesterday), but she’s woken up with virtually dry diapers in the morning as well. This is too easy. I keep waiting for something to go Drastically Wrong – I mean, GooGoo was over three when I started her training and it took her MONTHS before she got anything close to this proficient (and even now at 5 1/2, we still have a fair amount of Incidents. Please know, I’m not putting down GooGoo, I know every child is different, and she is highly sensitive, possibly has sensory issues, so, yanno – I’m just saying that, in comparison, that’s why this feels too easy.)

Here’s what I made! Grouped by source. (And not necessarily in order, because since I’ve been gone and/or ridiculously busy for a large chunk of this month, and this post has fallen through the cracks for weeks.)

From Vegan With a Vengeance, 10th Anniversary Edition:

1. Lemon Poppyseed Muffins – I actually really liked these, and I have never liked lemon poppyseed anything, ever.

2. Pancakes, raspberry-lime variation – For a pancake, this wasn’t bad. (I’m not a pancake fan, but I like to try different ones since my family loves pancakes and hey, why not?)

3. Cherry-Almond Muffins – I made this in loaf form and I liked it, but didn’t love it.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.12.43 PM

4. Tempeh Sausage – I made this ahead of time and froze it for use in…

5. Tempeh Sausage and White Bean Gravy – which was SO EASY to make, and we ate it on…

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.10.50 PM

6. Baking Powder Biscuits – Okay, so honestly I was a bit blah about trying a biscuit recipe, because a biscuit is a biscuit is a biscuit, right? Well, these were amazing. I’m guessing it’s the use of two fats instead of just one, maybe? I did half white, half whole wheat flour, and these were so light and delicious and perfect.

As for the gravy, I really liked it, despite that it looks a little like barf on a biscuit. Mr Pine Nut thought the flavour was too strong, but I really enjoyed it, largely because the tempeh added a lot of bulk but I really didn’t taste it so much, as I do it many recipes.

7. Lentil-Walnut Burgers – I decided that I’d try something I heard about subbing zucchini for mushrooms. It worked great! I have these made up and frozen now for future meals, but I did try one of the ones that broke. It had a great flavour. My primary gripe was that they were tremendously soft and flipping them was almost impossible. I had to bake them way longer than the recipe said. Soooo… next time I think I’ll have to add in more breadcrumbs or something.

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.39.04 PM

8. Pumpkin Waffles – These were a hit! Not only did they have zero issues sticking or falling apart or things like that, but they tasted great. 😀

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 6.39.26 PM

9. Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookies – Of course I had to use up the remaining cup of pumpkin from the waffles, so, uh, THESE. These are going to be a regular. They are amazing!

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.01.56 PM

10. Maple Walnut Scones – These were good, but I thought I’d like them more than I actually did.

11. Berry Scones – But I liked these even better. I used fresh-picked (like literally freshly picked) blackberries from right outside our house. The girls liked these too and overall they were more of a hit than the maple ones.

[12. ETA: Apple Pie Crumble Muffins – Oh man these were good.]

From Veganomicon:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.26.43 PM

13. Mexican Millet – This was really good and paired perfectly with…

14. Black Beans – …these. The only negative I have is that I didn’t make a double batch, because they were licked clean!

From Isa Does It:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.13.34 PM

15. Lentil-a-Roni – SO GOOD! And easy. Definitely would make again.

From Vegan Brunch:

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.13.14 PM

16. Zucchini Spelt Muffins – I tried really hard to like these, but I just didn’t. I hate zucchini. 😦

17. East Coast Coffee Cake, Jam Swirl Version – oh om nom nom.

From Vegan Diner:

18. Mushroom Burgers – And nope, I didn’t use mushrooms! I used zucchini. These turned out really well and I was pleased. They are a little softer than the usual burgers I make, but still held together really well. I haven’t tried them yet; as with the lentil-walnut burgers, these are actually going to be used more next month.

Cookbooks [or other sources] represented in July: 5

Did I meet my goal? Nope. But I didn’t expect to, and I’m impressed with myself for having made as much as I did!

See you next month, with August’s recipe report!


Categories: breakfast, brunch, challenges, cookies, dairy-free, dessert, entrees, garden, GooGoo, Lou Who, lunch, pasta, scones, travel, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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