Bonus MoFo Post! Tempeh Bacon, Cheezy Sauce, and Eggy Tohu

This coming week, we’re doing a couple recipes that call for the same base ingredients, and rather than clutter up those posts with a bunch of extra recipes, I’m doing a bonus post with THREE recipes that we can just refer back to.

And yes, it’s lame that I have no photos, but my laptop is STILL having issues, and I only have the bacon on hand to photograph anyway. I’ll try to add a picture of that in later.

Let’s start with BACON.

In a shallow dish, combine:
3 T soy sauce
1 T liquid smoke
1 T brown sugar
1 T oil
1 T tomato paste
3/4 c veggie broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Add 8 oz thinly sliced tempeh to the marinade and allow to sit overnight.

When ready to cook, dump marinade and tempeh into a non-stick skillet. You can either leave it in strips or crumble it. Cook it at a fairly high temperature, stirring often. It will absorb the marinade and get nice and browned. If you don’t eat it all straight out of the pan, keep whatever’s left in the fridge. Obvs.

Now, on to the cheezy sauce.

In a blender, blend together:
1/4 c water
1/4 c cashews
1 1/2 T roasted red peppers from a jar
1 1/2 tsp nooch
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder

Blend until completely smooth. This can easily be doubled, tripled, whatever.

And now: EGGY TOHU.

You might wonder what on earth tohu even is. Well, it’s like tofu, but made with garbanzo flour. Plain, it’s an awesome replacement for silken tofu for people who can’t have soy. And it’s super easy to prepare. Thanks to Vegan Mommy Chef for sharing her recipe with us! This is my adaptation from her plain version to have an eggy flavour.

In a bowl, mix together:
1/2 tsp black salt
1/4 tsp regular salt
1 1/2 T nooch
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 c garbanzo flour
1 1/2 tsp agar powder

Gradually stir in:
5 c water

Pour into a saucepan. Stirring constantly over medium heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Continue to stir for about 10 minutes. Pour into a sprayed loaf pan and put into the fridge to set.


Categories: breakfast, brunch, recipes, substitutions, tempeh, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Blog Challenge 2013, Week 9: Post Punk Kitchen

And of course the PPK blog is a fitting entry into a blog challenge coming out of the PPK forum!

No, your eyes do not deceive you. I skipped from Week 5 to Week 9 in a week. I have a couple of reasons for this.

First and main reason is that Vegan MoFo starts in September this year, and I’m going to be busy enough blogging without having to also continue the blog challenge.

The other reason was that blogs 6, 7, and 8 were just not inspiring me. There were some interesting things, but I didn’t have the stuff to make them… and blogs 9 and 10 were ones I definitely didn’t want to miss.

So, that being said, I regularly browse the PPK forums, and I’ve tried some of Isa’s recipes and enjoyed most of them, but for some reason I’ve not really tried much from the blog, so this was fun.

I have to admit, some of the recipes are just too “out there” for me. But there was also a very substantial list of “really want to try”. These are the three I finally chose.


Bikram Ginger Chocolate Chunk Scones

As you may have noticed (or not?) I really have a thing for chocolate and ginger. I used a gluten-free flour blend I got as a free sample from Amazon Vine and it worked out great. I’m interested to try this again with regular flour just to compare, but they were delicious and amazing. The picture is lousy. Sorry. It was getting dark.


Garlicky Thyme Tempeh

This was very yummy. Also very easy. I used dried thyme because I have none in my garden to use fresh, and I was out of oil, but otherwise I followed the recipe.


Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

This smells amazingly sausagelike and delicious. It doesn’t taste quite as good as it smells, but I did notice that the smaller crumbles tasted the best. I think I should have taken the time to crumble it into less gigantic hunks so the flavour would distribute better. I had some with my potatoes for breakfast today and think I’ll make a pizza with the rest.


Categories: challenges, scones, substitutions, tempeh, vegan blog challenge 2013 | 4 Comments

Postpartum Freezer Food Project of Doom: Taco Filling

I still have a couple of freezer food posts to post that I started before Baby Lou Who arrived, so here’s the first of them.

Today I made a double batch of taco filling. I got three 2.5 cup portions out of it, which I froze in quart bags.

1 1/4 c water
1/2 c walnuts
1 clove garlic
1 T nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1 T taco seasoning (see below)
1 c bulgur wheat
8 oz can tomato sauce

Place first 6 ingredients in blender and blend. Place bulgur and tomato sauce along with blended stuff into pan. (Alternatively you can mix it all up just in the pan and hand-chop the walnuts, which is what I do – I like the extra texture.) Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 10 minutes. Use as is or brown in a nonstick skillet.

NOTE: If you want just plain “ground beef”, substitute 1 T beeflike seasoning (such as Beaf) for the taco seasoning. You can still use the tomato sauce if you like or just sub 1 cup water instead.

taco seasoning

I store my taco seasoning in an old jam jar.

Taco Seasoning
2 T onion powder
3 T paprika/smoked paprika
2 T salt
1 T garlic powder
1/4 c cumin
1/4 c California chili powder

Mix all together and store in airtight container.

Categories: entrees, freezer meals, lunch, recipes, substitutions, vegan | 4 Comments

Nooch and Scrambled Tofu

Today, you get two recipes out of me. It’s about time I finally touch on two very common vegan staples: tofu and nutritional yeast (aka nooch). While it is *not* true that tofu is all we eat when we don’t eat meat, properly prepared tofu is most delicious. Below you’ll find a recipe for one of my favourite ways to fix it.

I really, honestly, have kind of a love-hate relationship with nutritional yeast. It smells weird. It makes me cough every time I open the container to scoop some out. But I eat it anyway, mostly in sauces, because cashew/almond cheeze sauces flavoured with nutritional yeast ARE really good. Sprinkled on popcorn is another common way we eat it. (My husband will practically eat the stuff with a spoon. He likes it on almost anything just in powder form, like buttered toast.) I also know that it’s a good way to get B12, since my animal product intake is pretty minimal these days.

This first recipe is something I got from a friend. She uses it in lots and lots and lots of recipes. Any time I post a recipe that calls for chicken seasoning, use this stuff.

Making Mock Chicken Seasoning

Making Mock Chicken Seasoning

Mock Chicken Seasoning

1 c nutritional yeast flakes
1 Tbsp sweet bell pepper flakes
2 Tbsp onion powder or granules
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried parsley flakes

Place all ingredients in a blender (or, in my case, coffee grinder) and process until fine and powdery. Store in a dry glass jar or tightly sealing glass pyrex dish in a cool dry place.

Mock Chicken Seasoning

Mock Chicken Seasoning: finished product

And, now that you have this magical, versatile seasoning, here’s a simple recipe you can try with it. This is my favourite scrambled tofu recipe, because it is so easy to throw together and very tasty.

Scrambled Tofu

1 14-16oz package of firm or extra firm water packed tofu
2 Tbsp mock chicken seasoning
1/8 tsp ground turmeric (for colour)
Salt to taste

Crumble the tofu into a pan to desired crumbliness of scramble. Stir in chicken seasoning, turmeric, salt, and enough oil to keep the scramble from sticking. Cook it over medium to medium high, stirring often, until it is heated through and has reached your desired amount of dryness.

Optionally, you can sautee some chopped onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, or other desired add-in in the pan before adding the tofu.

Categories: breakfast, flavourings, gluten-free, nut-free, recipes, substitutions, vegan | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Simple Gluten Steaks

Some people call it seitan, and that’s fine too. But around here we’re simple folk and generally just call it what it is: gluten.

Gluten Steaks

Gluten is not strictly an Adventist thing, but you’ll hardly go to a potluck where somebody hasn’t brought a pan of gluten steaks with gravy or gluten steaks in casserole or some other format. Some people even use the steaks on sandwiches.

I’ll be honest, I really don’t care as much for them as a steak as I like them cut up and used in other recipes, such as pepper steak (I’ll share a recipe for that next week) or other recipes where non-ground beef is called for such as fajitas or stew.

Gluten is high in tryptophan, as well, which makes it a good food for those who, like me, have bouts of depression. (But if you’re caeliac, of course that’s not an option and you’ll have to get your tryptophan other sources. Not to worry: there are many other ways to get your tryptophan. This is a topic for another post I’d like to write one day.)

This is the method my mother-in-law uses and they come out very tender and tasty made this way. Here’s what you need to make them:

3 cups water
3 cups high gluten flour (also known as vital wheat gluten or “do-pep”)
1 tbsp Vegeta or other seasonings according to preference
1 tbsp Kitchen Bouquet

In one bowl, pour 3 cups water and just enough Kitchen Bouquet to make the water a Coca-Cola brown (approximately 1 tbsp).

In a second bowl, put 3 cups gluten flour and Vegeta. Add in whatever other seasonings you prefer – steak spice, onion powder, etc.

Pour water into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Knead together and roll into a log. With a sharp knife, slice the log into patties, shaping them a little as needed.

Put patties into pot of boiling water and boil 30 minutes.

Place patties on a board or cloth to soak up excess moisture. Dip in a flour, salt, and steak spice blend to bread them and then pan fry.

Refrigerate or freeze until needed.

Categories: entrees, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, substitutions, vegan | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan White Sauce

So, the pot pie we made last week has cream of mushroom soup in it. For a vegan option, I frequently use this white sauce recipe instead:

Blend smooth:
1/2 c water
1/2 c raw cashews
1/4 c cornstarch
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder

Pour into a saucepan.

Rinse blender with 4 cups of water and add to saucepan. Bring to a boil and lightly boil 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened.

(Sometimes I reduce the water by a little bit if I want a more concentrated sauce.)

Other uses for this recipe include, but are not limited to:

  • Chicken – er, garbanzo – a la king (add a small jar of pimento and mushrooms if you like mushrooms, then serve over pasta or rice)
  • Cream of Whatever Soup (just add appropriate flavourings). Lots of casseroles call for cream soups.

I hope this is helpful! This recipe is a staple in my house.

Money-saving note: Sunflower seeds are a cheaper alternative to cashews and work beautifully in this recipe.

Make-ahead tip: This recipe makes the equivalent of 4 cans of cream of mushroom (10oz each, or 1 1/4 cups). You can freeze it in 10oz portions and pull it out whenever you need it.

Categories: freezer meals, recipes, soy-free, substitutions, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Here’s the Beef: Shepherd’s Pie

I’m a (relatively new) Seventh-day Adventist and therefore have only been introduced to the strange and ‘spensive world of Faux Meat, Adventist Style, in the last few years of my life. Worthington’s line of meatlike substances with fanciful names like “FriChik“, “Stripples” and “Big Franks” are common at potlucks and, for some families, regular use.

These fake meats are fairly tasty, I must admit, but they’re pricey and rather packed with sodium and odd, unpronounceable ingredients. So I’ve never been fond of using them. Occasionally I indulge in a Big Frank, if someone else pays for it, but that’s about it. The way I figure it, I am vegan because I don’t WANT to eat meat; generally I don’t want to eat imitation meat, either. (This excludes Frontier Organic Bac’uns. OMNOMNOM.)

When I got married, I had a lot of recipes that were favourites that involved meat, of course, and to please my husband I had to come up with some sort of substitutes so I could still make my favourite dishes and us both be happy.

Today I’m going to talk about ground beef, and I’ll include a recipe for good measure. Ground beef is a common, common thing. I grew up eating tons of it.

My ground beef substitute of choice: PINTO BEANS.

I happened upon it by chance one day while making a spaghetti sauce and that’s what I just happened to have a can of in the cupboard. They are tasty, take on a variety of flavours quite well, and add nutritious bulk to many recipes. Dry pinto beans are usually under $2 per pound, while ground beef might be $3 or more per pound. That adds up to quite a bit of savings over time.

Two examples:

  • Pinto beans + taco seasoning + sauteed onions/garlic: instant taco filling
  • Pinto beans + oregano + basil + tomato sauce + sauteed onions/garlic: spaghetti sauce

Okay, here’s a recipe: Shepherd’s Pie for Shepherds Who Love Their Animals Too Much to Eat Them, or People Who Maybe Aren’t Even Shepherds at All

3 cups cooked pinto beans (you can use canned as well)
1 c chopped onion
2 cans green beans, drained (or 4 cups frozen)
2 cans tomato sauce
6-8 potatoes, cooked and mashed with milk, butter, and 1 egg (vegans can skip the egg, use appropriate margarine, and unsweetened non-dairy milk OR blended oats OR blended cashews)
1 c grated cheddar cheese (vegans can use Daiya or homemade cheeselike substances, or skip altogether)

1. Get the potatoes going. I don’t peel my potatoes. I just wash them, eye them, and chop them up. If you prefer peeled, go ahead. Put them in water and start them cooking. It will usually take around 20-30 minutes until they come to a boil and are soft.

2. Saute onion. Put in the bottom of a 13×9 pan. Add pinto beans and stir together.

3. Spread green beans over pintos/onions, and tomato sauce over green beans. Just add enough tomato sauce to make it wet, not look like soup.

shepherd's pie

This is what it will look like, except don’t add quite this much tomato sauce. Oops. (Also, I was out of regular onions, so I just dumped some fresh chopped green onions in this particular batch.)

4. When your potatoes are cooked, drain them and mash them with the milk and other stuff. Spread this mashed potato mixture over the filling.

shepherd's pie

Before spreading, distribute blobs of smushed potato thusly all over the surface.

shepherd's pie

Then use a knife or other type of utensil to spread the smushed potato blobs all over the surface.

5. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. For the last 15 minutes of baking, sprinkle cheese substance of choice on top if desired.

shepherd's pie

And here it is toasty brown and golden and ready to eat.

Categories: entrees, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, substitutions, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Playing With Bread

The bread recipe in my previous post is a blank slate on which you can write a myriad of bready flavours.

Let’s start with talking about flours. What kinds of flours besides (or in conjunction with) wheat work well? Below are some ideas of kinds you can try (or not!) and approximately how much you should use. Whatever flours you try, always start with just a cup or so. If the gluten content doesn’t seem drastically affected, try adding some more!

  • Spelt flour can be used interchangeably with wheat. I have frequently done this.
  • Soft white wheat flour is also a great idea, especially if you have children who aren’t sure about the idea of brown bread, because it makes a very light-coloured but no less healthy wheat bread.
  • Rye flour has a very low gluten content. If you want rye bread, I would not recommend using more than 2-3 cups for two loaves. The bread will get more dense the more you add, and will not rise very well. I personally like the hint of rye flavour but not a heavy bread. (Some day I’ll do a post specifically about making rye bread because, uh, I’m still working on perfecting that one.)
  • Millet flour gives bread a soft, delightful texture and a hint of nutty flavour. For a two-loaf batch, I recommend 1-1.5 cups.
  • Corn flour is zero gluten. I’ve yet to have good luck using it and don’t recommend it for a yeast bread – yet. 🙂

Then there are the oils. Olive oil is my favourite to use in almost everything. However, because I’m out of olive oil currently, I’ve been using a lot of plain old veggie or corn oils. For something more exotic, you can try peanut or sesame oil. (I haven’t ever used either of those last two in bread. Yet.)

What about add-ins? In my template recipe, it calls for flaxseed (ground). I usually do a mixture and usually about 1/2 cup of each add-in. Start with only 2 or at most 3 add-ins until you get a feel for how each one affects your bread. Other things you can use instead of or along with the flaxseed:

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Rolled oats or other rolled grains
  • Ground or finely chopped nuts
  • Dehydrated minced onions
  • Caraway seed (use 1-2 tablespoons)
  • Rosemary or other herbs (use 1-2 tablespoons)

Do you have favourite flours besides wheat flour or favourite add-ins that I don’t have listed? If so, I would love to hear what they are!

Categories: substitutions, vegan | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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