Monday, January 30, 2012

Fruity phyllo

Sorry for the bad photos in the past two posts... I'm too lazy to retrieve my camera from the car. But trust me when I say this is much yummier than the photo makes it appear.

fruit phyllo

Phyllo dough is low-calorie, crunchy and absolutely amazing! It's lightly-flavored (because I don't smother it in oil or sugars or nuts) and the texture is very appealing. You will love it.


Phyllo dough
Optional: agave, nuts


Using a single serving sized glass container (or ramekin or whatever you have), place everyone's favorite fruit inside their own ramekin/glass. I prefer blueberries + cranberries (remember to slice each fruit in half if you use cranberries) and my husband prefers a blend of pineapple, strawberries and blackberries. I added about 1T agave to each fruit mixture.

Now, simply tear one sheet of phyllo dough into small strips. I kept them approximately the width of the glass container. One 70-calories phyllo dough sheet actually gave me about a dozen layers on each dessert! See how wonderful this is? Indulge without guilt!


Using your fingers, spread margarine or olive oil between layers to give a fattier flavor. Add chopped nuts of your choice. Smother with extra agave if desired. (Why do you think baklava is so heavy, sweet and tasty?... because it's absolutely smothered in honey and butter.) So, wean yourself off of these excessive treats if you need to. Just add less and less sugars and oils each time until your taste buds are used to a lighter meal. It's worth it.

Spaghetti squash enchiladas

Excuse the bad photo.. it's from my cell phone. Shocker, I know.

spaghetti squash enchilada

Really, you could replace this photo with any picture of an enchilada. The end result will depend on how serious you are about your enchiladas. As you can see... I'm not always that particular! Trust me, it tastes just as yummy as a fancy enchilada. BONUS: it's healthy!


1/2 spaghetti squash, cooked
1 can black beans
Spices: 3xchili powder, 1xpaprika, 1xonion, 1/2xgarlic, 1xcumin, 1/2xcoriander
Enchilada sauce


First things first: cook your spaghetti squash. I cut it in half (long-wise). Bake at 375 degrees for up to 1.5 hours, face-down in a pan, surrounded by 1/2 inches of water. ** You will have leftovers!

When it's cooked, simply use your fork to remove the spaghetti stranded squash innards. Try a few.. they're yummy.

Meanwhile, cook your beans with some water and the spices -- or simply use a package of taco seasoning if you're too timid to mix your own. (Believe me when I say your own spice mix will be a zillion times better than a package!) You want this juicy, so don't cook off all of your water.

Also, I sliced fresh carrots and water stir-fried with frozen corn for about 20 minutes until carrots were cooked.

Easy: slice your tomato.

Now, just layer your spaghetti squash, seasoned beans, veggies. Cover with a little enchilada sauce. Small pans are good for keeping your enchiladas soaking in a little extra sauce.

Cook at 375 for 20 minutes. Add a little Daiya or Follow Your Heart near the end. I baked for another 8 minutes or so, to melt the cheese.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lemon-raspberry tart

vegan lemon tart

Serves 2-4 Hungry People
(you can easily double, triple or even quadruple this recipe)

2/3 c raw cashews, soaked until soft and rinsed (or you can sub silken tofu)
3 T raw sugar
Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
Zest of 1 lemon
About 1/4 c raspberries (thawed)
Phyllo dough

If you love lemon, you'll adore this tart!

You can make them in any shape you want. I chose to cook my phyllo dough around a metal cookie cutter to make two small bowls (one for each of us.) This amount of lemon mixture can fill two bowls VERY full, or four bowls just full enough. Only make your phyllo bowls when you're going to eat them. If you make them in advance, they won't be as yummy or crunchy.


Thaw some raspberries (or fruit of your choice). You're welcome to use fresh if you have it.


Layer phyllo dough around cutter and spray with cooking spray between layers. You don't need more than 4-5 layers. My phyllo came in huge sheets so I cut it into pieces and just placed it around the cutter. Place in toaster over upside down (with the open bowl side facing down on the cookie sheet). Spray with cooking spray between layers or use a little melted margarine if you prefer.

Cook at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes until brown. Let cool. Remove from cookie cutter... now you have your dessert bowls!


Meanwhile: blend cashews, sugar, lemon juice and zest until smooth. Put in fridge to cool.

This takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Then, just throw together once you're ready for dessert~


Once cooked and cooled, fill each bowl with the lemon cream sauce and top with a few raspberries and extra juice. Voila. You're done!

You'll notice mine aren't as evenly filled or uniform as a pre-packaged, processed one you'd get at a store. That's okay! Your food isn't supposed to be even or look the same every single time you make it. ** To make your filling smoother, add a spoonful or two of water -- but not too much! The mixture will thicken in the fridge but you still don't want it too runny.

It's easy tricks like this that make other people think you're a trained chef. Trust me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fun with phyllo dough

Who knew phyllo dough was so easy to work with? (And each sheet has only 70 calories, so enjoy!)


Serves 2-4


Half block of tempeh + soy sauce + vegan Worcestershire sauce + little olive oil
Veggies: 1 potato, 2 carrots, 3 stalks celery, 5 asparagus (or whatever you have on hand)
1/4-1/2 can rotel (optional)
Sauce: 2 bullion cubes + dash cayenne + garlic + dash soy sauce + about 3/4 c water
Thawed phyllo dough

** NOTE: As always, you can use any vegetables you have on hand. So try it with any variation that you want. You can't mess this up. **

You want to water stir-fry your diced potato and carrots while you cook your diced tempeh in another pan.

To make the sauce cook 3/4 c water with 2 bullion cubes + spices in a small skillet. You'll lose a little of the water by the end but don't cook it all off.

When veggies and tempeh are all cooked, you'll want to take the phyllo dough out of the fridge. I used 4 sheets for this casserole.

Mix veggies + tempeh in a big cast iron skillet. Cover with rotel and sauce.

Once you have the casserole ready, you'll want to layer your phyllo dough and spray with cooking spray (or olive oil or margarine if you're feeding people who prefer higher-fatty meals.) The phyllo dough will be crispy either way but has much less fat if you use a cooking spray. Try it both ways or use margarine the first time and wean yourself off.

** phyllo dough seems to be cooked best at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes whether you're making a casserole or dessert.

Cook until brown. Amazing!

Jackfruit casserole


New to jackfruit? Don't be afraid. I'll talk you through it.

We purchase ours in a can because we can't seem to find the whole fruit locally. So, that makes it even easier! I just drain the jackfruit and squeeze each piece. Now, you can simmer in water for an hour or put it in your slow cooker for an hour.

Don't skip this step:

After the hour, rinse well and squeeze each piece of jackfruit again. Try to remove all the water.

Another important step:

Put back on the stove or in your cooker and cook for another hour in new water.

At the end of this hour you'll want to drain, rinse and squeeze again. Now you're ready to cook with it!

For this recipe I pulled apart the jackfruit (now it looks like pulled pork) and added some water + taco spices + a little olive oil + cayenne. Cook it just like you would TVP or flesh. Really, that's all there is to it.

To make a casserole, just layer the jackfruit with water-stir-fried potatoes (or fried if you prefer. You just need your potatoes to be mostly cooked before you put them in your casserole), corn tortillas, rotel tomatoes + juice in a can, frozen corn. Layer all the ingredients and cover in enchilada or taco sauce if you want. Then bake at around 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Optional: add Daiya or a nutritional yeast mixture to the top for the last 10 minutes.

This meal is soooooo steamy and filling and absolutely amazing. Trust me. It's easy. It's amazing. It will please everyone -- guaranteed.

I told you these vegan recipes were easy.

Pom Arils


How do you make a fruit salad fantastic? Pom arils! (Yes, those are prunes on top, too. Also yummy.)

Don't know where you can find them? Just google: Pom Wonderful. Most grocery stores now carry the Pom juice. Now, you can find the arils, too! At first glance, $5 for a container of arils may sound expensive.. but it's really not. They'll add taste, texture and beauty to so many meals before you've eaten through your $5 bucks. Trust me! (Though you'll probably want to eat a few spoonfuls of the stuff right out of the cup. They're amazingly delicious.)

Have you tried them yet? ... why the heck not? You're missing out! Go on. You know you want to.

Add them to yogurts, cobblers, cereals, snacks or eat it plain. Nom Nom Nom Nom

Fruit cobbler


Fruit cobblers really don't require a recipe. They're super simple and quick. Throw them together during dinner and you'll have a freshly-cooked, hot, steaming, delicious dessert ready in no time.

Approximate Ingredients & Directions:

Wheat flour
Raw sugar
Cinnamon (if you're using apple)

Preheat oven to about 350 degrees.

I used a cast iron skillet (shocker, I know). I filled the pan with frozen/semi-thawed cranberries that I cut in half, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. I recommend adding cranberries to any of your fruit desserts.. they're fantastic! Just remember to cut them in half or they won't cook.

While the fruit was still frozen I mixed 3:1 oats to flour ratio, then started by adding just 1/8-1/4 c sugar to the mix. I cut in the smallest amount of margarine into the mix that I could. Start with 3 T if you're using a large pan. When you spread this oat/flour/sugar/margarine mix onto your fruit, be sure to spread around the margarine pieces.

Bake at 350 for 20+ minutes. Your fruit should start bubbling. If it's not brown enough, pump up the heat to 375-400. If it's browning but you don't think it's cooked, cover in foil and keep cooking.

Don't make it harder than it is. Enjoy your experimental desserts. You will LOVE this one.

Kelp noodles

kelp noodles

Don't know where to get them? Just google: kelp noodles. We found ours locally. You may be able to as well.

They're raw.

They're healthy.

They're delicious.

As the instructions on the package will tell you, you'll cook your veggies and sauce and just throw in your noodles when your veggies are almost done. You don't really cook the noodles but you can heat and soften them. It really is that easy.

For this dish, I baked some marinated tofu. Meanwhile, I water-sir-fried some veggies. Once the tofu was done and the veggies were soft I just threw them together. Last, but certainly not least, I added the kelp noodles and stirred for a while. Really.. that was it!

Pretzel dogs

pretzel dogs

Even in Fort Collins, there are no restaurants with veggie dogs or any variation thereof. So, we decided to make some homemade pretzel dogs! We made a few with bratwursts and a few with veggie dogs. You'll love them either way. Promise.

Follow the instructions on the box.. it makes a LOT. I hope you're hungry!

I know this isn't really a recipe. But I hope it gives you some good ideas. You'll be surprised at how many boxed meals like these pretzels are actually vegan.