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Recipe courtesy of:
Fatfree Vegan Kitchen

Mexican Lasagna (or Enchilada Casserole)

1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
corn tortillas--at least 12
3 cups (28 ounces) fatfree refried beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. chili powder, divided
1/2 tsp. cumin, divided
3 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa
1 can enchilada sauce (or 1 1/2 cups homemade)
sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 375 F.

In a non-stick pan with a little water (1 tbsp.), sauté the peppers, garlic, and onion for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Set aside.

Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Line the bottom with a layer of tortillas (you may cut some of them to fit). Make sure you cover the entire bottom of the pan.

Stir the refried beans and spread half of them evenly over the tortillas. Cover the refried beans with half of the pepper-onion mixture and half of the tomatoes; sprinkle with half of the seasonings and half of the black beans.

Add another layer of tortillas and repeat the layers of the other ingredients. Spread the cup of salsa over the final layer of black beans. Cover with a final layer of tortillas, pour the enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with black olives. Cover and bake for about 30 minutes or until hot throughout. It will be easier to cut if you allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Note: Fresh corn is a great addition to this. I use about 2 cups of uncooked (or frozen) corn and add it as one more layer. You may need a deeper pan, though.


Chocolate Candy Cups

1 Cup Chocolate Chips ***** ADD SOME SOYMILK TO THIS!

For both treats, begin by melting you chocolate in the microwave 30 - 60 seconds at a time, and stir thoroughly until completely smooth. Use a spoon, thin spatula, or paint brush to brush the melted chocolate over the insides of paper mini muffin cups, making sure to leave no holes and spread it as evenly as possible. No need to go crazy though, because even if the walls are too thin and break when removed from the wrapper, I doubt anyone will mind after they take a bite! You will only use about 1/2 - 3/4 of the chocolate, so set the rest aside for later. Place the chocolate-covered papers into mini muffin tins so that they retain their shape, and let them cool and set completely. You can speed up this process by placing the tins in your refrigerator (or on the windowsill like I did- It suddenly got cold out!)

Peanut Butter:
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
Splash Vanilla Extract

To make the peanut butter filling, just stir together the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla until completely homogeneous and toss the mixture into the microwave for 30 - 45, just to warm it through and liquefy slightly. Give it another good stir to combine everything again, and drop dollops of the filling into your prepared chocolate cups. Be careful not to rub the sides too much so as not to melt the chocolate, and fill each up to about 2 - 3 mm from the top. Let the filling cool completely.

1/3 Cup Vegetable Shortening
2/3 Cup Confectioner’s Sugar
1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (depending on desired intensity)
Splash Vanilla Extract

To make the peppermint filling, place the shortening into a bowl and microwave it briefly until just melted. Add in the sugar and both extracts and stir everything together until smooth. Drop the mixture into the cups as described above for the peanut butter cups, and let cool.

Finally, take out the remaining chocolate and melt it back down into a liquid state. Spoon the chocolate onto each of the filled cups and spread it out to the edges to fill in any gaps. Let it cool once again until set, and enjoy your ghoulish goodies with friends!


Tofu Miso Sandwich

Smokey Miso Tofu
Makes 18-20 Thin Slices

2 Tbs Red Miso
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Sugar
2 Tbs Tamari/Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke

1 Tub Extra/Super Firm Tofu, drained and pressed

Preheat the oven to 425º F.  Wrap your drained tofu in a few paper towels, then again in a terry cloth bar towel.  Press with something heavy - a cast-iron skillet, a plate with some cans on top, etc, for 10-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the marinade together.

Unwrap the tofu and make many thin, width-wise slices with a large knife.  I got 18-20 slices out of one block of tofu.  They’ll look something like this:

Thin Sliced Tofu

Line up your slices on a baking sheet topped with a non-stick baking mat. Brush both sides of the tofu with the marinade.

Smokey Miso Tofu - Basting

Let the slices absorb the marinade for 10 minutes or so, then brush just the tops again. Bake for 20 minutes at 425º F. Remove from oven and let cool on the sheet. The tofu should be darkened around the edges, but not burnt. Use immediately or refrigerate for later use.

Smokey Miso Tofu - After Baking

I’m a simple girl, so some vegan mayo, baby spinach, and sourdough toast were all I needed to make a delicious sandwich. Whatever your favorite sandwich fixin’s are will go great, most likely. This would tofu would make a nice vegan BLT!


Homemade tomato sauce

Homemade tomato sauce in all its glory

While looking for some info on this here internet, I didn’t really find any really good directions for from scratch tomato sauce, so hopefully this little photo essay will be helpful. This is basically what I’ve gleaned from sitting in my friend’s kitchen when I was ten and just talking to my friends about making sauce. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a bunch of hours to kill and preferably a friend or two to make it with you. Forget 30 minute meals, how about 6 hour ones? What better way to bond with someone than over a simmering pot garlicky tomato sauce? Video games or a movie have got nothing on this.

Michelle and I were painfully naive when we thought we would actually make enough sauce to jar it for the winter. I didn’t weigh them, but we had 3 dozen* nice sized tomatoes that ended up making about two spaghetti sauce jarfuls of sauce. Instead of giving you a recipe, I am just going to give guidelines, since your quantity and ingredients may vary. Good olive oil and lots of garlic are obvious, and for herbs we had a lot of oregano and thyme so that is what we used. I would definitely recommend fresh herbs, though.

Okay, make with the sauce! Besides the good old standbys like a knife and cutting board, here’s what you’ll need to have ready:

  • At least three big mixing bowls since there will be lots of transferring and prepping going on.
  • A lot of ice for shocking the tomatoes once they’ve been blanched.
  • An immersion blender or just a regular old blender.
  • A big gigantic pot, or what I call a “soup kitchen pot.”
  • A slotted spoon.

First you’ll need to boil a huge pot of water. We’re going to blanch the tomatoes to get their skin off. To make peeling easy you score the tomatoes with an “X” on the tops and bottoms.

We didn’t even bother pulling the stickers off our tomatoes since they are going to be skinned anyway. Once the water is boiling, prepare your ice bath. Just fill a big bowl with half ice, half cold water. Have it at the ready.

Drop your tomatoes into the boiling water in manageable batches. We did somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 at a time. Blanching means you are just flash boiling them, we found that one minute worked best. When the minute is up, fish them out with a slotted spoon and transfer them to the ice bath.

Michelle was working at lightening speed!

Once everyone has been ice bathed and is cool to the touch, it’s time to move on to the peeling. It should be really easy, just peel down from where you’ve scored. Place all the peeled guys in a bowl.

Now it’s time for seeding. Slice the tomato across the waist, not top to bottom. This will give you the best access to the seeds. Next, we seed! Just smush your fingers in there and get the seeds out. Do it over a bowl so that you can strain the liquid later and have tomato juice. If there are a few seed stragglers, don’t worry about it. Just do the best you can.

Once the seeds are out, over a big separate bowl, pull all the tomato-y stuff away from the rough core at the top and drop the rest into the bowl. Discard the cores. We toyed with cutting around the core, but this way was the fastest, most efficient and the funnest. The bottom halves of the tomato won’t have the core/stem thingy, obviously, so just mush those up with your fingers and drop them in.

Now comes the delicious smelling part. We used about half a head of minced garlic and just a small amount of chopped red onion, maybe a cup’s worth. In the big pot that you blanched the tomatoes in, saute the garlic and onion in an ample amount of olive oil, a few tablespoon’s worth. When onion is translucent, add the tomatoes, along with salt and black pepper. Don’t over salt, it is going to cook down and concentrate. We used a scant teaspoon. Also, add some sugar to cut down on the acidity. Four teaspoons worked perfectly for our tomatoes, your mileage may vary.

The next step is easy, you just cook it uncovered until it reduces to about 1/4 its amount. This was accomplished in about 2 hours. Keep the heat high and stir often. It will start smelling like Sicily within half an hour. Once it’s cooked down, puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in your regular blender. Then add fresh herbs, but be frugal about it. As you’ll see the sauce tastes rich and succulent without them and you don’t want to mask the taste, you just want to accentuate it. Simmer for just a few minutes more to let the herbs release their magic.

Just like mama never made.

I can honestly say that I’ve never tasted anything so amazing. Like I said, we were surprised to be left with such a small amount, but you know what? It was totally worth it and we’d do it again in a heart beat. Viva the sloth food movement!

*These tomatoes didn’t actually come from my yard, they were a windfall from a camping trip last weekend. But the tomatoes in my garden are doing really well so I expect I’ll be doing this again in a little while.


Roasted Peanuts


16 oz bag shelled raw peanuts
1 t coarse sea salt
4 t chili powder
1/8 t cayenne pepper
2 T agave nectar

preheat oven to 350F.
place peanuts in a shallow baking dish; add salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper and stir well.
add agave and mix until peanuts are well coated.

bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
let cool in baking dish.

* oil or no oil? sweet or savory? virtually no limit to spices variations.


Meatfree BBQ Riblets

makes 6 “riblets”

1 cup vital wheat gluten
1 T paprika
3 T nutritional yeast
1 t onion powder
1/4 cup crunchy, natural peanut butter or tahini
1 cup pure water
BBQ sauce, amount is up to you really, but at least 1/2 cup

preheat oven to 350F,
mix all dry ingredients together. add water and PB, use your hands to mix it all thoroughly.
knead for a couple of minutes.
form 6 strips and place them on a lightly oiled baking sheet.
bake for 30 minutes, turning around halfway through.
if eating right then, brush strips with a generous amount of your favorite BBQ sauce [quantity up to you], and place back in oven for an additional 10 minutes.
if serving later, just let cool and store in fridge, add BBQ sauce right before heating.
2 minutes in your microwave, 10 minutes in your oven.

serves 2-4.

Blueberry Orange Muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour [spoon & level]
1/4 cup Sucanat
1/2 T baking powder
1/2 t fine sea salt
3 T unsweetened applesauce
6 T freshly-squeezed or good quality orange juice
2 1/2 T canola oil
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen [measure frozen berries and put them back in the freezer until it's time to fold them in so that they don't turn the batter blue]

preheat oven to 375F. prepare standard muffin pan with paper liners.
sift dry ingredients together.
mix wet ingredients together.
combine both preps/
pour into prepared muffin tins.
bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
let cool on a rack before storing. they freeze well, by the way.

Peanut Passion Sauce

 Recipe from eat, drink & be vegan.

1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter (see note)
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and cut in small chunks (see note)
2 medium cloves garlic, halved (see note)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like the ‘heat’!)
3 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (zest lime before juicing, see below)
2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
2 tsp lime zest (see note)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
warm or hot water, plain non-dairy milk, or light coconut milk (to thin sauce as desired, see note)
In a food processor, blender, or with a handblender and a deep cup, combine all ingredients except cilantro and water or milk and purée until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (If not using a processor, first grate garlic and ginger, then whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl.) If serving as a dip, keep sauce thick. Stir in cilantro, or use as a garnish. If using sauce to toss with soba noodles, steamed vegetables, or to drizzle on grains or greens, add water or plain non-dairy milk to thin as desired, and use fresh cilantro as garnish (see notes).


1) You can substitute almond or cashew butter in place of peanut butter for variety, or if peanut allergies are a concern.

2) If using this sauce as a dip for raw veggies, you can reduce the garlic and ginger to taste so the heat won’t be as intense.

3) For soba noodles: Using an 8-oz (230-g) package of noodles, toss ¾ cup Peanut Passion Sauce and ¼ - 1/3 cup plain non-dairy milk or light coconut milk (or a combination of milk and water) with cooked noodles. After noodles sit, you may need to add more milk or water, since they will absorb sauce. Add steamed broccoli or other veggies, top with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges for squeezing.

4) To make an instant bean dip: Purée ¾–1 cup white beans or chickpeas with ¼ - 1/3 cup Peanut Passion Sauce. Add 1–2 tsp lime juice to taste, and 2–3 tsp water to thin, and 1 extra tsp sesame oil if desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Warm Potato Spinach Salad with Pine Nut Dressing

 eat, drink & be vegan.

1 lb (680 g) new potatoes or fingerling potatoes (see note)

2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp agave nectar
½ tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup toasted pine nuts

2 ½ cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach leaves, whole or chopped
¼ cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, julienned
¾–1 cup artichokes, chopped (may use marinated in a jar or canned, rinsed and patted dry)
½–¾ cup red bell peppers, diced
¼–1/3 cup pitted Kalamata or green olives, halved or chopped
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
½–1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

In a large pot of salted water, add potatoes and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to simmer for 12–15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Meanwhile, in a blender or mini-food processor, or with a hand blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients
and purée until fairly smooth. Once potatoes are tender, drain, let cool just enough to handle, and cut in half or in quarters (see note). In a large bowl, toss hot potatoes with vinaigrette, then add salad ingredients, except oil, and toss again. (If you don’t want spinach to wilt, toss in once entire
salad has cooled considerably). Taste test, and season with additional salt and pepper and ½–1 tbsp oil if desired. Serve warm, or refrigerate in a covered container and serve chilled (if salad seems dry after refrigeration, add an additional 1 tsp vinegar and ½–1 tbsp olive oil).

Cooking Notes:

1) You can use the larger, whole red potatoes for this recipe, but the cooking time will be longer. Russet potatoes are not suitable because they do not hold their shape once cooked.
2) The potatoes will absorb the flavors of vinegar and olive oil best when they are still warm or hot.
Recipe copyright Dreena Burton; eat, drink & be vegan.