We’ve been waiting all summer to harvest zucchinis and we finally got to pick some (you’ve probably noticed zucchinis sneaking in to recipes lately). One of my automatic go-to recipes for zucchinis is my mom’s zucchini bread. It’s moist and delicious and easy to veganize. So you can imagine my excitement when I pulled these babies out of the oven and popped a muffin in my mouth. Only to find out …. they were not sweet AT ALL. In my excitement, I forgot to add the sugar 😦 They’re definitely still edible, and Will actually likes them better; he called them “healthy.” But I still think next time I’ll try to remember and add the sugar! I added a little soymilk to the batter because it seemed awfully dry. I’m not sure if this is because I used part whole wheat flour or because I forgot about the sugar. If you do remember the sugar, and find your batter is a good consistency, feel free to leave out the soy milk.
- 1 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 c. sugar (!!)
- 1 c. finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
- 1 mashed banana (optional; I had one over-ripe so I decided to throw it in)
- 1 egg replacer = to 1 egg (I used EnerG Egg Replacer)
- 1/4 c. canola oil
- 2 Tbsp. soy milk
In a mixing bowl stir together flours, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and baking powder; set aside. In a mixing bowl, blend together sugar, zucchini, egg replacer, banana, and oil. Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture. Add soy milk if needed. Divide batter in 12 muffin tins (lined). Bake in a 350°F oven for 14 minutes or till a wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack. (For a loaf of bread, bake 50-60 minutes).
One of my favorite meal memories as a kid is chili night. It’s a little ironic because the chili I liked as a kid is the complete opposite to what I eat now. Back then I didn’t like beans, so my mom would make me a special “beanless” chili that was mostly just ground beef, tomatoes, and spices. Now, of course, I load up on the beans and leave the beef out. Go figure. Anyway, what really sticks in my memory is not the chili – it’s the cinnamon rolls. Gooey, slightly spicy cinnamon rolls. We usually got our cinnamon rolls from an Amish bakery outside of my hometown and they were delicious. We had this meal at school a lot, too (anyone know who came up with chili & cinnamon roll combo?) and my twin sister would always con people out of their cinnamon rolls by offering to give them her chili. We liked our sweets 🙂
My version of chili is full of beans and veggies and as hearty as any meat-based chili you might find. But, as in childhood, the cinnamon rolls are the star of this meal. They take some time to prepare, because they contain yeast, but they are absolutely worth the extra time. The recipe poster claims they rival Cinnabon cinnamon rolls and I’m in agreement. These are a big hit at work parties, too!
Chili & Cinnamon Rolls
Hearty Veggie Chili
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 small carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz. can tomato puree (diced tomatoes are also good)
- 1 packet chili seasoning, or your favorite combo of spices
Heat olive oil in dutch oven or other sturdy pan. Add veggies and saute until soft. Add beans and chili seasoning, stirring to make sure all ingredients are coated with the seasoning. Add tomato puree and stir well. Cook on medium heat 10-20 minutes. The longer you leave it on the stove top, the more the flavors meld together. Serve with vegan sour cream, crackers, or Fritos chips and corn on the cob. And cinnamon rolls, of course!
The cinnamon roll recipe can be found here. I use Quick Rise yeast and the flax egg replacer and the result is huge, fluffy, and gooey cinnamon rolls. A note on the frosting – more powdered sugar equals a thicker frosting. If you want more of a glaze, just use a cup or so of powdered sugar.
Better-then-Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls
I’ve really been into baking my own bread lately and recently decided to try some homemade tortillas. I used a combo of several recipes on the web and was really happy with how the little tortillas turned out. Next time I’d like to make bigger tortillas – these were about 5″ in diameter. Perfect for dipping but not so great for wrapping (which is what I had intended).
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 c. vegetable shortening
- 3/4 c. warm water
Combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer bowl and add shortening until well combined and the mixture looks grainy. Add warm water and mix with dough hook until a smooth ball of dough forms, about 5 minutes. This can also easily be done by hand. Divide into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. After resting, roll balls into 6″-7″ tortillas. Cook in a pan over medium heat until golden brown and puffy. I used a non-stick pan and didn’t add any oil. Transfer to a plate and cover with a towel. Keeps well, refrigerated, for 5-7 days (store in plastic bag or plastic container).
This recipe is a favorite of mine; I’ve been making it for years. My aunt Lou Anne made it for me once when I babysat her daughter. It’s not a hard recipe to make, although it takes awhile for everything to cook. I go pretty heavy on the spices, so know that you can cut back on the spices to fit your taste. This recipe also makes a lot (it’s a great leftover for lunches) so feel free to cut it in half if you don’t like leftovers. I like to serve this with a flatbread or garlic bread.
Spicy Indian Macaroni
- 2 cups any uncooked pasta (macaroni, penne, shells, rigatoni)
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped (fresh or frozen)
- 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas OR green peas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups tomato puree (about half a 28 oz. can)
- 1-2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1-2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. turmeric powder
- 1 serrano chili, minced (opt.)
- 1 Tbsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
- salt to taste
- 2 Tbsp. oil
Heat oil in pan. Saute cumin seeds (jeera) until it changes color and becomes aromatic. Add minced chili and saute for 1/2 minute. Add vegetables, chickpeas, tomato puree, spices, salt, and pasta. Add enough water to cover the contents of the pan and cook the pasta. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook till the pasta is done – this can take anywhere from 30 min to 45 min. Make sure to stir often to avoid pasta sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Triple Garlic Flatbread
- 10″ disc prepared pizza dough
- garlic salt
- garlic powder
- fresh garlic cloves, minced
- fresh basil leaves, torn
Cover pizza dough with thin layer of margarine. Sprinkle with garlic salt (go easy on this), garlic powder (probably a couple of tablespoons) and minced garlic (2-3 gloves, depending on how much you love garlic). Bake for 5-10 minutes at temperature setting indicated on package (I used 425 F). Remove from oven, sprinkle on basil leaves, then return to oven for about 1 minute, making sure the basil doesn’t burn. Slice with a pizza cutter into squares, slices, whatever. Serve hot with Spicy Indian Macaroni.
I’ve been going into work later this summer (9:30 am to be exact) so that gives me plenty of time for a healthy breakfast. Even when I go back to my normal hours this fall, I am still going to make a point to eat breakfast in the morning. This particular breakfast is tasty and quick, with just a little planning ahead. Baking bread on the weekend can provide delicious breakfasts and snacks all week. I have my wonderful mom to thank for this particular recipe – the best banana bread I’ve ever had. Combining the bread with a fruit smoothie is a great way to sneak in extra servings of fruits into your diet. And did I mention it’s fast and easy!?
Banana Berry Smoothie
- 3 frozen strawberries
- 1 banana
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1-2 Tbsp agave nectar, depending on how much sweetness you want to add (agave nectar is a vegan’s answer to honey — it’s made from cacti and is a delicious sweetener)
- 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
Toss everything in your blender, blend for about 30 sec., and enjoy!
Mom’s Banana Bread
- 1 3/4 c. flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/3 c. vegetable shortening
- egg replacer equal to 2 eggs (I use Ener-G egg replacer, but I bet flax eggs would be good, too!)
- 2 Tbsp. soy milk
- 1 cup mashed bananas (2 bananas)
Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a mixer bowl, beat sugar and shortening with electric mixer until light, scraping sides of bowl often. Add one “egg” at a time, and the soy milk, beating till smooth after each addition. Add flour mixture and banana alternately to creamed mixture, beating till smooth after each addition. Turn batter into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool.
Part I: Burgers!
To me, summertime equals firing up the grill, a nice cold summer beer (your favorite lager mixed with lemonade – a delicious invention by my twin sister), and eating on the patio. When most people decide to grill out, they turn to burgers or hot dogs; vegans are no exception. I was recently in the mood for a veggie burger and decided to use chickpeas as the base. After searching around on the Internet, I remembered a recipe recently posted on one of my favorite blogs, (never home) maker. I stuck with the recipe, found here, except for the fact that I used a jalapeno pepper instead of a green chili pepper (in my mind, they’re all the same = hot!). I ended up making about 8 smaller burgers. Due to lack of charcoal I did bake these, but I’m sure they’d be equally good grilled up outside.
I served the burgers with French Potato Salad and a summer beer. I was excited to find a recipe for potato salad that didn’t call for vegan mayo (which I love, but can’t find anywhere in my town). The recipe was okay, but could probably use some tweaking – including cutting down on the oil to maybe 1/4 cup.
Part II: Homemade Hamburger Buns!
I’m not a big fan of those dry, crumbly hamburger buns you buy in eight-packs at the store. They’re pretty tasteless and you always have some left over. I love homemade bread and we would usually buy delicious little buns from a local grocery store. Unfortunately, they recently closed down and I’ve been hunting for the perfect burger bun ever since. But then I decided to try making my own … which was the best idea I’ve had in a long time! This recipe was so easy and quick to prepare and left the kitchen smelling amazing. I was very happy with how they turned out; Will thought they were a little heavy. I may need to adjust the amount of kneading when I make these again. The recipe can be found here. To veganize these buns, I used a flax “egg”. To equal one egg, just beat (with a wire whisk) 3 Tbsp. water into 2 1/2 Tbsp. ground flax seed. The mixture will get really gelatinous and makes for an excellent egg replacer in baked goods (plus, you know, omega 3 fatty acids and all those healthy benefits).