The Quest for a Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

I always find veganizing favorite recipes to be pretty fun and rewarding. But admittedly, some present more of a challenge than others. My nephew emailed me asking for advice on making lemon meringue pie. (Alas, he was seeking information for a friend; none of my nephews are vegan.) It was the meringue that had them stumped.

It stumped me, too, so I went straight to the source of information on all things vegan: my twitter friends. They are a brilliant bunch, I must say, and immediately provided me with some good leads.

Apparently there is a product made in New Zealand called Vegan Meringue Cookie Mix which is available from Vegan Essentials. Well-known chef Bryanna Clark Grogan uses it in her lemon meringue ... Read More >

Super Easy Vegan Sauces for Fast and Tasty Dinners

Twenty or so years ago, when I first started working for PCRM, I was a brand new vegan—and very interested in what other vegans were eating. This was before Gardein, Daiya cheese, and Vegenaise eggless mayonnaise. It wasn’t hard to be a vegan, but it wasn’t as easy as it is now.

During lunch one day, when we were all comparing menus and cooking tips, one co-worker said that her dinner menus consisted of three rotated items: pasta with sauce from a jar; Progresso Lentil Soup, and veggie burgers. At that time, I was kind of surprised to meet a vegan who didn’t cook. But I’m not surprised any more.

In fact, like many omnivores, a lot of vegans don’t want to spend ... Read More >

Easy Vegan Holiday Party

I had a few neighbors over last night for wine and cocktail party-ish appetizers. These are good, cozy friends—the kind with whom you don’t worry too much if you don’t get around to cleaning the bathroom. They are omnivores, though—and that causes me to fuss just a little bit more than usual. I didn’t have time to cook all day, so I ended up using a few prepared party foods.It’s nice that there are so many great ones available for vegans. In addition, I made one batch of Christmas cookies, a fast cake, some hummus (well, it was a vegan party; you’ve gotta have hummus!), and walnut-broccoli spread.

Here is what was on the menu with some recipes

From the freezer:

Vegetable Bird’s ... Read More >

Vegan Thanksgiving is Easy, Traditional and Delicious

This year, I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper about why we don't have turkey in my home on Thanksgiving. I hope that I was able to capture some of the joy that comes with embracing compassion on this day of all days–one that celebrates family, friendship, abundance and gratitude. (Please take a look at my article on the myth of free-range turkeys, too.)

I look forward to my cruelty-free Thanksgiving dinner every year. I’m a traditionalist, and so my Thanksgiving menu doesn’t change a lot from year to year. There is an entrée surrounded by all the “trimmings,” ie, the dishes that were always a part of my family’s Thanksgiving meals when I was a kid. They are tweaked ... Read More >

Vegan Tuna Burgers: Old-fashioned Comfort

tuna3.jpg

When I attended Gregory Elementary School in West Orange, N.J., our infrequent art and cooking classes were always an exciting break from the classroom. They were held in a big activities room filled with long tables and lined on one wall with a kitchen. Once a month or so we trudged up there for “home economics,” which always involved preparation and tasting of a simple recipe.

An absolute favorite and one I always remembered was the tuna burger recipe we made in 4th grade. My mom made them at home for me several times over the next couple of years. While I was writing an article this week about vegan sandwiches, tuna burgers popped into my head.

So I pulled out my mom’s ... Read More >

Easy Vegan Dinner: Tequila Tempeh & Coconut Lime Rice

I blog recipes only occasionally since there are so many great vegan cooks on the internet—and I’m merely a good-enough cook. But sometimes I stumble over a recipe that is so fantastic or I find myself pulling together such an exceptional menu that I feel compelled to share. And that’s the case with last night’s dinner. Here is the menu:

~Tempeh Marinated in Tequila

~Rice with Corn, Coconut Milk and Lime

~Spinach (fresh from the garden)

~Salad (even fresher from the garden)

I think this menu sounds a little fancy, and it would, in fact, be perfect for company. But believe me, it was super easy. Once you have the tempeh marinating and, if you cook the brown rice ahead of time, the ... Read More >

Best Fast Vegan Dessert: Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I’m going to make these tomorrow for friends who are stopping by for dessert. Chocolate chip pancakes are so divine and since they are served hot from the griddle, they feel sort of gourmet-ish.

It’s easy enough to make these from scratch, but obviously even easier to use a mix. If I’m making them just for my husband and me for a little treat, I try to be as healthful as possible by using a whole grain mix. If it’s for company, I want them to be super light and fluffy so I go with a standard white flour mix. (This is dessert, after all, hopefully following a very healthy dinner!) Pancake mix is usually vegan, but do a quick label scan; the more ... Read More >

Update on Vegan Mushroom Strudel: The Whole Wheat Version

I made my yummy mushroom strudel yesterday with a few changes. As noted in the comments on that post, I found a whole wheat phyllo at the local food co-op. For this special occasion recipe, I’m perfectly happy to use the refined flour version, but I thought it would be fun to try something new. And my only dinner guest was my husband who, in addition to his other excellent qualities, will eat pretty much anything. I never really have to worry about recipe disasters.

To counteract the somewhat drier aspect of whole grain flour, I replaced the olive oil in my recipe with a combination of olive oil and melted coconut oil—a healthy saturated fat source. I would have used all coconut oil, ... Read More >

Celebrate Easter and Spring with Vegan Mushroom Strudel

Mushroom Strudel is my favorite company dinner and I’m making it this weekend for Easter. It’s adapted from Moosewood Cookbook, an older collection of recipes that definitely puts the “lacto” in lacto-ovo vegetarian! It was super easy to veganize, though, and I’m really happy with the results.

Traditionally, strudel recipes are made with phyllo (also spelled filo) dough layered with lots of melted butter. But olive oil works very well and, in fact, the instructions on the phyllo package say that it’s fine to use oil. The filling substitutes were easy—I used Tofutti brand Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream.

If you’ve never worked with phyllo dough, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is and how quickly you can ... Read More >

Meat Out! Celebrate Spring By Going Vegetarian

It’s the season of birth and new beginnings in the northern part of the world. We’re starting the time of year when daylight outlasts the night. March 20th is the first day of spring—and it’s also Great American Meatout Day. What a great time to make a few changes and a fresh start.

Going vegetarian is about being kind to animals, responsible to the earth, and eating some of the best food in the world. But it’s not just a good thing to do; it’s fun, too! Do you think of meatless dishes as boring and limited? Look at some of the best-loved dishes from across the globe for ideas about how truly gourmet vegetarian eating can be. Here are just a few of ... Read More >