Two VERY handy sites, and making Coconut Butter

The internet is LOADED with too much information, so much that I have a hard time sifting. Let me sift a little for you. And hopefully, you’re not completely sick of white stuff in jars since I keep posting them. But don’t worry, real food is coming. I’m just setting the stage for future greatness, giving you the tools if you will, to make wonderful things soon.

So first, have you ever found yourself cleaning out your cupboard or pantry and realized you had three cans of veggie broth, or that jar of roasted red peppers you knew was back there had been tucked away for longer than you’d thought – like two years? Did you know that the best by date isn’t always the definitive date? Yes, you probably do, but I still have friends for whom this is new information and so, I share.

Still Tasty not only tells you how much longer your canned goods are good for (sometimes two or three years!), but your fruits and vegetables, and well, everything other edible in your kitchen. There is so much information on this site, you could spend days and still probably learn something new, or at least novel. I will confess, there are many items lacking, BUT the catalog is continually increasing.

So, if after checking StillTasty you find you probably shouldn’t use that tempeh that ended up in the back corner of your fridge for six months, there is yet another site I frequent. It is where I go when I realize I am missing what I THINK is a vital ingredient.

The Cook's Thesaurus

Unfortunately, the URL is rather than its name, but I love the URL since it’s easier to remember when I’m looking for a substitute ingredient. It’s not as easy to navigate as I would like, but the search bar is pretty helpful. One of the best parts is that some recommended substitutes have how-to directions!

I wanted to make Shira’s brownies at InPursuitofMore, but I did not have nor had I ever made coconut butter. So I foodsubbed it. This is what I found:

coconut butter  To make your own:  Toast grated coconut over low heat in a frying pan until lightly browned, then whirl it (while still hot) in a blender until it has the consistency of a smooth paste.

There were no pictures, but hey, those are pretty straight-forward directions and I’m not as dumb as I might look sometimes. So, I tossed some shredded, unsweetened, dried coconut and did just that. Heated it and popped it in the Vitamix and started it running. I was surprised by how it transformed from a pile of dried coconut into a creamy, SUPER-HOT, fatty quasi-liquid. It almost had the consistency of what happens when you mix cornstarch and water – a liquid-solid. It was also very much like butter (though very coconutty) and not anything I imagined should have worked.  As it cooled, it hardened much like coconut oil and works like butter in recipes. Cool, huh?

I have since repeated the procedure with more precise measurements to be more helpful. I know I would have appreciated a bit more info when I first tried it. I don’t think a regular blender could handle this, and I recommend a VitaMix because I found the tamper VERY useful. A BlendTec definitely has the power, it just requires more stopping and starting as you stir the contents.

Here are the details in a better form.

Homemade Coconut Butter
Adapted from Cook’s Thesaurus
Yield: 2 cups

4 c. shredded, unsweetened, dried coconut

Over medium heat in a large non-stick skillet, allow coconut to LIGHTLY toast, stirring or flipping frequently to keep from burning. (The goal is primarily to get it hot, but a bit of nuttiness from the toasting improves the flavor.) Quickly add the coconut to power blender, and turn it on and up. Using the tamper if you have one, push the coconut into the blades, adjusting blender speed in order to keep the coconut moving. You may need to stop and start, especially if you don’t have a tamper; pulsing it and shaking the jar will be helpful! This will take a few minutes and the contents will get HOT, as they reach maximum smoothness. The coconut will start moving itself as it begins to liquefy, at which point you’re close. Stop occasionally and check consistency – it should be quite smooth.

When it’s done, it’s done! Pour into a clean container and allow to cool at room temperature. If you’re really ambitious, pour into a muffin tin to get ½ cup portions because it’s pretty tough to break up after it cools.


Raw Vegan Sour Cream

cute nephew, right?

My nephew is almost 12 now, (5 in the picture above), but when he was 2 and more than a handful (no, seriously, he was tough), we lived in his basement. Sometimes, to give his parents a break, we’d have him down to visit and he’d help us make dinner. One of our common meals was guacamole and chips – super healthy, I know, in which we used just a “dollop” of sour cream.  My husband had a bit of a love affair with sour cream, so he’d always lick the spoon afterward. One time my cute nephew said, “I wike it, Nutsy!” anticipating a taste too, and so we gave him a little spoonful to try. Cute nephew gleefully took said spoonful into his mouth and immediately thereafter did that kid thing of just letting the food fall out of his mouth and said, “I don’t wike it, Nutsy!”

raw sour cream mimi kirk

We all miss sour cream just a little. I am not saying we’d take a spoonful like we used to, but it’s such a useful and versatile ingredient in baking, cooking, and adding just that little bit of tang to things like baked potatoes and burritos. I haven’t been happy with any of the store-bought ones, nor any of the recipes for tofu ones. So, a couple of weeks ago, I picked up Mimi Kirk’s “Live Raw” at the library (and one day I’ll own it) and flipping through found a recipe for sour cream.

mushroom stroganoff strawberry broken heart cake

So, I made it. And I didn’t soak my cashews because I have a Vita-Mix and that’s its job. And the second batch was better than the first for reasons I couldn’t tell you. And I used it a week and a half later and it was still fantastic – I think the probiotics actually make a big difference in curing it. And I only took a few pictures because I’m lame like that. But I have since used it in mushroom stroganoff (angels singing above), a strawberry coffee cake (I made two in three days and ate both of them), and topped potatoes (so good with chives!), burritos, and tacos happily with it. And Mimi said I could share it – thanks Mimi, you’re beautiful!

Raw Vegan Sour Cream


1 c. cashews, soaked for 4 hours (optional if you have a power blender)
½ t. probiotics, for curing – I emptied two New Chapter probiotic capsules
1 t. light miso paste
¼ t. salt
3 T. lemon Juice
¾ – 1 c. water


Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary. Place in a covered container and store in the refrigerator. Mixture thickens as it chills. To thin, add more water. To thicken add 2 T. Irish moss paste. Use anywhere you would sour cream.


One for the Road. Vegan Mini Chocolate Cashew Cheezcakes

Photo Courtesy of Annie at An Unrefined Vegan

Many of you know how much I love Annie at An Unrefined Vegan. When she asked me to develop a chocolate version of this recipe to take with her and feed the masses at her brother Charles’ memorial this weekend, I jumped up at the ready. You see, I’d all ready been planning to make Chocolate Cheezcake from the moment of the first recipe’s inception. It had to be a recipe that would freeze well, since she would be taking it in coolers for a trek to the desert. Indeed, it may even be tastier partially frozen, and as I’m unable to be there physically to support her, creating this recipe was the least I could do. And if I may toot my own horn, they WILL blow you away with how much they taste exactly like chocolate cheesecake, I think they make the original cheezcake “pale” in comparison.

Mini Chocolate Cashew Cheezcakes, “Milk” or Dark Directions
1/4 Package Pomona’s Pectin, instructions below
1 1/4 C. Raw Cashews
1/2 C. Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Chips
2 T. C. Cocoa Powder (optional, add for dark chocolate version only)
1/4 C. Agave, or for less sweetness, one half of 1/3 C. (however much the heck that is)
1 T. Lemon Juice
1 C. Boiling Water, plus additional cool water for calcium packet in pectin
1/8 t. Sea Salt
6 Whole Graham Cracker Sheets, I used these vegan ones, but hey, there’s no shame in using gluten free substitute or a half pack of Newman-O’s instead 😉
1/4 C. Earth Balance OR Coconut Oil, melted
6 Strawberries, halved (Annie’s brilliant addition)
Shaved Cacao Nibs or Dark Chocolate Shavings (another one of Annie’s brilliant additions)
12 Foil Lined Cupcake Liners
Photo Courtesy of Annie at An Unrefined Vegan
Method: Make crust first. Break up graham crackers or Newman-O’s, place in food processor, then process until uniform and crumbly. Add melted earth balance or coconut oil. Pulse until combined. Using a cupcake tin and the foil liners, put a heaped spoonful of graham mixture into the bottom of each of the 12 cups. Press with the bottom of a spoon to compact it and get a uniform surface. Make calcium water by adding 1/2 C. Water to a small jar, add the calcium powder and shake until combined. Set asidePlace cashews in blender (you may need to pre-soak these for a few hours if you don’t have a power blender), add chocolate chips, agave, lemon juice and sea salt, also add cocoa powder at this point if using. Pour boiling water over the mixture and blend til completely smooth. Add 2 1/4 teaspoons of pomona’s pectin to the mix and blend again til smooth. Quickly shake the calcium water again and pour 2 T. of it into the mix and blend again. (Please save the rest of the Pomona’s pectin for jam making or a 3/4 batch of cashew cheeze!) Immediately pour into the tins, you should have a scant 1/4 C. filling for each cheezcake. Place a halved strawberry on each cheezcake and sprinkle with shaved cacao nibs. Cover with plastic wrap (I like the press and seal variety). Freeze until solid. Defrost for 20 minutes before serving.
Photo Courtesy of Annie at An Unrefined Vegan
Annie has ran the Little Grand Canyon10K with Charles for the last couple of years. Since we’re not there to run it with her this weekend, maybe you wouldn’t mind mirroring her run and joining me for a “Run for Charles’ Memorial” at 6am on Saturday or anytime this weekend to support her.
Love, Somer.

Vegan Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez and Pomona’s Pectin Giveaway!

It’s Tasty Tuesday and many of you all ready know I have an obsession with cashew cheez. A cheddar version and a moxerella version are all ready on this site. I’ve tried a couple of store bought vegan cheeses and didn’t like the flavors OR the ingredient lists. What you may not know is that I originally got a recipe by email for making pepper-jack cashew cheez from my dear friend Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan. She made the cheez and couldn’t wait to share it with me, just like I can’t wait to share it with you. She made an amazing smoky pesto version here. Her recipe used agar agar, which was amazing, but super pricey.  Coincidentally (I believe in fate) I had the agar agar stored in my pantry right next to a box of Pomona’s Pectin. I glanced at the two of them and saw the agar agar could be used for making vegan jello. Then I looked at the box of Pomona’s Pectin (which is half the price of the agar agar), and saw that it could be used to make a vegan jello too. A light went on in my head, surely they could both be used to make cashew cheez!

 Eureka! The cheez wasn’t as firm as Annie’s version. I originally thought that it was like vegan velveeta or er, cheezeeta. But as I let it firm up more in the fridge I saw that although it was still a bit soft, you could grate it and slice it AND it really, really melts. I use it on pizza, like this nearly famous sriracha bbq tofu and moxeralla pizza, in burritos, enchiladas, in quesadillas and grilled cheez sandwiches. It has literally changed my vegan life and I want to share it with you. This pepper-jack version is hand’s down my favorite and has been tested on my carnivore brother and dad with results that said “This tastes like pepper-jack cheese, how did you make it!?!, It’s made of cashews?!?” My vegan friends swoon over it. Yesterday I thought one vegan friend was going to cry when she tasted it. I have to have it in my fridge at all times. It freezes well too…. So without further ado here is the adapted recipe with my modifications. Thanks Annie, love yer guts!

Pepper-Jack Cashew Cheez

1 box Pomona’s Pectin

2.5 C. water, divided
2 C. raw cashews
3 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast
2 t. salt
1/2 t. onion powder
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 C. jarred jalapenos, diced
1/4 C. jarred diced pimiento

optional: for extra heat add 1 t. red chili flakes. Mmmm.

Method: Lightly oil a 9×5 loaf pan, or for portion control (my favorite, idea from Kristy at, a cupcake tin with a 12 cupcake capacity. Put pimento and jalapenos on a paper towel to absorb all excess moisture, set aside. Grind cashews into a fine powder in a food processor or with your Estrogen (Blendtec) or Testosterone (Vitamix) Blender. Do not over process and make nut butter. Put ground cashews in blender (if they aren’t all ready in there) add nutritional yeast, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2 cups water til boiling. Pour the boiled water into the power blender, ignoring instructions in your blender manual that say not to use boiling water in it. Add pectin, and blend until smooth and creamy. It’s gonna thicken quickly, so immediately add the calcium water and pulse until all combined. QUICKLY stir in pimiento and jalapeno by hand so they don’t get chopped to bits. Pour the whole mess into the prepared pan(s). Refrigerate uncovered for an hour. Turn cashew cheez(es) out onto a plate (upside down) and let set uncovered for another 4-5 hours. If you use the cupcake tins, 1 serving of cashew cheez is half of one mini round. It’s the perfect amount so this recipe should make 24 servings.

In honor of my beloved cashew cheez, today’s giveaway is a box of Pomona’s Pectin for 2 lucky winners. This contest is also open to international readers.

Rules of Engagement:

1- You must be a follower of this blog, if you don’t know how to do that, there is a “Follow blog via email” button at the top column to the right. This contest is open to all followers, including International Readers.

2- You must like this post (click on the title name of this post, then go to the bottom of the post just above comments and push the like button),

3- You must comment below, telling me what you would make with your cashew cheez!

Winner to be announced Tuesday July 17th, 2012. 

And now for the winner of last Tuesday’s giveaway!

1 bottle of Doterra’s TerraSheild Natural insect repellent: freakenvegan

Winner was selected by using the service. Please email your mailing address to me at and I will mail you your prize!

See ya on Somer Saturday!

p.s. there is still time to enter my Lululemon giveaway too! Do it!

Thin Crust Sriracha BBQ Tofu and Moxerella Pizza

It’s Somer Saturday and I’m really REALLY obsessed with Annie’s Cashew Cheez. Ever since she emailed me a demo recipe, vegan life has changed as I know it. I thought I was over cheese, and was starting to be a little snobby, even shunning the likes of Daiya, Teese and Sheese since they are all refined and made of ….I don’t know what…. vegan garbage?

 I read through Annie’s ingredient list, no artificial anything, no weird fillers, no hydrogenated oils, no artificial colors or flavors. Then I read her post – oh man, the cheez looked so beautiful.I was pining away after it. I had to make it. I had to eat it.

And now I’m going to share with you the best recipe I have made with it to date.

 Thin Crust Sriracha BBQ Tofu and Moxerella Pizza

1/4 recipe of the Moxeralla Cashew Cheez, grated

1 recipe Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust

1 recipe Sriracha BBQ Sauce

1 recipe Sriracha BBQ Tofu

1 recipe Caramelized Onions

2 T. Chopped Cilantro

Recipes Follow….

First do these things the day before: 1- Make the cheez (adaptation below). 2- Drain a block of extra firm tofu, stick it in a ziplock and chuck it in the freezer. Freeze tofu overnight, then defrost on the countertop the next morning.

It’s Business Time

Moxerella Cashew Cheez

adapted from

Ingredients: 1 Package Pamona’s Pectin (you can find it at Whole Foods and other Health Food Stores), 2 C. Ground Raw Cashews, 3 C. Water- divided, 3 T. Lemon Juice, 1/4 C. Nutritional Yeast, 2 t. sea salt and 1 clove minced garlic

Method: Lightly oil a loaf pan or small round casserole dish. In a small lidded jar, mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2.5 cups water til nearly boiling. Pour water into power blender. Add pectin, and all other ingredients except calcium water. Blend until smooth. QUICKLY add calcium water and pulse til incorporated. Immediately pour into the prepared pan or dish. Let set uncovered for a minimum of an hour. Remove cheez from the mold and place upside down on a plate. Return to fridge uncovered for a minimum of 4 more hours until firm enough to grate.

Next, make Sriracha BBQ Sauce

Sriracha BBQ Sauce

 Combine: 1/2 C. organic ketchup, 2 T. agave nectar, 2 T. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, 1 T. apple cider vinegar, 1 t. molasses, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 t. liquid smoke, 1/2 to 2 t. Sriracha Hot Sauce (to taste) and a few grinds of pepper.

Next make Sriracha BBQ Tofu

Sriracha BBQ Tofu

Half of this recipe never made it to the pizza. It is so good! Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Drain as much water from defrosted block of tofu as possible with paper towels. Slice into pieces and then drain again with paper towels. Put tofu in a bowl and drizzle with 1/4 C. above sauce. Put some parchment paper on a cookie sheet and arrange tofu on it. Bake for 10 minutes or until it starts to get lovely little crispy bits.

Next make Caramelized Onions

Caramelized Onions

 Ingredients: 1 jumbo sweet onion, thinly sliced (or 2-3 regular sized onions), 2 t. molasses, 1 t. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Method: Heat a skillet over high heat, add a cup of water and all of the above ingredients, occasionally stir and replenish water if skillet gets dry before the onions are completely translucent. Total cooking time can take 15-20 minutes. This recipe makes about 2.5 to 3 C. caramelized onions.

Next make Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust while the onions are caramelizing.

Whole Wheat Thin Crispy Crust

Ingredients: 1.5 C. white whole wheat flour, 3/4 C. warm water, 1 t. active dry yeast, 1 T. vital wheat gluten, 1 t. salt. Method: in your favorite kneading apparatus (perhaps a bowl, and then your hands) combine all the above ingredients. Knead until elastic. Let rest 10 minutes. Roll with a rolling pin into the shape of a baking sheet, crust should be VERY thin. Press crust into lightly oiled baking sheet. Set aside.

Assemble: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Brush remaining sriracha BBQ sauce over the thin crispy crust, layer caramelized onions over the sauce, next arrange pieces of the BBQ tofu over the onions,  sprinkle the moxerella cashew cheez over the whole pizza, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Bake on middle rack for 15 minutes or until cheez starts to brown.

Still following me? Phew, I thought I was getting a little long winded.

Oh, you’re still here and you want that salad dressing recipe too?

Miso Cashew Ranch Dressing 

Ingredients: 1/2 C. Raw Cashews, 1 1/4 C. unsweetened almond milk, 1 heaped T. white or yellow miso, 3 t. chia seeds, 1/2 t. sea salt, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 t. onion powder, 1 t. dried dill, 2 T. fresh parsley 1/2 t. ground black pepper, dash cayenne. Method: Blend all ingredients except dill and parsley until completely smooth. Add dill and parsley and pulse until just mixed in.

Ode to Cheese (Cashew Cheddar, Mac & Cheese, Chia Pudding)

This week I discovered cashew cheese which makes the best Mac N Cheese ever. I know I said the Daiya recipe was good, but it was really just tolerable. This one, is so good, Andrew has eaten it three meals in a row.

I found a recipe for cashew cheese on it looked amazing, I knew I would love it, but Andrew would not–he likes plain cheddar, but it inspired me to try a cheddar version. What I came up with is amazing (with a lot of help from my friends)

Cashew Cheddar (never will another cheese pass my lips)

1 package Pamona’s Pectin (All the recipes I found used agar, but Somer tried this and it makes a creamier cheese–I still can’t believe she thought to use this, so weird, but perfect)
3 cups water
2 cups raw cashews
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/3 C. nutritional yeast
2 tsp. Herbamere (spike or salt of choice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
½  tsp turmeric (for color)

Update: Somer made this and replaced 1 C. carrot juice for one of the cups of water, and 1/2 t. smoked paprika added in for  a lovely orange color.

Mix 1/2 C. of the water with the small calcium packet from the pectin package, set aside. Heat the other 2.5 cups water til nearly boiling. Pour into power blender. Add pectin, and all other ingredients except calcium water. Blend until smooth. Add calcium water and pulse til incorporated. Pour into bread pan and refrigerate until it sets up—it doesn’t take long.

when I tasted this, I almost cried, I love cheese, every kind of cheese and I missed it so much. I did give this a little kiss and told it I loved it. Andrew asked me to please stop, I was embarrassing.

Best Mac N Cheese EVER (Andrew approved!) inspired by recipe from Jessica Seinfield’s “Deceptively Delicious


1 lb pasta, cooked and drained

1T olive oil

1 T flour

1 c almond milk

2 T earth spread (you need this because the cashew cheese does make it kind of dry)

1/2 c cauliflower pureed (I also use butternut squash, you can omit this, but it really makes it creamy, and it is how I get Andrew his veg)

1 1/2 c cashew cheese (see recipe above)

1/2 t salt

1/8 t smoked paprika

1/8 t black pepper

5 drops red food coloring

10 drops yellow food coloring (you can omit of course, but it made it look just like mac and cheese and this is important to our tastebuds, if our mind tells us it is, it is a lot easier for our mouth to accept it is—really scientists have done studies about this)

Method: heat olive oil and flour until paste, add milk, bring to soft boil to thicken, add cauliflower, stir in cheese, earth spread and seasoning, stir until melted and creamy, mix in pasta. I add a little hot sauce to mine, but not Andrew’s.

And for the last recipe tonight, this is seriously on of the most delicious things I have ever tasted and it is not just because I am Vegan deprived (I caved and had a bite of Costco red velvet–ok, the whole cupcake, I was so drained after, but I LOVE Costco red velvet). Anyway, this pudding is seriously decadent.

Chia Pudding (OMG!)


2 cups Water
1 cup Cashews
½ cup Hempseeds
½ cup Coconut Sugar
¼ tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ cup  Coconut Oil
2 ½ Tbsp  Chia Seeds


1. Soak the cashews in water for 4-6 hours. When finished rinse the cashews with water and strain.

2. If coconut oil is solid place in a pan or double boiler on the lowest temperature possible. Once oil becomes a clear liquid turn the heat off. Coconut oil should melt at 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place the water, the soaked cashews, the hemp seeds, the coconut sugar, the salt, and the vanilla extract in a high-speed blender. Blend on high until you have a nice creamy consistency.

4. Turn the blender on low and while it is running slowly pour in the melted coconut oil. Place the lid back on and run the blender on high for a few seconds.

5. Turn the blender on low and slowly pour in the chia seeds. You will want to make sure the chia seeds stay whole

6. Place mixture in a sealed container (a quart size mason jar works great) and refrigerate over night. Super Food Chia Pudding is great topped with cacao nibs and hemp seeds or fresh berries. Love light and Yummmm, for every one.

Recipe Credit: Evan Rilling

I don’t know about green eggs and ham, but I do. not. like. millet.

I tried this cozy millet bowl with mushroom gravy recipe on I didn’t really like it, as I have decided I don’t really like millet. So that is all I will say about that.

I did make up a chowder recipe that was pretty tasty though. I didn’t mean to make chowder, but that is what it most reminds me of. I was trying to make a tasty version of an Amish potato soup my sister makes. It is sooooo yummy, but requires milk and cheese. My vegan version (tastes nothing like the original). I liked it, but the cauliflower gave it kind of a bitter “bite.” My sister LOVED it and wanted the recipe. As she wolfed it down she wondered if her husband would like it—he never even got a taste. My son did not like it  (but he doesn’t like much) He insisted there was a grain in it (so did my sister) but it is the cauliflower, when it is lightly blended, it has the texture of a grain. I will try this one again, but I think with broccoli next time.

Creamy Vegi Chowder

 Creamy Vegi Chowder


½ c diced celery

1 c diced carrots

4 diced medium potatoes

1 med head cauliflower

2 cups chopped kale

3 cups vegetable broth

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes, this gives it a bite, so leave out if you don’t want so spicy)

Low-fat vegan cheeze sauce, divided (see below for recipe)

1/2 tbsp lemon juice (optional)

1 tsp onion powder, to taste

Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup fresh minced parsley, plus more to garnish

Smoked paprika for garnish

Add everything to large pot, simmer for about 15 mins, until potatoes are tender to fork, but not soft. You can leave in big chunks, but I pulsed mine in the vitamix, a little. (Do it in 2 batches) then mix cheese sauce with blended veggies. Garnish with smoked paprika

Low-Fat Vegan Cheeze Sauce (double batch)

Found this on OhSheGlows. Here is the link.


1.5 cup unsweetened, unflavoured almond milk

3/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tbsp Earth Balance or other non-dairy buttery spread

2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tbsp + 1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1. In a skillet or pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat.

2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and 1/4 cup milk until all clumps are gone.

3. Whisk in the remaining milk (1.25 cups) as well as the milk and flour mixture into the pot. Now whisk in the nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to low-medium.

4. Add Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste and whisk frequently over low heat until the sauce thickens up, for 3-5 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat once thick.

Andrew’s favorite because he doesn’t know it is good for him. Even as I make it, he tells me how much he hates spinach, but he loves these:

Peanut Buttercup shake

 Peanut Buttercup Shake

Servings: 2

½ cup chocolate almond milk

¼ cup peanut butter

1 heaping tsp cocoa

2 tsp agave (to taste)

½ c spinach (yup, weird and gives it a weird color, but can’t taste it. Warning: do not let child see this part)

2 cups ice

Blend on high in vitamix. Top with vegan whip cream (optional).

Nutritional info per serving: calories: 250, Fat 15, Carbs 17.5, fiber 2, protein 9

I found several other shakes in Chef AJ’s book that I am going to try this week.

Bread sticks


I used my kamut sour dough bread recipe to make bread sticks. Andrew LOVES these!

In my quest to get nutrition into my vegan son who does not like vegetables, or protein—he just likes carbs really, I am always looking for ways to hide them in the food he likes. I hide them in EVERYTHING. I discovered the trick in “Deceptively Delicious” it is a cookbook by Jessica Seinfield,  it isn’t vegetarian or vegan, but I adapt the recipes. I puree veggies in bulk and put them in ziplock bags in the freezer.

One of his favorite foods is mashed potatoes and ranch. I modified my original concoction to be vegan. He loved them.

Complete Meal Mashed Potatoes created by me approved by my vegan son


1 cup pureed cauliflower (steam it and add a little water to puree)

1 cup navy beans pureed (you will need to add a little water to get these to puree)

4-5 cups mashed potatoes (I leave the peels on if the potatoes are fresh)

4 eggs (optional)

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp Italian seasoning

¼-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (just depends on how thick you like them)

Salt to taste

1 cup ranch dressing (I used this vegan dressing)

½ cup melted earth balance butter (sometimes I sub with olive oil, but the earth balance does add flavor)

1 cup dayia shredded cheese (optional, for top)

1 bag French fried onions (for topping, this is the piece de resistance for my son, he loves these on top)

Method: mix everything in a big bowl except cheese and French fired onions. Place in 9×13 pan, cover,  bake on 350 for 30-40 mins. Top with cheese and French onions.

Another staple at our house are homemade noodles. Andrew went vegan for moral reasons, so he will eat things I make with our chicken’s unfertilized eggs, and milk from our goats.


Homemade egg noodles (vegetarian—I don’t know how to make egg noodles without eggs)

1 cup white unbleached flour     (these started with 2 cups white flour, but trying to wean him off white flour, so I replace 1 cup with kamut and pastry whole wheat)

½ cup kamut flour

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup semolina flour

1 tsp  salt

4 eggs

2-3 Tbs olive oil

Mix everything in Bosch adding a little hot water until dough forms (1-2 Tbls). Mix for 10 mins. Cover dough and let rest 20 mins. Divide into sections,


roll out (this part is Andrew’s job, I have a pasta maker I got for last years birthday, thanks sisters and mom) but you can do it by hand. Hang to dry. If you want to cook immediately bring broth to boil, cook noodles for 3-4 mins. Once noodles are dry cook 6-7 mins.