More Favorite Vegan Recipes

A few more of my favorite recipes. This is a meal that I use for people when I don't want to scare them away from vegan food. Or kale. :) I would eat this soup every day, it's so creamy and flavorful. Cody especially loves the croutons. And the cherry tomato gratin is by far my favorite way to eat tomatoes, which I don't normally care for too much. Add garlic and crispy breadcrumbs to anything and I'm good to go. :)

Also, sorry about the jacked up formatting. Blogger is so annoying about this stuff. Much like Microsoft Word, which has THE most annoying formatting settings ever. This is the kind of thing that totally stresses me out and would normally keep me from publishing the post, but I'm going to let it go. Especially since I think basically no one reads this blog anyway! Haha!

Cherry Tomato Gratin

Adapted from a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.


2 pints cherry tomatoes, rinsed & dried

1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat panko, which are japanese breadcrumbs, but any kind would probably be fine)

3 tbsp nutritional yeast (found in the bulk section of HEB, Whole Foods or Sprouts)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2-3 tsp dried parsley

1 tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 425. Put tomatoes in 8x8 square dish or 9" pie plate. Cover and microwave for a few minutes to get the tomatoes started. Meanwhile, combine panko, nutritional yeast, garlic, pepper, salt & parsley in a small bowl. Stir in the olive oil and mix well to distribute. Spread evenly over the tomatoes and bake until browned, about 20 minutes.

(You can also use parmesan cheese instead of nutritional yeast. Then do equal parts breadcrumbs & parm (1/4 cup each) and omit the salt since parmesan is salty already.)

Kale Sunshine Salad

Recipe by the amazing Mama Pea, who blogs at Check out her website and her cookbook (by the same name) for a wealth of kid-friendly vegan recipes!


1 head kale

1 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste, found my the peanut butter or on the ethnic foods aisle)

2 tbsp water

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1-2 tsp minced garlic

salt & pepper to taste

pinch of sugar


Wash kale & pat dry. Remove the thick part of the stem, then gather leaves into bundles and cut across in 1/2" strips. Put in a large salad bowl. Whisk together all the other ingredients. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Pour over the kale and massage with your hands to soften the kale. Refrigerate at least 5 minutes (or several hours) before serving to allow kale to soften more.

White Bean Rosemary Soup with Jumbo Croutons

Recipe by Dreena Burton from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onions, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dry mustard
3/4 - 1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
6 cups cooked white kidney (cannellini) beans (this is about 4 cans) (cannellini beans are expensive so I usually use great northern beans, which are also white but smaller, and cheaper)
3 cups vegetable stock (or 3 cups water with 1-2 veggie bullion cubes)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 batch "Jumbo Croutons" (below)
1 -2 tbsp olive oil (for finishing, optional)


In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, garlic, dry mustard, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 4 cups beans, stock, water, and rosemary, and increase heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. With a hand blender, puree soup until smooth. Or carefully transfer soup to a blender & blend, then transfer back to pot. Stir in remaining 2 cups beans and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve in individual bowls, topped with a handful of Jumbo Croutons and drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Serves 5-6

Jumbo Croutons


6 slices sandwich bread (I used HEB brand whole wheat)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 400. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut bread slices into 1" squares. In a large bowl, toss cubes with oil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and transfer bread onto sheet, then sprinkle with salt. Bake for about 12 minutes, tossing once or twice throughout, until lightly browned.


Some Favorite Vegan Recipes

So once again it's been over a year since I've blogged. Whoopsie. Since then I've quit my job, watched my huddle kids graduate, and had a baby girl. :) I may or may not blog more about some or all of this stuff, but I thought I'd use the blog to post a few vegan recipes that I've been enjoying. I am NOT a vegan who never liked meat or dairy much to begin with - I really loved cheesey pizza and creamy ice cream and even steak back in the day. So when I look for vegan recipes, I don't really like things that try to be like non-vegan food but don't live up to it. I'm not too good for soy yogurt and gardenburgers (just ate one for lunch, actually!), but if I'm going to cook I want it to be something that tastes good on it's own merit, not because it reminds me of chicken. Anyway. Here are a few recipes that I made recently for a dinner party. I hope they inspire you to give them a try!

Cocoa Coconut Chili
Recipe by Dreena Burton from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan (my first and favorite vegan cookbook!) This has a unique taste because of the cocoa, coconut milk, and lime, and the coconut flakes add a fun texture. There are a million vegan chili recipes and you pretty much can't go wrong with beans and tomatoes, but this one is by far my favorite.

1 to 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

2 cups diced onion

1 1/2 cups diced celery

1/2 cup diced red or yellow peppers

4-6 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp sea salt

pepper, to taste

2 tbsp mild chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp allspice

3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 28-oz cans diced tomatoes (I like the petite diced)

1 can rinsed & drained black beans

1 can rinsed & drained kidney beans

1 can rinsed & drain pinto beans

1 can light coconut milk

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I can get this in bulk from HEB)

1 cup frozen corn

2-3 fresh limes


In a large pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery, peppers, garlic, salt & pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, and allspice, stir to combine. Cover and cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally; reduce heat if onions or garlic start to burn.
When onions start to soften, add cocoa and stir for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes, beans, coconut milk, and coconut, and stir to combine. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in corn kernels and cook another 5 minutes to heat through. Remove cover and let liquid reduce if desired. Serve with lime wedges and squeeze on generous amounts of juice.

Makes about 9 one-cup servings.

Kinda Corny Muffins

Recipe adapted from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink & Be Vegan. I sometimes substitute a frozen mix of corn, black beans, onion, bell pepper and serrano peppers (from Randalls) for the second 1/2 cup of frozen corn.

1 tbsp ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
1 cup frozen yellow sweet corn kernels
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp c
anola oil 1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp unrefined sugar

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix flax, milk & 1/2 cup of the corn in a food processor or blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in remaining corn kernels, applesauce, and oil. Sift in dry ingredients & stir until just combined. Spoon into a lightly oiled muffin tin and bake 22-25 minutes, or portion out with cookie scoop into mini-muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes.

Makes 8 regular muffins or squares, or 24 mini muffins.

Great Northern Apple Cake
Recipe by Robin Robertson in Vegan on the Cheap. This cake is pretty dense, not light and fluffy like a birthday cake.

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 tbsp vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & cut into 1/2" slices
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup canned Great Norther beans, rinsed & drained
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a 9" cake pan, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the walnuts, and set aside.
In a medium skillet, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the apples, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and the lemon juice and cook, stirring to soften the apples and dissolve the sugar, for 3-4 minutes. Remove the apple slices from the pan and set aside to cool. Reserve the liquid in the pan.
When the apples are cool enough to handle, arrange them concentrically on top of the walnuts in the cake pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts.
In a food processor or blender, grind the oats to a fine powder. Remove the oats and put in a bowl. Add the beans, oil and vanilla to the food processor. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved apple juice (if there's not enough, add water to reach 1/2 cup). Blend until smooth. Add to bowl with the oats. Stir in the flour, remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice and combine thoroughly.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and carefully spread across the top of the apples & walnuts. Bake until golden brown, about 35 minutes.
Let the cake cool for about 30 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cake to loosen. Place a plate on the top of the pan and invert, carefully removing the pan to reveal the apple slices as the top of the cake.

Makes 8 servings.